San Francisco-based ThirdAge Media launched a credit card protection program for its baby boomer market. Through webloyalty.com, the free offer provides immediate fraud protection once the user joins the program and registers up to three credit cards. There is no restriction on the number of fraud-related Internet purchase claims one can make, as long as all claims are filed while being a member of the service. The maximum lifetime coverage per member is $1,000, and is in addition and subordinate to any coverage provided by the card issuer and other insurance carriers. The ThirdAge program covers VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club cards. ThirdAge Media is a media and direct marketing eNetwork for adults 45 years and older. Primary investors include Advance Internet, American Century, CBS, Hollinger International, MediaOne, Merrill Lynch and SOFTBANK.Details
The largest credit card issuer in the U.S., ranked by number of accounts, is apparently MBNA. Based on the latest Prospectus for MBNA’s Master Trust of credit card-backed securities, the nation’s second largest issuer appears to have about 57 million total accounts and not the 30 million account figure estimated by industry tracking services such as CardData. At the end of the second quarter, MBNA had total outstanding balances of $76.1 billion, of which $61.1 billion were domestic originated VISA and MasterCard accounts. The Master Credit Card Trust holds $56.2 billion in outstandings representing 40.4 million accounts. MBNA also revealed that premium credit card accounts, including Gold, Platinum, Quantum accounts, make up 70% of MBNA’s total U.S. accounts and 79% of U.S. outstanding balances. Among the 40.4 million accounts in the Master Trust, 61.8% had no balance at mid-year. The average age of the accounts in the Trust is 51 months and the percentage of the aggregate total receivable balance to the aggregate credit limit was 11.95%.
MBNA MASTER TRUST STATS (6/30/00)
(as percentage of total accounts/total receivables)
BALANCE CREDIT LIMIT
Less than $5,000*: 26.8%-27.1% 19.5%-8.4%
$5,000-$10,000: 6.7%-34.2% 31.5%-28.6%
$10,000-$15,000: 2.1%-18.0% 22.2%-22.5%
$15,000-$20,000: 0.8%-9.3% 13.1%-15.1%
$20,000-$25,000: 0.3%-5.5% 9.6%-14.0%
Over $25,000: 0.2%-6.0% 4.2%-11.4%
* 1.3% of accounts had a credit balance and 61.8% had no balance; total
accounts of 40,412,657 and total receivables of $56,204,213,194.
Official Payments Corporation announced it has signed an agreement with the Alabama Department of Revenue to collect balance-due and delinquent income tax payments by credit card, via Internet and telephone.
In the future, Alabama citizens will be able to make these payments over the Internet by visiting the Department of Revenue’s Internet site at or , or via telephone by calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX. The new payment channel is not currently operational but it is scheduled to be launched this fall. The state will include information about the new payment option in tax forms that will be mailed to citizens in January 2001. Official Payments provides similar services to the Internal Revenue Service, the District of Columbia, and the states of Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oklahoma.
! “We are delighted to add Alabama to our growing list of government clients,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Official Payments Corporation. “Alabama joins nine other states, over 550 municipalities, and the Internal Revenue Service in providing their taxpayers with flexibility and choice in satisfying their tax obligations. Our systems are proven to be convenient, secure, and reliable, and they are provided at no cost to the state government,” Evans added.
Alabama balance-due payments for tax year 2000 are due no later than April 16, 2001. The state of Alabama projects that $200 million in year 2000 balance-due payments will be collected from their citizens.
Official Payments will charge Alabama taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. For example, a taxpayer who owed Alabama $900.00 and charged their taxes would find a total of $922.50 on their credit card statement: $900.00 for the tax bill and $22.50 for the convenience fee. American Express, Discover Card, and MasterCard are the credit cards accepted by the program. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.
About Official Payments Corp.
Official Payments Corp. is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company enables consumers to pay government fees and taxes via telephone or the Internet, using their credit cards. The company has partnered with the Internal Revenue Service; several state governments, including Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oklahoma; and over 550 municipal and county entities, in which it collects income taxes, property taxes, real estate taxes, parking fines and other government fees by credit card over the telephone and the Internet. In the 1999 tax year, Official Payments collected and processed over $575 million in federal income tax payments on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service. The company is publicly traded on Nasdaq under the symbol OPAY. Official Payments Corp. is committed to making payments to the government go fast, smart and safe.
Rotary International announced it will offer its U.S. members a Rotary MBNA MasterCard credit card.
