GS Biz Plan

San Francisco-based GS Telecom projects its ‘ATTM Universal Card’ and ‘Convergent Technology Model’ will produce revenues of more than $1 billion per year by the year 2004. In the GS prospectus, to be published this Friday, the company’s six key technologies are expected to increase from a $15-million in year 2000, to $1.5-billion within four years. Last week GS announced its ‘ATTM Universal Card’, an anonymous currency card that also makes possible instantaneous, anonymous transactions over the Internet. The ATTM card is a pre-loaded hybrid, smart card that will enable transactions in 53 currencies. GS expects to issue one million cards over the next 36 months.


Rosy Outlook?

Portfolio performance among $184 billion in outstandings of credit card-backed securities improved again last month according to the latest Fitch IBCA ‘Credit Card Performance Indexes’. Chargeoffs reported in March for the February collection period were 6.05%, a 64 basis point improvement from the year-ago level of 6.69%, pushing the index to its second lowest level since November 1997. The Fitch IBCA ’60+ Day Delinquency Index’ fell 3 basis points to 3.25% and remains significantly below the 3.50% level from a year ago. As expected with a decline in chargeoffs and an increase in yield, three-month excess spread rose 22 basis points from last month to 5.69%, a level not experienced since September 1994. Portfolio yields rose 26 basis points from the prior month and charted its thirty-second consecutive year-over-year increase, continuing to benefit from increased fees throughout the industry, maturation of teaser rate product, and issuers’ ability to reprice riskier cardholders. Fitch IBCA also reports the total monthly payment rate index slid 38 basis points from the prior month to 15.44% and continued to perform to levels not experienced since the second half of 1994. The higher payment rates can be attributed to the overall improved financial health of consumers due to the current state of the economy, cardholders paying down balances with the use of other debt consolidation products, and the widespread use of reward-type cards that encourage convenience usage.

Period Chargeoff Yield MPR Delinquency
Mar99 6.05 19.49 15.44 3.25

Feb99 6.10 19.23 15.82 3.28
Jan99 6.00 19.57 15.62 3.15
Dec98 6.27 19.45 15.06 3.26
Nov98 6.20 19.99 15.87 3.26
Oct98 6.35 19.12 15.09 3.19
Sep98 6.29 19.81 15.65 3.17
Aug98 6.30 19.58 15.99 3.15
Jul98 6.72 19.01 15.34 3.17
Jun98 6.63 19.02 14.88 3.23
May98 6.58 18.73 15.21 3.28
Apr98 6.68 20.28 15.77 3.39
Mar98 6.69 18.83 14.38 3.50
Yield-gross yield; MPR-monthly payment rate;
delinquency-60 day delinquency; all figures are %
Source: Fitch IBCA


Concord Gets Iced

Concord EFS, Inc. purchased more than over 30,000 Hypercom ‘ICE 5000’ terminals yesterday along with Hypercom’s ‘Ascendent SigCap’ software system to offer to its merchant network. Concord EFS becomes the first company in the world to install a production of ‘Ascendent SigCap’ solution and the first U.S. company to install a complete ‘Ascendent’ platform. The new system will allow Concord to provide a complete, end-to-end electronic signature capture and retrieval solution, including point-of-sale devices, networking equipment and centralized transaction processing. Concord says that bringing signature capture to the small-to-medium sized retailer is a giant leap in the transaction processing industry.


FDC Y2K Status

First Data announced Tuesday it has completed 100 percent of code renovation on the First Data Merchant Services Nashville front-end platform. The Nashville platform is the last First Data system scheduled for code renovation. The Nashville platform is one of six front-end FDMS platforms that perform point-of-sale capture and/or authorization services. Originally the Nashville system was to be converted to a new platform, the ‘FDMS 6000’ system, which is Y2K ready and is in production. However, due to delays in the conversion of the Nashville platform to the ‘FDMS 6000’ system, the company decided last month to remediate the Nashville front-end platform as a contingency measure. FDC says it plans to complete future-dated testing by the end of June with the code in full production by mid-July.


