Greenland – ACS Sign

Greenland Corporation announced that it has signed systems development and work agreements with ACS’ Retail Solutions division to provide Greenland’s proprietary back office check cashing software and processing capabilities for over 200 ACS retail customer sites to be installed beginning later this year. Having earlier announced an ACS hardware distribution agreement with Greenland, these agreements are the next step towards providing the most economical and user friendly self-service check cashing solution available in this exciting emerging market today. Long-term, joint work contracts are currently under final negotiations and are expected to be complete by mid-July. Upon consummation of the final contracts, retail locations, hardware identification, team members and customer identifications will be announced.

In support of ACS customer initiatives, Greenland has been developing unique thin-client Java software that will connect approximately 200 check cashing stores with Greenland’s Oceanside, California support center and with ACS Retail Solutions Technical Assistance Center [A-TAC(TM)] in Dallas, Texas. Greenland will be providing its state-of-the-art communication technology and check cashing service center technology to transport and process in real time all check cashing transactions.

In addition, Greenland is providing its call center technologies to virtually duplicate the Greenland Oceanside processing center in the A-TAC facility in Dallas, Texas. Using the latest Cisco Systems intelligent routing capabilities, ACS will become Greenland’s mirror processor providing call center load balancing, help desk support services and, eventually full disaster recovery in case of business interruption at the Oceanside facility. Plus, as the number of customer transactions grow from both Greenland supplied machines and/or other check cashing services clients, Greenland will use ACS’ call center expertise and capabilities to process an increasing number of transactions through the A-TAC facility.

Dr. Louis T. Montulli, Chairman and CEO of Greenland Corporation stated, “The fact that ACS chose Greenland’s proprietary state-of-the-art technology to accomplish this major check cashing services introduction is the most important single event in the history of Greenland Corporation. The selection of Greenland acknowledges the significant accomplishments made by Greenland to bring the best that Internet technology has to offer to the emerging self-service financial transactions market. The Greenland solution has been identified as the best in the industry and we are extremely pleased to join with ACS Retail Solutions as a part of this exciting new program. We look forward to providing the best check cashing services possible to the customers using these 200-plus self-service locations.”

Mr. T. A. “Kip” Hyde, Jr., Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ACS Retail Solutions stated, “After a thorough search for the best-of-breed in self-service check cashing technology, and after two months of intense teamwork, we are exceptionally pleased to have Greenland as a check cashing services partner. By adding ACS’ core competencies in help desk and customer support to Greenland’s outstanding web-based technologies, we are creating a check cashing services provider second-to-none. We look forward to the launch of the first locations this fall and to a long and successful relationship with Greenland.”

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 [][1].

About Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.

ACS is a Fortune 1000 company providing technology solutions to commercial and government clients worldwide. The company delivers e-solutions; consulting and systems integration services; and complete technology and business process outsourcing solutions to a diverse base of clients and industries. ACS solutions are designed to promote value and enhance business performance and are delivered by more than 17,000 people in 20 countries. The company’s Class A common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ACS”. ACS makes technology work for out clients. Visit ACS on the Internet at [][2].



Diebold’s Tyler Promoted

Diebold, Incorporated announced that John H. Tyler has been promoted to vice president, Western division, for the company’s North American Sales and Service organization. He is responsible leading the sales, service and administration organization in the Western division. As a corporate officer, he reports directly to David Bucci, Diebold’s senior vice president of NASS.

Tyler has held numerous sales, headquarters and management positions within Diebold. Most recently, Tyler was vice president of NASS sales operation and support. Prior to this position, he was an enterprise sales director for Compaq Computer Corporation in Houston. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration/marketing from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacagdoches, Texas. A Houston native, Tyler currently resides in Spring, Texas.

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 [][1] .



B2B Report

Electronic commerce, particularly electronic procurement, is undergoing explosive growth. For financial institutions looking to stem the flow of disintermediation of financial services to non-financial sectors, this burst of e-commerce brings many opportunities – opportunities they must seize to reprise their traditional roles of providing trust and security for trading partners and in payment services. Meridien Research looks at what banks must do to win the e-procurement battle in its latest report, “B-to-B: Where’s the Payment?”

“Offering Internet-based services no longer means banks have to `go it alone’ with expensive, time-consuming in-house solutions,” said David Potterton, research director at Meridien Research. “Security solutions and new payment options are available from technology companies, software vendors, and integrators who are working together to nurture e-commerce development.”

A key part of the solution is that financial institutions must guarantee the identity, integrity, confidentiality and non-repudiation of data, transactions and individuals. While the report observes that security has not been fully or adequately integrated into the business-to-business process, it also points to sound security solutions that are commercially viable and available.

