The U.S. Senate voted 55 to 42 yesterday to kill legislation to limit credit card credit lines for consumers under the age of 21. A second proposal, requiring minors to a get parental consent and credit counseling before applying for a credit card, was also killed by a Senate vote of 58 to 41. The first Democratic proposal would have imposed a $2,500 limit on credit cards for under-21 consumers unless the parent co-signed or the minor could show sufficient income for the higher credit limit. The second Democratic proposal would have required a minor to show adequate income, evidence of taking a credit counseling course, and a parent’s consent before applying for a credit card. The Senate is continuing its debate of bankruptcy reform and is expected to pass the measure this week.Details
Hypercom Corporation Transaction Systems Group President Jairo E. Gonzalez announced Tuesday that the company has shipped its four millionth point-of-sale card payment terminal. The terminal, Hypercom’s popular ICE 5500, epic compatible terminal, was shipped to First Data Merchant Services to support their ongoing implementation requirements. This achievement follows Hypercom’s near 40% increase in 1999 global terminal shipments and the company’s 12% increase in 2000 U.S. shipments.
“Hypercom is rapidly building its market share, and our technology is setting the standard for the electronic payment industry worldwide,” Gonzalez said in remarks to hundreds of convention attendees at the ETA Annual Meeting and Exposition. “We are bringing to market advanced terminals and value-added wireless, Internet-based and smart card applications that allow merchants to maintain and increase their competitive edge in the rapidly changing marketplace. We are moving towards worldwide industry leadership, and we are doing it by providing the best possible solutions to innovative and industry-leading companies such as First Data Merchant Services.”
“We applaud Hypercom’s record-breaking victory. They are an excellent partner in providing quality card payment products and they are committed to service,” said Steve Van Fleet, senior vice president, First Data Merchant Services, as Gonzalez presented him with a gold-plated ICE 5500 terminal. “The selection of Hypercom was an easy one. They are a premier provider of consumer interactive, screen-based, smart card enabled card payment terminals and web appliances that deliver an array of secure physical and Internet-based information services.” Escalating demand boosted Hypercom’s worldwide market share of POS terminal shipments to 18.4% in 1999 from 15.9% a year earlier as the electronic payment provider outpaced and continued to take market share from competitors. During 1999, Hypercom shipped 896,519 card payment terminals. This included dramatic 234% and 71% increases in Europe and Latin America, respectively. “This latest achievement demonstrates the continued gains that we are making at the expense of both the legacy market leader and would-be challengers,” Gonzalez added.
Hypercom’s ePOS-infocommerce(TM) (epic) ICE devices are high performance, touch screen-based, Internet-enabled card payment terminals and web appliances that incorporate a firewall-protected multi-application operating system, EMV chip card capability, secure PIN pad, built-in HTML/HTTP web browser and integrated receipt printer. In addition to the embedded applications, Hypercom’s epic ICE terminals support a range of value-added applications and services including: electronic signature and receipt capture, e-mail, on-screen advertising, interactive electronic coupons, and cash management reporting through a standard browser — as well as secure credit, debit and smart card functions. 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 4 million card payment terminals which operate in over 100 countries and conduct more than 2.5 billion transactions annually. Hypercom’s Internet address is [http://www.hypercom.com].
Toronto-based President’s Choice Bank said yesterday that First Data and CUETS have been selected as key partners for the upcoming launch of the ‘President’s Choice Financial MasterCard’. Founded three years ago, President’s Choice Financial services is a co-venture between Loblaw Companies Limited and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. There are more than 240 President’s Choice Financial bank machines and 180 President’s Choice Financial pavilions located at Loblaw Companies Limited stores across Canada. The new ‘President’s Choice Financial MasterCard’ will feature benefits of a premium credit card but with no annual fee. The core feature of the new card will be the ‘PCTM’ points loyalty program. Customers can earn ‘PC’ points on purchases everywhere which are redeemable for free groceries in Loblaw Companies Limited owned and franchised stores. CUETS will be providing application processing, 7×24 bilingual customer service, collection services and related credit card administration for the program. Transaction processing services and other card portfolio management services such as statements and risk management systems to support the portfolio will be provided by First Data Resources. !
