CA-based CO-OP Network and MI-based Service Centers Corporation have signed a letter of intent to merge the two organizations. CO-OP Network has a credit union/ATM presence in 49 states and Canada, and serves more than 10 million credit union cardholders. SCC has a presence in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and serves nearly 4 million members. SCC serves nearly 350 credit unions and CO-OP has more than 800 member credit unions. When the merger is complete, the combined ATM/EFT network will offer over 12,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout North America to credit union cardholders. SC24 ATMs and cards will be re-branded with CO-OP Network logos.
Citi Commerce Solutions, a division of Citibank Cards, announced that it has signed an agreement with Fred Meyer Jewelers, the nation’s fourth largest fine jewelry store chain, to manage the retailer’s private-label credit card program.
In addition to managing the program for the 436-store chain, Citi Commerce Solutions will provide a broad range of credit services, including credit decisions, funding, payment processing, billing and customer service. “Fred Meyer Jewelers is a tremendously successful retailer, with a strong presence from coast-to-coast,” said Bill Johnson, President, Citi Commerce Solutions. “We look forward to working with this outstanding company to grow their private-label credit card business and support their overall growth objectives.”
“This is an alliance between two leaders in their respective industries: Fred Meyer in retail jewelry and Citi Commerce Solutions in private-label credit services,” said Ed Dayoob, President, Fred Meyer Jewelers. “With their extensive experience in the private-label business, Citi Commerce Solutions was an easy choice to manage our card program.”
The Fred Meyer Jewelers credit program will offer cardholders numerous benefits, including periodic special financing offers, a personal shopping service, access to exclusive cardholder saving events and free jewelry cleaning and inspections.
About Citi Commerce Solutions
Citi Commerce Solutions, a division of Citibank Cards, is a leading provider of consumer and commercial private label credit programs, and commercial account management services. Citi Commerce Solutions’ clients include some of the largest, most successful merchants in the world, including Amazon.com, RadioShack, Staples, Texaco, Goodyear, Shell, Gateway, Office Depot, BP Amoco, Dell Computer, Zale, Citgo and OfficeMax.
Citibank is part of Citigroup (NYSE: C), the preeminent global financial services company with some 190 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Travelers. Additional information may be found at: [www.citigroup.com].
About Fred Meyer Jewelers
Fred Meyer Jewelers, a division of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), operates approximately 436 retail jewelry stores throughout the United States under the names Fred Meyer Jewelers, Littman Jewelers and Barclay Jewelers. Stores include both stand-alone units in malls and locations inside the multi-department Fred Meyer stores, another division of Kroger.
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. and Illuminet, a wholly owned subsidiary of VeriSign, Inc., announced the signing of a multi-year contract that will allow Illuminet to offer the Western Union SwiftPay service as a payment solution to small and mid-sized wireless carriers.
Illuminet provides a variety of innovative products and services to the telecommunications industry, including pre-paid wireless services. Under the terms of the contract, Illuminet’s carrier customers will offer its subscribers the ability to use the Western Union SwiftPay service and its network of nearly 40,000 agent locations nationwide to recharge their pre-paid wireless accounts. The addition of Western Union will significantly expand the payment networks of these carriers, allowing them to provide a convenient, nationwide pre-paid service.
“The pre-paid wireless market continues to expand dramatically in the United States,” said Joe Jackson, president, Western Union Commercial Services. “Wireless carriers are constantly seeking ways to provide additional value to their customers. That includes offering convenient ways to replenish airtime on pre-paid accounts. With Western Union’s unparalleled agent network, these carriers can be assured that their customers will be able to quickly and easily re-charge their accounts, when and where they need to.”
“We are pleased to offer Western Union’s thousands of replenishment locations coast-to-coast to the many carriers who offer Illuminet’s prepaid wireless services,” said Bob Adamany, Illuminet’s Director of Wireless Services. “Ease of replenishment, especially while roaming, is essential for a successful prepaid offering,” said Adamany.
Illuminet will conduct a gradual roll-out of the SwiftPay pre-payment option, with more than 30 carriers expected to offer the service by end of 2002. The first of these carriers, ALLTEL, has already begun offering SwiftPay to its customers as a pre-payment option. ALLTEL customers simply provide their wireless telephone number and cash payment at any of the nearly 40,000 Western Union agent locations around the country. Payment will be posted to the customer’s account on a near real-time basis, replenishing the account within minutes.
