Oberthur Smart Cards USA named Philippe Tartavull president and CEO of Oberthur Smart Cards USA this morning. The former COO takes the reins from Kirk Hyde who has held the CEO post since 1980 and who will remain on the Board of Directors. Oberthur Smart Cards USA resulted from the purchase of family-owned Kirk Plastic Company by Groupe Franssois-Charles Oberthur in October of 1996. For six years, Philippe Tartavull was the president and CEO of SYSECA, a $25 million North American subsidiary of Thomson CSF, helping to diversify the company into future high growth markets including interactive TV, smart cards and Internet/Intranet technologies.
[G2 RealVideo Format – Videos with Hank and Willie Priceless(All-Star Game)]
MasterCard will air its latest “Priceless” advertising spot in tonight’s FOX Network broadcast of the ‘1999 All-Star Game in Boston. The “All-Century Team” TV spot features four baseball legends including Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, George Brett, and Barry Bonds. MasterCard is also running a card usage sweepstakes which offers fans a chance to win a ‘Priceless Moment’ at the 1999 World Series. The ‘MasterCard All-Century Team Sweepstakes’ will award five winners an all expense paid trip for four to the 1999 World Series to sit with select living members of the ‘All-Century Team’. Visit CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com]) for consumer details and click on CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com) to view the new spot.
1999BITS, the technology group for The Financial Services Roundtable, announced today the establishment of the BITS Financial Services Security Laboratory located in Reston, VA. The new facility will open on July 28th and will enable financial services companies and technology vendors to work cooperatively to further strengthen the security of electronic banking systems and related technologies.
Global Integrity Corporation, a subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) will operate the BITS Laboratory, with funding from participating vendors. The major objectives of the facility are early product influence, risk reduction, cost reduction, and security functionality.
The Security Lab ultimately will rest security features and capabilities of products in both stand alone and distributed environments for select PC operating systems, browsers, servers, and applications software used for PC banking; anti-virus software firewalls; and end-to-end security systems. Products will be tested for their ability to meet specific criteria pertaining to security attributes such as authentication, integrity, confidentiality, privacy, auditability and authorization.
‘The BITS Security Lab will help to sustain public confidence in the financial services industry’s ability to prevent and respond to security-related incidents in electronic banking,’ said Edward E. Crutchfield, Chairman and CEO of First Union Corporation and Chairman of the BITS Board of Directors. ‘The capabilities provided by the new facility will save time and money in the process of evaluating the safety and validity of financial products and will allow us to better serve the customer,’ stated Crutchfield.
A BITS-Tested Process, including a BITS-Tested Mark, will be implemented to certify testing of security-related technology against established criteria. For banks and vendors alike, the BITS-Tested Process and the Laboratory will provide and unbiased third-party evaluation, with product testing on meet common criteria. The BITS-Tested Mark will be given upon successful completion of the testing cycle, indicating the overall security level for the product. Mark issuance will be posted on the BITS Web site.
‘The financial services industry takes security issues very seriously,’ said Robert W. Gillespie, Chairman and CEO, KeyCorp, and Chairman of The Financial Services Roundtable Board. ‘Traditionally, security is the key to consumer confidence,’ he continued, adding, ‘The new BITS Financial Services Security Lab is a bold and important step to ensure comprehensive security in banking systems.’
‘Sun strongly supports testing against open standards,’ said Scott McNealy, Chairman and CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc. ‘The BITS Lab process will provide for cooperation among vendors and banks while protecting what each considers to be the proprietary aspects of their technology.’
‘Microsoft supports the BITS Security Lab because we are committed to developing, testing and applying technology that further straightens the safety and security of the electronic banking experience for consumers,’ said Mike Dushe, Product Manager, Smart Card for Windows, Microsoft Corporations. ‘Working in concert with the financial services industry and alongside other vendors, we believe the Lab provides the kind of technical cooperation that breeds confidence while continuing the marketplace competition that delivers excellence for our customers.’
‘We are delighted with BITS’ leadership in this area,’ said Richard Kovacevich, President and CEO of Wells Fargo and Company, and Immediate Past Chairman of The Financial Services Roundtable. ‘This BITS Security Lab provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate to legislators and regulators the proactive steps the financial services industry is taking to assure security in all working components of the banking systems,’ he stated.
William M. Randle, Executive Vice President, Huntington National Bank, and Co-Chair of the BITS Security and Risk Assessment Steering Committee said, ‘The establishment of the Security Lab is one of the most specific ways to industry can move toward meeting the requirements of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Bulletin (98-38) on technology risk management in PC Banking.’ He added that, ‘this effort will promote and facilitate a more sound, secure channel for electronic commerce that will accelerate the growth and acceptance of doing business on the Internet.’
