AmEx Canadian Biz Survey

Despite the stress of sixty-hour work weeks and constant financial pressures, Canada’s small business owners still say running your own show is the way to go.

For them, the excitement and personal fulfillment of entrepreneurship far outweigh the many sacrifices they have to make to achieve their dreams. These are the conclusions of a new study conducted by American Express in which small business owners profess they have no regrets about going it alone.

While many decide to set out on their own with visions of striking it rich, the results show most entrepreneurs place a higher premium on independence when it comes to the motivation for starting up their own firm. Above all, they want to be their own boss and call the shots when it comes to the direction their professional and personal lives take.

“Many people are clearly choosing to go it alone as an escape from the politics and frustrations of big business. They are looking to pave their own path, rather than leaving it in the hands of someone who has little stake in their future,” states Debra Ambrose, head of Small Business Services at American Express.

But Amex’s study suggests that going it alone is not for the faint-hearted. It paints a picture of high-pressure and commitment; of a lifestyle where work is the dominant factor, and where even leisure activities tend to become business-related.

What do they give up?

——————— There’s no question that running a business demands an enormous degree of dedication. Still, many entrepreneurs are caught off guard by the level of effort and sacrifices that are required to get a business off the ground and keep it afloat. Only a tiny handful of those polled said managing their operation ended up being easier than expected. In fact, more than half indicated that it was more work than they bargained for, with nearly 80 percent admitting that running their business is stressful.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the issues that cause small business owners the most headaches are administration, financing, government compliance and taxes.

Added to this is a level of financial uncertainty that self-employed individuals regularly contend with. In the Amex study, several respondents confessed that they miss the stability of a steady pay cheque and worry about their future financial security.

On top of these business concerns, the study found that entrepreneurs must struggle with the impact running a business has on their personal lives. Fully half of those polled felt that their work demands too much of their time since they are obligated to be personally involved in everything that impacts their operation. Many also worry about the amount of quality time they are able to spend with their family.

So what keeps them going?

————————- True to the spirit of entrepreneurship, business owners have a strong will to succeed and rely on their own passion to stay motivated in spite of the daily pressures. In sync with their original motives for going it alone, the survey shows that the vast majority of entrepreneurs continue to be driven primarily by the satisfaction of being independent.

For many, it’s also the pure enjoyment of their work, and the ambition of a financially-rewarding future that keep them pushing ahead. Others turn to their friends and family for encouragement, with several respondents – particularly those with a number of years invested in their business – citing a strong commitment to their employees and customers as their inspiration to keep going.

“Entrepreneurs are the epitome of dedication and commitment. They have a genuine passion for their work, a loyalty to their business and their staff, as well as a strong drive to build something of their own,” says Ambrose. “It is clear that, for them, it’s not just winning that counts, it’s the thrill of the game.”

But is it all work and no play?

——————————- A nine-to-five day at the office is a rarity for most small business owners. In fact, the majority put in more than 50 hours of work per week, with almost 30 percent clocking over 60 hours. Yet, few consider themselves “workaholics” – evidence of just how much of a driving force work is in their lives. In fact, one-third of those polled admit they don’t indulge in leisure activities, citing that they simply don’t have enough time to spare for anything that’s not work-related.

On the whole, though, leading a balanced life is important for business owners, with most trying to squeeze in time for play whenever possible. However, since time is at such a premium, some end up combining their leisure activities with business opportunities. A round of golf, going to a ball game, or going out to dinner are often used as a means of building relationships with business contacts.

Would they do it again?

———————– Nearly 75 percent of those polled feel well-rewarded for their hard work, with three in five saying they enjoy a better quality of life since starting up their business. In fact, the vast majority of business owners would do it all over again if given a second opportunity. Over 90 percent of respondents said they are generally happy with the way things have worked out since venturing out on their own.

Small business owners are also remarkably buoyant about the future, with four in five intending to continue working at the same frenetic pace or even harder to expand their businesses. Very few of those polled said they want to slow down and relax more, and even less are thinking about packing it in to retire early. These findings are supported by a recent CFIB study which showed that the number of small firms expecting to grow in 1999 outnumbered those that see a decline by a margin of three to one.

