This week, Washington D.C. Metro riders, who are eligible for monthly employee transit benefits, will become the nation’s first smart card users to receive their benefits electronically. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Cubic Transportation Systems introduced ‘SmartBenefits’. The program transitions the authority’s Metrochek farecard voucher program to the WMATA ‘SmarTrip’ card, making it the nation’s first transit program to offer automated delivery of transit benefits. The ‘SmarTrip’ system utilizes a contactless smart card and is the first major implementation of contactless smart cards for transit use in North America. Nearly 100,000 participants representing 2,300 companies and government agencies receive approximately $35 million in ‘Metrochek’ benefits annually. This translates to 1.7 million specially encoded farecards that are manually distributed from the transit authority to an armored car service, to employers, and finally to employees. Employees currently desiring to use through benefits on non-Metro facilities must trade these farecards for third party operator fare media.
TransactPlus announced availability of the TransactPlus Network, a global network that will enable companies on the public Internet to exchange business transactions reliably and safely with customers, partners and suppliers.
TransactPlus operates the first Internet-based transaction delivery network (TDN) to support the inter-enterprise exchange of structured business documents such as purchase orders, price requests, credit check requests or catalog updates. The TransactPlus Network is based on technology developed at J.P. Morgan, whose own TDN delivers $800 billion of business transactions every day, totaling nearly one billion transactions to date without a single failure.
Historically, companies have relied on proprietary value-added networks (VANs), such as electronic data interchange (EDI) VANs, in order to deliver transactions between companies. However, these networks fail to support many types of business interactions, present complex integration challenges, and are extremely costly to operate. Based on Internet-era technology and economics, the TransactPlus Network provides 100 percent reliable and secure transaction delivery — over the Internet — with dramatically lower costs and complexity than VANs.
“Transactions are the language of the emerging B2B economy,” said Allan Lees, president and chief executive officer of TransactPlus. “Every transaction represents an opportunity to improve the way our businesses work together, yet the Internet has no infrastructure to support reliable transaction delivery. TransactPlus is now providing the infrastructure that is necessary for the Internet to become the dominant platform for transacting business.”
Ross Altman, research director, Gartner Group, said, “As enterprises connect to multiple trading partners and to several e-marketplaces, they’ll need a layer of network and application services on top of the Internet to provide the security, availability, and assured delivery that these B2B transactions require. While this software services layer can be implemented on a point-to-point basis, a third-party Transaction Delivery Network will provide a more attractive, many-to-many solution.”
About the TransactPlus Network
The TransactPlus Network is an Internet overlay consisting of transactional messaging application services, built on a physical network infrastructure, and supported by 24×7 Network Operations Centers. Customers who plug into the network gain access to:
— Trusted Transaction Delivery. The TransactPlus Network supports reliable, secure and manageable online commerce through guaranteed once-and-once-only message delivery, end-to-end public key infrastructure (PKI) security, directory and administration services.
— Online Business Continuity. TransactPlus provides a comprehensive set of message queuing, replay and non-repudiation services to eliminate business downtime, even in the event of a customer system failure or online dispute.
— Managed Global Infrastructure. The 24×7, global TransactPlus Network Operations Centers and Customer Care Centers proactively manage performance, availability and customer support to ensure 100 percent availability and security while eliminating the need for customers to build or operate their own infrastructure. Customers have browser-based access to manage their profiles and partner authorizations, as well as track, audit and replay transactional messages.
TransactPlus offers its full set of services through scalable service level agreements ranging from its basic offering of guaranteed delivery over the public Internet to its premium offering of guaranteed near real-time delivery over a dedicated TransactPlus infrastructure.
Companies seeking to establish secure, reliable online business relationships will benefit from the TransactPlus Network. Global 2000 companies gain a compelling alternative to expensive VAN or virtual private network (VPN) solutions, while internet-based businesses — such as ASPs, net marketplaces and eService providers — can efficiently outsource their transactional infrastructure to TransactPlus.
“As a globally managed application for order routing and management, S1’s Global ICE connects a network of broker dealers to their institutional customers, exchanges and other services and content,” said Nick Davidge, vice president, investments applications for financial application service provider S1 Corporation (Nasdaq: SONE). “To support the massive scale of transactions we enable, we require a global, 100 percent reliable, and 100 percent secure network for transaction delivery. We’re a customer of TransactPlus because we believe its approach to simplifying and lowering the cost for guaranteed transaction delivery represents the right approach for S1 and its customers.”
