Passage Enterprise

3-G International, Inc. announced last week the availability of Passage Enterprise, a turnkey multiple application smart card solution for corporations and other organizations. The 3GI offering includes six smart card applications, all required software and hardware, and a card management system that allows organizations to issue personalized multiple application smart cards to employees.

The Passage Enterprise system features public key smart cards and a wide range of logical security and physical access applications. 3GI’s solution also includes a card management system, which enables system administrators to personalize the smart cards, encode the cards with specific data, issue, track, and replace cards. The offering includes comprehensive training, installation services, and documentation to support customer installations and 3GI partners.

“Passage Enterprise is an affordable, turnkey smart card solution for corporate environments of any size,” commented John McKeon, 3GI’s Director of Smart Card Solutions. “With Passage Enterprise, we’re making it very easy for card issuers, IT providers, and others to offer a comprehensive smart card solution to their corporate customers. Those customers will realize the security and convenience of advanced smart card technology in a fully integrated and extensible card system.”

Passage Enterprise enables corporations and other organizations to increase the security of their networks and data by requiring the use of smart cards as an access token for logging on to PCs, Networks, Web Servers, and other data repositories. Passage also enables cardholders to use cards to digitally sign email messages in standard email packages and encrypt sensitive data. The smart card provides an added layer of security because it stores digital certificates, digital keys, and biometric templates securely on its computer chip rather than on a computer hard drive which is more vulnerable to attack.

In addition to the logical security and network access applications, the Passage Enterprise solution includes physical access and related inventory management applications. One card controls access to physical facilities, corporate facilities and events, as well as to IT networks.

Passage Enterprise is an open architecture smart card solution, and includes support for multiple types of public key smart cards, standard web browsers and email packages from Microsoft and Netscape, standard x.509 digital certificates, and standard encryption and network security protocols such as Secured Socket Layer protocol version 3 (SSL3) and SMIME.

3GI intends to work closely with its hardware partners and other organizations in the distribution of the solution. According to Steven Humphries, CEO of SCM Microsystems Inc. in Los Gatos, CA “SCM Microsystems is looking forward to working closely with 3GI as a primary hardware supplier for the Passage Enterprise smart card solution. SCM has a long history of working with 3GI in delivering smart card solutions to the market, and this offering is a good example of the value added smart card solutions we can offer.” SCM Microsystems is the leading global smart card reader manufacturer and a featured hardware component in Passage Enterprise.

For further information on Passage Enterprise, visit 3GI’s Web Site at [www.3gi.com][1].

ABOUT PASSAGE ENTERPRISE APPLICATIONS

– Secure Web Access — Protects access to sensitive data published as Web documents on an enterprise intranet/extranet. A digital certificate and the user’s public/private key pair stored on the card allows the user to complete public key mutual authentication with the enterprise web server and achieve access to privileged data.

– Network Security — Passage Enterprise makes secure network access fast and convenient with single sign-on capability, including several applications that manage access to workstations, networks, and sensitive data.

– Secure Email — The storage of a digital certificate and key pair on the card allows users to digitally sign and/or encrypt data sent via electronic mail. This operation works with popular e-mail applications such as MS Outlook or Outlook Express.

– PC Logon/Screen Saver — The personalized public key smart cards enable users to log on to Windows NT Operating Systems securely and supports biometrics verification. Workstations are set up to require cards for access and to lock the workstation when cards are removed.

– Physical Access — The application uses smart cards to control facility access. The application allows security managers to create, assign, modify, and remove electronic keys for specific locations and to write specific keys to employee smart cards

– Property Pass — The Property Pass application provides increased accountability and control over property and equipment such as laptop computers. Property is reliably and conveniently tracked as checkout permissions are assigned to users via the card.

– Event Ticketing — Registration and coordination of corporate events is streamlined with this general tracking application. Both event organizers and attendees enjoy greater convenience. In addition, attendance tracking is made simpler and more accurate.

