Mobile Mondex Payments

M.A.I.D plc have signed a commercial contract with Unisource NV to provide business news to mobile devices. The Project initially will enable users of the Nokia 9000 Communicator mobile phone to download NewsSearch Pro, a news-alerting product developed exclusively for the Unisource partnership, on a pay-per-view basis. NewsSearch Pro utilises the Smart Access payment technology system designed by Unisource. The Smart Access Pilot is being showcased this week by Nokia at Telecom Interactive ’97 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Each of the Nokia 9000 users will receive a NatWest bank account available through a Mondex card. In the trial, users can access their bank accounts, deposit, withdraw cash and check the balance their accounts. They also are able to pay for the M.A.I.D?s NewsSearch Pro service and buy new software applications for their Nokia 9000 Communicators over the web, using the Mondex card.

The user inserts the Mondex card into the smart card reader, plugs the reader into the Nokia 9000 Communicator and downloads the credit over the air. The money can then be used for live, online payments over the Internet whilst mobile.

Dan Wagner, Chief Executive of M.A.I.D plc, said; “The Unisource Smart Access technology provides a way to generate revenue from mobile data devices, complementing and extending our subscription services. Having provided a free quote service to mobile phone users for nearly a year, we are enthusiastic about the opportunities for generating revenue through the advent of new technology and the fast growing mobile marketplace”

Julian Wilson, Director Smart Access of Unisource, said; “M.A.I.D have used our software to enable a pay-per-view business service for mobile users. I applaud M.A.I.D’s ability to optimise their business intelligence service for this new expanding customer base. We look forward to extending this to additional Internet access devices supported by new smart card purse schemes.”

OrderStream Software Upgraded

CONNECT, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNKT), a leading provider of business-to-business electronic commerce application software, today announced the immediate availability of OrderStream 2.0, the newest update to its award-winning, high-end, packaged Internet commerce application.

CONNECT also announced the immediate availability of the OneServer 2.5 electronic commerce application development platform which will be bundled with OrderStream 2.0 and also sold as a separate product. These two new releases round out one of the most comprehensive electronic commerce product offerings in the market today.

CONNECT OrderStream 2.0 makes it easier to link to EDI and other back-end systems such as SAP R/3 with the addition of the CONNECT Information Exchange Gateway (IEG), which is based on TSI International Ltd.’s data-transformation and mapping tool, Mercator. Other new enhancements include payment capabilities supporting most credit and procurement cards, full support for ActiveX and an easy-to-use catalog administration tool that simplifies the creation and enhancement of Web-based catalogs. With the fully integrated OneServer 2.5 development environment, rich sell-side functionality, easy integration to back-end systems, and the CONNECT Application Workbench for developing, monitoring and maintaining applications, OrderStream 2.0 is the only truly complete and turnkey electronic commerce solution on the market.

According to Ken Ross, executive vice president of development and chief technical officer, CONNECT, Inc: “Over the last five years, large corporations have come to expect leading application vendors to offer faster deployment time, back-end integration, compliance with the latest standards and technologies and a full set of tools to support their products. With OrderStream 2.0, CONNECT is now the first electronic commerce application vendor to adopt this approach and we expect it to add significant value to our market-leading technology. As the market matures, other vendors in our class will be expected to offer this type of end-to-end solution.”

Highlights of Major Enhancements in OrderStream 2.0:

Information Exchange Gateway (IEG) for Back-End Integration

Available as an option, CONNECT’s IEG minimizes the time needed to integrate with back-end systems, enabling the OrderStream application to go live quickly and providing a faster return on investment. For companies looking to link to EDI, ERP and other legacy applications for purchase orders and order status, IEG provides a gateway that includes TSI Software’s Mercator pre-integrated into OrderStream.

“The rapidly growing business-to-business electronic commerce market demands expeditious order fulfillment,” said Connie Galley, president and CEO, TSI International Software Ltd. “By featuring the seamless back-office integration of TSI Software’s Mercator, CONNECT OrderStream continues to be a powerful option for enterprise-class electronic commerce.”

