DataCard’s VISA Cash Solution

DataCard unveiled a smart card personalization and data preparation solution for reloadable ‘Visa Cash’ cards.    Major card issuers in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America have begun using the new hardware and software solution to issue Visa Cash cards. The system consists of two components that are networked with the DataCard  ‘9000 Series’ card issuance system.  One component is a server that automates the key management process.  The other is a security module that offers high-speed encryption. The DataCard  ‘9000 Series System’ is a modular card issuance system that offers a full range of inline capabilities, including full-color printing, smart card initialization, embossing, indent printing, magnetic stripe encoding, label affixing, topcoat application, forms printing, card affixing, envelope insertion and fixed metering.

Finger Cards Coming

Siemens Semiconductors said Wednesday it will roll-out a fingertip sensor chip by the Fall of this year. Siemen’s fingertip sensor chip digitizes the user’s fingertip directly onto the chip, which can be integrated into a phone, an ATM, an automobile or other applications. The sensor is based on standard 0.8 micron CMOS technology and features 50mW power consumption and 500 dpi resolution. The sensor can register fingerprints in less than 100ms.

Credit Store Acqusitions

SD-based Credit Store, Inc. said it has acquired two non-performing card portfolios representing a combined gross principle of $16.0 million. Since the company’s inception in October 1996 the firm has acquired a total gross principal of $2.0 billion in bad credit card debt. The Credit Store negotiates settlements and offers new credit cards to credit-impaired consumers.

Bull Java Terminal APIs

Bull  announced Wednesday it has been selected by Visa to develop Java Terminal APIs supporting the Visa Open Platform. The Visa Open Platform is destined to accelerate the creation and deployment of smart card-based applications for cards and terminals. Bull is the only supplier working on both card and terminal Java technologies with Visa and for the general market. Following its long-standing collaboration with Visa, Bull is developing the Open Platform terminal software specifications to make it easier and faster for software developers to write applications that accept smart cards. Bull will develop a simulator including the Java Virtual Machine, the APIs and applications on a PC. The APIs use an object-oriented approach that can take advantage of the “write once, run anywhere” features of Java.

“Our final beta-version of the simulator will be ready for June,” said Christian Goire, manager, advanced projects, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals, and president of the Java Card Forum. “This project is consistent with our work on Java, in particular our Java Odyssey I card, based on the specifications of the Java Card Forum, and Odyssey II card that will support Visa Open Platform Card APIs. This cooperation with Visa is an additional step for us to develop Java solutions, to give its Members the most advanced solution currently available.”

“The Visa Open Platform supports the multifunction capability needed to realize our vision for smart cards,” said Judy Smythe, senior vice president, Chip Products, Visa International. “We are pleased to have Bull’s experience with smart cards and multi-application terminals in the development of the terminal software API. The development of the Visa Open Platform Terminal API is a major next step in responding to Visa Member requirements to hasten smart card acceptance worldwide.”

About Bull Smart Cards and Terminals

Bull designs and markets a wide range of contact and contactless microprocessor smart cards, electronic payment terminals and automatic points of contact, including cash dispensers and multimedia kiosk POS terminals. In 1997, these activities generated revenue of $237 million, an increase of 32 percent over 1996.

The history of smart cards at Bull goes back to 1979 when Bull’s Michel Ugon, in collaboration with Motorola, invented the world’s first microprocessor card (CP8 technology). Today, all microprocessor cards worldwide still use Bull CP8 technology for the micro-electronic part (SPOM – Self-Programmable One chip Memory) patent. More than 420 million microprocessor cards use CP8 technology, either as patents, applications or operating systems. Bull is world leader in the electronic purse segment with more than 27 million cards in use in ten countries. Approximately 60 percent of the world’s smart cards used in banking today have been designed by Bull. Bull also is a leader in electronic payment terminals, with 650,000 machines installed worldwide. More information on can be found on the World Wide Web at: [http://www.cp8.bull.net][1], on Groupe Bull at: [http://www.bull.com][2].

[1]: http://www.cp8.bull.net/
[2]: http://www.bull.com/

Credit Risk Training

A highly regarded consumer credit management training program, scheduled for June, is open to individuals from all financial institutions. The program, ‘Consumer Credit – Managing Risk and Reward’, is headed by former Citibank and Ford Motor executive David Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence is also the author of  ‘The Handbook of Consumer Lending’. The seminar is usually offered internally at major banks such as NationsBank, Chase Manhattan and U.S. Bancorp. The program uses case studies, exercises, and a computer-based profit-modeling game to ensure active involvement. The seminar will be in New York City, June 16-18. For more information 1-212-866-2395.