Direct Connect

Phone-Net through BCDonline, has formed a strategic alliance with Virtual Merchant, Inc., a national leader in providing merchant services and e-commerce solutions, to provide online merchants with a complete internet marketplace solution, Web Design, Hosting, Internet Access, Merchant Accounts (accepting credit card payments ), Online Processing (of credit card and check payments), Virtual Mall, and Phon-Net’s Direct Connect.

Virtual Merchant’s extensive technology experience and marketing capabilities, coupled with their merchant services and online processing prowess has created one of the most powerful resources available to internet merchants. “When you add Phon-Net Direct Connect to that mix, the merchant has the most complete solution available today,” stated Virtual Merchant.

Direct Connect now makes it possible for a customer to speak with a merchant at the same time they are visiting that merchants website. Direct Connect is the ideal product for merchants that thought they could use a presence on the world wide web either because they don’t sell on-line or because they don’t have time and resources to monitor e-mails. A web presence now means the merchants potential customers can find them on the internet and then call the merchant without having to go off line. Small businesses with limited budgets and personnel can now reach around the globe and compete with the bigger rivals.

Virtual merchant offers merchants the most advanced on-line processing programs and the opportunity to secure merchant accounts. Merchant Accounts are the means by which merchants are able to accept credit card payments from their customers. Accepting credit cards, particularly on-line, has proven to be indispensable for merchants who want to grow and prosper on the internet.

For additional information on Virtual Merchant visit them at their website, To demo Phon-Net software go to: [][1]

All forward-looking statements made by Phon-Net Corporation involve material risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on factors beyond Phon-Net Corporation’s control. Accordingly, Phon-Net Corporation’s future performance and financial results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, those described in Phon-Net Corporation’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Phon-Net Corporation does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.



MC E-Purchasing Card

Following Monday’s purchasing card announcements by VISA and American Express (CF 3/30), MasterCard announced yesterday a multi-faceted strategic alliance with CT-based EC Cubed, Inc. Under the terms of the global marketing agreement, EC Cubed will provide the enabling technology for MasterCard’s business-to-business e-Commerce infrastructure and will work with MasterCard to co-develop a range of business-to-business e-Commerce applications. The first joint initiative is the development of an open, Internet-based, data capture system that supports MasterCard’s ‘Corporate Purchasing Card’. EC Cubed’s application component suite, ‘ecWorks’, will provide the underlying infrastructure needed to create an Internet ‘Commercial Card Gateway’ through which purchase order data is transmitted from any front-end electronic procurement software solution to the MasterCard purchasing card system. The MasterCard gateway will significantly extend MasterCard’s data reporting capabilities, providing the corporate purchasing department with the line-item, Level 3 data needed to better track and control enterprise-wide spending via the Internet.


Diebold Snags NCR Exec

Diebold International, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Diebold, Incorporated, has appointed Barry Harrison vice president, customer services for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He will be based at Diebold’s EMEA headquarters in London, where his prime task will be to grow the financial service solutions business to achieve market leadership within five years.

Harrison joins Diebold after 30 years service with NCR where he held a number of senior positions, most recently vice president, global outsourcing based in London. Other positions he had held at NCR include vice president, financial services in London and Dayton, Ohio; director, European Business Development; director, Scotland and Ireland; and engineering support manager, U.K.

His experience in both service and manufacturing brings to Diebold a strong history of global expertise and proven leadership in the self-service business, which is well recognized within the worldwide banking community. “Diebold’s vision to bring real business solutions to the market is in line with my personal vision,” Harrison said. “The opportunity to grow Diebold’s market share in Europe, the Middle East and Africa is tremendous. Bankers are looking for a company with focus and commitment to improve their business results.”

Diebold, Incorporated is the global leader in providing integrated delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, the company employs more than 6,000 associates in some 120 locations worldwide with headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of US$1.2 billion in 1998 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [][1].



