University Check Card

PNC Bank has introduced the first cobranded ‘VISA Check Card’ connected with a college or university. PNC Financial Services rolled out Thursday the ‘PNC Bank Duquesne University Check Card’. The new card is currently available to any Pittsburgh market PNC Bank customer with a checking account, and will be available to customers on a national basis in the near future. Approximately 3,900 cards have been issued thus far. Duquesne University is a member school of PNC Bank’s University Banking Program. PNC Bank recently introduced the ‘DU Student Plan’ that includes the ‘PNC Bank Duquesne University Check Card’, a checking account, savings account, unlimited use of more than 2,800 PNC Bank ATMs, Web banking and other banking services. Students also have the option of linking their Duquesne University identification cards to their ‘DU Student Plan’ accounts. The combination student identification/ATM card can be used at ATMs and for MAC point-of-sale purchases, as well as to gain access to residence halls, check out library books or for lunch at the university cafeteria.

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FOM ePicNetz

First of Omaha Merchant Processing has signed an agreement with ePicNetz, Inc., to provide a suite of Internet-based, value-added services to First of Omaha Merchant Processing’s existing merchant portfolio and new merchants. ‘ePicNetz’ delivers Internet advertising and promotional content to the point-of-sale. Under the terms of the agreement, ePicNetz will act as an application service provider for the Hypercom ‘ePic’ suite of Internet-based applications. These browser-based applications will be deployed to First of Omaha Merchant Processing merchants and will be accessible at the point-of-sale via Hypercom’s ‘ePic ICE’ family of card payment terminals and Web appliances.

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Canada 3000 & AmEx

Amex Bank of Canada announced Wednesday that Canada 3000 Airlines will join the ‘Membership Rewards’ program as its newest airline partner. In April Canadian Airlines abruptly announced it was no longer participating in the AmEx ‘Membership Rewards’ program. Effective Oct. 2nd, cardholders can choose to book travel to 12 countries and over 40 destinations with point redemption levels starting at 20,000 points. Canada 3000 commenced operations in 1988 and offers a global route structure extending from Sydney, Australia to Vienna, Austria. It is Canada’s second largest scheduled air carrier. Canadian Airlines had been a ‘Membership Rewards’ partner for the past eight years with its current contract set to expire in 2002. (See CF Library 4/27/00).

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Travelocity MasterCard

Travelocity.com and Citibank USA confirmed yesterday they intend to cobrand a MasterCard in the fourth quarter. Under the program Travelocity.com cardholders will earn ‘Travelocity Rewards’, redeemable for future purchases on Travelocity.com. Rewards earned on the ‘Travelocity.com MasterCard’ will be redeemable for items sold on the site including airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacations and cruises. Citibank intends to offer instant online approvals for the card. Under the multi-year agreement, Citibank will be the exclusive credit card issuer for Travelocity.com. The agreement also includes on-line and off-line promotion of the new credit card. To date, Travelocity.com has sold more than 8 million airline tickets and has more than 21 million members.

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Omni 3300

VeriFone began shipping its new ‘Omni 3300’ multi-application terminal this week. GE Card Services says it is immediately deploying the new terminal to Shaw Industries, a major carpet manufacturer. The ‘Omni 3300’ was introduced in May and uses VeriFone’s ‘SoftPay’ e-payment software, enabling merchants to accept check, credit and debit services. The new VeriFone terminal also features application separation, which allows GE Card Services to run its private-label application securely in the same device. Enhancements and updates made to one application do not affect others. The ‘Omni 3300’ is equipped with a 32-bit processor and a 14.4kbps modem. The terminal also includes a fully integrated thermal printer, running at 12.5 lines per second. It is also upgradable to incorporate a smart-card reader and PIN pad.

