Remote Cards

Israel-based OrdaCard announced Friday a new Internet service for remote photo ID cards production. The service is based on a new product developed by Clal Imaging Ltd. and the upgraded Indigo offset digital printer. The system allows remote live enrollment at customer sites anywhere throughout the world, secured transfer of data, photos and biometrics data over a low cost Internet connection to OrdaCard’s central printing location. OrdaCard will then print personalized data on plastic cards, Magnetic stripe cards and smart cards using an Indigo offset printer that works at speeds of up to 5,000 cards per hour, integrated into the modern smart card production line at OrdaCard.

Leeds VISA Cash Anniversary

As it approaches its first Birthday, the Visa Cash program in Leeds is the largest electronic purse program in the UK. To date, some 60,000 electronic purse cards have been issued and 1,400 locations are accepting the cards. Today Visa announces that it is building on this success by expanding the program.

Ken Bignall, Managing Director of Visa UK said: “The Leeds program has shown where an electronic purse adds real convenience for cardholders. For example Visa Cash transactions have already replaced cash by up to 10 percent in car parks and have also proved popular in fast food restaurants, sandwich shops and newsagents. We plan to extend our coverage in these areas as well as other everyday applications such as public transport.”

Research has shown high levels of satisfaction. Over 80 percent of Visa Cash cardholders are highly satisfied with the Visa Cash Leeds program, and the majority expect to use their card more in the future.

“This is just the beginning” said Bignall. “Visa will be building on this success by exploring opportunities with member banks for Visa Cash elsewhere in the UK and expects to bring more banks on board. As people realize just how convenient an electronic purse is, so they will demand its availability more and more,” he said.

David James, Operations Manager, National Car Parks

Ltd (NCP), showed his enthusiasm for the program: “We’ve had a positive response, particularly from regular customers using Visa Cash and we expect to see an increase in the number of customers who prefer to pay by such convenient, cashless methods. From NCP’s perspective Visa Cash is another benefit to offer our customers.”

The financial institutions who have issued Visa Cash cards to date include Abbey National, Barclaycard, Barclays Bank, The Co-operative Bank, The Halifax, Lloyds Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland and TSB. It is expected that there will be a number of new participants joining the UK program in the near future.

Today’s announcement follows the recent commitment by Visa International and other leading electronic purse players to establish a common standard. Approximately 90 percent of the world’s electronic purse schemes have now agreed to adopt this standard. Interoperability between purse schemes is expected in the next two to three years and will allow consumers to use their electronic purse cards around the world.

In addition, the UK banking industry has also announced that they will be rolling out a chip-based infrastructure for debit and credit cards.

Ken Bignall concluded: “Clearly Visa Cash is an excellent new payment product and has been given the thumbs up by consumers. There is no doubt that the age of the chip is upon us.”

Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide with more volume than all other payment cards combined. 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. As the leader in emerging technologies, Visa has more then 70 smart card programs in 31 countries and on the Internet, with 22 million Visa chip cards, including over eight million Visa Cash cards. Visa’s 642 million cards, generating over US$1 trillion in annual volume, are accepted at over 15 million worldwide locations, including 400,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network.

Visa Cash is a payment card embedded with a computer chip which stores money as electronic data. Up to GBP 50 can be loaded onto the card which is drawn from the cardholder’s debit or credit card account. Money is loaded onto the card at one of 60 loading machines situated in and around Leeds.

There are currently more than 8 million Visa Cash cards being used in 18 countries around the world, including the USA, Australia, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan. As well, an Internet pilot is being conducted in the U.S. and a Loyalty application has been added to the Visa Canada pilot.

* Cardholder research carried out by Research Services Limited among 889 Visa Cash cardholders.

