Based on a review of 147 financial service provider Web sites, only three companies, American Express, Comerica and Charles Schwab, achieved the highest ratings. Atlanta-based Speer & Associates said this morning its third proprietary survey of the state of financial services marketing on the Internet found only three companies that achieved ‘Level 4 Site’ levels based on S&A’s ‘5 Level Web Site Evaluation Scale’. Speer said its research highlights that most banks continue to achieve only transactional status or a ‘Level 3’ site rating. To achieve a ‘Level 4’ status bank sites must have at least 1 of the 3 key components including: collection of consumer information for marketing purposes; online applications for products/services submitted electronically; and one-to-one marketing with personalized banner advertisement and targeted e-mail. The top 25 sites evaluated by S&A in this year’s survey include 22 from the USA, 2 from Canada and 1 from Chile.Details
TransPoint LLC announced that subscribers to the Prodigy Internet service and visitors to the Go2Net Network can now pay all their bills easily with just a few clicks of a mouse through the TransPoint online bill payment service. The service allows customers to pay bills that arrive electronically through TransPoint, pay bills that are delivered via the U.S. mail, and pay anyone else with a U.S. mailing address — all from one Web site.
Millions of additional consumers can now securely and conveniently pay their bills through Prodigy and several leading Go2Net Network Internet properties including Go2Net.com, Dogpile, HyperMart and Silicon Investor.
Go2Net moved quickly to live status in just 30 days. Prodigy also implemented the service rapidly, offering the service to its customers in approximately 60 days.
“Prodigy and Go2Net recognized that electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) is an incredibly fast-growing market and placed top priority on implementing the TransPoint service,” said Lewis Levin, president and CEO of TransPoint. “The short time in which they went live is a testament to how efficiently the TransPoint implementation process can work.”
With Prodigy’s recent alliance with SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), the total managed customer base for Prodigy exceeds 2.4 million, sealing its position as one of the top four Internet service providers (ISPs) in the nation. Prodigy also is now the nation’s largest provider of retail digital subscriber line (DSL) high-speed broadband Internet access to consumers and small businesses.
Companies that deliver bills electronically through TransPoint benefit from greater control over the billing process, personalized online customer care, and targeted marketing to their customers right from within their electronic bill. Their customers benefit from an easy, convenient service that is fast, flexible and secure.
The TransPoint Standard Service will be offered to Prodigy members and Go2Net Network users free of charge for up to six months. The Standard Service allows users to pay up to 750 predefined local and national billers, companies that mail the majority of bills paid by consumers in the top 20 metropolitan areas across the nation. After the first six months, this service will cost $2.95 per month. A Premium Service will be offered free of charge for the first three months, after which it will be available for $5.95 per month. The Premium Service allows customers to pay all the bills defined in the Standard Service as well as use a Pay Anyone capability, which allows them to set up payments to any individual or company they choose within the United States. Full offer details can be found at .
Customers can check the status of their Prodigy or Go2Net online payment accounts via their computers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If more help is needed, the TransPoint online payment service includes Web-based support and a toll-free support number with a fully staffed customer-service team, available free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition to the Prodigy and Go2Net properties, the TransPoint service is also available through the MSN MoneyCentral online personal finance service at , the TransPoint Web site at , the Compass Bank Web site at , and the InterWest Bank Web site at .
TransPoint, established in June 1997, is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and First Data Corp., with Citibank as a minority equity investor. Englewood, Colo.-based TransPoint is a leader in the emerging electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) industry with a seamless e-bills service built from the ground up. The TransPoint system uses innovative technology and integrates easily with billers’ and banks existing payment systems. The TransPoint service is designed to be the fast, easy way for consumers with Internet access to make all their payments online from a single, secure Web site. More information about TransPoint is available at .
