In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks, the Washington, D.C. contactless ‘SmarTrip’ transit card is adding a security application for employee identification and building access. Under the new security system, WMATA’s treasury employees will be issued individualized ‘SmarTrip’ cards that contain employee-related information. The new security function is one of several potential uses that can reside on the ‘SmarTrip’ card, which 200,000 commuters in the nation’s capital use to pay their Metrorail fares, parking fees, and soon bus fares throughout the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore corridor. Cubic designed and developed the ‘GO CARD’ system, which is the core technology behind ‘SmarTrip’, the first contactless smart card system introduced by a major mass transit agency in the United States.Details
CASHSWITCH, Dubai’s leading online
financial services company, has licensed Misys International Banking Systems’
(Misys) Fontis iBanking solution in a deal which will make Internet banking
more accessible and cost-effective for banks in the Gulf region.
Through its new strategic alliance with Misys, CASHSWITCH, promoted by the
multi-billion U.S. Dollar Bahwan Group of Oman, can act as an Application
Solution Provider (ASP) or can directly license the Fontis iBanking platform
to banks in the Middle East region. In its role as an ASP, CASHSWITCH will
provide an Internet banking service on behalf of banks, who wish to make such
services available to their clients, but prefer not to incur the development
costs normally associated with them.
As a result of the partnership between Misys and CASHSWITCH, banks in the
Middle East will now be able to offer their clients the convenience of
e-banking, immediately and at relatively low cost. Through Misys’ leading-edge
solution, bank clients can take advantage of a variety of e-banking services
from account management and transaction inquiries to secure funds transfers,
enabling them to fulfill all of their banking requirements online.
CASHSWITCH already provides a wide range of Internet services to the Gulf
region’s financial sector. According to R. Seetharaman, CEO of CASHSWITCH and
a former senior banker “At CASHSWITCH we believe that fast and economical
implementations of quality technology products are essential for regional
banks entering the e-banking arena. For this reason, we closely evaluated the
e-banking solutions in the market before finally selecting Fontis as our
platform of choice. Our final decision rested on the fact that this proven
solution offers a secure, flexible e-banking platform that can be easily
implemented and rolled out to clients in exceptionally short timeframes.”
“As customers demand online access to their accounts, banks are now
seeking economically viable ways to meet their demands. By offering Misys’
Fontis solution, CASHSWITCH is in the unique position of being able to not
only meet but exceed their e-banking requirements,” says Ms. Hind Suhail
Bahwan, Chairperson, CASHSWITCH.
Commenting on the exciting new alliance with CASHSWITCH, Alan Prior,
Regional General Manager for Misys in the Middle East, said: “We are
constantly seeking new and innovative ways to empower our customers in the
region. We are delighted to be working in partnership with CASHSWITCH and to
be in a position to offer outstanding business solutions to our clients in
Retail Store Systems Inc. has been selected by one of the largest entertainment retailers in the United States to provide custom point-of-sale software to integrate the @pos smart card transaction system.
The customized software application, which is currently managing more than 320 point-of-sale terminals, is able to read smart card data transmitted from the @pos iPOS TC payment devices at each check-out location. The devices allow customers to conduct secure credit card transactions, review a line-item display of their purchases, and use smart cards to access discounts on selected merchandise.
The system was installed to enhance the customer relationship and to provide a highly interactive experience at the time of purchase. Personal data contained on the smart card chip such as customer identification, purchasing behavior, and loyalty data can also be tracked and stored. This installation is the first implementation of the iPOS TC using a M700 smart card reader in the United States. Some experts in the retail industry have commented on this type of function being a phase in customer relationship management (CRM).
In its core business, Retail Store Systems provides a complete retail solution from host to point-of-sale, focusing on open systems solutions. Retail Store Systems’ expertise is bringing state-of-the-art technology to the general retail, specialty, and supermarket segments by utilizing partnerships with IBM, Lotus, Microsoft, Symbol, Monarch/Paxar, and other “best of breed” solutions. For more information on Retail Store Systems, visit their Web site at [http://www.rss.com].