Analog Prints

delSecur’s ‘del-ID’ system has been endorsed by the Computer Research Institute of Montreal. The delSecur system processes fingerprint image data through analogical, not digital means. The abstract image of the fingerprint is then implanted into products such as a credit card, cellular phone or computer, and is recognized as a personal electronic signature to be used for access. The company says its approach can guarantee privacy, security and is low-cost because its architecture is unusually simple. In March 1998, delSecur announced the signing of an agreement in principle with Tianjin Global Magnetic Card Co Ltd, the giant Chinese enterprise whose commercial interests include printing of the bank notes of the Peoples Republic of China and exclusive management of VISA and Master Card operations throughout China.


VHS Network Inc., a publicly traded Florida corporation, announced Wednesday that it has executed a Letter of Intent to purchase 100% of all outstanding shares of NEO Products Pty. Ltd. NEO Products is in the ATM and Kiosk manufacturing design and software engineering business. NEO’s company base includes IBM, governments, Olympics, Tralstra National Telephone Co. and many other national brand names. In addition, proprietary software technology includes the pro-active “Smart Card” and financial transaction ability.

eGlobe’s First North American Contract

eGlobe, Inc., formerly Executive TeleCard, Ltd., announced yesterday the signing of its first calling card services contract directed at providing service within North America.

The contract calls for eGlobe to provide platform and related transmission services.  The contract is expected to generate over $1,000,000 of revenue per month, starting in the fourth calendar quarter of 1998.  The Company expects the multi – year contract to build significantly over time.

This contract marks the first time eGlobe will supply calling card services primarily for the U.S. market.  Prior to this, the Company had focused almost exclusively on global services in international markets, an area in which it is continuing to concentrate sales resources.

“We are very pleased to announce our first U.S. focused contract,” said eGlobe CEO Christopher Vizas.  “This contract represents a major breakthrough for the Company in North America.  It is an example of the type of contract eGlobe will continue to sign in the future.”

eGlobe is a leading supplier of Global calling card services and internet mobility services, as well as, related validation, billing and payment systems, to telecommunication companies and financial institutions. eGlobe supplies international Internet and inter-networking services in partnership with telecommunications operators around the world.  Operating through its World Direct network, eGlobe originates traffic in 88 countries and terminates anywhere in the world.

Executive TeleCard Changes Name

The following letter being sent to shareholders by Christopher Vizas, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Executive TeleCard, Ltd. , was released Friday.

Dear Fellow Shareholder:

The world of communications changes with increasing speed, and Executive TeleCard has begun to take advantage of the opportunities created by that change.  Over the last six months, we launched a concerted effort to embrace innovation in technology and service that will extend the range of services we provide to our customers — moving beyond voice into the internet, messaging and other data services.  We plan to provide a full line of communications and information services targeted to business users away from home.

To reflect this broader service role, we are pleased to announce that effective August 14, 1998, the Company will leave its old name behind and assume a new name:  eGlobe.

You may recognize eGlobe as the former name of our Internet Services division.  Certainly, Internet Services will be an essential focus of development, as will messaging and other non-voice applications.  We also remain committed to exploring new technologies to enhance our established business in Calling Card Services.  Calling Card Services provided the initial building blocks of the Company, and we believe they will be a key element in servicing the business user into the Twenty-first Century.

Our new name actively demonstrates our dedication to building a vital, global company in electronic communications.

Our new logo creates a visual reflection of our focus through color and shape. Blue seeks to reflect stability, longevity and expertise; green implies growth and prosperity.  The gradient circle symbolizes the world we service, and the arrow indicates our forward movement.

Finally, the underlying phrase, One Link/One World, is a concise statement of what we intend as we build an integrated global offering.

Creating a new corporate identity is an important step in the continuing development of the Company.  You will see more changes in the months to come, all designed to capitalize on this opportunity for new beginnings and increased shareholder value.  We hope you share our excitement, and join us in celebrating this vital step out of the past and into the future.

Sincerely,     Christopher Vizas     Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Executive TeleCard is a leading supplier of Global calling card services, and related validation, billing and payment systems, to telecommunication companies and financial institutions.  Executive TeleCard also supplies international Internet and inter-networking services in partnership with telecommunications operators around the world.  Operating through its World Direct network, Executive TeleCard originates traffic in 88 countries and terminates anywhere in the world.

