TCF Financial Corporation announced it is launching the TCF Express Phone Card, a loyalty and reward program exclusively for users of the free TCF Check Card. TCF is taking a unique departure from this approach with the introduction of a rewards program for their debit card-The TCF Check Card. This innovative new program allows TCF customers to earn free MCI WorldCom long-distance calling each time they make a purchase of $10 or more using their TCF Check Card.Details
Planet Payment and JAPANLINK today announced an international agreement that will offer one stop e-commerce payment solutions and services to Japan’s burgeoning businesses reaching out to global markets.
Planet Payment and JAPANLINK will now jointly offer one-stop e-commerce solutions to e-businesses looking to conduct activity on a worldwide basis. Japanese merchants will go online to set up their e-business website and accept online multi-currency credit card payments in real-time through the Planet Payment gateway, powered by AuthorizeNet.
JAPANLINK, headquartered in Tokyo, has a two-year exclusive license to the AbleCommerce http://www.ablecommerce.com shopping cart solution in Japan. Through its affiliation with AbleCommerce, this proprietary shopping cart technology is completely converted to support Japanese language and currency. JAPANLINK will offer the shopping cart as an enterprise stand-alone or as a hosted product, and through its partnership with Planet Payment, will be able to offer immediate multi-currency payment solutions to its participating merchants.
“While electronic payment systems are becoming increasingly common all over the world, from micropayment systems using smart cards in Europe to electronic currency for use on the Internet in the U.S., few electronic payment systems have originated from Japan. This partnership with Planet Payment allows us to further develop our Japanese solution for Japanese business,” notes William B. Claster, President of JAPANLINK.
Japan is the leading market for Internet development in Asia. According to a recently released report from eMarketer, a highly respected U.S. Internet research firm, e-Commerce revenues in Japan will steadily rise from $1.35 billion in 1998 to $37 billion in 2003. The Japan Network Information Center (the association responsible for Japanese domain name and IP address assignment) reported the number of .jp domains connected in Japan increased 84% from March 1998 to March 1999, during the latest data recorded period.
“We feel that the Planet Payment – AbleCommerce Japan partnership will boost global e-commerce, particularly in Japan,” said Michael J. Randolph, Chairman and CEO of AbleCommerce. “This is yet another step in fulfilling our obligation to support and service the Japanese Internet community.”
“This latest agreement is a significant step in Planet Payment’s stated strategy to become the global leader in providing multi-currency credit card payment solutions to merchants and financial institutions ,” says Philip Beck, Chief Executive Officer of Planet Payment. “Together, with our strategic partners, we can uniquely provide internationally-minded companies with one-stop e-businesses solutions and services on a global basis.”
AbleCommerce Japan is a division of JAPANLINK, which owns the exclusive rights to distribute AbleCommerce products in Japan. JAPANLINK () has built an online mall and will build three more within the next few months. These online malls put cutting edge technology and power at the fingertips of any merchant for the easiest, fastest and most cost-effective creation of a competitive presence online in Japan. AbleCommerce, founded in February 1995, ([http://www.ablecommerce.com)] is a division of AbleCommerce Corporation, located in Vancouver, Washington. AbleCommerce is a premiere electronic commerce solution provider.
About Planet Payment
Planet Payment () provides e-businesses — anywhere — with the ability to accept credit cards online, in real-time, in almost any currency. To get up and running, e-businesses need a credit card merchant account and secure payment gateway. To maximize the global opportunity presented by e-commerce, merchants will need to accept payments in multiple currencies. Planet Payment’s affordable solution enables Internet merchants to accept Visa(R), MasterCard(R), and American Express(R) credit cards and is compatible with most shopping cart technologies using its state-of-the-art payment gateway powered by Authorize.Net ().
