Performance Booster

DynaMark, Inc., announced a new on-line marketing and risk analysis service designed specifically for credit card issuers.  The company’s new APEX Customer Management and Analysis Systems, which is available either in a service offering or as an on-site system, contributes to improved portfolio performance by allowing credit card issuers to monitor and respond quickly to changing portfolio dynamics.  The system gives users real-time access to multiple sources of customer, promotion and credit bureau data via on-line business intelligence software.  As a result, portfolio managers who use the APEX system can readily identify opportunities to strengthen profitable customer relationships, focus marketing program strategies, and respond to changing market conditions and/or competitive threats.


AmEx Free Email

American Express announced the full roll-out of AmExMail, a free Internet e-mail service that provides members with a new level of control for managing their personal and business communications.  American Express has been testing AmExMail since November 1997, offering the service via traditional and online marketing channels to select Cardmembers and non-Cardmembers.  The service provides members with a permanent e-mail address that they can access conveniently form virtually any computer connected to the Internet.  The pilot results exceeded Company expectations, especially in customer response rate, indicating the value of AmExMail to both Cardmembers and non-Cardmembers.


FDR & PNC Extend

First Data Resources, Inc. announced a two-year contract extension with Pittsburgh, PA. based PNC Bank Corp. to provide debit card processing services through 2002.  Under the agreement, First Data will continue to provide debit card processing services for PNC’s approximately 1.7 million debit card accounts on file.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.  PNC Bank has bee a First Data debit card processing client since 1995.


Senior Citizen Sues Citibank

A 79-year-old El Dorado County woman has filed a lawsuit against banking giant Citicorp for demanding payment of a credit-card debt and threatening her with criminal charges after she received bankruptcy protection.

The suit alleges that Citicorp violated the Fair Debt Collection Act, committed extortion and caused the intentional infliction of emotional distress on the plaintiff, Anne K. Warren of Placerville.

“Citicorp threatened this law-abiding senior citizen with a fraud investigation and criminal charges,” said Archibald M. Mull, III, a Sacramento attorney who specializes in consumer fraud. “This was an intentional act to frighten Mrs. Warren into paying off her Citibank MasterCard even though she was protected through the United States Bankruptcy Court.”

Mrs. Warren had used the credit card for more than 17 years. It was issued to her husband, who died in 1981, and was continued to be used and renewed by Mrs. Warren after his death. Mrs. Warren, who receives Social Security and continues to work full-time as a home care provider for minimum wages despite her advanced age in order to make ends meet, sought and received bankruptcy protection in 1996 because she didn’t bring in enough income to pay off her debt. Citicorp continued to seek payment and in January 1998 sent the matter to a collection agency.

The lawsuit also alleges extortion, because Citicorp attempted to obtain money through threats of criminal prosecution. It is asking for actual and punitive damages for Mrs. Warren and restitution of all money obtained by Citicorp as the result of similar alleged unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices upon its other credit-card customers who also sought bankruptcy protection.

While Warren’s lawsuit is unique, Mull believes there are many more senior citizens and others whose rights are violated by issuers of credit cards.

“These credit-card companies are using shocking tactics to frighten innocent, law-abiding citizens,” Mull said. “We want to put an end to such tactics through the judicial system.”

The lawsuit was filed in El Dorado County Superior Court.


Gemplus Expands Exec Team

Gemplus today announced that it has named Michael Crosno and Donna Jeker, two highly-experienced technology executives, to its senior management team in Silicon Valley. Mr. Crosno and Ms. Jeker will work together to develop and execute an IT-focused sales and marketing strategy for Gemplus.

Mr. Crosno steps in as executive vice president of sales for North America. He joins Gemplus from Eastman Kodak, where he was general manager and vice president of the $450 million Americas business imaging systems division. Mr. Crosno’s experience also includes executive positions at ViewStar and Computer Associates International.

Donna Jeker, vice president of strategic marketing and alliances for North and Latin America, will oversee strategy, marketing, and global technology partnerships. Ms. Jeker’s professional background includes senior positions at Sybase, Neuron Data, and DataMind.

