Citi Catalyst

Siemens Nixdorf Retail and Banking Systems, announced tuesday that the company has been certified as an approved vendor for Citigroup’s global ATM network. Citigroup’s global ATM software platform, named Catalyst, is now certified to run on the latest generation of Siemens Nixdorf ATM systems. The CATALYST software engine is a web-enabled multi-application, multi-language enabling technology which will run Citigroup’s proprietary ATM systems throughout the world in the next millennium.


Gambling Suit

Another suit over online gambling with credit cards in California has surfaced. A Marin county man filed a lawsuit yesterday against American Express and Discover claiming the credit card companies facilitated and profited from illegal online gambling loans. The Plaintiff, while web surfing in California in the summer of 1998, lost over $25,000 dollars to online gambling casinos using his American Express and Discover credit cards. American Express threatened to sue which led to the filing of the complaint. The suit alleges that California has a strong, long standing public policy against the enforcement of gambling debts. The suit also alleges that the credit card companies are sophisticated in the use of e-commerce and knew or should have known about the online casino operations and Internet gambling loans. Marino v. American Express, alleges that the credit card companies participate in and profit from illegal online gambling by issuing merchant accounts to Internet casino operators.


Triton Down Under

MS-based Triton confirmed Monday the installation of approximately 600 Triton ATMs in Australia. Until this year, the Australian ATM market has been dominated by full-function ATMs, operated almost exclusively in bank locations. Triton pioneered the adoption of off-premise ATMs in Australia. To bring its cash-dispensing ATMs to the Australian market, Triton formed an alliance with Direct Cash Pty Ltd. of Australia. Major clients of Direct Cash include 7-Eleven and Coles Myer.


AmEx Funds PayTrust, a Web-based consumer service providing one-stop bill delivery, payment and management, announced Monday that some of the nation’s top financial organizations and largest billers have invested $30 million in the company. SOFTBANK Venture Capital, American Express, GE Equity, Goldman Sachs and Thomas Weisel Partners are among the investors in this second round of funding. AT&T Ventures and Spectrum Equity are continuing investors who are also participating in the second round. The funds will be used to continue to expand marketing and operations, in support of Paytrust’s rapid growth.

“ is an exciting example of the next generation of e-convenience services, with a proven track record of rapidly delivering innovative technology and real value to consumers,” said Gary Rieschel, executive managing director of SOFTBANK Venture Capital’s technology funds. “We feel that will be a runaway success.”

The Paytrust service harnesses the power and efficiency of the Web to deliver 100 percent of consumers’ bills to a single, secure Web site and direct payments from users’ pre-existing checking accounts. Paytrust customers simply decide which bills they want to receive online and the bank accounts from which they want payments made. Like a personal assistant, manages a consumer’s bills, payments and can even balance their checkbook. Paytrust’s new SmartBalance(TM) feature aggregates a customer’s bank account information with Paytrust payment information.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that some of the most consumer focused and technology savvy organizations in the world have backed,” said Edward G. McLaughlin, CEO of Secure Commerce Services, the company behind the Paytrust(TM) service. “This is a tremendous show of support for our vision, management team and technology. We look forward to working closely with our partners to change forever the way consumers handle all of their bills.”

“We are delighted to announce today that we have invested in, and signed a joint marketing agreement with,” said Larry Kutscher, senior vice president of Interactive Enterprise Development at American Express. “Many of our Cardmembers already enjoy the convenience of checking their Card account information and paying their American Express bills at our Web site. Working with, we see many exciting opportunities to provide great value and convenience to our Cardmembers by allowing them to manage all of their bills online.”

Leveraging proprietary, patent-pending technology, as well as the ability to work with any biller and any bank, delivers on the promise of consumer-focused electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP). Customers have quick and easy access to to view and pay all of their bills anytime, anywhere. As an added incentive to try the service, consumers who visit the site can enroll for a FREE three-month trial period. Following the trial, subscribers simply pay a low monthly fee of just $7.95.

Since launching this past June, has experienced explosive growth with more than 20,000 people who have registered for the Paytrust service and more than 50,000 bills paid online.

