While the global payment system networks are operating normally and without interruptions, merchant phone line connections in New York City to the credit card networks have been a challenge. Verizon says its system that serves Manhattan have been severely impaired by both the physical damage and the overload created by the huge call volume. When Building Seven collapsed late Tuesday it caused extensive damage to a Verizon network building. Despite the damage, Verizon is handling about 340 million calls per day, double the normal volume. The damage to the phone system also extends to the wireless phone systems used by some merchants. Verizon Wireless lost ten transmitter sites, Cingular Wireless lost six, and Sprint lost four sites. AT&T said its phone traffic hit 431 million calls on Tuesday, the heaviest business day in the company’s network history.Details
Gemplus International S.A., the world’s leading provider of solutions empowered by smart cards, announced that it plans to start repurchasing up to 10 million shares of its outstanding common stock, under the repurchase program approved by shareholders during the company’s Annual General Meeting on April 18, 2001. The repurchased shares are intended for use under the company’s employee stock option program.
This repurchase, which will take place over the next 9 months, represents only a portion of the total number of shares authorized under the program. The company generally plans to use existing cash to finance the repurchases. The company had cash and cash equivalents of 430 million Euros at June 30, 2001. The company will consider several methods for the purchase of the shares including direct or open market purchase transactions, option or other forward transactions and other potential methods, in accordance with the terms of the repurchase program and applicable regulations. The repurchase plan does not obligate Gemplus to repurchase any specific number of shares and may be suspended at any time.
GEMPLUS: the world’s number one provider of solutions empowered by Smart Cards (Gartner Dataquest 2001).
Gemplus helps its clients offer an exceptional range of portable, personalized solutions that bring security and convenience to people’s lives. These include mobile Internet access, inter-operable banking facilities, e-commerce and a wealth of other applications.
Gemplus is the only completely dedicated, truly global player in the Smart Card industry, with the largest R&D team, unrivalled experience, and an outstanding track record of technological innovation.
Gemplus trades its shares on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the Nasdaq Stock Market as GEMP in the form of ADSs. Its revenue in 2000 was 1.205 Billion Euros. It employs 7800 people in 37 countries throughout the world.Details
AT&T said it is providing $10 million in ‘AT&T PrePaid’ long distance calling cards for use by relief workers in New York City and Washington, and will provide free AT&T long distance service from all payphones in the affected areas of New York City for the duration of the emergency. AT&T Wireless has already donated 2,000 cellphones with unlimited service for use by federal, state and local government agencies and relief workers. The AT&T Foundation also announced Wednesday it will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross. AT&T has committed up to an additional $300,000 in funds to match employee donations to the relief efforts. AT&T will is offering free e-mail and Internet access through Friday on its AT&T Public Phone ‘2000i’ units at airports in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Miami, Dallas and other locations to aid delayed travelers.Details
Banks across the country have made contributions or established funds to assist with disaster releief. Wells Fargo said it will contribute $1 million to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund to support efforts to assist victims and families of this week’s national disaster. Bank of America is donating $1 million to a fund to ‘The September 11th Fund’, established nationally by the United Way of America and The New York Community Trust. Bank One Foundation announced it will match donations of the company’s 78,000 employees dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million. The Wachovia Corporation said it will make a $1 million contribution to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund.Details
Oberthur Card Systems announced a strategic alliance with Microcell i5 Inc., a subsidiary of Microcell Telecommunications Inc., a leading provider of wireless personal communications services in Canada. The agreement will see the two companies come together to showcase Masq, an extensible platform for mobile operators to rapidly implement secure mobile commerce solutions, at CTIA Wireless I.T. & Internet on the Oberthur Card Systems booth #1046. The strategic joint marketing and market development agreement allows Oberthur to offer Masq as a part of its global product and service offering to GSM carriers.
“Our ability to attract a partner such as Microcell i5 validates our technical advances in security and privacy and solid development platform to help secure mobile commerce,” noted Philippe Courteaux, director of sales for Oberthur’s wireless products. “Oberthur has created a solid footing in the North American GSM market and product offerings that will significantly benefit mobile operators and their customers as the GSM and 3G standards gain market share here.”
Masq provides a platform for secure user identification and authentication, based on proven security protocols (3DES), appropriate to deploy on today’s SIM-card based networks. At the same time, the Masq platform is extensible, allowing network operators to roll out mobile commerce offerings to their subscribers in a phased approach. Because the infrastructure is hosted, and offered under an application service provider (ASP) model, the cost of rolling out an offering to customers is minimized and speed of deployment is increased.