US Wireless Signs Maverick

U.S. Wireless Data announced a transactions processing agreement with Tuscon, AZ-based Maverick International Processing Services Inc. The addition of Maverick significantly broadens the transaction processing capability offered to merchants that implement U.S. Wireless Data’s wireless transaction processing solutions. U.S. Wireless Data and its marketing partners began offering Maverick’s processing capabilities March 21. U.S. Wireless Data and its marketing partners are currently targeting merchants throughout the U.S. that currently own and operate VeriFone TRANZ 330, 380 or 460 dial-up terminals and offering them a complete wireless system using their existing terminals.

Bull Pushes Into North America

Bull announced today at CardTech/SecurTech that it has established two new third-party programs in North America to accelerate end user and market demand for smart card-based solutions in the region, and to provide the strong business model and strategic direction that such initiatives require.

The two new programs are the Smart Card Authorized System Application Supplier (SAS) program and Cooperative Marketing program. Bull also announced that three companies have already joined the Cooperative Marketing program.

“The third-party programs are designed to meet the needs of end users by providing Bull’s superior technology in smart cards, readers and terminals together with application expertise provided by leading smart card system integrators,” said Jack MacKeen, vice president, Smart Cards & Terminals, Bull North/South America.

“The SAS program provides for a close working relationship with the premier smart card system integrators in selected application fields,” he said. “The program allows selected participants to partner with Bull and use the Bull logo in their marketing and sales activities. The Cooperative Marketing program provides a framework for Bull and selected third parties to work together and/or independently to deliver smart card solutions to end users.”

Bull also announced that three companies already have joined the Cooperative Marketing program: Computerized Security Systems, Keyware Technologies and Smart Card Solutions. Computerized Security Systems and Keyware Technologies are represented at Bull’s CardTech booth (#2415).

Under the Authorized System Application Supplier program, Bull provides products (e.g., smart cards, readers, printers and software) and training, plus smart card personalization and systems integration services. SAS partners provide the application(s) compatible with Bull’s products and technology, application expertise support (including customization) plus sales resources. In addition, the program provides for joint sales calls when appropriate as well as coordinated technical support.

Under the Cooperative Marketing program, Bull and third-parties share activities to generate demand through advertising, trade shows, direct mail, etc. Participants in the Cooperative Marketing program need not be SAS partners, but they can work with Bull to join that program if they meet the requirements.

Cooperative Marketing program members demonstrating their capabilities at Bull’s CardTech booth are Computerized Security Systems, showing its smart card-based Saflok physical access control system for the lodging industry; and Keyware Technologies, featuring smart card biometric verification using voice recognition technology.

About Bull Smart Cards and Terminals

Bull designs and markets a wide range of contact and contactless microprocessor smart cards, electronic payment terminals and automatic points of contact, including cash dispensers and multimedia kiosk POS terminals. In 1997, these activities generated revenue of $237 million, an increase of 32 percent over 1996.

The history of smart cards at Bull goes back to 1979 when Bull’s Michel Ugon, in collaboration with Motorola, invented the world’s first microprocessor card (CP8 technology). Today, all microprocessor cards worldwide still use Bull CP8 technology for the micro-electronic part (SPOM – Self-Programmable One chip Memory) patent. More than 420 million microprocessor cards use CP8 technology, either as patents, applications or operating systems.

Bull is the world leader in the electronic purse segment with more than 27 million cards in use in ten countries. Approximately 60 percent of the world’s smart cards used in banking today have been designed by Bull. Bull also is a leader in electronic payment terminals, with 650,000 machines installed worldwide. More information on Bull Smart Cards & Terminals can be found on the World Wide Web at: www.cp8.bull.net, on Groupe Bull Web site: [www.bull.com][1], and in the U.S. at [www.us.bull.com][2]. Those interested in the new third-party programs can call Bull Smart Cards & Terminals at 978/294-3670.

[1]: http://www.bull.com
[2]: http://www.us.bull.com

IVI Markets Oasis

International Verifact Inc. (TSE: IVI; NASDAQ: IVIAF) announced today that its Latin American joint venture, IVI Ingenico Inc., has entered into a strategic alliance with Datagrams S.A. to market Datagrams products in Latin America through IVI Ingenico’s distribution network.

Under the terms of the agreement, IVI Ingenico will become Master Distributor of Datagrams products – Dataloyalty and Datacash – in Latin America, while providing marketing, support and maintenance services on a local basis.

Dataloyalty is a smart card based turnkey system that allows a retailer or financial institution to implement a loyalty program. The Dataloyalty system includes all the logical components of a system, including host software, terminals, communications and cards.

Similarly, the Datacash system was designed to be a closed electronic purse scheme with targeted markets such as stadiums, parking garages, home delivery and tourist resorts. Like Dataloyalty, the Datacash system includes all the necessary components for operation. Both products run on Microsoft Windows 95/NT platforms.

