Cover Story
NEW YEAR
NEW DEALS


   It's that time of year again ­ time to start fresh, with new budgets, goals and aspirations for what the new year will bring. To jump start your efforts, offer you new ideas and add that extra bit of zip to your sales pitch, Transaction World Magazine brings you our annual list of the "New Year's New Deals". In the following pages we spotlight some of the most compelling new offerings, products, services and programs that are being offered to ISOs and Acquirers in 2004.

TIME AND ATTENDANCE

   With one of the most exciting new products we've seen in the time and attendance arena, Cignify announces the general availability of TimeCap, a revolutionary time and attendance value-added application designed exclusively for multi-application terminals. From a payment device or the Internet, TimeCap allows merchants to collect, process, track and report labor information electronically thereby eliminating the time-consuming manual processes associated with time cards and manual time sheets. Additionally, TimeCap can send payroll files electronically to any number of payroll providers thereby delivering the ultimate ISO payment solution and customer loyalty tool.
   According to Bill Horne, President and CEO of Cignify, "TimeCap was designed to allow companies to simply collect employee's time on a payment device, electronically apply pay rules and policies and offer services at an affordable price." Jesse Adams, SVP of VeriFone's North America Division added, "Every merchant needs time and attendance...because everyone gets a paycheck, everyone wants to control or reduce labor costs and everyone must comply with the law." Given that scenario, it appears the time is right for time and attendance as the next big value-added application for ISO acceptance.
   Cignify is the only time and labor management provider to have partnered with Hypercom, Ingenico, Lipman, Thales and VeriFone. They have broken the barrier of offering a certified time and attendance solution combined with three distinct payroll offerings on today's platforms. "Several firms have tried it in the past, yet delivered a cumbersome, extremely difficult product to install and use...Ingenico's partnership with Cignify greatly reduces the time and cost involved with labor while increasing payroll accounting accuracy which provides significant value to the merchant" said Michael Hackney, VP and GM, Financial Systems, Ingenico. Cignify's patented approach to integrating the application for the same low price as an off-the-shelf manual time clock gives ISOs an exciting new product to increase retention and sell new business.
   Heartland Payment Systems was first-to-market with TimeCap and has been delighted with their sales results. "TimeCap is easy to use, works exactly as advertised and, combined with Heartland's payroll service, is a clear winner in the value-add market", said Mark Strippy, President, Heartland Payroll. TimeCap is appropriate for merchants with 10-50 employees per site, especially those with multiple locations. Potential merchants should have Internet access and traditional cash registers rather than fully automated point-of-sale/electronic cash registers. Merchants may easily set up their businesses on TimeCap in less than two hours and free up precious hours for handling other aspects of their businesses.
   "Combined with three tailored payroll offerings, two of which are proprietary to Lipman, TimeCap is a great solution for retention and the most exciting new ISO revenue tool in the business", says Mony Zenou, President of Lipman USA.
   O.B. Rawls IV, President of Hypercom North America stated, "If you can give merchants a simple, reliable and powerful solution that helps them control costs, then you're delivering value."
   Contact Cignify at 800.669.9765 or www.cignify.com.

Contactless Payment Solutions

   A personal favorite of many consumers comes with the speed and convenience of contactless payment solutions. ViVOtech's new offering provides the ability to use a credit card at a fast-food restaurant, in the drive through lane! Long customer queues at a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) counter and drive through lanes can be challenging for the QSR as well as the customer alike. A QSR aims to provide a delightful payment experience that minimizes queues and is fast and convenient for its customer as well as allows it to make more revenue.
   To address these real-life issues, ViVOtech recently launched an end-to- end solution for the QSR industry. ViVOtech's customized solution called ViVOpay QSR allows QSR operators to speed up customer lines by enabling contactless payments that are faster than cash and safer than checks. QSRs can now accept the recently introduced contactless payment programs by leading card companies as well as QSR branded gift and loyalty programs to enhance customer loyalty.
   ViVOtech's end-to-end solution delivers operational savings and additional revenues for restaurants. The ViVOplatformTM software combined with support services provide the requisite ability for card activation, card acceptance, reloading, balance inquiry, instant discounts and online customer service. The customer-facing ViVOpayTM countertop and ViVOpay Drive-ThruTM connect seamlessly with the existing POS systems and requires little investment. Finally, ViVOtech's customizable ViVOcardTM contactless payment device allows gift and loyalty cards to have custom form factors as cards, key fobs, cell phones and so on, better expressing the company's branding and customer's lifestyle. This new functionality enables QSRs to differentiate them from competition and create more mind share for their branded products.
   With the market trend of ISOs providing value added services to their clientele, ViVOtech works with ISOs so that the latter can provide a complete point-of-sale and end-to-end payment contactless payment solution to the ISO's customers.
   A key element of the new solution includes, ViVOpay DT™, a contactless reader that interfaces with POS systems enabling contactless payments, gift card payments, and loyalty programs using existing cash register systems. This industry first product allows QSR restaurants to implement programs that have e-coupons and gift cards from the countertop to the drive thru lane. ViVOtech's ViVOpay Drive Through (DT) product is a weatherized contactless payment reader that collects information securely. Customers simply wave the contactless credit card or contactless gift card in front of the ViVOpay 3000™ countertop reader or the ViVOpay DT reader to make a secure, contactless payment. Dynamic loyalty programs can also be implemented utilizing the same gift card or with separate loyalty cards. The ViVOpay DT is a plug-and-play device that can be installed at most existing cash register systems without changes to the existing functionality. Its flexible design allows for mounting to walls, metal, poles, or areas conveniently located near the drive thru payment window.
   ViVOtech has sold this solution to an ISO called GM Merchant Solutions who has further done business with a franchise of a large QSR chain in San Diego.
   Contact Vivotech at 408.248.7001 or www.vivotech.com.