ITC Systems, the leading developer and
supplier of smart card solutions for higher education, library, corporate,
stadium, and government markets in North America announces it has acquired
Access Control Technologies, Inc. of St. Louis, MO.
These two industry leaders provide unique capabilities in integrated
transaction control solutions and when combined become the premier company in
“The combining of respective company skills, customer knowledge and
engineering capabilities between ACT and ITC Systems enhances our product
line, provides best of breed solutions in integrated transaction control
solutions, and builds critical organizational mass in the USA,” said Campbell
Richardson, President and CEO of ITC Systems.
“ACT is excited about joining forces with the industry leader ITC
Systems,” said Lyn Barth, President and CEO of ACT. He further states, “We
believe ITC Systems is in a formidable position to serve the increasingly
sophisticated needs of the marketplace whether the requirements are for
excellent customer service, advanced technology, or strong engineering
capabilities. I am elated by the positive feed back received from our key
“We have positioned ITC Systems for the future with enhanced resources,
greater capabilities and a complete UPOS product offering for our customers”
said Campbell Richardson. He further offered, “I am delighted to have the ACT
team on board with ITC and in particular to have Lyn Barth become part of our
senior management team as Staff Scientist.”
ITC Systems Company Information
ITC Systems (ITC) is a world leader in integrated transaction control
systems with offices in St. Louis and Toronto. Since 1987, ITC has developed a
line of Unattended-Point-of-Sale (UPOS) Terminals for a multitude of self-
serve applications utilizing an ‘e-purse’ Smart Card as the payment method.
Their UPOS Terminals are successfully installed on vending machines, copiers,
laundry machines, cash registers and other self serve ‘charge for use’
applications. To augment the product offering, ITC also provides back office
transaction processing software, ‘pay for print’ software and ‘meal plan’
software. Their products are currently being used in college and university
campuses, libraries, government institutions, and more. ITC now offers its
customers a choice of smart card or magnetic stripe technology for a vast
array of equipment and services, using both open market and closed proprietary
Access Control Technologies Company Information
Access Control Technologies, Inc. (ACT) has been a leader in design,
manufacture, and servicing of card reader/writers for a multitude of self-
serve applications utilizing a magnetic card as the payment method. These
devices are successfully installed on vending machines, copiers, laundry
machines, cash registers and other self serve ‘charge for use’ applications.
All of these applications can be serviced with the Credit Card technology
designed as a continuing development of the “self serve” environment.
ACT manufactures a line of self-serve pay for use currency equipment for
copier applications. Custom engineering for a variety of similar use products
has been a dominant part of ACT’s business and reputation over the past 11
years as well.
Talk Visual Corporation Company President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene A. Rosov announced that the Company has executed a contract with International Wireless Group to provide IWG’s foreign customers traveling in the United States with comprehensive international telecommunications access. IWG is based in Miami, Florida.
“We’re very pleased with the IWG agreement,” said Mr. Rosov. “IWG is a premier provider of cellular telephones to international travelers, and has extensive contacts within the travel industry. They anticipate providing a minimum of 10,000 EZ-GlobalCall customers to us on a monthly recurring basis. The revenue stream associated with this service promises to add approximately $200,000 in monthly revenues. This will help us achieve our overall goals towards profitability for the current period and coming fiscal year.” According to Talk Visual’s new Director of Sales, Andrew Silber, who helped to negotiate the deal with IWG “we are pursuing a broad range of clients like IWG.
They are the first of a group of international destination clients we are in the process of adding to our revenue stream.”
ABOUT TALK VISUAL CORPORATION
Talk Visual Corporation (OTC-BB:TVCP – news) is a pioneer in the video teleconferencing industry. It is developing global retail facilities to accommodate the growing video-communications needs of two key market segments: businesses and expatriate ethnic populations. Talk Visual can be reached toll-free at 1-877-22VIDEO within the United States, or at 305 572-0575 from abroad. A list of Talk Visual’s videocalling shops is at [http://www.talkvisual.com]. Talk Visual sells pagers at [http://www.beeperforabuck.com]. Customers may call the Company’s main number at 1-877-22-VIDEO for Talk Visual’s EZ-GlobalCall service. Visitors are directed to visit the company’s home page at [www.talkvisual.com] and click on the FAQ section, and or to read the Executives Corner message.
