Non-tradition financial service provider AccountNow has teamed with MetaBank to introduce ” iAdvance Line of Credit” and “Money 411” with no upfront fees for new accounts with direct deposit. “iAdvance”, available with the AccountNow Vantage Prepaid MasterCard from MetaBank, provides a line of credit that can be accessed 24/7 via a customer’s prepaid card. Available to cardholders with direct deposit, iAdvance is a more convenient and less costly alternative to other options, with no rollovers, no multiple outstanding loans and lower fees than other high-cost, nonbank credit alternatives. Money 411 is the first comprehensive information network designed specifically for those who do not use, or have been unable to get, a traditional bank account.
CA-based prepaid card marketer AccountNow has secured the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s new Catalyst Fund as the final investor in the companies third round of venture funding and named David J. Petrini, formerly EVP and CFO of Capital One’s GreenPoint Mortgage Funding as its new CFO. On June 26, AccountNow announced $12.75 million in new funding and the addition of two new board members. Trident Capital, a new investor, led the round, and all current investors participated. These investors include INVESCO Private Capital, Oak Hill Venture Partners, VSP Capital, Grayhawk Venture Partners and Mr. Coltrell. Christopher P. (Woody) Marshall, Managing Director of Trident Capital and Stephen B. Galasso, Strategic Advisor at Trident Capital, were AccountNow’s new board members. The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) created the CFSI Catalyst Fund to invest in financial services companies and solutions focused exclusively on underbanked consumers. The fund is a private equity limited partnership and was announced on July 24. The Center for Financial Services Innovation, a non-profit affiliate of ShoreBank Corporation, facilitates financial services industry efforts to serve underbanked consumers.
Card marketer AccountNow has closed on $12.75 million in a third round of venture funding and added two new board members.Trident Capital led the round and all current investors and board investors participated. Investors include INVESCO Private Capital, Oak Hill Investment, VSP Capital, Grayhawk Venture Partners, Granite Hill Capital Ventures and CEO Tim Coltrell. Stephen B. Galasso, Strategic Advisor, and Christopher P. (Woody) Marshall, Managing Director, both from Trident Capital have joined AccountNow’s board, while all other board members will continue to serve. AccountNow is a provider of financial solutions for the 40 million US consumers who do not have established credit or traditional banking relationships. Trident Capital is a leading venture capital and private equity firm with over $1.6 billion of capital under management. The firm has invested in over 120 companies since its founding.
CA-based AccountNow was honored as a finalist in the category of Best Unbanked and Underserved Program as part of the Prepaid Card Awards at the 2007 Prepaid Card Expo. AccountNow’s VISA-and MasterCard-branded prepaid cards provide millions of consumers who do not have traditional banking or checking accounts additional choices for making purchases and paying bills with the convenience and safety of FDIC deposit insurance, electronic payments, financial education and an innovative tool to help building a new credit history. The cards are issued by MetaBank and Palm Desert National Bank. Prepaid Media provides a host of business-to-business media and information services to the rapidly growing network branded prepaid and stored value card industry. AccountNow is a leading provider of financial solutions for the 40 million US consumers who do not have established credit or traditional banking relationships.
AccountNow, a marketer of MasterCard stored value cards, has raised $12 million in a second round of venture financing, led by INVESCO Private Capital. Proceeds of the funding will be used to support continued growth and expansion of the firm’s customer base. AccountNow is a provider of financial solutions for the 40 million US consumers who do not have established credit or traditional banking relationships.
San Ramon, California-based AccountNow has expanded its “Vantage Debit MasterCard” product with a credit building feature which reports bill payments to the PRBC credit bureau. The free credit builder is a new feature of the AccountNow Pay Anyone Bill Pay service. It provides the millions of unbanked or underbanked U.S. consumers a credit builder product that allows them to demonstrate their credit worthiness by paying ordinary bills on time. The service is free of charge to all new and current AccountNow members who use the AccountNow Bill Pay service. The AccountNow Bill Pay service is the first such service of its kind. PRBC is a national credit bureau with a community economic development mission.
NextCard, Inc., the leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet, announced this morning it is opening a customer contact center in Phoenix, Arizona.
The site, which will open by June 2000, is designed to meet the company’s continued aggressive growth targets, while delivering superior customer service.
“We have experienced phenomenal growth this past year. Our expansion into Phoenix will prepare us to service our expanded customer base and future product offerings, such as the Amazon.com and Priceline.com co-branded cards and e-commerce services,” said Tim Coltrell, chief operating officer of NextCard. “Everything we do at NextCard is designed to continually enhance the consumer’s online transaction experience. The Phoenix site will allow us to extend our leadership position and prepare us for the growth ahead.”
NextCard’s 100,000-square-foot facility, when fully occupied, is expected to employ more than 700 people to support NextCard’s growing customer base with email, real-time chat interaction and telephone support.
The company also announced that Mark Attinger, a 13-year veteran of American Express, will head the new facility as vice president of operations for NextCard.
Mark adds, “NextCard’s inventive operations model allows the Company to employ leading-edge Web-based technologies to provide superior customer service. The Phoenix center enables us to deliver on that promise by tapping into the significant local labor force, recruiting skilled resources in Customer Service, Collections and eCommerce.” Mark most recently headed an Authorizations service center for American Express in Greensboro, North Carolina.
This new facility marks NextCard’s first major expansion into a multiple center approach, and represents significantly increased capacity from its initial facility in San Ramon, just outside San Francisco, California. NextCard plans to launch a product development and test center from its existing facility in San Ramon later in 2000, which will facilitate the rapid testing and successful implementation of innovative e-commerce products, services and operating strategies.
