Cleveland-based Century Business Services, Inc. announced this morning that it has named Fred M. Winkler,, as President and COO. Winkler was also named to the Board of Directors. Prior to joining Century, Mr. Winkler served for five years as CEO of First Union Corporation’s Customer Direct Access Division. He also served as COO of AT&T Universal Card Services Corporation from 1989 to 1993. Century provides integrated business support services through a network of more than 200 company offices in 36 states, as well as through its subsidiary, Century Small Business Solutions, a franchisor of accounting services with 650 franchisee offices in 47 states. The company has about 110,000 business clients.Details
A North Carolina legislator has joined the state-level push to stop banks from charging non-customers to use their ATMs. NC state Representative Paul Luebke introduced the bill late Thursday to end ATM surcharging by North Carolina banks. A similar North Carolina bill, introduced in 1997, died in committee. Meanwhile, in California, the Berkeley City Council has become the first city government to prohibit ATM fees. The City Council passed the ordinance Tuesday evening by a vote of 6 to 1 with the two members abstaining, including the Mayor. The Berkeley law provides for a minimum of $250 in compensatory damages and a maximum of $5,000 in punitive damages for each violation. However enforcement of the law is limited to personal civil suits. The Berkeley ordinance will not become law until it passes a second round of voting next month. Efforts to limit ATM fees in the state of California remain alive as ‘State Bill 270’ is set for debate next month in the Senate Committee on Finance, Investment and International Trade. Like North Carolina, a similar bill in the California Senate died two years ago.Details
IA Corporation, a provider of high-volume application software solutions for the financial services industry, Friday announced CheckVision Internet Positive Pay, a new application that allows a bank’s corporate and business customers secure access to view suspect check images via a standard Internet browser.
The new application, which will be installed this quarter at one of the country’s top 25 banks and demonstrated at BAI, offers financial institutions and their corporate customers a powerful protection against check fraud, allowing customers to easily, quickly and securely review suspect check images online, and send pay/no pay decisions to the bank in real time.
“With the emergence of the Internet as a powerful customer service tool, IA is leveraging its expertise in the financial services industry to develop new software products that provide superior customer services and increase operational efficiency,” said Kevin Moran, chairman, president and chief executive officer of IA.
“Internet Positive Pay is a saleable customer service that will keep financial institutions competitive by satisfying strong customer demands.” Positive pay is a cash management service that allows a bank and its corporate and business customers to work together to reduce the risk of check fraud.
Traditionally, the corporate customer electronically sends the bank a list of all checks it issued each day. The bank compares checks received for payment against that list each day and identifies checks not on the company’s list, checks that exceed a specific dollar amount, or stale checks, i.e. checks issued on a date which is long past due. Suspect checks are copied and faxed or mailed to the customer for review. The customer would then call or fax a pay or no pay decision to the bank.
With Internet Positive Pay, banks streamline the positive pay process by using Internet and image-based technology. This reduces internal operations costs and the risk of fraud, and greatly improves customer service.
Suspect check images can be clearly and immediately viewed remotely by customers via a standard Internet browser. Once a customer has carefully scrutinized the front and back of the check image with Internet Positive Pay’s viewer plug-in, they can instruct the bank on a pay or no pay decision right from their desktop PC.
“Check fraud is a multi-billion dollar annual expense to commercial banks and their corporate customers, which is why it is important to develop innovative and effective Internet-based products that mitigate this growing problem,” said Bill Guthrie, vice president of sales, IA Corporation.
“By presenting exact replicas of suspect checks immediately and securely to bank customers for online pay or no pay decisions, the risk of fraud is greatly reduced as is the risk of error and the need for manual processing.”
Allowing the user to make real time pay or no pay decisions to the bank while eliminating the need for any fax, phone or mail correspondence is a key factor in reducing the exposure to fraud and enhancing customer offerings. Fraudulent checks can be investigated immediately rather than days after they are returned.
With Internet Positive Pay, suspect checks can be carefully examined with reverse video display and zoom capabilities. Check images can be zoomed and flipped from front to back for instant viewing of critical check information such as payee, signature, deposit information and payee endorsement.