Subscribers will appreciate the level of security and the steps Masq takes to protect their transactions and their confidential information from inappropriate use. Masq uses a familiar PIN-pad approach for verifying a user’s identity to secure non-repudiable transactions.
“Oberthur is a key partner to us as we launch our m-commerce offering to GSM operators worldwide,” said Francois-Charles Sirois, president and chief operating officer of Microcell i5. “Their vision and approach, in finding ways for mobile operators to derive immediate and ongoing benefits from m-commerce infrastructure investments, is perfectly aligned with our own.”
About Oberthur Card Systems
Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange – Code SICOVAM 12413), a global leader and the innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the future by offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, 3G (IMT-2000/UMTS), e-wallet technologies & Internet-based card management services coupled with a firm commitment to open standards.
Championing EMV migration, Oberthur is the world’s #1 supplier of MasterCard and Visa cards, #1 in banking, e-commerce, m-commerce and pay-TV, Oberthur is also the #1 in Java(TM) and GSM technologies.
Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach ensured by 30 sales offices and 20 manufacturing sites across the five continents. Oberthur Card Systems had sales of 451.1 million Euros in 2000.Details
MSI (Merchant Services Inc.), a leading provider of electronic payment processing services, announced that it has formed an alliance with Provident Bank and CardSystems Solutions, Inc. This new partnership will enhance MSI’s presence in the bankcard marketplace, enabling them to underwrite credit, and to guarantee same day merchant approval. This move also gives MSI’s customer service and technical support staff the ability to expedite merchant requests faster through real-time computer systems.
Mario Parisi, Director of Operations for MSI, emphasized the importance of 24-hour approval. ‘Every day spent waiting for approval results in lost revenue to the sales channel. It’s important to make prudent credit decisions, but those decisions need to be made in a timely fashion’.
Over the past 2 years, MSI has experienced a period of dynamic growth in the bankcard industry. In the year 2000 MSI processed over 1.25 billion dollars worth of transactions, up from 550 million the previous year. Revenue doubled from 3.1 million to 6.2 million in that same period. This new alliance will position MSI for even greater growth in the 100 billion dollar bankcard industry.
Based in Chantilly, Virginia, CardSystems is a premier provider of intelligent card-based payment solutions serving the Global Electronic Commerce Industry. Their processing solutions, advanced technology, and ability to provide card payment solutions to banks of any size were instrumental in MSI’s decision to form the alliance. Provident Bank, a Cincinnati-based company with $15.1 billion in on-balance sheet assets and $20.1 billion in managed assets, will be utilized to clear merchant transactions.
About MSI, Inc.
Founded in 1989, MSI (Merchant Services Inc.), located in Union, New Jersey, is a leading provider of electronic payment processing services. In 1993, MSI of New Jersey formed a buying cooperative with two other entities, Merchant Services of Long Island, and Merchant Services of South Dakota, however, each entity remains independently owned and operated, and financially autonomous. Since 1999, MSI has built a merchant base that provides Bankcard processing services to over 15,000 merchants nationwide, and processes over 1.25 billion dollars annually. MSI has direct relationships with Visa, MasterCard, Diners, Discover, and American Express, which assure their customers the most cost efficient and direct service possible. For additional information on the company’s products and services, contact George Mayo at (800) 351-5291 ext 9.23 (email@example.com), or via the web at [www.msihq.com].
Weary road warriors and tired tourists can now check in faster at Starwood and Sheraton hotels with curb- side registration thanks to the Cameo PEP (Portable Encoding Printer) from Zebra Technologies Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of thermal, on-demand printing solutions. The Zebra mobile receipt printer includes a magnetic card encoder that can program room key cards, courtesy cards, property passes, etc. at curbside or poolside. When connected to a networked terminal, the sub-two-pound printer can perform all of the duties performed at a registration desk without making customers wait in line.
The Zebra solution is now being used at several Starwood hotels nationwide and at the Sheraton Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. Starwood’s “StarWalker” system depends on the Zebra printer to perform customer registration procedures-including room key encoding-from the curb-side, the lobby or anywhere else on the hotel grounds.
“This specialized technology creates a more pleasurable travel experience. With shorter lines and less hassles, our guests have more valuable time to relax, get work done or have some fun,” said Starwood vice president of property technology strategy Danny Hudson. “We believe that StarWalker will help further refine the quality of service for which Starwood is internationally known.”
