May same-store retail sales rose a moderate 2.5 percent over the same period last year, with sales boosted by stronger West Coast spending, according to data compiled by TeleCheck Services, Inc.. The Midwest region led the nation, followed by the Mid-Atlantic, the Southeast, the West and Southwest (tied) and the Northeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 210,000 subscribing locations.
The Sun-Netscape Alliance and Equifax Secure, the e-commerce privacy and security division of Equifax, Tuesday announced plans to provide security infrastructure for large-scale e-commerce applications based on their combined Internet security solutions. Under the agreement, Equifax Secure will use Netscape ‘Directory for Secure E-Commerce’, which includes Netscape ‘Certificate Management System 4.0’, as part of its multiple directory and digital certificate services offered to e-commerce providers such as banks, credit card companies and consumer retailers. Equifax Secure will also offer its patent-pending remote consumer authentication technology for use with Netscape ‘Certificate Management System 4.0’. At the same time, Netscape will include Equifax Secure as a Certificate Authority in its client products.
EIS International announced yesterday that it will preview its ‘Call Processing System’ next week at the CTI Spring Expo. ‘CPS’ utilizes a new credit card authorization process which allows the processing of a customers credit card while remaining on the line with the customer. This is made possible through the integration of ICVERIFY software from CyberCash. This new feature also streamlines record administration by reducing the number of calls incorrectly marked as sales because of card rejection. With ‘Instant Credit Card Authorization’, the agent can mark the record as a no sale, request an additional credit card to complete the sale, or verify the customer-provided credit-card information during the call session, eliminating the need to update the record at a later time.
Polaroid Corp. announced yesterday it won separate contracts to provide 3 million national identification cards in Guinea and voter identification cards to 3.6 million voters in Yemen. The Guinea national identification card program features laser personalization of ID cards printed on security paper with a Polaroid film image with Ultraviolet security protection both protected by a secure laminate. The Yemen election program will use Polaroid cameras and film to create Election Registration Voter cards for the Yemen Arabic Republic. Internationally, Polaroid produces identification documents for governments in more than 60 countries including Brazil, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Russia and China.
Polaroid and Atmel Corporation announced Tuesday, at the CardTech/SecureTech Conference, that they will be demonstrating a revolutionary secure identity card application that merges the fields of ultra secure smart cards, fingerprint verification, card printing, biometric identification and digital imaging.
The demonstration shows how digital imaging and secure smart card technology are being used to create ultra secure ID cards that include biometric identification (a fingerprint), as well as photo ID and other information. Anyone who wants to participate in the demonstration may enroll at Polaroid’s Booth 466. There they will receive a photo printed ID card that includes a digitized version of his/her fingerprint stored in the smart card’s memory. The card holder may then proceed to Atmel Booth 546 where he/she will be asked to insert the smart ID card and have their actual fingerprint read using Polaroid’s PFS-100 fingerprint imaging system jointly developed by Polaroid and Atmel. The PFS-100 system compares the card holder’s actual fingerprint against the fingerprint stored in the smart card to verify the holder’s identify. Cardholders whose identities are verified against their cards will receive a gift. Show attendees are encouraged to test the system by using other people’s cards, as well as their own.
Biometric identification, such as that provided by finger images or facial recognition software, is virtually infallible because the cardholder’s ID is tied to his/her unique physical characteristics. The information stored on the card is protected by circuits inside the cards themselves that perform encryption/decryption of the data on the card. The tiny smart card circuits in Polaroid’s ID cards are actually integrated circuits, called smart card ICs, supplied by Atmel Corporation.
Atmel’s smart card ICs are acknowledged to be some of the most secure designs available in today’s market with the ability to perform critical encryption/decryption tasks within the card and able to securely identify the system or person reading the card, thereby virtually guaranteeing that sensitive personal information will never be written to or leave the card undetected or without authorization. This system is ideal for driver’s licenses and other forms of identification.
Philip J. Scarfo, Vice President of Polaroid’s Biometrics Systems said, “We all use cards for identification. The drivers’ license has been the core of most identification systems worldwide for decades. The security requirements of the future require a much higher level of physical verification and attention to increasingly sophisticated fraud and electronic ‘hacking’. Smart ID cards provide this ultra high level of security in the familiar ID card format everyone is used to.
“Polaroid leads the secure identification market, currently producing digital driver’s licenses in California, Texas, Georgia and West Virginia in the U.S., and internationally providing identification documents for governments in more than 60 countries including Brazil, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Russia and China. Collectively, our systems worldwide currently hold more than 250 million image and fingerprint records –arguably more than the FBI.
“The newest biometric smart ID cards from Polaroid and Atmel provide significantly greater ID security at a very low cost. We expect the biometric IDs to become a world wide ID standard in the next few years. “Scarfo concluded.
