Lynk Systems, Inc., and EchoSat Communications Group announced a joint business initiative to provide next generation ATM processing technology over advanced VSAT satellite communications networks. With this service offering, companies will realize cost savings, faster processing, intuitive management information, and greater ability for on-screen advertising and in-store coupons.

Lynk and EchoSat plan to integrate the service offering into EchoSat’s previously announced joint venture with Fuel Nation, which provides seamless functionality of back office software applications, “real-time” live information via a wireless PDA, and faster, reliable satellite connectivity in one integrated solution.

The initial target for this offering is the petroleum and convenience store industry, one of the greatest points of contact for ATM users. Petroleum and convenience stores utilizing the Lynk/EchoSat solution will be able to integrate their ATM processing onto a dedicated satellite Wide Area Network.

David Howe, Senior Vice President of Lynk, commented “Companies who actively manage their ATMs will immediately see the benefits of this service offering. And by adding our electronic payroll card, CashLynk, to the offering, we can provide additional ATM revenue while reducing payroll costs. The combination of Lynk’s superior ATM solution with EchoSat’s Intelligent ESAT network is a real value add for retailers. This is just the beginning of Lynk services that can be efficiently utilized with EchoSat’s technology.”

Lee Rutherford, President and CEO of EchoSat said, “We are pleased to form this strategic alliance with Lynk. Our review of the Lynk approach reveals they are the leaders in processing technology, providing convenience for the end user and advanced ATM management and reporting functions for the merchant. Lynk’s dedication to the highest level of customer service, along with their economical and fast processing, provide value enhancement to the satellite customers we serve. When coupled with our wireless ‘real-time’ FuelNation solution, the petroleum/convenience store owner now has unprecedented decision making capabilities! It’s a natural asset to the EchoSat managed networks currently serving our customers.”

About Lynk

Lynk is a national provider of electronic payment, cash dispensing and e-commerce services. The company processes transactions initiated by credit and debit cards, checks and EBT cards from merchant point-of-sale terminals, ATMs and via the Internet. Lynk also provides ATM cash management and monitoring services, card issuing, electronic funds distribution and Internet- based storefront management, design and hosting. Lynk controls the entire processing sequence, including sales, end-user equipment, transaction authorization, capture, settlement and customer service. This “in-sourced” model facilitates a truly integrated solution that gives Lynk customers one- call support for all their processing needs. Lynk’s proprietary technology and comprehensive network connectivity offer merchants of all sizes unsurpassed processing performance. Founded in 1991, Lynk is located in Atlanta, Georgia and has earned recognition as one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry.

About EchoSat

EchoSat, a division of Tower Communications Group, Inc., is a privately held corporation based in Lexington, KY. EchoSat is a multi-faceted, synergistic satellite solution company specializing in providing private, managed, dedicated satellite and WAN solutions. Instead of focusing only on credit card applications, EchoSat provides credit card transmissions, polling, downloading, ASP modeling, music, store commercials, email, software updates, and more. The recent joint venture of EchoSat and Fuel Nation has brought a new level of technology to the convenience store/petroleum industry. The EchoSat/Fuel Nation venture now allows companies to instantly access multiple retail or wholesale sites “live” via the Web or a Palm Pilot, even without the need for back office computers. Along with a host of other services, customers utilizing the EchoSat/Fuel Nation solution can now monitor tank levels “live” and receive complete tank management information, along with the implementation of Fuel Management from rack to retail, including Bill of Lading tracking automation and EPA reports, tailored to the customer’s individual needs. EchoSat’s customers span the retail sector, along with several major petroleum groups, including CITGO, Marathon Oil, Clark Retail Enterprises, Speedway Convenience Stores, and others.


NCR Smart Connections

NCR Corporation has enhanced its program to enable automated teller machine deployers in the U.S. to use their ATMs to reach customers with tailored, customized advertising messages.

NCR’s Smart Connections program provides the hardware, software, services and partnerships that allow targeted messages or promotions to be delivered to specific customers or a group of customers via ATMs.

“Our Smart Connections program brings together all the elements needed to deliver one-to-one targeted marketing via ATMs,” said Andy Orent, vice president of NCR’s Financial Solutions Division. “The combination of NCR’s advance function ATMs, our deep understanding of customer relationship management and our position as the number one ATM solution provider worldwide enable us to help our customers create the foundation for a world class one- to-one marketing program.”

