MasterCard International and TradeCard yesterday announced an agreement to develop and pilot a new online payment system for B2B purchases. The new MasterCard-TradeCard payment solution will be the first ever to allow businesses to seamlessly complete B2B e-commerce transactions through a single mechanism. Using TradeCard’s compliance and transaction workflow technology, and MasterCard’s brand, purchasing card platform and global reach, the companies will offer an online payment solution that enables businesses to complete transactions whether large or small, domestic or cross-border, in multiple currencies. Businesses will be able to pay for spot transactions, or track larger, more complicated corporate purchase orders through their transaction cycle and then pay for them when the contract terms have been satisfied. Companies will be able to receive integrated payment information, including transaction-level detail via secure web access. Pilot transactions for the new payment solution are scheduled for the fourth quarter.



Schlumberger Test & Transactions, a business segment of Schlumberger Limited announced it has teamed with PCS Innovations, to jointly create a high-speed content distribution platform to be offered by Schlumberger as the OASYS solution. The solution is based upon the PCSI mobileMAGIC software platform and incorporates the features and security systems inherent in the Schlumberger Simera subscriber identity module (SIM) card. The OASYS solution enables operators to optimally deliver value-added services to Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) wireless customers.

‘The mobileMAGIC platform gives Simera card users the high-speed software platform and interface required to efficiently integrate our SIM card-based, value-added services with our clients’ wireless networks,’ said Ed Jacobsen, vice president, Mobile Communications, Schlumberger. ‘It is critical for our customers to deliver content at a high speed. The OASYS solution and Simera card enable us to provide them with that significant capability.’

‘Simera cards represent a very flexible, multiapplication architecture that can be tailored to meet specific market and security requirements,’ reports Martin Hebert, president of PCS Innovations. ‘With our mobileMAGIC platform, we are able to provide a high-speed gateway to Schlumberger that enables their clients to efficiently deliver value-added services to millions of subscribers.’

The OASYS solution enhances wireless operator networks with its high-speed content delivery capability using Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology. Its robust features enable scalable capacity based upon individual customer requirements and business growth. The OASYS offering will be available in the fourth quarter of 2000 on Windows NT and in the first quarter of 2001 on Sun Solaris servers.

About Schlumberger Test & Transactions

Schlumberger Test & Transactions provides consulting, integration and products for testing and measurement of semiconductor devices, smart card-based transactions, IP (Internet protocol) network security and wireless services. With 1999 revenue of $1.2 billion and over 7000 employees in more than 40 countries, it is a business segment of Schlumberger Limited [NYSE: SLB], a global technology services company with 1999 revenue of $8.4 billion. More information is available at [][1].

About PCS Innovations

PCS Innovations (PCSI) is a pioneer in the development of wireless software technologies connecting the mobile Internet to the world. Through the company’s flagship product, mobileMAGIC, and professional services, PCS Innovations enables enterprises and service providers to rapidly develop, launch and manage their own wireless applications. Formed in 1996, PCS Innovations’ diverse group of industry-leading international clients includes Ericsson, National Bank of Canada, Nokia, and TD Waterhouse. PCS Innovations is a founding member of the newly created Wireless Advertising Association and a participating member in the Personal Communications Industry Association; the WAP Forum; the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association; the Global Mobile Commerce Forum; and the Internet Advertising Bureau. For more information, please visit [][2].



AmEx & Comerica

American Express announced it has entered into a strategic alliance with Comerica Securities. The two companies will build and distribute annuities through more than 300 Comerica bank branches.

As part of its Value Package, American Enterprise Life, a division of American Express, is providing all Comerica banks with annuity products, training for Comerica investment consultants, financial planning software, and marketing support and training.

“American Express is helping Comerica with what American Express Financial Advisors does best, and that’s financial planning,” said Jan Breyer, senior vice president, Third Party Distribution. “We are excited about this alliance. Establishing solid and productive relationships with respected third parties like Comerica is part of our goal at American Express.”

“Comerica Securities is pleased to link its services with the highly-regarded American Express brand,” said John Irwin, president, Comerica Securities. “In addition to adding the annuities issued by American Enterprise Life, this alliance includes valuable support services and comprehensive financial planning tools that our investment consultants can offer to customers.

