NationsBank Direct Launched

NationsBank announced today the formation of a new Internet-based transaction and information network, NationsBank Direct(SM), that lays the groundwork for the most dynamic interaction ever imagined between corporations and NationsBank. This new network uses standard, open Internet technologies and intelligent communications logic that enable corporations to manage their financial activity in one of the most secure and intuitive ways ever. Companies can choose to access NationsBank Direct through the Internet or a private network connection.

“NationsBank Direct will integrate a host of interactive communications technologies to make it easier for companies to get the right information to the right people at the right time,” says Nick Alex, NationsBank Global Treasury & Trade Product Division executive. Alex notes that NationsBank Direct will combine the latest communications technology with rules-based logic to notify companies of critical events by pager, telephone, e-mail, file transfer and facsimile, in addition to the proactive desktop notification provided today. Alex states that NationsBank Direct will page a corporation’s cash manager when their account has been credited with an important payment, or place a telephone call to the treasurer when their account balance reaches a certain level so the treasurer can make key investment decisions.

“NationsBank has believed for several years that the Internet would become the ‘network of networks’ that would facilitate all businesses in the future,” Alex states. “We’ve been preparing for the day when companies would use Internet technologies to connect to their customers, suppliers and banks as easily as they connect to internal colleagues,” he continues. “Customers will find that NationsBank Direct makes it as easy to monitor lockbox receipts or initiate a wire payment as it is to share a spreadsheet with a co-worker down the hall. And, all that companies need to use NationsBank Direct is Internet access and a web browser.”

The first release of NationsBank Direct, which is currently being piloted, incorporates several payment and receipt services and builds on the expertise that NationsBank derived in developing two existing Intranet transaction and reporting services introduced last year.

According to Alex, the Internet technologies at the foundation of NationsBank Direct translate into real efficiencies and bottom-line benefits for companies, not the least of which is the user’s ability to navigate through the network in a more logical and intuitive fashion. “For example, with NationsBank Direct, a customer can receive desktop notification of a potentially fraudulent check, then click on a link to view an image of the front and back of the check, and then click on another link to send a pay or return notification to NationsBank — all in a matter of seconds,” he says.

Intuitive user interfaces, which are an integral part of the NationsBank Direct network, provide a common look and feel for all services and makes it easier to train new staff in day-to-day functions. And since no NationsBank Direct software resides on a company’s PC, users don’t have to worry about downloading or installing new releases when they become available. In addition, standardized technology makes it simpler to integrate data throughout a corporation, across corporate departments and into back office processing systems, says Alex.

Future releases of NationsBank Direct will include the full range of US dollar and foreign currency payments, receipts, treasury management, foreign exchange, trade finance, investments and borrowing capabilities. “The beauty of the technology employed by NationsBank Direct is the ability to respond quickly to customer needs,” according to Alex. He notes that the open, standard components of these technologies enable NationsBank to swiftly develop capabilities inhouse based on customer input, and rapidly bring new capabilities to market. “We have worked closely with our customers to define NationsBank Direct functionality, and we’re excited that we can almost immediately translate customer preferences into usable features thanks to the rapid development this technology supports,” says Alex.

NationsBank is utilizing digital certificates, 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol and firewalls to secure electronic transactions and communications through NationsBank Direct. “The multiple layers of security in NationsBank Direct represent the most advanced methods available for securing corporate Internet banking activity, and far exceeds the security in place on bank transaction platforms today,” says Alex.

A new component of NationsBank Direct is Payments Direct which is making its debut at the annual Treasury Management Association Conference being held November 9-12 in San Francisco. Companies can use Payments Direct to monitor the status of payments, handle positive pay functions, view digital check images and manage account reconciliation. In addition, NationsBank Receipts On-Line is available on NationsBank Direct, providing companies with Internet access to search and reporting capabilities on their current day and previous day lockbox remittances. Additional payments, receipts and treasury management components will be added to NationsBank Direct in the first and second quarters of 1998. “The technological superiority and flexibility of NationsBank Direct will continue to grow with each enhancement,” Alex states.

