Hypercom Supports Fun Miles

Hypercom said Tuesday it has launched its ‘Ascendent Loyalty Management System’ in support of the ‘Fun Miles Antilles’ program. Antilles merchants using Hypercom terminals can now credit consumers who have accumulated loyalty points through the ‘Fun Miles’ program, and consumers can instantly redeem their loyalty points towards discounts on airline tickets and other travel expenses. Hypercom’s ‘Ascendent LMS’ supports cash, debit, credit and chip card payment types when applying and calculating stored value for merchant customers. Hypercom’s solution for ‘Fun Miles’ provides centralized control of program rules and tracking of bonus points accumulated from the use of a magnetic stripe card at the point of sale, independent of the payment means. ‘Fun Miles Antilles’ is headquartered in Curacao, and was launched last year to enable Netherlands’ Antilles merchants to reward their customers with discounts on travel and travel-related expenses.

Australian ICE

Hypercom Corporation introduced Interactive Customer Equipment to the Australian market yesterday. ICE is a modular terminal concept that employs an interactive touch-screen to meet the increasing requirement for easy-to-operate customer-activated card acceptance devices.

“The ICE represents an entirely new generation of interactive, consumer-operated card acceptance terminals. ICE replaces the traditional PIN Pad, to support the rapidly increasing range of transaction modes, options and functions,” said George Wallner, chairman and chief technology officer, Hypercom Corporation.

Hypercom’s ICE family supports customer-activated debit and credit transactions; payment options, such as smart cards; and new business opportunities, such as loyalty management programs.

When used in conjunction with the recently released Hypercom Ascendent Server Environment, ICE also supports electronic signature and receipt capture, storage and retrieval. Electronic signature capture has been proven to significantly reduce charge backs and other receipt storage and retrieval related expenses.

“Hypercom’s interactive ICE solutions underscore our absolute commitment to providing Australia’s retailers, restaurateurs, mobile merchants, supermarkets and mass merchandisers with the most technically-advanced, reliable, affordable and easy-to-use point-of-sale payment solutions available,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, president, Hypercom International. “We are very pleased to make this ‘next generation’ family of solutions available to merchants today.”

“Hypercom’s ICE offers an important new advantage for our existing and potential customers in the Australian market both in terms of payment processing and protecting merchants’ investments in existing POS equipment,” said Clive Cooper-Smith, managing director, Hypercom Asia Pacific-Rim Region.

ICE Portable: Speeds Payments & Features Multiple Transaction Options

Hypercom’s ICE Portable is a full-featured, portable POS solution that incorporates credit, debit, smart cards and signature capture, in a real-time, on-line device. It is the payment industry’s first interactive, portable wireless POS terminal device for restaurants and other businesses requiring portable wireless transaction capabilities.

Measuring a compact 117 millimeters wide, 156 millimeters long and 36.4 millimeters deep, this battery-powered unit easily fits into a restaurant server’s apron pocket. Featuring an easy-to-use, intuitive, touch-screen that guides diners through the payment process, and wireless communications for real-time transaction processing and authorization, ICE Portable allows consumers to quickly complete electronic payments at the point-of-service, simplifies card acceptance in restaurants and reduces transaction processing costs.

ICE Portable connects easily to Hypercom T7 terminals via 900 MHz radio, which minimizes the need for additional user training and eliminates concerns about equipment obsolescence. The ICE Portable unit’s built-in communications module permits wireless operation for distances of up to 60 feet. A single controller can support up to eight portable devices.

Multiple base antennas allow coverage of larger areas. Additional features of the new ICE Portable solution include a “captive IC card” reader that prevents the smart card from being inadvertently removed during the transaction, thereby avoiding data corruption; and a rechargeable battery pack that allows portable operation for up to two hours. A battery charging rack can re-charge up to six batteries simultaneously.

