On-Line Safe Deposit Boxes

Net.B@nk, Member FDIC (http://www.netbank.com), the nation’s largest and first profitable pure Internet bank, announced today that it will provide to bank customers a new web-based safe-deposit box service for the secure online storage of valuable and confidential electronic documents. Net.B@nk has provided funding and distribution for safedepositbox.com (http://www.safedepositbox.com) through a new venture with Intellimedia Security, which developed this unique and innovative online service.

“Net.B@nk is dedicated to providing its customers with the same products traditional banks offer, but at a lower cost because of the Internet delivery system,” said D.R. Grimes, CEO of Net.B@nk. “Now, we’ve joined forces with Intellimedia to create a virtual safe deposit box that will provide Net.B@nk customers with the same peace of mind they get from safe deposit boxes at a traditional bank. Our investment in safedepositbox.com shows our commitment to providing innovative products and services to our customers and our belief that the future of banking is on the Internet.”

Safedepositbox.com will provide Net.B@nk customers with online safe- deposit boxes to protect important electronic documents while keeping the documents easily accessible. The service targets people who maintain tax returns, wills, legal documents, personal files and other documents in electronic formats. Safedepositbox.com guarantees users that their documents are always safe, secure, and easily accessible.

“We developed this breakthrough product with Net.B@nk customers in mind to better serve their online banking needs,” noted Ben Dyer, president of Intellimedia Commerce, parent company of Intellimedia Security. “It is our business to develop technology solutions for e-commerce sites, and we found this to be a particularly sound and interesting challenge.”

Intellimedia Commerce, Inc. is an Atlanta-based company that provides technology-based services for the four primary phases of the e-business cycle: customer acquisition, transactions, customer retention, and customer service. Intellimedia combines web sites, e-commerce engines, inbound “e-mail center” support, and outbound e-mail direct marketing in applications that generate revenue, reduce costs, and/or improve service quality. The company has completed nearly 100 projects across a broad spectrum of industries. See http://www.intellimedia.com.

Net.B@nk, Inc. is a financial services company whose sole subsidiary, Net.B@nk, Member FDIC, is the first profitable Internet-only bank in the country, having achieved profitability in the past four successive quarters. With more than 29,000 accounts and customers in all 50 United States and 20 foreign countries, Net.B@nk is the largest FDIC-insured bank operating solely on the Internet. In addition to checking and money market accounts and certificates of deposits with exceptional interest rates, Net.B@nk offers its customers the ultimate convenience in banking. Products and services include account access any time, anywhere, free unlimited online bill payment, free unlimited ATM use, VISA Check Card, VISA and MasterCard credit cards, online brokerage services, mortgage lending and business equipment leasing services. For more information on Net.B@nk, its products and services, visit the web site at http://www.netbank.com, or call 1-888-256-6932.


NATO Global Calling Cards

Franklin Telecom Thursday announced that it is making available free FNet calling cards to NATO troops stationed in the Bosnia, Albania and Macedonia region who have special needs to contact family and friends. The cards will be given to Chaplains, hospital officials and welfare officers for distribution to the appropriate NATO soldiers. Utilizing FNet’s VoIP technology phone calls are terminated to all NATO member countries through Franklin headquarters, in Westlake Village.


Telscape Internet Strategy

Telscape International, Inc., yesterday announced the launching of a comprehensive Internet strategy to capitalize on the growth and demand for Latin American eCommerce and Internet related services. enableCommerce.com, a standalone entity, is being created to enable companies, including U.S.-based, to penetrate one of the fastest growing and most attractive markets in the world.

Telscape has hired Mr. Ulises Barbosa, an eBanking expert formerly with Banco Santander, to spearhead this effort. Mr. Barbosa will be assisted by other experienced management, which he has recruited, as well as the dedicated efforts of Carlos de Lara and Jose Luis Apan Wong, both of whom have been with Telscape and have extensive Internet and systems integration experience.

