VISA U.S.A. and Blue Cross of California this morning announced an agreement to enable members to pay premiums automatically with their VISA cards. Blue Cross of California and its California affiliates, with more than 5.6 million medical members in the state, is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks Inc. WellPoint serves the health care needs of over 9.8 million medical and more than 42 million specialty members nationally.Details
Nine years after the launch the highly successful ‘General Motors MasterCard’, and three years after the termination of the ‘Ford/Citibank VISA’ card, Chrysler is entering the co-branded rewards card market. This week, DaimlerChrysler is launching a suite of ‘Rewards VISA’ cards including the ‘Chrysler Rewards VISA’, ‘Jeep Rewards VISA’, and the ‘Dodge Rewards VISA’. The credit card initiative was first announced in July. Under the programs, cardholders will earn five points for each dollar spent at Chrysler dealerships, and one point for all other purchases. As a special introductory promotion, cardholders will be able to earn three points for every dollar charged at Exxon or Mobil stations. Redemption value per point is one cent. Rewards may be redeemed for a broad range of services from oil changes to alignments to discounts on new vehicle purchases. Unlike the ‘GM MasterCard’ program, there are no annual limitations on the amount of points accumulated or restrictions on the amount of redemptions that can be used on certain products. The Chrysler points will be valid for five years. Interest rates will range from prime +8% to prime +12%. A four month 3.9% intro rate will be offered. Chrysler will offer the cards on a pre-approved basis to approximately 7 million owners throughout the USA, as well as through take-ones at dealerships starting November 1st. General Motors and Household Bank launched the ‘GM MasterCard’ in September 1992. Ford and Citibank launched the Ford/Citibank VISA in early 1993 but pulled the plug on the program effective January 1, 1998. (CF Library 7/26/01)Details
Paymentech, the payment solutions company, and GoPin Inc. have joined forces to offer “card-not-present” (phone order, mail order and e-commerce) merchants an alternative new payment method, Bill Me Later. Bill Me Later is a payment solution built around the specific needs of ISP and card-not- present merchants. For decades the Bill Me Later concept has been a choice for consumers when purchasing magazine subscriptions. With this product, merchants are able to leverage their existing data to lower costs, increase sales and more effectively develop and maintain customer relationships.
The strategic partnership between Paymentech and GoPin allows for simple integration into existing payment applications for card-not-present transactions. With very little effort, merchants are able to offer Bill Me Later and reduce transaction costs over traditional payment choices.
Merchants also experience higher conversion rates with Bill Me Later. With no credit card required, shopping cart abandonment is reduced thereby increasing conversion rates and profitability. Also, Bill Me Later permits merchants to offer consumer-specific promotions during the checkout process, which can build loyalty and drive incremental sales.
“We are pleased to offer Bill Me Later to our merchants because they have the opportunity to improve their margins by saving on transaction costs while growing their business and gaining customer loyalty,” said Mark Pfau, Group Manager, Merchant Relations for Paymentech.
Bill Me Later also offers value to consumers by providing a safe payment method for card-not-present transactions. Consumers select the Bill Me Later payment solution at a merchant’s payment page for instant authorization without the input of their credit or debit account number. Consumers can make purchases at any number of card-not-present merchants and then receive one consolidated monthly bill with the option to pay in full or over time. In addition to convenience and flexibility, Bill Me Later provides consumers an extra level of security because there is no account number or plastic card that can be stolen.
“Rolling out Bill Me Later to Paymentech’s merchant base is a way to quickly give a large number of merchants and consumers access to this innovative product,” said Vincent Talbert, Vice President of Marketing, GoPin Inc.
GoPin is a “Merchant Solutions Provider” offering transactional solutions to card-not-present merchants. GoPin ([http://gopin.com] ) holds rights to the proprietary technology, information processing and patent pending payment processes used in conjunction with its first product offering; Bill Me Later, a frictionless, safe payment solution. GoPin has a strong management team led by CEO, Gary Marino. Marino’s management team has a proven track record of success in companies like Citibank and First USA/Bank One.
