E-Sign Coming

Credit card agreements may soon be fully executed online if a new federal bill becomes law. Yesterday the U.S. House overwhelmingly approved the conference report to S. 761, the ‘Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act’ (a/k/a E-SIGN), by a vote of 426-4. Its next stop is the Senate, before being sent to the White House for the President’s signature. The bill would give e-signatures and records the same legal backing as written signatures — allowing consumers to sign and seal business transactions in cyberspace, the same way they would in person. Specifically, S.761 would provide for the acceptance of electronic signatures and records in interstate commerce and, direct the Secretary of Commerce to promote the principles of this legislation overseas. The bill first introduced in May of 1999. The House approved the bill November 9, 1999 by a vote of 356-66, and the Conference Report to S.761 was filed last week.


AmEx – JCB

American Express and Japan’s JCB Company are entering into a new partnership covering their merchant businesses in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. The agreement includes a range of reciprocal card acceptance, merchant acquisition and merchant processing/servicing arrangements between the two brands. Under terms of the agreement JCB will become a merchant acquirer for AmEx in Japan, and will assume responsibility for processing and servicing new merchants and, eventually, certain existing AmEx merchants. In Australia, New Zealand and Canada, AmEx will become a merchant acquirer for JCB and will assume responsibility for processing and servicing all new merchants and, eventually, certain existing JCB merchants. Also under Wednesday’s contract, AmEx will work with JCB to provide technical access to American Express-owned merchant terminals in the USA. The agreement will be implemented in phases beginning in Spring 2001.


Star Witness

The Government’s key witness in the VISA/MasterCard antitrust trial took the stand late yesterday to say the card associations jointly agreed to slow down the introduction of smart cards in the USA. John Elliott, formerly of MasterCard and a consultant for American Express, testified that MasterCard was ready to rollout out smart cards but VISA was not, and therefore the technology was put on hold. However under cross examination, Mr. Elliott revealed he received half-million dollars as a consultant for American Express. He also admitted on the stand to having an additional eight to ten meetings, not including phone calls, with the DOJ as part of his work under his American Express consulting arrangement. VISA attacked Mr. Elliott last night insisting he purely represents American Express’ interests. VISA says American Express continues to pay his legal expenses including his lawyer appearing in court with him this week. VISA said while the smart card is a good idea in theory, the business case for the product in the U.S. does not exist.


Delta & MoneyStream

Delta Capital Technologies, Inc. signed a letter of intent as the provider of e-Commerce and e-Merchandising solutions to customers of MoneyStream Services Inc., an electronic payment processing company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In the reciprocal agreement, Delta has co-sponsored a development project for the integration of its proprietary relBUILDER. technology with MoneyStream’s payment processing and security systems.

According to Delta, the deal represents nearly US$1 million in total revenues this year with another US$1 million in revenue flowing to MoneyStream. The total project over the next 18 months represents approximately US$6.6 million to the two companies.

“Delta and MoneyStream share the philosophy that providing superior service is the core of our business. This mutual agreement is the key that will unlock opportunities for both companies, strengthening the partnership,” said Mike Steele, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Development. “MoneyStream represents both a key strategic partner and technology provider complimenting the strengths of relBUILDER(TM) and our e-Business solutions.

“Together, Delta and MoneyStream will offer mission-critical e-Business applications meeting the growing needs of small-to-medium businesses typically overlooked by traditional banking institutions.”

Marc Bourgeois, MoneyStream’s Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing agrees: “The formalization of a partnership with Delta is an integral part of our ability to offer turnkey e-Business solutions to our respective clients.

“Relationships with companies like Delta allow us to meet our aggressive objectives for the rapid deployment of MoneyStream’s e-Business financial services. The Internet is emerging as our customer’s preferred banking interface providing businesses with vital financial information when and where they need it most.”

