Omni 3300 & Canada

VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, and worldwide leader in electronic payment solutions, today announced that e-Smart Direct Services Inc., (Toronto, Ontario), is the first network processor in Canada to install VeriFone Omni 3300 multi-application terminals. e-Smart began installing the Omni 3300 in merchant locations throughout Canada earlier this month to support debit and credit e-payment applications. The company also intends to support value-added applications, including chip-based loyalty and couponing, in the next quarter.

e-Smart, one of the 89 members of Canada’s Interac Direct Payment debit network, provides point of sale (POS) services for all types of Canadian retailers and commercial activities. The company joined VeriFone’s growing global Developer Forum and used VeriFone’s Verix Developer Toolkit to develop a payment application for VeriFone’s Verix platform.

e-Smart elected to use VeriFone SC 550 smart card readers, which meet Canadian standards for PIN-entry, to support smart card, debit and other PIN-based transactions. In addition, e-Smart has also purchased VeriFone’s VeriTalk Lite terminal management software to support the rapid and economical deployment of applications in a multi-application environment. VeriTalk Lite is a download engine for small- to medium-sized processors that enables fast deployment of new payment, payment-related and value-added applications by supporting simultaneous application downloads, thereby lowering the cost per download in a multi-application environment.

“Being a smaller, more nimble organization allows us to quickly evolve our offering to meet the changing needs of Canadian merchants, and to embrace virtually any new technology or standard that comes along. With our new VeriFone solution, we can add applications for our merchants very quickly, and can be assured that the solution is Interac-compliant and backed by VeriFone’s reputation for quality and reliability,” said Mischa Weisz, president and CEO of e-Smart Direct Services Inc. “We plan to help Canadian merchants by exploiting every possible feature of the Omni 3300, especially its ability to support multiple applications that can add significant value to a merchant’s point of sale.”

VeriFone’s Omni 3300 terminal is designed to handle the performance demands of e-payment. The Omni 3300 with VeriFone’s Verix operating platform, features true application separation at both the hardware and software level. The Omni 3300 features a triple-track magnetic-stripe reader, a 32-bit processor with a 14.4K modem, 3 MB of memory and a 12.5 lines-per-second integrated printer.

“VeriFone is thrilled that our Verix-based family of payment terminals is being introduced to the Canadian marketplace by e-Smart,” said Bud Waller, vice president and general manager of North American sales and marketing at VeriFone. “We’ve seen strong growth in our Developer Forum around the globe, indicating that our Omni 3300 family of terminals, featuring the open architecture of the Verix operating environment, is gaining momentum as the platform of choice for developers looking to provide processors and merchants worldwide with applications that maximize the value of their point of sale.”

About e-Smart Direct Services

e-Smart Direct Services Inc. is a leader in fully integrated processing services for Retailers, Financial Institutions and Independent Service Operators. As a Direct Member of the Interac(R) Association, e-Smart Direct Services processes debit and credit transactions originating from Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) devices. e-Smart’s wholesale processing rates as well as it’s ability to design, program and implement custom retail applications such as “convenience fees” (surcharging) and loyalty programs that have attracted retailers throughout Canada to this alternative e-payment solution.

About VeriFone

VeriFone ([][1]), a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. The division has shipped more than nine million electronic-payment systems, which are used in more than 100 countries.

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company — a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services — is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to individuals and businesses through simple appliances, useful e-services and an Internet infrastructure that’s always on. HP has 88,500 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing operations of $48.8 billion in its 2000 fiscal year. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at [][2].




SCM Microsystems, a leading provider of solutions that open the Digital World, announced at the CeBit trade show in Hannover that it will develop and deliver a universal secure smart card reader for consumers in Europe, based on FINREAD specifications to be released in the first part of 2001. FINREAD is a consortium of European banks whose goal it is to create a secure online payment system based on smart cards that is affordable and easy to use, deploy and upgrade.

Through the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), FINREAD is developing a series of specifications for intelligent smart card readers intended to support electronic commerce, home banking and digital signature applications. SCM’s secure readers will be the first to provide support for multiple applications, including credit card, e-purse, loyalty and secure home banking. Readers are expected to be available for deployment in the second half of 2001 with first prototype in June. They will be offered to the market via various distribution channels throughout Europe.

