VISA USA yesterday rolled out a new payment option that gives companies the ability to use prepaid card technology to replace payroll checks. The ‘VISA Payroll’ card will be issued initially by Bank of America, Bank One, First Tennessee, FleetBoston and U.S. Bancorp. The card is targeted at companies that employ unbanked consumers. The American Banking Association says between 12 and15 million households, or 20% of the U.S. population, do not have a banking relationship. Analysts project that this group of unbanked consumers spend about $8 billion annually in check cashing and other financial service fees. VISA estimates its ‘Payroll’ card will save U.S.-based industries an estimated $48 million annually in lost paycheck replacement costs alone. To use a ‘VISA Payroll’ card, employers set-up individual accounts at a participating financial institution for each employee who chooses this method of payment. Pay is credited to an employee?s ‘VISA Payroll’ card account each pay period and is available via ATM/POS. ‘VISA Payroll’ cardholders receive monthly statements and can obtain account information at ATMs or by calling a toll-free number.
Visa Canada this week announced that annual
purchasing on VISA Cards has reached $100 billion, marking a first for the
Canadian credit card industry. The total is expected to exceed $104 billion by
the end of 2001, extending Visa’s run of double-digit growth into its ninth
This milestone underscores a profound shift in consumer purchasing from
cash and cheques that has accelerated dramatically over the last nine years
and continues to gain momentum. VISA cards now account for approximately 16
percent of all consumer purchases in Canada, almost double the share in 1993.
Since 1999, more than 30 products have been introduced by Canadian Visa
Members each designed to address the diversified demands of a market that
continues to become more sophisticated and segmented. Canadians can choose
from 30 different providers of payment services and options offering more than
400 different products and services.
“Convenience, flexibility and choice are behind this powerful trend,”
said Derek Fry, President, Visa Canada. “A VISA branded card, for example, is
carried by 76 percent of Canadian credit card owners and is accepted at
merchant outlets ranging from car rental agencies and super markets to parking
lots and church bazaars. Over the last thirty years, credit cards have
significantly changed the way we shop, travel and manage our day-to-day life.”
Canadian merchants will process approximately 850 million Visa
transactions this year. Going forward, the 26 Visa Canada Members plan to
broaden this purchasing activity by developing and enhancing new products and
services in both the virtual and physical world.
Some of the initiatives in progress or under consideration include
person-to-person payment services; new products and services in
business-to-business electronic commerce; the use of mobile communications
systems, interactive television and personal digital assistants as payment
service delivery channels; new payment authentication and security systems;
and prepaid payment products.
“Electronic commerce payment services are an important priority for the
Visa Members in Canada,” observes Mr. Fry. “Online purchasing is in its
infancy representing a significant growth opportunity for Visa and its
Currently, Visa Canada is working with Members to reinforce public
confidence in the security of electronic commerce. Just last month Visa
introduced payment authentication, an online authentication tool that reliably
verifies the identity of the cardholder participating in an online
As the “World’s Best Way to Pay”, Visa is the leading credit card payment
brand in Canada and around the world. There are more than 23.6 million VISA
cards in Canada accepted at more than 574,000 merchant locations across the
country. VISA is accepted at over 22 million locations around the world
including almost 700,000 ATMs. The Internet address for Visa is www.visa.com.
Discover kicked off its Discover Card “Man of the Year” award program this morning. The grand prize-winning nominee and a guest will win a trip to New York City and receive the red carpet treatment at the 2001 GQ “Men of the Year” Awards ceremony on October 17. After the ceremony, they will join celebrity guests at a VIP post-party. Winners will also receive shopping sprees of $1,000 each on pre-loaded Discover Cards for the grand prize nominee and nominator; $500 each for the first prize winners and $250 each for the second prize winners. The contest requires a nomination by family and friends that includes a short essay describing why the nominee should be recognized for his commitment to a life of style, grace and excellence. This is Discover’s second year as a GQ ‘Men of the Year’ Awards sponsor.
