A tiny Kirkland, WA-based company has big plans to launch a secured credit card for foreign seamen. Saratoga International Holdings says it plans to launch the new credit card next month within the cruise line industry. The target market is foreign seamen who work for a foreign flag ship, cruise ship or freighter that regularly calls on a U.S. port. Typically these seamen send funds home utilizing wire transfer. Saratoga says its card will provide lower money transfer costs. For example, a $1,000 transfer to Manila will cost Saratoga cardholders a fee of $1.50 versus $66.00 charged by the major international money transfer services. Saratoga, which trades under the name ‘Fortune Credit and Insurance Services’, also announced yesterday it has hired over 200 commissioned sales representatives for the national roll out of the company’s products and services. The company primarily sells enhanced insurance products.Details
ATG, provider of applications and an e-business software platform for e-commerce, relationship management, and portals, announced a global reseller agreement with ClearCommerce Corp., the leading provider of transaction processing and fraud protection software for e-commerce. Under this agreement, ATG and ClearCommerce will deliver a solution that extends ATG Dynamo’s personalization, scenario, portal and wireless commerce capabilities to complex back-end payment systems.
This reseller agreement significantly extends ATG’s existing relationship with ClearCommerce. The new combination of ATG Dynamo and the ClearCommerce Engine offers businesses a platform for building personalized e-commerce applications with a powerful and secure transaction-processing infrastructure. This solution will make customer implementations faster and more flexible, with stronger Enterprise Application Integration and B2B support for internal and trading partner systems.
“Enterprise businesses are looking to reduce the number of vendors they have to buy from to obtain an end-to-end solution. Also, we’re seeing a significant migration by enterprise businesses away from transaction-priced payment solutions to an in-house software solution. They expect enterprise class performance, out-of-the-box integration, world-class support, data control and fraud protection,” said Rob Lynch, president and CEO of ClearCommerce. “By offering the ClearCommerce Engine with the ATG Dynamo Suite, companies can now get a total end-to-end software solution and support from one place that offers a better ROI and control.”
“Integrating the ClearCommerce Engine into a Dynamo-driven Web site will allow companies to create an e-commerce environment that provides their customers with a highly personalized buying experience supported by efficient back-end transaction processing and fraud protection,” said Ian Dwyer, Vice President of Global Alliance Sales for ATG. “This relationship fits with ATG’s commerce strategy to deliver applications that address critical commerce needs.”
About ClearCommerce Corp.
Austin, Texas-based ClearCommerce is a provider of e-commerce transaction software and services for enterprises and Commerce Service Providers, including Apple Computer, Chase Merchant Services, PETsMART.com and EDS. ClearCommerce provides transaction management technology directly and indirectly through Commerce Service Providers for more than 40,000 merchants worldwide. Features of ClearCommerce software include real-time credit card processing and Internet fraud protection, as well as online reports, storefront integration, back-end integration and shipping/tax calculations. For more information, please visit www.clearcommerce.com
ATG(R) (Art Technology Group, Inc.) provides an e-business software platform for e-commerce, relationship management, and portals. Customers around the globe rely on ATG for the frontline applications that help build and manage mutually beneficial relationships with customers, partners, and employees. Deployed on the industry’s most popular application servers, including the ATG Dynamo Application Server, ATG’s integrated suite of Java(TM) applications is ideal for large-scale, rapidly-evolving, and customized Web interactions. ATG and its network of more than 300 committed technology and solution partners deliver dedicated services for client strategy, implementation and support. Together, ATG and its global alliance network provide the e-commerce and relationship management capabilities that generate loyalty, drive sales, and empower the world’s most recognized companies to realize the full potential of their online initiatives.
Today, ATG has delivered e-business solutions to more than 770 companies worldwide including 3M, Abbott Laboratories, Aetna Services, Inc., Alcatel, American Airlines, AT&T, Barclays Global Investors, BMG Direct, Eastman Kodak, Ford Motor Credit, HSBC, J. Crew, Sun Microsystems, Walgreen Company, and WellsFargo. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with additional locations throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information about ATG, please visit our Web site at [www.atg.com].
