HSBC Holdings and Yahoo! announced plans to deliver a co-branded, person-to-person payments system to Yahoo!’s 200 million consumers and HSBC 28 million customers worldwide. ‘Yahoo! PayDirect with HSBC’ is expected to launch later this year. The solution will allow consumers to send and receive money, at home and overseas, via email by linking their credit cards, debit cards or bank accounts to their secure ‘Yahoo! PayDirect’ account at HSBC. Consumers will be able to sign up for, and use, ‘Yahoo! PayDirect’ across HSBC’s online services and the Yahoo! network. Subject to certain regulatory approvals, ‘Yahoo! PayDirect’ with HSBC will offer the solution later this year starting in the United States. Thereafter, and throughout 2002, the service will be extended to other countries and territories in which HSBC and Yahoo! operate.Details
CardWeb.com announced this morning it has changed the name of its new television news program for the payment card industry from ‘CardBeat’ to ‘CardWebTV’. The new multimedia business news program debuted July 2 with the second show scheduled for release August 1. However the August show has been delayed until August 10 to make adjustments for the new name. CardWeb.com decided to change the name following a complaint by NY-based Auriemma Consulting, which offers an advertising newsletter under the name ‘CardBeat’. Robert B. McKinley, CEO of CardWeb.com says the decision to change the name was based purely on business reasons and was not related to the legal basis asserted by Auriemma’s counsel. McKinley says CardWeb.com has a long-standing record of steering clear of name conflicts, especially when it involves clients such as Auriemma. The second ‘CardWebTV’ show will be available via CD, VHS and online at CardWebTV.com and CardWeb.TV.Details
Signature Bank, a newly launched financial institution with six locations in the New York metro area, is the first bank to implement one of Diebold’s new bundled services offerings. Part of an innovative approach to automated teller machine service, these solutions offer four simplified packages that allow for pricing economies, minimize out-of-contract billing and offer customers the flexibility and convenience to choose a level of ATM service appropriate to their operation.
“Extensive customer research, coupled with our long-term experience in the self-service industry, have enabled us to redesign the way we approach ATM service,” said Chuck Ducey, vice president of Customer Service Solutions at Diebold. “We have created four distinct packages that simplify the service- buying process and significantly reduce administrative work, two factors which were critical to our customers. By working closely with our customers and anticipating their needs, we are forging stronger relationships that will continue to establish us as the clear leader in providing customer-focused services for the entire industry.”
Kevin Rooney, Signature Bank ATM product manager, knew he wanted packaged services when he set out to find a company to service the bank’s 24 self- service terminals. “Signature Bank’s philosophy is to run a streamlined operation with minimal back office functions so that our staff is able to completely focus on serving our customers,” said Rooney. “We needed a single- source supplier that could handle all of the technical and non-technical ATM- related services — without creating a mound of paperwork. Diebold was the only company that offered us a well-defined bundled service approach.”
Diebold customers have a choice of bronze, silver, gold or platinum packages, and can vary their selection based on each ATM site. Annual contracts have no hidden costs and minimize the need for invoicing outside of contract coverage.
“The gold package we selected reduces the multiple invoices, hardware tracking, reconciliation and many of the cumbersome administrative tasks associated with traditional ATM service management,” commented Rooney. “The cost of the package is well worth the savings of not having to add staff to deal with those issues.”
Signature Bank launched operations on May 1, 2001 with the simultaneous opening of six New York City locations that provide a comprehensive array of banking, brokerage and insurance services billed as a new model for financial care. Signature Bank is a subsidiary of Bank Hapoalim, one of the top 150 banks in the world. Signature expects to have $2 billion in client assets and more than 2,500 customers within three years.
