AmEx & FleetBoston

American Express Financial Corporation and FleetBoston Financial announced yesterday they have formed a strategic alliance to build and distribute investment and annuity products through their retail financial networks. The two companies will introduce two new annuities, the American Express Galaxy Premier Variable Annuity and the Preferred Gold Fixed Annuity issued by American Enterprise Life Insurance Company, a division of IDS Life Insurance Company, which is a subsidiary of American Express Financial Corporation.

![][1] “This strategic alliance with FleetBoston is an exciting addition for American Express,” says Randy Gabrielson, senior vice president, Insurance and Strategic Alliances, American Express. “We are expanding our business to provide clients with numerous choices through strategic alliances. This is a strong and exciting opportunity for our clients and shareholders.”

The American Express(R) Galaxy Premier Variable Annuity and the Preferred Gold Fixed Annuity(TM) will be sold to consumers through FleetBoston’s network of 1,000 financial consultants. FleetBoston’s Galaxy and Columbia Mutual Funds will be sold through the 11,000 American Express Financial Advisors.

“Our alliance with American Express allows us to reach more customers with a greater selection of financial products, a tool needed to be more successful in the financial industry,” said Richard Joseph, Managing Director Product Distribution and Development, Fleet Investment Management.

“This relationship will allow both companies to better meet the changing needs of its customers. Distribution alliances such as these are the wave of the future and are the result of the mutual strength of both companies distribution capabilities and asset management capacities,” said Bob Ash, Senior Managing Director Chief Executive Officer, Fleet Investment Management.

“FleetBoston and American Express were both looking for distribution alliances and we were brought together by Thompson & Company, an insurance brokerage firm in Pasadena, Calif.,” said FleetBoston’s Rich Joseph.

FleetBoston Financial is the eighth-largest financial holding company in the United States. An $187 billion diversified financial services company, it offers a comprehensive array of innovative financial solutions to 20 million customers in more than 20 countries and territories. Among the company’s key lines of business are: retail banking, with over 1,250 branches and over 3,400 ATMs in the Northeast; commercial banking, including capital markets/investment banking and commercial finance; investment services, including discount brokerage; and full service banking through more than 250 offices in Latin America.

FleetBoston Financial is headquartered in Boston and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FBF) and the Boston Stock Exchange (BSF: FBF).

American Express Financial Advisors, with more than $289 billion in assets, has been in operation in the U.S. for more than a century. The company’s products and services are distributed through a nationwide network of more than 11,000 financial advisors, third party relationships with major financial institutions, insurance agencies, broker/dealers and an institutional business that provides 401(k) and defined benefit plans to companies.

American Express Financial Advisors Inc. is the principal underwriter for the insurance and annuities. Member NASD. Insurance and annuities are made available through AEL, or in New York, through American Centurion Life Assurance Company. American Express Company is separate from American Express Financial Advisors Inc. and is not a broker-dealer.

[1]: /graphic/fleet/fleetboston.gif


Catuity & smart VISA

Catuity Inc., based in Detroit, Michigan, with research and development offices in Sydney, Australia, has secured a major breakthrough in the U.S. chip card market, having been named as the loyalty solution provider in the newly announced smart Visa Technology Platform from Visa U.S.A.

The smart Visa Technology Platform is a pre-packaged multi-application chip platform that reduces cost and time to market for financial institutions that are interested in issuing chip cards. The platform is comprised of three chip card applications – smart Visa Payment, smart Visa Access and smart Visa Loyalty.

Catuity signed an agreement with Visa U.S.A. for integration of the Catuity loyalty system in the smart Visa Program. Under the terms of this agreement Catuity augmented its loyalty system with additional mag-stripe connectivity, and integrated its solution with the Gemplus GemXpresso cards and VeriFone terminals. System integrators Logicon and Smart Dynamics were also retained to facilitate the deployment of the solution by member banks. As a result, the Catuity loyalty system will now be offered as a key component of the smart Visa Technology Platform. This platform is being made available to Visa member financial institutions interested in smart card implementations.

