Bank of Montreal and newspaper publisher Hollinger International unveiled the ‘ MasterCard’ yesterday. It is the first co-branded credit card in Canada geared specifically for the online shopper. is an Internet portal and home of a Canadian online shopping mall. Cardholder benefits include free delivery or 10% off the retail price of goods purchased online at participating online retailers and the opportunity to earn ‘AIR MILES’ on every card purchase. Bank of Montreal is offering customers a choice of interest rate, annual fee and loyalty program. Cardholders may choose from a no fee MasterCard with an 18.40% interest rate, or a 13.9% interest rate MasterCard with a $15 annual fee. Cardholders can also opt for the ‘AIR MILES’ rewards program. For the 18.40% card with ‘AIR MILES’ the annual fee is $35. The lower 13.90% card with ‘AIR MILES’ requires a $50 annual fee instead of the basic $15 annual fee. Consumers may apply online for the new cards. Hollinger International Inc., which owns, also owns 74 paid daily newspapers including the Chicago Sun-Times and the Ottawa Citizen and National Post in Canada.


Chase No Slouch

Chase Manhattan also reports this morning a 16% increase in card fee income and a significant drop in delinquency and chargeoffs. For the third quarter Chase generated $441 million in non-interest credit card revenue compared to $381 million for 3Q/98. Through Sept. 30, Chase’s card fee revenue totaled $1,258,000,000, a 20% increase over the first nine months of 1998. Delinquency (90+ day) was 1.80% for 3Q/99 compared to 2.14% for 3Q/98. Chargeoffs, as a percentage of average receivables, came in at 5.53% for the third quarter compared to 6.19% one year ago. Total average managed receivables, which includes domestic and international cards, was $32.9 billion at the end of the third quarter. For complete current and historical statistics on Chase Manhattan’s card portfolio visit CardData ([][1]).



Metris Banner Quarter

Metris Companies, a sub-prime card issuer and fee-based services provider, turned in impressive quarterly numbers once again. CEO Zebeck and gang, report this morning that credit card fee income is up 58%, card volume is up 38%, fee-based services revenue is up 63%, and overall net income is up 83%. Chargeoffs and delinquency also declined over the past year. Managed credit card fees, interchange and other credit card income increased to $104.1 million for the third quarter, compared to $65.8 million in the third quarter of 1998. Through Sept. 30, Metris’ card fee income totals $268.1 million. Credit card charge volume for 3Q/99 was approximately $1.5 billion compared to about $1.1 billion for 3Q/98. Metris added 800,000 new fee-based relationships during the third quarter, largely from its ‘PurchaseShield’ debt waiver product. Revenues from all fee-based services revenues increased to $44.6 million for the third quarter of 1999 compared to $27.4 million for 3Q/98. The 3Q/99 managed net charge-off rate was 8.8% compared to 10.1% for the prior quarter and 10.5% for the third quarter of 1998. The managed 30+ day delinquency rate stood at 7.5% on Sept. 30, compared to 6.3% on June 30, and 7.8% on Sept. 30, 1998. During the third quarter Metris experienced fraud losses of $1.7 million. For complete current and historical statistics on Metris companies visit CardData ([][1]).

3Q/99 2Q/99
Receivables: $6,685,075,000 $6,452,657,000
Q Volume: $1,539,563,000 $1,290,188,000
Accounts: 4,895,000 4,167,000
Actives: 3,161,000 2,628,000
Cards: 6,216,000 4,991,000

Source: CardData (



Saeger on E-Stamp Board

E-Stamp Corporation (Nasdaq:ESTM), the pioneer of Internet postage, Wednesday announced the appointment of a prominent industry executive to its Board of Directors.

Rebecca (Becky) Saeger, executive vice president, brand marketing, Visa U.S.A., will bring valuable insight and a wealth of brand experience to E-Stamp as the company moves forward.

“We are delighted to welcome Becky to our board,” says Robert H. Ewald, president and chief executive officer of E-Stamp Corporation. “Her extensive branding experience, and her understanding of brand essence, will be a tremendous asset as we position E-Stamp as the premier Internet postage brand,” he says.

As the executive vice president of Visa U.S.A’s marketing, Rebecca has gained over 20 years experience in business-to-business and consumer brand and marketing strategy. At Visa she is responsible for leading and expanding Visa’s brand and product leadership through strategic advertising, promotions, co-branding and marketing programs.

Previously, Saeger spent six years at Foote, Cone and Belding, San Francisco, a global advertising agency network, where she led national marketing campaigns for major brands including Pillsbury and Janus. Prior to that, Saeger worked at Ogilvy and Mather in New York, for 11 years, holding a number of different positions including senior vice president group director managing major multinational accounts like Unilever and American Express.