Rotary is a worldwide organization of 1.2 million business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are more than 29,000 Rotary clubs in 162 countries.
“The Rotary International credit card provides Rotarians with a convenient opportunity to support Rotary and The Rotary Foundation,” said Frank J. Devlyn, Rotary International president. “MBNA has a longstanding reputation for providing peerless service.”
“Rotary International represents the best in an association of community and business leaders who are dedicated to assisting others and creating fellowship,” said John Cochran, chief marketing officer of MBNA. “We will provide their members with the best in financial products and services.”
MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has more than $76.3 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products. MBNA.com () provides credit card, consumer loan, retail deposit, travel, and shopping services.
Rotary International is the oldest and one of the largest non-profit service organizations in the world. Rotary members initiate community projects that address many of today’s most critical issues such as violence, AIDS, hunger, the environment and health care.Details
Paymentech, the nation’s largest processor and acquirer of bankcard transactions, has certified TeleCheck’s Eclipse terminal, the first integrated payment terminal to securely and conveniently capture the check writer’s name and address information from paper checks. Paymentech’s Eclipse solution includes the processor’s array of payment support services and continues to broaden Paymentech’s menu of point-of-sale offerings for merchants.
With the Eclipse terminal, Paymentech now offers a comprehensive payment solution that includes the TeleCheck Electronic Check Acceptance service that converts paper checks into an electronic transaction at the point of sale. ECA eliminates the hassles of processing paper checks, combining online check authorization with an electronic capture of the transaction for settlement via the ACH network. The Eclipse terminal fully integrates the check transaction with other electronic payments such as credit and debit cards.
TeleCheck’s ECA service is simplified with the Eclipse terminal: the merchant simply inserts the check into the terminal and enters the transaction information. Within seconds TeleCheck authorizes the transaction and the terminal prints a receipt for the customer to sign. With the signature, TeleCheck electronically presents the transaction to the customer’s bank, and automatically funds the merchant for the transaction within two business days.
Other merchant benefits include:
Savings — Costly returned checks and associated fees can be eliminated.
Convenience — Only one POS terminal needed for all non-cash payments.
Ease — The backlit touch screen display provides excellent visibility. Check imaging — Captures valuable information from the front of the check, allowing you to process checks without identification.
Speed — The 32-bit, 24Mhz processor speeds up authorization and transaction time, and the 14.4 kbps modem delivers faster downloads.
“Certification of the Eclipse terminal increases the flexibility of Paymentech Network Services’ POS processing capabilities,” said George E. Wilcox, group manager for product management. “Now, from a single POS terminal, our clients can add TeleCheck’s ECA to our broad array of merchant processing services. Joined with Paymentech’s expanded merchant help desks, this latest offering reinforces our position in a highly competitive environment.”
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. In 1999, TeleCheck authorized more than $155 billion in checks, representing 3.1 billion transactions. For more information, visit the Internet at [http://www.telecheck.com]. TeleCheck is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC).
Dallas-based Paymentech ([http://www.paymentech.com]), founded in 1985, delivers premier electronic payment solutions for merchant acquiring, point-of-sale transaction processing and commercial card programs. The company is the nation’s largest processor and acquirer of credit card transactions and a leader in Internet payments. Paymentech annually processes approximately 3 billion total transactions and $93 billion in bankcard sales volume.
The California Senate Wednesday afternoon passed SB 1607 (Figueroa), the California Association of REALTORS(R)’ landmark credit-scoring legislation, by a vote of 34 to 1.
“Today’s vote by the Senate was a victory for homebuyers in California,” said Jim Hamilton, legislative chair of C.A.R. “SB 1607 will require lenders to provide consumers with their specific credit score and the four key reasons why a consumer’s score was not better.”
The legislation also gives consumers the right to receive a copy of their credit scores when they request copies of their credit file for a small fee.
On Monday, the Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 7. SB 1607 will now be submitted to Governor Gray Davis for signature.
Final approval by the Senate and Assembly this week capped months of grassroots efforts by REALTORS(R) throughout the state. In addition to C.A.R., Consumers Union co-sponsored the legislation. The bill also is supported by E-Loan and the California Association of Mortgage Brokers.
“California will soon have the most consumer-friendly law involving credit disclosure in America,” Senator Liz Figueroa, author of the legislation, said on Monday after the Assembly vote.
