Vicinity BofA Deal

Vicinity Corp., a leading provider of Internet-based marketing infrastructure services, will provide its Telephone Business Finder services to Bank of America to help direct customers to the bank’s more than 4,500 banking center and 14,000 ATM locations by simply picking up the telephone.

Vicinity’s Interactive Voice Response application will automatically provide Bank of America customers with the nearest Bank location — no additional dialing and no Internet access required. The service is expected to be available by late April 2000.

In addition to accessing the nearest location, Bank of America customers will be able to search for alternate locations by entering a zip code or phone number.

“Providing an easy way to locate the nearest Bank of America ATM or banking center is one step in our continuing effort to enhance our customers’ telephone experience with us,” said Colin Wong, vice president, Telephone Channel Strategies & Development, Bank of America.

“We are proud to be providing the largest bank in the United States with our Telephone Business Finder service,” said Emerick Woods, president and chief executive officer of Vicinity Corp. “Vicinity makes sure that all of our clients can reach their customers — ‘wired’ or not — with the most comprehensive marketing solutions.”

About Vicinity Corp.

Vicinity Corp. is a leading provider of Internet-based marketing infrastructure services for brand-name Global 2000 companies. The company’s clicks-and-mortar solutions, available in 14 countries and in 10 languages, enable its more than 300 clients to direct consumers searching for a specific product or service to the nearest brick-and-mortar store that carries that product or service.

Vicinity’s customers include FedEx, Ford, GM, Hewlett-Packard, Hilton Hotels Corp., Marriott, McDonald’s, NEC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Starwood Hotels, Taco Bell, Toyota, Levi Strauss & Co. and UPS. Its suite of private-label and co-branded content and services — available via the Internet, cellular phones, WAP phones, wireless devices and landline telephones — includes Business Finder(SM), Telephone Business Finder(SM), Wireless Business Finder(SM), BrandFinder(SM), SiteMaker(SM), MailMaker(SM), MapBlast!(R) Mapping Services, and Business Directory.

Publicly traded on Nasdaq under the symbol VCNT, Vicinity’s investors include CMGI (Nasdaq:CMGI). Vicinity’s strategic alliances include Inktomi (NASDAQ:INKT), Palm Computing (NASDAQ:PALM) and it is a member of the (NASDAQ:PHCM) Alliance Program. Vicinity was established in 1995, is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., and has an office in Lebanon, NH. Vicinity(R) is a registered trademark of Vicinity Corp.


Providian’s New TX Ctr

Providian Financial’s outstanding 57% growth in new customers was highlighted today by the opening of the company’s new customer service center in San Antonio, Texas.

Providian’s 60,000 square feet of space at 4300 Centerview Drive in San Antonio will be home to approximately 600 employees dedicated to providing customer service for the company’s credit card business. Providian experienced strong growth during 1999, adding 4.5 million new customers, and bringing Providian’s total customers in the U.S. and U.K. to 12 million. As a result of that growth, the company continues to add to its talented employee population.

At today’s opening celebration, local business leaders and elected officials joined Providian senior management and employees in a ribbon cutting ceremony. “The tremendous success of Providian’s credit card business has created the need to add resources. San Antonio’s hospitable business climate and the area’s very strong and qualified labor force make it an excellent place to for us to expand,” said Shailesh Mehta, Providian’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Providian is proud to join the San Antonio community and we plan to be an active member of it.”

As a part of its community commitment, today Providian awarded $25,000 to Smart Start, a non-profit corporate child care collaborative dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of child care services for San Antonio’s working families. “Providian’s donation helps fund Smart Start’s popular 65-SMART bilingual hotline, an essential community service providing parents with immediate answers to their questions about finding, evaluating, and using area child care services,” said Dawn White, program coordinator for Smart Start. “We are grateful to Providian for their contribution and for joining us in our efforts to make high quality child care a reality for all San Antonio families.” Providian’s donation is part of the company’s national Child Care Initiative.

San Francisco-based Providian Financial employs more than 11,000 people in the United States and in the United Kingdom, with facilities in San Antonio, Austin and Arlington, Texas, as well as Henderson, Nevada; Fairfield, Oakland, Pleasanton, Sacramento, and San Francisco, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Louisville, Kentucky; Concord and Tilton, New Hampshire; and London, England.

San Francisco-based Providian Financial Corporation ([][1]) is a leading provider of lending and deposit products to customers throughout the United States and also offers credit cards in the United Kingdom. The sixth largest bankcard issuer in the U.S., Providian Financial was recently named one of America’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine.

Providian serves a broad, diversified market with loan products that include credit cards, secured cards and membership services. With a commitment to 100% customer satisfaction, Providian’s mission is to help customers build or rebuild, protect and responsibly use credit by providing a quality borrowing experience that leads to active and lasting customer relationships. Providian has more than $23 billion in assets under management and over 12 million customers.



