Dallas-based Fujitsu Transaction Solutions will debut this week its new through-the-wall and kiosk, drive-up ATM designed for small spaces and next-generation functionality. The ‘Fujitsu 8030’ ATM is a high-capacity unit with Microsoft ‘Windows’-based and Web-enabled capabilities.The unit is designed to integrate seamlessly into existing ‘912’-compatible networks. The drive-through features include a sun-viewable, high-resolution, color LCD monitor; a tactile keyboard and intuitive ATM interface. The new ATM also offers compliance with the new ‘Triple DES’ security deadlines. Like other models in the ‘Series 8000’, the ‘8030’ can dispense non-traditional media such as stamps, coupons, phone cards or event tickets. Baltimore-based Allfirst is currently in beta test with the 8030. The unit will be generally available in March.Details
With average rates of 75 cents per minute five years ago, pre-paid phone cards have now plunged to as low as 1.9 cents per minute. 7-Eleven stores introduced this week the ‘7-Eleven SuperSaver Value+’ card offering the lowest per-minute rate ever offered by the national convenience retailer. However the 1.9 cents per minute card includes a first-minute surcharge of 79 cents per domestic call, and a weekly service fee of 12 cents. The ‘SuperSaver Value+ card’ is available in prepaid denominations of $5, $10 or $20. 7-Eleven also introduced the ‘Flat Rate Phone Card’ in 15, 30, 60, 120 and 300-minute increments. The ‘Flat Rate’ branded cards offer U.S. domestic per-minute rates ranging from 7.9 cents with the 300-minute card to 23.3 cents with the 15-minute card, and no first-minute surcharges or service fees. 7-Eleven first introduced prepaid long-distance phone cards to its customers in 1994.Details
66% of Americans plan to use either less credit than a year ago or no credit as they buy holiday gifts, according to the initial release of the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index. The Index is sponsored by the Debt Relief Clearinghouse, America’s premier-debt-management referral service. In a nationwide poll of 1000 adults done by ICR/International Communications in the past week, 30% of Americans plan to use less credit than they did a year ago and 36% will not use any credit card debt at all when buying gifts. In contrast, 31% plan to use about the same amount of credit card debt as last year and only 4% expect to use more credit card debt. Jordan Goodman, spokesperson for the Index, says: “Clearly consumers are approaching this holiday season in an extremely cautious mood, with most unwilling to take on additional debt for gifts.”
The Index also asked consumers who are going to use credit cards for gifts whether or not they expect to pay these bills off when they arrive in January. Fully 55% expect to pay their credit card bills off in full next month, while 39% expect to carry a balance and pay interest for at least a month after January. Only 6% thought they would pay off some, but not all of what they spend when the bills come in January.
The initial reading for the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index is 60. This means that on average 40% more Americans are paying off debt than are adding debt. That number is a composite of the three questions asked of respondents:
— In the past month, have you taken on more debt or paid off debt? In December, 31% of consumers say they have taken on more debt, with 23% taking on a little and 8% taking on a lot more debt. Conversely, 69% of Americans have paid off debt, with 49% paying off a little and 20% paying off a lot. The index reads 62 on this question.
— In the next month, do you anticipate taking on more debt or paying off debt? In December, 26% plan to take on more debt, with 6% planning to take on a lot and 20% planning to add a little debt. Conversely, 74% expect to pay off debt, with 58% paying off a little and 17% paying off a lot. The index reads 52 on this question.
— In the next six months, do you expect to take on debt because you are thinking of making a major purchase such as a car, education, appliance, medical procedure furniture or carpeting? 33% of Americans plan to take on more debt to make such purchases, with 10% taking on a lot of debt and 23% taking a on a little debt. In contrast 67%of Americans plan to pay off debt in the next six months, with 46% expecting to pay off a little and 21% expecting to pay off a lot. The index reads 66 on this question.
— “While two-thirds of Americans are or are planning to pay off more consumer debt, it is surprising that about one-third of Americans are or are expecting to go further into debt,” says Index spokesperson Jordan Goodman. “At a time of rising layoffs and uncertain job security, it is dangerous for so many Americans to be adding to their already formidable debt burden.”