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Teen Card Stats

The average purchase made on prepaid teen cards is $23.88 compared to an average purchase transaction of $80.84 made on bank credit cards and $30.72 made on debit cards. Prepaid teen cards are also re-loaded once every 1.02 months with the unspent balance on each card averaging $21.00. The findings come from fifteen months of tracking the performance of 10,000 ‘PocketCard’ users. The ‘PocketCard’ is a parent-sponsored prepaid ‘VISA’ debit card. Under the card program, teenagers have use of a ‘VISA’ card for POS and ATM while parents monitor card use via email or online. PocketCard also found that 84% of parents allow their teens ATM access with the ‘PocketCard VISA’, however, teens on average only withdrew money from ATM machine once every two months. The company says the teen card stats underscore the fact that young consumers are not cash-crazy and spend prudently. PocketCard says learning to spend wisely with a debit card as a teen will prevent the credit card debt that plagues hundreds of thousands of young adults.

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ATM VSAT

Lynk Systems, Inc., and EchoSat Communications Group announced a joint business initiative to provide next generation ATM processing technology over advanced VSAT satellite communications networks. With this service offering, companies will realize cost savings, faster processing, intuitive management information, and greater ability for on-screen advertising and in-store coupons.

Lynk and EchoSat plan to integrate the service offering into EchoSat’s previously announced joint venture with Fuel Nation, which provides seamless functionality of back office software applications, “real-time” live information via a wireless PDA, and faster, reliable satellite connectivity in one integrated solution.

The initial target for this offering is the petroleum and convenience store industry, one of the greatest points of contact for ATM users. Petroleum and convenience stores utilizing the Lynk/EchoSat solution will be able to integrate their ATM processing onto a dedicated satellite Wide Area Network.

David Howe, Senior Vice President of Lynk, commented “Companies who actively manage their ATMs will immediately see the benefits of this service offering. And by adding our electronic payroll card, CashLynk, to the offering, we can provide additional ATM revenue while reducing payroll costs. The combination of Lynk’s superior ATM solution with EchoSat’s Intelligent ESAT network is a real value add for retailers. This is just the beginning of Lynk services that can be efficiently utilized with EchoSat’s technology.”

Lee Rutherford, President and CEO of EchoSat said, “We are pleased to form this strategic alliance with Lynk. Our review of the Lynk approach reveals they are the leaders in processing technology, providing convenience for the end user and advanced ATM management and reporting functions for the merchant. Lynk’s dedication to the highest level of customer service, along with their economical and fast processing, provide value enhancement to the satellite customers we serve. When coupled with our wireless ‘real-time’ FuelNation solution, the petroleum/convenience store owner now has unprecedented decision making capabilities! It’s a natural asset to the EchoSat managed networks currently serving our customers.”

About Lynk

Lynk is a national provider of electronic payment, cash dispensing and e-commerce services. The company processes transactions initiated by credit and debit cards, checks and EBT cards from merchant point-of-sale terminals, ATMs and via the Internet. Lynk also provides ATM cash management and monitoring services, card issuing, electronic funds distribution and Internet- based storefront management, design and hosting. Lynk controls the entire processing sequence, including sales, end-user equipment, transaction authorization, capture, settlement and customer service. This “in-sourced” model facilitates a truly integrated solution that gives Lynk customers one- call support for all their processing needs. Lynk’s proprietary technology and comprehensive network connectivity offer merchants of all sizes unsurpassed processing performance. Founded in 1991, Lynk is located in Atlanta, Georgia and has earned recognition as one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry.

About EchoSat

EchoSat, a division of Tower Communications Group, Inc., is a privately held corporation based in Lexington, KY. EchoSat is a multi-faceted, synergistic satellite solution company specializing in providing private, managed, dedicated satellite and WAN solutions. Instead of focusing only on credit card applications, EchoSat provides credit card transmissions, polling, downloading, ASP modeling, music, store commercials, email, software updates, and more. The recent joint venture of EchoSat and Fuel Nation has brought a new level of technology to the convenience store/petroleum industry. The EchoSat/Fuel Nation venture now allows companies to instantly access multiple retail or wholesale sites “live” via the Web or a Palm Pilot, even without the need for back office computers. Along with a host of other services, customers utilizing the EchoSat/Fuel Nation solution can now monitor tank levels “live” and receive complete tank management information, along with the implementation of Fuel Management from rack to retail, including Bill of Lading tracking automation and EPA reports, tailored to the customer’s individual needs. EchoSat’s customers span the retail sector, along with several major petroleum groups, including CITGO, Marathon Oil, Clark Retail Enterprises, Speedway Convenience Stores, and others.