“As a net marketplace for bandwidth procurement, Acurion is dramatically improving efficiencies in network services procurement,” said Cesar Vallejos, CEO of B2B bandwidth marketplace Acurion. “Conducting our transactions over the TransactPlus Network would enable us to exchange business critical transactions with our customers, over the Internet, without the cost, complexity and time involved in building out our own messaging and security infrastructure.”
TransactPlus provides per message and bandwidth-based pricing with predictable, tiered subscriptions. Entry-level service can cost as little as a few pennies per transaction and even the highest-level service level agreements can cost less than five percent of home-grown solutions.
TransactPlus, Inc. operates the TransactPlus Network: a transaction delivery network (TDN) providing the foundation for reliable and secure delivery of business transactions over the Internet. Backed by global, 24×7 operations support, the company’s proven network provides guaranteed once-and-once-only transactional messaging, PKI security, directory and administration services. TransactPlus dramatically lowers the cost, complexity and time to build and scale B2B relationships with customers, partners and suppliers by providing a 100% outsourced B2B computing infrastructure.
Launched in April 2000 as a spin-off from J.P. Morgan, TransactPlus has received significant technology and $10 million cash investments from J.P. Morgan, and receives ongoing technical and business support from LabMorgan, J.P. Morgan’s e-finance arm. TransactPlus, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in New York, Boston and Washington DC. For more information, please visit [www.transactplus.com].
American Express and Delta Air Lines are beefing-up the ‘Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’. Starting this week, cardholders will be able to earn two ‘SkyMiles’ for every eligible dollar charged to the Delta/AmEx card for purchases at supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores, home improvement stores, the U.S. Postal Service, wireless phone bills and Delta Air Lines. Cardholders will continue to earn one ‘SkyMile’ for every eligible dollar charged for other purchases. AmEx and Delta have also added some special promotions to kick-off the enhanced cards. The first 10,000 consumers to apply for the new ‘Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’ online, will be eligible to have their frequent flyer miles matched from any one airline, up to 50,000 miles, and deposited in their ‘SkyMiles’ account. Delivery of miles is contingent on application approval and meeting a minimum spending requirement of $10,000 within six months of card membership. In addition, all new cardholders, who apply by Dec. 31, will have the opportunity to double their traditional welcome bonus mileage. For example: ‘Gold Delta SkyMiles’ cardholders will receive a welcome bonus of 10,000 ‘Delta SkyMiles’ upon their first purchase, which can double to 20,000 if $10,000 is spent in the first six months. The annual fees for the consumer cards are: ‘Delta SkyMiles Classic’ $55, ‘Gold’ $85, ‘Platinum’ $135.
VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, announced it has signed a distribution agreement permitting ScanSource, Inc., to distribute VeriFone’s point-of- sale products. ScanSource is one of North America’s largest value-added distributors of POS and bar-coding products. The company also distributes business telephone and computer telephony products through Catalyst Telecom.
ScanSource will offer VeriFone’s extensive line of point-of-sale payment terminals, including credit, debit and smart card products designed for the multi-lane retailer through their value-added-reseller (VAR) channel. ScanSource will also distribute VeriFone POS printers and peripherals, software solutions and other products.
! The agreement furthers ScanSource’s commitment to growing specialty technology markets by strengthening and enlarging the VAR channel. ScanSource’s commitment to VARs includes offering a broad product selection, competitive pricing, fast delivery, technical support, online ordering and configuration tools, system integration, sales training, customer financing and qualified leads.
“The addition of VeriFone’s world-class products to our lineup makes it easier for ScanSource resellers to provide their customers with total POS solutions,” said Scott Benbenek, ScanSource’s vice president of Merchandising overseeing the VeriFone line. “We’re committed to offering products to our reseller customers that will provide them with the best opportunities for success in a competitive marketplace, and we believe VeriFone’s leading e-payment solutions will perfectly complement our POS offering.”
“This agreement strengthens the distribution channel VeriFone uses to support our dealers and value added resellers, complementing our overall customer service offering,” said Bud Waller, vice president of North American sales for VeriFone. “In addition, ScanSource stocks VeriFone products in-house, providing our dealers and VARs quick, 24-hour turnaround of their orders.”
VeriFone ([http://www.verifone.hp.com]), a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic-payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. The division has shipped more than seven million electronic-payment systems, which are used in more than 100 countries.
Hewlett-Packard Company — a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services — is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to individuals and businesses through simple appliances, useful e-services and an Internet infrastructure that’s always on.
HP has 86,000 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing operations of $42.4 billion in its 1999 fiscal year. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at [http://www.hp.com].
