XTRAN System

Miami-based Far East Ventures signed agreements to distribute CA-based Key Com’s ‘XTRAN’ electronic money transfer machines. ‘XTRAN’ allows the immediate transfer of cash from one point to another. Money transfers between the U.S. and foreign countries are expected to be the venture’s largest source of business. For example, approximately $6 billion per year is transferred from the U.S. to Mexico. Last year, almost $800 million was transferred to the island of Jamaica alone. Transfers to other countries in the Caribbean and Latin America account for this industry’s largest source of revenues. Bank One has agreed to provide cash transferring services under a multi-million dollar bond.


Credit Quality Stable

Standard & Poor’s expects that consumer credit quality will remain stable for the foreseeable future, according to Tom Warrack, a director in Standard & Poor’s Structured Finance Ratings group.

After analyzing average FICO® scores and average loan-to-value ratios, Mr. Warrack demonstrated that credit quality trends in subprime home equity mortgages are staying consistent.

“We think credit quality trends are going to remain pretty stable,” Mr. Warrack said.

For instance, in the second quarter of 2000, the average FICO® score was 600, compared to approximately 606 in the year-ago period. The average LTV in the same time frame was 76%, while it was 76.5% in the year-ago period.

These figures show that as FICO® scores dropped, the average LTV also dropped, indicating that mortgage loan originators may be not be relaxing lending standards in order to generate borrower business.

This information and more is available in “Trends in Residential Mortgage Products,” a quarterly publication that is available via RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor’s premier, Web-based, credit analysis system.


Out of Gas

The Priceline ‘Blue Gas Card’ and ‘Green Grocery Card’ have run out-of-gas and are headed for the check-out. The Priceline WebHouse Club announced Thursday it is closing shop over the next 90 days after failed efforts to raise more working capital from investors. More than two million cardholders holding “name-your-own-price” grocery and gas cards will be affected. However, the WebHouse Club said that all customers with unredeemed gas and groceries would receive a full refund of any prepaid amount, plus extra money to cover the estimated savings they were expecting to receive at the grocery store and gas pump. All WebHouse Club customers will receive an e-mail detailing the automatic refund process. Customers owed a refund will automatically receive it on their credit card. Refunds will be processed no later than Friday, Oct. 20. The company said its cash reserves of approximately $50 million, as well as $20 million of additional working capital, would be more than sufficient to satisfy all obligations to customers, employees and suppliers. The WebHouse Club had a total of 7,200 grocery stores and 6,000 gas stations participating in the “name-your-own-price” program. Yesterday’s announcement does not apply to any services offered by priceline.com, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, mortgages, new cars, rental cars and long-distance services. The Priceline WebHouse Club is a privately-held licensee of priceline.com.


College Phone Cards

Effective in October, Sprint plans to offer products and services to college students through TheCampusHub.com, a company formed by the Nebraska Book Company, Haas Wheat & Partners, and MSD Capital.

TheCampusHub.com gives campus bookstores a turnkey e-commerce solution that allows them to provide textbooks, collegiate merchandise, and other goods and services online. In addition, TheCampusHub.com arms the college bookstore with a “click-and-mortar” strategy to effectively compete against online competitors.

“By working with industry leaders like Sprint, TheCampusHub.com helps to drive traffic through the college bookstore’s Web site rather than around it,” said Barry Major, president, TheCampusHub.com. “Bookstores are able to offer an exciting new product, while increasing revenues for the store, and students will enjoy the convenience of buying online.

“We believe the bookstores are in the best position to provide quality products and services that serve students’ needs, as well as improve store profitability. We will soon be announcing other services that will further make the bookstore’s Web site the preferred site of college students,” said Major.

TheCampusHub.com provides a campus bookstore’s Web site with inventory of name brand items the bookstore may not currently offer, without adding thousands of feet of floor space.

“We believe that the bookstore is our customer and the student is the bookstore’s customer. The CampusHub concept is centered around that belief,” said Major. “In the first 90 days of implementation, we have penetrated more than 20 percent of the 15 million student population by installing this software in bookstores that see this as a way to keep their customers shopping locally and improve store profitability. We think our business strategy has been validated by the overwhelming response thus far and the tremendous interest we have seen from the bookstore industry.”