“The small business sector is a vibrant and integral part of our country’s economic future. Owners of these firms deserve a lot more credit and recognition,” says Ambrose, adding that the “Risks and Rewards” study is part of Amex’s increasing attention to the needs of this thriving market. The study follows the charge and credit card company’s October 1998 announcement that it would be putting significant resources behind the development and marketing of new products and services to expand its customer base among the more than two million small and home-based businesses in Canada.

Ambrose continues, “Along with practical financial support, Amex will focus on developing special travel and rewards programs for small businesses — helping to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to make the most of their limited leisure time.”

As part of that effort, the company has signed on as a Sponsor in the newly expanded AIR MILES for Business Program(TM) launched today by The Loyalty Group in Toronto. The program rewards small business owners for their everyday business spending in addition to their personal spending. On top of that, AIR MILES(R) Business Collectors are eligible for exclusive Business Sponsor bonus mile offers and unique rewards tailored to meet the needs of small business owners. Other Sponsors in the program include AT&T Canada, UPS, NEBS Business Forms, Holiday Inn and Liberty Health.

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Canada Inc. and Amex Bank of Canada. Amex Canada Inc. is a leading provider of travel related services in Canada and assists companies in managing and controlling their business and travel expenses. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. Both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the New York-based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of American Express Company, which provides a wide range of financial and travel related services for consumers and companies.

THE RISKS & REWARDS OF GOING IT ALONE

An American Express Survey of Small Business Owners in Canada

Key Facts & Findings

————————————————————————- – 93% of small business owners are generally happy with the way things have turned out since going into business for themselves. The remainder admit they wouldn’t do it again.

– The top three reasons for going it alone are: being your own boss and having control over decisions (89%), making better use of your skills and knowledge (86%), followed by the potential for financial rewards (70%).

– While men are more likely than women to be motivated by the chance of making money (66% vs. 51%), women are more inclined to do a job that fits well with their home and family life (74% vs. 57% of men).

– It’s the same satisfaction of being independent (65%) and the ambition of a prosperous future (23%) that keep small business owners motivated in spite of the daily pressures. Nearly 30% also cite the pure enjoyment of their work as a significant driver to keep going.

– Seven in ten feel well-rewarded for their hard work.

– Almost 60% say they enjoy a better quality of life since starting up their business.

– Over 75% of small business owners find running their business stressful.

– More than half say the effort they’ve had to put into their business is more than they bargained for. A mere 3% feel that going it alone ended up being easier than expected.

– 60% of small business owners put in more than 50 hours of work per week, with one-quarter of these clocking over 60 hours. Only 13% put in a regular 40-hour week or less.

– 50% feel that their business demands too much of their time. As a consequence, nearly two in five say the amount of quality time they are able to spend with their family has suffered.

– Less than one-third (30%) of small business owners describe themselves as “workaholics”.

– One-third admit they don’t indulge in leisure activities. Of these, the majority (67%) cite that they simply don’t have enough time to spare for anything that’s not work-related.

– Of the 70% who do squeeze in time for leisure activities, most (50%) prefer to spend it on the golf course or taking part in other sports. Other favourite pastimes include travel (47%), hobbies (35%), going out to dinner (29%), and spending a night at the movies (16%).

– One-third (36%) find it difficult to relax in their time off.

– More than 40% plan to expand their enterprise through diversification or by growing staff and sales. Only 14% want to slow down and take things easy for a while.

Telephone interviews were conducted with 305 American Express Small Business customers throughout Canada in February 1999. The majority had been in business for more than five years, and covered a broad range of industries, including retailing, manufacturing, business services, and agriculture. On selected key issues, responses were combined with the results of a similar Members’ survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), thereby increasing the sample size in these cases to 636. The questions that apply are: Hours worked per week, Amount of effort put into business, Key motivators for becoming self-employed, Agreement with challenges and rewards of self-employment.

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Oberthur Plant

Oberthur Smart Cards Oberthur has made a heavy investment in the future of smart card technology in North America by building the largest card manufacturing facility on the continent. The new 106,000 square foot plant, which is officially inaugurated yesterday in Los Angeles, will enable the annual production of more than 200 million cards. Many smart card firms have retreated and restructured since the USA market has proven to be difficult to penetrate. Oberthur believes smart card opportunities in North America will abound as the security needs of the financial, government, and telecommunications communities move toward a greater reliance on e-commerce and the Web.

