Esat In Touch

Esat Telecom announced Tuesday it is to expand its product portfolio with the launch of a disposable prepaid calling card which can be used from any touch tone phone. The calling card, which will be called Esat In Touch, will be available in 5 pound, 10 pound and 20 pound denominations.

From the end of July, Esat In Touch will be available from Argus Car Hire outlets, Dublin Tourism offices, branches of Cellular World and from 1,000 ServicePlus Post Offices.

Esat In Touch will enable people to make inland, cross channel and international calls from any touch tone phone with savings of up to 60% over Telecom Eireann rates.

Each card has a unique PIN. To make a call, a person will dial a free phone number 1 800 70 30 70, enter the PIN and then dial the required number.

Esat Telecom will also offer co-branding and promotional opportunities to third parties who wish to brand Esat In Touch cards.

Mr. Kevin White, Product Director with Esat Telecom said: “We are constantly looking at ways of expanding our product range and Esat In Touch is another strongly branded addition to our calling card portfolio. The demand for pre-paid calling cards is increasing all the time and we are fully supporting Esat In Touch because of this demand.”

Esat In Touch is now the company’s third calling card product: Esat Home is a prepaid residential calling service and EasyCard is the corporate post-paid international calling card.


First Internet E-Check

The first e-check processed over the Internet was received Tuesday by GTE Internetworking from the U.S. Treasury. The e-check was received as payment for services rendered on a contract providing IT services to the U.S. Air Force Material Command. The historic e-check payment was signed by the U.S. Treasury using a CyberTrust ‘SafeKeyper’ and was later endorsed by GTE Internetworking for deposit using a smartcard electronic checkbook. CyberTrust ‘SafeKeyper’ is used to sign all of the echecks issued by the U.S. Treasury. Yesterday’s payment is a result of a cooperative three-year initiative, conducted by the Financial Services Technology Consortium, to develop secure and efficient Internet banking solutions that will pave the way for widespread implementation of echeck payments among U.S. businesses. GTE Internetworking is providing the security infrastructure, professional expertise and Internet services to the FSTC Electronic Check Market Trial. BankBoston, NationsBank and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston are the first financial institutions to support the use of these e-check technologies.


Intellicall Inks Ghana Deal

Intellicall, Inc. announced that Western Wireless International has ordered and taken delivery of an N-Genius intelligent network platform switching system and 200 card operated payphones to be installed in Ghana. The order, in excess of $600,000, is the first from Western Wireless. Western Wireless International leads a consortium which successfully bid on the Second Network Operator’s (SNO) license during 1997. The consortium includes the Ghana National Petroleum Company, located in Tema, Ghana, and ACG, Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based company which provides paging and payphone services in Tanzania. Intellicall’s N-Genius can process prepaid calls from “smart” chip cards, magnetic stripe cards and debit cards. Intellicall’s equipment will connect directly into the remainder of the SNO’s Ghanaian wireless and wireline network and provide prepaid billing services.

The initial order is a reflection of the demand in Ghana for telecommunications products. A recent report on telecommunications in Ghana stated there were only 35 payphones servicing the entire country, 32 of which were located in the capital city of Accra.

“We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Western Wireless,” said John J. McDonald, Jr., president and chief operating officer of Intellicall. “Their involvement in the Ghanaian market guarantees this will be a successful partnership. As the report states, payphones in Ghana are scarce — as a result of our agreement with Western Wireless, the people of Ghana will have access to telecommunications as never before. We look forward to being part of this success story.”

“We are extremely pleased to be in partnership with Intellicall. It is one of the leaders in the public access telecommunications industry, and has extensive experience in the African market,” said Brad Horwitz, Western Wireless International president and chairman of the SNO. “The Ghanaian market offers vast opportunity upon which we are prepared to capitalize. It is our plan to introduce telecommunications products and services using the latest wireless technology throughout the country.”

Intellicall is a leading provider of advanced public access communications systems, including intelligent payphones, prepaid and call processing systems, and network control and business management systems. Intellicall’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ICL” and is listed in alphabetical quotations as “Intellicall” or “Intel Cal.”

