GetSmart Record

Providian says its online loan marketplace, acquired earlier this year, has made significant increases in all categories. Providian says attracted nearly 10 million visitors to its Web site in fiscal 1999, generating approximately 500,000 transactions for services. Providian says has also significantly increased the number of financial institutions participating in its lender network to more than 120 financial institutions. The site includes offers from many of Providian’s direct credit card competitors. For fiscal 1998, reported that it attracted 8 million visitors which produced nearly 450,000 transactions or completed loan applications. For 1998 says it spent $13 million to drive traffic to the Web site and provided access to offers from 100 lenders. While Providian did not disclose its marketing expenses for, it is estimated the issuer spent more than $20 million on Internet marketing since March of this year. Providian, which specializes in issuing credit cards to “unbanked” consumers, paid $33 million cash to acquire in February of this year.


Fair Isaac ASP

Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., continues to expand its leadership position in decision technology with the formation of an ASP (application service provider) business unit dedicated to optimizing the value of analytics for customer management strategies over the Internet. The focus of the new unit will be on building the technologies and partnerships necessary to quickly and simply deliver the most effective customer decisioning available in today’s more complex and demanding environment. Patrick Culhane, executive vice president, will head the new Decision ASP business unit.

“Becoming an ASP is a natural evolution for Fair, Isaac,” said Tom Grudnowski, president and chief executive officer. “Over the last decade, Fair, Isaac technologies have become market standards due to their ability to improve, automate and simplify decisioning in complex environments. Today our clients’ Web-based decisioning needs increase the complexity of managing customer relationships across multiple channels and products. Fair, Isaac has the essential assets already in place: experience in deriving and managing data; a history of providing highly valued analytic technology and insight; and the ability to craft strong and enduring alliances. We also have strong leadership in Patrick Culhane, who was the guiding force behind the successful growth of Fair, Isaac’s credit bureau scores, now the industry standard.”

Patrick Culhane joined Fair, Isaac in 1985. Until 1995, he headed the company’s credit bureau score business, and for the past four years, he has overseen operations in financial services worldwide, more than doubling the company’s revenues in its primary market. “With our Decision ASP,” said Culhane, “Fair, Isaac provides the underlying data management, analytic insight and decision strategy technology that will improve the quality and relevance of customer decisions in critical client applications such as origination, cross-sell and fraud risk management.”

The direction of Fair, Isaac as an ASP has recently been demonstrated in both the adaptation of existing offerings to a network delivery model and the introduction of new services showcasing Web access and delivery components. The company has immediate plans to deliver its TRIAD(TM) adaptive control system from a centrally hosted installation to a major telecommunications provider. Earlier this month, the company released the Fair, Isaac MarketSmart Decision System(SM), which allows users to draw customer information from traditional and non-traditional sources and use that information to conduct better multi-channel marketing campaigns.

“Our immediate successes have centered on bringing a rich set of current capabilities to clients in a new mode,” said Grudnowski. “What we envision going forward is innovation that truly leverages the Web channel and environment, enabling new and better business propositions for our clients in multiple markets.”

Fair, Isaac is a global provider of customer analytic and decisioning solutions. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way lending decisions are made. Today the company helps clients in multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships. Fair, Isaac has made the Forbes list of top 200 small companies seven times in the last eight years. Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Fair, Isaac has 18 offices worldwide. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 1999, the company reported net income of $30 million on revenues of $277 million. For more information visit [][1].

NOTE: Fair, Isaac, Decision ASP, TRIAD and Fair, Isaac MarketSmart Decision System are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., in the United States and/or in other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.



billserv Hits Campus, inc., an electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) service bureau, Thursday announced it has signed a customer agreement with Southwest Student Services Corporation to create an EBPP system enabling college students to make their educational loan payments on the Internet. Southwest Student Services currently mails and processes more than 100,000 bills per month to students in Arizona, Florida, California, Nevada and other states nationwide.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Southwest Student Services Corporation is a $1.3 billion nonprofit corporation that provides access to education through traditional and non-traditional financing and loan origination services. Southwest is known for its signature programs such as CollegeCard, SaverLoans, and SwiftPay, as well as counseling and administrative assistance for students and families nationwide.

Under the agreement, will develop and implement an EBPP system to deliver bills for presentment and payment directly through Southwest’s Web site at, and utilizing a distributed model involving multiple front-ends. The new system is expected to be completed and ready for use by the end of Q1 2000. also plans to partner with Southwest Student Services on future e-commerce initiatives.

“Southwest Student Services represents a great addition to our growing customer base of billers that are ideally suited for’s EBPP solution,” said Michael Long, chairman and CEO of “The educational financial services market is proving to be an early adopter of EBPP, and our work with Southwest Student Services is helping our company make greater inroads into this lucrative market.”

“ has proven experience in student loan processing and has impressed us with their full service capabilities in bringing up a viable EBPP system quickly,” said Vince Roig, chairman and CEO of Southwest Student Services Corporation. “This cutting-edge payment convenience will enable us to stay at the forefront of service providers in education finance.”

