MLB will finish 70-year cope with buying and selling card firm Topps

Major League Baseball will abandon Topps as a trading card partner, ending a relationship that has existed since 1952.

Fanatics, the sportswear company, is set to get the trading card deal instead, according to two people familiar with the matter. Fanatics and MLB declined to comment.

The MLB extended their deal with Topps in 2018, and the existing deal ends in 2025. The MLB Players Association’s deal also aligns with the league, so the deal would end too.

The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Rookie Card from the Marshall Fogel collection arrives at the Rally Hotel in McGregor Square.

Matt Dirksen | Colorado Rockies | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

In the agreement with Topps, MLB receives a license fee for products that are sold with its intellectual property. Baseball’s exit is a blow to Topps as the powerhouse announced last April that it would go public. The trading card company went with a SPAC merger. a Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corp. II, which is listed on the Nasdaq and valued Topps at $ 1.3 billion.

Topps was a publicly traded company before it was privatized in 2007 after a $ 385 million deal. Founded in 1938, the company became known for selling trading cards, including the 1952 Mickey Mantle card, which sold for $ 5.2 million last January. With the departure of the MLB, Topps is left with license agreements with leagues such as the Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League.

In the meantime, MLB will in some way turn to Fanatics to make physical trading cards. Fanatics plans to start a new trading card company and will give MLB and the MLB Players Association holdings in the company.

MLB already owns shares in Fanatics and recently sold its NFT rights to Candy Digital, which is owned by Fanatics. In addition, Fanatics already owns all of MLB’s e-commerce rights and is looking to expand its business outside of sports merchandising, including sports betting.

Earlier this month, Fanatics secured a $ 325 million raise to expand and is now valued at $ 18 billion.

Covid customers did nice job paying bank card debt. It will probably’t final

Santiaga | iStock | Getty Images

Ask a consumer expert what would happen with credit card loan balances during a recession and the answer wouldn’t be that balances decline sharply and Americans avoid a wave of card delinquencies.

But that’s what happened during the pandemic year. Helped by government stimulus and limited to spending on necessary goods rather than discretionary items, consumers bucked economic downturn history when it comes to credit card debt.

It’s been an upside down credit environment,” said Stephen Biggar, who covers financial institutions at Argus Research. “If you told me the market was going to crash 40% and we would have 20% unemployment, you would have also said card delinquency rates would go through the roof, particularly for the lower-end consumer.”

The savings rate spiked to a level not seen since World War II, and that caused consumers to take the cash they had and pay down debt — and often the first kind of debt they paid down was cards, which have among the highest interest rates, averaging 16%. 

According to Experian, from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020, credit card balances fell 24%. Among active credit card holders right before the pandemic, 58% carried a balance month-to-month, an interest-rich pool for card issuers that is now down to a record low of 53%, according to the American Bankers Association.

“Lots of people made lots of progress paying down debt and we would not have thought that at the outset of the pandemic,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at

But even paying down significant debt, the average balance on a card is still above $5,000, and there are signs the pay-down surprise may be nearing a reversal.

“I think we are at the tail end of that,” Biggar said. “Once government stimulus ends, then we get a consumer mostly on their own holding their debt capabilities up.”

Government stimulus checks that came in multiple batches are slowing, though child tax credits to those at lower-income levels and unemployment tax refunds continue. Enhanced unemployment already has been ended in many states and will end in early September for the rest.

And, most importantly, consumers want to spend.

$2 trillion in ‘forced savings’ ready to be unleashed

“There is a lot of money, a lot of savings and they are out spending it,” Rick Caruso, founder and CEO of real estate company Caruso & Co. which develops malls and resorts, recently told CNBC. “They’re shopping, dining, they are going to the movies and they are doing it consistently. $2 trillion of ‘forced savings’ is just starting to get unleashed.” 

For now, consumers still have leverage and the cautious financial habits formed during the pandemic remain in evidence.

Payment rates continue to be high given the trillions in cash and savings. Loan growth in the card industry is down double-digits in most consumer assets over the past year since, according to Kevin Barker, a Piper Sandler senior research analyst covering consumer finance companies, and savings rates are still double the run rate pre-pandemic.