Consumers spent billions of dollars on Valentine’s Day items for their sweethearts last year. Now those people, and everyone else, can cut their expenses through free domestic calling using Net2Phone Direct, Net2Phone’s Internet-based phone card all day on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.Details
The Federal Open Market Committee voted yesterday to raise its target for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 5-3/4 percent. In a related action, the Board of Governors approved a 25 basis point increase in the discount rate to 5-1/4 percent. Overnight most of the nation’s bank boosted the prime rate from 8.50% to 8.75%.Details
CompuBank, the first Internet national bank, today announced a $36 million investment in its first institutional round of financing led by SOFTBANK FINANCE with GE Financial Assurance, The Goldman Sachs Group and Marsh & McLennan Capital participating.
“In its first year, CompuBank was the most widely recognized Internet bank and was rated the number one bank online by SmartMoney.com,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, President and Chief Executive Officer of SOFTBANK FINANCE, “We are confident that CompuBank will continue to be the leader in Internet banking,” said Kitao.
“Our world-class investors bring strategic relationships that will be instrumental in building on CompuBank’s success,” said Frank S. Goldberg, CompuBank’s Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “These strategic partnerships will fuel exponential growth for CompuBank in the year 2000.”
CompuBank, Member FDIC, offers a variety of depository products and services to both businesses and consumers, including: basic checking, interest checking, savings, money market accounts, certificates of deposits, Visa check cards, direct deposit and transfers, free domestic wire services, online check re-order, free bill payment and free ATM services. In addition to free services and exceptional interest rates, CompuBank offers its customers the ultimate convenience and ease-of-use in banking.
CompuBank utilizes affinity-based marketing to businesses and consumers. By targeting Internet users, CompuBank has experienced tremendous account growth on an efficient marketing strategy. Over the past 12 months, CompuBank has experienced over 100% quarter-to-quarter growth in its account acquisition.
CompuBank plans to use the investment for customer acquisition, operational expansion and general capital requirements.
About the Investors
SOFTBANK CORP. has emerged as one of the world’s leading Internet market forces. Through its ownership positions in more than 100 Internet companies and its unique Internet-zaibatsu management concept, it is able to create market synergies for its family of companies on a global scale. In Japan its activities encompass distribution, publishing, Internet media platforms, a broad range of e-commerce businesses, and joint ventures with companies such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Yahoo!, the National Association of Security Dealers, and many other market leaders. In the U.S., SOFTBANK is the largest shareholder in leading Internet companies such as Yahoo!, E*Trade and ZDNet, and in Europe has established Internet joint ventures with News Corp. and Viviendi.
GE Financial Assurance
GE Financial Assurance is an integrated family of consumer-focused insurance and investment companies committed to helping people create and preserve wealth, protect assets and enhance their lifestyles. GE’s consumer financial product offerings are sold through multiple distribution channels and include: life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, retirement investment plans, long term care coverage, supplemental accident and health benefits, auto coverage, and life style enhancement products like travel and home shopping services, and automobile clubs. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, GE Financial Assurance has $80 billion of assets under management.
Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking and securities firm, providing a full range of investing, advisory, and financing services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base, which includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The Firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.
Marsh & McLennan Capital
Marsh & McLennan Capital, a private equity firm with $2.5 billion under management, is focused on investing in the financial services industry. The firm’s venture fund targets investments in early stage technology companies that are involved in financial services, with an emphasis on B2B opportunities. The fund completed 10 transactions in 1999, including investments in LoanCity (an Internet platform for residential mortgage brokers), ChannelPoint (an exchange for the distribution and sale of insurance products), and LendingTree (an Internet-based loan marketplace).
Marsh & McLennan Capital is a subsidiary of The Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), a global professional services firm with annual revenues in excess of $7 billion. MCC businesses include Putnam Investments, Mercer Management Consulting, and William M. Mercer.
