eWallet ECML Ready

Launchpad Technologies Inc., developer of the leading shopping utility, eWallet, yesterday announced the integration of the ECML standard into their product offering. ECML, or electronic commerce modeling language, is a proposed standard for electronic wallets announced last week, endorsed by industry players such as Visa, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, America Online Inc., and others (www.ecml.org). By adding support for merchants who implement ECML eWallet maintains its leadership in providing consumers nearly universal support for their favorite online merchants.

eWallet is designed to simplify the online shopping experience. “By enabling ECML, we provide online merchants with tremendous flexibility to choose any standard they like,” said Larry Gross, CEO of Launchpad Technologies. ” eWallet is very unique in its offering because it is able to support merchants who choose to implement ECML as well as those who do not.”

Launchpad Technologies is an idealab! company founded in 1998. The company recently acquired PointCast Incorporated, a current provider of news and information services throughout the world. The combined company has over one million users and will be offering an integrated product combining e-commerce desktop tools with rich information delivery services. eWallet was launched in 1998 and currently supports over 400 online merchants, making it the most widely accepted electronic wallet available today.


ICE 5000 in Brazil

Hypercom Corporation previewed an ICE 5000 interactive, touch-screen terminal device that will allow consumers throughout Brazil to access, view or print personal checking, savings or investment account information, as well as transfer or download funds to smart cards. Designed specifically for banks that want to provide fast, convenient access to their customers virtually anywhere and anytime, the compact Hypercom solution can be deployed on a large-scale basis in shopping malls, airports, train and bus stations and other high-traffic areas.

“Hypercom’s ICE 5000 banking inquiry and transfer system will for the first time allow banks to deploy compact customer banking devices virtually anywhere, and that’s a win-win for the banks and their customers,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, president, Hypercom International. “We believe this Hypercom solution will dramatically enhance consumer banking in Brazil by providing greater accessibility and convenience.”

Hypercom’s ICE 5000 banking system incorporates a powerful, multi-function touch-screen terminal with high-speed thermal printer, paper cutter, and Hypercom’s new FastPOS(TM) 9600 bits per second (bps) modem. Hypercom’s ICE 5000 provides a highly interactive and intuitive user interface that allows the support of complex transactions with minimum user training. When used in conjunction with the recently released Hypercom(R) Ascendent(TM) Server Environment, the ICE 5000 also supports online advertising and electronic signature and receipt capture, storage and retrieval.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-function point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent(TM) payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions.

On a global basis Hypercom delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-added programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.

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, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][1].

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


Paradigm Quake

A new retail banking study, to be released this morning, by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that not one single institution has fully grasped the magnitude of transformation required to become a leading retail bank in the next century. The report says most banks mistakenly see the Internet as just a futuristic delivery channel. PWC/EIU says after compiling the report, it has come to the conclusion that the Internet will revolutionize how banking business models around the world are structured, as well as drastically alter the cost structures to support all this. The Internet will change how banks communicate, both internally and externally, and how they manage employee and customer relationships. The credit card issuing business is also changing as more banks discover the lower acquisition costs of Internet generated accounts. The explosion of the Internet and real-time technology, coupled with consumer readiness to utilize these channels, has outpaced the banking industry’s delivery capabilities. PWC/EIU predicts a paradigm quake that will rattle the entire banking industry. The study notes however that U.S. banks are far ahead of European banks.


Greenland Corp. Board

Greenland Corporation announced the appointment of William Randell Coleman to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Coleman is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Smart Cash ATM, the Carrolton, Texas headquartered ATM distribution corporation that recently signed a major national distribution agreement with Greenland Corporation to distribute Greenland’s automated payroll check-cashing machines.

Dr. Lou Montulli, CEO of Greenland, stated “Mr. Coleman is recognized as a leader in the electronics fund transfer industry and is considered to be one of the top national experts in retail off-premises ATM deployment. As the exclusive distributor of Greenland’s new ‘Bank-in-a-Box’, Mr. Coleman brings with him over twenty years of experience in marketing and recruiting, including extensive work with Fortune 500 companies.”

“Mr. Coleman is a valuable addition to the Board of Directors and his background in the ATM industry will be significant in establishing a strong sales and marketing force for Greenland.”

Greenland Corporation is a manufacturing corporation with existing product and product under development. The Company is currently introducing an automated payroll check-cashing machine with full ATM functionality, and money order dispensing services. Future services to be included with the machine are phone cards and advance payday loan services.


