Strong demand by Americans for convenience products and services like prepaid phone cards and ATMs are expected this summer. Nearly 70% of the 120,000 convenience stores in the USA now have ATMs. The National Association of Convenience Stores said yesterday that sales of prepaid phone cards are now growing at a 24% annual rate. The U.S. convenience store industry, with 119,750 stores across the country, posted $269 billion in total sales for 2000. With nearly 20,000 outlets in the USA, 7-Eleven launched this year a web-enabled, integrated financial services kiosk that merges the capabilities of an ATM with the benefits of the Internet. Initially, 7-Eleven’s ‘V.com’ project will provide conventional ATM services as well as money orders, money transfers and check cashing. In the future, 7-Eleven anticipates that customers will be able to have touch-screen access to services such as bill payment, deposit capability, event ticketing, travel directions and road maps. In March, 7-Eleven signed an agreement for American Express to be the primary provider of ATM services for ‘V.com’. In late 2000, American Express signed a pact to offer a reloadable, prepaid gift card and an Internet shopping card for 7-Elevens nationwide. 7-Eleven also signed a seven-year exclusive agreement with Western Union Financial Services and Integrated Payment Systems for money transfer and money order services. Earlier this week. Equifax announced a major initiative to provide fully automated check-cashing services through 7-Eleven’s ‘Vcom’ kiosks. The service will be available this summer in 94 store locations in Texas and Florida. (CF Library 12/8/00; 2/6/01; 2/28/01; 3/9/01; 5/22/01)
The ‘Marriott Rewards’ frequent guest program has surpassed 15 million members. Marriott introduced the program exactly four years ago with 2,000 participating hotels. The company says that frequent travelers typically double their number of stays with Marriott lodging brands after joining the program. The 15th millionth member, Neil Thayer of Bath, England, was awarded a trip for two to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
CO-based NAREX will launch an online credit card debt auction next week. The auction will open on Tuesday, May 29 and will conclude on June 5, and will involve $40 million in credit card debt from a major credit grantor. The sale will be conducted online through the ‘NAREX Recovery Optimizer Auction’ channel on the Narex Web site. Instead of selling entire portfolios, NAREX offers lots consisting of similar accounts. Accounts are grouped according to balance, geographic area, and other characteristics. Generally, lots contain between 300 and 2,000 accounts. In addition to bidding on single lots, bidders in the upcoming sale will have the option of buying groups of lots. Lots in the auction will consist of prime and sub-prime credit card debt. Both fresh and previously worked accounts will be offered.
Less than a week after announcing the expansion of its Authorized Reseller Program, USA Technologies, Inc. has received a preliminary order for 10,000 e-Port terminals.
This order for 10,000 e-Ports places this particular partner advantageously to acquire a portion of USA’s first mass produced e-Ports. The order indicates that specific ship dates and quantities are to be provided at a later date by our partner. While there can be no guarantee that this will occur, this preliminary order for e-Port products could result in several million dollars in revenue for USA Technologies.
The Company’s successful unveiling of e-Port at recent trade events for the multi-billion dollar global vending industry has resulted in a substantial increase in inquiries for this exciting new technology. Stephen Herbert, President and Chief Operating Officer for USA Technologies stated, “We are rapidly expanding our distribution and reseller network, setting the stage for our vision to initially mass produce and distribute hundreds of thousands of e-Ports.”
USA Technologies is expected to generate revenue from the sale and installation of e-Port, network service fees, and interactive advertising. The Company is in the forefront of the growing cashless micro-transaction worldwide revolution. “This is a market which we believe will grow exponentially over the next few years, and USA is well positioned to be a major force in the space,” said Mr. Herbert. VISA estimates that U.S. transactions below $10.00 total nearly $400 Billion annually and are virtually untouched by credit cards. This market to date has been virtually untapped due to the traditionally high costs associated with micro-transactions which USA’s e-Port overcomes.
“We have inquiries coming in from strategic partners, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and current and new authorized resellers,” continued Mr. Herbert. “Many inquiries have been generated by the promotion and publicity we received at the NAMA vending exposition earlier this year where some of the biggest players in the vending and communications industries featured our technology in their products,” he said.
Since NAMA, several major vending machine manufacturers and distributors, as well as office equipment suppliers have entered discussions with USA Technologies, seeking to either install e-Port technology and connectivity into their products, or resell it independently. The significant increase in interest in e-Port resulted in USA Technologies last week announcing the expansion of its Authorized Reseller Program to target the multi-billion dollar global vending industry.