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Digital Insight Names CFO

Digital Insight Corporation announced Wednesday that Kevin McDonnell has been named Chief Financial Officer. According to John Dorman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Insight, Mr. McDonnell will be responsible for managing the company’s accounting, human resources and business development functions.

Digital Insight, among the world’s largest providers of real-time, Internet-based transaction services for financial institutions, is now serving more than 320,000 active home banking end-users – up from 91,000 in January 1998. “As we continue to execute successfully on our careful plans for sustained growth, Kevin will play a pivotal role,” said Dorman. “His expertise in managing high-growth companies and in leading companies through their initial public offering phase will be indispensable as we move forward.”

McDonnell has a broad range of experience with both private and public companies. Most recently, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Rockford Industries, a publicly traded leasing company which was sold to American Express in February of this year.

Prior to joining Rockford Industries, McDonnell was the Chief Financial Officer for Printrak International, a publicly traded multinational computer company specializing in automated fingerprint identification. McDonnell was responsible for Printrak’s initial public offering in 1996 and completed several acquisitions during his tenure there.

Prior to this, McDonnell was the Chief Financial Officer for Mobile Technology, Inc. which was a nationwide medical services firm. At Mobile Technology, Inc., McDonnell was part of a turnaround team and was responsible for restructuring over $190 million in debt and streamlining operations to meet a changing business environment for mobile MRI services.

McDonnell also held several high level financial positions with Teradata Corporation from 1985 until 1992 when the company was sold to AT&T. Teradata was one of the leading providers of massively parallel data warehousing solutions to Fortune 500 companies and leading financial institutions. McDonnell was involved in Teradata’s initial public offering in 1987 as Assistant Treasurer and served as the company’s Corporate Controller from 1989 to 1992 where he was responsible for world-wide accounting, reporting, planning and financial systems.

“Digital Insight offers a seasoned and knowledgeable management team and tremendous prospects for continued triple-digit growth-all within the context of an exciting and important technology segment,” said McDonnell. “I sincerely look forward to applying my experience in managing high-growth companies here at Digital Insight.”

About Digital Insight

Founded in 1995, Digital Insight is among the world’s largest providers of real-time, Internet-based transaction services for financial institutions.

The company develops and hosts Internet applications for more than 260 live financial institutions in the United States, and currently serves more than 330,000 active home banking end-users. Digital Insight’s web-based services include AXIS(TM), a comprehensive home banking system with bill payment and target marketing options, and PRIZM(TM), a comprehensive cash management solution for businesses. [www.diginsite.com][1].

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

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EDS IPS

EDS introduced Integrated Payment Services yesterday, a comprehensive suite of services combining traditional and electronic billing capabilities. IPS is the first comprehensive package of its kind, giving companies a single source to control the complexities and manage the movement of paper bills and payments to electronic business.The first IPS offering will be: ‘Billing and Receivable Services’. Future IPS offerings will target point-of-purchase transactions and disbursements later this year. Available features of ‘Billing and Receivable Services’ include: Interactive Billing Services; EDS*Pay; Interactive EDI Services; Financial EDI Services; EDS ACH Services; Remittance Processing; EDS Statement Rendering Services; and EDS Remittance Information Consolidation Services.

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Another Exclusive

First USA’s aggressive push to lock up exclusive Internet marketing deals bagged another big one yesterday. CDnow signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement with First USA to give First USA the right as the exclusive credit card issuer on CDnow. Under the agreement, First USA will promote its credit card products and services on CDnow through integrated placements and sponsorships, including banner ads, buttons, text links and special offers that take CDnow customers to a First USA marketing page where they can apply for credit cards. If the agreement runs its full term, CDnow could potentially generate in excess of $8 million in revenue. CDnow offers approximately 500,000 music related items via the Internet.