SB 1607 also enjoyed statewide bipartisan support of 17 Senate and Assembly co-authors as well as Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Chinese Real Estate Association of America, California Building Industry Association, Consumer Federation of California, Consumer Action, CalPIRG, American Association of Retired Persons, Neighbor to Neighbor, California Professional Firefighters, and Fair Housing of Marin.
“Today’s vote will help create a standardized system to prevent confusion and frustration for consumers,” said Gail Hillebrand, senior attorney for Consumers Union.
The California Association of REALTORS(R) ([http://www.car.org]) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 95,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
Schlumberger Test & Transactions is opening its first South American smart card plant in Brazil in order to meet national and regional smart card demand. Brazil is being transformed into a development and production center of high-tech products, such as mobile phones and PCs. Because they can manage a wide range of applications and significantly reduce the risk of fraud and theft, smart cards are seeing increasing demand in Brazil to replace traditional magnetic stripe cards used by banks, credit card administrators and loyalty programs. Located in Pinhais, in the metropolitan region of Curitiba, the first Schlumberger smart card plant in South America resulted from an initial investment of US$ 5 million. Schlumberger estimates smart cards will grow rapidly from the current base of 160 million cards in use.Details
Diebold, Incorporated announced that Wesley B. Vance, 43, has been named president of the newly formed Diebold North America business unit and a member of the executive committee, effective October 1. Vance, who was most recently a senior vice president of ArvinMeritor and president of ArvinMeritor Exhaust Systems Group, Columbus, Ind., has broad experience in global operations as well as a record of strong business improvements and growth. He will be responsible for all the North America business unit’s operations including product development and engineering, manufacturing, sales and service, human resources and marketing. In addition, Vance will oversee the security, campus and original equipment businesses.
“We are taking an aggressive stance on improving Diebold’s performance and processes. Our main goal is to pull all our North American functions together into a business unit and create a strong, accountable and team-oriented organization,” said Walden W. O’Dell, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. “The experience Wes brings in the use of e-tools, integrating unique operational systems and controls along with his strong strategic capabilities and finance background make him well suited for this position.”
The global $7.5 billion ArvinMeritor Corp., previously Arvin Industries, Inc., manufactures automotive ride control products and full exhaust systems including catalytic converters, shock absorbers, gas springs, struts and accessories for the original equipment, after market and replacement markets. The group which Vance managed has been Arvin’s flagship business that operates 44 plants and 6 technical centers in 22 countries.
During his 10-year career at Arvin, Vance held several executive positions. While based in Paris, he served as managing director of Arvin Exhaust Europe, which included Africa and Asia. While based in Toronto, Vance served as vice president and general manager of Arvin Ride Control, which included emerging markets throughout the world. Additionally, he has served as vice president business development of Arvin Ride Control and has held other managerial and financial positions. Prior to joining Arvin, Vance worked for Deloitte Haskins and Sells and Coopers & Lybrand where he held various financial positions such as senior auditor and senior manager of tax.
Originally from Albuquerque, N.M., Vance earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. He went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. Vance, his wife and their five children currently reside in Columbus, Ind., and will soon be relocating to Canton, Ohio.
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 http://www.diebold.com.Details
Datakey, Inc. and InformaTech, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kaneb Services, Inc. announced that Datakey’s FIPS 140-1 Level 2-certified PKI smart cards are available to all U.S. government agencies through InformaTech’s GSA schedule. InformaTech is a leading provider of systems solutions for government and health care.
Previous models of Datakey smart cards have been available through InformaTech’s GSA contract for more than two years and were the first PKI smart cards listed on any GSA schedule. Now, government agencies easily can purchase Datakey’s most advanced and secure PKI smart card to date — the Model 330 card — through InformaTech’s GSA schedule to take advantage of the only 32K smart card that has earned FIPS 140-1 Level 2 certification.
“By being part of InformaTech’s GSA schedule, it is now easier than ever for government agencies to purchase the best protection for their PKI investment: Datakey PKI smart cards,” said Tim Russell, vice president and general manager of Datakey’s Information Security Solutions business unit. “By partnering with a leading solution provider, InformaTech, we’re expanding our opportunities and focusing on the booming federal government sector.”
“There is a substantial and growing need for network privacy across both the government and commercial sectors,” said John R. Barnes, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaneb Services, Inc. “Whether to meet client-specific or mandated requirements, such as those in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), our continuing alliance with Datakey furthers our ability to provide complete security solutions, from network to desktop, in our electronic health care practices, as well as our traditional IT applications.”
