NetTransact Upgraded

New version provides the first multi-lingual, multi-currency bill handling capabilities, as well as enhanced online dispute resolution and buyer-controlled rules for streamlined payments

At a time when it costs U.S. companies more than $180 billion annually to process paper bills and invoices, Bottomline Technologies(R) (Nasdaq: EPAY) today announced a new version of its NetTransact(R) B2B electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) system that eliminates paper and slashes the cost, time and headaches involved in processing financial transactions. Bottomline, a leading global technology provider of Financial Resource Management (FRM) software, added new features to NetTransact that let users resolve invoice disputes online, handle billing in multiple languages and currencies, and streamline payments via automated buyer-controlled rules. Industry analysts estimate that it costs companies between $7 and $15 to process each paper-based invoice that comes through the door. NetTransact eliminates those exorbitant costs by accelerating cash receipts, automating and accelerating dispute resolution and improving cash flow and application, all in a single, comprehensive package. The system provides increased cash collection for suppliers and greater control over payments for purchasers. New reporting improves service levels with the business down the street or across the globe.

Habla “Payment due”?

NetTransact 4.0 is the first automated payments system on the market to incorporate multi-lingual and multi-currency functionality. Using one common platform, billers in one country can present invoices and accept payments from payers in other countries around the world, tearing down the cumbersome language barriers that have traditionally slowed international bookkeeping. The user interface enables trading partners to review invoices in the language of their choice, enhancing communications and leveraging existing bank accounts local to the country of origin. “The challenging economy, world events and the growing fear of mail security are moving organizations to take a closer look at their current paper-based billing, collections and customer-facing systems,” remarked Jeetu Patel, executive vice president of research for Doculabs, a respected industry analyst and consulting firm specializing in e-business technology. “When evaluating e-commerce strategies, large billers or financial institutions can consider an in-house software solution for B2B invoicing such as NetTransact. Leveraging the Web, EIPP systems automate workflow to effectively manage the order-to-cash process.”

Streamlined online dispute resolution

NetTransact 4.0 is also the first EIPP system to deliver interim messaging, which automatically ensures that a supplier’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) or customer relationship management (CRM) system acknowledges the results of an online payment dispute resolution. By managing the results of online dispute resolution, this feature effectively synchronizes adjusted invoice detail that can be posted to a supplier’s ERP and/or CRM system.

To streamline settlement, NetTransact version 4.0 adds a template-driven format that buyers can use to streamline how they process purchases. For example, a buyer receiving the same amount of product at the same price every month must usually manually track each invoice to make sure the vendor has shipped the right volume at the right price. NetTransact’s rules-based logic lets the buyer create a set of guidelines for each vendor. If an order arrives and the volume, price or some other element is off, the system will automatically notify the buyer of the discrepancy. If not, the system automatically routes the bill to payment, so the buyer’s accountants don’t have to pore over every bill. Buyers can automatically schedule payments based on previously defined criteria and through the system’s Web interface, can view status of invoices paid through another source, such as an ERP system. Providing payment status via the browser eliminates vendor inquiry phone calls and associated accounts payable resource demands. Added payment flexibility, including the option of credit card payments and the ability to originate online requests for credit, reduces payment and credit issuance costs.

In addition, version 4.0 supports restatement of taxes based on individual line item adjustments. This can provide added business benefits to supplier organizations whose invoices reflect products and services as well as appropriate state, local and federal taxes. NetTransact facilitates electronic invoice routing and approval procedures. It also optimizes a payer’s ability to take advantage of discount payment terms, while eliminating the need to generate and process paper payments.

“By automating the invoice-to-pay process with a secure, Web-enabled EIPP solution, suppliers can turn bills and invoices into cash, which is crucial in today’s business climate,” said Dan McGurl, chairman and CEO of Bottomline Technologies. “The buyer-focused developments within version 4.0, including payment flexibility and the integration of rules-based logic to reduce manual exception processing, provide additional value to payer organizations. The ability to interact more quickly and efficiently with their customers, combined with a reduction in resources required for paper-based invoice handling, and the costs and delays associated with mailing invoices, all justify the business case for moving to EIPP.”

Bottomline’s NetTransact 4.0 is an end-to-end system for B2B e-billing, including invoice presentment and payment software, enrollment, invoice and receivables data integration, invoice design and customer care. Channel partners for NetTransact include Citibank, FleetBoston Financial, UPS and Northern Trust. Hosting partners for NetTransact include Princeton e-Com and Magnet Communications, leading providers of electronic billing services.

