Circuit City Giftcards

Through Circuit City and, consumers can now order Circuit City gift cards in multiples of $25, then have them delivered straight to their loved ones’ doorsteps. With more than 600 locations nationwide, Circuit City is a leading consumer electronics retailer, and just about everyone will find some wish list items in their local Circuit City store, making the gift card a “sure bet.”

There are no forms to fill out or papers to sign, simply visit and click on the icon. You can order right up until Christmas Day because recipients can receive an instant notice of your gift via e-mail, and even send an electronic greeting card to accompany your gift. In addition to on-line gift cards, provides other useful services including:

A gift date reminder service so you will never forget an important birthday or anniversary An on-line address book for frequent “giftees” Express checkout Order tracking Business services for companies who want to use gift certificates and gift cards as incentives or gifts A toll-free customer service number

Right now, Circuit City customers who visit can enter to win gift certificates worth between $10 and $1,000. Over 8,000 prizes will be awarded.

“ is a leader in on-line gift giving and Circuit City is pleased to have this exclusive on-line gift card partnership,” said Alan McCollough, president and chief operating officer of Circuit City. “With’s dedication to customer satisfaction and the outstanding array of services they provide, we believe our relationship with is an extension of the exceptional service that Circuit City customers have come to expect.”

About was formed in 1998 as an e-commerce solution for purchasing gift certificates on line. The Web site enables shoppers to choose and send both paper and online gift certificates from more than 250 of its retail partners.’s large selection of retailers offering gift certificates spans a variety of favorite, brand-name merchandise and services. also offers the Giftpoint Certificate(TM) that allows recipients to select the merchant of their choice. The Giftpoint Certificate is perfect for corporate gifts, incentive programs and for promotional uses. Additional features of include free electronic greeting cards, a personalized address book, express ordering and a reminder service to enhance the shopping experience. Co-founded by brother and sister Doug Nielsen and Julie Mahloch, is based in Omaha, Neb.

About Circuit City

Circuit City is a leading national retailer of brand-name consumer electronics, personal computers, major appliances and entertainment software. With headquarters in Richmond, Va., Circuit City Stores, Inc. operates 561 Superstores and 45 mall-based Circuit City Express stores. For on-line shopping and additional information, access the Circuit City web site at [][1].



Audiotex IPO

The initial public offering of U.S. Audiotex Corp. will get underway this morning. The company, a specialist in tax payments via credit cards, changed its name to Official Payments Corp. last month. The company’s IPO of 5,000,000 shares of common stock has been priced at $15 per share. The shares will begin trading on the Nasdaq National Market under the trading symbol “OPAY”. The company has also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares to cover over allotments. The offering is being managed by Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, CIBC World Markets and DLJdirect Inc. OPAY’s client list includes: the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the States of New Jersey and California, the District of Columbia and 425 municipal governments across the United States. The firm named Thomas Evans, former CEO of GeoCities, as Chairman and CEO in August and filed for an IPO in September.


AAdvantage Sweepstakes

Millions of people love earning AADVANTAGE miles — and now helps you count the ways. The American Airlines Web site, [][1], is the best place online to manage and maximize your AADVANTAGE membership, and to prove it, American is teaming up with several of its AADVANTAGE participants to give away a $40,000 prize cornucopia in its “Ultimate AAdvantage Sweepstakes.”

“This online contest is a great way to see how many opportunities there are to earn miles, whether directly from American or by doing business with our AADVANTAGE participants,” said John R. Samuel, American’s vice president of interactive marketing. “And this is the perfect time to be aware of the places where you can get the most miles for your holiday spending.”

To see how quickly the miles can add up, simply go to the site and try out the AADVANTAGE Mileage Maximizer, which quickly calculates your potential mileage earnings based on your monthly spending — everything from credit cards to long distance calls. As you enter your projected expenditures, the Maximizer displays the number of AADVANTAGE miles you could be earning.

The Maximizer’s total will show you just how much you could reap from those mileage-earning opportunities. You can register to win a prize package that includes one million AADVANTAGE miles and $1,000 in spending money from; a $10,000 TD Waterhouse Online Brokerage account; 365 days of MCI WorldCom long distance; $5,000 toward your Citibank AAdvantage Card; seven nights at any Sheraton Hotel or Resort; seven-day rental of a specialty vehicle from Budget; 12 floral arrangements from; and $1,500 toward your home loan payment from Countrywide Home Loans.

The contest ends Dec. 15; the winner will be announced online after Jan. 15, 2000.

