India’s ICICI Bank Limited and Orange cellular services have teamed up to allow Orange subscribers who are also ICICI Bank account holders and/or ICICI credit card holders to track their personal finances while on the move. For the first time in India, ICICI has extended e-commerce services to the ICICI credit card holders apart from the bank customers. ICICI would also be launching demat accounts related services to its customers shortly. The system will be able to handle banking queries such as balance update, request for a check-book, details of last three transactions and request for statements by mail or fax. Similarly, ICICI credit card holders will be able to get information about outstanding balance, available cash/credit limits, view payment status/amount due information and view the last three transactions. ICICI plans to provide WAP enabled services with the mobile service providers at a later stage.Details
eBoodle, provider of the leading online shopping assistant, announced Tuesday that former Visa executive Susie Mielke has joined the company as vice president of marketing. This statement follows the management team expansion eBoodle announced in February with the addition of Charu Rudrakshi, vice president of engineering. Mielke was most recently vice president of strategic marketing at Visa International. In her new position at eBoodle, Mielke will be responsible for all outgoing communications, including public relations, advertising, promotion and events, and will report directly to eBoodle’s president and CEO, Dr. Anil Kamath.
“Our goal is to make online shopping as effective and seamless as possible for the consumer,” said Kamath. “With Susie spearheading our marketing activities, we expect to strengthen our lead in this area by having a strong pulse on consumers, anticipating their needs and placing them at the center of our efforts.”
The company’s Boodle Bar, a downloadable plug-in that sits across the browser, helps consumers find products on more than 40,000 web sites, compare prices, and receive cash back on purchases. It also contains a robust personal profile manager that enables automatic form-filling, as well as transaction record keeping. No other offering matches eBoodle’s range of features, functionality, or ability to leverage personal information.
“I’m delighted to join eBoodle and look forward to contributing my marketing expertise to what is already an outstanding consumer service,” said Mielke. “Our marketing focus will be to firmly establish the product as the most comprehensive online shopping assistant available, and eBoodle as an innovative company of experts who know what consumers want and are steps ahead of the latest trends in online shopping.”
While at Visa International, Mielke was responsible for ecommerce marketing, as well as managing a wide range of initiatives in emerging products and markets. She established a system for measuring the effectiveness of marketing investments and developed a comprehensive methodology used worldwide to monitor Visa’s brand health. Prior to Visa, Mielke was director of consumer research at SRI International. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Stanford University.
eBoodle provides a comprehensive online assistant through a downloadable agent that dramatically enhances the way individuals find and interact with web content and services. eBoodle is the first company of its kind to help online consumers quickly find merchandise, effectively compare prices for the best values available, and simplify the overall purchasing process. With eBoodle and the Boodle Bar, online shoppers can more easily purchase merchandise from the more than 40,000 e-commerce sites available today. Supported by an executive team, board of directors, and advisory board that include premier technology and business professionals, eBoodle is poised for success in the explosive e-commerce marketplace that is expected to exceed $600 billion by 2002 (Forrester Research, 1999).
Founded in June of 1999, eBoodle is headquartered in Mountain View, California and is funded by Invesco and other private investors. For more information about eBoodle visit [http://www.eBoodle.com] , send email to info@eBoodle.com.
Sears, Roebuck and America Online announced an alliance yesterday. Under the agreement, AOL’s interactive products and services will be marketed to Sears 39 million active credit cardholders nationwide. Simultaneously, Sears merchandise and services will be marketed to AOL’s 23 million members as well as visitors to its web-based brands. In addition, AOL will be Sears’ preferred online service provider, and a special co-branded edition of AOL with links to Sears will be developed. Exclusive offers will be extended to ‘Sears Premier Card’ holders, and Sears customers will have the option of paying for monthly AOL subscriptions with their ‘Sears Card’. In addition, AOL plans to develop a co-branded AOL Instant Messenger to enable consumers to initiate online, real-time communications with Sears customer service, as well as with friends, family and business colleagues.Details
The e-Connect controversy got some clarification yesterday from International Digital Holding. IDIG says its deal to expand the development of e-Connect, Inc.’s ‘PocketPay’ system is based on a developer license agreement with Palm Computing and its ‘PalmPilot’. Last week, IDIG subsidiary Pilot Island Publishing and e-Connect implied to investors there was a specific deal with Palm to develop hand held, wireless transactions. The news sent e-Connect and IDIG’s stock soaring. The SEC halted trading in e-Connect’s stock early Monday in response to a number of questions involving recent news releases by e-Connect. The San Pedro, CA-based e-Connect is a developer of global Internet ATM and PIN cash payment transactions. Pilot Island expects to begin testing of the ‘PocketPay’ system in the 3rd quarter. Rollout is subject to final approval of the code by Palm Computing, Inc.Details
The newly created Electronic Commerce business unit of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. announces the implementation and go live of its new Windows NT-based ATM driving solution. WinCo Foods, a 28-store grocery chain headquartered in Boise, Idaho, has implemented TSA’s WinATM to acquire and switch transactions from the chain’s network of ATMs.
