Citigroup continues building the backbone of its international credit card and foreign exchange businesses with the globalization of the ‘c2it’ service. Citigroup announced this morning it has expanded its person-to-person payments system to enable U.S.-based customers to send money from their desktops to recipients in 30 countries. Recipients in the destination countries, who may be either individuals or merchants, will receive their funds via an international direct deposit into their bank accounts, or via a paper check that will be sent to them through the postal service. They do not need to have access to the Internet or have e-mail to receive the funds. Money can be sent using a debit or credit card. In most cases, money can be sent in the currency of the country in which it is received, and the exchange rate is automatically guaranteed at the time of the transfer. Fees are based on flat rates of US$10 if the sender requests that a paper check be sent to the recipient, and US$15 if the sender requests a direct deposit into the recipient’s account. All costs are paid by the sender, and no fees are charged to the recipient by Citibank. Beginning today, money can be sent via ‘c2it’ from the U.S. to: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. (CF Library 5/1/01)Details
IL-based CommWorks has added enhanced routing, accounting and reporting features on its transaction gateway. The ‘Total Control 1000’ transaction gateway is designed to handle hundreds of millions of quick, secure transactions involving the transfer of small amounts of data in a single dial access session. These transactions include credit card authorizations, debit card fund transfers, health benefit authorizations, electronic fund transfers, and other transactions. Recent enhancements include the addition of ‘Transport Protocol Data Unit’ routing for synchronous transactions. Other upgrades to the gateway include enhanced support for the industry standard ‘VISA I/II’ specifications and ‘Synchronous Protocol’; the ability to collect up to 4 megabytes of call statistics; and advanced transaction accounting and reporting features. The Company also announced Monday that ‘Visanet’ has deployed the ‘Total Control 1000’ transaction gateway in its POS terminals in Brazil. ‘Visanet’ operates payment systems for the more than 600,000 affiliates of the VISA system in Brazil. About 80% of ‘Visanet’s’ 170,000 terminals in Brazil will be equipped with the CommWorks solution by the end of this year.Details
Catuity Inc. said Monday it believes there are multiple grounds for appeal of last week’s ruling by an Australian judge in regard to Welcome Real-time’s smart card loyalty program lawsuit. Catuity says the ruling opines that the printed “receipt” for a transaction using a smart card constitutes a printed “coupon”. The ruling also concludes that the “index file” commonly used in a smart card is a consumer “behavior file”. Catuity says it can therefore avoid infringement of the WRT patent, for example, by simply ceasing to print anything or by printing only messages that are not a “receipt” or “evidence a transaction”, or by making small changes to file and other design features. The Federal Court of Australia ruled that Catuity and its Australian subsidiaries, Chip Application Technologies and CIT Cards (Australia) had infringed on Welcome Real-time’s patent for a smart card loyalty program. (CF Library 7/24/00; 8/17/00; 5/18/01)Details
Digital Insight Corp. announced that it has augmented its senior management team with three key positions: Melvin M. Takata as senior vice president and chief technology officer (CTO), William A. Kontgis as vice president of Internet Banking Services, and Michael Dunn as vice president of Finance.
“Bolstering our senior management is in line with our focused initiative that was announced in February of this year,” said John Dorman, chairman and CEO of Digital Insight. “By streamlining resources created by the recent acquisitions and increasing expertise in more strategic areas, we are better able to manage key corporate objectives. The appointments of these proven individuals affirm our commitment to outstanding service and our drive towards profitability.”
As senior vice president and CTO, Mel Takata will act as chief architect of the systems and technology plan for Digital Insight, managing all aspects of the Company’s Product Development, including Quality Assurance, Configuration Management, Production Support and Interface departments. Takata will report directly to Dale Walker, Digital Insight’s president and COO.
