The demographic segmentation of the bank credit card industry is picking up steam following yesterday’s announcement that First USA and The Reader’s Digest Association have signed a co-branded credit card agreement. The deal will enable First USA to market a credit card to Reader’s Digest customer database of approximately 50 million names. The Reader’s Digest database is heavily weighted with consumers in the 50+ age group. The magazine says its strength among graying consumers with disposable income, and the range of interests that encourages them to obtain and use consumer credit vehicles, will be a boon for First USA. The initiative is the latest of three marketing relationships for financial services announced by Reader’s Digest. Last week, the company announced partnerships with Torchmark Corp. in the USA and Canada, and American International Group in 26 other nations for the marketing of various insurance products to Reader’s Digest customers. Ironically the October issue of Reader’s Digest features an article about ‘Credit Card Tricks’ in which First USA is cited as an example for playing games with interest rates and late fees.Details
The magnetic-card-reader and card-reader-head markets are expected to increase by 25-30% over the next 3 years, based on a new study by Peripheral Research. The ‘1999 Card Reader Head Market and Technology’ report, due out next month, projects the card-reader-magnetic-head markets will increase from a yearly 14 million units per year today, to 18 million units per year in 2002. Peripheral says these market increases are being driven by technology and new applications. In the future consumers will see the use of more smart cards for interactive use, and a new generation of high capacity cards storing 5-10 Megabytes of data. Although the growth rate has been slow, all of the suppliers of these head products are experiencing active markets. These markets are all benefiting from the advances in the hard-disk and tape products.Details
MasterCard International announced this morning the appointment of Ruth Ann Marshall, as president North America Region, effective October 25th. Before joining MasterCard, Marshall was EVP at Concord EFS. She was in charge of 700 employees and the MAC regional debit network. She has more than 20 years of managerial experience in the global payments industry.Details
Brea, CA-based UtiliSource Corp. said Monday it expects to have 4,000 ‘ATM Scrip’ terminals in U.S. retail stores by the end of this year. At the end of the year 2000, the company projects it will have placed 10,000 of the terminals at retail merchants nationwide. The ATM scrip terminal works like an ATM cash machine except the cardholder receives an authorized scrip coupon instead of cash. Customers then use the scrip to pay for items at the cash register and receive change in cash. The merchant’s account is credited electronically for the scrip amount. The customer pays a small transaction fee for the service and the merchant receives a fee for each transaction. Yesterday, UtiliSource announced a program to provide ATM Scrip terminals to Allied Domecq franchises across the USA. Allied Domecq is one of the world’s largest international spirits and global food services businesses with 8,000 franchises worldwide. In the USA alone, the company has 6,500 franchises, including Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream, Dunkin’ Donuts and Togo’s sandwich stores.Details
Paymentech said yesterday it did the formerly impossible by switching 52,000 retail locations to Paymentech Network Services in one day, earlier this month. The terminal conversion utilized a hot cut approach that enabled all POS devices to be automatically switched to Paymentech’s on-line and back end systems. Paymentech instantly converted 17,000 locations to its proprietary front-end POS network. This group, along with 35,000 more merchants, also began processing on the merchant accounting platform provided by First Data Merchant Services Corporation under a processing agreement previously announced with Paymentech. The conversion consisted of the remainder of the merchant portfolio that Paymentech earlier acquired from Mellon Bank and the former portfolio of First Chicago NBD. Bank One consolidated the merchant processing businesses it owns by combining the operations of the former alliance between Bank One and First Data, Banc One Payment Services L.L.C., into Paymentech. Paymentech annually processes approximately 2.5 billion bankcard transactions and $75 billion in credit card sales volume.Details
Doug Mayblum, a 25-year veteran of the financial services industry, has joined Metris Companies as senior vice president-collections.
Mayblum joins Metris from Citicorp, where he most recently served as vice president/process head, credit and risk operations for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Earlier with Citicorp he served as vice president/director of Citibank operations.
“The background Doug brings to this position is a good complement to our already strong senior management team,” said Metris President and CEO Ronald N. Zebeck. “Doug adds the depth and experience that will help us continue our growth plans.”
Said Mayblum: “This is a very exciting opportunity. I believe my experience can help strengthen the solid base that Metris enjoys, and I look forward to working with a very capable management team.”
Mayblum is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Mayblum relocated to our Metris Baltimore site from Waterloo, Belgium.
Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and fee-based services primarily to moderate-income consumers. Based in St. Louis Park, Minn., Metris also has operations in Phoenix, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; Baltimore, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. It employs approximately 3,000 people.
Visit Metris on the Internet at [www.metriscompanies.com].
ICL has appointed Caroline Marino as smart card business development director, North America, with responsibility for further growing sales in this strategic market for ICL.
Caroline brings a wealth of expertise with her, having joined ICL from Motorola where she was global business development director for the worldwide smart card solutions division.
Prior to this, Caroline spent 11 years at MasterCard International, joining at the inception of MasterCard’s Automated Point-of-sale Program and helping grow the business up to its sale to National Data Corporation.
“I am delighted to be joining ICL at such an important time as the company focuses on becoming the world’s number one supplier of smart card systems within the next two years,” Marino said.
“My initial priorities will be to further grow ICL’s relationship with the card associations, as well as building our business in the government and other markets.”
SmartCity is ICL’s end-to-end, multi-application smart card system. Such a system is able to support electronic purse, credit and debit cards, loyalty cards, identity cards and many other applications.
Recognized as the world’s most advanced smart card system, SmartCity has been installed in more than 75 sites worldwide with 1.5 million cards in use every day. These sites include Fort Knox (US), Thames Valley University (UK), LukOil (Russia) and Siam Commercial Bank (Thailand).
ICL is a global IT services company. It designs, builds and operates information systems and services for customers in the retail, finance, government, telecommunications, utilities and travel markets. The company has operations in over 40 countries and employs over 22,500 people.
Transformed from a manufacturer of computers, today ICL improves business performance and competitiveness through services focused on electronic business, enterprise applications and the implementation and outsourcing of IT infrastructure.
For the 12 months to March 31, 1999, the company’s revenues were $4,458.4 billion ((pound)2.735 billion) which generated a profit before tax and exceptional charges of $105.1 million ((pound)64.5 million). Headquartered in London, ICL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu and plans to float on the London Stock Exchange in 2000.Details
Transaction Network Services, Inc. announced Monday that it has completed the migration to its network of all transaction transport traffic acquired through its acquisition of assets from AT&T’s Transaction Access Service.
While the deal with AT&T was executed September 10, 1998, the actual migration of transactions from the TAS network to the TNS network began at the end of 1998 with the final traffic migrating in early September of this year. As a result, TNS more than doubled its Point-of-Service transaction volumes from about 240 million monthly transactions to over 550 million transactions per month.
“It took us nearly eight years to build out and grow a network capable of handling monthly transaction volumes of 240 million,” commented TNS executive vice president and general manager of TNS’ POS division Brian Bates. “We essentially duplicated that effort for the TAS migration in just under nine months. Our POS business has more than doubled in size in less than a year. We are extremely proud that we’ve been able to achieve such great success in such a short time.”
“We owe a great deal of thanks to all of our employees who worked so diligently to make this transition happen so quickly and smoothly,” added TNS president and CEO John J. McDonnell, Jr. “Their hard work and commitment are directly reflected in the quality service and network performance that make TNS a leader.”
Transaction Network Services, Inc. (TNS), headquartered in Reston, Virginia, provides data communications services for transaction-oriented applications. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol TNI. Additional company information is available on the TNS website at [http://www.tnsi.com].
Boston-based The Yankee Group said yesterday that electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) is set to take off despite the consumers’ lack of awareness and fear of online security. The findings come from a series of special surveys on EBPP. Next month, Yankee will release the ‘1999 Technologically Advanced Family’ survey, that looks at the driving and delaying forces for adoption of EBPP. Earlier this year the Yankee Group discovered EBPP was a functioning technology that is only being implemented by the biller community, with consumers only showing minimal interest in using it. Since then, Yahoo! and CheckFree announced earlier this month they will push ‘Yahoo! BillPay!’ which enables consumers to pay recurring monthly bills at Yahoo!’s Web site, with CheckFree’s Genesis platform acting as the electronic payment engine in the back field. Also TransPoint went live with EBPP through MSN MoneyCentral this summer. Yankee believes both deals are significant developments to drive adoption of EBPP among USA consumers.Details
Gemplus announced Monday that organizers of the ‘Catholic Jubilee of the Year 2000’ will use Gemplus smart cards to handle the pilgrims making the trek to the holy cities. An estimated 12 to 20 million pilgrims will be in Rome for the ‘Jubilee’ year making orderly direction and management of the crowds a necessity. Local dioceses and travel agents will issue smart cards to pilgrims to allow access to areas in Italian cities such as Vatican City, Gubbio and Assisi. The committee has already taken delivery of one million new ‘Pilgrim’ cards from Gemplus. The organizers are implementing this solution in partnership with Setefi, a computer services subsidiary of the Cariplo Bank in Italy. Cariplo is responsible for the personalization of the cards and the installation of the network of card readers. The ‘Jubilee’ is an official international holy year that takes place every 25 years, originally decreed by Pope Boniface VIII in the 14th century.Details
Nestor, Inc., in conjunction with its alliance partner ACI Worldwide, Monday announced the licensing of its PRISM fraud management system to Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Taiwan’s largest private bank. Chinatrust will use PRISM to monitor and control credit card fraud.