Western Wireless International, a subsidiary of Western Wireless Corp., was formed in 1995 to acquire interests in wireless licenses, form operating companies and pursue other telecommunications investments outside the United States. The company’s principal objective is to become a leading provider of wireless communications services in selected emerging markets. Based in Issaquah, Wash., Western Wireless Corp. is a leading provider of wireless communication services in the western United States.


ATG  EDS  Deal

Art Technology Group (ATG), the innovator of Relationship Commerce solutions for leadership companies doing business online, announced Tuesday a business agreement with global information services leader EDS. Under this agreement, c2o, EDS’ online business consulting and technology service unit, will team with ATG to deliver online relationship marketing and commerce solutions using ATG’s Dynamo Relationship Commerce product suite.

This global agreement establishes rights for c2o to host, develop on and distribute ATG’s Dynamo Relationship Commerce Internet platform and suite, dramatically expanding Dynamo’s market presence.

“The great thing about working with ATG is that they understand that direct marketing and online commerce are not about forcing users to fill out lengthy questionnaires about their behaviors, likes and dislikes,” said Butch Winters, president of c2o. “When you put c2o and ATG in front of a customer, we present a comprehensive Web business solution that takes into account a company’s revenue and earnings requirements, its technology and systems integration needs, and the user’s preferred Web experience. That’s a pretty powerful Web business model.”

c2o will employ ATG’s high-reliability Web platform — Dynamo Application Server, Dynamo Ad Station and Dynamo Profile Station to support its WebVault hosting offering, and to enhance business strategy planning and operations with more sophisticated online behavior tracking, user profiling, real-time traffic and usage analysis. Using Dynamo Retail Station, ATG’s online storefront solution, c2o will build commerce-based Web applications and integrate these applications with a company’s existing legacy infrastructure.

“EDS understands the importance of choosing the right technology to enable its customers to deploy highly scalable and flexible e-commerce sites,” said Jeet Singh, president and CEO, Art Technology Group. “The future of profitable e-commerce lies in applying dynamic personalization to build a successful customer channel on the Internet. That is why it’s particularly gratifying that EDS is dedicating organizational resources to building a Relationship Commerce practice around our Dynamo product suite.”

Jeffrey E. Anderholm, vice president of marketing for ATG, added, “We are very happy to see partners like EDS help us extend our relationships with leadership companies. As Fortune 500 companies are increasingly making enterprise-wide decisions to use Dynamo for their Web applications, partners such as EDS are critical in providing the range of services and technologies needed to meet their needs.”

Dynamo Relationship Commerce Suite

The Dynamo family of Relationship Commerce products offers a tightly integrated suite of Java-based products to meet the scalable and performance requirements of large-scale e-commerce initiatives. The Dynamo product suite includes a high-reliability Web application server and tightly integrated e-commerce capabilities for site development, personalization, selling, and advertising management. The Dynamo suite is the first solution designed specifically to tackle the management of online relationships by applying personalization to each and every user experience.

About Art Technology Group

Art Technology Group is the leading developer of Internet products and services that enable major corporations to do business online. Recognized as one of the industry’s most experienced and knowledgeable online development firms, ATG delivers applications that apply personalization to electronic commerce to create more efficient and profitable customer interactions — the core of Relationship Commerce. ATG’s Internet commerce solutions enable organizations to extend their core businesses, whether in consumer or business-to-business commerce, financial services, publishing, or entertainment quickly, easily and successfully into the online environment. ATG customers include Sony Online Entertainment, Eastman Kodak, BMG Music Service, Herman Miller and Harvard Business School, among others.

About EDS

EDS’ c2o Interactive Architects business unit is the leading provider of online business consulting and Internet technology services. c2o, with offices in Dallas, Detroit and the San Francisco Bay area, can be visited at .

EDS, the official information technology services provider for World Cup 1998, is a leader in the global information services industry. The company’s approximately 110,000 employees specialize in applying a range of ideas and technologies to help business and government customers improve their economic, products, services and relationships. EDS, which serves customers in 44 countries, reported revenues of $15.2 billion in 1997. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. EDS can be visited via the Internet at .


nFront Hits 42

nFront, Inc., the leading provider of full-service Internet banking for community banks and winner of Microsoft’s Best Internet Banking Solution Award, announced Tuesday it has licensed its solution to 42 community-focused banks since the beginning of the year. As a result, the company has quadrupled its client base in the first half of 1998 to bring the total number of financial institutions using the nFront solution to 56. nFront client banks currently range between $7 million and $4.4 billion in assets and are located in 27 states across the country.