Takata comes to Digital Insight after holding the position of vice president of Operations and Technology at Yodlee, Inc. In this position, he took executive level responsibility for Operations, Information Technology, Quality Assurance, Customer Service, and Security. Before Yodlee, Takata held a lengthy tenure at Citibank/Citigroup. For six years he was director of Access Technologies and Infrastructure, where he applied research in several areas of technology, including web-delivered bill payment and presentment, secure electronic payments, electronic wallets, and cell phone and TV/cable delivery of financial services.
Bill Kontgis joins Digital Insight as vice president of Internet Banking Services with the responsibility of managing the Company’s Data Center Operations, Security and Internal Management Information Systems. Kontgis will report directly to Joe McDoniel, Digital Insight’s senior vice president of Operations.
Prior to this position, Kontgis was director of Data Center Services at Oxford Health Plans. While in this position, Kontgis restructured Oxford’s data center to achieve substantial improvements in uptime while reducing costs. Prior to Oxford Health Plans, Kontgis was senior vice president for First Nationwide Bank. In this role he was responsible for the bank’s application systems development and maintenance for the retail, financial, loan origination, secondary marketing and loan servicing systems.
Michael Dunn brings more than 20 years of financial and operational experience to his new position as vice president of Finance. Dunn will be responsible for all of Digital Insight’s financial functions including financial planning and analysis, accounting and billing. Dunn will report directly to Kevin McDonnell, the Company’s CFO and senior vice president of Finance and Administration.
Dunn began with the Company in a consulting role earlier this year. Before joining Digital Insight, Dunn was COO and CFO at Feeling Fine Company LLC, an equity venture company founded to develop and distribute nutritional supplements. At Feeling Fine, Dunn was responsible for marketing, product development, purchasing, accounting, finance, investor relations, information services and administrative functions. Prior to Feeling Fine, Dunn spent six years as the CFO of three other companies.
“The appointments of Mel, Bill and Michael will further strengthen our senior management team,” said Dale Walker, Digital Insight’s president and COO. “These additions reflect the Company’s desire to enhance its entrepreneurial and innovative organization with world class executives and professional management.”
About Digital Insight
Digital Insight(TM) Corporation (Nasdaq: DGIN) (http://www.digitalinsight.com) is the preferred eFinance enabler for visionary financial institutions. Through its comprehensive portfolio of outsourced, Internet-based financial products and services built upon the company’s unique architecture, Digital Insight moves banks and credit unions Beyond Internet Banking(TM) to become the trusted transaction hub for their retail and commercial customers. Exclusively endorsed by the American Bankers Association(R) (ABA), and currently serving more than 1,300 financial institution clients nationwide, Digital Insight provides retail and commercial Internet banking, electronic bill payment and presentment, eCommerce portal technology, wireless channel delivery, advanced targeted marketing, website development and maintenance, as well as online and call center lending services. Each Digital Insight product and service reinforces the brands of its client financial institutions.Details
Official Payments Corporation announced it has launched a new service that will allow New York State taxpayers to file and pay their estimated taxes (NY form IT 2105-MN) by credit card over the Internet and by telephone. Estimated tax payments are due in New York on June 15, 2001; September 17, 2001; and January 15, 2002. New York citizens who use the service will not be required to file the traditional estimated tax paper form. Official Payments is authorized by the Internal Revenue Service to provide a similar service for federal individual estimated tax payments (IRS Form 1040-ES).
The new service expands Official Payments’ working agreement with the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance. Prior to the expansion of the agreement, Official Payments collected tax-year 2000 balance due and extension tax payments for the state.
“We are very pleased to be expanding our services in New York State,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “The New York State estimated tax payment category represents a potential $5.2 billion market opportunity for Official Payments. We have thousands of customers in New York who have used our payment platforms to make their federal estimated payments, and now if they owe state estimated payments they can do it through Official Payments as well,” added Mr. Evans.
New York taxpayers can use the American Express(R) Card, Discover(R) Card, and MasterCard(R) to make their tax year 2000 balance due, tax year 2000 extension, and tax year 2001 estimated payments by calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX or by visiting www.officialpayments.com on the Internet.
