Gold Line & Siemens

Siemens Information and Communication Networks, Inc. announced Gold Line Telemanagement, the largest independent supplier of pre-paid telephone services in Canada, has purchased Siemens’ Fast Feature Platform for implementing Internet-controlled pre-paid calling card services. Siemens Fast Feature Platform II (FFP II) is the platform that interacts with a switching system to enable telephony services such as PPDC. Along with the award-winning Fast Feature Platform, Gold Line is using Siemens’ networking products, including the EWSD digital switching system, the most widely deployed switching system in the world and the award-winning Customer Care and Business Management Platform (CCP), a platform to support customer service agents and generate reports to optimize operating profits.

“Gold Line maintains the highest Canadian volumes of calling card service sales, therefore we need a pre-paid system to maximize the benefits to our customers. We chose Siemens because they provided a complete package which allowed us to streamline our processes using the Internet. This gives us a competitive edge in a market where customer service is imperative for maintaining loyal customers,” said Ata Moeini, President, Gold Line. “Gold Line prides itself on providing the highest quality of services combined with the lowest prices. The pre-paid platform provided by Siemens enables us to meet our own standards to offer our customers better service without a need for any additional charges.”

“In the competitive pre-paid market, Siemens is able to offer our customers an advantage by providing them with their own in-house switching equipment, to go along with the FFP II. This gives Gold Line control over all activities on a daily basis,” said Michael Hanson, director of the AIN Business Unit for Siemens. “Siemens user-friendly Fast Feature Platform allows Gold Line to keep in touch with its customers and insure customer satisfaction.”

The FFP II is a robust, highly scalable, advanced multi-services platform designed to handle high performance, large network demands from growing service providers, hosting a wide variety of local and/or long distance services simultaneously.

Gold Line is taking advantage of a new group of revenue-producing, internet-enhanced advanced intelligent network (AIN) telephony services enabled by Siemens’ Fast Features Platform. These Internet-AIN based service concepts use the Internet based web browser to allow subscribers and small businesses to control powerful, yet easy-to-use services hosted on the Fast Feature Platform (FFP) system. This capability enables the end user to purchase, modify, and activate powerful new services via the Internet. Thus, powerful services become self-provisioning and activated by the end user. This creates additional revenue streams for Gold Line while reducing/eliminating the administration load on the service provider.

The award-winning Customer Care and Business Management Platform (CCP) supports customer service positions, allowing the customer service agents to access calling card histories in real-time and update calling card accounts while talking to customers. The CCP also enhances business profitability by running the industry standard Crystal Reports to generate tailored business reports needed to optimize operations in the fast-moving prepaid calling card market.

Siemens EWSD switches provide a robust platform, rated the most reliable in the United States by the FCC. The EWSD has the flexibility and scalability to address the increasingly diverse local and long distance voice, data and networking communications needs, for a wide range of residential and business customers.

About Gold Line

Gold Line Telemanagement Inc. is the largest provider of pre-paid long distance calling cards in Canada. Established in 1991, Gold Line is the only company of its type in North America that retains complete ownership and control of all aspects of its business. Based in Toronto, Canada, Gold Line has the highest volume of sales in the pre-paid market, as well as providing service internationally to over 55 countries across the globe. For more information about Gold Line and its products, please visit our Web site at http://www.goldline.net

About Siemens Information and Communication

Based in Boca Raton, Fla., Siemens Information and Communication Networks, Inc., is a leading provider of integrated voice and data networks with a comprehensive portfolio of products and solutions for enterprises, carriers and service providers. Last year, the company’s 7,000 U.S. employees generated sales of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit the company’s web site at [http://www.icn.siemens.com[.][1]][2]

Siemens Carrier Networks, LLC, is creating converged carrier-class networks incorporating the intelligence and reliability of real-time voice networks into packet based networks. Its open architecture allows a variety of new multimedia based services to be introduced quickly and independently across a variety of network platforms.

Siemens’ Information and Communication Networks Group has many years of experience in consulting, planning, installing and operating converged networks. It is an integral part of the Information and Communications (I and C) business segment of Siemens AG, one of the world’s largest electrical engineering and electronics companies with sales totaling more than $74 billion. I and C comprises the three Groups Information and Communication Networks (51,500 employees, $10.6 billion in sales), Information and Communication Mobile (20,000 employees, $5.3 billion in sales), and Siemens Business Services (34,000 employees, $5.3 billion in sales).