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VeriSmart ActivCard

Hewlett-Packard’s VeriFone division announced an agreement Tuesday under which ‘ActivCard’, a provider of strong authentication solutions, will supply its ‘ActivReader’ product to serve as a next-generation smart-card reader compatible with VeriFone’s ‘VeriSmart’ server software. ‘ActivReader’ is a portable, handheld smart-card reader. When used with the ‘VeriSmart’ server software system, will provide VeriFone customers with an appliance that allows e-services to be delivered directly to consumers virtually anywhere.’VeriSmart’ customers can already download electronic cash to their smart-cards through VeriFone’s ‘Personal ATM’ appliance. The ‘ActivReader’ device allows for a secure channel to conduct secure finance-related applications through the VeriSmart system such as electronic cash schemes, including VISA Cash, Mondex or Proton, but also future applications such as frequent-shopper loyalty programs, bill payment, portfolio management and directory services.

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Wireless Golf Classic

The 1999 BellSouth Classic, a major stop on the PGA Tour, is going wireless with solutions from BellSouth Wireless Data. One wireless solution will allow vendors to make credit card transactions from anywhere along the golf course, while another solution will keep the media connected with the latest tournament information.

BellSouth Wireless Data, a subsidiary of BellSouth Corp. and a leading provider of wireless data communications solutions, is outfitting course concession stands with wireless credit card terminals for fast and easy transactions. The company is also displaying wireless credit card terminals and the BellSouth Interactive Paging(SM) Service at the event’s Product Pavilion. Key sports writers covering the event, which takes place March 29 to April 4 — Tournament Players Club at Sugarloaf in Duluth, GA, will also use the Interactive Paging Service to get the latest tournament news.

“The BellSouth Classic is a perfect venue to illustrate how wireless data is moving into the mainstream and touching peoples’ lives in new ways every day,” said William F. Lenahan, president and CEO of Woodbridge, N.J.-based BellSouth Wireless Data. “We are proud to be taking part in this prestigious event and to have our advanced wireless data communications solutions help the concessionaires and sports writers stay wirelessly connected, no matter where they are on the golf course.”

Fans attending the BellSouth Classic won’t have to carry cash to purchase food items at concession stands placed along the Sugarloaf golf course. BellSouth Wireless Data and Martin Howe Inc., an integrated provider of transaction processing services and wholly owned subsidiary of NOVA Corporation (NYSE: NIS), have outfitted concession stands with Lipman USA Inc., wireless credit card terminals. These wireless terminals give concessionaires the ability to process credit card transactions without having to depend on the availability of phone lines or dial-up connections. The wireless credit card terminals give fans the freedom to use their credit cards at concession stands everywhere . . . from the clubhouse to the greens.

Each terminal is equipped with a wireless modem, allowing for rapid transmission over the nationwide BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network(SM). Once a credit card is swiped, terminals transmit the data wirelessly via the BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network to an authorization center where information is received, processed and broadcast back to the terminal. The whole transaction takes less than ten seconds.

“At a major event such as the BellSouth Classic, it is important to be equipped with the latest technology to ensure convenience and efficiency for spectators and vendors alike,” said David Kaplan, executive director of the BellSouth Classic. “Having BellSouth Wireless Data’s cutting-edge, wireless solutions in place help us operate more smoothly.”

BellSouth Classic spectators will also sample the nation’s premier interactive paging service, the BellSouth Interactive Paging Service, at the event’s Product Pavilion. There will be demonstrations of the Interactive Paging Service as well as the opportunity for visitors to send e-mails to colleagues, friends or family via the service.

Reporters covering this year’s BellSouth Classic will stay wirelessly connected throughout the event with the BellSouth Interactive Paging Service. BellSouth Wireless Data is providing key sports reporters with the Interactive Paging Service. Reporters will constantly be updated by BellSouth with breaking tournament news and player information wherever they are on the course via the two-way device.

Introduced in September 1998, the service offers people on the go the ability to initiate and respond to messages in seconds rather than minutes via Internet e-mail and other pagers, and send messages to fax machines and telephones. Interactive paging features the RIM Inter@ctive(TM) Pager 950, a unique wearable, hand-held device with a full keyboard that uses an Intel386(TM) processor. The BellSouth interactive Paging Service was a winner of the prestigious 1999 Mobility Award from Mobile Insights as the top software/service in the Wireless category.