ICE Peripheral: Supports PIN Pad and Multiple Payment Options

The new ICE Peripheral will serve as a multi-function signature capture and PIN Pad for Hypercom T7 series terminals. In addition to traditional PIN Pad functions, the ICE facilitates credit, debit, loyalty, electronic coupon and signature capture, with maximum consumer ease, convenience and security.

The new Hypercom unit features innovative and easy-to-use touch-screen technology that guides customers through the payment process. Security features include a tamper resistant processor and intrusion detection. ICE Peripheral also incorporates four Secure Access Modules (SAMs) to accommodate Mondex and Visa Cash, with the ability to add chip card schemes as they emerge.

ICE Multi-Lane: “Next Generation” for Supermarkets and Mass Merchants

Designed for supermarkets and mass merchandisers, ICE Multi-Lane functions as a tethered peripheral to standard IBM electronic cash registers. The main feature of ICE Multi-Lane is a customer-activated touch-screen, which guides users through the payment process. In the multi-lane environment, the touch-screen operation will allow consumers to activate complex transactions, such as loyalty, without holding up the check-out line.

The touch-screen is a large graphic display that is back-lit for easy viewing. In the signature capture application, the graphics screen allows the ICE platforms to capture and display an image of the signature once the cardholder signs on the touch-screen. The signature is then uploaded to the Ascendent server, where it is stored for future retrieval. This eliminates the need for retailers to keep paper copies, significantly reduces costs to retailers and acquirers, and allows for automation of the receipt retrieval process, and the elimination of most charge backs.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Hypercom Corporation is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-functional point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions. On a global basis Hypercom delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications for competitive value-add programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 50 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 .

Fujitsu Names Two New VPs

Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. announced Friday the appointment of Jeffery S. Lund as vice president of new business development for the Financial Services Division.

In this position, Lund will investigate product strategies, product development, strategic partnerships, alliances and acquisitions in a variety of areas including home banking, call centers, payment systems, e-commerce and core systems.

According to Rita L. Champ, senior vice president of Fujitsu-ICL’s Financial Services Division, Lund will capitalize on his extensive expertise in sales, marketing and business development to grow Fujitsu-ICL’s market share.

“Financial institutions are demanding a wider array of products and services to differentiate themselves in the market — and Fujitsu-ICL is poised to deliver the solutions,” Champ said. “Jeff’s experience, which ranges from international logistics to new product and channel development, will allow us to deliver these new products and technologies faster and more effectively than ever before.”

“As Fujitsu-ICL continues its aggressive growth, we are committed to identifying and developing new products that will expand our electronic delivery systems offerings to the financial industry,” Lund commented. “This combination of growth and new product development make this position both a challenging and exciting opportunity for me.”

Prior to joining Fujitsu-ICL, Lund served as the Director of International Sales-Asia Pacific for Melita International, an Atlanta-based call center products company. In this capacity he was responsible for sales and new business development activities. Lund also spent 10 years with National Data Corp. where he was responsible for managing new business development as well as product marketing.

Fujitsu-ICL Systems Names New Vice President of Financial Services Marketing; Banking Veteran to Focus on Strategic Marketing and Product Development

Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc.’s Financial Services Division also announced Friday the hiring of Mary Nell Hoover as vice president of marketing.

Hoover will oversee all marketing activities including strategic planning, new product design and development, on-going product marketing, marketing support and marketing communications.

According to Rita L. Champ, senior vice president of the Financial Services Division, Hoover is ideally suited to help Fujitsu-ICL meet the growing challenges in the financial services industry.

“With the exponential growth of electronic banking, extensive M&A activity, and even the issues posed by the approach of the new millennium, today’s financial institutions are under increasing competitive pressure. They are seeking ways to streamline their operations while improving services to customers and differentiating themselves from the competition. In response, Fujitsu-ICL is developing new products and service offerings specifically designed to meet these needs,” Champ said.