“This is an incredibly exciting time not only for e-commerce but especially for the Internet postage industry,” says Saeger. “E-Stamp is a true pioneer and I’m really looking forward to helping the marketing team establish a compelling brand identity while strengthening the company’s position in the market,” she says.

The complete E-Stamp solution costs only $49.99 and includes the E-Stamp software, an electronic vault (which stores the postage once it has been downloaded from the Internet), and a kit with documentation and labels. A 10% convenience fee is charged when postage is purchased, with a minimum fee of $4.99 and a maximum fee of $24.99 per purchase. There are no monthly fees or monthly minimums charged.

About E-Stamp

We provide an easy-to-use Internet postage solution that enables customers to purchase, download and print postage directly from their personal computer. The purchased postage can be printed onto envelopes, labels or documents using standard laser or inkjet printers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without the need to remain connected to the Internet. We received approval from the U.S. Postal Service in August 1999 for our Internet postage solution, and since then have been selling our solution nationally.

Our Internet postage solution is targeted at small business, small office and home office users, collectively known as SOHO users, most of whom usually connect on modems at speeds of 28.8 or 33.6 kilobytes per second and share lines with telephones or fax machines. We have established strategic relationships with industry leaders including Microsoft, Yahoo!, Compaq, Excite@Home, America Online, Francotyp-Postalia and Avery Dennison. For more information about E-Stamp, please visit our web site at [][1].



NextCard Deals

NextCard signed agreements yesterday with Advanta and NextCard signed Advanta to be the preferred provider of non-conforming mortgage products to NextCard’s online applicants. Under this agreement, Advanta and NextCard will combine their marketing expertise to identify consumers most interested in non-conforming mortgage products. NextCard’s online applicants will be able to access Advanta’s full portfolio of mortgage products including first mortgages and lines of credit. NextCard also signed, an e-business ratings site, to an exclusive Internet marketing agreement. offers members shopping rebates, up to 25%, when buying through’s shopping Web site featuring 1,900 customer-rated online stores. ‘BizRate NextCard VISA’ holders can have their rebates automatically posted to the credit card account monthly.


Miva & Heartland E-Commerce

Miva Corporation, a provider of Web commerce software, announced Wednesday that it has entered into a partnership with Heartland Payment Systems LLC. to provide web merchants with a unique “one stop” E-Commerce program. The solution offers quick and easy processing of credit card payments and other E-Commerce transactions.

This partnership solves the complicated process of setting up a compatible merchant account, payment gateway and shopping cart. Miva customers can apply for a merchant account with Heartland Payment Systems. During the application process the merchant can choose from one of three fully supported payment gateways which include, CyberSource and Signio. Once approved, Merchants are issued a username and password that they will enter into the Miva payment-processing module.

This program will be offered through a co-branded online application with an electronic approval process. This process will allow Miva customers to start accepting credit card transactions online within 48 hours or less, subject to approval and merchant acceptance.

“Heartland is delighted that Miva has chosen us as a partner for their e-commerce solution. This model fits Heartland’s continued direction to enhance the process of enabling e-merchants with a quality merchant account,” said John Waldron, VP of Internet Marketing and Sales at Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nations largest credit card processors.

“This new partnership further reflects our commitment to reduce the complexity of implementing the integration of web sales with real time payment processing,” says Miva Vice President of Marketing, Jim Getzinger.

“Setting up an online store including getting a merchant account and integrating payments can still be a challenging task. We are very pleased to join Miva and Heartland to deliver a comprehensive, high quality and affordable e-commerce solution that simplifies the process for a merchant to go online,” said Philippe Courtot, CEO and chairman Signio, Inc.

About Miva Corporation

Founded in 1996, Miva Corporation is a leading provider of systems for business users to create and manage commerce sites and data driven Web sites using only a Web browser. The company’s products are open and allow developers to script sites using the popular XML-based scripting language, Miva Script. Since its inception, Miva Corporation has provided its customers with easy-to-use technology that scales to tens of thousands of virtual domains per system.

Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems is a member service provider for Heartland Bank, St. Louis, Missouri and Key Bank, National Association, Cleveland OH. Heartland Payment Systems is a full-service merchant card processor, offering merchants a comprehensive set of payment processing services. Heartland Payment Systems is located online at [][1]

About Signio

Signio, Inc., (formerly known as PaymentNet) delivers a highly scalable and reliable Internet payment platform to help businesses profit from the rapidly expanding e-commerce market. With its revolutionary low 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 impressive customers, with such notables as CBS Sportsline, C/NET,, Network Solutions, Inc., Prime Sports Interactive, Virtual Vineyards, and WebMD. Signio is headquartered in Redwood Shores, CA. For more information about Signio, visit [][2].




