SCF Set for Next Week

‘Retail Commerce and Smart Cards’

Smart Card Forum Conference to feature leading retailers and Internet giant Yahoo! Retail industry expert, Tony Surtees

What: ‘Retail Commerce and Smart Cards’ hosted by the Smart Card Forum in Salt Lake City, Utah. High profile retailers with a presence in both the physical and virtual environments will describe their business drivers, key business requirements, and their experiences with smart card solutions. The event has an impressive line-up of speakers who will discuss the application of smart cards in retail from all perspectives. Business cases will be studied and analyzed as a part of the session, with leading retailers talking about the issues and offering answers. The conference will be kicked-off by Tony Surtees of Yahoo! and will wrap up with a panel of business leaders from American Express, MasterCard and Visa who will talk about the financial industry view on retail applications of smart cards.

The Smart Card Forum Educational Institute, the industry leading program on smart card system educational will lead the conference off. A special tutorial entitled ‘Retail and Smart Cards 101’ will be held on the afternoon of 22 February. See [][1] for the full program.

Who: ‘Retail Commerce and Smart Cards’ is hosted by The Smart Card Forum, a non-profit, multi-industry organization of nearly 200 members and the largest smart card industry organization.

Where: Salt Lake City Hilton; Salt Lake City, Utah

When: Educational Institute: Monday 21 February from 1-5; Tuesday from 8:30-5:00 Retail and Smart Cards 101: Tuesday 22 February from 1:15-5:00 Retail Commerce and Smart Cards Conference: Wednesday 23 Feb 8-6; Thursday 24 Feb 8-4.

Registration: Registration and other information, including a complete program agenda, can be found at [][2]



BofA Natl Ads Break

Bank of America launched a new national advertising campaign that is aimed at communicating the Bank of America brand promise: to make banking work in ways it never has before.

The campaign, which appears nationally on television, radio and in print, emphasizes the bank’s customer-centered approach, reflecting the commitment of Bank of America associates to fully understand their customers’ financial status and to help them find the most suitable solutions to their financial needs.

According to Barbara Desoer, director of Marketing for Bank of America, the advertising campaign is part of an integrated marketing program that not only represents a major investment in the Bank of America brand, but also leverages the bank’s new strategy.

“During the past 20 years, our strategic focus was on building out our national presence through mergers and acquisitions,” said Desoer. “Today, our franchise is built,” she said. “Our mission now is to realize our full potential. As our advertising illustrates, we will begin to achieve this goal by building customer/client relationships.”

The Bank of America advertising campaign focuses on the recognition that customers have different financial needs and opportunities and approach the bank in many ways, such as at banking centers and online, and in varying roles, such as investors, small business owners and commercial clients. “With this campaign, the bank will demonstrate that the company aims to set a new standard in banking — raising the bar for people’s expectations for the bank,” said Desoer.

“In short, we’re telling customers that they don’t have to accept ill- fitting solutions with which they have to ‘make do,'” she said. “We want to make sure they are aligned with the right services, using the bank products or investments that are most advantageous to them.”

The advertising campaign, which was created by Bozell Temerlin McClain, Dallas and New York, uses several straightforward, humorous vignettes to spotlight that Bank of America takes the time to understand all the important nuances of a customer’s financial situation in order to provide just the right financial solution.

The campaign’s underlying strategy is to dispel the common notion that banks generally offer their customers products that are in the institution’s own best interest rather than the customer’s best interest. Bank of America associates, however, seek to understand the full range of a customer’s financial situation to be able to recommend the most appropriate financial products and services, often including solutions the customer had not thought about.

The campaign, which includes television, radio and print advertising in major business and news publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Money and Fortune, will continue through the end of May. Several radio and print ads in selected markets will focus exclusively on small-business customers and clients, and will appear in Newsweek, Time, and The Wall Street Journal regional editions, as well as local business journals.

Some ads will specifically target African-American, Asian and Hispanic market segments. The ads for the Asian and Hispanic markets will be in their native languages, including Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and Spanish.

Bank of America, with $633 billion in assets, is the largest bank in the United States. It has full-service operations in 21 states and the District of Columbia and provides financial products and services to 30 million households and two million businesses, as well as providing international corporate financial services for business transactions in 190 countries. The company’s stock (ticker: BAC) is listed on the New York, Pacific and London stock exchanges, and certain shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.