“Mary’s expertise in marketing strategy and new product development, combined with her extensive banking experience, makes her the ideal choice to lead Fujitsu-ICL’s Financial Services Division forward.”

“Having been in bank management for over fifteen years, I know how important vendor commitment and support is to customers. Fujitsu-ICL reflects this commitment in its knowledgeable and dedicated staff, and in its support and focus on the unique needs of each client,” Hoover said. “I look forward to being a part of such a dynamic team, and to reinforcing and driving that commitment.”

Prior to joining Fujitsu-ICL, Hoover worked with major banks such as Security Pacific National Bank (now Bank of America) in Los Angeles, and First Merit Bank of Akron, Ohio. During her career, she has been involved in the analysis and development of a variety of electronic delivery products including ATMs, home banking, card products, centralized call systems and database marketing systems.

With over 15 years of experience in the financial industry, Hoover is well versed in meeting the demanding needs of the banking industry. She holds a master’s degree from Iowa State University and a Professional Certificate of Business Management from UCLA. In addition, she attended the Stonier Graduate Banking School and the School of Bank Marketing.

Fujitsu-ICL’s Financial Services Division is based in Hackensack, N.J., with operations and sales offices in La Jolla, Calif., and Atlanta. The Financial Services Division has built a reputation for providing innovative features, progressive ergonomic design and reliability for its Series 7000 Advanced Platform family of ATMs and cash dispensers for off-premise, through-the-wall, drive-up, kiosk and lobby installations.

With headquarters in Dallas, Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. employs 1,200 people in North America and is the result of a joint partnership between ICL PLC of London and Fujitsu Limited of Japan.

In addition to its line of automated teller machines, airline ticket printers and handheld computer systems, Fujitsu-ICL Systems provides integrated information systems to supermarket, home center, specialty and hard goods retailers in North America.

Brooks Brothers Card

GE Capital Retailer Financial Services recently entered into a five-year agreement with Brooks Brothers, a leading American retailer of upscale men’s and women’s clothing, to provide a private label credit card program.

Under the agreement, GE Capital will provide new account processing, sales authorizations, financing, credit card and billing statement production, payment processing, customer service, collections, risk management and marketing support for Brooks Brothers’ private label credit card and existing portfolio of accounts.

“There is a great potential to grow the Brooks Brothers brand, and we believe that GE Capital is the perfect marketing partner for realizing that potential,” said Joseph R. Gromek, President and Chief Executive Officer, Brooks Brothers.

“We are excited to work with Brooks Brothers, clearly an American icon that continues to set the standard for consistent product quality and customer service.  We look forward to developing innovative credit card programs with them to help them achieve their goal of increased market share in the upscale clothing arena,” said Edward Stewart, President and CEO, GE Capital Retailer Financial Services.

The card provides the following special benefits:  10% savings on the first purchase; concierge service and a dedicated 800-number for cardmembers; complimentary monogramming; and seasonal cardmember special events.

Brooks Brothers was founded in New York City in 1818.  A wholly-owned subsidiary of United Kingdom-based retailer, Marks & Spencer, plc, the company operates 71 retail and 48 factory stores in the United States, as well as a direct mail business.  Brooks Brothers also operates a successful business operation in Japan, selling its merchandise in 66 locations, and recently opened its first two stores in Hong Kong.

GE Capital Retailer Financial Services (RFS) is a leader in providing credit, customer service, billing and payment processing services for retailers and consumers in the United States and Canada.  It provides private label credit cards, proprietary credit services and database marketing solutions to more than 300 retailers and 70 million cardholders in North America.  Retailer Financial Services is one of 28 specialized businesses within GE Capital.

GE Capital, with assets of over US $250 billion, is a global, diversified financial services company.  A wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Company, GE Capital, based in Stamford, CT, provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a variety of consumer services, such as car leasing, home mortgages and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world.  GE is a diversified manufacturing, technology and services company with operations worldwide.

