GE launched a new corporate credit card rewards program Thursday that rewards business travelers for smarter spending. Unlike other rewards programs based solely on charge volume the new ‘GE Capital Gains’ program awards bonus airline points for making-lower cost flight connections, using preferred rental car vendors, staying at preferred hotels and otherwise sticking to corporate travel policy. The program has two components: an airline points program for high-volume travelers and a core program for all travelers. The airline points program rewards cardholders with one point for dollar spent within policy, and awards bonus points for cost-savings actions. The core program rewards employees who travel less frequently by enabling them to earn valuable coupons and upgrade vouchers for cost-savings actions such as staying at a preferred hotel for a negotiated rate. Yesterday GE said State Street Corporation is the first business to sign up for the program and will implement the program later this fall. MasterCard is working with GE Capital Services on development and operational support.Details
Teleglobe today unveiled a new prepaid calling card program that gives a wide range of resellers the option of adding global calling to the products they sell.
Teleglobe made the announcement during the Telecom Reseller Opportunities ’97 Conference and Exposition, currently underway at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York, where Teleglobe also is an exhibitor.
Teleglobe’s prepaid cards are unique in that they allow resellers to deliver a global calling service that is completely branded by the distributing entity. The prepaid cards not only carry the brand of the reseller, but when callers use the card they hear custom-branded messages identifying the network with the retailer’s name
. “This is a unique selling opportunity for a wide range of resellers,” said Andrew Burroughs, vice president of global marketing and product development for Teleglobe International. “Businesses like hotels and travel agencies now can offer instant calling card services as a complement to their primary businesses, boosting their brand recognition among customers.”
The Teleglobe prepaid calling card also offers resellers the flexibility to provide the card in any unit denomination they select. Other highlights include:
— Complete back-office support, from customer service to billing and fraud protection;
— Operator services available in 30 languages;
— Worldwide calling from any telephone in 60 countries, representing over 90 percent of card traffic
In addition to resellers, the card also is available to telecommunications services providers and to corporations, which increasingly use prepaid cards as a convenient way to control calling costs of travelling employees
“The $3 billion prepaid card market is the latest area where Teleglobe is applying its ‘You Go First’ marketing philosophy. Whether with our global carrier, corporate or reseller clientele, we let our partners’ brands benefit from the superiority and economy of North America’s second largest intercontinental telecommunications network,” said Arlene Trent, director of consumer services for Teleglobe International
Teleglobe International Corporation is the global carrier subsidiary of Teleglobe Inc., a world leader in the field of intercontinental telecommunications that operates a network of cables and satellites reaching nearly 240 countries and territories. Teleglobe is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the exchanges in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, under the symbol “TGO.”Details
Europay said yesterday its expansion in Eastern Europe will be significant over the next five years as they expect to grow from three million to forty million cardholders. At mid-year Europay issued more than 700,000 cards in Hungary and expects to reach 80% penetration in that market within three years. Europay has 160 million cards-in-force throughout Europe with its hottest market in southwest Europe where 5.2 million cards are in circulation with 4.4 million now issued in Spain. Meanwhile VISA indicated yesterday that India is one of its fastest growing markets in the Asia Pacific region as mid-year figures showed a 45% gain in dollar volume and a 55% gain in transaction volume. Visa has 21 issuers in India and more than 800,000 cardholders.Details
Two semiconductor firms are joining together to create the world’s smallest and most inexpensive fingerprint capture and verification system. Thomson-CSF Semiconducteur Specifiques and Oxford Micro Devices announced yesterday this new system would potentially be smaller than a credit card-sized calculator or smart card. The key to reduced size is the marriage of the TCS’ ‘FingerChip’ thermal fingerprint sensor chip and Oxford’s ‘A236 Video Digital Signal Processor’ chip. Under current solutions an external CPU is needed with the ‘FingerChip’. Oxford’s ‘A236’ chip is fully programmable, inexpensive and requires few, if any, support chips.Details
Atomic Software, Inc. has announced the release of it’s new Multi-Merchant Module add-on for it’s Authorizer for Windows 95/NT Payment Software. The Multi-Merchant Module enables doctors, mail order companies, Internet service providers, and other environments the economy of sharing the same PC based billing resources, but authorize and deposit credit card transactions separately into their individual checking accounts. The initial module offers up to ten separate merchant numbers with supplementary increments of ten available at additional cost.
Authorizer for Windows 95/NT is certified to perform credit, debit, and check authorizations for retail, mail order/phone order with address verification, and other transactions on the Windows 95 and Windows NT platforms. Companies can use their existing PC-based systems and standard payment peripherals such as magnetic card readers, MICR check readers, and a plethora of receipt printers. Mail, phone, and Internet merchants can also verify their customers’ addresses to further reduce the risk of fraud. Authorizer also complies with the latest security requirements from Visa and MasterCard and is year 2000 compliant.