As the first nationally chartered Internet bank, CompuBank brings together a wide range of banking and financial services for consumers and businesses, all day, every day. CompuBank offers a variety of depository products and services including: basic checking, interest checking, savings, money market accounts, certificates of deposits, visa check cards, direct deposit and transfers, free domestic wire services, online check re-order, free bill payment and free ATM services. In addition to free services and exceptional interest rates, CompuBank offers its customers the ultimate convenience and ease-of-use in banking. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CompuBank is FDIC insured. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site at .Details
Motorola teams with Trintech to deliver mobile virtual credit card. Motorola today made it easier to shop on the move by unveiling the industry’s first secure virtual credit card solution for making online purchases from mobile phones. Motorola has combined virtual credit card technology from Trintech for secure and convenient online purchasing, with their wireless devices to launch the solution at the GSM World Congress 2000 in Cannes. The innovation is the first in an ongoing collaboration between Motorola and Trintech to create solutions that enable wireless devices with virtual credit cards. Motorola plans to demonstrate a wireless credit card purchase over a mobile phone at the GSM World Congress 2000 in Cannes. When shopping on the Internet, the user merely has to invoke their virtual credit card by using the keypad on their phone or by using voice activated commands.Details
Discover Financial Services today announced the launch of the innovative Discover Desk$hop virtual credit card, which provides Discover Cardmembers with one-click access to their online account, a convenient drag-and-drop mechanism for shopping on the Internet and real-time available credit balance information. Trintech is powering the Discover Desk$hop’s form filling functionality with its PayGate NetIssuer virtual credit card solution. Discover Desk$hop fully supports the Electronic Commerce Modeling Language standard. The privacy of consumer’s card details is protected with the highest level of Secure Socket Layer encryption and credit card security is enhanced by the PIN-protected access used when Cardmembers invoke their Discover Desk$hop virtual card.Details
Hypercom Corporation today announced the opening of its new sales and service office in Puerto Rico and the appointment of Jaime Arroyo as managing director, Hypercom Puerto Rico. Headquartered in San Juan and led by Mr. Arroyo, Hypercom Puerto Rico will introduce the company’s just-announced ePic Internet based retail countertop commerce and information system to Puerto Rico’s banking, retail and business communities. Immediately prior to his new appointment, Mr. Arroyo served as director, Hypercom Network Systems.
“Hypercom’s new sales and service office in San Juan ensures that our customers continue to receive the most innovative products and unparalleled service as Hypercom’s business continues to experience solid growth throughout Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, senior executive officer, Hypercom Corporation.
Hypercom’s ePOS-infocommerce, is the industries first Internet enabled POS payment terminal and server system that lets merchants support a range of Internet based functions via Hypercom’s ePic ICE series touch screen terminals. When used in concert with Hypercom’s e-commerce web merchant-hosting software, ePic cost effectively bridges physical retail payments and web-based e-commerce. ePic enables merchants to set up centrally hosted web stores which can be operated via the terminal. ePic supports e-mail, on-screen advertising, interactive electronic coupons, interactive loyalty, electronic receipt capture, branding programs and e-commerce — in addition to traditional secure payment processing functions.
The new Hypercom office is at Number 268 Munoz Rivera Avenida, Suite 200, Hatorey, PR 00918, telephone 787.763.5537.
Hypercom Corporation is a global provider of end-to-end electronic payment solutions, including card payment systems, peripherals, network products, software and e-commerce payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 70 countries through a global network of affiliates and offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is www.hypercom.com.
