Fargo’s Flat 2Q

Fargo Electronics, Inc., a leading manufacturer of systems for the personalization of plastic identification cards, reported net sales of $14,060,000 for the second quarter ended June 30, 2000, vs. net sales of $13,873,000 for the second quarter of 1999. Net income available to common stockholders for the second quarter of 2000 was $598,000, or 5 cents per diluted share, compared to $651,000, or 9 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter of last year.

Gary R. Holland, president and chief executive officer, said, “Results in the second quarter were in line with the expectations we reported in mid-June. As previously announced, our new line of High Definition Printer(TM) (HDP) systems had not yet come up to desired production levels, and therefore held back our sales growth in the second quarter of 2000. We are currently shipping HDP systems against a solid order backlog, and are continuing our process of ramping up production levels. Our distribution partners and customers continue to be excited about the capabilities of the HDP line which is further strengthening Fargo’s competitive positioning in the plastic card personalization industry.”

For the six months ended June 30, 2000, net sales were $28,677,000, vs. net sales of $25,940,000 for the comparable six-month period of 1999. Net income available to common stockholders for the six-month period of 2000, including an after-tax extraordinary loss of $206,000 for the write-off of deferred financing costs, was $1,148,000, or 11 cents per diluted share, compared to $902,000, or 13 cents per diluted share, in last year’s six-month period. Excluding the extraordinary loss, net income available to common stockholders per diluted share was 13 cents in this year’s six-month period, equal to the 13 cents per share reported for the same period last year.

About Fargo

Fargo Electronics, Inc., founded in 1974, is the world’s leading manufacturer of desktop systems for on-site, instant issuance of personalized plastic identification cards. Personalized identification cards — produced by end users of the more than 35,000 Fargo systems currently installed throughout the U.S. and in 86 countries — provide physical, information and transaction security for a wide variety of applications including retail stores, e-commerce, government installations, schools, sports and recreation facilities, clubs and associations, and correctional facilities. More than 350 million personalized cards have been produced by Fargo systems, utilizing Fargo’s proprietary line of consumable supplies. For more information, visit Fargo’s website at



PULSE EFT Association announced the appointment of Carrie Brown to the post of vice president of information systems.

Brown will coordinate transaction research and will be involved in the integration and implementation of new technologies. Brown has an extensive background in PULSE operations, having served for more than 10 years as manager of switch technical services at Chase Bank of Texas, operator of the PULSE switch.

“The vast firsthand experience that Carrie Brown has in our core business, the switching and settling of millions of transactions each day, combined with her insights into innovative ways to use electronic payment technology to anticipate and meet consumer demand, will be of great benefit to the network and its members,” said Stan Paur, PULSE president and CEO.

PULSE EFT Association serves more than 2,000 banks, credit unions and savings and loans in a nine-state primary service area including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The network processes in excess of 45 million transactions monthly and features more than 46,500 ATMs and 260,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals across the country.


New Viad CFO

Viad Corp announced that Kimbra A. Fracalossi, 40, has been appointed chief financial officer. Fracalossi will take over the responsibilities of Ronald Nelson, 59, vice president of finance and treasurer, who is retiring on September 1, 2000, after 32 years of service.

Fracalossi was previously vice president of strategic planning and investor relations at Viad and will continue having responsibility for those functions. “Kim, with her financial background and depth of experience with the financial community, will be a great asset in helping Viad continue its aggressive growth and profit plans,” Bohannon said. “She has already made tremendous contributions to the company in her previous positions,” he added.

Prior to Viad, Fracalossi had been a partner at Harrell/Wright Management Consultants in Newport Beach, Calif. Before that, she was director of corporate development for The Dial Corp, the predecessor of Viad. She also spent three years in strategic planning at Marriott International in Bethesda, Md. Fracalossi graduated with a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Michigan, where she also earned her MBA from the graduate school of business with a concentration in finance.

Nelson was appointed vice president-finance and treasurer of Viad in July 1994 with responsibility for corporate finance and treasury. Prior to that, he was assistant treasurer and vice president-treasurer. He assumed additional duties for corporate accounting, information systems and tax in 1999. “Ron’s talents have been a major factor in the success of Viad and its predecessor companies. He will be missed, and we wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement,” Bohannon said. Nelson graduated from Beloit College with a bachelor of arts degree and served four years as a naval officer before joining Greyhound Capital Corporation in 1968.

