Among credit card issuers advertising on the Internet, First USA has captured the lion’s share. Marketing credit cards online is dominated by six competitors: First USA, NextCard, Providian, Capital One, Citibank and Discover. Together, these competitors are issuing 72% of all online marketed cards. However more than 20% of consumers issued credit card from online offers received cards from First USA, according to Atlanta-based Brittain Associates. The marketing research firm says that if you consider the online acquisition side, the consumer prospect profile of some of the key players such as Providian, Capital One or even NextCard tends to skew the demographics of the entire group a bit toward the less affluent and toward those who are rebuilding their credit. Brittain suggest that online application convenience and the more impersonal, arms-length nature of internet applications as reasons that credit rebuilders are attracted to the internet marketing channel. While the online sales volume leaders include those issuers who also lead in online marketing, the order is somewhat rearranged, with Citibank in the top spot. In addition, American Express ranks among the top five favorite online payment cards. Brittain’s study was based on interviews with 2,400 consumers during March and April.
Philips Semiconductors, Australia’s Keycorp Limited and MAOSCO Ltd announced this morning their joint support of the ’32K MULTOS’ smart card platform. The move will enable companies to implement more complex and varied transactions via smart cards, such as mobile purchases over the Internet, transport ticketing and PC network access. Under terms of the deal, Keycorp will develop and implement ‘MULTOS’ on Philips Semiconductors ‘WE’ smart card controller family. In return Philips Semiconductors will manufacture ‘P8WE5032’ smart card controllers with a memory of 16K EEPROM and 32K EEPROM equipped with Keycorp’s ‘MULTOS’ operating system, which will then be embedded into smart cards and supplied to card-issuing firms. MAOSCO, Keycorp and Philips Semiconductors have agreed to jointly market this first 32K MULTOS version in the third quarter.
CompuBank announced that it ranks #1 in Banks Online by SmartMoney Magazine. CompuBank received top ranking for: Account Information, Security, Fees and Extra Products and Services. CompuBank’s first place ranking in the fee category is based on the fact that most of its services are free, including free basic checking, ATMs, wire transfers, bill payment, direct deposits, copies of checks and statements. CompuBank awards customers with ClickMiles for new accounts and a variety of everyday banking transactions.
Oberthur Card Systems will announce this morning the launch of Version 2 of its new Java-based ‘SIMphonIC Mini-Browser’, which enables mobile phone operators to make card modifications either “Over-The-Air”, transferring updates or changes via ‘SMS’ to the ‘SIM’ card, or at a point-of-sale terminal. Until now, card users have only been able to delete the last applet downloaded to the card. With ‘V2’, operators now have the ability to add, remove and list the card status with no interruption to normal GSM operation. Using the ‘Wireless Internet Gateway’, GSM mobile users can gain access to interactive web applications via their phone’s display. Written in HTML or WML, these applications can be stored on any www server. When users request a service, the gateway fetches the relevant application from the content provider, transforming the HTML/WML script into bit code. This is then received by the mobile phone’s SIM and is translated by the ‘SIMphonIC Browser’ into ‘SIM Toolkit’ commands. The users can then respond via their keypad, their responses being relayed back to the content provider’s server via the SIM. For operators, this opens the way to true wireless electronic commerce. With the ‘Mini-Browser’, mobile handset users will be able to make electronic payments, reserve and purchase tickets and undertake any number of other transactions.
SPYRUS, the Internet ID company for secure e-business, announced the expected FIPS 140-1 Level 2 certification of its Rosetta Smart Card, enabling the highly secure hardware token to be used in government and commercial implementations.
Smart cards, which include an embedded microprocessor to store data, are quickly being adopted by U.S. government agencies to provide highly secure identification services. The General Services Administration (GSA) has embraced the technology, recently releasing its Smart Access Common ID Card procurement to implement a solution that provides access to both physical buildings and computer systems. The Department of Defense has also mandated use of a common smart card as the standard identification card for both active duty and civilian personal. In addition to access services, the department is planning to integrate the smart cards into its public-key infrastructure (PKI) as the primary platform for authentication tokens.
