A London-based cross-industry smart card group is taking shape. GlobalPlatform announced the appointment of its chairman, board of directors and organization structure Thursday. Steve Brown, business development manager for smart cards, British Telecommunications, was elected chairman of the board, and Philip Yen, SVP of Internet and Access Channels at VISA International, was elected vice chairman. Among the other five members appointed to the board: Glenn Weiner, VP Smart Card Technologies at American Express and Masanori Maeda, SVP Electronic Commerce Department at JCB. The board’s mission is to oversee the enhancement and promotion of specifications governing dynamic smart cards, acceptance devices, and back-end systems. The four working committees designated by the board will be chaired as follows: Dominique Hautain EVP at Proton World is chair of the ‘Business Committee’; Nicole Moyal director at American Express chairs the ‘Systems Infrastructure Committee’; Jim Lee SVP at VISA International chairs the ‘Card Infrastructure Committee’; and Michel Dargent architect and new product manager at Ingenico chairs the ‘Terminal Infrastructure Committee’. Global Platform was formed in October and has 33 members.Details
Cybergold, Inc. announced that Internet shoppers can now purchase gift certificates for Macy’s, Barnes & Noble and Blockbuster Video at Cybergold’s website ([www.cybergold.com]), thanks to an agreement with 800giftcertificates.com. This alliance increases the opportunities for Cybergold members to earn cash rewards and shop with Cybergold merchants.
Cybergold’s Earn and Spend Community is home to hundreds of ways consumers can earn real cash by responding to incentive offers. For example, autobytel.com offers new customers $3.00 for requesting a car quote and E*Trade offers $75 for opening a new account. At Cybergold’s new shopping hub, Cybergold Plaza, Toys “R” Us, L.L. Bean and 70-plus other merchants offer cash back on all purchases.
Cybergold’s incentives are real U.S. dollars, which members can transfer to a bank account, use to pay off a VISA card or donate to a worthy cause. They can also spend the cash online: more than 50 sites accept Cybergold’s micropayments, including ZDNet and xoom.com – and now, through 800giftcertificates.com, that cash can be also spent on gift certificates to Macy’s, Barnes&Noble and Blockbuster Video.
“Links at Cybergold’s site make it easy for our nearly 4 million members to find brands that accept or offer Cybergold payments in exchange for their patronage. We continue to be the premiere place on the Web that uses the ultimate incentive accepted everywhere: cash,” said Nat Goldhaber, president and CEO of Cybergold. “These gift certificates are denominated in cash; it’s what consumers want, it’s what merchants accept. Consumers can come to our site, earn real cash and spend it to buy high-quality products from name-brand merchants.”
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 nearly 4 million members can spend their cash rewards online at “Cybergold Spend” or at the site of more than 50 merchants who have adopted Cybergold’s micropayment technology. Members can also spend their cash rewards 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 [www.cybergold.com].
Providian says its online loan marketplace, acquired earlier this year, has made significant increases in all categories. Providian says GetSmart.com attracted nearly 10 million visitors to its Web site in fiscal 1999, generating approximately 500,000 transactions for services. Providian says GetSmart.com has also significantly increased the number of financial institutions participating in its lender network to more than 120 financial institutions. The site includes offers from many of Providian’s direct credit card competitors. For fiscal 1998, GetSmart.com reported that it attracted 8 million visitors which produced nearly 450,000 transactions or completed loan applications. For 1998 GetSmart.com says it spent $13 million to drive traffic to the Web site and provided access to offers from 100 lenders. While Providian did not disclose its marketing expenses for GetSmart.com, it is estimated the issuer spent more than $20 million on Internet marketing since March of this year. Providian, which specializes in issuing credit cards to “unbanked” consumers, paid $33 million cash to acquire GetSmart.com in February of this year.Details
Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., continues to expand its leadership position in decision technology with the formation of an ASP (application service provider) business unit dedicated to optimizing the value of analytics for customer management strategies over the Internet. The focus of the new unit will be on building the technologies and partnerships necessary to quickly and simply deliver the most effective customer decisioning available in today’s more complex and demanding environment. Patrick Culhane, executive vice president, will head the new Decision ASP business unit.
“Becoming an ASP is a natural evolution for Fair, Isaac,” said Tom Grudnowski, president and chief executive officer. “Over the last decade, Fair, Isaac technologies have become market standards due to their ability to improve, automate and simplify decisioning in complex environments. Today our clients’ Web-based decisioning needs increase the complexity of managing customer relationships across multiple channels and products. Fair, Isaac has the essential assets already in place: experience in deriving and managing data; a history of providing highly valued analytic technology and insight; and the ability to craft strong and enduring alliances. We also have strong leadership in Patrick Culhane, who was the guiding force behind the successful growth of Fair, Isaac’s credit bureau scores, now the industry standard.”
