Hypercom Corp. introduced a new transaction software featuring a POS application and C software development kit. ‘Tejas’ will provide VARs and third-party developers with an easy-to-use, C-based gateway to create custom applications to run on the Hypercom terminal platform.The company says by opening up its proprietary platform to third-party development they hope to increase the overall breadth and depth of features and applications running on Hypercom’s T7 and ICE terminals.
A major wireless POS deal was struck Thursday between BellSouth and VeriFone. BellSouth Wireless Data and VeriFone, Inc. confirmed they will enter into a strategic alliance to develop state-of-the-art, wireless, point-of-sale solutions. By the end of this year VeriFone will introduce wireless terminals that will process over the BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Networks. BellSouth says merchants will be able to process wireless credit card purchases in less than 10 seconds.
“The success of smart cards is tied directly to card acceptance devices consumers like to use and the behind-the-scenes infrastructure’s ability to support rapidly changing electronic transaction applications,” said Frank S. Pierce, APR, PDM, vice president of international marketing and business development, Hypercom Corporation. “Environments that process both emerging microchip-based cards as well as conventional magnetic-stripe based cards will also be requisite.
“The key to every technology adoption is ultimately consumer acceptance, not the technology itself. For the majority of consumers, successful technology is technology the consumer himself isn’t aware of using. The more the technology itself is effortless and transparent to the consumer, the more benefit and value they perceive. Smart cards aren’t yet at this point.”
“Consumers everywhere want faster, more secure, more convenient and reliable interactions without sacrificing control and personal service, regardless of the technology. One factor in delivering these benefits to consumers is the infrastructure. At the front end there must be trouble-free, easy-to-use card acceptance devices for the buyer at the point-of-sale. The behind-the-scenes infrastructure must be flexible, scalable, fast and high performing not only for business as usual, but also to support the tremendous demand for new-century applications like e-commerce, loyalty programs, online advertising, electronic messages and electronic signature capture. For these reasons, touch-screen card ‘swipe’ devices and server-based application software are playing a central role, not a secondary role, in determining whether or not smart cards will become a widespread success.”
“The introduction of chip cards impacts the entire infrastructure, not just the point-of-sale or point-of-interaction devices,” Pierce told IC Card ’99 Conference attendees in Tokyo. “Server-level applications software is the ‘missing link’ adaptive layer to enable host legacy systems put in place two or three decades ago to quickly and easily add new functionality, features, programs and performance needed in 1999 and beyond without disrupting or replacing existing mission-critical legacy systems.”
Out of the more than 2.5 billion cards worldwide used to activate some type of commercial or personal financial transaction, only 99 million smart cards are in circulation. In the United States alone, more than 650 million conventional magnetic stripe-based credit and debit cards exist. The average cost of a smart microchip-based card typically exceeds US$10, compared to four cents for a magnetic stripe card.
However, smart cards offer significantly greater information storage and processing capacity than conventional magnetic stripe-based cards. As a result, they are being used in an array of applications ranging from advanced credit, debit and stored-value cards by banks, to medical and eligibility records and authorizations by healthcare providers, and customer loyalty programs by retailers.
“Keeping the transaction environment current is essential to supporting smart card deployment,” said Pierce. “Accelerating smart cards from the ‘year of the pilot’ to real marketplace success lies in the utility and value they bring to the consumer. New consumer operated touch-screen card acceptance devices and server-level application software offer the advantage of speeding the evolution of the electronic processing industry to handle more sophisticated electronic payment options.”
Pierce noted that the United States lags behind Europe, Asia and Latin America in smart card adoption. Driven in part by the rapid transition to the Euro, Europe is the leading user of smart card payment solutions, with two-thirds of the global use. “The POS and banking/finance industries are in the early stages of a re-tooling for smart cards,” he said. “Server-level application software and faster, portable touch-screen terminals that can read and process an array of card types and applications are in demand from companies that want to stay in leadership positions and be competitive.”
Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-function point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent(TM) payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions. On a global basis Hypercom(R) delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-add programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 60 countries through a global network of offices and affiliates in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com].