One of the most popular travel sites and recognized among the Web’s largest e-commerce sites (Media Metrix), the award-winning receives more than five million visits a month, with more than 350,000 visits on peak days. In addition to providing personalized information based on customers’ interests and preferences, the site offers online management of individual AADVANTAGE accounts, quick and easy shopping and reservations, and other targeted news and features designed to save customers time. was the first airline site to receive the BBBOnLine privacy seal, a symbol recognized by growing numbers of consumers as safeguarding customer information and transactions online.

To enter the Ultimate AAdvantage Sweepstakes and view complete contest rules, go to , try out the Mileage Maximizer and complete a brief entry form. You could harvest $40,000 in prizes — and one million AADVANTAGE miles!

Current AMR Corp. (NYSE: AMR) news releases can be accessed via the Internet. The address is .




Total System Services, Inc. introduced ‘TSeclipse’, a new customer interaction application that enables financial services companies to deliver personalized service using unique business processes. TSeclipse is based on Chordiant CCS, a suite of customer interaction applications that creates an integrated environment for all customer information and business processes, to provide a single view of the customer at every point of contact.

TSeclipse is aimed at banks and private-label credit card issuers that need to provide faster, more efficient, and more personalized interactions for their consumers by delivering one-to-one service through call centers, via e- mail, and other customer contact methods. The Chordiant technology was chosen because it provides a complete customer interaction solution, including real- time changes to business processes, and its support of multiple channels, such as the web, and other e-Business environments.

Developed by Total System Services using Chordiant’s Software, TSeclipse responds to a pressing need for a solution capable of automating business policies to improve customer interactions. Until now, integrating customer- facing applications with back-end data, transaction systems and business processes required extensive custom development.

Olin Wise, vice president of distributed technologies said, “TSeclipse is designed to provide a flexible, sophisticated set of business processes for customer interaction and credit card transactions.”

TSeclipse exploits the key strengths of both companies. Chordiant provided the enterprise software environment to support a single view of the customer. Using Chordiant CCS, Total System Services developed a unique set of best business practices that leverages its experiences in credit card processing and financial services. The result, TSeclipse is a complete solution that allows banks and other credit card issuers to quickly deploy an integrated solution aimed at enhancing customer relationships. TSeclipse will be offered by Total System Services as a service for users of TSYS’ card processing systems.

“The announcement of this product, TSeclipse, and our relationship with Chordiant positions TSYS to extend its capabilities in providing complete solutions for companies of any size or scale transacting business over multiple communication channels,” Wise added.

Chordiant Software – One Click, Once Call, One Customer(TM)

Chordiant delivers an integrated, multi-channel eBusiness customer solution. Its flagship product, Chordiant Customer Communications Solution – CCS(TM), is a suite of applications that enables large consumer companies to implement best business practices over the web, via email, through call centers, or in branches. It includes built-in support for voice, data and Internet integration, as well as a comprehensive workflow engine. Chordiant CCS empowers high-value contacts that consistently retain customers, grow revenue and drive profits during every contact.

The Chordiant system has been selected by several of the world’s leading consumer companies, including Thomas Cook Global Services, KLM, Cable & Wireless, and BankOne. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Chordiant maintains regional offices in Chicago, Dallas, New York, and London. For more information, please call 1.888.CHORDIANT (1.888.246.7342), or +44 (0)171.721.8590 or visit the company’s Web site at [][1].

About Total System Services, Inc. (TSYS)

TSYS is one of the world’s leading information technology processors of data and transactions for domestic and international issuers of credit, debit, commercial and private-label cards. TSYS’ sophisticated systems offer online accounting, data processing, electronic commerce services, portfolio management, account acquisition, credit evaluation, risk management and customer service. Through our family of companies, TSYS services the entire lifecycle of card accounts, and processes millions and millions of accounts, making it possible for consumers to use their cards any time, anywhere. Headquartered in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([][2]) is an 80.8 percent owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ([][3]) named the Best Company to Work for in America by FORTUNE magazine.



Discover Adds 5 Million

Discover Financial Services reported Monday that the company has added over 5 million new accounts during 1999 to the Discover Card portfolio.

“The addition of these new accounts represents the largest number of new Discover Card accounts added in a single year since 1987 and is a substantial achievement for us,” said David Nelms, president, Discover Financial Services.

Discover Financial Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., operates the Discover Card brands with more than 47 million Cardmembers and the Discover/Novus(R) Network. The Network is the largest independent credit card network in the United States with more than 3 million merchant and cash access locations.


