Talking ATMs

Wells Fargo and the California Council of the Blind announced Wednesday the first plan in the nation for developing and installing talking ATMs. The plan calls for Wells Fargo to pilot 20 talking ATMs in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County and San Diego County. After the pilot Wells Fargo will begin to install a talking ATM at each of the more than 1,500 Wells Fargo ATM locations in California. The technology, still in development, will give voice instructions to users who cannot read information on an ATM screen, on how to deposit money, withdraw cash, transfer funds and buy stamps. The ATMs will have audio jacks to deliver voice information privately to protect the security of blind and low vision users.

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Singapore Taxis

Hypercom Corporation announced this week that it is deploying its Ascendent Advanced Transaction Processor software with credit card authorization interfaces to support customer card payments for Comfort Transportation PTE Ltd.’s fleet of 10,000 taxis. Hypercom’s Ascendent ATP and credit card authorization module will allow Comfort Transportation customers to pay for trip fares with both smart cards and credit cards, a solution that no other cab company in Singapore offers. Comfort Transportation is the largest taxi company in Singapore. Hypercom is a global provider of electronic payment solutions.

Hypercom’s Ascendent ATP software will provide authorization processing for American Express, JCB, Diners Club, VISA, MasterCard, the Comfort Transportation corporate card and ATM cards, giving customers a convenient payment solution.

“Ever-increasing competition in the transportation industry demands that a company have a distinct advantage over its competitors,” said Tay Huey En, senior manager, Comfort Cablink. “With Hypercom’s Ascendent software, we can offer our customers both credit and smart card payment transactions. These are options that no other cab company in Singapore offers.”

“Sophisticated merchants and financial institutions recognize that the need to offer innovative, value-added solutions at the point-of-sale has never been stronger,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, president, Hypercom International. “We applaud Comfort Transportation’s effort to do just that. Their selection of Hypercom’s ‘next generation’ products that support smart cards and other new payment applications is a clear endorsement of our solutions.”

Hypercom’s Ascendent ATP is a fast, efficient high-performance server-based transaction authorization software solution designed to maximize customer options and streamline end-to-end on-line transaction processing. Ascendent ATP authorizes, captures, reformats and routes critical data that gives acquirers and merchants feature-rich transaction processing. Hypercom Ascendent software supports Microsoft Windows NT(TM) and various UNIX implementations such as Sun Solaris, and allows transaction processors to preserve host integrity while adding more applications and transaction types. Hypercom’s approach lets merchants quickly offer new functions and advanced payment products such as chip cards or value-added services, such as loyalty programs.

Singapore-based Comfort Transportation has played an instrumental role in transforming Singapore’s taxi industry from freewheeling pirate taxi outfits in the early 1970s to a well-organized commuting system today. With its fleet of 10,000 taxis, Comfort Transportation is Singapore’s largest cab company, transporting over 350,000 passengers daily and commanding 60% of the local market. Comfort’s large taxi fleet generates economies of scale that have made possible continual customer service improvements, including cost-effective investments in state-of-the-art computer equipment such as the revolutionary Comfort CabLink automated booking system.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-functional point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent 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-add 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, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is www.hypercom.com.

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FDC Instant Credit

First Data announced Wednesday a real-time credit application and decision-making technology which provides instant purchasing power on the Internet. The new product, called ‘First Data Internet Account Acquisition Service’, is now available to the more than 1,400 credit card issuers who currently process transactions using the First Data system. Following online approval of the application by the financial institution or other issuer, consumers will receive an account number, expiration date and limited credit line. After completion of cardholder verification procedures, the credit line will be raised to the approved amount. FDC says consumers will receive their plastic credit cards in the mail as much as 70% faster than they would through traditional, manual credit processing procedures. From the bankcard issuer’s web site, applicants access a customized and branded offer page from which the application, terms and conditions, and security and privacy pages can be viewed. Completed applications are encrypted and forwarded to First Data’s credit decision-making technology, where the application is screened for potential fraud, and processed using card issuer-defined credit parameters to decline or approve the application. A reply is returned to the applicant in less than 60 seconds.

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Campus Mondex

Students at Quebec’s Bishop’s University will be the first in North America to have ‘Mondex’ e-cash on their student card following a presentation at a national conference for university administrators yesterday. More than 3,700 Lennoxville, QC students will test a multi-application electronic-campus card with smart features, including ‘Mondex’ electronic-cash on a ‘MULTOS’ chip. The ‘E-Campus Project’ was jointly developed by Bishop’s University and Royal Bank and marks the world’s first trial of ‘Mondex’ e-cash on a college campus located in a community where a broader e-cash implementation is under way. Students will be able to load ‘Mondex’ e-cash onto their new cards through electronic cash machines and Royal Bank ‘Cash Counters’ around campus. E-cash will also be available over the telephone using the ‘Aastra Mini-ATM’ located in other student meeting places. Royal Bank says students may also get to load value on their cards via the Internet later this year.

