Vital Promotions

Vital Processing Services (Vital), the world’s recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, announced today the appointment of a new executive vice president of marketing strategies, Keith Smith, and the promotion of Donna Embry from senior vice president to executive vice president of product marketing.

Strengthening Vital’s capabilities as a marketing-driven company, Keith Smith’s responsibility as executive vice president of marketing strategies is to develop and lead the execution of business strategies for targeted market segments in the merchant services industry.

Vital President and CEO Jon Palmer said, “I am pleased to announce the addition of Keith Smith to the Vital executive team. He brings unique skills and experience, and the ability to develop partnerships that will enhance Vital’s marketing strategies as we move into the new millenium.

Most recently, Smith served as vice president of sales and marketing for Gibbs Management Group, Inc. He also co-founded NexTran, a subsidiary of Gibbs. His success at Gibbs helped produce significant growth in revenue and profitability. Headquartered in Duluth, GA., Gibbs is a full-service provider of point-of-sale equipment and services, and NexTran, Inc. provices check payment service solutions. Prior to his work with Gibbs, Smith held senior marketing and sales positions at Checkmate Electronics, Lanier Worldwide and founded Independent Business Supplies.

“I also am pleased to announce Donna Embry’s promotion to executive vice president. Her wealth of knowledge and expertise will continue to strengthen Vital’s market position.” said Palmer.

A seasoned veteran in the acquiring industry, Donna Embry has played a major role for several years in delivering quality products to Vital’s clients and their merchants. As executive vice president of product marketing, she will continue to focus on building Vital’s competitive advantage in commerce enabling products and services.

Vital Processing Services (Vital) is the world’s recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include financial institutions and their agents that provide a wide variety of electronic payment processing services to merchants. Vital’s product offering includes Portfolio Management Services and Merchant Point-of-Sale Products. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Vital does not compete with its clients for their merchant business. Vital services include merchant POS products, electronic authrorization and data capture; VirtualNet Internet-commerce suite of services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; operational fullfillment services (including chargeback and retrieval processing); risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa USA and Total System Services, Inc. Vital can be found on the Internet at [][1].



First Data’s Western Union Commercial Services is introducing this week ‘Western Union SwiftPay’. The new service is a card-based payment solution that facilitates consumer pre-payment for any services or products where pre-payment is a requirement or an option. The card program is especially suited for local dial tone and cellular phone service, insurance premiums, gas and electric utilities, and Internet services. Consumers using ‘Western Union SwiftPay’ are issued a card, which can be used to make a simple remittance for pre-paid services, when presented at any of Western Union’s U.S. agent locations with their cash payment of up to 200 dollars for a $6.00 fee.The ‘SwiftPay’ service will initially be offered to consumers at 7,853 Western Union agent locations in 10 states and will become available to all 26,000 Western Union locations by the end of 2Q/00. The company said this morning it has already signed its first ‘SwiftPay’ client, Boston Communications Group Inc.

Chase 3Q/99

The third quarter was essentially flat for Chase Manhattan as the issuer’s account base shrinks but receivables and volume held steady. According to data gathered by CardData (, Chase’s account base declined by 100,000 gross accounts and 200,000 active accounts during the third quarter. Receivables logged in at $32.2 billion, the same as 2Q/99 and 4Q/98. However chargeoffs and delinquencies improved. Net chargeoffs, as percentage of average receivables, declined from 6.19% one year ago to 5.53% for 3Q/99. Delinquency (90+ day) also decreased to 1.80% for 3Q/99 from 2.14% for 3Q/98. For more current and historical data on Chase Manhattan’s credit card portfolio visit CardData ([][1]).


3Q/99 2Q/99 4Q/98
Recv: $32.2b $32.2b $32.2b
Q-Vol: $13.4b $13.7b $13.1b
Accts: 20.2m 20.3m 21.0m
Actives: 12.4m 12.6m 12.8m
Cards: 28.3m 28.4m 29.0m

Source: CardData (


eBay VISA – Top Ad

The following Internet audience and advertising information is from Nielsen//NetRatings, the Internet measurement service from Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings, Inc.

