Unifleet, the vehicle management segment of the UK’s United Utilities, signed a contract Friday for more than 3,600 ‘Overdrive’ fuel cards. Under terms of the deal, the cards will be owned by Unifleet and will carry the ‘Overdrive’ symbol accepted at all ‘Overdrive’ merchant sites. The company said it made the decision not to use an oil company card on the basis of coverage. Although ‘Overdrive’s’ cost-per-card was not the lowest price, the deal was driven by additional valued-added services and the quality of reports, which came at no extra cost. Five companies competed for the contract.Details
UT-based IC One, IBM and Intellect launched a smart card program yesterday to help raise funds for schools and children’s hospitals. The “IC Kids Card” program test pilot, utilizing the ‘Intellect 8515’ terminal, involves 35 retailers and several hundred cardholders in Cache County, Utah. An additional 1700 ‘IC Kids Cards’ are now being distributed. The ‘IC Kids Card’ has a stored value and a loyalty purse application. The stored value purse allows cardholders to load funds on the card, which can be used to make purchases at participating merchant locations. The loyalty purse holds value called ‘EduCents’, which the cardholder can use to pay for qualified educational expenses at participating schools. Participating merchants contribute a pre-determined percentage of every purchase made when the ‘IC Kids Card’ is presented. The Intellect terminal located in the merchant check-out lane tracks the amount of the purchase and calculates, using its embedded processor, the amount the merchant will contribute to the program. For each purchase made using the ‘IC Kids Card’, a portion of the merchant contribution goes to the school(s) of the cardholder’s choice. An additional portion of the contribution is reserved to benefit the cardholder, and can be redeemed for any qualified educational purpose.Details
Steven M. Wright, chief operating officer and co-founder of Portland, Oregon-based Card Capture Services, Inc. (CCS), and Frank J. Wilem, Jr., executive vice president of Triton Systems, Inc., were elected to the board of directors of Herndon, Virginia-based Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA) at its quarterly meeting June 17, announced Dr. Ernest Burdette, president of Triton Systems. CCS is the largest independent automated teller machine (ATM) provider in the U.S. and one of Triton’s largest distributors; Triton is the nation’s leading off-premise ATM manufacturer.
Off-premise ATMs increased a dramatic 31 percent in 1997; they now account for more than 40 percent of the 170,000 ATMs in the U.S. According to Kurt Helwig, executive director of EFTA, the addition of Wright and Wilem to the board of directors reflects the increasing influence and importance of independent ATM owners and manufacturers in the industry. “The independently- owned, off-site ATM industry will play a pivotal role in determining how the electronic payments business will develop,” said Helwig. “Both Wilem and Wright spearheaded development of the off-premise ATM market. Their expertise and experience will make them invaluable to the board.”
! CCS took a lead role in developing the National Independent ATM Services Association (NIASA), a forum for representing the independent ATM industry’s concerns. NIASA merged with EFTA, the leading inter-industry association dedicated to the development of electronic banking and commerce, in March of this year to form an expanded trade association. Wilem was previously president and Wright was a founding director of NIASA, now known as the Independent ATM Owners Council, an independent Council of EFTA.
Wright and Wilem will continue to represent the interests of independent ATM owners on the EFTA board. Wright co-founded Card Capture Services with Jeffrey Jetton in 1993. He was previously sales manager for Portland, Oregon- based Cardservice of Portland. Prior to that, Wright held senior management positions with the U.S. Bank of Oregon. “EFTA members and the independently owned ATM industry share a common vision of meeting consumer demand for additional and more convenient access to cash. We will work to ensure that it is done responsibly,” said Wright.
Wilem, a co-founder of Triton Systems, has served as executive vice president and director of the company since 1979. Prior to founding the company, Wilem was engineering manager at Computer Sciences Corporation. According to Wilem, his primary role on the EFTA board will be to represent the interests of Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) with regard to electronic funds transfer issues in the off-premise market. “Our experience as the largest manufacturer of ATMs for the off-premise market gives us a deep understanding of how vendors, financial institutions and government agencies can work together to meet the challenges of this rapidly growing industry segment,” Wilem said.
About Triton Systems
Triton Systems is the nation’s leading manufacturer of cash-dispensing ATMs for off-premise locations, the fastest growing segment of the ATM market. As one of the “Big Three” manufacturers of ATMs and ATM management software, it was named the 30th fastest growing company in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine in its October, 1997 “Inc. 500” ranking of privately-held companies.
