Discover Financial Services and Stored Value Systems have launched a program to enable merchants to offer gift cards branded with their logo to their customers and can be used wherever ‘Discover Card’ is accepted. Discover Business Services plans to begin marketing the program this month with a particular focus on large and mid-sized merchant accounts. Gift cards issued for use on the Discover Business Services network will also be rechargeable.Details
The Electronic Payments Network announced Tuesday that Wachovia Corporation has switched its ACH volume from the Federal Reserve Bank to EPN’s private sector ACH network for consumer and commercial payments. Wachovia made the switch Friday, October 5, 2001, and now originates and receives all of its ACH work using EPN’s nationwide network. Moving their ACH volume allows Wachovia to take advantage of high-value innovations exclusively available on EPN.
“We have been steadily improving EPN’s functionality for several years, and Wachovia and other recent conversions such as BB&T, First Union, and Mellon are taking advantage of these unique capabilities,” said George Thomas, president of EPN.
EPN is the market leader in private sector ACH and is a part of the New York Clearing House family of financial services.
“To stay competitive, banks have to add valuable new services — especially for commercial customers,” said Janet Boyst, Wachovia group executive. “Switching our ACH volume makes good business sense because we get market leading innovation.”
“EPN offers the only proven, fast and painless migration path to essential Internet functionality that is critical to banks anxious to take full advantage of e-commerce,” said Thomas. “Every day, more and more bank customers are asking for new capabilities like end-to-end straight through processing, and the proven capabilities of EPN is the best way to get there.”
Additional banks expected to transition to EPN over the next year include: Bank of America, Banc One, Comerica Inc., Key Bank, PNC Bank, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo Services Company.
Wachovia Corporation, created through the Sept. 1, 2001, merger of First Union and Wachovia with pro forma assets of $322 billion as of June 30, is a leading provider of financial services to 19 million retail and corporate customers throughout the East Coast and the nation. The company operates full-service banking offices under the First Union and Wachovia names in 11 East Coast states and Washington, D.C., and offers full-service brokerage with offices in 47 states and global services through more than 30 international offices.
Electronic Payments Network is a nationwide ACH (automated clearing house) network for domestic consumer and commercial payments. EPN’s processing membership consists of 230 commercial banks, 106 savings banks, 496 credit unions, and 53 savings and loan associations. Annually, EPN processes an average of more than $2.3 trillion dollars from commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions. The Electronic Payments Network is part of the New York Clearing House’s family of payment systems. For more information, search [http://www.epaynetwork.com] or contact Chip Savidge (NYCH) at 201-319-5478, or at Chip.Savidge@NYCH.
The Clearing House is the nation’s oldest and most innovative bank association and payments processor. Established 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 Electronic Payments Network (EPN), CHIPS (Clearing House Interbank Payments System), 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 [http://www.nych.org] or contact Chip Savidge (NYCH) at 201-319-5478, or at Chip.Savidge@NYCH.org .
Arcot Systems, Inc., a leading provider of solutions for securing e-business, today announced the availability of Arcot TransFort Merchant Solutions for the Visa Payer Authentication service.
Arcot TransFort has been recognized as fully compliant with the 3-D Secure interoperability standard by the Visa Interoperability Lab. Visa Payer Authentication is the basis for Verified by Visa, an Internet payment authentication process designed to increase consumer and merchant confidence in e-commerce by reducing fraudulent Internet transactions. The Arcot TransFort solution supports Visa Payer Authentication and provides merchants with the ability to initiate the authentication of an online Visa transaction, resulting in lower transaction costs and offering protection from fraud losses. TransFort has been adopted by over 30 merchants around the world including leading online retailers such as Ashford.com, CompUSA and McAfee.com. For more information on our merchant solution go to [www.arcot.com/merchant].