Incorporating NCR’s innovative APTRA(TM) software, released last year, Smart Connections allows the deployer to customize and deliver promotions and messages at any point during the ATM transaction.

Through the program, on-screen advertising can include animation, full- motion video, audio and music, and can be combined with coupon printing as well.

Smart Connections is a phased program that allows institutions to move at their own pace.

“The program provides the strong benefits of targeted marketing today — using NCR’s APTRA Studio and APTRA Link software,” Orent said. “In addition, it provides a managed path to the future benefits of fully integrated customer relationship management and data warehouse environments for the future.”

NCR’s APTRA Studio enables the novice to quickly build, edit and implement the targeted marketing and advertising for ATMs. The software also delivers marketing and advertising updates to each ATM during normal transaction processing.

“With Smart Connections, NCR can provide the complete solution for true one-to-one marketing at ATMs,” said Orent, “including the software, services, security and tools to make it a valuable component of a deployer’s ATM strategy.”

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a US$6.2 billion leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial, communications, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled Teradata(R) warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, store automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 32,500 in 130 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at [][1].

NCR and Teradata are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.



Oasis ePayment to Linux

Oasis Technology, a leading provider of mobile commerce, Internet and real-world ePayment software, announced that it will now offer its leading ePayment technology on the Linux operating system. By extending its ePayment software to Linux, Oasis is providing an end-to-end ePayment solution optimized for the increasing number of businesses adopting the Linux operating system to drive their eBusiness requirements. As a supporter of “open-source” computing technologies like Linux, Oasis further extends an open platform philosophy centered around its flagship UNIX-based ePayment solution, as well as high-performance enterprise platforms like IBM’s Transaction Processing Facility.

Oasis will be demonstrating IST/Switch on Linux, a complete solution for processing high-volume ePayment transactions from any Internet, mobile or real-world channel, at Oasis Connection 2000, Oasis’ 3rd annual partner and client user conference held from August 22nd to August 25th in Toronto, Ontario.

Linux offers all the features of a fully fledged operating system, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, TCP/IP networking and much more. Due to the very nature of its functionality and availability, Linux has become very popular worldwide. In fact, IDC pins Linux growth on its reliability and strength in the Web market and has recently released quarterly data showing that Linux server shipments increased 166 per cent in the fourth quarter of 1999 from the fourth quarter of 1998.

“The software industry is heading into a future that will strongly support open-source standards. When examining the Linux marketplace it’s clear that the demand for it is rapidly increasing,” said Ashraf Dimitri, president and CEO of Oasis Technology. “Based on the increasing number of businesses looking seriously at Linux as a viable operating-system choice for their enterprise-wide business applications, we felt that the time was ideal for us to offer a Linux version of our IST/Switch software.”

During the IST/Switch on Linux demonstration at Oasis Connection 2000, clients and partners will have the opportunity to see how Linux can be used with Oasis’ next-generation ePayment architecture. Enabled with Oasis’ scalable ePayment technology on open Linux platforms, Oasis will show how businesses can evolve their payment processing environment beyond restrictive mainframe legacy systems to provide a fully scalable payment infrastructure optimized for higher volumes of transactions and the rollout of future ePayment services.

The flexibility and openness of Oasis’ ePayment products provide customers with unprecedented flexibility in their information systems. Because Oasis’ ePayment solutions will run on multiple operating systems, firms can use a combination of underlying operating systems and platforms to meet their needs, without having to alter their ePayment solutions.

“We want to give our business partners and customers the flexibility they need to deploy the solution that best meets the requirements of their payment infrastructure. By adding Linux to an already broad range of platforms, Oasis is further enabling global businesses to work with their strategic platform direction,” Mr. Dimitri said. “More supported platforms mean a greater reach in delivering our ePayment products to customers, while easing the transition between the real, Internet and mobile worlds of ePayment.”

Gathering more than 200 clients, partners and ePayment industry experts from over 25 countries, Connection provides an interactive forum designed to drive the evolution of global ePayment technology standards. In addressing the regional needs of so many diverse companies throughout the world, Connection offers the opportunity for Oasis — and its clients and partners — to find innovative new ways to grow their businesses and evolve their payment processing strategies.

