New Midway Card

The Pathways Group, Inc. announced that Funtastic Traveling Shows, one of the nation’s largest carnival operators, will be the first to use version 2.0 of the company’s highly successful cash-free midway smart card system. The new system, which will be used during Funtastic’s Spring 2000 West Coast tour, is expected to touch the lives of more than a million visitors.

With Pathways’ cash-free midway system, customers choose the amount of money they want to store digitally on a secure smart card and can then quickly purchase whatever attractions or refreshments they want using terminals installed at each of the rides, games and concessions. In addition to the convenience this offers the carnival visitor, operators can sharply cut personnel requirements, eliminate potential fraud and reduce the time-consuming chore of reconciling tickets sold and cash received from a matter of hours to a matter of minutes.

Funtastic Traveling Shows opens its Spring 2000 West Coast Tour today in Longview, Washington, using Pathways new and improved version of a cash-free midway system. The system was upgraded based on results of a highly successful pilot program conducted by Pathways and Funtastic last year. The new version of the program’s software offers a more comprehensive reporting system and other enhancements that make the system even more convenient and efficient to use.

“Funtastic has witnessed first hand how quickly Pathways’ cash-free midway system can streamline the carnival business by saving time, money and resources that far outweigh the modest cost of installing our system,” said Monte Strohl, Pathways’ vice president of sales and marketing. “Thanks to Funtastic’s constructive comments on our pilot program, we were able to quickly add a variety of new features and functions tailored to their business. We are confident that the latest version of our system will allow us to improve upon already impressive levels of customer and operator satisfaction. We are extremely pleased to be working with Funtastic to bring the carnival industry into the digital age.”

Pathways’ smart card system also allows the carnival operator to use a special card to collect detail or summary transaction information from each terminal. This gives the operator the ability to accurately determine how much revenue was earned at each ride, game or concession booth during any selected time during the show. In the past, financial information took hours to accumulate. This same information, presented in greater detail than ever before, is now available in a matter of minutes, which represents tremendous savings for carnival owners.

With the launch of Pathways’ newest smart card system last October in San Francisco, Funtastic became the first carnival anywhere in the United States to introduce a cash-free midway using smart card technology. According to the latest rankings by Amusement Business, Funtastic is the seventh largest carnival operator in the United States, hosting nearly 2,000,000 attendees at two West Coast fairs in the winter quarter of 1999.

Based on the success of last year’s pilot program, Funtastic recently signed an agreement with Pathways to continue using the system during its Spring Tour and to purchase thousands of additional Pathways’ smart cards as well as other equipment and support services.

The Pathways Group, Inc., a world leader in smart card technology, provides clients with innovative, secure, individually tailored solutions for capturing and processing data and electronic transactions, with particular focus on Chip Card technology as it is applied to the Worldwide Web.

Founded in 1987, Pathways is today a leading developer of smart card applications offering clients custom software and hardware solutions for electronic banking, e-business, and transaction processing. Pathways’ proprietary back-office systems, coupled with their long-standing core competencies in electronic transaction processing, allow clients to efficiently capture and process data, and transfer funds via “ACH” protocol. This protocol is the De Facto standard for the Banking Industry, used for funds transfer in retail, medical and institutional environments.

Details

Contactless Proton

HyperSecur Corporation announced Wednesday that a Cooperation Agreement has been signed with Group Bull ([www.bull.com][1]), Cedex, France, a major international IT and smart card group.

The primary purpose of the Cooperation Agreement is to accelerate and facilitate the development and certification of a contactless version of the Proton E-purse, by using the HyperProximity(TM) technology. Proton ([www.protonworld.com][2]) is the world’s most widely used smart card platform and electronic purse technology. With 5 national rollouts and licenses in 13 other countries, Proton licensees have already issued 31 million smart cards and installed 270,000 terminals.

The Agreement provides for the joint development of a dual (contact and contactless) card. This smart card will contain both ISO interfaces, (contact/contactless), and an antenna. Both companies will develop jointly a demonstration smart card that will debit (i.e. a user’s bank account) using the Proton E-purse protocol in contact mode and credit a mass transit wallet for electronic fare collection in a contactless HyperProximity(TM) mode. This new smart card solution will highlight contactless access to the mass transit wallet in both distant and HyperProximity(TM) modes.

