Japan’s I-Credit Bureau

Japan’s Fujitsu FIP Corp. and Fair, Isaac announced this week they have agreed to launch Japan’s first web-based credit decisioning service. The new service will target the country’s 800+ banks and other credit grantors. In the partnership, Fair, Isaac will provide its ‘Decision System’ software and scoring models to deliver the decisioning within a new Web-based solution providing businesses in Japan with instant credit decision support. The Fair, Isaac components of the joint service will be marketed under Fair, Isaac’s ‘LiquidCredit’ brand and implemented into Fujitsu FIP’s application service provider server. Fujitsu FIP clients will have access to the service via the Internet to receive support in making decisions for credit card, retail card or installment loan portfolios. Fair Isaac says its plans to process over a million consumer applications in Japan over the next three years.


TSA 2Q/00

Transaction Systems Architects reported yesterday it is beginning to see a return in spending in the banking sector, driven in part by continued growth in e-payment transaction volumes. TSA says it signed two dozen capacity upgrades with existing customers and added 11 significant new name customers during the quarter ending June 30. TSA also notes that its investment in smart card technology, including the acquisition of the ‘Chipper’ business during the quarter, is beginning to pay off. TSA signed nine smart card-related deals, including four ‘EMV FastStart’ deals in Europe and a significant win in the U.S. at Bank of America. Total quarterly revenue of $78.9 million included $46.5 million of software license fees, of which $14.3 million were recurring monthly fees. Non-recurring license fees consisted of $11.2 million of guaranteed term license fees and $21.0 million of paid upfront license fees. For complete details on TSA’s second quarter visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


Cheaper Than Cable

The majority of bank customers say they pay $3.00 or less each month for all banking services according to a survey released today by the American Bankers Association. Approximately 1,000 consumers were asked to estimate how much they spend on fees for banking services at their institution each month, such as fees for checking account maintenance and ATM use. Nearly half reported that they pay no fees at all. The ABA says that even at $3.00 a month, the typical bank customer would pay less than $40 per year, substantially less than the going rate for basic cable service. The survey was conducted by telephone on June 16-18 by Angus Reid Group.


Aspire CPO

CompuCredit Corporation announced that it has named Mark Lawrence to the newly created position of Chief Privacy Officer. This position will be responsible for overseeing corporate-wide compliance with policies and procedures governing the security, confidentiality and quality of consumer information, as well as reviewing and updating operations and business practices to champion the cause of consumer privacy within the company. In addition, Mr. Lawrence will ensure that CompuCredit’s privacy policies and practices continue to be fully compliant with all federal and state regulations pertaining to the protection of our consumers’ personal information. Mr. Lawrence joined CompuCredit as Director of Information Technology, in March 1999, bringing over 15 years of experience in information technology in both the private and public sectors. Immediately prior to joining CompuCredit, he was Director of I.T. Operations for The Grizzard Agency, an Atlanta-based direct marketing firm. From 1995 to 1997, he was a Principal Consultant at XLConnect, an information technology services company. This position marked his return to the private sector after serving in various technical and management positions with the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Air Force beginning in 1985. From 1981 to 1985, he worked for General Electric Medical Systems as a Service Engineer. Mr. Lawrence received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia where he also served as a Staff Instructor during post-graduate studies.

![][1] Lawrence said that much of his existing responsibilities relate to implementing safeguards on the company’s information, including protecting highly sensitive data on CompuCredit’s consumers. “As a natural extension of that I will formalize measures to ensure that our privacy policies continue to meet or exceed the requirements of the evolving new privacy regulations under consideration across the country and in Congress.” Lawrence will report directly to Rick Gilbert, CompuCredit’s Chief Operating Officer. Gilbert said, “Since the company was founded, we have always maintained a high degree of integrity in regards to consumer information. The appointment of a Chief Privacy Officer and the selection of Mr. Lawrence for this role simply reinforce our ongoing commitment to be a leader in this arena.

