Partners First Selects CampaignOne

Nestor, Inc. announced Thursday that Partners First, a leading credit card services company with more than two million customers and $2.2 billion in receivables under management, has chosen CampaignOne as a key tool for managing the execution of its customer relationship management initiatives. By centralizing the operational aspects of marketing efforts with CampaignOne, Partners First will create a more comprehensive view of its customer base, and then use that information to more closely understand the individual needs of its customers and identify opportunities to serve them better.

Partners First, in conjunction with Nestor, will develop custom neural-network models to evaluate and predict customer behavior patterns. CampaignOne’s closed-loop system reports, assesses and evaluates each model implementation. “Nestor’s solution will serve as a key tool for Customer Relationship Management operations as we look to improve our customer management process,” said Sathya Rajavelu, manager of database administration at Partners First. “We aim to leverage the Nestor solution’s unique combination of campaign management capabilities and neural network modeling techniques.”

“In light of an increasingly competitive environment, banks and credit card issuers are looking more closely at the technologies that can help them understand and target their customers more effectively,” said Sushmito Ghosh, executive vice president of Nestor. “CampaignOne offers a powerful combination of software and modeling techniques to help marketing executives identify new opportunities, measure the effectiveness of each campaign, and then help refine subsequent communications with their card holder base. Our 15 years in financial services will be invaluable as we help Partners First enhance their customer relationships.”

About Partners First

Partners First is a top 25 credit card company headquartered in Linthicum, Maryland with additional offices in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, call 410-865-8700 or visit

About Nestor

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Providence, RI, Nestor, Inc. is a leading provider of intelligent decision-support solutions for the financial services industry. Nestor’s client/server products incorporate innovative pattern-recognition technologies ideally suited for data-intensive, mission-critical decision applications in real-time environments. The company’s products for financial institutions support fraud detection and case management for credit, debit, retail and commercial card fraud, as well as Internet and merchant fraud; bankruptcy prediction; and customer relationship management. Nestor products are sold direct and by selected partners worldwide. Through its subsidiary, Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc., the company also applies its technologies to a suite of video-based intelligent transportation systems that promote enhanced traffic management and improved safety. For more information, call 401-331-9640 or visit [][1].



Checkwriting Up

TeleCheck reported Thursday that June same-store retail sales rose 3.4% over the same period last year. The Midwest and Southwest regions led the nation with 4.0% gains, followed by the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, the West and the Southeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 210,000 subscribing locations.


ATS Signs Weis

ATS Money Systems signed a contract with PA-based Weis Markets, Inc. yesterday to provide its grocery stores with the ‘ATS-601’ electronic coin & currency counter and an interfaced audit trail printer. ATS says the rollout of the ‘ATS-601’ is currently underway. Weis has annual revenues of approximately $1.8 billion and operates about 160 grocery stores, most of which are located in Pennsylvania. During 1999, ATS has installed its electronic counting scale in Weis Markets, Inc., Top’s Markets, The Kroger Company, Nash Finch & Co., and other retailers.


Intell-A-Check Signs Con-Ed

Intell-A-Check Corporation, a leader in electronic payment solutions, announced that Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. (Con Edison), the largest provider of electric, gas, and steam services throughout the New York area, has integrated Intell-A-Check!, an electronic check-writing application, to launch its new direct payment plan this month. Con Edison currently uses the Intell-A-Check! software to enable customers to directly pay their utility bills online and over the phone using their checking accounts.

Intell-A-Check! is a Microsoft Windows-based, BackOffice certified electronic check-writing application, which enables companies to accept check payments directly over the phone, fax, VRU (voice response unit), direct debit programs, and the Internet. Con Edison’s new Direct Payment Plan utilizes the Intell-A-Check! software to support monthly automatic payment deductions from customers’ personal or business checking accounts. Information is simply entered into the Intell-A-Check! interface, and payment is automatically transferred from customers’ checking accounts and credited to their Con Edison accounts each month.

“For years, Con Edison has relied on the Intell-A-Check! software to offer our customers a wide variety of easy, direct methods of electronic payment,” said George Roach, Customer Service Manager at Consolidated Edison of New York. “With the addition of our new Direct Payment Plan, Intell-A-Check! remains an essential tool as Con Edison continues to provide new, even more convenient ways for our customers to pay their bills.”