Comerica Securities, Inc. is a full-service broker-dealer that offers stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities to individual investors, along with investment banking services. It is an investment services affiliate of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a multi-state financial services provider headquartered in Detroit, with banking subsidiaries in Michigan, California and Texas, banking operations in Florida, and businesses in several other states. Comerica also operates banking subsidiaries in Canada and Mexico.

American Enterprise Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of IDS Life Insurance Company, which is one of the largest providers of individual annuities and variable life insurance in the United States, with more than $70 billion in assets under management.

AEL annuities are backed by the strength of IDS Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of American Express Financial Corporation. IDS Life, the 14th largest life insurance company, is the second largest issuer of non-qualified fixed annuities in the country. For more complete information about this annuity including fees and expense, please call 1-800-333-3437 for a prospectus. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

American Express Financial Advisors has been in operation in the U.S. for more than a century, with assets owned or managed exceeding $289 billion. The company’s products and services are distributed through a nationwide network of more than 10,000 advisors, third party relationships with major financial institutions, insurance agencies, broker/dealers, and an institutional business that provides 401(k) and defined benefit plans to companies.

American Express Financial Advisors Inc., the principal underwriter for the insurance and annuities member NASD. Insurance and annuities are made available through AEL, or in New York, through American Centurion Life Assurance Company. American Express company is separate from American Express Financial Advisors Inc. and is not a broker-dealer.


Open Text & PSIGate

b2bScene, a division of Open Text Corporation announced that it has partnered with PSiGate to provide advanced payment solutions for its online business-to-business services. b2bScene has integrated PSiGate’s services for real-time payment collection and financial transaction processing within its business-to-business portal site and hosted application services.

PSiGate handles the processing of payments from purchase to deposit. The PSiGate merchant engine obtains the credit authorization, screens for fraud, deposits the funds and provides b2bScene clients with tracking and reporting of transactions, all implemented with SSL encryption for secure transmission via the Internet.

b2bScene is working with PSiGate to deliver these services to b2bScene’s hosted corporate extranet customers, along with other PSiGate management services such as automated tax and shipping calculations, fraud screening, and financial account reporting. b2bScene joins the growing list of PSiGate’s network of platform partners that includes, First Data Merchant Services and BCE Emergis.

“b2bScene is pleased to announce this partnership with PSiGate to deliver a key component of our integrated business-to-business marketplace services,” says Dan Latendre, VP Business Development and Marketing. “PSiGate offers b2bScene ‘best of breed’ payment services that meet the advanced security, performance and reliability requirements of our hosted services.” “PSiGate is extremely excited to work with b2bScene on making the promise of collaborative commerce a reality,” says James Mundle, President of PSiGate. “Our proven payment services can facilitate the volume of transactions driven by business-to-business interaction at b2bScene.” “This partnership marks the true beginning of collaborative commerce as it pertains to more upstream supply chain issues, such as product development, negotiation and other collaborative exchanges that involve both transaction, dialogue and content,” said John Balla, Senior Analyst with Doculabs. “Indeed, b2bScene is far ahead in this space and has effectively begun to bridge the distinction between transaction-centric Web applications and collaborative ones, which is what ebusiness truly should be.”

About b2bScene

b2bScene has created the first e-Business Community Platform for delivering business-to-business solutions on a hosting infrastructure. b2bScene’s premier online solutions stimulate and promote successful business-to-business interaction and collaboration between an organization’s partners, customers and employees within public and private online business communities. A collection of integrated content, collaboration and commerce services help b2bScene’s customers improve the quality and efficiency of each transaction, process and interaction, resulting in faster time to market, lower costs and greater competitive advantage.

About PSiGate

PSiGate empowers businesses on the Internet by providing secure, cost-effective and trusted eCommerce solutions. PSiGate provides an easy and seamless interface to new or existing online commerce enterprise, offering a reliable means of real-time payment collection and financial transaction processing. In addition, our management services include automated shipping calculations, fraud screening, and financial account reporting. PSiGate also provides Internet Merchant Accounts for VISA, Master Card and American Express for Canadian based Internet Merchants.

