Moneris Solutions, a leading North
American processor of credit and debit card transactions and Payment Services
Interactive Gateway Corp., a leading electronic bill
presentment and payment service provider, announced a partnership
that enables Canadian retailers to process online payments in Canadian and/or
U.S. dollars and set up a Canadian and/or U.S. bank account.

PSiGate now offers Canadian merchants the advantage of operating in
Canada, the U.S. or in both countries, PSiGate can now issue Canadian
retailers who want an online presence with their own distinct Merchant ID, in
the country of their choice. Canadian merchants can now conduct business
seamlessly with this new option. In addition, PSiGate will now be able to
provide U.S. merchants with U.S. merchant accounts.

“We are pleased to be working with a progressive, technology company such
as PSiGate,” said Swen Swenson, ISO Account Executive, Moneris Solutions Inc.
“Moneris has its pulse on the Internet, and with PSiGate we are enhancing our
on-line point-of-sale products and services with the addition of EBPP
technology and dual-currency Merchant ID offerings.”

“Today, PSiGate and Moneris Solutions streamline the online payment
process for merchants and consumers,” said Robert Fenos, Executive Vice
President, PSiGate Corp. “Canadian merchants can now set up a Canadian and/or
U.S. dollar payment solution because both PSiGate and Moneris have a Canadian
and U.S. presence. This frees online merchants to concentrate on their core
business knowing that their back-end transactions in either currency on the
Internet are being securely taken care of no matter what denomination they
work with.”

PSiGate offers complete gateway solutions, industry-leading fraud
protection, Internet Merchant ID’s, back-end processing of card-based
transactions and a seamless integration with the largest range of storefront
web site solution providers. This one-stop solution in partnership with
Moneris Solutions enables Canadian merchants to accept VISA, MasterCard,
American Express, and Discovery Card transactions in dual-currency. Also U.S.
merchants have the ability to accept the same cards in U.S. currency.

About Moneris Solutions Corp.:

Moneris (Mon-er-is) Solutions is North America’s 6th largest technology
and merchant processing company. Moneris was formed in December 2000 as a
result of a 50:50 joint investment between Canadian and U.S. banks – RBC
Financial Group, Harris Bank and Bank of Montreal. Moneris provides businesses
with technologically advanced, easy to use, point-of-sale solutions designed
to electronically process and authorize credit and debit card transactions,
including customized loyalty card transactions. Moneris’ leading-edge
technology allows merchants to streamline payment processing and improve
business efficiency. Moneris serves more than 300,000 Canadian customers and
has a staff of 900 employees. With head offices in Toronto, Ontario, the
company also has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Montreal, Quebec. For more
information, please visit www.moneris.com.

About PSiGate

Payment Services Interactive Gateway Inc. (PSiGate) empowers businesses
on the Internet by providing secure, cost-effective and trusted e-commerce
solutions. PSiGate provides an easy and seamless interface to your new or
existing online commerce enterprise, offering you a reliable means of real-
time, or batch payment collection and financial transaction processing. In
addition, our management services include automated shipping calculations,
fraud screening, and financial account reporting. PSiGate also provides
Internet Merchant Accounts for VISA, Master Card and American Express for
Canadian and U.S. merchants. For more information, please visit



Welcome Real-time announced that Akbank, a leading Turkish bank, has begun
deploying Welcome
Real-time’s XLS software. The new card product, called Axess, is the world’s
first chip-based credit
card combining real-time rewards and cash back features. The number of
participating retail outlets has reached 2,500 just days after the launch.
With its unique value proposition, Axess card defines a new era of customer
relationship marketing. Akbank aims to become a leading player in the plastic
cards market with Axess as part of the country’s planned migration from
magnetic-stripe cards to chip cards. In addition to alternative payment
solutions, the Axess card is enhanced with smart marketing applications
such as
cash back and instant delivery of targeted incentives based on Recency,
Frequency, and Monetary Value (RFM). The cash back application returns real
value to cardholders by giving back a percentage of all cumulative purchases
available instantly as currency for the upcoming purchases at participating
merchants. For the first year, there is no annual fee for Axess Card,
additional Axess Card members on the account.

