E-xact and ACS

E-xact Transactions Ltd. has executed an agreement with ACS Merchant Services, the 25th largest credit card acquirer in North America, to provide automated merchant account application processing services for their internal and external sales channels using E-xact’s Speedy Merchant service.

Speedy Merchant is an on-line application service with real-time credit and risk assessment, decisioning, and set-up of merchant accounts. The service is customizable to an acquirer’s business rules, and provides connectivity with various third-party credit and risk service bureaus for real-time assessment. Built in a Windows environment, Speedy Merchant is easy to use and offers private labeling for clients interested in brand extension. Providing an automated means of collecting and transmitting complete applications, clients are ensured a single point of input from any sales location into their credit systems.

“We are excited to be implementing a private label product like Speedy Merchant. The flexibility of E-xact’s product will make it easier than ever to submit an application and receive a real-time response. We look forward to utilizing the expertise of E-xact Transactions, Ltd. to provide this solution to our customers,” said John Peterson, Senior Vice President of Information Systems for ACS Merchant Services.

By using E-xact’s automated application processing service, ACS will be able to take advantage of an on-line tool that provides a secure, flexible, automated solution for processing merchant account applications without the need for change to internal credit policies or rules.

“We are very proud of our accomplishment of developing such a value-added service for the credit card acquiring industry, and equally proud of the opportunity to work with such a respected name in the industry as ACS Merchant Services,” said Ted Henderson, President and CEO of E-xact Transactions. “Partners using our Speedy Merchant service can generate dramatic bottom-line results through increased revenues from greater sales efficiencies and can consider the impact of automation within their credit operations.”

About E-xact Transactions, Ltd.

With customers throughout the U.S. and Canada, E-xact Transactions specializes in the secure, real-time movement of mission critical financial information. E-xact offers its clients an on-line service for real-time assessment and decisioning for automated processing of merchant account applications through Speedy Merchant. E-xact also provides real-time transaction processing services for IP-based points of sale. E-xact’s popular on-line transaction software offers a robust e-commerce solution for companies selling goods and services in a variety of settings. Built with flexible architecture, E-xact’s services can be easily integrated into a wide range of platforms and include a suite of browser-based, value-added reporting tools that enable clients to better analyze and manage their businesses in real time.

Founded in Vancouver in 1998, E-xact Transactions Ltd. re-domiciled to the state of Delaware in July of 1999 and established U.S. headquarters in Lakewood, Colo., in December of 1999. E-xact continues to operate its international office in Vancouver. Public trading of its common stock commenced in March 2000 on the Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX:EXZ.U).

About ACS Merchant Services

Founded in 1995, ACS Merchant Services, Inc. is led by Chairman/CEO Thomas Rouse and President Rusty Shaffer. Recently, GTCR Fund VII, recapitalized ACS Merchant Services, Inc. (ACSMS), one of the nation’s fastest-growing processors of credit and debit transactions, with a commitment of more than $100 million. ACSMS will soon be changing its name to TransFirst. One of the largest providers of merchant bankcard services to community banks across the United States, TransFirst processed $2.35 billion in annual credit card volume in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000. The company employs more than 100 people at its Boulder, Colo., headquarters and serves nearly 400 community banks and 35,000 merchant customers around the United States.


Cap One Europe CIO

Catherine Doran has joined Capital One as European CIO, after serving as Head of Retail Information Systems at National Westminster Bank Plc, one of the U.K.’s largest retail banks. Doran will be responsible for Capital One’s European information technology strategy, organization and staff. Doran, based in London, will report to Laura Olle, Senior VP Systems Development and Business Information Officer.

“Hiring a senior manager of Catherine Doran’s caliber cements our reputation as a global technology leader, especially as we expand onto the European continent,” said Laura Olle. “Catherine brings with her a wealth of experience; her background in retail systems development and support gives us the necessary expertise to develop a cohesive business strategy and IT structure across markets and on the Internet.”

At NatWest, Doran managed 1,500 IT staff and an annual development budget of 110 million pounds sterling. She was responsible for major technology changes to support the NatWest Retail Transformation Programme, comprising business and systems process re-engineering, designed to alter fundamentally the bank’s operating procedures. In addition, Doran created systems and implemented new architectures in e-commerce for NatWest OnLine, the bank’s joint venture with Yahoo! Inc.

