New Savera Products

The billing and provisioning of telecom and Internet service reached a new level of sophistication and ease-of-use today with the introduction of the industry’s first and only 100% Web-Based inter-connect and prepaid billing systems from Savera Systems. The products–InterCarrier and RealTime Prepaid–were unveiled at the Billing ’99 Show in Paris.

The company announced the successful implementation of systems at several key customers. Tele2 Europe and Netcom (Nasdaq: NECS) jointly implemented InterCarrier(TM) at Tele2 AB in Sweden for providing interconnect billing services via an application service provider (ASP) model to Tele2 companies in Austria, France and Italy. The RealTime Prepaid(TM) system has been installed by Tango in Luxembourg. Tele2 Europe and Tango are subsidiaries of Societe Europeenne de Communication S.A (Nasdaq: SECAY, SECBY).

InterCarrier(TM) and RealTime Prepaid(TM) were built for use over the Web, delivering billing solutions unsurpassed in performance and ease of use. The benefits include:

Easy access to every aspect of the billing process–administration, routine maintenance, management, statement and settlement, data entry, agreement negotiation–by anyone with authorization from virtually any location.

Ease of use via intuitive web interfaces with contextual help for every screen.

Low cost of ownership from less system maintenance, no client applications and upgrades, and reduced user training.

Built-in security over Intranet, Internet or virtual private networks (VPN) using proven technologies, such as SSL.

Savera delivers its solutions as hosted applications from an ASP and as installed systems.

“Savera is simplifying the billing process in the same way Yahoo simplified usage of the Internet,” said Inderpal Singh Mumick, president of Savera. “Savera’s 100% Web Based technology simplifies complex billing domains and encompasses tasks that are traditionally accomplished outside the billing application. The result is a system far more usable than any other billing application.”

InterCarrier(TM)

InterCarrier(TM) is a 100% Web Based(TM) settlement and management solution designed to help telecom and IP carriers, resellers, service bureaus, and trading houses maximize revenue in today’s complex, deregulated environment. It gives carriers the ability to quickly and accurately use the Web to track and bill for use of each other’s voice, data and IP networks.

InterCarrier(TM) fits any network carrier’s needs–regional or global, large or small. InterCarrier(TM) can be used by carriers independently and securely from each other, or together for consolidated reporting. It supports multiple currencies and languages, easy and quick changes in domestic and international routes and rates, and changes in network infrastructure.

InterCarrier(TM) speeds up reconciliation and invoice settlement and drastically reduces accounts receivables. Its real-time usage analysis offers unprecedented insight into traffic volumes and revenue by route, switch and destination, helping to optimize network utilization using methods such as Least Cost Routing (LCR). Its mediation adapter accepts multiple input record formats from any mediation device, and an enhanced auto loader maintains, exports and imports all reference data and price list information using a standard spreadsheet application.

InterCarrier(TM) also supports IP, and works on the Oracle 8 database (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Sun Solaris platform (Nasdaq: SUNW), providing virtually unlimited scalability.

“Tele2 Europe expects substantial improvements in controlling our operations using InterCarrier(TM),” said Kurt Demeuleneere, technical controller of Tele2 Europe. “Now we can check and analyze all incumbent and carrier invoices on a per minute basis, by time of day, service type and destination. InterCarrier(TM) is so easy to use. It allows us to download any data into an Excel spreadsheet, make changes and then upload it. This saves Tele2 a great deal of time and virtually eliminates manual input errors.”

RealTime Prepaid(TM)

RealTime Prepaid(TM) is a 100% Web-Based real-time rating, billing and customer support system ideally suited for high-transaction volume telecom and Internet businesses. It provides real-time accounting of prepaid accounts and allows carriers to use the Web to provide inventory management of prepaid cards and management of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards for wireless networks.

Real-Time Prepaid(TM) enables carriers to provide current information to customer care, marketing and finance departments, as well as to subscribers over a secure Web interface. The solution enables carriers to move to new business models by outsourcing functions such as customer care.

RealTime Prepaid(TM) supports both CDR-based, service node (trunk-based) and WIN interfaces, and contains several features needed to support a postpaid billing solution.

RealTime Prepaid(TM) features a robust suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) so carriers can easily incorporate 3rd party solutions–switch interfaces, Cyber-cash, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and short message services (SMS)–and support flexible tariff structures. It can scale with business growth. The system works on the Oracle 8 database and Sun Solaris platform.

