MasterCard has launched a “Vote For Your Vette” promotion in conjunction with the Corvette’s 50th anniversary next year. Corvette MasterCard users and online visitors will have a chance to win a 2003 “50th Anniversary Corvette” and a trip to the “Corvette 50th Anniversary” celebration. Corvette MasterCard users will be automatically entered on card for purchases of ten dollars or more until April 30th. Online visitors simply need to vote for their favorite model to enter. Consumers will be vote from all 50 model years. The most popular model will be used on a special commemorative (Household Bank-issued) MasterCard. As part of the celebration, Household is also offering the first-ever GM officially licensed “Corvette MasterCard.”Details
Bentley Communications Corp. announced a reseller agreement with Virtual Money, Inc. to represent Virtual Money with private label and co-branded ATM cards, and various cash card products, for distribution in several markets, including the securities industry. Merchants and members can now use the Virtual Money ATM Card for many purposes including disbursement of funds at lower costs than checks.
The Virtual Money ATM Card enables all of the buying public, even those without bank accounts, to shop in a brick-and-mortar store or on the Internet. The card can be used in gas stations, department stores, supermarkets, and places of entertainment. “According to Visa USA, up to 15 million households in America do not have a bank account,” stated Gordon Lee, CEO of Bentley. “This is obviously another niche market that Bentley will soon be addressing. The agreement with Virtual Money is very complimentary to Bentley’s business plan. This agreement will expand and accelerate Bentley’s ability to produce revenue and give Bentley the opportunity to distribute to their merchant clients co-branded ATM cards for use at both brick-and-mortar and Internet sites.”
The card features the security of a PIN and is rechargeable on the Internet or at ATMs worldwide. In addition, the card is recognized for discounted health care services in some optical, pharmaceutical and chiropractic programs, including “Coast-to-Coast Vision Plan,” “Neighborhood Pharmacy,” and “Doctors of Chiropractic.”
The E-merchant will have real-time verification of funds and no risk of charge backs, or holding deposits of 10% or more by the EFT Networks. The Virtual Money ATM card benefits employers, E-merchants and consumers by simplifying payroll, providing the convenience of PIN-based transactions and eliminating time spent in bank lines or waiting over the weekend to access payroll funds.
About Bentley Communications Corporation:
Bentley’s focus is on the implementation of services such as Internet payments via an ATM/Debit card from home or office, for online trading of securities. With Bentley’s system in place, the brokerage client’s funds will be immediately available for trading, or any other capital-related brokerage transactions as we apply the ATM@Home(TM) system to the online brokerage community. Bentley is negotiating online brokerage and clearing firm agreements in order to further its mission that targets transaction based revenue from the fast growing on-line brokerage community. This mission includes the issuance of co-branded debit cards tied to Bentley’s unique ATM@Home(TM) system. For additional information, see: [www.Bentleycommunications.com]
About Virtual Money, Inc.
Virtual Money, Inc. is a consolidator of multiple-payment choices for on-line and brick-and-mortar merchants. The Virtual Money(TM) user-interface is a patent-pending, Internet point-of-sale (POS) payment portal. It is the simplest, most comprehensive and least expensive way to access up to 100% of the buying public. For additional information see [www.Virtualmoneyinc.com].
Kryptosima was founded in January 2000 to develop new Internet payment methods. Kryptosima’s founders all have 18 to 30 years experience developing and marketing services, software, and/or hardware for the US banking industry. Their experience has primarily involved credit card processing, ATM-card processing, and home banking. payENKRYPT(TM) is one of Kryptosima’s patent-pending services for online payments. For additional information see: [www.Kryptosima.com]
Toronto-based Datawire Communication Networks, which offers the “VXN”, a
globally focused, secure, reliable, real-time, Internet-based transaction
delivery network, has inked an alliance with GO Software and an agreement
to provide transaction delivery to CardSystems. Datawire also reported a
significant uptake from merchants utilizing Internet-based transport
through the First Data Merchant Services IPN which is based on Datawire’s
“VXN.” GO Software’s “PCCharge” will be the first application to be enabled
and certified to provide merchants with access to this new service
offering. Under terms of the multi-year agreement between CardSystems and >
Datawire, this best-of-breed solution allows CardSystems to offer its
customers fast, secure, reliable and “always-on” access to its payment
processing products and services, through the Datawire “VXN” over standard
Works, Inc., announced that technology and Electronic Funds Transfer industry veteran, Nikhil Sinha, has joined the company’s board of directors. Works will tap Sinha’s extensive expertise in the EFT industry and his experience managing rapidly growing technology companies to propel Works to success as it continues to change the electronic payment industry.