CONNECT Catalog Administration Tool

CONNECT’s Catalog Administration Tool provides non-technical users with an easy-to-use, intuitive way to create and manage catalogs within the OrderStream 2.0 application. While users can create customer-specific catalogs that automate contract-based purchases, administrators can also use the tool to enhance simple product data with additional Web-based multimedia richness such as pictures and longer text. Written entirely in Java and based on the recently announced CONNECT Application Workbench, the Catalog Administration Tool runs on both Windows 95 and Windows NT.

Credit Card Server Integration for Enhanced Payment Options

OrderStream 2.0 also adds value to the end-user by offering the ability for customers to pay for their orders with most credit cards and procurement cards. Both simple authorization only and full authorization and settlement are supported. In addition, authorization can be configured for any amount and incoming orders can be examined for completeness.

E-Mail Notification for Order Status and Approval

In today’s business climate, buyers don’t always have time to call and check on their order. With OrderStream 2.0, buyers can be notified by any standard SMPT-based e-mail system regarding the status of their order and approval routing.

Highlights of Major Enhancements in OneServer 2.5

Included in OrderStream 2.0 is CONNECT’s OneServer 2.5 development platform. OneServer 2.5 offers a foundation for developing high-end electronic commerce applications and is also available as a separate product. OneServer 2.5 includes two new key features, the OneServer X-Bahn and the OneServer Open Object API.

Similar to the OneServer J-Bahn for Java, the OneServer X-Bahn, is an ActiveX control offering full support for building ActiveX applications. The control can be used in both visual and non-visual scripting environments (such as Visual Basic for Applications). Designed to facilitate easier customization and integration, the OneServer Open Object API is a high performance, open interface to define and extend objects within the OneServer environment. It can be used for real-time integration to existing enterprise systems and to customize OrderStream 2.0, without having to use cumbersome Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripting.

CONNECT Application Workbench for Managing the Application Lifecycle

Announced last month, the CONNECT Application Workbench, an end-to-end solution for managing the application throughout its lifecycle is available as an option in OrderStream 2.0. The CONNECT Application Workbench provides extensions to three third-party tools: CONNECT Object Designer, based on Rational Rose for drag-and-drop creation of OneServer objects; CONNECT Application Component for Java (ACE), based on Marimba’s Bongo for rapid creation of Java-based, back-office administrative tools; and CONNECT Reporting Tools for advanced gathering of business intelligence with reports from COGNOS’ Impromptu desktop reporting and PowerPlay OLAP tools. Fifteen standard buyer and seller reports are provided in OrderStream 2.0.

CONNECT’s Application Workbench also includes two CONNECT- designed tools: CONNECT Site Manager for distributed management of application loading and staging and faster modification to all CONNECT applications; and CONNECT Operations Monitoring Console for comprehensive monitoring of all critical application and server functions such as performance, load balancing and bottlenecks.

Pricing and Availability

CONNECT’s OrderStream 2.0 is available immediately and is priced on a per processor basis beginning at $100,000, which includes a license for OneServer 2.5. The CONNECT IEG starts at $25,000. A version of the IEG supporting SAP R/3 is also available, although pricing has not yet been determined. CONNECT’s Application Workbench is priced at $5,000 per CONNECT application for an unlimited number of seats. The third party applications themselves will be available directly from Rational, Marimba and Cognos respectively or through their authorized resellers. CONNECT OneServer 2.5 is also sold separately and begins at $90,000 per processor.

About CONNECT OrderStream

CONNECT OrderStream, built on CONNECT’s OneServer architecture, is an end-to-end, business-to-business electronic commerce application designed to solve complex business challenges and support key functions necessary for large-scale interactive commerce, including: adaptive response, user registration, personalized catalog and content management, dynamic merchandising, order capture and management, security, payment processing, enterprise integration and systems administration.

About CONNECT OneServer

CONNECT OneServer provides a foundation to develop high-end, business-to-business electronic commerce applications. OneServer incorporates the Oracle 7.3 database, the Netscape Enterprise Server, the Fulcrum text search engine and a five-layer security model using RSA protocols and VeriSign digital certificates. It fully supports both Web browsers and custom client applications, such as Java and ActiveX. The OneServer architecture reduces the amount of custom code and CGI scripting necessary for dynamic site content, resulting in rapid time-to-market for enterprise-class electronic commerce applications.

