MasterCard is teaming up with a consumer advocacy group to educate 40 million U.S. consumers about debit cards and is launching a $100,000 sweepstakes to raise awareness of âMasterMoneyâ. In partnership with Call For Action, MasterCard will distribute a free ‘Smart Way to Pay’ educational brochure which also includes a ‘Wallet Watcher’ form to make reporting lost cards easier. MasterCard will also sponsor a daily promotion on âLive with Regis & Kathie Leeâ, starting Oct.1, which offers viewers the opportunity to win a âMasterMoneyâ card with an account credit of $5,000 or more by correctly identifying a musical selection. MasterCard says the number of âMasterMoneyâ debit cards is growing 79% annually, hitting 16.5 million at the end of the 2nd quarter.Details
Declaring cash and checks an endangered species, VISA International outlined its program to advance smart card deployment worldwide. The roundtable discussion, representing all of VISAâs global regions, was held in New York yesterday and featured a number of announcements including the projection that more than 300 million VISA smart cards will be in use, in five years. The most significant news was the announcement of a new Russian offline chip card called âVISA Roskartâ, to be launched later this year in St. Petersburg, Russia by Inkombank. VISA estimates the âRoskartâ technology has a worldwide user potential of 3.2 billion people, spread among 50 nations with weak banking infrastructures. Also VISA Canada confirmed it will issue 10,000 VISA Cash cards in Barrie this month and VISAâs Latin America region said it launched a co-branded program with McDonaldâs in Argentina last month. VISA says the Manhattan interoperable chip card pilot with MasterCard, Chase and Citibank is on course for an October launch.Details
Competitive Technologies, Inc. (Amex: CTT) today announced that it has entered into an alliance with NTRU Crypto Systems, Inc., ‘NTRU’, of Providence, RI. CTT will assist in commercializing NTRU’s fast and efficient new Public Key CryptoSystem (PKCS). PKCS offers high security at high speeds with low memory and processing requirements making it very suitable for new growth applications such as secured internet, smart cards, secured digital satellite and mobile communications, and electronic commerce and e-cash systems.
At the center of the PKCS is a new approach based on manipulating very small integers, allowing it to achieve high speeds with the use of minimal computing power. This makes NTRU the first commercially viable PKCS not based on factorization of discrete logarithm problems, requiring the use of extremely large integers.
Dr. Jill Pipher, Partner and Co-founder of NTRU said, “Compared to the current industry leaders, the NTRU PKCS features comparable security at over 100 times the speed. Given this and the attribute of using short, easily generated keys for low memory and processing power requirements means that our PKCS technique is applicable to a wide variety of markets and applications, including those where public key data encryption was previously impractical.”
The NTRU PKCS was developed jointly by Professors Jeffrey Hoffstein, Jill Pipher and Joseph Silverman of Brown University, who formed NTRU in early 1996. In March 1997, NTRU formed a strategic partnership with CTT to support the global patent filing and commercialization of this invention… CTT is the exclusive licensing agent for NTRU and has, in a short amount of time, been highly successful in gaining the interest and attention of major electronics, telecommunications corporations and internet and smartcard service providers.
Dr. Peter D. Holden, Senior Vice President of CTT and Project Manager for the NTRU PKCS project commented, “Though our commercialization efforts have just begun, we are extremely pleased by the response we have received so far from major industry players. The NTRU Public Key CryptoSystem, with its low processing requirements and flexible security possibilities, occupies a unique position in the emerging cryptographic market. We expect that NTRU will play an important role in providing secure electronic communications for the global marketplace of today and tomorrow.”
Competitive Technologies, Inc. — based in Fairfield, CT, with offices in Bethlehem, PA; Cleveland, OH; Osaka, Japan and London, England — is in the technology transfer business concentrating primarily on the commercialization and licensing of high-tech company and university research. CTT has evaluated over 25,000 technologies, been responsible for closing several hundred license agreements, and helped launch 15 new companies. Important CTT clients include: IBM, Bell Atlantic, Lucent Technologies, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Corning Glass, and British Broadcasting Corp. CTT also has been awarded a number of collaborative R&D contracts involving partnerships between university, industry and federal/state governments. [WWW.CTI.Lehigh.edu]
Credit grantors can now more creatively track and analyze performance data and quickly build customized reports with FastTrack Data Analysis and Reporting software, a new PC-based program from Fair, Isaac. FastTrack runs in Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 95.
“FastTrack was designed to give credit grantors a fast, powerful, and flexible approach to analysis and reporting of performance on portfolios, strategies, and scorecards,” said Bill Barnes, senior product manager for Fair, Isaac. “FastTrack offers easy data access, customization, and querying capabilities.”
