Extensity Signs AmEx

VISA-backed Extensity Inc. formed a new alliance with American Express Wednesday to integrate the AmEx ‘Corporate Purchasing Card’ into Extensity ‘Purchase Reqs’, Extensity’s solution for automating internal procurement request and approval processes. The agreement enables companies to create a seamless system to allows employees to directly purchase smaller-ticket items without the complicated paperwork of traditional procurement systems. Extensity ‘Purchase Reqs’ is part of the Extensity ‘E-Business Application Suite 4.0’, which includes Extensity ‘Expense Reports’, Extensity ‘Travel Plans’ and Extensity ‘TimeSheets’.


SCF Names Chairman

The Smart Card Forum, a multi-industry organization working to accelerate the widespread acceptance and application of smart card technology, Wednesday announced its new Chairman, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors for the 1999-2000 year. Donna Farmer, President and CEO of the Smart Card Forum, welcomed Allen Gilstrap, Vice President at American Express, as the new Smart Card Forum Chairman of the Board at the Forum’s 7th Annual Meeting held here today. The Smart Card Forum’s Executive Committee and Board are made up of industry leaders and visionaries that will guide the organization into the new millennium.

“The smart card industry in the US has reached a turning point,” said Gilstrap. “The Smart Card Forum will be essential in serving as a principal industry champion and leading provider of education programs. I am pleased to be working with Donna Farmer in leading the Forum into 2000.” Farmer, in welcoming Gilstrap as the new Chairman at the Smart Card Forum’s Annual Meeting, said, “I look forward to an exciting new year with the Forum, and to working closely with Allen in continuing to build our membership base and enhancing our services.”

The Smart Card Forum Board of Directors also includes the following distinguished individuals who retain seats on the board: Miguel Abramowicz, Vice President, CitiGroup; Louis Gasparini, Vice President, Excite@Home; Gerald Hubbard, Vice President, Bull; Gilles Lisimaque, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President, Gemplus; Mike Love, Vice President, First Union; Jerry Smith, Smart Card Opportunity Manager, IBM; Randy Vanderhoof, Director of Product Marketing, Schlumberger; Bette Wasserman, Vice President, Bank of America; and Jody Zimmerman, Global Business Development Director, Motorola. They are joined by the following newly elected Board Members:

— Patrick Gauthier, Vice President, VISA

— Kevin Gillick, Director of Market Development, DataCard

— Rick Mace, President and CEO, First Access

— Tambra Nichols, Vice President, Wachovia Bank, and

— Michael Orr, Director of Business Development, 3GI (Audit Rep)

As a part of the Smart Card Forum Board of Directors elections, the following individuals were also elected to the Executive Committee:

— Gilles Lisimaque, Gemplus, elected as Vice Chairman

— Patrick Gauthier, Visa, elected as Treasurer

— Rick Mace, First Access, elected as Secretary

— Tambra Nichols, Wachovia Bank, elected as Assistant Treasurer

— Kevin Gillick, DataCard, elected as Assistant Secretary

In addition, Mike Dinning, US Department of Transportation, was elected as the Federal Government Advisor to the Board.

“With so many key representatives of leading smart card technology innovators and implementors leading our organization, The Smart Card Forum is well-positioned to fulfill its goals of achieving widespread smart card usage in the US in the new millennium,” said SCF President and CEO Donna Farmer. “As we progress into our new membership year, I would like to thank Bill Barr, past Chairman of the Smart Card Forum and our departing Board Members: Catherine Allen, BITS; Jean McKenna, VISA; Michael Tempora, MasterCard; Bryan Ichikawa, SPYRUS; Julie Krueger, SPYRUS; Eddie Esquivel, State of Texas; and Tom Gregg, 3GI. All have devoted time and attention to further the industry through their dedicated efforts with the Smart Card Forum.”