About Open Text

Open Text has pioneered the development of innovative intranet and extranet ebusiness applications. Since creating one of the first search engines to index the World Wide Web, the Company has remained at the forefront of Internet-based technologies. Its product family called Livelink enables individuals, teams, organizations, and global trading communities to collaborate on e-business applications that facilitate e-commerce and other transactions among Global 2000 organizations. Open Text has become one of the largest providers of Web based collaboration for e-business applications for e-communities of all types from intranets to extranets and public groups. The Livelink product family has over 4 million users in over 4,000 installations in 31 countries, speaking 12 languages throughout the world. For more information, visit .

About Livelink

Livelink is a highly scaleable e-business application. Its richly-featured enterprise services include virtual team collaboration, business process automation, enterprise group scheduling and information retrieval services, all tightly integrated into a solution that is easily customized and extended. Livelink is essential to the effective management and development of communities of interest that span organizations and industries. For everything from the creation of complex e-community relationships to the automation of simple e-business processes, Livelink delivers true dynamic collaboration between individuals, organizations, and large trading communities. Livelink servers are fully Web-based and open-architected to ensure rapid deployment and easy access to its full functionality through a standard Web browser.


OPC Stats

Official Payments Corp. reported Wednesday that it has collected and processed over $575 million in federal income tax payments by credit card on behalf of the IRS so far this year. OPC also announced the beginning in January 2001 it will add an Internet tax payment service for the IRS to its existing telephone-based credit card payment service. OPC also reported yesterday that it collected $32 million in quarterly tax payments due April 15 and $39 million in quarterly tax payments due June 15.


Card Cons

The FTC said yesterday the first group of payday loan cons it has gone after were “especially contemptible” with no intention of delivering the credit and cash advances they promised consumers. The FTC action effectively puts an end to the ‘MoneyMarketCard’ marketed by Las Vegas-based Consumer Money Markets and Continental Direct Services. The FTC alleges the two firms, as well as other individuals and firms connected to the companies, violated the FTC Act, the TSR, and the TILA by making false claims in regard to advance loan fees, payday loans and credit cards. CMM launched the ‘MoneyMarketCard’ in the summer of 1996. In solicitations, consumers were told they would receive a credit line of $5,500 at 14.99% interest, regardless of their previous credit history in exchange for a $169.95 membership fee. CMM implied that consumers could use the credit line for general shopping but the company failed to disclose that, in fact, they could only use the credit line for CMM catalog shopping. CMM required that consumers put down 30% on the purchase of all goods. Also, the initial loan amount was only $20, and instead of being on revolving credit, it had to be entirely repaid to Interstate Check Services, Inc., CMM’s cash-loan affiliate, in 30 days. ICS charged $6 for each $20 loan or 360% per annum. Continental Direct Services purchased CMM’s assets in July of 1999. Under terms of Wednesday’s proposed settlements both firms will be required to disgorge $350,000 in profits they received from consumers and forgive an additional $1.6 million in outstanding consumer debts. Between August 1996 to July 1999, the companies collected card membership fees totaling more than $12 million from 80,000 customers.


Paytrust Goes Color

Paytrust, the leading service that lets consumers receive, review, pay and organize all of their bills online, announced it is the first online bill management service to provide complete color bill presentment as part of a site upgrade that includes several enhancement to improve the customer experience. This is Paytrust’s third major technology advancement to its service, following on the heels of its “first to offer” SmartBalance feature and wireless capability, integrated in November 1999 and March 2000, respectively. Paytrust is the first bill delivery and payment service to provide both paper and electronic third-party bills as part of its universal inbox strategy. Through Paytrust’s consumer-focused testing, color bills were found to be 80 percent easier to read on-screen than black-and-white bills.

“Our goal has always been to provide the best customer experience,” stated Edward G. McLaughlin, co-founder and chief executive officer at Paytrust. “Right now, our subscribers receive all of their bills online, whether they are originally electronic or paper – our job is to ensure clear delivery and complete satisfaction. Innovative color bills in combination with a host of new customer-driven features make Paytrust by far the most compelling service to manage your bills.” Through customer interaction and feedback, the following new significant features and service enhancements are now integrated into the Paytrust service:

— Color Bill Images – This change allows subscribers to see all of their bill images – whether they originated as paper or electronic – in color rather than black-and-white. This feature improves image quality while further enhancing the experience of reviewing bills online.