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NCR Smart Connections

NCR Corporation has enhanced its program to enable automated teller machine deployers in the U.S. to use their ATMs to reach customers with tailored, customized advertising messages.

NCR’s Smart Connections program provides the hardware, software, services and partnerships that allow targeted messages or promotions to be delivered to specific customers or a group of customers via ATMs.

“Our Smart Connections program brings together all the elements needed to deliver one-to-one targeted marketing via ATMs,” said Andy Orent, vice president of NCR’s Financial Solutions Division. “The combination of NCR’s advance function ATMs, our deep understanding of customer relationship management and our position as the number one ATM solution provider worldwide enable us to help our customers create the foundation for a world class one- to-one marketing program.”

Incorporating NCR’s innovative APTRA(TM) software, released last year, Smart Connections allows the deployer to customize and deliver promotions and messages at any point during the ATM transaction.

Through the program, on-screen advertising can include animation, full- motion video, audio and music, and can be combined with coupon printing as well.

Smart Connections is a phased program that allows institutions to move at their own pace.

“The program provides the strong benefits of targeted marketing today — using NCR’s APTRA Studio and APTRA Link software,” Orent said. “In addition, it provides a managed path to the future benefits of fully integrated customer relationship management and data warehouse environments for the future.”

NCR’s APTRA Studio enables the novice to quickly build, edit and implement the targeted marketing and advertising for ATMs. The software also delivers marketing and advertising updates to each ATM during normal transaction processing.

“With Smart Connections, NCR can provide the complete solution for true one-to-one marketing at ATMs,” said Orent, “including the software, services, security and tools to make it a valuable component of a deployer’s ATM strategy.”

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a US$6.2 billion leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial, communications, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled Teradata(R) warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, store automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 32,500 in 130 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at [http://www.ncr.com][1].

NCR and Teradata are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.

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

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Oasis ePayment to Linux

Oasis Technology, a leading provider of mobile commerce, Internet and real-world ePayment software, announced that it will now offer its leading ePayment technology on the Linux operating system. By extending its ePayment software to Linux, Oasis is providing an end-to-end ePayment solution optimized for the increasing number of businesses adopting the Linux operating system to drive their eBusiness requirements. As a supporter of “open-source” computing technologies like Linux, Oasis further extends an open platform philosophy centered around its flagship UNIX-based ePayment solution, as well as high-performance enterprise platforms like IBM’s Transaction Processing Facility.

Oasis will be demonstrating IST/Switch on Linux, a complete solution for processing high-volume ePayment transactions from any Internet, mobile or real-world channel, at Oasis Connection 2000, Oasis’ 3rd annual partner and client user conference held from August 22nd to August 25th in Toronto, Ontario.

Linux offers all the features of a fully fledged operating system, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, TCP/IP networking and much more. Due to the very nature of its functionality and availability, Linux has become very popular worldwide. In fact, IDC pins Linux growth on its reliability and strength in the Web market and has recently released quarterly data showing that Linux server shipments increased 166 per cent in the fourth quarter of 1999 from the fourth quarter of 1998.

“The software industry is heading into a future that will strongly support open-source standards. When examining the Linux marketplace it’s clear that the demand for it is rapidly increasing,” said Ashraf Dimitri, president and CEO of Oasis Technology. “Based on the increasing number of businesses looking seriously at Linux as a viable operating-system choice for their enterprise-wide business applications, we felt that the time was ideal for us to offer a Linux version of our IST/Switch software.”

