CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
A state school system has agreed to issue smart cards to children to limit the material they view on the Internet and to enable online purchases, says Graeme Ward, chief strategy officer for the e-commerce unit of Omaha, Neb.-based Transaction Systems Architects Inc. Ward would not name the state, but says it will use the Cachet chip card from Transaction Systems' ACI Global subsidiary. The system will begin implementing the program this fall, and will issue about 20,000 cards initially to students in four or five schools, Ward says. Ultimately, the state could issue smart cards to all of its 400,000 elementary and secondary school students, allowing parents and school officials to limit access to Web sites and to monitor Internet use by the children. The cards also will carry a Mondex electronic purse that students will be able to use to make purchases on the Internet and at school. Meanwhile, Transaction Systems also announced that it had acquired the intellectual property rights to the Chipper smart card technology from a Dutch bank, Postbank NV, a subsidiary of the ING Group. More than 7 million Postbank customers in Holland have Chipper e-purse cards. Ward says Transaction Systems primarily is interested in Chipper's technology for adding, deleting and managing programs on multiapplication smart cards.