About’s Investors

American Express

American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking. At [][1], customers can choose from a range of Internet products and services. Options include the ability to check Card and Membership Rewards(R) account information; pay American Express Card bills online; make travel reservations; and receive special online offers. Consumers interested in online financial services can conduct online banking with ATM rebates and take advantage of American Express online brokerage services. Resources for small businesses include tips on incorporation, managing staff, and franchising business opportunities. Corporate customers can choose from merchant, retirement, purchasing and T&E management services.

AT&T Ventures

AT&T Ventures was founded in 1992 as a venture capital partnership to invest in information technology and service enabling companies in emerging growth markets. AT&T Ventures is a value-added venture capitalist, investing with the same criteria and focus as any other venture investor, but with the additional capability of helping portfolio companies explore synergies with AT&T (NYSE: T). AT&T Ventures can help start-up companies accelerate their growth by leveraging their extensive network of telecommunications contacts, and through their own deep industry experience. For more information about the company, visit [][2].

GE Equity

GE Equity is a subsidiary of GE Capital, with assets of more than US$300 billion, and is a global, diversified financial services company with 28 specialized businesses. A wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Company, USA (NYSE: GE), GE Equity, based in Stamford, Connecticut, provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a variety of consumer services, such as automobile leasing, home mortgages and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world. GE is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company, with operations worldwide. For more information about the company, visit [][3].

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) is a leading global investment banking and securities firm, providing a full range of investing, advisory and financing services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base, which includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The Firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world. For more information about the company, visit [][4].

SOFTBANK Venture Capital

SOFTBANK Venture Capital (SOFTBANK VC) manages venture capital funds focused primarily on early-stage Internet companies. SOFTBANK VC’s technology fund directors are all experienced technology leaders with prior operating experience as founders of early-stage companies, senior managers of major technology corporations, and leaders in investment banking. SOFTBANK VC’s past and current portfolios include public Internet companies such as Critical Path, E-LOAN, GeoCities, Interliant, MessageMedia, Net2Phone, and For more information about the company, visit .

Spectrum Equity Investors

Spectrum Equity Investors is a leading private equity investment firm focused on the communications and internet industries. Founded in 1993, Spectrum currently manages three equity funds totaling over $1 billion in capital. Spectrum’s limited partners include prominent university endowments, foundations, pension funds, and corporations. Spectrum’s investment professionals possess more than 75 years of combined investment experience and since 1979 have invested in over 60 communications companies. Spectrum is one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most experienced private equity investors in communications and media enterprises. For more information about the company, visit [][5].

Thomas Weisel Partners

Thomas Weisel Partners is a research-driven merchant bank providing investment banking, institutional brokerage, private client services and private equity investing focused on the new frontiers of transformation in the U.S. economy (the Internet, outsourcing, consolidation, bandwidth, education and demographics). The team at Thomas Weisel Partners consists of 400 professionals including 66 partners. The firm is named after its chairman and chief executive, Thomas W. Weisel, and is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in New York, Boston and London. For more information about the company, visit [][6].

About is the flagship service of Secure Commerce Services Inc., a privately held company based in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in October 1998, the company is financially backed by American Express, AT&T Ventures, GE Equity, Goldman Sachs, SOFTBANK Venture Capital, Spectrum Equity Investors, and Thomas Weisel Partners. More information on the company can be found on its web site located at [][7].

Paytrust, and SmartBalance are trademarks of Secure Commerce Services, Inc.



Wells Dig Wallet

Wells Fargo & Co. is piloting the Wells Fargo EasyOrder online shopping service for automatic filling of online store order forms at thousands of retailers.

The service is being provided in partnership with Brodia, an e-commerce company dedicated to simplifying online shopping for consumers.

The Wells Fargo EasyOrder service is being made available free to online banking customers through a pilot program that started last month. Wells Fargo is currently piloting the service with 750 customers to gain in-depth customer feedback before it rolls out to its 1.4 million online banking customers early next year. During the pilot, the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service will be available through a private Web site.

Designed to make online shopping easy and convenient, the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service stores purchasing information — multiple billing, shipping and credit card information for automatic filling of online store orders — in one location. Customers will no longer need to re-enter data each time they make online purchases.

