Holiday purchases between Friday, Nov 23 and Sunday, Dec 2, continue to run about 2.1% over last year’s figures. As of 9:00 a.m. this morning, overall consumer credit card activity is up by 5%, with more than $45 billion charged in nearly 475 million transactions since Nov 23, according to CardWeb.com’s homepage tracker. TeleCheck Services says same-store retail sales, based on consumer checkwriting, were up 1.9% in November, but have edged up slightly since. Sales in the Southeast region increased 2.5%, while the Northeast jumped 2.4%, and in the Southwest region, sales were up 2.1%. TeleCheck says a strong, promotional buying climate, which is being sustained by low interest rates, low inflation and declining gasoline prices could help retailers this holiday season. Meanwhile, in a setback, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported yesterday that delinquency on mortgages hit a 10-year high during the third quarter.Details
Capital One’s one-year old, high impact, “What’s in Your Wallet?” campaign is picking up more exposure this week in conjunction with its sponsorship of ESPN’s ‘Bowl Week’ and the ‘Florida Citrus Bowl’. The company has snagged ESPN’s SportsCenter anchors Kenny Mayne and Trey Wingo to create a TV spot spoofing Cap One’s commercials. The ad features characters from previous Cap One commercials such as visigoths, pirates, gladiators, cowboys, scurrying through a supermarket, passing shopper Trey Wingo, on their way to a family’s home, where an unsuspecting football fan fumbles his Capital One credit card. He is attacked by the hoard of characters. Kenny Mayne appears at the end saying “don’t fumble your Capital One card; watch Capital One Bowl Week on ESPN.” The new ESPN ad began appearing yesterday on the sports network. ‘Capital One Bowl Week’ on ESPN begins December 27 and concludes January 1. To review the new Cap One/ESPN ad as well as previous “What’s in Your Wallet?” television commercials visit CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com]).
Datacap Systems yesterday announced ‘NETePay!’ support for its recently released PC-based version of ‘LanTran’, enabling interfaced POS systems to achieve 1-2 second authorizations via DSL or other IP Internet and VPN connections. With this new release of ‘LanTran’, ECRs from NCR, Sharp, Casio, Samsung, Vectron, TEC America and others will have fast authorization capability. The new ‘LanTran’ also supports ‘WinDSU!’ for authorization access via traditional communication links such as dial-up, wireless, satellite and ISDN technologies.Details
UAE’s largest multi-participant loyalty program, ‘Air Miles’, with over
115,000 UAE residents as members, will be presented as one of the
the Cards Middle East event, in a case study by Steve Lobb, Managing Director
of Rewards Management Middle East – Air Miles. The benefit-driven Cards Middle
East business conference will cover the latest developments in smart card
technology and mobile commerce, and will be coupled with a technology showcase
featuring leading smart card suppliers and solution providers, including ACI
Worldwide, IOCard, Prism, Omnipay, RS2 Software, First Data, DZ Card, Narboni
and many more. The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Dubai on
13th – 15th 2002. For more information:
ACE Cash Express, the country’s largest owner of retail financial service stores, is first to deploy the new Expanded Transaction Center by Diebold, Incorporated. The ETC sidecar pairs with certain Diebold advanced-function automated teller machines or cash dispensers to transform them into highly functional, self- service destinations where ACE customers can cash checks.
The ETC allows deployers to offer customers additional services through a convenient delivery channel, while also increasing opportunities for fee revenue. In addition to the services already offered through the cash dispenser or ATM, the ETC transforms the terminal into a unit that can cash checks and dispense stored-value cards. The unit is designed around Diebold’s flexible open-architecture, which gives deployers the option of adding products and services to the sidecar that are in line with their overall marketing strategies.
“We were looking for a way to deploy multiple products in a cost-effective manner to increase customer convenience and allow our customer services associates to focus on more complex transactions at the window,” said Brent Turner, assistant vice president, Self-Service at Ace Cash Express. “The ETC provides the vehicle for us to meet those goals.”
ACE Cash Express has ETC units deployed in 71 store locations throughout the United States and expects to have an additional 171 units deployed by the end of the year. According to Turner, the company plans to expand the deployment to locations in ACE stores and other retail marketplaces. “Our customers are responding well to the self-service delivery system, evidenced by the high repeat usage statistics we have experienced,” said Turner. Turner added that the company plans on expanding services to include pre-paid wireless telephone cards and wire transfer products.