The course of the highly contagious delta variant remains a wildcard in this picture as well with a recent estimate that as many as one million Americans are being infected daily. But there are some signs that the priority consumers have made of paying down debt during the pandemic is beginning to give way to a focus on spending again, including travel and entertainment, as stimulus is wound down. “There is a feeling now that perhaps we are staring to see a reversal, the early stages of it,” Rossman said.

A survey found 44% of people saying they are willing to take on debt in the second half of 2021 for non-essential purchases, which are mostly out of the home activities such as dining.

The Federal Reserve’s G.19 report covering consumer credit for the month of May found that credit card balances went up 11% from April to May, the largest jump in five years, on an annualized basis. 

“Either old habits die hard or new habits take hold and consumers continue to say ‘let’s pay down even more debt,” Rossman said. “I want to say it’s the latter as a consumer advocate,” but he added that history doesn’t give him confidence.

The historical pattern that played out around the Great Recession a decade ago reinforces the theory that it takes a big crisis to bring credit card debt down, and that it won’t last. Credit card balances fell 20% from 2007-2014, but from 2014-2019, balances rose by 41%, according to NY Fed household credit data.

“The point is, the same thing will happen this time, but much more rapidly. It’s one area where consumers don’t want a V-shaped recovery,” Rossman said.

Where bank CEOs think economy, consumer debt is headed

“The pump is primed,” JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said during the Wall Street bank’s recent earnings call. “The consumer, their house value is up, their stocks up, their incomes are up, their savings are up, their confidence up.”

Asked by analysts where loan growth and payment rates are headed, Wells Fargo chief financial officer Mike Santomassimo said activity “has really picked up” but it hasn’t translated into bigger loan volumes given the payment rates. “Payment rates are still really high, and I think they’ll come down and normalize eventually.”

Card issuers make money on card transactions, but loans are the bigger part of the equation. And because interest rates on credit cards are so high relative to other loans, it plays a big role in the key bank metric of net interest margin.

From a consumer perspective, the message is to keep that momentum going. … resist the temptation to put a fancy vacation on a credit card. It’s no fun to pay 16%.

Ted Rossman, senior analyst

Credit card businesses have net interest margin as high as 10% versus the average bank debt at 3%, though defaults are historically significantly higher than other loans. And unlike other forms of debt, the average rate charged to customer stays at 16% even when underlying rates come down.

“Diversified banks face pressure on mortgages and other interest rate products but you are not going to find a 13% interest rate credit card,” Biggar said.

In fact, in recent years the margin on cards has been “creeping up,” according to Rossman, with a prime rate at 3%. 

At Bank of America, the number of cards outstanding hasn’t changed notably, but there is roughly $20 billion less in balances. “People didn’t get any different,” Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told analysts after its earnings. “They just have more cash. And so they paid off their credit cards, which is a completely responsible thing for them to do.”

“When they can get out and spend more money, which is starting to happen, I think you’ll see them use these lines, short-term purchases,” Moynihan told analysts. “Yes, the pay rate’s up, but I don’t think it’s a fundamental difference of behavior. It’s just the opportunity to use the cards for activity has been limited coming into this quarter when you finally saw things open. So we’ll see where it goes, but the good news is it’s going in different direction.”

Card business in a ‘sweet spot’

Banks need the consumer to be strong, and in fact, the silver lining of the debt pay down phenomenon during the pandemic was the stronger credit profile of banks, with the surprisingly low level of card charge-offs and excess reserves on the balance sheet.

“The pandemic played out well for card companies,” Barker said. “The losses they anticipated didn’t materialize and credit performance is a primary driver for these stocks.”

“Card businesses are in a sweet spot,” Biggar added. “Some of these estimates will be moving up dramatically when these guys beat a quarter by $7.71 versus $4.61, like Capital One did. Its almost a $3 beat.”

From a valuation perspective, and given the reserve levels, the card-focused financial stocks are trading at peak price to book value.

“High payment rates are continuing to contribute to strikingly strong credit results,” Richard Fairbank, CEO of Capital One Financial, which similar to rival Discover Financial has a much more concentrated business in cards than the more diversified Wall Street banks, told analysts. “We actually are always happy when our customers are paying at high levels, and it’s indicative of a healthy consumer, and those high payment rates correlate with the really strong credit results that we continue to see.”

