The next level of bank credit cards arrived this morning. MBNA America lifted the curtain on a new MasterCard offering a credit line up to $1 million and with an optional air mileage program. ‘Quantum’ cardholders who qualify can access lines of credit totaling $1 million. The first $250,000 of the ‘Quantum’ account is completely available by card, check, or cash. Beyond that a check-accessed line of credit can be arranged for an additional $750,000. An optional ‘Quantum Rewards’ program allows well-heeled cardholders to earn up to one million miles per year, good for unlimited worldwide redemptions. Pricing for the ‘Quantum MasterCard’ varies, but the account typically features a 2.9% introductory rate and a fixed 13.99% rate thereafter. There is no annual fee, but the optional ‘Quantum Rewards’ program costs $75 per year. There are no over-the-credit-limit-fees and no ATM transaction fees. ‘Quantum’ clients also have access to preferred rates on MBNA CDs and MMAs. The program also features a top-of-the-line concierge service called: ‘Quantum Assist’.Details
American Express Company announced a strategic agreement with SAPMarkets, the SAP AG subsidiary dedicated to creating and powering globally interconnected business-to-business marketplaces, to integrate the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card platform into the SAP Business-to-Business Procurement application. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE 2000, the annual SAP Americas customer conference being held in Las Vegas this week.
! As part of the agreement, SAPMarkets will interoperate with the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card to enable a streamlined payment and reconciliation process for online purchases between buyers and sellers. The American Express Corporate Purchasing Card extends the benefits of the SAP BBP solution by automating the payment, reconciliation and data integration processes, enabling an end-to-end electronic purchasing solution. This interoperability will facilitate the process of order placement, fulfillment, reconciliation, data management and program maintenance.
“As both an American Express and SAP customer, BASF is excited about this interoperability agreement. We look forward to the additional functionality in the areas of data capture and reconciliation that will enable BASF to better manage the online procure-to-pay process,” said David Rice, Manager, Supply Programs, BASF Corporation, Mt. Olive, NJ. “BASF will benefit from the integration of the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card with the SAP BBP.”
“American Express is pleased to expand its relationship with SAP. To serve our mutual customers, we have provided integration between our reconciliation and reporting tool, AccountingLink, and SAP Financials(TM) for several years. Interoperability between the leading inter-enterprise software solutions provider and the leading commercial card provider is a natural extension and evolution of both companies into the new economy — enabling a comprehensive online procurement and payment solution,” said Mac Schuessler, Vice President, Corporate E-Payment Services, American Express.
The American Express Corporate Purchasing Card offers a single-network advantage, which results in enhanced levels of data capture because American Express has direct relationships with both buyers and sellers. This single network enables American Express to provide the best data accuracy rate of any purchasing card, which is critical for effective reconciliation of purchasing records to financial systems and for robust reporting.
About the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card
The American Express Corporate Purchasing Card (CPC), introduced in 1994, helps companies take charge of the purchasing process with a streamlined, detailed and easy-to-use system. For buying organizations and suppliers alike, the Corporate Purchasing Card can help cut costs, reduce paperwork, leverage data and expedite order delivery. Ten e-purchasing application vendors participate in the interoperability program. A complete list of these systems and more information on the American Express Corporate Purchasing Card are available at the following Web address: .
About American Express
American Express ([http://www.americanexpress.com]) is the leading global provider of commercial cards and expense management solutions. Through its Corporate Services group, formed in 1982, the company counts more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500, along with tens of thousands of mid-sized companies, as customers of its Business Travel, Corporate Card and Corporate Purchasing Card programs. In 1996, a unit called Corporate Services Interactive was formed to develop Internet-based products and services for large and mid-sized companies, including American Express @ Work for online Card program administration; AXI Travel and Corporate Travel Online for online corporate travel reservations; and the B2B Commerce Network. The American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.
About SAP Business to Business Procurement
SAP Business-to-Business Procurement includes direct links to mySAP.com Marketplace and other Internet marketplaces through the XML-based Business Connector, enabling one-step business transactions between buyers and sellers. As a result, customers can execute multiparty transactions with a single click. The SAP Open Catalog Interface supports local as well as hosted catalog scenarios. Other updates include sophisticated vendor and material analysis, bidding and procurement card capabilities, tailored user roles and flexible back-end integration with SAP and non-SAP systems.
SAP, mySAP.com and SAP Business-to-Business Procurement are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG .
