Discover Partners

Discover Financial Services announced late last week its list of ‘Platinum Partners’ for Discover ‘Platinum’ cardholders. Under the program cardholders who receive a yearly ‘Cashback Bonus’ award of up to 1% can double the award through certificates that are redeemed at select merchants. Participating merchants include: United Airlines; Hyatt Hotels; Alamo; Blockbuster; Rand McNally; Foot Locker; 1-800-flowers; Omaha Steaks; Lobster Gram; Samsonite; Royal Caribbean; Carnival Cruises; Delta Certified Vacations;; Virtual Vineyards; and Discover Brokerage.



American Express is unleashing a major new advertising campaign to support its charge card business in the UK. Competition in the UK is heating up after the recent entry of Providian and Discover into the credit card market. One of the four initial themes features Lennox Lewis in the boxing ring promoting AmEx as “Handy If You Get Robbed in America”, highlighting AmEx’s emergency card and cash replacement services. Another spot features the tag line “What the Brits Pack”. Insertions will appear in the national press and national press supplements as well as lifestyle magazines such as Vanity Fair and Harpers & Queen through to current affairs weeklies such as Time and The Economist. The 3mGBP advertising campaign was developed by Ogilvy & Mather. Media buying is being handled by Carat.


Renaissance Cited

Portland, OR-Renaissance Holdings, Inc. (RHI), a Beaverton, OR-based financial services company, has been recognized by The Business Journal as one of the 100 fastest-growing private companies. This award acknowledges businesses with headquarters in the Portland metro area that have experienced record growth since 1996, tripling its workforce to 499 employees and reporting a 146% increase in gross revenue.

‘We are happy to be recognized as the 30th fastest growing private company in the Portland metropolitan area. Last year was the most significant growth year in the company’s eight-year history and we expect equally dynamic account growth in the future,’ said Irving Levin, CEO of Renaissance Holdings.

The Business Journal received entries from companies within the 5-county metro area (Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, OR and Clark, WA). Business that met the following qualifications were considered for an award: annual growth over each of the past three full year; revenue of more than $200,000 but less than $50 million in fiscal 1996; and an independent, privately hold corporation, proprietorship or partnership with headquarters in the Portland metro area. The winners were notified of their rankings and presented their awards on June 12, 1999 at The Business Journal’s Awards Reception held at The Oregon Zoo. Primary sponsors of the project included PricewaterhouseCoopers and KeyBank.

Privately held RHI originates, manages and services customized sub-prime MasterCard and Visa programs on behalf of cardholders, financial institutions, retailers and affinity groups. Through its two subsidiaries, Renaissance Bankcard Services and Orchard Bank, the company provides credit card and credit education to individuals who have difficulty obtaining credit from traditional lenders. Established in 1991, Renaissance helped pioneer sub-prime credit card products and management systems and is considered a knowledge leader in this market segment.

Founded in 1976, Banco Santander Puerto Rico is a publicly held company which trades in the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘SBP’, The Hank, which is the second largest in the local market, has been operating in Puerto Rico for 22 years and offers a full array of services in the areas of commercial, mortgage and consumer banking, support by a team of more than 1,700 employees. Banco Santander Puerto Rico has 76 branches in Puerto Rico, 14 of which are fully automated branches operating under the name of ‘Red Express’, and one branch in New York City.

Banco Santander Central Hispano (BSCH), S.A., the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America, owns 78.3% of Banco Santander Puerto Rico outstanding common shares. It is the first bank by stock market capitalization in the Euro Zone and the eighth by assets volume. According to proforma balance sheets and statements of income on March 31, 1999, BSCII had US $337.61 billions in total managed funds and US $259.46 billions in assets, with 22 millions clients and operations in 31 countries including all the major international financial centers in the world.

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Express Company, is a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It provides card, Travelers Cheque, travel and financial services in over 160 countries.

While continuing to grow its proprietary card business, American Express has been aggressively pursuing its strategy of opening its merchant network to other card issuers around the world. In the last several years it has developed partnerships with 47 such institutions in more than 50 countries.


CheckFree Promotion

CheckFree, the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services, software and related products, Friday announced the promotion of Frank Polashock to president of New Jersey-based CheckFree Investment Services (CFIS). Polashock will report directly to CheckFree President and Chief Operating Officer Pete Sinisgalli.

