MerchantOnline.com 2000

MerchantOnline.com, Inc. reported Friday a net loss of $17,701,420 on revenues of $248,150 for the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, compared to a net loss of $2,440,328 on revenues of $204,080 for the prior fiscal year. The Company recorded a $4,089,429 charge due to equity in its Innovonics subsidiary. The Company also announced this morning a $3 million financing commitment from a group of investors. Founded in December 1997, MerchantOnline provides a secure transaction network that enables business and consumers to use one payment system for both their real world and virtual world needs utilizing credit cards, ATM/debit cards and other payment programs.

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Digipass 110

VASCO last week announced its ‘Digipass 110’ secure smart card. VASCO’s ‘Digipass’ provides anytime, anywhere, anyhow security through patented dynamic password and digital signature technologies. The ‘Digipass’ family of products now includes the ‘Digipass 110’ smart card, ‘Digipass 300’, ‘Digipass 600’ providing logical and physical authentication in one device, ‘Digipass 700’, ‘Digipass 800’ portable and secure smart card reader, and ‘Digipass Soft’, which combines the security advantages of Digipass strong authentication and digital signature with the flexibility of a software-based solution.

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Speedpay

New York City-based E Commerce Group announced this morning that the City of Tallahassee has gone EBPP. Tallahassee rolled out a full suite of e-payment products to enable payment of water, gas, solid waste and electric bills via telephone or the Internet with payment cards. The city’s 90,000 utility customers can now make ‘Speedpay’ payments through a MasterCard, Discover, or VISA credit card or by debiting their checking account. ‘Speedpay’ is available on three platforms: desktop (for call centers), VRU and the Internet.

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FAPS Gets Young

TX-based First American Payment Systems has hired Linda Young as VP of the newly formed Merchant Services department. She previously served as Senior Director of Implementations for Paymentech in Dallas, where she was involved with and managed point-of-sale terminal installations, merchant and employee training, and sales support. Ms. Young also spent six years at EDS as a business analyst.

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EasyServe

Call Interactive, a subsidiary of electronic commerce and payment services leader First Data Corp. and a pioneer in automated customer care solutions, today launched the Call Interactive (CI) EasyServeSM suite of customer service products.

Designed to automate even complex customer service functions, CI EasyServe products feature next generation technology for phone and Web access. In early applications, these products have dramatically increased the number of calls satisfied start-to-finish in the interactive voice response (IVR) environment, pared call lengths by as much as 50 percent and provided consistent customer support at a reduced cost.

“The CI EasyServe product line is a natural outgrowth of the work Call Interactive has been doing on a customized basis for our clients in the financial, insurance and brokerage industries,” Call Interactive General Manager and Senior Vice President Steve Grandfield said. “Our new packaged product focus has enabled us to combine functionality for the most popular customer service requests into off-the-shelf products that can be implemented quickly with few customizations.”

The Call Interactive multi-channel approach allows customers to access the advanced functionality of the CI EasyServe products through both touch-tone and conversational speech recognition technology. Through advanced Web integration technology, Call Interactive clients are able to use one database for both Web and IVR customer service solutions.

“These products give the customer control of the call, making customer service available 24/7 on the customer’s terms,” Grandfield said. “At the same time, by cutting down the number of calls that require a live operator, CI EasyServe products free call center representatives to focus on complex customer service issues that truly require personal attention.”

Call Interactive is introducing EasyServe products for a number of key industries.

Brokerage industry – With CI MarketTalk SM, brokerage firms can offer their customers voice access to everything from real-time stock quotes, trade execution and advisories to account information. The CI MarketTalk advanced speech technology utilizes powerful voice response software from Nuance.

Financial industry – CI CardServe SM products move into new territory, automating complex customer service functions for card issuers. These products handle everything from charge disputes and lost or stolen card reports to card replacement requests. The multi-channel environment integrates phone and Web technology with applications that utilize touch-tone and advanced speech technology.

Insurance industry -CI BenefitServe SM offers comprehensive automated customer care services for providers, patients and employers. This flexible Call Interactive product is revolutionizing concepts of customer service in the insurance industry with automated response mechanisms that speed FastFax provider lists to patients, provide instant answer to questions of eligibility and offer up-to-the minute claims status information – all without the help of a live operator.

All CI EasyServe products are packaged solutions, which makes them ready for implementation in record time. In addition, these products are modular so that new features can be added easily.

Call Interactive has been a leading provider of customer service products since the 1980s. Although not originally branded as CI EasyServe, Call Interactive’s automated customer care solutions historically served clients in industries as diverse as telecommunications, food products and financial services. Today, its EasyServe customer service products eclipse the functionality of the in-house systems that many companies rely on for customer service support.

About Call Interactive:

Call Interactive is a leading provider of automated customer care solutions and a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC). Call Interactive, headquartered in Omaha, Neb., serves hundreds of businesses in a host of industries including financial services, insurance, brokerage and more by providing consultation, service, technology and support for long-term, complex interactive programs. For more information, please consult the company’s Web site at [www.callit.com][1].

About First Data Corp.:

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services. Serving more than two million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [www.firstdata.com][2].

[1]: http://www.callit.com
[2]: http://www.firstdata.com

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Hudson Buys Portfolios

Hudson United Bancorp announced that it has contracted to purchase four credit card portfolios and retail store servicing relationships from a subsidiary of Transamerica Finance Corp. Transamerica Finance Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AEGON N.V. The portfolios will be administered by Shoppers Charge Accounts Co., Hudson United Bancorp’s division specializing in this service. The aggregate portfolio being purchased is approximately $85 million and closing is scheduled for later this month. Hudson United expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings per share.

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Palm iDine

Transmedia Network’s dining rewards program is going wireless. The firm has teamed with AvantGo to enable ‘iDine’s’ more than four million members to access over 7,000 restaurant listings in 60 major markets by utilizing handheld devices based on the Palm OS or Windows CE platforms, as well as Internet-enabled phones. Offered as a free service, members can access the ‘iDine’ website via desktop synchronization or wirelessly and conduct a personalized mobile dining search by metro area and neighborhood. Under the ‘iDine’ program, members register up to three major credit cards and automatically receive their dining benefits without the use of coupons or flash cards. Under the fee-based, cash rewards program called iDine Prime, members receive a 20% cash reward at participating restaurants for an annual membership fee of $49. (CF Library 8/4/00; 11/22/00)

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Laser Visa

Drexler Technology contracted to provide one million ‘LaserCard’ optical memory cards to the U.S. Department of State. The ‘Laser Visa’ cards will be used for frequent visitors from Mexico and as INS Permanent Resident ‘Green Cards’. Under terms of the deal, Drexler will receive more than $3 million in revenues and will deliver the cards at an average rate of 143,000 cards per month. This is the second DoS million card order for Drexler. Approximately 8 million U.S. and Mexican residents have received Drexler’s cards since 1997, in the form of either Green Cards or Laser Visas. Currently, the INS and DoS are personalizing and issuing the cards to about 300,000 more people each month under these two programs. (CF Library 3/23/01)

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