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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January 26, 2000. All rights
Life in the Fast Lane
Just who owns the information on your bank statement?
The new online bill presenting company, Secure Commerce Services
says consumers own it. But one very large bank — First Union —
has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in North Carolina to
reclaim this territory.
Secure Commerce Services, based at 29 Emmons Drive, scans a client’s
bills and puts them online at Paytrust.com. The CEO of SCS, Edward
G. McLaughlin (Wharton, Class of 1987), explained this service at
the U.S. 1 Technology Showcase last year (U.S. 1, August 25, 1999).
For one monthly fee, clients can see their bills, pay them with a
click of a mouse, and store the bills on a web page. An optional
Balance" option, launched in November, provides online customers
with an estimate of the balance in their bank accounts.
First Union accuses SCS of threatening the security of customer data
on the bank’s online banking site, for falsely implying an
and for infringing on service marks and copyrights. It says SCS is
"free-riding" and in the lawsuit claims such activity
diminishes, if not destroys, the commercial incentive for banks and
other financial institutions to expend the tremendous resources and
labor necessary to collect, organize, and make available for display
up-to-the-minute customer financial account information on bank
SCS has noted that First Union is not attacking its core business,
only the Smart Balance option, that the suit is without merit, and
that it intends to vigorously defend its Smart Balance service. SCS
claims it has a secure site, with VeriSign technology, and that it
does not store customers’ PIN numbers on its site.
Banks that are antagonistic to bill aggregators like
SCS dismiss them as "screen scrapers," as quoted in the
Banker Online. But most banks are anxious to stake their own claim
in this valuable area of virtual real estate in order to preserve
their contact with customers and give them a chance to sell additional
services. The Gartner Group suggests that revenue from electronic
bill payment will rise from $250 million in 1999 to $1.7 billion in
Though only 60 percent of large banks offer online bill payment now,
the Gartner consultants believe that most banks will offer this option
within two years. First Union has joined a group of banks in a joint
service, called Spectrum, to do this. On the day it filed the lawsuit,
December 30, First Union announced it had come up with access,
and privacy requirements for the aggregators.
SCS was valued last year at about $90 million with about $37 million
in investment capital. With $30 million in cash from a group that
included Softbank Corp., American Express Co., and General Electric’s
G.E. Capital, it leapt ahead of such competitors as Cyberbills Inc.
and PayMyBills.com when it quadrupled its capital. The real diamond
in the deal, though, was an agreement by American Express to market
the Paytrust service to its 29 million members (U.S. 1, December 8,
Nevertheless, SCS would need much deeper pockets to outspend First
Union in the court system. First Union is the sixth largest bank
company in the United States and has an estimated 16 million
of whom about 1.2 million use online banking services.
"We are not scraping bank sites to find out what the banks’
interest rates are," says McLaughlin of Secure Commerce Services,
quoted in the Online Reporter. "We are just providing a
service. It’s a convenience for customers."
Nevertheless, McLaughlin is reported to be trying to negotiate an
B-30, Princeton 08540. Ed McLaughlin, president and CEO. 609-720-1818;
fax, 609-720-1819. Home page: http://www.paytrust.com.
108 West Franklin Avenue, Straube Center Suite I-20, Pennington
William L. Dunn, chairman. 609-730-9268; fax, 609-730-8652. Home
VertiNews.com Inc., a company founded by five former Dow Jones
(U.S. 1, July 7, 1999), has changed its name to reflect current
activities. So far it has launched Internet-based subscription on
two niche markets, real-time coverage of Asian markets (foreign
who are buying assets and distressed loans from Asian banks and
in four countries) and the commercial real estate industry, (including
publicly traded real estate companies and securities as well as major
industrial, office, retail, and multi-housing properties in North
America). Subscribers to each site can take advantage of both a
search engine and customized E-mail news alerts.
"Renaming the company to Internet Publishing Group underscores
our determination to establish the dominant Internet site for breaking
news, research, and information, while offering associated E-commerce
and collaborative services for business professionals," says Craig
O. Allsopp, president and CEO.
Road, Suite 203, Princeton Junction 08550. Tom Mulligan, broker.
The residential and commercial real estate firm Realty Executives
changed its name to Advanced Realty Network.
Sladen, vice president. 609-924-7676; fax, 609-683-4357.
PK Technologies, the company that makes instruments for the analysis
of fiber optics, was bought by the Danish company GN Nettest. Now
the engineering office at 129 Wall Street and production office in
Beaverton, Oregon, will carry the new name. Most clients are in Asia,
with the exception of Lucent and Corning.
Office Park, Building 1, Cranbury 08512. Paul Stephens, partner.
The forensic engineering firm Smith, Stephens, Reed & Phillips Inc.
is now Paul Stephens Engineering Consultants, named after the partner
in charge. Ownership of the company has not changed, however. This
is the New Jersey office of a Hatfield, Pennsylvania, company that
serves as a witness to architects and engineers in product liability
Avenue, Princeton Business Park, Suite B-1, Box 739, Rocky Hill
David Anderson, president. 609-921-2854; fax, 609-683-8768.
Formerly known as Biomimetics Inc., this company has changed its name
and replaced Randolph Cooke as president. It is working on orthopedic
applications of hydrogel technology, particularly to replace the
in spinal disks, but also to prevent the formation of scar tissue,
says Vladimir Stoy, president and CEO of the sister company, S.K.Y.