Electronic Clearing House Inc. announced the expansion of an agreement with National Bank Drafting Systems Inc. to include the full set of ECHO credit card services.

These services include:

– ECHONLINE and ECHONET — ECHO’s two Internet-based processing services

– ECHOTERM — ECHO’s point-of-sale terminal-based services

– ECHOWARE — ECHO’s PC-based processing services

– ECHOFAXPAY — ECHO’s fax-based processing service

– ECHOTEL — ECHO’s telephone-based processing service

In October, 1999, ECHO and NBDS signed a five-year agreement for ECHO to develop and process online check services for NBDS. This agreement has been expanded to include the credit card services offered by ECHO. In December, 1999, ECHO and NBDS announced the first check product developed under the agreement, CHEXpedite, a fully Internet-based check processing service.

NBDS, a sales and marketing organization, is composed of more than 1,700 licensed affiliates nationwide.

“After working closely with the NBDS management team for several months, I continue to be impressed by their enthusiasm and commitment to their customers and their licensees,” stated Dave Griffin, vice president of ECHO. “We are truly honored to have such a motivated and competent sales team taking ECHO’s credit card services to the street,” stated Griffin.

About ECHO

Electronic Clearing House provides credit card processing, cash advance services, check guarantee, check verification, check conversion, inventory tracking and/or various Internet services to more than 41,000 retail merchants, U-Haul dealers and casinos across the nation.

ECHO also designs, develops and integrates software and point-of-sale hardware that is utilized as credit card processing terminals, automated money order dispensers, inventory tracking devices, and casino cash advance systems.


Self Checkout

Montreal-based Optimal Robotics unveiled two new systems yesterday that extend the application of self-checkout to virtually any retail checklane. ‘U-Scan Solo’ is a free standing self-checkout system that will be marketed to drugstores and similar sized retailers. The compact system is also well suited for smaller retail outlets that are short on space. The ‘U-Scan Carousel’ is an expanded version of the ‘U-Scan Express’ that accommodates shoppers making large order purchases. The new system will feature six bagging racks uniquely placed on a circular platform making self-checkout easily for large order shoppers while occupying the same amount of space as a ‘U-Scan Express’ system. Like the ‘U-Scan Express’, both new U-Scan systems will accept cash, coins, credit cards and debit cards, and feature touch-screen monitors and voice prompts to guide shoppers through the transaction process. The systems will also come equipped with built-in security controls, including video cameras and bagging platforms that recognize the weight of each scanned item within 1/100th of a pound.


Leveling Off

Delinquency dropped last month and chargeoffs remained fairly level among $212 billion of card-backed securities. Fitch IBCA says it anticipates slow receivable growth, ongoing consolidation and higher interest rates to resonate as key themes throughout the industry in 2000. Based on Fitch IBCA’s latest ‘Credit Card Index’ the delinquency index reversed course from the prior month, snapping a string of five consecutive increases during which the index rose 10.5%. Taken with declining bankruptcy filings, the latest results could portend improved chargeoff performance in the months ahead as delinquencies pull back from their recent highs. As anticipated, the chargeoff index rose slightly versus month-earlier levels, adding four basis points to settle at 5.53%.

Jan00 5.53% 19.36% 16.71% 3.17% 5.89%
Dec99 5.49% 19.17% 16.05% 3.26% 6.05%
Nov99 5.28% 19.63% 16.29% 3.19% 6.10%
Oct99 5.21% 18.78% 16.84% 3.10% 5.89%
Sep99 5.58% 19.62% 16.99% 3.00% 5.81%
Aug99 5.55% 19.04% 16.56% 2.96% 5.80%
Jul99 5.75% 18.86% 16.44% 2.95% 5.63%
Jun99 5.95% 19.71% 16.36% 3.03% 6.04%
May99 5.91% 18.65% 15.96% 3.02% 5.64%
Apr99 5.94% 20.24% 16.87% 3.14% 5.92%
Mar99 6.05% 19.49% 15.44% 3.25% 5.69%
Feb99 6.10% 19.23% 15.82% 3.28% 5.37%
Jan99 6.00% 19.57% 15.62% 3.15% 5.34%

CO-chargeoffs; GY-gross yield; MP-monthly payment rate; DL- 60+ day
delinquency rate; SP-3-month excess spread
Source: Fitch IBCA Credit Card Index


Peregrine Sets Up UK Shop

Peregrine Systems, the world leading provider of exception management software solutions to the card payments industry, Monday opened a new sales office in Birmingham to serve the UK market. Dramatic growth and a threefold increase in its UK customer base led to the expansion of Peregrine into the UK. This is the first of three planned overseas locations and will be followed by offices in the USA and Germany. The company, headquartered in Ireland, sees the opening of its first regional office as a real milestone as it embarks on an international expansion strategy.

