VISA U.S.A. announced this morning that Bank One is converting its check card portfolio to the VISA ‘Debit Processing Service’processing platform. Bank One is the third largest ‘VISA Check Card’ issuer in the U.S. with over 4.2 million cards. In addition to providing ‘VISA Check Card’ processing support, VISA ‘DPS’ will offer HNC ‘Falcon’ fraud detection services which provides real-time neural network scoring, customized rules and strategies, a sophisticated case management workstation, and complete management reporting. The ‘DPS Falcon’ fraud detection service is completely integrated with the DPS authorization system, allowing for real-time authorization decision capabilities.Details
Intuit and LandWare unveiled this morning ‘Pocket Quicken 2.0’ for the Palm OS platform. Pocket Quicken enables on-the-go access to account balances, credit limits, transaction histories, exchange rates and more. Pocket Quicken’s account list provides a succinct overview of a person’s financial situation and provides alerts when accounts are overdrawn. The account list is flexible, allowing consumers to sort by preferred accounts, account names or types. Two taps provide an instant report of credit card balances, assets, liabilities, investments, cash in hand and more. New to ‘Pocket Quicken 2.0’ is the ability to maintain accounts and transactions in foreign currencies. For example, ‘Pocket Quicken’ allows a consumer to record a hotel bill paid in Swiss Francs or gifts purchased in New Zealand dollars with their American credit card and automatically takes care of the conversion. An extensive list of currencies, including conversion rates, is automatically downloaded from Quicken each time the customer presses the HotSync button, and ‘Pocket Quicken’ places the original amount in the memo field for future reference. A new security feature prompts ‘Pocket Quicken’ users to enter a PIN when viewing account information. Even if the handheld is powered off while ‘Pocket Quicken’ is running, the consumer will be prompted for a PIN upon powering-up the handheld. The product retails at $39.95.Details
Bank Rhode Island has teamed with MA-based FirstDebit Corporation to offer a pre-paid MasterCard debit card to high school students traveling in the USA or abroad on school organized trips. The travel card can also be combined with a pre-paid phone card, allowing students to call home from 55 countries. The card is currently being offered to students traveling through EF Tours, one of the world leaders in student travel. Bank Rhode Island is the issuing bank of the ‘EF Travel Card’. Funds can be added to the card and, if lost or stolen, the funds can be frozen and a new card issued within three days. FirstDebit is a host-based stored value company. The firm provides the card processing services via BISYS, marketing content, Web site, application processing, and will be adding Internet banking features this fall.Details
Restaurants will now be able to brand and launch their own gift cards following a deal between Paymentech and MICROS Systems. The two firms announced this morning they have teamed to offer an integrated gift card solution. Paymentech developed drivers for the ‘MICROS 3700’ POS and ‘8700’ hospitality management systems that allow merchants to accept and process Paymentech gift cards. Paymentech’s gift card program includes card design and production, POS transaction processing, and merchant reporting. Paymentech Gift Card services encompass customized plastic, transaction processing, specialized reporting, help desk support and database maintenance. Paymentech clients select the card design, customizing the card with their name, logo and artwork. Restaurants can choose from different strategies on how to run their program. Gift cards can be pre-denominated with a specific amount on the card’s face. They can also be non-denominated so merchants, from the POS terminal, can add value to an account when it is sold to a customer. Value can be added and deducted from a gift card at each use.Details
The $60 personal Internet credit/debit card payment terminal developed by eConnect continues to pick up support. Kanakaris Wireless signed a deal Friday for 1,000 ‘eCashPads’ at $50 each. Kanakaris has the option to purchase an additional 4,000 ‘eCashPads’ at the same price through Dec 31. The ‘eCashPad’ sells for $59.95 and attaches to any desktop computer. Montreal-based First American Payment Systems announced last month it is purchasing an initial 10,000 ‘eCashPads’ as part of its ‘Member Money Exchange Center’ program. MMEC is a full-service online cash transfer system specializing in online gaming and is set to launch in July 2001. eConnect also signed deals with CA-based Mediatechnics Systems and Zimmerman’s Toyland to sell the ‘eCashPad’ to the general public. The home payment terminal was released late last year. (CF Library 11/2/00; 4/18/01; 5/9/01; 5/30/01)Details
When it comes to using credit cards online, the Brits have it all over the Yanks. In the UK, 76% of all home Internet users visited an e-tailing Web site during May, with 42% going on to make a secure connection on a site. In the US, 74% of home Internet users visited an e-commerce site during May, with just 29% making a secure connection. Although Sweden and Denmark have the largest proportion of households online, Swedes and Danes are least likely to shop online according to data gathered by Paris-based NetValue. Only 8% of Danish visitors and 7% of Swedish visitors to an e-commerce Web site actually entered a secure area of the site. Scandinavia continues to lead the rest of Europe and the US for Internet penetration. In May, 58% of Swedish households and 56% of Danish households were connected to the Internet. Of the eight countries, the US was in third position, with 51% of households connected, and the UK was in fifth position, with 38% of households connected. Although Spain has fewest households connected, users spend more time online and view more pages than any other European country. On average, Spanish Internet users connected for 9.4 hours and viewed 924 pages.
