Bank of America has pulled the plug on all online credit card advertising during the most critical marketing period of the year. BofA notified its Internet ad agency last week to pull all credit card ads for the rest of this year, indicating there were problems with fulfillment numbers. There are no indications that BofA plans to discontinue the acceptance of online credit card applications at their site. San Francisco-based Lot21, the online ad agency for BofA, says the issuer is planning to return to the Web, January 1. The BofA withdrawal is a boon for the top three online credit marketers NextCard, Capital One, and Providian. Capital One and Providian rank among the 25 most active on-line advertisers to the at-work Internet audience while NextCard ranks among the top 25 advertisers targeting at-home surfers. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, Web usage at-work is up 23% and at-home usage is up 25% this year. Providian averages more than one billion ad impressions per month while Capital One logs about 700 million ad impressions and NextCard about 500 million.Details
As of this morning, First USA and Gator.com will discontinue offering the ‘First USA eWallet’. Both companies informed users that they will still be able to use existing eWallets to fill in forms and store multiple accounts, but First USA will no longer provide technical support for the ‘eWallet’. In addition, users will not be able to use the ‘eWallet’ password reset function as of today. Gator.com says it plans to upgrade its technology and change their online forms. Gator.com and First USA announced the ‘eWallet’ partnership in December. CA-based Gator produces ‘Gator’ and ‘OfferCompanion’ software which streamlines the process of filling out online forms and remembering passwords and login IDs. Wells Fargo recently dropped its electronic wallet service. (CF Library 12/20/00)Details
1-800-FLOWERS.COM has become the first merchant in the ‘Flowers and Gifts’ category to go live with ‘Verified by VISA’. Beginning this fall, VISA cardholders will be able to register for ‘Verified by VISA’ through participating card-issuing banks by selecting personalized passwords that become their online “signature” for Web purchases. So far, 50 online merchants and other e-commerce service providers have agreed to integrate the special software into their payment servers, including 800.com, Ashford, CDNOW, Dell, McAfee.com, OfficeMax, Outpost.com, and target.com. In addition, Beyond.com will offer ‘Verified by VISA’ to their eStore clients. Some online retailers, including buy.com, eCongo and Tickets.com, have already implemented the program. Bank of America, First USA, Fleet, Providian, SouthTrust and SunTrust have also agreed to participate in the new program.Details
Payment Systems for Credit Unions has signed a five-year contract extension with First Data Resources for data processing services and other card portfolio management tools. First Data has provided credit and debit card processing for PSCU since 1989. PSCU serves 500 member-owned credit unions and 6 million credit and debit card accounts.Details
It was announced that Certegy Inc. of Alpharetta, GA has taken a license under the patent portfolio held by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. The license covers Certegy services including customer service provided on behalf of Certegy’s approximately six thousand U.S. bank and credit union customers in connection with their credit and debit card programs, when they are delivered through automated systems as well as the combination of automated systems and live agents, but does not extend to the sale of equipment or software. Other terms of the license were not disclosed.
The 43 United States patents held by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P., and numerous foreign equivalents, cover a wide range of interactive technology including automated forms of: customer service, securities trading, merchandising, prepaid services, telephone conferences, registration, home shopping, as well as functions involved in securing information from databases by telephone, interactive cable transactions, and various other uses of 800, 900 and local numbers. More than 20 additional patents are currently pending in this portfolio.
“This is a pioneering portfolio of patents which have great relevance to computer telephone based customer service,” said Larry Towe, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Certegy. “We are very pleased to have obtained this important coverage.”
Ronald A. Katz, chief executive of Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. added, “We are very pleased to welcome Certegy to the increasing list of companies who have purchased license rights under this portfolio.”
A large number of companies are licensed under the Katz portfolio, they include American Century, American Express, AT&T Corporation, Bank of America Corporation, Equifax Inc., Excel Communications Inc., First Data Corporation, First Union Corporation, Home Shopping Network Inc., International Business Machines (IBM), Microsoft, MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc., QVC, Inc., Sprint Corporation, Tele-Communications Inc. (now known as AT&T Broadband), The Gallup Organization, Universal Card Services Corporation, West Interactive Corporation, and WorldCom, Inc.
