New NACHA e-Pilot Member is the newest member of an industry group tasked to create industry standards for making secure ATM card payments over the Internet. A pilot program is under way by NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association, a trade group representing more than 12,000 financial institutions. now sits on the 125-member NACHA Internet Council.

“It is important to set industry standards for electronic payments systems that will guarantee safe and secure e-commerce for consumers and for merchants,” said Tarek Kirschen, president and CEO. “This will mean worry-free shopping for the growing number of consumers over the Internet, and greatly diminished charge-backs for merchants.”

NACHA’s pilot program will process ATM card payments over many of the nation’s ATM networks including Pulse, Maestro, Deluxe and Star System. Internet payment processors such as AmeriNet will select specific merchants for the pilot as the program expands in March.

“The benefit of this pilot to consumers is the development of a convenient and secure Internet payment method tied directly to a checking account,” said Elliott C. McEntee, NACHA president and CEO. “Merchants would have a guaranteed, low-cost payment mechanism running in real-time. Financial institutions would act as trusted third parties, just as they do every day for other commercial transactions.”

NACHA develops operating rules for the Automated Clearing House network, commonly used for payments such as direct deposit of payroll and Social Security benefits, and electronic bill payments. In 1998, more than 5.3 billion ACH payments were made, worth over $16 trillion.

Founded in December 1997, offers one-stop solutions for merchants who want to set up and maintain a store on the Internet. It provides businesses with real-time secure credit and debit card processing, shopping cart services and online checking transactions. Other public companies involved in payment card processing include American Express (NYSE:AXP), Banc One Corp. (NYSE:ONE), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Cybercash (Nasdaq:CYCH), Excite (Nasdaq:ATHM), Ebay (Nasdaq:EBAY), First Union Corp. (NYSE:FTU), Intel (Nasdaq:INTC), MBNA Corp. (NYSE:KRB) and Nova Corp. (NYSE:NIS).


ECHO 1st Quarter Results

Electronic Clearing House Inc. reported fiscal 2000 first quarter net loss of $19,000, virtually a break-even quarter, as compared to net earnings of $258,000 for the same period last year. Net loss before income tax provision was $4,000 for this fiscal quarter vs. $272,000 for the first fiscal quarter 1999. The Company incurred higher operating expenses during this fiscal quarter as a result of the various check related products and services currently under development.


CitX Signs IntraPayX

CitX Corporation, a four-year-old privately held global leader providing secure Internet e-Commerce services, e-Business portals and network-centric e-Solution deployment tools, announces that it has signed Executive Bank Card Services as an IntraPayX Service Provider to the CitX IntraPay e-Commerce Platform. Under the terms of the relationship, Executive Bank Card will provide CitX business customers the ability to establish a Credit Card Merchant Account automatically online with 24-hour technical and settlement support. CitX will build a private gateway for Executive Bank Card into its IntraPay Processing System and e-Business Portal, where prospective business customers can go to establish their Credit Card Merchant Accounts.

“We welcome Executive Bank Card Services as one of our IntraPayX service providers,” said Tom Goldman, Vice President of Operations for the CitX IntraPayX unit. “The Credit Card Merchant Account services provided by Executive Bank Card will be a sound addition to our e-Commerce service offerings. IntraPayX plans to include other service providers over the next few months to bring further value-added services to our customers.”

The CitX IntraPay e-Commerce Platform provides most of its functionality through third-party relationships with businesses that can fulfill a specific e-commerce service. Qualifying businesses are able to provide their e-Commerce services to CitX business customers through their participation in the IntraPayX Service Provider program. This enables CitX to focus its efforts as an e-Solution provider — building and managing customers’ e-Business processes through its Web-based e-Business platforms, while maintaining a secure redundant infrastructure.

About CitX

CitX Corporation is a global leader in providing Web-based integrated e-Solution deployment tools, scalable Web-EDI and XML-enabled e-Commerce, Vertical Portal and e-Community platforms, and secure distributed Internet/intranet infrastructure.

CitX’s SynerX suite of Web-centric tools enables the rapid deployment of scalable integrated e-Business, e-Healthcare and other “Future-Proof e-Solutions” that are Web-centric and Enterprise-receptive. The SynerX tools are divided into three categories: B2B and B2C e-Commerce, Vertical Portal Generation and Management, and Web-centric Software Application Deployment and Management, with specific vertical functionality for healthcare, insurance, banking, legal, retail and government applications.

Primary services provided by CitX include fault-tolerant self-healing Internet/intranet distributed networks for secure reliable data transmission and exchange, Web-based electronic payment collection/disbursement with integrated bill presentment, automated Web-to-any electronic messaging, enterprise-to-Web middleware crosswalks, and Internet-based distributed virtual Data Warehouse, personalized Data Marts and Customer Relationship Management tools.

For more information, contact CitX Corporation at 215-538-3535, by e-mail at, or visit the CitX Web site at


Better Visa Classic II

Instant rewards just got better for Royal Bank Visa Classic II cardholders with the addition of three new retail partners. Beginning this month, cardholders who accumulate 2,500 points or more through spending on their Visa Classic II card have the opportunity to trade points for gift certificates redeemable at more than 340 Bay and Zellers stores and for Famous Players movie packages across the country.