Capital One is ranked by Computerworld as one of the best places to work in IT and has received the CIO 100 award for two consecutive years (in 2000 for customer excellence). Capital One’s leadership in applying technology to financial services has enabled it to become a recognized leader in employing, developing and retaining IT talent.

“At NatWest, Catherine merged five IT units into one and brought them in line with the business — this is exactly compatible with our philosophy on IT-business synergy,” commented Laura Olle. “Furthermore, her experience in full spectrum financial services systems, such as mortgage and insurance, broadens our expertise as we gear up to become a global financial powerhouse.”

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([http://www.CapitalOne.com][1]) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 27.1 million accounts and $21.9 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2000. Capital One is one of the major financial service providers on the Internet, with online account decisioning, real-time account numbering, online retail deposits and a growing number of customers serviced online. Capital One is a FORTUNE 500 company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.

[1]: http://www.capitalone.com/


China iBankCard

China Telecom, China Merchant Bank and Cayman Islands-based Internet Corp. this morning launched a multi-purpose Internet banking card for use throughout China. The ‘iBanking Card’ will provide the cardholder with a new virtual bank account at China Merchant Bank, along with ISP network connection services through China Telecom. Upon application, the ‘iBanking Card’ will be delivered by the China Postal Bureau, which verifies an applicant’s ID and documentation. The China Postal Bureau has the largest network of delivery services throughout China and will offer ‘iBanking’ cardholders online and wire transfer fund services to any of its 66,000 locations nationwide. The ‘iBanking Card’ also serves as a discount card at over 5,000 member merchants offering discounts from 5% to 40%. The card will bear the China Merchant Bank and Internet Corp’s Chinese subsidiary, China E-Commerce Technologies Ltd., emblem and logo. The card is targeting consumers that use traditional services but have not yet signed up for the online banking services.


Continuum on Interac

Stratus Computer announced that Datawest Solutions Inc., a leading Canadian application services provider in the financial services sector, has selected the Stratus Continuum as a continuously available platform to support its direct connection to Interac. Interac is Canada’s national electronic payments network for ATM and point of sale debit transactions. The Stratus Continuum system enables Datawest to meet the demanding performance and reliability criteria that Interac requires, and will play a pivotal role in Datawest’s initiative to evolve from a regional to a national EFT switching services provider.

“Direct connection to the Interac network presents an enormous opportunity to extend our EFT switching services to financial institution customers across Canada, as well as white-label ATM providers and retail market segments, while increasing our revenue-generating potential,” said Darryl J. Yea, Datawest chairman and CEO. “We needed a robust, fault-tolerant operating platform to assure optimum service levels for processing electronic financial transactions when launching our direct connection to the Interac network. Stratus offers proven expertise with systems capable of supporting continuous availability for mission-critical financial services applications.”

Datawest’s platform for its Interac direct connection consists of a Stratus Continuum 419 running the HP-UX(TM) operating system and the Interac inter-member node (IMN) switching application software supplied by Oasis Technology.

“The Interac network is the backbone for debit and ATM services to the Canadian public, processing over 1.7 billion debit and 350 million ATM transactions per year,” said Brian Cook, senior vice president of sales, Oasis Technology. “Interac and its members take availability very seriously. Even the slightest downtime could result in a dramatic impact to service. Datawest’s selection of the Stratus Continuum platform to run the Interac IMN solution from Oasis ensures that their clients will enjoy continuous service levels that are mandated by Interac.”

Simplicity and Serviceability: Key Factors in the Datawest Selection

Stratus’ capability to deliver continuous uptime and around-the-clock operations is due to the self-contained, duplexed architecture of the Continuum system. In these systems, all hardware components are duplicated so that if one fails, the other continues processing without any application interruption. Unlike cluster solutions, Stratus systems do not failover, but continue to run without impact even if a hardware component fails. This process is automatic; no failover scripting is necessary. In addition, without the complex scripting and wiring associated with clusters, Stratus systems are far easier to maintain.

Serviceability was another important consideration for Datawest, and the Stratus Continuum system is well known for its excellent serviceability. When a component of a Stratus system fails, the server “phones home” to a service support center, which immediately dispatches a replacement. Because the part is “hot-swappable”, the components can be switched without any operating interruption.

