Pitney Bowes launched a comprehensive Internet payment solution. ‘PitneyPay’ provides users with a variety of payment options including, ACH Debit and an escrow service. The Company says it has formed strategic alliances with Heavynet, and USA Flower Exchange to integrate the ‘PitneyPay’ solution into their respective marketplaces. ‘PitneyPay’ will serve as the exclusive online payment option for all transaction payments.Details
Thanks to increased debt consolidation and bankruptcy filings, credit card delinquencies made a surprisingly sharp drop during the first quarter. The rise in debt consolidation activity is being fueled by the lowering of interest rates by the Federal Reserve this year and robust competition among home equity loan providers. The uptick in personal bankruptcies is being driven by anticipation of new bankruptcy laws, likely to take effect early next year. Based on the number of credit card accounts, 2.99% were overdue during the first quarter, down 10% from 3.34% in the previous quarter, and 3.28% for first quarter 2000 according to the American Bankers Association’s ‘Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin’. First quarter credit card delinquencies, based on total dollars outstanding, were 4.13%, down from the previous quarter’s 4.25% but higher than 3.94% in the same period last year. The 1Q/01 figures are the lowest first quarter numbers reported in more than five years.
1Q CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCY HISTORY
(based on total dollars outstanding)
1999: 4.44% 1995: 3.50% 1991: 4.55% 1987: 3.71% 1983: 3.06%
1998: 5.42% 1994: 3.51% 1990: 3.29% 1986: 4.92% 1982: 3.33%
1997: 5.43% 1993: 3.98% 1989: 3.39% 1985: 3.10% 1981: 3.16%
1996: 4.62% 1992: 4.31% 1988: 3.71% 1984: 2.84% 1980: 3.00%
Source: American Bankers Association Delinquency Bulletin
VitalStream Inc., announced they have integrated PayPal micropayment capabilities into the VitalStream MediaConsole.
The MediaConsole is a proprietary Web-based application that gives customers complete control of their streaming media and Web hosting accounts. Adding PayPal functionality allows VitalStream customers and resellers the option to pay for products, services and pay-per-view media files online through their PayPal account. PayPal accountholders may make online payments charged to their Visa or Mastercard or transferred from their bank account.
The MediaConsole is a platform independent browser-based program designed to put the element of control back in the hands of the customer. The advanced technology is proprietary to VitalStream and provides media rights management, constantly updated Web site statistics, e-mail management and Internet traffic reporting.
Several popular features of the MediaConsole require an easy-to-use payment option. Features include:
— Pay-Per-View — the ability to sell streaming audio or video to your audience on a per-view basis with online payment processing.
— Shopping Cart — setup your own online storefront and sell your products and services via the Internet.
“Having a variety of payment options is crucial for our customers to take advantage of our pay-per-view, on-demand and shopping cart features,” said Paul Summers, chief executive officer for VitalStream. “We want our customers to have the best user experience when using our products, adding PayPal gives them one of the most popular payment options available on the planet.”
PayPal is the instant and secure online payment service that allows people and businesses to send and receive money by e-mail from bank accounts or credit cards. With nearly 8 million members and growing, PayPal is the world’s first and largest Internet-based payment service, and the No. 1 financial site on the Internet(a).
PayPal is the preferred payment service for online auctions, online community and group Web sites, and is seeing tremendous growth in e-commerce transactions for small businesses. PayPal members send approximately $8 million in more than 160,000 payments each day. Free to consumers, PayPal can be used from PCs or Web-enabled mobile phones. Business users pay transaction fees to receive payments through PayPal. PayPal is a privately held company with headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., and was recently named one of the Top 25 New Companies by Fortune Small Business. The PayPal Web site has been cited as among the “Best of the Web” by Forbes, Time, PC Magazine and U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit [www.paypal.com].
About VitalStream Inc.
VitalStream is a leading provider of products and services that enable the digital broadcast of audio and video content and other communications via the Internet. VitalStream provides audio and video streaming, advanced media hosting, payment processing and consulting services. The company’s unique mix of services and technology enable businesses to leverage the global reach of the Internet to distribute their media content to targeted audiences worldwide. For more information regarding VitalStream, call 888/999-4932 or visit the company’s Web site at [www.vitalstream.com].
Transmedia Network Inc. and United Airlines Mileage Plus, announced major enhancements to Mileage Plus Dining by iDine.
The improved program includes an entirely redesigned web site ([www.united.com/dining]), where participating Mileage Plus members can enroll in the free dining program and search for and locate more than 7,500 participating restaurants where miles can be earned. A dining promotion offering bonus miles is also currently underway.
