Wireless Dining

In the wake of the huge success of the ExxonMobil Speedpass wireless payment program, the use of an RFID-based payment system may be coming to the casual and fine dining market. Chicago-based Integrity For You, Inc. has introduced its Personal Recognition program which uses RFID tags and readers from Texas Instruments RFid Systems, which individually identify customers and facilitate cashless payment, and retail transaction management services from Commerce Systems Inc., developer and operator of 2Scoot. Personal Recognition program participants are given an Integrity For You sticker embedded with a Texas Instruments RFid Tag-it smart label inlay that can be attached to any card or object. At the point-of-sale, customers pass the sticker over an RFID reader, allowing them to pay for their purchases, without cash or a credit card. RFID technology automatically links customers with their transactions using a unique identification code. TI’s RFid technology currently enables wireless payments for more than 6 million Speedpass customers. TI-RFid technology is also being piloted in quick-serve restuarants such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut.


Concord – Shell

Shell Oil Products US has renewed and expanded its contract with Concord EFS. In addition to continuing to provide dial-up payment authorization services at all Texaco-branded locations, Concord will now also provide payment authorization services at all Shell-branded locations, and will be the exclusive provider of debit and electronic benefits transfer gateway services at approximately 22,000 Texaco- and Shell-branded gasoline stations nationwide. The agreement also calls for Concord to lead the development of a customized payment processing solution for 5,000 Shell-branded locations, and to provide terminal deployment and ongoing maintenance, help desk support, and first-line service once the new terminals are installed. The customized Shell solution will be based on the VeriFone Omni 3300 terminal platform. The 5,000 terminals will be deployed from Concord’s Memphis-based 50,000 square foot Global Deployment Center, which is equipped with distribution technology that upgrades software and reprograms terminals automatically. As a leading acquirer of PIN-secured debit and electronic benefits transfer transactions, Concord will also provide Shell with access to all regional and national debit networks and all magnetic-stripe electronic benefits transfer programs for transaction authorization.


NPC Renews PFA

National Processing announced the renewal of a multi-year credit card processing agreement with the Pedorthic Footwear Association. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will offer PFA members authorization and settlement services for credit and debit cards accepted at their stores. Members of PFA are individuals and companies who share an interest in pedorthics, from practice and treatment to education and research.



NCR Corporation announced the first sale and installation of NCR RealPrice electronic shelf labels in the Middle East.

Retail Business Solutions, NCR’s authorized reseller in Saudi Arabia, installed the ESLs at an Al-Othaim Supermarket in the Rawdah district of Riyadh. Al-Othaim said it anticipates rolling out NCR RealPrice to all of its 30 stores, with approximately 20,000 labels per store, following a successful evaluation of the technology.

ESLs are digital tags that can be attached to shelves or other store fixtures, where they display pricing and other information in large, clear characters. The wireless NCR RealPrice ESL solution is linked to the same computer file used by the store’s point-of-sale system, so shoppers are assured that when their purchases are scanned at checkout, the price will match the price in the aisle.

Already one of Saudi Arabia’s largest retailers, Al-Othaim plans to expand to 50 stores by the end of 2003. Recognized as the NCR Center of Excellence for the Middle East, Al-Othaim gets early access to the latest NCR solutions.

“At Al-Othaim, we’re always looking at how new technology will enhance and improve our customer service,” said Al-Othaim Computer Department Director Abdullah A. Mazi.

Headquartered in Riyadh, RBS markets and installs leading edge technology solutions to retailers throughout Saudi Arabia. The relationship between RBS and NCR began in 1994, and RBS recently became the first NCR authorized reseller in the Middle East certified to offer the NCR RealPrice solution.

“This decision by Al-Othaim further underscores the fact that retailers in all parts of the world are recognizing the value of ESL technology,” said Pete Bartolotta, vice president and general manager, NCR RealPrice. “We also applaud our partner, RBS, on adding NCR RealPrice to the portfolio of NCR technology solutions they sell, install and service in Saudi Arabia.”

Because the NCR RealPrice solution is completely wireless from ceiling to shelf, it is easy to install, and store layout changes and resets can be made with minimal disruption to operations. Price changes can be implemented with a few computer keystrokes, enabling stores to effectively implement price optimization programs while saving the time and the expense of replacing paper labels. In addition, NCR’s labels can display promotional information for customers or product inventory information for store employees.

The first company to offer a wireless system, NCR is a global leader in ESL technology, with nearly 1.5 million tags installed or on order at more than 160 sites in 11 countries.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial, communications, manufacturing, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled Teradata(R) warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, store automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 30,300 in more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at www.ncr.com.