Individuals interested in applying for management and entry level jobs in customer service, credit & collections, fraud investigations, internet operations, and telecommunications can contact the company via email at [email protected], or by visiting the company’s website [www.nextcard.com] for a listing of available positions.
NextCard, Inc. ([http://www.nextcard.com]) is considered the leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. Launched in 1997, the company was the first to offer online credit card approval within 30 seconds, a choice of customized credit card terms, automated balance transfers, personalized PictureCard(SM) and 100% Safe Shopping Pledge. NextCard is committed to providing the most robust consumer shopping experience on the Internet and has continued to innovate with its complete GoShopping!(SM) Web site, NextCard Concierge(SM), exceptional online customer management site and comprehensive rewards program.
NextCard is consistently a top ten online advertiser, operates a network of over 35,000 affiliates and has exclusive card relationships with leading brands including Amazon.com, priceline.com and DILBERT. The Company publishes the NextCard eCommerce Index(SM), the premier source of online purchase activity, and was named the No.1 credit card brand according to ZDNet’s BrandIQ research study. In 1999, NextCard was listed as a Top 50 Financial Web site by Money magazine, a HOT 100 Company by Upside magazine and one of The Standard 100 most important and influential companies in the Internet economy by The Industry Standard. The Company also owns a minority stake in Flooz.com, the premier online gift currency.
Already facing lawsuits from consumers and shareholders over its credit card practices, San Francisco-based Providian is now facing another lawsuit from crosstown rival NextCard. NextCard announced this morning that it has filed suit against Providian Financial Corp. for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, false advertising and unfair business practices. NextCard claims that Providian deliberately copied one of NextCard’s banner advertisements in an attempt to mislead Internet users into clicking onto Providian’s Web site rather than NextCard’s Web site. NextCard says Providian did not respond appropriately to its efforts to resolve the dispute amicably. NextCard’s CEO/founder, Jeremy Lent, is a former Providian CFO/SVP. Other NextCard officers/directors who formerly worked for Providian include: Timothy Coltrell and John Hashman.
NextCard says it now offers live chat for online customer sales and support. At the click of a button, customers can initiate an interactive conversation with NextCard customer service representatives and get immediate answers to all their credit application or account questions. NextCard, using technology provided by LivePerson, is the first Internet credit card firm to use real-time online chat for sales and customer service. ( http://www.nextcard.com )
“The customized nature of the NextCard requires rich customer interactions,” said Tim Coltrell, chief operating officer of NextCard. “With live chat, we are now able to provide customers with an even more convenient and effective user experience. This breakthrough,” added Mr. Coltrell, “represents yet another step in NextCard’s technology strategy of ‘taking Internet innovations as they occur and transforming them into enhanced customer functionality far more rapidly than our competitors.'”
Click to Chat!
At the touch of a button, customers can connect with a NextCard representative online, without having to disconnect from their Internet connection. The real-time service enables NextCard customers to ask questions about new credit applications or existing accounts and receive answers immediately. Live chat is completely secure, compatible with any Web browser and requires no special software. NextCard representatives are available online between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. PST to ensure the highest levels of support during this introductory period. http://www.nextcard.com/frame_contactus.html
“With the addition of live chat, NextCard customers never have to be a prisoner of telephone calls again,” said Robert LoCascio, president and CEO, LivePerson. “We’re excited that NextCard is taking advantage of our easy-to-use solution to give customers instant answers to all their questions about the NextCard Internet Visa.”
NextCard, Inc., creator of the First True Internet Visa, is considered the industry’s leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. Since its launch in December 1997, over 2 million people have applied for the NextCard Internet Visa, making it one of the premier online credit cards. NextCard continues to innovate with its Double Rewards program, GoShopping! tools, original PictureCard design, one-click digital wallet and exceptional online customer service. NextCard was recently named a “HOT 100” company for 1999 by UPSIDE Magazine.
San Francisco-based Providian is launching its new online credit card brand this morning that will directly compete with San Francisco-based NextCard. The new suite of ‘Aria’ VISA cards features online instant approvals, a rewards program, online balance transfers, online account access and upgraded perks. The four ‘Aria’ VISA cards include ‘Aria VISA Platinum Premium’, ‘VISA Platinum’, and two subprime card programs, ‘VISA Portrait’ and ‘VISA Persona’. ‘The instant rewards feature for ‘Aria’ is the ‘MyPoints’ program which offers 5 points for every purchase dollar, a 500 point bonus for opening an account, and a 2,500 point bonus for a balance transfer. Providian says the addition of ‘Aria’ aggressively positions Providian in the e-commerce segment. However, it is unclear this morning how Providian will promote its new product among the dozens of card products it currently offers, under contract, from competitors, via GetSmart.com. Last February, Providian acquired WebCard, GetSmart.com and created its new E-Commerce Division. NextCard’s CEO/founder, Jeremy Lent, is a former Providian CFO/SVP. Other NextCard officers/directors who formerly worked for Providian include: Timothy Coltrell and John Hashman.
PROVIDIAN’S ARIA PORTFOLIO
VISA Product INTRO PURCH BAL TXFR CASH ADV
Platinum Premium 0%/3mo 7.99% 12.99%-21.99% 21.99%
Platinum 0%/3mo 12.99% 12.99%-21.99% 21.99%
Portrait 0%/2mo 19.99%* 21.99% 21.99%
Persona 0%/2mo 23.99%* 23.99% 23.99%
all cards no-annual-fee except Persona; * no grace period