Fast PayCheck Advance introduced ‘FastRewards’ this week, a new feature of its ‘Pinnacle’ smart card program. The free ‘FastRewards’ program offers cardholders the ability to earn one point for every dollar they spend online paying bills, making purchases and loading electronic cash to their smart cards through the Fast PayCheck web site. ‘FastRewards’ will be offered to both instant-issue and full-service cardholders at online, self-service kiosks and via cardholder PCs with Internet access, equipped with optional card readers. Under the online program, cardholders can register for the program, view ‘FastRewards’ point balances, browse the coupon catalogue and barter points for other rewards. The Florida-based firm specializes in issuing debit cards for so-called payday advance loans.Details
Firstar Bank has teamed up with Spalding University to offer students, faculty and staff members the ‘Spalding University Smartcard’. Aside from being an identification card, the smart card can be used for campus meal plans, as a library access card, as a Firstar Bank ATM card and for debit card purchases. Throughout the upcoming semester, the ‘Spalding University Smartcard’ will be enhanced to include use at the University bookstore, at campus vending machines, copy and laundry machines. The ATM function of the card is good on and off campus, and transactions made at Firstar Bank ATMs are free and unlimited if the Spalding University card participant has a Firstar checking account. Students will be able to take advantage of Firstar’s ‘Student Banking 101’, which offers a no minimum balance checking account, a $1 a month maintenance fee, and free checks.Details
NYCE has signed Access Cash International as an ATM participant in its network. NYCE-branded cards will now have access to nearly 2,700 Access Cash ATMs located throughout the East and Midwest. The addition of these ATMs, which are expected to be live in the network with a few weeks, will bring the number of ATMs participating in the NYCE Network to over 38,000. Access Cash is an ISO with over 8,500 ATMs deployed. Access said it made the decision to join the NYCE network because of the competitive interchange rate. NYCE’s revised pricing schedule, which went into effect in February, offers an off-premises interchange rate of $.50 per cash withdrawal transaction.Details
Vital Processing Services announced Wednesday it has signed an agreement to purchase certain assets and the business of AMS, LLC and its subsidiary, SupplyXpress. AMS is an industry leading point-of-sale terminal management services provider.
The agreement to add AMS and its subsidiary’s point-of-sale Terminal Management Services to Vital’s business is clear evidence of Vital’s plan to offer a comprehensive range of merchant services. Acquirers and merchants want single source solutions, and this acquisition will enhance Vital’s ability to respond to that market need.
These terminal management services include equipment procurement, deployment, “just-in-time” inventory management, replacement and repair services, merchant training and merchant supplies replenishment.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Closing of the transaction is pending regulatory approval.
AMS, LLC (AMS) is recognized as one of the industry’s largest providers of point-of-sale payment devices, accessories, supplies, and value-added support services. The company currently has a workforce of more than 90 people and had annual sales of approximately $27 million in the year ending Dec. 31, 1999.
About Vital Processing Services
Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is a recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer a wide variety of electronic payment processing services to merchants. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Vital does not compete with its clients for their merchant business.
Vital services include merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; VirtualNet(TM)Internet-commerce suite of services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; operational fulfillment services (including chargeback and retrieval processing); risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(R) U.S.A. and Total System Services, Inc.(R) (TSYS(R)) (NYSE: TSS) ([http://www.totalsystem.com]). Vital can be found on the Internet at [http://www.vitalps.com].