Alex Giakoumis, Senior Adviser to Atmel commented, “Frost and Sullivan estimates that the market potential for smart ID cards alone is estimated by analysts to easily exceed $1 billion by 2003.
“We’ve all heard stories about underage kids getting fake IDs,” Giakoumis noted. “Smart ID cards can absolutely prevent this problem. However, the real issue relating to personal identification in today’s society are identity theft, check fraud, and internet e-commerce fraud. To solve these problems, the public and authorities need to be able to spot counterfeit identities quickly and cheaply. Individuals equally need to be able to protect their privacy and identity. The secure ID solutions we are demonstrating today that use secure data in conjunction with digital imaging and biometrics provide the absolute security required in today’s environment.”
The CardTech/SecureTech conference is being held in Chicago, Illinois, at the Chicago Convention Center, in McCormick Place South. Atmel is located in Booth 546 and Polaroid is located in Booth 466.
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with principal manufacturing facilities in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Nantes and Rousset, France and Heilbronn, Germany. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets on a worldwide basis advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory, and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system level integration semiconductor solutions using advanced CMOS, BiCMOS, BiPolar and SiGe process technologies.
The new AT88SC1608 smart card IC provides 17,408 bits of serial EEPROM memory organized into nine zones – eight user zones and one configuration zone. The device is optimized as a secure memory system for the smart card market. It provides secure identification without the need for a microprocessor. The chip includes 64-bit authentication, eight sets of passwords and both authentication and password attempts counters.
Polaroid Corporation, with annual sales of more than $1.8 billion in 1998, is the worldwide leader in instant imaging. Polaroid supplies instant photographic cameras and films; digital imaging hardware, software and media; secure identification systems; graphics imaging systems; sunglasses and polarizers to markets worldwide.
Identix Incorporated announced through Identicator Technology, Inc., its IT security division, that it has signed a strategic OEM agreement with Germany-based Cherry GmbH, whereby Identix will provide Cherry with its DFR 200 biometric fingerprint reader, a small fingerprint scanner designed for integration into computer keyboards for the consumer technology market, and BioLogon enterprise security software management solution.
Cherry is a leading global supplier of electronic products, including standard, custom and specialty keyboards.
Under the agreement, two Cherry keyboard lines employing DFR 200 and BioLogon will be delivered to market: a professional keyboard as well as a smart card enables keyboard. Cherry will manufacture and distribute the keyboard, which provides users security access for computer networks, programs and information with a fingerprint image eliminating traditional PIN or passwords, reducing the possibility of fraudulent access to important electronic files and information.
Uwe Schlottmann, Director of Sales Keymodules and Keyboards at Cherry GmbH commented, “We are pleased to enter into this strategic relationship with Identix. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, we believe that the integration of fingerprint security authentication technology solutions into our keyboards will help ensure true use authentication on networks, PCs and the Internet for e-commerce.”
Identix Chairman & CEO Randall C. Fowler commented, “We now have available biometric product offerings which have the functionality, size and price that can enable mass market adoption of biometrics. Our ultimate goal is to replace all passwords and PINs everywhere user authentication is necessary.”
V.P. Sales & Marketing, Grant Evans said, “User authentication is critical in protecting information on a computer or enterprise network. By combining our biometric network security software solution with the global influence of Cherry’s world class manufacturing and distribution capabilities, we are able to provide an easy-to-use and readily accessible, reliable measure for security to enterprise end-users.”
Cherry GmbH is a leader in manufacturing and marketing computer keyboards for a wide variety of applications. The distinguishing feature of the “Advanced Performance Line” is the integration of additional devices such as magnetic card reader, barcode decoder, one or more smartcard readers, display and biometric fingerprint readers into a high quality professional PC-keyboard. This compact solution saves space and reduces the number of interfaces to the PC. Cherry’s Advanced Performance Keyboards are used by Compaq, Siemens, Unisys, Reuters and Dell among others. Further information can be found at [www.cherry.de].
A division of Identix, Identicator Technology designs and develops proprietary, cost-effective, security products and solutions for personal identification and verification. Identicator Technology provides a wide range of applications to markets that include corporate enterprise security, intranet, extranet, and Internet access and security, E-commerce, government and law enforcement agencies and physical access. Identicator Technology installations include: Spanish Social Services ATMs; DMVs in the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. Identicator Technology’s template is employed in numerous government agency security applications, including the U.S. Treasury’s electronic payment system, the Departments of Defense and Justice security facilities, and FBI identification and security.
Identicator Technology’s commercial business partners include Compaq, Unisys, MasterCard, Polaroid Corporation, Key Tronic, Cherry GmbH and others. Additional information can be found at [www.identicator.com].