By virtue of superior uptime capability, price/performance excellence and system availability, Datawest selected the Stratus Continuum system over several competitive solutions.

“To achieve outstanding EFT switch performance levels as an Interac connection service provider, Datawest needed to develop and maintain the most robust, reliable computing infrastructure available. We are pleased that the Continuum system merits an ‘Interac-class’ distinction,” said Michael Thompson, senior vice president of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Stratus Computer. “A forward-looking company like Datawest is well aware of the likely increase in electronic financial transactions, and the resulting upswing in processing capacity requirements. We look forward to working with Datawest in the future to install multiple, distributed processing platforms as needed to support continued growth.”

About Stratus Computer

Stratus Computer offers the world’s most proven range of continuously available computer platforms, application solutions, professional services, and technologies for mission-critical business operations. Stratus serves customers worldwide, focusing primarily on financial services, retail, travel, electronic commerce, healthcare, public safety and gaming industries. Many of Stratus’ customers are highly visible industry leaders such as prominent U.S. securities firms, major credit card companies, the largest stock exchange in Asia, the largest options exchange in the world, and 15 out of the world’s 20 largest banks.


WWF Goes Cybermoola

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. has agreed to accept Cybermoola at WWFshopzone.com, providing WWF fans with a way to buy their favorite WWF clothing and gear online without a credit card.

“WWF fans are Web savvy consumers from every part of the American spectrum,” said Lee Barstow, vice president, WWF new media sales and marketing. “The ability to purchase WWF products without using a credit card is exciting for WWF fans. It’s perfect for fans who don’t want to use their credit cards online, those who don’t want to add to credit card balances and those who don’t use credit cards at all.”

“Cybermoola Inc. is proud to be partnering with WWF,” said Eric Freeman, CEO of Cybermoola Inc. “WWFShopzone.com is a strong e-commerce outlet offering exciting gear that appeals to a broad spectrum of consumers. Making those products available with Cybermoola introduces a new demographic audience to both companies.”

Cybermoola, the original prepaid Internet shopping card, has partnered with a variety of leading e-commerce sites. Customers who use Cybermoola can shop online for a variety of products, including athletic footwear, music, apparel, electronics, cosmetics and more, through other retailers. A consumer purchasing Cybermoola at a brick-and-mortar location enters the card’s Unique Serial Number at [http://www.cybermoola.com][1], and uses a simple online account to shop at any site accepting Cybermoola as a payment option.

Cybermoola is now on sale at over 200 locations in California, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware.

About the World Wrestling Federation

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, with sales offices in New York City, Chicago and Toronto. We are an integrated media and entertainment company, principally engaged in the development, production and marketing of television programming, pay-per-view programming and live events, and the licensing and sale of branded consumer products featuring our highly successful World Wrestling Federation (WWF) brand. The Company is an equal partner with NBC for the XFL, a new professional football league scheduled to kickoff in February, 2001. WWFE currently has 300 full-time employees and has exclusive contracts with approximately 125 performers. The Company can be found on NASDAQ under the symbol WWFE and online at WWF.com .

About Cybermoola Inc.

Launched in September 1999, San Francisco-based Cybermoola Inc. is a pioneer in cash-based payment for shopping on the Internet. Cybermoola is prepaid e-money that enables shoppers to purchase merchandise online without a credit card or bank account. It is the first prepaid Internet cash card to be sold in-store at a major national retail chain. This safe and easy-to-use payment option helps e-tailers and retailers transform online and offline consumer traffic into actual online sales. Customers can use Cybermoola online at a complete range of web retailers to purchase clothing, music, books, sporting goods, cosmetics and more. In addition to its in-store availability, Cybermoola can be purchased online at [http://www.cybermoola.com][2].

[1]: http://www.cybermoola.com/
[2]: http://www.cybermoola.com/


Metris Promotions

Metris Companies made four top level promotions this week. David Wesselink, CFO, has been named vice chairman. Wesselink was formerly SVP/CFO of Advanta. Doug Scaliti, EVP, enhancement services, has been named president/COO, enhancement services. Lorraine Waller, SVP, assistant general counsel, has been named SVP, general counsel. Waller formerly served as associate general counsel of Household. Benson Woo, SVP, finance, has been named CFO.