Peter Browne, Senior Vice President, First Union Corporation, and the order Co-Chair of the BITS Security and Risk Assessment Steering Committee, explained that, ‘ Creating a BITS Tested Mark of certification establishes a process providing every vendor and financial institution with a baseline for evaluating all products, both existing and planned. In addition, the process will help eliminate much of the redundancy in vendor product-testing with individual financial institutions.’
‘The BITS Laboratory initiative is good for the consumer, the banking industry and those of us who endeavor to build trust in electronic commerce applications and infrastructure,’ said Harvey L. Weiss, President and CEO of Global Integrity. ‘BITS and the banks have taken a proactive step towards raising the bar for the industry, and Global Integrity is delighted to be working with BITS in this pioneering efforts.’
Rhonda MacLean, Senior Vice President, Bank of America noted, ‘The BITS Financial Services Security Lab initiative offers information technology professionals within the financial services sector and the vendor community an outstanding opportunity to collaborate. This will support a secure emerging online electronic commerce environment and promote security and privacy initiatives to meet the needs of our customers.’
BITS CEO Catherine A. Allen said that various steps are in place to allow the security facility to begin accepting product test applications in July 1999. A Working Group has been formed, chaired by Dan Nealis, Senior Vice President, Chase Manhattan Bank, to meet these objectives. ‘We are currently defining product prioritization and testing criteria. Our goal is to provide financial institutions and product vendors with a consistent and meaningful set of security tests. We will be asking for input from the vendor community, and ultimately from the brokerage and insurance industries, to help in this process,’ said Nealis. ‘Software companies are eager to have their products tested,’ he noted, adding that, ‘We plan to start with commercially available products and will move into earlier stages of product development as we gain experience and increase capacity.’
The BITS Security and Risk Assessment Steering Committee has responsibility for setting policy and directing the new technology facility, with the day-to-day management of the facility to be conducted by Global Integrity.
BITS, the technology group for The Financial Services Roundtable, was created in 1996 to foster the growth and development of electronic banking and e-commerce in an open environment that will encourage greater choice and efficiency in financial software, access devices, networks and processing capabilities for the benefit of financial institutions and their customers. BITS promotes safety and soundness in payment systems and in electronic banking products. BITS is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of the Chairman and CEOs of the 14 largest U.S. Bank holding companies as well as representatives of the American Banker Association (ABA) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). For more information, visit the BITS Web site at [www.bitsinfo.org].
About Global Integrity
Global Integrity is a wholly owned subsidiary of Science Application International Corporation (SAIC). It focuses on the rapidly growing worldwide business of enabling e-commerce through the information protection market. Headquarters in Reston, VA., Global Integrity provides a full complement of information protection, electronic commerce security, consulting and engineering services to global financial institutions and major corporations with electronic operation worldwide. More information can be found at Global’s Web site at [www.globalintegrity.com]
Datacap announced this week that First Data Merchant Services will be the first to market the ‘PayMate 1000’, an electronic cash and credit register which provides small and mid-sized merchants with a single device to process cash, checks, credit and debit transactions. FDMS says small and mid-sized businesses typically used separate registers and card terminals. The ‘PayMate 1000’ enables merchants to centralize all payment transactions in one device plus consolidate reporting. Wachovia Merchant Services says it will offer the new Datacap device to new merchant clients as well as its existing client base of 28,000 merchant locations.
CheckFree decided yesterday not close on its 3.8 million share secondary stock offering after watching its stock price free fall this week. CheckFree’s stock declined sharply on the news that three major banks were forming an e-bill routing service called ‘The Exchange’. CheckFree says it was stung by implications that it somehow managed to time the secondary offering to beat the banks’ announcement. However CheckFree insisted that none of the banks involved ever spoke to CheckFree about this effort nor indicated the formation of this group, nor gave any indication they intended to make an announcement of such an organization. The company says it does not need the funding from the secondary to complete its expanded Internet distribution strategy. CheckFree say it has sufficient resources to execute its plans, and they will do so with force.
Paymentech announced this week that it has begun utilizing frame relay telecommunication environments with TCP/IP for processing POS transactions for large hotel and resort clients. The company says dedicated network connectivity provides broader bandwidth for larger transaction and batch volume as well as increased speed for faster authorization. Among the hospitality clients to use TCP/IP are Venetian and New York New York hotels and resorts in Las Vegas.
