Wireless Grey Cup

IVI Checkmate Corp. Monday announced that its Elite 780RF mobile transaction terminal was used at the Grey Cup Game, Canada’s version of the Super Bowl, this past Sunday. Grey Cup fans taking part in the festivities at BC Place in Vancouver required no cash to enjoy refreshments and snacks thanks to IVI Checkmate’s new wireless point-of-sale technology that accepts on-line debit and credit transactions. These terminals will be used on a continued basis for special events at BC Place.

“IVI Checkmate is leading the way with a truly portable, all-in-one payment solution that allows transactions to be processed anywhere a data cellular network signal is present,” says L. Barry Thomson, President and Chief Executive Officer of IVI Checkmate. “With this added flexibility, consumers will enjoy the use of their debit or credit cards at a sporting event, through home delivery or anywhere they need to pay for goods or services. Retailers are also looking at this form of transaction as it reduces wiring and costly telephone line installations.”

“When large events such as the Grey Cup come to BC Place, it’s important that we be able to increase our operations significantly to accommodate the increase in traffic and sales volumes at our concessions throughout the stadium,” says Howard Crosley, General Manager of BC Place. “These new point-of-sale devices allow us the flexibility to move around and still be able to accept debit and credit card transactions on the spot. Beyond eliminating the need for cash, these units process transactions fast. That means less waiting for our fans, and less work at the end of day for reconciliation.”

“With wireless point-of-sale technology, we’ve made it easier for our merchant clients to accept credit and debit card payments no matter where they are,” says Frank Moore, Vice President, Merchant Services at Royal Bank. “With cards outranking cash as Canadians’ favorite way to pay, it is important to offer consumers and businesses the convenience of mobile payment solutions.”

“Our expertise in Enterprise Solutions provided the foundation for our `next generation’ wireless point-of-sale technology,” says Juliana Cafik, President and CEO of Vancouver-based Soft Tracks. “Our understanding of merchants’ back-end systems allowed us to take an approach that solves their reporting problems and provides the benefits of a mobile cash register while away from the traditional store-front. Since wireless coverage in concrete structures like BC Place is also a challenge, Soft Tracks has developed a special protocol that allows quick and efficient transaction processing on the Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) network.”

“Wireless Point of Sale is a significant part of the growing trend for companies to utilize wireless technology, not only for voice communications but for new and innovative data based applications as well,” said Neil Cusati, Vice President, Wireless Business Units, TELUS Mobility. “TELUS Mobility will continue to play a lead role in that evolution with our Cellular Digital Packet Data network in British Columbia and Alberta. We are proud to be partnering with Royal Bank, Soft Tracks and IVI Checkmate to deliver wireless point-of-sale solutions to our customers such as BC Place.”

IVI Checkmate is the third largest electronic transaction solutions provider in North America. The Company designs, develops and markets innovative payment and value-added solutions that optimize transaction management at the point-of-service in the retail, financial, hospitality, healthcare and transportation industries. IVI Checkmate’s software, hardware and professional services minimize transaction costs, reduce operational complexity and improve profitability for its customers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. For more information on IVI Checkmate, please visit its website at [www.ivicheckmate.com][1].

Royal Bank (RY) is a global financial services group and a leading provider of personal and commercial banking, insurance products, wealth management, and corporate and investment banking. The bank and its key subsidiaries Royal Trust, RBC Dominion Securities, RBC Insurance, and Royal Bank Action Direct have approximately 52,000 employees (on a full-time equivalent basis) serving 10 million clients through more than 1,400 branches and offices in over 30 countries.

Soft Tracks is a leader in integrated software solutions and service for the resort industry in North America. Its expertise in Enterprise Solutions provided the foundation for the development of SkyPay as a wireless point-of-sale solution that meets the needs of enterprise merchants. SkyPay is supported by major telecommunication companies and financial institutions in North America to enable secure and reliable payment transactions over wireless data networks. Soft Tracks’ web site is at [www.softtracks.com][2].

TELUS Mobility is the wireless division of TELUS, Canada’s second largest telecommunications company. TELUS provides a full range of advanced communications services and products connecting Canadians with the world. TELUS shares trade on the Toronto and Montreal stock exchanges under the stock symbols BTS (Common) and BTS.A (non-voting). For further information on TELUS, please visit its website: [www.telus.com][3].

