Associates First Capital Corporation announced this week it has reached an agreement to sell the Network Transaction Services unit of its SPS Payment Systems subsidiary to Alliance Data Systems. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the agreement, SPS and Alliance Data Systems will enter into a joint marketing agreement by which Alliance Data Systems will provide electronic transaction processing support for a number of new and existing SPS clients. The Network Transaction Services unit employs approximately 200 people and offers data capture, authorization, reporting and data communication services for a wide variety of payment options, including credit, debit, fleet, and private label payment cards. Last year it processed more than 510 million transactions from over 80,000 point-of-sale terminals in the petroleum, convenience store, general retail, and public transit marketplaces.


In a deal linking two suppliers to the retail banking industry, IBM is to sell its non-cash financial self-service business to NCR.

With effect from today, NCR will acquire production and sales of two IBM solutions — the 4725 multifunction statement and information printer terminal and the 5994 kiosk terminal, which offers transaction and information capabilities to consumers.

“This deal will help NCR to expand our non-cash business to supplement our world-leading position of cash-dispensing ATMs,” said Danny O’Brien, NCR’s Vice President for self service solutions worldwide. “We see a very healthy future for non-cash solutions as banks seek to build closer relationships with consumers.”

“NCR has the necessary experience and service organization to provide our customers continued support for their non-cash self service devices,” said Ronald P. Lewis, General Manager, Retail Banking Industry, IBM Worldwide.

IBM has been a leading provider of these two solutions for many years, especially in Germany, Austria and France and will continue to provide solutions and services to banking self-service customers after the deal.

The two companies will co-operate closely in Central Europe, with IBM continuing to service the installed base for both lines. Both companies will offer services for new installations, which will be offered through NCR’s direct and indirect channels.

About IBM Corporation

IBM Corp. is the leader in creating, developing and manufacturing the world’s most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. The IBM Finance Sector provides a complete range of products, end-to-end solutions, service and strategic advice customized for banks or financial institutions. As the industry’s leading provider of solutions to help customers become e-businesses, it can integrate or implement particular components selected by the client allowing solutions uniquely suited to a bank’s requirements. The worldwide operating Finance Sector offers an exceptional breadth and depth of skills and knowledge. For further information please visit the IBM Financial Sector Web site at .

More information about IBM Corp. and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at .

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation is in the business of transforming transactions into relationships. NCR is a recognized world leader in data warehousing solutions, ATMs, point-of-sale, high performance scanners, and support services for retail, financial, and national accounts markets. NCR’s business solutions are built on the foundation of the company’s long- established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and world-leading hardware technology. More information about NCR and its products may be found on the World Wide Web at .

Diebold Advisor

Diebold has officially launched ‘Diebold Advisor’, a new status monitoring service for ATMs. ATM deployers can use this service to receive 24-hour feedback on the operating status of every ATM in their network. The service helps increase the amount of time ATMs are available for use while reducing the cost of network monitoring and maintenance. Several financial institutions began using the Diebold Advisor service in pilot programs including San Francisco-based Patelco Credit Union which used ‘Diebold Advisor’ to monitor the status of all 51 of its ATMs.

Integrion Adds Visa

Integrion Financial Network — a leading provider of interactive banking and electronic commerce services to financial institutions — has added Visa USA to its Operating Board of Managers.

“Online banking is a reality and it’s gaining momentum,” said William E. Stewart, Executive Vice President of Operations & Systems for Visa U.S.A. “Visa fully intends to be in a position to help its member banks seize this growing opportunity, and our increased investment in Integrion is consistent with this aim.”

Visa USA immediately joins current members Bank of America, Bank One and Washington Mutual in governing the Integrion organization. As an owner of Integrion, Visa USA exercised its right to obtain a voting seat on the Integrion Board in return for an expanded capital investment. Visa’s action underscores the commitment of both organizations to delivering reliable infrastructure services to enable the financial services industry to compete in an increasingly electronic world.

“Integrion is looking forward to expanding upon the strong relationship we have built with Visa USA over the last several years to further develop the online financial services infrastructure required by our customer banks,” said William M. Fenimore, Jr., CEO of Integrion Financial Network. “They will be a valuable addition to our Board of Managers and an important contributor to the Integrion product solution.”

Both organizations will continue to leverage one another’s complementary strengths. Integrion represents over 1.1 million online banking subscribers while Visa USA offers its unmatched position as the nation’s largest payments transaction processor. Additionally, both Visa USA and Integrion share a commitment to advancing bank-centric interests in electronic commerce.

Visa USA has been an owner of Integrion since August 1997 when Integrion acquired Visa Interactive, a wholly owned banking subsidiary of Visa International. Integrion currently uses Visa’s ePay system as a preferred product to make electronic payments for its financial institution customers using its electronic bill payment solution.