About Western Union Financial Services, Inc. and First Data
Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. Utilizing the services of Western Union and its subsidiaries, consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at more than 117,000 Agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.westernunion.com] .
First Data Corp., with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. Serving approximately 2.6 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, smart card, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com].
Founded in 1981, Illuminet, a wholly owned subsidiary of VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) is a leading provider of advanced nationwide signaling and intelligent network services to the communications industry. Connection to the Illuminet network gives carriers access to the system of signaling networks of nearly the entire U.S. public-switched telecommunications infrastructure through a single source. Illuminet specializes in SS7 network services and intelligent network solutions for services such as calling name delivery, calling card validation, domestic and international wireless roaming, wireless clearing, inter-carrier SMS interoperability, number portability, network usage measurement, Operations Support System (OSS) interconnection, toll-free and other specialized database access functions, including real-time account management for providers of prepaid wireless services. Illuminet’s headquarters are at 4501 Intelco Loop SE, Lacey, WA 98503; (360) 493-6000; [http://www.illuminet.com] .
VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) is the leading provider of digital trust services that enable everyone, everywhere to engage in commerce and communications with confidence. VeriSign’s digital trust services create a trusted environment through three core offerings — name, authentication and payment services — powered by a global infrastructure that manages more than five billion network connections and transactions a day. Additional news and information about the company is available at [http://www.verisign.com] .
NC-based Paragon Application Systems has signed a license deal with NYCE for Paragon’s ‘ATMulator’ and ‘FASTest’. Concord EFS also has licensed the ‘WorkSmart’ package of software applications from Paragon. ‘ATMulator’ and ‘FASTest’ are components of Paragon’s ‘WorkSmart Suite’, a complete package of PC-based solutions designed to create, test and maintain ATM interfaces. ‘ATMulator’ provides a complete simulation of ATM models from Diebold and NCR, allowing the user to test transactions, view receipts and journal data, and test device faults and command rejects, directly from a PC. ‘FASTest’ offers a way to test ATM and EFT transactions in concert with terminal driving applications.
There’s a bright new star shining in banking and financial industry skies these days as San Francisco-based BankServ recently processed its trillionth dollar in Fedwire transfers since the company’s inception five years ago.
Since its startup in September 1996, BankServ has risen to become one of the nation’s leading providers of Federal Reserve Wire Network (Fedwire) and Automated Clearing House (ACH) electronic payments processing for financial services companies and businesses. With a staff of 45, it has grown from two employees to become one of the top 100 largest private employers in San Francisco.
“We are now processing nearly $3 billion a day in wire transfers on behalf of more than 100 U.S. financial institutions,” says David F. Kvederis, president and CEO at privately held BankServ. More than a million Fedwires a year and nearly two million electronic checks (eChecks) a year are now being processed by the company, he notes.
Kvederis says that the recent downturn in the economy actually has benefited BankServ in two important ways. One, he says, is the recent departure of the many “dot.com” payments processing companies that were attempting to become competitors. “Their presence clouded our own sales efforts. Now that only a few remain, our nationwide sales staff is reporting a definite upswing in inquiries coming to our Web site ([http://www.bankserv.com]) for information on Fedwire and ACH electronic payments processing.”
He says the second way his company has benefited from the economic downturn is “because we have a number of cost-reduction products. Just a few years ago, when times were flush, many banks and brokers were not at all interested in talking to us about outsourcing their funds transfer activities to a non-bank company like BankServ. They’d simply add more personnel and equipment to process transactions.
“Now that the economy has stumbled, everyone is looking for ways to save on time, personnel, and overall costs. As a result, we have become more attractive because we can eliminate the need for entire wire transfer computer departments, the need to handle and move paper checks, and we can turnkey a bank’s entire wire funds transfer business through our GFXN (Global Funds Transfer Network) product.
“In some cases,” Kvederis says, “where a bank is unwilling to give up its investment in hardware, we can still reduce a bank’s costs by offering sophisticated funds transfer software (known as GFX). As everyone knows, there is a lot of competition among banks for customers these days — and low-cost providers are winners.”