Amtrak Phone Card Expands

SIMS Communications, Inc. announced Tuesday that the Company’s prepaid phone card agreement with Amtrak has been expanded to include four additional train stations. Travelers can purchase custom designed Amtrak phone cards now, available from SIMS’ vending machines located in Amtrak’s Portland, OR; Eugene, OR; and Seattle, WA train stations and, later this summer, at Santa Barbara CA. The Amtrak series of collectible phone cards are available in $10 and $20 denominations.

SIMS also announced the second in a limited edition series of phone cards commemorating Amtrak trains. This latest card depicts the Amtrak Cascades trains inaugurated this month. These sleek, modern, European-style trains feature a distinctive evergreen and cappuccino color scheme and sport unique seven-foot tail fins. The Amtrak Cascades trains use pendular train technology and tilt to travel through curves and maintain speed. This results in reduced travel times while maintaining passenger comfort. Last fall Amtrak and SIMS Communications, Inc., partnered to create the first Amtrak calling card featuring The Coast Starlight.

The Cascades card currently may be purchased from vending machines at Amtrak stations located in San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Oakland, Bakersfield, Fresno, Emeryville, Anaheim, and Stockton, California; Eugene, Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington and through Amtrak’s merchandise order line at 800-400-1229.

Amtrak is the nation’s intercity passenger railroad and operates in more than 500 communities around the country.

SIMS Communications provides low cost, turnkey, transaction processing solutions to service providers and retailers. Its products include medical insurance verification, medical billing, prepaid phone card activations, customer affinity programs, financial transaction processing using credit cards and ATM/Debit cards and customized associated vertical market applications.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to, the impact of competitive products and pricing, product demand and market acceptance, reliance on key strategic alliances, fluctuations in operating results and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


CreditFYI on MSN

Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. and netearnings announced this week that the Microsoft* Service NetworkTM Small Business Channel ([][1]) has signed an agreement to feature CreditFYISM, the Internet service created by netearnings and Fair, Isaac. CreditFYI delivers instant business credit reports over the Internet, providing a revolutionary way for small businesses to make faster and more informed decisions about extending credit to their business customers.

According to Michael Grossman, President and CEO of netearnings, “Our presence on MSN is instrumental to increasing CreditFYI’s visibility, making the service more easily accessible to the small business market, and increasing awareness of its numerous benefits.”

Frederic de Wulf, Senior Product Planner for the MSN Small Business Channel said, “CreditFYI is an innovative solution offering visitors to the MSN Small Business Channel a practical service which enables small business owners to obtain business credit reports in real-time. It enhances MSN’s goals to help Internet users get things done on the Web.” Latimer Asch, Vice President of Commercial Markets at Fair, Isaac added, “Combining the simple, straightforward interface to CreditFYI with the vast network of MSN makes it as easy as a click-of-a-mouse for more business owners to make informed decisions about the creditworthiness of the small businesses they serve.”

Compared with traditional business credit reports, CreditFYI reports are substantially faster to obtain, easier to understand, and less expensive. Targeted to the more than 10 million small businesses in the U.S.-specifically those that extend credit to other small businesses-CreditFYI is the most statistically accurate and efficient way via the Internet to evaluate the credit risk of businesses with less than $5 million in sales.

Founded in 1996, netearnings ([][2]) is an Internet company that combines proprietary Web technology and small business expertise to offer small businesses-and the financial institutions serving them-a portfolio of online financial services. netearnings products are designed to offer small businesses what has been previously impossible: the ability to conduct financial transactions over the Internet in real-time. Fair, Isaac ([][3]) 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. 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. For more information about CreditFYI, call Fair, Isaac at 1-800-999-2955.



NCR ATM Leader

NCR Corporation says it is now the number-one ATM vendor supplier in the United States.

While NCR has led ATM shipments for 12 consecutive years worldwide, this marks the first time that the company has outstripped its rivals in the U.S. NCR shipped 15,019 ATM units in 1998, compared with 12,851 for its nearest competitor, according to published surveys.

