PocketPass Card

San Jose-based PocketPass.Com announced yesterday that its payment card is ready for prime time. The ‘PocketPass Card’ is a pre-paid Internet payment system integrating a phone card with C2C funds transfers, an on-line payment system for premium content, merchandise and peer-to-peer distribution. The company says it has successfully beta tested the integration of its virtual Internet accounts with the sale of physical account cards sold at brick-and-mortar retailers. The test in July with 50 convenience stories in the Silicon Valley area received a strong response from merchants. PocketPass also distributes its virtual PocketPass.com account to Web consumers via its own Web site and co-brand Web partners. PocketPass began operations in Sept/ 1999 and is now pursuing its first institutional round of financing.


Fleet Goes on Spree

Fleet Credit Card Services signed an Internet commerce strategic partnership agreement with spree.com, a leading online shopping rewards provider, to provide a Cashback marketplace for FCCS’s customers. The agreement is an integral part of FCCS’s Internet strategy to offer customers control over their personal finances.

The new site, at [http://cards.fleet.com][1] is a comprehensive platform that, not only provides cardholders with Internet access to account management and personal finance educational information, but also provides a convenient online shopping experience. Prospective cardmembers can apply for credit cards on the site, receive an answer and potentially begin shopping online in seconds. Spree.com has developed a turnkey marketing platform that drives new customer acquisition and consumer loyalty through its customizable suite of online tools including solutions in e-commerce, referral marketing and e-communications. Its Cashback marketplace, ranked by PC Data Online reports as one of the Internet’s top five marketplaces, with millions of products available for sale online, combined with a referral program, bring valuable rewards to spree.com partners and their customers.

“Our strategic agreement with spree.com enhances our continued commitment to deliver outstanding value and service to our customers,” said Warren Wilcox, Fleet Credit Card Services’ executive vice president. “Spree.com’s solution is a premium, value-added service that provides a solid cashback shopping program,” he added.

This agreement creates an e-marketing solution that is a win for consumers,” said Peg McGregor, president and chief executive officer of spree.com. “FCCS customers will earn cash back from every online transaction, which is a great fit with Fleet Credit Card Services’ new Internet strategy.”

How Does It Work?

The spree.com Cashback Marketplace is the foundation for an affinity program that drives customer acquisition, retention and performance. It provides a comprehensive marketplace that rewards purchase behavior with a tangible benefit–Cashback rewards for every customer who shops. Every spree.com merchant has passed a rigorous screening to ensure excellence in selection, service and savings. Hundreds of spree-selected certified merchants, including Martha Stewart, Eddie Bauer and The Disney Store, offer Cashback rewards from 2 percent to 22 percent in addition to their already low prices. Spree.com offers no-risk shopping with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Any information site visitors submit remains safe and confidential. If site visitors experience any difficulty at any point, spree.com will act as a customer advocate, working to ensure that the customer is totally satisfied.

FleetBoston Financial offers many successful Internet-focused products and services and is currently driving the rapid development of a variety of new Internet-related initiatives. The company’s “e-Catalyst” effort, launched earlier this year, is in the process of fully leveraging Fleet’s resources and e-enabling more of the company’s core businesses to deliver a top-tier web experience to all customers. Fleet’s objective is to create dynamic, innovative solutions for clients and maximum value for shareholders.

About spree.com

Spree.com, based in West Chester, Penn., is a leading online shopping rewards program and one of the top five marketplaces on the Internet. Spree.com offers convenient shopping with a 100% shopping guarantee for its more than 2 million members across 260 brand-name merchants. All registered spree.com members receive Cashback rewards of up to 22% from merchants and lifetime Cashback rewards from the purchases of referred members.

About Fleet Credit Card Services and FleetBoston Financial

Fleet Credit Card Services is headquartered north of Philadelphia in Horsham, Penn. Named “Issuer of the Year” by Credit Card Management magazine in 1999, FCCS provides consumer credit cards, credit products and related services throughout the U.S. With more than eight million accounts and more than $14 billion in managed receivables, Fleet Credit Card Services is the eighth largest Visa/MasterCard issuer in the nation. FCCS is wholly owned by FleetBoston Financial Corp.

FleetBoston Financial is the eighth-largest financial holding company in the United States. A $181 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 (BSE:FBF).

