FOM & TeleCheck

First of Omaha Merchant Processing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and one of the nation’s leading credit card processors, announced a partnership with TeleCheck Services, Inc. to provide secure, guaranteed electronic check payments to First of Omaha’s merchant customers. With the TeleCheck Electronic Check Acceptance service, First of Omaha merchants will be able to process electronic checks at the point of sale as simply and securely as a credit card transaction. TeleCheck is the world’s leading check acceptance company, and a subsidiary of Atlanta-based First Data Corp.

![][1] At the point of sale, the TeleCheck Electronic Check Acceptance service converts a customer’s paper check into an electronic item, and moves funds through the Automated Clearing House network. The consumer simply signs a printed receipt authorizing the electronic transaction and the canceled paper check, along with a copy of the authorization slip, is returned to the consumer. A complete description of the transaction is included in the check writer’s bank statement for reconciliation purposes. Merchants benefit from the service because the guaranteed funds are delivered directly to the merchant’s account, so they can consolidate bank accounts, streamline operations, improve cash flow and reduce paper handling. Electronic check returns and collections become TeleCheck’s responsibility.

Nick Baxter, president of First of Omaha, commented on the partnership; “The integrated features of ECA(R) combined with guaranteed payment to our merchant clients equates to a more secure and reliable overall process which will undoubtedly provide increased efficiencies for our merchants and their customers-offering more payment flexibility and ease at the point of sale.”

“This partnership marks a significant step for TeleCheck as we continue to expand our presence as an electronic payments processor,” said Jerry Mosbacher, senior vice president of strategic distribution for TeleCheck. “With First of Omaha’s strong market presence, TeleCheck’s products and services will be offered to even more merchants across the country.”

Merchant benefits of the TeleCheck(R) Electronic Check Acceptance(SM) (ECA(R)) service include:

* guarantees payment of all check transactions approved by TeleCheck;

* eliminates returned checks, returned check fees and warranty claims;

* reduces paperwork and trips to the bank;

* improves cash flow through faster closing/balancing and settlement.

About First of Omaha Merchant Processing

First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a premier payment processor specializing in providing service to both the traditional and Internet direct marketing industry, as well as the traditional face to face card acceptance market. First of Omaha provides financial management and payment processing solutions for large and small retailers, restaurants, lodging merchants, petroleum marketers, associations/franchise groups and banks in both the business to consumer and business to business marketplaces. Known for their superior customer service, First of Omaha specializes in providing clients the latest in card processing technologies. Through development of a diversified product line, First of Omaha has become a leader in the merchant processing industry, assisting clients in the reduction of chargebacks and fraud. First of Omaha is a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and is one of the few remaining in-house bank processors. First National Bank of Omaha, founded in 1863, is the 32nd oldest nationally chartered bank in existence. First of Omaha’s Internet address is [][2].

About TeleCheck Services, Inc.

TeleCheck is the world’s leading provider of paper and electronic check services, helping more than 228,000 retail, financial institution, grocery and other industry clients to increase their profitability, reduce risk and streamline operations. TeleCheck’s check acceptance and electronic commerce solutions help businesses safely and efficiently accept payment at the point of sale, by telephone, over the Internet, and through recurring ACH payments. TeleCheck services are offered through a sales and service network in more than 90 cities in the United States and in Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In 1999, TeleCheck authorized more than $155 billion in checks, representing 3.1 billion transactions. For more information about TeleCheck, visit the Internet site at [][3].

[1]: /graphic/telecheck/telecheck.gif


FOM & CellGate

First of Omaha Merchant Processing, a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and one of the leaders in the credit card processing arena, signed an agreement with CellGate to begin offering their merchant customers wireless point of sale processing solutions. Utilizing the CBF2000 Wireless IP (Internet Protocol) modem in conjunction with their current dial-up POS equipment, First of Omaha merchant partners will now achieve faster authorization response times while reducing telecommunications costs.

First of Omaha will begin offering CellGate wireless services to their customers in the third quarter of 2000.

Nick Baxter, president of First of Omaha, commented on the recent agreement; “With the increasing demand for wireless solutions by traditional retailers, we are confident that through the agreement with CellGate, our merchant partners will receive a cost effective solution to existing applications. CellGate will offer our merchant customers the flexibility of wireless communication without having to throw away existing solutions.”

