UT-based WebMiles and FL-based Transmedia Network have teamed up to launch the ‘WebMiles Dining Program’. Through the program, WebMiles members will receive five airline miles per dollar spent when dining at any of the more than 7,500 participating restaurants nationwide simply by registering an existing credit card with the ‘WebMiles Dining Program’ and using that credit card to pay for the meal. WebMiles members can activate up to three of their major credit cards. Transmedia currently has nearly six million members in its dining rewards programs, either branded under the name ‘iDine’ or provided through private label partnerships. The WebMiles program allows Members to redeem WebMiles rewards for travel on any airline and any flight without restrictions such as blackout dates and limited seating.Details
Cyota, a leading payment and security technology company, has been named by Visa U.S.A., the world’s largest consumer payments system, as one of the vendors supporting the Visa Payer Authentication Service, based on the 3-D Secure Interoperability Standard. The Visa Payer Authentication Service, part of Visa’s Secure Commerce Program, is designed to reduce the risk of unauthorized use of a cardholder account and make Internet shopping better and safer for both buyers and sellers on the Web. Cyota 3DSecure has been developed in conjunction with the Visa Payer Authentication Service to enable card issuers to verify a cardholder’s identity through the use of a password and provides results to the merchant in real time during the virtual checkout process. The service will ultimately reduce the merchant’s exposure to fraud and frivolous disputes.
! The Visa Payer Authentication Service uses the Cyota 3DSecure technology to give Visa’s issuing banks the ability to authorize a cardholder’s identity to the merchant during an online transaction. When a customer enters their Visa card information in an online checkout form and clicks the “buy” button, the issuing bank is alerted and requests the cardholder to confirm their identity by entering a password. Once the issuer authenticates the cardholder, the merchant is notified and the transaction is processed as it is today, with routine order confirmation messages being returned to the cardholder.
“We are honored to be working with Visa toward a common goal the complete security of online transactions,” commented Gary Heatherington, Cyota CEO. “Security is still a barrier to many consumers shopping online; however, Cyota, along with Visa, is on the cutting edge of reducing fraud and making consumers more comfortable with online shopping.”
“Cyota has implemented Visa’s solution that will enable Member banks to authenticate a cardholder to a merchant during an online purchase,” commented Jim McCarthy, senior vice president at e-Visa, a division of Visa U.S.A. “Visa is actively working with a number of technology partners to help e-Merchants better secure cardholder information online and ultimately build consumer confidence in the virtual payment environment.”
Cyota’s suite of 3DSecure products consists of the basic protocol, along with several proprietary extensions that leverage Visa’s 3D Secure infrastructure to significantly boost cardholder adoption, lower enrollment costs and authorization costs and improve the overall security of the system. They also allow issuers to undertake a single implementation process that will bring cardholders 3D Secure functionality, which is tightly integrated with Cyota SecureClick, the company’s groundbreaking surrogate number solution. These extensions work without requiring changes in existing architecture.
Cyota (www.cyota.com) is an innovative technology company that is dedicated to helping financial institutions strengthen their customer relationships through reliable, flexible, easy to use online security, payment and transaction products. Founded in 1999 by leading card and security industry experts, Cyota is headquartered in New York with offices worldwide. Cyota is led by a respected management team with extensive experience in the security, Internet and banking industry and is supported by an international Advisory Board comprised of world-renowned financial and security experts.
Credit Management Solutions, Inc. announced that its stockholders have approved the merger of CMSI with a subsidiary of The First American Corporation. Under the terms of the transaction, upon the closing CMSI stockholders will receive 0.2841 of a share of First American common stock for each outstanding share of CMSI stock held by them. Approximately 2,273,000 shares of First American common stock will be exchanged for all outstanding shares of CMSI. First American will also assume all outstanding options to purchase shares of CMSI common stock.
