Oberthur Card Systems launched the world’s first fully standardized 64K, RSA-enabled, Java-based ‘SIM Toolkit’ card. The ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ card is the first on the market to bring together both the WIM and SIM Toolkit functions on one card. Developed with Infineon Technologies, ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’s’ RSA capabilities and memory size facilitate and support high-level security systems including PKI. The ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ also supports simultaneous SAT & WIM hosting due to its 64K EEPROM user memory. ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ is compliant with the ‘ETSI 11.11’ and ‘11.14’ specifications and is based upon the latest model in Infineon Technology’s 66Plus controllers’ family.Details
Providian and VISA completed the first series of ‘smart VISA’ credit card transactions last week, using the new Providian ‘Clear VISA’ smart card. A Providian employee and a VISA employee conducted the test purchases at a series of locations in the High Street district in London. The overseas merchant locations were chosen because of the presence of both Providian and VISA offices and the number of EMV-compliant merchant locations available. The credit transactions were all conducted through the EMV-compliant merchants, then routed back to the USA for immediate authorization and clearance. Five purchases were made at five different locations, and one item was returned for a refund to test the system for returns. All transactions were conducted in the same or less time than traditional, magnetic stripe transactions. The transactions were verified through the VISA system and processed by TSYS. Barclay’s Bank PLC served as the merchant bank for all test transactions.Details
NY-based M2card announced yesterday the first loyalty program that rewards teens and young adults for all online and offline purchases as well as non-spending activities. The ‘M2points Rewards Program’ has signed up more than 150 merchants, including Barnes & Noble.com, TheSportsAuthority.com, Fossil, Pacific Sunwear, imix.com and LAFunk. This month, M2 will launch the ‘M2card’, a pre-funded, reloadable card that is welcomed at all VISA merchants worldwide. Each dollar spent with the M2card accrues a specified number of ‘M2points’, depending upon the merchant partner and nature of the purchase. Additionally, M2points are accrued for non-spending activities such as filling out a survey or referring a friend. M2points can be redeemed at the M2 website for products and gift certificates offered by participating merchants.Details
Oberthur Card Systems, the innovator in the smart card industry, announced a partnership with Entrust Technologies Inc., a global leader in PKI products and e-business security.
The partnership brings together Oberthur’s expertise in the field of advanced card-based e-business and wireless technology and Entrust’s proven expertise in providing PKI and Certificate Authority solutions to trusted, secure e-business and m-commerce.
! “Oberthur and Entrust share a common mission and have partnered to provide the most secure electronic and mobile commerce solutions for mobile operators and financial institutions to governments and the healthcare industry,” said Marc Bertin, director of e-business for Oberthur Card Systems.
The Entrust and Oberthur partnership enables financial institutions and telecom operators to quickly and easily deploy the infrastructure needed to enable fixed and wireless transactions for any device using smart card technology.
Oberthur provides the technology and security of a card-based system, and Entrust provides the technical expertise and solutions from its Global Wireless Solutions and core PKI groups. The integrated offering includes e-commerce, wireless and card management solutions.
Integrating Oberthur’s advanced Card Management System with Entrust ensures that the PKI and certificates are not simply added into products at a later stage, but are incorporated into the manufacturing process from the beginning of the cards’ lifecycles.
The partnership between Entrust and Oberthur will also meet the increasing demands of e-business by providing the necessary security to ensure strong authentication of users together with trustworthy and convenient digital signatures on transactions. These integrated capabilities will improve the security, reliability and scalability of e-business initiatives.
“Oberthur and Entrust are together seeking to create wholly secure and trusted online and wireless business environments,” commented Richard Kirk, vice-president of global wireless solutions for Entrust Technologies. “We are providing financial institutions and banks with easily implemented solutions, which meet the highest security requirements.
“Entrust is strategically positioned in the security market as a leading provider of PKI products and services. By joining forces with Oberthur, a leading innovator in smart card technology, we will bring greater integration in the implementation of reliable and secure end-to-end e-business solutions. This will lead to greater efficiency, cost savings and a faster time to market for our customers.”
The initial projects to be embarked upon jointly will be to develop solutions for putting WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) digital certificates onto all Oberthur smart card products, including SIM/WIM cards for telecommunications, banking and authentication.
In addition, Entrust.net’s WAP root key certificates will be embedded within Oberthur’s SIM/WIM cards setting the foundation for delivery of trusted services.
The solution is designed to meet the high scalability and performance requirements of Oberthur Card Systems, a high volume manufacturer producing several millions of cards per month. All solutions conform to open standards including Identrus standards.
About Oberthur Card Systems
Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange – Code SICOVAM 12413), a global leader and the innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the future through offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, UMTS, e-wallet technologies & card management systems coupled with a firm commitment to open standards.