Diebold, Incorporated (NYSE: DBD) is a global leader in providing integrated self-service delivery systems and services. Diebold employs more than 10,000 associates with representation in more than 80 countries worldwide and headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of US $1.7 billion in 2000 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD’. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .Details
Gelco, the largest and most experienced provider of e-business expense management and reimbursement programs, announced that Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), New Britain, Conn., has implemented Gelco Travel Manager, an Internet-based system to automate business travel and expense management. The Gelco application provides CCSU the ability to gain greater control over travel and expense management processes and reduce the costs of these processes within a paperless environment.
The new system enables the University’s travelers to prepare travel documents, route them for review and electronic approval, audit for compliance in advance, download travel card expenses automatically, and submit a final expense report via the Internet. The system will interface with the University’s SCT Banner financial application.
“Travel Manager is set to revolutionize the travel process at CCSU,” said Frank R.A. Resnick, CCSU chief financial officer. “It’s a state-of-the-art system with access wherever there is an Internet connection. Our major travel users are on the system for domestic and international travel. In the future, we see an opportunity for invitational travelers and student groups such as clubs on University related travel to also use the system. Our intent is to go paperless, and we’ve begun that process.”
CCSU selected Gelco Travel Manager after a competitive review. According to Laurie Napierski, CCSU’s travel office manager, “The primary reasons for selecting this product were that it is used in government agencies, and as a State agency we follow many of the same policies as contained in the Federal Travel Regulations, including per diems; and it was the only product that we found that allowed pre-trip approvals.” All University business travelers – from faculty members to coaches on behalf of their athletes – will have access to Travel Manager after a brief, comprehensive training session.
CCSU, Connecticut’s oldest publicly-supported institution of higher education, serves 12,000 students, and is the largest of the four universities of the Connecticut State University System. CCSU has been recognized for its “visionary innovations in undergraduate education” by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, which selected Central as one of 16 “Leadership Institutions” in the nation and the only one in Connecticut.
“Higher education has become increasingly aware of the need to control business expenses,” said Andy Bridge, Gelco Expense Management Group vice president. “In response, Gelco is dedicating considerable resources to address this need.
“According to American Express, travel spending is now the second most controllable business cost for any organization. Gelco has developed proven e-business processes that colleges and universities can use to lower administrative costs by as much as 70 percent, virtually eliminate problems with compliance, and streamline their expense management practices.”
Gelco Travel Manager is available as a customer-hosted application or with Gelco serving as the ASP. Travel Manager is also deployed by Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., and more than 120 public sector organizations and installations worldwide.
Minneapolis-based Gelco Information Network is a wholly owned subsidiary of HG Holdings, a multinational interest specializing in e-business products and services for mobile employees. Gelco has been providing travel expense management software and services for more than 35 years. As a whole, the company processed more than $11 billion in reimbursements in 2000. The Expense Management Group serves over 1.9 million users in over 1,200 corporations and federal agencies, including Ericsson, Boeing, The Toro Company, American Home Products, EMC, Reebok International, Ltd., and the United States Government (including the Department of Defense, State Department and NASA).
Leveraging an e-business infrastructure through technology from Sun Microsystems, Cisco, Oracle, EMC and Microsoft, Gelco is the only company that provides its customers with complete expense and trade fund management solutions. Additionally, through its partnerships and private-label relationships, Gelco provides this e-business technology and infrastructure to application service providers and other providers of travel management services. For more information, visit the Gelco Web site at [www.gelco.com] or call 1-800-444-6588.
Galileo International, Inc. launched from its portfolio of corporate travel management solutions — Corporate Travelpoint 2.0 — and announced that Visa is a pilot customer.
Corporate Travelpoint 2.0 is an advanced, Internet travel management solution developed for corporations that need to effectively manage numerous preferred travel supplier agreements and extensive corporate travel policies. The system is designed to work seamlessly with the corporation’s current business processes and its existing travel agency to ensure that all travel needs are met efficiently and cost effectively. The travel agency remains the key to the entire process, with access to manage policy, preference and profile information on behalf of the corporation, while continuing to provide fulfillment and full booking services.
