Wireless Vending

PA-based e-Vend.net Corp. announced three new technologies for the next generation of vending. The new technologies will give the ability to make both cash and credit card transactions from one machine, to monitor two machines from one monitoring device, and gives the operator the option of a handheld solution for use when no wireless signal is available. e-Vend.net’s operating system is the only online vending system that offers non-cash payment options, including secure credit card, debit card, PIN card, and RFID tags. The company’s ‘reDEX’ device contains the proprietary technology that enables vending machines to be monitored wirelessly. Despite its open technology, signal remains an issue in some remote vending locations. With the launch of its new hand-held device, e-Vend.net is now able to monitor even those machines without access to any signal.


5pm ATM Deposits

A technology upgrade now allows Hibernia National Bank to credit deposits made at 256 of its automated teller machines (ATMs) to customer accounts long after teller windows have closed. Hibernia’s full-service ATMs now credit accounts with deposits on the same business day as long as the deposit is made prior to 5 p.m., an extension of the 3 p.m. deadline at most of the bank’s teller windows. The change, which adds convenience for customers in Louisiana and East Texas, was completed last month.

Previously at Hibernia, and currently at most banks across the country, late-afternoon ATM deposits were credited on the next business day, says William Arnold, Hibernia’s ATM delivery channel manager. Depending on an ATM’s location, the cutoff for credit was from noon to 2 p.m.

Hibernia is one of only a handful of banks nationally to extend deposit-credit times uniformly to 5 p.m. at its full-service ATMs accepting deposits, Arnold says. Some ATMs, often located in retail establishments, only dispense cash and cannot accept deposits.

The change follows a successful pilot program in the bank’s New Orleans branches in 1999 that showed the later cutoff time increased deposit activity at ATMs, Arnold says. Hibernia believes the attraction and flexibility of allowing later same-day credit for deposits will increase customers’ comfort with and use of ATM deposits.

Only 8% of transactions through more than 175,000 ATMs in the PULSE network of 2,000 financial institutions, including Hibernia, are deposits. Cash withdrawals comprise 77% of ATM transactions, Arnold says. “We believe that once customers make that first deposit at an ATM, they will become much more comfortable with it, as we saw when the direct-deposit feature was first introduced,” he says.

ATM deposits give customers a receipt, similar to those from teller windows. The new technology and newly designed ATM deposit envelopes have eliminated the need for a separate deposit slip. Customers can deposit cash, checks or a combination. The normal industry check-clearing process applies to ATM deposits.

Hibernia, a Fortune 1000 company, has $16.7 billion in assets and 263 locations in 34 Louisiana parishes, 16 Texas counties and two Mississippi counties. Hibernia is the leader in Louisiana with 23.3% of deposits and in its Texas market area with 10.7%. Hibernia Corporation’s common stock (HIB) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. News releases, product and service information, and other useful data are available at [www.hibernia.com][1]. Requests for information about products and services can be e-mailed to mailus@hibernia.com.

[1]: http://www.hibernia.com/


Datakey Order

Datakey Inc. announced that an international government organization has placed an order for Datakey PKI smart cards, card readers and client software for 10,000 users. Datakey PKI smart card systems will provide advanced security and strong user authentication for employees conducting daily business operations over computer networks.

About Datakey, Inc.

Datakey, Inc. is a leading international provider of smart card solutions for PKI. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., the company offers a family of smart card-based information security and digital signature products. Using state-of-the-art cryptographic technology, these products fill growing market needs for secure, smart card-based user authentication and data privacy for business-to-business e-commerce. Datakey’s smart card-based information security products play an integral role in any PKI system by providing two-factor security — something that is owned (a smart card) and something that is known (a password).

Shares of Datakey’s common stock are traded on Nasdaq under the symbol DKEY. You can find more information on the Datakey Web site at [http://www.datakey.com][1] . You can view all Datakey press releases on the Web site at [http://www.prnewswire.com][2] or via fax by calling Company News On-Call at 800-758-5804, ext. 231950.

[1]: http://www.datakey.com/
[2]: http://www.prnewswire.com/


Project ACTION

NACHA announced Monday at its PAYMENTS 2001 conference that it is launching a project that would enable consumers and businesses to make secure payments for Internet transactions. Called Project ACTION — ACH Credit Transactions Initiated Online — the program will develop a payment method for Internet consumer-to-business, business-to-business, and electronic bill payment transactions utilizing Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits.

