M&I Acquisition

M&I Data Services acquired the Moneyline Express business unit of Travelers Express yesterday. Moneyline Express is an electronic bill payment and presentment solution for consumers and businesses. Moneyline Express is the second largest provider of consumer bill payment processing in the U.S., processing for customers of more than 700 financial institutions. The acquisition includes the purchase of all assets, operational processes and customer relationships of Moneyline Express. Terms were disclosed.


PaymentNet Goes Java

PaymentNet ([www.paymentnet.com][1]), announced Tuesday that it has released a new interface based on Java technology for its outsourced e-commerce payment processing service, now in use by a wide range of Web businesses from enterprise-class companies to SO/HO (small office/home office) merchants.

The new transaction processing client based on Java(TM) technology is immediately available free of charge at www.paymentnet.com for both Solaris(TM) and Windows NT platforms, and delivers payment performance, security and stability enhancements to Web business IS departments writing Java technology-based applications to link back-office processing systems to Internet storefronts.

“We are delighted to see today’s announcement of PaymentNet’s new enterprise e-commerce transaction interface,” said Dr. Lew Tucker, director of strategic marketing at Sun Microsystems’ Java Software. “Payment processing is an important element in linking legacy systems to the emerging Web storefront environments. This new PaymentNet offering is a great example of the use of Java technology on the client-side.”

The Advantage of Java Technology

The new client implementation based on Java technology is ideal for enterprise-class applications where programs written in the Java language are used to interface between an Internet storefront and back-office functions such as database access, accounting, inventory control, and related management functions. The new Java client is written in C++ with a Java Native Interface (JNI).

To enhance performance, the library is compiled to native machine language with key functions optimized for fast payment processing. To enhance security, developers can now write their internal interface applications in the Java language, eliminating the need to create system calls for payment processing that increase code complexity and create potential security issues. Developers consequently avoid the need to accommodate a non-Java payment processing interface. The new Java client provides robust payment processing capabilities and is based on PaymentNet client application code that has been extensively tested and used by hundreds of e-commerce sites to conduct millions of transactions.

Based On PaymentNet’s Version II Client

The Java technology-based client is based on Version 2 of the PaymentNet merchant-side client, which includes a number of new features of value to enterprise IS and business unit managers. Chief among them is support for electronic check processing through PaymentNet’s alliance with TeleCheck.

This service, now in pilot, delivers the first system for full-function real-time processing of consumer checks without the need to generate a paper draft for submittal to a merchant bank. Through TeleCheck, a leader in payment verification and guarantee services, the service not only delivers real-time processing, but also fraud screening, authorization and merchant guarantee service.

About the PaymentNet Service

PaymentNet provides secure, Internet-based transaction and payment processing on an outsource basis for both enterprises and small merchants who sell goods and services via the Web and call-centers.

PaymentNet offers industry-leading automation and customer care with its high-reliability credit card, debit card, and electronic check processing services.

The PaymentNet Service is the leading single-source, multi-payment Internet gateway. It has been deployed across a wide range of large and small merchants with excellent results, and has proved its value to key payment processing, banking, ISP/distribution and technology partners. The PaymentNet system is deployed using a free, easily integrated thin client binary file.

The service is based on an agent/host architecture, and leverages the Internet as a virtual private network between its proprietary payment processing server and individual clients dispersed on Internet and Intranet locations.

The PaymentNet Service represents a powerful alternative for merchants who have been disappointed by slow, cumbersome, inefficient and costly Internet-based payment processing solutions that have their architectural and feature origins in the “pioneering” era of Internet payment technologies.

About PaymentNet

PaymentNet, Inc. is an outsource provider of automated, highly secure, Internet-based, real-time transaction processing services for merchants of all sizes and business approaches. PaymentNet is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, and can be found on the Web at [www.paymentnet.com][2]. Contact PaymentNet corporate offices at 925/225-1670.

[1]: http://www.paymentnet.com
[2]: http://www.paymentnet.com


Triple Trip Miles

Travelers earn triple the miles for every dollar spent during the introduction of the ‘TripMiles Reward Program’. The new program allows travelers to earn miles each time they purchase airfare on TheTrip.com using their VISA card. The triple miles promotion will run through Jan. 31. Later this month, travelers can begin tracking their account balance online and converting this award into frequent flyer miles with participating major airlines. TheTrip.com is based in Denver.