He is a member of the National Association of Corporate Treasurers, member of the Board of Directors of Gompers Rehabilitation Centers and the Crisis Nursery Foundation. Viad Corp is a $1.6 billion S&P MidCap 400 company. Its major subsidiaries include Travelers Express/MoneyGram of Minneapolis, GES Exposition Services of Las Vegas and Exhibitgroup/Giltspur of Chicago. More information on the company can be found on the Web at [www.viad.com][1].

[1]: http://www.viad.com/


Online Biz Credit

A new study released this morning shows that small businesses rarely use the Internet to search for or obtain credit or business credit cards. In contrast, the number of businesses that cite relationships with loan officers as the primary reason for doing business with a provider doubled over the last year according to the research conducted by PSI Global. The study showed that 44% of small businesses get information about credit rates and fees in person; 22% do so by telephone. Only 2% research credit options online. Sixty-six percent of small businesses apply for credit in person; 9% said they use the telephone. Less than 1% of small businesses apply for credit online. The PSI Global telephone survey included 876 small businesses with annual sales between $500,000 and $9.9 million.


Process Patents

With an explosion of process patents annoying the payments industry, NACHA is coordinating an educational effort between the financial services industry and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. NACHA will work with USPTO to develop a curriculum for educating patent examiners responsible for applications in automated business data processing technologies (Class 705), focusing first on innovations and technology in payments. NACHA will also develop industry resources for patent examiners to call upon when reviewing applications, and coordinate education for the financial services and payments industries on the patent examination process. The education curriculum will likely include attendance by patent examiners at industry conferences and workshops, site visits to financial institutions, and presentations by payments experts to patent examiners.


ACEC Credibility

With a recess in the U.S. Government’s antitrust trial of VISA/MasterCard, the Americans for Consumer Education and Competition is endeavoring to create some credibility through the financial literacy bandwagon. Yesterday the head of ACEC and former legislator, Susan Molinari, met with lawmakers and business leaders to advocate more personal financial education in the classroom. Molinari cited a recent survey, conducted on behalf of the Jump$tart coalition, that showed students are failing in financial literacy. ACEC, funded heavily by VISA and founded in May, has been most active in linking the government’s antitrust trial of the card associations to American Express and warning consumers that if “American Express prevails” in the courtroom then consumers could be spending more for credit card transactions. The group has run full page ads in The Wall Street Journal to ” explain the facts of this case to consumers and public opinion leaders”.


IVI Checkmate’s Off Quarter

IVI Checkmate Corp. announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2000.

Revenue for the second quarter of 2000 declined 13% to $24.9 million, compared with $28.6 million in the second quarter of 1999. Revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2000 of $48.2 million still remained 10% higher than the $43.7 million recorded in the same period a year ago.

The decline in quarter-to-quarter revenue was attributed to component supply issues, a transition to outsourced manufacturing and strong order levels during the same period a year ago.

During the second quarter of 2000, the Company incurred supply problems of available component parts used in the manufacturing of products. As a result, several orders that were to have been filled during the second quarter, were instead deferred until the third quarter. The Company continues to monitor the supply of these component parts and is assessing the feasibility of other supply alternatives. In late June 2000, IVI Checkmate also completed the outsourcing of its entire manufacturing operations. Due to this transition, several product orders that were to have been shipped during the quarter, did not ship until early in the third quarter. Additionally, the Company experienced higher than normal revenue during the second quarter of 1999, as a result of a large point-of-sale terminal rollout by Bank of America.

Net losses for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2000 were $426,000, or $0.04 per share, and $1.3 million, or $0.09 per share, respectively. These losses are a significant reduction from 1999 losses of $3.2 million or $0.19 per share for the second quarter and $5.5 million or $0.32 per share for the six months.

Barry Thomson, President and CEO of IVI Checkmate, said, “We are disappointed that limited supply of component parts and the manufacturing transition have hampered our ability to fulfill several sizeable sales orders in the second quarter. However, these sales will be realized in our third quarter results.” Thomson continued, “Notwithstanding the effect of these deferred sales, we are nevertheless pleased with our second quarter financial results, which reflected positively the effect of strategic initiatives previously implemented.”

