Pinnacle Cash Cards

The ‘Pinnacle Cash Card’ is coming. Yesterday Clearwater, FL-based, start-up, Pinnacle Business Management, Inc. announced an agreement with an undisclosed national financial services company to issue the new cards. Thursday’s agreement will enable Pinnacle’s new card to be used in more than 750,000 ATMs and retail stores. By walking into any authorized Pinnacle location, customers can acquire a cash card, or fill an existing card in the possession of anyone anywhere in the world, with cash. The cardholder can use the card immediately. Pinnacle specializes in paycheck advance loans and automobile title loans. The new card is intended to reduce the cash inventories at paycheck advance locations.

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HyperWare C

Hypercom Corporation introduced the HyperWare “C” Developer’s Toolkit, a C-based package which includes the source code for a base application for credit and debit transactions. Hypercom’s new development environment also includes a rich set of tools that allow programmers to quickly customize the base application component to differentiate their solution in the marketplace.

“Our customers report they are delighted with the performance and functionality of the applications we are developing, but that they also want the chance to use their own in-house programming expertise,” said George E. Devitt, Hypercom Corporation senior vice president of sales, US and Canada and Global Marketing. “Hypercom’s C-based toolkit meets that need, and provides everything a financial institution, value-added reseller or third-party processors needs for developing customized point-of-sale application.”

“The HyperWare toolkit uses the popular “C” programming language for quick and easy development of value-added applications. It expands the flexibility and functionality of the customer’s electronic processing network, and allows them to fine-tune the applications to their own unique environment,” Devitt continued.

In addition to the credit/debit application with source code, Hypercom’s HyperWare C-based toolkit includes utility functions to access and work with Hypercom’s card payment systems, libraries, compilers, debugging tools and in-circuit emulators to assist in development and speed time to market. The toolkit is compatible with Hypercom’s ICE(TM) 5000 family of interactive, touch-screen card payment systems, T7 card payment systems, Hypercom(R) S7 and S8 secure PINpads, and Hypercom printers.

Hypercom’s HyperWare C-based Developer’s Toolkit is available now through a Hypercom sales representative.

Also at ETA, Hypercom is introducing its HyperWare Version 1.0 turnkey electronic transaction system software, and Hypercom SmartICE(TM) hand-held, wireless card payment system. For a complete demonstration of Hypercom’s SmartICE, ICE 5000 and HyperWare electronic payment solutions, please visit Hypercom’s booth No. 6 at the ETA Annual Meeting and Exposition, August 19-21, Hyatt Regency Hotel, 300 Light Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-function point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent(TM) payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions.

On a global basis Hypercom delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-added programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.

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, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][1].

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

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Omnetrix Calling Cards

Ted A. Bohrer, Vice President of e-Net Financial Corporation announced Thursday that Omnetrix International, the joint venture partner of the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, City Pacific International, has been able to reduce Phone Card rates by almost 7%.

E. G. Marchi, President of City Pacific, stressed the significance of this reduction, “we were already at 15 cents per minute; there is no billing charge; there is no connect charge; there is no first minute charge. The Omnetrix 500 Minute Prepaid Calling Card is the best deal available.”

Mr. William Van Vliet, President of Omnetrix, added, “We’ve recently begun to use new and different hardware. State of the art technology permits us not only to pass savings on to our customers, but also offer improved customer service, faster connect times and crystal clear sound quality.”

Mr. Van Vliet continued, “We have also added a Phone Card aimed at the consumer who may not use 500 minutes in a reasonable length of time. Our new card retails for $24.99 and has 157 minutes. Marketing strategies are now aimed at public consumers as well as corporations, and businesses. Customers are attracted through Internet ads, the Omnetrix web site, print media, and direct mail. New and varied phone cards are constantly under development to respond to the demands of consumers.

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Rapid Pay Machine

San Francisco-based InnoVentry, f/k/a innoVisions, said yesterday it will install approximately 175 new ‘Rapid Pay Machines’ in retail locations in three key strategic markets: Houston, TX; Dallas, TX; and Phoenix, AZ. The company currently operates 100 ‘Mr. Payroll’-brand check-cashing machines in 33 U.S. communities and these machines will be upgraded to the new ‘RPM’ hardware and software as well. InnoVentry is jointly owned by the wholesale bank of Wells Fargo & Co. and Cash America International, Inc. The company recently adopted the new InnoVentry name to reflect the company’s focus on technological innovation as a means to provide entry to the world of electronic financial services for the self-banked. Major components of the ‘RPM’ machines slated for installation this fall will be supplied by Diebold and NCR. For customer authentication, the machine relies on a biometric face-recognition camera. The ‘RPM’ machine also features an interactive second screen that is capable of delivering customized promotional and public-service messages in several languages. While the machine also offers conventional ATM functionality, it ultimately will be able to serve as a platform for the delivery of money orders, electronic bill payment, and money-transfer services, among others.

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ClearCommerce Certified

ClearCommerce Corporation, an Internet software and services company, Thursday announced the certification of its transaction processing solutions with VirtualNet, the first standards-based Internet commerce gateway service offered by Vital Processing Services, a leading full-service merchant processing company.

