Oakland, CA-based ValueStar Corp. has signed another card services firm for its local merchant rating service. West Coast Merchant Services has agreed to enroll qualified merchants in the ‘ValueStar Customer-Rated’ program. The program drives ValueStar registered cardholders to participating merchants. Through the program, ValueStar rates the merchant based upon a verification of their license, insurance, state compliance, legal and financial statuses, and, if qualified, enrolls the merchant in the ‘ValueStar Customer-Rated’ program, which includes ‘Real-Time Ratings’. ValueStar then promotes these selected merchants to cardholders through a variety of media. First National Bank Omaha, the first card issuer to join the ValueStar program, launched the program in the San Francisco Bay Area last month. Sanwa Merchant Services and First Virginia Merchant Services also joined the ‘ValueStar Customer-Rated’ program in May. (CF Library 5/16/01; 5/30/01)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge Wednesday announced that Applied Card Systems Inc. will build a new 256,000-square-foot facility in Concord Township, Delaware County, creating at least 1,000 new jobs.
“Applied Card Systems had a decision to make about its future, and this rapidly growing company chose Pennsylvania,” Gov. Ridge said. “Like so many others, they’ve answered our invitation to come, invent the future in Pennsylvania, with an emphatic `Yes.’ That response will create at least 1,000 new jobs in Southeastern Pennsylvania.”
Inc. Magazine recently ranked Applied Card Systems as No. 42 on its list of the 500 fastest-growing, privately owned companies in the country. Founded in 1987, Applied Card employs more than 4,000 people at its headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, and at four operation centers in Boca Raton, Florida; Huntington and Beckley, West Virginia; and Ashland, Kentucky. These centers employ workers in information technology, customer assistance, human resources, learning and development, and payment processing.
“We’re very excited about becoming a part of the New Pennsylvania,” said Tim Lehmann, President of Applied Card. “We’re a fast-growing company with our eyes on the future. Applied Card relies on quality people, and, in Pennsylvania, we have found a large and talented workforce that we know we can rely on. Gov. Ridge and his Action Team, along with the Delaware County Commerce Center, have worked hard to help us make Delaware County our newest location. And we have great expectations for our future in Pennsylvania.”
The Governor’s Action Team — economic-development professionals who report directly to Gov. Ridge — worked with Applied Card to make this project a reality. Gov. Ridge has agreed to provide a $4.75 million financial package — through an Opportunity Grant, Job Creation Tax Credits and an Infrastructure Development Program grant — to support the project. Applied Card will invest $30 million in construction and equipment.
Under the Ridge Administration, Pennsylvania families and employers have saved nearly $15 billion through tax cuts, workers’ compensation reform, electric deregulation and reduced red tape — helping to create nearly 500,000 new jobs.
Diebold, Incorporated, a global leader in providing integrated self-service solutions, today announced it has teamed with Uni-Marts, Inc. to place 240 CashSource Plus 200 cash dispensers under its automated teller machine Franchise Program.
Under the franchise agreement, Diebold will install and operate ATMs in various Uni-Mart convenience stores and discount tobacco outlets located throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia. Installation is estimated to be complete in June 2001.
“Diebold’s ATM placement program fits perfectly with our initiative to provide increased convenience and service to our customers,” said Henry D. Sahakian, chairman and CEO of Uni-Marts. “Our customers will appreciate the ability to access cash on-site at an expanded number of Uni-Mart locations, and we will benefit from working with one proven supplier.”
! The CSP 200 with the Provisor option permits convenience store staff to load and recycle cash without accessing the chest of the unit by depositing money directly into the ATM by way of a bill acceptor. This provides Uni- Marts with a cost-effective and simple means to replenish the cash while minimizing theft and security issues.
“Retail outlets like Uni-Marts recognize the fact that Diebold has a myriad of turnkey delivery solutions, which include ATMs, self-service payment, security products and service and support,” said Bartholomew J. Frazzitta, vice president and general manager of Diebold’s Physical Security and Retail Group. “Our solutions are designed specifically to help build customer traffic and increase revenue within their respective businesses.”
Uni-Marts, Inc. owns and operates 300 convenience stores and Choice Cigarette Discount Outlets in the Mid-Atlantic region, with a majority of its locations in Pennsylvania. Uni-Marts reported revenues of $348.7 million in fiscal year 2000, and has over 2,700 full and part-time employees. Uni-Marts stock is publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol “UNI.” For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.uni-mart.com .
Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems and services. Diebold employs more than 10,000 associates with representation in more than 80 countries worldwide and headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $1.7 billion in 2000 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.diebold.com .
Same-store retail sales for May rose 2.8 percent over the same period last year, according to data compiled by TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world’s leading check acceptance company. While sunny weather encouraged consumers to shop the malls in the southern regions of the country, California’s power crisis is taking its toll on retailing in the West. The Southwest region led the nation, followed by the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic (tied), the Midwest, the West and the Northeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 272,000 subscribing locations. Compiled on a calendar basis, TeleCheck’s index is based on a broad cross-section of retailers nationwide. Checks account for about one-third of retail spending and remain second only to cash as the most popular method of payment. TeleCheck is a subsidiary of Denver-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC).
“The country’s power crisis is having its greatest affect in the West, as suggested by the region’s sluggish retail sales,” said Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck’s Senior Economic Adviser. “Retail spending in the Northeast and Midwest regions picked up pace slightly from previous months, which we can assume is due to the long-awaited break from winter weather. In general, despite an overall economic slowdown, retail sales rose moderately across the country.”
In the Southwest, sales rose a strong 3.5 percent. Oklahoma’s sales rose 4.1 percent, Missouri’s sales jumped 3.6 percent and Texas’ grew 3.5 percent. Sales in Oklahoma City rose 4.3 percent, Houston’s climbed 4.2 percent, sales in Tulsa grew 4.0 percent, sales in St. Louis were up 3.7 percent, sales increased 3.6 percent in Kansas City, 3.5 percent in Dallas/Ft. Worth, 3.3 percent in Austin and 3.0 percent in San Antonio.
Sales grew in both the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic regions by 3.2 percent. In the Southeast, sales climbed 4.4 percent in Louisiana, 3.8 percent in both Florida and Georgia, 3.2 percent in The Carolinas and 2.9 percent in Tennessee. Sales increased 4.8 percent in New Orleans, 4.0 percent in Orlando, 3.9 percent in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, 3.4 percent in Atlanta, 3.3 percent in Tampa, 3.1 percent in Nashville and 2.8 percent in Memphis.
