Banco Rio AmEx Cards

Argentina’s Banco Río de la Plata launched the ‘Banco Río American Express Card’ yesterday. Under the program, Banco Río de la Plata will issue AmEx-branded standard and Gold revolving credit cards. Denominated in the Argentine peso and U.S. dollars, the new cards will be accepted globally. This is the first network partner for AmEx in Argentina. In the last several years AmEx has developed 62 such partnership arrangements in close to 70 countries. In Latin America, AmEx has established 18 partnership arrangements in 15 markets.

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VISA 3-Domain

VISA International launched a new global e-commerce initiative that is expected to reduce Internet transaction disputes by up to 50 percent. The ‘VISA Secure e-Commerce Initiative includes two major components. First, the ‘Payment Authentication Program’ is designed to reduce the risk of unauthorized use of a cardholder account and to improve customer service for buyers and sellers on the Web. Second, the ‘Global Data Security Program’ establishes standards and best practices for e-commerce merchants allowing them to better ensure the security of cardholder data on their sites. The ‘Payment Authentication Program’ is based on a new “3-Domain” model recently approved by the VISA International Board. VISA’s European region announced this week it is deploying the ‘3-Domain’ model for implementation of server-based SET in the EU marketplace, with full implementation scheduled for 2001. The VISA Latin America and Caribbean region has also recently endorsed the ‘3-Domain’ model for server-based SET. VISA U.S.A. will pilot a new ‘3-Domain’ SSL-based authentication protocol beginning this summer. The second half of the initiative includes the ‘Global Data Security Program’ which will be rolled out later this year. The ‘GDS’ will include a series of standards and guidelines for e-commerce transactions that both buyers and sellers should follow.

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DotsConnect Hosting Head

DotsConnect, a wholly owned TSYS e-payments subsidiary, named Nicol Lloyd Woodard as director of its hosting unit. Woodard is a former Southeast Regional Manager of Compaq Computer Corp., Enterprise Consulting Services.

“Nicol is an experienced IS professional with more than ten years consulting, managing multiple client engagements and implementing global distributed systems,” said Gaylon Jowers, president and CEO of DotsConnect. “Nicol will be a valuable team member, and his enterprise-wide consulting experience will greatly benefit DotsConnect.”

“I am excited to be joining DotsConnect,” said Woodard. “I look forward to leading the hosting initiatives for DotsConnect and contributing to its advancement in the electronic payment arena.”

Woodard will be responsible for all hosting activities, including strategic planning, sales, product development and operations. DotsConnect’s hosting activities will include hosted application services for internal product development and third-party hosting of client applications.

As a former manager for Compaq, Woodard was responsible for leading a team of senior consultants to assist Compaq with the delivery of $3 billion in hardware and service sales for the Southeast Region. Previously, he was an engagement manager for Coopers & Lybrand LLP, handling accounts that included management of a Global Technical Architecture to support systems development initiatives, order and inventory management and distribution logistics for Avon worldwide.

Woodard has also served as site manager for IS infrastructure at Marion Merrell Dow, manager of distributed systems for MMD World Headquarters, manager of information center for Glaxo, Inc., supervisor of office systems for ITT Telecom, project leader of information systems for Gulfstream Aerospace and system engineer for IBM Corp.

About DotsConnect

DotsConnect is an e-payments company that facilitates commerce between buyers and sellers via the Internet by providing software and processing for online credit application, customer service and fulfillment processes for financial services companies and e-businesses. DotsConnect offers a single e-commerce solution that includes online credit application, scoring, decisions and customer service — all in real time.

With DotsConnect, e-businesses are given a competitive advantage for attracting and retaining customers by providing them the ability to apply, receive and manage their credit accounts in real time via the Internet. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Total System Services, Inc. ([http://www.totalsystem.com][1]), one of the world’s leading paperless commerce solutions providers, DotsConnect continues a quarter century of innovation by providing tailored, secure, and reliable payment solutions.

About Total System Services, Inc.