Bowie Palm Bank

The Internet’s first private label bank has opened for business and is accessible via the ‘Palm VII PDA’. This new, cutting-edge bank is also built around the celebrity of David Bowie., announced this weekend, the launch of an enhanced version of ‘BowieBanc’ in conjunction with an alliance with David Bowie and UltraStar Internet Services. The bank site is designed around David Bowie’s music, art and lifestyle. The new site also features complete wireless access for banking products and services provided through Wireless users are able to obtain full account access, bill payment, and other financial services via a new wireless platform designed for use on the ‘Palm VII PDA’ and cellular phones in the Sprint PCS product line. Access modules may be downloaded free-of-charge beginning today. ‘BowieBanc’ also offers a MasterCard ‘MasterMoney’ ATM/debit card. The card is linked a free checking account which pays an annual yield of 5% on balances over $1.00. The account also gives customers up to five, fee-reversible withdrawals from any ATM in the world that charges $2.00 or less per transaction.


Greenland Distributorship

Greenland Corporation, a provider of automated financial services machines that provide payroll check-cashing, payday advances, ATM functionality, phone card sales and money order dispensing services and bill paying, announced that it has repurchased the rights to the Master Distributorship contract for its automated financial services machines from RBSA and its affiliate, SmartCash ATM. Ltd. The purchase was in an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. RBSA, a leading national distributor of ATM machines will continue to operate as a key distributor of Greenland and will market and sell Greenland’s financial services machines on a non-exclusive basis.

“The repurchase of the rights to the Master Distributorship from RBSA provides Greenland several outstanding advantages,” said Greenland Corporation’s CEO, Dr. Louis T. Montulli. “First, it increases Greenland’s gross hardware and software profits by approximately 25%. Second, it allows Greenland to work directly with the hundreds of Independent Sales Representatives signed up to sell Greenland’s machines. Third, it provides Greenland Corporation unencumbered access to corporate chain market sales such as Wal-Mart and Piggly Wiggly.

Although RBSA has made a major contribution to the sales and marketing efforts of Greenland and we fully anticipate that they will remain a key distributor for Greenland, Greenland needed the flexibility to control its sales and marketing to meet the demand from various chains and potential institutional customers.

Dr. Montulli further stated, “This transaction is an excellent opportunity for Greenland and RBSA and we look forward to an excellent future relationship.”

More than ten million dollars and five years time has been spent in developing Greenland’s automated financial services machines, which, unlike its competition, offer numerous automated banking features. In the future, Internet sales shall be added to complete the process of offering the customer the maximum financial and commodity point of sale services where he or she shops every day. The Company estimates that the payroll check-cashing industry alone serves a population that transacts approximately one trillion dollars annually and generates an estimated $1.5 billion in annual fees.

Additionally, it has been estimated that about 28% of working Americans do not have a formal banking relationship. As a result, check-cashing and payday advance businesses are proliferating throughout the U.S.

About Greenland Corporation

Greenland Corporation is a developer and manufacturer of automated payroll check-cashing machines with full ATM functionality, phone card sales, money order dispensing and payday advance services. The Company’s automated financial services machines are being developed to provide dispensing of travelers checks, wire transfers, bill paying and electronic benefit transfers in addition to cashing payroll and government checks. The company’s common stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “GLCP.” Visit Greenland Corporation on the Internet at [][1].



Beenz Platforms announced Friday that its ‘beenz’ currency will be earnable and spendable on five new technology platforms. The platforms include: the mobile phone, the personal digital assistant, interactive television, games and the smart card. celebrated its first anniversary last week and now has more than one million users. In December the company signed an agreement with Mondex International to develop a smart card that will enable users to earn and spend their beenz off-line. says it will also soon roll beenz transaction capability for the Palm OS. The company’s strategy will enable providers of content to the Palm platform to charge or pay beenz for access to services and information delivered through Palm and compatible devices. The company has completed initial trials of its micropayment and reward solution for video game developers. To trial the technology, three browser-based games have already been developed with California-based Nuvo Studios Inc. Since the games were installed on one month ago, nearly 200,000 games have been played by beenz consumers.


EFTA EBT Conference

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association announced the selection of the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas as the site of its third annual conference on the future of Electronic Benefits Transfer systems.

EBT replaces the issuance of public welfare or social service benefits, such as checks or vouchers, with more cost-effective electronic payments or service delivery.

The conference, dubbed “EBT–The Next Generation” and scheduled for Nov. 12-14, will be hosted by EFTA’s EBT Industry Council, the nation’s oldest EBT trade association.

The San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk is a 500-room facility located on the Riverwalk, one of San Antonio’s top tourist destinations, and close to major attractions, such as the Alamo.