USA Technologies is responding to the demand from the marketplace by working with a number of strategic partners to help streamline the manufacturing process, and put in place a worldwide network of resellers to distribute its technology and associated network services to markets worldwide.
e-Port would be the world’s first non-PC e-commerce device that could be embedded into vending machines, gas pumps, office equipment and almost any kind of point-of-sale terminal. The technology enables the conversion of unattended points of sale into intelligent “store fronts”, connected to the Internet, and capable of communicating operational data to operators, conducting cashless micro-transactions and providing interactive media at point of sale. It could come fitted with an interactive, video screen that features rotating banner advertisements, giving location owners the ability to communicate with and improve the buying experience of consumers, promote products, provide free access to web based media such as news, sports and weather and possibly generate incremental revenues from interactive media.
USA Technologies is currently in negotiations with major companies in the Communications, IT and other industries who are interested in partnering with USA Technologies on its e-Port product line. In March of this year, USA Technologies announced a Strategic Alliance with Marconi Online Systems. The alliance creates the most comprehensive end-to-end technology solution for the vending industry by bringing together Marconi Online’s Intelligent Vending(TM) service with USA Technologies’ cashless payment and interactive multimedia capabilities delivered through USA’s e-Port(TM) technology. The combined Marconi Online and USA Technologies product offering will enable vending machines to become intelligent, wireless networked machines capable of reporting machine status, handling many forms of cashless payments, and opening up new opportunities in advertising and promotions through interactive media services.
About USA Technologies:
USA Technologies is recognized as a leader in cashless micro-transactions and interactive media technology and associated financial services. USA Technologies provides credit card activated and other cashless systems, allowing end users, ranging from consumers to business professionals, to communicate, conduct business or make ordinary commerce transactions, outside of the home or workplace. USA Technologies is an IBM (NYSE: IBM – news) Business Partner and an inaugural member of the Sprint (NYSE: FON – news) Enabling Application Service Provider Program for e-commerce. It has also established strategic relationships with a number of global IT, multimedia, and telecommunications companies including Marconi Online Systems, RadiSys Corporation, DoubleClick Inc, and Xerox Corporation. Visit the USA Technologies home page at [www.usatech.com].
CIBC this week launched the ‘CIBC Aerogold ADVANTEX Benefit Online’ which endeavors to turn frequent flyers into frequent buyers. CIBC ‘Aerogold’ cardholders and ‘Aerogold VISA’ cardholders can now earn ‘Aeroplan Bonus Miles’ on their purchases at dozens of affiliated e-retailers, including Indigo.ca, IBM.ca, eBags.com, Sharperimage.com and Justwhiteshirts.com. Bonus miles earned are in addition to the one ‘Aeroplan Mile’ per dollar cardholders receive when making purchases with their CIBC ‘Aerogold’ card. The CIBC ‘Aerogold VISA Card’ is the number one premium credit card in Canada with more than 500,000 cardholders. CIBC’s alliance with Aeroplan allows cardholders to earn additional ‘Aeroplan’ miles, redeemable for free flights on Air Canada and its partner airlines.
While the competition in biometrics remains intense, there is a sense that e-commerce may drift towards the simultaneous analysis of multiple biometric traits. UniSecurity and BioID America have teamed up to deliver the simultaneous recognition of face, voice and lip movement to protect enterprise network transactions, including e-commerce. Under terms of the deal, the BioID biometric authentication technology will be integrated into UniSecurity’s ‘SecuForce’ suite of products for multimodal biometric authentication. ‘SecuForce Version 1.5’ is an enterprise security solution that combines PKI with biometric authentication from monomodal solutions, including fingerprint and iris recognition, which require specialized scanning hardware. Strictly a software-based solution, BioID utilizes only a standard PC web camera and microphone, increasingly common in mobile computing environments.
Payment Systems for Credit Unions, Inc. (PSCU), the nation’s largest Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), recently announced the election of Ed Baranowski as Chairman of the Board. Baranowski has been a member of the PSCU Board of Directors since 1992.
Ed Baranowski is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fairwinds Credit Union. Fairwinds Credit Union has $675 million in assets with 94,000 members served through twelve offices in Central Florida. Fairwinds Credit Union has been a member-owner with PSCU since 1978.
