VISA International announced this weekend it will launch VISA signature-based debit card programs in all the 13 major markets of its Asia Pacific region by February. VISA says its decision is based on the success of ‘VISA Electron’. Currently ‘VISA Electron’ or ‘VISA Debit’ cards are being issued in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan. By year’s end VISA member banks in Malaysia, India and Indonesia will issue ‘VISA Electron’. By February VISA signature-based debit cards will be issued in Taiwan and the Philippines. VISA says PIN-based debit cards have limited acceptance due to the high cost of installing special terminals. VISA has one million ‘Electron’ merchant locations in Asia Pacific. Since June 1998, VISA branded debit cards in that region have grown 71%, from 28 million to 48 million. Worldwide VISA has more than 280 million debit cards with total annual sales volume of nearly $600 billion.Details
OR-based First Consumers National Bank is approaching the one million card mark. According to 3Q/99 data gathered by CardData, FCNB now has 922,298 cards and 891,769 accounts. Both figures jumped by nearly 30,000 during the third quarter. The sub-prime and secured card specialist now holds $543,112,880 in receivables and has handled $695,278,707 in charge volume since Jan.1. Between the second and third quarter FCNB card receivables have grown nearly 13%. Since 3Q/98, FCNB’s receivables have soared by 48% and its account base has increased by 30%. For the latest 3Q/99 data and historical data on more than 350 issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
VISA and other major firms have teamed up to create GlobalPlatform, Inc. to advance a standardized infrastructure for multiple application smart cards. GlobalPlatform’s efforts to advance common specifications will be accelerated by the transfer of the ‘Open Platform’ card specifications and terminal framework developed by VISA International. Members that are entitled to full participation in GlobalPlatform activities, including technical development and leadership positions, include British Telecommunications, Gemplus, Infineon Technologies, JCB, Keycorp, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, NTT, Oberthur Card Systems, Proton World International, SERMEPA, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems, and VISA International. Additional participating members include NEC, New Media Development Association, Schlumberger, and Toshiba.Details
The calling card war is heating up again as Sprint is extending its ‘Nickel Nights’ to Spring calling cards. Sprint now offers residential users the five-cents-a-minute rate on all domestic long-distance calling card calls, every night of the week, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., for a flat rate of $12.95 a month. New advertising broke this weekend featuring music from Alicia Bridges original track, “I Love The Nightlife.” McCann-Erickson New York created the ads.Details
Eighteen percent of Americans made an online purchase in the last year, according to a study released Saturday by the Direct Marketing Association. The study also revealed that Internet shoppers spent an average of $559 on online purchases in the last year, with one in 10 spending more than $1,000 online. Other findings include: 69% of Internet shoppers have also shopped from catalogs; 38% of Internet shoppers have purchased from book and/or music clubs; and 66% of Internet shoppers have subscribed to magazines by phone or mail. The study, commissioned by The DMA and conducted by Eldrick & Lavidge Marketing Research, was partially sponsored by the United States Postal Service.Details
Renaissance Holdings, Incorporated, with subsidiaries Orchard Bank and Renaissance Bankcard Services, completed the conversions of two credit card load portfolios purchased during the past year. RHI integrated more than 175,000 credit card accounts onto its existing servicing platform.
On March 1, 1999, Orchard Bank purchased a $91 million portfolio of performing and charged-off Visa® credit card accounts from Mercury Finance Company. The conversion was completed in late July. In August, Orchard Bank converted a second sub-prime Visa card portfolio purchased from Strutsman County State Bank in 1998. This portfolio consisted of $43 million in performing and non-performing accounts. With the addition of these two portfolios, Renaissance now manages over 900,000 accounts.
“With our dedicated focus in serving the sub-prime credit card market, RHI has become an excellent resource for organizations who want to sell under-performing or distressed portfolios,” said Tim Purcell, Director of Portfolio Acquisitions.
Renassaince seeks both active and charged-off consumer load portfolios with average balances under $1,500 per account. Portfolios of interest include low-balance retail store revolving or installment loans; bank, thrift or finance company installment loans; oil card revolving accounts; and MasterCard/Visa revolving accounts.
