Integrated Debit, Credit & Mondex

International Verifact Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada announced today that they will install Canada’s first complete electronic payment solution for debit, credit and Mondex smart cards in Guelph, Ontario.

Guelph was the first city in North America to be chosen for a community-wide launch of the Mondex system. The launch has been under way since February 1997, and nearly 600 merchant outlets are participating.

The payment solution to be installed in Guelph is an innovative approach to handling Mondex and traditional card payments while preserving the hardware and software base that Royal Bank merchants have invested in. A new IVI PIN (personal identification number) Pad will be attached to Royal Bank terminals to accept the Mondex smart card as well as to allow PIN entry for debit transactions.

“Consumers will either insert their Mondex card into the hand-held `PIN Pad’ to complete a smart card transaction or enter their PIN to complete a debit transaction,” said Frank Moore, Vice President, Merchant and Point of Sale Service, Royal Bank. “We believe this will increase user acceptance of the new solution because consumers do not have to adapt to an unfamiliar process.”

IVI is using a newly-developed PIN Pad that interfaces with Royal Bank’s existing hardware. The PIN Pad was developed jointly by IVI and their strategic partner, Ingenico S.A. of Paris, France.

“When you bundle the unique designs and small card capabilities of Ingenico with IVI’s PIN security and Canadian point-of-sale software expertise, as well as with Royal Bank’s support and knowledge of Mondex payment technology, you come up with a winning combination for advanced card technologies and traditional POS solutions,” said L. Barry Thomson, IVI’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Royal Bank is a member of Royal Bank Financial Group, one of North America’s largest financial institutions and Canada’s leading provider of traditional banking services, investment banking, investment management, and securities custody.

IVI is engaged in the design, development and sale of electronic payment solutions for retailers, financial institutions, governments and other businesses. IVI’s hardware and software products include point-of-sale debit/credit/EFT/EBT terminals, check readers, smart card readers, POS printers, and secure PIN entry devices. Additional company information is available on the IVI website at [][1]



New NBS School Card

NBS Technologies Inc. (TSE:NBS., OTC Bulletin Board:NBSTF.) NBS Technologies Inc. through its Solutions Group has brought the University of Manchester, England, into the future with the introduction of an advanced identity card program. Approximately 12,000 returning students, previously issued with cards, indicated their arrival on campus with a swipe of a card during this year’s registration.

The new identity system has assisted in improving registration procedures for more than 20,000 students and 6,000 staff. This system has also been used by the Students’ Union for recording the issue of items to students, as well as verifying and recording the students’ voting eligibility in Student Union elections.

The identity card project was initiated by a small team under the chairmanship of a Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University when searching for alternatives to the old laminated paper-based library card. The paper-based cards required replacing every year, and did not provide for electronic registration.

In view of the significance of the contract, the University of Manchester, in conjunction with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), ultimately selected a proposal from NBS Technologies from the companies competing in the open tendering process. Working as a team with the Stationery Office (formerly HMSO), NBS has previously provided systems for higher education establishments such as Kingston University, and the security conscious armed services and Palace of Westminister.

“NBS is developing solutions to specifically meet the needs of the education sector,” commented Peter Mann, Director of NBS Solutions in Europe. “Our success at Manchester is very important for many reasons, not the least of which is the reinforcement of the reputation of NBS as a leader of solutions for this market.”

Sian Nash, Director of Finance at the University has been given the responsibility for managing the implementation of the identity card system. The cards were introduced with the support and cooperation of the Students’ Union.

The PVC card design includes information which is computer generated and electronically printed, showing a photo image of the card holder and incorporating a bar code for library purposes as well as the standard magnetic stripe. Feedback from the student body has been positive, with card life expectancy to be the duration of the undergraduate degree program, or approximately three years. At the expiration of the three year period, procedures are in place to cancel cards of graduated students and those that have otherwise left the University’s curriculum.

The magnetic stripe gives the NBS card system the potential to interface with a wide variety of other applications such as photocopy accounts, cashless vending and access control as part of the University’s growth migration path.

Given tight budgets and rising administrative costs, NBS is working in partnership with educational institutions to improve registration, payment and security processes to reduce costs and improve services and security. NBS Solutions is uniquely positioned to offer a variety of flexible approaches, including smart cards, to meet the educational market’s needs.

NBS Solutions is a part of NBS Technologies Inc., a multinational information technology company that designs, manufactures and markets an integrated line of point of sale transaction automation systems, personalization equipment, secure identification and access control systems, plastic cards and related products and services. Customers cover a wide range of market segments including financial institutions, hospitals, universities, government agencies, retailers, oil companies, and marketing organizations. NBS is a Toronto based public company with operations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The company’s shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “NBS”.


