Bank of America, Colonial Country Club, and The PGA TOUR announced a four-year title sponsorship agreement beginning in 2003, replacing MasterCard as the title sponsor since 1996. The 2003 Bank of America Colonial will have a $5 million purse and will be played May 19-25, with the winner receiving $900,000. The purse will increase every year over the term of the agreement, remaining one of the top five purse levels among the TOUR’s co-sponsored events. In addition, CBS Sports will continue to provide weekend coverage with USA Network providing early-round coverage.Details
Cubic Transportation has gone to the Supreme Court with concerns over the bidding process for a smart card-based mass transportation system. In August, ERG Ltd was awarded the $A100 million contract to build a smart card ticketing system for public transport in Sydney. The Government granted preferred tenderer status to ERG. The ERG contactless smart card is expected to be available in mid-2003 with full deployment scheduled for 2005. Under the program, the card will be used for all forms of transportation. Motorola and ERG will lead the consortium for the mass smart card system contracted by the NSW government. The government targeted 2002 for the release of the new smart card system but the process was bogged down over the bidding process. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the Transport Minister, Carl Scully, as saying, “We’ve had an exhaustive… process which has sought to get the right value for money and we’ve sought to do it right. We’ve been very careful and cautious in delivering the product.”Details
VISA may have to cough up $5 million if there is a Triple Crown winner this year. Over the weekend, War Emblem became the 18th horse in history to win the first two races of the Triple Crown. War Emblem is the fourth contender in the past six years with a chance to win the $5 Million VISA Triple Crown bonus. VISA is the exclusive worldwide sponsor of the VISA Triple Crown, and a year-round partner with Churchill Downs, Pimlico, and Belmont Park. VISA also is the exclusive sponsor of the $5 million VISA Triple Crown Challenge bonus, which began in 1996. War Emblem is owned by Prince Ahmed bin Salman. VISA will continue sponsorship of the $5 million VISA Triple Crown Challenge Bonus until 2005. (CF Library 6/3/99)Details
Biometric Access Corporation announced that five Hy-Vee stores in Kansas City are currently pilot testing BAC’s SecureTouch Retail Verification System for secure payroll check cashing services. SecureTouch RVS utilizes a flag alert process that immediately notifies the store clerk if a presented check and/or the customer has been involved in a prior dishonored transaction. Flag alerts may also be issued to warn the clerk if the system detects signs of check tampering. This sophisticated notification process enables the clerk to decline transactions that could potentially result in a loss for the store. Customers who desire to cash payroll checks at the participating Hy-Vee locations must complete a quick one-time enrollment that captures their ID information and check information, as well as their unique finger images. This data creates a personalized account that is accessed by the customer during subsequent payroll check cashing transactions by providing a personal ID number and a finger image that matches one captured during the enrollment process. The finger image provided during check cashing is linked to the transaction record thereby eliminating any discrepancy about who presented the check. SecureTouch RVS offers Hy-Vee customers an easier and safer payroll check cashing experience and also provides a safeguard against identity theft.Details
Experian released Channel Match which has the ability to accurately link Internet purchases to catalog circulation. Channel Match identifies the relationship among promotional channels and analyzes the activity so marketers can better understand the effectiveness of e-mail, catalog, and direct mail campaigns. To achieve the best match, mail files and Internet files are processed through Experian’s proprietary matching logic which includes a variety of strategies to link the Internet buyer to the correct mail file record, even if that Internet buyer was included in multiple mailings. This matching solution gives multi-channel marketers the information they need to understand the links between the customer, promotion, and channel.Details
ÂThe Asia Pacific region has developed into an attractive target market for smart labels,Â said Mr. Sebastian Mrass, Senior Sales Manager of the MÃ¼hlbauer AG, in a smart label workshop at the 2002 Smart Cards, China & Users` Conference in Beijing, summing up the opportunities for smart labels in the Far East. In his speech, Mr. Mrass pointed out that the MÃ¼hlbauer AG, worldwide leading manufacturer of turn-key solutions for the production of chip cards and smart labels (Âintelligent labelsÂ), recently expanded its product family of smart label machines with the first deliveries of the innovative TAL 4000 to Asian customers. The TAL 4000, which is based on long- lasting experience with smart label manufacturing equipment, has been designed as an introductory solution for customers who have decided for a step-by-step approach to the fast growing market for smart labels and contactless cards.