Polashock joined CheckFree’s Investment Services division in May 1997 as executive vice president and general manager. “Over the past two years, Frank has led CFIS to substantial improvements in quality, productivity and financial performance,” said Sinisgalli. “In addition, he and the entire team of CFIS associates have positioned the division for a very exciting and rewarding future.”

Under Polashock’s leadership, the CFIS team has increased revenue by 67 percent, while operating income has nearly tripled. The number of portfolios managed on CFIS’ APL system has doubled to more than 700,000. The acquisition of the Mobius Group in March has expanded the division’s product offerings to include data-based information services and products extending to the rapidly growing financial planner marketplace.

About CheckFree

Founded in 1981, CheckFree ( ), 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 50 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through the CheckFree distribution network.


New Visa Region Prez

VISA International announced this weekend that Jonathan Sanchez-Jaimes will take over as the new president of VISA’s Latin America and Caribbean Region. He will succeed James Partridge, one of the founders of VISA, and the Region’s first president, who is retiring. Partridge will continue to serve as a member of the VISA International, Latin America and Caribbean Region Board of Directors, and as a Senior Advisor to the Region. Sanchez-Jaimes began working with VISA in the Latin America and Caribbean Region, as senior consultant in 1996. Since 1997, Sanchez-Jaimes has served as a VISA EVP. He will be based in Miami.


Saratoga To Target Hispanics

Saratoga International Holdings, Corp. released additional information concerning the operation of its recently acquired telecom operation through its wholly owned subsidiary, Saratoga Telecom Corp.

The Telecom industry and the purchase of the Telecom division of Internet Interview, Inc. which was closed last week, represents a major opportunity for the company. The company initially plans to market pre-paid long distance cards over the Internet to Spanish speaking countries.

The company’s operation within the pre-paid long distance telephone card arena will be the foundation from which SHCC will launch its Internet based business. The company is planning to concentrate on building by acquisition and by increase in market share within the Telecom sector of e-commerce. The Internet offers a multitude of commercial venture opportunities that have relatively low cost entry and huge upside potential.

SHCC’s association with major telecom industry companies lends credibility to SHCC’s entry into the e-commerce field. The company plans to offer its products and services to Central and South America initially with expansion to Europe and the Pacific to follow.

The company is pursuing selling other products on the net. Included is the selling of phone-to-phone service over the net. Negotiations are currently underway with several providers of telecom products and services. Industry analysts forecast that in two to three years telephony over the Internet will be the medium of choice for the movement of voice and data. At a fraction of today’s prices Internet phone usage is expected to explode. Several companies have such products available or under development. SHCC is of the opinion that the company would be ideally positioned to sell these exciting new services.. More details will be published, as they become available.


CheckFree Signs Navy FCU

CheckFree and Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union, Wednesday announced the availability of online electronic billing and payment (EBP) through the Navy Federal-branded Web Bill Pay service powered by CheckFree. The service became available to Navy Federal’s 1.8 million members worldwide in late December.

By using the Navy Federal Web Bill Pay service, members have access to their summary and detailed bill information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, Navy Federal members are able to pay their bills with the click of a button. To register and begin receiving and paying their bills electronically, Navy Federal members can visit under “Web Bill Pay.”

“With our members deployed around the world, Web Bill Pay, a part of Navy Federal Online, is another way to provide them 24 by 7 service,” said Franklin Myers, senior vice president of Research and Development at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Web Bill Pay and our other electronic services reinforce Navy Federal’s motto of ‘We Serve Where You Serve.'”

CheckFree now has contracts with more than 50 of the nation’s top 100 billers to present bills via Web sites such as Navy Federal that offer the CheckFree EBP service. These companies include: Ameren (Union Electric), American Electric Power, AT&T, Avista Utilities (Washington Water Power), BellSouth, Boston Edison, Chase Credit Card, Chase Mortgage, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Consumers’ Energy, Countrywide Home Loans Inc., Cox Communications, CUNA Mutual Group, Florida Power & Light, GPU Energy, GTE, Hawaiian Electric, HomeSide Lending, Illinois Power, International Billing Services, MCI WorldCom, Nevada Power, Northeast Utilities, Northern Illinois Gas (NICOR), Public Service Company of New Mexico, PGE, Small Business Administration, Southern California Edison, Southern Co., and Total System Services Inc. (TSYS).