“Visa has played a consistent role as we developed Corporate Travelpoint 2.0,” said Galileo’s John Hach, vice president, Corporate and Consumer Sales and Marketing. “Its contributions have significantly enhanced the product’s user-interface, and the ongoing feedback from Visa’s travel manager and broad base of traveling employees will be invaluable as we continue to enrich our travel management solution.”
“Just as Visa is the leader in developing and implementing emerging products and services for consumer payment systems, Galileo is doing the same for the corporate travel marketplace,” said Visa’s Sue Jacobs, senior vice president, Travel Services and Corporate Events. “Visa is continually looking to contain costs and improve operating efficiencies. With Galileo’s Corporate Travelpoint 2.0, Visa will be able to more effectively and efficiently manage the corporate travel process and travel policy compliance.”
“The corporate travel marketplace has evolved beyond today’s offerings of simple Internet-based booking applications,” said Hach. “With Corporate Travelpoint 2.0, Galileo has surpassed the needs of the marketplace by delivering an intuitive application that breaks the paradigm of how travel information is exchanged, modified and leveraged for the business traveler, corporate travel manager and the sponsoring travel agency.”
Corporate Travelpoint 2.0 provides the corporation and travel agency with the following “next-generation” features and benefits:
— Provides a user-friendly and intuitive trip planning “wizard” that prompts and leads travelers through the booking process.
— Creates itineraries that include flights, cars and hotels in the same step, significantly reducing the time and clicks required to book each separately.
— Provides travelers with the “best” itinerary with alternatives within corporate policy and traveler preferences.
— Applies corporate travel policy and indicates the level of compliance at the point of booking instead of at the completion of the sale, so travelers are more able to stay in compliance with travel policies, which can provide significant cost savings to the corporation, confidence to the travel manager and convenience to the traveler.
— Eliminates the need for synchronization of multiple databases and guarantees that access to real-time booked travel information is available to traveler, travel agency, corporate travel manager and all traveler devices (desktop, laptop, PDA, Web-enabled cell phone, two-way pager) because all reservations and profiles are stored centrally.
— Utilizes a DB2 relational database fully supported by XML.
— Allows modular, brandable design for easy configuration to fit corporate or end-user needs.
— Enables travelers to store commonly traveled itineraries through Trip Recall.
— Offers only available and bookable fares, unlike first generation products that state “fares as low as.”
— Requires little or no employee training.
Today, Galileo International also announced it will acquire Highwire, Inc., a leading developer of corporate Internet travel tools and technology. The acquisition, coupled with the launch of Corporate Travelpoint 2.0, provides customers with flexibility and choice when selecting a corporate travel management solution, serves the diverse needs of a broad market and solidifies Galileo’s leadership position in the corporate travel management sector.
About Visa U.S.A.
Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with the best way to pay and be paid. More than 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate over $810 billion in annual transaction volume — including more than half of all Internet payments — with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry more than 353 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, stored value and check cards, accepted at approximately 22 million locations worldwide. Visa has long led the industry in developing payment security standards, and has been named the most trusted payment brand online. Visa’s people, partnerships, brand and payment technology are helping to create universal commerce — the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere and by any device. Please visit for additional information.
About Galileo International
Galileo International is a diversified, global technology leader. Its core business is providing electronic global distribution services for the travel industry through its computerized reservation systems, leading-edge products and innovative Internet-based solutions. Galileo is a value-added distributor of travel inventory dedicated to supporting its travel agency and corporate customers and, through them, expanding traveler choice.
Among Galileo’s subsidiaries are TRIP.com, an award-winning online travel service and technology provider; and Quantitude, which delivers advanced telecommunications services and enterprise networking solutions. Galileo also offers secure, flexible and cost-effective managed hosting services. Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., USA, Galileo International has offices worldwide and operates a state-of-the-art data center in Greenwood Village, Colo., USA. Visit .Details
Robert Skolnick has been named president and chief executive officer of BAIGlobal Inc., a leading market research company based in Tarrytown, N.Y.