In addition to his role as President and CEO of Fairwinds and his new role as Chairman of the Board, Baranowski is also Chairman of the Board for CENTCUSO and Fairwinds Financial Services, Inc.; Central Florida Credit Union Services Corporations; Past District Governor for Rotary International; and a Board member of the Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He has served on the Board of CUNA, the League, Corporate Central Credit Union Chapter, Services Corporations, Credit Union 24 and Shared Services (FCUSS). Baranowski was inducted into the Florida Credit Union League Hall of Fame in 1996. Baranowski is the author of Executive Excellence, a time management guide for financial executives published by the Credit Union Executive Society in 1984, and is author of Succession Planning (VAP) published in 1992 by CUNA.
PSCU’s president Dave Serlo states, “Ed’s history with and dedication to the credit union industry are unparalleled. His broad knowledge of the industry and his experience with PSCU will provide a great foundation for the PSCU Board of Directors.”
PSCU, founded in 1977, is owned by more than 500 member credit unions representing in excess of 6 million cardholder accounts across the nation. PSCU provides technology and cost-effective, high quality financial services and products solely to credit unions and their members. Additional information can be obtained by visiting PSCU’s website at [www.pscu.net]. For information on ePSCU, a division of PSCU dedicated entirely to Internet product development and delivery, visit [www.epscu.com].
Coinamatic Canada Inc. in conjunction with its ParkSmart division and technology supplier EdgeWare Technologies Corporation, announced that it is presenting its ‘One Solution – One Card -Multiple Benefits’ program, SmartCity, to municipal executives from across Canada at the FCM show in Banff, Alberta.
“The centerpiece of the comprehensive program being demonstrated is the kiosk-based cardholder solution named SelectSmart(TM) from Edgeware”, said Greg Peterson, Executive Vice President of Coinamatic. “Progressive communities are searching for ways to streamline and enhance services for their constituents. Residents benefit by eliminating the need to carry exact change for parking and transit. They also earn loyalty rewards and discounts for shopping at local stores. Merchants benefit from loyal customers and a cost effective marketing program, which leads to increased revenues and profits. The municipality reduces the cost of service delivery at the same time. SmartCity(R) provides tangible benefits to all municipal stakeholders. This level of technology allows us to deliver services that can truly unite and vitalize a community.
Claude G. Beaudoin, EdgeTech’s Vice President Engineering commented, “SelectSmart(TM) is an example of truly putting the consumer in charge of the incentive, services and benefits programs they wish to participate in. Consumers simply insert their smart card into the kiosk to view the status and value of the programs currently on the card, load special discounts or promotional coupons, add funds to the e-purse or add new programs to their card”.
Coinamatic’s user-friendly solution includes parking, transit, library, recreation, special events, e-purse, loyalty, ID, access control and community messaging. The high reliability and robust character of the EdgeWare applications are a good fit for the demanding usage levels of municipal programs.
About EdgeWare Technologies
EdgeWare Technologies is a Canadian software and services firm that designs, develops, markets and supports multi-application, scalable, platform independent smart card software solutions for business, institutions and governments worldwide.
Coinamatic Canada Inc. was founded in 1946 and is one of Canada’s oldest and most respected service companies. Coinamatic has over 54 years’ experience in multi-housing laundry operations, including many public housing facilities, which it serves from fifteen branches across Canada. Coinamatic equipment can be found in more that 15,000 apartment buildings, condominiums, colleges, universities, and public housing facilities. Coinamatic’s 300+ employees truly cater to customers’ needs for convenient, easy-to-use and reliable services. Understanding the specific needs of consumers and the unique needs of municipalities, Coinamatic has implemented over 150 smart card systems across Canada.
ParkSmart Inc. was incorporated in 1997 as a wholly-owned operating division of Coinamatic Canada Inc. ParkSmart is a premier Canadian service company devoted solely to providing cost-effective parking management solutions to municipalities. ParkSmart offers comprehensive, integrated parking management solutions for both on-and off-street parking operations. Its services include strategic consultation, meter and equipment maintenance, coin collection and counting, revenue auditing, and the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies such as smart cards. Through its Canadian-based service bureau, ParkSmart offers client management support, enforcement services, customer service support, on-line cashiering and automated parking ticket processing.
The first full-scale application of Web-based campus card account management capability was launched this week by the University at Buffalo. Using ‘UB Card Online Account Management’, students have access to their ‘Campus Cash’ (bookstore, vending, retail, etc.) and ‘Dining Dollars’ (meal plan) accounts from any Internet-connected personal computer. They can review transaction histories, check balances and transfer money from credit cards or checking accounts into campus accounts. Parents also have the ability to remotely add value to a student’s account. The technology to offer Web access was made possible through an alliance formed between JSA Technologies and Diebold. JSA hosts UB’s secure, password protected site for Web-based transactions and Diebold’s ‘WebAttach’ application provides the interface to the campus card system.