CheckVision Internet Positive Pay resides on an Internet server at the bank. Therefore, customers are not required to install custom desktop software. Upgrades are immediate and each time a user logs on to the system they will view suspect check images with the most recent software version.
Internet Positive Pay includes advanced security measures to ensure that only authorized users have system access. An authorized user can report on items such as stale checks (for escheatement), voided or stopped checks, and review bank transmission logs. Customers can issue pay or no pay instructions in real time.
“IA realizes the vital role Internet-based products and services play in today’s world of financial services,” added Guthrie. “Microfilm and paper-based processing systems are antiquated, time-consuming and costly. Banks want to streamline operations and their customers want current Internet and image-based services such as these.”
IA Corporation, headquartered in Emeryville, currently sells archive and application software solutions for retail and commercial banking services such as CheckVision Internet Inquiry(TM), CheckVision Statements(TM) and CheckVision ARP(TM).
The company’s customers include leading organizations such as Comerica, Harris Bank, Sanwa Bank California, LTD., SouthTrust Bank, UMB Bank, NA, Union Planters and Wachovia.Details
Diebold, Incorporated Friday announced the launch of a diverse, multi-million dollar program geared at positioning the company for global success by building awareness, recognition and preference for the Diebold brand. The program is intended to communicate Diebold’s competitive advantage for its products and services as well as introduce the company to targeted markets through advertising, public relations and other marketing and communications efforts.
The branding campaign focuses on communicating Diebold’s commitment to providing solutions for its customers through technology-based, integrated delivery systems. Key messages include the company’s total commitment to self-service technology, the flexibility and open architecture of its systems, and its use of technology to solve challenging business issues. The campaign began with a series of advertisements placed in Europe in February.
“Proactive efforts and the strategic placement of advertisements have begun in targeted countries,” said Donald E. Eagon, Jr., vice president of corporate communications for Diebold. “The branding program aims at specific audiences throughout Europe, Asia/Pacific, North America and Latin America. The year-long campaign will incorporate our Web site, trade shows, direct mail campaigns and other communications vehicles which will become part of the global branding campaign.”
To maximize the company’s efforts, public relations and advertising agencies were hired in each of the major global markets Diebold serves. The agencies will assist Diebold in attracting media coverage, localizing key messages for each market as well as supporting media relations efforts at trade shows and conferences worldwide.
Diebold, Incorporated is the global leader in providing integrated delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, the company employs more than 6,000 associates in some 120 locations worldwide with headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of US$1.2 billion in 1998 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [www.diebold.com].
Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. has named Dennis Purpura senior vice president and head of North American Client Relationship Management in its Financial Services Unit. Purpura will direct the sales of the entire suite of Fair, Isaac solutions to U.S. and Canadian clients in banking, finance and insurance. He replaces Gordon Kaye, who retired from Fair, Isaac in late 1998 after 18 years of heading the company’s North American sales efforts.
Purpura comes to Fair, Isaac with more than 25 years of sales and sales management experience. He most recently served as director of sales at Geac SmartEnterprise (formerly D&B Software) with sales offices in San Mateo and Los Angeles, Calif. His experience also includes positions as business unit executive at Early, Cloud & Co., an IBM Company, in San Francisco, Calif.; vice president of sales and marketing at PeerLogic in San Francisco, Calif.; senior vice president of sales at Software Alliance in Berkeley, Calif.; and director of sales at Interlink Computer Sciences in Fremont, Calif. Purpura holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California.
“I am delighted that we’ve brought Dennis onto our management team at a time of great change in financial services,” said Patrick G. Culhane, executive vice president at Fair, Isaac. “Dennis’ background and industry knowledge, combined with his excellent business skills, will ensure that we will be even more responsive to the changing needs of our clients.”
