CA-based Next Estate Communications and GA-based Synovus’ pointpathbank have teamed to unveil this week the ‘iGEN MasterCard’ for the teen retail market. The new prepaid teen card will initially be available in about 100 Rite-Aid stores in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The card is expected to be available at more than 3,700 Rite-Aid stores in 30 states by the end of summer. The card is available in any denomination between $20 and $500 for a convenience fee of $3.95 per card. ‘iGEN MasterCard’ accounts can be “reloaded” at participating Rite-Aid stores, with a toll-free phone call or on the iGEN Web site. (CF Library 8/3/00)Details
HNC Software Inc. announced that Visa Desjardins, a subsidiary of the Mouvement des caisses Desjardins and the primary issuer of Visa cards in Quebec, will implement Falcon, HNC’s industry-leading payment card fraud detection system, to enhance the fraud detection capabilities for its credit card portfolios. “We look forward to enjoying the reduced fraud rates that other Canadian card issuers are seeing with Falcon,” said Louise Paquette, chief security officer at Visa Desjardins. “We’ve always provided the highest level of fraud detection for our merchants and cardholders, and augmenting our systems with Falcon is the logical next step to match our aggressive portfolio growth strategy over the next few years.” After years of 40 percent annual card fraud growth during the latter part of the 1990’s, Canadian credit card issuers are starting to see a decline in fraud rates due to their increased use of neural network fraud detection solutions. According to the Canadian Bankers Association, credit card fraud cost Canadian financial institutions and card issuers nearly $227 million (Canadian) (approximately $156 million US) in 1999. This figure dropped to $203 (Canadian) million for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2000, indicating that best practice fraud detection solutions such as Falcon are gaining traction in the war against card fraud. Verifying this trend, Visa Canada reported 1999 credit card losses at $150 million (Canadian), and had projected losses in 2000 to top the $200 million mark. Instead, losses from card fraud dropped approximately 40 percent for the year. HNC’s list of Canadian Falcon customers includes major institutions such as CIBC, Toronto Dominion, and Canada Trust.
! “We’re glad that Falcon is helping stem the tide of payment card fraud in Canada, as it has done in the United States and overall in North America,” said Michael Chiappetta, vice president of customer analytics for HNC Software. “We’re confident that Visa Desjardins will gain the reduced credit and debit card fraud rates with Falcon with which our other Canadian customers have benefited.” Falcon, a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder, and merchant data to detect a wide range of payment card fraud, currently protects more than 400 million payment card accounts worldwide.
About Mouvement des caisses Desjardins
With more than 36,000 employees and overall assets reaching $80 billion, the Mouvement des caisses Desjardins is the top financial institution and the largest private employer in Quebec. It is the only institution to offer a full range of financial products and services through its network of caisses (ATM’s) located throughout Quebec. In addition, Desjardins is a leader in Quebec in terms of e-commerce with more than 1.5 million visits per month. It’s Web site, www.desjardins.com, is the most frequented financial site in Quebec and second overall in Canada. 28,000 companies are already using its AccesD Affaires business service. The Mouvement Desjardins’ mission is to contribute to the economic and social well being of individuals and communities.
About HNC Software Inc.
HNC Software is a leading provider of Customer Insight solutions including intelligent response, decision management, and customer analytics software that enables companies in the financial, telecommunications, e-commerce and insurance industries to acquire, manage and retain customers. For more information, visit www.hnc.com or contact Rob Jensen at 858/799-8122.
