Ascendant SigCap

Hypercom Corporation today introduced Ascendent SigCap, a high-volume electronic signature and receipt capture, storage and retrieval software solution. Ascendent SigCap allows merchants and banks to electronically capture and store millions of signatures and receipts, and retrieve them for dispute resolution.

Ascendent SigCap operates independent of the transaction processing host. As such it can be added to an existing transaction processing environment, or to a merchant’s system, with minimum delay and integration complexity. Thus Ascendent SigCap allows electronic payment processors to add electronic receipt capture and retrieval quickly and easily without having to change existing legacy systems.

“The days of merchants storing boxes of receipts in the back office or spending hours sorting through them to find the receipt of a disputed transaction can quickly become ancient history,” said Theodore (Ted) F. Cole, Senior Vice President, Ascendent Software Products Group, Hypercom Corporation. “Ascendent SigCap for the first time allows financial institutions to support high-volume electronic receipt capture, reduce dispute resolution costs and speed response time to merchant queries. Most importantly for merchants, the system can drastically cut chargebacks.”

Built on the Ascendent Transaction Environment (ATE), SigCap captures signature and receipt data from the terminal and stores it in a database on the Ascendent SigCap server. If needed at a later date, the data can be accessed to view or retrieve an image of the signed receipt. The retrieved receipt can be printed, e-mailed, faxed or EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) transferred to the requesting institution.

SigCap provides the performance and reliability necessary to meet the stringent requirements inherent in bank and processing center 24-hour per day, seven day a week operations. It incorporates a comprehensive list of features including easy-to-use menus for retrieving, displaying and printing disputed transaction information; scalability ranging from small transaction volumes to millions per month; database independence and fast, fault-tolerant transaction processing with Hypercom’s Ascendent Transaction Environment.

Ascendent SigCap: How It Works

Ascendent SigCap incorporates a transaction processing engine that captures the signature and receipt data from the merchant point-of-sale (POS) terminal. Each receipt/signature is transmitted by the terminal and stored by SigCap as a self-contained record within the SigCap server database. This separation of signature and receipt data from the financial transaction eliminates the need for closely integrating the signature and receipt storage and retrieval system with the financial host, a major obstacle to building simple retrieval systems in the past.

The Ascendent SigCap server can be located either at the host or it can be remote. Signature/receipt data can be received from the terminal either in a batch format, or on a per transaction basis as part of the financial transaction communications. SigCap can be used as a stand-alone product or added as an option to Hypercom’s Ascendent software family of client/server payment processing and data transaction solutions including the Advanced Transaction Processor (ATP), Network Terminal System (NTS), Loyalty Management System (LMS) and RealPay and SET applications for e-commerce.

“Ascendent SigCap is the perfect end-to-end solution when combined with Hypercom’s powerful new T5000 POS terminal or ICE Peripheral,” Mr. Cole said.

Ascendent SigCap is available now through a Hypercom sales representative.

End-To-End Hypercom Solution: SigCap and ICE

When operated in conjunction with Hypercom’s T5000 Interactive Customer Equipment (ICE) POS terminal or ICE Peripheral, SigCap facilitates a complete electronic signature capture, receipt storage and retrieval system that eliminates the need for a paper copy of the receipt, and its related handling and retrieval. This provides a complete and efficient paperless environment that improves merchant efficiency and service, while reducing chargeback.

Hypercom’s ICE is a modular terminal concept that employs an interactive touch-screen to meet the increasing requirement for easy-to-operate customer-activated card acceptance devices.

The ICE represents an entirely new generation of interactive, consumer- operated card acceptance terminals which, when combined with Ascendent SigCap, deliver a highly-efficient and effective end-to-end solution in supporting electronic signature and receipt capture, storage and retrieval.

Ascendent by Hypercom

Ascendent transaction software is a comprehensive family of front-end client/server payment and data transaction processing software solutions and related professional services.

Ascendent software solutions most often serve as an adaptive layer for host legacy systems that allow financial transaction companies to quickly and easily add new functionality, features, programs and performance without disrupting or replacing existing mission-critical legacy systems.

“Ascendent software by Hypercom provides an adaptation layer for host legacy systems that allows financial transaction companies to quickly and easily support new functions and payment modes without replacing their existing transaction infrastructure investments,” Mr. Cole said. “Ascendent software exemplifies Hypercom’s continuing heritage of providing industry leadership with innovative solutions, and we are very pleased to announce this newest addition to Hypercom’s Ascendent family.”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Hypercom Corporation is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-functional point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, transaction software, 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 for 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 [][1].



