To the Editor:

I read with interest Tom McGrath's Aug. 11 guest article, "Don't Be Left Holding Bag with Failing Web Vendor" [page 11].

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. McGrath's advice to financial institutions to undertake a thorough investigation when choosing a technology vendor. A close examination of a company's credentials, including its management team, current client base, employee retention rate, and financial status is essential when making an investment to conduct your traditional banking business online.

I was struck, however, by Mr. McGrath's warnings of impending doom for Internet banking technology providers. The financial services technology industry continues to experience tremendous growth. As you well know, financial institutions, large and small, are embracing and investing in Internet-based e-finance services solutions.

As CEO of S1 Corp., I can emphatically state that S1 is financially sound and here to stay. We remain focused on delivering solutions that address virtually every line of business within a financial institution.

In 1999, S1 generated over $92 million of revenue, and analysts estimate that S1 will grow to over $240 million in revenues for the current year. As of June 30 we had $286 million in cash and marketable securities.

Our experienced management team is investing every dollar wisely to ensure that we provide our customers with advanced access to emerging technologies that help create competitive advantages in the rapidly evolving market of e-finance well into the 21st century.

Our more than 2,000 employees in 11 countries understand the importance of delivering innovative Internet-based solutions for the financial services industry, and we work hand-in-hand with more than 900 customers worldwide.

By delivering these solutions to our customers, we are not only enabling them to focus on their core competencies of delivering financial services, not software, but also to leverage the collective talent and experience of our more than 550 software development professionals and $60 million in annual R&D investment.

I find it hard to believe that any financial institution could equal this level of commitment to design and deliver Internet-based financial services solutions. There are significant benefits to be received by working with Internet banking technology providers.

S1 will not leave its customers in the dark. Rather, the technology and services we provide will propel them to greater prosperity and long-term success.

Chip Mahan
Chief executive officer
S1 Corp. Atlanta


Note to Readers

"Viewpoints" is a regular feature in American Banker, appearing every Friday. It serves as a forum for discussion and debate on a wide range of issues in the financial services industry, including management approaches and strategies, legislative and regulatory matters, and public policy in general.
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