Giant Eagle Gets ACM

IBM, Productivity Solutions, Inc. and Giant Eagle announced that Giant Eagle is installing the new ACM Self Checkout Solution from PSI and IBM in its grocery stores throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania.

These ACM Self Checkouts are now in 35 Giant Eagle stores, as part of a previously announced 60-store project, and already have processed more than $100 million of groceries. The ACM solution from PSI and IBM makes self checkout available to all shoppers with its ability to allow shoppers with either large or small baskets to scan their order and — without the need for a cashier — pay with cash, credit cards or debit cards.

“At Giant Eagle, we are committed to provide our customers with the best possible service and convenience,” said Jack Flanagan, Executive Vice President, Retail Operations, for Giant Eagle. “The ACM, with its ability to handle both full and express-size orders easily, offers us enhanced customer service options. These new units now include IBM’s point-of-sale (POS) components as well as IBM’s services and support. Our customers are telling us that they value this new technology as an important part of their shopping experience because it is fast, convenient and fun to use every time they shop.”

“Giant Eagle, with its focus on customer service, is rolling out ACM Self Checkout because their customers like and use it regularly, as evidenced by the large dollar volume that these systems handle in their stores,” said Michael Persky, President of PSI. “In this competitive climate, supermarkets require self checkout systems that are easy to use and flexible to handle any size order. Our store surveys support the importance of this new self checkout technology in attracting and retaining customers, with one third of consumers actually choosing a store based on the availability of ACM Self Checkout.”

“The ACM Self Checkout fits exceptionally well with our industry-leading point-of-sale systems, giving retailers like Giant Eagle a powerful front end solution to improve both customer service and operations,” said Tom Peterson, General Manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions. “Retailers across all of the retail segments are looking to integrate POS, self-checkout and other technologies into a seamless system that benefits both their customers and their store and supply chain operations. As we work with supermarket retailers, we are seeing that self-checkout is becoming an important customer service option for them.”

The ACM (Automated Checkout Machine), with its patented conveyor-based lane design, closely resembles a conventional checkout lane, yet incorporates full-color touch-screen, multi-media instruction, and online lookup screens to make it customer friendly and the easiest self checkout system to use. This patented lane design also provides the flexibility to accommodate shoppers with full or express size orders, which means the ACM can handle significantly more sales and more items than regular checkout lanes and competing self checkout solutions. The ACM can be customized by the retailer, and fits easily into each retailer’s front-end checkout area. All these capabilities lead to an unsurpassed return on investment in the self checkout industry. The new ACM solution is now integrated with IBM’s high-function, retail-hardened POS components and comprehensive IBM services and support, offering maximum reliability to retailers. PSI and IBM signed an agreement earlier this year to co-market the new ACM solution to retailers.

About Giant Eagle

Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 111 corporate and 90 independently owned and operated stores throughout western Pennsylvania, north eastern Ohio, and north central West Virginia. By offering modern stores with a wide range of departments and services, Giant Eagle strives to find new ways in offering convenience to their customers.

About PSI

Productivity Solutions, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of automated self checkout solutions in the US. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, the company provides retailers with industry-leading software and systems designed specifically to enhance productivity while improving customer service. PSI, a private company, is backed by venture capital partners including Canaan Partners and GE. For more information about ACM Self Checkout and PSI, please visit [www.ps-inc.com][1].

About IBM

IBM, the world’s leading e-business and information technology company, provides the Retail Industry with a full range of e-business solutions, including: hardware and software technology, point-of-sale systems and software, consulting focused on business transformation, IT strategy and planning, store operations improvement, and supply chain optimization, and with services, such as outsourcing, managed operations, systems integration, and application development and design. IBM has been the leader in retail point-of-sale systems for more than 20 years. For more information on IBM Retail Solutions, please visit [www.ibm.com/solutions/retail][2].