Official Payments will charge taxpayers a convenience fee of 2.5% of their tax payment for the service. For example, a taxpayer who makes a $500 tax payment would be charged a total of $512.50; $500 for the tax payment, and a 2.5% fee, or $12.50, to cover the cost of the service. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs may, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.
About Official Payments Corporation
Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 800 county and municipal governments in 45 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.Details
InteliData announced an agreement with Spectrum EBP to become a certified provider of solutions to connect banks to the Spectrum electronic bill presentment and payment network. The agreement with Spectrum, a bank-owned payment system utility that routes electronic bills and payments between billers and consumers, will allow InteliData to certify its InteliWorks CSP (Consumer Services Provider) Server for payment and presentment with Spectrum.
The InteliWorks CSP Server, which helps banks collect and warehouse bills from multiple billers and biller service providers (BSPs) and warehouse and route the associated payments, will give banks the ability to deploy a turnkey solution. Spectrum, in turn, will provide connectivity to multiple billers and BSPs through its open network and directory system.
“In the last 6 months Spectrum has developed a critical mass of biller and consumer reach along with some very compelling economics,” said Al Dominick, president and CEO of InteliData, “This has created a rising tide of demand for an open, EBPP solution that gives banks greater control of their customer relationships.”
Commenting on the agreement, Ron Braco, COO and president of Spectrum said, “We are pleased InteliData has chosen to certify their solution with Spectrum. InteliData has a solid track record of providing well-designed payment systems and OFX solutions and has been an important participant in the development of the Spectrum switch. InteliData has made a significant investment in the creation of -a well-rounded CSP solution that will enable Spectrum members to leverage the power of the Spectrum payment and presentment network.” The CSP Server will be available either as an in-house solution or as an ASP (Application Service Provider) solution and will support both OFX and IFX messages. The InteliWorks CSP Server is built on a J2EE-based transaction processing platform to provide unsurpassed deployment flexibility while ensuring reliable, scalable, and secure operations.
InteliData provides Internet banking and Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment (EBPP) technology and services to banks, credit unions, and financial institution processors. InteliData’s EBPP products offer banks and other financial institutions an end-to-end solution for creating e-bills for billers, distributing e-bills and e-payments through multiple delivery channels, delivering e-bills to consumers, and enabling payment of bills through multiple payment processors utilizing OFX and IFX messaging standards. InteliData’s Internet banking products provide large financial institutions throughout the U.S. with unsurpassed scalability, flexibility and security in supplying real-time, Internet based banking services to their customers. For more information about InteliData, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.InteliData.com
Spectrum is an independent company fully owned by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM,), First Union Corporation (NYSE: FTU – news) and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC – news). Formed to facilitate the exchange of electronic bills and payments, Spectrum’s mission is to provide a secure, open and interoperable infrastructure to electronically link consumer and biller service providers. Additionally, Spectrum seeks to provide value to its participants by providing superior service and reducing overall bill presentment and payment costs. More information on Spectrum can be found at www.spectrumebp.com.Details
Equifax announced this morning a major initiative to provide fully automated check-cashing services through 7-Eleven’s ‘Vcom’ kiosks. The service will be available this summer in 94 store locations in Texas and Florida. With an eventual national roll-out, the service will provide payroll, personal and other check-cashing services to nearly 40 million consumers who visit 7-Eleven’s stores each week. Equifax Payment Services adapted its ‘Paycheck Accept’ product, used in the grocery and gaming industries, to provide this fully automated program. By providing check cashing in 5,300 7-Eleven outlets, Equifax Payment Services will be one of the largest check cashers in the U.S. The agreement aligns Equifax with other ‘Vcom’ partners, including American Express and Western Union, with the creation of interactive kiosks in 7-Eleven locations. (CF Library 2/28/01; 3/9/01)Details
Wincor Nixdorf Inc. announced a strategic partnership with market-leading retail software solution provider, ADS Retail. Together, the companies will market a joint solution based on Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE POS platform and ADS Retail’s Nextor POS and Retail Management System. The solution, called Smart Client, is designed for large retailers who are seeking the benefits of a true network-centric retail solution. The Smart Client initiative from Wincor Nixdorf and ADS Retail provides an ideal trim client configuration running the Red Hat Linux embedded kernel on a BEETLE /NetPOS or BEETLE /S system. This configuration results in a POS appliance: a device that can be removed from the box, plugged into the power and network outlets, and turned on. There is no software or data permanently stored on the client device.
