Amex Canada Call Center

Amex Canada Inc., one of Canada’s leading travel and expense management companies, announced a new business venture that will see the opening of state-of-the-art Call Centres in Canada to provide travel management services to major North American companies.

The first of these Centres will open in Hamilton, Ontario and will provide travel services for employees across North America for PriceWaterhouseCoopers. This Centre will open in August 2000 in Downtown Hamilton and will create an estimated 150 new jobs for the city.

Amex says it is working on other potential North American deals to continue to expand this new business in the next 12-24 months.

U.S. Companies Choose Canada for Service

By providing servicing from a Canadian Call Centre, U.S. customers are taking advantage of Amex Canada’s high quality service and productivity levels.

“We are proud to be taking a leading role in the Canadian travel industry by attracting new business from a broader North American marketplace and bringing it to Canada,” says Michael Bingham, Vice President and General Manager, Amex Canada Corporate Services. “We see this as the beginning of a future trend for the Canadian travel marketplace.”

Bingham says that, until now, this kind of arrangement has been rare among Canadian travel management companies. But many companies that are based in the U.S. and have Canadian operations are now looking for North American service solutions.

“Customers recognize we can deliver highly skilled and motivated employees, quality services and very competitive prices, and they have hired us to do just that,” says Bingham.

Hamilton Chosen to Host First Site

“This announcement is great news for the City of Hamilton and for American Express,” says Robert Morrow, Mayor of Hamilton. “It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to American Express in locating a North American Corporate Travel Centre in Hamilton’s Downtown Core.”

Economic Development and Trade Minister Al Palladini adds, “We have enjoyed working with Amex and the Economic Development Department of Greater Hamilton to help bring this investment here. Amex is a company with international status and their investment speaks to the quality of the skilled workforce in this region.”

Expansion Strengthens Market Leadership

Amex’s focus on expanding its Canadian travel business is part of an aggressive growth strategy designed to strengthen its market leadership. This initiative is key to helping it achieve 25% revenue growth each year.

“The travel agency industry has a very different competitive environment now. With recent reductions in airline commissions, agencies have had to change the way they do business and how they generate revenue for the services they deliver,” says Bingham. “What we’ve done with this new business venture is take advantage of American Express’ global presence and the strength of our operation in order to build new business and new jobs in Canada.”

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company, which provides a range of financial and travel related services for consumers and companies. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Consumer Travel, Corporate Travel and Travellers Cheque divisions in Canada. Amex opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3000 Canadians coast to coast.


Canadian Tire Money

Canadian Tire introduced ‘Canadian Tire Money On The Card’ for its credit cardholders. Beginning this Fall, customers who have a Canadian Tire branded credit card will be able to earn Canadian Tire ‘Money’ On the Card electronically on their credit cards. ‘Canadian Tire Money’ was first introduced as a cash bonus coupon in 1958 along with the opening of Canadian Tire’s first Gas Bar in Toronto. The coupons were later renamed ‘Canadian Tire Money’. Canadian Tire ‘Money On The Card’ can be earned on the Canadian Tire retail credit card and ‘Options MasterCard’ and will be automatically tracked and stored electronically in dollars and cents.


MasterCard and, Inc., a leading provider of wireless and Internet services to businesses across Asia, announced a strategic collaboration with MasterCard to provide consumers in Hong Kong with a “search engine” of MasterCard business customers. With their Wireless Application Protocol enabled phones, consumers will be able to search MasterCard’s extensive database of restaurants, bars, stores and entertainment venues using technology. is majority owned by, Inc., which is a leading global incubator of premier domain properties and is a wholly owned subsidiary of, Inc..

According to Gary Millin, chief executive officer of, the new collaboration expands on the earlier successful venture that linked consumers via WAP in Taiwan to MasterCard customer’s TGI Friday’s, Pizza Hut, Holiday KTV and IS Coffee. “It is just one more way that’s combination of wireless e-commerce technology and network of Internet properties is dramatically affecting the way people live and conduct business in Asia.”’s WAP e-commerce capabilities allow Hong Kong users to search the MasterCard business database by type of food or entertainment, price, location and discounts. It also enables consumers to use their WAP phones to directly dial the merchant’s number for further inquiries.

“As a leader in the Pan-Asian wireless industry, we are building on our successes in China and Taiwan to introduce the latest WAP services to the Hong Kong market,” said Allan Kwan, chief executive officer of “We are excited to expand our relationship with MasterCard to provide comprehensive wireless services to businesses and consumers. This collaboration represents the next step towards fulfilling’s mission to provide wireless and e-commerce solutions across the entire region.”