Other product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
Fast PayCheck Advance introduced ‘FastRewards’ this week, a new feature of its ‘Pinnacle’ smart card program. The free ‘FastRewards’ program offers cardholders the ability to earn one point for every dollar they spend online paying bills, making purchases and loading electronic cash to their smart cards through the Fast PayCheck web site. ‘FastRewards’ will be offered to both instant-issue and full-service cardholders at online, self-service kiosks and via cardholder PCs with Internet access, equipped with optional card readers. Under the online program, cardholders can register for the program, view ‘FastRewards’ point balances, browse the coupon catalogue and barter points for other rewards. The Florida-based firm specializes in issuing debit cards for so-called payday advance loans.Details
Firstar Bank has teamed up with Spalding University to offer students, faculty and staff members the ‘Spalding University Smartcard’. Aside from being an identification card, the smart card can be used for campus meal plans, as a library access card, as a Firstar Bank ATM card and for debit card purchases. Throughout the upcoming semester, the ‘Spalding University Smartcard’ will be enhanced to include use at the University bookstore, at campus vending machines, copy and laundry machines. The ATM function of the card is good on and off campus, and transactions made at Firstar Bank ATMs are free and unlimited if the Spalding University card participant has a Firstar checking account. Students will be able to take advantage of Firstar’s ‘Student Banking 101’, which offers a no minimum balance checking account, a $1 a month maintenance fee, and free checks.Details
NYCE has signed Access Cash International as an ATM participant in its network. NYCE-branded cards will now have access to nearly 2,700 Access Cash ATMs located throughout the East and Midwest. The addition of these ATMs, which are expected to be live in the network with a few weeks, will bring the number of ATMs participating in the NYCE Network to over 38,000. Access Cash is an ISO with over 8,500 ATMs deployed. Access said it made the decision to join the NYCE network because of the competitive interchange rate. NYCE’s revised pricing schedule, which went into effect in February, offers an off-premises interchange rate of $.50 per cash withdrawal transaction.Details
Vital Processing Services announced Wednesday it has signed an agreement to purchase certain assets and the business of AMS, LLC and its subsidiary, SupplyXpress. AMS is an industry leading point-of-sale terminal management services provider.
The agreement to add AMS and its subsidiary’s point-of-sale Terminal Management Services to Vital’s business is clear evidence of Vital’s plan to offer a comprehensive range of merchant services. Acquirers and merchants want single source solutions, and this acquisition will enhance Vital’s ability to respond to that market need.
These terminal management services include equipment procurement, deployment, “just-in-time” inventory management, replacement and repair services, merchant training and merchant supplies replenishment.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Closing of the transaction is pending regulatory approval.
AMS, LLC (AMS) is recognized as one of the industry’s largest providers of point-of-sale payment devices, accessories, supplies, and value-added support services. The company currently has a workforce of more than 90 people and had annual sales of approximately $27 million in the year ending Dec. 31, 1999.
About Vital Processing Services
Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is a recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer a wide variety of electronic payment processing services to merchants. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Vital does not compete with its clients for their merchant business.
Vital services include merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; VirtualNet(TM)Internet-commerce suite of services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; operational fulfillment services (including chargeback and retrieval processing); risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(R) U.S.A. and Total System Services, Inc.(R) (TSYS(R)) (NYSE: TSS) ([http://www.totalsystem.com]). Vital can be found on the Internet at [http://www.vitalps.com].
Cubic Transportation Systems yesterday won a $1.8 million contract to help a Chinese company integrate smart card technology into a new contactless card ticketing system for Shanghai Metro. The Shanghai Municipal Government selected the Huahong Group and the Shanghai Oriental Traffic Card Company to implement an intermodal smart card technology across all forms of the city’s public transportation, which includes the existing Lines 1 and 2 of Shanghai Metro Corp.’s urban rail system. Cubic is the supplier of the existing automated fare collection system that entered revenue service on Line 1 in 1999, and which is slated to begin operations on Line 2 within the next several weeks. Both magnetic stripe card technology and smart card fare payment products are provided by the system designed, built and installed by Cubic under a contract won in 1996. Under Cubic’s new contract, the Huahong Group’s own contactless card technology will replace the existing Mifare 1 smart card system. With Cubic’s integration under the new contract, the dual architecture will remain intact.Details
Credit card agreements may soon be fully executed online if a new federal bill becomes law. Yesterday the U.S. House overwhelmingly approved the conference report to S. 761, the ‘Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act’ (a/k/a E-SIGN), by a vote of 426-4. Its next stop is the Senate, before being sent to the White House for the President’s signature. The bill would give e-signatures and records the same legal backing as written signatures — allowing consumers to sign and seal business transactions in cyberspace, the same way they would in person. Specifically, S.761 would provide for the acceptance of electronic signatures and records in interstate commerce and, direct the Secretary of Commerce to promote the principles of this legislation overseas. The bill first introduced in May of 1999. The House approved the bill November 9, 1999 by a vote of 356-66, and the Conference Report to S.761 was filed last week.Details