Con Edison initially integrated the Intell-A-Check! software to support the company’s Pay-By-Phone program. Customers can dial in to the company’s toll-free number, and enter their ABA and checking account information into the Intell-A-Check! system using Con Edison’s automated VRU interface, or speak directly to a customer service representative for additional assistance. Intell-A-Check! can instantly create authorized checks from customers’ accounts, which can then be sent directly to a laser printer, or formatted as ACH files for immediate electronic deposit.

To further expand customer payment options, Con Edison used Intell-A-Check! to add an online payment feature to its Web site. Using the Pay-By-Internet option, customers can securely log on to their accounts at, enter their checking information directly into the encrypted Intell-A-Check! interface, and make fast, easy payments online.

“By supporting direct check payments through virtually any medium, Intell-A-Check! offers a powerful, cost-effective tool,” said Kevin Fahey, National Sales Director of Intell-A-Check Corporation. “By integrating the Intell-A-Check! software to continuously expand customer payment options, Con Edison is rapidly differentiating itself in the increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Pricing & Availability

Intell-A-Check! software is available today, and is priced based on transactional costs and volume. Contact Intell-A-Check Corporation today for additional pricing and product details.

About Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. (Con Edison)

Con Edison of New York is one of the nation’s largest utility companies, with more than $7 billion in annual revenues and $14 billion in assets. The company, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc., provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.

About Intell-A-Check Corporation

Founded in 1994, Intell-A-Check Corporation is a leader in payment technologies, providing a range of electronic payment solutions to Fortune 1000 organizations, including MCI WorldCom, Comcast Cablevision, Bank of America, Consolidated Edison of New York, and GE Capital. Located in Belleville, NJ, the company is a Microsoft Commerce Partner. Its flagship product, Intell-A-Check!, is a Microsoft BackOffice certified solution that supports a broad range of technology platforms. For additional information, contact Intell-A-Check Corporation at 800-946-8355, or via the Web at


Tango Deal

Savera Systems Incorporated announced Thursday that Tango, the leading GSM provider in Luxembourg, is incorporating the Savera RealTime Prepaid Billing system, into their Pronto prepaid wireless service offering. The solution will be deployed at Tango in the third quarter of 1999.

The Savera RealTime Prepaid Billing system is a client/server-based prepaid billing platform with real-time rating and discounting. The system uses Call Data Records (CDRs), to process and rate call information over wireless and wireline networks and the Internet. With support for multiple applications on the same server, the product’s unique Web-based customer-care module provides an easy interface for communication with network-based solutions like service provisioning, credit card processing using cyber-cash, Short Message Services (SMS), and inventory management, via a suite of open APIs. Customers and customer service representatives, gain access to this information securely over the Internet. A unique feature of the RealTime Prepaid Billing system is its flexibility to support multiple tariff structures — making it possible to easily implement sophisticated price plans for consumers and businesses alike. The system makes the introduction of new features easy, allowing providers to quickly respond to changing business conditions while decreasing time to market. In addition, the resulting growth in subscribers and associated transaction numbers can be managed efficiently.

“The Savera Prepaid Billing System is another step that will allow us to establish ourselves as the leading GSM provider in Luxembourg. We are convinced this system will give us the flexibility needed to handle prepaid services to the entire satisfaction of our customers. Prepaid services will be one of the most important elements of mobile telecommunications in the future, and we are confident of being well prepared for the next wave in this fast growing business,” says Jean Claude Bintz, Managing Director of Tango.

“The information provided by the transactions, allows cellular and Internet providers to quickly capture rating and pricing information for telephone calls and Internet transactions in real-time,” says Inderpal Singh Mumick, Savera’s President and Chief Technology Officer. “Since the customer profile is in the same database, financial, marketing, and executive systems gain a whole new level of flexibility,” he adds.

Rakesh Kushwaha, System Architect and Director at Savera, further adds, “The rule-based business logic, flexible tariff structure, and open APIs makes the system suitable for any prepaid business in the Telecom and Internet market.”

About Savera

Founded in 1997 by billing experts from Bell Laboratories, Savera Systems is a research and technology-driven global company that focuses on building world-class billing solutions. Savera markets real-time, scalable, and flexible billing and information management solutions for the rapidly growing Internet and telecommunications markets. For more information about Savera products and technologies, visit the company Web site at, or call 1-908-898-0080.

