MasterCard indicated this week it plans to develop the unbanked rural sectors India by introducing electronic cards for farmers. The MasterCard Asia-Pacific region grew at a 38% annual rate last year. The move in India follows the successful launch of e-cash cards in the Philippines and Malaysia earlier this year. About 8.5% of the transactions in the rural region are conducted by cash. E-cash cards for kisans would be launched soon in collaboration with Public Sector Banks which has the network in rural India.Details
Twenty-five organizations, including eight financial institutions, have joined Project ACTION, a program to develop a payment product for Internet transactions utilizing Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits. Project ACTION — ACH Credit Transactions Initiated Online — is an independent membership program within NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association.
“Interest in Project ACTION has been strong among financial services organizations,” said Elliott C. McEntee, President and Chief Executive Officer of NACHA. “Now is the time for other organizations interested in Project ACTION to get in on the ground floor.”
Members of Project ACTION include: Alabama ACH Association, Alltel Corporation, Bank One, BB&T Corporation, BCE Emergis, CheckFree Corporation, Citibank, Corillian Corp., Fidelity Investments, FirstWebBancorp, Fort Knox National Company, InteliData Technologies Corp., iBill, LML Payment Systems, Mid-America Payment Exchange, Network 1 Financial, Royal Bank of Canada, Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union, T. RowePrice, U.S. Postal Service, VeriSign Inc., VeriStar Corporation, Wachovia Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank.
Under the ACTION payment model, a buyer (a consumer or business) would initiate a payment to a seller via its own financial institution, rather than authorizing the seller to debit its account. This feature enhances security of payments while reducing many of the risks. ACTION is envisioned to be used for consumer-to-business, business-to-business, and electronic bill payments initiated on the Internet.
“An advantage of the ACH Network is the ability to process credit payments, in which funds are pushed to sellers or other payment recipients,” said McEntee. “Currently, other payment methods require account information to be provided to sellers, that then attempt to authenticate the buyer and pull funds from buyers’ accounts.”
The next business meeting of Project ACTION members will be held on June 20-21 in Chicago. Members will develop the product design, technology requirements, and business plans, such as revenue models. Membership is open to all payments industry stakeholders. Membership dues will increase on July 1. For membership information, visit the Project ACTION web site at http://www.project-action.org, or contact Julie Hedlund, Senior Director of Electronic Commerce, NACHA, at 703-561-3915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association
NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system. NACHA represents more than 12,000 financial institutions through direct memberships and a network of regional payments associations, and 650 organizations through its six industry councils. NACHA develops operating rules and business practices for the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network and for electronic payments in the areas of Internet commerce, electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP), financial electronic data interchange (EDI), international payments, electronic checks, and electronic benefits transfer (EBT). Visit NACHA on the Internet at http://www.nacha.org .Details
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge Wednesday announced that Applied Card Systems Inc. will build a new 256,000-square-foot facility in Concord Township, Delaware County, creating at least 1,000 new jobs.
“Applied Card Systems had a decision to make about its future, and this rapidly growing company chose Pennsylvania,” Gov. Ridge said. “Like so many others, they’ve answered our invitation to come, invent the future in Pennsylvania, with an emphatic `Yes.’ That response will create at least 1,000 new jobs in Southeastern Pennsylvania.”
Inc. Magazine recently ranked Applied Card Systems as No. 42 on its list of the 500 fastest-growing, privately owned companies in the country. Founded in 1987, Applied Card employs more than 4,000 people at its headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, and at four operation centers in Boca Raton, Florida; Huntington and Beckley, West Virginia; and Ashland, Kentucky. These centers employ workers in information technology, customer assistance, human resources, learning and development, and payment processing.
“We’re very excited about becoming a part of the New Pennsylvania,” said Tim Lehmann, President of Applied Card. “We’re a fast-growing company with our eyes on the future. Applied Card relies on quality people, and, in Pennsylvania, we have found a large and talented workforce that we know we can rely on. Gov. Ridge and his Action Team, along with the Delaware County Commerce Center, have worked hard to help us make Delaware County our newest location. And we have great expectations for our future in Pennsylvania.”
The Governor’s Action Team — economic-development professionals who report directly to Gov. Ridge — worked with Applied Card to make this project a reality. Gov. Ridge has agreed to provide a $4.75 million financial package — through an Opportunity Grant, Job Creation Tax Credits and an Infrastructure Development Program grant — to support the project. Applied Card will invest $30 million in construction and equipment.
