Zebra Technologies Corp. unveiled a new full-color plastic card printer with built-in laminator. The ‘Eltron P520’ is capable of printing dual-sided, high-resolution, full-color cards, with 300-dpi resolution for ID photos, graphics, text and machine-readable bar codes. The ‘P520’ also incorporates a transparent card input hopper with a 100-card capacity. The unit can print and laminate cards at the rate of up to 125 cards per hour. Standard features include a USB interface, 32-bit processor, and 4 Mbytes of image memory. The new printer is targeted for use in the issuance of driver’s licenses and secure ID cards. List price of the basic model is $6,995.Details
Next week France Telecom Mobiles will launch a new service that will enable customers to make secure payments for remote transactions via Internet or mobile phone, as well as pay bills and add call credit their wireless phone account. The upcoming ‘Paiement CB Sur Mobile’ program makes France Telecom Mobiles the first operator in the world to enable customers to make secure payments by Carte Bleue credit cards via a wireless handset. The standards for this service have been defined by the CB Credit Card Consortium. Customers will be able to purchase goods or services from 27 partner merchants. By the end of the year the service will be adopted by nearly 1,000 e-commerce and mail-order companies. To pay for transactions, customers select the “Paiement CB sur mobile” Web icon and enter the wireless number. A few moments later, the customer receives an SMS message to initiate the payment order. Once the order is accepted, customers insert their Carte Bleue credit card in the cellphone and validate the purchase by entering their PIN number. An authorization request is sent to the bank and the customer receives confirmation of the transaction. The PIN number is never sent on the GSM network.Details
Moneybox Corporation Ltd, the UK market leader in convenience cash machines or Automated Teller Machines announced that is has become a member of LINK, the ATM clearance network in the UK.
This is the first time that independent ATM providers have been allowed to become members of the LINK network in their own right without a sponsoring bank, and reflects the LINK rule change announced by panel members in February 2000.
Since June 1999, Moneybox has been growing its ATM estate based on convenience sites around the UK and now has a market leading position with over 700 ATMs installed, with the number estimated to reach 1,000 by summer 2000. The Company has recently announced that it has ordered a further 500 from NCR. Commenting on the news, Paul Stanley, Managing Director of Moneybox, said: “I am delighted that LINK has allowed Moneybox to become a member. We were the first independent cash machine provider and operator to apply to LINK for membership and we have had a long relationship with the organisation. “With the entry of independents into the ATM market, this will result in greater competition in the market which in turn will offer wider choice to the public. With direct membership to LINK, this opens our horizons in providing convenient cash facilities to the public in a wider range of locations in towns and cities around the UK.”Details
The CEOs of the largest integrated financial services institutions in the United States to serve as the “strategic brain trust” for the industry in the e-commerce area. BITS is a “SWAT team” for the financial services industry–flexible, focused, innovative and agile. BITS’ priorities include facilitating the growth of e-commerce and financial services; promoting development of superior, market-driven technologies; sustaining consumer trust and confidence by ensuring the privacy and security of financial transactions; and leveraging the industry’s resources to benefit consumers.
“We look forward to working with Jim Blanchard as the new Chairman of the BITS Board,” said Catherine A. Allen, BITS CEO. “He was one of the early supporters and creators of BITS. His company has earned praise for its innovative and supportive workplace. BITS will benefit from his approach to managing resources, as well as his technological savvy.”
L. M. Baker, Jr., Chairman of The Financial Services Roundtable and Chairman and CEO of Wachovia Corporation, said: “BITS is on the cutting-edge of electronic business and technology issues of critical importance to the financial services industry. Jim Blanchard will be a terrific leader for BITS. He has been a positive and active leader in The Financial Services Roundtable over the years, and his own company has been a model to be emulated in the successful application of technology.”
