Business briefs: TSYS to pay quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share

June 7, 2014 

TSYS to pay quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share

Credit-card and payments processor TSYS will be paying its shareholders a dime per share.

The Columbus-based firm said its board of directors has approved a second-quarter cash dividend of 10 cents per share on TSYS common stock. It is payable July 1 to TSYS shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 19.

TSYS to process credit cards for KBC Bank Ireland

TSYS said it has extended its relationship with KBC Bank Ireland (KBC), and will support the bank's credit-card launch in the Irish market.

Columbus-based TSYS currently provides debit payment services for KBC. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

KBC has been operating in Ireland for 40 years and is part of KBC Bank NV, one of Europe's largest banks. KBC provides business and personal banking services to customers in Ireland. Its debit card, launched in 2013, was awarded "Best New Debit Card Programme of the Year" at this year's Card & Payments Awards.

"The launch of our credit card product enables us to provide additional services to our account holders, and TSYS continues to work with us as a trusted partner," Dara Deering, executive director and head of retail banking, KBC Bank Ireland, said in a statement.

"Having successfully worked with KBC to launch debit capabilities, we have been able to meet their expectations to further launch a solution for credit cards," Kelley Knutson, executive vice president with TSYS International, said in a statment.

KBC launched its credit card in March. As well as supporting the bank's card processing operations, TSYS Managed Services EMEA also supports its credit card portfolio with customer service, dispute and charge-back handling, and fraud and strategy management.

Aflac report shows how employers dealt with health-care rollout

Results from a new study released by supplemental health and life insurer Aflac show how employers evaluated costs and made health care benefits decisions as the launch of health care reform approached.

The fourth annual Aflac WorkForces Report showed the kind of benefits restructuring employers made in 2013, including reducing major medical plan options and shifting costs to employees -- decisions that could affect the personal and financial well-being of American workers for years to come.

The study, conducted by Research Now on behalf of Columbus-based Aflac in January of this year, surveyed 1,856 employers and 5,209 employees at small, medium and large U.S. companies, sheds light on how business decision-makers are adapting to health-care reform and the continued high cost of health care.

The report identified employers' desire to control the bottom line as a likely driver of benefits changes in 2013. The results show that almost half (49 percent) of employers agreed that controlling costs is the top business issue facing companies today, up from 28 percent who agreed that controlling costs including health and/or medical costs was their top business concern in 2011.

According to the Aflac study, businesses:

• Eliminated or delayed raises (32 percent).

• Eliminated or cut back on benefits (22 percent).

• Changed some full-time workers to part-time workers (21 percent).

• Reduced the number of major medical plan options (14 percent).

"The research shows how the need to control costs is driving work force decisions. For four consecutive years we have witnessed this growing trend and can foresee the possible ramifications for the U.S. work force," Teresa White, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Aflac Columbus, said in a statement. "When businesses make changes like delaying pay raises and increasing major medical deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, they can further destabilize the precarious financial position of many employees."

Research shows workers will continue to see higher deductibles as part of their major medical plans. Over the past several years, a growing number of companies have adopted cost-cutting strategies that include higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for employees. However, most workers are unaware of, or unprepared for, the impact such plans may have on their finances.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that in the past six years, the number of workers covered by high-deductible health plans has quadrupled, from 5 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2013. The Aflac report found that more than half of companies (56 percent) increased employees' co-payments and/or employees' share of premiums in 2013 and the trend shows no signs of slowing, with nearly 6 out of 10 (59 percent) employers saying they intend to do the same in 2014.

In addition, 19 percent of companies implemented a major medical plan with a high deductible (over $1,000) and health savings account (HSA) as an alternative to a traditional medical plan in 2013; 36 percent more than had planned to do so.

The study also found:

• Only 17 percent of workers are extremely or very prepared to pay for out-of-pocket expenses related to an unexpected serious illness or accident that aren't covered by major medical insurance.

• Almost 5 out of 10 (49 percent) workers say they would be able to afford less than $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses associated with an unexpected, serious illness or accident and 27 percent could afford less than $500.

Research Now is a major global online sampling and online data collection company. With more than 6 million panelists in 38 countries worldwide, Research Now offers a full suite of data collection services.

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