With the sluggish start of online banking such as American Express ‘Membership Banking’, Juniper Financial has come up with a way to overcome the biggest online obstacle. Juniper announced last week an alliance with Mail Boxes Etc. that will enable Juniper customers will be able to walk into most of MBE’s 3,400 U.S. locations, overnight their deposits to Juniper free of charge, and receive a tracking code receipt. Juniper is the new online financial services venture started former First USA executives Richard Vague and Jim Stewart. Upon the Juniper service launch, anyone can walk into an MBE location and request a deposit be mailed to Juniper by either UPS 2nd day air or overnight. MBE will process the order and issue a UPS tracking number so the shipment can be tracked online at the Juniper Web site or the MBE Web site. This service is provided at no cost to the customer. Privately held, Juniper Financial is based in Wilmington, DE and its funding partner is Benchmark Capital. (CF Library 5/25/00)Details
WebMiles Corporation, the first company to offer an unrestricted, mileage reward program to help businesses attract and retain long-term customers, announced its first offline Partner, Avis Rent A Car, a member of Avis Group Holdings, Inc.. Through a national exclusive partnership with WebMiles that begins on August 15, Avis will reward its customers with 50 WebMiles rewards per day for qualifying car rentals at more than 1,000 Avis rental locations in the U.S. and Canada.
“We are extremely excited to partner with WebMiles and offer our loyal customers additional value. We chose the WebMiles program based on the expertise of their management team, as well as the simplicity and uniqueness of their offering,” said F. Robert Salerno, President and Chief Operating Officer, Avis Rental Car Group. “Avis is committed to providing our customers with exceptional value and is always seeking new ways to achieve this goal. We believe that by offering them the means to earn unrestricted free travel quickly and easily, we’re doing just that. We were further impressed with WebMiles’ policy of exclusive partnerships, which assures us we are offering our customers a program that our competition does not.”
The WebMiles program allows Members to redeem WebMiles rewards for travel on any airline and any flight without the common restrictions of airline frequent flyer programs such as blackout dates, limited number of frequent flyer seats, required Saturday night stays, cost caps or the expiration of miles. Redemption begins with as few as 8,000 WebMiles rewards, which entitles the consumer to dollars off the price of any airline ticket.
“We’re thrilled that Avis has selected WebMiles to enhance its customer loyalty programs,” said Bill Meade, President and CEO of WebMiles. “Acquiring and retaining customers is imperative for every business today, including Avis. We have developed a program that provides businesses with a cost-effective means to better understand and market to their customers, while simultaneously rewarding them with a proven and desired reward — unrestricted airline miles. A fundamental differentiation of our program is the fact that consumers can earn WebMiles rewards with both online and offline merchants. This announcement is the first of many new offline partnerships with leading companies that we will be launching over the weeks to come.”
Becoming a WebMiles Member
Membership in WebMiles is free, fast and easy. Consumers can receive up to 3,100 WebMiles rewards for both signing up (100 miles) and referring friends and family (150 miles per referral). Members continue to earn rewards by shopping at online and offline Partners and by using the WebMiles MasterCard. When Members use the WebMiles MasterCard at the Partners, they can earn multiple miles for every dollar they spend. Members can check their balances 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Becoming a WebMiles Partner
WebMiles is building a solid network of Partners from a variety of industries. The company’s strategy is to be selective and limit the number of Partners within any given industry to ensure companies can differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace and gain a strategic advantage. Partners pre-purchase WebMiles rewards and then distribute them to customers who engage in any type of desired activity, including making purchases, giving referrals or participating in surveys. The WebMiles program is flexible and can be implemented by Partners according to their own specifications and business objectives.
Avis Group is one of the world’s leading providers of comprehensive automotive transportation and vehicle management solutions, with strengths in car rental, vehicle leasing, and vehicle management services. Avis Group operates the second largest general-use car rental business in the world, with locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Latin American/Caribbean region. Avis Group operates the vehicle management and fleet card businesses through three separate units: PHH North America, PHH Europe and Wright Express. The services of these units consist of vehicle leasing and a broad range of vehicle related fee based services. The Company manages a fleet of approximately 1 million vehicles and has over 4 million fuel and maintenance cards outstanding. Annually, on a pro forma basis, the Company generates approximately $4.0 billion in total revenue. For additional information and news call Company News on Call (1-800-758-5804, access code #078975).