[1]: http://www.ps-inc.com
[2]: http://www.ibm.com/solutions/retail

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SmarTrip Expands

San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems has won approximately $15 million in contracts to link all bus operations in Virginia and Maryland to Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail and parking facility smart card-based payment system. The ‘SmarTrip’ system uses Cubic’s ‘GO CARD’ technology, an embedded computer chip and antenna that communicate via radio frequency with readers on faregates, ticket vending machines and parking exit processors, allowing commuters to pay for Metro train rides and Park-and-Ride facilities by simply placing their smart card near a card reader. Cubic recently helped WMATA implement another ‘SmarTrip’ application, ‘SmartBenefits’, which allows participating federal and private sector employees to receive transit benefits directly on their SmarTrip cards. Designed and implemented by Cubic nearly three years ago, SmarTrip is the first contactless smart card introduced by a major mass transit system in the United States. Last spring, Cubic won contracts for $20.7 million from WMATA and $21.9 million from MTA for equipment to make those agencies’ buses ‘SmarTrip’-compatible.

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Card Printer Patents

MN-based Fargo Electronics it has received U.S. Patents for an “I.D. Card Output Stacker” and a “Card Laminator with Regulatory Control”. Fargo also received last week three “Notices of Allowance” for card printer claims covering a “Thermal Printhead Load Adjustment Mechanism”, “Card Straightener”, and a “Printer Using Thermal Print Head”. Fargo has been granted 17 U.S. patents and has over 50 patent applications pending, related to specific card printer technology such as lamination, card flipping, ribbon technology, high definition printing, dual input hoppers and output stackers. Fargo also announced this morning it has entered into new partnerships with three access control companies: WI-based Northern Computers, FL-based CASI-RUSCO, and NJ-based Checkpoint Systems.

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PayPal IPO

PayPal, Inc. announced the filing of a registration statement for the initial public offering of its common stock. All of the securities in the proposed IPO are being offered by PayPal.

PayPal, Inc. enables any business or consumer with email to send and receive online payments securely, conveniently and cost-effectively. PayPal’s network builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards to create a global, real-time payment solution.

Salomon Smith Barney Inc., Robertson Stephens, Inc. and William Blair & Company, L.L.C. are acting as managers of the proposed offering. When available, copies of the written prospectus relating to the proposed offering may be obtained from Salomon Smith Barney, Brooklyn Army Terminal, 140 58th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11220.

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Orbiscom Update

To support the continuing global roll out of its secure online payment technology, Orbiscom announced it has secured $17.5 million in private financing from HgCapital (formerly Mercury Private Equity) a leading provider of capital to the European private equity market.

The funding was arranged by Goodbody Corporate Finance. Orbiscom will use the funds to deliver on its growth plans to bring secure and authenticated online payments to consumers worldwide through partnerships with financial institutions and mobile providers, as well as supporting its strong Intellectual Property position.

Through its relationships with MBNA, Discover, First Data Corp., Allied Irish Banks, and other top five US and European issuers that Orbiscom has signed, Orbiscom’s technology will be available to more than 500 million cardholders worldwide. Orbiscom has also signed a fifteen-year cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft.

“Authenticating and securing online payments is the final piece of the jigsaw for e-commerce,” said Ian Armitage, Director of HgCapital. “Orbiscom’s Controlled Payment Technology has proven to be extremely effective in doing this and has the potential to become a gloabl standard. Two years of live transaction experience, its recent cross licensing agreement with Microsoft and strong client relationships in the US and Europe made Orbiscom a clear investment choice.”

US and European consumers who use the Orbiscom solution spend more online, become repeat purchasers and shop at a wider variety of online merchants than those who shop using their regular credit cards. Through its user friendly Controlled Payment Technology, Orbiscom has delivered to card issuers and increase of up to 60 percent in the average online transactions of its consumers with more than 62 percent of consumers who use the technology becoming repeat customers. Despite the downturn in the economic climate, users of Orbiscom’s safe payments have shown no decrease in their spending habits.