To ensure the highest levels of security, the federal government has outlined in the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Pub 140-1 the security requirements that tokens, such as smart cards, must meet for use in government implementations, defining four levels of security. The Department of Defense has stated that all its tokens must meet Level 2 security requirements, improving physical security through the addition of tamper-evident coatings or seals. Although no smart card has yet to receive any FIPS 140-1 certification, SPYRUS is confident it will receive Level 2 certification for its Rosetta Smart Card in the first quarter of this year.
‘The U.S. government clearly values the powerful protection smart cards offer versus a software-only solution,’ noted Sue Pontius, SPYRUS President and CEO. ‘We are confident that the SPYRUS Rosetta Smart Card complies with FIPS 140-1 Level 2 requirements, enabling our product to provide government systems with the highest level of security available in the industry. We also believe commercial vertical markets with requirements for auditable risk management and legal liability mitigation will require smart cards to meet the same certification standards.’
‘CygnaCom Solutions is in the final stages of testing the SPYRUS Rosetta Smart Card. The product is being tested for FIPS 140-1 Level 2 compliance. We anticipate that CygnaCom will be submitting the conformance report to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and to the Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE) by the end of January,’ said Miles Smid, Vice President of CygnaCom Solutions, the government accredited company conducting the FIPS 140-1 evaluation of the Rosetta Smart Card. ‘Formal validation of the module will not be complete until NIST and CSE perform their review and confirm the analysis.’
NIST and CSE oversee the Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP), created to validate commercial products for conformance to FIPS 140-1 based on independent, third party testing by accredited laboratories. FIPS 140-1 Level 2 accreditation of the Rosetta Smart Card will enable SPYRUS to tap into the more than $1 billion estimated government demand for smart cards. The U.S. government is expected to purchase between 10 million and 15 million cards over the next few years.
SPYRUS is a leading supplier of public key-based solutions that provide the critical foundation for secure Internet commerce. The company’s flagship product, SPYRUS Internet Enabling Security (IES), is a comprehensive solution that gives companies the high-assurance security infrastructure required for e-business. SPYRUS IES enables companies to implement a single-vendor solution, integrating a wide range of security products – including the SPYRUS PKI, Rosetta Smart Cards, SPYRUS Personal Access Readers, and policies and procedures – to meet customer needs in a timely and cost-effective manner.
The SPYRUS Rosetta Smart Card offers the highest level of personal and portable security for individual users. In addition to its tamper-evident physical design, the Rosetta Smart Card is resistant to Differential Power Analysis, protecting the private keys from external exploitation. The device is also available with proximity chips that allow users to gain physical access to buildings. Priced at less than $10 in high volumes, the Rosetta Smart Card provides a cost-effective, high-security solution.
“As a worldwide supplier of high-end security controllers for the smart card industry, Infineon Technologies is very pleased to provide SPYRUS with our advanced SLE66CX160S cryptocontroller IC,” said Joerg Borchert, Infineon Technologies North America Corp. vice president for Security and Chip Card ICs. “Because SPYRUS has such a strong technology base for providing end-to-end security solutions, Infineon is excited to be working closely with them as they develop secure smart card solutions for potential deployment in the government sector.”
‘With our Rosetta Smart Card, we can offer a cost effective, high-value security solution that meets the government’s stringent standards,’ Pontius added. ‘We look forward to receiving the FIPS 140-1 Level 2 certification in the very near future.’
SPYRUS, the Internet ID Company, is the leader in securing the Internet as a medium of exchange for valued data and transactions for businesses and their customers, and for federal and local governments. SPYRUS’ public key system solutions are designed for organizations that have unique business policy management requirements, valued digital information content and transactions to protect and operations that require auditable risk/liability management. SPYRUS Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) solutions have been deployed in health care, utilities, government, financial and law enforcement markets, with operational systems scalable to millions of users world-wide.
The company’s flagship product line is the SYRUS Internet Enabling Security (IES) solution. SPYRUS IES is an integrated public key product suite comprised of its SPYRUS PKI, Rosetta smart cards, PAR smart card readers, cryptographic tool kits and professional services. The SPYRUS IES provides timely and cost-effective deployments with customizable public key solutions to meet unique customer and industry requirements. SPYRUS, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with offices across the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.