“With this new and exciting payment system brand, we bring real value to the
Turkish credit card consumer,” said Ilker Oral, Akbank’s executive vice
president responsible for payment systems. OIn our view, there is no such
as a good customer or a bad customer; there are only customers that you know,
and those that you do not yet know. We deliver to the payment cards market a
new way of knowing the customer, and this new way will increase customer
satisfaction, which is the greatest payback possible for smart card
“Turkey is a very important credit card market and one of the more dynamic
regions for chip migration in Europe,” said Aneace Haddad, president and
CEO of
Welcome Real-time. “Axess’ real-time rewards and cash back features
combined in
a single, convenient payment process, place Akbank and Turkey at the forefront
of bankcard marketing and technology worldwide. Customers don’t have to
remember to pull out pieces of paper or other cards, or worry about missing
on valuable rewards and discounts.”

About Welcome Real-time

Welcome Real-time’s smart transaction platform enhances payment transactions
with revenue boosting services such as instantly awarded loyalty points,
coupons, punch cards, vouchers, tickets and cash back — all in a single
convenient payment process.
The company’s patents provide broad protection in Europe, North America and
Asia. More than 17 patent applications cover the ability to dynamically manage
services relating to entries, visits or cumulative spending at designated
merchants, the ability to add and redeem e-coupons from a smart card, or the
use of mobile phones and hand held devices to perform smart transactions.
Welcome Real-time is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France, with offices in
Philadelphia and Singapore. For additional information please visit our Web

About Akbank

Established in 1948, Akbank is one of the largest banks in Turkey in terms of
assets. Akbank offers a wide range of consumer, commercial and international
trade finance products and services — as well as private banking — to
its customer base and core businesses of deposit taking and lending.
banking, brokerage, insurance and leasing services are provided through its
Akbank’s vision is to become the leading multi-specialist bank in Turkey in
terms of its market share. Its sound fundamentals coupled with its strong
franchise and brand name have placed it today in a leading market position.
Bank concentrates exclusively on financial services while maintaining a strong
capital base, brand name, franchise and management structure. Akbank pushes
technology to its limits to provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art
financial services to the widest possible client base.
Akbank’s shares are listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE). The market
capitalization of Akbank as of December 28, 2001 is US$ 2.6 billion. Akbank
operates through the Head Office in Istanbul, and in 13 regional offices
throughout Turkey. The bank is represented in the United Kingdom, France,
Germany, and the Netherlands. For more information please visit:


Providian Pullback

The most active online marketer of credit cards is pulling the plug this week on all advertising. In a rapidly unfolding reorganization, led by its new CEO, Providian announced Monday it will cease all marketing activities for its ‘Getsmart VISA’ and the new ‘Providian smart VISA’. It is unclear this morning whether Providian is totally abandoning its smart card program, but the move would be reasonable given the higher cost but current, limited value added of ‘smart VISAs’. Providian’s decision to cut ‘Getsmart’ credit card marketing does not affect its marketing of other products including ‘Getsmart Mortgages’. Providian is in the process of cutting 800 jobs this week. Providian is striving to reduce its workforce by approximately 11% since announcing its five-point rebuilding plan in October. Providian said last week it expects to take a first quarter charge of approximately $10-$15 million in connection with the January personnel reductions. Providian is also exploring the possible sale of approximately $3 billion in high-risk assets. Joseph Saunders, formerly of Fleet and Household, was hired as CEO, replacing Shailesh Mehta, who stepped down in October. (CF Library 10/22/01; 11/15/01; 11/26/01; 1/03/02)


OPC Signs CT Towns

Official Payments Corporation ([www.officialpayments.com][1]) announced that eight Connecticut towns have signed service agreements with the company. Under these agreements, town citizens will be able to pay real estate, personal property, and motor vehicle taxes, as well as utility bills and various other fees, with their credit cards by visiting [www.officialpayments.com][2] or calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX. Annually, the towns collect approximately $188 million in these taxes and fees. American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa are the cards accepted by the programs. The new systems for the towns of Burlington, Cheshire, Coventry, Ledyard, Plymouth, Redding, Windham and Woodstock will be available in February 2002. With these new additions, Official Payments now serves 22 clients in the state of Connecticut in addition to the state itself. The company is headquartered in Stamford, CT.

“As our client list in our home state continues to grow, more citizens are able to pay local, state, and federal taxes and fees, through our secure Internet and telephone systems,” stated Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “People appreciate the convenience of being able to make all of these payments with one company.”