“The enhancements to Mileage Plus Dining represent a strengthening of our strategic partnership with United Airlines,” said Gene Henderson, President and CEO of Transmedia. “Frequent flyer members are a valuable demographic segment for Transmedia. The new web site and special promotion are the first of many more marketing improvements developed in conjunction with Mileage Plus, meaning the opportunities for current and future members to earn miles will increase along with the corresponding revenue potential to both Transmedia and United Airlines.”
Mileage Plus Dining is operated by Transmedia and is a free program that is easy to use. Mileage Plus members simply enroll and register up to three major credit cards (Visa(R), MasterCard(R), American Express(R) or Discover(R)) with Mileage Plus Dining (www.united.com/dining or 1.800.555.5116), then use a registered credit card to settle the bill at participating restaurants. Dining benefits are discreetly awarded as miles directly to the member’s Mileage Plus account. There is no need to use coupons, discount cards or the like.
Highlights of Mileage Plus Dining include:
– A rich level of dining rewards – Members of Mileage Plus Dining typically earn ten miles per dollar spent on the entire dining bill – including tax and tip – at more than 7,000 participating restaurants nationwide. Several hundred additional restaurants also offer variable dining rewards tied to the date and/or time of day of the dine.
– Easy enrollment via web or phone – Mileage Plus members can enroll for free by visiting www.united.com/dining or by calling 1.800.555.5116.
– Easy to use – Members simply use their registered credit card when paying the bill. They are not required to use membership cards or coupons to earn miles at participating restaurants. The program is totally discreet. Enhancements to Mileage Plus Dining include:
– More robust web site – The newly redesigned web site offers restaurant search by metro area, neighborhood, restaurant name or cuisine. The site (www.united.com/dining) also includes directions, maps, menus for many of the participating restaurants and special dining offers only available online.
– Special deals at top-rated restaurants – Mileage Plus Dining now features many top-rated restaurants with rewards that vary by day and time.
– Limited time special promotion – Mileage Plus Dining members who have dined three, five or seven times at participating restaurants between April 1, 2001, and June 30, 2001, will earn 250, 500 or 1,000 bonus miles. The May 2001 issue of Inside Flyer picked this promotion as one of the Top 10 mileage bonus offers of the month.
“Because it provides up to ten Mileage Plus miles per dollar spent, Mileage Plus Dining provides real value to our members” said Robert Sahadevan, President Mileage Plus Marketing. “Allowing our members to earn Mileage Plus miles at over 7,500 restaurants nationwide makes this program very popular.” “United is proud to offer its customers such an advanced dining website,” said Scott Praven, United Vice President E-Commerce. “Our partnership with Transmedia is another milestone in United’s strategy of entering into innovative partnerships to develop products that meet the needs of our online customers.”
About Transmedia Network Inc.
Transmedia Network Inc. (AMEX: TMN) presently offers its 5.9 million members a variety of dining savings and rewards programs at more than 7,500 restaurants throughout the United States via means of a registered credit card. The dining savings are offered through the Company’s programs, either branded under the name iDine or provided through private label partnerships, such as airline frequent flyer programs, club memberships, or other affinity organizations. iDine members can access personalized, real-time restaurant listings, special dining incentives and more via their newly re-launched web site, [www.idine.com].
About United Airlines
United Airlines offers nearly 2,300 flights a day to 130 destinations in 27 countries and two U.S. territories. United Airlines is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the first comprehensive global airline network. United and its Star Alliance partners offer flights to 894 destinations in 129 countries. In September of 1999, United introduced its comprehensive customer service plan, Our United Commitmentsm, to provide customers with the information, resources, policies, and technologies to improve their travel experience. United Airlines’ Internet address is [www.united.com].
Fujitsu Transaction Solutions unveiled a large-display handheld computer which supports the Microsoft Windows CE operating system. The ‘TeamPad 7510’ offers remote store management functions; use as a portable POS terminal; on-the-cart concierge; and as an end-of-aisle sales assistant. It includes a 168MHz processor and a new 10.4-inch thin-film transistor color touch-screen display, which is one of the largest available in a handheld. The ‘TeamPad 7510’ is priced at $3,700.Details
National Processing Company announced the signing of a multi-year credit card processing agreement with Motel 6, owned and operated by Accor Lodging North America, a division of Paris-based Accor, the world’s third-largest hospitality company and the European leader in travel, tourism and corporate services. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide merchant card processing solutions for all Motel 6 properties’ Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions.
