Text Analysis Fights Fraud

HNC Financial Solutions said yesterday it has completed a pilot study to investigate the application of its proprietary ‘Content Mining’ technology to the ‘Falcon’ fraud detection system. The study analyzed unstructured text data available in payment card transactions to determine whether it improved the ‘Falcon’ system’s fraud detection abilities. HNC says by applying new modeling techniques along with its capabilities in analyzing unstructured text the company plans to build new ‘Falcon’ models that detect fraudulent activity faster and with greater efficiency. Preliminary findings suggest that this methodology can provide up to a 30% increase in the frauds detected in accounts receiving high fraud scores. HNC says these enhanced ‘Falcon’ models will be complementary to and distinct from ‘RiskFinder’, HNC’s fraudulent transaction prediction system developed jointly with MasterCard.


TSYS Mexico Update

Total System Services de Mexico S.A. de C.V.(TSYS de Mexico) Wednesday announced the appointment of Jesus Navarro Torres to serve as its new Director General. TSYS de Mexico is a joint venture company of Total System Services, Inc., a global processing leader, and Controladora PROSA, S.A. de C.V. TSYS de Mexico currently processes one-third of the Visa and MasterCard credit card accounts issued in Mexico.

Mr. Navarro was formally approved by the TSYS de Mexico(R) board of directors at its July meeting in Mexico City. A seasoned business leader and a native of Mexico, Mr. Navarro has nearly 20 years experience in the financial and information services industries. He has served as the chief financial officer (CFO) of TSYS de Mexico since the formation of the company in 1995.

“Mr. Navarro has proven his leadership abilities managing the financial policies and procedures as CFO,” said TSYS de Mexico President Jorge Alfaro. “His appointment emphasizes the joint venture’s continued commitment to provide quality processing services to our clients in Mexico.”

H. Lynn Drury, TSYS group vice president, international services, said, “TSYS is very pleased to welcome Mr. Navarro as Director General. We began our international expansion in Mexico, and it continues to be an important market for us.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to take TSYS de Mexico to the next level and to increase our market presence. We are committed to strengthening our ties with our customers, refocusing on their individual needs and maximizing the value they receive from our services,” Mr. Navarro said. “We already provide our clients with a dynamic processing platform and state-of- the-art production services, and we plan to offer new services to help our customers remain competitive and grow their businesses,” he added.

Prior to joining TSYS de Mexico, Mr. Navarro served as the director of planning and financial control for Promocion y Operacion, S.A. de C.V. (Prosa/Carnet/Red) where he participated in the formation of TSYS de Mexico. As a certified public accountant in private practice, he managed auditing, accounting and tax projects for such clients as American Express, Diners Club, Grupo Interacciones and Probursa.

TSYS, through its 49 percent ownership of the joint venture, is the only non-Mexico based processor with production facilities in Mexico. The 52,000 square foot state-of- the-art facility in Toluca, approximately thirty-five miles west of Mexico City, is the only ISO 9002 certified card processing facility in Mexico. In addition to its processing facility in Toluca, TSYS de Mexico also operates a business office in Mexico City.

Headquartered in Toluca, Mexico, TSYS de Mexico is the processor of choice in Mexico, processing for one-third of the Mexican card market. TSYS de Mexico processes private label, Visa and MasterCard accounts and provides printing, statementing, card embossing and distribution services for financial and non-financial institutions throughout Latin America.

TSYS is one of the world’s leading information technology processors of data, transactions and payments for domestic and international issuers of credit, debit, commercial and private-label cards. TSYS’ sophisticated systems offer online accounting, data processing, electronic commerce services, portfolio management, account acquisition, credit evaluation, risk management and customer service. Through our family of companies, TSYS services the entire lifecycle of card accounts and processes more than 192 million accounts, making it possible for an estimated 269 million cardholders to use their cards any time, anywhere. Headquartered in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([http://www.totalsystem.com][1] ) is an 80.8 percent owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ([http://www.synovus.com][2] ) named the Best Company to Work for in America by FORTUNE magazine.