“The Multi-Merchant module is just the first of our value added products that plug right in to our Authorizer for Windows 95/NT Payment Software,” says Thomas McCole, President of Atomic Software. “We will soon be releasing other plug-in’s to leverage our electronic transaction engine as well”. Atomic’s focus is and has been on operational simplicity for non-technical merchants, and the Windows 95/NT environment enhances that substantially.
Atomic Software, Inc. is a privately held corporation specializing in contemporary electronic payment solutions for merchants in North America, Europe, and Asia. Atomic products are used in retail stores, mail order/phone order companies, Internet merchants, kiosks, medical practices, home businesses, and other transaction environments. For more information, contact Glynda Murphy at 770 417-1228 or visit our Web site .Details
Curtis Mathes Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:CRTM) announces that uniView(tm), its innovative set-top box launched in May, can now be purchased via the company’s home page at beginning today for a limited time.
This offering enables consumers across the nation to easily and quickly order and receive the latest technology that delivers an unprecedented array of Internet, on-line, telephone, and entertainment features to consumers via their own home televisions. UniView is also available through Miami-based BrandsMart, Dallas-based Communication Expo, and San Jose-based Fry’s.
! UniView is priced at only $399 plus shipping and handling. Unlimited Internet access is available through the Curtis Mathes Xpressway(tm) service for $19.95 a month.
“We are pleased to add the Internet as a distribution method in response to the high volume of requests from individuals across the nation who want to purchase uniView,” said Patrick Custer, chairman and CEO of Curtis Mathes. “Now you can have the latest integration of television, Internet and telephony technology in your home with the ease of touching a button.”
UniView’s easy-to-use technology leapfrogs the mere web offerings of the competition. With uniView, users can not only surf the net, but also talk on the phone, send and receive faxes and e-mails, conduct on-line banking, access TV program guides and parental control features, and program their VCRs. Another unmatched feature is the unit’s printer port for printing Internet searches, faxes and e-mails. And, home shopping just became easier via a credit card reader that, with one swipe, automatically sends encrypted credit card information for purchases.
The Curtis Mathes Xpressway, the company’s proprietary Internet access and on-line network, has already-established hubs located throughout the country to provide seamless service for uniView users. Each hub can accommodate 10,000 subscriber requests at one time and all that is needed in the home for access to the Curtis Mathes Xpressway is existing cable and phone lines.
Curtis Mathes has established an advanced standard for connectivity to Internet appliances by adopting leading technology from Sun Microsystems, Inc., MCI Telecommunications Corp., and Cisco Systems, Inc. It also has developed proprietary software enabling users to access the unique features of uniView. Curtis Mathes is a Dallas-based electronics engineering design and marketing company. The company also specializes in advanced television solutions as well as other new interactive and connectivity technologies. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .
Deluxe Electronic Payment Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Deluxe Corporation and Visa USA Inc. today announced the friendly settlement of a lawsuit pending in Milwaukee County’s circuit court. Details of the settlement were not released.
Visa will continue to license Deluxe Electronic Payment Systems’ proprietary software for electronic funds transactions. The software routes and settles transactions for financial institutions’ automated teller machines and retailers’ point-of-sale debit-card systems.Details
Breakthrough Software, Inc., today announced Internet Business Breakthrough, the online industry’s first complete, turnkey electronic commerce solution. The product is priced at a very affordable $249, making it possible for even the smallest businesses to create sophisticated and dynamic electronic commerce Web sites. Other solutions on the market provide the same functionality for $1000 or more.
! Internet Business Breakthrough is the first electronic commerce solution specifically designed to simplify the ability for small and medium size businesses to conduct commerce on the World Wide Web. With Internet Business Breakthrough, business owners and Web site developers can now build fully-functional, commerce-enabled online stores in a matter of hours — a task that previously took days or weeks of complicated and expensive coding, page design and testing to accomplish.
“As Internet technologies proliferate, it is no longer necessary for business owners to settle for Web sites that offer little more than static pages to generate sales,” said Trevor Stout, chief executive officer of Breakthrough Software. “Internet Business Breakthrough is the next-generation solution for the business community to leverage the dynamic capabilities of the Internet, quickly, simply and inexpensively.”
Internet Business Breakthrough provides 50 pre-designed, graphic-rich templates that business owners or Web developers can use to create, organize and publish their sites directly to the Internet. Software wizards automate the process of designing a complete online store, discussion groups and survey forms. Internet Business Breakthrough’s WYSIWYG HTML editor allows users to customize their pages, preview the site and test the online store before publishing to the Web to ensure a quality and professional image.
The built-in relational database provides the backbone for high-performance, robust order processing, searching, and dynamic page updates and enables the importation of ODBC-compliant databases.