Cap One Hires Acct Dir

Capital One Financial Corporation today announced that Stephen P. Theobald has joined the Company as Director of Accounting and Reporting. In this capacity, Mr. Theobald will be responsible for the financial reporting, tax, and accounting operations of Capital One.

Mr. Theobald joins Capital One from the New York office of KPMG Peat Marwick LLP, where he was an audit partner in the financial services practice. Mr. Theobald’s fifteen-year career at KPMG included the delivery of audit and accounting services to some of that firm’s largest clients. He also worked in KPMG’s national office and as a Professional Accounting Fellow at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“Steve’s experience and accounting knowledge will enable our accounting and finance function to keep pace with the tremendous growth of Capital One,” said David Willey, Senior Vice President of Finance and Accounting. “We are pleased to have someone of Steve’s caliber join our team.”

Mr. Theobald earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([www.capitalone.com][1]) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 14.9 million customers and $16.3 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 1998, and are among the largest providers of Master Card and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

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


CyberCash Promotion

William N. Melton, CEO of CyberCash Inc., the world leader in e-commerce payment technologies and services, announced the promotion of James Condon to president and chief operating officer.  The Company also said that CyberCash founder, William Melton, will become chairman of the board and remain as chief executive officer.  Condon served as executive vice president and chief operating officer prior to his promotion.

“Jim Condon has done an outstanding job of directing the day-to-day activities of the Company for the past year.  CyberCash has experienced a number of significant developments in the past 12 months, including the acquisition of ICVerify, and his participation and management have been essential to their success.  Jim has very strong operational talents which we need to emphasize as we continue our growth,” said Melton.

Melton, who was appointed to the board chairmanship in December, will focus his personal efforts on the successful marketing and implementation of CyberCash’s innovative new InstaBuy Service, as well as continue to provide the vision for which CyberCash is known.  Dan Lynch, CyberCash’s past chairman continues as an active board member.

“This change is part of the natural evolution of the Company and represents an important step forward in CyberCash’s development,” said Lynch, chairman, Lynch Enterprises, an investment company.  “I am very optimistic about the success of the InstaBuy(TM) Service with Bill focusing his talents on the project.”

“I believe we have developed the best-practices approach to one-click shopping today, and it will become truly universal on the web in a very short period of time,” Melton said.”

According to Melton, the advantages of the InstaBuy Service to merchants, financial institutions and consumers are significant because consumers enjoy one-click shopping convenience at merchant sites anywhere on the Internet. They may even complete purchases directly from some banner ads.

Melton says merchants have been looking for a way to convert a higher percentage of web site visitors to buyers and to retain those customers for repeat purchases while consumers are looking for convenience and security. InstaBuy does both and also allows banks to enhance their relationships with their customers on the Internet.  Having worked with the banking community for years, Melton argues that it is critical today for banks to maintain a strong role in the payment system on the web.  InstaBuy, he says, provides a win-win-win technology for banks, merchants and consumers

“With Jim Condon’s strong operational orientation and Bill Melton’s widely recognized strategic vision and industry expertise, InstaBuy could quickly define one-click shopping on the Internet,” said CyberCash board member Garen Staglin, chairman and chief executive officer of Safelite Glass.  “Without question, Condon and Melton provide CyberCash with a one-two management punch that would be hard to beat in the industry.”

CyberCash is the world’s leading provider of secure electronic commerce payment technologies and services spanning the retail point of sale through the Internet.  CyberCash, the CyberCash logo and InstaBuy are trademarks or registered trademarks of CyberCash, Inc.


GlobeSet * Oki

GlobeSet announced Monday it will provide server-based ‘SET’ and e-debit payment solutions to strategic partner, Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd., for an electronic commerce shop-and-buy pilot in Japan to be piloted this month. The goal of the pilot will be to evaluate security and convenience of a server-based payment solution processing ‘SET’ and e-debit payments, and test interoperability between the server-based payment solution and conventional SET payment systems. The pilot will be conducted in conjunction with the Japan Information Processing Development Center.



GRIC Communications and Lucent Technologies jointly introduced a prepaid Internet telephony calling card system Monday for service providers. ‘GRICprepaid’ is a Java-based software application that interfaces with Lucent’s ‘PacketStar’ IP Telephony System via an enhanced Lucent-developed application programming interface. The calling card enabled by ‘GRICprepaid’ provides real-time authentication, rating, voice response and call termination via Lucent’s ‘PacketStar ITS’. ‘GRICprepaid’ supports a four-tier, distributed server environment and is highly scaleable, customizable and localizable. It runs on UNIX and Windows NT platforms, and is available now. ‘GRICprepaid’ is priced at $25,000.