Satisifed Cardholders

Chase Manhattan scored big in the J.D. Power and Associates ‘1998 Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study’. The Chase ‘Wal-Mart MasterCard’ topped the gold/basic card category and the Chase ‘Platinum’ card aced the platinum category. The Chase ‘Toys R’ Us’ card (initially issued by Bank of New York) also ranked “above average” among reward cards, betting out its sister card, the Chase ‘Shell MasterCard’. Two of the industry’s most aggressive issuers, First USA and Capital One, ranked “below average” in the gold/basic and platinum categories. Power said it interviewed more than 12,000 cardholders seeking data on six key measures including: customer service; card servicing and reputation; price; rewards; credit and payment policy.

           Overall Cardholder Satisfaction: Index Scores
                    Standard/Gold           Platinum
Chase Wal-Mart        104                   NA
Optima Card              103                   NA
Citibank                 102                  105
MBNA America             102                  102
First Union              102                   NA
AT&T Universal           102                  102
First Card               100                  101
U.S. Bank                 99                  102
Chase                     98                  106
Industry Average          98                  100
Source: J.D. Power and Associates

New ICE Family Member

Hypercom unveiled the ‘T5000’ Interactive Customer Equipment (ICE) terminal yesterday. The powerful, multi-function touch-screen terminal incorporates a high-speed thermal printer and paper cutter, as well as Hypercom’s new ‘FastPOS’ 9600bps modem. The ‘T5000’ will also support a range of new value-added transactions, including loyalty and smart card schemes, such as VISA Cash, Mondex and EMV. By integrating the terminal and printer, the total terminal footprint is reduced and, at six lines per second, receipt printing is fast. The automatic paper cutter reduces paper jams as it eliminates paper tearing by the cashiers. The ‘T5000’ also has a built-in secure PIN Pad and an electronic signature capture pad.

Secure Card and Commerce ’99

The Japan Industrial Journal (JIJ) has obtained reports from major international companies that Secure Card & Commerce Tokyo 1999, a show JIJ is organizing, presents an ideal environment for non-Japanese companies seeking to drive sales in Japan. The show takes place April 14-16, 1999 at the Tokyo “Big Shot” Convention Center.

According to JIJ, a leading organizer of international exhibitions and a top daily economic and industrial newspaper in Japan, several factors contribute to the opportunity, which SCC Tokyo ’99 presents. It is the first international card industry exclusive show in Japan; exhibitors will be showcasing their products and services in on of the world’s leading card-using countries; and a forecasted favorable yen will yield higher sales for importers.

Additionally, the deregulation of financial markets in Japan will introduce foreign competition to previously regulated and protected Japanese financial institutions.

According to Holly Sacks, vice president of marketing for Eltron International – one of a growing number of internationally savvy card industry suppliers – “Eltron’s secure identification printing systems worldwide. Secure Card and Commerce Tokyo ’99 offers Eltron exciting prospects with exposure to Japanese and adjacent regional markets in this important new segment of our business.”

Major supporting organizations and media for SCC Tokyo ’99 include the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA), Card Technology magazine, Smart Card Technology International, Card Forum and SJB Services.

The global card industry in flourishing in Japan, due to the manifold applications of cards; from the telecom industry to major mass transit systems, they are becoming a staple in Japan’s industry and commerce.

Thus, an invaluable opportunity exists for exhibiting companies who wish to penetrate the increasingly open Japanese market for card-related products and services. JIJ President Y. Tamashita says, “Japan represents a major opportunity for foreign card and commerce companies.”

For more information about exhibiting at SCC Tokyo ’99 contact (from outside Japan) Lori Miller at Secure Card and Commerce, PO Box 3263, Princeton, NJ 08543-3263; tel: 609-799-3422 fax: 609-799-7032; e-mail [[email protected]][1]. In Japan, contact David A. Wright at ExpoMax International Ltd., Nakano-ku, Nakano 3-19-23 Tokyo 164-0001 Japan; tel: 03-5340 3491; fax:035340-3492; e-mail [[email protected]][2]; or visit the Web site at [www.scctokyo.com][3].