Electronic Clearing House yesterday introduced the ‘ECHONET’ service, a browser-based interface to ECHO’s Web site, targeted at smaller merchants who have Internet access but do not have the transaction volume to warrant the purchase of a POS terminal. The service allows the merchant to access the full suite of Internet transactions which include deposits, credits, credit card authorizations and address verification. ‘ECHONET’ merchants can also review their transactions online at any time.


TNS 3Q/99

Transaction Network Services, Inc. reported third quarter revenues of $46.1 million, a 80 percent increase over third quarter 1998 revenues of $25.6 million.

Revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 1999 reached $126.9 million, compared to $64.1 million for the year-ago period.

Net income for the quarter reached $5.5 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared to $2.1 million, or $0.16 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter. Net income for the nine months was $9.6 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, compared to $5.8 million, or $0.44 per diluted share for the same period in 1998.

The company’s POS division contributed $31.1 million to revenues this quarter compared to $16.4 million in the year-ago quarter, representing a 90 percent increase. Year-over-year transaction volume grew from 907 million in the year-ago quarter to 1.6 billion this quarter. Average daily transaction volume for the quarter grew to 17.3 million compared to 9.9 million for the same period last year. These increases reflect incremental volumes from the September 1998 acquisition of AT&T’s Transaction Access Service (TAS) business, as well as continued growth from existing POS customers. TNS’ migration of all TAS transactions to its network was completed in September of 1999.

TNS’ Telecom Services division third quarter revenues grew 24 percent year-over-year to $9.8 million from increased usage of its CARD*TEL(R) telephone call billing validation and fraud control services and other telecommunications services.

The International Systems division, which includes TNS subsidiaries in Ireland, Sweden, France, and the UK, contributed $3.4 million to revenues this quarter, an increase of 475 percent from $591,000 for the same period last year. These revenues include transaction revenues primarily from TNS’ UK subsidiary and royalty revenues generated from transactions in Canada.

The Financial Services division contributed $1.9 million to revenue this quarter, a 187 percent increase over third quarter revenues of $662,000 in 1998. These revenues were generated primarily from the addition of new customers to the financial services network and from revenues added through the acquisition of Transline Communications Inc. in January, 1999. The TNS financial services network provides a secure, independent, Internet Protocol (“IP”) Extranet for transacting securities trading orders and associated data electronically between brokerage firms and financial institutions.

Transaction Network Services, Inc. (TNS), headquartered in Reston, Virginia, provides data communications services for transaction-oriented applications. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TNI. Additional company information is available on the TNS website at [][1].

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
September 30, September 30,
——————- ——————-
1999 1998 1999 1998
——- ——- ——- ——

Revenues $ 46,127 $ 25,582 $126,954 $ 64,092

Cost of network services 24,513 15,175 75,413 37,049

——- ——– ——— ——

Gross profit 21,614 10,407 51,541 27,043

——- ——– ——— ——

Other operating expenses:
Engineering & development 1,735 1,370 4,662 3,538

Selling, general &
administrative 5,611 3,152 14,631 8,337

Depreciation 2,732 1,805 7,812 4,792

Amortization of intangibles 2,019 1,031 6,205 2,123

Reserve for AMNEX
assets (Note 2) – – 919 –

——- ——- ——– ——–

Total other operating
expenses 12,097 7,358 34,229 18,790

——- ——- ——– ——–

Income from operations
before provision for
income taxes, equity in
earnings of affiliate and
minority interest 9,517 3,049 17,312 8,253

Interest expense (1,126) – (3,051) –

Interest income and other 379 54 1,253 910

——- ——– ——— ——–

Income before provision for
income taxes 8,770 3,103 15,514 9,163

Provision for income taxes 3,290 1,202 5,842 3,597

Equity in earnings of
Unconsolidated affiliate – 178 93 259

Minority interest in net
income of consolidated
subsidiary – 20 (128) 20

——- ——– ——— ——-

Net income $ 5,480 $ 2,099 9,637 $ 5,845

======= ======== ========= =======

Diluted earnings per
common share $ 0.38 $ 0.16 $ 0.69 $ 0.44

Basic earnings per
common share $ 0.41 $ 0.17 $ 0.73 $ 0.46
======= ======== ========= ========

Weighted average
shares – diluted 14,555 13,470 14,058 13,253

======= ======== ========= ========

Weighted average
common shares – basic 13,530 12,690 13,199 12,577

======= ======== ========= ========



BC Card Insurance

Korea’s BC Card Company and CIGNA International signed a long-term agreement to market, sell and distribute a broad spectrum of insurance products and services in the Republic of Korea. The ten year deal will enable BC Card to provide its customers with a variety of life, accident and health insurance coverages underwritten by the Life Insurance Company of North America in Korea, CIGNA International’s Korean life insurance affiliate. BC Card, a general consumer financial services company that offers credit cards, insurance, travel services and mail order sales, manages a customer database encompassing more than 100 million pieces of credit information in Korea.


