Auto parts retailer, The Pep Boys, signed a contract Wednesday to accept the âWright Express Universal Fleet Cardâ, a proprietary GSA fleet card program covering 350,000 GSA and government vehicles, at all 650 Pep Boys outlets by October
Traveling through an airport is enough. Imagine the added stress most business travelers experience in airports while lugging laptops, cellular phones and pagers to keep up with their business demands. At Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, the business world just became a little simpler.
On Friday, September 12, Atlanta-based Blueshift Geodesics, Inc. will unveil its first CyberOasis on the T Concourse of the South Terminal (Delta Air Lines). CyberOasis is a kiosk-based, fully automated business center which gives individuals fast, convenient and economical access to a wide range of services, including email, faxing, Internet access and popular business software. Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell will officially cut the ribbon and send the first Email to activate the kiosk’s services.
Hartsfield International Airport is a hub for millions of international and domestic business travelers. The airport has made a commitment to provide cutting-edge technology services to these travelers. Encouraging vendors such as Blueshift Geodesics to provide quality technology services is part of that strategy.
The comprehensive business services offered by CyberOasis set it apart from other Internet kiosk products on the market. While its competitors offer standard Internet access only, CyberOasis offers users a spectrum of services including:
High-speed Internet browsing AOL/Compuserve access Business applications (Microsoft, Corel, Lotus suites) Telephone Travel reservations News/Sports/Weather Email Fax services Laser printing FTP/Gopher/Usenet Financial updates
“Most current kiosk technology provides simple information retrieval or shopping,” said Hitesh Shah, chief executive officer of Blueshift Geodesics. “CyberOasis is industrial-strength business support for executives on the move. It is their office at their fingertips–right here, right now, when they need it.”
What about those business travelers who carry laptop computers? While laptops are an increasingly common piece of luggage for travelers, many are difficult to connect in airports for online communications. Most laptop modems only operate at 33.3 Kbps. The success of CyberOasis lies in its ability to meet the online demands of business users through its reliance on high-speed digital telecommunications — CyberOasis provides transmission rates from 128 Kbps to 512 Kbps, more than 15 times that of laptop computers.
To make CyberOasis not only fast but also easy, the service combines magnetic stripe credit card readers and easy-to-read, point-and-click instructions on the user interface. Users simply slide a major credit card through the reader, click the desired service and CyberOasis is ready to go to work. While some services are free, the basic price for CyberOasis usage is 33 cents per minute. Domestic faxes are $1 per page, sent or received. Laser printing is 50 cents per page. CyberOasis will also print a receipt if necessary. CyberOasis services at Hartsfield will be free for two weeks, from September 12 through September 26.
The CyberOasis at Hartsfield is one of two of the first installations in Blueshift Geodesics’ national strategy. A kiosk at Kern County Airport in Bakersfield, Ca., will also launch on Friday. The company plans to launch 10 more locations this year and several hundred locations during 1998 at airports and convention centers. Blueshift Geodesics plans to dominate this burgeoning market by offering the most services in a variety of locations.
Blueshift Geodesics, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., was launched in 1996 by its parent company, Atlanta-based Blueshift, Inc., a five-year-old provider of information technology solutions. Its primary focus is software development services and consulting to corporations ranging from mid-sized regional companies to Fortune 500 clientele.
TSYS broke ground yesterday on its new 46-acre corporate campus to be located along the Chattahoochee River in Uptown Columbus, GA .
GTE and Schlumberger Electronic Transactions today announced a strategic alliance for the development and marketing of security solutions for use with smart cards. The resulting products will combine the security features enabled by public key cryptography – digital certificates, digital signatures and data encryption – with the convenience and portability of smart cards.
Smart cards look like credit cards, but contain an embedded computer chip that provides processing power and memory for storing information. They can be used for such applications as network security, mobile telephone communications, electronic banking, retail shopping and much more. When used in conjunction with a password or personal identification number (PIN), smart cards are suitable where access control and data security are critical issues, such as in online banking. Digital certificates provide smart cards with a verifiable form of identification.