Catuity played the lead role in the development of the smart Visa Loyalty platform and will continue to provide the software and hardware consultation for implementation and support of Visa Members. From a Member perspective, smart Visa Loyalty is a key component to enable financial institutions to customize and differentiate their product offerings. Working with merchants, Visa members will have the opportunity to offer differentiated incentives to loyal customer. A recognized key ingredient of a strong relationship offering, the smart Visa Loyalty solution is an important component of the smart Visa Technology Platform.

“We were attracted by Catuity’s unique combination of in-store and internet solution with multiple program options”, said Diana Knox, senior vice president, smart card applications and market development, Visa U.S.A. “the smart Visa Loyalty solution from Catuity will address member and merchant interest in leveraging targeted incentives to create lasting customer relationships”.

Catuity and other technology partners will be promoted to member banks as smart Visa Technology Providers. Catuity will be marketing its software system with Gemplus, the world’s largest smart card manufacturer.

Visa’s sales organization will represent Catuity and other technical partners with member banks. “Gemplus is very proud to be working with Catuity and Visa in bringing this `fast-to-market’ solution to the Visa member banks. The Smart Visa program, combining smart Payments, smart Loyalty and smart Access, is the right program mix, and we are looking forward to working with Catuity and Visa in supporting Visa member banks to offer multi-application services which combine privacy, security and value-added services to their cardholders,” says Remy DeTonnac, Gemplus CEO Americas.

Michael Howe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catuity, stated “smart Visa is the future of the payment systems and our product is now an integral component of the smart Visa Technology Platform. The potential opportunity open to us is huge both in the U.S. and elsewhere. With our partners, Visa the world’s largest payment system provider, Gemplus the world’s largest smart card provider and VeriFone the world’s largest secure payment terminal provider, we have the strategic positioning to become a major international supplier of loyalty software.”

In May 2000 Visa U.S.A., Catuity Inc., IBM, VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, and four other companies released “Smart Loyalty – A Loyalty-Payment Integration Guide”, to provide Visa members and merchants with a guide for integrating loyalty and payment applications on a single smart card. The document is available from Visa at [][1]

About Visa U.S.A.

Visa U.S.A. is the leading payment brand and the largest payments system in the United States, with more volume than all other major payment cards combined. Visa U.S.A. plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 14,000 U.S. member financial institutions and their cardholders. There are more than 340 million Visa credit, commercial and check cards, which generate more than $720 billion in annual transaction volume. Visa-branded cards are accepted at over 19 million locations worldwide, including some 500,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. With more than 80 smart card programs in over 35 countries and on the Internet, Visa has broad in-market experience and is poised to become the leader in smart card emerging technology.

About Gemplus

Gemplus ([][2]) 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 million) in 1999, and employs almost 6,300 people in 17 manufacturing facilities, seven research and development centers and 44 sales and marketing offices located in more than 37 countries. Contact: Tarvinder Karsandh –

About Catuity

Catuity Inc. is a provider of loyalty software solutions that allow retailers to establish and administer customer incentive and loyalty programs. The Catuity System functions in both the internet (e-commerce) and the in-store (point of sale) environments.

The company has its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan USA with other North American locations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Arlington, Virginia. Catuity maintains research and development activities at its Sydney, Australia facility.



HR One on MarketAccess

HR One, a leading provider of human resource solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, announced that it will be a featured supplier in MasterCard International’s MarketAccess program (), a secure, one-stop purchasing resource for MasterCard’s small business cardholders. HR One joins a select group of suppliers in the MasterCard MarketAccess program, including Barnes & Business Solution, and OfficeMax.

“With MasterCard MarketAccess, MasterCard and participating member financial institutions are paving the way for small businesses to enhance their use of the Internet for secure and efficient purchasing,” said Steve Abrams, senior vice president of MasterCard’s Corporate Payment Solutions. “The quality of HR One’s product offerings and its commitment to customer service makes HR One a natural fit for the program.”

MasterCard MarketAccess assists customers by linking purchases with most major accounting software packages, allowing them to keep track of all of their expenses in one place. MasterCard is the first global payments company to offer free web hosting and e-commerce access to its cardholder base, highlighting the company’s commitment to developing industry-leading solutions for small businesses. In addition, the MarketAccess Small Business Community provides a listing opportunity for each participating small business supplier’s website, including its site by name and category, the URL and a description of the companies’ products and services.