Mr. Skolnick, formerly executive vice president of the firm, succeeds Kathleen Knight, who is now president emeritus and will be a consultant to BAIGlobal through year end. Ms. Knight had been president of the company for the past fifteen years.
‘BAIGlobal is at a very important point in its growth,’ said Mr. Skolnick. ‘We are currently enjoying new business relationships through our parent companies; relationships assembled in North America by Market Facts, Inc. and globally by Aegis Group plc. In addition, our portfolio of research products is strong and growing, with the launch of the WorldWide MarketViewSM qualitative service and the expansion of Mail MonitorÂ® into Canada. And we’ve hired some new senior researchers whose expertise further strengthens our team. I look forward to harnessing these developments and other exciting ones underway in driving the company towards greater success.’
Mr. Skolnick, who began his market research career more than 25 years ago, joined BAIGlobal in 1985. Upon joining the firm, he founded the company’s Competitive Tracking Services division, which offers direct mail response tracking services for the credit card industry. In 1995, he was appointed executive vice president of the firm and in 1997 helped oversee the company’s acquisition by Market Facts, Inc., the ninth largest research firm in the U.S. Market Facts was subsequently purchased in 1998 by Aegis Group plc of London, UK.
Mr. Skolnick is a recognized expert in market research for the credit card and financial services industries and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, American Banker, Credit Card Management, Card Marketing, as well as on NBC News, Bloomberg TV and other broadcast media. He has been a speaker at various American Bankers Association conferences and other financial industry forums.
Mr. Skolnick, who resides in New York City, is a graduate of Queens College and has a JD from Brooklyn Law School.
About BAIGlobal Inc.
Founded in 1969, BAIGlobal Inc. is a worldwide, full-service market research firm of 100 employees. The company offers custom quantitative research, qualitative studies through its Qualitative MarketViewSM division, international research through its WorldWide Services group, international qualitative studies through WorldWide MarketViewSM, and Competitive Tracking Services to the credit card industry in the U.S. and Canada.
BAIGlobal’s clients include a broad list of major companies and financial service institutions. The firm is an independently operating subsidiary of Market Facts, Inc. of Arlington Heights, Ill. Market Facts, Inc. is part of Aegis Group plc of London, UK.Details
The cash hemorrhage has stopped at Bankrate.com as the firm generated extra cash of $257,000 during the second quarter. The company reported a 2Q/01 net loss of $249,000 compared to a net loss of $625,000 for the first quarter. Total page views for the second quarter were 52.3 million 47% higher than 2Q/00. The online financial news provider has been fighting to survive after burning through most of its cash during the Internet boom. The company has sold assets, cut costs, and narrowed its focus. Interest rate reductions have fueled traffic and revenues as consumers shop loan rates which has off-set the general decline in online advertising revenues that has plagued many Web sites. For complete details on Bankrate’s 2Q/01 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Welcome Real-time, a leading provider of marketing software for smart
payment devices, today announced that it has acquired Singapore-based
Axiomatique International. The acquisition brings complementary
technology, marketshare, and clients to Welcome Real-time and clearly
positions the company with resources and a worldwide presence that spans
Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The company has signed agreements with
card issuers in these regions representing a potential of over 150 million
cards, far more than any other provider in this sector.
The combined 60 person company has a solid shareholding structure with
French marketing firm High Co, part of WPP Group; leading smart card
manufacturer Gemplus; Standard Chartered Bank; Avenir Telecom; Dassault
Multimedia, and TDF, a Singapore-based VC fund.
The new company’s combined technology provides advanced marketing features
and multi-program capabilities at the point of sale, which is Welcome
Real-time’s core strength. It also includes comprehensive back-end program
administration and management, as well as seamless integration of magstripe
and smart card functionality at the back-end, which is Axiomatique s core
strength. Integration of Welcome Real-time and Axiomatique’s respective
systems began over six months ago. American Express has licensed the joint
solution for the Australian launch of Blue.
