Secured and sub-prime VISA specialist, First National Bank in Brookings, SD, has entered into a card issuing agreement with Carlsbad, CA-based Shanecy, CASA and CanadaFirst. Under the agreement FNB Brookings will serve as the VISA licensed bank and will be paid a monthly fee by CASA, an Internet Service Provider, for the issuance of each card. CASA’s sister company, Shanecy, will administer the card for CASA. CASA will retain all of the recurring revenue from the card, including all fees, finance charges or other income. CASA says it intends to offer the VISA card as part of a package to provide ISP service to moderate income households. CASA will pre-bill the ISP service charges to the card. CanadaFirst is owned by Thesseus, a major shareholder of Shanecy, and primarily focuses on VISA accounts. Shanecy is in the process of changing its name to Inc.ubator Capital and specializes in marketing financial products to the sub-prime market.Details
With ‘Platinum Card’ marketing flooding the market, MBNA has retreated to promoting its ‘Gold MasterCard’ and First USA is promoting a re-priced ‘Titanium VISA’ according to February’s marketing intelligence gathered by CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com]). Capital One continued this month to hammer away with its ‘Young Adults VISA’ card for students under 18 years of age, and American Express continues to flood the small business market with its first-year-free ‘Small Business Gold Card’. In the sub-prime market, Direct Merchants hit mailboxes this month with a secured card solicitation offering a 500% credit line for a $99 deposit and Capital One countered with a solicitation for a $500 credit limit for a $49 deposit. Meanwhile Discover revived its 2.9% intro rate offer for its ‘Platinum Discover’ card this month. CardWatch monitors direct mail, print ads, online, radio and TV ads pertaining to credit card marketing.
Capital One Financial Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has approved the repurchase of up to 10,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock over the next two years. This is in addition to the 2,250,000 shares remaining under the Company’s repurchase programs approved in July 1997 and August 1998. Any repurchased shares will be used for general corporate purposes, including mitigating the impact of shares issued through dividend reinvestments, associate stock purchases and option programs.
Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([http://www.capitalone.com]) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 23.7 million accounts and $20.2 billion in managed loans outstanding as of December 31, 1999, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 Index. For the second consecutive year, Fortune magazine named Capital One to its list of the “Best Places to Work in the US” and one of the most admired consumer credit companies.
Toronto-based NBS Technologies announced Friday it has been awarded a million-dollar-plus first year contract for the ‘Employment Authorization Document Card Project’ by DATATRAC Information Services. Under contract to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, DATATRAC Information Services is the prime contractor responsible for producing the ‘Government Employment Authorization Cards’. The NBS ‘Horizon Card’ issuance solution incorporates the Dynetics ‘CMS 2300’ card mailing system to offer a fully integrated, multi-function, high speed, high security in-line card personalization and delivery system. The turnkey solution provides the ‘EAD’ card with color photos, fingerprints, signatures, encrypted 2-D barcodes as well as magnetic stripe encoding and the application of a Government issued security seal and holographic overlay. The personalized card is affixed to a carrier for the insertion of the finished card and letter into a mailer.Details
Since peaking last June, bankruptcy as a percentage of chargeoffs has been slowly, but surely, declining according to CardData ([www.carddata.com)].