For further information contact Mr. Allen Mandel, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, at 1-800-688-0092.

CheckFree in the Black

CheckFree Holdings Corporation reported today revenues of $63.5 million for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 1998 compared to $55.1 million for the same quarter of 1997.  Total revenues for the quarter increased 39 percent over the comparative quarter of last year, adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures. Revenues for the year ended June 30, 1998 were $233.9 million, up 36 percent over the prior year, adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures.

![][1]     Including non-recurring charges related to the software divestiture process and stock warrants, and the gain on the sale of software businesses, the Company reported net income for the quarter of $5.8 million, or 10 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $5.9 million, or 11 cents per share, for the same period in fiscal year 1997.

Including non-recurring charges and gains for the year, the Company reported a net loss of  $3.7 million, or 7 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $161.8 million, or $3.44 per share for fiscal year 1997.

Excluding non-recurring charges related to the software divestiture process and stock warrants, and the gain on the sale of software businesses, the Company reported net income for the quarter of $1.5 million, or 3 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $4.0 million, or 7 cents per share, for the same period in fiscal year 1997.

Excluding non-recurring charges and gains for the year, the Company reported a net loss of $2.8 million, or 5 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $22.2 million, or 47 cents per share for fiscal year 1997.

While CheckFree achieved 3-cents-per-share earnings in the fourth quarter, Chairman and CEO Pete Kight cautioned that two factors caused recurring bill payment processing revenues to be lower than anticipated.  First, major banks delayed marketing on-line banking solutions to consumers, both because of bank merger issues and because they are developing Internet-based solutions to replace or join PC-based ones. While the Company had anticipated subscriber growth of 8 percent in the fourth quarter, it was actually 6 percent. Second, nearly half of new subscriber growth came from banks under contract minimums with CheckFree, which means new subscribers do not generate additional fees until certain minimum subscriber levels are met.  As a result of these two factors, sequential processing revenue growth in the Company’s core bill payment and banking business was only 3 percent.

Addressing the impact of minimum contracts on near-term revenue performance, Kight said, “These contracts reflect strong, long-term relationships with leading U.S. banks.  They are designed to encourage those banks to grow subscribers, and clearly they do. Several of these banks are actually adding subscribers at an accelerating rate, but the contracts mask that growth from a near-term revenue perspective.  Over the longer term, however, as banks exceed subscriber minimums, this effect goes away.”

Commenting on lower than expected recurring revenue growth, chief operating officer Pete Sinisgalli noted: “New subscriber growth was lower than expected because of a factor we do not control: how quickly our bank clients promote electronic banking services to acquire new subscribers.  The fact is, more clients than we anticipated delayed promoting electronic bill payment services while they developed their Internet solutions, and several major banks that did continue to market and generate strong subscriber growth were under contract minimums” Sinisgalli added.

Sinisgalli noted that while this transition softens CheckFree’s near-term revenue growth, it ultimately puts the Company on an accelerated path to uninterrupted growth levels.  “With more than 30 million U.S. households having access to the Internet today, we expect that the faster Internet offerings are available, the faster new subscribers will enroll.  We fully support the banks’ move to the Internet, despite its near-term revenue effect, because in the long term, the emergence of the Internet as a pivotal financial interchange medium strengthens our ability to extend our market leadership position,” he said.

Twenty-two of the Company’s 30 largest clients are actively moving from PC-software-based electronic banking solutions to Internet-based ones, according to Kight.  He said he expects four of the Company’s large bank clients to begin promoting Internet-based bill payment solutions in this calendar year.  He said eight of  CheckFree’s 10 largest bank clients plan to be promoting Internet-based on-line banking solutions before the Company’s fiscal year end on June 30, 1999, and that three-quarters of the top 65 plan to have Web-based services in the market by then.