China Calling

China Netcom and San Jose, CA-based MediaRing announced plans this morning to launch the first prepaid calling cards for Internet calls and telephone calls in China. The pre-paid calling cards can be used to make calls within China, as well as to other destinations worldwide, and are available to the public from both companies’ combined network of more than 6,000 resellers throughout China. As the exclusive partner of CNC, MediaRing will supply its ‘VoIP’ or ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ technology, while CNC will grant access to its high-quality fiber optic network and bandwidth, as well as provide telecommunications services to users of the pre-paid calling card. While MediaRing will distribute and market these next-generation calling cards, both companies will make the cards available to users through a joint reseller network.


CCCS Collections

Consumer Credit Counseling Service offices in California have come up with a program that provides creditors with a return of 42.5% on a charged-off account. Under the ‘Debt Amnesty Program’ creditors are provided with a letter, on CCCS letterhead, presenting the settlement offer in general terms. Creditors attach the address and postage, thus eliminating any disclosure violations, and mail it to the debtor. CCCS says the letter provides enough information for the debtor to make a preliminary decision, and encourages debtors to call CCCS for complete details. Once the debtor has contacted CCCS or one of its participating affiliated organizations, CCCS works to establish a maximum payment capability. The minimum payment is $50 per month, up to a maximum term of 36 months. An agreement is sent to the debtor covering specifics of the program, which they are instructed to sign and return with certified funds for the first payment. The agreement calls for the debtor to be dropped from the program if they miss two payments or make two less than full payments during the life of the agreement. The creditor’s cost under the program is 15% of the amount recovered. CCCS-Inland Empire says the ‘Debt Amnesty’ program is targeted at creditors with large amounts of charged-off accounts.


David & Goliath

A tiny, online firm based in San Jose, CA and Las Vegas is taking on Citigroup over a dispute with use of the ‘Citicredit’ name. Citigroup recently filed a lawsuit against the small firm claiming it owns anything with the word ‘citi’ in it. This week, CITICREDIT, Inc. filed counterclaims for trademark infringement. The counterclaims allege that Citigroup’s current use of their ‘Citicredit’ service mark has caused mass confusion and irreparable harm to their business. The firm says in Jan 1997 it registered the Citicredit name as an Internet domain name and began using it as a service mark in connection with its online mortgage lending services. In Feb 1997, the company filed to change its corporate name from California Finance and Mortgage, Inc. to Citicredit. Citigroup applied for the mark on July 14, 1999 with the USPTO.


Thailand Gets Iced

Thailand’s top three banks plan to deploy Hypercom’s ePic ICE 5500 Internet-enabled card payment web appliances to increase their electronic card acceptance network. The touch screen web appliances, provided by Bangkok Bank, Thai Farmers’ Bank and the Thai Military Bank, will incorporate electronic receipt capture (ERC) and Hypercom’s ePicPak(TM) advertising gateway and screen format translator. The appliances will be used at medium to large-size retail merchants throughout Thailand. The deployment will initially consist of 2,000 appliances. Thailand is one of the world’s top 20 markets based on total number of payment cards.

Hypercom’s ePic (ePOS-infocommerce(TM)) ICE 5500 is a multi-function touch screen-based terminal incorporating a high-speed thermal printer, paper cutter, and Hypercom FastPOS(TM) 9600 bits per second (bps) modem technology that completes transactions in under six seconds. The ePic ICE 5500 supports a full range of secure electronic payment transactions including debit, credit and checks, in addition to electronic benefits. When used in concert with Hypercom’s ePicPortz(TM) software, the ePic ICE 5500 enables merchants to access a range of Internet-based services including: e-mail, on-screen advertising, interactive electronic coupons, electronic receipt capture and merchant e-commerce functions.

“Our collective objective is to provide our merchants with the highest quality, end-to-end, revenue-generating solutions and services at the point-of-sale, and Hypercom is the ideal electronic payment provider to help us achieve that goal,” said Khun Chalida, First Vice President, Credit Card Dept. of Thai Farmers Bank. “Hypercom’s card payment web appliances, software and networking equipment will help us provide the most advanced and value-packed solution to our customers.”