InteliData Technologies Corp. , a pioneer in Internet banking and Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment technology and services, announced the appointment of Neal F. Finnegan, 62, to its Board of Directors.
Formerly Chairman and CEO of US Trust, he currently serves as President of Lumber Mutual Insurance Company, Chairman of Citizens Bank of Massachusetts, and a Director of Citizens Financial Group. Mr. Finnegan brings more than 40 years of experience in the financial services industry to InteliData.
Before joining Lumber Mutual, he was Chairman and CEO of US Trust, a $6 billion banking company, from 1993 to 1999. During that time, he organized the banking company’s successful turnaround, led a series of strategic mergers with financial institutions and insurance companies, and guided US Trust through its merger with Citizens Bank. Between 1993 and 1999, US Trust’s assets grew from $1.8 to $6 billion.
Prior to 1993, Mr. Finnegan held top positions with several financial institutions including: Executive Vice President at Bankers Trust Company of New York; President of the Bowery Savings Bank; President and Chief Executive Officer of Worcester Bancorp; and Vice Chairman of Shawmut Bank of Boston. Mr. Finnegan holds a B.A. in finance from Northeastern University, and an M.B.A. from Babson College.
“Neal is one of the earliest pioneers and advocates of technology in banking, and we are fortunate to have him join our Board of Directors,” said Al Dominick, President and CEO of InteliData. “Neal’s career experience – especially regarding technology for our industry since the 1980s – to grow financial services firms in innovative ways is a singular competitive value for our company, shareholders and customers.”
“InteliData is positioned unlike any other company to make the EBPP marketplace a practical reality for institutions and individual consumers,” said Mr. Finnegan. “We’re only just beginning to see the payoff on next- generation technology as it takes hold among banks, credit unions and financial institution processors. This is precisely where I want to be to help shape the future of this dynamic company and realize exciting change in the financial markets as it benefits consumers and businesses alike.”
Adding Neal Finnegan to its Board of Directors brings to eight the number of InteliData’s board members. They include Alfred S. Dominick, Jr., President and CEO of InteliData; William F. Gorog, Chairman of InteliData; Patrick F. Graham, Director of the Global Strategy Practice of A.T. Kearney, Inc; John J. McDonnell, Jr., a private investor; L. William Seidman, publisher of Bank Director magazine and chief commentator on CNBC-TV; Norman J. Tice, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of MasterCard International, Inc.Global; and Charles A. White, Vice Chairman of InteliData.
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].
Paymentplus, the leader in global payment solutions and provider of enterprise-class electronic payment processing software announced today the appointment of Ramesh Rajagopalan, with both a PhD and an MBA, to the new position of Vice President of Operations.
Mr. Rajagopalan will be responsible for corporate systems, business strategy, general management, and product development.
Mr. Rajagopalan has over 20 years of experience in general management and technology including business planning, strategy development, financial modeling and analysis, management consulting, and business development. “Ramesh will make a strong addition to our existing team”, said Raj Jalla, President and CEO of Paymentplus. “I am confident that with his skills and high level management experience Ramesh will play an integral role in taking our business to the next level.”
Prior to joining Paymentplus, Mr. Rajagopalan was with Xpedior, managing e-business projects as a Senior Business Consultant. Mr. Rajagopalan has special expertise in managing business and technology interfaces, building organizational information technology capabilities and managing the overall information technology function. Ramesh holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Paymentplus, Inc. develops electronic payment processing software for the enterprise. Enterprise class capability means that LiveProcessor is able to combine transactions from online, call center, interactive voice response system and retail operations on a single, central server. LiveProcessor delivers a real-time interface to third-party payment processors such as Chase Merchant Services, First Data Corporation and Paymentech and a direct connection to American Express. Paymentplus’ LiveProcessor software completes over 400,000 transactions in 40 countries and 23 foreign currencies on a daily basis. Companies like Amana, AOL, AT&T, Bally’s Total Fitness, Coca Cola, Concentric Networks, EDS, Global Crossing, NEC, NEXTEL, RealNetworks, Rexall Showcase, Snap-On Tools, Tupperware, Value Vision, Verizon Wireless, Virtual University Enterprises and XO Communications have all chosen Paymentplus’ software for their payment processing needs. For more information on Paymentplus, Inc. please visit us at [www.paymentplus.com].