World No. 1 supplier of MasterCard and Visa cards, No. 1 in banking, e-commerce, m-commerce and pay-TV, Oberthur is also the No. 1 in Java(TM) and GSM technologies.
Employing 3,000 people worldwide, Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach ensured by 30 sales offices and 13 manufacturing sites across the five continents. Oberthur Card Systems had sales of 185.8 million of Euros in 1999.
Internet sites: [http://www.oberthurcs.com]; [http://www.oberthurusa.com]
About Entrust Inc.
Entrust Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENTU) is a global leader in solutions that bring trust to e-business relationships by securing and managing the transactions that constitute e-business.
Through the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of trusted e-business infrastructure solutions, Entrust Technologies enables customers to secure their B2B, B2C and internal enterprise transactions and communications, as well as to manage the e-business portals and wireless portals through which these transactions take place.
Today Entrust serves more than 1,500 customers worldwide. Entrust Technologies pioneered the public-key infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate solutions that provide security for business transactions and communications over the Internet.
Entrust Technologies has R&D labs in Silicon Valley, CA; Ottawa, Canada, and Zurich, Switzerland, as well as representation and offices in over 40 countries around the world. For additional company information visit [www.entrust.com].
Gemplus launched ‘Thin Client for Citrix MetaFrame’ software yesterday. GemSAFE ‘Thin Client’ is a first-to-market application that makes smart card-based authentication available on low cost thin client devices. Although Microsoft ‘Windows 2000’ has been designed to support smart card applications, this support is not yet extended to thin clients. GemSAFE ‘Thin Client’ uses PKI to provide secure and non-repudiated authentication for a variety of business operations including secure network, web and email access, digital identity, physical security and stored value applications. GemSAFE ‘Thin Client for Citrix MetaFrame’ begins controlled release in November 2000. Software pricing starts at $25 per user.Details
Heartland Payment Systems announced an agreement to enable online credit card payments for e-commerce clients hosted by Milinx Business Group, Inc., a leading Application Service Provider. Through this alliance with Milinx subsidiary CreditAssure Financial, Inc., customers of Milinx will be able to apply online for their Internet Merchant account and receive swift service plus competitive rates.
! Accepting credit card payments online is critical for companies seeking e-commerce solutions. By choosing Heartland Payment Systems, Milinx will be able to provide all the necessary tools for its clients to set up a merchant account and accept secure transactions online. Heartland will provide Milinx a secure online process that is expected to allow the ASP’s customers to be approved in as little as two hours from the time of application without providing a ‘wet’ signature for the account. Heartland expects to authorize more than 90 per cent of the online applications it receives from Milinx clients through CreditAssure.
Milinx will provide its customers with great value by offering a Heartland program that will save them the time and money usually associated with opening a merchant account. The two companies will also share the revenue from their agreement.
“This alliance allows Milinx to move closer to offering a one stop solution for their customers,” said John Waldron, Vice President of Internet Marketing and Sales with Heartland Payment Systems. “It is a real pleasure to have been selected by Milinx to provide their customers with such a critical piece of the e-commerce puzzle.”
“Milinx built its Application Data Center to handle hundreds of thousands of clients including e-commerce customers,” said Milinx President and CEO Maynard L. Dokken. “We chose Heartland Payment Systems because they can provide high levels of service, security and flexibility as our e-commerce clientele grows.”
About Heartland Payment Systems
Heartland Payment Systems provides businesses of all sizes with professional, one-stop solutions for payroll processing, traditional and Internet card processing and fraud prevention and protection programs. Heartland Payment Systems began in May 1997 as Heartland Card Services, LLC and has rapidly grown to become the 15th largest merchant acquirer in the US, as well as the largest, privately held merchant acquirer. Heartland Payment Systems Internet segment can be found online at [www.visa-mc.com] or by calling 1-888-702-3321.
Milinx Business Group, Inc. (OTCBB: MIXBA) is an Application Service Provider (ASP) which hosts and delivers software to businesses over the Internet on a subscription basis. This minimizes spending on software and hardware while speeding the implementation of new solutions. Milinx is a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Seattle, Washington and operations in Vancouver, BC. For more about Milinx go to [www.milinx.com] or call 1-888-462-7787.