About Integrion

Integrion Financial Network is a leading provider of interactive banking and electronic commerce services to financial institutions. Through the Interactive Financial Services (IFS) platform, Integrion offers financial institutions a network through which electronic transactions flow from multiple consumer access points to a bank’s host system and/or processor. Technology partnerships with IBM and CheckFree Corporation allow for the delivery of flexible, high utility applications that can be employed at a financial institution for the benefit of end customers.

Integrion’s operating philosophy allows banks to determine the manner and format in which home banking and electronic commerce services are offered, ensuring consistency with the bank’s full range of services, effective branding by the bank and maximum customer benefit. For more information, visit the Integrion web site at .

About Visa USA

As the World’s Best Way to Pay, Visa is the leading card brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide, providing payment solutions for consumers, industry and government. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only payment system to facilitate more than $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa’s more than 650 million cards are accepted at over 16 million worldwide locations, including more than 480,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is .

Electronic Paycheck Deal

Lew Stone, president & chief executive officer of Community West Bancshares, announced the company’s E-Commerce subsidiary, Electronic Paycheck, LLC, has entered into an agreement with a la Carte International, LLC, a provider of dining rebate loyalty programs, to provide a loyalty service technology platform to a la Carte. A la Carte will sell these services to program sponsors that will promote them as a branded program for use by cardholders and merchants. Stone said, “We are extremely pleased to be working with a la Carte.

A la Carte provides access to the merchants and program sponsors in the loyalty services field. We have been searching for some time to find a partnership to integrate our loyalty services capabilities and expand our card base. The partnering of Electronic Paycheck and a la Carte provides us with our largest potential card audience yet.”

Stuart Graham, president of la la Carte, said, “Electronic Paycheck’s loyalty services platform will allow us to specifically tailor our system to the needs of each of our sponsors. By doing so, we can maximize each loyalty dollar to the sponsors and provide the most efficient means of tracking and crediting each and every dollar. Electronic Paycheck offers us the ability to focus our efforts on securing program sponsors and to perform sales and marketing roles while they focus on delivery of the technical services.”

Graham anticipated the first program to be launched during the third quarter of 1999, calling for approximately 50,000 cards. A la Carte’s plans are to have more than 500,000 cards issued during 2000.

Community West Bancshares is a technology and financial services company with headquarters in Goleta, Calif. Goleta National Bank, subsidiary of the company, has two full service branches, one in Goleta and one in Ventura, and loan production offices located in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, and Nevada. In addition, Goleta National Bank is a majority owner of Electronic Paycheck, LLC. Palomar Savings & Loan Association, subsidiary of the company, has two full service branches and a loan production office, all located in Escondido, Calif.

Smart Additions

The Smart Card Forum (SCF), a multi- industry organization working to accelerate the widespread acceptance and application of smart card technology, yesterday announced that the University of Minnesota and the University of South Carolina Columbia have joined the largest smart card industry organization.

“Universities throughout the country are successfully implementing smart card application programs and setting an example for many other business industries to follow,” said SCF President and CEO Donna Farmer. “We are thrilled to have these prestigious institutions of higher learning join our growing ranks and offer perspective from their own smart card programs to the rest of our members. Additionally, they will benefit from all of the information we provide our members through our research findings and workgroup meetings, as well as the world class Smart Card Forum Educational Institute, the industry leading course dedicated to providing smart card education.”

As University Members, the University of Minnesota and the University of South Carolina are entitled to privileged access to the Smart Card Forum Consumer Research, other Forum sponsored research and documents, along with attendance at the Technical Working Group sessions, Educational Institute programs, and the Annual Meeting.

“We are proud to be a member of the Smart Card Forum. Card technology is an ever-changing environment and the University of Minnesota made the right move by joining The Smart Card Forum in an effort to acquire the correct and most current information,” said Shirley Everson, director, University of Minnesota Card Office.

The University of Minnesota is a land grant institution which has undergraduate, graduate and professional school programs serving approximately 55,000 students. The University currently uses magnetic stripe technology, however, the school’s representatives want to continue learning so that they can implement a smooth transition from mag stripe to smart card technology at an appropriate time.

USC Columbia is also in the process of evaluating the need for and benefits of a smart card implementation. According to Ken Corbett, assistant to the vice president and director of Special Projects for the Business and Finance Division, the school chose to become a member of the Forum because of the information available and ability to meet leaders in the industry as it begins its evaluation this summer. USC Columbia will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2001, and is the only university in the U.S. celebrating a bicentennial with the start of the new millennium. Committed to becoming one of the finest universities in the country, USC Columbia is dedicated to achieving and maintaining nationally recognized excellence in its student population, faculty, academic programs, living and learning environment, technological infrastructure, library resources, research and scholarship, public and private support, and endowment.

