Credit card asset-backed securities issuance may top $75 billion this year, despite current economic conditions. Standard & Poor’s said yesterday it expects modest loan growth and a heavier reliance on securitization and refinancings to set the stage for a record year for card-backed securities. Issuance for 2001 hit $68 billion. Even though loan growth may slow down as card holders cut back usage and issuers tighten underwriting standards, S&P believes the close to $50 billion in outstanding ABS will mature and the revolving portfolios will need refinancing. Refinancing of receivable portfolios backing maturing securities should provide about $45 billion of the issuance, while portfolio growth and an increased reliance on securitization as a funding source could add another $30 billion.Details
Further discussions are moving to the possibility of one standard so that individual state databases would be in a position to validate the identification of the individual based on biometric features, such as a fingerprint or an iris scan during the enrollment process.
“If a person with a valid smart card driver’s license from one state travels to another,” stated Frank Barbalace, Senior Business Development Manager for ORGA USA, “and seeks to obtain a driver’s license in that state under a different name, the system will red flag them. This same system could work in the United States as well.”
Gujarat was the first state in India to implement a smart card-based driver’s license. The project, which began in early 1999, was coordinated by ORGA in association with Smart Chip Limited in New Delhi. The driver’s license, which contains an embedded chip, stores the cardholder’s fingerprint, digital signature, and personal information.
Smart Card Issuance stations provide a one-stop location that allows for the entire process to be completed in one trip. The issuance stations consist of smart card personalization equipment (including a PC, smart card printer, video camera, fingerprint capture device and a signature tablet), as well as customized software.
To date, nearly two million people have received smart card driver’s licenses, with nearly 1,500 cards issued daily. At the project’s end, more than 25 million smart cards will be issued.
Smart Card driver’s licenses are produced under high security standards that help prevent identity fraud. The information on the chip is stored safely in a forgery proof manner.
When smart cards are presented for identification purposes, the individual’s fingerprint is compared against the fingerprint in the card on a 1 to 1 basis. This alone improves the chances of increased positive identification. Other uses include storing voting registration, access control, and emergency medical and contact information.
ORGA Card Systems, Inc, part of the authentos group of companies, is one of the market leaders in the smart card industry. ORGA offers a full range of smart cards, hardware, software, systems, system integration and solutions for the telecommunications, banking, retail, healthcare and Internet sectors.
ORGA is headquartered in Paderborn, Germany, and operates its Smart Card Center in Flintbek, in one of the world’s most modern production facilities for smart cards. ORGA is jointly held by Bundesdruckerei GmbH (89.96%), which in turn is fully owned by APAX Fonds, and DETECON GmbH (10.04%).
With a workforce currently numbering over 1,600 employees worldwide, the ORGA Group posted record sales of EURO 282 million in fiscal 2000. Subsidiaries, sales offices and joint ventures give ORGA a strong presence in Great Britain, the U.S., France, Singapore, Russia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, China, Brazil, Hong Kong, Italy, Portugal, Austria and Lithuania.Details
PayStar Corporation, the nation’s leader in providing content based Internet Kiosks, Cashless ATM devices, Prepaid Telecom and Wireless Banking Services is pleased to announce the acquisition of Get2Net’s nearly 200 Internet kiosks in 32 locations including JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Denver Airports and 24 other airport locations. PayStar will convert the kiosks to pay-for-use utilizing PayStar’s revenue generating proprietary Gold Sprocket(TM) Software.
“PayStar has completed the acquisition of Get2Net assets including kiosk equipment, locations and contracts,” stated W.D. Yotty, chairman and CEO, PayStar Corporation. “This purchase will increase annual revenues up to $3 million and provide PayStar with strategic placements in high-traffic locations across the U.S. and affords PayStar global opportunities through Get2Net’s international operations.”
