Sri Lanka Debit Cards

Hypercom announced Monday a $650,000 contract to provide Sampath Bank with Hypercom POS terminals, PIN pads and networking accessing controllers. This will be the first debit card system in Sri Lanka. Under yesterday’s contract, Hypercom will supply T7 Series POS terminals, primarily the T7E and T77, S7 and S7GCB PinPads and Networking Access Controllers.   Sampath Bank is one of Sri Lanka’s top three commercial banks and the most technologically advanced with 325,000 customers.

Bull Joins VISA Smart

Reinforcing its central role in implementing state-of-the-art products and technologies, Bull announced today at CardTech-SecurTech that Visa has chosen Bull’s microprocessor cards and terminals for its Visa Smart(TM) program. With this program, Visa is making it possible for its 21,000 Member banks to migrate towards credit card systems based on microprocessor smart cards, while keeping investments, risks and lead times to a minimum.

The Visa Smart program brings together leading companies worldwide, including card manufacturers, terminal manufacturers, consulting firms and service companies. Bull is an approved partner in both the Java card and terminal categories.

“We are delighted that Bull has become a partner in Visa Smart, which brings together leading technology suppliers and a comprehensive group of chip-based products and services to help Visa Member banks launch smart card programs quickly and cost efficiently,” said Philip Yen, senior vice president, Open Platform, Visa International.

Visa’s technological approach is based on the Java Open Platform. Visa customers will subsequently be able to use this platform to provide new Visa card services without having to replace all existing cards.

“As the world’s leading supplier of microprocessor smart cards for the banking sector and long-time partner with Visa, including the VisaCash(TM) program, Bull will be actively backing Visa Smart,” said David Levy, president & CEO of Bull Smart Cards & Terminals. “The Java Open Platform will ensure Visa card interoperability.”

“We are delighted to be working with Visa on this important initiative,” said Christian Goire, chairman of the Java Card Forum and in charge of advanced projects for Bull Smart Cards & Terminals. “Bull was one of the first smart card manufacturers to take up Java technology. We created, with the INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control, in May 1996 an economic interest group to jointly capitalize on their knowledge of virtual machines. Bull introduced its first a Java card, Odyssey I, in February. Odyssey II will conform with Visa’s Visa Open Technology platform.”

Bull Smart Cards in the Banking Sector

Bull is the world leader in electronic purses cards. In France in 1980, Bull was behind the first microprocessor credit/debit card that was subsequently used on a one-country scale: the BO’ card. This card, used for making both withdrawals and payments, is accepted in all of France’s cash distributors (25,000 today) and payment terminals (500,000 retailers equipped). More than 28 million of these cards are currently in circulation in France, representing an annual transaction total of more than FF1000 billion ($179 billion). In Great Britain, Bull is an active member in the UKIS project with NatWest (National Westminster Bank).

Bull also designs the range of SmartEMV multi-application cards, which fully comply with the specifications jointly defined by Europay, Mastercard and Visa. The SmartEMV offer is based on Bull’s unique expertise in terms of security which, according to ITSEC criteria, has been certified at the highest level ever reached by a smart card.

Bull’s Smart Card Terminals Offer

Bull’s know-how consists in controlling the design, manufacture and marketing of a series of electronic payment terminals capable of satisfying a wide range of specifications and providing customers with the ability to adapt each type of terminal to the country concerned.

Bull has 650,000 electronic payment terminals installed throughout the world. Bull is a leading European payment terminal manufacturer and is particularly well established in Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. In Latin America, Bull is the leading Visa provider in the framework of the development of electronic payment by debit/credit card and of the Visa Cash electronic purse program.

About Bull Smart Cards and Terminals

Bull designs and markets a wide range of contact and contactless microprocessor smart cards, electronic payment terminals and automatic points of contact, including cash dispensers and multimedia kiosk POS terminals. In 1997, these activities generated revenue of $237 million, an increase of 32 percent over 1996.

The history of smart cards at Bull goes back to 1979 when Bull’s Michel Ugon, in collaboration with Motorola, invented the world’s first microprocessor card (CP8 technology). Today, all microprocessor cards worldwide still use Bull CP8 technology for the micro-electronic part (SPOM – Self-Programmable One chip Memory) patent. More than 420 million microprocessor cards use CP8 technology, either as patents, applications or operating systems.

Bull is the world leader in the electronic purse segment with more than 27 million cards in use in ten countries. Approximately 60 percent of the world’s smart cards used in banking today have been designed by Bull. Bull also is a leader in electronic payment terminals, with 650,000 machines installed worldwide.