The roll-out of the Malaysian Government Multi-Purpose Card (GMPC) was
signalled today at a ceremony at the IRIS Smart Technology Complex, located in
Technology Park Malaysia, a designated Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) area in
Kuala Lumpur, during which the first batch of enhanced-capability-certified
GMPC cards from IRIS were handed-over to YAB Dato Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamed,
the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The GMPC, which includes the Proton technology, is the first nationwide
government-sponsored multi-application smart card roll-out in the world. Proton
World’s representative in Malaysia, Triumphant Launch Sdn. Bhd., (its
joint-venture with ERG Group) co-ordinated the contribution of the Proton
application to the GMPC with Malaysian Electronic Payment Systems (MEPS) the
Proton licensee in Malaysia, and IRIS technologies, the GMPC consortium member
responsible for providing the smart card system, and Dr Armand Linkens, the CEO
of Proton World, was present at the ceremony.
The GMPC replaces the Malaysian national identity card and driving licence. The
third application on the card is passport information, allowing Malaysian
citizens the option of using automatic gates at Kuala Lumpur airport when
departing from and returning to Malaysia. The fourth government application is
a national health application, which identifies Malaysian citizens entitled to
free or subsidised health care provided by the government.
The non-government applications on the GMPC are a Proton e-purse that is
branded locally as “MEPS Cash”; an ATM cash withdrawal application and a
digital signature application based on the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
In addition to the applications outlined above, the GMPC also contains two
biometrics; a digitised colour photo of the cardholder’s face and two digitised
As the primary use of the GMPC is as a national identity card, the Malaysian
government insisted that all the security personalisation of the card be done
on government premises. The result is that the government’s National
Registration Department now operates what is one of the most advanced and
diverse smart card personalisation centres in the world, capable of
personalising 12,000 cards a day. This centre combines the Proton application
personalisation with the personalisation of the government applications as well
as the card surface printing, and is the first Proton World-certified
personalisation centre in Asia.
Proton was chosen as the common payment mechanism for the two MSC flagship
smart card systems – GMPC and PMPC (the Payment Multi-Purpose Card, to be
launched separately by MEPS), as it provided the most secure solution in terms
of the card security as well as the overall system security. It also has a very
sound back-end system, operated by MEPS, which can detect unauthorised purse
incrementing. This feature, coupled with the system’s unique security
architecture, gives the financial community the necessary level of comfort in
the unlikely event of the card security system being compromised. The Proton
system has also been widely deployed and has the best potential for
accommodating emerging technical innovations which will enhance both the
security of the system as well as the utility of the cards. Finally, the Proton
system, a spearhead implementation of the Open Platform 2.1 standard, has the
best technological and commercial roadmap to adopt global open standards.
To overcome the anticipated difficulties of introducing such a
technologically-sophisticated card to the Malaysian public, the government has
intervened directly, for example charging the same fees for GMPCs as
previously charged for paper documents; paying for a comprehensive publicity
campaign to introduce the GMPC to the public; prioritising the identification
of new uses for the GMPC and deploying them as soon as possible and equipping
all government offices that will use the GMPC with card readers and other
devices as required.
No further paper identity cards will be issued after 31 July 2001 the entire
system will migrate to the GMPC, and it is anticipated that 600,000 GMPCs will
be in circulation by the end of 2001, rising to 19 million GMPCs by the end of
2008. A government amendment to the National Registration Act formally
recognised the GMPC as the national identity card of Malaysia in June 2001.
Armand Linkens, CEO of Proton World, said ” Governments of many countries
around the world are talking about projects like the Malaysian GMPC, and
everyone is talking about multi-application smart cards. The Malaysian
government, under the leadership of YAB Dato Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, has
turned talk into action. IRIS has proved second to none in delivering a very
complex multi-application smart card system. The GMPC project is a classic
example of how Proton World sees the future of smart cards evolving, and I am
confident that it will serve as a model to many other governments.”
