U.S. consumers using wireless banking services on a regular basis will total more than 7 million by 2005, compared to 500,000 last year. Over the next five years Americans will routinely use wireless financial services to receive and pay bills, make cashless purchases, check credit card activity, apply for credit or services that require identity validation, and get cash from an ATM or live teller. CT-based GartnerG2 says wireless devices, including mobile phones and PDAs, are reaching critical mass in the USA, and U.S. consumers will gradually begin to adopt wireless financial services. GartnerG2 predicts 1.2 million U.S. consumers will be using wireless financial services in 2002, and the number of users will grow to 2.6 million in 2003. The research firm says compared to many other countries, U.S. consumer demand for wireless financial services is immature. Due to the historic lack of reliance upon PC-based Internet connectivity, consumers in Western Europe and Japan have rapidly adopted the use of wireless devices for accessing Internet information. Currently, few financial service providers in the USA have launched wireless offerings, and only the largest brokerages have taken the wireless plunge. While the volume of Internet data being exchanged via digital handsets increased last year, the use of wireless application protocol interfaces remains very low. GartnerG2 research found that only 15% of consumers that use wireless application protocols feel the interaction is satisfactory.Details
This week, Stitch Networks will debut a new cashless point-of-sale system that enables hotel guests to use their room key card to make purchases at vending machines. Using Stitch’s cashless vending technology, the vending machine is able to detect the room number, verify that the card code is still active, and bill the cost of the purchase back to the guest’s room account. The Stitch service is initially being rolled out within the Kodak Products Vending Program, a program that offers one-time-use cameras and film in vending machines at tourist attractions and hotels nationwide. The Stitch application toolset includes wireless credit and debit card processing, RFID and PIN account management, sales reporting, field service, remote device control, status monitoring, GPS tracking services, and wireless POTS, and TCP/IP WAN access management. (CF Library 6/12/01)Details
hyperWALLET Systems Inc. announced
today that it has signed an agreement with Credit Union Central of British
Columbia to provide its cash-based online payment solution for credit union
members who use Central’s online services.
hyperWALLET will offer credit unions a co-branded hyperWALLET
which will extend their online product offering while maintaining each credit
union’s community identity. hyperWALLET enables users to send and receive
cash online to their email addresses and permits online cash transfers and
purchases, real time foreign exchange, and cash transfers to any financial
institution account in North America.
“We are pleased to offer this new virtual cash payment capability for our
credit union members as it provides added value for them,” says Mervin
Zabinsky, Central’s Vice President, Technology and Payment Services. “We are
especially pleased that this system allows real time cash transfers into a
member’s hyperWALLET from their online credit union website, a valued
feature for online cash transactions.”
“The launch of hyperWALLET services for credit unions marks another
milestone for our company,” stated Victor Jones, President of hyperWALLET
Systems Inc. Our “state-of-the-art” payments technology will soon be made
available to credit unions across Canada which are serviced by Central with
the MemberDirect online banking platform.”
As the new system is installed, credit union members will be able to link
directly to hyperWALLET through their local credit union website and
access the full range of hyperWALLET services for individual and commercial
hyperWALLET is Canada’s only cash-based payment solution for online
purchases and email funds transfer. Designed for use by businesses,
organizations and individuals who wish to transact with cash online,
hyperWALLET makes it possible for users to purchase merchandise online,
convert currency and email cash to friends, family or businesses using email
addresses. The system allows users to securely transfer funds to their
hyperWALLET from most credit unions and banks without reference to a
hyperWALLET is the online payment service operated by hyperWALLET
Systems Inc., a Canadian company headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. Using hub
architecture the Company securely links to the payments system in Canada and
provides cash transfers out to any financial institution in North America.
Credit Union Central of British Columbia is the trade association and
central banker for BC’s 65 independent credit unions
provides electronic payments settlement to more than one hundred other credit
unions across Canada. Central is an “umbrella organization,” representing and
serving a consumer-oriented, full-service, retail financial system that serves
more than 1.4 million members and holds more than $24 billion in assets.