Fair, Isaac (www.fairisaac.com) helps businesses worldwide maximize the value of data to make more profitable decisions about their customers, operations and portfolios. Known for its pioneering work in credit scoring and its use of data in transaction-level decisions, Fair, Isaac now delivers data management services, analytics, software, and consulting to the financial services, direct marketing, personal lines insurance, retail, and healthcare industries. Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Fair, Isaac employs 1,500 people in 17 offices worldwide. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 1998, the company reported revenues of $245.5 million. For more information, contact Fair, Isaac at 800-999-2955.Details
Citibank launched a ‘VISA TravelMoney’ card in Indonesia last week. The new prepaid disposable card is available in denominations ranging from US$400 to US $10,000. Up to eight additional cards can be linked to the same prepaid account. According to the Jakarta Post, Indonesia becomes the fifth country to launch ‘VISA TravelMoney’. The other four countries include India, Singapore, Philippines and Australia. Meanwhile VISA is gearing up for a big push for its ‘Electron’ card in Indonesia following the card’s initial launch in December. VISA indicated it is projecting 12.5 million ‘Electron’ cardholders in Indonesia within the next five years. VISA is also introducing ‘COPAC’ cards in Indonesia later this year.Details
Capital One announced this morning the selection of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles as its new integrated communications agency partner. Capital One forecasts an $80-$100 million brand communications budget with DMB&B over the next 12-18 months. Capital One and DMB&B will partner on creative development, media planning and buying, interactive communications and global brand strategy. Direct marketing will continue to be handled by Capital One’s in-house agency, where marketing amounted to $446 million in 1998.Details
CitiGroup reported this morning that core income for credit cards increased 75% to $268 million in the first quarter. Citi says revenues increased 40% as a result of pricing increases and 48% growth in receivables to $69 billion, driven by the UCS acquisition and core business improvement. Credit experience also continued to improve, with net charge-offs in the U.S. bankcard portfolio falling to 4.72%. More details on Citi’s first quarter performance will be available in Tuesday’s CardFlash with full financial details available via CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
American Express’ domination of the small business card market is dwindling according to a new survey released Friday by PSI Global. The research firm found that VISA’s share of the small business card market soared to 20%, compared to an 11% share last year. The ‘1999 PSI Global Commercial Services Research Program’ survey shows that VISA now stands just two points below American Express in the small business commercial card market. The survey also found that MasterCard now has a 13% market share, up from 10% in 1998. The new ‘CSRP’ study, which is based on telephone interviews with 900 companies with sales between $500,000 and $10 million, found that 49% of all small businesses in this category are now using some type of business credit card. In 1998, 37% of these firms used a business credit card. While the number of companies using business credit cards has grown steadily, total card billings have remained relatively unchanged. The average small business spends about $10,000 each year on a business card, typically revolving about $2,000 monthly.Details
Equifax announced Friday afternoon that it has sold its minority ownership in Proceda Tecnologia e Informatica S.A., the technology outsourcing company interest it acquired as part of its card processing initiative in Brazil. MCI Worldcom Inc. is the purchaser. Equifax will record a slight gain on the sale of its financial interest. Equifax acquired 34% ownership in PROCEDA in Sept. 1998 as part of the acquisition of a majority ownership of Unnisa – Solucoes em Meios de Pagamento Ltda., a major provider of full service bankcard and private label card processing. PROCEDA will continue to provide all the data processing services related to UNNISA’s 2.5 million credit and debit cards in Brazil.Details
HNC Software Inc., a leading provider of predictive software solutions to large banks and other financial institutions, has formed a strategic alliance with Open Solutions Inc.) to enhance the product offerings that both companies extend to their markets. HNC also made a minority equity investment in OSI, a leading developer of client/server core data processing solutions for community banks and credit unions.
The companies’ first joint project will be the integration of HNC Financial Solutions’ Falcon Cheque checking account fraud detection software with OSI’s product suite. Falcon Cheque is designed to run in a bank’s check processing center. Using a powerful, neural network-based fraud model, Falcon Cheque can address in-stream, off-line batch, and real-time processing paths and uncovers fraud on deposited checks, as well as on checks written on accounts at that bank.
Douglas Anderson, OSI Chairman and CEO, said, “OSI continues to bring superior services to the mid-size financial institutions. Our alliance with HNC supports this goal, separating us from our competitors, and enabling OSI to offer HNC predictive technology integrated with OSI solutions. Also, as a result of the alliance, we expect our client base to broaden, as the larger financial institutions become exposed to OSI’s technology.”
“OSI’s client/server technology for mid-size banks provides a great platform for enabling HNC’s predictive solutions in a broader market,” said Michael A. Thiemann, HNC Financial Solutions President. “This alliance has great potential for providing substantial benefits to the financial industry.”
