Hypercom Asia

Hypercom Corporation, a global provider of electronic payment solutions, has named Jeremy Su president, Hypercom Asia-Pacific. Immediately prior to joining Hypercom, Mr. Su was president, Bull Information Systems Ltd. of Greater China.

In his new position, Mr. Su will be directly responsible for expanding Hypercom’s leadership position in all Asia-Pacific region countries with the exception of Japan and Australia. He will report to Chris Alexander, president, Hypercom Transaction Systems Group.

“Jeremy Su’s extensive industry, regional and vertical market knowledge and leadership experience will be instrumental in guiding our growth strategy in this important region,” said Alexander. “We are fortunate to have Mr. Su join Hypercom.”

During his tenure as president, Bull Information Systems Ltd. of Greater China, Mr. Su managed that company’s operations in Hong Kong, The People’s Republic of China, and Taiwan. In this role, he created one of the first foreign information technology (IT) service operations in China, positioned Bull as the leading systems integrator for one of the largest banking IT projects in that country, and captured more than 80% of the IC banking card pilots in China.

Prior to Bull Information Systems, Mr. Su held senior positions with Sun Microsystems, Inc., and Apollo Computers, Inc. During his more than seven years with Sun as territory president/corporate director, Mr. Su established that company’s operations throughout Asia, and propelled Sun to market share leadership in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, ASEAN and India Subcontinent.

As chief representative of Apollo Computers, Mr. Su established that company’s Beijing and Shanghai offices, directed all Apollo efforts throughout China, and propelled that company to market share leadership.

Mr. Su graduated first in his class at Carnegie Mellon’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration “Programme for Executive”. He was awarded a Bachelor of Business Administration degree by the University of Wisconsin.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is the single-source 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][1].

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

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Changing Economics

Profits fall, convenience use and fee income increase according to new data collected by CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Convenience use has has grown from 29% in 1990 to 42% in 1998.

INT INC FEE INC PROFITS
1994: $34.8b $ 7.3b $11.1b
1995: $42.2b $ 8.3b $12.9b
1996: $52.3b $10.0b $13.6b
1997: $53.1b $14.8b $11.5b
1998: $58.1b $18.9b $11.4b

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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VISA Trust

VISA International President and CEO Malcolm Williamson said yesterday that, more than any other single factor, success in the Internet economy will depend on financial services firms’ ability to maintain and enhance trust in the online experience they are offering their customers. Williamson said at Jupiter’s Financial Service conference in San Francisco that VISA’s long experience with virtual payments shows that what fuels business in a virtual environment is trust. He said the most important asset a bank has is not capital, size, or market value. It is the relationship between the banker and the customer.

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InternetCash

Starting soon, InternetCash by SpendCash.com will allow consumers to buy whatever they want over the Internet, from goods and services requiring the smallest micropayments to major purchases, conveniently and with complete security and privacy. Available to everyone regardless of credit or credit history and featuring some of the most advanced online payment technology currently available, InternetCash(TM) is set to become the standard for online payments, with the potential for bringing billions of untapped dollars into e-commerce.

Current e-commerce payment methods make online shopping nerve-wracking. Credit cards endanger consumer security, potentially exposing private personal data and credit information for prying eyes to potentially see, resell and abuse. Checks and money orders are too slow and cumbersome, requiring extra days for mailing and clearance. InternetCash(TM) rises above these shortcomings by combining the best features of each of the most popular current forms of payment. Like cash, it is completely anonymous. Like a credit card, it permits instant processing and settlement of online transactions. Unlike cash and credit cards, no one else can use your InternetCash(TM) without your permission, as each card is protected by a PIN that you select. InternetCash(TM) gives consumers the best of all currently available payment systems and more.

InternetCash(TM) is perfect for consumers who do not have access to credit or traditional banking relationships. Teenagers, for example, represented over $140 billion in disposable income in 1998, most of which could not be spent online because of the age group’s lack of access to credit cards. InternetCash(TM) is poised to introduce those dollars into the Internet economy.

InternetCash(TM) is also the solution for those who want to protect their privacy. Absolutely no personal or credit information is ever exchanged between SpendCash.com and the retailer during the course of the payment transaction. And consumers can use InternetCash(TM) itself with the same anonymity as using regular cash. Secure, anonymous, fast and reliable — InternetCash(TM) lets surfers shop the Internet however they like.

