Bull’s new Java GSM card with 32 Kbytes of memory is the most powerful in the marketplace. The ‘SIM ROCK’n Tree’ card supports sophisticated functionalities, such as the management of a second card in a two-slot cell phone for remote payment and subscriber loyalty programs. Bull is also launching its ‘SIM ROCK’n Lab’ development platform. With the Java language and a high level interface, this platform enables users to develop new applications on the new 32K card with greater flexibility in record time.Details
American Express and BankBoston signed agreements last week for BankBoston to issue American Express cards in Argentina. BankBoston’s presence in Argentina has been expanding rapidly with 144 branches nationwide. According to El Cronista, AmEx expects to sign-up 800,000 cardholders through the BankBoston deal. There are currently 5.6 million VISA cards and 6.0 million MasterCards issued in Argentina. According to the newspaper AmEx has a 2.7% share of the market. About 30% of Argentineans have a credit card.Details
BUYPASS Corp.unveiled Friday a new Windows NT-based electronic payment system designed for multi-lane retail and grocery stores. The new system, called ‘PaymeNT2000′, was developed by BUYPASS’ software development unit Manta Systems. By following the NT standard, ‘PaymeNT2000’ may be integrated directly into NCR’s ‘ScanMaster’ and, soon, BASS’ ‘BasspoiNT’ systems. For added flexibility, the ‘PaymeNT2000′ software is written in Sun Microsystems’ Java language. Separately, BUYPASS also announced that it processed a total of 1.27 billion transactions in 1998, a 27% increase over 1997. This included 330 million debit transactions and 59.7 million EBT transactions, an increase of 54% and 151% over 1997, respectively. BUYPASS drives over 220,000 POS terminals at approximately 85,000 merchant locations.Details
First USA projects it will sign up between 10% and 11% of all new accounts this year via the Internet. Last year, First USA’s online marketing activities generated about 4% of its new card accounts. Bank One’s First USA card division is the most aggressive card advertiser on the Internet. On Feb. 3, America Online and First USA signed a five-year marketing agreement worth up to $500 million for AOL. The agreement gave First USA the designation of exclusive marketer of credit card products and services on AOL, the CompuServe service, AOL.COM and AOL Instant Messenger in the U.S. and Canada. Also during February, First USA signed a multi-year marketing and advertising agreement with Virtual Technology Corp. to offer a co-branded ‘Virtual’ card. The top card issuer also signed an agreement with Consumer Financial Network to market a ‘Platinum VISA’ card through CFM’s corporate intranet. First USA has advertised continuously on CardWeb’s consumer channels since Jan. 1996.Details
The Reader’s Digest Association is looking to do a co-branded credit card deal. The firm says it is planning to select its card partner by June. Ultimately, the company plans to offer a broad range of insurance, debt and asset accumulation products, partnering with several financial institutions. The company says its large customer base, of age 50+ consumers, offers financial institutions the fastest growing and wealthiest demographic. The publisher has deep pockets to execute its new growth strategy. Reader’s Digest is sitting on $300 million in cash and no debt.Details
Total System Services, Inc. received notice Friday from Universal Card Services Corp., a unit of CitiGroup of its decision not to renew its processing relationship for consumer cards beyond the original term ending August 1, 2000.
Leslie Palmer, senior vice president and chief information officer for UCS said, “Undeniably we share many other common interests with TSYS that we may want to enhance and grow in the future. These include UCS’ business card and the American Advantage Business Card programs. We look forward to a continued relationship with TSYS into the next century.”
TSYS Chairman of the Board and CEO Richard W. Ussery said, “We are proud to have helped UCS grow its portfolio since its inception in 1990. We don’t like to lose any business, especially a client with which we’ve played such a critical and long-term role in its success. The new business we have already signed and are in the process of converting, along with the anticipated growth of our existing clients, will certainly offset this loss.”
TSYS experienced its greatest growth in new business in 1998 and will add 78 million new accounts in 1999. TSYS management believes that the loss of UCS as a consumer card-processing client in 2000 should not have a material adverse effect on TSYS’ financial condition or results of operation for the year ending December 31, 2000.
This press release contains forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements.
TSYS () is one of the world’s leading information technology processors of credit, debit, commercial and private-label cards. An 80.8% owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) (), TSYS serves card-issuing institutions throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Creating innovative processing solutions, TSYS makes it possible for more than 119 million cardholders to use their cards and enables card issuers to profitably compete and better serve their customers through our world-class people, technology and service.Details
Moai Technologies, the pioneer of business-to-business and business-to-consumer, Web-based auction software, announced Friday that its latest release, LiveExchange 2.2, now supports CyberCash’s popular InstaBuy service to provide credit card authorization and processing features. LiveExchange 2.2 allows for real-time commerce transactions, enabling businesses to host public or private auctions over the Internet for their corporate buyers or consumers.