[1]: http://www.totalsystem.com/
[2]: http://www.synovus.com/


HealthCare MasterCard

Metris Companies and HealthCare Credit.Com unveiled the new co-branded ‘Trilogy Family Benefits MasterCard’ Wednesday. HealthCare Credit.Com will market the ‘Trilogy Family Benefits’ program to its corporate clients. Currently, HealthCare Credit.Com distributes the program through organizations whose employees have little or no health care coverage. The program offers discounted pharmaceuticals, dental, chiropractic and vision services. Metris is also making an investment into HealthCare Credit.Com.


CheckFree Promotions

CheckFree, the leading provider of financial electronic commerce processing and electronic billing and payment, yesterday announced that Matthew (Matt) S. Lewis, Randal (Randy) A. McCoy, and Stephen (Steve) Olsen each have been promoted from senior vice president to executive vice president of CheckFree’s Electronic Commerce division. Lewis oversees CheckFree EC Product Management and Marketing, while McCoy and Olsen supervise the Company’s electronic commerce and EBP products and services as head of EC Development and Chief Information Officer respectively.

All three executives will continue to report directly to CheckFree President and Chief Operating Officer Pete Sinisgalli.

“During CheckFree’s fiscal 1999, Matt successfully established a core Product Management organization and began the process of centralizing all of these functions to ensure the Company meets its long-term objectives,” said Sinisgalli. Lewis also successfully integrated Marketing efforts with Product Management.

Under McCoy’s leadership, the EC division’s software development group continued to deliver market-leading, quality products on very aggressive schedules. “Randy’s extensive knowledge of the electronic commerce processing industry is a tremendous asset to our development organization and to CheckFree overall,” added Sinisgalli.

“Steve has successfully led our Information Technology Operations (ITO) group over the past year and has established the framework for our long-term technology infrastructure and operating practices. His proven ability to manage complex environments and establish operating disciplines will ensure we meet our quality objectives for the ITO organization,” said Sinisgalli.

About CheckFree

Founded in 1981, CheckFree ([http://www.checkfree.com][1] ), the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corporation, is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services, software and related products. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable nearly three million consumers to receive and pay bills over the Internet or electronically through a variety of bill aggregation points, including banks, brokerage firms, portals and interactive content sites on the Internet, and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree’s range of services and products are focused on enabling customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure Internet transactions.

After more than a year of beta testing, CheckFree launched the nation’s first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution, CheckFree E-Bill, in March of 1997. Today, the Company has multi-year contracts with more than 60 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through the CheckFree distribution network.

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


Euronet Update

Michael Brown, Chairman and CEO of Euronet Services Inc., has announced the appointment of Alex Groenendyk as the company’s Vice President of Business Development. Mr. Groenendyk will be responsible for sales and market development on a worldwide basis. He will also develop the relationships of ARKSYS, Euronet’s wholly-owned subsidiary, with other providers of complementary core banking software such as Fiserv, MKI and Datapro.

Mr. Groenendyk was most recently President of the CBS (Comprehensive Banking System) International division of Fiserv, one of the world’s largest core retail banking software suppliers. During his four-year tenure at CBS International, the division grew by more than 400% — exceeding budgeted profits for 18 consecutive quarters — to become one of Fiserv’s largest divisions. While at Fiserv, Mr. Groenendyk was twice selected as President of the Year within the Fiserv group.

Mr. Brown stated, “We are very pleased to have attracted Alex. He is an example of the outstanding pool of talent and industry experience we are building within Euronet to position our company as a leading provider of e-commerce and electronic transaction solutions for the financial industry.”

Mr. Groenendyk was educated in the United Kingdom and received an Honors Degree in Economics and an MBA from the University of Lancaster. Prior to his post as president of Fiserv’s CBS International division, Mr. Groenendyk was a regional manager for CBS covering Europe, Central Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Before working with Fiserv, Mr. Groenendyk served as worldwide sales director for IBIS, which provides wholesale banking solutions for the IBM AS/400 platform. He has also held the position of branch manager with BIS Banking Systems (now MKI) in Asia and Europe.

