FDC & Yclip.com

First Data has taken an equity position in Yclip.com Inc., an Internet advertising technology and information systems company. The alliance will combine First Data’s merchant processing platforms with Yclip.com’s advertising technology and expertise. The two companies will jointly create and deliver online promotional tools to consumer communities as well as incentive-related information and tools to Internet content providers. These web-based technology solutions will enable merchants to extend offers to online consumers in the form of credit card incentives, without the need for consumers to print a coupon. FDC will own 16% of Yclip. The new services will be available by summer.


PHH MasterCard to Wright Express

Avis Rent A Car, Inc., announced that the Company has transferred the commercial MasterCard program developed by PHH Vehicle Management Services to Wright Express. The transfer is in line with Avis’ strategic goal to pursue synergies between operating units.

In 1997, PHH Vehicle Management Services introduced the industry’s first integrated MasterCard-branded payment solution for fleet, travel, entertainment, and purchasing expenses. The product experienced dramatic growth by giving corporate users the first real-time, Internet-based management information system merging all spending categories into a single data warehouse.

According to Mark E. Miller, President of Avis’ Vehicle Management Services Group, “Our commercial MasterCard program has made great strides based on the competitive advantage of its functionality and management information system. Wright Express is a world-class card organization with over 20,000 corporate clients and over 2.5 million cards in service growing at over 30% annually. This combination is a natural progression for Wright Express, adding a powerful new product offering to its toolkit of solutions for helping companies manage expenses.”

The transfer of the commercial MasterCard program to Wright Express took effect January 1, 2000. Conversion of the portfolio will be completed by mid-year. The company has approximately 4 million cards in circulation, which is second only to American Express.

About the Program

This innovative, multi-purpose corporate MasterCard program was developed and marketed by PHH’s Cendant Business Services division over the past three years.

The MasterCard program covers travel and entertainment, purchasing, and fleet expenses. It offers industry-leading functionality based on the MasterCard platform, expense management capability, and financial allocation tools.

Comprehensive, integrated information is delivered to clients via the Internet. For the MasterCard program, Wright Express will now have available the same data warehousing/Internet technology that has netted PHH numerous awards and recognition, including recently being named one of Information Week’s top 100 E-commerce applications. Clients have online reporting, cardholder access, query and account maintenance capabilities at their fingertips any time, from any Internet browser on virtually a real-time basis.

About Wright Express

Wright Express, an Avis Company, currently offers a wide range of vehicle-based commercial fleet cards to control fleet expenses for fuel and vehicle parts and services. The addition of the MasterCard program represents a significant expansion of Wright Express’ line of purchasing and financial management products.

Wright Express Financial Services Company, an Industrial Loan Corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Wright Express, will be the issuing bank for the MasterCard products. Wright Express will support program operations, client servicing, product strategy and development, and sales and marketing.

In addition to strategic and direct sales efforts, Wright Express will make these products available to the company’s existing Co-brand and Private Label partners and Universal Fleet card customers as well as its new partners and customers.

Michael Dubyak, President and CEO of Wright Express, says, “This move provides Wright Express with a full array of commercial card products for its customers and partners. Now, in addition to our core vehicle card program, we can offer a fleet, or a partner’s fleet, a driver card solution, and even capabilities to manage their corporation’s purchasing and T&E requirements. No one else can offer the options and flexibility that Wright Express does for full, commercial card capabilities”.

Wright Express is a leading provider of information management, payment processing and financial services to car, van and truck fleets throughout the United States. The Wright Express Universal Fleet Card is the industry’s most widely accepted electronic universal fleet card. In addition to its own card, Wright Express supports private label cards for 29 oil companies and cobranded cards for 27 card partners.

Avis is one of the world’s leading providers of comprehensive automotive transportation and vehicle management solutions, with strengths in car rental, vehicle leasing, and vehicle management services. Avis operates the second largest general-use car rental business in the world, with locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Latin American Caribbean region. Avis operates the vehicle management and fuel card businesses through three separate units: PHH North America, PHH Europe and Wright Express. The services of these units consist of vehicle leasing and a broad range of vehicle related fee-based services. The Company manages a fleet of approximately 1 million vehicles and has over 4 million fuel and maintenance cards outstanding. Annually, on a pro forma basis, the Company generates approximately $4.0 billion in total revenue.