TSYS (NYSE: TSS) provides global commerce solutions. With more than 179 million accounts on file, TSYS facilitates the payment exchange between buyers and sellers. TSYS and its family of companies offer a full range of business services from credit application to collections for credit, debit, commercial, stored-value and retail accounts. Based in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([http://www.totalsystem.com][2]) is an 80.8 percent-owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ([http://www.synovus.com][3]), No. 5 on FORTUNE magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2000. For more information, contact news@totalsystem.com .

[1]: http://www.totalsystem.com/
[2]: http://www.totalsystem.com/
[3]: http://www.synovus.com/

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E-Projections

The worldwide e-commerce market is expected to grow to annual volume of $4.3 trillion by 2004 or at an annual growth rate of 82%. Business Communications Co. also projects that e-commerce in the U.S. alone will grow to $3.2 trillion by 2004. Consumer expenditures in the U.S. are expected to grow from $22 billion last year to $157.4 billion by 2004, or at an annual rate of 48.2%. BBC also expects the number of households with Internet access to grow from 27.4 million in 1999 to 44 million in 2004. The average annual expenditure per household is expected to increase from $801 last year to $3,577 in 2004. The projections are part of a new e-commerce study to be released by BCC during July.

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Strange Bedfellows

Testimony heard last week in the antitrust trial of VISA and MasterCard identified some of the bank credit card issuers who expressed an interest in issuing American Express cards. Among the three dozen prospects American Express attracted: MBNA, First USA, KeyCorp and Advanta. In May 1996, the head of American Express made a sales call on credit card issuers via the podium at Faulkner & Gray’s annual ‘Credit Card Forum’ in Atlanta. Harvey Golub, AmEx CEO, had invited bankers to personally call him to discuss the possibility of issuing American Express cards. Golub also used that opportunity to attack VISA for what it considers anti-competitive practices. To date, AmEx has formed more than 60 card issuing partnerships internationally, but has found no takers within the US.

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Q1 MULTOS Deal

QI Technologies Corp. announced that the Company has been retained by CALE Parking Equipment Inc. of Saint-Lambert, Quebec, to design and develop a MULTOS based cash card payment system for use with their CALE MP-102 Pay and Display Ticketing Machine.

The CALE ticketing machine, installed with the QI SmartKit reader was successfully demonstrated at the IPI Exhibition Show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for three days last month. Mr. Pierre Barre, the President of CALE Parking Equipment stated: “The show was an outstanding success with the MP-102 generating a great deal of interest from the international community.”

Mr. Pierre Barre advised that they have a working relationship with CALE Access, a Swedish company, in business since 1955 with products installed in around 35 countries. CALE Access is part of the Bewator Group, a company that deals with electronic access control and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Pay and Display ticketing machines.

QI Technologies designs, manufactures and markets Electronic-Cash Systems and components that allow the use of e-cash payment systems including those of Visa Cash and Mondex, support for Multos cards, Visa Open Platform cards, private label cards and for loyalty applications.

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De Novo Expands

Nicole Drennan, formerly Operations Assistant at First Union Corporation, has been hired as Administrative Coordinator for Stratcom, a market intelligence firm with the De Novo family of companies. As an Administrative Coordinator, her responsibilities involve assisting with market research projects using various media, including the Internet, and preparing marketing presentations.

Nicole Drennan brings with her four years of working experience with large organizations, such as First Union Corporation and CoreStates Bank. During her time at First Union, she was responsible for assisting management with the development and delegation of administrative functions, assisting the technical support group, and identifying problems in several new systems rollout pilots. She also developed training curriculum and conducted training sessions for all newly hired personal service representatives.

“This is an exceptional opportunity to utilize my prior experience to assist Stratcom, as well as the other De Novo companies, in managing their extraordinary growth,” said Ms. Drennan.

About De Novo Corporation:

De Novo Corporation is an Online and Offline marketing communications holding company, consisting of Creative Solutions International, an integrated direct response advertising agency; Convergence Group, an international management consultancy; Owen/Holloway Group, a brand development and corporation communications advertising agency; and Stratcom, a business and consumer intelligence company.

De Novo Corporation offers a broad range of integrated marketing communications services to Fortune 1000 companies throughout the world. It currently has offices in Arizona, Canada, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, and New York. Currently a private company, De Novo Corporation is intending to conduct an initial public offering in early 2002.