Financial results for the second quarter of 2000 reflected (1) significant sales of our e(N)-Touch 1000(TM) touch screen terminal; (2) a 25% increase in professional services revenues to $3.0 million in 2000 from $2.4 million in 1999; and (3) a $1 million reduction in selling, general and administrative expenses.

The Company’s second quarter activities centered on promoting wireless telecommunications and the Internet, while expanding distribution channels and strengthening retail market penetration.


Development of a new wireless terminal, utilizing short-range radio frequency, has been completed and is currently in beta testing. This new terminal is anticipated to be available in the third quarter.


IVI Checkmate continues to adapt its point-of-sale solutions to help retailers utilize the power of the Internet to drive incremental sales and reduce transaction costs.

In the second quarter, the Company introduced the e(N)-Touch 3000(TM), a new touch screen-based internet-capable point-of-sale terminal. The e(N)-Touch 3000 is designed to deliver Internet-based applications such as advertising, loyalty, coupon issuance, e-mail and merchant home pages, while still providing the traditional credit, debit, EBT and smart card payment transactions.

The Company also unveiled its Application Services Provider (ASP) initiative, which will bring together premier Internet-based applications and tools that will guide retailers in the design and implementation of interactive campaigns and services targeted to individual consumers. This ASP initiative will solve three issues faced by retailers that are looking to grow their Internet presence — reduced up-front cost of software licenses, reduced need for in-house IT resources to implement and support the software, and reduced cost of building and maintaining an IT infrastructure to support these applications.

Furthermore, this ASP initiative will be instrumental in allowing IVI Checkmate to strategically partner with many Internet-based content suppliers such as the recently announced partnership with Ten Square, to provide a secure Internet broadcasting system or “digital neighborhood” for consumer promotions, messaging, advertising and other services in retail stores.

Expanding Distribution Channels

IVI Checkmate continued to enhance its ability to deliver point-of-sale solutions to retailers in the most effective and efficient way. Market penetration into the small retail business segment increased significantly in 1999 with the acquisition of the Financial Systems division of DataCard Corporation. In the second quarter of 2000, the Company continues to strengthen its market penetration with significant sales to Concord EFS and TASQ, a large value-added reseller. In addition, IVI Checkmate was named exclusive supplier of point-of-sale terminals to Royal Consumer Business Products, a division of Olivetti Office USA — a worldwide leader in consumer electronics and office automation solutions, for resale to office supply superstores nationwide.

About IVI Checkmate

IVI Checkmate is the third largest electronic transaction solutions provider in North America. The Company designs, develops and markets innovative payment and value-added solutions that optimize transaction management at the point-of-service in the retail, financial, hospitality, healthcare and transportation industries. IVI Checkmate’s software, hardware and professional services minimize transaction costs, reduce operational complexity and improve profitability for its customers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. For more information on IVI Checkmate, please visit our web site at .

For more details on IVI Checkmate’s 2Q and prior quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com


Charge-offs Drop

Bank credit card charge-off rates took a significant drop in June, decreasing more than 70 basis points. Standard & Poor’s ‘Credit Card Quality Index’ shows charge-offs, among card-backed securities, at 5.3% for June compared to 6.1% for May. However, the one-month change in losses was slightly exaggerated due to a change in Bank One’s policy to comply with FFIEC regulations last month. If Bank One had not taken a one-month increase to charge-offs the index loss rate would have declined by only 30 bps in June. Still, the decline represents the largest monthly decline in charge-offs since February 1998 when charge-offs dropped 40 bps. Lower charge-off rates were expected for the most part, as losses have traditionally declined during the summer months. Furthermore, there are leading indications that charge-offs are likely to remain at these levels, if not move lower, given the positive delinquency trends. Delinquencies dropped slightly again in June to 4.1%. This represents six consecutive months in which the delinquency rate has declined.


FDC Drives BMW Cards

First Data Corp. announced it has begun providing transaction processing services for BMW Bank of North America, a subsidiary of BMW Financial Services. Salt Lake City-based BMW Bank signed an agreement with FDC’s credit card services subsidiary First Data Resources to process its new Visa cards. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed..

BMW Financial Services announced earlier this month the introduction of two BMW credit cards — the BMW Ultimate Card, which awards points with every purchase that can be redeemed for rewards designed specifically for BMW drivers, and the BMW Card, a Visa Platinum card which will be rolled out in August..

“First Data is delighted to begin a partnership with one of the world’s most recognized brands and a highly respected company,” said Richard A. Zehnacker, managing director of business development at First Data Resources..