Based on lower than expected fourth quarter revenue growth, the Company has lowered its revenue expectations for fiscal 1999 by approximately $20 million.  About one-third of the reduction is due to the compounding effect of lower than expected fourth-quarter recurring processing revenue, and the remainder is due to lower subscriber growth expectations, Kight said. Previous estimates were based on sequential quarterly subscriber growth rates of about 8 percent for the first two quarters of fiscal 1999, with faster growth in the second half of the year.  The Company now plans for subscriber growth of about 4 percent for the first quarter, 5 percent for the second quarter and about 6 percent per quarter for the second half of the year.

Kight said the Company’s new fiscal 1999 plans call for revenues of $245 to $250 million and earnings per share of 12 to 16 cents, compared with previous expectations of $265 to $270 million in revenues and earnings per share of 32 cents.  He also said the Company expects a loss of 4 to 6 cents per share in the first quarter.  Kight attributed 3 cents of the 7- to 9-cent decline between the fourth and first quarter’s EPS to one-time expense benefits realized in the fourth quarter, and the remainder primarily to the typical cyclical nature of the Company’s software businesses.

Emphasizing that CheckFree is committed to making planned investments in fiscal 1999, Kight noted the Company prefers to reset earnings expectations rather than cut investments to achieve the previously announced 32-cent target.

“CheckFree is not in a sprint. Our goal is to protect our leadership position in an important emerging market for the long run.  We will not sacrifice that position to chase a near-term earnings estimate,” Kight said. “Projecting revenues in an emerging market is rarely a precise exercise. Rather than alter our planned investments to meet our previous earnings estimates, we will remain focused on our core business strategy as electronic bill presentment is defined and embraced, and as electronic bill payment moves from a market penetration of two percent to a universally-adopted service. We will continue to fund projects that expand our core financial electronic commerce offerings, drive intuitive ease of use, guarantee service quality at a dial-tone level, and enhance the seamless end-to-end customer care we offer to banks, billers, and their customers,” he added.

“Although proving our profitability is important — and we will be solidly profitable for fiscal 1999 — we will not put at risk our ability to extend our market share leadership,” Kight concluded.

Sinisgalli noted that a key investment for 1999 is to materially increase the quality and cost-efficiency of the Company’s core electronic payment operations by converting the Company’s clients to a common advanced processing platform.  In fiscal 1998, the Company completed development of the common platform, and physically consolidated in its Atlanta-based processing center systems previously located in Chicago, Austin, and Columbus, Ohio. Conversion of the Company’s bank clients to the new platform will be finalized over the next 12 to 18 months, Sinisgalli said.

“Relative to the market’s evolution, we are ahead of the game,” Kight said.  “We count among our clients nine out of the top 10 financial institutions, 23 of the top 25, and 40 of the top 50. With Microsoft pursuing the bill presentment market, I have been pleasantly surprised by how many long-term contracts with large billers we won in 1998. The largest producer of bills in the country, AT&T, has chosen to use our bill presentment and payment solution and two more of the top 10 expect to be in production in the next 90 days.  We closed the year with 99% client retention, despite escalating noise from competitors, which is a testament to the strength of our business model and to the quality of our services.

“From a capacity standpoint, we also are ahead of expectations. Today our processing infrastructure can support adoption of electronic banking services by one-third of U.S. households on a common platform engineered to deliver dial-tone quality, so we are prepared as the market ramps from its current two percent penetration level.  We have executed on all levels of our business strategy, and plan to continue that execution in 1999,” Kight concluded.

Kight said CheckFree added 12 billers to its client roster in fiscal 1998, and that the Company either has signed agreements or is in discussions with 9 of the nation’s top 25 billers.  CheckFree also added 48 financial institutions, seven of which are in the top 100, to its client roster in fiscal 1998.

CFO Jim Douglass Adopts Executive Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions Role

CheckFree also announced that CFO James S. Douglass, 33, now serves in the newly-established role of executive vice president, mergers & acquisitions. Douglass will focus on identifying and executing mergers and acquisitions that strengthen CheckFree’s leadership in financial electronic commerce by extending or broadening existing services.