“An advantage of the ACH Network is the ability to process credit payments, in which funds are pushed to sellers or other payment recipients,” said Elliott C. McEntee, President and Chief Executive Officer of NACHA. “For example, ACH credits have been in use for more than 25 years for Direct Deposit, and in 2000 were used more than 3 billion times to make Direct Deposit payments to 100 million people. Currently, other payment methods require account information to be provided to sellers, that then attempt to authenticate the buyer and pull funds from buyers’ accounts.”

How ACTION Works

The key difference between ACTION and other electronic payment methods is that a buyer (a consumer or business) would initiate a payment to a seller via its own financial institution, rather than authorizing the seller to debit its account. This feature enhances security of payments while reducing many of the risks.

With ACTION, a buyer visits a seller’s web site, decides to make a purchase (or pay a bill) and chooses ACTION as the payment method. The buyer selects its financial institution from a drop-down menu, and is linked to its financial institution’s web site. The financial institution authenticates the buyer, perhaps through an existing Internet banking platform, and asks the buyer to authorize the payment. The financial institution then verifies the buyer’s account balance and initiates a guaranteed ACH credit payment to the seller’s financial institution.

“ACTION brings security and privacy to payments for Internet transactions because consumers and businesses will be able to initiate payments directly from their financial institutions, rather than providing account information to a seller or a third-party,” said McEntee. “Consumers and businesses have existing, trusted relationships with their financial institutions, whereas they may be uncomfortable providing account information on the Internet to sellers or service-providers. Many financial institutions are already able to authenticate their customers online through Internet banking platforms or similar methods. ACTION leverages that existing ability into new authentication and payments business opportunities online.”

Benefits of the ACTION Payment Model

ACTION provides financial institutions the ability to serve as a payments portal for individual and corporate customers. ACTION is an opportunity for banks to build authentication and guaranteed payment services into their payments processing business. Financial institutions can leverage existing authentication methods and information technology investment to support ACTION.

Sellers benefit from receiving guaranteed payments from buyers’ financial institutions, which reduces the risk of returned payments. The risk of fraud is lower because the responsibility for authenticating buyers is shifted from sellers to the buyers’ financial institutions, where trusted relationships with buyers already exist. ACTION provides sellers the opportunity to offer a secure payment option that allows buyers to pay directly from their checking accounts.

Buyers benefit from the ability to keep their financial and payment information private from sellers that perhaps were previously unknown to them. Buyers can utilize a method to pay directly from checking or savings accounts with existing funds.

Next Step

Project ACTION will be operated as an independent membership program within NACHA. Members will develop the business plans and requirements, product design, technology requirements, and a brand identity. Membership is open to all payments industry stakeholders. The first meeting of the Project ACTION membership will take place May 15-16 in Reston, Virginia. For membership information, visit the Project ACTION web site at [http://www.project-action.org][1] , or contact Julie Hedlund, Senior Director of Electronic Commerce, NACHA, at 703-561-3915 or jhedlund@nacha.org.

The ACH Network

The ACH Network serves 20,000 financial institutions, 3 million businesses, and 100 million individuals. The ACH Network is commonly used for Direct Deposit of payroll and government benefits such as Social Security, Direct Payment of consumer bills, business-to-business payments, federal tax payments, and, increasingly, e-commerce and international payments. In 2000 there were almost 6.9 billion ACH payments made worth more than $20.3 trillion.

About NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association

NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system. NACHA represents more than 12,000 financial institutions through direct memberships and a network of regional payments associations, and 600 organizations through its six industry councils. NACHA develops operating rules and business practices for the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network and for electronic payments in the areas of Internet commerce, electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP), financial electronic data interchange (EDI), international payments, electronic checks, and electronic benefits transfer (EBT). Visit NACHA on the Internet at [http://www.nacha.org][2].

[1]: http://www.project-action.org/
[2]: http://www.nacha.org/


Diebold Cutbacks

Diebold is eliminating approximately 600 positions and divesting its MedSelect business to save about $25 million annually. As it releases its 1Q/01 report this morning, the ATM manufacturer said it will incur realignment charges of $27 million against first quarter earnings and additional charges in the range of $30 million to $40 million through the balance of this year. The company continues to streamline its North American operations with early retirement programs for eligible employees, the consolidation of facilities and additional job eliminations associated with manufacturing capacity adjustments and attrition. Diebold employs 11,000 worldwide.