About Bottomline Technologies

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) is a leading global technology provider of Financial Resource Management (FRM) software and services. Bottomline’s comprehensive Suite of FRM offerings enable businesses and financial institutions to more effectively manage their critical financial transactions, cash decisions and trading partner relationships, leveraging the Web. FRM Applications include Electronic Payments and Cash Management, Electronic Invoice Receipt and Management, Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP), Electronic Banking and Information Reporting. Founded in 1989, Bottomline maintains its corporate headquarters in Portsmouth, NH and international headquarters in Reading, England. For more information, visit Bottomline on the Web at [][1], or dial (800) 243-2528 or (603) 436-0700.



Instant Fraud Alerts

Toronto-based 724 Solutions and HNC Software have teamed to offer wireless alerting technology for fraud detection services. The combined software is expected to enable credit and debit card issuers to proactively and inexpensively alert their cardholders to suspicious transactions via a variety of wired and mobile devices such as PDAs. Card holders will be able to send a reply message to verify the validity of the transaction or connect immediately to a fraud investigation agent. HNC’s ‘Falcon Fraud Manager’ is a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder and merchant data to detect a wide range of payment card fraud. 724 Solutions will begin offering the solution to current HNC customers in the second quarter.



ATB Financial also reported increased earnings
in the third quarter, with net income of $46.7 million for the period ending
December 31, 2001, compared to $41.4 million for the same period last year.
The third quarter results increased ATB’s equity to $565.8 million as at
December 31, 2001.

“ATB has established a strong track record for sustained earnings and
increased marketshare over the past five years,” said Bob Normand, President
and CEO of ATB Financial. “We are committed to being Albertans’ first choice
for financial services.”

Financial Highlights

– Total assets of $12.4 billion is an increase of 7.76 percent over last

– Total loans at $10.3 billion is an increase of 6.85 percent over last

– Total deposits of $11.4 billion is an increase of 6.14 percent over
last year.

– Net interest income of $92.6 million is up slightly by 0.18 percent
from $92.4 million for the same quarter last year.

– Non-interest expenses of $70.8 million is an increase of 5.46 percent
from $67.1 million for the same quarter last year.

– ATB’s efficiency ratio, non-interest expenses as a percentage of
operating revenues, is 58.74 percent compared to 57.81 percent for the
same nine-month period last year.

– The allowance for credit losses, including specific and general loan
loss allowance, exceeds gross impaired loans by $86.6 million. Net
impaired loans represent a negative 0.83 percent of total loans at
December 31, 2001, compared to a negative 0.58 percent at
December 31, 2000.

New Visual Identity

On January 21, 2002, a new corporate identity was launched for Alberta
Treasury Branches, now known as ATB Financial. The new corporate identifier
retains “ATB”, which is the acronym of our legal name, and adds “Financial” to
better describe what we do: we provide a broad range of financial services to
Albertans. As our legal name remains Alberta Treasury Branches, no changes are
required to customer accounts, or contracts and agreements with customers and
suppliers. Signage will be gradually replaced on all branches, starting with
large urban centers, followed by mid-size urban markets and rural communities.

Products and Services

A Cooperation and Services Agreement was signed with Rabobank
International, the international corporate and investment banking arm of the
Dutch-based Rabobank Group, to provide financial services to each others’
customers. The alliance will focus on opportunities in the value-added
agri-industry and forestry sectors, providing a global reach to ATB’s
customers doing business outside of Alberta. The agreement also provides an
opportunity for joint lending and a referral service for Rabobank agricultural
customers who are relocating to Alberta.

The personal Internet banking platform was upgraded in December 2001. The
new platform provides improved speed and enhanced functionality including
online bill registration, postdated bill payments, postdated transfers,
MasterCard balance information, and downloading capability of information into
money management software applications like Quicken. ATB Online personal
customers using the bill payment feature between December 12, 2001 and
July 31, 2002, will have their name entered into a draw. The first prize is a
2002 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4×4 and the second prize, an ATB Alberta Gold
MasterCard with a $5,000 credit balance.

Two new MasterCard products were launched to support Alberta 4-H. For
every dollar charged to the Alberta Gold 4-H MasterCard and the Alberta
Agri-Business MasterCard, one percent will be donated to the 4-H Millennium
Fund, administered by the 4-H Foundation of Alberta, to enhance the quality of
4-H programs throughout the province.