Same-Store Sales Rose

Although winter storms along the east coast slightly dampened sales for some retailers, nationwide same-store sales for January rose a strong 4.6 percent over the same period last year, according to data compiled by TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world’s leading check acceptance company. The Midwest region led the nation, followed by the West, the Southwest, the Southeast, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 210,000 subscribing locations. TeleCheck is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based First Data Corp.

“The strong January sales gain reflects the ongoing strength of the U.S. economy. Along with record low levels of unemployment and rising household incomes, consumer confidence and spending are also being bolstered by a strong stock market,” said Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck’s Senior Economic Advisor.

Sales in the Midwest climbed a robust 5.5 percent, with Illinois up 5.9 percent, Michigan up 5.8 percent, Wisconsin up 5.7 percent and Ohio and Minnesota both up 5.0 percent. Sales grew by 6.1 percent in Chicago, 5.5 percent in Milwaukee, 5.2 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul, 5.4 percent in Cleveland and 5.6 percent in Detroit.

The West was up 5.1 percent with sales increasing 6.2 percent in Hawaii, 5.3 percent in Washington, 4.8 percent in California, 4.7 percent in Colorado, 4.6 percent in Arizona and 4.4 percent in Oregon. Sales rose 5.2 percent in Denver, 4.9 percent in both San Diego and Seattle, 4.8 percent in Los Angeles, 4.6 percent in the Bay Area, 4.5 percent in Portland and 4.2 percent in Phoenix.

In the Southwest, sales jumped 4.8 percent. Missouri climbed 5.4 percent, Oklahoma 4.9 percent and Texas 4.6 percent. Sales grew 5.8 percent in St. Louis, 5.1 percent in Oklahoma City, 5.0 percent in both Austin and Kansas City and 4.9 percent in Tulsa. In other Texas cities, sales rose 4.7 percent in San Antonio, 4.6 percent in Houston and 4.3 percent in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Sales rose 4.1 percent in the Southeast, with Louisiana up 4.9 percent and both Florida and Tennessee up 4.7 percent. Hit by inclement weather mid-month, Georgia rose a modest 3.3 percent and The Carolinas were up 3.1 percent. Sales increased 5.2 percent in Orlando, 4.9 percent in Tampa, 4.8 percent in Nashville, 4.5 percent in both Memphis and New Orleans, 4.4 percent in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and 3.1 percent in Atlanta.

The Mid-Atlantic’s sales increased 3.9 percent. Pennsylvania’s sales grew 4.8 percent, New Jersey’s rose 4.1 percent, Virginia was up 3.6 percent and Maryland’s sales increased 3.1 percent. Pittsburgh saw sales jump 4.8 percent, while both the District of Columbia and Philadelphia experienced 4.5 percent sales gains and Baltimore’s sales grew 3.4 percent.

The Northeast region grew by 3.4 percent. Sales rose 3.7 percent in Massachusetts and 3.0 percent in New York State. Boston’s sales increased by 3.9 percent and New York City’s sales were up 3.5 percent.

TeleCheck’s index is compiled on a calendar basis and is based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers at a broad cross-section of retailers. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. Checks account for approximately one-third of retail spending. In 1998, TeleCheck authorized over $112 billion in checks and processed more than 2.2 billion check inquiries.

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. helps move the world’s money. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves more than two million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at .

Dr. William Ford holds the Weatherford Chair of Finance at Middle Tennessee State University. Earlier in his career he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served on former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s Federal Open Market Committee.

Retail Sales
(Period: 01/01/00-01/31/00)
February 3, 2000


Florida 4.7% Arizona 4.6% Illinois 5.9%
Ft. Lauderdale 4.4% Phoenix 4.2% Chicago 6.1%
Orlando 5.2% California 4.8% Michigan 5.8%
Tampa 4.9% Bay Area 4.6% Detroit 5.6%
Louisiana 4.9% Los Angeles 4.8% Minnesota 5.0%
New Orleans 4.5% San Diego 4.9% Minneapolis/
St. Paul 5.2%
Georgia 3.3% Oregon 4.4% Wisconsin 5.7%
Atlanta 3.1% Portland 4.5% Milwaukee 5.5%
Tennessee 4.7% Washington 5.3% Ohio 5.0%
Memphis 4.5% Seattle 4.9% Cleveland 5.4%
Nashville 4.8% Colorado 4.7%
The Carolinas 3.1% Denver 5.2% MID-ATLANTIC 3.9%
Hawaii 6.2% District of
Columbia 4.5%
SOUTHWEST 4.8% Pennsylvania 4.8%
Texas 4.6% NORTHEAST 3.4% Philadelphia 4.5%
Austin 5.0% Massachusetts 3.7% Pittsburgh 4.8%
Dallas/Ft. Worth 4.3% Boston 3.9% New Jersey 4.1%
Houston 4.6% New York 3.0% Virginia 3.6%
San Antonio 4.7% New York City 3.5% Maryland 3.1%
Missouri 5.4% Baltimore 3.4%
Kansas City 5.0%

St. Louis 5.8%
Oklahoma 4.9%
Oklahoma City 5.1%
Tulsa 4.9%


First USA President/CFO

Bank One Corporation has appointed of Anthony F. Vuoto as president and chief operating officer of First USA, the Corporation’s credit card subsidiary. He will oversee the operating units, including customer service, customer support and credit operations. Vuoto will report directly to William P. Boardman, chairman and chief executive officer of First USA. Boardman will continue to oversee marketing, systems, credit policy and, as well as the company’s staff units, which include finance, strategic planning, human resources and legal.