“Participation in MasterCard MarketAccess illustrates HR One’s ability to deliver the broadest range of HR solutions available,” added John Vangel, HR One’s Executive Vice President-Corporate and Business Development. “We are excited to be featured with other top quality suppliers in a program being promoted by some of the leading financial institutions in the country.”

Unique Accounting Feature

A distinct feature of MasterCard MarketAccess is that it assists small businesses in reconciling their purchasing records. Specifically, it provides a formatted file of all purchases, which cardholders can import into major accounting software packages, such as Quicken(R) and Microsoft(R) Money. This system facilitates line item capture to the accounting function, integrating it into an accounting package for future reconciliation against MasterCard BusinessCard charges.

Building a Small Business Website and Storefront

Through a proprietary technology supplied by ClickThings, MasterCard MarketAccess enables small businesses to quickly and easily set up and manage a comprehensive new website complete with an “online storefront.” A simple registration form prompts users to answer general and industry-specific questions about their business needs, and in a step-by-step process enables them to custom-build a site.

Internet Security

MasterCard understands that security is a major concern when buying over the Internet. As a company that processes more than 20 million credit and debit transactions each day, MasterCard provides leading edge solutions in securing financial transactions. Some of the security features built into MasterCard MarketAccess include single entry of user enrollment and payment information — rather than at each purchase, the participation of suppliers that are established firms and SSL data encryption.

About MasterCard

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. Nearly 700 million MasterCard(R), Maestro(R), Cirrus(R) and Mondex(TM) cards are in circulation today. With more than 18 million locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than a MasterCard Card. In 1998, gross dollar volume exceeded $650 billion. For more on MasterCard, go to [][1].

About HR One, Inc.

HR One, the web’s one-stop human resources tool, is the most comprehensive solution for small to midsized companies. HR One offers small business owners, office managers and human resource professionals one source for all their human resources needs — including topnotch information, products and online services. The site features free, original content and a gathering place for exchanging opinions and ideas on pressing workplace issues.

The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York and Florida. HR One is primarily funded by Heritage Partners of Boston, a leading private equity firm with $1.4 billion under management. For more information, go to [][2].



e-Check Expansion

TeleCheck Servicesannounced that many banks across the country will now offer the TeleCheck Electronic Check Acceptance service, check guarantee services and the Eclipse payment authorization terminal to their merchant customers.

By adding TeleCheck’s suite of electronic check services to other payment offerings, banks can now provide a total payment solution for their merchant clients. Among the first financial institutions to market TeleCheck’s services

are: Bank Boston Merchant Services, Chase Merchant Services, Huntington Merchant Services, Texas Independent Bankers, Wachovia Merchant Services, Cardservice International and Wells Fargo Merchant Services.

TeleCheck’s ECA® service converts a consumer’s paper check into an electronic item at the point-of-sale and delivers funds directly to the merchant’s account, improving cash flow. Since its introduction in June 1998, TeleCheck has processed over $1.7 billion dollars in electronic transactions. The company’s EclipseTM integrated payment terminal is capable of processing checks, credit cards and debit cards, and is the first such terminal to securely, conveniently and economically image name and address information from a check.

By leveraging the relationships that banks have with their merchant customers, TeleCheck strengthens its expansion as an electronic check processor by utilizing strategic distribution channels.

“Working together with financial institutions and other partners enables TeleCheck to make our products and services more widely available to the businesses who need them,” said Jerry Mosbacher, senior vice president of strategic distribution for TeleCheck. “This is a great opportunity to increase our presence, particularly in the area of electronic check processing, and it gives banks the opportunity to market a complete electronic payment solution package to their merchant customers.”

TeleCheck is the world’s leading provider of paper and electronic check services, helping more than 228,000 retail, financial institution, grocery and other industry clients to increase their profitability, reduce risk and streamline operations. TeleCheck’s check acceptance and electronic commerce solutions help businesses safely and efficiently accept payment at the point of sale, by telephone, over the Internet, and through recurring ACH payments. TeleCheck services are offered through a sales and service network in more than 90 cities in the United States and in Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In 1999, TeleCheck authorized more than $155 billion in checks, representing 3.1 billion transactions. For more information about TeleCheck, visit the Internet site at [][1].

