Gemplus announced this morning that Providian will soon deploy a new online convenience application for its ‘Smart VISA’ cardholders which will be powered by Gemplus’ GemUtilities software, smart chips, and smart card readers. With Gemplus’ ‘GemUtilities v1.6’ software and a smart card reader attached to their PC, Providian smart card holders will be able to conveniently make online purchases and securely store personal data on their smart cards. The card’s ‘Smart Access Key’ application offers cardholders more secure online authentication and access to their accounts. The card-based loyalty application also provides a platform for future merchant loyalty programs. The Providian ‘Smart VISA’ combines ‘smart VISA Access’, and payment applications with ‘GemUtilities v1.6’ on the Java-based ‘GemXpresso’ card. Providian currently has more than one million smart cardholders.Details
AOL Brasil Ltda., a subsidiary of America Online Latin America, Inc.,
and Credicard S.A. Administradora de Cartoes de Credito, the largest credit
card company in Brazil with 7.6 million cardholders, today announced plans
to launch an innovative, co-branded credit card. The new card will provide
customers with the ability to conveniently manage their credit card
accounts and America Online Brazil payments online.
The co-branded card will be launched with a multimillion-dollar
online marketing program by Credicard targeting potential credit card
customers. Holders of the card will benefit from participation in a special
loyalty rewards program. The new card will also provide cardholders with
the ability to manage their accounts online with an array of e-services
including online card applications, online balance consultation and
payments, and online customer services. To take further advantage of the
ease and convenience of this “paperless” credit card management system,
America Online Brazil members who become cardholders will be able to pay
their monthly America Online Brazil membership fee directly with the
Charles Herington, President and CEO of AOL Latin America, said: “The
development of this co-branded credit card demonstrates just what can be
accomplished when leading brands like America Online Brazil and Credicard
come together with the customer in mind. This co-branded card will
represent a valuable, added benefit to our existing members and will give
consumers coming online another compelling reason to use the Internet to
conduct credit card transactions. With value-added services like these and
a growing membership of more than 885,000 members, AOL Latin America is
well on its way to becoming the leading interactive services provider in
Carlos Dan Trostli, President of AOL Brazil, said: “America Online
Brazil is thrilled to be working with Credicard to bring consumers in
Brazil such an innovative offering with truly special benefits of
membership. The new card underscores the convenience and ease-of-use of the
interactive medium and its positive impact on Brazilians’ everyday lives.”
Hector Nevarez, President of Credicard, said: “This co-branded credit
card provides our customers with a great opportunity to tie Credicard’s
product offerings to the interactive medium in a meaningful way. Together
with AOL Brazil, we are creating a credit card that takes full advantage of
the convenience and ease-of-use of the Internet and will provide tangible
benefits for members. We are happy to be able to provide a unique product
that will meet a specific set of needs for the Brazilian consumer.”
About Credicard S.A.
Credicard has been operating in Brazil for over 30 years and is the
largest credit card company in the country with over 7.6 million customers.
The Company markets cards with leading brands such as Visa, MasterCard,
Redeshop and Diners Club. It is a joint venture between Banco Itau and
Unibanco, two of Brazil’s largest and most respected banks, together with
About America Online Brazil
America Online Brazil was the first localized AOL service launched in
Latin America, debuting in November 1999, and achieved the fastest start of
any AOL-branded service worldwide. The Company has agreements with more
than 90 content partners including regional providers such as CNN and Time
and unique local content from providers including Jornal do Brasil. America
Online Brazil provides service to more than 170 cities in Brazil.
About America Online Latin America, Inc.
America Online Latin America, Inc. (NASDAQ:AOLA) is the exclusive
provider of AOL-branded services in Latin America and has quickly become
one of the leading Internet and interactive services providers in the
region. AOL Latin America launched its first service, America Online
Brazil, in November 1999, and began as a joint venture of America Online,
Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: AOL), and
the Cisneros Group of Companies. Banco Itau, a leading Brazilian bank, is
also a minority stockholder of AOL Latin America. The Company combines the
technology, brand name, infrastructure and relationships of AOL, the
world’s leader in branded interactive services, with the relationships,
regional experience and extensive media assets of the Cisneros Group of
Companies, one of the leading media groups in the Americas. The Company
currently operates services in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina and serves
members of the AOL-branded service in Puerto Rico. It also operates a
regional portal accessible at www.aola.com. AOL’s 30 million members
worldwide can access content and offerings from AOL Latin America through
the International Channels on their local AOL services.