Members of the FINREAD Consortium include Groupement des Cartes Bancaires “CB” (France), Visa EU (United Kingdom), Europay International (Belgium), Banksys (Belgium), Interpay Nederland (the Netherlands), SIZ (German Savings Banks Financial Group, Germany) and Ingenico (France).

SCM Microsystems has a long track record of developing smart card readers and terminals for security applications. SCM’s forthcoming generation of FINREAD compliant readers will include strong cryptographic mechanisms that will authenticate smart card users, providing a high level of security to consumers, as well as non-repudiation protection for merchants. In addition, the readers will rely on an open Java-based application interface and a K-Java Virtual Machine to enable total interoperability of applications across different vendors, along with secure download of applets from a trusted server.

The adoption of FINREAD specifications is a key milestone for the smart card reader industry,” said Robert Schneider, Chief Executive Officer at SCM Microsystems. “By defining an open standard, FINREAD will dramatically accelerate the deployment of smart card readers to support financial transactions of all sorts. Without interoperability between readers, cards and applications, this technology is simply too expensive. With these common standards and with compelling applications from cash downloads to movie viewing, SCM’s potential for reader deployment is tremendous.”

European banks will benefit from having standardized and secure smart card readers available for both financial and non-financial transactions. This will allow them to deploy new applications across Europe, quickly and affordably.

Other industries to which SCM is delivering security products also see the adoption of FINREAD standards as an important development as they work to create and deploy new services for customers. For example, forthcoming FINREAD specifications for embedded security will enable digital television broadcasters to offer viewers the ability to pay for premium content through a FINREAD compliant remote control, and allow cell phone users to purchase goods and services using a smart card. SCM will work with its OEM customers to the hardware and software components necessary to enable any device to be FINREAD compliant.

FINREAD specifications will be compliant with other banking standards, such as Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) and the Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) for smart cards. It is expected that the FINREAD smart card reader initiative will lead to a global standard for secure banking over open networks.

About SCM Microsystems

SCM Microsystems is a leading supplier of solutions that open the Digital World by enabling people to conveniently access digital content and services. SCM’s advanced silicon solutions, hardware and software enable secure exchange of electronic information for digital applications from e-commerce to broadband content delivery by providing controlled access points to platforms such as PCs, digital cameras and digital television set-top boxes. Known as a premier supplier to OEM companies around the world, SCM also serves the retail market through its Dazzle, Microtech and FAST product brands. Global headquarters are in Fremont, Calif., with European headquarters in Pfaffenhofen, Germany. For additional information, visit the SCM Microsystems Website at [][1].



P2P Fees

Nearly three-fifths of consumers expect their financial institutions to offer electronic person-to-person payment services, and those services with real-time capabilities can command premium pricing. These findings – included among the results of proprietary consumer research conducted in January 2001 by NYCE Corporation and Dove Consulting Group, Inc.- suggest P2P is a key product with which financial institutions can build customer loyalty and create new streams of revenue.

According to Neil Axe, Director of Emerging Network Payments at NYCE, 57 percent of respondents to the nationwide web-based survey indicated it was important that their financial institutions support a P2P service. “This clearly represents an area in which financial institutions can position themselves as progressive, while at the same time potentially bolstering their customer recruitment and retention efforts,” said Axe. “Furthermore, as customers suggest that they are willing to pay more for immediate transfers of and access to funds, it’s also an area in which these institutions can generate significant fee-based revenue.”

Axe said the price-related findings underscore the public’s perceived value of P2P capabilities. Forty-four percent of survey respondents indicated that $5.00 or more per transaction, on average, is a “fair” price to pay for being able to move and access funds in real time. In addition, 61 percent of respondents said it is “very important” for money to be accessible immediately after it is sent. According to the survey the preferred method for initiating P2P payments is a personal computer (PC) with Internet access. Fifty-six percent of consumers said they would be interested in performing these types of transactions from a PC, 38 percent at an ATM and 18 percent using a personal digital assistant or other mobile device. (Respondents could select more than one preferred device.)