The information includes: Top 25 Web Properties, Top 10 Internet Advertisers, Top 10 Ad Banners and Average Internet Usage statistics for the week ending October 24, 1999.

Noteworthy this week: — The active Internet universe (those who actually
increased 4.3% this week, growing from 47.7 million users to 49.8
million surfers. — The top site this week for females was iVillage’s
health site, Of those Web surfers visiting the site, 92.3% of
them were female. The top site for males was, an
online community. Men accounted for 91.0% of those visiting the
site. — No. 1 clicked-on ad banner with an 8.7% click rate was Direct
Hit’s ad, which was advertised solely on’s home
page. Direct Hit is a search engine.

Nielsen//NetRatings: Top 25 Web Sites by Property
October 18-24, 1999
Ranking of the Most Visited Web Properties

Property (Ticker Symbol) Unique Audience Time Per
(000) Person
1. AOL Websites (NYSE:AOL) 21,676 0:09:22
2. Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) 19,622 0:25:47
3. MSN (NASDAQ:MSFT) 12,711 0:18:21
4. Lycos Network (NASDAQ:LCOS) 10,167 0:07:38
5. GO Network (NASDAQ:SEEK) 7,063 0:13:48
6. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) 5,559 0:06:45
7. [email protected] (NASDAQ:ATHM) 5,170 0:15:31
8. Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) 3,770 0:08:34
9. AltaVista (NASDAQ:CMGI) 3,578 0:05:40
10. eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) 3,347 0:58:33
11. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) 3,266 0:07:46
12. Blue Mt. Arts 3,146 0:09:42
13. Go2net Network (NASDAQ:GNET) 2,483 0:06:41
14. Snap 2,365 0:07:26
15. Xoom (NASDAQ:XMCM) 2,116 0:06:24
16. LookSmart (NASDAQ:LOOK) 2,110 0:05:58
17. CNET (NASDAQ:CNET) 2,103 0:06:17
18. ZDNet (NYSE:ZDZ) 1,903 0:07:44
19. (NASDAQ:BOUT) 1,737 0:06:04
20. AT&T (NYSE:T) 1,655 0:08:44
21. Real Networks (NASDAQ:RNWK) 1,621 0:04:23
22. CBS Sportsline (NASDAQ:SPLN) 1,609 0:11:42
23. (NASDAQ:GOTO) 1,511 0:02:24
24. American Greetings (NYSE:AM) 1,486 0:06:14
25. CNN (NYSE:TWX) 1,449 0:10:43

Example: The data indicate that approximately 1.5 million home
Internet users visited at least one of the American Greetings-owned
sites during the week, and each person spent, on average, a total of
six minutes and 14 seconds at one or more of their sites.
Notes: Rankings are based on audience measurement of people who
have access to the Internet from home. A property is defined as a
consolidation of multiple domains and URLs owned by a single entity.
Reach is a measure of the unduplicated audience that visits a
property. The data are expressed as the percent of the total universe
of Internet users who logged onto the Internet at least once during
the reporting period.

Nielsen//NetRatings: Top Ten Advertisers
October 18-24, 1999

Top advertisers, ranked by banner impressions, are based on data
from BannerTrack(SM), Nielsen//NetRatings’ syndicated advertising
research report. An impression is counted each time an ad banner is
fully loaded onto a user’s screen.

Advertiser(a) Impressions (000) Reach %
1. TRUSTe 278,828 13.5
2. Microsoft 102,335 24.6
3. Yahoo! 66,123 18.8
4. Amazon 57,874 19.6
5. Next Card (NASDAQ: NXCD) 38,814 13.7
6. TD Waterhouse (NYSE: TWE) 38,748 3.4
7. E*TRADE (NASDAQ: EGRP) 36,973 7.4
8. Wingspan Bank 34,734 15.2
9. America Online 33,059 12.8
10. SexTracker 29,769 3.8

(a) Impressions reported include house ads, which are ads that run on
an advertiser’s own web property.

Example: An estimated 33.1 million America Online ad banners were
completely loaded on users’ computers during the surfing week. These
banners were delivered to 12.8% or 6.4 million home Internet users.