M&T Bank rolled-out a stored value card program that enables individuals to purchase transit passes and fares with pre-tax dollars through employer-sponsored, ‘Qualified Transportation Expense’ programs. The ‘eTRAC MasterCard’ will initially be launched in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington. Rochester, NY-based Benefit Resource, an M&T Bank client and a benefits service provider, will offer the card to its corporate clients as a benefit to their employees. BRI offers pre-tax programs to more than one-half million employees nationwide. TSYS will provide all processing services related to the ‘eTRAC MasterCard’. This is the first flexible spending, stored-value product processed by TSYS. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York City, subways, buses and railroads move an average of 7.8 million passengers each weekday with an estimated 45% using a debit or credit card to purchase tickets. M&T says the QTE MasterCard program can save an employee between $300 and $500 a year in their commuting costs and employers about $90 per employee per year in payroll taxes.Details
Major issuers with at least a third of their portfolios in the “sub-prime” market, continue to lead receivables growth through the third quarter. Providian and Direct Merchants have both increased 18% since the first of this year, while Capital One has soared by an estimated 30%. Among “prime” or middle-market focused issuers, Bank of America led with 10.8% growth, while Chase Manhattan racked up a 5.5% gain since January 1. “Super-prime” specialist, MBNA, was only up 4.3% in total managed loans this year. Top issuers with flat performance this year include: First USA, Household and Fleet. Citigroup, the nation’s top issuer, logged a 2.3% gain for the first nine months of this year. Through the end of August, Discover was up 5.5% for the year. Meanwhile, American Express, at the end of the third quarter, had grown 9.1% in U.S. card loans. For complete details on the third quarter performance of U.S. issuers, including receivables, volume, accounts. active accounts, and cards-in-force, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com])
Top Ten US VISA/MasterCard Issuers
(As of Sept 30, 2001)
ISSUER RECV VOL
1. Citigroup $105.6b $161.8b
2. MBNA $71.1b $103.1b
3. First USA $66.8b $102.1b
4. Chase $38.2b $ 51.7b
5. Capital One* $32.6b $ 35.7b
6. Providian $31.5b $ 22.7b
7. Bank of America $25.5b $ 35.7b
8. Household $15.1b $ 25.3b
9. Fleet $14.6b $ 15.6b
10. Direct Merchants $11.0b $ 7.1b
TOTAL $412.0b $560.8b
VOL- Year-to-Date Charge Volume * Capital One has not reported as of 11/9/01
therefore estimates based on public information. SOURCE: CardData
While travel-related credit card volume is currently off 25%, the business travel segment will pickup slightly next year. The National Business Travel Association predicts that overall business travel costs will increase only 3% next year, due to corporations reducing their travel spending and travel suppliers responding by reducing supply. The 2002 forecast shows the average business airfare is expected to be $1102; the average corporate car rental rate will be $66; the average corporate room rate will be $197; and the average business dinner costs will be $25.Details
The Electronic Transactions Association will be holding its first-ever International Symposium on Jan. 23-25, 2002, in Coral Gables, Fla. ETA?s International Development Committee is sponsoring the event, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency at the Alhambra.
The Symposium will provide an overview of market forces, Visa and MasterCard association rules and regulations relating to the various geographic regions. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of the unique characteristics and issues as they pertain to the international marketplace.
“This event is the next big step in the IDC’s mission of providingETA members with the information, tools and contacts to seize the opportunities for transaction processing and acquiring beyond the borders of the United States,” said Thomas J. DeLuca, chairman of the International Development Committee and senior vice president at Planet Payment. “At each of the past three general ETA meetings, the International Development Committee has helped prepare ETA members for the international marketplace; yet the demand for more information and assistance has been insatiable.This symposium will provide the groundwork for any successful business venture abroad, from foreign technology standards for international processing to legal issues of cross-border card transactions. >From here we will be well positioned to delve deeper into particular markets at future ETA events, workshops and general meetings.”
