Track Data, a Web Brokerage Firm, Teams Up with

PHILADELPHIA - Track Data Corp., a New York-based online brokerage, has invested $5 million in Inc., for an ownership stake of 8%.The investment gives the 110,000 registered users of Track Data access to USABancshares' online banking services and the ability to move money between their online brokerage and banking accounts.

Ken Tepper, president and chief executive officer of, said he is looking to establish more strategic partnerships with credit card companies, insurers, and lenders to expand the Internet bank's customer base.

The Track Data agreement "is an important opportunity for us to accelerate network growth in an incredibly cost efficient way," Mr. Tepper said in a press statement.

In a Switch, Bank One Plans to Pay E-Billers Before Debiting Accounts

SAN FRANCISCO - In response to customer complaints, Bank One Corp. plans to take on more risk in handling online bill payments, said Bruce Luecke, executive vice president of its retail group.Now the company debits customer accounts before crediting business accounts. This "good-funds" model of electronic bill payment has resulted in numerous customer complaints and frequent phone calls to the bank, Mr. Luecke said.

By the end of the third quarter, he said, Bank One will start crediting business accounts before debiting the funds. Using this "risk-based" method, Bank One will be unable to verify funds availability, he said.

Mr. Luecke spoke of the plan during his keynote speech at American Banker's electronic bill payment and presentment conference this week.

- Jessica Toonkel

Wells Testing Internal and External B-to-B Bill Presentment Services

SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo Inc. is pilot-testing two business-to-business electronic bill presentment and payment services, Stephen M. Ellis, executive vice president, wholesale Internet services group, told attendees at the American Banker conference.One will let Wells Fargo's roughly 15,000 treasury management clients view and pay their bills online. Bills sent by mail often get sent to the wrong person at a company, Mr. Ellis said in an interview; the online service will make sure the bill gets "right to the person who wants to get it."

Wells' second program is being piloted by one of its midsize business customers with Just In Time Solutions Inc., a San Francisco provider of online billing software. The service will let companies present bills online.

Wells expects to introduce both services by the end of June.

- Jessica Toonkel

Web Trade Processor Knight/Trimark Hires Ernst's Chief Technology Officer

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Knight/Trimark Group Inc., an online trade processor, has hired Ernst & Young chief technology officer, David Shpilberg.Mr. Shpilberg was also Ernst's vice chairman for consulting services worldwide.

Knight hired him as chief operating officer, chief technology officer, and executive vice president. It said he will help it stay ahead of evolving technology.

The company said it plans to commit up to $100 million to new technology for electronic trading, information management, and global systems integration.

"We are committed to making Knight the liquidity provider for the global trading village," said Kenneth D. Pasternak, president and chief executive officer, in a press statement. "Our ability to process massive amounts of information and an enormous volume of trades at an unprecedented speed is key to our industry leadership and serving the self-directed investor."

Knight differentiates itself from other online trade processors by maintaining a large inventory of stocks to guarantee trades for select customers, a spokesman said.

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