EBPP Forecast

The growth in electronic bill presentment and payment services will accelerate this year and will continue through 2005. New TowerGroup research shows that while the U.S. will maintain its lead in creating EBPP volume through 2005, markets in both the European Union and Asia-Pacific regions will make significant gains. By the end of 2001, approximately 88% of global “roundtrip” electronic billing transactions will have been conducted in the US. Yet the US market, which produces a total of close to 30 billion bills and invoices per year, represents a fraction of the international potential for EBPP services. In 2001, consumers worldwide will receive a total of more than 103.7 billion bills, while their business counterparts will receive nearly 49.6 billion bills and invoices. TowerGroup projects that a global total of close to 50 million consumer bills and more than 10 million business-to-business items will be presented and paid via electronic roundtrip transactions in 2001. By 2005, these numbers will rise to more than 2.4 billion items, respectively, for both consumer and B2B transactions.


QuickCredit Deployment

Global Cash Access has installed QuikCredit at three Las Vegas-area casino properties and one property in Florida. GCA is a supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry.

A gaming industry first, QuikCredit was installed at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Sunset Station and Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, Nev., and Miccosukee in Miami.

QuikCredit presents an alternative for patrons who have been denied cash advance or ATM transactions for any number of reasons and for casinos that don’t extend credit to middle-level ($100 to $5,000) patrons or don’t currently extend credit at all. QuikCredit is powered by GCA’s proprietary Internet technology and the databases of Central Credit, TeleCheck and GCA – the most complete in the industry.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response to QuikCredit since it launched,” said Kurt Sullivan, executive vice president of GCA and director of the company’s QuikCredit division. “These casinos are taking the lead by being among the first to use QuikCredit, and are able to extend credit to a new market segment.

QuikCredit presents a good experience for the customer and also benefits the casino by tapping new sources of gaming revenue.” In addition to authorizing and extending credit, GCA performs all debt collections, enabling casino managers to focus on hospitality and other customer service aspects of their business.

A significant percentage of cash access transactions are declined by cardholders’ banks due to incorrect PINs or other circumstances, not necessarily because of insufficient funds. With QuikCredit, the denial message at the ATM or cash advance terminal instructs customers how to proceed with a QuikCredit transaction to obtain funds. Patrons can apply for a QuikCredit line through a process as simple as a credit card cash advance using the Web-based technology of GCA’s QuikCash Plus Web (QCPWeb) full service transaction processing system. The credit-worthiness of the patron is quickly determined by a check against GCA’s vast database.

While QuikCredit currently serves walk-up patrons with on-the-spot credit approval, future enhancements will allow patrons to pre-qualify for a credit line through direct mail or over the Internet through a casino’s on-line reservation system and have it waiting for them when they arrive at the casino.

About Global Cash Access

Global Cash Access is a joint venture of First Data Corp. and M&C International, Inc. Providing access to the gaming industry’s largest patron database, Global Cash Access uses Internet technologies to deliver funds transfer, financial management and customer relationship marketing services to more than 1,000 gaming properties in the US, Canada, Caribbean and Europe. More information on the company is available at [http://www.globalcashaccess.com][1].

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


Datacard Solutions

Datacard Group announced Friday eight new, and specially priced packages that provide VISA member banks with the software, hardware and services to migrate to smart cards. The solutions enable issuers to create, test, personalize and load smart card applets on VISA smart cards as well as dynamically manage cards and applications with scalability. Among the solutions is a system for a pilot or low-volume smart card issuance using a ‘Datacard 150i’ or ‘Datacard 280/295’ desktop system. On the other end of range, Datacard is offering a system for high-speed smart card issuance wherein 6,000 VISA smart cards per hour can be loaded and personalized using a 32-station ‘Cybernetix HPX’ system. If embossing is needed, cards can be transferred from the ‘HPX’ system to a ‘Datacard 9000’, ‘7000’ or ‘500’ system for completion of the personalization and delivery process.


Circle K Phone Cards

Circle K now offers convenience store customers a complete array of communication products just in time for the holiday gift-giving season.

In response to customer needs, Circle K now offers three pay-in-advance communications choices: prepaid long distance, prepaid wireless, and prepaid Internet.

The United States is seeing an explosion in prepaid, or pay-in-advance, communications. According to a Yankee Group 2000 study, the number of prepaid communications minutes purchased will explode from 3 billion per year in 1997 to over 40 billion in 2004.