Triton’s product line includes the 9600 series cash-dispensing ATMs, Triton Connect Software Package for accessing and controlling ATMs from a centralized location, ATMjr Demonstrators and Card Activation System for financial institutions, miniATM Scrip Terminal, and the new VendMate sidecar, which accepts cash and dispenses vending items such as tickets, certificates, and phone cards.
Triton ATMs are in use in over 17,000 locations in the U.S., with recent expansion occurring or planned throughout the world. The company is headquartered in Long Beach, Mississippi. For more information, visit the Triton Systems website at [http://www.tritonsystemsinc.com] or contact Mary Edith Dressel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-367-7191.
About Card Capture Services
Card Capture Services, Inc. (CCS) was incorporated in 1993 in Portland, Oregon. CCS offers turnkey ATM programs providing transaction processing, machine maintenance, customer service, accounting and reporting to a growing base of merchant owned and operated Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) nationwide. By tapping non-traditional and unsaturated markets, CCS is leading the wave of independent ATM deployments nationally. The company has 50 employees and a nationwide network of 30 independently contracted dealers.
Disney opened the doors to its new “ultimate interactive adventure” yesterday at the Walt Disney World Resort in FL, with American Express providing a key entry element. The opening of ‘DisneyQuest’ in a 100,000-square-foot, five-story facility offers four zones of adventure, namely: explore, score, create and replay. ‘DisneyQuest’ utilizes an American Express stored-value card, which is charged upon entering and is rechargeable inside. The “DisneyQuest Card” can be initially purchased at one of several entry options ranging from $7-$20. The card is then used at any of the attractions or games in four zones. Play units and card balances can be checked throughout the facility with special card readers. Beyond the payment function the ‘DisneyQuest Card’ can keep track of attendance and monitor attraction usage. American Express is providing the cards and system while Compaq provided the server computer for the STV system.Details
Citibank unveiled a significant upgrade this week to its Direct Access Internet banking service, which will dramatically expand the bank’s reach into homes across the United States. Specifically, Citibank’s Direct Access service is now available to the millions of Americans who use America Online and Microsoft Internet Explorer to access the Internet; the service also features a new “reduced graphics option” to speed transaction time for customers.
As part of its commitment to introduce more consumers to the benefits of Internet banking, Citibank will launch a massive nationwide marketing campaign for Direct Access beginning in New York City on June 17. For a limited time, the bank will offer $25 cash to every new customer who uses the new Direct Access to complete at least two bill payment transactions by September 30, 1998.(1)
“Citibank is now able to deliver secure Internet banking,” said Stephen J. Liguori, Citibank’s Head of U.S. Branch Banking. “There are 26 million households on the Internet, and I want a million of them to be Direct Access customers by year-end. I’m confident this latest upgrade and expanded accessibility will get us there. We’re planning to win these new customers from our competition – consider it a challenge to the rest of the banking industry.”
Revolutionizing the Way Americans Bank
Recent improvements in online banking services, combined with consumers’ growing familiarity with computer technology, have slowly begun to change the way Americans are conducting their banking, with recent trends showing that online banking is gaining in popularity. According to a recent report by Jupiter Communications, the number of American households using online banking jumped 78 percent in 1997, to 4.8 million, and that number is expected to reach 18 million households by the year 2002.
“For years Citibank has been at the leading edge in creating and delivering the kinds of electronic banking services that truly improve peoples lives,” continued Mr. Liguori. “For example, ATMs didn’t catch on with the public until Citibank introduced a machine here in New York that was actually consumer-friendly and safe. Getting people to bank online and over the Internet is just the latest frontier. Now with this newest version of Direct Access, we’ve arrived at a point where our customers can manage their personal finances anywhere, anyway and anytime they want to.”
Citibank has offered online banking services to its customers in the U.S. for more than 15 years, but only recently began offering Internet banking. Customers can use the Web to quickly and conveniently access their bank accounts, pay bills to virtually anyone in the U.S., transfer funds and place orders to buy and sell securities through Citicorp Investment Services(2). The bank’s Internet service was initially available only through Netscape’s Navigator Web browser.
Citibank Named No. 1 Online Banking Service in Recent Survey
This month, SmartMoney magazine(3) named Citibank “the best online bank” in the country, placing it above Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, BankBoston, Wells Fargo and First Union, among others. In ranking Citibank first among 15 of the nation’s top consumer banks, SmartMoney credited Direct Access for being the best in terms of security, pricing, level of service and access to account information. This is the second straight time SmartMoney has rated Citibank number one for online banking.
