Citibank’s ‘c2it’ person-to-person payment service has removed the transaction fee charged to its customers to send money online in the U.S. The move by Citibank is aimed directly at wresting PayPal users away from popular online auction Web sites such as eBay. PayPal, with more than ten million registered users and a 90% market share, is set to launch an IPO. Citibank launched its ‘c2it’ service one year ago and has since signed up more than 225,000 users. Earlier this year Citibank changed its fee structure from a flat $2 fee to a fee ranging from 1.0% to 2.2%, depending on the amount transferred, with a 50 cents minimum. Citibank’s P2P payment service is delivered under various brands such as ‘America Online Quick Cash’. Citibank has branded the service with Microsoft under a deal signed in May. Citibank also signed an exclusive deal with AuctionWatch and took ‘c2it’ global in May. Citibank further announced yesterday it is offering online sellers the opportunity to earn a $5 bounty for every new user they refer to ‘c2it’. When a seller includes the ‘c2it’ logo on the item for sale, or on his or her Web site, and a user clicks on the logo and successfully enrolls in ‘c2it’, the seller earns the $5 referral bonus. In October, Citibank began paying Web sites a $5 bounty for new customers. PayPal also pays a $5 bounty for referring new users. To-date PayPal has racked up more than $230 million in losses since it was launched in early 1999. It expects to raise about $80 million in the upcoming IPO. (CF Library 11/1/00; 5/01/01; 5/02/01; 5/22/01; 9/07/01; 10/02/01; 10/25/01)Details
ANZ’s new ‘Zed smart VISA’ card hit New Zealand this week as a television ad
campaign kicked in, featuring Brains from the popular Thunderbirds show. The
new card will enable cardholders next month to download discount product
vouchers from retailers, via the card’s Web site, using personal computer
card reader. ANZ expects to deploy more than 30,000 smart card readers to
retailers by year end 2002. As part of the launch, ANZ is expected to have
converted more than 14,000 ATMs to support smart card transactions in both New
Zealand and Australia. ANZ will launch the ‘smart VISA’ product in Australia
PubliCARD, Inc. reported its financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2001. Revenues for the third quarter of 2001 were $1,575,000, comparable to $1,573,000 a year ago. The net loss from continuing operations for the quarter, excluding a repositioning charge of $1,232,000, was $1,567,000, or $0.06 per share, compared with $5,172,000, or $0.22 per share, a year ago. The decline in the net loss is attributable primarily to work force reductions and other cost containment measures associated with the Company’s July 2001 strategic repositioning action. Operating expenses are expected to decrease further as the benefits of the repositioning program and other cost containment measures materialize.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2001, revenues increased to $4,434,000, from $4,215,000 a year ago. The net loss from continuing operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2001, excluding a repositioning charge of $7,317,000, was $8,501,000, or $0.35 per share, compared with $15,432,000, or $0.67 per share, a year ago. Also during the nine months ended September 30, 2001 and 2000, the Company revised its estimates of expenses associated with previously discontinued operations and reversed reserves amounting to $2,350,000, or $0.10 per share, in 2001 and $4,275,000, or $.19 per share, in 2000, respectively. As of September 30, 2001, cash and short-term investments totaled $6,047,000, exclusive of approximately $2,200,000 of escrow deposits established in connection with prior dispositions.
In July 2001, after evaluating the timing of potential future revenues, PubliCARD’s Board decided to shift the Company’s strategic focus and reposition its smart card reader and chip business. In connection with this shift in strategic focus, the Company recorded a charge aggregating $7,317,000 in the second and third quarters of 2001. The charge consisted of write-offs of goodwill and fixed assets, a write-down of inventory to its net realizable value, and severance and other costs principally related to the termination of 36 employees.
In early October 2001, PubliCARD announced the formation of a new minority-owned affiliate, MAKO Technologies LLC, to market and develop its smart card reader and chip technologies, which represented 23% of consolidated revenues for the first nine months of 2001. This decision substantially eliminates the cash funding requirements for the smart card reader and chip business while retaining an upside potential in the form of royalties over the next two years and a 46% ownership interest in MAKO.