“In order to reduce the total cost of ownership of POS systems, large retailers need to take a hard look at reducing the number of high-maintenance clients throughout the enterprise,” said Doug Evans, vice president of the Nextor business unit of ADS Retail. “Nextor’s Smart Client configuration allows this zero maintenance option, while preserving offline capabilities by caching essential components and data on the client device. This configuration provides the best of both worlds: offline operability similar to a fat client device, along with the reduced acquisition and operating costs of the thin client. When you add the enterprise management capabilities of Nextor to the BEETLE, you have a POS terminal that seamlessly integrates with the enterprise management system.” “We are tremendously pleased to have ADS Retail on board as a strategic partner,” said Jeff Soisson, vice president, Retail Solutions Group, Wincor Nixdorf. “This partnership underscores Wincor Nixdorf’s long standing commitment to providing retailers proven thin-client POS solutions that help them save money and improve operational efficiencies.”
About ADS Retail
As a leader in retail point-of-sale technology, ADS Retail combines a two-decade track record of accomplishment in the retail technology industry with the cutting-edge innovation required by today’s forward-looking retailers. ADS Retail presents the full package of development, implementation, professional services and top-flight 24/7/365 support. Since 1981, ADS Retail’s systems have powered the front-end of some of the world’s leading retailers, many of whom have been clients for more than a decade. For further information visit www.adsretail.com.
About Wincor Nixdorf
Wincor Nixdorf Inc. is one of the fastest-growing providers of IT products and solutions for the retail and banking industries. Wincor Nixdorf’s offerings include hardware, application software, professional services and a complete range of service programs including on-site support. Worldwide, Wincor Nixdorf is the third-largest provider of POS systems and automated teller machines. Employing more than 3,600 people, Wincor Nixdorf operates in 40 countries with manufacturing plants in Germany and Singapore. North American headquarters are in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.wincor-nixdorf.com/usa.Details
Global Payments continues to strengthen its leadership role in facilitating payments for the gaming industry with five casinos signing agreements for the recently released VIP Preferred e-Check Card. The new electronic check cashing card feature enhances Global Payments existing VIP Preferred check approval program already used by over 250 thousand cardholders.
Under the terms of the agreements, Global Payments will provide VIP Preferred e-Check services to each of these participating properties: Ameristar Casino, Vicksburg, MS; Pala Casino, Pala, CA; Spa Resort Casino, Palm Springs, CA; Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho Mirage, CA; and Isle of Capri Casino in Marquette, IA.
Designed specifically to meet the needs of the gaming industry, VIP Preferred e-Check allows consumers to gain fast access to cash and provides gaming establishments the increased gaming revenue and reduced risk associated with consumers cashing paper checks. The VIP Preferred card’s proprietary software also provides the gaming industry with the ability to establish a significant consumer revolving check-cashing limit in less than two minutes.
“We are pleased to add these fine properties to our growing list of gaming establishments using our VIP Preferred e-Check product. Service and innovative products like the VIP Preferred e-Check help make Global an industry leader in payments processing,” said President and CEO Global Payments Inc., Paul R. Garcia.
Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.Details
Euronet Worldwide named Kendall Coyne as its Chief Financial Officer. Coyne brings more than 20 years’ finance experience to Euronet, most recently from Aerie Network Services, Inc. of Denver, Colorado, where he served as Vice President.