Citibank Blue Team Distributes Direct Access Starter Kits Nationwide
To launch the latest version of Direct Access, celebrate the SmartMoney award, and reintroduce the concept of simple, safe and secure online banking to millions of potential new customers across the U.S., Citibank is planning a major, nationwide customer sign-up campaign. New customers will be encouraged to use Direct Access directly through Citibank’s Web site, at .
Additionally, for those customers not yet on the Internet, the bank will distribute 250,000 Direct Access Starter Kits, with Web browser software, in its major retail markets around the country.
In New York for example, 100 members of a special Citibank “Blue Team” will gather at the bank’s headquarters on the morning of June 17 for a massive pep rally. After receiving their assignments, the Blue Team will hit the streets of Manhattan en masse and on bicycles, with a goal of distributing 40,000 Direct Access Starter Kits, to show once and for all that Citibank offers customers the best features and value available in Internet banking. After the event concludes, Citibank will donate all Blue Team bicycles to the city’s Police Athletic League.
Each Direct Access Starter Kit will include a CD-ROM with Netscape’s Navigator Web browser software, start-up directions for using Citibank online banking, a $25 cash-back offer, plus a selection of Elton John music tracks and video clips, including the classic hit songs Bennie and the Jets, Crocodile Rock and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Citibank is sponsoring the 1998 Elton John World Tour, and Elton John is appearing in a number of television ads for the bank.
Still Setting the Standard for Providing Secure Online Financial Services
Citibank offers the only free Internet banking service available today that lets customers perform banking transactions, pay bills, obtain stock quotes and other financial information through Citibank, and, for customers of Citicorp Investment Services, place orders to buy and sell stocks, bonds and mutual funds. In addition, Citibank customers can use online banking to begin the process of applying for a checking or savings account.
Citibank continues to provide a complete range of standard online banking services as well, like the ability to view account information in real time, transfer funds between linked accounts and send/receive electronic messages with customer service staff. It also allows customers to coordinate multiple accounts, including Citibank checking and savings accounts and mortgages, Citibank credit card accounts, and Citicorp Investment Services brokerage accounts.
In terms of online security, Citibank uses 128-bit encryption, the highest level of security readily available, to help protect customer information. Citibank’s Direct Access online banking service is available at no extra charge to customers living anywhere in the United States. Customers can learn more by visiting Citibank’s web site, at . The CD-ROM starter kits, including the Elton John music and video clips, can also be ordered free by calling 1-800-374-9700.
Citibank is a subsidiary of Citicorp, a global financial services organization serving consumers, businesses, governments and financial institutions through more than 3,000 locations in 100 countries and territories.
(1) Certain restrictions apply.
(2) Securities transactions are through Citicorp Investment Services, member NASD/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Citibank. Investment products are not obligations of or guaranteed by Citibank or Citicorp Investment Services, are not bank deposits or FDIC Insured and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.
(3) SmartMoney magazine is a joint venture of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Hearst Communications, Inc.Details
The fourth largest provider of merchant bankcard processing services was formed yesterday as NOVA Corp. and PMT Services announced plans to merge. The merger agreement is structured as a tax-free pooling of interests and is valued at $1.23 billion or $24.27 per share of NOVA. With the combined portfolio of NOVA and PMT producing an annualized charge volume of more than $40 billion, the merger will move NOVA ahead of BA Merchant Services. The three largest merchant processors are FDC, NPC and Paymentech. The combined company, with 350,000 accounts, will become the new market leader in providing payment processing services to small to medium sized merchants. Under terms of Thursday’s deal, PMT will become a wholly owned subsidiary of NOVA, and Richardson Roberts, Chairman and CEO of PMT will remain CEO of PMT and will serve as Vice Chairman of the NOVA Board of Directors. Both firms have extensive M&A expertise, with more than 130 transactions in the last 6 years. The combined company intends to leverage that expertise. Yesterday’s deal is expected to close by early October. According to company reports the two companies had combined revenues of $620 million last year.Details
King Marketing, Inc of Aurora, IL was charged this week by the Illinois Attorney General with operating a phony credit card scam. The firm allegedly promised consumers so-called “guaranteed” and “pre-approved” major credit cards. The company solicited victims by placing ads in newspapers around the country offering major credit cards with a $2,500 limit to consumers who called their 800 number. Consumers who called were told that a “guaranteed” major credit card would be mailed to them for an advance fee ranging from $79 to $98. Defendants then asked for bank account information and subsequently deducted the fees from consumers’ accounts. Consumers never received a major credit card. Instead, defendants sent consumers a “Credit Plus” catalog with a letter explaining that consumers must pay another fee to obtain a charge card to purchase catalog items only.Details
ATCALL Inc. has created a prepaid phone card to promote the new Gillette MACH3 razor to be introduced early this summer.
