MasterCard International said last week that it expects explosive growth for ‘Maestro’ cards in the Asia-Pacific region, especially Thailand. The Asia-Pacific market has three billion consumers spanning 23 countries with only 9% using credit cards. MasterCard Asia-Pacific has launched, so far, 20 debit card programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Singapore and Australia. MasterCard also launched a pre-paid ‘Smart Money’ card in the Philippines, and a smart card with South Korea’s Kookmin Bank, which combines credit, debit, stored value and transport functions. In 2000, MasterCard’s charge volume in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding China, increased 53.9% in US dollars from 1999. Growth in North Asia was 64%, China other than the mainland 39%, Southeast and South Asia 27% and Australia and New Zealand 22%. Cards in circulation grew 27%.Details
Payment Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of advanced payment-related software and services, has appointed two payments and financial services industry veterans to its board of directors. The new directors are Scott Loftesness, a private investor and consultant based in Menlo Park, Calif., and John Elliott, a financial services industry consultant based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
“We are honored that Scott and John have decided to join our board of directors,” said Jean Woodworth, President and CEO of PTI. “PTI is already a fast growing company and we are confident that, with the wealth of knowledge and experience Scott and John bring to us, PTI will achieve an even greater level of success.”
Loftesness has over 25 years of experience in the information processing and technology industries including serving as Group Director, First Data Merchant Services and Group Executive Vice President, Visa International. He is an active investor, advisor and industry consultant to companies in the payments and financial services industries.
Most recently, Elliott served as President and General Manager of American Express’s International Establishment Services Group. Prior to American Express, Elliott served as a Strategic Advisor to First Data, Chairman and CEO of Card Establishment Services (CES), Executive Vice President of MasterCard International, and Senior Vice President of Citicorp Services. Founder of Veritas and Electronic Financial Services Division of ADP, Elliott has served as a member of the Board of Directors of several major corporations and the Electronic Funds Transfer Association, and was founding member of the International Council of Smart Card Applications and Technologies (SCAT).
PTI, a privately held company headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pa., is a provider of software and associated operating and professional services to the payments and financial services industries. Founded in 1985, PTI serves financial institutions, transaction processors, associations and business users of payment products and processing services. PTI’s core product, Valexia, offers a comprehensive collection of account-based payment products and services on a single platform.Details
Trintech Group Plc , a global provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for real world, Internet and wireless environments, announced it is a founding member of the TV Linux Alliance. Along with Trintech are 22 leading technology suppliers to cable, satellite, telecommunications and broadcast operators allying to produce Linux standards designed to improve product robustness in the advanced set-top box market.
Participation in the TV Linux Alliance extends Trintech’s commitment to its other tCommerce partners and initiatives with Philips Digital Networks and Network Entertainment of America, a division of Sony Electronics, Inc. Other members of the TV Linux Alliance include ACTV, ATI Technologies, Broadcom, Concurrent Computer Corporation, Conexant, Convergence Integrated Media, DIVA, Excite@Home, iSurfTV, Liberate Technologies, Lineo, MontaVista, Motorola, nCUBE, OpenTV, Pace Micro Technology, Qpass, Sun Microsystems, TiVo, TV Gateway and Worldgate.
Trintech is working within the alliance to help define a standard application programming interface (API) allowing cable operators and MSO’s (Multiple Service Operators) to select from a variety of vendors whose offerings are interoperable with the common API. Proprietary standards, which have been the industry norm, are costly to develop and reduces the time-to-market. This alliance plans to capitalize on Linux designs already underway among various founders and harmonize early work across the industry to ensure that Linux is delivered to the digital set-top box under a common framework of evolving standards-based specifications.
“Trintech is proud to be one of the founding members of the TV Linux Alliance,” said Trevor Healy, Vice President and General Manager ePayments Division for Trintech. “As a leading provider of secure payment systems globally, Trintech supports this open standard initiative that will aid the expansion of services offered by cable operators to their subscribers.”
Trintech’s involvement with the TV Linux Alliance provides an opportunity to further enhance the widespread adoption of its PayWare EveryWhere payment platform. PayWare mAccess, part of the PayWare product suite, is a modular, server-based multi-channel payment solution that enables “one touch” payment via any device including digital set-top boxes and mobile devices. Sophisticated built-in security features such as voice authentication provide a secure and convenient solution for the user.
By 2004, Forrester analysts estimate that tCommerce in the interactive television (iTV) market will amount to more than $5.5 billion. Acknowledging this growth potential, Trintech believes that this alliance is strategic to developing and capturing this emerging and captive market.