About Oasis Technology

Oasis Technology Ltd. delivers leading mCommerce, Internet and real-world ePayment software products to Internet and traditional banks, e-tailers, retailers, and processors in more than 70 countries worldwide. Today, Internet payment systems powered by Oasis software process more than four billion transactions annually. Oasis Internet payment software products are designed for end-to-end payment processing throughout the entire payment lifecycle, bridging the virtual and real worlds of electronic payments. The company’s international client base includes ABN Amro, American Express, The Bank of Montreal, Citibank, Credicard/Redecard Brazil, Diners, Europay, Golden Card (China), MasterCard and Visa International. With corporate headquarters located in Toronto, Canada, the company also operates offices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Miami, Florida, San Jose, California, and Watford, England, and supports an extensive network of international partners and sales representatives. Oasis is ISO 9001 registered. Visit Oasis online at [][1].



Vital Hat Trick

Vital Processing Services launched three new products Wednesday as part of its Retail Solutions and eSolutions suite of services.

“These three product announcements reflect Vital’s ongoing commitment to understand the emerging opportunities in electronic payment processing and related merchant services, and to delivering solutions that help our clients exploit those opportunities,” said Jon Palmer, president and CEO of Vital Processing Services.

VirtualWebuilder Vital is introducing its signature eSolutions product, VirtualWebuilder. Developed exclusively for Vital by Kinzan, VirtualWebuilder is a turn key web site hosting and web site development solution for businesses of all sizes and types. Vital formed a strategic alliance with Kinzan to develop and co-market VirtualWebuilder. Kinzan is a provider of a brandable suite of applications for content management, commerce and communications.

VirtualWebuilder is a quick, easy and cost-effective way for businesses to create an information-type web site or a commerce-enabling site that sells goods and services. Merchants can develop an online extension of their business in as little as 15 minutes using a template-driven, point-and-click wizard application. VirtualWebuilder enables Vital’s acquiring clients to reinforce relationships by bringing a rich and robust web solution to current customers, while also building new retail relationships.

To enhance Vital’s comprehensive Retail Solutions offering, Vital is delivering two new products to the merchant acquiring industry that will enable Vital’s clients to maximize opportunities in the business-to-consumer markets.

Vital EPS, powered by Vital recently signed an exclusive contract with, a business-to-business retail solutions provider, to combine Vital’s processing and support services with MEI’s EPS point-of-sale (POS) software. Vital Electronic Payment System (Vital EPS) is a fully managed software package for credit, debit, EBT card and check payment processing. Vital EPS is tailored to meet the needs of Vital’s acquiring clients and their multi-lane/multi-store merchants, smaller chains, general retail and supermarket merchants.

Vital EPS is the solution for multi-lane/multi-store retailers who have problems with downtime, limited reporting, billing inaccuracies or slow transaction approval.

Vital Wireless Solution

Vital has teamed up with CellGateTM Technologies, a provider of wireless IP cellular digital network services for transaction processing, to offer a low-cost, high-performance transaction processing service that enables merchants’ existing POS terminals to communicate with Vital’s host via wireless Internet Protocol (IP) instead of the traditional dial line. When the CellGate service is combined with Vital’s “dial and hold” terminal application, typical transaction processing time is four seconds.

“Vital is one of the first major processors to deliver CellGate’s wireless IP solution to acquirers for their merchant customers. Giving our clients this speed to market advantage will allow them to generate a new revenue stream. Merchants can capitalize on the fact that CellGate’s wireless IP technology is faster, less expensive and more secure than traditional business lines used today,” said Palmer

About Vital Processing Services ([][1])

Arizona-based Vital Processing Services® (Vital®) is a leader in technology-based commerce-enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing services to merchants, such as POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; VirtualNet’ Internet-commerce services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; operational fulfillment services; risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of VISA® USA and Total System Services Inc. ® (NYSE: “TSS”

About Kinzan ([][2])

Kinzan provides a leading platform for central organizations to extend and manage their network of business relationships on the Internet. The company’s platform enables a central organization to quickly, easily and cost-effectively deploy a large network of affiliated web sites with a consistent look and feel, while offering the flexibility to meet local market needs. The Kinzan platform includes a brandable suite of content management and e-commerce applications, configurable hardware, scalable hosting services, development and deployment capabilities and customer care programs., Avon, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Chase Merchant Services, Knight Ridder Real Cities, Maytag and YMCA are among those that have chose the Kinzan platform to extend and manage their offline business relationships networks online.

About ([][3]) is an established business-to-business company that offers a virtual private network, business process applications and professional support that use the Internet to lower operating costs, efficiently manage communications and operations, and generate business for industries worldwide.