PubliCARD will continue to develop and market its smart card platform solutions for educational and corporate sites through its U.K. based subsidiary, Infineer Ltd., which represented 77% of consolidated revenues for the first nine months of 2001. PubliCARD’s future plans revolve around an acquisition strategy focused on businesses in areas outside the high technology sector while continuing to support the expansion of the Infineer Ltd. business.
About PubliCARD, Inc.
Headquartered in New York, NY, PubliCARD today is a smart card technology company providing infrastructure products and solutions to facilitate secure access and transactions. Through its’ Infineer Ltd. subsidiary, the Company designs smart card platform solutions for educational and corporate sites. The Company also licenses industry compliant smart card reader solutions and application specific integrated circuits to MAKO Technologies LLC, a PubliCARD affiliate. More information about PubliCARD’s 3Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
A new survey says the number of U.S. households subscribing to online services declined nearly four percent during the third quarter. Telecommunications Reports International says its research shows the online market has peaked. The firm found that 67.9 million U.S. customers subscribed to online services as of the end of the third quarter, down from 70.7 million three months prior, or a loss of 2.7 million subscribers. Compared to figures from TR’s ‘Online Census’ a year ago, the current online customer base is about 7.4% higher than the 63.2 million users tallied at the end of the third quarter of 2000. However, the 3.9% decline for the third quarter of 2001 compares to a 1.5% rate of growth during the same period last year and 10.7% growth rate during the third quarter of 1999. Overall, TR’s ‘Online Census’ found that of the six access methods tracked, only two, cable modem and DSL, showed any sizable increases in subscribers during the third quarter. AOL, with 31.3 million subscribers, signed up 1.2 million new users during the third quarter, the smallest quarterly gain since the spring of 1998.Details
Global Payments Inc. a leading provider of electronic processing services, announced an agreement to provide transaction authorization and settlement processing services, as well as merchant accounting to Electronic Exchange Systems.
“Utilizing Global’s platform and network of services, our national distribution channel can leverage the most current technologies at competitive rates giving us a tremendous selling advantage,” said Vice President Affiliate Relations for EXS, Jim White.
“We are very pleased to partner with an Independent Sales Organization of EXS’ caliber,” said Vaden C. Landers, president, ISO line of business, Global Payments Inc. “EXS is a formidable competitor in the merchant acquiring marketplace. This processing agreement, combined with their proven track record in the industry, should elevate their ability to grow the business quickly and effectively,” he added.
EXS is an Independent Sales Organization with a merchant base of over 10,000 accounts and an industry leader in providing customized solutions for small to medium merchants and larger national accounts in the retail, restaurant, sports, lodging and emerging market sectors. EXS specializes in niche market, value-added services including smart card applications, gift and loyalty programs, ACH funds transfer and unique wireless solutions.
Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and Europe. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.Details
ASK S.A., a world leader in dual interface contactless smart cards, announced
the ERG Group has selected them as the preferred supplier for transit
applications. ASK also announced the acquisition of the manufacturing assets
for the Venus contactless smart cards developed by Motorola, along with an
unrestricted production license, in a three-way transaction between ERG,
Motorola and ASK. Details of the transaction were not announced.
The realignment of strategy at Motorola and the ERG Group in the global
Automated Fare Collection market created this opportunity for us, said Bruno
Moreau, deputy general manager for ASK. We want to step in and take over
Motorola left off, and the first order of business is to put in place a stable
and reliable manufacturing capability for Venus smart card products. We are
optimistic that this will help us to better serve our current and future
clients, and it will stimulate the growth of the contactless smart card
industry as a whole.
The Venus technology is an operating system embedded on the chip of a smart
card. Like the other products of ASK, it is focused on high-speed contactless
smart card transactions for Automated Fare Collection applications in transit
systems. ERG transit projects such as San Francisco, Rome and Manchester
currently use the Venus technology.
ASK will continue to manufacture and market its existing line of contactless
card products for transit. The company will also capitalize on their know-how
to create a new generation Venus card that provides a migration path going
forward for customers using this technology.