SPYRUS has recently been named in the latest Deloitte & Touche ‘Technology Fast 500’ technology growth company list. For more about SPYRUS and its public key system solutions, please visit the Web site at [www.spyrus.com].
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.
Gemplus, the world’s leading provider of smart card based solutions, won three of the prestigious Sesames awards at CARTES ’99, the world’s biggest international smart card show, the company said Friday. The jury of independent journalists attributed the award for Best Innovation to Gemplus’ SmartX. SmartX is a new software technology that simplifies smart card-based application development and deployment. It enables card and terminal independence, and allows for web-based maintainability. It has already received support from companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.
The two other awards were CEPS-Compliant Proton Electronic Purse, which carried off the Best Application “Banking/Finance” award and SEDODEL, developped by Euritis, recently acquired by Gemplus which won the Sesame Best Application ‘E.Commerce’ award.
The CEPS-compliant Proton e-purse from Proton World, implemented on the GemProton CEPS card from Gemplus, combines the de facto international e-purse standard with the worlds most widely-used smart card technology. This is the first step towards internationally interoperable smart card transactions.
Gemplus won the third award for its SEDODEL system, a remarkable way to foster democratic access to the information society while securing electronic trade in digital contents. SEDODEL provides electronic contents to visually impaired people with the help of smart card-based parameterization of a users workstation. Using Gemplus technology, it provides a high level security infrastructure designed to cover the entire delivery chain of multimedia documents and to ensure that the intellectual property rights of content providers and editors are properly respected.
‘The award of these three Sesames at the world’s largest smart card show further draws attention to the lead Gemplus is building over competition,” said Marc Lassus President of Gemplus. “We are especially excited over the Best Innovation award as Gemplus believes that SmartX technology will increase considerably the number of new generation smart cards being developed using popular programming languages such as Java technology, C++ and Visual Basic and leveraging widely deployed legacy systems.”
About Gemplus: 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.
American Express is expanding its current Costco relationship with a card issuing agreement. AmEx and membership warehouse king Costco, rolled-out ‘The American Express Platinum Cash Rebate Card’ and the ‘Corporate Card for Small Business’ yesterday. The new cards, offered exclusively to Costco members, will also serve as Costco membership cards. Wednesday’s announcement is the second phase of a relationship which began in August when American Express card acceptance was introduced at Costco warehouse clubs. Since then, Costco shoppers have racked up 1.5 million transactions. The ‘Platinum Cash Rebate Card’ offers a cash rebate of up to 2% based on all purchases with no limit. The rebate scale is: 0.25% for spending between $0-$2,000, 0.5% for spending between $2001-$3,000 and 1.5% for purchases in excess of $5,000. An additional 0.5% will be given for purchases during billing periods when the account is carrying a balance. The ‘Platinum’ version also features no-annual-fee and a go-to APR of prime +8.49%. The ‘Corporate Card for Small Business’ features quarterly management reports, discounts from AmEx partners and no-annual-fee with a paid Costco membership.
While Providian’s stock price continues to languish in the wake of an expanding national probe into its credit card business practices, the sub-prime specialist announced this morning its online credit card program, the ‘Aria VISA’, has signed up more than 100,000 new accounts since May. Providian has spent upwards of $90 million this year for its e-commerce initiatives which include the acquisition of Getsmart.com and the WebCard VISA portfolio from H&R Block. Providian is currently in the midst of a major offline advertising campaign for Aria which began Oct. 6. The ongoing $10 million+ campaign includes television, billboard and print advertising in such publications, such as Yahoo! Internet Life, Forbes, Wired, People, Bride’s, TV Guide and USA Today. Providian has aggressively positioned its online card products head-to-head with San Francisco-based NextCard, which was formed by former Providian executives. The ‘Aria VISA’ program offers a range of card pricing, from super-prime to sub-prime. However the product line is heavily weighted to the sub-prime segment The four ‘Aria’ VISA cards include ‘Aria VISA Platinum Premium’, ‘VISA Platinum’, and two sub-prime card programs, ‘VISA Portrait’ and ‘VISA Persona’. ‘The instant rewards feature for ‘Aria’ is the ‘MyPoints’ program which offers 5 points for every purchase dollar, a 500 point bonus for opening an account, and a 2,500 point bonus for a balance transfer.
