Dynamic Value

Alliance Data Systems this week unveiled a new multi-use card program for the retail industry that includes pre-paid functionality, loyalty features and database marketing capabilities. ‘Dynamic Value’ provides instant messaging at the POS terminal for special merchandise offers; points for other incentives; and email notices that include special offers for the customer’s next visit and notification of special store events. The program also supports SKUs enabling retailers to design marketing programs that are tailored to the exact needs of their businesses and specific desires of their customers. Utilizing the ‘Dynamic Value’ database marketing service, retailers can customize programs based on consumer purchase behavior, and thereby create individualized incentives and offers that align with the desires of their customers.


Money Tree IMS

For sales representatives, getting to “yes” has never been easier or more instant. At least for those using the newly released “Instant Merchant System” being offered to the sales reps of Money Tree Services, Inc., a national provider of credit and debit card accounts for retail and Internet merchants.

The IMS, first of its kind in the industry, allows Money Tree’s sales reps to complete an online merchant application and agreement at the merchant location, receive account approval within seconds, and then download a program for the merchant’s credit card terminal in minutes. Once the terminal is loaded with the program, the new customer is ready to go. “We’re thrilled with the possibilities of this technology,” says Mitch Lau, president of Money Tree. “In the past, it’s taken two and three days to do what our sales reps can do now in a matter of moments.” Lau says the innovation will eliminate the greatest objection most sales reps face in the industry. “It’s so competitive out there that it’s difficult to get attention,” says Lau. “But now, our sales reps are able to eliminate the biggest objection they receive. Typically merchants don’t like the hassle or the delays. They are all too busy. The IMS completely eliminates this barrier to getting a sale. It’s so easy it makes it hard to get a ‘No’.”

Lau expects this to have a great impact on his sales reps’ bottom line. “We’re projecting that they will be able to double and even triple their commissions. Not only is it going to greatly improve their turn ratios, it’s going to really free up their time to focus on getting more sales.”



CardBASE Technologies Ltd* , a leading provider
of multi-application smart card management solutions, announced that
it has joined the RSA Secured Partner Program to support
interoperability between ChipCERT and RSA Keon digital certificate
management software.

As part of the program, ChipCERT has been awarded “RSA Secured RSA Keon
Ready” certification signaling its compatibility with RSA Security’s digital
certificate management software. The RSA Secured certification lets
organizations know that ChipCERT is compatible with RSA Security’s
market-leading security products and technologies.

ChipCERT* from CardBASE Technologies, is a PKI solution built on the
CardBASE Multi-Application Smart Card Management System platform. ChipCERT
enables organizations to securely bulk issue and actively manage the
lifecycle of digital certificates on smart cards. ChipCERT integrates with
approved Certificate Authorities and is card-independent, with support for
the leading card and token manufacturers.

Gerry Looby, Chief Technical Office at CardBASE said: “We chose to team with
RSA Security because they are a leader in e-security solutions and their PKI
technology is proven. We were able to easily integrate the RSA Keon digital
certificate management software into the existing ChipCERT infrastructure,
providing a solution for the deployment of digital certificates on smart
cards within a proven security environment.”

“We are excited to welcome CardBASE Technologies to the RSA Secured Partner
Program,” said Robert Pritchard, vice president of corporate and partner
development at RSA Security. “Our strategic partner program is one of the
most aggressive and successful in the industry, and we look forward to
working with CardBASE to help deliver secure e-business solutions to our


CardBASE Technologies® a leading provider of smart card solutions for secure
e-commerce, is a European company serving world markets from its
headquarters in Ireland and offices in the United States and Africa. Since
its foundation in 1993, CardBASE Technologies has been providing innovative
smart card management systems for the Internet, Banking, Financial and
Airline markets.

The CardBASE solution supports Multiple Application Smart Cards, Card
Personalisation, Card Management, Transaction Processing and Settlement.
CardBASE solutions have been specifically designed to support the Visa
International led Common Electronic Purse Specification (CEPS), EMV and the
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) standards.


Infrared Payments

Beaming payments between consumers and merchants is coming closer to a reality as the nation’s largest payment card network provides support. VISA International announced this morning it has developed specifications to enable payments to be beamed securely from a handheld device to a merchant terminal using infrared technology. The ‘VISA Financial Messaging Profile for Proximity Payment’ specifications will enable application developers and card issuers to develop new payment services for consumers who use portable devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. VISA estimates there are 150 million devices capable of infrared messaging in use worldwide. The new VISA specifications are built upon the ‘Point and Pay Protocol’ developed by the Infrared Financial Messaging Group. VISA says adding the VISA option to mobile phones and PDAs will expedite payments for consumers travelling or in a hurry, such as taxis, parking garages, and fast food restaurants.