About Delta Capital Technologies, Inc.: Trading Symbol DCTG (OTC:BB)

Delta Capital Technologies is a Delaware-based software development company with offices in Calgary, Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; and Austin, Texas. Delta’s proprietary technology is the relBUILDER(TM) suite of applications, a contextual rules and relationships e-Business program, allows end-user information owners to manage their own on-line operations efficiently and at reduced cost.

About MoneyStream Services Inc.

MoneyStream Services was founded in 1993, as Canada’s only full service electronic payments processing company. With the proliferation of the e-Business economy, MoneyStream has evolved and refined its offerings to satisfy its clients with the most comprehensive selection of electronic payment processing services, including credit card authorization, pre-authorized payment processing and electronics funds transfer services. Leveraging the power of the Internet, MoneyStream’s solutions simplify the way businesses move money.


Cendant Canaries

Three former executives of Cendant Corp. pleaded guilty yesterday to criminal fraud charges for participating in a major accounting scandal to inflate revenues. The fraud was perpetrated prior to the merger of CUC International and HFS which created Cendant in late 1997. Cosmo Corigliano, Anne Pember, and Casper Sabatino testified yesterday that their actions were done at the behest of their superiors at CUC. The cooking of the books led to CUC overstating its operating income by $116 million between 1995 and 1997. As a result Cendant overstated its income by $170 million in 1997. The scandal led to a $3 billion+ settlement in a shareholder class action lawsuit and reduced Cendant’s market value by $14 billion. CUC and Cendant were major third-party providers of membership services to the nation’s top credit card issuers. All three face 5-10 years in prison and enforcement action by the SEC.


Equifax – M&I Contract

Equifax Card Solutions announced that it has signed a multi-year contract with M&I Data Services for ATM driving, routing, and switching services. The agreement will enable Equifax Card Solutions to offer the advantages of single-point authorizationsor online transaction processingfor debit and ATM card processing. Card transactions, whether initiated at a point of sale terminal or automated teller machine , will be authorized based on real-time account information, providing increased security and faster, more accurate processing. This product offers special advantages for off-line debit card issuers who have a regional and/or national ATM service provider and for clients that are seeking a quality ATM provider.

![][1] Vince Pavese, senior vice president and general manager, Equifax Card Solutions, North America, said, ‘This partnership marks an important step forward. Like other processors, Equifax has traditionally processed off-line debit card transactions. We can now combine our superior back-office servicing with state-of-the-art POS, ATM, and off-line authorization processing. Financial institutions can come to Equifax for all their card processing needs’merchant, credit, debit, and ATM products. We are their total card solution.’

Mr. Pavese added, “The simplified processing is easy to administer and cost effective. Clients no longer need to send multiple cardholder balance files to various processors for debit card and ATM authorizations. All authorizations are routed through Equifax, and Equifax handles all settlements, improving the authorization decision and simplifying accounting duties. Equifax provides the means to improved authorization processing so that issuers can concentrate on more important matterstheir cardholders.’

‘We are pleased to work with Equifax in providing online transaction processing,’ said Joe Delgadillo, president and CEO, M&I Data Services. ‘Real-time authorizations deliver the kind of service that card issuers need to remain competitive with the leaders in the card industry,’ Delgadillo added.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, M&I Data Services is a division of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (NYSE: MI), a $24.4 billion holding company. M&I Data Services had total revenue of $583 million in 1999 and provides leading-edge technology solutions to the financial services industry, offering consulting, software, and processing solutions for financial institutions worldwide. The company’s rapid growth is being fueled by innovative product development, strategic product acquisitions, and strong growth of its customer relationships.

The Electronic Funds Delivery (EFD) Services Division of M&I Data Services provides transaction routing, switching, and authorizations for the electronic funds transfer industry. It supports all makes and models of ATMs and provides ATM and debit card processing. EFD also performs gateway services and has network interfaces to all of the major regional and national ATM and point-of-sale (POS) networks. The EFD Services Division provides complete credit card and merchant services, e-commerce, credit approval, portfolio risk management, neural-network fraud detection, fraud investigation, and comprehensive card personalization services. For more information, visit the M&I Data Services Web site at [www.midata.com][2].