In the Mid-Atlantic, Pennsylvania’s sales were up 4.1 percent, Virginia’s sales increased 3.3 percent, New Jersey’s sales rose 3.2 percent and Maryland’s sales grew 2.4 percent. Pittsburgh saw sales jump 4.3 percent, Philadelphia’s sales grew 3.9 percent, the District of Columbia saw sales rise 2.4 percent and Baltimore’s sales climbed 2.2 percent.
Sales in the Midwest climbed 2.9 percent, with Minnesota up 4.5 percent, Wisconsin up 3.6 percent, Michigan up 2.8 percent, Illinois up 2.6 percent and Ohio up 2.2 percent. Sales grew by 5.0 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul, 3.9 percent in Milwaukee, 2.9 percent in Detroit, 2.8 percent in Chicago and 2.0 percent in Cleveland.
The West was up 2.6 percent, with sales increasing 5.2 percent in Hawaii, 2.9 percent in Oregon, 2.2 percent in Washington, 2.1 percent in Colorado, 1.9 percent in California and 1.5 percent in Arizona. Sales rose 2.9 percent in Denver, 2.4 percent in San Diego, 2.2 percent in Portland, 2.0 percent in Los Angeles, 1.9 percent in Seattle, 1.5 percent in the Bay Area and 1.2 percent in Phoenix.
The Northeast region’s sales grew 1.8 percent. Sales rose 2.3 percent in New York and 1.2 percent in Massachusetts. New York City’s sales were up by 2.7 percent and Boston’s sales increased by 1.9 percent.
TeleCheck’s index is compiled on a calendar basis and is based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers at a broad cross-section of retailers. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. Checks account for approximately one-third of retail spending. In 2000, TeleCheck authorized more than $163 billion in checks, representing 3.2 billion transactions. For more information about TeleCheck, visit the Internet site at http://www.telecheck.com.
About First Data Corp
First Data Corp., with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. Serving nearly 2.5 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, 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.
(Period: 05/01/01 – 05/31/01)
June 5, 2001
SOUTHEAST 3.2% WEST 2.6% MIDWEST 2.9%
Florida 3.8% Arizona 1.5% Illinois 2.6%
Miami/Ft. Phoenix 1.2% Chicago 2.8%
Orlando 4.0% California 1.9% Michigan 2.8%
Tampa 3.3% Bay Area 1.5% Detroit 2.9%
Louisiana 4.4% Los Angeles 2.0% Minnesota 4.5%
New Orleans 4.8% San Diego 2.4% Minneapolis/
St. Paul 5.0%
Georgia 3.8% Oregon 2.9% Wisconsin 3.6%
Atlanta 3.4% Portland 2.2% Milwaukee 3.9%
Tennessee 2.9% Washington 2.2% Ohio 2.2%
Memphis 2.8% Seattle 1.9% Cleveland 2.0%
Nashville 3.1% Colorado 2.1%
The Carolinas 3.2% Denver 2.9% MID-ATLANTIC 3.2%
Hawaii 5.2% District of
SOUTHWEST 3.5% Pennsylvania 4.1%
Texas 3.5% NORTHEAST 1.8% Philadelphia 3.9%
Austin 3.3% Massachusetts 1.2% Pittsburgh 4.3%
Dallas/Ft. Boston 1.9% New Jersey 3.2%
Houston 4.2% New York 2.3% Virginia 3.3%
San Antonio 3.0% New York City 2.7% Maryland 2.4%
Missouri 3.6% Baltimore 2.2%
Kansas City 3.6%
St. Louis 3.7%
Oklahoma City 4.3%
ValueStar Corp. announced that First Virginia Merchant Services has signed up for the ValueStar Customer-Rated program. First Virginia Merchant Services can now enroll their qualified merchants in the ValueStar Customer-Rated program, which enables merchants to differentiate themselves from local competition by highlighting quality service. In addition, the program drives ValueStar registered cardholders to participating merchants. The ValueStar Customer-Rated-program is open to all local service merchants, such as auto repair shops, plumbers, pool maintenance companies, dentists, etc.Through this program, ValueStar rates the merchant based upon a verification of their license, insurance, state compliance, legal and financial statuses, and, if qualified, enrolls the merchant in the ValueStar Customer-Rated program, which includes real-time Ratings. ValueStar then promotes these selected merchants to cardholders through a variety of media such as the ValueStar Report, direct mailings, in-store signage, and quality brand placement on the ValueStar web site. Participating merchants agree to: adhere to the ValueStar “Customer Bill of Rights,” participate in the mediation process, allow ValueStar to publicly post their customer satisfaction score, and must keep their customer satisfaction score above 70 on a 100 scale. “We are pleased with the results of the program as it has been well received by the merchant community,” said Jim Stein, CEO of ValueStar. “First Virginia Merchant Services is opening the door to approximately 1400 additional service merchants that could benefit from this program.” “First Virginia Merchant Services is always looking for ways to differentiate itself in the marketplace. The ValueStar proposition provides us with the competitive edge to distinguish our products and services from that of our competitors. ValueStar is a great way for us to help grow the consumer business of our service merchant base,” said Saeed Heshmatpour, Vice President and General Manager for First Virginia Merchant Services. “The ValueStar Customer-Rated program validates local service merchants as quality service providers and improves customer loyalty and increases referrals by matching quality seeking consumers with quality conscious merchants.” Card issuers offering the ValueStar Customer-Rated program to their cardholders can increase their cardholder loyalty, retention and stimulate card usage. By choosing service merchants that have earned this quality seal of approval, consumers can have confidence in their decision, and will gain access to various program benefits not typically offered in the service business sector. How the Customer-Rated Program WorksValueStar first verifies license, insurance, legal and financial statuses of local service businesses. First Virginia Merchant Services will match up transactions paid for with a qualified credit card made with qualified merchants. Consumers are then presented with an online or offline survey that, once processed, updates each local service merchant’s rating score in real time. Because only verified transactions are used, the ratings reflect only actual customer ratings. Customers who rate their satisfaction are also eligible for ValueStar Benefits, which currently include complaint resolution services, a money-back satisfaction guarantee of up to $500 and ValueStar Rating Points redeemable for products, charitable donations, services and travel. To use ValueStar, interested consumers can go to www.valuestar.com or to a participating card issuer Web site. Once on the site, consumers search by merchant name or industry and geographic region. Consumers can then browse lists of rated merchants or see if the merchant they plan to do business with has earned the ValueStar Customer-Rated seal. About ValueStar ValueStarÂ® Corp. (OTC:VLST) is both a pioneer and a leading provider of customer satisfaction ratings of local service companies. Founded in 1992, ValueStar’s mission is to improve the local marketplace by providing knowledge, power and assurance. To accomplish this mission, ValueStar is expanding its branded ratings to the six million local service companies in America by introducing multi-tiered rating designations and adding additional brand content. It has developed the ValueStar Customer-Rated program which enables, matches, rates and rewards local service transactions both online and offline. It currently operates the ValueStar Customer-Rated Program in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Seattle; Chicago; Dallas; Philadelphia; Washington D.C. and Atlanta. For more information, visit ValueStar at www.valuestar.com or call 800-310-6661. Â©2001 ValueStar Corporation. All rights reserved. ValueStar, ValueStar Customer-Rated, ValueStar Verified, ValueStar Real-Time Ratings, ValueStar Benefits and the ValueStar logo are trademarks of ValueStar Corporation. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding ValueStar’s business strategy and future plans of operations. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties; both general and specific to the matters discussed in this press release. These and other important factors, including those mentioned in various Securities and Exchange Commission filings made periodically by ValueStar, may cause ValueStar’s actual results and performance to differ materially from the future results and performance expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and ValueStar expressly disclaims any obligation to provide public updates, revisions or amendments to any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect changes in ValueStar’s expectations or future events.