Links to nFront’s Internet bank clients can be found at .

In order to serve financial institutions throughout the country, nFront has ported its Internet banking solution to 18 bank core data processors, including nFront strategic partners The BISYS Group, Inc., Little Falls, NJ; Data Center Inc. (DCI), Hutchinson, KS; First Commerce Technologies (FCT), Lincoln, NE; Modern Computer Systems, Inc. (MCS), Burnsville, MN; and SPARAK Financial Services, Inc., Fargo, ND. Together, nFront’s nine reseller partners market nHome to more than 3,500 financial institutions across the nation.

Internet solutions like nFront’s can offer community banks a competitively priced, total software and assistance package that makes it easy to go live on the Internet, said Stan Quay, a partner with Grant Thornton’s Cincinnati office and a member of the firm’s National Financial Services Committee.

“Superior, proven technology is only half of the solution,” said nFront’s Chairman and CEO Tripp Rackley. “At nFront, we believe that providing our client banks with the highest level of service is imperative. In addition to supporting their day-to-day Internet banking operations, nFront is constantly monitoring changes within the Internet and electronic commerce industries in order to protect their interests and provide them with the most advanced solutions available in the marketplace.”


nHome, nFront’s Microsoft NT-based Internet banking application, enables banking customers to open new accounts, apply for loans, view account balances and histories, pay bills, transfer funds, download images of cleared checks, customize reports, and download active statements into personal financial management packages at anytime from any location using any browser-enabled device such as personal computers and televisions. From the bank’s perspective, nHome allows the bank to expand its reach to a broader market, primarily composed of the most profitable banking customers, while taking advantage of the least expensive delivery channel available today. Because customers are afforded greater access to and control over their account information, the bank’s customer service overhead can ultimately be reduced. And, through the collection of data captured online, the bank can target specific customers for more efficient and effective cross-selling and marketing campaigns.


Founded in 1996, nFront, Inc. () is a leading provider of full-service Internet banking solutions for community banks. Based in Athens, GA, nFront provides a turnkey solution offering development and implementation services, web site design, maintenance and hosting, customer service training and support and marketing consulting.


Ameritech Goes Wireless

U.S. Wireless Data announced yesterday it has entered into a major joint marketing and operating agreement with Ameritech to distribute U.S. Wireless Data’s proprietary wireless transaction processing products which will utilize Ameritech’s cellular digital packet data network, including the ‘TRANZ Enabler’ wireless credit card processing system. This marks the third substantial joint marketing agreement announced by U.S. Wireless Data over the past ten months. The company previously announced similar marketing agreements to distribute its proprietary wireless transaction processing solutions with GTE Wireless and Bell Atlantic Mobile.


Expanded I-Processing

CyberSource Corp. and First Data Merchant Services announced an agreement Tuesday under which FDMS will make available CyberSource’s electronic commerce services to its bank alliances and client banks for immediate marketing to merchants on the Internet. Going beyond simply enabling online payment processing, the new agreement provides FDMS bank alliances and client banks the ability to offer their merchants an end-to-end suite of turnkey Internet payment solutions — including enhanced protection from fraud and export risks, third party fulfillment notification, sales tax calculation and more.  FDMS will offer the CyberSource enabled electronic commerce services in two packages: ‘CommerceFLEX’ and a ‘CommerceEZ’ bundle. ‘CommerceFLEX’ provides merchants access to risk management services, an automated credit card fraud screening service, export control service, FDMS payment processing, sales and VAT calculation, fulfillment house messaging, and digital product preparation, warehousing and secure delivery. ‘CommerceEZ’ eliminates the need for programming or a secure server by using CyberSource to securely host a merchant’s order pages.


Cap One – Europe

Capital One Financial Corporation announced Monday that Dominic Allen has joined the Company as Director of International Business Development.  In this capacity, Mr. Allen will be responsible for actively exploring and developing new lending business opportunities for Capital One, and its affiliated companies, in continental Europe, and ultimately other markets.  Mr. Allen will report to Alan Wolfson, Capital One’s Managing Director, International.