Another valuable finding for financial institutions, noted Axe, is that consumers strongly prefer to use a P2P service provided by their insured depository institution rather than Internet-based providers. Only 9 percent of survey resondents agreed with the statement “I trust Internet-only providers more than my bank for this service,” versus 60 percent who disagreed. “Consumers tend to view their financial institution as a familiar, trusted entity with a `real-world’ presence. These positive associations can give financial institutions a `lift’ in the on-line world in such a way that consumers feel more secure performing transactions at their institutions’ websites than at the sites of other providers,” said Axe. “Financial institutions also have an advantage in that they are backed by a precise and long-standing regulatory structure that reaps consumer confidence.”

Research Methodology

The NYCE research into real-time P2P payments resulted from a Web-based survey of 2,665 consumers in the United States. Respondents first completed a P2P demo, then answered a series of questions regarding the demo, as well as their payment payment preferences, behaviors and attitudes. The survey was conducted from January 2 through 10, 2001, by Dove Consulting Group, Inc., which worked with NYCE to create the study instrument.


NYCE Corporation is one of the leading electronic payments companies in the United States, providing financial institutions and retailers with shared network services for automated teller machines (ATMs), on-line debit point-of-sale (POS) and emerging real-time payment solutions. The company also provides processing services that support ATM management and monitoring services, as well as debit card issuance and authorization solutions. Through a long-standing commitment to product innovation, NYCE has established itself as a front-runner in real-time person-to-person (P2P) payment services and PIN-secured Internet debit payment solutions. Comprising 2,400 financial institution and retail ATM deployer participants, the NYCE Network processes nearly 93 million transactions per month while servicing more than 47 million cardholders through 44,000 NYCE-branded ATMs and 250,000 POS locations. NYCE Corporation is headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, and can be found online at [][1]. (Statistics as of 3/15/01.)



Cards Asia

A major international card event is scheduled for next month in Singapore, sponsored by VISA, MasterCard, and Sema. The sixth annual ‘Cards Asia’ conference and exhibition is expected to draw more than 3,000 exhibit visitors. Mark Burbidge, GM/SVP of e-VISA, will examine payment card solutions using wireless technology. Lucas Chow, CEO of SingTel Mobile, and Philippe Paillart, CEO of DBS Bank in Singapore, will discuss the future of m-commerce over the next five years. Marc Lassus of Gemplus will also make a keynote presentation. The two-day event will be held April 25-26 at the Singapore International Convention Center. A special one-day SIM seminar will be held on April 27. Registration details for ‘Cards Asia’ are available on the RAM Research Group homepage- [][1].



Visa Canada

VISA International reported yesterday that its Canadian region logged $93 billion in card volume last year, a 15.9% increase over 1999. Almost 850 million VISA transactions, averaging $98.58, were carried out in stores and retail outlets across Canada. VISA says it expects card volume to grow by 12% this year. VISA Canada also released a report yesterday that showed 83% of the respondents expected personal spending this year to either increase or remain unchanged. The findings also show that 75% of the respondents expect to either increase or maintain their use of credit cards over the coming year, up slightly from the 72% who responded similarly in the two previous studies. the studies were conduced by Thompson Lightstone & Company Ltd. VISA Canada also noted that its $1.5 million personal financial management education program for high school students has resulted in distribution of its ‘Choices & Decisions’ program to more than 4,000 schools in Canada.


Discover Biz-Perks

Discover has introduced a new merchant incentive program offering a special 1% discount rate. The ‘Discover BizPerks’ program also offers discounts on business services offered by program partners as well as a cash rebate/points program. The ‘BizPerks’ package, which carries a $5.99 per month fee, is offering a 1% merchant discount rate on the first $10,000 in total Discover Card sales volume during 2001, to charter members of the new program. ‘BizPerks’ also offers special discounted rates and incentive offers from Sprint, Airborne Express, EarthLink, Switchboard, MSDW Online, and TradeOut. For example, ‘BizPerk’ members receive a 30% discount on Airborne Express overnight shipping services and a 6.7 cents per minute phone call rate from Sprint. Participants also earn a two cent cash rebate for each dollar spent with the program partners. The rebate for the 1% merchant discount rate and the rebate from partner purchases is to be credited on the member’s Feb 2002 ‘Monthly Activity Report’. Major merchants, including banks and merchants receiving a tiered or gold discount merchant rate, are excluded from participating in the ‘BizPerks’ program. ‘BizPerk’ marketing materials may be viewed on CardWatch ([][1]).



