Lockhart CEO Plans

H. Eugene (Gene) Lockhart, formerly of AT&T, is to join a private company sponsored by, among others, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. Lockhart has been named Chief Executive Officer of this internet-centric business-to-consumer company. In addition to DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, backers for the company include other financial investors and a strategic corporate investor.

Lockhart, 50, most recently was President of AT&T’s $22 billion Consumer Services unit, which provides long distance, local and internet access services to about 65 million customers. AT&T Consumer Services achieved record growth of 19% in net income under his leadership in 1999. Prior to joining AT&T, Lockhart was President of BankAmerica Corporations’ Global Retail Bank. Before joining BankAmerica, he was President and CEO of MasterCard International.

Lockhart is on the Board of Directors of Nabisco Group Holdings, the First Republic Bank, IMS Health, Inc. and the Royal Academy of Art in London. He is also a Trustee of the Alumni Board of the University of Virginia, where he received both his M.B.A. and undergraduate degrees.


Discover Shopping Center

While stadium branding has become commonplace, a new trend may emerge following a deal yesterday to name a shopping center complex after a credit card brand. Discover Financial Services and The Mills Corp.announced Wednesday they have teamed up to create the first-ever naming rights partnership in the shopping center industry. The property involved is Discover Mills, a 1.3 million square foot retail and entertainment center located in Gwinnett County, GA, 25 minutes north of downtown Atlanta. The new shopping and entertainment complex, formerly known as Sugarloaf Mills, will feature approximately 200 retailers. Yesterday’s deal is the culmination of a multi-year relationship, during which ‘Discover Card’ was recently named as the official credit card of The Mills properties. Under the terms of the 10-year, multi-million dollar partnership, ‘Discover Card’ will become the preferred payment method of Discover Mills, which is anticipating $400 million in annual retail sales. Discover will also have its own storefront within the mall and will also develop marketing programs, including special offers, in-mall promotions and ‘Cashback Bonus’ award promotions with selected merchants. Mills Corp. runs 21 retail centers and has six projects under construction.


AmSouth Renews TSYS

Total System Services, Inc. announced a five-year extension to its processing agreement with AmSouth Bancorporation for credit card processing. TSYS has processed the AmSouth portfolio since 1993.

TSYS President Philip W. Tomlinson said, “As AmSouth continues to grow its portfolio, we are delighted to play a part in its continued successes. AmSouth’s renewal is a sign of the strength of our people, technology and vision, and we are committed to earning their business everyday.”

Beverly Anderson, Vice President, Bankcard Department, AmSouth, said, “This extension allows AmSouth to continue providing its customers with first- rate quality, value, and customer service. We are delighted to be associated with TSYS, a company that upholds the same high standards.”

With the acquisition of First American, AmSouth became the 19th largest bank holding company in the nation and has leading market positions in Tennessee, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, and a presence in Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky and Virginia. AmSouth also became a leader among regional banks in the Southeast in several key business segments, including small business, consumer and commercial lending; annuity sales; equipment leasing; mutual funds and managed trust assets.

About AmSouth

AmSouth Bancorporation and AmSouth Bank are headquartered in Birmingham, Al. The company and its subsidiaries provide a full line of traditional and nontraditional financial services including consumer and commercial banking, small business banking, mortgage loans, trust services and investment management.

About Total System Services, Inc.

TSYS provides the electronic payment link between buyers and sellers. With more than 207.9 million accounts on file, TSYS makes it possible for 291 million consumers to use their credit, debit, commercial and retail cards any time, anywhere and through any medium or portal. Our sophisticated systems collect and retain more transaction detail data per account than any other company. We return that information to our clients in a meaningful way so they can better serve every customer and make wiser commerce decisions. Our services allow our clients to focus on building their brands while we focus on safety, security, ease and convenience. Based in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([http://www.totalsystem.com][1]) is an 80.8-percent-owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ([http://www.synovus.com][2]), No. 5 on FORTUNE magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2000.

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


Bank of the West Renews NOVA

NOVA Corporation announced that Bank of the West has renewed its marketing alliance with NOVA for seven additional years. The alliance provides Bank of the West with individualized attention and customized services for each of its business customers. NOVA will provide merchant services and support to the bank on both a local and national basis.

NOVA is the third-largest transaction processing company in the nation. Bank of the West, a subsidiary of $16.7 billion BancWest Corp., is California’s fourth-largest bank with operations extending to Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho.

