Free ATM Network

Washington, DC-based ATM National announced this morning it will introduce early next year the first new nationwide ATM network in over 20 years. The network will offer its members and their customers’ surcharge-free transactions and deposit sharing at more than 30,000 ATMs across the country. The startup company has formed an alliance with Diebold and EDS for technology and EFT network solutions in support of its operations and product offerings. The ATM National network will target financial institutions which have little or no ATM presence such as credit unions, community banks, Internet banks, brokerage firms, and insurance companies. The network will offer these institutions surcharge-free transactions and deposit sharing, accessible at ATM’s owned by the largest bank deployers across the country. Card-issuing members will pay a flat monthly fee to provide their customers with access to ATM National’s products and services. Bank deployer membership will be on a regionally exclusive basis, with one or two major deployers participating in each region of the country. The network’s bundled pricing strategy allows participating acquirers to generate a significant amount of incremental revenue from their current base of ATMs by replacing surcharge revenue with a greater fixed monthly revenue stream.


Palm Card Payments

LinkPoint International, Inc., a premier provider of traditional and Internet payment processing applications, and credit card transaction processor Cardservice International, in alliance with Palm, Inc., a leading provider of handheld computers, have introduced the Virtual LinkPoint for the Palm OS platform, a new software application that lets merchants process online credit card transactions using wirelessly enabled Palm Powered handheld computers. Virtual LinkPoint for the Palm OS takes LinkPoint International’s technology, versatility and performance to new heights by transforming wireless-enabled handheld devices, such as Palm(TM) VII series handheld computers, into virtual credit card payment processing terminals.

Virtual LinkPoint for the Palm OS combines the reliabilities and securities of the LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway — the company’s state-of-the-art online transaction processing system — with the mobility of an integrated wireless handheld device.

“Virtual LinkPoint for the Palm OS is another example of our commitment to provide merchants with the maximum in technology, service and reliability,” said Caesar Berger, president of LinkPoint International. “Online merchants will now enjoy greater convenience, along with the highest levels of security and performance available in online transaction processing.” “We have tens of thousands of e-commerce and mobile merchants,” said John Burtzloff, Cardservice International’s senior vice president of Sales. “Virtual LinkPoint for the Palm OS enables these merchants on the go to enter orders and process credit card transactions wherever they have a wireless connection, with a minimal investment in point-of-sale hardware or software.” Burtzloff adds that a major benefit of wireless terminals “is that merchants will be able to receive the lowest-possible discount rate with this secure wireless solution.”

“LinkPoint has done extremely valuable work to introduce another first for e-commerce that will help make transactions even simpler for merchants and customers,” said Dennis Burns, director, business development, Wireless Enterprise Channels and Alliances, at Palm, Inc. “Cardservice International has one of the largest merchant sales organizations in the country. We are especially excited that the Cardservice sales team will carry the Palm VIIx, as this team actively sells the secure wireless payment processing solution to its vast merchant base.”

Features of Virtual LinkPoint for the Palm OS include wireless/Internet fraud protection; connection to the Internet where wireless service is available; real-time recordkeeping; chronological viewing of recorded transactions and sales; an integrated reporting capability; and sales reports accessible via a Web browser.

The end-to-end solution also features multiple operating modes, including an instructional mode for first-time users and a standard operating mode for advanced users; a transaction storage capability, which enables merchants to continue to process orders while outside of the wireless coverage area; and quick access to frequently asked questions (FAQs), e-mail support and customer service contact information.

Established in 1994, LinkPoint International, Inc. designs, manufactures, markets and supports comprehensive, integrated data solutions for payment transaction processing in both traditional and online marketplaces. The company’s point-of-sale hardware products include the LinkPoint 3000 terminal, PrintPoint 3000 printer, LinkPoint AIO, a state-of-the-art terminal/printer combination and BankPoint PIN pad. The company’s LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway is a state-of-the-art system for online transaction processing, composed of four unique payment interfaces — Virtual LinkPoint, LinkPoint Basic, LinkPoint Select API and LinkPoint VirtualCheck. The company’s newest innovation, Virtual LinkPoint for the Palm OS platform, is a software application that enables online transaction processing via wirelessly enabled handheld devices, such as the Palm VII series handheld computers. LinkPoint International markets its products through direct sales. The company’s domestic and international distribution channels include financial institutions, payment processors and other system integrators or resellers. For more information, visit [][1].