The MAC EFT Network is looking to gobble the STAR EFT Network. Publicly-traded Concord EFS confirmed this morning it is engaged in discussions with Maitland, FL-based Star Systems, Inc. regarding a possible business combination between the two companies. If such combination is consummated, Star Systems would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Concord. However no definitive agreement has been reached. The STAR Network processes more than 2.7 billion transactions a year, via nearly 3,500 member financial institutions and 620,000 participating ATMs and merchant locations such as grocery stores, gas stations, and discount stores. In April of this year, Concord EFS agreed to acquire Chicago-based Cash Station, the 7th largest EFT network in the US. Cash Station processed about 200 million transactions per year via 645 financial institution members, and drove 1,600 ATMs. Concord reported 2Q/00 net income of $46 million on revenues of $290.1 million. (See CF Library 4/13/00 & 7/27/00).Details
Gelco Information Network, the largest and most experienced provider of business expense management and reimbursement programs, announced today the release of ExpenseLink/Direct(R) 4.0, the latest version of its automated, web-based approval and payment process of expense management.
ExpenseLink/Direct 4.0 has been built and optimized by Gelco for web hosting over the Internet and is an easy-to-use web-based reimbursement application designed for companies migrating toward the Internet to streamline their business practices. Available anytime, anywhere, Gelco’s ExpenseLink/Direct users simply create expense reports online and submit them securely via the Internet. Since users access the services via the Internet, virtually no training or maintenance demands are needed to implement this service. The workflow is simple, allowing most reports to be completed within minutes and reimbursements made within 72 hours.
Since the reimbursement software is based on technology created in house, Gelco will be able to respond to customer and partner requirements more expediently. It will also allow Gelco to have much better control over the implementation and has broadened the services provided. New features and functionality being offered include:
-Charge card transaction presentment
-Manager approval and adjustment
-Quick and easy implementation
-Co-branding/private labeled solutions
“We have decided not to utilize outside technology on ExpenseLink/ Direct as a way of better controlling the quality and reliability of our software by having first-hand knowledge of how the software is being developed,” said Jon Klem, President and CEO of Gelco’s Expense Management Group. “While we will continue to partner with such companies as Oracle, Cisco, Sun and Microsoft, whenever possible we hope to bring technology in house in order to better meet the unique needs of our customers.”
Minneapolis based Gelco Information Network is a wholly owned subsidiary of HG Holdings, a multinational interest specializing in 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 1999. The Expense Management Group serves over 1.3 million users in over 1,100 corporations and federal agencies, including Ericsson, The Toro Company, American Home Products, EMC, Gartner Group, Reebok International, Ltd., and the United States Government (including Department of Defense, State Department and NASA).
Leveraging an e-business infrastructure through technology from Sun, 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 http://www.gelco.com or call 800/444-6588.Details
MemberWorks Incorporated (Nasdaq:MBRS), the leading provider of consumer and membership services through affinity marketing and on-line channels, today announced that it had entered into a voluntary agreement implementing its industry leading marketing practices in New York. The agreement, with the New York Attorney General’s office, was not based upon any specifically identified consumer complaints, but rather the general concern that some consumers may be confused by disclosures made while marketing the programs. The Company also agreed to reimburse the State for its $75,000 in expenses to address these best practices issues.
Gary Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of MemberWorks stated, “This voluntary agreement reflects our position as the preeminent member services marketing company and demonstrates our continued commitment to the highest standards of marketing practices. MemberWorks strongly endorses the privacy polices of, and is fully compliant with, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and is committed to maintaining public confidence in the direct marketing industry.”
Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., MemberWorks is a leader in bringing value to consumers by designing innovative membership programs that offer services and discounts on everyday needs in healthcare, personal finance, insurance, travel, entertainment, computing, fashion, and personal security. As of June 30, 2000, 6.9 million members are enrolled in MemberWorks programs, gaining convenient access to thousands of service providers and vendors. MemberWorks is the trusted marketing partner of leading consumer-driven organizations, and offers them effective tools to enhance their market presence, to strengthen customer affinity, and to generate additional revenue.Details
UICI announced that it has completed its previously announced sale of substantially all of the non-cash assets associated with its United CreditServ credit card business, including its credit card receivables portfolios and its Sioux Falls, South Dakota servicing operations, for a cash sales price of approximately $124.0 million.
While the sales price was less than originally projected, the shortfall was offset by higher than projected cash collections on credit card receivables made through the closing of the sale. In addition to the cash sales price received at closing, the transaction contemplates an incentive cash payment contingent upon the post-closing performance of the ACE credit card portfolio over a one-year period. UICI continues to hold United CreditServ’s building and real estate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and has leased the facilities to the purchaser pursuant to a long-term lease. UICI has also retained the right to collect approximately $250 million face amount of previously written off credit card receivables.