In addition, the service will store order confirmations and favorite shopping sites while keeping all of it secure in an encrypted format accessible only with a password and user ID. Search capabilities help customers find a particular product, brand or store, and special offers and discounts are presented for those products selected by the customer.

“More than 1.4 million customers trust us with their online banking, and we aim to extend that relationship into the online shopping arena with the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service,” said Sharon Osberg, executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s Online Financial Services Group.

To shop with the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service, Wells Fargo customers link directly to the online store of their choice and select items for purchase. At the “check-out” section of the online store, customers are requested to fill out an order form with credit card and shipping information.

Instead of typing in information, customers simply click on a button, and the form is automatically completed using information stored by the Wells Fargo EasyOrder service.

“Wells Fargo has consistently taken a leadership role on the Internet,” said Ron Martinez, chief executive officer of Brodia. “By partnering with us to provide an online shopping service, Wells Fargo can assist customers in taking full advantage of online shopping as it becomes an increasingly important part of people’s everyday lives.”

A recent survey found that online banking customers were more comfortable making online purchases than general Internet users. In fact, 77 percent of Wells Fargo’s online banking customers have made purchases online, compared to 42 percent of general Internet users.

As the first major financial services company in the U.S. to launch Internet banking services in 1995 ([][1]), Wells Fargo has blazed the trail for interactive tools and features for customers. Wells Fargo started online services through Prodigy in 1989, and over the last decade has introduced a wide range of easy-to-use online services for customers. Today, Wells Fargo is the largest Internet bank in the world.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is a $205 billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance services through almost 6,000 stores, its Internet site ([][2]) and other distribution channels across North America and elsewhere internationally.

About Brodia

Brodia ([][3]) gives consumers a new and better way to shop online. Based in San Francisco and funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Capital Z, Brodia simplifies and organizes online shopping around the individual, helping consumers find what they are looking for while protecting their privacy and eliminating unwanted marketing.

The company’s leadership team has led important innovations in e-commerce and online privacy and security. Brodia played a key role in the development of Electronic Commerce Modeling Language ([][4]), an open standard designed to streamline online merchant forms.



JCPenney Card To Relaunch

GE Capital and J.C.Penney Company, Inc. announced Monday they have closed the previously announced sale of JCPenney’s private label credit card business and credit card service facilities to GE Capital. GE Card Services, a GE Capital company, will manage the portfolio.

In a related ten-year credit card services agreement, GE Capital will re-launch the JCPenney credit card and enhance its benefits for customers, provide more favorable repayment terms and introduce new marketing programs such as support for customers shopping on-line.

“With the closing behind us, GE Card Services is focused on the tremendous opportunities JCPenney represents. This retailer has recognized the value of private label credit since 1958. For all of JCPenney’s distribution channels and formats, including the Internet, our credit card program will build on the relationship consumers already have with JCPenney, as well as attract new customers,” said Edward D. Stewart, president and chief executive officer, GE Card Services.

GE Card Services, a GE Capital company, is a leading North American provider of credit card-related financial services for retailers and consumers. With assets of more than US$300 billion, GE Capital is a global, diversified financial services company with 28 specialized businesses. A wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric Company (GE), GE Capital, based in Stamford, Conn., provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a variety of consumer services, such as car leasing, home mortgages and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world. GE is a diversified manufacturing, technology and services company with operations worldwide.


Internet Card Frauc

Despite widespread beliefs to the contrary, credit card theft affects very few online shoppers, according to a joint survey released Monday by and ([][1]), the Internet’s leading e-commerce merchant rating and marketing research firm, conducted the survey in cooperation with ([][2]), the trade association of online retailers, to gauge the experiences of consumers who use credit cards while shopping online. Nearly 13,500 online consumers participated in the real-time Flash Survey(TM). While 58 percent expressed concern that their credit card numbers would be “stolen” during transmission to a merchant, less than 2 percent of those surveyed actually experienced credit card number theft.

“Our overall findings are solid evidence that shopping online with a credit card is extremely safe,” said Paul Bates, vice president of Information Products Group at “These results make a significant statement about the overall health of e-commerce and its tremendous potential for the future,” he added.