Mr. Katz is the named inventor on over 50 patents primarily in the fields of telecommunications and computing. He formed Telecredit Inc., the nation’s first on-line real time credit and check cashing authorization system, and was awarded a patent as co-inventor of that technology.Details
Holders of the Conoco gasoline card will soon be able to make payments online. YourAccounts.Com has been selected by Conoco to develop and implement ‘e.bill.anywhere’, a B2C EBPP solution. Houston-based Conoco has more than 500,000 customers. OTS processes more than 160 million bills and statements every month, presenting customer communications to more than 50 percent of all U.S. households.Details
Freestar Technologies and ePayLatina, S.A.
announced today that they have completed the testing process and quality
assurance requirements for the implementation of the Pay Safe Now System,
consisting of hardware and software developed to facilitate secure online
transactions via the Internet utilizing credit, debit and ATM cards (with
PIN). The tests were concluded on July 24, 2001, with the Pay Safe Now System
receiving certification by Banco Nacional de Credito, a part of the National
Financial Group (GFN), one of the major financial institutions in the
Caribbean and Latin American region.
“We are set to become the first company to enable credit, debit and ATM
card transactions over the Internet utilizing card swipe devices as a means of
payment. Our software, ETSS (Enhanced Transactional Secure Software), has been
tested and proven within the banking networks and is ready for deployment.
ETSS enables hardware devices to accept card presentment transactions and its
powerful encryption allows for credit, debit and ATM (with PIN) transactions.
It offers the ultimate security for the customer and merchant by eliminating
fraud and charge-back to the merchant and giving the customer the knowledge
that his or her information is never seen or stored by the merchant,” stated
Paul Egan, President and CEO of Freestar Technologies, Inc.
About Freestar Technologies, Inc.
Freestar Technologies, Inc.’s Enhanced Transactional Secure Software
(“ETSS”), a proprietary software package that enables consumers to consummate
secure e-commerce transactions over the Internet using credit, debit, ATM
(with PIN) or smart cards. The ETSS system integrates a consumer-side card-
swipe terminal with a back-end host-processing center. It encrypts sensitive
financial data at the consumer’s personal computer, using powerful DES
encryption and algorithms. It sends an authorization number to the e-commerce
merchant, rather than the consumer’s credit card information, to provide a
maximum level of security. The Company plans to link several large,
established smart card systems together on an ETSS-based standard to achieve
economies of scale and further market penetration for this secure e-commerce
National Processing Company a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc., announced it has completed the sale of its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services unit to Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. for $43 million cash. This transaction completes the transition that NPC began over two years ago to re-focus on its merchant processing business.
NPC’s BPO services unit generated approximately $60 million in annual revenue from processing healthcare claims, credit card applications and airline lift tickets. As part of the transaction, ACS will acquire all of NPC’s offshore operations in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Barbados and approximately 75 percent of NPC’s Mexican operations.
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) (), a Cleveland based $94 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 .Details
Citibank has joined the ranks of issuers pushing up late payment fees above the $29 level. In solicitations for its 0% intro APR ‘Platinum MasterCards’, Citibank is now charging a $35 late fee on balances of $1,000 or more. According to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com), Citibank formerly assessed a $29 late fee across-the-board. The new policy charges a $15 late fee on past due balances under $100, a $25 late fee for balances between $100 and $1,000, and a $35 fee for past due balances over $1,000. Citibank also recently boosted its punitive rates to a maximum of 24.99%. Fleet, CompuCredit, and Direct Merchants have also crossed the $29 late fee level. CompuCredit now charges a $35 late fee and a $35 over-limit fee on its lineup of ‘Aspire VISA’ cards. Direct Merchants Bank charges a $34 late fee on its new ‘Titanium MasterCard’. Last November, Fleet Credit Card Services began charging a $35 late fee on all its card products including the new ‘Fusion smart VISA’. Advanta was the first card issuer to institute $35 fees for holders of its business card products.Details
Triton Systems Inc., a wholly owned operating company of Dover Corporation and the leading manufacturer of off-premise ATMs, shipped more ATM units in the first six months of 2001 than in any comparable period in the company’s history. According to Dr. Ernest L. Burdette, president and CEO of Triton, the company’s record overall unit sales increased by 21% over last year’s levels. Sales to U.S. customers rose by 10% over the same period last year, while Canadian sales rose 7%.