“Due to NOVA’s strong commitment to service and dedication to enhancing its product offerings the last six years, we have decided to move forward by continuing to grow with NOVA in a long-term relationship,” said Frank Bonetto, Bank of the West senior executive vice president. “Our seven-year commitment with NOVA means we will be able to deliver the best possible value and service to our customer base.”

“NOVA is the market leader in providing electronic payment processing to small- and medium-sized merchants,” said Edward Grzedzinski, NOVA chairman and chief executive officer. “A key driver of the growth of our business is the company’s commitment to partnering with financial institutions. We have had a mutually beneficial relationship for six years with Bank of the West, providing transaction-processing services exclusively to the bank’s customers.”

About NOVA Corporation

NOVA Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products, and value-added services to more than 500,000 merchants in the U.S. NOVA merchant customers typically include small- to medium-sized merchants requiring a full spectrum of processing services. For more information, visit [www.novacorp.net][1].

About Bank of the West

Bank of the West was founded in 1874 and is California’s fourth-largest bank. Its headquarters is in San Francisco. It operates 162 branches – 118 in Northern and Central California, 30 in Oregon, nine in Washington state, three in Idaho and two in Nevada. For more information on Bank of the West, please visit [www.bankofthewest.com][2].

[1]: http://www.novacorp.net/
[2]: http://www.bankofthewest.com/


App Fraud Fighter

Equifax and HNC Financial Solutions officially and jointly launched an application fraud risk predictor Wednesday. ‘Gemini Verify Score’ is designed to detect a high rate of identity deception during the application process, while reducing the cost and customer inconvenience of additional identity verifications. It is the only application fraud predictor in the U.S. that is neural network-developed, credit data-based and centrally distributed. The new scoring service leverages the neural network and fraud control expertise that HNC used to develop the widely adopted ‘Falcon’ fraud detection system. Branch Banking and Trust Company was a pilot user of the ‘Gemini Verify Score’. Equifax Canada successfully introduced a similar score, ‘Gemini Application Fraud Predictor’, in late 1998. Six institutions are currently using the Canadian score, with five others testing. Both firms said yesterday the new scoring service addresses the concerns of lenders who are nervous about taking applications over the Internet.


Euronet 4Q/99

KS-based Euronet Services reported revenues of $41.5 million for 1999, an increase of 249% over 1998 revenues of $11.9 million. The operating loss was $26.8 million for 1999, up from a $22.6 million loss for 1998, while the net loss for 1999 was $30.9 million compared with a net loss of $28.4 million for 1998. The losses were in line with management’s expectations to build its European ATM network. As of Dec. 31, Euronet owned or operated a total of 2,283 ATMs, compared with 1,271 ATMs at the year-end 1998. Of the 2,283 ATMs, 69% are owned by Euronet as part of its proprietary network, and 31% are customer-owned and operated by Euronet under outsourcing agreements. Euronet owns or operates ATMs in Hungary, Poland, Germany, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, the U.K., and the U.S.



Hypercom unveiled the payment industry’s first suite of comprehensive security and gateways server software that enables browser-equipped card payment terminals to securely interface to the Internet and access a broad range of web based applications. ‘ePicPortz 1.0’ offers several modules including: ‘ePicReceipts’, ‘ePicWall’, ‘ePicCommerce’, ‘RealPay’, ‘ShopHostz’, ‘ePicPack’, and ‘ePicMail’. These software modules support Internet-based applications such as electronic receipt capture, e-commerce, e-commerce to Host gateway, hosted web stores, on-screen advertising and coupons, and e-mail. A critical component of ‘ePicPortz’ is a security proxy and routing server that works in conjunction with hardware security tokens in Hypercom’s ‘ePic ICE’ terminals to provide a high level of security that is resistant to hacker techniques. Hypercom ‘ePicPortz 1.0’ is being rolled out with several major banks, financial transaction processors and ISPs.


New International Processor

First Ecom.com and the Bank of Bermuda announced the formation of First Ecommerce Data Services Limited , a new joint venture company that will provide a comprehensive suite of global credit card payment processing services to banks and their merchants — both online and brick and mortar.

Subject to the finalization of relevant regulatory approvals, First Ecom.com and Bank of Bermuda have created FEDS to provide banks and their merchants the FEDS Processing Solution, which includes online and batch transaction processing for Visa, MasterCard, credit and debit cards. The FEDS Processing Solution includes authorization, electronic data transmission for settlement, and full transaction reporting.

