cover story
  NEW YEAR
  NEW DEALS


   Every January, in our efforts to keep you apprised of the latest trends
   in technology, sales tools, product choice and other industry innovations,
   Transaction World Magazine publishes our “New Year, New Deals” issue.
   As always we scoured the industry for novel advancements and reviewed
   hundreds of replies to our call to the industry to share their latest.

    This year, I was amazed that, really, there isn’t much new. At first this was surprising – there were many new “versions” of existing products, new trade agreements which offered existing technology in markets yet unexplored, new “packaging” of tools and technology and even a forensic discovery that was fascinating–but at the end of the day, nothing really stood out as “the next big thing.” After I thought about why that was, it seemed obvious – we are in a mature industry and, quite frankly, the products and services that we collectively offer the marketplace simply work too well and fit existing needs so closely, that a crushing demand for “new and different” simply doesn’t exist. Also, it’s not surprising that, after the tumultuous year the electronic payments industry experienced in 2005, companies are regrouping, taking note and rethinking strategy.
    It is my projection that 2006 will be the year of retooling from everything from channel relationships, to bank sponsorships, from business finance, to agent compensation plans and from sales promotions to service agreements. Perhaps what is needed now isn’t some nifty, shiny new product that bleeding edge adopters will embrace, but pioneering, strategic thinking that will help ISOs and Acquirers better compete in this ever-shrinking marketplace.
    That said, we reviewed all the emails from companies touting their product lines, and many of the revisions and new directions were interesting, creative and may prove to be helpful in cultivating new corporate strategy. The best and the brightest, in no particular order, are contained herein. Please feel free to share your input to me directly at cynthia@transactionworld.net.

   
   Electronic Journal Upload Service
   Submitted by RBS Lynk
   600 Morgan Falls Road, Suite 260,
   Atlanta, GA 30350
   (800)200.5965
   www.rbslynk.com

   In early 2006, RBS Lynk will roll out electronic journal (EJ) upload capability and enhanced reconciliation services for traditional dial-up ATMs. RBS Lynk’s EJ upload functionality enables quick transaction dispute resolution through immediate access to the ATM terminal journal, commonly known as the electronic journal. Automatic uploading of EJ information allows an ATM Independent Sales Organization (ISO) to process the necessary adjustments in advance of a cardholder filing a chargeback.
    EJ upload service features include proactive exception reporting, automated data collection, long-term data storage, Web-based reporting as well as valuable regulatory support.


   Wireless Distributor
   Submitted by
   GroupWare Communications
   5201 Blue Lagoon Drive, 8th Floor
   Miami FL, 33126
   (866)477.0900
   www.groupwarecom.net

    Wireless Distributor (WD) is a software solution that provides seamless wireless communications between a company’s mobile sales force, their distribution center and merchants. The WD solution helps enhance inventory management techniques by providing the sales force with real-time sales and inventory requests via a PDA or Pocket PC. Also, this software will allow management to maintain sales statistics and quotas for each individual sales representative. It provides a companys’ sales force with last-minute information about advertisements and customized surveys, as well as generates delivery routes and merchandise delivery forms for warehouses.


   preCharge Certified Payments
   Submitted by preCharge
   Risk Management Solutions
   61 Broadway, Suite 512
   New York, NY 10006
   (212)751-6213
   www.precharge.com

    Launched in February 2005, preCharge is a chargeback guarantee program for merchants - closest in concept to check guarantee programs, but for credit cards. preCharge combines fraud screening with a chargeback guarantee that can be used with any type of merchant account and payment gateway. The preCharge Reseller program offers a fraud screening/risk assessment combined with a guarantee. Independent of AVS or CVV2, U.S. based merchants can realize the potential of their ecommerce business, by being enabled to accept international orders, and preCharge can work with ISOs and merchants based outside the U.S. A one-time startup fee, a per transaction fee (based on order coming from within US, or from one of the preCharge-Approved Countries, or from Any country), plus a % of the transaction amount if the transaction is over $50.


   MATE PLUS
   Submitted by Exadigm
   2871 Pullman Street
   Santa Ana, CA 92705
   (949)486-0320
   www.exadigm.com

    The Mate Plus point-of-sale terminal has a unique modular format and interchangeable modems supporting IP (Ethernet), WiFi, cellular and dial-up connections, and offers speed, portability, mobility, changeability and universal connectivity.
    The modular design and PC-based, Linux operating system provides a single terminal that offers multiple connectivity options, easy software upgrades and simple configuration to adapt to new technologies.


