netClearing Buys Access Services

Digital Courier Technologies, Inc. announced Tuesday that its netClearing Internet payment processing division has signed a letter of intent to acquire Access Services, Inc., a private company based in Atlanta, Georgia.  Access Services is a leading third party credit card transaction processing company.  The acquisition is expected to close by early December.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Digital Courier becomes one of the first companies to provide online businesses with a suite of Internet-based payment processing products with built-in direct connections to the Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover payments networks.  NetClearing currently provides the payment processing transaction engine for Digital Courier’s Videos Now online video shopping service, which debuted this month on America Online, as well as for a growing number of online merchants.  netClearing will also be used in industrial-strength Web-based and wireless personal weather applications to be introduced by Digital Courier’s WeatherLabs division later this year.

“It is projected that the e-commerce market will grow to $300 billion by 2002, and the acquisition of Access Services accelerates our strategy to position netClearing at the hub of this market,” stated Mitchell Edwards, Chief Financial Officer of Digital Courier.  “Access Services will immediately bring world-class payment processing management and substantial financial institution and merchant business to our netClearing division,” he added. Access Services provides credit and debit card authorization and capture services to major banks and ISO/MSP service organizations nationwide through its processing center located in Atlanta, Georgia.  Based on leading edge client-server technology provided by Verifone and Hewlett-Packard, Access Services fields a broad array of payments products and services designed to take advantage of up to date offerings in Internet and other telecommunications mediums.

“Our alliance with Digital Courier will further enhance our Internet payments offerings and enable us to continue our rapid expansion in the payments processing marketplace,” said Tom Tesmer, President of Access Services.

Digital Courier Technologies Inc. supplies businesses and major web portals with sophisticated e-commerce and content delivery software.  The software is based on a powerful matrix of server-side Java software components.  The company’s current content offerings, which utilize the powerful e-commerce and content delivery software, include: WeatherLabs, a premiere online weather information service (), VideosNow (), and BooksNow ().

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Affinity Tech & Fair Isaac

Affinity Technology Group, Inc. and Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. Tuesday announced that the companies have signed a joint marketing agreement that will make Affinity’s outsourced credit approval products for direct and indirect loans available with Fair, Isaac’s current offering of decision-making solutions.

“This agreement provides Affinity with access to Fair, Isaac’s highly regarded sales team and customer base,” said Paul Adams, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing of Affinity. “In addition, Fair, Isaac’s predictive models for automobile loans are the perfect complement to Affinity’s iDEAL indirect and direct auto loan processing system.”

Al Sowden, senior vice president of Alliance Management of Fair, Isaac added, “Affinity’s outsourced approach to loan application processing enables financial institutions to automate their credit functions easily and quickly. For companies addressing the Year 2000 issue in their front-end systems, this service bureau offering provides a timely solution. Our SEARCH and ScoreWare tools, which implement our predictive models, are an integral component in Affinity’s system.”

Affinity’s technology enables financial institutions to link their dealers, branches, call centers, and Internet customers electronically to their credit departments, providing fully automated lending – and, if necessary, connectivity to a loan officer – through every channel. For financial institutions, Affinity’s solutions expedite loan decisioning and processing and increase productivity and capacity of branch personnel, call center agents, loan officers, and indirect agents, while improving the overall customer experience. Affinity is located on the World Wide Web at [www.affi.net][1].

Fair, Isaac ([www.fairisaac.com][2]) helps businesses worldwide maximize the value of data to make more profitable decisions about their customers, operations and portfolios. Known for its pioneering work in credit scoring and its use of data in transaction-level decisions, Fair, Isaac now delivers data management services, analytics, software and consulting to the financial services, direct marketing, personal lines insurance, retail, and healthcare industries. Headquartered in San Rafael, California, Fair, Isaac employs 1,500 people in 17 offices worldwide. For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1998, the company reported revenues of $245.5 million, a 23 percent increase over the prior year. For more information, contact Fair, Isaac at 1-800-999-2955.

[1]: http://www.affi.net
[2]: http://www.fairisaac.com

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ClaimCard Signs Quarterback

The ClaimCard, Inc. announced Monday that Bernard J. Kosar, Jr. has joined its board.

Mr. Kosar is a Senior Vice President and a Director of Precision Response Corporation, Chairman of the NFL Quarterback Club and part of the group that won the bid for the new Cleveland Browns franchise. A former NFL quarterback, he was most recently with the Miami Dolphins after his affiliations with the Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys and the original Cleveland Browns.

Bernie is also a director and majority shareholder of Tidewater Management Group, Inc., an Arby’s multi-unit franchisee with thirteen restaurants in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, and the Bernie Kosar Greeting Card Company, a distributor of sports-oriented greeting cards in Cleveland, Ohio.