Mr. Groenendyk added, “In an environment where both the traditional financial organizations and the new entrants are heavily focusing on attracting, retaining and cross-selling their customers in the new e-commerce era, Euronet’s strategy of providing tailor-made electronic financial services to their customers is right on target.”

Established in 1994, Euronet is a provider of electronic financial solutions and transaction processing for retail banks and companies. Euronet operates an independent ATM network in Europe and owns a US-based software subsidiary, ARKSYS, specialized in electronic payment and transaction delivery systems. The company offers ATM network participation, outsourced management solutions, and comprehensive software solutions to financial organizations around the world. Euronet ATMs accept transactions for a wide range of bank cards through agreements with Visa and MasterCard/Europay sponsor banks and international card issuers such as American Express and Diners Club International. ARKSYS software fully integrates all aspects of electronic financial transaction processing for the retail financial environment, including payment and transaction delivery for ATM systems, credit and debit card management, POS transaction, comprehensive card and client management, e-commerce and Internet banking. ARKSYS currently has more than 200 customers in over 60 countries.


Road Runner Ads

First USA signed a multi-year strategic marketing partnership with Road Runner Power Media Services yesterday. RPM is the largest broadband media sales group in the nation selling against the largest network of U.S. affiliate systems. By aggregating Road Runner’s 320,000+ subscribers into a national network, RPM provides an opportunity for advertisers to tap the broadband environment. RPM currently has more than fifteen clients learning about broadband ad effectiveness by targeting promotions on the Road Runner service.



NY-based Cardholder Management Services L.P. announced yesterday that it has formed a new holding company called: CardWorks, L.P.. The company says the formation of the new holding company will help the firm achieve its short and long term goals in the non-prime credit card business. CMS, established in 1986 and now employs 500 people, provides third-party customer service, collections and portfolio management for more than one million card accounts from approximately 50 issuers. In 1996 the firm received an equity investment from Hyperion Partners II to capitalize on the non-prime credit card business. In 1997, CMS launched Merrick Bank in Salt Lake City to purchase distressed card portfolios and to issue non-prime VISA and MasterCards to its non-prime customers.


PayForView Goes iPIN

PayForView.com announced Tuesday it has joined the iPIN payment network for the processing of online, transaction-based billing for purchases made on the PayForView Web site. By joining the network, PayForView will be able to process “micro payments” — payments under $20 — for video and audio streams, downloadable content and any merchandise up to $20. Joining the iPIN network, in addition to using standard credit card transactions, gives PayForView the ability to cost-effectively process transactions of all sizes and gives the consumer more choice in how they want to pay.

New Online Transaction Model

The iPIN solution represents a new model for billing on the Internet as it is based on a Personal Identification Number (PIN) similar to that of an ATM, and is billed through the user’s ISP. This eliminates the need to send personal information such as credit card numbers over the Web. For example, when a user visits a site that has joined the iPIN network, they simply present their PIN number in order to purchase merchandise or content, have the transaction totals tallied and sent to them through their ISP (who is also part of the iPIN network) as part of their normal bill.

“In addition to providing a wide variety of content, we also want to give our users a complete and easy-to-use Web experience and an important part of that is a variety of options for payment,” said Marc A. Pitcher, president of PayForView. “The iPIN solution gives us a cost-efficient alternative to conventional payment methods, such as credit cards, and gives our customers an easy way to conduct transactions on the PayForView site, as well as numerous other Web sites.”

About PayForView

PayForView.com is an Internet based entertainment company that will distribute movies, music, sports and live events direct to viewers on a pay-for-view, retail and e-commerce basis. The company is in the process of acquiring content and creating programming and broadcasting specifically for the Internet. Additionally, the company has “off line” sources of revenue, through Hip-Hop music label Street Solid Records, which is releasing four albums over the next four months through K-Tel Distribution. Voyager International Entertainment is currently developing and acquiring entertainment products for the PayForView portal and for distribution through traditional channels.