About Tango

Tango, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Societe Europeenne de Communication S.A (Nasdaq: SECAY, SECBY), is the leading GSM provider in Luxembourg. Since launching its services in May 1998, Tango has gained one-third market share, and is far ahead of its competitors today. Customer focus, superior network coverage and services, as well as streamlined distribution based on aggressive and powerful marketing are the main contributors to Tango’s success.


IntelliData Signs BancWest

InteliData Technologies Corp. , a leader in Internet banking and bill payment technology, Thursday announced that First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West, subsidiaries of BancWest Corp., have selected InteliData’s Interpose(TM) Internet banking and bill payment system. The unique arrangement includes provisions that InteliData will initially host the entire system, allowing BancWest the flexibility to bring the system in-house over a three-year period as customer volume increases.

![][1] BancWest Corporation, with assets of $16.3 billion, is headquartered in Honolulu, with an administrative headquarters in San Francisco. At both BancWest subsidiaries, First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West, InteliData will host the Interpose(TM) Transaction Engine and the Interpose(TM) Bill Payment Warehouse to process banking and bill payment transactions.

Customers will be able to access account information, transfer funds and pay bills electronically using standard HTML browsers via Internet financial portal Web sites at and at These financial portals will be designed and implemented by Home Financial Network (HFN).

This integrated, end-to-end solution represents a joint venture between InteliData and HFN and is marketed jointly as InterposeConnect. Customers will also be able to access bank account information and pay bills via popular personal financial management software such as Microsoft Money(R) and Intuit’s Quicken(R).

As part of the service, BancWest banks will have the benefit of the Interpose(TM) Bill Payment Warehouse to capture consumer bill payment information. Through this software application, the bank will receive “on-us” payments directly and have the remainder of payments routed to the least-cost third-party bill payment processors.

BancWest Chairman and CEO Walter A. Dods Jr. said, “Internet banking is evolving quickly to sophisticated new levels. By partnering with InteliData, a national leader in the field, we can make a quick leap forward, offering a state of the art system to our customers in Hawaii and throughout the West Coast. In addition, the ability to bring the system in-house at a later date allows us to stay with the same proven technology partner as this growing channel evolves.” He said the new product will be rolled out early next year at both BancWest banks.

“We are pleased that BancWest has selected Interpose as the flexible foundation for their Internet delivery strategy at First Hawaiian Bank and Bank of the West,” said InteliData President and CEO Al Dominick. “Our outsourced Interpose system will provide BancWest with the flexibility it requires to eventually bring the system in-house. This solution, the first of its kind in the industry, allows BancWest to operate Internet banking and bill payment on a pay-as-you-go basis, with a per customer, per month fee schedule. As customer volume increases, BancWest has the option of bringing the software in-house and customizing it for future needs.”

Dominick added, “Our ability to outsource Internet banking and bill payment processing opens a new market for us for banks that want to begin offering these services to customers, but want the flexibility to bring the solution in-house as customer volumes increase.”

About BancWest (

BancWest Corporation is headquartered in Honolulu, with an administrative headquarters in San Francisco. BancWest has assets of $16.3 billion. First Hawaiian Bank has 59 branches in Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan. Bank of the West has 166 branches in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada.

About InteliData (

InteliData, with headquarters in Reston, Va., is a leading supplier of Internet banking and bill payment technology to over 20 of the top 100 U.S. financial institutions and financial service providers. The Company’s products provide financial institutions with highly scalable and reliable Internet transaction and payment processing solutions that give them total control of customer information and payment processing. These services allow consumers to securely and reliably check account balances in “real-time,” view account transaction history, transfer funds between accounts, and do online bill payment to any of the consumers’ billers. The Company’s products include the Interpose(TM) Transaction Engine, Interpose(TM) OFX Gateway, and the Interpose(TM) Payment Warehouse.