Commenting on Douglass’ new role, Kight said:  “Part of our strategy relies on banks — as trusted agents delivering electronic financial services to consumers — to market electronic banking solutions to their customers to spur widespread adoption.  Equally important is our strategy to continue to define the financial electronic commerce industry by broadening and enhancing our core services.  Jim’s new role will enable him to dramatically influence this strategy.  His understanding of the financial underpinnings of our business will guide us to mergers, acquisitions and business partnerships that foster our ability to meet our long-term financial objectives and increase shareholder value.”

Douglass’ CFO role has been filled by Allen L. Shulman, 50, who has been promoted from senior vice president and general counsel to executive vice president, chief financial officer and general counsel.  Shulman will report to CEO Pete Kight.

Shulman brings to the position 13 years of experience as CFO of United Refrigerated Services, Inc.

“Since joining CheckFree in June of 1997, Allen has gained an intimate understanding of our financial operations through his close association with Jim during the divestiture of our software businesses and the assessment of prospective business partners and acquisition opportunities,” said Kight.  “I am pleased he has accepted this new role, and am confident of the skills and perspectives he brings to it.”

About CheckFree

Founded in 1981, CheckFree Corporation, the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings, Inc., is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services, software and related products for more than 2.25 million consumers, 1,000 businesses and 850 financial institutions. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable its customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure financial transactions on the Internet.

Fourth Quarter 1998 Highlights

*  CheckFree signs bill presentment and payment contracts with AT&T, Intuit for Quicken software and, and Banc One.

*  Company also signs bill presentment and payment agreements with two more of the nation’s top 10 billers, with planned production to roll out within the next 90 days.

*  CheckFree retains or expands current relationship with more than 350 of the nation’s top banks for bill payment processing.

Fiscal Year 1998 Highlights

*  July 1, 1998 — CheckFree announces intent to sell Mortgage Products group to London Bridge Software Holdings plc.

*  June 23, 1998 — CheckFree Investment Services signs Glickenhouse & Company to provide portfolio accounting for more than 1,400 equity, balanced and fixed-income portfolios.

*  June 22, 1998 — CheckFree Investment Services reaches 500,000 portfolios on APL/APL WRAP portfolio management system.

*  June 10, 1998 — More than one-half of account balance transfer credit card clients are migrated to CheckFree’s new Remittance Processing Pipeline (RPP).

*  June 9, 1998 — AT&T and CheckFree announce agreement to provide AT&T customers with new electronic billing and payment option on the Internet.

*  May 20, 1998 — Visa and CheckFree to announce joint venture to create electronic bill payment and remittance infrastructure that will enable up to 85 percent all-electronic transactions.

*  May 19,1998 — CheckFree and First Commerce Technologies (FCT) announce seven-year strategic alliance whereby CheckFree will provide ACH processing and bill payment services for more than 250 community banks supported by FCT.

*  May 18,1998 — John Limbert joins CheckFree as Executive Vice President of Customer Operations to manage electronic commerce customer care, payment operations, implementations and system conversions, and customer operations planning and development.

*  May 15,1998 — Banc One announces launch of integrated electronic banking, bill presentment and payment services through CheckFree and Integrion.

*  May 11, 1998 — EVEREN Securities Inc. signs three-year contract extension with CheckFree Investment Services for portfolio accounting wrap services.

*  April 27,1998 — CheckFree announces intent to purchase 150,000 sq. ft. office building in Dublin, Ohio.

*  April 27, 1998 — Intuit selects CheckFree as provider of choice for bill presentment and payment service offered through Intuit’s Quicken software and Web site.

*  April 22, 1998 — CheckFree is selected to develop and operate a new State Sponsored National Unclaimed Property Database.  Participating states will provide records to CheckFree’s central database.  Public access will be available through a single, national Web site.

*  April 20, 1998 — CheckFree sells cash management and wire transfer business units to Fundtech Ltd. for $18.25 million.