Payment Systems for Credit Unions announced Thursday it will open a new operations center in Phoenix and will close regional offices located in Jacksonville, Florida; Herndon, Virginia; Novi, Michigan; and Honolulu, Hawaii. Employees in the regional offices will have a choice of relocating to either St. Petersburg or Phoenix. The changes are part of a strategic alignment to meet significant expected growth in its western U.S. operations and in its e-commerce business. Under the realignment, which is expected to be complete by mid-year 2002, PSCU will maintain its national headquarters and operations center in St. Petersburg, Florida where more than 600 of PSCU’s 750 employees work. PSCU is a cooperative owned by more than 500 credit unions and serves more than six million cardholders nationwide. PSCU had a record year in 2000, with net income rising 19% to nearly $122 million.
MasterCard International announced two new offerings for its Small Business Connections program, an innovative online resource for connecting small businesses with the Internet’s top business-to-business service providers and MasterCard’s best-in-class payment solutions.
The new additions to MasterCard Small Business Connections are PromiseMark, the country’s first Internet and data-related protection plan company, and Bpath, a leading provider of e-commerce and e-marketing services for small businesses and web masters worldwide.
As part of the agreement, MasterCard small business cardholders will be offered a 30 percent discount from retail prices for PromiseMark’s plans to help protect identity and data while conducting business online. PromiseMark plans include Virus Protection, Data Recovery, and Hacker and Identity Theft Protection services. The Virus Protection Plan is offered as a free benefit to MasterCard Executive BusinessCard cardholders. In the future, PromiseMark will also offer MasterCard small business cardholders their service plan for used computers as soon as the program’s development is complete.
! The agreement with Bpath will provide MasterCard small business cardholders with increased customer awareness of their online presence through Bpath’s proprietary URL submission technology, HyperSubmit. MasterCard cardholders will receive special pricing for this service, which automatically provides URL registration for websites, including automatic monthly re-registration, to 400-plus search engines and directories. The importance of search engines can’t be overlooked, as they are the most popular method for discovering new sites across the Internet. In addition, users can sign up for HyperRank, a utility that automatically measures the success of their promotion campaign with search engines and directories.
! “With this latest announcement, MasterCard continues its dedication to helping small businesses conduct business on the Internet,” said Steve Abrams, senior vice president, Corporate Payment Solutions, MasterCard International. “Through our new agreements with PromiseMark and Bpath, MasterCard small business cardholders can increase the awareness of their web presence with peace of mind. This announcement underscores MasterCard’s leadership in providing small businesses with the services and tools they need to successfully run their businesses.” “Working with a global payments leader like MasterCard demonstrates PromiseMark’s commitment to protecting small businesses from Internet hacking, security breaches, data loss and the damaging effects of computer viruses. It also provides small businesses with the confidence needed to fully realize the potential of the Internet,” said Bernard Brenner, president and CEO of PromiseMark.
“We’re excited to be working with MasterCard to provide small businesses with the necessary tools to start, e-commerce-enable and promote their online business offering,” said Ami Dotan, chairman of Bpath. “Small businesses are a rapidly growing part of the online business community, and through our “HyperSubmit” service, they have the ability to quickly and easily get the online presence up and running, giving them a competitive edge over slower moving competitors.”
A Community of Services
MasterCard Small Business Connections is a web community devoted to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses save time and money, communicate and stay competitive. Additionally, MasterCard Small Business Connections is an Internet gateway for managing expenses; gathering marketplace news and information; accessing better buying opportunities on technology solutions for marketing, sales, web design, hosting, e-commerce and more. It combines all the tools and services that small business owners need to succeed, in one, easy-to-navigate location. These products and services already include:
– MasterCard MarketAccess(TM) — A marketplace where small business cardholders buy and sell goods and services online, MasterCard MarketAccess provides a secure, one-stop shopping resource for small businesses by introducing offers from a growing list of suppliers, including barnesandnoble.com, Business Solution, Egghead.com, OfficeMax, Paper Direct, PC Flowers & Gifts and Tiger Direct. MasterCard MarketAccess also enables businesses to create websites with storefronts at no charge, helping them build or expand their e-commerce initiatives.
– MasterCard Smart Data OnLine(TM) — This web-based tool assists small businesses in organizing, consolidating, analyzing and managing financial data through the Internet. Accessed through a web browser in real-time, Smart Data OnLine creates improved efficiencies in reconciling expenses and eliminating time-consuming paperwork.
– MasterCard Business Bonuses(TM) — This program rewards small businesses for MasterCard purchases by allowing them to earn generous travel-based rewards for any airline with no blackout periods. (Availability limited based on card issuer participation. Program participation fee applies)
– MasterCard Business Savings(TM) — This program enables small businesses to take advantage of special discounts MasterCard has negotiated on key goods and services in categories including, legal, personnel, financial, office supplies, business travel, technology, communications, marketing, public relations and business planning.