WebMiles Corporation is a leading customer loyalty company featuring free travel rewards without the common restrictions of traditional frequent flyer programs. The patent-pending WebMiles program gives both online and offline businesses the means to reward customers with a proven tool for inspiring repeat business — free and discounted travel. WebMiles rewards can be redeemed for free travel on all airlines and all flights, without blackout dates, seating limitations, 21-day advance notice, required Saturday night stays, expiration of miles, or cost caps. Consumers earn WebMiles rewards for shopping within the Partner network as well as for using the WebMiles MasterCard. Launched in January, 2000, the WebMiles program features more than 60 network Partners. By offering a compelling, low-cost and customizable customer loyalty solution, WebMiles Partners have the ability to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market. WebMiles, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a trademark of the WebMiles Corporation. The web site URL is [http://www.webmiles.com]. For more information on how to become a strategic partner with WebMiles, please visit .
Move over VISA and MasterCard, Yahoo! this morning launched ‘Yahoo! PayDirect’. The new, online person-to-person payment solution was created in cooperation with CIBC National Bank and through Yahoo!’s acquisition of Arthas.com. The new free service enables U.S.-based Yahoo! consumers to request, receive, send and make payments over the Internet. The new Yahoo! payment service enables individuals to electronically send and receive money via email by linking their credit cards, debit cards or bank accounts to their secure online Yahoo! ‘PayDirect’ account. Registered Yahoo! consumers who are 18 years or older with a credit card or debit card and a U.S. billing address can establish a Yahoo! PayDirect account. CIBC National Bank will provide the banking and fund transfer capabilities that enable the secure movement of consumer money through Yahoo! ‘PayDirect’.Details
Teaser rates are declining again despite the uptick in general interest rates. This week Discover is flooding mailboxes with offers of a modified 2.9% APR. Depending on the solicitation the new offer for the ‘Discover Platinum Card’ varies from 0% to 1.9%. The 0% intro APR offer applies to new purchases through the Jan 2001 billing statement. The 0$ APR offer also includes a 5.9% intro APR on balance transfers. Meanwhile, according to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com), the 1.9% APR offer applies to both purchases and balance transfers through the Jan 2001 billing statement. Both offers carry a go-to APR of 14.99% fixed and the two-cycle average daily balance method of calculating interest charges.Details
The nation’s 10,157 commercial banks, savings banks, and savings and loans posted a record quarterly profit of $22.5 billion in the first quarter of 2000, according to Weiss Ratings. Favorable economic conditions lifted the industry’s profits $1.8 billion, or 8.9%, over those of the first quarter 1999 and $326 million, or 1.5%, over the previous record quarterly profit set in the third quarter of 1999. Despite the rising trend in interest rates, banks are committing to longer-term loans carrying fixed rates. Loans maturing or repricing in five years or more comprised 20.9% of the industry’s loans outstanding at March 31, 2000, up from 20.4% at year-end 1999 and 17.8% in 1998.Details
Accesspoint Corporation, and its subsidiary, Processing Source International, are preparing to launch during the month of August the first Application Service Provider service which integrates transaction processing software with transaction settlement services for merchants nationwide.
These solutions will provide software services designed to service both the traditional brick & mortar and Internet sides of each business. Until now, merchants have had to purchase expensive software solutions separately from their merchant processing services. Accesspoint and its subsidiary are now bundling this software solution as part of a complete merchant services program. This software solution is exclusive to the Accesspoint/Processing Source combination, so merchants will be more likely to remain loyal in the face of intense price based competition. Merchants will continue to pay total fees on their transactions equal to existing industry standards while receiving the benefits of Internet commerce without the added software service costs.
This shift to an integrated business concept in which Accesspoint processes financial transactions as an acquiring bank and supplies state-of-the-art secure payment processing, credit verification, identity verification, risk management, e-commerce and e-marketing automation tools opens lucrative new revenue channels for Accesspoint.
“Up until now only the largest merchants have had access to these types of services at great cost; with the overwhelming response we have had from some of the nation’s largest businesses looking to access our new bundled product line, we may have opened the gates to some tremendous growth potentials for Accesspoint,” states Tom Djokovich, CEO of Accesspoint. “Only the establishment of banking relationships limits international replication of these services and we are currently working in the Asia Pacific and South American arenas to establish the necessary relationships for future worldwide expansion,” adds Djokovich.
“Since January of this year both Accesspoint and Processing Source have focused on establishing in-house transaction banking/processing, credit information and risk management services and integrating these services into our existing e-commerce capabilities,” states Al Urcuyo, President of Processing Source.
