MasterCard Valentine’s

MasterCard announced this morning a special “Shop Smart! For Your Sweetheart” Internet site packed with special offers for MasterCard cardholders. Shop Smart! is a MasterCard Internet-based program designed to help consumers benefit from the choice, convenience and value offered by over 400 Shop Smart! online retailers. More than 160 Shop Smart! merchants offer special values for customers who pay with a MasterCard.


TWA Phone Card

Carrier Services, Inc., TWA and Sprint have all teamed up to offer the ‘Prepaid Aviators Phone Card’. The prepaid card will offer members of TWA’s ‘Aviators’ program long distance service, plus the benefit of bonus miles credited directly to their Aviators portfolio. Each $50 card carries 170 minutes of high quality Sprint calling time along with 500 Aviators miles. OR-based CSI operates under the proprietary brand 1-800-PRE-PAID.


Paymentech Deal

Paymentech announced from the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association’s Wireless ’99 convention that PageNet, Western Wireless and AccessLine have selected Paymentech to process their automatic payment programs for recurring billing. The recurring billing, or recurring payment, electronic solution enables these wireless and enhanced communication service providers to automatically receive payments from customers that are billed on a monthly or regularly scheduled basis.


Logical Design Testing

Logical Design Solutions, Inc., a provider of Web-based professional services, announced that it has been selected to conduct usability testing for FundsXpress, Inc.’s Internet banking services for community bank customers throughout the United States.

FundsXpress Inc., located in Austin, Texas, is an Internet technologies company that provides secure, reliable Internet Banking capabilities to banks and other financial institutions. FundsXpress’ service bureau approach uses a secure data center to host client bank Web sites and perform financial transactions. Full retail and commercial services are available and typical retail financial transactions include bill payment, account balances and funds transfers. FundsXpress provides all the hardware, software and interfaces necessary for banks to have a secure Internet banking Web site. With the services from FundsXpress, financial institutions have a cost-effective means of offering Internet banking options to their customers.

“LDS is well-known for its world-class Usability Center in the heart of New York City’s financial district,” said Mimi Brooks, founder, president and CEO of Logical Design Solutions. “FundsXpress has asked us to develop and conduct tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the user interface design – such as how easy is it to use this test data will then be shared with FundsXpress in a detailed report.”

“We are very familiar with LDS and their commitment to customer service and quality products. FundsXpress shares the same goals. We want our Internet Banking offering as well as our other financial products to be well-designed and easy to use,” said Gary E. Fendler, Executive Vice President at FundsXpress. “LDS is an expert in these areas.”

The Usability testing will be completed by early March. LDS has also been engaged to deliver a paper “prototype” to visually depict the suggested changes resulting from the Usability tests.

More About FundsXpress

Based in Austin, Texas, FundsXpress is a leading Internet-based financial service network that provides everything a bank needs to offer Internet Banking to its customers. FundsXpress has been exclusively endorsed by the 730 Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the 650 member Community Bankers Association of Illinois. FundsXpress, who recently raised $10 million in a private equity placement and has agreements to provide Internet banking services with over 60 financial institutions, offers an affordable, fast, and highly secure environment for financial institutions to meet their customer’s demands.

More About Logical Design Solutions, Inc.

Logical Design Solutions, Inc. (LDS) provides customized Web-based business solutions to Global 2000 companies in a variety of market sectors including the telecommunications, healthcare, and financial services industries. The Company consults, architects, designs, and builds award-winning enterprise scale Intranets, Extranets and Web-commerce systems for multi-national companies. For additional information, call (800) ASK-LDSI, or visit the Logical Design Solutions Web site at [][1].



So-So December

American consumers added more than $2 billion in revolving debt during December according to preliminary figures released Friday afternoon by the Federal Reserve. During the fourth quarter consumers added more than $4 billion to revolving debt. For December 1997 revolving credit card debt grew at annual rate of 2.0% versus this year’s 4.7% annual rate. According to preliminary data gather by CardData, bank credit card debt totalled $450 billion by year end 1998. Overall consumer credit is growing 6.7% annually according to the FRB. At the end of December, American consumers were $1.308 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.


Dec 98 Nov 98 Oct98 Sep98 Aug98 Jul98 Jun98 May98 Apr98 Mar98
%GRWTH: 4.7% -1.5 10.1 8.1 11.3 -3.8 9.2 -1.4 5.4 9.1
$OWED: $558.6 556.4 557.1 552.5 548.7 543.6 545.3 541.2 541.8 539.4

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 02/05/99;
For complete historical data visit


Datacap’s DataTran

Paymentech’s Host And Terminal Capture Networks Available Via Datacap’s DataTran

Datacap Systems, Inc., a leading provider of integrated payment systems, announces the availability of Paymentech’s host and terminal capture interface via DataTran. The new releases support credit, debit and check processing for existing Paymentech point-of-sale processing applications that have been supported by Datacap products for years at thousands of payment points.

