A six-month test of a new universal transit smart card will begin in January in the San Francisco Bay Area. ‘TransLink’ will enable about 4,000 riders on six transit systems to pay with a contactless smart card. In 1999, BART hired Motorola to create and install the system, which it will also operate. ‘TransLink’ cost $61.4 million to build, and will cost $3.5 million a year to operate. ‘TransLink’ readers and ticket machines have been installed on select routes on AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, the San Francisco Municipal Railway and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority for the test program.Details
Universal Air Travel Plan, Inc. announced that the emerging flag carrier of
Switzerland, Crossair, will
work to maintain UATP as the dominant corporate form of payment for air
tickets in Switzerland. As the basis to build and track corporate loyalty
agreements, Crossair has formed a partnership with AirPlus International.
AirPlus operates the largest portfolio of UATP accounts.
Dr. Michael Peine, Managing Director of AirPlus International, said, “The
partnership we have built with Crossair will allow its corporate customers to
receive detailed data and robust reporting via our various UATP enhanced
Stefan Gutknecht, Vice-President Sales & Marketing for Crossair, said, “We
feel UATP’s role in the Switzerland corporate marketplace is important to
preserve. We will continue to embrace UATP as a partner in establishing
ourselves as the flag carrier of Switzerland.”
Richard Crum, UATP President and Chairman, said, “Crossair has been a
member of the UATP global acceptance network for years. We are pleased with
their renewed commitment and increased recognition of UATP’s benefits to the
airlines and corporations which use the card as a preferred form of payment.”
Universal Air Travel Plan Inc., formerly known as Air Travel Card(R), is
the world’s first business travel payment system. Founded in 1936, UATP was
an innovator in the charge card industry, developing such standards as the
magnetic strip and lodged accounts. With annual global billings over USD 8
billion, UATP is owned and operated by each card-issuing airline and accepted
by virtually every airline in the world. UATP offers the most complete data
and lowest administrative cost of any charge product and is the industry’s own
solution to combat rising credit card costs. Multi-national corporations,
including 73 percent of the Top 100 Global, utilize UATP to better manage
travel expenses. Airlines currently issuing UATP accounts include Aer Lingus,
Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), Austrian Airlines,
British Airways (NYSE: BAB), Continental (NYSE: CAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:
DAL), Japan Airlines (Nasdaq: JAPNY), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (NYSE: KLM),
Lufthansa German Airlines, QANTAS, Scandinavian Airlines System, United
Airlines (NYSE: UAL) and US Airways (NYSE: U). For more information, visit
Sony Corp this week announced plans to introduce a new credit card next year in Japan. Sony Finance aims to issue two million cards in three years with a targeted volume of 450 billion yen, according to ‘The RAM Report’. It hopes to sign up 20,000 participating online merchants by 2004. The company will begin issuing cards to Sony employees in early 2002 with plans to take the program to the general public during the second calendar quarter. Sony currently has a number of co-branding relationships with bank issued credit cards. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that in addition to the normal credit functions, the new cards will likely adopt ‘Edy’, the electronic money standard that the company has been promoting. The new credit cards will be accepted at all locations currently accepting cards issued by Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co. For international acceptance Sony is expected to sign a deal with VISA in association with Sumitomo.Details
While the 2001 International Card Manufacturers Association Expo was cancelled in Athens, Greece, ICMA nevertheless issued the ‘Fifth Annual Elan Awards’. For the ‘Best Non-Secure Card Design’, the winner was ‘Nordstrom Coffee Bean Card’ by QualTeq. The ‘Best Secure Card Design’ was the ‘President’s Choice MasterCard’ by Giesecke & Devrient. The ‘Best Phone Card Design’ was submitted by Marimpex for the ‘Hacelia Attenuata’ card. The ‘Technical Achievement Award’ was entered by ORGA Kartensysteme GmbH for the ‘CD SIM Promotional Card’.Details
eConnect began delivering eCashPad USB terminals to participants in a 30-day tryout of the high-security devices designed to make Internet commerce safer for consumers.
The eCashPad USB units are the first commercially ready devices that support MSR, secure PIN and Smartcard features for home Internet financial transactions.
eConnect, which plans to distribute thousands of eCashPad USBs over the next few weeks for the trial, expects to generate revenues from sales of eCashPad USBs to consumers and from revenues from eCashPad USB usage at a growing list of sites using its Bank Eyes Only system.