WEB ACTIVITY – EUROPE/USA May 2001
Duration on the Domains per Pages displayed
web (hours) visitor
UK 7.2 49.8 769
France 6.0 43.9 775
Germany 6.6 59.2 825
Spain 9.4 60.2 924
Sweden 6.0 39.8 604
Denmark 5.5 43.7 687
Norway 5.2 39.9 580
US 11.9 54.0 1134
Maximized Software, Inc. released MaxCharge version 3.0, a major upgrade to its popular MaxCharge product that enables a merchant to securely process credit card transactions directly over the Internet. “The ability to safely support multiple merchant accounts on a single computer is a significant enhancement to our component,” said Ken Spreitzer, President of Maximized Software. “Many online merchants rely on e-commerce solutions provided by their ISP, who in turn have expressed the need for a single, easily configurable solution. Version 3.0 offers quick and secure configuration so that ISPs can control the capabilities of their merchants and maintain the security of their web server(s).” MaxCharge is an ActiveX (COM) component, so it can be used with Microsoft Active Server Pages, Visual Basic, Delphi, Access, ColdFusion, Microsoft .NET, and many other environments, enabling MaxCharge to easily be integrated with most e-commerce products. The product includes sample processing scripts, sample code, documentation, and a test merchant account to help the user become immediately productive.
Merchants using MaxCharge are pleased with the product’s ease of use. “MaxCharge was extremely easy to implement in our e-commerce web site,” said Sean Gailey, Chief Technical Officer of Empire Technologies, Inc., in San Diego, California. “We saved a lot of time and money by using MaxCharge; it cut our development time in half. For the few questions we had, Maximized Software provided quick and reliable technical support.”
MaxCharge version 3.0 provides the following feature enhancements:
— Support for shoppers paying by credit card or check.
— ISP/multiple merchant support.
— Automatic support for redundant processing servers (ECHOnline only).
— Full support for the latest AuthorizeNet and ECHOnline interfaces.
— Supports commercial cards for lower transaction fees (ECHOnline only).
— New InitTestTransaction method makes testing even easier.
— Improved and expanded documentation.
MaxCharge version 3.0 costs $295.00 per computer.
MaxCharge version 3.0 is available for immediate download from the Maximized Software web site at http://www.maximized.com/products/maxcharge/ and requires a computer running Microsoft Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, or later. Upgrades from version 2.0 are free for registered users.
About Maximized Software
Maximized Software, headquartered in Mill Valley, California, was founded in 1992 by Ken Spreitzer. After establishing Maximized Software, Spreitzer achieved industry fame as the creator of Uninstaller for Windows — a best-selling utility program. Maximized Software also created and sold Build-A-Card, the first commercial greeting card site on the Internet. The company’s product line includes several web server and client utilities.Details
Conseco Finance Corp. is pleased to announce that Leath Furniture, L.L.C., and 84 Lumber Company have renewed multi-year retail credit progrm agreements with the company.
“We’ve had a great relationship with Conseco Finance,” said Barbara Snow, chief financial officer of Leath Furniture, L.L.C. “We value the people we work with. They’ve demonstrated a lot of integrity. We had other bidders, but our established relationship was the deciding factor.”
