MBNA School Card

Shopforschool announced Monday that it has partnered with MBNA America Bank, N.A. to offer a Shopforschool branded credit card that allows cardholders to benefit the K-12 school of their choice. Every time consumers who carry the Shopforschool Platinum Plus MasterCard make a purchase with the card at any of the 18 million locations where MasterCard is accepted, a percentage of the purchase price will be given directly to the cardholder’s designated school. The Shopforschool Platinum Plus MasterCard will be available to consumers this fall.

The Shopforschool card will yield even greater returns for schools when consumers shop at Shopforschool preferred merchants, whether online or offline. Preferred merchants will rebate a stated percentage, generally one to 10 percent, of all sales made with the card, in addition to the amounts attributed to all purchases.

Shopforschool currently is in the process of enrolling preferred merchants, as well as working with individual schools to register them to benefit from the program. The Shopforschool program is attractive to leading merchants who cater to school-age families and desire to support the schools in their communities. Through the program, preferred merchants’ financial support of local schools is promoted by Shopforschool and rewarded by local parents and other school supporters.

“Our goal at Shopforschool is to create ways to help parents and communities support their schools with convenience and ease through shopping,” said Gary Blackford, chief executive officer, Shopforschool. “Our Web site, [http://www.shopforschool.com][1], is already doing that, with thousands of people registered to support more than 20,000 schools by shopping online. The Shopforschool MasterCard will give even more people another easy way to get dollars to schools. And, Shopforschool’s nationwide account managers work closely with their neighborhood schools to ensure that our programs succeed in meeting each school’s goal.”

“With Shopforschool’s comprehensive school support model, everyone benefits,” said Michelle Shepherd, Vice Chairwoman, MBNA. “Consumers are able to support schools by making purchases they would make anyway, schools benefit through additional revenue sources, and merchants benefit through targeted marketing initiatives and the opportunity to benefit schools at the local level.”

According to Dr. Richard J. Dewey, the principal of Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minn., the Shopforschool card will be a useful tool for busy parents and community members who want to support their schools regularly and with ease. “Eastview already has seen success through Shopforschool’s online shopping program,” said Dr. Dewey. “The beauty of fundraising through Shopforschool is that supporters are buying things they already need and, in many cases, already buy elsewhere. I think it’s great that Shopforschool and their merchant partners have converted the everyday act of shopping into a consistent revenue stream for schools. We look forward to bringing the Shopforschool credit card on board this fall.”

About MBNA

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $76.3 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products. MBNA.com ( ) provides credit card, consumer loan, retail deposit, travel and shopping services.

About Shopforschool

Shopforschool is the easy way to support schools every time and everywhere you shop. Parents and community members can conveniently purchase a wide variety of brand name products and services online through Shopforschool’s Web site, , or at any of the 18 million locations where MasterCard is accepted with the Shopforschool Platinum Plus MasterCard. A percentage of each purchase made on the Shopforschool Web site or with the Shopforschool MasterCard directly benefits the K-12 school of the shopper’s choice. The Shopforschool MasterCard program, which will launch in fall 2000, allows supporters to generate dollars for their enrolled school. To date, Shopforschool’s online shopping program has more than 20,000 registered schools nationwide and new schools are being added daily. For more information, please visit . Shopforschool is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.

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


Aussie LensCard

The ‘LensCard’ has migrated down under. National Australia Bank is gearing up to issue the first-ever Australian ‘LensCard’. The ‘National Australia Bank MasterCard’ will offer a built-in lens that magnifies text up to three and a half times and helps cardholders read smaller print on sales slips, restaurant receipts, telephone listings, food labels, etc. The ‘LensCard’, originally developed by American inventor and restaurateur Alan Finkelstein, was inspired by actor Jack Nicholson, who at the end of a meal in a dimly lit restaurant, pulled out a credit card and magnifying glass to read the bill. Chase Manhattan introduced the ‘LensCard’ in the U.S. market in Oct. 98. Canada’s Royal Bank announced its ‘VISA Gold LensCard’ in Nov. 99 and began issuing the new card earlier this year. (See CF Library 10/15/98 and 11/9/99)


ChequeMARK Settlement

LML Payment Systems, Inc., further to its announcements of March 10, 1999 and August 16, 2000, and Robert R. Hills are pleased to report a settlement has been reached with respect to the legal action commenced in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division by the Corporation and its ChequeMARK subsidiaries, against defendants Mr. Hills and Mark Technologies Corp.

Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, 466,820 of 541,820 common shares presently held in escrow will be returned to the Corporation for cancellation. In addition, the Corporation is relieved of its obligation to issue to the defendants 1,828,560 earn-out shares pursuant to certain agreements. The settlement does not affect the rights to earn-out shares of shareholders of Mark Technologies, Inc., other than Mr. Hills. The Corporation agreed to pay $2,500,000 cash and 75,000 common shares to Mr. Hills. The Corporation is withholding $350,000 of the $2,500,000 cash settlement proceeds for the purpose of defending or pursuing other legal claims regarding ownership, license or infringement of certain intellectual property of the Corporation, including U.S. Patent 5,484,988, against persons other than Mr. Hills who may claim rights directly or indirectly from Mr. Hills. If there is no ongoing litigation as of August 21, 2005, the portion of the $350,000 not used by the Corporation for litigation expenses will be delivered to Mr. Hills.

“We believe this result is clearly in the best interests of the Corporation and its shareholders. We are pleased to have this matter resolved,” said Corporation President and CEO, Patrick Gaines.

“This settlement puts to rest the on-going dispute between LML and me, and I acknowledge that LML, through its subsidiaries, are the owners of U.S. Patent No. 5,484,988 and any continuations thereto. I am happy to report that we have resolved this dispute,” Mr. Hills said.

LML Payment Systems is a financial payment processor specializing in providing end-to-end check processing solutions for national, regional and local retail merchants. The Corporation’s processing services include traditional check verification and collection along with electronic processing services including Electronic Check Re-presentment (whereby returned paper checks are represented for payment electronically) and Electronic Check Conversion (whereby paper checks are converted into electronic transactions right at the point of sale). The Corporation’s intellectual property estate will include a recently allowed patent application regarding internet checking transactions, in addition to U.S. Patent No. 5,484,988. U.S. Patent No. 5,484,988 describes a “Checkwriting point of sale system,” which, through a centralized database and authorization system, is capable of providing and administering various electronic payment services for customers and businesses.


Carclub Passes 50K

Tens of thousands of Carclub.com members seeking relief from high gas prices have together saved more than $570,000, J.D. Power Clubs announced yesterday. Members of Carclub.com, a division of J.D. Power Clubs, can get 10 percent off of gas purchases from any of the more than 110,000 stations accepting MasterCard regardless of the brand of gasoline. Carclub.com’s Membership and Gas Mastercard(R) Card program launched in May.

“No one likes to pay high prices for gasoline, so Carclub.com is giving consumers a straight-forward deal: 10 percent off on gas,” said Michael London, chairman and CEO of J.D. Power Clubs. “With Carclub.com, consumers do not need to pre-bid on gas, or use only specific brands that may already have the highest prices in the neighborhood. This program is easy, quick and cost-effective.”

At today’s gas prices, the average U.S. household spends more than $125 per month on gasoline, according to gas price and vehicle ownership statistics compiled by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Club membership has surpassed 50,000, with most activating their Carclub.com Membership and Gas MasterCard(R) Card during the last 60 days.

Members are able to save up to $20 a month by using the 10 percent gasoline discount. Members also enjoy other benefits such as an insurance deductible reimbursement of up to $500 in the event of an accident (after 90 days of membership), the Mechanic Hotline for a second opinion or advice on repair estimates, and “Help, I’m Lost,” a 24-hour telephone driving direction service.

How Does the Card Work?

