VISA announced yesterday it will begin offering m-Health services. Through a new partnership with MedicinePlanet, cardholders will have access to up-to-date travelhealth news, information and services. Also, VISA cardholders will receive a 20% discount on the purchase with a VISA card of any MedicinePlanet/SelfCare.com travel health kit through Nov. 3. A variety of specialized travel kits provide the essentials in one carrying pack, from pediatric and dental care to herbal products and women’s care, items not always available in some parts of the world. MedicinePlanet also offers a travel health store, travel insurance, global news and alerts, and travel health clinic information. The program is only available to U.S. VISA cardholders.
Siemens Information and Communication Networks, Inc. announced Gold Line Telemanagement, the largest independent supplier of pre-paid telephone services in Canada, has purchased Siemens’ Fast Feature Platform for implementing Internet-controlled pre-paid calling card services. Siemens Fast Feature Platform II (FFP II) is the platform that interacts with a switching system to enable telephony services such as PPDC. Along with the award-winning Fast Feature Platform, Gold Line is using Siemens’ networking products, including the EWSD digital switching system, the most widely deployed switching system in the world and the award-winning Customer Care and Business Management Platform (CCP), a platform to support customer service agents and generate reports to optimize operating profits.
“Gold Line maintains the highest Canadian volumes of calling card service sales, therefore we need a pre-paid system to maximize the benefits to our customers. We chose Siemens because they provided a complete package which allowed us to streamline our processes using the Internet. This gives us a competitive edge in a market where customer service is imperative for maintaining loyal customers,” said Ata Moeini, President, Gold Line. “Gold Line prides itself on providing the highest quality of services combined with the lowest prices. The pre-paid platform provided by Siemens enables us to meet our own standards to offer our customers better service without a need for any additional charges.”
“In the competitive pre-paid market, Siemens is able to offer our customers an advantage by providing them with their own in-house switching equipment, to go along with the FFP II. This gives Gold Line control over all activities on a daily basis,” said Michael Hanson, director of the AIN Business Unit for Siemens. “Siemens user-friendly Fast Feature Platform allows Gold Line to keep in touch with its customers and insure customer satisfaction.”
The FFP II is a robust, highly scalable, advanced multi-services platform designed to handle high performance, large network demands from growing service providers, hosting a wide variety of local and/or long distance services simultaneously.
Gold Line is taking advantage of a new group of revenue-producing, internet-enhanced advanced intelligent network (AIN) telephony services enabled by Siemens’ Fast Features Platform. These Internet-AIN based service concepts use the Internet based web browser to allow subscribers and small businesses to control powerful, yet easy-to-use services hosted on the Fast Feature Platform (FFP) system. This capability enables the end user to purchase, modify, and activate powerful new services via the Internet. Thus, powerful services become self-provisioning and activated by the end user. This creates additional revenue streams for Gold Line while reducing/eliminating the administration load on the service provider.
The award-winning Customer Care and Business Management Platform (CCP) supports customer service positions, allowing the customer service agents to access calling card histories in real-time and update calling card accounts while talking to customers. The CCP also enhances business profitability by running the industry standard Crystal Reports to generate tailored business reports needed to optimize operations in the fast-moving prepaid calling card market.
Siemens EWSD switches provide a robust platform, rated the most reliable in the United States by the FCC. The EWSD has the flexibility and scalability to address the increasingly diverse local and long distance voice, data and networking communications needs, for a wide range of residential and business customers.
About Gold Line
Gold Line Telemanagement Inc. is the largest provider of pre-paid long distance calling cards in Canada. Established in 1991, Gold Line is the only company of its type in North America that retains complete ownership and control of all aspects of its business. Based in Toronto, Canada, Gold Line has the highest volume of sales in the pre-paid market, as well as providing service internationally to over 55 countries across the globe. For more information about Gold Line and its products, please visit our Web site at http://www.goldline.net
About Siemens Information and Communication
Based in Boca Raton, Fla., Siemens Information and Communication Networks, Inc., is a leading provider of integrated voice and data networks with a comprehensive portfolio of products and solutions for enterprises, carriers and service providers. Last year, the company’s 7,000 U.S. employees generated sales of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit the company’s web site at [http://www.icn.siemens.com[.]]