With Arcot TransFort, the merchant initiates and controls the authentication process. For cardholders who have activated Verified by Visa, the shopping process remains unchanged. At the point of purchase where the shopper has clicked the final “buy” button, cardholders are presented with a Verified by Visa window where they enter their personalized password and authenticate themselves to the Issuer. The Visa card Issuer confirms the cardholder’s identity, and the merchant is provided with real-time authentication results. “We are pleased to offer a fully compliant, out of the box solution to the hundreds of thousands of merchants that are eager to benefit from the Visa Payer Authentication service,” said Chet Silvestri, CEO and president of Arcot Systems. “With the recent announcement by Visa, the merchant motivation to participate in this program is immediate and significant, and we offer a full range of solution deployments for them — from a simple to install, pre-configured appliance to a completely customizable software developer’s kit.”
Arcot TransFort Merchant Solutions is a comprehensive suite of products compliant with the Visa 3-D Secure Interoperability standard and is designed to meet the breadth of needs for merchants worldwide regardless of size, sophistication, and e-commerce environment. Different levels of support services are available depending on a merchant’s requirements, and the Arcot solution operates on all major computer platforms and operating systems. Solutions are available in each of the following formats today, providing a wide selection of implementation options for merchants:
— TransFort Merchant Software — TransFort Merchant Software Developer’s Kit (SDK) — TransFort Merchant Solution on Server Appliance — TransFort Merchant Solution for Hosting Companies
Requiring no change to a merchant’s existing e-commerce engine or back end order processing, Arcot TransFort Merchant Solutions have been designed for easy installation and minimal impact on a merchant’s systems and business processes:
— Simple to deploy – plug and play installation
— Simple to administer – designed for virtually “hands off” operation
— Low impact – requires no new coding and no change in existing processes
About Arcot TransFort
Arcot TransFort strongly authenticates and digitally signs transactions in real-time, providing for the secure, non-repudiation of online payments. Scalable to hundreds of millions of transactions, Arcot TransFort allows companies to grow the volume and value of their online transactions and provide their customers with an added level of confidence and security in the business relationship.
Arcot TransFort is a multi-platform solution capable of authenticating transactions across Web, Virtual Private Network (VPN), and wireless environments. In addition, Arcot TransFort can comply with a variety of business rules or procedures that govern online payments and support multiple authentication methods including username/password (pass-code), physical smart cards (or “chip cards”), and the ArcotID(TM) Software Smart Card. The ArcotID is a means of strong authentication based on patented Arcot technology. It offers a similar level of protection as a physical smart card, but with the convenience of software. It protects a user’s digital credentials in a tamper-proof software container. If any attempt is made to compromise the credentials the attempt is promptly identified and the credentials are neutralized.
Arcot Systems, Inc., is the leading provider of authentication and access control solutions for securing e-business in Internet-scale, transactional and wireless environments. Only Arcot provides cost-effective, scalable, software-based solutions for strongly authenticating users and transactions and managing access for payment systems, B2B extranets, Web portals and virtual private networks. Arcot solutions meet the business need for strong transactional security while providing the customer a user-friendly experience with anytime, anywhere convenience. Leaders in financial services, healthcare, and e-commerce are using Arcot solutions to protect their customers’ privacy and reduce fraud. For more information, visit [http://www.arcot.com].
Lynk Systems, Inc., a leading electronic transaction processor, announced that Western Reserve Group, a pioneer in the ATM industry, has signed on as one of Lynk’s newest ATM distributors. Together, the companies will introduce WRG’s Vision 100 ATM to small and mid size merchants who want a reliable, low cost performer with enough functionality for couponing and on-screen advertising.
Historically, high-end ATMs have not been cost-effective for the smaller merchant with lower volume transaction locations. The Vision 100, however, is a low-cost and well-designed ATM, which uses the Hypercom ICE 6000(TM) platform. With a 6-inch color touch screen, the Vision 100 is suitable for advertising graphics and multicoupon capability. Other notable quality components include the DeLaRue Dispenser, Fujitsu Printer and the Sargent & Greenleaf Electronic Lock. All of these features and components are packaged together in an attractive, user-friendly terminal that generates additional revenue for the merchant.