The card is available by visiting [www.carclub.com][1] or by calling 1-800/CARCLUB. Carclub.com is making the 10 percent gas discount available for the rest of the year for consumers who join. Cards are mailed to members, who go online or call to activate the card. The gasoline discount card is a stored-value card that is prepaid and refilled by telephone or online, including the option for automatic refill once the account balance drops to a certain level. Members can carry up to a $200 balance on the card each month, enabling them to save as much as $20 each month.

At the pump it works as easy as a credit card at any station that accepts Mastercard(R). Datamark Technologies, a leading provider of electronic gift certificate/stored value and loyalty programs, assisted Carclub.com in establishing the program.

About J.D. Power Clubs, Inc. and Carclub.com, a J.D. Power Club

J.D. Power Clubs, Inc. educates consumers to help them make better decisions and facilitates transactions through a network of participating retailers committed to delivering quality service and savings. Carclub.com, the first J.D. Power Club, helps vehicle owners shop for new and used vehicles, select financing and insurance, access sources and savings for vehicle maintenance online and by telephone at 1-800/CARCLUB. Selected highlights from J.D. Power and Associates’ customer satisfaction syndicated research will soon be available through the J.D. Power Information Center and all of the J.D. Power Clubs as they are launched in sectors such as financial services, telecommunications and homes.

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


Croft at CheckFree

CheckFree announced that Curtis Croft has been appointed senior vice president and general manager of International Operations for i-Solutions.

Croft will manage the growth and development of CheckFree i-Solutions operations in South America, Asia-Pacific, Canada and Europe. He reports directly to Tom Stampiglia, who serves both as the president of CheckFree Software Division and an executive vice president for CheckFree.

Prior to joining CheckFree, Croft held a number of management positions with Lanier Worldwide, a global solutions provider, over 19 years with the company. At Lanier, Croft served as vice president of the Intercontinental Region that included managing international operations for an area encompassing the United Kingdom, Singapore, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, South America, Africa and Central America. He was formerly country manager for Lanier Canada where he won Lanier’s Country Manager of the Year, Worldwide Quality Award and its “International Cup.” Within Lanier’s International Operations, Croft doubled the business of the Puerto Rico region and produced one of the most productive sales organization in the company.

“Curtis, an international operations veteran, will lead i-Solutions in bringing CheckFree’s technology expertise to new markets and expand its international presence,” said Tom Stampiglia, president of CheckFree Software Division.

Croft holds a B.S. from Florida State in Psychology and Management. He and his wife Patsy have two children and reside in Atlanta, Georgia.

About CheckFree

CheckFree ([http://www.checkfree.com][1]) is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded as an electronic payments processor in 1981, CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution in March of 1997. Today, CheckFree services enable 3.5 million consumers to receive and pay bills over the Internet or electronically. The company has multi-year contracts with 157 of the nation’s top billers to provide on-line billing and payment through its network of partnerships with nearly 200 consumer service providers (CSPs), including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and content sites and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree’s Investment Services division provides a range of investment management services to help more than 255 institutions provide portfolio management and reporting services to their clients. CheckFree clients manage over 962,000 portfolios totaling more than $480 billion in assets. Software and services provided by CheckFree’s Compliance and Financial Service division are used to process more than two- thirds of the nation’s six billion Automated Clearing House payments. In addition, nearly 400 banks and businesses use reconciliation products and services the division provides.

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


Ad Dominance


For the first time Internet credit card marketing ads dominated the list of the most viewed banner ads. Of the top ten banner ads viewed by at-home surfers for the week ending Aug 20, six of the spots included banner ads for credit cards issued by Capital One and NextCard. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, NextCard remains the most active online credit card marketer, delivering 168.9 million banner ads last week, for a 23% market reach. NetRatings says of 146.8 million consumers with Internet access only 64.4 million actually surfed the web the week of Aug 14-20. Ad response rates declined more than 6%. Based on NetRating’s current data it takes slightly more than 300 banner ad impressions to produce one click.