Welcome Real-time and Axiomatique’s solutions are each based on several
hundreds of man years of software development and have been designed to
serve millions of users, corresponding to the requirements of typical
nationwide smart card roll-outs. Both companies bring together significant
real-world market experience through numerous implementations in Europe and
Asia over the past five years. For example AK Bank, a leading Turkish
bank; American Express; AOM French Airlines; Carte Jeunes, France; Chase
Manhattan Bank, HK; LG Credit Services, Korea; Standard Chartered Bank,
Singapore; Sumitomo Credit Services, Japan, and Telekom Malaysia.
About Welcome Real-time
Welcome Real-time’s (www.welcome-rt.com) smart transaction platform enhances payment transactions with revenue
boosting services such as instantly awarded loyalty points, coupons, punch
cards, vouchers, tickets, and cash back, all in a single convenient payment
The company’s patents provide broad protection in Europe, North America,
and Asia. More than 17 patent applications cover the ability to
dynamically manage services relating to entries, visits or cumulative
spending at designated merchants, the ability to add and redeem e-coupons
from a smart card, or the use of mobile phones and hand held devices to
perform smart transactions.
Welcome Real-time is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France, with offices
About Axiomatique International
Axiomatique’s (http://www.axiomatique.com/) loyalty management system powers virtually all of the multi-function
smart card programs deployed in Asia. Axiomatique’s system is used with
smart cards issued by banks, such as Standard Chartered, Chase Manhattan,
Sumitomo Credit Services, and others, in addition to cards issued by a
variety of retail consortiums and loyalty operators.
Axiomatique International, headquartered in Singapore, was founded in 1997.
SEB’s wholly owned Lithuanian bank, Vilniuas Bankas, started its e-bank, VB Internet@s, in September 2000, with the aim of having 3,000 customers by year-end 2000. The bank acquired 11,262 customers and, since the beginning of this year, the number of e-bank customers has tripled to a total of 30,000 in July 2001. The goal for full-year 2001 was to have 30,000 customers, a figure that has now been achieved in half the time.
This means that 10 percent of Vilniuas Bankas’ total number of customers are e-bank customers. Approximately 80 percent are private customers and 20 percent consists of small and medium-size companies that conduct their banking via the Net.
Today, Lithuanian customers use Vilniuas Bankas e-bank primarily to pay bills, check their accounts and to transfer money between accounts. During this year, Vilniuas Bankas also anticipates being able to offer its customers the possibility of applying for consumer loans, mortgage loans, share-trading and management of all their home-related bills via the Net.
SEB owns three Baltic banks; Eesti Ãhispank with 390,000 customers, 70,000 e-bank customers and 64 branches in Estonia, Latvijas Unibanka with 318,600 customers, 27,000 e-bank customers and 70 branches in Latvia, and Vilniuas Bankas with 280,000 customers, 30,000 e-bank customers and 57 branches in Lithuania. SEB owns 32 percent of the shares in the Polish bank Bank Ochrony Srodowiska, BOS. SEB is a European financial group, primarily for companies and financially active private individuals. SEB has 630 branches in Sweden, Germany and the Baltic States, with a total of 4 million customers. Of these, 900,000 are Internet customers. SEB also has operations in the other Nordic countries, the UK, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The Group’s total assets are SEK 1,123 billion and managed capital amounts to SEK 910 billion. The number of employees totals 21,500.Details
GHL Systems Sdn Bhd’s announced this week it will launch its new prepaid ATM reload service for phone cards, ‘Whoops!’ during the first quarter of 2002. Scratch cards currently have an 80% market share. ‘Whoops!’ offers prepaid reload without the need of a physical card or PIN and is linked to a mobile number determined by the subscriber. GHL Systems claimed currently has 10,000 credit card terminals installed. Retailers can use the existing credit card terminals to offer ‘Whoops!’. About 400 merchants in the Klang Valley have already signed up..