In its short five-year existence, BankServ has piled up some impressive business statistics:
— half of the top ten most profitable banks in the U.S. now use BankServ electronic payments products;
— one-quarter of the nation’s 12 Federal Home Loan Banks have adopted BankServ’s GFX system to provide their automated wire services;
— BankServ has become the only non-bank company with coast-to-coast Fedwire access;
— BankServ has customers operating in 11 of 12 Federal Reserve Districts in the country.
Still another trend-setting product recently introduced by BankServ is “Just-in-Time Payments (JIT-Pay)” for consumers. “Just-in-Time Payments” allows businesses to create, clear, settle and reconcile eChecks no matter how the consumer interfaces with the business. Customer Service Representatives can satisfy consumer needs by creating eChecks over the phone. Or, consumers can go to the business’ Web site to create the eChecks on-line. The service is comprehensive with extensive risk management, reconcilement and returns-handling features, and it can be fully integrated with legacy accounting systems, according to Kvederis.
Aside from its banking-related business, BankServ’s star also is shining in the business community, including Internet markets. It serves more than a million consumers through various companies that may require payments, check conversion, payrolls, redeposited checks, mortgage loan payments, student loans, funds transfer, accounts payable and accounts receivable.
It was also one of the first U.S. companies to offer point-of-sale electronic check conversions and automated clearing house (ACH) item processing for merchants.
Over the past few years, BankServ has steadily invested millions in developing world-class ACH payments software. This was done in anticipation of the growing market for advanced, enterprise-wide ACH payments systems. In addition, President Kvederis says, the company has continued to make substantial investments in its Fedwire product line including the addition of book entry securities processing, S.W.I.F.T. (international funds transfer), and many feature enhancements. He notes that further investments were made in data centers by adding additional site, data and telecommunications redundancy.
“We sustained significant operating losses during that buildup period,” he said; “but that’s all behind us now, and we have moved solidly into full production phase. We have five new client companies set to go online and are negotiating with 50 or 60 other companies for our electronic payments processing products,” Kvederis beams, “and for us it means there’s nowhere to grow, but up.”
Bank of America Wednesday announced an innovative stored value card that will give Primacy Relocation clients a new way to manage their money while moving. A Memphis-based company, Primacy Relocation processes more than $1 billion in relocation costs, handling some 20,000 domestic and international relocations a year.
Through its coast-to-coast operation, Primacy offers everything from temporary living and home purchase programs to consultation for corporate relocation program policy and administration.
‘This partnership enables Primacy to offer clients a streamlined money management tool that provides the flexibility and security they desire during the relocation period,’ said Jeff Rankin, senior manager, Corporate and Commercial Card Services, Bank of America. ‘Our relocation card program also addresses the needs of the relocating family providing access to relocation funds through multiple cards.’
Benefits of the Primacy Relocation Card
Â· Cost Efficient Stored value and prepaid cards offer businesses a solution to the traditional time-intensive expense management process, allowing them to save time and money.
Â· Safer than cash If the card is lost or stolen, it can be deactivated and the unspent amount can be replaced.
Â· Convenient Since the card has the Visa logo, it is accepted at more than 22 million merchant locations and more than 620,000 ATMs worldwide.
“We are very excited to be bringing this product to the marketplace with the recognized leader in financial services Bank of America,’ said Matt Spinolo, president, Primacy Relocation. ‘The Primacy Relocation Card, developed by Bank of America and Primacy, provides solutions to problems with traditional lump sum programs. Primacy has long enjoyed a strong relationship with the bank and this new product will add value to our clients and their transferring employees.’
Other benefits of the Relocation Card program being implemented at Primacy Relocation include dedicated program management support, built-in security options, multilingual customer service and Web-based reporting.
About Primacy Relocation
Primacy Relocation, LLC, is a full-service relocation provider that addresses both domestic and international needs for companies throughout the United States. Primacy offers a full range of relocation services, providing turnkey support in home sales, destination services, household goods move management, program administration and international assignment support. In addition to its Memphis headquarters, Primacy has offices in Chicago, Dallas, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Omaha. For further information, visit Primacy’s Web page at [www.primacyrelo.com].
About Bank of America
One of the world’s leading financial services companies, Bank of America is committed to making banking work for customers like it never has before. Through innovative technologies and the ingenuity of its people, Bank of America provides individuals, small businesses and commercial, corporate and institutional clients across the United States and around the world new and better ways to manage their financial lives. The company enables customers to do their banking and investing whenever, wherever and however they choose through the nation’s largest financial services network, including approximately 4,400 domestic offices and 13,000 ATMs, as well as 38 international offices serving clients in 190 countries, and an Internet Web site that provides online access for more than 3 million customers, more than any other bank.
