ATM/Debit Card Usage

FL-based Star Systems released a survey of 8,486 financial account holders in 21 states served by the ‘STAR Network’. The report shows that in the 30 days prior to the survey, ATM/debit cardholders used their cards an average of 16.8 times, or about four times a week. Eighty-five percent of cardholders surveyed said they used their card at least once during the previous 30 days and 84% said they used the card for a POS transaction during that time. POS transactions accounted for nearly half of monthly usage as cardholders reported an average of 7.9 POS transactions in the previous 30 days, or about two such transactions every week. Half of those polled preferred the PIN-based transaction, while 31% prefer the signature-based transaction. Fifty percent of those who prefer the PIN-based transaction cited fraud protection as their major reason. Asked about other electronic services they’d like to try, a significant number of consumers indicated they would be more likely to use a personal computer for home banking services if the services were authorized by a PIN. More than two-thirds of those polled said a PIN code for home banking was “very important” and another 15 percent called it “fairly” or “somewhat” important.


Wireless MIST Solution

MIST Inc., a division of NBS Technologies Inc. announces the formation of a comprehensive solution to allow retailers to provide secure credit and debit transaction services to their customers with the convenience of a fully-integrated mobile, wireless terminal. The versatility of MIST’s relationship with GTE Wireless, Atomic Software and POS Systems gives retailers the ability to process transactions at non-traditional points-of-sale.

“Our alliance with GTE Wireless, Atomic Software and POS Systems has created the most comprehensive, end-to-end solution in the wireless transaction processing marketplace,” says Charles Lee, President and CEO of MIST Inc. “With actual successful implementations of this program under our belt, our proven track record demonstrates to retailers and service providers the security, flexibility and benefits of incorporating our wireless solution into their businesses.”

Comprehensive Solution for the Wireless Marketplace

The solution brings the advanced MIST Freedom wireless terminal together with select industry vendors to create a premier service offering for the marketplace. Backed by the GTE Wireless data network, the MIST Freedom terminals are bundled with Atomic Software to provide fast, reliable connections to a wide range of credit and debit processors. POS Systems serves as the professional services arm of the solution, offering complete support services from initial installation throughout the implementation, including on-line and help desk support.

“We are extremely proud to join in this teaming of industry leaders by bringing the highest level of service to the program,” remarks Ken McDonald, President of POS Systems. “Customer satisfaction is the collective goal of this partnership, and we have established an infrastructure to effectively manage the delivery of all levels of support for this wireless solution, from application project management to day-to-day support.”

Wireless Solution Successfully Implemented at GTE Events

MIST successfully demonstrated their MIST Freedom wireless solution at two recent GTE sponsored events, the Houston Rodeo and the GTE Seniors Golf Classic. At both events, MIST Freedom terminals were utilized to process credit transactions at remote merchandise and food locations, giving the event managers the flexibility to accept non-cash payments at even the smallest kiosk.

“The successes we have had with the MIST Freedom solution at recent events reinforces the strength of our business relationship and the reality of today being able to offer next-generation network and transaction services to customers anywhere,” states Ed Huelsman, Manager, Data Services for GTE Wireless. “Together with MIST, Atomic Software and POS Systems, we look forward to more successful implementations of this powerful, comprehensive solution.”

“As the secure gateway from the wireless terminals to the service processors, our software complements the advanced technology of the MIST Freedom solution the established wireless network of GTE Wireless and the superb professional services offered by POS Systems,” said Thomas McCole, President of Atomic Software. “By connecting the MIST Freedom wireless terminal to the leading credit and check service processors, we have created a solution with limitless possibilities for customers and with incredible potential for widespread market growth.”

About MIST

MIST designs, manufactures and distributes wired and wireless POS transaction terminals and related software including payment and transaction gateways from its facilities in Montreal and Mississauga. The company has an installed base of over 500,000 terminals and its customers include a number of Canadian and international chartered banks and financial institutions. MIST is a division of NBS Technologies.

NBS Technologies Inc. designs, manufactures and markets an integrated line of card, card issuance, identification and transaction systems, products, services and software. NBS serves a wide range of international customers, including financial institutions, retailers, telecommunication companies, government agencies and healthcare organizations. The Company operates manufacturing facilities in North America and distributes its products worldwide through sales offices in North America and the United Kingdom and an international dealer network.