“It is my pleasure to step into the role of Chairman of the BITS Board of Directors,” Blanchard said. “If we hadn’t created BITS, we would still be playing catch-up to our competitors in the New Economy, and we wouldn’t be as prepared as we are to reap the benefits. We owe a great deal to the CEOs who had the vision to create BITS, including our past Chairmen, Frank Wobst of Huntington Bancshares and Ed Crutchfield of First Union.” Blanchard continued, “I am excited by the prospect of what we can accomplish in the coming months with broad participation by the diversified financial services companies who have recently joined the Roundtable.”
Blanchard has served as CEO of the Columbus, Georgia-based Synovus family of companies since 1971. Synovus Financial Corp. is a multi-billion dollar, multi-financial services company that has been named by Fortune magazine for the past three years as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. In 1999, Synovus was No. 1 on that list, and it ranks #5 on the Fortune list for 2000.
Blanchard’s leadership in the financial services industry was evident when the Georgia Legislature passed the multi-bank holding company bill in 1976, legislation he was instrumental in promoting. He is also credited with rallying support for more progressive interstate banking laws. His public service activities include: Director of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce; member of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism; member of the Governor’s Development Council of the State of Georgia; and various leadership positions with the United Way of Columbus, Georgia. In addition, he has served on the Georgia Board of Education, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, and as a Trustee of the Columbus State University Foundation and The University of Georgia Foundation. He was named the “1997 Most Respected CEO” in the state by Georgia Trend.
BITS, the Technology Group for The Financial Services Roundtable, was created in 1996 to foster the growth and development of electronic commerce in an open environment for the benefit of financial institutions and their customers. BITS promotes safety and soundness in financial services and e-commerce. BITS is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of the Chairmen and CEOs of 20 of the largest integrated U.S. financial services companies, as well as representatives of the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). Among BITS’ accomplishments since its founding:
— Established the BITS Financial Services Security Laboratory, the first private-sector lab focused on criteria development and product testing for the financial services industry;
— Developed a program to reduce the growth of check fraud;
— Facilitated ways to leverage existing infrastructures to reduce industry-wide redundancies and improve customer service;
— Coordinated the process to develop IFX, a converged, open, interoperable standard to support on-line financial services;
— Conducted significant research on consumers’ attitudes related to information privacy; and
— Focused attention on new business opportunities in e-commerce.Details
The Federal Trade Commission, state Attorneys General and other state agencies launched ‘Operation Advance Fee Loan 2000′ to crackdown on bogus credit card offers. In all but one of the FTC cases announced Tuesday, the defendants were charged with violating the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule by misrepresenting that consumers would receive a credit card for an advance fee, and by charging a fee in advance of consumers receiving the promised credit card. In one case the defendant was charged with collecting fees without authorization or in excess of authorized amounts. NJ-based Financial Services of North America allegedly misrepresented that consumers who pay a $69 to $99 fee will receive a guaranteed credit card but, after debiting the consumers’ bank accounts, provided only a discount purchasing club membership and a credit card application, both requiring additional fees. CT-based First Credit Alliance allegedly charged consumers $45 to $60 with the promise of receiving a credit card, or if not approved, a refund. The FTC says FCA’s customers received neither credit cards nor refunds as promised. TX-based Credit Approval allegedly falsely promised that consumers will receive a credit card in exchange for payment of an advance fee of $99 or $129. In fact, all consumers receive is information about managing debt and credit card applications. CA-based Home Life Credit alleged falsely promised credit cards to consumers who pay a one time $129.95 charge, debited directly from their bank account. “Operation AFL 2000” is a multi-agency law enforcement sweep and a follow-up to three previous sweeps announced in 1996, 1997 and 1999.Details
Dynamic Transactions, Inc. announced the immediate availability of its PayPlace online person-to-person payment technology. The technology is built as a fully integrated OEM solution for companies that want to provide online person-to-person payment services to their customer base under their own brand identity. Consumers can also take advantage of this new service today by logging onto [www.payplace.com].
