BankServ & Ariba

BankServ, Inc. today announced a strategic agreement with Ariba to integrate BankServ’s electronic check and global funds transfer technologies and processing services into the Ariba B2B Commerce Platform.

Trading participants using the Ariba Commerce Services Network, will be able to take advantage of BankServ’s services. Ariba CSN is Ariba’s value-added network infrastructure for delivering commerce services to companies in the B2B community.

* Financial institutions offering global settlement services will be able to take advantage of BankServ’s “bank neutral” pre-integrated services solution, allowing them to substantially decrease their time to market on Ariba CSN.

* Buyers and sellers on Ariba CSN will be able to access a variety of payment options, including BankServ’s automated clearing house (ACH) transfers and domestic and cross-border wire transfers.

* Through BankServ’s advanced financial services solutions, Internet market makers will have the ability to earn and collect transaction revenue from activity on their marketplaces. This offers a significant incentive for market makers to take advantage of these progressive global payment options.

“Online exchanges need the kind of low-cost, reliable, global funds transfer solutions for B2B commerce that BankServ’s ACH and wire transfer products provide,” said Eric Bochner, vice president, Ariba Commerce Services. “Until now, the primary online payments solutions available have been various forms of purchasing cards and credit cards, or offline, paper-based settlements. BankServ enables an automated solution that can be seamlessly integrated with a wide variety of B2B eCommerce processes.”

Cory Gaines, vice president of strategic alliances for BankServ, noted, “Since funds transfer services processed through the ACH and the banking system can be eighty percent less expensive to suppliers than the cost of processing credit cards, all of Ariba CSN customers will enjoy substantial opportunity in this market.”

According to Dave Kvederis, president and CEO of BankServ, hundreds of U.S. merchants already use BankServ’s electronic check services to create electronic funds transfers that are processed through the nation’s ACH system. More than a dozen Internet businesses are already integrating or testing its Internet services on their websites, including PointSpeed.com, StereoLink.com and Egarden.com. “BankServ has built a significant market advantage in the brick and mortar merchant world through its experience and the development of its proprietary technologies,” he said. “Now we are bringing that experience and technology to the Internet.”

The ACH system is commonly used for direct deposit of payroll and government benefit payments and for payment of consumer bills. In 1999, more than 6.2 billion ACH payments were made in the U.S. worth more than $19 trillion, according to the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA).

BankServ also processes more than $1 billion a day in international and domestic wire transfers on behalf of 110 U.S. banks, thrifts and credit unions. The company’s Global Funds Exchange (GFX) system automates operational and risk control compliance, in accordance with both the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and the Bank Secrecy Act; and numerous customer notification requirements.

About BankServ

Founded in 1996 by CEO Dave Kvederis, BankServ is one of the country’s leading providers of payment solutions for online businesses, retailers and financial services companies. Its electronic check conversion, ACH funds transfer and global wire transfer systems serve hundreds of U.S. businesses and financial institutions in online, point-of-sale and back-office applications. Headquartered in San Francisco, BankServ also maintains offices in Atlanta, Boise, Chicago, Dallas, Lafayette, La, Las Vegas and New York. More information about BankServ can be found online at [http://www.bankserv.com][1].

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

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Metris Fastest Growing

Metris Companies Inc., one of the fastest-growing direct marketing companies in the United States, has been recognized as one of “America’s Fastest-Growing Companies” by Fortune magazine in its September 4 issue. Metris ranks No. 41 on the top-100 list, tops among consumer credit organizations. “To be listed among America’s 100 fastest-growing companies is an exciting recognition,” said Metris Chairman and CEO Ronald N. Zebeck. “Our top-50 ranking is a testament to the outstanding efforts of our entire organization.” To make the top-100 list, companies had to have a 30 percent annual growth rate for three years in both revenue and earnings per share, with positive earnings in the latest quarter. Those companies were then ranked by growth in revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and total stock-market return over three years ending June 30, 2000. Total scores from those three categories were used to determine the final rankings. Fortune reported revenue growth at Metris as 76 percent, EPS growth as 57 percent and total return as 32 percent during the three-year period ending June 30, 2000.

