NextCard Opens Phoenix Center

NextCard, Inc., the leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet, announced this morning it is opening a customer contact center in Phoenix, Arizona.

The site, which will open by June 2000, is designed to meet the company’s continued aggressive growth targets, while delivering superior customer service.

“We have experienced phenomenal growth this past year. Our expansion into Phoenix will prepare us to service our expanded customer base and future product offerings, such as the Amazon.com and Priceline.com co-branded cards and e-commerce services,” said Tim Coltrell, chief operating officer of NextCard. “Everything we do at NextCard is designed to continually enhance the consumer’s online transaction experience. The Phoenix site will allow us to extend our leadership position and prepare us for the growth ahead.”

NextCard’s 100,000-square-foot facility, when fully occupied, is expected to employ more than 700 people to support NextCard’s growing customer base with email, real-time chat interaction and telephone support.

The company also announced that Mark Attinger, a 13-year veteran of American Express, will head the new facility as vice president of operations for NextCard.

Mark adds, “NextCard’s inventive operations model allows the Company to employ leading-edge Web-based technologies to provide superior customer service. The Phoenix center enables us to deliver on that promise by tapping into the significant local labor force, recruiting skilled resources in Customer Service, Collections and eCommerce.” Mark most recently headed an Authorizations service center for American Express in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This new facility marks NextCard’s first major expansion into a multiple center approach, and represents significantly increased capacity from its initial facility in San Ramon, just outside San Francisco, California. NextCard plans to launch a product development and test center from its existing facility in San Ramon later in 2000, which will facilitate the rapid testing and successful implementation of innovative e-commerce products, services and operating strategies.

Individuals interested in applying for management and entry level jobs in customer service, credit & collections, fraud investigations, internet operations, and telecommunications can contact the company via email at azjobs@nextcard.com, or by visiting the company’s website [www.nextcard.com][1] for a listing of available positions.

About NextCard

NextCard, Inc. ([http://www.nextcard.com][2]) is considered the leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. Launched in 1997, the company was the first to offer online credit card approval within 30 seconds, a choice of customized credit card terms, automated balance transfers, personalized PictureCard(SM) and 100% Safe Shopping Pledge. NextCard is committed to providing the most robust consumer shopping experience on the Internet and has continued to innovate with its complete GoShopping!(SM) Web site, NextCard Concierge(SM), exceptional online customer management site and comprehensive rewards program.

NextCard is consistently a top ten online advertiser, operates a network of over 35,000 affiliates and has exclusive card relationships with leading brands including Amazon.com, priceline.com and DILBERT. The Company publishes the NextCard eCommerce Index(SM), the premier source of online purchase activity, and was named the No.1 credit card brand according to ZDNet’s BrandIQ research study. In 1999, NextCard was listed as a Top 50 Financial Web site by Money magazine, a HOT 100 Company by Upside magazine and one of The Standard 100 most important and influential companies in the Internet economy by The Industry Standard. The Company also owns a minority stake in Flooz.com, the premier online gift currency.

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

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BofA Online

Bank of America announced this morning that its number of online banking customers has exceeded two million. BofA says it is signing up more than 100,000 new online customers a month. Approximately 125,000 new customers signed up for online banking in January, the highest number in one month to date. In addition to more than two million retail customers, BofA has more than 1,650 commercial and corporate clients doing business online. The bank offers online checking, savings, CDs, IRAs, mortgages, credit cards, debit cards, and auto loans.

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Fundraising Solution

Entango Corporation and Heartland Payment Systems announced a partnership to help nonprofit organizations extend their fundraising reach to millions of consumers on the Internet.

Entango’s SiteWrap technology and Heartland’s credit card merchant accounts provide the two key ingredients for secure,0 convenient donations right on the nonprofit organization’s website.

Entango is the leading provider of secure, risk-free, hosted online fundraising services to nonprofit organizations in the US and Canada. Entango’s solution brings leading edge technology to the nonprofit sector with no out-of-pocket costs, and no software to install.