To spearhead this initiative, Nigel Eades has been appointed as UK general manager. With over twenty years’ experience in the IT sector, Eades joins Peregrine from IKON Office Solutions (ISS), where he was european managing director. In this new position, Eades has responsibility for developing the UK marketplace for Peregrine’s range of solutions and professional services.

Eades said, ‘My immediate priority is to get to know our existing customers and to ensure they are receiving the attention they merit. Longer-term, my objectives are to grow the business and build up a team of experts to represent Peregrine here in the UK. This is a challenging but exciting opportunity to join Peregrine at such a opportune time in its evolution.’

The UK is a primary market for Peregrine who will be focusing on medium to large card issuers, acquirers and processors. Brian Caulfield, managing director, is confident that the next twelve months will see a heightened presence of the company and its products in the region.

Caulfield said, ‘When you have a growing number of customers it’s obvious that you need someone on the ground to manage those relationships. Our local presence positions us to take advantage of a fast-growing and thriving marketplace. We are sure that our customers in the UK will benefit greatly from the extra support the UK regional office can provide.

‘Peregrine is delighted to have Nigel on board. His expertise and experience is invaluable to the team. His depth of industry knowledge coupled with his proven track record have made him uniquely qualified for this position – we found the right person at the right time,’ said Caulfield.

A team specialising in the areas of sales, customer support and account development will join Eades as the business develops. ENDS Photography Available on Request

About Peregrine

Established in 1992 and headquartered in Dublin, Peregrine Systems is the leading provider of exception management solutions to the card payments industry. The company focuses on ‘Making Payment Systems Pay’ – enhancing the profitability of card programmes with innovative software solutions. Its product suite consists of ICS (Issuer Chargeback System), ICS/Fraud and MERCS (Merchant Chargeback System). Peregrine Systems’ professional services division offers a comprehensive programme of consultancy, training, implementation and support services to its customers world-wide.

In the past three years, Peregrine has achieved an average year on year growth rate of over 100%. Peregrine serves its client base from Ireland and the UK and through a global network of strategic alliances. Clients include over 50 major financial institutions in Europe, The Middle East, Africa and the USA.


Extensity & VISA

Extensity Inc. announced an alliance with Visa International to integrate the Visa Purchasing card solution with Extensity’s Purchase Reqs application to increase the value of companies’ investments in Visa Purchasing and to make financial accounting for corporate procurement easier and more accurate.

Visa Purchasing is a corporate payment card solution that supports business-to-business procurement and is targeted at medium-to-large sized organizations and the public sector. Extensity Purchase Reqs is an Internet- based software application that automates the internal requisition and approval processes for the procurement of non-production goods and services, like office supplies, maintenance services, and computer accessories. Together, these products will automate the order, payment, reconciliation and data integration processes for corporate purchasing while sparing organizations complex and time-consuming paperwork for small purchases.

Three dramatic benefits are expected to result from the integration of Extensity Purchase Reqs with Visa Purchasing:

1) Customers will see more cost savings from their purchase card program, as Extensity Purchase Reqs automatically selects Visa Purchasing as the payment type for all appropriate transactions, increasing purchase card volume and associated savings.

2) Reconciliation of Visa Purchasing statement data will be faster and more accurate since all purchases requisitioned via Extensity Purchase Reqs will be automatically updated with the detailed line item cost allocation data captured at the time of requisition.

3) Visa InfoSpan(TM), a proprietary desktop reporting system for commercial card products, will provide enhanced reporting based on the detailed data provided by Extensity Purchase Reqs software. For example, InfoSpan will be able to produce more detailed cost allocation data, improved spending analyses and enhanced tax reporting for purchases made through Extensity Purchase Reqs.