Metris has experienced significant growth in both the credit card and enhancement services segments of its business. Since 1997, Metris’ bank card accounts have grown from 2.3 million to 4.1 million, while its managed receivables have increased from $3.5 billion to $7.8 billion. Metris’ enhancement services business has grown from 3.0 million relationships and $64.5 million in revenues in 1997 to approximately 5.8 million relationships as of June 30, 2000 and $123.6 million in revenues for the first six months of 2000. Overall net income climbed from $38.1 million in 1997 to $115.4 million at the end of 1999.

Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and enhancement services. Based in St. Louis Park, Minn., Metris also has operations in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; White Marsh, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. Metris employs more than 4,200 people.

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Greenland Nevada Deal

Greenland Corporation announced the sale of its automated check cashing ATM machine to Automated Cash Machines, Inc., a Nevada corporation.

Dr. Lou Montulli, CEO of Greenland Corporation stated, “On August 9, Automated Cash Machines, Inc., a distributor of the Greenland MAXCASH ABM, purchased our machines for placement into the Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada areas. The machines were installed in Ship N’ Chek locations in each of these cities. The Reno machine is located at 2303 South Virginia #4 and the Las Vegas machine is located at 6420 S. Pecos #A-2. Both machines were installed with check cashing, phone card dispensing and full ATM functionality.”

Dr. Montulli indicated that the Ship N’ Chek sites are part of a chain of financial service centers in Nevada and New Mexico that provide services including advance payday loans and money orders. The Ship N’ Chek stores are owned and operated by Mr. John Odin, Vice President of the Nevada Independent Check Cashing Association (NICCA). Mr. Odin is currently and has been vice-president of NICCA for the past four years.

Mr. Odin commented that he was very excited about the financial opportunities that this machine provides, and that the demographics of the United States and the trend in banking practices make the Greenland machine a product whose time has come. Mr. Odin further commented that he would use this machine to showcase the product in Nevada for those who are interested in purchasing the machine.

About Greenland Corporation

Greenland Corporation is a developer and manufacturer of automated payroll check-cashing machines with full ATM functionality, phone card sales, money order dispensing and payday advance services. The Company’s automated financial services machines are being developed to provide dispensing of travelers checks, wire transfers, bill paying and electronic benefit transfers in addition to cashing payroll and government checks. The company’s common stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “GLCP”. Visit Greenland Corporation on the Internet at

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Buxx is Wild

FL-based WildCard Systems has signed a five year agreement to develop, host and manage online the new ‘VISA Buxx’ teen card. WildCard Systems’ end-to-end solutions for ‘VISA Buxx’ include hosting the e-transaction processing platform, offering cardholder support services, and designing and developing the web sites for card-issuing banks. The company says it is working closely with VISA USA to provide a turnkey solution to leading national and regional banks that want to offer the ‘VISA Buxx’ prepaid card.

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Net Ads

Capital One again dominated banner advertising on the Internet last week. According to Nielsen/NetRatings tracking for the week of Aug 7-13, Capital One ranked as the #1 most viewed banner ad at-home and the #4 most viewed banner ad among at-work users. The “How FAST do want your credit decision ad?” reached 7.6% of the a-home audience and 8.5% of the at-work audience. Citibank ranked #6 among at-work users with its “Big Credit Card Debts?” banner ad. Nielsen reported the average ad click rate for at-home surfers was 0.33% while at-work users responded to Internet ads with a 0.17% click rate.

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Mileage Plus Bonus

Cardholders of the ‘First USA/United Mileage Plus VISA/MasterCard’ are set to receive a mileage bonus as a reward for their patience in regards to United Airlines recent scheduling problems. ‘Mileage Plus Premier’ members (flying 25,000+ miles per year) will receive an additional bonus for United flights between May 1 and December 31. ‘Premier’ members will receive an extra 25% bonus for flights, while ‘Premier Executive’ (flying 50,000 miles per year) and 1K members (flying 100,000 miles per year) will receive a 100% bonus. This extra bonus will be credited to accounts in January 2001. In addition, members who qualify for ‘Premier’ status in 2000 will also be eligible for these bonuses. United also announced yesterday it is waiving its $75 flight change fees in many cases.