“We are exporting our Information-Based Strategy worldwide.  Many countries are prime opportunities for Capital One,” said Nigel Morris, Capital One’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “More than 13 million customers in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada already benefit from our mass- customized, competitively priced products.  By joining Alan and our International team, Dominic will enable us to introduce Capital One and our quality products and services to a wider global audience.”

Mr. Allen joins Capital One after managing Trans National’s French, German and UK operations for seven years.  Previously, Mr. Allen consulted for Bain & Company in Paris, as well as managed numerous multinational projects for Schlumberger Oil Well Services and a French construction company.  He is a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford University in Engineering and Economics and was awarded his MBA with distinction from Insead.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation () is a financial services company with more than 7,000 associates worldwide, whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products.  Capital One subsidiaries are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.


Bull Forms XIRING

Bull announced yesterday that it has created a new U.S. company — XIRING — as a parity-owned joint subsidiary with InfoRealite Group, Strasbourg, France. XIRING has been formed to design, develop and market innovative, low-cost and user-friendly smart card-related products for broad worldwide markets. The new company, based in France, also has bought the corresponding assets of the OKI Advanced Products division of the Japanese company OKI. XIRING leverages the complementary strengths of Bull’s smart card technology and InfoRealite’s expertise in telecommunications. Initially focusing on pocket-sized personal smart card readers, XIRING, with the addition of assets and products made by OKI, claims the top spot in the worldwide pocket reader market for electronic purse applications, with more than three million readers in use. XIRING’s products facilitate and develop the use of smart cards by providing a variety of functions:

–Read and display information contained in various types of cards, ranging from telephone cards and electronic purses, to health care cards and loyalty cards

–Load money onto electronic purse cards using innovative communication technologies

–New smart card-based applications using various communications methods, such as telephone lines, hertzian broadcasting, television and radio, and

–Euro conversion, a basic function on the XIRING products.

“Fueled by the growing acceptance of smart card applications, XIRING will capitalize on the consumer market for personal card readers, forecasted to generate revenue of more than $300 million by 2003,”said David Levy, general manager of Bull’s Smart Cards & Terminals Division. “The number of electronic purse smart cards will multiply ten-fold by 2003, surpassing over 500 millions units worldwide. Portable file applications, such as health, driver license and loyalty, will have generated at this time an equivalent number of cards. Mass transit, lotteries, and security applications will also increase this number.

“InfoRealite Group offers technologies that are complementary to those of Bull, especially in the field of telecommunications,” Levy said. “Furthermore, we are interested in the consumer products developed by InfoRealite such as `Tags,’ which are marking products that use contactless technology.”

Michel Schott, president of the InfoRealite Group, said, “By combining new consumer-oriented communications and smart card technologies, XIRING opens up an extraordinary range of new applications that are practical and attractive to consumers. By combining the expertise of both principal companies, XIRING achieves a market position that gives it a competitive edge and added value for customers.”

XIRING will continue the product lines already marketed by Bull’s Smart Cards & Terminals Division. These include the pocket readers such as the VisaCash electronic purse used at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996; more than one million units of this kind of product have already been sold. XIRING also will offer hand-held calculator-type devices that allow health professionals to obtain information contained on the Vitale 1 French health card. InfoRealite’s technologies will provide communications features for XIRING products, such as electronic purse reloading devices based on acoustic coupler techniques or electronic coupon devices using RDS radio wave receptors.

“It was only logical that we bring together, in a separate company, all of these products, which are in complete synergy with Bull’s cards and terminals products and InfoRealite’s communication division, but which are another line of business,” Levy and Schott said. “Separately from XIRING, however, Bull’s line payment terminals and professional readers and the communication devices division in InfoRealite will continue to experience exceptional growth in their current organizations.”

Already, XIRING has gained the support of leading international payment operators. “The development and evolution of payment facilities, such as the advent of electronic commerce, the development of electronic purses, and multi-application payment systems, generates a need for consumers to be equipped with personalized readers,” said Bernard Morvant, vice president of Visa International.

“The support provided to bankers and operators by strong and competent industrial partners dedicated to this business will be a key factor in the success of these new payment facilities,” Morvant said.

