In a major effort to combat money laundering, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new regulations yesterday requiring all check-cashing, cash-remitting and currency-exchange businesses to register on a national database. Under the new regulations such money service businesses as Western Union, MoneyGram Payment Services, and ACE Cash Express, have until Dec. 31, 2001 to register with the Treasury Department. The Treasury is also requiring major players to report any agents that handle more than $100,000 per month in cash. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $5,000 per day and up to five years in prison. Like banks, money service businesses are already required to report all cash transactions over $10,000 and to keep records of any transaction of $3,000 or more. The new regulations will affect nearly 8,000 money service businesses representing an estimated 160,000 locations. The new rules were spurred by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The FinCEN indicated yesterday it is still seeking rules requiring non-bank money-service businesses to report all suspicious activity such as frequent cash transactions or multiple transactions just below the $10,000 level.Details
MD-based e.spire Communications, Inc. announced Wednesday that its subsidiary, ValueWeb will offer customers around the world the option of paying their invoices in eight local currencies: the Canadian dollar, the Euro, the British pound, the German mark, the French franc, the Dutch guilder, the Irish punt and the Japanese yen. With the new service, ValueWeb’s international customers will be able to pay by credit card or debit card, online or through a sales representative, in the eight different currencies. Additionally, ValueWeb will accept the United Kingdom-based ‘Switch’ and ‘Solo’ debit cards.Details
MoneyGram Payment Systems has announced it will sponsor the 1999 World Championship Domino Tournament to be held in Jamaica Sept. 23-26, 1999.
“Sponsoring this event is a natural extension of our commitment to the Caribbean community,” said Jared Parker of MoneyGram, which is a leading international money transfer company. “We provide an important link between families and businesses in the Caribbean and the U.S., so we are pleased to help bring an international event such as this to the region.” Parker said the company has approximately 500 locations in the Caribbean, with 197 in Jamaica alone.
Other sponsors of the 1999 World Championship Domino Tournament include the Victoria Mutual Building Society, the Jamaica Tourist Board and Air Jamaica. The competition will be held at the Wyndham Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Sept. 23-26, 1999. Teams will compete for a total purse of $150,000 in cash and prizes, with $25,000 going to the winning team. The registration fee is $250 per two-player team. Due to the limited number of places, tournament officials recommend that participants register in advance. For reservations and information on tour registration, airfare and hotel packages, call 1-888-622-3007. Participants may also register at any Air Jamaica sales office.
MoneyGram offers international money transfers to 26,000 locations in over 120 countries, reaching over 80 percent of the world’s population. With MoneyGram’s network of money transfer agents, consumers and businesses can send and receive money from around the world in less than 10 minutes.
MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., is part of Travelers Express Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Viad Corp. Travelers Express is the world’s number one processor of money orders and a leader in utility bill payments and official checks. Viad Corp, a $1.6 billion company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:VVI), is focused on two business segments: payment services and convention services.Details
CO-based ProCard Inc., announced this morning it is now offering ‘Pathway’, the industry’s first eCommerce program designed to combine procurement and fleet card management and travel expense reporting in a single system utilizing web browser technology. ‘Pathway’s’ design allows companies to manage separate card programs on a common platform or to combine procurement, travel and fleet programs on one card. ‘Pathway’s’ features include online card and hierarchy management, statement tracking, cost allocation, dispute management and business rules audit.Details
CyberCash, Inc., announced Wednesday the company will offer the state-of-the-art Internet fraud detection service from HNC Software Inc. to its more than 14,000 online merchant customers. The eFalcon solution provides merchants with a complete real-time service to detect and prevent credit card fraud on the Internet.
“We are extremely pleased to work in partnership with CyberCash to offer eFalcon to its online merchant customers,” said Robert L. North, president and CEO, HNC Software.
Internet fraud is of significant concern to online merchants because they are responsible for all costs associated with fraudulent transactions, even when credit card issuers have authorized these transactions.
“Our customers told us they wanted a complete fraud detection capability,” said Jim Condon, president and COO, CyberCash. “As many online businesses grow, fraud is going to become an increasing problem for them and we want to be there with the best solution on the market. Our goal is to help merchants grow their businesses on the Internet, and we are excited to offer the eFalcon fraud solution.”
“While a number of security solutions are available on the Internet today, no existing risk management solution has been adequate to review transactions on anything other than outdated rule-based systems that require human involvement. eFalcon represents the natural evolution of this process, and will give our customers the most sophisticated fraud detection capability in the industry,” said Nancy Goldberg, executive vice president, CyberCash.
HNC’s eFalcon is based on the company’s Falcon(TM) credit card fraud detection technology, which currently protects more than 260 million credit cards throughout the world.
“With the addition of CyberCash, HNC has consolidated its position as the established leader in online fraud protection,” said Allen Jost, vice president, Internet risk management for the eHNC division of HNC Software. “With its more than four million transactions per month, CyberCash will add immeasurably to the HNC eFalcon Internet Fraud Control Consortium.”