About CellGate Technologies ([][4]) CellGate provides Wireless IP network services to financial institutions, financial transaction processors and independent sales organizations. The CellGate Service provides POS terminals, POS PC systems, and dial ATM’s a faster transaction while reducing dial phone line and installation costs. CellGate’s patented solution requires no change to the merchant’s terminal hardware or software. For additional information visit the CellGate web site at [][5]. CellGate is headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. with network operations located in St. Louis. CellGate is an AT&T Wireless Data ‘Value Added Reseller.’



TSYS Japan

TSYS has purchased an equity position in an electronic payments company which captures about 20% of Japan’s credit card transaction market. The company has purchased 51% ownership in GP Network Corporation, a payments gateway for more than 100,000 merchants in Japan. TSYS named Hitoshi Kondo President of GP Net and Managing Director of TSYS Japan. Kondo has managed the GP Net operation since its inception. GPNet will have 12 to 15 full-time employees and expects to increase to 20 by the end of 2001.



Oasis Technology, G&D Security Card Systems and CIT will release this morning an Internet banking solution powered by PKI security on a smart card. The new solution, ‘iBanking’, is designed to provide financial service and investment customers with a full range of retail, corporate and investment banking services protected by the industry’s most advanced PKI security. The solution combines Oasis’ ePayment technology, CIT’s PKI-based security architecture and G&D’s smart card infrastructure.


AmEx B2B Directory

American Express announced that it has launched an online business-to-business directory that enables American Express Corporate, Purchasing and Small Business Cardmembers to quickly and easily search for and find business-to-business suppliers. As a result, millions of business decision-makers now have easy access to a database of American Express merchants nationwide and American Express merchants have the opportunity to build new relationships with a large number of American Express Cardmembers.

“Our new Online Business-to-Business Directory fulfills an important business need. More and more companies of all sizes want to purchase their supplies, inventory and even raw materials with credit and charge cards. It simplifies their administrative work and allows them to better manage their expenses. And because American Express Cards are so prevalent, there is a large demand for suppliers that accept our Cards,” said Tom Pojero, Vice President, Merchant Acquisition, American Express.

The American Express Online Business-to-Business Directory ([ m/b2bdirectory][1]) currently includes more than 400,000 business-to-business suppliers. Traditionally, companies have had to go through a lengthy research process to identify suppliers. Now, with the American Express Online Business-to-Business Directory, it takes just a few minutes to identify multiple resources. Cardmembers can easily search the Directory for suppliers according to a wide variety of criteria including general industry categories (i.e., business services, chemicals, computers and electronics, office supplies, construction, etc.), Standard Industry Code (SIC), company name, location, legal structure or ownership status.

For instance, a mid-sized manufacturing company searching for industrial machinery suppliers would be able to quickly identify appropriate businesses by simply identifying the industry category (business and industrial goods), choosing a sub category (industrial machinery) and creating a customized region. Results might show 75 suppliers in the area, and the user could then choose whom to contact, based on location or capabilities described in the company profile. Search results can also be downloaded to a user’s desktop or emailed to a designated account. The American Express Online Business-to- Business Directory also includes hyperlinks to merchants’ websites (where provided) as well as links to MapQuest for interactive maps and driving directions.

American Express merchants in business-to-business industries are automatically listed in this Directory, free of charge, providing them with the opportunity to increase their exposure among potential buyers. In fact, 70% of Fortune 500 companies provide American Express Corporate Cards to their employees and more than 2.5 million mid-sized companies and small business owners rely on American Express for their purchases. Suppliers listed in the Directory have the opportunity to customize their company profile and to add unique information about their products and services. Merchants who wish to be deleted from the Directory may do so by contacting American Express at 800-528-5200.

American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, network, and financial services provider founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking. For more information, visit [][2].



MPS Processes Nordstrom

Fifth Third Bank announced that Nordstrom, Inc. has chosen Midwest Payment Systems to provide processing for Visa, Mastercard, and Discover credit cards. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington with retail locations across the United States, Nordstrom sells apparel, shoes and accessories for women, men and children through specialty and clearance stores.

Nordstrom, Inc. will also utilize MPS’ back-office imaging technology, Mvision, to improve operations. Mvision enables retailers to scan receipts, handwritten notes, or other documents into the system for responding to inquiries from customers or financial institutions. The Java-based system has enabled many of Fifth Third’s large retail customers to fully automate their back office credit card operations.