Oberthur & MasterCard

Oberthur Card Systems announced Wednesday it will support the entire family of MasterCard payment products, including ‘MasterCard Credit’ and ‘Debit’, ‘Maestro’, ‘Mondex’ and ‘M/Chip’, MasterCard’s chip-based integrated credit/debit application in mobile commerce. Under terms of the joint marketing and development agreement, Oberthur will enhance its ‘SIMphonIC’ and ‘ConnectIC’ card products to enable acceptance of MasterCard payment products.The agreement also includes provisions to support mobile commerce pilots in more than seven countries to demonstrate the ease, flexibility and security of mobile transactions. ‘ConnectIC’ is the world’s first ‘Wireless Application Protocol’ enabled smart card. ‘SIMphonIC’ is the most standardized ‘SIM Application Toolkit’ card on the market.


Equifax Top Execs

Equifax announced three key executive appointments that further enhance the company’s management team in its customer relationship management business and corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions groups.

Equifax Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Chapman announced the promotion of Jeff Dodge to executive vice president – group executive of Equifax Knowledge Engineering, reporting to Chapman. Dodge, formerly Equifax senior vice president of consumer services, has overall responsibility for accelerating Equifax’s customer relationship management strategy: to help customers develop insightful, long-term relationships with their customers by understanding their buying preferences and behaviors.

“Knowledge Engineering is on course to establish itself as a global leader in customer relationship management,” Chapman said. “Most recently, Jeff led the successful introduction of three new online credit information services delivered directly to consumers over the Internet. In his new role, Jeff will provide leadership and in-depth knowledge of Equifax, the industry and consumers to create the best decisioning and analytic solutions for our customers.”

Dodge, who joined Equifax in 1992 as senior vice president of Business Development, Financial Services Group, has held several management positions with increasing responsibility. Prior to joining Equifax, Dodge was senior credit officer, Retailer Financial Services of the GE Capital Corporation from 1983 until 1992. Before that, Dodge was senior associate at Booz-Allen & Hamilton in the Financial Services Practice.

Dodge began his career in financial services at BankAmerica Corporation in 1972. Dodge earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Calif., in 1978, and a master’s degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1980.

Chapman also announced the appointment of Michael Shannon as senior vice president, mergers, acquisitions and international development; and Michael Vollkommer as corporate vice president and controller.

Shannon, former senior vice president, Group Controller, Equifax North America Information Services Group, joined Equifax in 1992 as vice president and assistant treasurer. Prior to joining Equifax, Shannon’s 15-year banking career included several senior management positions at Citicorp North America, Inc., from 1985 until 1991. Before that, he was assistant vice president at BT Commercial Corporation, a subsidiary of Bankers Trust New York Corporation, from 1983 until 1985. Shannon earned a bachelor of science in business administration from University of Central Florida and a master of business administration in finance from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Shannon reports to Chapman.

Vollkommer, who recently joined Equifax, is responsible for financial reporting and related controls. Prior to joining Equifax, Vollkommer served as vice president of Finance for Superior TeleCom Inc., Atlanta, from 1998 until 1999. From 1994 until 1998, Vollkommer was vice president and chief financial officer and held other senior management positions with Alumax Inc. in Atlanta, which was acquired by Alcoa in 1998. Vollkommer began his career in 1980 with Coopers & Lybrand in New York City after earning a bachelor of science in accounting from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1980. Vollkommer reports to Dave Post, Equifax chief financial officer.

“Michael Shannon, Michael Vollkommer and Jeff Dodge each provide solid experience and business acumen to help Equifax acquire new technologies, talent and customers while deftly managing expenses and financial resources,” Chapman said. “Today’s announcements reflect our commitment and dedication to achieving our overall business objectives.”