Sinha has over 10 years senior management experience in international information technology, transaction processing and telecommunications. He most recently served as the executive vice president of eFunds, Inc., where he oversaw corporate Pamp;L and global product management sales and marketing for the publicly traded provider of electronic payment solutions, decision support, risk management and IT consulting services. Before joining eFunds, Sinha was the president and CEO of iDLX Technology Partners, a provider of IT consulting services to financial institutions, which he helped merge with eFunds in March 2000.
Before joining iDLX, Sinha was a managing partner at Sinha & Lariviere, Ltd., an international high technology consulting firm specializing in helping U.S. IT and telecommunications companies make strategic international investments. He also served as an advisor to the World Bank and the governments of India, Mexico, Chile and South Africa. In addition, Sinha recently returned to the University of Texas as a professor of International Business and International Communication where he held the same position from 1991 through 1999. Sinha holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.
“Nikhil has extensive experience on both a national and international scale in helping to build large and successful financial services technology companies,” said Martin Neath, chairman of the Works board of directors. “The board is extremely pleased to add his expertise to our team and looks forward to his guidance in the coming years as we continue to expand on the successful adoption of the Works electronic payment management solution.”
“Works is changing the electronic payment industry with a powerful and profitable solution that simplifies and streamlines costly and complex payment processes,” said Sinha. “The company has achieved significant customer and industry traction in a very short period of time. I look forward to working with the team to cement the company’s position as an industry leader.”
About Works ()
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Works provides software solutions that help large companies minimize the number of checks they issue, reduce the expense of costly manual back-office reconciliation processes and settle payment transactions electronically through the use of commercial credit cards. The Works Procisa electronic payment management solution is built on the global VISA payment system and is delivered to customers through an exclusive partnership with Visa U.S.A. and its member financial institutions.Details
CIBC and Advantex Marketing have teamed to launch a new and improved
CIBCeShops.com for the more than one million holders of CIBC credit cards.
The upgraded Web site offers a mix of Canadian and U.S. brand name and
specialty e-retailers, with the ability to earn automatic bonus rewards on
all purchases in addition to the rewards normally earned when using a CIBC
credit card to pay for purchases. Participating CIBC cards include “CIBC
Aerogold,” “CIBC Gold,” “CIBC Vacationgold,” “CIBC Dividend,” “CIBC
Dividend Platinum,” “CIBC Shoppers Optimum,” and “CIBC HBC Rewards.”
iDine Rewards Network Inc., announced Board member George S. Wiedemann has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer.
iDine also announced that Gene M. Henderson, the previous President and Chief Executive Officer, has resigned.
Mr. Wiedemann was, until recently, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Responsys Inc., a provider of on-line direct marketing technology. Mr. Wiedemann continues to be a member of the Board of Responsys. Prior to his involvement with Responsys, Mr. Wiedemann was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Grey Direct Marketing Group, Inc., a direct marketing agency network he founded in 1979, that specializes in multimedia direct response advertising. Mr. Wiedemann serves on the Direct Marketing Association Board of Directors to which he was elected in 1990. Mr. Wiedemann has been a Director of iDine since 1998. Commenting on the appointment of Mr. Wiedemann, Samuel Zell, Chairman of the Board said, “Over the past four years, George has provided iDine with invaluable insight and guidance during his tenure as a Board member and we feel his enthusiasm and knowledge of the business will enable the company to continue to take advantage of opportunities in the member rewards arena. We are very excited to have been able to find someone of George’s professional caliber and marketing acumen to continue the solid growth of iDine and lead the company to the next level.”