For Capital One, domestic card purchase volume for the second quarter was up 48% from the second quarter of 2020, but the card charge-off rate for the quarter was 2.28%, a 225-basis-point improvement year over year.

A behavioral shift and acceleration of card usage

For the banks, the current level of financial responsibility is not necessarily the most profitable. And the banks are betting that the consumer cash cushion won’t last forever, and people will take on more debt to spend.

“That is the most likely next phase of the credit cycle,” Barker said. “We are seeing spending up 20% in some categories. Right now, the default is to go with the historical pattern and the consumer goes back to way it was.”

A bigger behavioral shift in the way people treat debt or how they spend money can’t be ruled out, Barker said, but he added, “They want to spend and travel a certain way and they will do it because that’s the way they operated for a long time.”

The monthly numbers show an easing in payment rates, but Capital One’s Fairbank stopped short of saying it’s a trend.

“It would be a natural thing that payment rates would ease a little bit here and that also credit metrics would move toward normalizing a little bit. I would say we’ve seen the earliest of indications of that still running at really quite a breathtaking level,” Fairbank said. He told analysts that while the timing of the trend remains speculative, the direction is clear: “There’s really only one way for the credit to go from here.”

The cyclical pattern implies that people who have jobs take on more debt, and then might lose a job and have more trouble paying back, and credit loss rates return closer to normal.

“I don’t think it goes back to 2019 consumer loss levels, the consumer is in pretty good shape,” Biggar said. “But at the lower levels there is always churn. Every day it is harder to make ends meet and inflation is a huge topic, from car prices to home prices to food prices and gas prices. Everywhere you look it’s problematic for lower income levels. The default rates moves back up.”

One major pandemic change is likely to be permanent, and is going to serve as a tailwind for the card business. Card spending accelerated during the pandemic relative to cash and checks, and though that was a secular trend already in place, like many pandemic shifts linked to technology and digital, it accelerated. That was beneficial for many companies in the payments space, from PayPal and Square to Visa and Mastercard and the card issuers.

“Aside from the cyclical aspect of credit losses, we’re just seeing enormous opportunity in cards. Lots of teenagers never carry cash any more,” Biggar said.

Risks to aggressive card companies and to the consumer

Card marketing and competition is getting more aggressive, and CEOs like Capital One’s Fairbank are preparing for it.

“We see competition heating up all around us, especially in rewards. … you see it in the marketing and the media activity. We see it in direct mail numbers. We see it in the rewards offerings and the heating up of some of that. The competition is intense right now …. but it’s not yet irrational,” Fairbank said.

Analysts say there is a big opportunity in the card space and the big banks, while having made major gains in trading and investment banking and other businesses in the past year — while being more cautious on cards given expectations of defaults — now see the growth and the higher net interest margin from cards at a time when the charge off rates are historically low, and are unlikely to double or triple in a good economy, which translates into an opportunity.

“The big banks may not be as aggressive as card companies like Capitol One or Discover, but JP Morgan won’t fall asleep at the switch with its credit card business either. Wells Fargo is coming out with more offers. It’s a big pie and I think there is lots of room for growth,” Biggar said.

“We’re clearly seeing more competition, being aggressive going after accounts right now, because if you are a card lender you are looking at a consumer who has a high savings rates, income is higher and is a better credit counterparty more likely to pay you back,” Barker said. “And they are being more aggressive because the industry is awash in capital looking for a way to be spent and for the best way to grow. “

With the bets being placed by both card companies and consumers at a time when a lot of the data is atypical and after an unprecedented year, there are risks on both sides.

How the consumer spending normalizes in the years ahead is an unknown, as is the strength of the economy and direction in rates, which can trip up both the banking sector and consumers.

If rates rise too quickly the consumer could quickly be back in a tough spot, but banks have a vested interest in making sure consumers are doing well because they need those loans to be paid back.