Get2Net’s state-of-the-art stations include a Pentium II 450 MHz computer, 15″ LCD flat panel display and shock-resistant, spill-proof keyboard. Get2Net began installing public Internet access NetStations in U.S. airports and other venues in August 1998 and was regarded as the leader in providing public Internet access in airports and travel facilities.
“I am very excited about the prospects of working with the venues and advertisers that Get2Net has developed over the years,” said John Shin, President, PayStar InfoStations. “Get2Net has done a fine job in landing great contracts and locations, we believe it is the quality of the location that makes kiosks profitable.”
PayStar Corporation, a premier global distributor of telephony and financial services, provides its customers with an array of enabling devices. PayStar is comprised of three fully integrated divisions: Commercial Telephony Switch Services, Consumer Internet and Telephony Products including prepaid cards, and Consumer Services providing service and maintenance of Cashless Teller Machines (CTMs), pay phones and Internet enabled kiosks. PayStar is the location services provider (LSP) to retail merchants and is considered a “carriers carrier” for wholesale telecom services worldwide. Success is driven by internal sales as well as mergers and acquisitions. PayStar’s global strategy centers on expanding its network of thousands of locations that utilize state-of-the-art enabling devices.Details
Thales e-Security, the global industry leader in wide area network data encryption have partnered with CTAM, supplier of the world’s most advanced Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) encryption security products. The partnership will provide Thales e-Security, Inc. with access to ATM cryptographic solutions based on CTAM’s CypherCell technology. This partnership significantly enhances Thales e-Security’s encryption technology and broadens the current offering of Thales e-Security’s Datacryptor family of products.
The partnership announced last week that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certified the CypherCell ATM encryptor is compliant with FIPS 140-1, Level 2. Further information on the certification can be found at .
FIPS 140-1 certification is the standard applicable to all U.S. Government agencies that use cryptographic-based security systems to protect sensitive information within computer and telecommunications systems. This standard is recognized in global, financial and business markets as well.
CypherCell is the only FIPS certified ATM encryptor to also be accredited to the internationally recognized Common Criteria security standard. It also supports the new AES algorithm standard. Both these standards will become mandatory requirements for the U.S. Government in 2002 for security products.
“Our customers require a wide array of security products to protect their communication networks against unauthorized access,” said Cindy Provin, President for Thales e-Security, Inc. Americas. “The new partnership with CTAM complements the high end of our product family and efficiently meets the security requirements of our customers, predominately federal government, for protection of data over ATM networks,” she concluded.
Fritz Kerr, CTAM, Inc. COO, said, “We are very pleased to partner with Thales e-Security, Inc. CTAM’s advanced standards based high-speed cryptographic systems are a natural extension of Thales’ offerings. Our leading-edge purpose built products, coupled with Thales e-Security world-class line of security solutions and sales channels, will effectively meet the increasing demand for high bandwidth security applications.”
About Thales e-Security
Thales e-Security provides e-business security solutions to several thousand customers worldwide. Over half of the world’s banks, together with the majority of the busiest exchanges, currently use Thales e-Security technology. Operating in three main markets covering e-security, card payment and network security, Thales e-Security addresses the business security needs of corporates and governments alike. For more than 20 years the company has been at the forefront of security and payment technology, co-operating and contributing to set the industry standards used for financial transactions and e-commerce globally.