“CellGate is pleased to be working with a premier payment processor such as First of Omaha,” commented Jeff Connelly, CellGate president & CEO. “First of Omaha has always been an innovative organization and will be delivering a four (4) second transaction to their customers using CellGate’s wireless technology in combination with First of Omaha’s POS terminal applications.”

About First of Omaha

First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a premier payment processor specializing in providing service to both the traditional and Internet direct marketing industry, as well as the traditional face to face card acceptance market. First of Omaha provides financial management and payment processing solutions for large and small retailers, restaurants, lodging merchants, petroleum marketers, associations/franchise groups and banks in both the business to consumer and business to business marketplaces. Known for their superior customer service, First of Omaha specializes in providing clients the latest in card processing technologies. Through development of a diversified product line, First of Omaha has become a leader in the merchant processing industry, assisting clients in the reduction of chargebacks and fraud. First of Omaha is a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and is one of the few remaining in-house bank processors. First National Bank of Omaha, founded in 1863, is the 32nd oldest nationally chartered bank in existence. First of Omaha’s web address is [][1].

About CellGate

CellGate provides Wireless IP network services to financial institutions, credit/debit processors, check authorization / verification companies, frequency / loyalty card companies, and sales organizations. This service allows POS terminals, PC / ECR products, and dial ATM’s the ability to increase authorization speed, while reducing dial telecom costs and installation costs. Because of the patented processes utilized in this service delivery, no changes to the terminal hardware or software are required. For additional information visit the CellGate website at [][2].

CellGate is headquartered in Boca Raton, FL with network operations located in St. Louis, MO and sales offices in Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Woodbury, NJ.

CellGate is an AT&T Wireless Data ‘Value Added Reseller.’



CROA Surfing

The FTC, DOJ, and 47 other federal, state and local law enforcement and consumer protection agencies have been surfing the Web looking for sites that violate the ‘Credit Repair Organizations Act’. It was announced late yesterday that more than 180 Web sites are being put on notice that their credit repair claims are illegal scams. The emails and letters warning of potential actions informed Web site operators that law enforcement has copied and preserved the Web site’s online advertisement(s) for future reference. According to the FTC over 60 credit of the online credit repair operations identified, sell instructions about how consumers can substitute a false Social Security number for their current number and credit a new identity.


Mag-Tek Certification

Mag-Tek has earned the EMV ‘Level 1, Version 3.1.1’ certification, an interoperability standard for smart cards, that guarantees that any EMV-compliant smart card will be accepted by the ‘IntelliStripe 65’. ‘IntelliStripe 65’ is a modular, vandal-resistant, manual insertion reader that can be customized for unattended self-service applications such as pay phones, vending machines, ATMs and kiosks. The ‘IntelliStripe 65’ has an on-board microprocessor which supports the maximum allowable data transfer rate of 115Kbps, single on-board SAM, and an optional SAM Ranch which contains an additional six SAMs. This hybrid reader will read up to three tracks of the magstripe, will read and write ISO 7816, T=0 and T=1 microprocessor cards, as well as a wide range of memory cards.


Citibank’s Bottomline

Bottomline Technologies, the premier provider of Web-enabled billing, payment, and electronic banking solutions, announced that Citibank has been granted the opportunity to obtain a potential equity interest in Bottomline in the form of a warrant. Citibank is part of Citigroup the world’s most global financial services company.

“Citibank is the premier global financial services organization and we see this equity transaction as a validation of our business model as we continue to drive strong revenue and earnings growth,” said Dan McGurl, Chairman and CEO of Bottomline Technologies. “Moving forward, we see a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Citibank as together we help their customers save money and streamline operations by migrating their financial transactions from paper to an electronic-based system.”

Bottomline and Citigroup’s e-Business Division have previously announced a strategic alliance under which Bottomline has provided its NetTransact product to enable Citibank’s business-to-business (B2B) initiative for electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP). Under the alliance, Citibank is initially marketing Bottomline’s NetTransact as a component of its Citibank Electronic Billing service to its Fortune 1000 customer base in the United States and Canada.