ATCALL has produced prepaid phone cards with a design of the new MACH3 razor on the front. Gillette Sales Representatives will distribute the phone cards at the General Merchandise Health and Beauty Care Conference this month. The remainder of the phone cards may be used in subsequent customer mail-outs.
While Gillette also manufactures batteries, writing instruments and toothbrushes, the company is best known for it’s shaving products. The triple-blade MACH3 razor will be available at retail locations this July. The new razor is expected to further strengthen Gillette’s worldwide leadership position in blades and razors.
Headquartered in Vienna,VA, ATCALL, , offers a complete line of telecommunications products and services including residential and commercial long distance, calling cards and prepaid phone cards.
ATCALL has significantly expanded its presence in the retail prepaid phone card market by establishing distribution channels with mass merchandisers, supermarkets and drug store chains.
ATCALL is a member of various telecommunications industry organizations including the International Telecard Association (ITA) and the Telecommunications Resellers Association (TRA).
ATCALL Inc. Partners With LET’S TALK Cellular & Wireless to Sell Prepaid Phone Cards
ATCALL Inc. announced Thursday that LET’S TALK Cellular & Wireless, a nationwide retailer of cellular and high-tech communications products, will begin selling ATCALL’s prepaid phone cards.
LET’S TALK will launch a program selling ATCALL’s standard 20, 40 and 80 minute prepaid phone cards. ATCALL is currently in the process of designing a customized prepaid phone card with the LET’S TALK logo on the card. ATCALL offers customized private-label phone cards to retailers at no additional cost.
Based out of Miami, FL, LET’S TALK is the largest retailer specializing in wireless communication and advanced communication products.
ATCALL’s prepaid phone cards will be sold in all LET’S TALK locations nationwide. “We are extremely excited about our new partnership with LET’S TALK,” said Nic Negretti, ATCALL’s Eastern Regional Sales Manager, adding, “there could be no better partnership than that of these two dynamic companies both specializing in the telecommunications field.”
Headquartered in Vienna, ATCALL offers a complete line of telecommunications products and services including residential and commercial long distance, calling cards and prepaid phone cards.
ATCALL has significantly expanded its presence in the retail prepaid phone card market by establishing distribution channels with mass merchandisers, supermarkets and drug store chains.
ATCALL is a member of various telecommunications industry organizations including the International Telecard Association (ITA) and the Telecommunications Resellers Association (TRA).Details
In an effort to relieve the accounting burden related to chargeback disputes for the hospitality industry, three companies joined together yesterday to offer an automated resolution to the problem. Paymentech, Global Card Services and Checkmate Electronics are working together to offer GCS’ ‘Resolution’. Resolution is an automated chargeback/retrieval request solution that enables Paymentech to electronically respond to such requests on behalf of the hotel or resort. When Paymentech receives a retrieval request, the processor interfaces with the GCS folio and transaction database, captures the needed information, and automatically submits the item to the credit card issuing bank. In most cases, the issue is resolved with no inconvenience to hotel accounting staff. GCS will also offer Checkmate’s ‘eN-Touch 1000’ guest activated terminal as a POS option for the ‘Resolution’ package. Hotel clients can select an entry-level application or more sophisticated options such as fully integrating ‘Resolution’ into the property management system.Details
American moms are more popular than Santa Claus according to the HONOR ATM network. The company reported Thursday that the day before Mother’s Day 1998 topped Christmas Eve 1997 for the all-time record number of ATM and POS transactions processed in a 24-hour period. HONOR processed a record 3,477,462 transactions for May 9, beating the previous one-day record of 3,430,643 transactions set on Dec. 24, 1997. HONOR also set the all-time monthly transaction record in May with 68,487,043 network transactions. The company offered no projections on this weekend’s Father’s Day.Details
Betting Inc. said Thursday its business plan is to facilitate PERFECT wagering transactions between the players and the gaming operators.
A PERFECT wager is a personal encrypted transaction that is originating from a remote site such as a home or and which is encrypted office or car, and is either ATM card or value-added smart card authenticated. These are real-time electronic cash transactions for the gaming operator.
