CyberCash – Barclays

Barclays Merchant Services selected CyberCash’s secure payment technology Monday as the foundation of Britain’s first bank-owned Internet payment system. Barclays, which handles the credit and debit card purchases at over 125,000 shops and businesses across the UK, will offer ‘ePDQ’, a virtual version of Barclays Merchant Services’ PDQ point-of-sale credit/debit terminals used by UK businesses. The ‘ePDQ’ service is similar to CyberCash’s ‘CashRegister’ Internet payment service already available to merchants in the U.S..

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TSYS – HNC

Total System Services said Monday it has entered into a strategic alliance to form a marketing partnership with HNC Software to offer HNC’s suite of real-time, transaction-based predictive software solutions for credit, debit, and private-label cards for TSYS’ clients. HNC products covered by the agreement include: ProfitMax; ProfitMax Bankruptcy; Falcon; Falcon Debit; Falcon Select; and Falcon Retail.

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IVI-Debitek

IVI Checkmate announced this morning the acquisition of Debitek Holding Limited (Debitek) of Chattanooga, TN, was completed effective December 18th. IVI Checkmate acquired all of the outstanding stock of Debitek for $4.95 million in IVI Checkmate stock valued at $5.40 per share. The transaction will be accounted for as a pooling-of-interests. IVI Checkmate says it will integrate Debitek’s software libraries and hardware units with Ingenico’s smart card technology to form solutions that integrate the needs of closed systems and open payment systems.

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IVI Wireless Terminal

IVI Checkmate Corp. announced last week that its Elite 780 has received certification from the Royal Bank of Canada, and becomes the first fully portable long range wireless terminal available in Canada for both debit and credit applications.

The Elite 780 is one of several wireless terminals offered by IVI Checkmate, and is the first certified by the Royal Bank to accept debit transactions at the point-of-sale. With a built-in modem and thermal printer, the Elite 780 is a complete portable POS solution that is compact, lightweight and ideally suited to portable applications where the terminal is brought to the customer.

The Elite 780 will be targeted by the Royal Bank to mobile and service/hospitality businesses such as home repair businesses, delivery services, portable sales kiosks, taxi cabs and limousines, restaurants and petroleum full-service stations.

“This wireless terminal gives merchants the first portable payment solution that offers consumers the ability to choose between debit or credit whatever best suits their needs,” says Frank Moore, Vice-President, Merchant and Point of Sale Services, Royal Bank. “With the phenomenal growth of debit in this country, unmatched anywhere else in the world, it is important to combine both debit and credit functions into one portable payment terminal.”

With this new terminal, clients of Grocery Gateway will be able to do their shopping online at www.grocerygateway.com and then pay for their purchases with debit or credit when they are delivered to their door. “The Elite 780 terminal with debit capability means our clients can choose between paying with their debit card, the most commonly used form of payment for groceries in Canada, or credit,” says Bill DiNardo, president of Grocery Gateway, a Toronto-based internet grocery shopping company that offers home delivery to the Greater Toronto area. “This is a great step forward for e-commerce in Canada.”

The Elite 780 with debit card functionality has a distinct competitive advantage over other wireless terminals currently available in that IVI Checkmate’s mobile payment terminals have been designed to transmit transactions on Cantel AT&T’s Mobitex network. The Mobitex network is a wireless system that is dedicated to processing data instead of voice, which is the most common wireless signal. As a result, the payment transaction signal carried via Mobitex does not have to compete with voice signals, resulting in greater reliability.

Rogers Cantel has approximately 1.8 million wireless subscribers in Canada. Rogers Cantel Mobile Communications Inc. (TSE:RCM.B); (NYSE:RCN), an 81% owned subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc., owns and operates Canada’s largest wireless company. Rogers Cantel offers a full range of wireless communication services including voice, data and paging under the co-brand Cantel(R) AT&T(TM).

Royal Bank (ticker symbol: RY) is Canada’s premier global financial services group and a leading provider of personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, and wealth management services. As one of North America’s largest financial institutions, Royal Bank and its key subsidiaries Royal Trust, RBC Dominion Securities, RBC Insurance, and Royal Bank Action Direct have 60,000 employees who serve 10 million clients through more than 1,500 branches and offices in 36 countries.

IVI Checkmate Corp. also announced last week an order for its eN-Check 430 check reader from Chicago-based LaSalle Bank Group.

LaSalle, a subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank N.V., is installing the eN-Check 430 as part of its branch-wide implementation of a state-of-the-art teller system. The eN-Check 430 is a key component in LaSalle’s effort to improve customer service through automated accurate check reading and check fraud deterrence. LaSalle is the tenth financial institution this year to implement IVI Checkmate products in their bank branches.

Maureen Murphy, First Vice President & Manager, of LaSalle’s Retail Bank Group, commented, “The acceptance of the eN-Check 430 by our tellers has been nothing short of outstanding. We have exceeded our productivity goals for improved check acceptance by a wide margin. The MICR reading accuracy and `hand back/hold away` features of the eN-Check 430 have contributed to our tellers ability to service more customers in a shorter time period.”

Greg Lewis, President and CEO of IVI Checkmate’s U.S. Operations, said, “Banks are increasingly looking towards technology to improve customer service and reduce operating costs. LaSalle and many other banks have found immense value in the eN-Check 430’s superior reliability, outstanding read accuracy and industry leading fraud detection capabilities.”

