GlobeSet Thin Wallet

GlobeSet, Inc., announced Monday a new product, the GlobeSet ServerWallet, that adheres to the SET 1.0 protocol, is cheaper for financial institutions to support, and faster and easier for consumers to use.

The GlobeSet ServerWallet is an application that resides on a server at the card issuer’s or financial institution’s operation center. The consumer’s graphical user interface, at approximately 50kb in size compared to current “fat” wallets at 4MB or more, is easier and faster to use, and communicates with a merchant point-of-sale application.

The GlobeSet ServerWallet routes purchase requests from the cardholder, receives purchase responses, and displays SET purchase transaction detail and history. It also interoperates with other GlobeSet SET applications or with SET payment systems from other vendors.

“Fat” wallets have encountered market opposition due, in part, to the expense incurred by financial institutions for deployment, coupled with a lack of consumer incentives to install and use wallets. With the arrival of the GlobeSet ServerWallet, obstacles have been cleared, paving the way for SET secure electronic commerce to flourish.

“The GlobeSet ServerWallet is removing the infrastructure barriers to make easy and secure electronic commerce a reality,” said Dennis Jolly, vice president, sales, marketing and operations for GlobeSet. “GlobeSet provides a product that is faster to download, easier to use, and cheaper to support — that’s it. Every major card issuer is going to want to take a look at this product.”

Managing many SET wallet functions from an issuer’s central location provides many benefits, including faster deployment and cheaper costs for administering, supporting and upgrading multitudes of wallets. Empirical analyses, conducted by GlobeSet for large institutions, estimate annual savings in the millions due to centralized management and administration functions for cardholder wallets. Also, the keys and certificates used for encryption and authenticating parties in a transaction can be housed in secure hardware in an issuer’s facility, increasing protection over software security.

Hardware security eliminates the need for the data to reside on a cardholder’s PC, which is subject to hard drive crashes or power failures. And because of centralized management and administration, upgrades to the product and the user interface can be conducted transparently for the user.

One of the biggest obstacles to mass deployment of SET “fat” wallets has been the size of its footprint. On average, a 4MB “fat” wallet can take nineteen minutes, or more, to download. The GlobeSet ServerWallet graphical user interface, at approximately 50kb in size, averages twelve seconds to download. The GlobeSet ServerWallet’s small footprint also delivers mobility for the user to conduct secure transactions from multiple locations across platforms of all sizes, such as set-top boxes, smart telephones or kiosks.

“The GlobeSet ServerWallet is the best solution for SET today and will revolutionize the way SET transactions occur,” said Mr. Jolly. “We are confident that SET will succeed, and that the GlobeSet ServerWallet will be a key driver in its wide market acceptance.”

About GlobeSet

GlobeSet is the world’s largest provider of SET software for OEM solutions, enabling secure payment card transactions over the Internet. The company provides applications for the buyer, merchant, financial processor, and certification authority (CA). On May 29, 1998, GlobeSet was awarded with a SET Mark for the GlobeSet Wallet. GlobeSet guarantees interoperability with any SET marked product from other vendors. Founded in 1994, GlobeSet is a privately held corporation. Strategic equity investors include Bankers Trust, and Tandem Computers.

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Wireless Gambling Demo

Next week, the first real time, GSM, cash pay-per-play smart card international wagering will be demonstrated in London. Newcom Technologies of Australia, and Electronic Transactions and Technologies and Betting Inc., of the United States, will use a GSM phone to call from England to place a $100 card- authenticated bet in Australia. At the Mobile Commerce ’98 Conference, held in London next week, ET&T and Betting Inc., using the Newcom Platform, will pass a GSM message to the ET&T bank host server detailing a $100 smart-card bet. The ET&T server will then pass the message and payment-complete command to Betting Inc., which will use the Internet to carry the encrypted short message service to the waiting gaming operator in Australia. The operator in turn will acknowledge placement of such wager to Betting Inc. which will inform ET&T. ET&T will then command a nearby fax machine to print a receipt. The phone being used will emulate the Pocket Pay which ET&T will be developing and which will act as a pocket-sized terminal for payment cards of any type, and may also be used as a regular voice phone.

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Double Points

American Express announced yesterday it will award double points in its reward programs to cardholders using AmEx cards for spending at supermarkets and gas stations this summer. Between now and August 31, AmEx cardholders enrolled in its ‘Membership Rewards’ program or who carry the AmEx Delta, Golf, Hilton, NY Knicks or NY Rangers card will receive double points for routine purchases. Hilton Optima cardholders will receive triple points since they ordinarily earn two ‘HiltonHonors’ points per dollar charged. AmEx says its ‘Everyday Spending Index’ shows 56% of consumers used credit cards for gas purchases last year and that 28% used a credit card to purchase groceries during 1997. AmEx says it will promote the campaign through TV ads showing Jerry Seinfeld at various gas stations and supermarkets.

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InteliData Names Key Execs

InteliData Technologies Corp. announced Friday that two new key executives are joining the Company’s home banking business.

Allen Hardin was announced as general manager responsible for sales, marketing, engineering and professional services.  “Allen brings over 25 years of experience selling leading-edge technology products to financial institutions,” said InteliData President and CEO John C. Backus.  “He has held senior executive positions at EDS and as an entrepreneur at both Infoware and Ampersand, the latter of which was purchased by EDS.  Allen has spent the last two months as a consultant with our Company, helping us focus our sales efforts and win new business.  During that short period, he has helped build an increasing backlog of business, including our first Interpose OFX implementation,” added Backus.

