VISA USA announced the release of a small business version of its ‘smart VISA’ card this morning. Reportedly FleetBoston will be the first issuer to offer the new product. The announcement builds on the VISA smart card program introduced last September. The small business version of the ‘smart VISA’ card will initially offer three areas of functionality including the payment, access, and loyalty. Under the access function small business cardholders may be able to set spending limits for different employees while the loyalty function can capture discounts. By focusing initially on the payment function and the Internet, ‘smart VISA’ allows immediate use and acceptance of the new payment technology. An example of how the chip-enabled technology would work for a merchant would be to use a ‘smart VISA Business’ card to purchase supplies online and gain volume discounts through the suppliers’ secure Web site. Special offers could be downloaded from the Web site and used at the physical world store. This same business could build a rewards program for its own customers, offering discounts or free merchandise to customers for repeat business. Points or coupons could be awarded for purchases made and stored on the chip. In a different scenario, a contracting firm could issue ‘smart VISA Business’ cards to its employees, with the chip automatically recording purchase information and integrating it into the firm’s accounting software. VISA is continuing the push to incent merchants to obtain a plug-in application to take advantage of the payer authentication feature of the new ‘smart VISA’ cards. Fleet and Providian introduced consumer versions of the first ‘smart VISA’ cards on Sept. 12. First USA joined the smart card issuers Oct. 24. While VISA will not release figures on the number of ‘smart VISA’ cards issued to-date, it says the program has exceeded expectations. The AmEx ‘Blue Card’, the first general purpose smart card issued in the U.S., has signed up more than four million cardholders since its launch in Sept. 1999. AmEx also released a business version of ‘Blue Card’ last year. (CF Library 9/12/00; 9/13/00; 10/03/00;10/25/00)Details
Orbiscom, the leading provider of Controlled Payment Number technology, announced the launch of its Canadian operation in Toronto in a committed effort to extend it’s North American reach and establish marketplace leadership in Canada. Further, the global technology company announces the appointment of Frank Austin, BASc. MBA, P.Eng. to Chief Executive Officer of Orbiscom-Canada, Inc.
“By creating a Canadian operation, we have the ability to quickly establish Canadian customers and build consumer confidence for safe, online transactions,” said Ray Sheridan, Orbiscom’s chief operating officer. “Frank Austin’s extensive management expertise will prove invaluable in continuing to maintain our global leadership position.”
Mr. Austin brings more than 20 years of experience in applying technology systems, improving operations and initiating change to his current post, overseeing Orbiscom’s operations, management and team development in the Canadian market. Recognized as an innovator and successful change agent for his work with Tescor Energy, Saudi Aramco, The Body Shop, Dow Chemical and ServiceMaster. Austin is poised to advance Orbiscom’s CPN technology to ensure secure online payments for Canadian consumers.
Orbiscom-Canada’s first order of business is to sign a Canadian financial institution to license the Orbiscom, Inc. core product, O-power, a win-win solution for consumers, merchants and financial institutions.
“Our O-powered Controlled Payment Number is an incredibly powerful product, that enables people to shop on-line without exposing their personal credit card number. Orbiscom’s timing to market is ideal given the complete lack of proven and tested solutions available to Canadian consumers at this time, ” says Austin.
Orbiscom is also developing a number of other products utilizing O-power to address other on-line shopping needs of Canadian consumers. These new products will be available in Canada later this year.
About Orbiscom Inc.