Colin Simpson, Managing Director of Triumphant Launch Sdn. Bhd., said “This is
an historic occasion in the development of multiple-application smart cards,
and I congratulate everyone involved in making it happen. The GMPC project is
an excellent demonstration of Triumphant Launch’s co-ordination skills in
cutting-edge technology projects.”
Eddy Cheah, Project Director at the GMPC consortium, said “By embarking in
1997 on what was then a leading edge technology development, Malaysia has shown
that a small developing country is capable of deploying projects of worldwide
technological significance, as long as it is prepared to take calculated risks.
Malaysia had the advantage of a well-accepted and well-managed nationwide
identity card system. By mandating the conversion of the paper-based ID card to
a smart card, the Malaysian government and its Multimedia Development
Corporation (MDC) laid the foundations for a successful development and
deployment of the GMPC.”
Tony Lee, Technology Director at IRIS Technologies, said “IRIS has been able
to acquire significant core technological competencies in smart card technology
as a result of the GMPC. I believe that what we have managed to achieve here in
Malaysia with the GMPC will provide a valuable model for other developing
countries which are aspiring to achieve similar levels of technology transfer
IRIS Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd (IRIS) in 1994 became the first company in Asia to
set up fully-integrated manufacturing facilities for contact and contactless
smart cards, contactless document inserts, and assembled smart card modules in
tapes and reels. IRIS pioneered contactless technology for manufacturing
microprocessor chip based smart card inserts (substrate), as in the
tamper-proof Malaysian passport – the first of its kind in the world. Also
unique to IRIS are its antenna design for microchips to communicate with
readers from a variety of distances, and its own operating system, the M-COS,
which can drive both contact and contactless microprocessor-based smart cards.
IRIS Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd owns copyright of the proprietary Image Retrieval
and Identification System (IRIS – the origin of its name), and the rights to
manufacture products using IRIS core technology. IRIS is the smart card and key
technology supplier to the Malaysian government’s GMPC project. As part of the
GMPC development, IRIS developed unique devices like the Chip Data Verifier
(CDV), the Mobile CAD and Government/banking terminals accepting the GMPC.
IRIS is majority-owned by Malaysian individuals and companies. It is
headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; where its offices in Technology Park
is at the heart of Malaysia’s MSC.
Twelve issuers make up the peer group of $10 billion plus in total managed loans as of mid-year. Capital One leads the group in annual growth, jumping more than 60% since last summer. Sub-prime issuers, Providian and Metris also posted above average gains over the same period according to CardData.
2Q/00 2Q/01 Change
1. Citigroup: 92.3 103.9 +12.6%
2. MBNA: 76.3 90.4 +18.5%
3. First USA: 66.3 63.0 – 5.2%
4. Discover: 43.7 50.2 +14.9%
5. Chase: 32.6 36.7 +12.6%
6. AmEx: 25.9 31.2 +20.5%
7. Capital One: 21.9 35.3 +61.2%
8. Providian: 21.8 30.5 +39.9%
9. BofA 20.4 24.8 +21.6%
10. Fleet: 13.8 14.6 + 5.8%
11. Household 15.9 17.0 + 6.9%
12. Metris: 7.8 10.1 +29.5%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
VendTek Systems Inc. announces the appointment of Rob Cruickshank as Chairman
of the Board of
Directors of Now Prepay Corp. and as a Director of VendTek Systems Inc.