Dynamic Transactions will OEM this technology to a variety of partners including financial institutions, portals and vertical application sites. The PayPlace product and technology have been designed to integrate easily with a company’s look and feel as well as other services complementary to the PayPlace offering on a company’s site.
“In less than two months of testing we experienced exponential growth with close to 50,000 unique registered users,” said David Beckwith, president of Dynamic Transactions, Inc. “In addition, PayPlace was offered as a payment mechanism in tens of thousands of eBay(R) auction sites alone. The current rapid adoption of the consumer offering highlights the growing demand for this type of payment service. Our proven ability to scale together with the integration capabilities will allow online businesses to easily offer their customers this flexible and dynamic person-to-person payment solution.”
The PayPlace payment technology easily allows anyone in the U.S. to send money to or collect money from anyone with an e-mail address. With a unique look and feel, PayPlace.com addresses a myriad of payment situations including paying for products at online auctions, requesting payment of IOUs, collecting group fees for tickets and club dues, chipping in for group gifts and reimbursing friends. In just two easy steps, users can log onto [www.payplace.com] and set up an account in less than five minutes that enables them to send money fast. The sender simply needs a valid credit card — Visa, MasterCard or American Express — and there are no service charges.
About Dynamic Transactions, Inc.
Dynamic Transactions, Inc. is an Internet holding company located in Menlo Park. Dynamic Transactions properties include Mambo.com, a leading online invitation service, and newly launched PayPlace, an integrated OEM online payment solution for businesses that is also available to consumers at [www.payplace.com]. With venture capital funding from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Trans Cosmos USA, Inc., Angel Investors, L.P. and individual investors, Dynamic Transactions is well-capitalized and positioned for long-term growth and success.
Paymentech this morning introduced the first proprietary gift card turnkey solution that will integrate gift card transactions with credit card processing. The ‘Paymentech Gift Card’ program includes card design and production, POS transaction processing, and merchant reporting. The solution eliminates the need for extra equipment and stand-beside applications. The new program also enables hotels, resorts and restaurants of any size to brand and launch their own gift cards. Gift cards can be pre-denominated with a specific amount on the card’s face. They can also be non-denominated so merchants, from the POS terminal, can add value to an account when it is sold to a customer. Internet reporting is available to the merchant for tracking transaction activity and outstanding liabilities. Store level reports are available from the POS device to assist in daily reconciliation and monitoring of transactions.Details
Hypercom Corporation announced that it has been awarded a US$40 million, three-year contract with the Brazil Health Ministry. Some two-thirds of this amount represents ongoing and recurring services revenues in support of this initiative. The Health Ministry oversees the nation’s public healthcare system. The initial phase of the program will result in 12 million residents of Brazil utilizing the new National Health Card at 10,000 medical facilities which will be equipped with Hypercom transaction processing devices. This initial phase alone is expected to generate an estimated 160 million transactions per year.
Under the terms of the agreement, Hypercom will design, build and implement the network for the Brazil Health Ministry’s first phase of its new National Health Card system in two of the three regions of the country. The sophisticated system will collect public health data via identification cards at local medical facilities, and will then consolidate this data for analysis by federal and state agencies in determining future needs, funding and resource allocation.
Hypercom will provide a complete, turnkey platform to facilitate this implementation. The system will include the use of Hypercom’s ePic ICE(TM) 6500, a highly secure, internet-enabled, high speed, touchscreen terminal. These terminals will be located in local medical offices and will be connected to a network backbone based on Hypercom’s Integrated Enterprise Network(TM) (IEN) architecture. This backbone network will consolidate legacy LAN, voice, video, fax and data traffic to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The same scaleable platform will be used to integrate newer technologies such as IP, frame relay and Voice over IP (VoIP).