On the heels of announcing a long-term 15+ year patent cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft earlier this week, Orbiscom, Inc, the leading online payment security company, confirmed it holds the rights to a portfolio of more than 50 worldwide patents and patent applications granted in the area of Controlled Payment Technology.
Through real-time online or mobile interfaces, Orbiscom’s technology allows users to control and manage the way Card Payments are made. Orbiscom’s patent portfolio includes the generation of unique user-controlled card numbers in real-time so that a consumer or business user does not have to send their actual card numbers over the Internet.
With the confirmation of Orbiscom’s patents accepted and granted in the United States, Europe (patent number 1029311 covering countries throughout Europe), Israel and Singapore, Orbiscom holds the largest number of patents covering the greatest geographic area and economic value of the Controlled Card Payment industry.
“Our global patent portfolio ensures issuers who implement our technology are receiving the strongest Intellectual Property protection available and that their products are delivered by the leading provider of Controlled Payment Products in a standardized and uniform manner,” said Dr. Ian Flitcroft, Director of Technology and Co-founder of Orbiscom.
The most recently issued and accepted patents, covering a broad spectrum of Controlled Payment functionality, are in Israel and Singapore (patent number 76119). Additional patents are expected to be granted in a range of other countries over the coming months. Orbiscom is the only provider of Controlled Payment Numbers that has been issued patents in this space.
“Orbiscom’s global patent strategy is to ensure that Controlled Payment Number Technology develops as a single, interoperable global standard for secure authenticated online payments,” Flitcroft continued. “As such, we at Orbiscom are using our Intellectual Property portfolio to develop the market in partnership with major players such as Microsoft in a consistent manner. Licensing our technology to other companies is a key part of this strategy and, as indicated by the recent Microsoft cross-licensing agreement, we look forward to future licensing deals as the growth of Controlled Payment Technology continues.”
Orbiscom’s patents and applications in the area of Controlled Payment Number Technology include a range of detail that makes it very hard for competitors to “work around these patents and create non-interoperable standards.” Orbiscom patent filings cover the core Control Payment functionality including, but not limited to:
— a range of controls on debit or credit card numbers that consumers can set including the numbers of use, cash limits, time limits and more; — how Controlled Payment Numbers are generated by issuers; — how Controlled Payment Numbers are issued to users; — how Controlled Payment Numbers are processed; and, — authorization algorithms and system design.
In addition to the core concept, the patents and pending applications cover related concepts and products and a wide range of devices with which consumers could use Controlled Payment Number technology such as software, physical cards, phones, set-top boxes and more.
Controlled Payment Technology (CPN) – Explained
Working within the existing credit and debit card infrastructure, Controlled Payment Number technology allows consumers to generate an authenticated, individual controlled card number in real-time for each merchant or payment instead of transmitting their actual credit card number. They can also select the dollar limit, expiration date and specific merchant site for use. It allows consumers or business users to shop at any e-tailer worldwide with confidence and control and has the potential to eliminate online payment fraud.
Controlled Payment’s available through MBNA, Discover
The technology is fully compatible with all credit card associations, including VISA, MasterCard, and Discover, and does not require merchants to make any system changes. Through its existing customers MBNA, Discover, and Allied Irish Banks, Orbiscom has a potential consumer base of more than 100 million cardholders. Orbiscom, through its global patent portfolio, will continue to license Controlled Payment Number Technology directly to bankcard issuers, processors, technology partners and other parties.
Orbiscom is the creator of Controlled Payment Number Technology for online and real world card payments. Orbiscom’s flagship technology O-power(TM) enables card issuers, e-merchants, consumers and businesses to utilize online and wireless devices for controlled and secure debit and credit payments. Founded in early 1998 by professionals from the financial services, software and Internet industries, Orbiscom has operations in New York, Dublin, London, Brussels, Toronto and Sydney. The company has a highly experienced team of experts in software development, Internet banking systems, card processing systems and product marketing. Orbiscom has been granted patents on Controlled Payment Technology in the US, Europe and other countries worldwide. For more information about Orbiscom, go to: [www.orbiscom.com].
