New AmEx Spot

American Express and Tiger Woods pair up in a new television advertisement that launched this week on the NBA Finals.

The commercial shows Woods playing the toughest course in the world – the streets of Manhattan. The ad, shot on location in New York in late April, shows Woods wallop a golf ball from Park Avenue to Central Park to Wall Street and finally to the Brooklyn Bridge where he putts it into a traditional diner- style blue coffee cup as if he played this fictional Manhattan ‘golf course’ on a regular basis.

“Tiger is admired for his ability to do extraordinary things, on the golf course and off. He inspires all of us to create our own success,” said John Hayes, executive vice president of Global Advertising for American Express. “The ad reinforces the aspirations of our Cardmembers who dream big, take on challenges and get the job done no matter how big the task.”

The 60-second television commercial aired Wednesday, June 7 during the NBA finals.

Like the previous ads that are part of the “Moments of Truth” campaign, this Woods ad was directed by Joe Pytka and created by Ogilvy & Mather.

American Express’ relationship with Woods began in May 1997 when he was signed as a global spokesperson for the company. His first commercials were for American Express Financial Advisors, one of which included his father. His work with American Express includes print advertising and appearances for American Express at the World Golf Championship events.

American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international and online banking. For more information on American Express, visit the website at http://www.americanexpress.com.

FULL STORY:

–>

Details

Alloy PocketCard

Alloy Online, a popular teenage online destination has named ‘PocketCard’ its preferred form of payment for its teen customers. The co-branded VISA debit card comes embossed with the Alloy.com URL and the teen’s name. The adult-funded debit card gives parents’ the authority to instantly add funds via the Web or any phone. Spending can also be tracked through instant e-mail alerts. Under terms of yesterday’s agreement the ‘PocketCard VISA’ will become the default form of payment in the Alloy online shop, superceding the four major credit cards currently listed on the checkout page. ‘PocketCard’ launched in June 1999. Alloy has a database in excess of 3.5 million and reaches over 10 million teens per month.

Details

ANZ & HNC

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited , one of Australia’s largest banking and financial services corporations, has taken a proactive step to protect itself from the potential increase in payment card fraud activity that may accompany the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games taking place this September. ANZ has selected Falcon, the world’s leading bank card fraud detection system from HNC Financial Solutions, a division of HNC Software Inc., to help protect its card portfolios from fraud. In addition to Falcon, ANZ has agreed to purchase HNC’s Eagle Merchant Risk Management System.

“With the possible increase in fraudulent card activity during the Olympic Games, we wanted a proven, end-to-end fraud detection solution that would help protect our cardholders and merchants from fraud,” said Brian Hartzer, ANZ Managing Director of Global Cards. “Falcon and Eagle are both world-class fraud detection solutions that come highly recommended to us by HNC Financial Solutions’ other international clients.”

Michael Chiappetta, Group Vice President of Risk Management Products for HNC Financial Solutions, said, “We’re confident ANZ will realize the immediate benefits and cost savings of Falcon and Eagle before and during the Olympics, and long into the future.”

Among the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to come to Sydney later this year will be those who will seek to perpetrate payment card fraud and those who, unfortunately, will be their victims. These visitors, many of whom do not speak English, may be unfamiliar with Australian transaction systems and thus potentially vulnerable to deception. Conversely, Australian merchants will be faced with a wide variety of cards and may be hard-pressed to tell their legitimacy. As was often the case during previous Olympic games, some criminals visiting Australia this summer may try to perpetrate card fraud and leave the country under the cover of being an Olympic tourist.

Falcon, a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder, and merchant data to detect a wide range of credit card fraud, currently protects more than 300 million payment card accounts worldwide.

The Eagle Merchant Risk Management System employs client/server technology that incorporates both neural networks and a rules engine to identify risky merchants and minimize the risk of unpaid chargebacks for acquiring banks. The Eagle system can also significantly increase the operational efficiency of portfolio analysts by providing a complete information solution to perform merchant analysis on a PC-based workstation with a graphical user interface.