– Card Management — A comprehensive card management system, enabling system administrators to personalize, encode, print, update, issue, hot-list, and track individual smart cards quickly and easily.

ABOUT 3GI

3-G International, Inc. is the leading U.S. smart card solutions company and has provided multiple application smart card solutions to industry and government since 1991. 3GI offers a wide range of smart card applications and solutions including financial, internet security, electronic payments, and card system management. 3GI is based in Springfield, Virginia and has branch offices in Williamsburg, Honolulu, San Francisco, Raleigh, Edinburgh, and Shenzhen, China. 3GI was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing privately-held U.S. companies in the Inc. 500 survey. 3GI can be found on the World Wide Web at [www.3gi.com][2].

[1]: http://www.3gi.com
[2]: http://www.3gi.com

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SCA Acquisition

East Coast guild jeweler Carlyle & Co. sold its private label credit card program to NJ-based Shoppers Charge Accounts Co. last week. Under the terms of the agreement, the Mahwah, N.J.-headquartered SCA acquired the receivables in the 41-store retailer’s existing private label charge card portfolio and will administer all facets of the program on an ongoing basis. Previously, First Data Resources ran the program for Carlyle, which owned the receivables. The Greensboro, N.C.-based retailer currently operates 35 stores under the Carlyle & Co. name and six shops under the J.E. Caldwell & Co. banner. The Carlyle stores are located in PA, VA, WV, NC, GA, TN, FL and AL., while the Caldwell shops are in NJ, PA and DE.

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One Valley Online

One Valley Bancorp, Inc. announced this week a strategic partnership with eCommLink, Inc. to provide online financial services, “eBranchware,” to all One Valley customers.  eCommLink is the leading developer of software for fully integrated electronic financial delivery systems.  This new partnership focuses directly on the customer by offering them yet another banking solution via the use of technology.  The new Internet banking program will enable One Valley Bank to offer products and services directly to customers in a secure electronic environment via the Internet.

Brian J. Fox, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of One Valley Bank commented, “Three factors led us to partner with eCommLink for online banking.  First, this relationship will provide One Valley customers a fully functional, flexible and secure online banking system.  Second, eCommLink has had success with banks similar to One Valley.  Lastly, this relationship will provide One Valley the expertise and resources necessary to continue our electronic banking initiatives.”

J. Holmes Morrison, President and CEO of One Valley Bancorp said, “Saving time and increasing convenience are what One Valley’s studies show customers want.  The partnership with eCommLink allows us to deliver what our customers have asked for. We are very excited about this agreement.”

The successful installation of eBranchware into One Valley’s Super Community banking philosophy creates cost-effective solutions to providing enhanced customer service, and a delivery channel that never closes and has the ability to serve customers from anywhere in the world.  One Valley’s new online banking program will be available to customers during early 1999.

eBranchware(TM) is a web-based retail banking application developed in anticipation of growing international demand for electronic banking services over the Internet.  eCommLink’s award winning suite of applications enables true interactive transaction processing between financial institutions, customers and external service providers such as ATMs, bill payment, brokerage services and credit card processors.

Based in Houston, Texas, eCommLink, Inc. develops and markets comprehensive Microsoft NT based software and services systems designed to meet the needs of the banking/financial industry.  The company believes that its products are more sophisticated, more flexible and offer more benefits to the banking industry than any other electronic commerce solution available today.  Grace Chen, Chief Executive Officer for eCommLink, Inc. said, “The explosive growth of the Internet is producing a rapidly expanding market for financial services, and eCommLink is committed to filling this niche with our Internet banking software.  Partnering with One Valley Bank allows them to provide the online financial services that are in demand, and allows eCommLink to showcase its features.”

In the fall of 1996, Computer World awarded eCommLink’s suite of Internet Banking applications the “Best of the Class” for Banking and Finance at the International Data Group (IDG) sponsored Internet Commerce Exhibition (ICE).