“ACE Cash Express is a leader in product delivery and new product development in the retail financial services industry,” said David Bucci, senior vice president, Customer Solutions at Diebold. “We are pleased the ETC has proven a valuable addition to their delivery channels, and are looking forward to continuing to add functionality to these terminals in order to continue satisfying the needs of ACE Cash Express customers nationwide.”
The ETC can be manufactured in a variety of fascia colors to reinforce the customer’s brand. The unit’s modular design and compact footprint (16.5in x 31.75in) makes it simple to add to the existing ATM without taking up valuable floor space.
A representative from ACE Cash Express will be demonstrating the expanded transaction center in Diebold booth #900 at BAI’s Retail Delivery conference, December 11-13, 2001, in Anaheim, Calif.
ACE Cash Express is headquartered in Irving, Texas and is the largest owner, operator and franchiser of retail financial service stores in the United States. Founded in 1968, the company has a total network of 1,163 stores consisting of 988 company-owned stores and 175 franchised stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia. ACE also maintains automatic check- cashing machines, which provide financial services without the need for a service associate, at 71 locations. ACE offers a broad range of financial and check-cashing services, and is one of the largest providers of MoneyGram wire transfer transactions. In addition, ACE offers money orders, bill payment services and prepaid local and long distance telecommunication services. Under ACE’s agreement with Goleta National Bank (GNB), GNB currently makes small consumer loans available to customers at various ACE company-owned stores. The company’s Web site is found at [http://www.acecashexpress.com].
Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems and services. Diebold employs more than 12,000 associates with representation in more than 80 countries worldwide and headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of US $1.7 billion in 2000 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD’. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.diebold.com].
With a donation from Metabolife International Inc., radio stations are awarding $1,000 Target shopping spree gift cards to families in need this holiday season. Listeners are invited to write a one-page letter, send an e-mail or a fax describing a family they know who needs assistance. Selected letters will be read on the air during selected radio shows each weekday between December 3rd through the 21st. Fifteen Target gift cards will be awarded by each radio station.
Moved by the success of last year’s gift card giveaway, Metabolife will again partner with 30 radio stations across the country to give away over $450,000 in gift cards. “Last year we saw the wonderful difference this made for so many families,” says Metabolife President David Brown, “so this year we’ve decided to give away even more gift cards. We want to share our blessings with those less fortunate. This program is a great way to do that.”
Metabolife International Inc. is a San Diego-based leader in the herbal dietary supplement industry. Recently expanding distribution from a direct marketing system, Metabolife now offers its flagship product, Metabolife 356(R) dietary supplement, along with its Carbohydrate Craving Suppressor in grocery, drug store and mass retail locations nationwide. For more information, visit our web site at [http://www.metabolife.com].
The Pet Company has selected Shoppers Charge Accounts Co., a division of Hudson United Bank of Mahwah, N.J., to develop and administer its private label credit card program. The retail chain, headquartered in New Windsor, N.Y., operates 21 pet supply stores in four states.
SCA services brick-and-mortar and catalog retailers throughout the U.S. The company acquires retailersâ receivables or will develop private label credit programs for merchants who currently donât offer a house charge. In both situations, SCA assumes responsibility for generating customersâ billing statements; managing credit, collection and lockbox functions; and creating customized marketing programs.
Ranked among the nationâs largest private label credit card companies, SCA is a division of Hudson United Bank, a subsidiary of Hudson United Bancorp (NYSE: HU).