“We are delighted to have Michael and Donna join our company,” said Dominique Trempont, president of Gemplus Americas and Information Technology Products Group worldwide. “They are world class professionals who clearly understand where smart cards fit in the electronic payment and Information Technology market. They bring sharp execution skills to ensure that Gemplus continues to be the leader in this business.”

About Gemplus

Gemplus () is the world’s leading provider of conventional and smart card-based solutions. Gemplus sells magnetic stripe cards, memory and microprocessor-based smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags and smart objects. The company designs and markets software, development tools and readers. Gemplus also provides consulting, training and personalization services to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible card-based solutions to its developers, distributors, partners, and customers.

With sales of over US$585 million in 1997, Gemplus employs more than 4,100 people, in ten manufacturing facilities, five R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world. Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, identity, access control, pay TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, and information technology.


OFX/GOLD Upgrade

InteliData Technologies Corp. today announced that financial institutions who purchase the Interpose OFX server will be provided a free upgrade to the converged OFX/GOLD standard, which is expected this summer.

InteliData Chairman William F. Gorog applauded the action taken by the leadership of the proponents of the OFX and GOLD standards. “This action taken by the Banking Industry Technology Secretariat (BITS), Integrion, IBM, Microsoft, Intuit and CheckFree, removes one of the last obstacles confronting financial institutions anxious to implement home banking systems.”

Last month InteliData announced that its Interpose OFX server had been fully certified by Microsoft and Home Financial Network to support a full feature set of home banking transactions, including balance inquiry, statement download, bill payment, and customer e-mail. Financial institutions can now install the Interpose OFX server to accommodate current Microsoft Money and Home Financial Network’s Home ATM users and any other customer devices, such as Web TV, which utilize the OFX standard with the assurance that the server will be upgraded to accommodate any changes required by the convergence of the OFX and GOLD standards later this year.

InteliData President and CEO John Backus, commenting on the action, said, “Combining the flexibility of Windows/NT with the power of the IBM mainframes permits banks to begin serving their customers with an inexpensive solution, and capacity can easily be added as customer volume increases. The component architecture allows banks to offer an OFX solution in under 100 days for under $100,000.”

Interpose OFX offers banks a turnkey solution today to support home banking via the Internet, Microsoft Money and HFN’s Home ATM. InteliData’s solution will also support other products that will implement OFX in the near future. Interpose OFX is easy to install and implement at a financial institution since it comes complete with “off-the-shelf” software tools that minimize custom development. The product includes tools to support message management and routing, message translation, integration to legacy information systems, data warehousing, synchronization, logging, and account administration. Independent development of these components could take up to 90 work months.

InteliData, with headquarters in Herndon, Va., is a leading supplier of home banking software with over 20 of the top 100 U.S. financial institutions 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.


Recurring Payment Incentive

MasterCard International introduced a merchant incentive program to expand card usage and acceptance for recurring payment transactions in the U.S. MasterCard’s new Service Industries Inventive Program targets the insurance, utility, telecommunications, and cable television industries  the four merchant categories that constitute more that 90 percent of the $500 billion recurring payment category.  Currently 98 percent of recurring payments within these industries are paid by checks  representing an enormous growth opportunity for credit cards.  To assist members in enlisting merchant acceptance of recurring payments by credit card, MasterCard is offering a special incentive interchange rate for all participating merchants in the insurance, utility, telecom and cable industries who begin a Recurring Payment by MasterCard Program. MasterCard is also adopting operational enhancement and has designed an extensive sales and marketing program called “Repeat Pay”.


Diebold Update

Shareholders of Diebold, Incorporated, today re-elected the Board of Directors at the company’s annual meeting. In addition, the board declared the second-quarter cash dividend and re-elected the company officers.


Re-elected to the Diebold Board of Directors were:

— Louis V. Bockius III, chairman, Bocko Incorporated, North Canton, Ohio.

— Daniel T. Carroll, chairman, The Carroll Group, Avon, Colo.

— Richard L. Crandall, managing director, Arbor Partners, LLC, Ann Arbor, Mich.

— Donald R. Gant, limited partner, The Goldman Sachs Group, L.P., New York.

— L. Lindsey Halstead, retired chairman of the board, Ford of Europe, Naples, Fla.

— Phillip B. Lassiter, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, AMBAC Financial Group Inc., New York.