Equifax Card Solutions is the nation’s largest card processor for credit unions and independent banks, bringing card processing services and marketing solutions to more than 5,000 clients in the United States. Equifax also delivers high quality card processing services to clients internationally in the United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and India. Equifax card processing software is used by financial institutions in 30 countries around the world.

Equifax ([www.equifax.com][3]), a worldwide leader in shaping global commerce, brings buyers and sellers together through its information management, transaction processing, direct marketing, and customer relationship management businesses. Atlanta-based Equifax (NYSE: EFX) serves the financial services, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities, transportation, information technology and healthcare industries and government. Equifax adds knowledge, expertise, convenience and security to provide value-added solutions and processes for its customers wherever they do business, including the Internet and other networks. Equifax employs about 15,000 associates in 16 countries with sales in almost 50 and has $1.8 billion in revenue.

[1]: /graphic/midata/midata.gif
[2]: http://www.midata.com/
[3]: http://www.equifax.com/


X-Rated Chargebacks

The adult entertainment industry blasted VISA and MasterCard for exerting enormous influence in enforcing business practices. The publisher of an adult entertainment Internet trade publication, says his industry is not surprised to see the Department of Justice battling VISA and MasterCard in Federal Court for alleged monopolistic practices. AVN Online says the adult entertainment industry has galvanized to fight the giant credit card companies over discriminatory business practices in chargeback policies for the audiotext and videotext industries. The publication says VISA and MasterCard should focus on attacking the root of the problem by embracing secure authentication technologies such as SET. To lead its battle with VISA and MasterCard the adult entertainment industry has formed advocacy groups, such as Flying Crocodile’s ‘Credit Card Watch’ service. Last month American Express announced it would stop handling transactions for adult websites.


DotsConnect CTO

DotsConnect, a wholly owned TSYS e-payments subsidiary, named David M. Norris as Chief Technology Officer. Norris served as a founding member of USWeb/CKS, a leading Internet professional services firm.

“With more than 14 years of software, hardware and systems engineering experience, David’s extensive knowledge and understanding of the technology market greatly enhances our team,” said Gaylon Jowers, president and CEO, DotsConnect. “David is considered an asset in the industry, and we welcome his area of expertise to DotsConnect.”

“The move to DotsConnect has been exciting for me,” said Norris. “I look forward to leading DotsConnect’s strategic technical development and continuing the Company’s commitment to providing superior e-payment solutions.”

Norris will manage every component of technology for DotsConnect including daily production, research and development, new product delivery and implementations. He will work to support strategic growth through the delivery and support of cutting-edge technology.

Norris will also be responsible for building and growing the high-tech organization that efficiently meets the needs of the customer. Additional responsibilities include administrative budgeting, planning and working with the leadership team of DotsConnect to ensure that organizational and operational goals are met and exceeded.

As one of the founding members of USWeb/CKS, Norris built, managed and led numerous technology teams in the design and deployment of large-scale, enterprise-ready, Internet e-commerce and business application solutions. He also provided leadership in the launch of new Internet start-ups, Web-enabling existing businesses and transforming legacy systems into web-ready ventures.

Prior to joining USWeb/CKS, Norris led the engineering and technology teams for Smart Devices, a worldwide manufacturer of electronic devices and equipment, designing multiple products and building the international technical support center, the international training center and the technology sales support team. David has also served in the United States Air Force Research and Development, where he trained and developed skills in engineering, electronics, computers and technology.

About DotsConnect

DotsConnect is an e-payments company that facilitates commerce between buyers and sellers via the Internet by providing software and processing for online credit application, customer service and fulfillment processes for financial services companies and e-businesses. DotsConnect offers a single e-commerce solution that includes online credit application, scoring, decisions and customer service — all in real time.

