WebAuthorize 1.3

CyberCash released a new upgrade to its marquee electronic payment software product. ‘WebAuthorize 1.3’ now supports two new security standards for Internet commerce. It features VISA’s ‘CVV2’ and MasterCard’s ‘CVC2’, providing additional fraud prevention for Internet and mail orders when a card is not physically present. It also supports ‘Electronic Commerce Indicators’, meeting the latest VISA regulations for transactions that occur when a credit card number is keyed into an Internet browser. The new version also enables B2B payment processing through VISA/Mastercard ‘Level 2’ purchasing card support, and is certified with AmEx ‘Corporate Purchasing Card’. A Sun ‘Solaris’ version of ‘WebAuthorize 1.3’ is the first CyberCash product designed specifically for the Solaris platform. ‘WebAuthorize 1.3’ is available with dialup, leased line and secure Internet connectors to the major credit card processing networks. It supports an expanded list of payments processors and e-commerce servers such as Microsoft ‘Commerce Server’ and applications such as ‘SAP R/3’.

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Gemplus Buys French P-CRM Firm

Gemplus yesterday announced its intention acquire SLP InfoWare Inc.

SLP InfoWare, established in 1989 and based in Paris, is a worldwide leader in Predictive Customer Relationship Management (P-CRM) software solutions for the telecommunications and mobile e-commerce industries. SLP InfoWare’s P-CRM applications are currently used to predict the behavior of more than 20 million mobile phone users around the world.

SLP InfoWare is expanding rapidly, enjoying a 95% annual growth rate over the last three years with sales being driven from offices in Boston, Singapore, London and Frankfurt.

The major challenge facing telecommunications operators today is managing relationships with subscribers in a manner that builds customer loyalty. Predictive CRM systems can help reduce subscriber churn (customer non-renewal), a phenomenon that costs operators an average 25% of annual sales.

SLP InfoWare’s P-CRM platform uses proprietary automated modeling technology called Automated Data Driven Discrimination (A3D(TM)) that enables marketing professionals to build accurate customer behavioral models in minutes, as well as to automate and optimize one-to-one marketing campaigns. This modeling engine generates Knowledge Objects(TM) containing customer knowledge that can be distributed throughout an organization’s enterprise to different customer touch points, including call centers, e-commerce web sites, and mobile portals.

“Thanks to SLP InfoWare’s solutions and its Churn/CPS application, we are able to quickly determine the causes of non-renewal and are thus in a position to move from a reactive approach to proactive retention programs,” explained Dominique Foucart, customer service manager for Mobistar, Belgium.

This agreement strengthens the technological synergies already existing between SLP InfoWare and Gemplus, both of whom share a common vision of development trends in the mobile telephony and electronic commerce markets.

The buyout of SLP InfoWare enables Gemplus to complete its range of solutions for its traditional customers and to increase still further the group’s software expertise, particularly in the areas of CRM and datamining. Each of these skills also find multiple applications in the smart card solutions developed by Gemplus.

“SLP InfoWare is a leader in its own market, as is Gemplus. The association of the two leaders should enable us to respond more and more effectively every day to our customers’ concerns,” said Gilles Michel, Senior Vice President, director of Strategy and Mergers/Acquisitions.

Gemplus will bring to SLP InfoWare its knowledge of the operators, its customer base and its capacities for software integration, enabling SLP InfoWare to distribute its products more quickly and more effectively via Gemplus’ many international offices. “With the Gemplus and SLP InfoWare customer profiles being identical, we can use their international distribution networks to strengthen our position as world leader in the field of P-CRM,” said Jean Schmitt, SLP InfoWare CEO.

The agreement between the two companies should be finalized by mid-October.

About Gemplus

Gemplus ([www.gemplus.com][1]) is the world’s number one provider of smart card based solutions for security, wireless and e-business applications. Offering consulting services, design, software, hardware, personalization and full implementation, Gemplus works with its customers around the world to deliver comprehensive, integrated and tailor-made smart card based systems.