Emergent Update

Emergent Financial Group has purchased NextTech Card Services Inc. and has hired a former Western Union executive. Emergent purchased the Junum subsidiary, NextTech, for total consideration of $5 million, payable in Emergent common stock. Emergent will continue the original vision of NextTech by bundling Junum’s credit management services with its credit card offerings. Emergent also announced that John Mendez has joined the company as Director of Sales. Mr. Mendez previously held several executive positions with Western Union’s Commercial Services and Moneygram Payment Systems. Emergent is principally engaged in building a distribution network for non-bank financial services delivered through countertop POS devices in retail locations globally.


VISA Rent Payments

Visa U.S.A. and Westdale Asset Management, Ltd. announced an agreement that will make rent payment more convenient for Westdale residents in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Effective immediately, more than 1,500 residents at Barringer Place in Atlanta, Brentwood Downs in Lilburn, Wellington Ridge in Lawrenceville, and Wood Bridge in Apharetta will have the option of paying their monthly rent automatically with their Visa card.

Following Westdale’s initial acceptance of automatic and one-time card-based payment at its four Georgia properties, the company looks forward to rolling out automatic bill payment at its 135 rental communities nationwide. By providing residents with this innovative payment option, Westdale joins several organizations in other industries already benefiting from Visa’s automatic bill payment program.

Card acceptance and the Visa automatic bill payment program not only provide convenience benefits to Westdale residents, but real business advantages for Westdale. Because the costs associated with cash and check handling are consistently higher than those associated with payment card transactions, this program will help to cut processing costs and streamline collections. Additionally, automatic bill payment will ensure Westdale’s receipt of on-time payment and will result in fewer delinquencies. The program will also enable Westdale to expand payment options, which can help them to differentiate themselves from competitors, leading to increased resident retention. Consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of the benefits automatic bill payment offers them. According to a national survey, one-third of all U.S. consumers would like merchants to establish automatic bill payment programs.(1)

Visa research has also found that 51 percent of credit and debit cardholders want the option of using a payment card to pay recurring bills automatically because it eliminates the need to write and mail multiple checks every month. “By implementing an automatic bill payment program with Visa, Westdale is demonstrating that it is a leader in the property management industry,” says Armen Khachadourian, SVP New Market Development, Visa U.S.A. “In addition to providing its residents with an ideal, convenient payment option, Westdale also gains a business enhancement tool. Automatic bill payment helps to address many of the billing and customer service challenges residential property management companies currently face and we look forward to further addressing the needs of this industry in the future.”

“Visa’s automatic bill payment program complements our existing commitment to our residents to make paying their monthly rent more convenient,” says Karen Tepera, Executive Vice President, Westdale Asset Management, Ltd. “While offering the option of automatic payment will help improve customer service, we expect that working with Visa to establish this program will also enable us to build resident loyalty and ultimately increase operating efficiency.”

About Visa U.S.A.

Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives. More than 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate over $835 billion in annual transaction volume – including roughly half of all Internet payments – with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry 353 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, stored value and check cards, accepted at approximately 22 million locations worldwide. Visa’s people, partnerships, brand, payment technology and security standards are helping to create universal commerce – the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere, anyway. Please visit [http://www.visa.com][1] for additional information.

About Westdale

Westdale Asset Management, Ltd. is a real estate management company providing property management and asset management services for multi-family properties throughout the United States. Specializing in each of the facets, Westdale continues striving toward excellence, with a foundation built on commitment. Westdale currently has over 37,000 units in its portfolio inhabiting 13 states nationwide in 20 major metropolitan areas. Please visit [http://www.westdale.com][2] for additional information.

[1]: http://www.visa.com/
[2]: http://www.westdale.com/



Oberthur Card Systems, a
global leader and the innovator in the smart card industry has successfully
connected its SIMphonIC CDMA product to China Unicom’s first available
CDMA network. Oberthur is among the companies taking the lead in passing the
first series of tests using the R-UIM card.

SIMphonIC CDMA, with its application Toolkit functionality and varied
memory capacity, allows China’s mobile network operators to provide
personalized value-added services to their customers who can roam and
authenticate themselves on both GSM and CDMA networks. To ensure a high level
of compatibility, the test featured handsets from 19 manufacturers approved
for use on the CDMA network by the Chinese authorities. The tests prove the
compatibility of the SIMphonIC CDMA card both with the CDMA network and
with the approved CDMA handsets. Oberthur’s solution is used as a reference
for China Unicom’s framing standard and data test during the development and
deployment of its CDMA network.

Based on Qualcomm’s CDMA technologies, the SIMphonIC(TM) CDMA has been
developed following the 3GPP2(1) (3rd Generation Partnership Project 2)
specification for the design of the UIM (User Identity Module) of CDMA,
combined with the GSM standard from the ETSI (European Telecommunications
Standards Institute) thereby creating an international CDMA/GSM dual mode
roaming solution. Inserted into a GSM or CDMA handset with a smart card slot,
the SIMphonIC(TM) CDMA allows the portability of such information while
roaming from one environment to another, enabling users to gain access to
their data while travelling between technologies. Operators, in turn, will
benefit from a reduced cost of implementation and increased revenue through
international roaming.