“The rapid development of Internet and wireless communication has changed the lifestyle of consumers dramatically. Through our relationship with, a leader in the wireless industry, we are able to offer value added services to our cardholders, while maintaining a strong leadership position in technology innovation,” said Danny Cheung, vice president and business manager, MasterCard International Hong Kong. “We will continue to work with to expand future services in this arena.”

About, Inc. is a leading provider of wireless and Internet services to businesses across Asia, serving the major countries in the region including Greater China, Korea, Thailand and Singapore. currently has nine branches in China and nearly 900,000 registered users with six million daily page views. By targeting fast growing areas of the economy including travel, finance, real estate, employment, entertainment and outsourced business services, is leveraging the Internet, WAP and other technology to truly revolutionize the way people live and the way business is conducted in Asia. is a majority owned subsidiary of, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAIL).

About, Inc., a subsidiary of, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAIL), is a leading global incubator of premier domain properties. The Company’s strategy is to capitalize on the tremendous value of its cyber-realty assets by integrating its extensive portfolio of category-defining domains into a collaborative network of cyber locations throughout the world serving the worldwide business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketplaces. The first properties being developed are and Other properties from its portfolio of over 1,000 domains include,,,,,, and is headquartered in New York, New York.

About Mail.Com, Inc. is a one-stop resource for Internet messaging services, providing reliable feature-rich e-mail and Internet fax services to businesses, ISPs, Web sites and direct to consumers through its flagship Web site: has a technology infrastructure of IP network facilities in 20 key countries and currently serves more than 14 million e-mailboxes and 8,500 corporate customers worldwide.


Providian Settlement

As expected Providian reached a final settlement agreement with the OCC, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and the California Attorney General. Under terms of the settlement, Providian agreed to change some of its credit card business practices and to pay a one-time restitution of approximately $300 million. Providian will also pay a $5.5 million civil fine to the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. The settlement requires Providian to provide customers with enhanced disclosures should it ever reintroduce any of several discontinued products, product features and underwriting practices, including its ‘Guaranteed Savings Rate’ and ‘Real Check’ programs, certain ‘No Annual Membership Fee’ products, home equity loans and the use of income-to-debt ratios in performance-based pricing. Under the ‘GSR’ program, Providian offered certain balance transfer customers an introductory rate for a period of time, usually three months. After the introductory period, Providian offered the customer a customized interest rate of 30-70 basis points below the weighted average non-introductory rate the customer had been paying to other credit card providers on transferred balances. The settlement also requires Providian to modify its sales process for its ‘Credit Protection’ product, by providing consumers with a complete written description of product terms and conditions before finalizing a sale, rather than providing materials during the thirty-day cancellation period after the sale. Under financial terms of the settlement, Providian will make payments to customers for fees and interest charged on certain products offered between June 15, 1995 and June 28, 2000. Providian will also make payments to limited numbers of customers who incurred over-limit fees in using pre-printed cash advance checks or received inadvertent performance-based rate increases as a result of systems limitations.


ABN Settles

American Bank Note Holographics, Inc. announced that it and certain other defendants had reached agreements in principle to settle all of the claims against it, its former parent, American Banknote Corporation, certain former officers and directors of the Company, certain current and former officers and directors of ABN and certain other defendants in the purported class actions, In Re American Bank Note Holographics, Inc. Securities Litigation and In Re American Banknote Corporation Securities Litigation filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against those defendants.

The parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which is subject to the execution of a definitive settlement agreement and the approval of the Court as well as the approval of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in which the Chapter 11 case of ABN is pending.

The proposed settlement of the class action litigation provides for a release of all claims that the plaintiffs in each action have and may have against the Company and certain other defendants. The proposed settlement calls for a cash payment of $12,500,000 to be funded entirely by the Company’s and ABN’s insurance carrier. The Company will have no cash payment obligation with respect to the settlement. In connection with the settlement, the Company will issue and distribute 1,460,000 shares of the Company’s Common Stock as well as warrants to purchase 863,647 shares of the Company’s Common Stock, at an exercise price of $6.00 per share. The warrants will be exercisable for a 30 month period commencing with final settlement approval by the Court. ABN will also issue and distribute certain of its securities as part of the settlement. The settlement proceeds after expenses will be allocated and distributed among the class members in the American Bank Note Holographics action and the American Banknote Corporation action in amounts to be determined in the settlement agreement and subject to the approval of the Court.

