First Data Resources introduced a new, advanced plastic card delivery system yesterday that will enhance card issuers’ marketing efforts by enabling them to customize card mailers to individual cardholders. The new system leverages the print, document management and inserting technologies from industry leaders Bowe Systec, ISIS Papyrus, and Xerox Corporation, offering flexible, customized printing, card attaching and mailing. FDR’s ‘PlastiCard Enterprise Presentation’ system accesses more than 300 variable data elements from account information to produce a card mailer that is targeted to an individual cardholder. Convenience and balance transfer checks, coupons, and selective messages can also be printed on the mailers to help issuers’ increase card usage and boost revenue. FDR says card issuers also realize cost savings by using a variety of forms with variable template applications and two-sided printing.Details
AOL’s Netscape subsidiary and American Express inked a two-year multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement to promote AmEx financial services to small businesses through the ‘Small Business Channel’ on Netcenter. Small businesses represents a third of Netscape 15 million NetCenter registrants. American Express will be a premier sponsor within the Netscape ‘Small Business Channel’ giving American Express exposure through premier placements, banners ads and ad impressions. Among the American Express services that will be featured on the Netscape are the company’s small business charge cards, credit cards, financial advisory services, small business lines of credit, equipment financing and card acceptance services.Details
The card industry’s first range of smart cards to be based on ‘Java Card 2.1 API’ was announced yesterday by Gemplus. ‘GemXpresso 210’ will provide card issuers with multi-application capabilities and built-in security, including public key encryption support. The ‘GemXpresso 210’ range provides a unique platform that allows a choice in solutions that best meets the requirements of a particular application. The range also enables seamless integration into existing infrastructures and innovative development tools making it possible for companies to quickly bring smart card-based solutions to market. The range incorporates the ‘Java Card secure Virtual Machine’ , an on-board interpreter that makes it possible to download new applications to the smart card and upgrade smart card applications even after the card has been issued. Gemplus also announced Tuesday that ‘GemXpresso210PK’, a version that supports the RSA public key infrastructure for secure transactions and the ‘VISA Open Platform’ architecture for secure applet downloading, has been certified by VISA International for the ‘VisaCash’ applet, becoming the first ‘Java Card’ in the world that has successfully passed this rigorous certification.Details
PRIMUS Telecommunications Group, Inc., a global facilities-based voice, data, and Internet telecommunications provider, announced that its PRIMUS Canada subsidiary has been named a Sponsor of the Consumer AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s largest and most popular affinity program.
Joining more than 100 other leading Canadian businesses, PRIMUS Canada will award AIR MILES reward miles to customers who use its long distance, Internet and calling card services. New subscribers who switch to PRIMUS Canada services will receive an initial lump sum of reward miles, as well as reward miles for usage on an ongoing basis.
As a result of its recent acquisition of AT&T Canada’s consumer business, PRIMUS became the second largest alternative residential long distance carrier in Canada and now has over 650,000 residential, business and Internet customers. This leading position was instrumental in the decision for The Loyalty Group, owner of the Consumer AIR MILES Reward Program, to honor PRIMUS Canada as a Sponsor.
The significance of partnering with the AIR MILES Reward Program is the ability for PRIMUS Canada to now reach 5.5 million active reward mile Collectors, or over 50% of all Canadian households.
“The reputation and popularity of the AIR MILES Reward Program among Canadian consumers and the opportunity to work with the Coalition of AIR MILES Sponsors were important factors in our determination to join Canada’s premier affinity program,” said Ted Chislett, President of PRIMUS Canada.
“For telecommunications companies, similar affinity programs in the US ushered in a trend of increased spending among consumers. We are very encouraged that our AIR MILES Sponsorship status will enhance PRIMUS Canada’s visibility in the Canadian marketplace. The immense popularity of the AIR MILES Reward Program in Canada and cross promotional opportunities between Sponsors will strengthen PRIMUS Canada’s traditional advertising and marketing campaigns to increase our Canadian long distance/Internet market share.”
Commenting on their new Sponsor, Bryan Pearson, President of the Consumer AIR MILES Reward Program, said, “We are delighted that we now have a strong, aggressive national partner in the Canadian residential long distance, Internet and calling card marketplace. PRIMUS Canada and its customers should benefit greatly from the AIR MILES Reward Program’s high-value offers and breadth of free rewards from flights to movies to sporting events and more.”
The Loyalty Group launched the AIR MILES Reward Program in March 1992, offering Canadians the opportunity to obtain reward miles while shopping for everyday goods and services. There are over 100 participating AIR MILES Sponsors with more than 10,000 Sponsor locations across Canada.