“Internet Business Breakthrough could change the industry. Never before has so much power and functionality combined with such ease of use been available at an affordable price,” said Randall Schmitz, president of Breakthrough Software. “This is a product every small to medium business should have.”
Internet Business Breakthrough Booth Demonstration – Compaq Booth no. 3937
Breakthrough Software is demonstrating Internet Business Breakthrough in the Compaq booth (no. 3937) at the Seybold Exhibit area.
Internet Business Breakthrough Beta Customers
“With Internet Business Breakthrough, I not only created my home page but also added an online store to sell specialty items. I was surprised to see that after adding my products in the store, my Web site automatically included an order form complete with shopping cart and credit card processing,” said Dann Davis, President of San Diego-based Off Premise Catering. “Internet Business Breakthrough is very logical — I never even used the manual, and I was impressed with how quickly I accomplished tasks that seemed impossible before.”
“After the initial installation, it took me about 10 minutes to create and upload an online store,” said James Lawrence, president of San Diego-based GrepNet. “I’ve evaluated a host of other applications that don’t come close to the Internet Business Breakthrough development environment.”
Breakthrough Software’s Preferred Provider Program
To broaden the reach of Internet Business Breakthrough and make it easier for users to post their site via Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Breakthrough Software has established its Preferred Provider Program in which the company has partnered with qualified ISPs. These ISPs are authorized to sell Internet Business Breakthrough and they are also listed as preferred providers with their access and FTP settings pre-configured into the Internet Business Breakthrough product. Users can get their newly created Web sites posted automatically by these preferred providers with a simple click of a button.
Breakthrough Software’s Preferred Providers include Sirius Connections, getus.net, WebUSA and Creative Business Solutions. For more information on the Preferred Provider Program, see separate press release, “Breakthrough Software Announces Preferred Provider Program for its Internet Business Breakthrough Product,” dated October 1st, 1997.
Pricing and Distribution
Internet Business Breakthrough will be marketed and sold direct from Breakthrough Software’s Web site (http://www.breakthroughsoftware.com) and through its certified preferred ISPs. The product is priced at $249.
Breakthrough Software, Inc.
Breakthrough Software, founded in December 1996, is the first Internet software company focused exclusively on developing and marketing point-and-click electronic commerce solutions for small to medium businesses. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. Telephone: 650/967-3400. Fax: 650/967-3735. Web site:
Mondex USA named Henry Polmer president of Mondex USA Originator and general counsel of Mondex USA yesterday. Polmer will replace James Rudd who was named yesterday as chief technology officer of Mondex USA. Mondex USA is comprised of two companies: Mondex USA Services and Mondex USA Originator. Mondex USA Services is responsible for commercial development and implementation of the Mondex e-cash and smart card platform in the U.S. Mondex USA Originator is responsible for issuing and redeeming Mondex cash and provides oversight of risk management. Polmer comes from a Major Washington, DC law firm while Rudd worked for Wells Fargo before joining Mondex earlier this year.Details
Yesterday’s stunning announcement of a possible MCI-WorldCom merger could raise the price tag for e-commerce participants and could slow down consumer Internet traffic. With the merger WorldCom would carry more than half of the nation’s Internet traffic in addition to becoming the second largest long distance carrier with revenues exceeding $24 billion. WorldCom began levying fees to some Internet service providers this year and has indicated it intends to collect fees from all Internet traffic flowing through its network. Yesterday’s bid would essentially place control of the Internet in the hands of the merged company.Details
PAYNET! Transaction Services and Datacap Systems swept the 1997 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament for the second consecutive year, providing 145 Datacap DC2860 ECCR registers for fast, easy trasactions with integrated credit and debit card payments and automatic, accurate reporting of critical item movement information, and the services to make it work. This allowed U.S. Open merchandise shops to keep up with the non-stop sales and card payment activity during prime sales periods and strict inventory management with overnight replenishment to insure the right items were on the shelves at all times, with very little merchandise left at the end of the tournament.
Paynet!’s event services include providing registers, installing and set-up, training hundreds of cashiers in a few days, and support of the cashiers, registers and information flow for the tournament duration. “This is an intensive micro-study of effective retail business management and what it takes for retail success in the ’90’s”, reflected Kevin Colaco, Paynet! Vice President. “Quickly satisfying customers ready to purchase merchandise, making sure the merchandise they want is available and managing operating and inventory investments is what it is all about. We provide the tools, training and support for optimum retail operation for special events lasting only a few days to a few weeks. The registers are easy to to learn, easy to support, and do the job.” “Datacap 2000 Series registers are designed for simplicity, supportablility, and automatic information capture”, added Gale Peters, Datacap Vice President.