*  April 1, 1998 — CheckFree announces plans to divest seven of its software products to enhance the company’s focus on core businesses in electronic commerce products and services. The products include: cash management, wire transfer, leasing, item processing, imaging, mortgage and safe box accounting.

Third Quarter

*  March 24, 1998 — CheckFree sells item processing unit to Houston-based CONIX Systems, Inc.

*  March 11, 1998 — Integrion and CheckFree sign agreement for processing partnership, whereby CheckFree assumes management of the Herndon, Va.-based company’s operations to handle bill payment fulfillment and customer service to approximately 50 of Integrion’s financial institution customers.

*  March 4, 1998 — CheckFree launches CheckFree RECON Trade, a Windows-based client/server solution for global cash and securities reconciliation.

*  February 23, 1998 — CheckFree E-Bill receives 1998 Marketing Award for Excellence (MAX), sponsored by Georgia State University’s College of Business Administration and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The award honors the outstanding product, service and marketing innovations developed in Georgia during the previous year.

*  January 29, 1998 — CheckFree and Harris Bank of Chicago form strategic ACH business alliance to process the bank’s 45 million ACH transactions conducted per year.

*  January 28, 1998 — Home Depot replaces its reconciliation system with CheckFree RECON-Plus for Windows for automating reconciliation for its more than 600 stores nationwide.

*  January 13, 1998 — CheckFree and CUNA Mutual Group launch electronic billing and payment program to allow CUNA Mutual’s policyholders to receive and pay their premiums on the Internet via CheckFree E-Bill.

Second Quarter

*  December 22, 1997 — CheckFree Holdings Corporation, Inc. is formed with CheckFree Corporation remaining as the Company’s main operating subsidiary.

*  December 10, 1997 — American Electric Power signs up for CheckFree E-Bill to offer electronic billing and payment to its 2.9 million customers.

*  November 24, 1997 — Chairman and CEO Pete Kight Joins RDS ’97 to explore “The Role of Banks in Interactive Billing and Payment.”

*  November 17, 1997 — HomeSide Lending brings CheckFree E-Bill to 1.2 million homeowners in the U.S.

*  October 9, 1997 — Chase Manhattan Bank signs with CheckFree to become the first bank in the U.S. to offer electronic bill presentment services to its individual and commercial customers.  The service is expected to be live the first quarter of 1998.  Chase’s credit card and mortgage units will be among the first billers to go live on the service.

*  October 6, 1997 — CheckFree acquires leading default management system from Advanced Mortgage Technology, Inc.  CheckFree is now the only company that can provide mortgage origination, servicing, tracking and default management.

First Quarter

*  September 2, 1997 — CheckFree and CoreStates join forces to provide electronic bill payment remittance option to 150 CoreStates merchants. Agreement expands each company’s ability to provide seamless end-to-end processing of electronically initiated bill payments.

*  August 12, 1997 — Northeast Utilities signs up for CheckFree E-Bill to offer electronic billing and payment to its 1.2 million New England customers.

*  August 6, 1997 — Florida Power & Light brings CheckFree E-Bill to 7 million customers — nearly half of the residents of Florida.

*  July 28, 1997 — International Billing Services (IBS), the largest first class mailer in the U.S. signs with CheckFree to allow their 65 million customers to use CheckFree E-Bill.

*  July 14, 1997 — CheckFree announces completion of Wells Fargo implementation.  Total subscribers climb to 1.8 million on July 7, 1997.

*  July 9, 1997 — Blockbuster Video automates account reconciliation with CheckFree RECON-Plus for Windows.  Blockbuster Video stores currently register more than one million transactions per day.

*  July 1, 1997 — CheckFree announces the sale of its Recovery Management Software business (RMS), to London Bridge Software Holdings, plc, for $35 million.  The London-based company specializes in software and consulting for credit risk management.