According to George Liberman, who is managing the creation of the newly-formed company, XIRING has several key assets. “Markets involving smart cards are in the process of opening up everywhere in the world, not only for payment facilities, but also for transportation, healthcare, loyalty and games,” he said. “The associated companies have decisive qualities, in terms of both mastered technologies and the strength of their respective businesses.

“In addition,” Liberman said, “XIRING reaps the immediate benefits of an existing base of roughly 80 large clients, including banks, payment operators and distributors, who have already made more than three million XIRING products available to consumers in 18 countries. These key assets will contribute to the success of XIRING, whose ambition is to develop and consolidate its worldwide leadership in this market.

About Bull Smart Cards & Terminals

Bull designs and markets a wide range of contact and contactless microprocessor cards, payment terminals and automatic points of contact including cash dispensers and multimedia kiosk POS terminals. In 1997, these activities generated revenue of $237 million, an increase of 32 percent over 1996. The history of smart cards at Bull goes back to 1979 when Bull’s Michel Ugon, in collaboration with Motorola, invented the world’s first microprocessor card (CP8 technology). Today, all of the world’s roughly 210 million microprocessor cards use Bull CP8 technology, either for the micro-electronic part (SPOM – Self-Programmable One chip Memory) patent or for Bull operating systems. Bull is world leader in the electronic purse segment with more than 27 million cards in use in ten countries. Approximately 60 percent of bank cards used in the world today have been designed by Bull. In addition, Bull is a leader in electronic payment terminals, with 650,000 machines installed worldwide. More information on Bull Smart Cards & Terminals can be found at [][1], on Groupe Bull’s Web site, , and at the company’s U.S. Web site, .

About InfoRealite

InfoRealite is a high-tech industrial group based in Vendenheim, near Strasbourg, France. The company designs, manufactures and markets innovative products mainly in the field of telecommunication. The know-how of its 360 people covers all the activities of research and development, manufacturing, project management and marketing of a high technological value-added range of products. InfoRealite’s main technologies and product lines in the field of communication include:

— Paging terminals using FM sub-carrier (RDS)

— Digital modems (ISDN)

— 433 MHz radio communication modules (meter-reading, remote control, etc.)

— Electronic shelf labels (radio-transmission)

— Contactless identification devices (DSC)

Sales in 1997 for the InfoRealite Group were 301 million FF, an increase of 50 percent compared to 1996 results. InfoRealite is listed at the Paris stock exchange. More information is available at .



First Omaha Offers Talento

First of Omaha Merchant Processing became the first U.S. acquiring bank yesterday to offer the Dassault ‘Talento’ processing terminal. The Dassault ‘Talento’ processing terminal provides state-of-the-art technology in a fully integrated terminal, enabling merchants to complete multiple types of transactions with one unit. ‘Talento’s’ smart card capabilities and memory expansion to 4.5MB will enable merchants to build value added applications. ‘Talento’ offers four models to choose from.  Each model comes as an all-in-one compact EFT POS terminal that includes a fast thermal printer, large 88 character back-lit display, bi-directional magnetic stripe reader, and optional smart card reader.  Models range from a credit only version, to a version that provides an integrated or external PIN pad for debit and EBT applications.  Other versions offer a smart card reader and optional integrated PIN pad.  Talento’s biggest feature is its simple lead-through and ability to handle several tasks simultaneously, thus reducing the overall transaction time to a few seconds, resulting in quicker customer transactions. Dassault AT has 700,000 terminals installed worldwide making it the fourth largest installed base of EFT POS terminals in the world.



To help small business owners avoid these kinds of credit card fraud losses, Internet ScamBusters, the premier publication on Internet fraud, has published an article called “Eight Sure-Fire Strategies Any Business Owner Can Use to Reduce Credit Card Fraud.” It is available free by sending an email to [][1].



AXI Takes Off

American Express has scheduled a news briefing this morning at its world headquarters to review the success of its online corporate travel reservation system, ‘AXI’. The interactive channel features a quick implementation time and the ability to customize the system to an individual company’s network and culture. The number of companies using ‘AXI’ has grown from ten to 100 in only six months. And the number continues to grow, with up to 300 companies expected to be on board by the end of 1998. By creating a whole suite of travel management tools, including automated expense reporting and electronic ticketing that work seamlessly with ‘AXI’, American Express expects that 30% of its corporate travel business will be conducted over AXI(SM) by year 2000.