Industry experts predict this market will more than quadruple in the decade, with electronic payments going from 14% of total payments today to over 60% in 2009.

The three-year warrant provides Citibank with the right to purchase up to 324,000 shares of Bottomline common stock. Should Citibank exercise the warrants, it would give Citibank just under three percent ownership of Bottomline based on Bottomline’s current capital structure.

About Citigroup

Citigroup (NYSE:C), the most global financial services company, provides some 100 million consumers, corporations, governments and institutions in over 100 countries with a broad range of financial products and services including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management. The 1998 merger of Citigroup and Travelers Group brought together such brand names as Citibank, Travelers, Salomon Smith Barney, CitiFinancial and Primerica under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella. Additional information can be found at .

About Bottomline Technologies

Bottomline Technologies(R) (NASDAQ: EPAY) is the leading provider of Web-enabled billing, payment, and electronic banking solutions for the business-to-business market. Bottomline’s three integrated e-business offerings enable corporations and financial institutions worldwide to integrate, automate, and streamline the entire financial supply chain. PayBase(R) provides a pathway from traditional paper checks to electronic payments, as well as sophisticated messaging, remittance, and anti-fraud tools. NetTransact(TM), the Company’s business-to-business bill presentment and payment suite, enables enterprise billers and their trading partners to electronically present, adjudicate, and pay bills on-line. Bottomline’s BankQuest(TM) is a corporate and institutional browser-based electronic banking platform that provides information reporting and transactional services for cash management, trade finance, and securities processing. Today, Bottomline’s offerings are utilized by over 2,500 organizations representing every major industry sector. Founded in 1989, Bottomline maintains its headquarters in Portsmouth, NH and has satellite offices located in most major cities. For more information, dial (800) 243-2528 or visit Bottomline on the web at .


Fall Mailbox

Competition is already gearing up for the pre-holiday season period. Citibank is continuing to pound the market with its 2.9% intro APR offer while Capital One continues to toss out 0% intro rate offers. According to CardWatch ([][1]), the latest Citibank offering, hitting mailboxes this week, offers a 2.9% fixed APR through June 2001, on balance transfers equal to or greater than $3,500. For balance transfers under $3,500, the intro interest rate is 3.9%. Citibank’s ‘Platinum Select MasterCard’ charges a variable 15.49% on purchases; a fixed 19.99% APR on cash; and a variable punitive rate of 24.49%. The new Citibank offer reflects a much higher punitive APR than prior deals. Citibank has levied a prime +12.49% punitive rate for the past five years. However the new punitive rate is prime +14.99% and is consistent with the level charged by most other major issuers. Meanwhile Capital One continues to hit the market with 0% intro rate offers, most notably its ‘VISA Business Platinum’, which offers a 0% APR on purchases through Jan 2001. Capital One also is hitting the student card market this month with its ‘Young Adult’ co-signed VISA card which offers a credit limit up to $1,000. The card carries a fixed 19.8% APR and a $3 monthly fee.




In a recent comparative study of credit cards offered by large volume issuers and on-line banks, Gomez Advisors rated Security First Network Bank’s Visa credit card as the best card for consumers primarily concerned with securing a low interest rate. Gomez, a leading independent provider of e-commerce research and analysis, also rated the SFNB card among the two “Best Overall.”

The study looked not only at standard credit card features, such as interest rates and customer service hours, but also the extent to which cardholders could apply for the card and manage their accounts on-line. Accordingly, Gomez cited the SFNB card’s low interest rate and streamlined application process as well as the bank’s newly redesigned Web site ([][1]), enhanced technology and improved customer service as the leading reasons the bank’s credit card received a high score in the study.

“SFNB is committed to delivering the best possible financial products and services in the most convenient manner and at competitive rates,” said Ashif Ratanshi, CEO of Security First Network Bank. “We take considerable pride that Gomez recognized our credit card as one of the best in the country, particularly as the rating is based largely on two of SFNB’s hallmarks — low costs and superior Web site technology that enables cardholders to confidently access and manage their accounts on-line.”

In a separate study earlier this summer, Gomez ranked SFNB the “Best Overall” on-line bank for the sixth consecutive quarter. Again, the bank’s comprehensive account management platform, competitive interest rates, low service fees and well-integrated suite of products earned it the top ranking among the 60 on-line banks surveyed.