Official Payments has similar agreements with more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company has contracts with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments including the state of Connecticut, and the District of Columbia to collect taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone.

Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [http://www.officialpayments.com][3]. For example, a taxpayer who charged $4,000 in real estate taxes would find a total of $4,109 on their credit card statement: $4,000 for the tax bill and $109 for the convenience fee. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.

About Official Payments Corporation

Founded in 1996, Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 1,000 county and municipal governments across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet Company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market.

[1]: http://www.officialpayments.com/
[2]: http://www.officialpayments.com/
[3]: http://www.officialpayments.com/


I-Payments Study

The NACHA Internet Council announced Monday it is undertaking two new projects designed to provide financial institutions and merchants with educational resources on managing risk and preventing fraud associated with Internet-initiated payments. A ‘Fraud 101’ project will identify and catalog the various types of Internet payments fraud such as transaction-level fraud, identify theft, invalid accounts, and non-sufficient funds. A risk management project will focus on the risks of specific Internet-initiated payment types such as ACH, credit card, online debit card, offline debit card, and person-to-person payments. Both the fraud and risk management projects will be completed by mid-2002.


2002 Consumer Debt Goals

According to survey conducted last week by ICR/International Communications Research, 28% of Americans think that paying off or paying down their debt is the most important thing they can do in 2002. For the month of January, the reading for the ‘Cambridge Consumer Credit Index’ is 61. This means that on average 39% more Americans are paying off debt than are adding debt. This is a one-point rise from the Index’s initial reading of 60 in December 2001. The research firm says the results show how much Americans are currently struggling with their debts. Despite the recession and widespread layoffs, four in ten Americans took on more debt during the holiday season, 16% will take on more debt in January and 36% expect to take on additional large debts to finance purchases in the first six months of 2002.


Linux Card Processing

Main Street Softworks, Inc., a privately held software development firm and Red Hat, Inc., the leader in open source solutions, announced a relationship to provide ongoing credit card processing support for Red Hat CCVS. As part of the arrangement, Red Hat will recommend Main Street’s MCVE financial software to its CCVS customers. “Here at Main Street Softworks we are providing a critical financial software solution to a diverse group of developers and merchants who utilize Linux/UNIX-like environments to run their core business applications. By working with Red Hat, we have expanded the functionality and processor support of MCVE, which has now evolved into one of the most robust financial software solutions of its kind,” said Brad House, Sr. Developer for Main Street.

About MCVE

MCVE (MainStreet Credit Verification Engine) is a highly scalable credit card authorization engine (or daemon). Designed in C and conforming to POSIX standards, MCVE runs on many of today’s most advanced UNIX/UNIX-like Operating Systems with unprecedented stability and reliability. Integrated into MCVE are leading-edge (standardized) technologies including SSL connectivity and SQL database support. Supporting the Retail, Mail/Phone Order, and E-Commerce industries, MCVE can easily be integrated into an existing website, or POS system housed on any OS that supports TCP/IP. Additionally, MCVE provides ACH capabilities that allow merchants to perform direct deposit payroll and electronic invoicing making today’s paper checks obsolete.

About Main Street Softworks, Inc.

Based in Gainesville, Florida, Main Street Softworks, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of high performance, real-time financial transaction software solutions for businesses of all sizes. Main Street continually develops cutting edge software products offering the functionality, dependability, and manageability that today’s businesses need to remain competitive. For more information about Main Street, visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.mainstreetsoftworks.com][1] or call 352-378-8228.

[1]: http://www.mainstreetsoftworks.com/


Global Goes BASE24

ACI Worldwide, a leading international provider of enterprise e-payment solutions, announces the licensing of its BASE24 e-payment processing software to Global Payments Inc., a leading provider of electronic processing services in the U.S. and Canada. BASE24 will route and switch debit and credit card transactions initiated at the point of sale for Global Payments’ merchants. Global Payments selected BASE24 after strategic review of many processing alternatives. Implementation will allow Global Payments to control costs and effort associated with maintaining processing platforms. The BASE24 platform also will provide Global’s merchants with scalable 24/7 processing.

