eFunds Holiday Volume

eFunds announced this week record transaction volume for a single day on Dec. 23 at more than 12 million transactions. The company, whose award-winning software, processing, and gateway services handle 15 billion electronic funds transactions a year around the globe, also reports that ATMs and point-of-sale card devices made a smooth transition into the new millennium.

Compared to 1998, eFunds’ transaction volume showed a marked increase during the entire final week of 1999. From Dec. 23-31, eFunds’ EFT volume was up 25 percent, which includes processing for ATMs, point-of-sale debit cards and electronic benefits transfer transactions. The largest increases over 1998 were recorded Monday, Dec. 27, with a 55 percent increase and Thursday, Dec. 30, with a 45 percent jump.

“The first transaction spike on Dec. 27 was probably related to shoppers hitting the post-holiday sales or restocking groceries and using their debit cards, while others visited the ATM to replenish their cash after the weekend,” said Debra Janssen, president and CEO of eFunds. “The spike on Dec. 30 was most likely related to consumers, as expected, taking out cash for the New Year’s weekend celebrations and somewhat because of Y2K concerns. However, consumers didn’t panic and in general heeded the advice of their financial services companies and did not make a run on ATMs during the final days of the millennium.”

eFunds witnessed increased transaction volume throughout the year and will report a strong year-over-year increase, once final December figures are tabulated. “We’re seeing consumers beginning to embrace electronic payment options as they find their debit cards and ATM cards increasingly convenient to use,” Janssen said. “We expect continued strong EFT growth in the new year.”

In its December issue, The Nilson Report, a leading payment system industry publication, predicts debit card transactions to increase from 4.9 billion in 1998 to 29.7 billion in 2010. In 2010, The Nilson Report predicts debit cards will account for 59 percent of purchase transactions, compared with 27 percent in 1998. The Internet, where 95 percent of today’s transactions are credit-based, represents a major opportunity for debit payments.

Even with the record EFT volume and various doomsday predictions for the international payment system, eFunds encountered no significant Y2K problems. “We promised our customers business as usual service in the new year, and we made good on that promise,” said Janssen. “As we conclude the first business week of the year, we’re seeing the results of our hard work and preparation paying off.”

Y2K was a priority for eFunds and all of Deluxe Corporation for the past three years. “Given the scope of this company, Y2K has been viewed from the start as a business issue rather than a technology issue,” said Dan Bailey, project manager for Y2K communications for Deluxe Corporation. “The success of eFunds during the rollover to 2000 was matched throughout Deluxe Corporation.”

Customers in 23 countries rely on eFunds services. eFunds drives more than 8,500 ATMs worldwide, provides account opening tools at more than 80,000 financial services locations, provides check verification at more than 77,000 retail locations, processes more than 500,000 electronic check transactions each month and is the largest third-party EFT processor handling nearly 5 billion transactions a year.

About eFunds and Deluxe

eFunds ( [http://www.efunds.com][1] ) provides leading payment management solutions that manage risk and enhance customer relationships for financial services providers, retailers, networks and remarketers, e-commerce providers and any business that routinely accepts debit payments. Deluxe Corporation is a Fortune 1,000 company headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. For more information, visit [http://www.deluxe.com][2]

[1]: http://www.efunds.com/
[2]: http://www.deluxe.com/


CheckFree & Wells Fargo

CheckFree Corporation announced this morning that Wells Fargo has signed a material extension to its contract for electronic billing and payment services.

“CheckFree highly values its relationship with Wells Fargo,” said Pete Sinisgalli, president and chief operating officer, CheckFree. “We look forward to continuing to drive the adoption of electronic billing and payment with our customers and partners.”

Wells Fargo & Company is a $207 billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance services through almost 6,000 stores, the Internet ([http://www.wellsfargo.com][1]) and other distribution channels across North America and elsewhere internationally.

About CheckFree

CheckFree Corporation ([http://www.checkfree.com][2]) is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded as an electronic payments processor in 1981, CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution, CheckFree E-Bill, in March of 1997. Today, CheckFree services enable three million consumers to receive and pay bills over the Internet or electronically. The Company has multi-year contracts with 77 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through its network of partnerships with consumer service providers (CSPs), including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and content sites, and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree’s Investment Services division provides a range of investment management services to help more than 255 institutions provide portfolio management and reporting services to their clients. CheckFree clients manage over 760,000 portfolios totaling more than $400 billion in assets. Software and services provided by CheckFree’s Compliance and Financial Service division are used to process more than two-thirds of the nation’s six billion Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments. In addition, nearly 400 banks and businesses use reconciliation products and services the division provides.