The $59.95 eCashPad USB is a full-service credit card, ATM card and Smartcard hardware device that can be attached to a laptop or desktop computer with a USB port and enables Internet users to avoid giving their credit card data to web merchants. Instead, consumers’ credit card data is processed by eConnect’s Bank Eyes Only system.
When consumers swipe their credit card in the reader, the transaction is received by eConnect and the VeriSign gateway for credit card authorization.
Because the Bank Eyes Only transactions are considered as credit card-present payments by participating banks, they result in reduced charge-backs because they result in fewer disputed purchases. Such transactions also are fast and safe both for the consumer who originates a transaction and for the web merchant who receives the payment.
Sygenics.com provides web merchants with a quick and easy integration of the Bank Eyes Only system at the merchants’ web site.
eConnect has been in ongoing discussions with an ATM card network to begin a PIN pilot in early first quarter 2002. It also has engaged a member bank to sponsor merchants to participate in a pilot of online debit with ATM card and PIN payments using the eCashPad USB system.
eConnect expects to launch a Smartcard loyalty program with participating brick-and-mortar merchants who also operate e-commerce web sites. Under the program, consumers will receive loyalty points from web merchants to use their eCashPad USB at the merchants’ web site to effect a safe and efficient credit card-present Bank Eyes Only transaction.
The goal of the Smartcard loyalty program is to encourage Internet consumers to use their loyalty points at the merchants’ walk-in stores and to continue to shop at the merchants’ web sites using eCashPad USB-originated payments.Details
Gemplus S.A., the world’s number one
provider of solutions empowered by smart cards, has signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with K-Laboratory Co., Inc., the
leader in mobile Java development and mobile platform technologies in
Japan, to jointly study and develop a secure architecture for the provisioning
of applications in Java enabled handsets. So far e-commerce on the Wired
Internet has failed to ignite due to the lack of two things: security and
reliable revenue models. With the arrival of 2.5 and 3G services in Japan the
Wireless Internet infrastructure is now in place. In Japan, Java is the
language of choice for mobile services with millions of subscribers already
taking advantage of the creativity and flexibility of Java-based applications.
This phenomenon is set to recreate itself worldwide with 30 million Java
handsets already sold this year, rising to 400 million in 2003 and 1100
In order for mobile business to take off it needs to come with the right level
of security to create an environment of confidence between suppliers and
customers. In such an environment end-users and handset manufacturers can rest
assured that they do not download malicious applications onto the phone while
operators and content providers can identify and bill users for the services
they use and manage copyright issues.
Equifax Consumer Services, the leader in empowering consumers with credit information solutions and Intersections Inc., a premier provider of credit monitoring and fraud prevention services to consumers, announced a multi-year strategic partnership. The partnership will create a comprehensive suite of information services to meet the growing demand of consumers who wish to better manage their information privacy and credit health.
The partnership leverages the strong market positions of both companies while expanding both online and offline information services. In addition to direct marketing to consumers, the companies will broaden distribution channels for co-branded and private labeled services targeted to financial institutions, large employers and large consumer associations.
“Intersections is recognized for their excellent customer service process, consumer- friendly culture, strong product development skills and fulfillment platform which supports both online and offline consumer services,” stated Virgil Gardaya, general manager, Equifax Consumer Services, “They are a premier company and will add substantial new opportunities for our consumer services business.”
“Equifax was the pioneer in empowering consumers with online credit management services,” stated Michael Stanfield, Intersections’ CEO, “By forging a partnership with Equifax, Intersections will be able to leverage their world-class technology and data management capability. Our combined strengths will substantially increase the distribution networks for our products and services.”
Equifax enables and secures global commerce through its information management, consumer credit, marketing services, business information, authentication and e-commerce businesses. As the leader in information services, Equifax adds value wherever customers do business, including the financial services, retail, telecommunications/utilities, information technology and healthcare industries, brokerage, insurance and business lending industries and government. Equifax also enlightens, enables and empowers consumers to manage and protect their financial health with services offered at [www.equifax.com]. The company ranked in the top five in return on equity among Business Week’s Best Performers for 2001. Equifax employs 5,600 in 13 countries and has $1.1 billion in annual revenue.
About Intersections Inc.
Intersections is a leader in providing consumers with comprehensive credit and privacy solutions. Founded in 1996, the company has served over 2.8 million consumers and has active service relationships with seven of the top ten credit and charge card financial institutions in the US. The company’s services include: daily fraud alert notifications, complete quarterly credit report updates, tracking and analysis of personal credit scores, theft of identity insurance, and fraud victim assistance. Learn more about Intersections at Intersections.com.