Bank of America stock (ticker: BAC) is listed on the New York, Pacific and London stock exchanges. The company’s Web site is [www.bankofamerica.com]. News, speeches and other corporate information may be found at [www.bankofamerica.com/newsroom]
Retail giant Sears Canada announced that
it has jumped on board with Canada’s national passenger rail service, VIA Rail
Canada, to offer its 9.1 million Sears Cardholders another payment option for
travel by rail while earning valuable Sears Club points.
“Sears exciting new partnership with VIA Rail offers cardholder value,”
said Danielle Bussieres, Manager, Sears Loyalty Program. “With VIA Rail,
travellers can choose to use their Sears card to purchase travel by rail for
business or pleasure, each time bringing them that much closer to reaching
their desired reward.”
“We are very happy to provide our customers with this opportunity” said
Steve Del Bosco, VIA’s Vice-President, Marketing. “Sears has an excellent
reputation and we are looking forward to developing a mutually rewarding
relationship with them”.
Sears Cardholders will earn one Sears Club point for every dollar they
spend on their Sears Card for travel by rail. Points can be redeemed for Sears
merchandise, services and travel offered at any Sears department, furniture
and appliances or outlet store, as well as through catalogue and Internet.
The Sears Card is the number one credit card in Canada with more card-
carrying customers than any other single retail, bank or specialty card issuer
in the country. More than 80 per cent of Canadian households are Sears Club
members. For more information about Sears Club and its partners, log onto
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that encompasses
117 Sears department stores, seven urban Eatons department stores and 37
furniture and appliances stores.
In addition to their Sears Club points, members who also belong to VIA
Preference will earn valuable points redeemable for future rail travel. With
close to a quarter-million members, VIA Preference is the frequent traveller
program that rewards members for recognizing the things in life that really
matter – convenience, service, and above all, quality of time.
VIA Rail operates Canada’s award-winning, national passenger rail service
coast-to-coast. Backed by a major capital investment from the federal
government, VIA is currently upgrading equipment and facilities across the
country – making it one of the safest, most convenient, best-run passenger
services in Canada. For more information about VIA and its services, go to
Concord EFS is mailing out letters this week to its 6,200 financial institution clients detailing a uniform pricing schedule for the ‘STAR’, ‘Cash Station’, and ‘MAC’ debit networks. At the same time, Bank of America advised Concord that although it will continue to use Concord’s processing services, it does not plan to continue its participation in the ‘STAR’ network. BofA was the only sizeable owner of Star Systems that did not sign a long-term network participation contract with Concord when STAR was acquired by Concord in February. Concord will continue to provide ATM processing services to approximately 1,100 Bank of America ATMs, plus point of sale debit gateway processing to selected Bank of America merchants. Concord says the uniform pricing structure for ‘STAR’, ‘Cash Station’, and ‘MAC’, is designed to create consistency across the networks, and to remain competitive with the PIN-secured and signature debit offerings of other national payment networks. Consolidation of Concord’s network created a coast-to-coast network of 180,000 ATMs and the nation’s largest PIN-secured debit payment network with 800,000 merchant locations. There are over 124 million ATM/debit cards that carry the ‘STAR’, ‘MAC’, or ‘Cash Station’ brands. (CF Library 2/2/01; 3/29/01)
Bank of America is launching two new national TV ads that communicate the company’s brand philosophy of “ingenuity.”
Told in the format of 30-second stories, each with a linear plot like a short film, the new ads make a clear and compelling connection between Bank of America and “ingenuity.” The ads take a fresh approach to storytelling and show a slight departure in style from the bank’s first brand advertising campaign, launched last September. The company also announced it is increasing its advertising budget from approximately $100 million to $145 million — almost 50 percent — to promote the Bank of America brand in 2002.
The new ads and budget increase are part of an overall strategy to build the Bank of America brand and become one of the world’s most admired companies. Less than a year ago, Dan Roselli was hired as Brand and Communications executive to intensify those efforts. Roselli has a track record for managing and growing well-known American brands at companies such as General Mills, Colgate-Palmolive and M&M/Mars.