About The Smart Card Forum

The Smart Card Forum is a non-profit, multi-industry organization of nearly 200 members working to accelerate the widespread acceptance of multiple application smart card technology by bringing together, in an open forum, leading users and technologists from both the public and private sectors. The Smart Card Forum is the leading organization for education and awareness of topical issues associated with the use and adoption of smart card systems. The Smart Card Forum also operates the Smart Card Forum Educational Institute, the industry-leading course dedicated to providing smart card education that has set the standard in the industry. The curriculum is based on leading edge educational models and methodologies utilizing experienced instructors who are experts in the smart card industry. For more information about The Smart Card Forum, log on to the organization’s Web site at [http://www.smartcardforum.org][1].

[1]: http://www.smartcardforum.org/


Medsite MBNA MasterCard

Medsite, the physician’s home on the Internet, announced yesterday a partnership with MBNA America Bank, the leading issuer of affinity credit cards, to offer the Medsite Platinum Plus MasterCard to physicians and other members of the medical community. The credit card will be made available to all members of the medical community that visit the Medsite Money site as well as via traditional marketing efforts.

“The Internet has spawned an excess of choice in new online efforts to sell everything from prescriptions to books to medical supplies,” said Sundeep Bhan, Founder and CEO of Medsite. “We believe that the Internet is the inevitable sales channel in the healthcare industry and as a major player in this space, the ability for physicians to easily make purchases is a critical part of what we offer.

The Medsite credit card will enable users to make purchases wherever MasterCard is accepted, as well offer benefits to those customers who use the Medsite card for transactions on Medsite’s leading e-commerce channels, including Medsite MedBookstore, Software and Supplies.

The Medsite credit card offering is one of many features to be found on Medsite’s eFinancial site for the medical community, Medsite Money. Medsite Money provides essential products, services and content to satisfy the full spectrum of financial needs educational, business and personal – of the practicing and retired physician, medical student and resident.

Current offerings on Medsite Money include: stock quotes, charting, IPO information, healthcare business news, personal stock portfolio monitoring, equipment leasing, financial planning consultation, alternative investments, insurance and many practice management services.

“With 62 percent of the more than 700,000 physicians self-employed, and thus facing significant time constraints on a daily basis, we saw the opportunity to present an eFinancial destination that offers physician-focused financial products and services that would enable the physician to spend more time with patients, while still growing the business with confidence and security,” said Bhan.

About Medsite.com

Headquartered in New York City’s Silicon Alley, Medsite.com, Inc. is the physician’s home on the Internet. The company, which operates Medsite.com ([www.medsite.com][1]), offers a comprehensive range of user-friendly solutions in the categories of medical ecommerce, medical information, and communication services. Building on its first Internet business, MedBookStore, Medsite has become a healthcare destination site offering an extensive selection of medical books, software, journals and supplies, electronic physician credentialing, the latest medical news, a scheduling tool for the medical community, a customizable finance channel, continuing medical education, and numerous other services, geared towards “making the practice click.”

Founded in 1995, Medsite currently draws over 12,000 visitors a day and has approximately 150,000 registered users. The company has developed strategic partnerships and alliances with industry-leading hospitals, medical schools, associations, and healthcare companies from more than 60 countries. Medsite’s customers include physicians, residents, nurses, medical students, physician assistants and pharmaceutical companies.

About MBNA

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has more than $66 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.

This release and prior releases are available on the KCSA Public Relations Worldwide website at [www.kcsa.com][2]

[1]: http://www.medsite.com/
[2]: http://www.kcsa.com/


SmartCity 5.1 Card

CT-based ICL launched a new version of its SmartCity multi-application smart card system, ‘SmartCity 5.1’, which includes a new and advanced loyalty application. The new application, called ‘SmartCity Instant Award’, allows cardholders to collect loyalty points on every payment transaction made. The cardholder is awarded points either when using the card’s e-purse or when using other payment methods such as their credit or debit card. ‘SmartCity Instant Award’ is able to support one to 250 loyalty programs on the same system. These can be programs run by an individual merchant or by a group of merchants pooling their points together. SmartCity has been installed in more than 75 sites worldwide with 1.5 million cards in use every day.


Holiday Numbers

There is no end to the guesstimates on holiday spending. Yesterday CA-based Gartner Group projected consumers will spend $12.2 billion during the holiday season compared to $4.5 billion last year. Earlier this week Jupiter Communications projected consumers will spend $6 billion on-line compared to $3.1 billion last year. Garner Group says the US will dominate online holiday shopping with 70% of revenue. Europe is projected to account for 15.5% of revenue, while Asia/Pacific is forecast to have 7% of consumer electronic commerce this holiday season.