@pos reported total revenues of $3.3 million for the quarter ending June 30, a 40% increase from the same period in the previous fiscal year. Gross profit for the latest fiscal quarter was $2.5 million, an increase of $1.4 million when compared to gross profit in the same period last year. For complete details on @pos latest quarterly results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
The co-branding relationship between Chase and Continental Airlines moved to a new plateau this week with the introduction of ‘the World MasterCard’ and ‘VISA Signature’ editions. Both cards offer top level concierge services plus the advantage of a no pre-set spending limit with the option to revolve a portion of the spending. Under the ‘World MasterCard’ and ‘VISA Signature’ programs, cardholders earn one ‘OnePass’ mile for every dollar spent and double miles for Continental Airlines ticket purchases. Existing Continental Airlines ‘Platinum MasterCard’ and ‘Platinum VISA’ customers can upgrade to the premium product. Charter member enrollees in 2001 will pay an annual fee of $65. Both cards carry a 7.9% six-month intro APR followed by a prime +9.4% interest rate. Chase and Continental also offer the first co-branded debit card air mileage card.The Chase/Continental/MasterCard-branded debit cards were introduced in February 1999. Continental Airlines is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering more than 2,200 departures daily to 133 domestic and 92 international destinations.Details
TEMENOS, a global vendor of integrated banking software that supports
international banking, announced Thursday it has appointed Mr. Jean Krief
as Director of Sales for Southern Europe. Jean will be based in TEMENOS’
Paris office and will work closely with all sales operations in this region.
Jean has joined TEMENOS from Bull Worldwide Information Systems, where he
was Vice President for Financial Systems. Prior to that he held senior
positions for NCR and AT&T and worked in France and the United Kingdom. In
these roles he developed and implemented sales and marketing strategies for
the financial services sector, including traditional banking and
e-business, and devised and implemented consulting-led sales and key
This important appointment strengthens TEMENOS’ already firm hold on the
International banking solutions market. It brings the number of staff
world-wide to well over twelve hundred employees and underlines the TEMENOS
commitment to always employ staff of the highest quality..
As George Koukis, Chairman and CEO of TEMENOS says, “We are delighted that
someone with Jean’s extensive experience in financial services has agreed
to join our team. His track record of helping customers utilize technology
to solve business problems will be a great asset to TEMENOS and our
clients. He will be an important factor in increasing our sales in this
TEMENOS is a global leader in providing financial institutions with
integrated banking systems that increase productivity, profitability, and
allow them to respond to changing market conditions. The company’s
solutions are utilised in a variety of segments including retail and
wholesale banking as well as for treasury and accounting functions. TEMENOS
has 40 offices in 28 countries and has installed over 400 systems since its
founding in 1993. The company had revenues in the twelve months ended June
30, 2001 of $125.2 Million. In June, 2001 TEMENOS became a public company,
listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (TEMN).
NCR Corporation remains the global market leader in shipments of retail point-of-sale stationary bar code scanners, according to the latest report from marketing research firm Venture Development Corporation. The VDC study shows NCR as number one, with a 37-percent share of worldwide shipments during 2000, increasing from 31 percent in 1999.
NCR expanded its lead in every geographic region defined by VDC. “We’re particularly pleased with NCR’s strong showing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as our commanding 47-percent share of shipments in North America,” said Pierre Abboud, vice president and general manager of scanners for NCR’s Retail Solutions Division. “Our European growth was paced by sales of our bi-optic scanners, which include the NCR 7872 – the world’s thinnest bi-optic scanner, offering high-performance scanning within retailers’ ergonomic and budgetary constraints.”
