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].
Diebold, Incorporated elected to its Board of Directors Eric J. Roorda, president of Procomp Amazonia Industria Eletronica, S.A., a subsidiary of Diebold. Roorda and three of his colleagues founded Procomp in 1985 where he served as president. He has remained president since 1999 when Diebold acquired the company.
Procomp is the leading company in the banking automation market in Brazil and also plays an important role in the markets of retail automation and electoral automation. The company employs nearly 3,300 employees and operates more than 150 service locations throughout Brazil.
Roorda has more than 20 years experience in information technology, focusing mainly on bank automation. He has been involved in banking automation since the inception of the ATM in Brazil and has helped shape its direction. Prior to founding Procomp, Roorda held Information technology positions at INPE, Celepar, Universidade Federal do Parana and SID Informatica.
Roorda is a native of Brazil, and currently resides in Sao Paulo. In adding Roorda, the Board increased its number of directors from 10 to 11.
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 [www.diebold.com] .
VeriFone unveiled the Verix TCP/IP Library, which enables VeriFone terminals to access the Internet or communicate to a host via standard TCP/IP protocol.
This direct connection via TCP/IP allows merchants to offer customers a variety of Internet-driven e-services via their point-of-sale terminals, such as online ordering and fulfillment. These applications can provide new revenue streams and improved customer loyalty for merchants.
“VeriFone’s TCP/IP Library is another step in our effort to transform the POS into a powerful business tool,” said Eric Lecesne, general manager, VeriFone Technology and Product Operation. “Our unique Verix operating environment offers a multi-application architecture supporting payment and value-added applications on the same terminal. Developers can simply enable TCP/IP communications in their applications through the use of an open application programming interface (API).”
Furthermore, having a direct connection to the Internet, using open TCP/IP standards, eliminates the need to go through a maze of proprietary gateways. Instead, the software library provides flexible TCP/IP communications using the payment terminal’s telco port, RS-232 port, or radio modem. This lets users take advantage of faster, more economical options to transfer data via a variety of communication alternatives, such as high-speed Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite transmission or other wireless connectivity options.
“Businesses everywhere are moving to embrace IP-based networks for both communications and commerce,” said Kenneth Cohen, assistant vice president for strategic marketing at Hughes Network Systems, a global broadband networks leader and VSAT pioneer. “Adding TCP/IP support to its terminals is a sign that VeriFone understands the market’s demands, and it fits HNS’ vision for the future of business networks.”
“The Verix TCP/IP Library allows merchants to use industry-standard TCP/IP to access service providers, whether they are hosted across the street or around the globe, without incurring substantial communications costs,” Lecesne added. “This has enormous potential for merchants running multiple value-added applications at the POS.”Details
Concord EFS, Inc., a leading processor to the financial services industry through its Network Services unit, announced that Citizens Financial Group, Inc. has signed a long-term contract for processing services. Citizens, a $30.9 billion financial services company headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, selected Concord for a broad range of processing services across its four-state region. In addition to driving Citizens’ 820 ATMs, Concord will also provide online debit card authorization, signature debit card processing, and gateway access to debit networks.
! “Convenience banking is central to our consumer business, so we wanted a processing partner with quality products and service, plus the vision to help us take our debit transaction services in new directions,” said Mark Formica, Vice Chairman, Citizens Financial Group, Inc. “We liked the fact that Concord is committed to the financial services industry, and to working collaboratively with financial institutions to expand applications for ATMs and debit cards.”
“We’re dedicated to working closely with Citizens and other financial institutions to provide the products they need to deliver secure debit services to their customers,” said Edward A. Labry III, Concord president. “Customer service is the cornerstone of Citizens’ fast-growing business and it sets high standards for its partners, so we’re especially proud that it has shown such confidence in our services.”
About Citizens Financial Group
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $30.9 billion financial services company headquartered in Providence, RI. It operates as Citizens Bank in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Citizens is wholly owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. With more than 330 branches and 800 ATMs in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, Citizens is the second largest commercial bank holding company in New England.
About Concord EFS, Inc.
Concord is a leading, vertically-integrated electronic transaction processor, providing transaction authorization, data capture, settlement and funds transfer services to financial institutions, supermarkets, petroleum retailers, convenience stores, and other independent retailers. Concord’s primary activities include Network Services, providing ATM driving, online and signature debit card processing, and network access to the financial services industry under the STAR(SM), MAC(R), and Cash Station(R) brands; and Payment Services, providing credit, debit, check authorization, and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) processing services to selected retail segments. Concord news releases, links to SEC filings, and other information are available on its corporate web site at [www.concordefs.com].
Following its acquisition of Thomas Cook Global & Financial Services, Travelex launched a new brand identity campaign yesterday after a recent decision to operate under the Travelex name. As a result of its $630 million acquisition of Thomas Cook, Travelex acquired the rights for use of the Thomas Cook brand for up to five years and in perpetuity for Thomas Cook Travellers Cheques. However the firm decided to use the licensing period to pursue a brand migration strategy. The branding strategy and advertising campaign was devised by Smith & Milton and LIDA from M&C Saatchi. To support the re-branding, Travelex has also become the official sponsor for the Australian cricket team for this summer’s Ashes tour.Details