Equifax ([http://www.equifax.com][1]), a worldwide leader in shaping global commerce, brings buyers and sellers together through its information management, transaction processing and knowledge-based businesses. Atlanta-based Equifax (NYSE: EFX) serves the financial services, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities, transportation, information technology and healthcare industries and government. Equifax adds knowledge, expertise, convenience and security to provide value-added solutions and processes for its customers wherever they do business, including the Internet and other networks. Equifax employs more than 13,000 associates in 17 countries with sales in nearly 50 and has $1.8 billion in revenue.

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


New VISA Division

VISA International’s reorganization continues with the formation of a separate division to expand and strengthen its focus on building products and services for the international commercial market place. VISA’s new global ‘Commercial Product Platforms’ division will focus on e-commerce; enhanced data; product platforms; and worldwide acceptance. The new division will consolidate all global strategic and development activities, bringing together commercial payment products, information delivery, new technologies and business-to-business e-commerce.


Stunning Quarter

NextCard added more than 85,000 accounts and $148 million in card receivables during the fourth quarter. The stunning performance means NextCard’s card receivables grew 55% in one quarter and 531% over the past four quarters. The number of accounts soared by 64% during the fourth quarter. The pioneer of Internet-centric bank credit cards, NextCard says its ‘Affiliate Network’ contributed 30% of new dollars originated during the fourth quarter at very attractive acquisition costs. NextCard pays an average bounty of $20 per new account to members of its ‘Affiliate Network’. The network currently has more than 30,000 members and grew 40% during 4Q/99. NextCard’s 30+ day delinquency rate stood at 1.5% and its chargeoff rate came in at 1.9% for fourth quarter 99. For complete current and historical data on NextCard please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


New MBNA Canada Affinity

The Vancouver Symphony announced this week its endorsement of MBNA Canada’s credit card services to its membership.

The Vancouver Symphony, founded in 1919, has completed 80 years of musical excellence. It is the third largest symphony in Canada, and presents over 130 concerts annually in the historic Orpheum Theatre, as well as other theaters in the community.

The Symphony joins more than 200 groups that have partnered with MBNA Canada since 1998. “We are pleased with the endorsement of the Vancouver Symphony,” said Francis H. Otenasek, chief executive officer of MBNA Canada, “and we look forward to providing their membership with the high level of customer service and products they expect from MBNA.”

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America, N.A., a national bank, has $72.3 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.


Advanta Biz Cards

Advanta Business Cards reported net income of $7.3 million on managed receivables of $1.04 billion, for 4Q/99. Account originations increased approximately 150% for the fourth quarter, as compared to the third quarter. Approximately 10% of accounts added for 4Q/99 were originated entirely online through Advanta’s website as compared to 2% in previous quarters. The net managed charge-off rate decreased to 3.94% and 30+ day delinquencies increased to 3.70% at year end as compared to 3.42% for 3Q/99. For complete financials on Advanta please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


Another Regional Exits

Admitting that it “no longer has the economies of scale to profitably grow its portfolio”, Comerica Bank is selling off its credit card portfolio to MBNA. Both firms made the announcement Wednesday. MBNA America will acquire Comerica’s check-accessed line of credit services as well as Comerica’s credit card portfolio. Both portfolios have combined assets of $500 million. Comerica’s credit card portfolio currently has approx. $325 million in card receivables, annual charge volume of $700 million and 265,000 accounts, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). The deal is expected to close by March 30. Comerica will become an agent of MBNA. Comerica joins the steady stream of regional players who have exited the credit card business over the past two years.

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


First Omaha & Signio

First of Omaha Merchant Processing announced an agreement with Signio, Inc. to offer their clients on demand e-commerce solutions that enable them to accept secure online card processing payments. First of Omaha will resell Signio Payflow services to their online merchants through an integrated web-based merchant enrollment application.

“By incorporating Signio into our suite of e-commerce solutions, First of Omaha can offer efficient and scalable applications which will allow our clients to further grow their business and capitalize on the opportunities which exist in today’s burgeoning online world,” said Nick Baxter, President, First of Omaha Merchant Processing.

