Independent Blue Card Study

Over one half of all on-line shoppers in the U.S. have a favorite credit card for Internet purchases. Among these consumers, 12% favor their American Express card, according to an independent study completed in 1999 by Brittain Associates. With the introduction of its Blue card, American Express’ share could increase dramatically. According to Bruce Brittain, president of Brittain Associates, his company is currently designing an independent Blue card evaluation to measure the success of this new product. Card industry subscribers are being signed-on to this 12-month tracking study which will include three phases involving over 9,000 consumer interviews collected on-line and by telephone. With American Express reportedly spending over $20 million to promote the Blue card in a nationwide roll-out, the focus of the study will be on key strategic issues such as ownership incidence and growth rate, card sales volume on and off-line, competitive card cannibalization, balance payment behavior, and perceived benefits of the Internet-friendly smart card.


Intuit / Transpoint Ebills

Intuit Inc., the leader in e-finance, and TransPoint, a leader in the online bill payment and presentment industry, today announced that the two companies have signed a non-binding letter of intent to bring more electronic bills to a greater number of consumers.

The teaming of these two industry leaders will offer consumers one of the most comprehensive and intuitive services through which consumers can view and pay their bills online. TransPoint’s online billing and payment service will be available through Intuit’s broad distribution channels including Quicken, (, AOL and Excite ( TransPoint is working with more than 50 major billers for electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP), including major telecommunications, utility, credit card and other financial services and cable television companies. By the end of 2000, TransPoint expects to have more than 100 companies issuing electronic bills through its service. As a result of the relationship, Intuit will be able to offer consumers easy, convenient and secure access to TransPoint’s ever-increasing number of online billers. In return, TransPoint will gain distribution through several additional Web channels, enhancing its efforts to make e-bills available at multiple popular Internet locations.

“Enabling consumers to use the Web to pay many of their bills makes it even easier for these users to manage their day-to-day finances,” said Mark Goines, senior vice president for Intuit’s consumer division. “Through our proposed relationship with TransPoint, we will be able to offer consumers a single location where they can easily manage their bills in the context of their larger financial lives.”

“Our strategy is to provide consumers with the richest, most intuitive electronic bills and make them available at convenient, frequently traveled Internet destinations,” said Lewis Levin, president and CEO of TransPoint. “Our relationship with Intuit will give consumers an extremely convenient e-bill service at several popular, multi-service Web sites. With this significant distribution boost, TransPoint continues to stimulate industry growth.”

About Intuit’s EBPP Service

Intuit’s electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP) service is the first Web-based online billing service to provide a central point of access for consumers to view, track and pay all their bills from the same site they use to manage the rest of their financial lives. For consumers, this means not having to access multiple billers’ sites to manage bills. Through its relationships with TransPoint and other electronic-bill processing providers, Intuit will be able to offer consumers more electronic bills than any other EBPP service.

Intuit offers electronic bill presentment and bill payment services through Quicken and and will offer this service through other portals and financial institution sites pursuant to a license agreement between Intuit and a joint venture company in which Intuit is a participant. About TransPoint’s EBPP Service

The TransPoint online payment service is available at multiple locations on the Internet, including TransPoint’s Web site ( Through its service, consumers can view and pay bills that arrive electronically through TransPoint, pay bills that arrive through the U.S. Postal Service, and pay nearly anyone else. With one fully integrated and convenient service, consumers can pay all of their bills with a few clicks of a mouse.

Commitment to Open Standards

Intuit and TransPoint have agreed to use OFX to interface their systems. As part of both companies’ long-term commitment to open standards, Intuit and Microsoft Corp., one of TransPoint’s parent companies, are actively engaged with the Interactive Financial Exchange (IFX) Working Group to support the creation and rollout of the IFX standard.

About Intuit

Intuit Inc. is the leader in e-finance, including financial software and Web-based financial services for consumers and small businesses. Intuit develops and markets QuickBooks, the most popular small business accounting software; Quicken, the leading personal finance software; and TurboTax, the best-selling tax preparation software. An innovator in delivering Web-based financial tools, Intuit is the leading provider of online tax preparation and filing and online mortgages. Intuit is also breaking new ground as a leader in online bill presentment and payment, and in the delivery of its QuickBooks Internet Gateway platform of connected e-services for small businesses.