DataCard Name Executives

Datacard Group today announced it has named three senior executives to new leadership positions within the company. Elaine Bliss, Paul Schroeder and Roger Sigler have been selected for key management positions as the company launches new, worldwide strategies for its core card issuance and identity management businesses. Datacard Group provides plastic card personalization and identity management solutions with fully integrated systems for a variety of financial, identification and healthcare applications.


Sucessful Pathways

The Pathways Group, Inc. a world leader in smart card technology, announced today that its highly successful cash-free midway pilot program with Funtastic Traveling Shows has lead to a new agreement authorizing Funtastic to use Pathways’ smart card system during its Spring 2000 West Coast tour. With the launch of Pathways’ newest smart card system last October in San Francisco, Funtastic became the first carnival anywhere in the United States to introduce a cash-free midway using smart card technology. According to the latest rankings by Amusement Business, Funtastic is the seventh largest carnival operator in the US, hosting nearly 2,000,000 attendees at two West Coast fairs in the winter quarter of 1999. The new contract calls for Funtastic to purchase thousands of additional Pathways’ smart cards as well as other equipment and support services. Pathways will enhance its smart card software based on feedback received during the pilot program. The cash-free payment system is an intellectual property of The Pathways Group, Inc.; U.S. patent applications are pending. Pathways’ smart card system replaces the paper tickets typically used for rides and games on midways. “Using our system, Funtastic customers purchase cards encrypted with cash amounts in increments of their own choosing,” explained Monte Strohl, Pathways’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Terminals installed at each of the rides, games and concession booths accept the midway card and perform purchase transactions in a matter of seconds.” Features and Benefits Key features and benefits of Pathways’ cash-free midway smart card system include:

— One card for every attraction — No more worry about lost money or tickets — Cards conveniently fit into pockets — No long hours of counting small bills and coins — Simplified end-of-day cash-outs — Reports on earned revenue generated in minutes — Eliminate skimming on the midway — Faster collections (5-10 minutes) on games, rides and concessions — Pay-one-price promotions — Cards can be branded with advertising and collectible artwork Embracing the Technology

Recent articles appearing in amusement industry publications have addressed the many positive benefits that Pathways’ cash-free payment system offers fair and carnival operators. “We now have a tested, proven and highly cost-effective cash-free midway system that we believe fair and carnival owners will find extremely attractive,” said Carey Daly, Founder, President and CEO of Pathways. “Our smart card technology can add significant features and benefits to numerous applications in many previously untapped markets. We are actively exploring a variety of opportunities to respond to the needs of the marketplace with our smart card solutions.”

Unattended Ticketing

Long-range plans for Funtastic could include replacing ticket booths and sellers with unattended ticketing dispensers. SPRINTICKET(TM), Pathways’ unattended dispensing device, would allow Funtastic customers to purchase midway smart cards using a credit card or cash. The kiosks could also be used to read card balances and to recharge, or add value to, a card. Pathways’ SPRINTICKET dispensers are becoming widely accepted in various unattended ticketing applications across the United States, specifically amusement parks, ski resorts and ferry boat services.

Funtastic Traveling Shows, based in Portland, Oregon, operates carnivals in Washington, Oregon and California, averaging 70 shows per year at shopping centers, fairs and other venues.

The Pathways Group, Inc., a world leader in smart card technology, provides clients with innovative, secure, individually tailored solutions for capturing and processing data and electronic transactions, with particular focus on Chip Card technology as it is applied to the Worldwide Web.

Founded in 1987, Pathways is today a leading developer of smart card applications offering clients custom software and hardware solutions for electronic banking, e-business and transaction processing. Pathways’ proprietary back office systems coupled with their long standing core competencies in electronic transaction processing, allow clients to efficiently capture and process data, and transfer funds via “ACH” protocol. This protocol is the De Facto standard for the Banking Industry, used for funds transfer in retail, medical and institutional environments.


TCF Debit Rewards

TCF Financial Corporation announced it is launching the TCF Express Phone Card, a loyalty and reward program exclusively for users of the free TCF Check Card. TCF is taking a unique departure from this approach with the introduction of a rewards program for their debit card-The TCF Check Card. This innovative new program allows TCF customers to earn free MCI WorldCom long-distance calling each time they make a purchase of $10 or more using their TCF Check Card.