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Paragren – PNC

Paragren announced Tuesday that PNC Bank Corp., one of the largest diversified financial services organizations in the United States, has selected One-By-One as the strategic marketing system for developing and deploying advanced marketing programs across the organization. By implementing a ‘single solution’ relationship marketing system, PNC will significantly improve its campaign management process, respond rapidly to changes in today’s highly competitive environment and deliver innovative campaigns that provide timely offers to its customers.

The addition of One-By-One is the latest enhancement to PNC’s existing enterprise data warehousing environment which enables Customer Value Management (CVM) in a cost-effective manner. As part of the CVM strategy, PNC is leveraging data warehousing technology in implementing an integrated sales management process through all marketing channels. In addition, the organization is utilizing advanced data mining/modeling and computer telephony integration through a state-of-the-art call center to provide intelligent servicing to customers. Implementation of One-By-One will further advance PNC’s capabilities in delivering products and services through a customer value management strategy.

With One-By-One, PNC can consolidate its marketing promotions and gain greater efficiencies and control over its marketing processes while addressing each customer’s unique needs. By coordinating customer contacts across its different businesses, PNC can become even more effective and refined in its marketing programs. One-By-One will enable increased control in customer communication and a decrease in ineffective program execution which will lead to improvements in customer satisfaction and marketing profitability.

One-By-One is an integrated solution that automates the entire marketing process and empowers marketers to execute advanced marketing strategies across multiple communication channels quickly and easily. The system provides the power to model cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, analyze customer churn and lifetime value or evaluate the impact of different segmentation strategies on a campaign plan, as well as archive completed campaigns electronically. One-By-One’s open, scalable architecture allows it to complement current technology investments. The system seamlessly integrates with existing databases as well as popular query and analysis applications. One-By-One automatically extracts, computes, and delivers customer information from a firm’s data warehouse to its data mining, analysis, viewing, and reporting tools. The result is accurate decision-making intelligence consistent throughout the enterprise.

‘We are pleased to be working with an innovator like Paragren. We evaluated several leading relationship marketing systems and chose One-By-One because of its speed and integrated analytical and campaign management capabilities that allow us to turn customer data into actionable information for building solid customer relationships,’ comments John DeMarchis, Vice President Information Marketing Systems for PNC. ‘One-By-One will dramatically increase our ability to respond to changes in today’s highly competitive financial services environment and deliver products and services that provide timely, value-based solutions to our customers.’

‘One-By-One’s robust data summarization routines will enable us to evaluate data at the product, individual, household or business unit level,’ continues DeMarchis. ‘Combined with the system’s flexible, easy-to-use segmentation capabilities, which allow us to describe segments or create new ones on the fly without SQL programming, we can more effectively implement very complex logic in order to precisely target promotions at multiple levels. Plus, with One-By-One’s extensive campaign management capabilities, we can schedule and optimize multiple promotions over time. As a result, we can more effectively manage the marketing process while gaining greater processing efficiencies.’

We are very excited about partnering with such a leading-edge company as PNC,’ said Dan Lackner, Chief Operating Officer for Paragren. ‘PNC is taking a very forward thinking approach to building competitive advantage. They require advanced marketing tools that will not only enable them to access and analyze large amounts of data quickly and easily, but will also allow them to use that information to plan, execute and evaluate effective marketing programs. One-By-One will give them a real competitive edge.’

For more information send e-mail to info@paragren.com, or call 888-420-4213 or 703-995-1878.

About Paragren…

Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Paragren is the leader in Enterprise Relationship Marketing, helping businesses discover, establish and grow profitable customer relationships. By integrating innovative software, customer and market intelligence, and real world expertise, Paragren provides an optimized relationship marketing solution. The One-By-One software suite, enhanced with professional services and unique consumer purchasing data, empowers marketers to execute complex marketing programs quickly and easily. Paragren is a wholly owned subsidiary of APAC Customer Services. Additional information is available at [http://www.paragren.com][1].

Founded in 1973 and headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois, with corporate offices located nationally, APAC Customer Services Inc. is one of the leading, most technologically advanced outsourcers of inbound and outbound customer contact programs and call center network consolidation. APAC provides sophisticated data enhancement services, operations consultation, and e-commerce program development, all to a growing list of blue chip customers that includes some of the most recognizable names in American business and industry. With specialized experience in the fields of telecommunications, health care/pharmaceutical, financial services, insurance, and travel/hospitality, APAC Customer Services’ more than 60 centers and over 20,000 employees stand ready to handle any customer contact needs.