When paired with a long-range radio frequency (LRRF)-capable data terminal, such as the Symbol SPT 1700 or 2700 series devices, the Cameo PEP provides the hospitality industry with a portable solution to service customers and update information systems on the spot. Guests can be welcomed, their credit cards authorized, and their room keys issued before they even step into the lobby.
“The Cameo PEP is a breakthrough for any resort, casino, cruise line or hotel that wants to provide its customers with outstanding customer service- starting with a fast and efficient registration process,” said Zebra’s director of marketing for mobile printing solutions, Bob Danahy. “It’s also a boon for business travelers who have meetings to attend, and for vacationers who are eager to take advantage of the hotel’s facilities.”
For more information on the Cameo PEP Portable Encoding Printer call Zebra Technologies Corporation at (800) 423-0442 or visit our website at .
Zebra Technologies Corporation manufactures and distributes on-demand thermal bar code label printers and print engines, plus Eltron-brand instant- issuance plastic card printers used in automatic identification, personalization and security applications worldwide. The company, with an installed base of two million printers, also offers software and related supplies, including more than 1,000 label and ribbon combinations. Zebra’s customers include more than 70 percent of the FORTUNE 500. Information about Zebra bar code products and supplies can be found at http://www.zebra.com . Information about Zebra Technologies Corporation can be found at .Details
The payment card networks continue to assure the public Wednesday that all is well. First Data, NYCE, TSYS, Concord EFS all confirmed there were no interruptions to their networks. VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover also issued statements confirming that there was no problems on their networks. However all indicated that security has been beefed-up at all operations centers and that merchants may have difficulty processing card payments through phone lines. Of all the national payment card companies, American Express sustained the heaviest damage given its close proximity to the World Trade Center. AmEx officials are still assessing the damage and will announce shortly plans to re-open its executive offices in New York.Details
TD Bank Financial Group announced an initiative for TD Bank USA, FSB to
offer banking products and
services through Wal-Mart stores in the United States.
TD Bank USA, FSB – a federally chartered savings bank, which offers FDIC-
insured deposits and is a wholly owned subsidiary of TD Bank, Canada’s leading
financial services firm – plans to begin offering checking and savings
accounts in as many as 100 Wal-Mart stores, subject to regulatory approval. TD
Bank USA anticipates expanding to other Wal-Mart locations in the U.S. as well
as internet and telephone banking.
“With our focus on being at least North American in scope, this
initiative is an excellent opportunity to expand in the market with the
world’s number one retailer who also shares our focus on customers,” said A.
Charles Baillie, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TD Bank Financial
In Canada today, TD operates 74 in-store branches in Wal-Mart stores, as
well as providing automated banking machines and cash management services. TD
already offers retail financial services to approximately two million
customers in the U.S., through self-directed brokerage TD Waterhouse and its
affiliate TD Waterhouse Bank.
“We are looking forward to offering competitive banking products and
services that represent convenience and value, with quality customer service,”
said David Livingston, Executive Vice President, TD Bank Financial Group and
CEO of TD Bank USA. “It represents an exciting step for TD and for TD Bank
USA, building on our existing longstanding relationship with Wal-Mart in
Canada and leveraging our retail banking expertise.”
“In-store banking is a growing area, with more than 8,100 branches in
retail outlets in the U.S., including about 600 in Wal-Mart’s approximately
2,700 stores. Financial services are a top request of our customers and this
initiative will allow us to help meet that customer demand across a greater
number of stores, particularly in markets other than where we currently have
in-store banking,” said Thomas M. Schoewe, executive vice president and chief
financial officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Another benefit is the ability to
help working families in America. Some 20% of Wal-Mart customers don’t have a
bank, and 13% of Americans don’t have a checking account. By expanding in-
store banking, Wal-Mart customers and associates would have convenient access
in local communities to everyday low prices for high-quality banking.”
How it will work
TD Bank USA would initially begin offering an array of FDIC-insured
checking and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit, through in-
store financial centers and ultimately through transaction capable electronic
terminals in checkout areas in Wal-Mart stores next year.
The first stores to offer TD Bank USA services will primarily be new
Supercenters. Over time, TD Bank USA intends to expand the initiative to other
Wal-Mart locations in the U.S.
Wal-Mart has no plans to change in-store banking agreements that now
exist. TD Bank USA will provide in-store banking services at Wal-Mart stores
in the U.S. going forward, as well as internet and telephone banking, subject
to customer acceptance and achievement of business objectives.
Strategic and financial value for TD
This initiative is consistent with TD’s strategic plan to offer banking
services that are North American in scope, and represents a significant
opportunity for TD to grow its existing U.S. retail customer base.