Bull and HyperSecur plan to make joint presentations of their dual technology solution to potential customers. The first customer is a Proton license holder, Grupo Financiero Inbursa S.A. of Mexico ([www.inbursa.com.mx][3]), which already has relations with both companies.

John C. Haggard, HyperSecur’s President, said: “With Bull’s support to develop a contactless version of a Proton E-purse, we have dramatically accelerated our development schedule. We will have a new product that will demonstrate that our secure contactless HyperProximity(TM) technology is capable of meeting the high security requirements of the banking sector. With our dual technology solution, we will market a product capable of working with existing contact based Proton E-purse deployments and, through its contactless interface, use it for mass transit and other related applications. With the certification of a full contactless version of the Proton E-purse, we will have a much more cost efficient replacement solution to traditional wear and tear contact technology for the majority of the countries of the world that have not installed smart card based infrastructure.”

About Bull Group

Bull is an international IT group providing companies and their customers with secure Internet solutions. The Bull product line is focused on three key areas for information systems: business servers – GCOS, Unix, NT, Windows2000, consultancy and services extended to the entire IT cycle, and Internet technologies, smart cards and software for network management and secure systems.

Bull is present in more than 100 countries. Its turnover in 1999 was 3.8 billion Euros, of which more than 65% was achieved outside France. Visit the Bull Internet site at [www.bull.com][4].

About HyperProximity(TM)

HyperProximity is a proprietary world patent pending ISO compliant innovative technology capable of bringing to the market the world’s first secure contactless smart card.

Contactless smart cards have two major advantages over traditional smart cards. First, a dramatic increase in data transmission rates between the card and the reader, at least 10 times faster than traditional contact cards. Second, the lack of mechanical connections guarantees a longer life for both contactless cards and readers. Damaged contact readers are especially troublesome due to the fact that they accelerate wear and tear on cards. This has proven to be a major cost factor to the overall life cycle of a project.

Contactless smart cards to date have not been considered secure. The HyperProximity(TM) technology has three properties that have corrected that problem. First, when high-risk transactions are executed on contactless smart cards, the application resident on the smart card can require that the card physically be within “HyperProximity” of the card reader (5 mm or less). This is important to prevent hacking attempts to listen to conversations between contactless cards and readers. Second, when enabled, the HyperProximity(TM) switch can guarantee a connection between the card and the reader much like contact cards do today. This is required for sophisticated applications such as e-commerce applications. And third, the switch can be used to accelerate the speed of contactless smart card processors.

HyperProximity(TM)technology enables the data transmission speed and longevity benefits of contactless smart cards to be realized while preserving the security benefits of contacted smart cards.

Under the terms of our Cooperation Agreement with leading semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics, the HyperProximity(TM) technology will be a standard feature on their new secure contactless micro-controllers. This technology will be first implemented in the ST16HF52 contactless micro-controller.

About HyperSecur Corporation

HyperSecur is a contactless smart card technology licensing company. HyperSecur markets its technology through strategic partnerships by developing hardware and software solutions with card manufacturers, system integrators and service providers. HyperSecur maintains a solutions lab to assist partners and clients to deploy secure contactless smart card applications. Currently the solutions lab is working on numerous Internet, e-commerce, mass transit, health care, automotive, gaming, and PKI projects.

HyperSecur will be an exhibitor (booth No. 350) at the CardTech/SecurTech ([www.ctst.com][5]) Conference and Exhibition, in Miami, Florida, May 1-4, 2000.

The Class A common stock of the corporation is traded on the Over-The-Counter (“OTC”) market, in the United States, with the symbol: HYURA. Further information on HyperSecur can be found at [www.hypersecur.com][6].