Ever since NCR installed the first bar code scanner in a supermarket in 1974, retailers around the world have turned to NCR scanners for their store automation needs. NCR’s best selling bi-optic scanners — which also can read the new Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) bar codes — lead the industry in their ability to read bar codes on the first pass, improving checkout efficiency and customer satisfaction.
“Scanners have become extremely reliable and easy to use,” Abboud said. “Even consumers are ‘getting in the act.’ For example, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in sales of NCR self-checkout systems, which incorporate our bi-optic scanner/scale.”
About Venture Development Corporation
Venture Development Corporation, a technology market research and strategy firm, was founded in 1971. Over the years, VDC has developed and fine-tuned a unique and highly successful methodology for forecasting and analyzing highly dynamic technology markets. VDC has extensive experience in providing multi- client and proprietary analysis in the AIDC market. VDC also offers in-depth market research and custom strategic planning consulting services in the areas of industrial measurement and control, factory automation, communications, and electronic components, as well as retail automation, office equipment, and consumer electronics. To learn more about VDC, visit .
About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include the Teradata(R) database and analytical applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) and demand chain management, store automation systems and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long- established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 33,300 in more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at .Details
Smart payment card issuance is steaming ahead with an expected 14 million VISA and American Express smart cards to be in use by year’s end nationwide. The infrastructure to harness the power of the card’s chip for payment within the USA is also beginning to build. Yesterday VISA, Bank of America and Vital Processing Services teamed to provide smart card acceptance services at two POS merchant locations. Although a baby step in building merchant acceptance, momentum will quickly build during the fourth quarter and the first half of next year, as Target develops its ‘smart VISA’ program. Based on the latest industry intelligence, slightly more than seven million AmEx ‘Blue’ cards have been issued since the card’s launch two years ago. VISA says it expects about seven million ‘smart VISA’ cards to be issued by year’s end. Providian, the biggest cheerleader of the ‘smart VISA’ card, broke through the one million card level in June, and intends to migrate nearly all its 17 million accounts to smart cards. Combined, Fleet and First USA have issued less than one million ‘smart VISA’ cards to-date. Yesterday’s VISA/BofA/Vital announcement involves smart card acceptance at the employee cafeterias located within VISA’s offices in Foster City, CA. and Vital’s in Tempe, AZ. Vital is the first U.S. merchant payment processor to be ready to process ‘smart VISA’ transactions and has developed a terminal application to enable BofA merchants to accept smart cards at the POS. Vital will authorize, capture and clear the chip-based merchant transactions with Bank of America Merchant Services Group providing transaction acquiring. Hypercom’s smart card enabled touch-screen ‘ICE’ card payment terminals will process the VISA and Vital chip-based transactions. (CF Library 9/9/99;4/26/01;6/20/01;6/29/01)Details
At mid-year, bank credit card charge volume grew at an annual rate of 14%. At year end 2000, U.S. charge volume increased 13.2% over the previous year. The steady growth in card spending adds further confusion to the direction of consumer spending and its effect on the overall economy. Card volume data analysis are generally skewed by the inclusion of business card usage, shifting of cash/check payments to cards, and the continual widening of general acceptance. According to data collected by CardData ([www.carddata.com]), MBNA posted a 34%+ increase in volume this year while Wachovia and People’s experienced declines.