Jul 99: 38.8% Nov 99: 37.1%
Aug 99: 38.4% Dec 99: 36.8%
Sep 99: 37.9% Jan 00: 36.4%
Oct 99: 37.4%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
CT-based priceline.com announced Friday it is launching a ‘Priceline for Gasoline’ card whereby consumers will be able to name their own price for up to 50 gallons of gas per month. Starting May 20th, Priceline WebHouse Club, a licensed affiliate of priceline.com, will offer the new service that is expected to save drivers 10 to 20 cents per gallon from most major oil companies. Over 100 national sponsors will contribute to Priceline WebHouse Club customers’ gas purchases in return for customers’ agreeing to try their products and services. The ‘Priceline for Gasoline’ card is free to any consumer by accessing priceline.com. All four million previous priceline.com customers and all WebHouse Club members will automatically receive the blue colored gas card free in the mail. To bid, cardholders simply enter the ID number on the back of the priceline gas card and provide a major credit card or debit card account number. Cardholders then choose the grade of gas, the per-gallon price they want to pay, and the number of gallons desired (up to 50 gallons per household per month). If the bid is accepted, then priceline will charge the deal to the credit or debit card and notify the cardholder of the location of the local participating gas station. After each fill-up, Priceline WebHouse Club will automatically e-mail a receipt which also shows the number of prepaid gallons remaining. Priceline.com gas accounts may also be monitored online.Details
LendingTree announced the addition of the 101st lender in the LendingTree marketplace, PeopleFirst.com, a leading online automobile lender. LendingTree’s Lender Network has more than tripled in size in less than a year. LendingTree is the online loan marketplace where consumers can submit one simple loan request form and receive multiple (up to four) loan offers within hours. Consumers can then compare and choose the one that is best for them. The vast array of lenders participating in the LendingTree marketplace provides consumers with an unprecedented level of choice between competitively priced loan offers for home mortgages, home equity, automobile financing, credit card and personal loans.
“The continued expansion of our Network further validates LendingTree’s marketplace model as the ideal online lending proposition for lenders as well as consumers,” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree. “Not only do consumers see the value in more lenders competing for their business, but lenders experience the value added benefit of being a member of the online marketplace.”
“When well-known online lenders such as PeopleFirst.com join our Network and participate in the LendingTree marketplace,” continued Lebda “it drives home the difference between online lenders and LendingTree’s online loan marketplace, where more than 100 lenders compete to provide consumers with loan offers across most consumer credit categories.”
Lenders participating in the LendingTree marketplace enjoy multiple benefits: incremental business through a new channel, reduction of customer acquisition costs, and, through LendingTree’s sophisticated filtering technology, the ability to only receive forms from consumers to whom they are most likely to extend a loan offer. LendingTree provides marketplace data to lenders on the Network, enabling the lenders to refine and improve their Internet lending strategies and quickly respond to changing market conditions in order to compete more effectively.
“We are well aware that one of our strongest competitive advantages is not only the size of our marketplace but the superior customer service provided by the lenders on the Network,” added Lebda. “Recently, LendingTree implemented a new time-response standard requiring all lenders on the Network to respond to qualified consumers with a loan offer within one business day; several lenders on our Network already provide instant loan offers.”
Founded in 1995, PeopleFirst.com is a leading online automotive lender, originating and servicing its consumer loans almost entirely over the Internet. PeopleFirst.com was the pioneer of “blank check” auto lending, an innovative finance option that gives loan recipients a no-obligation check that can be used for the purchase of a new or used vehicle at most dealerships in the country, as well as lease buyouts and refinancing of existing loans. Motorcycle loans were added in January 2000. Additionally, through an exclusive agreement with Mail Boxes Etc., PeopleFirst.com is the first company on the Internet offering loans for the purchase of vehicles from individuals. PeopleFirst.com has additional relationships with AutoWeb, MSN CarPoint, Edmunds.com, Insweb, Kelley Blue Book, NADA, Telebank, and Yahoo!, among others. The company presently offers auto loans in 47 states plus the District of Columbia. To obtain more information about the company, call PeopleFirst.com at (800) 698-1789 or visit the company’s website, [www.peoplefirst.com].
About LendingTree, Inc.
LendingTree is the Internet-based loan marketplace for consumers and lenders. LendingTree collects consumer credit requests and compares those requests and related credit information to the underwriting criteria of more than 100 participating lenders in the LendingTree network. Consumers can receive multiple offers in response to a single loan request within hours and then compare, review and accept the loan offer that best suits their needs. Lenders can generate new business that meets their specific underwriting criteria at reduced acquisition costs. The LendingTree marketplace encompasses most consumer credit categories, including mortgages, home equity loans, automobile loans, credit cards and personal loans. For more information, please go to [www.lendingtree.com].
