Australia’s The Westpac Group announced Monday it has selected Intelisys to operate its Australian and New Zealand e-procurement and B2B e-marketplace. Under terms of the agreement a Westpac Group company will purchase a 49% equity stake in Intelisys’ Australian subsidiary, Intelisys Australasia. The partnership combines Westpac’s payments and broader financial services expertise with Intelisys’ e-commerce infrastructure. Using Intelisys ConnectTrade, e-marketplace buyers will be able to compare goods and services electronically and automate the entire sales cycle from requisition to delivery. The system will be progressively extended to include all the goods and services the organization requires from across a supplier base of approximately 17,000 businesses. In Australia, Intelisys powers the e-procurement of Telstra Corp. and the South Australian Government.Details
Bank of America announced Monday that its first 15 talking ATMs, of the 1,600 the bank will put in California, are now operating. The first cities to receive the machines are: San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Westminster, Berkeley, Oakland, Woodland Hills and West Covina. Bank of America, in conjunction with the California Council of the Blind and several blind individuals, announced its decision in March to install talking ATMs at each ATM location throughout its national ATM network. Over the next three years, more than 2,500 talking ATMs will be installed in California and Florida.Details
InnoVentry Corp., which combines Internet and facial recognition technologies to bring advanced cash management and information access machines to market, announced today that it has reached an important milestone just days before the third anniversary of the company’s first roll-out of self-service check cashing machines.
Over the past three years, InnoVentry has cashed more than two million checks at its machines located in retail environments nationwide.
Since June 1997, when a forerunner of InnoVentry’s RPM Cash Management Machine first went “live” at a convenience store in Fort Worth, Texas, more than $450 million has been dispensed to more than 500,000 check-cashing customers. The RPM machine offers secure check cashing, utilizing advanced facial recognition technology to identify the customer, eliminating the need for cards or personal identification numbers (PINs).
“It’s incredible to think how much progress InnoVentry has made in a relatively short time,” said Frank A. Petro Jr., chairman and CEO of InnoVentry. “The numbers suggest that people are responding to the convenience and security that our self-service check cashing machines offer. Our goal is to build on the machines’ current functionality to provide a broad range of financial services to customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The two million-check milestone coincides with an accelerated roll-out of RPM machines to key markets in the U.S. including Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix and Orlando, Fla. Although the machines currently offer only check cashing functionality, the RPM machines are designed to eventually provide a complete range of financial services including ATM, check deposits, money orders, money transfers and electronic bill-payment. The RPMs also include a multimedia second screen that can deliver customized educational and promotional messages in English and Spanish.
Backed by the wholesale bank of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) and by Cash America International, Inc. (NYSE:PWN), InnoVentry combines Internet and face-recognition technologies to bring advanced cash-management and information-access machines to market. InnoVentry distributes these machines under the RPM(TM) and ATREVA(TM) brands to leading retail-store networks and entertainment venues across the nation. Since its launch, InnoVentry has enrolled more than 500,000 customers, cashed two million checks and established relationships with many of the nation’s leading retailers. The company is based in San Francisco, California.Details
ZeroPlus.com, Inc. — a leader in developing technology that revolutionizes the way consumers and businesses use the Internet to place and receive telephone calls — announced that it has signed a major contract with the YWCA of the U.S.A., the largest and oldest women’s organization in the country, to be the provider of long distance services and calling cards sold through participating YWCA locations nationwide.
To be branded the “YWCA Calling Card” and powered by ZeroPlus.com technology, the new initiative will enable the YWCA to realize incremental funding support for its local and national programs, which include Economic Empowerment, Health and Fitness, Violence Prevention, Leadership Development, Child Care and Youth Development, Housing and Shelter and more.
The “YWCA Calling Card” will be available and offered as a benefit to YWCA members as it offers savings on their long distance calls, while at the same time providing them with an opportunity to financially support their local YWCA programs through the use of the card. The YWCA will communicate this program to its members through posters, flyers, newsletters, direct mail, web site and other available means.