In connection with the sale, UICI or certain of its subsidiaries have retained substantially all liabilities associated with its credit card business, including liability for payment of all certificates of deposit issued by United Credit National Bank (an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of UICI), merchant holdback liabilities, liabilities associated with pending litigation and other contingencies. Following the sale, United Credit National Bank holds approximately $96.0 million in available cash, cash equivalents and short term U.S. Treasury securities and has approximately $79.0 million of certificates of deposits outstanding. United Credit National Bank has initiated a program to prepay all of its outstanding certificates of deposit and currently expects to discharge all such deposit liabilities on or before October 31, 2000. United Credit National Bank is in the process of preparing a formal voluntary plan of liquidation to be filed with and approved by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and UICI currently anticipates that the voluntary liquidation of United Credit National Bank, including the provision for all remaining liabilities and distribution to UICI of all residual cash, will be complete on or before year-end.
“We are very pleased to have successfully completed this critical step in UICI’s orderly withdrawal from the credit card business,” commented Gregory T. Mutz, UICI’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to formally closing United Credit National Bank by year-end and turning our full attention once again to the core businesses that have served our shareholders so well in the past.”
Separately, UICI has learned that the plaintiffs in previously disclosed litigation have filed motions to compel UICI to, among other things, deposit a significant portion of the proceeds of the sale of UICI’s credit card business in escrow under court supervision. UICI believes that the motions are wholly without merit and intends to oppose them vigorously.
UICI, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a diversified financial services company offering financial services, health administrative services and insurance through its various subsidiaries and divisions to niche consumer and institutional markets. UICI provides health insurance through its insurance subsidiaries, UGA-Association Field Services and Cornerstone Marketing of America; enrollment, billing and collection claims administration and risk management services for healthcare payors and providers through UICI Administrators; financial services and products for college, undergraduates and graduate students, including tuition installment plans and federally- guaranteed student loans through Academic Management Services Corp. and manages blocks of life insurance and life insurance products to select markets through its OKC Division. UICI also holds a 39% interest in HealthAxis.com, Inc., a leading web-based insurance retailer providing fully integrated, end- to-end, web-enabled solutions for health insurance distribution and administration.Details
West Virginia Governor Cecil Underwood and Rocco Abessinio, Chairman and CEO of Applied Card Systems, announced that the company will open a new customer operations assistance center at the former Sun Electronics building in Beckley.
Applied Card Systems services Visa and MasterCard customers primarily for Cross Country Bank, a leading national issuer.
The new center, Applied Card’s second in West Virginia, will employ about 450 associates, Abessinio said. A center in Huntington, which opened in September 1998, currently employs about 1,000 associates.
“The combination of West Virginia’s outstanding telecommunications infrastructure and its highly motivated work force proved irresistible to a company proud of its technology and its customer service,” Underwood said. “Today’s announcement reaffirms Applied Card Systems’ commitment to West Virginia.”
“Since Applied Card Systems started in 1987, we have experienced explosive growth,” Abessinio said. “The outstanding work of the 1,000 associates at our operations center in Huntington is one reason for that growth. Their work ethic prompted us to explore opportunities for other sites in this region. I have great confidence that we will attract the same high-quality associates in the Beckley area.”
The combined efforts of a highly-motivated workforce and the State’s Development Office have exceeded our expectations,” Abessinio said. “We have great confidence in the people of West Virginia.”
“The Beckley area seems like a great fit for us,” he added. “We look forward to becoming an active and respected member of this community.”
Applied Card Systems will start interviewing candidates on October 4, 2000. Positions in the areas of Customer Assistance, Human Resources, Learning and Development and Information Technology are available. The Company offers a comprehensive salary and benefits package including health benefits, a 401k plan and annual bonus. Persons interested in applying for employment opportunities at our Beckley site should apply at the Work for West Virginia Career Center Job Service Office at 250 Value City Center in Beckley. No appointment is necessary for the application process.
Applied Card Systems, founded by Abessinio in 1987, services approximately 3.5 million nontraditional VISA and MasterCard customers. Applied Card Systems employs over 3,500 associates nationwide, at offices in Huntington, Ashland, Ky., Boca Raton, Fla., and the company’s headquarters in Wilmington, Del.Details
The Federal Reserve Board announced Friday it is amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, to revise the disclosure requirements for credit and charge card solicitations and applications. Under the final rule, the APR for purchase transactions must be in 18-point type. Cash advance and balance transfer APRs must be included in the table. Balance transfer fees must be disclosed either in or outside of the table. The FRB also said it has also included specific requirements on the “prominent” location of the disclosure table and the level of detail about cost information required or permitted in the table. The revisions are effective immediately; compliance is mandatory as of October 1, 2001. In May of this year, the Federal Reserve asked for public comment on a number of proposed amendments to Reg. Z including a requirement for disclosure on the specific events that trigger a punitive interest rate. The Fed also asked for public comment on requirements for disclosures made using electronic communication. (See CF Library 5/22/00)Details