Siemens Carrier Networks, LLC, is creating converged carrier-class networks incorporating the intelligence and reliability of real-time voice networks into packet based networks. Its open architecture allows a variety of new multimedia based services to be introduced quickly and independently across a variety of network platforms.
Siemens’ Information and Communication Networks Group has many years of experience in consulting, planning, installing and operating converged networks. It is an integral part of the Information and Communications (I and C) business segment of Siemens AG, one of the world’s largest electrical engineering and electronics companies with sales totaling more than $74 billion. I and C comprises the three Groups Information and Communication Networks (51,500 employees, $10.6 billion in sales), Information and Communication Mobile (20,000 employees, $5.3 billion in sales), and Siemens Business Services (34,000 employees, $5.3 billion in sales).
Exxon Mobil announced Thursday that for the first time, consumers nationwide will be able to use the ‘Speedpass’ payment system to purchase products inside participating convenience stores at Mobil-branded service stations nationwide. The company also confirmed plans to extend ‘Speedpass’ to 1,800 Exxon-branded service stations and convenience stores in early 2001. By the end of the summer, more than 3,500 Mobil convenience stores will be equipped to offer ‘Speedpass’ for purchases inside the store. Introduced at fuel pumps in 1997, the ‘Speedpass’ program has been welcomed by more than four million customers, and enrollment continues to grow. The service is provided free to customers who enroll in the program. Purchases are charged to the credit card or check card selected by the customer at the time of enrollment.
MyTurn.com, Inc., a provider of Internet-based, e-commerce computing products and services, and NextCard, the number one Internet credit card, announced that GlobalPC users will have access to NextCard’s instant credit card application process and innovative online shopping tools. NextCard is the only featured credit card offered to GlobalPC users. The GlobalPC is the first truly easy-to-use, full-featured computer (bundled with a complete suite of personal productivity tools including Internet and email access capabilities, word processing, spreadsheets, database, home banking, address book, a calendar, and games) priced at $299 MSRP.
“We partnered with NextCard to allay first time computer users’ apprehensions about shopping online. In addition to making the Internet accessible to the more than 50 million U.S. homes without a computer, the GlobalPC now provides easy and instant access to NextCard’s credit card services featuring fraud protection guarantee and security features making them the obvious choice for GlobalPC users,” said MyTurn.com Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer, Michael Fuchs.
The GlobalPC is the first computer designed for the millions of consumers who do not yet have computers and Internet access. The GlobalPC now features a direct link to NextCard on its homepage .
GlobalPC users will have convenient access to the NextCard application, be able to apply for credit and, if they are approved, immediately begin experiencing the convenience and excitement of shopping online. In the coming months, users will also be able to access NextCard services through GlobalPC’s online registration process. “The credit card is the predominant way people make purchases online,” said Rich Goebel, NextCard’s Vice President of Business Development. “We’re confident that GlobalPC users, who are new to exploring the Internet, will enjoy NextCard’s safe and secure online shopping tools.” The GlobalPC is currently available in select cities at major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Montgomery Ward, Fred Meyer, Babbage’s, and Electronics Boutique stores. Many other retailers are expected to begin selling the product soon.
MyTurn.com is a provider of easy-to-use, inexpensive Internet-based, e-commerce computing products and services targeted at providing a complete solution to the millions of American households without computers and access to the Internet. Offering the first fully integrated PC for under $300, MyTurn.com’s GlobalPC features an easy-to-use interface for the first time computer user and comes with a complete operating system, Internet browser, e-mail package and office suite of software applications (word processor, spreadsheet, database and graphics program). With the touch of a single button, consumers will be able to send and receive e-mail, file attachments and surf the Web using GlobalPC’s online service, built in high-speed modem and enhanced Internet software. MyTurn.com is headquartered in Alameda, California. For more information, visit .