PROVIDIAN’S ARIA PORTFOLIO
VISA Product INTRO PURCH BAL TXFR CASH ADV
Platinum Premium 0%/3mo 7.99% 12.99%-21.99% 21.99%
Platinum 0%/3mo 12.99% 12.99%-21.99% 21.99%
Portrait 0%/2mo 19.99%* 21.99% 21.99%
Persona 0%/2mo 23.99%** 23.99% 23.99%
* Portrait requires a $59 annual fee and offers no grace period for
**Persona requires a one-time processing fee of $29, $49 or $89, plus an
Annual Fee of $59 or $89 and offers no grace period for purchases.
Source: CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com)
Cable & Wireless Global Card Services unveiled ‘The Jingle’ prepaid phone card this morning. The card is being marketed as a stocking stuffer. Retail price points for ‘The Jingle’ are priced at $6.99 for a 30-minute card, and $12.99 for a 60-minute card.
VISA International and Rosenbluth International announced Thursday the ‘Global Travel 2000 Initiative’. The consumer education program is designed to ease Year 2000 fiscal and travel concerns. Among suggestions for year-end and new-year travelers: get a paper ticket in lieu of an e-ticket, carry travelers cheques and make copies of all financial records. VISA International and Rosenbluth International have a long history of joint ventures. VISA, along with 20 other organizations, is a participant in ‘The Continuum’, a working research and development laboratory housed at Rosenbluth International’s World Headquarters.
First Data Resources, a subsidiary of First Data Corp. announced it will expand into the consumer loan processing market through a licensing agreement for SuperSolutions Corp.’s Daybreak -The Big PictureT application software.
First Data Resources, the leading provider of card transaction processing and card portfolio management services for credit, debit, commercial, oil and private-label card issuers, and SuperSolutions, an enterprise-wide solutions software developer, agreed that First Data may use the software to provide consumer loan processing services. The agreement also includes a minority equity investment in SuperSolutions by First Data.
Daybreak – The Big PictureT is a relational data-base management system with a graphical user interface for consumer lending, including automobile, recreational vehicles, boats, motorcycles, home improvement, and specialty finance requests. SuperSolutions will add line-of-credit and home-equity loan functions to its software, allowing full integration of a wide variety of loan portfolios.
“Combining a unique consumer lending application with our card processing expertise is a natural step for us to take as lenders look for a one-stop solution for their loan servicing needs,” said David P. Bailis, executive vice president of First Data Corp. and head of its worldwide card issuing operation. “Delivering a complete loan processing package through a service bureau gives our clients a new, dynamic option for managing their loan products.”
The software gives First Data a completely integrated product line, including loan origination, loan servicing, collections and securitization and offers clients a flexible client server environment. The product line will be available in 1Q 2000. “This allows First Data to enter the market quickly with a completely integrated product,” Bailis said.
“This relationship does many positive things for our company as well,” said Darshan Karki, president and chief executive officer of SuperSolutions Corp. “Adding additional functionality to the software for First Data will also make it more attractive to other customers. It gives us more penetration in the market, and the First Data Resources agreement is a strong endorsement of our loan-portfolio management solution. We expect to increase the size of our operation as a result.”
The new package of consumer loan services also fits strategically with First Data’s objective of working with its clients to enable them to take advantage of opportunities provided by the Internet.
“Since the newest version of the software is Web-enabled, it fits well with our e-commerce commitment to our clients. Integrating this functionality with our card transaction and portfolio management solutions allows us to offer a complete service bureau solution,” Bailis said.
First Data Resources processes transactions for more than 260 million card accounts around the world. Based in Omaha, Neb., First Data Resources is the leading global provider of card transaction processing and card portfolio management solutions that enable credit, debit, commercial, oil and private label card issuers to enhance their portfolio growth, increase market share, reduce risk and improve profitability.
Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) helps move the world’s money. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves more than two million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at [www.firstdatacorp.com].
Based in Eden Prairie, Minn., SuperSolutions develops enterprise-wide software applications for both the Internet and traditional platforms.