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Legal Club for Cardholders

Legal Club of America and Randolph and Associates have signed an agreement through which Legal Club’s Family and Small Business plans will be marketed to R&A’s client base of millions of credit card holders for whom they currently provide discounted health benefits.

R&A operates an extensive telemarketing center and works with many of the nation’s largest call centers to solicit sales of their discount health services programs, averaging as many as 50,000 plans per week. R&A will seek to achieve similar sales levels for Legal Club’s plans over the next few months.

Last month, during the training and modeling stages of the national rollout, R&A generated over $75,000 in revenues for Legal Club. If R&A succeeded in selling 50,000 plans per week, this would represent as much as twenty times that monthly revenue figure.

Chris Randolph, R&A chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “My industry has never marketed free Internet access and a legal plan in tandem. The combination should appeal to our credit card bases and allow our call centers to achieve greater penetration percentages. In addition, the quality of the legal plan coupled with free Internet access should help increase retention rates, which are currently 75%.

“Brett Merl, chairman and CEO of Legal Club of America, stated, “R&A is a leader in its industry, and we are pleased to finalize a mutually beneficial arrangement with them. R&A has quickly become an integral part of our accelerated revenue growth, which presently runs at about 30% per month.”

About R&A:

Randolph & Associates has been a nationwide leader in the direct marketing industry, selling millions of discounted health plans through sophisticated telemarketing, order processing and fulfillment call centers. R&A offers two legal plans sponsored and administered by Legal Club of America.

About Legal Club of America:

Legal Club of America Corp. is a nationwide leader in marketing products and services to consumers in the workplace. Legal Club of America has been successfully marketing a nationwide discount legal referral program for over four years through a network of over 20,000 independent and captured insurance agents and approximately 30 of the nations largest insurance companies such as Transamerica Assurance and Aon Corp.

The program provides individuals and small business owners with a variety of free and deeply discounted legal services from a network of over 11,000 qualified attorneys throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Singapore. The Company markets its products through a combination of work-site enrollments, infomercials, direct marketing and Internet marketing through its Web site: [www.legalclub.com][1].

Legal Club of America has strategic marketing arrangements with NetZero.com (NASDAQ:NZRO), Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN), and EmployeeSavings.com and is currently providing its plans to the employees of companies such as 3M, Cendant Corp., Boeing, Tower Records and Honeywell. The Company is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and has regional sales offices in Tampa, Chicago, and New York. Institutional investors include SF Sentry Fund and Edelson Technologies and Bulldog Investments.

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

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Hawkins Heads FDC UK

FDR Limited, the United Kingdom-based subsidiary of electronic payments leader First Data Corp., today announced that Gerald E. R. Hawkins has been named chief executive.

In his new role, Hawkins will oversee First Data’s card processing operations in Europe, including locations in the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. He will report to Eula Adams, executive vice president of First Data Corp.

“With both extensive payment services and international marketing experience, Gerald will add a new dimension to our existing card business. Under his leadership, I am confident that First Data Resources will continue to enhance and expand our presence in Europe,” said Adams.

Hawkins most recently served as senior executive for Lloyds TSP Group PLC, the United Kingdom’s largest retail bank. He managed Lloyds TSB’s card business, the number two card issuer in the United Kingdom. He is also a director of VISA Europe and VISA International. Prior to the merger of Lloyds and TSP, he was general manager of Lloyds Bank payments business – cards, sterling and foreign payment activities. Hawkins will be located in Basildon, England.

FDR Limited is Europe’s leading independent third party processor, whose services include card transaction processing and related information services. FDRL has approximately 2,500 employees servicing $25 million cardholder accounts on behalf of 50 clients who include major high street banks, building societies and other financial institutions in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. helps move the world’s money. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves more than two million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and buisnesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. With more than 30,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit, and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Germany. In addition, its Western Union network includes approximatedly 86,000 agent locations with operations in 178 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s website at [www.firstdatacorp.com][1].

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

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e-SELECT

Royal Bank announced the launch of e- SELECT, a virtual point-of-sale terminal that provides on-line businesses of all sizes with a new, real-time Internet payment service.