About Nextcard, Inc.
() was named the No. 1 online credit card in 2000 by Gomez Advisors, was ranked No. 1 credit card that Internet consumers would consider for use in ZDNet’s 1999 BrandIQ study, and was nominated for a 2000 Webby Award in the finance category. Launched in 1997, the Company was the first to offer instant online credit card approval, a choice of customized credit card offers, personalized PictureCard(SM) designs, and exceptional online customer service. NextCard is committed to providing the most robust consumer shopping experience on the Internet and has continued to innovate with its complete GoShopping!(SM) service, NextCard Concierge(SM) one-click shopping assistant, online bill payment services, and comprehensive rewards program. NextCard is also one of the leading direct marketers on the Internet and operates a network of more than 60,000 online affiliates.
Internet start-up Cybermoola Inc. announced an alliance with ShopRite, a leading supermarket chain, that makes web-spendable Cybermoola available for purchase throughout the chain’s 190 outlets nationally. For the first time, consumers can use cash at ShopRite stores to buy Cybermoola, which can be used as an alternative to credit card payment for Internet transactions at various web stores.
“Now people without credit cards, or people who prefer not to use credit cards for online purchases, can enjoy the convenience of Internet shopping,” said Eric Freeman, CEO of Cybermoola Inc. “This includes consumers who do not wish to use credit cards online because of security fears, college students and teenagers who do not usually have credit cards, and other cash-dependent consumers.
“ShopRite was our first priority when selecting a retail partner because of its sales volume and commitment to customers,” continued Freeman. “Supermarkets are a natural distribution point for Cybermoola(TM) because they provide a trustworthy environment for buying goods, and because they are visited so frequently by shoppers of all types.”
Jupiter Communications forecasts that the credit card industry’s 95 percent share of online transactions will drop to 81 percent by 2003, with prepaid mechanisms like Cybermoola leading the way. Using Cybermoola to convert cash into Internet-spendable cash, consumers can now shop online in a way that mirrors their preference to shop with cash in brick-and-mortar stores.
“Using Cybermoola, I can shop on the Internet without worrying about adding to my credit card balance,” said Laura Walden, a 27-year-old Cybermoola shopper from Oakland, Calif. “Also, by spending cash on the web, I’m no longer concerned about getting my credit card information stolen.”
Beginning August 13, Cybermoola will be available for purchase in all 190 ShopRite stores. Cybermoola is printed in-store by the Catalina Marketing Network(R). Each printed certificate holds a 16-digit unique serial number (USN). The certificate has a stored dollar value equal to the amount paid to the cashier. Shoppers can use cash to buy Cybermoola in denominations of $20-$100 and then activate the certificate by going to [http://www.cybermoola.com] to establish their account.
ShopRite is the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, with annual sales over $6 billion. Each week, ShopRite serves over four million customers in 190 stores with locations in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware.
About Cybermoola, Inc.
Launched in September 1999, San Francisco-based Cybermoola Inc. is a pioneer in cash-based payment for shopping on the Internet. Cybermoola is prepaid e-money that enables shoppers to purchase merchandise online without a credit card or bank account. It is the first prepaid Internet cash card to be sold in-store at a major national retail chain. This safe and easy-to-use payment option helps e-tailers and retailers transform online and offline consumer traffic into actual online sales. Customers can use Cybermoola online at a complete range of web retailers to purchase clothing, music, books, sporting goods, cosmetics and more. In addition to its in-store availability, Cybermoola can be purchased online at [http://www.cybermoola.com].