First USA has signed-up major Internet merchants for its ‘VersaPay’ digital wallet. New clients include Borders.com, CBS MarketWatch, CoolSavings, CyberianOutpost, FANSonly, Impulse! Buy Network, iVillage, Recompute, SkyMall, ToySmart, Virtual Technology Corporation, Virtual Vineyards and ZD Net. The First USA ‘VersaPay’ service is built on the ‘InstaBuy’ new ‘Agile Wallet Platform’ by CyberCash. Consumers can register for the ‘VersaPay’ service by shopping at e-retailers or visiting websites that use ‘VersaPay’ digital wallet. Once registered, consumers can use ‘VersaPay’ at all merchants offering the service.
JAWS Technologies Inc. announced this week the formation of a business alliance with Cheque Free Corporation, a pioneer in user-friendly, preauthorized payment processing.
The companies have developed a partnership whereby JAWS Technologies will provide security technology and practices to Cheque Free’s Preauthorized Payment program and its related Electronic Funds Transfer technology. Specifically, Cheque Free will incorporate JAWS L5 encryption technology into its current Internet billing solution for the Internet Service Provider market. The addition of this security element to Cheque Free’s electronic payment processing will ensure the integrity of ISPs’ customer billing information against intrusive or malicious acts. JAWS will provide ongoing consultative services to its partner for all security matters.
“Our strategic relationship with Cheque Free complements our business objectives to integrate JAWS security solutions into the electronic commerce and ISP markets,” states Robert Kubbernus, CEO, JAWS Technologies. “We are pleased to partner with a leader in e-commerce and offer our security technologies and practices through Cheque Free’s full service Electronic Funds Transfer technology. E-commerce reaches far beyond simple online transactions between a customer and a vendor. Trillions of dollars in securities, currencies, payment vouchers and settlements move electronically each year. The commercial need for security is astronomical.”
Cheque Free Corporation’s Vice President, Marc Bourgeois confirms that “Working closely with JAWS Technologies will further our mission to increase our clients’ profitability by providing reliable, accurate, timely and now the most secure electronic commerce services in a cost effective manner.”
About Cheque Free Corporation
Cheque Free Corporation is the pioneer in user-friendly, preauthorized payment processing. The company’s Preauthorized Payment program incorporates all of the benefits of Electronic Fund Transfer technology into one complete, full-service package. The benefits of the full-service system are being enjoyed by a variety of industry types such as insurance, health and Internet Service Provider organizations. Visit the company’s web site at for further information about Cheque Free Corporation.
About JAWS Technologies
JAWS Technologies, Inc. (NASD-OTC BB: “JAWZ”) is dedicated to the development and integration of information risk management strategies for secure business practices on a global scale. JAWS Technologies offers an extensive security consulting practice that addresses explicit business requirements. The JAWS IT Security Practice, performed by a team of high caliber security experts, encompasses a robust series of IT audit routines. JAWS Technologies is at the forefront of the cryptography industry with uncompromised security technologies. The sophistication of proprietary security technology solutions coupled with leading edge packaged data encryption software products provides JAWS clients fast, strong and easy-to-use security management tools. For more information, visit the company’s web site at .
Forward-looking statements and comments in this press release are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such statements relating to, among other things, the prospects for the companies to complete the transaction and enhance operating results, are necessarily subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which are significant in scope and nature. These risks may be further discussed in periodic reports and registration statements to be filed by the Company from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the future.
Hewlett-Packard Co. and its VeriFone division have teamed up with De La Rue to provide a modular solution that will enable the development and secure delivery of expansive electronic commerce services to consumers’ GSM phones. The ‘VeriSmart GSM’ solution, intends to provide technology that starts by enabling easy-to-use, information services such as news, weather and stock quotes, and can evolve to adopt such services as mobile stored value loading, mobile purchasing and full mobile commerce over the Internet. HP said it plans to implement the ‘VeriSmart GSM’ solution to mobile operators around the world, and that it sees a tight integration between ‘VeriSmart GSM’ and HP’s existing customer-care and billing systems through HP’s mobile partners that will allow consumers to conduct over-the-air provisioning of services and payment.
Cubic Transportation Systems has been awarded a $30.8 million contract by San Francisco’s BART system to build and install an automatic fare collection system. The total value of the contract could reach $45.5 million. The contract includes upgrading the existing automated revenue collection operations and adding new equipment for the San Francisco Airport extension, an effort that will pave the way for a future smart card-based ticketing system. While the modular equipment is designed to support the magnetic-stripe fare media now in use by BART, contactless smart card readers also will be built.