Headquartered in Moorpark, Cardservice International provides a wide range of noncash transaction processing options to local, regional and national traditional and Internet businesses. With more than 125 million transactions annually — from point-of-sale credit card processing to e-commerce solutions

— Cardservice International is recognized as a leader in electronic commerce and payment services. Established in 1988, the company processes every type of electronic payment method, including credit, debit, electronic benefits transfer and electronic checks. In addition, Cardservice offers popular point-of-sale hardware and software for brick-and-mortar and Internet payment acceptance. To prevent and monitor fraudulent activities, Cardservice International has one of the largest chargeback and loss prevention departments in the industry. Cardservice supports its merchants with customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 140 languages and dialects. First Data Corp., a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services, holds a 50% equity position with Cardservice. For more information about Cardservice International, visit

Palm OS is a registered trademark and Palm is a trademark of Palm, Inc.



Sub-Prime Rebound

Wall Street let up yesterday on the beaten down sub-prime credit card stocks. Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Bank posted a 14.4% gain while Providian was up 8.1%. Atlanta-based CompuCredit also gained 5.1%. On November 5th, Providian hit a 52-week low of $2 per share but is now trading around $4 per share. Metris and CompuCredit also hit new lows this month of $13.50 per share and $5.67 per share, respectively. All three companies were pointed up again this morning in pre-market trading. Meanwhile, Fitch has lowered Providian’s long-term ratings to `BB-‘ from `BB+’ and affirmed the short-term ratings of `B’ for both entities. The Fitch ‘Rating Outlook’ set all ratings as now “Negative”. Fitch says the action is due to rising credit losses and weaker than expected receivable growth in the Providian’s core credit card business.


Biometric Smart Card Readers

SCM Microsystems, Inc., a leading provider of solutions that open the Digital World and AuthenTec, Inc., the leader in advanced biometric semiconductor technology, announced a partnership to develop readers incorporating biometrics, a market predicted to reach $1.9 billion by 2005*. SCM will deliver to businesses a single solution based on smart card technology, requiring fingerprint identification to provide high-level security for laptop computers.

AuthenTec will supply SCM with its EntrePad fingerprint sensors, based on the Company’s unique TruePrint(tm) technology. AuthenTec’s patented subsurface TruePrint technology allows fingerprints to be read below the surface of the skin, thereby eliminating any acquisition or recognition failures relating to contamination such as dirt, grime, dry skin or excessive moisture – issues that are problematic with surface imaging fingerprint sensors. Bundling the companies’ technologies, SCM will introduce a cost-effective PCMCIA reader that offers secure authentication and control of corporate data. Corporate users can securely and privately exchange data on public networks and perform applications such as online transactions, e-commerce or network security based on public key infrastructure (PKI).

“SCM is committed to providing solutions that can leverage the inherent security features of smart cards and biometrics,” said Jason Schouw, Vice President, Americas for SCM Microsystems. “By partnering with AuthenTec, we are able to integrate leading fingerprint sensor technology with our own expertise in silicon interface technology, reader design and manufacturing to create highly secure solutions that are cost-effective and easy to integrate into the overall network.”

“AuthenTec is focused on delivering standard-setting secure solutions that are convenient, reliable and easy to use,” said Steve Mansfield, Vice President of Marketing at AuthenTec, Inc. “By combining SCM’s quality readers with AuthenTec’s TruePrint-based sensors, users benefit from a single reader that controls critical access points by providing sophisticated authentication. Together, SCM and AuthenTec are bringing viable biometric solutions to the forefront of business security.”

SCM and AuthenTec will be demonstrating the new technology at COMDEX, November 12-16, at booth L1273.

SCM’s Biometric PCMCIA Reader will be available in the first quarter of 2002. For further information on SCM Microsystems’ digital solutions, please visit [][1].

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, hardware and software solutions 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(tm), Microtech(tm) and FAST product brands. Global headquarters are in Fremont, Calif., with European headquarters in Pfaffenhofen, Germany. For additional information, visit the SCM Microsystems Website at [][2].

About AuthenTec

AuthenTec is the leading semiconductor company providing advanced fingerprint biometric technology to the PC, wireless, PDA, access control and automotive markets. AuthenTec’s FingerLoc and EntréPad products utilize the Company’s patented TruePrint(tm) technology to read fingerprints below the surface layer of the skin, resulting in standard-setting acquisition and recognition rates. AuthenTec also provides accessible and convenient personal security through its Solutions Partner Network of hardware and software industry leaders. Based in Melbourne, Florida, AuthenTec has a global customer base of more than 50 companies. For additional information, please visit the AuthenTec Website at [][3].