[1]: http://www.bull.com/
[2]: http://www.protonworld.com/
[3]: http://www.inbursa.com.mx/
[4]: http://www.bull.com/
[5]: http://www.ctst.com/
[6]: http://www.hypersecur.com/

Details

Regions Exits

Another regional issuer has joined the march of regional issuers out of the card business. Southeast issuer, Regions Financial Corp. has decided to sell its approximately $300 million credit card portfolio to MBNA. Regions has approximately 300,000 accounts according to CardData’s ‘4Q/99 Portfolio Survey’ ([www.carddata.com][1]). Regions expects to recognize a pre-tax gain of approximately $67 million. Under the agreement Regions will enter into a long-term agent relationship with MBNA. Regions says the sale of its credit card business was a strategic decision to deliver maximum value to its stockholders and to remain competitive over the long-term in the credit card business. Regions cites the changes and consolidation in the credit card industry and the scale required to be competitive as contributing factors to its decision to exit. The deal is expected to close within two weeks.

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

Details

OPC Signs Nationtax

Official Payments Corp. and Nationtax Online announced the two Internet firms have signed a letter of intent to form a strategic alliance. OPC specializes in processing tax payments by credit card. Nationtax Online’s core business offering allows companies to prepare, file and pay their federal withholding and state business sales and use taxes, as well as other similar taxes online. Nationtax Online currently has official relationships to process business sales and use and similar taxes in six states, as well as federal withholding taxes for the IRS. Nationtax expects to be live in 20 states by the end of June. As part of the agreement, OPC will provide Nationtax Online’s users the added option of paying their business tax obligations by credit card in states which allow credit card payments. Previously, the only payment option available to Nationtax users was to file an ACH debit from the taxpayer’s bank account.

Details

Platform Seven Sold

Datacard Group announced the acquisition of Platform Seven, a leading independent provider of smart card and e-commerce security products, solutions and services.

Datacard Group will acquire Platform Seven from NatWest Bank. NatWest is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, an international financial institution headquartered in the United Kingdom. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The Platform Seven development facility in London will remain the team’s headquarters.

Already recognized for its security expertise, this acquisition significantly increases Datacard’s role in the smart card market and is a major step forward for the company’s smart card strategy.

“Datacard already provides smart card personalization software for all major card schemes, independent of the card types. Now with the acquisition of Platform Seven, Datacard will expand its role from smart card personalization tools to multi-application smart card software that businesses and consumers rely on within the rapidly developing world of e-commerce,” said Jerry E. Johnson, Datacard Group CEO.

Graham Higgins, Head of Platform Seven said, “Datacard Group is known throughout our industry for its card personalization systems and solutions. At Platform Seven, we’ve created one of the few teams in the world to have developed the specialized software components needed for the security and card lifecycle management challenges of multi-application smart cards. Combining our expertise with that of Datacard will create an unbeatable resource for our customers’ smart card needs.”

Johnson said that Platform Seven’s track record in smart card security and operating systems development is impressive and the team’s recent development of tools to manage multi-application smart cards represents a breakthrough for market acceptance of these cards.

Platform Seven is currently focusing its activity on three main smart card areas: common software interfaces/operating systems, scheme development tools and multi-application card management systems. The team’s Peal and Peal Plus software products will make operating systems and applications easily portable, leading to significant time and cost savings for card issuers. Psignex, a “scheme in a box” suite of product development tools, enables businesses to rapidly implement any smart card program requiring a secure, portable database on the card. The world-leading PMA management system maximizes the value and longevity of the card through the dynamic management of cardholder data and applications. “Platform Seven has been working at every level of the smart card to drive the market forward,” said Platform Seven’s Higgins.

“Our customers recognize that if they want to issue multi-application cards, they need new tools to help them manage the complex development, issuance and application management issues raised by this new technology,” Johnson said. “Platform Seven’s products, when combined with Datacard’s current solutions, provide our customers with a vertically integrated resource for smart card development that is unmatched in the industry.”

