Official Payments Corporation has signed Spink, Hughes, Clay and Davidson County in South Dakota to service agreements to enable taxpayers to pay their real estate tax obligations with credit cards over the Internet or via the telephone. OPC has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the IRS, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 900 county and municipal governments in 48 states across the United States. In 2000, OPC collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.Details
PayPal confirmed this week it has surpassed 10 million registered users in more than 35 countries. The on-line payment service is used to settle more than 1 in 4 eBay auctions, with PayPal members spending approximately $10 million a day in 200,000 transactions. PayPal Shops offers a directory of more than 18,000 on-line merchants that prefer to be paid through PayPal. Using PayPal, online shoppers can charge payments to their credit cards or transfer funds from their checking accounts without revealing account information to the Web site at which they are shopping.Details
Global Payments has certified Internet technology provider, 3Delta Systems. This suite of Web-based payment processing solutions extends the functionality of Global Payments’ purchasing card offering to include Internet processing for ‘Level III’ transactions. VA-based 3Delta Systems primary focus is to provide multi-functional payment systems to merchants doing business with corporate or government customers.Details
Unica Corporation announced that RBC Royal Bank has selected Affinium software to automate the development and execution of the bank’s targeted marketing campaigns for its Visa credit card customers in Canada. Unica is an award-winning provider of customer analytics and marketing automation solutions.
As a modular, cross-channel marketing automation solution, Affinium can execute targeted direct mail, statement insert and telemarketing campaigns. Affinium provides time and cost savings and offers greater flexibility for future business use. This allows marketers and technical staff to do their jobs faster and easier, and it frees marketers to focus on strategy and segmentation.
“Affinium met RBC Royal Bank’s requirement to support multiple platforms, including IBM’s DB2 and NCR’s Teradata databases,” said John Katsoris, senior manager, marketing science, Cards Services at RBC Royal Bank. “Unica’s background in analytics and customer references also was an important factor in the selection of Affinium.”
Unica’s Affinium required no custom programming, allowing the bank to continue using its current, proven target marketing processes. It took approximately one month for Unica and RBC Royal Bank to install Affinium and create and validate the results of two marketing campaigns.
“RBC Royal Bank is a customer-centric organization with sophisticated marketing requirements,” said Yuchun Lee, co-founder and CEO of Unica. “As a company focused on customer success, we are pleased to help the bank’s efforts to provide relevant marketing for its customers. Affinium’s strength, openness and scalability allowed us to implement the system quickly for RBC Royal Bank. We are dedicated to providing the most open and flexible marketing and analytic solution available.”
About RBC Royal Bank
RBC Royal Bank is the personal and commercial banking division of RBC Financial Group, the brand name used by Royal Bank of Canada (TSE, NYSE: RY) and its subsidiaries. Royal Bank is Canada’s largest bank as measured by market capitalization and assets, and is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. It provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services on a global basis. The company employs more than 58,000 people who serve more than 12 million personal, business and public sector customers in North America and in some 30 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.royalbank.com.
Unica, a provider of award-winning analytical CRM and marketing automation solutions, helps leading businesses implement one-to-one customer interaction strategies that communicate the right message to the right person at the right time – whatever the channel. Affinium, Unica’s modular, cross-channel marketing suite, delivers deep functionality for data mining and predictive modeling, customer interaction and campaign management, reporting, and real-time personalization. Hundreds of businesses worldwide rely on Unica’s software, services, and expertise to build profitable customer relationships and achieve marketing success. Headquartered in Lincoln, Mass., Unica is privately held with offices throughout the U.S. and a network of distribution partners in Europe, South Africa, and South America. Its customers include Lands’ End, Bank of Montreal, Fingerhut, Merck-Medco, ABN AMRO, United Parcel Service, Marriott, Scotiabank, and AOL-AAdvantage. For more information, call 781-259-5900 or visit www.unicacorp.com.Details
VISA Debit Processing Service has reached the milestone of six billion check card transactions, and should cross the seven billion level within the next two months. Within five years, VISA DPS has become the third largest issuing processor of VISA transactions in the USA and currently processes 11% of all VISA U.S.A. transaction volume. VISA DPS provides processing support for four of the top six VISA check card issuers, including Bank of America, First Union, Washington Mutual, and Bank One. VISA DPS also provides processing support for 22 of the Top 100 credit unions in the country.Details
In his opening keynote address at the University of Edinburgh’s seventh international conference on credit scoring and credit control, Fair, Isaac and Company’s chief technology architect stated unequivocally that a new revolution in decision technology is underway and will transform how the global financial services industry–and many others–make decisions on their prospects and customers now and in the future.