During the IST/Switch on Linux demonstration at Oasis Connection 2000, clients and partners will have the opportunity to see how Linux can be used with Oasis’ next-generation ePayment architecture. Enabled with Oasis’ scalable ePayment technology on open Linux platforms, Oasis will show how businesses can evolve their payment processing environment beyond restrictive mainframe legacy systems to provide a fully scalable payment infrastructure optimized for higher volumes of transactions and the rollout of future ePayment services.

The flexibility and openness of Oasis’ ePayment products provide customers with unprecedented flexibility in their information systems. Because Oasis’ ePayment solutions will run on multiple operating systems, firms can use a combination of underlying operating systems and platforms to meet their needs, without having to alter their ePayment solutions.

“We want to give our business partners and customers the flexibility they need to deploy the solution that best meets the requirements of their payment infrastructure. By adding Linux to an already broad range of platforms, Oasis is further enabling global businesses to work with their strategic platform direction,” Mr. Dimitri said. “More supported platforms mean a greater reach in delivering our ePayment products to customers, while easing the transition between the real, Internet and mobile worlds of ePayment.”

Gathering more than 200 clients, partners and ePayment industry experts from over 25 countries, Connection provides an interactive forum designed to drive the evolution of global ePayment technology standards. In addressing the regional needs of so many diverse companies throughout the world, Connection offers the opportunity for Oasis — and its clients and partners — to find innovative new ways to grow their businesses and evolve their payment processing strategies.

About Oasis Technology

Oasis Technology Ltd. delivers leading mCommerce, Internet and real-world ePayment software products to Internet and traditional banks, e-tailers, retailers, and processors in more than 70 countries worldwide. Today, Internet payment systems powered by Oasis software process more than four billion transactions annually. Oasis Internet payment software products are designed for end-to-end payment processing throughout the entire payment lifecycle, bridging the virtual and real worlds of electronic payments. The company’s international client base includes ABN Amro, American Express, The Bank of Montreal, Citibank, Credicard/Redecard Brazil, Diners, Europay, Golden Card (China), MasterCard and Visa International. With corporate headquarters located in Toronto, Canada, the company also operates offices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Miami, Florida, San Jose, California, and Watford, England, and supports an extensive network of international partners and sales representatives. Oasis is ISO 9001 registered. Visit Oasis online at [http://www.oasis-technology.com][1].

[1]: http://www.oasis-technology.com/

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Vital Hat Trick

Vital Processing Services launched three new products Wednesday as part of its Retail Solutions and eSolutions suite of services.

“These three product announcements reflect Vital’s ongoing commitment to understand the emerging opportunities in electronic payment processing and related merchant services, and to delivering solutions that help our clients exploit those opportunities,” said Jon Palmer, president and CEO of Vital Processing Services.

VirtualWebuilder Vital is introducing its signature eSolutions product, VirtualWebuilder. Developed exclusively for Vital by Kinzan, VirtualWebuilder is a turn key web site hosting and web site development solution for businesses of all sizes and types. Vital formed a strategic alliance with Kinzan to develop and co-market VirtualWebuilder. Kinzan is a provider of a brandable suite of applications for content management, commerce and communications.

VirtualWebuilder is a quick, easy and cost-effective way for businesses to create an information-type web site or a commerce-enabling site that sells goods and services. Merchants can develop an online extension of their business in as little as 15 minutes using a template-driven, point-and-click wizard application. VirtualWebuilder enables Vital’s acquiring clients to reinforce relationships by bringing a rich and robust web solution to current customers, while also building new retail relationships.

To enhance Vital’s comprehensive Retail Solutions offering, Vital is delivering two new products to the merchant acquiring industry that will enable Vital’s clients to maximize opportunities in the business-to-consumer markets.

Vital EPS, powered by MEISolutions.com Vital recently signed an exclusive contract with MEISolutions.com, a business-to-business retail solutions provider, to combine Vital’s processing and support services with MEI’s EPS point-of-sale (POS) software. Vital Electronic Payment System (Vital EPS) is a fully managed software package for credit, debit, EBT card and check payment processing. Vital EPS is tailored to meet the needs of Vital’s acquiring clients and their multi-lane/multi-store merchants, smaller chains, general retail and supermarket merchants.