Unique Approach to Market

The mission of enableCommerce.com is to become the leading provider of eCommerce outsourcing services for companies worldwide interested in pursuing the Latin American marketplace. Through an electronic business platform (“eBusiness Platform”), enableCommerce.com will assist companies in expanding sales by getting closer to and better understanding their customers, increasing operating efficiencies, improving response times and reducing costs.

The eBusiness Platform will be a high-volume eCommerce transaction processing system developed by enableCommerce.com to allow its business customers to achieve their objectives with reliability, security, scalability, economies of scale and technological adequacy. The Internet is the core of the eBusiness Platform; however, Telscape’s eCommerce strategy is broader and will provide for different means by which a customer may interface electronically with a business through the eBusiness Platform. These customer-facing technologies include, for instance, call centers, faxes, touch-tone phones, pagers, e-mail, kiosks, handheld devices, interactive TVs, smart cards, and the World Wide Web, some of which are being provided by Telscape today. The combination of a robust and flexible network, system security and infrastructure architecture plus the proper Business to Business and Business to Consumer application software, coupled with strong data warehousing capabilities will constitute one of the most advanced eCommerce initiatives focused on the Latin American market. The need for a central and external source for increasingly complex eCommerce projects, which go beyond simple web page design, is evident, and Forrester Research estimates that over 40% of Internet and internal corporate sites will be outsourced by 2002.

However, providing only a mechanism that enables customers to do business electronically with companies is not enough. Telscape either has launched or is developing solutions to two critical aspects of the eCommerce challenge faced by companies desiring to do business in the Latin American market.

1) Facilitate the Redesign of Business Process: A successful eCommerce strategy requires a company to streamline certain internal tasks. Since the eBusiness Platform centralizes the majority of the transaction processing, a high-speed (typically asymmetrical) telecommunications link has to be established between the eBusiness Platform and the business enterprise systems to facilitate the interaction of the company with the eBusiness Platform. In light of the lack of economical and reliable broad band corporate ISP services and last mile services in Latin America, enableCommerce.com’s product offering will include a low cost, high bandwidth, asymmetrical Internet service through satellite. This service will be provided by Telscape’s subsidiary, INTERLINK. For services being provided in Mexico, this product offering will ultimately be supported by Telscape’s fiber optic buildout.

2) Driving Customer Traffic: Customer traffic is key to any Business to Consumer eCommerce initiative and can be driven through advertising provided that the telecommunications and Internet infrastructure is in place to support it, which is not the case in Latin America where the infrastructure is poor and fragmented. enableCommerce.com plans to help its customers drive traffic by leveraging Telscape’s unique telecommunications assets in Latin America. In Mexico, Telscape intends to become an ISP to consumers and businesses through the utilization of its fiber optic network buildout. INTERLINK is a significant Network Service Provider (“NSP”) to ISPs in Latin America and will leverage those relationships to help enableCommerce.com to promote a partnership approach and change the ISPs’ revenue model from dial-up accounts to sell advanced Internet and eCommerce solutions to companies. For instance, either through a direct or partnership approach with ISPs, enableCommerce.com will offer to business customers creative marketing concepts to bundle eCommerce packages with discounted Internet dial-up accounts for their consumers.

Attractive Market

The growth of Internet usage in Latin America is expected to outpace growth of worldwide Internet usage over the next several years. According to Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, the number of Internet users in Latin America is expected to increase from 7 million users at the end of 1997 to 34 million users by the end of 2000. This number could increase substantially with the proliferation of low-cost, non-PC Internet access devices. Latin America is comprised of 23 countries with a total population of 500 million people.

Unique eCommerce and Internet Assets enableCommerce.com will take advantage of the following Telscape strategic assets:

INTERLINK Communications, Inc. owns a satellite teleport facility in Mountain View, California, which has been operational for over fifteen years providing premium satellite communications services. INTERLINK is connected to the Tier One Internet Backbone via an OC-12 SONET fiber optic ring and has been providing high quality, high speed internet access as a NSP to internet service providers, corporations, universities, governments and local carriers throughout North, Central and South America.