Satellite Card Tx

Personal Satellite Network, (PSN), a provider of global two-way messaging services, achieved what it believes is a satellite communications breakthrough by sending and receiving a credit card verification using the Orbcomm Global L.P. satellite system. The successful verification demonstrated the feasibility of transactions by satellite.

The satellite-based Electronic-commerce (E-Commerce) capability is designed to facilitate cashless transactions worldwide.  PSN E- Commerce uses encryption technology to ensure transactions are secure from the point of sale unit to the processor.  The advancement will allow mobile businesses to avoid the costly, time-consuming and often impractical requirement of ordering and installing a telephone line to verify credit card transactions.

“Traditional satellite-based service is far too expensive to offer as a common business service,” said Don Rickerson, president and founder of PSN. “But with the price structure that Orbcomm’s satellite service offers, any business will be able to process low- cost transactions from anywhere.”

Orbcomm is a mobile satellite service offering low-cost, two-way messages and data communications globally through international licensees and value- added resellers such as PSN.  Orbcomm is owned jointly by Orbital Sciences Corp. [ORB] and Teleglobe Inc. [TGO].


Siemens Debit Cards

Siemens Information and Communication Networks will unveil its prepaid debit card service and Internet interface as part of a broad range of competitive advanced intelligent network solutions tomorrow. The ‘Fast Feature Platform’ features an interface to the Internet which allows subscribers to easily control and configure their own telephone services, such as prepaid debit card, international call back, one number service, 1-800 stay in touch and geographic routing. Some services include prepaid Internet, parent phone control, teen card, super blocker, super call forward, find me, elder care and click-to-talk fax web advertising support. The Siemens prepaid debit card service is a network-wide solution that can accommodate massive debit card volumes.


Las Vegas Card

Cable & Wireless was awarded yesterday an exclusive license to issue the only official prepaid calling card for the City of Las Vegas. Under terms of the agreement C&W will share revenues from the sale of these cards with the City of Las Vegas youth sports programs and related facilities in Las Vegas. C&W will also create customized promotional campaigns for businesses and organizations in Las Vegas. There was no indication as to the potential size of the program.


NatWest Online

Online banking became a reality for NatWest personal customers yesterday with the launch of NatWest On-Line. The new PC banking service, which is also available to small businesses’, gives customers the ability to control their finances 24- hours a day, 365 days a year, from the comfort of their home or office.

Personal financial management at your fingertips

Banking online means customers can keep an eye on their finances and save time. comprehensive account management service allows them to check balances and recent transactions, transfer money between accounts and pay, bills – see appendix 1 for full details of the service. And the service doesn’t just allow payment of the regular bills like the electric, gas or the telephone: if you want to make a payment to a friend or a relative, it can be done easily and quickly. In addition, customers can choose to download statement information to three of the leading financial management packages.

The only online service to offer such a choice of financial packages NatWest On- Line is the only online package to give customers the ability to download account entry details to Microsoft Money 97, 98 and 99, Intuit Quicken 98 and Sage Instant Accounting via Sage Banklink software, taking away the need to input each entry manually.

No monthly subscriptions

A one-off set-up fee of GBP 30 is payable, with recent graduates offered a 50 per cent discount. After that there are no fees for personal customers using NatWest On-Line no matter how often the service is used. All customers are also able to try the service free of charge for 30 days.

24-hour customer support

The online service is supported by a freephone 24-hour customer helpdesk. Customers can also make comments on the service, content and delivery of NatWest On-Line with an on-screen feedback form.

Simple to use from almost anywhere in the world

Getting online is simple. With one of the easiest installation packages of any online service – available via CD-ROM or disk – NatWest On-Line takes just a few minutes to load and is easy to use. Each screen is clear and navigation is simple – see appendix 2 for full technical details, Customers can also access the service from most countries overseas and, with the exception of international calls, all calls are charged at local rate.

No compromise on security

Security is paramount and NatWest has opted for a direct-dial service which it believes offers greater security for its customers. NatWest has used the highest levels of protection to encrypt: information and customers have the additional comfort of password protection. And once the user has logged on to the service, if there is no activity for five minutes, NatWest On-Line will automatically log the user out.

Information on other products and services

And in another first, NatWest On-Line provides a copy of NatWest’s Internet site. Here, you will find information on a range of NatWest products and services and answers to questions on everything from opening an account to buying a house.

