Fun Cards

WA-based The Pathways Group has launched the first cash-free carnival midway system in the U.S., using smart card technology. The new ‘Fun Card’ was field tested at the recent opening of the Funtastic Traveling Shows carnival in San Francisco. Funtastic is also considering the use of ‘Sprinticket’ dispensers to sell and recharge their ‘Fun Cards’. ‘Sprinticket’, an unattended dispensing device designed and manufactured by Pathways, would allow customers to purchase ‘Fun Cards’ using their credit cards or cash. ‘Sprinticket’ devices can also be used to determine the balance or to add value to the ‘Fun Card’.


Olafsson Leaves Advanta

Advanta Corporation announced Monday the resignation of Olaf Olafsson from the position of President.

Mr. Olafsson will continue as a director of Advanta Corporation and as a special partner and director of Advanta Partners, LP, a private equity investment firm in which Advanta Corporation is the controlling investor.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Advanta tremendously. We’ve made great progress in terms of the quality and trajectory of earnings, new initiatives and partnerships. Now that we have solidified our growth strategy, with Dennis and Bill to lead the Company toward preeminence in its businesses, it is time for me to focus on challenges that will allow me to remain closer to my home and young family in New York. While my role as President has been rewarding, as one can imagine, commuting 4-5 hours per day to and from Advanta’s Spring House headquarters has been a challenge,” said Mr. Olafsson. Mr. Olafsson will become Vice Chairman of Time Warner Digital Media, located in Manhattan.

Business operations will continue under the uninterrupted direction of the Office of the Chairman, of which Mr. Olafsson was a part, now comprised of Dennis Alter and William A. Rosoff. Mr. Rosoff will assume the title of President.

Dennis Alter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated, “I have accepted Olaf’s resignation with mixed feelings. While we will miss his day to day involvement on both personal and business levels, I respect his difficult decision to make a move that is the right one for his family. We look forward to many years of his continuing involvement and strategic insight as a director and with Advanta Partners. We have many important and exciting initiatives in the pipeline which Olaf has been involved in creating.”

During Mr. Olafsson’s tenure as President, Advanta implemented an automated sales and underwriting system at its mortgage business, began testing a new origination and automated decisioning system to take business credit card applications over the Internet, and took significant steps to refine processes in its leasing business resulting in cost efficiencies.

We continue these and our previously discussed initiatives to increase profits, and optimize cash flow and returns on invested capital.

Advanta is a highly focused financial services company with over 2,400 employees, approximately $12.4 billion in managed assets and approximately $9.4 billion in assets serviced for third parties. Advanta provides consumers and small businesses with innovative products and services including mortgages, equipment leases, business credit cards, insurance and deposit products.

The Company also provides a full range of loan purchasing, contract servicing and securitization services to the mortgage industry.


Red Hot AmEx

American Express credit card loans have soared by more than 33% over the past year, about ten times the growth of VISA and MasterCard issuers. American Express also reported yesterday it signed up 900,000 new cardholders during the third quarter with 500,000 from the US and 400,000 from abroad. Average quarterly spending per cardholder has climbed nearly 14.0% over the past twelve months from $1,704 to $1,935. Chargeoffs dropped to 4.7% during the third quarter from 6.4% one year ago. Third quarter delinquency (30-89 day) dipped to 2.0%, from 2.2% for third quarter 1998 and 90+ day delinquency declined from 1.0% last year to 0.8% this year. For full financials details on AmEx visit CardData ([>][1]).


3Q/99 2Q/99 1Q/99 4Q/98 3Q/98 2Q/98 1Q/98
Receivables $20.6b $18.3b $16.7b $16.7b $15.4b $14.8b $14.2b
Q Volume $47.1b $46.0b $41.6b $44.2b $41.5b $41.4b $38.5b
Cards 29.2m 28.7m 27.9m 27.8m 29.5m 29.6m 29.5m
CardData (>



NextCard & ONElist

NextCard, the creator of The First True Internet Visa, announced Monday a marketing agreement to become the exclusive credit card for ONElist ([][1]), the leading provider of active Internet communities with nearly 8 million members.