Consumers can apply for SFNB’s Visa Classic or Visa Gold card via SFNB’s Web site. As of today, the cards’ APR rates are 12.90 per cent fixed and 9.90 per cent fixed, respectively. There is a promotional rate of 3.9 per cent for transferred balances, new purchases and cash advances for the first six months an account is open. Other benefits include 24-hour customer service, no annual fee, convenience checks, and access to cash at more than 250,000 Cirrus, STAR or Interlink Visa card automated teller machines (ATMs) worldwide. In addition, the SFNB Visa Gold card offers cardholders additional benefits, such as extended warranty protection, travel and emergency assistance, and auto rental insurance.

Atlanta-based Security First Network Bank, the World’s First Internet Bank, invented Internet banking in 1995. SFNB provides a broad range of banking services via the Internet and telephone, including 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year customer service (1-800-736-2321) and the ability to customize reports and conduct seamless interactions between checking, savings, borrowing and credit card accounts. Other services include unrestricted bill payment to third parties, up-to-the-minute account balances, real-time activity tracking, automatic categorization of expenditures, loan presentation, secure on-line customer care support and Internet stock portfolio tracking. SFNB is owned by Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE; TSE: RY; LSE: RBC), one of Canada’s premier financial services institutions.



Wingspan Cards

Payment cards for Wingspan failed to work in Bank One’s ATM network last week. The cards were rejected by ‘Cash Station’ ATMs in the Chicago area. Bank One says the problem was related to network conversions and was corrected by late Friday. Wingspan, an Internet-only bank, has about 175,000 customers. Wingspan reimburses customers for ATM fees charged by other banks. Bank One has about 4,000 ATMs nationwide.



NY-based Actrade International launched its ‘Electronic Trade Acceptance Draft’ program this morning. ‘E-TAD’ is an irrevocable and negotiable electronic payment obligation, issued by a buyer for a specific sum, to be paid on a definitive date through automatic debiting of a buyer’s designated bank account. ‘E-TAD’ technology enables buyers to pay for commercial transactions, ranging from ten thousand dollars to multimillion dollars, with terms up to 180 days while suppliers receive immediate payment. The company also announced this morning it has changed its name to Actrade Financial Technologies, Ltd.


Landers Leads NDC ISO Div

National Data Corporation announced that Vaden C. Landers, who served as President and CEO of Bancard Consulting Group, has been named Managing Director, ISO Line of Business for NDC eCommerce, reporting to Thomas M. Dunn, Chief Operating Officer. Bancard Consulting Group, a management consulting and software development firm, provided many of the industry’s larger Independent Sales Organizations direction and management in strategic planning and business development services.

In announcing the appointment, Tom Dunn, COO, said, “There will be an increased focus on this important business. Through this arrangement, NDC eCommerce will offer a comprehensive range of services to support ISOs throughout their business lifecycle. This includes consultation for start-ups and a full range of processing and financial services such as bank sponsorship, financing working capital needs and acquisitions of ISO portfolios and companies.”

In this newly created position, Landers will have responsibility for the strategic development and support of the company’s Independent Sales Organization relationships. Before forming BCG in 1998, Landers served in executive management positions for NOVA Corporation, Financial Alliance and PMT Services.

CEO of NDC eCommerce, Paul R. Garcia, said, “I’m delighted to have an industry leader with Vaden’s extensive knowledge of and service to the ISO industry. Vaden is well known as an advocate of the Independent Sales Organization, and his appointment to this new position reflects the importance of this community to NDC eCommerce.”

As a result of this initiative, NDC eCommerce will have an office located in Nashville, Tennessee, where Landers will commence operations immediately.

Commenting on his appointment, Landers said, “It is time for a major player to emerge and establish a leadership position. We intend to do just that, and will not waiver from this directive until our goals are achieved,” Landers went on to say, “Our mission while operating under the BCG banner was to assert ourselves as an indispensable business partner for our clients; that theme and thought process will remain prominent as we move forward in this new relationship.”

National Data Corporation is a leading provider of electronic commerce solutions and health information services that add value to customers’ operations.


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, and “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 [][1].



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.