American Express and Japan’s JCB Company are entering into a new partnership covering their merchant businesses in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. The agreement includes a range of reciprocal card acceptance, merchant acquisition and merchant processing/servicing arrangements between the two brands. Under terms of the agreement JCB will become a merchant acquirer for AmEx in Japan, and will assume responsibility for processing and servicing new merchants and, eventually, certain existing AmEx merchants. In Australia, New Zealand and Canada, AmEx will become a merchant acquirer for JCB and will assume responsibility for processing and servicing all new merchants and, eventually, certain existing JCB merchants. Also under Wednesday’s contract, AmEx will work with JCB to provide technical access to American Express-owned merchant terminals in the USA. The agreement will be implemented in phases beginning in Spring 2001.Details
The Government’s key witness in the VISA/MasterCard antitrust trial took the stand late yesterday to say the card associations jointly agreed to slow down the introduction of smart cards in the USA. John Elliott, formerly of MasterCard and a consultant for American Express, testified that MasterCard was ready to rollout out smart cards but VISA was not, and therefore the technology was put on hold. However under cross examination, Mr. Elliott revealed he received half-million dollars as a consultant for American Express. He also admitted on the stand to having an additional eight to ten meetings, not including phone calls, with the DOJ as part of his work under his American Express consulting arrangement. VISA attacked Mr. Elliott last night insisting he purely represents American Express’ interests. VISA says American Express continues to pay his legal expenses including his lawyer appearing in court with him this week. VISA said while the smart card is a good idea in theory, the business case for the product in the U.S. does not exist.Details
Delta Capital Technologies, Inc. signed a letter of intent as the provider of e-Commerce and e-Merchandising solutions to customers of MoneyStream Services Inc., an electronic payment processing company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
In the reciprocal agreement, Delta has co-sponsored a development project for the integration of its proprietary relBUILDER. technology with MoneyStream’s payment processing and security systems.
According to Delta, the deal represents nearly US$1 million in total revenues this year with another US$1 million in revenue flowing to MoneyStream. The total project over the next 18 months represents approximately US$6.6 million to the two companies.
“Delta and MoneyStream share the philosophy that providing superior service is the core of our business. This mutual agreement is the key that will unlock opportunities for both companies, strengthening the partnership,” said Mike Steele, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Development. “MoneyStream represents both a key strategic partner and technology provider complimenting the strengths of relBUILDER(TM) and our e-Business solutions.
“Together, Delta and MoneyStream will offer mission-critical e-Business applications meeting the growing needs of small-to-medium businesses typically overlooked by traditional banking institutions.”
Marc Bourgeois, MoneyStream’s Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing agrees: “The formalization of a partnership with Delta is an integral part of our ability to offer turnkey e-Business solutions to our respective clients.
“Relationships with companies like Delta allow us to meet our aggressive objectives for the rapid deployment of MoneyStream’s e-Business financial services. The Internet is emerging as our customer’s preferred banking interface providing businesses with vital financial information when and where they need it most.”
About Delta Capital Technologies, Inc.: Trading Symbol DCTG (OTC:BB)
Delta Capital Technologies is a Delaware-based software development company with offices in Calgary, Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; and Austin, Texas. Delta’s proprietary technology is the relBUILDER(TM) suite of applications, a contextual rules and relationships e-Business program, allows end-user information owners to manage their own on-line operations efficiently and at reduced cost.
About MoneyStream Services Inc.
MoneyStream Services was founded in 1993, as Canada’s only full service electronic payments processing company. With the proliferation of the e-Business economy, MoneyStream has evolved and refined its offerings to satisfy its clients with the most comprehensive selection of electronic payment processing services, including credit card authorization, pre-authorized payment processing and electronics funds transfer services. Leveraging the power of the Internet, MoneyStream’s solutions simplify the way businesses move money.Details
Three former executives of Cendant Corp. pleaded guilty yesterday to criminal fraud charges for participating in a major accounting scandal to inflate revenues. The fraud was perpetrated prior to the merger of CUC International and HFS which created Cendant in late 1997. Cosmo Corigliano, Anne Pember, and Casper Sabatino testified yesterday that their actions were done at the behest of their superiors at CUC. The cooking of the books led to CUC overstating its operating income by $116 million between 1995 and 1997. As a result Cendant overstated its income by $170 million in 1997. The scandal led to a $3 billion+ settlement in a shareholder class action lawsuit and reduced Cendant’s market value by $14 billion. CUC and Cendant were major third-party providers of membership services to the nation’s top credit card issuers. All three face 5-10 years in prison and enforcement action by the SEC.Details