Enhanced SE Workstation

American Express and First of Omaha Merchant Processing launched an enhanced version of the ‘American Express SE Workstation’ yesterday. ‘SE Workstation’ is a PC-based software product that allows merchants to electronically access and resolve customer dispute data as well as reconcile financial information. The enhanced version will allow merchants to track actual chargebacks. ‘SE Workstation’ also allows merchants to sort and analyze data in various ways, creating reports that are tailored to individual needs.


Business Bonus

MasterCard International will announce tomorrow the launch of its ‘MasterCard Business Bonuses’ program which is geared towards small business owners. The program offers a travel-based rewards program that allows small business owners who use a ‘MasterCard BusinessCard’ card, the ability to earn free travel on any airline, with no black-out periods. Through the program, small business cardholders will receive one mile for each dollar spent. To kick-off the program, MasterCard will promote “Business Bonuses”‘ utilizing it ‘Priceless’ ad campaign with the print piece to run in Business Week, Entrepreneur and Forbes, while the broadcast spot will air nationally on network television, as well as on CNN and CNBC. The program is also being marketed by Advanta and Wells Fargo.


Youth & Cards

The ‘1999 Youth & Money Survey’, released Monday by the American Savings Education Council, the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, found that the vast majority of students ages 16-22 have never taken a class in personal finance. According to the survey 33% of the students polled have a credit card for which they are responsible, and nine percent of all students, representing 28% of students with credit cards, roll over credit card debt each month.


Amdahl Mondex System

The SmartCard Group, a division of Amdahl Corporation, Monday announced the availability of the Amdahl Mondex System (AMS) version 3.1. The AMS provides global organizations with customized services and specialized applications that facilitate evolving payment systems through successful implementations of MULTOS-compliant, smart card technology. MULTOS is a multi-application operating system for smart cards, delivering numerous applications on single cards for business-specific applications, such as loyalty, debit, credit, and e-cash. Amdahl’s SmartCard Group provides smart card-based, electronic cash solutions on a worldwide basis with implementations in Scotland, Israel, Australia and Canada.

“Mondex technology offers the ideal base from which to develop advanced smart card applications,” said Moon Ik Chang, President, Hyosung Data Systems. “Working with Amdahl, we have been able to realize and adapt Mondex’ potential in accordance with our own unique business structure to deliver a solution which not just eases cash transactions but revolutionizes the way consumers use monetary value and merchants conduct business. With its broad Mondex experience, its open technology and deep understanding of the banking and financial businesses, Amdahl has taken us from concept to implementation in record time.”

MULTOS is a high security, open-architecture operating system for smart cards that enables card issuers to create a customer specific card with the capabilities of bringing together a number of applications onto one card. As a member of the MAOSCO Consortium, the Amdahl SmartCard Group is dedicated to making MULTOS the industry standard for multi-application smart cards. Amdahl’s SmartCard Group provides a full complement of systems integration and consulting services that enable the card issuer to gain the business-critical advantage of delivering Mondex e-cash capability on MULTOS chips to their customers ahead of the competition.

“Amdahl is at the forefront of delivering innovative and efficient Mondex solutions to our customers,” said Joseph Casola, General Manager of the Amdahl SmartCard Group. “The capability to offer MULTOS-based Mondex solutions showcases Amdahl’s commitment to developing and deploying mission-critical technology that enables our customers to gain a competitive advantage in a changing global economy.”

About Mondex International – [www.mondex.com][1]


MULTOS is a multi-application operating system for smart cards. It is available on a non-proprietary ‘open systems’ basis to ensure that it becomes standard for smart cards in all sectors including finance, retail, travel, media and telecommunications.

About Amdahl – [http//www.amdahl.com/about][2] For the Year 2000 compliance status of this offering and any others, visit the Amdahl Year 2000 Web site at: [www.amdahl.com/y2k][3]

Amdahl is a registered trademark and AMS is a trademark of Amdahl Corporation. Mondex is a trademark of Mondex International. All other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.

[1]: http://www.mondex.com
[2]: http://www.amdahl.com/about
[3]: http://www.amdahl.com/y2k


Wells Promotion

Beverly B. Wells, current EVP of the Wachovia’s Consumer Credit Division and former head of Wachovia’s credit card unit, will now oversee Wachovia’s Consumer Financial Services Division. Ms. Well currently oversees Wachovia’s credit card, sales finance, mortgage origination and Digital Financial Services areas. In addition, she now will have responsibility for the Consumer Banking Sales and Service, Small Business Services and Marketing groups. Meanwhile, Wachovia announced Friday that G. Joseph Prendergast has been elected president and COO of Wachovia Corp. and Wachovia Bank. Walter E. Leonard Jr. and Robert S. McCoy Jr. were also elected vice chairmen of the two companies. Wachovia also announced Friday that Jean E. Davis, Stanhope A. Kelly, John C. McLean, Jr. and Donald K. Truslow have been elected senior executive VPs of Wachovia Corp. and Wachovia Bank.