According to Major, TheCampusHub.com allows every college bookstore to create a dominating presence in the e-commerce arena. The bookstore historically has been the place where commerce has been transacted with the college student. Through CampusHub, bookstore managers can build an online presence that becomes a natural extension of where college students have been shopping for decades.

Beginning this October, Sprint will offer “virtual” prepaid phone cards to college students across the nation. Through their college bookstore’s Web site, students may purchase a Sprint phone card on line anytime, day or night. The virtual prepaid phone cards are e-mailed immediately to the student and may be downloaded to a printer, or calling instructions may simply be written down for future reference.

“We are excited to team up with TheCampusHub.com to offer students the convenience of purchasing prepaid phone cards online and we look forward to bringing other Sprint products to CampusHub in the near future,” said Tom Murphy, director, Sprint prepaid phone card sales and marketing. “The college market is an attractive demographic for Sprint, and through CampusHub, we are able to bring a wonderful product to market quickly and effectively.”

About TheCampusHub.com

TheCampusHub.com is based in Lincoln, Neb., and was formed by the Nebraska Book Company, Haas Wheat & Partners, and MSD Capital in May 2000. The company gives campus bookstores an integrated and turnkey e-commerce solution and allows them to serve students as the primary online buying source for textbooks, collegiate merchandise, and other goods and services. Haas Wheat & Partners is a private equity firm that invests in operating companies through friendly acquisitions in concert with company management. MSD Capital, the private investment firm of Michael Dell, engages in a broad range of activities, with a primary focus on investing in new, promising technology companies, traditional private equity activities, and investing in publicly traded securities.

About Nebraska Book Company

Based in Lincoln, Neb., Nebraska Book Company was founded in 1915 and is one of the nation’s largest used textbook wholesalers. Nebraska Book currently sells more than 7.1 million books annually to approximately 2,000 college bookstores, and owns or operates 100 bookstores. Nebraska Book also operates a cooperative buying program whose more than 400 member bookstores represent a large portion of the major universities in the country. In addition, Nebraska Book provides inventory management software to more than 300 college bookstore locations.

About Sprint

Sprint is a global communications company — at the forefront in integrating long distance, local, and wireless communications services — and one of the largest carriers of Internet traffic. Sprint built and operates the United States’ first nationwide, all-digital, fiber-optic network and is a leader in advanced data communications services. Sprint has $20 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 20 million business and residential customers.


Fujitsu ATM Sales Manager

Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. announced the appointment of Emilie Herr to sales manager for key accounts in the company’s financial systems market.

In her new role, Emilie will manage the sales team and key accounts among the top 100 banks and savings and loans. She also will oversee all new direct accounts and be responsible for expanding distribution of the company’s offerings, including Fujitsu Series 7000 Advanced Platform automated-teller machines and cash dispensers.

“Emilie brings a deep knowledge of the financial services industry and extensive experience with many product lines,” said Neill Collins, vice president sales, financial systems. “Her rejoining Fujitsu-ICL at this time underscores the exciting future we see for Fujitsu products in the financial systems and ATM markets.”

Emilie worked previously for Fujitsu from 1985 to 1990, and from 1997 to 1999. Most recently, she was Western Region sales manager for Austin, Texas-based Siemens Nixdorf, now called Wincor Nixdorf. From 1990 to 1996, Emilie served as sales manager of the western region for Alltel, a software company headquartered in Little Rock, Ark.

Prior to joining Alltel, Emilie worked from 1974 to 1985 in the San Diego offices of Dayton, Ohio-based NCR, where, in 1983, she was named one of the top 10 sales employees worldwide.

Emilie lives in Los Gatos, Calif., with her husband, Jerry.

About Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc.

Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. is a joint venture between Fujitsu, a leading provider of Internet-based IT solutions for the global marketplace, and ICL, a $4.4 billion e-Business services company wholly owned by Fujitsu.