PaylinX for Site Server

PaylinX Corporation today announced availability of “PaylinX for Site Server,” a product that makes the PaylinX portfolio of enterprise payment servers readily available to Microsoft(R) Site Server, Enterprise Edition customers. PaylinX, a leader in payment server technology, fully embraces Microsoft’s Internet commerce strategy and is tightly integrated with Microsoft Site Server, a member of the Microsoft BackOffice(TM) family, allowing merchants to exploit future industry developments while protecting them from technological obsolescence.

The PaylinX payment server introduces a radically new approach for handling purchases from customers through the creation of a flexible, enterprise-wide resource servicing a diverse group of payment types, including VISA, MasterCard or American Express, corporate purchasing cards, and prepaid buying instruments. According to Bob Lozano, PaylinX president, “This approach is unique in its ability to simultaneously support real time transaction processing over the Internet along with handling call center agents, interactive voice response platforms and legacy billing/order-entry systems.”

Gordon Orr, retail systems product manager at Microsoft, said “PaylinX is very appealing to merchants since they are able to take a single, unified approach to processing payments from all their customers. Organizations will appreciate the way PaylinX simplifies operations and lowers costs. With PaylinX, Microsoft customers are able to use next-generation payment technology today.”

“PaylinX for Site Server” brings the benefits of PaylinX to merchants utilizing Microsoft Site Server. Easy to install, configure and operate, “PaylinX for Site Server” delivers the best in payment technology and enables a Site Server merchant to begin accepting payments the very first day of operation…straight out of the box.

PaylinX insulates merchants from changes in payment technology by continually incorporating the latest industry standards into the product’s framework. This ensures a logical migration path for PaylinX customers when new standards are adopted, optimally positioning them to exploit new opportunities. For example, a merchant committed to serving buyers via real- time Internet payment options can confidently launch his or her site today with PaylinX and industry-standard SSL encryption technology. Later, as SET becomes widely adopted, the merchant can smoothly segue with PaylinX SET support, minimizing disruption to systems or operations.

“PaylinX fully supports the Microsoft Internet Commerce strategy,” President Lozano added. “Teaming PaylinX with Microsoft Site Server and the Open Payment Architecture enables the merchant to take credit card payments immediately while laying the foundation for the migration to SET 1.0, 2.0, and other future developments.”

PaylinX levels the playing field for the merchant. By leveraging Payment Pipes(TM) technology, PaylinX secures flexibility in selecting credit card banking relationships…giving back much needed control and choices to those driving the business.

“Merchants are facing significant uncertainty,” Microsoft’s Orr pointed out. “The prospect of constant change in the technological and business landscapes further complicates the mix of sorting through tactical positioning issues. Microsoft is establishing a commerce strategy and delivering products to help merchants deal with that change. PaylinX has taken a similar approach in payment technology. Together, these platforms are a winning combination for merchants interested in the long-run.”

Lozano concluded, “Microsoft clearly understands that merchants want choices. The integration of PaylinX solutions with the Microsoft Site Server and BackOffice product family is a clear acknowledgment that payment servers are an excellent way to accept payments from customers and that PaylinX is the leader in payment servers.”

For more information on PaylinX for Site Server, please see [][1] For more information on payment servers, see the white paper at [][2] PaylinX for Site Server and the PaylinX V2.4 payment server are generally available and currently shipping.

PaylinX Corporation is an innovator in the field of electronic commerce and the leader in enterprise payment servers. PaylinX software is available from PaylinX Value Added Resellers, PaylinX OEM Partners or directly from the company. PaylinX Corporation is a privately held venture headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri USA and can be reached at 314.692.0929 or [][3]

PaylinX, Personal PaylinX, PaylinX Workgroup, PaylinX for Site Server, and “Electronic Commerce. Today.” are trademarks of the PaylinX Corporation. Microsoft, Microsoft Site Server, and BackOffice are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.



IBM Targets Small E-Business

IBM rolled out a range of internet commerce products and services targeted at small business yesterday. The announcement includes a new version of the IBM ‘Net.Commerce’ merchant server, designed to enable SET commerce transactions on any merchant server. The new version of ‘Net.Commerce’ will start at under $5,000 for small businesses. IBM also unveiled the ‘CommercePOINT Payments’ family, the industry’s first suite of end-to-end solutions using the SET 1.0 specification. The family includes IBM ‘CommercePOINT Wallet’ for storing, organizing and controlling electronic payment forms such as credit and debit cards; IBM ‘CommercePOINT eTill,’ an electronic cash register; IBM ‘CommercePOINT Gateway’ to enable acquiring institutions to process SET credit card transactions by linking those institutions with the Internet; and’ IBM Registry’ for SET, which provides the technology to issue and manage the encrypted digital certificates that underlie all SET transactions.


