Dead Set?

The latest issue of InternetWeek asserts that VISA has “hammered the final nail in SET’s coffin” with its latest credit card processing gateway which couples SSL encryption with bank-issued digital certificates. The magazine says the SET protocol is overly complex and expensive. Consumers do not see the value and most e-storefronts have ignored it. Indeed a recent Forrester Research survey found that just 1% of U.S. e-businesses plan to migrate to SET. The article also points out that Wells Fargo is also prepping a SET-free payment-processing service that adds certification to SSL data encryption.

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Universal Money ATMs

KS-based Universal Money Center reported revenues for the first quarter ending Apr. 30, of $1.4 million as compared to $1.2 million for the first quarter 1998. The company reported net income of $20,264 for the first quarter ended April 30, 1999, compared to net income of $45,791 for the first quarter ended April 30, 1998. The number of ATMs in the company’s network increased to 418 ATMs in the first quarter 1999, from 321 in the first quarter ended 1998.

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Blue Jays VISA

Bank One’s International Credit Card Division announced Monday an agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club to launch a new VISA credit card in Canada. The new Blue Jays VISA card will be officially launched later this summer and will feature customized designs, no annual fee, competitive rates, and targeted benefits exclusively for Blue Jays fans. Bank One/First USA currently has 1,500 cobranded/affinity programs worldwide. In Canada, Bank One currently offers the Edmonton Oilers VISA card.

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Glitch Free

First National Bank of Omaha’s Credit Card Center eliminated the troublesome electrical grid glitch problem yesterday. With the flick of a switch, FNB Omaha’s 200,000 sq. ft. technology center switched over to a pioneering on-site power plant that uses a fuel cell as its primary power source instead of the electric utility’s grid. CT-based ONSI Corp. has installed four ‘PC25’ fuel cells as part of a new Sure Power ‘High Availability Power System’. Sure Power Corp., also CT-based, specializes in systems for reliable, computer-grade electricity. A fuel cell is similar to a battery. It uses an electrochemical process to directly convert chemical energy into electricity and hot water. Each ‘PC25’ fuel cell generates 200 kilowatts of electricity, enough to supply electricity for nearly 150 homes. Because the fuel cell does not burn gas, it operates virtually pollution free. The National Power Laboratory estimates that the typical computer location experiences 289 power disturbances a year that are outside the voltage limits of the computer equipment. First National Omaha says the new power system gives it a competitive advantage.

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CAMS II

Computer Sciences Corporation announced this morning that Deutsche Bank AG in Germany has become the first issuer to implement CSC’s ‘Card and Merchant System II’ software. ‘CAMS II’ processes all operations for the entire card business, including automated security and authorization functions. The system authorizes new applicants, creates and dispatches PIN numbers and cards, and handles complete transactions every time a card is used — including automatically deducting fees payable, crediting retailers with the remainder due and accumulating loyalty awards for individual accounts. ‘CAMS II’ also has the capacity to process 64,000 simultaneous card swipes. The ‘CAMS II’ software was first released in Feb. 1998 after 150 man-years of development effort to re-architect the previous version of ‘CAMS’, gearing it toward a relational ‘DB2′ environment.’ The Deutsche Bank implementation covers more than 640,000 credit cards. Two additional ‘CAMS II’ implementations are scheduled for completion this year.

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Digital Courier Technologies

Digital Courier Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: DCTI) announced Friday that it has completed its acquisition of Secure-Bank.com, a payment processing gateway for secure credit card transactions over the Internet. Secure-Bank.com, a privately owned company based in Clearwater, Florida, is Digital Courier’s most recent strategic maneuver in a series of deals and acquisitions made to augment its goal to become the payment processing leader over the Internet.

Secure-Bank’s gateway combines secure real-time access with sophisticated fraud prevention features that regulate and manage customer and merchant activity. Secure-Bank has developed several systems for its use, including: RISC (Risk Interface Security Control) and RISC II systems, a fraud detection and settlement service; and Secure-Charge, a real-time authorization system. The Secure-Bank system has been integrated into the existing netClearing technology, Access Services management process, and ACI’s BASE24(R) software. Digital Courier recently announced that ACI Worldwide will market the integrated netClearing product, making it immediately available to merchant banks and merchants worldwide.

“Secure-Bank adds critical security, fraud-control, and transaction integrity technology to the sophisticated netClearing product. The addition of Secure-Bank has catapulted Digital Courier’s position in the Internet payment processing industry, securing strong revenue streams both domestically and internationally,” said Jim Egide, CEO of Digital Courier. “Once we complete our vertically integrated end to end payment processing product, we’ll eliminate industry inefficiencies by cutting out the middlemen and offering a convenient, top of the line, end to end product package with everyone from the merchant bank to the consumer in mind. We intend to be a force to be reckoned with in this rapidly growing industry,” Mr. Egide added.

“Digital Courier is a forward-looking company whose goals enable us to take our product line to the next stage and maximize our product capabilities,” said Ken Nagel, President of Secure-Bank. “The recent Visa International Conference was a very successful experience for us. We’ve received numerous inquiries about implementing our product in major banks worldwide. This is a very exciting time for us all,” he added.