About The Smart Card Forum

The Smart Card Forum is a non-profit, multi-industry organization of nearly 200 members working to accelerate the widespread acceptance of multiple application smart card technology by bringing together, in an open forum, leading users and technologists from both the public and private sectors. The Smart Card Forum is the leading organization for education and awareness of topical issues associated with the use and adoption of smart card systems. The Smart Card Forum also operates the Smart Card Forum Educational Institute, the industry-leading course dedicated to providing smart card education that has set the standard in the industry. The curriculum is based on leading edge educational models and methodologies utilizing experienced instructors who are experts in the smart card industry. For more information about The Smart Card Forum, log on to the organization’s Web site at .

Schlumberger Expansion

Schlumberger, yesterday announced that it has purchased an 80 percent share in CardTech, a Brazilian magnetic card company for financial markets. The company says this represents an important step for Schlumberger in its strategy of having a local industrial presence in regions that have an important smart card market potential. Schlumberger has ten smart card manufacturing facilities around the world, including one in Mexico.

iKey Solution?

Innovonics Inc. Tuesday announced that it has the solution to provide secure eCommerce transactions to eMerchants. Innovonics produces the patented ‘iKey’ device which connects to the customer’s PC in seconds and has a credit card reader, PIN pad, and smart card slot. The company says it solution enables eMerchants to process debit cards at debit card rates instead of credit card rates.

President Kennedy

Equifax announced this morning that its board of directors has named Lee Kennedy president and COO, a new position for the company. Kennedy, who also was elected to the board of directors, has more than 28 years of experience with Equifax, most recently serving as EVP-group executive of Equifax Payment Services based in St. Petersburg, Fla. Larry Towe, former SVP and GM of Equifax Card Solutions International, will succeed Kennedy as EVP-group executive of Equifax Payment Services. Kennedy’s track record with Equifax includes SVP/GM for Equifax Card Solutions and president of the Telecredit Service Center. He was primarily responsible for securing long-term business contracts with the IBAA and CSCU.

Major Oberthur Contract

Oberthur Smart Cards France announced Wednesday it has won the bid to manufacture the next round of ‘Sesam Vitale’ health cards. Under the terms of the program, some 40 million cards have been issued to health insurance subscribers by various health insurance providers. These smart cards hold basic information regarding the insured such as first name, last name, date of birth, covered children, etc. The card must be used each time the subscriber goes to see a health provider for an electronic prescription to be generated. The GIE ‘Sesam Vitale’ estimates it will need approximately 12 million cards over a period of three years to replace cards that have expired, have been lost or damaged. These cards will be sent to the personalization plants of CNAM TS and MSA, starting next month, and manufactured on demand.

MedSAFE2000 Optical Card

BSI2000, Inc. yesterday announced and demonstrated, at the American Healthcare Alliance 1999 Provider System Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, its new MedSAFE 2000 optical medical card system. In addition, BSI2000 and AHA announced that they have signed a contract, on a mutually exclusive basis, to take the MedSAFE 2000 optical medical card product to market.

BSI2000 designs and markets software/hardware products for the medical, drug and alcohol testing, and identification markets that substitute highly efficient and fraud-proof optical cards for older paper-based transaction systems.

American Healthcare Alliance (“AHA”) is a nationwide network of preferred provider managed healthcare systems and organizations with more than 18 million insured lives and 300,000 physicians in 3,800 hospitals and clinics across the country.

Optical cards are the same size and shape as regular plastic credit cards but hold millions of bytes of updatable information — thousands of pages of text (up to six megabytes) — in a secure, inexpensive, and permanent personal package. The market for optical cards is driven by their superior capacity — 750x that of smart cards; exceptional speed — 30x that of smart cards for writes; and far greater reliability and ruggedness.

MedSAFE 2000 stores and manages eligibility and medical information on optical cards, including: (a) Emergency information such as current medical conditions, allergic reactions, drug regimens, attending physician, next of kin, blood type, etc.; (b) Full clinicals, including detailed history of conditions, diagnoses, and treatments, detailed records of hospital stays and visits, surgical procedures, physician comments, and others; (c) Strong patient identification with digital photographs and automatic machine signature or fingerprint verification to virtually eliminate fraud and help prevent costly errors; (d) Insurance and payments records; and others. BSI2000 has already contracted with a small 5,000-patient clinic in Denver, Colorado — Western Medical Center, PC — to become the first MedSAFE 2000 site. Installation is scheduled for June 1999.

WesBanco Sells Card Portfolio

WesBanco yesterday announced the sale of its credit card portfolio to an Atlanta, Georgia-based InfiCorp. The credit card receivables are approximately $15 million. WesBanco and InfiCorp have entered into an agent bank arrangement in which InfiCorp will offer its credit card products to WesBanco customers using the WesBanco name. Current WesBanco credit card customers will be able to continue using their existing cards.