The 72-hole BellSouth Classic has been a fixture on the PGA Tour since 1967 and features many of the greatest names on the tour. For the latest tournament information or to purchase tickets, fans can go to the official BellSouth Classic web site at: .

About NOVA Corporation

NOVA Corporation (“NOVA”), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment and information processing services, related software application products and value added services to more than 450,000 merchants nationwide and processes more than $50 billion in credit card volume. NOVA merchant customers typically include small- to medium-sized merchants that require a full spectrum of processing services. Web site address:

Martin Howe Associates is a subsidiary of NOVA Corporation, and specializes in processing credit card payments via Wireless Point of Sale terminals. Every major sports league, and many entertainment complexes around the nation, use Martin Howe Associates’ wireless solutions. Having the flexibility and creativity to find quick and permanent solutions has been the MHA trademark. Web site address:

About Lipman USA Inc.

Established in 1974, Lipman Electronic Engineering Ltd. is a high technology publicly held company whose shares are traded on the Tel-Aviv stock exchange. The company’s objective is to keep ahead of the competition through innovative action. The company’s business philosophy is to provide the customer with the most reliable, technologically advanced and most cost-effective product available. The company is involved in the development, production and marketing of a broad line of sophisticated, microprocessor-based electronic equipment and computerized systems for advanced applications, incorporating optical imaging and scanning technologies. Following the tradition of over two decades of excellence in state-of-the-art products, the company continues to expand as a pace-setter in advanced communication and embedded system technologies. Web site address:

About BellSouth Wireless Data BellSouth Wireless Data, L.P., headquartered in Woodbridge, N.J., is an expert in providing proven wireless data communications solutions that eliminate the barriers between critical information and mobile users. The company, a winner of the prestigious Sears Innovation Source of the Year and Partners in Progress awards for 1997, delivers a competitive advantage and increases personal productivity for aggressive, innovative companies and individuals leveraging communications technologies to meet their strategic goals. BellSouth Wireless Data operates its wireless data service throughout the United States, covering more than 93 percent of the urban business population located in 266 metropolitan areas with a total population of 200 million people.

BellSouth Wireless Data is a subsidiary of BellSouth Corporation, which provides telecommunications, wireless communications, cable and digital TV, directory advertising and publishing, and Internet and data services to nearly 33 million customers in 19 countries worldwide. E-mail: bellsouthwd.info@bellsouthwd.com . Web site address: .

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Oil Card Falcon

Chevron Corp. has decided to install HNC Financial Solutions’ ‘Falcon’ payment card fraud detection system to protect Chevron’s 7 million plus portfolio from fraud losses. San Diego-based HNC Financial Solutions says it will deliver a version of ‘Falcon’ that is specially configured to detect the kind of fraud that is typical on private label oil cards. Chevron’s ‘Falcon’ will employ an oil-card-specific neural network. Falcon is used by over 600 credit card issuers worldwide.

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Citi Acquisition Update

As part of its strategy to be the world’s leading full service provider of consumer financial services, Citigroup Tuesday announced three separate acquisitions designed to strengthen its position in the area of consumer lending.

— Citibank agreed to acquire Mellon Bank’s credit card business, including a portfolio of $1.9 billion in credit card receivables.

— Commercial Credit, as previously announced, has signed an agreement to acquire a $558 million loan portfolio and 128 consumer finance branch offices from Associates First Capital Corporation.

— Citibank completed the acquisition of Santiago, Chile-based Financiero Atlas, a consumer finance company with 65 branches throughout Chile and $460 million in assets.

Separately, Citigroup also completed the sale of its Newbridge Securities unit, a correspondent securities business, to Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Terms of the three acquisitions, as well as the divestiture, were not disclosed. Citibank’s purchase of Financiero Atlas was completed earlier this month. Citigroup expects to complete the other transactions by the end of the first quarter, pending regulatory approvals.

“Our announcements today are in keeping with our overall business goal – to be the leader in providing high-quality, end-to-end financial services for consumers around the world,” explained William I. Campbell, Co-CEO for Citigroup’s Consumer Business. “With this series of transactions, Citigroup is better-positioned in several of our core consumer businesses, including credit cards and personal, or consumer, lending.”