“Safe Harbor” statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the parties executing definitive agreements beyond the initial interim contract, the impact of competitive products, pricing pressure, product demand and market acceptance risks, bank year 2000 compliance issues, reliance on resellers, pace of consumer acceptance of home banking, bank mergers and acquisitions, risk of integration of the Company’s technology by large software companies, the ability of financial institution customers to implement applications in the anticipated time frames or with the anticipated features, functionality or benefits, reliance on key strategic alliances and newly emerging technologies, the on-going viability of the mainframe marketplace and demand for traditional mainframe products, the ability to attract and retain key employees, the availability of cash for growth, product obsolescence, ability to reduce product costs, fluctuations in operating results, ability to continue funding operating losses, delays in development of highly complex products and other risks detailed from time to time in InteliData filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks could cause the Company’s actual results for 1999 and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking statements made by, or on behalf of, InteliData.

[1]: /graphic/bancwest/bancwest.gif


TSYS Up 58%

Total System Services reported Thursday that net income for the quarter increased 58.2% to $18.4 million, up from $11.7 million, for the same period last year. TSYS says that during the quarter the company converted the third and final phase of the Sears private-label card accounts to ‘TS2’. TSYS also completed the conversions for a large Canadian bank and Canadian Tire Acceptance Limited. The card processor also signed, during the second quarter, a multiyear agreement with Nordstrom National Credit Bank to process its Nordstrom private-label credit card portfolio and renewed a long-term processing agreement with First North American National Bank to provide retail card processing for its ‘Circuit City Credit Card’. At the end of the second quarter 1999, TSYS was processing approximately 133.6 million of its 192.0 million accounts on ‘TS2’. By the end of the year, TSYS expects to have approximately 195 million accounts on file.


MSN MoneyCentral Expands

Microsoft Corp. announced Wednesday agreements with four of the nation’s leading financial institutions — American Express Co., Bank of America, Charles Schwab & Company Inc. and Citigroup Inc. — to provide customized financial content on the leading personal finance Web site, MSN MoneyCentral ( ). Consumers will have the ability to personalize the front pages of MSN MoneyCentral and MSN.COM with content tailored to their individual financial interests from these five Premier Financial Providers.

Last fall, Merrill Lynch, the largest full-service brokerage firm in the United States, became the first Premier Financial Provider to announce an alliance with MSN MoneyCentral. With the addition of these new agreements, MSN MoneyCentral provides consumers with extensive choice in the type and source of financial information they receive.

“Merrill Lynch has delivered a vast array of world-class financial advice, guidance and knowledge to a broad audience on the Internet, and we are pleased to extend even more choices for financial information with Microsoft,” said Randal Langdon, first vice president and senior director of the Digital Business Development and New Media group at Merrill Lynch. “This important alliance supports Merrill Lynch’s strategy of creating a premier online offering and building interactive Web communities.”

New Premier Financial Providers on MoneyCentral

The Premier Financial Provider program makes MoneyCentral one of the most customizable personal finance portal sites, combining innovative services from leading financial institutions with the award-winning tools and content of MoneyCentral to help consumers make smart, informed decisions about their financial futures.

“This is another step for American Express Financial Advisors in bringing our financial planning expertise to the ‘’ world through a leading personal finance Web site on MSN,” said Nancy Jones, vice president, Business Development, AEFA. “We’ll pair our high-quality advice with MSN technology to help consumers who want independence, but still need guidance when it comes to complicated financial issues.”

“Schwab is pleased to bring MoneyCentral customers access to Schwab’s library of essential resources so that they are better educated and more equipped to make intelligent investment decisions,” said Gideon Sasson, president of Schwab’s Electronic Brokerage enterprise. “This alliance gives Schwab a unique opportunity to showcase and distribute its full array of services to both customers and noncustomers, complementing its multichannel offering, both online and offline.”

“The broad distribution of MSN in the United States and worldwide will extend Citigroup’s reach online and help us acquire new customers across the spectrum of consumer financial services,” said Josh Grotstein, division executive of Internet Programs and e-commerce at e-Citi. “This is an important new online growth channel for Citigroup worldwide.”

Consumers can elect to receive content from any one or all five financial institutions, depending on their interests. New Premier Financial Providers will offer the following:

American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA)

Through its content clip on MoneyCentral, American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA), the nation’s premier financial planning company, provides advice on various subjects including retirement, saving for education, taxes, small-business ownership and year 2000 issues. In addition, commentary from AEFA’s chief economist, Dan Laufenberg, as well as other AEFA financial experts, appears on a broad range of economic topics. AEFA also offers access to its suite of interactive planning tools that help consumers create their own financial profile. In addition, AEFA will provide advertising and links to its home page and online brokerage site.

