Microsoft confirmed Monday it is making repairs to its ‘Passport’ program after a serious design flaw was discovered last week enabling hackers to steal credit card numbers. Microsoft says two million customers use the e-wallet feature of ‘Passport’. The company shut-down access to virtual wallets last week affecting wallet users at 70 e-commerce Web sites that support ‘Express Purchase’. Microsoft’s ‘Passport’ has drawn the attention of the Federal Trade Commission over privacy concerns.Details
With the introduction of its Customer Acquisition Strategy Optimization consulting service, Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. will leverage the power and market demand of its Strategy Science into a new, high-demand arena: using its market-proven scientific methodology to acquire and keep the most desirable customer relationships. CASO is available worldwide, effective today.
Since its launch last spring, Fair, Isaac’s Strategy Science — a series of methodologies, decision analytics and techniques that use empirical data to develop and guide winning business strategies — has gained immediate traction in the financial services industry. To date, nearly a half dozen leading financial institutions in the U.S. and U.K. have adopted Strategy Science to optimize credit lines in their portfolios. And beginning today, Fair, Isaac will make available its powerful Strategy Science techniques to tackle another central issue faced by lenders today: how to effectively and efficiently acquire new customers in a changing business environment.
The development of CASO represents another milestone in the worldwide rollout and broad-based application of Fair, Isaac’s Strategy Science, called the “third decision revolution” by industry thought leaders. In September, Fair, Isaac introduced Credit Line Strategy Optimization(TM) (CLSO) service — the company’s first commercial application of Strategy Science that it designed to help lenders scientifically set optimum credit lines for increased profits. CASO utilizes the same Strategy Science methodologies now in use in CLSO. “Through CASO, we provide lenders with a proven methodology to find and acquire the most desirable customers,” says Tom Grudnowski, CEO of Fair, Isaac. “This is an entirely new approach to customer acquisition and management. It’s the first to use a new breed of proprietary analytics — decision analytics — to design offers and customer prospecting strategies that are super-charged by data,” Grudnowski explains.
While CASO is a custom solution tailored to fit the specific needs and business objectives of a customer, it relies heavily on the Strategy Science techniques already developed by Fair, Isaac. As a result, customers can expect a fast turnaround and quick deployment of CASO — with the added benefits of a custom-fit that precisely meets their individual requirements. According to Grudnowski, CASO dramatically improves the customer acquisition process by allowing lenders to prioritize thousands of combinations of marketing ideas quickly and efficiently, optimize the targeting and prospecting process and assign the optimal initial credit lines to new customers.
Three Steps to Better Customer Acquisition
Fair, Isaac will take customer profitability management to the next level by applying Strategy Science techniques to three distinct aspects of the customer acquisition process.
Designing better offers — Using Fair, Isaac’s methodology for simulating new offers, a lender can test a wide range of creative marketing ideas and credit card offers at a fraction of the cost and cycle time than would be required using traditional methods. This enables lenders to identify which concepts will be most effective in attracting, and more importantly, activating new customers. Savings in reduced test marketing costs can amount to 25%, Fair, Isaac says.
Targeting the optimal offer to the best prospects — By applying a custom-built Strategy Science decision model to the customer prospecting process, lenders can consistently identify and refine offers of credit and match them to the right prospect. This includes both firm offers, which are pre-screened, as well as invitations-to-apply, which require credit approval. The result of this process is a higher response rate, better customers, and higher retention of the best customers over the long term.
Increasing the activation and utilization rate of new customers — By deploying a pre-developed Strategy Science decision model, much like CLSO, lenders will be able to achieve between 15% – 35% greater profit-per-account by scientifically determining the optimal initial credit line assignment to meet a lender’s business goals. For example, the decision model can be used to make credit line decisions that will generate the highest profit for the lender and the greatest number of activations among customers. Applying Fair, Isaac’s Strategy Science to these three aspects of the customer acquisition process will boost a lender’s market share, reduce marketing costs, increase profits from accounts, and generate higher activation rates on new offers.
The underlying technologies and methodologies for CASO have been developed by Fair, Isaac over the last three years as part of the company’s Strategy Science initiative. This year, Fair, Isaac introduced and provided its CLSO service to major U.S. lenders, including Fleet Credit Card Services, First USA and People’s Bank of Connecticut — as well as to HSBC Holdings, plc, a global financial institution based in the U.K.