The Index survey is conducted by ICR (International Communications Research) of Media, Pa., over five days in the week before the index is released. 1000+ households throughout the country are polled with a margin error of plus or minus three percentage points. The Index is released on the fifth business day of every month to coincide with the Federal Reserve Board’s G19 release of consumer credit outstanding data.
The Debt Relief Clearinghouse, which sponsors the index, refers consumers to the debt-management agency best able to handle their problem. To date thousands of clients with excessive credit-card debt have been referred to Cambridge Credit Counseling Corporation, based in Agawam, Massachusetts and the Brighton Credit Management Corporation, headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Cambridge and Brighton help thousands of Americans in financial distress by educating them on how to use credit wisely while in turn negotiating lower interest rates, waiving late and/or over limit fees with creditors to help consumers repay their unsecured debt obligations. Unlike other debt management firms, Cambridge and Brighton offer programs that pay a rebate to qualified clients of half the “Fair Share” contribution received from creditors for every six months that the client pays their bill on time. These programs, known as the Good Payer Program at Cambridge and the Bonus Payment Program at Brighton, have helped thousands of Americans repay their debt load while rewarding them for their commitment to reduce their debt.
For more information about the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index, contact Paramjit Mahli at email@example.com or 800-804-0575, or economist Allen Grommet, who provides an economic analysis of Index results, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-804-0575, or the Cambridge website at [http://www.cambridgecredit.org]. Consumers wishing to find out more about Debt Relief Clearinghouse’s referral services should call 1-888-4DEBTHELP or visit [www.debtreliefonline.com].
Electronic Clearing House reported a loss of $37,000 for the quarter ending Sept 30th, compared to net income of $208,000 for the same quarter one year ago. Revenue for the latest quarter was $7.8 million, an increase of 3.8% over the comparable period last year. The net loss includes approximately $300,000 of legal and consulting fees in the quarter related to ongoing litigation. For the fiscal 2001 year ECHO reported net income of $434,000, an increase of 49.1% compared to net income of $291,000 for the same period last year. Revenue for fiscal year 2001 was $29.9 million, an increase of 5.7% over revenue of $28.3 million for the same period last year. Total processing and transaction revenues increased 13.3% from $25.7 million in fiscal year 2000 to $29.1 million in fiscal year 2001. This included a 126.3% increase in check-related revenue and a 4.7% increase in bank card and transaction revenue. For complete details on ECHO’s current and previous performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com])
Los Angeles-based PayPoint Electronic Payment Systems has launched a new online gift card ordering, delivery, and tracking tool. Linking retailers with PayPoint’s Deployment Center, ‘ePODS’ (PayPoint Ordering & Distribution System) allows retailers to electronically order gift cards and track the status of their orders. PayPoint started developing ‘ePODS’ about six months ago to support a retailer launching a large gift card program. After pilot testing, ‘ePODS’ recently went online. ‘ePODS’ also allows both retailers and PayPoint to check the activation status of gift cards.Details
Datacard Group this week released the latest version of its ‘Affina Smart Card Management System’ which provides the ability to host different card issuers on a single ‘Affina’ system. The multi-issuer ‘Affina’ version offers card issuers the support to effectively manage their strategic business partnerships and the subsequent set of applications they have selected to provide to their cardholder base. The multi-issuer capability allows logical data separation of both configuration and cardholder data. Access to client specific data can be restricted to such a secure level that one entity cannot see any data associated with, or have any knowledge of, another entity – i.e. the ‘owner’ of the system can see the partner’s cardholder details; however, the partner cannot see the ‘owner’s’ cardholder details.Details
NOVA Information Systems has signed a multi-year agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide merchant payment services for the Commonwealth’s more than 900 merchant locations. NOVA — the nation’s third largest payment processor — will begin implementation of its merchant-processing contract, valued at $350 million in charge volume, with the Commonwealth of Virginia during the fourth quarter of 2001. In the next year, the Commonwealth plans to expand the use of additional NOVA products and services as they implement its current merchant-processing contract.
