Persona Card

American Express Incentive Services recently rolled out the ‘Persona Reward System’, an employee incentive system that motivates performance by delivering rewards based on the employee’s individual lifestyles and dreams. AmEx says a new survey showed that rewarding employees with cash does not motivate employees since many use the funds to pay bills instead of treating themselves. Under the AEIS system, participants earn points (equivalent to dollars) that are stored on a ‘Persona Card’. Backed by American Express, the ‘Persona Card’ is accepted by more than 250 retail and travel merchants. The merchants were chosen because they provide rewards that fit within 10 lifestyle categories. AEIS is a joint venture between American Express and Maritz Performance Improvement Company.

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EBS Release 3

Edify Corporation , a global leader providing enterprise self service solutions, has announced first customer shipments of its Electronic Banking System Release 3 Consumer Banking Suite. The Consumer Banking Suite consists of the Electronic Banking platform, and 17 optional new modules — the three newest of which are CheckBook, Electronic Bill Presentment, and the Electronic Bill Payment warehouse, all designed for consumer direct banking services. Edify’s innovative approach helps financial institutions enhance customer relationships by aggregating billing and payment information on behalf of their customer base.

Busey Bank, Urbana, Illinois, was an early implementor of Edify’s Electronic Banking System, originally going into production in 1997. It is now one of Edify’s first Consumer Banking Suite customers and has successfully introduced the CheckBook, an online transaction registry which gives the customer up to the minute control and management of their finances without requiring the use of a personal financial management software package. The Bank also anticipates rolling out electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP), which will allow it to manage summary billing information from CheckFree’s E-Bill (SM) service.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer our customers one of the most advanced, innovative online banking services available,” said David Kuhl, President, Busey Bank. “As we continue to enhance the service, we expect to be able to manage and grow our relationships with our customers, offering them an increasing amount of financial services online.”

Since its introduction in 1996, Edify’s Electronic Banking System has become the leading on-premise Web banking solution, with more than one hundred financial institutions as customers worldwide. EBS licensees include fifteen of the top 100 U.S. banks including Chase Manhattan Bank, Fifth Third Bank and Harris Bank, as well as international financial institutions including ANZ, which announced availability of its Internet Banking service at .

“The availability of EBS 3.0 signifies our continued leadership in delivering best-in-class financial services solutions to our customers worldwide,” said William A. Soward, vice president, business development at Edify Corporation. “As innovative, customer-driven financial institutions such as Busey take advantage of its power, flexibility and feature-integration, they raise the bar in the race for dominance in Internet banking and greater share of their customers’ wallet.”

Edify’s Electronic Banking System (EBS) is a comprehensive direct banking solution providing financial institutions the means to deploy personalized, content-rich electronic banking services via multiple access channels including the Internet, telephones and personal financial management software. EBS Release 3 incorporates end-to-end support for online bill presentment and payment, providing financial institutions with a pre-built application solution that gives them greater control over their customers’ total banking activities. 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 processors like CheckFree and TransPoint.

About Edify Corporation

Edify Corporation is a leading provider of enterprise self service solutions used by Global 2000 organizations to deploy automated service solutions via the Internet, corporate intranets, and the telephone. Edify’s self service solutions offer organizations the means to automate, integrate, and personalize interactions with customers and employees, yielding stronger, more profitable relationships.

The company’s software has been licensed to more than 1,200 organizations worldwide. Edify software is distributed directly and through leading solutions providers, application partners, and distributors worldwide. With more than 440 employees, Edify Corporation is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with international headquarters in London, England. 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 . For product information, please call 800-944-0056 or email info@edify.com.

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CheckFree at Payments ’99

CheckFree announced Friday that it will take part in Payments ’99, April 11-14 at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. In addition to exhibiting, the Company will host a panel discussion on electronic billing and payment, moderated by CheckFree Vice Chairman Mark A. Johnson and featuring Florida Power & Light and Consumers Energy. CheckFree’s ACH Business Unit will offer an in-depth perspective on the value of outsourcing ACH systems processing with insight from Harris Bank, a CheckFree ACH Alliance Processing partner.

Payments ’99 is hosted by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), in cooperation with the National Council for Uniform Interest Compensation (NCUIC).