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Natl City Biz CheckCard

National City has continued its Small Business 2000 Initiative with the debut of the Business CheckCard, the third new product out of seven to be introduced this year.

Mike Price, National City’s senior vice president of small business banking explained that the initial reaction to the Business CheckCard has been favorable.

He said, “The newly designed product allows both the cardholder and business name to appear on the card front for sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and non-profits, among other types of businesses. National City’s Business CheckCard targets small businesses with less than $5 million in annual sales, primarily focusing on businesses with less than $1 million in revenues and no more than 10 employees.”

The Business CheckCard is designed as a full function card, and will allow cardholders to use this card at more than 18 million Visa merchants worldwide, and perform transactions at ATMs worldwide – including 1,700 Nation City, 43,500 MAC and 400,000 Plus/Visa machines. The Business CheckCard also gives customers the ability to perform PIN-based, point-of-sale transactions at participating MAC merchants.”

Customers can apply for a card by: * visiting a National City Bank;

* calling Small Business Telephone banking at 888-NCB-4BIZ (622-4249);

* mailing in a brochure application.

To qualify for a Business CheckCard, customers must have a business demand deposit account as their primary funding account. Cardholders also are required to be signers on the primary funding account. Once approved, customers are elgible for Visa’s “Core Enhancements” which includes benefits like “Purchase Security.” “Extended Protection” and travel emergency assistance services.

National city’s extensive network of more than 1,200 branches, the forth largest branch network in the nation, allows small business customers to have convenient access to banking services and personal relationships with local banking experts.

National City Coporation is an $85 billion financial holding company based in Cleveland, Ohio. The company offers a full range of financial services for individuals and businesses. National City has offices in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. National City can be found on the World Wide Web at [www.national-city.com][1].

[1]: http://www.national-city.com

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Student Cards

The student credit card market has also reached critical mass. Approximately 55% of college students now carry bank credit cards. Among high school students (under 18) nearly 7% now have co-signed credit cards. According to the American Savings Education Council 28% of these student credit card users revolve balances each month.

TOP STUDENT CREDIT CARDS (ranked by APR)

1. USAA College Start VISA or MasterCard: 13.40%; parent must be member of USAA and must co-sign; offers credit limits ranging from $500 to $1,500.

2. MBNA College VISA or MasterCards 15.99%-19.40%; interest rates vary by college; must be 18 and student at selected college. no co-signer required.

3. College Parents of America MasterCard 17.30%; parent must be a member of CPA; co-signer required; offers parental controls

4. Elan Financial Young Adult VISA or MasterCard 17.40%; must be 16 to apply with co-signer; no co-signer required if applicant is 18 and earns $12,000 per year.

5. American Express College Card 17.49%; program offers travel certificates that allow cardholder and a friend to travel for as little as $159 round-trip; offers credit limits up to $3,000, interest rates of 9.50% on purchases over $200, and 15 cents-per-minute for phone calls charged to the card; No co-signer required.

6. First Union Collegiate VISA 18.00%; credit lines from $500 to $800; no co-signer required if 18.

7. Elan Financial College VISA or MasterCard 19.40%; must be 18 and enrolled in 2 or 4 year accredited college or university; no co-signer required.

8. First USA/United College Plus VISA 19.40%; offers one United Airlines air mile for every two dollars charged in purchases; earn up to 10,000 air miles per year; receive initial 2,500 bonus miles; 5,000 bonus miles can also be earned for every 50 hours of volunteer work, for a maximum of 10,000 bonus miles during each 12-month school-year period between August 1 and July 31; no co-signer required.

