Testimony at a U.S. House hearing this week revealed that federal agencies owe millions of dollars in delinquent credit card debt on government travel cards and that some federal employees are making personal use of the credit cards. The General Services Administration said that in March federal employees were at least 60 days delinquent in paying back more than $25 million in credit card charges or about 7% of the total owed. The GSA noted that Pentagon employees had $17 million in 60+ days delinquency or about 9% of the total owed. According to the Associated Press, government officials testified they have begun to garnish employee wages to combat the problem. The Department of Defense has also taken an aggressive position to fight chargeoffs.Details
VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company and global leader in end-to-end electronic payment solutions, announced that it has received EMV Level 2 Type Approval with EMVCo for VeriFone SoftPay EMV e-payment software for all VeriFone terminals using the Verix operating environment, starting with the VeriFone Omni 3350 multi-application payment terminal.
The Verix-based Omni 3350, which earned EMV Level 1 Type Approval last August, together with SoftPay EMV, is the industry’s first EMV-approved solution to have a truly global platform. It offers the fastest time-to-market for merchants wanting to implement a complete, powerful EMV-approved multi-application solution that works across hosts and across borders. In addition, VeriFone’s Omni 3350 and SoftPay EMV solution accepts a broader range of EMV card functionality including DDA functionality and enciphered PIN, compared to other EMV-approved solutions, and has demonstrated superior performance in lab tests compared to competitive solutions that have received EMV Level 1 and Level 2 Type Approval.
“We are very pleased to see that the worldwide leader in EFT point of sale solutions is one of the first global companies to receive an EMV Level 2 Type Approval,” said Jeff Sachs, senior vice president, Global Acceptance at Visa International. “VeriFone’s EMV Type Approval is a clear message to our members about the commitment of the industry to this standard.”
With SoftPay EMV, customers don’t need to write EMV functionality. SoftPay EMV’s plug-in module handles all necessary EMV functionality, making it unnecessary to write EMV code for each new application. Instead, only host specific code, in a discrete module that doesn’t affect any current functionality, needs to be added to the application. This gives customers an easy migration path to EMV. The EMV module within SoftPay eliminates the need to go through the Level 2 Type Approval process whenever the host module, any other SoftPay module, or the SoftPay core code is changed.
“SoftPay EMV is one of the only global, modular applications that has been granted EMV Level 2 Type Approval,” said Eric Lecesne, general manager, VeriFone Technology and Product operation. “VeriFone continues to be among the first to deliver EMV compliant terminals and payment applications that meet global market demand for multi-application capability and a lower total cost of ownership, as well as easy migration to EMV.”
VeriFone’s SoftPay payment application is currently deployed in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada and the United States. With SoftPay EMV’s modular design, emerging markets can migrate easily to EMV, saving time to market for achieving Type Approval.
VeriFone’s EMV-approved Omni 3350 and SoftPay EMV solution has the speed and 32-bit processing power to easily handle the demanding cryptography and Dynamic Data Authentication requirements related to EMV compliance across borders, and across hosts. In addition, the Verix operating environment used by the Omni 3350 features application separation and file authentication to support multiple applications running securely on a single terminal and to prevent intrusion into the terminal’s applications. Verix also provides dynamic memory allocation to optimize the use of memory on the Omni 3350, maximizing the multiple applications it can hold. The Omni 3350’s 3 Mbytes of memory offers merchants plenty of room to add new chip-based applications in the future.
To date, VeriFone has shipped nearly 1 million smart card enabled terminals worldwide, demonstrating the company’s proven experience in delivering global smart card solutions. Other VeriFone products that have received EMV Level 1 Type Approval include the Omni 2650 terminal and CM 450, SC 552, SC 550, SC 542, SC562 and SC 455 smart card reader and PINpad products.
SoftPay is composed of a rich set of state-of-the-art, pre-certified transaction modules that seamlessly link into a complete merchant-ready application. Because SoftPay’s EMV module already has EMVCo Type Approval, it provides an easy way for VeriFone’s customers worldwide to migrate to EMV. This modular architecture makes it easy to tailor SoftPay functionality to meet merchants’ unique requirements. Adding payment capabilities is as fast and easy as selecting the appropriate module from VeriFone’s extensive library to easily create custom payment applications.
VeriFone’s new Omni 3350 terminal, complete with a built-in smart card reader, is designed to handle the performance demands of e-payment. The Omni 3350 uses SoftPay, VeriFone’s advanced e-payment software, which includes an EMV software module. In addition, the Omni 3350 features a triple-track magnetic-stripe reader, a 32-bit processor with a 14.4K modem, generous memory optimized with dynamic memory allocation, and a 12.5 lines-per-second integrated printer. The terminal can process all forms of e-payment and features high performance in a sleek integrated design.