Financial institutions that select Orbiscom to provide their e-payments solution have the flexibility to select from industry standard security protocol initiatives, including those from Visa, MasterCard and Maestro with Orbiscom guaranteeing software compatibility. Because Orbiscom is compliant and complementary with all payment associations protocols, it offers a seamless user experience to card issuers, merchants and their consumers.

“This funding will allow us to continue our growth campaign while assuring our current clients and prospects that we have technical, Intellectual Property and financial strength to service major partners,” said Graham O’Donnell, Group CEO, Orbiscom, “Not only are we the leader in this space with the only live and proven implementations in the US and Europe, but we also have the resources to make solid progress towards profitability.”

About Orbiscom

Orbiscom is the creator of Controlled Payment Technology for online and real world card payment applications. Orbiscom’s flagship technology O-power(TM) enables card issuers, e-merchants, consumers and businesses to utilize online and wirelesss devices for controlled and secure debit and credit payments. Founded in early 1998 by professionals from the financial services, software and Internet industries. Orbiscom has operations in New York, Dublin, London, Brussels, Toronto and Sydney. The company has a highly experienced team of experts in software development, Internet banking systems, card processing systems and product marketing. Orbiscom has been granted patents on Controlled Payment Technology in the US, Europe and other countries worldwide. For more information about Orbiscom, go to: [www.orbiscom.com][1].

About HG Capital – [www.hgcapital.net][2]

HgCapital is a leading provider of private equity capital with offices in the UK and Germany. It has committed funds under management in excess of Euro 1 billion and specializes in the following industry sectors: Healthcare, business services, information & communications technology and media. It focuses on companies with enterprise values ranging from Euro 15 million to Euro 400 million, investing a minimum of Euro 5 million in any one transaction. It also transacts leveraged buy-outs in other sectors, in companies with minimum enterprise values of Euro 40 million.

HgCapital services over 200 pension fund clients and manages Mercury Grosvenor Trust plc, a quoted vehicle that invests in all of HgCapital’s deals.

Other recent examples of companies in which HgCapital has invested in the information & communciations technology sector include:

Trados Inc. – leading language translation software

Burns eCommerce Solutions – e-payment solutions

Comnitel Technologies – network management systems for wireless telecommunications companies

Acuid Corporation – intellectual property for high-speed data communications

In 1999 HgCapital supported the Pound 17 million buy-out of Checkpoint Holdings Limited, an e-payments solutions company, which was sold in 2001 to Bottomline Technologies, Inc. for Pound 53 million.

HgCapital is the trading name of Hg Investment Managers Limited and Hg Pooled Management Limited. Registered office 33 King William Street, London, EC4R 9 AS. Regulated by IMRO.

[1]: http://www.orbiscom.com
[2]: http://www.hgcapital.net

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SEARS PROCESSING

Symcor Inc. announced it has finalized an agreement with Sears Canada Inc. to process all of the retailer’s
mailed-in customer credit card payments.
Several million Sears Canada customer credit card payments per year will
be processed in Symcor’s processing environment. High-speed data transport
machines will be used to capture customer data and payment information from
remittance documents and cheques. The information captured from the documents
is used to provide accurate and timely updates to the Sears customer database.
“Symcor is able to capture information quickly, securely and reliably,
and we provide a flexible and scalable solution that can accommodate business
growth and changing customer needs,” said Phil Newton, Symcor’s Vice-President
of Remittance and Payment Processing. “We are proud that Sears Canada chose to
partner with Symcor, and we are happy to apply our advanced end-to-end
technological solutions to meet their remittance processing requirements.”

About Symcor Inc.