9. Citibank MasterCards 19.40%; offers three student programs: Platinum Select, Driver’s Edge, and Sony Cards; Drivers Edge and Sony programs offer ability to accumulate points towards a car purchase or electronic gadgets; no co-signer required; must provided proof of student status.

10. Capital One College Student VISA 19.80%; offers $200 minimum credit line; offers 12 free issues of Entertainment Weekly or Sports Illustrated as an initial bonus; no co-signer required however phone number of college or university must be provided to verify status; also offer a co-signed card to students under 18 by invitation.

Source: CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com][1])

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

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Providian – El Paso

Citing the continued strong growth of its credit card business, Providian Financial Corporation, the fifth largest bankcard issuer in the United States, announced that the Company would open a new customer service center in El Paso, Texas. In fact, this is the fourth new center the Company has opened in the past 12 months. Providian’s 126,000 square-foot El Paso location is expected to employ more than 900 people and be operational in early 2001.

In the past year, Providian’s customer base has risen to more than 14 million, while the number of employees has increased to over 12,000. In order to deliver the industry’s highest level of customer service to an increasing number of Providian customers, the Company signed the lease for the site at 1440 Goodyear in El Paso.

“We are delighted to welcome Providian to El Paso,” said Mayor Carlos Ramirez. “We are very proud of the positive business climate in El Paso, which has an outstanding pool of talented individuals from which Providian can recruit.”

Providian’s El Paso customer service center will be the fourth Providian site in Texas, joining operations in Arlington, Austin and San Antonio. The latter two locations, along with Henderson, Nevada, were all opened by the Company in 2000. Including El Paso, Providian will have operations at 24 locations in six states in the U.S., United Kingdom and Argentina.

In El Paso, Providian was represented by CM Realty in cooperation with Sonny Brown & Associates.

El Paso area residents interested in learning more about employment opportunities with Providian can contact its Human Resources department toll free at 888-228-0867, or fax their resume to 877-796-6058.

San Francisco-based Providian Financial ([http://www.providian.com][1]) is a leading provider of lending and deposit products to customers throughout the United States and offers credit cards in the United Kingdom and Argentina. Providian Financial was recently named one of America’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine, and the nation’s top financial institution by US Banker magazine. With a commitment to 100% customer satisfaction, Providian helps customers build, protect and responsibly use credit. The Company has more than $27 billion in assets under management and over 14 million customers.

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

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Critical Mass

The latest Internet tracking data shows that 52% of the U.S. home population is surfing the Web. Nearly 144 million people in the U.S. had access to the Internet from home during July, compared to 106.3 million a year ago, a growth rate of 35% over the past year. U.S. Internet users spent nearly ten hours a month online, an increase of 26% over the past year. Page views have doubled over the past year from 353 to 709 page views per month, According to Nielsen/NetRatings, lower prices for personal computers and competitive rates for high-speed Internet access has been driving the growth towards critical mass. Even though Web usage has increased, the number of sites people visit has dropped in the past year. This means that the barrier to entry is higher for new Internet ventures as companies vie for surfers’ attention. Nielsen/NetRatings says this underscores the power of branding online to amass a captive and loyal audience. Credit card marketing online continues to be among the most actively marketed products on the Internet. In the first half of 2000, MBNA added 500,000 new accounts via the Internet and expects 1 million new accounts to be added through this source in 2000. Among the top 25 advertisers: NextCard, Capital One, and Providian/Aria. Nielsen/NetRatings collects real-time data from more than 65,000 panel members which consists of 57,000 at-home users and 8,000 at-work users.