Owned and funded by B.C. credit unions, Central is dedicated to advancing
its financial growth and strength through provision of core financial,
payment, and trade association services, augmented by a range of discretionary
and intermediary services.
Sprint announced an alliance with Cendant Corporation to market Sprint Prepaid Business Cards exclusively to more than 200,000 brokers and sales associates affiliated with franchised brokerages under the Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and ERA brands.
The new product for the residential real estate industry is being unveiled in San Antonio, Texas at the annual international conferences of the ERA, Coldwell Banker and Century 21 networks — which occur February 21 through March 6.
“Sprint Prepaid Business Cards are growing in popularity in the sales industry as a unique way to increase the impact and provide value to the traditional business card,” said Imke Mensah, Atlantic-ACM analyst.
The business cards function just like a prepaid phone card by providing a denomination of prepaid long-distance minutes for nationwide calling. To use the card, customers simply follow dialing instructions printed on the back of the business card.
“Sprint Prepaid Business Cards provide real estate agents with a ‘calling card’ of value when they announce themselves,” said Kelly Carnago, director of prepaid sales and marketing. “These cards give the agent’s business card some staying power.”
“Our alliance with Sprint allows the brokers and sales associates affiliated with the Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and ERA brands to leverage this unique product to grow their businesses,” said David Hardy, senior vice president of business development, Cendant Real Estate Franchise Group. “At the same time, Sprint Prepaid Business Cards will help to enhance the experience for homebuyers and sellers.”
The cards will enable brokers and sales associates to provide value-added service for their existing and potential customers; enhance customer loyalty; and enjoy an additional competitive advantage.
“Being able to provide a family in transition with an easy way to make a long-distance call is a great selling feature and allows the agent to provide added value to their customers,” said Carnago.
Sprint has introduced the product to consumer agent-based industry segments and has seen marked growth over the past few years. The introduction of prepaid business cards into the residential real estate industry is now an indication that other vertical markets in the sales industry see the retaining value of prepaid business cards.
Sprint is a global communications company serving more than 23 million business and residential customers in more than 70 countries. With 80,000- plus employees worldwide and more than $26 billion in annual revenues, Sprint is widely recognized for developing, engineering, and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies, including the United States’ first nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Sprint’s award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone is being extended to key global markets to provide customers with a broad portfolio of scalable IP products. Sprint’s high-capacity, high-speed network gives customers fast, dependable, non-stop access to the vast majority of the world’s Internet content. Sprint also operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States, already serving the majority of the nation’s metropolitan areas including more than 4,000 cities and communities.
About Cendant Corporation
Cendant Corporation is primarily a provider of travel and residential real estate services. With approximately 60,000 employees, New York City-based Cendant provides these services to businesses and consumers in more than 100 countries. More information about Cendant, its companies, brands, and current SEC filings may be obtained by visiting [http://www.Cendant.com] or by calling 877-4-INFOCD (877-446-3623).
All products and services are provided by Sprint. This offer void if deemed an inducement under the laws of KY or WV or the real estate commission interpretations of MO or OK and elsewhere prohibited by law. A consumer purchase of a product or service may result in the seller or service provider paying a fee or commission to the Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA affiliated Broker or Sales Associate who obtained the sale. Neither Century 21 Real Estate Corporation, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation or ERA Franchise Systems, Inc. nor its affiliated companies, including Cendant Corporation, provide any product or service in connection with Sprint.
Equifax Inc. announced the appointment of Michael S. Shannon as Group
Europe. In his new role, Shannon has responsibility for managing all sales,
technology and operations for the consumer, commercial and marketing
businesses in Europe. He will report to Bill Catucci, Group Executive for
Shannon has held a variety of senior management positions at Equifax
during the past 10 years including Senior Vice President of Corporate
Development, Group Controller for North American Information Services, and
Senior Vice President of International Development. He most recently was
managing director of operations and technology for Equifax Europe, a London-
based position he has held since July 2001.