The TD Bank USA approach differs from some other in-store banking
initiatives in that it provides profile and widespread presence in the
important U.S. market for the TD brand. The arrangement will leverage existing
infrastructure of both TD and Wal-Mart, which will minimize TD’s up-front
investment while maximizing value to customers.
TD does not expect this agreement to have a material impact on its
earnings in the first year, with its long-term impact dependent on the growth
in customer volumes.
About TD Bank Financial Group
In Canada and around the world, TD Bank Financial Group serves more than
13 million customers in four key areas: personal banking, commercial banking,
wealth management (including self-directed brokerage) and investment banking.
Canada’s leading retail financial services firm, TD has more than 1,300 retail
outlets in Canada through TD Canada Trust, and more than 180 branches around
the world through TD Waterhouse Group, the world’s second largest self-
directed brokerage, 89%-owned by TD Bank. TD is also among the world’s leading
on-line financial services firms, with more than 3.8 million on-line
customers. TD had CDN$295.8 billion in assets, as of July 31, 2001, and trades
on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges under the symbol “TD.”
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
As of Aug. 31, 2001, the company had 1,657 Wal-Mart stores, 1,016
Supercenters, 486 SAM’S CLUBS and 25 Neighborhood Markets in the United
States. Internationally, the company operates units in Argentina (11), Brazil
(21), Canada (179), China (14), Germany (93), Korea (7), Mexico (522), Puerto
Rico (17) and United Kingdom (246). Wal-Mart employs more than 962,000
associates in the U.S. and 282,000 internationally. Its securities are listed
on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges.
TD BANK FINANCIAL GROUP ANNOUNCES U.S. INITIATIVE TO
OFFER BANKING SERVICES TO WAL-MART CUSTOMERS
About the initiative
– TD Bank Financial Group has entered into an arrangement to provide
FDIC-insured deposits through Wal-Mart Stores in the United States,
subject to regulatory approval.
– Through TD Bank USA, FSB, a wholly owned subsidiary of TD Bank
Financial Group, Wal-Mart customers will be offered checking and
savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit and overdraft
– The first stores to offer TD Bank USA services will primarily be new
Supercenters. Over time, TD Bank USA intends to expand the initiative
to other Wal-Mart locations in the U.S.
– With TD Bank USA providing the banking services, Wal-Mart will be able
to provide its customers with the number one service requested by Wal-
Mart Supercenter customers, according to market research conducted for
– Wal-Mart has no plans to change in-store banking agreements that now
exist. TD Bank USA will provide in-store banking services at Wal-Mart
stores in the U.S. going forward, as well as internet and telephone
banking, subject to customer acceptance and achievement of business
– TD does not expect this agreement to have a material impact on
earnings in the first fiscal year, with its long-term impact dependent
on the growth of customer volumes.
About TD Bank Financial Group and TD Bank USA, FSB
– Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with offices around the world and
approximately 50,000 employees, TD Bank Financial Group (TD) is one of
Canada’s largest financial services firms. As of July 31, 2001 TD had
CDN$295.8 billion in total assets.
– A global leader in on-line financial services, TD Bank ranks as one of
the leading on-line financial service providers in the world with more
than 3.8 million on-line customers. TD Bank is the majority
shareholder of TD Waterhouse Group, Inc., one of the world’s largest
brokers to the self-directed investor.
– TD Bank USA, FSB is a federally chartered savings bank, which offers
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured deposits.
Headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, TD Bank USA is a wholly
owned subsidiary of TD Bank.
– TD Bank Financial Group offers a full range of financial products and
services to approximately 13 million customers worldwide through five
key financial businesses:
– TD Canada Trust (retail banking)
– TD Waterhouse (self-directed broker)
– TD Securities (corporate and investment banking)
– TD Asset Management (mutual funds and investment management)
– TD Commercial banking
– In Canada, TD operates 74 in-store branches in Wal-Mart stores across
Canada, as well as providing automated banking machines, and cash
management services. TD already offers retail banking services to
approximately 2 million customers in the US through its self-directed
brokerage TD Waterhouse and its affiliate TD Waterhouse Bank.
– TD trades on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol “TD”. TD Waterhouse trades on the NYSE and
the TSE under the symbol “TWE.”
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
– As of Aug. 31, 2001, the company had 1,657 Wal-Mart stores, 1,016
Supercenters, 486 SAM’S CLUBS and 25 Neighborhood Markets in the
United States. Internationally, the company operates units in
Argentina (11), Brazil (21), Canada (179), China (14), Germany (93),
Korea (7), Mexico (522), Puerto Rico (17) and United Kingdom (246).