“Bank of America has a long history of ingenuity that spans 200 years,” said Dan Roselli, Bank of America Brand and Communications executive. “We were one of the first banks to offer services to immigrants; we helped develop one of the first computers ever used in business, and we created the first coast-to-coast bank. Today, we’re pioneering a new type of Prototype Market banking center in Atlanta, and we recently created an innovative mortgage solution for teachers, the Teacher Flex/Teacher Zero Down. The new spots — and our new tagline ‘Embracing Ingenuity’ — convey with intriguing stories our history of innovation, as well as the spirit of ingenuity that is thriving within Bank of America today.”
One ad called “Swimming Hole” features a boy poised to jump off a ledge into a swimming hole. Other children watch as he contemplates whether he should be the first to jump. The ad is a simple metaphor for the courage and foresight that is required for an individual, or a company, to step forward and break new ground. To prove that Bank of America is no stranger to being a leader, the ad references four separate historical occasions in which the company took a bold or innovative leap: “first credit card,” “first computer used in banking,” “first major bank online” and “first nationwide ATM network.”
The other ad called “Sparring” features a woman in a martial arts studio. Several scenes show her artfully defending against an opponent. An unexpected ending reveals that she is sight-impaired. The ad highlights the innovative Bank of America Talking ATMs for the visually impaired, another area in which Bank of America is taking a leadership role. “Sparring” demonstrates the company’s success in breaking through societal limitations — and creating new banking experiences for sight-impaired customers.
Talking ATMs provide audible instructions to persons who cannot view information on an ATM screen. The ATMs have audio jacks that deliver spoken instructions privately to protect the security of sight-impaired and low- vision customers. Currently, there are 304 Bank of America Talking ATMs in operation — 65 in Florida and 239 in California.
Both ads also convey the Bank of America brand promise: “To be the people who make banking work for customers and clients in ways it never has before.”
“We made some creative changes based on research results from our last round of advertising,” Roselli said. “Our prior ads scored 26 percent higher overall than the norm for the financial industry. However, results showed we still needed to make a clearer connection between Bank of America and ingenuity. Our pre-testing indicated that the new ads should succeed in making this link more apparent to viewers.”
The new ads will run throughout the United States on regional networks, with a particularly strong emphasis in markets in the 21 states and the District of Columbia where Bank of America has retail banks. Through nationwide cable, the company will reach markets in New York, Boston and other cities where it does not have retail banking centers. Print ads and other collateral materials will be developed in the near future.
Bozell, New York, is the advertising agency that developed the television advertising. It is the agency of record for Bank of America. Los Angeles filmmaker Tony Kaye directed the ads.
About Bank of America
One of the world’s leading financial services companies, Bank of America is committed to making banking work for customers like it never has before. The company enables customers to do their banking and investing whenever, wherever and however they choose through the nation’s largest financial services network, including approximately 4,400 domestic offices and 13,000 ATMs, as well as 38 international offices serving clients in 190 countries, and an Internet Web site that provides online access for more than 3 million customers, more than any other bank.
Bank of America stock (ticker: BAC) is listed on the New York, Pacific and London stock exchanges. The company’s Web site is . News, speeches and other corporate information may be found at .
Hypercom reported second quarter revenues of $75.1 million compared to $89.8 million in the year-ago period and a net loss of $5.8 million. The company also reported that it closed and received funding from a $45 million financing package led by Wells Fargo’s Foothill Capital Corp., and raised $18.4 million in privately placed common equity. The net loss for the quarter, exclusive of banking charges related to the Company’s principal lending facility and related forbearance, was $4.2 million. Including banking charges related to the Company’s principal lending facility and related forbearance, the net loss was $5.8 million. This compares to a net loss in the year-ago period of $1.2 million, which included a $2.2 million loss from the Company’s equity investment in the Cirilium Corporation. For complete details on Hypercom’s 2Q/01 performance please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Concord EFS launched a proprietary point of sale terminal designed for use by small and medium retailers, which supports magnetic-striped cards, smart cards, and check verification in a high-speed, compact, fully-integrated device. The ‘STAR Universal Terminal was named for Concord’s ‘STAR’ network and is the red color of the ‘STAR’ brand, and is designed to promote PIN-secured debit transactions by prominently displaying the STAR logo above the terminal’s keypad, and by automatically prompting the consumer to enter a personal identification number when a debit card is used for payment. The new terminal is built on the Hypercom ‘epic ICE 5700’ platform, and provides retailers with access to credit, debit, electronic benefits transfer, check verification, gift cards and loyalty cards. The terminal features a small ATM-like screen with touch-screen technology that supports frequency marketing programs.