InternetCash(TM) also permits online micropayments — transactions of less than $10 each — which credit cards refuse to process. Consumers will no longer be forced to make upfront bulk payments to merely gain access to what are typically pay-per-play services — such as music downloads and gaming. SpendCash.com can process InternetCash(TM) transactions in amounts as small as 50 cents. With InternetCash(TM), Internet industries that have been hobbled by unreasonable payment restrictions imposed by credit cards can now give online customers what they want and let them pay for it the way they want.

Other Internet payment contenders, both past and present, have been unable to bring viable cash-based payment to the Internet due to vexing security and execution problems. The SpendCash.com team has built a unique and sophisticated payment settlement system from the ground up, supported by advanced and reliable electronic processing centers, that finally allows consumers to have a completely secure, reliable and instantaneous cash transaction over the Internet with absolute privacy and, at last, peace of mind.

“The benefits of making cash-equivalent payments on the Internet have been quite apparent for some time, but no one has been able to execute a system that works,” said Dr. Yiannis Tsiounis, Co-founder and CTO of SpendCash.com. “Consumers want it — they’ve been clamoring for it — and with SpendCash.com’s dedicated team of experts in the field of banking, encryption, electronic payment and business development, InternetCash is going to finally deliver it into their hands. Our patented technology will grow the Internet economy and have a dramatic impact on the volume of online transactions in the coming year.”

SpendCash.com, founded in February 1999 and headquartered in New York City, is a privately-held company that builds e-commerce consumer products and infrastructure for the Internet. With its introduction of InternetCash(TM), SpendCash.com is poised to revolutionize e-commerce and open to it currently untapped consumer markets.

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Sub-Prime Securitization

On September 9, 1999, Cross Country Bank completed the securitization of approximately $367 million in credit card receivables through the Cross Country Master Credit Card Trust II. Series 1999-1 is the first series to be issued out of the Trust, consisting of $330 million in Class A Floating Rate Certificates and $37 million in Class B Fixed Rate Certificates. The Class A Certificates are rated Aaa/AAA by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, respectively. The certificates are rated based upon subordination of the Class B Certificates, a reserve account, and a guarantee by Financial Security Assurance, Inc. The Class B Certificates are rated BBB by Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co.

The assets in the Trust are credit card receivables originated and serviced by Cross Country Bank, located in Wilmington, Delaware. The obligors on the accounts are “nontraditional” credit customers-individuals who are unable to obtain other forms of consumer credit due to past credit problems or a lack of credit history.

Cross Country Bank, founded in July 1996, provides nontraditional VISA(R) and MasterCard(R) products and has approximately $1.5 billion of managed credit card receivables as of August 31, 1999. Rated as one of the fastest growing credit card banks in the country, Cross Country Bank now serves approximately 2.5 million cardholders and is the 19th largest issuer of VISA credit cards, according to the 1998 Nilson Report. Cross Country Bank is also ranked 31st in American Banker’s annual ranking of the 50 largest bank card lenders. Cross Country Bank is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware.

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US Bancorp Payment Execs

U.S. Bancorp announced Monday the following appointments within its Payment Systems division, which is composed of the company’s Corporate Payment Systems, Retail Payment Systems, Network Services, Credit Cycle and Merchant Processing functions.

Gail N. Maier has joined Retail Payment Systems as head of the company’s consumer credit and business card function. Maier most recently owned and operated Four Dimensions Holding, Inc., a manufacturer of high-end customized home storage systems based in Oakland, Calif. She was previously associated with Bank of America, where she served as executive vice president of global retail banking and at GE Capital/Retailer Financial Services in Stamford, Conn. She held a series of increasingly significant general management roles at GE Capital including senior vice president of quality, president and CEO of Montgomery Ward Credit, senior vice president of the Lowes Credit Center, vice president of Apple Computer Credit and marketing director.

Robert T. Abele has been named head of Corporate Payment Systems, which provides corporate card and purchasing card programs and services to businesses and government. Abele will be responsible for sales and relationship management as well as PowerTrack, Corporate Products, Voyager Fleet Systems, Marketing Communications and C.A.R.E., the company’s Web-based Customer Automation and Reporting Environment. He has most recently served as senior vice president of Network Services. Abele succeeds Steven M. Putney, leader of sales and relationship management for Corporate Payment Systems, who has accepted a position with PaySys International, Inc., an Atlanta-based software firm. Abele has been associated with Corporate Payment Systems since 1991, when he joined U.S. Bancorp as national sales manager for Corporate Payment Systems. Prior to joining U.S. Bancorp (then First Bank System), Abele was associated with Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia.

