E*Trade ATMs

E*TRADE Group announced Monday it has signed an agreement to acquire Card Capture Services. CCS is the largest independent network of centrally-managed ATMs in the U.S. CCS has 8,500 machines in 48 states and three countries. E*TRADE says it will integrate the ATM network with its newly acquired banking subsidiary, Telebank. Telebank is pure-play Internet bank. E*TRADE further plans to leverage these ATMs to create a network of ‘Financial Services Kiosks’ that would serve as a physical delivery mechanism for cross-selling the firm’s financial products and services. E*Trade says it will use its brand across the CCS ATM network. The acquisition will be accounted for as a purchase. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.


ATMs Sold

First American Payment Systems, Inc. announced Monday the purchase of 75 automatic teller machines from American Express.

The machines are located in major branded gas stations/convenience stores throughout the Chicago, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth areas. Terms for the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition of additional ATMs is part of First American’s goal to increase its presence as a national ATM provider. First American anticipates a gain in operating efficiencies and lower overall operational costs for the ATMs.

“This acquisition is the first of many that First American hopes to complete this year. We are actively seeking additional transactions,” said Neil L. Randel, president and chief executive officer. “Since we began operating in the ATM business in 1998, First American has actively pursued additional growth for our ATM division.”

About First American

First American Payment Systems, Inc., a privately owned corporation founded in 1990, provides full-service electronic credit card authorization and payment systems to 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 [www.first-american.net][1].

[1]: http://www.first-american.net/


Cap One Hires Davis

Eric Davis, formerly Senior Information Officer and Operating Executive at First USA Bank, joined Capital One as Vice President of IT Service Delivery. Davis will be responsible for managing Capital One’s computer infrastructure and telecommunications networks. Davis has over 15 years experience in the design, development and management of leading edge MIS/EIS, Internet, information management, networking, client/server, and telecommunications technologies at some of the country’s top companies.

Marge Connelly, Capital One’s Senior Vice President of Operations said, “Service Delivery forms the backbone of our organization. Everything we do today depends upon a solid technology infrastructure. It will be Eric’s job to lead Service Delivery to continue to achieve superior levels of excellence and add value to the organization as a whole. I am very excited about Eric joining us and have every confidence that with the knowledge and experience he brings to our fast-paced organization he will make a great impact.”

Capital One is ranked by Computerworld as the 13th best place to work in IT in the country. It is Capital One’s ability to remain at the cutting edge of technology through state of the art innovation, strong IT leadership, and partnership with the business that has enabled it to be a leading employer of IT talent.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) ([http://www.capitalone.com][1]) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 23.7 million accounts and $20.2 billion in managed loans outstanding as of December 31, 1999, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 Index. For the second consecutive year, Fortune magazine named Capital One to its list of the “Best Places to Work in the US.”

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


Keenan to go Public

Stuart Crutchfield, formerly First Vice President of Corporate and Strategic Planning at MBNA America, has been tapped as Chief Financial Officer for the De Novo Corporation. As De Novo’s new CFO, Crutchfield joins other senior executive members at De Novo Corporation’s Headquarters in Delaware, the company’s base of operations for the IPO launch. His experience with public companies and his familiarity with the financial community are expected to enhance De Novo’s growth strategy. De Novo Corporation anticipates an IPO launch in early 2002.

Stuart Crutchfield brings with him 14 years of working experience with large organizations, such as MBNA America, Providian Financial and NatWest Bank. During his tenure at MBNA America, he was a member of a task force responsible for budget management & analysis and bank-wide productivity & efficiency analysis. Prior to this position, Crutchfield was the Finance Director for MBNA’s mortgage business in charge of planning, reporting, pricing, profitability analysis and mergers & acquisitions.

“De Novo Corporation is fortunate to have access to the skills and experience that Stuart Crutchfield brings,” said William Keenan, President of De Novo Corporation. “His financial leadership, within several best-in-class public companies, will enhance De Novo Corporation’s executive team and our growth strategies for an IPO.”

Stuart Crutchfield received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Studies at New Hampshire College. In addition, he obtained his Master of Science in Financial Economics at Colorado State University and went on to earn his post-MBA degree in International Management at Thunderbird: American Graduate School of International Management.

About De Novo Corporation:

De Novo Corporation is an Online and Offline marketing communications holding company, consists of Creative Solutions International, an integrated direct response advertising agency; Convergence Group, an international management consultancy; Owen/Holloway Group, a brand development and corporation communications advertising agency; and Stratcom, a business and consumer intelligence company.