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services. Serving more than two 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 wire. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [][2].



Supermarket Cybermoola

Cybermoola is beginning to moo. Yesterday, Penn Traffic, a major Northeast supermarket chain, agreed to make web-spendable ‘Cybermoola’ available for purchase in 183 Penn Traffic supermarkets in New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and West Virginia. Cybermoola is printed in-store by the Catalina Marketing Network. Each printed certificate holds a 16-digit unique serial number. The certificate has a stored dollar value equal to the amount paid to the cashier. Shoppers can use cash to buy ‘Cybermoola’ in denominations of $20-$100 and then activate the certificate by going to the Cybermoola Web site to establish their account. Penn Traffic will begin offering the service on Oct. 28. The Penn Traffic Company operates 220 supermarkets in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire under the “Big Bear,” “Big Bear Plus,” “BiLo,” “P&C,” and “Quality” trade names.


Metris EVPs

Metris Companies Inc. this morning announced the promotion of two key executives.

Named executive vice presidents are Pat Fox, business development, and Jon Mendel, human resources. Both previously served as senior vice presidents.

Fox, who has more than 20 years of experience in credit card marketing, product management and sales, joined Metris in 1998. Before joining Metris, he held executive positions in the credit card group of Bank of America, including director of product management and business development.

Mendel, who joined Metris in 1998, has more than 20 years of human resource management experience. Before coming to Metris, he was senior vice president of human resources at TCF Financial Corp. in Minneapolis.

“Pat and Jon are strong leaders with a keen understanding of our business,” said Metris’ Chairman and CEO Ronald N. Zebeck. “Their substantial contributions are helping to drive Metris’ continued growth.”

Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and enhancement services. The company was recently recognized as one of “America’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies” by Fortune magazine. Based in Minnetonka, Minn., Metris also has operations in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; White Marsh, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. Metris employs more than 4,300 people.

Visit Metris on the Internet at [][1], [][2], [][3], [][4], [][5], [][6], [][7], [][8], [][9]



Freedom RPPS

Freedom Systems, a leading provider of e-payment hardware and software solutions, announced an agreement that will provide access to MasterCard’s Remote Payment and Presentment Service for its customers who access bills via unattended terminals in public locations.

Currently, customers access the terminals to pay their bills with a debit card. Now, customers will have increased access to billing information, including their account balances and history.

MasterCard’s RPPS program provides participating financial institutions flexible connectivity to process transactions without capturing or storing consumer or biller relationship information. Through the agreement, MasterCard will act as a bill presentment and payment “hub,” offering Freedom Systems’ customers the ability to view their bills electronically through MasterCard’s network.

“By leveraging MasterCard’s existing payment relationships through its Remote Payment and Presentment Service (RPPS), this collaborative effort allows Freedom Systems’ customers to receive greater access to bills than ever before,” said Cathleen Conforti, vice president, Remote Payment and Presentment Service for MasterCard. “MasterCard’s 14 years of experience, along with its proven payments network, risk management and customer service infrastructure, enable Freedom Systems to leverage MasterCard’s expertise, customer base and market knowledge.”

“Both Freedom Systems and MasterCard look for innovative ways to offer customers unique and flexible access to their bills. MasterCard’s expertise and payments network have allowed for the natural expansion of our payment services, which will offer the customers we serve even greater flexibility than before,” said Brian Spagat, CEO, Freedom Systems. “We’re pleased to be a part of the MasterCard RPPS offering.”

MasterCard started electronic payment processing in 1987 with the launch of its Remittance Processing Service (RPS). In March of 2000 MasterCard expanded its services adding bill presentment functionality. To reflect the enhancement, the program was renamed Remote Payment and Presentment Service (RPPS). By leveraging MasterCard’s proven infrastructure, RPPS currently leads the industry in electronically processing remote consumer payments.

