First SET 1.0 Payment Products

GlobeSet announced Friday, the industry’s first SET application products incorporating the SET 1.0 specification. Available through Tandem Computers, the iTP SET 1.0 product suite supports secure payment card transactions over the Internet. Tandem is the leader in online transaction processing providing solutions that process 90 percent of the world’s securities transactions, 80 percent of the world’s ATM transactions, 66 percent of all 911 emergency called and 66 percent of all credit card transactions. General availability for the iTP SET 1.0 product suite will be early 1998.


ULTRADATA Signs Another

ULTRADATA Corp. (NASDAQ:ULTD) has been selected by CP Federal Credit Union in Jackson, Michigan as their new technology partner.

With $151 million in assets and over 28,000 members, CP serves over 35 Select Employer Groups. Its primary field of membership is Consumer Energy in Jackson.

ULTRADATA continues to expand its market presence with the addition of CP Federal Credit Union. “Choosing a new service provider is not an easy decision,” said Jerry King, CEO of CP Federal Credit Union. “However, the decision was made simpler by the quality of ULTRADATA’s systems, the advanced technology, and the personal interest they showed in the mission of our credit union.”

“We are delighted with the addition of CP to our client-base,” stated Robert J. Majteles, President and CEO of ULTRADATA. “CP’s business philosophy fits in with our mission; they put their relationship with their members before anything, and that makes them exactly the type of institution our products and services are designed for.”

With ULTRADATA’s core system, ULTRAFIS(TM), CP has purchased ALPS-Automated Loan Processing System, online ATMs, online Debit Cards, UDC-Front Office, IPS Bondsmart, the Optical Management System, PC Browser Banking, Voice Response, and Shared Branch.

ULTRADATA provides online information management solutions for financial institutions. The company develops, markets and supports: ULTRAFIS(TM), an advanced information management engine; the Ultra-Access(TM) suite of remote banking products; and ULTRADATA Select, client/server-based software applications.


Bigger & Smarter

BankBoston, Bank of Montreal/Harris Bank and consulting firm First Annapolis opened the curtain yesterday on a new joint venture that will combine the existing U.S. card portfolios of BankBoston and Harris Bank with the management and marketing savvy of First Annapolis. The firms expect to close the deal by Nov. 30 and they project the newly formed entity will be among the fifteen largest U.S. card portfolios by the year 2000. Under terms of the agreement: BankBoston will contribute most of its $1.4 billion portfolio in exchange for $5 million in cash, $50 million in preferred shares and 19% of the common shares of the new entity (BankBoston will retain its regional portfolio cardholders); Bank of Montreal/Harris Bank will contribute most of Harris Bank’s $782 million portfolio and $115 million in cash in exchange for a 69% ownership; and First Annapolis will contribute its subsidiary First Annapolis Marketing Information Services, Inc. in exchange for a 12% share of the new company. The yet to be named company has also designated First Data Resources as its provider of data processing, customer service, credit and collections support. In making the announcement Thursday the three firms indicated they see the current shakeout in the market as an opportunistic time for alliances and acquisitions. They also believe the key to future profitability in the card business is data mining and economies of scale. First Annapolis approached between eight and ten issuers with the concept, landed two, and expects to announce a third partner next year. Bank of Montreal says they would like to eventually reduce their ownership to about 35%. The new company expects to go public in 2 years.

BankBoston $1.4b $2.8b 1.2m 725k 1.2
Harris Bank $782m $672m 1.2m 474k 710k
Source: CardData/Bankcard Update


AirTouch Cellular Calling Card

Following one of the hottest communications trends in Europe, AirTouch Cellular has introduced Prepaid Cellular Service, offering consumers new options and control over their wireless spending.

AirTouch Cellular offers the only prepaid cellular calling card that provides service throughout Southern California at a flat price per minute, with no roaming or long distance charges for calls made from the region to anywhere in the United States.

AirTouch Prepaid Cellular Calling Cards are easy to buy, easy to use and easy to understand with no credit check, contract, monthly charges or cellular bills. As simple as the name implies, consumers pre-pay for cellular service by purchasing cards in $30 increments. There is also a one-time initiation fee, which may vary by retailer, but is typically $30.

