Euroweb Banking

NY-based Euroweb International Corp. will make its first venture into electronic banking in September. The company said Thursday it expects to have online the initial 400 corporate customers, of Postabank by September 1.  The company will provide Internet access to these customers which will enable each of them to engage in electronic banking services.  The remaining 800 bank corporate customers will go online prior to November 1 at the approximate rate of 400 per month.

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Enterprise Relationship Management Tool

Inforte Corp., one of the nation’s leading and fastest growing system integration consultancies, announced Thursday the first integrated FileNET/Siebel enterprise-wide solution for enterprise relationship management.  Inforte developed the conduit that bridges Siebel Enterprise Applications with FileNET’s Panagon integrated document management (IDM) software in response to the growing need for universal access to enterprise information.  The sales information solution, which integrates sales force automation, call center management and document access with mission critical processes, provides complete enterprise functionality to companies in the insurance, banking and telecommunications industries.

The integrated FileNET/Seibel customer management solution is Microsoft Windows-based and provides a total customer view with complete information across lines of business and distribution channels.  The solution improves customer service and client retention by offering access to electronic documents such as policy applications, claim forms, correspondence, photos, email, reports and contracts.  Additional improvements that translate into a distinct competitive advantage include:

—    A complete customer profile to enhance cross-selling and up-selling opportunities

—    A sophisticated product and competitor information system for intelligent selling

—    A means to capture customer profile information for improved target marketing and campaign planning

—    A best-of-breed workflow solution for application processing: credit cards, loans, and insurance

—    Consistent and accurate customer information for improved customer satisfaction

—    Reduction in customer request and turnaround time

—    100 percent compliance with regulation and legal requirements

“Inforte has partnered with industry leaders, FileNET and Siebel Systems to provide a best-of-breed solution that leverages enterprise information,” said Phil Bligh, founder and CEO of Inforte.  “These partnerships allow us to provide a solution that links structured and unstructured information sources seamlessly and programmatically — presenting a unified level of service, quality and image.”

“Inforte, one of our ValueNET business partners, provides integration and delivery of the FileNET/Siebel solution, offering a significant new value proposition to our joint customers in the enterprise relationship management arena,” said Lewis Carpenter, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing at FileNET.  “As competition in the insurance, financial services and telecommunications industries grows, the need for universal access to mission- critical information becomes critical.  Inforte’s solution, integrating FileNET’s IDM capabilities with Siebel’s customer management solution, provides users with immediate integrated access to front office and back office operations.”

The FileNET/Siebel solution will be showcased July 29-30 in the Siebel pavilion at the DCI Field and Sales Force Automation Conference, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, N.Y.

About Siebel Systems

Siebel Systems, Inc., is the world’s leading supplier of Enterprise Relationship Management systems for organizations focused on increasing sales, marketing and customer service effectiveness in field sales, service organizations, telesales, telemarketing, call centers and third-party resellers.  Siebel Systems’ corporate alliances include Andersen Consulting, Compaq Computer Corporation, Microsoft, Inc. and Price Waterhouse.  Additional Siebel Systems product and service information is located on the World Wide Web at .

About FileNET

FileNET Corp. ([http://www.FileNET.com][1]) is a proven leader in delivering integrated document management software to unleash the power of information for corporate and government organizations.  FileNET’s Internet and client server solutions provide standards-based workflow, document imaging, electronic document management and report management (COLD) software for managing information and enhancing productivity.  Costa Mesa, Calif.-based FileNET markets its innovative products in more than 60 countries through global FileNET sales, professional services and support organizations, including its ValueNET partner program of resellers, system integrators and application developers.

About Inforte Corp.

Headquartered in Chicago, Inforte operates regional offices in Southern California and Dallas.  The company provides advanced information technology solutions to businesses across a wide range of industries. Inforte defines advanced solutions as those incorporating innovative approaches, business process engineering and the deployment of new technologies.  Inforte is recognized by its clients for its high professional standards and its rigorous, methodic approach using information technology to dramatically enhance their competitive and operational positions.  Since its founding, Inforte has recorded exceptional growth, achieving revenue increases of 150 percent annually in each of the past three years.  For more information about Inforte, visit the company’s web site at .

FileNET and ValueNET are registered trademarks and Panagon is a trademark of FileNET Corp. Siebel is a trademark of Siebel Systems, Inc. and may be registered in certain jurisdictions.  All other product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification purposes only.

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

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8 Billion E-Bills by 2000

The global volume of repetitive bills presented to consumers electronically is about to surge beyond its current small base of pioneers, growing to almost 8 billion annually in the year 2000.

According to a new study released Thursday by Killen & Associates, the volume of electronic bills will make up 12% of the worldwide total within the next two and a half years.

“Repetitive billings and payments, especially those for telephone companies and other utilities, insurance companies, large retailers, and services merchants are made for Internet delivery,” stated Michael Killen, president of the research firm. “Repetitive billers now spend 70c to $1.50 per conventional bill, while electronic bill presentment can reduce that cost by as much as two thirds. When electronic bill payment is combined with bill presentment to close the loop electronically, many of the hidden costs in receivables are eliminated. Improved cash flow management is a also a big incentive for large billers.”