“Hypercom’s ePic strategically converges the physical and virtual worlds, and transforms POS terminals into information delivery and program access platforms with which merchants can leverage the power of the Internet to provide consumers with an array of new services,” said Jeremy Su, President of Hypercom Asia Ltd. “We are pleased to join Thailand’s leading financial institutions in introducing these new services to this important country’s retailers.”

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is a global provider of end-to-end electronic payment solutions, including card payment systems, peripherals, network products, software and e-commerce payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 100 countries through a global network of affiliates and offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][1].

[1]: http://www.hypercom.com/


Cap One Breaks 1 Million Online

Capital One Bank today announced it has surpassed one million customers who have enrolled for online servicing of their credit card account.

By logging onto [http://www.CapitalOne.com][1], customers are able to view their accounts, purchases, pay their bills, access new e-products and take advantage of a variety of discounts and special offers that Capital One has negotiated exclusively for its 27 million accounts. Online services include: online application processing, with decisioning in under 60 seconds and instant account numbering; online account servicing; $0 fraud liability; return guarantee and purchase protection; an electronic wallet ([http://www.CapitalOneWallet.com][2]); an online shopping portal ([http://www.CapitalOnePlace.com][3]); and free Internet service ([http://www.OneRamp.com][4]).

Capital One research finds that 73 percent of general online users do not feel safe releasing credit card numbers over the Internet. Overall, 46 percent of online users are browsing on the Internet, with security concerns as the primary barrier to purchasing.

“The Internet is tailor made for Capital One’s ability to get the right product to the right customer at the right time,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “That is why, unlike many other Internet and financial services companies, our disciplined ‘test and learn’ Internet marketing strategies and investments are now proving to create great value for our consumers, making online shopping, buying and billing simpler and safer.”

Capital One research shows that 98 percent of its customers rate the look and feel of [http://www.CapitalOne.com][5] as “good” or “excellent” while 99 percent of its customers give top marks to ease of navigation.

“Our constant interaction with our more than 27 million customers gives us a better understanding of consumers than our competitors. We know credit cards are the currency of the Internet,” said Nigel Morris, Capital One’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “And we’ve learned that while consumers are comfortable with online shopping, they are still fearful of online buying. We are excited to create Internet solutions that educate and enhance our customers’ online experiences. And, we’re pioneering even more breakthroughs for the online consumer.”

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 27.1 million accounts and $21.9 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2000. Capital One is one of the major financial service providers on the Internet, with online account decisioning, real-time account numbering, and online retail deposits. Capital One is a FORTUNE 500 company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.

[1]: http://www.capitalone.com/
[2]: http://www.capitalonewallet.com/
[3]: http://www.capitaloneplace.com/
[4]: http://www.oneramp.com/
[5]: http://www.capitalone.com/


MerchantOnline Appoints Tedesco

MerchantOnline.com announced the appointment of Citibank International vice president Susan C. Tedesco to its board of directors. Tedesco, regional distribution head for Citibank’s Latin America Consumer Bank, has more than 17 years of senior banking and financial management experience.

“Susan Tedesco has such an impressive background as a leader in the technology, banking and finance fields, we will certainly benefit with her as a director on our board,” said Tarek Kirschen, MerchantOnline.com president and CEO. “Her extensive international business experience is another great resource to which we can turn for leadership as we continue our aggressive growth strategies.”

In her current position, Tedesco is responsible for management and oversight of Citibank International’s distribution network in 17 countries.

Prior to Citibank International, Tedesco served for more than nine years as a vice president with Citicorp Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. During that period she held the positions of project leader of the company’s Global Information Management Team, senior manager of Latin American Operations and Technology Center, unit head for Offshore Loans/Leasing Regional Processing Center and financial controller/legal vehicle controller. Before that she was an assistant vice president and senior financial analyst.

Tedesco earned her Masters in Business Administration from Nova University’s Friedt School of Business in Fort Lauderdale. She earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of South Florida in Sarasota.

About MerchantOnline.com

Founded in December 1997, MerchantOnline.com provides a secure transaction network that enables businesses and consumers to use one payment system for both their real world and virtual world needs utilizing credit card, ATM/debit card and other payment programs.