Abele’s additional duties were previously held by Mark S. Coronna, who has been named head of the Electronic Payments Services Group, a new department which will be responsible for new product development and new business opportunities across Payment Systems, including National Bank Payment Systems, Business-to-Business Electronic Procurement and Payment and Enterprise Use of C.A.R.E. Coronna, a 20-year veteran of the commercial payment systems and technology-based industries, joined U.S. Bank from Deluxe Direct, where he was vice president of electronic commerce. Prior to that time he was associated with Persoft, Inc., R-Scan Corporation and Open Systems, Inc.

Margaret A. Utke-Christianson, has been named head of Network Services, succeeding Abele. Network Services is composed of U.S. Bank’s ATM network and the company’s electronic transaction processing business. Utke-Christianson has been associated with U.S. Bancorp (then First Bank System) for 20 years, serving in a variety of capacities in electronic delivery and product management. She has held her most recent position as vice president and delivery integration manager in the ATM area since 1996.

“Gail brings extensive experience in the financial services industry to Retail Payment Systems and we’re happy to have her join our group,” said Daniel J. Frate, president of U.S. Bancorp’s Payment Systems division. “Additionally, we’re also pleased to be able to provide internal people with challenging new opportunities. Rob is a recognized leader who has done a fantastic job building our current book of business and has excelled at client relations. Marge and Mark have been significant contributors to the success of Payment Systems. I’d also like to thank Steve for his contributions to Corporate Payment Systems and wish him well in his new endeavor.” Putney served in sales and relationship management for Corporate Payment Systems since 1996 and prior from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1996, Putney was associated with EDS in Plano, Texas.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with $77 billion in assets, is the 13th largest bank holding company in the nation and operates approximately 1,000 banking offices in the Midwest and West. The company provides comprehensive banking, trust, investment, and payment systems products and services to consumers, businesses and institutions. It operates a network of 5,300 ATMs and provides 24-hour, seven-days-a-week telephone customer service. The company offers full-service brokerage services at approximately 100 offices through U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, the 11th largest brokerage in the nation. The company is the largest provider of Visa corporate and purchasing cards in the world, and is one of the largest providers of corporate trust services in the nation. For further information, please see the U.S. Bancorp web site at [http://www.usbank.com][1]

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

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Assets Not Fees

New research released Monday by Jupiter Communications shows that financial services firms that focus on gathering assets, not driving transaction fees, will dominate the Internet. The new research showed that the adoption of online financial management by more mainstream consumers is the catalyst for numerous changes to this landscape. The new online financial services consumer represents a less affluent demographic group that tends to trade less frequently than current users. Jupiter advises firms to look beyond their traditional client base and reach out to consumers who have purchased goods online. A recent Jupiter/NFO Consumer Survey indicated that there is a strong correlation between online shoppers and traders: More than 40% of US online shopping households also bank or trade online. A smaller but significant 30% of US banking households will manage their bank accounts online in 2003, growing from just under four million in 1998 to 26 million by 2003.

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Mixed Bag

Charge-offs and delinquencies spiked up during August according to new data released this morning by Fitch IBCA. Charge-offs, among credit card-backed bonds, inched up to 5.58% from 5.55% last month. Meanwhile 60+ day delinquency edged up slightly by four basis points to 3.00%, but still remain at its lowest level in nearly three years. Monthly payment rates rose for the fifth straight month to 16.99%. The best news is the gross yields have been rising all summer. Fitch IBCA’s data are based on $207 billion in asset-backed card securities for the August collection period.

CREDIT CARD SECURITIZATION PERFORMANCE
Period CO GY MP DL SP
Aug99 5.58% 19.62% 16.99% 3.00% 5.81%
Jul99 5.55% 19.04% 16.56% 2.96% 5.80%
Jun99 5.75% 18.86% 16.44% 2.95% 5.63%
May99 5.95% 19.71% 16.36% 3.03% 6.04%
Apr99 5.91% 18.65% 15.96% 3.02% 5.64%
Mar99 5.94% 20.24% 16.87% 3.14% 5.92%
Feb99 6.05% 19.49% 15.44% 3.25% 5.69%
Jan99 6.10% 19.23% 15.82% 3.28% 5.37%
Jun98 6.72% 19.10% 15.34% 3.17% 4.14%