Cubic Transportation Systems yesterday won a $1.8 million contract to help a Chinese company integrate smart card technology into a new contactless card ticketing system for Shanghai Metro. The Shanghai Municipal Government selected the Huahong Group and the Shanghai Oriental Traffic Card Company to implement an intermodal smart card technology across all forms of the city’s public transportation, which includes the existing Lines 1 and 2 of Shanghai Metro Corp.’s urban rail system. Cubic is the supplier of the existing automated fare collection system that entered revenue service on Line 1 in 1999, and which is slated to begin operations on Line 2 within the next several weeks. Both magnetic stripe card technology and smart card fare payment products are provided by the system designed, built and installed by Cubic under a contract won in 1996. Under Cubic’s new contract, the Huahong Group’s own contactless card technology will replace the existing Mifare 1 smart card system. With Cubic’s integration under the new contract, the dual architecture will remain intact.Details
Credit card agreements may soon be fully executed online if a new federal bill becomes law. Yesterday the U.S. House overwhelmingly approved the conference report to S. 761, the ‘Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act’ (a/k/a E-SIGN), by a vote of 426-4. Its next stop is the Senate, before being sent to the White House for the President’s signature. The bill would give e-signatures and records the same legal backing as written signatures — allowing consumers to sign and seal business transactions in cyberspace, the same way they would in person. Specifically, S.761 would provide for the acceptance of electronic signatures and records in interstate commerce and, direct the Secretary of Commerce to promote the principles of this legislation overseas. The bill first introduced in May of 1999. The House approved the bill November 9, 1999 by a vote of 356-66, and the Conference Report to S.761 was filed last week.Details
American Express and Japan’s JCB Company are entering into a new partnership covering their merchant businesses in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. The agreement includes a range of reciprocal card acceptance, merchant acquisition and merchant processing/servicing arrangements between the two brands. Under terms of the agreement JCB will become a merchant acquirer for AmEx in Japan, and will assume responsibility for processing and servicing new merchants and, eventually, certain existing AmEx merchants. In Australia, New Zealand and Canada, AmEx will become a merchant acquirer for JCB and will assume responsibility for processing and servicing all new merchants and, eventually, certain existing JCB merchants. Also under Wednesday’s contract, AmEx will work with JCB to provide technical access to American Express-owned merchant terminals in the USA. The agreement will be implemented in phases beginning in Spring 2001.Details
The Government’s key witness in the VISA/MasterCard antitrust trial took the stand late yesterday to say the card associations jointly agreed to slow down the introduction of smart cards in the USA. John Elliott, formerly of MasterCard and a consultant for American Express, testified that MasterCard was ready to rollout out smart cards but VISA was not, and therefore the technology was put on hold. However under cross examination, Mr. Elliott revealed he received half-million dollars as a consultant for American Express. He also admitted on the stand to having an additional eight to ten meetings, not including phone calls, with the DOJ as part of his work under his American Express consulting arrangement. VISA attacked Mr. Elliott last night insisting he purely represents American Express’ interests. VISA says American Express continues to pay his legal expenses including his lawyer appearing in court with him this week. VISA said while the smart card is a good idea in theory, the business case for the product in the U.S. does not exist.Details
Delta Capital Technologies, Inc. signed a letter of intent as the provider of e-Commerce and e-Merchandising solutions to customers of MoneyStream Services Inc., an electronic payment processing company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
In the reciprocal agreement, Delta has co-sponsored a development project for the integration of its proprietary relBUILDER. technology with MoneyStream’s payment processing and security systems.
According to Delta, the deal represents nearly US$1 million in total revenues this year with another US$1 million in revenue flowing to MoneyStream. The total project over the next 18 months represents approximately US$6.6 million to the two companies.
“Delta and MoneyStream share the philosophy that providing superior service is the core of our business. This mutual agreement is the key that will unlock opportunities for both companies, strengthening the partnership,” said Mike Steele, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Development. “MoneyStream represents both a key strategic partner and technology provider complimenting the strengths of relBUILDER(TM) and our e-Business solutions.
“Together, Delta and MoneyStream will offer mission-critical e-Business applications meeting the growing needs of small-to-medium businesses typically overlooked by traditional banking institutions.”
Marc Bourgeois, MoneyStream’s Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing agrees: “The formalization of a partnership with Delta is an integral part of our ability to offer turnkey e-Business solutions to our respective clients.
“Relationships with companies like Delta allow us to meet our aggressive objectives for the rapid deployment of MoneyStream’s e-Business financial services. The Internet is emerging as our customer’s preferred banking interface providing businesses with vital financial information when and where they need it most.”
About Delta Capital Technologies, Inc.: Trading Symbol DCTG (OTC:BB)
Delta Capital Technologies is a Delaware-based software development company with offices in Calgary, Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; and Austin, Texas. Delta’s proprietary technology is the relBUILDER(TM) suite of applications, a contextual rules and relationships e-Business program, allows end-user information owners to manage their own on-line operations efficiently and at reduced cost.
About MoneyStream Services Inc.