   Also responding to the demand for speed and convenience is MasterCard with their new PayPass program. PayPass is a new "contactless" payment program that provides consumers with a simpler way to pay. Using MasterCard PayPass, consumers simply tap or wave their payment card or alternative form factor on a specially equipped merchant terminal that then transmits payment details wirelessly, eliminating the need to swipe a card through a reader. The new solution is ideal for traditional cash-only environments where speed is essential, such as quick-serve restaurants, gas stations and movie theaters.
   MasterCard first launched PayPass to its global headquarters employees, in Purchase, New York, on both credit and debit cards. Following that technology trial, MasterCard introduced PayPass to consumers in an initial public trial in Orlando with Chase, Citibank and MBNA. More than 16,000 cardholders and more than 60 retailer locations participated.
   The objectives of the Orlando trial were to test the real-world application of MasterCard's choice for contactless payments. Specifically, MasterCard wanted to better understand the actual cardholder and retailer experience. These objectives were met successfully. Cardholders in Orlando reported that MasterCard PayPass is simple, quick and convenient and even fun. Cardholders indicated a desire for acceptance chain-wide across multiple retailers. They would like to use MasterCard PayPass at quick service restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, discount retailers, video stores and airports.
   MasterCard PayPass trial results show an effect on how consumers used their cards. For example, MasterCard PayPass prompted infrequent card users to pay with their PayPass enhanced cards much more frequently and in a variety of situations. Over the nine month Orlando trial, MasterCard realized an 18% activation rate on formerly inactive accounts, and those newly active accounts transacted more than 8 times per month in September.
   MasterCard also saw a "top of wallet" trend emerge among PayPass cardholders. Specifically, there was an almost 23% increase in transaction volume versus account spend during the same period in 2002, and an even greater increase, of nearly 28%, in total weekly spend versus 2002. Month over month, the trials demonstrated more than a 12% increase in transaction volumes at PayPass merchants. MasterCard PayPass reduced purchase times at participating retailer locations. The most significant time savings were recognized at drive-thrus where MasterCard PayPass shaved between 12 - 18 seconds from the purchase time, as compared to cash.
   In addition to the PayPass trial in Orlando, MasterCard worked with Nokia to incorporate MasterCard PayPass into mobile phones in a trial in Dallas, Texas. The primary objective of this trial was to explore non-card MasterCard PayPass payments. Overall, consumer and retailer reactions were similar to Orlando and were positive. One finding showed that the average MasterCard PayPass phone payment averaged six seconds faster than card-based transactions. This reduction is due largely to the elimination of the "fumble factor" - the time taken to get a card out of a wallet or purse to pay.
   MasterCard will continue to introduce additional contactless payment related innovations, delivering to financial institutions, retailers and consumers "The Simpler Way to Pay." PayPass usage continues to expand in Orlando and MasterCard is also proceeding with plans for MasterCard PayPass deployments in additional locations.
   Contact MasterCard at 914-249-4606 or www.paypass.com.

Payroll Services & Payroll Debit Cards

   A particular new service, being offered by Business Payment Systems, combines the simplicity of the prepaid payroll and prepaid debit into a human resources product solution. Every merchant requires five business tools in some form; the ability to hold and move money ­ ie: a bank account, the ability to collect money ­ ie: a merchant account, check service, gift card, the ability to pay/manage employees ­ ie: payroll, the ability to communicate with customers ­ ie: phone, internet, advertising and the ability to protect its assets - ie: insurance.
   The prepaid debit card or prepaid Visa/MasterCard have been around for some time and these programs are worth watching. The concept behind these cards is as exciting as the residual income opportunity. Millions of U.S. workers do not have bank accounts (some estimates are 30%), millions of U.S. workers are currently paid by paper checks (estimated cost of over $2 to issue), many U.S. workers travel or work from remote locations making it difficult and expensive to disperse funds to them. The PIN-based debit card gives the non- banked employee a virtual bank account, with the ability to instantly disperse funds for under $1 to workers in any geographic location. It offers income opportunities in the initial set-up, card investment, with residual opportunities in ATM transactions, balance inquiry, card- to-card transfers, card to account transfers and load fees.
   The new twist comes when, in addition to the payroll debit card, offering an a-la-carte solution with a complete Internet-based Human Resource Information Services (HRIS), payroll processing back-end. This solution provides basic payroll processing for merchants at an average of 30% cost savings over other popular payroll companies like ADP and Paychex. The online system also allows the merchant to take advantage of advanced features such as Applicant Trak (taking applications over the internet and tracking an employee's work history in a "hire to fire" format), WebTimeClock (internet based time and attendance tool), Expense Trak (Internet-based expense tracking and reimbursement tool) while offering unlimited payroll reporting and complete in-house control of the system. It can offer and store all of the in-house and government forms that need to be made available to employees. It even offers employees the ability to manage and view their own payroll/expense info.
   It is estimated there are about 10 million business in the United States with 100 employees or less. The larger payroll companies like ADP, PayChex and Ceridian service about 1.5 million, which creates a 10 billion dollar industry. Recently Forbes Magazine predicted the payroll outsourcing market will reach 15 billion dollars by 2005. Payroll debit cards are a pretty new and exciting concept and have just cracked the price point of affordability to the masses. The programs are just starting to break down to the level of being able to service mom and pop and mid-sized merchants ­ or those 10 million businesses of 5 to 100 employees.
   BPS believes that by offering these services, ISOs can capitalize on 2 of the 5 things most every merchant needs, thereby doubling the target of essential services from 20% of what merchants need to exist to 40%! According to Steven Pavent, "In this arena there is less competition, great residuals, and you're already talking to these people for merchant processing anyway."
   Contact Business Payment Systems, 727-490-2240 or www.do-my-payroll.com.