The Company also entered into an agreement in principle with ABN to resolve all claims between the parties. This agreement includes, among other things, mutual general releases of the parties including a release from any obligations under the Separation Agreement between the parties dated July 20, 1998 as well as a release of all sums allegedly owing to the other party. ABN shall be responsible for and indemnify the Company for all income and franchise tax liabilities of the Company up to the date of the IPO. The Company will withdraw its claim against ABN in ABN’s Chapter 11 case. The Company will receive 25,000 shares of stock of reorganized ABN as part of ABN’s Chapter 11 plan. This agreement is subject to the execution of definitive agreements, the Court approval of the settlement of the class action litigation and approval of the Bankruptcy Court in which the Chapter 11 case of ABN is pending.

Kenneth Traub, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Bank Note Holographics, commented, “The agreements in principle that we have reached to settle the securities litigation as well as all issues with the former parent are a significant milestone. The new management of the Company has been determined to resolve these issues and remove the uncertainties, expense and distraction of continuing litigation. We are enthusiastic about the increased flexibility this will give us to focus on operations, and to extend our leadership position in the security holography industry.”

American Bank Note Holographics is a leader in the origination, production, and marketing of mass-produced holograms. The Company’s products are used for security applications, such as counterfeiting protection for transaction cards, identification cards and documents of value, authentication of consumer and industrial products and tamper resistance as well as for packaging and promotional applications.


New Merchant Processor

Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank announced this morning they have signed a letter of intent to create a new merchant processing company. The new firm will provide merchants, retailers and e-tailers across North America with one-stop card-based transaction processing including credit card, debit card and stored value payments under both the VISA and MasterCard brands. The merchant card acquiring businesses of Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal and Harris Bank Merchant Services (the merchant services business of Bank of Montreal’s U.S. subsidiary, Harris Bank), will come together to form the new merchant processing company. The new company will use Harris Bank Merchant Services as a launching pad into the U.S. market. The proposal builds on the ‘Single Stream Settlement’ service currently offered by Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal, which allows business owners to deposit VISA, MasterCard and Interac Direct Payment card payments directly into one business banking account. The new company will be owned on an equal basis by the two founding partners.


CardSelect Patent

CardSelect International, inventor of the first online network for customizing and issuing credit and loyalty cards, announced Wednesday that the company has received a United States Patent for its new contactless PCMCIA card reader.

This invention essentially provides a fast, secure interface to enable communication between two PCMCIA cards and/or a contactless smart card. Applications include contactless smart card readers, high-speed network interfaces and public key encryption.

As networking with public key encryption becomes more commonplace, information exchange will be increasingly managed by using smart cards. CardSelect’s PCMCIA reader device will offer a direct link between a networking card and smart card for secure transmission of data.

Removing the smart card from the networking card will disable the encryption and ensure that only authorized users may access the network. CardSelect intends to license its new patent and is currently accepting bids from interested parties for an exclusive licensing agreement.

CardSelect will continue to focus on its primary business: the development of an online network on which consumers can apply for and link their various loyalty programs to a single financial transaction card. Last October, the company was awarded a United States Patent for this “Gateway Apparatus for Designing and Issuing Multiple Application Cards”.

By means of this technology, multiple applications from different vendors can be combined on virtual cards, magnetic stripe cards and/or smart cards. Consumers would need only one card to pay for purchases and to collect merchant discounts and loyalty points/miles.

According to Holger Mackenthun, president of CardSelect International, the credit card market is thoroughly saturated, making it necessary for card issuers to rethink the way they attract new customers. “Low interest rates alone are no longer enough because there are too many offers out there and margins are squeezed to the limit,” Mackenthun says

“Based on Internet growth predictions and the appeal of personalized services, there is a strong indication that cards which consumers can customize themselves online is the way to go,” Mackenthun concludes. “This trend should ultimately benefit card issuers and merchants too through lower customer acquisition costs, increased transactions and better use of loyalty programs.”

Card Marketing Magazine published an article about CardSelect in the June 2000 issue.

About CardSelect International

Founded in 1997, CardSelect International has developed a patented technology for customizing and issuing financial transaction cards, credit cards, smart cards and multiple application cards over the Internet. Consumers can visit the company’s virtual mall 24 hours a day to create their own personalized ALL IN ONE CARD with favorite bank, merchants and service providers.

In December 1999 CardSelect relocated its offices to the Great Valley Corporate Center in Malvern, PA, near Philadelphia, and is currently seeking to expand its executive management team to meet growing interest in the market. More information on CardSelect can be found on the company’s web site at [][1].



The One Card

Salt Lake City-based WebBank announced Wednesday it is the issuing bank on a new revolving credit program targeting consumers of powersports products. The program features a new credit card called: ‘The ONE Card’. The new card facilitates consumer purchases of powersports products, such as motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft and snowmobiles. The card can also be used to purchase parts, warranties, clothing and other accessories. Bombardier Capital will provide account servicing for program.