With sales of 5,029 billion francs in 1999 (767 billion Euros), Gemplus has over 6,300 employees in 17 production sites, seven R&D centers, and 44 sales and marketing offices situated in 37 different countries all over the world. Established in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card solutions to simplify such varied applications as public and cell telephony, financial transactions, consumer loyalty, transport, education, health, games, identification, pay-TV, electronic commerce, Internet network security, access control and information technologies.

About SLP InfoWare

SLP InfoWare ([www.slpinfoware.com][2]) is one of the world leaders in Predictive Customer Relationship Management software (P-CRM) for the telecommunications, electronic commerce and mobile electronic commerce sectors. The SLP InfoWare P-CRM platform enables marketing professionals to build precise customer behavior models and to use the analysis to automate targeted marketing operations, to retain customers and guide one-to-one marketing actions which personalize offers and product groups. SLP InfoWare software is used to predict the behavior of over 20 million customers in the telecommunications, electronic commerce and banking sectors in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Based in Paris, SLP InfoWare also has offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt and Singapore.

[1]: http://www.gemplus.com/
[2]: http://www.slpinfoware.com/

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Smart Card Initiative

The Smart Card Industry Association and the Smart Card Forum announced Tuesday they have launched a joint effort to stimulate the rapid adoption of smart card technology in North America. The ‘Smart Card Security Initiative’ will promote the critical role of smart card technology in securing e-business, enterprise systems and consumer Internet applications. SCIA and SCF have committed initial funding of $500,000 to the ‘Smart Card Security Initiative’ effort in its first two years. A full-time executive director will guide the day-to-day activities of the initiative, augmented by internal staff, volunteers from member companies and outside experts. Several US government agencies, including the DOD, have indicated that they will soon require smart card readers to be included on all newly acquired PCs. Others are expected to follow suit as the GSA rolls out its new $1.5 billion Government-wide ‘Smart Access Card’ program. Numerous financial institutions are also looking for PC suppliers to provide smart card ready equipment. Under smart card programs launched by American Express, Fleet and Providian, the issuer supplies the PC card reader.

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VISA Buxx III

OH-based National City Corporation became the third issuer to offer the new ‘VISA Buxx card’. Last week Bank of America became the second issuer to offer the new prepaid ‘VISA’ card for teenagers. National City says it will use its one year marketing agreement with AOL’s ‘Digital City’ to promote the card in its core marketing area. VISA announced the development of the parent-controlled, re-loadable payment card in August. Parents are able to monitor how much money their teen spends by viewing current or past account statements on the ‘VISA Buxx’ website or by a toll-free number that details where and when purchases were made. The teen’s name is embossed on the card, and all materials are mailed directly to the parents’ address. U.S. Bancorp became the first ‘VISA Buxx’ issuer with the release of its card on Aug. 21. (See CF Library 8/10/00; 9/11/00 & 9/14/00)

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Barclaycard & Paysys

The largest credit card issuer in Europe has selected PaySys’ commercial card application for its business card division. Barclaycard will roll out the new system in two phases, with phase one scheduled to go live in November and phase two in fourth quarter 2001. Phase two will completely replace Barclaycard’s existing commercial card system and provide flexible hierarchies and billing options, multi-lingual/currency capabilities and the full integration of real-time posting and servicing. PaySys’ commercial card application is slated to be the first application in the marketplace built on PaySys’ ‘dBB’ software platform. ‘dBB’ is able to combine real-time transaction processing, unlimited hierarchies, in any language, currency and dialect, and independent of standards and operating.

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Wireless FDC

First Data Merchant Services announced Monday it has selected U.S. Wireless Data to offer wireless credit card transaction solutions to two million merchant locations. The USWD ‘Synapse’ solution, formerly known as ‘Wireless Express Payment Service’, provides a seamless interface among wireless POS terminals, wireless carriers, and credit card transaction processors. It will enable First Data to expand its wireless offering in the U.S. and to provide new regions with wireless solutions, such as Canada and the Caribbean. FDMS will offer the ‘Synapse’ solution across all distribution channels, including banks, ISOs, and other merchant acquirers. Through the arrangement with USWD, FDMS will also gain access to the CDPD and Motient networks. Motient owns and operates an integrated terrestrial/satellite data-only network and provides a wide range of two-way mobile and Internet communications services principally to B2B customers and enterprises.