CTAM is the provider of the world’s most advanced ATM encryption product CypherCell. CTAM designs and builds all its products based on experience and expert knowledge of both high speed networks and security technologies to ensure end users are protected by the most advanced security solution available without compromise. CTAM’s user friendly products are standards based, purpose built solutions that meet the most rigorous international security accreditation requirements.Details
Visible Results USA reported yesterday that a chainwide rollout of a program using its loyalty card technology has initially produced more than 30,000 consumer users. VA-based Miller’s Neighborhood Market has launched a chainwide rollout of ‘Miller’s Rewards’, a new loyalty program based on Visible’s ‘GraphiCard’ loyalty card technology and CRM system. The re-writeable card, which can be used for convenience store and gasoline purchases, is being implemented in all 52 of Miller’s corporate-owned stores in Virginia. Current vendor partners include Pepsi-Cola, the Coca-Cola Company, Red Bull, Tropicana, Gatorade, Hershey, Jack Link meat snacks, and Bon Apetit. The card uses a thermo-chromic process which enables the front of the card to display points accrued through the most recent purchase, along with other personalized data designed to pique consumers’ interest.Details
SCM Microsystems, Inc., a leading provider of
solutions that open the Digital World, announced it has signed an
agreement with Switzerland’s City Card Systems AG to deliver 10,000 terminals
designed for merchant loyalty programs using smart cards. Initial shipments of
the SCM retail terminals began in Q1. The use of smart cards in the retail
environment and programs aimed at rewarding loyal customers are both fast
growing trends. With this contract, SCM broadens and strengthens its position
as a leading supplier of the end user infrastructure that enables smart cards
City Card Systems AG, based in Basel, Switzerland, provides small and
midsize retail businesses a low-cost and easy-to-customize solution to
implement their own professional customer loyalty programs. City Card provides
merchants everything they need to make the program successful, including:
— loyalty cards for distribution to business patrons;
— software applications that award and track loyalty points;
— marketing material to promote individual loyalty programs and
redemption schemes; and
— SCM’s retail card terminals that provide the mechanism for consumers to
collect, review and redeem points they have earned through the program.
Merchants can customize all aspects of the loyalty card, from graphical
design to the features the card will enable, such as reward value and
redemption. Information collected through the program can be used by merchants
to build customer databases, forecast orders and plan promotional campaigns,
much like a Customer Relation Management (CRM) system. City Card will market
its program worldwide through regional franchise opportunities.
“City Card provides small and midsize businesses with a professional and
affordable solution to launch their own loyalty programs, allowing them to
compete in more innovative ways,” said Robert Schneider, founder and chief
executive officer of SCM Microsystems. “For SCM, the cooperation with City
Card is very important because it allows us to work with an innovative company
to develop and deliver new solutions that address emerging applications for
“We have put together a package that provides the resources, expertise and
support needed to create successful loyalty schemes, and SCM’s terminals are
important part of our solution,” said Andreas Wilk, General Manager of City
Card Systems AG. “Besides being very reliable and cost-effective, SCM’s
terminals address all the technology requirements the retail environment
needs. In particular, we like the fact that SCM’s terminals provide a flexible
platform that allows us to easily port our loyalty applications, and to
upgrade those applications in the field.”
The terminal that SCM will supply to City Card was designed specifically
to enable and leverage multifunctional smart cards applications in a retail
environment. It is programmable and can be connected through a modem to a
telephone or through a serial port to the cash register or PC or can be used
in standalone mode. The terminal’s design facilitates rapid transactions for
management of bonus points awarded through merchant loyalty programs as well
as downloading of new applications and programs. In addition, SCM is also
providing a Software Development Kit that allows City Card and their franchise
partners to easily port, further develop and extend their application on SCM’s
About City Card Systems AG
The company, based in Basel, Switzerland, was founded in 2001 and is
focused on developing and implementing the “City Card” loyalty system for
small and midsize retail companies. Based on a franchise model, the City Card
system will be marketed throughout Switzerland and the German speaking
countries within Europe. City Card Systems AG is responsible for settlement,
marketing and communication for its franchises. Further information is
available at http://www.citycardsystems.ch.
About SCM Microsystems
SCM Microsystems is a leading supplier of solutions that open the Digital
World by enabling people to conveniently access digital content and services.