Fifth Third to Sell DirectAlert

Metris Direct Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Metris Companies Inc., one of the fastest growing direct marketing companies in the United States, has added Fifth Third Bank to its list of fee-based service clients.

Under the terms of a recently signed agreement, Fifth Third Bank cardholders will have the opportunity to purchase DirectAlert, a service that gives members an easy-to-read copy of their credit bureau report, automatic report updates and valuable newsletters every quarter.

DirectAlert further helps customers understand their credit report and credit standing by providing a “members’ only” credit expert hotline staffed with highly trained and certified representatives.

“We’re very excited about our marketing agreement with Fifth Third Bank,” said Metris President and CEO Ronald N. Zebeck. “This alliance offers Metris another opportunity to extend our fee-based services to those who hold cards other than our own.”

Fifth Third Bank is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $32 billion in assets and operates 12 affiliate banks with almost 500 full-service Banking Centers, including over 100 Bank Mart locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 1,175 Jeanie ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Arizona, and Michigan. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Retail, Commercial, Investment Advisors, and Midwest Payment systems, the Bank’s data processing subsidiary.

Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and fee-based services. Based in St. Louis Park, Minn., Metris also has operations in Phoenix, Ariz .; Jacksonville, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; Baltimore, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. It employs approximately 3,000 people.

Visit Metris on the Internet at [www.metriscompanies.com][1] and [www.idirectalert.com][2].

[1]: http://www.metriscompanies.com/
[2]: http://www.idirectalert.com/


Dilbert VISA

After leaking news all week of its largest cobranding deal to date, NextCard and United Media officially rolled out the new ‘DILBERT NextCard VISA’ yesterday. The new ‘VISA’ card is available in three designs: ‘Corporate Platinum’, ‘Cyber Classic’ and the personalized ‘PictureCard’ for which cardholders select their favorite character from a gallery of custom images online. Cardholders may choose their own official card titles such as “Supreme Ruler” or “Evil Director of HR.” The most unique feature is the option to not receive a paper credit card statement. Instead, ‘DILBERT’ cardholders will be able to view their eStatement and pay their bill online at the NextCard web site. In return, NextCard will issue a $0.50 credit each month to cardholders. Applicants are offered a choice of a Dogbert Gund Doll, Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook, or the Dilbert travel mug and Cell Mates cube magnet, if approved.


NPC Names New CEO

Thomas A. Wimsett has been elected president and chief executive officer by the board of directors of National Processing, Inc., a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and corporate outsourcing solutions. He succeeds Robert E. Showalter, 62, who is retiring from the company.

“Tom Wimsett has been instrumental in focusing National Processing on its core businesses of merchant credit card processing, imaging and travel-related services,” said Robert G. Siefers, chairman of National Processing and vice chairman and chief financial officer of National City Corporation. “Tom is knowledgeable and respected in his profession, and he will provide effective strategic direction and day-to-day leadership for the organization.”

In related actions, National Processing’s directors accepted the retirement of Showalter from the board and voted to increase the number of directors from seven to eight. The board appointed Jon L. Gorney, National City executive vice president, and J. Armando Ramirez, National City senior vice president, as directors.

Wimsett, 35, previously served as executive vice president of National Processing’s Merchant Services division. He began his career with National Processing in 1983 and has held a variety of managerial positions in each of the company’s three business lines. In 1988 Wimsett was one of the primary executives responsible for establishing National Processing’s first international operations in Juarez, Mexico. In 1994 he was responsible for the integration of two check acceptance firms acquired by National Processing. Wimsett was named executive vice president of National Processing and president of NPC Check Services, Inc. in 1995. In 1997 his responsibilities were expanded to include the company’s Merchant Card Services business.

Wimsett graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and attended graduate school at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a member of the Treasury Management Association, Electronic Transaction Association, MasterCard’s Acquirer Committee and Visa’s U.S.A. Acquirer Council. Wimsett resides in Bardstown, Ky., with his wife Rhonda and their three children. He is a member of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association and is actively involved in coaching youth basketball.

