Customer Relationships

Competitive pressures, as well as a growing requirement to manage customer risk, are driving financial institutions to seek more comprehensive levels of understanding and management of complex corporate relationships. Meridien Research predicts broad-scale adoption of more modern customer identification technology, according to a recent report, “Customer Identification Solutions.”

This 23-page report describes the complexities of identifying whole corporate customer relationships across multiple product lines, as well as the way that business drivers and even segmentation definitions can shift among financial institutions of various sizes and types. The report also explores the business value of integrating customer relationship information, including calculation of overall customer relationship value, identification of customer and product overlaps and gap opportunities, and early detection of changes in risk profile.

The solution elements in corporate customer identification systems include components for storing and accessing information, as well as integrating with multiple data sources. The report provides in-depth analysis of interrelation and technical issues associated with elements such as data models, workflow and messaging among applications, interfaces and security, record-keeping and reporting systems, and decision support requirements. In addition, the report explains the role of data integration functions such as matching, editing, and cleansing, which are necessary to merge various account records and eliminate duplicates.

Meridien also looks at the vendors of software solutions, data integration and consulting services with special attention to the vendors’ focus on and experience with financial institutions. The report provides detailed case studies on two institutions, BankBoston (USA) and a large super regional bank, who have functional but continuously evolving customer identification systems.

Meridien Research of Newton, MA, provides analytical research services to users and providers of financial technology. Meridien Research targets three technology segments of strategic importance to financial services firms: Electronic Delivery, Risk Management and Customer Management. Each practice delivers quarterly reports and monthly briefs, detailing new issues and challenges in the area, while keeping the realities of legacy core systems in mind.

Meridien Research is located at 2020 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA 02466, USA, and can be reached by telephone at 1.617.796.2800, via fax at 1.617.796.2850, or by visiting their Web site at [][1].



NextCard IPO

NextCard, Inc. announced Monday that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to an initial public offering of its common stock. NextCard is a pioneer, Internet-based provider of consumer credit. The company was the first to offer an online credit approval system. All shares to be included in the offering will be newly issued shares of NextCard. Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. is acting as lead manager and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., Thomas Weisel Partners LLC and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc. are acting as co-managers of the proposed underwriting group.


Paymentech Status

First Data Corp. has signed definitive agreements with Bank One and Paymentech, Inc. for the acquisition of Paymentech, Inc.’s public shares and the combination of Paymentech, Inc.’s operations with First Data’s merchant bank alliance with Banc One Payment Services LLC. First Data will acquire the outstanding public ownership of Paymentech at a price of $25.50 per share. Currently public ownership consists of 16 million shares, representing approximately 45% of the outstanding shares. Bank One owns the remaining 55%. The operations of Paymentech will be combined with Banc One Payment Services LLC which will be jointly owned by Bank One and First Data. Pamela Patsley, currently president and CEO of Paymentech, Inc., will direct the operations of the combined organization.


AmEx One

American Express launched American Express One, a new travel agency division focusing exclusively on the needs of small and mid-sized companies. The new entity combines the operations of Travel One, a Mt. Laurel, New Jersey-based agency acquired last fall by American Express, and two of American Express’ own customer service organizations, one focused on mid-sized companies and another which serves small businesses through the retail office network. American Express One will service companies with less than $10 million in annual travel volume. In total, American Express One will handle approximately $3 billion in annual travel sales and have about 3,500 employees.


iPOS Terminal

MobiNetix Systems, Inc., the leader in electronic transaction management, announced a strategic partnership with Global Card Services, a global provider of credit card related processing services for the hospitality and gaming industries. Under this agreement, GCS will begin offering MobiNetix’s industry-leading MobiNetix iPOS (Interactive Point-of-Sale/Service) terminals to GCS’s customer base.

Building upon a growing installed base of iPOS units conducting millions of transactions per day, the agreement with GCS extends MobiNetix’s reach into the hospitality and gaming markets, including hotels, resorts, casinos and cruise lines.