YTD VOLUME FOR ISSUERS WITH $1 BILLION+ RECEIVABLES
(Jan-Jun 2001; $ billions)
ISSUER 2Q/00 2Q/01 CHNG
1. Citibank $90.7 $106.8 +17.8%
2. MBNA $49.9 $ 67.0 +34.3%
3. Discover $45.4 $ 47.9 + 4.8%
4. Chase $27.3 $ 33.9 +24.2%
5. AmEx $106.4 $114.4 + 7.5%
6. BofA $ 25.3 $ 29.4 +16.2%
7. Household $ 15.7 $ 16.6 + 5.7%
8. Fleet $ 10.0 $ 9.8 – 2.0%
9. Wachovia $ 4.7 $ 4.4 – 6.4%
10. Wells Fargo $ 4.1 $ 5.4 +31.7%
11. USAA FSB $ 5.3 $ 5.6 + 5.7%
12. Frst Natl NE $ 2.3 $ 2.9 +26.1%
13. People’s $ 3.0 $ 2.4 -20.0%
14. Natl City $ 2.1 $ 2.2 + 4.8%
TOTAL $392.2 $448.7 +14.4%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Official Payments Corp announced this morning it has entered the new business of accepting court-ordered child support payments by credit card over the Internet or by telephone. OPC, the nation’s leading provider of tax payment options via credit cards, signed a service agreement with Monterey County, CA to begin providing child support payment options next month.There are over 200,000 child support payments made annually to the Monterey County Department of Child Support Services. OPC has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 900 county and municipal governments in 48 states across the United States. Last year, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments. The company captured 87% of all of the $711 million of taxes paid to the IRS by credit card during the April tax season. OPC’s only direct competitor is PhoneCharge. OPC accepts the American Express Card, MasterCard and the Discover Card for all payments. However the VISA card may only be used municipal and local payments, and not IRS payments. OPC charges cardholders a fee of approximately 2.5% to process transactions. (CF Library 7/26/01)Details
PayStar Corporation, the nation’s leader in providing content based Internet kiosks, cashless ATM devices, prepaid telecom services and wireless banking services and iCatcher Network, Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland, a kiosk software solutions provider for the retail sector, have agreed to work together in developing certain modular applications to PayStar’s “Gold Sprocket(TM)” Internet kiosk software, which is already regarded as one of the most robust solutions in the pay-per-use space. This announcement comes at the heels of PayStar’s decision to purchase iCatcher’s nearly 200 Internet kiosks, adding approximately $2,000,000 in annual revenue for PayStar.
“We are excited about the possibility of adding revenue generating applications for PayStar’s Consumer Services division, the largest network of Internet kiosks in the world,” announced Pat Kelly, Co-Founder and Director of iCatcher Network, Inc. “This relationship will prove iCatcher’s strength in developing modular Internet kiosk software applications that can reside on top of existing platforms, a key to expanding the market for us and our partner companies,” added John Shin, who joined the PayStar Consumer Services team as Vice President and will remain on iCatcher Network’s Board.
iCatcher, which operated free to use Internet kiosks located in high profile locations prior to the sale of its kiosks to PayStar, now focuses on providing software solutions for retailers and media companies that have incorporated kiosks as a public utility in their overall marketing and cost-cutting strategies.
PayStar CEO, William D. Yotty stated, “One of the underlying reasons we decided to accelerate our efforts in purchasing iCatcher’s Internet kiosk assets was for the strategic purpose of gaining access to iCatcher’s talented team of engineers as we strive to stay two steps ahead of our competition.”
PayStar Corporation, a premier global distributor of telephony and financial services, provides its customers with an array of enabling devices. PayStar is comprised of three fully integrated divisions: Commercial Telephony Switch Services, Consumer Internet and Telephony Products including prepaid cards, and Consumer Services providing service and maintenance of Cashless ATMs (CTMs), payphones and Internet enabled kiosks. PayStar is the location services provider (LSP) to retail merchants and is considered a “carriers carrier” for wholesale telecom services worldwide. Success is driven by internal sales and mergers and acquisitions. PayStar’s global strategy centers on expanding its network of thousands of merchant locations that utilize its enabling devices.
About iCatcher Network
iCatcher’s patent-pending technology delivers web-based content, services and applications to a broad range of customer-activated devices including not only kiosks, but also managed PCs and ATMs. Retailers, financial institutions, and other businesses looking to maximize their investments in e-commerce and customer relationship management programs to bring these critical assets closer to their target audience through the storefront, branch office or other public spaces.Details
GiftCertificates.com, the leading provider of gift certificates and related services for corporate clients and consumers, recently announced the appointment of four new board members, including Robert J. Mylod as the chairman of the board. In addition, GiftCertificates.com Chief Executive Officer Michael Ahern, William R. Berkley, Jr., and Michael Gamzon joined current board members William Ackman, Richard Marcus, and Paul Morrison.