ABOUT DATACARD GROUP

Datacard Group is a world leader in innovative plastic card personalization and identity management solutions. Datacard Group provides customers around the world with fully integrated systems for a variety of financial, identification and healthcare applications. The company offers a broad range of card-related products and services including the world’s best-selling plastic card personalization and printing systems. Datacard Group also offers smart card personalization systems and applications, custom solution development, and products designed to improve the efficiency and profitability of card issuing operations. Datacard Corporation, doing business as Datacard Group, is privately held and based in Minnetonka, Minn. Datacard Group serves customers in more than 120 countries. ([www.datacard.com][1])

ABOUT PLATFORM SEVEN

A leading provider of smart card and e-commerce security products, solutions and services, Platform Seven, formerly the NatWest Development Team, has focused on secure smart card software since 1990 when they began the ground-breaking technical design, development and implementation of the Mondex electronic purse. The team went on to develop several smart card operating systems, including one that, in conjunction with Mondex International, was brought to market as the MULTOS smart card operating system. Platform Seven is the only team in the world to have developed non-military applications that have been certified to the ITSEC level E6 security rating. Platform Seven currently numbers over 100 of the world’s finest smart card and e-commerce experts and is based in London. For more information about Platform Seven, please visit our website at [www.platform7.com][2].

[1]: http://www.datacard.com/
[2]: http://www.platform7.com/

Details

Smart Phones India

India’s ICICI Bank Limited and Orange cellular services have teamed up to allow Orange subscribers who are also ICICI Bank account holders and/or ICICI credit card holders to track their personal finances while on the move. For the first time in India, ICICI has extended e-commerce services to the ICICI credit card holders apart from the bank customers. ICICI would also be launching demat accounts related services to its customers shortly. The system will be able to handle banking queries such as balance update, request for a check-book, details of last three transactions and request for statements by mail or fax. Similarly, ICICI credit card holders will be able to get information about outstanding balance, available cash/credit limits, view payment status/amount due information and view the last three transactions. ICICI plans to provide WAP enabled services with the mobile service providers at a later stage.

Details

Mielke to eBoodle

eBoodle, provider of the leading online shopping assistant, announced Tuesday that former Visa executive Susie Mielke has joined the company as vice president of marketing. This statement follows the management team expansion eBoodle announced in February with the addition of Charu Rudrakshi, vice president of engineering. Mielke was most recently vice president of strategic marketing at Visa International. In her new position at eBoodle, Mielke will be responsible for all outgoing communications, including public relations, advertising, promotion and events, and will report directly to eBoodle’s president and CEO, Dr. Anil Kamath.

“Our goal is to make online shopping as effective and seamless as possible for the consumer,” said Kamath. “With Susie spearheading our marketing activities, we expect to strengthen our lead in this area by having a strong pulse on consumers, anticipating their needs and placing them at the center of our efforts.”

The company’s Boodle Bar, a downloadable plug-in that sits across the browser, helps consumers find products on more than 40,000 web sites, compare prices, and receive cash back on purchases. It also contains a robust personal profile manager that enables automatic form-filling, as well as transaction record keeping. No other offering matches eBoodle’s range of features, functionality, or ability to leverage personal information.

“I’m delighted to join eBoodle and look forward to contributing my marketing expertise to what is already an outstanding consumer service,” said Mielke. “Our marketing focus will be to firmly establish the product as the most comprehensive online shopping assistant available, and eBoodle as an innovative company of experts who know what consumers want and are steps ahead of the latest trends in online shopping.”

While at Visa International, Mielke was responsible for ecommerce marketing, as well as managing a wide range of initiatives in emerging products and markets. She established a system for measuring the effectiveness of marketing investments and developed a comprehensive methodology used worldwide to monitor Visa’s brand health. Prior to Visa, Mielke was director of consumer research at SRI International. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Stanford University.

About eBoodle

eBoodle provides a comprehensive online assistant through a downloadable agent that dramatically enhances the way individuals find and interact with web content and services. eBoodle is the first company of its kind to help online consumers quickly find merchandise, effectively compare prices for the best values available, and simplify the overall purchasing process. With eBoodle and the Boodle Bar, online shoppers can more easily purchase merchandise from the more than 40,000 e-commerce sites available today. Supported by an executive team, board of directors, and advisory board that include premier technology and business professionals, eBoodle is poised for success in the explosive e-commerce marketplace that is expected to exceed $600 billion by 2002 (Forrester Research, 1999).