“We are happy to be associated with Lynk, a company that offers cutting edge technology,” said Jim Penza, president of WRG services. “In addition, Lynk offers a variety of products and services for our ISOs to sell. For example, if a merchant is not able to support a full-service ATM, Lynk offers a point-of-banking (POB) solution via the NYCE network.”
“Lynk also offers a quick set-up time for our customers, multiple direct network connections and numerous tools to help our customers,” said Mike Stevenson, CEO of WRG. “One such tool is ATMAssist, an online reporting package that gives our clients access to the information they need to run a successful business.”
Considered a savvy and quality-driven company, WRG has been pursued by Lynk for quite some time. “We worked on this agreement for several months,” said Melanie Chewning, vice president ATM Division. “WRG is a top-notch, quality organization and we are very excited to have them on board.”
WRG, based in Willoughby, Ohio, is a full-service ATM partner that manufactures ATM equipment and software application products for the ATM industry throughout the United States and Canada, and is quickly gaining worldwide presence. The company also provides transaction processing through Western Reserve ATM Processors and financing services through Western Reserve ATM Financial.
As a pioneer in the ATM industry, WRG’s knowledgeable service center team maintains a complete repair shop with a huge parts inventory to offer service and maintenance on most ATM machines. More information about WRG Services may be found at [http://www.wrgservices.com].
Lynk is a proven leader in electronic payment, cash dispensing and e- commerce services. The company processes transactions initiated by credit and debit cards, checks, and other access cards from merchant point-of-sale terminals, ATMs and web sites. Lynk also provides related services such as the issuance of stored value cards that facilitate electronic funds distribution.
Lynk controls the entire processing sequence, including sales, merchant payment equipment, design and hosting of Internet store fronts, transaction authorization, capture, settlement and customer service. This “in-sourced” model facilitates a truly integrated single-source service that gives Lynk customers one-call support for all their processing needs. Lynk’s proprietary technology and comprehensive network connectivity offer customers of all sizes unsurpassed processing performance.
Founded in 1991, Lynk has received Visa’s Service Quality Performance Award, and has earned recognition as one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. magazine and Deloitte & Touche. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at [http://www.lynksystems.com].
ActivCard the leading provider of digital
identity management products and technology today announced general
availability of ActivCard Gold version 2.0, the second generation of its
standards-based smart card software. ActivCard was the first to deliver smart
card software compliant with the GSA Smart Access Common Identification
Interoperability specification. ActivCard Gold v2.0 is tightly integrated
with the ActivCard smart card and digital identity provisioning and issuance
solution deployed by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) for the system
being used to issue Common Access Cards (CACs) to over 4 million Department of
Defense (DOD) uniformed services personnel, civilian employees, and eligible
“The CAC program may be one of the largest and most ambitious smart card
deployments in the world, and has required the establishment of
interoperability specifications and smart card issuance technology never
before available in the market,” said Mary Dixon, director of the Department
of Defense’s Access Card Office. “Vendors, such as ActivCard, continue to
assist the Department as they deliver more and more robust
‘commercial-off-the-shelf’ solutions, while meeting our interoperability
specifications and assisting us in achieving our CAC program goals and
All CAC compliant solutions enable use of the credentials generated and
stored on the CAC cards issued by the DMDC. ActivCard Goldv2.0 offers
extended features that give DOD components, such as the Department of the
Navy, and the Space and Naval Weapons Command (SPAWAR), the ability to
securely load and manage credentials through the users workstation. The
component groups thus have the benefit of using the same secure loading
protocols and technology used by the DMDC to issue the card without returning
to the central card issuance station. ActivCard Gold v2.0 continues to offer
PKI independence, smart card hardware independence, and full support for US
Government and industry standards.