The IFCC is an Internet industry association that uses data for the purpose of recognizing and preventing fraud on the Internet.
CyberCash is expected to begin offering eFalcon to its customers in the fall of 1999.
CyberCash is a world leader in e-commerce technologies and services, enabling commerce across the entire market spectrum from electronic retailing environments to the Internet. CyberCash provides a complete line of software products and services allowing merchants, billers, financial institutions and consumers to conduct secure transactions and other e-commerce functions using the broadest array of popular payment forms. Credit, debit, purchase cards, cash, checks, smart cards and alternative payment types (e.g., “frequent buyer” or loyalty programs) are all supported by CyberCash payment solutions. Leading brands of CyberCash include InstaBuy(TM), AgileWallet(TM), ICVERIFY(R), PCVERIFY(TM), CashRegister, NetVERIFY(TM), PayNow(TM), WebAuthorize(TM) and PCAuthorize(R). For more information about CyberCash, please visit our Web site at [http://www.cybercash.com].
About HNC Software and eHNC
Headquartered in San Diego, California, HNC Software Inc. (Nasdaq:HNCS) is a leading provider of complete Predictive Customer Relationship Management solutions for service industries. HNC divisions include Financial Solutions, Retek Retail Solutions, Insurance Solutions, eHNC and Telecommunications Solutions. eHNC, the Internet Commerce division of HNC Software, is the first e-commerce service provider with the knowledge, experience and suite of comprehensive services to assist companies involved in e-commerce at every stage of the online buying cycle. By delivering real-time risk management solutions through simple interfaces, eHNC helps each business control transaction risk, build customer relationships and succeed in the e-commerce environment. The company builds upon a ten-year track record of real-time risk management, holds several patents on its advanced technology products, and has the largest fraud data consortium in the world. For more information, please visit .
Microsoft signed an agreement with eCHARGE Corp. yesterday to offer a payment option for subscribers to ‘MSN Internet Access’. By clicking on eCHARGE during the installation process, subscribers to ‘MSN Internet Access’ can have their Internet service charges billed directly to their home phone bill. As part of the agreement, Microsoft and eCHARGE have agreed to market eCHARGE’s availability on MSN Internet Access through direct mail and e-mail and through Microsoft advertising. eCHARGE said Wednesday that its service will bring more subscribers to ‘MSN Internet Access’ because it helps to eliminate the No. 1 barrier to online payments, namely, entering credit card information.Details
One hundred of this era’s greatest business journalists and news executives will be honored with a special recognition for their contributions to the profession.
A Business News Luminary of the Century Award will be bestowed upon those individuals, living or deceased, whose visionary thinking and deeds most positively influenced the business news profession during the 20th century.
The finalists for the awards will be announced in a special December 1999 issue of TJFR Group’s quarterly business journalism trade magazine, TJFR Business News Reporter. The magazine is closely read by top business editors and reporters and reaches more than 6,000 influential business and financial journalists throughout the country.
MasterCard International is the lead sponsor of the Business News Luminary Awards, and will join with TJFR in presenting them at a special recognition dinner to be held in New York in March 2000.
“We are delighted to join with TJFR in honoring the men and women who have contributed so much both to business journalism and to people’s understanding of the impact of business on their lives,” said Sharon Gamsin, vice president of global communications for MasterCard International.
Nominations for the TJFR Group/MasterCard International Business News Luminary Awards will be accepted on-line at [http://www.newsluminaries.com], beginning September 15, 1999, from members of the news media as well as the public. Printed nomination forms also will be available in TJFR’s twice-monthly newsletter. Balloting will be open until October 31, 1999.
Nominees will be screened by a panel of leading business reporters and editors, business executives, academics and historians. The final selection of 100 will be made by the editorial staff of TJFR.
Each year, TJFR recognizes the Top 100 influential business journalists in the country; the best business and financial beat reporters and the 30 most promising business journalists under the age of 30. In addition, since its founding in 1987, TJFR has paid tribute to business news luminaries whose contributions to the profession for at least one decade have been significant.
Past recipients of TJFR’s decade luminary awards include (titles are those they held at the time they received their recognition): Louis Rukeyser, host, Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser; James W. Michaels, editor, Forbes magazine; Bernard A. Goldhirsh, chairman and founder, Inc. magazine; Linda O’Bryon, executive editor and co-anchor, The Nightly Business Report; Marshall Loeb, managing editor, Fortune; Larry Birger, Business/Monday editor, The Miami Herald; Myron Kandel, financial editor, Cable News Network; and Leonard Silk, columnist, The New York Times.
Although several major journalism awards specifically recognize business news achievement in a single instance or series of stories, the Business News Luminary Award is special in that it pays tribute to those whose impact on the profession is enduring. The award is an outgrowth of the tremendous public interest in business news in recent decades.