Speaking to an audience of 230 global business leaders and academics from around the world, Larry Rosenberger talked about a new science for creating optimized strategies using analytics–a milestone that he said is fueling the “third revolution in decision technology.”
“Fair, Isaac pioneered credit scoring in the 1960s. By the mid-seventies, we saw the first big wave of lenders use credit scoring to make better decisions. This was the first decision revolution–and it was about prediction and insight–about improving risk assessment with data and using that to measure credit quality,” said Rosenberger, widely acknowledged as a leading expert on advanced analytics and decision technology. “The second revolution was about decisions. In the mid-1980s, we created the first adaptive control systems to help our clients improve complex decision strategies empirically through experimentation–a milestone that enabled lenders to manage customers more consistently and profitably,” he said.
Today, Rosenberger said, Fair, Isaac has found what he termed “the missing link” in decision technology–the ability to design the decision strategy itself. What was missing, until now, in the decision technology paradigm was the ability to design flexible strategies guided by data rather than purely subjectively.
“The `third revolution’ in decision technology,” Rosenberger said, “will replace the guesswork in strategy design and amplify a company’s business expertise with science. A new breed of analytics–decision analytics–will change the way a company designs decision strategies, just as predictive analytics changed the way a company understood its prospects and customers,” he said.
Fair, Isaac’s Strategy Science has been in development for more than three years. The first application of the new science, Credit Line Strategy Optimization(TM) service, developed for the financial services industry, was introduced in the U.S. in June and has already been adopted by three major U.S. card issuers. Additional applications for financial services as well as other data-driven industries are expected to reach the market by the end of 2001.
Fair, Isaac: A Growing Presence on The World Stage
Rosenberger’s appearance in Edinburgh underscores Fair, Isaac’s expanding presence in Europe and the U.K.–as well as in most major international markets. Over the last 12 months, Fair, Isaac has experienced significant international growth evidenced by major contracts in the U.K. and Europe, Latin America, and Asia, as well as by a number of important deals in the U.S.
In addition to the stepped-up demand for Fair, Isaac solutions on the global stage, the U.S. continues to be the company’s flagship market with strong growth in the depth and scope of key customer relationships.
About Fair, Isaac
Fair, Isaac and Company is a global provider of customer analytics and decision technology. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way lending decisions are made. Today the company helps clients in multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships. Headquartered in San Rafael, California, the company reported revenues of $298 million for fiscal 2000.Details
Retail giant Sears Canada announced that
it has jumped on board with Canada’s national passenger rail service, VIA Rail
Canada, to offer its 9.1 million Sears Cardholders another payment option for
travel by rail while earning valuable Sears Club points.
“Sears exciting new partnership with VIA Rail offers cardholder value,”
said Danielle Bussieres, Manager, Sears Loyalty Program. “With VIA Rail,
travellers can choose to use their Sears card to purchase travel by rail for
business or pleasure, each time bringing them that much closer to reaching
their desired reward.”
“We are very happy to provide our customers with this opportunity” said
Steve Del Bosco, VIA’s Vice-President, Marketing. “Sears has an excellent
reputation and we are looking forward to developing a mutually rewarding
relationship with them”.
Sears Cardholders will earn one Sears Club point for every dollar they
spend on their Sears Card for travel by rail. Points can be redeemed for Sears
merchandise, services and travel offered at any Sears department, furniture
and appliances or outlet store, as well as through catalogue and Internet.
The Sears Card is the number one credit card in Canada with more card-
carrying customers than any other single retail, bank or specialty card issuer
in the country. More than 80 per cent of Canadian households are Sears Club
members. For more information about Sears Club and its partners, log onto
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that encompasses
117 Sears department stores, seven urban Eatons department stores and 37
furniture and appliances stores.
In addition to their Sears Club points, members who also belong to VIA
Preference will earn valuable points redeemable for future rail travel. With
close to a quarter-million members, VIA Preference is the frequent traveller
program that rewards members for recognizing the things in life that really
matter – convenience, service, and above all, quality of time.
VIA Rail operates Canada’s award-winning, national passenger rail service
coast-to-coast. Backed by a major capital investment from the federal
government, VIA is currently upgrading equipment and facilities across the
country – making it one of the safest, most convenient, best-run passenger
services in Canada. For more information about VIA and its services, go to
First American Payment Systems and Accelerated Card Company have signed a three-year credit card processing agreement. The total value of the agreement is projected at more than $1 billion in processing volume. First American provides services for more than 25,000 merchants and operates 280 ATMs nationally.Details
Independent market analyst, Datamonitor’s new report, Online Teen Payments finds that teenagers are
spending millions of dollars online across the US and Europe.