“Michael brings exceptional leadership and expertise to this position,”
said Equifax Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Chapman. “His appointment emphasizes
our commitment to our customers and continues to strengthen our European
Prior to joining Equifax, Shannon’s 15-year banking career included senior
management positions at Citibank and Bankers Trust.
Equifax enables and secures global commerce through its information
management, consumer credit, marketing services, business information,
authentication and e-commerce businesses. As the leader in information
services, Equifax adds value wherever customers do business, including the
financial services, retail, telecommunications/utilities, information
technology, brokerage, insurance and business lending industries and
government. Equifax also enlightens, enables and empowers consumers to manage
and protect their financial health with services offered at
The company ranked in the top five in return on equity among Business Week’s
Best Performers during 2001. Equifax employs 5,200 in 13 countries and has
$1.1 billion in revenue.
Last year, on-premises ATMs attracted 4,479 transactions per month, while off-premises ATMs operated by a financial institution yielded 1,918 transactions per ATM per month. ISO terminals, on the other hand, generated an average of 600 transactions per month, according to the “2002 ATM Deployer Study” by Boston-based Dove Consulting. ATMs still remain cash dispensers as 77% of transactions are cash withdrawals and almost all of the other transactions are for other basic banking functions (balance inquiries, transfers, and deposits). In 1999, cash withdrawals also accounted for 77% of total transactions. For the industry as a whole, the average surcharge for an off-premises cash withdrawal rose from $1.36 in 1998 to $1.48 in 2001, or about 9%, according to Dove. In 1998, the average monthly cost to own and operate an off-premises ATM was $1,090. In 2001, it was $1,016. Once rent expenses and an allocation for back-office operations are factored in, the fully loaded cost per off-premises ATM increases by $282, to $1,298 per month. For off-premises ATMs, large credit unions have the highest cost structure, incurring a cost of $1,624 per ATM per month. ISOs with fewer than 1,000 ATMs tend to have the lowest costs, averaging $732 per terminal per month.Details
Moneris Solutions, Canada’s largest processor of
credit and debit card transactions, announced the launch of Merchant
Direct – Canada’s first online transaction reporting service for merchants.
Merchant Direct offers daily Visa, MasterCard, and debit card transaction
information by 7 a.m. the next day and uses state-of-the-art encryption to
ensure privacy and security.
“Merchants will no longer have to wait for their month-end statements to
review their credit and debit card transaction data,” says Jim Baumgartner,
President, Moneris Solutions Corp. “Merchant Direct streamlines information,
allowing merchants to spend more time focusing on their business and their
Merchant Direct empowers merchants to immediately respond to sales
trends. For example, the day after the launch of a special promotion, a
merchant can easily identify customer response and make adjustments and
strategic decisions regarding pricing, inventories and promotional techniques.
Additionally, Merchant Direct stores historical information, enabling
merchants to observe period-over-period growth trends.
“Moneris Solutions’ Merchant Direct offers single and multiple location
merchants consolidated card transaction data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,”
says Baumgartner. “Card transaction data is now online and at their
“By enabling us to see our daily card transactions online, Merchant
Direct is an invaluable source of information as well as a real time-saver,”
says Roy Nelson, Controller, STOTT PILATES. “Having access to a consolidated,
daily list of all our company’s Visa, MasterCard and debit transactions allows
us to quickly monitor our daily cash balances.”
STOTT PILATES is a subsidiary of Merrithew Corporation, the only full-
service organization of its kind providing pilates education, videos and
equipment to more than 40 countries.