InteliData also announced that Tom Oxendine will join the company on June 23 as vice president of technical services, responsible for all engineering and professional services.  Oxendine is a seasoned professional with over 20 years experience in technology positions.  Most recently, he was executive vice president of Banking Systems for Olivetti North America where he was responsible for sales, marketing and delivery of integrated systems and services for U.S. financial institutions.  He also directed product development and marketing for Ericsson Information Systems’ U.S. banking software operations.  “Tom’s technical knowledge combined with his keen business sense makes him an ideal fit for our growing home banking business,” said Backus.

Mr. Hardin holds BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Finance from the University of Virginia.  Mr. Oxendine holds a BS in Mathematics from East Tennessee State University.

InteliData, with headquarters in Herndon, Va., is a leading supplier of home banking software to over 20 of the top 100 U.S. financial institutions and financial service providers as customers.  The Company’s products include the Interpose Financial Engine, Interpose Payment Warehouse, Interpose OFX, Interpose EBMS, and MoneyClip, the smart card-based Internet security solution.  For more information, visit the InteliData web site at .

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IDRC Names SVP of Customer Care

International Data Response Corporation (IDRC), one of the largest and fastest growing telemarketing and customer service outsourcing firms, has made a strategic management hire by appointing David Figgat senior vice president of U.S. customer care operations, effective immediately. With 17 years of experience in the teleservices and call center industry, Figgat will manage all IDRC USA inbound operations at its call centers in San Diego and Buffalo, overseeing call center management, quality assurance, administration and facilities.

Figgat’s experience includes advanced work in managing inbound operations and working with multiple call centers, call center technologies, applications and product lines. He formerly headed the Western region operatons for Teletech, one of the largest outsourcing, customer care and tech support facilities in the world. During his five years at Teletech, he supervised all company call center operations west of Denver, Colorado, and managed all inbound and outbound operations, strategic planning and forecasting. He also developed, planned and launched Teletech’s new call center in Van Nuys, California. Before joining Teletech, Figgat worked at American Express as the director of operations for the financial and communication services business unit, overseeing the customer care center among his other responsibilities.

“I joined IDRC for the chance to be part of a very different teleservices management team. This particular group is a product of some of the strongest business experience and discipline I’ve ever seen in the industry. Typically a lot of senior management comes from within, but IDRC has created a very good mix of industry experience and great business savvy,” Figgat said. He will report directly to Jill Ward, president of IDRC USA inbound, and work closely with IDRC chairman and CEO Jeff Stiefler, former president of American Express. “Jeff Stiefler and his team have a track record of successfully building and managing large, rapidly growing enterprises. They have a clear and compelling growth strategy for IDRC and the skills and experience required to form long-term strategic relationships with senior executives at leading companies.”

“I am happy to make such a strong addition to our management team,” Ward said. “David has years of experience and knowledge in teleservices that will not only benefit our clients, but the growth of our organization as well. The leadership experience he gained at his former companies, including American Express, has laid the foundation for David to play a critically important role here at IDRC.”

IDRC is one of the world’s leading telemarketing and customer service outsourcing firms. The company’s strategy is to help its business partners use the telephone and Internet to acquire the right customers and develop deep, long-lasting, highly profitable relationships with them. IDRC employs nearly 6,800 professionals and operates nearly 4,500 workstations in 31 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

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Credit Store Buys Bad Debt

The Credit Store, Inc. said Friday that it had purchased at a substantial discount a new portfolio of charged-off consumer credit card debt. The $522 million gross principal portfolio was acquired from a major U.S financial institution within the last week, the Company said.

The transaction increases The Credit Store’s total inventory of non-performing consumer debt by more than 25 percent. The Company now has acquired approximately $2.5 billion total gross principal of non-performing consumer debt, the Company’s ‘raw material’, since its inception in October, 1996.

The Credit Store is a nationwide financial services company that markets credit cards to consumers who previously had an interruption in the repayment of their debts. The Company uses sophisticated methods to analyze, value and purchase portfolios of non-performing debt at substantial discounts. The Company then uses its direct marketing expertise to contact and negotiate settlements with consumers, most of the time placing the settlements on new unsecured credit cards offered through The Credit Store.

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Consolidation

The number of banking institutions has dropped 21% over the past five years according to a study released this weekend by SNL Securities’ ‘BankINVESTOR’ service. ‘BankINVESTOR’ found that the number of banks, defined as top tier commercial banks and bank holding companies, fell to 7,233 from 8,868, while the number of thrifts, defined as top tier savings banks and savings institutions, fell to 1,665 from 2,368 in 1992. Meanwhile the industry’s aggregate assets jumped an astonishing 31.70% to $6.09 trillion. If this trend continues at its current pace, the number of banking institutions will shrink to approximately 5,900 in the next five years. This year, M&A activity remains strong with 209 whole bank and thrift deals announced thus far. However SNL says there are signs that the rate of consolidation may begin to slow due in part to the Year 2000 issue. Last year was a record year for consolidation in the bank credit card industry.

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True Failure

American Express decision to pull the plug on its ‘Optima True Grace’ credit card was driven by low usage and the failure to attract enough balance revolvers, according to a new study by Atlanta-based Brittain Associates. Brittain found only 50% of ‘True Grace’ cardholders revolved balances and that cardholders averaged only 15 transactions per year. The study says 40% of ‘True Grace ‘ cardholders used the card in the month prior to the survey and only charged $119 on average. Brittain has been tracking all of AmEx’s co-branded and affinity cards for the past three years.

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New Wachovia Card Center

Wachovia Bank Card Services will open its new credit card customer service center in Chesapeake, Va. this morning at 11 a.m. The recently renovated 50,000-square-foot building currently employs 75 customer service representatives. Among those participating in this morning’s ceremonies: Beverly Wells, executive vice president of consumer credit and emerging businesses, and Charles Hegarty, president of Wachovia Bank Card Services.

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