ClearCommerce features e-commerce transaction processing platforms with the most robust Internet fraud protection. The solution enables merchants to deliver fast and secure transactions for online Web shoppers, as well as contain costly bank charges that result from fraudulent transactions.

“Our goal is to deliver the technology that provides merchants with the most comprehensive way to automate the e-commerce sale,” said Robert J. Lynch, president and chief executive officer of ClearCommerce. “This certification helps make our goal possible.”

VirtualNet is a payment gateway service for acquirers that accepts Internet-based transactions, including SSL (Secure Socket Layer), Internet protocol and SET (Secure Electronic Transaction) for Internet payment processing. VirtualNet utilizes state-of-the-art technology, delivering transactions to the VisaNet POS Services Network, ensuring efficient routing for authorization and data capture processing, thus enabling Vital users to use the Internet as a channel for real-time acceptance and processing of customer payments.

“ClearCommerce has innovative solutions, and with VirtualNet inside and its partnership with Vital, we expect to capitalize on unique niches ClearCommerce serves with bringing additional robust functionality to merchants,” said Donna Embry, senior vice president of marketing for Vital Processing Services.

ClearCommerce solutions are based on scalability, reliability and availability, along with the ability to supply transaction processing capabilities that easily integrate into back-end systems. This combination allows businesses to get online quickly with no ongoing transaction fees, which reduces labor costs and increases revenue potential.

“By supporting VirtualNet, our customers can eliminate the high cost of a lease line into VisaNet,” said Gregg Gumbinger, business development manager for the Financial Services Division at ClearCommerce. “No more lengthy lead times and hardware installations. The transactions are sent directly through the Internet to the VirtualNet gateway.”

About ClearCommerce

Austin, Texas-based ClearCommerce has developed the most fraud-protected, scalable and easily integrated back-end transaction solutions for e-commerce applications — providing storefront integration, fraud protection, real-time credit card payments, shipping/tax calculation, electronic soft-good download (ESD), online reports and an open API for business process integration and automation. Online businesses and e-commerce service providers using UNIX or NT platforms rely on ClearCommerce’s capability to supply the transaction processing component as well as integrate storefronts and legacy systems. With high-profile venture funding, ClearCommerce has a growing international presence and intends to continue advancing secure electronic commerce solutions with the global implementation of its Merchant and Hosting Engines. [www.clearcommerce.com][1]

About Vital Processing Services

Vital Processing Services(r) (Vital(tm)) is a leading full-service merchant processing company. Its clients include financial institutions and their agents that provide payment card processing to merchants. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Vital offers financial institutions and their agent’s portfolio management services and merchant POS products without competing with them for their merchant business. Its services include merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; Internet commerce; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; operational fulfillment services (including chargeback and retrieval processing); risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(r) U.S.A. and Total System Services, Inc.(r) (TSYS(r)) (NYSE: “TSS”) ([www.totalsystem.com][2]). Vital’s Internet address is [www.vitalps.com][3].

[1]: http://www.clearcommerce.com/
[2]: http://www.totalsystem.com/
[3]: http://www.vitalps.com/

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Anti Skimmer

The problem of credit card skimming found a solution Thursday as Hypercom introduced its new ‘SmartICE’ hand-held, wireless terminal. Now credit cards can remain in the physical view of the cardholder for transactions in places such as a restaurant. The compact ‘SmartICE’ supports credit, debit and smart card transactions, EBT, priority and fleet cards, checks and cash payments, as well as customer order entry. To process an order and payment in a restaurant setting, for example, the menu is downloaded from a PC into the ‘SmartICE’. A waiter uses the SmartICE’s intuitive, graphical touch-screen to input the customer’s order, and communicates the order to the kitchen by hitting the enter key. A printer in the kitchen prints out the order and table number. When the order is ready for pick-up, the kitchen signals the waiter’s ‘SmartICE’. When the diners complete their meal, the waiter uses the ‘SmartICE’ to complete the customer’s cash or card payment transaction at their table. Hypercom’s ‘SmartICE’ card payment system will be available for shipment in January, 2000. In a related announcement yesterday, Hypercom introduced ‘HyperWare Version 1.0’ software, a complete turnkey electronic transaction system pre-programmed for the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries using Hypercom’s ‘SmartICE’, ‘ICE 5000’ and ‘T7’ series terminals. ‘HyperWare’ provides pre-programmed screens that are customized to the merchant’s specific needs. When downloaded to the merchant’s terminal, ‘HyperWare’ executes industry-specific application functions such as tip processing, server/cashier processing and shift reporting for all electronic transaction types including credit, debit, terminal or host draft capture, refunds, adjustments, check verification, guarantee and authorizations.

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Datakey ISS Unit

Datakey, Inc., an international leader in smart card-based information security products, Thursday announced the appointment of Tim Russell as vice president and general manager of its Integrated System Solutions business unit. This unit delivers end-to-end information security solutions for internal and external PC networks by combining public key cryptography and smart card technology.

Russell’s responsibilities include the sales, support and development of Datakey’s ISS products. He reports directly to Carl P. Boecher, president and chief executive officer of Datakey.