With the first deliveries of the TAL 4000 systems, the MÃ¼hlbauer AG extends its market position as a leading supplier of highly flexible and modular production machines for inlets for smart labels and contactless cards. With an annual production of up to 20 million labels, the TAL 4000 is particularly suited for the requirements of the growing worldwide market. As for the production of smart labels inlets with a high production volume in reel-to-reel process and flip- chip technology, MÃ¼hlbauer has already set new standards with the TAL 8000, which has already been installed at various locations.
The TAL 8000 was designed as a sophisticated, flexible machine for a wide array of applications, producing an annual output of up to 50 million smart labels for contactless identification systems. This high production capacity sustains the positive development of the smart label market. With the high-volume TAL 8000 and the newly developed TAL 4000, MÃ¼hlbauer has significantly extended its leading position in the production of smart label inlets and contactless cards.
Smart Labels are contactless intelligent labels made of a programmable microchip and an antenna. In the flip-chip process, the silicon chips picked up from the wafer are flipped upside down before being placed on a flexible carrier substrate. After that, the silicon chips are connected electrically. Smart Labels store information in contactless identification systems, for example, in procurement and distribution logistics (e.g. in baggage inspection at airports and in the postal service) or in security-relevant areas. As contactless data carriers, smart labels assist in tracking goods from production to transportation and provide for an efficient and loss-free management of material flows, thus achieving measurable economic results. Contactless cards are increasingly used in the Asian region in transport and access control.
Headquartered in Roding/Bavaria, the MÃ¼hlbauer Group is a worldwide active, independent supplier of turnkey automation solutions for the chip card, smart label and semiconductor industries. With 1,300 employees and 18 locations on five continents and with more than 3,000 production lines installed worldwide, MÃ¼hlbauer is the leading supplier of manufacturing equipment for the smart card and smart label industries.Details
In the wake of the huge success of the ExxonMobil Speedpass wireless payment program, the use of an RFID-based payment system may be coming to the casual and fine dining market. Chicago-based Integrity For You, Inc. has introduced its Personal Recognition program which uses RFID tags and readers from Texas Instruments RFid Systems, which individually identify customers and facilitate cashless payment, and retail transaction management services from Commerce Systems Inc., developer and operator of 2Scoot. Personal Recognition program participants are given an Integrity For You sticker embedded with a Texas Instruments RFid Tag-it smart label inlay that can be attached to any card or object. At the point-of-sale, customers pass the sticker over an RFID reader, allowing them to pay for their purchases, without cash or a credit card. RFID technology automatically links customers with their transactions using a unique identification code. TI’s RFid technology currently enables wireless payments for more than 6 million Speedpass customers. TI-RFid technology is also being piloted in quick-serve restuarants such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut.Details
Shell Oil Products US has renewed and expanded its contract with Concord EFS. In addition to continuing to provide dial-up payment authorization services at all Texaco-branded locations, Concord will now also provide payment authorization services at all Shell-branded locations, and will be the exclusive provider of debit and electronic benefits transfer gateway services at approximately 22,000 Texaco- and Shell-branded gasoline stations nationwide. The agreement also calls for Concord to lead the development of a customized payment processing solution for 5,000 Shell-branded locations, and to provide terminal deployment and ongoing maintenance, help desk support, and first-line service once the new terminals are installed. The customized Shell solution will be based on the VeriFone Omni 3300 terminal platform. The 5,000 terminals will be deployed from Concord’s Memphis-based 50,000 square foot Global Deployment Center, which is equipped with distribution technology that upgrades software and reprograms terminals automatically. As a leading acquirer of PIN-secured debit and electronic benefits transfer transactions, Concord will also provide Shell with access to all regional and national debit networks and all magnetic-stripe electronic benefits transfer programs for transaction authorization.Details
National Processing announced the renewal of a multi-year credit card processing agreement with the Pedorthic Footwear Association. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will offer PFA members authorization and settlement services for credit and debit cards accepted at their stores. Members of PFA are individuals and companies who share an interest in pedorthics, from practice and treatment to education and research.Details
NCR Corporation announced the first sale and installation of NCR RealPrice electronic shelf labels in the Middle East.