At Aerie, he was responsible for corporate structuring and financial administration for the start-up fiber-optic telecommunications company. Previous experience includes four years at Sprint PCS/Sprint as Vice President and Director of Tax Policy. Prior to Sprint, Coyne served in various tax management and executive management roles for Kansas City Power and Light Company (KCPL), Public Service Co of NM, Albuquerque, NM, and KPMG Peat Marwick, Albuquerque, NM.
“Kendall Coyne brings a wealth of experience ideally suited to his role at Euronet, and we are fortunate to have him join our fast-paced team,” said Michael Brown, Euronet Worldwide’s Chairman and CEO. “We expect him to play an important role on the senior management team in moving Euronet forward and building investor confidence and shareholder value.” Euronet Worldwide also announced that since March 31, 2001, it had exchanged an aggregate of DEM 35 million (US$15.5 million) face value of its 12 3/8% senior discount notes for an aggregate of 1,225,000 shares of its common stock. The total accreted value (through May 31, 2001) of the debt exchanged is DEM 26.6 million (US$12.0 million). The DEM 35 million face value exchanged includes the DEM 23 million that was previously reported as a subsequent event in Euronet Worldwide’s most recent Form 10Q.
As a result of these exchanges, Euronet’s long-term indebtedness will be US$69.7 million in total face value (US$60.4 million in accreted value) as of May 31, 2001. This compares to US$85.2 million in total face value (US$72.3 million in accreted value) of total long-term indebtedness as of March 31, 2001. The total decrease in the Company’s indebtedness will result in an annual cash interest expense savings of approximately $2,000,000 per year. “We are very pleased with these exchanges,” said Brown. “They improve our balance sheet, reduce our long-term debt, are accretive to the shareholders and will accelerate the Company’s move toward profitability.”
About Euronet Worldwide
Euronet Worldwide is a global leader in the rapidly evolving arena of electronic financial transactions. The company provides software and service solutions to a wide array of industries from retail banking to mobile operators, enabling them to offer customers secure access to their personal financial information — any time, any place. Euronet operates transaction-processing centers on three continents, including owning and operating the largest independent ATM network in Europe. With corporate headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and European headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, Euronet Worldwide employs approximately 400 people in 15 locations. Additional information is available at the company’s web site, [www.euronetworldwide.com].
MBNA has cranked up the marketing machine this month for the ‘Elvis Presley Platinum Plus VISA’ card. Two years ago MBNA signed an affinity card deal with Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. The card benefits the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation’s Presley Place, a transitional-housing project that will provide homeless families up to one year of rent-free housing, child day care, job training and counseling, and financial guidance. New cardholders of the Elvis VISA receive a special commemorative envelope with a Graceland first date of issue postmark after making at least $25 in purchases. Other card benefits include 10% off Elvis souvenirs, 10% off Graceland Platinum Tour admission, 10% off Elvis Presley Memphis Restaurant meals, 10% off Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel accommodations, and free parking while visiting Graceland. The no annual fee card is currently being offered with a fixed 13.99% interest rate. MBNA is offering a special 1.7% intro rate to select cardholders while others may be offered a 3.9% intro rate. An Elvis MasterCard is also available to British residents from Bank of Scotland. The Elvisly Yours MasterCard was launched in 1998.Details
The Veterans of Foreign Wars announced its endorsement of MBNA America Bank to provide credit card services to its members and supporters.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, with a rich tradition rooted in the 19th century, is the oldest major veterans organization in America. VFW has 9,500 Posts with 1.9 million members who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and all the expeditionary campaigns through Bosnia.
“We are proud to be associated with the VFW,” said John Cochran, chief marketing officer of MBNA. “We will provide its members with the superior customer service and innovative financial products they expect from MBNA.”
MBNA Corporation is a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, with $88 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products. MBNA.com (http://www.MBNA.com) provides credit card, consumer loan, retail deposit, travel, and shopping services.Details