About GTE

With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry’s broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 18 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents. Additional information about GTE can be obtained at [][1].

About Atomic Software

Atomic Software is a venture-funded company that provides a secure payment gateway service for wireless and Internet merchants including retailers, mail/phone order companies, Web merchants, and restaurants. The e-comPort is certified by the nation’s leading payment processors and by thousands of banks. For more information, visit our Web-site at [][2] or call Walter Murphy at 678/942-2600.

About POS Systems

POS Systems Company, Inc. (POS Systems) headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, has been providing point-of-sale terminal management services since 1982 to financial institutions, ISO/MSP’s, sales agents, C-stores, private label lenders and large corporate customers. POS Systems is known for its flexibility and consistent quality of service in sales, rental and leasing point-of-sale equipment, bundled with deployment, merchant training, 24-by-7 help desk and repair. POS Systems supports upwards of 200 terminal applications on all major networks and is a registered equipment service organization (ESO) with Interlink for PIN encryption. On-line order entry, status review and reporting of customers’ database and merchant activities through its proprietary system, POWERTRAK(SM), complements the services provided to POS Systems’ customers. For more information, contact Dale Bogue or Ray Rockwell at 800/699-5090 or visit our Web site at [][3].



Atomic Card Pipeline

Atomic Software announces the availability of a payment pipeline designed to provide seamless integration between Microsoft’s Site Server Commerce Edition and Atomic’s iAuthorizer payment service. The pipeline is a component selected to complete an on-line real time credit card payment for e-commerce sites and is available for download from Microsoft MSDN or from Atomic as part of its API Developers kit. ([][1])

E-commerce sites developed using Site Server can add real time transaction processing by linking the site’s order form to Atomic’s iAuthorizer payment portal. The pipeline component formats the information needed by payment processors to complete a credit card transaction. iAuthorizer is certified on all major payment networks for credit card transactions and is in the forefront of supporting purchase card transactions on the Internet. Purchase cards are used increasingly in business to business transactions on the Internet. Atomic’s iAuthorizer service supports level 2 and level 3, on selective financial processors.

“The availability of the pipeline greatly expands the marketability of our service and allows users to work with a premier provider in the Internet space.” notes Walter Murphy VP of Business Development for Atomic. “By working with Microsoft, we can make a site developer’s life a little less stressful.”

Atomic Software will exhibit at Spring Internet World, April 5 – 7, (booth 5045) and at Microsoft’s Pavilion at Spring Networld + Interop 2000, May 9 – 11.

The Payment Pipeline is added to the API Developer’s kit for the iAuthorizer payment service. The kit provides scripts for CGI, HTML, Java, Perl, ColdFusion. Atomic Software is a member of the Microsoft ISV program and publisher of the popular Authorizer transaction software, which runs under Windows 95/98 and NT and is available through thousands of banks and financial processors. Atomic also markets wireless transaction processing through its eComPort service from wireless transaction terminals manufactured by IVI/Checkmate, MIST, Tillsmith and Dassault AT.



Sears Commercial Cards

Sears, Roebuck and Company selected Bank One yesterday as the sole commercial credit card issuer for purchasing, business travel and fleet management expenses. By mid-2000, Sears will convert approximately 30,000 cards from multiple providers to Bank One’s ‘MasterCard’. Bank One says the Sears commercial card program will be one of the largest one-card implementations ever in the US. Unlike VISA, MasterCard has adopted a one-card for its commercial programs. Bank One introduced MasterCard commercial cards in 1992 to serve the treasury management needs of commercial and government organizations.


Debit Card Surge

Off-line debit card volume surged 37% last year, nearly four times the growth in credit card volume. However the increase in the number of off-line VISA and MasterCard debit cards issued has slowed from 25% between 1997 and 1998, to 15% last year. According to CardData ([][1]), debit card dollar volume has doubled over the past twenty-four months from $110.5 billion to $218.8 billion. ‘VISA Check’ continues to dominate the signature-based debit card market with an 84% share, based on dollar volume, and a 73% share, based on cards issued. ‘MasterMoney’ has consistently held a 16% marketshare for the past three years.