More information on Bull Smart Cards & Terminals can be found on the World Wide Web at: [www.cp8.bull.net][1], on Groupe Bull Web site: www.bull.com, and in the U.S. at [www.us.bull.com][2]

[1]: http://www.cp8.bull.net
[2]: http://www.us.bull.com

Transaction System Acquisition

Transaction Systems Architects announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IntraNet, Inc., of Newton, MA.  Transaction Systems will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of IntraNet in exchange for approximately 1.225 million shares of  TSA common stock. IntraNet is a leading provider of electronic payment systems for the worldwide banking community. The company’s Money Transfer System (MTS) and CACHE application software products are used by nearly half of the 50 largest U.S. banks and by financial institutions in Europe and Australia.  IntraNet products provide the critical payments processing infrastructure that keeps money moving across town or around the globe.

#3 ATM Firm

Triton Systems Inc., for the third consecutive year, was ranked among the “Big Three” U.S. ATM manufacturers. Triton sold 7,767 machines in 1997, up from 5,582 in 1996, reflecting a 39 percent jump over last year. Triton fueled its expansion through distributor partnerships, international market penetration, continued product innovation and by adding sales of off-premise ATMs to banks. In partnership with its distributors, Triton entered key new markets and implemented innovative solutions for customers. For example, Portland, Oregon-based Card Capture Services, Inc. worked with Triton to develop an exclusive cutting-edge multimedia ATM solution that has been deployed at more than 300 AMF Bowling Centers around the U.S. Using customized Triton ATMs, the CCS MediaPak offers on-screen advertising and dispenses coupons, enabling AMF Bowling Centers to leverage its ATM network to market products and services.

Wireless CreditCheck IV

Equifax Inc. and Magnum Communications teamed up to offer wireless carriers instant access to current on-line credit data needed when processing new service applications. Magnum will provide a direct link to the Equifax ‘Telecommunications & Utilities Solutions MultiVision’ platform through its ‘CREDICHECK IV’ software. The solution can be used on a variety of operating platforms for application processing, collections, customer service, or purchasing. The link between the carrier’s site and Equifax is seamless, transmitting the needed information within seconds. This ensures that accurate, non-biased decisions are made at the point-of-sale.

PVS Canada

ProCard, Inc., announced yesterday it is offering a Canadian version of the company’s flagship commercial card management system, ProValue Services. A U.S. version of PVS is currently installed and operational in several Canadian organizations. The new release of PVS is intended to update the current version by replacing U.S. terminology with Canadian terminology and incorporating changes to accommodate governmental reporting needs specific to Canada. A Canadian tax module will be available later this year. ProCard also announced Monday that their Internet product, ‘PVS Net’, will be available in French Canadian language beginning in early April.

Off-Shore, Off-Site ATMs

Triton Systems projected a boom in off-premise ATM deployment in the international marketplace over the next two to three years. Company officials said yesterday more than 60% of the 33,000 ATMs deployed in the U.S. during 1996 were off-site cash dispensing machines. They believe the same trend is emerging, at a faster pace, globally. The MS-based company announced yesterday a major initiative to capture some of the expected growth by signing distributors in Latin America and Europe. Triton’s ATMs are currently available throughout Ireland and the U.K. from ITG Group PLC based in Dublin. Triton’s Mexican distributor is SEISA. The company says it will also shortly introduce ATMs using the CDPD wireless technology.

Wireless Email

Three leading telecommunications companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build the first wireless e-mail application based on GSM smart cards. Using the potential of the latest GSM specification, Alcatel, Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) and Sendit have created an open and highly-versatile system for adding Internet e-mail capability to mobile phones.

The technology promises to deliver Internet-based e-mail and other services to mobile users at extremely low cost, by exploiting the independent computing capability of the economic subscriber smart card modules incorporated in digital cellular phones. By utilizing industry standards, the application could be implemented with ease by any network operator in the world, to provide the foundation for advanced data communication services for the full spectrum of users.

The wireless e-mail application is based on the `pro-active’ commands which are part of the latest Phase2+ release of the GSM specification. These provide a toolkit to implement added-value applications using the intelligence and memory of the smart card-based SIM (subscriber identity module). Using this, the SIM can run software independently and call on the phone’s user interface resources as required, allowing Internet e-mail services to be provided via friendly menu-driven sequences. New applications such as Internet e-mail can even be programmed into the phone’s SIM `over-the-air’, after purchase.

This approach has major benefits for the mobile telecommunications market: facilitating `mass customization’ which allows operators and users to tailor a phone and a range of services to suit an individual’s needs using a low-cost card.