Bank of America

Bank of America’s content module on MSN MoneyCentral will provide consumers nationwide with direct and easy access to interactive decision-making tools and a wide variety of innovative financial products and services. Consumers who select Bank of America’s module when personalizing MoneyCentral will find that they are only one click away from the nation’s largest online banking provider, with more than 1.4 million online customers. In addition, Bank of America content module headlines will allow the bank’s more than 30 million customers and others to be among the first informed about and linked to new financial and e-commerce services.

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., the nation’s largest online brokerage firm and one of the largest e-commerce businesses in the world ( ), introduces a new site accessible only from MSN that offers timely, relevant and objective investment information designed specifically for the MSN MoneyCentral user. From this new Schwab On Investing site, users can participate in live, interactive discussions with renowned investment professionals during Schwab’s online investment forums; request an analysis on any of more than 9,000 publicly traded companies; and access timely market news. And with a breadth of articles from the Schwab Center for Investment Research, users can gain insights on topics ranging from trading strategies and industry trends to goal planning and mutual fund selection.


As a leading global financial services provider, Citigroup will provide content that will give MSN MoneyCentral users access to a broad range of innovative products and services spanning banking, brokerage and insurance. For consumers visiting MSN MoneyCentral, the online portfolio will include secure Internet banking with online bill payment, credit cards, online brokerage, automobile and home insurance, mortgages and more.

Citigroup also will provide consumers with timely research reports on subjects such as companies and stocks, together with useful information and advice on topics ranging from foreign exchange to college loans on MSN MoneyCentral. Citigroup’s services feature some of the world’s best financial brands: Citibank, Travelers, Salomon Smith Barney, Primerica, Commercial Credit and Diners Club.

Merrill Lynch, the First Premier Financial Provider at MSN MoneyCentral Today, Merrill Lynch debuts the first of many expanded services for users of MSN MoneyCentral that will enable them to better customize their access to Merrill Lynch in their local markets. Now, in addition to one-click access to the firm’s award-winning equity research, market commentary and analysis, and timely financial management tips for individuals and business owners, users of MSN MoneyCentral can enter their ZIP codes to receive relevant local branch information and notification of events and seminars. Once the Merrill Lynch content clip is customized, headlines featuring local information will appear each time the clip is loaded.

Merrill Lynch’s Web offerings currently include, which showcases the firm’s global research capabilities, a financial resource site for clients and the investing public at , and the Merrill Lynch home page at .

The Premier Financial Provider Program

Announced in November 1998, the Premier Financial Provider program offers financial institutions a forum for delivering relevant, targeted personal finance information directly to consumers via the MoneyCentral and MSN.COM Web sites.

All Premier Financial Providers have complete control over the information they provide through integrated content clips, enabling them to reach financially minded consumers with specific information, special offers, services and promotions. In addition, the Premier Financial Providers complement award-winning MSN MoneyCentral tools and resources to help consumers manage frequent financial tasks online — such as tracking portfolios, finding new investment ideas, banking online and planning retirement — all in one place.

“The Premier Financial Provider program is unlike any distribution opportunity on the Web today. MSN MoneyCentral empowers customers to access and personalize the highest-quality financial information from leading institutions, all in one place, said Rich Bray, general manager of the Financial Products Division at Microsoft. “By offering consumers a choice in how, when and where they obtain financial know-how, we’re also opening up tremendous marketing opportunities for our participating financial institutions. MSN gives these institutions an extended ability to reach the right customers at the right time — while they are thinking about their finances.”

About MSN MoneyCentral

MSN MoneyCentral is a complete personal finance resource that delivers easy-to-use tools, advice from dedicated financial professionals, financial data from leading content providers and seamless integration with the award- winning network of MSN services to help consumers make smarter financial decisions. The online companion to Microsoft(R) Money 99 Financial Suite, MSN MoneyCentral is also integrated into the MSN network of Internet services, making it easier for consumers to keep in touch, stay informed and get more done online.

MSN MoneyCentral is consistently recognized as the premier personal finance Web service by industry leaders, recently earning the PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award for Stock Screening and Portfolio Management. MoneyCentral has earned the Best Investment Web site award from Barron’s for two consecutive years, received Best of the Web 1999 distinction from Brill’s Content, and was named a 1999 Best Investment Tool by Macworld. In addition, consumers spend an average of 40 minutes each month managing their finances at MoneyCentral, demonstrating the value of the site’s resources.