“Despite a global economic slowdown, demand for Triton ATMs continued to strengthen both at home and abroad,” Dr. Burdette said. “While the industry in general is reporting flat or declining sales to American customers, Triton is experiencing double-digit growth in the domestic market, the largest single segment of our business.”
This fall, Triton will introduce two major new product lines that are expected to reinforce the company’s already burgeoning sales. Making their U.S. debut October 4-5 at Thomson Financial’s Sixth Annual ATM Conference in New Orleans and in the U.K. September 18-19 at ATMIA Europe in Hyde Park, London, the new products will be strong additions to Triton’s best-selling Mako and 9600 Series product lines. The new product lineup will include a high-end PC-based model for locations with specialized needs and future application add-on capabilities, a model for retailers with low foot traffic, and an add-on advertising option that can create entirely new revenue streams for ATM operators. These new products will be available for sale through authorized Triton distributors later this year.
Triton’s record sales figures suggest that off-premise ATMs offer retailers an effective hedge against economic downturns. When small business owners see sales on conventional products slowing, many readily turn to new ATM products and services to boost revenues and restore profits.
“The key to continuing growth in this industry lies in giving retail operators and financial institutions the technological and economic choices they need to optimize ATM profitability at their particular locations,” Dr. Burdette noted. “Both our existing products and our fall product initiatives offer operators a remarkable set of profit-enhancing alternatives they can adapt to suit their individual needs.”
About Triton Systems, Inc.
As the leading provider of cash-dispensing ATMs for off-premise locations, Triton is committed to redefining and leading the retail market for cash delivery systems. Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 55,000 installations in over 15 countries worldwide. Triton is headquartered in Long Beach, MS and is an operating company of Dover Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Corporation. For more information about Triton, please visit .Details
Logica PLC has been selected to assist the government to formulate a policy for the future use of smart cards, including the use of digital signatures and smart cards in the public and private sectors and by individual citizens. The government will publish consultation papers by the end of this year which will detail digital signatures for citizens and businesses, as well as the role smart cards will play. The British government will also establish policy working groups to address privacy concerns.Details
Hypercom Corp. announced that its board of directors has elected Daniel D. Diethelm, 38, as a director of the company, effective immediately.
His election expands the number of directors on the Hypercom board to seven, four of whom are outside directors.
“We are pleased to welcome Daniel to Hypercom’s board of directors,” said George Wallner, chairman of the board and chief strategist, Hypercom. “His extensive financial expertise will continue to add depth to our board. His experience will be well utilized as we move forward with our strategic plans to solidify our leadership position in the point-of-sale marketplace.”
Since 1998, Diethelm has served as co-manager and managing director of Sudan Funding LLC, which acts as a manager, investor and consultant primarily in turnaround situations. From January 2000 to January 2001, he was the president and chief executive officer of Aeropower Resources Inc., a Rolls-Royce model 250 gas turbine Authorized Maintenance Center and FAA repair station.
From 1991 to 2000, he served as chief executive officer of Sebec Corp., a management, investment and consulting firm. From 1984 to 1991, Diethelm served as chief operating officer and senior analyst at Gould Research Inc., an investment management software and database development company.
He was a member of the Gould board of directors from 1986 to 1991. He currently serves on the board of directors of Western International University and is president and a board member of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools.
Diethelm has been a chartered financial analyst since 1986 and obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.
About Hypercom ([www.hypercom.com])
Hypercom 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.
With headquarters 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 more than 100 countries, which conduct more than 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.