Leath has been a client of Conseco Finance since December 1996, 84 Lumber Company has been a client of Conseco Finance since March 1999.
“Each of our clients has very different needs,” said Todd Woodard, president of Conseco Finance’s Retail Credit Division. “We’ve made it our job to understand their businesses from the inside out and design customized credit programs to help achieve their sales goals. Then we set out to service these programs better than anyone else in the industry. We believe that’s the best way to maintain strong client relationships.”
Leath, based in Atlanta, operates 26 stores and two distribution centers in Wisonsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Florida. In the Midwest, the company’s stores operate as Leath Furniture. In Florida, the company operates five Modernage Furniture stores. Last year, Leath’s private-label credit card brought in approximately $42 million in sales.
84 Lumber, headquartered in Eighty Four, Penn., is the largest privately held supplier of building materials in the U.S., with 406 stores in 30 states from coast to coast. Professional contractors make up 75 percent of sales, which were approximately $1.8 billion in 1999.
Conseco Finance Corp., with total manages assets of $48 billion, is one of America’s largest finance companies. In just four years, Conseco Finance has become one of the top five issuers of private-label credit cards. The company is also a leader in the home equity, home improvement and manufactured housing finance buisnesses. Conseco Finance is a subsidiary of Conseco, Inc., headquartered in Carmel, Inc. To learn more about Conseco, visit [www.conseco.com].
For the fourth consecutive year, the World Travel Awards, the prestigious awards ceremony that acknowledges significant achievements in all areas of the travel and tourism industry, has named Visa the “World’s Leading Credit Card.”
Visa was recognized for its commitment to the traveller and the travel industry, and is considered by many as “the World’s Best Way to Travel.” Criteria used in evaluating companies and organizations include scope of distribution, convenience, and overall best services.
Candidates for nomination in 152 categories were based upon the previous year’s voting. Throughout 2000, travel agents from more than 25,000 agencies in 182 countries registered millions of votes online at the official World Travel Awards website at www.WorldTravelAwards.com, with most of the leading travel Internet sites offering additional online voting facilities.
“We are delighted that Visa has again captured the distinction of `World’s Leading Credit Card’ by the World Travel Awards, for a fourth year in a row,” said Tom Shepard, executive vice president, Global Marketing Partnerships and Sponsorships, Visa International. “With Visa’s acceptance at more than 22 million locations around the world, cardholders enjoy the convenience and confidence that Visa provides. It is a true honor to receive this distinction from one of the industry’s most important awards programs.”
“The World Travel Awards has become the event for the `who’s who’ of the global travel community,” said Manon Han, the Organising Director of the World Travel Awards. “We’re extremely proud to play a role in both celebrating the past achievement and encouraging the future services and products in the industry. The World Travel Awards is now being recognised as the best endorsement that any travel product could receive.”
Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards held its eighth-annual ceremony in conjunction with the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s 50th Anniversary Conference at the Shangri-La in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 10, 2001. The World Travel Awards honors leading travel-related organizations in worldwide and regional categories that range from airlines, hotels, beaches and cruise lines to credit cards, car rental companies and hotel reservation services.
Visa International is a strategic partner with many of the leading global corporations and merchants, creating retail and T&E promotions that deliver extraordinary values to Visa cardholders worldwide. Visa’s extensive merchant relationships and marketing partnerships, as well as its unsurpassed acceptance in nearly 300 countries and territories, are driving Visa’s growth in the retail and T&E arenas.
For more information on the 2000 World Travel Awards or for a complete list of winners, visit [www.WorldTravelAwards.com].
Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and the largest payment system worldwide. Visa-branded cards generate more than US$1.9 trillion in annual volume annually and are accepted at over 22 million locations around the world. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce – or universal commerce – the ability to conduct commerce anytime, anywhere, over any type of device. Visa’s Internet address is [www.visa.com].
What: Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. is re-named Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc.