PayPoint Launches Prepaid Gift Card Program
PayPoint Electronic Payment Systems, Inc. has introduced three innovative gift card programs to retail merchants this past holiday season.
Merchants currently issuing proprietary gift cards under this program include CEC Entertainment, Inc., Operator of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants headquartered in Irving, Texas.
The PayPoint Prepaid Gift Card is a magnetic stripe stored-value card that is processed electronically at a retailer’s point-of-sale for consumer purchases of products and services. The prepaid gift card allows merchants to eliminate the costly and administratively cumbersome practice of issuing paper-based gift certificates with easy-to-use and process magnetic stripe plastic cards.
The gift cards are being sold in various denominations including $15, $25, $50, and $100. Under the program, consumers will be able to purchase gift cards at participating retailers as gifts for holidays, birthdays, special occasions, incentives for contributions.
‘We selected the PayPoint Prepaid Gift Card because we felt that this innovative product could drive incremental sales and greatly enhance security over our current paper-based gift certificate program. This product has greatly exceeded our expectations. Since launching the gift card in December 1998, our same-store gift certificate sales have dramatically increased over last year,’ stated T. J. Schier of CEC Entertainment.
‘PayPoint is pleased to offer these merchants our Prepaid Gift Card product. This product is the latest in innovative payment offerings that PayPoint has developed for our customers. We are confident that this innovative Prepaid Gift Card product will help our merchants lower their current paper-based gift certificate program costs as well as provide their customers with an innovative and timely gift or inventive,’ said Fred Coblentz, Vice President of Sales at PayPoint.
Hypercom and the U.K.’s Cardsave Club announced yesterday that Cardsave has selected Hypercom as its provider of POS terminals for its 7,000 members. The Club is offering its members Hypercom’s ‘T7PS POS’ terminal that allows retailers to accept all card types, including the new chip-based cards which UK banks will start issuing this year. The Cardsave Club is a membership group for independent retailers. The Club’s members annually process more than (pound)750 million, or $US 1.2 billion, in credit and debit card volume. Cardsave’s members currently process their credit and debit transactions via NatWest Streamline, the card processing arm of the UK bank. The retailer group says 1200 members have already switched to Hypercom’s terminals.
First Data Merchant Services Corp. and iMALL, Inc., yesterday launched a new solution that not only enables Internet merchants to setup credit card acceptance quickly but also helps to drive sales for merchants. The fully integrated solution is being launched through MerchantStuff.com. The comprehensive solution includes: site creation and hosting services; e-Commerce services; merchant credit card account; payment gateway; and capabilities to drive traffic and transactions to merchant stores. One of its key components is ‘VirtualApp.com’, the first-ever automated Internet approval and activation system for merchants. VirtualApp.com allows merchants to securely establish accounts, receive on-line credit decisions and begin accepting credit card payments over the Internet within a day. Ultimately, FDMS technology will enable this merchant approval process to be completed within minutes. To increase traffic and transactions to the participating merchants’ physical and virtual stores, two shopping portals are integrated into the solution: ‘StuffMall.com’, a shopping portal that aggregates merchant stores and ‘Stuff.com’, a shopping portal and search engine that aggregates product-level data.
Carrier Services, Inc., TWA and Sprint have all teamed up to offer the ‘Prepaid Aviators Phone Card’. The prepaid card will offer members of TWA’s ‘Aviators’ program long distance service, plus the benefit of bonus miles credited directly to their Aviators portfolio. Each $50 card carries 170 minutes of high quality Sprint calling time along with 500 Aviators miles. OR-based CSI operates under the proprietary brand 1-800-PRE-PAID.
Portland, OR-based SmartStop, Inc., yesterday introduced the first nationwide smart card network for the U.S. trucking industry. SmartStop, a national telecommunications-based solutions provider to the trucking industry, says its new network will enable fleets and drivers to use the cards to electronically store and pay for the items they purchase, use for phone calls, and facilitate the transfer of funds between fleet and driver accounts. Users will also be able to access and/or pay for such services as fueling, repairs, meals and convenience items. Industry loyalty programs can also be integrated into the multi-application trucking card. The technology for SmartStop’s wireless/contactless smart card was developed by On Track Innovations Ltd..