FastTrackâs single-screen interface and point-and-click ease give credit grantors immediate in-depth tracking and analysis of masterfile data at both consumer and summary level. It can also track and analyze imported data, such as application data. Analysis and reports from account acquisition through account management can be developed at the userâs desktop using intuitive wizards. In addition to tracking portfolios, strategies and scorecards, the system can be used to measure account profitability, project results of future actions, uncover marketing opportunities, and identify trends in portfolios. A built-in charting facility that allows users to create presentation quality graphs is also provided.
Since 1956, Fair, Isaac has helped businesses maximize the value of data for strategic decision making. The company pioneered the use of credit scoring in consumer and commercial lending. Today, Fair, Isaac provides data-driven decision making solutions such as cusotmer and operational data management and modeling, data warehousing and information analysis, strategy design, and software to businesses in financial services, direct marketing, personal lines insurance, retail health care and telecommunications. Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Fair, Isaac employees more than 1,200 people in 16 offices worldwide. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 1996, the company reported revenues of $148.7 million, a 31 percent increase over the prior fiscal year.Details
Less than one week after settling a class action complaint out-of-court over the premature termination of promotional interest rates, First USA could face a similar action originating from Oregon. In a press conference yesterday a Portland, OR woman announced she is suing First USA after she watched her card interest rate jump from the promotional rate of 5.9% to the punitive rate of 21.99% within one year. The suit, filed by Pozzi Wilson Atchison, seeks class action status.Details
A Pittsburgh-area phone card firm is facing a lawsuit by the Pennsylvania Attorney General for deceptively tricking consumers into applying for its card. The suit, seeking up to $200 million in penalties, alleges HSS Telecommunications set up booths at public events nationwide offering applications for a $96,500 contest but instead used the contest entries to bill consumers for its calling card program. The suit also notes the contest prize was never awarded.Details
Alamo Rent A Car has teamed up with American Express to offer something extra at a great price for American Express(R) Cardmembers. From now until December 15, 1997, American Express Cardmembers can rent a Luxury car or a Sport Utility Vehicle, for just $49 a day. All they have to do is rent for two or more days and pay with their American Express Card. As an added Travel Smart(SM) Extra, Alamo is including a free tank of gas and unlimited free miles with this offer. Alamo is also waiving its $50 Quicksilver(SM) enrollment fee for American Express Cardmembers, allowing renters to complete their car rental transaction at the kiosk in less than 60 seconds. To join, just call 800-992-9824 and mention ID# 526986.
“Alamo is pleased and excited to join together with American Express to make this special offer available to those American Express Cardmembers who appreciate a higher level of comfort and service,” said Karen Beard, Alamo’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Premium cars are also available for $46 a day and full size cars for $43 a day, including a free tank of gas. All reservations are based on availability. Offer valid in the contiguous U.S. Lower rates are available in Florida. Holiday blackouts may apply.
For more information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, American Express Travel at 800-AXP-0644, or Alamo Rent A Car at 800-992-9824. Be sure to mention ID# 526986 and rate code 3X.
Alamo currently serves more than 15 million travelers a year through 240 locations in the United States and Canada, and more than 190 international locations in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Malta, and Mexico.Details
The first government multi-application smart card pilot with worldwide financial capabilities was launched Wednesday involving American Express Government Services and the U.S. Marine Corps. The pilot marks one of American Expressâ first implementations of Banksysâ electronic purse technology, ‘Proton’. Besides the e-purse application, Marines can use ‘The Marine Corps Smart Technologies Card’ for a variety of functions. To effectively track the issuance and retrieval of weapons, the Marines are using the smart card to enhance the process of checking weapons in and out of the armory. A food service application, also stored on the smart card chip, lets food service providers automatically identify a Marineâs meal plan and whether payment is due. In addition, the smart cards improve the manifesting process, identifying and tracking Marines as they board designated transports, such as buses, ships or helicopters. A travel application permits military forms and tickets to be electronically transferred between the smart card and various Marine databases. The Marine Corps Smart Technologies Pilot will run through September 1998 and is taking place at Marine Corps Air Station New River and Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. Card issuance began this week at New River where approximately 1,000 Marines received GovernmentFunds or Government Cards from American Express.Details
The Smart Card Industry Association (SCIA) announces the addition of 16 new members since CardTech/SecurTech East in May, further demonstrating consistent growth and interest of smart card technology in the marketplace.