Another critical issue is that truly successful Internet procurement efforts demand that the entire process must be automated. Too often, time and money saved at the beginning of the process are offset by manual and traditional processes at the back end with payment, settlement, and reconcilement with back-office systems.

Banks can take advantage of the current marketplace. While the Internet has accelerated the pace towards automated procurement solutions by allowing the benefits, time and cost savings of online solutions, the plethora of options and security concerns has left many companies confused. Now is the time for the financial services industry to step in and re-establish its dominance in the value-added domain of payment and financial services.

“Financial institutions are best suited to bring value-added services such as identity verification, credit authorization, and financial services for business-to-business commerce, including e-procurement,” said Elizabeth Achorn, Meridien Research senior e-payment analyst. “Banks must take the lead in trust services as well as in expanding payment services to allow the settlement of all trade transactions, as well as foreign exchange and cross-border transactions.”

Highlighted in this report are case studies of Chase (New York) and Intelysis; Deutsche Bank (Germany) and SAP; and Wachovia Bank (North Carolina) and Clarus Corpration.

About Meridien Research

Meridien Research of Newton, MA provides analytical research services to users and providers of financial technology. Meridien Research targets three technology areas of strategic importance to financial services firms: eFinancial Services, Trading & Risk Management and Customer Management. Each practice delivers quarterly reports and monthly briefs, detailing new issues and challenges. Visit [][1] to register for announcements as new research becomes available.



Holiday Volume

VISA reported Friday that its U.S. cardholders spent about $1 billion on travel-related products and services over the July 4th holiday weekend. VISA says this represents a 10% increase over last year. For the study, VISA compiled a list of 15 merchant categories as a proxy for travel-related spending. The analysis was the first time that VISA has monitored such spending. Among the findings was that gasoline consumption, on a dollar volume basis, rose significantly, reflecting the rise in gas prices. VISA spending at automated gas pumps nationwide rose 48% to $20.7 million, versus $13.9 million last year. There was also a surge in spending at tourist attractions across the country, as U.S. consumers spent some $8.2 million dollars, increasing 72% over spending in 1999. VISA dollar volume at campsites jumped 14% to $6.4 million, versus $5.6 million last year. Amusement parks across the country saw a lot of traffic, with $16.3 million in VISA dollar volume, up 34% from last year. Public golf courses experienced a 28% increase as golfers spent $25 million on their VISA cards. Fast-food restaurants showed steady growth with an increase of 13%. Surprisingly, car rentals were down this year compared to the same 4-day holiday weekend last year. VISA cardholders in the U.S. spent $100.7 million this year, down 17% from last year.


McWhinney Promoted

Engage, Inc., the leading provider of next generation online marketing solutions and a majority-owned operating company of CMGI, Inc., announced the promotion of Deborah McWhinney to the newly created position of Group President of Media.

Currently, McWhinney holds the position of President of I/PRO, a division of Engage.

The new Group Media organization represents the centralization of Engage’s media businesses for the purposes of leveraging Engage employees, products, and abilities to accelerate profitability goals and execute on customer commitments. McWhinney will be responsible for overseeing the operations of Engage Media, and Engage AdKnowledge. McWhinney will also continue to run the Engage I/PRO organization.

Formerly the executive vice president of Business Planning and Strategy of Visa International, McWhinney is a seasoned executive with broad business expertise and the ability to create effective and efficient operating environments. She has also worked with Bank of America where she served as head of BankAmerica Corporation’s Consumer Electronic Banking Division. McWhinney has a degree in communications and business from the University of Montana where she serves on the Foundations’ Board of Trustees.

In addition to McWhinney’s promotion, Engage has also named Engage Chief Operating Officer David Fish to the position of Executive Vice President of Corporate Development. In his new role, Fish will be responsible for identifying and driving significant new waves of opportunity that are critical to the ongoing growth and profitability of Engage. Engage’s Corporate Development organization will benefit from both Fish’s strategic expertise as well as his depth of experience in general management, development, finance, and entrepreneurship.



MA-based TowerGroup released a consumer e-banking report this morning that projects that by 2003, 12 million U.S. households will be utilizing EBPP. TowerGroup projects that by 2010, 40% of all bills will be presented to consumers and businesses via the Internet. This equals more than 11 billion bills-a dramatic increase from the 10 million sent online in 1999. The research firm also believes that the number of U.S. banks offering Internet-based services will double over the next two years. Tower projects spending by U.S. banks on Internet technology will grow to over $2 billion within the next five years or at a compound annual growth rate of 31%.