“The longer this persists, the more competition will likely be to extrapolate these trends to inform their decision making,” Fairbank told analysts. “And this can embolden them to make more aggressive offers, market more intensely and a particular one I worry about, loosening underwriting standards. And in this particular environment, the benign rearview mirror could encourage lenders to reach for growth. And it could be exacerbated by credit modeling that relies on consumer credit data that, frankly, may be very unique to the downturn and not as good for predicting where credit performance is going to be over time.”

That’s a potential problem for banks, and their shareholders, but also for the consumer.

The real sweet spot, and the most profitable for the card issuers, is if consumers carry debt month-to-month as they pay the banks back. All the outstanding balances are not good for the banks if they have to write them off, or if consumers continue to pay balances in full every month, but if consumers are making minimum payments it provides banks the interest month after month that is the most profitable way for them to get paid back.

“The longer you take, the more money they make. If people are spending freely and running up debt, even if it’s not the wisest thing for consumers, it’s probably the most likely,” Rossman said. “From a consumer perspective, the message is to keep that momentum going. If you paid down debt from $6,200 to $5,300, bring it lower still; resist the temptation to put a fancy vacation on a credit card. It’s no fun to pay 16%.”

It’s a hard message to make stick. “I would like to see the newfound frugality last, but we’ve seen this in the past,” Rossman said.

7 Methods to Save Cash on Credit score Card Charges

No need to get stuck paying credit card fees. Follow these tips to be toll free.

Look at the terms of most of them Credit cards, and you will see some of the fees that the card issuer may charge. These sometimes put off consumers, especially those who don’t end up wanting to pay extra just to have a credit card with them.

The good news is that for every credit card fee there is a way to avoid it. If you’ve been billed credit card fees in the past, or just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you in the future, here are some things you can do.

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1. Use Autopay

If you miss a credit card payment by even one day, the card issuer may charge a late fee. It can hurt you too credit-worthiness if you remain without payment for 30 days or more. Most credit card companies waive your first late fee when you call and ask. But you only get one of those mulligans.

The easiest way to avoid this problem is to set up automatic payments. So there is no risk of being forgotten.

2. Make sure that you have enough bank account to cover your credit card payment

There is a way your payment can go wrong with automatic payment as well. When your credit card bill is higher than your account balance Bank account, then the payment can be declined. Your card issuer could then charge you a refund fee. To make matters worse, your bank may charge a fee Checking account fee because you don’t have enough money in your account.

Keep an eye on your credit card and bank account balances, especially if your payment is due soon, so this doesn’t happen to you.

3. Have at least one card with no foreign transaction fees

Many credit cards incur foreign transaction fees; the standard amount is 3%. These apply to all purchases made through foreign banks and made in currencies other than US dollars.

The most common situation you will encounter overseas transaction fees is in international travel. But you can even incur Foreign transaction fees for online shopping. This can happen when shopping at home from retailers based outside of the United States.

It is recommended that you have at least one credit card with no international transaction fees. There are plenty available, as well Travel award cards are a good start.

4. Set your cash advance limit as low as possible

A Credit card cash advance credit is when you use your card to get cash. This doesn’t just apply to using your card at an ATM. Any type of transaction that involves sending money, such as a money transfer, can also be viewed as a cash advance. Not only do these have fees and often a higher APR, but your card issuer can charge you interest immediately.

Since I want to be extra careful to avoid cash advances, I contact the card issuer and ask them to set my cash advance limit to the minimum. Depending on the card issuer, this is usually between $ 0 and $ 100. If a transaction is considered a cash advance and exceeds this limit, it will not be executed.

5. Downgrade, cancel, or negotiate credit cards with annual fees

Credit cards with annual fees can be worthwhile. However, if the annual fee is incurred on your card and you don’t want to pay it, there are several ways to avoid it:

  • Downgrade the credit card at one without an annual fee in the offer of the card issuer. This allows you to keep the account open without paying an additional annual fee.
  • Cancel the credit card. Just make sure you know how to do it Close a card without affecting your credit score.
  • Contact the card issuer to see if they are willing to waive the annual fee for a year. Credit card companies sometimes do this as a Retention offer to prevent you from canceling your card.

6. Don’t opt ​​for fees over the limit

Your card’s credit limit is the maximum amount that you can spend. If a transaction pushes the balance above this limit, it will be rejected.