— New Bill Pay Only Service – Subscribers can choose between two levels of service: Complete Bill Management for $8.95 per month, or Bill Pay Only for $5.95 per month. Complete Bill Management is the signature Paytrust service that allows subscribers to receive, review, pay and organize all their bills online. Bill Pay Only simply allows members to pay their bills online while continuing to receive paper bills at home. This service also provides a smooth transition for financial institutions migrating off of legacy bill pay platforms.

— Quick Pay – Subscribers can pay multiple bills simultaneously from their Inbox. When this optional feature is activated, a subscriber can select the bills they would like to pay, enter the amount and payment date for each, and click the Quick Pay button. This feature saves subscribers the hassle of having to treat each bill individually.

— Electronic Payments – Paytrust has enhanced its ability to issue electronic payments through a partnership with MasterCard’s Remote Payment and Presentment Service (RPPS) and Mellon Bank to issue electronic payments to more than 2000 billers.

— 100 Percent Satisfaction Guaranteed – Or Your Money Back – Now consumers can try the leading online bill management service risk-free with Paytrust’s unrivaled 3-Month Money Back Guarantee. If, for any reason, a subscriber is not completely satisfied, they can simply cancel the service within 90 days of their first transaction, and Paytrust will refund 100 percent of their monthly service fees – no questions asked.

Other customer-driven enhancements to the Paytrust service include:

— Enhanced Pay Anyone – Subscribers can make faster payments to anyone they choose – even if they haven’t received a bill from that payee. Payments to family members, friends, and neighborhood merchants are easier to authorize with the virtual check screen just one click away from the Inbox. The subscriber can simply complete the check and click Pay to issue the transaction or schedule a future payment.

— Notes – This new feature allows subscribers to attach personal notes or reminders to any payment, bill or notice before filing it. They can use notes to remind themselves about a disputed item on the bill, the purpose of a payment or why they paid a particular amount. These notes are not included in any correspondence sent to payees – only the subscriber will have access to them.

— Streamlined Site Navigation – Subscribers can access our innovative SmartBalance(TM) feature, an opt-in feature that combines a subscriber’s Paytrust account with their checking account information to provide the most accurate balance, directly from the main toolbar. Additionally, our Profile section offers one-stop access to all account related items. It’s easy to keep track of which bills are being received online through the Bill Center and which bills are still coming to the subscriber at home by viewing the lists of payees under each Billing Address. New accounts can be activated for payment privileges via the Bank Setup screen. Subscribers can edit their personal information, change their password or adjust their service preferences all in one place.

— Tell-A-Friend – Subscribers can now send up to five referrals simultaneously through Paytrust’s improved Tell-A-Friend interface. Or, subscribers can cut and paste Paytrust’s promotional message directly into their own email program for easier distribution. In addition to these functional changes, Paytrust has increased the reward for referring new customers. For a limited time, subscribers can earn a $25 donation to the charity of their choice for each friend they refer (in addition to a free month of service).

About Paytrust

Using proprietary technology, Paytrust can deliver 100 percent of a subscriber’s bills online or using a wireless device. Paytrust subscribers receive bill notifications and reminders via email rather than physical mail, and they can review their bill information from anywhere they have access to the Internet. Paytrust can issue payments directly from any check writing account designated by a customer, provide information that enables automatic checkbook balancing and supply data that a customer can download into their personal financial management software.

Paytrust is the flagship service of PAYTRU$T, Inc., a privately held company based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Founded in October 1998, the company is financially backed by investors including American Express, AT&T Ventures, Citigroup, GE Equity, Goldman Sachs, NextCard, SOFTBANK Venture Capital, Spectrum Equity Investors and Thomas Weisel Partners.

In addition, Paytrust recently announced its intention to merge with This merger, currently pending regulatory approval, is expected to commence by Q4 2000. More information on the company can be found on its Web site located at or by calling 1-800-PAYTRUST. Paytrust is a registered trademark and SmartBalance is a trademark of PAYTRU$T, Inc.