– Education — “The Small Business Financial Resource Guide,” has helped thousands of business owners understand the basics of financing a business and has pointed them to specific sources of capital. Available at no cost both online and in hardcopy, “The Small Business Financial Resource Guide” answers some basic questions small business owners may have about financing their businesses, such as when to seek financing, what types of financing are available, how to find local lenders and more. “The Small Business Financial Resource Guide” can be viewed online at [http://www.mastercard.co m/business/smallbiz/sbfrg/]. A hard copy of the guide can be ordered directly from the website.
– MasterCard BusinessCard(R) Card — Small businesses can better manage their expenditures with this card’s extensive array of business and travel services. Accepted at more than 21 million merchant locations, the card enables managers to set individual spending limits based on employee and management needs and choose the billing cycle, billing structure, and payment terms that work best for their organizations. They also have the ability to receive comprehensive financial reports for use at tax time. Through travel assistance services, the MasterCard BusinessCard helps insure and protect business travelers and maintains the highest level of customer service. These benefits include insurance medical coverage, retail protection services, roadside assistance, legal referrals and more.
– MasterCard Executive BusinessCard(R) Card — This card offers qualified small business owners and frequent travelers higher spending limits to allow for greater freedom in handling business expenses. Toll-free assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in more than 140 languages. This includes emergency card replacement within one business day in the U.S. and within two business days outside of the U.S. Through MasterCard Special Services, personal service consultants provide a complete package of domestic and international services including travel destination help and exclusive retail services to meet business, gift and entertainment needs. – MasterCard BusinessCard(R) debit card — This card was developed specifically to give business owners more control over time and finances. The card can be used to get cash at an ATM or to make purchases — the funds are automatically deducted from a business checking account. Since it is not a credit card, there are no monthly payments or finance charges (unless the business accesses an overdraft line of credit).
MasterCard Small Business Connections can be found at [http://www.mastercard.com/busi ness/smallbiz/].
About Bpath, Ltd.
Bpath provides an easy-to-follow path for emerging businesses to go and grow online. Bpath is the leading destination for e-innovators in 30 countries who need content, communication and commerce services to build their online business. With nearly 50 online communities, many translated into local language, Bpath offers a rich resource for members to research, build, enhance and generate revenues from their online business. Bpath was founded in 1996 and is based in San Jose, Calif. For more information on Bpath and its services, visit [http://www.Bpath.com].
PromiseMark is the only company to offer a suite of products that provide Internet and data-related service plans for consumers and small businesses. PromiseMark’s innovative protection plans ease concerns about computer and Internet related vulnerabilities. The products offer substantial value for strategic and channel partners who use them to acquire and retain new customers, strengthen brand identity and generate revenue. PromiseMark provides its products through its alliances with Symantec(TM) Corporation, the world leader in Internet security technology, DriveSavers(TM), the most trusted and progressive data recovery company in the industry, and Aon(TM) Innovative Solutions (AIS), a provider of customer care programs for many of the world’s largest companies. AIS is a subsidiary of Aon Warranty Group, Inc. (AWG). AWG is a subsidiary of Aon Corporation, a world leader in insurance brokerage, risk management products and consulting, service contracts and human resources services and consulting. PromiseMark, a privately held company in Fairfax, Virginia, can be found at [http://www.promisemark.com].
About MasterCard International
MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1.7 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of more than 20,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. MasterCard’s award-winning Priceless(R) advertising campaign is now seen in 81 countries and in more than 36 languages, giving the MasterCard brand reach and scope unrivaled by any competitor in the industry. With more than 21 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 2000, gross dollar volume exceeded US$857 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at [http://www.mastercard.com].
Capital One Financial has agreed to acquire AmeriFee Corp, a major provider of patient financing solutions for elective dental, orthodontic, vision and cosmetic procedures. Cap One is paying $81.5 million for the acquisition, with $65 million to be paid in cash and the remainder in common stock. Cap One will also make additional payments for hitting performance targets. AmeriFee, a privately held company with more than 160 employees based in Southborough, MA, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Capital One. Current management of AmeriFee will continue to manage its operations as a subsidiary of Capital One.
Same-store retail sales for April rose 3.1 percent over the same period last year, according to data compiled by TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world’s leading check acceptance company. Although some sectors of the economy are reporting sluggish growth, retail sales remain moderately strong. The Southeast region led the nation, followed by the Southwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, the West and the Northeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 272,000 subscribing locations. Compiled on a calendar basis, TeleCheck’s index is based on a broad cross-section of retailers nationwide. Checks account for about one-third of retail spending and remain second only to cash as the most popular method of payment. TeleCheck is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC).
“The Easter holiday fell two weeks earlier during April this year and consumers also had one less weekend day to shop. Nevertheless, same-store retail sales are surprisingly high despite this unfavorable calendar shift,” said Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck’s Senior Economic Adviser. “Even with widespread flooding in the Midwest, retail sales were moderately strong across the country and consistent with recent reports that the economy continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace.”
Sales rose a strong 4.5 percent in the Southeast. In Louisiana, sales grew 5.4 percent and in Georgia sales increased 5.2 percent. Sales were up 4.4 percent in The Carolinas, 4.2 percent in Florida and 4.0 percent in Tennessee. Sales increased 5.2 percent in New Orleans, 4.9 percent in Atlanta, 4.7 percent in Orlando, 4.2 percent in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, 4.1 percent in Memphis, 3.8 percent in Nashville and 3.6 percent in Tampa.
In the Southwest, sales rose 3.9 percent. Texas’ sales rose 4.4 percent, Oklahoma’s sales jumped 3.6 percent and Missouri’s grew 3.0 percent. Sales in Houston climbed 5.1 percent, sales in Dallas/Ft. Worth rose 4.2 percent, sales in both Austin and Oklahoma City grew 3.8 percent and sales in San Antonio were up 3.5 percent. Tulsa’s sales increased 3.4 percent, Kansas City’s sales rose 3.3 percent and sales in St. Louis climbed 2.7 percent.