To complete this transaction, the ERG Group acquired a license to Motorola s
Venus platform smart card technology along with the plant and equipment needed
for the manufacture of Venus smart cards. ERG in turn sold the manufacturing
plant and equipment to ASK and granted ASK a non-exclusive sublicense to the
About ASK S.A.
Founded in 1997, ASK is today a world leader in the design, development,
marketing and manufacturing of dual interface contactless smart cards. The
international smart card community recently recognized the company s unique
contactless paper technology for disposable ticketing at the Cartes 2001 card
show in Paris, when ASK won two prestigious 2001 SESAME awards — Best
Application and Best Transport Application. ASK has already supplied more
7 million contactless cards and paper contactless tickets that are in
in more than 35 cities in Europe, Asia and America. Clients include SNCF and
RATP in Paris; transit operators in Lisbon, Lyon, Venice, Naples, Taipei and
Nice; and BMS, a project in France sponsored jointly by the financial services
and transport industries. The ASK manufacturing and personalization
are near Nice in Sophia Antipolis, France with commercial offices in Paris and
Cardservice International has created a dedicated Web site — called Mymerchantoffice.com — to provide its merchants with easy and fast access to their merchant account information. By logging on to Mymerchantoffice.com, merchants can obtain such information as transaction activity, retrieval information, chargeback activity and monthly statements.
This online site will complement Cardservice International’s existing customer service options. In addition to this dedicated Web site, Cardservice merchants can speak to a customer service representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 140 languages and dialects, can submit questions via e-mail and can access and retrieve deposit information through our interactive voice response system.
“Cardservice International developed this dedicated merchant site, Mymerchantoffice.com, based on merchant feedback and input,” said Cardservice International’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Miller. “It provides our merchants with full online access to their merchant account statements, and it is another example of Cardservice International’s credit card processing industry leadership.”
Cardservice merchants will be notified through a statement insert, which details the Mymerchantoffice.com site benefits. The insert invites merchants to log on and take a tour of the Web site. Once merchants enroll, they can view the online tutorial to familiarize themselves with the site’s format and functions.
About Cardservice International Inc.
Headquartered in Moorpark, Cardservice International provides a wide range of noncash transaction processing options to local, regional and national traditional and Internet businesses. With more than 125 million transactions annually — from point-of-sale credit card processing to e-commerce solutions — Cardservice International is recognized as a leader in electronic commerce and payment services. Established in 1988, the company processes every type of electronic payment method, including credit, debit, electronic benefits transfer and electronic checks. In addition, Cardservice offers popular point-of-sale hardware and software for brick-and-mortar and Internet payment acceptance. To prevent and monitor fraudulent activities, Cardservice International has one of the largest chargeback and loss prevention departments in the industry. Cardservice supports its merchants with customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 140 languages and dialects. First Data Corp., a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services, holds a 50 percent equity position with Cardservice. For more information about Cardservice International, visit [http://www.cardservice.com].
Freestar Technologies, Inc. announced that
pursuant to its contractual agreement with La Nacional de Envios, the leading
public payment system in the Dominican Republic, Freestar’s innovative
PaySafeNow system for La Nacional is now operational. This is the first
public payment system of its kind, offering economical, PIN-authenticated ATM
and debit card options for the transfer of money over the Internet. La
Nacional will deploy the PaySafeNow system throughout its network of 24
branches in NewYork, Spain, Puerto Rico and Venezuela and more than 300 agents
throughout the United States.
La Nacional can now offer its customers PIN-secured ATM and Debit Card
money transfer transactions online via Freestar Technologies’ bundled
PaySafeNow technology package. PaySafeNow includes software and a secure card
reader, allowing consumers the ability to securely transfer money locally or
internationally over the Internet using ATM, debit or smart cards. Transaction
costs are significantly less than those charged by competitive public payment
systems, and users can execute cash transactions from brick-and-mortar
commercial locations or the comfort of home, 24 hours a day.