[1]: http://www.ivicheckmate.com/
[2]: http://www.softtracks.com/
[3]: http://www.telus.com/


HotOffTheWire.com Biz Card

HotOffTheWire.com, the world’s first retail buyers’ Web site, Monday announced an alliance with First USA to provide HotOffTheWire.com’s customers with the ability to apply for and receive up to a $100,000 business credit line. Now retail customers can easily visit one site to both conduct their purchases and secure a line of credit. This means that even small retailers going online for the first time can take advantage of the purchasing benefits provided by HotOffTheWire.com to help their business.

“The two most precious resources for a small retailer are time and money,” said Joe Hosey, president and CEO of HotOffTheWire.com. “In the past, small retailers often had to take the time to establish credit with each manufacturer directly. Now, our alliance with First USA helps retailers save time by quickly applying for a Platinum Visa Business Credit Card and establishing a universal line of credit. They can then use this credit to save money by purchasing merchandise for their stores on our site. This is another great example of how HotOffTheWire.com is actually an eResource for small- and mid-sized consumer goods retailers.”

Under terms of the agreement, a retailer can apply for a First USA Platinum Visa Business Credit Card on the HotOffTheWire.com site and find out if they are approved for a line of credit. The Business Credit Card, which is used by small businesses and is rapidly becoming the standard way of paying for business products, has a low competitive interest rate, no annual fee and itemized expenditure tracking.

About First USA

First USA ([http://www.firstusa.com][1]), a subsidiary of BANK ONE CORPORATION (NYSE:ONE), is the world’s largest Visa credit card issuer. First USA offers credit cards for consumers and businesses under the First USA, First Card and Bank One names and on behalf of more than 2,200 marketing partners. BANK ONE CORPORATION, with assets of more than $256 billion, is the nation’s fifth-largest bank holding company.

About HotOffTheWire.com

HotOffTheWire.com is the first business-to-business wholesale consumer goods exchange on the Internet, offering customers more than 3,000 products. HotOffTheWire.com helps small- and mid-sized retailers gain access to an international breadth of products while saving them time and money. HotOffTheWire.com connects manufacturers and resellers with new retailers in new markets, without increasing their sales force. In addition to products, HotOffTheWire.com provides their members with industry news, shipping logistics and financial resources. HotOffTheWire.com is located in Medfield, Mass., and on the Web at [http://www.HotOffTheWire.com][2].

[1]: http://www.firstusa.com/
[2]: http://www.hotoffthewire.com/


Sears Online

Sears, Roebuck and Co. unveiled a major expansion of its Web business this morning. Consumers visiting sears.com can now apply for instant credit or purchase, online, a ‘Sears Gift Card’. Consumers can, upon approval, use their new credit line immediately to complete online tool purchases on sears.com. After customers receive their Sears Card in the mail, it can be used at approximately 3,000 Sears locations. The ‘Sears Gift Card’ can be purchased in $5 increments (with a minimum of $10, a maximum of $100) and may be applied toward in-store purchases at Sears store locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. For a limited time, there is no charge for shipping and handling when the card is purchased through sears.com. Shoppers may purchase Sears Gift Cards with a Sears Card, Sears Premier Card, Discover Card, American Express, VISA, MasterCard, Sears Commercial Card or JCB Card.


Mexican Card Bonds

Standard and Poor’s says Mexican credit card securitizations performed well over the past several years, even as other sectors of the Latin American debt market did not show as much strength. S&P says a hot cross-border travel boom has helped these securities, which are backed by the receivables from non-Mexico-issued credit cards being used in Mexico. The S&P report points out that the volume of credit card merchant vouchers, which are created when a credit card issued by a non-Mexican bank is used in Mexico, has grown at an even faster pace than the booming tourist industry, mainly because of an influx of Americans. Two Mexican banks, Banamex and Bancomer, have regularly issued securitizations of merchant voucher receivables. As of this month, these two issuers accounted for all merchant voucher securitizations from Mexico rated by Standard & Poor’s. Together, these banks hold an approximately 70%-80% market share of foreign credit card usage. PROSA, an association of 26 banks, controls the remaining share of the market.