About PNC Bank Corp…

PNC Bank Corp., headquartered in Pittsburgh, is one of the largest diversified financial services organizations in the United States. Its major businesses include PNC Regional Bank, PNC Advisors, BlackRock, PFPC Worldwide, PNC Institutional Bank, PNC Mortgage and PNC Secured Finance. Additional information about PNC Bank Corporation is available at [http://www.pncbank.com][2].

[1]: http://www.paragren.com/
[2]: http://www.pncbank.com/

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HNC vs TSA

HNC Software has filed a lawsuit against Transaction Systems Architects Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary ACI Worldwide Inc. alleging patent infringement, unfair competition, false advertising and trade libel. The complaint centers around ACI Worldwide’s distribution of ‘PRISM’, a fraud detection software product. ACI distributes ‘PRISM’ pursuant to a license agreement with Nestor, Inc., a company in which TSA is a minority stockholder. Last Nov. Nestor filed a lawsuit against HNC alleging, among other things, infringement of a patent relating to ‘PRISM’ by HNC’s ‘Falcon’ fraud detection program. HNC recently has filed a counterclaim. Neither TSA nor ACI Worldwide is a party to that lawsuit. TSA said Tuesday it will vigorously defend itself in the lawsuit filed this week.

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ICE5000 & Mobitex

BellSouth Wireless Data announced this week that the Hypercom ICE 5000 Mobile, a touch-screen wireless point-of-sale terminal, is now enabled for use with Mobitex, the core of the nationwide BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network. The compact, portable ICE 5000 Mobile can wirelessly process credit, debit and smart card transactions from various places, without depending on phone lines.

The ICE 5000 Mobile, a member of Hypercom’s ICE (Interactive Consumer Environment) family of terminals, features a user-friendly, touch-screen interface that supports traditional electronic payment functions. A range of new value-added transactions, including customer loyalty programs and electronic receipt capture, are also available. The terminal is equipped with a wireless modem, which enables the transmission of information over the nationwide BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network. Based on the de-facto international standard for wireless data communications, the core of the BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network provides extensive and seamless coverage nationwide, high reliability, low latency, industry-leading battery saving protocols and other key features. “The BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network and Hypercom ICE 5000 Mobile give merchants a powerful wireless solution that helps them unlock new sales opportunities by bringing payment directly to the customer,” said Janet Boudris, senior vice president, strategic marketing, BellSouth Wireless Data. “With coverage currently available in ninety-three percent of the urban U.S. business population, merchants using the ICE 5000 Mobile terminal have the flexibility to conduct business throughout the country.” To process a payment, an ICE 5000 Mobile user simply selects the transaction type (debit, credit or smart card) on the terminal’s graphic touch screen, swipes the payment card, enters the information, then turns the terminal to the customer, who enters a PIN number or signs on the screen. The information is wirelessly transmitted over the nationwide BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network, and approval is received within seconds. “Using the Hypercom ICE 5000 Mobile, merchants can streamline their remote transaction processing, improve customer service, and reduce operating costs,” said John Marshall, senior vice president, sales, Hypercom.

“Because the core technology of the nationwide BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network ensures speedy and reliable transmission, merchants will always be ready to take advantage of the power of wireless point-of-sale.” About BellSouth Wireless Data BellSouth Wireless Data, L.P., headquartered in Woodbridge, N.J., is an expert in providing proven wireless data communications solutions that eliminate the barriers between critical information and mobile users. The company, a winner of the prestigious Sears Innovation Source of the Year and Partners in Progress awards, delivers a competitive advantage and increases personal productivity for aggressive, innovative companies and individuals leveraging communications technologies to meet their strategic goals. BellSouth Wireless Data operates its wireless data service throughout the United States, covering more than 93 percent of the urban business population located in 492 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and non-MSAs with a total population of 200 million people.. BellSouth Wireless Data is a subsidiary of BellSouth Corporation. BellSouth Corporation provides telecommunications, wireless communications, cable and digital TV, directory advertising and publishing, and Internet and data services to nearly 34 million customers in 19 countries worldwide. E-mail: Bellsouthwd.info@bellsouthwd.com. Web site address: www.bellsouthwd.com..

About Hypercom Corporation:

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-functional point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent 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-add programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 60 countries through a global network of offices and affiliates in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is www.hypercom.com..

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NDC – UMS

NDC eCommerce Tuesday announced a marketing agreement with United Merchant Services of California, Inc.. Under the arrangement, UMS will market NDC’s Internet banking solution, iGlobal Banker to its agent bank customers.

UMS will also market other NDC eCommerce merchant acquiring services such as transaction processing.

iGlobal Banker is an electronic portal for delivering services such as: detailed account access and reporting, income and expenditure tracking, cash management, credit card reporting, and the capability to link to insurance, imaging, investment and mortgage services. A standalone module for processing bill payment transactions either internally or through the company’s shared processing services, as well as a balance reporting module and online ACH transactions capabilities are also available with iGlobal Banker.