In addition to PRIMUS Canada, key Sponsors include American Express, Shell Canada, The Bay (Canada’s oldest department store), Bank of Montreal, Bank of Montreal MasterCard, Goodyear, Canada Safeway, and A&P/Dominion. And there are now over 100 rewards offered nationally from companies that include Canadian Airlines, American Airlines, National Car Rental and Canon. The Loyalty Group has more than 600 employees in offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.
PRIMUS Telecommunications Group, Incorporated is a global facilities-based telecommunications company providing domestic and international long-distance voice, data, Internet, private network and value-added services.
The Company provides services through an extensive global network of owned and leased transmission facilities, including ownership interests in over 30 undersea fiber optic cable systems, 19 international gateway and domestic switches, a satellite earth station and a variety of operating relationships that allow the Company to deliver traffic worldwide.
PRIMUS serves corporate, small- and medium-sized business, residential, ISP and telecommunications carrier customers located in the North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions of the world.
Founded in 1994 and based in McLean, VA, the Company is on a trajectory to meet its $1 billion revenue run rate goal by year end 1999 — one year ahead of plan — while tripling its customer base to almost 1,500,000 since the beginning of this year. News and information are available at the Company’s Website at www.primustel.com.
The Loyalty Group is a privately-owned subsidiary of Alliance Data Systems, Dallas. Alliance Data Systems is the second largest, third-party private label processing provider in the United States and the leading provider of network services to the petroleum industry. News and information about The Loyalty Group can be found at .
The statements in this release that are forward looking statements are based on current expectations and are not strictly historical statements, which may differ materially from actual results. Not strictly historical statements include, without limitation, those regarding management’s plans, objectives and strategy for future operations, product plans and performance, management’s assessment of market factors, and future financial performance.
Among factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are changes in business conditions, changes in the telecommunications industry and the general economy; competition; changes in service offerings; risks associated with PRIMUS’s limited operating history, entry into developing markets, and managing rapid growth; and risks associated with international operations (including foreign currency translation risks), dependence on effective information systems, and development of the network.
These factors are discussed more fully in PRIMUS’s filings, including its 10K and 10Q filings and the prospectus dated May 6, 1999, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Details
Dutch consumers will be the first in Europe to use debit cards for secure shopping over the Internet when a new service goes live later this week. Operated by Interpay, a cooperative owned by Holland’s banks, the ‘I-Pay with SET’ system uses an enhanced version of the international SET protocol to authenticate Internet merchants and customers to each other, and to protect both debit and credit card numbers. The standard protocol supports only credit cards. The new payment system, which is enabled by PKI security technology provided by Entrust Technologies, is expected to have as many as two million users by the end of 2000. Participating merchants will advertise on a special Web site. SET has had a patchy start in Europe, however Interpay executives believe that by supporting both debit and credit card transactions, Interpay is going to be a real catalyst for growth. Merchants in 18 European countries are already SET-enabled.Details
NextCard, Inc. creator of The First True Internet Visa, became a component of the Nasdaq Financial-100 Index last week. With a market cap of over $1 billion, NextCard joins 100 of the largest financial companies listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market.
“NextCard is pleased to be listed on the Nasdaq Financial 100 Index so soon after our initial public offering,” said Jeremy Lent, chief executive officer of NextCard. NextCard began trading on the Nasdaq National Market May 14, 1999.