One Valley is a bank holding company based in Charleston, West Virginia with $5.9 billion in total assets. One Valley operates as a super community bank with 12 affiliate banks and 125 branches — 78 in West Virginia and 47 in Virginia.

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FPL Surcharges

Florida Power Corp. is notifying its customers this week of a new policy to charge a miminum fee of $4.95 or 3% for processing credit card payments. FPL has hired Dallas-based Telepay to handle the card processing. Telepay is also charging a $1.95 fee for each transaction using an on-line debit card or a direct checking account debit. Florida Power indicated that fewer than 6,500 of its 1.3-million customers pay by credit card or direct debit. However FPL says its processing these payments remains in the high six figures because of surcharges by the credit card companies and administrative costs. The new charges will take effect in late December, with Florida Power subsidizing part of the fee through the end of February.

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SET Available

GlobeSet, Inc., the world’s largest OEM provider of software solutions for electronic commerce, announced last week the general availability of the industry’s only SET Marked Certificate Authority (CA) 1.2 through its worldwide OEM partners. The GlobeSet CA 1.2, primarily used by issuing banks and financial institutions, helps create a trusted environment for Internet transactions by generating, issuing and managing keys and X.509 v3 digital certificates that authenticate and certify credit card holders, merchants and financial entities involved in a SET(TM) transaction.

The SET Marked GlobeSet CA 1.2 is the only certificate authority application in the industry that is compliant with the SET 1.0(TM) standard, providing a higher level of security and authentication for credit card transactions conducted over open networks such as the Internet. The GlobeSet CA 1.2 is also the only certificate authority application in the industry guaranteed to interoperate with other software vendors’ wallet, point of sale and gateway applications that receive a SET Mark. Industry compliance with the SET standard and interoperability between vendor applications are crucial factors for secure electronic commerce transactions to occur between consumers, merchants and financial institutions. For more information regarding GlobeSet’s interoperability efforts in the industry, see

Designed to operate in a 24×7 operations center environment, the GlobeSet CA 1.2 has built-in recovery functionality, which re-starts the server and resumes its activities in the event of an electrical power outage. The GlobeSet CA 1.2 is also equipped with an application that provides the administrator–who may typically work outside of the operations center where the server is housed–with the ability to securely monitor the CA server from a remote location. The GlobeSet CA 1.2 is equipped to issue certificates for multiple brands of payment cards and also provides multiple issuer capability to issue certificates on behalf of other financial organizations. Audit logging, which provides a time-stamped trail of security sensitive events such as certificate creation and certificate revocation, provides a mechanism for increased system security that both the Visa and MasterCard associations require in their respective CA certification process.

“For financial institutions that require a product that meets the demands of industry compliance and around the clock performance, the GlobeSet CA 1.2 fits the bill,” said Wes Byrne, Vice President, Product Development, GlobeSet. “We are committed to the development of best-of-breed products that enable secure and authenticated electronic commerce transactions.”

“With the release of the GlobeSet CA 1.2, we are continuing our strategy of providing secure and interoperable solutions in a complete set of payment processing products,” said Dennis Jolly, Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Operations, GlobeSet. “We are pleased to provide our OEM partners with the newest offering of our certificate authority product which they can integrate into their solutions and deliver to the global marketplace.”

About GlobeSet

GlobeSet, Inc., is the world’s largest OEM provider of software solutions for electronic commerce. The company’s server-based products enable e-commerce production deployment and offer a migration path across multiple evolving transaction/certificate standards. With offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific, GlobeSet’s OEM partners have implemented numerous SET solutions around the world for major banks, retailers and financial processors. Founded in 1994, GlobeSet, Inc. is a privately held corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas. Additional information about GlobeSet can be found at

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Amazing Merger

Amazing Controls! Inc., a Silicon Valley based smart card company announced last week that it has merged with Micromodule Pte. Ltd., a microchip manufacturer and semiconductor packaging plant based in Singapore.  The new company will be called Amazing Smart Card Technologies (ASCT).