Symcor Inc. is a North American leader in providing financial transaction
outsourcing services in two key business areas – Item Processing and Customer
Communication. Symcor provides individualized product and service solutions to
customers in the banking, mutual fund, insurance, retail, telecom and utility
sectors. Symcor’s services include cheque and payment processing, application
and Web development, and a full range of customer bill and statement advisory,
design and presentment capabilities. For more information, please visit
http://www.symcor.com/.

About Sears Canada

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that encompasses
117 Sears department stores, seven urban Eatons department stores and 37
furniture and appliances stores. The Company publishes Canada’s only general
merchandise catalogue and has over 2,131 catalogue pick-up locations.
Additionally Sears has 133 dealer stores, 15 outlet stores, 35 floor covering
centres, 66 auto centres, 108 Sears Travel offices and offers shopping online
at http://www.sears.ca/.

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Connexions Alliance

NCR Corporation confirmed its commitment to the convenience banking market and unveiled the partnership approach that will give it an edge in the provision of additional self-service transactions such as check cashing, money orders and money transfer to the growing, under-served, under-banked section of the U.S. market.

Recognizing early on the challenges of commercializing this exciting, new self-service opportunity, NCR invested in a standards-based, open-solution platform that enabled many “blue chip” companies to combine their efforts in this space. This partnership approach, known as the “Convenience Connexions Alliance,” leverages the capabilities and investments of all members, while enabling the focus to be on the customer transaction instead of the underlying technology.

Brad Lozier, vice president, NCR Financial Solutions Division, Americas region, explained, “We are in a unique position to develop this market opportunity. Our objective is not to try to be everything to everybody, but rather to bring the best companies together in shared, open architecture that allows terminal deployers to offer the new transactions their customers want from the providers of their choice. NCR’s APTRA(TM) Edge software provides the common framework that allows all of our partners to plug in and share the combined resources of the Alliance.”

Commenting on the recent closure of InnoVentry, he added, “InnoVentry should be commended for advancing this market and proving that consumers do want these transactions. NCR has a viable business model to serve InnoVentry’s customers. We believe that our approach and experience will enable us to help these customers recover from this setback and develop successful programs.”

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include the Teradata(R) database and analytical applications for customer relationship management (CRM) and business performance management, store automation systems and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 33,300 in more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at .

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Pre/Post Attacks

Nine trading days after the terrorist attacks in New York City, credit card stocks have plunged an average of 13.5%. Five major card issuers hit new lows between September 10 and September 27 including MBNA, Providian, American Express, Capital One, and CompuCredit. San Francisco-based NextCard, which is striving towards profitability in the fourth quarter, has been the hardest hit, losing nearly 30% of its value since the day before the attacks. MBNA, Metris, and Household have held up surprisingly well during this tumultuous period. American Express hit with loss of it headquarters and the sudden decline in travel related card volume plunged below $25 per share. Credit card stocks were already impacted before the attacks by Providian’s earnings prediction of a soft 3Q and 4Q.

CARD STOCKS
9/27 9/10
COMPANY CLOSE CLOSE 52wk Lo CHNG
NextCard $ 5.53 $ 7.85 $ 4.56 -29.6%
Providian $18.97 $26.30 $18.35* -27.9%
Amer Express $27.46 $35.01 $24.20* -21.6%
CompuCredit $ 7.26 $ 8.65 $ 5.85* -16.1%
Capital One $43.72 $50.37 $36.40* -13.2%
MBNA $29.05 $31.24 $23.43* – 7.0%
Metris $24.08 $23.20 $19.15 – 3.8%
Household $54.49 $56.31 $43.88 – 3.2%
* new lows reached since 9/11/01.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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SunTrust Voyager

Corillian Corp. announced that SunTrust Banks, Inc., the ninth-largest bank in the U.S., has expanded its relationship with Corillian by licensing additional technology of Corillian’s Voyager Internet banking platform to enhance the functionality, scalability and manageability of SunTrust’s online offering.