This partnership addresses an increasing demand for MobiNetix’s innovative interactive point-of-sale (iPOS) terminals, which are designed to improve merchants’ profitability through streamlined operations, reduced costs, improved quality-of-service and increased end-user satisfaction. Targeting multiple industries, MobiNetix iPOS terminals enable secure electronic signature capture and verification capabilities for “electronic registration card” applications, consumer-directed communication, credit/debit card reading, data collection for point of transaction environments, and a platform for promotional messaging and advertising.

“Choosing MobiNetix as a technology partner was a logical choice to help meet the needs of our customers,” said Bill Marshall, chief executive officer, Global Card Services. “We were impressed with MobiNetix’s long-term expertise in developing and deploying electronic transaction solutions as well as their intimate understanding of customer needs. I am confident that this partnership will prove fruitful for both companies.”

Signature capture technology streamlines front desk operations and improves back office efficiencies, while enhancing customer service by eliminating all paper-based registration materials and replacing them with electronic media.

“There is a tremendous market opportunity for MobiNetix’s iPOS solutions to play a strong role in the hospitality industry,” stated Aziz Valliani, CEO of MobiNetix Systems. “We depend heavily on our channel partners to help us address the needs of our customers in markets such as hospitality and gaming. GCS is a valued strategic alliance partner, vital to MobiNetix’s success in penetrating various vertical markets.”

About Global Card Services (GCS)

Founded in 1993, Orlando, FL-based Global Card Services (GCS) is a hospitality and travel niche provider of credit card related processing services, developing and integrating custom designed software and systems with customer-driven support. GCS provides electronic credit card validation services for merchants located in areas where conventional communications are poor or non-existent. For example, GCS services the cruise line industry with the Cruise Card System(TM) product. Over 70% of the cruise industry uses this system for onboard credit card processing. GCS also offers related products to the airline industry. GCS’s web page can be reached at [][1].

About MobiNetix

MobiNetix Systems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: NETX), best known for its iPOS (interactive Point-of-Sale) terminals, provides electronic transaction management platforms that are designed to increase efficiency, expand capabilities and be integrated into the emerging global e-commerce infrastructure. The Company’s PenWare brand terminals offer touch-screen payment, interactive communication, secure signature capture and data collection. MobiNetix also provides a suite of software products designed for iPOS electronic transaction management that are sold through a direct sales force, OEMs, systems integrators and VARs.

With a large installed base of technologically advanced products, including companies such as Federated Department Stores, Inc., the company that runs upscale department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, and the United States Postal Service, MobiNetix is helping its customers realize a new marketing potential while streamlining business operations. Additional information is available at [][2], by sending an e-mail to, or by calling 1-408-524-4200.

This release contains forward looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including price and product competition, design acceptance by customers, financing constraints, the ability to manufacture new products in sufficient volume, general economic conditions, and other risks as detailed from time to time in SEC reports and filings by MobiNetix.

Hide & Seek, PenWare and iPOS are trademarks of MobiNetix Systems, Inc. All other products or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.



PNC E-Banking

PNC Bank, Integrion Financial Network and CheckFree announced yesterday plans to pilot a fully integrated, Web-based electronic banking, bill delivery and payment service for PNC Bank customers.

The integrated solution will enable PNC Bank customers to receive, view and pay a wide range of bills over the Internet. Through PNC Bank’s Account Link by Web, customers will have access to their bank account and bill information in a single log-on session, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to the banking information currently available through Account Link, PNC Bank customers will be able to pay all of their bills electronically and actually see summary and detailed bills from participating merchants.

“We are excited to be one of the first banks in the country piloting integrated bill payment and presentment,” said Martin Evancoe, senior vice president of Electronic Commerce for PNC Bank. “By enhancing Account Link, our Web banking service, with this new technology, we believe our customers will find this integrated set of services compelling and valuable, month after month.”

The solution will connect Integrion’s Interactive Financial Services (IFS) platform and CheckFree’s E-Bill and new processing infrastructure with PNC Bank’s internal systems. For almost a year, PNC, one of the founding owners of Integrion, has been using the IFS platform to deliver its Account Link by Web electronic banking service. Account Link by Web has been providing thousands of PNC Bank’s consumers with around-the-clock access to banking information and transaction capabilities. PNC Bank has also been using CheckFree’s bill payment service for its customers using personal financial management software and telephone bill payment. The integrated solution will leverage the strength and scalability of IFS with the state-of-the-art bill delivery and payment technology of CheckFree. PNC Bank will customize and brand the consumer experience to be consistent with its current Internet delivery service.