CHECK PROCESSING

   We hear it all the time, checks aren't going away any time soon! Many agree that in 2004 Electronic Check Representment is poised to become one of the fastest growing sectors in the financial services arena. The recent advances in technology have allowed programs to be tailored to better meet a merchant's needs. NSF Collect Inc. has harnessed these advances and now offers ISO's the ability to provide merchants a complete package.
   Electronic check representment is similar to re-depositing a bounced check at the bank. The check is resubmitted to the issuing bank for payment. However, that is where the similarities end. With an electronic check representment service the merchant is not charged additional fees by the bank if the check is returned a second time. Another difference is banks only allow a check to be re-deposited one time. However, a check may be electronically resubmitted two times. Electronic requests for funds also take priority over traditional paper requests. With NSF Collect if the funds are not collected after the first electronic request, the account is monitored for funds to become available. Once available, an electronic request for funds is sent. With NSF Collect there are no fees charged to the merchant for this service. The check writer covers the cost associated with collection of these checks. They are electronically charged a state allotted bounced check fee in addition to the face value of the check. If funds fail to become available or if the check was returned for any reason other than insufficient funds, NSF Collect has integrated a secondary collection service.
   With this service our legal team is utilized to collect on these checks. They use all means available including but, not limited to, letters, telephone calls and legal action. When checks are re-deposited by the bank and the funds fail to be collected or if the check was returned for a reason other than insufficient funds, the check is then returned to the merchant. The merchants must then find a way to collect on the check themselves.
   ISO's continue to be faced with increased competition in the marketplace. The importance of distinguishing oneself from the competition has never been more important. Electronic check representment is an excellent vehicle to assist ISO's in distinguishing themselves. Currently, ISO's offer merchants check guarantee or check verification as a means of dealing with returned checks. While these options provide an excellent solution, the fees associated with these types of services often leave merchants looking for an alternative. Many times this leads to frustration as merchants spend valuable time attempting to collect these checks on their own with little or no success. Now there is another solution, Electronic Check Representment.
   Contact 800-373-0146 or www.nsfcollect.net.

CHARGEBACKS

   Chargebacks have long been one of the most troubling problems facing merchants, Acquirers, card associations and Issuers. Research has shown that most chargebacks initiated by consumers are the result of simple misunderstandings and poor memory. Incurrent, a provider of advanced business automation software to the payment card industry, recently announced the first tool specifically designed to assist merchants and Issuers in resolving disputes before they become costly chargebacks: InMerchant.
   InMerchant is the industry's first comprehensive online database of card-accepting merchant dispute resolution information. InMerchant provides credit-card issuers with call center tools that are used to access valuable merchant information when a consumer calls with a complaint. This information includes the store location, corporate and retail DBA names, a description of the business and what it sells, customer service telephone numbers, email addresses, and website URLs. Using a proprietary algorithm, InMerchant links these profile records to the billing description a particular merchant presents onto a cardmember's monthly statement.
   In pilot now with major card Issuers and Acquirers, InMerchant has proven effective at preventing chargebacks by helping consumers to remember legitimate purchases, recognize stores with which they have done business, and contact stores themselves when a simple answer to a question may prevent a chargeback from occuring. InMerchant benefits retailers by reducing chargebacks and making retailers an integral partner in handling inquiries from their customers.
   Keeping the database comprehensive and up-to-date is the key to InMerchant's effectiveness. Incurrent employs a dedicated research staff, and a number of proprietary business processes to achieve this goal. "We have three merchant populations that we work with," says Mark Betz, Incurrent's Chief Technology Officer. "First, we track and research the top 1000+ merchants by transaction volume; second, we receive regular updates from Issuers on the merchants that are causing the most frequent chargebacks, and we invest in researching these; lastly, we work with Acquirers and ISOs as channel partners, providing them with the ability to enroll their merchant clients to create and manage their own online profiles." The combination of these methods has led to the database containing detailed information on more than 2800 card-accepting merchants, linked to more than 1 million individual billing descriptions.
   Merchants may gain access to the InMerchant system to establish and maintain their own profiles through their Acquirers or ISOs who have established InMerchant partnerships with Incurrent. The company's long-term vision is to evolve InMerchant into a complete merchant-card Issuer dispute resolution network. "We would like to see merchants in control of how they are presented, and how they are contacted when their customers have a question," says Betz, "and we are confident that Issuers will utilize this data in their call centers, and in their web-based billing systems, to mitigate more incoming disputes, causing less chargebacks and significant savings to everyone involved in the network."
   Contact Bill Kinnelly, 973-781-9012, .

   Joining the fight to reduce the ills chargebacks afflict on the industry, HMSBLUE has developed a tool to assist consumers and aid merchants in properly identifying transactions, thus minimizing the chargeback dilemma. The purpose of the Unique Descriptor is to provide detailed information for each transaction. With this information in hand, consumers won't rush to chargeback a transaction they do not recognize and merchants will experience a decrease in customer support calls and an improvement in their chargeback ratio.
   Through its gateway iPG, HMSBLUE offers the ability to assign a unique descriptor on a transaction-by-transaction basis to all its merchants. When the consumer reviews their credit card statement, rather than seeing the typical name and a city or phone number of the billing merchant, the consumer can be provided with more identifying information, such as product or service type.

Example:

Instead of this:
Company Name Los Angeles
or
Company Name 8005557777

They see this:
Company Name Fishing Gear 8005557777
or
Company Name Cooking book 8005557777
or
Airline NY-LAX Jan1703 8005557777

Contact Masih Madani, 818-442-6080, www.oncaldera.com.