[1]: mailto:[email protected]cctokyo.com
[2]: mailto:[email protected]
[3]: http://www.scctokyo.com

VISA Online Promo

VISA and N2K’s Music Boulevard also put together a marketing alliance Wednesday to promote the use of N2K’s online music service. The joint venture will produce a variety of marketing and promotional programs designed to build business on Music Boulevard and expand VISA’s presence on the Internet. Under the terms of the agreement, Music Boulevard will designate VISA as its preferred form of payment. VISA will receive branding throughout the Music Boulevard online music store, including the site’s home page and each section of Music Boulevard’s registration pages. VISA also will be the default payment card in the site’s credit card choice bar and will be branded throughout commerce-enabled areas of The Music Boulevard Network.

MULTOS  Scores

In the battle between the ‘MULTOS’ and ‘Java’ multi-application smart card operating systems, ‘MULTOS’ received a major push Friday as Fujitsu said it will actively support and promote global market adoption of ‘MULTOS’, as well as developing new ‘MULTOS’ compliant applications and services, and migrating its current smart card solutions to ‘MULTOS’.  The development also includes ICL and Amdahl Corp., as core members of the Fujitsu Group of information systems.  ICL said its multi-application and cross-industry smart card system, ‘SmartCity’, which is installed in 40 locations throughout the world, will use ‘MULTOS’. Amdahl said its ‘Amdahl Mondex Solution’ , which is being adopted by clients worldwide to support Mondex implementations, will also further the development of ‘MULTOS’ applications. All three companies have joined MAOSCO, the industry-wide consortium formed in May 1997 to drive the adoption and development of ‘MULTOS’. Other MAOSCO members include Hitachi, American Express, MasterCard, Mondex, Motorola and Siemens. MAOSCO said Friday orders for ‘MULTOS’ smart cards are rising sharply. Hitachi has an order for 500,000, and Japanese supermarket operator Mical Corp. is issuing five million ‘MULTOS’-based smart cards over the next 18 months. ‘MAOSCO’ defined ‘MULTOS’ as the equivalent of ‘Windows’ for smart cards.

Faster POS Modems

Hypercom said Wednesday it is seeking to upgrade electronic payment transactions from the existing 1200/2400 bps transmission rates to 9600 bits per second (bps). Beginning in October, Hypercom POS terminals will be available with the ‘FastPOS 9600’ bps modem technology at no extra cost. Although the PC industry is rapidly migrating to 56K bps modems, POS terminals currently operate at 1200 bps or at most 2400 bps. Modem technology used in PC’s is unsuited to the POS environment due to the long training time and high cost of these modems. PC modems require 8-15 seconds just for training — the time spent by the modem before it can send data — but POS transactions typically need to be completed within 8 seconds. With FastPOS, transactions can be completed in as little as 3.6 seconds from the time of connection, a reduction of nearly 50% over 1200 bps modems. The difference is even greater for batch loads. A batch of 15 transactions will load with FastPOS in 6.7 seconds from the time of connection, compared with 26 seconds using the old 1200 bps technology. FastPOS will be first supported by Transaction Network Services, Inc.’s nationwide transaction transport network.

Volume Driver

Platinum cards are stealing wallet share from gold/basic cards and rewards cards are capturing an additional 11% of total wallet spending. The findings come from the J.D. Power and Associates ‘1998 Comprehensive Credit Cardholder Study’, due out next month. The study also found that platinum cards have pushed total credit card spending higher.The study also reveals that 26% of cardholders now have a platinum credit card and are accepting platinum card solicitations at twice the rate of non-platinum cards.  Although the platinum card captures 25% more total wallet spending than the gold/basic card, rewards cards still capture the greatest share of wallet spending,19% more than the platinum card. Final results are scheduled for release August 11.