Intuit’s Web site ( is a leading financial site, offering a comprehensive set of financial news, information and tools, including insurance, mortgage, investment and tax preparation services. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses. About TransPoint

TransPoint, established in June 1997, is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp., with Citibank Corp. as a minority equity investor. TransPoint is a leader in the emerging electronic bill presentment and payment industry with a completely new, seamless e-bills service built from the ground up. The TransPoint system uses innovative technology and integrates easily with billers’ and banks’ existing payment systems. Launched commercially in April 1999, the TransPoint service is designed to be the fast, easy way for consumers with Internet access to make all of their payments online from a single, secure Web site. Consumers can pay their bills at multiple Internet locations, including the MSN MoneyCentral personal finance online service and directly through the TransPoint Web site. TransPoint e-bills are also scheduled to be available at the Web sites of many leading financial institutions in the coming months. TransPoint is based in Englewood, Colo. More information about e-bills is available at [][1].



Wachovia Completes Acquisition

Wachovia Bank Card Services on Jan. 31 completed the acquisition of the credit card portfolio of Partners First Holdings LLC, the credit card subsidiary of Bankmont Financial, U.S. holding company of Bank of Montreal.

In conjunction with the acquisition of the Partners First portfolio, Wachovia has assumed the duties and obligations of transferor and servicer for the securitization of a portion of the portfolio under the Partners First Credit Card Master Trust.

Wachovia paid an 8.3 percent premium for the $1.985 billion portfolio. The acquisition was accounted for as a purchase. The purchase agreement also includes an exclusive 5-year arrangement for Wachovia to act as credit card provider for Harris Bank, a $27 billion asset subsidiary of Bankmont Financial.

Wachovia Bank Card Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wachovia Corporation, which had assets of $67.4 billion at Dec. 31, 1999.


Concord EFS Completes Acquisition

Concord EFS announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Card Payment Systems. CPS essentially acts as a “wholesaler” of payment services, selling to “distributors” who in turn sell the payment services to retailers. Concord executives say that CPS will form the foundation for an important new unbranded distribution channel for Concord’s payment processing services. CPS currently services approximately 25,000 merchant accounts, adding over 2,000 new accounts per month and processing in excess of $1.8 billion in acquiring volume annually.


Cybermark Smart Cards For Pfizer

CyberMark announced that Pfizer Pharmaceuticals has selected CyberMark to provide smart card solution for the Pfizer’s Groton campus. First phase card features will include advanced combination single card technology. The cards will have a microprocessor chip, a Proximity feature for door access capability, and ABA magnetic stripe functions to integrate with existing physical security as well as optional future banking programs. The cards will also have “e-purse” stored value functions for use in cafeterias and many on site vending machines. In addition, Pfizer’s card is merchant-program-transaction-ready for possible future pursuit.


Cap One Appoints Treasurer

Capital One Financial Corporation appointed Susanna Tisa as Vice President of Capital Markets and Treasurer. In this capacity, Ms. Tisa will manage and develop innovative funding, treasury, and banking strategies that will facilitate Capital One’s global expansion into the 21st century.

“Susanna’s expertise in the treasury function completes our finance team,” said David Willey, Capital One’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Financial Management. “We have put together a top caliber team to meet Capital One’s needs as we expand into new markets and explore new businesses.”

Ms. Tisa joined Capital One in mid-1996 to manage Capital Markets activities, including debt and securitization funding, investment portfolio management and Treasury operations. Ms. Tisa actively pursued the acquisition and development of Capital One’s retail deposits business, and has been instrumental in enhancing Capital One’s relationships with fixed income investors and credit rating agencies.

Her leadership helped Capital One win this year’s Treasury & Risk Management magazine’s Alexander Hamilton Award, which recognized Capital One for Overall Treasury Excellence.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending and deposit products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 23.7 million customers and $20.2 billion in managed loans outstanding as of December 31, 1999, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.


MBNA Endorsed by Carnegie Hall

MBNA announced today Carnegie Hall’s endorsement of MBNA’s credit card services to its supporters. Carnegie Hall has, for more than a century, set the standard for excellence in performance. The world’s outstanding classical artists, as well as the greatest popular musicians, dancers, politicians, authors, and public figures have appeared on its stage. It stands as the embodiment of the aspirations of all those who have sustained our musical culture and convey it to future generations.