Privately held RHI originates, manages and services customized sub-prime MasterCard® and Visa® programs on behalf of cardholders, financial institutions, retailers and affinity groups. RHI provides credit cards and credit education to individuals who often have difficulty obtaining credit from traditional lenders. The company helped pioneer sub-prime credit card products and management systems and is considered a knowledge leader in this market segment.Details
World Championship Wrestling and Capital One have re-launched the ‘WCW MasterCard’ with new designs, new logos and a new benefit for professional wrestling fans. Added to the card design lineup are WCW superstars, Ric Flair and Konnan. Cardholders also now get priority seating at the new WCW theme restaurant, the Nitro Grill, now open in the Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Capital One launched the card last October to WCW’s 30 million fans.Details
Elva Inc. announced the new chip AT88SC 1608 designed by Elva for Atmel is being used in a revolutionary secure identity card application that merges secure smart card technology with fingerprint verification, card printing biometrics identification, and digital imaging. The encryption/decryption technology developed for Atmel by Elva combined with Polaroid’s’ PFS-100 fingerprint imaging developed by Atmel and Polaroid — compares the cardholders’ actual fingerprint against the fingerprint stored in the smart card or ID card verifying the holders’ identity.
Polaroid ID cards are actually integrated circuits called smart card ICs, acknowledged to be a large part of the most secure designs available in today’s market with the ability to guarantee that sensitive personal information will never leave the card undetected or without authorization. This is only one example of common success that binds Elva to the company’s partnership with Atmel, a worldwide advanced logic mixed signal, nonvolatile memory and RF Semiconductor company.
The new smart card IC provides 17,408 bits of serial EEPROM memory organized into nine zones, eight user zones, and one configuration zone. The device is optimized as a secure memory system for the smart card market. The designed chip includes 64-bit authentication, 8 sets of passwords and both authentication and password attempts counters.
Elva, Inc. creates secure transaction systems for the internet trade sector and exchange transactions between individuals and business structures. Smart card technology, telecommunications, security/cryptology and software engineering are Elva’s areas of expertise.
Please Visit Elva’s Website at: [http://www.elva.fr]
Joyce Research Group (“JRG”) prepared this material, for the company discussed herein, based upon information supplied by the client or other sources believed to be reliable. The company’s actual results could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statement discussed in this press release. This material is for information purposes and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities. JRG, its affiliates, and/or its officers, directors and employees may from time to time have a position in these securities. JRG has received $15,000 compensation for public relation services.
VeriFone, a division of Hewlett Packard Company, announced This morning that Paymentech is one of the first major credit card processors to conduct full Class A certification of VeriFone’s Omni 3200 payment terminal with the powerful and flexible SoftPay 2.6 software.
Paymentech’s certification will support one of the most comprehensive payment menus for SoftPay software with credit, debit, EBT and check options. In addition, Paymentech is driving sales in the quick service restaurant (QSR) marketplace with Fast Pay, a feature that allows qualified retailers to configure how a transaction is handled based on card type. Developed by VeriFone to take advantage of regulations that eliminate authorization requirements for QSR transactions under $25.00, Fast Pay makes credit payment a fast alternative for QSR customers.
“The Omni 3200’s superior design, the strength of SoftPay and Fast Pay, and the expertise of Paymentech’s processing capabilities together create a powerful payment tool that will open the last frontier of credit card payment – fast food establishments,” said Laura Rogers, group executive for product management and marketing at Paymentech. “Such products provide our restaurant clients with increased service and efficiency. Offering leading edge solutions such as the Omni 3200 reinforces our long-standing commitment to the foodservice industry.”
The VeriFone point-of-sale (POS) solution will be offered on the Paymentech Network Services authorization and electronic data capture processing platform. As a component of Class A certification, Paymentech has trained help desk staff to provide merchants with support specifically for the Omni 3200 terminal. “This highly functional, cost effective terminal solution, joined with Paymentech’s expanded merchant help desk, delivers a high degree of customer care for traditional restaurants as well as the emerging QSR segment,” said Rogers.
“Customer requests to use credit cards are increasing at our restaurants,” said Jim Peterson, president and principal of FZ Developments, a Fazoli’s franchisee with seven Chicago area locations. Fazoli’s is a quick service Italian concept that also handles carry out and catering orders. “We wanted to pilot the Omni 3200 terminal because it addressed basic concerns like extra communication lines and counter space. It is also speedy, as the integrated thermal printer dramatically reduces the time it takes to produce receipts.”
A sleek, compact POS payment terminal, the VeriFone Omni 3200 with integrated thermal printer can lower the total cost of ownership, while occupying less counter space than comparable solutions. The intuitive ATM-like interface makes the terminal easy to operate.
