Visa U.S.A. and rewards-software developers Welcome Real-time and Catuity offered the first public demonstration of the Multi-Network Rewards Solution, a suite of technology components being developed to enable network-independent rewards services for chip-based smart Visa cards issued in the United States.
With these new components, smart Visa issuers will have the flexibility of using software from multiple sources, and merchants will be able to support rewards services on smart cards with varying technologies.
“Developing the Multi-Network Rewards Solution with Welcome and Catuity will help to accelerate the evolution of a robust supply chain for rewards products and services,” said Patrick Gauthier, Senior Vice President of Visa U.S.A. “We believe that the technology being exhibited today will become a cornerstone for chip-based rewards offerings.”
Today’s demonstration at Cartes is the result of an agreement made in April 2002 by Visa, Catuity and Welcome to collaboratively develop network-independent solutions for chip-based smart Visa rewards services in the United States. While initially focused on products and services by Catuity and Welcome, the Network-Independent Rewards Solution is designed to support rewards and electronic-marketing solutions for smart cards and POS devices developed by other companies, as well.
“These developments will help to side-step the format debate,” said Aneace Haddad, President and CEO of Welcome. “They improve the possibility of more rapid adoption by merchants and issuers who will benefit from an expanding pool of loyalty and e-marketing solutions to provide convenient rewards to their customers.”
The new components include software applications for payment and rewards services on cards and point-of-sale (POS) devices, including SchlumbergerSema’s MagIC series of terminals, which were used in today’s demonstrations. The Multi-Network Rewards Solution also includes a Card Care system that allows smart Visa issuers to integrate with multiple hosts and efficiently support cardholder customer-service functions via call centers and Web sites. The Card Care system demonstrated today was developed by Welcome.
Michael V. Howe, President and CEO of Catuity, added, “This new class of products we are collaboratively developing will result in mature solutions that provide more value to card products, increase customer usage and retention, while at the same time reducing risk for card issuers, merchants and payment networks as they begin deployment of a broad range of third-party applications.”
The Multi-Network Rewards Solution is expected to be available beginning the first quarter of 2003.
About Visa U.S.A.
Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives. Nearly 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $949 billion in annual transaction volume – including about half of all Internet payments – with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry 383 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, prepaid and check cards, accepted at approximately 24 million locations worldwide. Visa’s people, partnerships, brand, payment technology and security standards are helping to create universal commerce – the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere, anyway. For more information about Visa, please visit [www.visa.com].
Catuity, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTTY) is a leading provider of application software that allows merchants, transaction processors and payment card issuers to establish and administer customer incentive and loyalty programs integrated to the payment system at the point of sale. The Catuity system can be utilized via mag stripe, smart card, RFID or contactless tokens and to date Catuity’s software applet has been included on millions of chip-based credit cards. Catuity Loyalty Software can be used by a broad range of sellers of goods and services, particularly those who sell both through store locations and over the Internet. With Catuity’s loyalty solution, merchants can offer their customers valuable benefits, thereby attracting and retaining customers as well as encouraging increased purchases. More information on Catuity is available at its website: .
About Welcome Real-time:
Welcome provides smart card software that recognizes and rewards high-value customers in real-time, at the point-of-sale. The company’s clients include financial institutions, retailers, associations and other issuers of card programs. Welcome’s smart transaction platform boosts revenue with services such as instantly awarded loyalty points, coupons, punch cards, vouchers, tickets and cash back … all in a single convenient payment process. With over a hundred implementations involving millions of smart cards and thousands of merchants worldwide operating the company’s software, Welcome has proven repeatedly that its easy-to-deploy solutions generate higher sales for its clients while increasing their customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.
Welcome is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France, with offices in Philadelphia (U.S.) and Singapore. Please visit our Web site at [www.welcome-rt.com].