Touch-Screen Failures

Touch-screen kiosks that don’t work are costing retailers billions of dollars annually.

An audience of major retailers at the KioskCom ’97 conference at the Regency Hotel today heard from a pioneer in the development of touch-screen kiosk technology that an estimated $4.5 billion is lost annually by retailers through poorly conceived and malfunctioning kiosks.

“More often than not when the customer approaches a kiosk it’s either not working or the desired information can’t be found,” explained John Glitsos, founder and chief executive officer of First Wave Inc. “The result is a frustrated customer and a lost sale.”

Glitsos told the group the retail industry is entering the early phases of marketing automation, not unlike the early days of desktop publishing.

“Interactive touch-screen kiosks that are being pieced together with software originally designed for slide shows produce kiosks that act like a slide show instead of a knowledgeable automated sales and marketing agent,” he added. “The goal should be to develop content for this new medium that gives the shopper a fast, fun way to find products and make informed purchase decisions that often lead to the customer deciding to purchase a higher margin item.”

He noted, kiosks that work well are on the sales floor seven days a week 24 hours a day ready to help customers with consistent, accurate information leading to a very high return on investment through increased customer satisfaction and sales.

“The key to maximizing return on investment and customer satisfaction,” Glitsos said, “is in careful planning of system development and information content, the use of proven kiosk technology and the appropriate location and promotion of the kiosk in the store.”

Glitsos established the human interface standard for interactive touch-screen technology with the release of his firm’s Information Rainbow kiosk development system in 1994. First Wave leads a kiosk alliance group supported by Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), MicroAge Inc. (NASDAQ:MICA), WavePhore Inc. (NASDAQ:WAVO), Mitsubishi, MicroTouch Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:MTSI), Okidata and Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE).

First Wave, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is a developer and manufacturer of interactive multi-media touch-screen kiosk applications. Its Information Rainbow software is used to dispense information and gather marketing data through kiosks at retail stores, corporate lobbies, museums, hospitals and other public places.

Customers include large organizations such as Osco Drug, MicroAge, the City of Bridgeport, Honeywell, David Weekley Homes, Arizona Public Service, the U.S. District Courts and Samaritan Health Systems as well as many small, and medium-size businesses.

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EDS ReadySET

EDS, HP and VeriFone jointly announced a new, global service to handle Internet credit card processing for financial institutions of any size. ‘ReadySET’ allows for the processing of Internet payment transactions by EDS, who will validate, decrypt and report the institution’s Internet transaction activity using VeriFone’s ‘vGATE Internet Gateway’ software, HP’s ‘Enterprise Business Servers’ and the SET protocol. The new service eliminates the up-front capital investment and the ongoing maintenance and staffing associated with establishing an Internet payment gateway. The new EDS service also integrates with the bank’s existing credit card settlement processing systems to enable banks to provide complete processing records to their customers. VeriFone estimated the cost of ‘ReadySET’ to be a fraction of what it would cost to build an in-house Internet gateway.

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Paymentech Seeks MBE

Mail Boxes Etc. has named Paymentech as its recommended provider for credit card processing for its U.S. franchise locations. MBE’s total domestic credit card sales volume is about $93 million. As of last Saturday Paymentech had signed up 1,400 MBE locations. MBE has a total of 3,400 centers in 58 countries. Besides credit card processing Paymentech will also provide ‘SCAN’ check verification with free check collection as well as on-line debit card acceptance.

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Key2Your$ MS Money

KeyCorp and Microsoft announced today an agreement that gives KeyBank customers on-line banking access to Microsoft(R)- Money, the award winning, personal financial management program. As part of this agreement, KeyCorp will be offering a special co-branded edition of Money, the Microsoft Money 98 KeyBank Edition, to customers enrolling in online banking or billpay services for the first time.

This agreement is Key’s third in a series of online banking services being introduced this year under the company’s Key2Your$ (Key to Your Money) brand. Additional announcements regarding Key’s Internet offerings will be made later this year.