Orbiscom Incorporated is a software technology service provider that is setting a new standard for controlled, protected on-line payments. The Orbiscom technology, O-power, enables consumers to generate a Controlled Payment Number (CPN) and specify a dollar limit valid for that on-line purchase. O-power is compatible with all current payment initiatives – credit, debit, checks – and allows consumers to shop at any e-tailer with confidence. Orbiscom, as the first to develop and successfully implement a Controlled Payment Number Technology, has installed O-power in Ireland, the UK and the United States. Founded in 1998, Orbiscom Incorporated is head quartered in New York with a development center in Dublin, Ireland, and operation centers in London, Brussels, Sydney and Toronto.Details
Western Union and Verizon Wireless have signed a multi-year contract, which will allow Verizon Wireless’ ‘Prepay’ customers to use the Western Union ‘SwiftPay’ card to replenish minutes on their accounts. Verizon Wireless ‘Prepay’ customers will be able to simply present the ‘SwiftPay’ card and their cash payment at more than 30,000 Western Union agent locations. The payment is posted to the customer’s account on a near real-time basis, replenishing the account within minutes. Rollout to customers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Georgia will begin this month.Details
Beverly Hills, CA-based MAXX International and NY-based Telstar International have set plans to begin marketing affinity prepaid telephone cards in English and Spanish featuring Pope John Paul II along with selected prayers by his Holiness printed on the cards. This is the first time that photographs of the Pope, along with his prayers, will have appeared on prepaid telephone cards. The marketing will begin in two weeks. A series of four prepaid telephone cards will be marketed throughout the USA, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines and Peru. The cards will be sold in denominations of $5, $10 and $20. MAXX will also distributed the cards through religious stores, religious gift shops, religious publications, and its Internet sited TheGospel.com. Last summer, Maxx signed an exclusive license agreement with the Treasures of St. Peter’s in The Vatican for the rights to market and distribute Vatican-branded credit, debit and telephone cards. There are approximately 60 million Catholics in the USA and over one billion Catholics worldwide. (CF Library 6/30/00; 11/06/00)Details
Dallas-based Carreker Corp. has signed a new fraud prevention contract in excess of $1 million with one of the largest banks in Australia and has completed its first licensing agreement in the UK to provide its ‘eiManager’ ATM monitoring software to Halifax plc. In Australia, Carreker will provide its ‘FraudLink On-us’ and ‘FraudLink Deposit’ software to monitor potential fraudulent activity across all check transactions within the bank’s operations. In the UK, Carreker’s ‘eiManager’ will provide ATM fault and device monitoring, as well as automated dispatch and escalation of service requests, to the more than 2,500 ATMs operated by Halifax throughout the U.K.Details
CyberCash announced Friday morning that due to its inability to raise the financing necessary to consummate the company’s previously announced merger with Network 1 Financial, the companies have terminated their merger agreement and entered into an asset purchase agreement under which Network 1 Financial will acquire all of CyberCash’s operating assets. The transaction will be consummated under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding filed Friday in Delaware. As a result, Nasdaq trading was immediately halted in CyberCash. CyberCash stock closed at 25/32 Thursday, down more than 95% from a 52-week high of $16 and near a 52-week low of 1/2. CyberCash said Friday it will continue to support its existing customer base of more than 27,500 Internet merchants and more than 100,000 software users. The Company will also maintain all normal business functions including marketing and sales activities designed to generate new business, partner marketing programs, and completing scheduled enhancements to its Internet payment processing service while to bankruptcy proceedings are underway. The decision to file bankruptcy comes less than three months after CyberCash announced it would purchase Network 1 for $64.5 million in stock. The parties hope to close the asset sale transaction in early April. Network 1 Financial Corp, headquartered in McLean, VA, provides electronic payment processing systems and merchant accounting, employs 120 people and had revenue of $23.6 million in 2000. (CF Library 12/15/00; 1/10/01; 2/02/01)Details
Brokat Technologies, a global leader in software that enables user-centric business, today announced Brokat PaymentWorks Mobile was ranked as the No. 1 wireless payment software by Celent Communications. Acknowledged for its strong flexibility, scalability and connectivity to back-office systems, PaymentWorks Mobile was additionally noted for its multi-channel support and open architecture. Brokat was also rated as the No. 1 provider of integrated wireless financial services software by Celent in October, 2000.