The SIMphonIC(TM) CDMA is intended to allow access to the CDMA networks,
such as the current CdmaOne networks in China and Korea, and the imminent
CDMA2000 networks in Japan, Korea and the Americas. Furthermore, the
SIMphonIC(TM) CDMA also allows access to existing GSM networks in Europe,
China and the Americas. The SIMphonIC(TM) CDMA is the ideal module for
countries that do not currently use smart card technology and wish to
integrate the R-UIM (Removable User Identity Module) solution into their
CdmaOne networks.

Oberthur Card Systems has an R&D center in Beijing and a production site
in Shenzen in order to maintain and further develop its commitment to China’s
market, and in particular to support its relationships in the region with key
players such as China Unicom. Mr. Vincent Bernard, Chief Representative for
Oberthur Card Systems in China and his team reinforce this commitment by
stating their objective to deliver the most advanced technology available to

About Oberthur Card Systems:

Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange – Code Euroclear 12413), a
global leader and the innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the
future by offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, 3G (IMT-2000/UMTS), e-wallet
technologies & Internet-based card management services coupled with a firm
commitment to open standards.

Championing EMV migration, Oberthur is the world’s number one supplier of
MasterCard and Visa cards, a leader in the banking, e-commerce, m-commerce and
pay-TV sectors, and in Java(TM) and GSM technologies.

Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach with an industrial and
commercial presence in 21 countries across the five continents. Oberthur Card
Systems had sales of 451.1 million Euros in 2000.


PPP Promotes Smythe

Perfect Plastic Printing is pleased to announce the promotion of Gary Smythe to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Gary previously held the position of Executive Vice President and has been with Perfect Plastic for 18 years.

In addition, Christopher Smoczynski has been promoted to Executive Vice President. Christopher has been with Perfect Plastic for over 12 years and previously held the position of Group Vice President.

PPP is one of the world’s leaders in secure credit card manufacturing, and has been producing the finest quality secure credit cards since 1995.



Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data
Corporation, announced it has completed the purchase of
a 25 percent equity interest in Christopher C. Varvias & Associates S.A., its
money transfer agent in Greece.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Athens, Christopher C. Varvias & Associates has been Western Union’s
agent in Greece since 1992. The company manages a network of more than 540
locations in 80 cities throughout the country. The network includes several
significant banks in Greece: EFG Eurobank Ergasias, Bank of Cyprus, and Aspis

“This investment is consistent with Western Union’s evolving strategy to take
an equity stake in key agent networks around the world as a way of
strengthening our international partnerships,” said Bill Thomas, president,
Western Union International, based in France. “In addition, the equity
partnership with Varvias & Associates is the perfect vehicle for us to
accelerate our presence and growth in southeastern Europe, which continues to
increase in its importance to our network. We also believe we can leverage
relationship to sell First Data products and services, such as credit card and
merchant processing, to financial institutions and other entities.”
The market for money transfers in Greece has been growing rapidly since the
early 1990s. Western Union transactions through Christopher C. Varvias has
growing at a rate of about 55 percent per year, driven by an increasing
immigrant population, which accounts for roughly 10 percent of the country’s
10.8 million population. Some of the primary countries that receive consumer
money transfers from Greece are: Ukraine, Romania and Nigeria.
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp.
FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. Consumers can
quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at more than 117,000 Agent
locations in more than 185 countries and territories. Famous for its
telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and
electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union celebrated its 150th
anniversary in 2001. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site
First Data Corp., with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global
economy. Serving approximately 2.6 million merchant locations, more than 1,400
card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and
more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using
virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, smart card, stored-value card or
check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more
information, please visit the company’s Web site at


Retail Volume

Consumer retail volume is projected to increase this year according to the National Retail Federation. NRF expects retail sales in the GAFS category (general merchandise, apparel specialty, furniture, home furnishings, electronics, appliances, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores) to increase 3.7% in 2002, compared to the 2.2% gain seen in 2001. The NRF attributes the rebound to low interest rates, falling energy prices, low inflation, mortgage refinancing and a rebound in the stock market.


Providan Update

Providian announced Monday that another top card executive from Fleet Boston has joined its top management. Warren Wilcox has joined Providian as Vice Chairman, Planning and Marketing. Wilcox served as EVP, Planning and Development of Fleet Credit Card Services since 1998. Prior to that, he spent twelve years with Household’s credit card unit. Wilcox joins colleague Joseph Saunders who recently left Fleet to become Providian’s President and CEO. Meanwhile Providian is the process of raising interest rates across its sub-prime portfolio from 23.99% to 29.99%. Providian suspended lending to the sub-prime market following its third quarter earnings report which disclosed soaring chargeoffs. Last week Providian cut 800 more jobs and shut-down marketing of its ‘Getsmart VISA’ and new ‘smart VISA’ program. (CF Library 10/22/01; 11/15/01; 11/26/01; 1/03/02; 1/08/02)