The special event business is a recent addition to Paynet!’s financial service sales business that is paying big dividends, and with tremendous growth potential. Paynet! started in the event service business in 1991. A successful Datacap DC2860 test program at the Atlanta Olympics was followed by successful 1996 and 1997 U.S. Open Tennis Tournaments, the 1997 All-Star Baseball Game and several other similar events. Paynet! saw the opportunity, and put together the program and products to address it effectively. What’s next? According to Kevin, “We’re just getting our breath back, and planning for the Rolling Stones Tour and several other near-term events”.Details
LinkShare Corporation announced today the official release of its LinkShare Synergyâ¢ software and The LinkShare Networkâ¢, after a two month long beta test period. LinkShare offers the first transaction-based solution for marketing products and services on the Web. LinkShare Synergy is based on the company’s patent-pending Referral Tracking and Payment (RTPâ¢) technology which facilitates and manages commission-based agreements between online merchants and site owners. The LinkShare Network provides opportunities for such revenue sharing partnerships within a network environment.
LinkShare Synergy software takes the basic affiliates program and brings it to a new level. It empowers every site owner, for the first time, to profitably open an online storefront. Every site owner can now sell products of various online merchants, without having to purchase and inventory products or invest in costly technology. Likewise, the software allows online merchants to place their products/services on thousands of sites, creating a sales channel with limitless consumer reach potential. With LinkShare Synergy, site owners volunteer to become a “virtual sales forceâ¢” for online merchants. “Site owners know their audience best,” says Stephen D. Messer, CEO and founder of LinkShare Corporation. “As part of The LinkShare Network online merchants can target these niche markets with their products and services.”
Thus, the Synergy software produces a win-win-win situation. The site owner benefits from an additional stream of revenue in the form of commissions on all leads that result in a transaction. The online merchant benefits through an expanded distribution channel to help increase sales of its product. The consumer benefits by having products/services of specific interest brought directly to them through the sites they visit, instead of having to spend tedious extra time locating such items online.
LinkShare has dedicated the beta test period not only to ensure a quality management tool, but to build and expand The LinkShare Network. With online merchants such as FAO Schwarz, Reader’s Digest, Avon, Omaha Steaks, and L’Eggs, LinkShare has enabled any site wishing to establish a virtual storefront for their audience to do so with a myriad of the most popular offerings, from golf clubs to tickets to toys to cigars. Correspondingly, with site owners such as Virtual Emporium, Moms Online, Market Central, and Community Connect, LinkShare is providing merchants with access to an online distribution channel for their goods. To encourage widespread site participation, membership in the Network is offered to site owners free of charge.
For merchants like FAO Schwarz, the software and the Network provide the missing link necessary to create sales, marketing and distribution networks on the Internet. “The key to selling online is finding a viable distribution channel,” says Nicole Ornstein, New Media Production Manager for FAO Schwarz. “LinkShare provided us with all of the tools we needed to do this in time for the Christmas season.”
LinkShare Synergy takes the current referral model to a new level by helping online merchants and site owners to establish viable business relationships using the common links (icons, banners, text-based, etc.) that are so prevalent on the Internet. In a move beyond banners, LinkShare encourages adding value for consumers by creating content around products/services. For example, a site could feature or review a product at its site, and allow its visitors to purchase the product immediately, unlike traditional mediums such as television commercials or magazine articles which do not allow for interactivity.
LinkShare Synergy also offers merchants and site owners the ability to track all leads and sales, including data relating to transaction amounts, time of day and site origination. The LinkShare Network organizes this sales information while maintaining and managing link-based referral commissions between various merchants and site owners. Reports of such data are subsequently available to both merchants and site owners for analysis so that both parties may work together in optimizing sales and profits. As part of the Network, member merchants and site owners can view transactions and access reports from the Web site on a daily basis. At the end of each month, merchants and site owners receive statements detailing either the commission payments due each participating site owner or the commissions earned from each participating merchant. Furthermore, the LinkShare Web site is dedicated to facilitating and establishing business relationships on the Internet, and assists in matching member merchants with the most compatible sites in the Network, and vice versa.
Interested site owners and merchants should visit the LinkShare Web site at http://www.linkshare.net to download the LinkShare Synergy software and become a part of The LinkShare Network. Site owners and merchants may also contact LinkShare Corp. directly for more information.
According to Forrester Research, online shopping revenues are expected to grow from the current annual expenditure of $518 million to $7 billion by the year 2002. Messer says, “We are confident LinkShare is the best answer to the plaguing question of how to make money on the Web. Experience shows that consumers are less likely to pay for the privilege of viewing content on the Web but are increasingly willing to purchase products and services online. LinkShare breaks new ground with a system that expedites the readily accepted concept that profit sharing arrangements can actually generate revenue on the Internet.”Details