A new equity linked GIC was launched in October 2001. The Tri-Sector GIC
provides growth from a selected group of 15 pharmaceutical, technology and
telecommunications, and financial companies in Canada and the US. The demand
for this product has been very positive and it will also be available during
the RSP season.

The 30-month mortgage, reintroduced in September 2001, has been very
popular with renewing and new mortgage customers. With current market
conditions the Lower than Prime mortgage has also attracted mortgage customers
wanting to take advantage of the low interest rate environment.

Economic update

Recent economic indicators in North America continue to be mixed. US
industrial production continues to fall, albeit at a slower pace, while
consumer confidence shows signs of improvement. However, unemployment levels
continue to rise in both Canada and the US. The effect of interest rate
declines that began over a year ago are now being felt and most economic
observers believe the American economy will begin to gain momentum by the
second half of 2002.

Alberta has seen its unemployment rate rise over the past quarter, with
weaknesses appearing in the accommodation, construction, trades, and
transportation sectors. Due to continued high in-migration, low mortgage
rates, and very low rental vacancies, Alberta has experienced record housing
re-sales and the highest level of new housing starts in a decade.

The economic outlook is one of continuing uncertainty. Drought conditions
in southern Alberta pose a serious challenge to agricultural producers and
their communities. Conventional oil and gas drilling is slowing as a result of
a one-third drop in cash flow to the energy industry. Investment in the
province is expected to decline due to reduced drilling activity and the
deferral of certain provincial government capital projects. However,
investment levels will continue to remain high in historical terms. With the
strategic importance of the oil sands, expansion of mining and refining
capacity continue to proceed.

Community involvement

ATB supported all 11 Alberta United Way Associations in a province-wide
fundraising effort. Through employee contributions, special events and a
corporate donation, over $194,000 was raised to support United Way campaigns
in Alberta communities.


Amolak Grewal was appointed Chief Operating Officer, effective
November 26, 2001. Amolak is responsible for the retail, independent business,
agri-industry, commercial banking and wealth management lines of business.
This includes the operation and performance of the Marketing, Sales, and
Electronic Banking and Central Services business units. Other appointments
include Ken Casey, Senior Vice-President Electronic Banking and Central
Services; and Harry Todd, Vice-President Credit.

Annual Public Meeting

The ATB Financial Annual Public Meeting will take place on Tuesday,
June 25, 2002, at 3:00 p.m. (MST) at the Westin Hotel (10135 – 100th Street)
in Edmonton, Alberta. To pre-register, please call (780) 408-7309.

ATB Financial, an Alberta-based financial institution, was established in
1938. Today, ATB serves 240 communities through a network of 144 branches, 132
agencies, a Customer Contact Centre, 222 automated banking machines and
electronic banking services. For further information on ATB Financial, visit


Bankrate 4Q/01’s path to survivability appears to nearing a positive ending as the consumer financial Web site this morning reported net income of $317,000 for 4Q/01, compared to a net loss of $919,000 for the comparable quarter in 2000. For the year, the Company reported a net loss of $936,000, compared to a net loss of $16,921,000. During 2001 Bankrate removed more than $10 million from its expense base as it aggressively worked towards ending its cash burning. Page views increased 74%, from 136.0 million for year 2000, to 236.6 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2001. For complete details on Bankrate’s latest quarterly results visit CardData ([][1]).



Conseco 4Q/01

Conseco reported Friday that its retail credit unit, which includes its private label card business, ended 2001 with receivables of $2.70 billion compared to $1.78 billion one year ago, a 51.7% increase. Charge-offs rose 47% during the same period from 5.30% for 4/00 to 7.80% for the fourth quarter 2001. Delinquency (60+ day) was up 11.5%, from 3.04% at year-end 2000 to 3.39% at 12/31/01. For complete details on Conseco’s latest quarterly results visit CardData ([][1])



@pos 4Q/01, Inc. reported a 221% increase in revenues for the quarter ending 12/31/01, from $1.4 million to $4.5 million. Gross profit for the quarter was approximately $1.7 million compared to a gross profit of almost $1 million during the same three-month period last year. Net loss for the quarter ended Dec. 31, was $798,000, compared to a net loss of $704,000, for the same period in 2000. @pos provides signature capture products, web-enabled payment platforms, smart card interfaces, encryption engines supporting DES and Triple DES, and an extensive suite of software tools. For complete details on @pos’s latest quarterly results visit CardData ([][1]).