Dallas based Paymentech, the payment solutions company(TM), delivers secure and reliable payment services in merchant acquiring and point-of-sale transaction processing with a wide array of product functionality and support. Paymentech ([http://www.paymentech.com]) processed approximately 3.4 billion total transactions and $109 billion in bankcard sales volume in 2000. Founded in 1985, Paymentech is the nation’s premier processor and acquirer of credit card transactions.
Euronet Worldwide, Inc. announced revenues of $15.68 million for the third
quarter of 2001,
an increase of 12% over third-quarter 2000 revenues of $14.03 million.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved
by $4.8 million from negative $3.5 million in the third quarter 2000 to
positive $1.31 million for the third quarter 2001. The Company also showed
improvement in its operating results. The operating loss was reduced from $6.1
million in the third quarter 2000 to $938,000 in the third quarter 2001. Year
2000 EBITDA and operating loss amounts have been adjusted to exclude
non-recurring items of $10.8 million, consisting primarily of asset write
downs. Euronet’s third-quarter EBITDA and operating loss improved by $811,000
and $692,000, respectively, over the prior quarter.
“We are pleased with our continued improvement in EBITDA and operating results
this quarter,” said Michael J. Brown, Euronet Worldwide Chairman and CEO. “We
are solidly positioned to meet our next goal of operating profit. These
bottom-line improvements, in a traditionally soft quarter, bode very well for
Euronet in the coming quarter.”
The Network Services Division posted a strong performance with third-quarter
revenues of $11.97 million, up 25% over revenues of $9.56 million for the same
period of 2000. This revenue represents a 2% increase over second-quarter 2001
revenues of $11.79 million and is the 26th consecutive quarter of revenue
growth for this division.
The Company’s ATM, POS, debit card, switching and integrated transaction
management (ITM) software continues to be the preferred Electronic Funds
Transfer solution for the IBM AS/400 platform worldwide. The Software
Division’s revenue of $3.71 million was in line with management’s
“Euronet’s focus on controlling expenditures, combined with our growing
recurring revenue streams, will lead us to continued EBITDA and operating
results improvement,” said Kendall Coyne, Euronet Worldwide CFO.
The number of ATMs owned or operated by Euronet Worldwide increased by 15%
third-quarter 2000 from 2,571 ATMs to 2,947 ATMs at the end of this quarter.
Quarterly transactions on the network increased by 31%, from 13.8 million in
third-quarter 2000 to 18.02 million in the third quarter 2001. Euronet owns
and/or operates ATMs in Hungary, Poland, Germany, Croatia, the Czech Republic,
France, the U.K., Greece, Egypt and the U.S.
2001 Third-Quarter Highlights
The following are highlights of business developments at Euronet Worldwide
during the third quarter:
— Euronet names Daniel R. Henry as President
— Euronet benefits from interchange fee increases in Germany and Czech
— Multibank/BRE opts for Euronet ATM outsourcing
— Euronet provides POS outsourcing to Croatia’s Raiffeisenbank
— Romania’s largest bank (Banca Comerciala Romana) selects Euronet’s mobile
— Seylan Bank (Sri Lanka) is first to offer Visa Cards through Euronet’s
and Debit Card Systems
— Euronet increases signed contracts Electronic Recharge products,
clients throughout Europe
— Euronet drives ATMs for Western Island Networks in Guam
About Euronet Worldwide
Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in providing secure electronic
financial transaction solutions. The company offers financial payment
middleware, financial network gateways, outsourcing and consulting services to
financial institutions and mobile operators. These solutions enable their
customers to access personal financial information and perform secure
transactions — any time, any place. The company has processing centers
in the United States, Europe and Asia, and owns and operates the largest
independent ATM network in Europe. With corporate headquarters in Leawood,
Kansas, USA, and European headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, Euronet serves
more than 200 clients in 60 countries. Visit our web site at
MicroBilt Corporation, the premier provider of credit and decisioning access via the Internet, announced a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the stock in FIData, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of New Century Equity Holdings Corporation and a leading provider of instant online credit approval technology.
