Mondex Korea

Amdahl’s The SmartCard Group division, announced this morning it has expanded its operations to South Korea through an investment in Mondex Korea. Other members of the consortium, that formed the new franchise, are MasterCard Korea, Kookmin Bank, Korea Credit Communication Inc., KDB Capital and TeraSource Venture Capital. The first smart card program in Korea will be launched next year at COEX, a high-tech building complex in Samsung-don, Kangnam-ku involving 50,000 employees and 200,000 daily trade center visitors. The ‘COEX Mondex’ card will offer e-cash, MasterCard credit and employee ID. Another launch is scheduled for Hanyang University involving 35,000 students.


Nova Prio

CA-based Prio, Inc. and NOVA Corp. signed a marketing and distribution agreement that will offer NOVA’s 480,000 merchant customers Prio’s Internet-based rewards system. Merchants will now be able to take advantage of Prio’s closed loop promotional capability without any changes to existing processing systems or procedures. Merchants participating in the Prio network will now be able to target, track and measure web-based marketing and promotional efforts. Consumers look for stores and restaurants on Prio Internet partner site and view promotions that are relevant to their search. They then simply visit the online or physical storefront and make a purchase as they normally would using their pre-registered credit card. Consumers then receive rewards automatically on their credit card account.



PSINet Inc. confirmed Monday it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire VA-based Transaction Network Services. The $720 million aggregate purchase price consists of $351 million in cash and up to 7.8 million PSINet common shares. During the second quarter TNI reported revenue of $42.7 million and a net profit of $3.1 million. PSI says the deal will enhance TNI’s market presence by immediately adding 16 global markets for their services.


eCHARGE Prodigy

Prodigy Communications Corp. and eCHARGE Corp. announced Monday a new service to allow new Prodigy members to have their monthly Prodigy Internet payment billed through their local phone bill rather than to a credit card using ‘eCHARGE MY PHONE!’. eCHARGE says more than half of the world’s online users don’t have a credit card. Prodigy plans to make the new service available by year’s end.


Drug Card

A card-based consumer loyalty marketing program within traditional chain drug store companies will be launched next month by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Three traditional chain drug store companies are working as a group with Consumer Card Marketing, Inc. to develop the loyalty program pilot. These chains will work together in a share group to develop, implement, and analyze techniques for building the links between customer-specific information and their marketing programs. In addition, a select group of prominent manufacturers have agreed to support the initiative, participate in quarterly share group meetings, and aid in the analysis of this 15-month initial program period.


Cafe Card

Borders Cafe Espresso introduced an electronic gift card Monday. The new ‘Borders Gift Card’ enables customers to purchase food items as well as books, music and video. Borders, Inc. operates over 265 Borders Books and Music stores in the USA and with cafe operations in nearly all of its stores. Borders is one of the nation’s largest specialty coffee retailers.


eCommerce Index

NextCard introduced the ‘NextCard eCommerce Index’ yesterday. Compiled from the monthly activity of approximately 100,000 NextCard Internet VISA cardholders, the NextCard eCommerce Index is based on the number of actual online purchases, rather than page views or site visits. The index is a monthly listing of the top 25 online merchants and the top 10 movers based on the number of online purchase transactions. The top five online merchants include: AOL ONLINE SERVICE; AMAZON.COM; ONSALE; BUY.COM; and CD NOW. The top five movers include: IBM INTERNET SERVICE; WEBVAN; KBKIDS.COM; WAREHOUSE.COM; and ECOST.COM. The ‘eCommerce Movers’ is a monthly listing of the top online merchants that experience the largest percentage change in transaction volume from the previous month.