For both ZeroPlus.com and the YWCA, the alliance breaks new ground. The YWCA network reaches an estimated two million members and participants in addition to their families, on an annual basis, through 324 local associations across the U.S., with programs in some 4,000 communities. The YWCA also has a substantial employee base and is one of the largest employers of women in the nation.
“Our agreement with the YWCA is a big ‘win’ for ZeroPlus.com, the YWCA and its members,” stated ZeroPlus.com President and CEO Robert A. Veschi. “It provides an outstanding, new distribution channel for our high-quality, low- cost Internet calling services to several million potential new users. This partnership also enables the YWCA to tap into a new source of funding for its programs nationwide. Finally, the YWCA members who use the “YWCA Calling Card” can now have access to convenient and attractively priced long distance services.”
Also commenting today was Dr. Prema Mathai-Davis, CEO of the YWCA of the U.S.A., who noted, “The delivery of ZeroPlus.com’s value-based long distance services to both our members and employees truly enables the YWCA to help fulfill another essential need for countless individuals – to ‘connect’ at a reasonable price. Use of the cards will also help generate important new revenues for many of our most important programs at both the national and local level. This is a good example of how companies and non-profits can work together to our mutual benefit. We are pleased to partner with ZeroPlus.com in this important endeavor.”
About the YWCA
The YWCA of the U.S.A. is the nation’s oldest and largest women’s membership movement. With programs in some 4,000 communities in all 50 states, the YWCA of the U.S.A. represents approximately 2 million women and girls. Its mission, to empower women and girls and to eliminate racism, is the guiding principle for all of its programs.
ZeroPlus.com, Inc. provides Internet telephony services to consumers worldwide, including free PC-to-PC services, and fee-based PC-to-phone, phone- to-PC and phone-to-phone services. The revolutionary aspect of this consumer solution is that customers choose a unique Internet phone number that can be identical to their home phone number, except that “0” is the first digit. Therefore, calls made to PCs are dialed almost identically to calls made to traditional telephone numbers. Consumer members also receive free instant messaging and text chat. ZeroPlus.com also has developed an e-commerce solution, ZPCommerce, that enables companies to voice-enable their websites. ZeroPlus.com can route calls from customers’ PCs to existing call centers entirely over the Internet, thereby drastically reducing e-commerce companies’ inbound 800-number service costs.Details
Among credit card issuers advertising on the Internet, First USA has captured the lion’s share. Marketing credit cards online is dominated by six competitors: First USA, NextCard, Providian, Capital One, Citibank and Discover. Together, these competitors are issuing 72% of all online marketed cards. However more than 20% of consumers issued credit card from online offers received cards from First USA, according to Atlanta-based Brittain Associates. The marketing research firm says that if you consider the online acquisition side, the consumer prospect profile of some of the key players such as Providian, Capital One or even NextCard tends to skew the demographics of the entire group a bit toward the less affluent and toward those who are rebuilding their credit. Brittain suggest that online application convenience and the more impersonal, arms-length nature of internet applications as reasons that credit rebuilders are attracted to the internet marketing channel. While the online sales volume leaders include those issuers who also lead in online marketing, the order is somewhat rearranged, with Citibank in the top spot. In addition, American Express ranks among the top five favorite online payment cards. Brittain’s study was based on interviews with 2,400 consumers during March and April.Details
Electronic Payment Exchange, a leading full-service electronic payment processor, today announced its plans to offer its merchants SafeDebit, the first PIN-secured option for Internet payments that does not require special hardware for customers. Developed by NYCE Corporation, SafeDebit leverages the advantages and features of the existing ATM and POS infrastructure.
“SafeDebit is an excellent product and a very natural fit for our business. We are always looking for innovative ways to consolidate payments. SafeDebit’s a safe, secure Internet payment option that opens up many opportunities for our merchants, who in turn will pass the advantages along to their customers,” said Ray Moyer, chief executive officer of EPX.
