Innovation and networked economy consultancy Crystal
Innovation, today announced that it has joined the MULTOS Global Supplier
Network. The Crystal Catalytic Process will enable MULTOS Issuers to identify
opportunities for the creation of innovative multi-application smart card

The process, starting from the very beginning of the product development
process enables card issuers to unlock the knowledge held within their
organisations and start realising its value. Using a proprietary collaborative
working environment, the Crystal Catalytic Process accelerates product
development by stimulating creativity in all participants. It then supports
selection, validation and testing of the concepts prior to driving the
solutions through to completion in a highly compressed timescale.
“The Crystal Catalytic Process is unique in taking organisations from the very
start of the development process.” Says Richard Cooper of Crystal Innovation.
“Unlike most consultancies and suppliers, we have expertise in drawing out
fledgling concepts and developing them into solid business propositions”
The synergy between the Crystal Catalytic Process and the MULTOS operating
system are clear, MULTOS provides the flexibility within the card operating
system and Crystal can help issuers make the most of it. Crystal’s unique
Catalytic Process will help card issuers using MULTOS to deliver innovative
multi-application smart card solutions in a fast, effective and robust manner,
focussing on creating sustainable business advantage.
About Crystal Innovation Limited
Crystal Innovation enables clients to create new business opportunities that
will be at the leading edge of their industry, by combining collaborative
working, client industry knowledge and extensive experience of innovative

Crystal are experts in the disciplines of knowledge management, balanced
scorecard, strategy, process, and facilitation, using technology to work both
smarter and faster. It’s methodologies have been developed and implemented
a variety of blue chip companies since 1996, including Nationwide, British
Airways, Mg technologies ag, TetraPak, Lotus Professional Services, Danske
and Severn Trent.

Crystal is made up of a multidisciplinary team that combines knowledge,
experience and energy in their approach and work style. It has a diverse
base across Europe, and has offices in London and Oslo. For further
information, please contact Richard Cooper, Crystal Innovation +44 (0)207
0437, e-mail
MULTOS is a highly secure multi-application smart card operating system
specification and supports a wide range of applications including e-cash, PKI
and interactive loyalty. This open standard is managed and developed by a
consortium of 13 of the worlds leading smart card companies, and is the only
commercial operating system to attain the security requirements of ITSEC
E6-high. (ITSEC is an independent and rigorous security evaluation scheme
supported by more than 14 countries worldwide, whose results are openly

published.) Third party software developers provide a broad catalogue of
applications and value-added services for card users and issuers that can be
deployed consistently across all implementations of MULTOS. Leading the
m-commerce market, the MULTOS hosted SecureSIM environment provides the
most secure multi-application SIM card for mobile phones. For more information
about MULTOS, visit



A credit card rate battle has erupted in the Middle East following the
introduction, last weekend, of a new VISA card and the unveiling of an
Express ‘Blue’ card. MasterCard may soon join the battle as it announced plans
to open a new office in Dubai by October. Next week, a three day ‘Cards Middle
East’ conference produced by Terrapinn, will get underway in Dubai for the
second consecutive year. Last Saturday, the National Bank of Dubai
introduced a
new VISA card which offers an interest rate of 1.75% with NBD customers
receiving a 1.25% rate. On Sunday, American Express rolled out its ‘Blue’
credit card offering a six-month intro rate of 1.0%, followed by a go-to
APR of
1.95%. Under the NBD program there is a Dhs 150 annual fee which is waived for
the first year. The annual fee is waived or reduced in subsequent years based
on charge volume. The new AmEx ‘Blue’ credit card also offers a ‘MoneyBack’
rebate program which credits back 1% of annual purchase volume to the
cardholder. The AmEx Blue card carries a Dhs 175 annual fee. VISA has about
million cards-in-force in the UAE. AmEx is the process of launching its ‘Blue’
card worldwide after signing up more than six million Americans for the smart
card version of ‘Blue’. The Mid-East cards conference scheduled for next week
is being sponsored by Hypercom, VISA, ACI and others.



Kanagawa Chuo Kotsu Co. will begin utilizing smart cards to call taxis from
public phones. The service will be introduced throughout Kanagawa Prefecture
next month. Users will be able to promptly inform the company of their
by inserting the smart card, which contains the cardholder’s personal
information into smart card ready public phones. The smart cards will be
at 1,000 yen each. The service has been jointly developed with
telecommunications equipment maker Tamura Electric Works Ltd. and information
technology service provider Rios Corp.


Royal BA Card

Royal Bank of Canada and British Airways unveiled yesterday a new co-branded VISA credit card. The ‘Royal Bank/British Airways VISA Platinum Card’ offers one ‘Executive Club’ mile for each dollar of all card purchases and two miles for each dollar charged for British Airways products and services. A special bonus of 5,000 miles is awarded upon approved enrollment along with a complementary companion ticket. For each annual renewal a member receives 2,500 bonus miles and can earn another complementary companion ticket. Online applications for the card will be available beginning May 14. Royal is charging a 20.5% interest rate and $165 annual fee. Co-applicant cards cost an additional $75 per year. There is a 17 day grace period on purchases. First USA issues a co-branded VISA card with British Airways in the US. First USA offers ‘Classic’, ‘Platinum’, and ‘Signature’ versions of the co-branded BA card. First USA charges a $65 annual fee and a fixed 17.99% APR for its ‘Platinum’ version, according to CardWatch ([][1]).