About CONNECT, Inc.

CONNECT designs, develops, markets and supports enterprise application software for electronic commerce. Its software applications, OneServer, OrderStream and PurchaseStream, allow global companies to automate order capture, build customer intimacy and streamline distribution and supply chain processes.

CONNECT’s end-to-end software solutions are designed to reduce the time and overall cost for businesses to implement and maintain secure and industry-standard sales, marketing and order capture capabilities on the World Wide Web to support large numbers of customers, products and transactions. These solutions reduce costs, increase market share, improve customer satisfaction and enhance demand chain visibility. For more information, telephone 800/262-2638 or access the CONNECT World Wide Web site at [http://www.connectinc.com .][1]

[1]: http://www.connectinc.com

Integrated Debit, Credit & Mondex

International Verifact Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada announced today that they will install Canada’s first complete electronic payment solution for debit, credit and Mondex smart cards in Guelph, Ontario.

Guelph was the first city in North America to be chosen for a community-wide launch of the Mondex system. The launch has been under way since February 1997, and nearly 600 merchant outlets are participating.

The payment solution to be installed in Guelph is an innovative approach to handling Mondex and traditional card payments while preserving the hardware and software base that Royal Bank merchants have invested in. A new IVI PIN (personal identification number) Pad will be attached to Royal Bank terminals to accept the Mondex smart card as well as to allow PIN entry for debit transactions.

“Consumers will either insert their Mondex card into the hand-held `PIN Pad’ to complete a smart card transaction or enter their PIN to complete a debit transaction,” said Frank Moore, Vice President, Merchant and Point of Sale Service, Royal Bank. “We believe this will increase user acceptance of the new solution because consumers do not have to adapt to an unfamiliar process.”

IVI is using a newly-developed PIN Pad that interfaces with Royal Bank’s existing hardware. The PIN Pad was developed jointly by IVI and their strategic partner, Ingenico S.A. of Paris, France.

“When you bundle the unique designs and small card capabilities of Ingenico with IVI’s PIN security and Canadian point-of-sale software expertise, as well as with Royal Bank’s support and knowledge of Mondex payment technology, you come up with a winning combination for advanced card technologies and traditional POS solutions,” said L. Barry Thomson, IVI’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Royal Bank is a member of Royal Bank Financial Group, one of North America’s largest financial institutions and Canada’s leading provider of traditional banking services, investment banking, investment management, and securities custody.

IVI is engaged in the design, development and sale of electronic payment solutions for retailers, financial institutions, governments and other businesses. IVI’s hardware and software products include 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 the IVI website at [www.ivinet.com.][1]

[1]: http://www.ivinet.com

New NBS School Card

NBS Technologies Inc. (TSE:NBS., OTC Bulletin Board:NBSTF.) NBS Technologies Inc. through its Solutions Group has brought the University of Manchester, England, into the future with the introduction of an advanced identity card program. Approximately 12,000 returning students, previously issued with cards, indicated their arrival on campus with a swipe of a card during this year’s registration.

The new identity system has assisted in improving registration procedures for more than 20,000 students and 6,000 staff. This system has also been used by the Students’ Union for recording the issue of items to students, as well as verifying and recording the students’ voting eligibility in Student Union elections.

The identity card project was initiated by a small team under the chairmanship of a Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University when searching for alternatives to the old laminated paper-based library card. The paper-based cards required replacing every year, and did not provide for electronic registration.

In view of the significance of the contract, the University of Manchester, in conjunction with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), ultimately selected a proposal from NBS Technologies from the companies competing in the open tendering process. Working as a team with the Stationery Office (formerly HMSO), NBS has previously provided systems for higher education establishments such as Kingston University, and the security conscious armed services and Palace of Westminister.

“NBS is developing solutions to specifically meet the needs of the education sector,” commented Peter Mann, Director of NBS Solutions in Europe. “Our success at Manchester is very important for many reasons, not the least of which is the reinforcement of the reputation of NBS as a leader of solutions for this market.”

Sian Nash, Director of Finance at the University has been given the responsibility for managing the implementation of the identity card system. The cards were introduced with the support and cooperation of the Students’ Union.