College Parents of America and Debix Systems unveiled a pre-paid stored-value MasterCard this morning. The new debit card is obviously geared towards families of college-age students. The ‘College Parents of America MasterCard’ can be used to obtain cash from an ATM machine and for purchases. Parents, as well as students, can regularly track spending activity and remaining balances via a Web interface. The card is also re-loadable whereby students and parents can add additional funds via the Web or by calling the toll-free customer service line. CPA and Debix also announced they are offering a credit card version of the MasterCard under which parents can set credit limits and monitor the account. Parents who acquire either CPA card for their student will receive the College Parents of America/MasterCard International produced booklet “Money Talks — Helping Your High School and College-Aged Children Master the Financial Facts of Life.”
National Processing Company has entered an agreement with BAX Global to provide on-line bill payment using VirtualPAY for BAX Global’s bill payment product ePay. This agreement further expands National Processing Company’s (NPC) presence in the on-line bill payment market. NPC is the second largest provider of merchant credit card processing
VirtualPAY is NPC’s user friendly Internet payment service for both check and credit card payments. VirtualPAY is one of the industry’s leading applications for bill payment, funds transfer and on-line Internet purchases. Current users of NPC’s VirtualPAY services include Chevron, ExxonMobil, E*TRADE and GTE. VirtualPAY is a customizable solution that facilitates on-line payments in both the consumer-to-business and business-to- business markets.
“On-line bill payment is an important part of any billers Internet strategy,” said Eric Barth, NPC vice president of Business Development. “VirtualPAY is a turnkey service that enables BAX Global to accept payments directly from their web site. By giving BAX Global customers value added tools such as VirtualPAY at their web site, BAX Global has created new opportunities for their customers to learn about their complete service offering,” Barth added.
“In VirtualPAY, NPC provided us an inexpensive, flexible alternative to participating in electronic bill presentment and payment. We expect that our small to medium size customers will find this application to be convenient and easy-to-use,” commented Jeff Johnson, BAX Global Manager of Revenue Accounting.
NPC is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and corporate outsourcing solutions. NPC supports approximately 500,000 merchant locations, representing one out of every six Visa and MasterCard transactions processed nationally. Approximately 88 percent of the company is owned by National City Corporation, a Cleveland based $86 billion financial holding company. Additional information regarding NPC can be obtained at http://www.npc.net .
About BAX Global
BAX Global, a $2.1 billion global transportation and supply chain management company, offering multi modal freight forwarding to business-to- business shippers worldwide. The company, headquartered in Irvine, California, operates over 500 offices, located in 123 countries around the world, and has nearly 10,000 employees. Many of the world’s largest companies use BAX Global to manage their supply chain. BAX Global specializes in managing the movement of heavyweight packages and cargo of all shapes and sizes. The company offers specialized services for the aerospace, automotive, trade fairs and exhibits, fashion, hi-tech, and health care industries. The company has more than 180 locations ISO 9002 certified in 23 countries.
San Francisco-based Cybermoola has inked a deal to offer its prepaid cards in the Dallas-area stores of Footaction USA. The program allows consumers to shop online with cash. Select Footaction stores now sell ‘Cybermoola’ cards, which can be bought with cash and then used to shop at Web stores, including Footaction.com. A consumer purchasing ‘Cybermoola’ at a brick-and-mortar location enters the card’s unique serial number at Cybermoola’s Web site, and uses an online account to shop at any site accepting ‘Cybermoola’ as a payment option. Footaction USA operates 551 primarily mall-based stores in 43 states.