Merchant Direct offers merchants several benefits including:
– Convenient and timely access to deposit and transaction information 24
hours a day, seven days a week
– Automatic consolidation of card transaction data for businesses with
– Up-to-date data to facilitate accurate decision-making, forecasting and
– State-of-the-art encryption to ensure privacy and security
– Generation of reports on a daily basis for tracking purposes
– The ability to move Merchant Direct data into spreadsheet and
accounting software programs for business planning, reporting and
“With this offering, Moneris Solutions continues to be on the cutting-
edge of point-of-sale and e-commerce technologies; Merchant Direct is a first:
consolidating merchants’ operations, enhancing customer service, and
ultimately offering an invaluable return on investment,” commented
About Moneris Solutions Corp.:
Moneris Solutions is Canada’s leading technology merchant processing
company. Moneris was formed in December 2000 as a result of a 50:50 joint
investment between the RBC Financial Group and Bank of Montreal. Moneris
provides businesses with technologically advanced, easy to use, point-of-sale
solutions designed to electronically process and authorize credit and debit
card transactions, including customized loyalty card transactions. Moneris’
leading-edge technology allows merchants to streamline payment processing and
improve business efficiency. In less than a year, Moneris has become Canada’s
largest and one of North America’s largest merchant payment processing
companies. Moneris serves more than 300,000 North American customers and has a
staff of over 900 employees. With its head office in Toronto, Ontario, the
company also has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Montreal, Quebec. For more
information, please visit
Concord EFS, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of The Logix Companies, LLC, an electronic transaction processor. The acquisition of Logix is expected to have a neutral impact on Concord’s earnings per share in 2002 and to be accretive to earnings per share in future years. “The Logix transaction brings us new products, such as electronic check conversion with image capture, that we can offer immediately through our direct and independent sales channels, plus innovative new technology that we believe has good potential for future growth,” said Edward A. Labry III, Concord president. “For example, the IDLogix product, which is a unique terminal-based service to verify identity, represents an important new risk management feature for our point of sale processing and check services that can help our customers reduce fraud and lower costs.”IDLogix, one of several product lines created by Logix, is a terminal-based application that reads information encoded on driver’s licenses and other forms of government identification and displays on the terminal read-out information such as date of birth and physical characteristics. This service is especially useful for supermarkets and convenience stores that have age-related sales, such as alcohol and tobacco, but the service can also be used in conjunction with check payments to reduce check fraud. Other product lines include CheckLogix, an electronic check conversion service that captures and archives the check image, verifies the check via a negative file, and converts the check to an ACH transaction, and EFTLogix, ATM processing for approximately 10,000 ATMs with features specifically designed for retail ATM deployers.Tony Sdao, president of Logix, will be general manager of the wholly owned subsidiary, The Logix Company, which will continue to be headquartered in Longmont, Colorado.
About Concord EFS, Inc.
Concord is a leading vertically integrated electronic transaction processor, providing transaction authorization, data capture, settlement and funds transfer services to financial institutions, supermarkets, petroleum retailers, convenience stores, restaurants, and other independent retailers. Concord’s primary activities include Network Services, providing ATM driving, PIN-secured and signature debit card processing, and STARsm network access to the financial services industry; and Payment Services, providing credit, debit, check authorization, and electronic benefits transfer processing services to selected retail segments. Concord news releases, links to SEC filings, and other information are available on its corporate web site at [www.concordefs.com].
Reeds Jewelers, Inc. announced the sale of its private label credit card portfolio to Alliance Data Systems Corp. Under the terms of a seven-year agreement, Alliance Data Systems will provide a full-service private label credit card program to Reeds Jewelers that will include account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, card authorization and data capture, private label credit card issuance, payment processing, statement generation, and customer service.
“We are excited to be starting our new fiscal year with Alliance Data Systems,” said Alan M. Zimmer, President and CEO, of Reeds Jewelers, Inc. “We look forward to growing our business and strengthening our balance sheet as a result of this relationship, while providing greater convenience and value to our customers.”
About Reeds Jewelers, Inc.
