E-commerce via mobile phones took a closer step to reality this morning as VISA International and Nokia announced a cooperation agreement to introduce payment solutions for mobile electronic commerce. Under the agreement, Nokia and VISA will introduce a standardized means of making secure payments using a mobile phone, meeting different market requirements for security, risk management and dispute resolution. As well as conducting joint marketing and business development activities, Nokia and VISA will collaborate to simplify the payment process by developing a mobile e-wallet. Nokia will also provide server applications based on WAP which will transmit payment data securely over wireless networks to financial institutions. A pilot of the technology will take place later this year with MeritaNordbanken in Sweden and Finland. Nokia is developing and testing various implementations of secure card payments in the mobile environment, including a pilot of VISA card payments via the dual-chip GSM mobile phone.
Bank of America confirmed this morning it was the winning bidder in the online auction for the domain name: [www.Loans.com]. BofA paid $3 million for the rights to the World Wide Web address on Jan 28. The domain name was owned by Marcello Siero. The promotion and sale of the name were handled by GreatDomains.com of Universal City, CA. BofA says it will use the domain name to market loans and lending services to millions of new customers over the Internet. The bank currently has $370 billion in outstanding loans and more than two million online customers.
U.S. Wireless Data, Inc., the leader in applying wireless technology to the payments industry, announced Monday that Jack Perveiler has accepted the post of Vice President/National Sales Manager for the company. In his new role, Jack will be responsible for leading the USWD sales team with the objective of signing and developing new processors, acquiring banks and Independent Sales Organizations as sales channels for Wireless Express Payment Service.
Jack comes to USWD with a background of 10 years of success in selling and sales management to the merchant acquiring industry. From his previous post as Director of Western Region Sales for Hypercom Corporation, Jack brings a wealth of experience in the payments industry as well as a strong understanding of wireless point-of-sale technology.
“I can’t think of a more perfect match for our sales team or a more perfect time for Jack to come on board,” commented Dean M. Leavitt, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Wireless Data. “This is an exciting time for USWD, and Jack brings a set of skills and a level of energy and experience that will further accelerate the momentum for WEPS in the industry.”
USWD’s WEPS provides processors, acquiring banks and ISOs with a simple, reliable and cost effective way to bring a wireless POS program to their merchants. The WEPS backbone network and switch facility reliably manages the transport of payment transactions between wireless terminals and payments processors. A suite of Web based tools streamline the tasks of activation, deactivation and problem diagnosis for help desk staff. WEPS Online Transaction Reporting provides merchants with a Web login with the ability to view and download transactions for all of their WEPS-based terminals in real time.
About U.S. Wireless Data, Inc.
U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. () is the leader in applying wireless technology to the payments industry. Through the use of it’s proprietary technology, software, carrier relationships, and front-end authorization and capture capability, USWD enables merchant acquirers to provide their customers with the fastest and most cost-effective transaction processing solutions in the industry today.
David C. Skinner, Jr., President and CEO of Winners Internet Network, Inc., [www.winr.net], announced that the company has completed negotiations to acquire the entire e-commerce “-Plus” Network from CyberLink Monetary Systems, Est., a Liechtenstein company.
WINR has been working with the CyberLink Group over the past year and will continue to receive their full support in the processing, handling and administration of these sites. According to the President and CEO of WINR, David C. Skinner, Jr., “The acquisition is dynamic for e-commerce since WINR now has full and unrestricted ownership of all domains including the exclusive processing for all sites expected to be added very quickly. CyberLink has been registering sites under the name www.:____-plus.com including domains such as cyberbank-plus, commodities-plus, mortgages-plus, loans-plus, mutual funds-plus, eshop-plus and over 30 other registered sites.”
“This contract virtually allows WINR and its affiliate SupraNet AG, the largest Internet Provider in Liechtenstein that WINR holds a significant ownership as announced last week, to have complete hands on with the marketing, processing and administration of the “-Plus” Network,” Skinner continued.
According to Ronald Oehri, the CEO and President of SupraNet AG and a Liechtenstein native, “We already have contracts in active negotiation and sites will be added very soon. We will have a significant share of the European e-commerce market since we are the only ones that will be able to offer the new 448 bit key standard for encryption that is our proprietary technology. Our new encryption will become the worldwide Business-to-Business standard. Encryption coupled with the secure and safe processing of WINR adds a new dimension of safety for both the Internet Merchant and the Vendor. Add to this,” Oehri continued, “WINR has the new e-swipe TM technology which they developed that provides a seamless connection to the Internet Customer, Merchant and Financial Institutions.”
WINR and SupraNet have combined forces to not only process transactions in a safe and secure environment, but to provide host services, leased lines, and expanded Internet and communication services to merchants, customers and financial institutions.
Mr. Oehri and Mr. Skinner said, “We have been receiving inquiries from worldwide markets who want to locate their servers with us, but were concerned about transaction safety. Our new package offers the highest level of security for the transaction, in addition to communication between customers and merchants, stockbrokerage houses, trust companies, attorneys, and all others with a secure e-mail that guarantees privacy not only for messages, instructions or orders, but also the sender’s name and the recipient name as well. This is a new era and with our combined technology we will be able to fulfill the customer and business needs.”