About, inc., Inc. (NASD OTC BB: BLLS) is an electronic bill presentment and payment service bureau that provides middle-market billers with a turnkey outsourcing solution for presenting bills to consumers for payment on the Internet. serves an intermediary role between billers and bill aggregators by consolidating customer billing information from multiple billers, and then securely delivering it to aggregators. has four product offerings: (eServ(SM)), Internet billing clearinghouse services for EBPP; (ePublishing(SM)), electronic publishing services for online statement delivery; (eCare(SM)), an interactive customer care center operation; and (eConsulting(SM)), professional consulting services for billing organizations offering in-house bill presentment. also owns and develops, the first EBPP Internet portal where consumers can pay all their bills electronically. For additional information, visit [][1].




Baltimore-based Creditrust has overhauled its internal processes and named a new President/COO in the wake of a misappropriation of $500,000 in corporate funds. The company, which specializes in debt collection and sub-prime credit card issuance, said it discovered in an audit that a former management employee misdirected $500,000 in corporate funds by submitting an unauthorized check request and then seeking to redirect those funds through Creditrust’s collection payment stream. The company said it has recovered all of the funds and that collections were not misstated which therefore had no impact on the company’s financial results. Creditrust indicated it discovered the wrongdoing in October but did not disclose the matter until the company’s 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. Creditrust’s share price dropped 21% yesterday to close at approx. $11.50 per share. The stock peaked at more than $34 per share early this year. Creditrust’s shares dropped about 30% in October following rumors of trouble. In response to yesterday’s SEC filing, Standard & Poor’s withdrew its ‘Above Average’ ranking on Creditrust Corp. and removed the company from S&P’s’s ‘Approved Servicer List’. Creditrust says the withdrawal of the optional service rating, while unfortunate, is not a default under any of Creditrust’s bond issues, and has no impact on the company’s bonds. Meanwhile Creditrust named Barry Dumser President and COO yesterday.


HNC Software Exec Changes

HNC Software Inc. announced Wednesday the retirement of long-time Chief Executive Officer, Robert L. North, and Chief Financial Officer, Raymond Thomas, as part of a planned management succession.

John Mutch, HNC’s president and chief operating officer, will succeed North as the company’s CEO effective Jan. 15, 2000. Kenneth Saunders, HNC’s vice president and corporate controller, will be promoted to succeed Thomas as HNC’s CFO, also effective in January 2000.

North joined HNC Software in March of 1987 and has served as its CEO over a twelve-year period during which he successfully led the company through its IPO and a series of strategic acquisitions in the retail, insurance and telecommunications markets to its current market position.

Today, HNC Software owns the leading worldwide market share in electronic credit card fraud detection, as well as a strong market presence in the predictive software market to optimize customer interactions in the financial, insurance and telecommunications industries. Recent strategic actions resulted in the IPO of Retek in the retail business-to-business market and the establishment of eHNC, an Internet commerce subsidiary, to focus on large e-commerce opportunities. North will continue to serve as Chairman of the HNC Board of Directors.

“John Mutch’s appointment as CEO is the culmination of an internal succession plan that we have worked on for some time. John is a talented executive and will bring vision, creativity and energy to his new position,” stated Robert North. Mutch began his career with Microsoft before joining HNC in 1997 as vice president of Marketing. He later served as president of HNC’s Insurance Solutions Group and was recently appointed HNC’s president and chief operating officer.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to springboard off the great work that both Bob North and Ray Thomas have done. HNC Software is well positioned to achieve strong market share gains in each of the core service industries it serves, and to launch innovative new lines of business through our eHNC subsidiary,” said Mutch.

Ray Thomas has been HNC’s CFO since 1995, when he joined the company to help launch its initial public offering. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer at Golden Systems Inc. and Vitesse Semiconductor. Following his retirement he will continue to serve as a consultant to HNC. Prior to joining HNC in 1996, Saunders was CFO of Risk Data Corp., a privately held venture company that HNC acquired in August 1996. He was appointed HNC’s Corporate Treasurer in January 1997 and has served as the company’s Corporate Controller since June 1998.

About HNC Software

Headquartered in San Diego, HNC Software Inc. (Nasdaq:HNCS) is a leading provider of predictive software solutions for the services industry, 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 .


PayDay Advance Cards

Pinnacle Business Management, Inc. announced Wednesday that its wholly owned subsidiary Fast PayCheck Advance, Inc., has a remarketing agreement with its debit card issuer. Under the agreement Pinnacle will be able to provide debit cards to other businesses in the Payday Advance and check cashing industry as well as offering the card through other internet sites. This will allow Pinnacle to generate income on a per-transaction basis from the use of its cash card network. The card is currently good at 750,000 locations worldwide. This is a significant step in providing a broad revenue base for the company.

Bruce Hall President, of Pinnacle Business Management said, “We have received substantial interest from our industry as to the use of our debit card. The remarking agreement allows us to market the card to other companies in our industry as well as providing a true e-commerce payment method for various internet sites. This agreement transforms Pinnacle from being a competitor to desired venders in the Payday Advance industry. This profit center could have significant impact on the bottom line throughout the coming new year. Pinnacle is not straying from the core business of Payday loans, however we are strategically expanding our presence in various segments. We are aggressively pursuing this logical direction to increase revenues.”