Cardpro Acquisition Completed

Financial software and processing services leader M&I Data Services has finalized its acquisition of Cardpro Services, Inc., a leading provider of credit and debit card personalization services.

The acquisition will strengthen M&I Data Services’ electronic funds delivery business by enhancing and expanding the products and services offered to customers. Cardpro Services brings to M&I an experienced management team and support staff, as well as a growing customer base, which provides M&I a strong and established market position. With the acquisition, M&I Data Services will support in excess of 1,500 customers while gaining opportunities to service a wider basis of customers within the financial, healthcare and transit industries.

“The Cardpro Services business unit adds substantial depth to the offerings of M&I Data Services’ Electronic Funds Delivery (EFD Services) business,” said Frank D’Angelo, senior vice president and general manager of EFD Services for M&I Data Services.

Cardpro has delivered plastic card customization and procurement solutions since its founding in 1979. Cardpro card personalization technologies include embossing, encoding, thermal printing, PIN generation and mailing, card activation labeling, and others. Cardpro is Visa and MasterCard certified for card encoding and embossing.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., M&I Data Services is a division of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (Nasdaq: MRIS), a $23.6 billion holding company. M&I Data Services had total revenue of $509 million in 1998 and provides leading-edge technology solutions to the financial services industry, offering consulting, software and processing solutions for financial institutions worldwide. The company’s rapid growth is being fueled by innovative product development, strategic product acquisitions and strong growth of its customer relationships. For more information visit the M&I Data Services Web site at [][1].

The Electronic Funds Delivery (EFD) Services division of M&I Data Services processes and authorizes over 80 million transactions a month, supports more than 7,500 ATMs, has issued more than 10 million ATM and debit card accounts, performs network gateway services, and has network interfaces to all of the major regional and national ATM and point-of-sale (POS) networks. The EFD Services division provides complete cardholder services (600,000 credit card accounts) and merchant services (36,000 merchants), credit approval, and portfolio risk management, and offers a neural network fraud management solution and card personalization services.


Details Takes Form, Inc., on-line marketer of the Aspire Visa credit card, announced Wednesday that it has engaged the services of iXL, Inc. for on-line internet marketing communications, and WestWayne, Inc., an integrated marketing communications firm, for off-line, traditional communications.

“We have an excellent team in place to establish [][1] as the premier site for on-line credit card marketing,” said Richard House, president of, Inc., Inc., a wholly owned Internet subsidiary of CompuCredit Corporation (NASDAQ: CCRT), launched its web site, [][2], in July of this year to meet the demand for real time approval of credit card applications on-line.

Atlanta-based iXL, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of iXL Enterprises (Nasdaq: IIXL), is a leading strategic Internet services company which provided front-end web site design and systems engineering for the connection to’s advanced risk evaluation system. In August, iXL also began designing the on-line media campaign for Atlanta-based WestWayne, Inc., through its cultural marketing division, BlackSheep, will develop and launch the off-line media campaign for in the 4th quarter of this year.

Interested consumers may apply for an Aspire Visa credit card on the web by entering [][3], then clicking on the application icon. After completing a credit application on-line through the site, the applicant will receive an answer within seconds. According to House,, Inc. is among only a few select credit card companies that can provide real time decisioning on-line., a wholly owned subsidiary of CompuCredit Corporation, promotes the Aspire Visa credit card on the Internet. CompuCredit Corporation is a credit card company that uses technology based analytical techniques it has developed to identify credit-worthy consumers who it believes are not currently being served by more traditional consumer credit providers. CompuCredit markets Aspire Visa credit cards to these consumers on an unsecured basis through traditional channels such as direct mail and telemarketing, as well as through its Internet marketing services subsidiary,, Inc. CompuCredit also markets life insurance, card registration, telecommunication products, membership in buying clubs, travel services and debt waiver programs to its cardholders. Aspire Visa cards are issued by Columbus Bank and Trust under an agreement with CompuCredit. CompuCredit completed its initial public offering in April 1999. CompuCredit was included in the Russell 2000(R) Index in July of this year.



ORGA Brazil

DARUMA ORGA Card Systems has opened a new production site in Taubate, Brazil. This is ORGA’s fourth smart card production plant worldwide. The DARUMA ORGA plant will produce custom smart cards for telecommunications, banking, transport and retail clients. The first VISA certification has been completed. The DARUMA ORGA Card Systems joint venture was founded in Dec. 1998. DARUMA is a leader in Brazil’s telecommunications sector. ORGA also has smart card plants in Germany, South Africa and Russia.