While retailers are losing billions of dollars to fraudulent credit card activity, the figure pales in comparison to losses from theft. According to new report from the ‘National Retail Security Survey’, retailers are facing growing inventory shrinkage, which is a combination of employee theft, shoplifting, vendor fraud and administrative error. The net result is retailers lost $32.3 billion last year. Based on the 2000 survey results, retailers lost 1.75% of their total annual sales to these problems, up from 1.69% in 1999. Retail security managers attributed more than 46% of their losses to the thefts of disgruntled workers. By comparison, 31% of retail losses were the result of shoplifters. The remainder of annual retail losses are due to paperwork errors (17.6%) and theft by vendors (5.8%). Translated into U.S. dollars, retail employee theft costs retailers $14.9 billion annually, while shoplifting costs $10 billion.Details
Compaq Computer Corporation announced it has been awarded a five-year, multi- million dollar contract to provide technology, services, and support to American Express operations worldwide.
Under the terms of the agreement, Compaq Global Services professionals will architect, deliver, and manage a server-based computing infrastructure for American Express. The contract calls for Compaq to deploy 25,000 Thin Clients — supported by 400 Compaq ProLiant industry-standard servers — mostly in the U.S., as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America. The server-based and Thin Client computing solutions are anticipated to provide a cost-effective approach for American Express employees who perform task- oriented, transactional functions, such as customer service representatives.
Compaq Global Services will provide design, deployment, and ongoing management services for the infrastructure. These services include infrastructure and application test labs, monitoring and management of the server environments, and help desk and desk-side support for users of the Thin Client devices.
Compaq’s Thin Client devices process keyboard, mouse, and display enabling input/output offloading of application processing and data storage to centralized servers. The solution is designed to simplify administration and support for the user desktop, resulting in lower overall operational and ownership costs.
“Adopting Compaq’s server-based computing and Thin Client solution supports our overall strategy of using technology that can reduce infrastructure costs, re-engineer our computing environment, and bring operational savings to the bottom line,” said Glen Salow, executive vice president and chief information officer, American Express. “As we set our sights on becoming the world’s most respected service brand, we will seek and deploy cost-effective, flexible technology solutions like Compaq’s that allow us to better align our technology resources with the demands of our internal and external customers.”
“Compaq has all the elements for IT success to offer American Express — leading-edge enterprise products, integrated solutions, and one of the largest and most experienced global services organization in the world,” said Peter Blackmore, Compaq’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and services. Blackmore noted that the agreement is a continuation of a long and productive business relationship with American Express that dates back more than a decade.
Compaq accelerated the delivery of approximately 2,000 of its T1010 Microsoft Windows-based Thin Clients to American Express offices in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to support employees relocated following the September 11th damage to the company’s headquarters in lower Manhattan.
Computing on Demand
“This contract with American Express reflects Compaq’s overall strategy that is focused on providing integrated solutions that create real value for our customers,” Blackmore said. “Compaq’s Computing on Demand approach to managed services, which offers customers the ability to acquire IT at a fixed price per user per month, was an especially attractive financial model for American Express.”
Introduced in July, Compaq’s Computing on Demand initiative provides a set of new solutions that give customers a broad range of computing resources when they need them, where they need them, and at a predictable price and performance level — similar to buying IT as a utility. With Computing on Demand, enterprise customers have greater flexibility and control over the design, deployment and management, and cost of their IT infrastructure.
Founded in 1982, Compaq Computer Corporation (“Compaq”) is a leading global provider of enterprise technology and solutions. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures, and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services, including industry-leading enterprise storage and computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, communication products, and desktop and portable personal computers that are sold in more than 200 countries.
Information on Compaq and its products and services is available at [http://www.compaq.com]. Information on Compaq’s Thin Client and Server Computing solutions is available at .
Cash Systems, Inc., an established provider of cash access solutions and systems for the gaming industry, announced that it has been awarded contracts to provide its proprietary Credit Card Cash Advance System in four additional casinos which will bring its total casino client base to 43 gaming establishments in 19 states and the Bahamas.
The new Credit Card Cash Advance System installations are in the Catfish Bend Casino in Fort Madison, Iowa; the Camel Rock Casino in Santa Fe, N.M.; the Double Eagle Casino in Cripple Creek, Colo., and Hickock’s Casino in Deadwood, S.D. Based on historical numbers, these properties should increase annual revenue 5 to 10 percent.