“We are pleased to be able to offer such a beautiful setting for EBT–The Next Generation,” said Arthur W. Burger, chairman of the EBT Industry Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of EFTA. “Millions of Americans now rely on EBT to receive a host of services from government, which makes this conference the most important event of the year for government industry leaders interested in using that technology.”

About EBT–The Next Generation

EBT–The Next Generation is a three-day conference featuring workshops, addresses and presentations on the technology and applications of EBT systems. Some 50 million Americans participate in EBT programs across the country, according to industry estimates. These programs, which will be featured at the conference, include Food Stamps, Transitional Assistance to Needy Families, Child Care, and the Women, Infants and Children nutritional program.

About the EBT Industry Council

Founded in the early 1990s, the EBT Industry Council is the longest-standing trade group comprised of companies that provide EBT technology. The Council’s mission is to foster business practices and public policy that encourages the adoption of EBT systems and applications.

Members of the EBT Industry Council include payment technology companies Citicorp Services, Inc., Lockheed Martin, and Deluxe EPS; technology management companies Burger, Carroll & Associates and Booz, Allen & Hamilton; and equipment manufacturers Hypercom Corp. NCR, and Hewlett-Packard’s VeriFone unit.

About the Electronic Funds Transfer Association

Now approaching a quarter-century of service, the Electronic Funds Transfer Association is the nation’s leading inter-industry trade association advocating the advancement of electronic payments and commerce.

Since the early 1980s EFTA has been active in promoting the use of electronic payment technology for EBT. This record include assisting the federal government in writing the first set of national operating rules for EBT, and working with Congress to develop fair and equitable liability coverage for EBT benefits.


Delinquency Moderates

Based on figures released last week by the American Bankers Association, credit card delinquency continues to moderate. According to the ABA quarterly ‘Delinquency Bulletin’ the number of credit card bills paid late during 4Q/99 dropped to 3.22% of all accounts, compared to 3.35% in the previous quarter and 3.45% for 4Q/98. Fourth quarter credit card delinquencies, based on total dollars outstanding, rose slightly to 4.28%, compared to 4.25% for 3Q/99. The delinquency trend shown by the ABA tracks with the delinquency trends among card-backed securities and the ‘TrendLine’ calculated by CardData. Based on dollars outstanding among the top 350 card issuers, bank credit card delinquency, on a monthly basis, has fluctuated between 4.70% and 4.86%% over the past six months according to CardData ([][1]).

(based on total dollars outstanding)
1999: 4.28% 1995: 4.45% 1991: 4.61% 1987: 3.65% 1983: 2.74%
1998: 4.62% 1994: 3.20% 1990: 4.46% 1986: 4.80% 1982: 3.57%
1997: 5.38% 1993: 3.64% 1989: 3.22% 1985: 3.88% 1981: 2.26%
1996: 5.45% 1992: 4.11% 1988: 3.40% 1984: 2.85% 1980: 3.48%

Source: American Bankers Association Delinquency Bulletin



Online Check Imaging

Digital Insight Corporation unveiled new product functionality that allows online customers to request and view images of their checks when accessing ‘ AXIS Internet Banking’ and ‘AXIS Cash Management’. A check image server hosted either by the financial institution or a third-party check image vendor delivers the check image to the end user within either ‘AXIS Internet Banking’ or ‘AXIS Cash Management’. Digital Insight already has developed partnerships and interfaces with several check image companies, including BISYS Document Solutions and Wausau Financial Systems.


edocs Clarify

edocs and Clarify Inc. announced plans to deliver the first integrated end-to-end offering for Internet billing and customer relationship management from industry leading solution providers. Clarify will integrate edocs ‘BillDirect’ Internet billing software into Clarify eFrontOffice. This will allow companies to web-enable their customer bill and statement data to present dynamic, interactive customer bills and statements online. This solution gives the eBusiness capabilities of Clarify eFrontOffice while also giving customers a single view of all their interactions with the company. By adding Internet billing capabilities, companies can quickly and easily provide both business customers and consumers with the ability to query, sort, analyze and pay bills online.


Fighting Bad I-Merchants

CitX Corporation announces the launch of ‘CyberlSOX’ online credit card merchant account fraud prevention. The new system would enable businesses to verify the authenticity of credit card merchant account programs marketed by ISO. The ‘CyberlSOX’ service will be offered free to businesses through CitX Corporation’s IntraPayX e-commerce division and will feature a registry of participation merchant account ISA agents and credit card merchant account issuing banks. ISOs and issuing banks will be able to subscribe to the service and participate to have their merchant account program and services authenticated.


Golden Cointstar

Coinstar Inc. announced a unique promotion aimed at encouraging Americans to return their idle coins to circulation. The promotion, which began this week will enable Americans who process at least $20 worth of change through a Coinstar machine to receive two of the United States Mint’s new Golden Dollar coins. Americans who recycle at least $20 worth of change through Coinstar will find a form at the end of their regular Coinstar transaction voucher, which works like a mail-in rebate.