Mylod is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Michigan National Corporation, a Michigan-based bank holding company. Previously, he served as president and chief operating officer of the Federal National Mortgage Association, president of Advance Mortgage Corporation, and vice president of Citicorp, now Citigroup. Mylod currently serves on the board of directors of eMediaMillworks and Technology Integration Group Services, Inc., and is a former board member of Visa. He is also a trustee of Franciscan University. Mylod is a graduate of St. John’s University and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.
“GiftCertificates.com is a great company with a terrific business model, and I am delighted to be a part of this board,” Mylod said. “I look forward to working with Michael Ahern and his outstanding team.”
Ahern has been chief executive officer of GiftCertificates.com since October 2000. Previously, he served as the company’s chief operating officer. Ahern co-founded and served as president and chief executive officer of GiftSpot.com, which was acquired by GiftCertificates.com in May 2000. From June 1993 to April 1999, Ahern held various management positions at Microsoft Corporation, most recently serving in an executive position as group product manager for Microsoft Project. Ahern holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/computer science from Purdue University.
“We’re excited about the caliber of our board members and the depth of their experience,” Ahern said. “This group will work closely with our management team to continue to build on our past achievements.”
Berkley is president of Berkley International, LLC, and vice president of W.R. Berkley Corporation, a holding company, which he joined in September 1997. Previously, he was an analyst at Merrill Lynch. Berkley is also the director of five W.R. Berkley subsidiaries and serves as an officer or director for several other companies, including Associated Community Bancorp, Inc., Interlaken Capital, Master Protection Holding, Inc., Middlesex Bank and Trust Company, Strategic Distribution, Inc., and Westport National Bank. Berkley holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
Gamzon is a principal at SCP Private Equity Partners, L.P. Prior to joining SCP Private Equity Partners, Gamzon worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, most recently as an associate in the DLJ Merchant Banking Partners Group. He also held the position of business analyst, corporate strategic planning at PepsiCo, Inc. Gamzon holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
Established in 1997, GiftCertificates.com(TM) is the leading provider of gift certificates and related services for corporate clients and consumers. The Company’s direct sales force has worked with over 5,000 businesses in all major industries to implement gift certificates in their corporate incentive, loyalty and promotional campaigns. The Company’s best-selling product, the SuperCertificate(TM), is a gift certificate that can be redeemed at GiftCertificates.com for original gift certificates to participating merchants. The Company represents hundreds of merchants, including national retailers Bloomingdale’s, Eddie Bauer(R), and Crate and Barrel; luxury retailers Neiman Marcus and Dean & DeLuca; travel-related services American Airlines(R) and Marriott Hotels; service merchants Merry Maids and Terminix; and popular restaurants T.G.I. Fridays, Red Lobster, and McCormick & Schmick’s. Merchant gift certificates and SuperCertificates can be delivered through standard or express mail. Email delivery is also available for SuperCertificates and select merchant gift certificates. For more information, visit [www.GiftCertificates.com].
VISA has partnered with the SuperShuttle airport bus service. SuperShuttle will exclusively offer a $3 discount on fares of $15 or more to customers who have a Bank of America US Airways, Bank of America America West Airlines, or Bank of America Alaska Airlines VISA card. The $3 discount coupons will appear in August statements of Bank of America’s co-branded airline VISA cards. Under terms of the agreement, VISA will also receive a preferred status position on the SuperShuttle’s website. SuperShuttle’s vans and ticket counters will display VISA signs. AZ-based SuperShuttle serves 22 airports and carries more than 7 million passengers a year.Details