The Government’s multi-purpose smart card is planning to expand to include
toll payments and cash withdrawal from ATMs. The National Registration
Department is currently working with GMPC Corporation Sdn Bhd to develop
the new applications. The card may also be expanded for use in payphones.
The ‘GMPC’ card integrates four Government applications and two optional
applications on a single card-the national identification, the national
driving license, passport details, health information. The target is to
distribute 600,000 GMPC smartcards by year-end in West Malaysia.


Nissen GE SVP

The General Electric Company announced that David R. Nissen, 49, has been named Senior Vice President of the General Electric Company. He was named an officer of the General Electric Company in 1996.

Said GE President and Chairman-elect Jeffrey R. Immelt in making the announcement: “Dave has developed an incredibly successful and global business from the ground up. He’s a great leader who is making strong contributions to the sustained growth and performance of GE Capital.”

Nissen is currently president and chief executive officer of Global Consumer Finance (GCF), the 6th largest operating company within General Electric and is the largest of GE Capital’s 24 businesses. GCF delivers credit and insurance products and services to retailers, auto dealers and consumers in 33 countries around the world. He will continue to report to GE Capital Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Denis J. Nayden.

Since joining GE Capital, GE’s financial services arm, in 1981, Nissen has held positions of increasing responsibility. From 1987 through 1990, he led GE Capital’s US private label credit card business and from 1990 to 1994, he was vice president and general manager, U.S. Consumer Financial Services. Nissen created GCF in 1994 and today the unit’s assets exceed US$37 billion. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

GE (NYSE:GE), with 2000 revenues of $130 billion, is a diversified technology, services and manufacturing company with a commitment to achieving customer success. GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs 313,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .



Mondex Korea announced plans to issue the ‘Mondex Freepass Card’ in
association with Kookmin Bank and Kookmin Card. The card provides e-cash,
debit card functions and online certification features. Cardholders over 18
years of age
can also add regular credit card features to their existing cards. A
palm-size Internet terminal for the use with the Freepass Card will allow
the transfer of cash between family members as well. The electronic cash
can be spent at COEX mall, coffee shops, book stores, movie theaters, paid
Internet sites, cybershops, and taxis and get 5% to 25% discounts at some



ePHONE Telecom, Inc. a global Internet telephony services carrier for
businesses and individuals, announced it has secured an order to provide
prepaid calling card services to a global US based company.

The company, which has interests in the Latin American market, will
specifically target Mexico with this calling card product. This initial
deal valued at approximately $500,000, is ePHONE’s first foray into the Latin
American market and demonstrates its continued focus on delivering services
across the globe.

The intention of this order is to establish a long-term relationship between
the two companies that will develop into additional business revenue
opportunities. These additional opportunities are expected to roll out during
the remainder of this year and include an additional calling card program
marketed around a major global sporting event next year.
“In addition to providing us significant revenue over a short time period,
order will be our first foray into the Spanish-speaking market where prepaid
calling card programs are in high demand. Continued immigration of ethnic
communities to the US will ensure continued growth,” stated Carmine
Taglialatela, ePHONE’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “This
comes on the heel’s of our largest prepaid calling card order to date and
represents another major achievement for the company. Customers recognize the
value ePHONE brings with its award winning technology and its solid team of
industry veterans. We see a great deal of opportunity in the calling card
market and we intend to capitalize on it.”
The prepaid calling card market is increasingly attractive, with the ethnic
market continuing to be the main force behind expected growth.
A recent Atlantic – ACM, a global research consulting firm headquartered in
Boston, study found a base of 30 million cards in North American
circulation in
1993, which grew to 400 million in 1998 and is expected to grow to 700 million
cards in 2003. Atlantic – ACM also anticipates prepaid revenues will approach
$7-8 billion by 2005.

About ePHONE Telecom

ePHONE Telecom is a global full service telecommunications provider for
businesses and individuals. EPHONE enables long distance calling at local
pricing via access devices that connect customers to ePHONE’s network built on
its award winning Internet Protocol (IP) technology. For more information
ePHONE Telecom, please visit


Blue Music

American Express announced a three-part program to enhance the music experience for ‘Blue’ customers while expanding the functionality of Blue’s smart chip at physical retail locations. The ‘Blue for Music’ program offers cardholders: 30% off on featured artists’ CDs at Virgin Megastores nationwide and at Virgin’s Web site; concert benefits at SFX Amphitheaters; and a special AmEx Web site where cardholders can enjoy music-related content including exclusive MP-3 downloads and artist features. New POS terminals that incorporate smart card readers will be installed in all U.S. Virgin Megastores and will be used to activate the special ‘Blue’ CD offers. SFX will operate the ‘Summer Concerts in Blue’ – Will Call window which will be equipped with an AmEx ‘Blue’ smart card reader, which verifies the cardholder’s order.