FEDS will grant banks the authority to give their merchants access to the FEDS Processing Solution, which provides a wide range of new services for researching, retrieving and archiving the data associated with the transactions processed on behalf of the banks and their merchants.

The Bank of Bermuda will provide the card processing systems, staff, data processing center and other supporting features, including formal authorization and licenses with regard to the processing of credit card transactions by holders of VISA and MasterCard credit cards.

“This is by far our most significant venture to-date,” said Gregory Pek, First Ecom.com president and CEO. “Creating this new joint venture demonstrates that both companies recognize the importance of working together to create a comprehensive, third-party processing solution for banks and their merchants all over the world. FEDS represents a unique payment processing outsourcing opportunity for banks, in that they can work freely with a non-bank, non-competing institution such as FEDS that offers multi-currency payment processing services and can get banks up and running in a matter of days.”

Pek added that FEDS overcomes many of the common hurdles facing banks in providing payment processing services to their merchants, including the extreme shortage of qualified technical personnel to build the systems, attracting industry-savvy business partners, increased operating costs for multinational corporations, and high costs associated with system development, maintenance and ongoing R&D. FEDS also addresses the risks associated with banks losing merchant business to competitor banks that have effective payment processing systems because FEDS provides a turnkey solution that can be quickly implemented with any banks existing systems.

“We’ve been working closely with First Ecom.com since earlier last year, and are very excited about what our new FEDS joint venture will mean, not only for our two companies, but for the vast number of banks and their merchants that understand the clear advantage of outsourcing payment processing,” said Alan Richardson, executive vice president, retail clients for the Bank of Bermuda Ltd. “Payment processing has always been the cornerstone of e-commerce and other types of credit card transactions, and we believe that FEDS will be regarded among the best solutions.”

About the Bank of Bermuda

Bank of Bermuda is an international financial institution that provides banking, trust, asset management, fund administration and global custody services to its corporate, private and retail clients. Founded in 1889, its global headquarters are in Bermuda, and it has offices or subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Dublin, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, Luxembourg, New York, New Zealand, and Singapore. It has representative offices in Bahrain and London.

About First Ecom.com

As a global leader in Internet transaction processing, First Ecom.com provides secure, easy-to-implement and low-cost online payment processing services to merchants and banks worldwide. Through strategic partnerships with Banks, ISPs, E-commerce system integrators and storefront solution providers, First Ecom will process credit card transactions made over the Internet in multiple currencies, either domestically or offshore in a tax-neutral jurisdiction. For more information, visit [http://www.firstecom.com][1].

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


MBNA Signs Virtual Communities

Virtual Communities Inc, provider of turnkey solutions for the development and management of Web-based communities and publisher of online ethnic and affinity communities, and MBNA America Bank, N.A. announced the details of a co-branded credit card and joint marketing program.

MBNA will be the exclusive issuer of credit cards for VCI’s communities, including [www.virtualireland.com][1], [www.virtualitaly.com][2], and [www.virtualindia.com][3]. MBNA will also offer co-branded affinity cards to future online communities published by VCI using VCI’s proprietary Community Management Solution (CMS).

VCI CEO Avi Moskowitz said, “The relationship between VCI and MBNA is a natural fit. MBNA is recognized as a leading credit card provider and as the developer of many innovative and successful co-branded and affinity credit card programs. VCI has members who are actively engaged in their communities and who are seeking a place that reflects their own heritage and values. This alliance with MBNA reaffirms our commitment to providing our current and future members with the highest quality of services available.”

About the Companies

Virtual Communities Inc. markets its proprietary Community Management Solution (CMS) to organizations interested in building their own web-based communities. CMS, developed by VCI after building numerous online communities, offers customers a comprehensive technology and service solution, including scalable content management and publishing software, cutting-edge e-commerce functionality, best-of-breed community retention features, community design and development services, plus ongoing maintenance and 24/7 support. VCI also develops, acquires and operates web-based communities targeted to U.S. ethnic and affinity groups. VCI’s current network of communities includes: virtualjerusalem.com, virtualireland.com, virtualitaly.com, virtualindia.com and virtualholyland.com.