   YourWebTutor
   Submitted by eMerchantsGroup.com
   (831)648-1677
   www.YourWebTutor.com

    YourWebTutor can improve shopping cart conversion by addressing consumer concerns about credit card fraud. Better conversion of sales means more sales for the merchant and the merchant processing industry. By converting lookers to buyers, YourWebTutor.com can reduce shopping cart abandonment - an issue that on-line merchants battle. YourWebTutor.com produces an affordable interactive flash video/audio virtual tour that enables your on-line clients to passively navigate a website. A virtual tour can help merchants target specific products and thus reduce unwanted inventory. Three monthly maintenance programs are offered allowing a merchant to periodically update his virtual tour as needed.


   SmartPayments Client
   Submitted by TPI Software, LLC
   20428 NE 66th Ct
   Redmond, WA 98053
   (425)882-0921
   www.tpisoft.com

    In late 2005, TPI Software launched a new version of its PC product –SmartPayments Client – a PC software application that has direct IP payment processor certifications for credit, debit, EBT, gift and checks. It is targeted at the price sensitive small business that needs a simple payment solution. A low cost alternative to the other PC products, SmartPayments Client has plug-ins for seamless integration into Microsoft’s Retail point-of-sale (RMS) product, Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting and support industry standard integrations so it can work with just about any PC point-of-sale software.  It also has patent pending technology that drives the next generation PIN-Pads allowing PC point-of-sale systems to easily add support new customer facing devices.


   MobileSwipe
   Submitted by SEMTEK Innovative
   Solutions Corporation
   9340 Hazard Way #D
   San Diego, CA 92123
   (909)489-9048
   www.mobileswipe.com
   www.semtek.com

    MobileSwipe is a credit card reader and software system that turns a cell phone into a mobile credit card terminal.  MobileSwipe facilitates mobile commerce and offers a protection for consumers, as there is no longer a necessity for numbers to be written down when paying for services from a mobile business.  Because MobileSwipe is a complete turnkey hardware and software solution, mobile merchants can use the MobileSwipe reader and software with their existing compatible phone or simply use the entire MobileSwipe solution including phone, reader and software.  Users may swipe customer credit cards and receive real-time, instant authorization.  Unlike credit card machines in stores, all credit card information taken by MobileSwipe is 3DES encrypted to prevent digital credit card theft or fraud, to which credit card machines in stores are prone.  The MobileSwipe system also includes online tracking of sales activity and status and various report options in real time.  MobileSwipe retails for $249.


   eISO 3.0
   Submitted by Nubrek
   12 6th Street S Ste 1048
   Minneapolis, MN 55402
   (612)235-4505
   xxx
   www.nubrek.com

    In early 2006, Nubrek will launch eISO 3.0, an online commission, residual and customer relationship management tool developed specifically for the merchant services industry. With eISO 3.0, ISOs track customer issues online, manage leads, appointments and sales, calculate residuals from multiple processors, generate sales rep commission reports. This new version of eISO gives ISOs the ability to generate customized lead reports, synchronize contacts with Microsoft Outlook, integrate with Microsoft Office, create mail merge documents and manage company schedules with a calendar system. eISO 3.0 includes an online customer portal where merchants log in to open and track issues and query an online knowledgebase. eISO remains PDA compatible, providing users the ability to conduct management and sales while on the go.


   First Resolution Online™
   Submitted by First National
   Merchant Solutions
   1620 Dodge St
   Omaha, NE 68197
   (800)354-3988
   www.fnms.com

    First Resolution Online™ is a secure, paperless method to manage chargebacks and reversal items via standard Internet browsers. Recently introduced, First Resolution Online™ allows ISOs and other users to manage their chargebacks, retrievals and reversal items, and drill down into each item to view all applicable documentation. Again, ISOs can provide all training and support for their customers, or offer First National Merchant Solutions’ training and support.


   eCheck.Net
   Submitted by Authorize.net
   10800 NE 8th St Ste 600
   Bellevue, WA 98004
   (425)586-6000
   www.authorize.net

    eCheck.Net enables Web and mail/telephone order (MOTO) merchants to accept and process electronic check payments directly from their customers’ bank accounts. By accepting electronic checks, merchants expand the payment options available to their customers, potentially increasing customer loyalty and revenues. Resellers may now configure eCheck.Net sell rates for their entire portfolio or by merchant and with new, lower buy rates, provide resellers with maximum flexibility to offer special pricing deals. eCheck.Net supports discounts for high-volume merchants and flat-fee pricing for low-risk merchants in the government, utilities, insurance and higher-education industries.