[1]: http://cards.fleet.com/


Bull Snags Scott

Bull announced that Colin T. Scott has been named vice president of business development for its North American e-business unit. In this newly-created position, Scott will be responsible for developing and expanding Bull’s e-business operations in North America. Scott, based in Bull’s large R&D, marketing and customer center facility here, reports to George McNeil, vice president and general manager of Bull North America.

Scott will focus on developing and implementing an off-base business strategy designed to take the company into new vertical market sectors, while continuing to expand Bull’s e-presence in existing North American businesses. Scott has more than 25 years of experience in engineering, technical and business development, consulting, and e-business solutions to meet a wide variety of needs. This includes first-hand experience in delivering solutions ranging from large-scale, mission-critical transaction systems to B2C e-commerce systems across a range of industries.

Said McNeil, “This important announcement reinforces Bull’s clear strategic direction to help our customers move into the world wide web and e-business with reliable, scalable and secure solutions.”

Most recently Scott served as director, e-commerce solutions and technology, for Emerald Solutions in Phoenix, responsible for developing the practice, defining market strategy and leading solution delivery activities. From 1992 to 1999, he was an associate partner with Andersen Consulting in Chicago, where he held a leadership position on IT strategy, planning, and implementation at a number of large financial institutions. Scott holds both a Ph.D. and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

About Bull

Bull is an international IT group that operates in more than 100 countries. In 1999, the company earned revenues of $4.3 billion with over 65% outside of France, its country of origin. Bull’s strategy is focused on the Internet and electronic business in three key domains: solutions with consulting and systems integration; infrastructure including Internet-ready enterprise systems, smart cards and software for secure infrastructure management; and managed services for Intranets and e-commerce sites and marketplaces. For more information, visit Bull’s Web site: at [http://www.bull.com][1]. and for the United States, [http://www.us.bull.com][2].,

[1]: http://www.bull.com/
[2]: http://www.us.bull.com/


Internet Xmas Sales

Worldwide online holiday sales will reach $19.5 billion in 2000 compared to $10.5 billion for 1999. North America will continue to account for more than half of online holiday sales this year, but the other regions are gaining market share. Europe and Asia/Pacific are projected to grow 96% and 91% respectively. Online holiday shopping sales in Japan this year will increase more than 180% over 1999 revenue. The projections were made by San Jose-based Gartner Group.

Worldwide Internet Retailing Sales Forecast
Estimated Revenue ($billions) for 4Q/00
4Q00 4Q99
Region Revenue Revenue
North America 10.72 6.31
Europe 5.38 2.74
Asia/Pacific 1.60 0.84
Japan 1.31 0.46
Rest of World 0.52 0.18
Total 19.53 10.53
Source: Gartner Group


ATM Coupons

California consumers who use an ATM at their local ARCO ampm store may get a little more than some crisp greenbacks. OH-based KeyCorp, which operates the ATMs, has begun issuing coupons with each transaction. The coupons offer discounts and promotions for goods and services at ampm and other companies such as Avis, FlowersUSA, Lenscrafters, Half.com and, most recently, Ocean Spray. KeyCorp operates ATMs at 683 ampm stores in 5 Western states including 450 ATMs in California.


Elloter Terminals

Hypercom has been awarded a US$3 million contract with the Progress Company to support Moscow’s new electronic lottery with terminals. The new electronic lottery, called ‘Elloter’, was created by Moscow-based Progress Corporation and piloted using ‘ePic ICE’ terminals. Under the terms of the agreement, Hypercom ‘ePic ICE 5000′ terminals will be deployed in shops, post offices, metro and railway stations throughout Moscow during the next 24 months.’Elloter’ will feature six games. The first game, called “Happy 4,” calls for lottery players to select and enter four numbers onto the Hypercom card payment terminal. Up to ten four-number combinations can be chosen in any one transaction. The terminal then dials the host system and transmits all of the combinations. An authorization code is sent back to the terminal, which then prints a combination receipt and lottery ticket. Winning numbers will be drawn weekly and televised live. Winning customers present their tickets at an authorized retail outlet. The security code is checked on-line, and winnings are paid out. The lottery will be directed to Moscow’s 8.3 million residents and will benefit various city social and economic programs.