RSA Encryption for VISA Cash Pilot

RSA Data Security, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDTI), announced today that Visa International plans to conduct a market trial of RSA public-key encrypted smart cards in the United Kingdom and Japan. Visa International and its Member financial institutions plan to launch a new merchant card which uses a Philips Semiconductors P83C858 cryptocontroller chip. The cards are used by merchants to access terminals which accept Visa Cash stored value cards.

The Philips cryptocontroller, utilizing RSA public-key cryptography, will be embedded in credit-card sized devices that are designed to securely authenticate a merchant’s confidential financial information — including bank balances, digital IDs and other information. In addition, the card will be used to configure, validate and protect reader terminals that can accept and authenticate Visa cash cards.

RSA’s public-key cryptography enables mutually authenticated, high- security payment transactions to be processed off-line. The trial is expected to involve more than 15,000 cards in the United Kingdom and several hundred cards in Japan.

“We congratulate Visa International and Philips Semiconductors on the deployment of this widespread financial trial of secure smart card technology,” said Jim Bidzos, president of RSA. “We’re pleased that RSA encryption is playing a key role in enabling applications that require privacy for protecting sensitive financial and personal data.

“For applications of smart cards that involve one’s own money, there’s no such thing as too much security. Philips’ high-quality arithmetic cryptocoprocessor that supports RSA, the world’s brand name in cryptography, provides performance that makes using the card fast and easy.”

“We wanted exceptional security and functionality, plus high performance and memory sizes,” said Irv Wentzien, senior vice president, Visa International. “We are confident that the trials using this advanced chip and technology will help us conduct secure cash transfers.”

“Philips Semiconductors is excited that its smart card cryptocontrollers, which have been embraced by pay-TV conditional access systems, are becoming mainstream in financial applications,” said William Weiss, smart card IC marketing manager at Philips. “We are confident the security and convenience of Visa’s financial transaction system, based on RSA public-key cryptography and Philips’ cryptocontroller, will chart the way forward for public-key cryptographic financial smart cards.”

RSA Data Security, Inc.

RSA Data Security, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc., is the world’s brand name for cryptography, with more than 80 million copies of RSA encryption and authentication technologies installed and in use worldwide. RSA technologies are part of existing and proposed standards for the Internet and World Wide Web, CCITT, ISO, ANSI, IEEE, and business, financial and electronic commerce networks around the globe. The company develops and markets platform-independent developer’s kits and end- user products and provides comprehensive cryptographic consulting services.

Founded in 1982 by the inventors of the RSA Public Key Cryptosystem, the company is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. All product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


Digital’s virtualStore Program

Digital Equipment Corporation announced today it will team with Wells Fargo & Company , in collaboration with Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) and VeriFone, Inc., to offer customers the virtualStore Program. This complete Internet-based electronic commerce solution meets the growing demands of companies interested in pursuing retail business, sales, and marketing on the Internet. The announcement was made at the Internet Commerce Exposition here.

According to a recent study by Forrester Research Inc., the value of retail electronic commerce could skyrocket from $0.5 billion this year to $7 billion by the year 2000. virtualStore makes it simpler for retailers to understand and implement secure Internet commerce solutions that will expand their markets and reduce costs.

“Large companies and mid-sized businesses can now purchase a total solution for their Internet commerce requirements,” said Ted McKie, director of business development for Digital’s Internet Practice.

“The teaming of Digital, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, and VeriFone delivers the affordability and expertise companies need to take advantage of this exciting new trend in business.”

Total Solutions

Digital Worldwide Services will provide the hardware, software, and services to establish a secure and effective retail store on the Internet. Each package will include a Pentium Pro-based Prioris server running a Microsoft Site Server Enterprise Edition Storefront, as well as services to help organizations simplify the design and implementation of the Internet solutions. Wells Fargo will supply Internet credit card clearing services utilizing its Wells Fargo branded VeriFone vPOS merchant software. virtualStore packages are priced at three levels: entry-level, mid-range and high-demand.

“Wells Fargo was first in the industry to offer secure credit card processing over the Internet,” said Michelle Banaugh, vice president of marketing for Wells Fargo’s Electronic Payment Solutions. “The virtualStore Program enhances Wells Fargo’s ability to offer merchants flexible and powerful solutions for their Internet Commerce initiatives.”