Through the acquisition, MicroBilt plans to expand its automated lending tools to institutions that wish to private label and outsource instant lending solutions.
FIData brings to MicroBilt their V4 Instant Loan Decision Solution. V4 is a server-based instant online loan approval product that allows lenders control over their entire loan process. V4 gives lenders the ability to customize rates, terms and products offered and incorporate credit scores and all underwriting rules – including custom scorecards into the decisioning engine. Borrowers can apply at the lenders web site or on site at the loan representatives’ desk. Within seconds, borrowers are approved or referred to a loan officer. More importantly, it provides lenders with immediate tools to alter decisions and credit products offered based on market risk and fluctuations, which is so critical in today’s volatile marketplace. According to FIData President, Blake Allen, “The FIData acquisition brings together companies who both understand and are dominant leaders in the decisioning and credit reporting marketplace. This experience combines high end automated decisioning tools with strong synergies in our products to lenders of all sizes across dozens of industries.”
“MicroBilt is excited to bring more sophisticated lending tools to our customers,” said Ken Hill, President of MicroBilt Corporation. “MicroBilt has taken great measures to develop an array of decisioning products and services to lenders that offer convenience and customization that fit their needs and development budgets, which in turn increases their sales pipeline and profitability overall.”
FIData, Inc. is one of the leading providers of instant online loan approval services for the financial services industry. Processing $1.1 billion in loans in 2000, this online loan engine allows participating lenders to offer their borrowers loan approval within 60 seconds or less, on a 24×365 basis. FIData’s services also streamline back-office lending functions and provide online lending capabilities to third-party lending partners such as auto dealers, call centers or retailers. The Company’s new E-Care and Lending Call Center provides borrower assistance to users of the online loan approval system, in addition to providing more traditional telephone and fax services to offline borrowers.
All of FIData’s services are branded for the client institution; FIData’s identity is invisible to the user/borrower. Presently serving more than 100 client institutions nationwide, loan application volumes topped 100,000 applications in 2000 and are continuing to grow at a rapid pace. As an Application Service Provider (ASP), FIData provides the power of its loan underwriting technology via the Internet in a secure environment, requiring no hardware or software purchases from its clients. FIData is an Austin, Texas-based Company led by executives with extensive experience with Internet technology and the financial services industry. Located at [www.fidata.com], FIData has served financial institutions since 1988. The company was a subsidiary of New Century Equity Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: NCEH), a holding company focused on high-growth technology-based companies and investments and is a financial investor in MicroBilt.
MicroBilt, a division of Bristol Investments, Ltd., is the North American leader in credit bureau data access and retrieval, providing credit solutions to the Financial, Rental or Leasing, Health Care, Insurance, Law Enforcement, Education and Utilities Industries. MicroBilt is certified through and provides interfaces with the three consumer bureaus, Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Experian (London Stock Exchange: GUS) and Trans Union and the two commercial bureaus, Dun & Bradstreet and Experian Business. Bureau data is available via dedicated terminals, dial-up software, Internet website access ([www.creditcommander.com]), or through an integrated custom interface utilizing their Software Developers Kit. Private company information along with knowledge-based analytical tools and information services is available through MicroBilt’s recent acquisition, Integra Information, Inc. The company also enables web sites to enhance their content offerings by delivering a CreditCommander.com and PrivateCo.com co-branded site to their established online communities. MicroBilt services over 30,000 customers throughout the United States and Canada. Formerly a First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC) subsidiary, MicroBilt Corporation, maintains offices in Georgia and New Jersey. For more information, contact MicroBilt Corporation, 1640 Airport Road, Suite 115, Kennesaw, GA 30144. Telephone: 1-800-884-4747. Or visit their website at [http://www.microbilt.com].