While MasterCard is approaching the $1 trillion level in global sales volume, VISA released preliminary data yesterday indicating it is approaching the $2 trillion level. VISA worldwide card dollar volume edged past the US$1.8 trillion mark, a 21% increase over 1999. Transaction volume grew an estimated 19%. VISA says it saw the most dramatic growth in its CEMEA (Central Europe-Middle East-Africa), Asia-Pacific, and Latin America & Caribbean regions with year-to-year growth rates of 51%, 45%, and 31% respectively. VISA also reports it now has over one billion payment cards in circulation globally. The VISA acceptance network now includes over 21 million merchants and 652,000 ATMs.Details
Strapped for cash, PSINet signed a definitive agreement Tuesday to sell its Transaction Solutions unit for $285 million to GTCR Golder Rauner, in partnership with an executive team led by the acquired company’s founder. Jack McDonnell, the founder, sold the company to PSINet in 1999 for $720 million. The company said it will revert to its former name, Transaction Network Services. Mr. McDonnell founded TNS in 1990 as a provider of network services for credit card transaction processing companies. The company completed an IPO in 1994 and expanded into other network services areas before its sale to PSINet in late 1999. Today, the TNS network carries approximately 6.5 billion domestic transactions annually, and is expanding its POS and ATM services business internationally. Additionally, the company offers SS7, local number portability and other network-based services to telecommunications carriers. TNS also operates a secure IP-based extranet to support the ‘Financial Information eXchange’ messaging protocol and other transactional trading applications for the securities industry. Since the first of this year, PSINet spun off its consumer subsidiary and sold one its consulting operations in addition to yesterday’s TNS sale. The deal is expected to close April 1.Details
PayPal announced “PayPal Shops,” a directory of e-commerce merchants that prefer to be paid through PayPal, the leading online payment service. The collection of more than 5,600 businesses, arranged by merchandise or service category, will provide PayPal’s nearly seven million members with a new, convenient way to shop online. In turn, PayPal-preferring merchants will get to compete for the attention and dollars of PayPal.com’s more than three million unique weekly visitors — people proven to use the Internet not just to browse, but to buy.
“For our seven million members, finding the right place to shop online just got easier with PayPal Shops,” said David Sacks, executive vice president of product, PayPal. “That’s because our members have told us they prefer to shop at e-businesses that accept PayPal. Sellers listed on PayPal Shops also benefit by using the number one online payments provider, fueled by more Internet traffic than any other financial website.”
PayPal members spend approximately $8 million a day in more than 160,000 transactions. PayPal allows people and businesses to send and receive money instantly and securely over the Internet, funded from credit cards or bank accounts.
PayPal is the leading payment service for online auctions, including eBay(TM), where most auctions advertise PayPal as a preferred payment method. For eBay(TM) seller Tim Grayson, listing in PayPal Shops is a great way to increase bids — and sales.
“Lots of my buyers like to pay through PayPal and I’ve already accepted thousands of dollars in successful sales through the service, so it just made sense to list my business in PayPal Shops to get in front of their millions of buyers,” said Grayson, whose recent auctions include name-brand leather goods and electronics equipment. “As an eBay(TM) seller, also listing in PayPal Shops makes my merchandise available to an even broader market, and one whose members are ready to pay online for faster shipment. I like that.”
PayPal is also increasingly being used for non-auction e-commerce, and as a cost-effective payment service for off-line businesses looking to receive payment at their corporate website.
“Our customers are located all over the country,” said Paula Banks of Georgia-based Automotive Transport, Inc. “Having people pay us through PayPal is convenient for them and fast, easy and inexpensive for us,” she added. “With PayPal Shops, we can advertise our transport service to a national audience of millions of Internet users — people who are already set up to send us payment by email. That’s a very valuable service for a small business.”