A Booming Market

Web commerce transactions will quadruple this year, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). With nearly 90 percent of large companies conducting business on the Internet and 68 million Web users, electronic commerce is a booming retail channel.

“Many companies realize that electronic commerce solutions will help them save exorbitant costs usually associated with opening and maintaining a physical retail store, or printing, mailing, and providing customer service for catalogs,” said McKie. “The virtualStore will enable them to expand their markets, reduce costs, improve customer support, and gain a competitive edge in the market,” he added.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & company has been serving the financial needs of small businesses since 1852, when Wells Fargo agents operated banking and express offices during the California Gold Rush. Today, Wells Fargo & Company is the ninth largest bank holding company in the country, with $101.9 billion in assets. The Wells Fargo homepage is located at [][1]

Digital Equipment Corporation, recognized for product and service excellence, is a leading supplier of high-performance, Web-based computing solutions which help enterprises compete in the global marketplace. Digital gives its customers a winning Internet advantage through a comprehensive portfolio of Internet solutions based on award-winning systems, advanced networking infrastructure, innovative software, and industry applications including those from its business partners. The expertise and experience of Digital employees help customers plan, design, implement, manage and support Internet solutions in countries throughout the world. For the latest company information, visit Digital on the World Wide Web at



Citi I-Card Bonds Rated

Citibank Credit Card Master Trust I’s (CCIMT I) $750 million floating-rate class A credit card participation certificates, series 1997-8, are expected to be rated ‘AAA’ by Fitch. The corresponding $48 million class B certificates will be privately placed. In addition, Fitch expects to affirm all CCIMT I ratings, indicating the issuance of series 1997-8 will not result in a reduction or withdrawal of current ratings assigned to outstanding trust certificates.

The expected rating reflects the quality of the receivables generated from Visa and MasterCard credit card accounts, the available credit enhancement, the servicing expertise of Citibank (South Dakota) and transaction’s sound legal and financial structures.

Class A’s enhancement, equal to 11% of the total initial invested amount, is derived from a 5% shared cash collateral account (CCA) and the subordination of the 6% class B certificates. The shared CCA will first support class A then class B, covering losses not paid by excess finance charge collections.

Credit enhancement levels were determined by stressing portfolio steady state yield and payment rate assumptions to determine the level of defaults the enhancement could sustain. Class A is able to support a 35% decrease in yield, payment rates dropping in half and defaults increasing 5 times and still make full and timely payments to investors.

Class A investors will receive quarterly interest payments of three-month LIBOR plus 0.03% throughout the revolving and accumulation periods and on the scheduled final payment date. If an early payout occurs, class A investors will receive monthly interest payments. Following the variable accumulation period, principal is expected to be paid in September 2000.

Series 1997-8’s terms contain an accelerated payout feature to protect investors from deteriorating collateral or a servicer default. If certain triggers are breached, the amounts available in the 5% shared CCA will be drawn upon and immediately distributed to class A investors.


Australian Smart Phonecards

American Banknote Corporation announced today that Leigh-Mardon, the Company’s Australian-based subsidiary, was awarded a smartcard contract by Telstra, Australia’s national telephone company. The contract, expected to be worth a minimum of a$18 million over three years, will be there first countrywide application of smartcard technology in Australia and is aimed at upgrading Australia’s public payphone network integrating a general purpose electronic purse system for financial transactions. Leigh-Mardon is gearing up its equipment for large-scale production with an initial capacity of 20 million smartcards annually. Telstra is expected to require at least 10 million smartcards per year.

Morris Weissman, American Banknote’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “This contract demonstrates our advantage being the major local producer of smartcards in Australia. Telstra and Coca-Cola plan a joint marketing effort to allow consumers to buy Coke from vending machines with the Telstra smartcard. Both Telstra’s and Coke’s strong presence in the Pacific Rim should prove to be advantageous in extending American Banknote’s business in the important geographic area. We expect that other companies in a broad range of industry sectors will follow Coca-Cola’s lead thereby increasing the applications for the Telstra smartcard as a payment medium.”

Through this contract, Leigh-Mardon will be able to offer an integrated range of smartcard related products and services to clients including the manufacture, personalization, secure storage and distribution of cards as well as the supply and related service of terminals and manufacturing equipment.

Weissman concluded, “We are continuously expanding the capabilities of our Transaction Cards & Systems Group so that we can be a total solutions provider for our customers.”