Why: The company has been re-named:
– To better exemplify the company’s core competencies in transaction-oriented systems for retail, financial and mobile solutions
– To clarify that the company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 6702) and no longer a joint venture between Fujitsu and London-based ICL. (Legally occurred April 1, 2001)
When: Effective immediately
Market Impact: The company is focused on serving the transaction-oriented needs of retailers and financial institutions by offering Fujitsu hardware, software and services, such as point-of-sale (PoS) systems, automated-teller machines (ATMs), wireless mobile computers, CRM, managed services, GlobalSTORE(r) retail software and more. The company is also expanding its sales channels, direct and indirect, to better serve a range of customers in its target markets. The company name change has minimal market impact except that Fujitsu Transaction Solutions is getting more aggressive and focused on demonstrating its heritage, track record, capabilities and value propositions to customers throughout North America.
Where: Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc. is headquartered in Dallas.
– Austen Mulinder, president and chief executive officer
– Nancy Daniels, executive vice president and general manager
– Ron Omohundro, executive vice president and general manager
– Tom Juliano, senior vice president of marketing and product operationsDetails
INGENICO vient d’enregistrer auprÃ¨s de Banksys, l’opÃ©rateur du rÃ©seau de paiement Ã©lectronique belge, une
premiÃ¨re commande significative portant sur la fourniture de 120.000 lecteurs de carte, de type “Smart’up”, pour la
sÃ©curisation des e-paiements sur internet via le systÃ¨me BankSafe. Les livraisons s’Ã©taleront jusqu’au premier
trimestre 2002.Cette commande revÃªt une double importance. Si elle satisfait pleinement Ingenico, leader mondial dans
son domaine, en raison de la confiance accordÃ©e par Banksys aux produits dÃ©veloppÃ©s par le groupe, elle constitue
aussi et surtout une grande premiÃ¨re trÃ¨s attendue pour le dÃ©marrage officiel et Ã grande Ã©chelle d?un paiement
on-line sÃ©curisÃ© lÃ oÃ¹ la plupart des autres pays restent encore dans l?attente et dans l?expectative.Nul doute, selon
la sociÃ©tÃ©, que cette dÃ©cision sera de nature Ã inciter les plus timorÃ©s Ã lancer progressivement leurs propres
systÃ¨mes – autres que virtuels – pour rÃ©pondre aux besoins sans cesse grandissants du e-commerce.LÃ comme
ailleurs, INGENICO sera en premiÃ¨re ligne pour participer avec toutes ses forces et tous ses moyens Ã la
gÃ©nÃ©ralisation du paiement Ã©lectronique et de nombreux autres projets sont actuellement en cours de R & D pour Ãªtre
disponibles et opÃ©rationnels le moment venu.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. reported yesterday its fiscal 2Q/01 credit card interest spread widened by 40 basis points since the last quarter thanks to the sharp decline in interest rates that began in the first quarter of the year. MSDW’s Credit Services/Discover Card division also reported it opened 1.4 million new Discover accounts during the quarter, resulting in one million net new accounts. However net income for the credit card division was $171 million, 19% lower than the second quarter of 2000 due to higher net charge-offs. The credit card net charge-off rate was 77 bps higher than a year ago and 19 bps above 1Q/01’s loss rate. Delinquency (30+ days) also was significantly higher than last year, but has eased downward since 1Q/01. The increase in both the charge-off and delinquency rates reflected both the continued weakness in the U.S. economy and the aging of cardholder accounts opened after 1998. Discover notes that accounts with bankruptcy notifications trended significantly higher during the quarter. Managed credit card loans broke the $50 billion level for the first time but charge volume eased back due to normal seasonal fluctuations. For complete details on Discover’s latest quarterly results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
DISCOVER CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
2Q/00* 3Q/00* 4Q/00* 1Q/01* 2Q/01*
Receivables: $43.7b $44.8b $47.1b $49.5b $50.2b
Volume: $21.9b $21.9b $22.8b $24.4b $23.5b
Accounts: 40.4m 41.4m 42.6m 43.7m 44.7m
Actives: 23.1m 23.1m 23.8m 24.0m 24.3m
Chargeoffs: 4.21% 4.18% 4.57% 4.79% 4.98%
Delinquency: 5.11% 5.47% 5.92% 6.34% 5.84%
Yield: 13.69% 14.05% 14.13% 13.66% 13.34%
*2Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 5/31/00; 3Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 8/31/00; 4Q/00 fiscal quarter ended
11/30/00; 1Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 2/28/01; 2Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 5/31/01. Source: CardData