All three parties in this joint marketing venture are leaders in their respective sectors of GSM technology. Alcatel is the first to introduce a phone handset compatible with the latest Phase 2+ specification, and Schlumberger were the first with a compliant SIM card. Sendit is the recognized leader in server technology to support the use of Internet services in cellular phone networks.

The synergy between these individual specializations led the parties to co-operate and build a working SIM-based wireless e-mail application, to demonstrate its potential and accelerate the roll-out of this exciting technology.

The mobile terminal is Alcatel’s One Touch PRO – a GSM phone which includes a large graphical display – ideal for implementing friendly menu-based functions. The SIM cards are Schlumberger’s brand new Activa range with up to 16k of memory, enough for the basic SIM application plus wireless e-mail and further programs. This remote computing capability is supported by Sendit’s Internet Cellular Smart Access (ICSA) server, the first product of its type with commercially working installations.

“The GSM industry is highly competitive” notes Vittorio di Mauro, Marketing Manager of Alcatel Business Systems. “This marketing venture will provide network operators with a completely integrated and standardized solution which can cut months off time-to-market for mobile Internet services, yet still leave enormous flexibility for competitive differentiation.”

“As the capability of networks extends ever further, smart cards are proving the ideal way to allow individuals to exploit the technology quickly and effectively” said Schlumberger’s Stephan Le Gentil, Mobile Communications Marketing Manager. “They allow sophisticated technology products to be customized for individuals, and provide enormous scope for implementing security measures such as encryption – vitally important as business and commerce starts to rely on open networks”.

“Our company strategy is to catalyse the potential of wireless information services by providing server products and working with customers to realize solutions,” added Edouard Mercier, Sales and Marketing Director of Sendit. “The new SIM toolkit is an important part of this work, as it is available today, and we look forward to working with our partners and network operators to improve subscriber acceptance of wireless Internet applications.”

Several network operators in Europe, Asia and North America are actively considering Sendit’s Internet cellular server. Alcatel, Schlumberger and Sendit aim to provide them with a fully packaged solution in order to simplify access to the service for the end-user. A number of bundled packages will be released soon.

The first operator to reach the market with open wireless e-mail technology will be Hongkong Telecom CSL, who are currently implementing it as a new option for its `One2Free’ GSM service. “We are very excited about offering these new services and have already received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from our customers” comments Richard Midgett, General Manager, Product Development at Hongkong Telecom CSL. “We look forward to working on further developments of the Sendit ICSA platform”.

About Alcatel

The mission of Alcatel’s Professional & Consumer Division (PCD) is to serve world markets in professional and consumer telephony. Its products range from small communication systems for business use to residential, mobile (with a focus on GSM and derivative standards) and Internet telephones for the mass market. Alcatel achieved more than 25% growth in value terms in 1997 with fast growing visibility and market share in the consumer segment of the market – thanks in particular to the global success of the One Touch(R) GSM product range. By the year 2000, Alcatel PCD aims to become a worldwide leader in the mobile telephone and Internet access markets.

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger Electronic Transactions offers a flexible portfolio of smart card-based solutions for businesses and communities of all kinds. The company provides cards, terminals, development tools and support in open configurations for operators, developers, integrators and distributors worldwide. Under The Smart Village brand, the Schlumberger offer includes the milestone Cyberflex(TM) card, the industry’s first Java(TM)-based smart card.

Schlumberger is unique in that it provides both smart cards and turnkey solutions along with a full range of tools and services for Telecom, Banking, Retail, Mass Transit & Parking, Healthcare and Networks. The company has design and manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America.

The Electronic Transactions group employs over 5,000 people and operates 45 facilities. Among dedicated facilities in 34 countries, the group has 9 research and development centers strategically located in Europe, Asia and North America.

Schlumberger Electronic Transactions is a business segment of Schlumberger Ltd., a $10.65 billion global technology and service company providing oilfield services, natural resource management, smart card transactions-based technology and associated systems, and semiconductor test equipment.

About Sendit

Active since 1995, Sendit AB is the leading provider of Wireless E-Mail, secure Internet access and content delivery client-server solutions to cellular operators with operational sites at Europolitan, Vodafone, Hong Kong Telecom CSL and other GSM operators in Europe and Asia. Wireless E-Mail enables cellular subscribers to receive, forward and send e-mails to and from their mobile terminals. Sendit’s Internet Cellular Smart Access (ICSATM(R)) is designed as a client-server solution where the clients are ordinary digital cellular terminals, Smart Phones, Personal Digital Assistants or Notebooks PCs. Sendit has partnered with major cellular terminal suppliers on the implementation of its technology in their product range. Sendit is further developing ICSA(R) with its partners to offer Unified Messaging applications integrating e-mail, fax and voice services.