Founded in June of 1999, eBoodle is headquartered in Mountain View, California and is funded by Invesco and other private investors. For more information about eBoodle visit [http://www.eBoodle.com][1] , send email to info@eBoodle.com.

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

Details

Sears & AOL

Sears, Roebuck and America Online announced an alliance yesterday. Under the agreement, AOL’s interactive products and services will be marketed to Sears 39 million active credit cardholders nationwide. Simultaneously, Sears merchandise and services will be marketed to AOL’s 23 million members as well as visitors to its web-based brands. In addition, AOL will be Sears’ preferred online service provider, and a special co-branded edition of AOL with links to Sears will be developed. Exclusive offers will be extended to ‘Sears Premier Card’ holders, and Sears customers will have the option of paying for monthly AOL subscriptions with their ‘Sears Card’. In addition, AOL plans to develop a co-branded AOL Instant Messenger to enable consumers to initiate online, real-time communications with Sears customer service, as well as with friends, family and business colleagues.

Details

Palm PocketPay

The e-Connect controversy got some clarification yesterday from International Digital Holding. IDIG says its deal to expand the development of e-Connect, Inc.’s ‘PocketPay’ system is based on a developer license agreement with Palm Computing and its ‘PalmPilot’. Last week, IDIG subsidiary Pilot Island Publishing and e-Connect implied to investors there was a specific deal with Palm to develop hand held, wireless transactions. The news sent e-Connect and IDIG’s stock soaring. The SEC halted trading in e-Connect’s stock early Monday in response to a number of questions involving recent news releases by e-Connect. The San Pedro, CA-based e-Connect is a developer of global Internet ATM and PIN cash payment transactions. Pilot Island expects to begin testing of the ‘PocketPay’ system in the 3rd quarter. Rollout is subject to final approval of the code by Palm Computing, Inc.

Details

WinATM at WinCo

The newly created Electronic Commerce business unit of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. announces the implementation and go live of its new Windows NT-based ATM driving solution. WinCo Foods, a 28-store grocery chain headquartered in Boise, Idaho, has implemented TSA’s WinATM to acquire and switch transactions from the chain’s network of ATMs.

Customers using WinCo ATMs can perform cash withdrawals, balance inquiries and EBT transactions. WinATM acquires and switches the transactions for authorization–enabling WinCo to deploy and control its own ATM network and eliminate acquirer surcharge fees.

“WinATM gives us the ability to offer our customers convenient ATM access, and leverage the investment we have in our IT infrastructure,” said Fred Schorzman vice president of WinCo. “WinATM integrates with our existing payments processing operation and frame relay network giving us a cost-effective way to add ATM transactions to the list of services we offer consumers.”

WinCo chose to integrate WinATM with its WINPAY24(TM) processing platform–also from TSA’ Electronic Commerce business unit–to create a centralized e-payment processing system that can handle POS, check authorization and EBT transactions for the entire chain.

“WinATM joins a growing portfolio of products designed to meet the e-payment needs of retailers,” said Marlin Howley, general manager of TSA’s Electronic Commerce business unit. “As payment methods proliferate, retailers are often left with the dilemma of how best to accept them. ACI offers solutions that embrace new payment technologies and build on payment infrastructures already in place.”

Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSAI) provides Transaction Smoothware(TM) solutions that facilitate electronic commerce and e-payments. TSA solutions are used to process a wide range of e-payments, including transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, Internet banking services, checks and high-value money transfers, as well as e-payment clearing, settlement and management. TSA solutions are used on more than 3,550 product systems in 79 countries. Visit TSA on the web at [www.tsainc.com][1].

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

Details

Humboldt Deal

The E-Business Marketplace announced Tuesday that Humboldt Bank Merchant Services, a leading provider of merchant accounts and e-commerce payment processing solutions, has formed a strategic partnership with Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBQ, Inc. that enables Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation to provide enhanced electronic payment services to its clients via Humboldt Bank Merchant Services.