PayWare mAccess Product Overview
PayWare mAccess is a server-based product that seamlessly and securely authenticates the user and transfers payment details from digital set-top boxes and wireless devices through to the payment processor for settlement. It allows shoppers to simply drag-and-drop these virtual cards from their desktops or to ‘one-click’ purchase from their digital set-top box or wireless device to online merchant forms which will then be automatically filled out with the customer’s information.
Founded in 1987, Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for card-based transactions for physical world commerce, eCommerce and mobile commerce. The company offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and SETÂ compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIXÂ® and Windows NTÂ platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging world of electronic commerce.Details
The 11 gaming properties of SunCruz Casinos in Florida and South Carolina, and nine other gaming properties recently signed contracts to utilize the technologically advanced products and services of Global Cash Access, a supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry.
SunCruz Casinos has signed a five-year agreement to use QuikCash cash advance terminals at the following properties:
* SunCruz 1 – Key Largo – Key Largo, Fla.
* SunCruz 2 – Clearwater – Clearwater, Fla.
* SunCruz 3 – Daytona – Ponce’s Inlet, Fla.
* SunCruz 4 – Panama City – Panama City, Fla.
* SunCruz 5 – John’s Pass – Treasure Island, Fla.
* SunCruz 6 – Hollywood – Hollywood, Fla.
* SunCruz 7 – Jacksonville – Mayport, Fla.
* SunCruz 8 – Pt. Canaveral – Cape Canaveral, Fla.
* SunCruz 10 – Little River – Little River, S.C.
* SunCruz 11 – Ft. Myers – Ft. Myers Beach, Fla. Other properties that recently signed agreements with GCA are:
* Santa Ana Star Casino – Bernalillo, N.M.
* SeaEscape – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
* Boomtown Hotel & Casino – Verdi, Nev.
* Funsters Casino – Seatac, Wash.
* Casino Pauma – Pauma Valley, Calif.
* Black Oak Casino – Tuolumne, Calif.
* Big M Casino – Ft. Myers Beach, Fla.
* Scarborough Downs – Scarborough, Maine
* The Greyhound Park at Post Falls – Coeur D’Alene, Id. Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 and is a joint venture of First Data Corp. and M&C International, Inc. Providing access to the gaming industry’s largest patron database, Global Cash Access uses Internet technologies to deliver funds transfer, financial management and customer relationship marketing services to more than 1,000 gaming properties nationwide. More information on the company is available at [www.globalcashaccess.com].
BRS Media’s dotFM, the Premium Multimedia Domain, announced today that their fully automated .FM domain registration web site now accepts the Discover Card (www.discovercard.fm). Thereby allowing customers to use the card that pays them with a Cashback Bonus award on every purchase to get their own Great Sounding Web Address!
“We are extremely pleased to expand our clients’ paying options with the Discover Card.” remarked George T. Bundy, Chairman & CEO of BRS Media Inc., “And now through June 30, 2001, dotFM will be offering a 10% discount on all new .FM domain registrations that are placed via our site using the Discover card.” Those interested should visit (www.dot.fm) for further details. Get the name you really want! Domains under .FM are easy to access, work reliably worldwide, and are easy to remember and recognize. Like: FTD(R) (www.ftd.fm), Western Union (www.westernunion.fm), Strategic Media Research (www.strategic.fm), and Morgan Stanley (www.msdw.fm). Plus the growing list of world class .FM radio stations including: Las Vegas’ MIX 94.1 (www.mix941.fm), Liepzig — Germany’s OLDIE.FM (www.oldie.fm), Sacramento’s KOOL 101.9 FM (www.kool1019.fm), and LA’s Power 106 (www.power106.fm).