Fincentric Corporation, a leading global provider of web-enabled financial
services software, and Fujitsu Limited, a global computer and information
technology leader, announced that they have entered into a partnership to
market Fincentric’s wealth management software to the financial services
industry in the Asia Pacific region, including Hong Kong, Singapore,
Australia and New Zealand.
Fujitisu has chosen Fincentric’s i-Wealthview software system as one of the
central applications in Fujitsu’s Global Financial Solutions initiative.
Fincentric’s i-Wealthview software will provide financial institutions with
a complete enterprise wealth management solution that offers Customer Value
Management, profitability analysis, complete retail banking functionality,
and multi-channel support, including wireless and Internet capabilities.
Fujitsu has 65 years of successful experience in helping financial industry
clients meet their business and technology needs. Financial institutions
spanning banks brokerage firms and insurance companies have utilized
Fujitsu’s extensive industry and technical expertise. Fincentric has 15
years of successful experience in developing and marketing core banking and
enterprise wealth management solutions for converged financial institutions
around the world.
Mike Cardiff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fincentric
commented, “Fujitsu’s market presence and extensive resources, in
combination with Fincentric’s customer-centric wealth management system,
make for a strong partnership. Fujitsu will not only extend our ability to
deliver wealth management solutions in the Asia Pacific region, but will
extend our commitment to providing Customer Value Management capabilities
that help financial institutions develop more profitable customer
Mr. Shunsuke Nakasuji, General Manager, Global Financial Systems of
Fujitsu’s Systems Engineering Group stated, “Our partnership with
Fincentric provides us with a proven wealth management software system that
helps support the customer acquisition and retention strategies of
financial institutions in the Asia Pacific region. Fincentric’s next
generation Internet capabilities allow financial institutions to offer
their consumer-customers a more informative and enjoyable online
‘experience’, consistently across all web-enabled channels.”
Fincentric is a leading developer of enterprise wealth management software
for the global financial services industry. Over 300 financial institutions
worldwide use Fincentric products. Fincentric software products enable
financial institutions to deploy solutions for their converging financial
service offerings, while also supporting capabilities for increasing
customer profitability, customer acquisition, and retention. Through
strategic relationships with Microsoft, Compaq, and other international
partners, Fincentric delivers complete, end-to-end, multi-channel wealth
management solutions to large, global financial institutions. For more
information, visit Fincentric’s home page at www.fincentric.com, or call
Fujitsu is a leading provider of Internet-focused information technology
solutions for the global marketplace. Its pace-setting technologies,
best-in-class computing and telecommunications platforms, and worldwide
corps of systems and services experts make it uniquely positioned to
unleash the infinite possibilities of the Internet to help its customers
succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported
consolidated revenues of US$44.1 billion (5.48 trillion yen) for the fiscal
year ended March 31, 2001.
A Beijing court dismissed a lawsuit against the Industrial and Commercial
Bank of China that alleged the bank failed to protect the security of
customers of its ‘Peony Traffic’ smart cards. The card records a person’s
driving and accident history. Officers add information to the card when
drivers are cited for violations. Under the program, the driver must go to
the bank within 15 days to pay the fine or ask the bank to pay the fine
from deposited money on the card. Drivers also can use the card to deposit
or withdraw money and pay bills. The bank was sued over a contract clause
which refuses cardholders the ability to report lost cards. The contract
requires cardholders to apply for a new card upon loss, but the lawsuit
says lost cards could be used by others before it is closed and a new one
issued. The Beijing Public Security Bureau is responsible for the rule.
Beijing Xicheng District People’s Court ruled for the bank, saying that the
card’s mixed financial and administrative functions preclude the bank from
handling lost-card reports on its own.
ERG Ltd has been awarded a $A100 million contract to build a smart card
ticketing system for public transport in Sydney. The contactless smart card
will be available in mid-2003 with full deployment scheduled for 2005.
Under the program the card will be used for all forms of transportation.