With DotsConnect, e-businesses are given a competitive advantage for attracting and retaining customers by providing them the ability to apply, receive and manage their credit accounts in real time via the Internet. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Total System Services, Inc. ([http://www.totalsystem.com][1]), DotsConnect continues a quarter century of innovation by providing tailored, secure, and reliable payment solutions.

About Total System Services, Inc.

TSYS (NYSE: TSS) provides global commerce solutions. With more than 179 million accounts on file, TSYS facilitates the payment exchange between buyers and sellers. TSYS and its family of companies offer a full range of business services from credit application to collections for credit, debit, commercial, stored-value and retail accounts. Based in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([http://www.totalsystem.com][2]) is an 80.8 percent-owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ([http://www.synovus.com][3]), No. 5 on FORTUNE magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2000. For more information, contact news@totalsystem.com .

[1]: http://www.totalsystem.com/
[2]: http://www.totalsystem.com/
[3]: http://www.synovus.com/


Aspire on BigFNI

The BigFNI.com, a leading provider of online financial and insurance services has entered into an agreement to market CompuCredit Corporation’s Aspire Visa Card, on the web.

CompuCredit utilizes a technology-based business model to market general-purpose credit cards to those consumers who may have been overlooked by other credit card companies due to limited credit history or past credit problems. CompuCredit provides such consumers with the opportunity to build or re-establish their credit history and gain access to services that were previously out of their financial reach. CompuCredit has over $1 billion in managed loans with in excess of 1.4 million accounts.

![][1] “With approximately 82 million consumers in the United States underserved by traditional providers of consumer credit, we felt that CompuCredit has the expertise and technology to provide credit to consumers on an unsecured basis,” said Michael Dunn, Executive Vice President at The BigFNI.com.

According to published reports, this underserved market had accumulated $187 billion in unsecured credit by 1998, only six percent of which was accounted for by general-purpose credit cards. Many industry sources expect this number to increase to 40 percent by 2003.

About The BigFNI.com

The BigFNI.com is an Internet-based service provider of financial and insurance services. Using the latest technology, The BigFNI.com serves as an online marketplace in which businesses and consumers can apply for credit and insurance products from partnered lending and insurance institutions. The company utilizes proprietary software to pre-screen applicants for participating financial institutions and offers instantaneous credit rating and approval. Once approved, The BigFNI.com customers benefit from live customer support services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

About CompuCredit

CompuCredit Corporation is a credit card company that uses analytical techniques — including sophisticated computer models — to identify consumers whom it believes to be credit-worthy yet overlooked by more traditional consumer credit providers. CompuCredit markets unsecured Aspire (R) Visa (R) credit cards through direct mail, telemarketing and the Internet. In July 1999, CompuCredit launched its consumer web site, [http://www.aspirecard.com][2] through its Internet marketing services subsidiary AspireCard.com, Inc. Consumers can apply online and receive a credit decision within seconds. CompuCredit also markets life insurance, card registration, buying club memberships and travel services to its cardholders. Aspire Visa cards are issued by Columbus Bank and Trust Company under an agreement with CompuCredit. CompuCredit completed its initial public offering in April of 1999 and was included in the Russell 2000(R) Index in July 1999 and the Nasdaq Financial 100 Index in May 2000.

[1]: /graphic/bigfni/bigfni.gif
[2]: http://www.aspirecard.com/


NavigatER for VISA

Visa International and Necho Systems Corp., a leading provider of Web-based enterprise-wide travel and expense processing applications, announced a marketing alliance to deliver global expense management software to corporations with Visa Corporate card programs.

Necho Systems Corp. and Visa International will offer their services through Visa member financial institutions in the Asia Pacific and European Union regions initially, with expansion potential in Visa’s other four regions. Targeted at mid to large sized card programs, including those associated with multi-national corporations, Necho’s flagship travel and expense processing software, NavigatER helps corporations streamline the approval workflow process of expense claims, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Visa Corporate is the ideal travel and entertainment payment solution for medium to large companies. These companies provide Visa Corporate cards to their employees who travel on business and require a payment card with worldwide acceptance, value-added services and cash access. Visa Corporate provides companies with acceptance at over 19 million merchant locations worldwide, meeting companies’ most important requirement. Visa Corporate also helps companies to monitor and control employees’ travel and entertainment expenditures, for both international and domestic traveling.