Fee Feeding

According to another study, to be released next month, fee-based revenues earned by banks worldwide will surpass interest earnings within 3 years. Currently the growth in fee income within the bank credit card industry is outpacing the growth in card interest revenues. The forthcoming study by Killen & Associates projects the growth of the Internet and advances in on-line interconnected financial services will further drive the new market for fee-based services. Killen says banks will still conduct their bread-and-butter business, taking in moneys on deposit and making loans, but customers, both corporate and retail, will see new and expanded fee-based service offerings. These will be in on-line cash management, investment, asset management, credit card, EBPP, mortgage, and retail investment services, as well as in upgraded and expanded trade payment and letter of credit products and services. Killen concludes that the risk-reward model for fee-based income far surpasses that of the loan marketplace.



San Jose-based Trintech announced this morning the first one-click virtual credit card payment solution for Internet transactions. The ‘ezCard’ solution resides on the consumer’s PC and auto-populates online merchant payment forms. Trintech’s technology for creating ‘ezCards’ is ‘NetIssuer’, part of Trintech’s ‘PayGate’ platform. ‘NetIssuer’ will be generally available for UNIX in August. The new payment solution uses SSL communication encryption. Trintech says besides reducing the frustration of Internet credit card use the new solution also offers card issuers the option to determine the “look and feel” of their ezCards to maximize branding opportunities. In addition, each use of the ‘ezCard’ provides a clear channel of communication for the card issuer, which can be leveraged for customized marketing messages and cross-branding for partners and affinity programs.


Racal Endorsements

Racal-Transcom has been acknowledged as an industry expert in the implementation of smart card technology after completing Europay International and MasterCard International’s Chip Vendor Services Programme. This programme recognises the company as a leader in terminal support and chip solutions, which means that Racal has the relevant expertise to assist Europay and MasterCard members with the implementation of chip technology.

Mike Harris, Head of MasterCard’s Chip Business Group, stressed the importance of a Terminal Management System (TMS) to any chip solution and said that Racal’s competence in this area is renowned industry-wide. He commented: “MasterCard developed the Chip Vendor Services Programme to identify and prepare vendors that have the expertise to support our members’ chip implementations. Racal’s involvement in the successful UKIS (United Kingdom integrated circuit card Interface Specification) smart card trials, combined with its proven TMS expertise, makes the company ideally placed to offer our members the very best in chip implementation support.”

Participation in the programme prepares Racal to support Europay and MasterCard member banks in all stages of the implementation process. These stages comprise card manufacture where the chip is inserted, followed by the personalisation process where the card is made `active’ by the integration of security data and personal information. The next stage is terminal estate deployment and management that calls for certified hardware and software upgrades. Extensive system adaptations are also required during the acquiring and issuing phases to manage the extra information carried by chip.

Europay and MasterCard’s programme, combined with Racal’s comprehensive knowledge of e-commerce, secure remote access and enterprise network security, allows the company to establish itself as a global frontrunner in providing expertise and support to banks planning the migration to chip technology. Racal can also call upon the expertise it has gained from its own smart card personalisation preparation technology (P3), for the early stages of chip implementation.

Managing director, Stephen Murphy, said: “Racal is the UK’s leading and fastest growing PoS (Point of Sale) terminal supplier and aims to be at the vanguard when it comes to assisting organisations in introducing chip technology. We are delighted to be one of the first companies in the world to have completed Europay and MasterCard’s Chip Vendor Services Programme.”

Racal-Transcom, which forms part of Racal’s Security and Payments business, is the UK’s leading supplier of card payment terminals with over 40 per cent market share in revenue terms and an installed base of 170,000 terminals in the domestic market.

Pre-eminent in secure payment, electronic commerce, secure remote access and enterprise network security, Racal Security and Payments manufactures a comprehensive range of world-leading point of sale terminals and management systems, as well as secure payment systems and network encryption solutions. For more than two decades Racal has been at the forefront of security and payment technology, co-operating and contributing to set the industry standards used for financial transactions and electronic commerce globally. Racal’s Security and Payments business is part of the Racal Electronics Group that has operating companies world-wide.

Notes to Editor:

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world, with 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories. Nearly 700 million MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Mondex cards are in circulation today. With more than 16.2 million locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card.

Europay International, headquartered in Waterloo, Belgium, is the European banks’ leading provider of personal payment and related services. At present, 213 million cards (Maestro, eurocheque, Cirrus and Eurocard- MasterCard) provide European and global debit and credit services, and offer cash access to Europe’s largest network of 214,000 ATMs in 38 countries. Through its alliance with MasterCard International, Europay offers banks products accepted at almost 464,000 ATMs and close to 16.2 million locations world-wide.


Casino Cash ATM

Caesar’s Atlantic City and Sunset Station have recently installed 3-in-1Casino Cash Plus ATMs while four other properties have signed contracts to use the product, a technologically advanced financial transaction innovation from the leading providers of cash access services to the gaming industry, Global Cash Access (GCA) and Bank of America.