A newly formed Processing Source division in Chicago, IL will handle merchant account underwriting and risk management capabilities. This new division will have the capacity to provide merchant account underwriting services to hundreds of sales groups across the country. These sales groups market merchant banking services to nearly 10,000,000 small to medium enterprises (SME’s) throughout America. With this new integrated Merchant Service package, Processing Source anticipates this mature distribution channel to eventually generate thousands of new merchant account customers monthly.
With the successful roll out of this new transaction ASP model, Processing Source anticipates processing over $1.3 billion dollars in credit payment transactions and $8.3 million dollars in electronic check transactions for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2001.
Accesspoint is already an established, mature player among the emerging new breed of ASP’s. Recently, many market analysts, including Forrester Research, have predicted the ASP services sector to experience exponential growth over the next three to five years. By delivering software and the underlying information as a managed service to businesses, the Accesspoint ASP model provides for the elimination of the high up-front costs of traditional packaged software licenses, a significant reduction of in-house IT human and hardware resources, and the integration of transaction information services into an automated business process.
The Accesspoint concept is simple — transaction processing and software delivered as a fully outsourced, bundled service.Details
CyberSentry, Inc. confirmed that it has notified LibertyOne Limited (LibertyOne) that it intends to continue with its offer in compliance with Corporations Law.
In a letter dated July 26, 2000 to the LibertyOne Chairman, Nicholas Whitlam, Chairman and CEO of CyberSentry, Frank Kristan stated, “We are presently reviewing our options and addressing your concerns such that you will be able to recognize the value to all LibertyOne Shareholders. This would provide you with the opportunity, after your detailed review, to recommend the offer to your shareholders.”
CyberSentry has until September 17, 2000 to file its offering statement with the Australian Stock Exchange and LibertyOne Limited.
CyberSentry owns Digital Rights Management software that permits global E-commerce distribution on the Internet. CyberSentry provides value added services that distinguish CyberSentry from competitors like InterTrust Technologies, Inc., Baltimore Technologies and Entrust Technologies, Inc. because of CyberSentry’s ability to bill the transaction directly to its CyberSentry E-commerce Card, conventional credit cards or the customer’s phone bill. CyberSentry is licensed and in 47 states, enabling it to provide bundled services of local, long distance, Internet connection, calling cards and E-commerce credit cards to its existing 7,000 customer accounts.
CyberSentry, Gateway to E-Commerce, is a multi-format Digital Rights Management software and micro-billing provider. The company is licensed and in 47 states, enabling it to provide bundled services of local, long distance, Internet connection, calling cards and E-commerce credit cards to its existing 7,000 customer accounts.
Information on LibertyOne Limited is available at libertyone.com and information on CyberSentry is available at cybersentry.com. The new company would have investments in China.com, Excite Asia Pacific, Zivo and Ubid Asia Pacific a unit of CMGI. It would also have Excite@home, Worldcom, Qwest and Sprint as shareholders.
For further information on CyberSentry or its proposed takeover bid, please contact: Frank Kristan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer CyberSentry Inc.Details
Xianzai Ltd. ([http://www.xianzai.com]), a leading provider of lifestyle and entertainment information to users and businesses across China, announced a strategic collaboration with MasterCard to provide a wireless “engine” of MasterCard Beijing businesses to mobile users. Wireless devices hooked up to Xianzai.com information are able to search MasterCard’s Beijing database of restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues.
According to Blair Burns, CEO of Xianzai Ltd., the new collaboration expands Xianzai.com’s offerings. “As Xianzai.com has grown over three years, so has our user base. Our relationship with MasterCard in Mainland China will expand on the wireless front and we’re pleased to have them as a partner.”
Burns added, “Xianzai.com’s capabilities allow Beijing users to search the MasterCard database to find entertainment prices, locations and discounts. They can immediately react to the information to make purchases.” Xianzai.com is a first mover in the wireless China market and provides information and sought after services for the business-to-business and consumer markets.”
Mr. Weiquiang Han, the Country Manager for MasterCard, comments that the Xianzai.com cooperation has opened another channel for MasterCard cardholders to fulfill their needs and interests and to enjoy benefits while staying in Beijing and using the latest technology.
Xianzai Ltd. was one of China’s first Internet companies, beginning Beijing operations in 1997. With email newsletters as one of its core models, it has grown to include over 40,000 English-language users and 185,000 Chinese-language users for its daily and weekly information offerings. It currently produces 10 email newsletters and is set to add eight more by the end of Q3 2000. internet.com’s Venture Fund II, part of internet.com’s (NASDAQ: INTM) affiliated venture capital arm, is an investor in Xianzai Ltd.