“Because of their portability and processing power, the new generation of smart cards allows secure, user-friendly applications to be conducted from almost anywhere. Smart cards will be used for such diverse activities as purchasing a cup of coffee or identifying oneself to a corporate network for remote access from any location,” said Tom Carty, vice president of Marketing and Business Development, GTE CyberTrust Solutions Incorporated. “Together, GTE and Schlumberger seek to deliver this kind of versatility along with the peace of mind that goes with secure transactions.”
“Reliable identification and establishing trust are the keys to the growth of online business activities and electronic commerce,” said Louis Bisasky, general manager of Schlumberger Smart Cards and Systems, North America. “Digital certificates provide identification suitable for this environment, and smart cards, which are small, personal and portable, are the ideal place to store them.”
The two companies plan to integrate GTE’s CyberTrust(TM) digital certificates and Safekeyper(R) Certificate Management System with cryptographic smart cards from Schlumberger. Schlumberger’s Cryptoflex(TM) smart card, announced late last year, will be used in the initial product offering. It is a specialized smart card that supports cryptographic functions, such as digital signatures, as well as secure private key and digital certificate storage, which can be used to secure electronic mail and other communications.
GTE CyberTrust digital certificates provide electronic transactions with a verifiable form of identification and data integrity. Distributed by a trusted third party known as a Certification Authority (CA), digital certificates contain identifying information that cannot be forged or altered and a private encryption key unique to the certificate. Any information exchanged in a transaction is protected by encryption and a digital signature.
The GTE Safekeyper Certificate Management System (CMS) is a fully integrated family of products that provides high-assurance security to create, issue, renew, validate and revoke digital certificates. Developed by BBN, a wholly owned subsidiary of GTE, Safekeyper CMS is designed around a flexible, distributed highly secure architecture and provides all the elements required to manage an effective public key infrastructure.
Using a smart card is similar to using a bank ATM card. The card is inserted into a special reader that interfaces with the embedded chip, and the user enters a password or PIN. As long as the card is in the reader, the user can log into his or her corporate network, access files, open private documents, send encrypted messages, and update the information contained in the smart card.
With revenues of more than $21 billion in 1996, GTE is one of the largest publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. In the United States, GTE offers local and wireless service in 29 states and long-distance service in all 50 states. GTE was the first among its peers to offer “one-stop shopping” for local, long-distance and Internet access services. Outside the United States, where GTE has operated for more than 40 years, the company serves approximately 7 million customers. GTE is also a leader in government and defense communications systems and equipment, directories and telecommunications-based information services, and aircraft-passenger telecommunications. Additional information about GTE can be found on the Internet at [http://www.gte.com.]
About Schlumberger Electronic Transactions
The Schlumberger Electronic Transactions group of Schlumberger, Ltd. (NYSE:SLB) is the world’s largest supplier of cards, terminals, development tools and management systems across the entire range of magnetic and smart card applications. The company offers its customers The Smart Village(R), a flexible portfolio of smart card-based solutions for businesses and communities of all sizes, including the telecom, banking, retail, mass transit and parking, and healthcare sectors.
Schlumberger is a pioneer and leader in smart card technology, recently introducing Cyberflex(TM), the first ever smart card to use the Java(TM) card API from JavaSoft, and Cryptoflex(TM), the first smart card to support strong public key cryptography.
The North American operations of Schlumberger Electronic Transactions are headquartered in Moorestown, New Jersey. The company has its US-based research and development, marketing, and manufacturing operations in Austin, Texas, San Jose, Calif., Owings Mills, Md., and Chesapeake, Va. Additional information about Schlumberger Electronic Transactions can be found on the Internet at [http://www.slb.com/et.]
Gemplus Corporation (Gemplus) today announced the availability of the first ever GSM- based multi-application smart card for the university market. The card carries both electronic purse and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) functionality on the same chip.
Students using the card will be able to make such “small change” purchases as paying for photocopies or buying sodas from a vending machine using the electronic purse application. They will also be able to use the card to make calls from a GSM phone or at a payphone, and to securely access the university network to get a copy of their grades.