CompuCredit is a technology company, so it is most appropriate that our data is watched over by our technology experts.” CompuCredit also recently announced that it had retained the expertise of Dr. Alan Westin and his firm, Privacy Consulting Group, to provide ongoing counsel on consumer privacy issues. And, as a matter of policy CompuCredit annually provides its customers certain options regarding how information can or cannot be used.

CompuCredit Corporation is a credit card company that uses analytical techniques, including sophisticated computer models, to identify consumers who it believes are credit-worthy and are overlooked by more traditional consumer credit providers. CompuCredit markets unsecured Aspire(R) Visa(R) credit cards through direct mail, telemarketing and the Internet. In July 1999, CompuCredit launched its consumer web site, [www.aspirecard.com][2], through its Internet marketing services subsidiary AspireCard.com, Inc. Consumers can apply online and receive a credit decision within seconds. CompuCredit also markets credit life insurance, card registration, buying club memberships and travel services to its cardholders. Aspire Visa cards are issued by Columbus Bank and Trust Company under an agreement with CompuCredit. CompuCredit completed its initial public offering in April of 1999 and was included in the Russell 2000(R) Index in July 1999 and the NASDAQ FIN-100 Index in May 2000.

[1]: /graphic/aspire/aspire.gif
[2]: http://www.aspirecard.com/


CreditGroup Deal

creditgroup.com Inc., a leading provider of credit and financial services announced Wednesday that has acquired Asset Retrieval and Acquisition Fund, LLC of San Diego.

The acquisition gives creditgroup.com, Inc. a portfolio of tertiary and older accounts with a face value of approximately $ 27.5 million. CRCO will stratify the portfolio and vend those portions that do not meet it’s corporate mandate. Dr. Barry Lotz, chairman and chief executive officer stated, “Our motivation is to acquire companies that exhibit the ability to grow rapidly when financed and managed appropriately. ARAF will contribute significantly to our consumer loans, consumer credit card and judgement collection businesses. Our acquisition of and financial participation in ARAF will enable ARAF to grow significantly and add to the overall success of creditgroup.com Inc.”

About creditgroup.com Inc.

creditgroup.com Inc. was founded in 1997 and became public in 1998. creditgroup.com Inc. is headquartered out of San Diego and has another office in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. creditgroup.com Inc. acquires, manages and collects delinquent consumer receivables utilizing an information-driven strategy. The Company uses proprietary technology to acquire receivables primarily consisting of charged-off MasterCard(R), Visa(R), and private label credit card accounts issued by major banks and merchants. creditgroup.com Inc. is a socially responsible corporation emphasizing the consumer’s ability to regain their credit standing in the community. creditgroup.com maintains a solution based business philosophy that benefits consumer, lending institutions and ultimately investors. Their Internet address is [www.creditgroup.com][1].

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


Gas Pump ATMs

Diebold, Incorporated has modified its popular 1075ix exterior, walk-up cash dispenser for use as a freestanding terminal at gas station fuel pump islands. This allows automated teller machine and debit card users to purchase gas from the pump and obtain cash from an ATM without having to enter the store.

The new cash dispenser is an industry first. It was developed in response to a request by First Union as part of its effort to add further convenience for its customers. The first 1075ixS received UL approval and is now in operation at a convenience store in Goldsboro, N.C. To achieve UL certification for use at gas station fuel pump islands, Diebold engineers modified or replaced several motors and added special sealing to the enclosure to reduce the potential for ignition of fuel vapors by a spark.

“We think of the Diebold 1075ixS as a branch extension to put First Union services closer to where our customers can conveniently access them,” said Carol Malicki, senior vice president of ATM Solutions Research and Development at First Union. “First Union has a reputation for pushing the limits of technology as we search for ways to better serve our customers. Diebold has shown a willingness to innovate with us and help us stay on the leading edge of technology.”

The 1075ixS is a freestanding, walk-up cash dispenser designed for exterior installations. Because it is resistant to both weather and vandalism, no special structure or enclosure is required.