Under the agreement, La Nacional will sell and distribute the PaySafeNow
solution to its existing and new client base throughout North and Latin
America. The initial stage of the agreement requires La Nacional to purchase
1,500 secure card readers from Freestar to distribute and deploy to its
branches and agencies throughout the U.S.
Paul Egan, CEO of Freestar Technologies, commented, “We have a significant
opportunity to drive the market for Internet secure money transfer using
ATM/debit cards with PIN authentication. Now that we have a proven template,
which offers a highly competitive cost to the consumer, together with our
partners we can offer similar financial institutions our PaySafeNow solution.
Freestar Technologies will not only receive revenue from the product sales but
will also receive a transactional revenue fee from each transaction that takes
Presently, according to the Dominican Republic’s central bank of record,
over US$1.6 billion is transferred from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic
annually. The average transaction per person amounts to approximately US$160
monthly. Currently, La Nacional de Envios holds a large percentage of the
market share in funds transfer transactions between the Dominican Republic and
the U.S. PaySafeNow involves much lower fees than other public payment firms
charge, providing a competitive advantage to companies that offer the service
and a much improved channel for making cash transfers.
About La Nacional de Envios
La Nacional de Envios, part of Grupo Caribe, which was established in
1980, is one of the leading and most reputable public payment systems in the
Dominican Republic. There are 24 branches strategically located in New York,
and 300 agencies established throughout the United States of America. La
Nacional de Envios also has branches in Spain, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. The
company is not only involved in international money transfers but is also
actively involved in the local market. Grupo Caribe currently employs over
300 people in 50 offices throughout the Dominican Republic.
About Freestar Technologies, Inc.
Freestar Technologies, Inc.’s Enhanced Transactional Secure Software
(“ETSS”), a proprietary software package that enables consumers to consummate
secure e-commerce transactions over the Internet using credit, debit, ATM
(with PIN) or smart cards. The ETSS system integrates a consumer-side card-
swipe terminal with a back-end host-processing center. It encrypts sensitive
financial data at the consumer’s personal computer, using powerful DES
encryption and algorithms. It sends an authorization number to the e-commerce
merchant, rather than the consumer’s credit card information, to provide a
maximum level of security. The Company plans to link several large,
established smart card systems together on an ETSS-based standard to achieve
economies of scale and further market penetration for this secure e-commerce
payment system. For more information visit the Web site of the Company’s
ePayLatina Division at
A new survey released this morning found that nearly 70% of financial institutions have implemented a model for measuring profitability but 87% of these models calculate profitability at the organizational and/or product levels only and not at the customer/account level. The CorePROFIT Solutions research also found that 60% of the financial institutions are not satisfied with the underlying cost information they use to calculate profitability. More than 77% are currently using expense allocations or Federal Reserve functional costs as their primary costing methodologies. The survey was based on interviews with senior-level marketing and finance executives at the 250 top North American financial services organizations.Details
The New York Clearing House and the Euro Banking Association this week
announced a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow both organizations to
work together on a global electronic payment infrastructure that will enable
Internet-based, end-to-end electronic commerce for the first time. Both
organizations will begin immediately to establish joint working groups
dedicated to making geography and currency distinctions transparent to
‘We are very excited to be exploring these options together,’ said Olivier
Chairman of EBA. ‘Our goal is to share resources and expertise as we seek to
add critical new Internet compatibility to each of our payment platforms,
creating the basis for a coherent end-to-end straight-through processing of
clients’ payments independently of whether they are in dollar or in euro.’
‘This alliance is a natural for both organizations,’ said Jeffrey P. Neubert,
President and CEO of the New York Clearing House. ‘We share many of the same
bank members and a similar vision of where electronic payments need to evolve.
The true opportunities in e-commerce can only be realized if electronic
payments can flow across borders and transcend currency distinctions without
any human intervention.’
