MasterCard International announced this morning that its U.S. Region Board of Directors has elected Michael Rhodes as its new chairman. MasterCard also announced that John Klein, Richard Srednicki, and Patrick Swanick were named to the U.S. Board. Rhodes is a vice chairman of MBNA America Bank. He was named vice chairman and a member of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Region of MasterCard International in 1998. Rhodes will succeed Ronald Zebeck of Metris Companies, as chairman. John Klein is chairman of the Board, President and CEO of People’s Bank. Richard Srednicki is EVP of The Chase Manhattan Bank. Patrick Swanick is president and CEO of Key Electronic Services, the electronic commerce subsidiary of KeyCorp.Details
Associates First Capital and Tractor Supply Company announced yesterday an exclusive private label credit card agreement. TSC is one of the largest and most rapidly growing retail farm and ranch store chains in the U. S. The firm has 282 stories nationwide. The program will be operated by Associates Commerce Solutions.Details
First USA announced that it has been selected as the new credit card provider for the American Business Women’s Association.
The program offers no-fee, low-interest Platinum Visa credit cards to ABWA members. The ABWA provides leadership, education, networking support and national recognition opportunities for businesswomen of diverse occupations. Revenue from the credit card program will be used to support the efforts of the non-profit organization.
Current ABWA cardholders are encouraged to make the switch to the new First USA program. Only the ABWA Visa credit cards issued by First USA will provide revenue to support the organization’s programs.
First USA serves the needs of some of America’s most prestigious professional associations including: the American Medical Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the National Association of Realtors.
First USA ([http://www.firstusa.com]), a subsidiary of Bank One Corporation (NYSE: ONE), is the world’s largest issuer of Visa credit cards. First USA offers credit cards for consumers and businesses under the First USA, First Card and Bank One names and on behalf of its marketing partners. Bank One is the nation’s fourth-largest bank holding company with assets of more than $265 billion.
Smart marketing software leader Welcome Real-time and secured smart card provider Bull Smart Cards & Terminals announced they have joined forces to accelerate EMV (Europay – MasterCard – VISA) migration. By integrating Welcome Real-time’s XLS(TM) software with Bull’s SmartEMV payment card family, the companies provide banks and retailers with a complete smart marketing solution based on today’s smart payment devices.
“EMV migration by banks, retailers and telcos will be accelerated,” said Jean-Yves Grall, Welcome Real-time’s COO. “Welcome Real-time’s smart marketing software allows merchants to boost their business through personalized loyalty and electronic couponing programs. This helps banks because it strengthens the business case for merchant acceptance of smart EMV devices.”
“The SmartEMV range is a ready-to-use multi-functional card designed to host several payment applications while offering an optimum flexibility in risk management. By definition multi-application, SmartEMV can house additional services, such as home banking application through authentication processes, loyalty, health file, administrative data. SmartEMV is based on a complete file system architecture and enables secure update of any kind of data, even after card delivery,” said Philippe David, marketing and sales development director for the banking sector, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals.
Welcome Real-time supplies the underlying software that makes chip cards really smart and allows chip payment devices to deliver targeted coupons and incentives.
XLS(TM) offers card issuers a new opportunity for differentiation through the ability to leverage emerging chip based payment instruments – smart cards and smart card equipped consumer devices like mobile phones – for instant delivery of behavior driven coupons and incentives.
By automatically storing the customer’s purchase history within the payment instrument itself, the company’s patented technology uniquely provides merchants the ability to use a simple, inexpensive payment terminal to deliver targeted coupons, messages and incentives directly at the point of sale, at very low cost. Transactions are very fast, since they require no connection to a central data base. Merchants do not have to issue their own loyalty cards as their frequent buyer promotions run on general purpose bank cards or mobile phones. In addition, the software allows increased security over traditional paper incentives like coupons and frequent buyer cards punched or stamped at each visit.
As the leader in secure smart cards, Bull has included in the SmartEMV range its Bull’s unique know-how in security. In addition to the internal data protection mechanisms ensuring the inviolability of the secrets stored in the card, a set of systems provides flawless security, fully configurable PIN management, active anti-withdrawal systems, use of the triple-DES algorithm, external authentication, validation of writing in memory, access to parameter files, secure messaging and generation of cryptograms in compliance with EMV specifications.
About Welcome Real-time
Welcome Real-time is a leading supplier of software and marketing strategies that boost the use of smart payment devices. The company’s software leverages emerging chip based payment instruments – smart cards and smart card equipped consumer devices like mobile phones – for instant delivery of behavior driven coupons and incentives.
