C&W Global Calling Cards

Priority Call Inc. announced Tuesday that it has been selected by Cable & Wireless, Global Card Services to provide equipment and services to support expansion of its postpaid and prepaid calling card businesses around the globe.

The deal will effectively enhance Cable & Wireless’ ability to compete in one of the fastest-growing sectors of the international telecommunications market.

Cable & Wireless already has millions of calling cardholders worldwide. Utilizing the new global database technology developed by Priority Call to enhance its ORYX(R) service node, Cable & Wireless will be able to offer customers what are essentially “roaming card” services. This will allow users to place long distance telephone calls using the same card, whether they are in London, Chicago, or Sydney.

Since the ORYX system doesn’t require that the call be trunked back to the home node, the calls are more efficiently and cost effectively placed through the Cable & Wireless network.

This agreement represents the first of three Priority Call systems to be installed in Cable & Wireless’ expanding global network. The first node was installed in the United Kingdom in late 1998. The additional platforms are to be deployed in the near future, and are important benchmarks in Cable & Wireless’ efforts to globalize and brand its calling card business.

“It is important for us to have a platform supplier that can allow us to expand capabilities in this evolving market,” said Phil Mehrtens, development and operations director of Cable & Wireless’ Global Card Services division. “With Priority Call, we will be able to implement innovative systems that allow Cable & Wireless to offer customers cost-effective global calling card options.”

“Cable & Wireless is an emerging force in the international calling card business,” commented Lois Andreasen, vice president of marketing for Priority Call. “Utilizing innovative technologies will expand the reach of its vast communications resources, allowing the company to effectively compete with other network-based carriers.”

About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless is one of the world’s leading providers of integrated communications and a major global carrier of communications traffic: Internet, data, voice, and video. Its businesses around the world offer a range of services spanning interactive entertainment and information, broadband data, Internet access and broadcast television, as well as fixed and mobile voice.

With 17 million customers in 70 countries, Cable & Wireless is one of the world’s largest carriers of international traffic, providing mobile communications in more than 30 countries. Cable & Wireless plc is listed on the Stock Exchanges of London, New York (NYSE:CWP) and Frankfurt.

About Priority Call Inc.

Priority Call, a member of LHS Group Inc., is a leading provider of open, distributed telecommunications solutions for next generation public networks. Through Priority Call’s ORYX(R) platform, service providers gain the ability to market a wide range of enhanced services including prepaid calling, enhanced messaging, and unified communications.

Organizations throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and North and South America have chosen Priority Call to deliver applications and services that meet the growing demand for sophisticated communications in new and evolving networks. To learn more about Priority Call, please visit [www.prioritycall.com][1].

LHS provides convergent client/server customer care, billing, and customer acquisition software and services to the global telecommunications industry. The company is listed with NASDAQ (LHSG) and on the Frankfurt Neuer Markt Exchange (LHI).

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


Metris 2Q/99

Metris reported Tuesday that its managed credit card loan portfolio increased by 26%, or $1.3 billion, during the second quarter, resulting in a portfolio of approximately $6.5 billion at June 30. The second quarter receivables growth was primarily due to the acquisition of a portion of GE Capital’s consumer bank portfolio, representing approximately $1.1 billion of receivables. Credit card accounts increased compared to the prior quarter, totaling approximately 3.4 million at the end of the second quarter. This growth is attributable to the over 275,000 new credit cards originated during the quarter and over 485,000 accounts acquired from GE Capital. Managed credit card fees, interchange and other credit card income increased 37% to $79.3 million for the second quarter of 1999, from $58.0 million in the second quarter of 1998. For the six months ended June 30, managed credit card fees, interchange and other credit card income was $163.9 million compared to $114.3 million for the six month period ended June 30, 1998. These increases were primarily due to the growth in the managed credit card portfolio, as well as the repricing of credit card fees. The managed net charge-off rate was 10.1% for the second quarter, compared to 9.4% for the prior quarter and 10.6% for the second quarter of 1998. The managed delinquency rate (30+ days) was 6.3% at June 30, compared to 8.0% at Mar. 31, and 7.4% at June 30, 1998. For complete 2Q/99 financials for Metris visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])