SafeDebit, a patent-pending payment option, is a PIN-secured debit card that fits into the CD-ROM drive of a personal computer. It provides Internet customers with the advantages and features of existing automated teller machines and the convenience of point-of-sale transactions. Consumers will have the option of using their SafeDebit card for purchases on participating merchant Web sites.
“We are pleased to partner with EPX and their strong, streamlined electronic payments infrastructure and processing system that the company offers to an ever-growing number of e-Commerce merchants,” said Paul Tomasofsky, Vice President, NYCE Corporation.
EPX specializes in electronic payment processing and underwriting for both credit card and electronic check Internet transactions. EPX provides recurring automated clearing house (ACH) services, front-end technical support, customized reporting, as well as risk management, compliance and fraud mitigation services to large commercial clients. EPX currently serving a number of businesses and entities, including AirTouch Communications, DuPont, the United States Department of Justice, and MetroCall. The company is based in New Castle, De.
Headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, NYCE Corporation is one of the largest electronic payments companies in the U.S. The NYCE Network provides financial institutions and retailers with shared network services for automated teller machines (ATMs), on-line debit point-of-sale and electronics benefits transfer transactions. Currently, the Network has 2,400 financial institution participants and services more than 45 million cardholders through 35,500 NYCE-branded ATMs and 215,000 point-of-sale retailer locations. The company processes nearly 77 million transactions each month. In addition, NYCE Corporation provides financial institutions with electronic funds transfer processing services that support ATM deployment and debit card issuance solutions. A frontrunner in the electronic payments arena, NYCE innovated SafeDebit, the industry’s first PIN-secured debit payment solution for Internet shopping that requires no special hardware for consumers. NYCE’s web site address is [http://www.NYCE.net].
VeriSign, American Express and Ariba announced yesterday a strategic relationship to deliver the first integrated card payment processing utility for online business-to-business transactions. As part of the relationship, Ariba will integrate VeriSign’s B2B payment connectivity services with the Ariba ‘Commerce Services Network’ to process American Express payments. Leveraging this integrated payment solution, Ariba will provide buyers and suppliers with the ability to exchange and process American Express payments electronically through Ariba CSN, which will further reduce the costly extra steps and manual processes in the authorization, settlement and reconciliation processes. To deliver an integrated payment solution, the companies expect to create a new cXML standard that provides encrypted processing of charge cards utilizing VeriSign’s ‘XML Pay’.Details
Total System Services, Inc. announced the signing of a multi-year contract to provide commercial card processing services for Advance Auto Parts, the second largest automotive retailer in the United States. The accounts were converted to TSYS’ TS1 Processing System in second quarter 2000.
Advance Auto Parts utilizes full turnkey services through the Synovus Financial Corp. family of companies for every component of its commercial business. TSYS furnishes the commercial card processing portion. TSYS Total Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of TSYS, provides collections and customer service. Synovus Technologies, Inc., and Columbus Bank and Trust, subsidiaries of Synovus Financial Corp., render remittance processing and funding of receivables, respectively.
“Advance Auto Parts is the first client to fully realize the broad spectrum of services that the Synovus Financial Corp. family of companies offers its business customers. We will work vigorously to build a valuable partnership with Advance, and we’re eager to identify more opportunities to offer these end-to-end solutions for other retailers and in other sectors,” said James H. Blanchard, chairman and CEO of Synovus Financial Corp.
“Advance Auto Parts has established itself as an industry leader by staying focused on providing excellent customer service, brand-name parts and convenient locations. Services such as our TS1 Processing System and the customer contact center solutions provided by Total Solutions help Advance keep focused on their customers,” said Richard W. Ussery, chairman of the board and CEO of TSYS. “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Advance.”