Necho Systems Corp. has developed a standard Visa corporate card import data interface that will automate the input import of Visa Corporate card transactions from the Visa Corporate Issuer to the company’s system.

With travel and entertainment expenses (T&E) being the third largest controllable expense that companies incur, more companies are turning to Visa Corporate for help in streamlining administration and reduce costs. Visa Corporate sales volume continues to grow at a rate exceeding 40% annually, as more companies enjoy the benefits of a card program. The partnership between Visa and Necho will help large companies better manage the data and information from their Visa Corporate cards, and therefore benefit from a greater level of savings and control. The combination of one of the world’s most accepted Corporate cards and one of the world’s leading T&E expense processing applications will enable companies to enjoy unprecedented client savings and benefits. The more you use the card, the more the company benefits.

“Visa research has shown that establishing an automated expense reporting system and capturing and storing data were the two key factors to better managing T&E,” said Jacqueline Buonassisi, Vice President, Small Business and T&E Platforms, Visa International. “Companies that implement these two best practices are achieving reductions of administration costs of 83%, and enjoying vendor discounts of approximately 18%. With this alliance, companies using Visa Corporate will be able to enjoy the significant savings and controls that it provides.”

“Necho’s NavigatER application provides Visa International clients with software that has been designed specifically to integrate with the Visa Corporate Card program, allowing businesses to gain the benefits of automating their expense claim workflow”, said Scott Anderson, president and founder of Necho Systems Corp. “Our partnership with Visa International is just one more way we’re trying to provide business solutions that deliver savings and convenience for the modern enterprise.”

About Visa Global Commercial Product Platforms

Visa International’s Commercial Product Platforms Division offers tailored commercial payment solutions for 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 Product Platforms Division is also at the leading edge of expanding product platforms and integrating enhanced data, new technologies and delivery channels to meet 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][1].

About Necho Systems Corp.

Necho Systems Corp. is a leading provider of Web-based travel and entertainment (T&E) expense processing solutions for reducing enterprise costs in mid-market organizations with a few hundred, to 10,000 travelers. Necho’s T&E applications provide enterprises with e-commerce processing and payment solutions that dynamically link to corporate card, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and payment systems. NavigatER, Necho’s Web-based T&E software automates every activity within expense processing, from expense claim creation through verification, audit and payment. Necho’s solutions extend into procurement to enable a total solution that offers increased data-capture, workflow and administration benefits across the enterprise.

Necho has specialized in T&E software solutions since 1995 and has many prominent clients including 7-Eleven, Inc., American Electric Power, Janssen-Ortho, Inc. and R.R. Donnelley & Sons. Necho has partnered with industry leaders to offer a complete solution for each client. Necho has offices across North America, for more information on Necho, contact us at www.info@necho.com or 1-800-NECHOSC.

[1]: http://www.visa.com/


Longest Summer

After four years and two hundred depositions, the U.S. Government’s antitrust case against VISA and MasterCard officially got underway yesterday. The trial is expected to last all summer, ending around September 30. The Justice Department began calling witnesses Tuesday to the hot seat. Those expected to testify this week include: Lawrence Kessler, Banco Popular; John Elliott, formerly of MasterCard; Sandy Woods, Publix Super Markets; and Steve McCurdy, American Express. Next week the Government plans to call to the stand: Kenneth Chenault, American Express; Adam Rothchild, American Express; James Cracchiolo, American Express; Alex W. Pete Hart, ex MasterCard CEO; Russell Hogg, ex MasterCard CEO; Bennett Katz, former general counsel, VISA; Joseph Saunders, FleetBoston Financial; former MasterCard board chairman; and Christopher Zyda, Amazon.com.