NextCard, Inc., creator of The First True Internet Visa, is considered the industry’s leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. Since its launch in December 1997, over 2 million people have applied for the NextCard Internet Visa(R), making it one of the premier online credit cards. The Company continues to innovate with a Double Rewards program, complete GoShopping! tools, original PictureCard design, a one-click digital wallet and exceptional online customer service. NextCard was recently named a “HOT 100 Company” by Upside Magazine. ()
The Nasdaq-100 Index, launched in January 1985, rose more than 80 percent in 1998, although past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. The Nasdaq Financial-100 Index consists of 100 of the largest financial companies listed on the Nasdaq National Market tier of The Nasdaq Stock Market. The Nasdaq-Amex Market Group(SM), which operates The Nasdaq Stock Market(R) and the American Stock Exchange(R) (Amex)(R), is a subsidiary of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD)(R), the largest securities-industry, self-regulatory organization in the United States. The union of Nasdaq(R) and Amex creates a Market of Markets(SM) — the world’s first financial market that brings together central auction specialist and multiple Market Maker systems.Details
The most hyped movie of the decade now has a credit card to support it and it’s everywhere you want to be baby!. First USA and New Line Cinema announced Tuesday the new ‘Austin Powers Limited-Edition Titanium VISA’ credit card. The program is the first VISA credit card to be associated with the launch of a blockbuster comedy. The no-annual-fee card is available in two shagadelic designs: “It’s Titanium, Baby!” features Mike Myers as cheeky Austin Powers, and “Groovadelic” is a psychedelic ’60s swirl design. The card is available through direct mail, on-site marketing at Loew’s cinemas and via a special toll-free number. Following the first use of their ‘Austin Powers Titanium VISA’ card, cardholders will receive a special complimentary widescreen edition of “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” which includes extra scenes never before seen on VHS. The card offers the current First USA pricing of 2.9% intro APR and 10.99% go-to APR.Details
CA-based Mag-Tek Inc. released a version this week of its ‘MT-95 HiCo Card Encoder’ to include an emulation mode for the ‘IBM 4777-3 Magnetic Stripe Encoder’. Mag-Tek modified the ‘MT-95’ firmware for the ‘IBM 4777’ emulation mode so that users can easily migrate from LoCo magnetic cards to HiCo magnetic cards. The ‘MT-95’, with its companion cable, will even operate in those applications that include the ‘IBM 4778 PIN-Pad’. The Mag-Tek ‘MT-95’ facilitates instant card issuance, encoding on either High Coercivity or Low Coercivity media.Details
MBNA, the largest independent credit card issuer in the world, and Transactor Networks, a leading provider of online wallet technology, have launched a digital wallet program for MBNA credit card customers. The Transactor wallet simplifies online shopping by allowing MBNA customers to securely store credit card information, shipping and billing addresses. The wallet then automatically fills out order forms at many of the most popular online stores.
“This wallet program is in keeping with MBNA’s ongoing commitment to customer satisfaction, in this case by making shopping over the Internet simpler and more convenient,” said Ron Martinez, CEO of Transactor Networks. “The digital wallet provides an easy and flexible method for Customers to make purchases online and alleviates the complexity that currently exists when shopping on multiple websites.”
Customers who use the MBNA Wallet Service (www.MBNAwallet.com) also will receive promotional offers and special discounts from major online retailers for travel, books, music, clothing and other online purchases. This program is one of several MBNA e-commerce initiatives that are being deployed to support MBNA customers’ buying experience on the Internet.
“MBNA Customers have always demonstrated a high degree of loyalty towards MBNA products,” said John R. Cochran MBNA’s chief marketing officer. “Our e-commerce initiatives ensure these customers extend their preference for MBNA services to their on-line activities.”
MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB) (www.MBNAinternational.com), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $62.1 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.
San Francisco based Transactor Networks (www.transactor.net) delivers a simplified standard interface for online buying free to both consumers and merchants. Offered in partnership with major banks, Transactor streamlines online order forms, purchase records, customer service, and follow on marketing.Details
The Direct Pay Coalition said yesterday that direct payment is the only way for most Americans to pay their bills without getting out their checkbooks since 60% of U.S. households do not have access to the Internet and 50% do not own a computer, making Internet banking and other electronic bill paying services impossible for 64 million U.S. households. The Direct Payment Coalition is composed of the Federal Reserve, the NACHA and regional ACH associations. The group issued yesterday a chart for consumers to compare the advantages of direct payment over Internet banking and e-bill payment services. Among the major benefits of direct payment: virtually every bank can handle direct payment transactions and 73% of utilities, 44% of communications companies and 41% of insurance, finance and real estate companies offer direct payment to customers. For more info visit CardTrak ([cardtrak.com]).
MBNA America and the United States Equestrian Team announced Tuesday the Team’s endorsement of MBNA’s credit card services to its members and supporters.
The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization representing the United States in international equestrian sports, and has, since 1950, selected, trained, equipped, and financed teams to represent the United States in the Olympic and Pan American Games, the World Championships, and other international competition. United States Equestrian Team members have won 27 Olympic and 54 Pan American Games medals since 1952.
The United States Equestrian Team joins more than 40 equine-related groups, and more than 600 sports organizations, that endorse MBNA’s credit card services, making it the fastest growing among MBNA’s sectors.
MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America, N.A., has $62.1 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposits, consumer loans, and insurance products.Details
UTM Systems Corp. ([www.utmsystems.com]), a developer of electronic commerce payment technology, Tuesday announced its flagship solution, the UTM Machine. The UTM Machine is a first-of-its-kind hardware device that, when inserted into the floppy drive of any Internet-connected computer, works like an ATM (automatic teller machine) to facilitate convenient and secure online transactions using a debit or credit card. The UTM Machine interfaces directly with banking institutions via the existing worldwide ATM networks and can be used with any existing e-commerce Web site.