The new Killen & Associates study, Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment Markets: Business Opportunities and Threats, examines the growing market for electronic processing of repetitive billings and payments.

The study provides a global and regional forecast for electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) markets, quantifies the benefits of EBPP, identifies likely winners and losers, quantifies the value proposition for all stakeholders, describes the approach that major banks in Asia/Pacific, Europe, and North America are taking to this market, and analyzes third-party processor roles in the new delivery scheme.

The study is the first in an in-depth, three-volume set of analyses, Electronic Bill Presentment and Payments Markets: Strategic Impact of Integrion, Microsoft, and the Internet Portal Companies, which explores how the Integrion and MS/FDC (Microsoft/First Data Corp.) camps and the Internet portal companies will change the rules of the billing and payments markets for all stakeholders.

Additional details are available at the company’s Web site, http://killen.com. For more information contact Jules Street: [jules@killen.com][1], Tel: 1 650 617 6130, Fax: 650 617 6140.

Killen & Associates is a leading market research and consulting firm whose studies, seminars, and television programming enable clients in the telecommunications, banking/financial services, and information technology industries to identify business opportunities created by technology advances, public policy changes, and market forces.

[1]: mailto:jules@killen.com

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Spree Card

Sprint announced Thursday that its ‘Spree’ prepaid ‘Foncard’  will now be available in all Kmart and Food Lion stores.  The additional retail outlets increase ‘Spree’s’ presence in the marketplace by more than 3,200 stores, bringing the total to nearly 35,000 locations where ‘Spree’ cards are sold. The prepaid card will be sold in more than 2,100 Kmart stores and at nearly 1,100 Food Lion supermarkets nationwide. In May, Sprint placed its 200 millionth card in the market, making Sprint the first prepaid card provider to reach this milestone.

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Handsfree Card

Frontier Corp. introduced a new voice-activated phone card service yesterday that allows users to make hands-free calls. With a ‘Frontier SpeedLink Card’, customers simply dial a toll-free number, speak their PIN, and choose from a menu of options.  By speaking the code number or phrase associated with each option, customers may check voice mail, make travel reservations, schedule or join a teleconference, or call home or work — all without the touch of a button. Future ‘Frontier SpeedLink’ applications will include Internet access with text-to-voice e-mail.

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Faster POS Modems

Hypercom said Wednesday it is seeking to upgrade electronic payment transactions from the existing 1200/2400 bps transmission rates to 9600 bits per second (bps). Beginning in October, Hypercom POS terminals will be available with the ‘FastPOS 9600’ bps modem technology at no extra cost. Although the PC industry is rapidly migrating to 56K bps modems, POS terminals currently operate at 1200 bps or at most 2400 bps. Modem technology used in PC’s is unsuited to the POS environment due to the long training time and high cost of these modems. PC modems require 8-15 seconds just for training — the time spent by the modem before it can send data — but POS transactions typically need to be completed within 8 seconds. With FastPOS, transactions can be completed in as little as 3.6 seconds from the time of connection, a reduction of nearly 50% over 1200 bps modems. The difference is even greater for batch loads. A batch of 15 transactions will load with FastPOS in 6.7 seconds from the time of connection, compared with 26 seconds using the old 1200 bps technology. FastPOS will be first supported by Transaction Network Services, Inc.’s nationwide transaction transport network.

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Internet Reloadable Smart Cards

Bank of America announced Wednesday that it will launch a smart card pilot program that allows ‘VISA Cash’ stored-value smart cards to be loaded with funds via the Internet to lead to transforming personal computers and other consumer devices into home ATMs. The new smart card pilot program is expected to be rolled out to several hundred Bank of America and VISA employees beginning next month. The pilot will allow participating BofA and VISA employees to use Bank of America’s Internet ‘HomeBanking’ service to transfer funds from their checking account to a ‘VISA Cash’ stored-value chip card. The ‘VISA Cash’ smart card can then be used to make purchases from participating merchants in the physical world or from Internet merchants who have been participating in a separate Bank of America/Visa smart card program that was launched in May 1997. Pilot participants will be able to load funds onto a ‘VISA Cash’ stored-value smart card via a portable, Fischer ‘smarty’ smart card reader that can be inserted directly into a personal computer’s diskette drive. Bank of America’s Smart Card Group is working with VISA and SPYRUS to develop the ‘VISA Cash’ Internet-load pilot.