Coles Myer Ltd has launched a new private label credit card. The new ‘Coles
Myer Card’ will replace more than 1.7 million existing Myer, Grace Bros,
and Kmart private label credit cards now in force in Australia. The card is
being issued for Coles Mayer by GE Financial.
Gasper Corporation, a leading provider of self-service terminal management software, located in Dayton, Ohio and e-ClassicSystems, Inc., a premier provider of ATM business management software, located in Norwood, Massachusetts today jointly announced a new partnership. Under the agreement, e-ClassicSystems’ popular ATM Manager Pro solution will be integrated with the Gasper product set. This cooperative effort will be jointly marketed to financial institutions worldwide.
“We are pleased to partner with a dynamic and innovative company like e-ClassicSystems,” said David Gasper, President and CEO of Gasper Corporation. “Our customers will benefit from ATM Manager Pro’s ability to manage assets, analyze transactions, and report on profitability for each ATM in the network. The partnership with e-ClassicSystems gives our customers another set of excellent tools to improve the performance and profitability of their ATM networks.”
The complementary product lines will permit ATM deployers to manage their networks more efficiently through the consolidation of terminal information and the automation of tedious, but vital ATM business management tasks. This centralized and integrated approach enables financial institutions to manage every aspect of their ATM operation from one integrated system.
“The integration of our already successful ATM Manager Pro product with a proven winner like Gasper will create tremendous efficiencies and advantages for every financial institution,” says Thomas F. Meurer, President of e-ClassicSystems. “By combining the comprehensive business management tools of ATM Manager Pro with Gasper’s industry-leading network management solution, our present and future customers will experience a level of automation, simplification and consolidation of data previously unavailable.”
Among the ATM Manager Pro capabilities that will initially be integrated into Gasper’s product set are a detailed asset management system, transaction analysis capabilities, and automated calculation of income, expense, and profitability for individual ATMs and groups of ATMs. Gasper Manager provides self-service management systems that use automation to increase availability and reduce costs associated with help desks and servicing. Together these products will integrate to create a complete management system for ATMs.
About Gasper Corporation
Gasper Corporation, the world’s leading provider of Self-service Terminal (SST) management software, offers comprehensive solutions that are specifically tailored to solve SST management problems. The company’s solutions manage the entire SST support process to maximize SST availability, profitability and customer satisfaction for SST networks worldwide. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the company’s solutions are used to manage more than 170,000 SSTs worldwide. Visit Gasper on the worldwide web at [http://www.gasper-corp.com].
About e-ClassicSystems, Inc.
e-ClassicSystems, Inc., based in Norwood, Massachusetts, is a premier provider of software solutions to organizations that deploy or manage ATMs. Its product, ATM Manager Pro, is a first-of-its-kind solution for complete ATM business management. ATM Manager Pro databases are managing the operations of more than 30,000 ATMs in the United States and Canada. The product suite offers a five integrated modules addressing all facets of ATM management. ATM Manager Pro centralizes all terminal-related data including asset information and configuration, transactions, profitability, cash, service and more. e-ClassicSystems’ mission is to deliver best-of-breed software solutions to help financial institutions and ISOs manage the operations and accounting of their ATM networks. For more information, visit [http://www.eclassicsystems.com].
National Processing Company announced Friday that its Board of Directors has elected Mark D. Pyke, 41, Chief Operating Officer.
“Mark has built a strong record of accomplishment in a variety of positions at NPC, dating back to 1996 when he joined the company,” stated Thomas A. Wimsett, president and chief executive officer of NPC. “Over the past two years, Mark has done a tremendous job as Executive Vice President and General Manager of our Merchant Services business. Given that merchant processing now represents 95 percent of our revenues, promoting Mark to Chief Operating Officer was a natural evolution in our management structure.”