The Mid-Atlantic’s sales increased 2.9 percent. Pennsylvania’s sales were up 3.8 percent, New Jersey’s sales increased 3.3 percent, Virginia’s sales rose 2.6 percent and Maryland’s sales grew 2.1 percent. Pittsburgh saw sales jump 4.1 percent, Philadelphia’s sales grew 3.6 percent, the District of Columbia saw sales rise 2.6 percent and Baltimore’s sales climbed 2.4 percent.
Sales in the Midwest climbed 2.7 percent, with Michigan up 3.6 percent, Wisconsin up 3.5 percent, Minnesota up 3.0 percent, Illinois up 2.4 percent and Ohio up 2.3 percent. Sales grew by 3.4 percent in Milwaukee, 3.3 percent in Detroit, 3.2 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul, 2.8 percent in Chicago and 2.1 percent in Cleveland.
The West was up 2.6 percent, with sales increasing 4.5 percent in Hawaii, 2.7 percent in Colorado, 2.5 percent in Oregon, 2.3 percent in Arizona, and 2.2 percent in both California and Washington. Sales rose 2.5 percent in the Bay Area, 2.3 percent in both San Diego and Denver, 2.0 percent in Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle, and 1.7 percent in Phoenix.
The Northeast region’s sales grew 1.5 percent. Sales rose 1.7 percent in Massachusetts and 1.5 percent in New York. Boston’s sales increased by 2.1 percent and New York City’s sales were up by 2.0 percent.
TeleCheck’s index is compiled on a calendar basis and is based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers at a broad cross-section of retailers. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. Checks account for approximately one-third of retail spending. In 2000, TeleCheck authorized more than $163 billion in checks, representing 3.2 billion transactions. For more information about TeleCheck, visit the Internet site at [http://www.telecheck.com].
Note: The TeleCheck logo and retail sales figures can be downloaded from the TeleCheck press center at [http://www.corporatenews.com/Te leCheck.html] or from PR Newswire and NewsCom.
Atlanta-based First Data Corp. powers the global economy. Serving nearly 2.5 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, 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].
Dr. William Ford holds the Weatherford Chair of Finance at Middle Tennessee State University. Earlier in his career he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served on former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s Federal Open Market Committee.
(Period: 04/01/01 – 04/30/01)
May 2, 2001
SOUTHEAST 4.5% WEST 2.6% MIDWEST 2.7%
Florida 4.2% Arizona 2.3% Illinois 2.4%
Lauderdale 4.2% Phoenix 1.7% Chicago 2.8%
Orlando 4.7% California 2.2% Michigan 3.6%
Tampa 3.6% Bay Area 2.5% Detroit 3.3%
Louisiana 5.4% Los Angeles 2.0% Minnesota 3.0%
New Orleans 5.2% San Diego 2.3% Minneapolis/
St. Paul 3.2%
Georgia 5.2% Oregon 2.5% Wisconsin 3.5%
Atlanta 4.9% Portland 2.0% Milwaukee 3.4%
Tennessee 4.0% Washington 2.2% Ohio 2.3%
Memphis 4.1% Seattle 2.0% Cleveland 2.1%
Nashville 3.8% Colorado 2.7%
The Carolinas 4.4% Denver 2.3% MID-ATLANTIC 2.9%
Hawaii 4.5% District of
SOUTHWEST 3.9% Pennsylvania 3.8%
Texas 4.4% NORTHEAST 1.5% Philadelphia 3.6%
Austin 3.8% Massachusetts 1.7% Pittsburgh 4.1%
Worth 4.2% Boston 2.1% New Jersey 3.3%
Houston 5.1% New York 1.5% Virginia 2.6%
San Antonio 3.5% New York City 2.0% Maryland 2.1%
Missouri 3.0% Baltimore 2.4%
Kansas City 3.3%
St. Louis 2.7%
Oklahoma City 3.8%
Metris Companies Inc. announced the appointment of Dan Piteleski as senior vice president, chief information officer. Piteleski will be instrumental in expanding the company’s existing IT infrastructure.
“We are extremely pleased to have such a seasoned industry professional join the Metris executive team,” said Metris Chairman and CEO Ronald N. Zebeck. “Dan’s 20 years of technical operations and management experience make him exceptionally qualified to lead our information technology responsibilities.” Piteleski most recently served as vice president and chief information officer at H.B. Fuller Company, a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. He served in this capacity for six years.
Prior to H.B. Fuller, Piteleski served as vice president, information systems at Zenith Data Systems for two and a half years. Before Zenith, he was manager, information systems & technology at Apple Computer for four years. He has also worked in information systems at Equitable Resources Energy Company, Inc., and American Standard.
Piteleski holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting/finance from West Virginia University and a master’s in management information systems from the University of Dallas.
Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and enhancement services. The company was recognized in September 2000 as one of “America’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies” by Fortune magazine. Based in Minnetonka, Minn., Metris also has operations in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; White Marsh, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. Metris employs approximately 4,200 people. Visit Metris on the Internet at [www.metriscompanies.com].
In the highly competitive long distance communications market, consumers are accustomed to almost every conceivable come-on pitch, usually preceded by promises of low rates and other savings enticements. While in no way forsaking the attractiveness of low rates, Brookneal, Virginia-based ezTel Communications recently introduced what maybe a whole new marketing concept for calling cards in its series of commemorative calling cards recently introduced for The Nationwide Companies in Louisville, Ky.
“The Nationwide Companies Commemorative Card for 2001 features a visual tribute to the City of Louisville,” says ezTel CEO, Patric Boggs. “It’s the best of all worlds. Nationwide was having its Spring Convention in Louisville. They are large customers of ezTel. We took famous scenes of Louisville, including the Kentucky Derby, and produced a beautiful card appealing to both the city and to Nationwide’s coast-to-coast membership.”
Did Boggs’ calling card design make a difference? “Absolutely,” says Boggs with a broad grin. “We sold every card.” In addition, Boggs had a special presentation of the calling card with an engraved inscription honoring Louisville’s Mayor David Armstrong made to city officials during a packed- house ceremony on the stage of Nationwide’s convention floor. “When the calling card tribute to the City of Louisville was presented,” according to Boggs, “the standing ovation, thundering applause and audience response almost tore the roof off. I can tell you unequivocally that the city is happy, Nationwide and its CEO Dick Loehr are happy, and ezTel’s marketing and sales department is ecstatic.”