Xmas Sales Up 8.5%

First Union predicts holiday retail sales will grow 8.5% from 1998, with most of that gain coming at department and discount stores. First Union also says the Internet will get the headlines this holiday season, but traditional retailers should be very happy with sales this year. While sales are expected to be up solidly all across the nation certain areas of the country may see even stronger increases. The southeast United States, where jobs and income growth have consistently outpaced the rest of the country, is expected to see sales increase 10% this holiday season. Some of the biggest gains will be in Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Orlando metro areas. First Union notes that job growth in the Atlanta metro area topped 4% during 1999, and the metro area has added another 90,000 residents over the past year which should produce a 12% gain for Atlanta area merchants this year.


OpenCard Specs

The OpenCard Consortium announced last week that OCF for Embedded Devices Specification 1.2 and OCF Version 1.2, will be available in early-January of 2000. OCF 1.2 will offer Terminal locking, Application Management, Internal and External Authentication, and Java(TM) Card support. The OpenCard Consortium will open its process for suggesting improvements and extensions to OCF to the public at that time.

Smart Card Application Development Using Java is the title of the newly published book about OpenCard Framework which provides a guide for the rapid development of smart card applications using Java and the OpenCard Framework. This book provides an overview about smart cards and how they work and demonstrates how to develop applications that use smart cards. Various examples, ranging from simple to complex are also provided to show how smart cards can be integrated into on-line brokerage or on-line payment solutions. A smart card is included with the book to provide real hands-on experience.

OpenCard Consortium was formed last year as an industry work group to address the interoperability of smart cards and computing devices. OpenCard Framework (OCF), developed by the OCC, is an open standard for smart card access in smart card acceptance devices. OCF provides an architecture and a set of APIs that enable application developers and service providers to build and deploy smart card-based solutions in any OpenCard-compliant environment.

Membership in the Consortium is open to any corporation, partnership, governmental body, or organization who is interested in working towards achieving interoperability of smart cards and computing devices. The list of current members and additional information on the OpenCard Consortium and OCF are available on the world wide web at [www.opencard.org][1].

[1]: http://www.opencard.org/


MC & Applegate

Furthering its position as a premier online resource for small businesses, MasterCard International announced a relationship with noted small business expert Jane Applegate and her new Web site [www.ApplegateWay.com][1].

MasterCard is sponsoring the “Expert Network” section at ApplegateWay.com, a series of Web casts of in-depth interviews with successful entrepreneurs. In addition, MasterCard is offering free copies of its Small Business Financial Resource Guide, providing valuable information and state-by-state resources intended to help small businesses grow.

In return, Applegate is writing a monthly column for the small business section of the MasterCard Web site ([www.mastercard.com/business/s mallbiz][2]) discussing issues affecting small business owners today.

“This is just one more step by MasterCard to offer rich advice and endless resources to help entrepreneurs and small business owners realize their goals,” said Steve Abrams, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Products, MasterCard International. “It’s a natural alliance with Jane as we both have been committed to serving the small business owner for many years.”

Applegate, a nationally recognized small business expert, recently launched her ApplegateWay.com site to serve the small business community. It offers access to an exclusive mix of features, products and services on one comprehensive site open for businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here, entrepreneurs can find solutions to problems, researched and written up by the savviest business columnists on the Web.

“MasterCard is an ideal partner to be working with,” said Jane Applegate. “It offers excellent services to small business owners and these are my constituents.”

MasterCard recently launched its newly designed Small Business Connections Web site ([www.mastercard.com/sma llbusinessconnections][3]), which provides online access to financial resources, news and information, buying opportunities and technology solutions that small businesses need to compete efficiently and cost-effectively in today’s highly competitive marketplace. A leading provider of payment products to businesses and consumers, MasterCard now is working with leading online business and commerce companies that are also committed to the small business market segment.

About Jane Applegate

Jane Applegate is an award-winning syndicated business columnist who reaches 10 million readers a week. She is the author of 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business, published by Bloomberg Press. The book features powerful new approaches for managing, organizing and promoting a more successful enterprise. Applegate was named one of the nation’s most influential business journalists in 1998 by the Journal of Financial Reporting. The Applegate Group, her multimedia communications company, covers small business issues for major news organizations and creates events for corporate clients. [www.applegateway.com][4]

About MasterCard

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. Nearly 700 million MasterCard(R), Maestro(R), Cirrus(R) and Mondex(TM) cards are in circulation today. With more than 16.2 million locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 1998, gross dollar volume exceeded $650 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at [http://www.mastercard.com][5].