Datakey’s Model 330 smart cards: advanced protection for digital credentials
Datakey pioneered the first PKI cryptographic smart card used for digital signatures in the early 1990s. Today, Datakey’s smart cards are being used by worldwide companies — including large financial institutions and government agencies — to secure their online communications and to provide strong user authentication to corporate networks, VPNs, intranets and extranets.
In addition to FIPS 140-1 Level 2 certification, Datakey’s Model 330 smart card features 2048-bit public key encryption strength and an extensible operating system for true multi-function capability.
Purchasing through InformaTech’s GSA Contract GS-35F-4493G
InformaTech’s GSA Contract GS-35F-4493G is a Schedule 70 contract for information technology products and services available to all Federal and State buyers. It is a competitively negotiated contract with no maximum order limitation, and the GSA already has certified schedule prices as fair and reasonable. For ordering information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
About Datakey, Inc.
Datakey, Inc. is a leading international provider of smart card solutions for PKI. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., the company offers a family of smart card-based information security and digital signature products under the SignaSURE(R) umbrella. Using state-of-the-art cryptographic technology, these products fill growing market needs for secure, smart card-based user authentication and data privacy for business-to-business e-commerce. Datakey’s smart card-based information security products play an integral role in any PKI system by providing two-factor security — something that is owned (a smart card) and something that is known (a password).
Shares of Datakey’s common stock are traded on Nasdaq under the symbol DKEY. You can find more information on the Datakey Web site at http://www.datakey.com . You can view all Datakey press releases on the Web site, at http://www.prnewswire.com or via fax by calling Company News On-Call at 800-758-5804, ext. 231950.
About InformaTech, Inc. and Kaneb Services’ Information Technology Group
InformaTech, Inc. (ITI), based in the greater Washington, D.C. area, is one of the complementary businesses that comprise Kaneb Services’ Information Technology Group, which focuses on niche, high-growth, technology-based markets. InformaTech, Inc. is a provider of Internet and Intranet communications and applications network design and installation, bandwidth infrastructure implementation, secure network architecture and fiber cabling. InformaTech’s medical technology services division specializes in telemedicine planning, design, implementation, application development and systems integration, including the design of Virtual Radiology Environments (VRE) that allow transmission of real-time digital images for diagnosis by medical specialists worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.informatech.net/>http://www.informatech.net . Also part of Kaneb Information Technology Group is Ellsworth Associates, Inc., a leading provider of complex systems design and applications programming, and well known for its expertise in creating Internet-based systems for state-of-the-art database applications. Another of Kaneb’s technology subsidiaries coordinates high-volume communications among financial institutions, insurance companies and borrowers regarding the status of insurance coverage.
Kaneb Services, Inc. provides technology-based and technical services worldwide. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Kaneb Services’ operations include information technology companies and an international technical services firm. Kaneb Services, as general partner, also manages and operates the pipeline and terminal assets owned by Kaneb Pipe Line Partners, LP (NYSE: KPP), and operates a refined petroleum product marketing service. For more information, visit http://www.kaneb.comDetails
MICROS-Fidelio Asia/Pacific, a subsidiary of MICROS Systems, Inc., has formed an alliance with Bank of China, headquartered in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, to jointly develop an e-commerce solution to provide a Credit Card Processing System-Payment Gateway, known as Bank of China’s Bank Merchant POS . Bank of China is the oldest bank in China and is the first and only Chinese bank that has an international presence, with 15,228 domestic and more than 530 overseas branches.
The newly formed, strategic alliance will provide value-added service to hotels and merchants through a B2B, e-commerce environment. PG/BMP enhances guests’ check-in/check-out times and dramatically streamlines hotels and merchant operations, thus resulting in significant cost savings.
Peter Zhang, General Manager, Bank of China, Retail Banking Department, stated, “Bank of China, the pioneer in the credit card industry in China, has been creating a customer-driven corporate culture which is in conformity with our mission statement to meet the needs of our clients. In line with this, Bank of China and MICROS-Fidelio have worked together and developed a BMP System, which will integrate the MICROS-Fidelio system into the credit card processing system of Bank of China. BMP System, a technological enhancement of the hotel’s system and the bank’s credit card processing system, will increase the usage rate of the previous EDC system, streamline the hotel’s current procedure of accepting credit cards, and greatly simplify the check-out time for customers, which embodies our customer-driven corporate culture. This effort between Bank of China and MICROS-Fidelio, a cooperation between two leaders in different industries, will be of great significance in promoting the development of credit card business in China.”