“We have seen tremendous growth in our customers signing on to our online banking service,” said John McGuire, senior vice president and managing director of SunTrust online. “Our customers are demanding new and innovative services through this delivery channel and Corillian has been a great partner in helping us develop an innovative and user-friendly system. This agreement will allow us to provide new functionality and be scalable enough to meet the demands of our online growth.”

Corillian Voyager – The Operating System for eFinanceTM – is a high-performance platform that allows for the delivery of a wide range of financial services to customers via the Internet. Voyager provides a direct link between a financial institution’s host system and its consumers, using Internet browsers, personal financial management software and internet-ready wireless devices. Voyager’s open architecture design allows an institution to quickly integrate emerging technologies, deploy the platform in-house or in a secure data center and provide a personalized portal to its customers. SunTrust was the first major financial institution to utilize the Corillian Voyager platform, which has since been installed by four of the top 10 banks in the U.S.

“The expansion of our relationship with SunTrust shows our commitment to providing state-of-the-art eFinance solutions to our customers,” said Ted Spooner, CEO of Corillian. “SunTrust was one of our first customers and believed in our vision from the start. We are excited to strengthen this partnership and continue working with SunTrust to meet their eFinance needs.”

About SunTrust

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is the nation’s ninth-largest commercial banking organization. As of June 30, 2001, SunTrust had total assets of $100.8 billion and total deposits of $63.3 billion. The company operates through an extensive distribution network in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage and capital markets services. SunTrust’s Internet address is [www.suntrust.com][1].

About Corillian Corporation

Based in Oregon, and with international offices in Europe, Asia and Australia, Corillian Corporation is an award-winning provider of eFinance-enabling software for the financial services industry. Built on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform, Corillian applications support Internet banking, bill delivery and payment, brokerage, customer relationship management, enhanced data aggregation, and small business transactions. Voyager can be deployed on-site at the financial firm or in the state-of-the-art Corillian Data Center. Corillian technology also enables Open Financial Exchange (OFX) access by finance management software packages such as Quicken®, QuickBooks® and Microsoft® Money. For more information about Corillian Corporation, visit our Web site at [www.corillian.com][2].

[1]: http://www.suntrust.com
[2]: http://www.corillian.com

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Key Hispanic Director

Equitex, Inc. announced its wholly owned subsidiary, Key Financial Systems, Inc. of Clearwater, Florida, has added a Hispanic specialist to its marketing staff. Jaime Tamayo, Director of Hispanic Marketing, will be responsible for the Hispanic credit card market.

The United States now has one of the largest Hispanic populations in the world and the Census Bureau projects that by 2055, Hispanics will comprise 25% of the US population. An industry study of credit card marketing by population shows there is only a 50% market penetration for Hispanics versus 80% for the general market. In light of the fact that many Hispanics are new entrants to the work force or have established little or no credit history, the Key credit card program provides a solid fit for the Hispanic market due to its ability to establish new credit and assist consumers in qualifying for additional credit offers.

Key has been marketing to the Hispanic population via the Internet and limited outbound telemarketing while duplicating their marketing, customer service and back end systems to service Spanish speaking consumers. With adequate support systems in place, Key is making the commitment to aggressively enter this market. The need to understand cultural and linguistic differences, including Spanish dialects and consumer behavior, necessitated the appointment of a Hispanic specialist.

Jaime Tamayo, born and raised in Ecuador, has three years of banking experience at Banco Del Pichincha in Ecuador. In addition, he spent ten years at First American Marketing, Inc., specializing in Hispanic credit card marketing and customer support.

Equitex, Inc. is a holding company operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries Nova Financial Systems and Key Financial Systems of Clearwater, Florida. Nova and Key design and service credit card products for those who need to build or rebuild credit; marketed through direct mail, print media, telemarketing for financial institutions and the Internet through alliances with a number of popular Internet web sites.