About MasterCard International
MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 18 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card is. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded U.S. $727 billion.
Paymentplus, a fast-growth company offering high capacity payment processing for online merchants, and i3 Solutions, a company that develops scalable applications specifically customized for individual businesses, are forming a strategic partnership to offer Web companies a direct, efficient way of processing online payments.
Paymentplus’ LiveProcessor provides fast, reliable, and real-time interface to payment services offered by Paymentech, First Data, NDC, and a direct connection to American Express Merchant Services. “We are very excited to offer Paymentplus’ robust, high-volume online payment processing solution to our clients. LiveProcessor provides both a turnkey payment solution, as well as a flexible application programming interfaces (APIs) for customizing and integrating with our customers’ legacy systems,” said Steve DeVoir, Partner Channels Manager at i3 Solutions. LiveProcessor is located on the merchant’s server, so there is no middleman, allowing the merchant real-time access to customer’s data for transactions and support.
“Paymentplus provides our enterprise and dot.com clients a high-end, real- time means of facilitating their payment processing needs,” added Randal Dewey, Director of Business Development at i3 Solutions. “Their ability to manage high volume, mission critical payment processing separates them from other Web-based solutions that have limited, concurrent transaction processing capabilities.”
“Paymentplus has been the choice for direct marketers and dot.coms for over five years now and our client list speaks for itself,” said Jeff Foster, Vice President of Business Development, “but to have an integrator like i3 single out our product is a terrific boost. i3 has been working for years with top name clients across many industries and the chance to help them integrate payment processing into their current solutions is a great privilege.”
Paymentplus creates electronic payment processing software for the enterprise, combining online, call center, retail and IVR transactions in a central server. The company’s software, LiveProcessor, can complete over 100,000 credit card and electronic check transactions per hour on a single server. LiveProcessor is the only payment processing application in the world to support Visa CVV2 and i3 Solutions partnership Amex CID security codes, procurement level 2 and 3 cards, electronic check processing and foreign currency support in single product.
The company currently has over 90 installations and is completing transactions in 40 countries and 23 currencies on a daily basis. Among the company’s clients are Real Networks, Research in Motion, Nextel Communications, AT&T, Tupperware, Rexall and Prudential Insurance. These companies are completing transactions valued at some $2 billion per month. LiveProcessor completes all of these transactions from a client-side server that avoids the fees charged by transaction service bureaus like Cybercash, Verisign and CyberSource.
About i3 Solutions, Inc.
i3 Solutions provides value-added e-Business consulting services that automate business processes using Internet technologies. The company specializes in the development of portal Web sites, business-to-business applications, Web-enabling databases, custom application development and Web site design. i3 Solutions maintains an open-book reference policy and encourages prospective customers to speak directly with any of its customers. For more information, please email i3 Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the Web site at [http://www.i3solutions.com].
USA Technologies, Inc. announced that after the first 90 days of its new Authorized Reseller Program, multiple office equipment dealers across the country have signed on with USA Technologies. Additionally, in excess of 100 other independent and national office products dealers and distributors have responded to USA Technologies new TransAct Authorized Reseller Program.
The most prominent new additions to USA Technologies’ TransAct Authorized Reseller Program include Nevill Business Solutions of Dallas, TX, one of Mita’s top dealers and five year recipient of their Gold Medallion Award, Connected Office Products of Philadelphia, PA, one of Philadelphia’s top office products dealers, with 18 branches located throughout Pennsylvania and Advanced Office System of Cincinnati, OH, a leading dealer of Minolta, Panasonic and Hitachi.
Jeff Zupcic of Connected Office Products of Philadelphia commented, “TransAct had an immediate impact on our business. We incorporated TransAct devices with our Konica copier and fax machine to secure the business of a prominent hotel at the Philadelphia International Airport, and met the hotel’s need of providing their guests with 24/7 business services.”
TransAct(R), which was recently launched at the Business Technology Association Convention, provides industry leaders such as Xerox, Canon, Konica, Minolta, Ricoh, Mita and Sharp the capability to incorporate the TransAct device into their own office equipment solutions. TransAct is a networked solution, when integrated with office equipment, allows for self-service usage, with a secured credit card transaction. USA Technologies’ patented credit card payment system allows for micro-credit card transactions, as low as $1.00, to occur in connection with the use of the office equipment.