Customers using WinCo ATMs can perform cash withdrawals, balance inquiries and EBT transactions. WinATM acquires and switches the transactions for authorization–enabling WinCo to deploy and control its own ATM network and eliminate acquirer surcharge fees.
“WinATM gives us the ability to offer our customers convenient ATM access, and leverage the investment we have in our IT infrastructure,” said Fred Schorzman vice president of WinCo. “WinATM integrates with our existing payments processing operation and frame relay network giving us a cost-effective way to add ATM transactions to the list of services we offer consumers.”
WinCo chose to integrate WinATM with its WINPAY24(TM) processing platform–also from TSA’ Electronic Commerce business unit–to create a centralized e-payment processing system that can handle POS, check authorization and EBT transactions for the entire chain.
“WinATM joins a growing portfolio of products designed to meet the e-payment needs of retailers,” said Marlin Howley, general manager of TSA’s Electronic Commerce business unit. “As payment methods proliferate, retailers are often left with the dilemma of how best to accept them. ACI offers solutions that embrace new payment technologies and build on payment infrastructures already in place.”
Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSAI) provides Transaction Smoothware(TM) solutions that facilitate electronic commerce and e-payments. TSA solutions are used to process a wide range of e-payments, including transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, Internet banking services, checks and high-value money transfers, as well as e-payment clearing, settlement and management. TSA solutions are used on more than 3,550 product systems in 79 countries. Visit TSA on the web at [www.tsainc.com].
The E-Business Marketplace announced Tuesday that Humboldt Bank Merchant Services, a leading provider of merchant accounts and e-commerce payment processing solutions, has formed a strategic partnership with Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBQ, Inc. that enables Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation to provide enhanced electronic payment services to its clients via Humboldt Bank Merchant Services.
The integration of Humboldt Bank Merchant Services and Signio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of VeriSign (Nasdaq:VRSN), means Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation customers will have access to real-time consolidated payment services for credit cards, debit cards, and automatic clearing house (ACH) transactions. These payment services enable e-Business clients to automate commerce and increase efficiencies by replacing traditional paper-based payment processes with an end-to-end integrated payment processing capability that significantly reduces the cost and time associated with traditional billing methods. “Humboldt Bank Merchant Services is a leader in the field of Internet payment processing services,” said John Harris, CEO, CBQ, Inc. “Working with such a forward-looking institution will allow CBQ and Priority One to expand CBQ’s capabilities.” “We’re excited to be able to extend our existing services to our Priority One customers,” said Barbara Riehl, President, Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation. “The enthusiasm shown by their account team, 48 hour turnaround for applications and competitive processing rates are among the reasons we chose Humboldt Bank Merchant Services.” About Humboldt Bank Merchant Services Humboldt Bank is a $500 Million Dollar Financial Institution founded in 1989. The Merchant Services division began in 1993 and is one of the fastest growing “Full Service” member providers of credit, debit, and check transactions in the United States. Innovative risk management capabilities and flexible credit underwriting distinguishes Humboldt Bank Merchant Services by servicing the individual needs of all business categories, accepting a wide range of businesses including Retail, Restaurant, Hotel, Start-UP’s, Mail Order/Telephone Order, and Internet businesses. Applications are approved in less than 48 hours and leases in one hour. Humboldt Bank focuses heavily on using the Internet as a way to simplify setting-up merchant accounts via the Web. In conclusion and in keeping with Humboldt’s Mission Statement, “To provide excellence in transaction processing for our Merchants today…with solutions from the future” [http://www.merchant.humboldtbank.co m].