Hypercom is a registered trademark of Hypercom Corporation. e-POSinfocommerce and Hypercom ICE are trademarks of Hypercom Corporation. All other products or services mentioned in this document are trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks or registered service marks of their respective owners.Details
Another electronic innovation for Canada, the Bank of Montreal MasterCard Wallet, was launched today and will make online shopping fast, safe and easy. The Bank of Montreal MasterCard Wallet allows Internet shoppers to enter their credit card information once and store it securely in an icon, or wallet, for use when shopping on the Internet. The Bank of Montreal MasterCard Wallet features 128-bit encryption to ensure the security of transactions.Details
Intuit Inc today announced that it will expand its “My Accounts” by Quicken service; giving consumers even more power to create a truly consolidated view of their personal finances from one single location on the Web. The ability to access data from more than 40 leading bank, brokerage and credit card providers to the “My Accounts” service is designed to provide consumers with anytime, anywhere access to their own personalized financial portfolio. The expanded “My Accounts” by Quicken service is expected to be available on Intuit’s leading e-finance site, Quicken.com, as well as on Excite and WebCrawler by Spring 2000.Details
Schlumberger today announced that it has successfully transitioned the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s (IUP) campus-wide ID card from a magnetic stripe card into a smart card-based infrastructure. The new ID system enables secure offline, stored-value purchases; integrated banking features for stored value/debit/credit for off-campus merchants; and card loading from student bank accounts. As part of the solution, PNC Bank provided financial and merchant-related services, which allow acceptance of the upgraded card for debit and chip payment options.Details
PULSE EFT Association has become an equity participant in the SafeCheck Payment Service which will create an online debit switching system for check transactions at point-of-sale locations.
The system will standardize a way for merchants to accept checks that are read electronically and authorized and settled, revolutionizing check processing. The payment system is being developed by Small Value Payments Company (SVPCo), an industry leader in developing solutions for streamlining payments and providing consumers with the best choice of payment options. PULSE, along with other electronic funds transfer networks, a number of leading banks and check processing and authorization services, is a partner in the development of the SafeCheck service. Here’s how the process will work:
— The customer will write a check at the point of purchase.
— The cashier will swipe the check through an existing terminal to read the MICR, or information encoded along the bottom of the check, and will input the amount of purchase.
— This data will be transmitted via PULSE to the financial institution where the checking account is held, and the transaction would be either verified or guaranteed.
— The merchant will stamp the check “void” and return it to the customer.
PULSE intends to participate in a SafeCheck prototype planned for this summer. “The PULSE Board unanimously endorsed participation in the SafeCheck effort,” said Stan Paur, president and CEO of PULSE. “The application of the proven technology and settlement capabilities of the PULSE network are a natural fit with the SafeCheck program.”
“Every party involved will benefit from electronic check truncation, the shortcutting of tedious paper check processing by converting and transmitting data electronically,” said Hank Farrar, COO of SVPCo. “This is not just a win-win proposition where two parties benefit, but a new way of doing business in which everyone involved in the process comes out ahead, including the merchant and the consumer,” he said.
Farrar explained that merchants lose approximately $11.5 billion annually from bad checks. Verification service companies have significant losses on checks they guarantee for their merchant customers and banks have tremendous costs associated with processing the estimated 18 billion paper checks written at retail locations alone this year.
“All these cost-cutting measures for businesses could mean reduced prices and fees for consumers, complementing the bonus of having a convenient new way of making payments,” Farrar said.
“SafeCheck represents an exciting concept that leverages existing delivery channels to enhance the acceptance and processing of checks,” Paur said. “Our association believes this application will serve to benefit the financial industry, merchants and consumers.”
PULSE is a not-for-profit cooperative serving more than 2,100 banks, credit unions and savings and loans in a nine-state primary service area including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The network processes in excess of 40 million transactions monthly and features more than 52,000 ATMs and 229,700 PULSE PAY point-of-sale terminals in all 50 states. For more information, visit the PULSE Web site at [www.pulse-eft.com].
SVPCo was created as a limited liability company in 1998 by 12 of the largest banks in the United States; ownership has since expanded to 21 banks. As a bank-owned, private sector payment system, SVPCo works to institute innovations in technology and to react quickly to payment system opportunities. A goal of SVPCo is to advance Electronic Check Presentment (ECP) by creating the first standardized nationwide multilateral electronic exchange of checks in accordance with standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and rules adopted by the Electronic Check Clearing House Organization (ECCHO).