The company has also started to roll out the service in Kuantan, Seremban, Malacca, Ipoh and Penang.Details
Official Payments Corporation announced that three of the company’s 18 state clients have expanded their contracts with the company.
As summarized in the company’s second-quarter 2001 earnings call, the states of California, Kansas, and Maryland added services which will enable their citizens to use their credit cards to pay a variety of taxes and fees over the company’s Internet site, www.officialpayments.com, or by telephone at 1-800-2PAY-TAX. Combined, these services represent $3.3 billion in collection opportunity for the company. The systems are all scheduled to go live later this year. American Express, Discover Card, and MasterCard are the card types accepted by the programs.
The State of California’s Employment Development Department authorized Official Payments to accept Benefit Overpayments collections for the state via Internet in addition to the existing telephone system. Annually, California collects approximately $375 million in Benefit Overpayments. This is the sixth electronic payment service that California offers its citizens through Official Payments. Additional California payment types include Balance-Due, Estimated, Extension, and Delinquent Tax payments for the Franchise Tax Board, and Sales & Use Tax for the Board of Equalization.
The State of Kansas Department of Revenue, which previously offered its citizens the ability to pay Balance-Due, Estimated, and Delinquent Personal Income Taxes, as well as Retailers Sales Taxes, authorized Official Payments to accept Internet payments for several additional tax types. These include Withholding, Motor Fuels (Special Funds and Gasoline), Retailers’ and Consumers Compensating Use, Minerals (Crude Oil and Natural Gas), Corporate Income, Corporate Estimated, Privilege, and Privilege Estimated Taxes. The Department of Revenue annually collects $2.5 billion in these tax types. The State of Kansas’ Department of Social & Rehabilitative Services also authorized Official Payments to accept payments for Healthwave Premiums, Child Support Payments, Recoveries, and Institutions via Internet. These payments represent an additional $121 million in collection opportunity for the company. In addition, the State of Kansas’ Department of Human Resources authorized Official Payments to accept payments for Unemployment Insurance and Benefit Overpayments via Internet and telephone, representing an additional $173 million in collection opportunity for the company.
The Comptroller of Maryland, which already offers Maryland citizens the ability to pay Established Liabilities, Estimated, and Delinquent Personal Income Taxes via Internet and telephone, plans to offer two additional payment types. Extensions and Tax Amnesty payments will also be accepted by the State, representing an additional $310 million in collection opportunity.
“We are pleased and gratified that these state clients have chosen to expand their business with us,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “As our government clients realize the operating efficiencies that electronic payments provide them, and as their citizens react positively to the new payment services, we earn more and more business. And our secure, proven Internet and telephone systems are able to handle that increased capacity smoothly and efficiently,” added Mr. Evans.
Official Payments will charge taxpayers a convenience fee for the services. For example, a taxpayer who makes a $500 state income tax payment would be charged a total of $512.50: $500 for the tax payment, and a 2.5% fee, or $12.50, to cover the cost of the service. As a bonus, taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes. Convenience fees vary by payment type. For a complete fee schedule, visit the company’s website at [www.officialpayments.com].
In addition to collecting credit card payments for 18 state government, Official Payments works with the Internal Revenue Service, the District of Columbia, and 900+ county and municipal government entities in 47 states to collect a variety of taxes, fines, and fees via Internet and telephone.
About Official Payments Corporation
Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. The company is unequaled in market penetration and national footprint. Official Payments 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 47 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.
Official Payments was founded in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market. The company’s success can be attributed to the combination of an enormous market opportunity with a highly skilled and experienced management and staff, aggressive sales and marketing, and a core competency in developing and implementing leading-edge technical systems.
Scotiabank has launched the ‘ScotiaLine VISA Account’ that offers a credit limit of up to $50,000 unsecured or $500,000 secured and rates as low as 6.00%. The card also offers no-annual-fee and a 26 day interest-free grace period on purchases. Other benefits include
‘Purchase Security’ and ‘Extended Warranty Protection’ and free supplementary cards.