Multiple applications are the key to smart card growth says a new report by MA-based Ovum, Inc. Ovum anticipates that the number of multi-application smart cards will increase from 7% of cards shipped in 1999 to 30% by 2004. The firm also estimates that by 2004 17% of all smart card interface devices will be able to process multiple smart card applications, up from 1% in 1999.Details
Providian officially released its portfolio numbers yesterday for the first quarter to CardData (www.carddata.com): outstandings $12,651,000,000; volume $3,900,000,000; gross accounts 12,300,000; active accounts 6,900,000; and cards 12,500,000. The figures include acquired portfolios.Details
Hypercom has acquired for cash the payment security business of ICL’s Financial Terminals division in Sweden. The point-of-sale business will be operated by Hypercom as a subsidiary that will immediately market its products and services under the name Hypercom Financial Terminals AB. In the past 24 months, Hypercom has opened four offices and appointed 22 distributors to serve current and potential customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Details
VISA U.S.A. announced this morning it will make a $250,000 donation to be divided between the American Red Cross and the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter to support tornado relief efforts in the Midwest and Red Cross services in the Bay Area. Atlanta-based Cox Communications also announced this morning it is donating 5,000 pre-paid 30-minute telephone calling cards to victims of Monday’s tornadoes in Oklahoma City via the Red Cross. The insurance industry said this morning that insurance costs could easily exceed $500 million as more than 2,000 homes were destroyed and 8,000 damaged when the tornadoes swept across the Midwest states this week. The median sale price of homes in the Oklahoma City area, where the losses were concentrated, is $77,000. Meanwhile a number of other firms have joined the relief efforts. Yesterday afternoon priceline.com announced it is making 1,000 hotel room nights, mostly through Marriott, available free of charge to relief effort volunteers. Bank One Oklahoma also announced two disaster loan programs on Thursday, designed to quickly provide individuals and small business with new loan funds for disaster-related expenses. Fannie Mae’s says its disaster relief provisions give lenders the discretion to help borrowers in several ways, including suspending mortgage payments for up to three months, reducing the payments for up to 18 months, or in more special cases, creating longer loan payback plans. Phillips Petroleum contributed $100,000 to a special relief fund established by the American Red Cross for the tornado victims. Miller Brewing Company interrupted production yesterday to bottle 1,000 cases of drinking water. And SCI Oklahoma Funeral Services is donating funeral arrangements including casket and burial services for victims of the tornados.Details
CO-based Navigant International, Inc. has selected Paymentech to issue its new corporate card under the MasterCard platform. Through Paymentech, Navigant will offer an Paymentech’s Internet reporting product, ‘PaymentNet’, designed specifically for commercial credit cards. The Internet-based tool will be available through Navigant’s corporate web site and allows registered users to access and manage corporate card information from anywhere.Details
At the BankNet InvestNet VI conference Edify Corporation, a global leader providing Internet and voice e-Commerce solutions, announced that its customer Dollar Bank, Pittsburgh, PA, intends to be the first financial institution to use Edify’s Electronic Banking Systems to pilot TransPoint’s Internet Bill Delivery and Payment solution. Dollar Bank has licensed Edify’s recently-introduced Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment suite and will use that as the foundation for presenting internal and external bills to its customers, providing them with a comprehensive Web portal for all their financial transactions.
“Bills are great content that will help financial institutions to generate repeat traffic to their portal sites,” said William Soward, vice president business development at Edify. “Our goal is to help our customers maximize the number of bills they present by connecting into bill consolidators like TransPoint as well as directly into a bank’s internal billing systems.”
According to a recent study by PSI Global, 57 percent of the leading billing industries (insurance, communications, credit card, lending and utilities) already offer or have investigated EBPP options.
“By implementing EBPP within our existing Edify Electronic Banking System, we are achieving cost advantages while at the same time offering a unique ‘financial portal’ to our customers,” said James Pratt, Director of Information Technology at Dollar Bank, Pittsburgh, PA.
The Tower Group has estimated that financial institutions incur a cost of $.30 to $.50 to send and process their internal bills. In total, banks incur costs of $2.9 billion in check processing and internal billing. Edify’s EBPP solution directly impacts this expenditure by considerably reducing the cost per transaction.
The EBPP solution is part of Edify’s EBS (Electronic Banking System), Release 3 of which began shipping to financial institutions in April 1999.
Added Lewis Levin, president and chief executive officer of TransPoint, “This announcement is further evidence that momentum around bill presentment is starting to build. Together with partners such as Edify and financial institutions like Dollar Bank we are putting the infrastructure in place to support the incredible demand we anticipate for our e-bills technology.”
Edify leads in consumer and business banking portal solutions, with more than 100 licensed banking customers worldwide, including Chase Manhattan Bank and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited. Edify has also provided its Electronic Banking System to leading Internet-only banks such as Net.B@nk. Edify is in the forefront of capitalizing on electronic commerce opportunities, with the recent delivery of its groundbreaking Electronic Banking System Release 3 Business and Consumer Banking Suites. The Consumer Banking Suite features the industry’s first comprehensive Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment solution. The Business Banking Suite (BBS) is designed with a complete collection of application modules to anchor a Web portal for a bank’s business customers. BBS is a vehicle for financial institutions to manage their entire customer relationships, including cash management, loans, 401(k) and value-added services, by integrating marketing, sales management, account administration and customer service with Web, phone and fax-based delivery.