Entango’s unique SiteWrap technology adds a secure online donation engine to the nonprofits website effortlessly. Each nonprofit organization adds one or more “donate now” buttons to their site and they gain instant access to millions of online consumers overnight.

Heartland is a full-service merchant card processor and provides credit card processing accounts to thousands of Internet merchants. Heartland is now the premier provider of online credit card processing for Entango’s nonprofit customers.

The Entango/Heartland online application will offer these organizations the ability to obtain an approval in under 48 hours and in some cases in as few as 2 hours. Heartland also provides discounted rates for nonprofit organizations that sign up through the Entango/Heartland website at

“This is a huge leap for nonprofit fundraising. Now, for the first time, a nonprofit can decide to add online fundraising to their website in the morning and be taking donations that afternoon,” says Steve Harkness, CEO of Entango, “Heartland is leading the e-commerce revolution and this partnership is breaking new ground for our nonprofit clients.”

With Heartland Payment Systems’ easy online merchant account application, nonprofits organizations can begin to accept credit cards in as few as 48 hours. Heartland’s services include credit card and debit card processing, check authorization and verification, software and equipment sales, equipment leasing, and secure real time processing solutions.

“This partnership opens the doors to this emerging market,” says John Waldron, Heartland’s Vice President of Internet Marketing and Sales, “We are very excited to take and active role in helping to propel nonprofit organizations into the world of online donations.”

About Entango Corporation

Entango Corporation provides a secure online fundraising and transaction service for non-profit organizations, with no setup or recurring costs. Nonprofits using Entango obtain online contributions instantly through direct transfers of credit card payments to their bank accounts. The service fully integrates into customers’ existing Web sites. Entango is based in San Jose, California. For more information, visit [www.entango.com][1].

About Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems provides businesses of all sizes with professional, one-stop solutions for online credit card processing including fast approvals, real-time processing, dispute resolution assistance, chargeback reduction programs and fraud prevention and protection programs. Heartland Payment Systems is a subsidiary of Heartland Bank, St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1887, Heartland Bank is chartered nationally and permitted to conduct business throughout the US. Heartland Payment Systems is online at [www.visa-mc.com][2] or can be reached by calling 1-888-702-3321.

[1]: http://www.entango.com/
[2]: http://www.visa-mc.com/

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Hack Attack Continues

A Buffalo, NY-based Internet service is the latest victim of hackers seeking to steal credit card numbers. Internet Management Services confirmed this week that approximately 2,000 consumer records, which contained personal information and credit card numbers, were lifted from their Web site called SalesGate.com. The company says the stolen card numbers were posted on the Internet. The firm says it has notified its customers of the security breach and directly notified the card issuers affected. The Web site guarantees it will fully cover any losses from credit card numbers stolen from its site. The SalesGate attack follows a similar incident in January, whereby CT-based eUniverse, Inc. reported the theft of more than 300,000 credit card numbers from its CD Universe Web site.

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Smart Campus Card Management

CyberMark, the leading supplier of smart card based electronic commerce solutions for education, corporate, and stadium markets announces the availability of the CyberMark ID Management System. IDMS simplifies the ID card issuance process for campus card programs with an integrated suite of smart card applications. The system includes a high speed photo image capture and print subsystem, and database management reporting tools for organizations wishing to manage campus ID programs in-house or through third service organizations.

“IDMS is a world-class application developed in direct response to requests from some of our largest customers wanting a single platform for card issuance and to interface with various card service organizations such as banking and loyalty programs” said Dan Norwood, director of product development at CyberMark. “IDMS is installed at both corporate and university institutions in North America, and provides an excellent platform for mass issuance of personalized smart cards over the Internet.” CyberMark markets IDMS directly and through authorized systems integrators.

CyberMark teams with industry leading electronic commerce organizations like Microsoft, Gemplus, and First USA, via the Partnership Program to offer comprehensive smart card solutions. Founded in 1996, CyberMark is a leading electronic commerce company, specializing in the creation of smart card communities on the Internet and in closed campus environments. To learn more about CyberMark, visit [http://www.cybermark.com][1].

