NYCE reported Tuesday that its network set an all-time one-day volume record on Dec. 24. The network handled more than three million ATM transactions and more than 1.4 million POS transactions on the busiest shopping day of 1999. Significant NYCE Network volumes were also reached on Dec. 31, as consumers rang in the New Year by using their ATM cards more than 2.7 million times. NYCE says Y2K was glitch-free over the first weekend of 2000.
As many as half of all Internet and e-commerce transactions are fraudulent, totaling more than $16 billion annually, according to a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers study. With the brunt of the losses being absorbed by online merchants, TX-based ClearCommerce has released an upgraded version of its ‘FraudShield’ module. The new version offers merchants a product they can customize to detect specific fraudulent attributes encountered by their individual businesses. ClearCommerce’s ‘FraudShield’ is the only product on the market that allows merchants to build rules that block industry-specific or merchant-specific fraudulent transactions. Merchants can enter any combination of more than 50 data fields into Boolean “if-then” expressions to check for fraud. In addition to merchant-configurable fraud rules, ‘FraudShield’ performs automatic lock-outs when repeated fraud attacks are detected and performs built-in preventative checks such as checking for duplicate orders, validating email addresses and verifying zip code and state matches. ‘FraudShield’ is a standard component of the ‘ClearCommerce Engine’ which provides real-time transaction processing with the credit card processors.
Mercantec Inc., leading provider of Internet commerce software products and services, announced a strategic partnership agreement with ClearCommerce of Austin, Texas. As a result of this partnership, the ClearCommerce Engine will be an integral component of Mercantec’s Merchant Connection, giving merchants an automated, easy way to process their e-commerce payment transactions.
“Small to medium-sized e-businesses will greatly benefit from ClearCommerce’s strategic partnership with Mercantec,” said Robert J. Lynch, CEO of Austin, Texas-based ClearCommerce. “The ClearCommerce Engine’s automated, back-end purchasing process will offer SoftCart merchants reliable, scalable transaction processing and ensure that their orders are processed quickly and accurately.”
Announced in early November, Merchant Connection is a value-added service for merchants who are using SoftCart(TM). The Web site provides merchants with unprecedented, immediate and comprehensive access to e-commerce resources, service offerings and add-on products to make their online business a success. Mercantec’s Payment Center, one of the e-commerce resources on the Web site, will use ClearCommerce’s transaction capabilities to automate the process for activating merchants.
“This partnership agreement is part of our ongoing effort to make SoftCart a comprehensive e-commerce solution,” said Andrew Parker, Mercantec president and CEO. “By incorporating ClearCommerce’s online payment processing into our services, we are offering merchants one more way to save time and money.”
ClearCommerce Engine provides a robust and flexible interface between merchants and the financial networks responsible for authorizing online transactions. The service will initially be used for domestic transactions and will be expanding internationally in the near future.
Mercantec SoftCart is the leading virtual storefront software delivered through ISPs and Web hosting providers. SoftCart has been endorsed by many of the world’s leading Internet commerce service providers (CSPs), including EarthLink, MindSpring, Interliant and Verio/Hiway, and is deployed by thousands of merchants. SoftCart 5.0 is a robust, easy-to-use electronic commerce solution that offers Internet service providers maximum performance and security, making it easier than ever for them to deliver and support the electronic commerce demands of their merchants.
Austin, Texas-based ClearCommerce is a leading provider of e-commerce transaction software for nearly 10,000 merchants. ClearCommerce software features real-time credit card processing and robust Internet fraud protection, as well as online reports, back-end integration, storefront integration, shipping/tax calculation and delivery of digital merchandise. Online businesses and commerce service providers alike rely on ClearCommerce’s capacity to supply the essential transaction-processing component that is required for full automation of the online sale. With high-profile venture funding, a four-year track record, world-class customers and a growing international presence, ClearCommerce is realizing its vision to provide secure e-commerce transaction solutions to more online businesses than any other company in the world.
For more information about ClearCommerce, please visit [www.ClearCommerce.com].
About Mercantec, Inc.
Established in 1995, Mercantec, Inc. is a leading provider of software products and services that enable Internet commerce. Mercantec distributes complete e-commerce solutions through leveraged channels to small to medium sized businesses. Among those channels are service providers, financial organizations, and Internet content providers. Mercantec’s service provider channel is more than 165 strong and includes some of the industry’s leaders, such as Verio/Hiway Earthlink, MindSpring and Interliant. Among those in the financial channel are American Express and DataPro Software.