IT Talent Shortage

Employment figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that at 4.0 percent, national unemployment rates continue near their lowest level in more than three decades.

According to industry surveys, banks list low unemployment as the chief reason for difficulty attracting and retaining employees — a problem that has significantly increased in the past year. Over 60 percent of banks with assets over $200 million report difficulty in attracting workers and nearly 43 percent report difficulty retaining employees (Community Bank Competitiveness Survey). Banks initiating and expanding Internet services and e-commerce strategies have the added problem of competing for highly skilled IT labor, where there is expected to be a shortfall of almost 850,000 workers this year alone, according to a report issued by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). In 2001, it gets worse, when another 1.6 million IT workers will be in demand.

On-Line Banking to Soar

Already well-established in Europe, online banking is rapidly becoming a standard offering in the U.S. By 2002, 15 million households, or 12 percent of the market, will use online banking services, and banks are gearing up for the challenge (Tower Group). With customer retention in mind, the number of banks offering online services by 2003 is expected to increase 1,278 percent, or 13 times as many as in 1998. To effectively handle this boom, banks need highly-trained IT professionals to make the transition easy for both institutions and customers.

“Banks large and small are already hard hit by the labor shortage,” said Doug Merritt, CEO of Icarian, Inc., the leading provider of Workforce Management software solutions. “Now they must adapt to changes in their market brought about by the Internet — and compete for scarce IT professionals with many other industries. In my view, banks who are leading the way in offering online services are also those most open to changing their hiring and retention practices to suit the information age.”

Putting A Premium on Employee Recruiting and Retention

Institutions and companies willing to update hiring and retention practices to optimize on Internet efficiencies can net substantial competitive advantages. Using a shared, Internet-based workforce solution, companies can decentralize the hiring process and establish a company-wide collaborative process, thereby reducing the time it takes to hire overall and including line managers in hiring decisions. The same system can also help companies promote from within and maximize internal resources more effectively through online profiles that track employees’ interests, skills and promotion history.

To support major initiatives like these, and to stay ahead of competitors generally, banks seek talented IT professionals to complement their existing workforces. While banks are generally opting for outsourced solutions, to integrate new services they are bolstering in-house IT resources by adding more computer programmers and developers, and by scouting for tech-savvy executives to help make strategic decisions about IT investments. Industry-wide consolidation is raising the skill-level of bank employees generally, and employees at many levels must be trained to use marketing data obtained through IT sources wisely.

Responding to the challenge to attract prized programmers, some regional banks have reported success by revising their compensation guidelines and work environment, emphasizing job rotation and the satisfaction of meaningful work (Forrester Research). The willingness to adapt hiring practices to the labor market may be viable option for national and regional banks struggling to compete for limited resources.

Numbers Don’t Lie

The raw numbers underscoring the move to on-line banking and commerce are as relentless as they are compelling, Consumers will obtain 9 million loans and credit cards over the Internet in 2003 worth almost $167 billion according to Forrester Research, with mortgages accounting for the bulk dollar volume. By 2006, approximately 30 percent of mortgage loans will originate online, as compared to three percent last year (Tower Group).

Spending on IT services is rising steadily as more banks adopt IT and e-commerce strategies in order to reap the rewards of customer acquisition and loyalty, transaction processing and cross-selling. According to Datamonitor, overall bank spending on IT will escalate to $31 billion in 2002, a six percent annual increase from 1998. Increasingly, banks must also plan to fend off competition from non-bank Internet portals such as Quicken, MSN Money Central, Yahoo! and Excite, which offer a range of financial services and online comparison shopping.

Signaling the trend to invest in IT services and e-commerce opportunities, several of the largest national banks have recently announced their plans to expand service offerings and B2B ventures through the Internet. This spring, Bank of America announced the Banc of America Marketplace, a suite of Internet financial services for e-commerce; Wells Fargo launched a network of Web-enabled ATMs, redesigned to optimize on Internet functionality; and BankOne announced The One Net Cross Border Payments(SM) to enable customers to transmit wires and drafts in foreign currencies using the Internet.

About Icarian

Icarian, Inc. is the market leader in Workforce Management solutions for streamlining the planning for, acquisition, deployment and development of employees in global organizations. Icarian Workforce(SM) utilizes the power of the Internet to bring workforce plans into alignment with business imperatives, dramatically slash time-to-hire through process automation and extranet connectivity with the talent supply ecosystem, and significantly reduce the costs associated with hiring and deploying talent. Privately funded, Icarian is located in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information, visit [][1].