“We are extremely pleased to have Bernie join ClaimCard’s Board of Directors,” said Larence Park, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Bernie is a talented and creative individual. His business development expertise and knowledge of teleservices is a valuable asset to ClaimCard in introducing our revolutionary payment system services to the market.”

“ClaimCard is on the leading edge of innovative development of electronic payment systems” Kosar said, “and I’m excited to be a part of this dynamic organization.”

The ClaimCard, Inc. is a technology leader in the development of Internet based software applications and innovative payment systems for the insurance industry. ClaimCard’s software delivers scalable solutions that enable its customers to improve the management, valuation, and payment of insurance claims. The company pioneered the development of the ClaimCard MasterCard, the first payment system of its kind designed specifically for the unique requirements of the insurance industry. ClaimCard’s proprietary authorization and settlement systems empower an insurance company to deliver payments utilizing enhanced authorization controls tailored to their unique requirements.

For more information go to on the Internet.

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Advanta Settlement

A class action suit against Advanta’s pricing policies may be settled next month in a hearing scheduled for Dec. 23 in Delaware. The plaintiff law firms which include Girard & Green of San Francisco; Langston, Frazer, Sweet & Freese of Birmingham; and Shepherd & Geller of Media, PA. made the announcement yesterday. The class action covers the period between Jan. 1, 1992 and Nov. 2, 1998 and extends to all consumer credit cards issued by Advanta National Bank, Advanta National Bank USA, or Colonial National Bank USA. The suit seeks damages for cardholders who established a balance through the Advanta ‘SmartMove’ program and were charged an interest rate on that balance higher than the rate described in the promotional material pursuant to which the balance was established.

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NextCard Infusion

San Francisco-based NextCard, Inc.announced Monday it has raised $38 million in a third round of equity financing from Moore Capital Management, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, and Highland Capital Partners. NextCard’s investors from its first and second round of financing include Brentwood Venture Capital, Trinity Ventures, St. Paul Venture Capital and Forrest Binkley & Brown. Since its launch in December 1997 approximately 500,000 consumers have applied for the ‘NextCard Internet VISA’, and the company is generating over $15 million per month in balance transfers. The card is offered exclusively through the Internet and offers credit approvals within seconds. NextCard is marketed through a strategic relationship with Heritage Bank of Commerce in San Jose, CA..The company said yesterday it has now become a top 20 online advertiser. NextCard advertises in USA Today Online as well as CardWeb’s online consumer channels. The start-up firm says it has captured as much as 20% of the market for online credit card applications in just nine months, based on two independent studies from Cyber Dialogue, Inc. and Brittain Associates. The privately held company recently changed its name/structure to NextCard, Inc., from Internet Access Financial Corporation.

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SLM Finalizes Bankline Acquisition

SLM Software Inc., a leading global provider of electronic transaction management solutions, announced Monday that it has completed the acquisition of Bankline Holding, Inc., a privately-held, leading supplier of client server retail banking systems and data processing services including imaging for community financial institutions in the U.S. The SLM/Bankline combination creates a leading single source provider of in-house and outsourced electronic financial service solutions in the U.S. With strong brand equity, customer service and management expertise, SLM is well positioned to deliver a greater array of financial transaction management products and services to community financial institutions in the U.S. who want to remain competitive in this consolidation-driven industry. It also allows SLM to derive greater market share in the U.S. and extend its global reach.

“We have already received early positive response from customers eager for the expanded suite of products and services now available to them. The benefits of this combination extend to all stakeholders. Enhanced shareholder value is possible by more than doubling sales and earnings performance. And employees become part of an even stronger and fast-growing market leader. The Bankline acquisition represents an important milestone in SLM’s U.S. market entry,” said Govin Misir, CEO, SLM Software Inc.

John French, CEO of Bankline Holding Inc. and now CEO of SLM’s U.S. Operations, added “The opportunity to serve the community financial industry with affordable, leading technology has never been better. We have already taken active steps to leverage the synergies between our two organizations to help financial institutions deliver the services their customers demand.”

The purchase price was approximately US$20 million and was paid with 1.2 million in common shares of SLM, and performance-based stock warrants based on a price of US$9.81, exchangeable for up to an additional 254,000 common shares of SLM, and will be payable with US$8.6 million in cash. The 1.2 million common shares are escrowed for a 2-year period, as well as any common shares issued out of the warrants.

About SLM Software Inc.