   Customer inquiries for explanation of charges will greatly decrease; the need for customer service personnel will be reduced; and customers will feel an increase in satisfaction and loyalty based on the easily identifiable charge.
   A high chargeback history can be a detriment to a merchant's credit history. With the alleviation of false or unwarranted chargebacks comes an improvement in the chargeback ratio, thus improving the credit-worthiness of the merchant, potentially reducing processing fees.
   Contact, 818.442.6000, or www.hmsblue.com.

The Next Generation Payment Terminal

   Today's payment terminals are vertically-integrated, propriety, single-function devices that are starting to be replaced by lower-cost general purpose devices such as PCs, Pocket PCs and smart devices like smart phones built on open systems. Mass-market commodity devices built on open systems provide a more flexible, easier to integrate, faster time-to-market and lower-cost alternative to the traditional payment terminal. This creates an opportunity to transform the value-add in the payment industry from hardware to software, similar to what happened in the PC industry a decade ago.
   The Next Generation Payment Terminal will be a mass-market commodity device like a cell phone or PDA built on an open platform. This device will really be just an input device, i.e. Client, where all the logic lives on a Server. Utilizing new industry standards like SOAP, this Client Server architecture lets merchants process transactions on virtually any device from anywhere at anytime with low cost, securely encrypted, lightening-fast transaction times. An additional advantage to this approach is, by placing the logic on the Server, only the Server needs to be certified with the payment processors, thus allowing new devices to be brought to market rapidly. Building upon familiar platforms, developers may use tools they already have, and know how to use, at a fraction of the time and cost of developing on propriety systems. This approach also has the advantage of making the device multi-application capable so retailers will no longer need to have multiple terminals on their countertops.
   A real world example of this is TPI Software's Smart-Payments for Mobile POS. This product is a cost-effective solution that allows multi-function PDAs to be used to their full potential. The solution includes a PC or Web application that defines inventory, pricing and employees. Information is easily transferred to the Pocket PC Device. The Pocket PC Device reads a file and transforms it into a complete mobile point-of-sale solution. SmartPayments for Mobile POS has an easy-to-use touch screen interface and works with card readers and receipt printers to process the orders. Credit cards can be processed as retail card-present transactions in real time using standard Internet connectivity options or stored on the device for processing at a later time. The solution also supports signature capture functionality with charge-back retrieval capabilities. The Pocket PC Device is then synchronized back with the PC or Web application to process any stored transactions as well as upload the day's sales activity for complete reporting and inventory control analysis.
   Tracy Metzger, CTO of ABANCO, LLC., worked with TPI Software to developed a specific version of SmartPayments for Mobile POS for the Airline Industry. This solution has been tested onboard with tremendous success and it has been accepted as the designated solution by one of the three largest Airlines in the world. "We solved the Airline Industry's in-flight issues by providing them a complete solution that not only provides payment processing and in-flight receipts, but provides inventory control and the enhanced data analysis they need to operate their businesses more efficiently", states Metzger.
   Utilizing mass-market commodity devices running open systems like Windows Mobile, TPI Software is able to bring unique vertical solutions to market much faster with enhanced functionality and tremendous cost savings over traditional solutions using propriety POS payment terminals. TPI Software offers resellers of financial services the ability to differentiate themselves as they target new markets and grow their customer base with unique value-added solutions that retain customers for their long term potential.
   Contact TPI Software at (425) 882-0921 or www.tpisoft.com.

QUICK SERVE SOLUTIONS

   New from PayMate is a service bundle that includes high-speed, Internet-based, secure transport of transactions between the payment terminals and the processor for authorization, and electronic signature capture and real-time retrieval of signed receipts using a standard Web browser. With recent pilot tests showing huge successes, this service package is now marketed to ISOs for resale. The PayMate appliance is installed at a merchant location and works withthe PayMate remote transaction server which then receives transactions from the appliance via the Internet and sends these transactions via a frame relay or a VPN connection to the processor for authorization. The appliance is not just a pass-through. It creates a secure interface between non-Internet enabled terminals and the Internet, automatically and transparently switches between normal and backup modes when the Internet connection is disrupted and recovered, restricts Internet communication to only 2-way communication between the appliance and the PayMate remote server - which locks out hackers. It also manages the payment application and configuration changes that are loaded into merchant's terminals from the PayMate remote server and enables payment equipment to be changed/upgraded without having to make changes downstream from the terminals.
   The PayMate remote server aggregates transactions from various stores and sends them down one pipe to the processor for authorization and settlement, reforms the transaction messages coming from the merchant, according to the processor's specs before sending them to to the processor, hosts transaction receipt images with signatures and establishes a web interface to the merchant so the merchant can view transaction receipts and various transaction reports. It also serves as a central location for entering terminal application configurations, changes, and upgrades and broadcasts them to specified appliances and terminals at designated merchants' locations.
   A recent pilot test was conducted in coordination with Jumpware. PayMate interfaced its high-speed payment service described above, to the Jumpware point-of-sale and store management system at O's Campus Café at the University of Texas, Austin Campus. Prior to PayMate, the Jumpware system used to dial out for credit card authorizations. The Jumpware-PayMate interface enabled O's Campus Cafe to increase throughput from 250 to ~ 400 credit card transactions on day one the interface was activated. The much faster credit card authorizations also allowed O's to serve more cash customers standing in line as well. Marc Weiss, the General Manager of O's, explained his experience with PayMate: "The first day we used PayMate's inexpensive, high-speed payment system, we ran out of food because we ended up serving so many more customers than expected! We knew PayMate had promised us fast credit card transactions, but we didn't expect the speed to have such great impact immediately. The next day, we stocked enough supplies to handle the increased customer volume. In short, PayMate enabled us to double our daily credit card volume, gain over an hour of time in our lines, and consequently increase our cash customer throughput and our bottom line - our ultimate goal." As result of such positive experience at O's, PayMate and Jumpware have established a closer relationship to sell an integrated package including the Jumpware POS and store management system and the PayMate service described above.
   And for the best part, this is big news for ISOs looking to differentiate their product offerings. With Paymate, ISOs can now offer a merchant of any size, point-of-sale features that were previously available and affordable only to large, multilane enterprises. These features include an inexpensive solution delivering 2-4 second authorizations, inexpensive electronic signature capture and web-based retrievals, and affordable package including the 2 features above plus the Jumpware suite of register & store management applications that can automate and streamline the merchant's business operations. All of these features make the ISO a true one-stop shop for the merchant, create new revenue generation venues for the ISO, increase merchant "stickiness" (loyalty) to the ISO as the merchant becomes tied and dependent on these features and finally, can differentiate and give the ISO a significant edge over competition.
   Contact PayMate at 800-935-0340 or www.paymate.net.