Telereunion has begun construction of a state-of-the-art fiber optic long distance network in Mexico. The project is being engineered, furnished, installed and financed by Lucent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:LU). In addition, through a recently announced fiber exchange with Avantel, S.A., the network will cover nearly 1,750 kilometers, resulting in a network that will reach 90% of the Mexican population.

Telscape de Mexico is one of the largest providers of complex systems integration solutions in Mexico for more than thirteen years. The Company has in excess of 2,500 commercial customers and a highly trained technical workforce of more than 130 people. Telscape de Mexico has engineered, furnished, installed and managed one of the largest asynchronous transfer mode/internet protocol (“ATM/IP”) metropolitan networks in Latin America for the National University of Mexico. Approximately 22,000 computers, 10,000 voice ports, and the largest NSP and distance learning videoconferencing network in Latin America are connected in a multi-protocol, multi-vendor environment. MS Noticias has been providing bilingual interactive voice response and help desk solutions to the U.S. Embassy through its call center. Through the utilization of Telscape de Mexico’s systems integration expertise, MS Noticias successfully re-engineered in a short period of time the appointment and information processes for nearly 2 million US visa applications per year. The call center provides a key customer-interfacing asset to enableCommerce.com and is a prime example of streamlining a business process consistent with customer requirements.

Management Team

Mr. Barbosa, formerly with Banco Santander in Mexico, has been intimately involved in the development, implementation and management of one of the most successful eBanking initiatives in Latin America. He has more than 13 years of experience developing and managing telecommunications and systems operations primarily for financial institutions. He also developed and implemented a very successfully asymmetrical, broadband satellite Internet and Wide Area Network service in the business environment.

Carlos de Lara founded NSI, a highly evolved, data systems integrator specializing in Wide Area Networks, which was acquired by Telscape in 1997. Mr. de Lara is currently chairman of the subcommittee for eCommerce and Secure Transactions of the National Telecommunications Standardization Committee of Mexico. He is a founding partner and member of the board of directors of the Mexican Association of Multimedia, Info-routes and Information Content (AMMICI), an entity dedicated to the promotion of business-oriented Internet content in Latin America.

Mr. Apan Wong currently manages the Company’s help desk and call center operations in Mexico He was responsible for engineering, furnishing and installing the ATM/IP network mentioned above. Prior to joining Telscape, Mr. Apan Wong served as Regional Telecommunications Manager for Hewlett Packard where he was responsible for the installation and operation of HP’s telecommunications network in the Latin American Region.

Telscape International, Inc. is a fully integrated U.S. based communications company that supplies international voice, video, data and Internet services, via switched and dedicated networks, principally to and from Latin America.

The Company owns and operates a satellite teleport facility in Mountain View, CA, which delivers an array of communications services to customers throughout North, Central and South America. In addition, the Company provides a full range of systems integration and value-added telecommunications services in Mexico to major public and private sector customers. Telereunion, a Telscape subsidiary, is one of a select number of companies that has been granted a facilities-based long distance concession by the Mexican government.


IDT Acquires Patent

IDT Corporation Thursday announced that it has negotiated exclusive patent rights for a versatile pre-paid calling card in Europe. Under the agreement, IDT will act as the central clearinghouse for collecting royalties from distributors of pre-paid calling cards covered by the national patents corresponding to European application No. 0572991. Under the patent, IDT has obtained the exclusive rights to license the use of pre-paid Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for pre-paid phone cards in Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden. The patent also covers the exclusive rights to recharge pre-paid phone cards as well as transfer balances between calling card users.