Founded in 1986, Toronto-based SLM Software took an early lead in the electronic financial revolution. Its open systems technology set the standard for on-line transaction management, enabling true hardware, database and protocol independence. SLM was the first to offer the financial services and health care markets the compatibility, flexibility and upward scalability necessary for global electronic service delivery. SLM’s state-of-the-art ESP-Link product solutions help organizations maintain their competitive advantage in 52 countries on five continents, powering end-to-end electronic commerce solutions from credit and debit cards, smart cards, ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, in-branch services, Internet, telephone and PC banking systems to wealth management and integrated, on-line medical insurance claims processing.

About Bankline Holding Inc.

Based in the greater Kansas City area, Bankline is a recognized leader in client server information products and services including imaging for community financial institutions in the U.S. Bankline’s Windowsr based retail banking software, MicroSOLV, is Y2K compliant and operates on a relational database in an open systems environment. MicroSOLV includes fully integrated core banking applications, retail and branch automation systems, check imaging and a complete range of support systems and interfaces. As a full service provider, Bankline supplies nearly 400 clients turnkey in-house installations and services including outsourced data processing, imaging, back office, as well as facilities management. Bankline operates 14 data centres in eight states and has a system integrator in Tennessee.

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Smart Fingerprints

Key Tronic Corporation introduced the ‘Secure Scanner’ keyboard with a smart card reader yesterday. The new product provides the ultimate in authentication of users through fingerprint recognition. Now, someone using a smart card for transactions or distribution of the information stored on the smart card, can verify that they are the owner of the card through fingerprint recognition. The master fingerprint file can be stored on the smart card, making any transaction with that particular smart card to require fingerprint authentication before completing the transaction. Both features can work independently of each other as well for network access control and smart card transactions. The keyboard features the Key Tronic ‘Secure Scanner’ on the left. This optical scanner is the ‘DFR200’ scanner from Identicator, Inc.

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BofA EAGLS

Bank of America said Monday it will enable its commercial credit card customers to access the power of a transaction information management system that uses Web-based, point-and-click technology to set new standards of speed, accuracy and cost-efficiency. The online account management and reporting system, ‘EAGLS’ will be available mid-year 1999. ‘EAGLS’ was originally designed with the requirements of the federal government’s General Services Administration in mind. ‘The system has now been modified to meet the needs of private sector customers. ‘EAGLS’ allows users to set up accounts, maintain them, and view regularly scheduled reports, as well as write their own reports with new flexible management information tools. The system also provides superior controls, expedited cardholder setup and on-line access to at least 13 months of data. End-to-end purchasing capability will be delivered through an electronic mall interface, accompanied by electronic reconcilement and EDI capability.

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NetPrecision 99

First Data Direct Banking announced this morning the release of the newest version of  ‘NetPrecision 99’. The Internet banking product features an all-new, easy-to-use customer interface with expanded new graphic options and more features included in the entry-level ‘NetPrecision 30/30 Home Banking’ product. Another major feature of the new release is the addition of dynamic ad banner generation, providing a way for NetPrecision clients to expand the opportunities to promote their services and products or even generate revenue on their Web sites. Other features of ‘NetPrecision 99’ include: a local authorization bill payment and settlement process; the addition of interfaces to several new bank transaction processors; automatic integration of First Data Direct Banking’s ‘Privacy Policy Program’, which assists financial institutions with the development and posting of policies on their Web sites; the addition of a Web traffic tracking component; differentiation between electronic and paper billers in the bill payment module and the ability to expand customer use to Canada and Mexico through the addition of address formats for those countries.

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Destiny Cash Infusion

Destiny Software Corporation announced Monday that it has received equity investments from Pennsylvania Early Stage Partners L.P., Newlight Associates L.P., and Women’s Growth Capital Fund.  Destiny Software, a leading provider of online systems for credit card issuers and other financial institutions, will use the new funds to extend its product lines and intensify penetration into new markets.

“Destiny Software represents an exciting opportunity,” stated Stephen L. Amsterdam, a Principal of Pennsylvania Early Stage Partners.  “Destiny has both an outstanding management team and robust technology, in addition to fitting well within our charter to assist in the growth of attractive Pennsylvania-based enterprises.”

Mr. Amsterdam and Robert Brill, General Partner of Newlight Associates, L.P. have joined Destiny’s Board of Directors.  Both Mr. Amsterdam and Dr. Brill bring extensive experience in entrepreneurial and technology ventures to the company.  Referring to the reason his firm invested in Destiny Software, Dr. Brill commented, “We were primarily attracted to Destiny for the exceptional management and technical teams they’ve created.”

“The experience and stature of our new investors will help us to build our leadership position in online financial services,” remarked Lucinda Duncalfe, Chief Executive Officer of Destiny.  “Strong investor support is a key ingredient for growth.  Pennsylvania Early Stage Partners, Newlight Associates, and Women’s Growth Capital Fund are top notch, and we’re delighted to have them as business partners.”

