Bongo International, announces that they are the first in their field to accept decentralized P2P currency, Bitcoin. The move to accept Bitcoin confirms Bongo’s innovative approach to international eCommerce. Bongo International currently supports over 60 payment options including VISA, MasterCard, American Express, V Pay, Union Pay and more in addition to the newly introduced Bitcoin.
Retailers across Europe predict the mobile phone will overtake the physical store, website and call centre, as the single most important communication channel with customers by 2020, according to new research from MasterCard. Only 3% believe the industry is currently keeping pace with consumer demands for multi-channel retail. This research, conducted amongst 300 leading retailers across Europe, forms part of a new industry report sponsored by MasterCard and written by the Economist Intelligence Unit: “The I Factor: how consumer demand is driving retail innovation”. It heralds the era of the “I-Con” – the smart, omnichannel, omnipotent consumer – and looks at how retailers are innovating to retain competitive edge in a rapidly revolutionised market, whilst setting out a vision of how that market will continue to evolve. It concludes the customer is in the driving seat: One in three retailers cited a more empowered customer (32%), alongside increased choice (competition from other retailers – 37%), as amongst the top causes of change in the retail sector in the past five years.
Bongo International has received PCI-DSS Level 1 Service Provider Certification for payment data security in the eCommerce industry. To ensure certification, Bongo passed a rigorous audit of data storage, encryption measures, network systems, access controls, threat and vulnerability management, monitoring and testing procedures, and security policies. Bongo International, LLC was founded in 2007 to overcome the challenges associated with International Cross Border e-Commerce transactions by both Consumers and Businesses.
American Express OPEN announced enhancements to the Plum Card (www.plumcard.com) to help small business owners better manage cash flow and free up working capital by taking advantage of the card’s built-in trade terms. With ‘Early Pay Discount,’ Cardmembers pay at least 10% of their balance within 10 days of the statement closing date, they will earn a 1.5% discount on the portion they elect to pay. Previously, Cardmembers were required to pay the balance in full to enjoy this benefit. They also get ‘Extra Days to Pay,’ when Cardmembers pay at least 10% of the balance, they can take up to 60 days from the statement closing date to pay the remaining balance without penalties or interest charges. Both options are designed to help Cardmembers better manage cash flow. The payment flexibility allows Cardmembers to adjust to changing business needs and also have the option to choose the most convenient time for the billing cycle to close — either at the beginning, middle or end of the month.
Scotiabank is expanding its operations in the Caribbean and Central America with the acquisition of Citibank’s retail banking business in the Dominican Republic. The acquisition consolidates Scotiabank’s position as the Dominican Republic’s fifth-largest private bank by assets, with 57 bank branches, 75 automated banking machines and more than 1,000 employees. Scotiabank will continue a co-branding
agreement with American Airlines, giving it exclusive rights to issue
American’s “AAdvantage” travel awards program co-branded cards in the
country. Scotiabank has US$285 billion in assets.
American Express formally launched its “IN:CHICAGO Card” this week. To assist the card kick-off, AmEx is sponsoring “Fashion Focus Chicago 2005” through September 29th. Under the card program, cardholders earn one point for every dollar spent and double points on dining, movies, mobile phone service, cable and satellite TV service, Internet service, gym membership and magazine/newspaper subscriptions. Rewards points can be redeemed for certificates for use at 60 Chicago establishments. In addition, cardholders receive discounts from some local partners. The IN:CHICAGO Card is the second city-centric credit card from AmEx following the launch one year ago of the “IN:NYC Card.” (CF Library 9/30/04)
TX-based Electronic Financial Group and EFG Card Services have agreed to pay $3.9 million in consumer redress for providing substantial assistance to numerous deceptive telemarketers. In July, the FTC alleged that EFG provided ACH payment processing services to outbound telemarketers, and systematically breached a contractual provision with their bank that required EFG to comply with the NACHA “Operating Rules,” specifically, the prohibition on processing ACH transactions on behalf of outbound telemarketers, and thereby engaged in an unfair practice. Second, the FTC alleged that the defendants violated the “FTC Act” by deceptively marketing their own advance-fee debit cards. Also as part of the settlement, the defendants are banned from processing payments for any telephone-initiated sales through the ACH Network.
TX-based credit card processor EFG Card Services was barred yesterday from processing transactions through the ACH Network for numerous fraudulent telemarketers and to halt the alleged deceptive marketing of their own advance-fee debit cards. The FTC obtained the temporary restraining order on July 8th, which also set up a temporary monitor over the defendants to review their business practices. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that EFG assisted and facilitated at least four client telemarketers engaged in deceptively selling advance-fee credit cards, and a fifth client engaged in deceptively selling a lottery scam. The FTC complaint also alleges that in April 2000, the defendants engaged in the marketing and sale of their own advance-fee stored-value debit cards Â first the “First Freedom Financial” card and then the “AmeriOne” card. According to the FTC, the defendants charged consumers a one-time advance fee of between $80 to $100, as well as a $9.95 monthly service fee for these card. In May of this year, the FTC alleges, the defendants began marketing a new advance-fee card product, known as the “United USA Card,” making many of the same misrepresentations used in previous advance-fee stored-value debit cards. The FTC noted that EFG allegedly misrepresented the cards as credit cards, and that the “AmeriOne” card was affiliated with MasterCard.