Pyke will continue to have responsibility for all merchant-related sales and operational functions. Prior to joining NPC, Pyke spent four years with NaBANCO, a merchant card-processing subsidiary of First Data Corporation. Previously, he was with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Corporate Investments) and General Electric Capitol Corporation (Commercial Financing). Pyke graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting, and the University of Michigan with an MBA in finance and international business.
About National Processing, Inc.
National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 86 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ([http://www.nationalcity.com]), a Cleveland based $96 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 600,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net].
SchlumbergerSema announced landmark FIPS 140-1 Level 2 certification for its Cyberflex Access 32K smart card. The SchlumbergerSema card is the first card of its kind to receive this certification by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), and is the only available card that fully meets the stringent Department of Defense (DoD) Common Access Card (CAC) specifications for Java-based smart cards with cryptographic applications. This new certification closely follows the recent Level 3 Open Platform certification from Visa for the SchlumbergerSema Cyberflex Palmera Protect smart card, which shares the same core technology. The card exceeds FIPS 140-1 Level 2 requirements in many specifications where it is FIPS140-1 Level 3 compliant.
The DoD will initially utilize 600,000 Cyberflex Access smart cards, which are part of a contract awarded to Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) as part of the Defense Manpower Data Center’s (DMDC) CAC program, which is being rolled out through 900 issuing sites worldwide in 2001.
“Since smart cards are the cornerstone of our DMDC CAC program, we are extremely excited to have a card that fully meets the strict standards and requirements for NIST certification, as well as the DoD’s own specification,” said Mary Dixon, director, Access Card Office, DoD. “The CAC program specification, which combines the standards-based open Java(TM) platform and FIPS 140-1 Level 2 certification, is designed to cost-effectively provide the DoD with the highest possible level of security, as well as the flexibility to easily program additional applications as needed.”
The DoD will use the highly secure, robust Cyberflex Access smart cards for physical identification, building access and network access in a multi-tiered program. Incorporating public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital signature technology, the FIPS 140-1 Level 2 certification is the minimal required level of security for all DoD and other government applications involving smart cards used for authentication and identification. Since the cards are built on a simple-to-program, multiple application Java-based platform and have the largest free EEPROM memory space available, the DoD can easily add new applications to the card whenever additional services are needed. The SchlumbergerSema Cyberflex Access smart card is part of the company’s range of highly secure, Java-based smart cards for physical and logical access, e-transactions and other applications. Cards are just one of the many components in the company’s portfolio of smart card-based total solutions for government agencies, mobile communication operators, banks/financial institutions, corporations and other types of businesses. The total SchlumbergerSema smart card-based offering includes cards, readers, terminals, software, servers, application developments, consulting, system integration and other services.
SchlumbergerSema is a leading information technology services company providing consulting, systems integration, managed services, business continuity systems, products and IP network security solutions serving the telecommunications, utility, finance, transport, oil and gas, and public sector markets. With more than 30,000 employees in 130 countries, SchlumbergerSema is one of two business segments of Schlumberger Limited, a global technology services company. For more information about SchlumbergerSema, visit [http://www.slb.com].
EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy, implementation and hosting for clients managing the business and technology complexities of the digital economy. EDS brings together the world’s best technologies to address critical client business imperatives. It helps clients eliminate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their customers’ trust and continuously seek improvement. EDS, with its management consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world’s leading companies and governments in 55 countries. EDS reported revenues of $19.2 billion in 2000. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:EDS) and the London Stock Exchange. Learn more at [http://www.eds.com].
Euronet Worldwide, Inc., a
leading provider of secure financial transaction solutions, today announced an agreement under which
Euronet will offer Ceska Sporitelna (CS) a.s., the largest bank in the Czech Republic, its Electronic
Recharge service for all three mobile operators in the Czech Republic. The three Czech mobile operators
represent over 5 million prepaid users.