“Most ATMs today are being placed in non-traditional locations,” according to Thomas W. Swidarski, Diebold vice president, Global Marketing. “When First Union came to us with the idea to develop a cash dispenser that could actually be located on a gas station’s fuel pump island, we were eager to work with them to make the concept a reality. Customer ideas constantly drive us to develop new and innovative solutions like the 1075ixS that help ensure Diebold will continue to expand the potential applications for our ATMs.”

First Union (NYSE:FTU), with $254 billion in assets and stockholder’s equity of $17 billion at March 31, 2000, is a leading provider of financial services to 16 million retail and corporate customers throughout the East Coast and the nation. The company operates full-service banking offices in 12 East Coast states and Washington, D.C., and has full-service brokerage offices in 41 states.

Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self-service delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, Diebold employs more than 10,000 associates with representation in more than 75 countries worldwide and headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $1.3 billion in 1999 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol `DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [www.diebold.com][1].

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


VISA U-Commerce

VISA is taking its ‘VisaNet’ payment network to the next level with the introduction of ‘Visa DirectExchange’. VISA’s new network incorporates Sun’s computing platform and Cisco’s routing technologies. ‘DirectExchange’ will be capable of processing all U.S. issued VISA credit and debit cards, along with all other forms of electronic payment. VISA says the network will be able to accommodate a volume of 10,000 messages per second with capabilities to handle more than 100 billion transactions annually, which is more than double today’s volume. VISA says the increased volume will be driven by M-commerce, particularly wireless payments via mobile phone and PDAs. ‘Visa DirectExchange’ will enable member banks to launch new payments technologies that enable u-commerce, such as mobile commerce, smart cards, business-to-business e-commerce, person-to-person e-commerce and electronic check conversions, with high levels of security, speed, reliability and mass customization capabilities. ‘Visa DirectExchange’ has been in development for nearly two years, and is based on open technology standards. MasterCard’s ‘Banknet’ network was upgraded to a virtual private network more than four years ago and already processes all forms of payments, including smart cards, Internet transactions, and mobile commerce on open technology standards. MasterCard is in year three of its five year system upgrade effort.


Household 2Q/00

Household reported yesterday that the company’s managed receivables portfolio grew 22% from a year ago, reaching almost $80 billion. The company added $4.5 billion of receivables in the quarter, an increase of 6%. Household says credit quality improved dramatically during the quarter, as dollars of chargeoff and delinquency declined from first quarter levels. At June 30, the managed delinquency ratio (60+days) improved for the third consecutive quarter, to 4.16%. The annualized managed net chargeoff ratio for the second quarter fell 26 basis points, to 3.74%. For complete current and historical data on Household visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


Metris 2Q/00

Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Bank reported Wednesday that its managed credit card loan portfolio increased by $471.5 million during the second quarter with total receivables of $7.8 billion as of June 30. Marketing efforts in the quarter generated over 400,000 new credit card accounts, to bring total accounts to 4.1 million accounts. The managed net interest margin for 2Q/00 remained constant at 13.2%, when compared with 13.2% for the first quarter and 13.3% for the second quarter of 1999. Managed credit card fees, interchange and other credit card income increased 54% to $122.2 million for the second quarter of 2000, from $79.3 million in the second quarter of 1999. Credit card charge volume increased 54% to approximately $2.0 billion in 2Q/00. The managed net charge-off rate was 9.5% for the second quarter. The managed delinquency rate (30+ days past due) was 7.7% at June 30. For complete current and historical data on Metris/Direct Merchants Bank visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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



Thyron, a UK-based company specializing in mobile commerce, has announced the launch of YES.wallet, a service that makes buying from a WAP enabled mobile phone not only easier but up to five times faster than the current time taken to complete a transaction.