De Novo Corporation offers a broad range of integrated marketing communications services to Fortune 1000 companies throughout the world. It currently has offices in New York, Arizona, Georgia, Delaware and in Canada. Currently a private company, De Novo Corporation is intending to conduct an initial public offering in early 2002.


No Credit Deterioration

Despite higher credit card interest rates and concerns that the most leveraged consumers will become overburdened, there are no signs of any credit deterioration. The Fitch IBCA index of credit card-backed securities, for the Jan. collection period, shows consumers still repaying their credit card balances at or near record rates and card portfolios generating historically healthy levels of excess spread. Moreover, serious delinquencies are contracting further from their recent highs and personal bankruptcy filings are undercutting even the most aggressive predictions for the year. The latter pair of trends bode well for future chargeoffs, which fell slightly in the most recent period and should decline in the coming months. Fitch IBCA’s delinquency index, which measures outstanding balances greater than 60 days past due, registered its second consecutive decline, trimming 11 bps from the previous month to settle at 3.06%. The consecutive declines have all but erased the prior five-month run-up during which the index rose more than 10.5%. While the month-to-month decline was driven by fewer than 25% of master trusts tracked, the index remains well below its Feb. 1999 mark of 3.28%. Fitch IBCA’s chargeoff index declined eight basis points for the month to 5.45% while extending its string of year-over-year improvements to 19-consecutive months. The slight monthly improvement was influenced by the dearth of fourth-quarter personal bankruptcy filings helping to offset prior increases in late-stage delinquencies.



ACE Cash Express, Inc. signed a multi-year agreement with Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG). ONG customers who make service payments at ACE retail stores will have their accounts posted the same day utilizing ACE’s proprietary point-of- sale network.

“This agreement provides our customers with an additional convenient payment option at any of the 23 locations in the Ace network of stores across our state,” said Roy Clymer, ONG Vice President of Customer Service. “This gives our customers more choice in where and how their gas bill payments are made.”

“Building a relationship with a major utility like ONG is very exciting because everybody wins,” said Jay B. Shipowitz, President of ACE. “Customers now have a convenient place to make their monthly payment, ONG will get the information the same day for fast account posting and ACE has added another service for our customers.”

ACE Cash Express, Inc. is headquartered in Irving, Texas and traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol AACE. It is the largest owner, operator and franchiser of check-cashing stores in the United States. Founded in 1968, the company has a total network of more than 1000 stores, including over 854 Company-owned stores and 146 franchised stores in 30 states and Washington, D.C. ACE offers a broad range of financial services, which include check cashing, MoneyGram wire transfers, money orders, small consumer loans, bill payment services and telecommunication services, including prepaid long distance and local phone service. The ACE web site is found at [http://www.acecashexpress.com][1].

Oklahoma Natural Gas, a division of ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE: OKE), is the largest natural gas utility in Oklahoma, providing service to more than 750,000 customers. More information about the company is available on the ONG web site at [http://www.ong.com/>http://www.ong.com][2].

[1]: http://www.acecashexpress.com/
[2]: http://www.ong.com/



NBS Technologies released its ‘Generation 2’ smart card ‘Card Personalization Element’ for the NBS ‘Horizon’ in-line card personalization system. The new ‘G2 CPE’ enables the Horizon to maintain its production speed of over 1000 cards per hour. NBS has already tested the ‘G2’ technology at beta sites across Europe during 1999 and selected customers have been running live for several months. The latest GSM smart cards, including new larger capacity 16 Kbytes chips and applications, and other types of smart card are being personalized at rates that exceed 1000 cards per hour.


Tradesafe Payments

Another Internet payment system surfaced yesterday offering P2P, C2C and B2B transactions. RI-based Tradesafe.com launched ‘Tradesafe.com Payments’ and announced a joint venture with Fleet Bank. According to the terms agreement, Fleet will provide Tradesafe.com with credit card processing services, and a gateway for ACH payments. In return, Tradesafe.com will provide new technology that enables online sellers to collect payments quickly in consumer-to-consumer and business-to-business transactions. Because Fleet is able to process online credit card transactions immediately through the bank’s own merchant services group, sellers at Internet auctions and other e-commerce sites can do business without the delays and financial constraints involved with merchant or escrow accounts. For purchases under $1,200, the buyer provides Tradesafe.com with a credit card as payment for the product. Tradesafe.com immediately deposits the money into the seller’s bank account. The buyer and seller then complete the delivery of goods. For transactions of $1,200 or more, Tradesafe.com confirms buyers’ receipt and satisfaction of the product before releasing funds to the seller.