Nielsen//NetRatings: Top Ten Ad Banners Viewed
October 18-24, 1999

Top Banners, ranked according to reach percent, are cited from
BannerTrack(SM), Nielsen//NetRatings’ syndicated ad research service.

Advertiser(a) Reach % Creative
1. Wingspan Bank 4.0 Clue: If your bank could start
over, this is what it would be.
2. KB Kids 3.9 Win a Maiden Voyage for Four!
Click Here! KB Kids
3. Lowestfare 3.8 So You wanna
Discount or what?
4. Lowestfare 3.7 You want cheap and easy? Get it
with LowestFare! Save 25% on a
5. KB Kids 3.7 Win a Maiden Voyage for Four!
Click Here! KB Kids
6. Sprint (NYSE:FON) 3.5 The point of contact. Sprint.
7. Bonzi Software 3.4 Speed Up Internet Connection
8. PageNet (NASDAQ:PAGE) 3.4 [email protected] PageNet.
9. Wingspan Bank 3.3 The competition
just doesn’t fly.
10. eBay/First USA 3.3 eBay Visa; Apply now!

(a) Ad banners that run predominantly on an advertiser’s own property
or house ads are not included in the above.

Nielsen//NetRatings: Average Internet Usage
October 18-24, 1999

Data below represent activity for the average Internet user
during the designated weekly period.
Current Week Last Week Change
Number of Sessions per Week 5 6 -16.7
Number of Unique Sites Visited 6 6 0.0
Page Views per Week 166 173 -4.1
Page Views per Surfing Session 31 31 0.0
Time Spent per Week 2: 37: 26 2: 42: 57 -3.4
Time Spent per Surfing Session 0: 29: 14 0: 29: 19 -0.3
Duration of a Page Viewed 0: 00: 57 0: 00: 57 0.0
Average Click Rate for
Top Banners 0.39 0.36 +8.3
Active Internet Universe
(actually surfed) 49.8 million 47.7 million +4.3
Current Internet
Universe Estimate (had
access, but did not
necessarily go online 113.6 million 13.1 million +0.4

Nielsen//NetRatings, the audience measurement service from Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings, Inc., collects data from more than 36,000 panelists as they surf the Web at home. The Nielsen//NetRatings panel is the largest media research sample of at-home Internet users currently being measured in real time. Nielsen//NetRatings uses unique technology capable of measuring both Internet use and advertising to provide the most timely, accurate and comprehensive Internet usage data and advertising information in the industry. For more information, please visit [][1].



NCR yesterday launched a complete standards-based family of software solutions for ATMs. With NCR ‘APTRA’, companies can more rapidly develop and use business applications across multiple electronic channels through Web-enabled ATMs. The new software allows financial institutions to link all aspects of the transaction cycle, from gathering information at the ATM to delivering back customized messages to the consumer. ‘APTRA Edge’ is an open architecture and a comprehensive set of components supporting a fully integrated Web-enabled application. ‘APTRA NDC’ is a plug and play application, which emulates the legacy NCR application currently running on OS2. ‘APTRA Studio’ is an NT based workbench that allows the novice to define, build, edit and deploy targeted marketing, advertising, and survey campaigns for ATMs. ‘APTRA Link’ is an NT server-based tool used to download files to ATMs. It can track, inquire, and report status and fault management via the electronic journal feature.

Toyota Cards

Japan’s Toyota Finance Corp. announced this week it intends to terminate existing co-branded relationships with credit card issuers and issue its own credit card by early 2001. Toyota indicated it wants to issue a MasterCard that incorporates a Mondex chip. The company also intends for the card to be used with automatic fare collections systems. Toyota currently has nearly three million VISA cardholders in co-branded relationships with JCB, UC Card and Million Card Service. The Toyota credit card is the most popular in Japan. For more details on the international card market visit Card2000 ([][1]).

[1]: /card2000/main.html


Chicago-based Financial Technology Inc. (FTI) has officially adopted the corporate identification of its parent company, HNC Financial Solutions, a division of HNC Software Inc.. The formal naming is the culmination of the integration of FTI into HNC Financial Solutions, which acquired FTI last year.