Latin America travel services provider Despegar.com, Inc. and MasterCard International, an official sponsor of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, announced a joint promotion. MasterCard will provide
free match tickets to its cardholders who purchase their vacations to Korea and Japan during the 2002 FIFAWorld Cup with a MasterCard card at Despegar.com. As part of the promotion, MasterCard will launch an aggressive online marketing campaign to communicate the benefits of the promotion to Despegar’s 3 million users. In addition, both companies will collaborate on a traditional media effort to further convey the promotional activities. Miami-based Despegar.com currently operates in 9 countries throughout Latin America, Spain and the US., employing more than 150 travel professionals regionwide.
Gemplus announced its cooperation with Symantec, the world’s leading Java software vendor, in the development of the latest version of GemXplore CASE, an industry-leading wireless telecommunications software development environment.
Gemplus, the world’s leading provider of smart card solutions, will launch GemXplore CASE 2.0 and its exclusive Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) development plug-ins Object Designer and Advanced Development Tools. By leveraging Symantec’s VisualCafe 3.0 Professional Edition in its Object Designer plug-in, Gemplus offers millions of Java developers worldwide the ability to design and develop Java Card applets for SIM cards in a familiar and complete environment.
Tremendous Opportunity for Telecom Operators and Developers
Symantec’s VisualCafe is used by 50% of Java developer’s, totaling more than 900,000 registered users. Until now, developers could design powerful Java applets and applications for use in several different industries, in particular IT. “Now, developers can design Java Card applets using a similar syntax and a familiar tool that can be downloaded onto SIM cards and used to create value added services for the GSM market, an industry which will represent a total of 250 million users by the end of 1999,” said Philippe Martineau, director of wireless communications marketing product group, Gemplus.
“After viewing GemXplore CASE 2.0 at the Gemplus Developers Conference in June, we were very impressed by the convenience of using VisualCafe 3.0 with GemXplore CASE — and it makes SIM Toolkit applet development for Java Card SIMs so easy, ” said Federico Benincasa, Internet tools business development manager, Symantec France. “We are pleased that Gemplus has integrated our software and expect our customers will be able to successfully address the booming GSM market with this comprehensive tool. We are confident that this tool will contribute to the widespread use of Java Card in the GSM industry.”
GemXplore CASE is a SIM card development tool designed for value added service application developments onto GemXplore 98 SIM cards or GemXplore Xpresso SIM cards. With over 60% market share of the SIM-based service development kits, GemXplore CASE is the world’s leading SIM development environment.
The enhancements of GemXplore CASE 2.0 include improved software modules to ease SIM Toolkit applet and Over-The-Air service development and two new plug-ins including Advanced Development Tools and Object Designer. The Advanced Development Tools plug-in offers sophisticated simulation and debugging tools and a network and a handset simulator for SIM Toolkit and Over-The-Air application testing, thus increasing the productivity of SIM card developers. Object Designer is the first Java Card SIM Toolkit applet development tool that fully integrates Symantec’s VisualCafe and is also compatible with other Java development software.
With GemXplore CASE Object Designer and the integration of Symantec’s VisualCafe, Gemplus offers GSM operators and developers the right tools to develop Java Card applets and also provides the powerful GemXplore ‘Xpresso, the Java Card 2.1 SIM card, to run them on. It supports the ETSI GSM API 1.0 and offers a 32K byte component which ensures the full capabilities of the Java Card.
GemXplore CASE 2.0 has incorporated feedback from hundreds of developers worldwide and offers exclusive tools to make value added service applet development and testing easy and efficient. GemXplore CASE 2.0 uses the same modular architecture as its predecessor and now offers an enhanced development environment which leverages the latest GSM technology.
GemXplore CASE 2.0 and GemXplore ‘Xpresso SIM cards are currently available.
Symantec’s Internet Tools Division
The Symantec Internet Tools Division pioneered the Java development tools market by delivering the first integrated development environment (IDE) for Java in March 1996 and has been the No. 1 selling Java application environment for three years running. Symantec continues a tradition of innovation that distinguishes VisualCafe as the market share leader in Java(TM) development technology. Symantec’s suite of Java development tools includes VisualCafe Enterprise Suite with distributed debugging and Single-View technology, VisualCafe Database Edition, VisualCafe Professional Edition, VisualCafe Standard Edition and Visual Page. Symantec announced June 10 that it will establish the Internet Tools Division as an independent company focusing on providing solutions for e-commerce and technology for Web-enabling business systems and legacy applications. See entire press release at [www.visualcafe.com].
Symantec is the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing. Symantec products and solutions help make users productive and keep their computers safe and reliable anywhere and anytime. Symantec offers a broad range of solutions and is acclaimed as a leader in both customer satisfaction and product brand recognition. Symantec is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC. More information on the company and its products can be obtained at [www.symantec.com].
Gemplus S.C.A. ([www.gemplus.com]) is the world’s leading provider of plastic and smart card-based solutions (by units sold, source: Dataquest 1998). Gemplus sells magnetic stripe cards, memory and microprocessor-based smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags and smart objects. The company designs and markets software, development tools and readers. Gemplus also provides consulting, training and personalization services to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible card-based solutions to its developers, distributors, partners, and customers.
With sales of over $US648 million in 1998, Gemplus employs more than 4,300 people in 10 manufacturing facilities, 5 R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world. Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, identity, physical access control, pay TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, logical access control and information technology.