Vital EPS is the solution for multi-lane/multi-store retailers who have problems with downtime, limited reporting, billing inaccuracies or slow transaction approval.

Vital Wireless Solution

Vital has teamed up with CellGateTM Technologies, a provider of wireless IP cellular digital network services for transaction processing, to offer a low-cost, high-performance transaction processing service that enables merchants’ existing POS terminals to communicate with Vital’s host via wireless Internet Protocol (IP) instead of the traditional dial line. When the CellGate service is combined with Vital’s “dial and hold” terminal application, typical transaction processing time is four seconds.

“Vital is one of the first major processors to deliver CellGate’s wireless IP solution to acquirers for their merchant customers. Giving our clients this speed to market advantage will allow them to generate a new revenue stream. Merchants can capitalize on the fact that CellGate’s wireless IP technology is faster, less expensive and more secure than traditional business lines used today,” said Palmer

About Vital Processing Services ([www.vitalps.com][1])

Arizona-based Vital Processing Services® (Vital®) is a leader in technology-based commerce-enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing services to merchants, such as POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; VirtualNet’ Internet-commerce services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; operational fulfillment services; risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of VISA® USA and Total System Services Inc. ® (NYSE: “TSS”

About Kinzan ([www.kinzan.com][2])

Kinzan provides a leading platform for central organizations to extend and manage their network of business relationships on the Internet. The company’s platform enables a central organization to quickly, easily and cost-effectively deploy a large network of affiliated web sites with a consistent look and feel, while offering the flexibility to meet local market needs. The Kinzan platform includes a brandable suite of content management and e-commerce applications, configurable hardware, scalable hosting services, development and deployment capabilities and customer care programs. Autotrader.com, Avon, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Chase Merchant Services, Knight Ridder Real Cities, Maytag and YMCA are among those that have chose the Kinzan platform to extend and manage their offline business relationships networks online.

About MEISolutions.com ([www.meisolutions.com][3]) MEISolutions.com is an established business-to-business company that offers a virtual private network, business process applications and professional support that use the Internet to lower operating costs, efficiently manage communications and operations, and generate business for industries worldwide.

About CellGate Technologies ([www.cellgate.com][4]) CellGate provides Wireless IP network services to financial institutions, financial transaction processors and independent sales organizations. The CellGate Service provides POS terminals, POS PC systems, and dial ATM’s a faster transaction while reducing dial phone line and installation costs. CellGate’s patented solution requires no change to the merchant’s terminal hardware or software. For additional information visit the CellGate web site at [www.cellgate.com][5]. CellGate is headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. with network operations located in St. Louis. CellGate is an AT&T Wireless Data ‘Value Added Reseller.’

[1]: http://www.vitalps.com/
[2]: http://www.kinzan.com/
[3]: http://www.meisolutions.com/
[4]: http://www.cellgate.com/
[5]: http://www.cellgate.com/

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TSYS Japan

TSYS has purchased an equity position in an electronic payments company which captures about 20% of Japan’s credit card transaction market. The company has purchased 51% ownership in GP Network Corporation, a payments gateway for more than 100,000 merchants in Japan. TSYS named Hitoshi Kondo President of GP Net and Managing Director of TSYS Japan. Kondo has managed the GP Net operation since its inception. GPNet will have 12 to 15 full-time employees and expects to increase to 20 by the end of 2001.

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iBanking

Oasis Technology, G&D Security Card Systems and CIT will release this morning an Internet banking solution powered by PKI security on a smart card. The new solution, ‘iBanking’, is designed to provide financial service and investment customers with a full range of retail, corporate and investment banking services protected by the industry’s most advanced PKI security. The solution combines Oasis’ ePayment technology, CIT’s PKI-based security architecture and G&D’s smart card infrastructure.

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