HNC Financial Solutions, a division of HNC Software Inc., announced the launch of a new Web site. Falcon Data Mart ([http://www.falcondatamart.com]) is an educational source of information about payment card fraud and industry efforts to combat it. In addition to general interest information made available to all site visitors, Falcon Data Mart offers detailed content available only to Falcon consortium members. This comprehensive “members only” content includes a variety of fraud facts, statistics, and trends derived from historical Falcon data, Falcon model performance reports, best practice operational management guidelines, a tip of the month, and more. In the coming months, the member section will offer Falcon customers detailed data evaluations of their consortium contributions, including the ability to compare their historical fraud performance against other portfolios; additional subscriber services, such as e-mail message alerts; and the opportunity to exchange information via bulletin board forums in a private, secure environment. “We created the Falcon Data Mart Web site to serve as a beneficial resource for those interested in proactively, effectively managing fraud,” said Michael Chiappetta, Group Vice President of Risk Products for HNC Financial Solutions. “We also wanted to provide our Falcon clients with the benefit of a central resource center in which to acquire valuable fraud information, easily obtain the latest Falcon model performance reports, and a forum in which to communicate with their peers on a variety of fraud topics.” Falcon Data Mart also provides links to other useful fraud prevention sites, including HNC’s fraud consulting site: [http://www.fraudconsulting.com] .
HNC Financial Solutions is offering its Falcon clients full access to the Falcon Data Mart site on a free trial basis. Interested clients may call the HNC Financial Solutions San Diego Technical Support line at 800-935-5757. Falcon, a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder, and merchant data to detect a wide range of credit card fraud, currently protects more than 300 million payment card accounts worldwide.
HNC Financial Solutions is a leader in predictive customer relationship management (CRM) software for the payment card and consumer lending industries. Its powerful suite of proven decision platforms and predictive business solutions address the mission-critical, customer-lifecycle needs of financial institutions.
Headquartered in San Diego, California, HNC Software Inc. is a leading provider of predictive software solutions for service industries, including financial, insurance, telecommunications and e-commerce. HNC’s suite of predictive software solutions can provide real-time insight into customer relationships based on transaction-level data, helping business-to-consumer companies manage their relationships with individual customers. By accurately predicting customer behaviors, these companies can create initiatives to mitigate risk and attrition; improve customer service; develop marketing programs to enhance profitability, and detect fraudulent customer transactions. For more information, visit HNC’s Web site at .
E-LOAN, Inc. launched My E-LOAN, the first account available to help people manage their loans as easily and intuitively as they manage their investments.
By setting up a customized My E-LOAN account, people can track and monitor their loans and receive alerts advising them how to save money by refinancing or switching loan products. In addition, people who set up their customized My E-LOAN account can instantly receive their FICO® credit score — one of the most important factors lenders use in determining credit worthiness.
FICO® scores have never been readily available to consumers online or off-line before today. The release of My E-LOAN is the foundation of E-LOAN’s vision of providing comprehensive debt management.
“The vision of E-LOAN is to make getting a loan easier and to help consumers manage their debt like they manage their investments,” said Janina Pawlowski, chairman and co-founder of E-LOAN. “We’re excited about My E-LOAN because this is a major step toward fulfilling our vision.
“My E-LOAN makes the concept of loan management much simpler and more intuitive for people by helping them understand and realize the benefits of treating their debt like a portfolio to be managed, instead of a single transaction at a given point in time.”
Unlike the concept of managing an overall equity portfolio — which has been embraced by millions of Americans — the power of debt management is not as well understood. And until now, no company has focused on helping people minimize the cost of financing their purchases, even though doing so can have a profound impact on an individual’s overall net worth.
For instance, a homeowner might set up a My E-LOAN account to track their $200,000 mortgage. They would be alerted when switching to a different loan product with a lower rate could save them money. Then the money they save could be directed into other investment vehicles such as stocks, if desired. My E-LOAN helps people understand the opportunities they have to manage their debt to maximize returns.
“As we have found with My Yahoo!(R), people are eager to customize information for maximum benefit, and quick to adopt unique tools that let them do new and innovative things online,” said Tim Koogle, chairman and CEO, Yahoo! and E-LOAN board member.