NetZero.com, which bills itself as “Defenders of the Free World”, signed a multi-year, exclusive alliance with Fleet Credit Card Services yesterday. The ‘NetZero MasterCard’ features no-annual-fee and a 0% interest rate for three months. NetZero is a provider of free Internet access. The new card program also offers instant credit with a line up to $50,000. Consumers will be able to access an online application for the ‘NetZero MasterCard’ through targeted banner ads on ‘The ZeroPort’, a navigational tool for NetZero users that provides speed dial to some of the most popular destinations on the Web and through a NetZero/Fleet co-branded area on the Fleet Web site.
Iris recognition for bank tellers and ATMs has picked up serious support from industry suppliers as well as the blessing of consumers. This morning four major bank teller software providers and a teller systems provider announced plans to showcase Sensar’s iris identification products to financial institutions around the world. The four software providers include: The Broadway Seymour Group of SAIC; Fiserv; GetronicsWang; and Unisys. NM-based More, Inc., a provider of Windows-based teller systems, also announced the integration of Sensar’s iris recognition technology with the ‘MORETeller’ system. Currently, 15 banks in nine countries use iris identification at selected ATMs and teller stations. OKI Electric is currently running the world’s largest iris identification pilot at six branches of Japan’s Takefuji bank. UK-based Nationwide Building Society launched the first iris identification pilot at three branch teller stations in May, 1998. In the US, TX-based Bank United was the first financial institution to install iris recognition ATMs. After six months of use at three branches, consumer reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Bank United released a customer survey yesterday that shows 98% of the bank’s iris users described their first experiences as: “easy, great, cool, impressive, exciting, fast, convenient, and futuristic.” The Bank United ‘EyeTM’ survey also revealed that “many” users moved their account to Bank United because of the iris recognition technology.
Wells Fargo & Co. is piloting the Wells Fargo EasyOrder online shopping service for automatic filling of online store order forms at thousands of retailers.
The service is being provided in partnership with Brodia, an e-commerce company dedicated to simplifying online shopping for consumers.
The Wells Fargo EasyOrder service is being made available free to online banking customers through a pilot program that started last month. Wells Fargo is currently piloting the service with 750 customers to gain in-depth customer feedback before it rolls out to its 1.4 million online banking customers early next year. During the pilot, the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service will be available through a private Web site.
Designed to make online shopping easy and convenient, the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service stores purchasing information — multiple billing, shipping and credit card information for automatic filling of online store orders — in one location. Customers will no longer need to re-enter data each time they make online purchases.
In addition, the service will store order confirmations and favorite shopping sites while keeping all of it secure in an encrypted format accessible only with a password and user ID. Search capabilities help customers find a particular product, brand or store, and special offers and discounts are presented for those products selected by the customer.
“More than 1.4 million customers trust us with their online banking, and we aim to extend that relationship into the online shopping arena with the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service,” said Sharon Osberg, executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s Online Financial Services Group.
To shop with the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service, Wells Fargo customers link directly to the online store of their choice and select items for purchase. At the “check-out” section of the online store, customers are requested to fill out an order form with credit card and shipping information.
Instead of typing in information, customers simply click on a button, and the form is automatically completed using information stored by the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service.
“Wells Fargo has consistently taken a leadership role on the Internet,” said Ron Martinez, chief executive officer of Brodia. “By partnering with us to provide an online shopping service, Wells Fargo can assist customers in taking full advantage of online shopping as it becomes an increasingly important part of people’s everyday lives.”
A recent survey found that online banking customers were more comfortable making online purchases than general Internet users. In fact, 77 percent of Wells Fargo’s online banking customers have made purchases online, compared to 42 percent of general Internet users.
As the first major financial services company in the U.S. to launch Internet banking services in 1995 ([www.wellsfargo.com]), Wells Fargo has blazed the trail for interactive tools and features for customers. Wells Fargo started online services through Prodigy in 1989, and over the last decade has introduced a wide range of easy-to-use online services for customers. Today, Wells Fargo is the largest Internet bank in the world.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a $205 billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance services through almost 6,000 stores, its Internet site ([www.wellsfargo.com]) and other distribution channels across North America and elsewhere internationally.