From 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 14, Mark Johnson, vice chairman of Corporate Development for CheckFree, will moderate a panel discussion, “Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment — A Recipe for Change,” featuring current users of Internet-based bill presentment and payment services. CheckFree customers Jill J. Sands, project manager/billing and financial systems for Florida Power and Light, and Ron Kerver, electronic commerce director for Consumers Energy, will join Johnson. Topics of discussion will include: what are companies looking for; what do they expect of customer service; what payment options do they require; and will their product mix need to be updated or customized.

At 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 12, CheckFree will present a case study titled, “ACH Alliance Processing: Making the Decision.” Stuart Williams, director of ACH Business Development for CheckFree, and Linda Spielman, director of Electronic Products for Harris Trust and Savings Bank, will discuss the issues today’s financial institutions face in analyzing ACH system alternatives to the standard in-house model. Participants will learn how to evaluate the options available to maximize systems processing, how to make any transition in the process seamless and painless for the financial institution’s customers, as well as how to assess vendor partners.

About CheckFree

Founded in 1981, CheckFree (), the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corp., is the leading provider of electronic commerce services, software and related products for more than 2.6 million consumers, 1,000 businesses and 850 financial institutions. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable its customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure transactions on the Internet.

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El BodyGuard Card

Daly City, CA-based Edward Price Company announced Friday a Spanish language version of its new healthcare savings card, the ‘BodyGuard Card’. The English language version of the program was launched in January. The program gives consumers discounted access to preferred provider organizations for most ancillary healthcare services including prescription drugs, vision care, dental, chiropractic, podiatry, acupuncture, hearing aids, and alternative medicine. The cost of the card is $69 per year for an individual and $89 for a family. BodyGuard’s network consists of seven separate specialty PPOs with more than 78,000 pharmacies and providers nationwide.

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Sausage & Telstra Sign

Sausage Software Thursday announced it had signed a contract with Telstra Corporation as part of the company’s strategic move to develop e-commerce solutions for major corporations.

This contract represents the company’s first corporate alliance since establishing its e-commerce division, and recognises Sausage’s unique software assets and capabilities.

The Telstra contract is the latest in a series of significant announcements made by Sausage since company founder Steve Outtrim teamed up with new director Wayne Bos in January of this year.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Outtrim said Sausage had the experience and expertise to handle major projects for corporates such as Telstra.

“Signing this contract with Telstra, one of the world’s leading telecommunications companies, confirms the credibility we have developed in the marketplace in terms of our e-commerce experience,” said Mr Outtrim.

“We now have the people, the infrastructure, and the customers to position Sausage Software among the leading players,” he said.

It is clear that the Bos/Outtrim partnership is succeeding — demonstrated by Telstra coming on board as a customer, and the recent acquisition of multi media business, Electric Alchemy.

“Telstra is a world’s best practice company, and offers Sausage the opportunity to leverage its range of technologies, and be promoted by Telstra’s significant marketing capabilities,” said Mr Bos.

About Sausage Software

Formed by Steve Outtrim in 1995, Sausage Software exports 97% of its product and is a globally recognised Internet tools developer. HotDog, the company’s flagship Web authoring tool has been consistently the most popularly downloaded Web authoring tool in the world over the last three years. Sausage has recently moved into the booming business of e-commerce with the establishment of a new division to develop e-commerce solutions for major corporations and SMEs.

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TSYS – 1Q/98

Total System Services reported Thursday that revenues for the first quarter of 1999 were $115.3 million, an increase of 19.7%, compared with revenues of $96.3 million for the first quarter of 1998. During the first quarter TSYS signed Principal Bank to a long-term contract to provide consumer card processing services; signed Scotiabank of Canada to a multiyear agreement to provide credit card processing services to Scotiabank’s Caribbean accounts in 15 countries. TSYS also said yesterday it expects to convert the remaining 50% of the Sears card portfolio to ‘TS2’ during the second quarter. So far TSYS has converted 31 million Sears private-label card accounts to ‘TS2’. More 1Q/99 financial details are available via CardData. ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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PTI Goes Level III

Paymentech announced earlier this week it has launched a ‘Level III’ purchasing card acceptance program for its direct marketing clients. ‘Level III’ information includes full invoice details such as freight and duty amount, product description, ship-to zip code, unit cost, quantity, discounts, etc. One of the first Paymentech clients to go ‘Level III’ is WearGuard, which serves more than three million businesses.