Planned new wireless interactive information applications protocols will also be supported in ICSA, enabling cellular operators to provide a complete range of Wireless Internet services to all their subscribers from a single Applications Server. Sendit is listed on the SBI in Stockholm.

ATM Backlash

A new study released this morning shows 78% of ATM consumers actively avoid ATMs with fees. The Opinion Research Corporation study also revealed that 67% of ATM customers say ATM fees discourage them from considering the fee-charging bank for other products and services. Of consumers using ATMs outside their own bank’s branch system and incurring surcharges, 47% say it “makes them mad” while 38% say it “bothers them somewhat”. Other ORC findings 57% have used an ATM at a non-bank location, 48% have used ATMs at the branch of another bank and 44% have used their ATM cards for retail purchases.

ScanMaster/PayMaster EFT Certified

NCR Corporation, a market leader in retail store automation systems, and Plourde Computer Services, Inc., a leading supplier of electronic payment system software, announced today that NCR’s ScanMaster point-of-sale software, with Plourde’s PaymentMasterNT 1.5 software, is certified with BUYPASS Corporation’s transaction processing switch for electronic funds transfer (EFT).

The BUYPASS certification is the second EFT certification NCR ScanMaster and Plourde PaymentMasterNT have received together – providing retailers with a comprehensive set of EFT interfaces to communicate with a greater number of credit, debit and electronic benefits transfer networks.

“The greater the number of EFT interfaces with which NCR and Plourde can provide retailers, the more payment options retailers can offer the consumer for better customer service,” stated Dan Bogan, NCR’s vice president of marketing. “Together, NCR and Plourde provide a total front-end to back- office electronic payment solution for retailers.”

The BUYPASS certification confirms that ScanMaster and PaymentMasterNT successfully communicate accurate financial information between the point- of- sale terminal and the BUYPASS transaction processing switch.

“We are pleased to have certified these products,” stated Scott Plumbee, BUYPASS’s senior vice president for supermarket/major retailers. “By certifying with BUYPASS, NCR and Plourde are positioned to offer retailers reliable access to all major payment options.”

NCR ScanMaster and Plourde’s PaymentMasterNT are currently certified by Store Transaction Systems’ transaction processing switches for EFT.

“The partnership between Plourde and NCR represents a committed effort by both companies to provide retailers with the greatest flexibility to access major credit, debit and electronic benefits transfer networks around the country,” stated R. Lee Paulson, Plourde’s president and chief executive officer.

About BUYPASS Corporation

BUYPASS Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a major third- party POS processor and debit transaction acquirer with annual transaction volume of over 1 billion. BUYPASS provides processing for 50 of the top 200 grocery store chains in the United States. One out of every ten debit POS transactions performed in the United States is processed by BUYPASS. BUYPASS also has electronic benefits transfer (EBT) programs in 25 states and provides gateway access to over 46 credit, debit and EBT gateways. Electronic Payment Services, Inc., headquarted in Wilmington, DE, is the holding company for BUYPASS and MONEY ACCESS SERVICE INC., operator of the MAC ATM network.

About Plourde

Plourde Computer Services Inc., headquartered in Dublin, Calif., specializes in software development services for the retail industry, with an emphasis on providing in-store electronic payment systems software that facilitates electronic tendering between point-of-sale systems and financial networks. Plourde currently provides EFT software to more than 5,000 U.S. grocery supermarkets and is actively expanding its presence in chain drug and general merchandise stores.

About NCR

NCR (NYSENCR) is the leader in delivering commercial open computer systems for transaction processing and decision-support solutions to customers in all industries. The company, with headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, has 38,000 employees in more than 120 countries. NCR solutions help improve businesses by turning customer information into results, protecting existing information technology investments, reducing risks and ensuring success. More information about NCR can be found at

NCR’s Retail Systems Group, headquartered in the greater Atlanta, Ga. area, is a leading provider of store automation and data warehousing solutions to retailers worldwide.

NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation. All brands and product names appearing in this release are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

Scoring Adjustment

With the increased use of credit bureau scores in mortgage lending and the rise in presentment of a consumer’s credit application among a number of lenders, Fair, Isaac announced yesterday it is adjusting its credit bureau scoring models to compensate for a slightly longer window for inquiries. Fair, Isaac models currently compensate for this type of short-term activity by treating a group of inquiries occurring within a seven-day period as a single inquiry. In the latest round of model enhancements, to be implemented at the country’s three largest credit bureaus, this inquiry window increases from 7 to 14 days. Fair, Isaac will also add an inquiry buffer which will ignore all auto and mortgage- related inquiries within 30 days of the time of scoring. Fair, Isaac says multiple inquiries contributes less than 5% of the predictive power of its model.