Brodia ([www.brodia.com]) gives consumers a new and better way to shop online. Based in San Francisco and funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Capital Z, Brodia simplifies and organizes online shopping around the individual, helping consumers find what they are looking for while protecting their privacy and eliminating unwanted marketing.
The company’s leadership team has led important innovations in e-commerce and online privacy and security. Brodia played a key role in the development of Electronic Commerce Modeling Language ([www.ecml.org]), an open standard designed to streamline online merchant forms.
NextCard announced that Daniel Eitingon has been elected as a Director of the company. Eitingon is the former President, Global Support Services Group of VISA International and served as a member of VISA’s Management Executive Committee. NextCard also introduced Wednesday a new suite of e-commerce tools for its cardholders at GoShopping!, NextCard’s online shopping destination. The shopping site offers a seamless e-commerce experience and was designed exclusively for NextCard cardholders. Cardholders can also download the NextCard ‘Concierge’, NextCard’s companion digital wallet that expedites log-in and checkout with the click of a button.
The Better Business Bureau system Tuesday released a draft of its new Code of Online Business Practices and began seeking public comment on the code. December 30 is the deadline for comment on the proposed code, which can be viewed at [http://www.bbbonline.org/bu sinesses/code/draft].
The proposed code builds on the Better Business Bureaus — eight decades of experience in fostering ethical business practices. The code also draws on the experience BBBOnLine has gained while reviewing more than 5,000 commercial Web sites to evaluate their qualifications for participation in the BBBOnLine Reliability Seal and BBBOnLine Privacy Seal Programs. The BBB system has a long history of developing codes of business practices and a respected reputation for working effectively with consumers, businesses and government to build trust in the marketplace.
“This new code will be a roadmap for businesses engaged in e-commerce, including many that are new and inexperienced,” said Kenneth J. Hunter, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the umbrella organization for the 132 BBBs in the United States and Puerto Rico. “We believe the best way to protect consumers is to develop common business practices that reflect high standards of conduct, and to encourage the business community to adopt them.”
The Better Business Bureau system is actively seeking input from the e-business community, the government and the public to help make sure the new code reflects the best practices in e-commerce. To maximize public participation, the Web site provides an easy-to-use email response system.
“We look forward to comments from those merchants that are actively involved in offering a quality shopping experience to online consumers,” said Russell Bodoff, senior vice president and COO of BBBOnLine, a subsidiary of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “At the same time, we would welcome input from consumers — those who have enjoyed a safe online shopping experience, and those who have suggestions for improving the Internet marketplace.”
In conjunction with posting the proposed code, BBBOnLine and Better Business Bureaus will host three regional meetings to discuss the new code face-to-face with interested consumers, regulators, trade association leaders and business executives. The meetings will take place in Denver, Colorado, on December 1; Palo Alto, California, on December 2; and Washington, D.C. on December 9. Registration for the regional meetings is available online at [http://www.b bbonline.org/businesses/code/register/default.cfm].
Bodoff said that government officials and regulators, here and abroad, have encouraged development of the code. BBBOnLine will be working with global corporations to solicit input from businesses, consumers and government officials in other countries.
The BBB’s new code of online business practices is the latest effort to give consumers confidence in doing business online and follows the creation of the BBBOnLine Reliability Seal and Privacy Seal Programs. Five basic principles drive the proposed Code’s detailed recommendations:
* Disclose, Disclose, Disclose. Online businesses shall disclose to their customers and prospective customers, clearly, conspicuously and in easy-to- understand language, accurate information about the business, any goods or services offered through an online transaction and, if applicable, the transaction itself.
* Tell the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth. Online businesses shall not engage in deceptive or misleading trade practices with regard to any aspect of electronic commerce, including advertising, marketing, or in their use of technology.
* Aim to Please. Online businesses should make online shopping a positive consumer experience and shall seek to resolve disputes that are raised by their customers, clients, or licensees in a timely and responsive manner.
* Take Special Care with Children. If online businesses target children under the age of 13, they shall take special care to protect them.
For additional information on the Better Business Bureau, visit: [http://www.bbb.org]. For additional information on BBOnLine, visit: [http://www.bbbonline.org].