“Allowing people to customize a loan management page through E-LOAN, a company they have come to know and trust for their lending needs, is a very powerful way to leverage the E-LOAN brand and build its business.”
One of the most powerful ways to minimize their cost of borrowing money is for people to know and understand their FICO®(SM) credit score, which is one of the major factors considered by lenders in determining loan approval.
That’s why a key component of My E-LOAN is the FICO®(SM) credit score feature, designed to let borrowers obtain their credit score to help them interpret the rating, understand how it is calculated, and determine how the score may affect their loan rates and term.
“When people are getting a loan, the first thing they need to know is ‘how good is my credit?'” said Pawlowski. “By showing people their FICO®(SM) credit score, we can break open the black box surrounding the credit scoring process to help people understand and manage their credit to get the best loan rates available to them.”
While many people who have gotten a loan are familiar with credit reports, many don’t know how lenders will interpret the information in their report. Credit scores summarize a consumer’s credit profile in one number and play a powerful role in determining loan approval and the rate and credit limit a person can get.
My E-LOAN provides:
— Customized alerts: Rate Watch alerts notify consumers when market rates reach their desired interest rate. Customers are also alerted when E-LOAN identifies a money saving opportunity for them.
— Free credit scores: Consumers can find out, for the first time ever, how lenders view their credit worthiness. People can now obtain their FICO®(SM) credit score, information on how their score was determined and what the rating means.
— Information about the current interest environment: The Daily Market Outlook provides an overview of the factors affecting interest rates.
— Personalized rate chart: Consumers can customize their rate table to display the loans that best meet their needs. Graphs let people easily track interest rate trends and see when market rates are getting close to their desired rate.
— Access to tools and advice: People have easy access to E-LOAN’s full range of tools, calculators, advice and educational content.
— Access to E-Track(TM): E-Track(TM) online loan status provides 24 hour loan tracking for customers with loans in process.
Founded in 1996, E-LOAN, Inc., a leading online lending company, offers mortgages, car loans, credit cards and small business loans. At [www.eloan.com], borrowers can compare, apply for and obtain loans from many nationally recognized lenders. After closing a loan, E-LOAN, Inc., provides ongoing monitoring services, helping consumers manage their debt to lower their overall their overall borrowing costs.
E-LOAN, Inc. has strategic partnerships with leading financial services, automotive and real estate companies, including Yahoo!, E*Trade, H&R Block, RE/MAX, Wingspanbank.com, Kelley Blue Book, AutoTrader.com and Car & Driver Online. The company’s loan processing center is located in Dublin. E-LOAN, Inc. is publicly traded on the Nasdaq system under the symbol EELN.
E-LOAN, Inc. participates in joint ventures in Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Quokka Sports, a leading provider of sports entertainment for the digital world, announced today that it is adding three new companies to its growing list of sponsors — Ford Motor Company, Qwest Communications Int’l and Visa International. Quokka Sports delivers immersive sports coverage of adventure and motorsports events, sailing races such as America’s Cup 2000, ( [http://www.americascup.org]), and the Olympics ([http://www.nbcolympics.com]).
Quokka’s agreement with the Ford Motor Company names the Ford Division an official automotive sponsor of Quokka Adventure Coverage. The Ford Division will be represented as a principal sponsor of Quokka’s upcoming adventure event coverage through 2000. In addition, Quokka will work with Ford to develop content and provide live coverage of the Ford Division’s virtual event, the “Explorer SportTrac Challenge.”
Qwest is the sponsor of the Quokka Sports Immersion section of the Quokka.com site. The Quokka Sports Immersion section provides an enhanced immersive experience to viewers with higher bandwidth capabilities, mixing video and still assets, as well as data visualizations. Qwest is also a sponsor of the Race Coverage section on Quokka’s coverage of the America’s Cup 2000 on [http://www.americascup.org]. All new viewers and visitors will be introduced to this section of the America’s Cup site by way of a Qwest-branded introduction page.
