Natl Geo MC

The National Geographic Society and First USA have entered into an affinity card agreement. The National Geographic/First USA MasterCard will be launched in January. Natl Geo says all net revenues it receives from affinity card program will be used for its core mission programs which include: conservation, exploration, research and education. Bank One, the parent company of First USA, was the exclusive corporate sponsor in 1999 of the National Geographic Bee, the Society’s nationwide geographic competition in which more than 5 million school students participate each year. National Geographic magazine, the official journal of the Society, is sent to nearly 10 million members each month.


SunTrust Card Sale

Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks announced this morning the sale of its $1.5 billion bank credit card portfolio to MBNA. Under the agreement, MBNA will purchase the outstandings and will provide servicing for over 1.4 million accounts. The sale includes personal credit card outstanding balances from both SunTrust and Crestar Financial. Crestar was acquired by SunTrust last year. SunTrust estimates a pretax gain of approximately $300 million in the fourth quarter based on the expected outstandings as of Oct. 31. The business, corporate and purchasing card portfolios were not part of the sale and will continue to be maintained by SunTrust as will the merchant services line of business. SunTrust has also entered into an agent relationship with MBNA for personal credit card products.


Receivables: $1,040,531,000 Quarterly Volume: $575,618,449
Accounts: 1,010,413 Actives: 556,354 Cards: 1,424,682

Source: CardData’s 3Q/99 Portfolio Survey


Hypercom – Eurobank Deal

Eurobank confirmed it has contracted with Hypercom for 2,000 Hypercom ‘T7P’ card payment terminals. to Eurobank. This week’s agreement increases the total number of Hypercom card payment systems ordered by the Greek bank, during the last two years, to 6,000. Under terms of this week’s agreement Eurobank named Hypercom its electronic payments vendor-of-choice. Hypercom’s Greek partner is Sofianos Hellas.


Gelco ExpenseLink

Gelco Information Network, the leading travel expense management company in North America, has helped its customers manage more than $2.5 billion in travel and expense transactions year-to-date through its ExpenseLink(R) expense reporting technologies.

“Gelco is often compared to travel and expense management companies that merely provide software, with no additional value-added benefits,” said Chuck Buckner, senior vice president and general manager of Gelco’s Expense Network. “The comparison is inaccurate. Software companies that don’t offer a full end-to-end solution can only measure their success on the amount of seats or software licenses sold. And since their clients implement and manage the technology themselves, the software providers can’t accurately determine if their clients are actually using the T&E product with any benefit. Gelco is completely different.”

“As a full-service Business Service Provider (BSP), we provide end-to-end solutions. We host the application; provide installation, deployment and support; implement upgrades without interfering with client business; and manage the processing with no additional IT infrastructure and internal MIS support. That means we can easily track the number of transactions that are being processed and exactly how our clients are benefiting from using our technology and services,” said Buckner.

Buckner added, “Without a doubt, Gelco deploys expense management technologies and processes transactions more quickly and efficiently than any other alternative. The users also receive prompt automatic reimbursements via direct payment to bank accounts within three banking days, and corporate cards are paid according to the company’s payment schedule. The implication of this is that our clients achieve significant cost savings.”

About ExpenseLink(R)

ExpenseLink is the only technology of its kind that offers automated expense report generation, approval and reimbursement, and an unparalleled enterprise data warehousing/datamining tool, while accommodating all platforms and levels of technology.

Through Gelco’s ExpenseLink/Web(R), a leading Internet application that provides enterprise clients with an end-to-end operational solution, users enter travel expenses online or offline and submit reports via a web browser or the Internet. Likewise, with Gelco’s ExpenseLink/PC(R) Windows-based expense reporting software, users enter business expenses offline, via a personal computer. ExpenseLink/TD(R), formerly Traveletter Direct(R), is Gelco’s phone-based expense reporting system. Through this technology, users dial a toll-free number; identify themselves; and enter the time period, expense report number and dollar amounts.

About Gelco Expense Network

The Gelco Expense Network is a resource that makes managing travel expenses easier. More than 1,500 corporations rely on Gelco’s multiple solutions — including Internet, PC, telephone and paper — to reduce the time and money associated with managing such expenses.

About Gelco Information Network

Through its Expense, Promotion, Government and International Networks, Minneapolis-based Gelco Information Network is the premier solution provider for managing corporate expenses of all types, and is recognized for making hard business expense processes easier. Across its four networks the company serves more than 2,000 U.S. and multinational companies, including hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies and more than 115 government agencies. Gelco maintains a 97 percent customer retention rate. For more information on Gelco, visit the company’s web site at .