   AdVance Image Capture
   Submitted by VECTORsgi
   15301 Dallas Pkwy Ste 400
   Addison, TX 75004
   (800)222-6219
   www.vectorsgi.com

    VECTORsgi’s product, AdVance Image Capture will be making significant advances in 2006. Partner banks can now accept same-day corporate checks until 11 p.m. PT, making the term “banker’s hours” rather obsolete. Key differentiators include an intranet design and the ability to track incoming checks down to the cashier level.


   ValIDator
   Submitted by Biometric Security
   Company
   28870 US Hwy 19 North Ste 314
   Clearwater, FL 33761
   (727)726-0696
   www.biometricsecuritycard.com

    ValIDator is a patented “database free” authentication solution that allows cardholders to add a finger biometric to existing magnetic stripe cards. To identify themselves, the cardholder places their finger on a sensor and the finger is matched to the biometric information on the card. To insure that personal information cannot be lost, stolen or compromised, the “privacy friendly” solution only stores the biometric on the magnetic stripe. ValIDator doesn’t require a database or smart card to store the finger biometric. Customers can identify themselves and cash checks faster because driver’s license and other information no longer needs to be keyed or verified to complete a transaction. The authentication solution also provides cardholder’s protection against lost or stolen cards.


   America’s Retail Network
   Information Exchange (ARNie )

   Submitted by New Edge Networks
   3000 Columbia House Blvd Ste 106
   Vancouver, WA 98661
   (360)693-9009
   www.newedgenetworks.com

    ARNie is a series of direct network connections to payment processors and card associations and allowing Networks broadband networking customers to use them at no additional cost. ARNie direct network connections allow businesses to avoid installing and paying multiple monthly fees for connections from each store location to their payment processor. If a company funnels remote access through its headquarters, it can eliminate the costly aggregation circuit to its processor as well as the single point of fault for all stores in the event the single connection goes down. Via ARNie, ISOs can get instant access to thousands of prospective customers with broadband connections already in place. Also, processors minimize cost and complexity of managing multiple customer connections because all of their customers’ data communications traffic reaches them through high-speed, redundant connections from New Edge Networks.


   ISOEdge
   Submitted by EdgeWare Technologies
   Corporation
   445 Apple Creek Blvd., Suite 114,
   Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 9X7
   (905)513-0530
   www.edgeware.ca

    The new ISOEdge applications suite includes card, terminal, host communication, and reporting software for Electronic Gift Certificates, Pre-Paid, Stored Value, e-Purse programs and Loyalty & Incentive Schemes. The software, which is fast, secure, user-friendly and multi-lingual, works with any card reader and a variety of media form factors such as magnetic stripe, contact or contactless cards and RF tags.


   BackOffice bay6
   Submitted by bay6
   P.O. Box 22010
   St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
   (866)814-bay6
   www.bay6llc.com

    BackOffice bay6 is a simple hardware and windows based software that facilitates the transition from paper to electronic check processing.  Bay6 solutions allow businesses to easily create remote electronic deposits for check payments to simplify and enhance the management of check revenue. Our robust product includes security features, extensive reporting capabilities and audit trail options.  Images of the front and back of all checks processed are readily accessible utilizing a scanner and PC with our BackOffice bay6 software.  Any business that accepts checks for payment will benefit from the reduced handling time and cost reduction which is accomplished through the use of this check management tool.


   Transaction Vault
   Submitted by Merchant Link, LLC
   8401 Colesville Rd Ste 900
   Silver Spring, MD 20910
   (301)562-5000
   www.merchantlink.com

    Merchant Link introduced Transaction Vault™ to reduce the risk of hacking by moving cardholder information off the merchant’s POS on to Transaction Vault’s secure network. Merchants continue to adopt broadband connections to process credit and debit card transactions. This type of connection creates a potential mechanism for online hackers to break into a merchant’s system. Once in, hackers can locate and steal cardholder information from the point-of-sale system (POS). A primary goal of Transaction Vault is to minimize the vulnerability of the merchant and the POS software. There is no extra software or hardware to install and maintain, so merchants can use their existing infrastructure.
    At the center of Transaction Vault’s technology is a key that replaces all cardholder information. The key utilizes military-grade encryption, which helps to ensure that only Transaction Vault can match the key to access the cardholder information.