Headquartered in Melbourne, ANZ offers the full range of financial products and services in Australia and New Zealand, and has overseas representation predominantly in greater Asia. With total assets of AUD $167 billion (US $100 billion), ANZ is one of the largest Australian-based banks and is considered an industry leader in credit cards in the Australian market. For more information, visit www.anz.com.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, HNC Software Inc. is a leading provider of predictive software solutions for service industries, including financial, insurance, telecommunications, and e-commerce. HNC’s suite of predictive software solutions can provide real-time insight into customer relationships based on transaction-level data, helping business-to-consumer companies manage their relationships with individual customers. By accurately predicting customer behaviors, these companies can create initiatives to mitigate risk and attrition; improve customer service; develop marketing programs to enhance profitability; and detect fraudulent customer transactions. For more information, visit HNC’s web site at www.hnc.com.

FULL STORY:

–>

Details

Shaping The Battle

Pre-trial motions were heard Thursday in U.S. District Court in the Government’s antitrust lawsuit against VISA and MasterCard. The card associations lost two motions. The first motion was to have the trial dropped and replaced with a summary judgement, The second motion was to have VISA International removed as a defendant. However the card associations did win the right to present evidence of the government’s role in creating duality, one of the core issues of the trial. Judge Barbara S. Jones spent the day listening to key arguments from both sides. The formal trial will begin next week in New York City.

FULL STORY:

–>

Details

Sydney Smart Fares

Australia by CityRail of Sydney has awarded a $3.1 million contract to Cubic Transportation Systems. Under the contract, Cubic will convert 20 ticket vending machines at certain Sydney locations to touchscreen operation, upgrade the software on existing ticket vending machines to accept more advanced applications, and supply an additional 56 electronic gates to the Sydney rail network. Cubic, which is already supplying a number of touchscreen machines to the new Airport Link rail service to Sydney Airport, will upgrade 20 of the 320 large size ticket vending machines in the Sydney network with the touchscreen model. The new machines allow riders to purchase multiple tickets, and provide ticket selection in 13 languages. Separately, CityRail and Cubic have signed a multi-year and multi-million dollar maintenance contract covering total hardware and software maintenance on the Sydney ticketing system.

Details

Biz Credit via Cards

More small businesses are turning to plastic to meet their business credit needs, rather than traditional lines of credit. According to PSI Global’s annual study of U.S. small businesses, released this morning, the use of business credit cards to finance equipment or inventory increased 9% since 1999. In the same period, the number of small businesses using established lines of credit at their banks dropped 15% for unsecured lines and 21% for secured lines. PSI found that these companies, on average, have been in business for about two decades and typically have traditional lines of credit in place. According to the survey, 18% of small businesses use company cards for financing equipment or inventory.Four percent use personal credit cards for financing, up 2% from last year. While attractive interest rates are one reason for the increased card use, many small business owners like the convenience of the card, and some like to rack up personal frequent flyer miles with relatively large business purchases. Each year, PSI Global, an NFO Worldwide Company, surveys 876 businesses with yearly sales of $500,000 to $10 million.

Details

Sub-Prime Smart Cards

A Florida firm specializing in issuing debit cards for so-called payday advance loans yesterday announced it will introduce a smart card. Pinnacle Business Management, OTI America, and SmartNexus have teamed up to offer a smart ‘Pinnacle’ debit card. Under the program customers will receive an instant issue smart card, good for making purchases via all point-of-sale systems and other smart card applications. PCBM expects to issue 1 million of the cards in the first year of the program, with the first cards expected to be issued next month. PCBM owns Fast Pay Check Advance of Florida Inc.

Details

FICO® Demystified

Fair, Isaac has decided to make a “clear and comprehensive” list of the factors used in its ‘FICO®’ credit bureau risk scores to consumers. The company confirmed this morning it is developing a Web-based service that will explain individual FICO® scores. Each ‘FICO®’ score is delivered with up to four reason codes, which lenders use to help consumers who were denied credit understand how to improve their credit rating. However, this is the first time that a comprehensive, easy-to-understand list of all of the factors that go into ‘FICO®’ scores has been made widely available to the public. Fair, Isaac is also making available descriptions of the score factors and an explanation of how the FICO® score evaluates credit history. Fair, Isaac has publicly supported disclosure of credit bureau scores to consumers by mortgage lenders in the context of a lending decision. Fair, Isaac is currently in discussions with all three of the national credit reporting agencies in the U.S. about changing contract agreements that may prevent lenders from disclosing scores to borrowers.

