VF & Oracle

VeriFone, the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard, announced Thursday the completed integration of Oracle Payment Server with VeriFone’s vPOS (virtual point of sale) merchant payment software. Merchants like the Future Shop, the largest retailer of computers and consumer electronic products in Canada, now have a simple and secure commerce-enabled Internet storefront solution that is able to process live payment transactions directly with the merchant’s financial institution.

“Moving to the Internet was a natural progression for our retail business,” said Gary Patterson, chief financial officer at Future Shop. “With the integration of Oracle Payment Server with VeriFone’s vPOS payment software, we are now able to truly conduct business over the Internet and have a secure link to process transactions with our bank.”

“The completion of this integration exemplifies how VeriFone and Oracle are working together to help customers payment-enable their electronic commerce and other business applications,” said Andy Felong, vice president of the Internet Applications Division at Oracle. “Customers can now use this integrated payment solution to easily and cost-effectively establish a secure means to conduct payment transactions over the Internet.”

“Oracle Payment Server combined with VeriFone’s vPOS merchant payment software allows merchants to leverage the business opportunities the Internet offers,” said Tom Kilcoyne, general manager, Software Division, VeriFone, Inc. “vPOS software brings Oracle Payment Server customers SET and SSL-based payment processing allowing them to conduct online business in a secured manner.”

The integrated solution of Oracle’s Payment Server and VeriFone’s vPOS 4.0 software is generally available.

VeriFone, Inc.

VeriFone, Inc. (), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than six million electronic payment systems, which are used in over 100 countries.


UTG in the U.K.

UTG Communications International Inc. announced Thursday that it has established a distribution network for telecommunication cards in the United Kingdom through a joint venture with 8 individual distributors with an existing customer base of approximately 1000 customers and gross sales volume of approximately $750,000 per month.

The Company and the 8 distributors are partners in StarPoint Card Services Ltd., located in London, UK.  UTG holds 51% of StarPoint’s equity and UTG’s distribution partners hold the remaining 49%.  Under the joint venture agreement, UTG has a three-year call option to acquire its partners’ 49% interest for cash and/or UTG common stock.

In exchange for their 49% interest, UTG’s distribution partners have contributed their existing businesses and customer bases to StarPoint and agreed to work exclusively for StarPoint for a minimum of 24 months.  UTG will contribute cash in the amount of up to $700,000 to the joint venture.

StarPoint intends to distribute its own telephone card and other card services currently under development.  In addition, StarPoint plans to increase the number of its points of sale in the United Kingdom and to expand into other geographic areas if attractive opportunities arise.

Peter Holmes, who has been appointed Managing Director of StarPoint, said “I am very excited about StarPoint’s potential resulting from the combination of the business of our distribution partners and UTG.  Together, we have created an efficient Organization for the distribution of telecommunication cards and related services in the UK.  The StarPoint joint venture allows UTG to take advantage of an existing customer base and established customer relationships and should make it easier for UTG to exploit the tremendous opportunities which, I believe, the UK market offers.”

UTG believes that StarPoint should benefit from an increased margin on the resale of the card products previously sold by the 8 distributors as a result of StarPoint’s stronger buying power.  The Company expects that StarPoint will have a positive impact on its revenues and gross profit.


Goodbye E-Bill Gates

Oracle Corp. and EDS announced Thursday at the the ‘BAI Retail Delivery ’98 Show’ that they are working together to evaluate new Oracle technologies to support billers and banking partners that sign up for EDS ‘Interactive Billing Services’, electronic bill presentation and payment. Oracle’s e-commerce bill and present technologies can deliver bills through a biller’s own branded Web site. Alternatively, these technologies can route bills for presentment to any number of bill consolidators or consumer service providers such as TransPoint or Quicken.com. The plan is for billers and consolidators using Oracle technology to be able to interface directly with EDS Interactive Billing Services, enabling bill presentation through the EDS service. Billers and consolidators are expected to be able to use EDS Interactive Billing Services for bill payment and settlement. Oracle and EDS are also in discussions to cooperatively develop related electronic commerce solutions based on the Open Financial Exchange standard.