Don Witmer, Chief Executive Officer of ASCT said that the merger compliments the company’s strategy of offering fast, complete and quality smart card solutions to its customers and should help to relieve some of the backlog pressure that has been building since the company began offering its smart card software applications and system integration services to the market.  “We are also very excited about our capability to leverage the excellent reputation of Micromodule to open the Asian market to our applications and solutions,” stated Mr. Witmer.  ASCT will now have offices in the United Kingdom, Santa Clara, California and Singapore and manufacturing sites in Santa Clara, California, Singapore and Malaysia.

Dr. Tan Seng Chuan, Managing Director of Micromodule Pte. Ltd., cited the companies’ complementary strengths and mutual commitment toward the development of related technologies as the main reason for the merger.  As a result, the new entity will enjoy substantial reduction of costs through economies of scale and benefit from a broader, global customer base.  As one of the flagship applications of the Multi-media Super Corridor (MSC) in Malaysia, Dr. Tan added that the time was ripe for the development of complete smart card solutions with flexible in-house design capabilities to meet the varying needs of organizations the world over.

About Amazing Smart Card Technologies Amazing Smart Card Technologies supports a number of operating systems, readers and applications.  Included in the company’s product portfolio are Internet access and filtering applications, loyalty scheme, access control, campus, health, and vending applications.  For more information, visit the company’s web site at [www.amazingcontrols.com][1].

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

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AmEx India

American Express announced the India launch of its credit cards Friday to complement its current charge card portfolio. Reportedly India has a total of 3 million credit cardholders with Citibank leading the market. State Bank of India announced last month an aggressive credit card program. India’s card charge volume is currently about 50 billion rupees or US $1.2 billion while outstanding balances are about 20 billion rupees or US $512 million.

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Web Certificate

C/Base, Inc. announced this morning the first and only online gift certificate that can redeemed at virtually every one of the estimated one million online retailers. ‘Webcertificate’ can be e-mailed to anyone, anywhere, at anytime starting Nov 27. ‘Webcertificate’ recipients are e-mailed a personal account number for a set dollar amount that can be used for payment anywhere online.The Webcertificate design can also be customized by the buyer and is paid for via credit cards. An e-mail receipt is automatically sent to the buyer confirming the name of the recipient and the gift amount sent. For the receiver, Webcertificate arrives as an e-mail message notifying the recipient that a gift has been sent and the name of the sender.  The e-mail also contains instructions for activating Webcertificate and a hyperlink that launches the recipient to a personal gift page at the Webcertificate site.  Upon arriving at the Webcertificate gift page, the recipient enters a personal claim code and is presented with the Webcertificate, which includes the design, the dollar amount, and the sender’s personalized messageCC.  At that time, the recipient is automatically assigned a Webcertificate account number and expiration date, similar to a credit card. The Webcertificate recipient can use the account number in place of a credit card at any online merchant on the Web.

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Gemplus Smarty

SmartDisk Corporation, a company focused on providing simple, innovative solutions that advance and enhance the use of miniature media and smart cards, announced last week that Gemplus, the world’s leading provider of plastic and smart card-based solutions, will distribute Smarty from SmartDisk on a worldwide basis.

“The Smarty reader/writer is a unique device that offers universal smart card accessibility to any user who has a PC with a floppy disk drive” said Jacques Seneca, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Technology, Gemplus. “This program to distribute Smarty furthers Gemplus’ goals to advance the usability of smart cards and continues to bring value to our customers.”

“Gemplus is a global leader in developing and implementing innovative ways to use smart cards and we are pleased that Gemplus has selected the Smarty reader/writer as a key element of its new IT and e-commerce applications” said Michael S. Battaglia, President and CEO, SmartDisk Corporation. “Furthermore, our relationship with Gemplus fulfills SmartDisk’s strategic objective to build strong European-based partnerships. We look forward to a long and productive working relationship with Gemplus.”