DataTran is a powerful integrated payment interface that enables any business system, regardless of hardware or operating system platform, to communicate with payment processors for card and check verification. Retail systems developers interfaced to Datacap’s current Universal Application Interface can now make Paymentech’s host and terminal capture services available to their merchants.

‘Paymentech has very aggressively pursued markets that increasingly demand integrated terminals,’ said Terry H. Zeigler, Datacap President. ‘Combining Paymentech’s marketing power and Datacap’s access to business systems developers creates significant opportunities for both companies to penetrate new markets.’

‘Datacap is widely recognized as a reliable provider of payment solutions for all types of business systems,’ said George E. Wilcox, Paymentech’s group manager for retail product management. ‘This certification will increase Paymentech’s reach into the integrated systems market, and add to our flexibility in obtaining Transactions from virtually any business systems.’

For more information call Datacap at (215) 997-8989, or Visit our Home Page on the Web at

Datacap Systems, Inc.

Datacap Systems, Inc., has successfully designed, manufactured and marketed integrated credit/debit/check certification systems, point-of-sale registers and software for retail systems for over 15 years. Datacap’s experience with business system developers and banks/processors has guided the development of products and services that help banks obtain transactions from integrated business systems, and makes it easy for merchants to get their business systems activated and support for payment verification. In the process, Datacap has created partnering relationships between business systems providers and banks for rapid deployment and support of integrated payment verification solutions.

Datacap’s payment verifications interfaces are designed to allow virtually any system, regardless of operating system or hardware platform, to get easy access to payment processing networks for credit, debit, check, EBT and loyalty program processing. Datacap’s products are used in retail, mail/telephone order, hospitality, quick service, lodging, petroleum, parking, auto rental, convenience, medical and government applications.

Paymentech, Inc.

Paymentech, Inc. founded in 1985, provides full-service electronic payment solutions for direct merchant clients as well as third-party transaction processing. Paymentech also offers complete commercial card payment and information programs to businesses and other entities. Paymentech ( is the third largest processor of bankcard transactions and a leading issuer of commercial cards in the United States.


Sub-Prime Woes

Los Angeles-based Bank Plus Corp. continues to deal with mounting delinquencies and chargeoffs from its venture last year into sub-prime credit cards. According to information released Friday afternoon overall delinquencies (30+ days) hit 22.21% as of Jan. 31. At year-end ’98 delinquency stood at 21.26% and at year-end ’97 delinquency logged in at 10.65%. The bulk of the delinquencies were coming from a sub-prime card program marketed by MMG Direct, Inc. where the 30+ day figure hit 33.57% as of Jan. 31. Bank Plus has terminated all of its sub-prime programs. The bank said Friday that all litigation with American Direct Credit LLC, one of the sub-prime marketing partners, has been dismissed with prejudice. The firm also confirmed Friday that its real estate secured credit card program with First Alliance Mortgage Company has stopped originating new credit card accounts.


EarthLink VISA

First USA’s e.card program has been answered as EarthLink and MBNA America Bank announced this morning the new ‘EarthLink VISA Card’. Based Pasadena, CA, EarthLink provides access and hosting solutions to thousands of communities internationally from more than 1,700 points of presence. The company is a haven for Mac users and is the default ISP on Apples iMacs computer. The firm recently formed a broad business relationship with Sprint. Card incentives include: $5 in ‘EarthLink Cash’ immediately upon credit card approval; 2% back on purchases made at the EarthLink Mall; and 0.5% back on any Internet or offline purchases.


Car Calling Card

OH-based Reynolds and Reynolds Company introduced prepaid calling card program to assist automotive marketing. The program was developed by Calling Card Promotions, a partnership between Reynolds and MCI WorldCom, and was unveiled at the National Automobile Dealers Association Annual Convention in San Francisco last week. Reynolds’ Calling Card Promotions uses customized or standard prepaid calling cards and includes incentives such as: “1-800-DRIVE ME” rewards new customers with phone minutes for test driving new models; “Consumer Rewards” , a calling card key chain presented to a customer as a thank-you for visiting the dealership with an opportunity to receive 1000 free minutes if they return and purchase a vehicle; “Passport Minutes”, a retention program giving customers free minutes for using dealership services; “Motivation Plus”, a program designed for rewarding top employees throughout the dealership; and “Pocket Billboard” which prints business cards on a prepaid calling card.