The PVC card design includes information which is computer generated and electronically printed, showing a photo image of the card holder and incorporating a bar code for library purposes as well as the standard magnetic stripe. Feedback from the student body has been positive, with card life expectancy to be the duration of the undergraduate degree program, or approximately three years. At the expiration of the three year period, procedures are in place to cancel cards of graduated students and those that have otherwise left the University’s curriculum.

The magnetic stripe gives the NBS card system the potential to interface with a wide variety of other applications such as photocopy accounts, cashless vending and access control as part of the University’s growth migration path.

Given tight budgets and rising administrative costs, NBS is working in partnership with educational institutions to improve registration, payment and security processes to reduce costs and improve services and security. NBS Solutions is uniquely positioned to offer a variety of flexible approaches, including smart cards, to meet the educational market’s needs.

NBS Solutions is a part of NBS Technologies Inc., a multinational information technology company that designs, manufactures and markets an integrated line of point of sale transaction automation systems, personalization equipment, secure identification and access control systems, plastic cards and related products and services. Customers cover a wide range of market segments including financial institutions, hospitals, universities, government agencies, retailers, oil companies, and marketing organizations. NBS is a Toronto based public company with operations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The company’s shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “NBS”.

PaylinX for Site Server

PaylinX Corporation today announced availability of “PaylinX for Site Server,” a product that makes the PaylinX portfolio of enterprise payment servers readily available to Microsoft(R) Site Server, Enterprise Edition customers. PaylinX, a leader in payment server technology, fully embraces Microsoft’s Internet commerce strategy and is tightly integrated with Microsoft Site Server, a member of the Microsoft BackOffice(TM) family, allowing merchants to exploit future industry developments while protecting them from technological obsolescence.

The PaylinX payment server introduces a radically new approach for handling purchases from customers through the creation of a flexible, enterprise-wide resource servicing a diverse group of payment types, including VISA, MasterCard or American Express, corporate purchasing cards, and prepaid buying instruments. According to Bob Lozano, PaylinX president, “This approach is unique in its ability to simultaneously support real time transaction processing over the Internet along with handling call center agents, interactive voice response platforms and legacy billing/order-entry systems.”

Gordon Orr, retail systems product manager at Microsoft, said “PaylinX is very appealing to merchants since they are able to take a single, unified approach to processing payments from all their customers. Organizations will appreciate the way PaylinX simplifies operations and lowers costs. With PaylinX, Microsoft customers are able to use next-generation payment technology today.”

“PaylinX for Site Server” brings the benefits of PaylinX to merchants utilizing Microsoft Site Server. Easy to install, configure and operate, “PaylinX for Site Server” delivers the best in payment technology and enables a Site Server merchant to begin accepting payments the very first day of operation…straight out of the box.

PaylinX insulates merchants from changes in payment technology by continually incorporating the latest industry standards into the product’s framework. This ensures a logical migration path for PaylinX customers when new standards are adopted, optimally positioning them to exploit new opportunities. For example, a merchant committed to serving buyers via real- time Internet payment options can confidently launch his or her site today with PaylinX and industry-standard SSL encryption technology. Later, as SET becomes widely adopted, the merchant can smoothly segue with PaylinX SET support, minimizing disruption to systems or operations.

“PaylinX fully supports the Microsoft Internet Commerce strategy,” President Lozano added. “Teaming PaylinX with Microsoft Site Server and the Open Payment Architecture enables the merchant to take credit card payments immediately while laying the foundation for the migration to SET 1.0, 2.0, and other future developments.”

PaylinX levels the playing field for the merchant. By leveraging Payment Pipes(TM) technology, PaylinX secures flexibility in selecting credit card banking relationships…giving back much needed control and choices to those driving the business.

“Merchants are facing significant uncertainty,” Microsoft’s Orr pointed out. “The prospect of constant change in the technological and business landscapes further complicates the mix of sorting through tactical positioning issues. Microsoft is establishing a commerce strategy and delivering products to help merchants deal with that change. PaylinX has taken a similar approach in payment technology. Together, these platforms are a winning combination for merchants interested in the long-run.”