Diners Charity

Fourteen years ago Diner’s Club became the first charge card to offer its cardholders the opportunity to redeem points earned through ‘Club Rewards’ to charitable organizations. The travel industry’s first card-based mileage rewards program continues the tradition by designating yesterday a range of diverse charities where proceeds directly benefit those in need through points donated by ‘Diners Club’ cardholders. Cardholders may donate points in increments of 4,500 points as a $30 donation to one of these favorite causes: Junior Achievement; Literacy Volunteers of America; Variety Clubs International; Second Harvest Feed; and Dr. Martin Luther King’s Jr. Club 13. Diners Club also offers cardholders earning more than 100,000 points, ‘Personalized Rewards’ with the opportunity to contribute points to personally selected charities.


First of Omaha Sales Rep

First of Omaha Merchant Processing announced this week the appointment of a new regional sales representative and the opening of the eleventh regional sales office.

Kathleen Butler received her bachelors degree in Business Administration and Economics from High Point University, High Point, North Carolina in 1987; graduating Cum Laude.

Butler is married to Brad Butler, Prosecuting Attorney, 19th Judicial District and lives in Rogers, Arkansas with their child, age seven.  Butler is involved with the Junior Auxiliary of Rogers-Bentonville, Poplar House Clinic, Head Start-Rogers.  She sits on the board of the Children’s Safety Center in Springdale, Arkansas and holds the positions of Treasurer for Benton County Republican Women and the Benton County Republican Committee.

Kathleen brings to the organization eleven years of credit card processing experience.  Butler draws her experience from positions held with First of Omaha Merchant Processing, Barclay, Yarborough and Evans, CPA’s, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School and KMB Business Services.  Butler’s appointment to First of Omaha Merchant Processing will open a state-based sales office to serve the Arkansas communities more efficiently.

First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a premier processor of domestic and international bankcard transactions for direct marketers, retailers, associations/franchise groups and banks.  Known for its superior customer service, First of Omaha specializes in providing the latest in card processing technology, including an interchange management system which helps clients receive one of the lowest effective interchange rates in the industry.  A wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha, First of Omaha is one of the few remaining in-house bank processors.  First National Bank of Omaha, founded in 1863, is the 32nd oldest nationally chartered bank in existence.


GECF & CommerceNet

The Global eCommerce Forum, an industry organization led by EDS, Hewlett-Packard Company and VeriFone, announced Thursday its alliance with the electronic commerce consortium CommerceNet to promote the development and deployment of open global electronic commerce solutions in the financial services industry. GeCF and CommerceNet will help shape the direction and drive the dynamic changes in electronic commerce technology for the financial services industry. Together, they will facilitate and foster the open exchange of information and ideas among more than 20 global technology providers and financial services institution members.


Free PaymentNet

PaymentNet, Inc. said yesterday it is gearing-up for a promotion that will help Web merchants extend the momentum of this breakthrough holiday selling season into 1999 by offering free payment processing services during the first quarter of next year. Any merchant who signs up for PaymentNet services during the month of December will receive free payment processing from the moment they begin processing transactions through PaymentNet until Mar. 31.


M&I Deal

M&I Data Services announced Thursday that it has signed a multi-year processing contract with the Advantage Network. The EFD Services Division will drive the network’s ATMs, route and switch transaction activity, plus issue debit cards for Advantage Network members. The EFD Services division of M&I Data Services processes more than 50 million dial and dedicated line transactions each month, supports more than 7,000 ATMs, and has issued more than 10 million ATM and debit cards.


First Union ATMs

At a press conference held today, First Union Corporation, the nation’s sixth largest bank holding company, announced a partnership agreement with Card Capture Services (CCS). Through the partnership, CCS will initially place and manage 500 ATMs for First Union Corp. The agreement is the largest of its kind to date, and marks a new trend in bank ATM strategies.![][1]

As part of the agreement, First Union assumes the hardware cost and will provide the cash for the ATMs in retail locations nationally. CCS will continue to manage maintenance, processing, media, cash, and the relationship with the retail locations. The machines will retain CCSExpress signage. CCS and First Union will share transaction revenues. The announcement coincided with BAI’s Retail Delivery show, the banking industry’s largest conference, held in Las Vegas.

According to Al Sale, Executive Vice President of First Union, “CCS offered a cost effective way for First Union to quickly expand an ATM network without the corresponding infrastructure costs typically associated with ATM management. Although First Union has similar ATM deployment capabilities, in this instance CCS offered us a very efficient speed-to-market opportunity. All future transactions will be negotiated based upon the strengths of each partner.”