The FTI identity will cease to be used by HNC, except in branding the company’s FTI Financial Accounting Platform products for general ledger, accounts payable, executive information, investment accounting, and fixed assets accounting. The HNC Financial Solutions branding will be used for its Asset/Liability Management and Financial Planning System, its Enterprise Information System, and ProfitVision*, its enterprise-wide profitability analysis system.

About HNC Financial Solutions

HNC Financial Solutions is a leader in predictive customer relationship management (CRM) software for the payment card and consumer lending industries. Its powerful suite of proven decision platforms and predictive business solutions address the mission-critical, customer-lifecycle needs of financial institutions.

About HNC Software Inc.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, HNC Software Inc. (Nasdaq: HNCS) is a leading provider of complete Predictive CRM solutions for service industries. HNC divisions include Financial Solutions, Retek Retail Solutions, Insurance Solutions, eHNC, and Telecommunications Solutions. HNC’s suite of predictive software solutions can provide real-time insight into customer relationships based on transaction-level data, helping business-to-consumer companies manage their relationships with individual customers. By accurately predicting customer behaviors, these companies can create initiatives to mitigate risk and attrition; improve customer service; develop marketing programs to enhance profitability; optimize store replenishment activities; and detect fraudulent customer transactions.

CyberGold Signs 60 More

Cybergold, Inc announced that it closed more than 60 new incentives customers in the third quarter, a new record for the Company. “The total number of incentives customers on the Cybergold web site now exceeds 125,” said Nat Goldhaber, President and CEO of Cybergold. “And, as previously reported, we added more than 900,000 new members during the third quarter, for a total exceeding 3.1 million members as of September 30, 1999.”

New incentives customers during the third quarter include CDNOW, Infonautics, Whole Foods, Motley Fool, MapQuest, Big Star, NetGrocer, YesMail, eWanted, Gator, Healthshop and two divisions of NetMarket: AutoVantage and Travelers Advantage.

“We also extended our relationships with key customers including EarthLink Network, MBNA, E-Trade, Uproar, Cendant and Autobytel,” continued Goldhaber. “We intend to continue to expand our field sales organization to keep pace with the increasing opportunity.”

About Cybergold

Cybergold (NASDAQ: CGLD) is a leading provider of Internet-based direct marketing and advertising solutions, including incentive programs that reward consumers with cash for responding to ads and promotions. Cybergold’s nearly 3.5 million members can use the incentive money they earn to buy digital content, services and products. Cybergold consistently ranks among the 100 most visited Web sites, according to PC Data Online. Cybergold’s partnerships include Visa USA, MBNA, AOL, EarthLink, E-TRADE, Quintel and Autobytel. It counts Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) among its corporate investors. Headquartered in Oakland, California, Cybergold also has offices in Dallas, New York, and Washington D.C. For more information, visit [][1].



Credit card competition in the Canadian market is heating up with the entry of cards issued by credit unions. This week, Surrey Metro Savings of Vancouver became the first credit union to launch a new suite of credit cards developed through an east/west consortium formed by VanCity, Canada’s largest credit union, and Mouvement des caisses Desjardins, Quebec’s largest financial co-operative. The range of ‘Community VISA’ cards offers gold card services, low interest rates and travel rewards through Canada 3000. Surrey Metro Savings, as the country’s second largest credit union with 17 branches and 115,000 members, is the first to offer six different ‘Community VISA’ card options to its members. Desjardins and VanCity Community Card Services was formed in August 1998 through an agreement with Credit Union Central of British Columbia to provide credit card services to credit unions across Canada. For more details on the international card market visit Card2000 ([>][1]).

[1]: /card2000/main.html

Official Payments

U.S. Audiotex Corp, a specialist in tax payments via credit cards, has changed its name to Official Payments Corp. The company’s client list includes: the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the States of New Jersey and California, the District of Columbia and 425 municipal governments across the United States. The firm named Thomas Evans, former CEO of GeoCities, as Chairman and CEO in August and filed for an IPO last month. Yesterday the firm made eight key management additions, most coming from GeoCities. The company enables consumers to use their credit cards to pay, by telephone or through the Internet, personal federal and state income taxes, sales and use taxes, property taxes and fines for traffic violations and parking citations.