FoneCash Inc. announced it has entered into discussions with MasterCard International in Beijing, China for a pilot program utilizing several hundred of the Company’s wireless phone terminals. These wireless units will be distributed to a select group of mobile merchants, such as limousine drivers, delivery service providers, and kiosk merchants in various locations throughout the city. The Company’s wireless terminal will accept credit and debit cards issued by 3 banks in China and, through its proprietary system, process the payments to the accounts of the participating merchants.
The company, through it’s Hong Kong subsidiary, FoneCash.com Limited, has registered its business in Shanghai and has rented an office in preparation for the pilot tests which would begin a month after the final negotiations with MasterCard. “This is the first step in our plan to concentrate resources in the growing China market,” stated Daniel Charboneau, President of FoneCash Inc. ” We are confident that we can demonstrate the superiority of our products and services for this very important client who, in turn, will add a significant degree of support to our efforts in Asia,” Charboneau added.
About FoneCash Inc.
The company has developed, under an exclusive licensing agreement with a U.S. Patent holder, a system of processing credit cards for low volume merchants and in-home salespersons. This device utilizes established communications networks, both wired and wireless, for processing the data from credit and debit cards. Settlement occurs when the collected data is sent to the card issuing bank, charging the customer’s account and electronically depositing payment in the merchant’s bank account, usually within 24 – 48 hours. The Company intends to market a complete processing system that is high quality and simple to operate. Revenues will be generated from sales/rentals of the terminals and from transaction charges. The current size of this market exceeds $500 million dollars. FoneCash Inc. soon expects to enter into the global market place.
Michigan credit unions have the answer for consumers interested in avoiding ATM surcharges — join a credit union.
Credit Union ATM Alliance, developed by Service Centers Corporation’s SC24 EFT network and the Michigan Credit Union League, has merged into Alliance One — the selective-surcharge ATM group based in Columbus, Ohio. The merger brings to more than 600 the number of participating financial institutions and more than 1,625 ATMs now in the Alliance One group. The merger has added almost 300 credit unions and more than 800 ATMs into the fold.
For consumers — specifically members of participating credit unions — the expanded alliance translates into double the access to surcharge-free ATMs. Alliance One network members enjoy surcharge-free ATM transactions in 22 states and Germany, with Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana having the most participating credit unions. Consumers can locate participating credit unions and surcharge-free ATM sites by logging on to [http://www.mcul.org] and clicking the “ATM Search Engine” button.
The alliance was formed to provide credit unions the ability to offer members access to surcharge-free ATM terminals — even when traveling, but now includes other types of financial institutions, such as, community banks and thrifts.
Members of participating credit unions now need only look for the deep blue and white Alliance One logo to locate a non-surcharging machine. Those members can use the ATM free of surcharges, even if the ATM owner decides to surcharge other cardholders.
“The overwhelming majority of credit union leaders are united in their support of forming non-surcharging alliances within the credit union community,” said Dan Balagna, president and chief executive officer for SCC, which operates the SC24 EFT network, a credit union-owned EFT network. “We think that Alliance One has become a strong Midwest selective-surcharge group that has potential to expand regionally and nationally.”
“Michigan credit unions are committed to improving service for credit union members everywhere,” said David Adams, president and chief executive officer for the MCUL. “Alliance One allows credit unions to cooperate to provide an expanded network of surcharge-free ATMs to the individual members. This alliance reinforces the value of being a credit union member.”
Organized in 1934, the Michigan Credit Union League is a statewide trade association representing Michigan credit unions. Based in Northville Township with a satellite office in Lansing, the MCUL offers credit unions assistance in the areas of regulatory compliance, legislative advocacy, media advocacy, education and operational information. Visit the League Web site at [http://www.mcul.org] .
Service Centers Corporation is a not-for-profit credit union service organization (CUSO) owned and governed by over 240 credit unions with collective assets of over $18.9 billion and over 3.8 million members. In addition to its SC24 ATM network, SCC pioneered the nation’s first credit union shared branch network 25 years ago. SCC has 20 shared branches in Michigan and operates four shared branches in Virginia and Maryland near Washington, D.C., through a business alliance with Encore Branch Services Corporation, another CUSO based in Falls Church, Virginia. SCC’s SC24 ATM network serves over 200 credit unions with nearly 600 ATMs and can be found on its Web site [http://www.scc-sc24.org] . A list of the Alliance One ATMs is available on the Michigan Credit Union League Web site, [http://www.mcul.org] . SCC is an equal partner in the national shared branching network organization, Credit Union Service Centers Network, Inc. (CUSCNI), and a shareholder in Member Access, the national ATM network for credit unions.