European e-Commerce

The New York Clearing House and the Euro Banking Association Tuesday announced a MOU to build a global electronic payment infrastructure that will enable Internet-based, end-to-end electronic commerce for the first time. Both organizations will establish joint working groups dedicated to making geography and currency distinctions transparent to e-commerce. The alliance says the partnership will offer advantages to banks such as leveraged investments in existing infrastructure rather than creating new systems from scratch; development of a private-sector platform for electronic payments to maximize value and innovation; shared development expenses to reduce costs; and simplified standards and operating processes to increase efficiency. The EBA includes over 150 member banks from all EU countries, the USA, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and Japan.


Daman Solutions Award

Daman Consulting, a pioneer in the growing Business Intelligence industry, announced it has received the Brio Excellence in Partnering Award. This award is given each year to just one company worldwide. Daman’s partnership with Drive Financial Services LP won the award for creating an interactive reporting and analysis solution.

“This is great recognition for Daman,” noted Norman Comstock, OLAP solutions director for Daman. “This award is a testament to Daman’s breadth of knowledge, not only in terms of Brio’s suite of tools and applications, but also in terms of the business needs at Drive Financial that were the impetus for creating a solution.”

Drive Financial is a financial services company that purchases retail installment contracts from a variety of car dealerships. Drive’s executives needed a reporting and analysis solution that would allow them to analyze key performance indicators down to the Associate level on a daily basis. Of course, Drive needed a solution that could be quickly deployed and deliver immediate results.

After purchasing Brio Intelligence software and Microsoft’s SQL Server, Daman Consulting was brought in to aid in the creation and implementation of the solution. A BI Gold Partner of Microsoft and a long-term partner of Brio Software, Daman quickly developed a plan for getting a solution up and running quickly. Within 90 days, Drive had the reporting and analysis capabilities it needed for its Servicing functions. The results came immediately: during the first month of operations there was an increase in both efficiency and overall performance within the Servicing group.

“I feel extremely positive with the results we delivered in working with Brio over a very short period of time,” noted Kevin Kleibrink, vice president of knowledge management for Drive Financial. “There is no question in my mind that the partnership created on this project has been extremely successful in delivering immediate results.”

The award program provides Brio partners the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for significant contributions in delivering cutting-edge solutions and services using Brio’s technology. The Excellence in Partnering award recognizes a partner that utilized its implementation skills to deliver a total Brio solution. This award must be validated by a customer testimonial.

About Brio Software

Brio Software is the leading provider of next-generation business intelligence tools and applications that help Global 3000 companies achieve breakthrough business performance. Widely recognized as one of the easiest-to-use and deploy solutions in the industry, the Brio Performance Suite&trade expands business intelligence beyond advanced query and analysis technologies to include powerful information delivery through enterprise-class reporting and personalized performance dashboards. Used by nearly 70 percent of the Fortune 100, Brio products empower individuals, workgroups and executives in an organization to turn enterprise information into actionable insight, so superior decisions and business performance result. Founded in 1989, and headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, Brio products and services can be found around the globe at [][1].

About Daman Consulting

Daman Consulting provides advanced enterprise business intelligence solutions for a broad range of industries. Daman’s offerings enable enterprises to fully leverage information assets across all channels of corporate operation and communication. The Daman approach combines traditional data analysis, data warehousing, data access and OLAP implementations with more holistic services, which are geared towards integrating operational and analytical systems. These services include enterprise portal implementations, closed-loop analysis, intelligent enterprise integration, and adaptive information architectures. Greater profitability is the result of improved enterprise decision-making and responsiveness based on real-time business intelligence. For more information, visit Daman’s Web site at [][2].




Euronet Worldwide, Inc., a leading provider of secure electronic
financial transaction solutions, announced an agreement for an expanded
ATM outsourcing program with BIG Bank Gdanski S.A., one of the largest
banks in Poland.