“We are pleased to count Navy Federal as part of our growing distribution network for EBP,” said Lynn Busing, executive vice president of Account Management for CheckFree. “Credit unions have a long history of providing financial services for consumers; therefore, it is no surprise that industry leaders like Navy Federal are among the first to offer the future of electronic billing and payment to their customers.”

About Navy Federal Credit Union

Headquartered in Vienna, Va., Navy Federal Credit Union, with assets of $11 billion, operates 86 member service centers and 211 “No Surcharge” proprietary ATMs around the world. The credit union serves most military and civilian personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps and their families.

About CheckFree

Founded in 1981, CheckFree ( ), 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 50 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through the CheckFree distribution network.


Fair, Isaac Signs Dillard Portfolio

Dillard National Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dillard’s, Inc., has purchased behavior models from Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. to evaluate customer-level risk across its retail portfolio of 10 million accounts. The behavior models will be used in Fair, Isaac’s TRIAD adaptive control system, which Dillard’s gained when it acquired Mercantile Stores Company, Inc. in 1998. TRIAD is a powerful, automated portfolio management system combining behavior scoring, adaptive control software and strategy consulting for improved customer service and customer value.

“The bank will use the new behavior models to help us take full advantage of TRIAD functionality,” said Randy Hankins, president, Dillard National Bank. The company plans to use TRIAD to standardize strategies on both the Dillard’s and acquired Mercantile accounts, as well as to increase merchandise sales, improve collection rates, and enhance customer service. Dillard’s expanded its portfolio by approximately 3.5 million accounts via the Mercantile Stores acquisition. The behavior models will be used on revolving credit, special purchase plans and installment purchases.

Fair, Isaac(R) ( helps businesses worldwide maximize the value of data to make more profitable decisions about their customers, operations and portfolios. Fair, Isaac delivers data management services, analytics, software, and consulting to the financial services, direct marketing, personal lines insurance, retail, and healthcare industries. For more information, call Fair, Isaac at 800-999-2955.

Established 60 years ago by William Dillard, Dillard’s, Inc. of Little Rock, Ark., currently operates 337 stores in 29 states featuring branded and private label merchandise. The retail chain has annual sales of more than $7.7 billion.


PayMate 1000

Datacap announced this week that First Data Merchant Services will be the first to market the ‘PayMate 1000’, an electronic cash and credit register which provides small and mid-sized merchants with a single device to process cash, checks, credit and debit transactions. FDMS says small and mid-sized businesses typically used separate registers and card terminals. The ‘PayMate 1000’ enables merchants to centralize all payment transactions in one device plus consolidate reporting. Wachovia Merchant Services says it will offer the new Datacap device to new merchant clients as well as its existing client base of 28,000 merchant locations.


Hypercom Changes

George Wallner will assume the title of president and CEO of Hypercom this morning while Albert Irato will become chairman of the board of directors. Wallner, who had been chairman and chief technologist, founded Hypercom and has been its chief architect over the years. With this organizational change, he will be responsible for all business activities of the company. Wallner will continue to directly oversee research and development activities. Irato, who is 61, had been president and CEO since 1992, steps into the chairmanship role as part of a succession plan. He will continue to provide counsel and support to the CEO. In addition to these changes, Hypercom is combining its US/Canada POS group with its International POS operations to create Hypercom Global POS, a streamlined organization that will be responsible for all payment product sales and support.


Home Account Deal Closes

Home Account Holdings, Inc. and First Data Corporation officially closed yesterday the merger of the operations of First Data Direct Banking with Home Account, pursuant to their agreement previously announced May 5. The new firm is called Home Account.

The transaction was concluded concurrent with the first of two rounds of funding, with a combined total in excess of $20 million. The financing group led by Oak Investment Partners includes Marsh & McLennan Capital, Inc., New Enterprise Associates, and Mobius Management Systems, Inc.

David P. Bailis, executive vice president of First Data Corporation, said, “Our relationship with Home Account is another example of our commitment to help our clients take advantage of opportunities to do business on the Internet.”

![][1] The combination of Home Account and First Data Direct Banking brings together the most complete range of turnkey and customized Internet-based banking and financial planning services available on the market in either in-house or outsourced solutions.

First Data retains a minority equity interest in the new firm and will provide ongoing data processing services under a long-term processing agreement. Randy Kahn, who had been president of First Data Direct Banking, has joined Home Account as executive vice president. Additionally, David Treinen, senior vice president of First Data corporate planning and development, will serve on the Home Account board of directors.