Showalter has headed National Processing since March 1997, following assignments as president and chief executive officer of National City Bank, Northeast and National City Bank, Northwest. Previously he was president of CommerceNational Bank in Lexington, where in 1986 he oversaw the merger of two banks into CommerceNational. Prior to joining CommerceNational, he was with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for nearly 25 years and spent 10 years as senior vice president in charge of the Cincinnati office.

“Bob Showalter has had a long and distinguished career in the banking industry,” said Siefers. “Always a leader in his profession, he has provided outstanding service to clients, our company and the communities in which he served throughout his various assignments in Kentucky and Ohio. We have benefited from his wisdom and experience, and we wish him the best in his well-earned retirement.”

Showalter earned an undergraduate degree from Marietta College and a master’s in business administration from Case Western Reserve University and also attended Harvard’s Advanced Management Program. He held numerous community positions throughout his career, including chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Toledo, head of the United Way campaign in Lexington and board member for hospitals in Cincinnati, Toledo and Lexington.

Showalter and his wife Shirley have four children and three grandchildren. They plan to divide their time between residences in Lexington, Ky., and Naples, Fla., and to pursue their interests in travel and gardening.

National Processing is a leading provider of transaction processing services and customized processing solutions. Approximately 88 percent of the company is owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC).


Bull Becomes Proton VAR

Proton World and Bull Smart Cards and Terminals announced yesterday that they had signed an agreement making Bull a worldwide, non-exclusive value-added reseller of Proton for Windows/NT.

The Proton for Windows/NT package allows all sorts and sizes of organizations with Windows/NT systems to enjoy the benefits of Proton-based multiple-application smart cards: from a few dozen cards to a few hundred thousand cards, the system is designed to suit the requirements of closed user groups of all kinds: financial institutions, companies, educational campuses, amusement parks, local government facility users, transport operator customers etc. Proton applications successfully implemented so far include electronic purse (for small payments at shops, vending machines, secure Internet payments, public transport ticketing etc.), security access control, customer loyalty programs, cardholder identification, healthcare refunds and telecommunications.

Bull is now licensed to sell the Proton for Windows/NT smart card management software package to its customers, incorporating it into its “SmartPurse” solutions which include Proton-compatible hardware (cards, personal balance readers, and EFT-POS terminals), and software (payment servers and systems integration). Part of Groupe Bull, the world-wide IT specialists, Bull Smart Cards and Terminals is the world’s No. 1 supplier of secure microprocessor cards (debit/credit cards and electronic purses) for the banking sector.

“Bull Smart Cards and Terminals welcomes this agreement as further proof of our commitment to continuing our long-term partnership with Proton World,” said David Levy, president of Bull Smart Cards and Terminals. “With Proton for Windows/NT we are able to offer the world’s leading smart card technology to organizations traditionally thought of as too small to enjoy the benefits of Proton.”

“Proton World is very pleased to further develop our long-standing relationship with Bull with this agreement,” said Armand Linkens, managing director of Proton World. “We developed Proton for Windows/NT to enable as many organizations as possible to use our technology and benefit from its unrivalled speed, security and flexibility. We are confident that Bull will find new opportunities to integrate our technology into systems around the world.”

About Proton World

PROTON WORLD was created by major smart card players (American Express, Banksys, ERG, Interpay and Visa International) to give a boost to common smart card and electronic purses standards. Proton World is a high-technology company which delivers global smart card solutions world-wide. It continues the development and licensing of Proton smart card applications, which have already been licensed in 17 countries. The Proton technology is the most broadly implemented in national roll-outs and is the most actively used world-wide: the Proton-based smart card schemes have together performed more than 103 million purse transactions since they have been introduced. It also has the largest acceptance base, with more than 250,000 terminals installed.

Multiple applications are available today on the Proton platform (for example electronic commerce, access control, loyalty schemes, telecommunications services, mass transit, university campus cards etc.).

Proton will support a variety of technologies and specifications to deliver open, interoperable and global smart card solutions. It will support and implement the Common Electronic Purse Specifications (CEPS) to ensure interoperability of electronic purse schemes world-wide. For more information, please visit our web site at [www.protonworld.com][1].