Royal Bank’s e-SELECT may be easily integrated with most leading on-line shopping carts and order forms and can process virtually any volume of transactions. In addition, it enables merchants to accept most major credit cards.

Merchants can choose to use e-SELECT on its own, as it is not part of a package of e-commerce products. This Internet payment solution allows merchants and Web developers flexibility and choice as it can be easily integrated into any Web site whether the site is existing or being developed. Web developers will not have to create their own payment “plug” when designing sites for merchants.

“e-SELECT is just one example of Royal Bank’s focus on creating value- added solutions for our customers on their terms,” said Frank Moore, vice- president, merchant services and point-of-sales at Royal Bank. “e-SELECT provides our on-line merchants with the choice and flexibility needed to succeed in the world of e-commerce.”

e-SELECT is a secure and convenient real-time payment solution for both merchants and consumers. All it takes is one click on the “pay” button and within seconds the consumer has their on-line transaction receipt. In addition, the transaction is approved and completed instantly, reducing errors and lost revenue for merchants by eliminating the need to input transactions manually.

Both the consumer and merchant are ensured secure transmission and storage of data with e-SELECT through Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. SSL provides secure transmission of cardholder data to and from the cardholder and the merchant’s virtual store. Once the cardholder’s information is received, e-SELECT securely stores the credit card data in accordance with bank security standards. This eliminates the merchant’s concern about holding cardholder data within their own environment.

Royal Bank will provide technical and business support for e-SELECT. There will be a Help Desk for merchants to call should they have questions about their account or need technical assistance.

Royal Bank Merchant Services was first in Canada to complete an end-to- end Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) for payments on the Internet in 1998 and since 1999 has offered a suite of on-line payment processing options for on-line retailers. Royal Bank also launched an on-line directory in November 1999 located at [www.royalbank.com][1] where its on-line merchants benefit from the 80,000 visitors who access the site each day. The virtual point-of-sale terminal e-SELECT joins a family of physical world payment processing terminals including SmartSelect, a touchscreen point-of-sale terminal, TransSelect and wireless point of sale terminals.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY) is a diversified global financial services group and a leading provider of personal and commercial banking, investment and trust services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, on-line banking and transaction-based services including custody. The group’s main business units include Royal Bank, RBC Dominion Securities, Royal Investment Services, RBC Insurance and Global Integrated Solutions. The group has 49,000 employees who serve 10 million personal, business and public sector customers in 30 countries. For more information, visit Royal Bank’s Web site at [www.royalbank.com][2].

[1]: http://www.royalbank.com/
[2]: http://www.royalbank.com/

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Merchant WebLink

Dublin, Ireland-based Peregrine Systems this weekend launched ‘Merchant WebLink’, a web-based solution for acquirers to support the key area of dispute processing. The new service links acquirers and merchants electronically to facilitate end-to-end, online, automated dispute processing 24X7. Online communication eliminates the need for printing, photocopying, scanning and posting documentation related to a dispute case. In addition the costs of servicing the merchant, such as telephone charges and the handling of incoming and outgoing requests are minimized. For the merchant, this new Internet product gives online, instantaneous access to all information associated with chargebacks and retrieval requests against them. This cuts the cost of dispute processing for the merchant while speedy fulfillment and resolution of disputes helps the merchant avoid write-offs and the likelihood of chargebacks and associated fees. Accelerated fulfillment also generates revenue for acquirers by allowing them to take greater advantage of fulfillment incentives offered by the card associations.

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Trial Week #2

As the VISA/MasterCard antitrust trial moves into the second week, the DOJ announced Friday it has dropped top Discover executives from its live witness list. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter chairman Phillip Purcell; David Nelms, president of Discover Financial Services; and Roger Hochschild, EVP of business development at Discover will not testify in-person. However it is expected the Government will use some of their videotaped deposition. This week the DOJ expects to call Kenneth Chenault from American Express; Adam Rothchild from American Express; James Cracchiolo from American Express; Alex Pete Hart, ex MasterCard CEO; Russell Hogg, ex MasterCard CEO; Bennett Katz, former general counsel, Visa U.S.A./International; Joseph Saunders, FleetBoston Financial and former MasterCard board chairman; and Christopher Zyda from Amazon.com.

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