Rapid Link Cards

Rapid Link Communication Services formed a partnership with prepaid distributor Clifton Digital Corporation for the marketing, distribution, call routing and customer support of the ‘Digital Advantage’, ‘Metro Card’ and the ‘Link’ series of prepaid phone cards. The three prepaid card programs target customers calling the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Poland and Korea, as well as throughout Europe and within the U.S. Within the next six months, RLCS and Clifton will release 10 more prepaid cards as part of the ‘Link’ series including the ‘New Jersey Link’, the ‘Ohio Link’ and the ‘Detroit Link’.


Hunter Named CFO

AvantGo, Inc., the authority in managing mobile information, Monday announced that Thomas F. Hunter has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Hunter began his career at IBM, where he was a top sales performer and sales manager. As CFO for First Data Corp., he managed the company’s IPO and played a key role in growing the company’s revenues from $10M to $250M annually. He also served as Executive VP of First Data’s Transaction Processing Division and its Vice President of Operations during his eight years with the company. In his new position, Mr. Hunter will be responsible for AvantGo’s financial operations.

“Bringing Tom on board keeps us on our trajectory as the premier provider of software and services for the handheld computing industry,” said AvantGo CEO Felix Lin. “With his proven executive-level experience, Tom will enable us to further enhance our position as the company enterprises can count on when they need to extend their critical applications to handheld devices.”

Mr. Hunter has owned and managed his own business, Images of Nature Galleries in Palo Alto and Los Gatos, California, for more than nine years. He also served as a corporate financial consultant, primarily involving acquisitions and the integration of post-acquisition operations. His clients included American Express Company and First Data Corp. In addition, Mr. Hunter performed marketing and strategic planning consulting assignments for Direct Marketing Systems Corp. and its clients.

Before that, Mr. Hunter was president of American Supercomputers, Inc. (ASI), based in Sunnyvale, California. Recruited by ASI to be Chief Operating Officer at the time of the company’s first round of venture capital investment, he had day-to-day responsibility for all operations, including Engineering, Strategic Planning, Marketing, Finance and Administration. Mr. Hunter holds an MBA and a BSC from Santa Clara University.

About AvantGo

The authority in managing mobile information, AvantGo, Inc. wirelessly extends Internet, intranet and extranet applications to handheld computers based on the Palm OS and Windows CE platforms. With its core products, AvantGo Enterprise for Fortune 1000 companies and for individuals on the go, the company helps organizations stay closer to their customers.

Using, today hundreds of thousands of individuals are accessing free, interactive and personalized content from more than 200 leading content providers. AvantGo also spearheads the Mobile Link initiative, an open, industry standard for connecting mobile devices to server-based applications. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [][1].



MetroCard Machines

The MTA New York City Transit, yesterday, awarded Cubic Transportation Systems a $17.8 million contract to produce a smaller, compact version of ‘MetroCard Vending Machines’ that are being installed throughout the New York subway system. The smaller ‘MetroCard Refill Machines’ provide credit/debit payment-only capability for subway and bus riders to reload time or value on their reusable ‘MetroCards’. The new machines are designed to complement the full-service ‘MetroCard Vending Machines’ that provide coin and bill handling capabilities, as well as credit/debit payment for purchasing or reloading ‘MetroCards’. By the end of 2000, it is planned that a total of 2,594 ticketing machines will be installed throughout the New York transit system, of which more than 1,000 will be the MRM design. The new machines will also be contactless smart card ready.



TeleCheck Services introduced yesterday the first integrated payment terminal capable of imaging checks at the point of sale. ‘Eclipse’ reads the check MICR line both magnetically and optically. ‘Eclipse’ also accommodates credit cards, debit cards and smart cards. In addition to imaging, other new features include a faster modem and a combination roll/slip inkjet printer capable of printing receipts and information on checks. The new terminal was jointly developed with VeriFone. The terminal’s imaging capabilities enhance the TeleCheck ‘Electronic Check Acceptance’ service, a paper check conversion process that converts MICR information into electronic items, which are processed through the ACH network. ‘Eclipse’ will be available through TeleCheck’s sales & marketing force and through First Data Merchant Services.