Mr. Wiedemann said, “I’m quite pleased and excited about working with Sam Zell, the iDine Board and our employees to build iDine into the premier credit card based loyalty and rewards platform.”
Mr. Zell added, “We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Gene Henderson for his leadership over the past four years. Gene has been instrumental in guiding the company through a period of financial uncertainty to its present position of profitability and financial health. Gene has built a strong team and has positioned the company as the clear leader in the dining rewards industry.”
iDine Rewards Network Inc., based in Miami, Florida, offers its members a variety of dining savings and rewards programs at more than 8,600 restaurants throughout the United States via means of a registered credit card platform. The Company currently has 12.8 million credit cards registered through 9.8 million enrolled accounts. Dining incentives are offered through the Company’s dining programs, either branded under the name iDine or provided through co-branded and private label partnerships, such as airline frequent flyer programs, club memberships or other affinity organizations. iDine Reward Network’s common stock trades on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and alongside its Series A Preferred Stock on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX).Details
Helsinki-based Rahaxi Processing Oy has been acquired by Ireland-based
FreeStar Technologies. Rahaxi operates full, online connectivity to all
Finnish banks, including Nordea, Sampo, Oko and the
domestic bank credit card company, Luottokunta, and provides processing
services for over 1,300 merchants. Currently, Rahaxi supports a network
serving over 5,000 point-of-sale devices that generate over one million
transactions each month. The terms of the acquisition, valued at US$4.3
million, provide for FreeStar to make incremental cash payments to the
seller over the course of 13 months, and to collateralize the full value of
the acquisition in the form of an equivalent amount of common stock of
FreeStar. The owners of Rahaxi will also be entitled to receive 10% of the
net profits generated by Rahaxi for the next four quarters.
FreeStar says Rahaxi produces revenues of US$100,000 per month.
For the fifth consecutive year, American Express will raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer when it launches Charge for the Cure, a campaign to raise $500,000 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
This year, for the first time, American Express will donate half of the campaign proceeds to local Komen Affiliates across the country. During the entire month of October, American Express will make a donation to the Komen Foundation for every purchase made on an American Express(R) Card at participating merchants, up to $500,000. For the first time, up to $250,000 of the contribution will be donated to local Komen Affiliates, ensuring that Cardmembers’ generosity will be returned to the communities where they live and work. Donations are not tax deductible for Cardmembers and will be based on a $0.01 donation per American Express transaction at participating merchants.
Charge for the Cure includes thousands of merchants in virtually every category from airlines to restaurants, as well as the “everyday spending” category, including supermarkets, drug stores, and mass merchandisers. Cardmembers can help raise money for the fight against breast cancer by using the Card for purchases at participating merchants nationwide and online at participating Web retailers. Cardmembers can visit www.americanexpress.com/cure for the list of participating merchants. “Charge for the Cure is the ultimate gift with purchase – the gift of hope,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, vice president, national marketing and business development, American Express. “American Express is particularly pleased this year to be able to donate funds to local Komen Affiliates. Our Cardmembers’ generosity provides vital funding for breast cancer research and community outreach programs and raises awareness about this disease and the important work carried out by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.” American Express is committed to raising awareness and making donations towards finding a cure for breast cancer. In addition to its cause-related marketing programs, which has raised nearly $2 million for breast cancer over the last four years, American Express is also a longstanding local sponsor and participant in the annual Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Greater New York City Race for the Cure(R). The company also received the U.S. Postal Service’s first Social Awareness Award in May 1999 for its role in promoting nationwide awareness of the Breast Cancer Research Semi-Postal Stamp.
“We are pleased to partner with American Express again this year and are extremely grateful for the support they have given us in the fight against breast cancer,” said Rebecca Garcia, Ph.D., vice president for health sciences, the Komen Foundation. “The Charge for the Cure campaign enables Cardmembers – simply by using their cards for everyday purchases – to play an important role in the Komen Foundation’s mission to eradicate breast cancer.”
About American Express
American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, investment products, insurance and international and online banking. For more information on American Express, visit our website at [www.americanexpress.com].