CO-chargeoffs; GY-gross yield; MP-monthly payment rate; DL- 60+ day delinquency rate; SP-3-month excess spread Source: Fitch IBCA

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VF E-Gift

VeriFone signed an agreement Monday with CA-based One Network to integrate VeriFone’s IPS (Integrated Payment Solution) software as a framework for One Network’s electronic-gift-certificate system. One Network said this morning it plans to implement more than 14 IPS modules, including debit authorization, draft capture and settlement, and reporting. Unlike gift cards sold in stores today, IPS’ real-time reporting functions via the Internet will provide merchants with valuable information regarding their customers’ shopping demographics. Using IPS technology, merchants will be able to record and track e-gift cards by a pre-encoded card account number and/or certificate type.

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Magna Class Printers

Credentia, a Datacard Group company, Monday unveiled its Magna Class of card printers at the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) ’99 seminar and exhibit in Las Vegas. The new card printer family includes eight high-speed models designed for mid-volume card issuance operations.

“The Magna Class introduction furthers our claim as the industry leader in card printers,” said Eric Freudenheim, vice president of product marketing for Credentia. “These models provide a wealth of features, options, price and selection to meet the needs of any mid-volume operation on any budget. They are an ideal solution for secondary schools, colleges, universities and other cost-conscious organizations that manage secure access control systems and issue ID badges.”

Four full-color printers and four one-color printers comprise the Magna Class. The ImageCard(R) M, M2, ML and M2L models print up to 180 cards per hour in full color, offering a choice between one-sided or duplex printing, with or without inline application of DuraGard(TM) protective overlays for extra card security and durability. The UltraGrafix(R) M, M2, ML and M2L offer the same choices in monochrome printing at up to 650 card-per-hour print speed.

All eight models feature “edge-to-edge” printing and Tru Image(TM) color enhancements to make color more life-like, with optional smart card personalization and/or magnetic stripe encoding.

“Like all Credentia card printer families, the Magna Class was designed with ease-of-use in mind, featuring point-and-click simplicity and an exclusive smart printer driver that offers intuitive, on-screen error prompts and instructions,” Freudenheim said. “We also added features like an operator-replaceable printhead and hands free card cleaning to increase uptime and reduce service expenses.

“We truly designed these printers so that mid-volume card issuers have no reason to look anywhere else,” said Freudenheim.

Credentia offers identity systems designed to protect people, property and profits in an increasingly digital world. Credentia systems harness the power of smart cards, digital imaging, biometrics, Internet access and other emerging technologies. Solutions include tools for card personalization and identity management, as well as the world’s best-selling line of photo ID systems, software and printers. Credentia is a Datacard Group company. Datacard Corporation, doing business as Datacard Group, is privately held and based in Minnetonka, Minn. Datacard Group serves customers in more than 120 countries. ([www.credentia.com][1])

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

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Free Ski

Southwest Airlines and VISA are gearing up to launch a sweepstakes this Friday that offers an entire ski season of free airfare on Southwest Airlines. The “Ski Free with VISA and Southwest Airlines Sweepstakes” will run from Oct. 1, 1999 through Feb. 29, 2000. Contestants automatically receive one sweepstakes entry each time they use their VISA card to purchase a Southwest Airlines ticket or ‘Southwest Vacations’ package. The winner of the sweepstakes can look forward to an entire ski season of free airfare, hotel, and ground transportation for themselves and a companion, plus $5,000 worth of ‘VISA Travelers Cheques’ to use for lift tickets and other travel related expenses. A random drawing from all eligible entries will be conducted by VISA U.S.A. on or about April 1, 2000.

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New I-Card

Security First Network Bank announced this morning a new Internet-based VISA card. The new card offers instant online approvals and is multi-featured credit card with bill presentment/payment options. The ‘SFNB VISA Gold’ and ‘Classic’ credit cards features an electronic bill due reminders, balance transfers and bill consolidation, and membership to the SFNB exclusive ‘SecureMiles’ travel program. Cardholders receive one ‘SecureMile’ for every purchase dollar spent and SFNB will give each new customer 500 ‘SecureMiles’ at no cost. In addition, the first time a cardholder uses the card, he or she automatically receives 2,500 ‘SecureMiles’. ‘SecureMiles’ can be redeemed on any major U.S. airline with no blackout periods. The new no-annual-fee ‘Gold’ and ‘Classic’ VISA cards offer an intro rate of 3.9% for the first six months, followed by a 9.9% APR and 12.9% APR, respectively.

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