“Working with NOVA provides a number of opportunities for Virginia and its merchants,” said Barbara Layman, procurement officer for the Department of the Treasury of the Commonwealth of Virginia. “Taking advantage of NOVA’s merchant-processing experience and services will allow our merchants to better serve their customers.”
The Commonwealth of the Virginia’s new partnership with NOVA allows it to move forward with more convenient payment options for the citizens of the Commonwealth. “Winning the Commonwealth of Virginia account means a great deal to NOVA,” said Pamela Joseph, senior executive vice president of business development at NOVA. “We are confident that our merchant-payment offerings will further strengthen the quality service that the Commonwealth’s merchant locations provide its customers.”
Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products and value-added services to more than 650,000 merchant locations in the United States. For more information on the company, visit [http://www.novainfo.com].
AT&T recently shattered the company’s all-time record for one-day sales of AT&T PrePaid Phone Cards by selling more than 50 million minutes’ worth in one day — the day after Thanksgiving.
That’s enough to enable one person to talk continuously for more than 95 years. “It’s not surprising that consumers are scooping up the handy cards,” said Mark Evans, AT&T Consumer Services vice president. “AT&T PrePaid Phone Cards are the perfect gift to tuck in a holiday card or use as a stocking stuffer. They offer a convenient, reliable way to make calls all year and a great way to stay connected for the holidays.” When you’re away from home, AT&T PrePaid Phone Cards are a great way to budget your communication expenses or to have on hand for an emergency.Details
Corillian Corp., a leading global provider of eFinance solutions for the Internet, announced it is teaming up with Comerica Incorporated, a $50 billion bank holding company headquartered in Detroit, Mich., as the bank’s new solution in providing Comerica Web Banking customers with real-time access to online banking services.
Comerica has licensed Corillian’s Voyager platform to replace its current Internet banking platform and be deployed in-house at Comerica. Using Corillian’s Voyager platform, Comerica customers can continue to handle all of their banking needs, including paying bills, reviewing statements and current balances and transferring funds between accounts. The Voyager platform also enables Comerica to enhance its Web banking service more frequently and to support its future growth.
“Our new alliance with Corillian will enable us to further expand the services we provide to our online banking customers,” said Donovan Shand, vice president, Online Banking. “Streamlined enrollment, expanded funds transfer capabilities, account access options for small business owners and online stop payments are a few examples of the services we’re planning to add in the future through the Voyager platform.”
“We are pleased to announce this relationship with Comerica, our 17th top 100 U.S. bank,” said Ted Spooner, chief executive officer of Corillian. “This relationship again shows Corillian’s ability to provide a proven, scalable and fully-functional eFinance platform to large financial institutions that are looking to provide next generation financial services via the Web to their customers. With Corillian Voyager, Comerica’s customers will continue to have access to the latest and most innovative financial services available.”
Corillian Voyager – The Operating System for eFinance(TM) – is a high-performance platform that allows for the delivery of financial services to customers over the Internet. Voyager provides a link between a financial institution’s legacy host system and its consumers, using Internet browsers, personal financial management software and Internet-ready wireless devices. Voyager’s open architecture design allows an institution to quickly integrate emerging technologies, deploy the platform in-house or in a secure data center, and customize the entire Internet banking presentation to its customers. Built on Microsoft’s Windows 2000 and SQL Server platform, Voyager provides financial institutions with a scalable, robust enterprise solution that meets the growing demands of the eFinance industry.
About Corillian Corporation
Based in Oregon, and with international offices in Europe and Asia, Corillian Corporation is an award-winning provider of eFinance-enabling software for the financial services industry. Built on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform, Corillian applications support Internet banking, bill delivery and payment, brokerage, customer relationship management, enhanced data aggregation, and small business transactions. Voyager can be deployed on-site at the financial firm or at a secure data center. Corillian technology also enables Open Financial Exchange (OFX) access by finance management software packages such as QuickenÂ®, QuickBooksÂ® and MicrosoftÂ® Money. For more information about Corillian Corporation, visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.corillian.com].
Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a multi-state financial services provider headquartered in Detroit with banking subsidiaries in Michigan, California and Texas; banking operations in Florida; and, businesses in several other states. Comerica also has an investment services affiliate, Munder Capital Management, commercial banking operations in Canada and a commercial subsidiary in Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $50 billion at September 30, 2001. Comerica Web Banking can be accessed through the bank’s Web site at [http://www.comerica.com].
Moneris Solutions, Inc., a leading merchant processing technology company and North America’s sixth largest merchant payment solutions provider, is pleased to announce that Moneris is now offering its merchant customers robust and secure payment solutions built on InfoSpace’s Authorize.Net( payments platform.
InfoSpace, Inc. is a provider of wireless and Internet software and application services. The Authorize.Net transaction-processing gateway allows merchants to authorize, process and manage credit card and electronic check payments over the Internet directly from their Web site or by using an Internet-enabled personal computer or handheld wireless device.
“Moneris is committed to supplying merchants with payment service solutions that can help them grow their business, and this includes an e-commerce solution,” said Andrea Goldstein, senior vice president and general manager, Moneris Solutions Inc. “By offering the Authorize.Net solution, merchants can now streamline and process their e-commerce transactions quickly, securely, and with ease.”
“We are seeing strong demand for our secure, reliable IP-based payment processing solutions and are pleased that Moneris Solutions selected us to enhance their merchant services offering,” said Prakash Kondepudi, executive vice president of merchant services for InfoSpace. “Together, we are helping merchants to succeed through leveraging advanced technologies to grow their business.”
InfoSpace’s Authorize.Net has been pioneering online payment processing solutions since 1996, providing server-based payment solutions that enable merchants to process transactions in a secure, real-time environment 24 hours a day. Over 120,000 merchants have signed up for Authorize.Net, which enables merchants to authorize, process, and manage credit card and electronic check transactions on Internet-enabled mobile devices and personal computers.
About Moneris Solutions Inc.
Moneris Solutions is a leading North American technology and merchant processing company that was formed in December 2000 as a result of a joint investment between the merchant services divisions of the Royal Bank of Canada Financial Group, Bank of Montreal and Harris
Bank. In less than a year, Moneris has over 300,000 North American customers; 18 ISO’s; a staff of 900 employees; and offices in Buffalo Grove, Illinois; Toronto, Ontario; and Montreal, Quebec. For more information, visit [www.monerischargeit.com].
About InfoSpace, Inc.
InfoSpace, Inc. provides wireless and Internet software and application services. The company develops software technologies that enable customers to efficiently offer a broad array of network-based services under their own brand to any device.
Official Payments Corporation announced a new business award from the State of Rhode Island.
With this agreement, Rhode Island becomes the firm’s 20th state client. The agreement authorizes Official Payments to provide a service enabling Rhode Island’s individual and business taxpayers to make balance-due, estimated, sales and use, withholding, corporate income, and delinquent tax payments by credit card. Last year, the state collected approximately $1 billion in these tax categories. The credit card payments can be made via the Internet at [www.officialpayments.com] or over the telephone by calling (800) 2PAY-TAX. The company’s Rhode Island service is scheduled to go live in January 2002. A listing of Rhode Island’s tax filing deadlines is available on the Internet at . Official Payments also provides a variety of credit card tax payment services to the IRS, 19 other state governments, the District of Columbia, and more than 1,000 county and municipal clients in all 50 states.
“These new electronic payment options will help us provide superior service to our taxpayers,” said Rhode Island Tax Administrator R. Gary Clark. “Rhode Island has seen impressive growth in electronic tax filing, which grew 36% last year. The addition of electronic payments makes the process even more convenient for business and personal taxpayers, while helping us streamline our operations.” “We are delighted that Rhode Island has joined our 19 other state partners in providing Official Payments’ services to their taxpayers,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “Our state partners benefit from the efficiency, cost savings and error reduction of our electronic payment systems. In turn, their citizens appreciate the convenience, cash management, and rewards benefits of credit card payment. It’s a win-win situation,” Mr. Evans added.