Select Class Upgraded

Datacard Group introduced an enhanced portfolio of Select Class card printers that deliver sharper image quality while operating at higher print speeds. The printer performance improvements are made possible by Datacard’s latest innovation, Advanced Imaging Technology. Advanced Imaging Technology leverages high-performance print ribbons that produce crisper, more life-like images on cards. It also features an improved system that cleans each card as it enters the printer, minimizing the accumulation of dirt, lint and other debris on critical components.

“Advanced Imaging Technology is an important breakthrough for our customers because it represents a huge leap in image quality,” said Dan Hirsch, Senior Product Manager for Datacard. “For organizations issuing ID cards, Advanced Imaging Technology makes images — such as photos and bar codes — crisper, cleaner and more effective.

“Card issuers who produce cards for consumer applications– such as membership or loyalty programs–can leverage Advanced Imaging Technology(TM) to strengthen their image as a provider of quality products and services,” Hirsch said. “Photos, text and other images are much more vivid and life-like. That makes both the cards and the card issuers look better in the consumer’s eyes.” The new Advanced Imaging Technology(TM) feature is available on a wide range of Datacard printers, including the ImageCard(R) Select, ImageCard(R) Select 2, UltraGrafix(R) Select and UltraGrafix(R) Select 2. The new technology enhances both full-color and one-color printing — and it improves images on both sides of a card if the printer has duplex capability.

“Datacard customers will notice a significant improvement in solid backgrounds, bar codes and small text when using our enhanced printers,” Hirsch said. “Advanced Imaging Technology(TM) will also give them more precise color matching for photos and other images captured by cameras and scanners. “Greater precision in the color matching process with cameras and scanners means that fewer adjustments are necessary to reach an ideal image for a particular card,” Hirsch added. “When adjustments are necessary, user-definable image and color controls help designers and printer operators make fast, simple color changes directly from their computers.”

Datacard Group is a world leader in innovative plastic card personalization and identity management solutions. The company provides its customers with integrated systems for a variety of financial, identification and healthcare applications. A diverse solutions portfolio features a broad range of card-related products and services, including the world’s best-selling card personalization and printing systems. Datacard Group also offers card lifecycle management software, smart card personalization systems and applications, custom solution development and products designed to enhance card issuing operations. Datacard Corporation, doing business as Datacard Group, is privately held and based in Minnetonka, Minn. Datacard Group serves customers in more than 200 countries and provides sales and service in more than 120 countries.


President’s Choice Launched

President’s Choice Bank launched the new President’s Choice Financial MasterCard in British Columbia, allowing consumers in the province to be the first in Canada to be able to earn free grocery rewards for everyday spending on their credit card.

“The President’s Choice philosophy has always been about searching the world to bring consumers unprecedented value”, explains Geoff Wilson, Vice President Industry and Investor Relations, Loblaw Companies Limited, “We believe that the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard offers the best credit card value for Canadian consumers with its unbeatable combination of free grocery rewards, premium credit card benefits and no annual fee.”

The main feature of the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard is the PC(TM) points loyalty program. PC points is a unique program designed specifically for customers of President’s Choice Financial services. Customers who use this new MasterCard can earn PC points on purchases everywhere, redeemable for free groceries in Loblaw Companies Limited owned and franchised stores such as Real Canadian Superstores in BC. Other great travel and merchandise rewards will be introduced to the PC(TM) points program in the near future.

Accepted at 19 million locations worldwide, the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard also offers all the benefits of a premium credit card such as purchase assurance, extended warranty for purchases on the card and MasterCard Roadside Assistance – all for no annual fee.

“Nine of the past 11 new credit card issuers in Canada have chosen MasterCard,” said Craig Penney, Vice President and General Manager, MasterCard Canada. “Both the President’s Choice Financial and MasterCard brands are seen as leaders in their respective industries in developing innovative programs that directly benefit consumers. This relationship is a natural match which will give Canadians more choice in the way they want to pay.”

