MasterCard and SPS International introduced a new software product that integrates procurement information from MasterCard ‘Corporate Purchasing Cards’ with leading enterprise resource planning systems. With ‘MasterCard SmartLink’, ERP system administrators may generate transaction data specific to any corporate purchasing card cardholder at any point of transaction worldwide. The software has been designed to specifically harness the tight controls inherent in ‘SAP R/3’ and other ERP systems. With ‘MasterCard SmartLink’, businesses can automatically collect purchasing data, approve transactions, generate invoices, merge data with the general ledger, make split payments and download individual transaction information all with the click of a mouse. MasterCard recently completed a ‘SmartLink’ pilot with the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
Wireless Ventures, Inc. announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire 4Cash a division of IRMG Inc. an Ontario Company located in Markham, Ontario. As consideration for all of the interest in 4Cash, WLSV shall issue to IRMG Inc., 10 million common shares and 1.1 million five-year warrants to Steve Cussons to purchase WLSV common shares at an exercise price of $0.10 per share.
Subject to the achievement of certain net profit objectives, IRMG shall also have the right to earn an additional 10 million common shares and 5 million three years warrants. Upon Closing, WLSV shall enter into a three-year management services agreement with IRMG for the management of the company. Closing is subject to certain conditions precedent including but not limited to satisfactory due diligence, Board of Director approvals, and the execution of final documentation. Upon Closing, Mr. Steve Cussons shall be appointed President, CEO and a director of WLSV. Mr. Paul K. Hickey, interim Chairman and C.E.O. shall resign as an Officer and Director upon the Closing. 4Cash is involved in the marketing and management of automated teller machines (ATMs) and related services in Canada and the United States. 4Cash is in the final stages of signing a material contract to own and operate automated cash machines and kiosks to be placed in high profile locations throughout North America. In addition, IRMG management has identified a number of additional opportunities to increase the number of ATMs under management by new marketing agreements or acquisition. Through these efforts, management expects that the company will have positive sales growth and earnings by the end of the current year. IRMG management has extensive experience in the North American ATM industry.
Mr. Paul Hickey, Chairman and CEO of WLSV, stated, “The proposed business growth opportunity for the company in the ATM business in Canada and the United States is significant. Mr. Cussons has an in depth understanding of the changing dynamics of this market and the potential opportunities through his contacts should be able to make a significant contribution to the profitable growth of the company. The company expects to generate revenues within a reasonable period of signing the definitive agreements with 4Cash and IRMG Inc.” Mr. Steve Cussons, President of IRMG Inc., stated, “The opportunity for Wireless Ventures Inc. to enter into this exciting industry will assuredly prove to be a very positive decision. IRMG Inc. is confident of its ability to deliver the kind of results shareholders expect and the industry deserves.”
Wireless Ventures, Inc. is a Delaware corporation whose shares are quoted on the NASD’s Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board. 4Cash is a division of a privately held Ontario company, IRMG Inc.
Jupiter Media Metrix reported this morning the American Express Web site has broken into the ‘Top 50’ most visited Web sites. AmEx is the only credit card issuer to make it into the ‘Top 50’. According to the ‘Media Metrix U.S. Top 50 Web and Digital Media’ property ratings for April 2001, Americanexpress.com logged 6.6 million unique visitors, placing it #45 among the ‘Top 50’. Jupiter says that over the past twelve months, the number of 18-24 year-olds and persons 55 and over who used the Internet and other digital media grew 32% and 33%, respectively, while overall usage of the Web grew 19% over the same period. Jupiter Media Metrix says the combined number of at-home and at-work Web users in the USA during April was 89.3 million.
Tickets.com, a leading provider of ticketing software and services for live events, and VAST, the developer and provider of the world’s first “ATTENDANT FREE”-AUTOMATED TICKET AND TELLER MACHINE, announced an expanded multi-year agreement to deploy the VAST device across Tickets.com’s large base of clients.