Celent based the ranking on ease of use, multi-channel support, the types of wireless payment supported, overall functionality, number of clients live or in pilot, wireless devices/protocols supported, global focus, deployment time, and experience in e-payments. Brokat was one of the eleven providers evaluated by Celent in this category.
“The rankings we receive from an independent analyst firm like Celent reinforce Brokat’s leading position in wireless payment software,” said Scott Geddes, vice president of mobile commerce for Brokat Technologies U.S. “Celent’s recognition also validates Brokat’s easy-to-use PaymentWorks software for its multi-channel support and payment flexibility, which enables customers to make secure payments anytime, anywhere.”
“Wireless payment offerings are the next strategic technology initiative for leading retail banks. Financial institutions are rapidly turning to vendors to help them implement mobile payment systems,” said Isabella Fonseca, Celent Analyst and author of the report. “We see two different categories of vendors playing in this field: Internet/wireless application providers and payment specific solution providers. Among the vendors evaluated, Brokat is best positioned to address mobile payment services within the Internet and wireless category of vendors, supporting multiple types of payments and providing a high customization level to financial companies. Brokat’s offerings support the needs of not only financial institutions, but also mobile carriers and m-portals. With its proven technology in the Internet payment space, we expect Brokat to build its financial and mobile payment client base quickly.”
According to Celent’s report, there are currently 4.6 million mobile payment users, with the number expected to increase to over 60 million by 2004. Many of these people will own Internet-enabled phones, creating a significant opportunity for financial institutions to provide additional services.
Brokat PaymentWorks Mobile enables the creation of secure electronic and mobile payment services, allowing customers to use mobile devices to make easy, secure payments. The key component of the PaymentWorks Mobile is the Brokat Mobile Wallet, a mobile wallet server that stores customer data needed for making purchases, such as a user’s identity, credit information, and purchasing limit.
Brokat Technologies is a global leader in software that enables user-centric business. Brokat’s product families — multi-channel infrastructure software, rules management and personalization technology, mobile payment software, and e-finance applications — are used by over 3,500 enterprises worldwide including ABN Amro, Allianz, Bank of America, Blue Martini Software, Charter One, DaimlerChrysler, DBS Bank, Fidelity Investments, IBM Corporation, LBBW, MasterCard International, SE-Banken, Sun Microsystems, Swiss Post Office, T-Motion (a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom), and Toyota. Strategic partners, among others, include Compaq, Intel, IBM, Siemens, and Sun Microsystems. With dual headquarters in San Jose, California and Stuttgart, Germany, Brokat employs over 1,400 people in 17 countries. Information on Brokat and its products is available at [http://www.brokat.com].
Perfect Plastic Printing announced last week the promotion of 3 senior managers to Vice President.
Wally Maier has been promoted to V.P. Manufacturing. Wally has been Director of Manufacturing for the past 3 years. He has 46 years of experience in the printing industry, and is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology.
Dale Pfingst is the new V.P. Quality and R & D. Dale has been with PPP for the last 8 years and is the principal architect of PPP’s Quality program. Dale has his MBA from Notre Dame and is a registered Quality Engineer.
Christopher Smoczynski has been promoted to Group Vice President. Over the last 11 years, Chris has spent a year or more in management of every department at PPP. Chris has a BS in printing from Rochester Institute of Technology.
PPP is one of the world’s leaders in secure credit card manufacturing, and has been producing the finest quality secure credit cards since 1965.Details
Bank Rhode Island announced last week that it has joined the SUM Program, giving its customers surcharge-free access to over 2,500 ATMs throughout New England.
Bank Rhode Island customers can now use any SUM ATM in New England without a surcharge fee, including the 85 SUM ATMs in Rhode Island and over 1,800 throughout Massachusetts.
The Program allows Bank Rhode Island to continue to expand ATM access for its customers. Last year, the Bank signed an agreement with Atlas ATM, bringing an additional 51 machines into the Bank Rhode Island network. With the addition of the SUM Program, the Bank’s customers can now access more than 140 ATMs in the state without incurring a surcharge fee.