Certain information included in this communication (as well as information included in oral statements or other written statements made or to be made by PayForView.com) contains statements that are forward looking, such as statements relating to the future anticipated direction of the internet industry, plans for future expansion, various business development activities, planned capital expenditures, future funding resources, anticipated sales growth and potential contracts. These forward looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual operations or results to differ materially from those anticipated.


Bank One/FUSA Re-States

Bank One/First USA restated its first and second quarter figures yesterday to CardData (www.carddata.com). The adjusted figures for the first quarter shows that receivables were $68.0 billion instead of the previously reported $68.2 billion. Charge volume for the first quarter was also revised downward from $26.8 billion to $26.7 billion. Bank One/First USA’s second quarter numbers show a net gain of more than 700,000 cards during the second quarter. For the more current quarterly figures on more than 300 major U.S. issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).


1Q/99 2Q/99
Receivables: $68,009,000,000 $68,981,000,000
YTD Volume: $26,711,100,000 $28,712,300,000
Cards: 58.075,000 58,785,900

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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


SmartDisk Hires Kraul

SmartDisk Corporation, a company focused on providing simple, innovative solutions that advance and enhance the use of miniature storage media and smart cards, Tuesday announced the appointment of Douglas Kraul as vice president of Audio/Video Products. Mr. Kraul’s responsibilities will include managing SmartDisk’s Atlanta area-based product engineering and development team.

“Doug brings to SmartDisk a wealth of experience in the electronics and computer industries,” said Michael S. Battaglia, President and CEO, SmartDisk Corporation. “He has been a leader of hardware and software operations, a researcher and engineer, and, most interestingly, a musician who owns a production studio and label. We look forward to the many contributions that he will make.”

Prior to joining SmartDisk, Mr. Kraul was co-founder, president and chairman of Harmony Systems, Inc., a company that creates Internet desktop client software and applications for information management and electronic musical products.

Previously, from 1979 to 1981 and again from 1993 to 1997, Mr. Kraul was with Motorola, holding a succession of managerial positions involving the research, design and strategic marketing of personal wireless communications and data products and services. His most recent position at Motorola was as vice president and general manager of the Platform Software Division, a division he also helped to establish.

His other experience includes high-level posts with Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer, PrintaColor Corporation and Data General. A prolific writer, he has published articles in Electronic Design, Foreign Language Annals, Audio-Visual Instruction, Byte Magazine, Electronotes, and Electronic Musician, and co-authored The Musical PC Book. He also holds eight U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned his BEE degree.

About SmartDisk Corporation

SmartDisk Corporation designs, develops and markets products that simplify the digital lifestyle. Its patented product solutions enable the easy transfer of images, music, voice and data among personal computers, the Internet and various types of digital appliances that use flash memory cards and/or smart cards. SmartDisk’s objective is to utilize its proprietary technology to capitalize on the growing demand for digital appliances and increased usage of the Internet. The market for SmartDisk’s solutions includes users of the ubiquitous and resilient 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, found worldwide on most personal computers. SmartDisk’s investors include Toshiba Corporation, Fischer, Hitachi, NEC and others. For more information, go to [www.smartdisk.com][1].

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


FreeMac VISA

A startup called FreeMac.com will be the first company in the world to give away one million Apple ‘iMac’ computers. Scheduled to launch in September, FreeMac.com will give away the sexy Apple ‘iMac’ to consumers who qualify for the FreeMac-branded/First USA credit card and who agree to pay the standard $19.95 per month Internet service provider fee for three years. Initial partners for the new enterprise include: ISP EarthLink Network, First USA, CyberCash and artist Peter Max. The company’s mission is to build the FreeMac community, a select group of over one million households who will be able to take advantage of discounted product and service offerings, as well as other highly targeted marketing opportunities. Members of the community will be able to create their own customized EarthLink start pages, build free web sites, engage in e-commerce and take advantage of the full multimedia capabilities of their ‘iMacs’. Two gigabytes of each ‘iMac’s’ hard drive will be reserved for exclusive multimedia content from FreeMac.com’s entertainment partners. Each free ‘iMac’ will also be configured with a CyberCash ‘InstaBuy’ wallet, enabling instant one-click shopping at a number of online merchants.