Robert I. Lipp, also Co-CEO for Citigroup’s Consumer Business, noted that, “Collectively, these acquisitions will enable Citigroup to achieve greater economies of scale within our broad consumer business, and enhance our financial product offerings and service capabilities for customers. We’re in the process of refocusing our resources on businesses in which we are a clear leader and those that hold tremendous opportunity for growth and away from non-strategic ventures. This will give us a business mix that better addresses the overall corporate strategy, and offers the best opportunity for cross-selling within the organization.”

Citigroup expects to realize the following benefits from the acquisitions announced today:

— The $1.9 billion Mellon Bank credit card portfolio will further strengthen Citibank’s position as the global leader in consumer credit cards. In the U.S. credit cards in circulation will now number 70 million, with worldwide credit and charge cards totaling 96 million. The acquisition includes the establishment of an agent bank relationship to market credit cards under the Mellon and Dreyfus brands. Also, Citibank’s affinity card unit will manage and market an affinity card program designed especially for members of the American Dental Association.

— By acquiring 128 offices of The Associates, as well as a substantial loan portfolio, Commercial Credit significantly expands its on-the-ground lending presence to more than 1,100 offices throughout the U.S. Commercial Credit currently provides personal loans and home equity products to more than 1 million customers through more than 1,000 offices in 45 states.

— Citibank’s purchase of Financiero Atlas raises its share of the consumer lending market in Chile to 15 percent. This consumer lending business will be jointly managed by Citibank Chile and Commercial Credit and embodies the strategic goal to develop consumer finance operations in selected markets worldwide.

Citigroup is the world’s most global financial services organization. Citigroup’s consumer businesses cover a broad range of financial services in 57 countries — retail and private banking, credit and charge cards, mortgage lending, consumer lending, personal financial planning, personal insurance and investment brokerage and counseling. These services are marketed through Citibank, Commercial Credit, Primerica, Travelers Life & Annuity and Travelers Property Casualty. Together, these consumer businesses earned $2.8 billion in 1998, representing 58 percent of Citigroup’s core business income.

Today Citigroup serves over 100 million customers – including consumers, businesses, governments and financial institutions – in 100 countries and territories.

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FU Picks Vignette

Vignette Corporation , a leader in Internet Relationship Management solutions, today announced that First Union National Bank has selected Vignette Corporation’s StoryServer 4 as the platform for the company’s Web business. First Union, a leading provider of financial services to more than 16 million retail and corporate customers throughout the nation, selected StoryServer software because of its scalable, extensible, open architecture and rapid time to deployment. First Union’s online banking site can be found at and will be implementing StoryServer by the end of the second quarter 1999. With the signing of First Union National Bank, four of the top twelve U.S. banks are now Vignette customers.

First Union initially plans to use StoryServer 4 as a key piece in their Internet infrastructure. Vignette’s solution will drive the organization’s Web-based business channels to attract and retain First Union prospects and customers. This will enable them to access a wide range of business and personal financial services and content tailored to their specific needs in a highly personalized and dynamic way.

“We look forward to using Vignette solutions as a major component in our overall strategic initiative to redesign and enhance our online presence,” said Parrish Arturi, vice president of Channel Development at First Union National Bank. “More and more of our online customers are looking to the Internet for financial solutions, and a strong corporate Web presence is critical to our success. We believe Vignette’s enterprise (IRM) solutions will enable us to create dynamic, personalized and relevant experiences for our customers and visitors. Using StoryServer our online offerings will continue to expand in ways that meet our customers’ changing needs.”

“Vignette is honored that First Union, one of the top financial institutions in the world, has chosen StoryServer to help build its online business,” said Greg Peters, president and CEO of Vignette. “The financial services world has led the charge to provide one-stop-shopping for users. With another bank just a click away, this type of full online service is critical. We are committed to helping First Union build an online business to attract and retain loyal customers.”

StoryServer is the premier Web application platform for managing online customer relationships. It addresses the unique requirements of enterprise applications, which focus on building lasting customer relationships rather than simply facilitating transactions. StoryServer delivers four essential (IRM) functions: lifecycle personalization, open profiling services, advanced content management and decision support capabilities. Targeted to companies that use the Web as a business channel, StoryServer is the only Internet application platform built to develop loyalty and satisfaction throughout the customer lifecycle.