About Priority One Electronic Commerce Corporation Priority One has been providing electronic funds transfer for businesses for over 5 years. Whether it’s accepting credit cards or debiting customers’ accounts directly, Priority One will give your e-business site the ability to generate immediate revenue. Our Billcollect(TM) and Prioritycash(TM) services provide the mechanism to transfer funds rapidly and securely. About VeriSign, Inc. VeriSign, Inc. is the leading provider of Internet trust services — including authentication, validation and payment — needed by Web sites, enterprises and e-commerce service providers to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications over IP networks. VeriSign’s trust services for Web sites, developers and individuals are available through and through a growing number of ISPs and Web hosting companies. The company’s digital certificate services for enterprises and electronic commerce service providers are available through regional account representatives, resellers, and global affiliates. VeriSign announced on Feb. 29, 2000, that it has acquired Signio, Inc., a leading provider of Internet payment services. The Signio Payflow Service delivers a wide range of payment connectivity including all major credit card, debit card, electronic check, purchase card, and automated clearinghouse (ACH) transactions. It comes pre-integrated with a broad range of E-commerce servers, shopping carts and applications, making it easy to install for merchants, merchant aggregators, auction sites and trade exchanges. Signio has a growing list of impressive customers and partners, with notable merchants such as CBS Sportsline, C/NET Store.com, eXp, FurnitureOnline, Network Solutions, Prime Sports Interactive, Wine.com, WebMD, women.com and E-commerce solution providers such as Commerce One, Intuit, Trading Dynamics, Fairmarket and Just in Time Solutions. Signio is headquartered in Redwood Shores, Calif. For more information about Signio, visit .
About CBQ CBQ, Inc. The E-Business Marketplace, is a total end-to-end provider for implementing customer driven e-business solutions. Through its subsidiaries, Reliance Technologies, Inc. and Priority One Electronic Commerce Corp. it can design, implement, host, build traffic and process payments for its customers’ e-business initiatives. ChinaSoft, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CBQ, Inc., that is affiliated with Beijing Zhongruan Zhixun Technology Development Co. Services include Software Development services for Enterprise computing and Internet Development Services. China Partners, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CBQ, Inc. Its primary focus is facilitating trade and investment opportunities between U.S. and Chinese companies through its trade portal Chinapartners.net. For more information, visit .
Dynasty Components Inc. announced that DCI has entered into a Letter of Intent to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of ProNet International LLC. The purchase price will be payable in cash and shares. The transaction is subject conditions including DCI Board of Directors and regulatory approvals.
ProNet, presently with operations in both the Boston and New York areas, provides e-commerce merchant accounts for the international marketplace. The services offered by ProNet provide customers with secure international shopping cart and e-payment solutions.
“We are continuing our growth strategy to strengthen DCI’s market position in the burgeoning e-commerce marketplace”, said Mr. Economo. “The acquisition of ProNet complements our e-business enabling service through DCIenable.com. We intend to be a leader in providing e-business solutions to companies in Canada and the United States.”
“We are very excited with the opportunity to join DCI,” comments ProNet President Mark Lachance, “The reputation and client base of DCI combined with our e-business expertise and technology will make DCIenable.com one of the major players in e-business services in North America.”
According to Forrester Research, annual B2B (business to business) e-commerce is projected to grow from $43 billion in 1998 to $1 trillion by 2003, while the B2C (business to consumer) market will swell from $7.8 billion to $108 billion in the same period.
“We are truly making international transactions seamless”, said Mr. Economo. “The merchant account and payment gateway will co-exist and as a result there will be no international compatibility issues, no charges from multiple banks, and no problems interacting with most major credit card networks”.
About ProNet International:
ProNet International is a digital commerce ASP (applications service provider) that provides secure hosting, sell-side shopping solutions including auction and reverse auction software, international e-payment solutions, shopping carts, e-business development/marketing tools and consultations, web buyer/merchant trust and dispute resolution. ProNet provides hosting solutions and consulting services to a wide range of merchants from SME (small-medium-enterprise) segments, B2B, B2C, Portals, ISP’s, CSP’s (content service providers) and vertically integrated portals (vortals).