Edify, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is a global leader in providing Internet and voice e-Commerce portal solutions that help companies intelligently manage customer relationships across the enterprise. The company’s software offers organizations the means to automate, integrate, and personalize interactions with customers and employees through multiple channels, yielding stronger, more profitable relationships. The company’s software has been licensed to more than 1250 organizations worldwide. Edify software is distributed directly and through leading solutions providers, application partners, and distributors around the world. With more than 470 employees, Edify Corporation is headquartered in Santa Clara, California with international headquarters in London, England. Additional information about Edify may be obtained by calling 408-982-2000 (USA) or 44-181-263-2710 (Europe, Middle East, Africa) or via the World Wide Web at .
About Dollar Bank
Dollar Bank, Federal Savings Bank is a $3.1 billion bank founded in 1855 and headquartered in Pittsburgh with over 50 branch offices and loan centers located in Western Pennsylvania and Northern Ohio. Dollar Bank is an innovative leader in electronic banking; in 1975 it became the second bank in the country to offer telephone banking and in March 1997, the sixteenth bank to have true Internet Banking. In December 1998, Dollar introduced an Internet Cash Management system to its corporate customers. For more information about Dollar Bank, visit .Details
Sprint announced earlier this week it is lowering domestic and international calling rates on its lineup of ‘Spree’ prepaid foncards. The new rates provide nine to 42 additional minutes for domestic calling, depending on the card denomination, and significantly lower international long-distance prepaid card calling, reducing per-minute charges by up to 50%. For domestic card calls rates will drop from 32 cents per minute to 25 cents per minute.Details
CheckFree and Cox Communications, Inc., one of the nation’s leading broadband communications companies, this week announced an agreement that will soon provide nearly 3.8 million Cox customers access to online electronic billing and payment (EBP) through a central Web site of their choice.
With this new agreement, the first of its kind in the cable industry, Cox Communications customers will be able to receive their monthly cable, local and long-distance telephone statement electronically on their personal computers and pay it with a click of the mouse.
Starting September 1st, consumers will be able to send their Cox Communications payments electronically by visiting the CheckFree E-Bill(SM) Web site (https://www.mybills.com/ebill ) or the many other financial service providers’ Web sites that offer EBP.
“With this agreement, Cox demonstrates innovation in meeting customer needs and delivering leading technology among providers of communications services,” said Scott Hatfield, vice president and chief information officer for Cox Communications. “As we continue to advance our long-standing strategy to be a full-service telecommunications provider to businesses and residences, we want to ensure that we offer customers the highest level of service and convenience.”
As part of its high commitment to customer service, Cox Communications will install the automated customer care component offered by CheckFree E-Bill’s third-generation version, launched last December.
According to Matt Lewis, senior vice president of Electronic Commerce Product Management and Marketing for CheckFree, “Electronic bill delivery turns the typical monthly bill into another powerful customer communications instrument. Cox will be able to deliver customer-specific information in each e-bill, establishing an interactive communication with their customers.”
With the Cox Communications signing, CheckFree now has contracts with 49 of the nation’s top 100 billers, including Ameren (Union Electric), American Electric Power, AT&T, Avista Utilities (Washington Water Power), BellSouth, Boston Edison, Chase Credit Card & Chase Mortgage, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Consumers’ Energy, Countrywide Home Loans Inc., CUNA Mutual Group, Florida Power & Light, GPU Energy, GTE, HomeSide Lending, Illinois Power, International Billing Services, MCI WorldCom, Nevada Power, Northeast Utilities (Connecticut Light & Power and Western Massachusetts Electrical Company), Northern Illinois Gas (Nicor), Public Service Company of New Mexico, PGE, Small Business Administration, Southern California Edison, Southern Co., and Total System Services Inc. (TSYS).
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications, Inc. is among the nation’s leading broadband communications companies, serving 3.8 million customers. As a full service provider of telecommunications products, Cox offers an array of services, including cable television under the Cox Cable brand; local and long distance telephone services under the Cox Digital Telephone brand; high speed Internet access via Cox@Home; advanced digital video programming services under the Cox Digital TV brand; and commercial voice and data services via Cox Business Services. Cox is an equity owner of Sprint PCS, the nation’s first national wireless personal communications service (PCS); and also is an investor in numerous programming networks, including Discovery Channel.
Founded in 1981, CheckFree, the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corp., is the leading provider of electronic commerce services, software and related products for more than 2.8 million consumers, 1,000 businesses and 850 financial institutions. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable its customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure transactions on the Internet.Details
As expected Equifax’s board of directors elected Thomas Chapman yesterday to be chairman of the board, succeeding C.B. “Jack” Rogers, who is retiring. Mr. Chapman will continue to serve as president and CEO of Equifax. Mr. Rogers will continue as chairman of the executive committee until his 70th birthday in October.Details