Patrick Culhane joined Fair, Isaac in 1985. Until 1995, he headed the company’s credit bureau score business, and for the past four years, he has overseen operations in financial services worldwide, more than doubling the company’s revenues in its primary market. “With our Decision ASP,” said Culhane, “Fair, Isaac provides the underlying data management, analytic insight and decision strategy technology that will improve the quality and relevance of customer decisions in critical client applications such as origination, cross-sell and fraud risk management.”
The direction of Fair, Isaac as an ASP has recently been demonstrated in both the adaptation of existing offerings to a network delivery model and the introduction of new services showcasing Web access and delivery components. The company has immediate plans to deliver its TRIAD(TM) adaptive control system from a centrally hosted installation to a major telecommunications provider. Earlier this month, the company released the Fair, Isaac MarketSmart Decision System(SM), which allows users to draw customer information from traditional and non-traditional sources and use that information to conduct better multi-channel marketing campaigns.
“Our immediate successes have centered on bringing a rich set of current capabilities to clients in a new mode,” said Grudnowski. “What we envision going forward is innovation that truly leverages the Web channel and environment, enabling new and better business propositions for our clients in multiple markets.”
Fair, Isaac is a global provider of customer analytic and decisioning solutions. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way lending decisions are made. Today the company helps clients in multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships. Fair, Isaac has made the Forbes list of top 200 small companies seven times in the last eight years. Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Fair, Isaac has 18 offices worldwide. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 1999, the company reported net income of $30 million on revenues of $277 million. For more information visit [http://www.fairisaac.com].
NOTE: Fair, Isaac, Decision ASP, TRIAD and Fair, Isaac MarketSmart Decision System are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., in the United States and/or in other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
billserv.com, inc., an electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) service bureau, Thursday announced it has signed a customer agreement with Southwest Student Services Corporation to create an EBPP system enabling college students to make their educational loan payments on the Internet. Southwest Student Services currently mails and processes more than 100,000 bills per month to students in Arizona, Florida, California, Nevada and other states nationwide.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Southwest Student Services Corporation is a $1.3 billion nonprofit corporation that provides access to education through traditional and non-traditional financing and loan origination services. Southwest is known for its signature programs such as CollegeCard, SaverLoans, and SwiftPay, as well as counseling and administrative assistance for students and families nationwide.
Under the agreement, billserv.com will develop and implement an EBPP system to deliver bills for presentment and payment directly through Southwest’s Web site at www.sssc.com, and utilizing a distributed model involving multiple front-ends. The new system is expected to be completed and ready for use by the end of Q1 2000. billserv.com also plans to partner with Southwest Student Services on future e-commerce initiatives.
“Southwest Student Services represents a great addition to our growing customer base of billers that are ideally suited for billserv.com’s EBPP solution,” said Michael Long, chairman and CEO of billserv.com. “The educational financial services market is proving to be an early adopter of EBPP, and our work with Southwest Student Services is helping our company make greater inroads into this lucrative market.”
“billserv.com has proven experience in student loan processing and has impressed us with their full service capabilities in bringing up a viable EBPP system quickly,” said Vince Roig, chairman and CEO of Southwest Student Services Corporation. “This cutting-edge payment convenience will enable us to stay at the forefront of service providers in education finance.”
About billserv.com, inc.
billserv.com, Inc. (NASD OTC BB: BLLS) is an electronic bill presentment and payment service bureau that provides middle-market billers with a turnkey outsourcing solution for presenting bills to consumers for payment on the Internet. billserv.com serves an intermediary role between billers and bill aggregators by consolidating customer billing information from multiple billers, and then securely delivering it to aggregators. billserv.com has four product offerings: (eServ(SM)), Internet billing clearinghouse services for EBPP; (ePublishing(SM)), electronic publishing services for online statement delivery; (eCare(SM)), an interactive customer care center operation; and (eConsulting(SM)), professional consulting services for billing organizations offering in-house bill presentment. billserv.com also owns and develops bills.com, the first EBPP Internet portal where consumers can pay all their bills electronically. For additional information, visit [http://www.billserv.com].