Under the terms of the agreement, NextCard ([][2]) will offer customized affinity card products and promotions to specialized communities within ONElist. Current NextCard Internet Visa promotions at ONElist include: a coupon for $50 OFF custom clubs and golf equipment in ONElist’s Sports Channel, and a $20 donation to Canine Companion for Independence in their Animal Channel.

“NextCard continues to refine its target marketing approach,” said David Schwartz, vice president of customer acquisition at NextCard. “ONElist’s highly segmented direct marketing capabilities offer us a singular opportunity to market our credit card affinity products to active and relevant audiences in unique communities of interest.”

“ONElist’s commitment to provide valuable and relevant content to our millions of members is a key attribute that makes our communities the most active on the Internet,” said Mark Fletcher, founder, chairman and VP of technology at ONElist. “NextCard offers the best customized credit card product for Internet users and we’re excited to be working with them to serve our members.”

NextCard, Inc.

NextCard, Inc. ([][3]), creator of The First True Internet Visa in 1997, is considered the industry’s leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. The Company has continued to innovate with its complete GoShopping!(SM) Web site, NextCard Concierge(SM), comprehensive rewards, personalized PictureCard(SM) design and exceptional online customer service. NextCard publishes the NextCard eCommerce Index(SM), the premier source of online transaction activity and was named a “HOT 100 Company” by Upside magazine and one of “The Standard 100” most important and influential companies in the Internet economy by The Industry Standard magazine.


ONElist is the leading provider of active Internet communities, where members with common interests get together to inform, discover and collaborate. ONEList has nearly 8 million registered members who host more than 250,000 unique communities and exchange more than 1 million emails/hour. Through these free discussion groups, ONElist provides specialized services and e-commerce solutions tailored to each community. Launched in 1998, ONElist is a privately held company based in Redwood City, CA. The company received venture funding from @Ventures III, the affiliated venture capital arm of CMGI, Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI) and Bertelsmann Ventures, the independent venture capital fund of Bertelsmann AG. For more information about ONElist, visit [][4].



Banamex Goes ICE

Banamex Mexico is deploying 2,000 Hypercom ICE 5000 consumer-activated card payment terminals with integrated PIN pads and smart card readers to merchants throughout Mexico. The deployment by Mexico’s largest bank follows its installation of an additional 66 hypercom Integrated Enterprise Network (IEN) communications gateways for back-end network communications. The resulting Hypercom end-to-end solution will help Banamex Mexico deliver value-added solutions to its merchants and enhance the bank’s transaction processing system capabilities.

The ICE 5000 is a powerful, multi-function touch-screen terminal incorporating a high-speed thermal printer, paper cutter, and Hypercom(TM) FastPOS 9600 bits per second (bps modem technology that completes transactions in less than six seconds. Hypercom’s ICE 5000 provides a highly interactive and intuitive user interface to support complex transactions with minimal user training. In addition to traditional credit and debit functions, the ICE 5000 supports payment options such as smart cards, and new business opportunities such as customer loyalty management systems. When used in conjunction with Hypercom Ascendent(TM) software, the ICE 5000 also supports online advertising and electronic receipt capture, storage and retrieval.

“With Hypercom’s innovative technology, we can offer faster response times, greater flexibility, and consumer-operated card acceptance terminals that support the rapidly increasing range of transaction modes, options and functions,” said Marco Antonio Giardiello, acquiring services executive vice president, Banamex Mexico. “It is a winning solution, and one that can definitely benefit our customers.”

“Using Hypercom’s industry leading technology, Banamex Mexico is the first bank in Latin America to adopt a truly integrated end-to-end solution,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, senior executive officer, Hypercom Corporation. “We applaud Banamex Mexico for setting the standard for Mexico’s financial industry; and, we are pleased that Hypercom is continuing its leadership role in supporting 100% of the financial communications networks in Mexico.”

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is the single-source global provider of end-to-end electronic payment solutions, including card payment systems, peripherals, network products, software and e-commerce payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 70 countries through a global network of affiliates and offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [][1].