[1]: /graphic/datacard/datacard.gif

Nationwide Wireless

Processing wireless, credit/debit card transactions anytime, virtually anywhere companies do business in the U.S., will become a reality with an agreement between BellSouth Wireless Data and Transaction Network Services. The agreement, to be announced later this week from the ETA Conference in San Francisco, will include the support of three, new, portable, wireless POS terminals including the ‘Nurit 2090’ by Lipman Electronic Engineering, the Hypercom ‘T7PRR’ and the Intellect ‘9770’. Last year, the TNS network carried 2.4 billion card transactions and serves as a hub for more than 40 processors. BellSouth Wireless Data operates its wireless data service throughout the U.S., covering more than 93% of the urban business population located in 266 metropolitan areas with a total population of 200 million people.

Secure Card and Commerce ’99

The Japan Industrial Journal (JIJ) has obtained reports from major international companies that Secure Card & Commerce Tokyo 1999, a show JIJ is organizing, presents an ideal environment for non-Japanese companies seeking to drive sales in Japan. The show takes place April 14-16, 1999 at the Tokyo “Big Shot” Convention Center.

According to JIJ, a leading organizer of international exhibitions and a top daily economic and industrial newspaper in Japan, several factors contribute to the opportunity, which SCC Tokyo ’99 presents. It is the first international card industry exclusive show in Japan; exhibitors will be showcasing their products and services in on of the world’s leading card-using countries; and a forecasted favorable yen will yield higher sales for importers.

Additionally, the deregulation of financial markets in Japan will introduce foreign competition to previously regulated and protected Japanese financial institutions.

According to Holly Sacks, vice president of marketing for Eltron International – one of a growing number of internationally savvy card industry suppliers – “Eltron’s secure identification printing systems worldwide. Secure Card and Commerce Tokyo ’99 offers Eltron exciting prospects with exposure to Japanese and adjacent regional markets in this important new segment of our business.”

Major supporting organizations and media for SCC Tokyo ’99 include the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA), Card Technology magazine, Smart Card Technology International, Card Forum and SJB Services.

The global card industry in flourishing in Japan, due to the manifold applications of cards; from the telecom industry to major mass transit systems, they are becoming a staple in Japan’s industry and commerce.

Thus, an invaluable opportunity exists for exhibiting companies who wish to penetrate the increasingly open Japanese market for card-related products and services. JIJ President Y. Tamashita says, “Japan represents a major opportunity for foreign card and commerce companies.”

For more information about exhibiting at SCC Tokyo ’99 contact (from outside Japan) Lori Miller at Secure Card and Commerce, PO Box 3263, Princeton, NJ 08543-3263; tel: 609-799-3422 fax: 609-799-7032; e-mail [[email protected]][1]. In Japan, contact David A. Wright at ExpoMax International Ltd., Nakano-ku, Nakano 3-19-23 Tokyo 164-0001 Japan; tel: 03-5340 3491; fax:035340-3492; e-mail [[email protected]][2]; or visit the Web site at [][3].

[1]: mailto:[email protected]
[2]: mailto:[email protected]


RSL COM Primecall and Intelligent Card Services announced the formation of RSL COM Card Services Ltd. yesterday. The new company will market the patent-pending technology of ICS, together with the calling card services of RSL COM, to provide retailers and financial institutions with multi-purpose magnetic strip charge cards which include the use of RSL COM pre-paid calling services. ICS’s technology enables RSL COM pre-paid cards to be activated with a built-in magnetic strip at any existing POS terminal and network. Retailers will not be required to reprogram their point of sale terminals to process the cards. Intelligent Card Services Inc. is a privately held card processor and card issuer.

Gaming Contract

Antigua-based Virtual Gaming Technologies announced yesterday that it has received accreditation from Barclay’s bank in England for gaming transactions and other Internet commerce. The company anticipates a launch date of processing credit cards through the Barclay’s system within the next 30 days. Virtual Gaming will be able to accept VISA and MasterCard transactions for its worldwide gaming customers over a secure platform over the Internet.