Top 10 Ad Banners Viewed At-Home (week of Aug 14-20)

Advertiser Reach % Creative
1. Capital One 10.2 How FAST do you want your credit decision?
2. MSN/WebMD 9.7 Summer is here. Get healthy.
3. Bonzi Software 7.2 Warning: Your Internet Connection Is Not Optimized.
4. ClassMates 6.0 Do you know this person?
5. AmeriDebt 5.4 Danger! Bill Problems?
6. Capital One 5.3 0% Intro. Not just another pretty card.
7. Next Card 5.2 Rates as low as 2.9% Intro.
8. Next Card 5.1 How low does your VISA APR go?
9. Next Card 5.1 Susan saved $256, Paul pocketed $578.
10. Next Card 5.1 9.9% Ongoing APR.

Source: Nielsen/NetRatings

[1]: /ads/capitalone/crdtrk2.gif


NPC Signs Bluelight

National Processing Company , a leading provider of merchant credit card processing announced a multiyear agreement with BlueLight.com ( [http://www.bluelight.com][1]) to provide Internet-based credit card payment processing services for the BlueLight.com online shopping site.

Launched in June, the BlueLight.com “preview” shopping site features a vast selection of products at value prices, making shopping online as easy as a walk to your local Kmart(R) store. The site currently houses more than 150,000 products, including nationally recognized brands like Martha Stewart Everyday(R), Route 66(R) and jr-s.com(R). Throughout the summer, BlueLight.com will be adding new products and services, building towards the full site launch this fall when BlueLight.com will feature more than half a million items. The site is supported by the BlueLight.com Totally Free Internet Service, which has registered more than 3 million subscribers in seven months, making it the fastest growing Internet Service Provider in U.S. history to this important milestone

“Consumers and businesses alike continue to embrace the Internet as a powerful medium to conduct communications and transactions, “said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of NPC Merchant Services. “Our processing platform provides BlueLight.com a convenient and cost effective solution for integration of online payment processing.”

“BlueLight.com is committed to making the process of purchasing via our site as fast and easy as possible for our customers,” said Joan Pashon, director of finance and administration for BlueLight.com. “We are pleased to partner with NPC, because they embrace our philosophy of providing superior transactional customer service in an accurate and timely manner.”

“We are delighted to expand our relationship with an industry leader like BlueLight.com,” said Tom A. Wimsett, president and chief executive officer of NPC. “Our agreement is a clear sign of our continued commitment to provide innovative and high quality services to our clients.”

About BlueLight.com

Based in San Francisco, BlueLight.com is an independent company formed to leverage the substantial assets of Kmart Corporation, the nation’s second- largest discount retailer. As Kmart’s e-commerce channel, BlueLight’s goal is to meet the online shopping needs of the more than 30 million Americans who visit a Kmart retail location each week, turning those consumers into BlueLight customers by offering “Great Brands at BlueLight Prices.”

BlueLight’s shopping site ( [http://www.bluelight.com][2]) features thousands of products across multiple categories, including Martha Stewart Everyday(R) and other nationally recognized brands. BlueLight.com’s Totally Free Internet Service, powered by Spinway, Inc., is the fastest growing Internet service in U.S. history with more than three million subscribers after just seven months. BlueLight.com was formed in 1999 by Kmart Corporation and SOFTBANK Venture Capital with investments by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. For more information visit [http://www.bluelight.com][3].

About NPC

NPC is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and corporate outsourcing solutions. NPC supports over 500,000 merchant locations, representing one out of every six Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. Approximately 88 percent of the company is owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), a Cleveland based $86 billion financial holding company. Additional information regarding NPC can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net][4].