Lozano concluded, “Microsoft clearly understands that merchants want choices. The integration of PaylinX solutions with the Microsoft Site Server and BackOffice product family is a clear acknowledgment that payment servers are an excellent way to accept payments from customers and that PaylinX is the leader in payment servers.”

For more information on PaylinX for Site Server, please see [http://www.paylinx.com/siteserver/.][1] For more information on payment servers, see the white paper at [http://www.paylinx.com/paylinx/pbrochure.html.][2] PaylinX for Site Server and the PaylinX V2.4 payment server are generally available and currently shipping.

PaylinX Corporation is an innovator in the field of electronic commerce and the leader in enterprise payment servers. PaylinX software is available from PaylinX Value Added Resellers, PaylinX OEM Partners or directly from the company. PaylinX Corporation is a privately held venture headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri USA and can be reached at 314.692.0929 or [http://www.paylinx.com.][3]

PaylinX, Personal PaylinX, PaylinX Workgroup, PaylinX for Site Server, and “Electronic Commerce. Today.” are trademarks of the PaylinX Corporation. Microsoft, Microsoft Site Server, and BackOffice are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

[1]: http://www.paylinx.com/siteserver/
[2]: http://www.paylinx.com/paylinx/pbrochure.html
[3]: http://www.paylinx.com

IBM Targets Small E-Business

IBM rolled out a range of internet commerce products and services targeted at small business yesterday. The announcement includes a new version of the IBM ‘Net.Commerce’ merchant server, designed to enable SET commerce transactions on any merchant server. The new version of ‘Net.Commerce’ will start at under $5,000 for small businesses. IBM also unveiled the ‘CommercePOINT Payments’ family, the industry’s first suite of end-to-end solutions using the SET 1.0 specification. The family includes IBM ‘CommercePOINT Wallet’ for storing, organizing and controlling electronic payment forms such as credit and debit cards; IBM ‘CommercePOINT eTill,’ an electronic cash register; IBM ‘CommercePOINT Gateway’ to enable acquiring institutions to process SET credit card transactions by linking those institutions with the Internet; and’ IBM Registry’ for SET, which provides the technology to issue and manage the encrypted digital certificates that underlie all SET transactions.

Merchant Services Picks DataCard Products

DataCard Corporation announced today that Merchant Services International (MSI), a leading independent sales organization (ISO) headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., will begin marketing the DataCard Jigsaw modular POS system and the DataCard SilentPartner receipt printer.

The Jigsaw platform can be configured as a transaction terminal or PIN pad. It offers both magnetic stripe and smart card capabilities in one, low-cost platform. SilentPartner is one of the fastest, quietest and most compact receipt printers on the market.

“Jigsaw and SilentPartner provide everything our merchants want in a POS solution,” said Fred Armstrong, president of MSI. “They’re fast, quiet, compact and extremely easy to use. Plus, they offer excellent value at an affordable price.”

Armstrong said Jigsaw and SilentPartner provide his organization with a strong point of difference when competing for new merchants.

“Competitive rates are only part of the package. Merchants also want new solutions that help them process transactions faster and create a more pleasant environment for their customers,” Armstrong said. “Jigsaw and SilentPartner deliver on both accounts.”

Merchants also like the Jigsaw terminal because it provides them with cost-effective smart card capabilities, according to Armstrong.

“When merchants see a Jigsaw demonstration, they realize they can acquire smart card capabilities for the same price as a magstripe-only terminal,” Armstrong said. “They like that dual capability, because they know smart cards are just around the corner. Jigsaw allows them to prepare for smart cards without spending any extra money.”

Armstrong also said merchants like Jigsaw’s design, which recently won the prestigious Essen Red Dot Design Innovation Award.

“Most terminals look the same_they’re boxes,” Armstrong said. “But Jigsaw is an attractive, well-designed platform. It’s simply more aesthetically pleasing than most other POS devices.”

John Mamalakis, senior vice president for DataCard’s financial systems business unit, said the agreement with MSI holds tremendous potential for both companies.

“MSI is one of many new customers who have switched to DataCard POS solutions,” Mamalakis said. “We believe they’ll be extremely successful with the Jigsaw platform and the SilentPartner printer.”