About MSN and Microsoft

MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.COM ( ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

* The editorial goal of MoneyCentral is to provide a forum for investment ideas. Investor’s articles and columns of MSN MoneyCentral should not be construed as investment advice, nor does their appearance imply an endorsement by Microsoft Corp. of any specific security or trading strategy. An investor’s best course of action must be based on individual circumstances.


Ticket ATMs

Yesterday Wells Fargo began offering discounted entertainment park and aquarium vouchers at more than 500 Northern California ATMs. The new ticket program will run until Oct. 22. Consumers can purchase discounted admission vouchers to Six Flags Marine World, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Monterey Bay Aquarium at participating Wells Fargo ATMs through the Wells Fargo ‘Ticket Express’ program. Wells said it will not charge a fee, regardless of where the consumer banks, for purchasing vouchers from a Wells Fargo ‘Ticket Express’ ATM.


Cross Border Affinity

Royal Bank of Canada unveiled a new affinity program yesterday that will be available to residents in both the U.S. and Canada. This is the first time a Canadian bank has structured a cross-border affinity credit card. The new program involves an affinity VISA card for more than 100,000 McGill University alumni, including 12,000 who reside in the U.S.. The ‘McGill VISA’ will be available to Canadians through Royal Bank, while the U.S. version will be issued through Security First Network Bank. Atlanta-based Security First National Bank is a member of the Royal Bank Financial Group. The card will be available in both ‘Classic” and ‘Gold’. Royal typically charges a 17.5% APR for its cards while SFNB offers a 12.9% standard rate and a 9.9% gold rate.


BITS Lab to Open

1999BITS, the technology group for The Financial Services Roundtable, announced today the establishment of the BITS Financial Services Security Laboratory located in Reston, VA. The new facility will open on July 28th and will enable financial services companies and technology vendors to work cooperatively to further strengthen the security of electronic banking systems and related technologies.

Global Integrity Corporation, a subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) will operate the BITS Laboratory, with funding from participating vendors. The major objectives of the facility are early product influence, risk reduction, cost reduction, and security functionality.

The Security Lab ultimately will rest security features and capabilities of products in both stand alone and distributed environments for select PC operating systems, browsers, servers, and applications software used for PC banking; anti-virus software firewalls; and end-to-end security systems. Products will be tested for their ability to meet specific criteria pertaining to security attributes such as authentication, integrity, confidentiality, privacy, auditability and authorization.

‘The BITS Security Lab will help to sustain public confidence in the financial services industry’s ability to prevent and respond to security-related incidents in electronic banking,’ said Edward E. Crutchfield, Chairman and CEO of First Union Corporation and Chairman of the BITS Board of Directors. ‘The capabilities provided by the new facility will save time and money in the process of evaluating the safety and validity of financial products and will allow us to better serve the customer,’ stated Crutchfield.

A BITS-Tested Process, including a BITS-Tested Mark, will be implemented to certify testing of security-related technology against established criteria. For banks and vendors alike, the BITS-Tested Process and the Laboratory will provide and unbiased third-party evaluation, with product testing on meet common criteria. The BITS-Tested Mark will be given upon successful completion of the testing cycle, indicating the overall security level for the product. Mark issuance will be posted on the BITS Web site.

‘The financial services industry takes security issues very seriously,’ said Robert W. Gillespie, Chairman and CEO, KeyCorp, and Chairman of The Financial Services Roundtable Board. ‘Traditionally, security is the key to consumer confidence,’ he continued, adding, ‘The new BITS Financial Services Security Lab is a bold and important step to ensure comprehensive security in banking systems.’

‘Sun strongly supports testing against open standards,’ said Scott McNealy, Chairman and CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc. ‘The BITS Lab process will provide for cooperation among vendors and banks while protecting what each considers to be the proprietary aspects of their technology.’

‘Microsoft supports the BITS Security Lab because we are committed to developing, testing and applying technology that further straightens the safety and security of the electronic banking experience for consumers,’ said Mike Dushe, Product Manager, Smart Card for Windows, Microsoft Corporations. ‘Working in concert with the financial services industry and alongside other vendors, we believe the Lab provides the kind of technical cooperation that breeds confidence while continuing the marketplace competition that delivers excellence for our customers.’