Retail Business Solutions, NCR’s authorized reseller in Saudi Arabia, installed the ESLs at an Al-Othaim Supermarket in the Rawdah district of Riyadh. Al-Othaim said it anticipates rolling out NCR RealPrice to all of its 30 stores, with approximately 20,000 labels per store, following a successful evaluation of the technology.
ESLs are digital tags that can be attached to shelves or other store fixtures, where they display pricing and other information in large, clear characters. The wireless NCR RealPrice ESL solution is linked to the same computer file used by the store’s point-of-sale system, so shoppers are assured that when their purchases are scanned at checkout, the price will match the price in the aisle.
Already one of Saudi Arabia’s largest retailers, Al-Othaim plans to expand to 50 stores by the end of 2003. Recognized as the NCR Center of Excellence for the Middle East, Al-Othaim gets early access to the latest NCR solutions.
“At Al-Othaim, we’re always looking at how new technology will enhance and improve our customer service,” said Al-Othaim Computer Department Director Abdullah A. Mazi.
Headquartered in Riyadh, RBS markets and installs leading edge technology solutions to retailers throughout Saudi Arabia. The relationship between RBS and NCR began in 1994, and RBS recently became the first NCR authorized reseller in the Middle East certified to offer the NCR RealPrice solution.
“This decision by Al-Othaim further underscores the fact that retailers in all parts of the world are recognizing the value of ESL technology,” said Pete Bartolotta, vice president and general manager, NCR RealPrice. “We also applaud our partner, RBS, on adding NCR RealPrice to the portfolio of NCR technology solutions they sell, install and service in Saudi Arabia.”
Because the NCR RealPrice solution is completely wireless from ceiling to shelf, it is easy to install, and store layout changes and resets can be made with minimal disruption to operations. Price changes can be implemented with a few computer keystrokes, enabling stores to effectively implement price optimization programs while saving the time and the expense of replacing paper labels. In addition, NCR’s labels can display promotional information for customers or product inventory information for store employees.
The first company to offer a wireless system, NCR is a global leader in ESL technology, with nearly 1.5 million tags installed or on order at more than 160 sites in 11 countries.
About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial, communications, manufacturing, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled Teradata(R) warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, store automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 30,300 in more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at www.ncr.com.Details
Tidel Technologies reported a 42% drop in revenues between 1Q/01 and 1Q/02. Revenues for the first quarter were $4,738,791 compared to $3,417,126 for the same quarter a year ago. A decline in the shipment of ATM units accounted for the majority of the decrease in revenues. A total of 657 units were shipped in the first quarter compared to 1,360 units in 1Q/01. Approximately 50% of the total decline was attributable to one of Tidel’s major customers who reduced purchases during the most recent quarter. Tidel says ATM sales should pick up over the next two quarters as its investment in CashWorks, providers of an automated check-cashing system used in tandem with Tidel ATM equipment, takes shape. Field testing of their PayPort check-cashing system at a limited number of locations has been very successful, and management of CashWorks has advised Tidel that it anticipates commencing full-scale deployment of the system later this month. For complete details on Tidel’s 1Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Canadian households received a record high of 208.3 million credit card offers in the mail last year, a 6% increase over 2000. Out of 208.3 million offers received by Canadians in 2001, 67% were for Platinum bank cards, compared with 14% for Gold bank cards, 11% for Standard bank cards, and 8% for other types of offers, such as Diners Club and American Express cards. According to BAIGlobal Inc., the majority of Canadian cardholders now own cards through their local retail banks, however most of the card solicitations mailed in Canada last year were from U.S. monoline companies such as MBNA and Capital One. U.S. monolines accounted for 64% of all offers to Canadian households during the fourth quarter of 2001. This was up from 51% for the previous quarter. The average response rate for 2001 was much higher in Canada than in the U.S., with a 1.4% annual response rate for Canada compared to 0.6% for the U.S.Details