Chargeoffs Drop Again

Bank credit card charge-off rates resumed their decline in September, according to Standard & Poor’s Credit Card Quality Index of $295 billion in receivables held in trusts of publicly rated credit card-backed securities. Despite expectations that the monthly charge-off rates would increase modestly in September, following lower charge-offs due to seasonal decline in August, the monthly charge-off rate dropped to 5.4% in September, 30 basis points below the 5.7% rate recorded in August. This represents the largest drop since August 1996, when charge-offs fell 40 bps. The 5.4% charge-off rate represents the lowest charge-off rate since the early 1990s when performance for the major trusts was first tracked. Additionally, delinquencies remained at 4.6%. Delinquencies have held steady for the last three months, suggesting that losses will likely stay at these levels rather than spike in the upcoming months. The other performance variables tracked by the indexes showed little change.


Distribution date 10/15/97 10/15/98 8/16/99 9/15/99 10/15/99
Performance month Sep 97 Sep 98 Jul 99 Aug 99 Sep 99
Outstandings(bil.$) 234.2 263.9 290.9 294.3 296.6
Yield (%) 19.1 19.2 19.2 19.8 19.1
Charge-offs (%) 6.7 6.3 5.7 5.7 5.4
Weighted base rate(%) 8.0 7.7 7.4 7.5 7.5
Excess spread (%) 4.4 5.2 6.1 6.6 6.2
Delinquencies (%) 5.3 5.1 4.5 4.6 4.6
Payment rate(%) 14.6 15.4 16.5 17.1 16.9
Source: Standard & Poor’s


HSBC 3Q/99

HSBC slipped in the third quarter according to data gathered by CardData. Receivables decreased from $1,150,824,000 for 2Q/99 to $1,113,558,000 for 3Q/99. Gross accounts also contracted from 785,326 accounts for 2Q/99 to 741,577 for 3Q/99. Actives also declined from 425,981 for 2Q/99 to 397,148 for 3Q/99. Cards-in-force also slipped by 50,000 from 953,060 cards for 2Q/99 to 898,637 for 3Q/99. For more details visit CardData ([][1]).



Providian Shuffle

Providian Financial has created a new division, Emerging Businesses, and has named Seth Barad as division head. David Alvarez, who has been responsible for Providian’s unsecured credit card business, has been named president, Credit Cards. Providian also named James Rowe, EVP, E-Commerce. Rowe has headed Providian’s E-Commerce division since it was formed in February and also serves as CEO of its subsidiary, Providian also named Ellen Richey to the newly-created position of Vice Chairman. Richey will continue in her capacity as General Counsel, a position she has held since 1995.


Hunt Involved With Default Proof

Default Proof Credit Card System, Inc. announced that David K. Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of Twinsburg, Ohio based PlanSoft Corporation, has joined the Company as a member of the newly formed Default Proof Credit Card System, Inc. Advisory Board.

PlanSoft is a leading worldwide provider of Internet based, business-to-business, e-commerce, solutions for the meeting, convention and event industries.

Mr. Hunt has an extensive financial community background. Prior to his current occupation, Mr. Hunt served as, President, CEO and Director of Global Payment Systems. Global provides electronic transactions, information and electronic commerce solutions for financial institutions, corporations and government agencies. Previous to Global Payment Systems, Mr. Hunt was President and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Universal Card Services Corporation, where he was accountable for P&L, all operations, and developing and executing overall business strategy for one of the country’s largest credit card issuers. As an AT&T officer and member of Global Operations Council, Mr. Hunt helped shape AT&T’s future strategy. Mr. Hunt has also served in the previous capacity as senior executive vice president of Signet Banking Corporation, where he was responsible for numerous retail activities over a number of years.

The Advisory Board will bring levels of expertise and business exposure to the Company during this very important phase in the Company’s forward development. The Company is preparing to launch its dynamic new web site (patent pending) and anticipates favorable action from the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office on its revolutionary ATM Debit Cards Dispenser (patent pending). The Company is conducting substantive negotiations involving opportunities surrounding both patents pending. It is anticipated that Mr. Hunt, as well as other yet to be named Advisory Board members, will provide valuable cooperation and input in support of the aggressive activities and marketing plans of the Company.