“We are always looking for ways to make banking more convenient for our customers,” said James V. DeRentis, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking. “This program allows us to provide our customers, many of whom work or travel all over New England, with surcharge-free access to ATMs. And our Custom Banking customers can access these ATMs free of all charges.”
Custom Banking is Bank Rhode Island’s relationship checking account. Custom Banking customers can combine all eligible account balances – deposit, mortgage and other loan balances – to meet minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees.
The SUM Program is administered by the NYCE Corporation and is designed to help minimize ATM fees for consumers. SUM Program members agree to provide surcharge-free transactions at designated ATMs for the customers of all participating institutions. There are presently 411 financial institutions participating in the SUM Program.
Participating ATMs can be identified by the green and gold SUM symbol displayed on the machine. A complete listing of SUM ATM locations can be found by visiting [www.sum-atm.com].
Bank Rhode Island, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bancorp Rhode Island, Inc., is a full-service, FDIC-insured financial institution headquartered in Providence. As of December 31, 2000, Bancorp Rhode Island’s total assets stood at $739.4 million and total deposits were $631.6 million. Bancorp Rhode Island’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol “BARI” and its corporate web site is located at [www.bankri.com].
The International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) will host a member benefits seminar for potential member companies located in the Asia/Pacific region. The meeting will be held Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 1:00pm at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the Cards Asia Show being held April 25-27.
The host of the meeting is Tai Kyo Choi, vice president of ICMA and president of KBC Corporation, Seoul Korea. The meeting will commence with a luncheon, followed by an audio-visual presentation about ICMA, the world’s leading trade association for plastic card manufacturers and personalizers, and its numerous member benefits. These include educational workshops and conferences, the annual ICMA EXPO, market surveys, networking, email discussion forum, publications, Internet site, public relations opportunities, industry referrals, discounts to ICMA events, scholarships and more.
Attendees witll also benefit from a discussion on the latest industry trends presented by Chou Fang Soong, vice president of financial services of Secu-Card Gemplus Singapore and Steven Yap, director of plastic card manufacturing of Secur-Card Gemplus Singapore. A long-time ICMA member, Gemplus is the world’s largest card manufacturer, and is represented on the ICMA Board of Directors.
Advance registration is required. To sign up or for more information on attending the meeting and ICMA membership, contact Lori Nasatka at ICMA headquarters, tel: 609-799-4900; fax: 609-799-7032; email: Inasatka@icma.com — or visit the ICMA web site atDetails
The introduction of Bluetooth technology could have a significant impact on ATM usage in the USA. NCR said last week that the combination of access to mobile media and the print and delivery facilities available at the ATM machines could open up a number of new opportunities for those with a mobile lifestyle. Bluetooth provides the link between the mobile world and self-service, whereby the consumer carries the interface. As an example of the benefit of this potential shift via Bluetooth, consumers can now order tickets to an event while away from home or the office. However, they either have to await delivery or arrange to collect at a venue convenient to the distributor. Using today’s web-enabled ATMs, coupled in the future with mobile access, consumers could not just order the tickets, but receive them at their ATM or collect them at a location they determine as convenient.Details
Canadian Tire Acceptance Limited confirmed Friday the sale of its Hamilton Discount Corporation Limited subsidiary to The Associates. Hamilton is a provider of private label credit card programs to some of Canada’s largest retailers. As part of the deal, The Associates will also purchase from CTAL outstanding credit charge receivables managed on behalf of a third-party retailer. Total cash proceeds from both transactions will exceed $135 million with a net pre-tax gain to CTAL of approximately $8 million. The deal does not affect Canadian Tire’s other credit card products including the ‘Options MasterCard’ and proprietary Canadian Tire retail card. Both cards are profitable, growing about 24% annually. Under last week’s agreement, The Associates will retain all 117 HDC employees across Canada and will continue to operate as Hamilton Discount Corporation Limited.Details