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

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Nordstrom fsb

Nordstrom Inc announced it has converted its wholly-owned subsidiary Nordstrom National Credit Bank to a federally chartered savings bank (thrift institution) named Nordstrom fsb, effective today. The Office of Thrift Supervision granted approval to proceed with the conversion on December 17, 1999.

“As a federal savings bank, we are better equipped to meet the needs of our customers and strengthen our competitive position,” said Kevin Knight, chairman of Nordstrom fsb.

Nordstrom fsb, like its predecessor credit card bank, will focus primarily on issuing and servicing Nordstrom private label cards and co-branded VISA(R) credit cards. Its existing product lines include Nordstrom VISA and Nordstrom VISA Platinum credit cards, and a proprietary Nordstrom credit card which will offer enhanced benefits, including a new rewards program and cash access, later this spring.

The new charter enables Nordstrom to extend new payment product and service offerings to its customers such as a co-branded VISA debit card and checking accounts. “We’re in a unique position to offer our customers products and services that typically aren’t available through traditional retailers,” said Knight. A negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) account, paying a competitive interest rate and accessed by a debit card, may be offered as early as May 2000, and a home equity line of credit may be offered this fall. The savings bank also plans to offer, within the Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a number of mortgage and credit products designed to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income borrowers and neighborhoods.

Nordstrom fsb is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. Nordstrom National Credit Bank was originally established in 1991.

Nordstrom, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading fashion specialty retailers, with 104 stores located in 23 states, including 71 full-line stores, 27 Nordstrom Racks, three Faconnable boutiques, two free-standing shoe stores, and one clearance store. The company also seeks to serve customers through its online presence at [http://www.nordstrom.com][1], as well as direct mail catalogs. Nordstrom, Inc. is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

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

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High Tech Parking

Schlumberger and Webraska Mobile Technologies announced a partnership to combine data on parking place occupancy, whether on-street or in car parks, with real-time traffic information, maps and route guidance, to enable motorists with WAP mobile phones to obtain up-to-the-minute information on parking availability at their destination. The parking terminals and management systems of Schlumberger will transmit current occupancy rates data across GSM, Mobitex, PSTN or Internet networks to the open-interface ‘Parking Information Server’. Webraska is a provider of value-added real-time traffic information, maps, and navigation services on mobile Internet phones, turning phones into co-pilots.

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Next Gen Fleet Cards

A new fleet card is hitting the market that combines credit, debit and purchasing card capabilities. MasterCard, AmSouth Bank, and Comdata Corp. have teamed to offer the unique all-in-one fleet card. The new card eliminates the need for separate vehicle and purchasing charge cards. It is also the first U.S. credit card with debit capabilities allowing the user to access personal funds. Issued by AmSouth Bank, the ‘Comchek MasterCard Corporate Fleet Card’ will be accepted at all MasterCard merchants as well as 10,000 truck stops that honor ‘Comdata’s Comchek Card’, essentially covering every fuel station, service station and auto parts supplier in the USA. The new, advanced fleet card is fully customizable by the fleet program manager. With card level controls, the fleet manager can limit access and purchases by its employees. There are two ‘Corporate Fleet Cards’: driver cards and vehicle cards. The vehicle card allows a company to effectively manage its assets by restricting the authorized use of the card to fuel and maintenance functions for the identified vehicle. Driver cards provide the basic functionality of the vehicle card with expanded flexibility. Additionally, the Driver card can allow users access to core Comchek functions, including long-distance telephone service, ATM access and expense reimbursement capabilities. Comprehensive and flexible reporting on one invoice for all related expenses provides all the information without the hassle of managing receipts. The MasterCard/AmSouth/Comdata team is set to initially roll-out more than 150,000 cards.