Newlight Associates led this round of venture capital financing.  These venture capitalists join Blue Water Capital L.L.C., which provided Destiny with its initial round of venture funding in May 1997.

Pennsylvania Early Stage Partners is a $50 million venture capital fund associated with Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., a strategic information systems company with a proven track record of bringing emerging technology companies into the public markets.  Pennsylvania Early Stage Partners seeks to invest in promising early stage companies with the potential for exponential growth, located primarily in Pennsylvania, or those willing to relocate operations to the Commonwealth.  The fund has a strong emphasis on technology and looks for opportunities with market leadership potential and outstanding management.

The Newlight Associates Funds are focused private equity funds that invest principally in high growth technology-oriented businesses.  The Funds began operation in 1997 and are capitalized at $50 million.  The investors that provide Newlight’s capital base range from global financial institutions to entrepreneurs.  One of the largest of its kind, the Women’s Growth Capital Fund is a $29 million venture capital fund that invests in established, women- owned businesses seeking expansion capital, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

About Destiny Software

Destiny Software, with offices in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, provides online products and services to financial institutions.  Granite Foundation, Granite Sculptor, Granite Retail Card, and Granite Commercial Card allow credit card issuers, private banks, and other financial institutions to deliver their products over the Internet, Open Financial Exchange (OFX), America Online and other electronic channels. Destiny’s clients include Bank of America, The Northern Trust Company, First USA, Advanta, and GE Capital.  The company’s web site is located at .

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Utell/MasterCard Promo

Utell International has paired up with MasterCard, offering leisure travelers added values on 38 hotels throughout North America, Europe and the Caribbean.

Now through March 31, 1999, the Fall/Winter edition of the Leisure Breaks program will entice travelers with several diverse getaway options.

Leisure Breaks destinations range from British Columbia to Barbados and from Illinois to Italy. Guests staying at participating hotels and paying with MasterCard will receive added values, some of which include: room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, discounts on food or access to fitness centers. Added extras vary for each hotel and are designated by the individual property.

Utell International, a REZsolutions Inc. company, is the world’s leading hotel marketing and reservations company representing more than 7,700 hotels in over 180 countries. Member properties range from budget to deluxe, city center to resort and include major international brands as well as independent hotels.

For more information or to make reservations with a Utell-represented property from the U.S. and Canada, call 800/44-UTELL. REZsolutions Inc. is the result of the merger of Anasazi Inc. and Utell International and is the leading provider of technology-based systems, reservation and distribution networks, private label reservations services and marketing programs for the hospitality industry.

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FSU Microsoft Smart Cards

Microsoft and smart card innovator CyberMark announced  they will jointly work with several customers in the United States to pilot Microsoft’s newest entry to the smart card market, Microsoft Smart Cards for Windows.  CyberMark cards enable students on college campuses and employees in corporate facilities to replace cash at numerous points of sale, access physical buildings and computer networks, and link to a wide range of banking, telephony, and customer loyalty functions.  Several of CyberMark’s key customers — including Florida State University, Villanova University, and Huntington Bank — have agreed to pilot the CyberMark card utilizing the new Microsoft operating system.

“Microsoft’s entry to the smart-card market validates the market for stored-value cards in the United States and represents a breakthrough in cashless payment technology on an international scale,” said Thomas K. Burke, vice president for CyberMark.  “As the market leader in North American stored- value systems, we anticipate rapid acceptance of Smart Cards for Windows in our market segments and look forward to a very successful pilot program.”

CyberMark has been a pioneer in the smart card industry, ascending to its industry leading position by providing customers with multiple application smart cards to solve basic business needs.  Microsoft’s entry to the market is seen by many as a significant milestone in the history of the smart card industry.  “For CyberMark,” says Mr. Burke, “Microsoft’s involvement provides this industry a partner with unequaled credentials and resources.”

“Smart Cards for Windows was developed to assist organizations such as CyberMark in delivering more economical smart card solutions while supporting evolving industry standards,” said Philippe Goetschel, Microsoft’s Smart Cards for Windows product manager.  “The system takes full advantage of proven software development tools such as Visual Basic, enabling applications to be developed quickly to meet business needs.  CyberMark will play an important role in establishing Smart Cards for Windows in several North American markets, starting with our pilot systems in key CyberMark accounts in higher education and corporate markets.”

CyberMark () develops smart card solutions for education, corporate, financial, government and entertainment markets.  One-half million individuals utilize CyberMark’s multi-application smart cards at installations including the University of Toronto, the University of Kansas, University of Arizona and more than a dozen additional sites. Cardholders conduct smart card based payments using their cards at locations displaying the SmartWorld logo.  SmartWorld is a registered trademark of CyberMark.

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