About Dynasty Components Inc.:
Dynasty Components Inc. is an e-business infrastructure company and a leading supplier of high-technology products and services. DCI offers its e-business services through DCIenable.com and its marketing and distribution of high-technology products and services to design engineers and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) through four main business units. Founded in 1985 and based in Kanata, Ontario, DCI is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE:DCI).Details
A recent Forbes article questioning the appropriateness of some of American Express’ accounting practices provoked a response from the financial services giant late yesterday. Forbes said that AmEx began to capitalize the costs of developing software in 1999, but that other companies typically expense them. AmEx says this is wrong because new accounting rules that went into effect last year require all companies to capitalize the costs of developing internal-use software. Forbes also claimed that AmEx booked expected profits from loans it turns into securities and then sells. AmEx says the accounting rule Forbes referred to requires companies to treat securitized loans as if they were sold and no longer on the balance sheet. All companies that securitize card receivables are required to recognize the discounted expected future cash flows of those receivables. As a result, AmEx says it discloses the related gains. AmEx also responded to issues raised by Forbes surrounding the “papering over” of the cost of several recent Internet-related projects and “rosy assumptions” made concerning variable-annuity owners.Details
Planet Payment and Korea’s largest trading company, Daewoo announced an exclusive agreement to offer one-stop e-commerce payment solutions and services to Korea’s business sector. Through this arrangement Korean merchants will go online to set up their e-business websites and accept online multi-currency credit card payments in real-time through Planet Payment’s multi-currency gateway. According to a survey conducted by the Korea Information Culture Center, 87% of Korean Internet users have visited Internet shopping malls, and 52% of those people have made purchases online. Last year e-commerce revenues in Korea reached $352 million, a 300% increase from $88 million in 1998.Details
MasterCard this morning introduced ‘Business Savings’, a new program for all ‘MasterCard BusinessCard’ cardholders. The program has more than 40 participating merchants, a record number for a business card-related program. ‘Business Savings’ partners include IBM, Airborne, Avis, Prudential and Penny-wise, and all offer exclusive deals to registered participants on a large menu of value-added goods and services. ‘Business Savings’ users can also visit the related Web site to register, find information on how to contact vendors, take advantage of monthly special offers, promotions and sweepstakes, find links to other partner sites and utilize the customizable options.Details
Euronet Services Inc. , a global leader in electronic financial transaction solutions, announced an agreement with Westpac Banking Corporation to provide the bank’s Fiji offices with their EFT network solution, Arksys Gold-Net. This solution, which is part of Phase II in a series of recent Arksys software installations, will be used to drive the bank’s ATMs and POS systems, and will allow them to acquire Visa and MasterCard credit card transactions, as well as issue Visa debit cards.
Broadening an existing relationship between Westpac and Euronet, the implementation of Arksys Gold-Net represents another significant expansion in Westpac’s deployment of Arksys software solutions. In October 1999 Euronet completed installation of Westpac’s ATM, POS and Integrated Transaction Management (ITM) system, and in November Westpac became the first bank in their market to offer banking by telephone when they went live with the Arksys Telebanking system. This system allows Westpac’s customers to access deposit and loan balances, transfer funds between accounts, make loan payments, and obtain recent account history 24 hours a day, seven days a week from virtually any telephone.
“We have been extremely pleased with the implementation and installation process of the Arksys solutions,” stated Robb McWiggan, Chief Manager Technology, Westpac Pacific Regional Banking. “They understand our business completely. Plus, the fact that one company can provide all of the products we were looking for really made the conversion process very smooth.”
“Our relationship with Westpac is a great example of the value that an integrated system can bring to progressive banks,” said Ron Ferguson, President of the Arksys Software Division of Euronet Services. “By selecting Arksys ITM as the middle ware for their system, Westpac will be able to expand their offerings and introduce new services quickly and more efficiently. We are proud to be their solutions provider and look forward to helping them as they continue to set standards in their market.”
Arksys Gold-Net is a best of breed solution in network switch and management software, offering a variety of network configurations, and interfacing with more than 100 global EFT networks. It can support a small shared network jointly-owned by a few financial institutions offering ATM driving and settlement services, as well as a more complex shared network settling transactions among numerous institutions and external networks.
“Our customers want convenience and we believe the Arksys solutions will provide just that,” Mr. McWiggan added. “We’re very proud of the customer loyalty that we have and believe that the new solutions we are putting in place will greatly enhance it. We listen very closely to our customers and know that, because we have the Arksys ITM system, any products we add in the future will be done with relative ease.”
Westpac-Fiji operates 16 branches and service centres with more than $300 million in assets. Westpac concentrates its activities in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and is ranked in the top 10 listed companies by market capitalization on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Founded in 1994, Euronet Services offers ATM network development and participation, outsourced management solutions, comprehensive Arksys software solutions, and professional and consulting services to retail banks and companies in more than 70 countries around the world. With offices in eight countries on two continents, Euronet Services operates a network of over 2,300 ATMs in Europe and the U.S.