No Rate Change

The Federal Open Market Committee voted yesterday to maintain its target for the federal funds rate at 6.50%. The FOMC based its decision on recent data which suggests that the economic expansion of aggregate demand may be moderating toward a pace closer to the rate of growth of the economy’s potential to produce. The committee said although core measures of prices are rising slightly faster than a year ago, continuing rapid advances in productivity have been containing costs and holding down underlying price pressures. Credit card rates have been rising since the last rate increase in May which pushed the prime rate to 9.50%. The last rate increase will be fully reflected in credit card statements during July.


Wachovia & LINK2GOV

Wachovia Merchant Services and LINK2GOV Corp. have entered into an alliance to provide consumers and businesses with e-government Internet and interactive voice response solutions for transacting business with federal, state and local government agencies. The alliance offers solutions for such government-to-consumer transactions as motor vehicle registration and driver’s license renewals; hunting, fishing and boating licenses; and payments for traffic tickets, utilities and taxes; as well as government-to-business transactions, including corporate filings, building permits and professional licenses. The LINK2GOV alliance also includes Internet and telephone based solutions, product development, systems integration and multi-payment commerce solutions that link federal, state and municipal governments to citizens and businesses. Wachovia Merchant Services is a venture between an operating subsidiary of Wachovia Bank and First Data Merchant Services.


TransPoint on Prodigy/Go2Net

TransPoint LLC announced that subscribers to the Prodigy Internet service and visitors to the Go2Net Network can now pay all their bills easily with just a few clicks of a mouse through the TransPoint online bill payment service. The service allows customers to pay bills that arrive electronically through TransPoint, pay bills that are delivered via the U.S. mail, and pay anyone else with a U.S. mailing address — all from one Web site.

Millions of additional consumers can now securely and conveniently pay their bills through Prodigy and several leading Go2Net Network Internet properties including, Dogpile, HyperMart and Silicon Investor.

Go2Net moved quickly to live status in just 30 days. Prodigy also implemented the service rapidly, offering the service to its customers in approximately 60 days.

“Prodigy and Go2Net recognized that electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) is an incredibly fast-growing market and placed top priority on implementing the TransPoint service,” said Lewis Levin, president and CEO of TransPoint. “The short time in which they went live is a testament to how efficiently the TransPoint implementation process can work.”

With Prodigy’s recent alliance with SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), the total managed customer base for Prodigy exceeds 2.4 million, sealing its position as one of the top four Internet service providers (ISPs) in the nation. Prodigy also is now the nation’s largest provider of retail digital subscriber line (DSL) high-speed broadband Internet access to consumers and small businesses.

Companies that deliver bills electronically through TransPoint benefit from greater control over the billing process, personalized online customer care, and targeted marketing to their customers right from within their electronic bill. Their customers benefit from an easy, convenient service that is fast, flexible and secure.

The TransPoint Standard Service will be offered to Prodigy members and Go2Net Network users free of charge for up to six months. The Standard Service allows users to pay up to 750 predefined local and national billers, companies that mail the majority of bills paid by consumers in the top 20 metropolitan areas across the nation. After the first six months, this service will cost $2.95 per month. A Premium Service will be offered free of charge for the first three months, after which it will be available for $5.95 per month. The Premium Service allows customers to pay all the bills defined in the Standard Service as well as use a Pay Anyone capability, which allows them to set up payments to any individual or company they choose within the United States. Full offer details can be found at .

Customers can check the status of their Prodigy or Go2Net online payment accounts via their computers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If more help is needed, the TransPoint online payment service includes Web-based support and a toll-free support number with a fully staffed customer-service team, available free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition to the Prodigy and Go2Net properties, the TransPoint service is also available through the MSN MoneyCentral online personal finance service at , the TransPoint Web site at , the Compass Bank Web site at , and the InterWest Bank Web site at .

About TransPoint

TransPoint, established in June 1997, is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and First Data Corp., with Citibank as a minority equity investor. Englewood, Colo.-based TransPoint is a leader in the emerging electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) industry with a seamless e-bills service built from the ground up. The TransPoint system uses innovative technology and integrates easily with billers’ and banks existing payment systems. The TransPoint service is designed to be the fast, easy way for consumers with Internet access to make all their payments online from a single, secure Web site. More information about TransPoint is available at .

On Feb. 15, TransPoint entered into a definitive merger agreement with CheckFree Corp., a leader in electronic billing and payment. The combined technologies and relationships of the two entities are expected to accelerate the migration of the billing and payment process from paper to the Internet and to advance the rate at which consumers sign up for electronic billing. The transaction will be accounted for as a purchase by CheckFree, and is expected to be final in three to five months.