Top 25 Advertisers, At-Home
Advertiser Impressions (000) Reach %
1 TRUSTe 2,465,096 39.5
2 Microsoft 1,483,345 52.1
3 Yahoo! 1,054,654 40.1
4 AllAdvantage 822,747 8.9
5 America Online 631,260 44.1
6 Amazon 548,685 49.4
7 eBay 528,266 29.2
8 Casino On Net 446,592 24.6
9 Next Card 410,769 36.1
10 Ad Council 347,545 21.1
11 Barnes and Noble 325,537 36.3
12 Capital One 265,356 34.2
13 Enews 263,588 15.3
14 Gamesville 242,088 6.5
15 SexTracker 236,911 10.6
16 National Discount Brokers 222,538 5.4
17 Aria 202,636 22.9
18 Netscape 197,602 29.2
19 Uproar 191,716 22.2
20 E*TRADE 189,071 14.9
21 Lycos 174,678 10.6
22 uBid 170,080 29.4
23 Datek 168,955 7.1
24 Network Solutions 168,156 29.1
25 Pogo 166,441 6.2
Source: Nielsen/NetRatings

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eCommony P2P

eCommony, Inc., provider of person-to-person payment solutions, announced a P2P credit card payment wizard enabling every website to provide its visitors with an immediate P2P credit card payment service.

The wizard, available at eCommony’s website ([http://www.ecommony.com][1]), installs eCommony’s FundTransfer P2P payment application after a short online registration process. The online registration service takes fewer than three minutes to fill out, and the applicant’s request is instantly processed.

FundTransfer is a person-to-person credit card payment application based on eCommony’s PayToCard Network infrastructure. With FundTransfer, individuals can complete e-commerce transactions and receive secure and private credit card payments at the website of their choice.

Simultaneously, eCommony announced a strategic agreement with Achex, a provider of a new payment service that leverages the Internet and existing payment networks to transfer funds directly to and from personal checking accounts via e-mail.

According to the agreement, FundTransfer will integrate the Achex consumer-to-consumer payment solution, thereby broadening its P2P credit card payments service offering to include online checking account payments. Under the terms of the partnership, Achex also has the option of integrating certain FundTransfer payment functionality into the Achex payment product.

“With the launch of the new wizard application and the agreement with Achex, eCommony can now allow any website to become a full service consumer-to-consumer e-commerce site, within a few minutes,” said Saar Safra, Chief Technology Officer of eCommony. “Surfers can complete secure financial transactions with other individuals as well as with SOHO businesses, which can now offer a comprehensive payment service akin to that of big enterprises.”

“The integration of eCommony’s FundTransfer and Achex opens to individuals and small businesses eCommerce payment opportunities that are usually reserved for larger merchants and businesses,” said Terry Allen-Rouman, President and CEO of Achex. “We believe this additional choice in payment options will expand eCommerce markets significantly.”

eCommony also announced that in its effort to become an international accepted enabling technology for person-to-person payments, it will establish European operations in the 4th quarter of 2000.,

About eCommony, Inc.

Founded in 1999, eCommony Inc. designs, develops and markets innovative, patent-pending back-office infrastructure enabling Person-to-Person (P2P) e-commerce over the Internet. eCommony’s technology is best suited to serve any site providing online banking, auctions, classifieds, e-consulting, e-service and garage/yard sales as well as private shareware sellers. eCommony’s innovative, patent pending risk management technology is designed to fit the specific needs of the P2P market. For more information, please visit the company’s website [http://www.ecommony.com][2].

About Achex, Inc.

Achex, Inc. ([http://www.achex.com][3]) is an Internet payments company that enables simple and secure Internet payments for buyers and sellers. Achex’s new payment service leverages the unique opportunities created by electronic commerce. The Achex service, based on a patent-pending infrastructure and business processes, leverages the Internet and existing payment networks to transfer funds online in a simple, convenient and highly secure manner. Founded in 1999, Achex is a privately held company with funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, First Data Corp., RRE Ventures, IncuBay LLC, Greyhound Crossover Fund and other investors. Achex co-founders are experts in payment systems; their experience includes designing and implementing major payments products and transaction processing architectures for major commercial banks, investment banks and credit card companies. The company’s advisory board is composed of payments experts, security experts, online merchants, venture capitalists and angel investors.

[1]: http://www.ecommony.com/
[2]: http://www.ecommony.com/
[3]: http://www.achex.com/

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