On Feb. 15, TransPoint entered into a definitive merger agreement with CheckFree Corp., a leader in electronic billing and payment. The combined technologies and relationships of the two entities are expected to accelerate the migration of the billing and payment process from paper to the Internet and to advance the rate at which consumers sign up for electronic billing. The transaction will be accounted for as a purchase by CheckFree, and is expected to be final in three to five months.Details
First Data Corp confirmed yesterday it is purchasing the ‘Canada Trust MasterCard’ merchant acquiring portfolio from TD Bank. First Data Loan Company Canada will serve as the acquiring entity for the portfolio. FDC said it will extend offers of employment to the 40 Canada Trust MasterCard merchant acquiring employees, most of whom are based in London, Ontario. TD Bank said the sale of the Canada Trust MasterCard merchant acquiring portfolio fulfills its responsibility to address competitive concerns outlined by the Canadian government’s Competition Bureau concerning TD Bank’s acquisition of Canada Trust, which was completed in February. Canadian credit card association rules prohibit banks from providing card-processing services for both VISA and MasterCard. TD Bank decided to continue its existing credit card relationship with VISA following the Canada Trust merger. Earlier this month, TD Bank signed an agreement with Citibank Canada for the purchase of Canada Trust’s MasterCard consumer credit card issuing business. Citibank Canada simultaneously announced the conversion of all of its Citibank Canada VISA credit card offerings to MasterCard. (See CF Library 6/8/00)Details
EuroDebit Systems Inc., an international pioneer in online debiting of European checking accounts, announced its Three Step Process to enable North American e-Merchants to add the DirectDebit transaction processing feature to any existing e-Commerce Web site.
DirectDebit is an electronic debit system that withdraws funds for an online transaction directly from a customer’s European bank account and deposits the funds into the merchant’s account. Direct Debit provides U.S. online merchants with the gateway necessary to conduct financial transactions with European buyers, since the majority of purchases in the European market are made using debit transactions rather than credit cards.
The process to enable an e-Commerce Web site to accept DirectDebit can be completed by phone, fax or directly through EuroDebit’s Web site. First, the e-Merchant enrolls in DirectDebit by establishing an account and communicating technical and bank deposit information. Second, EuroDebit contacts the Webmaster to embed programming links into the merchant’s site to enable the payment/transaction portion of the site to link with DirectDebit. Third, the programmed interface with DirectDebit is activated to accept, process and deposit European sales transactions.
“We have taken great pains to make the steps necessary to add DirectDebit to an existing or planned site as uncomplicated as possible,” said Bernard Schaer, chief executive officer of EuroDebit Systems. “e-Merchants can be up and fully operational, accepting and fulfilling orders from Europe in a matter of days.”
The process from the online purchaser’s standpoint is equally simple and direct. Once the purchaser decides to finalize a sale, bank account information is entered into the DirectDebit interface of the e-Merchant’s Web site. EuroDebit checks the user and approves the sale after successfully validating the data and running the transaction through its screening process.
The e-Merchant receives approval for the transaction and delivers the goods or services ordered. EuroDebit then transfers the amount due from the customer’s bank to the merchant’s bank. The merchant is charged a transaction fee on each sale based on a percentage of the purchase and overall monthly volume.
About EuroDebit Systems Inc.
EuroDebit Systems Inc., headquartered in the United States with subsidiary operations in Germany, is an Internet transaction processing authority that handles real-time, online debit processing (no plastic required) for North American e-commerce operations. EuroDebit(R) offers electronic merchants an easy means for accepting and processing European debit and credit card transactions. Operating throughout Europe under its proprietary “DirectDebit(TM)” program, EuroDebit Systems is currently the only third-party transaction-processing company that offers online checking account debiting, as well as full credit card processing services for the European market.
In addition to making DirectDebit payment from European bank accounts, EuroDebit ensures a high level of security on European credit card purchases. Customers receive approval in seconds for debit and credit card transactions. Merchants also are provided real-time statistics 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To find out more about EuroDebit Systems and DirectDebit, visit [www.EuroDebit.com] or [www.eurodebit.de].
The U.K. Post office announced Tuesday it has signed an agreement with Prepayment Cards Ltd to issue smart cards for public transportation throughout the country. Post office branches plan to issue the cards and provide a recharging service at 800 outlets. If successful the program will expand to all 18,500 offices throughout the UK. PCL will rollout its first major card base in Greater Manchester early next year. Over 750,000 cards will be issued to concessionary travellers and to passengers of the major private transit operators. PCL is a joint company of ERG Limited, Sema Group UK, Stagecoach Holdings, FirstGroup and National Express Group. PCL, through its subsidiary PCML, has an agreement with the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive to operate the Greater Manchester concessionary fare collection system.Details
Trintech Group PLC, a leading provider of electronic payment infrastructure solutions, announced that inatec GmbH, one of the leading German suppliers in secure electronic payment solutions has joined the PayWare Partner Program as an integrator and distributor of Trintech’s secure ePayment solutions in Germany.