BofA Intl Cards

Bank of America launched purchasing and corporate travel and entertainment cards in Canada and Brazil on Monday. In Canada, the Canadian dollar-denominated VISA purchasing and corporate card programs will be issued by Bank of America Canada. All primary services related to the cards, such as sales, accounting, card issuance, payment processing, settlement and statement generation, will be provided locally. All other services, including account management, will continue to be provided through existing Bank of America commercial card service units in the United States. Bank of America has also formed a partnership with Banco Bradesco in Brazil to offer Brazilian real-denominated cards to clients. Banco Bradesco will issue Brazilian real-denominated VISA purchasing and corporate cards, providing long-term currency and business solutions for companies operating in Brazil on behalf of Bank of America. Additional international partnerships are in development for next year in the United Kingdom, France and other markets worldwide.


Oberthur Biometrics

Oberthur Card Systems, one of the world’s leading suppliers of smart cards, VISA and MasterCard cards and a global leader in the development and delivery of electronic and mobile commerce solutions, demonstrated at Cartes 99 how biometrics verification technology can secure electronic transactions.

Despite recent developments in digital signatures, there has been no physical relationship, until now, between the electronic signature and the individual. Oberthur Card Systems in collaboration with id3 Semiconductors has succeeded in filling this gap by applying biometrics to PKI architectures.

The demonstration presented at Cartes 99 shows how an e-mail can be electronically “signed” only once the sender has been successfully authenticated through fingerprint matching. First, the individual introduces an enhanced AuthentIC card into a smart card reader. Then by sweeping his/her finger over the biometric sensor in the reader, the fingerprint acquisition and image processing can begin and the signature authorized.

The success of this project has marked a real breakthrough in terms of securing e-commerce transactions. Until now, the matching operation has been performed outside the card, with information needing to be sent to an external device for authenticating.

By storing the reference template and the matching algorithm on the smart card itself, the authentication process is both more secure and replaces the need for the user to enter a PIN code that can be easily forgotten or stolen.

“The teams from id3 and Oberthur faced two main challenges in realizing this process,” said Benoit Leterrier, technology development manager for Oberthur Card Systems. “We needed to have a card reader capable of performing the fingerprint acquisition and template extraction in a reasonable amount of time.

“In addition, we needed to implement an efficient matching algorithm in the card compatible with the currently available smart card chip technology. Both challenges have been met and the authentication process from the sweep of the fingertip to the match verification takes, on average, a couple of seconds.

“Customizing the AuthentIC applet to add a ‘bio verification’ instruction and the related access condition to signature generation has been a relatively simple process for our developers. The Java-based approach used is extremely powerful and flexible, and can be easily applied to other application domains such as banking or GSM worlds.”

The specific ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), designed by id3 and located within the smart card reader, performs a reconstruction of the image to extract the essential information from the fingerprint. This information is sent to the smart card where a reference template has been stored on the chip. The information is then matched through the use of the proprietary algorithm.

If both templates match, the card is temporarily “unlocked” and generates the signature on the e-mail message. If the templates fail to match, the card signature algorithm remains locked and there is no possibility of generating a signature on the document.

Laurent Lepetit, sales and quality manager for id3 Semiconductors, stated: “The success of this project is a result of the close collaboration between Oberthur Card Systems and id3. We have only worked together for a very short period of time, just six months, combining Oberthur’s expertise in smart card and chip technology with our knowledge and experience in the biometrics and hardware arena.

“Compared to current solutions mixing biometrics and smart cards, where the biometrics template stored in the card needs to be exported to the outside for the matching process, this solution presents a real breakthrough in terms of system security.”

The product is expected to be launched mid-2000.

About AuthentIC

AuthentIC is a leading cryptographic multi-application smart card designed to support different technologies such as RSA algorithms, identification technologies and the latest in high secure technology — Elliptic Curves and biometric capabilities.

Based in an open environment on Java(TM) or Microsoft(TM) with an interface to industry standards (PKCS No. 11, Microsoft CSP), AuthentIC offers a level of flexibility that allows it to be adapted to different devices and systems and form part of a Public Key Infrastructure solution. AuthentIC incorporates all digital signature protocols and standards and includes a key-generating function.

About Oberthur Card Systems

Formed in October 1999, from the merger of industry leaders Oberthur Smart Cards and De La Rue Card Systems, Oberthur Card Systems is a company with an enviable heritage that is focused firmly on the future. With a portfolio that ranges from magnetic stripe cards to the most advanced smart card-based solutions for banking, telecommunications, transit and commerce, Oberthur Card Systems already has a strong business foundation.

It is the world’s No. 1 supplier of VISA and MasterCard cards, and a global leader in the development and delivery of electronic and mobile commerce solutions. It is also the No. 1 global supplier of Pay-TV smart cards. Committed to open standards, the company supports Java Card, the Visa Open Platform, MULTOS and Microsoft Windows Card.