Motorola and ERG will lead the consortium for the mass smart card system
contracted by the NSW government.
Global Payments Inc. announced a preferred provider agreement with Return on Investment (ROI) Corporation for payment processing services. The agreement calls for Global Payments to provide electronic payment services through S.A.F.E. Systems, an ROI subsidiary, to hundreds of customers nationwide. These services will be provided through high speed, leased line access for quick response times and reduced transaction-processing costs.
Denise Beiermann, S.A.F.E. President, said, “When you combine the competitive rates and superior level of service offered by Global Payments with the unique transaction processing services offered by S.A.F.E. Systems, it is easy to provide a complete electronic payment package for any merchant.” Charles Pecchio, ROI President and CEO, added, “The capabilities of Global Payments will help us in handling the dynamic growth of the transaction processing segment of our business.”
President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Payments, Paul R. Garcia, said, “We’re pleased to be the preferred processor for S.A.F.E Systems. Our end-to-end payment solutions allow S.A.F.E. to offer more services and value to their customers while streamlining set up and support procedures through one provider, Global Payments.”
Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.
Return On Investment Corporation (“ROI”) () and its subsidiaries market merchant and financial software and services for a wide variety of computer systems and provide communications and connectivity software and services for IBM midrange computer systems (IBM iSeries and IBM AS/400). In the United States, in terms of the number of payment processing software licenses, GO Software (an ROI subsidiary) is the number one company in the IBM midrange market and is the number two company in all computing markets. S.A.F.E. Systems (an ROI subsidiary) provides a host-based, magnetic stripe stored value/gift card system and markets credit card processing and other transaction-based products and services to merchants. Net400 (an ROI subsidiary) provides software for IBM midrange computers that facilitates e-mail and e-commerce communications, system and device connectivity, and business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions.Details
The government has arrested six smart card hackers on behalf of
MultiChoice Africa which beams DStv programmes across Africa. MultiChoice
Zimbabwe is the local franchise holder. The company launched a campaign to
educate Zimbabweans about the dangers of using pirated cards. Purchasers of
the counterfeit smart cards have been given up to the end of this month to
surrender them to the company.
The number of active accounts has declined slightly this year compared to one year ago. At the end of the second quarter, 55.4% of gross accounts had posted activity compared to 56.4% for the end of 2Q/00. According to CardData’s ([www.carddata.com]), active accounts, the percentage of gross accounts for the top three issuers (Citi, MBNA, and FUSA), is hovering around 59% compared to 60% last summer. Bank of America, Wachovia and People’s have experienced a sharp decline in active accounts, while Chase and Household are on the upswing.
(as a percentage of gross accounts)
2Q/00 2Q/01 2Q/00 2Q/01
Discover 57% 54% Wells 61% 59%
Chase 60% 63% USAA 63% 74%
BofA 51% 35% Frst NE 43% 47%
Household 48% 53% People’s 56% 46%
Wachovia 36% 31% Natl City 52% 56%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Official Payments Corporation ([www.officialpayments.com]), announced that Tarrant, Williamson and Randall County, TX have signed service agreements which enable taxpayers to pay their personal property and real estate tax obligations over the Internet by visiting www.officialpayments.com, or via the telephone by calling toll-free 1-800-2PAY-TAX. American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa are the cards accepted by the program. The program will commence next month.
The combined County authorities collected over $2 billion in taxes last year. These counties billing due dates for personal property and real estate taxes is January 31, 2002. Personal Property and Real Estate tax bills will be distributed October 10, 2001.
As Texas does not collect state income taxes, this growth at the county level is significant. Tarrant County, which includes the City of Fort Worth, is the largest recent addition to Official Payments’ list of 63 municipal and local clients in the state of Texas. Williamson County includes a portion of the City of Austin and has increased its population over 80% in the past ten years. Randall County consists of 30,000 parcels and a combined estimated $95MM is collected in personal property and real estate taxes annually. Two of the company’s Texas clients, Bandera County and Brazoria County, were recently recognized by the state’s Comptroller of Public Accounts Local Government Assistance (LGA) Section as providing “Best Practices” for their electronic payments systems. Other counties that have signed agreements this year are: Wharton, Denton, Liberty, Chambers, Guadalupe and Brazos County.