Digital Courier supplies financial institutions, businesses and major web portals with sophisticated e-commerce, payment processing and content delivery software. Its netClearing division has been developed with a merchant focus, providing the web-based payment interface, order management, and fulfillment controls at a highly sophisticated level. Its Access Services affiliate provides world-class payment processing management and substantial financial institution and merchant business to our netClearing division. Its Secure- Bank affiliate combines secure real-time access with sophisticated fraud prevention features that regulate and manage customer and merchant activity. DataBank International (currently in acquisition) provides essential portfolio management tools which merchant banks use to monitor their acquiring programs and constantly assess the activity of the merchants. These tools and the entire system give banks real-time control over the merchant processing system and consequently reduce exposure to risk in electronic commerce transactions. The service will provide a tightly integrated Internet payment gateway to the credit card networks through a single service provider.

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Set Top Terminals

PubliCARD and its Tritheim Technologies subsidiary announced this weekend plans to deliver smart card-based electronic commerce applications to consumers through cable television. The consumer set-top terminal will be supplied by General Instrument Corp. utilizing WorldGate Communications’ Internet ‘on-TVSM’ technology. The system will allow consumers to use the Internet to purchase a product or service securely, and display the results of each transaction – all while watching TV. The Tritheim ‘SmartCOMMERCE’ solution will provide consumers with an ATM interface through an Internet browser made available by WorldGate’s Internet on-TV application. Then, using Tritheim smart card readers and software, consumers will be able to make secure withdrawals, deposits, transfers and payments from GI’s ‘CFT-2200’ advanced analog cable set-top terminal using Mondex or VISA electronic cash. The consortium initially plans to deploy the ‘SmartCOMMERCE’ solution in the Asia/Pacific region in the third quarter of this year.

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Pekao Chooses Connex

Poland’s Bank Pekao SA has chosen ‘Connex’ electronic funds transfer software from Deluxe Data International Limited to handle transactions across its entire ATM and point of sale network. The contract is worth over 1.3 million pounds. Connex on the IBM S/390 enterprise server platform will drive the bank’s existing network of 550 ATMs and process around 2 million transactions per month. The Deluxe contract will also extend to a further 200 planned ATMs.

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ECML

A new single standard for electronic wallets will reportedly receive widespread support this week from VISA, MasterCard, Microsoft, IBM, AOL and Sun. The new technical standard, ‘ECML’, or electronic commerce modeling language, will store credit card payment data in either the Web browser or on an Internet server. Electronic wallets enable Web shoppers to speed through the Website checkout process by eliminating the need to re-enter credit card numbers and personal information. Proprietary electronic wallets have been largely unsuccessful at gaining broad market support.

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Nanopierce Orga Project

NANOPIERCE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. today announced that it has signed a Technology Development Agreement with privately held ORGA Kartensysteme GmbH of Paderborn, Germany, to jointly develop Dual Interface Smart Cards using Nanopierce’s NCS (Nanopierce Connection System) proprietary technology. ORGA is a world leader in manufacturing of Advanced Smart Cards, and a dominant player in the development and production of Smart Cards for commercial enterprises, banks, insurance companies, public health systems, access control systems and identification systems.

ORGA was founded in 1972 and is majority (75%) owned by the printing agency (Bundesdruckerei) of the Federal Republic of Germany through UNIQA GmbH. A Deutsche Telekom AG subsidiary, Deutsche Telepost Consulting GmbH DETECON, owns the 25% balance.

Under the Agreement, Nanopierce and Multitape GmbH and Co., KG, Paderborn, will provide ORGA with chip module substrate tapes treated with Nanopierce Connection System (NCS) designed for use in Dual Interface Smart Cards, popularly known as CombiCards.

This co-operative effort includes all design, testing and final review activities, with the ultimate goal of winning EMV approval culminating in a more formal business venture exploiting the technology. EMV is a Smart Card specification adopted by all major card manufacturers. Paul Metzinger, president and CEO, said, “ORGA has established a solid, world-wide reputation for high-quality product engineering within the Smart Card industry. It has aggressively pursued new technologies to maintain a leading edge, and has a reputation as being a premier innovator of advanced smart card products. Combined with Nanopierce’s contributions, we will demonstrate to the market the technological superiority and cost effectiveness of NCS in manufacturing and marketing of Smart Cards in this very competitive and price sensitive industry.”

NANOPIERCE TECHNOLOGIES owns 11 patents, 6 patents pending, and 2 patent applications in preparation, and various other intellectual properties related to the company’s proprietary NCS (Nanopierce Connection System).

This advanced system is designed to provide significant improvement over conventional electrical and mechanical interconnection methods for high-density circuit boards, components, sockets, connectors, semiconductor packaging and electronic systems. NANOPIERCE trades under the ticker NPCT on the OTC bulletin board. NANOPIERCE TECHNOLOGIES is a subsidiary of Intercel Corporation (OTC:BB-INCE).

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Ridge Recognition

Biometric Identification Friday announced that keyboard and POS manufacturers Ingenico, Key Source, and TIPRO have selected its embedded OEM fingerprint verification modules for integration into their respective product lines. Biometric ID’s product line includes a range of OEM fingerprint recognition modules smaller than a business card that reliably verify an individual’s identity in less than a second. Each individual product set employs ‘Ridge Recognition’, the company’s fingerprint verification algorithm which leverages 20 years of experience designing high-tech systems for the Department of Defense. This patented technology uniquely adjusts for real-world conditions such as the effects of swollen, aged, dirty, scarred or cut fingers, the main pitfalls of other technologies.

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