VAST and Tickets.com formed an alliance more than two years ago to develop and shape a futuristic state-of-the-art ticketing system. First installed at Pacific Bell Park, home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants, this innovative system was an important contributor to the Giants winning the “Box-office of the Year Award” at the recent International Ticketing Association conference in Toronto, Canada. “Not a week goes by that I am not giving another sports team or venue a tour of our park, and the highlight is demonstrating the VAST kiosk and its seamless integration with the Tickets.com system,” said Russ Stanley, vice president-San Francisco Giants. “VAST completed the circle of our ticketing system by giving us an end-to-end solution, including serving as a will-call point of distribution for tickets bought over the phone or the Web. The VAST device is the front door to our entire park. We couldn’t have done it without VAST and Tickets.com.”
“We plan to offer these capabilities to all of our clients,” said Dan Afrasiabi, president of Tickets.com’s Ticketing Services Group. “Through our industry-leading business solutions, we help create efficiencies and opportunities for incremental revenues for our clients. The VAST device is an exceptional tool in this regard, providing our clients with a 24/7 ticket distribution channel, while allowing them to create new revenue streams through financial service transactions, advertising and sponsorships. In addition, their consumers benefit from an additional layer of convenience.”
The Tickets.com/VAST agreement spans seven years and includes a broad integrated marketing strategy as well as an evolved technological interface between all Tickets.com software systems and the VAST device. VAST’s “ATTENDANT FREE”-AUTOMATED TICKET AND TELLER MACHINE accepts cash and makes change to the nickel, in addition to accepting credit cards, debit cards and many affinity cards. It can process will-call ticketing transactions for tickets that have been purchased on the Internet or by telephone. Will-call transactions on the VAST device take one-fourth the time required to process through a ticket attendant. The device can dispense marketing materials and sell gift certificates as well. Each device eliminates about 4,000 man-hours per year and offers venue operators income from banking services, advertising and sponsorships.
Jeffrey Mitchell, president & CEO-VAST International said, “Our affiliation with Tickets.com has been rewarding in every respect. They have broken new ground and changed the status quo. That’s what VAST is all about, bringing tomorrow’s technology into today. Tickets.com understands the venue operator and its patron. They are customer driven, an attribute we thrive on and an attribute that ensures prosperity.”
Tickets.com (Nasdaq: TIXX) is a leading business-to-business ticketing solutions provider for live events. The company facilitates the sale of tickets by enabling venues and entertainment organizations with proprietary and cutting edge software, retail outlets, call centers and interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Tickets.com builds private label Ticketing Gateways (SM) to enable live entertainment organizations with e-commerce distribution platforms. The company also sells tickets directly to consumers at http://www.tickets.com, providing tickets and information on virtually all events and entertainment organizations, as well as offering Tickets.com’s automated ticketing solutions are use by thousands of entertainment organizations such as leading performing arts centers, professional sports organizations and various stadiums and arenas in the U. S. Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Tickets.com is the official ticket supplier to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games as well as online ticketing solutions provider for MLB Advanced Media, LP.
Value Automated Systems Ticketing, Inc. (VAST) of San Diego, CA is the developer of the first attendant-free Automated Ticketing and Teller Machine. VAST provides ticketing and teller machines that are custom-programmable for each venue’s needs. The machines are self-service, accept cash, credit and debit and can give change to the nickel. VAST markets it product, nicknamed “Frank” to the movie theatre industry, ski resorts, theme attractions, sporting venues and transportation facilities. VAST is a full service supplier and provides the hardware, software, financial processing, installation, technical support, and service through over 500 branches nationwide.
A new prepaid Internet card designed for teenagers has been launched in the UK. The ‘Splash Plastic’ card utilizes Mosaic Software’s ‘Postilion PrePay’ platform from PayPoint. Young consumers register on-line to receive the card and then activate it by using a ‘Splash Plastic’ website. There are more than 20,000 ‘Splash Plastic’ acceptance locations across the UK.
