Citi Picks Fallon

Citigroup announced it has named Fallon Minneapolis its agency of record for Citibank’s U.S. consumer business, including retail banking and credit cards. Six agencies, including the incumbent agency of record, competed for the U.S. brand campaign and Citibank’s U.S. consumer advertising.

“We undertook this process to find an idea with the magnitude to help build Citi into a stronger consumer brand. We wanted advertising that would communicate our expanded capabilities and our focus on providing consumer solutions,” said Marge Magner, senior executive vice president for Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group. “The best agencies in the business were involved in the process. We saw very good work. Fallon presented the most comprehensive idea and exciting ways to integrate the diversity of our product offerings with the power of the Citi brand.”

“This is a hugely significant, momentous win for us against some excellent agencies. This win speaks to our history of developing big brand ideas that come from deep consumer truths, stand out creatively and get results,” said Pat Fallon, chairman of Fallon Worldwide. “In the end, it came down to the right strategy, the right people and the right creative approach; a three-pronged victory for our organization. We are very proud to be Citibank’s partner.” While more than 80 Fallon staffers contributed to the winning presentation, the agency was represented by Pat Fallon and Mark Goldstein, chief marketing officer; David Lubars, Fallon Minneapolis president/creative director; Anne Bologna, director of planning; Maggie Shea, account group director; and Lisa Seward, media director.

Citibank is a member of Citigroup (NYSE:C), the premier financial services company, which provides some 100 million consumers, corporations, governments and institutions in 100 countries with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management. Additional information can be found at: [][1].

Fallon Minneapolis manages the consumer voice of some of the world’s leading brands. With billings of approximately $575 million, the agency’s clients include BMW of North America,, EDS, Holiday Inn, International Truck and Engine Corp., The Lee Company, Nordstrom, Nuveen Investments, PBS, Ralston Purina, Starbucks Coffee Company, Timex and United Airlines. Fallon Worldwide is the newly formed second global network of Publicis Group, based in Paris. Additional information can be found at: [][2].



Echo Exits Gaming

Electronic Clearing House said Monday it signed an amendment to its processing agreement with innoVentry under which innoVentry will pay $1,000,000 to acquire the exclusive rights to the software and kiosk and cage-based systems that ECHO developed and supported for cash advance services to the gaming community. The amendment also terminates ECHO’s contractual processing obligations under its agreement with innoVentry over the next 60 days. Subsequent to the signing of the amendment with ECHO, innoVentry, last week, entered into an agreement to sell its ‘Atreva’ product line and suite of financial services, which includes cash advance services, to Global Cash Access. (See CF Library 8/2/00). Transition of the cash advance services presently provided through ECHO will be assumed by Global Cash Access over the next 60-day period.


Card Adds Octane

Priceline for Gasoline announced that effective yesterday, it is waiving the $3 monthly processing fee on the new ‘Blue Gas Card’ due to the strong support it is receiving from more than 5,000 gas retailers nationwide. The program will also be available to all consumers as soon as they come to the Web site. In July, the first 250,000 charter customers priced over 6 million gallons of gasoline at an average savings of 12 cents a gallon off the pump price. Priceline says it has mailed cards to all 1.2 million charter customers with the remaining 500,000 to arrive in homes by end of this week Priceline for Gasoline allows customers to name their own price per gallon and fill up at a gas station selected by Priceline from the customer’s list of favorites. Additionally, while all retailers get the full pump price from customers using the blue ‘Priceline Gasoline Card’, many gas stations pay Priceline for Gasoline a marketing fee to attract additional customers. In addition, Priceline generates revenue from third-party sponsors and other companies. Priceline for Gasoline is currently available in 46 of the 48 continental United States. Priceline for Gasoline is not available in New Jersey and Missouri because of state regulations.