Welcome Real-time is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France. Management includes smart card marketing pioneers who have been running electronic cash programs since 1987 and smart card based electronic couponing applications as early as 1993. The company has delivered its software on close to 4 million smart loyalty cards used by specialty retailers, airlines, movie theaters, quick service restaurants and supermarkets. Welcome Real-time has been granted several patents covering smart card based electronic couponing and electronic punch cards.
The company’s core product is XLS(TM) (eXtended Loyalty System(TM)), a multi-platform promotional marketing system for smart cards, merchant payment terminals, web sites and mobile phones. The software uses the customer’s smart payment instrument to seamlessly move incentives between the offline, online and mobile worlds.
Welcome Real-time is a charter member of VISA USA’s workgroup integrating loyalty and payment onto one card and a member of the MULTOS supplier network. Welcome Real-time also supports Microsoft’s Smart Cards for Windows.
For more information, visit the company’s website at [www.welcome-rt.com]
About Bull Smart Cards
Since 1998, under the direction of fourty year-old CEO David Levy, Bull Smart Cards has been focusing its strategy on the development and marketing of software for microprocessor cards, more popularly known as smart cards(1), integrating a high level of security.
The history of Bull Smart Cards goes back to 1977, the year in which the company filed its first patent. Since then, Bull has been the undisputed leader in smart card technology. Today, 20% of all microprocessor cards in circulation worldwide operate with software developed by Bull. Bull is the world leader in the field of software for bank cards, and has a 30% share of the world electronic purse market. In 1999, the company ventured into the GSM market and is now at the leading edge in the development of UMTS, the third generation of SIM cards. It is also promoting the world’s first “Internet” smart card.
With its ongoing technological development, supported by an aggressive marketing and sales policy, Bull Smart Cards wishes to maintain, each year, a 20% share of the world market in software for microprocessor cards.
(1) There are in fact two types of smart card: microprocessor cards, which have nothing less than an embedded microcomputer; and memory cards (e.g. the telephone card) which are used simply to store data. The microprocessor card was invented in 1977 by Michel Ugon, a researcher at Bull, who produced the first working model two years later.
More information on these activities can be found on the World Wide Web at: [http://www.cp8.bull.net], on Groupe Bull at: [http://www.bull.com]
Paytrust announced Tuesday it has taken its bill payment service to wireless access using the ‘PalmPilot VII’. To help promote the launch of its wireless application, Paytrust is giving away a ‘Palm VII’ each week before April 16. All new subscribers before March 31 also qualify for the Grand Prize drawing of $5,000 to help pay their bills. Paytrust.com has partnered with Everypath to enable their customers to access their ‘Paytrust Bill Center’ anywhere and at anytime from their ‘Palm VII’. Paytrust’s ‘SmartBalance’ information is also available through the wireless interface, allowing consumers to easily check their account balance information.Details
Media Metrix released the top 50 Web and Digital Media properties for February 2000. AOL, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Lycos continue to occupy the top four slots, with fifth-place Excite@Home showing the greatest gain. The Excite@Home audience increased from 25.4 million unique visitors in January to 30.2 million in February, largely driven by heavy usage of its Bluemountainarts.com greeting-card Web site, a popular Valentine’s Day destination.
As a new feature, Media Metrix also released top newcomers among the 21,000 Web sites and properties reported in February. To make this list, sites must have passed the 500,000 unique-visitors threshold for the first time. These new sites are as varied as dating services, business-to-business sites and direct marketers reflecting the diversity of content and unique interests of the Internet audience:
TOP NEWCOMERS TO MEDIA METRIX FEBRUARY 2000 REPORT
This site allows users to
send money to anyone with an
email address on the
internet, utilizing a credit
card. The recipient must
also visit the site to
retrieve the cash, so
audiences will be
PAYPAL.COM 1,287 driven higher.
This and a similar site
advice givers and advice
seekers, relying on an
internet pattern of having
KEEN.COM 1,270 the audience develop the content.
Animated humorous cartoons delivered via
email daily to registered
BITMAGIC.COM 1,025 users to be played in a macromedia player.
Mattel developed this site for kids
(and grownups!) to develop
EXPRESSIT.COM 917 online greeting cards and other art projects.
Like KEEN.com, this site connects
self-appointed experts with those
seeking advice. Site has been renamed to
XPERTSITE.COM 907 askme.com
SELFCARE.COM 851 Health oriented site.