“The new TransAct Authorized Reseller Program was a result of significant, positive feedback from the major office equipment manufacturers and distributors who wanted to use TransAct and incorporate it into their own products and solutions,” said Michael Lawlor, Sr. VP of Sales & Marketing for USA Technologies. For manufacturers and distributors of office equipment it means the ability to locate and operate their equipment in public environments and high traffic areas such as hotels, convenience stores, travel & transportation facilities and other public buildings.
TransAct could also bring significant operational benefits to the manufacturers and distributors. TransAct allows for all sales and usage of the office equipment to be remotely monitored, which in turn would allow them to more cost efficiently provide equipment maintenance services and ensure that customers would not run out of equipment supplies. Additionally, because TransAct is activated by a credit card, it provides greater security against vandalism and theft in comparison to coin boxes.
For USA Technologies, the Authorized Reseller Program means greater distribution of its technology, new marketplace opportunities and expanded distribution channels worldwide. USA Technologies will provide the technology and integration expertise to allow manufacturers and distributors of office equipment and services to easily attach the TransAct device to any brand of product, whether a fax, copier or PC. Mr. Lawlor added that his company was in negotiations with many of the major manufacturers and distributors in the office equipment and services industry, working to finalize distribution agreements.
TransAct is presently being used across the USA and Canada, with over 1,500 devices in place, primarily as a component of USA Technologies’ Business Express(R) and MBE Business Express. Business Express and MBE Business Express are the world’s first 24-hour, credit card-activated business centers. More than 400 hotels throughout the United States currently offer Business Express and MBE Business Express services to the traveling public.
About USA Technologies
With patented technology, new distribution partners and channels and a rapidly expanding product line, USA Technologies is a leader in providing credit card-activated business services for professionals and consumers needing to communicate or conduct business outside the home or workplace. Visit the USA Technologies home page at [http://www.usatech.com].
NextCard reported last night that operating revenue exploded by 843%, receivables by 408%, and accounts by 421% over the past twelve months. During the second quarter NextCard added more than 100,000 accounts and nearly $200 million in receivables. Operating revenue for the second quarter increased to $33.0 million, compared to $3.5 million for 2Q/99. Total managed loans as of June 30 rose to $829.7 million, compared to $163.4 million as of June 30, 1999. Total customer accounts at the end of 2Q/00 stood at 443,000, compared to approximately 85,000 customer accounts at the end of 2Q/99. Meanwhile the net charge-off rate for managed loans increased to 2.2% compared to 1.9% in the first quarter 2000. The delinquency rate (30+ days) on total managed loans increased to 2.7% as of June 30 compared to 1.7% as of March 31. Total yield on the managed loan portfolio for the second quarter 2000 increased to 15.93% from 15.06% in the first quarter of 2000. While NextCard reported a net loss of $24.5 million for the second quarter, the Internet-centric card issuer says it expects to achieve profitability by late 2001. For complete current and historical data on NextCard visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
NEXTCARD TRACK RECORD
2Q/00 1Q/00 4Q/99 3Q/99 2Q/99
Recv: $829.7m $638.8m $416.3m $268.0m $163.4m
Accts: 443k 337k 220k 134k 85k
IC Inc: $2.9m $2.2m $1.5m $0.7m $0.3m
C-O: 2.21% 1.93% 1.88% 1.72% 1.34%
Del: 2.68% 1.71% 1.48% 1.16% 1.20%
Recv- receivables; Accts- accounts; IC Inc.- interchange income;
C-O-chargeoffs; Del- 30+ day delinquency
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
American Express has added its second application to the translucent ‘Blue’ smart credit card. Using the smart chip, ‘Blue’ cardholders purchasing “Summer Concerts in Blue” tickets with ‘Blue’ at ticketmaster.com will pick up the tickets the night of the show at a special ‘Blue Will Call’ window.” These box office windows will be equipped with the ‘AmEx Blue’ smart card reader which verifies the cardholder’s order. Upon confirmation, the concert tickets are printed and handed to the cardholder by the box office attendant. The first application introduced with the card’s launch in Sept. 1999 involves online security. The smart chip application on ‘Blue’ is used to provide extra security while shopping online by using AmEx’s smart card reader that plugs into the user’s PC. The personal card readers are available free to new cardholders through August. Yesterday American Express, SFX, and Ticketmaster, jointly launched the “Summer Concerts in Blue” program. Under the special program, participating cardholders receive a free compact disc featuring the artists who perform the concerts they are attending. The promotion, which runs until October 15th, is valid for concerts at SFX amphitheaters in 12 markets nationwide.Details