The new capabilities of LiveExchange 2.2 allow auctioneers to validate new or updated credit card and billing information. The information is contained by CyberCash’s InstaBuy service and secured by a participating financial institution. When the consumer makes a purchase at any participating merchant’s site, InstaBuy instantaneously fills in the payment screen with the purchase information. The consumer simply verifies the information and completes the purchase with a single click. Additionally, LiveExchange 2.2 provides automatic credit card processing when orders are generated by the server after an auction closes.
According to new research conducted by Jupiter Communications, online business-to-consumer auctions will sell $3.2 billion worth of goods by 2002. These numbers suggest that online auctions give retailers a better way to liquidate excess inventory than through existing sales channels. In the same report, Jupiter predicts that 6.5 million Americans will buy from online auctions in 2002, up from 1.2 million in 1998.
“LiveExchange 2.2 demonstrates Moai’s ongoing commitment to meeting the dynamic business requirements of our customers and providing the most feature-rich auction software. The latest enhancements in LiveExchange facilitate the online buying experience while allowing businesses to realize increases in revenue due to higher purchase completions,” stated Michelle Messina, Vice President of Marketing at Moai Technologies.
About Moai Technologies, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, California, Moai Technologies is a leading provider of Web-based auction software applications for electronic commerce. With LiveExchange, companies can conduct public auctions or host their own extranet auctions for any group of trading partners, creating a cost-effective “Virtual Private Marketplace.” Moai Technologies’ products enable corporations to increase revenues and profitability, improve control of their sales channels and reduce inventory overhead. For more information, contact Moai Technologies at 415-625-0601 or visit the company’s Web site at .Details
Transmedia Network, Inc. confirmed Friday it is in discussions with The Signature Group regarding the purchase of Dining A La Card. No definitive agreement has been reached and the discussions will continue this morning. Transmedia currently issues and markets the ‘Transmedia Card’. The card program offers 1.3 million members a variety of savings programs at more than 7,000 U.S. restaurants.Details
Derivion Corporation, an innovative new company that is developing a patent-pending Web-based electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) service targeted initially at mid-tier utility and telecommunications businesses, has won the support of Atlanta-area high-tech investors.
Entrepreneurs Gregory J. Rable and Andrew Wexler of Atlanta and Dushyant Sharma of Toronto formed Derivion. Based in Atlanta with research and development in Toronto, Derivion’s Web-based system brings together a wide range of services so consumers can easily view and pay bills online.
Consumers will be able to have their bills presented and pay them from a Web-based application through their Web browser. Derivion will initially market the Web service to “mid-tier” billers such as regional electric, gas, water, telecommunications or cable companies.
The initial round of funding was completed last week, said Rable, Derivion’s Chief Executive Officer. The source of the funding is what Rable described as a group of seasoned Atlanta investors.
Among the key investors are Bert Ellis, Chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based interactive media company iXL Enterprises. Ellis also is a member of the board of Atlanta-based Internet health care portal WebMD.
Other key investors include Boland T. Jones, Chairman and CEO of Premiere Technologies, and Rex Fuqua, Managing Director of Fuqua Ventures. Both Jones and Fuqua were early financial backers of hot Atlanta Internet companies iXL and WebMD.
Also investing in Derivion are Sergio Zyman, consultant and formerly Chief Marketing Officer for Coca-Cola Co., and Ashish Bahl, Senior Vice President of iXL’s financial services group.
“We’re very excited about the momentum that this first round of investment has given the company and about the caliber of the investors,” Rable said. “We envision 1999 as a positioning year for Derivion, and expect the Year 2000 to be a break out year.”
Ellis, CEO of iXL, noted that, “We think that Web-based EBPP technology is going to be the next wave in the evolution of electronic commerce. Getting in on the ground floor with a company like Derivion is a no-brainer for mid-tier billers and service providers. We think that they will find the cutting-edge, flexible technology on which Derivion’s EBPP product is built very attractive.”
Ellis added that, “iXL plans to incorporate Derivion’s EBPP strategies with some of our major clients.”
Sharma, the Toronto-based President and Chief Information Officer of Derivion, explained that, “The biggest challenge for companies offering EBPP solutions is to integrate them with the billers’ existing systems and processes. Derivion is offering a unique ‘self-learning’ EBPP system, so billers can easily ‘train’ the system to meet their unique requirements for bill presentation. Billers are welcoming this approach.”
There are two primary beneficiaries of the Derivion service. First, there are people who use it to view and pay bills. Second are the companies who will reap a substantial cost reduction for the Web-based service and, at the same time, improve customer service and customer retention, and provide new cross-marketing channels.