Smart cards on carnival midways is gathering momentum. WA-based The Pathways Group is expanding it smart card agreement with Funtastic Traveling Shows. The new agreement calls for Pathways to supply Funtastic with 14,000 additional smart cards, up to 75 additional terminals, and the necessary support services for the hardware and software. It is expected that visitors to the various Funtastic carnival sites will use the ‘Fun Card’ developed by Pathways to perform 300,000 transactions per month during the height of the season in July and August and to perform 60,000 transactions per month in the other months during the summer and fall seasons. With the launch of the Pathways’ midway smart card system last October in San Francisco, Funtastic became the first carnival in the USA to use smart card technology.
eCommony, Inc., a pioneer in person-to-person payment solutions, announced the debut of FundTransfer — the first person-to-person credit card payment application based on eCommony’s PayToCard Network infrastructure. FundTransfer is introduced at eCommony’s website ([http://www.ecommony.com]) and will be available to immediate deployment in the next month.
eCommony released FundTransfer only few weeks after announcing its initial PayToCard infrastructure. FundTransfer is almost an off the shelf solution, allowing every website to use it immediately. It is adapted automatically to the website configuration. Users just have to fill out an electronic form at the website, wait few seconds for approval — and the receiving party receives the money electronically, according to the transaction.
“FundTransfer is a significant component in our overall strategy to become the leading supplier of person-to-person payment solutions over the Internet,” said Saar Safra, Chief Technology Officer of eCommony. “This new solution addresses the rising demand for payments to individuals, in addition to payments to businesses, thus enabling every individual to use the Internet for his daily shopping.”
FundTransfer solves all current problems faced by people accepting person-to-person (P2P) transfers — electronically — such as complex sign-ups, difficult operations, frustratingly long user requirements and the inability to send money from one person’s credit card to another. “That changed completely today with the debut of FundTransfer,” said Mr. Safra.
“FundTransfer solves the thorny issue of instantly transferring money from credit card to credit card which greatly increases utility and reduces the complexity of using the Internet for P2P payments,” said Jim Nations, President and CEO of San Jose-based PocketPass.Com, Inc., which has developed and patented the world’s only combination of pre-paid telephone card and Internet payment system. Nations said that, “While PocketPass enables people without credit cards to make web purchases and P2P payments, we signed up with eCommony because their FundTransfer system is a significant advance that offers quick and easy benefits to PocketPass members who choose to make credit card transactions. We are pleased to offer this powerful new tool to our customers, enabling them to transfer funds between their PocketPass card and their personal credit card accounts.”
The key market of eCommony is the “Mediator Platforms” sector, such as auctions and classifieds web sites. FundTransfer will allow their customers to buy and sell each other with in a mouse click. Small and home businesses will be able to use eCommony’s online registration service that will register them as PayToCard customers within minutes. The online registration service will be launched next month.
About eCommony, Inc.
Founded in 1999, eCommony Inc. designs, develops and markets innovative, patent-pending solutions enabling Person-to-Person (P2P) e-commerce over the Internet. eCommony’s technology is best suited to serve any site providing Auctions, Classifieds, eConsulting, eService and Garage/Yard sales capabilities as well as private Shareware sellers. eCommony’s innovative, patent pending risk management technology, is desigend to fit the specific needs of the P2P market. For more information, please visit the company’s website [http://www.ecommony.com].
About PocketPass.Com, Inc.
Founded in 1999, PocketPass.Com is an Internet service and infrastructure company which has developed and is marketing the PocketPass, a dual-use, patent-pending, anonymous, pre-paid telephone card and Internet transaction system which offers online shopping without a credit card, offers person-to-person payments, an easy-to-use premium-cintent micropayment system and solves the serious payment issue that has prevented e-commerce from taking off outside the United States where fewer than 90% of the people have credit cards. For more information, please visit the company’s website [http://www.pocketpass.com].
The next level of bank credit cards arrived this morning. MBNA America lifted the curtain on a new MasterCard offering a credit line up to $1 million and with an optional air mileage program. ‘Quantum’ cardholders who qualify can access lines of credit totaling $1 million. The first $250,000 of the ‘Quantum’ account is completely available by card, check, or cash. Beyond that a check-accessed line of credit can be arranged for an additional $750,000. An optional ‘Quantum Rewards’ program allows well-heeled cardholders to earn up to one million miles per year, good for unlimited worldwide redemptions. Pricing for the ‘Quantum MasterCard’ varies, but the account typically features a 2.9% introductory rate and a fixed 13.99% rate thereafter. There is no annual fee, but the optional ‘Quantum Rewards’ program costs $75 per year. There are no over-the-credit-limit-fees and no ATM transaction fees. ‘Quantum’ clients also have access to preferred rates on MBNA CDs and MMAs. The program also features a top-of-the-line concierge service called: ‘Quantum Assist’.