Mr. Cruickshank was formerly President of Mobile Data Solutions from
February 1999 until April 2001 and prior to that was a 28 year senior
executive with BC Telecom (now Telus Corp.) including in the capacity of
President, BC Tel Mobility from November 1992 until June 1997. “We are
delighted to attract the talent and interest of such a respected industry
executive as Rob Cruickshank” says VendTek President Paul Brock. “He has
invaluable experience and extensive knowledge both in the
telecommunications business and in capital markets. As Chairman of Now
Prepay Corp. he will oversee the building of a ubiquitous, North American
electronic prepay services network of self-serve e-Fresh(TM) stations and
POS terminals.” The Company also announces the resignation of Mr. Rashid
Aziz who has served on the VendTek Board for three years. We thank Mr. Aziz
for services rendered as he leaves to focus on his other business
interests. About e-Fresh(TM) The e-Fresh(TM) Network enables cellular and
other prepaid service providers to distribute services electronically to
consumers via a proprietary real time network of self-serve kiosks called
e-Fresh Stations and POS terminals connected to a central server. The
system includes proprietary encryption technology for securing the
transmission of the transactions and significantly reduces the operating
costs for companies, improving efficiencies and profits. About Now(TM)
Prepay Now(TM) Prepay is a new subsidiary of VendTek Systems Inc. set up to
build a ubiquitous, North American electronic retail network of self-serve
e- Fresh(TM) stations and POS terminals for the delivery of prepay
services, in conjunction with strategic retail, prepay service and
transaction processing partners. Now Prepay has the exclusive license for
e-Fresh(TM) in North America. About VendTek VendTek uses its expertise in
payment and self-serve technologies, smart cards and networking to develop
systems for transaction automation. VendTek’s secure proprietary systems
reduce shrinkage, improve access for consumers, increase the number of
selling outlets and selling hours, and enhance overall security making the
systems superior to traditional distribution and alternative channels.
National Processing Company a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc. announced the signing of a multi-year credit card processing agreement with Romacorp, Inc., for its Tony Roma’s Famous for Ribs restaurants. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide merchant processing solutions for Romacorp’s Tony Roma’s Visa and MasterCard transactions. NPC will provide front-end authorization and settlement services to company and participating franchised Tony Roma’s restaurant locations. NPC has made significant investment in developing innovative products and services specifically for the restaurant industry. “We are looking forward to being a part of the NPC family, benefiting from its leadership, industry expertise and economies of scale,” said Richard A. Peabody, chief financial officer for Romacorp, Inc. “Like us, NPC strives to understand the needs of its customers and provide unique solutions that its customers want.” “NPC is delighted to sign yet another premier restaurant group to its portfolio,” said Drew Soinski, senior vice president of Travel and Entertainment for NPC. “Our commitment to the restaurant industry and expertise in understanding its needs, has allowed us to experience dramatic growth in this sector. NPC will continue its commitment and continue to provide innovative cost-effective merchant processing solutions for this industry.” “Once again, NPC has demonstrated its leadership in merchant processing for the restaurant industry,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “We are delighted to sign yet another premier dining establishment like Tony Roma’s.”
About Tony Roma’s Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Romacorp, Inc. operates and through affiliates franchises over 242 restaurant locations on five continents from Miami to San Francisco, Orlando to Vancouver, and Tokyo to Madrid. The Tony Roma’s concept has remained successful in a constantly changing industry by continuously evolving to keep pace with customer’s changing tastes and demands. About National Processing, Inc. National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ([http://www.nationalcity.com]), a Cleveland based $91 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 500,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net]. NPC is not related to or affiliated with NPC International, Inc., the largest franchisee of the Pizza Hut concept, which holds a minority interest in Romacorp, Inc.
ANZ and Visa today announced a strategic program to convert ANZ’s credit card
technology to chip and launch a new secure Internet shopping system.
As part of the multi-year program, ANZ will be the first Australian bank to
Â· convert its merchant terminals to chip-enabled MultiPOS terminals that support
the Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) standard for secure transactions at point of
Â· launch Visa 3-D Secure – a new, more secure technology designed to protect
cardholders and merchants from Internet-related fraud
Â· work with Visa to introduce multi-application chip credit cards.
ANZ Managing Director Cards and e-Payments, Mr Brian Hartzer said the program
established ANZ as the first bank in Australasia to implement chip technology
as a key platform for the future.
ÂThis program is exciting for both ANZÂs cardholders and merchant customers as
it is the first substantial commitment to chip technology in Australia and New
Zealand,Â Mr Hartzer said.