Y2K Cash Horde

In spite of the fact that the number of adult Americans who are concerned that the Y2K bug will financially bite them has shrunk in the past six months, the number who plan to keep extra cash on-hand as a precaution is not declining. According to a just updated national consumer study from Brittain Associates, just over 31 million U.S. households are planning to stockpile some extra cash as a Y2K transition precaution. The same projection emerged from an initial study conducted by the firm last March. The new study also indicates that these households are not planning a mere “long weekend” cash buffer but rather an amount necessary to see them through several weeks if necessary.

“The good news is that consumers are hearing the financial community’s message about Y2K readiness, which is reducing the publics’ stated level of concern,” says Bruce Brittain, president of the Atlanta-based research firm. “Being ever-practical Americans, however, the number who plan to guard against any ATM system shut-downs and bank cash shortages remains at nearly one-third of all households.”

The updated study conducted September 8 – 12 revisited the financial concern issues first addressed by the research firm in March of this year. Each study involved over 1,000 telephone interviews with U.S. adults (18+).

Over one quarter of all checking account owners in the U.S. believe that there will be some Y2K related ATM problems. This level of concern is consistent with of the number of households who plan to stockpile extra cash, says Brittain.

Additionally, addressed investor concerns regarding Y2K related market declines and portfolio bookkeeping errors. Also investigated were the perceptions of possible credit card problems and issuer preparedness.

“About 30% of credit card owners foresee Y2K related card use problems,” says Brittain. “Together with those who fear ATM outages, it’s not surprising that these consumers want to have extra cash available.”

More descriptive details of the study and current study results can be accessed at the firm’s website: [][1].



Smart ATM Modem

VA-based Transaction Network Services unveiled its newest family of smart modems, the ‘TransXpress 4000’ line, which is designed to support wireless, ISDN, dial-up and IP communications for ATMs. he new smart modem is designed to offer the maximum flexibility of communication options by adding expansion cards based on the customer’s requirements. The ‘TransXpress 4000′ will allow customers to add in wireless communication to the ATM, literally, overnight. To support customers’ growing desire to download graphics to their off premise ATMs, the new modem family will offer V.90 56k dial-up connectivity.


Centurion Card

The widespread dilution to the perceived value of the ‘Platinum Card’ has given way to the introduction of the ‘Black Card’. American Express raised the stakes in the super elite market yesterday with the unveiling of ‘The Centurion Card’. The card is available by invitation-only to tenured American Express ‘Platinum Card’ holders. The new card carries an annual fee of $1,000 and offers a wide range of premium services geared toward the well-heeled frequent traveler. For example ‘Centurion’ cardholders qualify for free upgrades to the Concorde with the purchase of a full-fare first class transatlantic ticket on British Airways. Other benefits include complimentary upgrades on partner airlines and hotels, free access to some airline clubs, a personal travel concierge, personal shopper services and reduced fees for personal investment management. ‘Centurion’ cardholders also receive a 50% ‘Membership Rewards’ bonus on all charges made with ‘Centurion’ partners. Three years ago the AmEx ‘Platinum Card’ stood alone as the premier, invitation-only card with an annual fee of $300. Since then, major VISA and MasterCard issuers launched their own versions of ‘Platinum’ cards, mostly without annual fees and a limited number of premium services. As a result of the new competition, AmEx began, last year, to lower its qualifications for ‘Platinum’ cards by offering them to new cardholders. The AmEx ‘Platinum’ card also attracted new competition with the introduction of the ‘VISA Signature’ card and the ‘World MasterCard’. Both cards carry network level benefits geared toward the affluent, frequent traveler. VISA reported earlier this week that its ‘Signature’ card just passed the 500,000 card mark.


PaySys Intl Execs

PaySys International, Inc. announced yesterday that Debra Wohlrab-Skinner and Matthew Leehun Lee have accepted the positions of Vice President of Operations, Americas and Regional Director of Asian Business Development, respectively.

Debra Wohlrab-Skinner, who most recently held the position of Vice President — Sr. Operations and Technology Officer, Latin American Region for MasterCard International, Inc., has spent her entire professional career in the financial services industry. Her extensive expertise in banking and financial services includes banking systems, electronic banking, credit and debit operations, project management, worldwide product management and technology analysis.

Prior to her thirteen years with MasterCard, Wohlrab-Skinner worked at Deluxe Data Systems, Applied Communications, Inc. and ADP. In her role as a Vice President of Operations, Americas, Wohlrab-Skinner will oversee PaySys’ operations in the company’s most developed markets, as well as global product management for the entire company.