   NFC Phone Payment Solution
   Submitted by ViVOtech, Inc
   451 El Camino Real FL 2
   Santa Clara, CA 95050
   (408)248-7001
   xxx
   www.vivotech.com

    ViVOtech announces an end-to-end Near Field Communication (NFC) payment solution. The new ViVOnfc solution provides a secure infrastructure that will accelerate the adoption and usage of NFC enabled mobile phones.
   With ViVOnfc, users with NFC equipped phones will be able to “carry their credit and debit cards virtually” and make contactless payments at merchant locations. NFC technology provides short-range wireless connectivity—over a typical distance of just 2-4 inches. Since NFC devices do not operate over a carrier’s radio spectrum, they can be used anywhere.
   Merchants that equip their stores to accept contactless payments such as MasterCard PayPass, Visa contactless, American Express’ ExpressPay or Chase BlinkTM, are ultimately enabling their stores to accept payments from mobile phones. The ViVOnfc payment solution enables merchants, consumers and banks for mobile phone payments by leveraging existing infrastructure to deliver advanced mobile phone payments.


   XiBuy™
   Submitted by Paymetric
   13430 NW Frwy Ste 900
   Houston, TX 77040
   (713)895-2000
   xxx
   www.paymetric.com

    Paymetric recently announced the general availability of XiBuy™ 1.0, a procurement solution that integrates purchasing card transactions into SAP for reconciliation and visibility across the SAP enterprise.  XiBuy brings efficiency and visibility to MasterCard, Visa and American Express transaction management, with benefits that include line item allocations, real-time accounting validation, pre-approved card transactions via purchase order and detailed month-end reconciliation.  Transaction detail received from suppliers is available in SAP soon after each card transaction, providing timely visibility for procurement managers to identify unusual expenses and trace transaction activity, analyze procurement spending patterns, and resolve supplier payment issues quickly and accurately.


   Online Resources Merchant Inquiry
   Submitted by Online Resources Corp.
   4795 Meadow Wood Lane Ste 300
   Chantilly, VA 20151
   (703)653-3100
   xxx
   www.orcc.com

    Online Resources recently introduced Merchant Inquiry, a comprehensive online database of card-accepting merchant recognition and dispute resolution information. As many as 20 percent of customer inquiries result from Merchant Not Recognized (MNR) or Transaction Not Recognized (TNR) situations. These types of inquiries can cost as much as a $30-$50 per dispute before the issue is finally resolved. Merchant Inquiry provides credit and debit card issuers with call center tools that are used to access merchant information from more than 10,000 card- accepting merchants when a consumer calls with a complaint.
   The Merchant Inquiry database is linked to more than 2 million individual billing descriptions and is available as a web-based desktop tool and through an XML-based API. Merchants may access the system to establish and maintain their own profiles through their Acquirers or ISOs who have established partnerships with Online Resources.


   MagnePrint Security Technology
   Submitted by Magtek
   20725 South Annalee Avenue
   Carson, CA 90746
   (800)788-6835
   www.magtek.com

    The forensic discovery of the “magneprint,” encoded on all card magstripes, occurred in 1994. MagTek acquired a license to test and develop the technology in 1996, and has spent the past 9 years refining the technology to assure its compatibility with existing card systems and to design card readers and OEM components. The discovery led to the development of security technology that allows the magnetic stripe on any financial ATM/Debit/Credit card to be utilized as a unique and powerful security token that can distinguish an authentic card from any counterfeit card. MagnePrint is based upon the principle that all magnetic stripes are comprised of billions of tiny magnetic particles. Each of these particles contains unique and varying magnetic properties. When combined as an aggregate, these particles form a “Magnetic Fingerprint” (or “MagnePrint®”) that is unique to each magnetic stripe. The MagnePrint signature of each magstripe is permanent and cannot be erased or altered by the encoding/recording process.
   MagTek has a complete product line of OEM components, card readers/ encoders, and software that can be used to detect and read the MagnePrint signature contained on any magstripe card. These products can be deployed at ATM, Teller Window, Home Banking and POS locations.
   In practice, as magstripe card is swiped through a MagnePrint reader, the MagnePrint signature is captured and forwarded to a central host along with the standard magstripe data. The transaction MagnePrint signature is then compared against a reference MagnePrint signature to determine if the card being used in a transaction is authentic or counterfeit. This process occurs in “real-time”, and provides authorization networks with a powerful risk-management tool that can assist in making “best decisions” regarding authorization of a transaction.
   A key advantage to MagnePrint technology is that it does not require card issuers to re-issue new cards to existing customers. The magstripe financial cards that are already in consumers’ wallets are “MagnePrint enabled” and ready for use within a MagnePrint system. Another advantage is that MagnePrint provides forensic features that can be used to resolve repudiation disputes between issuers, acquirers, and consumers. Additionally, MagnePrint provides “dynamic signature variance” which means that MagnePrint values are non-repetitive and unique to each transaction.