As part of the agreement, Trintech’s PayWare” eMerchantTM solution is being integrated into inatec’s payment solution powercash21, a service that combines multiple methods of electronic payments on a single platform and C@shBox’, a separate shopping and payment server. The technology alliance will ensure that financial institutions in Germany can accept payment transactions in multiple currencies and across a variety of security protocols, including SSL and SET. The partnership will include integrating SET-based products into e-commerce customers in the German market, thus enhancing the security of online transactions.
Trintech and inatec recently collaborated on Deutsche Bank’s shop@db project by jointly integrating Trintech’s PayWare eHost to host multiple merchants at the bank’s site. The shop@db initiative allows Deutsche Bank, currently Germany’s largest merchant acquirer, to become one of Europe’s few bank-operated Commerce Service Providers. The shop@db project aims to provide Internet merchants around the world with secure Internet payment capabilities in hours with minimum associated costs and effort. inatec managed content and integration for the project, while Trintech developed and delivered the PayWare eHost solution.
The Trintech partner program aims to develop a global network of strategic partners by targeting system integrators, consultants, distributors, value-added resellers and solution developers. The program targets consultants, resellers, distributors and system integrators who, with Trintech’s PayWare technology, can payment enable eMerchants, ISPs, CSPs and dot.com corporations.
inatec has been developing safe and service-orientated payment solutions for e- and m-commerce since 1998. With the implementation of its product solutions it has many successful partnerships with suppliers of payment systems as well as shop manufacturers. It is also a service partner for several banks. inatec quickly and professionally attends to the individual requests of its customers. The payment solutions can adapt to the latest market trends. Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and the Stadtsparkasse in Cologne, to name just a few, are all satisfied customers of ours. Further information about inatec can be found at: [www.inatec.com].
Trintech Group PLC is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for real world, Internet and wireless transactions. The company, which was founded in 1987, offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications. Trintech’s secure product range is deployed in over 35 countries worldwide and cover the payment requirements of consumers, card issuing banks, merchant acquiring institutions, merchants, eMerchants, telcos, wireless operators, ISPs/CSPs, Portals and large corporations. Trintech’s range of scalable, open systems architecture solutions for UNIXÂ® and Windows NT? platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for all card-based payments, including e-commerce and the emerging world of mobile commerce. Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403 (Tel: 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel: 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at [www.trintech.com]. Investor information can be found at www.trintech.com/investor.
Intuit and Citibank USA rolled out the ‘QuickBooks MasterCard’ yesterday. The new credit card is integrated into ‘QuickBooks’, Intuit’s small business accounting software, for its 2.8 million users. Small businesses that sign up for the QuickBooks credit card can download credit card transactions into ‘QuickBooks 2000’ wherein transactions are automatically recorded and categorized. Employees can also be assigned credit cards, and all purchasing activity made with the cards can then be downloaded directly into the QuickBooks register. A small business owner can also assign QuickBooks credit card sub-accounts to any owner, office manager, or trusted employee and track expenses without additional data entry. The ‘QuickBooks MasterCard’ pricing includes no-annual-fee, 3.9% three month APR followed by an ongoing APR as low as 11.9%. Small business owners can request approval based on either their business or personal credit.Details
With the upcoming retirement of American Express CEO Harvey Golub, a number of organizational changes were announced yesterday. Jim Cracchiolo will head The Global Financial Services Group and will retain responsibility for the consumer card business, card operations and risk management outside the USA. Cracchiolo will also become CEO of American Express Financial Advisors, and will be moving to Minneapolis. Al Kelly will be responsible for U.S. Consumer Card, Small Business Services and Consumer Travel, as well as U.S. Card Operations, American Express Centurion Bank and U.S. Risk Management. Kelly will also take on responsibility for the card-related, fee-based services businesses of American Express Relationship Services. Ed Gilligan will head The Global Corporate Services Group and will be responsible for Corporate Card and Business Travel worldwide, including the USA. David House will become president of The Global Establishment Services and Travelers Cheque Group. AmEx also announced the formation of a Global Leadership Team comprised of Golub, Chenault, the four Group Presidents, Vice Chairman Jon Linen and CFO Gary Crittenden. AmEx also confirmed that AEFA CEO Dave Hubers is retiring and that John Ward, CEO of American Express Bank, is resigning.Details
For the second year in a row, Capital One Financial Corporation ranked in Computerworld’s listing of the “100 Best Companies to Work in IT.” Capital One ranked number 23. The company is one of only two Virginia-based enterprises to be listed in the top 25.