EMVCo, the smart card standards organization, was established in February 1999 by Europay International, MasterCard International and Visa International to administer, maintain, and promote the EMV(TM) Integrated Circuit Card, Terminal, and Application Specifications for Payment Systems (commonly referred to as the EMV Specifications). The EMV Specifications, originally developed jointly by the three organizations, defines a set of requirements that ensure interoperability for credit and debit payment applications between smart cards and terminals on a global basis, regardless of where the card is used. The EMV Specifications serve as the global framework for smart card and terminal manufacturers worldwide. As technology advances and the implementation of smart card programs becomes more prevalent, the formation of EMVCo will ensure that a single terminal approval process is developed at a level that will allow cross payment system interoperability through compliance with the EMV Specifications. To view the EMV Specifications or for more information, please visit [www.emvco.com].
VeriFone (), a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic-payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. The division has shipped more than nine million electronic-payment systems, which are used in more than 100 countries.
Hewlett-Packard Company — a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services — is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to individuals and businesses through simple appliances, useful e-services and solutions for an Internet infrastructure that’s always on. HP had total revenue from continuing operations of $48.8 billion in its 2000 fiscal year. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at [http://www.hp.com].
Online credit card marketing is poised to achieve even higher response rates as home Internet access for households headed by blue-collar workers is growing much faster than any other occupational group. In the latest Internet ratings report by Nielsen//NetRatings, the growth rate for factory operators and laborers was more than double the rate of Internet growth. Homemakers were the second fastest growing group, jumping 49% in the past year to 2.5 million people.
Internet Usage By Occupational Groups
Occupation Unique Audience Unique Audience Percent
March 2000 March 2001 Growth
Factory Operator/Laborer 6,220,800 9,482,779 52%
Homemaker 1,632,756 2,426,776 49%
Service Worker 2,106,255 2,895,816 37%
Sales 4,171,692 5,608,095 34%
Clerical or Administrative 4,245,166 5,577,505 31%
Craftsman/Craftswoman 3,151,219 4,078,615 29%
Education 3,771,666 4,843,355 28%
Retired 6,596,334 8,463,125 28%
Military 1,306,205 1,672,232 28%
Self-Employed 7,429,040 9,176,883 24%
Professional 14,972,372 18,455,731 23%
Full Time Student 1,787,868 2,202,452 23%
Technical 7,192,290 8,789,414 22%
Executive or Managerial 11,910,955 14,397,510 21%
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, April 2001
Despite the passage of bankruptcy overhaul legislation by both the Senate and House, an impasse over the makeup of conference committees has prevented the measure from reaching the president’s desk. This week Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said they have reached a solution to the make-up of the conference committees and have taken the plan to their caucuses. The plan would allow both men to serve as ex-officio of all conference committees, which would be equally divided between Republicans and Democrats on the Senate side.Details
National Processing, Inc. launched its new Investors Relations site providing greater access to information about the Company. The site contains both current and historical investor information, including financial reports, stock quotes, charts, and upcoming events. Additionally, investors will be able to request e-mail notification of news releases and important proceedings such as earnings releases and analyst calls. Interested parties can access the new site by going to [http://www.npc.net] and clicking on ‘Investor Relations’.
About National Processing, Inc.
National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( [http://www.nationalcity.com] ), a Cleveland based $91 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 500,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net] .
Paul Stephenson has been named Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Fargo Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRGO), according to Gary R. Holland, President and CEO of Fargo. Eden Prairie-based Fargo is the world’s leader in innovative technologies for desktop plastic card personalization systems. “We are very pleased to have Paul join Fargo’s management team,” said Holland. “His extensive background working with manufacturing organizations will be very valuable as Fargo continues to grow.”
Stephenson brings over 25 years of professional business experience to Fargo. Most recently, he served as Chief Financial Officer of the Minnesota Orchestral Association. From 1992 to 1999 he was Vice President – Finance and Chief Finance Officer for Check Technology Corporation. His previous experience includes positions at Honeywell Inc. and KPMG International. Stephenson is a graduate of Cambridge University, England, and holds professional qualifications as both a Certified Public Accountant in the United States and a Chartered Accountant in the United Kingdom.