The main reasons for this growth are: with prepaid communications, there is no credit check, contract, deposit, or age restriction; prepaid customers only pay for the time they use; and users know exactly what they’re going to spend — there’s no surprising bill at the end of the month. “Recently, we have seen an enormous jump in wireless phone usage by customers young and old, and the prepaid option is really taking hold. In fact, within the next three years, one out of every two wireless phone customers are expected to be prepaid,” said Keith Brand, senior category manager, telecommunications and electronic services, Phillips 66 Co., the owner of Circle K.

Circle K has led the way with a new wave of prepaid communication choices being made available across the country. For example, prepaid long distance cards give customers the added sense of security and the ability to manage their budget to the dime since they’re paying in advance rather than receiving a monthly bill. This is true for the prepaid wireless and prepaid Internet products as well.

“Circle K customers have really responded to our prepaid communications products, seeing Circle K as the headquarters for their pay-in-advance telecommunication needs,” added Brand. “And regardless of where our customers originally bought their Prepaid Wireless phones, they’re now coming to us for their refill time — simply because we’re more convenient.” Circle K features prepaid communication product lines available from reputable brand names including MCI, Cricket, AT&T Wireless, Verizon, Tracfone, Cingular, Alltel and Slingshot. And this December, just in time for the holidays, Circle K is offering a free $10 MCI Prepaid Long Distance card with any $20 Card purchase.

Customers can use the free phone card as a gift or keep it for themselves. Circle K is also offering $20 off on prepaid wireless phones from Cingular and AT&T.

Circle K is a registered trademark of Phillips 66 Co., a division of Phillips Petroleum Co. (NYSE:P) or its subsidiaries. Phillips is an integrated petroleum company with interests around the world.

Founded in Bartlesville, Okla., in 1917, the company had annual revenues of $21.2 billion for 2000. Phillips markets gasoline and convenience store products in the United States through a network of over 12,000 retail sites under the Phillips 66, Union 76, Circle K, Exxon, Mobil and Coastal brands.


Euronet Sale

Euronet Worldwide confirmed Friday the sale of ‘DASH’ EFT network to ALLTEL Information Services. Under the terms of the agreement, Euronet may also continue to provide EFT processing services in the US. In a separate agreement, Euronet granted ALLTEL extensive license rights to Euronet’s ‘Integrated Transaction Management’ software system. ALLTEL previously worked with Euronet’s solutions through mutual clients and has developed interfaces to its retail delivery and back office systems for Euronet’s ‘ITM’ software engine for mutual clients.


Olympic Vending

Kodak is deploying a total of 40 vending machines during the Salt Lake Games. The Olympic-themed devices are climate-controlled to ensure the film remains in optimum condition and will only accept debit or credit cards. Kodak is partnering with Maytag’s Dixie-Narco vending machine division and PA-based Stitch Networks to enable the vending machines to accept debit and credit cards. The devices are connected to the Internet and process transactions through network servers. Kodak began the vending machine program 18 months ago in selected test markets.



NEC has won a 1.6 billion yen (US$12.15 million) contract to build a
processing system for digitizing data on the 12 million smart ID cards issued
to-date by the government of Hong Kong. Under terms of the contract, the NEC
project for the Immigration Department is to be completed by the end of 2003.
The Hong Kong government plans to issue smart cards to all its citizens during
2003. The cards will initially be used for identification, customs, and tax
payments processes.



Beijing is gearing up to introduce smart cards on more than 100 bus routes by
June of this year. Since June 2001, Beijing Bus has deployed automatic
ticket machines for smart cards on more than 500 buses on 20 routes. The
contactless smart cards will eventually be used to pay for road tolls, taxis,
and subway transit. There are three providers of bus service in Beijing
including the state-owned Beijing Public Transport Corp, publicly listed
Beijing Bus Shareholding Co and Beijing Yuntong, a collective-ownership
company. The government is seeking to replace buses and deploy smart cards
ahead of the 2008 Olympics.


ECHO Settlement

ECHO and First Preferred Bank reached a settlement with First Charter Bank last week in the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles. The ‘Mutual Release and Settlement’ releases ECHO and First Preferred Bank from any other liability in connection with the merchant marketing and processing agreement with First Charter Bank entered into on June 25, 1994. ECHO terminated its processing agreement with First Charter Bank and filed a lawsuit on October 11, 2000 due to First Charter Bank’s failure to honor the terms of the agreement.