For the coming tax season, Official Payments will charge Rhode Island taxpayers a convenience fee of 2.5% for processing their credit card transactions. For example, a taxpayer who owed Rhode Island $900 and charged taxes would find a total of $922.50 on their credit card statement: $900 for the tax bill and $22.50 for the convenience fee. American Express, Discover Card, and MasterCard are the credit cards accepted by the program. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and airline frequent flyer miles or cash back for paying their taxes.
About Official Payments Corporation
Founded in 1996, Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 1,000 county and municipal governments across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market.
SureFire Commerce (U.K.) Ltd., a subsidiary of
Montreal-based SureFire Commerce Inc., announced the signing
of a strategic partnership agreement with Actinic Software Ltd.
(http://www.actinic.co.uk), a leading developer of B2B and
B2C software solutions in
Europe. Actinic will integrate SureFire Commerce’s online payment solutions
into their two main products, Actinic Catalog and Actinic Business, which are
available through over 1600 value-added resellers in Europe.
“Actinic is the best-known e-commerce company in its category, has a
presence in all major European countries, and is the market leader in the
small- and medium-sized enterprise sector,” said Rory Olson, President and CEO
of SureFire Commerce. “We expect Actinic’s large customer base and network of
resellers to contribute significantly to our total transaction processing
SureFire Commerce’s secure, real-time transaction processing engine will
enable users of Actinic’s software solutions to accept VISA, MasterCard, and
the FirePay Personal Account solution without the headaches of obtaining
merchant credit card accounts, physical swipe machines, dedicated telephone
lines, and the other requirements of traditional credit card processing.
European merchants often wait 12-18 weeks for banks to process and approve an
ordinary merchant account, and even longer for Internet merchant accounts.
With SureFire Commerce’s solution, companies can start accepting online
payments in just a matter of days.
In Europe, Actinic’s e-commerce software solutions are marketed to
merchants through resellers in the U.K., France, Benelux, Germany, Denmark,
Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, and Ireland. Actinic has 5,500 live merchants and
boasts clients such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House,
Sony Europe, and many more, making them the No. 1 e-commerce software
developer in Europe.
“SureFire Commerce’s private-labelled payment solution will give our
clients the ability to accept online credit card payments in a fraction of the
time it normally takes through traditional banking channels,” said Nick
Kington, Actinic’s U.K. Marketing Director. “In addition, they will benefit
from SureFire Commerce’s multi-currency processing capability, which is
obviously a necessity when selling online in the U.K. and the rest of Europe.
When combined with our award-winning e-commerce solutions, SureFire Commerce’s
transaction processing engine gives our clients an outstanding way to improve
customer service and increase revenue.”
Founded in July 1996 and floated in May 2000 on the London Stock
Exchange, Actinic is a company focused on developing e-commerce software for
small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who want to sell online. The software is
sold through channel partners including Web designers and developers, Internet
service providers, Web hosts, and traditional IT VARs. Actinic Catalog is a
boxed software solution for setting up and managing a secure, online B2C Web
store. Actinic Business is a more sophisticated solution for selling business-
to-business. Actinic has sales and marketing bases in Weybridge (Surrey), New
Jersey (U.S.) and Paris, with a technical centre in Birmingham.
About SureFire Commerce Inc.
SureFire Commerce Inc. is a global provider of secure online payment
solutions and e-commerce support, processing over $1.2 billion of online
transactions annually. The Company specializes in payment solutions in three
core areas: Internet payment processing for online merchants, bill presentment
and payment processing for physical businesses, and corporate billing
solutions. SureFire Commerce’s online payment solutions are marketed to
consumers and merchants through strategic partnership agreements with
companies that have significant brand recognition and distribution channels.
SureFire Commerce is headquartered in Montreal (Quebec) with offices in Hull
(Quebec) and London (England).