Hudson United Bancorp is a $6.7 billion asset company with over 200 branch offices in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. Hudson United Bancorpâs subsidiaries offer a full array of innovative products and services to commercial and retail accounts, including imaged checking accounts, 24-hour telephone and Internet banking, loans by phone, alternative investment products, insurance products, private label credit programs and a wide variety of commercial loans and services including asset based loans, SBA loans, international services and cash management services. Wealth management services are also provided to individuals and businesses. Public sector products and services are provided to local and state governments, municipalities, educational institutions, civic and not-for-profit organizations.Details
community Intermunicipal TransportBoards (Conseils Intermunicipaux de
Transport) CIT Roussillon and Le Richelainhave implemented a smart card
based electronic fare system called ScotiaTranSmart. Developed by EdgeWare
Technologies and implemented by e-Scotia,the e-commerce subsidiary of
Scotiabank, Scotia TranSmart allows riders touse reloadable smart cards to
purchase electronic tickets and passes to meettheir individual
Electronic tickets and passes are uploaded onto
smart cards usingcompact, reliable and easy to use point-of-sale terminals
located at existingticket and pass distribution points throughout the
communities. When boardingbuses, the cards are simply inserted into the
smart card terminal which willautomatically validate the pass or electronic
ticket without requiring driverintervention. With every ride, the computer
chip on the card is read. Passescan be used for an unlimited number of
rides during a specific period such asa calendar month, whereas with
tickets, the card balance is automaticallyadjusted until the number of
tickets purchased runs out. Convenient optionssuch as weekly or semester
passes are also available. Card validation times ofone-third of a second
ensure efficient boarding.
We have designed our
electronic fare collection system with a number ofgrowth options in
mind, said Claude Beaudoin, Vice President Engineering atEdgeWare
Technologies. Our goal was to have transit operators take a
seriouslook at cost efficient contact card systems which could be expanded
into acommunity card, while maintaining high transaction speeds for
We are delighted that CIT
Roussillon and Le Richelain are the firsttransit systems in Canada to
install Scotia Transmart(TM), says Albert WahbeCEO of e-Scotia and
Scotiabank Executive Vice-President, Electronic Banking.”At Scotiabank
and e-Scotia we are committed to using the latest and mostinnovative
technologies available in the marketplace to make day-to-dayactivities,
like taking public transit, easier for Canadians.
Currently, CIT Roussillon and Le Richelain are using smart cards formonthly
passes. As of January 1, 2002, riders will have the option ofpurchasing
electronic tokens individually or in groups.
EdgeWare Technologies is a Canadian
software and services firm thatdesigns, develops, markets and supports
multi-application, scalable, platformindependent smart card software
solutions for business, institutions andgovernments
About Scotiabank and
e-Scotia is the trade name for Scotiabank’s
e-commerce subsidiaryspecializing in e-commerce products, sales and
service. Scotiabank is one ofNorth America’s premier financial institutions
with more than $271 billion inassets and approximately 51,000 employees
worldwide, including affiliates. Itis also Canada’s most international bank
with more that 2,000 branches andoffices in more that 50 countries.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is getting ready to issue up to four
‘Qualifying Full Bank’ licenses by the end of this year. The four new QFBs
likely include: American Express Bank, Hong Kong Bank, Bank of China, and
Malaysia’s Maybank. As a QFB, foreign banks may run a shared ATM network among
themselves and easily open branches. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has
already granted licenses to four foreign banks including:
Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank, ABN AMRO, and BNP Paribas.
Infocorp Computer Solutions Ltd., a leading provider of revenue management and
electronic service delivery solutions for e-government and e-retail,
announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2001.
For the third quarter of 2001, Infocorp reported a net loss of $472,750,
or ($0.034) per share, compared to net loss of $379,401, or $0.028 per share,
in the third quarter of 2000.
“During the quarter, we took proactive steps to restructure the company
in order to rationalize our operating costs. Our operating costs for the third
quarter were approximately 45% lower than the second quarter this year. Over
the course of the quarter, we were successful in developing a marketing
alliance with Covansys Corporation. Subsequent to the quarter end, Infocorp
successfully negotiated some additional work with the Manitoba government and
the City of New York. More importantly, we won a new customer relationship,
and subsequent to the quarter end, we entered into an agreement with the Port
Authority of Allegheny County (the City of Pittsburgh’s public transit
authority) to pilot the Access2Gov solution. We expect this to evolve into a
broader relationship over the next two quarters.”
The Company reported substantial progress in the third quarter across
several corporate initiatives, including:
– Building Sales Channel Capabilities – As a result of our increased
focus on sales and building marketing alliances, we were successful
in forming an alliance with Covansys Corporation to jointly pursue
opportunities in government markets. Covansys is an established
leader in implementing online government solutions at both the state
and local levels. This partnership, in which both parties have a
right of first refusal on new opportunities within motor vehicle
licensing departments, is expected to generate business for us
within the next two quarters.