PROCESSING SOLUTIONS

   In 2004, plaNet Consulting, a division of CSG Systems, will initiate an ASP (Application Service Provider) offering to Acquirers and ISO's in the U.S and Caribbean markets.
   PlaNet's icAcquirer application, integrated with IBM's TXSeries middleware, is a multi-institution, multi-currency solution designed for banks and ISOs who want to process their customer's credit card transactions in-house instead of utilizing a third party processor. TXSeries is IBM's three-tier client/server solution that uses an open standards-based architecture to support robust, reliable transaction processing. An ASP service provides the customer with the advantages of running their own in-house operation with the convenience of an outsourced service. The customer licenses plaNet's icAcquirer merchant acquiring software which is installed on the client's dedicated hardware, residing in a secured, state-of-the-art data center and optimally tuned to the client's processing requirements.
   While an ASP service offers many of the conveniences of an out-sourced processing solution, the client has complete control of their unique product offering. Each client has their own dedicated equipment and software. This means plaNet's clients each have exclusive control of their product direction, developmental priorities, and service offerings for their merchant customer base. The customer no longer is forced to compete with hundreds of other processing clients for developmental resources. This unique offering is extremely affordable and competitive with even the largest processors in the industry. It is a service that truly offers the best of both worlds.
   Contact plaNet at 800-979-9166 or .

   Also in the arena of processing solutions, in 2004, Shift 4, a leading developer of enterprise e-payment solutions, will offer their $$$ ON THE NET® electronic payment processing solution to ISO's so that they may provide value-added services to their largest and most profitable customers - those with high transaction volumes and multiple locations. $$$ ON THE NET® provides powerful, web-based applications that allow merchants to turn their customers' credit or debit transactions into money in the bank - quickly, accurately and for the lowest costs possible. This is accomplished through a unique, secure, reliable, innovative and powerful system that connects the world's most popular point-of-sale applications to the world's largest credit, debit and private label processors. $$$ ON THE NET® can handle high volume accounts and multiple entities, interfaces, locations, processors and merchant types all within the structure of a single system.
   $$$ ON THE NET® serves as a real-time electronic payment gateway between a merchant's point-of-sale system and their bank/processor, ensuring that authorizations and settlements are both high speed and low cost. With its wide array of unique features, such as advanced auditing, fraud control and comprehensive reporting, $$$ ON THE NET® truly is the most technologically advanced and powerful solution available.
   $$$ ON THE NET®'s powerful and unique features allow merchants to enjoy a myriad of advantages, including:

  • Breadth of the Solution - from gift cards and Canadian debit, to signature capture and check verification, in one simple to use solution.
  • Neutrality - customers can choose from among 99% of today's leading financial institutions to find the one that offers them the best rates and service. In addition, customers may change processors as desired, maintaining leverage in all processor dealings.
  • Integrations - $$$ ON THE NET® is integrated with most of today's leading POS and PMS systems, giving organizations the freedom to choose and the ability to integrate transactions from multiple profit centers.
  • Centralized Control - $$$ ON THE NET® maintains a centralized database of all transactions from across the enterprise. Users can audit and edit these transactions before settlement, as well as access them for up to 24 months to combat charge back requests.
  • Security - the highest level of transaction and financial data security, including certified compliance with all card association regulations.
  • Speed - Industry's fastest authorizations and settlements (sub 5-second!)
  • Lower Costs - The highest level of compliance with card association regulations for transactions, reducing downgrades and resulting in the lowest possible costs.

   Contact Shift 4 at 800.265.5795 or www.shift4.com.

INTERNET AT THE POINT-OF-SALE

   MIST Inc. has developed a fast, cost-effective solution that offers a host of value-added applications via a MicroBrowser option. The Freedom III is MIST's Internet-enabled desktop terminal. Internet connectivity keeps costs down while ensuring top transaction speeds-speeds as fast as two to five seconds, but what really sets this terminal apart is the MicroBrowser functionality.
   The MicroBrowser allows users direct access to MIST's advanced gateway solution-the FreedomGate. A FreedomGate-enabled terminal, like the Freedom III, has access to an unlimited number of value-added applications. Not only can the FreedomGate act as a direct host to MIST's value-added services, it can serve as a link to any available value-add out there. The options are incredible-web-banking, supply ordering and a host of other Internet possibilities are accessible right at the point-of-sale. Terminal memory is always at a premium, but hardware space is not an issue for a FreedomGate-enabled terminal. The FreedomGate hosts the value-adds, so the terminals don't have to-the terminals can simply act as browsers.
   And, a FreedomGate-enabled Freedom III terminal has instant access to any available value-add. As soon as a merchant subscribes to a value-added service, the terminal can access it remotely. Upgrades to existing value-adds and links to new value-added applications have never been easier. Future expansion is available at the touch of a button. In addition to gift card and supply ordering, value-adds like eCommerce, Time & Attendance, and Messaging will be soon be available on any FreedomGate-enabled Freedom III terminal.
   Contact MIST at 1-866-283-2537 or www.mistwireless.com.