About Bull Smart Cards & Terminals

Bull Smart Cards & Terminals is the industry leader in the field of secured financial transactions. Bull designs, develops and markets global smart card solutions for financial, loyalty, transport, telecommunications, healthcare and other applications. Products include contact-contactless cards plus a full range of general purpose and EFT/POS terminals (in partnership with Ingenico), automated teller machines, as well as associated software and services.

Bull Smart Cards & Terminals is the acknowledged industry leader in research, development and security related to smart cards & related terminals. The company is also the worldwide leader in electronic purse cards. Since inventing the microprocessor smart card in 1976, Bull has obtained more than 1200 patents in the field, and has received certification for smart card security that is the highest level ever achieved by a smart card.

In 1998, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals earned revenues of 1450 million FRF. Through the Bull international network, the division achieves 80% of its revenue outside France More information can be obtained by visiting our web site at [www.bull.net][2].

[1]: http://www.protonworld.com/
[2]: http://www.bull.net/


Discover 3Q/99

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s Credit Services Division, which includes Discover Financial Services, reported net income of $202 million for the fiscal third quarter ending August 31, a 10% increase over last year. MSDW says the credit division has finally been re-energized after the sell-off of the ‘Bravo’ and ‘Prime Option’ credit cards as well as the unloading of SPS to Associates. Credit quality improved substantially over the past twelve months as the net charge-off rate declined to 5.29% from 6.56%. The over-30-day delinquency rate also declined to 6.34% compared to 7.19% a year ago. Transaction volume also increased 24% to a record $18.3 billion driven by increased sales volume and balance transfers. Managed consumer loans ended the quarter at $34.4 billion. However, marketing and business development expenses continue to increase. For the third quarter Credit Services spent $253 million, primarily as a result of the continued promotion of ‘Discover Platinum’ and a higher level of cardmember rewards due to increased transaction volume. The Discover/ NOVUS Network added 117,000 new merchant locations during the quarter. The division says the next quarter should show results from the new ‘Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’ credit card which was launched in the United Kingdom during August. For more 3Q/99 details on MSDW/Discover Financial Services visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


FDC SkyTeller

First Data assumed full ownership of CO-based SkyTeller, LLC yesterday. FDC agreed to assume all of SkyTeller’s debt under SkyTeller’s ‘Plan of Reorganization’. SkyTeller, a development stage company, provides foreign currency exchange services for international travelers. Through SkyTeller In-Flight Services, international travelers can purchase destination currency from the comfort of their seat while on board international flights. And, through SkyTeller Pre-Flight Services, currently available in the U.S., travelers can purchase destination currency for delivery to their home or office from participating travel agents, by SkyTeller’s web site or by calling an 800 number. When aboard an airliner, flight attendants operate an automated POS device that performs the currency calculations for dispensing currency of the destination country and processing payments. SkyTeller accepts multiple currencies, travelers cheques, and credit cards for payment. The POS device also processes in-flight duty free purchases.


Under 20 Card

While First USA targets the 50+ group with its ‘Reader’s Digest’ card and American Express goes after the GenX and GenY segment with its new ‘Blue’ card, a San Francisco-based company announced Tuesday an Internet payment card for teens. Cybermoola Inc. premiered its ‘Cybermoola’ card yesterday which combines the features of a pre-paid phone card and the benefits of an online cash account. Teens activate their ‘Cybermoola’ cards by filling out a brief form at the Cybermoola web site. Upon completion of registration, they receive an account and PIN number. The card can then be used at participating e-merchant sites such as CelebritySightings.com, EZCD.com, Outletmall.com and SaulGoodman.com. The cards are available in denominations of $10-$500 and can be purchased and recharged online. As part of the charter launch, the company will be giving away 100,000 ‘Cybermoola’ Internet cash cards worth a total of nearly $2 million. The cards will be distributed between now and the end of October, distributed mainly to teens 13-18 years of age in select major markets including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The sampling program will be conducted at a variety of teen-oriented events such as movies, concerts, school assemblies, and through email.