Elaine A. Pullen, President of Trident International, Inc. of Minneapolis, and Everett V. Cox, General Partner, St. Paul Venture Capital, were re-elected to the Board of Directors of Fargo Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRGO) at its Annual Meeting of Stockholders Thursday. Stockholders also approved a proposal to adopt the Fargo 2001 Employee Stock Purchase Plan by reserving 250,000 shares of common stock for use under the plan, and a second proposal to amend and restate the 1998 Stock Option and Grant Plan. Gary R. Holland, President and CEO of Fargo, reviewed 2000 operations and results, and discussed the prospects for 2001 and beyond.
Fargo Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRGO) is the world’s leader in innovative technologies for desktop plastic card personalization systems. Based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Fargo printing systems create personalized plastic identification cards complete with digital images and text, lamination, and electronically encoded information. Personalized identification cards provide physical, information and transaction security for a wide variety of applications including retail stores, e-commerce, government installations, schools, sports and recreation facilities, clubs and associations, and correctional facilities. More than 50,000 Fargo systems are currently installed throughout the U.S. and in over 100 other countries. For more information, visit Fargo’s website at [http://www.fargo.com].
Old news is shunned in the newspaper business, but now it might mean new money: Cold North Wind Inc. and microCreditCard Inc. announced today a strategic alliance designed to bring searchable images of newspapers in their original published form and the power of online content sales to the newspaper industry.
Cold North Wind generates new revenue from old news by digitizing newspaper archives on microfilm and then publishing and selling those images on the Internet. Together with microCreditCard, the Internet’s leading credit-card-based micro-payment facilitator and alternative billing provider, they will tour North America, educating publishers on ways to turn old news into real profits.
“We are excited about this partnership with microCreditCard. They are the best online payment solution around – it will be a powerful relationship,” said Bob Huggins, CEO of Cold North Wind. “Newspapers on microfilm provide us with a remarkable view of the past. Unfortunately, access to this material is limited by the locality of both microfilm readers and microform collections. Today, users want to get this information on the Internet. But digitizing these archives and then marketing them over the web can be arduous and expensive for a newspaper to undertake on its own. Together with microCreditCard, we offer newspapers a painless, quick method for converting archives and realizing profits from them.”
Cold North Wind’s process creates and publishes searchable digital images of every page in a newspaper — not just selected stories. Currently, most newspapers provide a limited number of online articles in ASCII form from the past five to ten years only. As a result, the sole method of searching newspaper archives is through microfilm, a time-consuming process. In February, New York Post and Cold North Wind Corp. announced a letter of intent to digitize and publish the microfilm archives of the New York Post newspaper and make it available on the Internet. Readers will be able to search and view the original printed format from the paper’s almost 200 year-old archive.
“We want to help publishers get past the online content sales hurdle,” said Leslie Poole, CEO of microCreditCard. “The Internet has great potential to act as a record keeper and revenue generator, but that potential has not yet been realized. microCreditCard eliminates a myriad of technical, administrative and financial obstacles, so that Web sites can realize revenue from content within hours. The best part is that our technology is applicable to an array of content formats, from music, to movies to articles. Our solution comes at a critical time when content providers are searching for revenue sources – microCreditCard and Cold North Wind are here to help.” microCreditCard’s products were created in response to content providers’ frustration with the difficulties and cost involved in developing a payment process. microCreditCard is one of the first companies to offer a micro-payment solution and its services suite is the only same-day solution enabling credit card transactions. Cold North Wind was attracted to the company’s ability to accommodate multiple currency management, subscription management, digital content management, and the ability to sell digital content either via subscription or in “unbundled” individual units, such as a single archived page.
Headquartered in Arlington, Va., microCreditCard, Inc., is the Internet’s leading credit card-based micro-payment facilitator and alternative billing provider. Founded in 1999, microCreditCard’s robust solution, which consists of a Content Gateway(TM), a Payment Gateway(TM), and an Aggregation Engine(TM), is easy to set up and allows transactions for 10(cent) and higher. microCreditCard offers three tiers of service – microCreditCard Managed, Managed Plus, and Premium – depending on the needs of the merchant. For more information about microCreditCard, visit its Web site at [www.microCreditCard.com].
About Cold North Wind
Founded in 1999, Cold North Wind is creating a worldwide online newspaper archive. The company turns newspaper archives on microfilm into high-resolution, searchable, digital images on the Internet. Cold North Wind provides revenue-producing solutions to organizations that hold valuable microform archives, as well as to distributors of online content. Through partnerships with newspapers, media corporations, micropublishers and content distributors, Cold North Wind is providing business solutions to enable publishers to create new revenue streams from archived materials. Cold North Wind Corp. is based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Its parent company, Cold North Wind Inc. is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. For further information, please visit [www.coldnorthwind.com].