Industry commentators have heavily debated the future of making purchases over WAP, the technology that makes it possible to browse the Internet and buy goods and services directly from a mobile phone. The chief criticism is the time consuming process of entering transaction details (such as billing address, delivery address, credit card number, name, selection of goods) every time a purchase is made. Small keypads and displays have deterred customers from making purchases.

Mike Herman, Chairman of the Global Mobile Commerce Forum and Thyron’s VP of Mobile Commerce, commented, “WAP technology has been hyped and expectations have been set very high as a result. Until now, no one has been able to break the ‘convenience threshold’ to make payments over WAP a more accessible technology. YES.wallet reduces the whole transaction process to just a few keystrokes; it’s fast, easy and completely secure. Just register once and you can go on to make multiple purchases from multiple sites in a matter of moments.”

YES.wallet works by allowing users to store their personal information on a secure server, eliminating the need to enter it for every transaction. By making one visit to a Website, the individual can register their billing and delivery addresses and the details of one or more credit cards. Whenever a WAP purchase is made, the pre-stored information is sent to the merchant in the specified format. All the customer has to do is select the goods, nominate a credit card, and authorize the payment with a PIN.

YES.wallet, run by selected Internet Service Providers (ISP’s), will be made available to users at no cost. The ISP will license the software from Thyron. Some well-established e-businesses may decide to license the software directly, rather than signing up with an ISP.

“Thyron’s unique differentiator is its experience in secure payment transactions; many other companies in this arena are start up companies focusing solely on WAP technology,” Herman concluded. “While YES.wallet is a new product to the mobile market we expect to take it to market leader status.”

About Thyron

Thyron is one of the world’s leading suppliers of secure end-to-end Internet and mobile commerce payment solutions to financial institutions, business-to-business portals, mobile network operators and service providers. It is already providing advanced secure electronic payment and transaction processing infrastructures that offer the security and confidence, based on PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) technologies.

Thyron, through its YES(tm) secure commerce platform, is establishing a global presence as the authoritative secure commerce Application Service Provider (ASP). This e-trust framework provides a secure transaction-processing platform enabling businesses to transact, collect and process payments between Internet and mobile users.

Thyron’s YES(tm) secure commerce platform, which has already attracted an investment in 1999 of $10 million from US investment bankers, Warburg Pincus, comprises solutions for transaction management, Public Key Infrastructure security as well as customer and card issue management. The portfolio is supported by an advanced mobile payment terminal, called PayCell, which is capable of handling any wireless network and card technology. In addition to YES(tm), Thyron has a number of support services, including consultancy, project management and project definition. The company also offers a range of change management services within its customers’ organizations to help staff adapt quickly to new e-commerce and m-commerce technology.

Since it was founded in 1984, Thyron has sought to expand globally and in 1994, the company opened a centre for software development in India. More recently, it opened sales and support offices in New Delhi and Copenhagen. Further offices are planned for the USA, Singapore and Central Europe.

Visit the company’s website at [www.thyron.com][1]

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


Citi 2Q/00

Citigroup continued to solidify its number one position in the U.S. credit card business during the second quarter as Bank One falters. Chargeoffs and delinquency dropped significantly from last year too. For complete current and historical data on Citibank visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Citibank Portfolio Snapshot
(U.S. Cards)
2Q/99 2Q/00
Receivables: $70.3b $79.4b
Q Volume: $40.8b $48.4b
Accounts: 41.1m 42.1m
Chargeoffs: 4.63% 3.96%
Delinquency*: 1.36% 1.18%
*90+ days
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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


Buying Power

Kalorama Information released a new study this morning that shows $340 billion as the total purchasing power of gay and lesbian adult consumers in 1999. The research firm estimates this buying power will increase 30.8% by 2004. Kalorama says this is substantially more than the purchasing power of Hispanic consumers of the same age, and compares favorably with the $360 billion in buying power estimated for adult African American consumers. The Kalorama Information study estimates that in 1999 there were approximately 13 million self-identified gay men and lesbians 18 years of age and older and that in 2004 the gay and lesbian population will reach nearly 15 million.