About Freedom Systems

Freedom Systems is the worldwide leading provider of unattended, online e-payment terminals and control systems for a variety of markets. Freedom Systems’ terminals are designed to accept credit and debit cards, and/or cash and also offer detailed reporting and interfacing to accounting systems. Some of the markets Freedom Systems has developed and placed systems for include the petroleum industry and car washes, laundromats and apartment laundries, as well as apartment complexes and self-storage facilities for rent payment. Freedom Systems, Inc. is based in Chicago, IL can be reached at 1-888/537-8844 or through its website at

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 18 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US$727 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at


No Dot Com

Struggling to survive, the publicly traded company that produces yesterday announced its second name change in less than twelve months., Inc. changed its name to Bankrate, Inc. and swapped its Nasdaq market symbol from “ILIF” to “RATE”., Inc. was known as Intelligent Life Corp. when it went public in May 1999. The company lost $34 million last year after raising $40 million in its IPO. After the resignation of its top management earlier this year, the firm has embarked on a path to survivability by shedding assets and slowing its cash burn rate. Following a 2Q/00 loss of $3.3 million and with around $7 million in cash on-hand, Bankrate sold its online insurance business in mid-July to First Union for $4.35 million in cash. Bankrate was losing approximately $1.8 million quarterly on its Pivot online insurance service. The Pivot sale has extended Bankrate’s life into 2001. The Company’s stock price has hovering between $1 and $2 per share, closing yesterday at $1.50 per share. Bankrate says its flagship web site, attracts 1.6 million unique visitors. Approximately 400,000 visitors surf’s credit card area. (See CF Library 5/14/99; 9/20/99; 2/11/00; 2/28/00; 6/5/00; 7/26/00; and 8/1/00)


ReD & Paymentplus

Retail Decisions, a leading card-not-present risk management and online transaction services business for e-commerce, announced a partnership with Paymentplus, the leader in global payment solutions, to integrate its risk management and fraud detection services with the premium payment processing services of Paymentplus. The combined package will be available to joint customers.

ReD and Paymentplus are joining technological efforts to provide e-tail customers with an added-value solution. The relationship will provide the Paymentplus clients with fraud screening services for their e-commerce transactions. ReD benefits with an expanded e-commerce offering and a relationship with Paymentplus’ LiveProcessor which has the ability to manage high volume, mission critical payment processing that separates it from other Web-based solutions that have limited, concurrent transactions.

Paymentplus software processes an average of 10-12 million transactions per month, completing transactions valued at some $2 billion per month. More than 90 percent of these transactions are e-commerce payments. Clients include such e-commerce giants as Real Networks, AOL,, Tupperware and Rexall.

“We searched long and hard for a fraud protection partner that would provide the best solution available in the marketplace for our clients,” said Jeff Foster, Vice President of Business Development for Paymentplus. “ReDs’ management of the eFalcon neural network combined with a series of sophisticated processing tools, customized databases and data analysis delivers a unique and effective card-not-present fraud service that is sure to maximize our clients’ bottom line.”

Paymentplus’ LiveProcessor(TM) will utilize ebitGuard(TM), the fraud prevention service solution from ReDs that is specifically designed for e-commerce transactions. The product integrates ReDs’ risk analysis services with proven modeling and database techniques, as well as neural risk management technology, to provide multi-level, real-time risk management decisions on card-not-present transactions.

Carl Clump, CEO of ReD commented, “Paymentplus has been the choice for direct marketers and dot.coms for more than five years and its client list speaks for itself. With our editGuard protection and Paymentplus’ LiveProcessor software, the world of e-tailing will become safer and more efficient.”

About Paymentplus

Paymentplus creates electronic payment processing software for the enterprise, combining online, call center, retail and IVR transactions in a central server. The company’s software, LiveProcessor, can complete more than 100,000 credit card and electronic check transactions per hour on a single server. LiveProcessor is the only payment processing application in the world to support Visa CVV2 and Amex CID security codes, procurement level 2 and 3 cards, electronic check processing and foreign currency settlement and support in a single product. Paymentplus currently has more than 90 installations and is completing transactions in 40 countries and 23 currencies on a daily basis. Among the company’s clients are Real Networks, Research in Motion, Nextel Communications, AT&T, Coca-Cola, NEC and Prudential Insurance.