CFS Downgrade

Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has downgraded its current ratings on outstanding CFS serviced ABS transactions from ‘A’  to ‘BB’  last week, affecting approximately $1.53 billion in securities outstanding as of the Sept. reporting date. Duff & Phelps says the projected cash flow available from, in this case, pools of previously defaulted credit card loans must meet standards of predictive validity and reliability commensurate with the ratings applied to the securities issued. It is DCR’s opinion that the reliability of cash flows from the pools of collateral backing CFS’ asset-backed transactions is no longer consistent with its initial ratings. By DCR’s estimate, as of the August  reporting date, one ABS transaction was behind scheduled collections by over $5.5 million dollars or 19.08%, while another ABS was also behind $1.78 million or 6.8%.  Other CFS ABS’ were also behind expectations by $1.8 million or 6.87% and by $2.1 million or 12.88%.  There has been recent allegations involving certain receivables sales to a company called DIMAT, Inc. and in particular that there may be links between DIMAT, Inc. and CFS or CFS shareholders. In response to these allegations, the CFS’ President and Chairman stated, according to Standard & Poor’s, that “there appears to be some basis for certain of these allegations.”


Advanced Positive Pay

Bankers attending CHEXPO 98 will have the opportunity to see IA Corp.’s latest image-based cash management products including CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay, a new application that allows banks to review critical check information and input information or decisions to combat check and draft fraud.

IA Corp. , a leading developer of archive and application software solutions for the financial services industry, will demonstrate the benefits of IA CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay at the Fourth Annual Check Technology Conference and Exposition.

IA’s CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay lets payable-through draft and check issuers remotely review electronic images of drafts or checks from multiple sites and upload to banks their payment decisions with ad-hoc data corrections.

“CHEXPO 98 focuses on check payment systems and the technologies that are moving the industry forward into the 21st Century. IA’s products address these issues and will provide attendees with innovative and strategic solutions that can help bankers gain a competitive edge,” said Terry Leger, vice president of marketing for IA Corp.

The Advanced Positive Pay application leverages IA’s CheckVision Archive product. IA’s CheckVision Archive is an advanced software solution for financial institutions to store and leverage transaction information, such as check images, MICR data and credit slips. CheckVision Archive is the keystone for the transition from current banking processes to national electronic banking operations.

IA Corporation

IA Corporation develops, markets, implements and supports application software solutions for financial services institutions. The Company’s software applications leverage the value of archived transaction information enabling financial institutions to generate additional revenues, obtain operational cost savings and extract important marketing data.

The Company currently sells two comprehensive software application frameworks, CheckVision and RemitVision, that are built upon the Company’s transaction archive and information management platform.

The company’s customers include leading organizations such as Comerica, Mellon Bank, Fleet Bank, Wachovia, Harris Bank and UMB Bank, NA.

IA is located at 1900 Powell St., Emeryville, CA 94608-1840, U.S. Telephone: (510) 450-7000. Fax: (510) 450-7099. Email: [][1]; Website: [][2]



Fast Growing CCS

In an issue hitting newstands last week, Inc. magazine lists Card Capture Services, Inc.(CCS) as the 43rd fastest growing private company in the country. A leading independent provider of ATMs nationwide, CCS is the highest ranking of seven Oregon companies on the list.

Of the listing, company president and CEO, Dave Grano comments, “This accomplishment is only possible thanks to the hard work of a truly dedicated staff, and the steadfast support we have received from people and businesses who have furthered our efforts to build a strong company.” Grano adds, “We are honored to be counted among such fine companies.”

Portland, Oregon based Card Capture Services, Inc.(CCS) offers turn-key ATM programs which include transaction processing, machine maintenance, customer service, accounting and reporting to a growing base of Automated Teller Machines(ATMs) nationwide. Founded in 1993, the company currently has 60+ employees and a nationwide network of 30 independently contracted dealers. For more information about CCS, visit the company’s web site at [][1].



Sears 3Q Slip

Sears, Roebuck and Co. reported third-quarter net income of $44 million compared with $353 million in the third quarter of 1997 due to a number of extraordinary items.  However the company experienced a 12.3% decline in credit card revenues. The decrease in credit revenues was attributable to reduced late fee income and a lower level of owned credit card receivables. In the third quarter of 1998, the domestic provision for uncollectible accounts was $281 million, a 19.2% decrease from $348 million in the third quarter of 1997.  The decrease in the provision is due to favorable trends in delinquency rates, charge-off experience and bankruptcies. Managed credit card receivable balances increased 0.4% from the third quarter of 1997 to $27.4 billion.