Fiserv Acquires Alliance ADS

Fiserv, Inc. announced Thursday that it has acquired Alliance ADS, according to Leslie M. Muma, President and CEO of Fiserv. Based in California, ADS is a provider of imaging solutions to the financial services and staffing industries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Alliance ADS complements the current suite of image-based solutions offered through our ImageSoft Technologies business, and provides an opportunity for us to expand into other markets including insurance, trust and staffing services,” said Thomas A. Neill, President of the Fiserv Industry Products & Services Group. “ADS has a solid reputation within the industry, and a strong base of technological expertise that will expand and enhance our imaging capabilities. With this latest acquisition, Fiserv will be even better positioned to serve the increasing demand for advanced image-based technology solutions.”

Based in Redwood Shores, California, ADS was formed in 1987. The company designs, develops and markets front-end image platform solutions to the financial services and staffing industries. These solutions include image-based forms processing and automated data entry products utilizing ICR/OCR technology to capture high-volume handwritten and machine written information from a variety of documents. The benefits of such applications are the reduction of manual entry of form information, allowing for fully automated, intelligent forms processing.

“We are excited by the opportunity to add our talents and resources to Fiserv,” said Ronald Jacobs, President of ADS. “In addition to our synergistic imaging solutions, the Fiserv economies of scale will accelerate our combined product development for the benefit of our growing client base.”

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV) is an independent, full-service provider of integrated data processing and information management systems to the financial industry. As a leading technology resource, Fiserv serves more than 7,000 financial service providers worldwide, including banks, broker-dealers, credit unions, financial planners/investment advisers, insurance companies, mortgage banks and savings institutions. Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Fiserv also can be found on the Internet at [www.fiserv.com.][1]

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


Antitrust Protectionism

The Independent Institute, a scholarly public policy institution, Wednesday published an open letter to President Clinton signed by 240 of the nation’s leading economists addressing runaway antitrust protectionism. Citing recent high-profile U.S. Department of Justice litigation against Microsoft, Intel, Cisco Systems, Visa and MasterCard, the letter says, “where antitrust authorities respond to these protectionism demands, the workings of markets are short-circuited. Antitrust protectionism means that market decisions about how to compete for consumers’ favor are displaced by bureaucratic and political decisions.”


Intuit and Discover

Intuit Inc. and Discover Financial Services, Inc. announced Thursday that Discover Cardmembers can now download their Discover Card account statement information to Quicken 99 personal finance management software. This new service is a further expansion of Intuit’s existing relationship with Discover Card. This past tax season, Discover Cardmembers who used TurboTax tax preparation software enjoyed the option of charging any federal income tax due to their Discover Card accounts.


HyperSecur Appoints President

HyperSecur Corporation announced yesterday that Charles P. Villeneuve has been appointed to the Board of Directors and President of the Company. He is a Montreal-based entrepreneur and financier.

Mr. Villeneuve’s primary activities in the past five years have been in the investment advisory and capital formation businesses. He served at various times as the President of First Atlantic Securities, Inc., Globex Management Limited and Kyoto Securities, Ltd. all based in Nassau, Bahamas. Kyoto Securities in 1996 provided $8 million of financing ($3 million equity and $5 million convertible bond) to VASCO Data Security International, Inc. (OTC BB: VDSI). VASCO is a leading provider of authentication security to financial institutions worldwide. In 1998, he incorporated HyperSecur Corporation (Canada) that was acquired by HyperSecur Corporation last month.

Mr. Villeneuve received a Health Science degree from the College Bois de Boulogne, Montreal, in 1978 and an Ophthalmic Lenses Specialty degree from College St. Jerome, Montreal, in 1980. He received a Computerized Management System technical degree from the University of Quebec, Montreal, in 1981. Mr. Villeneuve is a member of the International Tax Planning Association, London, England.

Last month, HYURA acquired HyperSecur (Canada) that represented that its major asset is the HyperProximity(TM) chip. The hyper proximity technology was introduced earlier this month at the STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) booth at the CardTech/SecurTech Conference held in Chicago. The technology will be implemented in the ST16HF52 contactless smart card from STMicroelectronics.