“ActivCard’s leadership in digital identity provisioning, built on our
early innovations and product development, continues apace,” said Tom Arthur,
ActivCard Senior Vice President. The company’s role in the DOD CAC program
and the selection of the ActivCard smart card and digital identity
provisioning technology by the DMDC, combined with the selection of ActivCard
by the leaders in network computing including Hewlett Packard and Sun
Microsystems for their own internal smart card deployments, has made ActivCard
the vendor of choice. ActivCard Gold v2.0 has been selected for initial
deployments within the Navy and the DMDC and continues to be evaluated by
several other organizations within DOD.
ActivCard, a leader in digital identity and electronic certification
technology, delivers core components required to enable next generation
e-Business communications and transactions. ActivCard solutions, in
conjunction with the applications support for public key-based data
confidentiality, and integrity, allow individuals and businesses to perform
secure online transactions over the Internet with the ease-of-use of an ATM
transaction. Today, more than 2 million people use ActivCard products for
secure Internet banking, Web access and remote access to corporate networks.
ActivCard has headquarters in Fremont, California, and Suresnes, France with
worldwide operations in Australia, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Singapore, the
United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
BillMax Billing Solutions, a turnkey billing and customer management system for ISPs, ASPs, and Web Hosts announce Humboldt Merchant Bank Services as their new partner for the online merchant account program that was kicked off earlier this year. This partnership offers InfoSpace’s leading Authorize.Net(TM) payment processing platform coupled with Humboldt’s turnkey merchant account signup at more competitive rates and friendlier policies for BillMax customers.
BillMax will be officially announcing the new agreements at Fall ISPCON in Las Vegas, October 9-11, 2001. Both Authorize.Net (an InfoSpace service) and Humboldt representatives will be at the BillMax booth (No. 1919) to discuss and answer questions about the program including revenue sharing opportunities. “We are excited to welcome Humboldt to this wonderful program,” said Paul Slezak, CEO of BillMax. “With Authorize.Net’s superior payment processing power joined with Humboldt’s competitive rates, friendly policies and dedicated customer service team, the merchant account program will be a seamless, comprehensive program for our customers.”
About BillMax Billing Solutions (division of The iSpark Group, Inc.)
Created in 1997, BillMax ([http://www.billmax.com]) solves ISPs, ASPs, ICPs, BSPs, Web Hosts, and Internet business’ billing challenges, leveraging them with a competitive advantage. BillMax is one of the only turnkey billing applications that offers UNIX platforms (Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD and BDSI), and 90% of the source code with a license. Customers/partners include TXU, Global One (a division of France Telecom), e-commerce support centers, inc., Ensim, PA.net, Harborside, Nationwide Internet, AmericanISP, and Internet Ventures.
About InfoSpace’s Authorize.Net(TM) Service
InfoSpace’s Authorize.Net service has been pioneering online payment processing solutions since 1996. Authorize.Net provides server-based payment solutions that enable merchants to authorize, process and manage credit card and electronic check transactions in a secure, real-time environment 24 hours a day on Internet-enabled mobile devices and personal computers. Over 120,000 merchants have signed up to process transactions using Authorize.Net.
About Humboldt Merchant Bank Services
([http://www.merchant.humboldtbank.com]) is a $500 Million Dollar Financial Institution founded in 1989. The Merchant Services division began in 1993 and is one of the fastest growing “Full Service” member providers of credit, debit, and check transactions in the United States. Humboldt Bank focuses heavily on using the Internet as a way to simplify setting-up merchant accounts via the web.
Affin Bank reported it has approved about 10,000 accounts for its new ‘Affinbank VISA/MasterCard’. The card was launched last month and has produced 30,000 applications to-date. The bank projected it will open approximately 50,000 accounts for the new card. However Affin Bank indicated its credit card business may contribute less than 10% of the bank’s annual turnover but it may produce 20% of the bank’s income within five years. The Affinbank VISA/MasterCard offers a two-year annual fee waiver for new cardholders and a three-year annual fee waiver during for current Affin Bank retail customers. The card also offers a ‘Nokia 3330’ or ‘Nokia 8250’ for an additional fee of RM399. The card’s interest rate is as low as 13% and there is a rebate program.Details
Visible Results USA Inc. today announced that its revolutionary GraphiCard ‘ loyalty card technology and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will serve as the backbone of Miller’s Rewards, a new loyalty program being launched by Miller’s Neighborhood Market.