“The 100% Web based Savera Prepaid Billing System has allowed us to do things we have always dreamed of – such as outsourcing several functions and giving everyone in Tango access to reports. We have even been able to make changes to tariffs, without any interruption,” says Didier Rouma, billing manager at Tango. “The Savera system has worked flawlessly since being installed. I am now able to sleep well, knowing that the system will be up all the time.”

InterCarrier(TM) and RealTime Prepaid(TM) enable carriers to meet Quality of Service (QoS) and Service Level Agreements (SLA).

Mareti(TM) Technology

Savera(TM) solutions are based on the company’s patent-pending Mareti(TM) (Marketing in Real Time) technology. Mareti(TM) captures call usage or transaction data from virtually any source for real-time processing (rating, re-rating or discounting). Its innovative engine enables rules to be modified easily for quick changes to pricing structures. Mareti(TM) also permits real-time decision support and data access.

About Savera

Savera Systems ([www.savera.com][1]) develops products that tame the complexities inherent in tracking the interchange of voice and data traffic among multicarrier networks. Savera(TM) is a founding member of IPDR (Internet Protocol Detail Record), and is the founding sponsor of [www.ipintercarrier.org][2]. Savera is an Oracle Alliance Partner. Founded by telecommunications billing experts from AT&T and Bell Labs, Savera(TM) is funded by the Kinnevik group of companies.

[1]: http://www.savera.com/
[2]: http://www.ipintercarrier.org/

Details

Fair, Isaac – Best Small Co.

For the seventh time in the last eight years, Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., has been named in Forbes’ annual list of “The 200 Best Small Companies.” The leader in decisioning technology jumped in the ranking by the national business magazine’s annual list of top companies from 117 to 99, recognized again for its continued outstanding financial performance and growth. Despite the explosion of dot.com companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fair, Isaac is just one of three companies from San Francisco and Marin County that Forbes identified for its substantial growth and profitability over the past five years and latest 12 months.

“Our ability to maintain earnings growth has continued, even as we expand our Internet offerings and develop new data analytic services for the financial services, retail, telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries,” said Tom Grudnowski, Fair, Isaac’s newly appointed chief executive officer. “Fair, Isaac’s consistent performance continues to reap benefits for our shareholders, customers and employees.”

The 200 companies highlighted in the November 1 issue of Forbes are selected from a database of more than 11,000 public companies with annual sales of $5 million to $350 million. The strict financial performance standards of the list demand that companies show clear evidence of profits, including a five-year average annual growth in earnings of 10 percent or higher. Fair, Isaac achieved a growth rate in sales of 27 percent and offered an average return on equity of 21 percent over five years.

Fair, Isaac helps companies make faster, more profitable decisions about marketing, customers, operations and portfolios. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in predictive technology, the company provides advanced decision-making solutions to the financial services, retail, telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries. Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Fair, Isaac employs 1600 people in 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][1].

[1]: http://www.fairisaac.com/

Details

Debt Deceleration

The summer downshift in revolving credit has carried through into September. According to preliminary figures released this morning by the Federal Reserve, Americans added slightly more than $1.0 billion to revolving credit during September compared to $2.3 billion in August. Revolving credit, most credit card debt, is growing at 2.4% annual rate according to the FRB. Meanwhile preliminary results from CardData’s 3Q/99 Portfolio survey indicated bank credit card debt is growing at a 3% annual rate, the lowest rate of growth since 1991. Over the past twelve months U.S. revolving credit has grown more than $35 billion, from $551.9 billion to $587.8 billion. Overall, consumer credit is growing 5.2% annually compared to 6.2% for third quarter 1998. It should be noted that the FRB figures do not net out monthly payments made on credit card balances. Monthly payment rates have been rising sharply this year which dampens the real growth in revolving credit. Overall, American consumers were $1.370 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages, at the end of September.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
Sep99 Aug99 Jul99 Jun99 May99 Apr99 Mar99 Feb99 Jan99
%GRWTH: 2.4% 4.8 12.1 13.8 4.5 5.6 -0.9 3.4 11.6
$OWED: $587.8 586.7 584.4 578.5 572.2 569.9 567.3 567.5 565.9

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 11/05/99; For complete
historical data visit www.carddata.com.

Details

HNC & Onyx Team

HNC Software Inc., the leading provider of predictive software solutions for the services industries, and Onyx Technologies Inc., a premier Application Service Provider of online data access and customer acquisition decisioning for the cellular, PCS, and private label credit card industries, announced Friday that they have established a strategic alliance.

HNC will leverage Onyx’s successful service bureau infrastructure and experience as a credit verification service provider to launch a consumer loan decisioning service for the financial services industry. As part of the agreement, HNC will make a minority equity investment in Onyx.