“We will provide our mid-tier corporate customers with the most cost-effective, efficient service to serve their customers better, and they will be able to implement the service quickly,” said Rable. “For example, it costs companies up to $2 to deliver a single monthly bill to a customer. We will do the job better on the Internet for less than one-quarter of that, allowing that savings to drop back to the biller’s bottom line.”
Rable and Sharma met while employed by InterTrans, a software company that was acquired in 1998 by i2 Technologies. They recruited Andrew Wexler, an accountant in the Atlanta office of Arthur Andersen, to join them in the venture as Chief Financial Officer.
Joining Ellis, Jones, Fuqua, Zyman and Bahl as members of Derivion’s board of directors are John Collins, Chairman and CEO of the Intercept Group; Rodger Johnson, an Atlanta high-tech veteran and President and CEO of JKC Holdings, and Robert Jetmundsen, Managing Director at Morgan Keegan, Inc.
Derivion’s product incorporates accepted industry standards, including the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) protocol for secure financial transactions.Details
Visa International and ActivCard have announced a major step forward in enhancing business and consumer smart card services. Both organizations have agreed to work together to enable Visa Members to provide a cardholder identification service on their smart cards.
The agreement will extend the functions offered by a Visa smart card to include identification of cardholders whenever they access a corporate computer network, Internet services, or even a building. This new application will be offered to Visa member banks as one of the many third party applications available on the Visa Open Platform.
ActivCard is a global provider of network security applications and the developer of the Corporate Wallet, a system designed to securely manage, control and distribute corporate credentials across communication networks.
“This announcement enables Visa members to move forward in the essential smart card functions of payment and customer identification,” said Philip Yen, senior vice president, Emerging Technology at Visa International.
“There is an ever increasing number of systems and applications which require user identification and a growing number of different ways in which identification can take place. ActivCard enables you to store credentials and digital signatures on the smart card so that the only thing a cardholder need do is insert the card into a PC and enter a PIN number. It makes the promise of anytime and anywhere access a reality and demonstrates how multifunction smart cards can offer much more than just access to financial services.”
Jean-Gerard Galvez, Chairman and CEO of ActivCard, said: “Three keys to the success of Internet transactions are security, extensibility, and interoperability. The Visa Open Platform allows smart cards and smart card technology to be deployed in any network environment, bridging the gap between traditional financial and IT services. ActivCard technology is a perfect enhancement to this environment: standards-based and extensible, supporting both existing authentication infrastructure and emerging technologies, including PKI and digital signature.”
As part of the agreement ActivCard will develop Java-based software to run on a Visa Open Platform smart card and will extend their current browser and e-mail based authentication products to support the card application.
The Visa Open Platform is a collection of specifications and technologies which enable financial institutions to develop and issue multifunction smart cards. The Open Platform is freely available and capable of use in numerous business environments. It enables applications and keys to be loaded securely onto a smart card even after the card has been issued to the cardholder.
ActivCard, a leader in strong authentication and electronic certification technology, delivers core components required to make smart cards the essential tool enabling next generation Internet business. ActivCard’s technology suite offers the ease-of-use of an ATM transaction with a security level better than face-to-face.
The technology integrated on a Visa Open Platform smart card provides a cardholder with the applications and credentials required to transparently, uniquely and absolutely be identified through the Internet. This strong authentication, in conjunction with the applications support for public key based data confidentiality and integrity, allows individuals and businesses to perform secure online transactions over the Internet. Today, more than one million people use ActivCard products for secure banking, web access and remote access to corporate networks. ActivCard’s Internet address is [www.activcard.com].
As the ‘World’s Best Way to Pay’, Visa is the leading payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide with more volume than all other major payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 Member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa has more than 70 smart card programs in 33 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including more than eight million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are more than 630 million Visa-branded cards, which generate over US$1.3 trillion in annual volume. Visa is accepted at more than 15 million worldwide locations, including over 450,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network.
MBNA Canada Bank announced Friday that the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL have teamed with MBNA to issue the ‘Official Maple Leafs MasterCard’. Friday’s agreement with the Maple Leafs expands MBNA’s program with the NHL and its 30 teams, including endorsements from the Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames. MBNA, which established the NHL credit card program in the U.S. in 1996, introduced the program into Canada last year and has the rights to market the NHL credit card program in Europe. MBNA has about 140 affinity programs in Canada.Details
GlobeSet Inc. announced this week the release of the ‘GlobeSet Merchant Adapter 2.1′ with support for Microsoft’ Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition’. The adapter works in conjunction with the ‘GlobeSet POS’, an application designed for payment processing between a cardholder and a financial payment gateway. The ‘Merchant Adapter 2.1’ features the ability to allow merchants to simultaneously process both SET and SSL transactions over the Internet and offers an extensive merchant integration manual designed to educate merchants on how to process both SET and SSL credit card payment authorizations through their on-line storefronts.Details