ÂIt means cardholders will be able to shop with much more confidence on the
Internet. Also, merchants using the new MultiPOS terminal will benefit from
additional chip functionality, and EMVÂs added security and chargeback
protection as it rolls out globally,Â he said.
Executive Vice President, Visa International Australia and New Zealand, Mr
Gordon Wheaton said the move by ANZ was an important step in laying the
foundation for the full rollout of chip based cards in Australia over the
ÂOnce this infrastructure is in place it removes one of the most significant
barriers to the introduction of chip based cards for Australian and New Zealand
cardholders,Â said Mr Wheaton.
ÂImportantly, this initiative also means ANZ will be able provide customers
with the same confidence of shopping on the Internet as they currently have in
the real world.
ÂThe program should therefore be seen as one of the most significant
developments in the Australian and New Zealand credit card markets in recent
years,Â he said.
Electronic Clearing House Inc. announced that the company has entered into an agreement to provide Provident Bank, a Cincinnati-based company, with electronic check services and processing as a participating bank in Visa USA’s Point Of Sale check service.
The service allows merchants the ability to electronically accept a check from any financial institution. If the check writer’s financial institution has chosen to participate in the Visa POS check service, the availability of funds is immediately confirmed to the merchant.
If the check writer’s financial institution is not a participating member in the Visa POS check service, under the terms of the agreement, ECHO’s ACH processing system and NCN database will provide the critical infrastructure to enable electronic conversion, verification and guarantee of the checks. Starting this month, several major Visa member financial institutions that have chosen ECHO as their third-party processor are scheduled to initiate their participation in the pilot program for Visa’s POS check service.
“We are very excited to be working with Provident to deliver a complete check-services solution to their participating merchants,” said Joel M. Barry, chairman and CEO of Electronic Clearing House Inc. “The VISA POS service has the potential to sharply reduce check processing costs for banks, while allowing them to provide enormous payment flexibility to the merchant. This program allows merchants to accept checks with confidence by offering three levels of security — check conversion, conversion with verification or check guarantee. With this system, merchants can offer their customers the convenience of checks, while managing their exposure, at a very reasonable cost.”
The POS check service represents a major new initiative by Visa to enable merchants to receive direct online authorization for checks written against consumer demand deposit accounts, similar to credit and debit card transactions. A merchant will be able to convert a paper check automatically to an electronic transaction and will have the option of either verifying availability of funds or guaranteeing payment on the check. The paper check will then be handed back to the customer at the point of sale. Verification significantly reduces the risk of fraud or loss to the merchant. Under the guarantee option, the check is purchased from the merchant at a discount, completely eliminating the risk of loss.
Electronic Clearing House Inc. provides a complete solution to the payment processing needs of merchants, banks and collection agencies. ECHO’s services include debit and credit card processing, check guarantee, check verification, check conversion, check re-presentment, check collection, and inventory tracking. Customers include more than 60,000 retail merchants and U-Haul dealers across the nation.
Scotiabank and the six partners of the Solstice
Alliance today announced a Canadian first — one card that allows Canadians
to access and choose credit, electronic purse, loyalty programs and other
services using microchip technology.
“Scotiabank is the first Canadian bank to deliver on the promise of a
one-card solution for our customers,” says Albert Wahbe, chairman and CEO
of e-Scotia and executive vice-president, Electronic Banking, Scotiabank.
“Customers are demanding ‘smart’ cards that are capable of meeting many of
their lifestyle needs. The Scotiabank solution will give customers greater
control by allowing them to add and delete card services at their discretion.”
The pilot program will be launched early next year in the region around
Barrie, Ontario and more than 12,000 Scotiabank customers will participate.
Scotiabank will test its vision of ‘smart cards’ and be the first company
in Canada to review the applicability of international and Open Platform
standards. Current Scotiabank customers will be able to sign up for the
pilot by contacting their local branch in Barrie or Angus.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the Solstice Alliance,” says Arnold
Birenbaum, chairman of the Solstice Alliance and senior vice president with
Toronto-based Oasis Technology Ltd. “Scotiabank is delivering an all-in-one
card that truly puts the power of payment options in the hands of
consumers. The choice and flexibility offered to customers will be backed
up with the highest levels of security and authentication capabilities.”