First Data Resources serves more than 1,400 card issuers representing approximately 260 million card accounts on file, up 23 percent from the prior year. .

About BMW.

BMW Financial Services NA, LLC was established in 1993 as a captive finance company to support the North and South American sales and marketing efforts of BMW, including the newest office in Brazil. With over $11 billion in managed assets and more than 320,000 automotive lending customers, BMW FS finances over half of the BMW’s sold or leased in the U.S..

BMW FS established the BMW Bank of North America in 1999 to offer personal banking products to its customers, including credit cards and a line of personal banking products, including checking, savings, CDs and money market accounts..

About First Data.

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) helps move the world’s money. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves more than two million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. With more than 30,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Germany. In addition, its Western Union(R) network includes approximately 90,000 agent locations with operations in 182 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at .


Gift Check Card

Gift Check Solutions now offers electronic gift cards as a gift certificate program option just in time for the holidays. The new gift card program benefits both corporate-owned and heavily-franchised retail or restaurant chains and provides the convenience of electronic commerce with the highest levels of functionality, ease of use, reliability, and security.

“Gift Check Solutions strives to provide the total solution for our customers,” said Gift Check Solutions President, John Bechard. “We can now confidently offer a secure, gift card product that is adaptable without requiring additional equipment purchases.”

Utilizing magnetic swipe card technology, all gift card transactions are processed in real-time issuance and redemption. Gift cards may be loaded with any denomination, or clients may choose to set minimum and/or maximum card values. No change is given with purchase; all remaining account balance remains on the customer’s gift card for future purchases.

Gift cards are customized utilizing company logo and theme. Gift card programs include custom sorted reports containing significant information such as card activation date, activation amount, activation and redemption location, redemption amount, and card balance. Customer service is available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. For more information on the new gift card program, visit Gift Check Solutions’ web site at [http://www.giftchecksolutions.com][1].

“We provide services that allow our clients control over their gift certificate program while increasing their profitability,” Bechard continues. “Our new gift card program allows us to do just that with confidence.”

Gift Check Solutions is a market leader in the gift certificate service industry. By outsourcing their process to Gift Check Solutions, retail and restaurant chains receive the increased sale and good will of a gift certificate program without the printing, coordinating, fulfillment, and processing headaches.

[1]: http://www.giftchecksolutions.com/


Netfish VISA XML

Visa International and Netfish Technologies announced a new global business alliance in which Netfish software products will use Visa’s XML specification for the web to enhance business-to-business transactions.

Ravi Iyer, CEO of Netfish said, “We fully recognize the strength and value of Visa’s Global XML Invoice Specification. It is the first multi-vendor endorsed standard, developed in conjunction with Visa technology partners Commerce One, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Inc. and ValiCert, Inc. We think it provides an ideal complement to our cutting edge business-to-business system integration systems.”

Netfish XDI(TM) provides out-of-the-box-support for Visa’s Global XML Invoice Specification and enables suppliers to send “enhanced data” contained in the invoice for payments made using a Visa product.

Netfish is a leading developer of business-to-business system integration, document management and workflow solutions. Initially the alliance will focus on joint efforts in the handling of invoice and payment data. Visa International and Netfish are also working on partnerships in other areas where their products and services complement one another.

Invoice Data Specification:

Netfish’s technology allows the user to seamlessly integrate with all trading partners, regardless of application or message format. The graphical workflow process allows users to customize rules and events at every point of the transaction. This allows for automated processing of e-business transactions.

Netfish’s XDI software suite, which includes XDI Server, XDI Client and XDI Process Hub, converts existing business documents into Extensible Markup Language (XML) for transactions with business partners, including such popular formats as SAP, Oracle and BAAN. The integration of enhanced data support within this software means suppliers can provide line item details to Visa Purchasing card corporate clients.

Netfish and Visa are working together to provide payment functionality for Visa products within its product suite. This would include both the means for supporting Visa commercial product data storage and display within Netfish core applications, as well as the means for communicating payment data with Visa and its acquirers or processors. Netfish is also integrating the future Visa XML Reporting specification to provide reconciliation and reporting functionality based upon Visa payment and enhanced data information.