Teenage payment systems, such as prepaid plastic cards, are currently
provided by only a handful of suppliers. As such, the sector is lucrative,
but marketing and advertising to teenage consumers is likely to prove
difficult and operators should look to tie-in with larger teenage-friendly
brands. As teenage payment cards become increasingly commonplace, payment
providers should take responsibility to encourage money-management skills
among young consumers.
Datamonitor looked at teenage online spending across the US and 7 EU
countries and found that teenagers spent $483 million online in 2000.
Datamonitor’s forecasts reveal that this figure will increase to $10.6 billion
by 2005 with the development of new payment options, specifically targeted at
teenagers. Teenagers are among the most likely groups to pay on the Internet,
however, their inability to obtain credit cards and low online debit
acceptance has historically made online payment difficult.
Despite being one of the main groups of users on the Internet, many
teenagers have no way of purchasing goods online. With a low number of Web
sites accepting debit cards there is often no way a teen can independently
shop online. The primary means of payment used on the Internet, the credit
card, is not available to them. This implies that a market for an alternative
payment system targeted at teens (i.e. those who cannot apply for a credit
card) exists and that web merchants must integrate new solutions if they want
to target the teen market. Although teens can make purchases indirectly using
a parent’s credit cards, the buying experience is not the same due to the loss
of independence for the teenager.
Prepaid or stored value cards (with the former the money is stored in an
account whereas the latter stores the money on the card, like an ePurse) allow
teens to shop on the Internet securely and without getting into debt. It is
this type of product that is currently growing rapidly, both in use and the
number of competitors in the market.
Prepaid Cards Could Encourage Responsible Spending
“Payment providers must take responsibility for the product that they are
providing. In giving teens a card of any sort they are familiarizing them
with plastic. However, it is does not necessarily follow that they are
encouraging a debt ridden society. Prepaid cards reinforce the idea of using
plastic to pay for what you can afford, by only allowing transactions where
there are sufficient funds loaded onto the card. Payment providers should
encourage responsible spending behavior. Some operators are doing this
through the provision of money management information and tests on their
websites. This helps reassure parents that these products can help their
children learn about how to manage their finances,” comments Julie Cunningham,
Datamonitor financial services analyst.
An Attractive Target Market, Potentially Being Ignored by the Banks
Customer segmentation is increasingly vital as the card payment market in
general moves towards tailored solutions, providing differentiation and a
competitive advantage. Although individually teenagers have limited income,
together their income amounts to significant spending power. Combining this
with the fact that all teen income is disposable makes teens an attractive
segment for companies to target.
If banks and card issuers fail to target teenage business, other companies
providing tailored products will not only gain this business but also retain
it at later stages in the customer’s life.
“There is a need in the market for a teen payment product that allows
secure payments online. Teens want to have their independence and to shop
online. Both traditional players and new entrants have a part to play in this
market. New entrants can attract teens through the ‘cool factor,’ while
traditional players should use their established role in society as a way to
convince parents and to gain their support. If traditional players ignore
teenagers they face losing future, profitable customers and they will face an
uphill struggle against new, ‘cooler’ brands,” comments Ms. Cunningham.
Consolidation is Inevitable
Online teen payments will grow considerably in the next five years. This
is in part due to the growth of the Internet that will be seen across society.
However, growth is likely to be very different in the US compared to Europe.
US teenagers in general have much more money at their disposal than their
European counterparts. The dominance of the credit card in the US will allow
products connected to parents’ credit cards to flourish. However, Europe will
see more independent solutions emerging, with products developed by
independent companies such as Smartcreds and Splash Plastic, but also from
banks. Although the teen payment market seems large, it must be remembered
that teens have limited income and although there are possibilities to extend
this market, this will not stop consolidation occurring. As more companies
launch products aimed at this market consolidation is inevitable.
Tie-ins With Large Brands could Prove Successful
Teenage skepticism about large-scale advertising and marketing campaigns
makes them difficult to target. Marketing cannot be too over the top or
childlike, yet at the same time, the concept must be explicit enough to strike
a cord with teenagers. Teens are likely to switch as new products enter the
market and become ‘cool’ and cutting edge. One way branding can be used is by
creating links such as discounts with the large brands, for example Coca-Cola,
Nike etc. Although brand loyalty is likely to be low, the importance of a
strong, fun, cool image is vital. If something is seen as ‘cool,’ teens are
likely to pass on the word to their friends. This can be the strongest form
of marketing possible. Operators such as Splash Plastic and Visa Buxx have
found that when teens like the product, they are quick to pass on the details
to their peers.