ACH 2000

NACHA reported yesterday that the number of bill payments and other consumer debit payments, including credit cards, made over the ACH Network in 2000, totaled 2.2 billion, an 18.4% increase over 1999. Thirty-two million paper checks were also converted into electronic ACH debits at retail locations last year. Commercial use of ACH payments increased by 14.1%, from 5.29 billion in 1999 to 6.03 billion in 2000. The number of Direct Deposits in 2000 increased by 8.75% over 1999, from 3.0 billion to 3.3 billion. The total ACH payments for 2000 hit 6.88 billion compared to 6.12 billion for 1999. The dollar amount of the transactions grew from $19.0 trillion in 1999 to $20.3 trillion in 2000, a 6.5% increase. The statistics were released yesterday at the ‘NACHA Payments 2001’ conference.


Levitz/Seaman Renew HH

Household International, the $98 billion consumer lender (managed assets), announced that its private label credit card unit has renewed its partnership agreements with Seaman Furniture Company, Inc., and Levitz Home Furnishings, Inc.

“With these agreements, Household strengthens its position as the leading private label credit card provider to the furniture industry,” said Sandy Derickson, managing director and CEO, Household Retail Services. “We are proud to continue our long-term, successful partnerships with Seaman’s and Levitz, two of the industry’s top furniture retailers.”

Household renegotiated contracts with both retailers when Levitz Home Furnishings, Inc., became the parent company of both Seaman’s and Levitz Furniture Corp., which recently emerged from Chapter 11. Household has managed Seaman’s private label credit card program since 1997 and Levitz’s since 1998.

“Our reorganization has been a lengthy process, and we have appreciated Household’s continued support,” said Ed Grund, CEO of Levitz. “Now, we are moving forward and extending our partnership with Household so that Levitz customers will continue to benefit from Household’s premier credit card program.”

Previously, Seaman’s and Levitz had been ranked independently among the top 20 furniture retailers in the U.S., but now Levitz Home Furnishings, Inc.’s subsidiaries will command 116 stores positioned to produce approximately $900 million in sales this fiscal year. Both companies’ private label credit card programs offer customers a revolving credit card account, special financing offers, a dedicated line of credit and no annual fee. The programs also allow customers to apply for credit online at Seamans.com and Seamanskids.com .

“Using Household’s private label expertise and financing flexibility, Seaman’s has built a highly successful credit card program,” said Alan Rosenberg, CEO of Seaman’s. “We look forward to building on this success by continuing our long-term partnership with Household.”

Levitz operates 59 stores on the West and East Coast and in the Phoenix, Las Vegas and Minneapolis/St. Paul markets. Seaman’s operates 57 stores on the East Coast and Ohio.

Household businesses are leading providers of consumer finance, credit cards, non-prime auto finance and credit insurance products in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. In the United States, Household largest business, founded in 1878, operates under the two oldest and most widely recognized names in consumer finance-HFC and Beneficial. Household is also one of the nation’s largest issuers of private-label and general purpose credit cards, including the GM Card and the AFL-CIO’s Union Privilege card. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.household.com][1].

[1]: http://www.household.com/


Chairman Chenault

American Express Company said Monday that its Board of Directors elected Kenneth I. Chenault, 49, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Today’s announcement completes the previously-announced transition of leadership to Mr. Chenault from his predecessor, Harvey Golub, 62.

Mr. Chenault has served as CEO since January 1 of this year, when he assumed those responsibilities from Mr. Golub. Mr. Chenault will no longer use the title of President, a position he has held since 1997.

American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, business services, insurance and international banking. For more information, visit [http://www.americanexpress.com][1].

[1]: http://www.americanexpress.com/


Ruby SuperSystem

VeriFone has become the first company to conform its petroleum/c-store payment system to the standard ‘ISO 8583’ message format, which is endorsed by the National Association of Convenience Stores. VeriFone has 40,000 installations of its ‘Ruby SuperSystem’ worldwide, with most in North America. VeriFone is developing an ‘ISO 8583’-based interface for the ‘Ruby’ system in cooperation with Paymentech and PayPoint Electronic Payment Systems. The ‘ISO 8583’ standard has been in use for a long time for host-to-host transaction processing and now is being extended to the more-demanding terminal-to-host communication environment of the petroleum/c-store industry. As processors adopt this standard, merchants will benefit from the ability to implement new features faster and may find specific common transactions becoming much more standardized across payment processors and platforms. VeriFone also said Monday that a study it conducted on the use of NACS standards and found the average c-store would save $13,000 annually with the technology.