The Board of Directors of Payment Services Interactive Gateway Corp., announced several changes in the Executive Management of the company. Mr. James Mundle has resigned from the company as President & CEO to be replaced in the interim by Mr. Anthony Palumbo who will continue as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Mundle has also resigned from the Board of Directors. In addition, three Vice President positions have been created to take advantage of the experience and strengths of other Executive staff members.
“Following our first year-end and first full quarter as a public company, the PSiGate Board of Directors is determined to realize PSiGate’s full potential for growth and shareholder value,” said Robert Fenos, Chairman of the board. “After careful consideration, we have re-organized the Executive structure to improve the company’s performance in several critical areas in response to the challenges of the past and to take the opportunity a fresh start brings.”
Mr. Steve Jasper has been appointed VP Product and Business Development, responsible for new product features and enhancements, and for developing strategic alliances with financial and technology partners.
Mr. Claude Belmonte has been appointed VP Information Technology, responsible for product development, and the integration of emerging technology, including the payment processing and transaction environment.
Mr. Robert Fenos has been appointed VP Sales, responsible for merchant sales, in addition to his existing duties as Executive VP Operations.
With a new set of directives from its Board of Directors, and a re- focused management team, PSiGate is now positioned to take advantage of a growing e-commerce market opportunity in both the US and Canada. Forrester Research, Inc., in conjunction with Greenfield Online, recently announced total spending on online sales in North America increased from $3.4 billion USD in February to $3.5 billion in March. Even though the number of households shopping online remained at 13.5 million, consumers spent an average of $263 per person in March, compared with $248 in February.
PSiGate offers merchants Internet Gateway Services to process and authorize credit card transactions in real-time, deposit merchant sales into any of over a hundred banks across North America, and provide industry-leading fraud protection for merchants through extensive fraud checks, on a 24/7 basis. Current customers of PSiGate include i-Commerce, ePost (a joint venture between Canada Post and the Bank of Montreal) and Yahoo Canada.
Payment Services Interactive Gateway Corp. (PSiGate) empowers businesses on the Internet by providing secure, cost-effective and trusted e-commerce solutions. PSiGate provides an easy and seamless interface to new or existing online commerce enterprises, offering a reliable means of real-time payment collection and financial transaction processing. Management services include automated shipping calculations, fraud screening, and financial account reporting. PSiGate also provides VISA, MasterCard and American Express Internet Merchant Accounts (Merchant IDs) for Canadian-based businesses and companies wishing to enter into the Canadian marketplace.
Household International, the 123-year-old, $98 billion (managed assets) consumer lender, announced the gift of a $100,000 grant to the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that young people have the basic skills to effectively manage their personal financial affairs. The $100,000 grant will be used to produce 12 “Smart Money-Smart Kids” educational video segments that will provide parents with easy to use personal finance tips on preparing youth to manage future financial decisions.
“Research shows that a large majority of our nation’s youth do not have the fundamental skills to manage their personal finances,” said Gary Gilmer, President and CEO of Household Finance Corporation/Beneficial. “We are excited to partner with Jump$tart on this initiative, not only because it empowers parents and youth with the knowledge they need to make sound financial decisions, but because it aligns with our commitment to helping individuals protect their financial future.”
To encourage self-sufficiency among youth, the 12 “Smart Money-Smart Kids” educational video segments will focus on the following topics; guiding a teen in buying their first car, convincing young adults to save now rather than later, the importance of paying bills on time, why creditors should never be ignored, how to find out what’s in a credit report, simple steps to balance a checkbook, getting a handle on everyday spending, how to win at the college aid game, should you co-sign a loan, handling credit card marketing in college, creating a moving out budget, and explaining the different between gross and net income.
Beginning in June, the educational video segments will be distributed via satellite to television news organizations in the U.S.
“Currently, only 12 percent of high school students in this country graduate having received formal education in personal finance,” said Dara Duguay, Executive Director of the Jump$tart Coalition. “We are therefore pleased to have the opportunity to work with Household as a corporate partner, so that together we can provide today’s parents with helpful lessons that serve to better educate youth on personal finance issues.”
Founded in 1878, Household’s businesses are leading providers of consumer finance, credit cards, non-prime auto finance and credit insurance products in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. In the United States, Household’s largest business operates under the two oldest and most widely recognized names in consumer finance — HFC and Beneficial. Household is also one of the nation’s largest issuers of private-label and general purpose credit cards, including the GM Card and the AFL-CIO’s Union Privilege card. For more information, visit the company’s website at [http://www.household.com]
For more information on the Jump$tart Coalition, visit the organization’s website at [http://www.jumpstartcoalition.org].