MBNA Corporation, 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. MBNA has announced a powerful array of Internet services for the company’s Customers. These services provide the MBNA Customer with convenient and secure access to online banking and shopping as well as powerful Web navigation tools. The services include: [http://www.mbnanetaccess.com][4] – where Customers can gain access to their accounts, schedule payments for their accounts, and review statements, [http://www.mbnawallet.com][5] – the best place to find merchandise, compare prices, and make purchases online using a digital wallet to simplify the purchasing process, and [http://www.mbnaoffers.com][6] – a premier shopping site for the best in value, convenience, and security. MBNA’s products are currently marketed on the Web sites of 950 of the organizations that have an endorsement relationship with the company.

[1]: http://www.virtualireland.com/
[2]: http://www.virtualitaly.com/
[3]: http://www.virtualindia.com/
[4]: http://www.mbnanetaccess.com/
[5]: http://www.mbnawallet.com/
[6]: http://www.mbnaoffers.com/


NextCard Signs PlanetRx.com

PlanetRx.com, Inc., a leading Internet healthcare destination for commerce, content and community, Wednesday announced an Internet marketing and promotional agreement with NextCard, Inc., the leading issuer of credit cards online.

Under the terms of the agreement, PlanetRx.com will exclusively market and promote the NextCard Internet Visa on its Web site. In addition, NextCard will utilize its expertise as a top-five online advertiser to promote PlanetRx.com through aggressive online marketing efforts. The two parties will provide PlanetRx.com branded incentives to encourage online purchases with the NextCard Visa.

“We are confident that NextCard will enhance the shopping experience for our current members, while also bringing new customers to our Web site,” said William J. Razzouk, chairman and CEO of PlanetRx.com. “The relationship between NextCard and PlanetRx.com complements our ongoing commitment to provide consumers with the best products and services available on the Internet.”

PlanetRx.com will promote NextCard’s credit card and e-commerce services to PlanetRx.com members through alternative vehicles such as e-mail, ad placement and mailers. New NextCard cardholders from PlanetRx.com will receive exclusive NextCard privileges, including instant online approval, valuable one-click shopping services with NextCard Concierge, a comprehensive rewards program, and a 100% Safe Online Shopping Guarantee with 24-hour interactive online service and support.

“NextCard continues to aggressively grow its e-commerce initiatives and cardholder base through strategic partnering with category leaders such as PlanetRx.com,” said David Schwartz, vice president of customer acquisition at NextCard. “PlanetRx.com is one of the most trusted healthcare destinations on the Web, so we are pleased to promote their services and collaborate with them to deliver value to our cardholders.”

About PlanetRx.com

PlanetRx.com, Inc. ([http://www.planetrx.com][1]), a leading Internet healthcare destination for commerce, content, and community, delivers a convenient, personalized, and informed health and beauty shopping experience. With products ranging from prescriptions to personal care items to the latest medical information, PlanetRx.com gives consumers the ability to manage their own healthcare in a convenient and secure environment. PlanetRx.com is one of four online pharmacies to have received the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) seal of approval from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Headquartered in South San Francisco, Calif., the company operates its own pharmacy and distribution center, in Memphis, Tenn., to ensure the highest quality customer care.

About NextCard, Inc.

NextCard, Inc. ([http://www.nextcard.com][2]) is considered the leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. Launched in 1997, the company was the first to offer online credit card approval within 30 seconds, a choice of customized credit card offers, personalized PictureCard(SM) design and the 100% Safe Online Shopping Pledge. NextCard is committed to providing the most robust consumer shopping experience on the Internet and continues to innovate with its GoShopping!(SM) site, NextCard Concierge(SM) Web shopping companion, comprehensive rewards program, and exceptional online customer service.

NextCard is consistently a top ten online advertiser, operates a network of over 35,000 affiliates and has exclusive card relationships with leading brands including Amazon.com, priceline.com and DILBERT. The Company publishes the NextCard eCommerce Index(SM), the premier source of online purchase activity, and was named the No.1 credit card brand online consumers would consider for use, according to ZDNet’s BrandIQ research study. NextCard was named a Top 50 Financial Web site by Money magazine, a HOT 100 Company by Upside magazine and one of The Standard 100 most important and influential companies in the Internet economy by The Industry Standard. The Company also owns a minority stake in Flooz.com, the premier online gift currency.

[1]: http://www.planetrx.com/
[2]: http://www.nextcard.com/


CA to Manage NPC Debit Net

Computer Associates International, Inc. announced that National Processing Company, a leading provider of merchant credit card processing services and corporate outsourcing solutions, has selected CA’s Unicenter TNG to manage its debit card authorization network and other mission-critical eBusiness systems. CA Services will provide support for the implementation of Unicenter TNG.