TJFR Group is the nation’s leading source of information on business journalists and news organizations. In addition to its twice-monthly newsletter and quarterly magazines, TJFR conducts media relations workshops and conferences. In association with PR Newswire, TJFR also offers on-demand biographies of more than 4,000 influential editors and writers via their FaxProfiles(TM) service.
More information about TJFR Group can be found on its World Wide Web site at . for more information on the tjfr group .
MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. Nearly 700 million Mastercard(R), Maestro(R), Cirrus(R) and Mondex(TM) cards are in circulation today. With more than 16.2 million locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard card. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at .
Attrition is now a factor in online banking. While the absolute number of online bankers grew 100,000 to a total of 6.3 million in the past 12 months, 3.1 million U.S. adults have discontinued their use of online banking according to Cybercitizen Finance from NY-based Cyber Dialogue. The study also found that only 35% of online bankers that discontinued their service were inclined to try it again. The research revealed that more than 50% have discontinued use because they find the service too complicated or were dissatisfied with the level of customer service. In contrast to online banking, only 3% of investment traders who are online have discontinued trading online and 85% of current traders are satisfied with their service.
Cybercitizen Finance 1999 Baselines (millions of users)
1998 1999 CAGR
Total Online Users 53.5 65.4 22%
Online purchasers 14.5 24.4 68%
Online banking 6.2 6.3 2%
Online traders 4.0 6.1 53%
Manage finances online 18.1 23.1 28%
Online insurance seekers 8.8 12.9 47%
Online credit card applications 3.3 4.2 27%
Online loan applications 3.2 4.6 44%
Online mortgage applications 2.7 3.2 19%
Source: Cyber DialogueDetails
Citigroup’s e-Citi unit, VISA and the General Services Administration, launched this week, the first ‘Open Platform’ smart card program in the U.S. using Sun’s ‘Java Card’ technology. The multi-application GSA smart cards were demonstrated at the first annual GSA ‘SmartPay Conference’ in Nashville. The GSA smart cards were issued to 500 of GSA’s Federal Technology Service employees. The cards combine official GSA employee identification with typical corporate campus features such as access to buildings and IT resources, secure e-mail and property management, and with the standard credit payment of a government travel and purchase card. Technology components include magnetic strip, contact and contactless smart chips and fingerprint biometrics. GSA employs about 14,000 people and has an annual budget of nearly $13 billion, 98% of which comes from reimbursable funding for services provided to other federal agencies.Details
Greenland Corporation yesterday announced an agreement with a leading Texaco-Star Mart franchisee.
Dr. Lou Montulli, CEO of Greenland Corporation stated, “Greenland has entered into an agreement with one of the leading and largest national franchisee representatives for Texaco-Star Mart stores, MRE Corp., an Anaheim, California based franchisee operator of Texaco-Star Mart operations, for the installation and testing of the SmartCash ATM.”
“The SmartCash ATM was installed August 16 and will be used by MRE Corp. to evaluate the various services offered by the SmartCash ATM. MRE Corp. is one of approximately 100 Texaco-Star Mart franchisee owned stores and its Vice President, Gil Ficke, is Chairman of the Texaco Star-Mart Franchise Advisory Counsel. In addition, other Texaco-Star Mart franchisees have expressed a strong interest in the SmartCash ATM and are awaiting the results of the testing with MRE Corp., prior to ordering the SmartCash ATM machines.”
“We are obviously very excited about this opportunity because of the significant potential for volume purchases that it represents through the validation and acceptance of the SmartCash ATM by users, store owners and potential purchasers.”
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
Seattle-based UTM Systems Corp. said yesterday it is on target to rollout its ‘UTM Machine’ this fall. The ‘UTM’ is an epayment solution modeled after ATMs. The ‘UTM Machine’ uses proprietary smartcard technology. The new system has a dual-certificate security feature to dramatically reduce incidents of credit card fraud and chargebacks. The ‘UTM Machine’s’ hardware/software design adds a level of security not currently available from other epayment options. Directly linked to the global ATM network, the ‘UTM Machine’ requires a physical credit or debit card and is activated by the user’s PIN code. Also, because transactions occur and are authorized over the ATM network, a consumer’s credit or debit card information never resides on a Web merchant’s server.Details
Discover Financial Services and EarthLink announced an agreement this morning to exclusively offer EarthLink’s Internet access services to more than 3 million Discover/Novus Network merchants. The deal includes special pricing for merchants and a co-branded EarthLink Personal Start Page. Discover says a recent survey showed only 26% of U.S. small businesses (less than 100 employees) are online, but 58% of managers at those companies perceive the Web as important or very important to their firm’s overall business strategy. Beginning this month, all Discover/Novus Network merchants will be eligible for EarthLink’s Internet access services. Discover is also sponsoring a lower-than-retail monthly service charge for online merchants. Discover and EarthLink have also collaborated on a co-branded, customizable Personal Start Page, which includes links to exclusive offers for Discover/Novus Network merchants. The offer will be promoted through direct mail and monthly statement inserts.Details