Accor Lodging North America, thru its multi-brand, economy-lodging division Accor Economy Lodging (AEL), operates the economy leaders Motel 6, Studio 6 and Red Roof Inns in the U.S. and Canada. AEL is the nation’s largest owner and operator of economy lodging properties in the U.S., with more than 1,150 properties representing more than 122,000 rooms throughout the contiguous U.S. and Canada. In aggregate, AEL comprises nearly 10% of the entire U.S. economy-lodging sector. NPC currently provides front-end authorization and settlement services for Red Roof Inns.
“NPC has always worked in partnership with us in delivering a cost- effective processing solution for Red Roof Inns, so it was natural to turn to them to also provide processing for Motel 6,” said Armand Sebban, executive vice president, chief financial officer for Accor Economy Lodging. “Credit cards play a very important role in our business, and NPC provides the expertise to keep our costs associated with card acceptance at a minimum.”
“Accor sets high standards for itself and its providers, so we are very proud the company has chosen to expand its relationship with us,” stated Drew Soinski, senior vice president of Travel and Entertainment for NPC. “We see Accor’s decision as a vote of confidence in NPC’s processing capacity, expertise, and service.”
“NPC has enjoyed a long-term relationship with AEL’s Red Roof Inn properties,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “We are honored to be selected as AEL’s merchant processing partner for Motel 6 as well. Like Red Roof Inns, Motel 6 will benefit from NPC’s proven leadership and expertise, as well as our economies of scale and processing efficiencies.”
About Accor Lodging North America
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Accor Lodging North America is a division of Paris-based Accor ([www.accor.com] ), the world’s third-largest hospitality company and the European leader in travel, tourism and corporate services. Accor Lodging North America operates more than 1,200 upscale and economy properties owned by Accor including the upscale Sofitel and Novotel hotel locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the nationwide economy leaders Red Roof Inns, Motel 6 and its new extended-stay product, Studio 6. Together, Red Roof Inns ( [www.redroof.com] ), Motel 6 ([www.motel6.com]), and Studio 6 ([www.staystudio6.com]), comprise nearly 10% of the entire U.S. budget-lodging segment.
With 130,000 associates in 140 countries, Accor is the European leader and one of the world’s largest groups in travel, tourism and corporate services, with two major international activities:
* Hotels: 3,500 hotels (400,000 rooms) in 90 countries, travel agencies, restaurants and casinos
* Services to corporate clients and public institutions: each day, 12 million people in 31 countries use a broad range of services (Food Vouchers, People’s Care, Expenses Management, Social Services, Incentive/Events) engineered and managed by Accor.
About National Processing, Inc.
National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ([www.nationalcity.com]), a Cleveland based $91 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 500,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at [www.npc.net] .
People’s Bank RC Knox & Company insurance subsidiary announced Tuesday the formation of the ‘eFraud Alliance’ and the ‘eTailer Fraud Solution Insurance Policy’ to protect online businesses from the risk of catastrophic credit card fraud losses. The alliance is a collaboration between RC Knox, Retail Decisions and Creative Risk Management Solutions. The ‘eFSIP’ requires the use of Retail Decisions’ fraud prevention and detection solutions to provide online merchants the ability to monitor online transactions, spot fraudulent transactions in real time, and take steps to minimize fraud losses. The ‘eFSIP’ also includes catastrophic fraud insurance coverag that protects the capital of online merchants while allowing them to sell products in a more secure environment.Details
VeriStar Corporation and DigitalPersona, Inc. announced they are working jointly to provide merchants and their customers with integrated solutions for conducting electronic payment transactions with the convenience and added security of biometric authentication.
VeriStar is an Oakland, Calif.-based provider of a payment service in which consumers voluntarily enroll in order to access their checking, credit and loyalty accounts without having to use cumbersome, costly plastic cards, paper checks, key fobs and other tokens. Instead, consumers who enroll in VeriStar’s voluntary, free service will be able to pay for goods simply by placing their finger on a DigitalPersona sensor integrated with a countertop credit card device from leading companies like Hypercom and Verifone.
“VeriStar is very pleased to be working with DigitalPersona to integrate our leading technologies in a new payment authentication service that will provide merchants and customers with greater control over their credit, debit and check transactions,” said Phil Gioia, CEO of VeriStar.