Marge Connelly, Senior Vice President responsible for IT operations, said, “At Capital One, we have a unique entrepreneurial culture. Through our innovative compensation, benefits and training programs, we’ve built a company of owners who are committed to creating value for our customers and our stockholders. Not only do we have the latest technology and software, but we also have the best and brightest people driving results. The reason we have received this accolade is that we have built an environment in which our associates are empowered to fulfill their potential and truly excel.”
Capital One prides itself for continuously improving human resources practices to benefit associates. Among the programs that differentiate the company from other employers are the number of ongoing training and development courses (in fact training is so important that the company has a department, called The IT University, dedicated to IT training), outstanding benefits, and entrepreneurial compensation that is based on performance. Additionally, Capital One created an innovative orientation program — for all employees — that assimilates new associates into the culture of the company.
“We listen and learn from our associates,” said Laura Olle, Senior Business Information Officer responsible for IT development and business partner relationships. “Twice a year we survey our associates to determine how we can best meet their needs. At Capital One we look at taking care of our IT associates and their overall well-being. Being named to Computerworld’s 100 list confirms we’re providing unique employment opportunities for the people who come to work at Capital One.”
Currently, Capital One employs 16,000 associates worldwide. Capital One employs IT associates at sites in Virginia Texas, Florida, Washington State, Idaho, and Massachusetts as well as London and Nottingham, England. Capital One is on the Fortune Magazine list of ‘Best Places to Work.’
Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (http://www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B. offers consumer-lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 25.2 million accounts and $20.3 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 2000. As one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world, Capital One was recently named to the FORTUNE 500. Capital One is one of the major financial services providers on the Internet, with on-line account decisioning, real-time account numbering, on-line retail deposits and more than 370,000 customers serviced on-line. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.Details
Visa International will host its 2nd annual International Government Payment Card Conference for international, federal and state government agencies, as well as their member banks, this week in Monterey, California. Government representatives from seven countries will attend including Korea, Australia, China, Singapore, Japan, France, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
The Government Payment Card Conference will features speakers from the United States Federal Government, and the Government of the United Kingdom as well as senior executives from Visa International. The Conference will focus on the success of a number of existing international government payment programs as well as the potential applications and benefits that electronic procurement may offer for these programs.
Lory Yeakle, Senior Vice President of Commercial Product Platforms with Visa International, and a keynote speaker at the conference, will provide insight into Visa’s strategy in the commercial electronic marketplace. “Visa’s success in providing governments and corporations with valuable commercial payment products has led to the expansion of its offerings to new online payment solutions,” Yeakle said.
“Our goal is to assist governments around the world in leveraging the power of the Internet through eProcurement in an effort to further streamline business processes, increase procedural efficiencies and produce cost benefits that conform with strategic objectives.” “Visa Commercial Payment Solutions address the procurement needs of governments worldwide in both the physical and virtual worlds, ” said Yeakle.
In addition, Dr. Jane Gibbs, Ecommerce Head, Office of Government Commerce, United Kingdom will be discussing the success of the UK government payment card program and will give an update as to the UK Government’s plans for eProcurement. The UK Government estimates that by 2002, 300 million pounds per annum will be spent on the card with estimated cost savings of around 70 million pounds.
According to Dr. Gibbs, ” The implementation of the Visa Card program within UK Government departments and agencies has changed organizational attitudes toward procurement in general. Specifically, the successful application of the procurement card program has increased awareness of additional cost and time saving solutions that might be on offer through, for example, wider application of electronic business-to-business purchasing.”
Dennis Fischer, Vice President, Commercial Products Group, Visa USA will be speaking on Visa’s role in the United States Government procurement program. He will discuss the critical issues of this multi-party relationship, how the relationship has changed and developed over the past ten years and what Visa learned throughout the course of the relationship.
Mr. Fischer said, “Increasingly, we see that government is not only a buyer in the procurement process but is frequently also a supplier. Visa can enable governments to streamline this role in the process by sharing our international knowledge and growing expertise in the facilitation of e-commerce hubs, online trading exchanges and so on. We believe we can offer the public sector a great deal of added value knowledge in this respect.”
A Government Payment Card is a payment card in which there are no revolving interest payments, just a simplified, cost-effective purchasing process. The Visa Purchasing card, which can be used in face to face transactions, on the phone and on the Internet, helps government agencies streamline and reduce total cost of procurement. It saves the agency time and money by greatly reducing the need for requisitions, approvals, purchase orders, invoices and checks. According to recent `best practices’ study of multinational corporations that have implemented a Visa Purchasing card program, the average participant saved approximately US$60 per transaction by using a payment card.