Oberthur Card Systems launched the world’s first fully standardized 64K, RSA-enabled, Java-based ‘SIM Toolkit’ card. The ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ card is the first on the market to bring together both the WIM and SIM Toolkit functions on one card. Developed with Infineon Technologies, ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’s’ RSA capabilities and memory size facilitate and support high-level security systems including PKI. The ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ also supports simultaneous SAT & WIM hosting due to its 64K EEPROM user memory. ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ is compliant with the ‘ETSI 11.11’ and ‘11.14’ specifications and is based upon the latest model in Infineon Technology’s 66Plus controllers’ family.
Providian and VISA completed the first series of ‘smart VISA’ credit card transactions last week, using the new Providian ‘Clear VISA’ smart card. A Providian employee and a VISA employee conducted the test purchases at a series of locations in the High Street district in London. The overseas merchant locations were chosen because of the presence of both Providian and VISA offices and the number of EMV-compliant merchant locations available. The credit transactions were all conducted through the EMV-compliant merchants, then routed back to the USA for immediate authorization and clearance. Five purchases were made at five different locations, and one item was returned for a refund to test the system for returns. All transactions were conducted in the same or less time than traditional, magnetic stripe transactions. The transactions were verified through the VISA system and processed by TSYS. Barclay’s Bank PLC served as the merchant bank for all test transactions.
NY-based M2card announced yesterday the first loyalty program that rewards teens and young adults for all online and offline purchases as well as non-spending activities. The ‘M2points Rewards Program’ has signed up more than 150 merchants, including Barnes & Noble.com, TheSportsAuthority.com, Fossil, Pacific Sunwear, imix.com and LAFunk. This month, M2 will launch the ‘M2card’, a pre-funded, reloadable card that is welcomed at all VISA merchants worldwide. Each dollar spent with the M2card accrues a specified number of ‘M2points’, depending upon the merchant partner and nature of the purchase. Additionally, M2points are accrued for non-spending activities such as filling out a survey or referring a friend. M2points can be redeemed at the M2 website for products and gift certificates offered by participating merchants.
Oberthur Card Systems, the innovator in the smart card industry, announced a partnership with Entrust Technologies Inc., a global leader in PKI products and e-business security.
The partnership brings together Oberthur’s expertise in the field of advanced card-based e-business and wireless technology and Entrust’s proven expertise in providing PKI and Certificate Authority solutions to trusted, secure e-business and m-commerce.
! “Oberthur and Entrust share a common mission and have partnered to provide the most secure electronic and mobile commerce solutions for mobile operators and financial institutions to governments and the healthcare industry,” said Marc Bertin, director of e-business for Oberthur Card Systems.
The Entrust and Oberthur partnership enables financial institutions and telecom operators to quickly and easily deploy the infrastructure needed to enable fixed and wireless transactions for any device using smart card technology.
Oberthur provides the technology and security of a card-based system, and Entrust provides the technical expertise and solutions from its Global Wireless Solutions and core PKI groups. The integrated offering includes e-commerce, wireless and card management solutions.
Integrating Oberthur’s advanced Card Management System with Entrust ensures that the PKI and certificates are not simply added into products at a later stage, but are incorporated into the manufacturing process from the beginning of the cards’ lifecycles.
The partnership between Entrust and Oberthur will also meet the increasing demands of e-business by providing the necessary security to ensure strong authentication of users together with trustworthy and convenient digital signatures on transactions. These integrated capabilities will improve the security, reliability and scalability of e-business initiatives.
“Oberthur and Entrust are together seeking to create wholly secure and trusted online and wireless business environments,” commented Richard Kirk, vice-president of global wireless solutions for Entrust Technologies. “We are providing financial institutions and banks with easily implemented solutions, which meet the highest security requirements.
“Entrust is strategically positioned in the security market as a leading provider of PKI products and services. By joining forces with Oberthur, a leading innovator in smart card technology, we will bring greater integration in the implementation of reliable and secure end-to-end e-business solutions. This will lead to greater efficiency, cost savings and a faster time to market for our customers.”
The initial projects to be embarked upon jointly will be to develop solutions for putting WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) digital certificates onto all Oberthur smart card products, including SIM/WIM cards for telecommunications, banking and authentication.
In addition, Entrust.net’s WAP root key certificates will be embedded within Oberthur’s SIM/WIM cards setting the foundation for delivery of trusted services.