Wagers will originate from competing landline, wireless or computer equipment.
These PERFECT devices will be given away as with the Shop While You Wait application or will be aggressively mass marketed to the consumer by the phone or utility industry as a method to pay bills from home without writing checks, or to purchase without giving a credit card to an operator.
It is the contention of Betting Inc. that many competing types of PERFECT equipment will flood into the marketplace, such as the ET&T Pay Master (web site:hpos.com) and that consumers will pay bills, send donations, purchase or wager with these devices.
The business of Betting Inc. is to provide a service interface between the bank host processing centers such as ET&T who are processing these incoming PERFECT wagers by smart card, or ATM card and the gaming operators who need to acknowledge receipt of payment to the host processing centers. Betting Inc. is paid a fee per transaction for this service. No accounts receivable.
Since the PERFECT wager is bank to bank, then instant government taxation of the player’s winnings being sent by the gaming operator’s bank to the player’s bank is a reality.
The massive marketing forces of industries pushing to save substantial costs by cutting back on receiving bill payment by checks from their banked customers, closing walk-in bill payment locations for their non-banked customers who will now use PERFECT equipment and value-added smart cards from their homes to pay bills, combined with instant taxation of PERFECT wagering winnings in developed countries, will drive PERFECT equipment to give aways and will allow the average consumer PERFECT wagering on a global basis by 2001.
The mission of Betting Inc. is to establish a global PERFECT wagering presence and to service the first multibillion-dollar pool international PERFECT game occurring on the same day between participating countries.Details
U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. announced Thursday that a number of automobile towing companies have begun utilizing the TRANZ Enabler, U.S. Wireless Data’s proprietary wireless credit card processing solution. The TRANZ Enabler solution will be employed at remote locations where automobile towing jobs are carried out.
USWDA sees the towing industry as one that could rapidly accelerate deployment of its TRANZ ENABLER solution. The New York City area has recently mandated that all towing companies must offer a credit card payment option to those whose automobiles are towed. Other areas throughout the U.S. have adopted similar mandates to those in New York, and other areas are expected to follow suit shortly.
Currently, if a tow truck driver accepts a credit card and uses the traditional “knucklebuster” card imprint machine, then the towing company must pay an additional fee, or a surcharge, to the processor of the transaction. These surcharges can dramatically impact the economics of the tow company. By using the U.S. Wireless Data TRANZ Enabler, the tow truck driver can swipe the credit card on site and receive real time approval from the processor of the transaction, and therefore avoid the “knucklebuster” surcharges.
U.S. Wireless Data’s wireless credit card processing solutions are currently in use by a number of towing companies throughout the United States, including: all boro towing in Brooklyn, NY, Lombardo’s Towing in Hempstead, NY, San Diego Towing in San Diego, CA, Ramirez Towing in Suisun, CA, and Finest Towing & Autobody in Brooklyn, NY.
Norman Teitler, Director of the New York Metropolitan Towing Association, commented, “The towing industry has struggled with the inability to offer payment flexibility without the tow companies incurring significant added expenses. With new mandates requiring tow companies to accept credit cards, the tow companies are forced to absorb the added processing surcharges.
“The TRANZ Enabler wireless transaction processing solution provides an excellent alternative. The ability to accept credit cards out in the field provides customers with added flexibility of forms of payment, satisfies new mandates and allows the tow companies to avoid processing surcharges. The industry can now offer a better service and actually reduce the overall credit card transactions expenses.”
USWDA’s proprietary enabling technology, TRANZ Enabler, converts a merchant’s existing dial-up TRANZ VeriFone credit card terminal into a high-speed wireless terminal. It provides merchants with a faster and more cost efficient way to transact business. The wireless transaction takes 3 to 5 seconds versus 11 to 20 seconds with a dial-up service.
Going wireless means the merchant no longer needs a dedicated or shared telephone line to carry transaction traffic, thereby eliminating delays, busy signals and the cost to install or pay for monthly telephone service. And because it’s wireless, the merchant can transact business anywhere the customer wishes to buy, instead of being confined to a service counter with a telephone line.
U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. has developed, tested and is now delivering new proprietary products, programs and standards for the transaction processing and credit card industry which utilizes wireless cellular digital packet data (CDPD) networks. USWDA delivers the fastest and most cost-effective transaction processing solution to retail merchants in the United States today. The Company has joint marketing initiatives in place with GTE Wireless and Bell Atlantic Mobile.Details