Daniel Goldenson, president. 609-799-2500; fax, 609-799-2501. Home
Daniel R. Goldenson, who had been operating a commercial real estate
firm at 14 Washington Road, has moved to Roszel Road and launched
an start-up called eMedGuides.com, which publishes print and online
directories of websites geared to physicians. Goldenson has hired
a team of editors with medical backgrounds to scour the Internet for
medical information according to specialties — general surgery,
cardiology, and veterinary medicine, for example.
Goldenson, who started his career publishing commercial real estate
directories and later developed the seven buildings at Washington
Park, is currently employing a dozen people in this operation. He
declined to be interviewed at length about the new company at this
Road, Princeton 08540. Gerard Abbattista CPA, officer-in-charge.
The Edison-based accounting firm has moved from Princeton Professional
Park at 601 Ewing Street to the 3,600 square feet in the new Nexus
building, Princeton Plaza, at 731 Alexander Road. The Buschman Group
represented the landlord. Designed by Kevin Blackney & Associates,
the building has an upscale oval lobby and walk-out bay windows. The
firm has 180 employees distributed in offices in Edison, Flemington,
103, Princeton, 08540. Robert Weber, president. 609-799-3022; fax,
609-799-1196. Home page: http://www.weblications.com.
Robert Weber’s web hosting firm has moved from 8 Margaret Court, Suite
101, in Princeton Junction, to 5 Vaughn Drive, Wing A, Suite 103,
picking up roughly 1,600 square feet. They are currently upgrading
and expanding their data center, where they run multiple T-1 lines.
With the expansion, says Weber, the company could be "one of the
fastest at web hosting in the state."
1, South, North Brunswick 08902-4309. Joan Salerno, executive
732-422-9590; fax, 732-422-9596. Home page:
After almost five years on Route 1 South, the mid-Jersey chapter of
the foundation is moving to 28 Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 180, East
Brunswick 08816. The new telephone is 732-296-7191.
Office Park, Building 3, Box 301, Princeton Junction 08550-0301.
Fullan, president. 609-443-7400; fax, 609-443-7404.
The Princeton Junction office of this insurance company has closed,
but calls are being forwarded to the office in Flanders. The number
there is 973-252-5141.
Philbin, director of still images. 609-734-7620; fax, 609-734-0788.
Home page: http://www.signafy.com.
The firm, which developed commercial applications for digital
has consolidated with its parent company, NEC, while continuing
in Japan. NEC is now occupying this office space. All calls are being
directed to NEC.
Bob Raffo Jr., partner. 609-279-0363; fax, 609-279-0263. Home page:
The company which helped businesses convert mainframes to servers
is no longer at this location and the number has been disconnected.
Street, Trenton 08608-1002. Cathy Frank-White, CEO. 609-393-4143;
A former mayor of Montgomery Township is the new president of the
county chamber. Cathy Frank-White has also been the administrator
of Branchburg Township, the executive director of the New Jersey
of Chiefs of Police, and manager of government relations for the food
distributor Wakefern Food Corp/Shop Rite. George Pruitt, president
of Thomas Edison State College, is chairman.
Rockingham Row, Princeton Forrestal Village, Box 431, Princeton 08542.
C. Ellen Hodges, president. 609-520-1776; fax, 609-520-9107. Home
Aubrey Haines, vice president at Trammell Crow, handed over the gavel
to the new chairman, Katherine Kish, president of Market Entry Inc.,
a company she founded in 1982. Active in women’s business issues,
Kish has served as vice president of the National Association of Women
Business Owners, and as director of the National Foundation for Women
Larry Savitsky, executive director. 609-443-8118; fax, 609-443-7636.
This non-profit agency that helps working families meet their energy
bills has just elected several leaders of local utility companies
to its 2000 Board. Gary Gamler, of GPU Energy, is now the president
elect. Ron Reisman of Elizabethtown Gas Co. is the new vice president,
and Victor Viscomi of PSE&G is the treasurer. The agency offers relief
grants to non-welfare households that are experience a financial
through no fault of their own. Eligibility is determined through 38
social service agencies.
Lamington Road, Box 3300, Somerville 08876-1265. Jerry Ryan,
908-526-1200; fax, 908-231-8810. Home page:
On March 15, Jerry Ryan will begin work as the new president of the
two-year college, replacing Cary Israel, who left for a position in
Plano, Texas, last August. Ryan is now president and CEO of Quincy
College in Quincy, Massachusetts. A graduate of Hamilton College,
he has a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. He has been
vice president for marketing, planning, and development for Maryland’s
Harford Community College, and dean of research and development at
Brookdale Community College, among other positions.
Amwell 08551. Joel Moore, developer. 609-466-7702; fax, 609-466-7727.
William W. Augustine, retired as a residential real estate developer,
has been named membership director for the Princeton area’s newest
golf club, due to break ground this spring.
Developer Joel Moore plans for the 300-acre Ridge at Back Brook to
open in 2001. The club will have an 18-hole course designed by Tom
Fazio, three-time winner of Golf Digest’s "best present day
8068, Trenton 08650-0068. Scott Sloman, general manager. 609-656-3200;
fax, 609-656-3201. Home page: http://www.sovereignbankarena.com.
Globe Facility Services, the Tampa company with the contract to run
the arena, has been bought by Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the
First Union Center, the First Union Spectrum, and the Philadelphia
Flyers and 76ers. Electric Factory Concerts will continue to book
and promote the shows at the arena, which has 15 full-time employees.
G’s Appliance Store on Route 1 North.
at the David Sarnoff Research Corporation and founded DevTech Inc.,
a consulting firm.
chairman of emergency medical services and the department of general
practice at the Medical Center of Princeton.
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