About Fair, Isaac
Fair, Isaac and Company is the preeminent provider of creative analytics that unlock value for people, businesses and industries. The company’s predictive modeling, decision analysis, intelligence management and decision engine systems power more than 14 billion decisions a year. Founded in 1956, Fair, Isaac helps thousands of companies in over 60 countries acquire customers more efficiently, increase customer value, reduce risk and credit losses, lower operating expenses and enter new markets more profitably. Most leading banks and credit card issuers rely on Fair, Isaac’s analytic solutions, as do insurers, retailers, telecommunications providers and other customer-oriented companies. Through the [http://www.myfico.com] Web site, consumers use the company’s FICO(R) scores, the standard measure of credit risk, to manage their financial health.
Fair, Isaac is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:FIC) and for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2001, reported net income of $46 million on revenues of $329 million. For more information, visit [http://www.fairisaac.com].
Smart card manufacturer Gemplus International reported third quarter revenue of 226 million Euros, a 27% drop from the same quarter a year ago. Operating loss was 55.3 million Euros, compared with an operating profit of 32 million Euros for the same quarter a year ago. According to the company, the third quarter results reflect three key themes: the unfavorable impact of the continuing weak SIM market, a substantial reduction in the level of operating expenses, and encouraging mid-to-long term prospects strengthened by recent developments in both its Telecommunications and Financial Services businesses. For complete details on Gemplus’ 3Q results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
APRIVA Inc., an innovator in wireless solutions for businesses, has released the new version of its point-of-sale software.
The new version, 1.5.5r, will allow users of the APRIVA POS devices and platform greater flexibility in their daily transactions. The APRIVA POS 1.5.5r upgrade works on both the Motient (DataTAC) and Cingular (Mobitex) wireless networks, and has been certified by the major credit card processing services. The POS software was developed to work with the APRIVA magnetic card readers, which connect to the RIM Blackberry line of wireless devices, and also works with any terminal that is connected to the APRIVA POS network.
“The newest generation of the APRIVA POS gives both the operators in the field and the home offices greater flexibility and control,” said Kevin Hickey, chief executive officer and president, APRIVA Inc.
“From field service representatives repairing appliances in homes to catering services delivering on-site events, anyone that processes credit card transactions remotely can benefit from the APRIVA point-of-sale devices and network.”
New benefits and features include:
— Enhanced Web site management utility — devices can be managed from the merchant Web site to receive detailed reports from the field.
— Customized merchant setup — Web site can be used to update the devices in the field.
— Receipt management on device — customizable receipts to include personalized sayings on the top and bottom of the receipts.
— Stored sale on device — user able to receive authorization at a later time, if out of a connected area, without an offline process.
— Detailed batch reports on device — ability to view the detailed reports on the device, including card type, invoice, operator, totals and transaction types.
— Not device specific — besides the APRIVA line of POS devices, on the RIM Blackberry platforms, the APRIVA POS network can be used with any wireless terminal.
APRIVA Inc. provides a wireless solution network infrastructure, as well as the software and hardware required to develop and deploy high-performance mobile applications. Its unique and flexible offering provides an end-to-end, reliable framework for handling wireless applications for any business from anywhere at any time. APRIVA’s system is device and network agnostic, enabling it to work with virtually any device or any network, with an infrastructure that provides point-of-sale, magnetic card, barcode scanning and Smart Card capabilities to wireless devices.
APRIVA’s product offerings include: the APRIVA Point-of-Sale (POS) system, a device-independent infrastructure for securely connecting wireless terminals and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to most major card processors; the APRIVA Magcard Reader for scanning data on three-track, magnetic-stripe credit and identification cards; and the APRIVA Wireless Barcode Scanner system for automatic tracking of products, pricing and inventory. For more information on APRIVA, please visit the Web site at [http://www.apriva.com].
The 3rd Annual ‘Cards Middle East Conference & Exhibition’ is still on course for Dubai. The exhibition has been sold out two years in a row. The three-day business conference will focus on the latest developments in smart card technology and mobile commerce. The ‘Cards Middle East’ event will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Dubai, 13th – 15th May, 2002. RAM Research Group is an official sponsor of the event. For more information contact http://www.cards-worldwide.com/cardsme2002/ or mailto:email@example.com, tel: +44 20 7827 5997.Details
Hypercom Corp., the leading global supplier of electronic payment solutions, announced that it has named Douglas J. Reich to the position of vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, effective immediately.