For NCR this represents an eight percent increase over 1997 shipments and 59 percent growth over the past two years. Shipment growth was strong in all sectors of the market, from entry-level through cash dispensers to full- function and drive-up terminals.

“NCR understands the challenges that face our customers today and offers the best solutions to solve these complex issues,” said Per-Olof Loof, senior vice president of NCR’s Financial Solutions Group. “Our comprehensive end-to- end solutions allow our customers to link all aspects of their business effectively and synergistically. This improves customer service and optimizes channel usage. Rising shipments are a clear signal that our customers understand the importance of making those connections.”

Worldwide, NCR also saw an increase in its overall volume of ATMs shipped at a time when its competitors were experiencing declines. NCR global shipments were up 10 percent from 1997, with 46,509 units shipped. The increase came in spite of industry fears that Y2K issues and corporate mergers would negatively affect ATM sales.

Specific NCR solutions that have made NCR number-one in ATM shipments in the U.S. include:

* Managed Solutions for Self Service (MSSS), a comprehensive portfolio of services that provides total care and management of the self-service terminal environment.

* NCR’s leadership in Web-enabled ATMs, Biometrics, Personal Cash Accept and Intelligent Security Solutions.

* NCR’s new portfolio of drive-up terminals, which offers the greatest functionality in its class.

* Popular new entry-level ATMs such as the MCD Cash Dispenser and the personaS 70 lite.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is in the business of transforming transactions into relationships. NCR is a recognized world leader in data warehousing solutions, ATMs, point-of-sale, high performance scanners, and support services for retail, financial, and national accounts markets. NCR’s business solutions are built on the foundation of the company’s long- established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and world-leading hardware technology. Financial Solutions Group (FSG) of NCR delivers products and services to banks and financial institutions including self-service solutions, customer management solutions, channel deliver solutions and payment solutions. It also operates The Knowledge Lab, a unique collaborative environment where NCR, leading banks, and academic institutions partner to develop ideas that will transform financial transactions in the future. More information about NCR and its products may be found on the World Wide Web at [][1].




To enable payment in the new world of e-services, Hewlett-Packard Company’s VeriFone division Tuesday is delivering the first in a series of software applications in its new Integrated Payment Solution technology framework.

Using Internet technologies, this framework and its applications give retailers and financial institutions a common, modular platform that enables the processing of electronic payment from the physical point of sale or the Internet, bridging traditional payments with Internet payments.

Designed to take advantage of new technologies, the IPS framework provides the flexibility of creating any number of payment solutions including secure Internet payment, credit and debit authorization, and settlement and reconciliation. IPS core technology acts as a conduit to enable the seamless exchange of information between payment applications and ensures that new payment applications can be easily plugged into the existing framework.

With the emergence of new forms of payment and value transfer, such as electronic gift cards, electronic benefits transfer, loyalty, and Internet commerce, the ease of adding new applications is critical. Nobel Electronic Transfer, based in Moline, Ill., is a provider of authorization and settlement services to both card issuing and acquiring banks throughout the United States.

Nobel is deploying IPS applications to process authorization requests for credit and debit payment transactions, and is using the IPS technology framework to quickly develop new transaction processing services.

“IPS gives us the best of both worlds,” said Todd Davis, president of Nobel Electronic Transfer, IPS customer. “We needed a solution that is designed to meet Nobel’s customers’ needs today, yet a system flexible for the needs of tomorrow. IPS helps us compete today and far into the next century.”

“The changing face of payment at the point of sale and the explosion of Internet commerce have presented new challenges and opportunities for retailers and payment processors,” explained Betty Kolanczyk, director, VeriFone Retail/Financial Processing Markets.

“To succeed in this age of rapidly changing technology, organizations need to develop and implement new payment services quickly and economically, and stay ahead of the technology curve — without abandoning substantial investments in current computing equipment. IPS applications are designed to enable rapid change for a changing marketplace.”