2Q/99: $6.5b $1.3b 4.2m 2.6m 5.0m
1Q/99: $5.1b $0.9b 3.9m 2.5m 4.7m

Source: CardData’s 2Q/99 Portfolio Survey (www.carddata.com)

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


Ethnic Calling Cards

Atlanta-based Rapid Link Communication Services launched its first two retail prepaid phone cards yesterday. The ‘KoreaLink’ and ‘GeorgiaLink’ cards are geared towards members of ethnic communities living in the U.S. RLCS markets and distributes its ‘KoreaLink’ prepaid card specifically to the Korean communities in Georgia and California. The ‘GeorgiaLink’ card, distributed through TeleDiscount Communications, offers competitive international rates for calls placed to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador.


TSYS Instant Credit

Total System Services, Inc. announced the signing of a multi-year agreement that will allow Hewlett-Packard’s customers to apply for and receive instant approval for a line of credit to lease or purchase Hewlett-Packard computer-related merchandise via its Internet shopping village (). The relationship with Hewlett-Packard is an electronic retail direct to consumer initiative. TSYS is the world’s largest retail processor of credit cards.

Based on the nature of the product offering and the market opportunities domestically, the addition of Hewlett-Packard is an important step towards expanding TSYS’ offerings in the e-commerce world. This arrangement provides credit account processing, facilities management services and remittance processing services to Hewlett-Packard’s domestic market. Through TSYS’ full suite of e-commerce products and services, branded as SureTransact(SM), consumers will be able to apply for credit and receive real-time decisions in a matter of seconds allowing immediate purchasing over the Internet. In addition, consumers may also pay bills and receive customer service over the Internet.

TSYS President Philip W. Tomlinson said, “Hewlett-Packard is a world-class organization, and TSYS welcomes the opportunity to provide them with turnkey account processing and facilities management services. We look forward to helping Hewlett-Packard conduct commerce with its customers using our cutting-edge e-commerce products. This opportunity puts us one step closer to achieving the TSYS vision of being the global processor of choice for commerce.”

“As the computing industry leader in customer satisfaction, Hewlett-Packard remains committed to providing customers with the very best service and support. We needed a way to offer our virtual mall shoppers a fast, easy and secure way to obtain credit — and then support them with a top-notch customer service team. We look forward to working closely with TSYS to meet the demands and expectations of our fast-growing electronic business community,” said Bob Slaby, Hewlett-Packard’s e-commerce business manager.

TSYS is one of the world’s leading information technology processors of data, transactions and payments 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 more than 192 million accounts, making it possible for an estimated 269 million cardholders to use their cards any time, anywhere. Headquartered in Columbus, Ga., TSYS () is an 80.8 percent owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ([http://www.synovus.com][1]) named the Best Company to Work for in America by FORTUNE magazine.

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


Pathways Signs Big Mt

WA-based The Pathways Group signed a new contract to install the ‘SPRINTICKET’ unattended ticketing system at The Big Mountain Ski and Summer Resort in Montana. Pathways will provide credit card authorization at the time of purchase and end-of-day account reconciliation. The ‘SPRINTICKET’ dispensers are also designed to accept smart cards. A program is currently underway at Big Mountain that allows frequent skiers to purchase lift tickets at discount rates using a special proprietary card.


GlobelD Opens US Office

GlobeID Software, developer of world class electronic commerce transaction software, is expanding into the US market following the opening of an office in San Mateo, California. Primarily focused on business development, the US office will be the driving force behind establishing sales and marketing strategic alliances with key IT industry players. Targeting major manufacturers and companies developing solutions for web-based and wireless e-commerce, GlobeID’s focus will be on worldwide level agreements, maximizing the reach of its real time transaction processing software – @dvanced Payment Solution Suite.