The LaSalle Bank Group, which consists of LaSalle Bank FSB, LaSalle Bank N.A., and LaSalle National Bank, are subsidiaries of ABN AMRO Bank N.V., the 8th largest bank (by Tier 1 capital) in the world, with approximately $490 billion in assets and more than 1900 locations in 71 countries around the globe. ABN AMRO’s holdings in North America also include EAB, a commercial and retail banking subsidiary servicing the New York Metropolitan area, and Troy, Michigan-based Standard Federal Bank, which provides retail, mortgage and commercial banking services throughout Michigan.

IVI Checkmate is the third largest electronic payment solutions provider in North America. IVI Checkmate is a full-service solutions provider in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America serving the retail, financial, hospitality, banking, healthcare and transportation industries. With offices in the U.S. and Canada as well as established strategic alliances and worldwide partnerships, IVI Checkmate is well positioned to deliver leading products and global technologies to our customers.

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PayBase

NH-based Bottomline Technologies has launched ‘PayBase – Secure WebPay Series’. The ‘WebPay Series’ provides organizations with the ability to create electronic or paper-based payments, deliver electronic remittance advices, and access real-time transaction information from any desktop browser.The ‘WebPay Series’ features five distinct Internet-enabled functionalities that can be implemented separately or in tandem. The functions include: Electronic Payment Request; Check Payment Request; Message Delivery; Participant Administrator; and Query and Reporting.

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Phone Card Battle

PT-1 Communications, Inc., filed action in federal district court in New York City Friday charging rival IDT Corporation with trying to deceive or confuse customers by copying the distinctive trade dress of PT-1’s long-distance calling cards. A show-cause hearing on the injunction request has been scheduled for this morning. Specifically, PT-1 asserts that IDT copied the name, packaging, and trade dress of PT-1’s New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Georgia, California, and Maryland/ Washington, D.C. cards in marketing what IDT called its “New York Exclusive,” “New Jersey Exclusive,” “Connecticut Exclusive,” “Florida Exclusive,” “Texas Exclusive,” “Georgia Exclusive,” “California Exclusive,” and “Maryland/D.C. Exclusive” cards.In its filing, PT-1 asked the court for a restraining order that would prohibit IDT from manufacturing, distributing, selling, or advertising nine of its pre-paid long-distance cards.

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Swatch Pay

Schlumberger and fashion watch maker, Swatch, have launched a pilot that enables bus users in Tampere, Finland to use their watches as a contactless smart card to pay for bus fares. Travelers in Tampere can now buy Swatch watches which operate in exactly the same way as the contactless Schlumberger ‘Easypass’  ticketing card used by the city’s bus network. Schlumberger and Swatch are already working on the second generation of e-watches which will have their own operating system. Schlumberger’s ‘FastOS’ operating system is compatible with the International Airline Transport Association specification for airline travel and with EMV. Swatch indicated Friday the new technology could offer the future capability of paying for goods and services. Finland has launched ‘Matkahoulto’, a nationwide program for e-ticketing for buses, trains and subways.

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Interpose Client

InteliData Technologies Corp. announced Friday that Boston-based USTrust has selected InteliData’s ‘Interpose’ software to implement a complete in-house online banking and bill payment solution via the Internet. Using ‘Interpose’, USTrust customers will be able to access real-time account information and pay bills electronically using standard HTML browsers via USTrust’s Boston based Internet Web site. Customers will also be able to access real time bank account information and pay bills via popular personal financial management software.

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VISA CEPS

The CEPS Group (Europay International, Visa Espana/SERMEPA, Visa International and ZKA) announced last week that specifications to enable the world’s electronic purse programs to work together will be published on 30 December. The development of the Common Electronic Purse Specifications (CEPS) is a major step forward in creating an open, global standard for the electronic purse and will help to further the growth of smart cards world- wide.

The CEPS Group involved in the development of the Specifications will make them available to security labs for review. Once the evaluation period is complete on January 31, 1999, a final version of the Specifications will be made public. As most of the electronic purse developments are taking place in Europe, input from European institutions, including ECBS (European Committee for Banking Standards), has been instrumental in establishing the Specifications. Consequently, it is anticipated that the first programs to migrate will be in Europe where the introduction of the euro is an additional driver behind the need for a common standard. Once implemented, CEPS will enable cardholders to use their electronic purse cards both at home and abroad.

Organisations from 22 countries, representing more than 90 per cent of the world’s electronic purse cards have agreed to implement the CEPS standard. These include Visa International, Visa Espana/SERMEPA, ZKA, Europay International, Proton World International, SSB in Italy, NETS in Singapore, the Swedish banks supporting the ‘Cash’ purse scheme, and Europay Austria. Groupement des Cartes Bancaires is also committed to this initiative and to becoming an active member of the CEPS Group.

CEPS defines the requirements needed by an organisation to implement a globally interoperable electronic purse program. It requires compatibility with the EMV Specifications for chip cards and defines the card application, the card-to- terminal interface, the terminal application for point-of-sale and load transactions, data elements and recommended message formats for transaction processing. It also provides functional requirements for the various electronic purse scheme participants and uses public key cryptography for enhanced security.

The effort to create a common standard for the electronic purse has gained considerable momentum since the public announcement in June that the world’s largest purse operators had created a working group to develop industry- wide, open specifications. CEPS is the realisation of these efforts.

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