Digital payments are coming of age as Visa Checkout increases consumer engagement and higher order values for online merchants. A new report from comScore found that Visa Checkout shoppers convert to online buyers at a rate of 69%.
Visa is expanding the use of new security technology that replaces the traditional 16-digit Visa account number with a unique series of numbers, helping to prevent exposure of sensitive consumer account information in online and mobile payments.
Toronto-based CIBC reports it has supported the enrollment of tens of thousands of CIBC credit card holders in Visa Checkout since the bank introduced direct client access to the online payment service through its website last fall, the first Canadian bank to do so.
U.S. Bank and Gymboree have teamed to launch the first co-branded credit card offered by a children’s apparel retailer. The “Gymboree VISA Platinum Card,” enables customers to receive a five percent discount on merchandise purchased at domestic Gymboree retail locations and online. The new card will also provide cardholders with exclusive access to Gymboree events throughout the year, such as double discount days, sneak previews of new lines, and special promotions. In a unique twist on photo credit cards, cardholders will have the option to add a photograph of their child. In addition to the five percent discount, cardholders will also receive a $10 enrollment bonus for use at a Gymboree retail store or online. In addition, one percent of all card purchases made outside of a Gymboree store will be paid back annually in the form of a Gymboree gift card each November.
eCommerce Corporation ([www.ecommerce.com]) is announcing the roll-out of the first-ever turnkey electronic commerce solution for business.
The pending acquisition of eCommerce by Enhanced Services Company, Inc. allows eCommerce of Stamford, Conn., to create, market, build, host and fulfill for their customers interactive business solutions, all under one roof.
“It’s clear that e-commerce represents the next wave of development in the continuing metamorphosis of the Internet as a business communications medium,” said Lance Estes, president and CEO of eCommerce Corp. “We’re very enthusiastic to be the first to market a true turnkey system for the interactive business community, because we know how important it is to our customers’ business success. We recognize how critical it is for our customers to remain on the cutting edge of information technology and keep a step ahead of their competitors.”
The key to eCommerce’s success has been to deliver high-quality, commerce-enabled, scalable web sites available around the clock to the Internet community. The company has built on such success as Sports Illustrated and the NFL store ([www.ultimatefootballshop.com]), Gymboree Corp. ([www.gymboree.com]) and such Turner properties as the WCW ([wcw.ecommerce.com]).
With its turnkey system, eCommerce offers complete credit card authorization and settlement, along with a total integration with a 150,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment house and state-of-the-art fulfillment backend system. The completion of the integration of the front-end web site with the backend system allows for the real-time communication of data to the web database, bank gateway, site administrator and the self-serve online customer service center. Double quantity pricing for fulfillment makes this come together in one complete package that is easily managed by a single individual at the corporate headquarters or anywhere. All administration functions are performed through secure browser-based screens including daily reporting of activity and sales.
eCommerce plans to launch nine new enterprise-quality sites within the next six weeks that will take advantage of the new backend integration.
Enhanced Services Company, Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., recently announced the execution of a Letter of Intent to acquire eCommerce for a combination of cash and stock. The marriage will result in a one-stop shopping electronic commerce organization offering the full spectrum of graphics design and technology, Internet advertising, digital marketing and database fulfillment services. eCommerce will become a subsidiary of ESVS.
3Com Corp., a leader in providing networking solutions for the retail industry, today launched its Point of Sale (POS) Partners Program to deliver the industry’s first complete enterprise-wide, standards-based networked POS solution.
The first-of-its-kind in the networking industry, the 3Com POS Partners Program brings a new level of functionality, performance and investment protection to the point of sale.
3Com is announcing the POS Partners Program as many of the nation’s largest retailers are migrating from proprietary to open POS architecture. This shift in technology is placing greater demands on POS systems to provide store associates with access to network-centric, customer-focused applications that require connectivity across the enterprise to centralized application and database servers.
The 3Com POS Partners Program leverages the company’s traditional strengths in both the WAN (wide area network) and LAN (local area network) to deliver a complete networked POS solution — from remote access concentrators at the central site (for support of electronic payments, polling, and new online applications), to store-based network routers, modems, Ethernet hubs and NICs (network interface cards) which reside in both POS terminals and servers.
“Our retail customers have told us how critical it is for their POS investment to be not only affordable, but also scaleable to support the bandwidth-intensive retail applications that are rapidly becoming available,” said Jeff Siegel, 3Com retail industry manager. “By working with leading POS vendors, resellers and systems integrators retailers benefit from a highly integrated POS solution that delivers the application performance and future-proofing that even the most growth-oriented retailers require.”
Using POS Networks to Help Manage Customer Relationships
The new generation POS network, in addition to the traditional retail applications of credit authorization, polling and price changes, now must increasingly support new enterprise networked applications such as gift registry, merchandise locator, special ordering and frequent shopper programs which help retailers provide better service while managing individual customer relationships.