The Norfolk, VA-based convenience store subsidiary of Miller Oil will kick-off a four-week pilot test and fine-tuning of the system by mid-September, with a rollout to all 58 of the convenience store chain’s corporate-owned stores in Virginia to follow. Miller Oil will utilize the program for convenience store and gasoline purchases.
With the patented technology, users’ cards are inserted into a smart point-of-sale terminal during each sales transaction. A cutting-edge thermo-chromic process enables the front of the card to display points accrued through the most recent purchase, along with other personalized data designed to pique consumers’ interest. Such data–which is customized for each client–can include highly targeted offers, details of special promotions and sales, advertising messages, particulars of instant-win games and more. The terminal instantly prints out customized coupons and similar incentives as transactions are completed.
A re-writeable magnetic stripe incorporated into the back of the card stores specific data about transactions as they occur. It also allows the back of the card to be re-written every time it is presented, turning it into a self-contained database that eliminates extensive, costly systems integration while encouraging repeated use and fostering customer loyalty. Support for GraphicCard ‘ technology is provided via Visible Results’ sophisticated CRM infrastructure. Point-of-sale information collected during transactions involving program members is downloaded to a Visible Results Data Center, which maintains customer databases and issues customized reports specifically for each client. Thus, clients need not employ large IT staffs in their own back offices and can efficiently target marketing offers to individual customers and generate reports needed to operate, fine-tune and constantly update the program.
Gus Miller, CEO of Miller Oil, believes the system’s uniqueness will prove instrumental to the success of Miller’s Rewards. ‘We had previously sought to develop a loyalty program in-house, but were not able to find an effective system simple enough to work in a convenience store,’ he said. ‘However, Visible Results’ proven program will allow us to set our loyalty offering apart from the pack and to build a strong brand image. Additionally, Visible Results’ CRM support and the ability to complete installation rapidly without IT integration will give us great speed-to-market.’
‘Although we have just begun to market GraphiCard ‘ in the continental United States, response to the system has already been phenomenal,’ noted Gerald Lewis, Chairman of Visible Results USA. ‘We are delighted to have Miller’s Neighborhood Market among our clients and look forward to seeing the company achieve its goals through our technology and support.’ Lewis added that GraphiCard ‘ is appropriate not only for the convenience store and petroleum sector, but also for all types of retail concerns as well as for restaurants aiming to cultivate repeat business among customers.
About Visible Results
Visible Results USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of the Auckland, New Zealand-based Visible Results Group of Companies. Since its inception in 1997, the parent company has emerged as one of the world’s leading customer relationship firms, serving a growing client base across convenience, fast food, fuels and the general retail industry. The company established Visible Results USA and a base in the US through the February 2001 acquisition of Graphicard Systems International (GSI), Overland Park, KS. The purchase included the worldwide intellectual property patents to the unique technology that underlies all Visible Results GraphiCard ‘ programs. Visible Results USA established a marketing office in New York City in May 2001, following the addition of Mr. Lewis to its team.
For further information, visit the company’s website at: [www.visibleresults.com]., or contact Visible Results USA, 230 Park Avenue, Suite 630, New York, NY 10169. Telephone is (212) 681-9159.
SmartStop, Inc., a leading provider of telecommunication solutions to the trucking industry, announced the sale of its prepaid calling card business unit to Transcommunications, Incorporated.