Tidel 1Q/02

Tidel Technologies reported a 42% drop in revenues between 1Q/01 and 1Q/02. Revenues for the first quarter were $4,738,791 compared to $3,417,126 for the same quarter a year ago. A decline in the shipment of ATM units accounted for the majority of the decrease in revenues. A total of 657 units were shipped in the first quarter compared to 1,360 units in 1Q/01. Approximately 50% of the total decline was attributable to one of Tidel’s major customers who reduced purchases during the most recent quarter. Tidel says ATM sales should pick up over the next two quarters as its investment in CashWorks, providers of an automated check-cashing system used in tandem with Tidel ATM equipment, takes shape. Field testing of their PayPort check-cashing system at a limited number of locations has been very successful, and management of CashWorks has advised Tidel that it anticipates commencing full-scale deployment of the system later this month. For complete details on Tidel’s 1Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com


Canadian Mail Volume

Canadian households received a record high of 208.3 million credit card offers in the mail last year, a 6% increase over 2000. Out of 208.3 million offers received by Canadians in 2001, 67% were for Platinum bank cards, compared with 14% for Gold bank cards, 11% for Standard bank cards, and 8% for other types of offers, such as Diners Club and American Express cards. According to BAIGlobal Inc., the majority of Canadian cardholders now own cards through their local retail banks, however most of the card solicitations mailed in Canada last year were from U.S. monoline companies such as MBNA and Capital One. U.S. monolines accounted for 64% of all offers to Canadian households during the fourth quarter of 2001. This was up from 51% for the previous quarter. The average response rate for 2001 was much higher in Canada than in the U.S., with a 1.4% annual response rate for Canada compared to 0.6% for the U.S.


Wells Fargo Online Award

Wells Fargo’s Web site has been named as the top small business banking site in the Western Hemisphere by Speer and Associates. This company selected Wells Fargo after conducting research on 107 commercial banks in the United States, Canada, and major Latin American markets. Each bank was evaluated on four key categories: business development, value-added services, online deposit account features, and products.



MarketCentral.net Corp.
an Internet advertising enabler and specialized
application service provider, announced today that it has secured the
exclusive US master distribution license for CuroCorp online products and
services from Servicio de Red Ltda, a Panama based company.

CuroCorp provides uniquely positioned eCommerce solutions for Internet
customers who are unable to obtain a credit card. For a flat fee of 5%
deducted from purchase payments made to the merchant, CuroCorp offers a simple
payment acceptance facility for online vendors that allow customers to
purchase goods and services by using an online check.

The US master distribution license includes exclusive rights to both
CuroCheck(TM) and CuroCard(TM) components. Other Curo components and add-ons
are in development and will follow in late 2002. The financial terms of the
master license agreement are undisclosed.

Benefits to participating merchants include: a strong affiliate program,
no chargebacks, no holdbacks, payment to the merchant of 95% of funds within
7 days of purchase, (versus 64%-85% of funds with credit card processing),
instant approval or decline of the customer, and a competitive fixed
transaction rate. The CuroCheck is simple to use and will be widely acceptable
to customers without access to a credit card.

CuroCorp’s services for both customers and merchants can be viewed online
at http://www.CuroCorp.com. CuroCorp’s name is derived from Curo, a Latin word
that means to manage, administer, procure and provide money.

Paul Taylor, Chairman of MarketCentral.net commented, “We are very excited
about our agreement with Servicio de Red Ltda. CuroCorp adds a creative ‘wild
card’ to the online payment arena. We relish the challenge in helping to make
Curo icons as ubiquitous as Visa(R) icons!

“As always, we urge long-term shareholders of all public companies to
request physical delivery of their stock certificates. Please help in halting
market maker abuses that can occur when short sellers borrow stock left idle
in the hands of brokerage firms and abuse this borrowed collateral in
strategies to exert downward pressure on stocks.”

About MarketCentral.net Corp.

MarketCentral.net is an early stage provider of products, components and
services that enable publishers, advertisers, direct marketers and promotional
merchants to market products and/or advertisements to an online audience.
Additional information is available at our newly designed web site —



Payment Services Interactive Gateway, announced that it has initiated its new
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Module, “PSiGate PSiDirect EFT Engine.” This
module, the latest B2B service to be offered by PSiGate, provides companies
with an electronic collection and payment system without having to set up a
separate account with a financial institution. PSiGate, in accordance with
Canadian Payments Association rules, will act as the clearing agent while the
transaction is being processed and the payment is verified.