The worldwide e-commerce capabilities of the ATM Debit Cards Dispenser as well as of, are both integrated into the intellectual property of the Company.


1ClickCharge CFO

1ClickCharge, the pioneering single-click Internet payment service, announced the appointment of Joseph W. Rio as Chief Financial Officer. As 1ClickCharge’s CFO, Rio will supervise all accounting and financial matters, including reporting, budgeting, managing audits, and developing and reviewing internal controls. In addition to finance, Rio is responsible for legal, human resources and facilities.

Rio joins 1ClickCharge from the position of Vice President and Controller of Vendor Financial Services, a $13 billion (assets) subsidiary of GE Capital. His responsibilities there included accounting, internal and external reporting, treasury and cash management, and financial integration of acquisitions for the 13 businesses that comprise VFS. Previously, he was a CPA with Arthur Andersen and Company, and held various financial management positions during a ten-year career at MasterCard International. As Senior Vice President and Controller at MasterCard, Rio was selected Financial Executive of the Year in 1996 by the Westchester Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants for leading revenue and expense strategies that improved MasterCard’s operating margin from zero to six percent. Other positions he held at MasterCard include Vice President of Budgets and Financial Analysis, Director and Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer, and Manager of Financial Analysis.

“We are very pleased to add Joe to our superior management team with his strong technical skills and successful track record as a financial strategist,” said Heidi R. Goff, President and CEO of 1ClickCharge. “With Joe taking the reigns as CFO, I will be able to fully concentrate on the major expansion of the 1ClickCharge payment service.”

Rio earned his MBA in Finance and Accounting from Northwestern University and received a B.S in Biology from Loyola Marymount University.

About 1ClickCharge(TM)

1ClickCharge’s Web payment service makes credit cards perform like cash on the Internet. With its patented authentication technology, 1ClickCharge gives consumers the ability to easily purchase web content on a pay-per-use basis in small dollar amounts. Because 1ClickCharge is 100% outsourced, merchants will quickly realize profits without the technical hassles typically associated with setting up their own Internet payment service. 1ClickCharge’s mission is to lead the industry in single-click Internet payments under $20, a market space it calls Convenience e-Commerce(TM). The company is led by Heidi R. Goff, President and CEO, a 20-year senior management veteran of MasterCard, GlobalPay, ADP and IBM; and Brian Smiga, SVP of Marketing and Business Development, formerly co-founder of software companies and DaytoDay. 1ClickCharge is a service of 1ClickBrands, LLC, a majority-owned operating company of CMGI, Inc. (Nasdaq:CMGI). Visit the company’s Web site at [][1].



IVI & Ahold

IVI Checkmate Corp. announced Monday an agreement with Ahold U.S.A. Inc. of Washington D.C., naming IVI Checkmate as its preferred supplier of customer-activated payment terminals. Ahold is the leading supermarket operator along the eastern seaboard with more than 1,000 stores represented as five operating companies: Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover, Giant-Carlisle, Tops Markets and BI-LO. The estimated revenue value of the two-year agreement is in excess of $5 million.

The agreement specifies that IVI Checkmate will supply eN-Crypt(TM) 2100 customer-activated payment terminals and eN-Touch(TM) 1000 customer-interactive touch screen and signature capture terminals for installation at Ahold USA subsidiaries’ checkout lanes. The eN-Touch 1000 provides touch screen technology that enable retailers to implement graphically based consumer payment and value-added services that drive incremental sales. In addition to supplying terminal hardware, IVI Checkmate will provide software and support services during the tenure of the agreement.

IVI Checkmate is the third largest electronic transaction solutions provider in North America. The Company designs, develops, and markets innovative payment and value-added solutions that optimize transaction management at the point-of-service in the retail, financial, travel & entertainment, healthcare, and transportation industries. IVI Checkmate’s software, hardware, and professional services minimize transaction costs, reduce operational complexity, and improve profitability for its customers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. For more information on IVI Checkmate, visit its web site at [][1].