[1]: http://www.applegateway.com/
[2]: http://www.mastercard.com/business/smallbiz
[3]: http://www.mastercard.com/smallbusinessconnections
[4]: http://www.applegateway.com/
[5]: http://www.mastercard.com/


Clinton Online

Over the weekend President Clinton endorsed online holiday shopping. America Online, American Express, AT&T, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Time Warner Inc., and VISA promptly joined together to commend the President for his radio address on Saturday encouraging consumers to shop online this holiday season. The Electronic Commerce and Consumer Protection Group thanked the President for his continued leadership in the growth and development of electronic commerce.


Open Market & ClickPay Team

Open Market, Inc. , the market share leader in Internet commerce software, and ClickPay, one of the world’s most advanced electronic payment solution providers, announced a global partnership. The companies have integrated Open Market’s ShopSite store building software with ClickPay’s payment gateway and merchant account credit card processing services. The companies will offer this integrated solution to merchants through ShopSite Internet Service Providers to enable merchants anywhere in the world to open a global merchant account and process credit card payments online, worldwide in multiple currencies.

“This ShopSite and ClickPay integration is a real benefit for small and medium-sized companies that want to expand their business on a global scale,” said Jeff Bussgang, vice president of marketing at Open Market. “ClickPay’s global payment gateway technology is an important element for global e-business. This technology, combined with the robust commerce management functionality that Open Market pioneered, will help ISPs get merchants up and running with a global online store in a matter of days, if not hours.”

Open Market and ClickPay have integrated Open Market’s newly released ShopSite 4.2 with ClickPay to create a seamless experience for merchants signing on with ISPs. This combined turnkey solution gives merchants an easy-to-use store-building product combined with a global merchant account, payment gateway, virtual terminal for off-line orders, a virtual wallet for micropayments, and multi-currency and multi-language support at one of the lowest costs in the industry.

“ClickPay is the solution for companies that want to establish a true global e-commerce operation,” said Christophe Arroyo, managing director of ClickPay. “As important as it is to have the right technology in place to set up a compelling Web store, it is equally important to have the right technology in place to manage the global payment gateway and merchant accounts. By combining Open Market’s e-commerce software solutions with the strength of ClickPay’s integrated services, we will provide merchants around the world one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-use e-commerce offerings that will enable ISPs and merchants to stake their claim in the Internet economy.”

About ClickPay

ClickPay, headquartered on Wall Street in New York City, is the first electronic payment solution provider to offer global Internet Merchant accounts that accept credit cards online. ClickPay’s benefits include an advanced, high performance payment gateway, virtual terminal for off-line orders, virtual wallets for micropayments, and multi-currency and multi-language support at a cost that is among the lowest in the industry. ClickPay is the unique solution for companies that want to establish a “true global e-commerce” operation where all aspects of Internet transactions are operated on-line: orders, credit card authorization, secure transmissions, processing, and settlement.

ClickPay maintains a strong relationship with KLELine, the Internet-focused subsidiary of the third largest European bank, BNP Paribas. ClickPay is authorized to open merchant accounts around the world, provide a secure online payment system, obtain digital IDs, process payments in multiple currencies (with all major international credit cards), deposit proceeds directly into clients’ merchant accounts, and make financial settlement without third party fees.

About Open Market

Founded in 1994, Open Market, Inc. (Nasdaq: OMKT) is the market-share leader in Internet commerce software with more than 30,000 merchant licenses sold worldwide. Open Market offers an integrated set of open, scaleable applications that enable enterprises to move their businesses to the Web. Open Market’s products enable companies to build dynamic, personalized, revenue generating Web sites that are cost effective, easy to manage and quickly adapt to changing business requirements. Among Open Market’s distinguished roster of global customers are many of the most popular domains on the Web, including Lycos.com, AOL.com, and the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition; major industrials such as Acer, Ingram Micro, Milacron, and Siemens; and 10 of the world’s top 13 national telephone companies. Open Market’s content management software is used by companies including Lucent Technologies, Hitachi, and Chase Manhattan Bank. The company, headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, has a presence in 30 countries. Open Market’s international head office is in the UK with additional offices in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and The Netherlands. Open Market can be reached by visiting [http://www.openmarket.com][1].