[1]: http://www.wellsfargo.com/
[2]: http://www.checkfree.com/


Busey Selects S1 EBPP

S1 Corporation the leading provider of Internet-based solutions for the financial services industry, announced this morning that Busey Bank, a subsidiary of First Busey Corporation, has successfully launched its online bill presentment and payment services utilizing the S1 Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment solution. Recognized by Frost & Sullivan as the first solution to deliver integrated bill presentment and retail banking capabilities, S1’s EBPP solution positions Busey as the first institution to offer customers an efficient and paperless vehicle through which to view and pay bills. Furthermore, the S1 solution is providing the bank with additional opportunities to strengthen customer relationships, generate revenue and maintain its competitive advantage.

Busey also worked closely with Business Logic Corporation, a Chicago-based provider of Web-based solutions for the banking and financial services industries, to implement the S1 solution.

“We strive to anticipate our customers’ needs and quickly deliver strategic online services that enable them to gain greater control of their finances,” said Dave Kuhl, president, Busey Bank. “As a result, we have implemented S1’s industry-leading EBPP solution to offer customers a consolidated view of bills from multiple sources and an easy way to make electronic payments. By working with S1 to extend our online offerings, we are further staking our claim in this highly competitive market and delivering value-added services that not only attract new customers, but also strengthen our existing customer relationships.”

The S1 EBPP solution, coupled with online banking, enables financial institutions to provide their customers with a complete banking experience by seamlessly integrating bill presentment with payments into a comprehensive banking solution.

“Busey Bank’s successful implementation of the S1 EBPP solution as part of its established Internet Banking services represents yet another industry first for our company,” said Chuck Ogilvie, general manager, S1 Corporation. “S1 has a history of pioneering Internet banking solutions for the retail market, and by delivering the industry’s first end-to-end integrated bill presentment and payment applications, we are further solidifying our defining role.”

About S1 Corporation

S1 (NASDAQ:SONE), the pioneer of Internet banking, is today’s leading provider of innovative Internet-based financial services solutions. S1 offers a broad range of applications that empower financial organizations to increase revenue, strengthen customer relationships and gain competitive advantage by meeting the evolving needs of their customers across various lines of business, market segments and delivery channels. Through its professional services organization, S1’s applications can be implemented in-house or outsourced to the S1 Data Center. Additional information about S1 is available at [http://www.s1.com][1].

About Busey Bank

Busey Bank is a $1.2 billion bank with 16 Banking Centers in Champaign, Ford and McLean Counties in Illinois as well as one Banking Center in Indianapolis. Busey provides electronic delivery of financial services through Busey e-bank. Busey Bank has Loan Production Offices in Ft. Myers and Naples, Florida, as well as a full-service broker/dealer subsidiary, First Busey Securities, Inc. First Busey Securities currently has in excess of $375 million under care. Busey Travel and Busey Insurance Services, Inc. are Busey Bank’s other subsidiaries. First Busey Trust & Investment Co., is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Busey Corporation specializing in asset management and trust services. Currently, First Busey Trust has total assets under management of $760 million.

[1]: http://www.s1.com/


Tax Pay Via Cards

Starting next Friday, Jan. 14, U.S. taxpayers will be able to charge their federal income tax payments for the 1999 tax year via MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards. The IRS is offering the service through an agreement with Official Payments Corp., formerly known as U.S. Audiotex. The 1999 tax year is the first full year of the credit card payment program. During the 1998 tax season, the IRS and Official Payments conducted a pilot program in which 44,840 tax transactions were processed, representing a total of $174 million in payments. This year the IRS has included the OPC’s toll free number in 140 million 1040 Form instructions. Official Payments, which recently went public, will also advertise in newspapers, magazines, and on television and radio to build awareness. In addition to balance due payments, the OPC service can be used by taxpayers filing for a 1999 tax year extension and also for estimated tax payments for tax year 2000. Official Payments Corp. charges consumers an approximate 2.5% convenience fee for processing tax payments. OPC has also partnered with several state governments and 450+ municipal and county entities, in which it collects property taxes, real estate taxes, parking fines and other government fees by credit card over the telephone and the Internet.


4Q/99 Portfolios

Year-end 1999 results are flowing in as CardData launches its quarterly portfolio survey. Among significant issuers releasing results yesterday: KeyCorp and Norwest. For the latest stats on more than 350 U.S. card issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])


Recv YTD Vol Accts Actives Cards
KeyCorp $1,371,351,106 $2,220,417,514 1,086,071 591,461 1,429,795
Norwest $1,225,540,750 $2,414,958,513 1,206,262 731,312 1,674,753

Source: CardData ([www.carddata.com][2])

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


PaySys CFO

PaySys International Inc., a global leader in transaction processing applications, announced that Harvey A. Wagner has been appointed executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer, a newly created position.