Despite the low incidence of credit card number theft, online consumers can improve their chances of having positive shopping experiences by using tools available on the Internet, including the Web site. “ rates merchants based on consumers’ actual experiences,” Bates said. “These reports provide an added margin of safety. Also, shopping at sites with encrypted security at the point of sale is essential to preventing credit card theft.”

“The survey substantiates precisely what responsible online retailers have known for a long time, that using a credit card is safe on secured sites,” said Bob Smith, executive director of “As an industry, we have not witnessed theft of cards. We’re befuddled by continued consumer beliefs to the contrary.”

Other findings of the survey include: Even among the few online shoppers who had experienced credit card fraud, 94 percent were in the process of using a credit card to make an online purchase at the time they were surveyed. Nearly one-third of respondents indicated they would make online credit/debit card purchases only with “big-name” merchants. Seventy-six percent of online buyers indicated that encrypted security is a prerequisite for them to make credit card purchases online. Men feel more secure (38%) than women (26%) when making credit/debit card purchases online.


Founded in 1996, is an unbiased, independent rating guide built on the experience of millions of actual online buyers. The site combines valuable consumer information with a powerful set of shopping tools to help people find the store or product that they want. The site also offers recommendations based on user-specified criteria. is the only company trusted by more than 2,700 e-businesses to collect this direct consumer feedback and transactional information at the point of purchase. The online store performance ratings, derived from this data, denote the only statistically rigorous way of differentiating retailers on “quality of service” metrics.’s information also appears on Consumer Reports Online and in Consumer Reports magazine, as well as through top Internet portals such as AltaVista, Go2Net, Go Network, Microsoft Networks and Snap.


Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., is the only trade association focused exclusively on online retailing. It was originally founded in November of 1996 by forward-thinking virtual retailers as an alliance and repositioned a year later as a full-service association. Today, its nearly 300 members represent all segments of online retailing, including virtual retailers, conventional retailers, catalogers, manufacturers and companies providing products and services for online retailers. This varied membership fosters cross-pollination among retailing disciplines and helps to fuel the creation of new eretailing business models and practices. For more information about and its members, go to.



CPS Sold

Concord EFS signed an agreement Monday to acquire NY-based Card Payment Systems, a reseller of payment processing services. CPS specializes in providing card-based payment processing services to ISOs. The firm currently services approximately 23,000 merchant accounts, adding over 2,000 new accounts per month and processing in excess of $1.8 billion in acquiring volume annually. CPS has about 250 salespersons. Concord will issue 6.2 million shares of its common stock to acquire CPS, which is expected to add approximately $84 million in revenues and $15 million in pre-tax net income in 2000. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2000.


Credit Analysis

Trans Union released data this morning that shows the average credit balances per active account grew in the third quarter for all types of consumer credit. Compared to the previous year, average mortgage balances grew by 5.9%, average installment balances by 3.8%, and average revolving balances increased by 5.3%. Consumers also consolidated their revolving account usage in the second and third quarters of this year; however, the rate of consolidation flattened in the third quarter. The average number of actively used revolving accounts per consumer that actively uses revolving credit was 0.27 accounts lower in the third quarter of this year, compared to last year. In the second quarter, the average number of actively used revolving accounts per active user of revolving credit fell by 0.31 accounts versus last year. The ‘TrenData’ report also showed that 30+ day borrower delinquency rates were roughly the same in the third quarter of this year for mortgage and installment credit, compared to the third quarter of 1998. The revolving credit delinquency rate, on the other hand, fell by 65 basis points compared to last year.


Next Gen Fare Cards

Cubic Transportation Systems is seeking to put contactless fare cards into overdrive. The firm announced Monday it has selected Fujitsu Limited to manufacture wafers for Cubic-engineered expanded memory contactless fare cards. The agreement is related to Cubic’s development of a new high-speed chip for contactless smart card applications that require the ability to read and write data securely at very high speeds. A Cubic-designed chip currently in use in contactless smart cards in Washington, DC can handle transit transactions in less than one-tenth of a second. It offers transit customers data space with 50 times the memory and significantly higher transaction speeds than currently available on magnetic fare cards. This latest chip development utilizes ‘FRAM’. Fujitsu licenses the ‘FRAM’ technology from Ramtron International.