VISA is a partner of [http://www.nbcolympics.com], the official site of NBC’s Olympic coverage developed through a joint venture between Quokka Sports and NBC. In addition, VISA will be the exclusive payment source for any e-commerce transactions conducted on the site. Through this agreement, VISA is extending its Olympic advertising efforts beyond television to reach the Olympic audience logging on to the Internet.
Quokka Sports President and CEO Al Ramadan said, “We are delighted to have Visa, Qwest and Ford join our family of top-flight sponsors including the likes of Compaq, Computer Associates, Intel, GM, IBM, Adidas and Anheuser-Busch. The addition of these new companies demonstrates our ability to provide high-value, long-term sponsorship products to a broadening base of top advertisers.”
About Quokka Sports
Quokka Sports has created a branded sports entertainment network delivering unique interactive sports experiences fulfilling the entertainment passions of a global community of sports enthusiasts. The Quokka Sports Network is designed to deliver each sports community with the deepest and most comprehensive coverage of their sport and associated lifestyle, community commerce and game features. With rich content that leverages technology’s potential for merging entertainment and information, Quokka Sports is a leading provider of sports entertainment for the digital world(TM).
The Quokka Sports Network includes a variety of entertainment properties, including:
— Quokka.com — providing regular features, news with an edge, community, commerce and games
— Sports Verticals — deep event coverage of sports including sailing (America’s Cup, BT Global Challenge and Whitbread Round The World Race), motorsports (CART and MotoGP), action (expeditions and adventure racing), summer (track and field, swimming and gymnastics) and soon winter sports, and
— Coverage of some of the biggest sporting events, such as the Olympic Games.
Quokka Sports’ live event coverage is designed to engage viewers, give them control of the action sequence and let them experience and view sports from a variety of perspectives. Quokka Sports’ coverage of sporting events incorporates a wide range of digital assets, including video, text, audio, images, athlete biometrics, telemetry, environmental data, email, results and timing. Quokka Sports’ content is distributed via the Internet, broadband and emerging digital media networks. Quokka Sports’ unique sports entertainment productions are enabled by Quokka Performance Team members Compaq Computer Corporation, Computer Associates International, Inc. and Intel Corporation. Quokka Sports has offices in San Francisco; Troy, Michigan; New York; and London.
Palm Beach, FL-based ilife.com announced Friday afternoon that William Anderson has resigned as its president, CEO and as a director. Formerly known as Intelligent Life Corporation, ilife.com’s flagship Web site is bankrate.com, which tracks retail pricing on mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, insurance and taxes for consumers. Two weeks ago a Palm Beach law firm announced it is investigating the events surrounding the decrease in ilife.com’s stock price from $15 per share to $6 per share, between May 13 and May 24, 1999. The post-IPO decline preceded the Company’s June 28 press release which reported a $6 million loss for the first quarter. One month ago the firm lost another key employee: Sara Campbell, SVP of Sales and Syndication. G. Cotter Cunningham, who replaced Campbell in late January, was named interim CEO immediately following Friday’s news that Anderson had quit. In its latest earnings report, ilife.com reported a full-year 1999 loss of $33 million which included a $13 million operating loss for the fourth quarter. As of Dec. 31, the company had $22.5 million in cash on-hand. In mid-Oct. ilife.com retained Wit Capital Corp. to explore strategic alternatives including selling the company. In after-hours trading Friday, ilife.com’s stock price dropped to less than $5 per share with analysts predicting further erosion today.Details
Synergy Solutions Inc., a premier provider of leading-edge outsourced customer contact solutions, announcede the opening of its first customer contact center in Phoenix, Ariz.
In January, Synergy Solutions began operations with the opening of a fully automated state-of-the-art customer contact center. The 200-seat center currently implements outbound teleservices and customer acquisition programs on behalf of several Fortune 1000 companies, with future plans to expand into web-based customer contact and support. The center is expected to employ up to 500 professionals – most of them will be full-time customer contact representatives. The company offers competitive compensation with bonus potential, and an outstanding benefits package that provides medical, dental, vision, 401K, short and long term disability, and life insurance coverage.