ABSA Licenses PayWare

Trintech Group PLC, a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions, announced it has supplied ABSA in South Africa with the country’s first business to business card payment solution that can process transactions securely on behalf of the bank’s merchants. ABSA, one of South Africa’s largest banks, has licensed Trintech’s PayWare eAcquirer Purchase Card solution to support Visa Purchase Card merchant acquiring.

ABSA chose Trintech’s PayWare eAcquirer following a recommendation from Visa International, which has certified and implemented Trintech’s payment solutions. The implementation of PayWare eAcquirer establishes ABSA as a leading acquiring bank in the growing business-to-business (B2B) sector in South Africa. Furthermore, it establishes a technology platform that is capable of supporting B2B acquiring over the Internet and mobile devices. PayWare eAcquirer also provides a reliable VPC host solution in-house to ABSA. “Trintech enables ABSA to offer a scalable payment solution that supports our B2B Visa Purchase Card processing requirements,” says Pieter van Wyk, Deputy Operating Executive at ABSA. “We are committed to being at the forefront of e-commerce and taking full advantage of the opportunities in this industry. Trintech technology allows ABSA and our merchants to process card transactions securely and efficiently with a clear upgrade path to the exciting world of e-commerce.”

The relationship with ABSA reinforces Trintech’s leadership in the electronic payments market space. As part of the agreement, Trintech and ABSA will work together in extensive training and education seminars, marketing and sales engagements and in the future will work together on web-based channel support. “We are extremely gratified that one of South Africa’s most dominant acquiring banks has chosen Trintech as its technology of choice for Internet commerce,” says John Harte, EVP of Global Sales, Marketing and Services of Trintech. “ABSA has positioned itself at the leading edge of the banking community by implementing an advanced solution that fulfills the most exacting requirements of today’s merchants. With rock-solid security and efficient transaction processing provided by Trintech products, ABSA can stake a claim in the burgeoning South African market.”

About PayWare eAcquirer

PayWare eAcquirer is a payment gateway infrastructure solution for financial institutions, payment processors and card organizations, including eVisa. It enables them to authorize, capture, route and settle all card-based transactions originating from both the physical and virtual worlds of commerce, and can handle SSL or SET protocols. Included in this family of products is PayWare eAcquirer Merchant Manager which allows acquirers to manage merchant account handling and settlement of all types of card payments.

About ABSA

ABSA is South Africa’s leading provider of banking and financial services. Formed in 1991 the group is well established as a financial services group. ABSA has an established infrastructure, a complete range of retail and corporate banking, insurance and financial products and services as well as extensive local and international networks. This enables the group to interact with customers through a combination of physical and electronic channels, offering a choice of products and services — from basic offerings for the low-income personal market to customized solutions for the corporate market.

About Trintech

Trintech Group PLC is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for real world, Internet and wireless transactions. The company, which was founded in 1987, offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications. Trintech’s secure product range is deployed in over 35 countries worldwide and cover the payment requirements of consumers, card issuing banks, merchant acquiring institutions, merchants, eMerchants, telcos, wireless operators, ISPs/CSPs, Portals and large corporations. Trintech’s range of scalable, open systems architecture solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for all card-based payments, including e-commerce and the emerging world of mobile commerce. Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94003 (Tel: 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel: 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at . Investor information can be found at .


Dovetail Hires Pyles

Dovetail Systems Inc., the provider of advanced payments processing applications and intelligent messaging solutions to the global financial services community, has announced another key addition to its management team. Warren S. Pyles has been appointed as Sales Executive, bringing with him over 25 years experience in marketing, sales and technical management in the computer and communications-based technologies in the Financial Services Industry.

Warren Pyles joins Dovetail after a four-year period with ACI Worldwide, Inc. As General Manager for Sales, he was responsible for all sales in the Americas (North and South) of the Corporate Banking software product line. Before this, Mr Pyles held the position of Vice President, Sales and Marketing at MINT Communication Systems, Inc., responsible for the business development and growth of middleware communications software to major banks, brokerages and exchanges. Prior to MINT, he was Vice President, Sales, for Logica Inc where he was responsible for worldwide sales of advanced Funds Transfer Systems and related communications software to major banks, brokerages and exchanges.