American Banknote Corporation is a leading global provider of secure transaction documents and systems in carefully selected markets along three major product groups: Transaction Cards & Systems, Printing Services & Document Management, and Security Printing Solutions. A combined strategy of operating along product lines and constant expansion of transaction activities worldwide reflects the rapidly changing field of electronic commerce. Additionally, American Banknote, via its Holographics subsidiary, is the world leader in security for financial transaction cards, including VISA, MasterCard, Discover, Diners Club International, and Europay.


Summer Card Losses Up

Card bond chargeoffs shifted direction in August rising to 6.91% according to the Fitch Credit Card Performance Index. Fitch anticipated higher chargeoffs for the July collection period, due to an accounting change at First USA and the continued record pace of bankruptcy filings.. Bankruptcies continue to represent a significant portion of chargeoffs and signs indicate no immediate relief. Second quarter 1997 filing represent a 10% increase over first quarter 1997 and 30% over second quarter 1996.. Bankruptcies are expected to top 1.3 million this year. For issuers reporting higher chargeoffs, the weighted average increase was 17%, while the weighted average decrease of issuers who reported improved results were 7%.


Federated’s Family of Cards

Federated Department Stores announced Monday a new national customer rewards program called ‘Family of Cards’. The announcement follows three years of prototype development. Family of Cards is a multi-tiered program offering complimentary gift wrap, basic alterations, free shipping coupons, private discount shopping nights and a quarterly newsletter. Federated will also launch a co-branded credit card, which offers three percent rewards on purchases from Federated stores and one percent on VISA purchases elsewhere, both redeemable in merchandise gift certificates.


NetGrocer Certified by Excite

NetGrocer Inc., the first nationwide interactive grocery store on the World Wide Web (, today announced it has qualified for Excite’s Certified Merchant Program and will participate in the newly launched, comprehensive electronic commerce initiative and the Excite Shopping Channel. NetGrocer is one of the first companies and the only online grocery shopping service to qualify for Excite’s Certified Merchant Program at launch. The program offers shoppers access to a group of online vendors recognized for implementing the highest levels of security, reliability and customer service. Transactions with Certified Merchants are backed by an Excite guarantee against credit card fraud.

The Excite Shopping Channel offers a safe and convenient online shopping location for purchasing and obtaining information on goods and services. It features the most complete Certified Merchant Program on the Web requiring vendors such as NetGrocer to provide secure transaction technology, while adhering to strict customer service standards in email verification, order processing, customer support and stock inquiry response. The service also provides an Internet first — the Excite Safe Shopping Guarantee — through which a user is reimbursed for any credit card fraud liability not covered by the issuing company (within the card’s legal limits) should fraudulent use occur from a transaction with an Excite Certified Merchant.

“The greatest issue facing the future of e-commerce is security and how it relates to consumer confidence,” said Daniel Nissan, NetGrocer president and CEO. “Since NetGrocer’s inception we have felt it essential that our superior pricing and convenience be matched by attention to security and trust. Excite has recognized our commitment to security, qualifying us to be part of a pioneering effort which delivers the absolute assurance consumers need in order for online shopping to live up to its full potential.”

“The Excite Certified Merchant Program recognizes merchant sites offering the highest levels of security, reliability and customer service online, and we are pleased to recognize NetGrocer as an Excite Certified Merchant,” said David Williams, Excite senior producer of Electronic Commerce.

NetGrocer enables shoppers throughout the United States to purchase non- perishable groceries online at or below retail supermarket prices and have them delivered to homes and offices within 2 – 4 days using FedEx(R) delivery services. Competitively priced brand name products are offered, along with an assortment of value brand items often 30 to 60 percent lower than national brands. NetGrocer offers an extremely affordable shipping rate, starting at $2.99 for the first 10 pounds and 99 cents for each additional 10 pounds. It is the first online grocery shopping service to cover cities, towns and rural areas nationwide and charges no membership fees.

NetGrocer, Inc.

Founded in 1995, NetGrocer is the first nationwide provider of low-cost interactive grocery shopping services, shipping low-priced groceries and other dry goods directly to homes and offices using affordable direct shipping. The company is privately held and maintains corporate offices in New York, N.Y. For more information, visit NetGrocer’s Web site at or call 212-980-4770.


Wachovia Promotes Card Head

Beverly Wells was named head of Wachovia Corp.’s Consumer Credit Division Monday. Charles Hegarty will succeed her as head of Wachovia Bank Card Services. Ms. Wells will assume overall responsibility for Wachovia’s credit card, sales finance, mortgage banking and emerging businesses groups. At mid-year Wachovia held $5,369,354,698 in receivables with a total of 3,987,340 gross accounts, according to CardData.