Boggs is quick to remind all parties that the calling card was more than an unusual, if not unique, visual and collectible keepsake. “The card has intrinsic value. ezTel’s impressively low long distance rate is built in, and we sold the cards for $100 each.” And, the card has one more exceptional feature: It was designed by Mandy Boggs, the CEO’s wife, who also is a high- ranking executive with ezTel.
ezTel, just over one year in existence, is located in Brookneal, Virginia, the birthplace of American patriot and founding father Patrick Henry. The company was essentially hand-fashioned by Boggs to become a leader in the communications industry, enjoying record growth with soaring revenues in this short span of time. Boggs describes his company as having among the lowest long distance and internet access rates, plus one feature he is particularly proud of: “We have the very best customer service in our industry. No exceptions. We provide a professionally trained staff who is on duty always to handle new customers and address customer concerns. We call it our ‘smiling voices’.”
ezTel’s Louisville Commemorative Card, the first in a series, has already won praise from Louisville city officials and Nationwide’s CEO, Dick Loehr. Boggs, fresh on the heels of his Louisville success, provides a hint of things on his drawing board. “With our strategic partners, including The Nationwide Companies, we have major upcoming events in other cities. The concept which was outstandingly successful in Louisville is expected to break all records in first Nashville and Orlando — and possibly other legendary American cities.” Likely consumers will soon see Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Faith Hill on an ezTel Calling Card, followed by Shamu, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and other figures closely associated with popular resorts.
CheckFree Corporation announced revenues of $113.1 million for the third quarter ended March 31, 2001 compared to $79.7 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2000.
Total revenues for the quarter increased 42 percent over the comparative quarter of last year.
CheckFree reported a pro forma loss for the quarter of $3.5 million, or four cents per share, excluding the impact of acquisition-related amortization and one-time charges. This compares to a pro forma loss of $2.1 million, or four cents per share, for the same period in fiscal 2000. On a GAAP basis, the company reported a loss per share of $1.17, compared to $.07 in the third quarter of fiscal 2000, reflecting the impact of acquisition-related intangible amortization and a charge for the decline in value of investments in equity instruments.
CheckFree Chairman and CEO Pete Kight said, “I continue to be very pleased with the progress we are making this year. Our overall sequential quarterly subscriber growth rate of nine percent was at the high end of our expectations, and continues to be distributed across the range of financial services organizations and portals that offer electronic billing and payment. The sequential quarterly growth in the number of bills distributed per month continued at a greater than fifty percent sequential quarterly rate to about 350,000 in March, as more consumers are offered the convenience of viewing and paying their bills over the Internet. As we increase our subscriber and transaction volumes, we expect to continue to derive efficiencies from our operations,” Kight said.
Solid Performance on Core Electronic Billing and Payment Metrics
Performance across key operating metrics for the third quarter includes:
— Third quarter sequential quarterly subscriber growth was nine percent, modestly above the Company’s historic rate of six to eight percent, bringing the total subscriber count at the end of the quarter to about 4.8 million. The anticipated increase reflects the broader availability of electronic billing and payment in states served by Bank of America, and some increase in localized marketing by a number of financial services organizations.
— Nearly 300 sites are now live with full electronic billing and payment, up from nearly 275 at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2001 and compared to just over 150 at the close of the third quarter of fiscal 2000.
— The Company signed deals for electronic billing and payment with 23 targeted billers in the third quarter, bringing to 245 the total roster of bills that will be available on the Internet, which is up from 121 at the close of the third quarter of fiscal 2000.
— CheckFree distributed about 350,000 bills over the Internet in March, up from about 210,000 bills distributed in December, and up from 62,000 bills distributed in March of fiscal 2000. This equates to a run rate of more than four million bills per year.
— The Company processed about 21 million transactions in March, up from over 18 million transactions in December. The Company achieved an electronic payment rate of 62 percent, up from 60 percent in December and reflecting continued improvements in patented processes around risk management and payment routing, as well as improvements in exception prevention and electronic remittance connections.
— The number of primary billers with electronic bills live on the Internet increased by 12 in the quarter, bringing the total to 156, up from 76 at the close of the third quarter of fiscal 2000.
Pete Sinisgalli, CheckFree president and chief operating officer, said, “We planned to move 80 additional billers into production this fiscal year, so that by June 30 the average online consumer would be able to view and pay eight to 10 bills at their preferred site. Economic conditions are affecting implementations for some billers, which in turn is slowing the speed at which they are moving into production. We now expect to close this fiscal year having moved about 50 additional billers into production.
“We have therefore accelerated plans to bring as many as 30 additional bills to subscribers by leveraging new technology in our Genesis platform,” Sinisgalli continued. “Through a combination of distributed e-bills and aggregated biller-direct content, typical online consumers should be able to view and pay more than 10 bills by the end of the calendar year, at sites that have upgraded to the latest release of our services. For consumers, adding screen-scraped bills will assemble valuable content from some billers sooner than e-bill implementation will, but it falls short of enabling a richer relationship with the biller. Each person that elects to receive scraped content strengthens the business case for that biller to implement a distributed e-bill that can deliver interactive content and services to customers,” Sinisgalli concluded.
Solid Division Performance
CheckFree’s Electronic Commerce division reported revenue of $79.9 million for the quarter, representing 43 percent growth over the same quarter of fiscal 2000. The division posted a pro forma operating loss of $2.5 million, compared to a pro forma loss of $3.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2000.
“We expect operating efficiencies to continue to improve as we achieve higher volumes in the metrics most important to continuing our long-term market leadership,” Sinisgalli said. “Bank of America subscribers in 17 states now access electronic billing and payment through Genesis. We also are encouraged by the electronic billing and payment promotions and consumer incentives planned by Bank of America and our other financial services organization and biller partners for the remainder of the calendar year,” he added.
CheckFree Investment Services reported revenue of $17.9 million for the quarter, a 28 percent increase over the same quarter last year. Pro forma operating income for the quarter was $5.2 million, a 36 percent increase from the third quarter of fiscal 2000.
The Company’s Software businesses reported revenue in the quarter of $15.3 million, up more than 54 percent over revenue generated in the third quarter of fiscal 2000. This division had a pro forma operating loss of $0.4 million, down from pro forma operating income of $3.3 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2000, reflecting, as planned, continued investment in CheckFree i-Solutions, the Company’s e-billing and e-statement software and services unit.