DataCard Corporation, a privately held company based in Minneapolis, Minn., is a world leader in innovative plastic card solutions. The company offers a spectrum of card-related products and services, including transaction terminals, card personalization systems, systems integration services, digital photo ID systems and badging services. [(www.datacard.com)][1]

[1]: http://www.datacard.com

Contactless VISA Cash

The world’s first combined ‘swipe-free’ commuter-cash smartcard will be issued by Visa Spain, and is based on a unique new microcontroller developed by Motorola’s Semiconductor Products Sector. The commuter card will act as a combined travel pass and electronic purse, and can be read both by insertion into card readers and in ‘swipe-free’ contactless mode via sensors at ticket barriers. The new card will be launched by the Madrid Transport Consortium and will replace existing throw-away paper tickets with reloadable smartcards. Initial trials will begin by year’s end..

New Post Office Terminals

PenWare and IBM said Monday they are teaming up to provide thousands of U.S. Post Offices and U.S. Postal Service Stores with PenWare3000 Interactive Transaction Terminals. The terminals will capture customers’ signatures electronically display advertisements, conduct customers surveys, and accept ATM/debit cards and credit cards – all with a single device. The terminals feature backlit, pressure-sensitive screens. The PenWare terminals are part of a new, automated system called POS ONE that IBM has developed for the U.S. Postal Service.

Chase Goes Platinum

Chase has joined the Platinum card war to compete with MBNA, First USA, Banc One and Citibank. The Chase Platinum Visa and MasterCard features credit lines up to $100,000, automatic enrollment in ‘Chase’s Flight Rewards’ program and $1 million in travel accident insurance. Chase Platinum has no annual fee, and an introductory fixed rated of 5.9% for nine months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period the rate for relationship customers is prime +6.4% for balances under $2500 or prime + 4.4% for balances over $2500. Other cardholders will pay prime + 7.4% and prime + 5.4%, respectively.

AmEx Student Loan Program

American Express and Chela Financial USA today announced the launch of one of the most affordable private student loans available for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Marketed by American Express(R) Educational Loans, funded by Chela Financial USA, and guaranteed by The Education Resources Institute (TERI), the loan complements American Express’ federally guaranteed loan products.

The low interest-rate loan is available to students attending accredited 4-year colleges and graduate schools and is designed to meet students’ individual financial circumstances. Flexible loan features include:

Low variable interest rate currently at 8.75 percent, adjusted quarterly Lower guarantee fee for undergraduate students who make in-school interest payments Lower guarantee fee for graduate students applying with a co-borrower; may also apply without a co-borrower In-school and residency deferment options Repayment terms for up to 25 years

“The American Express/Chela Financial private loan makes education more accessible,” said Mark K. Webb, Vice President and General Manager of American Express Educational Financing. “This loan is a great option for students who need to supplement their federal loans.”

In the 1995-96 academic year, nearly $30 billion was borrowed under various federally guaranteed education loan programs, according to a report published last year by The College Board. It is estimated that a further $1.3 billion was borrowed through private loan sources. The growing need for flexible alternatives to the traditional sources of funds spurred the development of this private loan product.

“We are excited to work with American Express,” said Carol L. Coffman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chela Financial. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to combine American Express’ world-class customer service with Chela Financial’s experience of nearly 20 years in education finance to create a product that offers students a choice.”

The American Express/Chela Financial private loan is credit-based and school-certified. Financial Aid Administrators who want more information on offering this product through their schools should contact their American Express Regional Academic Representative or call 800/987-7770.

Founded in 1850, American Express Company is a diversified, world-wide travel and financial services company. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance, international banking and educational lending. To learn more about American Express’ education loan products and services, visit their Web site at [http://www.americanexpress.com/edloans .][1]

Chela Financial USA, Inc., a San Francisco-based non-profit corporation with over $1.3 billion in assets, was created specifically to offer financial access and assistance to students pursing a higher education. Since its inception, Chela Financial has made more than $2.0 billion in financing available to parent and student borrowers. Visit Chela Financial’s Web site at for more information.

[1]: http://www.americanexpress.com/edloans