“Paymentech and VeriFone have a long history in delivering powerful POS systems to merchants,” said Bud Waller, vice president and general manager, North America, at VeriFone. “The Omni 3200 with Fast Pay represents the beginning of a new generation of quick, easy-to-use solutions that support the speed and configuration requirements of the QSR market. VeriFone also designed the POS system to minimize cost of deploying and maintaining the terminals.”
Dallas-based Paymentech ([www.paymentech.com]), founded in 1985, delivers premier electronic payment solutions for merchant acquiring, point-of-sale transaction processing and commercial card programs. The company is the nation’s second largest processor of bankcard transactions and a leader in Internet payments. Paymentech processes approximately 2.5 billion bankcard transactions annually with $75 billion in credit card sales volume.
VeriFone ([http://www.verifone.hp.com]) is a division of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) and the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than seven million payment systems used in over 100 countries.
Hewlett-Packard Company — a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services for business and home — is focused on capitalizing on the opportunities of the Internet and the proliferation of electronic services. HP plans to launch Agilent Technologies as an independent company by mid-calendar 2000. Agilent consists of HP’s test and measurement, semiconductor products, chemical analysis and healthcare solutions businesses, and has leading positions in multiple market segments. HP has 123,500 employees worldwide and had total revenue of $47.1 billion in its 1998 fiscal year. Information about HP, its products and the company’s Year 2000 program can be found on the World Wide Web at [http://www.hp.com].
Greenland Corporation announced financial results for the third quarter ending 9/30/99.
Dr. Lou Montulli, CEO of Greenland Corporation, announced that third quarter financial results reflected revenues of $222,758, consisting of revenues from the sale of SmartCash ATM’s and transaction fees from the operation of the machines.
Dr. Montulli stated, “Although the Company showed a loss for the third quarter, of $1,121,482, the fact that the Company generated revenues of $222,758 indicates that the Company is making significant progress in its overall operations and sales of its SmartCash ATM machines. The Company presently has seven machines operating in various locations in California, Nevada and Georgia and expects to ship additional machines shortly.”
“The loss from operations of $1,121,482 was mainly related to budgeted production costs, including engineering and consultant fees, primarily compensated in stock, the building of inventory to meet 1999 sales orders, and ongoing costs in preparing the Greenland facility to house the increased engineering, sales and marketing staff.”
“The Company has recently attended three trades shows, the Convenience Store Trade Show in Chicago, Illinois, World Gaming Show at Las Vegas and National Check Cashing Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The response was excellent. Collectively, these shows had over 250,000 customers in attendance, giving Greenland and its SmartCash ATM wide exposure to potential customers and the marketplace.”
Greenland has continued to strengthen its leadership by appointing Check Cannon as Vice President of Engineering and Rick Moscatello as Vice President of Operations and Purchasing.
Greenland Corporation is a manufacturing corporation with existing product and product under development. The Company is currently introducing an automated payroll check-cashing machine with full ATM functionality, and money order dispensing services. Future services to be included with the machine are phone cards and advance payday loan services.Details
MasterCard and Deloitte & Touche released a study Thursday which shows corporations that consolidate their various corporate card programs into an umbrella “One Card” program save time and money and generally improve the quality of management information and business process control. The study found that using a “One Card” enables centralization of processing and program management. Ninety-two percent of study participants with a “One Card” program administer their programs centrally. Eighty-two percent of study participants report detection of non-compliance to policy is easier within a “One Card” program.Details
Instant approval and instant credit is paying off for Internet pioneer NextCard. The San Francisco-based VISA card issuer reported yesterday that revenues for the third quarter were $8.0 million, a 120% increase over revenues of $3.6 million for the second quarter, and over thirty times the revenues of $255,000 for the same period in 1998. Third quarter revenues were also significantly higher than the average analyst expectations. NextCard, which offers a pure Internet-based bank credit card, now has total managed loans of $268 million and approximately 134,000 accounts. Last year the firm has $35.3 million in receivables and 85,000 accounts. During the third quarter NextCard launched its instant credit capability. Using proprietary fraud scoring and risk models developed over the past two years, the company is now able to provide many customers with the instant ability to make purchases by providing them with an active account number at the time the customer is approved. Driving traffic to NextCard’s web site is more than 20,000 affiliates, a 67% increase from the second quarter. For more information on NextCard’s financial’s visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).