Under the Ridge Administration, Pennsylvania families and employers have saved nearly $15 billion through tax cuts, workers’ compensation reform, electric deregulation and reduced red tape — helping to create nearly 500,000 new jobs.Details
A new, and far more dangerous variant of credit card skimming has emerged which involves implanting sophisticated skimmer bugs into card payment terminals which has made all legacy terminals of the current installed base susceptible to this type of attack. Skimming fraud most often involves a cardholder turning over physical possession of his or her card to a merchant, who then swipes the card through a small, illegal card reader, called a “skimmer.” The skimmer copies the data encoded on the card’s magnetic stripe which is then used to manufacture counterfeit cards that are used to rack up illegal charges. Reportedly the average skimmed credit card will generate some $2,000 in fraudulent charges before being detected and costs the industry about $1 billion per year. This new form of terminal skimmer bugs is particularly insidious since it obliterates the ‘Common Point of Purchase’, which is used today by the card associations’ neural network software to pinpoint those merchants where most skimming originates. This morning, Hypercom called for the industry to combat skimming with mobile terminals that ensure cards never leaves the consumer’s possession and for stepped up progress in the migration to smart card based credit cards which are “skimming-proof”.Details
Canada’s Royal Bank is introducing a new program in Toronto that instantly rewards VISA credit cardholders for purchases made across a network of merchants. The ‘Ultimix’ program, developed by Ernex Marketing Technologies, also enables ‘Royal VISA’ cardholders to instantly win prizes such as gift certificates, dinners, and grand prize trips for two. More than 150 merchant locations in British Columbia and the Greater Toronto Area are currently enrolled in the program, which was successfully tested in the Greater Vancouver area last fall. In addition to winning prizes, cardholders of ‘Royal Bank Gold Preferred’, ‘Platinum Preferred’ and ‘AVION’ VISA credit cards will earn double points through Mar 2002. During two promotional periods in the Spring and Fall, cardholders will also be able to earn up to five times their regular points at select locations. (CF Library 9/1/00)Details
Credit card marketing in Canada has hit a new peak with 45.8 million direct mail solicitations during the first quarter, with 73% of mailings coming from U.S. monoline firms. Despite the influx of new card offers, the low Canadian consumer response rate of 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2000 was equal to that in the U.S., according to BAIGlobal’s ‘Mail Monitor’ tracking service. For the first quarter of 2001, Canada had a 0.9% response rate while the U.S. was at 0.7 percent. Canadian households received 2.3 offers while their U.S. counterparts got 4.7 offers. BAI says Canada’s low response rate is the result of higher penetration of credit cards in Canada, where 89% of households already have a credit card compared to 76% in the U.S. The U.S. monolines are hitting the Canadian market for ‘Platinum’ cards which accounted for 69% of all solicitations.Details
MasterCard International and Europay International officially announced yesterday a plan to merge. Under terms of the proposed deal, MasterCard would convert from a membership corporation to a private share corporation, MasterCard Incorporated, with MasterCard principal members and Europay shareholders becoming equity owners. MasterCard currently owns a 12.2% share of Europay, and a 15% interest in Europay’s processing subsidiary. MasterCard and Europay each own 50% of Maestro. Reportedly, the terms of the all-stock deal will give the European bank owners of Europay between 25% and 33% ownership of MasterCard. MasterCard says the combination will result in significant operating efficiencies, strengthened marketing and branding for members globally. MasterCard says the deal will also more closely align the interests of MasterCard with those of its Member-stockholders, because the value created by MasterCard for its Member-stockholders will be reflected directly in the value of their shares. Following completion of the transaction, the Europay staff would provide the framework for the European region of MasterCard, which will continue to be based in Belgium. Peter Hoch will retain his CEO-level role for the region and will report to MasterCard CEO Robert Selander. The European region will also have its own board. Europay has 271.5 million ‘Eurocard-MasterCard’, ‘Maestro’, ‘Cirrus’ and ‘eurocheque’ debit and credit cards in circulation. (CF Library 1/11/01; 3/13/01; 5/18/01)Details
Vital Merchant Services has been certified as an authorized repair facility for Hypercom Corporation’s T7 & P8 family of card payment terminals. The certification was awarded following the thorough examination of Vital’s technical proficiency; processes and systems necessary to quickly and to easily repair Hypercom’s recognized legacy card payment terminals, the T7 & P8 series.