Special offers feature

From time to time special offers will be available through NatWest On- Line. From day one, NatWest On-Line will offer special deals on software packages available from Microsoft, Intuit and Sage and a unique offer with PC provider ell, including a two per cent discount on any advertised Dell PC along with free delivery and a three year warranty.

Andrew Blessley, Director of Marketing and distribution, Retail Banking Services, said: “NatWest On-Line is the result of a very successful trial and delivers what our customers said they wanted. It will make the lives of our customers easier: it offers them the ability to manage their personal and business lives through the same service, 24-hours a day, and to download account entry details to the leading accounting packages.

“The PC has an obvious role to play in the future of financial services but we recognise that this way of banking will not suit all our customers. This is why we continue to develop a range of services to give people as much choice as possible: Telephone banking continues to expand; more cash machines are being made available; our staff visit people at home or at work to discuss more complex financial needs; and our 1,730 branches continue to play a key role in our future.”

Customers wishing to register for NatWest On-Line an freephone 0800 281 292.   1. Please see separate release (‘A Complete Business Banking Service Online’ – 11 January, 1999) for the business services to be offered online.

2. Customers will need access to a PC running Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT4 via, a suitable modern (recommended speed of 28.8 kbps or above). NatWest On- Line is one of the few online services to work with both industry standard browsers – Netscape Navigator 3.02 or above and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02 or above – so customers can choose which they use.

3. GBP 10 off standard or financial suite versions of Microsoft Money 99.

4. GBP 5 off standard version and GBP 10 off the deluxe version of Intuit’s Quicken 98.

5. Half-price discount on Sage Banklink for Instant Accounting software – GBP 50 instead of RRP GBP 100.

6. Dell – two per cent off standard price for their range of PCs – plus free delivery and free three year warranty with next working day on-site maintenance.

7. The freephone number for customer applications is available between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am-6pm on Saturday.


Once online, customers will be able to manage their finances from the comfort of their home or office, 24-hours a (lay, 365 days a year. The following services are available:

* View account balances: customers can check close of business balances for up to 20 current, savings and loan accounts and 20 credit card accounts;

* Account transactions: the 40 most recent bank account entries and d. e morning entries for the current working day are shown on screen. Up to the last 50 lines of entries can be seen for each NatWest credit card;

* Payments: taking the hassle out of paying bills or third parties over the counter or by post, payments can be set up on the service: all that needs to be entered is the amount and date for payment – this can be done up to 40 working days in advance – and the it can be paid at the click of the mouse. And if the customer has second thoughts, the transaction can be cancelled just as easily;

* Transfer between accounts: funds can be transferred from one account to another. A transfer can be arranged up to 40 working days in advance – at the touch of a button;

* Order new stationery: such as paying-in books, cheque books and Statements;

* View a copy of NatWest’s Internet site: provides access to information about NatWest’s personal and business services. This includes general help and guidance, details of products and services such as buying a home, savings, going on holiday, planning for the future etc., and the facility to order a range of guides and brochures online.

* Download bank account information to accounting packages: account entries can be automatically downloaded to Microsoft Money 97, 98 and 99, Intuit Quicken 98, and Sage Instant Accounting 98 with Sage Banklink, plus the spreadsheets Lotus 1- 2-3 and Microsoft Excel – the only online service to offer downloads to such a comprehensive range of products;

* Access to 24-hour customer helpdesk: using a freephone number;

* Message of the day: highlighting additions and changes to the service, technical details and, from time-to-time, special offers available via NatWest

* Online feedback: via the free-format feedback form, comments on the service, content and delivery of NatWest On-Line can be emailed to the customer helpdesk team;

* Add accounts and beneficiaries: customers can add bank and card accounts and new beneficiaries to make payments via the service;

* Hassle free: enhancements made to the service won’t trouble or inconvenience the customer. It is all done from a central server so they don’t need to load new software – all they will see is an online message telling them what is new.


I-Banking Scorecard

Security First Network Bank beat out Wells Fargo and Citibank as being rated number one by Gomez Advisors in its fourth quarter ‘Internet Banker Scorecard’. Wells Fargo came in second place, followed by Citibank in third. The evaluation, which included direct examination of the site, a questionnaire and telephone interviews with brokers and customer service representatives of all 65 banks rated, also lauded Security First Network Bank’s simple-to-use features. SFNB says it will shortly debut additional features, such as online credit card applications and the ability for customers to receive customized credit card offers within seconds.