The company targets retail, financial and e-Business services markets. Its Fujitsu Products group has almost 30 years experience in providing hardware/software solutions and services for retail point-of-sale (POS), specialized handheld computing and ATM applications. Its Retail Software and Services group provides development and customization services and support for retail POS software applications. Its Fujitsu Business Solutions group provides consultancy-led e-services and customer relationship management (CRM) that enable its clients to build high-value, personalized relationships with their customers.


Dollar Tree Deal

Dollar Tree Stores signed agreements yesterday to install an estimated 15,000 NCR POS workstations in its stores through Dec. 2004. The POS hardware will be provided by Data Business Systems, NCR’s authorized dealer in Virginia Beach, VA. Dollar Tree has also signed a five-year customer support agreement directly with NCR for all in-store systems. Dollar Tree, which currently operates more than 1,600 stores offering merchandise at the fixed price of $1.00, selected the NCR ‘7448 POS’ workstation. The workstations will be used with multiple software packages including NCR’s ‘Advanced Store@NeighborhoodPOS’ application. Dollar Tree also plans to install NCR in-store desktop computers for back office functionality and NCR ‘7880’ barcode scanners in selected stores.



Philips Digital Networks and Trintech Group Plc, a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions, have formed a strategic partnership to provide a t-commerce payment solution allowing TV audiences to securely pay for products purchased via their set-top boxes.

Philips manufactures digital set-top boxes for cable, satellite and terrestrial reception, which support interactive TV applications and Internet access. Combined with Trintech’s PayWare” eIssuer’ and PayWare mAccess’ payment technology, consumers can purchase products, made available to their TV screens from online merchants, via the set-top box. t-commerce provides a whole new channel of sales opportunity for online merchants, with the ability to present products in new and exciting ways through the cable/TV channel. In addition, service operators can benefit from their participation in this new e-commerce value chain, with additional revenue streams generated from sales commissions based on t-commerce transactions.

Commenting on the newly-formed partnership, executive vice president of Royal Philips Electronics and CEO of Philips Digital Networks, Rob van Oostenbrugge, said: “With service operators constantly searching for new revenue streams through eCommerce, they can now look to Philips and Trintech for an elegant payment solution that is both secure and convenient for consumers.” Compared to other existing interactive TV commerce applications, the Philips/Trintech solution is unique. For consumers, it combines the convenience of a few button clicks on the remote control with the ability to use their personal payment information for a wide range of applications, including interactive TV commerce, home shopping and the Internet. In combination with Philips’ CryptoWorks conditional access (CA) technology, transaction security is even further enhanced.

John McGuire, Trintech’s CEO, added: “With Forrester Research estimating that the total market for t-commerce will grow to $20-25 billion by 2005, it is a significant channel for B2C e-commerce. The power and flexibility of Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer and mAccess, coupled with Philips set-top box technology puts in place the payment infrastructure essential to fully enable t-commerce.”

With the Philips and Trintech t-commerce payment solution, consumers can automatically provide their payment information so that when they wish to pay for a product they simply select which card they want to use and the requested data is sent to the merchant. With built-in security features to authenticate the cardholder, PayWare eIssuer provides a secure and convenient payment solution for t-commerce.

About Philips

Philips Digital Networks – a business group of the Philips Consumer Electronics division – is a world-leading provider of advanced digital system solutions for Service and Network providers in broadcasting and video distribution. Philips Digital Networks offers product and service solutions for customers in both the professional side of the distribution chain, as well as for consumers to use in the home. In the consumer domain, Philips Digital Networks is a leading provider of set-top boxes for digital television and Internet delivery, as well as personal video recording. A pioneer in the development of Internet-enabling technologies, Philips Digital Networks is playing a key role in the introduction of MPEG4-based media streaming solutions. The broad professional product portfolio includes a comprehensive range of television cameras, studio and compression equipment, conditional access systems and transmission systems for broadband cable networks to deliver a full array of interactive services. A flexible customer support program and active involvement in the bodies setting tomorrow’s entertainment and information delivery standards makes Philips a natural partner for the digital broadcast era.


Check Cashers Board

The Check Cashers Association of New York, Inc. announced new officers and board members elected at its annual general membership meeting. All assume office on January 1, 2001.