“Visa Purchasing is a powerful solution for organizations looking to simplify corporate purchasing. Through data integration with Extensity Purchase Reqs, we’re providing customers with a solution that provides even more accurate data and less guesswork when it comes time to account for corporate purchases,” Keiron Lynch, Vice President, Visa International Commercial Product Platforms.

“This alliance further extends our vision of integrating online data with our applications to help make employees more productive and companies more efficient. As a result of this integration, customers will have better data, will spend less money on internal processes and have more time to focus on strategic business decisions,” said Elizabeth Ireland, Vice President of Marketing, Extensity. This integration follows the prior integration of credit card data feeds from corporate cards into Extensity Expense Reports, the Extensity’s travel and expense reporting solution.

The Extensity / Visa International alliance will be offered to companies throughout the USA and European Union regions. Visa International will also support Extensity as it expands its presence into the global marketplace.

About VISA

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 880 million Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, PLUS and Visa Cash cards, which generate more than US$1.4 trillion in annual volume. Visa-branded cards are accepted at over 18 million worldwide locations, including at more than 530,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [][1].

About Extensity

Extensity provides Internet-based workforce optimization solutions designed to improve the productivity of employees across the enterprise and to enhance operating efficiency. Extensity’s solutions transform the way companies do business by automating routine and time consuming administrative tasks including management of: travel and expense, procurement and billable time, so that employees can focus on higher-value core business activities. As a result, enterprise organizations are able to realize a rapid return on investment. Extensity has over 300,000 seats licensed worldwide to 70 customers, including: BEA Systems, Cendant Business Services, Cisco Systems, Clarify, Documentum, Gelco Information Network, Genesys Telecommunications, Home Box Office and Sybase. More information about Extensity is available on its web site located at [][2].



CSPSource & Heartland

CSPSource, which bundles e-business applications and service offerings for small and mid-size businesses, announced it will integrate Heartland Payment Systems – a leading provider of online payment systems – into its comprehensive service platform which makes complete e-business solutions available to small and mid-size businesses.

This partnership allows CSPSource’s customers to electronically apply for a merchant account that enables them to accept credit cards online. This offering will be particularly beneficial to new online retailers who are looking for a fast and inexpensive way to position themselves to receive credit card payments over the Internet. For CSPSource customers, HPS is providing promotional pricing, flexible approval criteria and guaranteed 48-hour turn around time.

“By partnering with Heartland Payment Systems, CSPSource enhances its ability to provide online credit card transaction and payment processing services to its customers. This partnership also allows us to make complete e-business solutions available to smaller businesses that have largely been left behind in today’s Internet economy,” said Christopher Richter, COO of CSPSource. “Now, these businesses can not only take advantage of the one-stop payment processing solution that HPS provides, but also access a number of top-tier e-business applications that were previously out of reach due to technological and financial barriers.”

“We are delighted that CSPSouce has selected us as a preferred partner for their service offerings and look forward to a long mutually beneficial relationship,” said John Waldron, Vice President of Internet Marketing and Sales for Heartland Payment Systems. “CSPSouce will be a large and well-respected leader in the e-commerce industry.”

Heartland Payment Systems provides businesses of all sizes with professional, one-stop solutions for online credit card processing including fast approvals, real-time processing, dispute resolution assistance, chargeback reduction programs and fraud prevention and protection programs. Heartland Payment Systems is a subsidiary of Heartland Bank, St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1887, Heartland Bank is chartered nationally and permitted to conduct business throughout the US. Heartland Payment Systems is online at [][1] or can be reached by calling 1-888-702-3321

Located in New York City, CSPSource was founded in 1999 to provide bundled e-business applications/services to small and mid-size businesses through complete solutions providers, allowing them to cost-effectively expand their service offerings and revenue streams to such customers. CSPSource aggregates back-end service applications from multiple top-tier, third-party vendors who offer solutions that bring the most value to small businesses. The company acts as a value-added intermediary, integrating and distributing the applications that enable service providers to become total e-business solutions providers to their customers.



Diebold Patent

Diebold announced yesterday the first patented value-added service in the company’s 140-year history. Patented ‘Diebold Advisor’ monitors the operational status of a customer’s entire population of ATMs. ‘Diebold Advisor’ automatically notifies maintenance staff when an ATM requires attention for conditions that include low cash or receipt paper levels. Alerts can also be transmitted when potential problems are detected, allowing corrective actions to begin immediately. Information gathered by ‘Diebold Advisor’ enables customized analysis of maintenance records and provides customers with the ability to evaluate their ATM network performance.