“To further service our client banks and to expand the portfolio of banks we service, we have selected the NDC eCommerce iGlobal Banker to round out our product line for the banking industry,” said Bruce Ferguson, senior vice president of business development for United Merchant Services of California. “iGlobal Banker will really put a community bank on the map. It ties the entire product line together,” he continued.

Thomas M. Dunn, NDC eCommerce chief operating officer said: “With the many financial institutions anticipating the need for online, services by the Year 2000, we are pleased to increase distribution opportunities through United Merchant Services of California. We are confident that our online banking product offers the virtual solution that our financial institution customers are seeking.”

United Merchant Services is a 12-year-old bankcard and Electronic Funds Transfer consulting and servicing firm for financial institutions. National Data Corporation (NYSE: NDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce solutions and health information services that add value to its customers’ operations.

This document may contain forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s operations, current and future performance and financial condition. These items involve risks and uncertainties such as product demand, market and customer acceptance, the effect of economic conditions, competition, pricing, development difficulties, the ability to consummate and integrate acquisitions, and other risks detailed in the Company’s SEC filings. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise any of these statements to reflect future circumstances or the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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Diebold – SmartKit

Vancouver-based QI signed a ten-year ‘Non Disclosure Agreement’ yesterday with Diebold that could pave the way to QI’s ‘SmartKit’ cash card reader being incorporated into Diebold systems to provide support for open card payment schemes for Diebold customers. The NDA allows for release of Diebold protocol information to QI, and gives Diebold sole and exclusive rights to purchase QI products that utilize that information.

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ACE VISA

A SD-based sub-prime card issuer has launched a major mailing this week for its ‘ACE VISA’ credit card which requires applicants to charge a $300 personal finance educational program, a $19.00 processing fee and a $49.00 annual fee in return for a “guaranteed” $400 minimum credit line. According to CardWeb’s on-line marketing intelligence service CardWatch, United Credit National Bank of Sioux Falls is also promoting its ‘ACE VISA’ program with the pledge to send applicants $100 if they fail to qualify for the program. The $300 personal finance educational program consists of five booklets and two videotapes produced by group called: “American Credit Educators”. The sub-prime card program is similar to a widely promoted offer made by marketers of CO-based Best Bank’s ‘VISA’ card. Under the Best Bank program cardholders were given a $600 credit line in exchange for charging a $500 travel club membership. The VISA program lead to the collapse of Best Bank last year as chargeoffs soared. The ‘ACE VISA’ carries a 19.92% APR and a $25 annual fee for any additional cards. For more information visit CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]).

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[1]: http://www.cardwatch.com/
[2]: /graphic/visa/page1.gif
[3]: /graphic/visa/page2.gif

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Octopus Card

Hongkong Bank’s ‘Mondex’ card is getting serious competition from a mass transportation smart card. The ‘Octopus’ smart card, used by more than five million Hong Kong residents to pay for train and bus fees, may soon be used to pay for goods at 7-Eleven stores throughout Hong Kong. According to the South China Morning Post, Creative Star, the issuer of the ‘Octopus’ smart card, has applied to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for permission to expand the card’s use to the convenience store chain. If the request is approved it may lead to widespread acceptance of ‘Octopus’ by merchants throughout Hong Kong. Creative Star has also applied to the monetary authority to become a deposit-taking company. Meanwhile Mondex has had a slow start in Hong Kong, with only 180,000 cardholders participating. The Hong Kong ‘Mondex’ program was launched in late 1997 with the prediction that 500,000 cards would be issued by the beginning of 1999. Creative Star is a joint venture of Hong Kong’s eight leading transport companies.

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ATM Servicing

American Mobile Satellite Corporation and ACS signed a four-year agreement to provide real-time wireless data communications to enhance the service and maintenance for ATM field service technicians. American Mobile will provide field service application software and wireless connections that will reduce ATM service call turnaround times, increase ATM uptime, and automatically update ATM software. When fully implemented in Oct., ACS field service technicians will carry ‘Windows CE’-based, hand-held PCs and wireless modems. Customer calls will be routed to ACS’s Dallas switch and carried over American Mobile’s ‘ARDIS’ wireless data network to field technicians. Upon call receipt, pertinent information including the customer name, ATM number and location and maintenance details will appear on the device screen. Responding wirelessly, the field technician acknowledges the call, responds and terminates the call through the ACS switch. In addition, ACS is using the ‘Windows CE’-based software for real-time inventory searches of its national parts database to determine availability and to update inventory. ACS services more than 7,000 ATMs in 28 states.

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