Officers elected for a one-year term are:

James Eustace, president. Mr. Eustace, 45, was re-elected to serve a second term. He had been CCANY treasurer since 1994, and was secretary for two years prior. A CCANY board member for 12 years and member of the check cashing industry for 17 years, Mr. Eustace is owner and president of West Side Trading, Inc., with two locations in Manhattan.

Matt Bardach, vice president. Mr. Bardach, 42, was re-elected to a second term. He has served as a CCANY board member for 12 years. He is president and chief operating officer of David’s Financial Corp., which operates David’s Check Cashing Inc. with 15 locations in the New York City area, and David’s Financial Services, with five check cashing locations and on-site payroll locations in New Jersey and Rockland County. The combined companies employ 125 people.

Andrew Boisselle, secretary. Mr. Boisselle, 38, a CCANY board member for 8 years, was re-elected secretary for a third term. Owner and vice president of CEBCO Check Casher Corp. for the past 12 years, Mr. Boiselle operates four locations in Brooklyn and Queens, with 20 employees.

Jay Brodsky, treasurer. Mr. Brodsky, 39, was re-elected to a second term. He is owner and president of Challenger Check Cashing Corp. with one location in Brooklyn, and six employees.

Eleven directors were also elected for a two-year term. They include:

1. Edward Toledano, president, Uneeda Check Cashing Inc., New York City

2. Ray Mustafa, president, The Pay-O-Matic Corp., Syosset, N.Y.

3. Stephen Wolf, treasurer, The Pay-O-Matic Corp., Syosset, N.Y.

4. Brian Wertling, vice president, Fortune Check Cashing Inc., Brooklyn

5. Martin Goldstein, president, A&T Check Cashing Corp., Brooklyn

6. Stanley Laxer, vice president, Samceil Check Cashing Service, Inc., Brooklyn

7. John Winters, president, Ridge Check Cashing Corp., Brooklyn

8. John Davila, president, Alivad Associates, Inc., Brooklyn

9. Sam Brevdeh, president, Uribea Realty Corp., New York City

10. Wayne Schwartz, secretary/treasurer, MTW Check Cashing Corp., Staten Island

11. Robert Egan, president, G&R Check Cashing/MVMM Corp., Mt. Vernon, N.Y.

About the Check Cashers Association of New York CCANY ([http://www.ccanyinc.org][1] ) represents over 600 licensed check cashing stores statewide, employing over 4,000 residents and cashing checks with a face value approaching $14 billion. The industry is regulated by the New York State Banking Department, and charges a 1.4% check cashing fee — the lowest in the nation. Check cashers also offer payment of utility bills, sales of MetroCards and subway tokens — it is the second largest purveyor after the Metropolitan Transit Authority, pre-paid telephone cards, postage, money orders, wire remittances and cash advances, to cite a few of the many financial services available.

[1]: http://www.ccanyinc.org/


Digital Monitoring

To give customers superior security monitoring technology via the Internet and similar high-speed data networks, Diebold, Incorporated and Digital Monitoring Products, Inc., announced a strategic alliance that will provide financial institutions and retail commercial customers with sales, service and installation of advanced security systems.

Diebold is a global leader in providing integrated self-service delivery systems, security and services. DMP designs and manufacturers the most innovative and advanced intrusion, fire and access control panels in the security industry. The two companies are also working together to develop niche products for specific market applications. Both companies will benefit from the newly formed alliance by transmitting alarm signals over the Internet or through similar data systems to increase customer service and reduce response times.

While most security monitoring companies are still using analog transmission via telephone lines, both Diebold and DMP have been transmitting signals digitally for some time.

“This alliance fits into Diebold’s long-term goal of evolving from being a manufacturer to a systems integrator and service provider of outsourced security products and technologies,” said Richard Baggot, general manager, Integrated Security Solutions Group at Diebold.

“With Diebold now providing DMP products to the marketplace, current and future DMP customers now have access to Diebold, a global installer and supplier of alarm products,” said Mark Hillenburg, marketing manager for DMP.