Equifax & Intell-A-Check

Equifax announced that its Check Solutions unit has formed an alliance with Intell-A-Check Corporation that will enable e-tailers to provide their customers the convenience of paying by check securely and efficiently online. This alliance gives the consumer and merchant a complete one-stop check payment solution, including identity verification, a one to three second check approval (equal to credit card approval times) and creation of a check draft or an Automated Clearing House file for final settlement.

“Equifax PayNet Secure along with Intell-A-Check’s check settlement software will enable consumers to pay by check online using secure socket layer technology, never once touching their pen to a check,” says Jeff Carbiener, general manager Equifax Check Solutions. “E-tailers and other direct marketing companies can reach more customers who prefer to pay by check without compromising their security.”

The Intell-A-Check software solution is a powerful, sophisticated check writing program designed to allow a company to create drafts drawn on a client’s account for both business-to-business and consumer-to-business transactions. These drafts can either be printed or output as an ACH file suitable for sending directly to the company’s bank.

In addition to Internet transactions, Equifax and Intell-A-Check will be able to offer mail order companies, telephone order operations and other faceless, signatureless transaction environments a viable solution for accepting checks without the fear of loss. “Intell-A-Check is 100% certified for dial-up and Direct IP for the Internet with multi-transaction or single-transaction capabilities,” said Louis Obssuth, president of Intell-A-Check.

Equifax PayNet Secure gives online shoppers a quick and efficient “shopping cart” experience and offers the online e-tailer the following benefits:

— Industry-leading authentication. Equifax PayNet Secure utilizes Equifax Secure eID Verifier, the most advanced online identity- verification service available.

— Online real-time payment authorization. Transactions will be approved within seconds and orders can be processed and shipped immediately.

— Protection against high-risk check and credit card transactions. Through superior risk models and artificial intelligence technology, fraud is controlled.

“Both Equifax and Intell-A-Check are in the business of providing customer relationship management solutions for their customers and this partnership adds yet another dimension of services and options available to make shopping over any medium a pleasant experience for the consumer,” Carbiener added.

Founded in 1993, Intell-A-Check Corporation is a leader in payment technologies, providing a range of electronic payment solutions to Fortune 1000 organizations, including MCI WorldCom, Comcast Cablevision, Bank of America, Consolidated Edison of New York, Staples Corporation, and GE Capital. Located in Belleville, NJ, the company is a Microsoft Commerce Partner. It’s flagship product, Intell-A-Check!, is a Microsoft BackOffice certified solution that supports a broad range of technology platforms.

Equifax Check Solutions provides check authorization services for over 140,000 merchant locations around the world and last year authorized over $45 billion in checks. Equifax ([][1] ), a worldwide leader in shaping global commerce, brings buyers and sellers together through its information management, transaction processing and knowledge-based businesses. Atlanta-based Equifax 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 13,000 associates in 17 countries with sales in almost 50 and has $1.8 billion in revenue.



MovieFone Expansion

AOL MovieFone and American Express invaded Houston this week with the launch of a moviegoer frequency program backed by both film distributors and theater chains. First launched in New York City last March, moviegoers in the Houston area will earn a complimentary ticket for every ten purchased through MovieFone with an AmEx Card. The MovieFone program was launched last month in Washington, DC (See CF Library 1/5/00) The Houston program will be available at all Loews Cineplex Entertainment and Angelika theaters which already offer advance tickets through AOL MovieFone and comprise over 70 screens in the Houston area. Participating studios include Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Universal Pictures, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, MGM/UA, New Line Cinema, Miramax, and Paramount Pictures.


Equifax UK Contract

Equifax and Claritas have joined up to undertake a three-year project to build a unique marketing database for Marks & Spencer Financial Services. Representing an industry first for its scale and technological innovation, the alliance will create a prospect universe, a unique database comprising 44 million UK adults, profiled using the Equifax ‘Dimensions’ database and data from Claritas’s ‘Lifestyle Universe’ database. The contract is also unique in its blend of risk and marketing data that will be used to build the most accurate picture of the UK customer. By mining a wide range of information from Equifax and Claritas on consumers, distribution channels and products, the two companies aim to help Marks & Spencer Financial Services target the right marketing programs to deliver the products and services their customers want, when they want them.