Currently, Vital Merchant Services is the only third-party terminal management and POS support services company to be certified as an Authorized Hypercom Repair Facility. With this certification, Hypercom equipment that arrives at Vital is repaired and quickly returned to the merchant customer — saving time and money.
“This new capability is a true benefit to Vital acquiring and ISO clients and their merchant customers. It translates to quicker and more efficient terminal servicing. When our clients’ merchant customers need a Hypercom card payment terminal repaired, they will find the process very smooth. Benefits range from less time spent on the phone, to faster turnarounds and reduced costs for shipping,” said Keith Smith, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Vital Processing Services and Vital Merchant Services.
“This is a win-win for Vital’s clients, their merchant customers and Hypercom. We are pleased to join Vital Merchant Services in its effort to service and repair the highest-quality, value-added solutions on the market today in the most effective way possible,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, president, Hypercom Transaction Systems Group.
Both companies indicated intentions for this certification to be expanded to include Hypercom’s highly popular, touch screen-based card payment terminals. Hypercom’s epic (ePOS-infocommerce(TM)) ICE devices are high performance, touch screen-based, Internet-enabled card payment terminals and web appliances that incorporate a firewall-protected multi-application operating system, EMV chip card capability, secure PIN pad, built-in HTML/HTTP web browser, and integrated graphical receipt printer, in addition to the embedded financial processing applications.
Hypercom’s epic ICE terminals support a range of value-added applications and services including: electronic signature and receipt capture, e-mail, on-screen advertising, interactive electronic coupons, and cash management reporting through a standard browser — as well as secure credit, debit, and smart card functions.
About Vital Merchant Services
Headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., Vital Merchant Services is a leader in terminal management and point of sale support services. The variety of POS support services includes terminal equipment procurement and deployment, inventory management, replacement and repair services, merchant training and installation, merchant supplies replenishment and world-class help desk support. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vital Processing Services. For more information, contact Vital Merchant Services’ Sales Department at (800) 686-1999.
About Vital Processing Services (http://www.vitalps.com )
Arizona-based Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing services to merchants, such as POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; VirtualNet(TM) Internet-commerce services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(R) USA and TSYS(R) (NYSE: TSS). For more information, contact Vital Processing Services’ Sales Department at (480)333-7799.
About Hypercom (http://www.hypercom.com )
Hypercom Corporation is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers. Hypercom’s products include secure card payment terminals and web appliances, networking equipment and software applications for e-commerce, m- commerce, smart cards and traditional payment applications. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom maintains an installed base of more than 4 million card payment terminals which operate in over 100 countries and conduct more than 2.85 billion transactions annually.Details
CyberSource said yesterday it has beefed up its ‘Internet Fraud Screen enhanced by VISA’. Improvements of approximately 25% in the fraud detection and identity verification capabilities were achieved by refining the performed screening tests, and relative weights, based on the evaluation of fraud trends experienced by CyberSource customers. The refinements not only improve the predictiveness and manageability of the system, they also help reduce false positive scoring results. In addition to the refined tests and weights, CyberSource added a new risk profile code to improve customer service efficiency and a business’ ability to convert more valid orders. The new code identifies a gift order, where there is a bill-to and ship-to address mis-match by country or state, which often represents a higher probability of fraud.Details
Diebold, Incorporated, a global leader in providing integrated self-service solutions, today announced it has teamed with Uni-Marts, Inc. to place 240 CashSource Plus 200 cash dispensers under its automated teller machine Franchise Program.
Under the franchise agreement, Diebold will install and operate ATMs in various Uni-Mart convenience stores and discount tobacco outlets located throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia. Installation is estimated to be complete in June 2001.
“Diebold’s ATM placement program fits perfectly with our initiative to provide increased convenience and service to our customers,” said Henry D. Sahakian, chairman and CEO of Uni-Marts. “Our customers will appreciate the ability to access cash on-site at an expanded number of Uni-Mart locations, and we will benefit from working with one proven supplier.”
! The CSP 200 with the Provisor option permits convenience store staff to load and recycle cash without accessing the chest of the unit by depositing money directly into the ATM by way of a bill acceptor. This provides Uni- Marts with a cost-effective and simple means to replenish the cash while minimizing theft and security issues.
