New AmEx Deals

American Express confirmed Monday that is has signed an agreement with Millennium BIG Bank SA to issue American Express cards in Poland. The new Polish card will be denominated in Polish Zloty. Millennium BIG Bank currently has 57 branches and expects to open about 200 additional branches by 2002. Meanwhile Credit Saison has launched its second co-branded American Express card in Japan. The new ‘WOWOW Saison American Express Card’ is the result of a partnership between Credit Saison and Japan’s Satellite Broadcasting Services. Credit Saison also issues the ‘Yucho Saison American Express Card’, a co-branded card with the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. Credit Saison was the first Japanese credit card issuer to offer cards on four networks including VISA, MasterCard, JCB and American Express. The firm has about 11.4 million cards-in-force in Japan.


The New Triad

Fair, Isaac released a new version of its ‘Triad 6.0’ adaptive control system yesterday, which offers enhanced user control, multiple billing options, “no-wait” behavior scoring, and can be installed in half the time of earlier versions. The new ‘TRIAD 6.0’ features a flexible, comprehensive interface that provides complete user control of strategy design, resulting in faster rollout of new, more competitive strategies, multiple billing capabilities that allow a user to run up to four different types of portfolios on the same installation, and availability on multiple platforms, including ‘HP-UX’. Fair, Isaac says ‘TRIAD’ has helped nearly 200 credit grantors worldwide reduce delinquency by as much as 25%, increase revenues by as much as 30%, and boost interest income by as much as 15%.


Diners Club Circus

Feld Entertainment, producers of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, signed Diners Club yesterday to become the first national sponsor of Feld’s new ‘Barnum’s Kaleidoscape’. The entirely new live entertainment experience features an intimate one-ring performances. Under terms of the agreement Diners Club will be the exclusive charge card for Barnum’s Kaleidoscape for the next two years. Diners Club will also be offering its cardholders special benefits, including early purchase and VIP seating opportunities.


Debt Loads

The July issue of Consumer Reports magazine is enlightening consumers of the total costs of revolving a $19 pizza to a ‘VISA’ card. The latest issue, released yesterday, focuses on managing debt. CU says Americans now carry debt loads equivalent to 99% of their annual disposable income, a proportion that’s nearly doubled over the past 40 years. CU says college-age kids are particularly susceptible to today’s importuning lenders and predicts about 100,000 people, under 25, will file for bankruptcy this year alone. The article entitled: “The New Rules of Borrowing,” also lays out seven strategies to help people of all ages and backgrounds borrow prudently, use credit wisely and pare down existing debt. The article also includes a table that guides would-be borrowers to the right type of loan for their needs. Consumer Reports has a loyal readership of more than five million consumers.


Euro Takes Off

VISA International reported Monday that Euro payments on ‘VISA’ cards are doubling every month. Since the currency was introduced Jan. 1, VISA has processed more than one million transactions totaling 30 million Euro or about $31 million in U.S. dollars. VISA says this represents 1.35% of its total European traffic. VISA also points out that U.S. cardholders traveling in Europe accounted for nearly 2.0% of the total Euro transactions. VISA found that 13% of Euro/VISA transactions occurred among Internet, mail and phone order transactions. In Europe, cardholders in Spain, Holland and Belgium have been the most active with Euro transactions.


Edify Award

Edify Corporation, a leading global provider of Internet and voice e-Commerce portal solutions, announced Monday that Frost & Sullivan, an international marketing consulting company, has honored Edify with its prestigious “Market Engineering Product Line Strategy Award.” Based on in-depth interviews and analyses of companies in the electronic funds transfer industry, Frost & Sullivan singled out Edify for making a positive contribution by being the first to offer financial institutions with a Consumer Banking Suite supporting bill presentment and bill payment capabilities.

“Such innovation and foresight continues to elevate Edify to the leadership position in the Internet banking space,” said Norvin Leong, an industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. The company’s consumer-oriented Electronic Banking System covers an array of online banking features and capabilities. This depth in feature set distinguishes Edify from the rest of the field in terms of a product line strategy.”

Edify’s Electronic Banking System (EBS) is a comprehensive direct banking solution that provides financial institutions the means to deploy personalized, content-rich electronic banking services via multiple channels including the Internet, telephone and personal financial management software. EBS Release 3 Consumer Banking Suite consists of the Electronic Banking System platform and 17 standard and optional modules — the two newest of which are Electronic CheckBook and Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment (EBPP) designed for consumer direct banking services. The EBS Release 3 modules were created as an integrated electronic delivery system that provides sophisticated billing and payment management services that work in conjunction with leading third-party consolidators including CheckFree. EBPP brings repeat traffic to the financial institution’s portal site allowing them to proactively offer content and services tailored to the customer’s needs.