Another ATM investment scam was shut down this weekend. The California Corporations Commissioner and the Riverside County District Attorney’s office arrested a Newport Beach man for offering fraudulent investments in ATMs. Philip Gardner was charged with twenty-one counts of illegally and fraudulently selling securities as a result of selling over $1 million in investments through The ATM Store. Senior citizens were solicited through investment opportunity shows and newspaper ads promising returns of 40-100%. Investor funds were then diverted for personal use. ATM machines were not purchased or placed as promised and most investors lost their entire investment. Gardner has a history of securities law violations extending nearly 30 years. In February a Maryland firm offering investments in ATM machines was shut down by state government officials. Largo, MD-based Bankcard Group, Inc. allegedly bilked more than $3 million from 130 investors over the past two and a half years. According to the Maryland Attorney General’s office, the company offered investors a choice between buying an interest in an ATM machine or purchasing the machine outright. The Maryland Attorney General’s office says Bankcard Group sold 200 ATMs but only 44 were delivered and installed. (CF Library 2/1/01)Details
The average Canadian charged $6,010 on all credit cards in 2000, up from $5,040 in 1999. Currently, 77% of Canadians 18 and older hold at least one credit card issued by a financial institution, retailer or gas company, up from 73% a year ago. The annual ‘Credit Card Tracking Study’ conducted by CF Group also found that 45% of Canadians use their cards at least once a week, up from 41% a year ago. CF also found that 43% of Canadians report using a credit card to accumulate rewards, up from 34% last year. When it comes to debit cards, 69% of Canadian adults claim to have made a debit card payment in the month prior to the survey, up from 66% one year ago and 61% in January, 1999.Details
Strong demand by Americans for convenience products and services like prepaid phone cards and ATMs are expected this summer. Nearly 70% of the 120,000 convenience stores in the USA now have ATMs. The National Association of Convenience Stores said yesterday that sales of prepaid phone cards are now growing at a 24% annual rate. The U.S. convenience store industry, with 119,750 stores across the country, posted $269 billion in total sales for 2000. With nearly 20,000 outlets in the USA, 7-Eleven launched this year a web-enabled, integrated financial services kiosk that merges the capabilities of an ATM with the benefits of the Internet. Initially, 7-Eleven’s ‘V.com’ project will provide conventional ATM services as well as money orders, money transfers and check cashing. In the future, 7-Eleven anticipates that customers will be able to have touch-screen access to services such as bill payment, deposit capability, event ticketing, travel directions and road maps. In March, 7-Eleven signed an agreement for American Express to be the primary provider of ATM services for ‘V.com’. In late 2000, American Express signed a pact to offer a reloadable, prepaid gift card and an Internet shopping card for 7-Elevens nationwide. 7-Eleven also signed a seven-year exclusive agreement with Western Union Financial Services and Integrated Payment Systems for money transfer and money order services. Earlier this week. Equifax announced a major initiative to provide fully automated check-cashing services through 7-Eleven’s ‘Vcom’ kiosks. The service will be available this summer in 94 store locations in Texas and Florida. (CF Library 12/8/00; 2/6/01; 2/28/01; 3/9/01; 5/22/01)Details
The ‘Marriott Rewards’ frequent guest program has surpassed 15 million members. Marriott introduced the program exactly four years ago with 2,000 participating hotels. The company says that frequent travelers typically double their number of stays with Marriott lodging brands after joining the program. The 15th millionth member, Neil Thayer of Bath, England, was awarded a trip for two to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.Details
CO-based NAREX will launch an online credit card debt auction next week. The auction will open on Tuesday, May 29 and will conclude on June 5, and will involve $40 million in credit card debt from a major credit grantor. The sale will be conducted online through the ‘NAREX Recovery Optimizer Auction’ channel on the Narex Web site. Instead of selling entire portfolios, NAREX offers lots consisting of similar accounts. Accounts are grouped according to balance, geographic area, and other characteristics. Generally, lots contain between 300 and 2,000 accounts. In addition to bidding on single lots, bidders in the upcoming sale will have the option of buying groups of lots. Lots in the auction will consist of prime and sub-prime credit card debt. Both fresh and previously worked accounts will be offered.Details
Less than a week after announcing the expansion of its Authorized Reseller Program, USA Technologies, Inc. has received a preliminary order for 10,000 e-Port terminals.
This order for 10,000 e-Ports places this particular partner advantageously to acquire a portion of USA’s first mass produced e-Ports. The order indicates that specific ship dates and quantities are to be provided at a later date by our partner. While there can be no guarantee that this will occur, this preliminary order for e-Port products could result in several million dollars in revenue for USA Technologies.
The Company’s successful unveiling of e-Port at recent trade events for the multi-billion dollar global vending industry has resulted in a substantial increase in inquiries for this exciting new technology. Stephen Herbert, President and Chief Operating Officer for USA Technologies stated, “We are rapidly expanding our distribution and reseller network, setting the stage for our vision to initially mass produce and distribute hundreds of thousands of e-Ports.”
USA Technologies is expected to generate revenue from the sale and installation of e-Port, network service fees, and interactive advertising. The Company is in the forefront of the growing cashless micro-transaction worldwide revolution. “This is a market which we believe will grow exponentially over the next few years, and USA is well positioned to be a major force in the space,” said Mr. Herbert. VISA estimates that U.S. transactions below $10.00 total nearly $400 Billion annually and are virtually untouched by credit cards. This market to date has been virtually untapped due to the traditionally high costs associated with micro-transactions which USA’s e-Port overcomes.