NationsBank, offers a comprehensive range of treasury management and trade finance solutions to businesses worldwide. NationsBank is the fifth-largest U.S. banking company, with $242 billion in assets as of September 30, 1997. NationsBank Corporation (NYSE: NB) provides financial products and services nationally and internationally to individuals, businesses, corporations, institutional investors and government agencies.


Venture Market East Underway Today

The founders of UbiQ Inc., an emerging software firm focused in the smart card industry, will present the firm’s business plan and strategy to key members of the investment and finance community on Monday in Cambridge, Mass. UbiQ is the only Minnesota firm presenting.

The event, sponsored by The Red Herring Magazine, a business and technology publication, is being held November 10 and 11 at the Charles Hotel. It will be attended by more than 1000 venture capitalists, investment bankers, business development executives, technology company executives, and leading members of the technology and business press. Additional event sponsors include Arthur Andersen, Nasdaq, and Silicon Valley Bank.

Billed as an event that “brings the key players together” and “puts presenting companies on the map in the investment community,” Venture Market East will feature several prominent speakers, including James Cramer of and George Colony, president of Forrester Research. It will also include a “Going Public” workshop and a keynote panel on “The Role of Research Universities and Incubators in Venture Capital.”

The main format of the conference is CEOs of emerging private technology companies, selected by the editors of The Red Herring, presenting their financial and marketing strategies. Each company presentation is followed by a breakout session for one-on-one, informal conversation. Presenting for UbiQ, at 2:15 p.m. Eastern on Monday, November 10, will be both of the company’s co-founders: David Tushie, President, and John Stearns, Chairman. The Red Herring is published monthly and is based in San Francisco.

Additional information about Venture Market East is available on the World Wide Web at .

UbiQ Inc. () is a privately held software firm founded in 1994 by smart card industry veterans and based in Minneapolis, Minn. (The company’s name is short for “ubiquitous,” a reference to the rapid proliferation of smart cards in our society.) UbiQ’s mission is to be the highest value integrator in the smart card issuance process, reducing the time and cost necessary for secure, faultless “mass” card issuance. The company’s worldwide customers include smart card issuers such as American Express and member institutions of the Visa, Mastercard, and Mondex networks. In addition, it has relationships with card service bureaus, smart card manufacturers, and card personalization and printing equipment manufacturers. Market segments targeted by UbiQ include electronic commerce/Internet, travel and entertainment, credit/debit/e-cash cards, pay phone, digital wireless/GSM, national ID cards, and healthcare.

The Red Herring is a monthly publication covering the business of technology. Focused on high-growth markets of emerging technologies, The Red Herring delivers information to a worldwide audience of market leaders, technology executives and top level investors. Herring Communications, a San Francisco-based media company, also produces high-level industry conferences and daily news and analysis from Red Herring Online. More information about The Red Herring can be found at .


GLOW Acquires Processor Wolf Key

Global Communications Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: GLOW) announced today several steps in its expanded Strategic Acquisition Program which is already in full implementation.

Global’s recent and pending acquisitions give it a compelling array of commercial and merchant services for the Internet. Marketing on a city-by-city basis, Global can now offer a full village of merchant products and services to consumers on the Internet. A unique capability attached to this Internet commerce strategy is the ability to process credit card purchases on a third-party basis to protect both the consumer and the merchant.

WOLF KEY HOLDINGS LIMITED. This acquisition announced as a letter of intent on October 10, was consummated on October 24, 1997. Wolf Key is in operation in Toronto, Canada with the first Internet Commercial Village providing full credit card processing service. WOlf Key’s projected 1998 revenues are $18 million with much greater volume possible from additional credit card processing contracts.

INTEGRATED CONSUMER ENTERTAINMENT, LTD (ICE). On October 20, 1997, Global announced the letter of intent to acquire this dating service company. This acquisition is scheduled to close today. Global has initiated negotiations with several dating services and expects to sign a letter of intent with one of them within a week.

ICE provides dating services in major metropolitan cities. Its 1997 revenue and gross profit are anticipated at U.S. $2.5 million and $400,000 respectively, with a 70% increase expected in 1998. This will become one of the categories of services on the Commercial Village program. Additional acquisitions of dating services which have the capability to grow exponentially and have current sales of $1 million will be considered. Such acquisitions will benefit from economies of scale in purchasing advertising marketing materials and communications services.