“Our licensing of BASE24 will enable us to meet the growing around-the-clock processing needs of Global Payments’ merchants,” said Paul R. Garcia, president and CEO of Global Payments. “We are committed to providing our customers with the technology they require to maintain a competitive edge. BASE24 will enable us to provide worry-free processing of non-cash payments, allowing Global’s merchants to focus on other aspects of their business.” BASE24 supports multiple delivery channels, from the traditional — ATM and POS — to the emerging — Internet and mobile. It also supports all card types, including credit, debit and smart cards, and interfaces with global credit and debit networks.

“As a leading provider of merchant processing services, Global Payments knows the value merchants place on being able to reliably handle consumers’ debit and credit card purchases,” said Mark Vipond, president of ACI Worldwide. “With BASE24, Global can offer its merchants fast, efficient processing that is truly scalable and open to a variety of transaction types.”

BASE24 is used by more than 340 ACI customers around the world to manage devices, route and switch transactions, and provide authorization support for high-volume payments processing. The software operates on Compaq NonStop Himalaya systems to provide 24/7 support for ATM and POS networks, manned teller systems, telephone banking, mobile commerce, and Internet banking and commerce. In addition to BASE24, Global licensed software from ACI’s Payments Management suite to handle transaction warehousing and payment settlement.

About Global Payments Inc.

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.

About ACI Worldwide

Every second of every day, consumers are initiating electronic payment transactions — getting cash at ATMs, using debit and credit cards to make purchases in stores and on the Internet, banking by phone and PC, paying bills online. Twenty billion times a year, ACI software is used to process these transactions, powering the world’s online payment systems. ACI was founded in 1975 and pioneered the development of applications and networking software for online transaction processing. Today more than 530 customers in 71 countries use ACI supplied software. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at [http://www.aciworldwide.com][1].

[1]: http://www.aciworldwide.com/


Atmel Level 3 Card

Atmel Corporation announced it has obtained Level 3 approval from Visa International for its AT90SC6464C Smart Card IC, an 8-bit RISC secure AVR Microcontroller, having 64K bytes of Flash program memory, 64K bytes of EEPROM and high end PKI capabilities.

Atmel is the world’s leading supplier of Flash Microcontrollers and is now the first semiconductor vendor in the world, to achieve Visa Level 3 approval on a Smart Card microcontroller having Flash program memory. Having Flash program memory can significantly shorten the development cycle by eliminating the lengthy time for mask ROM manufacture and rework either prior to or during the approval process. The security approval capability permits Smart Card manufacturers and software developers to submit products for banking and financial applications with confidence in the silicon platform such that with secure software, product certification to Visa Level 3 is achievable. With more than 1 billion magnetic stripe bank cards destined to become smart over the next few years, applications such as EMV (Europay(R) MasterCard(R) Visa payment specifications) credit and debit, electronic purse, and multi-application products, the qualification cycle time is becoming a critical issue for time to market. Add to the time for development of a new product, the time for product certification and the total is significant, running to many months. Card developers need to have confidence that their efforts will not be jeopardized by potentially insecure silicon.

About Visa Level 3 Approval

In granting Level 3 approval, Visa acknowledges that with well written secure software, the combined silicon and software embedded, in a card, can provide an end product that meets Visa’s requirements. The silicon on its own is only one component of the product which if not protected by equally secure software, may result in an end product not meeting the security level required for a given application. Since it is a component not a product, only capability approval, not full certification is granted for Smart Card ICs. But equally important without achieving a capability approval level for silicon, card providers cannot develop with confidence of achieving full certification on a given silicon platform.

Ian Duthie, Atmel’s director of secure applications, commented, “People will use electronic methods of payment only if they are confident that these methods are secure. This demands an unbreakable chain of security covering every aspect of the payment system. A vital link in this chain is the IC embedded in the payment card. We believe that formal security evaluation with international bodies is extremely important because it provides customers with a measurable standard. Visa International is recognized as an international brand which provides a level of assurance to the banking community by requiring stringent security for electronic payment systems. Level 3 approval demonstrates to our customers that our Flash Smart Card ICs offer more than flexibility and time to market, they also bring confidence built on security.”

About Atmel

Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, bipolar SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.


VeriSign Offers SwiftPay

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. and Illuminet, a wholly owned subsidiary of VeriSign, Inc., announced the signing of a multi-year contract that will allow Illuminet to offer the Western Union SwiftPay service as a payment solution to small and mid-sized wireless carriers.