Since it was founded in 1987, CMSI has been a premier provider of credit automation software and services, including Internet-based online lending and leasing technology. Corporate clients include leading organizations in the banking, finance, automotive, student lending, and telecommunications industries. The Company’s e-commerce subsidiary, Credit Online, Inc., credit- enables business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions through its Internet gateway and funding exchange network. Its patented CreditOnline(TM) and CreditConnection(R) technology links credit originators (such as automobile dealers) and borrowers with an extensive network of leading prime and non-prime lenders. Through its CMSI Systems, Inc. subsidiary, CMSI licenses credit decisioning and other automation systems and services for consumer and business credit that have been the choice of some of the world’s most demanding credit grantors. CreditConnection and CreditOnline are trademarks or registered trademarks of Credit Management Solutions, Inc.Details
The $60 personal Internet credit/debit card payment terminal developed by eConnect is picking up some support. Kanakaris Wireless yesterday announced plans to develop software and hardware enhancements which will enable the eConnect ‘eCashPad’ terminal to read checks electronically from home. The proposed ‘AKPay’ system will expand the usage of the ‘eCashPad’ beyond Internet card present credit card ‘Bank Eyes Only’ transactions, PIN entered ATM card instant Internet merchant cash payments, and smart card Internet micro payments. The ‘eCashPad’ sells for $59.95 and attaches to any desktop computer. Montreal-based First American Payment Systems also announced Tuesday 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. he home payment terminal was released late last year. (CF Library 11/2/00; 4/18/01; 5/9/01)Details
Trintech Group PLC reported that revenue grew by 93% to $17 million for the fiscal quarter of 2002 that ended April 30. One year ago Trintech logged $8.8 million for the quarter. The growth in revenue resulted from continued solid demand for Trintech’s secure payment infrastructure solutions. This demand drove first quarter software license revenue to $7.6 million, an increase of 83% over first quarter license revenue last year of $4.1 million. Product revenue increased 47% to $6.0 million for the quarter. Service revenue rose 489% from $0.6 million for the first quarter last year to $3.4 million for the first quarter ended April 30, 2001.Details
ValueStar Corporation, a leading rating organization of local service businesses, announced that Sanwa Merchant Services has signed up for the ValueStar Customer-Rated program.
Sanwa Merchant Services can now enroll their qualified merchants in the ValueStar Customer-Rated program, which enables merchants to differentiate themselves from local competition by highlighting quality service. In addition, the program drives ValueStar registered cardholders to participating merchants. The ValueStar Customer-Rated-program is open to all local service merchants, such as auto repair shops, plumbers, pool maintenance companies, dentists, etc.
! Through this program, ValueStar rates the merchant based upon a verification of their license, insurance, state compliance, legal and financial statuses, and, if qualified, enrolls the merchant in the ValueStar Customer-Rated program, which includes Real-Time Ratings. ValueStar then promotes these selected merchants to cardholders through a variety of media such as the ValueStar Report, direct mailings, in-store signage, and quality brand placement on the ValueStar Web site. Participating merchants agree to: adhere to the ValueStar “Customer Bill of Rights,” participate in the mediation process, allow ValueStar to publicly post their customer satisfaction score, and must keep their customer satisfaction score above 70 on a 100 scale. “We are pleased with the results of the program as it has been well received by the merchant community,” said Jim Stein, CEO of ValueStar. “Sanwa Merchant Services is opening the door to approximately 1800 additional service merchants that could benefit from this program.”
“Sanwa Merchant Services is always looking for ways to differentiate itself in the marketplace. The ValueStar proposition provides us with the competitive edge to distinguish our products and services from that of our competitors. ValueStar is a great way for us to help grow the consumer business of our service merchant base,” said Saeed Heshmatpour, Vice President and General Manager, for Sanwa Merchant Services. “The ValueStar Customer-Rated program validates local service merchants as quality service providers and improves customer loyalty and increases referrals by matching quality seeking consumers with quality conscious merchants.”
Card issuers offering the ValueStar Customer-Rated program to their cardholders can increase their cardholder loyalty, retention and stimulate card usage. By choosing service merchants that have earned this quality seal of approval, consumers can have confidence in their decision, and will gain access to various program benefits not typically offered in the service business sector.