NEXAGE, Inc. ([http://www.nexage.com][1]), an e-Business software and services company, announced the launch of mCash, a mobile and virtual payment card solution for Wireless Carriers, Banks and Merchants. Wireless customers can use their phones and mobile devices to pay online and offline (brick & mortar) merchants, vending and ticketing machines, and to other phone users. NEXAGE mCash micro payment system is highly secure, convenient and cost effective compared to other online payment systems currently available.

mCash is a high-volume secure virtual payment solution for traditional commerce, e-commerce and m-commerce transactions. It allows for one touch mobile payments over the Internet, in Retail Stores or at the Vending machines. It is a perfect solution for micro payments traditionally paid by cash. Wireless Carriers can offer mCash as a mobile payment solution to their customers. Grocery and convenience stores can use mCash system to issue virtual payment cards. This would allow them to reduce the time customers spend in line at the store and offer an alternate form of payment that is very cost effective. Banks can offer mCash service linked to customers’ bank accounts. This allows customers to use their mobile device to make payments anytime, anywhere and paves the way for new sources of income for service providers. mCash system operator would allow customers to open a deposit account. Customers will then access these accounts from their mobile phones and pay for various services in the same way they would use a regular payment card to pay with money withdrawn from their bank or credit card accounts. mCash platform allows the operator to facilitate, collect, process and clear payments and transactions between customers and merchants.

“NEXAGE is a technology innovator and payment expert and aims to re-engineer the electronic payment infrastructure to meet the changing requirements of the virtual world,” said Devkumar Gandhi, CEO of NEXAGE. “We expect Operators, Merchants and Customers to find the mCash payment option easy to use, convenient and highly cost effective,” he continued.

Service Scenarios

1. User walks to the ticketing booth at an event to purchase tickets. User scans the event price bar code using a bar code reader attached to the phone; mCash system verifies the account, the merchant and the amount, and issues credit after confirming with the user. On receiving the credit the Merchant system requests the ticketing machine to issue the tickets.

2. European traveler could make mCash payments to merchants in local currencies and keep replenishing their account in native currency. This allows cross border currency payments.


NEXAGE is an e-Business software and services company, focusing on developing and implementing Wireless, Internet, and E-commerce technologies and services for the Wireless Telecom, Finance and Healthcare industries. NEXAGE mCash is a mobile payment service network that consists of mCash network infrastructure and services provided to Merchants, Wireless Carriers, Businesses and Consumers.

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


Jack Henry CRM

Jack Henry & Associates announced it has completed its purchase of Transcend Systems Group, Inc., a provider of customer relationship management software to community financial institutions. The transaction was a combination of cash and common stock and is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings.

Transcend Systems will continue to operate from its Sioux Falls, South Dakota offices as a subsidiary of Jack Henry & Associates, offering its affordable CRM solution, Relationship Explorer, to community financial institutions. Relationship Explorer is available to JKHY customers immediately. Separately, Jack Henry is developing a comprehensive and fully integrated CRM solution through a partnership with privately held ARGO Data Resource Corporation. This product is slated for release at the end of calendar 2002.

“One of the fastest growing technology applications in today’s market, CRM solutions provide data and tools for cross-selling customer tracking, sales management, incentive compensation, profitability analysis and customer satisfaction improvement processes,” said Terry W. Thompson, President. “The Transcend acquisition, coupled with our alliance with ARGO, will provide a full complement of CRM tools for all our customers. We believe CRM products will begin to contribute significantly to our revenues and profits next year (fiscal 2003), and expect they have the potential to contribute $100 million or more to our revenues in the next five to six years.”

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. provides integrated computer systems and processes ATM and debit card transactions for banks and credit unions. Jack Henry markets and supports its systems throughout the United States and has over 2,800 customers nationwide. For additional information on Jack Henry, visit the company’s web site at [http://www.jackhenry.com][1].

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


Datakey Gov Contract

Datakey Inc. announced a $1 million order from a U.S. government agency for Datakey smart cards, card readers and CIP client software. The initial order is expected to ship by the end of the first quarter of 2002 and is approximately 50 percent of the total expected order from the agency, with rollout to be completed during the next six months. Agency employees, contractors and other approved personnel will use Datakey smart card technology for secure facility and network access.

About Datakey Inc.

Datakey Inc. ( [http://www.datakey.com][1]) is a pioneer in developing smart card-based solutions for information security applications. Datakey smart card technology secures business-to-business e-commerce by:

— Safeguarding a user’s digital identity.

— Authenticating and controlling user access to enterprise networks, applications and resources.

— Protecting the integrity and privacy of data shared over corporate networks and the Internet.

Datakey solutions focus on the ease of deployment, use and management of smart cards in an enterprise for a wide range of logical and physical security applications — including password management, host authentication, Windows 2000 log-on, VPN access, web authorization, desktop security, corporate badge and building access, biometric integration, public key encryption, digital certificates and digital signatures.

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