Internet SafeDebit

NYCE Corp. confirmed Friday the successful completion of the first Internet payment transactions made with the new ‘SafeDebit’ card. The patent-pending ‘SafeDebit’ enables PIN-secured debit purchases on the Internet from any standard PC with a CD-ROM drive. The proof-of-concept was completed with the support of participating software vendors and operators around the globe, including Australia-based QSI Payment Technologies, which supplies merchant Web site software, as well as U.S.-based eFunds and France-based GlobeID, which both contribute ‘IIP’ (Internet Interceptor Processor) components to SafeDebit. Other contributors include Media Services, which provides CD-ROM production services, and Metavante, supplying card personalization services. Four financial institutions participated in the proof-of-concept test including: Citibank, HSBC Bank USA, Michigan National and North Fork Bank. NYCE says all four are considering plans to issue ‘SafeDebit’ cards to their customers.


E-Check Proc Deal

First American Payment Systems, one of the fastest growing merchant credit card processing acquirers, announced an agreement with Global eTelecom to utilize that company’s proprietary electronic check processing technology. “We are very pleased to have a company of First American’s stature and reputation choose us to provide their electronic check conversion services. They have an excellent reputation for service and providing cutting-edge payment solutions to our industry,” said John H. Beebe, chairman and chief executive officer of Global eTelecom. “We look forward to a long relationship with them.”

“We chose Global eTelecom because of their robust systems for electronic check conversion, which we believe are far superior to the competition,” said Neil L. Randel, president and chief executive officer of First American Payment Systems. “Partnering with Global eTelecom will allow us to deliver another quality product to our national sales force.”

About First American

First American Payment Systems L.P., a privately owned company founded in 1990, provides full-service electronic credit card authorization and payment systems to restaurant, retail, mail order, telephone order, Internet and home-based merchants throughout the United States. First American’s other divisions include national ATM deployment, Secur-Chex(TM) check guarantee, FirstPay. Net e-commerce payment gateway and Merimac Capital point-of-sale equipment and ATM leasing. For more information on First American Payment Systems, visit the company’s Web site at .

About Global eTelecom

Global eTelecom owns the first approved technology by the National Automated Clearing House Association for electronically processing checks at the point-of-sale. Global eTelecom provides its proprietary electronic check processing services to a network of banks, independent sales agents, and credit card processors nationwide. Other electronic check services include: mail order, telephone order, lockbox conversion, recurring debit, represented check collection (RCK), and complete check image capture. For more information on Global eTelecom, visit the company’s Web site at .


Neuristics Spinoffs

Baltimore, MD-based Neuristics announced Friday it intends to spinoff its incubator of companies which apply artificial intelligence to emerging marketplaces. So far this year, Neuristics has seed-financed two start-ups. The first company to emerge from the Neuristics laboratory is CreditXpert, a pioneer in providing personalized Web content for the consumer credit management industry. The second potential spinoff, Seraphim, brings personalized shopping and customer service on the Web through a groundbreaking AI application. Neuristics is an AI service provider to the credit card industry. The firm also announced Friday that Michael Cooper, previously President of Pitney Bowes Software Systems, has been named CEO. Cooper joined Neuristics in 1999 as COO. Andrew Krause will remain Chairman, and has taken on the role of Chief Scientist. Krause founded Neuristics in 1993.


ABSA Picks Gasper ATM

Gasper Corp., a global provider of innovative automated teller machine management software, has been engaged by ABSA Bank of South Africa to provide Gasper Manager ATM management software for integration in the bank’s network of more than 2,000 ATMs.

“To have ABSA, one of the four major banks in South Africa, adopt Gasper Manager for their ATM network speaks highly of us because the worldwide banking community recognizes that ABSA is a leader in technology,” said Douglas Daggett, Sales Director, Gasper Corp. ABSA is known for using the most advanced technology to operate their network of more than 2,000 ATMs and non-cash self service devices. When the bank wanted to integrate an ATM-specific management tool into their highly advanced self-service delivery channel, the bank looked to Gasper Corp. as the leader in this area.