Identix, Inc., www.Identix.com, is a leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing products for the capture and/or comparison of fingerprints for security, anti-fraud, law enforcement and other applications.
America Online signed multi-year pacts with five leading banks as part of the re-launch of its full-service banking center within the AOL ‘Personal Finance Channel’. These agreements will make Bank of America, Bank One, Citibank, Union Bank of California and Wells Fargo the premier banks available nationwide in AOL’s Banking Center.
VISA U.S.A. announced this morning it will make a $250,000 donation to be divided between the American Red Cross and the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter to support tornado relief efforts in the Midwest and Red Cross services in the Bay Area. Atlanta-based Cox Communications also announced this morning it is donating 5,000 pre-paid 30-minute telephone calling cards to victims of Monday’s tornadoes in Oklahoma City via the Red Cross. The insurance industry said this morning that insurance costs could easily exceed $500 million as more than 2,000 homes were destroyed and 8,000 damaged when the tornadoes swept across the Midwest states this week. The median sale price of homes in the Oklahoma City area, where the losses were concentrated, is $77,000. Meanwhile a number of other firms have joined the relief efforts. Yesterday afternoon priceline.com announced it is making 1,000 hotel room nights, mostly through Marriott, available free of charge to relief effort volunteers. Bank One Oklahoma also announced two disaster loan programs on Thursday, designed to quickly provide individuals and small business with new loan funds for disaster-related expenses. Fannie Mae’s says its disaster relief provisions give lenders the discretion to help borrowers in several ways, including suspending mortgage payments for up to three months, reducing the payments for up to 18 months, or in more special cases, creating longer loan payback plans. Phillips Petroleum contributed $100,000 to a special relief fund established by the American Red Cross for the tornado victims. Miller Brewing Company interrupted production yesterday to bottle 1,000 cases of drinking water. And SCI Oklahoma Funeral Services is donating funeral arrangements including casket and burial services for victims of the tornados.
April same-store retail sales rose a modest 1.9 percent over the same period last year, as a calendar shift split Easter spending between two months, according to data compiled by TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world’s leading check acceptance company. The Midwest region led the nation, followed by the Southwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the West, the Southeast and the Northeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year- over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 210,000 subscribing locations. TeleCheck is a subsidiary of First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC).
“This year’s Easter spending was split between March and April, with only the last three days of pre-Easter spending occurring in April. Continued NATO activities in and around Yugoslavia, and the Columbine High School tragedy, may have had a slight negative affect on retail sales by keeping shoppers at home. Overall, though, consumers continued their moderate pace of retail spending throughout the month,” said Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck’s Senior Economic Advisor.
The Midwest was up 3.6 percent, with sales up 4.5 percent in Wisconsin, 3.9 percent in Michigan, 3.7 percent in Illinois, 3.3 percent in Ohio, and 2.1 percent in Minnesota. Milwaukee’s sales rose 4.0 percent, Detroit’s grew 3.4 percent, Chicago’s gained 3.3 percent, Cleveland’s increased 3.5 percent and Minneapolis/St. Paul’s 2.6 percent.
Sales rose 2.5 percent in the Southwest, with Missouri up 3.2 percent, Texas up 2.5 percent and Oklahoma up 1.3 percent. Sales grew by 3.6 percent in St. Louis, 3.4 percent in Kansas City, 2.8 percent in San Antonio, 2.7 percent in Houston and 2.6 percent in both Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa were up 1.3 percent
Sales rose 2.3 percent in the Mid-Atlantic. Virginia’s sales were up 3.0 percent, Pennsylvania’s rose 2.7 percent, New Jersey’s grew 1.5 percent and Maryland’s rose 1.2 percent. The District of Columbia’s sales gained 2.7 percent, Philadelphia’s increased 3.0 percent, Pittsburgh’s grew 2.7 percent and Baltimore’s rose 0.8 percent.
The West was up 1.7 percent, with gains of 3.4 percent in Arizona, 3.2 percent in Hawaii and 3.1 percent in Colorado. Oregon’s sales rose 1.2 percent and Washington’s gained 0.4 percent while California’s fell 5.1 percent. Sales were up 3.2 percent in both Phoenix and Denver, 1.1 percent in Portland and 0.8 percent in Seattle. Sales fell 3.1 percent in San Diego, 4.3 percent in Los Angeles and 6.3 percent in the Bay Area.
The Southeast rose 1.4 percent. Tennessee’s sales grew 2.6 percent, The Carolinas’ rose 2.4 percent, Louisiana’s gained 1.7 percent and Georgia’s grew 1.5 percent. Florida’s dropped 2.0 percent. Sales rose 2.4 percent in Nashville, 2.1 percent in Memphis, 1.9 percent in New Orleans and 1.8 percent in Atlanta. Orlando’s sales fell 0.1 percent, Tampa’s dropped 1.4 percent and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale’s fell 3.1 percent.