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Husky – BankBoston Card Link

Northeastern University has teamed with BankBoston and Diebold to link financial services to Northeastern’s “Husky Card.”  By linking both organizations’ carding processes, students can use their campus ID cards to perform banking transactions and purchase products from off-campus merchants, in addition to the university services already provided by the Diebold card system. Diebold custom software provides the necessary link between the University and BankBoston networks to create cards that share a mutual card number.  That card number refers to bank systems transactions and Northeastern’s Diebold system for campus transactions. Students are able to open their BankBoston accounts without having to visit a BankBoston branch since the cards are still issued from Northeastern’s carding office.  BankBoston services are activated immediately and the student, faculty member or staff member can make an opening deposit in an on-campus ATM or nearby branch.  The ‘Husky Card’ is the first campus ID card that will function as a multiple-application campus ID card, signature-based debit or PIN-based debit card and an ATM card.

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Unisat’s Spanish & German Phone Cards

Unisat Inc. Wednesday announced a contract that enables the provision of different types of calling cards to cover customer needs from the global traveler to affinity groups and covering all key countries.

The contract with Unitel Communications of the U.K. is through Unisat’s wholly owned subsidiary, Inter Konsult Group Inc. Initial products will include a Global Unisat calling card, in language cards for Spanish and German speaking markets as well as specialist products for high value residential segments of the U.K. market.

Formed in 1994, Unitel Communications has developed the Intelligent Telecom Services (ITS) platform for pre- and postpaid card services, prepaid cellular services and extensive interactive voice response (IVR) programs. The platform is considered by industry experts to be leading edge technology.

The flexibility of the ITS platform and the IVR programs allows the fast development of customized services to enable niche markets, or newly developing market segments to be served ahead of the competition.

The services customized for Unisat sales to its customers include voicemail, forward messaging services, and instant indirect access provisioning (where legally allowed). Customized services have also been developed in a number of languages for markets such as Spain and Germany. Further specialist card products will be developed for Unisat group companies.

Unitel Communications has fifteen of Europe’s leading telecoms resellers as customers and recently was contracted by NTL (one of the United Kingdom’s largest cable TV and telecoms operators) to provide Intelligent Network services.

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US Wireless Picks $2 Million

U. S. Wireless Data, Inc. announced Wednesday it has concluded a private placement pursuant to Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 with two institutional investors by which the Company raised gross proceeds of $2,000,000.

The Company issued 6% Convertible Subordinated Debenture due July 21, 2000. The Company plans to file a report on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission setting forth further details with respect to the financing including minimum floor and maximum ceiling conversion prices.

Commenting on the announcement, Bob Robichaud, CFO of U.S. Wireless Data stated, “This financing demonstrates continued investor confidence in U.S. Wireless Data and its commitment to make USWD the industry standard in wireless transaction and credit card processing. This financing provides for near term needs while we complete a more significant financing which should allow for full implementation of our business strategy.”

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. has developed, tested and is now delivering new proprietary products, programs and standards for the transaction processing and credit card industry which utilizes wireless cellular digital packet data (CDPD) networks. USWD delivers the fastest and most cost-effective transaction processing solution to retail merchants in the United States today. The Company has joint marketing initiatives in place with GTE Wireless, Bell Atlantic Mobile and Ameritech.

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MBNA Completes Triple Crown

MBNA America announced yesterday it has acquired the endorsement of The Maryland Jockey Club, giving MBNA exclusive rights to market the official credit card at each site of horse racing’s premier event, The Triple Crown. The agreement with The Maryland Jockey Club, which owns Pimlico Race Course, home of the ‘Preakness’, adds to MBNA’s existing credit card programs for Churchill Downs and the New York Racing Association.  MBNA acquired the endorsements of Churchill Downs, home of the ‘Kentucky Derby’, in 1994, and the New York Racing Association, which owns Belmont Park, site of the ‘Belmont Stakes’, in 1997.

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Proton vs. Mondex

VISA and American Express put down their armaments Wednesday and joined hands to establish ‘Proton’ smart card technology and the Common Electronic Purse Specifications or ‘CEPS’ as the world standard of smart card and e-purse cards. As a result, both companies announced yesterday they have become major investors in a newly created firm called:  Proton World International, a company formed by the spin-off of ‘Proton’ smart card technology assets developed by Banksys. Joining VISA and AmEx as shareholders are: Australia-based ERG Card Systems Ltd and Belgium-based Banksys. ‘Proton’  is an electronic purse application broadly implemented and actively used in Europe. Currently ‘Proton’ has 30 million electronic purse smart cards accepted in 200,000 terminals in fifteen countries. Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland have national roll-outs of ‘Proton’ electronic purse cards. In Belgium, more than 2.3 million transactions are performed each month using Proton-based cards. ERG asserted yesterday that the establishment of PWI is a watershed for the global smart card and, given the calibre and vision of the shareholders involved, it will ensure that consumers worldwide will have access to the “VHS” of smart card technology. MasterCard reportedly gave no indication yesterday it will abandon its Mondex smart card technology or its ‘Multos’ operating system in favor of  the ‘Proton’ standard. ‘Mondex’ has a number of rollouts, worldwide, underway. American Express continues to play both sides of the fence, as licensees of both ‘Multos’ and ‘Proton’, with plans to implement ‘Proton’ on ‘Multos’.

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