Global will focus on consolidating the electronic commerce processing industry in the 900 telephone business. Global will expand its 900 service business and provide the equivalent of 900 service on the Internet.

OTHER ACQUISITIONS. Global has identified and initiated negotiations for eight additional acquisitions to broaden its service offerings on the Commercial Village. Global plans to franchise its Commercial Village in major cities very soon.

Global’s initial business, bingo and lotto wagering on the Internet outside the U.S. will be able to expand much more aggressively with the credit card processing provided by Wolf Key. It anticipates $100 million in revenue in 1998. Global is projecting over $0.50 per share in earnings in 1998.


MedPlus Signs Columbia/HCA

MedPlus Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: MDPL), a Health Finance organization located in Colorado Springs, Colo., is pleased to announce that is has reached an agreement with The Health Care Advantage Network, a division of Columbia/HCA based in Dallas, Texas.

The Health Care Advantage Network is a national preferred provider (PPO) network consisting of more than 200,000 physicians and 2,500 hospitals. The agreement calls for the endorsement and enrollment of the providers to utilize the MedPlus Benefits Card and the MedPlus Advantage Program. The MedPlus Benefits Card is a private label patient finance credit card that is non-recourse to the health care provider; The MedPlus Advantage Program operates on a credit card platform, providing recourse for hospitals and large clinic accounts receivable financing. The implementation plan calls for an immediate roll-out with priority enrollment in the state of Texas and expanding regionally to a national program over the next year.

“This is a perfect situation for MedPlus. This gives us access to a significant national network while allowing us to fill in network coverage with regional PPO networks like our existing relationship with R.J. and Associates with its network Health Payor Organization in Texas,” stated Tim DeHerrera, President of MedPlus.

MedPlus now plans to convert the existing Employee Benefit Administrators and Benefit Management Administrators Letters of Intent to contracts. Both companies are third party administrators based in San Antonio, Texas. These Letters of Intent call for the issuance of the MedPlus Benefits Card to the 100,000 insured administered by Employee Benefit Administrators and Benefits Management Administrators who expect growth to 200,000 by the end of 1998.

DeHerrera further stated that “these situations alone advance us by a couple of years into our business plan. They give us cardholders and a huge network for the insureds to utilize these cards.”

This press release contains forward-looking statements. The actual results might differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those in forward-looking statements is contained in MedPlus Corporation’s SEC filings, including periodic reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, copies of which are available upon request from the MedPlus investor relations department.


Microsoft vs Intuit

Microsoft scored some major points yesterday in its battle with Intuit over the delivery of credit card statements via personal financial software. Yesterday Microsoft announced that users of its ‘Money 98’ or ‘Money 98 Financial Suite’ can now connect directly with American Express, Discover and the Private Issue Card for electronic statement information. With Thursday’s announcement Microsoft will now have a total of 40 credit card providers offering direct access for account information via MS ‘Money’. Among other participating issuers: Chase Manhattan, First Chicago, First Union, Mellon, Norwest, U.S. Bank and Zions Bank. Intuit’s ‘Quicken 98’ provides direct access to 25 major issuers. Microsoft says ‘Money 98’ enables more than 75 million cardholders to now download credit card statements.


ProCard’s New PVS Net

The first commercially available Internet management service for purchasing and travel cards was launched yesterday by ProCard Inc. Using only a low-cost Internet browser, ‘PVS Net’ enables users to create tailored transaction and supplier reports, automatically append accounting codes for each transaction, maintain card information and authorization controls online. The new service gives users the option of receiving reports and statements via email or other formats such as ‘Excel’ and ‘123’. The information can also be merged into most commercial accounting systems. The low-priced, stand-alone service is targeted at small to mid-size companies. However ProCard says ‘PVS Net’ will also help large organizations with their remote reporting needs which has been a technical challenge for many firms.


New ECHO President

Electronic Clearing House Inc. (Nasdaq:ECHO) Thursday announced that Larry Thomas has been appointed president and chief operating officer of the corporation.

Thomas joined ECHO in January of 1996 as a vice president after ECHO purchased an Internet specialty company that he had founded, and had served as president. In June 1996, Thomas was promoted to senior vice president of information systems and chief technology officer of ECHO.