“We have inquiries coming in from strategic partners, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and current and new authorized resellers,” continued Mr. Herbert. “Many inquiries have been generated by the promotion and publicity we received at the NAMA vending exposition earlier this year where some of the biggest players in the vending and communications industries featured our technology in their products,” he said.
Since NAMA, several major vending machine manufacturers and distributors, as well as office equipment suppliers have entered discussions with USA Technologies, seeking to either install e-Port technology and connectivity into their products, or resell it independently. The significant increase in interest in e-Port resulted in USA Technologies last week announcing the expansion of its Authorized Reseller Program to target the multi-billion dollar global vending industry.
USA Technologies is responding to the demand from the marketplace by working with a number of strategic partners to help streamline the manufacturing process, and put in place a worldwide network of resellers to distribute its technology and associated network services to markets worldwide.
e-Port would be the world’s first non-PC e-commerce device that could be embedded into vending machines, gas pumps, office equipment and almost any kind of point-of-sale terminal. The technology enables the conversion of unattended points of sale into intelligent “store fronts”, connected to the Internet, and capable of communicating operational data to operators, conducting cashless micro-transactions and providing interactive media at point of sale. It could come fitted with an interactive, video screen that features rotating banner advertisements, giving location owners the ability to communicate with and improve the buying experience of consumers, promote products, provide free access to web based media such as news, sports and weather and possibly generate incremental revenues from interactive media.
USA Technologies is currently in negotiations with major companies in the Communications, IT and other industries who are interested in partnering with USA Technologies on its e-Port product line. In March of this year, USA Technologies announced a Strategic Alliance with Marconi Online Systems. The alliance creates the most comprehensive end-to-end technology solution for the vending industry by bringing together Marconi Online’s Intelligent Vending(TM) service with USA Technologies’ cashless payment and interactive multimedia capabilities delivered through USA’s e-Port(TM) technology. The combined Marconi Online and USA Technologies product offering will enable vending machines to become intelligent, wireless networked machines capable of reporting machine status, handling many forms of cashless payments, and opening up new opportunities in advertising and promotions through interactive media services.
About USA Technologies:
USA Technologies is recognized as a leader in cashless micro-transactions and interactive media technology and associated financial services. USA Technologies provides credit card activated and other cashless systems, allowing end users, ranging from consumers to business professionals, to communicate, conduct business or make ordinary commerce transactions, outside of the home or workplace. USA Technologies is an IBM (NYSE: IBM – news) Business Partner and an inaugural member of the Sprint (NYSE: FON – news) Enabling Application Service Provider Program for e-commerce. It has also established strategic relationships with a number of global IT, multimedia, and telecommunications companies including Marconi Online Systems, RadiSys Corporation, DoubleClick Inc, and Xerox Corporation. Visit the USA Technologies home page at [www.usatech.com].
CIBC this week launched the ‘CIBC Aerogold ADVANTEX Benefit Online’ which endeavors to turn frequent flyers into frequent buyers. CIBC ‘Aerogold’ cardholders and ‘Aerogold VISA’ cardholders can now earn ‘Aeroplan Bonus Miles’ on their purchases at dozens of affiliated e-retailers, including Indigo.ca, IBM.ca, eBags.com, Sharperimage.com and Justwhiteshirts.com. Bonus miles earned are in addition to the one ‘Aeroplan Mile’ per dollar cardholders receive when making purchases with their CIBC ‘Aerogold’ card. The CIBC ‘Aerogold VISA Card’ is the number one premium credit card in Canada with more than 500,000 cardholders. CIBC’s alliance with Aeroplan allows cardholders to earn additional ‘Aeroplan’ miles, redeemable for free flights on Air Canada and its partner airlines.Details
While the competition in biometrics remains intense, there is a sense that e-commerce may drift towards the simultaneous analysis of multiple biometric traits. UniSecurity and BioID America have teamed up to deliver the simultaneous recognition of face, voice and lip movement to protect enterprise network transactions, including e-commerce. Under terms of the deal, the BioID biometric authentication technology will be integrated into UniSecurity’s ‘SecuForce’ suite of products for multimodal biometric authentication. ‘SecuForce Version 1.5’ is an enterprise security solution that combines PKI with biometric authentication from monomodal solutions, including fingerprint and iris recognition, which require specialized scanning hardware. Strictly a software-based solution, BioID utilizes only a standard PC web camera and microphone, increasingly common in mobile computing environments.Details
Payment Systems for Credit Unions, Inc. (PSCU), the nation’s largest Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), recently announced the election of Ed Baranowski as Chairman of the Board. Baranowski has been a member of the PSCU Board of Directors since 1992.