SCM’s advanced silicon solutions, hardware and software enable secure exchange
of electronic information for digital applications from e-commerce to
broadband content delivery by providing controlled access points to platforms
such as PCs, digital cameras, and digital television set-top boxes. Known as a
premier supplier to OEM companies around the world, SCM also serves the retail
market through its Dazzle and Microtech product brands. Global headquarters
are in Fremont, Calif., with European headquarters in Munich, Germany. For
additional information, visit the SCM Microsystems Website at
Fujitsu Transaction Solutions will unveil a powerful handheld computer next week which combines retailing and card payment technologies with Microsoft ‘Windows CE .NET’ operating system. At 10 ounces, the featherweight ‘iPAD’ combines scanner, magnetic-card and smart-card reader, and keypad with encryption and wireless capabilities. The ‘iPAD’ can be used for inventory management, debit transactions, price verifications, phone calls, line busting, mobile POS, and gift registry. It uses an Intel processor and can support any 802.11b wireless LAN infrastructure. With ‘Windows CE .NET’, the ‘iPAD’ will support both XML and VoIP. The new handheld will be available to retailers by summer.Details
AllCharge, the provider of a technology to monetize digital content, announced the recent closing of a $3.4 million Series A/B Preferred funding round.
The round was led by VAL Investment Group, LLC, an affiliate of Verticality Investment Group, LLC, and also included other existing AllCharge investors. AllCharge will use the new funding to expand the market penetration of its online payment solution, which lets merchants sell any type and amount of digital content while allowing consumers to pay virtually any way they wish. In addition to intensifying its marketing and sales efforts, AllCharge will invest in ongoing product enhancements and customer care.
“As content monetization is becoming key in the effort to turn the Internet into a profitable business space, our flexible payment platform, designed specifically for digital commerce, is facing an explosion in demand,” says Jakob Schwerdt, president and CEO of AllCharge. “With this recent investment, we are ready to respond to the exciting market opportunities and quickly move toward profitability.”
“Despite a general decline of investments in the Internet sector, we still see great interest in companies that have a clear path to profitability, and that offer premium infrastructure products and services,” says Sholem Greenbaum, a principal of VAL. “With its visionary strategy, its solid product, and its experienced management team, AllCharge is such a company, geared to succeed in the promising online content industry.”
Founded in 2000, AllCharge provides a sophisticated e-payment technology. The system allows merchants to price and sell any type of digital content, and consumers to purchase any amount of premium content, using their preferred payment channel. AllCharge supports all payment methods, pricing models, and digital content purchases. The company is headquartered in New York City, and maintains extensive R&D facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel. For more information, visit [www.allcharge.com].
About VAL Investment Group LLC
VAL Investment Group, an affiliate of the Verticality Investment Group, is a venture capital management company that focuses on investment in private technology companies, generally those involved in hardware and software development focusing on the Internet, programming tools, development environments, and programming languages. For more information, call Ronny Apfel at 201/656-9253 or Sholem Greenbaum at 212/266-9269 or visit the web site at [http://www.verticality.com].
Four-time Olympian, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, recently announced program details for the Visa Olympians Reunion Center and invited all Olympic Alumni to enjoy ongoing hospitality during their visit to the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. “Olympians from around the world will have a place of their own — to gather, renew old friendships and share their unique experiences,” he said. “The Visa Olympians Reunion Center has served importantly to promote the Olympic spirit and ideals.” Prince Albert is the International Spokesperson for the Center.
The Visa Olympians Reunion Center will celebrate its Grand Opening with a special program on February 7, and will begin daily operations on February 8, with hours from 2:00 p.m. until midnight throughout the Games.
Designed expressly for the use of Olympic Alumni, the Visa Olympians Reunion Center was first developed for the 1996 Games in Atlanta and served again, in Sydney, to enhance the Games experience of all visiting Olympians. More than 2,700 individual Olympians visited the Sydney Center. Now part of an Olympic tradition, the Salt Lake Visa Olympians Reunion Center will be the first at an Olympic Winter Games. The program is based on a partnership between the IOC, the World Olympians Association, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Visa, the founding partner.
