Wednesday, March 5, 2008

HomeATM Article from Digital Transaction News

Smart Card Marketing, HomeATM Enable PIN Debit Online
and at Stores

In a move that could further the penetration of "Internet-based PIN debit", (Editors Note: I prefer PIN Authenticated Internet Debit which gives us the acronym P.A.I.D which could also stand for PIN Authenticated ID) a San Antonio-based processor of prepaid card transactions has adopted a device that will allow users of its electronic-wallet service to load their accounts online with credit cards and PIN debit cards.

Smart Card Marketing Systems Inc., which introduced its e-wallet product just six months ago and so far has 1,000 users, will use a device from Montreal-based HomeATM that connects to PCs via a USB cable to allow users to load accounts online with card swipes. The device includes a numeric pad for entry of PINs linked to debit cards.

Also, as part of the agreement with Smart Card Marketing Systems, HomeATM will begin reaching the physical point of sale for the first time.

Working with an unnamed merchant acquirer, Smart Card Marketing Systems is signing up merchants to accept credit and debit cards through the HomeATM device.

The acquirer will process credit card transactions, while HomeATM will handle debit card payments. Smart Card Marketing has booked orders from merchants for 9,000 of the devices so far, says Bruce Baillio, president of the company. Targeting niche merchants that in many cases don’t have existing merchant accounts, Smart Card Marketing is offering the HomeATM device as a substitute for conventional point-of-sale terminals and pricing it at around $50.

Although the devices will accept credit or debit cards, Baillio says many merchants have a strong interest in PIN debit. “Our merchants are interested in the debit-loading aspects of this,” he notes. A travel agency, for example, finds the service useful to allow customers to load prepaid cards for use on trips, he says. Another client is a processor for small online merchants that wants to enable PIN debit payment, Baillio says.

The agreement with Smart Card Marketing represents the second major deal HomeATM, a small engineering company with a handful of Web merchants as clients, has struck in the past two months. In December, the company agreed to use its technology to enable online PIN debit and credit card transactions for airlines linked to the Universal Air Travel Plan transaction switch.

At the same time, it applied for a patent on a PIN-authentication system called PinMyCard, which, when paired with its device, could allow merchants to process credit card transactions online at card-present interchange rates. Company officials say this is possible by virtually eliminating the risk of fraud (Digital Transactions News, Dec. 18, 2007).

For users of Smart Card Marketing’s service, the HomeATM device will enable cardholders to replenish the company’s prepaid MasterCard online with the swipe of a credit or PIN debit card., an e-wallet platform, also allows loading through the automated clearing house, wire transfers, and checks and money orders. The advantage of PIN debit card swipes, Baillio says, is that the company will get good funds the same day. “Unless you’re getting physical cash from someone, the time frame of moving money is extended, it could turn into multiple days or a week,” he says.

The agreement with Smart Card Marketing does not yet involve HomeATM’s PinMyCard system, so online credit card transactions on the devices are being assessed card-not-present interchange, according to Mitchell Cobrin, chief operating officer at HomeATM. But he says talks are under way with Smart Card Marketing to integrate the system and allow card-present rates, which do not carry the premium the card networks levy on card-not-present payments.

Universal Air Travel Plan Selects HomeATM's PIN Solution

Targets Airlines with PIN Based Alternative Form of Payment

Washington, DC – Universal Air Travel Plan, Inc. (UATP), today announced a partnership with HomeATM ePayment Solutions, a global online payment solution and web security engineering firm.

The partnership will initially offer an alternative payment option to the global commercial airline community.

“UATP continues to expand its partnerships into alternative forms of payment with HomeATM, utilizing UATP’s existing connections with the airlines to offer a new form of payment option for consumer use,” said Ralph Kaiser president and CEO, UATP.

“UATP’s goal is to maximize the usage of the network infrastructure and offer to the buying-public the options of payment that they are looking for.”

Addressing the consumer need for online debit card processing abilities, HomeATM developed a secure PIN debit and PIN credit card (as card present) transaction method via the internet; the growing preferred method of payment for consumers and merchants alike.

HomeATM’s unique system utilizes state of the art technology and the HomeATM swipe pad to allow users to conduct secure, PIN-based transactions ensuring virtually zero fraud and with significantly lower merchant processing fee costs.

“Through this partnership, airlines will be able to address the growing demand for alternative forms of payment, significantly reduce their cost and offer the buyer side 99-Sigma security”, said Mitchell Cobrin, chief operating officer, HomeATM.

“Our motivation for aligning with UATP was to extend this most timely payment process to as wide a swath of the travel sector in as short a lead time as possible. Now that it is done, HomeATM will gain speed to market by offering a quasi Plug and Play solution to commercial airlines globally. We could not be more pleased.”

Functionally, HomeATM mirrors brick and mortar POS transaction processes and is the first player in the e-payment space to bring PIN – or dually authenticated – debit to the web environment.
In addition - through its PinMyCard technology and with an eye to increasing the security of sensitive buyer data and lowering merchant processing, fraud and reserve costs - HomeATM will be offering airline clients the capability of generating a PIN for use with their credit cards.

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About UATP

UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by airlines and travel agencies worldwide. UATP accounts are issued by: Aer Lingus, Air New Zealand, American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), Austrian Airlines, Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), Japan Airlines (Pink sheets: JALSY.PK), Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA), Qantas Airways, Ltd., United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAUA), and US Airways (NYSE:LCC). AirPlus International issues the UATP-based Company Account for: British Airways (Pink, Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL), and Lufthansa German Airlines.

About HomeATM:

HomeATM is the owner of a global patent covering PIN-debit card and PIN-credit card authentication in a browser environment and of patent pending solutions for both a 2nd generation iteration aiming to turn any Internet-enabled device into a fully secured, bank “standard” transaction device as well as a PIN-based dual-authentication conversion process for traditional credit and charge cards, aspiring to be a significant player in online financial services,payment solutions and remittance.

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