“VeriStar’s voluntary `pay by touch’ authentication service is an ideal application to bring shoppers and retailers the compelling security and convenience advantages of our proven U.are.U technology,” said Fabio Righi, President and CEO of DigitalPersona. “As consumers and merchants realize that added security can be utilized in a manner that is more convenient and less costly than carrying yet another piece of plastic in their purse or wallet they will embrace this new service.”
VeriStar’s service allows consumers to access their bank and debit accounts electronically without having to use the plastic cards, paper checks, key fobs and passwords that can easily be lost, stolen or damaged. At the same time, it provides merchants with reduced risk and lower costs in handling cash and checks. Consumers who enroll in the voluntary system no longer have to carry their cards and checks, but can easily access their accounts online using the ultra security of fingerprint authentication. Utilizing DigitalPersona’s U.are.U(R) technology, the VeriStar service will authenticate shoppers by comparing their previously enrolled information with information at the time of purchase.
VeriStar’s patented service enables a payment environment for completing transactions without the use of cash, checks and cards. The VeriStar service provides greater convenience and security to consumers who voluntarily enroll a finger scan and enables merchants to substantially reduce transaction-processing costs and significantly mitigate the risk of fraud. VeriStar’s Internet address is [www.veristarcorp.com]. VeriStar has 15 issued patents enabling the service.
DigitalPersona, developer of the innovative U.are.U(R) biometric security solutions, brings both heightened security and convenience to users. With a user-friendly interface and the highest level of security users can now safeguard their digital accounts and information. Based in Redwood City, Calif., the company distributes its products through an extensive network of OEM, VAR, reseller and retail channels and has attracted strategic partnerships with major computer and peripheral manufacturers. DigitalPersona’s U.are.U solutions have received numerous awards, including the “Editor’s Choice” awards from PC Magazine and Network Computing and the “Best of Comdex” award from PC Week.
ATMI, Inc. announced that its Emosyn fabless
smart card venture is expanding its marketing and sales efforts beyond
Europe into Asia, by establishing a Singapore office. Pang Sze Yong is
joining Emosyn as Business Development Manager for Asia.
Grahame Lucas, Emosyn’s Director of Sales, said, “Growing customer
demand throughout Asia for Emosyn’s products helped us decide to
expand with our new Singapore customer support center. The superior
designs of Emosyn’s Theseus(R) microprocessor-based smart card
integrated circuit and Rania(R) software development tools will help
us to penetrate further into all the key high growth smart card
markets. With offices in Europe, North America, and Asia, Emosyn is
now prepared to offer new generations of smart card microprocessors
aimed at the high growth areas in the market.”
Pang Sze Yong, Asia Business Development Manager for Emosyn, said,
“Emosyn’s smart card microprocessor architecture and development
toolkit allow our customers to get new applications and products to
market faster, at lower cost.” Before joining Emosyn, Sze Yong has
previously worked for German smart card manufacturer Giesecke &
Devrient Asia Pte Ltd. and more recently with Swedish Mobile Internet
Consultancy AU System in Singapore.
Emosyn’s Rania(R) development tools enable software and hardware
developers to write and port applications onto the Theseus family of
flash-based integrated circuits. After achieving an extensive security
qualification, the Theseus Gold 48 and Theseus Gold 96 microprocessors
are being used in GSM applications worldwide.
Emosyn, a fabless semiconductor company, is a division of ATMI,
Inc. Emosyn has a design center in San Jose, California; corporate
headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut; and sales and marketing
headquarters in Europe.
ATMI provides specialty materials and services to the worldwide
National Commerce Financial has reached an agreement through its subsidiary, National Bank of Commerce, to sponsor Retriever Payment Systems for its merchant bankcard transactions processed through Visa and MasterCard for all new accounts, effective immediately.
“What’s exciting about this agreement is that Retriever is one of the nation’s leading bankcard sales organization with an extremely strong cash flow,” said Lewis E. Holland, president of Financial Enterprises. “We’re pleased to be able to add value to their industry-leading merchant services program, while enhancing the revenue generated through our Financial Enterprises businesses. It’s a valuable proposition for us both. Corporately, we have continued our aggressive plan to diversify and strengthen our revenue and income streams by increasing high-growing, high-return lines of business.”
Founded in 1986, Houston-based Retriever Payment Systems is an Independent Sales Organization (ISO) providing merchants nationwide a valuable turnkey solution for credit card services. In order to process transactions through the Visa and MasterCard systems, the company must contract with a third party with a banking charter.