The new card is ready for the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa)
implementations that will result in the replacement of magnetic stripe
cards with industry standard chip and striped credit cards. The EMV
standard was designed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa as a common
specification framework to enable chip-based payment cards to communicate
with point-of-sale (POS) terminals around the globe. In addition to the
added simplicity and convenience smart cards offer, the chip-based EMV
standard delivers enhanced levels of security.
Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions, with
about $275 billion in assets and approximately 52,000 employees worldwide,
including affiliates. It is also Canada’s most international bank with more
than 2,000 branches and offices in over 50 countries. Scotiabank is on the
World Wide Web at www.scotiabank.com.
About the Solstice Alliance
The Solstice Alliance was announced in May 2001 and is comprised of six
companies from around the world, each delivering a critical component to
the project. Oasis Technology provides software to facilitate merchant and
card accounting, switching and settlement in addition to a virtual credit
card. Giesecke & Devrient provides its smart card, including embedding and
fulfillment; Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) card applications, security
modules and microprocessing knowledge. Silverline’s CIT ePayments Division
provides PKI security server expertise, on/offshore development, systems
integration and implementation services. Smart Chip Technologies provides
its patented multi-platform smart chip loyalty application and Cardis
provides the micropayments engine capability. Ingenico supplies
point-of-sale (POS) devices and support systems.
William F. Keenan, Chairman of De Novo Corporation, announced the appointment of Randy Christofferson to the Board of Directors, effective July 12, 2001. Randy brings a wealth of management and strategic planning experience to the Board. As De Novo continues to grow, it is reaching out for the expertise and guidance from industry leaders like Christofferson who will help the company achieve its goal of becoming one of the largest advertising and consulting holding companies in North America. “We look forward to his insight and expertise and we know his contributions will be significant in many areas,” said Keenan. “Randy’s talent, vision and experiences will provide the necessary leadership and strategic direction for the Board at a crucial time in our globally emerging business.” “I’m excited about accepting the position and look forward to enhancing De Novo’s opportunities for growth,” added Christofferson. “De Novo has the track record, talent, growth and vision to continue its success.” Randy previously was Chief Executive Officer of Walker Digital, an intellectual property laboratory that created the Priceline.com Internet pricing system and a wide range of other new business methods. Prior to joining Walker Digital, Randy was President of First USA Bank. Under his leadership, the bank grew from $13 Billion to over $70 Billion in consumer receivables and went from the 5th largest domestic issuer to the Number 1 issuer of Visa cards in the world. Randy also spent a number of years with American Express. Randy has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University.
ABOUT DE NOVO
De Novo Corporation is an integrated advertising and consulting company providing strategic direction as well as centralized functional services to its subsidiaries. This allows the separate brands to focus all of their talents and resources on their clients’ needs. In all, De Novo operates internationally with offices in three countries: Canada, United Kingdom and United States. Currently, De Novo owns and operates six international brands: Stratcom; Convergence Group; iLabyrinth; Owen/Holleway Group; Creative Solutions International and De Novo UK. De Novo is a dynamic, ambitious company who through acquisition and organic growth has developed relationships with many Fortune 500 companies. De Novo provides clients with expertise in consumer and business intelligence, management consulting, network solutions, interactive communications, brand and direct marketing services.
Scotiabank and the six partners of the Solstice Alliance announced Tuesday they will introduce a smart card that enables Canadians to access and choose credit, electronic purse, loyalty programs and other services. The pilot program will be launched early next year in the region around Barrie, Ontario and more than 12,000 Scotiabank customers will participate. The new card will be EMV-compliant. The Solstice Alliance was announced in May and is comprised of six companies including: Oasis Technology; Giesecke & Devrient; Silverline’s CIT ePayments Division; Smart Chip Technologies; Cardis; and Ingenico.