MULTICURRENCY/MULTIMERCHANT SOLUTIONS

   First Atlantic Commerce (FAC) recently announced their cGate® VT WEB offering, a new processing solution designed specifically for Call Centers, Data Centers and Property Management companies who require multi-user, multi-currency and multi-merchant payment solutions to facilitate their business. cGate® VT WEB provides comprehensive processing functions of industry processing software, with the convenience of easy and secure access through the Internet. No software to purchase or support, no additional networks, hardware or phone lines to install. Access is available within hours of merchant account approval. Featuring the ability to accurately process multicurrency card payments for individual or multiple properties/clients via drop down menu selections on the payment input screen, data and call centers are able to expand their businesses and market reach by offering back-office payment solutions to merchants who require billing services in a multitude of foreign currencies. USD, CDN$, AUS$, EURO, Pounds Sterling, and YEN plus 50 other leading currencies, including Caribbean, Central and South American currencies are supported. With no limits on the number of employees that can use the system simultaneously, data and call centers can rapidly process multiple card payments for any number of merchants or clients easily and efficiently. Advanced level web- based reporting is available for up to 6 months of processing history, including decline transaction reports, batch summaries, user transaction audit reports, etc. Product and Service Features include:

  • Multi-user and Multi-Merchant capabilities ­ with data entry via a user-friendly web based interface.
  • Transaction confirmation email notices to both the Merchant and the Cardholder.
  • Internet access allows multiple users to stay directly connected for faster payment and authorization processing.
  • Ability to accept transactions from any source MO/TO, Fax, Email, Internet, Subscription.
  • Accessible in minutes through wireless, PC or any other Internet browser connection.
  • Process real-time credit/debit card transactions in up to 58 pricing currencies.
  • Supports settlement funding in Caribbean domestic currencies, USD, EURO, Pounds Sterling, CDN$ and Australian Dollars.
  • Billing services to consumers in over 58 currencies.
  • Supports multiple user levels of security for transaction and merchant authentication.
  • Access to secure, online, daily transaction reports with advanced search capabilities.
  • Access to fraud and suspicious transaction activity reports.
  • Ability to process authorizations, sales, voids, returns and credits quickly and easily.
  • No requirement for additional software, hardware, POS terminals, phone lines or switches.
  • Card Present (key entered) interchange rates (processor dependent).

   Contact First Atlantic Commerce at (441) 294-4620, or www.firstatlanticcommerce.com.

CURRENCY CONVERSION SOLUTIONS

   In today's global business environment, both merchants and Acquirers are pursing new revenue streams and additional value-added services to retain customers and clients. Two specific areas have emerged in recent years as strong opportunities for expansion: International and Internet Commerce. On the International front, tourism continues to grow even with recent world events and spending by international travelers to the USA is more than double that of any other country. Internet commerce now gives merchants access to customers all across the globe. So, how do these customers pay?
   Through a Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC service), a consumer is offered a choice to pay in their own home currency (currency that the card was issued in) or the merchant's currency at a point-of-sale. Once a currency is selected by the consumer, the transaction remains in that currency throughout the entire transaction and settlement process. Foreign currency rates are electronically updated and DCC ensures that the most competitive conversion rates are used at the time of each transaction. Merchants and consumers alike can conduct business with confidence, knowing the exact amount of their transaction before a bankcard statement arrives.
   Both plaNet Payment and First Data offer this new Dynamic Currency Conversion service. plaNet sources explain the benefits of their DCC solution as follows:
   DCC is really about a significant new revenue stream to processors and retailers inherent in the margin earned on the currency conversion. The conversion is done at a rate of exchange that allows for a margin over wholesale exchange rates, which is shared by the merchant, the Acquirer and plaNet Payment. On each converted transaction, the merchant can earn a commission based upon the face amount of the underlying transaction. For a merchant with a high incidence of international shoppers, this currency conversion revenue can easily add several hundred thousand dollars to the bottom line -- while enhancing customers' shopping experience.
   Historically, a foreign customer paying with a credit card could only pay in the merchant's currency, with the customer's credit card provider performing the conversion after the transaction is completed, at an exchange rate not known to the customer. The merchant's foreign customers do not learn the final cost of a transaction until they receive a billing statement at the end of the month. plaNet Payment's DCC service addresses this void by presenting the customer with the information and ability to make an informed choice of currency in which to complete a transaction, while still at the point-of-sale, in full compliance with applicable Visa and MasterCard regulations.
   plaNet Payment seeks to work with all participants in the acquiring industry to promote and support dynamic currency conversion. Acquirers and ISO's with merchants for which DCC will be beneficial can earn revenue by allowing plaNet Payment to process for those merchants. Gateways and POS solution providers can facilitate DCC for their merchants by integrating to plaNet Payment's DCC processing platform, based upon standard industry specifications.
   Numerous merchants, acquirers, ISO's, gateways and POS solution providers ­ including Plug'n Pay Technologies and Humboldt Merchant Services are already earning additional revenue by offering PlaNet Payment's DCC solution. Contact plaNet at 800-945-2538 or www.planetpayment.com.