The chip is a dual proximity level contactless solution based on ISO 14443 Type B. HyperSecur plans to market contactless smart cards, which use radio frequencies, to carry out secure transactions at speeds up to 10 times faster than contact cards. Last week HYURA announced that it had retained CIBC Investment Banking as its exclusive advisor to arrange financing for the Company.

HyperSecur Corporation plans to exploit this high-tech state-of-the-art technology with strategic partnerships to develop the hardware and software necessary to market the new technology to card manufacturers, system integrators and end users. The final product will be a new contactless chip and smart card based operating system supporting an innovative security structure. Presently, there is very limited use of the HyperProximity technology. At this time the Company has not fully evaluated the market potential of the technology and therefore is not sure of its size.

The Class A common stock of the corporation is traded on the Over-The-Counter Electronic Bulletin Board (“OTCBB”) system with the symbol: HYURA.


Latest Online Card Scams

The SEC currently fields more than 100 complaints a day about illegal Web activity. In 1998 alone, the National Consumers League received 7,752 Internet fraud complaints. To help surfers identify a scam and avoid getting bilked, PC World’s July consumer report, “The Online Con,”, on newsstands June 15, outlines the top four Internet swindles — and what consumers can do to protect themselves. They scams to look out for include online auction fraud, pump and dump stock manipulation, multilevel marketing and credit card swindles.


Providian Class Action

Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP yesterday announced that a class action lawsuit has been commenced in the Superior Court of the State of California for the county of San Francisco on behalf of Providian credit card cardholders. The case arises out of practices which are reportedly the focus of an investigation being conducted by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and reported consumer complaints.



National Data Corporation yesterday announced that Paul R. Garcia has been named Chief Executive Officer of its NDC eCommerce line of business.

Garcia most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Productivity Point International, a leading provider of information technology training to major corporate clients. Prior to that, he was group president of First Data Card Services. He previously served as chief executive officer of First Financial Bank and chief executive officer of National Bancard Corporation (NaBANCO) which he joined in 1982, following payment services responsibilities with Chase Manhattan, Equifax and Citicorp. He has served on the Global, U. S. and Latin America Boards of Directors of MasterCard International.

In announcing the appointment, Robert A. Yellowlees, chairman of National Data Corporation, said, “Paul brings an enormous breadth of experience to our business. He has an excellent record of innovative leadership and has a view of the market opportunity that is very compatible with our own. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with him as he and Tom Dunn, NDC eCommerce’s chief operating officer, lead us to new levels of growth.”

Commenting on his new position, Garcia said, “NDC eCommerce is well- positioned for growth across the full spectrum of payment services. This market position, as well as NDC’s reputation for quality, offers an exciting opportunity. I am delighted to be taking on this role and look forward to working with Bob Yellowlees, Tom Dunn and the rest of the executive team in being the industry leader.”

Yellowlees added, “With this announcement, we have continued our program to build world class executive depth in both our Health and eCommerce businesses. This will permit each to take full advantage of new market opportunities in the years ahead.”


DoughNET.com Is Hip

DoughNET.com, a full service money management site for teenagers, announced yesterday that it is now online and ready to enter the $140 billion e-commerce-for-kids market. DoughNET.com is aimed at 13-18 year olds that are usually excluded from online purchasing and other financial transactions because they do not have credit cards. DoughNET.com has teamed up with companies such as REEL.com, CDNOW, Urban Decay, Alloy Online, Egghead.com, ShopSports.com, Activision, dELiAs.cOm and Fossil. The website offers the technology that allows the teens to buy, save, budget and donate while learning about investing in the future. Parents open real accounts for their teens that function as virtual debit cards. The transactions will be deducted in real time from the DoughNET.com account. No consumer debt and no overdrawn accounts to worry about. DoughNET.com is designed to encourage teens to be financially independent –but with guidance from their parents.