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AmEx Canada

American Express rolled out the ‘American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card’ in Canada yesterday. The new, no annual fee card, offers credit lines up to $50,000 and a 6.9% intro rate. The new Canadian biz card also offers one ‘AIR MILES’ reward mile for every $20 in purchases. Other key benefits and features include an activation bonus of 100 miles, up to nine free supplementary cards for employees, $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance, ‘Assured Reservations’, and ‘Front Of The Line’ preferred ticket access. There are 9,600 ‘AIR MILES’ Sponsor locations across Canada. ‘AIR MILES’ participants include AT&T Canada, UPS, Holiday Inn, NEBS Business Forms, and Liberty Health.

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Tax Charges

As the deadline approaches for filing personal income tax returns in the USA, the credit card option has drawn a limited response. The IRS reports that, so far, nearly 5,500 taxpayers have used credit cards to charge taxes averaging about $1500 each. The IRS also indicates that more than 33,000 taxpayers have also used the direct debit option this year. MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards are being accepted by the IRS this year through U.S. Audiotex. Discover cards are also accepted through Intuit’s ‘TurboTax and ‘MacIntax’ personal software. Reportedly the main motivation to charge taxes is to earn rewards. However the March issue of CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com) points out that most taxpayers will usually come out on the losing end of the deal unless they can maximize the redemption value of the reward earned. CardTrak notes that the 2.5% service charge levied by U.S. Audiotex more than wipes out the typical 1% to 2% rebate offered through bank credit card rewards programs. CardTrak cited exceptions such as using air miles for international upgrades, whereby the value of each tax dollar charged could equal more than 80 cents.

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Equifax Renames Goldleaf

Equifax today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Goldleaf Technologies, Inc., has changed its name to Equifax E-Banking Solutions, Inc. Equifax purchased the company, one of the nation?s largest providers of electronic banking software, in December 1997.

Equifax E-Banking Solutions, located in Hahira, Ga., will continue operating as a division of Equifax Payment Services. David Peterson, founder of Goldleaf, will continue serving as senior vice president and general manager of the newly re-named entity.

“The name-change was part of our strategy from the onset of the purchase,” said Lee A. Kennedy, Equifax executive vice president and group executive, payment services. “Goldleaf is a very well known company, and we wanted to maintain the name through the transition into the Equifax family. At this point we are confident that Goldleaf?s clients and prospects are well aware that it is an Equifax company.”

“The change of name is a positive step,” added Peterson. “We want to combine the capabilities and capital of Equifax with the innovations that made Goldleaf special. This new name clearly defines what we are about.”

Equifax E-Banking Solutions opens yet another avenue for the multi-faceted Equifax, continually recognized as one of the world?s top technology companies. Equifax E-Banking Solutions is one of the largest providers of electronic banking software in the U.S., with approximately 7,000 licensed programs in more than 1,400 financial institutions worldwide. Its most recent venture is a three-year reseller agreement with CheckFree for electronic billing and payment (EBP) services. This will enable Equifax E-Banking Solutions to expand their outsourcing services including EBP to more than 5000 community banks in the U.S

Taking advantage of Microsoft Windows NT and SQL, a powerful, relational database language that not only simplifies, but actually speeds up the interchange of information between databases, Equifax E-Banking Solutions recently began re-launching a number of improved electronic banking solutions known as the CustomerLink family of products. These electronic banking solutions are designed to revolutionize the use of electronic databases. The new software allows for highly segmented databases, bringing a high level of ?personalization? to the often faceless electronic banking arena.

Equifax (www.equifax.com), a worldwide leader in shaping global commerce, brings buyers and sellers together through its information management, transaction processing and knowledge-based businesses. Atlanta-based Equifax (NYSE: EFX) serves the financial services, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities, transportation, information technology and healthcare industries and government. Equifax adds knowledge, expertise, convenience and security to provide value-added solutions and processes for its customers wherever they do business, including the Internet and other networks. Entering its second century in business, Equifax employs more than 14,000 associates in 18 countries with sales in nearly 50 and has more than $1.6 billion in revenue.

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