“We continue to see many growth opportunities as new technologies drive the migration of global payments from cash and checks towards plastic and digital transactions. We are strengthening traditional products that deliver value to cardmembers and drive business for merchants. At the same time, we are also moving to broadening our franchise with the extension of our Loyalty Partner business into new markets like Mexico and the recently announced partnership with Walmart to reach new segments of the U.S. market that are looking for an alternative to traditional debit cards and checking accounts.
“Taking full advantage of these and other opportunities, particularly in a slow growth economy, will continue to require rigorous cost containment to help ensure that we have the investment resources needed to continue to deliver on our growth objectives.”
U.S. Card Services reported third-quarter net income of $699 million, down 5 percent from $733 million a year ago.Total revenues net of interest expense increased 6 percent to $4.1 billion from $3.8 billion. Revenues reflect an 8 percent increase in cardmember spending and a rise in net interest income, driven primarily by a 5 percent growth in average cardmember loans. Provisions for losses totaled $339 million, up from $143 million a year ago. The increase primarily reflects lower reserve releases than the year ago period, partially offset by lower net write-offs in the current quarter. Total expenses increased 2 percent from the year ago period, primarily reflecting higher operating expenses, 4 partially offset by lower rewards-related costs. The effective tax rate was 38 percent compared to 36 percent in the year-ago period. International Card Services reported third-quarter net income of $164 million, down 26 percent from $221 million a year ago. Total revenues net of interest expense decreased 3 percent to $1.3 billion. Adjusted for foreign currency translations, revenues rose 2 percent from a year ago. 3 Provisions for losses totaled $83 million, down 18 percent from $101 million a year ago.