Established in October 1997, GlobeID Software develops and markets world class electronic commerce transaction solutions enabling high volume operators to provide Advanced Payment Services to online communities around the world. Tom Wills has been appointed Vice President, Business Development, by GlobeID to build the company’s US market presence. Tom has over 17 years experience in the electronic payments and e-commerce market having previously worked with the Internet commerce group at VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard. In this role he was heavily involved in the development of the SET electronic commerce protocol and VeriFone’s Internet payment strategy. Tom has also worked for both CommerceNet and Visa International.

Fabrice de Comarmond, Executive Vice President, GlobeID said “Our US operations are wholly focussed on a business development strategy. It was essential to us that we have a physical presence in Silicon Valley- one that enabled us to gain access to both the IT industry and its culture. San Mateo was the obvious choice.” “While it is too early to talk about specific alliances, we are targeting those players in the web-based and wireless e-commerce sector as well as the major forces in the hardware and software arena through which we can forge joint ventures in solutions based sales and marketing for our product suite,” he concluded.

GlobeID’s @dvanced Payment(TM) Solution Suite is a world class advanced Internet payment solution providing the financial services industry, payment aggregators and large billers with a strategic foundation to enter the electronic commerce market. By 2001 internet commerce is expected to exceed $220 billion (IDC) and Internet billing over $800 billion (BARS and Fletcher & Spaght). At present the Internet payment methods available are severely limited and wholly inadequate for the forthcoming increased mass-market demand due to the focus on high cost and lack of security. The @dvanced Payment(TM) Suite ensures that the legacy world, synonymous with the larger, established institutions can interact with the Internet world. De Comarmond concluded, “We are targeting the US as this market is leading the way in e-commerce applications and take-up. The financial, telco and utility sectors here are highly competitive. With ever increasing Internet adoption and demand for the benefits that this technology provides, those companies that want to remain ahead will have to introduce real time Internet payment systems. It is with this in mind we hope that our @dvanced portfolio can make this move to Internet easier through the development of business alliances at a global level with key industry players.”


WingspanBank.com & Juno Deal

Juno Online Services, Inc. and WingspanBank.com today jointly announced the rollout of a five-year strategic marketing alliance. This alliance could generate multimillion dollars of revenue for Juno if certain performance thresholds are met and the alliance runs to term. The alliance, originally entered into with First USA, gives WingspanBank.com certain exclusive rights to market credit cards and a selected set of banking-related services to Juno’s millions of subscribers.

The WingspanBank.com campaign, which began appearing over Juno in May, includes a coordinated campaign of interactive advertisements targeted to specific segments of Juno’s subscriber base. Subscribers receive offers for a variety of WingspanBank.com products, including credit cards and certain consumer banking services ranging from checking accounts and CDs to consumer loans and financial planning tools. Subscribers can complete and submit applications for these products and services over Juno’s secure proprietary network. “By working with WingspanBank.com, we can provide our subscribers not only with a wide range of top-quality financial services, but also with a level of convenience they can only get through the Internet,” said Jordan Birnbaum, Juno’s senior vice president of business development. “As more and more people bring their financial lives online, Internet and financial companies represent valuable business allies. We are excited to be working with WingspanBank.com.”

About WingspanBank.com


() is a subsidiary of Bank One Corporation (NYSE: ONE). WingspanBank.com is the new powerhouse in personal finance, offering consumers unparalleled freedom and choice in managing their money. WingspanBank.com provides consumers with a wide range of financial products and services brought together at one Web site, including traditional banking, investment and planning services, and objective search tools.

About Juno Online Services, Inc.