Euronet’s Electronic Recharge enables CS’s cardholders and other Czech cardholders to automatically add
minutes to their GSM prepaid mobile phone accounts through two electronic touchpoints: directly from their
GSM phones or from any of CS’s network of more than 900 ATMs. Electronic Recharge offers added speed and
convenience to CS’s cardholders who purchase prepaid airtime for their GSM phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week. Euronet Electronic Recharge offers the most advanced and sophisticated methods of prepayment for
mobile phone recharging in the world.
“We chose Euronet’s Recharge product because the transaction servicing creates a new revenue stream for
us, without requiring any capital investment,” said Marie Hesnaurova, Director of Business Department of
Ceska Sporitelna a.s. “Our cardholders will enjoy the convenience with which they can increase their
prepaid phone minutes, and our company will benefit from providing additional customer services.”
CS, who serves 4 million customers, is the largest financial institution the Czech Republic offering
Euronet Electronic Recharge services for prepaid subscribers. Euronet ATM Recharge is already available at
Euronet-operated ATMs in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Croatia for customers of ERA GSM, Pannon
GSM, EuroTel and VIPnet, respectively.
“Ceska Sporitelna proves it is a banking leader by adopting the most profitable emerging financial
technology-prepaid airtime recharge services,” said Michael J. Brown, Chairman and CEO of Euronet
Worldwide, Inc. “Last year, the Czech Republic had 4 million mobile phone users, and three out of four of
them were prepaid customers. The trend continues to grow. This agreement confirms Euronet’s position as a
leading provider of prepaid services in the Czech market and throughout Europe. By partnering with
Euronet, the bank can leverage its huge investment of ATM infrastructure into incremental revenue
production and better customer service.”
About Euronet Worldwide, Inc.
Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in providing secure electronic financial transaction solutions.
The company offers financial payment middleware, financial network gateways, outsourcing and consulting
services to financial institutions and mobile operators. These solutions enable their customers to access
personal financial information and perform secure financial transactions — any time, any place. The
company has processing centers located in the United States, Europe and Asia, and owns and operates the
largest independent ATM network in Europe. Visit our website at www.euronetworldwide.com.
About Ceska Sporitelna a.s.
>>According to a number of clients, the bank is the largest financial house in the Czech Republic. It
became a member of the strong Central European financial group of Erste Bank der oesterrichischen
Sparkassen in 2000. Ceska Sporitelna has been undergoing a complex and demanding transformation since July
2000 that will turn it into a modern, client oriented financial house with a broad scale of services and
The bank is primarily focused on retail clients, on small and medium size enterprises and on
municipalities. Financing large corporate also plays an important role in the bank’s businesses. Ceska
Sporitelna reported 4 million clients at the end of 2000, offering them a large scale of services and
products to cover all needs of their financial life; Ceska Sporitelna issued more than 2 million debit
cards, administrates networks of over 700 branches and over 900 ATMs.
The PNC Bank USA Flag Check Card, with its colorful depiction of the stars and stripes, was announced Thursday as part of ongoing disaster relief efforts by The PNC Financial Services Group . Customers may obtain the card for a $5 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Under the theme, “Carry a Part of America with You,” PNC customers may come to any branch to get the check card or they can call 1-877-BANK-PNC or visit pncbank.com. The check card may be used with no transaction fees at more than 3,200 PNC Bank ATMs and to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. In addition, $1 from every order of the bank’s “Pride in America” flag checks will be donated by the check printer Clarke American to the United Way’s September 11th Relief Fund.Details
Catuity, Inc. announced that it has entered into a multi-faceted development and cross-licensing contract with Visa U.S.A. Under the agreement Catuity will undertake new development work on its loyalty system, provide Visa with on-going technical support and provide a license to Visa U.S.A. for its suite of loyalty software and technology. Catuity will also receive from Visa a license to the new Visa technology developed under this agreement, which it will market to Visa member banks and merchants. The contract provides current revenue to Catuity of over $4 million and could provide significant additional value to Catuity in the coming years.Details