Stefan M. Piringer, President, MICROS-Fidelio Asia/Pacific added, “MICROS- Fidelio Asia/Pacific is very pleased to enhance its presence in China by entering into a strategic alliance with Bank of China. It rewards our efforts over the past years to establish MICROS-Fidelio in China not only as a global but also as a local leader in providing advanced hospitality automation solutions. MICROS-Fidelio is diversifying its business portfolio in line with the emerging ‘New Economy’ or e-business to assist its customers to meet the challenges ahead and to enhance guest service while reducing operating cost. The BMP system is a perfect example of taking traditional methods of processing credit cards to the next level in terms of guest service and user- friendliness combined with substantial cost savings. This strategic alliance with Bank of China also illustrates that leading organizations in China are on the forefront of utilizing new technologies in order to develop advanced e- business solutions for local and international deployment. Hence, we will offer this solution initially in China but plan to expand throughout the Asia Pacific region in the near future.”
About Bank of China
Bank of China, one of Fortune magazine’s global 500 enterprises for 11 years, with 88 years of history, has been playing an important role in China’s economic, financial and social development, in particular in the growth of China’s foreign trade and the exchanges with international financial circle. Bank of China is the first bank in China to introduce credit cards. Great Wall Credit Card, the first credit card issued in China by Bank of China, now has more than 17.7 million cardholders, more than 71,900 merchants and with more than RMB10.4 billion annual direct-consuming volumes. Bank of China is the only bank in China that has the Green Grade treatment for both Visa(R) International and MasterCard(R) International as well as the only bank in China that can provide cash withdrawal service for all cardholders of Cirrus(R), Maestro(R), Plus(R), American Express(R) and JCB(R) cards from the Bank of China’s ATM machines.
For more information about Bank of China and its services, please visit the Bank of China’s website at http://www.bank-of-china.com/>http://www.bank-of-china.com.
About MICROS Systems
MICROS Systems, Inc. provides enterprise applications for the hospitality industry worldwide. Over 120,000 MICROS systems are currently installed in table and quick service restaurants, hotels, motels, casinos, and leisure and entertainment operations in more than 130 countries. MICROS provides property management systems and central reservation and customer information solutions under the brand MICROS-Fidelio for more than 10,000 hotels worldwide. MICROS stock is traded through NASDAQ under the symbol MCRS.
For more information on MICROS and its advanced information technology solutions for the hospitality industry, please contact Louise J. Casamento, Manager, Marketing Communications at 443-285-8144 or 800-638-0985 (US and Canada only), Kevin King, Country Manager, China. At 86-21-6354-5838. You can also visit the MICROS website at http://www.micros.comDetails
In the not too distant future you may pay from your wrist instead of your hip pocket. IBM, Philips Semiconductors and Junghans have created an new wristwatch that is super smart. The Junghans radio-controlled, solar ceramic watch uses an integrated contact-less OpenPlatform/JavaCard-enabled smart card controller IC to extend functionality into the area of open, multi-application IT use with contactless operation for users. Applications that may be loaded on demand to the watch are electronic tickets, door keys, electronic purses, and ID information. The ‘MIFARE PRO’ dual interface smart card controller IC bearing the IBM OpenPlatform/JavaCard implementation makes the functionality of such a device possible, while the Junghans ceramic radio-controlled watch provides the carrier for this technology. A solar cell provides the energy required for operation of the watch. Even in complete darkness the watch has enough power reserve to run for up to 6 months.Details
Atlanta-based NetBank announced Tuesday that customers may fund new checking or money market accounts by moving funds online from an existing checking account at another financial institution or by using a VISA or MasterCard credit card or debit card. Under the new program, funds are transferred to a new NetBank account over a web-based application developed in collaboration with E-commerce Group, whose ‘Speedpay’ software, the basis for NetBank’s system, is used by more than half the companies in the Fortune 500 for bill payment processing. Once a new account is opened, NetBank sends an e-mail message to the customer providing a link to an account status page. From there, the customer may fund the new account by completing and submitting a secure form. The customer either enters the relevant credit or debit card information or fills out a check-like form that serves as an electronic stand-in for one of the customer’s actual checks from another financial institution. NetBank’s instant funding service is currently available only one time per new account. Deposits can be made in any amount between $50 and $200.Details