Currently finalizing agreements with several national banking institutions who will provide the UTM Machine free to their customers, UTM Systems indicated that the UTM Machine will be piloted in consumer trial program in the fall and fully introduced in time for the 1999 holiday shopping season. The banks in negotiation with UTM Systems Corp. were not disclosed; however, UTM Systems indicated that announcements regarding these partnerships will be made within the next several weeks.
“Today’s delivery of the UTM Machine signals a fundamental change in the way we shop online-if you’ve used an ATM, you can use the UTM Machine,” said Robert Lee, president and founder of UTM Systems Corp. “The security and ease of online payment transactions is foremost in the mind of every online shopper. The UTM Machine effortlessly ensures payment security for both online merchants and consumers by bringing the ATM experience to the Internet.”
How it works
To activate the UTM Machine, an Internet shopper will simply slide their credit or debit card into the device and then insert it into the floppy drive of a Web-connected computer. A familiar ATM-like interface will then pop-up on the computer screen and request the entry of the user’s PIN code. Once the shopper’s PIN code has been verified and their account has been accessed via the worldwide ATM network, the UTM Machine will quickly enable their online payment transaction just as if they were at a local ATM. Just like a floppy disk, The UTM Machine can be easily ejected from a computer floppy drive and is small enough to be carried in a pocket for use with other computers at the owner’s convenience. The UTM Machine uses proven smart card technology as part of its security.
Perfect for consumers
Making the online payment experience much like it is in real life, the UTM Machine is the ideal tool for consumers who shop online.
— Security: Since it is directly linked to ATM networks, the UTM Machine provides the familiar security features of your PIN code, and the requirement of a physical debit or credit card. Just having your credit or debit card number is not sufficient, and the integrity of your personal information is not compromised in any way.
— Convenience: The UTM Machine is easy to use because it doesn’t require that you learn any new payment systems or procedures. All you need to do is insert the device into your computer floppy drive — if you can use an ATM, you can use the UTM Machine.
— Free: The UTM Machine is provided free to consumers via partner banking institutions, and you will not incur any additional fees for using it to shop online.
Merchants who want to provide a secure payment environment while reducing support costs and the risk of non-payment can benefit from the UTM Machine.
— Reduce charge-backs: The UTM Machine can help reduce the charge-backs that are rampant in electronic commerce because like an ATM it requires the physical possession of a credit or debit card and the entry of the cardholder’s PIN code
— Attract and retain customers: The convenience and security of the UTM Machine will attract more shoppers to the online experience.
— Decrease costs & support: The UTM Machine interfaces directly with banking institutions via the existing worldwide ATM networks and operates on open standards. Therefore, it requires no changes to a merchant’s existing electronic commerce site, and steps associated with payment processing can be significantly reduced and/or eliminated.
The UTM Machine allows financial and banking institutions to leverage their existing ATM-based payment systems to take advantage of the burgeoning Internet marketplace.
— More points of sale: The increase in Web-based shopping that is fostered by the UTM Machine translates into more points of sale and an increase in transactions.
— Stronger merchant relationships: Enhance merchant relationships through direct payment options and reducing the risk of costly charge-backs.
— Extend existing infrastructure: Leveraging the existing ATM network requires no changes to infrastructure and carries no increased support costs.
Pricing & Availability
The UTM Machine will be available free of charge to consumers through providing financial institutions beginning in the fall of 1999. Contact your bank to determine if it plans to provide you with the option of a free UTM Machine to complete your online purchase transactions. Financial institutions or online merchants who wish to provide the UTM Machine to their customers or learn more about becoming a UTM Systems online partner can contact UTM Systems Corp. at 425/451-8585 or email@example.com.
About UTM Systems Corp.
UTM Systems Corp. (), based in Seattle, is focused on the delivery of Internet payment technology. The mission of UTM Systems Corp. is to bring the security and convenience of the ATM (automatic teller machine) experience to electronic commerce. The flagship product of UTM Systems Corp., the UTM Machine, is a hardware device that slides into any computer’s floppy drive to facilitate e-commerce payments at any existing online merchant site. The UTM Machine conveniently and securely facilitates online credit and/or debit card transactions directly with the cardholder’s financial institution via the existing worldwide ATM networks. UTM Systems Corp. can be contacted at 425/451-8585.