About Visa Commercial Payment Solutions
Visa Commercial Payment Solutions are tailored to meet the needs of its member banks and corporate clients globally. Visa International is experiencing 40% annual growth rates across its commercial card product lines. There are more than 12 million Visa commercial cards issued globally. Visa International’s three commercial card programs, Visa Business, Visa Purchasing and Visa Corporate respectively focus on: the payment needs of small businesses; the procurement needs of medium to large firms; and the travel and entertainment expenses of medium to large firms.
Visa’s Commercial Payment Solutions continue to be at the leading edge of enhanced data, new technologies and delivery channels, meeting changing commercial market needs. Visa’s business-to business e-commerce initiatives have included online trading hubs, online procurement strategic alliances and global standards for worldwide interoperability.
About Visa International
As the “World’s Best Way to Pay,” Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and the largest payment system worldwide with more volume than all other major payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders.
Visa has more than 80 smart card programs in 35 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including 8 million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction(TM) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are over 1 billion Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Cash, Interlink and PLUS cards in the market. Visa-branded cards generate US$1.6 trillion in annual volume and are accepted at over 19 million worldwide locations, including at more than 627,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is www.visa.com.Details
Deluxe Corporation’s IPO spinoff of eFunds this week fell below the projected pricing. The company expected the pricing to range between $14 and $16 per share. However Monday’s IPO was priced at $13 per share and traded yesterday between $12 and $14, closing at $13 per share. eFunds, trading under Nasdaq: EFDS, sold 5,500,000 shares to raise $71.5 million. Deluxe will own approximately 88% of the outstanding shares of eFunds’ common stock. eFunds intends to use the funds for acquisitions and working capital. The offering was handled by Lehman Brothers; Bear, Stearns & Co.; FAC/Equities; and John G. Kinnard and Company. In February Deluxe announced a plan to combine eFunds and iDLX Technology Partners businesses into a separate, independent publicly traded company, to be called eFunds. (See CF Library 2/1/00).Details
eCongo.com, Inc., a leading eCommerce ASP powering eCommerce centers, announced an agreement with First Data Corp. to deliver a complete suite of merchant processing services for small businesses. This agreement will enable eCongo’s merchants to quickly and securely establish a merchant account and accept multiple forms of payment online including credit cards, checks and cash.
eCongo offers eCommerce services that power the development of co-branded or privately labeled eCommerce communities. Under the terms of the agreement, eCongo customers will offer their members access to First Data’s complete suite of merchant processing services, including VirtualApp.com and the SurePayÂ® payment gateway. This suite of services is located at www.econgo.com, accessible through the section “Build a Free Web Store.”
VirtualApp.com is a paperless, completely click-through solution that enables online merchants to securely establish a merchant account and receive online credit decisions in order to begin accepting payments within minutes. The SurePay payment gateway enables merchants to process online payments including credit card transactions, check payments via First Data’s TeleCheck subsidiary, and cash payments through First Data’s Western Union retail agent locations. Today, new eCongo.com merchants can process credit card transactions in real-time via SurePay, and during the third quarter of this year eCongo.com merchants also will be able to electronically accept and process check and cash payments.
“Our alliance with First Data gives eCongo merchants access to a complete suite of merchant processing services with the ability to accept multiple forms of payment online,” said Rick Asturias, president and CEO of eCongo.com. “First Data’s leadership in payment processing combined with eCongo.com’s managed eCommerce services represents a compelling value proposition for businesses looking to move online successfully.”
“Businesses are realizing the value of the Internet as a sales channel and are quickly establishing themselves online,” said Bill Goldschein, senior vice president, Internet Commerce at First Data. “Our alliance with eCongo.com is a perfect example of our commitment to helping businesses move online quickly and easily, and we are excited about delivering flexible and secure online payment transactions for eCongo merchants.”
Initially NTB Merchant Services, an alliance between First Data and The Northern Trust Company, will provide acquiring services to merchants participating in this suite of e-commerce services.
About First Data
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 wire. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [www.firstdatacorp.com].
About eCongo.com, Inc.
eCongo.com, Inc. is a leading eCommerce application service provider (ASP) for portals, financial institutions, ISPs, media companies and small business aggregators. eCongo offers eCommerce services that power the development of co-branded or privately labeled eCommerce communities. The company’s core technology and infrastructure includes the key eCommerce services integrated into a single web-based application hosted by eCongo. Founded in 1998, eCongo is privately held with headquarters in Los Gatos, California. To learn more about eCongo, visit the company’s Web site at [www.econgo.com].