SBSS-CreditDesk Upgraded

Leading the industry with its combination of origination software and credit scoring for evaluating small business credit requests, Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. today announced the newest version (2.5) of SBSS-CreditDesk software, with Fair, Isaac’s Small Business Scoring Service(SM) (SBSS) models. While increasing operational efficiencies, Version 2.5 gives lenders more flexibility to choose credit policies and practices. With five new models developed specifically for equipment lessors, the new release also extends the existing suite of models used to make decisions for lines of credit, term loans and business credit cards.

“By extending the capabilities of SBSS-CreditDesk, we put more decisioning power in the hands of the small business credit grantor,” said Latimer Asch, vice president of Commercial Markets at Fair, Isaac. “With these new software and analytics enhancements, our clients should see greater return on investment from their small business credit portfolios.”

Asch added that equipment lessors, who have been using the prior set of SBSS models to efficiently make decisions for small business lease applications, will find that the new leasing models add more predictive lift and further improve the quality of credit decisions.

What’s New to Version 2.5:

* The five additional leasing models are the first models developed exclusively using business leasing company data and represent more than 19,000 leasing applicants nationwide. These models were designed to support leasing industry practices and do not require the use of application information or financial statements, instead relying on business and consumer bureau-based data. To maximize flexibility, the use of consumer information about the business owner is optional.

* Application file copy saves repeat entry of data for additional credit requests from the same business applicant and speeds the process of adding new credit requests from existing borrowers.

* Reporting enhancements enable clients to create tailored reports with the use of filters to track subsets of the portfolio and view reports on-line.

* Credit limit and interest rate reference tables eliminate time spent in performing calculations and improve the consistency of limit and rate assignments.

* Enhanced credit bureau interface easily conforms to credit bureaus’ new releases and changing formats.

* Decision notification option improves customer service via prompt e-mail, fax or hard copy.

SBSS-CreditDesk is an origination and underwriting system comprised of automation software and the suite of industry-leading, SBSS pooled data predictive models. Using Microsoft(R) Windows(R)-based SBSS-CreditDesk, credit grantors can process small business credit applications in as little as 15 minutes, while improving the credit quality of small business portfolios, including lines of credit, term loans, commercial credit cards, and equipment leases.

About Fair, Isaac

Fair, Isaac (www.fairisaac.com) 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 about Fair, Isaac solutions, please call 800-999-2955 or email the company at info@fairisaac.com.


UniTransact & CPS Team

UniTransact Business Solutions, Inc. announced today a forthcoming alliance with Card Payment Systems, Inc. of New York. This unique collaboration will give UniTransact Business Solutions access to Card Payment Systems’ large and rapidly growing customer base.

Under the agreement, UniTransact and Card Payment Systems will share their Internet customer bases, primarily via a link on the Card Payment Systems web site and also will advertise each other’s services on their respective web sites.

Card Payment Systems provides personalized service to businesses accepting credit and debit card payments from their customer’s companies. Generous discounts rates and affordable equipment options are resulting in Card Payment Systems adding thousands of new merchant numbers a month (www.cardpayment.com).

UniTransact’s user-friendly turnkey system eliminates the need for expensive hardware and software purchases by customers wishing to process transactions over the Internet. This enabling technology allows businesses to conduct E-commerce over the Internet in a secure and cost-effective manner. Small and medium sized companies can now reconfigure their business strategies around this new extremely low-cost electronic commerce solution in order to realize greater profitability.

“The implications of this arrangement to UniTransact are significant and should result in a substantial increase in our business over existing projections,” commented UniTransact President Scott Marshall.

UniTransact’s technology is an example of network computing as advocated by Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) and directly competes with companies like Verio Inc. (Nasdaq: VRIO) and Ebay (Nasdaq: EBAY).


New Travel Cards

After withdrawing from the national card business last year to focus on its core marketing area, First Union is introducing next month a series of generic airline cards which reward revolving card balances. According to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]) the three programs include: ‘Travel & More’; ‘Air Miles’; and ‘Air Miles Plus’. The ‘Travel & More’ program offers revolving cardholders 10 air miles for every $100 in balance carried forward. There are 500 bonus points for a balance transfer within 60 days of opening an account and another 500 points at the one year renewal. The ‘Travel & More’ APR is a variable 12.65% with a $49.00 annual fee, which is waived the first year. The ‘Air Miles’ program is the typical air miles program, rewarding cardholders with one air mile for each dollar charged. There are 1,000 bonus points if you do a balance transfer within 60 days of receiving your card, and another 1,000 points at the one year renewal. The ‘Air Miles’ card carries a 15.65% APR. ‘Air Miles Plus’ offers cardholders 1.2 miles for every dollar charged in purchases. A 2,500 bonus point reward with the first purchase and 1,000 bonus point reward for the annual renewal are also offered. ‘Air Miles Plus’ carries a $75 annual fee and a variable 13.65% APR. Redemption rates for free airline tickets begin at the 18,000 miles or point level for zoned travel on the East Coast.