Once solely the domain of banks in Canada, EFT allows businesses to
transfer funds, process transactions, track payments and regulate recurring
receivables to and from customers or suppliers through a paperless, automated
system. EFT can be used as a debit service for such companies as insurance,
cable, rental and leasing, publication subscriptions, utilities, car payments,
churches, charities, health clubs, and many others. EFT can also be used to
process automated payroll deposits, annuities, pensions, dividends, investment
interest, and business to business (B2B) payments.

Claude Belmonte, VP of Information Technologies at PSiGate stated,
“PSiGate has now provided a module that helps businesses manage their
electronic payments automatically, electronically and economically. EFT can be
used for both a credit service and a debit service. The PSiGate PSiDirect EFT
Engine reduces the cycle time between orders and payment. Because we manage
the back-end infrastructure, subscribing companies can now concentrate on
their front end transactions.”

Steve Jasper, VP of Product Development at PSiGate added, “We are pleased
to offer this important service to our customers. The ability to provide the
EFT service will raise our status to a higher category of financial service
provider, one that we think will attract larger, bulk processing institutions.
These corporate giants will turn to us to handle their back-end transfer of
funds. Payments can now be made quickly between any individual or business
banking accounts held at any Canadian financial institution in a bank-
agnostic, independent manner.”

PSiGate is a payment transaction provider offering real-time or batch
payment collection and financial transaction processing services. Electronic
Funds Transfer service goes beyond PSiGate’s previous offering of processing
payment transactions, mostly in the business to consumer (B2C) field. PSiGate,
acting as an intermediary between a company and its customers or suppliers, is
now more than just a payment services gateway. PSiGate has become the end-to-
end facilitator of fund transfers allowing companies to seamlessly process
transactions without having to interface with a host of other financial

Pre-authorized debits may be charged against a company account at its own
financial institution. Conversely, payments may be credited to any company
account at its own financial institution. Previously these transactions had to
go through a third-party financial institution, usually dependant on the type
of transaction or the relationship different financial institutions had with
credit card companies.

About PSiGate

Payment Services Interactive Gateway (PSiGate – www.psigate.com) empowers
businesses on the Internet by providing secure, cost-effective and trusted e-
commerce solutions. PSiGate provides an easy and seamless interface to new or
existing online commerce enterprises, offering a reliable means of real-time
payment collection and financial transaction processing. Management services
include automated shipping calculations, fraud screening, credit card batch
processing, and financial account reporting. PSiGate also provides VISA,
MasterCard and American Express Internet Merchant Accounts (Merchant IDs) for
Canadian-based businesses and companies wishing to enter into the Canadian
marketplace. PSiGate can also offer U.S. Merchant IDs to American merchants.


Wal-Mart VBV

The world’s largest retailer has jumped on the Verified by VISA bandwagon. Online shoppers visiting Walmart.com can now use the new cardholder authentication service from VISA USA. To sign up for the new service, a cardholder simply registers with his or her participating bank or through VISA’s Web site. Registration occurs only once, and no special software is required. After creating a password, a VISA cardholder can shop at all participating online stores. After hitting the “buy” button, the cardholder will be prompted for a Verified by VISA password to confirm his or her identity with the appropriate card-issuing bank. To-date the following banks participate in the VbV program: First USA, Bank of America, Bank One, Chase, Elan, Firstar, SunTrust, Southtrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, ICBA Members, and CSCU. VISA officially rolled out its “Verified by VISA” service in December although it was first reported by CardFlash in September 2000. For merchants, the new program guarantees they will not be held liable for unauthorized card usage when the cardholder has been authenticated and prevents unauthorized card usage before it occurs, reducing the number of cardholder disputes and chargebacks. For card issuers it reduces chargebacks, unauthorized card usage, and exception item processing system-wide. Acquirers and processors participating include: Certegy, Chase Merchant Services, Fifth Third Bank, First Data, First of Omaha Merchant Processing, Global Payment, National Processing Company, Paymentech, TSYS, and Vital Processing Services. (CF Library 9/28/00; 12/4/01)


Teens Card Smarts

Nearly six out of ten teens plan to get their first credit card before they graduate from college according to a telephone survey commissioned by the National Consumers League. Ten percent plan to obtain a credit card when they secure their first job out of school, and eight percent say they will wait until they’re 21. The survey also found that 68% believe it’s safer to pay for goods bought online with a check or money order than by giving a credit card number. About 70% think that it’s illegal for banks to share a person’s financial information with affiliated companies. In response to the findings, the NCL today launched its Teens and Financial Education program, with an unrestricted grant from the Bank of America Foundation. The project complements NCL’s LifeSmarts program, a competition that tests teens in grades nine through 12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities. Consumer savvy teens representing 31 states will compete for the national LifeSmarts championship April 13-16 in Arlington, Va.