Baltimore-based Creditrust has overhauled its internal processes and named a new President/COO in the wake of a misappropriation of $500,000 in corporate funds. The company, which specializes in debt collection and sub-prime credit card issuance, said it discovered in an audit that a former management employee misdirected $500,000 in corporate funds by submitting an unauthorized check request and then seeking to redirect those funds through Creditrust’s collection payment stream. The company said it has recovered all of the funds and that collections were not misstated which therefore had no impact on the company’s financial results. Creditrust indicated it discovered the wrongdoing in October but did not disclose the matter until the company’s 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. Creditrust’s share price dropped 21% yesterday to close at approx. $11.50 per share. The stock peaked at more than $34 per share early this year. Creditrust’s shares dropped about 30% in October following rumors of trouble. In response to yesterday’s SEC filing, Standard & Poor’s withdrew its ‘Above Average’ ranking on Creditrust Corp. and removed the company from S&P’s’s ‘Approved Servicer List’. Creditrust says the withdrawal of the optional service rating, while unfortunate, is not a default under any of Creditrust’s bond issues, and has no impact on the company’s bonds. Meanwhile Creditrust named Barry Dumser President and COO yesterday.Details
HNC Software Inc. announced Wednesday the retirement of long-time Chief Executive Officer, Robert L. North, and Chief Financial Officer, Raymond Thomas, as part of a planned management succession.
John Mutch, HNC’s president and chief operating officer, will succeed North as the company’s CEO effective Jan. 15, 2000. Kenneth Saunders, HNC’s vice president and corporate controller, will be promoted to succeed Thomas as HNC’s CFO, also effective in January 2000.
North joined HNC Software in March of 1987 and has served as its CEO over a twelve-year period during which he successfully led the company through its IPO and a series of strategic acquisitions in the retail, insurance and telecommunications markets to its current market position.
Today, HNC Software owns the leading worldwide market share in electronic credit card fraud detection, as well as a strong market presence in the predictive software market to optimize customer interactions in the financial, insurance and telecommunications industries. Recent strategic actions resulted in the IPO of Retek in the retail business-to-business market and the establishment of eHNC, an Internet commerce subsidiary, to focus on large e-commerce opportunities. North will continue to serve as Chairman of the HNC Board of Directors.
“John Mutch’s appointment as CEO is the culmination of an internal succession plan that we have worked on for some time. John is a talented executive and will bring vision, creativity and energy to his new position,” stated Robert North. Mutch began his career with Microsoft before joining HNC in 1997 as vice president of Marketing. He later served as president of HNC’s Insurance Solutions Group and was recently appointed HNC’s president and chief operating officer.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to springboard off the great work that both Bob North and Ray Thomas have done. HNC Software is well positioned to achieve strong market share gains in each of the core service industries it serves, and to launch innovative new lines of business through our eHNC subsidiary,” said Mutch.
Ray Thomas has been HNC’s CFO since 1995, when he joined the company to help launch its initial public offering. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer at Golden Systems Inc. and Vitesse Semiconductor. Following his retirement he will continue to serve as a consultant to HNC. Prior to joining HNC in 1996, Saunders was CFO of Risk Data Corp., a privately held venture company that HNC acquired in August 1996. He was appointed HNC’s Corporate Treasurer in January 1997 and has served as the company’s Corporate Controller since June 1998.
About HNC Software
Headquartered in San Diego, HNC Software Inc. (Nasdaq:HNCS) is a leading provider of predictive software solutions for the services industry, including financial, insurance, telecommunications and e-commerce.
HNC’s suite of predictive software solutions can provide real-time insight into customer relationships based on transaction-level data, helping business-to-consumer companies manage their relationships with individual customers. By accurately predicting customer behaviors, these companies can create initiatives to mitigate risk and attrition; improve customer service; develop marketing programs to enhance profitability; and detect fraudulent customer transactions. For more information, visit HNC’s Web site at .Details
Pinnacle Business Management, Inc. announced Wednesday that its wholly owned subsidiary Fast PayCheck Advance, Inc., has a remarketing agreement with its debit card issuer. Under the agreement Pinnacle will be able to provide debit cards to other businesses in the Payday Advance and check cashing industry as well as offering the card through other internet sites. This will allow Pinnacle to generate income on a per-transaction basis from the use of its cash card network. The card is currently good at 750,000 locations worldwide. This is a significant step in providing a broad revenue base for the company.
Bruce Hall President, of Pinnacle Business Management said, “We have received substantial interest from our industry as to the use of our debit card. The remarking agreement allows us to market the card to other companies in our industry as well as providing a true e-commerce payment method for various internet sites. This agreement transforms Pinnacle from being a competitor to desired venders in the Payday Advance industry. This profit center could have significant impact on the bottom line throughout the coming new year. Pinnacle is not straying from the core business of Payday loans, however we are strategically expanding our presence in various segments. We are aggressively pursuing this logical direction to increase revenues.”