MoneyStream Services was founded in 1993, as Canada’s only full service electronic payments processing company. With the proliferation of the e-Business economy, MoneyStream has evolved and refined its offerings to satisfy its clients with the most comprehensive selection of electronic payment processing services, including credit card authorization, pre-authorized payment processing and electronics funds transfer services. Leveraging the power of the Internet, MoneyStream’s solutions simplify the way businesses move money.Details
Three former executives of Cendant Corp. pleaded guilty yesterday to criminal fraud charges for participating in a major accounting scandal to inflate revenues. The fraud was perpetrated prior to the merger of CUC International and HFS which created Cendant in late 1997. Cosmo Corigliano, Anne Pember, and Casper Sabatino testified yesterday that their actions were done at the behest of their superiors at CUC. The cooking of the books led to CUC overstating its operating income by $116 million between 1995 and 1997. As a result Cendant overstated its income by $170 million in 1997. The scandal led to a $3 billion+ settlement in a shareholder class action lawsuit and reduced Cendant’s market value by $14 billion. CUC and Cendant were major third-party providers of membership services to the nation’s top credit card issuers. All three face 5-10 years in prison and enforcement action by the SEC.Details
MasterCard International and Providian Financial Corporation announced that Providian will participate in MasterCard’s Remote Payment and Presentment Service to receive payments electronically from its credit counseling agency customers.
MasterCard’s RPPS program provides participating credit counseling agencies with flexible connectivity to replace paper-based payments with a value-added electronic process that offers same-day posting and funds settlement. Through the new agreement, MasterCard will act as a payments “hub,” offering Providian the ability to receive payments from the hundreds of credit counseling agencies currently connected through MasterCard’s RPPS network.
MasterCard is the leading provider of electronic payments and electronic debt management proposals (DMPs) to the credit counseling industry. Credit counseling agencies provide services to enable consumers to pay down debt and avoid bankruptcy. MasterCard’s 14 years of experience, along with its proven payments network, risk management and customer service infrastructure, will enable Providian to leverage MasterCard’s expertise, connectivity and payments capability.
“MasterCard’s RPPS network allows Providian to replace a costly, labor-intensive payment system with a sleek and fast way to automate our customers’ payments,” said Shailesh Mehta, chairman and chief executive officer of Providian Financial Corporation.
“Providian’s long standing relationship with MasterCard has now expanded to include receiving electronic payments from credit counseling agencies,” said Ruth Ann Marshall, president, North American Region, MasterCard International. “This latest agreement between MasterCard and Providian gives us the largest reach in the credit counseling industry.”
KUBRA, the leader in the capture, management and distribution of paper-based and electronic documents, also announced it has entered into an agreement enabling KUBRA to access MasterCard’s Remote Payment and Presentment Service on behalf of its biller customers.
KUBRA is the first Canadian company to sign-up for the bill presentment service. This agreement will add further value to KUBRA distribution network and provide KUBRA’s customers with access to another primary distribution channel.
The MasterCard RPPS program provides participating financial institutions flexible connectivity to process transactions without capturing or storing consumer or biller relationship information. With the agreement in place, MasterCard will act as a bill presentment and payment distribution network, offering KUBRA’s customers the ability to present bills to customers through MasterCard’s network.
KUBRA is an EBPP service bureau that provides issuers of bills and statements with a turnkey bill presentment and payment solution, allowing billers to offer EBP services without having to develop or purchase software, or make costly investments in their technology infrastructure. KUBRA provides a single-point solution that requires no change of technology for its customers. Companies continue to generate the same data stream they use today for printed bills and statements, which they provide to KUBRA for processing and electronic delivery.
By leveraging MasterCard’s existing payment relationships through its Remote Payment and Presentment Service (RPPS), this collaborative effort allows the payments industry to reach a greater number of potential consumers than ever before. MasterCard’s 14 years of experience, along with its proven payments network, risk management and customer service infrastructure, enable companies like KUBRA to leverage MasterCard’s expertise, customer base and market knowledge. The full service offering is expected to be available to all banks, Customer Service Providers and Biller Service Providers in September 2000.
“We’re very excited to join forces with KUBRA and extend both of our payment and presentment networks,” said Ruth Ann Marshall, president, North American Region, MasterCard International. “Relationships such as this extend our leadership in the electronic bill payment and presentment marketplace and make us the best choice for members who want to manage their accounts online.”