National Commerce Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: NCBC) is a leading seller and marketer of diversified financial and consulting services delivered through its national network of banking and non-banking affiliates. With $16.6 billion in assets and approximately 400 locations throughout the Southeast, National Commerce Financial is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., and maintains operational headquarters in Durham, N.C.Details
MasterCard is going all out for the 2001 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Seattle. A majority of MasterCard’s promotional activity will focus on the John Hancock All-Star FanFest, July 6-10 in Seattle. MasterCard will be awarding a total of three grand prize VIP trips to SAFECO Field this Fall — two for retail promotions winners and one for the “MasterCard ScoreCard Promotion,” a product-specific, fan-activated promotion highlighting the company’s chip technology. As part of its retail promotion MasterCard cardholders using their cards at the FanFest store, six satellite All-Star stores in Seattle-area hotels, Seattle’s four local Mariner’s Clubhouse stores or anywhere in SAFECO Field — including ticketing, concessions and merchandise — will be eligible to win one of two VIP Trips to SAFECO. During FOX Sports’ telecast of the All-Star Game, MasterCard will debut a new ad in its “Priceless” campaign. MasterCard will unveil the third spot in its ongoing “Trip” series, which follows two twenty-something fans around the country for a summer on their way to visiting every Major League ballpark. The latest ad will find the duo at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.Details
E4X, Inc., a provider of a risk free online multi currency solution that enables businesses to sell in local currencies, announced that Kagi, a leading payment processing platform for independent software developers, will be the first company in its category to use the E4X multi currency offering. By incorporating E4X’s REX, Kagi will enable its global consumers to view final prices and purchase in their currency of choice, while it settles in US dollars. E4X’s multi currency functionality will be available on Kagi’s Web store by mid-summer.
Kagi will provide its customers a new and unique service with the use of the E4X REX; enabling them to display final prices–other than US dollars–in up to 26 local currencies for its digitally downloaded software on its online catalogue. International customers that shop on Kagi’s Web store will be able to select the currency in which they want to pay and then purchase in that local price and currency, knowing the exact and final charge on their credit and/or debit cards. At the same time, Kagi will continue to conduct business as usual and receive final payment in US dollars, based on a guaranteed rate of exchange provided by E4X. E4X guarantees the final transaction price and manages the foreign currency risk, ensuring that Kagi and its customers will not be exposed to any foreign exchange risks. The E4X REX is the first multi currency solution that brings advanced financial tools to the point of sale thereby eliminating the foreign exchange risks related to selling in multiple currencies. Compatible with all major payment systems and eCommerce platforms, companies can easily integrate the E4X REX to their Web sites. The offering provides businesses with a cost-effective method to sell online in multiple currencies and eliminate costs and hassles typically associated with selling in foreign currencies. With the E4X REX, Kagi will also have the flexibility to fix prices across currencies for any interval of time (days, weeks, months, year) and price differentiate by currency, according to seasonal promotions and specials.
“Software developers depend on us to provide the most flexible transaction platform so that they can sell worldwide,” said Kee Nethery, president of Kagi. “We’ve always accepted the widest range of payment methods and currencies in our industry. Now with E4X technology, our customers who use credit cards will always be able to buy in their local currency.”
“Every online retailer wants to increase international sales by enabling its global customers to shop in their local currency. Until now this has been a real barrier. Selling in multiple currencies is a highly complex process that exposes businesses to accounting and taxing overhead, currency risks and complicated banking procedures,” said Yuval Tal, CEO of E4X, Inc. “With the E4X REX, these intricate processes are eliminated and simplified, which will enable companies like Kagi to sell in local currencies without changing the manner in which they do business and give them a competitive edge over their domestic and international peers.”
Founded in 1994 by Kee Nethery, Kagi has been an early pioneer in the creation of the digitally delivered software market. Through its secure payment-processing platform, Kagi has made it possible for independent developers around the world to go into business and for millions of consumers to buy innovative technology products unavailable in the mass market. Kagi now processes transactions for over 7,000 vendors in 184 countries.
About E4X, Inc.
E4X, Inc. enables eBusinesses that are expanding globally to sell in foreign currencies easily and without currency risks. By employing E4X’s cost-effective solution, online businesses can display final prices in local currencies, while receiving exact payment in their currency of choice. This multi-currency solution is easy to integrate, minimizes costs and hassles and is designed to support local marketing strategies. Compatible with all major payment systems and eCommerce environments, E4X eliminates all foreign currency exchange risks by bringing advanced financial tools to the point of sale. Founded in 1999, E4X is based in New York and is privately held. The company also operates a research and development facility in Tel Aviv, Israel. For further information, visit [www.e4x.com].