Nova 3Q/99

NOVA Corporation reported Thursday record revenues and earnings for the third quarter of 1999 reflecting strong revenue growth from new sales and increased profitability from an aggressive conversion plan.

Revenues of $387.5 million increased 26.1% compared to $307.2 million for the third quarter of 1998. Earnings per diluted share of $0.33 compared to $0.22 per share for the third quarter of 1998, excluding one-time merger related charges incurred in connection with the September 24, 1998, acquisition of PMT Services, Inc. Net income for the third quarter was $23.8 million, an increase of 47.6% from $16.1 million, excluding one-time merger related charges after taxes, in the third quarter of 1998.

Operating income was $45.0 million, an increase of 65.2%, compared to $27.2 million in the third quarter of last year, excluding $11.2 million, ($0.15 per share after tax) of one-time merger related charges incurred. Conversion expenses were $6.4 million, ($0.06 per diluted share after taxes) and $2.6 million for the third quarters of 1999 and 1998, respectively.

For the nine months ended September 30, 1999, NOVA posted revenues of $1.1 billion, up 31.1% from $822.9 million from the same period in 1998. Earnings per diluted share of $0.79 compared to $0.59 per share for 1998, before one-time merger related charges. Net income for the nine months 1999 was $58.3 million, compared to $42.6 million, excluding one-time merger related charges for the same period in 1998.

Commenting on the quarter, NOVA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Grzedzinski said, “Our revenue growth in the third quarter and year-to-date 1999 confirms the effectiveness of our sales and marketing strategies. This, coupled with our focus and attention to the integration and consolidation of acquired business, has reaped tremendous benefits to NOVA and our shareholders through solid financial performance. In fact, every performance indicator we track, financial and otherwise, is moving in the right direction.”

Mr. Grzedzinski added, “The most encouraging aspect of these results is the fact that it has occurred during a period in which we have completed more account conversions than at any other time in our history. We continue to demonstrate our ability to effectively consolidate acquired business while simultaneously producing double-digit growth in revenues and earnings. This truly underscores the consistent and ongoing execution of our strategies.”

Grzedzinski concluded his comments by saying, “NOVA is where it needs to be to focus on the next stage of expansion – which will involve the cross-sale of additional information and transport services to new and existing clients, and aggressive pursuit of our e-commerce strategy. Our goal is to deliver a range of value-added products and services tailored to meet the specific and unique requirements of the small-to medium-sized merchant.” In April of this year, NOVA, along with equity partners Key Bank and FirstEnergy Corp, teamed with leading business solution providers such as IBM and Hewlett Packard, to launch Econex, LLC. Econex offers e-commerce solutions to businesses of all sizes with special emphasis on the business-to-business market.”

NOVA Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products and value added services to more than 500,000 merchants in the U.S. NOVA merchant customers typically include small- to medium-sized merchants requiring a full spectrum of processing services. For more information on the Company visit: [][1].

For more information on Nova’s 3Q/99 visit CardData ([][2]).


PayNet Expands to CT & NJ

Cashing an employee payroll check in the Tri-state area just got a little bit easier as the Check Cashers Association of New York, expanded its PayNet payroll service network into neighboring Connecticut and New Jersey, creating the region’s largest such network with over 582 locations.

Introduced in 1996 to the metropolitan New York area, PayNet enabled banks and large employers to out-source their check cashing needs, while it provided employees the opportunity to cash payroll checks at a convenient location near work, home or anywhere in between.

Today, there are 507 PayNet locations in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland County. The expansion to Connecticut and New Jersey, will add an estimated 75 new locations to the network, making it one of the largest in the Tri-state area.

In addition to check cashing and debit access, all PayNet locations offer a full range of ancillary services such as money orders, utility bill payments, wire transfers, purchase of pre-paid telephone cards and MetroCards.

“PayNet offers greater efficiency and convenience in meeting the payroll needs of banks, large employers, and the employee who wishes to cash a payroll check with the least amount of hassle,” CCANY President James Eustace said. “The expansion of this highly successful program to our neighboring states was the next logical step, and the check cashing associations there were most helpful in making this a reality.”

CCANY represents over 500 licensed check cashers in New York State. The state’s check cashers charge the lowest fee in the country and are regulated by the New York State Department of Banking.