“It is exciting to watch the rapid growth of our Texas client base,” stated Thomas R. Evans, CEO and Chairman of Official Payments Corp. “Many Texans have utilized our services in their counties and with the addition of these three new counties, an incremental market opportunity of over $2 billion has been created,” added Mr. Evans. Official Payments has similar agreements with over 900 government entities across the country. The Company has contacts with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, and the District of Columbia to collect taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone.
Official Payments Corp. charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [www.officialpayments.com].
For example, a taxpayer who owed a current tax of $2300.00 in property taxes and charged their taxes, would find a total of $2356.00 on their credit card statement: $2300.00 for the tax bill and $56.00 for the convenience fee. American Express, MasterCard, Discover and Visa are the credit cards accepted by the program. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back on airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.
About Official Payments Corporation
Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. The company is unequaled in market penetration and national footprint. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 900 county and municipal governments in 48 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.
Official Payments was founded in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market. The company’s success in new client acquisition, increasing business with its existing clients and in building consumer awareness can be attributed to the combination of an enormous market opportunity with a highly skilled and experienced management and staff, aggressive sales and marketing, and a core competency in developing and implementing leading-edge technical systems.
Note: Official Payments Corp. and the Official Payments Corp. logo are service marks of Official Payments Corporation.
Credit cardholders or AAdvantage members can now access the ‘OneStop Self-Service’ check-in at Houston’s airport. Passengers with electronic tickets traveling domestically are now able to check in, select a seat and obtain a boarding pass with the swipe of a credit card or an AADVANTAGE ‘EXECUTIVE PLATINUM’,’PLATINUM’ or ‘GOLD’ card. Passengers with bags also have the option of checking their own luggage through the self-service kiosks. American also offers a telephone check-in service whereby AADVANTAGE members can now check-in for domestic itineraries within three hours before departure. The ‘OneStop Self-Service’ check-in is currently available in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio, San Jose, and Seattle. American says it will expand the program to more than 30 airports within a few months.Details
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the AAdvantage Travel Awards Program, Diners Club cardholders receive a 20 percent mileage bonus from American Airlines when they transfer Club RewardsÂ® points to their AAdvantage account from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, 2001.
For example, ordinarily Diners ClubÂ® Cardmembers exchange 100,000 Club RewardsÂ® points for 50,000 AAdvantage miles. During the promotional period, 100,000 points are exchanged for 60,000 miles, an additional 10,000 miles. To register for the promotion, visit the American Airlines Web site, , reference DC20B. Members must register to be eligible for the promotion. To convert Club Rewards points, Diners ClubÂ® Cardmembers should call (800) 234-4034.
About Diners ClubÂ®
Diners ClubÂ®, creator of the multi-use charge card industry in 1950, is issued in more countries and currencies than any other charge card. The Card serves more than 8 million Cardmembers worldwide who, in 2000, charged more than $35 billion at 6 million establishments that welcome Diners ClubÂ®.
American’s AADVANTAGE Travel Rewards Program – the first and largest of its kind – began in 1981 with 283,000 members and has grown to more than 43 million members worldwide. The AADVANTAGE program has more U.S. fliers than any other frequent traveler program, and it provides more opportunities to redeem miles than any other program, including the two most popular redemption options, AAnytime, Awards and PlanAAhead, Awards. AAnytime Awards, available ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere’ there is a vacant seat, carry no restrictions, such as limited seat availability or travel embargo dates. PlanAAhead awards – best for times when customers can plan in advance – have restrictions, such as limited seat availability and some travel embargo dates, but can be claimed for fewer miles than AAnytime Awards.Details
CT-based MemberWorks signed an agreement Friday to sell iPlace, Inc. in a deal valued at approximately $150.0 million. Homestore.com, Inc. will pay MemberWorks approximately $52.0 million in cash and up to an additional $36.0 million in Homestore.com stock. iPlace, Inc. has 62,000 affiliated websites, more than 600,000 paying subscribers and 6 million+ unique visitors per month to its Web properties. The company was the first to put credit reports, credit monitoring services, credit scores, individual neighborhood demographics and home value data online. MemberWorks offers membership programs for healthcare, personal finance, insurance, travel, entertainment, computing, fashion and personal security. At mid-year, the company had 7.9 million members.Details