TNS Aquisition

RI-based GTECH Holdings said Friday that it is engaged in discussions regarding the possible acquisition of  VA-based Transaction Network Services, Inc..  No agreement has been reached and significant issues, including acquisition financing, remain unresolved.  GTECH Holdings Corporation, headquartered in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, is the world’s leading supplier of computerized on-line lottery products and services. Last week Transaction Network Services signed an agreement with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., to provide transaction transport services to Discover Financial Services for Discover Card and other bankcard credit authorizations.


Remote Cards

Israel-based OrdaCard announced Friday a new Internet service for remote photo ID cards production. The service is based on a new product developed by Clal Imaging Ltd. and the upgraded Indigo offset digital printer. The system allows remote live enrollment at customer sites anywhere throughout the world, secured transfer of data, photos and biometrics data over a low cost Internet connection to OrdaCard’s central printing location. OrdaCard will then print personalized data on plastic cards, Magnetic stripe cards and smart cards using an Indigo offset printer that works at speeds of up to 5,000 cards per hour, integrated into the modern smart card production line at OrdaCard.



CA-based Brentwood Medical Products and NY-based NOVUS Technologies announced Friday a strategic alliance that will introduce ‘CardioCard’. The ‘CardioCard’ is a  new product that stores digital electrocardiogram records on an optical memory card, and will be available in November. The ‘NOVUS CardioCard’ is a permanent, portable storage device that archives and communicates patient information and medical history through a network of physicians, clinics and hospitals. The ‘CardioCard’ is part of the NOVUS HealthPass family of optical card products and is capable of storing hundreds of ECG records, as well as a wide variety of information including: demographics, insurance, lab tests, prescriptions, medical images (x-rays, MRI, CT and ultrasound) and other clinical and administrative records. There was no indication Friday that the card would carry payment applications.



VISA International and the National Football League announced Friday marketing partnerships for Mexico and Japan that provide exclusivity in the consumer payment category through March 31, 1999.  With last week’s agreement, VISA will become the official and preferred payment card of the NFL in Mexico and Japan, and is granted exclusive rights to use the logos, names and colors of the NFL and its member clubs in the payment card category in those countries. Both Mexico and Japan have previously hosted pre-season NFL games on a regular basis. In April 1995, Visa U.S.A. and the NFL announced that VISA would be the official payment card of the NFL through March 31, 2000.


Comerica Themed ATMs

Wayne County, Comerica Bank and First Independence Bank announced that Michigan’s first theme ATMs have been installed at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.  The ATMs depict Michigan traditions, including prominent sports teams, and provide brochures, pamphlets and other promotional materials for Detroit attractions and events.

The ATMs and their locations are:

*  a Detroit Lions-theme ATM in the Davey terminal,

*  a Detroit Pistons ATM located near Airport Central, Wayne County’s Information Center

*  a Detroit Tigers ATM located near the entrance in the Smith terminal and

*  two “It’s a Great Time in Detroit” ATMs, one in the Berry international terminal and the other in the Davey terminal, beyond the security stations.

“Comerica and First Independence Bank have both been good corporate citizens in Wayne County for many years,” said Wayne County Executive Edward H. McNamara.  “These great sports teams reinforce a positive image of Detroit and Wayne County, and the colorful ATMs will add some flash and dazzle to the airport.”

“We believe these are the first ATMs in Michigan to display unique, colorful themes,” noted Richard G. Lyons, Jr., senior vice president, Electronic Banking and Marketplace Technology for Comerica.  “These ATMs showcase our community to the millions of travelers who pass through Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport each year.”

The new airport ATMs represent the first joint venture between Comerica and First Independence.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is the world’s 13th busiest airport with 31.6 million annual passengers and ranks sixth in the world in operations with nearly 1,500 landings and take-offs per day.

Comerica Bank is Michigan’s oldest bank and has the largest ATM network in the state.  The bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated, a diversified financial services provider headquartered in Detroit that operates banking subsidiaries in Michigan, Texas, California, and Florida. Comerica is the 24th largest bank holding company in the nation with assets totaling $35 billion.