Euronet Worldwide has had an ATM outsourcing agreement with BIG Bank S.A.’s
Millennium retail division for more than two years, servicing 218 ATMs. The
Millennium retail division is the most modern national retail network in
Poland. With the recent merger of BIG Bank S.A. and BIG Bank Gdanski, the new
BBG serves more than 927,000 customers across 348 branches. Under the new
multi-year agreement, Euronet will manage a combined network of more than 400

“Around 50% of our customers’ transactions are performed through
alternative/automatic distribution channels. ATMs play a key role as an
alternative touchpoint for our customers, and Euronet has proved to be a
partner with excellent service and reliability,” said Pedro Ribeiro, BIG Bank
Gdanski Vice-President of the Board. “By outsourcing our ATM network to
Euronet, we can focus on our core business of banking, enhance customer
convenience and benefit from an expanded transaction set and quick-to-market

“Thanks to Euronet, in December 2000, our bank was recognized in a Polish
survey published by Rzeczpospolita as providing the best performing electronic
system for transaction authorization and as the most accessible for bankcard
acceptance. On that same survey, we were also recognized as one of the best
most available ATM Networks, offering one of the most expanded transaction

BBG also extended its customer reach by leveraging Euronet-owned ATMs for
customers throughout Poland. Euronet’s ATM network consists of 669 ATMs in
Poland and 2,400 ATMs across nine countries in Europe. Additional software
and/or network clients in Poland include banks, such as Bank Slaski S.A.,
MultiBank, Citibank, Fortis, Deutsche Bank 24, Inteligo, LG Petro Bank S.A.,
and three mobile phone operators — ERA, Centertel and PLUS GSM.
“Euronet welcomes the opportunity of outsourcing a project of this scale,”
Dan Henry, Euronet Worldwide President and COO. “BIG Bank Gdanski and
Millennium have historically been the frontrunners in Poland, providing
comprehensive retailing banking solutions for their customers, and this
agreement shows their continued commitment to customer convenience. We look
forward to growing with BBG in the Polish market.”

About Euronet Worldwide

Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in providing secure electronic
financial transaction solutions. The company offers financial payment
middleware, financial network gateways, outsourcing and consulting services to
financial institutions and mobile operators. These solutions enable their
customers to access personal financial information and perform secure
transactions — any time, any place. The company has processing centers
in the United States, Europe and Asia, and owns and operates the largest
independent ATM network in Europe. With corporate headquarters in Leawood,
Kansas, USA, and European headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, Euronet serves
more than 200 clients in 60 countries. Visit our web site at

About BIG Bank Gdanski S.A.

BIG Bank Gdanski S.A., through its retail network, offers a wide range of
commercial banking services, including short- and medium-term loans, discount
loans and overdraft facilities, investment banking and brokerage services.
Other activities include provision of insurance and pension fund services,
issuing and servicing credit cards. The Bank has 927,000 customers and 348


Gold Card Shut Down

A U. S. District Court, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission, has frozen the assets of and closed down a marketer of gold catalog cards. The FTC complaint alleges that Salyon, Inc., d/b/a First Liberty Financial, Salyon National Credit, Shop Salyon,, targeted consumers with negative credit histories, using pitches like, “You can re-establish your good credit!” and “Account Status: APPROVED GOLD CARD.” For fees ranging from $49 to $64, the defendants offered “pre-approved” credit cards with $15,000 credit limits, and zero percent interest rates for the first year. Instead, the merchant card they provided only allowed users to purchase items from the defendants’ Web sites or catalogs. They also claimed that consumers who maintained a favorable payment record would be issued a MasterCard with a lifetime zero percentage rate.


Household Co-Brand

Household and Bally Total Fitness announced this morning they have extended their co-branded VISA and MasterCard credit card program through 2004. Launched in 1995, the Household/Bally credit card program has generated more than 200,000 VISA and MasterCard accounts and more than $250 million in membership balance transfers to date. Bally has four million members. Household also has the ‘GM Card’ and the AFL-CIO’s ‘Union Plus’ co-branded cards. Launched in Sept 1992, the ‘GM MasterCard’ signed up more than three million cardholders and attracted $2 billion in balances in its first fourteen weeks. At the end of the third quarter, Household had 17.3 million accounts and $15.1 billion in card receivables according to CardData ([][1]).



Dynamic Value

Alliance Data Systems this week launched a new card-based program for petroleum and convenience store retailers, which includes pre-paid functionality, loyalty features and database marketing capabilities. ‘Dynamic Value’, provides a suite of services designed to drive customer traffic from the fuel terminal into the store while also encouraging repeat business via multiple touch points used to communicate with customers. Key features include instant messaging at the fuel terminal for special merchandise offers; points for other incentives; email notices of special offers for next visit; UPC/NACS product code support; and customized programs based on consumer purchase behavior.