“One of the keys to Advance Auto Parts’ success is an unwavering commitment to excellence from ourselves and the organizations who help us serve our customers,” said Advance Auto Parts CEO Larry Castellani. “We feel confident that our business will only continue to grow under the care and supervision of TSYS and Synovus, who share that same commitment.”
About Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts is the primary trade name for Advance Stores Company Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Advance Holding Corporation. Established in 1932 with three stores in Virginia, Advance now has more than 1,700 stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The company is based in Roanoke, Va., and is the second largest auto parts chain in the nation. Additional information about the company, employment opportunities and services can be found on the company web site at [http://www.advanceautoparts.com].
About Total System Services, Inc.
TSYS provides global commerce solutions. With more than 181 million accounts on file, TSYS facilitates the payment exchange between buyers and sellers for approximately 253.4 million consumers. Our systems capture and deliver more of the right information to our clients that allows them to make wiser business decisions, currently yielding portfolio growth more than twice the industry average. TSYS and its family of companies offers a full range of business services, from credit application to collections, allowing our clients to focus on building their brands while we focus on safety, security, ease and convenience. Based in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([http://www.totalsystem.com]) is an 80.8-percent-owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: “SNV”) ([http://www.synovus.com]), No. 5 on FORTUNE magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2000.
HNC Software Inc. Monday announced that David Chen has become a member of the company’s board of directors.
Chen joins HNC’s existing board which includes: Edward Chandler of Graystone Venture Partners LLC.; Thomas Farb of Summit Partners; Charles H. Gaylord Jr., a private technology advisor; Alex Hart, an independent consultant to the financial services industry and former CEO of Advanta Corp. and MasterCard International, and John Mutch, HNC’s president and chief executive officer.
Chen is managing partner of The Ascent Group, a management consulting firm that specializes in customer service operations and improvement, performance benchmarking, competitive benchmarking, work management and market research. At The Ascent Group Chen was pivotal in guiding Microsoft, Intel, Wireless Knowledge, Bell Atlantic, Fujitsu, and other companies.
Chen is also the co-founder and CEO of GeoTrust, an Internet infrastructure supplier of trust services to online communities, exchanges and eMarkets. Additionally, he is a venture partner with Olympic Venture Partners, a leading venture capital firm in the Pacific Northwest.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome someone of David Chen’s talent and experience to our board,” said Mutch. “His guidance and strategic direction in critical areas of our business will be invaluable to us as we continue to expand our markets and our intelligent software portfolios.”
About HNC Software Inc.
Headquartered in San Diego, HNC Software Inc. (Nasdaq:HNCS) is a leading provider of predictive software solutions for the services industry, including financial, telecommunications, insurance and Internet commerce. HNC’s suite of predictive software solutions can provide real-time insight into customer relationships based on transaction-level data, helping companies manage their relationships with individual customers. By accurately predicting customer behaviors, these companies can create initiatives to mitigate risk and attrition; improve customer service; develop marketing programs to enhance profitability, and detect fraudulent customer transactions. For more information, visit HNC’s Web site at [http://www.hnc.com] or contact Melinda Bateman, HNC Software Inc., 5935 Cornerstone Court West, San Diego, CA 92121, 858/799-3880. For the investor relations’ hotline, call 800/396-8052.
Coinstar confirmed Monday it is looking to explore opportunities to deliver prepaid cash cards through its nationwide network of more than 7,500 Coinstar machines. Towards that end, Coinstar will work with Canada’s DataWave Systems which has dispensed more than four million prepaid phone cards to consumers over the past three years. DataWave is expanding into the prepaid cash card market with the assistance of card issuer Michigan National Bank. Both firms see prepaid cash cards as the wave of the future for Internet shopping and as the basis for payment systems for teenagers. Last year alone, the market for these cards exceeded $3 billion. DataWave expects the market for prepaid cards will exceed $8 billion within three years.Details
NBC/Quokka Ventures announced that VISA has become a Masters Gold Advertiser of [http://www.nbcolympics.com], the home to NBC’s online coverage of the 2000 Olympics. NBC/Quokka Ventures is a joint venture between NBC and Quokka Sports. Through this agreement, VISA will receive a comprehensive advertising package that will take advantage of the dynamic content and traffic that is being generated by the site. NBCOlympics.com is part of NBC’s overall strategy to deliver the complete Olympic experience across a variety of mediums including Network, Cable, and Internet.