The following companies have joined SCIA as Principal members: American Banknote, a producer of security documents and secured products; Diebold, an ATM manufacturer and integrator; Digicard, a plastic card manufacturer and integrator; IC-One, a card integrator; NBS Card Services Inc., a card manufacturer; ORGA, a smart card integrator and manufacturer; Sandia Imaging Systems, a manufacturer of smart card hardware and software; Giesecke & Devrient, a card manufacturer; ActionTec Electronics, a manufacturer of PC cards and readers; and MagTek Inc., a manufacturer of card readers and encoders.
SCIA’s new Associate members include: Citicorp Development Center, a global financial services organization; Quadagno & Associates Inc., a card-based technology consulting firm; and Villanova University, an institute of higher education currently utilizing smart card technology.
New Contributing members are: Clean Team Company, a developer and manufacturer of cleaning cards for smart card readers; Identix, a producer of biometric personal identity verification systems; and Random Specialties, a manufacturer of plastic promotional products.
SCIA is a global trade association active in the smart card industry which strives to stimulate the adoption, use, understanding and innovation of smart card technology in the marketplace. SCIA is also a co-founder and sponsor of CardTech/SecurTech, the leading advanced card and security technology conference.
For more information, contact SCIA at 191 Clarksville Road, Lawrenceville, N.J. 08648; tel: (800) 848-7242 or (609) 799-5654; fax: (609) 799-7032; or access SCIA’s web site at [http://www.scia.org.]
The Vision Factory Inc. today announced the availability of Cybercash’s (NASDAQ:CYCH) Internet Payment Service with its popular Internet storefront builder, Cat@log 2.0.
Catalog 2.0 greatly simplifies the creation, operation and management of sophisticated online catalogs. With the integration of real-time payment processing, The Vision Factory is able to offer merchants an efficient and highly secure process for online purchases.
Support for CyberCash’s merchant software, called the CyberCash CashRegister, is implemented through the use of wizards, allowing site developers to incorporate this advanced back-end payment processing system into Internet storefronts quickly and easily.
“Cat@log’s integration with CyberCash completes the picture for online merchants. It’s important that Websites are able to both accommodate thousands of different products, from a growing number of distribution points, and be able to process orders online so their customers get the security and fast turnaround they expect,” said Jeff Irby, vice president of sales and marketing at CyberCash. “Together, CyberCash and The Vision Factory hope to expand the market for online purchases by making it easier and less costly both to develop and to access an electronic catalog.”
“The Vision Factory is pleased to be working with CyberCash to provide our growing number of merchants a straightforward and commonly accepted payment processing solution,” said David Jones, president of The Vision Factory.
“As Cat@log becomes more widely adopted as the e-commerce development tool of choice among merchants and Web storefront builders, the demand for secure, instant back-end payment is mounting. While many merchants still process orders using traditional methods, others are realizing the value of instant online shopping and ordering. Consumers are beginning to see that using their credit card over the Internet presents no greater risk than other forms of credit card transactions.”
Cat@log 2.0 with support for CyberCash began shipping this week. Cat@log is a powerful, open and productive software package for building, operating and maintaining sophisticated business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce sites.
New features in Cat@log 2.0 include productivity enhancements to reduce development time, such as expanded support of wizards, remote site update, and increased native database support. User-specific access privileges, customization and personalization capabilities, and advanced statistics capture are included to provide more effective online marketing and selling.
The complete Cat@log Suite, which includes Builder, Manager, Commerce, and Statistics modules, is available now for a special introductory offer of $4995 through October 31, 1997 (suggested retail price is $6600).
CyberCash, Inc., of Reston, Virginia, founded in August 1994, is a technology-driven company that provides software and services to enable secure financial transactions on the Internet. The Company offers a complete suite of Internet payment solutions, including a credit card service, which handles payments using major credit cards; the Company’s innovative micropayment service, which enables cash transactions; and the secure electronic check service which allows consumer-to-business and business-to-business funds transfer via checking accounts.
CyberCash works with virtually all transaction processing institutions, and allows banks to offer secure Internet payment systems to their customers.
The Vision Factory is a privately-held company established in 1995 to serve the emerging online professional catalog marketplace. The company develops and markets intelligent software tools to serve the needs of professionals designing and operating high-volume Internet-based commerce sites.
Cat@log, the company’s flagship product, sets the standard for creating and maintaining live and appealing catalogs, supporting thousands of items and dynamically updating pages to reflect relevant database changes.
The Vision Factory Inc. can be reached at 269 Mt. Hermon Drive, Suite 105, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, 888/488-3228 (toll-free), or 408/461-2100 and by fax at 408/461-9255. The Company’s Web site address is [http://www.thevisionfactory.com.]