The launch in British Columbia represents the first stage of a roll-out of the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard across Canada. Over the next three months, the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard will be introduced in Alberta, the Prairies, Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces with Quebec following in 2002.

About President’s Choice Financial services:

Since the launch in February 1998, President’s Choice Financial services, a co-venture between Loblaw Companies Limited and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, have grown at a rapid pace, offering Canadians unprecedented savings of time and money. President’s Choice Financial services include Canada’s only no fee daily bank account, the Interest First(TM) savings account with a premium interest rate currently at 4.10 percent, the Unbeatable, Eatable Mortgage(TM) which combines better rates and free groceries, a low-cost borrowing account, a daily interest investment account RRSP, a variety of loans, high interest GICs, plus PC(TM) points towards free groceries. There are more than 240 President’s Choice Financial bank machines and 180 President’s Choice Financial pavilions located at Loblaw Companies Limited stores across Canada. President’s Choice Financial core banking services are provided by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The President’s Choice Financial MasterCard will be provided by President’s Choice Bank, a subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Limited.

About MasterCard International:

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 19 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US $727 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its world wide web site at [][1].



CU Card Access

InteliData Technologies Corp., an innovative provider of Internet-based financial services, announced that The Members Group, a company dedicated to providing financial technology to credit unions, has chosen InteliData Card Solutions’ Internet Self Service suite of products to provide real-time access and management capabilities to their clients’ cardholders.

The Members Group selected InteliData Card Solutions for the completely brandable, secure and cost-effective solution that will give The Members Group a competitive edge in the constantly changing card industry. InteliData’s proven track record for speed to market, and their corporate stability were other key factors in the selection.

Jeff Russell, technology and development officer of The Member Group says ‘We can now provide our clients with a leading edge solution for reviewing, maintaining and managing their accounts, as well as paying their credit card bills, using the Internet.’ Russell continued, ‘InteliData’s extensive knowledge of the credit card market gave us the ability to develop functionality and flexibility to change with the needs of our clients.’ InteliData President and CEO, Al Dominick, pointed to a number of competitive pressures credit card service providers like The Members Group face today-pressures that InteliData’s Card Solutions products were designed to address. Dominick said, ‘These organizations are dealing with changing regulations from governing bodies, as well as ongoing mergers and acquisitions of existing portfolios,’ Dominick continued, ‘Our Card Solutions line of products will help The Members Group provide marketable products in the form of competitive rates, product features and the servicing of these products to their client base.’

About InteliData Technologies Corp.

InteliData provides Internet banking and card solutions plus Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment (EBPP) technology and services to banks, credit unions, and financial institution processors. InteliData’s EBPP products offer banks, card issuers and other financial institutions an end-to-end solution for creating e-bills for billers, distributing e-bills and e-payments through multiple delivery channels, delivering e-bills to consumers, and enabling payment of bills through multiple payment processors utilizing OFX and IFX messaging standards. InteliData’s Internet banking and card products provide large financial institutions throughout the U.S. with unsurpassed scalability, flexibility and security in supplying real-time, Internet based banking and card services to their customers. For more information about InteliData, visit the company’s Web site at [][1].

About The Members Group

The Members Group is a financial services organization dedicated to providing customized solutions that are complemented by superior service and competitive pricing. The company offers a wide array of services that focus on flexibility, quality and unparalleled value. By combining tailor-made credit and debit card programs with industry-leading service and pricing, The Members Group continues to be the premier card processor for credit unions. In addition to providing credit and debit card processing services, The Members Group also provides clients with check processing, mortgage loans, ACH and asset liability management services. For further information, please go to [][2].



Precis Acquisition

OK-based Precis Smart Card Systems has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Capella Group. The company, which has corporate offices in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, markets a national health care membership program under the name ‘Care Entree’. The health care card program had sales of $5.6 million last year. Upon closing the transaction, Judith Henkels, President and CEO of Capella Group, will become President and COO of Precis while also retaining her position at Capella Group.


GCA Signs More

The five gaming properties of Kewadin Gaming Authority in Michigan recently signed a three-year contract to utilize the products and services of Global Cash Access. GCA is a supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry. Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 and is a joint venture of First Data Corp. and M&C International, Inc.