Paymentech Gift Card

Paymentech this weekend, unveiled the first proprietary gift card turnkey solution that integrates gift card transactions with credit card processing. The ‘Paymentech Gift Card’ allows restaurants to offer gift cards without using a third-party vendor. This program expands the market for proprietary stored-value cards by enabling restaurants to brand and launch their own gift cards. Paymentech clients select the card design, customizing the card with their name, logo and artwork. Restaurants can choose from different strategies on how to run their program. Gift cards can be pre-denominated with a specific amount on the card’s face. They can also be non-denominated so merchants, from the POS terminal, can add value to an account when it is sold to a customer. Value can be added and deducted from a gift card at each use. Merchants will also have the ability in the future to add loyalty programs and electronic coupons to their POS payment systems. Internet reporting is available to the merchant for tracking transaction activity and outstanding liabilities. Store level reports are available from the POS device to assist in daily reconciliation and monitoring of transactions.


Biometric Terminals

VeriStar announces that it will work with Hypercom Corporation, a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions, to enable consumer payment authentication services and pay-by-touch at the point-of-sale.

Already handling traditional plastic cards, chip-based or smart cards, and paper checks, Hypercom(R) now looks to add biometrics as another voluntary method of consumer payment at the merchant countertop. Under the terms of the agreement, VeriStar and Hypercom will evaluate the benefits of developing an integrated “biometric acceptance infrastructure,” which will include multi-lane, government/EBT, wireless and stand-alone merchants in domestic and international markets.

![][1] “VeriStar is proud to be working closely with a market leader like Hypercom. Retailers want to work with proven companies for payment acceptance and Hypercom’s ICE(TM) equipment and payment appliances are used by more than four million merchants worldwide,” said Phil Gioia, CEO of VeriStar Corporation. “The payment industry has long ago automated the authorization and settlement of transactions. Now the advantages of automating authentication and the voluntary option for consumers to pay their credit, debit and checking accounts without having to use plastic and paper is reaching the market.” “Hypercom historically is the leader in developing and introducing new relevant technologies, such as our Internet-enabled ICE terminals and graphical touch screens,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, president, Hypercom Transaction Systems Group. “Being the first payment appliance company to help enable shoppers to pay at the point-of-sale without having to rely solely on paper or plastic affirms Hypercom’s commitment to securely enabling all payment types — using both traditional and emerging technologies. For retailers, they can better manage payment types, gain more transactions, speed checkthrough and help reduce fraud with very little infrastructure.”

In commenting about the viability of biometrics as a payment platform, Shalini Chowdhay, Auto ID Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan states, “Using biometrics as an alternate method for authentication for financial transactions is a brilliant idea. It is quick, convenient and above all, probably the safest. The payment industry is ready for a new mode of authentication, initial skepticism about biometrics has dissipated to a large extent, and biometric sensor technology has vastly improved — the timing is perfect.”

About VeriStar

VeriStar’s fully voluntary service enables a cashless, checkless, cardless payment environment in which consumers will use their own unique physical characteristics to complete their daily payment transactions securely, conveniently, and efficiently. It also enables merchants to substantially reduce transaction-processing costs, and significantly mitigate the risk of fraud. VeriStar’s Internet address is [www.veristarcorp.com][2].

About Hypercom

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants, and acquirers. Hypercom’s products include secure card payment terminals and web appliances, networking equipment, and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards, and traditional payment applications. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom maintains an installed base of more than 4 million card payment terminals, which operate seamlessly with the products of its Network Systems Division. These solutions are installed in over 100 countries and conduct more than 2.85 billion transactions annually. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][3]

[1]: /graphic/veristar/veristar.gif
[2]: http://www.veristarcorp.com/
[3]: http://www.hypercom.com/


NextCard Stats

NextCard’s 700,000+ cardholders continue to be active on line shoppers, making online purchases approximately five times more often than the average online credit card user. The ‘NextCard eCommerce Index’ for March shows that Amazon.com remained the No. 1 online merchant, followed closely by Half.com, EBay, Ubid.com and BarnesandNoble.com. New Top 30 e-commerce merchants for the month include Classmates.com, an online school reunion portal, and CitySpree.com, a regional auctions site. Equifax, which offers a suite of credit tracking services for consumers, came in as #28 on NextCard’s survey with a 20% gain in spending for March. The ‘NextCard eCommerce Index’ combines a large cardholder base of active online purchasers and data-mining technology that tracks online credit card transactions.