Oehri and Skinner continued, “One of the main problems with security breach is that Internet customers are forced to use their credit card each and every time they make a transaction, thereby increasing the risk of theft dramatically. With the “-Plus” Network, the customer has a seamless connection to all merchants who are using our processing and encryption package. They also have the option of using Western Union and wire transfers. Merchants and customers who use the “-Plus” Network will have the advantage over the traditional e-commerce methods that are currently in use. We are the protection that the customer has needed and deserves. Best of all, SupraNet AG has hosted the WINR processing system for some time and knows that it works.”
According to the market analysis based upon the Gartner Group’s Dataquest, the worldwide market for e-commerce is expected to grow over 1,000% from approximately $35 billion to $400 billion from 1999 to 2003. Also according to another reliable source, Forrester Research, e-commerce revenues are expected to grow over 1,000% from less than $100 billion to approximately $1,200 billion from 1999 to 2003. Within this rapidly growing e-commerce area, WINR is a leader in the safest technology and software for processing all kinds of transactions. WINR has been recognized by leading credit card companies for their efforts in this regard. According to David Skinner, Jr., “The valuable “-Plus” Network will enable WINR to obtain a significant market share of this emerging e-commerce sector. So WINR is very well positioned already in this early stage and will have the distinction of sole use of this safe and secure “-Plus” Network in the e-commerce environment to be competition free in the Global Marketplace.”
About Winners Internet Network, Inc.
Winners Internet Network services the explosive e-commerce sector with advanced and secure online financial transaction software and provides safe, secure and confidential online financial transactions for its vendors and customers. Winners Internet Network develops and owns proprietary software and technology that enables this secure processing of financial data over the Internet.
Winners Internet Network recently acquired a significant interest of SupraNet AG. Both companies jointly market the Supra Secure Mail (SSM), the highest encryption technology available. The protocol for security gives the user the ability to have 448 bit key which exceeds any available encryption in the world.
Winners Internet Network, Inc. is a publicly traded company with the trading symbol OTC BB: WINR and has filed its application for a Listing in Germany to introduce the WINR stock on the European Stock Market.
About SupraNet AG
SupraNet AG is an affiliate of Winners Internet Network and one of the few profitable Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Europe. SupraNet AG has been in business since 1995. Since its inception SupraNet AG had experienced average annual growth of over 80% and expects the same continued growth pattern in the future.
Services rendered by SupraNet AG include: Dial-Up Internet Access (serving private and business customers), Leased Lines (e.g. serving major banking customers), DSL Connections, Hosting and Venue (virtual and or physical servers), Email, and encryption technology and software (e.g. SSM) . SSM technology provides the most secure and encrypted transaction technology in the world. SupraNet AG is a private company based in Liechtenstein.
Mondex is showing this morning that it is full of beenz. Mondex and beenz.com demonstrated in London this morning, the first smart card to combine the web currency beenz with Mondex’s electronic cash application in a single user interface. With the beenzcounter smart card application, Mondex consumers will now be capable of carrying their beenz alongside Mondex and other complementary e-commerce services on a single card for purchases in the physical world or on line. The companies view their products as complementary but distinct: Mondex is cash in electronic form and is particularly suited to high volume, low-value payments in the real and virtual worlds. beenz is a universal web currency, a marketing tool designed to attract and maintain the attention of online consumers. beenz cannot be bought directly by consumers, but are earned on line by consumers visiting, interacting with, or shopping at web sites, and, as a result of this deal with Mondex, high street shops.
[email protected], Inc., the holding company for [email protected] (http://www.netbank.com), Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender and the world’s leading Internet bank with more than $1.3 billion in assets, Monday announced the appointment of Michael Fitzgerald as president.
Fitzgerald, who has more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry, reports to D.R. Grimes, [email protected] chief executive officer. He joins [email protected] from Massachusetts-based Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, where he most recently served as the president of directbanking.com, its electronic banking division. In that position, he created one of the first bank Web sites in the world and the first virtual branch offering a complete home banking program.
“[email protected] is experiencing phenomenal growth with more than 5,000 customer accounts per month,” Grimes said. “With the addition of Mike’s experience, we are in an even stronger position to increase those numbers. Mike is known in the Internet banking world for his early and innovative product development skills, his commitment to building an infrastructure to support rapid growth, and his accomplishments in cultivating strategic partnerships that add greater value to the customer’s home banking experience. Like [email protected], Mike has accomplished a great deal in proving the viability of the Internet banking model. I am confident that Mike will help us achieve even greater success in the future.”
Fitzgerald earlier held senior management positions at Century Bancorp, Inc., Mellon Bank and Merchants National Bank. Fitzgerald holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a graduate degree from the University of Colorado School of Bank Marketing.
“With 80 percent of households expected to be banking online this year, my mission is to educate them about the strengths of [email protected] — our services, our online banking philosophy and what we uniquely can offer them,” Fitzgerald said. “Online banking has achieved considerable momentum among consumers, and that trend will only continue. [email protected] is strongly positioned, and I’m very pleased to be part of a management team that is driven to bring the advantages of Internet banking to its customers.”