This is a promotional site featuring
sweepstakes and prizes, in
exchange for email registration and
MAILBONUS.COM 782 promotional message delivery.
A site to host intranets for groups and
organizations out on the
INTRANETS.COM 771 internet under password protection.
This Microsoft site provides updates on the
systems. It presently redirects visitors
WINDOWSUPDATE.COM 756 to Microsoft.com
Seattle based ISP for personal and business
use, featuring DSL
SEANET.COM 750 support.
Design a survey, pick a
target market, launch the
field work and retrieve the
results in just a few hours
on this do-it-yourself
INSIGHTXPRESS.COM 741 survey site.
GRAMMY.COM 730 Home site for the Grammy Awards.
Users can post photos and
artwork, including animated
gifs, to trade with other
users. A point system is
used to buy and sell
artwork. Points are earned
for providing art and can be
SAYIT.COM 683 as well.
HOTSOCKET.COM 634 Direct marketing company.
EW.COM 611 Entertainment Weekly magazine online.
SOCIALNET.COM 576 Dating and introduction service.
Groupware site, designed for users to
coordinate group events, send
MYEVENTS.COM 576 party invitations, share photo albums, etc.
In response to clients’ needs and the goal of remaining in synch with the ever-changing digital media landscape, Media Metrix has begun phasing in several important enhancements to its syndicated reports and reporting nomenclature, as part of its Client Focus 2000 initiatives.
One of the Client Focus 2000 changes within Media Metrix’ syndicated reports is reflected in the merging of its top 50 properties and top 50 domain rankings, below. The newly formatted top 50 property report now lists each property’s leading components. Leading components are single domains or Web sites that qualify by having a reach/unique visitors count high enough to be included among the top 50. Many of the top properties contain additional components that are not listed here, as they do not fall within the top 50 threshold. Client Focus 2000 initiatives will continue to unfold in the months ahead.
Media Metrix – Top 50 U.S. Digital Media Properties
and Their Leading Components
February 2000 Measurement Period Unique
(1/1/00 through 1/29/00) Visitors
Combined At Home and At Work
Rank All Digital Media 74,629
All WWW 70,359
1 AOL Network – Proprietary & WWW 57,601
AOL Instant Messenger (Application)20,462
ICQ (Application) 9,001
2 Yahoo Sites 45,488
3 Microsoft Sites 44,007
EXPEDIA.COM TRAVEL 5,344
MONEY CENTRAL 4,366
4 Lycos 31,572
5 Excite@Home 30,191
6 Go Network 21,297
DISNEY ONLINE 6,016
7 NBC Internet 16,464
SNAP.COM SEARCH & SERVICES 10,923
8 Amazon 14,463
9 Time Warner Online 13,798
ENTERTAINDOM-WARNER BROS ONLINE 4,096
10 About.com Sites 12,966
11 Go2Net Network 12,874
12 Real.com Network 12,754
13 AltaVista Network 12,316
ALTAVISTA SEARCH SERVICES 11,969
14 Ebay 11,826
15 Ask Jeeves 11,168
16 LookSmart 10,464
17 ZDNet Sites 9,847
18 CNET 9,231
19 JUNO / JUNO.COM 8,518
20 Infospace Impressions 8,121
21 Viacom Online 7,856
MTV Networks Music Sites, The 4,179
22 Weather Channel, The 7,552
23 GoTo 7,248
24 AT&T Web Sites 7,136
25 American Greetings 7,062
26 CitySearch-TicketMaster Online 6,922
27 IWON.COM 6,480
28 eUniverse Network 6,350
29 Snowball 6,302
30 SMARTBOTPRO.NET 6,067
31 iVillage.com:The Womens Network 5,718
IVILLAGE SITES 5,002
32 CDNow, Inc. 5,703
33 Fortunecity Global Community 5,654
34 Macromedia 5,357
35 FREELOTTO.COM 5,263
36 EARTHLINK.NET 5,217
37 BARNESANDNOBLE.COM 5,176
38 Women.com Networks, The 5,081
39 TRAVELOCITY.COM 5,019
40 OnHealth 4,942
41 MarketWatch.com Sites 4,926
42 MYPOINTS.COM 4,875
43 Theglobe.com Network 4,790
44 BONZI.COM 4,722
45 Uproar Network, The 4,713
46 LIFEMINDERS.COM 4,701
47 MAPQUEST.COM 4,443
48 News Corp. Online 4,434
49 SONY ONLINE 4,413
50 Quicken.com Sites 4,408
Digital Media: Digital Media include users of the World Wide Web, proprietary online services, and/or other ad-supported digital applications such as e-mail services and CD ROM.