Present Me the Cash: Bank card fraud

HARRISBURG, PA (WHTM) – There was a huge spike during the pandemic Credit card fraud, but there are a few tips to keep you from becoming a victim.

“Credit card fraud remains a popular way these scammers try to target people,” says Nathan Grant

Whether it’s physical devices like credit card skimmers or cybercrime like data breaches, credit card fraud is on the rise.

“With more people shopping online than ever before, it becomes a bigger problem just because people are using credit cards more often.”

Grant said the best way to protect yourself online is to shop with your credit card instead of your debit card.

“If you are using your debit card to make a purchase and something happens due to a data breach, and people have this information when they use your debit card that takes money from your actual account,” Grant said. “You cannot continue to use this money until it is refunded. Depending on the bank, this can take a lot longer.”

Show Me The Money: Online Money Management For Seniors

Grant also says you can get additional protection by using digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

“Even if you put your credit or debit card information in those wallets, what is actually used is something called tokenization, which gives you a unique use number for this transaction. This also applies if you buy from a merchant who is harmed by scammers or the like that way they will not have your information. “

Other important tips: When shopping online, look out for the lock icon in the address bar, avoid making purchases on a public network, and be careful on social media. Fraudsters can get a lot of personal information by looking at what you post.

Show me the money: credit transfers

In addition to using your stolen information to buy things with your card, thieves use that information to open new credit cards on your behalf.

“A good thing is to keep an eye on not only your bank and credit accounts, but yours as well Credit reportsLook for things that if something looks fishy like something you didn’t open, an account you didn’t open yourself, or something, this is the first red flag to tell you that, “Oh my god , maybe something happened. ‘”

If you fall victim to credit card fraud, Grant says, “There are a number of federal safeguards in place. The first thing you’ll want to do is contact the FCC and file an identity theft fraud report. This will guide you through the fraud prevention process. There is a step-by-step process to get back on track and undo any damage that may have occurred. “

Credit Cards and Debt During the Pandemic

Nathan also suggests signing up for fraud notifications. This will notify you every time an attempt is made to create a new credit on your behalf.

You can find more information and tips about our Show Me the Money here.

New merger means United Manner prescription card might prevent more cash on drugs

MACON, Ga. – The United Way of Central Georgia announced that it is merging its FamilyWize prescription drug card with the SingleCare rebate plan.

That means you could save even more money than you did before.

The merger offers a larger network of pharmacies and bigger prescription discounts.

According to United Way, the card has saved Central Georgians an average of 45% on prescriptions, but now those savings can increase to 80%.

“This card really works for everyone. If you get a prescription and give them the individual care information, the drugstore will run it and they’ll give you either the single card price, the insurance price, or the retail price, which is always lower,” said George McCanless .

The card is free, you don’t have to register and there are no conditions of participation.

EDD Debit Card Victims Getting Taxed For Cash Hackers Stole From Their Accounts – CBS San Francisco

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Cash Journal Names Fattmerchant a High Decide for Credit score Card Processors of 2021

ORLANDO, Florida, March 1, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Fattmerchant, a leading provider of integrated payment technology, has announced its inclusion in Money Magazine’s Best Shopping List as one of the best Best Credit Card Companies of 2021 for the second time in a row. The ranking complements a long list of awards from several leading publications as the leading payment technology provider has seen steady growth across the fintech landscape.

“We are honored to receive the prestigious awards and rankings that Fattmerchant has continued to receive as we continue to work to help businesses harness the real power of payments,” said Suneera Madhani, Founder and CEO of Fattmerchant. “Our listing by Money Magazine as one of the best credit card processing companies is a testament to our growing position in the marketplace and the impact of our state-of-the-art technology platform.”

The payment technology company’s subscription-based pricing model isn’t the only contributor to its recent high profile recognition. Fattmerchant’s innovative technology has more than 12,000 users and is effective in serving software, small businesses and large businesses.

Fattmerchant’s Omni Connect is a unique, fully managed payment platform for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies. The only API integration enables software companies to get to market quickly with an entire payments ecosystem, including easy customer registration, fully controllable payment acceptance options, dynamic financing, and strategic marketing and sales services for greater portfolio growth. SaaS companies can monetize payments within a few weeks and embed them in their platform.