– Technology Transformation – We have launched the full-scale build
out of the Java version of Infocorp’s Access2Gov revenue management
solution using SLMsoft.com Inc.’s recently acquired Java development
facility in India. This project will broaden the appeal of the
Access2Gov solution and enable a thin-client architecture. By
developing the skills to manage offshore development resources,
Infocorp is increasing its scalability while holding its operating
costs in line.
Third quarter revenue totaled $407,286, down from $815,829 in the third
quarter of 2000. During the quarter, revenue from license fees and related
services in the government segment decreased to $11,686 from $394,927 in the
same quarter last year, reflecting that the New York City installation is now
complete, and purchasing decisions on other major projects were deferred until
year-end. Although revenue from retail sales and post contract support (which
is primarily derived from the retail segment) declined 15% on a nine month
basis, the Company recorded an increase of approximately 10% to $397,766 up
from $362,152 in the third quarter of 2000, demonstrating the strength and
stability of the Company’s customer base.
During the three quarters of 2001, operating activities used $205,995,
compared to an increase in cash of $37,050 over the same period in 2000. To
fund operations, the Company extended its credit facility provided by its
largest shareholder SLMsoft.com Inc. by $270,000 from $500,000 to $770,000.
General and administrative expenses decreased to $226,308 in the third
quarter from $415,999 in the corresponding period of 2000 due to reduced
staffing in these areas and a reduction in professional services costs.
Research and development (R&D) expenses decreased to $167,451 in the
third quarter of 2001 from $299,746, and showed a sequential decline of 53%
from $357,746 in the second quarter. As future product development will be
done primarily offshore, R&D expenses are expected to continue at these lower
Selling and marketing expenses increased slightly to $237,373 in the
third quarter of 2001, from $214,295 and showed a sequential decline of 43%
from $415,645 in the second quarter. The company completed a number of
initiatives in the second quarter to improve its branding themes and re-design
its website. Over the second and third quarters, the Company restructured in
sales force in order to increase the Company’s focus on building a strong,
qualified pipeline from which to generate revenue.
A member of the SLMsoft.com Group of Companies, Infocorp (TSE: INP) is a
leader in the design and delivery of state-of-the-art revenue management
solutions for governments and specialty retailers. Infocorp’s solutions enable
product and service delivery, workflow automation, and payment transaction
processing through multiple delivery channels including over-the-counter,
Internet and kiosks. Its core e-government product, Access2Gov (formerly
POS+), has been installed in a variety of state, provincial and municipal
departments, and is a key component of electronic service delivery solutions.
Its core retail product, Softwear/P.O.S., is installed on over 10,000
workstations in retail organizations around the world, and is a fully
integrated retail management system, from point-of-sale to customer
relationship management and back office automation. Infocorp’s offices are
located in Canada and USA.
About SLMsoft.com Inc.
Founded in 1986, SLMsoft.com (TSE: ESP.a and ESP.b ) is a leading
developer of electronic payment systems and transaction-processing solutions,
including e-commerce applications with a focus on the financial services
industry. SLMsoft.com provides real-time end-to-end e-banking solutions that
include Internet banking, interactive voice recognition (IVR), debit and
credit card issuing, automated teller machines and point-of-sale network
management, retail branch management, and e-CRM enabling technology.
SLMsoft.com also provides investment brokerage client and portfolio management
applications for the brokerage industry; e-health solutions which enable
health insurance claims to be evaluated at the point of service, processed and
settled in real time; and e-government solutions, which enable consumers to
pay fees for government services in person, at kiosks, through IVR or the
Morgan Stanley has lowered its investment rating on credit-card lender Capital One Financial Corp. to “neutral” from “outperform” over concerns about the credit card industry’s fundamentals. MS says weak demand, intense competition and rising risk is affecting the credit-card business. The firm also noted that rapid growth is offsetting declining margins at COF, but margins could be vulnerable if growth isn’t sustained. MS says it believes the variance between COF’s recovery rate and the industry’s is largely due to accounting differences and superior skills.Details
In a bid to capture “first place” in serving one of the fastest-growing financial markets today — the electronic account funds transfer market — San Francisco-based BankServ announced that it has begun marketing a suite of three newly developed products that could touch more than 25 million consumers by 2004.