Infineon Technologies, the world’s leading supplier of chip
integrated circuits, and Sony Corporation announced that they will
jointly develop secure integrated circuits for contactless chip card
systems. Combining Sony’s contactless chip card technology “FeliCa”, which is
based on Type C, and Infineon’s expertise in secure chip card ICs, the
agreement will expand the contactless chip card market including
multi-application cards, card terminals and background infrastructure systems
for data management. The jointly developed ICs are targeted to be available by
the end of 2002. These ICs will be integrated as dual interface chips which
have both contact and contactless interfaces.

The cards combine authentication and identification with the stringent
requirements for fast authorization in access applications, such as electronic
tickets in public transport, company or government issued ID cards, and
cards. Based on their encryption and decryption functionality, the cards
secure and reliable transactions.

Infineon estimates the worldwide market for chip cards to reach up to 4.5
billion cards in 2006, about 25 percent of which equipped with contactless
technology. According to market research company Gartner Dataquest, worldwide
chip card shipments totaled about 1.8 billion units in the year 2000.
Today, already more than 25 million contactless chip cards based on Sony’s
FeliCa technology have been shipped globally. About 11 million contactless
cards — currently equipped with on-card-memory — have been shipped in Hong
Kong for public transport systems such as subway, bus and ferry. Japan Railway
East will use FeliCa cards in about 400 stations in the Tokyo metropolitan
area, starting from this month.

“Market success of contactless chip card applications depends on the
ability to
provide complete solutions. Combining Sony’s system know-how with Infineon’s
expertise in secure semiconductor solutions and manufacturing processes will
provide the benchmark for contactless technology of the future,” said Dr.
Hermann Eul, senior vice president and general manager of the Security & Chip
Card ICs Business Group of Infineon Technologies. “This agreement enables
complete system solutions paving the way for powerful chip cards that combine
multiple applications such as public transportation services, electronic purse
systems and identification, as well as best-price loyalty programs.”
“I am delighted that Sony and Infineon have reached this agreement to jointly
develop chips which introduce Sony’s Type C contactless chip card technology.
Our cooperation will result in the application of this technology in transport
systems, as well as in the finance and administrative fields. We also plan to
offer many new access-modes for Sony’s FeliCa as a key network device for the
future,” said Hiromasa Ohtsuka, President of Sony’s Broadband Network Center.

Technical Information on the Companies’ Agreement

The agreement combines Sony’s expertise in contactless chip card technology
with Infineon’s know-how in design of secure chip card ICs and
manufacturing processes. Under the terms of the agreement, Sony will
its Type C contactless chip card specifications and FeliCa operating system.
Infineon will integrate this interface technology in its contactless IC
family. Infineon will manufacture the dual interface ICs with the
jointly-defined Type C secure technology and supply them to Sony. This will
make Infineon the only manufacturer of chip card ICs that fully comply with
three contactless interface formats Type A, Type B and Type C. These three
formats differ in the protocols for data transmission.

Benefits of Contactless Chip Cards

Unlike contact-based chip cards, requiring a physical interface between the
card and a reader to transfer information, a contactless chip card contains a
special transmission module for “over-the-air” data communication. This
transmission module consists of a chip and an antenna embedded in the card.
card does not have to be inserted into a terminal’s slot.
Service providers in a wide range of private industry and public organizations
will benefit in multiple ways from the enhanced capabilities of contactless
chip card technology. For example, contactless chip card technology reduces
system and maintenance costs for service providers and, compared to today’s
magnetic strip cards, enhances protection against fraud. Additionally,
availability of solutions will ease and speed-up the introduction of
contactless systems. The contactless chip cards also present a higher level of
flexibility to service providers. By matching a cards’ services to customers’
needs, the service providers can offer multiple services on the cards without
having to exchange them in the field.

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system
solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets,
for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial
as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the
U.S. from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan
from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2001 (ending September), the company achieved
sales of Euro 5.67 billion with about 33,800 employees worldwide. Infineon is
listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York
Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at
Further information on Infineon’s contactless product portfolio at

About Sony

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game,
communications and information technology products for the consumer and
professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and
on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be a leading personal
broadband entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated
sales of nearly $60 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001. Sony’s
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