‘We are delighted with BITS’ leadership in this area,’ said Richard Kovacevich, President and CEO of Wells Fargo and Company, and Immediate Past Chairman of The Financial Services Roundtable. ‘This BITS Security Lab provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate to legislators and regulators the proactive steps the financial services industry is taking to assure security in all working components of the banking systems,’ he stated.

William M. Randle, Executive Vice President, Huntington National Bank, and Co-Chair of the BITS Security and Risk Assessment Steering Committee said, ‘The establishment of the Security Lab is one of the most specific ways to industry can move toward meeting the requirements of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Bulletin (98-38) on technology risk management in PC Banking.’ He added that, ‘this effort will promote and facilitate a more sound, secure channel for electronic commerce that will accelerate the growth and acceptance of doing business on the Internet.’

Peter Browne, Senior Vice President, First Union Corporation, and the order Co-Chair of the BITS Security and Risk Assessment Steering Committee, explained that, ‘ Creating a BITS Tested Mark of certification establishes a process providing every vendor and financial institution with a baseline for evaluating all products, both existing and planned. In addition, the process will help eliminate much of the redundancy in vendor product-testing with individual financial institutions.’

‘The BITS Laboratory initiative is good for the consumer, the banking industry and those of us who endeavor to build trust in electronic commerce applications and infrastructure,’ said Harvey L. Weiss, President and CEO of Global Integrity. ‘BITS and the banks have taken a proactive step towards raising the bar for the industry, and Global Integrity is delighted to be working with BITS in this pioneering efforts.’

Rhonda MacLean, Senior Vice President, Bank of America noted, ‘The BITS Financial Services Security Lab initiative offers information technology professionals within the financial services sector and the vendor community an outstanding opportunity to collaborate. This will support a secure emerging online electronic commerce environment and promote security and privacy initiatives to meet the needs of our customers.’

BITS CEO Catherine A. Allen said that various steps are in place to allow the security facility to begin accepting product test applications in July 1999. A Working Group has been formed, chaired by Dan Nealis, Senior Vice President, Chase Manhattan Bank, to meet these objectives. ‘We are currently defining product prioritization and testing criteria. Our goal is to provide financial institutions and product vendors with a consistent and meaningful set of security tests. We will be asking for input from the vendor community, and ultimately from the brokerage and insurance industries, to help in this process,’ said Nealis. ‘Software companies are eager to have their products tested,’ he noted, adding that, ‘We plan to start with commercially available products and will move into earlier stages of product development as we gain experience and increase capacity.’

The BITS Security and Risk Assessment Steering Committee has responsibility for setting policy and directing the new technology facility, with the day-to-day management of the facility to be conducted by Global Integrity.

About BITS

BITS, the technology group for The Financial Services Roundtable, was created in 1996 to foster the growth and development of electronic banking and e-commerce in an open environment that will encourage greater choice and efficiency in financial software, access devices, networks and processing capabilities for the benefit of financial institutions and their customers. BITS promotes safety and soundness in payment systems and in electronic banking products. BITS is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of the Chairman and CEOs of the 14 largest U.S. Bank holding companies as well as representatives of the American Banker Association (ABA) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). For more information, visit the BITS Web site at [][1].

About Global Integrity

Global Integrity is a wholly owned subsidiary of Science Application International Corporation (SAIC). It focuses on the rapidly growing worldwide business of enabling e-commerce through the information protection market. Headquarters in Reston, VA., Global Integrity provides a full complement of information protection, electronic commerce security, consulting and engineering services to global financial institutions and major corporations with electronic operation worldwide. More information can be found at Global’s Web site at [][2]



IRS Amendment

The Internal Revenue Service corrected its temporary regulations for the payment of taxes by credit and debit card. The IRS yesterday corrected Par.2 in Section 301.6311-2T to read: “(2) Liability of financial institutions. If a taxpayer has tendered a payment of internal revenue taxes by credit card or debit card, and the credit card or debit card transaction has been guaranteed expressly by a financial institution, and the United States is not duly paid, the United States shall have a lien for the guaranteed amount of the transaction upon all the assets of the institution making such guarantee.” The amendment is retroactive to Jan.1, 1999.