About Pinnacle Business Management

Pinnacle Business Management is in the business of advancing small loans until payday through their wholly owned subsidiary, Fast PayCheck Advances, Inc. and lending money on motor vehicle titles (Title Loans) through their wholly owned subsidiary Fast Title Loans, Inc. Through the use of branded Pinnacle Cash Cards, and integrating E-Commerce and electronic funds tracking and transfer technology, Pinnacle will give new opportunities to those consumers who have been shut out of the economic and E-Commerce mainstream for various reasons. For more details on these and other PCBM activities, refer to the Press Releases at [][1]. For additional on-line investor information on PCBM go to:




MBNA Bar Cards

MBNA America and the South Carolina Bar Association announced Wednesday the Bar’s sponsorship of MBNA’s credit card services to its members.

The South Carolina Bar Association is the state professional association of attorneys, and is the 40th bar association that sponsors MBNA’s credit card services.

The partnership with the South Carolina Bar Association joins the more than 1200 professional associations that have partnerships with MBNA, making it one of MBNA’s fastest growing sectors.

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America, N.A., a national bank, has more than $67 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.


Neural Online Fraud Buster

NH-based Internet Commerce Services Corp. and San Diego-based eHNC announced this morning they are integrating iCOMS’ Internet commerce management services with eHNC’s ‘eFalcon’ Internet credit card fraud detection and risk management service. ‘eFalcon’ is a turn-key service specifically designed to assist merchants in distinguishing between legitimate and fraudulent online shopping transactions in real-time. The solution uses a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder, and merchant data to detect a wide range of credit card fraud. ‘eFalcon’ mirrors HNC’s proprietary and patented ‘Falcon’ solution which is used by credit card issuers to cover 300 million cardholders. iCOMS will add the ‘Fraud Management Service’ to iCOMS’ order and payment management solutions. The new service will be available to iCOMS’ merchants and technology partners in the first quarter of 2000.


Fraud Check Solution

Five percent or more of the e-commerce transactions over the Internet are made with stolen credit cards, and a new financial services company aims to do something about the problem. Fraud-Check, Inc. Wednesday announced the launch of its new transaction patterning and unique modeling product to protect merchants from electronic shoplifters.

“The fraudulent use of credit cards — the electronic equivalent of shoplifting — is a serious threat to the emerging e-commerce industry,” says Fraud-Check President George Candella. “Visa International last year put the total losses at $32 billion and growing. This amounts to five percent or more of every transaction made across the internet, by telephone or by mail. We believe it is possible to reduce or eliminate these losses, and are creating the tools to make that happen.”

In a typical online transaction, the consumer fills a shopping cart or selects a product, then enters shipping and credit card information for approval. As long as the credit card number is valid — even if the number is stolen — the merchandise is shipped.

“If the same transaction took place in a store, there would be automatic fraud checking through signatures and identification,” says Candella. “But if the transaction isn’t done face-to-face, there is no system to protect the merchant. The consumer is protected by law. The credit card company suffers no loss. It is the merchant who bears the full financial liability.”

Fraud-Check serves as a protective barrier between the shoplifter and the e-commerce merchant. As a transaction is made online — at the same time the information goes to the credit card company for authorization — the transaction is checked against Fraud-Check’s proprietary (patent pending) process of patterning and modeling. By comparing against dozens of factors in the company’s multi-faceted, marketing neutral negative database, Fraud-Check can give the merchant the information needed to assess the risk and take appropriate action.

“Online merchants are easier to steal from because they ordinarily have no way of sharing their fraud experience,” says Candella. “We eliminate that problem by aggregating the experience of all of our customers, so if the shoplifter tries again we will have a far better chance of catching them with our database than any one marketer could on their own.”


Dart Deal

Schlumberger announced this morning it has won a competitive bid to provide a complete ticketing solution to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. The solution includes North America’s first complete turnkey fiber-optic-linked automated fare collection system. The $7.5 million contract includes an NT-based Central Data Collection System, ticket vending machines, technical support, project management and installation. The Schlumberger solution will initially be used to control 65 ticket vending machines. Project completion for the initial phase of the DART installation is expected to be completed by October 2001. Installation for The T is expected to be completed by March 2001. The previous Schlumberger DART TVM contract was awarded in Jan. 1995 and included first installation goal of 38 revenue-ready units in June 1996 to coincide with DART’s official opening. An additional installation of 12 ‘TVM5000’ units followed in January 1997, with a final 6 revenue-ready by June 1997. Currently more than 1.4 million TVM transactions are processed each year in the Dallas rail system with Schlumberger TVMs.


China Deal

The International Commercial Bank of China has awarded Diebold an US$11 million contract to provide nearly 450 automated teller machines for ICBC’s on-line network of more than 16 provinces in China. Through this year’s expansion, ICBC will exceed its plan to operate an ATM network of more than 10,000 ATMs at the turn of century. Delivery and installation of the ATMs is expected to begin in about a month. Yesterday’s deal represents Diebold’s largest contract in China since the company established its own distribution channel at the beginning of the year.