OSI, a Glastonbury, Conn.-based provider of banking systems, offers The Complete Banking Solution (TCBS) and The Complete Credit Union Solution (TCCUS), which support all of a financial institution’s core data processing requirements. The company was founded in 1992 by experts in data modeling, software development and design. OSI offers The Complete Banking Solution (TCBS), a WindowsNT(R)-based retail banking system embracing client/server technology and Oracle database technology. TCBS supports deposit and loan account processing, customer information, reporting, back office and federal regulatory compliance requirements. OSI also offers The Complete Credit Union Solution (TCCUS) for credit unions. For more information on OSI, The Complete Banking Solution or The Complete Credit Union Solution contact Michael Nicastro at (860) 652-3158, via fax at (860) 652-3156, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit OSI’s Internet site at [www.opensolutions.com].
About HNC Financial Solutions
HNC Software Financial Solutions, a leader in predictive software for the payment card and consumer lending industries, provides a powerful set of proven, business solution modules that address the mission-critical, customer-lifecycle management needs of financial institutions. Seamless integration of the various solutions on the same decision platform allows a financial institution or financial services firm to manage its customer relationships throughout the customer lifecycle. For more information, contact Patsy Campbell, Director of Marketing, HNC Financial Solutions, 5930 Cornerstone Court West, San Diego, CA 92121, (619) 546-8877.
About HNC Software
Headquartered in San Diego, California, HNC Software Inc. (Nasdaq:HNCS) is one of the world’s leading providers of Predictive Software Solutions for service industries, including financial, retail, insurance, Internet, and telecommunications. HNC’s suite of Predictive Software Solutions can provide real-time insight into customer relationships based on transaction-level data, helping business-to-consumer companies manage their relationships with individual customers. By accurately predicting customer behaviors, these companies can create initiatives to mitigate risk and attrition; improve customer service; develop marketing programs to enhance profitability; optimize store replenishment activities, and detect fraudulent customer transactions. For more information, visit HNC’s web site at [http://www.hnc.com] or contact Jane Leonard, HNC Software Inc., 5930 Cornerstone Court West, San Diego, CA 92121, (619) 799-3880. For the investor relations hotline, call (800) 396-8052.
Citigroup announced Friday that William I. Campbell, Co-Chief Executive Officer of the Global Consumer Group, has decided to retire later this year.
“When I joined Citicorp in 1995, I wanted to help bring the Consumer Group to a new level,” Mr. Campbell said. “The momentum behind our great progress was accelerated by our October merger with Travelers, which enabled us to establish, in one transaction, greater efficiency, broader product diversification and the ability to cross-market products globally through expanded and varied distribution channels. With clear evidence of the success of our merger and confidence that our long-term franchise goals are well embedded in our businesses, I have concluded that this is an opportune time for me to pursue other interests in my life. I know that Bob Lipp and the rest of our team have the ability to continue to bring the Consumer business to new heights of accomplishment.
John S. Reed and Sanford I. Weill, Co-Chief Executive Officers of Citigroup, said, “Bill has played an enormous role in the successful integration of our consumer businesses and has helped to lead the Consumer segment to the record results it is achieving. We understand the reasons behind his decision, and are pleased that he has agreed to remain available on a consulting basis to assure a smooth transition and to help the Consumer Business reach its goals for 1999. He takes this step with our respect and best wishes. At the same time, we know that Bob Lipp, who immediately becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Consumer Group, will provide solid leadership for us.”
Robert I. Lipp said, “At the time of the merger that created Citigroup, the tremendous potential we had to establish a new model for serving our customer’s financial needs was clear. Bill has been an important part of our efforts both to create this model and to lead it to the financial success it is now achieving. I will miss his day-to-day involvement both personally and professionally.”
Citigroup (NYSE: C), the world’s most global financial services company, provides some 100 million consumers, corporations, governments and institutions in 100 countries with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management. The 1998 merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group brought together such brand names as Citibank, Travelers, Salomon Smith Barney, Commercial Credit and Primerica under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella. Additional information can be found at: [www.citi.com].