The integration of Humboldt Bank Merchant Services and Signio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of VeriSign (Nasdaq:VRSN), means Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation customers will have access to real-time consolidated payment services for credit cards, debit cards, and automatic clearing house (ACH) transactions. These payment services enable e-Business clients to automate commerce and increase efficiencies by replacing traditional paper-based payment processes with an end-to-end integrated payment processing capability that significantly reduces the cost and time associated with traditional billing methods. “Humboldt Bank Merchant Services is a leader in the field of Internet payment processing services,” said John Harris, CEO, CBQ, Inc. “Working with such a forward-looking institution will allow CBQ and Priority One to expand CBQ’s capabilities.” “We’re excited to be able to extend our existing services to our Priority One customers,” said Barbara Riehl, President, Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation. “The enthusiasm shown by their account team, 48 hour turnaround for applications and competitive processing rates are among the reasons we chose Humboldt Bank Merchant Services.” About Humboldt Bank Merchant Services Humboldt Bank is a $500 Million Dollar Financial Institution founded in 1989. The Merchant Services division began in 1993 and is one of the fastest growing “Full Service” member providers of credit, debit, and check transactions in the United States. Innovative risk management capabilities and flexible credit underwriting distinguishes Humboldt Bank Merchant Services by servicing the individual needs of all business categories, accepting a wide range of businesses including Retail, Restaurant, Hotel, Start-UP’s, Mail Order/Telephone Order, and Internet businesses. Applications are approved in less than 48 hours and leases in one hour. Humboldt Bank focuses heavily on using the Internet as a way to simplify setting-up merchant accounts via the Web. In conclusion and in keeping with Humboldt’s Mission Statement, “To provide excellence in transaction processing for our Merchants today…with solutions from the future” [http://www.merchant.humboldtbank.co m][1].

About Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation Priority One has been providing electronic funds transfer for businesses for over 5 years. Whether it’s accepting credit cards or debiting customers’ accounts directly, Priority One will give your e-business site the ability to generate immediate revenue. Our Billcollect(TM) and Prioritycash(TM) services provide the mechanism to transfer funds rapidly and securely. About VeriSign, Inc. VeriSign, Inc. is the leading provider of Internet trust services — including authentication, validation and payment — needed by Web sites, enterprises and e-commerce service providers to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications over IP networks. VeriSign’s trust services for Web sites, developers and individuals are available through and through a growing number of ISPs and Web hosting companies. The company’s digital certificate services for enterprises and electronic commerce service providers are available through regional account representatives, resellers, and global affiliates. VeriSign announced on Feb. 29, 2000, that it has acquired Signio, Inc., a leading provider of Internet payment services. The Signio Payflow Service delivers a wide range of payment connectivity including all major credit card, debit card, electronic check, purchase card, and automated clearinghouse (ACH) transactions. It comes pre-integrated with a broad range of E-commerce servers, shopping carts and applications, making it easy to install for merchants, merchant aggregators, auction sites and trade exchanges. Signio has a growing list of impressive customers and partners, with notable merchants such as CBS Sportsline, C/NET Store.com, eXp, FurnitureOnline, Network Solutions, Prime Sports Interactive, Wine.com, WebMD, women.com and E-commerce solution providers such as Commerce One, Intuit, Trading Dynamics, Fairmarket and Just in Time Solutions. Signio is headquartered in Redwood Shores, Calif. For more information about Signio, visit .

About CBQ CBQ, Inc. The E-Business Marketplace, is a total end-to-end provider for implementing customer driven e-business solutions. Through its subsidiaries, Reliance Technologies, Inc. and Priority One Electronic Commerce Corp. it can design, implement, host, build traffic and process payments for its customers’ e-business initiatives. ChinaSoft, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CBQ, Inc., that is affiliated with Beijing Zhongruan Zhixun Technology Development Co. Services include Software Development services for Enterprise computing and Internet Development Services. China Partners, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CBQ, Inc. Its primary focus is facilitating trade and investment opportunities between U.S. and Chinese companies through its trade portal Chinapartners.net. For more information, visit .

[1]: http://www.merchant.humboldtbank.com/

Details