In addition to the bank’s efforts with Account Link, PNC Bank’s Treasury Management division recently signed an agreement to wholesale CheckFree’s E-Bill product.

“Integrion intends to deliver solutions that make Internet banking, bill delivery and payment an easy and highly reliable proposition for consumers — a one-stop shop at their bank Web site,” said William M. Fenimore Jr., chief executive officer of Integrion. “We are very enthusiastic about PNC Bank’s leading initiatives in this arena and are committed to enabling them to provide their customers with a compelling experience.”

According to Pete Sinisgalli, chief operating officer for CheckFree, “The banking industry has a huge opportunity to drive widespread awareness and adoption of electronic billing and payment. Comprehensive services like the solution PNC Bank will be offering its customers are the benchmark for the newest generation of online financial management.”

CheckFree currently works with more than 40 of the nation’s top billers to provide electronic billing and payment, including: AT&T, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Countrywide Home Loans, CUNA Mutual Insurance and MCI WorldCom. PNC Mortgage will also participate with CheckFree in this pilot.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank Corp. (NYSE: PNC), headquartered in Pittsburgh, is one of the largest diversified financial services organizations in the United States. Its major businesses include Regional Community Banking, Corporate Banking, Private Banking, Mortgage Banking, Secured Lending, Asset Management and Mutual Fund Servicing. Visit PNC Bank on the World Wide Web at .

About CheckFree

Founded in 1981, CheckFree (, the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: CKFR), 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.

About Integrion

Integrion Financial Network is a leading provider of interactive banking and electronic commerce services to financial institutions. Through the Interactive Financial Services (IFS) platform, Integrion offers financial institutions a network through which electronic transactions flow from multiple consumer access points to a bank’s host system and/or processor. Technology partnerships with IBM and CheckFree Corporation allow for the delivery of flexible, high utility applications that can be employed at a financial institution for the benefit of end customers.

Integrion’s operating philosophy allows banks to determine the manner and format in which home banking and electronic commerce services are offered, ensuring consistency with the bank’s full range of services, effective branding by the bank and maximum customer benefit. For more information, visit the Integrion web site at .


Gemplus ’98

Driven by increased sales of higher value microprocessor cards, including GSM cards, Gemplus reported yesterday that revenues totaled US$648 million last year, an 1% improvement over 1997. Net income was US$27 million, compared to US$2 million in 1997. Due primarily to increased factory productivity, gross margins rose from 32 percent in 1997 to over 34 percent in 1998. Research and development expenditures increased 30 percent over 1997 and reached US$50 million in 1998, a record in terms of spending level as well as a percentage of revenues.


Wachovia Online

Wachovia and TransPoint announced this morning that Wachovia Bank will pilot the ‘TransPoint’ Internet bill delivery and payment system. The pilot will enable a small group of Wachovia customers to receive and pay their bills at Wachovia’s online banking Web site. TransPoint, formerly MSFDC, is the joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and First Data Corp., with Citibank as a minority equity investor.


FUSA Gets Nice

NICE Systems, a leading global provider of digital voice recording systems, Monday announced that FirstUSA has standardized on NICE’s state-of-the-art call center monitoring and quality management system, NiceUniverse, for all of its customer service centers.

NiceUniverse tracks and records agents’ voice and computer screen activity and provides tools for supervisors and management to evaluate every component of the customer care provided by the call center.

FirstUSA, the largest Visa and MasterCard lender in the nation, is rolling out NiceUniverse to monitor and evaluate the activity of its customer service representatives (CSRs), who serve over 56 million card members. NICE’s computer telephony integrated (CTI) solution will be implemented in multiple sites and the completed implementation is valued at millions of dollars.

Installation of the NiceUniverse system is complete in the majority of First USA’s call centers, with the remaining installation to be completed during 1999.

The open architecture of the NICE recording platform allows NiceUniverse to be integrated with FirstUSA’s existing call center technology. This vast array of technology ensures that all customer inquiries at FirstUSA are handled efficiently and accurately by highly skilled CSRs.