The 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus product offers integrated ATM, credit and debit card transaction capability at a single location, providing added speed and convenience for patrons and diminished labor costs for the gaming property.

Historically offered only in Las Vegas, the 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus is now available to gaming properties nationwide.

In addition to Caesar’s Atlantic City and Sunset Station (Las Vegas), gaming properties that have recently signed contracts to use 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus include:

— Bay 101 – San Jose, Cal.

— Casino Arizona – Scottsdale, Ariz.

— Nisqually Redwind – Olympia, Wash.

— Paradise Casino – Ft. Yuma, Ariz.

“The convenience and speed of the 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus(R) ATM have made a significant impact on our customers’ transaction numbers, with a 20 percent increase in debit card volumes, as well as increases in credit card cash advances,” said Kirk E. Sanford, GCA’s chief executive officer. “It also frees casino personnel to spend more time meeting other customer needs.

“Our technology lets patrons quickly perform any one or more of these transactions and provides them with options to continue their gaming entertainment,” he said.

Formed in 1998 through a joint venture of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC) and USA Processing, Inc., Global Cash Access provides a full range of electronic funds transfer and other services to more than 1,200 gaming properties nationwide.



Gemplus will announce this morning a new software technology that will simplify smart card-based application development and deployment, enable card and terminal independence, and allow for web-based maintainability. ‘smartX’ separates application development from the complexity of smart card device management, a breakthrough that for the first time allows easy implementation of the same application on different types or generations of smart card. Based on the XML standard, ‘smartX’ allows developers to write smart card applications independent of manufacturer-specific card management protocols, essentially enabling them to write virtual smart card objects that are platform (card and terminal) independent. Gemplus said it expects that ‘smartX’ technology will increase considerably the number of new generation smart cards being developed using popular programming languages such as Java technology, C++ and Visual Basic and will leverage widely deployed legacy systems. The company says not only will smart card applications leveraging ‘smartX’ technology have an enormous time-to-market advantage over their competitors, it also opens the market to a greater number of developers. Gemplus expects ‘smartX’ to accelerate the adoption of smart card technology to enhance applications such as electronic commerce, loyalty, banking, and access control.


PlanetOut NextCard

NextCard and PlanetOut, the largest gay and lesbian online community, announced this morning a joint Internet marketing agreement to offer co-branded products and card services for PlanetOut members. Under the terms of the $11 million agreement, NextCard and PlanetOut will collaborate to offer the ‘PlanetOut VISA’ card for the site’s members and partners late this summer. NextCard says the ‘PlanetOut VISA’ will let customers demonstrate their economic power, and recognize their identity and relationships through NextCard’s ‘PictureCard’ personalization program.


Fun Miles Works

Convincing employees about the value of merchant loyalty programs can provide a giant boost for program success, Fun Miles Antilles Acting Managing Director Udi Lesser told attendees of an industry conference last week. “If your employees are personally convinced that your company’s product is the best–and that your loyalty program provides value for your customers–they can do miracles,” said Lesser in a training and motivation speech entitled Using Employees to Promote Your Loyalty Program.

Lesser advised merchants to devise comprehensive loyalty program implementation plans prior to beginning, with goals for the programs clearly spelled out. A key plan element is obtaining employee buy-in. Lesser indicated that merchants’ own employees should be the first members of their loyalty programs. He said, “If the merchants’ employees are receiving value from their own programs, they will be motivated to communicate that value to their customers.”

Fun Miles installed the first customer loyalty management system in the Caribbean in late 1998, using Hypercom’s Ascendent(TM) Loyalty Management System (LMS) and card payment terminals. The Fun Miles loyalty program uses magnetic stripe cards at participating merchants’ points of sale to credit consumers with accumulated loyalty points they can redeem towards discounts on airline tickets and other promotional items.

Fun Miles Antilles was founded in 1998. Headquartered in Curacao, Fun Miles Antilles is a program that enables Netherlands’s Antilles merchants to reward their customers with discounts on travel and travel-related expenses.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-function point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions. On a global basis Hypercom(R) delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-added programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.

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, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][1].

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


Bank Plus Update

Los Angeles-based Bank Plus continues to deal with the fallout of its sub-prime credit card ventures. Total credit card portfolio delinquencies were 20.2% at May 31, 1999 compared to 16.8% at March 31, 1999. At May 31 total outstanding credit card balances were $291.9 million, a net decrease of $18.7 million from the March 31 balances. The delinquency rates for Bank Plus’ portfolio breaks out as follows: 6.4% for 30-59 days; 4.5% for 60-89 days; 3.2% for 90-119 days; 3.0% for 120-149 days; and 3.1% for 150+ days. For more information on Bank Plus visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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