Intl Payments

Pitney Bowes this week launched a new foreign currency payment service for small to mid-sized businesses in the US. To manage payments in over 60 foreign currencies, customers simply complete a registration form to set up the account, and then call or fax the Pitney Bowes Bank to initiate foreign currency payments. Pitney says it also offers extremely competitive exchange rates, currently up to 5% lower than bank rates. Pitney Bowes serves over 2 million businesses through dealer and direct operations.



Swedish-based AU-System, a leading Mobile Internet consultancy, announced the opening of its North American subsidiary in San Diego.

“We are committed to AU-System’s growth in North America,” said Daniel Kivikas, president and CEO. “We are excited to make our home here in San Diego and to bring our expertise and knowledge to the U.S. market. AU-System has been at the forefront of the evolution of the Wireless Internet in Europe and we are looking forward to sharing our core competencies with technology companies, telecom operators and enterprises in North America.”

In addition to building the world’s first Internet bank with smart card security, AU-System has also created the world’s first commercially available WAP 1.1 browser and the world’s first secure wireless stock trading service. The company’s client list includes Ericsson, Telia, Singapore Telecom, Motorola, Hyundai, Compaq, Philips and Volvo.

AU System’s offerings encompass wireless application protocol (WAP), Bluetooth technology, embedded systems, telecommunications systems, portals, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Operations Support Systems (OSS), security solutions and 3rd Generation (3G) wireless services. This includes technical and strategic evaluations, system design, software development, project management and turnkey solutions and support.

AU-System is publicly traded on the Swedish stock exchange and its major investors include Schroder Ventures, Ericsson and IBM. The company employs more than 1,000 staff in offices in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Italy, Thailand, Singapore and the U.S.



In the wake of a bankruptcy filing by PA-based Credit Card Center, TX-based Tidel Technologies said this morning it could incur a significant charge to earnings for the second quarter if the value of the collateral pledged to Tidel by CCC is insufficient. CCC has total assets of approximately $34 million and total liabilities of approximately $87 million. At yesterday’s hearing, the Court set June 15 as the date it will rule on CCC’s applications to retain legal counsel and use certain cash collateral to pay pre-petition wages for a limited number of employees. At the filing date, CCC owed Tidel the principal amount of approximately $27 million. The obligation is secured by a collateral pledge of accounts receivable, inventories and transaction income. Tidel has not received any payments from CCC on amounts due since January. Tidel has not shipped any products to CCC since December. Tidel reported in May a sharp decline in first quarter revenues and earnings due to the loss of CCC, as revenues declined from $18.6 million for 1Q/00 to $8.2 million for 1Q/01. (CF Library 5/11/01)


Hypercom Asia

Hypercom reported Wednesday a large scale deployment of its touch screen ‘ICE’ card payment terminals throughout Asia. The new generation terminals now account for nearly 50% of all Hypercom’s shipments in Asia versus 3% less than a one year ago. Among institutions now using Hypercom’s ‘ICE’ terminals: The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; The Agricultural Bank of China; Equitable Bank in the Philippines; Maybank; Bank Central Asia; Citibank Hong Kong; Standard Chartered Bank; Bangkok Bank; Thai Farmers Bank; Thai Military Bank; American Express Thailand; and Bank International Indonesia. Hypercom says the sales of the terminals in Asia is driven partly by the increase in credit card skimming. Hypercom’s new terminals are tamper-resistant and customer-activated.



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%.



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.

About Trintech

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 SET™ compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIX® and Windows NT™ platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging world of electronic commerce.


GCA Signs SunCruz

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 [][1].



dotFM Discover Discount

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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.