For frequent online shopper Heather Ryan, the value of PayPal Shops is obvious. “It’s hard enough finding exactly what you want online at a price you’re willing to pay,” she says. “The beauty of PayPal Shops is that once you do, you don’t have to worry about how to pay for it and how long it’s going to take to get it — I can pay by email and have it shipped the same day.”
PayPal is the instant and secure online payment service that allows people and businesses to send and receive money by e-mail from bank accounts or credit cards. With nearly 7 million members and growing, PayPal is the world’s first and largest Internet-based payment service, and the #1 financial site on the Internet, according to PC Data Online. PayPal is the preferred payment service for online auctions, online community and group Web sites, and is seeing tremendous growth in e-commerce transactions for small businesses. PayPal members send approximately $8 million in more than 160,000 payments each day. Free to consumers, PayPal can be used from PCs or web-enabled mobile phones. Business users pay transaction fees to receive payments through PayPal.
Founded in 1998 by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, PayPal is a privately held company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. PayPal was named one of the 50 Most Important Private Companies in the World by Red Herring and one of the Top 25 New Companies by Fortune Small Business. The PayPal Website has been cited as among the “Best of the Web” by Forbes, Time, PC Magazine and U.S. News & World Report. For more information, please visit [http://www.paypal.com].
ACI Worldwide, a leading international provider of enterprise e-payment solutions, and Fujitsu-ICL Systems, Inc., one of the industry’s leading ATM manufacturers, announce that Fujitsu’s new Series 8000 family of ATMs will support ACI’s BASE24-file manager application. BASE24-file manager enables financial institutions and other ATM owners to transfer, process, and manage files of diverse data types using various communication protocols, such as X.25, TCP/IP and SNA from Series 8000 ATMs–eliminating “sneaker ware” and reducing the need for costly site visits to update graphics and other ATM-resident software.
BASE24-file manager also allows financial institutions to deliver cost-effective revenue-producing marketing campaigns. The application has the ability to deliver specialized graphic and video files to a selected group of devices or to a large, diverse device population. It enables users to change advertising or marketing messages quickly and efficiently to maximize revenue potential.
“ACI’s BASE24-file manager is the perfect complement to Fujitsu’s Web-enabled Series 8000 ATMs. It offers the ability to send software fixes and other files through the ATM’s communications networks, helping ATM operators reduce the costs associated with dispatching a technician to each and every ATM,” said Ron Omohundro, executive vice president and general manager of Fujitsu-ICL’s Transaction Systems division in La Jolla, Calif. “It’s a good fit for both companies.” The Series 8000 ATMs, available in April 2001, are based on Web-enabled, advanced technology that incorporates the Windows 2000 operating system. The ATMs not only allow consumers to securely deposit and withdraw money, but also potentially purchase movie tickets and phone cards as well as pay bills, apply for loans and view personalized weather forecasts.
“Fujitsu’s new Series 8000 represents the future direction of ATMs, and we are pleased they’ve chosen to add support for our BASE24-file manager application,” said Mark Vipond, president of ACI Worldwide. “BASE24 complements the state-of-the-art Web-enabled technology built into the Series 8000 ATMs and gives users another way to trim costs by safely delivering files through an existing ATM network.” BASE24-file manager is a member of ACI’s BASE24 family of e-payment processing applications currently used by more than 340 financial intuitions, retailers and processors around the globe.
About ACI Worldwide
ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq:TSAI) helps the world move money. Every minute of every day, financial institutions, retailers and e-payment processors rely on ACI solutions to manage consumer e-payments and information. As a leading international provider of e-commerce and e-payment solutions, ACI maintains operations in the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific. More than 2,400 customers in 79 countries use ACI distributed solutions. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at [http://www.aciworldwide.com].
About Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc.
Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. is a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), a $50 billion provider of Internet-based information technology solutions for the global marketplace. The company supplies bricks-and-clicks solutions that build on its established market leadership in retail and financial systems with innovative, Internet-based customer relationship management technologies. Its Transaction Systems division has almost 30 years experience in providing hardware/software solutions and services for retail point-of-sale (POS), specialized mobile computing and automated-teller-machine (ATM) applications. Its Transaction Applications division provides retail POS software applications and Internet-enabled customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that enable its clients to build high-value, personalized relationships with their customers. Web site: [http://www.fjicl.com].
CompuCredit Corporation recently introduced two Spanish-language Internet Web sites, [www.aspireamas.com] and [www.aspireahora.com] to help market its Aspire Visa credit cards to one of the fastest growing demographic segments in the United States. At [www.aspireamas.com], any visitor to the site can learn more about the benefits of the Aspire Visa credit cards as well as complete and submit an on-line application for consideration. [www.aspireahora.com] is designed to be a response channel for consumers responding to a pre-qualified direct mail or email offer for an Aspire Visa card.
“These two web sites are just one more step in our continuing success in reaching and serving the financial needs of this important, rapidly growing market segment,” said Michelle Pujol, Senior Marketing Manager for Interactive Marketing. “Currently approximately 12 percent of our customer base is of Hispanic origin and approximately 10 percent of our new accounts have requested card fulfillment in Spanish.”
The new Web sites complement CompuCredit’s existing initiatives for reaching the Hispanic market, from a Spanish solicitation or application to card fulfillment and account statements to 24-hour Spanish telephone customer service.
“People appreciate the opportunity to conduct their personal financial business in their native language. I think this is one of the strongest ways we can demonstrate our interest, respect and commitment to serving this underserved market,” commented Rafael Martinez, Senior Marketing Manager in charge of the Hispanic Initiative.
Collaborating in this effort are three longstanding agency partners of Aspire: IAC Ad Group (Miami, Fl) transcreated the Web sites, Creative Solutions Inc. (Hockessin, DE), oversaw the graphic design, and Visionary Systems Inc. (Atlanta, GA) developed the site coding.
CompuCredit Corporation is a credit card company that uses analytical techniques, including sophisticated computer models, to identify consumers who it believes are credit-worthy and are often turned down by more traditional consumer credit providers. CompuCredit markets unsecured Aspire(R) Visa(R) credit cards through direct mail, telemarketing and the Internet. In July 1999, CompuCredit launched its consumer web site, [www.aspirecard.com] through its Internet marketing services subsidiary AspireCard.com, Inc. Consumers can apply online and receive a credit decision within seconds. CompuCredit also markets credit insurance, card registration, buying club memberships and road services to its cardholders. Aspire Visa cards are issued by Columbus Bank and Trust Company under an agreement with CompuCredit. CompuCredit completed its initial public offering in April of 1999 and was included in the Russell 2000(R) Index in July 1999 and the NASDAQ FIN-100 Index in May 2000. For more information, visit the company web site at [http://www.compucredit.com].
Fair, Isaac and Marketswitch confirmed Tuesday they have formed a new loan scoring joint venture named OptiFI. The company will offer an unprecedented view into an individual borrower’s likelihood to pre-pay their loans. ‘Prepayment Speed’, is one of the most significant drivers of the profitability of a loan. Traditional methods used to determine “Prepayment Speed” have been limited to pool or loan level approaches. The technology developed by Marketswitch merges household level behavioral analysis with financial security pricing technology to unlock the value of understanding the impact of unique customer attributes on “Prepayment Speed”. Don Lange has been recruited to be Chairman and CEO of OptiFI.Details
A new security feature that combines a hologram with a machine-readable digital watermark is under development. OR-based Digimarc Corp. and American Bank Note Holographics are developing a holographic-digital watermark with enhanced covert features detectable by commonly available reader devices and special software. Machine-readable digital watermarks applied to holograms are designed to deter counterfeiting and make simulation attempts extremely difficult due to the layered technology approach. The holograms can be commonly found on VISA, MasterCard, Europay, Discover and Diner’s Club credit cards, as well as a wide variety of paper-based products such as currency, passports, and secure ID’s along with security and design packaging applications. !