First Union Corp.

First Union Corporation is a leading provider of financial services to more than 16 million retail and commercial customers throughout the East Coast and the nation. First Union is the nation’s sixth largest bank holding company, based on assets of $237 billion as of December 31, 1998. The company operates full-service banking offices in twelve states and Washington, D.C.

Vignette Corporation

Vignette Corporation, the leader in the category of Internet Relationship Management software products and services, provides enterprise solutions for companies that are building businesses online. Vignette’s products and services, which include StoryServer(TM) 4 software, Vignette Syndication Server(TM) (VSS(TM)) Software and its recently announced Vignette Development Center(TM) (VDC(TM)) software are designed to allow businesses to use the Web as a new channel for customer acquisition and retention. More than 190 companies, including National Semiconductor, PNC Bank, Bank One, CNET, The Electronic Newsstand, Nortel Networks, and Ziff-Davis’ ZDNet, use StoryServer to serve more than a combined 30 million page views per day. Vignette’s numerous industry awards include the Crossroads A-list; New Media Hyper Award; CNET’s 1998 Builder.com Product Award; Red Herring Magazine’s Best Overall Private Company in 1998, 1998 Best Product Award for StoryServer; Upside Magazine’s Hot Private Company in the Net Infrastructure Category; and the NewMedia Magazine 500, Hottest Companies in Digital Media Award. The Vignette Partner program is comprised of three membership categories: Consulting Partner, Solution Provider and Technology Partner. Each category offers members a customized set of benefits designed to increase partner profits and grow Vignette’s share of the (IRM) market. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Vignette Corporation also has offices located throughout Europe and in Australia and can be found on the World Wide Web at .

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Destiny CEO Honored

Destiny Software Corporation, a leading provider of Internet financial services systems, announced last week that Lucinda Duncalfe was honored as one of the 40 most influential young business leaders in the Philadelphia area. Destiny Software’s chief executive received her award at a gala reception last week sponsored by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Ms. Duncalfe, 36, was chosen for her efforts as chief executive of fast-growing Destiny Software. Destiny grew by over 400% in 1998, and recently signed two new top 10 banking institutions. Destiny also recently added Alex “Pete” Hart, the former Chief Executive of MasterCard and Advanta, to its Board of Directors.

“I really appreciate the honor of joining such a prestigious group. This award is particularly gratifying as it comes in the midst of the greatest momentum we’ve ever had at Destiny,” commented Ms. Duncalfe. “The Philadelphia community has been instrumental to our success, providing tremendous support, access to capital and a wealth of technical talent. I look forward to celebrating tonight with the finest young leaders from our region.”

The “40 Under 40” awards honor Philadelphia’s most talented young professionals. The award judges seek those individuals that shape the direction of the Philadelphia community in all phases of life including business, culture, social service, labor and government service.

Stephen Amsterdam, a Destiny Software Board Member, will also be honored at this year’s awards reception. Mr. Amsterdam is a founding principal of Pennsylvania Early Stage Partners, a $50 million venture capital fund associated with Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE). Pennsylvania Early Stage Partners became an investor in Destiny Software in 1998.

Destiny Software is a leading provider of Internet systems to the world’s premier financial institutions. The company’s software and consulting services enable these organizations to build sophisticated Internet systems, rapidly and reliably. Destiny’s fixed price, fixed time project methodology, backed by a track record of success, eliminates the risks in implementing complex Internet solutions. Destiny’s clients include Bank of America, The Northern Trust Company, GE Capital and First USA (a Bank One subsidiary). The company’s web site is located at [www.destinysoftware.com][1].

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

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Brittain’s New Reports

Y2K Financial Panic Monitors

(a series of three consumer tracking studies)

Brittain Associates. . .providing marketing research and strategic marketing consulting to the financial services industry

Background

By now every financial institution in the world is preparing for the Y2K computer problem. Plans have been made to upgrade computers and software and correct the many glitches that this bug has created. But from the consumer’s viewpoint, that may not be enough. Many organizations have advocated hoarding cash and supplies, liquidating investments and closing bank accounts to protect consumers’ assets.