How the Customer-Rated Program Works
ValueStar first verifies license, insurance, legal and financial statuses of local service merchants. Sanwa Merchant Services will match up transactions paid for with a qualified credit card made with qualified merchants. Consumers are then presented with an online or offline survey that, once processed, updates each local service merchant’s rating score in real time. Because only verified transactions are used, the ratings reflect only actual customer ratings. Customers who rate their satisfaction are also eligible for ValueStar Benefits, which currently include complaint resolution services, a money-back satisfaction guarantee of up to $500 and ValueStar Rating Points redeemable for products, charitable donations, services and travel. To use ValueStar, interested consumers can go to www.valuestar.com or to a participating card issuer Web site. Once on the site, consumers search by merchant name or industry and geographic region. Consumers can then browse lists of rated merchants or see if the merchant they plan to do business with has earned the ValueStar Customer-Rated seal.
ValueStar(R) Corporation (OTCBB:VLST) is both a pioneer and a leading provider of customer satisfaction ratings of local service companies. Founded in 1992, ValueStar’s mission is to improve the local marketplace by providing knowledge, power and assurance. To accomplish this mission, ValueStar is expanding its branded ratings to the six million local service companies in America by introducing multi-tiered rating designations and adding additional brand content. It has developed the ValueStar Customer-Rated program which enables, matches, rates and rewards local service transactions both online and offline. It currently operates the ValueStar Customer-Rated Program in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Seattle; Chicago; Dallas; Philadelphia; Washington D.C. and Atlanta. Based in Oakland, CA, ValueStar has partnerships or alliances with First Data Corp., First National Bank Omaha, Netcentives, Experian, BellSouth RealPages.com, OurHouse.com, Info USA, Foodscape.com, and e-Attorney. Key investors include eCompanies, Rustic Canyon Ventures, Seacoast Capital and Hull Capital. For more information, visit ValueStar at www.valuestar.com or call 800-310-6661.
Credit Card Solutions Inc., leaders in the field of purchasing card software, Wednesday announced that it has been awarded a General Services Administration schedule contract for its Intranet and client/server Purchasing Card (P-Card) software products and related professional services. Granted under the Information Technology Products and Services Schedule, this contract (No. GS-35F-0359L) enables federal agencies, and many state & local government entities, to purchase products and services from CCSi using pre-negotiated pricing and terms.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has become the first federal agency to make a purchase under the new GSA contract. NASA’s Integrated Financial Management Program (IFMP) Core Financial Project selected CCSi’s Web-based/Intranet software, The P-Card Web Solution, to meet its credit card program needs.
During the next several weeks CCSi will configure the software to integrate with NASA’s credit card provider and with selected internal systems, such as their SAP financial system. A primary goal of NASA is to create a simplified end-to-end credit card solution. The P-Card Web Solution will help NASA meet its goals of assisting over 4,500 cardholders and approving officials in managing their credit card related workload, and dealing with problems related to budget execution, reconciliation, and cost distribution.
“The public sector is a natural fit for CCSi,” said Jim Carroll, interim chief executive officer at CCSi. “Resolving the challenges inherent with spending federal funds on P-Cards was a critical requirement when our software was initially developed.” CCSi has been successfully serving federal contractors and state & local government entities since 1995.
Headquartered in Richland, CCSi was founded in 1995 to provide its customers with tailored P-Card software. CCSi’s products are used by major corporations, universities, and state & federal agencies nationwide. A partial list of CCSi’s customers include Arthur Andersen, ARCO, Bechtel, The California Institute of Technology, Cities of Topeka and Las Vegas, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, State of Alaska, Univ. of Texas at Houston HSC and Warner Bros. For more information contact CCSi at 509/943-7998, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at [www.p-card.com]. The P-Card Solution is a registered trademark of CCSi. The P-Card Web Solution is a trademark of CCSi. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
The San Diego-based Institute for Consumer Financial Education launched a new initiative this month to help consumers control credit card usage. The ICFE is offering ‘Credit Card Warnings Labels’. There are three versions of the labels: “Can I Afford It?”; “Should I Charge It?”; and “If You Can Eat It, Drink It, or Wear It . . . It is NOT an EMERGENCY”. Consumers may order an assortment of ten labels for $2. The nonprofit ICFE is the successor to the National Center for Financial Education. Ten years ago the NCFE offered ‘Credit Card Condoms’ (small, credit card size, spun-bonded olefin envelopes) to consumers “afflicted with unsafe spending habits”, according to CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com). The “Credit Card Condom” came with “Instructions for Use and Preventing Debt.” The ‘Credit Card Condoms’ were part of NCFE’s ‘Safe Charge Kit’.Details
American Express has introduced a new pricing structure that reduces discount fees on larger transactions for most merchants. The new ‘$10,000 Threshold Pricing’ shaves 50 basis points off all individual transactions that are $10,000 or larger. Most retail merchants pay 3.00% to accept AmEx while ‘Corporate Purchasing Card’ suppliers generally pay a base rate of 2.50%. The average discount rate for American Express at the end of the first quarter was 2.68%, compared to 2.72% one year ago. AmEx says under the new policy, large ticket transactions will automatically be priced at the lower discount rate.Details
A new “Chameleon Contactless Smart Card Upgrade System” introduced by SuperCom Smart Cards, Inc., converts any conventional card into a contactless smart card in less than one-minute, it was announced by Danny Gilboa, CEO, here.