“Mr. Thomas’ technical knowledge, business experience and personal integrity make him the best choice to lead ECHO into the next century,” said Joel M. Barry, chairman and chief executive officer of ECHO. Thomas’ appointment follows the announcement of the semi-retirement and resignation of Donald R. Anderson as president and chief operating officer.

Anderson joined ECHO in 1986 and has served as president since that time. Anderson will continue to serve ECHO as a consultant, assisting in special projects.

Thomas has led the development of numerous Internet products that assist merchants who desire to advertise and sell their products and services using the World Wide Web, and that assist acquiring banks in the risk management of these merchant transactions.

Prior to joining ECHO, Thomas was a charter member of the Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) specification team for the CDPD Consortium, and through his own company, provided CDPD infrastructure products to McCaw Cellular (now AT&T Wireless) and other CDPD providers.

Thomas is a recognized speaker and author on networking and network management technology, and has held vice president management positions with Unisys and Burroughs, managing more than 600 employees, focused on the development of network management and client/server distributed system products.

Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in electrical engineering, both from Rice University in Houston.

Electronic Clearing House provides credit card processing, check guarantee and various Internet services to more than 8,000 retail merchants, as well as providing inventory tracking services to thousands of U-Haul dealers across the nation.

Through a subsidiary, Computer Based Controls, ECHO designs, develops and manufactures software and point-of-sale hardware that is utilized as credit card processing terminals, automated money order dispensers, utility bill payment systems and inventory tracking devices.


Unattended Busines Centers

Competition in self-serve business centers located in hotels picked up steam yesterday as AlphaNet Hospitality Systems introduced ‘The Office’. AHS says its new system goes beyond credit card access to offer hotels the option of offering a customized discounted debit card option for groups or frequent guests. Another key component of ‘The Office’ is AHS’ partnership with Sir Speedy, Inc. which links up 800 Sir Speedy printing centers with each AHS unattended business center. AHS launched the ‘InnFax’, in-room fax service, five years ago which is now in place in 47,000 hotel rooms.


NDC Names New CFO

National Data Corporation (NDC), announced today that Robert L. Walker has been named chief financial officer for the company.

He has served as chief financial officer of Providian Corporation. Providian, based in Louisville, Ky., is a major insurance and financial services company — including credit card and other consumer lending offerings.

In announcing the appointment, Robert A. Yellowlees, NDC chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “Bob brings the breadth of experience and personal qualities that we were seeking for this key executive position. Our company has continued to demonstrate significant growth in two dynamic market segments – health care and payment systems.

“We felt that we needed an exceptional person with the vision, energy and team spirit to help formulate and execute our future strategies. Bob brings those qualities to NDC. I’m looking forward to working closely with him and other members of our management team to help assure that we realize our full potential.”

Walker stated, “National Data has an exceptional reputation as the information services leader in its markets. I look forward to working with the entire NDC management team to help set the pace in the company’s next level of growth and development.”

National Data Corporation is a leading provider of information services for the health care and payment systems markets.


Destiny Manages 110 Million Credit Cards

Destiny Software will unveil its success in the online credit card market during its upcoming presentation at Red Herring’s Venture Market East. This year’s event will feature 54 of the hottest emerging growth technology companies from the East Coast, and expects to draw over 400 attendees.

Destiny currently has three out of the top ten credit card issuers in the country as clients: First USA, GE Capital and Advanta. Destiny’s credit card clients collectively manage over 110 million credit cards and represent approximately $50 billion of credit card receivables, or 10% of the entire credit card receivables market.

Destiny Software builds customized online transaction systems for large financial institutions for the Internet, America Online (AOL), OFX and voice response units. Destiny established itself as a technology leader in the online retail banking marketplace in 1996 when it deployed the award winning HomeBanking system on AOL for Bank of America. In 1997, Destiny successfully added leading credit card issuers to its client roster.

Destiny has extended the functionality of its Granite(TM) Foundation middleware product to meet the challenging demands of credit card issuers. Granite Foundation supports online account summaries, transaction details, applications, bill payment/presentment and balance transfers.

“Our focus on credit card issuers is a natural extension of our leadership position in the retail banking marketplace,” commented Lucinda Duncalfe, Destiny’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Credit card issuers are aggressively pursuing the cardholder loyalty and acquisition opportunities presented by the Internet and other online media.”