Outsourcing more profitable

A recent study by Dove & Associates reveals that, on average, independent ATM programs enjoy a cost advantage over bank programs. According to the study, the average cost for a bank to operate an off-premise ATM is $1,090 per month. For large banks, this number climbs to $1,180. The average cost per month for an independent ATM company is $703. Recognizing this advantage, in late 1997 CCS designed an ATM bank placement and management program modeled after its successful merchant-owned ATM program.

How CCS works with First Union

CCS works with First Union to develop and execute ATM strategies that expand brand presence and increase ATM profitability. Through CCS, First Union is able to tap nearly 5,000 existing ATMs in retail locations, including national and retail chains, a dedicated ATM sales force, site research capability, 24-hour customer service and monitoring and cash management.

ATM outsourcing seminar Thursday, December 4

ATMs in non-bank, or off-premise, locations are the fastest growing and most competitive segment of the ATM industry. Consumer demand for convenience, profit potential and banks’ national expansion strategies are driving off-premise growth. Formerly competitors for off-premise placements, banks and independent companies such as CCS and First Union are now forming unique ATM partnerships.

Dave Grano, president and CEO of Card Capture Services will discuss the economics of off-premise deployment as part of a panel of experts at the Retail Delivery conference on Thursday, December 3 at 3:15 p.m.

About First Union

First Union Corp. is a leading provider of financial services to more than 16 million customers throughout the East Coast and the nation. First Union has the fourth largest ATM network in the nation with more than 3,700 ATMs, is the nation’s sixth largest bank holding company, based on assets of $235 billion as of September 30, 1998, and ranks among the top 15 financial services companies in the world, based on market capitalization of $63 billion. The company operates full-service banking offices in twelve states and Washington, D.C.

About CCS

With nearly 5,000 ATMs, Portland, Oregon-based CCS is a leader in off-premise ATM placement and management. To date, the company has become the outsource partner for 33 banks of all sizes. CCS recently opened offices in Canada and Mexico. For more information about CCS, visit booth # 4728 at BAI’s Retail Delivery ’98 conference, or the company’s web site at [www.CCSExpress.com][2].

[1]: /graphic/firstunion/firstunion.jpg
[2]: http://www.ccsexpress.com


BellSouth PrePaid Cards

BellSouth Long Distance introduced its prepaid phone card Thursday. The card is available at any of the 300 BellSouth Mobility and BellSouth Mobility DCS stores located throughout the BellSouth nine-state region. BellSouth is also planning to have the card available early next year in retail outlets such as convenience stores, chain stores and service stations both nationally and across its nine-state territory.The card is available in $10, $20 and $30 denominations.


Missed Opportunities

Deluxe Corp. released a study yesterday showing that 43% of consumers say financial services companies do not know their personal financial needs very well. Nearly 60% of consumers surveyed said the offers they receive are irrelevant to their financial needs. Deluxe also found that local financial services companies have an advantage. A majority of consumers, 62%, said they’re more likely to accept offers from their local financial services company than from a national credit card company or other financial services provider. Furthermore, 67% of respondents said they were more likely to accept offers if they were presented in person. Deluxe also found that potentially good customers aren’t even targeted:  39% of respondents whose household income exceeds $50,000 said they don’t receive any mail offers from their financial services company.


Iris ATMs

NCR and Sensar, Inc. confirmed yesterday that three more banks in Europe have signed up to pilot ATMs that utilize iris scan access. The three new banks join Nationwide Building Society of Britain which has run a trial for the past six months at a branch in Swindon, England. The three banks are: Banco Ambrosiano Veneto of Italy, Den norske Bank of Norway and Akbank in Turkey. NCR says there have been more than 1,000 participants in the trial at Nationwide’s Swindon branch. The company released a recent survey yesterday at the BAI Retail Delivery ’98 which shows that 91% would choose iris identification in future above either PINs or signatures; 94% would recommend iris identification to friends and family; and 94% were either comfortable or very comfortable using the new system. With 266 identification characteristics, the iris is the human body’s most unique physical structure.  Every person on the planet, including identical twins, have different irises.  Even a person’s own le ft and right iris are completely different.  Unlike other measurable human features in the face, the patterns in the human iris do not change over time.