   First Data summarizes the benefits of their GlobalChoice DCC solution below:

Cardholder Merchant Acquirer Benefits:
  • Instant conversion to a familiar currency.
  • Competitive exchange rates.
  • A guarantee that the cardholder's account is charged with the quoted amount, eliminating any further currency conversions.
  • No surprises when Card statement arrives ­ the exact amount is known in advance.
  • Increased Customer Service at Point-of-Sale.
  • Simplifies Expense Account claims.
Merchant Benefits:
  • DCC allows merchants to offer a value-added service to their international customer base.
  • DCC will generate a new revenue stream for merchants on a monthly basis the merchant is rebated an agreed percentage of the foreign currency turnover, for transactions processed in that period.
  • No risk to the merchant if foreign exchange rates become unfavorable.
  • Extensive Management Information System reporting.
Acquirer Benefits:
  • Enhances product range to Acquirer/merchants.
  • The opportunity to strengthen and deepen its relationship with its existing merchants, whose customers may be foreign cardholders.
  • Ability to retain their existing merchants who wish to introduce DCC at their POS who might otherwise change to another Acquirer/Processor.
  • Can compete for new business from merchants who want to introduce DCC at their POS and who are not already customers of the Acquiring Bank.
Processor:
  • The opportunity to grow the international business.
  • A new revenue stream.

   Contact Chuck Fillinger at First Data at (954) 851-7302.

MERCHANT APPLICATIONS

   In 2004, Retriever Payment Systems will offer ISOs a new and innovative merchant application approval program. The Merchant Application Gateway, or MAG, makes the application, approval and activation of merchant processing fast and easy. MAG has a broad spectrum of features, such as auto approval for American Express, Diners and Discover, risk guideline rules that will approve applications automatically and input security features to ensure applications are entered correctly.
   MAG, in compliance with The Patriot Act, offers three of the most secure methods for user login. The first employs the latest in biometric engineering to permit MAG to both scan and recognize a registered user's fingerprint. Similarly, MAG recognizes a registered user's personal signature after they sign their name digitally on a specially designed signature pad. The final method requires entering a unique ID and password.
   "MAG allows a tremendous competitive advantage for our sales reps in the market place." states Russ Goebel, Vice-President. "Retriever sales offices earn more revenue by leveraging MAG to get approvals quicker and more often." MAG reinforces that concern for ISO's by allowing cus- tomization of the look and feel of every screen. Logos can be added and even screen colors can be established that reflect a seamless interface throughout MAG for not only ISOs but also Agent Banks and Retriever Groups.
   In an effort to reduce human error, MAG auto-populates fields to minimize typing and uses "point-and-shoot" methods to enter data. Greater accuracy on applications means quicker approval time. On several entry screens in MAG, a point-and-shoot device is used to provide information such as dates. After all data entry is complete, an Order Form Summary page appears with a complete review of all the products, services and necessary legal verbiage. After reading through this document, the merchant can sign it digitally and the application can be submitted directly into the same data input system used by internal application processing agents.
   Contact Retriever Payment Systems at 800-376-399.

COIN MACHINES

   CoinMagic presents a new and innovative solution to an age-old problem that provides simple and clear opportunities for merchants and ISOs alike to increase revenues. Until recently, consumers had few choices when looking for a place to cash in their surprisingly large hordes of loose coins. While few people outside the cash handling circle realize it, the Federal Reserve estimates that there are over $8 billion in loose coins in bureaus, closets and jars all over America. That is a lot of coin that banks nor merchants have the equipment or personnel to handle.
   National Business Products, Inc. now offers CoinMagic's CoinStar model, a self-service coin counting machine that is installed at the merchant location at no expense to the merchant. Consumers may insert their coins, in bulk, into the machine which counts them and prints a receipt for the total amount of the coin deposit. The customer then takes this receipt to the customer service desk for payment. A fee of approximately 8.9% is deducted from the deposit and the balance is remitted to the consumer in cash. NBP services the machine, removes the coins and remits a check to the merchant for the dollar amount of all coins deposited, less a service fee of approximately 1-1.5%. The merchant then yields about 7.5% profit on all coin deposits. Further, the CoinStar machine provides more opportunities for ISOs to tie merchants to them, reducing attrition and increasing incremental processing residuals.
   The average CoinStar machine receives approximately $5000 per week in deposits. At 9%, this means $450 per week in profit.
    Another advantage of this solution is that merchants can actually have the device interface with their point-of-sale system enabling the loading of the value deposited onto an in-store gift card. This way the dollars all stay in the merchant's operation; a big deal when you realize that if the machines take in the national average of $5000 per week times 52, that the merchant could bring an additional $260,000 into annual revenue if all of the dollars deposited stay in their store. Plus, if the merchant charges the maximum convenience fee of 9%, the revenue will exceed $23,000 per year.
   Contact Stephen Prince, National Business Products, Inc. at 1-800-757-1492, ext.3300.

INTERNET TRANSACTIONS

   Anticipating the future of Internet payments and e-Commerce Thales e-Security recently introduced 3D Secure, a payment protocol for securing Internet transactions developed by Visa and MasterCard. As more and more and more banking organizations wonder what the future will bring and Internet merchants and banks see an increasing and bewildering number of solutions for solving this problem, customers don't seem to be any more confident about paying online now than before. The answer is a globally recognized solution from the major credit card associations. In steps 3D-Secure.
   There are two ways in which a bank can implement 3D-Secure: In-house and Service-based. In the latter, banks outsource their processing to an outside organization. This is the easiest implementation. It provides a good short-term solution, especially in pilot phases. However, in this model, the authentication process is not performed in-house, and banks have lost control over their customers as a result. Moreover, outsourced implementation can be difficult when it comes to connecting the 3D-Secure infrastructure to the bank's core systems. In the in-house model, banks can implement the core 3D-Secure server, the Access Control Server (ACS), within their core systems. This implementation makes connection to the back office easier and ensures better control over the authentication. Even though the up-front investment can seem higher, the overall return can be better overtime and the integration effort actually lower. And with the cost of ACS being driven down by competition, it is possible to find a reasonable package at a limited initial cost for the bank.
   When implementing 3D-Secure, there are 3 critical factors for success:

  • Protection of cryptographic keys used to sign the transactions and authenticate users,
  • Security of key management processes as keys are exchanged between the ACS and other critical infrastructures such as Card Associations' Certification Authorities and the bank's core back office systems,
  • Security of the cardholder authentication process.