With a projected annual revenue of $350 million in 1999, Oberthur Card Systems has an established international base of 3,000 employees located around the globe. The new company is majority owned by Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire, which is the largest instant lottery producer and one of the top security printers of bank notes, passports and identity cards worldwide.

About id3 Semiconductors Electronic & microelectronic design

id3 electronic and microelectronic product design know-how is expressed from the design stage through industrialization, in small or large series runs. Established in 1990, as an authentic laboratory for new ideas based on the use of advanced technologies, id3 also provides its customers with suggestions on how to best use the innovative solutions, whilst complying with cost/product/quality constraints.


Digital Cards

MasterCard will announce today the availability of new technology to enable member banks to distribute a digital representation of a physical payment card to existing and new cardholders over the Internet. Under a global agreement with Dublin, Ireland-based Trintech Inc., MasterCard member financial institutions will be able to distribute Trintech’s ‘Net Issuer’ and ‘ezCard’ consumer payment application for the Internet. Trintech’s ‘NetIssuer’ solution has been designed to meet the two major requirements of issuing banks: branding and risk management. The issuing bank’s brand is downloaded directly to the cardholder’s desktop, giving the issuer brand visibility and flexibility. As a server-based solution, NetIssuer addresses risk management by providing the bank with the opportunity to authenticate and authorize the cardholder before the transaction is conducted. This gives the issuer enhanced control of risk management every time the consumer uses their digital card. Issuers also control the appearance of the ezCard icon, which is fully issuer-branded and uses a drag-and-drop process to automatically fill a merchant website’s purchasing form and initiate a transaction for ECML and profiled merchants. Trintech software also gives issuers total control of promotional offers and cross-selling messages that can appear each time the program is launched or used. Future versions of Trintech’s payment product will allow issuers to conduct highly targeted, real-time marketing campaigns. Additional security is provided by SSL encryption and support for SET security will also be made available in the future.


Trintech PPP

Trintech Group PLC, a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions, announced Friday the launch of its PayWare Partner Program. The program is designed to maximize the synergies between Trintech and other e-commerce solution providers to better serve Trintech’s growing customer base worldwide.

Through the PayWare Partner Program, Trintech will expand both its channel and global market presence, reinforcing Trintech’s leadership in the electronic payments market space. The program includes extensive training and education, marketing and sales engagements, web based channel support and training, seminars/events and co-branding strategies. This partner initiative is being launched in conjunction with Trintech’s strategic alliance program, where Trintech has partnerships with industry leaders such as SAP, Compaq and Microsoft and to provide innovative e-commerce solutions. Most recent additions to Trintech’s strategic alliance program have included BrightStar, Sun Microsystems and Unisys Corporation.

Trintech aims to develop a global network of strategic partners by targeting system integrators, consultants, distributors, value added resellers and solution developers. The partner program is divided into two types of partners. The Business Partner Program targets consultants, resellers, distributors and system integrators who, with Trintech’s PayWare technology, can payment enable eMerchants, ISPs, CSPs and corporations. The Enterprise Partner Program has been developed for global partners capable of implementing large scale e-payment infrastructure solutions, such as national payment implementations, end-to-end payment solutions for financial institutions or large ERP payment solutions.

“We consider partnerships one of the most important elements of our sales and distribution strategy and core to Trintech’s global development,” says John McGuire, CEO of Trintech. “We work closely with our partners in every region to ensure our secure e-payment solutions are sold and implemented seamlessly in all our customer sites. Through partnerships, we can also share best practices and bring better payment solutions to the marketplace.”

Trintech has successfully recruited both Business and Enterprise PayWare Partners spanning the US, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Trintech has also established reseller relationships with EDI Hellas (Greece), Humantech (Argentina), MDSL (Lebanon), Prism (South Africa), Scopus (Brazil), KFKI (Hungary), T3 (Egypt), Probil (Turkey) and Techmarketing (Colombia).

Each PayWare Partner is profiled on the new partner section of Trintech’s corporate website (). This site will also serve as a portal to the planned PayWare Partner Resource site – a secure website for our partners, giving them access to the marketing and technical resources necessary to market and deploy Trintech payment solutions.

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech Group Plc. is a leading provider of secure electronic payment solutions for card-based transactions in the physical world and over the Internet. The company offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and SET(TM) compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94003 (Tel: 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel: 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at [][1].



NextCard Deal

Internet software superstore and NextCard announced this morning an exclusive, multi-year marketing and promotional agreement for the ‘NextCard VISA’. Under terms of the agreement, will exclusively market and promote the NextCard Internet Visa on its website in return for cash and promotional consideration. offers more than 1.6 million software and other digital products.