Details

Go2pay.com

IFS International Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of software products for the electronic financial market, announced it has developed a strategic partnership with Go2pay.com, a provider of Internet infrastructure payment processing created by IFS’ co-founder, Frank Pascuito.

Mr. Pascuito has left the employment of IFS International to focus his efforts on Go2pay but remains on the IFS International Board of Directors. The Companies will jointly form a payment-processing center that will manage Internet based e-commerce transactions and will utilize IFS’ field-proven TPII product as its authorization engine. At the partnership’s inception, IFS will become a minority partner, owning 30 percent of Go2pay.com’s assets in exchange for a TPII license.

Go2pay.com plans to target and improve upon the following areas:

Creating a Web-based payment authorization center that processes Internet credit, debit, EBT and smart card payment transactions for web merchants.

Developing a payment authorization center to reload and process payment for smart cards over the Internet. (Go2pay will take advantage of recent announcements to standardize smart card processing.)

Frank Pascuito, one of the original founders of IFS International Inc., will lead the new company as Chairman and CEO and will primarily focus on creating innovative payment processing solutions for the Internet. Mr. Pascuito has previously and successfully raised startup capital and is well known in the local technology community. He plans to seek out local financing and technology partnerships immediately.

Mr. Pascuito stated, “TPII is currently installed in various environments that are providing authorization for millions of financial transactions per day. We will utilize TPII’ s field-proven technologies to successfully provide state of the art electronic payment processing.”

Dave Hodge, President of IFS International Holdings added, “The IFS investment in Go2pay represents an additional strategic opportunity for IFS to participate in the exploding Internet payment processing market. The combination of Frank Pascuito’s leadership, local funding and advisory support, and the superior technology of IFS will contribute to the success of Go2pay. IFS is proud to be an integral part of this exciting new business initiative.”

About IFS International Holdings, Inc.

IFS International, Inc. and Network Controls International, Inc. are subsidiaries of IFS International Holdings, Inc. which has headquarters in the USA and subsidiary offices in the USA, UK, Singapore, Australia and Germany.

IFS International, Inc. develops, markets and supports software products for the electronic financial market. IFS International’s TPII and TP-CMS products provide support for ATMs, Point of Sale devices, network switches, smart cards and card management. NCI, Inc. develops innovative retail delivery applications like NCI Business Centre(TM), which combines network centric and browser based technologies in “One Application” to automate all delivery channels such as branch teller, platform service, call center, internet banking and customer relationship management.

About Go2pay.com

Go2pay is a payment processing center specializing in providing internet infrastructure payment processing. The Company utilizes state of the art client/server and database technology to provide one of the most comprehensive payment processing services available today.

FULL STORY:

–>

Details

MBNA – DLJdirect Co-Brand

DLJdirect, the online brokerage service of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc. and MBNA America Bank, N.A., a bank holding company, announced a partnership agreement to provide new services to customers of both organizations.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, DLJdirect customers will be offered an MBNA/DLJdirect co-branded credit card. Likewise, MBNA will offer the online brokerage services of DLJdirect to its credit card customers. Enhanced features, rewards, and loyalty programs will be explored as the program develops, providing opportunities to extend additional services to customers of both firms.

This reciprocal relationship should provide DLJdirect and MBNA valuable marketing opportunities as well as value-added services for their customers.

“We are enthusiastic about this relationship with a top-line firm like DLJdirect,” said John Cochran, Chief Marketing Officer of MBNA. “Their reputation for quality has attracted a clientele that appreciates the superior products and services that MBNA provides.”