Ed Glassmeyer, general partner and cofounder of Oak Investment Partners, commented, “With its vision, scope of services, intellectual property and market momentum, the combination of Home Account and Direct Banking immediately creates the leading online financial services offering for institutions that want an Internet presence.”

Charles A. White, president and chief executive officer of Home Account, said, “We are pleased to partner with organizations of such caliber and see this as a vote of confidence in Home Account’s capabilities. I look forward to working with them to reshape the Internet financial services landscape.”

Home Account recently relocated its headquarters to Emeryville, Calif., from Charleston, S.C., where it was founded. The company will maintain the Charleston office, which is expected to grow, as a product development facility. Home Account has more than 90 customers ranging in size from Bank of America to small community banks. Customers also include brokerages and credit card issuers.

About the Investors

Oak Investment Partners has organized eight venture capital partnerships with total committed capital of $1.6 billion since its founding in 1978. Oak has sponsored more than 250 companies, primarily in the high tech and retail field, including leading Internet infrastructure players Inktomi and Exodus and content provider

Marsh & McLennan Capital, the principal private equity investment subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC), currently manages over $2.5 billion of capital. MMC is also the parent company of Marsh, the world’s leading risk and insurance services firm; Putnam Investments, one of the largest investment management companies in the United States; and Mercer Consulting Group, a major global provider of consulting services.

New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a venture capital firm, invests principally in early stage companies in information technology and medical and life sciences. Since its founding in 1978, more than 100 NEA companies have gone public; over 60 since 1991.

Mobius Management Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise-wide electronic document warehouse solutions that turn high-volume information archives into a powerful tool for electronic commerce, customer service and improved operational efficiency. Both Oak and NEA are investors in Mobius

Management Systems, Inc.

About Home Account

Home Account delivers home banking, financial management and electronic commerce solutions to banks, brokerages and other financial institutions. Home Account’s products include: Canopy Server(TM), an OFX (Open Financial Exchange) financial services platform that allows distribution of services through multiple channels; Canopy Advisor(TM), a strategic financial planning system for use by individuals and financial professionals; Canopy First(TM), a family of outsourced, scalable and brandable Internet products and services for banks, brokerages and other financial institutions; Canopy Card(TM), innovative Internet account access programs for card issuers; Canopy Business(TM), Internet-based cash management services for business customers; and Canopy Clients(TM), a series of financial management user interfaces.

Although Home Account’s products are designed as components which can operate separately, the Home Account product suite, when combined, provides an integrated customer relationship management system, the Canopy Continuum(TM), that assists financial institutions in building profitable, long-term relationships with their customers. Using the NetSpeed(TM) implementation process as a template, financial institutions can have fully functional, branded web sites up and running in just 30 business days.

Home Account is headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., with offices in Charleston, S.C.; Omaha, Neb.; Los Angeles and Atlanta. Please see Home Account’s website at

Home Account, Canopy Server, Canopy Advisor, Canopy First, Canopy Card, Canopy Business, Canopy Clients, Canopy NetSpeed and Canopy Continuum are trademarks of Home Account Holdings, Inc.

About First Data

Atlanta-based First Data Corporation is a leader in electronic payment services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allow millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or stored-value card at the point-of-sale, over the Internet, by check or by wire transfer. With 33,000 employees worldwide, the company serves clients throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Germany. Its Western Union network includes 55,000 locations with operations in 168 countries. In 1998, First Data processed more than four billion cardholder transactions representing $300 billion. For more information on First Data, please visit the company website at

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Kiddie Card

AT&T Corp. has been granted patent #5914472 for a system and method to enable a parent to control the use of an ancillary credit or debit transaction card which is issued to a child. The system calls for a central computer to communicate with an issuer computer having a data base containing account information and spending limits for the transaction card to permit the parent to set a spending limit for the ancillary card given to the child. If the child attempts to exceed the credit limit the central computer initiates contact with the parent via two way pager, cellular telephone, or other personal communication service, and queries the parent whether to authorize the transaction by increasing the spending limit of the ancillary cardholder or deny the transaction. AT&T’s kiddie card system requires four databases to function: card issuer database; a database of credit limits pre-approved by the cardholder; a database of contact information for the parent; and a database of account credit limits approved by the card issuer.