Java Card Moves Forward

Java Card Forum yesterday announced significant contribution to the Java Card API standardisation process and its industry-specific extensions. The Java Card Forum is a consortium of Java Card licensees of Sun Microsystems Inc., including all of the major smart card manufacturers committed to the Java Card standard. The Forum has established a Strategic Partner program with industry-leading smart card issuers from three major industry sectors: Telecommunications, Banking/Finance and Information Technology. The aim of this program is to gather input on business and technical issues to formulate industry-specific extensions to the Java Card API.

Among the results of the latest series of Java Card Forum working meetings are descriptions of market requirements for each of these vertical industries. In the Telecommunications group, the specification for a GSM API has been defined and agreed upon between the Forum members and the Strategic Partners. This GSM API is being transferred to ETSI SMG9, the standardization body which is now officially represented in the Technical Committee of the Java Card Forum. This GSM API will complement the generic Java Card API. ETSI SMG9 is taking this GSM API into its process to make it a standard by the end of this year.

“The wireless telecom industry needs a more open platform to deliver new services in a timely fashion. It is the role of ETSI SMG9 to build the standard for this new GSM platform. SMG9 is pleased to take the Java Card Forum specifications as a major contribution for this standard,” said Mark GREEN, Chairman of the ETSI SMG9 API Subgroup.

Michel ROUX, Chairman of the Business Committee, declared: “We are very satisfied to see the involvement of the Strategic Partners in the Forum. Their active participation is the promise of rapid acceptance of solutions meeting their needs, particularly in terms of interoperability, security and productivity.”

After its significant contributions to the Java Card API 2.0 specification, the Java Card Forum has agreed with JavaSoft on the specification of the Java Card API 2.1. The main topics included in the Java Card API v2.1 are object sharing between applets, transient objects, cryptography API, file system management and byte code format.

Bertrand du CASTEL, Chairman of the Technical Committee said, “The technical cooperation between the Java Card Forum members and JavaSoft, driven by the needs of the Strategic Partners, proves to be very effective and is leading to an open standard based on a powerful and secure architecture.”

Christian GOIRE, President of the Forum declared, “The Java Card Forum allows the fast creation of the first standard allowing open, secure and interoperable solutions for smart cards. Java with such a wide acceptance between card manufacturers, card issuers and customers is definitely a major step for the smart card industry.”

Evidence of the success of this new technology will be given at Cartes 98 (October 27-29) through implementations of the Java Card API and of vertical applications in smart cards.

Founded in February 1997 by Gemplus and Schlumberger, the Java(TM) Card Forum aims at promoting the Java Card API as an industry standard platform for smart cards. Strongly endorsed by Sun Microsystems, Inc., creator of the Java language and the Java Card API, the Java Card Forum is opened to Java licencees and has been joined by major hardware and software companies.

The Java Card Forum holds regular meetings to allow the exchange of technical information between participants, and makes technical contribution to Sun Microsystems,Inc., for the Java Card API specification, as well as to standardization bodies such as ETSI.

To ensure the deployment of Java-based smart card applications, Strategic Partners from key markets (Banking/Finance, Telecommunications, Information Technology…) are invited to work with the Forum members regarding technical issues and possible industry-specific extensions for the Java Card specification.

The current members of the Java Card Forum are: Bull, CitiCorp, De La Rue, Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient, Hitachi, IBM, Inside Technologies, IPM, Keycorp, Motorola, Natwest, Oberthur, Orga, Schlumberger and Toshiba.

For more information see the Java Card Forum web site at .

The Java Card API was developed by JavaSoft, in collaboration with smart card manufacturers. It is based on Java and the Java Virtual Machine concept, a popular object-oriented software platform, which belongs to Sun.

ETSI SMG9 is responsible for the specification of the Integrated Circuit (IC) card / Mobile Equipment interface for GSM, DCS1800 and UMTS, and for monitoring developments relating to the use of IC cards outside of ETSI (European Telecom Standards Institute).



CoinBank Automated Systems, Inc.reached agreements with one national and three regional retailers to install ‘CoinBank’ machines on a trial basis. While the company did not disclose the retailers it did say two are NYSE companies and operate a combined total of 2,119 store locations throughout the U.S.. The parent company, Cash Technologies, Inc. develops and markets e-commerce kiosks, including advanced self-service coin counters and the multifunction ATM-X automated teller machines.  The Company also provides computerized cash processing services to banks, armored carriers, rapid transit agencies and other cash-intensive businesses.