Microsoft is the developer of many of the most popular PC software programs in use today, including Microsoft Money, a personal financial management program with several million users. KeyCorp’s banking unit — KeyBank — operates offices from Maine to Alaska and Key’s related financial- services companies have a presence in 46 U.S. states.

Through Microsoft Money, KeyBank customers can access account balances and transaction information directly and with a high degree of security. Basic transactions — such as cleared checks, deposits, and ATM withdrawals — are automatically recorded into the Microsoft Money account register, eliminating the time-consuming task of manual record-keeping. It automatically balances customer accounts with bank records. Customers can also transfer funds between accounts, send e-mail to Key and link to Key’s Web site located at http://www.keybank.com.

Using a bill payment feature with Microsoft Money, customers can also electronically initiate payments to third parties, like utilities, credit card companies and retailers. Payments can be scheduled for the future or set up to pay automatically on a regular basis. Reporting capabilities allow the customer to track cash flow and forecast future spending.

This service is now available to KeyBank clients using Microsoft Money 97 or 98. The agreement also allows Key to market its banking services to other Microsoft Money users.

“With Microsoft Money, Key builds on its initiatives to increase consumer- banking convenience by delivering a very popular, and powerful, on-line banking tool,” said Patrick J. Swanick, Key’s Vice Chairman for Distribution Management. “It’s an exciting addition to the suite of online banking services that we are developing for our clients.”

“We are pleased that KeyBank now offers its customers online banking and bill paying services with Microsoft Money,” said Lewis Levin, vice president of the desktop finance division at Microsoft. “This association is another example of Microsoft’s commitment to providing superior technological support to financial institutions, so that they, in turn, can provide their customers with the latest in online financial services.”

Key provides a toll-free telephone number to handle enrollment and inquiries from Microsoft Money users interested in using its online capabilities. The Key2Your$ Customer Service number is 800-539-1539.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp () is one of the nation’s largest financial services companies, and headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Through three principal lines of business — corporate banking, consumer finance, and community banking — the company’s operating units provide retail and wholesale banking, investment, financing and money management services. Key companies have a presence in 46 states, and operate a nationwide network of KeyCenters, 1,900 ATMs, and four telebanking centers (1-800-KEY2YOU).

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Phone Co Need to Capture Card Payments

“Advances in smart card technology now enable telephone companies including British Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefonica to compete directly with banks for new payment markets.” This is one conclusion from a new study, “Smart Card Opportunities for Phone Card Providers,” to be released by Killen & Associates in December.

The study also concludes that “Increased competition among card issuers both within and without the telephone industry dictates that telephone companies now must apply smart cards to capture these new payment markets if they wish to grow their businesses.”

To date, phone card issuers primarily have helped customers pay for telephone calls. Many issuers have executed co-branding strategies to deepen their penetration of the calling card market. Some, including Bell Canada, GTE, and US West, plan to expand the calling card market by offering “global” acceptance of their phone cards.

“The next step for the phone card industry is to apply smart cards to replace cash, checks, and to some extent, even credit cards,” said Michael Killen, president of the company. “Several categories of payments present excellent opportunities for phone card usage. Low-value point of sale purchases are an ideal target market for phone cards. Other payment types well-suited for smart phone cards are business non-production payments, business and consumer passive payments, and Internet payments.”

The recommendation that telephone companies pursue new payment markets will not please issuers of VISA and MasterCard bank cards or the banks. They would prefer that telephone companies limit their financial services offerings to phone card payments.

Additional details about this study are available at the company’s Web site, . For additional information contact Karl Duffy at tel. 650/617-6130, FAX 650/617-6140, or e-mail info@killen.com.

Killen & Associates is a leading research and consulting firm that helps telecommunications, financial service, and information technology suppliers to seize emerging business opportunities.

The company’s studies and seminars enable high-level executives and their teams to identify business opportunities created by advances in computer and telecommunications technology, changing customer needs, and the competitive landscape.

Killen & Associates is the only research company that provides a series of half-hour video interviews with each study. Business dignitaries who have shared their insights in such interviews include the Minister of PTT, Germany; the head of Oftel, UK; the former chairman of AT&T, and the leaders of Europay, S.W.I.F.T., Mondex, VISA France, and 400 other companies.