A BSEE graduate from Carnegie-Mellon University, Mr Pyles began his career at The Diebold Group, Inc, where, as a Staff Consultant, he was accountable for the development and fulfillment of computer-related business development consulting assignments within the US Fortune 500 corporations. He was promoted to Director after 12 months.

Mr Pyles joins a long list of high-level strategic hires for Dovetail. His appointment follows that of Janet Lewis, ex-SWIFT, to Senior Vice President and Director of Sales, and Kevin M Scully, ex-president of NEON, to Chief Executive Officer. Barry Tooker, formally of IBM and an experienced senior technical consultant to global banks and software firms, joins Dovetail as Senior Vice President Product Management.

Kevin Scully, CEO of Dovetail Systems, says:

“We are delighted to have attracted someone of Warren’s calibre to Dovetail. His experience and knowledge of the financial services industry will be a valuable asset in firmly establishing Dovetail as the premier provider of advanced payments processing applications.”

In addition to the news of Mr Pyles’ appointment, Dovetail has announced the opening of its New York office. The office, based at 30 East 39th Street, will accommodate the Dovetail Systems sales and marketing team. Product research and development will remain at Dovetail’s company headquarters in New Jersey.

About Dovetail Systems Inc.

Dovetail provides advanced payments processing applications and intelligent messaging solutions to the global financial services community. Through the use of the latest Application Server techniques, Dovetail’s unique technology dramatically improves the speed, reliability and security of the electronic transfer of funds between banks and other institutions. Dovetail continues a proud, three-decade history of delivering mission-critical payments and messaging solutions based upon the Intelligent Transaction Processing(tm) technology developed by the founding partners. These solutions include large-scale message switches and gateways, as well as funds transfer, cash management, and foreign exchange trading and netting systems. For more information, please visit: [www.dovetailsys.com][1]

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


NPC Hires Munto

National Processing Company announced it has named Timothy L. Munto senior vice president of Multi-Lane Retail, reporting to Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services. Mr. Munto’s responsibilities include the development and execution of the company’s strategy to drive the continued growth in the retail, petroleum and supermarket segments.

Prior to his move to NPC, Mr. Munto was responsible for managing the revenue and profit objectives of the Retail segment for eFunds SCAN(SM) (Shared Check Authorization Network), one of the nation’s leading check authorization networks serving retailers. Mr. Munto was employed with eFunds Corporation, formally Deluxe Electronic Payment Systems, Inc., for ten years. He also served, for ten years, as vice president of retail sales for Bank One, Dayton, Ohio where he was responsible for managing the business development efforts of their issuing and acquiring bankcard programs.

“With more than fifteen years of retail payments industry experience, Tim brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and a strong track record in the retail industry,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services. “Tim is considered a veteran in the industry and we welcome his expertise to NPC.”

Mr. Munto is a graduate of the University of Dayton with a master’s degree in Business Administration. Industry affiliations include membership in the National Retail Federation, Food Marketing Institute and the International Mass Retail Association. Mr. Munto has also been invited by The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to participate in the Payments Systems Development Committee.

NPC president and chief executive officer Thomas A. Wimsett said, “The Multi-Lane Retail segment will continue to be vital to the success of our company. Tim arrives in the midst of exciting times in both the marketplace and NPC. We expect great things from the Retail Segment under Tim’s leadership.”

Mr. Munto said, “I am proud to be a part of a great organization that has set the standard for more than 30 years. This is a time of great evolution in the industry and NPC stands in the center ready to meet the challenge. The vision for NPC’s Retail segment is to continue its growth and leadership position in the industry by providing our current and prospective customers with innovative solutions and world-class customer service. The move to NPC has been exciting for me. I look forward to leading NPC’s Retail Segment and continuing the Company’s commitment to providing superior products and outstanding customer service.”

About NPC

NPC is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and corporate outsourcing solutions. NPC supports over 500,000 merchant locations, representing one out of every six Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. Approximately 88 percent of the company is owned by National City Corporation, a Cleveland based $85 billion financial holding company. Additional information regarding NPC can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net][1].