For the past 25 years, Springfield, Missouri-based DMP has designed and manufactured quality security products for professional installation and service companies. Quick and easy installation, outstanding reliability, installer-friendly programming and industry exclusive features are hallmarks of DMP’s highly advanced line of electronic security products. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [www.dmpnet.com][1].

Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self-service delivery systems and services. Diebold employs more than 11,000 associates with representation in more than 80 countries worldwide and headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $1.3 billion in 1999 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol `DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [www.diebold.com][2].

[1]: http://www.dmpnet.com/
[2]: http://www.diebold.com/


SmartXA Card

Philips Semiconductors, a division of Royal Philips Electronics, announced SmartXA, a second generation of its high-end smart card microcontrollers. SmartXA is designed to power future developments in mobile communications and secure network access. The new 16-bit architecture has been optimised to support multiple applications. With its high levels of security and support for public key cryptography it also provides a secure platform for banking and government applications.

In 2001, telecom industry leaders will begin trials of high-end GSM Java cards and Universal IC cards (UICCs are comparable to today’s SIM cards in GSM networks) for third generation mobile phones. SmartXA 2nd generation is the ideal choice for future mobile communications because it is capable of supporting all applications delivered across a Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) network, such as an electronic purse, a national electronic ID, RSA-based digital signatures, and modules for secured WAP operations.

“With SmartXA 2nd generation, Philips Semiconductors is leading the way for a new world of interactive mobile applications, creating opportunities for smart card users to transact a wide range of on-line business in complete security, ” said Karsten Ottenberg, General Manager of the Business Line Identification, Philips Semiconductors.

Key Features Of The New SmartXA 2nd Generation Family

— High performance through a true 16-bit architecture, enabling the use of a wide range of interpreter-based languages and open software platforms, including Java, Windows for Smart Cards and Multos, and to support multiple application use of smart cards

— Enhanced memory configuration with up to 64 K EEPROM, 128 K ROM and 5 K RAM

— Low power consumption (required in mobile applications)

— USB interface, enabling easy access to smart card data and applications from personal computers

— Fast and flexible Cyclic Redundancy Code (CRC) Calculation Unit to support high security data integrity

— Comprehensive security features including an enhanced on-chip hardware firewall which provides separation and integrity of data and applications, a true random number generator , a high-speed triple DES coprocessor, and a FameX public key cryptography co-processor

Philips Semiconductors SmartXA 2nd generation is part of an extended family concept, offering a complete product range to address the different requirements of future smart card applications. With the advent of new, even more advanced silicon process technologies like 0.18 um and below, Philips Semiconductors as a recognized technology leader will be able to implement new smart card IC architectures efficiently. A direct result is that, to broaden its smart card IC portfolio further to an extended 8-, 16- and 32-bit concept, Philips Semiconductors is also working on new 32-bit architectures, in parallel to the design of its next silicon process technology based on CMOS 0.18 um.

About Philips Semiconductors

Philips Semiconductors, which has annual revenues of approximately US$5 billion, designs and manufactures semiconductors and silicon systems platforms. Philips Semiconductors is spearheading the emerging field of systems on silicon solutions with the innovative Nexperia(TM) platform and VLSI Velocity(TM) tool set. The company’s Sea-of-IP design methodology allows plug and play intellectual property blocks for easily customizable products. The company is a leader in communications, consumer, PC peripherals and automotive semiconductors, which are key applications for convergence in end-user products. Philips Semiconductors is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and has operations throughout the world. For more information: [http://www.philips.semiconductors.com][1].

[1]: http://www.philips.semiconductors.com/


Phone Debits

NACHA has given the green light for consumer electronic payments by telephone. The Electronic Payments Association has approved an amendment to the NACHA Operating Rules, effective March 16, 2001, that permits consumers to authorize over the telephone electronic debits to their accounts to pay for goods or services. Operating rules for the ACH Network currently require debit authorizations to be in writing, and signed or similarly authenticated. While useful for recurring bill payments for mortgages, insurance premiums, utilities and other recurring payments, a written authorization can be cumbersome for one-time, non-recurring payments. Under the new rules, verbal authorizations take the place of written authorizations for these non-recurring payments. The authorization is either tape-recorded or a written confirmation notice is sent to the consumer. A separate authorization is required for each debit transaction, the originating company is required to keep a record of the authorization for two years, and consumers have the right to challenge debits they believe to be unauthorized. Significantly, the rules specifically prohibit companies that are cold-calling consumers from using this payment method for any resulting sales.