He reports to Jonathon E. Killmer, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
Prior to joining Hypercom, Reich served as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Wavo Corp., a Phoenix-based digital media services provider, from 1996 to 2001. During his tenure at Wavo, he was responsible for strategic transactions, acquisitions, divestitures, and corporate and securities law matters.
Prior to his tenure at Wavo, Reich was a managing partner in the Denver law firm of Krys Boyle Golz Reich & Freedman.
Reich has also served as director of regulation and compliance for the Pacific Stock Exchange and spent six years with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago and Denver as a senior trial attorney. “Doug’s extensive background brings an ideal blend of legal expertise and business acumen to Hypercom,” said Killmer. “In his role as general counsel and corporate secretary, we expect that this expertise will be an invaluable asset to our long term growth and success.” Reich received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin — Madison.
About Hypercom ([http://www.hypercom.com]) Hypercom Corp. is the leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.
Hypercom’s products include secure Web-enabled transaction terminals that work seamlessly with its networking equipment and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards and traditional payment applications. The company’s widely-accepted ePOS-infocommerce(TM) (epic) framework of consumer-activated, EMV-certified, touch-screen ICE (Interactive Consumer Environment) terminals enable acquirers and merchants to decrease costs, increase revenues and improve customer retention.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Hypercom is independently acknowledged as the leading provider of point-of-sale card payment terminals worldwide. Demand for Hypercom’s terminals surpassed 1 million units last year alone. Hypercom today maintains an installed base of more than 4 million terminals in over 100 countries which conduct over 10 billion transactions annually.
Hypercom is a registered trademark of Hypercom Corp. ePOS-infocommerce and ICE are trademarks of Hypercom Corp. All other products or services mentioned in this document are trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks or registered service marks of their respective owners.
Amazon.com and Citibank Cards have teamed up to launch a private label credit card without a physical card. The ‘Amazon Credit Account’ is initially offering new, virtual cardholders three months of no payments and interest-free holiday shopping on orders over $200 placed through January 31, 2002. The 90-day free finance offer offer does not apply to purchases made from Amazon Marketplace, Auctions or zShops, or Circuit City. The interest rate is currently set at a fixed 22.90%. The credit program will reach out to customers without bank credit cards. The virtual store card program is being run by Amazon.com Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. and Citi Commerce Solutions, a division of Citibank Cards. Last week, Amazon.com began offering merchandise from Target Corp. to expand its selection to include furniture, clothes and jewelry. Seattle-based Amazon, slowly edging towards profitability, reported a third quarter pro forma net loss of $58 million compared with a loss of $89 million for 3Q/00. Third quarter revenues were $639 million.Details
Continental Airlines announced Friday the launch of an incentive program that awards companies using the Continental Airlines Universal Air Travel Plan card, points redeemable for first class upgrades and free travel. Under the new ‘Businessbonus’ program, companies receive points for tickets charged to the Continental UATP card for travel on Continental and more than 230 participating airlines and Amtrak. Companies that purchase tickets through Continental Airlines can earn up to 100 ‘Businessbonus’ points for every $1,000.00 in qualifying purchases charged for travel on the Continental UATP card. ‘Businessbonus’ points do not expire and are earned in addition to other awards program benefits such as ‘OnePass’ mileage.Details
GA-based HERO Inc. has developed technology that can layer cash rewards loyalty program features onto cards that have already been issued, on an opt-out basis. The HERO (Health Education Retirement Organization) program offers the first payment card loyalty program that offers a turnkey technology platform with no upfront fees or development costs for an issuer. The program offers cash rebates provided by a network of program merchants so that participating cardholders may accumulate funds and invest them for their own chosen savings goal . The cash rebate earned by the cardholder is deposited into a trust account for the program?s cardholders. Cardholders may choose to donate a percentage of their rebates to a charity that is registered with the card issuer. HERO says major benefits for issuers include program revenue-sharing, gaining new customers, increased account transaction volume, and cross-selling potential. HERO?s technology platform is also available to operate separate loyalty programs with customized redemption options.Details
Coinstar, DataWave Systems, and Standard Federal Bank, which recently merged with Michigan National Bank, have expanded their prepaid MasterCard program from a five-store test in the Seattle area to a 52-store pilot in three cities. In addition to Seattle, people can now purchase prepaid Standard Federal Bank-issued MasterCard cards from select Coinstar machines in and around Portland, Oregon and Raleigh, North Carolina. Consumers can purchase the cards using cash, coins, or a credit or debit card from a Coinstar machine. The company has machines deployed in nearly 9,000 locations throughout North America as well as in the United Kingdom.Details
According to the Yankee Group’s annual Technologically Advanced Family Survey, measuring consumers’ experiences and interaction with over 100 products and services, consumers continue to show a growing interest in using the Internet as a bill payment medium. Data from the 2000 TAF Survey showed that 5.1% of consumers are paying bills online, demonstrating a steady growth pattern.