Dual Screen BEETLE

Wincor Nixdorf Inc., a leading provider of IT products and solutions to the retail and banking industries, announced it has added support for dual-screen video to its BEETLE Family of POS systems. By leveraging the multiple monitor support built into the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 98 and Windows 2000 operating systems, Wincor Nixdorf’s solution enables retailers to enhance the customer shopping experience without the added cost and complexities of proprietary hardware.

Using the Wincor Nixdorf solution, retailers can place a full-screen of easily viewed information at both the operator and customer locations. Each of the two screens connected to the BEETLE POS terminal can display distinctly different content, allowing the store clerk to view the transaction, while the customer views promotional information or advertising, in addition to detailed information about the purchase. Other possibilities include using the customer display as an information kiosk that allows the customer to enroll in a loyalty program, print a rain check, or even select coupons and offers of specific interest.

“The support for dual screens underscores Wincor Nixdorf’s commitment to industry standards and technology leadership,” said Bobby Billingsley, director of engineering, Wincor Nixdorf Retail Solutions Group. “In the past, providing different content for two VGA devices required proprietary hardware and drivers. Wincor Nixdorf has developed software drivers that leverage the capabilities already built into Windows 98 and Windows 2000 to provide support for multiple monitors.”

“This capability brings exciting new capabilities to the point of sale,” he continued. “Retailers could use the display for special promotions, to promote their Web site, or as an advertising medium that can generate new revenue.” The dual-screen capability is available immediately on all Wincor Nixdorf BEETLE systems with Windows 98 or Windows 2000.

Wincor Nixdorf will feature the new dual screen technology as well as its full suite of industry-leading POS solutions at Retail Systems 2001 in Chicago, Ill., June 26-28, 2001, Booth 402.

About the BEETLE Family of POS Systems

Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE family of POS systems addresses the complete spectrum of customer touch points in the retail store environment. With solutions that encompass thin-client POS terminals, lean- and thick-client POS systems, kiosks, lottery terminals, and mobile POS devices, the BEETLE family is the industry’s most comprehensive POS product line. An open design supporting commonality of components across the entire BEETLE family substantially simplifies software deployment and hardware maintenance, keeping costs down and productivity high. More than just PCs, BEETLE systems are rugged, designed to withstand the rigors of retail environments. All systems include standard retail interfaces, accept a wide range of peripherals, and are compliant with established retail software standards.

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 [][1].



eCashPad Deal

Carley Zimmerman, president of Zimmerman’s Toyland Inc., announced that Zimmerman’s Toyland Inc. has signed the eConnect merchant agreement which allows consumers shopping at [][1] to pay using eConnect’s Bank Eyes Only payment system.

EConnect’s eCashPad, which easily connects to most computers, is a secured payment-processing device designed to allow easy and secure transactions on the Internet. Through the use of a built-in magnetic card reader, the eCash Pad allows the use of a credit or ATM card for transactions over the Internet with eCashPad-enabled merchants.

“The eCashPad will allow our consumers and business affiliates to purchase in a secure card present environment. This will greatly reduce chargebacks and increase security. In addition, eConnect technology gives us a unique and value added edge in the eCommerce industry that we are looking forward to implementing,” stated Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s Toyland Inc. placed an order for delivery of 100 Zimmerman’s Toyland Inc. labeled eCashPads that will be freely distributed to its retail customers in the second quarter of 2001.

About Zimmerman’s Toyland Inc.

In addition to winning numerous window display competitions from manufacturers, Zimmerman’s Toyland is also a two time First Place Winner of the prestigious “Playthings Magazine” — an annual awards competition for store promotion and merchandising nationwide. Zimmerman’s Toyland Inc. is a privately held California corporation with a mission to sell high quality specialty and mass market toy products with open ended play value to enhance the learning experience of infants and children. In addition to the retail store at 555 LaSierra Drive in Sacramento, CA which carries over 5,000 different items, Zimmerman’s also has a catalog (1-800-491-3950) and website ([][2]). Among the lines that Zimmerman’s sells are: Brio, Madame Alexander Dolls, Corolle Dolls, Manhattan Toy, Lego, Kovualis, Tiny Love, Little Tikes, Peg Perego, Radio Flyer, Chicco, Bruder and Steiff.



Card Benefactors

Sub-prime card specialist Metris Companies is donating more than $200,000 toward the fight against childhood cancer. This contribution is part of the Company’s support of the Dayton’s Challenge charity golf tournament benefiting the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. American Express Company announced $570,000 in grants to a diverse group of arts and cultural organizations in Minnesota. The grants will support the Pangea World Theatre, the Stepping Stone Theatre, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, and the Minnesota Orchestra.