“With the Gasper Manager system, we can now more accurately detect and track any problems within the ATM network, as well as more closely manage and monitor the responsiveness of service personnel on both a real-time and historical basis,” said Andre Senekal, ABSA. “In addition to this, the Gasper Manager System has highlighted some interpretation problems relating to the actioning of error events emanating from the ATMs, making an already strong self-service network even more reliable and responsive to our customers’ needs.”

Gasper Corp. also provides its Medallion Services customer care support to ABSA. Medallion Services encompass a new, higher level of value-added customer care services that offer both off-site and on-site support, including regular remote help desk services and periodic on-site consultations with Gasper system experts. These consultations can include customer training sessions on Gasper software tools to ensure that customers are getting the most technical and business value from their Gasper investment.

About Gasper Corp.

Gasper Corp., a leading provider of ATM management software, offers comprehensive solutions that are specifically tailored to solve ATM management problems. The company’s solutions monitor ATMs and manage the entire ATM support process to maximize ATM availability, profitability and customer satisfaction for ATM networks worldwide. The company’s solutions are used to manage 50 percent of the ATMs in the United States, and more than 170,000 ATMs worldwide. In addition to its headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, the company maintains offices in Clifton Park, NY; West Chicago, Illinois; Mexico City, Mexico; and London, England. Visit the Gasper Corp. web site at .



CT-based BrandDirect reached a settlement last week with the Attorneys General of Connecticut and Washington State over its telemarketing activities conducted in association with many of the nation’s top credit card issuers. The firm, a merchandiser of discount buying clubs, agreed to pay $1.9 million in penalties, fees, and funds for consumer education, and about $11 million in restitution. The lawsuit, jointly filed in Federal District Court, alleged that the company, which is partly owned by Reader’s Digest and Federated Department Stores, violated federal telemarketing law and the two states’ consumer protection laws. The WA and CT AG’s maintain that BrandDirect misused private cardholder information provided by First USA, BP Oil, Capital One, Chase Manhattan, CitiBank, Household, MBNA America Bank, U.S. Bancorp, Texaco and GE Capital. Under last week’s settlement, the two states will share the $1.9 million in penalties, fees, and consumer education funds and current buying-club members nationwide will each receive three weeks free membership. The estimated value of the additional weeks of membership is $4 per member. There are 2.7 million current members of BrandDirect. In a related development, U.S. Bancorp announced Friday it became the first bank in the country to join the ‘Privacy Leadership Initiative’, a coalition of more than 20 corporate CEOs working to address consumers’ concerns about privacy.


CCS Signs Burns and Roe

Credit Card Solutions, Inc. , the developer of The P-Card Solution software, announced Burns and Roe Enterprises, Inc. as its newest customer.

The P-Card Solution increases the efficiency of a company’s purchasing card (p-card) program. CCSi will customize The P-Card Solution to work in tandem with Burns and Roe’s existing set of business practices and accounting system. Following installation, cardholders will have the ability to automatically reconcile each p-card transaction and post those purchases directly to the general ledger, as well as track each purchase using a unique tracking number. A primary benefit of p-cards is the ease and speed at which staff members can purchase & receive low dollar goods & services. The P-Card Solution significantly reduces internal burdens related to managing p-card purchases, reducing the activity based costs associated with reconciliation & reporting often by as much as 50% to 70%.

“CCSi is proud to welcome Burns and Roe as a customer,” said Roy Wiprud C.P.M., president and chief executive officer of CCSi. “We look forward to helping them establish a state-of-the-art purchasing card program.”

Burns and Roe Enterprises, Inc. is a full-service engineering, construction, operations and maintenance firm headquartered in Oradell, New Jersey. With over 1,700 personnel worldwide, Burns and Roe provides comprehensive services for private and governmental clients in the power, process, industrial, energy, and advanced technology industries.