“Signio offers a highly reliable, easy to implement, fast and secure Internet payment solution. We are delighted that First of Omaha will be offering our Internet payment services to their online merchant customers,” said Philippe Courtot, Signio’s Chairman and CEO. “First of Omaha is recognized as the leading processor in the direct marketing industry and has established a strong reputation in the quality of their services.”

The Signio payment platform includes a robust e-commerce payment service for online merchants, merchant aggregators, auction sites and e-business buyer and seller communities. Signio’s platform offers integrated payment services for real time credit card authorization, debit card, purchasing cards — all for a flat monthly fee. Connected to a broad range of payment processors, the Signio service has been pre-integrated with most e-commerce applications solutions, making it easy to deploy. Signio’s TCP/IP based service provides fast response time and guarantees the completion of payments.

About First of Omaha Merchant Processing

First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a premier processor in the direct marketing industry, and also processes bank card transactions for large and small retailers, restaurants, lodging merchants, petroleum marketers, association/franchise groups and banks. Known for their superior customer service, First of Omaha specializes in providing clients the latest in card processing technologies. Through development of a diversified product line, First of Omaha has become a leader in the merchant processing industry, assisting clients in the reduction of chargebacks and fraud. First of Omaha is a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and is one of the few remaining in-house bank processors. First National Bank of Omaha, founded in 1863, is the 32nd oldest nationally chartered bank in existence. First of Omaha’s Internet address is [http://www.foomp.com][1].

About Signio

Signio, Inc. delivers a highly scalable and reliable Internet payment platform to help businesses profit from the rapidly expanding e-commerce market. With its revolutionary flat-fee monthly pricing model and growing menu of services, Signio brings affordability and convenience to the process of selling online. Signio provides seamless connectivity across the Internet, from e-commerce applications to all major back-end payment processors and quickly enables companies to authorize, process, and manage multiple payment types (including credit cards and electronic checks), multi-currency options and different payment schemes. With solutions for merchants, financial institutions, ISOs, ISPs and developers, Signio has a growing list of notable customers, including CBS Sportsline, C/NET Store.com, Furnitureonline.com, Network Solutions, Prime Sports Interactive, wine.com, and Web MD. Leading companies including Intuit, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have invested in Signio. Signio is headquartered in Redwood Shores, Calif. Signio announced on December 20, 1999, that it will be acquired by Verisign, Inc., the leading provider of Internet trust services.

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


NPC Hires Williams

T. Jack Williams has joined National Processing Company as SVP of Merchant Relations. National Processing Company, is the second largest provider of merchant credit card processing.

Williams also has extensive experience working with national retailers across the United States. Prior to joining NPC, Williams served as Senior Vice President for Stored Valued Systems, a leading provider of cash card programs across the United States. At Stored Value, Williams developed prepaid card programs for major merchants including, Kmart Corp. and Exxon Corp.

Before joining Stored Value Systems, Williams served as the Director, of Blockbuster Entertainment. He was responsible for the launch of the Blockbuster Visa Card, Universal 50 million Membership Card and the Blockbuster Gift Card.

“I am thrilled to be a part of a company that is focused and committed to their national merchants. I feel strongly that NPC has the resources and dedication required to secure an extremely successful future in this industry,” said Jack Williams.

“With his bankcard, cash card and debit card background Williams will be an asset to our corporation. Through his contacts with large retailers his relationships will benefit NPC’s growth in National Sales,” said Mark Pyke, EVP of Merchant Services.

NPC is a leading provider for merchant credit card processing and corporate outsourcing services. NPC supports over 470,000 merchant locations, representing one out of every six Visa and MasterCard transactions processed nationally. Approximately 88 percent of the company is owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), a Cleveland based $87 billion bank holding company.


Mellon Multi Card

Mellon Global Cash Management yesterday introduced the ‘Mellon Multi Card’, a new corporate MasterCard program that allows companies and government agencies to consolidate individual credit card purchasing, travel, entertainment and fleet expenses into a single card solution. The new card program combines functions of separate credit card programs into a single, multi-purpose card that offers the same level of control, one monthly invoice and single reconciliation process.