About Smarty

The Smarty smart card reader/writer acts as a bridge between a smart card and a PC. Smarty, a product of SmartDisk, has the same dimensions as a 3.5 inch floppy disk and includes a slot into which a smart card can be inserted. To use it, one simply inserts a smart card into the slot and slips Smarty into a PC’s floppy drive. Increasing use of smart cards in Asia, Europe and the U.S. is fueling a need for a versatile, economical card reader. Smarty fulfills this need, supporting electronic commerce, banking, health care, and government applications, and the high-level security required in access control, network authentication and data certification.

About Gemplus

Gemplus S.C.A. () is the world’s leading provider of plastic and smart card-based solutions. Gemplus sells magnetic stripe cards, memory and microprocessor-based smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags and smart objects. The company designs and markets software, development tools and readers. Gemplus also provides consulting, training and personalization services to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible card-based solutions to its developers, distributors, partners, and customers. With sales of over $US590 million in 1997, Gemplus employs more than 4,100 people in 10 manufacturing facilities, 5 R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world. Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, identity, physical access control, pay TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, logical access control and information technology.

About SmartDisk Corporation

SmartDisk Corporation is the provider of patented solutions for reading and writing to flash memory cards, smart cards and other miniature storage media. These solutions take the form factor of a 3.5-inch floppy disk, therefore transforming the floppy disk drive of the personal computer to enable new applications. The market for SmartDisk’s solutions is the installed base of 300 million personal computers that work with the 3.5-inch floppy disk drive. SmartDisk Corporation was formed to capitalize on the growth of digital applications. Its investors include Toshiba Corporation, Fischer International Systems Corporation (FISC) and strategic partners, such as Rohm, Yamaichi and others. For more information, go to [www.smartdisk.com][1]

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

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Virtual Gift Certificate

Are you one of the millions who dread the thought of teeming malls filled with frazzled holiday shoppers?  Then the Webcertificate is for you.

The newest and most convenient way to shop is the first and only online gift certificate, Webcertificate ([www.webcertificate.com][1]).  It can be emailed to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, and can be redeemed at virtually every one of the estimated one million online retailers.

Webcertificate functions just like a paper gift certificate, except that it’s virtual.  It works this way:  select the design you desire for the particular occasion (Christmas, holidays, birthdays, weddings, etc.); choose the denomination of the gift; give the name and e-mail address of the recipient; add a personalized e-mail gift message.  That’s it!  The buyer has the opportunity to preview the completed certificate before paying by credit card, and receives an email receipt confirming the name of the recipient and the gift amount sent.  The recipient receives the Webcertificate instantly over the Internet.

The Webcertificate recipient will be issued an account number and expiration date, similar to a credit card, which they can use at any online merchant on the Web.  Online purchases are instantly deducted from the Webcertificate gift account, where the available balance can be reviewed online at any time.  A convenient shopper’s guide of suggested online merchants is also available.

This new website will be launched on Black Friday – traditionally the “darkest” shopping day of the year, – November 27, 1998.  Lighten the shopping load for yourself and a friend by giving a virtual gift certificate.

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

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Specialty Retail Remains Hot

Nearly 80% of the more than 100 merchants polled by Shoppers Charge Accounts Co. are projecting that their 1998 holiday season sales will exceed prior year levels. The largest group, 47%, look for an increase in the 5% to 10% range, while 21% anticipate gains in excess of 10%, and 11% forecast growth of less than 5%. Among the remaining retailers surveyed by the private label credit card company in late October, 16% believe their sales will be unchanged from last year and 5% anticipate a decline of under 5%. Asked which marketing programs they plan to employ, 67% said they will do special mailings to inactive charge account customers, 40% will go with new account solicitations, 20% will offer a deferred billing option, and another 20% will promote their ‘Prestige Points’ frequent shopper program.

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