“The use of cellular calling cards is booming in our international markets. In Portugal, for example, 40 to 50% of all new wireless business is being generated from prepaid cellular,” said Nancy Hobbs, executive vice president and general manager, AirTouch Cellular, Southern California.

“Prepaid service is the ideal solution for consumers who want more control over their wireless spending, and students, members of the military, or anyone else living in Southern California on a temporary basis.”

The Prepaid Cellular program continually keeps callers updated on their spending through an announcement at the beginning of each call indicating the minutes left on their current account, and an announcement at the end of each call indicating the remaining dollar amount. Consumers can easily add money to the account at any time by dialing “Star 611,” which is free of airtime charges, or stopping by a retail location.

“AirTouch Prepaid Cellular Calling Cards make cellular affordable because it’s easy to manage my bill,” said Don Mason, owner of Rhythm Television Entertainment, a production company in San Diego.

“Now I can use cellular service to enhance my business — but I control the costs. I simply use it until the money is gone.”

Airtime charges for the Prepaid Cellular Calling Card are seventy-five cents per minute including long distance charges for calls from the home calling area of San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Roaming (use of the service outside of the home calling area) is available in hundreds of cities throughout the United States for $1.75 per minute.

AirTouch Communications is a global wireless communications company, with interests in cellular, paging, and personal communications services in the United States, Belgium, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain and Sweden, as well as an interest in the Globalstar satellite system. The company, based in San Francisco, serves over 9 million proportionate customers worldwide. AirTouch’s cellular division serves more than 3.7 million customers in the United States, including the nation’s largest cellular market in Los Angeles.


51 Million Americans Now Online

IntelliQuest Information Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:IQST), a leader in providing information-based marketing services to the technology industry, today announced the results of its latest survey of the United States population’s use of Internet and online services, showing 51 million adults, age 16 and older, in the U.S. online as of the second quarter of 1997.

This represents a 46% growth from the 35 million users reported one year ago. The majority of this growth occurred in the second half of 1996, when the online population increased by 34% in six months.

Although growth of the online population slowed in 1997, the market is far from saturated. An additional 8.5 million adults intend to begin accessing the Internet or online services by the end of the year. If these people follow through with their intentions, the number of wired U.S. residents could reach 60 million by year-end.

The most startling new result is in the emergence of online shopping. In this survey, 17% of users (8.6 million adults) claimed to be online purchasers, with a median monthly expenditure of $50, the online commerce market is running at a $5.1 billion annualized rate. These results are more than three times the findings from the levels found one year ago, when a projected 2.6 million individuals were purchasing at a $1.6 billion annual rate.

These results were announced today as part of IntelliQuest’s Worldwide Internet/Online Tracking Service (WWITSv), the most comprehensive study of its kind. The study generates in-depth profiles of Internet and online user demographics, usage patterns, brand awareness, satisfaction rates and growth trends.

The IntelliQuest WWITS study provides subscribing companies with consistent, longitudinal and highly accurate tracking of the online population. Highlights of the findings for the second quarter of 1997 include:

The majority (66%) of users access from home, but the population of users accessing from work is large and growing fast. In the second quarter of this year, 23.3 million people were going online while at work, a 57% increase from the same period in 1996.

There is a relatively small proportion of extremely active users (20%) who spend 10 hours or more per week online, but nearly 40% of all users said they were spending more time online than they did a month ago. Where are they finding the time? Most said by watching less television.

The online population continues to grow towards the mainstream. Females now account for 47% of Internet and online service users, compared with 36% a year ago. This trend should continue, as females make up 58% of non-users who intend to go online in the future.

User satisfaction with the medium remained low. User’s overall satisfaction with their experience was most highly correlated with their degree of satisfaction with their Internet or online service provider. What would they most like to see improved? Speed of access, followed by reliability of connection. While online buying is still done by a minority of users, over half of those online (54% or 27.6 million people) use the medium for shopping; researching the prices or features of products, locating where to purchase products, and selecting products. Online shopping is, at this point, dominated by males (62% of shoppers and 70% of purchasers).