About the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Today, the Foundation is an international organization with a network of volunteers working through local Affiliates and Komen Race for the Cure(R) events to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment. For breast health or breast cancer information, contact the Komen Foundation’s National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline, 1.800.I’M AWARE(R), or visit [www.komen.org].
A new VISA Canada study shows that only 43% of parents with
children aged 16-24 believe their children are able to manage the finances
necessary for post-secondary studies. The study shows that a post-secondary
student spends an average of $12,400 annually to cover tuition, books,
supplies and living expenses, 58% of which is financed from the student’s
earnings or from loans, scholarships and grants or other sources. In
2000-2001, more than 343,000 full-time students borrowed over $1.5 billion
under the Canada Student Loans program to finance their post-secondary
studies. VISA Canada says it has introduced a new chapter in its “Choices &
Decisions” program entitled “Financing Your Education to help Canadian
United Airlines is offering bonus miles to customers using a U.S. issued credit card to book travel on its Web site and is also offering the opportunity to win new BMW or 50,000 miles. The promotion, which starts next week and runs through the end of the year, is in celebration of the 5th anniversary of united.com. The airline, which is facing a possible bankruptcy, has been slashing operating costs by closing customer service centers and encouraging customers to book online. On Sept. 15th, United closed its 1K Service Centers, which serves its elite flyers, at airports across the USA. This week United began shutting down some local ticket offices. At the same time United has introduced Internet-only E-ticket fares on its Web site and now charges a $20 penalty to issue paper tickets. The new promotion which gets underway October 1st, offers 500 bonus miles for each United roundtrip tickets purchased online at United’s Web site. Customers booking on united.com for the first time will receive an additional 500 bonus miles for a roundtrip ticket. In celebration of the 5th anniversary of united.com, visitors to the Web site also have the opportunity to enter the “5th Anniversary Giveaway” for a chance to win a 2003 BMW X5 and 50,000 Mileage Plus miles or for a chance to win one of 50 additional prize packages, each consisting of the following: 25,000 Mileage Plus miles, 75,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points, 5 days’ Avis car rental, $250 grocery gift card from Safeway Companies and a $50 FTD.COM gift certificate. For more information visit Card Incentives on [www.cardweb.com].
Email volume is expected to exceed 60 billion worldwide by 2006, up from 31 billion in 2002, and slightly more than half of these messages will be person-to-person emails, according to a new research report. Meanwhile another research report released this week found that one in seven Internet users have applied for a financial account or service, including credit cards, as a result of an e-mail message they received from a financial services provider. IDC says email volume will continue to explode as person-to-person emails are joined by rapidly-growing numbers of spam and email alerts and notifications. However, IDC says email users will demand greater access to message filtering technology to quickly distinguish between high and low priority messages and to delete spam. Additionally, Web browsers will remain the primary access method for all emailboxes worldwide through 2006. Atlanta-based Synergistics Research also released an email research report based on interviews with 1,199 Internet users. Synergistics found that two-thirds of Internet users report receiving e-mails promoting financial accounts and services. Those who are getting these e-mails are receiving an average of 10 per week. Synergistics says about one-fifth of the Internet users who get marketing-oriented financial e-mails have actually obtained a financial service as a result. Other email research has shown that, as a marketing channel, email currently produces about 3% of all new credit card accounts.Details
Diebold and MICROS Systems have teamed to offer MICROS “Eclipse” POS terminals running either 3700 or 9700 server platforms for the Diebold “CS Gold” system. The multi-purpose campus system developed by Diebold enables colleges and universities to control costs and boost revenues. Faculty and staff can purchase books, buy a meal in the cafeteria, make photocopies, pay for parking and gain entry into the school’s facilities using a single card to debit their individual account. Currently, Diebold Card Systems are employed at more than 400 colleges, universities, and corporate campuses throughout the USA and Canada. MICROS Systems provides enterprise applications for the hospitality industry worldwide. Over 135,000 MICROS systems are currently installed in table and quick service restaurants, hotels, motels, casinos, and leisure and entertainment operations in more than 130 countries.Details