Illuminet provides a variety of innovative products and services to the telecommunications industry, including pre-paid wireless services. Under the terms of the contract, Illuminet’s carrier customers will offer its subscribers the ability to use the Western Union SwiftPay service and its network of nearly 40,000 agent locations nationwide to recharge their pre-paid wireless accounts. The addition of Western Union will significantly expand the payment networks of these carriers, allowing them to provide a convenient, nationwide pre-paid service.

“The pre-paid wireless market continues to expand dramatically in the United States,” said Joe Jackson, president, Western Union Commercial Services. “Wireless carriers are constantly seeking ways to provide additional value to their customers. That includes offering convenient ways to replenish airtime on pre-paid accounts. With Western Union’s unparalleled agent network, these carriers can be assured that their customers will be able to quickly and easily re-charge their accounts, when and where they need to.”

“We are pleased to offer Western Union’s thousands of replenishment locations coast-to-coast to the many carriers who offer Illuminet’s prepaid wireless services,” said Bob Adamany, Illuminet’s Director of Wireless Services. “Ease of replenishment, especially while roaming, is essential for a successful prepaid offering,” said Adamany.

Illuminet will conduct a gradual roll-out of the SwiftPay pre-payment option, with more than 30 carriers expected to offer the service by end of 2002. The first of these carriers, ALLTEL, has already begun offering SwiftPay to its customers as a pre-payment option. ALLTEL customers simply provide their wireless telephone number and cash payment at any of the nearly 40,000 Western Union agent locations around the country. Payment will be posted to the customer’s account on a near real-time basis, replenishing the account within minutes.

About Western Union Financial Services, Inc. and First Data

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. Utilizing the services of Western Union and its subsidiaries, 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 pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.westernunion.com][1] .

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 [http://www.firstdata.com][2].

About Illuminet

Founded in 1981, Illuminet, a wholly owned subsidiary of VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) is a leading provider of advanced nationwide signaling and intelligent network services to the communications industry. Connection to the Illuminet network gives carriers access to the system of signaling networks of nearly the entire U.S. public-switched telecommunications infrastructure through a single source. Illuminet specializes in SS7 network services and intelligent network solutions for services such as calling name delivery, calling card validation, domestic and international wireless roaming, wireless clearing, inter-carrier SMS interoperability, number portability, network usage measurement, Operations Support System (OSS) interconnection, toll-free and other specialized database access functions, including real-time account management for providers of prepaid wireless services. Illuminet’s headquarters are at 4501 Intelco Loop SE, Lacey, WA 98503; (360) 493-6000; [http://www.illuminet.com][3] .

About VeriSign

VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) is the leading provider of digital trust services that enable everyone, everywhere to engage in commerce and communications with confidence. VeriSign’s digital trust services create a trusted environment through three core offerings — name, authentication and payment services — powered by a global infrastructure that manages more than five billion network connections and transactions a day. Additional news and information about the company is available at [http://www.verisign.com][4] .

[1]: http://www.westernunion.com/
[2]: http://www.firstdata.com/
[3]: http://www.illuminet.com/
[4]: http://www.verisign.com/


MasterCard & Zagat

MasterCard and the Zagat Survey have teamed to expand the use of MasterCard cards in elite dining rooms and increase the ubiquity of Zagat Survey content. MasterCard will jointly host a series of forums with Zagat to show restaurants how they can upgrade their service, better manage the bottom line, improve their marketing, develop successful promotions, create popular menus and wine lists, and achieve long-term profitability by winning customer loyalty. Other elements of the alliance include participation in industry events, as well as increased presence for MasterCard on Zagat’s Web site, and distribution of Zagat’s guidebooks via MasterCard channels.


2002 Card Resolutions

More than 60% of Americans say they plan to charge less to credit cards this year, but only 31% say they will use their debit cards less during 2002 than last year. An amazing 94% indicate they will pay down credit card debt during 2002, according to a home page poll by CardWeb.com. Among other consumer resolutions for 2002: more than 80% plan to save more in 2002, but only 14% plan to consolidate credit card debt to a home equity loan or home mortgage in 2002. When it comes to travel, 56% of consumers say they will travel the same or less than last year.