Alistair Duncan, Vice President, Visa Commercial Card Information Processing said, “This partnership furthers Visa’s goal of working with innovative leaders like Netfish to provide infrastructure for Visa enhanced data processing services. Netfish technology enables highly automated end-to-end e-business and e-commerce process integration with trading partners.”

He added, “The Netfish alliance will allow Visa Members to more quickly and efficiently integrate disparate legacy and enterprise systems.”

The Alliance Internationally

The alliance further demonstrates Netfish’s desire to expand its products and services to a global community. Netfish was recently chosen by Postgirot Bank AB, a leading SwedishVisa Commercial card issuer, to help create the premier B2B marketplace for the Nordic countries. Postgirot will use the Netfish XDI(TM) eProcess(TM) Hub as the marketplace’s core infrastructure for delivering a variety of advanced B2B services, including secure, end-to-end B2B process integration and payment transactions, to its 425,000 business customers. Postgirot Bank and Netfish will also offer the Netfish XDI System to simplify trading partners’ integration with this new marketplace. Through its use of Netfish’s XDI software, Postgirot and its customers will be adopting Visa’s Global XML Invoice Specification.

About XML

The Visa Global XML Invoice Specification uses XML to exchange invoice and payment data across industries and technical processing platforms. It provides a cross-industry, interoperable message format that enables processing of enhanced data across regions and industry sectors and, as clients identify new needs, it can easily be extended and adapted to support additional information needs. The specification can be found at [www.visa.com/xml][1].

About Visa Commercial Payment Solutions

Visa Commercial Payment Solutions are tailored to meet the needs of its member banks and corporate clients globally. Visa International is experiencing 40% annual growth rates across its commercial card product lines. There are more than 12 million Visa commercial cards issued globally. Visa International’s three commercial card programs, Visa Business, Visa Purchasing and Visa Corporate respectively focus on: the payment needs of small businesses; the procurement needs of medium to large firms; and the travel and entertainment expenses of medium to large firms.

Visa’s Commercial Payment Solutions continue to be at the leading edge of enhanced data, new technologies and delivery channels, meeting changing commercial market needs. Visa’s business-to-business e-commerce initiatives have included online trading hubs, online procurement strategic alliances and global standards for worldwide interoperability.

About Visa International

As the “World’s Best Way to Pay,” Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and the largest payment system worldwide with more volume than all other major payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders.

Visa has more than 80 smart card programs in 35 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including 8 million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction(TM) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are over 1 billion Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Cash, Interlink and PLUS cards in the market.

Visa-branded cards generate US$1.6 trillion in annual volume and are accepted at over 19 million worldwide locations, including at more than 627,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [www.visa.com][2].

About Netfish Technologies

Netfish Technologies is a leading provider of highly scalable XML-based B2B integration solutions used by the world’s top Internet-enabled companies, such as Cisco Systems, NTT Communications and Sun Microsystems, to enable B2B eCommerce with their customers, suppliers and partners. In 1999, Oracle Corporation named Netfish Technologies as one of the “Top 50 eBusiness Solution Developers on Oracle” and one of the top four “Most Innovative eBusiness Solution Developers on Oracle”. In 2000, UPSIDE magazine named Netfish Technologies as one of the “UPSIDE Hot 100” private companies, recognizing the company’s innovation, leadership and performance in the business-to-business category. Founded in 1997, Netfish is based in Santa Clara, CA. Visit [www.netfish.com][3] for more information.

Netfish Technologies, XDI and XDI eProcess are trademarks of Netfish Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All other company, brand and product names are referenced for identification purposes only and may be trademarks which are the sole property of their respective owners.

[1]: http://www.visa.com/xml
[2]: http://www.visa.com/
[3]: http://www.netfish.com/


Concord 2Q/00

Memphis, TN-based Concord EFS reported 2Q/00 revenue of $290.1 million and net income of $46.0 million. For the six months ended June 30, revenue and net income were $547.9 million and $84.3 million, respectively. The results of each six month period exclude pretax acquisition-related charges of $0.8 million incurred during the first quarter in the acquisition of Card Payment Systems and pretax acquisition and restructuring charges of $34.8 million incurred during the first quarter of 1999 in the acquisition of Electronic Payment Services. The company says the revenue growth during the second quarter was fueled by strong sales through its expanded ISO channel, continued cross-sell and conversion of settlement contracts, and above-market transaction growth within its market segments. For complete details on Concord EFS’s second quarter results and prior quarters, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com/