– Wal-Mart employs more than 962,000 associates in the U.S. and 282,000
internationally. Its securities are listed on the New York and Pacific
– More than 100 million customers per week shop at Wal-Mart in the
– Wal-Mart already provides its customers with money orders at a highly
competitive price, fulfilling approximately 300,000 of these money
orders every week.
– Wal-Mart has been recognized as one of the Top 10 most admired
companies in America by Fortune magazine, and ranked as the most
respected retailer in North America in a special survey by the
Financial Times and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
– In 2000, the Company raised and donated more than US$190 million for
East coast banks report a substantially higher volume of cash withdrawals yesterday. Bank of America reported that in some cases it was necessary to limit the size of withdrawals if the vendor that serviced the machines was unable to replenish the currency on a timely basis. Chase shut all its branches and reported long lines at ATMs while FleetBoston Financial Group closed its branches in New York City. While the federal government closed down yesterday, senior staff stayed at the Federal Reserve System to keep it open and operating. The FR says the discount window is available to meet liquidity needs.Details
Catuity, Inc. announced that it has commenced a joint marketing and sales effort to promote loyalty with gift cards with SchlumbergerSema, a leading IT services company that provides advanced point-of-sale terminals.
Catuity’s Loyalty OTC product is now running on the SchlumbergerSema MagIC 6000 and 9000 terminals. Michael V. Howe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catuity made the announcement noting: “We are delighted to add the SchlumbergerSema terminals to our impressive list of infrastructure alliances. The gift card market is expanding so rapidly, that we believe our alliance with SchlumbergerSema will prove beneficial for both merchants and customers.”
Gift cards are one of the brightest spots in the retail industry today, as these cards increase retail sales while keeping dollars in the cash register. According to the July/August issue of Card Marketing, an industry trade publication, annual sales of gift cards have reached in excess of $20 billion and are projected to hit $32 billion in 2002. Other industry sources estimate that by 2005 plastic cards will represent 80 percent of the gift certificate market, for a total of approximately 850 million gift cards in use. “This growth has taken place in a short period of time and we believe that as retailers learn that they can create a relationship tool with gift cards that include a loyalty application, Catuity will be a significant beneficiary,” said Howe. He estimated that Catuity will generate significant revenues in the next several years in just this segment of the industry alone.
Catuity’s Loyalty OTC, which was introduced last month, is an over-the-counter product that allows merchants who issue gift cards and/or private label loyalty cards to add the full range of marketing benefits offered by the Catuity System to their cards and ultimately provide a relationship card with benefits for both the merchant and the consumer.
“SchlumbergerSema POS terminals accept both magnetic stripe and smart cards, enabling merchants to quickly and cost-effectively implement innovative customer loyalty programs, such as those offered by Catuity,” stated Matt Moore, SchlumbergerSema vice president of sales and marketing for POS terminals.
SchlumbergerSema is a leading information technology services company providing consulting, systems integration, managed services, business continuity systems, products and IP network security solutions serving the telecommunications, utility, finance, transport, oil and gas, and public sector markets. With more than 30,000 employees in 130 countries, SchlumbergerSema is one of two business segments of Schlumberger Limited, a global technology services company. For more information about SchlumbergerSema, visit .
Catuity, Inc. (www.catuity.com) is a leading provider of loyalty software systems. The Catuity software includes an integrated suite of applications that provide loyalty, ticketing, access control and membership. The Catuity Loyalty System is ubiquitous in that it can operate on any device, any card program, and with any payment process, including stored value, smart cards and wireless applications. Catuity unites the brick-and-mortar retailer with the Internet to enable cross-sell capabilities with consistent brand imaging across all channels. The Catuity loyalty system is currently the only loyalty software approved by Visa USA for use by its member banks that issue smart cards with loyalty applications.Details
HNC Software announced the availability of ‘Falcon for Money Laundering’. The software was developed using proven technology from HNC’s ‘Falcon’, the world’s leading neural network-based predictive software solution for detecting payment card fraud. HNC’s money laundering detection system provides financial institutions a flexible framework to utilize powerful profiling analytics to examine transactions and detect money laundering activity, meet regulatory requirements, manage operational risk, and provide greater insight to objectively know their customers. A recent report by TowerGroup show money laundering is roughly a $1 trillion industry, about half of which passes through the United States.Details