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Kmart MasterCard

Capital One is hitting mailboxes across the country this week with solicitations for its new ‘Kmart MasterCard’. The card offers a 0% interest rate on all new Kmart purchases for six months. The APR for non-Kmart purchases and for Kmart purchases after the intro period is prime +10.3%. There is no annual fee for the new MasterCard. However accounts 30+ days past due will incur a $4 monthly membership fee. Cap One also imposes a punitive 25.9% APR on seriously delinquent accounts. The Wal-Mart MasterCard from Chase was launched in October 1996.

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Lacy – New Sears CEO

The board of directors of Sears, Roebuck and Co. elected Alan J. Lacy president and chief executive officer of the corporation, effective Oct. 1. Lacy also was elected a member of the board as of Oct. 1. He succeeds Arthur C. Martinez, who will continue as chairman of the board until his retirement in December, at which time Lacy also will become chairman.

Lacy, 46, currently is president, Services, responsible for the corporation’s credit services, home services, direct response and e-commerce businesses, comprising more than 45,000 Sears associates. He joined Sears in 1994 as senior vice president of finance and was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1995. In December 1997, he was named president, Sears Credit, and assumed his current position in September 1999.

“The board undertook a comprehensive review of internal and external candidates, and we are very pleased that an internal selection was the right choice. The review process confirmed the strength of Sears management team,” said Michael A. Miles, chairman of the board nominating committee that led the search process. “Alan’s impressive accomplishments, effective leadership and extensive first-hand knowledge of the company made him our clear choice.”

Commenting on Lacy’s accomplishments, Martinez said, “Alan has successfully tackled several difficult assignments in the past six years. He led the drive to strengthen Sears important credit business, and he is now leading a significant improvement in our home services businesses. In addition, his vision and talent as a strategist in the e-commerce business have quickly moved Sears into an industry-leading position. Sears has tremendous opportunities, and I am confident Alan will develop them.”

“Sears is one of America’s great institutions, and I am honored to be entrusted with its future,” said Lacy. “Few newly appointed CEOs step into positions where an organization’s strengths are as clear and its prospects as compelling as Sears. It’s both an advantage and a challenge.

“We all are grateful to Arthur for his dynamic leadership and integrity over the past eight years, during which the company successfully met many challenges. His personal commitment to Sears and confidence in Sears never wavered, leading to 1999 record net income of $1.47 billion.”

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of home, apparel and automotive products and services. It serves families across the country through approximately 860 full-line department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail outlets and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company’s Web site, [http://www.sears.com][1].

[1]: http://www.sears.com/

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Fargo Printers

MN-based Fargo Electronics yesterday unveiled a new series of professional printers, ‘Direct-To-Card’ printers and introduced the ‘Persona’ brand printers. Included in the ‘Professional Series’ are Fargo’s ‘HDP700 Series’, which utilize Fargo’s high definition printing technology; the ‘DTC700 Series’ and the new ‘DTC500 Series’ printers which offer ‘Direct-To-Card’ printing; and the ‘Pro-L’, Fargo’s laminating printer. The ‘Professional Series’ printers provide edge-to-edge card printing, electronic card encoding of proximity cards and smart cards, and four-line LCD panels. The ‘Direct-To-Card’ printers offers options such as dual card hoppers and increased security. The series includes single-sided printers: the ‘DTC510’ and the ‘DTC515’, and dual-sided printers: the ‘DTC520’ the ‘DTC525’. The ‘Persona’ brand card printers are priced below Fargo’s high-volume professional printers and include three color printers: the single-sided ‘C15’ and ‘C10’; and dual-sided ‘C25’. The ‘M10’ is the line’s monochrome resin printer offering.

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Tidel Rumor

Houston-based Tidel Technologies said this morning that the rumor concerning the loss of the company’s largest customer, Credit Card Center, is unfounded. The Credit Card Center also confirmed there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that it is eliminating Tidel from its product line. CCC says it expects orders for Tidel equipment for 3Q/00 will exceed its projections. Tidel Technologies is a manufacturer of ATMs and cash security equipment designed for specialty retail marketers. To date, Tidel has sold more than 25,000 retail ATMs and 110,000 retail cash controllers in the U.S. and 36 other countries.

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