Truelink, Inc., a leading provider of online credit reports, announced that it would begin offering a leading-edge analysis tool for consumers accessing their credit reports over the Internet. The new product, TrueProfiler(TM), will be offered on its consumer Web site, (). TrueProfiler can be added to any credit report ordered on, and provides a basis for consumers to educate themselves about how lenders view the content of their credit bureau reports and make lending decisions. TrueProfiler(TM) will provide individuals with the CreditXpert Credit Index(TM), a numerical depiction of creditworthiness, and a personalized analysis of an individual’s credit. The addition of TrueProfiler(TM) makes the first online provider of credit reports to offer a personalized analysis of credit report content, including a credit index.

CreditXpert Inc., a subsidiary of Neuristics LLC, customized its credit analysis product for TrueProfiler(TM) is a credit tool designed for customers that are looking to educate themselves about their credit and credit standings, by providing three valuable features: first, the consumer can determine how a lender would view their credit application by reviewing their CreditXpert Credit Index(TM), a numerical depiction of creditworthiness created by applying techniques similar to those used to calculate credit scores. This numerical representation of creditworthiness enables consumers to identify their current credit standing, and it provides a point of reference with which to monitor their credit standing over time. Second, TrueProfiler(TM) places the customer in a creditworthiness category. The categories are a graphical representation ranging from “Very Poor” to “Very Good” of how lenders may categorize consumers. Third, a detailed explanation of the factors influencing credit standing is provided for consumers to use as a baseline when managing credit.

Although each lender maintains specific underwriting standards, credit report data is a significant focus of every lender during the lending process. An applicant’s creditworthiness is computed based on information from several key sources: a loan application, credit report analysis, and credit scores, which are used to predict an applicant’s likelihood of repayment., believes the addition of TrueProfiler(TM) provides added value to its consumer credit reports because it enables consumers to view their creditworthiness through the eyes of a lender, thus educating them in how to better manage their credit and lending expectations.

“The addition of TrueProfiler(TM) to’s consumer reports is a key step in an ongoing effort to provide our customers with a platform to better understand their credit. CreditXpert Inc., provided the opportunity for us to deliver our customers a personalized analysis of their credit reports,” Kurt Locher,’s CEO, said.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with,” said Michael J. Mazzola, President of CreditXpert Inc. “The combination of’s unique credit bureau information and technical capabilities coupled with CreditXpert(TM) will go a long way in better informing and educating the consumer on the importance of managing credit.”

About is the consumer Web site of TrueLink, Inc., a business founded in 1995 to provide consumers and businesses with secure Internet access to credit reports from the three national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. TrueLink also develops turn-key online applications with real-time credit approval for financial institutions. Since its inception, TrueLink has worked closely with the credit bureaus to develop the policies that now govern the electronic delivery of credit information. TrueLink was the first company authorized by the three national credit bureaus to allow businesses to access credit reports via the Internet. was the first Internet site to deliver credit reports formatted in color-coded histograms that are easy to read and comprehend., like the major credit providers, recommends that consumers regularly review their credit reports. serves this market by delivering customers critical information about factors that impact credit status, such as, inaccuracies and identity fraud and serves as the ideal basis for education about how credit scoring is used in the decision to extend credit.

About CreditXpert Inc.

CreditXpert Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Neuristics LLC. CreditXpert(TM) is the first personalized credit analysis and credit score offered to help consumers educate themselves about their creditworthiness and understand the credit decision process. The CreditXpert Credit Index(TM) is calculated based on many of the same criteria considered by the leading consumer credit scoring companies, producing in most cases a consumer credit index that duplicates or closely approximates the typical consumer credit score utilized by banks, mortgage lenders, and loan companies when determining creditworthiness. CreditXpert Inc. customizes CreditXpert(TM) for their B2B partners. Visitors are welcome at [][1].

About Neuristics LLC

Neuristics LLC, founded in 1993, is an incubator of companies and ideas that apply artificial intelligence to emerging markets. The Neuristics team features forward thinkers who develop cutting-edge technology for products ranging from the CreditXpert Credit Index(TM) and CreditXpert Credit Analysis(TM) to predictive models for financial services, e-commerce personalization strategies, and Web gaming ventures. Neuristics LLC is headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore.