[1]: http://www.openmarket.com/


Mondex Mexico

The three largest credit card issuers in Mexico and three of the major commercial banks in Mexico, announced this morning they have joined forces to promote a new national smart card infrastructure incorporating Mondex electronic cash. Banco Nacional de M©xico (a/k/a Banamex), Bancomer and Banco Internacional (a/k/a Bital) have purchased the franchise rights to Mondex and have invited the rest of the Mexican commercial financial institutions to join them in the use of Mondex as the national e-cash system. Plans include not only the use of Mondex as a means to create new lines of business, but also combine efforts and use the synergies with the use of EMV credit/debit and loyalty applications to improve service to their customers. Mondex is now the leading electronic cash scheme for NAFTA, one of the world’s largest trading blocks, with support from more leading financial institutions than any other system. The NAFTA region, incorporating Canada, USA and Mexico, represents a population of 370 million and a combined economic production of US$9.2 trillion. Mondex has also been the choice for various Latin-American countries, including Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Venezuela.



Accesspoint Corporation , continuing its commitment to be the premier provider of transaction engines that power an e-commerce industry projected to reach trillions of transactions worldwide, announced that it has launched the beta testing phase for its on-line bill presentment and Electronic Funds Transfer projects.

It is anticipated that upon certification of the EFT project utilizing the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, Accesspoint’s merchants/clients will be able to accept payment by check over the Internet.

“Integrating electronic funds transfer into our award-winning Transaction Manager and Merchant Manager Enterprise products will represent a major step in providing our customers with the ability to tap into the growing market of non credit card-based Internet transactions,” said George Taggart, COO of Accesspoint. “Our success and profitability is driven by our ability to provide our merchants and clients with every conceivable payment option. Both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer market segments clearly indicate that on-line payment by check is an option that continues to grow in acceptance and thus we are responding quickly to facilitate its implementation,” added Taggart.

The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) estimates that total ACH transactions will grow from a reported 4.5 trillion in 1997 to more than 8 trillion transactions by the year 2002. Specifically, the on-line bill presentment/EFT program is expected to lead to increased revenues for Accesspoint’s on-line merchants/clients who will be able to do business with customers who don’t own credit cards or would prefer to limit their usage. The program will also lead to a reduction of paperwork through more efficient models of purchase ordering, invoicing, and fulfillment.

Accesspoint’s EFT program is only the latest in a series of key initiatives implemented by the expanding Internet e-commerce company. In the last month alone, Accesspoint received certification from Nova Information Systems, Inc. (NYSE:NIS; NOVA) for high speed internet based credit card processing on the NOVA platform; and the company became certified for Level III business-to-business purchase card transactions with the National Data Corporation (NDC), the first processor to be certified for Level III purchase card transactions with all three major credit cards, Visa(R), MasterCard, and American Express (NYSE: AXP).

Accesspoint provides its national and international business clients a comprehensive and turn-key range of Internet e-commerce services allowing businesses of all sizes to implement profitable on-line Internet strategies without having to support the in-house technology and infrastructure normally required. Accesspoint adds to its own technology and software infrastructure the use of superior network technology from industry pacesetters such as Exodus Communications (Nasdaq:EXDS), Oracle (Nasdaq:ORCL), Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq:SUNW), Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO), Foundry Networks (Nasdaq:FDRY), and Network Appliance (Nasdaq:NTAP).


Wireless POS Computer

Symbol Technologies announced this morning that computer software and video game retailer Electronics Boutique has installed the first Symbol ‘SPT 1740’ wireless cash register. The hand-held Symbol computer integrates a tiny bar code laser scanner, Symbol’s ‘Spectrum 24′ radio frequency technology and Kyrus POS software for scanning products, completing credit card transactions, recording sales and checking inventory with the store’s server. Kyrus’ software emulates the store’s POS system and when connected to the Symbol ‘SPT 1740’, acts like a mobile cash register. A small ‘Comtec II’ printer, also attached to the employee’s belt, prints receipts and labels. Electronics Boutique has 568 stores in 45 states. The firm says there are days during the holiday season, when revenue at an EB store is constrained only by how many customers the store can get through the registers. Electronics Boutique sells video and computer games, video game hardware, PC productivity software accessories in 1,000 square ft. stores, with two or three cash registers each.