Juno Online Services, Inc. is a provider of Internet-related services to millions of computer users throughout the United States. The company offers several levels of service, ranging from basic dial-up Internet e-mail–which is provided to the end user for free–to full, competitively priced access to the World Wide Web. Since the launch of Juno’s basic e-mail service in April 1996, more than 7 million total Juno accounts have been created. Juno’s revenues are derived primarily from the subscription fees charged for certain billable services, from the sale of advertising, and from the direct sale of products to Juno subscribers.

This press release may be deemed to contain forward-looking information. Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements, including without limitation any statements as to future events or future financial results of Juno, may be significantly and materially impacted by risks and uncertainties. In evaluating such statements, readers should specifically consider various factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated, including without limitation factors described in Juno’s reports and documents filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Royal Bank’s PowerWallet

Industry analysts estimate that about two thirds of all Internet purchases are abandoned midstream, mostly due to the time required for shoppers to input all requested information once they are ready to buy. This fall, with a secure electronic wallet developed by Qpass and eHNC, Royal Bank customers will be able to shop on the Internet quickly and easily. The PowerWallet, which will accompany consumers on their shopping trips in the virtual world, will store important information required to complete Internet credit card purchases.

PowerWallet, developed by Qpass and eHNC and unveiled this week at Internet World in Chicago, gives online purchases the speed and convenience of an express checkout lane. Royal Bank is first in Canada and among the first banks in North America to provide secure e-wallets to Internet shoppers.

“The introduction of digital wallets will boost the growth of e-commerce in Canada,” says Al McGale, Vice President, eCommerce@Cards for Royal Bank. “PowerWallet is the kind of innovation Royal Bank is committed to bringing to our online customers.”

“If two-thirds of customers in line at your neighborhood grocery store threw up their hands in frustration before reaching the cash register, you can bet someone would be doing something about it,” said Chase Franklin, Founder and CEO of Qpass. “Our goal with PowerWallet is to eliminate the lengthy order processes, the hassle of keeping track of different passwords and the general insecurity of purchasing online.”

PowerWallet assists Internet shoppers in many ways:

– With PowerWallet, shoppers need to fill out their credit card and billing information just once. It’s stored securely in the Qpass network data centre, then activated with the simple click of a computer mouse, completing transactions on the Web.

– PowerWallet “learns” new forms and adapts to the frequent changes merchants make to forms, through eHNC’s free-form text analysis and adaptive learning technology. The more an individual uses the PowerWallet, the more personalized and helpful the whole Qpass network becomes.

– PowerWallet gives users the tools to keep receipts of your online purchases, while storing Web shopping preferences, including site-specific passwords.

“This is the year of the digital wallet,” said Michael Thiemann, CEO and president of eHNC, the Internet solutions division of HNC. “eHNC understands the needs of the e-commerce triad, merchants, consumers and banks. Today, online merchants require shoppers to fill out individual forms for their site. It’s like asking a shopper to fill out an application every time they want to make a purchase at a new store. PowerWallet lets online shoppers provide information once and shop anywhere on the Web.”

Royal Bank expects to offer a pilot program of PowerWallets to clients this fall. After users register, the information is directly loaded into their PowerWallet account via a secure, proprietary communications channel. The one-click PowerWallet button will automatically be added to the toolbar of their Internet browser.

Royal Bank (RY) is Canada’s premier global financial services group and a leading provider of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and corporate and investment banking. Royal Bank and its key subsidiaries Royal Trust, RBC Dominion Securities, RBC Insurance, and Royal Bank Action Direct have 60,000 employees who serve 10 million clients through more than 1,500 branches and offices in over 30 countries.