dotFM, the Net’s first step toward building and branding on the multimedia power of the Web, offers the Internet community a compelling alternative to a .COMmon or .COMplicated Web Address. Premium .FM domain names are available to anyone interested in obtaining their own “Great Sounding Web Address!” at: www.dot.fm
BRS Media, a member of the International Webcasting Association (www.iwa.fm), is a full service Internet e-commerce firm that helps radio stations and multimedia web sites build and brand on the power of the Web. The company’s online divisions include: dotFM & dotAM (www.dot.fm) (www.dot.am), domain registrar of premium .FM & .AM (TLD) domains. WEBCASTi AM/FM, (www.webcasti.fm) providing the broadcasting industry with the best webcasting solution for today’s Interactive Web. RadioWeb.FM (www.radioweb.fm) a full featured web-site hosting service, and the ever popular Web-Radio (www.web-radio.fm) the leading portal for “Tuning In” radio on the Internet. BRS Media Inc. can be found on the World Wide Web at www.brsmedia.fm.Details
The Ministry of Public Security announced yesterday it will begin to issue a national smart ID card by the end of this year to replace the cards currently issued within each province. Currently, ID cards in China, which are valid for 20 years, consist of a laminated paper card showing a person’s name, photo, birthday and ID number. The PSB says the new plastic smart cards will most likely contain a photo too. The State Council, which approved the plan, will begin pilot programs in large Chinese cities by year’s end. College students may also be one of the first groups to receive the new cards. The PSB projects it will take five years to make the changeover to smart cards. Counterfeit ID cards have been a growing business in China.Details
Equifax’s board yesterday approved the spin-off of Certegy Inc., formerly Equifax Payment Services. In October, Equifax approved a plan to create an ‘Information Services’ company and a ‘Payment Services’ company. Equifax’s Payment Services division provides credit and debit card transaction processing, card processing software, portfolio management and analysis, cardholder customer service, card enhancements, credit marketing, risk management, merchant processing, and collections to independent banks and credit unions in the U.S. and major card issuers globally. Certegy will be listed on the NYSE and is expected to begin regular way trading on July 9, under the symbol CEY. (CF Library 10/20/00; 5/23/01)Details
Gelco Information Network, the largest and most experienced provider of e-business expense management and reimbursement programs, announced that Cognis Corporation has selected ExpenseLink/Direct for automation of its travel and entertainment expense management and employee payment request processes for Cognis employees across U.S. operations.
“Cognis is a worldwide leader in the chemicals industry. We are pleased to provide Cognis Corporation with a productive and efficient web-based tool for their employees to effortlessly manage their travel expenses. The system upgrade from Gelco’s ExpenseLink(R)/TD interactive voice response expense reporting service provides Cognis’ travelers with e-business technology to submit expense reports in a matter of minutes, yielding them more time to be productive,” said Jon Klem, president and chief executive officer of Gelco’s Expense Management Group. “Gelco effectively automates each step of the T & E expense management process which in turn will render Cognis with reduced operational costs, improved corporate efficiency, and increased productivity.”
ExpenseLink/Direct(R) allows automation of the entire expense management process from anywhere in the world, providing expense reporting, auditing and reimbursement, data analysis and paperless record keeping. Available anytime, anywhere, Gelco’s ExpenseLink/Direct(R) users simply create expense reports online, submitting them securely via the Internet. Users gain access through an Internet connection to enter travel expenses. Once completed, expenses are reimbursed within 72 hours via direct deposit to employee bank accounts. Corporate charge cards are paid directly according to their company’s payment schedule. Configurable client and server side business rules and automated workflow ensure maximum levels of control and accurate accounting.
Cognis is a worldwide leader in specialty chemicals with almost 9,100 employees in close to 50 countries on all continents. Oleochemicals, Care Chemicals, and Organic Specialties are the three pillars of the specialty chemicals portfolio. Our most important customers are in the detergents and cleaners industry, the cosmetics industry, and a number of other industrial markets such as nutrition & health, coatings and inks, textiles, mining, adhesives, plastics, and agrosolutions. Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, Cognis Corporation employs nearly 1,700 people at 8 locations in the U.S. and is responsible for nearly one third of the $2.7 billion in sales for Cognis 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 approximately $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, The Toro Company, American Home Products, Reebok International, Ltd., and the United States Government (to include 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. Visit the Gelco web site at [www.gelco.com].
Donna Tanoue announced that she has submitted her resignation as Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, effective July 11, 2001.In her letter to President Bush, Chairman Tanoue said, “the time has come to move on to new challenges.”Ms. Tanoue took office as the 17th Chairman of the FDIC on May 26, 1998.Under Chairman Tanoue’s leadership, the FDIC embarked on the most comprehensive reevaluation of the deposit insurance system since the Corporation was founded in 1933. As a result of that reevaluation, the FDIC proposed important changes to the Federal deposit insurance program. The Corporation addressed the risks of subprime lending, and initiated important proposals to address the problems of predatory and payday lending. As Chairman, Ms. Tanoue pointed to concerns with industry performance, and she sounded appropriate safety and soundness alarms.During her administration, the Corporation reduced its workforce and budget. Staffing declined from nearly 7,800 to 6,500. The Corporation’s 2001 budget is six percent smaller than its 2000 budget.In her letter to the President, Chairman Tanoue concluded: “I shall always be grateful for the opportunity to serve our country and to work with so many outstanding men and women at the FDIC. Simply put, there is no better place to serve America.” Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation’s banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation’s 9,905 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed.FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at [www.fdic.gov] or through the FDIC’s Public Information Center (800-276-6003 or 202-416-6940).