Benny Levin, Chairman and CEO of NICE Systems, commented today: “We are very impressed with FirstUSA’s overall commitment to the call center and to its customer care. NiceUniverse is ideally suited to work within FirstUSA’s existing CTI environment and I am confident that FirstUSA is a company that will truly take advantage of all of the system’s features.”

First USA (), a subsidiary of BANK ONE CORPORATION (NYSE: ONE), is the nation’s largest Visa credit card issuer. First USA offers credit cards for consumers and businesses under the First USA, First Chicago, First Card and Bank One names and on behalf of more than 1,500 marketing partners. BANK ONE, with assets of more than $260 billion, is the nation’s fourth largest bank holding company.

NICE Systems (Nasdaq: NICEY) is a leading global provider of integrated digital recording and quality management solutions. NICE’s innovative solutions help customers improve their business by effectively recording, storing, evaluating and managing voice communications, call data, desktop screens and video. NICE serves the business needs of multiple markets, primarily financial institutions, call centers, air traffic control (ATC) sites, public safety centers, and closed circuit television (CCTV) security installations. The company sells indirectly to customers through its global distribution partners including leading telecommunication providers such as Lucent Technologies, Siemens, Alcatel, IPC Information Systems and ETRALI, and a growing distributor network around the world. NICE’s corporate headquarters are based in Israel with subsidiary companies and local offices in the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and France.

This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based on the current expectations of the management of NICE Systems Ltd. (the Company) only, and are subject to a number of risk factors and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in technology and market requirements, decline in demand for the company’s products, inability to timely develop and introduce new technologies, products and applications, loss of market share, pressure on pricing resulting from competition, inability to maintain certain marketing and distribution arrangements, which could cause the actual results or performance of the company to differ materially from those described therein. For a more detailed description of the risk factors and uncertainties affecting the company, refer to the Company’s reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


TSYS – Sears

Total System Services has successfully converted 24 million Sears credit card accounts to the ‘TS2’ card-processing system during the week of March 2. These accounts, the second part of a three-phase conversion, represent 36% percent of the Sears private-label card portfolio. Since completing the conversion, TSYS now processes 31 million Sears accounts. TSYS will convert the final phase in the second quarter of 1999, thus completing its largest conversion ever, a total of 65 million accounts.


Diebold’s New Walk-Up

Diebold, Incorporated , a world leader in automated teller machines, is displaying the world’s first self-contained, exterior walk-up cash dispenser, the 1075ix, at the CeBIT world business fair in Hannover, Germany. The 1075ix creates new opportunities for deployers to install units in unique outdoor locations away from bank branches.

The new and exclusive 1075ix is a free-standing, walk-up cash dispenser which features a durable weather and vandal-resistant housing that does not require a protective building or enclosure. Deployers can use the 1075ix to expand their presence without the expense of building new structures or making new terminals fit into existing buildings. Because no additional structure is required, a 1075ix can be placed for one-third to one-half the cost of other units.

The 1075ix can also be installed in areas where security is a primary concern, especially when equipped with the picture-in-picture Consumer Awareness Monitor(TM), which provides background video in a corner of the screen for users to view activity occurring behind them while using the ATM. Its high security and weather-resistant applications, as well as its small footprint, make the 1075ix the ideal cash dispenser for ATM deployers that are active in placing ATMs in outdoor locations such as plazas, squares, parks and other locations where 24-hour access to cash is desirable.

“As the economics of off-premises ATM deployment continue to evolve, it’s increasingly important to provide our customers with a wide range of solutions to meet their demands,” said Thomas W. Swidarski, senior director, worldwide marketing at Diebold. “The new 1075ix exterior walk-up cash dispenser not only provides our customers with an innovative solution, but also features all of the revenue-generating opportunities found in Diebold’s popular ix Series(TM) ATMs including full-motion video capability, a large 15-inch color screen and the ability to dispense items other than cash.”

The 1075ix will be available worldwide during the second quarter of 1999 and will be on display in the Diebold Stand No. A07 in Hall 18, March 18-24 at CeBIT.

Diebold, Incorporated is the global leader in providing integrated delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, the company employs more than 6,000 employees in some 120 locations worldwide with headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenues 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 [][1].