The opening reception will kick off the Symposium at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23. On Thursday, Jan. 24, key speakers and panelists will cover topics ranging from international processing to privacy implications. Other areas to be discussed include legal, tax and privacy complexities. The interactive format will allow audience members to network with some of the industry?s most respected players. On Friday, Jan. 25, the program will delve into discussions specifically addressing Latin America and the Caribbean, Canada and Europe. A golf outing will round out the event that afternoon.
Speakers invited to participate represent experts involved in the acquiring industry and involved in the global marketplace, including the Boston Consulting Group, Association for Payment Clearing Services, Visa International and MasterCard International. More details regarding the final program and scheduled speakers are available on-line at [http://www.electran.org].
ETA encourages all professionals involved in the electronic payments industry to attend. The cost for ETA members is $395. The non-member rate is $595. Registration is available online at [http://www.electran.org]. On-site registration will be available as well. To make room reservations at the Hyatt Regency at the Alhambra, call the national reservations line at 800.233.1234, or contact the hotel directly at 305.441.1234. Participants should indicate that they are attending ETA?s International Symposium to receive the room rate of $239. Be sure to watch ETA?s Web site for additional updates.
ETA is an international trade association representing organizations offering electronic transaction processing products and services. Its membership represents leading companies providing services between merchants and settlement banks, financial institutions and businesses providing equipment or services to the industry. ETA was organized in 1990 to influence policy within the industry by providing leadership through education, advocacy and the exchange of information.
Consumer Action and Capital One announced the launch of Money Wi$e, a national financial literacy partnership. Money Wi$e is the nation’s first program to combine free, multilingual financial education materials with community training and seminars.
Survey Says: Americans Need More Financial Information
A recent survey* conducted for Capital One and Consumer Action showed that while nearly two-fifths (37 percent) of adults worry about being denied credit in the future, almost two-thirds (65 percent) have not obtained a copy of their credit report during the last year. Further, 60 percent of respondents are not aware of free community resources to help manage personal finances, but 45 percent said they would use them if made available.
“Unfortunately, most adults ‘learn as they go’ when it comes to handling personal finances,” said Diana Don, Director of Financial Education at Capital One. “This approach often results in missteps that can lead to lifelong financial problems. We’re delighted to be partnering with Consumer Action to help consumers learn how to better control their financial futures.”
According to Consumer Action Executive Director Ken McEldowney, the Money Wi$e program is designed to address consumers’ greatest needs. “Managing finances is a challenge for many individuals,” said McEldowney. “We’re thrilled that Capital One is willing to step up to give people the tools they need to make smart financial decisions.”
Survey results also reinforce a need for education among non-English speaking groups. For example, 62 percent of Spanish-speaking adults surveyed worry about being denied credit in the future, but only 25 percent have obtained a copy of their credit report during the last year.
Materials Focus on Top Problem Areas
The Money Wi$e series of simple, straightforward brochures is produced in five languages (English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese) and will be made available to more than 6,500 community organizations nationwide, as well as directly to consumers at [http://www.consumer-action.org] and [http://www.capitalone.com].
The first brochures focus on the top problem areas: “Understanding Credit” (see below), “Money Management,” “Basic Banking,” and “Going from Bad Credit to Good Credit.”
“Providing information in multiple languages enables us to reach a wider circle of people,” said McEldowney. “For many of these individuals, education is especially important since they may be dealing with not only a language barrier but also with unfamiliar systems or practices.”
Top 5 Credit Tips
From “Understanding Credit,” a Money Wi$e publication
From Consumer Action & Capital One
Check it. Review your credit report at least once a year to check for errors or fraudulent activity. The three largest credit bureaus are: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
Fix it. Contact the three credit bureaus and your lenders to correct mistakes on your credit report.
Use it. Demonstrate wise use of credit — especially when you’re establishing credit for the first time. Make purchases regularly and pay your account.