Unicenter TNG will proactively manage and maximize system uptime for a nationwide network of servers, network switches and communications lines integral to NPC facilitating the time-sensitive electronic transfer of funds and information for credit and debit card services. Unicenter TNG provides a single point of control for managing all resources critical to eBusiness availability, including systems, networks, applications, databases, the Internet and more.

“Debit card authorization is a major initiative for us,” said John Brecht, NPC’s chief information officer. “We’re currently authorizing millions of transactions at the point of sale. If a customer’s debit card can’t get authorized, a merchant could lose the sale.”

Maintaining the availability of a 24 x 365 environment is critical to NPC’s debit card business strategy because agreements with national chain stores and other merchants require availability levels at or above 99.5 percent. “Unicenter TNG will help us determine if we are meeting our commitments relative to response times,” said Brecht.

“We can’t afford to have a minute of downtime,” said Brecht. “By taking advantage of Unicenter TNG’s threshold management capabilities, we can see where we’re having problems before the end customer calls. Unicenter TNG’s capacity analysis will help us anticipate if a line is going to exceed the limit we’ve set for utilization, so we’ll have enough time to take corrective action.”

NPC had been using the Advanced Help Desk (AHD) option of Unicenter TNG since 1996. Unicenter TNG will be integrated with AHD so that trouble tickets can be automatically generated and tracked by technicians over NPC’s intranet, according to Brecht. “Since AHD is not application-specific, we can monitor trouble tickets for all systems under the Unicenter TNG umbrella.”

By notifying system technicians about potential problems and by allowing them to track the progress of trouble tickets over the Web, the Advanced Help Desk of Unicenter TNG will save NPC time and resources. “AHD gives us root cause analysis ability and a better fix on the speed with which problems will get solved,” said Brecht. Problems not only get solved faster with AHD but the entire eBusiness infrastructure availability is maximized.

The scalability of Unicenter TNG also figured prominently into NPC’s decision because the Kentucky-based company estimates a three-fold increase in network administration and control requirements over the next five years, with much of the growth stemming from its new debit card business.

Successful upgrades of Unicenter TNG and AHD by CA Services prompted NPC’s senior management to make Unicenter TNG their enterprise-wide standard and integrate other platforms and niche products under Unicenter TNG. In addition to debit card authorization, Unicenter TNG will also oversee NPC’s chargeback services — both functions require quick turnaround and the ability to manage massive amounts of data flowing to and from NPC, banks, merchants and card associations such as Visa and Mastercard.

“It’s extremely critical to our business to provide debit authorization, chargeback and card settlement services in a quality way as well as a timely way,” said Brecht. “Unicenter TNG will play a significant role in our debit authorization and chargeback business.”

Unicenter TNG will oversee a multiplatform environment featuring a fault- tolerant system, a mainframe system and an open system Unix/Oracle environment running on HP servers. It was crucial to NPC that its different systems were able to communicate with each other. AHD’s flexibility will solve that problem by centralizing support for all eBusiness systems. “CA Services gave us detailed technical information,” said Brecht. “There were some skills that we didn’t have in our shop and we were able to get them through Computer Associates.”

NPC is investigating implementing Neugents, CA’s patented neural-network- based technology, throughout its global network to guarantee optimal eBusiness performance. Unicenter TNG Performance Neugents deliver unique predictive management capabilities, further enhancing manageability. Their ability to proactively predict the likelihood of problems provides early warning of unusual system behavior, enabling NPC to correct problems before they occur.

Computer Associates International, Inc. (NYSE: CA), the world’s leading business software company, delivers the end-to-end infrastructure to enable eBusiness through innovative technology, services and education. CA has 18,000 employees worldwide and had revenue of $6.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 1999. For more information, visit [http://www.ca.com][1].

Computer Associates Services has more than 4,000 consultants in 44 countries around the world delivering technology solutions for clients in the areas of enterprise systems management, application development and integration, knowledge management, eBusiness infrastructure, security and visualization. Specific services include business assessment and consulting, implementation, education and outsourcing. For more information on CA Services, please visit .

National Processing, Inc. is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing services and corporate outsourcing solutions. The company is 88 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC). Visit NPC on the Web at [http://www.npc.net][2].

[1]: http://www.ca.com/
[2]: http://www.npc.net/