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June 1, 2003
By Tara Seals
By Tara Seals
VendTek Systems Inc. has launched
Now Prepay Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary specifically created to pursue
electronic PIN distribution for the prepaid telecom market in Canada.
Now Prepay’s mission is to join
forces with point-of-sale terminal distributors and transaction processing
organizations to integrate VendTek’s e-Fresh software for electronic service
distribution with debit card and credit card processing software.
Now Prepay has agreements with the
major Canadian telecommunications companies, including Bell Mobility, Fido,
Rogers AT&T Wireless and Telus Mobility to distribute the electronic PINs
that are convertible to prepaid telecom services like wireless airtime and long
distance. Now Prepay also has developed it’s own "clean" prepaid
long-distance card, with no connect fee, no surcharging and no maintenance fees.
"Now Prepay is VendTek’s
e-Fresh showcase," says Now Prepay President Doug Buchanan. "Now
Prepay is working with all potential sales channels to provide our
e-Fresh-enabled POS terminals throughout the supply chain. We anticipate the
majority of retailers will adopt electronic delivery of prepaid and other
services, as it will cut down on cost, theft, damage and ultimately enable them
to increase their margins for selling these services."
The electronic inventory is stored
on a central server and distribution is through a secure network. The usage is
similar to paying by a debit card where a keypad is used to select airtime
minutes or dollar values. A receipt is printed containing a unique PIN number
that is then dialed into a cell phone or telephone. The PIN number is downloaded
in real time, is single use, and doesn’t need to be inventoried by the retailer.
With the addition of UPC bar codes
to their customers’ prepaid telecom product offerings, Now Prepay can track
their electronic PIN inventory usage in real time. Users have instant
recognition of which services and price points are most popular.
Up-to-the-minute data such as purchasing times and demographics can then be used
tailor marketing programs.
Suppliers provided VendTek with the
UPC codes and the company’s development team incorporated them into its e-Fresh
software. e-Fresh is compatible with Hypercom ICE 5500 terminals, Ingenico and
Verifone PoS terminals.
Now Prepay has signed a distribution
agreement with Go Prepaid Inc. to distribute prepaid cellular and long-distance
airtime through e-Fresh equipped PoS terminals. Go Prepaid deployed 12 terminals
to the first of its more than 500 clients in the initial launch.
It has also sold e-Fresh client
licenses to Tangarine Concepts Corp. for the activation of its PoS terminals
with the Now Prepay Corp’s server, so the PoS terminals can provide the resale
of prepaid long-distance and wireless services through the electronic network.
Tangarine has built a Canadian coast-to-coast network of small to medium-sized
businesses using their systems, has approximately 3,000 PoS terminals installed
to-date, and is growing at a rate of 200 terminals per month.
Collective Logic Inc. and its wholly
owned subsidiary Collective Point of Sale Solutions Ltd. will market the e-Fresh
PoS terminal software to its existing terminal base and to new terminals.
Similarly, Datawest Solutions Inc. will deploy the e-Fresh software application
on its 2,700 Hypercom PoS terminals.
The company is banking on continued
prepaid growth. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association reports
there are 10.5 million Canadian cellular subscribers of which 2.6 million are
prepaid users. In Canada, the market for cellular phone time recharges is
expected to reach $800 million annually by 2004. Similarly, the market for
prepaid long distance is expected to increase to $500 million by 2004, says the
TelCan Enhances Web Tools for
TelCan is offering its wholesale
clients enhanced Web-based tools designed to boost productivity and enhance
"TelCan has developed APIs so
its partners can provide online management service to their own clients and
affiliates," says Anton Mendoza, president of TelCan, a provider of
value-added voice services, including enhanced toll-free service, international
callback, click-to-talk, dial-around and prepaid phone cards.
Using these APIs, Mendoza says
service providers can retrieve and change data stored at TelCan’s servers from
their own Web interface. Clients can alter invoice presentation, order new
services, retrieve call details, recharge PINs, upload ANIs, change line
parameters, update payments and more.
Another new aspect of TelCan’s
enhanced web-based tools is its Rate Management System, which enables clients to
manage multiple price lists and country groups.
TelCan also has created custom
solutions to meet the individual needs of service providers and resellers.
Companies can build their own plans using TelCan’s Web-based platform, which
consists of switching, prepaid/postpaid billing and online customer care.
The company also announced revamping
its Web site, including providing targeted information to carriers and partners.
"Creating a targeted site for
each product and service will enable TelCan to provide in-depth,
audience-specific information on all products and partnership programs
required," says Mendoza. "For example, the Enhanced Toll Free Service
Web site has a customer service aspect and is product-oriented, whereas the
wholesale Web site is process-oriented and emphasizes the high-tech acumen of
Creating customer-oriented focus for
TelCan’s Web sites will provide clients with access to multiple communication
channels that will immediately direct visitors to the right person at TelCan. A
customer care center has been developed with instant callback buttons, online
chat buttons, toll free numbers and categorized feedback forms.
i.Core Technologies Debuts
Wholesale Prepaid Internet
i.Core Technologies Inc. has
launched NetPINs wholesale prepaid Internet access service. Initially released
in the 48 contiguous United States, NetPINs enables resellers to create
customized and privately labeled dialup Internet PINs.
Expanded services in the United
States, South America, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific will be
launched by the end of the second quarter of 2003.
NetPINs provides batches of PINs
that can be loaded onto prepaid cards, permitting easy dialup Internet access.
Resellers and card manufacturers need no technical knowledge or direct contact
with network carriers, and can create all their PINs anytime.
Each reseller uses an online form
via a standard Web browser to create, customize, and download batches of PINs
with individual passwords, selecting the number of PINs to generate, access time
available, and expiration for each PIN. Choosing the options that best fit their
business plan, they price their final cards as they wish.
NetPINs currently allows nationwide
toll-free Internet access in the 48 contiguous United States. Regional access to
local dialup numbers is now available within California-and will expand to the
rest of the country during the first quarter of 2003.
PINs can include a company name, can
be integrated with branded Internet dialup software and can be loaded onto
standard prepaid cards.
NetPINs requires no startup or
monthly fees, minimum billings or term commitments. Resellers’ accounts are
debited only when a PIN is used for the first time.
ALLSwitch LLC www.allswitch.com
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