— John N. Lauer, president and chief executive officer, Oglebay Norton Co., Cleveland.

— Robert W. Mahoney, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Diebold, Canton.

— William F. Massy, president, The Jackson Hole Higher Education Group, Inc., Jackson Hole, Wyo., professor of education and business administration, emeritus, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

— Gregg A. Searle, president and chief operating officer, Diebold, Canton.

— W.R. Timken, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer, The Timken Company, Canton.


The Board of Directors today declared a 14 cents per share cash dividend on all common shares to be paid Friday, June 5 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Friday, May 15.


At the board meeting following the Diebold annual meeting, the Board of Directors re-elected Robert W. Mahoney, chairman of the board and chief executive officer; Gregg A. Searle, president and chief operating officer; Gerald F. Morris, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Alben W. Warf, senior vice president, electronic systems development and manufacturing; David Bucci, group vice president, North American sales and service; Michael J. Hillock, group vice president, international sales and service; Charles J. Bechtel, vice president, information systems; Warren W. Dettinger, vice president and general counsel; Reinoud G.J. Drenth, vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa; Donald E. Eagon, Jr., vice president, corporate communications; Charee Francis- Vogelsang, vice president and secretary; Bartholomew J. Frazzitta, vice president and general manager, physical security division; Larry D. Ingram, vice president, procurement and services; Charles B. Scheurer, vice president, human resources; Robert L. Stockamp, vice president and corporate controller; Ernesto R. Unanue, vice president and managing director, Latin America; and Robert J. Warren, vice president and treasurer.

Diebold, Incorporated, headquartered in Canton, Ohio, is a global leader in providing card-based transaction systems, security and service solutions to the financial, education and healthcare industries. Founded in 1859, the company develops, manufactures, sells and services automated teller machines, campus systems, smart card systems, electronic and physical security equipment, automated medication dispensing systems, integrated systems solutions, software and supplies.


GPS Signs Frst Chicago

Global Payment Systems announced Wednesday that it has signed an agreement to provide a wide variety of end-to-end payment solutions for First Chicago NBD Corp.  Under the terms of the agreement, Global will provide a range of services, including credit and debit card processing as well as check authorization.  Additionally, Global will provide the bank with merchant accounting, charge back and retrieval processing, and point-of-sale terminal deployment services.  These services will allow First Chicago NBD to offer its clients unique products, services and reporting in virtually every market.


Debit Education Week

During this year’s National Credit Education Week, the National Consumers League is urging consumers to learn more about debit cards.  Consumers who want more information about debit cards can call for a free brochure, published by the League with support from Visa, “Debit Cards: Beyond Cash and Checks.”  For a free copy of the brochure, call the National Consumers League, 202-835-3323.


Gemini Bankruptcy Solution

Equifax, Inc. and HNC Software Inc introduced yesterday a new product, Gemini Bankruptcy Solution, to significantly improve early identification of potential bankrupt accounts.  Gemini Bankruptcy Solution combines Equifax’s Bankruptcy Navigator Index score with HNC’s ProfitMax Bankruptcy cardholder bankruptcy prediction system.  ProfitMax Bankruptcy is a transaction-based, dynamic HNC profiling of the cardholder relationship and their transactions with a single issuer.  Equifax’s Bankruptcy Navigator evaluates the cardholder’s relationship with all credit grantors.  Gemini Bankruptcy Solution combines the features of both products in an optimized algorithm that combines the two scores.  It accurately predicts more bankrupt accounts, lowers the false-positive rate, and increases the predictive lead-time.


First USA Excites

First USA announced Wednesday a five-year multimillion-dollar marketing partnership with Excite, Inc. to target market its credit cards on Excite’s flagship services, .  First USA will also create an Excite-branded credit card and will be the exclusive credit card issuer on  Leveraging the power of Excite’s MatchLogic division, Excite will match First USA’s thousands of individualized credit card products with Excite’s customized consumer channels.  The alliance will provide consumers with facts about 1,200 First USA products and services that mirror their particular interests.  The targeting will include keyword and topic-related banners, content-related links, behavioral and demographic targeting leveraging MatchLogic’s ad serving and database marketing capabilities.  For example, First USA might offer its American Kennel Club Visa card to an Excite user searching for information about dogs.