“Intelligent technology in the store is quickly becoming the source of a retailer’s competitive advantage, an advantage based on recaptured intimacy with the three basic resources of the business: customers, associates, and merchandise,” said Steven Beck of Gateway Data Sciences Corp., a leading software application provider for the retail industry and a 3Com POS partner. “3Com’s complete enterprise POS network solution provides store associates with access to valuable customer information, enabling them to provide greater service.”
3Com: The POS Choice of Leading Retailers
3Com’s patented technologies, such as Parallel Tasking(R) and x2(TM) technology WAN connectivity, provide unprecedented POS application performance to retailers. The Home Depot, Kinko’s, Sears, Hudson’s Bay, Carrefour, Ross Stores, Gymboree, Musicland, Diamond Shamrock, and other leading retailers have already deployed 3Com networked POS for competitive advantage. Working in conjunction with another 3Com POS Partner, Harmonic Systems Inc., the solution enables an end-to-end private TCP/IP network while introducing a new level of economy and performance for retail chains.
“3Com has been selected as our equipment provider because of the flexibility and economy of their high performance digital channel banks,” said Barrs Lewis, CEO of Harmonic Systems. “The 3Com product line has helped us deliver state-of-the art WAN capability to large retail chains.”
One such chain is Gymboree. “With 3Com’s networked POS solution, we have cut credit authorization times by half,” said Robert Notte, director of information technology at Gymboree, a nationwide high quality children’s apparel retailer that recently deployed a 3Com networked POS solution in over 400 stores. “Our networked applications allow our store associates to better serve our customers.”
Even the most growth-oriented large format store chains have turned to 3Com’s POS solution for future-proofing and fastest application performance. “We operate an extremely high transaction per store business,” said Dave Ellis, The Home Depot senior director of IT. “Our networked POS systems must meet very high availability standards while also delivering immediate response time. Our application growth dictates a highly scaleable network solution which 3Com delivered.”
3Com has been delivering network solutions to retailers since its inception. Today, more than 700,000 retail stores, including most of the top 100 largest U.S. retailers, currently use 3Com products in their network infrastructure, and 3Com’s WAN solution for supporting POS transactions is pervasive throughout the electronic payment industry. According to 3Com research, 80 percent, or $640 billion, of all credit card transactions in the U.S. each year are processed over 3Com enabled networks operated by AT&T, CompuServe, VisaNet and others.
Building the POS Architecture of the Future
The 3Com POS Partners Program combines 3Com’s award winning Ethernet and enterprise connectivity products with service and support from major POS service organizations, including ICL, SHL Systemhouse, Siemens-Nixdorf and NCR, with leading-edge software applications from POS developers. Utilizing OfficeConnect(R) and SuperStack(R) hubs, Total Control(TM) remote access concentrators, SuperStack II and OfficeConnect NETBuilder(R) routers, Parallel Tasking Ethernet network interface cards, and x2 modem technology, the 3Com networked POS solution helps retailers reduce the cost of ownership and complexity of in-store networks while making the point of sale an “intelligent” access point for information that resides both in-store and throughout the enterprise.
3Com Authorizes Top North American Resellers to Deliver Networked POS Solution
As part of the 3Com POS Partners Program, 3Com has developed POS Network Packs that allow POS resellers to easily integrate 3Com POS network products into a complete solution inclusive of POS terminals, servers, and application software. The Network Packs are currently available to authorized POS resellers throughout the U.S. and Canada, and are expected to be available in Europe in late 1997, and in Japan and Latin America in 1998.
“POS resellers have always wanted to deliver a single vendor, end-to-end solution at a cost effective price,” said Mike Baur, president of ScanSource. “3Com’s POS Partners Program allows resellers for the first time to deliver this complete solution and the lowest possible price.”
Resellers interested in becoming an authorized 3Com POS Partner should contact ScanSource at 800/944-2439, ext. 215.
3Com Corp. enables individuals and organizations worldwide to communicate and share information and resources at anytime from anywhere. As one of the world’s preeminent suppliers of data, voice and video communications technology, 3Com has delivered networking solutions to more than 100 million customers worldwide. With global reach and local touch, the company provides enterprises, network service providers and carriers, small businesses and consumers with comprehensive, innovative information access products and system solutions for building intelligent, reliable and high performance local and wide area networks. 3Com has worldwide revenues of approximately $6.0 billion and employs about 13,200 employees in 45 countries. For further information, visit 3Com’s World Wide Web site at
Hoping to capture the holiday spirit two California entrepreneurs launched a new Web service enabling Internet surfers to purchase toys electronically. eToys is initially offering more than 1,000 products from more than 100 manufacturers at discounted prices with plans to quickly expand to 5,000 toys. The new service will use ‘SSL’ encryption for credit card transactions. It was developed in partnership with Digital Boardwalk and will use the Netscape commerce system. All fulfillment will be done in-house with in-stock orders shipped within 24 hours.