Matthew Leehun Lee, former Vice President/Country Manager of China for Visa International, is joining PaySys as Regional Director of Asian Business Development after seventeen years with Visa International. Lee, who honed his industry knowledge at such companies as Wells Fargo Bank, Citibank/Citicorp, and Westinghouse Datascore before joining Visa, is a veteran of business development in the Asian region. His broad experience in the areas of software development, strategic planning, product marketing, and project management, as well as his multicultural team building expertise, will be key for the further development and expansion of PaySys’ Asian operations.

PaySys International, Inc. is the established leader in credit card management systems with its industry-defining VisionPLUS suite, which combines the banking and retailing capabilities of legendary company products, CardPac and VISION21. With headquarters in Atlanta, GA, PaySys has offices worldwide and clients in over 30 countries on 6 continents. For more information, please call +1-407-660-0343 or visit the company’s web site at [][1].



Targeting Discover

After climbing to the ‘Platinum’ level earlier this year, Discover Financial Services is now targeting professional segments of the consumer market. This week Discover launched its ‘Platinum Professions Series’, according to CardWatch ([][1]). Among the first in the series is the ‘Information Technology Discover Platinum’. The ‘IT Discover’ card offers a special $20 ‘Cashback Bonus’ award for the first purchase made at and a 5% ‘Cashback Bonus’ award for every purchase made at The card also offers discounts and ‘Cashback Bonus’ awards for Ramada and participating merchants of Discover’s online ‘ShopCenter’. Card pricing is a 2.9% intro rate through April and a 12.99% fixed, go-to rate. Last month Discover launched the ‘Discover Educators Card’ which features a 5% ‘Cashback Bonus’ for purchases made at Zany Brainy stores.



Triton Certification

Triton Systems, Inc., the leading manufacturer of cash-dispensing automated teller machines for off-premise locations, announced the certification of Triton’s cash-dispensing ATMs by Fiserv, Inc.’s EFT Division, located in Portland, Oregon. The certification enables Fiserv EFT’s processing clients to readily deploy Triton ATMs. Triton’s equipment is now certified by nearly 35 electronic funds transfer processors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, representing a sixfold increase since 1995.

The industry’s leading processors, such as Fiserv EFT, are responding to high customer demand for a low-cost, dial-up ATM alternative. According to Dr. Burdette, the driving force behind certification is the soaring popularity of Triton’s industry-leading 9500 and 9600 series cash-dispensing ATMs, which are now installed in more than 20,000 locations across the U.S.

“To the extent that it’s economically practicable, it’s our policy to allow clients to select the ATM equipment they prefer to use,” said Grant Christenson, senior vice president of sales and service for Fiserv EFT. “A number of clients have requested Triton ATMs because they want to address the dial-up ATM marketplace with their merchant clients. Triton not only has the largest installed base, but also its ATMs feature low-cost dial-up technology and a compact size that allow the ATMs to be deployed in locations where a full-service ATM won’t do.”

“Because of Fiserv’s leadership position in providing EFT services and their reputation for excellent service, Triton is exceptionally pleased to add Fiserv EFT among the newest processors to certify Triton’s ATMs,” said Dr. Burdette.

The expanding list of processors that have certified Triton equipment continues to fuel Triton’s rapid growth among merchants that want to deploy Triton’s low-cost, cash-dispensing ATMs. “Most payment processors are now capable of driving Triton’s industry-leading ATMs,” said Dr. Burdette. “Triton is providing unprecedented flexibility by offering more processing alternatives than any other dial-up ATM vendor. We are also providing financial institutions and retail establishments with easy access to the industry’s most popular dial-up ATM product line.”

About Triton

As the leading manufacturer of cash-dispensing ATMs for off-premise locations, Triton is committed to redefining and leading the retail market for cash delivery systems. Triton is the third largest manufacturer of ATMs and ATM management software.

Triton’s product line includes the industry-leading 9600 series cash- dispensing ATMs, with optional communication interfaces such as CDPD, VSAT and Frame Relay. Additional products include the Triton Connect(TM) software package for accessing and controlling ATMs from a centralized location, ATMjr Demonstrators(TM) and ATMjr Plus CAS(TM) (Card Activation System) for financial institutions, the SuperScrip(TM) terminal, the Mako Cash Dispenser(TM) and the VendMate(TM) sidecar, which accepts cash and dispenses vending items such as tickets, certificates, and phone cards.

Triton ATMs are in use in more than 35,000 locations throughout the world. The company is headquartered in Long Beach, Mississippi. For more information, visit the Triton website at [][1].

About Fiserv, Inc.