Destiny Software was founded in 1994 to provide online transaction solutions to large financial institutions. Destiny’s advanced object oriented software enables a financial institution to deploy a completely customized online system with unprecedented speed to market. The company’s Web site is located at .

The Red Herring is a monthly publication covering the business of technology. Focused on high-growth markets of emerging technologies, The Red Herring delivers information to a worldwide audience of market leaders, technology executives and top level investors. Herring Communications, a San Francisco-based media company, also produces high-level industry conferences and daily news and analysis from Red Herring Online. More information about The Red Herring can be found at .


SMARTALK Gets UK Channel

SMARTALK TeleServices, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, SMARTALK TeleServices (U.K.) Ltd., announced today the signing of a definitive agreement with DCI Telecommunications, Inc. (OTC:DCTC) to purchase the right to distribute SMARTALK prepaid calling cards in the United Kingdom through D Services, a WH Smith business which specializes in news trade distribution. This agreement gives SMARTALK the potential to access to 55,000 retail outlets in the UK. Under terms of this agreement, SMARTALK will purchase DCI’s prepaid phone card distribution channel for $9 million, consisting of $8 million in SMARTALK common stock and $1 million in cash.

“The European prepaid phone card market is more mature and sophisticated when compared to the U.S. market where phone cards were introduced less than five years ago. In fact, Europe was an early launching pad for the worldwide market. We are proud to have the opportunity to distribute SMARTALK branded prepaid calling cards in Europe. We look forward to living up to the responsibility of introducing a high quality prepaid calling card that will be worthy of the WH Smith name,” said Robert H. Lorsch, SMARTALK’s Chairman and CEO.

Michelle W. Fess, SMARTALK’s Vice President – International, added, “We are delighted to be partnering with a high caliber, `blue chip’ partner such as WH Smith. We believe that D Services’ solid reputation and proven distribution capabilities will provide us with a competitive advantage in the UK market.”

Trevor Martin, General Manager of D Services, said, “This is an exciting opportunity to continue our work in developing the UK phone card market and we look forward to working with SMARTALK which is one of the largest providers of prepaid calling card products in North America.”

SMARTALK manufactures and distributes prepaid calling cards and other enhanced telecommunications products which are sold at retail and marketed to advertising and promotional clientele. SMARTALK maintains distribution agreements with mass merchandisers, consumer electronics retailers, supermarkets and home office superstores, such as Office Depot, Future Shop, Venture Stores, The Good Guys, Staples, Service Merchandise, Jewel/Osco Combo Stores, Osco Drug, Sav-On Drug, OfficeMax, Dominick’s Finer Foods, Eckerd Drug, Food4Less, Ralphs Supermarkets, Bradlees, Marshall Field’s, Best Buy, and Builders Square, as well as university book stores and convenience stores nationwide. SMARTALK also offers specialized value-added promotional phone card programs to corporate clients including Gillette, Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo Bank, Nabisco, Pfizer and Prudential Securities. The Company maintains strategic marketing partnerships with Choice Hotels and HFS, the two largest hotel franchisers in the US, along with Simon DeBartolo Group, the largest publicly traded real estate company and operator of shopping malls in North America.

Based in Los Angeles, with additional offices in Boston, Orlando and San Francisco, SMARTALK is a member of the Telecommunications Resellers Association, International Telecard Association and the Consumer Electronics Manufacturer’s Association.

Note: Certain statements made herein that are not historical are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, the ability of the Company to complete the transaction with DCI Telecommunications, Inc. which is subject to certain conditions, including, among others, the ability of the Company or its wholly owned subsidiary to enter into a new contract with WH Smith which is in form and substance satisfactory to the Company’s subsidiary. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, risks related to receptivity of retailers’ customers to the Company’s products and services; market acceptance and consumer demand for the Company’s products and services and pricing dependence on third-party vendors. The Company’s agreements with its distributors generally do not assure that the Company will generate a specific level of revenue and are terminable on relatively short notice. Investors who seek more information about the Company’s business and relevant risk factors may wish to review the Company’s SEC reports, including, but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for 1996, and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.