Top 50 Digital Media & Web Properties: The top 50 Digital Media & Web properties are based on unduplicated audience reach, also known as unique visitors. “Digital Media & Web Properties” include the largest single brands as well as consolidations of multiple domains that fall under one brand or common ownership.
Unique Visitors: The actual number of total users who visited the reported Web site or online property at least once in the given month. All Unique Visitors are unduplicated (only counted once) and are in thousands.
About Media Metrix
Media Metrix, Inc., with over 600 clients, is the leader and pioneer in Internet and Digital Media measurement and the industry’s source for the most comprehensive, reliable, and timely audience ratings, e-commerce, advertising and technology measurement services. Through its acquisition of AdRelevance, an innovator in Internet advertising measurement, Media Metrix has expanded its product offering to include comprehensive data on where, when, how and how much Web marketers and their competition are advertising online. Media Metrix provides leading advertising agencies, new and traditional media companies, e-commerce marketers, financial services companies and technology companies with comprehensive coverage of all Digital Media (including more than 21,000 Web sites and online properties). Media Metrix utilizes its patented metering methodology to measure actual Internet and Digital Media audience usage behavior in real-time – click by click, page by page, minute by minute. Media Metrix offers monthly, weekly, and daily data collection and reporting, and a sample of more than 50,000 people under measurement in the United States. Media Metrix has worldwide operations in the U.K, France, Germany, Canada, Sweden and Australia. For more information about Media Metrix, please visit: [www.mediametrix.com].
A Fort Lauderdale, FL attorney has been issued a patent that allows for real time point of purchase allocation of expenditures, on a single credit card account. Under the patent, each credit card will have either a built in keypad and display or slip into a pocket sized device for entry of a billing code prior to an expenditure. The code may be an account number or name. When the card is swiped, the code is transmitted along with the customary charge information to the credit card issuer for processing. The credit card statement will break down all expenditures and any attendant finance charges based on the codes. The breakdown of expenditures and finance charges will also permit the substitution of one credit card for the typical wallet full carried by consumers for personal, business and other special purposes. A second patent application has been filed covering every conceivable device that could be utilized to input billing codes at the time of purchase, including a personal computer for Internet transactions.Details
Trintech Group announced that Korea Exchange Bank Credit Service, Korea’s largest Visa card issuer, is launching the first virtual credit card payment solution in Asia-Pacific, utilizing Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer (formerly known as PayGate NetIssuer) technology.
KEBCS plans to roll out the eIssuer technology across the country in the coming months. Trintech’s eIssuer solution allows the company to authorize and distribute secure virtual credit cards to their 5.4 million cardholder base, expanding KEBCS’s brand presence on the Internet, while reducing the fraud associated with eCommerce transactions.
Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer provides consumers with a convenient and secure “drag and drop” payment mechanism for Internet transactions, with the potential to link to a host of e-banking services. PayWare eIssuer can allow issuers to increase card transaction volume, create and extend relationships with cardholders and improve brand reach.
“We are delighted to take the lead in the Korean market with the launch of the region’s first virtual credit card offering,” says Sang-Chul Kim, President of Korea Exchange Bank Credit Service. “The eIssuer payment technology provided by Trintech leads the industry in terms of ease of use and flexibility. We believe the Trintech solution provides a distinct advantage over the existing method of payment by combining credit, debit and prepaid capabilities in one package, as well as identifying the user during each transaction.”
“Asia-Pacific is playing a leading role in the deployment of leading-edge Internet technology,” says John McGuire, Chief Executive Officer of Trintech. “KEBCS is providing its customers with a Web-centric payment tool that cuts down on the tedious business of filling out multiple payment forms, while reducing the fraud associated with misuse of credit card information when shopping on the Internet.”
About Korea Exchange Bank Credit Service
Korea Exchange Bank Credit Service Co., Ltd. (KEBCS), first principal member of Visa and first Issuer in Korea, was established as a fully independent credit card company in 1988, when it separated from KEB to specialize in the credit card business. To keep pace with Korea’s booming economic growth in the ’90s, the company has expanded and has diversified its business activities by developing a wide range of innovative products and services, built up a strong customer base, and established an extensive branch network.