Jorge Fernandez, Executive Vice President and General Manager, IVI Ingenico commented that the agreement with Datagrams is consistent with the company’s vision of providing turnkey systems and solutions, rather than just being a terminal vendor to its customers. “Our company is a world leader in providing smart card based systems, and we believe that this alliance establishes further our leadership in the fast growing market of smart card based applications,” added Mr. Fernandez. “We already have a very successful working relationship with Datagrams in Europe. We know their products well and believe this partnership to be a great opportunity for IVI Ingenico to penetrate new markets and expand our growth in the region, while providing loyalty solutions that are not available from any other vendor.”

Bruno Zysman, President of Datagrams, commented that his alliance with Groupe Ingenico has been very successful in Europe, and that he looks forward to extending this relationship to IVI Ingenico in Latin America. “IVI Ingenico brings to us a great deal of value, including their extensive network of distributors and their years of experience in the Latin America marketplace,” added Mr. Zysman.

Datagrams S.A., based in France, is an integrator and designer of software for smart card solutions. Setting standards for the electronic purse and loyalty field, Datagrams’ expertise also includes the design of database systems, communications protocol transferring data on products and developing interactive touch screen kiosks using smart card readers. Additional information can be found at .

IVI Ingenico Inc., based in Miami, Florida, is a joint venture between IVI and its strategic alliance partner, Groupe Ingenico, of Paris, France.

Groupe Ingenico is engaged in the design, development and sales of secured terminals and complete systems dedicated to electronic payments, loyalty and electronic benefits transfer and is the recognized leader in smart card technology in Europe, Africa and the Asia-Pacific areas. Further information is available at .

IVI is engaged in the design, development and sale of electronic payment solutions for retailers, financial institutions, governments and other businesses. The company’s hardware and software products include solutions for point-of-sale debit/credit/EFT/EBT terminals, check readers, smart card readers, POS printers and secure PIN entry devices. Additional company information is available on IVI’s website at .

New Tango Terminal

Bull rolled out ‘Tango’ yesterday, a new payment terminal for magnetic stripe cards. Tango is a mag-stripe terminal designed for low-volume stores that want to introduce electronic payment facilities. The low-end terminal will sell for less than $200, depending on volume and configuration. Tango can be enhanced by adding pin-pads or external printer, and to read smart cards.

Omnius CardPress

Indigo N.V. said Tuesday it is shipping its new digital solution for color printing on plastic cards, the Omnius CardPress. The Omnius CardPress made its first commercial appearance this week following successful testing and purchase by two industry leaders, Gemplus Ltd. and Novo. The Omnius CardPress creates the highest quality, vibrant color cards in small quantities for proofing, or production quantities of tens of thousands of plastic cards on demand.  It is the only digital press in the plastic card industry.  It can produce individually personalized cards from electronic databases, all in real time, at full production speeds of up to 21,000 card faces an hour.

Da La Rue Joins VISA Smart

De La Rue Card Systems, one of the world’s leading suppliers of smart cards, electronic transaction solutions and identity systems, has today announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Visa International to join the Visa Smart program.

The program is designed to transform the way people pay worldwide by introducing a range of products and services to help financial institutions evolve to smarter, safer chip-based bank cards.

As part of the program De La Rue will provide cards, application development and support enabling Visa members to access De La Rue’s full range of smartcard products, technologies and services. This will include GalactIC, De La Rue’s new range of smart card products based on Java(TM) technology that have been optimized to support applications such as debit, credit, electronic purse, loyalty and electronic commerce.

Kevin Loosemore, managing director of De La Rue Card Systems comments: “As the uptake of smartcard solutions as a global payment method increases pace, the need for a framework that will enable Visa members to migrate their bank cards to chip is essential. With the Visa Smart Program, Visa is delivering a more secure and cost-effective means of processing chip-based payment products.

De La Rue is currently the number one supplier of Visa cards worldwide and we believe that the Visa Smart program will help us achieve our vision that by 2005 10% of the world’s population will possess a De La Rue smart card.”

Patrice Peyret, director of consumer transactions at Sun Microsystems, Inc., comments: “De La Rue is among the world’s leading players in the smart card market and their membership of the Visa Smart program reinforces the role they are playing, along with Visa, to promote the Java Card platform as the standard for smart card development.”

The De La Rue card solution, to be offered in the Visa Smart program, utilizes open platform technologies compliant with Java standards and meets security and application loading requirements defined by Visa for the banking community.

B of A Smart Cards

Bank of America launched Tuesday a new security and encryption process for corporate clients who use ‘WANDA’ electronic services to transfer funds, initiate payments and manage their global accounts. WANDA is Bank of America’s integrated cash management services platform, currently used by more than 600 large BofA corporate clients, in 1,000 sites worldwide, to access their cash management accounts. The new smart cards offer encryption and authentication capabilities, while also providing BofA corporate clients with customization options and security monitoring to track user access to the system.