Fiserv, Inc. (Nasdaq: FISV) is an independent, full-service provider of integrated data processing and information management systems to the financial industry. As a leading technology resource, Fiserv serves approximately 7,000 financial service providers worldwide, including banks, broker/dealers, credit unions, financial planners, investment advisors, insurance companies, mortgage banks and savings institutions. Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Fiserv also can be found on the World Wide Web at

About Fiserv EFT

Fiserv EFT is a business unit of Fiserv, Inc., and specializes in electronic fund transfer services to the financial industry. Fiserv EFT is located in Portland, Oregon, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.



Pathways 3Q/99

The Pathways Group Inc. announced that sales for the third quarter increased by 534% to $55,151 as compared to the third quarter of 1998. Sales for the nine months ended September 30, 1999 increased almost 400% to $112,801 over the nine months ended 1998. The company has processed almost $2,000,000 in transactions for the nine months ending September 30, 1999 compared to approximately $650,000 in the same period of 1998.

The company also expects the completion of its Sprinticket unattended kiosk installations at Deer Valley, Utah and Big Mountain, Montana, the smart card pilot project for Funtastic Traveling Shows in California, and the initial rollout of Official Hawaii Millennium Smart Cards under its agreement with the Hawaii Millennium Commission to occur in the fourth quarter of this year.

Upon release of this announcement, Carey F. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pathways said, “We are very excited with this latest development in our Company’s Evolution. Our business plan is working. We expect sales and revenues to continue to grow.” Mr. Daly went on to say; “Pathways’ ability to quickly provide cost effective customized, turnkey solutions to its smart card and kiosk customers differentiates Pathways from all of its competitors. I expect our sales to continue on an upward path for the foreseeable future.”

The Pathways Group, Inc., which recently celebrated its 12th anniversary, provides clients with innovative and unique solutions for securely creating, capturing and processing data and electronic transactions using custom application software and hardware systems. The company, established in 1987 by Carey Daly, has evolved into a leader in the development of custom software and hardware for electronic banking, data and transaction processing, and smart card applications. Pathways’ creation of proprietary “back office” systems allows for the capture and processing of data and transfer of funds via “ACH” protocol, the standard used in the banking industry for transfer of funds in retail, medical and institutional environments.


Fair, Isaac New Execs

Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., announces the addition of two senior executives to its staff. Henk J. Evenhuis will become the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. Linda Wagner has been named senior vice president of Corporate Marketing.

Henk Evenhuis

Evenhuis has over 30 years of finance experience, 19 as CFO with five technology companies where he was responsible for raising public and private capital and supporting profit and growth initiatives. From 1987 to 1998 he was executive vice president and CFO for Lam Research Corporation, a leading supplier of semi-conductor processing equipment. While there, Evenhuis negotiated key acquisitions, helped the company raise significant expansion capital, and participated in a 65 percent annual growth rate over a five-year period. Prior to that, he was CFO with four Silicon Valley emerging growth companies, and held various finance and accounting positions with other firms, including Memorex Corporation, Pfizer Corporation and Burroughs Corporation. Evenhuis holds a master’s degree in business administration from Santa Clara University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California Polytechnic Institute.

“I am very excited about joining Fair, Isaac and contributing to the company’s next wave of growth,” Evenhuis says.

“We are very pleased that Henk is joining us,” says Fair, Isaac’s newly appointed CEO, Tom Grudnowski. “His extensive experience, which includes leading a billion dollar public company through rapid expansion, will be an asset to us.”

Linda Wagner

Wagner has 25 years of business-to-business sales and marketing experience in the financial services, technology and real estate industries. Most recently she has been senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services. Prior to that, she was global marketing manager for customer relationship management solutions as well as Internet banking program manager at Hewlett-Packard Company. Previous positions include regional director of sales at Freddie Mac and vice president and national account manager at Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation. Linda holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois and did post-graduate work at Northwestern University.

“I got to know Fair, Isaac while at HP, when the two companies forged a strategic alliance for customer relationship management,” Wagner says. “I was particularly impressed by the quality of its people, its corporate values and its commitment to continued leadership in technology, solutions innovation and market expansion.”

“We are fortunate to have a person with Linda’s talents join Fair, Isaac at this crucial juncture,” says Robert Heller, executive vice president at Fair, Isaac. “Her expertise will be key to Fair, Isaac’s successful pursuit of new markets and the strengthening of our leadership position in financial services.”

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, eBusiness, telecommunications and healthcare industries. Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Fair, Isaac employs 1600 people in 18 offices worldwide. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 1998, the company reported net income of $24.3 million on revenues of $245.5 million. For more information visit [][1]