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


Golub to Retire

Harvey Golub, chairman and CEO of American Express announced this morning plans to retire in two years. Golub said he recommended, and the board of directors agreed, that Ken Chenault will succeed Golub and will be elected CEO at that time. Golub says he also plans to remain as chairman for about one more year after his retirement as CEO, at which time the board will elect Chenault chairman as well. Golub says the grooming of Chenault began several years ago with Ken’s appointment as president and COO. Golub also took the opportunity this morning to lay out the agenda for his remaining time at the helm of American Express: “(1) develop and implement a compelling Internet strategy; (2) put in place new platforms that will accelerate our growth at American Express Financial Advisors; (3) capitalize on the inevitable demise of the illegal VISA/MasterCard bylaw; (4) build our customer bases and franchises in the United States and around the world; (5) meet our financial targets year by year; and (6) continue to invest for the future.”


Hawaii Smart Cards

WA-based The Pathways Group, Inc. indicated last week it plans to expand its existing ‘Smart Card School Lunch Program’ in the Hawaii School District by installing a smart card application at local high schools. Beginning with the new school year this September, each of the 1400 enrolled students will receive a Pathways smart card. These personalized campus cards will not only serve as the student’s identification card, but will be used to purchase school lunches, concession stand items, school supplies and special activity items such as year books and prepaid field trips. The campus cards also include a separate purse programmed specifically for a Coca-Cola promotion whereby students earn loyalty points each time they purchase a school meal or Coca-Cola product using their campus cards. The loyalty points will then be eligible for redemption at local merchants participating in the Coca-Cola program.


CyberCash Up 300%

CyberCash, Inc. reported this morning first quarter revenues of $4.6 million, up over 300% from the $1.1 million reported for the same period last year. For the fourth consecutive quarter, CyberCash held cash operating expenses below $11.0 million. In addition, the company received capital infusions totaling $15 million, raising its cash position as of March 31 to $19 million. The company has made significant progress in merchant signups and transaction volume. CyberCash says it is adding merchants at a rate of more than 700 a month for its ‘CashRegister’ service, while average monthly transaction volume has climbed to 3.1 million, an all-time high. In February, CyberCash unveiled its new ‘InstaBuy’ service Web Site, offering consumers a way to sign up for an ‘InstaBuy Agile Wallet’ and to access the ‘InstaBuy’-enabled product offerings from more than 85 online merchants. In April, the company began a $2.5 million multi-media advertising and marketing campaign in support of its ‘InstaBuy’ service, including television commercials on CNN and Headline News.


Intell-A-Check Updated

At the Internet & Electronic Commerce Conference and Exposition (iEC) this week, Intell-A-Check Corporation, a leader in electronic payment solutions, will showcase the latest update of its Intell-A-Check! software, an electronic check-writing application that enables e-commerce merchants to accept and manage checks over the Internet. Fully supporting the Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition and Microsoft Windows NT, Intell-A-Check! 6.0 includes a number of updated features, including the capability to fully guarantee funds for checks accepted online.

Intell-A-Check! 6.0 features a series of upgrades to further expand security for online merchants and their customers. By guaranteeing fast, direct payments, Intell-A-Check! 6.0 provides an alternative to credit cards, enabling e-commerce merchants to offer customers an additional option for making secure, real-time purchases and payments online. Intell-A-Check! 6.0 is priced per transaction, which is substantially less than credit card fees. This pricing model is ideal for e-commerce merchants carrying merchandise with thin margins. When used with various check verification companies, funds used for purchases made with Intell-A-Check! 6.0 are fully guaranteed.

According to executives at Intell-A-Check Corporation, there are a broad range of markets in which online check payments can be used, including the brokerage, cable, collections, financial, and public utilities industries, and in various e-commerce applications.

“With Intell-A-Check! 6.0, e-commerce merchants now have the opportunity to offer checking convenience to customers making purchases online,” explained Louis Obssuth, President of Intell-A-Check Corporation. “We developed the software to seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition and other e-commerce platforms, providing a completely secure, direct Internet payment system.”

How Intell-A-Check! 6.0 Works

Intell-A-Check! 6.0 offers a Microsoft Windows based, BackOffice certified, electronic check writing application, enabling companies to accept check payments directly over the Internet, phone, fax, VRU, and through direct debit programs. The Intell-A-Check! 6.0 database runs on Microsoft SQL Server(TM) or ODBC-compliant databases. Checks can be printed on paper, or formatted as ACH files for immediate electronic deposit. Developed according to Microsoft’s COM(TM) architecture, Intell-A-Check! 6.0 can be easily integrated with existing legacy systems. Intell-A-Check! 6.0 provides multiple levels of security with complete audit trail reporting. The system offers advanced customization, contains a complete ABA database, and can be flexibly deployed across a network.

Pricing & Availability

Intell-A-Check! 6.0 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. Visit Intell-A-Check Corporation at the iEC Conference & Expo, located at booth No. MP46.

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, NationsBank, 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 at 800-946-8355, or via the Web at http://www.icheck.com.