With Omni, Fattmerchant’s integrated all-in-one payment platform, established business owners have access to a radically simple solution that goes beyond accepting cards, cards, cards and contactless payments. With Omni, companies can display detailed payment data and customer analysis, as well as automation functions with flexible billing and invoicing tools for recurring payments. The platform also provides a comprehensive marketplace where businesses can sync with popular business tools and applications such as QuickBooks Online and Google Reviews.

Money Magazine recognition follows several national and industrial awards. For two consecutive years, the company has been recognized as one of the top credit card processing companies in the US News & World Report and on the Inc. 5000 list of Fast Growing Private Companies. Additionally, Fattmerchant’s founder and CEO Suneera Madhani was recently recognized in Fortune’s 40-under-40 list in the Fintech category.

About Fattmerchant:
Fattmerchant is a high-growth payment technology company that has been featured in Inc. Magazine’s top 5% list of Fastest Growing Companies in America for the past two years and Inc.’s 2020 list of Best Workplaces. Fattmerchant serves its direct customers through Omni, an all-in-one payment platform that enables companies to process payments from $ 1 million to $ 100 million across all channels through a single interface. In addition, the integrated payment API from Fattmerchant, Omni Connect, enables software companies to monetize payment flows directly on their own software platform.

Media contact
Laurel Mengers
Riot PR for Fattmerchant

New Colorado greeting card line celebrates growing old | Arts & Leisure

Make it your 30th birthday and chances are you’ll receive a card with black balloons telling you it’s going downhill from there.

What couldn’t be further from the truth, says the Denver anti-ageism group, which is changing the narrative. The campaign is particularly frustrated with the racks of greeting cards that perpetuate the idea that the older you get, the worse you feel: deafness, forgetfulness, crabs. Ageism isn’t funny, however, the campaign says. It’s harmful.

“I was looking for one for a friend and there was a picture of a woman in a tracksuit bending over and saying you know you can get too old if you can get a mammogram and a pedicure at the same time,” he said Campaign manager Janine Vanderburg says.

“All the scenes are grumpy and everything hurts. This is not real life. If you look around, a lot of us do cool things. The narrative is very different from the reality. “

The new gallery in downtown Colorado Springs features taxidermists

Last year, the campaign announced a competition for Colorado artists to create greeting cards that celebrate aging, rather than the all-too-familiar narrative that revolves around decline, depression, loneliness, and addiction. The result is 23 new $ 6 cards that can be purchased online at Anti-Ageist Birthday Cards.

And with the resurgence of greeting cards, Vanderburg says, perhaps due to people unable to see their friends and family during the pandemic, the field was ripe for entry. According to the website greetingcard.orgAmericans buy approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year, with annual retail sales ranging from $ 7 billion to $ 8 billion. Nine out of ten households buy greeting cards every year.

The Colorado Springs artist perfects vintage-inspired paintings of “Eye Candy”.

The mandala design by Colorado Springs artist Heather McKinnon adorns one of the cards. Inside her text reads: “Give yourself permission to expand like the mandala. With every year and every additional shift, your gift to the world grows. Best wishes for your greatest year yet. Happy Birthday.”

The campaign message resonated with McKinnon, a former website creator who left the workforce in her thirties to raise children and cure breast cancer. When she tried to find a job in her forties, her skills were out of date and she decided to log out. At 50, she tried again. No luck.

It was at this point that she decided to give in to her creative urge to paint mandalas. Mandala means circle in Sanskrit and is a geometric configuration of symbols. She was delighted when she found a mandala-painted stone from the 719 Rocks! Art project that encouraged people to paint stones and hide them around the 719 area code for others to find.

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Her dot mandala work is now hanging in the Art 111 gallery and she will have a new show at Springs Restaurant 503W in February.

“I can do this until I’m 100. Nobody looks at people and says they are too old to make art. I wrote a little essay about how much this really set me free at this time of my life, but it’s unfortunate that doors are closed, ”said McKinnon of the essay she submitted to the competition.

“I still feel like 20 in my head. I’m still sharp enough to get any work done. “

Contact the author: 636-0270

Contact the author: 636-0270