The alliance offers many advantages for banks that participate in the Clearing
House and EBA payment systems. These include:
Â· Leveraged investments in existing infrastructure rather than creating new
systems from scratch
Â· Development of a private-sector platform for electronic payments to maximize
value and innovation
Â· Shared development expenses to reduce costs
Â· Simplified standards and operating processes to increase efficiency
‘This Memorandum of Understanding is the first important step for these two
leading organizations to create a roadmap for how best to improve their
infrastructures,’ said Martin Lebouitz, Vice President of J. P. Morgan Chase &
Co. ‘The banking industry is looking for a platform that will provide
value-added e-commerce solutions to our customers, and the NYCH and the EBA
the right people to get the job done.’
‘Having defined a common vision,’ said John Mohr, Chief Operating Officer of
the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS), ‘our next task will
work together to set standards for payments and information-related processing
to be used by both payment systems, their participating banks and the banks’
customers. We will move quickly to establish working groups that will explore
options for interoperability between the Clearing House and EBA payment
‘There are many advantages in working together with the New York Clearing
House,’ said Gilbert Lichter, Secretary General of EBA and CEO of EBA Clearing
Company. ‘Both organizations share a vision of bank customers conducting an
exclusively electronic transaction all the way from the buyer’s desktop to the
seller’s desktop and flowing through all the banks in between. To do that in a
manner where the currency used is transparent to the transaction has
‘There has been so much news coverage of the dot-com failures that many people
don’t realize that electronic commerce is thriving and will continue do
develop,’ says Eric Sepkes, Deputy Chairman of EBA. ‘This joint approach to
finding ways that makes e-commerce easier to execute, more efficient, less
costly, and vastly more pervasive is very exciting.’
The Euro Banking Association (EBA), www.abe.org, includes
over 150 member banks from all EU countries, the United States, Switzerland,
Norway, Australia and Japan. EBA was founded in 1985 by 18 commercial banks
the European Investment Bank, with the support of the European Commission.
Today, the EBA acts as a forum for the European payments industry and fosters
the development of pan-European payment system initiatives.
The EBA Clearing Company, www.abe.org, was established in
June 1998 by the EBA as a separate entity to operate the EURO1 large-value
payment system and the STEP1 low-value payment system. EURO1 and STEP1 provide
an efficient, secure and cost-effective infrastructure to the banks in Europe
for channeling their commercial and large-value cross-border payments. EURO1
and STEP1 are based on the messaging infrastructure and computing facilities
provided by S.W.I.F.T. EURO1 settles at the end of the day via a settlement
account at the European Central Bank. The average number of daily transactions
processed by the EURO1 and STEP1 systems today amounts to over 125,000 for a
total value in excess of 200 billion euros. EURO1 comprises 73 direct bank
participants and 25 indirect participants; STEP1 includes 163 banks. EBA is
presently pursuing a project to create a pan-European mass payment system
(ACH), labeled STEP2.
The New York Clearing House, www.nych.org, is the
oldest and most innovative bank association and payments processor.
in 1853 to simplify the exchange of checks and improve the efficiency of the
payments system, the Clearing House is still a world leader in the payments
business. It operates the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS),
Electronic Payments Network (EPN) and SVPCo, and runs a well-respected
association that serves as a forum for its members to promote common interests
in the financial services industry. For more information, search
www.NYCH.org or call Chip Savidge at 201-319-5478
For 31 years the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS),
www.chips.org, has been an industry standard for
international payments in U.S. dollars. It has 59 participants from 22
countries that submit payments throughout the day for their corporate
and correspondent banks. CHIPS handles approximately 95 percent of all U.S.
dollar international electronic payments, and is a member of the New York
Clearing House family of financial services. For more information, search
www.chips.org, or call Chip Savidge at 201-319-5478.