Based in Wilmington, NC, Reeds Jewelers, Inc. (Amex: RJI) is one of the nation’s leading jewelers and operates 100 specialty retail stores primarily in enclosed regional malls located in 21 states primarily in the Southeast and Midwest section of the United States. Reeds Jewelers employs more than 1,000 associates throughout its marketing area. For more information about the Company, visit its web site, [http://www.reeds.com].
About Alliance Data Systems
Based in Dallas, Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) is a leading provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services, assisting retail, petroleum, utility and financial services companies in managing the critical interactions between them and their customers. Alliance Data each year manages more than 2.5 billion transactions and 72 million customer accounts for some of North America’s most recognizable companies. The Company also operates and markets the largest coalition loyalty program in Canada. Alliance Data Systems employs over 6,500 associates at more than 20 locations in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. For more information about the company, visit its web site, .
SCM Microsystems has shipped an additional 85,000 smart card readers to the U.S. Army as part of the DoD’s ‘Common Access Card’ program. This follows an initial shipment of 50,000 readers for the initiative in November 2001. SCM is supplying the U.S. Army with smart card readers through its partner, Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology. The CAC program is designed to provide more than four million active duty military personnel, selected reserve, DoD civilian employees, and eligible contractor personnel with a standard identification badge based on smart card technology. SCM is providing a variety of serial port, USB, and PCMCIA readers for the DoD program.Details
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion Friday which enables consumers to sue lenders for failure to clear up inaccurate information reported to national credit bureaus. The opinion came from a 1999 lawsuit filed against Chase. In the lawsuit, the consumer plaintiff had co-signed for a Chase mortgage for a friend who later went bankrupt. The consumer’s credit was impaired by the bankruptcy filing even though he continued to make mortgage payments. The plaintiff asked Chase to notify credit bureaus and delete the bankruptcy information noted in his personal credit file since he never filed bankruptcy. Chase agreed to make a notation in the credit file that the bankruptcy did not pertain to all borrowers on the account but insisted it was up to creditors to determine if he had filed for bankruptcy.Details
The sub-prime credit card implosion continues as FL-based Net First National Bank was closed Friday by the OCC with the FDIC named as receiver, and taken over this morning by Bank Leumi USA. Net First, in conjunction with Equitex’s Key Financial Systems, issued the sub-prime “Net 1st MasterCard,” a credit card program which charged consumers a one-time reservation fee of $500, which fully utilized the credit limit. Under the program, cardholders create available credit by making payments on the balance. The card program also charged a $99 processing fee to establish the account and a $96 annual membership fee. The card was dubbed the “worst” credit card program in the USA by CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com]) and the company was repeatedly denied placement as an advertiser on CardWeb.com’s Web site. The Boca Raton-based Net First National Bank had one branch and $34.7 million in assets.
Bank Leumi USA agreed to pay the FDIC a premium of $4.55 million to assume the insured deposits of $22.7 million and to purchase about $6.0 million of the failed bank’s assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets of Net First for later disposition. Net First National Bank is the fifth FDIC-insured institution to fail this year. Links to the “Net 1st MasterCard,” extensively promoted on the Internet, were being routed this morning to Hoven, SD-based Plains Commerce Bank, which offers an unsecured sub-prime VISA card. Plains charges a $225 acceptance fee, $79 processing fee, $50 annual fee, and a $6 monthly participation fee, and guarantees an initial credit limit of $300. CO-based Equitex, Inc. and its FL-based subsidiaries, Key Financial Systems and Nova Financial Systems, reported in the fourth quarter that they were servicing nearly 150,000 “Net 1st MasterCard” accounts for Net First National Bank. Equitex stated this morning that it is already in active discussions with a number of other financial institutions for the potential assumption of its existing credit card portfolio, as well as to continue marketing the “Pay As You Go” credit card program, which Net First issued. (CF Library 5/30/00; 11/8/01; 2/13/02)