First Data Corp. announced Monday it has both invested in and entered into a strategic marketing agreement with CoolSavings. As part of the agreement, First Data will leverage its technology platforms to provide electronic processing and fulfillment for the various savings incentives CoolSavings delivers to its more than six million registered members. CoolSavings provides targeted online coupons, rebates, free samples and other savings opportunities to its registered membership base via its Web site. Through First Data, the CoolSavings model will be enhanced to allow redemption at participating Internet and brick and mortar merchants to be completely online, automatic and paperless. First Data’s patent-pending technology will enable CoolSavings’ members to experience savings that are fulfilled electronically, appearing directly on their credit card statements. First Data will be the exclusive provider of these services to CoolSavings for VISA and MasterCard transactions.


MBNA & JP Morgan

MBNA America Bank announced Monday an agreement with J.P. Morgan to provide credit card services to the firm’s private banking clients, including clients of its new Morgan OnLine service also introduced Monday.

MBNA will offer a J.P. Morgan credit card to Morgan’s private banking clients. The announcement coincides with the launch of Morgan OnLine, the Wall Street firm’s new integrated wealth advisory service available via the Internet to Morgan’s clients.

“J.P. Morgan’s selection of MBNA as the credit card of choice for its wealth management clients underscores our commitment to providing superior services to premier Customers,” said John Cochran, chief marketing officer of MBNA. “For more than a century, J.P. Morgan has provided the highest quality advice and client service, and MBNA will maintain those high standards through its credit card offerings.”

“As J.P. Morgan expands its’ private client business to serve the growing number of millionaire investors with integrated wealth management solutions, a high caliber credit card is a service we know our clients will appreciate,” said Albert Bashawaty, managing director of JPMorgan Advisors, Inc. “We are pleased that MBNA will provide this added feature to our high net worth clients.”

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $72.3 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.

J.P. Morgan is a global financial firm that has built an international reputation for excellence in serving the needs of corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals. J.P. Morgan manages $350 billion in assets for defined benefit and defined contribution plans, proprietary mutual funds, third-party mutual funds, and high-net-worth individuals. The firm has U.S. private banking offices in New York, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington, DE, and will be expanding into 10 cities in 2000.


SafeDebit on STAR

Star Systems, Inc. announced Monday that it will join NYCE Corporation in offering SafeDebit to 3,400 STAR member financial institutions, representing 80 million ATM/debit cardholders. SafeDebit, an innovative payment solution, will allow consumers to use their ATM/debit card to make secure, real-time Internet purchases.

“Consumers have come to depend on their ATM/debit cards for secure, convenient payments at the point of sale,” said STAR(sm) President and CEO Ronald V. Congemi. “Before SafeDebit, consumers could not make real-time, secure purchases on the Internet with their ATM/debit card. SafeDebit will change that, extending those benefits to Internet transactions and expanding consumer and merchant choices in an important way.”

Scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2000, SafeDebit builds on the infrastructure and experience of the regional ATM networks, including NYCE and STAR, expanding the options for cardholders while preserving customer trust.

“We are thrilled to have STAR join us on this important initiative, offering SafeDebit to its member institutions,” said Dennis Lynch, President of NYCE Corporation. “Like NYCE, STAR has a history of innovation … by making SafeDebit available to its member institutions and merchant processors, STAR will broaden and enhance the e-commerce options for millions of cardholders.”

SafeDebit is modeled on the existing ATM/debit card design. Participating financial institutions will issue their customers a SafeDebit CD-ROM “card” in the shape of an ATM/debit card, as well as a personal identification number (PIN). When making an Internet purchase, SafeDebit cardholders will select the SafeDebit symbol as the payment option, insert the SafeDebit “card” into the CD-ROM drive on their PC and enter an e-PIN for authorization. As with ATM/debit cards, the SafeDebit transaction will be routed through the designated online EFT network, including NYCE and STAR. This two-step process, entry of a card and PIN, which is unique to the Internet but familiar to debit card users, provides consumers with a level of security currently unavailable for Internet purchases.

“Consumers, Internet merchants, and financial institutions will all benefit with SafeDebit,” said Congemi. “Secure, real-time Internet transactions will not only expand payment options. SafeDebit also is designed to reduce fraud and enhance consumer trust when making purchases online.”

The SafeDebit service being offered is in addition to other secure, real-time Internet purchasing initiatives, including digital signatures, currently under pilot through STAR. The STAR Network processes more than 2 billion transactions a year, via nearly 520,000 participating ATMs and merchant locations such as grocery stores, gas stations and discount stores. The largest such network in the U.S., STAR is headquartered in Maitland, FL, with offices also in San Diego, CA; Columbia, SC; Reston, VA; and St. Louis, MO.