The new system employs a desktop press that inserts and securely seals a contactless microchip into any magnetic stripe card, contact card, or “dumb” graphics-only card, which is then personalized with up to 2Kilo Bits of secure data using a contactless smart card reader/writer.
“Any user can now boost the capabilities of his or her conventional cards more than 1000-fold, and benefit from the same secured memory and functionality offered by manufactured contactless smart cards, minus the initial production delays and card printing costs,” said Gilboa, adding, “The Chameleon system can also serve as a stepping stone to custom manufactured contactless smart cards, making the transition to a new generation of technology simple, fast and affordable, as well as seamless to the cardholder.”
He says the entire conversion process is easily accomplished in less than one minute by personnel having no technical background or training.
The Chameleon conversion system is comprised of the desktop press, secured memory chips, chip capsules and contactless smart card reader/writer.
SuperCom Smart Cards Inc., a Subsidiary of SuperCom Ltd., markets contactless smart cards, readers/writers, interface software and contactless smart card manufacturing equipment for commercial and governmental uses including: time and attendence, access control, personal identification, electronic purse, e-commerce security, ticketing, medical status, loyalty, licenses, maintenance records, etc.Details
NextCard released the April eCommerce Index, the premier metric of monthly online consumer spending. The NextCard eCommerce Index is the only resource that reflects actual consumer e-commerce spending based on online credit card transactions.
“We continue to see more traditional retailers replace Internet startups in consumers’ online spending habits,” said Scott Lascelles, group vice president of marketing at NextCard. “Michigan Bulbs, a traditional catalog retailer, increased transaction volume 886 percent, benefiting from consumers’ preference for established offline brands. By contrast last spring, Internet start-up MySeasons.com was among the top movers,” said Lascelles.
“Traditional brands such as Sharper Image, FTD, 1-800-Flowers, Gap and Old Navy continue to increase transaction volume as consumers turn to those trusted offline brands,” he said. “While traditional retailers are gaining popularity online, Amazon is still the premier online retailer,” said Lascelles. “Since we launched the Index in May 1999, Amazon has been the top retailer, generating the largest number of transactions by NextCard cardholders.”
“As we saw last year, sites such as TurboTax experience a surge in transaction volume during the spring tax season, as evidenced by its increase of five spots on the Index last month,” he said. “Similarly, Priceline.com rose four spots to No. 7 and Travelocity.com transaction volume rose 269 percent in April, ushering in the beginning of the summer vacation travel period.”
Top 30 Online Merchants in April 2001
The NextCard eCommerce Index is a monthly listing of the top Web sites based on the number of online transactions by more than 880,000 NextCard cardholders.
Rank Change Merchant Rank Change Merchant
1. — Amazon.com 16. +8 HomeShoppingNetwork.com
2. +1 EBay.com 17. — AOL Long Distance
3. -1 Half.com 18. — Egghead.com
4. — Ubid.com 19. — Keen.com
5. +1 Netflix.com 20. +2 Vistaprint.com
6. -1 BarnesandNoble.com 21. -7 BigZoo.com
7. +4 Priceline.com 22. +17 FTD.com
8. -1 Stamps.com 23. -8 AOL Shopping
9. -1 CyberRebate.com 24. +12 Gap.com
10. +3 1-800-Flowers.com 25. +42 FreeCDSoftware.com
11. +5 TurboTax.com 26. +3 Classmates.com
12. -3 Buy.com 27. +39 Proflowers.com
13. +15 Equifax.com 28. -1 Snapfish.com
14. -4 CDNow.com 29. -3 eDiets.com
15. -3 Drugstore.com 30. +11 OldNavy.com
April eCommerce Movers
The NextCard eCommerce Movers(SM) is a monthly listing of the top online
merchants that experience the largest percentage change in transaction
volume from the previous month.