Burgess to Oberthur

Oberthur Card Systems, one of the world’s leading suppliers of smart cards, has named Thierry Burgess as executive vice president of Oberthur Card Systems for smart card integration in North America. Thierry’s extensive knowledge in the payment and information technology security markets will give Oberthur a continued presence in strong sales management and application implementation for smart card development.

‘We are extremely pleased in having Thierry join Oberthur for the strategic implementation of smart card growth in the Americas,’ noted CEO Philippe Tartavull. ‘His experience and leadership with smart card technology is paramount in maintaining Oberthur’s strong position in the market.’

Previously to joining Oberthur, Mr. Burgess was director of strategic relationships for Hewlett-Packard/VeriFone where he formed alliances with telecommunications providers in the development of WAP enabled devices. Mr. Burgess has also worked extensively for more than nine years as an engineer and director of strategic marketing for another smart card manufacturer, Schlumberger Test & Transactions, where he was instrumental in generating growth for their banking, multimedia and payment divisions.

Mr. Burgess received his education at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan at the Universite Paris-Orsay where he graduated summa cum laudae while studying DEA signal processing and applied physics. He is a dual citizen of France and the United States and member of the Board of Directors of the Smart Card Forum. About Oberthur Card Systems:

Oberthur Card Systems is a global leader in the area of smart cards, specializing in the design and production of solutions based on microprocessor cards (smart cards), memory and magnetic stripe cards, as well as associated services: Personalization and Card Management. Oberthur has a large portfolio of products and offers solutions in the areas of banking, pay TV, mobile telecommunications, electronic commerce, security, health care, and transportation.

Number one supplier of VISA and MasterCard cards in the world, the company is also world leader in the development and marketing of solutions for mobile and electronic commerce. It is also the first global supplier of cards for pay TV. Firmly committed to open standards, Oberthur backs Java Card, Open Platform, MULTOS and Windows for Smart Cards, and it is the first supplier of Java cards.

Oberthur Card Systems employs more than 3,000 people worldwide. The international reach of Oberthur is ensured through 30 sales offices and 13 manufacturing sites around the world.

Internet site: [][1]



IBPP Growth

Boston-based Aberdeen Group reports this morning that by 2005 the Internet Bill Payment and Presentment market revenue will increase to $1.9 billion, a 500% increase. Aberdeen says the Internet is transitioning from a static information network to an interactive financial exchange and is increasingly viewed as the medium by which businesses and consumers will interact on a financial basis. The research firms says IBPP will become very important to emerging net markets because of its ability to improve customer service and invoice-to-revenue processes.


Citigroup Associates

Citigroup solidified its #1 rank in the bank credit card industry this morning with the announcement that it is acquiring Associates First Capital for $31.1 billion. The merger between the global banking concern and a finance company will produce a U.S. credit card portfolio with approximately $88 billion in receivables or a market share of about 18%. The acquisition will also provide Citigroup’s card unit with a formidable sub-prime competitor. Citigroup, which has scheduled a news conference at 10:30 a.m. this morning, says one of the attractions of the deal is The Associates’ strong presence in Japan, where it is the fifth largest consumer finance company, and in Europe, where it has more than 700,000 customers. At mid-year Citigroup held $79.1 billion in U.S. card receivables and 42 million gross accounts, according to CardData ([][1]). Associates had $7.25 billion in card receivables and slightly more than 9 million gross accounts at the end of 2Q/00. The transaction is expected to close at year end and will be accounted for by the pooling-of-interests method and will be tax-free to holders of Associates common stock. Following consummation of the transaction, Associates shareholders will own approximately 10% of Citigroup’s common shares.




Omaha-based Amerenhance unveiled a new online customer loyalty system for the card and banking industry this week. The new system, called ‘OCLS’ provides complete Internet access for managing and redeeming award currency in a mileage or point accumulation loyalty program database. Unlike proprietary loyalty programs such as ‘MyPoints’ and ‘WebMiles’, the Amerenhance system can be branded by each issuer to facilitate any mileage or point-based loyalty program. OCLS is also designed to be 100% compatible with any processor’s interface including FDR, TSYS, even an in-house platform. Currently in beta at First USA Bank on the highly successful ‘Value Miles’ cobrand look-alike loyalty program, OCLS will be available to the card industry this fall.