The solution is designed to meet the high scalability and performance requirements of Oberthur Card Systems, a high volume manufacturer producing several millions of cards per month. All solutions conform to open standards including Identrus standards.
About Oberthur Card Systems
Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange – Code SICOVAM 12413), a global leader and the innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the future through offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, UMTS, e-wallet technologies & card management systems coupled with a firm commitment to open standards.
World No. 1 supplier of MasterCard and Visa cards, No. 1 in banking, e-commerce, m-commerce and pay-TV, Oberthur is also the No. 1 in Java(TM) and GSM technologies.
Employing 3,000 people worldwide, Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach ensured by 30 sales offices and 13 manufacturing sites across the five continents. Oberthur Card Systems had sales of 185.8 million of Euros in 1999.
Internet sites: [http://www.oberthurcs.com]; [http://www.oberthurusa.com]
About Entrust Inc.
Entrust Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENTU) is a global leader in solutions that bring trust to e-business relationships by securing and managing the transactions that constitute e-business.
Through the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of trusted e-business infrastructure solutions, Entrust Technologies enables customers to secure their B2B, B2C and internal enterprise transactions and communications, as well as to manage the e-business portals and wireless portals through which these transactions take place.
Today Entrust serves more than 1,500 customers worldwide. Entrust Technologies pioneered the public-key infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate solutions that provide security for business transactions and communications over the Internet.
Entrust Technologies has R&D labs in Silicon Valley, CA; Ottawa, Canada, and Zurich, Switzerland, as well as representation and offices in over 40 countries around the world. For additional company information visit [www.entrust.com].
Gemplus launched ‘Thin Client for Citrix MetaFrame’ software yesterday. GemSAFE ‘Thin Client’ is a first-to-market application that makes smart card-based authentication available on low cost thin client devices. Although Microsoft ‘Windows 2000’ has been designed to support smart card applications, this support is not yet extended to thin clients. GemSAFE ‘Thin Client’ uses PKI to provide secure and non-repudiated authentication for a variety of business operations including secure network, web and email access, digital identity, physical security and stored value applications. GemSAFE ‘Thin Client for Citrix MetaFrame’ begins controlled release in November 2000. Software pricing starts at $25 per user.
Heartland Payment Systems announced an agreement to enable online credit card payments for e-commerce clients hosted by Milinx Business Group, Inc., a leading Application Service Provider. Through this alliance with Milinx subsidiary CreditAssure Financial, Inc., customers of Milinx will be able to apply online for their Internet Merchant account and receive swift service plus competitive rates.
! Accepting credit card payments online is critical for companies seeking e-commerce solutions. By choosing Heartland Payment Systems, Milinx will be able to provide all the necessary tools for its clients to set up a merchant account and accept secure transactions online. Heartland will provide Milinx a secure online process that is expected to allow the ASP’s customers to be approved in as little as two hours from the time of application without providing a ‘wet’ signature for the account. Heartland expects to authorize more than 90 per cent of the online applications it receives from Milinx clients through CreditAssure.
Milinx will provide its customers with great value by offering a Heartland program that will save them the time and money usually associated with opening a merchant account. The two companies will also share the revenue from their agreement.
“This alliance allows Milinx to move closer to offering a one stop solution for their customers,” said John Waldron, Vice President of Internet Marketing and Sales with Heartland Payment Systems. “It is a real pleasure to have been selected by Milinx to provide their customers with such a critical piece of the e-commerce puzzle.”
“Milinx built its Application Data Center to handle hundreds of thousands of clients including e-commerce customers,” said Milinx President and CEO Maynard L. Dokken. “We chose Heartland Payment Systems because they can provide high levels of service, security and flexibility as our e-commerce clientele grows.”
About Heartland Payment Systems
Heartland Payment Systems provides businesses of all sizes with professional, one-stop solutions for payroll processing, traditional and Internet card processing and fraud prevention and protection programs. Heartland Payment Systems began in May 1997 as Heartland Card Services, LLC and has rapidly grown to become the 15th largest merchant acquirer in the US, as well as the largest, privately held merchant acquirer. Heartland Payment Systems Internet segment can be found online at [www.visa-mc.com] or by calling 1-888-702-3321.
Milinx Business Group, Inc. (OTCBB: MIXBA) is an Application Service Provider (ASP) which hosts and delivers software to businesses over the Internet on a subscription basis. This minimizes spending on software and hardware while speeding the implementation of new solutions. Milinx is a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Seattle, Washington and operations in Vancouver, BC. For more about Milinx go to [www.milinx.com] or call 1-888-462-7787.