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G&D Russia

Giesecke & Devrient and a Russian state-owned banknote printing company have opened a smart card production facility in Perm, Russia. Goznak PPFG’s Znak/Perm subsidiary expects to initially manufacture eight million prepaid telephone cards following the delivery of G&D equipment and management this week. The joint venture, G&D-ZnakCard Z.A.O., also expects to produce smart cards for GSM mobile phone applications and for electronic payment systems with a annual production capacity of 10 million cards. Znak/Perm has 80 branches throughout Russia distributing driving licenses, ID documents and insurance policies.

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HONOR West

After closing four network purchases in the Midwest and Southwestern regions yesterday HONOR announced formation of a new subsidiary, HONOR Technologies West. Yesterday’s acquisition closing of BankMate, will add 850 member institutions and five million cardholder. HONOR will now process about 90 million transactions per month. HONOR West will use the green HONOR emblem.

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Online Mortgages Get Boost

Intuit Launches QuickenMortgage On The Internet

Intuit Inc. announced today it has launched QuickenMortgage (at ), a web service offering consumers one-stop shopping for great mortgages from a set of the nation’s leading lenders.

“By comparison shopping online, consumers can save time and money and make a more informed mortgage decision,” said Bill Harris, Intuit executive vice president. “At Intuit, we strive to make financial decisions easier, by providing objective information and interactive tools on all aspects of household and family finances. In this case, we have created a new channel for mortgage lenders to communicate directly with their customers and prospects.”

QuickenMortgage’s unique Pre-qualification Interview helps consumers make apples-to-apples comparisons of different mortgage loan products, customized to their particular property and financial situation. Potential home buyers and customers seeking to refinance can pre-qualify in minutes with one of the six charter lenders, and even start the mortgage application process online.

Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, Countrywide Home Loans, HomeSide Lending, North American Mortgage Company, PNC Mortgage, and Principal Residential Mortgage, six of the nation’s top 25 lenders, are offering loans electronically via QuickenMortgage. These lenders, and others to be added in the future, will offer a wide range of products, including conventional and jumbo loans with fixed or adjustable rates, or balloon payment loans, directly to customers visiting the QuickenMortgage site. Also available are Veteran’s Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.

For consumers who are not yet ready to get a loan, QuickenMortgage offers three interactive tools:

* “How Much House Can You Afford?” calculates the loan amount a consumer can afford and how to afford an even bigger loan.

* “Should You Refinance Today?” assesses a homeowner’s current mortgage and suggests whether refinancing makes sense, based on the current lending rates.

* “What Are Today’s Rates?” displays the current average rates available for different types of loans in each state.

Consumers can also use QuickenMortgage to get real estate and mortgage news from independent services such as Inman News and Mortgage Market Information Services. Expert advice is also available as well as a comprehensive directory of web resources featuring the best home and mortgage web sites.

QuickenMortgage is free to all users and can be accessed from the Internet at or directly from their Quicken 98 software. QuickenMortgage is also available through Excite’s Business & Investing Channel and Intuit’s Quicken.com.

Harris said that in the future QuickenMortgage will provide consumers the ability to complete a full application online, lock in rates, obtain a credit report, and use “best-fit” analysis tools that will allow visitors to calculate the impact of various mortgage options on their current financial situation.

“Chase is excited to be a Charter Lender for Intuit’s QuickenMortgage,” said Gregg Gorman, executive vice president of Chase Manhattan Mortgage. “Blending Chase’s strength in the mortgage industry with Intuit’s experience in software development will create a powerful combination that can benefit all of our mutual customers.”

“Intuit’s approach is consistent with Countrywide’s consumer direct strategy to provide easy direct access to home loan products,” said Stan Kurland, president of Countrywide Home Loans. “We feel Intuit’s expertise in personal financial software combined with Countrywide’s mortgage processing efficiency creates a great opportunity to serve the home loan needs of more consumers.”

“HomeSide Lending and Intuit are both proven leaders in the financial marketplace,” said Mark Johnson, Homeside’s executive vice president of Production. “Working together on QuickenMortgage, we believe we will provide new and exciting alternatives for consumers seeking to fulfill their dreams of homeownership.”