“Edify’s consumer banking customers continue to demand aggressive and thorough bill presentment and payment solutions,” said Jeffrey M. Crowe, president and CEO of Edify Corporation. “The Frost & Sullivan award strongly confirms our leadership position. We will continue to innovate and offer groundbreaking products to further raise the bar and shape the direction of the online financial industry.”

In just two months since its introduction in April 1999, the Consumer Banking Suite has been licensed by over 115 financial institutions. These Edify customers range from the top 100 U.S. banks including Chase Manhattan, First Merchants and Mercantile Bank to a number of regional credit unions such as Boeing Credit Union, American Electronics Association Credit Union and Rockwell Credit Union. Edify’s Consumer Banking Suite is also used by international banks in countries such as Australia (ANZ Bank, Bendigo Bank, Macquarie Bank, BankWest), New Zealand (Countrywide) and Italy (Banca di Roma, Cassa di Risparmio Perugia) as well as Internet-only banks like NetB@ank and CompuBank.

Market Engineering Awards are based on Frost & Sullivan’s research and consulting work in the U.S. Electronic Funds Transfer Software industry in 1998. Winners are selected from an in-depth analysis of the market competitors and interviews with those companies that make up the industry. The Frost & Sullivan research management team has reviewed these awards and the criteria used to select the winners to ensure that the competition and award system are as fair as possible given the subjective nature of market analysis and competitive assessment.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan is an international marketing consulting and company that monitors the information technology industry for market trends, market measurements and strategies. This ongoing research is utilized to update a series of online research publications such as Banking, Financial and Retail Custom Subscription () and to support industry participants with customized consulting needs. Additional information about Frost & Sullivan can be obtained at .

About Edify

Edify Corporation is a global leader providing Internet and voice e-Commerce portal solutions to intelligently manage customer relationships. The company’s software offers organizations the means to automate, integrate, and personalize interactions with customers through multiple channels, yielding stronger, more profitable relationships. The company’s software has been licensed to more than 1,250 organizations worldwide. Edify software is distributed directly and through leading solutions providers, application partners and distributors around the globe. With more than 470 employees, Edify Corporation is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. with international headquarters in London, England. On May 17, 1999, Edify Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Security First Technologies of Atlanta, Georgia (Nasdaq: SONE). Additional information about Edify may be obtained by calling 408-982-2000 (USA) or +44-181-263-2710 (Europe, Middle East, Africa) or via the World Wide Web at .

Forward Looking Statements

The matters set forth in this press release, such as statements relating to EBS and the Consumer and Business Banking Suites and other products and services are forward looking and are subject to a number of risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Although on-line banking has been available in various forms for many years, there can be no assurance that consumers will accept on-line banking over the Internet or the company’s products, including EBS, in sufficient numbers to make on-line banking or the company’s products successful. In addition, given the uncertainties of software development, there can be no assurance that the company’s products will be implemented in the anticipated time frames or with the anticipated features, functionality or benefits. Further information on the important factors that could affect the results or outcomes discussed in the forward-looking statements is included in Edify’s Annual Report on the Form 10-K and its other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


eWallet ECML Ready

Launchpad Technologies Inc., developer of the leading shopping utility, eWallet, yesterday announced the integration of the ECML standard into their product offering. ECML, or electronic commerce modeling language, is a proposed standard for electronic wallets announced last week, endorsed by industry players such as Visa, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, America Online Inc., and others ( By adding support for merchants who implement ECML eWallet maintains its leadership in providing consumers nearly universal support for their favorite online merchants.

eWallet is designed to simplify the online shopping experience. “By enabling ECML, we provide online merchants with tremendous flexibility to choose any standard they like,” said Larry Gross, CEO of Launchpad Technologies. ” eWallet is very unique in its offering because it is able to support merchants who choose to implement ECML as well as those who do not.”

Launchpad Technologies is an idealab! company founded in 1998. The company recently acquired PointCast Incorporated, a current provider of news and information services throughout the world. The combined company has over one million users and will be offering an integrated product combining e-commerce desktop tools with rich information delivery services. eWallet was launched in 1998 and currently supports over 400 online merchants, making it the most widely accepted electronic wallet available today.


ICE 5000 in Brazil

Hypercom Corporation previewed an ICE 5000 interactive, touch-screen terminal device that will allow consumers throughout Brazil to access, view or print personal checking, savings or investment account information, as well as transfer or download funds to smart cards. Designed specifically for banks that want to provide fast, convenient access to their customers virtually anywhere and anytime, the compact Hypercom solution can be deployed on a large-scale basis in shopping malls, airports, train and bus stations and other high-traffic areas.