The Arksys software brand is the leading ATM network software for the IBM AS/400 platform, the most widely used system among retail banks. Arksys software fully integrates all aspects of electronic financial transaction processing for retail banking, as well as non-bank institutions, including payment and transaction delivery for ATM systems, credit card and debit card management, POS transaction, comprehensive card and client management, and Internet banking. The core software solution is Arksys Integrated Transaction Management (ITM), a suite of payment and transaction functions designed to support virtually every aspect of retail financial delivery.Details
Citing the heightened consumer awareness of the importance of online transaction security, eCash Technologies, Inc. has named Dr. Yair Frankel, an internationally recognized expert on cryptography, as its chief scientist. Dr. Frankel’s primary responsibility will be to advance the security of the world’s first online cash equivalent, eCash.
More than 44 percent of Internet users said fear of revealing their credit card number was the primary reason they refused to shop online, according to a recent study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group. In addition, a January report by the National Consumer League reported that one out of every five online buyers has been a victim of fraud. That same study also reported a 600 percent increase in Internet fraud between 1997 and 1998. With numbers like these scaring away an increasing number of potential online consumers, the need for a simple, safe and secure electronic currency has never been more evident.
“Dr. Frankel’s expansive experience in cryptography and security technologies to prevent fraud will enable eCash to further cement its position as the safest, most secure and easiest to use electronic payment currency,” said Drew Hyatt, CEO of eCash Technologies. “Since it can’t be counterfeited, eCash is actually safer than traditional cash. Plus, it’s exponentially safer and more private than using credit or debit cards across the Internet.”
Dr. Frankel is charged with overseeing the company’s continued refinement of the technology behind eCash, the world’s most secure electronic currency. The virtual equivalent of cash, eCash is issued by financial institutions and used by consumers and merchants to conduct transactions over the Internet. The technology behind eCash provides the only secure electronic payment method that mirrors traditional cash by enabling instantaneous online payments (including micropayments), real-world purchases through eCash-enabled wireless devices and person-to-person payments.
“The Internet environment is in a constant state of change,” Dr. Frankel said. “So we must continuously look forward to satisfy the needs of financial institutions, merchants and consumers.”
The eCash system employs the highest standard of encryption technology available to provide secure transactions. In addition, eCash’s patented blind signature(TM) encryption technology ensures the privacy of every eCash currency transaction. eCash currency has been in use for over five years through a global pilot program. Involving more than seven financial institutions and tens of thousands of consumer and merchant accounts, the pilot program recorded over $32 million in transactions with no security breaches.
eCash has been formally launched throughout Germany by Deutsche Bank 24, a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank (OTC: DTBKY) in a partnership with the Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) Credit Card. This launch addresses the consumer desire for simple Internet payments that are truly secure.
“Security is always a moving target,” Dr. Frankel said. “Our highest priority is really very simple: Has anyone ever lost any money using eCash currency? The answer to that question is no. Now we will work not only to increase our security but also to enhance the breadth of our technology’s features.”
In addition to refining and maintaining eCash’s security technology, Dr. Frankel will be responsible for finding new ways to incorporate eCash currency into other technologies. Future enhancements, he said, will include making the currency faster or more efficient and integrating it into different platforms, such as wireless devices.
Dr. Frankel has 15 years of experience developing security technology to detect and prevent fraud. Prior to joining eCash, Dr. Frankel served as vice president of CertCo Incorporated. At CertCo, Dr. Frankel identified and guided the development of CertCo’s consulting business and led technology strategy and development for CertCo’s security products. He holds a doctorate degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in business from Western Illinois University.
About eCash Technologies, Inc.
Through a global community of partner financial institutions and merchants, eCash Technologies will be the first company to offer a global electronic currency that allows financial institutions, online merchants and consumers to conduct transactions on the Internet. eCash is the first online payment system that offers new revenue streams to financial institutions, reduced costs to merchants and unmatched fraud protection to consumers. With eCash, merchants and financial institutions are able to preserve one-on-one customer relationships and attract new customers. Consumers are able to rely completely on their trusted financial institutions for eCash account management, while enjoying eCash’s online convenience and ease of use. Visit [http://www.ecash.net] for more information on eCash Technologies. eCash is a registered trademark and the eCash logo is a trademark of eCash Technologies, Inc.