Ed Baranowski is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fairwinds Credit Union. Fairwinds Credit Union has $675 million in assets with 94,000 members served through twelve offices in Central Florida. Fairwinds Credit Union has been a member-owner with PSCU since 1978.
In addition to his role as President and CEO of Fairwinds and his new role as Chairman of the Board, Baranowski is also Chairman of the Board for CENTCUSO and Fairwinds Financial Services, Inc.; Central Florida Credit Union Services Corporations; Past District Governor for Rotary International; and a Board member of the Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He has served on the Board of CUNA, the League, Corporate Central Credit Union Chapter, Services Corporations, Credit Union 24 and Shared Services (FCUSS). Baranowski was inducted into the Florida Credit Union League Hall of Fame in 1996. Baranowski is the author of Executive Excellence, a time management guide for financial executives published by the Credit Union Executive Society in 1984, and is author of Succession Planning (VAP) published in 1992 by CUNA.
PSCU’s president Dave Serlo states, “Ed’s history with and dedication to the credit union industry are unparalleled. His broad knowledge of the industry and his experience with PSCU will provide a great foundation for the PSCU Board of Directors.”
PSCU, founded in 1977, is owned by more than 500 member credit unions representing in excess of 6 million cardholder accounts across the nation. PSCU provides technology and cost-effective, high quality financial services and products solely to credit unions and their members. Additional information can be obtained by visiting PSCU’s website at [www.pscu.net]. For information on ePSCU, a division of PSCU dedicated entirely to Internet product development and delivery, visit [www.epscu.com].
Coinamatic Canada Inc. in conjunction with its ParkSmart division and technology supplier EdgeWare Technologies Corporation, announced that it is presenting its ‘One Solution – One Card -Multiple Benefits’ program, SmartCity, to municipal executives from across Canada at the FCM show in Banff, Alberta.
“The centerpiece of the comprehensive program being demonstrated is the kiosk-based cardholder solution named SelectSmart(TM) from Edgeware”, said Greg Peterson, Executive Vice President of Coinamatic. “Progressive communities are searching for ways to streamline and enhance services for their constituents. Residents benefit by eliminating the need to carry exact change for parking and transit. They also earn loyalty rewards and discounts for shopping at local stores. Merchants benefit from loyal customers and a cost effective marketing program, which leads to increased revenues and profits. The municipality reduces the cost of service delivery at the same time. SmartCity(R) provides tangible benefits to all municipal stakeholders. This level of technology allows us to deliver services that can truly unite and vitalize a community.
Claude G. Beaudoin, EdgeTech’s Vice President Engineering commented, “SelectSmart(TM) is an example of truly putting the consumer in charge of the incentive, services and benefits programs they wish to participate in. Consumers simply insert their smart card into the kiosk to view the status and value of the programs currently on the card, load special discounts or promotional coupons, add funds to the e-purse or add new programs to their card”.
Coinamatic’s user-friendly solution includes parking, transit, library, recreation, special events, e-purse, loyalty, ID, access control and community messaging. The high reliability and robust character of the EdgeWare applications are a good fit for the demanding usage levels of municipal programs.
About EdgeWare Technologies
EdgeWare Technologies is a Canadian software and services firm that designs, develops, markets and supports multi-application, scalable, platform independent smart card software solutions for business, institutions and governments worldwide.
Coinamatic Canada Inc. was founded in 1946 and is one of Canada’s oldest and most respected service companies. Coinamatic has over 54 years’ experience in multi-housing laundry operations, including many public housing facilities, which it serves from fifteen branches across Canada. Coinamatic equipment can be found in more that 15,000 apartment buildings, condominiums, colleges, universities, and public housing facilities. Coinamatic’s 300+ employees truly cater to customers’ needs for convenient, easy-to-use and reliable services. Understanding the specific needs of consumers and the unique needs of municipalities, Coinamatic has implemented over 150 smart card systems across Canada.
ParkSmart Inc. was incorporated in 1997 as a wholly-owned operating division of Coinamatic Canada Inc. ParkSmart is a premier Canadian service company devoted solely to providing cost-effective parking management solutions to municipalities. ParkSmart offers comprehensive, integrated parking management solutions for both on-and off-street parking operations. Its services include strategic consultation, meter and equipment maintenance, coin collection and counting, revenue auditing, and the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies such as smart cards. Through its Canadian-based service bureau, ParkSmart offers client management support, enforcement services, customer service support, on-line cashiering and automated parking ticket processing.Details