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VISA ELECTRON

Euronet Worldwide has implemented the Euronet Integrated Credit Card System and the Euronet Integrated Debit Card System at Seylan Bank, Sri Lanka. Seylan Bank has one of the largest customer bases in Sri Lanka, and can now offer their customers both Visa Credit Cards and Visa Electron Debit Cards.

Seylan Bank, with one million customers and 90 branches, entered into a strategic alliance with Visa and Euronet to issue the Visa Electron Card, the first bank to do so in Sri Lanka. The Visa Credit Card and the Visa Electron Card provide a very convenient method of payment for Seylan Bank customers both locally and abroad. The Bank will replace its current ATM Cards with a dual-purpose Card with the introduction of the Visa Electron card.

“Since technology is vital to all aspects of banking operations, we need to keep pace with change by adapting appropriately to provide our clientele with technology capable of providing real-time transaction execution capabilities without interruption,” said Rohini Nanyakkara, CEO of Seylan Bank. “Therefore, the service provider is critical. We firmly believe that our partnership with Visa and Euronet — with their excellent Global track records — will provide the necessary environment to keep existing customers happy and to attract new customers. We are confident that this alliance will be mutually beneficial and will help Seylan Bank to meet its customers’ financial requirements in a convenient and efficient manner wherever the customers might be.”

This new software solution complements the Euronet solutions already installed at the Bank, including Euronet Integrated Transaction Management middleware, ATM Management, Internet Banking and Telephone Banking software. By leveraging their existing Euronet applications, Seylan Bank significantly reduced the time and costs associated with implementing their comprehensive credit card and debit card products.

“Seylan Bank’s success is a success for Euronet,” said Michael Brown, Euronet Worldwide Chairman and CEO. “In today’s economy, electronic transactions and cashless payment systems are dominating markets everywhere. Strong competition and customer demands for convenience lead many financial organizations to look for long-term partners, like Euronet Worldwide, that provide electronic payment solutions. Euronet is ready to empower these banks to beat the competition and meet their customers’ demands with end-to-end solutions that are quickly implemented and easily managed.”

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 financial transactions — any time, any place. The company has processing centers located in the United States, Europe and Asia, and owns and operates the largest independent ATM network in Europe. Euronet was recently ranked number two on the Deloitte & Touche Technical Fast 500, a ranking of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America. 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 www.euronetworldwide.com.

About Seylan Bank

Seylan Bank, with one million customers and 6,000 credit cards, is one of the largest banks in Sri Lanka. Since its inception in 1987, Seylan Bank has established a strong presence island-wide through its network of 90 branches. Customers of online branches have access to a network of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and can also obtain telebanking facilities. Other international links include the Bank’s association with the well-known Western Union money transfer service which links 40,000 locations in 150 countries. The Bank also provides customers with a wide range of services through its linkage with S.W.I.F.T

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Marketing Collapse

September has traditionally been the month of new credit card product introductions, but not this year. September is considered a pivotal marketing month coming just ahead of the busiest consumer spending time of the year. According to CardTrak, September was the launch month for General Motors MasterCard in 1992, a major card product that led to the full development of the co-branding market. In 1993 and 1996 Chase Manhattan introduced two major co-branded cards. In 1999 and 2000, September was the month for smart card introductions in the USA. In September 1999, American Express launched its smart Blue card and last September VISA announced its smart VISA card with three U.S. issuers. Reportedly, plans to announce a Citibank smart MasterCard were shelved this month in the wake of the terrorist attacks. At least two other significant product launches have also been delayed due to economic conditions and consumer distractions.

SEPTEMBER HISTORICAL OF PRODUCT LAUNCHES
92-Household/General Motors MasterCard
93-Chase/Shell MasterCard
94- American Express True Grace
95- Discover Bravo
96- Chase/Wal-Mart MasterCard
97- World MasterCard
98- BankAmericard returns
99- American Express Blue
00- smart VISA
Source: CardTrak and Card Commentary (www.cardtrak.com; www.cardcommentary.com)

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