CertCo, Inc., a leading provider of risk management and security solutions for B2B e-commerce, announced enhancements to its CertCo RMX offering with the addition of online financing tools from First International Bank, a subsidiary of First International Bancorp, Inc. and secure Internet payment solutions from BankServ, a leading provider of Internet payment services.
CertCo RMX is the world’s first comprehensive risk management service for online B2B transactions, enabling members of public and private exchanges and industry consortia to manage the risks associated with conducting high-value transactions online. Through alliances with leading providers of financial and business information, credit, trade finance and insurance, CertCo RMX delivers real-time access to essential information and services that enable businesses to complete trusted online transactions. A single source for the completion of online transactions, CertCo RMX allows businesses to negotiate deals, authenticate trading partners, check credit, secure financing and assure performance and payment via the Internet.
With the addition of online commercial and international loans from First International Bank, CertCo RMX users can secure up to $5 million in financing per online transaction. With ThruCreditsm, First International Bank’s solution for financing transactions via the Internet, users can choose from a full range of commercial and international loan services using the bank’s online e-CreditMenusm. Products in the e-CreditMenu include basic payment guarantees, working capital lines, equipment loans and industrial mortgages, as well as sophisticated international trade programs. CertCo RMX users also can access BankServ’s secure Internet payment solutions, including real-time Automated Clearing House (ACH)-based Internet checks, wire transfers and credit card processing. These services allow businesses to use their existing accounting and payment infrastructures to pay for their purchases online.
“Online exchange members will clearly benefit from more sophisticated online transaction services that enable them to assess their trading partners, and then finance and pay for their transactions online,” said June Yee Felix, chairman and CEO of CertCo, Inc. “With the addition of trade financing services from First International Bank, and payment solutions from BankServ, we are rapidly expanding our CertCo RMX offering to help exchanges and consortia to better meet the online purchasing needs of their members.”
By employing CertCo RMX, which reduces the uncertainty and risks involved with online transactions, exchanges and industry consortia can expand the range of acceptable trading partners for their members and potentially increase the frequency of transactions. The CertCo RMX service’s single XML interface makes it easy for exchanges to integrate risk management capabilities into their existing infrastructures, freeing them to focus on their core business objectives and helping them achieve an edge in serving their members’ needs.
About First International Bank
First International Bank ([www.firstinterbank.com]) – a world leader in the use of SBA, USDA and Export-Import Bank loans – provides innovative credit, trade and financial solutions for small and medium size industrial businesses. The company has 15 offices coast-to-coast in the U.S. and international representatives at 14 locations worldwide in the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Europe. In 2000, the company originated more than $500 million in loans primarily within its industrial niche, and closed the year with a managed loan portfolio of $1.3 billion. Established in 1955, the bank is a subsidiary of publicly traded First International Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: FNCE), with headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.
Founded in 1996, BankServ is one of the leading U.S. providers of payment solutions for financial services companies and online businesses. The company processes nearly $3 billion a day in wire transfers on behalf of more than 100 U.S. financial firms. BankServ is considered a market leader in straight-through online electronic payment solutions for Internet businesses. Its suite of payment services includes Internet checks, ACH funds transfers, direct on-line account funding for financial firms, Internet global wire transfers, online credit card processing and numerous authentication and security capabilities. BankServ is headquartered in San Francisco. More information about BankServ can be found on-line at [www.bankserv.com].
About CertCo(R), Inc.
Founded in 1996, CertCo, Inc. is a leading provider of risk management and security infrastructure solutions for B2B e-commerce. CertCo provides corporations, financial institutions, trading networks and governments with business solutions that enable them to safely conduct global, high-value transactions over open networks – effectively removing the “last hurdle” in end-to-end B2B e-commerce. The company offers a full suite of risk management and security services that leverages its thorough understanding and experience with business process, legal, technology and cryptography issues, as well as its deep and long-standing relationships with insurance and financial service providers. Based in New York and privately held, CertCo also operates a research and development office in Cambridge, Mass and a European subsidiary based in London. More information is available at [www.certco.com].