VISA U.S.A. and Dun & Bradstreet announced two new predictive modeling tools to help VISA Business Issuers more effectively acquire creditworthy small business customers. Considering the tremendous and continual growth spurt small businesses are experiencing and the focus of banks to build their small business portfolios, VISA and D&B developed modeling tools to meet market demand for business card offerings. These new integrated marketing and risk management tools build on the successful foundation of the industry’s first pooled ‘VISA Business Response Model’, introduced by VISA and D&B in 1997 and embraced by banks attempting to identify those small business prospects most likely to respond to a ‘VISA Business’ card offer.
Open Market, Inc. , the market share leader in Internet commerce software, and ClickPay, one of the world’s most advanced electronic payment solution providers, announced a global partnership. The companies have integrated Open Market’s ShopSite store building software with ClickPay’s payment gateway and merchant account credit card processing services. The companies will offer this integrated solution to merchants through ShopSite Internet Service Providers to enable merchants anywhere in the world to open a global merchant account and process credit card payments online, worldwide in multiple currencies.
“This ShopSite and ClickPay integration is a real benefit for small and medium-sized companies that want to expand their business on a global scale,” said Jeff Bussgang, vice president of marketing at Open Market. “ClickPay’s global payment gateway technology is an important element for global e-business. This technology, combined with the robust commerce management functionality that Open Market pioneered, will help ISPs get merchants up and running with a global online store in a matter of days, if not hours.”
Open Market and ClickPay have integrated Open Market’s newly released ShopSite 4.2 with ClickPay to create a seamless experience for merchants signing on with ISPs. This combined turnkey solution gives merchants an easy-to-use store-building product combined with a global merchant account, payment gateway, virtual terminal for off-line orders, a virtual wallet for micropayments, and multi-currency and multi-language support at one of the lowest costs in the industry.
“ClickPay is the solution for companies that want to establish a true global e-commerce operation,” said Christophe Arroyo, managing director of ClickPay. “As important as it is to have the right technology in place to set up a compelling Web store, it is equally important to have the right technology in place to manage the global payment gateway and merchant accounts. By combining Open Market’s e-commerce software solutions with the strength of ClickPay’s integrated services, we will provide merchants around the world one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-use e-commerce offerings that will enable ISPs and merchants to stake their claim in the Internet economy.”
ClickPay, headquartered on Wall Street in New York City, is the first electronic payment solution provider to offer global Internet Merchant accounts that accept credit cards online. ClickPay’s benefits include an advanced, high performance payment gateway, virtual terminal for off-line orders, virtual wallets for micropayments, and multi-currency and multi-language support at a cost that is among the lowest in the industry. ClickPay is the unique solution for companies that want to establish a “true global e-commerce” operation where all aspects of Internet transactions are operated on-line: orders, credit card authorization, secure transmissions, processing, and settlement.
ClickPay maintains a strong relationship with KLELine, the Internet-focused subsidiary of the third largest European bank, BNP Paribas. ClickPay is authorized to open merchant accounts around the world, provide a secure online payment system, obtain digital IDs, process payments in multiple currencies (with all major international credit cards), deposit proceeds directly into clients’ merchant accounts, and make financial settlement without third party fees.
About Open Market
Founded in 1994, Open Market, Inc. (Nasdaq: OMKT) is the market-share leader in Internet commerce software with more than 30,000 merchant licenses sold worldwide. Open Market offers an integrated set of open, scaleable applications that enable enterprises to move their businesses to the Web. Open Market’s products enable companies to build dynamic, personalized, revenue generating Web sites that are cost effective, easy to manage and quickly adapt to changing business requirements. Among Open Market’s distinguished roster of global customers are many of the most popular domains on the Web, including Lycos.com, AOL.com, and the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition; major industrials such as Acer, Ingram Micro, Milacron, and Siemens; and 10 of the world’s top 13 national telephone companies. Open Market’s content management software is used by companies including Lucent Technologies, Hitachi, and Chase Manhattan Bank. The company, headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, has a presence in 30 countries. Open Market’s international head office is in the UK with additional offices in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and The Netherlands. Open Market can be reached by visiting [http://www.openmarket.com].
Intuit Inc. and Discover Financial Services announced this morning a new option that enables Discover Card’s 47 million cardmembers to import account information into Quicken.com. Discover Cardmembers can view daily updates of their account information and edit account transaction descriptions at Quicken.com. The financial management capability is possible through the ‘Open Financial Exchange’ language. The new service expands Intuit’s existing relationship with Discover Card. During the past tax season, Discover cardholders who used ‘TurboTax’ tax preparation software could charge any federal income tax due to their Discover Card account.