The relatively low adoption rates have been due in part to poor marketing of electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) services in the past by billers such as communications service providers, ISPs, and even banks. Since then, many have refocused their efforts to drive consumer adoption, and the results are showing. For consumers showing interest in using EBPP, 28.7% stated that the convenience of eliminating check writing was the primary benefit, and 14.9% stated time-savings as their primary benefit.
“Consumers are now much more aware of EBPP than ever before, thanks to a big marketing push by service providers, banks, credit cards, and even online brokerages,” commented Paul Hughes, director of the Billing & Payment Application Strategies research and consulting practice at the Yankee Group. “Ultimately, the provider that can offer simple log-in and password access, and provide the consumer with the largest bill access point, will own them in the long term. Currently, our data shows that consumers look to their banks as the ultimate bill consolidator, but it is still early enough in the game for any of the above mentioned service providers to capture and own these high-level customers.”Details
Datacard Group provided a preview of a new high-speed card issuance system code named ‘Project Mercury’ today at CarteS 2001 in Paris. The new system is designed to meet emerging and next-generation card issuance needs of financial institutions, service bureaus and other high-volume card issuers.
The new DatacardÂ® high-speed card issuance system will deliver up to 3,000 cards per hour and offer a full range of card issuance capabilities, including smart card personalization, embossing, indent printing, topping, magnetic stripe encoding, thermal graphics printing and laser engraving.
‘For more than 30 years, Datacard has been the best-selling brand in the card issuance industry and we have been a long-term partner with the world’s leading card issuers,’ said Kent Shields, senior vice president and general manager of Datacard’s hardware division. ‘This new system will complement our 9000 and 7000 series products. These systems combined with Datacard’s smart card solutions and Syntera’ Manufacturing Efficiency System make Datacard an even more valuable partner for card issuers of all sizes.
Shields said the new high-speed system, which will be available in the fall of 2002, will help complete Datacard’s industry-leading portfolio of card personalization solutions.
‘Our intent when we started designing this new system was to anticipate card issuer needs. We considered all the challenges they will face, including issues surrounding smart cards, card security, card functionality, cost control and increasing consumer demand for highly personalized offerings,’ Shields said. ‘This system offers the power and the flexibility our customers will need as they face all of those challenges.’
‘We have designed our card issuance systems portfolio to meet a wide range of needs. We want to make sure our customers get precisely the features, the speed and the power they need for their card programs,’ Shields said. ‘In the next couple of years, many card issuers will face new challenges and they will demand advanced capabilities. By bringing this new high-speed system to market, we will expand our portfolio and be able to provide solutions for every type of program.’
The new high-speed system builds on Datacard’s successful long-term strategy of modularity and flexibility. Customers can choose features and functionality based on their needs. As their programs grow, they will be able to add new features, new modules and increased performance. ‘Datacard wants to provide our customers with real, lasting investment protection,’ Shields said. ‘We understand that every card issuer and each card program has unique needs. The flexible, modular design of this new system will give our customers the ability to buy what they need and upgrade the system as their needs evolve.’ Shields said he expects initial demand for the new high-speed system will come from financial institutions, service bureaus, telecommunication companies, healthcare card issuers and retailers. ‘But other card issuers, such as government agencies and transit providers, will be close behind. We think interest in this new system will come from a number of markets as issuers accelerate their plans to implement smart card programs. With the solid reputation of the 9000 and 7000 series card issuance systems, and the strength and reputation of the Datacard name behind it, we expect this new system will enjoy great success worldwide.’Details