“We had very good results across our operating divisions this quarter, with continued revenue growth and new account signings across each of our divisions,” said Sinisgalli. “Our Electronic Commerce division continues to make important strides in both market-leading innovation and operating efficiency. Innovations in the latest release of our WebPay service recently won the `Best of Show’ award at InternetWorld, the leading Internet technology trade show, for the advances in consumer convenience that integrating e-mail access to our core electronic billing and payment infrastructure enables. Through technology available today, consumers can use e-mail invitations to send or receive money, and can elect to view and pay their bills through e-mail access, while maintaining the security, routing, tracking and customer care of their trusted financial services provider,” he concluded.
Fourth Quarter Expectations
“We are forecasting revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 to be in the range of $116 million to $121 million, with a pro forma loss per share of around one to three cents,” said David Mangum, CheckFree’s chief financial officer.
“In addition, we expect sequential quarterly subscriber growth for the fourth quarter to again be in the range of seven to nine percent, reflecting the increased availability of electronic billing and payment in states served by Bank of America and the continually increasing size of our subscriber base,” Mangum continued.
CheckFree Corporation is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services, software and related products. Through its operating subsidiaries, CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable nearly five million consumers to receive and pay bills over the Internet or electronically through a variety of bill aggregation points, including banks, brokerage firms, portals and interactive content sites on the Internet, and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree’s range of services and products are focused on enabling customers to receive electronic bills and statements, make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure Internet transactions.
Third Quarter Highlights
April 19 — CheckFree i-Solutions announced an agreement with Malaysian-based KnowledgeBaze, a customer relationship management (CRM) software and service provider, to offer electronic billing and payment (EBP) capabilities to customers in Malaysia.
April 17 — Stephen Olsen is promoted to executive vice president and general manager of CheckFree’s Electronic Commerce Division, reporting to Pete Sinisgalli, president and chief operating officer of CheckFree.
April 10 — CheckFree Investment Services unveils CheckFree APL Plus, a new graphical user interface (GUI) and client/server extension of the UNIX-based CheckFree APL platform. CheckFree APL Plus emphasizes easy access to trading tools for portfolio managers and brokers. Merrill Lynch’s Personal Investment Advisory (PIA) Program is an early adopter of the solution.
April 9 — Southwest Bank of Texas, the largest independent bank in Houston, Texas, will use CheckFree RECON-Plus(TM) for Windows(R) to automate and support daily account reconciliation and daily deposit verification. Southwest Bank of Texas has been a customer with CheckFree since 1997, using its WebPay solution.
April 3 — EDB Teamco Dialog, Norway’s largest bill consolidator, added one of the country’s major electricity providers to its pioneering e-Billing service. EDB is using the CheckFree i-Series electronic billing and payment software platform. To date, EDB generates over 1.3 million consolidated summary pages a month for its e-billers.
March 19 — Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse announced that Lowe’s credit card holders will be able to receive and pay their bills online. Through a relationship with CheckFree i-Solutions, Lowe’s six million credit card holders can view and pay their Lowe’s credit card bills at their choice of nearly 275 financial services sites and Internet portals.
March 15 — Internet World Names CheckFree’s E-Bills and E-Payments through E-Mail “Best of Show” at Spring Internet World 2001. CheckFree is recognized among leading Internet companies for innovative use of technology and product leadership in business applications.
March 14 — National Life Insurance company selects CheckFree RECON-Plus(TM) for Windows(R) to automate manual processes and support daily account reconciliation. National Life is also implementing CheckFree APECS(TM) to ensure compliance with abandoned property reporting requirements nationwide.
March 13 — CheckFree debuts two extensions to its electronic billing and payment capabilities, aimed squarely at accelerating the convenience of Internet billing and payments for consumers. The first enhancement is the ability for consumers to receive and pay e-bills over e-mail. The second is the ability for consumers to exchange money with each other using e-mail “invitations” to send or receive money.
March 6 — DST Canada selects CheckFree RECON-Plus for Windows to support daily account reconciliation for its Transfer Agency Operations. DST Canada develops advanced back office software solutions and provides transfer agency services for financial institutions worldwide.
February 26 — CheckFree and Edward Jones, the only major financial services firm advising individual investors exclusively, today announced that electronic billing and payment is available to Edward Jones’ nearly five million investors. The implementation of CheckFree’s WebPay 3.1 strengthens Edward Jones’ commitment to offering Internet services tailored to the needs of individual investors.
February 23 — CheckFree i-Solutions and Honolulu Board of Water Supply (HBWS), the largest water utility in Hawaii, announce that electronic billing and payment is now available to over 150,000 HBWS customers. HBWS utility customers in Oahu can save time while increasing control over bill payments by receiving and paying their monthly electric bills online.
February 15 — CheckFree i-Solutions opens its Asia/Pacific marketing, sales and service office in Singapore. The initial market entry for CheckFree i-Solutions is to support partner led engagements in the region with its i-Series platform. In addition to in-country partners, global partners include IBM, Xerox and EDS.
February 14 — CheckFree Health & Fitness introduces RCM Professional Services to provide club management and operations consulting to clients in the health club industry. RCM Professional Services will specialize in technology solutions and business growth development.
February 8 — Ravi Ganesan, vice chairman, leaves CheckFree to accept a position as chief executive officer at SingleSignOn.Net, Inc., an Internet security company headquartered in Virginia. Randy McCoy, formerly executive vice president, product management and development, is promoted to chief technology officer.
February 7 — CheckFree i-Solutions announces that electronic billing and payment is now available to Entergy’s residential customers in Louisiana. Entergy plans to roll out the service to its customers in Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas over the next 12 months.
February 5 — CheckFree Investment Services announces an agreement with Schwab Consulting Services, part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., that enables Schwab to leverage CheckFree APL WRAP to streamline trading, straight-through processing (STP) and portfolio reporting requirements of its new managed account service for independent, fee-based investment advisors.
January 29 — CheckFree i-Solutions and Amica Mutual Insurance Company, a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal excess liability insurance, announced that Amica’s 500,000 property and casualty insurance customers can now receive and pay bills online. As a leading insurance provider, Amica has chosen to implement integrated software and services from CheckFree i-Solutions.
January 16 — CheckFree Corporation (NASDAQ: CKFR), the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products, today celebrated 20 years of industry leadership and technology innovation. The company was founded in January of 1981 by Pete Kight, CheckFree Chairman and CEO, in space his grandmother let him use rent-free in the basement of her home in Columbus, Ohio.