“We are delighted to partner with MBNA,” said Glenn Tongue, President of DLJdirect. “This arrangement furthers our commitment to broaden the base of financial services we offer to the serious, self-directed investor. Clearly, service quality and reliability are values we share with MBNA in providing the best resources for our customers.”

About MBNA Corporation

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank N.A., a national bank, has $73 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products. MBNA.com (www.MBNA.com) provides credit card, consumer loan, retail deposit, travel, and shopping services.

About DLJdirect

DLJdirect is one of the world’s premier online brokerage firms offering a diversified range of investment products and services to sophisticated, self-directed investors. As of March 31, 2000, DLJdirect had more than 930,000 worldwide customer accounts representing $29.4 billion in assets. Headquartered in Jersey City, N.J., with offices in Parsippany, N.J., Charlotte, N.C., Delray Beach, FL., London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Dubai, DLJdirect employs more than 1,000 people. DLJdirect common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DIR.” For more information on DLJdirect, visit the Company’s Web site at www.DLJdirect.com.

About Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) is a leading integrated investment and merchant bank serving institutional, corporate, government and individual clients. DLJ’s businesses include securities underwriting; sales and trading; investment and merchant banking; financial advisory services; investment research; venture capital; correspondent brokerage services; online, interactive brokerage services; and asset management. Founded in 1959 and headquartered in New York City, DLJ employs approximately 10,600 people worldwide and maintains offices in 13 cities in the United States and 16 cities in Europe, Latin America and Asia. The company has two classes of common stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares trading under the ticker symbol “DLJ” represent Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc. Shares trading under the ticker symbol “DIR” track the performance of DLJdirect, its online brokerage business. For more information on Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, refer to the company’s Web site at www.DLJ.com. The firm’s world headquarters are located at 277 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10172.

FULL STORY:

–>

Details

ExpenseLink/Web 4.3

Gelco Information Network announces ExpenseLink/Web 4.3 — the latest version of their comprehensive automated solution that enables businesses to quickly and easily outsource T&E expense management via the WorldWide Web. The service cost-effectively automates the entire expense management process from expense reporting and reimbursement to data analysis and record keeping.

Available anytime, anywhere, ExpenseLink/Web users simply create expense reports online or offline, submitting them securely via the Internet. Users are promptly reimbursed by direct payment to bank accounts within three banking days. Corporate charge cards are paid directly according to their company’s payment schedule. Configurable client and server side business rules and automated workflow ensure maximum levels of control and accurate accounting. Travelers and approving managers are notified of any policy violations, improving adherence to company policies.

“For companies who rank robust features and functionality top priority, this is the product for them,” said Ralph Bernstein, Gelco’s vice president of product strategy. “ExpenseLink(R)/Web 4.3 gives managers the options necessary to ensure policy, and guard against abuse, while giving traveling employees the utmost in user-friendly functions.”

ExpenseLink/Web 4.3 further simplifies expense reporting by introducing user-friendly enhancements including:

Integration to additional web-based resources through direct links such as web-based training tools, payment schedules and custom links including travel information, exchange rates, etc. Simplified expense entry provides faster and easier expense report creation, including such things as filtered viewing of downloaded corporate card transactions, user specific drop-down lists, allocation to multiple cost and project codes and capture of required and supporting information. Permissions-based expense report creation allows one user to create and submit reports on behalf of another user.

“ExpenseLink(R)/Web is designed for companies who seek broad configuration and multiple-use options, deployed securely and reliably over the web,” said Todd Gardner, Gelco’s senior product manager. “The corporate expectation is that software applications are evolving into highly integrated levels of service and support, which do not require customer infrastructure redesign or complicated implementation cycles. ExpenseLink/Web 4.3 is 100% hosted and supported by Gelco, which provides corporate customers significant cost savings from long implementation cycles, expensive hardware and software, and dedicated and specialized support staff.”

Gelco is the largest and most experienced provider of web-based workplace services and software, specializing in simple, rapid deployment of business expense management and reimbursement, and electronic business solutions to the consumer goods industry.