All three of the products are designed to reach out to anyone who needs to move money or pay bills electronically, whether by average computer users on the Internet, between banks or brokers and their clients, ordinary or on-line businesses and their customers, and by mail order/telephone order businesses. The products are known as BankServ/Transfer, SameDayPay, and MOTOpay.
“At the moment, we are now the only U. S. company offering such an enterprise-wide suite of products,” says David F. Kvederis, BankServ president and CEO, of privately held BankServ (). “Initial marketing efforts already have proven successful,” he notes, “With recent signing of two new contracts by major banking and brokerage firms that will incorporate these products into their services.” He said non-disclosure agreements prevented him from naming the companies involved, but that in aggregate they represented potential use of the BankServ product suite by an estimated three million prospective consumers.
Kvederis said he believes there are currently more than 15 million on-line consumer accounts, growing by several million per year. He points out that the Thomson Financial EC Media Group estimated 12.5 million U. S. households used on-line banking in mid-2000, up from 7.5 million as of mid-1999. “To give an idea of where we are going with this newest product line,” he says, “Forrester Research estimates 23 million households in 2003 and 25 million in 2004 will be using on-line banking (figures based on Robinson-Humphrey Financial Technology Group Research, Jan. 2, 2001).
“And this is only the estimated tip of the iceberg for our new products,” he adds. “When you consider all the potential uses beyond strictly on-line banking, our prospective market becomes astronomical — in the tens of millions of consumers. Regardless of how those consumers are touched for funds,” he adds, “by positioning ourselves now — we expect to be there in the future to help expedite the electronic transfers required.”
Included in the new set of products are the following:
This product allows consumers to fund depository or brokerage trading accounts on the Web site of a host institution. Once an account has been established, customers can also transfer funds from that established account to other accounts at any bank, savings bank, or credit union in the country. Accounts are funded in 24 – 48 hours through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system. BankServ/Transfer also allows initial deposits to be made by credit card at banks.
“No one has to wait a week or more any longer for a paper check to arrive at the bank or brokerage house where they want to open an account,” said Kvederis. “Until recently, unless you’ve already had an account at a brick-and-mortar institution, you have not been able to open an account with that firm’s on-line bank or brokerage house directly through the Internet. Instead, you have to mail them a paper check, arrange for a physical wire transfer, or call their 800 number and arrange for a telephone-initiated transfer from your existing account somewhere else. Our experience shows, with BankServ/Transfer, that routine inter-bank funds transfers by consumers on the Internet are secure, fast and easy to complete,” Kvederis said.
SameDayPay allows both financial firms and businesses to create, clear, and settle electronic checks (eChecks) “on-the-fly” from a variety of sources as well as manage risk, clearing, settling, and reconciling daily work. This electronic check product allows customers of businesses to make payments to the business via the Automated Clearing House (ACH). The electronic check uses the same technology as BankServ/Transfer for financial institutions, the only difference being that the payee is the on-line business rather than the consumer’s own account.
According to BankServ Chief Operating Officer Peter Hosokawa, “Fraud and Customer Service Representatives (CSR) features as well as the enterprise nature of the product are the same as BankServ Transfer, making it unique in the marketplace. In some applications, such as mortgage loan closings or business-to-business transactions,” he adds, “Timely Fedwire (Federal Reserve Wire Network) transfer capabilities are also extremely important to the customers.”
— Money Order/Telephone Order (MOTOpay)
MOTOpay is designed to provide Automated Clearing House (ACH)-based eCheck services to business that take orders by mail or on the telephone. MOTOpay allows the merchant to process check information from the consumer via the telephone and enter the check data directly into BankServ’s funds transfer system. Once all the data has been entered and submitted, the item is then checked for validity. If accepted, it becomes an ACH transaction. According to the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), the ACH network serves 20,000 financial institutions, three million businesses, and 100 million individuals with direct deposit of payroll and government benefits, direct payment of consumer bills, business-to-business payments, and federal tax payments.
“According to a recent NACHA announcement, last year there were more than 6.88 billion ACH payments made worth more than $20 trillion, an increase of 12.4 percent from 1999,” Kvederis points out. “What that means for us,” he quips, “Is that the future is now.”Details