Watch it. To maintain good credit, keep your balance well under your credit limit and pay your bills on time.
Control it. Moderation is key. People with good credit only have a few loans or credit cards. Don’t max out your credit.
Money Wi$e: Materials, Training and Seminars
The materials will be available directly to consumers online at [http://www.consumer-action.org] or [http://www.capitalone.com] , or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Consumer Action Money Wi$e, 717 Market Street, Suite 310, San Francisco, CA 94103. Consumers can find information about local counseling sessions and workshops by calling Consumer Action at 415-777-9635.
Trained by Consumer Action, and equipped with materials and a training/curriculum manual, Capital One employees will begin to volunteer near the company’s headquarters in Virginia to teach financial education to the public. Capital One will give associates two days off each year for volunteering their time to the Money Wi$e program.
About Capital One
Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 40.1 million customers and $38.5 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 2001. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.
About Consumer Action
Consumer Action is a non-profit, membership-based organization founded in San Francisco in 1971. Consumer Action serves consumers nationwide by advancing consumer rights, referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies and publishing multilingual educational materials. Consumer Action also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers and compares prices on credit cards, bank accounts and long distance services.
*Survey conducted by International Communications Research
Experian, a leading provider of global information solutions, launched Quick Predict, an automated segmentation methodology that efficiently predicts household behavior. Quick Predict develops strong and accurate customer predictive models, using attitudinal and lifestyle data extrapolated from Experian’s BehaviorBank database, one of the largest repositories of consumer-supplied lifestyle data with coverage on more than 35 million households.
“Quick Predict extends the range and domain of behavioral and primary research information and makes it actionable. Because it’s completely automated, it’s a cost-effective solution that allows marketers to leap from intuitive selects to more precise segmented lists,” said Deborah Zuccarini, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Experian’s marketing solutions business unit. “Quick Predict rapidly provides predictive information about current and potential customers — down to their likeliness to buy a red widget over a blue widget or to prefer fast food over gourmet, for example.”
Marketers can use Quick Predict to understand how survey information taken from a sample of their customer base is likely to be represented universally. With survey information from a small customer sample, Quick Predict can create propensities which companies can use to predict responses. Based on lifestyles, past behaviors and product interests of those in the customer sample, Quick Predict can determine the likelihood of households across the country to behave in specific ways.
“Quick Predict allows marketers to bridge the gap between their proprietary market research and large scale communication activities,” continued Zuccarini. “Quick Predict assigns each record on our INSOURCE(SM) consumer database with propensity codes, predicting the likelihood of each individual household to behave in certain ways.”
Quick Predict customer models can also help marketers determine appropriate channel contact and customer relationship management (CRM) strategies. Quick Predict can forecast responsiveness across multiple channels, including e-mail, Web site, call center and point of sale, so marketers can determine how offers or campaigns will impact customer-channel contact strategies throughout the campaign cycle.
Experian enables organizations to find the best prospects and make fast, informed decisions to improve and personalize relationships with their customers. It does this by combining sophisticated and intelligent decision-making software and systems with some of the world’s most comprehensive databases of information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles and property. Through multi-channel delivery of its Web-based products and services, Experian enables its clients to conduct secure and profitable e-business and develop state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for communicating and building relationships with customers. Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Orange, Calif. Our 12,000 people support clients in more than 50 countries. Annual sales are approximately $1.5 billion
For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.experian.com] .
The Chief Debit Officer for MasterCard International and CEO of Maestro International said yesterday that debit card usage is expected to surpass credit within the next decade. However Ann Camarillo, noted that despite the 30%+ annual growth in volume and transactions, debit is still in the growth stage of its life cycle. A recently completed independent study for MasterCard showed that cash and checks still comprise approximately 66% of all payments. Research has shown consumer perceptions for debit cards have conventionally driven usage to primarily grocery and fuel station purchases but, consumers are planning to use debit cards for a range of different merchant categories, such as doctors’ office services where other forms of consumer payments have traditionally been the dominant choice.Details