“The timing of North American Mortgage Company’s alliance with Intuit will allow us to showcase our expanded line of mortgage products, which was brought about by the recent merger of Dime Savings Bank and North American Mortgage,” explained Fred Koons, chairman and chief executive officer of North American Mortgage Company — now the eighth-largest residential lender. “QuickenMortgage will provide consumers with a convenient, cost-effective means to obtain one of our many mortgage products for the purchase or refinance of a home,” added Koons.

“Participation on Quicken Mortgage is a natural next step for PNC Mortgage,” said Rick Lovett, executive vice president of PNC Mortgage. “PNC Mortgage has extensive experience offering mortgages to customers anywhere in the United States through innovative and convenient channels that converge at its national telemarketing center. The Intuit QuickenMortgage web site is very customer friendly and we are pleased to be a charter participant.”

“Intuit is at the forefront of consumer direct software and marketing,” said Paul Bognanno, president and CEO of Principal Residential Mortgage, Inc. “Combining their skills with Principal Residential’s mortgage expertise will give online consumers a real edge when it comes to mortgage transactions. We expect the consumer to benefit tremendously from this powerful combination.”

“Enabling consumers is our top priority at Inman News Features,” said Kris Inman, executive vice president, Inman News Features. “Intuit is completely devoted to that mission.”

“We are looking forward to providing our information to Quicken’s Internet visitors to ease many of their concerns surrounding the complexity of mortgage loans,” said Jim De Both, president of Mortgage Market Information Services. “We take pride in our role as an advocate for consumer mortgage information. QuickenMortgage users will be able to use this information to make a more educated home financing decision.”

Intuit Inc., a financial software and Web-based services company, develops and markets Quicken, the leading personal finance software; TurboTax, the best-selling tax preparation software; and QuickBooks, the most popular small- business accounting software. Intuit’s Quicken.com Web site () offers a complete set of personal finance news, information and tools, including the leading mutual fund and insurance sites. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses.

Countrywide and Intuit Team Up to Provide On-Line Mortgages

Today, Countrywide Home Loans, the nation’s largest independent mortgage lender, and Intuit, Inc., a financial software and Web-based services company, began a new channel of originations for the home loan industry. Consumers now have on-line access to mortgage information, rates and applications through Intuit’s QuickenMortgage(TM) Web site, in which Countrywide is a charter lender. The Web site is available via the Quicken Financial Network, , or directly through Quicken 98 software.

With the mortgage information provided by Countrywide, and the easy-to-use interactive tools, consumers are able to electronically obtain mortgage advice, current rates, pre-qualify for loans and apply for loans on-line. A full range of mortgage products are available, including fixed-rate and adjustable, conventional, government and jumbo loans. Low downpayment programs with more flexible guidelines are also offered.

“This is a bold new step that provides the consumer with direct access to home loan products,” said Cameron King, executive vice president of Countrywide’s Electronic Commerce Division. “Countrywide and Intuit are two companies that have pioneered a creative and efficient new channel so more consumers can obtain the benefits of home ownership, economically. The future of the Countrywide/Intuit relationship will make applying and obtaining home loans as easy as home banking on a personal computer. Both companies believe the future will incorporate all aspects of home financing, including quick approvals and the automation of the closing process.”

Intuit’s Quicken Financial Network offers a complete set of personal finance news, information and tools, including the leading mutual fund and insurance sites. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses.

Founded in 1969, Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., produces, purchases, sells and services loans for single-family homes. The company is headquartered in Calabasas, California, and has more than 400 locations across the country.

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CCS Strikes

OR-based Card Capture Services was selected from a pool of fifteen ATM providers to provide more than 300 ATMs for AMF Bowling Centers nationally. The installation of the ‘CCSExpress ATMs’ is expected to be completed by the end of this year. After the AMF installation, CCS’ ATM portfolio will include 3,200 units. Meanwhile Card Capture was named the 12th fastest growing private company in the Portland metro area due to its 414% revenue growth between 1994 and 1996.

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