InterCept 4Q/01

The InterCept Group reported a 105% increase in net revenues for the three months ended Dec 31, 2001 of $38.5 million, compared with $18.7 million for the same period the previous year. Net income, excluding net losses from InterCept’s minority ownership of Netzee, Inc., totaled $4.9 million versus $2.6 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2000. Net loss available to common shareholders, including net losses generated from Netzee and the charge related to SLM, was $1.9 million for the year of 2001 compared to a loss of $16.9 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2000. InterCept provides community financial institutions with core data processing, check processing and imaging, electronic funds transfer, data communications management, and related products and services. For complete details on InterCept’s latest quarterly results visit CardData ([][1]).



PayPal White Paper

This report outlines the inherent economics that underscore the PayPal business model and looks at the future potential of its network payment business. Financial DNA highlights two critical elements to the network. First, the model is based on positive feedback and this significantly differentiates it from other E Finance models including Checkfree, E Trade and NetBank, to name a few. Positive feedback allows PayPal to grow its customer base at a marginal acquisition cost of relatively nothing and puts the model almost on autopilot. Second, is its demand driven economies of scale, which augur for increasing margins across almost any transaction growth curve. According to Financial DNA, “With the positive feedback of the network, PayPal’s operating margins could reach 50% or more. Certainly, they will make the margins of established models like First Data, a leading provider of payment processing services to the banking industry, look rather uninspiring.”

PayPal is a classic example of a “winner takes all” economic model. “Indeed, today, eBay reported the acquisition of BillPoint from Wells Fargo, a would be competitor, which may signal the beginning of the end for that competitor. There will be much more wreckage as positive feedback continues along its course.”

What makes the model potentially revolutionary is its unmistakable ability to migrate from niche on-line payment areas into mainstream ones. “Not only can it compete directly with the hordes of front end card processing ISOs, payment authorizers, settlement institutions, risk management providers, etc; it can also compete directly with the networks themselves — Visa, MasterCard, ACH and even the FedWire.”

The white paper includes a synopsis of current financial metrics as well as future estimates for PayPal. This publication represents an excerpt from Financial DNA’s forthcoming E Finance Monitor for February, 2002.

Please contact or call 415-665-1342 for a free copy of the white paper.


Providian Lawsuit

A California appellate court ruled last week that Providian must turn over marketing documents in a class action consumer lawsuit after the San Francisco Chronicle sought to have the documents unsealed. Providian says it is reviewing the opinion and had not decided whether to appeal to the California Supreme Court. Providian is concerned that disclosing such documents would benefit competitors. A trial judge found that the documents did not qualify as trade secrets. The dispute arose from cardholder lawsuits in California and Connecticut into Providian’s pricing policies. Three years ago the company reached a $1.6 million settlement with Connecticut and agreed to repay customers $300 million to settle California’s claims that its marketing practices were deceptive.


Incurrent & CheckFree

Incurrent Solutions, Inc., the leading provider of Internet customer self-service solutions for the credit card industry, announced a relationship with CheckFree Corporation, the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products, to integrate CheckFree’s online debit and credit payment processing services as a part of Incurrent’s CardSite solution. With the agreement, Incurrent will resell CheckFree’s solutions for online bill payment, account balance transfer, electronic cash advances, refunds and rebates to its credit card issuer clients.

This strategic relationship will provide Incurrent’s customers with a service-bureau solution that incorporates CheckFree’s industry leading technology for online payment services with the robust e-self-service technology developed by Incurrent. Incurrent’s CardSite platform provides credit card issuers with a full set of self-service features, including display and download of up to 24 months of statements and transactions, a series of service functions, electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP), “alert” e-mail messaging, expense reporting, and custom transaction searches. With the addition of CheckFree as the de-facto payment processor, the resulting technology offers card issuers’ innovative new payment capabilities and decreased time to market. In addition, CheckFree’s market-leading electronic transaction rate translates into cost savings as well as more accurate and timely posting of debits and credits. CardSite clients now have access to the following CheckFree offerings:

On-Line Payments–CardSite cardmembers can now easily arrange for flexible direct bill payments to be paid within CardSite. Customers can receive electronic bill payments directly into their accounts/receivables system, lock box, A/R processor or financial institution. Balance Transfers–CardSite cardmembers can now easily perform automated electronic balance transfers from other accounts onto their credit card accounts.