Calling Card Market Study

According to new research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, the U.S. Card Calling Services Market has shown substantial growth, reporting revenues totaling approximately $10 billion in revenues for 1998. F&S says the card calling services market is at the development stage of its life cycle, although it is still exhibiting rapid growth. Card calling services will continue to see substantial revenue growth for the next three to five years. The new study states the primary contributing factor to the growth has been the increased marketing and promotion of prepaid card calling services by major telecommunications carriers and their increased distribution through recognized retail channels. Other drivers behind the lucrative nature of the card calling services industry include increased competition exerting downward pressure on card rates, the convenience of calling cards, and the significant increase in mobile workforce and business travelers. Restraints in this market include price wars that reduce the perceived market value, growth in the prepaid cellular telephone market and the imposition of pay phone compensation.


Citibank 2Q/99

Citigroup reported yesterday that core income for cards unit increased 96% to $267 million driven by the performance of its acquired AT&T Universal Card Services portfolio and the recently acquired Mellon portfolio. Revenues rose 10% primarily from risk-based fee increases, a 15% rise in sales volume and 13% growth in receivables in U.S. bankcards over the prior year quarter. Receivables reached $70.3 billion and accounts rose 4%, or 1.7 million. Credit continued to improve, as net charge-offs as a percentage of average receivables in the U.S. bankcard portfolio fell to 4.63% from 5.65% in the prior year period and 4.72% in the 1999 first quarter. Internationally Citigroup entered into a co-branding alliance with Cathay Pacific Airways and launched its bankcard product in Hungary and Guam during the second quarter. For complete 2Q/99 financials for Citigroup visit CardData (www.carddata.com).


2Q/99 1Q/99 4Q/98 2Q/98
RECV: $70.3b $69.4b $69.6b $62.0b
Q-VOL: $40.8b $36.8b $42.2b $35.4b
ACCTS: 41.1m 41.4m 40.5m 39.4m
CO: 4.63% 4.72% 4.82% 5.65%
DEL: 1.36% 1.46% 1.45% 1.56%

CO-charge-offs as a percentage of average receivables; DEL- 90+ day
delinquency rate, percentage of dollars past due

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)


iAuthorizer Terminal

Atomic Software announces its new iAuthorizer Web Terminal Internet payment software that was created for low-volume Internet, mail/phone order, retail, and home-based businesses to accept electronic payments affordably.

This new product and service offers a contemporary, low-cost method to merchants for processing electronic payment transactions using a PC and the Internet. iAuthorizer Web Terminal is designed to replace a standalone credit card authorization terminal for merchants that process less than 25 transactions per day.

Merchants simply key in the transaction data on the Web Terminal screen and click on the submit button to send the transaction securely over the Internet to their credit card processor or bank for authorization. When the transaction is approved, an E-mail confirmation is sent to the merchant. The transactions are deposited into their account automatically every day. Merchants can view their reports including the current transaction batch, totals by payment type, and deposit settlement history using a password protected merchant console.

The transaction data and customer information is also downloadable for import into other business management programs for simplified bookkeeping. Web Terminal is certified for use with most of the largest transaction processors and thousands of banks in the United States so merchants may keep their existing banking relationships. It also performs address verification to help eliminate fraud and provide access to the lowest possible transaction rates. “Smaller merchants can now use the Internet to process their electronic payments at a substantially lower fixed cost than before,” states Walt Murphy, Vice President of Business Development. “In addition, Web Terminal enables merchants to leverage their PC investment more effectively.” Atomic Software is a venture-funded company that provides electronic payment solutions to Internet, mail/phone order, retail, and restaurant companies. The Company’s products are certified for use by most major banks and transaction processors in the United States. For more information, contact Walt Murphy, Vice President of Business Development at 678/942-2600 or E-mail to info@atomic-software.com.



Qpass and eHNC Monday announced ‘PowerWallet’, a new service that gives online shoppers the speed and convenience of a supermarket’s express checkout lane. ‘PowerWallet’ fills in any form on the Internet, manages online receipts and keeps track of site-specific user names, secure passwords and other shopping preferences. Key solutions include allowing shoppers to fill out their credit card and billing information once, store it securely in the Qpass network data center and then activate it with a mouse click to complete a transaction at any secure point of sale on the Web.