[1]: http://www.npc.net/


Europe Internet

Credit card marketing is set to take off in Europe as the Internet reaches critical mass overseas. The UK is leading the way in Europe with 30.8% of its population connected to the Internet, representing 7.3 million households. Germany comes next with 24.7%, or 8.5 million households, followed by France with 16.6%, accounting for almost 4 million households online. According to London-based NetValue, the actual number of home Internet users in the UK now stands at 10.20 million, Germany at 10.47 million and France at 5.81 million. However, the most dramatic change is the split by gender: in July, a 40.5% of Internet users in the UK were women with 34.8% in Germany and 37.4% in France.


E-Bill Giant

It’s official – Microsoft, First Data, Citibank and CheckFree have completed their merger of TransPoint into CheckFree. On Friday, CheckFree shareholders approved the issuance of 17 million shares of CheckFree Common Stock in connection with the merger. Effective this morning, Microsoft and First Data each have gained a seat on CheckFree’s Board of Directors. Named to the positions are Lewis Levin, who in addition to having served as president and CEO of TransPoint is a VP at Microsoft, and Ric Duques, chairman and CEO of FDC. The company’s main goal is integrate CheckFree’s electronic billing and payment technology with technology developed by TransPoint to create a common platform to simplify the creation and deployment of electronic bills on the Internet. As part of last week’s transaction, CheckFree has gained an exclusive five-year relationship with Microsoft to provide electronic billing and payment technology used in applications and services that Microsoft develops. During that time, Microsoft will guarantee a minimum of $120 million in revenue to CheckFree. First Data also has entered into a five-year relationship with CheckFree, during which time First Data and CheckFree will market and use each other’s products and services. First Data will provide at least $60 million in revenue and/or cost savings to CheckFree. First Data will sell CheckFree’s electronic billing and payment services to its customers. CheckFree has also agreed to use FDC’s electronic biller connections and range of electronic payment products and services. Immediately before closing the transaction, Microsoft, First Data and Citibank collectively contributed $100 million to TransPoint. CheckFree said it will hold a new conference Thursday to detail the impact of the transaction. (See CF Library 2/16/00)


Austrian Olympic Card

IDT Corporation is proud to announce that IDT’s European subsidiary, IDT Europe B.V.B.A., has been selected by the Austrian Olympic Committee as the official carrier and prepaid phone card supplier for Austria in the 2000 Olympics to be held in Sydney, Australia.

IDT is a leading multinational carrier, telephone company and Internet Service Provider.

“It’s great. I feel like we’ve just won an Olympic Gold Medal in telecommunications,” said Howard Jonas, IDT’s Chairman and CEO. “Clearly, this means that the European community recognizes IDT as one of the leading telecommunications companies on the continent.”

As part of its official duties, IDT will produce and supply the Austrian Olympic Committee with commemorative prepaid phone cards bearing the official seal of the Austrian Olympic Committee and both the Sydney 2000 and IDT logos. The phone cards will be sold by the Austrian Olympic Committee throughout Austria and southern Germany.

“Since establishing IDT Europe two years ago, we’ve worked relentlessly at building out our network and providing the highest quality and most reliable communications services to the people of Europe,” said Yoav Krill, IDT’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Europe.

The phone cards will be made available in varying denominations of the Austrian Shilling, and may be used throughout Europe and Australia to call just about anywhere in the world.

In July of this year, IDT Europe announced that its Unity card, the Company’s flagship pan-European calling card product, was expanding into four additional countries, including Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and Spain. This expansion made IDT’s prepaid phone cards available in nine European countries and will enable it to continue to be one of the most successful prepaid calling cards in the European market.

“IDT is very pleased with its success in the European marketplace, and we hope to achieve similar success throughout the world,” said Jim Courter, IDT President and Vice Chairman. “Our goal is to be the global leader in telecommunications.”

IDT Europe B.V.B.A., through its subsidiaries and affiliates, has offices in nine European countries and provides its customers with competitively-priced wholesale carrier services and retail products. It also operates a network of data center operations in major European business centers and has announced plans to begin operations in Milan and Stockholm later this year. IDT is a leading facilities-based multinational carrier that combines its position as an international telecommunications operator with its experience as an Internet service provider to provide a broad range of telecommunications services to its wholesale and retail customers worldwide.

Through its own telecommunications backbone and network infrastructure IDT provides its customers with integrated and competitively priced international and domestic long distance, pre-paid calling cards, Internet access and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service. The Company’s Ventures division is developing several innovative telecom and Internet related businesses.