[1]:
[2]: http://www.icn.siemens.com/

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AmEx Chile

Banco Santiago and American Express launched American Express charge and credit cards yesterday. Denominated in the Chilean peso, the cards are issued by Banco Santiago and accepted on the American Express global merchant network. With this launch, Banco Santiago becomes the first bank to issue American Express Cards in Chile. Under the agreement, Banco Santiago is responsible for all operations supporting the cards, including billing and payment systems, accounting, customer servicing, credit management and charge authorizations, as well as marketing the cards in Chile. In addition, Banco Santiago will take over responsibility for acquiring and servicing local merchants accepting the American Express Card in Chile. AmEx has now developed 64 such partnership arrangements in more than 70 countries. In Latin America alone, AmEx has established 19 partnership arrangements in 15 markets.

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Card Solutions

Home Account has expanded its Card Solutions services to include capabilities designed to make online credit card account management significantly more robust and competitive. Card Solutions ‘Internet Self Service’ featuring web-based card activation is now available to new and existing customers of Home Account. ‘Internet Self Service’ allows users to enroll, view current account activity and account history online, review and modify personal information such as address and phone numbers, initiate customer service inquiries, pay their credit card bill and request additional cards. In addition, users have the ability to manage their credit line and download transaction details. Another Card Solutions product available to card issuers is ‘Internet Account Acquisition’. Home Account customers can acquire accounts using the Internet with a turnkey solution for hosting, decisioning and booking approved applications for instant purchasing power.

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ProPay & AuctionWatch

ProPay, providers of a personal payment service that allows individuals to securely and easily accept credit cards online, in person or through WAP-enabled devices, announced a strategic partnership with AuctionWatch.com, the leading provider of solutions that enable businesses to leverage dynamic commerce. The agreement allows AuctionWatch.com’s sellers to accept a credit card directly from buyers, unlike other payment models that separate the buyer and seller from the credit card transaction by prefunding an account.

Through the partnership, AuctionWatch.com users are able to buy and sell using their ProPay commerce account. Buyers retain their full rights to dispute a charge through their credit card companies and are not required to disclose their confidential account information to the seller. Sellers are able to receive payment much quicker and can accept a credit card from any buyer regardless of whether or not the buyer has a ProPay account.

“ProPay’s services are the first of their kind for our site, where buyers can purchase knowing their credit card information is kept confidential and that they are protected against fraud, misrepresentation and unfulfilled delivery,” said Rodrigo Sales, CEO of AuctionWatch.com. “Increasing purchasing confidence and making the payment process more convenient are part of our dedication to providing our members with value-added services.”

ProPay Announces CEO;

Industry Veteran Brings Over 15 Years of Finance and Investment Experience

ProPay, providers of a personal payment service that allows individuals to securely and easily accept credit cards online, in person or through WAP-enabled devices, today announced that Gary Goodrich has joined the company as CEO.

Goodrich comes to ProPay with more than 15 years of finance industry experience. During his four years with Goldman, Sachs & Co., Goodrich helped launch the firm’s first modern stock exchange funds and became the West Coast restricted stock specialist, covering Silicon Valley technology companies. Goodrich also worked for Kidder, Peabody as the national director of a product group before later becoming a divisional vice president with Paine Webber, where he was integral in negotiating partnerships with third-party trust companies.

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Pautsch FI EVP

Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. has named Mark Pautsch as its executive vice president of software product development and ASP operations. He will also be the company’s chief information officer. In this newly created position, Pautsch will report to President and CEO Tom Grudnowski and will be based in the company’s Arden Hills, Minnesota facility.

As Fair, Isaac’s CIO, Pautsch will oversee all IT operations, comprised of three key areas: the Computing Services unit, which includes the company’s world-class Data Center for ASP operations; all software product development activities; and the Information Systems & Technology unit, which provides computing and technology support to Fair, Isaac staff worldwide.

“This is a critical role in our organization, and we welcome Mark to our team,” said Grudnowski. “Fair, Isaac has always been known for strong analytics. As we continue our migration to an ASP delivery model and bring more of our analytics to the Web, we need to move quickly and stay ahead of the technology curve. With Mark’s successful track record in software development, as well as information system design, he will have a real impact on our business. He has the leadership and vision we need to spark accelerated progress in both the applications we are introducing to the market and the data infrastructure behind our ASP and other offerings.”