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp, Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A. (Banamex) and California Commerce Bank announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance to facilitate consumer money transfers to and from Mexico, beginning July 1.
Banamex, and CCB, both subsidiaries of Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival (Banacci), will become a principal agent in Mexico for Western Union consumer money transfers. As Mexico’s leading bank, Banamex will offer the Western Union Money Transfer(R) services at its approximately 1,300 bank branch locations beginning in July and will add to the Western Union agent network in Mexico, which currently includes more than 4,800 locations.
“We are pleased to establish this relationship with Western Union, and to offer their premium, value-added services to consumers throughout Mexico,” said Manuel Medina Mora, chief executive officer for Banacci. “The Mexican immigrant population represents the largest group of Hispanics living in the U.S. They have a growing need to send monies back home with the highest standard of convenience, safety and reliability. With this agreement, Western Union, a global leader in providing money transfer services, and Banamex, Mexico’s leader in the delivery of quality financial services, come together to offer a first-class money transfer experience between Mexico and the United States.”
“For more than a century, Western Union and Banamex each have served the Mexican market, and consumers have trusted and relied on us to handle their banking and money transfer needs,” said Charles T. Fote, president and chief operating officer for First Data Corp. “By bringing together our two powerful and recognized brands we will offer consumers tremendous peace of mind in knowing that their money transfers are being handled with the greatest speed and security.
“This association carries an even deeper significance, as Western Union and Banamex both share a strong commitment to the community,” Fote added. “Beyond providing the best in financial services, our companies support social projects that help our customers and their families in Mexico.”
In a separate release, Western Union’s sister company, Orlandi Valuta, announced a similar agreement to facilitate money transfers with Banamex and CCB.
Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival is Mexico’s leading financial group. Following a universal banking strategy, the Group offers a variety of financial services to companies and individuals, which include commercial and investment banking, insurance, and fund management. Banamex, founded in 1884, is Mexico’s leading commercial bank in terms of equity. The Bank has an extensive distribution network of more than 1,300 branches and 3,000 ATM’s located throughout the country.
About California Commerce Bank
California Commerce Bank provides full banking services for companies and individuals that do business in Mexico and the United States. As part of Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival, CCB is the U.S. banking arm of Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex), Mexico’s leading bank. As such, CCB is the gateway to and from Mexican financial markets. With over $2.1 billion in assets and advanced international information technology systems, CCB is a valued resource for customers with interests, which cross national boundaries. For more information, visit California Commerce Bank at [http://www.ccbusa.com].
About Western Union
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. The company provides rapid money transfer service through a global agent network. Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at approximately 101,000 agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories using the Western Union and Orlandi Valuta money transfer networks. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2001. For more information please visit [http://www.westernunion.com].
About First Data Corp.
Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) powers the global economy. Serving nearly 2.5 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com].
PA-based e-Vend.net this week unveiled a new service enabling consumers to purchase items from vending machines using a cellular phone linked to a credit card. While several advertisers and wireless companies have claimed to be in development of this technology, e-Vend’s new ‘1-800-CELLPAY’ service is the first to be delivered in the USA. Customers need only approach a vending machine, dial the posted telephone number and select the snack or beverage of their choice. The charge shows up on the customer’s cellular phone bill or on a credit card/debit card linked to the account. Kodak is gearing up to offer the new service for the 2002 Olympics whereby consumers will be able to purchase film and disposable cameras with their cellular phone. Maytag’s Dixie Narco division, an e-Vend investor, is also considering the technology under an OEM arrangement. In March USA Technologies and Marconi Online Systems signed a deal to bring together Marconi Online’s ‘Intelligent Vending’ service with USA Technologies’ ‘e-Port’ technology. Marconi and the primary European Coca-Cola bottler launched a pilot in February for ‘Dial-a-Coke’ with enables European consumers to pay for their drink using a GSM cellular phone. A similar service was launched this year in Australia according to RAM Research Group. (CF Library 2/8/01;3/15/01;4/24/01)Details
MasterCard is setting up a Middle East and Africa unit in Dubai by October according to yesterday’s issue of The RAM Report. Canadian Tire says its 1Q/01 gross operating revenue increase primarily due to the portfolio conversions of Canadian Tire retail cards to the ‘Options MasterCard’. RAM also reported the completion of the sale of Citibank’s merchant VISA portfolio to Scotiabank following its acquisition last year of Canada Trust’s MasterCard credit portfolio.([www.ramresearch.com])
Trintech Group Plc, a leading provider of secure electronic payment
infrastructure solutions for the real world, internet and wireless
transactions, announced the appointment of Mr. Dennis Goggin and Mr. Paddy
Byrne as Regional Directors representing Asia Pacific and Europe on the
Advisory Board of Trintech Group Plc.