“We view the ASP model as a process that is fundamentally changing the software business. Onyx is our first strategic partner in enabling our technology in this new paradigm,” said John Mutch, president and COO, HNC Software.

Onyx plans to augment its 4SCORE service, a cost-effective on-line electronic system for credit verification, customer analysis, and management, by installing HNC’s Capstone(TM) Decision Manager, a high-speed, intelligent platform for automating real-time, complex customer decision processes.

Deploying Capstone Decision Manager in the Onyx ASP model will make powerful new account decisioning such as is used in large financial institutions available to telecommunications providers, as well as small and mid-size financial services organizations. The benefits of quick and accurate lending decisions will extend to consumers in turn.

Kell Canty, vice president, Onyx Technologies, commented, “Adding HNC’s industry-leading intelligent software to the risk assessment tools and service bureau capabilities of Onyx Technologies will yield tremendous benefits to the general service industry.”

Based in Atlanta, Onyx Technologies is the premier provider of data access and decisioning software for the Cellular and PCS industry. Its suite of online UNIX-based decision support tools are easily integrated into current company operations, for quick and accurate deposit decisions. For more information visit the Web site at [www.onyx-technologies.com][1].

HNC Financial Solutions is a leader in predictive customer relationship management software for the payment card and consumer lending industries. Its powerful suite of proven decision platforms and predictive business solutions address the mission-critical, customer-lifecycle needs of financial institutions.

Headquartered in San Diego, HNC Software Inc. (Nasdaq:HNCS) is a leading provider of complete Predictive CRM solutions for service industries. HNC divisions include Financial Solutions, Retek Retail Solutions, Insurance Solutions, eHNC, and Telecommunications Solutions. 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; optimize store replenishment activities; and detect fraudulent customer transactions.

For more information, visit HNC’s Web site at . or contact Melinda Bateman, HNC Software Inc., 5935 Cornerstone Court West, San Diego, CA 92121, 858/799-3880. For the investor relations hotline, call 800/396-8052.

[1]: http://www.onyx-technologies.com/

Details

Bank Bill Passes

Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that will reshape the landscape in the financial services industry by eliminating the barriers between banks, insurance companies and investment firms. The Senate noted 90-8, with seven Democrats and one Republican saying no. The House vote, which followed, was 362-57. A bitter fight over privacy concerns, the last hurdle, was won by the industry. Financial firms defeated efforts to limit the sharing consumer information among affiliates. Third party retail credit card issuers, such as GE Capital and Household, were also able to insert an exemption for retailers that would have required retailers to have a privacy policy and offer opt-out to cardholders. President Clinton is eager to sign the bill.

Details

Ebay VISA

Banner ads for the Ebay/First USA VISA moved up the ladder of the most viewed banner ads on the web. Nielsen/NetRatings reported that the Ebay/First USA banner ad ranked 7th last week with a market reach of 3.3%. Nielsen/NetRatings general Internet stats for the week ending Oct. 31 shows 114.1 million people currently have access to the Internet while 50.1 million surfed last week. The average Internet user visited six unique sites last week and viewed 170 pages. The average response rate or click rate for top banners last week was 0.54% compared to 0.39% for the previous week.

Details

Y2K Travel Advisory

VISA International and Rosenbluth International announced Thursday the ‘Global Travel 2000 Initiative’. The consumer education program is designed to ease Year 2000 fiscal and travel concerns. Among suggestions for year-end and new-year travelers: get a paper ticket in lieu of an e-ticket, carry travelers cheques and make copies of all financial records. VISA International and Rosenbluth International have a long history of joint ventures. VISA, along with 20 other organizations, is a participant in ‘The Continuum’, a working research and development laboratory housed at Rosenbluth International’s World Headquarters.

Details

Free ATMs

Houston-based CompuBank, the first virtual national bank, launched an Internet service to provide consumers with a comprehensive list of surcharge-free ATMs throughout the continental United States. ‘FreeATMs.com’ offers consumers a way to find surcharge-free ATMs by simply clicking on a state and by a search function based on bank name, street address, city, state or zip code. Consumers also have the option to map a specific ATM location. CompuBank refunds other banks’ ATM surcharges for its customers, up to four per month at $1.50 each.

Details

Planet Payment

Cable & Wireless and Planet Payment have partnered to provide a commerce switch to route credit card transactions to credit card processors worldwide. This will enable Internet merchants to accept credit cards online in most currencies. The platform will initially connect to Bank of Bermuda’s new multi-currency credit card processing system. The wholesale processing platform will also enable banks to offer multi-currency-processing services to their merchants seeking to accept credit cards on the Internet.

Details