Salt Lake City-based Digital Courier Technologies announced an upgrade to its ‘Internet Payment Gateway. The upgrade includes three enhancements: a new transaction type called ‘AVS Only’, support for CVC2, CVV2, and cardholder data security routines. The new ‘AVS Only’ transaction allows a merchant to submit the address for validation before submitting the purchase amount for authorization; thereby, verifying cardholder data without causing an authorization or value infraction against the card number.Details
Providian has moved forward in establishing itself as the leader in the issuance of smart VISA cards. Yesterday, the issuer announced it was upgrading its chip cards from 8K to 32K. Providian released a small number of the new 32K cards to a small select group a month ago but will now officially offer the higher memory cards which will run four applications. Among the new smart card applications to run is a loyalty program, slated to be up and running during the fourth quarter. Providian indicated yesterday it will migrate about 95% of its portfolio to smart cards. Providian also indicates it is still debating the possibility of issuing a smart business card by the end of this year. Providian announced yesterday it is now offering its colored, clear plastic cards in an array of colors including: Ruby Red, Forest Green, Sapphire Blue, Topaz Yellow and Moonstone Gray. Providian offers smart VISA cards under both the Providian name and the GetSmart brand. GetSmart is Providian’s on-line financial services portal.Details
The Federal Trade Commission announced that a federal district court has ordered Richard Murkey and Keith Gill to show cause why they should not be held in civil contempt for violating the court’s November 1999 final order, in which a federal district court found that the defendants had illegally sold credit repair services. In addition to the order to show cause, the court issued an asset freeze against Murkey, as well as his company, Credit Restoration Corporation of America, Inc. (CRCA), and appointed a temporary receiver over CRCA. Richard Murkey is an ex-attorney who resigned his bar membership in 1990. Keith Gill is currently a practicing attorney.
In March 1998, the FTC charged Keith H. Gill, doing business as the Law Offices of Keith Gill, and Richard Murkey of Woodland Hills, California, with misrepresenting their credit repair services in violation of the FTC Act, and with collecting payment up-front for credit repair services before such services were fully performed, in violation of the Credit Repair Organization Act–the first federal law specifically targeting credit repair scams.
In November 1999, the court issued an order granting the FTC’s motion for summary judgment against Murkey and Gill, finding Murkey individually liable as a participant and the primary violator and Gill liable as the owner of the business. The order permanently bans Murkey and Gill from the credit repair business; prohibits Murkey and Gill and persons under their control from making any misrepresentations of any material fact concerning credit repair and their ability to improve consumers’ credit profiles; and prohibits the defendants from demanding payment from consumers who purchased credit repair services from them prior to March 4, 1998. In addition, the order requires the defendants affirmatively to notify these consumers that payments are no longer due and that their contracts are rescinded.
In its motion for civil contempt sanctions, the FTC alleges that Richard Murkey continues to sell purported credit repair service to consumers through CRCA, which he had begun operating prior to the November 1999 final order. According to the FTC, Murkey advertises his services through infomercials on a cable television audio channel, in newspaper advertisements, and until earlier this year, on a website. Through CRCA, Murkey continues to represent that he can substantially improve consumers’ credit reports by legally and permanently removing accurate negative information; continues to demand payments from pre-March 1998 clients; and has failed to notify those clients that their contracts are rescinded.
In addition, the motion for sanctions asks the court to hold Keith Gill liable for violating the November 1999 order by failing to provide any notice of recission to defrauded customers with balances still owing to the defendants. The FTC also has asked the court to hold CRCA liable for violating the terms of the 1999 order since CRCA is owned and controlled by Murkey and is the vehicle through which he conducts his purported credit repair business.
The court has scheduled a hearing for June 18 on the order to show cause. As ultimate relief, the FTC seeks restitution for all consumers who paid money to Murkey or CRCA for credit repair service after Murkey was served with the November 1999 final order. The FTC also seeks an order that would require the defendants to pay substantial fines in the event of future violations and require the receiver to wind down and terminate CRCA.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to seek an order to show cause as to civil contempt was 5-0. The motion was filed in Los Angeles in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on May 14, 2001, and the court issued the order on June 5.Details