“Our agreement with MasterCard furthers KUBRA’s biller-centric strategy of providing our customers with the widest selection of distribution channels on which to present bills and statements,” said Rick Watkin President and COO of KUBRA. “MasterCard is a global leader in electronic payment and presentment solutions and as such represents a key distribution channel going forward. This relationship further strengthens our core strategic value proposition providing billers a single point of access and the subsequent management of a wide selection of front-end locations.”
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 Providian Financial Corporation
San Francisco-based Providian Financial Corporation ([www.providian.com]) is a leading provider of lending and deposit products to customers throughout the United States and offers credit cards in the United Kingdom. The sixth largest bankcard issuer in the U.S., Providian was recently named one of America’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune Magazine. Providian serves a broad, diverse market with loan products that include credit cards, secured cards and membership products. With a commitment to 100% customer satisfaction, Providian’s mission is to help customers build or rebuild, protect and responsibly use credit by providing a quality borrowing experience that leads to active and long-lasting customer relationships. Providian has more than $27 billion in assets under management and over 13 million customers.
Equifax Card Solutions announced that it has signed a multi-year contract with M&I Data Services for ATM driving, routing, and switching services. The agreement will enable Equifax Card Solutions to offer the advantages of single-point authorizationsor online transaction processingfor debit and ATM card processing. Card transactions, whether initiated at a point of sale terminal or automated teller machine , will be authorized based on real-time account information, providing increased security and faster, more accurate processing. This product offers special advantages for off-line debit card issuers who have a regional and/or national ATM service provider and for clients that are seeking a quality ATM provider.
! Vince Pavese, senior vice president and general manager, Equifax Card Solutions, North America, said, ‘This partnership marks an important step forward. Like other processors, Equifax has traditionally processed off-line debit card transactions. We can now combine our superior back-office servicing with state-of-the-art POS, ATM, and off-line authorization processing. Financial institutions can come to Equifax for all their card processing needs’merchant, credit, debit, and ATM products. We are their total card solution.’
Mr. Pavese added, “The simplified processing is easy to administer and cost effective. Clients no longer need to send multiple cardholder balance files to various processors for debit card and ATM authorizations. All authorizations are routed through Equifax, and Equifax handles all settlements, improving the authorization decision and simplifying accounting duties. Equifax provides the means to improved authorization processing so that issuers can concentrate on more important matterstheir cardholders.’
‘We are pleased to work with Equifax in providing online transaction processing,’ said Joe Delgadillo, president and CEO, M&I Data Services. ‘Real-time authorizations deliver the kind of service that card issuers need to remain competitive with the leaders in the card industry,’ Delgadillo added.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, M&I Data Services is a division of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (NYSE: MI), a $24.4 billion holding company. M&I Data Services had total revenue of $583 million in 1999 and provides leading-edge technology solutions to the financial services industry, offering consulting, software, and processing solutions for financial institutions worldwide. The company’s rapid growth is being fueled by innovative product development, strategic product acquisitions, and strong growth of its customer relationships.
The Electronic Funds Delivery (EFD) Services Division of M&I Data Services provides transaction routing, switching, and authorizations for the electronic funds transfer industry. It supports all makes and models of ATMs and provides ATM and debit card processing. EFD also performs gateway services and has network interfaces to all of the major regional and national ATM and point-of-sale (POS) networks. The EFD Services Division provides complete credit card and merchant services, e-commerce, credit approval, portfolio risk management, neural-network fraud detection, fraud investigation, and comprehensive card personalization services. For more information, visit the M&I Data Services Web site at [www.midata.com].
Equifax Card Solutions is the nation’s largest card processor for credit unions and independent banks, bringing card processing services and marketing solutions to more than 5,000 clients in the United States. Equifax also delivers high quality card processing services to clients internationally in the United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and India. Equifax card processing software is used by financial institutions in 30 countries around the world.
Equifax ([www.equifax.com]), a worldwide leader in shaping global commerce, brings buyers and sellers together through its information management, transaction processing, direct marketing, and customer relationship management businesses. Atlanta-based Equifax (NYSE: EFX) serves the financial services, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities, transportation, information technology and healthcare industries and government. Equifax adds knowledge, expertise, convenience and security to provide value-added solutions and processes for its customers wherever they do business, including the Internet and other networks. Equifax employs about 15,000 associates in 16 countries with sales in almost 50 and has $1.8 billion in revenue.