Low and Long

Following a holiday teaser rate battle Chase Manhattan is marketing, this month, a nine-month, fixed 2.99% rate on its Platinum cards. During the fourth quarter introductory rates were pushed down to as low as 0%. However the 0% rate and other rates under 4% were very short term. In solicitations hitting mailboxes this week, Chase is offering the 2.99% rate for purchases as well as cash advances. The go-to pricing is prime +5.49% for accounts with balances exceeding $2500; prime +7.49% for accounts with balances under $2500; and a punitive rate of prime +13.99%. Applicants who do not qualify for the Platinum program are charged prime +9.49%.

Click here for more information on Chase’s Credit Card Offer

Click on the graphics below to view the different pages of the Application:

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[1]: /graphic/chasemanhattan/29_1_.gif
[2]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/1999/february/chaseplat1.html
[3]: /graphic/chasemanhattan/29_2_.gif
[4]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/1999/february/chaseplat2.html
[5]: /graphic/chasemanhattan/29_3_.gif
[6]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/1999/february/chaseplat3.html
[7]: /graphic/chasemanhattan/29_4_.gif
[8]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/1999/february/chaseplat4.html
[9]: /graphic/chasemanhattan/29_5_.gif
[10]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/1999/february/chaseplat5.html


AmEx Promotes Arway

Pamela Arway has been named to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Global Supplier Relations, for American Express Corporate Services, the division of American Express that offers travel management services to companies. For the last 12 years, Ms. Arway has held leadership positions with Amex Canada Inc., most recently heading its Travel Services Group division.

In her new role, Ms. Arway will be responsible for leading the company’s travel agency relationship with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, tour operators, cruise lines and computer reservation systems. She will transition American Express’ existing supplier relations functions into a closely linked global organization, leveraging American Express’ position as the largest business and leisure travel agency in the world. This new position will be key to advancing the company’s worldwide travel business, providing long-term strategic focus to this highly complex area of the travel industry.

Ms. Arway will be based in New York and will report jointly to Ed Gilligan, President, Corporate Services U.S., and Charles Petruccelli, President, Travel Services Group International. She will directly manage the existing Supplier Relations Groups in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Canada.

“Pam has proven herself as a strong leader and is well versed in the intricacies of the travel industry,” said Charles Petruccelli. “With a rapidly changing environment marked by global airline alliances, consolidation and repeated reductions in travel agency commissions, American Express will benefit from a more active and unified approach to travel supplier relations. We are very excited that Pam has agreed to drive this strategy.”

During her career with American Express in Canada, Ms. Arway has held several leadership positions. These have included: Director, Corporate Card/Business Travel Marketing; Vice-President, Consumer Card Marketing; and Vice-President and General Manager, Consumer Travel. In 1994, she oversaw the integration of Thomas Cook’s travel operation after American Express acquired that company’s worldwide corporate travel management business.

In 1995, Ms. Arway was promoted to her most recent position of Senior Vice President and General Manager, Travel Services Group, Canada. Under her leadership, the company’s travel management business has become a market leader in Canada, winning major new business like the Canadian Government’s Corporate Card program and the travel service contract for the Canadian Department of National Defence.

Ms. Arway has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Marketing Association for 1992-93, is a past-chair of the Executive Committee, and has been on the Board for seven years. She is also a Board Member of the Centre for Research in Women’s Health (CRWH) at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital since February 1996.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Memorial University in Newfoundland and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Queen’s University in Ontario.

American Express operates the world’s largest travel agency, with business and leisure travel sales worldwide of more than $19.9 billion in 1998. American Express Corporate Services, which includes the American Express Corporate Card, Business Travel Services and Corporate Purchasing Card, assists companies in managing and controlling their business travel and general expenses. It is a unit of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Express Company — a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.


Vital CEO

Vital Processing Services’ board of directors Friday announced the addition of Jonathan J. Palmer as the new president and chief executive officer. The search for a new CEO began nine months ago when Vital CEO Fred Gumbel abruptly resigned. Palmer currently serves as chairman, president, and CEO of Wellspring Resources, a human resources administration outsourcing company, in Jacksonville, FL. He also was with Barnett Bank in Jacksonville, where he served as the chief retail banking and technology executive. Palmer previously held senior positions with Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia, Shearson Lehman Brothers, and Furash and Co.. Palmer will assume his new post on February 15.