[email protected], Inc. (Nasdaq: NTBK), is a financial services company whose sole subsidiary, [email protected], Member FDIC, is the first profitable pure Internet bank in the country, having achieved profitability in the past seven successive quarters. With over $1.3 billion in assets and customers in all 50 United States and 20 foreign countries, [email protected] is the largest FDIC-insured bank operating solely on the Internet. In addition to free checking and money market accounts and certificates of deposits with exceptional interest rates, [email protected] offers its customers the ultimate convenience in banking. Products and services include free online account access, free unlimited online bill payment, free checks, unlimited ATM use, VISA(R) Check Card, VISA(R) credit cards, online brokerage services, mortgage lending, home equity lines and loans, and business equipment leasing services. [email protected] is a member of the Cirrus, Honor/Star, and AFFN ATM networks. For more information on [email protected], its products and services, visit the Web site at [http://www.netbank.com], or call 888-256-6932.
San Jose-based Input Software announced an agreement with Japan’s Wanbishi Archives Co. Ltd. whereby the two companies announced full-scale deployment of InputAccel for a project to digitize more than ten million credit card applications for Japan’s largest credit card company. The result is instant information access online, allowing customer service representatives to quickly verify customer seals, signatures and other personal writing descriptions, and respond instantly to customer inquiries by phone.
Concord EFS announced Monday it has completed the acquisition of Virtual Cyber Systems, an Internet software development company. VCS’ core software product, ‘SiteMerger’, is a key element in the entry-level product in Concord’s family of vertically integrated e-commerce services.
NOVA Corporation announced Monday that Pamela A. Joseph, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of NOVA Corporation, has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. Ms. Joseph’s addition to the Board increases NOVA’s Board of Directors to a total of eight directors.
“Since joining NOVA in 1994, Pam has worked in nearly every area of the Company and she has played a major role in our growth and ongoing development. No one in our Company knows the business as well as Pam, and no one has contributed more to our success,” said NOVA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Grzedzinski. “She joined us as part of our sales and marketing organization, and with her strong leadership her role has increased to include our technical organization and operations. Pam’s strong vision contributed to NOVA’s technological advancement and played a key role both in directing NOVA’s early participation in Econex, LLC, and as the point person in developing NOVA’s value-added Internet strategy for small merchants. The knowledge and experience she brings to our Board will be invaluable as we pursue our strategies for growth in our core processing business, the Internet, and as we look internationally for new opportunities,” Grzedzinski concluded.
Ms. Joseph’s background includes nearly three years with VISA International where, as the Director of New Market Development, she was responsible for establishing VISA card acceptance in the supermarket industry. She joined NOVA in 1994 as Vice President of Marketing and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Development one year later. She was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 1997, and promoted to Senior Executive Vice President last year. Ms. Joseph is a graduate of the University of Illinois, with a major in business administration. She currently lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband and two children.
“The fast pace and strong growth environment at NOVA provides a unique opportunity to develop and contribute at a level that most companies simply cannot offer,” Ms. Joseph said. “I look forward to the new challenges and being part of a company that is dedicated to being an industry leader in the provision of electronic commerce services.”
NOVA Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products and value added services to more than 500,000 merchants in the U.S. NOVA merchant customers typically include small- to medium-sized merchants requiring a full spectrum of processing services. For more information on the Company, visit: [www.novacorp.net].
PULSE and First Tennessee Merchant Services announced Monday they have joined up to offer merchant processing services to PULSE member banks. Banks electing to utilize First Tennessee for merchant processing will incur no start-up or membership fees and receive customized monthly reports indicating total volume, rates and number of merchants.
Miami-based TecniCard announced this morning it is launching the first Central American virtual credit card payment solution. The new solution is powered by Trintech’s ‘NetIssuer/ezCard’ solution. TecniCard Inc. issues, acquires and processes credit cards on behalf of 25 leading banks in Central America. TecniCard, through its subsidiaries in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, offers merchant processing services. Its processing infrastructure covers almost all countries from Panama to Belize, including ATM Networks in Nicaragua and Honduras.
Revolving consumer credit continued to expand at a modest rate during December. According to preliminary figures released Monday afternoon by the Federal Reserve, Americans piled on more than $4 billion in outstanding revolving credit during December. Since July, revolving consumer credit, mostly credit card debt, has grown by $8.5 billion. Overall consumer credit is now growing at a 9.7%, according to the FRB. At the end of December American consumers were $1.399 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.
REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
Dec99 Nov99 Oct99 Sep99 Aug99 Jul99 Jun99 May99 Apr99 Mar99 Feb99 Jan99
%GRWTH: 8.4% 9.0 -0.5 0.0 2.5 12.1 13.8 4.5 5.6 -0.9 3.4 11.6
$OWED: $592.8 588.7 584.3 584.5 584.5 584.6 578.5 572.2 569.9 567.3 567.5 565.9
Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 2/07/00; For
complete historical data visit www.carddata.com.