Chase Manhattan, First Union and Wells Fargo announced Wednesday they are forming a new company to exchange electronic bills. The new company, to be called ‘The Exchange’, until the naming process is complete, will begin operating by year-end. The three banks said the new company will be the first organization to provide an open, interoperable mechanism for exchanging online bills, regardless of the technology employed by the individual members. The group points out that other players in the e-bill market use proprietary systems. ‘The Exchange’ will use Sun Microsystem’s ‘SunConnect’ open systems architecture to build the operating platform. VISA U.S.A. will also supply several software components and related support as part of the bill presentment solution. Integrion, governed by Bank of America, Bank One, Washington Mutual, and VISA, also plans to use ‘The Exchange’ as a component of the electronic bill presentment and payment services offered to its owner financial institutions and clients. The three founding members of ‘The Exchange’ have a combined customer base of nearly 60 million consumers and small businesses, relationships with more than 59,000 corporations and institutions nationwide, and issued nearly 300 million mortgage and credit card bills last year.
CheckFree said yesterday the formation of ‘The Exchange’ will have little or no impact on its business. However Wall Street reacted differently as CheckFree’s stock price slid nearly $9.00 to close at $28.75 per share. CheckFree says the three banks involved are simply creating an electronic look-up facility to connect bills with their intended recipients and are not creating a pay-anyone capability. CF also said the look-up directory that ‘The Exchange’ seeks to create mimics a function CheckFree maintains today for 21 billers distributing to consumers through 20 Web-enabled institutions. CheckFree says it understands that on the commercial side of ‘The Exchange’, banks view CheckFree as a competitor for electronic bills, and the banks did not give CheckFree any advance notice of their plans or their announcement. Nevertheless CheckFree says it is prepared to compete vigorously with anyone that attempts to sign up billers.
American Express confirmed Monday that is has signed an agreement with Millennium BIG Bank SA to issue American Express cards in Poland. The new Polish card will be denominated in Polish Zloty. Millennium BIG Bank currently has 57 branches and expects to open about 200 additional branches by 2002. Meanwhile Credit Saison has launched its second co-branded American Express card in Japan. The new ‘WOWOW Saison American Express Card’ is the result of a partnership between Credit Saison and Japan’s Satellite Broadcasting Services. Credit Saison also issues the ‘Yucho Saison American Express Card’, a co-branded card with the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. Credit Saison was the first Japanese credit card issuer to offer cards on four networks including VISA, MasterCard, JCB and American Express. The firm has about 11.4 million cards-in-force in Japan.
IVI Checkmate Corp. Tuesday announced at the Retail Systems ’99 Conference in Chicago, it will resume production of its eN-Touch 1000′ customer-interactive touch screen and signature capture terminal beginning July 1, 1999.
Earlier this year, during pilot testing at a national U.S. retailer, the eN-Touch 1000 terminal began showing signs of inconsistent wear on the Mylar coating that protects the electronics on the glass screen. Although the terminals remained fully operational, IVI Checkmate delayed production and worked jointly with its customers and suppliers to investigate alternative technologies.
In early March, IVI Checkmate released a limited number of terminals with the new technology for in-store testing. The company commented that the terminals performed extremely well for the retailers involved in the test program.
‘The actions we have taken to improve the eN-Touch 1000 have resulted in a stronger product in both feature and function. By placing the electronics under the glass we have eliminated screen wear, which increases the life of the unit and decreases its cost of ownership. Most importantly, the independent testing of our customers determined that the alternative technology fits their needs and allows them to move forward,’ stated Greg Lewis, President and CEO of IVI Checkmate’s US operations.
IVI Checkmate is the third largest electronic transaction solutions provider in North America. The Company designs, develops, and markets innovative payment and value-added solutions that optimize transaction management at the point-of-service in the retail, financial, travel & entertainment, healthcare, and transportation industries. IVI Checkmate’s software, hardware, and professional services minimize transaction costs, reduce operational complexity, and improve profitability for its customers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. For more information on IVI Checkmate, visit its web site at http://www.ivicheckmate.com.
Credit card mail offers reached an all-time record high of 3.45 billion for the full year of 1998. This is a 15% increase over 1997 and reflects an increase in the number of households solicited from 69% to 75%. Response rates remained unchanged according to Mail Monitor, the direct mail card acquisition tracking service managed by BAIGlobal. With the increase in mailing, the number of credit card applications generated went up from 39 million to 41 million.
C-MAC Industries yesterday announced the release of a test of a new portable e-cash device. Residents of Sherbrooke, Quebec will soon test a new smart card device designed and manufactured by C-MAC Industries. The new ‘C-MAC Electronic Wallet’ will allow Royal Bank clients to transfer electronic cash from person to person. Some of the features of the wallet include a calculator and a log of the cardholder’s last 10 e-cash transactions as well as being able to view the current balance on the card. New, capabilities, such as Internet loading or other smart card applications, are also expected to be added to the wallet in the future.