10 Biggest Gainers 5 Biggest Losers
1. MichiganBulb.com 886% 1. MusicToday.com -83%
2. Travelocity.com 269% 2. Cityspree.com -69%
3. Essential.com 252% 3. Kozmo.com -66%
4. SharperImage.com 248% 4. NetJewels.com -56%
5. Vitacost.com 216% 5. Textileshop.com -54%
6. Cooking.com 204%
7. Reflect.com 188%
8. FreeCDSoftware.com 157%
9. Bluefly.com 152%
10. Proflowers.com 135%
About The NextCard eCommerce Index
The NextCard eCommerce Index is a monthly listing of the top 30 online merchants, top 10 gainers and top five losers based on the number of online purchase transactions by approximately 880,000 NextCard cardholders. The NextCard eCommerce Index combines two critical components to accurately reflect online transaction activity: 1) a large cardholder base of active online purchasers and 2) data-mining technology that tracks online credit card transactions. NextCard customers are some of the most sophisticated online consumers and make online purchases approximately five times more often than the average online credit card user. As a result, the NextCard eCommerce Index not only provides valuable information about where online consumers are actually buying, but it also reflects the ability of merchants to convert Web visitors to buyers, and buyers to repeat customers. The Index can be found on the Internet at www.nextcard.com/indexes/indexes_frame.html.
NextCard, Inc. (www.nextcard.com) is considered the leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. Launched in 1997, the Company was the first to offer instant online credit card approval, a choice of customized credit card offers, and exceptional online customer service. NextCard is committed to providing the most robust consumer shopping experience on the Internet and has continued to innovate with its NextCard Concierge(SM) online shopping service, online bill payment services, and comprehensive rewards program. NextCard is also one of the leading direct marketers on the Internet, operates a network of more than 90,000 online affiliates, and has exclusive card relationships with leading online brands, including Amazon.com and MyPoints.com. The Company also owns minority stakes in Flooz.com, the premier online gift currency and Paytrust.com, the leader in online bill payment.
NextCard was named the No. 1 Internet credit card by Gomez. According to the 2001 Brittain Associates “Credit Cards on the Net” study, NextCard leads the online credit card market with a 26 percent share. NextCard was nominated for a 2000 Webby Award in the finance category. NextCard, Inc. issues credit cards through NextBank N.A., a wholly owned subsidiary.Details
MBNA has boosted its cap on cash advance fees and is gearing up to extend such fees to balance transfers and person-to-person money transfers. MBNA recently increased its $30 maximum cash advance fee to $40, according to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com). Effective July 1, MBNA will extend its 3% cash advance fee to balance transfers. MBNA will also treat person-to-person money transfers, such as Paypal, as a cash equivalent and subject the transactions to the cash advance fee. The revised pricing has already been incorporated in new card offers. Most of the nation’s top issuers have removed caps on cash advance fees, charge 3%+, and have boosted the minimum CAF. MBNA, a leader in higher credit limit accounts, is one of few major issuers retaining limits on cash advance fees. Most major issuers also charge a higher interest rate for cash advances than for purchases. For example, the popular ‘American Express Blue Card’ charges interest rates ranging from 10.99% to 14.99% for purchases, while the interest rate for cash advances is 20.99%.
RANK MOST COMMON
ISSUER CASH ADVANCE FEE
1. Citibank 3% with $5 minimum
2. MBNA 3% with $5 minimum, $40 maximum
3. First USA 2% with $10 minimum
4. Discover 3% with $5 minimum
5. Chase 3% with $5 minimum
6. Providian 5% with $3 minimum
7. Bank of America 3%-4% with $5.00 minimum and $20 maximum
8. Capital One 3% with $5 minimum
9. Household 4% with $5 minimum; GM Card- 3% with $15 minimum
10.Fleet 4% with $5 minimum
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com )