Additionally, the company announced that its contract to provide cash access services at Lac Vieux Desert Casino in Watersmeet, Mich. has been renewed for a three-year period. Cash Systems provides complete cash access solutions to the Lac Vieux Desert Casino, including Credit Card Cash Advance, ATM’s, and full-service check cashing operations.
Craig Potts, chief executive officer of Cash Systems, said, “We are very pleased to announce this new business, which is further evidence of the solid progress we are making toward expanding Cash Systems’ share of the casino cash access industry. And we are gratified with the continuing development of our national presence as an established, reputable and high quality provider of cash access solutions to the gaming industry.”
About Cash Systems, Inc.
Minneapolis-based Cash Systems, Inc., founded in 1997, has grown from a regional ATM provider to one of four cash access companies serving the gaming industry. Cash Systems’ products include its proprietary cash advance systems, ATMs and check cashing solutions. These products are currently utilized by over 160 retail and gaming locations in 19 states and the Bahamas. Cash Systems gaming clients are comprised of both Native American and commercial entities. Such clients include Argosy Gaming Company, Inc., Autotote Enterprises, Inc., Crystal Palace Marriott and the Frontier Hotel & Casino. Please visit [http://www.cashsystemsinc.com] for more information.
With the severe drop-off in domestic air travel and the collapse of international travel by Americans, airlines and hotels continue to throw unprecedented offers to consumers. This week’s announcement of the free upgrading of ‘United Airlines Mileage Plus VISA Card’ to the ‘VISA Signature’ level, last week’s decision by US Airways to offer miles on the Bank of America ‘VISA Check Card’, and Marriott’s recent decision to extend its Double Points promotion into next year are classic examples. Frequent customers of airlines and hotels are now receiving notices that requirements for various levels of recognition in loyalty programs are being modified or waived. The BofA/US Airways program offers cardholders the opportunity to earn 1,000 ‘Dividend Miles’ after the first purchase, and one ‘Dividend Mile’ for every $2 in purchases thereafter. ‘Dividend Miles VISA Business Card’ customers will earn one mile for each $1 spent in net purchases and two miles for every $1 spent on US Airways goods and services purchased directly from US Airways. The ‘Marriott Rewards’ promotion offers members double points and the ability to achieve elite recognition and privileges twice as fast when using a VISA card. The time frame for achieving Marriott Rewards elite status has also been extended to March 31, giving members 15 months, rather than the normal 12 months, to reach their desired elite threshold and benefits.Thursday night, First USA kicked-off a new promotion to give away one million ‘United Mileage Plus’ miles every week during the holiday season in conjunction with its launch of the ‘VISA Signature’ card. (CF Library 11/12/01; 11/20/01; 11/29/01)Details
SLMsoft.com Inc., a leading
global provider of e-financial solutions, announced financial results
for the third quarter ended September 30, 2001.
Revenue for the third quarter increased 181% to $7.3 million, compared to
$2.6 million for the third quarter of 2000. On a sequential quarter basis,
revenue rose by 232% from $2.1 million in the second quarter 2001. The
significant growth in revenue reflects the continuing results of the Company’s
increased sales and distributor activities. The Company was able to take
advantage of their efforts to build a pipeline of international sales
opportunities, as they announced a number of major deals that were closed over
the quarter. These included smart-card systems, electronic banking systems,
ATM networks, Internet banking systems, and credit/debit card issuing and
“The third quarter of 2001 was an impressive and extremely active time
for SLMsoft.com, as we clearly established ourselves as a leader in
international markets and took the necessary steps to ensure we have the
financial resources, sales infrastructure and development capacity to support
our continued growth,” said Govin Misir Chairman and CEO SLMsoft.com. “While
much of the software industry saw sales decline amid a slowing economy, we
were successful in winning four international contracts that fuelled our sales
growth and will continue to deliver revenues over the next five years. We also
continued to make important progress in advancing our pipeline and expect to
close additional contracts in the fourth quarter, as we aggressively pursue
prospects in West Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.”
In the third quarter, the Company recorded the following progress:
– Increased revenue by 181% over the third quarter of 2000, and by 232%
over the second quarter 2001, as a result of extensive sales and
– Secured four international contracts, including a contract with CÃ´te
d’Ivoire, worth an estimated $50 million in revenue over the next five
– Aggressively pursued opportunities to expand the Company’s global
sales pipeline in West Africa, Latin America and the Middle East
– In August SLMsoft.com launched its Global Development Centre through
the acquisition of Design Expo Network Private Limited of Mumbai,
– Sold 610,000 InterCept shares to fund growth initiatives
– Enacted a restructuring plan at Infocorp Computer Solutions Ltd. to
control costs and maintain sales and marketing focus
“We are executing well on our growth strategy and are very pleased to
post such strong revenue growth in an otherwise slow and uncertain economic
environment,” continued Mr. Misir. “We are gaining momentum in the
international markets, and will continue to invest in the development of these
markets to extend our reach. We will also begin turning our attention back to
the U.S. market, in a measured fashion. We believe that our strategy of
transforming the Company from a research and development organization to that
of a sales and marketing organization is working, and working well.”