“We are pleased to have the endorsement of a great organization like Carnegie Hall,” said John Cochran, chief marketing officer of MBNA. “We look forward to providing their supporters with high quality products and customer service.”

Franz Xaver Ohnesorg, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, said, “We are thrilled to be able to work with MBNA to develop close relationships with people both nationally and internationally.” Jay Golan, Carnegie Hall’s Director of Development and Planning, added, “We see the development of a close relationship to card-holders as a means of to broaden our reach, as well as a much needed revenue base for operation of the Hall into the 21st Century.”

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America, 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.


Discover The Slopes

Discover Financial Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., today announced the latest in a series of merchant initiatives– “Discover the Slopes.” The program offers participating ski area restaurants, sporting goods, lodging and recreational services providers in Colorado, Utah, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, free Discover/Novus Network discount fees for the month of February.

A mailing was distributed by Discover Card that details the offer to merchants that currently accept Discover Card as well as to those who do not. All merchants that enroll in the program will receive a full rebate of their discount fees for the month of February along with complimentary signage, customized check presenters and tip trays, as appropriate. The merchant’s obligation is to simply use the promotional products and display promotional signage to encourage the use of Discover Card.

“The Discover the Slopes program is the latest step in our initiative to strengthen our relationships with merchants,” said Tom Dailey, senior vice president, Discover Financial Services, Inc. “This program gives merchants a direct benefit from working with Discover Card and it is helping expand the reach of our Network even further.”

Last year, Discover Card launched a series of initiatives to help merchants reduce the costs of credit card transactions and urged merchants to shift their business away from Visa, MasterCard and American Express. The Discover the Slopes program is the latest in a series of efforts to increase acceptance of the Discover Card while working with merchants to build their own businesses.

The Discover the Slopes program will benefit Discover Cardmembers with a double Cashback Bonus award of an additional 1% during the month of February when they use their cards at participating merchant locations. Also, Cardmembers can redeem coupons for 20% off the lowest marked price of any ski or snowboard equipment or apparel at Sportmart or Gart Sports when they use their Discover Card. Cardmembers who use their Discover Card to reserve lodging at participating merchants will receive a complimentary Discover the Slopes Survival kit, including items such as lip balm, a hand warmer, an energy bar, hot cocoa packet and Discover Card application.

Discover Financial Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., operates the Discover Card brands with more than 48 million Cardmembers and the Discover/Novus Network. The Network is the largest independent credit card network in the United States with more than 3.5 million merchant and cash access locations.


Summit Bank Renews FDR Agreement

First Data Resources today announced that Summit Bank has signed a five-year contract extension for First Data to process the bank’s 1.3 million off-line debit cards. As of Dec. 31, First Data processed over 1.16 billion off-line debit card transactions-a 56.5 percent increase in the number of transactions handled during the same period for the previous year. The significant growth is due to the growth of First Data’s existing debit card issuing partners and the overall industry growth in debit card transaction volume. First Data currently provides off-line processing for more than 56 million debit cards issued by over 500 financial institutions.


AmEx Membership B@anking Enhancements

American Express announced today a series of enhancements to its online bank, Membership B@nking, including:

Free Quicken TurboTax Deluxe software for new customers who open qualifying accounts by March 8, 2000. This offer is part of a new marketing agreement with Intuit in which both companies will promote Membership B@nking and TurboTax Deluxe to their respective customer bases through co-branded online advertising, direct mail and other marketing initiatives;

5.65% annual percentage yield on Money Market Accounts-up from 5.00 percent APY – making it one of the most competitive rates in the country and more than double the national average; and

No-fee interest checking account, earning a 2.00% APY and offering free unlimited electronic bill payment and ATM surcharge rebates. No-fee interest checking is available only to customers who are taking advantage of the TurboTax offer.

American Express Membership B@nking will mail new customers free TurboTax Deluxe software when they open a Money Market and/or No-Fee Interest Checking account with an initial deposit of $500 or more by March 8, 2000. New customers who open an account with $1,000 or more will receive a $50 bonus deposited into their account in addition to the free copy of TurboTax software.