“Retail outlets like Uni-Marts recognize the fact that Diebold has a myriad of turnkey delivery solutions, which include ATMs, self-service payment, security products and service and support,” said Bartholomew J. Frazzitta, vice president and general manager of Diebold’s Physical Security and Retail Group. “Our solutions are designed specifically to help build customer traffic and increase revenue within their respective businesses.”
Uni-Marts, Inc. owns and operates 300 convenience stores and Choice Cigarette Discount Outlets in the Mid-Atlantic region, with a majority of its locations in Pennsylvania. Uni-Marts reported revenues of $348.7 million in fiscal year 2000, and has over 2,700 full and part-time employees. Uni-Marts stock is publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol “UNI.” For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.uni-mart.com .
Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems and services. Diebold employs more than 10,000 associates with representation in more than 80 countries worldwide and headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $1.7 billion in 2000 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.diebold.com .
Top executives at three top credit card monolines have cashed in nearly $200 million in stock over the past two months. According to published reports, eight insiders at Capital One sold or planned to unload a total of 2.1 million shares, valued at $136 million. Since the first of this year, Capital One’s CEO and COO have unloaded a combined total of $240 million in stock. According to the Wall Street Journal, nine insiders at MBNA dumped nearly $57 million in shares over the past sixty days. Providian executives cashed in $1.2 million stock during April and May, while one executive sold off about $13 million worth in March. Officials at all three companies say the insider selling is linked to personal objectives and not connected to the overall weakening in the credit card market this year.Details
USA Technologies, Inc. announced it is shipping its e-Port and associated network services to customers, Original Equipment Manufacturers, Authorized Resellers and Strategic Partners. This e-Port solution, currently targeted to the vending industry, is a feature-rich, value-priced intelligent vending technology,” said George R. Jensen, Chairman and CEO, USA Technologies, Inc. “We believe it is the most complete solution of its type, transforming vending machines into intelligent, networked storefronts, capable of conducting affordable micro credit card transactions, automatically forwarding operational data and funds to machine owners.”
The system currently being shipped includes credit card capability and remote auditing capability via USA’s turnkey network and financial services. The network enables a patented method of batch credit card authorization and settlement, making it affordable for USA’s customers to conduct credit card transactions as low as $1.00. e-Port can be built into new machines or retrofitted to a wide variety of existing vending machines, and is being sold through a network of direct sales staff, Authorized Resellers, OEMs and Strategic Partners. “e-Port is precipitating a whole new way of doing business in the vending industry,” said Jensen. “Customers are now installing e-Ports, connecting to USA’s network, and offering consumers the option of making purchases with credit cards nationwide.” Examples of current and upcoming e-Port installations include select locations of Six Flags, National and Alamo Rent a Car, Wal-Mart, and Ford Motor Company. Items in these locations that will be vended utilizing e-Port technology range from beverages to prepared meals to cellular telephones and even industrial parts.
With its ever-expanding family of e-Port products and services, USA Technologies is rapidly emerging as a leader in cashless microtransaction products and services. USA Technologies has conducted many millions of cashless microtransactions for customers in the mainland US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Puerto Rico. Earlier this year USA Technologies formed a strategic alliance with Marconi Online Systems, a division of Marconi PLC, to bring together Marconi Online’s Intelligent Vending service with USA Technologies’ cashless payment and interactive multimedia capabilities delivered through e-Port. Last year, Marconi Online became the exclusive provider of intelligent vending technology to the Coca-Cola Company. The e-Port product line can be embedded into vending machines, gas pumps, office equipment and almost any kind of point-of-sale terminal. This scaleable technology and associated network and financial services enables the conversion of unattended points of sale into intelligent, networked “store fronts”, which could be connected via the Internet or other means. It is capable of communicating operational data to operators, conducting cashless microtransactions and could deliver advertising and information such as news, sports and weather to consumers while making routine purchases everywhere.
About USA Technologies:
USA Technologies is recognized as a leader in cashless microtransactions and interactive media technology and associated financial services. USA Technologies provides credit card activated and other cashless systems, allowing end users, ranging from consumers to business professionals, to communicate, conduct business or make ordinary commerce transactions, outside of the home or workplace. USA Technologies is an IBM (NYSE: IBM) Business Partner and an inaugural member of the Sprint (NYSE: FON) Enabling Application Service Provider Program for e-commerce. It has also established relationships with a number of global IT, multimedia, and telecommunications companies including Marconi Online Systems, RadiSys Corporation, DoubleClick Inc., and Xerox Corporation. Visit the USA Technologies home page at [www.usatech.com].