Sales were down 0.5 percent in the Northeast, with New York up 2.3 percent and Massachusetts down 1.1 percent. New York City’s sales rose 2.0 percent and Boston’s dropped 2.0 percent.
TeleCheck’s index is compiled on a calendar basis and is based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers at a broad cross-section of retailers. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. Checks account for approximately 37 percent of retail spending. In 1998, TeleCheck authorized over $112 billion in checks and processed more than 2.2 billion check inquiries.
Note: The TeleCheck logo and retail sales figures can be downloaded from the TeleCheck web site at or from PR Newswire and NewsCom.
Atlanta-based First Data Corporation is a leader in payment services, electronic commerce and information management products and services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or stored value card at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check or wire money. For more information about First Data, please visit the Company on the Internet at .
Dr. William Ford holds the Weatherford Chair of Finance at Middle Tennessee State University. Earlier in his career he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served on former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s Federal Open Market Committee.
SOUTHEAST 1.4% WEST 1.7% MIDWEST 3.6%
Florida -2.0% Arizona 3.4% Illinois 3.7%
Ft. Lauderdale -3.1% Phoenix 3.2% Chicago 3.3%
Orlando -0.1% California -5.1% Michigan 3.9%
Tampa -1.4% Bay Area -6.3% Detroit 3.4%
Louisiana 1.7% Los Angeles -4.3% Minnesota 2.1%
New Orleans 1.9% San Diego -3.1% Minneapolis/
St. Paul 2.6%
Georgia 1.5% Oregon 1.2% Wisconsin 4.5%
Atlanta 1.8% Portland 1.1% Milwaukee 4.0%
Tennessee 2.6% Washington 0.4% Ohio 3.3%
Memphis 2.1% Seattle 0.8% Cleveland 3.5%
Nashville 2.4% Colorado 3.1%
The Carolinas 2.4% Denver 3.2% MID-ATLANTIC 2.3%
Hawaii 3.2% District of
SOUTHWEST 2.5% Pennsylvania 2.7%
Texas 2.5% NORTHEAST -0.5% Philadelphia 3.0%
Austin 2.6% Massachusetts -1.1% Pittsburgh 2.7%
Dallas/Ft. Worth 2.6% Boston -2.0% New Jersey 1.5%
Houston 2.7% New York 2.3% Virginia 3.0%
San Antonio 2.8% New York City 2.0% Maryland 1.2%
Missouri 3.2% Baltimore 0.8%
Kansas City 3.4%
St. Louis 3.6%
Oklahoma City 1.3%
Fifth Third’s Midwest Payment Systems signed a five-year agreement to provide debit card processing services to Giant Eagle. The Pittsburgh-based supermarket chain currently operates 201 stores with locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. MPS processes almost three billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 55,000 retail locations and financial institutions worldwide, including Federated Department Stores, The Kroger Co. and CompUSA. MPS’ merchant customer base generates more than $30 billion in credit card sales annually.
Capital One announced plans Monday to open a customer relations call center in Boise, ID.The issuer acquired assets of an existing call center run by American Direct Credit. Cap One immediately hired the center’s approximately 110 employees with plans to hire 400 additional employees by year-end 2000 at the Boise site. The company is currently building its first west coast facility just south of Seattle in Federal Way, WA.
Capital One announced this morning its Board of Directors has approved a three-for-one stock split of the company’s common stock.The three-for-one stock split will be in the form of a 200 percent stock distribution, or two-share stock dividend, to be distributed on June 1, to stockholders of record on May 20, 1999. The split will increase the outstanding number of Capital One shares from approximately 65 million to 195 million. Also at yesterday’s meeting, the Board of Directors approved a special stock option program, known as ‘EntrepreneurGrant’. Under the new program the company’s two top executives have given up all remaining compensation through the year 2001. Richard Fairbank, Chairman/CEO, and Nigel Morris, President/COO, gave up one additional year’s salary and two additional years of annual cash incentive, annual option grants, and Senior Executive Retirement Plan contributions, in exchange for a one-time option grant. The options vest early if the stock price reaches $300 at anytime on or before June 15, 2002, and in any case, in nine years or upon a change of control, regardless of the stock price. Mr. Fairbank will receive an option to purchase 376,887 shares and Mr. Morris will receive an option to purchase 251,258 shares of the company’s common stock. About 141 senior managers are also able to participate in the program, by electing to give up all annual stock option grants for the next two years, in exchange for the ‘EntrepreneurGrant’.