Prior to joining Fair, Isaac, Pautsch spent 21 years with Andersen Consulting, most recently as managing partner for the CIO Technology Services Organization. In that role, he directed the delivery of infrastructure and support services to the internal customers of Andersen Consulting globally, and oversaw a staff of 1500 personnel. Pautsch also managed and was one of the principal founders of Andersen Consulting’s Teleworks-Minneapolis Solution Center, focused on the design, implementation and deployment of software solutions for the telecommunications industry. His world-class software development expertise led Teleworks to achieve a Capability Maturity Model (CMM) Level 3 rating, which placed them in the top 15 percent of all software development organizations.

During his Andersen Consulting tenure, Pautsch was also focused on client work, specializing in the planning, design and installation of custom information systems for companies such as U.S. Bancorp, Northwest Airlines, and The Pillsbury Company. He holds a BBA in accounting from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, and an MBA in management information systems from the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“I’m excited by Fair, Isaac’s leadership and its vision to be the top provider of decision technology over the Web,” said Pautsch. “Rapidly deploying new and existing Fair, Isaac solutions over the Internet will be my top priority, followed closely by the work my research team will do to bring new software technologies to bear on Fair, Isaac solutions.”

About Fair, Isaac

Fair, Isaac is a global provider of customer analytics and decision technology. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way lending decisions are made. Today the company helps clients in multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships. Fair, Isaac has made the Forbes list of the top 200 U.S. small companies seven times in the last eight years, and was named by InformationWeek as one of the top 50 application service providers. Headquartered in San Rafael, California, Fair, Isaac has 21 offices worldwide.

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BOM to CU

Bank of Montreal has arranged for the purchase of 13 of its branches by credit unions in British Columbia. The agreement was co-ordinated through Credit Union Central of British Columbia.

The transaction will result in an aggregate pre-tax gain for Bank of Montreal of approximately $10 million, subject to closing adjustments. Given the phased transfer of ownership over the next few months, the gain will be reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000.

The transaction involves 11 credit unions, 13 bank branches and 67 bank employees. The branches have approximately $560 million in funds under administration.

Bank staff were informed of the agreement today. The credit unions involved are offering continued employment to bank employees. The transaction excludes certain products and services such as mutual funds and MasterCard credit card accounts.

“We are pleased that these transactions provide for both continued branch banking services and employment in these communities,” said Gail Cocker, Senior Vice-President, BC & Yukon Division, Bank of Montreal.

After the transaction closes, Bank of Montreal will continue to operate 130 branches in British Columbia.

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Prism 5.4

RI-based Nestor released the latest enhancement to its suite of neural network fraud detection systems. ‘PRISM 5.4’ includes a series of customer-defined developments to the ‘PRISM Analysis/Review System’ that boost system performance, enhance reporting capabilities and improve user security and system scalability. The new version provides higher levels of localization, including the support of double-byte languages like Japanese and Chinese, and international data, currency and numeric fonts. The new version now supports the Oracle database system. ‘PRISM 5.4’ also improves the scalability of the solution for large transaction volumes, and enhances user security within the ‘PRISM Fraud Reviewer’ workstation.

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ZebraPass

A new wireless ticketing and mobile commerce system designed for movie theaters, other entertainment venues, sports teams, and online ticketing portals was launched Thursday. Currently powered by smart cards, the ‘ZebraPass’ system has been created for a seamless transition to Bluetooth-enabled wireless devices such as cell phones, PDAs and other consumer appliances. ZebraPass also announced yesterday a $5 million venture financing round led by Nokia Venture Partners. ZebraPass was co-founded by Jordan Klear and Marc Steren and its current CEO is Dan Cunningham.

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I-Gain Card

A new, private-label, pre-paid debit card hit the market yesterday. The new card was developed by iGain and Debix Systems. iGain debit cards are branded to reflect the logo and design of the site on which they were earned, and can be used on that site. Shoppers receive the card in the mail and can re-load it when they shop on the Web. Merchants have the option of letting consumers use the card in-store, online, or both. iGain is a marketing services company providing cash-based, private label promotion and customer-retention tools to E-commerce sites. Debix Systems, formerly known as Flexigift, Inc., was formed in February 1999 to develop a flexible prepaid debit card platform designed for specific corporate needs and for niche markets.

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Pay & Talk

Clearnet Communications Inc. introduced Pay & Talk, Canada’s only Web Ready digital prepaid wireless service and the only one that includes the most popular calling services at no extra charge.

“Pay & Talk combines the ease-of-use and cost-control benefits of traditional prepaid wireless with the enhanced capabilities and bundled services of digital Clearnet PCS. It’s a prepaid offering unique in Canada,” said George Cope, Clearnet’s President and CEO.