The card was developed with CyberMark, a smart card systems integrator targeting the university market. CyberMark’s multi- function campus smart card offering will now expand to enable schools to link up with area GSM telephony networks.
“This new card, for the first time, makes it possible for GSM network operators to tap into the potentially lucrative university market with its heavy phone useage,” said Philippe Martineau, director of Gemplus’ telecommunications business division for the Americas. “In the near future, we will see this closed system concept extended to corporate campuses, resorts, and stadiums.”
Gemplus will have a “live” demonstration of the new multi- application card at their booth (No. 18189) at PCS’97 in Dallas, Texas on September 10-12.
Gemplus Corporation is the North American subsidiary of Gemplus Group, the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe and smart cards. Gemplus Group supplies SIM cards to more than 120 GSM operators worldwide, and is the largest supplier of SIM cards to the U.S. PCS market.
The company manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.
In 1996, Gemplus Group’s total sales were $440 million. By the end of 1997, the company will have a production capacity of 900 million plastic and smart cards.
Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce. Information about Gemplus’ products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: [http://www.gemplus.com.]
CyberMark provides smart card solutions, integration, card issuance, and application development services for higher education, corporate campuses, government entities, stadiums, and resorts. Information about CyberMark can be found on the World Wide Web at: http://www.cybermark.com, or by calling Chris Corum at 850-561-1055.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
RSA Data Security, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDTI), announced today that Visa International plans to conduct a market trial of RSA public-key encrypted smart cards in the United Kingdom and Japan. Visa International and its Member financial institutions plan to launch a new merchant card which uses a Philips Semiconductors P83C858 cryptocontroller chip. The cards are used by merchants to access terminals which accept Visa Cash stored value cards.
The Philips cryptocontroller, utilizing RSA public-key cryptography, will be embedded in credit-card sized devices that are designed to securely authenticate a merchant’s confidential financial information — including bank balances, digital IDs and other information. In addition, the card will be used to configure, validate and protect reader terminals that can accept and authenticate Visa cash cards.
RSA’s public-key cryptography enables mutually authenticated, high- security payment transactions to be processed off-line. The trial is expected to involve more than 15,000 cards in the United Kingdom and several hundred cards in Japan.
“We congratulate Visa International and Philips Semiconductors on the deployment of this widespread financial trial of secure smart card technology,” said Jim Bidzos, president of RSA. “We’re pleased that RSA encryption is playing a key role in enabling applications that require privacy for protecting sensitive financial and personal data.
“For applications of smart cards that involve one’s own money, there’s no such thing as too much security. Philips’ high-quality arithmetic cryptocoprocessor that supports RSA, the world’s brand name in cryptography, provides performance that makes using the card fast and easy.”
“We wanted exceptional security and functionality, plus high performance and memory sizes,” said Irv Wentzien, senior vice president, Visa International. “We are confident that the trials using this advanced chip and technology will help us conduct secure cash transfers.”
“Philips Semiconductors is excited that its smart card cryptocontrollers, which have been embraced by pay-TV conditional access systems, are becoming mainstream in financial applications,” said William Weiss, smart card IC marketing manager at Philips. “We are confident the security and convenience of Visa’s financial transaction system, based on RSA public-key cryptography and Philips’ cryptocontroller, will chart the way forward for public-key cryptographic financial smart cards.”
RSA Data Security, Inc.
RSA Data Security, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc., is the world’s brand name for cryptography, with more than 80 million copies of RSA encryption and authentication technologies installed and in use worldwide. RSA technologies are part of existing and proposed standards for the Internet and World Wide Web, CCITT, ISO, ANSI, IEEE, and business, financial and electronic commerce networks around the globe. The company develops and markets platform-independent developer’s kits and end- user products and provides comprehensive cryptographic consulting services.
Founded in 1982 by the inventors of the RSA Public Key Cryptosystem, the company is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. All product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Digital Equipment Corporation announced today it will team with Wells Fargo & Company , in collaboration with Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) and VeriFone, Inc., to offer customers the virtualStore Program. This complete Internet-based electronic commerce solution meets the growing demands of companies interested in pursuing retail business, sales, and marketing on the Internet. The announcement was made at the Internet Commerce Exposition here.