January 8 — CheckFree Corporation (NASDAQ: CKFR) today announced it has named Tacio Carvalho, an executive with more than 20 years of experience in the investment management industry, as executive vice president and general manager of CheckFree Investment Services.
Second Quarter Highlights
December 19 — CheckFree awarded the “eward” for “Best Large Public Company in Georgia 2000” by the Technology Associate of Georgia (TAG) and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
December 7 — CheckFree Health & Fitness Services, a division of CheckFree Corporation, announces the redesign of its RCM2001 Club Management Software. Based on N-Tier computing models, the redesigned club management solution will offer additional scalability, performance, load balancing and flexibility to CheckFree’s industry-leading management software.
November 30 — New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) customers can now choose to conveniently receive and pay their monthly NYSEG bills at nearly 250 financial services Web sites that offer CheckFree services.
November 29 — CheckFree announced its new CheckFree WebPay for Small Business service that enables CheckFree financial services partners to deliver electronic bill payment services that are optimized for their base of small business customers. The new service provides the functionality small businesses need to let them quickly and securely pay all of their bills online.
November 15 — CheckFree i-Solutions announced an agreement with Taipei-based C+H Technology Corporation (C+H) that enables C+H to offer electronic billing and payment (EBP) capabilities to companies in Taiwan. C+H, a specialist in software for printing and mailing subsystems, will resell the CheckFree i-Series suite of electronic billing software products and provide service and support for its customers in Taiwan.
November 14 — Bank of America and CheckFree announced that Bank of America has launched its new electronic billing and payment service, using the CheckFree Genesis platform, in selected Midwest markets. This announcement marks the first stage of the implementation of the strategic alliance forged by the two companies in April 2000.
November 13 — CheckFree announced a strategic business alliance with Data Support Systems of Omaha, Nebraska, and US Dataworks of Houston, Texas, to provide the industry’s first end-to-end solution for the conversion of returned checks to Automated Clearing House (ACH) items. The solution will integrate CheckFree’s PEP+ (Paperless Entry Processing), US Dataworks’ Returnworks system and TRIPS Incoming, the image-based return item processing solution from Data Support Systems.
November 9 — CheckFree announced that The Bombay Company, Inc (NYSE: BBA), a specialty home furnishings and accessories retailer, will use CheckFree RECON-Plus for Windows to automate and support daily account reconciliation and daily deposit verification for its 400 stores in the United States and Canada, and its mail order and online retail operations.
November 6 — CheckFree and GPU Energy, which operates the largest electric distribution system in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, announced that electronic billing and payment is available to GPU Energy’s customer base of more than two million customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.
October 31 — CheckFree i-Solutions announced CheckFree i-Series 3.0, the first industrial strength software platform for high quality, high volume business-to-consumer and business-to-business electronic billing and statement applications. With the release of i-Series 3.0, CheckFree i-Solutions is delivering an advanced version of its flagship software product enabling billers to confidently deploy secure and reliable B2B and B2C e-billing applications for greater customer interaction.
October 24 — CheckFree announced revenues of $90.8 million for the first quarter ended September 30, 2000 compared to $69.0 million for the same quarter of 2000. Total revenues for the quarter increased 31 percent over the comparative quarter of last year.
October 2 – CheckFree announced that its strategic agreement with Bank of America has closed. CheckFree and Bank of America announced their intention to forge the strategic alliance on April 27, 2000 and began working together on plans to make electronic billing and payment services available to the Bank of America customer base.
First Quarter Highlights
September 28 — CheckFree shareholders approved the issuance of 10 million restricted shares of CheckFree Common Stock and performance-based warrants to purchase up to an additional 10 million shares of CheckFree Common Stock to Bank of America.
September 19 – Sears, Roebuck and Company’s approximately 60 million credit card customers will be able to view and pay their Sears bills online through their choice of CheckFree-powered Web sites.
September 18 – CheckFree’s client base of professional money managers and financial advisors is now running in excess of one million portfolios on the CheckFree APL platforms.
September 12 – EDS announced it is adding electronic billing and payment capabilities from CheckFree i-Solutions, the leading provider of electronic billing and payment software and services, to its wide range of e-commerce solutions.
September 7 – CheckFree named Pitney Bowes docSense as a Premier Certified Partner through its CheckFree Partner Certification Program. The Certification Program is designed to offer partner organizations CheckFree’s leading distribution and payment systems as a complement to the partners’ products and services.
September 5 – CheckFree and TransPoint announced that the merger of the two companies has closed. On September 1, 2000, CheckFree shareholders approved the issuance of 17 million shares of CheckFree Common Stock in connection with the merger with TransPoint. The two companies announced their plans to merge in February 2000.
August 15 – CheckFree announced that it is providing EBP to SBC Communications, Inc. companies Pacific Bell and Southwestern Bell. Customers in California, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Kansas can view and pay their monthly Pacific Bell and Southwestern Bell bills online.
July 31 – CheckFree and AT&T announced that AT&T’s 60 million long distance customers can now view and pay their long distance phone bills online at their choice of CheckFree-powered web sites.
July 27 – Yodlee.com and CheckFree announced an agreement that will enable users to experience the convenience of CheckFree’s billing and payment services directly from Yodlee-powered services across the web.
July 27 — DocuCorp announced that electronic bill presentment and payment services are available for 155,000 residential and commercial members of Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (Cobb EMC) of Marietta, GA.
July 24 — Reliant Energy’s (NYSE:REI) 1.6 million electric and natural gas customers in the Houston area can eliminate their paper bills by viewing and paying their bills online at www.reliantenergy.com.
July 17 – Phillips 66 credit cardholders can now access their statements and pay their accounts online.
July 13 – CheckFree and APS, Arizona’s largest electric utility, announced an agreement to make electronic billing and payment available to APS customers.
July 12 – CheckFree will incorporate the Equifax Secure authentication engine into its electronic and billing payment enrollment process to more quickly and securely verify customer identity when signing up for service to view and pay bills electronically.
July 11 -Internet infrastructure developer 724 Solutions and CheckFree agreed to make EBP over wireless devices available to financial institutions that use CheckFree and the 724 Solutions Financial Services Platform.
July 10 – TIAA-CREF has selected CheckFree RECON-Plus for Windows to support daily account reconciliation for its growing transaction volume base.
For details on CheckFree’s 1Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).