Mr. Goggin joins Trintech after nearly three decades of successful
international banking assignments with Chase Manhattan. He previously
President and CEO of VISA International/Asia Pacific Region. His extensive
payment and card association experience will be invaluable to the Trintech
team. In addition, he brings extensive Asia Pacific market knowledge as a
result of his highly visible campaign to position Visa as the charge card and
debit card leader in the Asia Pacific Region. In his Advisory Board role,
Dennis will focus and concentrate Trintech on ePayment developments and
progress in Asia Pacific.
Mr. Byrne joins Trintech after thirty years of banking, card and payment
systems experience. He was the former Head of Payments, Credit Card,
Business and Information Systems in Bank of Ireland for more than twenty
In addition, his external financial services roles have included Chairman of
the Irish Payment Services Organization and Irish Banks Nominee on the
Payment Strategy Group. He also served on the VISA Advisory Board and the
Europay Regional Board for a number of years. In his Advisory Board role,
will focus on the dynamics in the European bank card market and the evolving
security standards and protocols in the Region.
“Trintech is very fortunate to have two such highly regarded and
executives joining the Advisory team,” said Cyril McGuire, Executive Chairman.
“The addition of Paddy and Dennis as Regional members of our Advisory Board
comes at an important time in our global growth,” added McGuire. “Given the
current state of the global economy, seasoned individuals with comprehensive
payment knowledge of strategically important regions like Asia Pacific and
Europe are very important to us as we move to solidify our global leadership
position in online card payment, eCommerce and mCommerce product offerings.”
Commenting on the Advisory Board appointments Ed Jensen, Advisory Board
Chairman said, “I am delighted to welcome Dennis and Paddy on board and am
assured that their vision and payment industry knowledge will benefit Trintech
in it’s mission to be the leading global provider of secure ePayment
infrastructure solutions. Our Advisory Board is a dynamic and proactive group
of payment specialists and I have no doubt that it will be further supported
and enhanced by Dennis and Paddy’s appointments.”
Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure
solutions for real world, Internet and wireless transactions. The company,
founded in 1987, offers a complete range of payment software products for
credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications. Trintech’s secure
product range is deployed in over 35 countries worldwide and covers the
requirements of consumers, card issuing banks, merchant acquiring
merchants, eMerchants, telcos, wireless operators, ISPs/CSPs, Portals and
corporations. The Group’s range of scalable, open systems architecture
solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant
and financial institution requirements for all card-based payments, including
eCommerce and the emerging world of mCommerce.
Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA
(Tel 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business
Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel 353-1-207-4000). The ReconNET division of
Trintech can be contacted at Trintech Inc., 15851 Dallas Parkway, Suite 940,
Addison, TX 75001 (Tel 972-701-9802). Trintech can be reached on the Web at
http//www.trintech.com. Investor information can be
found at www.trintech.com/investor.
Equifax Canada Inc. announces the launch of a
newly designed web site that will provide Canadian consumers and businesses
with access to important credit related information. The new site – located
– www.equifax.ca – has been designed to provide
consumers and businesses with
an information tool that delivers comprehensive, relevant and easy to
understand information on personal credit management, managing risk, credit
behaviour, and various business-to-business and business-to-consumer products
Development of this new web site is intended to evolve and reflect the
ever-changing and growing consumer and commercial credit marketplace in
Canada. The new web site offers detailed information in areas such as a
Consumer Information Centre, News and Perspective, Services and Solutions and
Today, Equifax delivers sophisticated decisioning, data, fraud and e-
commerce solutions to the business community which, in turn, allows Canadian
consumers and businesses to conveniently participate in millions of financial
Equifax (www.equifax.com), a worldwide leader in
enabling and securing
global commerce, brings buyers and sellers together through its information
management, transaction processing, direct marketing, and customer
relationship management businesses. Equifax (NYSE EFX) customers include
financial services, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities,
transportation, information technology and healthcare industries. Equifax adds
knowledge, expertise, convenience and security to provide value-added
solutions and processes for its customers wherever they do business, including
the Internet and other networks. Equifax employs about 12,000 associates in 17
countries, with sales in almost 50, and has $2 billion in revenue.