Electronic Clearing House signed agreements Thursday to acquire Rocky Mountain Retail Systems. CO-based RMRS is the creator/owner and processor for National Check Information Systems through which RMRS provides check verification services to large retail chains, processors and collection agencies across the nation, among which are Dollar General and Blockbuster Video. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, ECHO issued 1,000,000 shares of restricted common stock. An additional 1,500,000 shares of restricted stock will be placed into escrow to be issued to the RMRS selling shareholders under a performance clause. RMRS will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and Dr. Donald Dick, president of RMRS, will remain the president of the ECHO subsidiary. Operations will remain in Boulder.


CyberGold Hits 4 Million

Cybergold, Inc., the premiere place on the web where consumers are paid real cash for their online behavior, announced a 300% increase in membership in 1999, going from one million to four million members in just 12 months.

“Cybergold and our affiliates are thrilled with our membership activity in both number of overall hits and new members. Increased membership means better market penetration. The traffic we bring our advertisers proves yet again that cash incentives really pay off,” said Nat Goldhaber, president and CEO of Cybergold, Inc.

To mark the four millionth member milestone, Cybergold offered its biggest incentive to date: a Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines. The winner will be announced pending notification.

About Cybergold

Cybergold, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGLD) is a leading provider of Internet-based direct marketing and advertising solutions, including incentive programs which reward consumers with cash for responding to ads and programs. Cybergold’s 4 million members can spend their cash rewards online at “Cybergold Spend” or at the sites of 60 merchants who have adopted Cybergold’s micropayment technology. Members can also spend their reward cash offline by transferring it to a VISA card or a bank account. Cybergold consistently ranks among the 100 most visited Web sites, according to PC Data Online. Cybergold’s partnerships include Visa USA, MBNA, AOL, EarthLink, E*TRADE, Xoom, Quintel and Autobytel. Cybergold is headquartered in Oakland, California and counts Intel among its corporate investors. For more information, visit [][1]



Web Traffic

NextCard’s banner ads were the only credit card related online ads to make into the top ten banner ads for the week ending Jan. 2 according to Nielsen/NetRatings. NextCard’s “0.0% APR” ad has the second largest reach of any ad on the Internet last week while NextCard’s “30-sec Approval” ad came in as #6. Nielsen says 50.7 million users surfed the web last week producing an average click rate for top banners of 0.27%.


PayGate Client

Trintech Group PLC said yesterday that Alpha Credit Bank in Greece has chosen ‘PayGate’ to process card payments from its 17,000 merchant base in the country. Delta Informatics installed and operates the ‘PayGate’ system as contract payment processor to Alpha Credit Bank. Alpha and Delta chose ‘PayGate’ as part of Trintech’s contract with VISA EU to replace its ‘Member Data Capture’ system in 40 banks across the region with a solution that is scalable, multi-currency enabled and has the ability to process multiple card types on an open platform. The ‘PayGate’ solution has been designed to enable banks and transaction processors to scale up to the demands of multiple card types, as well as integrate seamlessly with legacy card systems.


Delta Goes Japanese

Delta Air Lines and Asahi Card Company will introduce the ‘Delta SkyMiles Asahi VISA’ card today in Japan. The new card is the first Delta co-branded credit card offered outside of the USA. American Express issues the U.S.-based, co-branded Delta credit card. It is also Delta’s first partnership involving the VISA brand. The yen-based revolving credit card, available in ‘Classic’ and ‘Gold’ levels, will feature Japanese-language statements and other in-country cardholder services. Delta said this morning that it will launch a series of international ‘SkyMiles VISA’ credit cards during the year 2000.


MovieFone Hits DC

AOL MovieFone and American Express invaded Washington D.C. 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 D.C area will earn a complimentary ticket for every ten purchased through MovieFone with an AmEx Card. The program will be available at Loews Theatres and Cineplex Odeon Theatres. 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.


ISO Acquisition

Long Island, N.Y.-based Merchant Services Inc., confirmed this morning it has purchased a significant portfolio of merchant accounts from an independent sales organization based in Dallas. Under terms of the agreement, Merchant Services acquired 8,500 merchant accounts for a cost of approximately $5 million. These 8,500 customers will supplement Merchant Services Inc.’s existing portfolio of over 30,000 merchants. MSI says the acquisition will grow the company’s annual revenues by 25% to $12.5 million. The firm has an annual processing volume of $1.2 billion.


TNS Record

PSINet’s Transaction Network Services unit reported this morning that its system carried over 585 million transactions in December, averaging about 19 million transactions per day, and exceeding six billion for all of 1999. During peak hours, its eCommerce network transported over 600 transactions per second. The peak of traffic was reached on December 23rd, when it carried almost 24 million transactions. The busiest days for top petroleum processors were December 30th and 31st. TNS says ATM transactions were running 25% above normal during the holiday break.