Wagner, most recently executive vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer for Premiere Technologies Inc., is a 35-year veteran of the computer, semiconductor, software and telecommunications industries. Wagner has led many high profile growth and profitability initiatives including acquisitions, initial public offerings, company restructurings, and implementations of new business enterprise systems.

“Harvey Wagner adds tremendous financial and management depth to PaySys,” said Stephen B. Grubb, chief executive officer, to whom Wagner reports. “His experience and accomplishments in helping grow technology companies will be invaluable as we move forward to broaden the company’s horizons.”

Prior to Premiere Technologies, Wagner served as senior vice president of finance, treasurer and chief financial officer for Scientific Atlanta. During his tenure he managed the company-wide implementation of a global enterprise management system, negotiated the company’s first committed line of credit, and managed the acquisition of several companies, both international and domestic.

Previously, Wagner was chief financial officer for Computervision Corp., a leading supplier of workstation-based mechanical CAD/CAM software and related services. He assisted in taking the company private through a leveraged buyout, managed the subsequent restructuring, and led the return to the equity market through a $300 million initial public offering and a $300 million debt offering. The company has since merged with Parametric Technologies Inc.

Before joining Computervision, Wagner served as chief financial officer for American Microsystems Inc., an international semiconductor company specializing in MOS application specific integrated circuits. Earlier, he worked with GTE Corp. in several senior financial positions.

Wagner, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Miami, is a member of the Financial Executives Institute, the Institute of Management Accountants, and the National Association of Corporate Directors. He is on the board of directors of UNICCO Service Company, and sits on the President’s Council at the University of Miami and on the Executive Advisory Board of the Wharton School of Business, and is a founding board member and president of The Wellness Community-Atlanta.

About PaySys

PaySys International Inc. is an established global leader in transaction processing applications. PaySys has developed category leading software products for both the banking and retail industries such as CardPac, TRAMS, and VISION21. The company’s latest industry leading product, VisionPLUS(R), seamlessly integrates the Internet with its retail and banking transaction processing applications. Headquartered in Atlanta, PaySys has offices worldwide and clients in more than 30 countries on six continents. For more information, visit the company’s web site at [http://www.paysys.com][1].

PaySys is a trademark and VisionPLUS is a registered trademark of PaySys International Inc. Brands or products mentioned in this document are trademarks or registered marks of their respective owners and must be treated as such.

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



Electronic Clearing House signed agreements Thursday to acquire Rocky Mountain Retail Systems. CO-based RMRS is the creator/owner and processor for National Check Information Systems through which RMRS provides check verification services to large retail chains, processors and collection agencies across the nation, among which are Dollar General and Blockbuster Video. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, ECHO issued 1,000,000 shares of restricted common stock. An additional 1,500,000 shares of restricted stock will be placed into escrow to be issued to the RMRS selling shareholders under a performance clause. RMRS will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and Dr. Donald Dick, president of RMRS, will remain the president of the ECHO subsidiary. Operations will remain in Boulder.


CyberGold Hits 4 Million

Cybergold, Inc., the premiere place on the web where consumers are paid real cash for their online behavior, announced a 300% increase in membership in 1999, going from one million to four million members in just 12 months.

“Cybergold and our affiliates are thrilled with our membership activity in both number of overall hits and new members. Increased membership means better market penetration. The traffic we bring our advertisers proves yet again that cash incentives really pay off,” said Nat Goldhaber, president and CEO of Cybergold, Inc.

To mark the four millionth member milestone, Cybergold offered its biggest incentive to date: a Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines. The winner will be announced pending notification.

About Cybergold

Cybergold, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGLD) is a leading provider of Internet-based direct marketing and advertising solutions, including incentive programs which reward consumers with cash for responding to ads and programs. Cybergold’s 4 million members can spend their cash rewards online at “Cybergold Spend” or at the sites of 60 merchants who have adopted Cybergold’s micropayment technology. Members can also spend their reward cash offline by transferring it to a VISA card or a bank account. Cybergold consistently ranks among the 100 most visited Web sites, according to PC Data Online. Cybergold’s partnerships include Visa USA, MBNA, AOL, EarthLink, E*TRADE, Xoom, Quintel and Autobytel. Cybergold is headquartered in Oakland, California and counts Intel among its corporate investors. For more information, visit [www.cybergold.com][1]

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