According to a recent study by Forrester Research Inc., the value of retail electronic commerce could skyrocket from $0.5 billion this year to $7 billion by the year 2000. virtualStore makes it simpler for retailers to understand and implement secure Internet commerce solutions that will expand their markets and reduce costs.
“Large companies and mid-sized businesses can now purchase a total solution for their Internet commerce requirements,” said Ted McKie, director of business development for Digital’s Internet Practice.
“The teaming of Digital, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, and VeriFone delivers the affordability and expertise companies need to take advantage of this exciting new trend in business.”
Digital Worldwide Services will provide the hardware, software, and services to establish a secure and effective retail store on the Internet. Each package will include a Pentium Pro-based Prioris server running a Microsoft Site Server Enterprise Edition Storefront, as well as services to help organizations simplify the design and implementation of the Internet solutions. Wells Fargo will supply Internet credit card clearing services utilizing its Wells Fargo branded VeriFone vPOS merchant software. virtualStore packages are priced at three levels: entry-level, mid-range and high-demand.
“Wells Fargo was first in the industry to offer secure credit card processing over the Internet,” said Michelle Banaugh, vice president of marketing for Wells Fargo’s Electronic Payment Solutions. “The virtualStore Program enhances Wells Fargo’s ability to offer merchants flexible and powerful solutions for their Internet Commerce initiatives.”
A Booming Market
Web commerce transactions will quadruple this year, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). With nearly 90 percent of large companies conducting business on the Internet and 68 million Web users, electronic commerce is a booming retail channel.
“Many companies realize that electronic commerce solutions will help them save exorbitant costs usually associated with opening and maintaining a physical retail store, or printing, mailing, and providing customer service for catalogs,” said McKie. “The virtualStore will enable them to expand their markets, reduce costs, improve customer support, and gain a competitive edge in the market,” he added.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & company has been serving the financial needs of small businesses since 1852, when Wells Fargo agents operated banking and express offices during the California Gold Rush. Today, Wells Fargo & Company is the ninth largest bank holding company in the country, with $101.9 billion in assets. The Wells Fargo homepage is located at [http://www.wellsfargo.com.]
Digital Equipment Corporation, recognized for product and service excellence, is a leading supplier of high-performance, Web-based computing solutions which help enterprises compete in the global marketplace. Digital gives its customers a winning Internet advantage through a comprehensive portfolio of Internet solutions based on award-winning systems, advanced networking infrastructure, innovative software, and industry applications including those from its business partners. The expertise and experience of Digital employees help customers plan, design, implement, manage and support Internet solutions in countries throughout the world. For the latest company information, visit Digital on the World Wide Web at
Citibank Credit Card Master Trust I’s (CCIMT I) $750 million floating-rate class A credit card participation certificates, series 1997-8, are expected to be rated ‘AAA’ by Fitch. The corresponding $48 million class B certificates will be privately placed. In addition, Fitch expects to affirm all CCIMT I ratings, indicating the issuance of series 1997-8 will not result in a reduction or withdrawal of current ratings assigned to outstanding trust certificates.
The expected rating reflects the quality of the receivables generated from Visa and MasterCard credit card accounts, the available credit enhancement, the servicing expertise of Citibank (South Dakota) and transaction’s sound legal and financial structures.
Class A’s enhancement, equal to 11% of the total initial invested amount, is derived from a 5% shared cash collateral account (CCA) and the subordination of the 6% class B certificates. The shared CCA will first support class A then class B, covering losses not paid by excess finance charge collections.
Credit enhancement levels were determined by stressing portfolio steady state yield and payment rate assumptions to determine the level of defaults the enhancement could sustain. Class A is able to support a 35% decrease in yield, payment rates dropping in half and defaults increasing 5 times and still make full and timely payments to investors.
Class A investors will receive quarterly interest payments of three-month LIBOR plus 0.03% throughout the revolving and accumulation periods and on the scheduled final payment date. If an early payout occurs, class A investors will receive monthly interest payments. Following the variable accumulation period, principal is expected to be paid in September 2000.
