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 [][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 [][2].



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 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 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 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 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

As a global leader in Internet transaction processing, First 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 [][1].



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 [][1], [][2], and [][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:,,, and

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: [][4] – where Customers can gain access to their accounts, schedule payments for their accounts, and review statements, [][5] – the best place to find merchandise, compare prices, and make purchases online using a digital wallet to simplify the purchasing process, and [][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.



NextCard Signs, 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, 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 through aggressive online marketing efforts. The two parties will provide 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 “The relationship between NextCard and complements our ongoing commitment to provide consumers with the best products and services available on the Internet.” will promote NextCard’s credit card and e-commerce services to members through alternative vehicles such as e-mail, ad placement and mailers. New NextCard cardholders from 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,” said David Schwartz, vice president of customer acquisition at NextCard. “ 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, Inc. ([][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, gives consumers the ability to manage their own healthcare in a convenient and secure environment. 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. ([][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, 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, the premier online gift currency.



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 [][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 [][2].



Czech Smart Cards

MUZO a.s., Europay International, and ACI have completed implementation of the infrastructure to enable all Czech Banks using MUZO’s services to process chip cards by March. The migration is the result of collaboration between Europay International and ACI Worldwide under the umbrella of the ‘Europay/MasterCard Chip Vendor Services Program’. The project in the Czech Republic represents ACI’s third major EMV implementation in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region.


NPC Hires Sonny Martin

Sonny Martin has joined National Processing Inc. as executive vice president of Product Management for the Merchant Services Division. National Processing Inc. is the second largest provider of merchant credit card processing services with over $100 billion in Visa and MasterCard volume for 1999.

Martin previously served as President of Client Merchant Services for First Data Corporation. Martin’s focus was to manage bank relationships for merchant processing. He was also responsible for the conversions of the merchant business before assuming responsibility for client merchant services.

Before working with First Data Corporation, Martin served as executive vice president and general manager of NPC’s Merchant Card business for over 25 years.

“Sonny is legendary in the credit card industry. We are very excited to have someone of Sonny’s caliber driving our product management initiatives and assisting NPC in other strategic endeavors,” said Tom Wimsett, President and CEO of NPC.

During 2000, Martin will primarily be focused on a major initiative to enhance NPC’s on-line reporting capabilities and back office processing functions.

“While NPC has always been a leader in the card business their commitment and focus on its customers and product capabilities are stronger than ever,” said Sonny Martin.

Martin resides in New Albany, IN with his wife Linda. He has two daughters.

About NPC

NPC is the leading provider of merchant credit card processing and outsourcing solutions. NPC supports over 470,000 merchants, representing one out of every six Visa and MasterCard transactions processed nationally. Approximately 88 percent of the company is owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), a Cleveland based $87 billion bank holding company.


ACS Wins FDIC Card Contract

ACS announced Tuesday that its Government Solutions Group has been awarded the National Credit Card Servicing contract by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This basic ordering agreement includes an initial term of three years and two one- year options.

“We are very pleased with this award decision,” says William A. Woodard, Group President of ACS’ Government Solutions Group. “We have more than 20 years of direct, hands-on experience supporting Government loan programs.”

Work on the NCCS contract is to begin immediately under our ACSessLink(TM) service offering, which includes credit card and debit card servicing supported by state-of-the-art technology. Services include: processing, collecting and recording account payments, charges and credits; automated authorization and clearing advances; “lockbox” interface for collection processing; cardholder statement processing, mailing and PIN initiation; fraud detection; card replacement; and, merchant processing services.

ACS has subcontracted with Fiserv, Inc. of Brookfield, Wisconsin to provide the software and credit card processing. Fiserv, using a leading credit card processing system called VisionPlus, currently supports numerous credit card clients through its data center and operations in Orlando, Florida.

ACS is a Fortune 1000 company based in Dallas, Texas, with operations within North America, Central America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. ACS is an integrated, future-focused company with a rich history of innovative work and long-term relationships. ACS has proven customer retention, broad and vertical expertise, and personalized attention and flexibility. ACS provides the full range of information technology services including business process outsourcing, electronic commerce, technology outsourcing, professional services and systems integration. The company’s Class A common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ACS”. Visit ACS on the Internet at [][1].