Gelco’s Expense network provides e-commerce solutions for business expense management and reimbursement to the public and private sectors. Users easily manage their business and travel expenses with a comprehensive web-based product suite, while Gelco provides back-end services that quickly process and deliver reimbursements within three business days. The Expense network serves over 1.3 million users in over 1,200 corporations, including American Home Products, Ericsson, The Toro Company, BellSouth, Gartner Group and Reebok International, Ltd., and 120 federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense.

Leveraging a business-to-business e-commerce infrastructure through technology from Sun, Cisco, Oracle, EMC and Microsoft, Gelco is the only company that provides their customers with complete end-to-end expense and fund management solutions. Additionally, through its partnerships and private-label relationships, Gelco provides this e-commerce technology and infrastructure to providers of travel management services. Visit the Gelco web site at http://www.gelco.com.

FULL STORY:

–>

Details

Compass Extends Canopy

Home Account announced that Compass Bank of Birmingham, Ala., now offers Home Account’s Canopy Suite of Internet banking solutions to the more than 1,000 community banks that are customers of Compass Bank. These products offer Compass Bank’s community bank customers the opportunity to provide sophisticated online financial services to both their retail and commercial customer base.

Compass Bank, one of the leading providers of correspondent banking services in the U.S., already has 12 financial institutions signed up for the Canopy Suite of Internet banking solutions. Installation is currently underway at those institutions.

“We chose Home Account’s Canopy products as ‘best of breed,'” said Charles Bretz, Senior Vice President of Compass Bank. “Home Account’s flexibility and product range enables us to offer banks their choice of in-house or outsourced Internet banking, along with related services such as brokerage, cash management and bill payment. That will help them attract and retain customers. We view this strategic partnership as an excellent way to continue our leadership position in the delivery of financial services to our community bank customers.”

“This is a great opportunity for these community banks, and for us as well,” said Charles A. White, President and CEO of Home Account. “The banks get Canopy software and Home Account support, all within the framework of their trusted network relationship with Compass Bank. Meanwhile, Compass Bank offers us an efficient and cost-effective way to reach these institutions. The enthusiastic reception reinforces our conviction that Canopy is ideally suited to the competitive requirements and operating environment of community banks of all sizes.”

About Home Account

Home Account delivers patent protected Internet banking, financial management, and electronic commerce solutions to banks, brokerages and other financial service organizations. Home Account’s banking products include: Canopy Central(tm), a full service, revenue-generating online financial hub solution that includes banking, bill pay, brokerage, lending, insurance, retirement planning, financial analysis, portfolio tracking & stock quotes, world & financial news, weather and auto buying services; Canopy First(tm), an outsourced, scalable and brandable Internet banking solution; Canopy Business(tm), Internet based cash management services for corporate customers; and Canopy Server(tm), an OFX (Open Financial Exchange) financial services platform that allows access by personal finance management software packages such as Microsoft(r) Money 99, Intuit’s Quicken(r) 99/00,and Quickbooks 2000. HomeAccount also offers the unique CardSolutions(tm) service, an innovative Internet account management program designed especially for credit card issuers.

Home Account is headquartered in Emeryville, CA, with offices in Charleston, SC, Omaha, NE, and Atlanta, GA. Please see Home Account’s website at http://www.homeaccount.com. Home Account, Canopy Central, Canopy First, Canopy Business, Canopy Server, and CardSolutions are trademarks of Home Account Holdings, Inc. Home Account products may be licensed for use under HomeAccount’s U.S. Patent Nos. 4,953,085; 5,644,727; 5,852,811; 5,854,828; 5,875,437; 5,884,285; 5,911,135; 5,911,136 and other pending U.S. and international patents.

About Compass Bank

Compass Bank is a subsidiary of Compass Bancshares, Inc., an $18.5 billion Sunbelt-based financial holding company that operates 323 full-service banking offices in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. Compass is among the top 40 U.S. bank holding companies by asset size and ranks among the top earners of its size based on return on equity. The company’s earnings per share have increased for 12 consecutive years and dividends per share have increased for 19 consecutive years. Shares of Compass’ common stock are traded through the Nasdaq stock market under the symbol CBSS.

FULL STORY:

–>

Details