! Synergy Solutions was strategically built from the ground up to combine visionary leadership, experienced management, leading edge technology, and industry-proven processes. This enables the company to offer true multi-dimensional customer support solutions in a dynamic web-architected environment. Synergy Solutions’ mission is to utilize proven acquisition and retention techniques to solidify and expand customer relationships through the use of intelligent people and emerging technology.
Synergy Solutions’ leadership team combines the award-winning industry talent and experience of an impressive group of key players, many of who have been working closely together for as many as 10 years. Most of the leadership team held senior management roles at ProMark One Marketing Services Inc., a leading provider of outsourced teleservices solutions. Under their leadership, the company grew from a being a small start-up company to being consistently ranked as a top 10 service agency and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame award winner for appearing on the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for five consecutive years. ProMark One was re-capitalized in 1996 to form IDRC (International Data Response Corporation), and was subsequently acquired by Telespectrum Worldwide in 1999.
Steve Moak, former CEO of ProMark One, serves as Chairman of the Board for Synergy Solutions. Moak has over 20 years of direct marketing experience and a proven track record as a successful entrepreneur. Moak has won several awards and has been a featured speaker at many industry conferences.
Lori Fentem has been named President for Synergy Solutions and is responsible for the company’s overall strategic direction, including service offering initiatives, financial performance, business development, contract negotiation, and revenue generation. Fentem has over 19 years of call center experience, nine of which have been within outsourced teleservices. Fentem served in the role of SVP Sales and Marketing for ProMark One and IDRC USA’s outbound division. As such, she was responsible for the management of the outbound sales force as well as a revenue stream in excess of $100MM. Fentem was also credited with the initial launch and development of ProMark One’s Client Services division, and for directing the company’s corporate marketing efforts and client relationship development. Following ProMark One’s acquisition, Fentem served as SVP of Business Development for Telespectrum Worldwide.
Fentem remarked, ‘I am excited about the challenges of my new position and the opportunity to have a pivotal role in such a dynamic and visionary company. We have assembled a team of world-class professionals that truly have the ability to deliver outstanding results today while building the foundation for the future of fully integrated customer contact solutions’.
Corey Conklin has been named SVP of Operations. In this role, Conklin is responsible for the development of Synergy Solutions’ operational infrastructure and the growth and development of the Operations Management team. Conklin is also responsible for the operation of Synergy Solutions’ founding facility and is driving the company’s growth initiatives for expansion into other geographic markets. Conklin has over 13 years of operations management experience. Previously, Conklin served as SVP Operations for ProMark One/IDRC USA Outbound, with responsibility for as many as 23 North American call centers. Following ProMark One’s acquisition, Conklin served in the role of SVP Operations Western Region for Telespectrum Worldwide.
Other members of the leadership team include Craig Despres, VP of Information Technology. Despres is responsible for the management of the company’s team of information technology professionals, as well as the development of the foundation for the company’s technology infrastructure. Additionally, Despres plays a critical role in the design and execution of the company’s technology vision and future initiatives. Despres has over 12 years of experience in the field of information technology, concentrating on process development and implementation. Most recently, Despres served as the Manager of Application Development for ProMark One/IDRC USA Outbound. As such, he handled a multitude of complex programs for large, high profile clients, as well as the overall process flow of the company’s information systems. He successfully reduced the average time to market for new programs, and helped build a world-class Information Technology division.
Cara Casper, Director of Business Development, is responsible for the direction and development of the company’s account management team, client relationship development, and client satisfaction. Casper plays an instrumental role in building the processes that integrate Account Management with Information Technology and Operations Management. Casper has over five years of experience in account management and business integration. In her previous position as Client Services Manager with ProMark One/IDRC USA Outbound, she successfully managed large volume, high profile, complex campaigns with outstanding customer satisfaction results.
Synergy Solutions specializes in providing innovative customer contact solutions on behalf of Fortune 1000 companies. Synergy Solutions programs target both businesses and consumers in a variety of industries, including e-commerce, financial services, telecommunications, retail, and entertainment, among others.