Chinatrust Commercial Bank is the largest credit card issuer in Taiwan and chose PRISM to monitor fraudulent transactions within its portfolio of 1.6 million cardholders. PRISM will integrate with Chinatrust’s BASE24 processing engine, from ACI, to offer an integrated solution that acquires, authorizes and switches transactions while monitoring those transactions for fraud.
PRISM offers Chinatrust an advanced neural net-based fraud detection system that identifies subtle patterns of fraudulent behavior by comparing individual card and account usage with known patterns of fraud. Transactions are monitored in near-real time or batch environments. When a suspicious transaction is found, it is flagged for prompt and appropriate action. PRISM’s ability to recognize fraudulent activity and learn from experience provides a proactive method to reduce losses from fraud.
“PRISM enables Chinatrust to offer its cardholders an extra level of fraud protection while efficiently processing their transactions,” said Don McLarty, vice president and general director of ACI Worldwide’s Asia/Pacific operation. “And since PRISM integrates with Chinatrust’s BASE24 system, the bank has the ability to handle increasing transaction volumes generated by its card base while monitoring those transactions for current and emerging fraudulent schemes.”
PRISM is supported and distributed around the globe by ACI Worldwide.
Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Providence, RI, Nestor, Inc. is a leading provider of intelligent decision-support solutions for the financial services industry. Nestor’s client/server products incorporate innovative pattern-recognition technologies ideally suited for data-intensive, mission-critical decision applications in real-time environments. The company’s products for financial institutions support fraud detection and case management for credit, debit, retail and commercial card fraud, as well as Internet and merchant fraud; bankruptcy prediction; and customer relationship management. Nestor products are sold direct and by selected partners worldwide. Through its subsidiary, Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc., the company also applies its technologies to a suite of video-based intelligent transportation systems that promote enhanced traffic management and improved safety. For more information, call 401-331-9640 or visit [www.nestor.com].
About ACI Worldwide
ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq:TSAI) is helping customers change the way the world works with software products developed for consumer banking, corporate banking, retail and systems solutions. The company maintains operations in the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific and is a leading international provider of software for electronic commerce and electronic payments. ACI Worldwide distributed solutions are used by more than 2100 customers in 76 countries. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at
PRISM is a registered trademark of Nestor, Inc. All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.
Just in Time Solutions, the leading provider of Internet billing and interactive customer care software, Monday announced the general availability of BillCast 2.0, the modular, enterprise-class suite of applications designed to provide billers and bill publishers with a sophisticated end-to-end solution for personalized bill presentment, payment, and service delivery. Based on open standards, BillCast 2.0 enables billers to use the electronic bill as a platform for delivering advanced self-care applications. Using a single BillCast application, billers can publish e-bills directly on their own Web sites and simultaneously publish bill summaries to consolidators such as home banking Web sites or portals.
Wells Fargo & Company has licensed BillCast 2.0, which will enable its business units to offer Internet bill presentment and payment. “With its support for open standards, BillCast lays the foundation for extending customer relationships into the Internet, and enables us to use the electronic bill as a basis for developing a deeper relationship with our customers,” said Scott Peterson, senior vice president of Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Internet Services Group. “After examining a variety of alternatives, we believe Just in Time’s BillCast platform provides the best, standards-based bill presentment and payment solution in the market today.”