Double-Edge Testimony

Discover’s president, David Nelms, testified Friday that consumers and merchants could benefit if banks could issue cards on the Discover network, thereby taking advantage of Discover’s lower merchant fee structure. However Nelms also suggested that the government’s proposed remedy to the alleged anti-trust practices of VISA and MasterCard could negatively impact Discover. Nelms said that allowing banks to issue cards on the American Express network and the Discover network would put Discover at a competitive disadvantage due to its smaller market share. Nelms also confirmed that Discover and Citibank met twice last year to discuss the possibility of jointly buying MasterCard. Nelms was brought to the stand Friday after being dropped from the witness list at the beginning of the trial. The government plans to wrap up its case this week. There will be a one week break for the week of July 17 and the defense is expected to begin the week of July 24.


Internet Check

Solutran announced the launch of its newest payment processing solution, the Internet Check. With Internet Check, merchants can cost effectively accept and process secure, electronic payments directly from their web sites. As an alternative to credit card transactions, merchants can dramatically reduce costs per transaction for processing, expand their customer base, and increase sales.

“Today’s consumers want options. They’re looking for choices and flexibility,” said Solutran President Joseph F. Keller. “Retailers are looking for cost effective ways to offer choices. Internet Check provides a win-win situation for both. Consumers get the speed and convenience of online shopping, and retailers get a low cost means of moving their products and reaching new customers.”

Today, there are over 150 million Americans with active checking accounts; however, almost 50 percent of these individuals do not have a major credit card. Internet Check provides an additional online payment option that is attractive to consumers, safe, and as easy to use as their checkbook.

Customers who wish to pay by check simply select the online electronic check option and enter the requested bank account information. The encrypted payment data is instantly transmitted and verified against a national negative file database, and approval status is returned within seconds.

Solutran is a provider of turnkey treasury management services for clients nationwide that process a high volume of low-value transactions. Clients include large companies in the retail, consumer products, publishing, and direct marketing industries. Solutran’s customized solutions include returned item services, online capabilities, electronic commerce, electronic check conversion, disbursement and depository services, and alternative checking applications. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Solutran has 80 employees at their corporate office. For more information, visit Solutran’s web site at .


Capping Top Spot

Capital One took the #1 spot on the Nielsen//NetRatings report for the week of June 26 to July 2. Cap One’s “How FAST do you want your credit decision? banner ad achieved a 9.3% reach among banner ads viewed at-home and a 14.7% reach among banner ads viewed at-work. Banner ads for Providian’s ‘ARIA’ credit card brand came in at #4 among at-home surfers and ranked #3 among at-work surfers. NextCard continued to make the top ten list of advertisers at-home and at-work. NextCard delivered more than 117 million ad impressions to at-home viewers and nearly 90 million ad impressions to at-work viewers.

Nielsen//NetRatings: Top Five Ad Banners Viewed (at-home)
June 26 – July 2, 2000

Advertiser Reach % Creative
1. Capital One 9.3 How FAST do you want your credit decision?
2. Bonzi Software 7.8 Warning: Your Internet Connection Is Not Optimized
3. Crutchfield 7.4 Woofers, tweeters, and amps
4. Aria 6.3 Instant Approval — Instant Savings — 0% Intro APR
5. AmeriDebt 5.2 Danger! Bill Problems? We Can Help You Save $!


Wachovia 724

Wachovia announced this morning it soon will begin piloting interactive wireless financial services for both retail and commercial banking customers. Wachovia has teamed up with Toronto-based 724 Solutions for the test. Wachovia’s wireless retail banking service is being developed to enable customers to access real-time account information, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills and track performance of selected stocks on an array of Internet-enabled devices such as digital mobile phones, pagers and personal digital assistants. The wireless commercial banking service is being customized to enable businesses to manage time-sensitive financial activity any time from virtually anywhere. The functionality is expected to allow corporate banking customers to gain access to a wide range of treasury functions such as balance and transaction reporting, payment approvals and account notification. Wachovia expects to begin piloting the first of its retail and commercial banking wireless services in third quarter 2000 and to start rolling them out to businesses in fourth quarter 2000 and consumers by first quarter 2001.


ACEC News Release

The VISA-funded Americans for Consumer Education and Competition issued another press release Friday highlighting last week’s trial testimony by AmEx chief Harvey Golub. ACEC says Golub’s statement that “banks can charge more because of AmEx’s higher merchant rate” shows that consumers stand to lose to AmEx wins. ACEC head Susan Molinari says “Boosting merchants’ fees raises billions of dollars, the cost of which must ultimately be borne by consumers”. ACEC continues to run full-page ads in such publications as the Wall Street Journal claiming that American Express is using the court system to recover from past business mistakes.