“Decreases in the cost of leading-edge PCS phones have enabled Clearnet to join the high-growth prepaid sector with a package that fully exploits the advantages of digital wireless,” added Cope. Digital Pay & Talk offers numerous benefits over older analogue cellular prepaid offerings, including enhanced call clarity and security, per-second billing and new Internet capabilities.

Prepaid is the fastest-growing segment in wireless, and has grown to account for 20 per cent of the overall Canadian wireless market, up from 12 per cent a year ago. “With Clearnet PCS and Mike, Clearnet has led the wireless industry in postpaid net additions both in 2000 and in the past 12 months. We’re confident our all-inclusive, Future Friendly approach will mean similar success in the high-growth prepaid wireless sector,” said Cope.

Digital Prepaid with the Works

Like traditional prepaid, Pay & Talk offers clients complete control over their wireless costs and card-based airtime purchases, without set monthly fees, credit checks, contracts or security deposits. But digital Pay & Talk also offers some important and unique competitive advantages:

– Like all Clearnet PCS phones, Pay & Talk includes multiple calling services at no extra charge, including voice mail, call waiting, caller ID.

– Because all Pay & Talk digital phones are Web Ready, they will allow clients to take advantage of interactive Internet information services. Pay & Talk phones have built-in microbrowsers that will allow clients to access the Internet information services – such as telephone directories, news, weather and sports headlines, games and more – that Clearnet will introduce later this summer. Pay & Talk clients will be able to use those services free of charge until the end of 2000.

– Pay & Talk offers dual-mode service, meaning Clearnet’s prepaid will work in both digital and analogue cellular service areas covering 93 per cent of the Canadian population.

– A Best Rate Guarantee allows clients to lock in their lowest Pay & Talk calling rate. All Pay & Talk clients start with a $50 airtime card with airtime billed at 29 cents per minute. If clients top up with any denomination ($10, $25 or $50) card before the account balance reaches zero, the calling rate stays at 29 cents a minute. Clients who top up after the account balance reaches zero pay regular card rates: 29 cents a minute with a $50 card, 33 cents a minute with a $25 card and 40 cents a minute with a $10 card.

Pay & Talk is available for both new clients and those who already own Clearnet PCS phones. New clients can choose from two packages: a $149.99 kit that includes a Sanyo SCP-4000 dual-mode phone and a $50 prepaid card, or a $99.99 kit that includes a Qualcomm QCP-1960 single-mode (digital only) handset and a $50 prepaid card. A Pay & Talk $50 airtime card holds more than 170 minutes of airtime.

Clients who already own a Clearnet PCS phone or those who would prefer a Clearnet phone model other than the Sanyo or Qualcomm can buy a Pay & Talk Starter Kit for $75 that includes a $50 airtime card.

Pay & Talk kits and airtime cards will be available at thousands of locations across the country, including independent retailers and wireless dealers, convenience stores, university and college bookstores, and Clearnet’s own stores. Pay & Talk is also available directly from Clearnet’s Web Store at [http://www.clearnet.com][1] or by phone at 1-888-CLEARNET.

About Clearnet

Clearnet (TSE: NET.A; NASDAQ: CLNT) is a leading Canadian wireless communications company that operates two state-of-the-art digital wireless networks, Clearnet PCS and Mike. Clearnet now serves approximately 700,000 clients across Canada. Founded in 1984 and public since 1994, Clearnet is an independent Canadian controlled and managed company. For more information, please visit [http://www.clearnet.com][2]

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

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AmEx Canada

Amex Canada Inc. has launched an program to aggressively expand its retail leisure travel network from 100 to 300 locations in Canada over the next four years. The expansion plan is part of a worldwide growth strategy to triple the global American Express network from 1000 to 3000 locations outside of the U.S. American Express says it will use its existing worldwide presence and marketing expertise to aggressively franchise the business to take in new partners by targeting six major markets across Canada including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

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STRATUS Card

Atlanta-based Skylight Corp. and Firstar Bank announced an alliance with to offer the ‘STRATUS Card’, an ATM card based account solution. Skylight provides alternative banking solutions for the unbanked through a direct deposit solution.By choosing the ‘STRATUS Card’, employees have an option to be paid via direct deposit, and can access their funds at any time through major ATM networks, and participating POS retail locations. With the ‘STRATUS Card’, employees will now be able to bank at Skylight. With the introduction of the Skylight alliance, Firstar says it gains a complementary, cost effective product for its corporate clients and their employees.

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