“Fifth Third’s processing services, especially the unique Mvision product, are enabling us to get top-notch, cost-effective processing,” said Lisa Harris, Merchant Services Manager, Nordstrom Credit, Inc.

Fifth Third Bank Executive Vice President Barry L. Boerstler, adds, “Fifth Third is excited about providing Nordstrom, Inc. with customized processing solutions. We look forward to being their successful business partner.”

Fifth Third Bank processes 4.8 billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 65,000 retail locations and financial institutions worldwide, including The Kroger Co., Circuit City, Office Depot and CompUSA. Fifth Third Merchant Services processes over $50 billion in credit card sales annually.

Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $45 billion in assets, operates 14 affiliate banks with 639 full-service Banking Centers, including 116 Bank Mart(R) locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 1,400 Jeanie(R) ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Arizona, Michigan and Illinois. A leader in e-commerce, Fifth Third was named #1 e-business innovator by PC Week. Fifth Third’s financial strength continues to be recognized by rating agencies with deposit ratings of AA- and Aa2 and commercial paper ratings of A1+ and P1 from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Retail, Commercial, Investment Advisors, and Midwest Payment Systems, the Bank’s data processing subsidiary.



MasterCard International is expanding its ‘Chip Vendor Services Program’ through the formation of a new subgroup focused on the development and global deployment of digital ID-based smart card applications to authenticate cardholders in mobile and electronic commerce transactions. Eleven key industry leaders have already committed to joining the new program. The current baseline ‘CVSP’ program provides extensive training conducted by experts at MasterCard and Europay International to educate vendor partners about the global EMV specifications, the ‘MULTOS’ operating system, and MasterCard’s M/Chip credit/debit application. To date, employees from 23 organizations have been trained and are actively participating in the CVSP program. Additional digital-ID vendor participants include: ACI Worldwide; Bull Smart Cards & Terminals; CMG; CardsEtc.; Dione plc.; Giesecke & Devrient; Gemplus; ICL; Schlumberger; and Unisys.


AmEx Buys MasterCard Portfolio

Valley National Bank announced that it has signed a definitive contract to sell its cobranded ShopRite MasterCard credit card portfolio to American Express. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2001. ShopRite card customers may continue to use their ShopRite MasterCard credit card during the interim period and they will receive information about the transition in the coming months.

Valley National Bancorp is a regional holding company headquartered in Wayne, NJ. Valley National bank, its principal subsidiary, currently operates 117 offices located in 76 communities serving 10 counties throughout northern New Jersey. Valley’s website can be found at [][1].

American Express ([][2]) founded in 1850, is a global travel, financial and network services provider.



E-Payments Surpass Checks

Global payment volume projections for developed countries call for electronic payments to finally surpass paper-based transactions this year. The projections reflect a CAGR in excess of 11% for electronic payments, and the beginning of a slow decline in US check volume. The findings are part of a new service focused on global payments by MA-based TowerGroup. The research shows that global non-cash payment volumes in developed countries now exceed 170 billion payments annually, reflecting a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.4% over the past 6 years. TowerGroup expects this growth trend to continue, with 200 billion non-cash payments expected in 2003. The displacement of paper-based transactions by payments initiated, cleared, and settled electronically is due largely to the development of electronic commerce in both the retail and wholesale sectors of the global economy, which is driving increased demand for payment capabilities that are more automated and integrated with purchasing processes. TowerGroup projects that nearly 1 billion electronic money transactions will occur by 2003.


Proton Gets Pep

Proton World announced this morning that PEP Bank has become the ‘Proton’ licensee for South Africa. PEP Bank’s ‘Proton’-based smart card pilot will launch Nov.1st, and will involve 25,000 cards in the Cape Town area. The first application on the card will be the ‘Proton’ e-purse. PEP bank will issue 10,000 of the cards to its customers, who will be able to load value from it at bank ATMs by transfer from their bank accounts. The other 15,000 cards will be issued to selected individuals without bank accounts, who will be able to load them against cash at load terminals in the railway stations, local banks, shops and other public areas. The cards will have a 500-Rand (EUR 78.25 USD 74) load limit. All the cards will carry the ‘VISA Cash’, PEP Bank and Metrorail brands, making South Africa the first country where Proton-based ‘VISA Cash’ cards have been issued.