CardTech/SecurTech’s 11th annual Conference & Exhibition gets underway in Las Vegas this morning. The card technology event will draw 8,500 individuals from 80 countries and feature more than 300 exhibitors. The international event will bring together industry experts on smart card, biometrics, security and identification. This year’s event will enjoy a higher profile in light of the introduction of smart payment cards by the U.S. banking industry. In the past eighteen months more than seven million smart VISA and American Express cards have been issued in the USA. Indeed VISA and Providian will use this week’s event to make major smart card announcements. The CTST show began in 1990 and was acquired in early 1998 by Thomson Financial, owner of Faulkner & Gray and American Banker.
Electronic commerce and payments leader First Data Corp. today announced its card processing subsidiary. First Data Resources, has signed a five-year agreement to process Visa cards for the Golden 1 Credit Union, the largest credit union in California.
Under the agreement, First Data will provide data processing services as well as other card portfolio management tools, including plastics, statements and risk management services.
“We are pleased to be able to work with the Golden 1 and provide products and services that will help them manage and grow their portfolio,” said Eula Adams, senior executive vice president, First Data Corp., and head of First Data’s worldwide card operations. “For example, First Data Evolve enables issuers like the Golden 1 to streamline the customer service function which positively impacts operational efficiencies and overall productivity levels,” Adams added.
First Data processes for 311 million accounts on file around the world. For more than 30 years, First Data has developed products and services which enable card issuers to enhance their portfolio growth, increase market share, reduce risk and improve profitability.
About the Gold 1 Credit Union
Headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., the Golden 1 Credit Union is the sixth largest credit union in the U.S. and the largest credit union in California with over $3.2 billion in assets and 400,000 members.
About First Data Corporation
First Data Corp. powers the global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data servers nearly 2.5 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. With more than 27,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit and stored-value card issuing and money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Germany. In addition, its Western Union network includes approximately 104,000 agent locations with operations in 186 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [www.firstdata.com].
Schlumberger Test & Transactions, a business segment of Schlumberger Limited, announced that the Department of Defense will use its Java-based Cyberflex Access smart cards in the Defense Manpower Data Center’s Common Access Card program. The $4.5 million contract was awarded to Electronic Data Systems Corporation and calls for the delivery of 600,000 smart cards, which will be rolled out to 900 sites in 2001.
The DoD will utilize the highly secure, multiple application cards for physical identification, building access and network access in a multi-tiered program that will be rolled out throughout the DoD over the next few years. The cards, which incorporate PKI (public key infrastructure) and digital signature technology, serve as highly portable, secure tokens for enhancing the security of network access and ensuring secure electronic communications. The secure, multi-application, Java programmable smart cards can be configured to provide additional complex services beyond the PKI application by loading applets that meet the specific needs of card usage.
“The DoD has taken a leadership role in leveraging the benefits of smart cards, which enable secure, standards-based applications and interoperability across a wide range of functions,” said Mary Dixon, director, Access Card Office, DoD. “Since initial pilots in 1992, smart cards have proven to be a valuable, cost effective tool, and enhance our mission and quality of life. Our Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System has already been tested and is operational in several locations. Additionally, the DoD will issue smart cards in 900 DoD locations worldwide by the end of 2002.”
EDS (NYSE:EDS), a recognized global leader in providing e-business and information technology services, has been awarded the lead contract and selected Schlumberger to provide its smart card expertise. “This contract is a further step in transforming the government into e-government,” said Al Edmonds, President of EDS Federal. “This is the first significant use of smart card technology at the federal level. Smart cards enhance the security of government facilities and systems on a worldwide basis and support many important applications, such as electronic signature, training certification and e-commerce.”
In addition to EDS and Schlumberger, ActivCard (Nasdaq:ACTI / Easdaq: ACTI) is providing the applets and additional application software used with the EDS-developed card issuing stations in the DoD program.
The Cyberflex Access smart card is part of a range of highly secure, Java-based smart cards for physical and logical access, e-transactions and other applications. Cards are just one of the many components in the Schlumberger portfolio of smart card-based total solutions for government agencies, mobile communication operators, banks/financial institutions and other customers. The total Schlumberger smart card-based offering includes cards, readers, terminals, software, servers, applications development, integration and other services.