How much do consumers really know about this problem and what steps are they planning to take to protect themselves? Besides preparing systems for Y2K, what should financial institutions do to ease their customers’ concerns about their money?

Because this situation is unique and there is no historical data to tell us what to expect, financial institutions must arm themselves with the information that will help them prepare. Brittain Associates’ series of consumer tracking studies, Y2K Financial Panic Monitors, will provide financial institutions with the information they need to make decisions that will protect their firms and the consumers they serve. And, by collecting the data quarterly, we can monitor how consumers’ fears and opinions change as the end of the year approaches.

Report Information Highlights

What are consumers most fearful about regarding Y2K?

What are their plans regarding those fears?

Specifically, what are their fears about and what are their plans for:

money in checking and savings?

invested money?

credit card accounts?

mortgage documentation/records?

other financial issues?

Methodology

Data will be collected via randomly dialed telephone interviews conducted with 3,000 U. S. adults living within the Continental United States (1,000 quarterly). The three waves of interviewing will be conducted in March, June and September 1999. Depth interviews will be conducted with those respondents who are aware of the Y2K problem.

Deliverables

The reports will be available April, July and October, 1999. Each will include key data analysis via reproduction quality graphs, tables and charts. The second and third waves will also include trend data. A complete set of data cross-tabulations will also be included in the reports.

Investment

The basic price for each report (wave) of the Y2K Financial Panic Monitor report is $3,800. Those who indicate a commitment to receive all three waves will receive all three reports using the following pricing schedule:

Wave #1 (spring) $3,800

Wave #2 (summer) $2,850 (25% discount)

Wave #3 (fall) $1,900 (50% discount)

Those who commit to two of the three will receive a 25% discount on their second report.

Billing will be done in concert with the publication dates.

Ordering

To order the Y2K Financial Panic Monitor, either return (by fax or mail) the attached order form with your name and delivery address. You may also phone your order to us at 404-636-6155 or send an e-mail to order@brittainassociates.com. If you have any questions, please call.

1999 Credit Cards on the Internet Report

Brittain Associates. . .providing marketing research and strategic marketing consulting to the financial services industry

Background

At first, the Internet presented itself as a new marketing channel for credit cards. Declining direct mail response rates accelerated issuers’ search for alternative ways to get new accounts. Some issuers are doing better at this than others. Who are they? Now, with the Internet becoming a shopper’s destination of choice, card issuers are looking for ways to make their cards the consumer’s “on-line favorite”. The question is, how well do these on-line customer service and card-use benefits work to create new ownership, more usage and account retention?

Report Information Highlights

As a result of on-line marketing, how many credit card accounts have been opened?

How did consumers locate these credit card offers?

Which on-line marketers of cards have what share?

Do consumers have a favorite on-line buying card?

If so, why?

How many consumers have on-line customer service with some of their cards?

How many get special perks when using certain cards on-line?

How many consumers can pay their credit card bills on-line?

Do these service features and perks make them more loyal?

How much did consumers spend on-line during the 1998 holiday season?

How much of this was charged to a credit card?

Methodology

Online interviews will be conducted with approximately 4,000 U. S. adult users of the Internet. From this group we will conduct 350 depth interviews with those who have obtained a credit card a s a result of on-line marketing. We will also interview 350 active Internet users who have not yet obtained an Internet marketed card. The data will be collected in March of 1999.

Deliverable

Subscribers will receive a comprehensive report that provides key data analysis and marketing implications via reproduction quality graphs, tables and charts. A complete set of data cross-tabulations is also included in the report. The report will be available for delivery in April, 1999. As always, the report carries our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Investment

Those who indicate an intent to subscribe prior to April 12, 1999 will receive the report at the 20% discounted price of $2,800. The basic subscription for the 1999 Credit Cards on the Internet report is $3,500.

Ordering

To order the Credit Cards on the Internet report, either return (by fax or mail) the attached order form with your name and delivery address. You may also phone your order to us at 404-636-6155 or send an e-mail to order@brittainassociates.com. If you have any questions, please call. For a complete list of our other consumer financial studies and prices, visit our WEB site listed below.

Details