Due to the complex requirements of the Health Ministry, a rigorous selection process was developed. The Ministry selected Hypercom over competing bids from Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, Unisys, IBM and Procomp. Hypercom was identified as the only company which could provide a full, turnkey solution, including the design, implementation and maintenance of such a vast geography and population. According to German Cardenas, President of Hypercom Latin America, “this agreement represents another important milestone for Hypercom because it expands the use of Hypercom’s technology, consulting and support services capabilities beyond the realm of traditional payments and into the most complex and demanding of networking environments.”
Upon the completion of the first phase, Hypercom will provide ongoing technical support, logistics, and maintenance for the network infrastructure. As the system is expanded to include all 171 million residents of Brazil and over 150,000 medical facilities, the Ministry plans to expand the capabilities of the system to include features such as treatment and drug authorizations, patient history and billing histories. Hypercom and its Brazilian distributor, NETPOS, joined together to win this opportunity, continuing Hypercom’s success in Latin America, where it enjoys a market share in excess of 70%, with over 600,000 card payment terminals installed.
Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is a global provider of end-to-end electronic payment solutions, including card payment systems, peripherals, network products, software and e-commerce payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 70 countries through a global network of affiliates and offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com].
Hong Leong Bank Berhad of Kuala Lumpur and American Express raised the curtain yesterday on the new ‘Hong Leong Bank Classic and Gold American Express Credit Card. This is the first alliance between AmEx and a Malaysian card-issuing institution to issue consumer cards on the American Express network. Travelers who charge their air tickets to the card are covered for up to RM1.2 million in travel accident coverage on the ‘Gold Card’, the highest amount in the market place, and RM0.5 million on the ‘Classic Card’. Cardholders will also be compensated with up to RM3000 for ‘Gold Card’ and RM1500 for ‘Classic Card’ in the event flights are delayed or canceled. Hong Leong Bank is one of the fastest growing banks in Malaysia with a network of 72 branches in the country and one in Singapore.Details
CyberBills announced that it has signed an agreement with MasterCard International, enabling CyberBills to access MasterCard’s Remote Payment and Presentment Service on behalf of its channel partners and customers.
! CyberBills is among the first Customer Service Providers to join MasterCard’s combined electronic bill presentment and payment services program.
CyberBills’ online bill payment and presentment service allows consumers to receive, view, pay, manage and automate 100 percent of their bills – whether they are paper or electronic bills. Under the agreement, MasterCard will act as a bill presentment and payment “hub”, allowing Cyberbills to access electronic bills from MasterCard’s growing list of Biller Service Providers (BSPs), and present them quickly and seamlessly online to consumers. MasterCard’s RPPS program provides participating financial institutions flexible connectivity to process transactions without capturing or storing consumer or biller relationship information.
MasterCard’s 14 years of experience, along with its proven payments network, risk management and customer service infrastructure, will also enable companies like CyberBills to leverage MasterCard’s expertise, customer base and payment experience. By leveraging MasterCard’s existing payment relationships through the RPPS network, this collaborative effort with CyberBills will allow the payments industry to reach a greater number of potential online banking customers than ever before. As a result of this service, consumers have gained more convenience with access to more of their bills online, while billers have the opportunity to access a greater number of consumers than ever before. Member financial institutions can promote interoperability and leverage MasterCard’s extensive payments experience and “hub”. The full service offering is expected to be available to all banks, Customer Service Providers and Biller Service Providers in September 2000.
“Our relationship with MasterCard expands the options we can offer our customers,” said Murali Chirala, president and co-founder of CyberBills. “MasterCard’s RPPS network provides CyberBills’ channel partners and customers with access to one of the industry’s widest bill distribution network, where 95 percent of the CSPs and BSPs offer online bill payment and/or presentment services nationwide.”
“CyberBills is the pioneer in total online bill management,” said Ruth Ann Marshall, president, North American Region, MasterCard International. “We’re pleased to be working closely with industry leaders like CyberBills, who are committed to standards-based electronic bill payment solutions. We believe relationships like this will accelerate biller and consumer adoption of online bill presentment and payment services.”
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 in 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 [http://www.mastercard.com].