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FTC Appeal

Trans Union said Thursday it will appeal a ruling by the FTC that orders it to stop selling certain target marketing lists and demographic models available from its target marketing business. TU says the lists and models offered by ‘PerformanceData’ do not reveal confidential credit information about consumers. They consist only of names, addresses, and types of credit held by consumers, and do not disclose any details about consumers’ credit status and payment history. In addition, TU says consumers are given the choice to have their names removed from all lists provided for target marketing.

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J-Debit

Japan’s new ‘J-Debit’ program will leapfrog with a national expansion to more than 100,000 merchant locations next week. The program was launched in January by the postal savings system and seven financial institutions. The seven financial institutions are Fuji Bank, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Sanwa Bank, Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank, Towa Bank, Tokyo Sowa Bank and Johnan Shinkin Bank. The Japan Debit Card Promotion Association said the service was initially available at some 10,000 retail outlets run by eight companies. The eight companies initially involved include Seibu Department Stores Ltd., JTB Inc., Lawson Inc., Cosmo Oil Co., Kinki Nippon Tourist Co. and Daiwa Securities Co. So far more than 900 financial institutions have joined the new ‘J-Debit’ program.

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Online Card Fraud

Internet travel agency, Expedia, announced this week it is setting aside $4 to $6 million to cover fraudulent transactions. The company says the fraud was committed by professional criminals who illegally obtained credit cards from non-Expedia.com sources and used those stolen cards to purchase travel online. The charge represents the company’s estimate of unreserved fraudulent activity to date and is less than one half of one percent of tickets sold. The gross bookings to date on the Expedia.com site total over $1 billion, and the company’s net revenues total over $85 million.

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OPC Ad Campaign

Official Payments Corporation announced Thursday the company has launched a concentrated national consumer advertising campaign that will run in the weeks prior to the April 17 tax day, marketing to consumers the company’s 1-888-2PAY-TAX credit card tax payment service.

The seven-week campaign, which is budgeted for up to $5 Million, will run in national newspapers and on network and local radio. The theme of the campaign centers on the convenience, cash management and credit card rewards attributes of the company’s 1-888-2-PAY-TAX(SM) service.

Official Payments has contracts with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide a service that enables taxpayers to pay their 1999 balance due payments, 1999 tax year extension and estimated tax payments for tax year 2000 by credit card. This is the first full-blown year of the credit card payment program. The IRS and Official Payments, Corp. tested a pilot version of the program last year. In addition to the IRS, Official Payments has similar contracts with the District of Columbia, and the states of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey and Oklahoma

“The IRS, our partners at the credit card companies and Official Payments are all conducting an integrated consumer marketing effort to build awareness of the e-file and 1-888-2-PAY-TAX(SM) program,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman and CEO of Official Payments Corporation. “We are being both strategic and tactical in our campaign by deploying our resources at the height of the tax-season. When you overlay Official Payments’ efforts with those of the IRS and the credit card companies, the combined targeting, frequency and reach represents a truly impressive awareness campaign,” Mr. Evans added.

During the seven-week campaign, Official Payments will run national ads in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. The seven-week flight of radio spots will air on national radio networks, augmented by spot radio in major metropolitan areas in the states that accept credit card payment for state income taxes.

The IRS has included the 1-888-2-PAY-TAX(SM) credit card option in creative print executions and radio spots for its own e-file national advertising campaign and information on the 1-888-2-PAY-TAX(SM) was included in 140 million 1040 instructions provided by the IRS to taxpayers. Additionally the program is being supported by independent marketing efforts by American Express, MasterCard and Discover.

About Official Payments Corp.

Official Payments Corp. is a leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The Company enables consumers to pay government fees and taxes via the Internet or telephone, using their credit cards. The Company has partnered with the United States Internal Revenue Service, several state governments, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Minnesota, Oklahoma, the District of Columbia and over 450 municipal and county entities, in which it collects property taxes, real estate taxes, traffic fines and other government fees by credit card over the Internet and the telephone. The Company does business in 23 states and is publicly listed on Nasdaq under the symbol OPAY. Official Payments Corp. is committed to making payments to the government go fast, smart and safe.

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