On-Line Cash Advances- CardSite cardmembers can now request automated cash advances online and have the cash advance deposited directly into their designated bank account.

Credit Balance Refunds and Online Rebates–CardSite clients can now automate the electronic distribution of credit balance refunds and rebates.

“CheckFree is the pioneer in the areas of online payments and electronic billing and continues to innovate with superior quality and highly accurate payment processing,” said Loren Hulber, president and CEO of Incurrent. “By offering our CardSite clients with direct access to CheckFree’s powerful payment technology and decades of experience, we can now provide innovative and trusted payment methods for our customers that enhance the utility and value of their products.”

“CheckFree has enabled significant increases in the number of payments initiated online in the U.S today, and our strategy is to extend our payment expertise into new areas of growth,” said Glen Sarvady, senior vice president of CheckFree Corporation. “Incurrent Solutions has established itself as the leading provider for card self-service and direct-billing solutions with its large base of major issuers, so this is a natural way to serve this growing payment trend.”

About Incurrent Solutions

Founded in 1997, Incurrent Solutions ([][1]) provides advanced Internet, voice and wireless services to card-issuing banks and transaction processors. Incurrent’s clients include Sears Roebuck, NextCard, Certegy (formerly Equifax Card Services), Fiserv, Fleet Credit Card Services, Metris Companies, and other major card issuers. Incurrent has seen the volume of its clientele’s total cardmember base grow from 15 million to 100 million, reflecting a rapidly growing industry need for its services. CardSite, Incurrent’s cutting-edge, Internet-based CRM solution, enhances cardholder experience and cultivates account loyalty at a cost significantly lower than traditional customer interaction methods. Cardholders enjoy real-time access to account information, statements, bill payment, secure e-mail, reports, searches, interactive sessions, and other service-enhancing tools for web, wireless and voice channels.

About CheckFree

CheckFree ([][2]) (NASDAQ: CKFR) is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded in 1981 and celebrating its 21st year in e-commerce, CheckFree is comprised of three divisions: Electronic Commerce, Software, and Investment Services. CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution in 1997. As of December 31, 2001, CheckFree’s Electronic Commerce division enabled 5.9 million consumers to receive and pay bills electronically. The company has multi-year contracts with 244 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through about 430 financial services organizations, including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and content sites and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree Investment Services provides a broad range of investment management services to thousands of financial institutions nationwide. The division’s clients manage about 1.2 million portfolios totaling more than $500 billion in assets. CheckFree’s Software division provides solutions through three operating units:

CheckFree ACH Solutions, CheckFree Financial and Compliance Solutions (CFACS), and CheckFree i-Solutions. CheckFree ACH Solutions provides software and services that are used to process more than two-thirds of the nation’s six billion Automated Clearing House payments, while CFACS provides reconciliation and compliance software and services to more than 400 organizations in the banking, brokerage, utility, retail, insurance and credit card industries, among others. CheckFree i-Solutions is the leading provider of e-billing and e-statement software and services for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business applications, with more billers as clients than all of its competitors have combined.



PubliCARD Changes

PubliCARD, Inc. announced that its President/CEO will be leaving at the end of this week. Jan-Erik Rottinghuis has also resigned from PubliCARD’s Board of Directors. The Company announced that Antonio DeLise will become President/COO. Mr. DeLise will continue to serve as the Company’s CFO. The company has not released its fourth quarter report yet. For the third quarter PubliCARD reported a net loss from continuing operations $1.6 million compared with $5.2 million for 3Q/00.


Fote Options

First Data Corp., a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services, announced that its President and Chief Executive Officer, Charlie Fote, has exercised a number of stock options that will reach their ten-year expiration in April.

The options were granted to Fote at the company’s initial public offering on April 9, 1992. All carried ten-year expiration dates. His sales this week — several weeks in advance of the April 9, 2002 expiration — are during the company’s open trading window, following the company’s annual earnings release in January.

During the week, Fote exercised 540,000 shares at a strike price of $11.

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves approximately 2.8 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. With 29,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit, smart card and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; Western Union(R) money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Germany. Its money transfer agent network includes approximately 120,000 locations in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [][1].