Series 1997-8’s terms contain an accelerated payout feature to protect investors from deteriorating collateral or a servicer default. If certain triggers are breached, the amounts available in the 5% shared CCA will be drawn upon and immediately distributed to class A investors.
American Banknote Corporation announced today that Leigh-Mardon, the Companyâs Australian-based subsidiary, was awarded a smartcard contract by Telstra, Australiaâs national telephone company. The contract, expected to be worth a minimum of a$18 million over three years, will be there first countrywide application of smartcard technology in Australia and is aimed at upgrading Australiaâs public payphone network integrating a general purpose electronic purse system for financial transactions. Leigh-Mardon is gearing up its equipment for large-scale production with an initial capacity of 20 million smartcards annually. Telstra is expected to require at least 10 million smartcards per year.
Morris Weissman, American Banknoteâs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, âThis contract demonstrates our advantage being the major local producer of smartcards in Australia. Telstra and Coca-Cola plan a joint marketing effort to allow consumers to buy Coke from vending machines with the Telstra smartcard. Both Telstraâs and Cokeâs strong presence in the Pacific Rim should prove to be advantageous in extending American Banknoteâs business in the important geographic area. We expect that other companies in a broad range of industry sectors will follow Coca-Colaâs lead thereby increasing the applications for the Telstra smartcard as a payment medium.â
Through this contract, Leigh-Mardon will be able to offer an integrated range of smartcard related products and services to clients including the manufacture, personalization, secure storage and distribution of cards as well as the supply and related service of terminals and manufacturing equipment.
Weissman concluded, âWe are continuously expanding the capabilities of our Transaction Cards & Systems Group so that we can be a total solutions provider for our customers.â
American Banknote Corporation is a leading global provider of secure transaction documents and systems in carefully selected markets along three major product groups: Transaction Cards & Systems, Printing Services & Document Management, and Security Printing Solutions. A combined strategy of operating along product lines and constant expansion of transaction activities worldwide reflects the rapidly changing field of electronic commerce. Additionally, American Banknote, via its Holographics subsidiary, is the world leader in security for financial transaction cards, including VISA, MasterCard, Discover, Diners Club International, and Europay.
Card bond chargeoffs shifted direction in August rising to 6.91% according to the Fitch Credit Card Performance Index. Fitch anticipated higher chargeoffs for the July collection period, due to an accounting change at First USA and the continued record pace of bankruptcy filings.. Bankruptcies continue to represent a significant portion of chargeoffs and signs indicate no immediate relief. Second quarter 1997 filing represent a 10% increase over first quarter 1997 and 30% over second quarter 1996.. Bankruptcies are expected to top 1.3 million this year. For issuers reporting higher chargeoffs, the weighted average increase was 17%, while the weighted average decrease of issuers who reported improved results were 7%.
Koll-Dove said yesterday its June, July and August sales of over $1.2 billion of bad card debt credit generated over $20 million of recovery dollars for several credit card issuers. Sellers included American General, Barnett, Citibank, First North American, Mercantile, Saks, Specialty Retailers, and Whirlpool. Koll-Dove projects strong prices through the next 12 months.
Microsoft has unleashed its worldwide online secure banking solution which employs 128-bit encryption technology. The U.S. government previously limited exportable financial data software to 64-bit encryption. Earlier this year MS obtained a U.S. Dept. of Commerce license to issue 128-bit digital certificates and to deploy its âServer Gated Cryptoâ online banking solution internationally. More than twenty major international banks have indicated they will use the MS âSGCâ solution, including Wells Fargo, Bankers Trust Australia and Inverlat of Mexico. âSGCâ is an extension of the âSSLâ security protocol and enables a bankâs server to switch on 128-bit encryption if the proper digital certificate is available.
! Microsoft also started shipping its âInternet Finance Serverâ toolkit, formerly code-named âMarbleâ Tuesday. More than 70 financial institutions have agreed to implement the toolkit including CoreStates, Paine Webber and Wells Fargo. The toolkit will be integrated with existing legacy systems and will enable customers to execute transactions over the Internet using âOpen Financial Exchangeâ-based clients.