“Hypercom’s ICE 5000 banking inquiry and transfer system will for the first time allow banks to deploy compact customer banking devices virtually anywhere, and that’s a win-win for the banks and their customers,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, president, Hypercom International. “We believe this Hypercom solution will dramatically enhance consumer banking in Brazil by providing greater accessibility and convenience.”

Hypercom’s ICE 5000 banking system incorporates a powerful, multi-function touch-screen terminal with high-speed thermal printer, paper cutter, and Hypercom’s new FastPOS(TM) 9600 bits per second (bps) modem. Hypercom’s ICE 5000 provides a highly interactive and intuitive user interface that allows the support of complex transactions with minimum user training. When used in conjunction with the recently released Hypercom(R) Ascendent(TM) Server Environment, the ICE 5000 also supports online advertising and electronic signature and receipt capture, storage and retrieval.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-function point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent(TM) payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions.

On a global basis Hypercom delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-added programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.

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, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [][1].



Paradigm Quake

A new retail banking study, to be released this morning, by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that not one single institution has fully grasped the magnitude of transformation required to become a leading retail bank in the next century. The report says most banks mistakenly see the Internet as just a futuristic delivery channel. PWC/EIU says after compiling the report, it has come to the conclusion that the Internet will revolutionize how banking business models around the world are structured, as well as drastically alter the cost structures to support all this. The Internet will change how banks communicate, both internally and externally, and how they manage employee and customer relationships. The credit card issuing business is also changing as more banks discover the lower acquisition costs of Internet generated accounts. The explosion of the Internet and real-time technology, coupled with consumer readiness to utilize these channels, has outpaced the banking industry’s delivery capabilities. PWC/EIU predicts a paradigm quake that will rattle the entire banking industry. The study notes however that U.S. banks are far ahead of European banks.


Greenland Corp. Board

Greenland Corporation announced the appointment of William Randell Coleman to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Coleman is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Smart Cash ATM, the Carrolton, Texas headquartered ATM distribution corporation that recently signed a major national distribution agreement with Greenland Corporation to distribute Greenland’s automated payroll check-cashing machines.

Dr. Lou Montulli, CEO of Greenland, stated “Mr. Coleman is recognized as a leader in the electronics fund transfer industry and is considered to be one of the top national experts in retail off-premises ATM deployment. As the exclusive distributor of Greenland’s new ‘Bank-in-a-Box’, Mr. Coleman brings with him over twenty years of experience in marketing and recruiting, including extensive work with Fortune 500 companies.”

“Mr. Coleman is a valuable addition to the Board of Directors and his background in the ATM industry will be significant in establishing a strong sales and marketing force for Greenland.”

Greenland Corporation is a manufacturing corporation with existing product and product under development. The Company is currently introducing an automated payroll check-cashing machine with full ATM functionality, and money order dispensing services. Future services to be included with the machine are phone cards and advance payday loan services.


Fee Feeding

According to another study, to be released next month, fee-based revenues earned by banks worldwide will surpass interest earnings within 3 years. Currently the growth in fee income within the bank credit card industry is outpacing the growth in card interest revenues. The forthcoming study by Killen & Associates projects the growth of the Internet and advances in on-line interconnected financial services will further drive the new market for fee-based services. Killen says banks will still conduct their bread-and-butter business, taking in moneys on deposit and making loans, but customers, both corporate and retail, will see new and expanded fee-based service offerings. These will be in on-line cash management, investment, asset management, credit card, EBPP, mortgage, and retail investment services, as well as in upgraded and expanded trade payment and letter of credit products and services. Killen concludes that the risk-reward model for fee-based income far surpasses that of the loan marketplace.



San Jose-based Trintech announced this morning the first one-click virtual credit card payment solution for Internet transactions. The ‘ezCard’ solution resides on the consumer’s PC and auto-populates online merchant payment forms. Trintech’s technology for creating ‘ezCards’ is ‘NetIssuer’, part of Trintech’s ‘PayGate’ platform. ‘NetIssuer’ will be generally available for UNIX in August. The new payment solution uses SSL communication encryption. Trintech says besides reducing the frustration of Internet credit card use the new solution also offers card issuers the option to determine the “look and feel” of their ezCards to maximize branding opportunities. In addition, each use of the ‘ezCard’ provides a clear channel of communication for the card issuer, which can be leveraged for customized marketing messages and cross-branding for partners and affinity programs.