LiveProcessor completes all of its transactions from a client-side server. More information about Paymentplus is available by visiting the company Web site at

About Retail Decisions

Retail Decisions (ReD) has more than fourteen years’ experience in card-not-present risk management and payment settlement services primarily to the telecommunications industry in the United States, and currently supplies its services to, and IPC Media and over 45 of the largest telecommunications companies.

ReD also collates and distributes the UK’s most comprehensive ‘Hot Card File’ of lost and stolen cards, which is continually updated and is available to retailers 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The company currently protects nearly 10,000 retail sites in the UK, principally in high-payment volume sectors. Last year, ReD checked in excess of 1.0 billion transactions, stopping an estimated $190 million in fraudulent purchases. ReD also has offices in South Africa and Australia.

ReD’s global e-commerce fraud detection and prevention services, editGuard, provide real time risk assessment recommendations. editGuard incorporates eFalcon, a neural technology, developed by the leading neural software organization HNC, with a number of other sophisticated editGuard processes, databases and CNP experience to provide clients with a fully integrated service solution that delivers high quality risk management results. ReD is publicly traded on the full London Stock Exchange (FTSE) under the trading symbol, “RTD”. More information about ReD is available by visiting the company Web site at

Retail Decisions is a registered trademark of Retail Decisions, Inc. Other company and product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.


K-Mart Card

Following a breaking news item that first appeared in CardFlash last Tuesday, Capital One and Kmart formally announced their new cobranded MasterCard yesterday. The new ‘Kmart MasterCard’ combines the private label card benefits along with MasterCard’s global acceptance. ‘Kmart MasterCard’ cardholders will receive benefits such as special promotions that are traditionally tied to private label retail cards. All ‘Kmart MasterCard’ purchases, made within the first six months, will carry no interest. And, marrying online and offline retailing, all purchases made with the ‘Kmart MasterCard’ at [][1] can be returned or exchanged at any local Kmart store. The APR for non-Kmart purchases and for Kmart purchases after the intro period is prime +10.3%. There is no annual fee for the new MasterCard. However accounts 30+ days past due will incur a $4 monthly membership fee. The Cap One/Kmart direct mail solicitation for the new card is available via CardWatch ([][2]). (See CF Library 9/19/00)



FDC Smart Cards

First Data says it is one of the first processors in the world to have the ability to personalize, process and deliver multi-application smart cards. FDC is the first processor in the U.S. to support the issuance of multi-application cards using the ‘Open Platform’ technology as part of the ‘smart VISA’ launch. FDC is handling the newly announced ‘Fusion Smart VISA’ being issued by Fleet Credit Card Services. The new VISA smart cards initially offer three applications, ‘VISA Smart Credit/Debit’, ‘loyalty/rewards’ and ‘secure Web access’, reside on a ‘Java 2.1’, ‘Open Platform Version 2.0’ chip. In the ‘VISA Smart Credit/Debit’ FDC will personalize, issue and fulfill cards, authorize transactions and handle the processing on behalf of card issuers. First Data will also set up the merchants to accept smart card payments through First Data Merchant Services. When the ‘loyalty/rewards’ application is enabled, FDC will personalize the chip with the applicable loyalty programs and FDMS will set up merchants to accept the loyalty programs and maintain the back-end loyalty host server. The ‘secure Web access’ application consists of three main steps on the part of First Data Resources: the company issues and personalizes certificates for secure Web access, maintains the certificate information through the life of the card and authenticates that the certificate is valid.


Fujitsu ATM Deal

Cincinnati-based ATM Plus, Inc., an ATM maintenance concern, announced this morning it is getting into the business of offering new ATMs. The firm has signed a contract to offer Fujitsu ATMs that is expected to produce $10 million in annual sales. Founded in 1994 by Dave Parlin, ATM Plus provides first- and second-line ATM maintenance. Its sister firm, ATM Exchange Inc., also based in Cincinnati and founded in 1979 by Parlin, pioneered the refurbishment of automated-teller machines. ATM Plus says it will target financial institutions with assets under $10 billion in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Under terms of yesterday’s deal, ATM Plus will also provide installation, training, service and systems support to Fujitsu ATM customers in these states.