Schlumberger Test & Transactions provides consulting, integration and products for smart card-based transactions, IP (Internet Protocol) network security and wireless services, testing and measurement of semiconductor devices. With 2000 revenue of $1.4 billion and over 8,000 employees in more than 40 countries, it is a business segment of Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), a global technology services company with 2000 revenue of $9.6 billion. More information is available at [www.slb.com].
EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy, implementation and hosting for clients managing the business and technology complexities of the digital economy. EDS brings together the world’s best technologies to address critical client business imperatives. It helps clients eliminate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their customers’ trust and continuously seek improvement. EDS, with its management consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world’s leading companies and governments in 55 countries. EDS reported revenues of $19.2 billion in 2000. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:EDS) and the London Stock Exchange. Learn more at [www.eds.com].
Digital Impact, Inc., the premier provider of online direct marketing for enterprises, announced the addition of NextCard to a distinguished client roster including Fortune 1000 companies in the financial services, telecommunications, business-to-business and retail industries. “Online direct marketing focuses on changing customer behavior and creating a call to action. Digital Impact is helping NextCard direct targeted information and offers to NextCard.com visitors,” said William Park, chief executive officer and chairman of Digital Impact.
! By enabling enterprises to deliver highly targeted messages that maximize the lifetime value of each individual customer, Digital Impact is poised to capture the increasing market demand for building one-to-one customer relationships that span the breadth of the customer lifecycle.
NextCard, Inc. (www.nextcard.com) is considered the leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. Launched in 1997, the Company was the first to offer instant online credit card approval, a choice of customized credit card offers, and exceptional online customer service. NextCard is committed to providing the most robust consumer shopping experience on the Internet and has continued to innovate with its NextCard Concierge(SM) online shopping service, online bill payment services, and comprehensive rewards program. NextCard is also one of the leading direct marketers on the Internet, operates a network of more than 90,000 online affiliates, and has exclusive card relationships with leading online brands, including Amazon.com and MyPoints.com. NextCard was named the No. 1 Internet credit card by Gomez. According to the 2001 “Credit Cards on the Net” study by Brittain Associates, NextCard leads the online credit card market with a 26 percent share.
About Digital Impact
Digital Impact is the premier provider of online direct marketing solutions for enterprises, including market leaders such as Citibank, Dell Computer Corporation, MasterCard, Hewlett-Packard and Bloomingdales. Our solutions enable corporations to create and deliver highly successful email marketing programs that drive revenue, influence prospect behavior and deepen customer relationships. Digital Impact offers clients comprehensive solutions in the following areas: Strategy, Customer Acquisition and Customer Marketing. These solutions enable marketers to deliver integrated marketing campaigns that deepen relationships with existing customers and drive revenue by acquiring new subscribers. At the core of Digital Impact’s solutions is the Impact Technology Platform, which combined with our world-class service, ensures that we create and implement industry-leading online direct marketing campaigns that achieve optimum results. Digital Impact is a member of the TRUSTe Privacy Program and works only with companies that are advocates of strict consumer privacy guidelines.
Digital Impact was founded in October 1997 and currently has more than 300 employees in its Silicon Valley, Santa Monica, Dallas, Chicago, New York and London offices. The company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol DIGI.
CheckFree Corporation announced that it has reached a settlement of the lawsuit it had filed January 25, 2001 against CheckSpace, Inc. for infringement and dilution of its trademarks. Under the terms of the settlement, CheckSpace agrees to immediately begin the process of changing its name to one that is not confusingly similar to that of CheckFree, and to complete the process no later than by August 12, 2001. Allen L. Shulman, CheckFree executive vice president and general counsel said, “We are very pleased with the outcome, and glad that once the matter was appropriately brought to their attention CheckSpace recognized the value to both companies of avoiding the potential for confusion.”