“Ultimately, the success of the electronic bill presentment and payment market depends on both giving consumers choice in where they can receive bills and giving billers the opportunity to leverage the Internet bill as a way to attract and retain customers by delivering advanced self-service capabilities,” said Paul Hughes, senior analyst at The Yankee Group. “As more consumers adopt Internet billing, demands for higher levels of support will increase, and that is why interoperability and open standards will become more important. BillCast 2.0 and its implementation by Wells Fargo are strong evidence that Just in Time clearly supports the needs of the market.”
Douglas S. Thompson, president and CEO of Just in Time Solutions, commented, “We’re focused on delivering Internet billing solutions that allow the biller to own the customer relationship. With BillCast 2.0, billers can offer a new level of convenience, personalized service and interactive care that will help increase customer satisfaction and lower churn, while meeting their customers’ needs for access through multiple delivery channels.”
About BillCast 2.0
The BillCast 2.0 suite of applications enables billers to offer their customers a compelling personalized billing experience. The core BillCast platform provides a complete, out-of-the-box brandable application, while the optional BillCast Distribution, Payment and Data Translation Modules offer added functionality as the biller’s needs grow. The complete BillCast 2.0 suite is an end-to-end solution for the Internet billing process, including personalization, presentation, payment, integration with back-end systems, and distribution — via interoperable standards such as Open Financial Exchange (OFX). The Java-based BillCast suite is available on the Sun Solaris and Windows NT platforms.
The BillCast platform not only allows customers to receive, view, and analyze detail for current and past bills, it also delivers a highly personalized billing experience. Using a combination of sophisticated customer profiling and powerful business rules, BillCast transforms the bill into a “customer home page,” which provides access to customer care features as well as billing and payment conveniences. BillCast also allows billers to tailor each customer’s service experience according to preferences established in the customer’s own profile.
BillCast enables self-service Internet billing and customer care through the entire electronic channel, including Web, e-mail, interactive voice response (IVR) applications, set-top boxes, personal digital assistants and ATMs. BillCast allows billers to deliver a consistent customer experience regardless of the medium.
BillCast Payment Module
The BillCast Payment Module delivers capabilities to support the payment of bills directly from a biller’s Web site through the biller’s choice of payment processors. This module enables convenient consumer-facing functionality in the BillCast Payment Browser(TM), including multiple funding accounts, multiple account types (credit cards, debit cards and checking), the ability to schedule and manage payments, the ability to set up automatic payments, and sophisticated notification services, such as e-mails regarding pending due dates.
The Payment Module works with existing payment processing services such as Signio, CheckFree, Direct ACH, ePay and RPS, or with in-house direct debit systems that connect to the Payment Module through payment engines. Remittance and exception information is received and made available by the Payment Module for feeding to a biller’s accounts receivable system.
BillCast Distribution Module
The BillCast Distribution Module handles enrollment and bill summary distribution to consolidators such as home banking Web sites, portals, and personal financial managers (PFMs). The Distribution Module supports open standards-based protocols, including the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) standard for online bill presentment. This module is 100 percent OFX-compliant and has migration support for all future EBPP standards. The Distribution Module has batch capabilities for high-volume throughput and provides enterprise-class overall performance for bill publishers and high-volume billers. It features a transaction server that supports the ten critical transactions for distributed customer care including Signon, Find Biller, Enroll, Service Activation, Service Change, Service Delete, Change User Info, Account Info, Bill Summary and Notify.
BillCast Data Translation Module
The BillCast Data Translation Module enables easy integration with back-end systems by converting legacy data, especially print streams, into XML, the standards-based form compatible with the BillCast platform. It provides translation support for a wide range of data formats, including AFP, Xerox Metacode, IPDS, SCS, DSC/DSE/EBCDIC, ASCII and DJDE. The Data Translation Module has fully validated XML output and gives billers the flexibility to define their own data formats.
Pricing and Availability
The BillCast 2.0 suite of applications is available immediately. Pricing begins at $75,000.
About Just in Time Solutions
Just in Time Solutions is the leading provider of complete software solutions for Internet billing and interactive customer care. The company’s modular BillCast(TM) software suite enables relationship-centric billers to deploy secure, scalable solutions for personalized billing, payment and service delivery that increase the value of each customer interaction. Just in Time Solutions helped pioneer the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) standard for online bill presentment and the thin consolidator model, and continues to champion open standards. Founded in 1995 and based in San Francisco, Just in Time Solutions’ customers include some of the largest billing organizations and service providers in the industry, including AT&T, Bank of America, Intuit and Output Technology Solutions. For more information, please visit [www.justintime.com.]