   To guarantee the protection of keys, Visa and MasterCard mandate that all keys are generated and stored within a tamper-resistant Hardware Security Module. Thales e-Security offers a specialized Hardware Security Module for Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode: the 3D Security Module (3DSM). With the 3DSM, banks are guaranteed the highest level of protection for their keys and processes. In addition, the 3DSM offers cryptographic acceleration and redundant configuration as standard, a key requirement for online environments. The 3DSM also offers simple, robust and sound key management practices for exchanging cryptographic keys with other parts of the card payment infrastructure. Finally, the 3DSM offer database protection capabilities to the ACS, making customers' credentials secure at all times during the enrolment and authentication processes.
   Contact Thales e-Security at 1-888-744-4976, or www.thales-esecurity.com.

   For those interested in taking PIN debit into the virtual world, Kryptosima recently introduced payENKRYPT ™, a payment gateway service that enables web merchants to accept ATM Card (PIN-debit) payments. Because PIN-debit offers merchants less fraud risk and lower transaction fees versus Visa/MC acceptance, the service should prove popular with web merchants.
   While PIN-debit was previously limited to brick-and-mortar locations, terms of the settlements in the "Wal-Mart" lawsuit enable merchants to act more aggressively to encourage PIN-debit usage. payENKRYPT enables merchants to extend PIN-debit acceptance to their Internet sales.
   payENKRYPT differs from solutions provided by other payment gateways because it enables web merchants to accept PIN-debit transactions in the traditional card-swipe manner.
   The system follows all current ATM network security rules and procedures. Because PC's are NOT secure devices, the system utilizes a low-cost card reader/PIN pad attached to consumers' PCs, to encrypt PIN numbers before transmission to the PC or over the Internet.
   Encrypted transaction data is securely sent from the consumer's PC directly to Kryptosima's gateway bypassing the merchant's web site. While the use of a device differs from web card payments as currently practiced, the business model is solid. Web merchants with repeat customers and a high average transaction amount can achieve significant savings by moving frequent customers to PIN-debit. Kryptosima believes that the savings are sufficient to justify an investment in deployment of PIN pads to those frequent shoppers. And merchants, issuers, and cardholders all benefit from the fraud reduction offered by PIN transactions.
   Because the savings are most significant for large transaction amounts, merchants in vertical markets such as airlines and upscale consumer brands sold online are expected to be among the first customers. Also, markets that cannot or will not accept "credit" cards, such as online brokerages, are expected to utilize the service. Bill paying, and reloading of value onto prepaid cards, are also target markets.
   Contact Harry Hargens at Kryptosima at 770-471-4944, or www.kryptosima.com.

   Another Internet transaction solution faciliating debit card use for web-based transactions is being offered by Oncaldera Corporation and is called eBusiness Secure & GuaranteedTM (EBSGTM)
   EBSGTM is a payment product for Internet transactions where financial institutions authenticate their customers (Buyers), and send guaranteed payments to merchants (Sellers), yet compatible with the existing and widely available mag stripe environments. This process is enabled through the use of a CD card. Furthermore, EBSGTM is a PIN-based solution that eliminates the need for merchants to view vital information. And, unlike the products offered by other companies, it is completely portable and does not require the installation or integration of hardware or software by Issuers, Acquirers, or consumers. There is no cost to the end-user. No education necessary. There are approximately one million ATMs and about 17 million POS devices across the world. There are more than 400 million computers that have CD-ROMS.
   The EBSG CD-Card can be used for both online and offline purchasing and is available in debit, credit, prepaid, loyalty, and gift formats.
   EBSGTM functions via currently used and highly recognizable platforms. The CD-card is exactly the same dimensions and thickness of a normal plastic card. It has a magstripe so it functions the same way as any card does today. Both merchants and consumers are already familiar with these technologies.
   For Internet use, the CD-card is placed in the CD-ROM drive of any computer at the checkout page of any shopping cart. When EBSGTM is selected as the payment method, the consumer is instructed to insert the CD Card into the CD-ROM drive and enter their PIN to be sent to the EBSGTM Authentication Server for routing to consumer's financial institution. The merchant is notified by the authentication server whether the transaction is approved or denied. The merchant confirms/denies transaction with the consumer. None of the card information is transmitted to the merchant. Instead, it is sent directly to the consumer's financial institution, thereby preventing any fraudulent misuse of cardholder's financial data by the merchant or a hacker attempting access to the merchants systems.
   The PIN Pad for entering the PIN is a virtual duplication of a PIN pad found on any PIN-based device. Unlike the hardware devices, the virtual PIN Pad is displayed with numbers (buttons) in random order rather than 0 ­ 9. When the PIN is submitted by the Buyer, the data sent is encrypted as random characters. The pseudo PIN is transmitted to the EBSGTM Authentication Server over an SSL connection (with RC4-128 or 3DES underlying encryption). Mouse clicks captured are meaningless because the value of the button is not pre-defined and cannot be seen in the source code of the page.
   The EBSG™ technology inherently necessitates two separate and distinct links to be established, rather than one as in all online credit card transactions. Therefore the chance that data may be fraudulently captured is greatly minimized. The levels of security during transmission alone make it nearly impossible for unauthorized individuals to capture any useable data.
   Contact Oncaldera Corporation at 818-442-6080, or www.oncaldera.com.