“Teens may be hard to target but it is possible. The need for a payment
product that gives security and allows them to do something they currently
cannot do is almost enough to sell cards in itself. However, as competition
in the market increases, marketing will become more important. An offline
presence will be necessary, as will linking the products to current trends.
Care must be taken not to let the product get outdated as holding the interest
of the teen consumer is vital,” comments Ms. Cunningham.
Teenagers’ Will be Able to Use Plastic Offline
The importance of a presence in the offline environment should not be
underestimated. The majority of a person’s time is spent offline and as such
it is vital to advertise offline. With products such as Visa Buxx offering
both online and offline acceptance, this puts other companies under pressure
to provide the same. Currently, this is only true in the US, but as products
continue to be launched this will extend to other countries. With more
companies entering the market, it will be the one with the most features that
will survive. As such, offline acceptance will become a matter of course.
Online Teen Payments forms part of Datamonitor’s Cards & Payments Briefing
Service; a series of 12 monthly strategic briefings, providing in-depth market
analyses, case profiles, forecasts and action points for success.
Datamonitor plc is a premium business information company specializing in
industry analysis. We help our clients, 5000 of the world’s leading
companies, to address complex strategic issues. Through our proprietary
databases and wealth of expertise, we provide clients with unbiased expert
analysis and in-depth forecasts for six industry sectors: Automotive, Consumer
Markets, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Technology. Datamonitor
maintains its headquarters in London and has regional offices in New York,
Frankfurt, and Hong Kong.
Global Cash Access has recently signed fourteen casinos for cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing services. Among new clients: Aladdin Resort Casino in Las Vegas, Hollywood Casino in Aurora, IL, Silver Dollar Casino in Dayton, NV and Timbers V in Las Vegas. GCA is a joint venture of First Data and M&C International.Details
UniCERT Brasil, a joint operation backed by Telsul Communciations and American Bank Note Company, announced that it has become one of the first managed security service providers to receive compliance certification from the Brazilian Central Bank. As a result, UniCERT Brasil can now provide digital certificates for the Brazilian Payment System (SPB), a set of rules governing transactions between banks. These rules will apply to all of approximately 170 Brazilian banks.
UniCERT Brasil easily and successfully met the rigorous standards set forth by the Brazilian Central Bank. As a result, any Brazilian bank can now deploy digital certificates through UniCERT Brasil’s hosted certificate authority, with complete assurance that it will meet the requirements of the SPB.
The Brazilian Central Bank has two primary goals for the SPB. The first is to guarantee the authenticity of other banks through the use of digital certificates, creating a highly secure banking system. The second objective is to accelerate the payment cycle time among the member banks. Currently, banks have to wait several days before funds from other banks can clear. The secure system would allow the banks to automatically deposit funds and have those funds available immediately, as well as promptly check and approve deposits from other Brazilian banks.
UniCERT Brasil, based in Sao Paulo, provides security services for the financial and government markets based on Baltimore Technologies’ UniCERT(TM) Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system. Baltimore UniCERT is one of the world’s leading Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) systems, providing the confidentiality, authentication, integrity and non-repudiation functions necessary for conducting secure e-business.
“There is a growing need for advanced security solutions in Brazil, particularly in the financial sector,” said Celio Ribeiro, president of UniCERT Brasil. “We are deeply committed to meeting that need with superior services built on industry standards and the best PKI technology available. Baltimore Technologies’ UniCERT is clearly unmatched in PKI technology leadership. The strength of our partnership with Baltimore, combined with our superior service and support, has been substantiated by our rapid completion of the certification process with the Brazilian Central Bank.”
About UniCERT Brasil
UniCERT Brasil is a company focused on the implementation of Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs) for the electronic commerce market. UniCERT Brasil operates a Certificate Authority (CA) with technology developed by Baltimore Technologies, a leading global supplier of security solutions and worldwide leader in the PKI-based electronic security market. The services provided by UniCERT Brazil include:
–Issuing UniCERT digital certificates for integrators and suppliers of PKI Solutions
–Issuing certificates that can be integrated into the solutions developed by companies or users
–Hosting of dedicated servers for Certificate Authorities (CA) of companies or other entities
–Hosting of customers’ critical and confidential files in storage devices located in a physically safe environment
UniCERT Brasil has offices in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre.Details