For the third quarter of 2001, the Company reported a net loss of
$218,040 or ($0.01) per share, all from continuing operations and a
significant improvement over the third quarter of 2000 loss of $9.8 million or
($0.74) per share. Excluding the loss of $450,000 of its 49%-owned subsidiary,
Infocorp, the Company’s 2001 third quarter earnings totaled $232,000 or $0.01
For the nine months ended September 30, 2001 the Company has achieved
positive earnings of $45.7 million or $2.63 per share, compared to a loss of
$21.0 million or ($1.58) per share for the same period last year. This year’s
results to date reflect the previously reported gain on sale of U.S.
processing operations of $50.4 million. The nine-month loss from continuing
operations amounted to $4.7 million or ($0.27) per share, compared to a loss
of $17.6 million or ($1.32) per share for the same period last year.
Research and development expenses
Research and development expenses decreased slightly to $1.9 million in
the third quarter compared to $2.2 million for the same period in 2000,
principally as a result of the completion of a number of product upgrades to
the Java platform. Year-to-date expenditures totaled $5.5 million, compared to
$5.3 million last year.
Selling and marketing expenses
Selling and marketing expenses increased to $3.1 million for the quarter
from $1.3 million for the similar period last year and to $7.5 million from
$4.4 million on a year-over-year basis, as the Company continued with the
activities that are creating its strong pipeline of future license and
General and administrative expenses
General and administrative expenses amounted to $2.0 million in the third
quarter of 2001 compared to $5.2 million for the same period last year. The
decrease is due in part to redeployment of personnel referred to above and to
the Company’s continuing progress to effect operational efficiencies in 2001.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
In the third quarter of fiscal 2001, operating activities used net cash
of $2.6 million compared to $4.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2000
as a result of increased revenues and operational efficiencies. The Company
funded operations in the third quarter of fiscal 2001 largely from the
proceeds of sale of 610,000 InterCept shares which generated $25 million in
At September 30, 2001, the Company had cash of $630,585 and marketable
securities of $24 million representing 643,000 shares of InterCept with a
quoted market value at that date of $27.6 million.
In addition the Company has $17.3 million of cash on deposit which,
together with shares of the Company’s holding in its subsidiary, Infocorp
Computer Solutions, is presently held in accounts with Rampart Securities Inc.
(“Rampart’). Regulatory authorities have suspended Rampart’s registration and
all of its clients’ accounts have been frozen until such time as they are
released by Ernst and Young Inc., the trustee in bankruptcy (the “Trustee”).
The Company, through its legal counsel, has notified the Trustee that the
statement of account which it recently received from the Trustee contains an
unauthorized transfer of approximately $6.3 million to two unrelated accounts
within Rampart. To date, the Company has not received a full response from the
Trustee regarding the unauthorized transfer or the formal position of the
Trustee regarding its account and has been unable to ascertain when its cash
and the shares of Infocorp will be released.
The Company does not expect that it will suffer any material loss as a
result of the foregoing and while the Company expects to receive substantially
all of the cash and Infocorp shares in due course, it has put arrangements in
place to address its ongoing liquidity as required. These arrangements include
loans from the controlling shareholder and the sale of and/or a line of credit
secured by marketable securities that are owned by, and in the possession of,
Founded in 1986, SLMsoft.com is a leading developer of electronic payment
systems and transaction processing solutions, including e-commerce
applications with a focus on the financial services industry. SLMsoft.com
provides real-time end-to-end e-banking solutions that include Internet
banking, interactive voice recognition (IVR), debit and credit card issuing,
automated teller machines and point-of-sale network management, retail branch
management, and e-CRM enabling technology. SLMsoft.com also provides
investment brokerage client and portfolio management applications for the
brokerage industry; e-health solutions which enable health insurance claims to
be evaluated at the point of service, processed and settled in real time; and
e-government solutions which enable consumers to pay fees for government
services in person, at kiosks, through IVR systems or the Internet. For more
information, please visit the Company’s website at