Headquartered in Richland, Washington, CCSi was founded in 1995 to provide its customers with solutions to their purchasing card problems. CCSi’s flagship product, The P-Card Solution, significantly reduces the cost of purchasing card administration while substantially increasing the amount of information available about p-card transactions, and eliminates the redundancies inherent in typical reconciliation processes. The P-Card Solution has been licensed to clients nationwide. CCSi’s customers include Arthur Andersen, ARCO, Bechtel, The California Institute of Technology, Honeywell, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, the State of Alaska, and Warner Bros. For more information about The P-Card Solution, contact CCSi at 509-943-7998, via e-mail at or online at .


Clarus Appts

Clarus Corporation, a leading provider of business-to-business e-commerce solutions, announced three key appointments to its management team, including chief strategy officer, vice president of business development and vice president of finance. The appointments are effective immediately and are part of the execution of the company’s strategies to aggressively grow its business – establishing a leadership position in the B2B e-commerce market. Steve Hornyak has been promoted to the position of chief strategy officer, reporting directly to Clarus president and CEO Steve Jeffery. Hornyak, who came to Clarus after sales and consulting positions at Oracle Corporation and Price Waterhouse, was one of the original visionaries of Clarus’ strategic shift to become a leader in the B2B e-commerce market. Hornyak was also key in the conception of Clarus eMarket(TM), the first true many-to-many platform to power B2B trading exchanges and winner of Microsoft’s Global e-Commerce Solution of the Year.

As chief strategy officer, Hornyak will continue to help drive the business strategies and execution for Clarus initiatives, and will evangelize those strategies to the financial community, industry analysts, associations and customers.

Mark Ledbetter has been appointed vice president of business development, after serving as director of Clarus eMarket where he led market penetration efforts for the B2B trading exchange framework. In his former position at Clarus, Ledbetter focused on Clarus eMarket from a sales and business development perspective, working with product development and marketing through the product’s conception and June 30 release. Ledbetter’s work prior to Clarus included six years at Oracle Corporation where he served as director of application sales for the company’s Southeast region.

Ledbetter is charged with the aggressive growth of sales channels, the development of new strategic alliances, revenue contributions through forging and maintaining indirect sales channels and the support of rapid international expansion through strategic distributor relationships.

“The rapidly evolving market in which we compete demands skill and experience at the highest levels within the company, as well as a sharp understanding of the importance of key partnerships and strategic direction,” stated Steve Jeffery, president and CEO of Clarus. “Steve and Mark have made invaluable contributions to Clarus in their time here, and in their new roles will add excellence to the executive team and to its aggressive growth plans.” James McDevitt has joined Clarus as vice president of finance. McDevitt, bringing 18 years of financial and administrative management expertise, joins the Clarus executive team after holding executive positions at companies including Geac Computer Corporation, Georgia-Pacific Corporation and Bausch & Lomb. Most recently, McDevitt was CFO of Geac Computer Systems and spent nine years with Bausch & Lomb as vice president and controller of multiple business units.

McDevitt’s responsibilities include all aspects of finance, accounting, applications management, contracts, facilities, purchasing and technical services.

“The addition of Jim McDevitt is critical as we add to our existing strength and strategic direction in the financial end of our business,” added Jeffery. “Jim has consistently shown success in a number of top-level management positions before joining Clarus, demonstrating the quality of contributions he’ll make as we execute our business plan.”

About Clarus

Atlanta-based Clarus Corporation , a leader in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce, provides B2B procurement software and trading services that exploit the global marketplace of the Internet to manage corporate purchasing and enable digital marketplaces.

ClarusNet(TM), a fully managed service portal, provides a comprehensive range of critical trading services such as payment settlement, supplier enablement, auctions, integration, and analytics. Designed to provide unprecedented interoperability, ClarusNet enhances the value and speeds delivery of any B2B trading platform including Clarus(TM) eProcurement and Clarus eMarket(TM). Clarus solutions are being deployed at customer sites including Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., Cinergy, Comcast Corporation, First Data Corporation, Gjensidige NOR, MasterCard International, MetLife, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Perot Systems and Wachovia.