[1]: http://www.bluelight.com/
[2]: http://www.bluelight.com/
[3]: http://www.bluelight.com/
[4]: http://www.npc.net/


Fair Isaac Reorganization

Fair, Isaac and Company announced last week it is continuing with its organizational realignment. As a result, two top executives, John Woldrich and Ken Rapp, are leaving the company. Woldrich, EVP of International, Alliances and Analytics, is retiring effective January 2001. Rapp, EVP of NetSourced Services, is resigning effective Sep. 30. The company’s business units, which previously reported to Woldrich and Rapp, will now include expanded global responsibilities and will report directly to Fair, Isaac’s CEO Tom Grudnowski. In the new organization, Cheri St. John will be GM of Global Credit Bureaus and Alliances; Chad Becker, GM of Global Financial Services; Doug Clare, GM of Global Retail; and Mike Gandolfo, GM of Global Telecommunications. Tom Grudnowski, formerly with Andersen Consulting, became president, CEO, and board member Dec. 2, 1999 replacing Larry Rosenberger. (See CF Online Library 9/9/99 and 12/15/99).


Hot Hypercom

Hypercom Corp. said Friday that its stock price’s upward movement and increased trading volume may reflect recent announcements of its ePic ICE4000, an Internet-enabled, hand-held wireless card payment terminal and First of Omaha Merchant Processing’s agreement with ePicNetz, to provide a suite of Internet-based, value-added services to First of Omaha Merchant Processing’s existing merchant portfolio and new merchants are all positive developments.

“Both of our announcements are an indication to customers, the investment community and our employees that our strategy of Internet-enabling the point-of-sale terminal, an initiative we call ePOS-infocommerce(TM), or ePic, is beginning to come to fruition,” said George Wallner, president and chief executive officer of Hypercom Corp.

“We have been building our leadership position in the Internet-enabled POS market and as we stated in our second-quarter 2000 earnings release, we are more than ever convinced that the revolutionary nature of our technology is having broad and far-reaching consequences.

“It is allowing us to leverage alliances and be a catalyst of change within the newly expanding bounds of our industry. It is also allowing us to change the nature of Hypercom’s business towards a higher added-value model.

“In addition, we had stated that our newly created application service provider group, ePicNetz, had started signing up customers and the agreement with First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a prime example.”

Wallner also appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” segment today and talked about the company’s ePic ICE 4000, Internet-enabling the point-of-sale and Internet security.

About Hypercom Corp.

Hypercom Corp. 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, Hypercom(R) 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, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][1].

Hypercom is a registered trademark of Hypercom Corp. ICE, ePOSinfocommerce and ePicNetz are trademarks of Hypercom Corp. All other products or services mentioned in this document are trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks or registered service marks of their respective owners.

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


TYME Hires Norton

TYME Corporation has named Kimberly A. Norton of St. Charles, Minn., as its relationship manager for the state of Minnesota and nine northwestern Wisconsin counties.

One of her prime duties will be to encourage banks in her district to become part of the growing TYME network.

TYME President James H. Martin says Norton is a “motivated, enthusiastic person with exceptional organizational and problem-solving skills. She’s exactly the type of person we need to sell the value and benefits of belonging to the TYME network.”

She formerly worked for IBM Mid America Employees Federal Credit Union in Rochester, Minn., first as financial services supervisor, then as card services manager.

Prior to that, she was with Strongwell in Chatfield, Minn., beginning as program manager, then rising to the position of customer service manager.

She’s a graduate of Concordia University in St. Paul, with a bachelor’s degree in business communication and organization.

TYME is one of the largest regional EFT (electronic funds transfer) networks in the United States, with more than 500 participating financial institutions. The institutions operate almost 17,000 ATM (automated teller machines) and (POS) point of sale terminals in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota.



NCR and TRM are teaming up to conquer the convenience ATM markets in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Under terms of the agreement TRM will exclusively deploy NCR’s ‘MCD ATMs’. The first multimillion-dollar order under the partnership is for 1,500 NCR ‘MCD ATMs’ to be across convenience locations in the U.K. The deal follows TRM’s purchase of 1,000 NCR ATMs in Sep. 1999. TRM predicts within three years there will be 50,000 ATMs located in the U.K. TRM plans to deploy a total of 2,000 NCR ATMs in the U.K. within a year.