About CyberBills, Inc.
Founded in 1998, CyberBills is the first company to offer total bill management over the Internet. CyberBills, based in Santa Clara, Calif., provides businesses with the services and tools to offer a complete bill management solution that allows customers to view, pay, manage and automate all of their bills over the Internet. CyberBills’ services are available through a variety of channel partners including banks and financial institutions, brokerage firms, technology companies as well as financial and e-commerce portals. CyberBills also offers Total Bill Management(TM) directly to consumers at its own site, StatusFactory.com. The company handles bills and invoices in any format: paper, E-bills and as input from Biller Service Providers. For more information about CyberBills, visit [www.cyberbills.com].
! NextCard has been ranked as the second fastest growing domain on the Internet following a 178% surge in the number of unique visitors during May. Meanwhile Capital One has been ranked #1 on the list of top ad impressions delivered during May. According to Nielsen/NetRatings Internet audience measurement service NextCard’s audience grew from 1,459,728 visitors in April to 4,056,306 in May. NextCard beat popular Web destinations such as napster.com and victoriasecret.com. Rival Internet audience measurement service, Media Metrix, reported yesterday that Capital One remains the top online advertiser with 1.2 billion ad impressions served in May. Media Metrix says the Capital One ad figures are remarkable since the card issuer made a 62% cut in its online advertising in the last week of May. There are major discrepancies between the measurement services. Nielsen/NetRatings shows that during May, NextCard delivered 604 million ad impressions while Capital One delivered 402 million. While Capital One topped the Media Metrix list with more than one billion ad impressions, NextCard did not even make the list which cutoff at 119 million ad impressions. NextCard and Capital One are both ‘Premier’ level advertisers on CardWeb.com’s consumer channels.
United Cerebral Palsy and First USA announced the United Cerebral Palsy Platinum Visa credit card. Each time the credit card is used, a portion of all purchases is donated to UCP, providing a new way for people to support initiatives to help children and adults with disabilities.
“Everyone associated with United Cerebral Palsy is delighted that First USA has partnered with us to issue an affinity credit card,” said Charles H. Moses, III, Esq., President UCPA, Inc. “This alliance with First USA is a wonderful opportunity to help people with disabilities lead strong, independent lives, one person at a time. We look forward to a long relationship.”
“First USA is excited by this new partnership,” said Patrick Regan, Senior Vice President, partnership marketing, First USA. “It has given us a unique opportunity to continue our strong commitment to our partnership-marketing strategy, offering a compelling consumer product with competitive pricing and quality customer service, while supporting UCP’s initiatives through the card’s usage. It’s a winning proposition for everyone.”
The no-annual-fee United Cerebral Palsy Platinum Visa card offers a competitive interest rate. And for those who transfer a balance, the United Cerebral Palsy Platinum Visa card offers special savings with a low 2.9% introductory APR. Applications for the credit card are offered via direct mail and will soon be available through the UCP and First USA websites ([http://www.ucp.org] and [http://www.firstusa.com]).
Cardmembers receive exclusive Platinum privileges, including automatic purchase protection, exceptional travel accident insurance, emergency cash and airline ticket replacement, auto rental collision coverage, and lost luggage protection. The card features a credit line from $5,000 to $100,000; a money- saving balance-transfer option; and 24-hour, toll-free customer-service support.
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)([http://www.ucp.org]), founded in 1949, is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the country with 144 affiliates nationwide. UCP provides programs and services to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of children and adults with cerebral palsy and other disabilities and their families. UCP uses its funds efficiently, with 85 cents of every dollar spent directly on programs and services.
First USA ([http://www.firstusa.com]), a subsidiary of Bank One Corporation (NYSE: ONE), is the world’s largest issuer of Visa credit cards. First USA offers credit cards for consumers and businesses under the First USA, First Card and Bank One names and on behalf of its marketing partners. Bank One is the nation’s fifth-largest bank holding company with assets of more than $270 billion.