Providian announced yesterday it is cutting jobs, suspending dividends, withdrawing earnings guidance, and is seeking to sell-off about $3 billion of its credit card portfolio. The company said Wednesday it will close its 700-employee Henderson, Nevada facility on December 7th, to save approximately $18 million in annual operating expenses. Providian also announced that its Board of Directors has suspended, for an indefinite period, the payment of quarterly cash dividends on the company’s common stock, and withdrawn previously issued earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and the year 2002. The nation’s sixth largest VISA and MasterCard issuer also said it is pursuing the possible sale of $3 billion in higher-risk credit card receivables. Providian originated the majority of these assets through marketing programs it has since discontinued. Salomon Smith Barney and Goldman Sachs also gave Providian yesterday a commitment for a new $900 million securitization of credit card receivables. The company confirmed that none of its existing securitizations have credit downgrade provisions that would trigger early amortization. For complete details on Providian’s latest earnings report visit CardData (www.carddata.com). Providian’s stock closed down 4% Wednesday at $3.68 per share. (CF Library 10/22/01; 11/1/01)Details
ID Data plc, is to replace the JavaCard with the recently launched thin Java
machine which uses ORIGIN-J technology. The recent exclusive global
licensing agreement with OneEighty Software, enables ID Data to develop full
Java smart card solutions using the ORIGIN-J(tm) platform, a technology
developed by OneEighty Software.
Currently JavaCard is a highly specialised, limited variant of Java
technology, used in many smartcards. The thin Java machine provides a
standard Java capability, where
the ORIGIN-J technology overcomes the issues faced by developers
particularly price and interoperability. The open interface allows
customers to build applications using standard Java methods and tools. A
memory management facility for smart cards that frees up memory for
reprogramming and more efficient use is offered through ORIGIN-J for the
ORIGIN-J allows for full multi-threading and other features of Java to be
used even on 8-bit processors. This feature will encourage the launch of
truly affordable multi-application cards in the rapidly expanding markets of
GSM, Banking Security. This technology will advance the industry and add
significant future enhanced value to the smart card industry.
The team behind OneEighty Software is led by Dr Peter Dzwig and Dr Russell
Winder, former Professor of Computing at Kings College, London, who have
spent the past four years developing solutions for Java, allowing complex
processing via compact programs. This was based upon the work of Bernard
Hodson, the Alan Turing protÃ©gÃ© and using concepts allied to the Turing
Peter Cox, CEO of ID Data commented: “This contract has advanced our
group’s capabilities of becoming a global leader, and again demonstrates the
Company’s ability to bring truly innovative solutions to the market and
create demand. The agreement will develop our position as a significant
provider of IP that can be used by the global community to develop the smart
card and its applications. This technology will advance and add
significantly enhanced value to the smart card industry.”
Peter Dzwig, CEO of OneEighty Software said of ORIGIN-J: “We have spent much
effort developing this leading edge technology, and feel confident that we
have a dynamic partner who will exploit its commercial capabilities in the
Java market and assist us in further developments for the future.”
The unique features of ORIGIN-J are its scalability and compactness, which
allows applications to be run on a wide range of silicon using Java, without
the limitations of the current Java offerings from ID Data’s global
ID Data plc is the UK’s largest supplier of secure transaction systems and
smart card to the international telephony, banking, retail and secure access
sectors. The Company strategy has moved from commodity products into
value-added services and solutions, which has created a solid platform on
which to build further growth. Clients include Vodafone UK, BT and C & W,
Barclays Bank, Tesco, and Exxon Mobil. ID Data has formed agreements with
major global corporations to ensure rapid market development as shown by
their partnerships with Toshiba & Toppan, and Total Systems Inc. of the
United States of America. ID Data has now delivered in excess of 60 million
chip cards for the telephony sector. The Company was founded in 1988, and
was listed on the AIM in October 2000. Website: www.id-data.co.uk
OneEighty Software Ltd
The Company was founded in 1989 as GENETIX Software Inc. in Canada.
OneEighty has developed a unique architecture, which enables ultra compact
ORIGIN-J is a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which enables Java to be
implemented in memory constrained embedded systems such as smartcards,
control systems and portable devices. Existing JVMs are too large to be
effectively used on such devices, however ORIGIN-J overcomes this by
reducing Java applications down to a very small memory footprint.
OneEighty’s ORIGIN-J platform is designed to deliver ultra compact embedded
systems from smart cards to PDAs as well as brown and white goods.
Website: www.180sw.com http://www.180sw.com