“It is tremendously exciting to see the online world growing towards the mainstream of our society,” said Tom Fornoff, Managing Director of Internet Services at IntelliQuest. “With each wave of our study, we discover new opportunities for the companies building the medium, whether it’s the online purchaser, the business user, the interested but hesitant prospect, or the frustrated new user. All of these users and intenders provide targeted product, marketing or brand opportunities for the industry.”

Rigorous Methodology, Unique Focus

The study employs a rigorous random-digit dial (RDD) methodology to develop projectable estimates of both user and non-user populations. IntelliQuest’s investments in screening techniques, interviewer skills, and expert methodology design (including participation from the U.S. Census Bureau), have allowed the creation of a study that can project the total Internet and online adult population to within an error rate of 1%.

The study is unique in its coverage of both users and non-users of the Internet and online services, as well as its coverage of home, business and school usage. While much current industry research focuses on total usage metrics, the WWITS study allows for analysis and projection of differentiated market segments identifiable by demographics, usage patterns or user attitudes.

The study was designed cooperatively with industry vendors who provided initial funding and questionnaire support, and is available to additional business subscribers. In addition to the U.S. study, conducted quarterly, baseline data for online usage is available for France, Germany and the UK.

For more information

Results of IntelliQuest’s Worldwide Internet/Online Tracking Service are available on a subscription basis. Full service subscriptions include access to the entire data set through detailed crosstabulations, graphical reports with market findings, and custom analysis. Summarized results are available through IntelliQuest’s Internet Trends Report. This report contains awareness, usage, segmentation, shopping and trend data for all three waves of the U.S. WWITS study. For more information on the full subscription of IntelliQuest’s Worldwide Internet/Online Tracking Service and the Internet Trends Report call 1-800-711-3753.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in Atlanta, Ga. Redwood City, Calif. and London, England, IntelliQuest provides information-based marketing services to the technology industry. IntelliQuest uses its proprietary databases and software to help technology companies track product performance and customer satisfaction, measure advertising effectiveness, assess brand strength and competitive position, determine price sensitivity, and evaluate new products, markets or other business opportunities. The Company also licenses custom proprietary software applications and associated services to technology manufacturers for electronic product registration. IntelliQuest has over 400 employees worldwide. IntelliQuest Information Group, Inc., MarCom Department, 1250 Capital of Texas Highway South, Building One, Suite 600, Austin, Texas 78746, (512)329-0808, fax (512)329-0888, email [][1]; World Wide Web [][2]



MBNA Buys Fidelity

MBNA’s munchies for quality portfolios continued yesterday with the signing of an agreement to acquire the Fidelity Trust Company portfolio.. MBNA expects to close the deal before the end of this month with a transfer of accounts taking place in October.Under terms of the agreement, Fidelity will enter into a five-year affinity contract with MBNA and will continue to market VISA and MasterCards under the Fidelity name. Fidelity put its portfolio on the block July 1. According to CardWeb, Inc.’s new ‘CardData’ service, at mid-year Fidelity had $467,484,000 in receivables, $565,280,000 in year-to-date volume, 323,481 in gross accounts, 223,734 actives and 474,000 total cards. MBNA currently has more than 21 million accounts.



PNC Bank unveiled a new VISA card yesterday offering cardholders a 2% rebate on purchases at participating shopping malls and a 1% rebate on all other purchases. The new ‘Mall V.I.P. VISA’ card will issue the rebates monthly in the form of ‘Mall V.I.P. Dollars’, good at any VISA-accepting mall merchant. PNC will cap annual rebates at $500. The no-annual-fee card carries a six-month 6.9% intro rate, a long-term rate of LIBOR +10.43% on purchases and LIBOR +15.77% for cash advances. More than 350 malls will launch the card this month with an additional 150 malls joining by year’s end representing 70% of mall retail space nationwide. Auriemma Consulting Group assisted with development of the new product. According to the September issue of CardTrak, PNC Bank is the nation’s fastest growing issuer, nearly tripling its portfolio since the summer of 1996, thanks largely to its alliance with the AAA.