As part of the agreement, VISA will be the exclusive credit card designated throughout and at the point of checkout at the NBCOlympics.com US Olympic Store, produced in partnership with the USOC, guaranteeing that all e-commerce transactions taking place at the NBCOlympics.com US Olympic Store will be VISA transactions. In addition, VISA will receive product exclusivity in the payment system category, a number of branding opportunities in the NBCOlympics.com masthead and other areas throughout the site, presence in the advertiser pavilion and prominent positioning in the synchronized swimming and track & field sections. VISA will also be the presenting sponsor of the NBCOlympics.com US Olympic Store.
As well, NBCOlympics.com will create customized content using the pioneering “Brand Immersion” marketing approach developed by Quokka Sports. “Brand Immersion” is an extension of Quokka’s unique method of immersive storytelling that attempts to connect brands to site content.
“We are pleased to be joining NBCOlympics.com to bring an even wider audience closer to the Games than ever before,” said Liz Silver, senior vice president, advertising at VISA. “We are expanding our commitment and support of the Olympics by sharing NBCOlympics.com’s vision of creating a whole new digital experience for viewers who log onto the Internet.”
“This marketing alliance with VISA is supporting our efforts to change the way that Internet users will experience the Olympics and to provide comprehensive coverage of the Games for NBC,” said Tom Newell, general manager, NBC/Quokka Ventures.
About NBC/Quokka Ventures
NBC/Quokka Ventures, LLC was formed in February 1999 as a joint venture of NBC Olympics and Quokka Sports (Nasdaq: QKKA) to produce [http://www.nbcolympics.com], the home for NBC’s online coverage of the Olympic Games. [http://www.nbcolympics.com], presented in concert with NBC’s television and cable programming, provides viewers with enhanced coverage of the Olympic Games and the athletes who, over the course of a four-year season, compete for spots at the world’s most prestigious sports competition. Unique to [http://www.nbcolympics.com] is Athlete’s Voice, a mainstay of the coverage where some of the world’s elite athletes provide ongoing first-person accounts of the trials, tribulations and successes of training and competing. Through email, online diaries, audio and other digital media, the competitors offer fans an emotional look into their individual experiences. Today, coverage on [http://www.nbcolympics.com] includes coverage of all 35 Olympic events, from qualifying events to features on the events and the athletes who compete in them. Once the Olympic Games begin, [http://www.nbcolympics.com] will offer digital media coverage of the Sydney Olympics, running 15 September 2000 through 2 October 2000.
Quokka and Quokka Sports are registered trademarks and QNews, What Happens Next, Sports Entertainment for the Digital World and the Quokka Logos are trademarks of Quokka Sports, Inc.
Chase Merchant Services has launched ‘eWEBuilder’, ‘Bolt on Store’ and ‘eAPPLY’. The product suite of e-commerce solutions provides businesses with the ability to develop their Internet presence, expand their current Web initiatives and/or provide e-commerce solutions to their clients. ‘eWEBuilder’, based on kinzan.com’s e-business platform, including a brandable suite of content management and e-commerce applications, and the ‘ClearCommerce Engine’, empowers businesses to create and manage their own Web site or virtual store. ‘Bolt on Store’ was developed in response to requests from businesses for a way to add an online store with payment processing and a secure payment gateway to their Web Site. ‘eAPPLY’ is a solution for automating the application process for an Internet merchant account in which merchants are risk scored and notified of their application status within 24 to 48 hours.Details