Gemplus Acquires Celo

Celo Communications, a global provider of PKI solutions for digital signatures, access control and network communications, announced that they are being acquired by Gemplus, the world’s number one provider of smart card based solutions for security, wireless and e-business applications. Celo and Gemplus will combine forces to speed up the development of integrated PKI and smart card solutions for the IT security market. These solutions include applications in smart card based computing security and in electronic commerce, targeting customers in financial and insurance institutions, telecommunications, government, and business-to-business corporations.

The Celo product suite, CeloCom, is fully based on open security standards and offers open platform solutions that easily integrate with legacy systems. Gemplus worldwide smart card issuing capabilities in combination with Celo’s application integration capabilities for PKI solutions reflects Gemplus’ strategic intent to evolve as a customer oriented provider of integrated access and transaction solutions. Gemplus has acquired full ownership of Celo.

“Celo’s sharp expertise in open PKI platforms combined with Gemplus’ global portfolio of clients in the wireless and banking sectors will help accelerate the deployment of this key technology,” said Gilles Michel, Gemplus’ Senior VP, Manager Director of Strategy, Merger & Acquisitions. “Celo will be an important expansion of Gemplus’ PKI solutions suite, enabling full transaction security from the smart card all the way to the legacy system.”

“We’re very pleased and excited to join forces with a world leading company like Gemplus, for a united effort to better address the need for open PKI based smart card solutions,” said Sven Hammar, CEO of Celo Communications. “Celo will now have access to the Gemplus worldwide sales and partner organization enabling enhanced access to the marketplace, making this acquisition a logical step in the ongoing consolidation of the PKI market.”

Both Celo and Gemplus have strong partnerships among key PKI vendors and initiatives within the industry (including Baltimore, RSA, Xcert, Valicert, VeriSign, Digital Signature Trust, GlobalSign, WiseKey, and Identrus), systems integrators (HP, IBM) and other technology providers (Microsoft). All will greatly benefit from this new value-added proposition based on fully PKI enabled smart card solutions.

About Gemplus

Gemplus is the world’s number one provider of smart card based solutions for security, wireless and e-business applications. Offering consulting services, design, software, hardware, personalization and full implementation, Gemplus works with its customers around the world to deliver comprehensive, integrated and tailor-made smart card based systems. The Group’s customers use Gemplus memory and microprocessor smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags, smart objects and magnetic stripe cards to simplify and secure a wide range of applications. From Web based and mobile commerce to financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education healthcare, identity, pay TV and physical and logical access control, Gemplus provides intelligent end-to-end solutions that bring security, convenience and ease-of-use to millions of people worldwide. Founded in 1988, Gemplus had sales of over 767 millions of Euro ($US 817 millions) in 1999, and employs almost 6,300 people in 17 manufacturing facilities, 7 R&D centers and 44 sales and marketing offices located in more than 37 countries. For more information visit [www.gemplus.com][1].

About Celo

Celo Communications is a global provider of security solutions based on public-key infrastructure (PKI) technology, the industry standard for conducting secure Internet transactions. Celo has outstanding experience within Internet security and possesses strong expertise in the fields of digital signature technology, PKI based access control and network security. Celo’s security solutions are fully based on open security standards and integrate easily with legacy systems, providing important time-to-market advantages for its customers. Celo Communications has customers all over the world, including major European and US banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, government organizations, military networks, online gambling companies and Internet service providers.

Celo has strategic partnerships with Baltimore Technologies, Digital Signature Trust, RSA Security, Securify, VeriSign, WiseKey and Xcert, to name few. Incorporated in October 1997, Celo Communications has offices in the U.S., Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany. For more information, visit [www.celocom.com][2].

[1]: http://www.gemplus.com/
[2]: http://www.celocom.com/