American Express Company announced a strategic agreement with SAPMarkets, the SAP AG subsidiary dedicated to creating and powering globally interconnected business-to-business marketplaces, to integrate the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card platform into the SAP Business-to-Business Procurement application. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE 2000, the annual SAP Americas customer conference being held in Las Vegas this week.
! As part of the agreement, SAPMarkets will interoperate with the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card to enable a streamlined payment and reconciliation process for online purchases between buyers and sellers. The American Express Corporate Purchasing Card extends the benefits of the SAP BBP solution by automating the payment, reconciliation and data integration processes, enabling an end-to-end electronic purchasing solution. This interoperability will facilitate the process of order placement, fulfillment, reconciliation, data management and program maintenance.
“As both an American Express and SAP customer, BASF is excited about this interoperability agreement. We look forward to the additional functionality in the areas of data capture and reconciliation that will enable BASF to better manage the online procure-to-pay process,” said David Rice, Manager, Supply Programs, BASF Corporation, Mt. Olive, NJ. “BASF will benefit from the integration of the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card with the SAP BBP.”
“American Express is pleased to expand its relationship with SAP. To serve our mutual customers, we have provided integration between our reconciliation and reporting tool, AccountingLink, and SAP Financials(TM) for several years. Interoperability between the leading inter-enterprise software solutions provider and the leading commercial card provider is a natural extension and evolution of both companies into the new economy — enabling a comprehensive online procurement and payment solution,” said Mac Schuessler, Vice President, Corporate E-Payment Services, American Express.
The American Express Corporate Purchasing Card offers a single-network advantage, which results in enhanced levels of data capture because American Express has direct relationships with both buyers and sellers. This single network enables American Express to provide the best data accuracy rate of any purchasing card, which is critical for effective reconciliation of purchasing records to financial systems and for robust reporting.
About the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card
The American Express Corporate Purchasing Card (CPC), introduced in 1994, helps companies take charge of the purchasing process with a streamlined, detailed and easy-to-use system. For buying organizations and suppliers alike, the Corporate Purchasing Card can help cut costs, reduce paperwork, leverage data and expedite order delivery. Ten e-purchasing application vendors participate in the interoperability program. A complete list of these systems and more information on the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card are available at the following Web address: .
About American Express
American Express ([http://www.americanexpress.com]) is the leading global provider of commercial cards and expense management solutions. Through its Corporate Services group, formed in 1982, the company counts more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500, along with tens of thousands of mid-sized companies, as customers of its Business Travel, Corporate Card and Corporate Purchasing Card programs. In 1996, a unit called Corporate Services Interactive was formed to develop Internet-based products and services for large and mid-sized companies, including American Express @ Work for online Card program administration; AXI Travel and Corporate Travel Online for online corporate travel reservations; and the B2B Commerce Network. The American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.
About SAP Business to Business Procurement
SAP Business-to-Business Procurement includes direct links to mySAP.com Marketplace and other Internet marketplaces through the XML-based Business Connector, enabling one-step business transactions between buyers and sellers. As a result, customers can execute multiparty transactions with a single click. The SAP Open Catalog Interface supports local as well as hosted catalog scenarios. Other updates include sophisticated vendor and material analysis, bidding and procurement card capabilities, tailored user roles and flexible back-end integration with SAP and non-SAP systems.
SAP, mySAP.com and SAP Business-to-Business Procurement are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG .
Other product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.