Today KEBCS has 5.4 million cardholders and 820,000 merchant relationships. KEBCS can be contacted in South Korea at 935-34 Pangbae-dong Seoco-ku Seoul 137-716 (Tel 82-2-524-8000), and reached on the Web at [http://www.kebcard.co.kr].
A Joint venture with Olympus Capital as American direct investment group, was successfully established in December 1999. Olympus Capital invested approximately $90 million in KEBCS.
Founded in 1987, Trintech Group PLC is a leading provider of secure electronic payment solutions for card-based transactions in the physical world and over the Internet. The company offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and SET(tm) compliant.
Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(tm) platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging world of electronic commerce.
Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94003 (Tel: 650/227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel: 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at [http://www.trintech.com].
eVision USA.Com, Inc. , an integrated online solutions provider, announces that its subsidiary, eBanker USA.com, Inc. (eBanker, [www.ebankerusa.com]) has acquired a $9.2 million portfolio of credit card accounts receivable (approximate book value as of December 31, 1999) from MBf Card International Limited of Hong Kong, for a total consideration of approximately $7.7 million.
The portfolio, as of December 31, 1999, consisted of 92% of current accounts receivable and 8% of 1 to 30 days past due accounts receivable. The portfolio, which has been in operations for over 6 years, has approximately 17,000 cardholders.
Under the terms of the agreement, 60% of the total consideration, or approximately $4.6 million, was paid at the time of closing of the agreement, with the balance of approximately $3.1 million due six months after closing, subject to adjustments based on a review of the portfolio as of January 31, 2000.
“With the signing of this agreement, eBanker has made a further strategic move into the credit and lending market. At the same time, we believe this agreement provides eBanker with the opportunity to earn a substantial return on its investment, as we are purchasing the portfolio of receivables at a total consideration well below its par value,” stated Fai H. Chan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of eVision.
eBanker is an online financial services corporation with the mission of identifying and serving high-margin, financial market niches. eBanker is a 37% owned consolidated subsidiary of eVision.
eVision’s consolidated subsidiaries and significant equity investments operate within five distinct divisions: eFinance, eServices, eCommunications, eInformation and eMedical.
Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union announced an enhancement to its VISA credit card program that allows payment transactions to be immediately reflected on accounts.
With the implementation of “Auth Plus,” all credit card transactions are routed online through PSECU’s VISA processing center, First Data Resources of Omaha, and then immediately to PSECU for authorization. Generally, most financial institutions use a database that is 24-48 hours old for authorizations.
PSECU President Greg Smith provided an example. “Let’s assume that you’re a member of PSECU on vacation in Florida. At dinner, you realize that you haven’t made your VISA payment for the month and your dinner purchase will likely be denied. You excuse yourself from the table, find a nearby pay phone, call PSECU’s 7 by 24 hour, toll-free electronic phone system and make your payment. With the real-time update, your credit limit is replenished by the time you give the waiter your card.”
Members using online banking to make a VISA payment will also enjoy the same real-time update to their VISA card credit limits.
Earlier this year PSECU announced on-line paid check images, e-Statements and free Internet service. PSECU is Pennsylvania’s largest credit union with assets of $1.4 billion and more than 270,000 members.Details
NextCard announced Tuesday an alliance with Paytrust.com to provide NextCard cardholders with the option to receive, review, pay and organize all of their bills online. Under terms of the agreement, Paytrust.com and NextCard will collaborate to develop the ‘NextCard Bill Center’ specifically for NextCard users at My.NextCard.com. Using its patent-pending bill management technology, the Paytrust service is compatible with any biller and any bank, and can accommodate both paper and electronic bills to deliver complete, consumer-focused EBPP. With the Paytrust service, NextCard cardholders will be able to view and pay all of their bills online. The agreement also includes a strategic equity investment by NextCard in Paytrust.com.Details
For the second time this year the Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise interest rates. The FOMC voted Tuesday to raise its target for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 6.00%. In a related action, the Board of Governors approved a 25 basis point increase in the discount rate to 5.50%. Late yesterday most major banks raised the Prime Rate to 9.00%. About 65% of the nation’s credit card issuers adjust rates monthly, while the other half adjust quarterly.
THE RATE MARCH
Date FFR DR PR
3/21/00 6.00% 5.50% 9.00%
2/02/00 5.75% 5.25% 8.75%
11/16/99 5.50% 5.00% 8.50%
8/24/99 5.25% 4.75% 8.25%
6/30/99 5.00% 4.50% 8.00%
Source: Federal Reserve BoardDetails