SmartStop marketed industry leading prepaid calling card products, like DriveLinePLUS and numerous private label cards, to professional drivers across America. “DriveLinePLUS was one of the first products of its kind and served the industry well for many years. However, competitive pressures and the well being of our customers dictated a change in strategy. Selling this product to Transcommunications is in the best interest of our customers and it will allow SmartStop to focus it attention on some exciting new products,” said Mark Evers, President and CEO of SmartStop.
“We have worked closely with SmartStop for many years. By purchasing this business, we will be able to leverage and enhance our existing capabilities. Transcommunications looks forward to working directly with this important customer base,” said Jim Coppinger, CEO of Transcommunications. The effective date of the transaction was September 30, 2001. Financial terms were not disclosed.
SmartStop serves the U.S. trucking industry by integrating telecommunication and commerce solutions, including design, implementation and management of dedicated voice and data bandwidth, PBXs, and network management. The company also offers loyalty and commerce solutions utilizing multi-application smart cards. SmartStop’s website can be found at [www.smartstop.net].
Transcommunications provides a variety of integrated communication services to the transportation industry through the use of many well-known products, such as CabCARD, PNV, TransFUND$, trailer tracking, and prepaid calling cards branded for Pilot and TA. Transcommunications has combined experience and technological expertise to provide specifically tailored businesses solutions for the transportation industry. Transcommunications’ website can be found at [www.transcard.com].
FL-based WebsiteBilling.com, Inc., last week filed a $3 million lawsuit against VISA claiming “unlawful and malicious conduct” in connection with Internet charge backs. The suit alleges that VISA willfully miscalculated the firm’s charge back ratios in order to trigger substantial penalties. The six-count lawsuit asks that over $1 million in fines levied against Website Billing be reversed immediately. Attorneys for WebsiteBillimg.com said that although VISA advertises zero liability to their consumers it saddles the online merchant with total liability for the sale. The company said its typical sale of $39.99 often ends up costing it $156.67 after the company pays a $1.68 processing fee, a $39.99 refund, a $15 charge back fee and a $100 VISA penalty fee.Details
Consumer credit logged another sluggish month in August as revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, grew a mere 2.1% during August. American consumers added only $1.2 billion to new revolving debt during the month versus $5.9 billion last August. The figures further confirm the consumer has pulled back on spending and that a full blown recession is underway. The consumer response to the September 11th events, as reflected in next month’s revolving debt data, will further confirm the depth of recession. According to preliminary figures released Friday afternoon by the Federal Reserve, revolving debt stood at $702.6 billion during August. Non-revolving debt edged up slightly to $888.3 billion. At the end of August, American consumers were $1.591 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.
REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
Aug01 Jul01 Jun01 May01 Apr01 Mar01 Feb01
%GRWTH: 2.1% 1.9 2.1 4.5 14.2 11.9 20.8
$OWED: $702.6 701.4 700.3 699.0 697.6 688.2 681.4
Jan01 Dec00 Nov00 Oct00 Sep00 Aug00 Jul00
%GRWTH: 11.6% 5.0 10.9 4.7% 7.8 12.6 6.7
$OWED: $670.3 663.4 660.6 654.8 649.3 645.1 638.2
Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 10/5/01;
For complete historical data visit www.carddata.com.
First Data reported Monday that its Payment Services business segment posted 3Q/01 revenue of $689 million, a 16% increase, and profit of $226 million, a 19% increase. Much of the boost resulted from a 20% increase in worldwide money transfer transactions via Western Union. Merchant Services, comprised primarily of the company’s merchant acquiring and TeleCheck businesses, produced 3Q/01 revenue of $543 million, an increase of 21% compared to the same period last year. Merchant acquiring volumes and transactions both grew 8% for the quarter. Card Issuing Services generated 3Q operating profits of $89 million on revenue of $384 million. The company ended the quarter with 304 million accounts on file. During the quarter, the company continued its execution of the integration plans for its acquisition of PaySys International. Emerging Payments, First Data’s eONE Global business formed last fall, reported $25 million in revenue for the third quarter. For complete details on FDC’s 3Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com])