“Tim brings to Datakey a consistent record of meeting — and exceeding — performance quotas in fast-growing organizations,” said Boecher. “With more than 13 years of proven sales and technical team leadership, Tim will play a vital role in identifying and developing emerging sales channels for the Company, both nationally and internationally. His insight will be quite valuable in determining the strategic direction for our information security products. We welcome Tim to the growing Datakey team.”

Russell brings to Datakey an extensive background in senior-level sales, program management and software engineering positions for high-tech companies. Before joining Datakey, Russell served as vice president of Americas Channel Sales for San Jose, CA-based Secure Computing Corporation, one of the largest network security companies in the world. Prior to that, Russell held managerial and software engineering positions with Ceridian/Control Data, a leading information services company based in Minneapolis.

“Datakey’s ability to deliver superior information security solutions positions the Company to reap the benefits of a marketplace set to truly emerge in the year 2000,” said Russell. “Datakey has developed an innovative business plan to capitalize on this opportunity, and I look forward to playing an integral role in its implementation through the expansion of the Company’s ISS unit.”

Russell holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities.

About Datakey, Inc.

Datakey, Inc. is a leading international provider of smart card-based information security solutions. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., the company offers a family of smart card-based information security and digital signature products under the SignaSURE umbrella. Using state-of-the-art cryptographic technology, these products fill growing market needs for secure, smart card-based user authentication and data privacy. Datakey’s information security products play an integral role in any Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system by providing dual-layer security — something that is owned (a smart card) and something that is known (a password).

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CyberCash Cash

CyberCash confirmed yesterday that it has raised $15 million in equity capital through a private placement of common stock and warrants by Rose Glen Capital International Investors. CyberCash says it plans to use this equity to fund the expansion of its business and its multi-channel corporate branding campaign, support strategic acquisitions and investments and provide working capital.

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Home Account Certified

Home Account, the leading developer of Internet-based financial services, this week announced that its data center has earned the industry-leading ICSA TruSecure certification for the second year in a row. The annual re-certification is part of Home Account’s ongoing effort to increase usage and acceptance of Internet financial services – by both financial institutions and consumers — by ensuring the highest possible security for web-based transactions and information.

Home Account pioneered use of the ICSA certification standard in the financial services industry in May of 1998, when it became the first Internet financial services vendor to obtain certification. In addition to conducting ICSA TruSecure certification annually, Home Account’s data center is continuously monitored to ensure compliance with ICSA’s rigorous security standards.

“As Internet financial services continue to grow exponentially, our commitment to enabling our financial institution clients to offer their customers the most secure services possible grows as well,” said Randy Kahn, Chief Operating Officer of Home Account. “By obtaining annual verification using ICSA’s proven security standards and controls, we are easing customer security and privacy concerns and helping to build broader market acceptance for Internet financial services.”

“Financial services firms now represent 40 percent of ICSA’s customer base, led by Home Account, the forerunner in the trend toward adopting more stringent security standards,” said Peter Tippett, chairman and chief technologist at ICSA. “Today, Home Account continues to be a pioneer in recognizing that protecting customers’ security and privacy requires continuous effort.”

Earlier this year, Home Account announced a program that extends ICSA’s TruSecure certification to client websites for a fraction of the cost of obtaining a complete, independent security audit on their own.

About ICSA, Inc.

ICSA, Inc., a GartnerGroup affiliate, is the world’s source of objective, independent, Internet security services. Through ICSA’s TruSecure(tm) suite of services, businesses are reducing their information security risks and enabling expansion of Internet technology implementation. ICSA has used its leadership and expertise to support the growth of Internet business and commerce worldwide. ICSA headquarters are located in Reston, Virginia. For additional information, visit the ICSA website at [www.icsa.net][1].

About Home Account

Home Account delivers patent-protected home banking, financial management and electronic commerce solutions to banks, brokerages and other financial service organizations. Home Account’s products include: Canopy Server(tm), an OFX (Open Financial Exchange) financial services platform that allows distribution of services through multiple channels; Canopy Advisor(tm), a strategic financial planning system for use by individuals and financial professionals; Canopy First(tm), a family of outsourced, scalable and brandable Internet products and services for financial institutions, card issuers and brokerages; Canopy Card(tm), innovative Internet account access programs for card issuers; Canopy Business(tm), Internet-based cash management services for business customers; and Canopy Clients(tm), a series of financial management user interfaces.

[1]: http://www.icsa.net/

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Euronet – DASH

KS-based Euronet Services reported Thursday that its financial software subsidiary, ARKSYS, has acquired full ownership of DASH, an ATM network services provider and transaction processor in Arkansas. ARKSYS previously held a one-third interest in DASH and last week completed the acquisition of the remaining two-thirds from Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock, AR, and First United Bancshares, Inc. of El Dorado, AR. DASH provides transaction switching, ATM and debit card services to 24 financial institutions in Arkansas and Texas. The DASH network currently comprises 132 bank-owned ATMs. DASH will constitute part of a back-up computer center for Euronet’s European operations. Euronet operates an independent ATM network of over 1,600 ATMs in Europe.

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