! CheckFree (NASDAQ: CKFR) is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded in 1981 and celebrating its 20th year in e-commerce, CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution in 1997. Today, CheckFree enables 4.8 million consumers to receive and pay bills electronically. The company has multi-year contracts with 245 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through nearly 300 financial services organizations, including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and content sites and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree Software Services division provides solutions that are used to process more than two-thirds of the nation’s six billion Automated Clearing House payments, and reconciliation and compliance products and services to 400 banks and businesses. This division includes CheckFree i-Solutions, the leading provider of interactive e-billing and e-statement software and services that enable companies to transform bills and statements into interactive conduits for customer relationship management, marketing and customer self service. CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management services to thousands of financial institutions nationwide. The division’s clients manage more than 1,000,000 portfolios totaling more than $500 billion in assets. For more information visit [www.checkfree.com].
Electronic Clearing House Inc. announced it has completed the acquisition of the assets of National Check Network, including the association’s name. NCN is an association of 60 collection agencies that contribute to a proprietary database of check writers populated by over three million records. The acquisition strengthens ECHO’s position as the operator of the National Check Information Service (NCIS) check verification system. Combining NCN’s data with existing NCIS data will expand the database to 15 million negative check records. The acquisition also expands ECHO’s collection agency sales channel significantly.
“The acquisition of NCN completes a key part of our strategy that ECHO has pursued for the past two years — to build the nation’s very best database of bad check writers,” stated Joel Barry, chief executive officer of ECHO. “Value in the check verification business is generated by the accuracy and timeliness of check writing data.
“The combined NCN and NCIS data, which is collected daily from over 260 collection agencies around the United States, will result in the most powerful and effective national database available to merchants today.
“By accessing our enhanced NCIS database, a customer will be more likely to have their check approved, a merchant will experience fewer checks being declined, and, on those checks that do bounce, a collections agency will enjoy a better rate of collection. ECHO’s relationship with a nation-wide network of leading collections agencies makes this possible.
“NCIS is a working database used by collections agencies to track bad check writers and motivate them to pay their obligation. This creates a strong incentive to quickly remove any person from the database who has made good on their bad check. Timely updating of the database has positive implications for the check writer, the merchant and the collection agency,” stated Barry. The addition of the NCN group of collection agencies and data also adds value to ECHO’s recently introduced check product, Electronic Check Conversion (ECC).
ECC is a process whereby a merchant can convert a check into an electronic record at the point of sale and then return the paper check to the customer. ECHO’s ECC system also captures an image of the check itself, which in the event of a collection action, becomes a very powerful tool to locate the bad check writer and convince them to honor the check.
For merchants using non-imaging ECC systems offered by third-party vendors, accessing the NCIS expanded database before accepting a check allows a merchant to be as confident as possible about the quality and history of the check writer. Most importantly, it diminishes the number of times a merchant will experience a bounced check transaction.
“Now that we have the premier negative check writer database, we are focused on what we believe are the two remaining strategic keys to becoming the nation’s top check service provider, expanding our management team and building our sales and marketing organization. The collection agencies represent a great sales channel to reach local merchants, because they are a primary point of contact for check services and understand the role that technology plays in efficient and successful collection actions. We intend to leverage these relationships to gain market penetration for several new check products and services that address the needs of merchants in today’s economic environment,” Barry concluded.
Electronic Clearing House Inc. provides debit and credit card processing, check guarantee, check verification, check conversion, check re-presentment, check collection, and inventory tracking to over 58,000 retail merchants and U-Haul dealers across the nation.
Hitachi unveiled this morning an enhanced function smart card controller that has the world’s largest on-chip memory integrated in a smart card device. The ‘AE46C’ controller combines 68KB EEPROM, 160KB ROM, 6KB RAM and a 1024-bit co-processor. Based on a new 16-bit CPU core designed to support multiple applications on one smart card, the ‘AE46C’ controller is an extension to the ‘AE-4’ family and is ideal for USIM cards and high-end applications such as banking systems. It also allows for greater functionality of GSM and SIM cards. Cards equipped with the EEPROM memory will also support UMTS services which offers services through such as financial transactions, e-commerce applications, stock quotes and online gaming. Samples of the new smart card controller will be available this summer.