With its downtown location in the Salt Lake Hardware Building, adjacent to the Olympic Medals Plaza, it will be a lively place for the world’s Olympians to congregate and enjoy hospitality. The Visa Olympians Reunion Center, as a communications focal point, will serve as a focal point for Olympians to enjoy the full range of Olympic family activities.
“The Visa Olympians Reunion Center is a critical part of our focus during each Olympic Games,” remarked Liston Bochette, three-time Olympian and Secretary General of the World Olympians Association (WOA), the international alumni organization founded by the International Olympic Committee. “We are making great strides in expanding every Olympians opportunity to participate within the Olympic family and continue to impact the movement productively. We are very grateful to Visa for its ongoing commitment to the Olympic movement, and in particular for this program which has benefited thousands of Olympians since its inception at the 1996 Atlanta Games.”
Olympians are invited to pre-register for the Visa Olympians Reunion Center on the Internet by going to the World Olympians Association website at . They will be able to get updated information on the reunion center program and other activities of the World Olympians Association.Details
MasterCard reported this week that card volume during the holiday shopping season was up 20% over 2000. MasterCard says overall retail dollar volumes increased 18.3% while grocery store volumes grew 32.8%. Department store volumes grew 9.3% while discount store volumes were up 13.8%. Travel and Entertainment volumes logged a 14.6% increase with airline spending up 2.3%, restaurant volumes up 27.1%, as hotel and rental car growth remained flat. MasterCard noted that average ticket price for purchases has dropped approximately three percent, due to slower T&E growth and a slower economy.Details
MA-based e-ClassicSystems has released version 5.0 of its ‘ATM Manager Pro’ software suite. Introduced in May 2000, the software now manages the operations of more than 46,000 ATMs worldwide. Version 5.0 offers statistical and financial accounting for financial institutions that allow other banks’ cardholders to withdraw cash surcharge-free in their network. The new version also offers statistical and financial accounting to measure the EBT usage at each location and its corresponding impact on interchange fees. Other features include the ability to nest multiple events, analyze special trends, and support for multiple media types in terminals.Details
Millions of customers heralded
the new year by withdrawing crisp new euro notes from an NCR Corporation
automated teller machine. With bank branches closed for the
holiday, the ATM became the focus of those eager to acquire and spend the new
currency. On an average day, customers use an ATM for around 70 percent of
their cash requirements. This was no average day, however, with cash
withdrawals reaching exceptional levels.
As the clear ATM market leader in Europe, NCR had a crucial role to play
in ensuring the introduction of the euro was a painless experience for the
person on the street. NCR operates 50 percent of the 200,000 ATM machines in
the euro zone.
Distribution of the new euro currency from NCR ATMs has passed without
major incident. The company’s euro command center, set up to monitor the
smooth running of NCR’s products across the euro zone and coordinate the
deployment of engineers, reports that service calls during the changeover
period were in line with expectations for the level of transactions processed.
“Taking cash out of an ATM is now something we all take for granted,
whatever the currency unit. This was a vast undertaking and a lot of planning
went into the achievement of a smooth changeover,” said Simon Rubin, NCR
Financial Solutions division’s vice president of marketing for Europe, Africa
and the Middle East. “We began planning for what has been dubbed ‘e-day’ back
in 1996, and have been working with our customers to ensure their software and
hardware is euro-compliant.”
ATMs have been the main means of access to the euro. Around 50 percent of
euro notes have already been put into circulation and the European Central
Bank has stated that in some countries the demand for notes was up to four
times the level for a typical New Year’s Day.
“In the Netherlands alone our machines processed 2.5 million transactions
on January 1,” said Rubin, “and it has been reported that at peak times the
network was processing 23 transactions per second.”
Throughout the euro zone around 96 percent of ATMs are now dispensing
euros. In Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, Austria and
Luxembourg, all machines are dispensing the new notes.
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 32,900 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