About Pinnacle Business Management
Pinnacle Business Management is in the business of advancing small loans until payday through their wholly owned subsidiary, Fast PayCheck Advances, Inc. and lending money on motor vehicle titles (Title Loans) through their wholly owned subsidiary Fast Title Loans, Inc. Through the use of branded Pinnacle Cash Cards, and integrating E-Commerce and electronic funds tracking and transfer technology, Pinnacle will give new opportunities to those consumers who have been shut out of the economic and E-Commerce mainstream for various reasons. For more details on these and other PCBM activities, refer to the Press Releases at [http://www.pcbm.com]. For additional on-line investor information on PCBM go to:
MBNA America and the South Carolina Bar Association announced Wednesday the Bar’s sponsorship of MBNA’s credit card services to its members.
The South Carolina Bar Association is the state professional association of attorneys, and is the 40th bar association that sponsors MBNA’s credit card services.
The partnership with the South Carolina Bar Association joins the more than 1200 professional associations that have partnerships with MBNA, making it one of MBNA’s fastest growing sectors.
MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America, N.A., a national bank, has more than $67 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.Details
NH-based Internet Commerce Services Corp. and San Diego-based eHNC announced this morning they are integrating iCOMS’ Internet commerce management services with eHNC’s ‘eFalcon’ Internet credit card fraud detection and risk management service. ‘eFalcon’ is a turn-key service specifically designed to assist merchants in distinguishing between legitimate and fraudulent online shopping transactions in real-time. The solution uses a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder, and merchant data to detect a wide range of credit card fraud. ‘eFalcon’ mirrors HNC’s proprietary and patented ‘Falcon’ solution which is used by credit card issuers to cover 300 million cardholders. iCOMS will add the ‘Fraud Management Service’ to iCOMS’ order and payment management solutions. The new service will be available to iCOMS’ merchants and technology partners in the first quarter of 2000.Details
As many as half of all Internet and e-commerce transactions are fraudulent, totaling more than $16 billion annually, according to a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers study. With the brunt of the losses being absorbed by online merchants, TX-based ClearCommerce has released an upgraded version of its ‘FraudShield’ module. The new version offers merchants a product they can customize to detect specific fraudulent attributes encountered by their individual businesses. ClearCommerce’s ‘FraudShield’ is the only product on the market that allows merchants to build rules that block industry-specific or merchant-specific fraudulent transactions. Merchants can enter any combination of more than 50 data fields into Boolean “if-then” expressions to check for fraud. In addition to merchant-configurable fraud rules, ‘FraudShield’ performs automatic lock-outs when repeated fraud attacks are detected and performs built-in preventative checks such as checking for duplicate orders, validating email addresses and verifying zip code and state matches. ‘FraudShield’ is a standard component of the ‘ClearCommerce Engine’ which provides real-time transaction processing with the credit card processors.Details
Five percent or more of the e-commerce transactions over the Internet are made with stolen credit cards, and a new financial services company aims to do something about the problem. Fraud-Check, Inc. Wednesday announced the launch of its new transaction patterning and unique modeling product to protect merchants from electronic shoplifters.
“The fraudulent use of credit cards — the electronic equivalent of shoplifting — is a serious threat to the emerging e-commerce industry,” says Fraud-Check President George Candella. “Visa International last year put the total losses at $32 billion and growing. This amounts to five percent or more of every transaction made across the internet, by telephone or by mail. We believe it is possible to reduce or eliminate these losses, and are creating the tools to make that happen.”
In a typical online transaction, the consumer fills a shopping cart or selects a product, then enters shipping and credit card information for approval. As long as the credit card number is valid — even if the number is stolen — the merchandise is shipped.
“If the same transaction took place in a store, there would be automatic fraud checking through signatures and identification,” says Candella. “But if the transaction isn’t done face-to-face, there is no system to protect the merchant. The consumer is protected by law. The credit card company suffers no loss. It is the merchant who bears the full financial liability.”
Fraud-Check serves as a protective barrier between the shoplifter and the e-commerce merchant. As a transaction is made online — at the same time the information goes to the credit card company for authorization — the transaction is checked against Fraud-Check’s proprietary (patent pending) process of patterning and modeling. By comparing against dozens of factors in the company’s multi-faceted, marketing neutral negative database, Fraud-Check can give the merchant the information needed to assess the risk and take appropriate action.
“Online merchants are easier to steal from because they ordinarily have no way of sharing their fraud experience,” says Candella. “We eliminate that problem by aggregating the experience of all of our customers, so if the shoplifter tries again we will have a far better chance of catching them with our database than any one marketer could on their own.”Details