Retailers can use IPS to centralize payment processing, or add new payment services. IPS can also facilitate one-to-one marketing by capturing data at the point of sale to merge with other business-wide databases. The IPS framework and applications function seamlessly together to provide intelligent acquisition, formatting and routing of transaction data to bankcard and other electronic funds transfer (EFT) networks.

The flexible architecture also allows retailers and payment processors to keep transaction costs down and simplify integration with a user’s existing computer infrastructure.

The IPS framework utilizes the power of new Internet protocols and technologies such as Extensible Markup Language (XML). VeriFone created a Payment Transaction Markup Language (PTML), which allows businesses the flexibility to quickly and affordably test-market new customer programs such as loyalty programs or multi-sequence card transactions.

Also, a Web-browser-based user interface using HTML and Java(TM) gives users a familiar interface for administration and configuration of IPS applications.

IPS utilizes an open HP-UX computing platform and flexible software architecture based on a set of core technologies. Applications interact easily, working together with third party-developed applications. This consistent, integrated framework allows new market-driven payment applications to be developed and deployed quickly and cost-effectively.

The software is modular and can be easily changed so that as business processes change, the IPS framework allows customers to update and modify functions. IPS allows businesses to centralize IT functions, and obtain control and management of key customer data.

About VeriFone

VeriFone ([][1]) is a division of Hewlett-Packard Company and the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than seven million payment systems used in over 100 countries.

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global provider of computing, Internet and intranet solutions, services, communications products and measurement solutions, all of which are recognized for excellence in quality and support. HP has 122,800 employees and had revenue of $47.1 billion in its 1998 fiscal year.

Information about HP, its products and the company’s Year 2000 program can be found on the World Wide Web at .



IFS Drives OFX

Innovision Corporation, the technology leader in open financial standards based on extensible markup language (XML), Tuesday announced Mellon Bank Corporation will use Innovision Financial Server to drive its new open financial exchange (OFX) retail banking services.

“Adding OFX capabilities to our MellonDirect24 PC Banking service raises the level of online account management services we offer our customers, ” said James Morrill, senior vice president and head of direct banking at Mellon Bank. “This is an important step toward enhancing our commitment to PC-based personal financial management (PFM) products, making them more cost effective, convenient and easy for our customers.”

Mellon customers will have the ability to access their bank and bill payment information using Quicken and Microsoft Money PFM applications that connect directly with Mellon’s internal systems via Innovision Financial Server. Acting as a messaging interchange engine, Innovision Financial Server sends, receives and manages OFX-formatted data.

Innovision Financial Server is a component of Innovision XP (XML Protocol) Series. The product is the financial industry’s most widely deployed OFX server.

About OFX

Since its 1997 introduction, OFX has been the industry-accepted communication and application standard for financial transactions and services. The specification supports a wide range of financial activities including consumer and small business banking; consumer and small business bill presentment and payment; and investments, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

About Mellon Bank Corporation

A broad-based financial services company with a bank at its core, Mellon Bank Corporation ranks among the nation’s largest financial services companies in market capitalization. With approximately $2.3 trillion in assets under management, administration or custody, including approximately $390 billion under management, Mellon provides a full range of banking, investment and trust products and services to individuals and small, midsize and large businesses and institutions. Its mutual fund companies, The Dreyfus Corporation and Founders Asset Management, place Mellon as the leading bank manager of mutual funds. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Mellon’s principal subsidiary is Mellon Bank, N.A.

About Innovision

Innovision Corporation is one of the most trusted suppliers of complementing server, client and toolkit components that leverage XML Protocols to enable easier communication over today’s open networks. The company is recognized as a pioneer in the development and application of leading OFX and FIXML messaging interchange engines and related technologies that are the backbone of online services at leading financial services companies. This practical experience has resulted in leadership positions within prominent financial industry standards groups such as the OFX Technical Committee and the FIX Protocol Organization’s XML Standards Working Group.