Dollar Volume 99 98 97
VISA $183.8b $134.7b $ 93.7b
MasterCard $ 35.0b $ 25.0b $ 16.8b
$218.8b $159.7b $ 110.5b

Number of Cards Issued 99 98 97
VISA 84.5m 73.8m 58.0m
MasterCard 30.5 26.6 22.1m
115.0m 100.4m 80.1m

Source: CardData (



eConnect Fallout

Trading in the stock of San Pedro,CA-based eConnect continues to be suspended amidst new allegations of fraud. Earlier this month the firm claimed to have an exclusive deal to provide wireless credit card transactions via the new ‘PalmPilot VII’. The news sent eConnect’s stock soaring from $3 per share to $21 per share within one week. The SEC halted trading on March 13 citing concerns over the company’s recent press announcements and revenue projections. Yesterday a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of stockholders. The complaint alleges that eConnect failed to disclose that it had never acquired Top Sports SA as announced in November; did not generate anywhere near $10,000 a day from its ‘PowerClick’ division’s network of websites as it announced in Feb. 22; did not have a strategic alliance with Empire Financial Group as announced Feb. 28; and did not have an agreement to use an internet cash payment system developed by SafeTpay as announced Feb. 29. eConnect responded yesterday by retaining a former SEC enforcement division attorney, signing a new public/investor relations firm, and clarifying past news releases. eConnect admitted its PalmPilot licensing arrangement for wireless payment card transactions was nothing more than a standard license agreement downloaded from the Internet off of Palm Inc.’s Web site.


Cap One Hires West

Catherine West, formerly Executive Vice President of First USA Bank, joined Capital One as senior vice president in charge of Risk operations. Ms. West will be responsible for executing Capital One’s risk strategy, which includes fraud, collections, and recoveries.

“Capital One is committed to building a lifetime customer franchise,” said Nigel Morris, Capital One’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Our ability to manage a customer’s risk allows us to make the best offers in the credit industry and enables Capital One to lead the industry with the lowest charge-off rates. I am very pleased that Catherine has decided to join our leadership team. Her extensive experience in the credit card industry will greatly benefit Capital One as we continue to grow.”

Catherine West commented, “Clearly what attracted me to Capital One was the high caliber of talent and the innovative and creative entrepreneurial culture. What attracted me to the job was the idea of extending Capital One’s vision into Risk-a vision that is focused on the needs and wants of the individual customer.”

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([][1]) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer financial products and services to consumers. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 23.7 million customers and $20.2 billion in managed loans outstanding at December 31, 1999, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “COF.”



Diebold Names Geswein CFO

Diebold, Incorporated announced that Gregory T. Geswein, 45, has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer and a member of the executive team. Geswein, who was most recently senior vice president and CFO at Pioneer-Standard Electronics Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, has broad experience in global acquisitions, international operations and e-business.

Pioneer-Standard, a $2 billion leading global distributor of electronic components and mid-range computer systems, was recently named number three on the PC Week Fast-Track 500 list for its aggressive implementation of e-commerce, business extranets and Web technologies.

Geswein is noted for his proven expertise throughout his career in global acquisitions, including absorbing acquired organizations into existing financial processes and systems. He is also known for his ability to overhaul and streamline financial processes and implement high-tech financial systems, resulting in improved productivity and faster flow of information.

Prior to his assignment at Pioneer-Standard, Geswein spent 13 years at Mead Corporation, Dayton, Ohio, a $4 billion international paper products manufacturer, in a variety of senior financial posts, including vice president and corporate controller and corporate treasurer.

“We’ve been expanding significantly and simultaneously in numerous international markets in recent years and need a CFO with experience not only in the global technology industry, but also in integrating diverse acquisitions with existing corporate systems and processes,” said Walden W. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer. “Greg’s unique combination of experience in these areas and his high-energy, creative approach to business challenges make him well suited for this position. We will be looking to him to focus intensely on building shareholder value.

“Greg also brings significant experience and knowledge in the streamlining of processes and deployment of technologically advanced financial systems, creating an environment where information flows quickly and efficiently.”

Originally from Ironton, Ohio, Geswein earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati. He went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Cincinnati. Geswein and his wife have two children and currently reside in Bentleyville, Ohio.

Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, Diebold employs more than 9,000 associates with representation in more than 75 countries worldwide and headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $1.3 billion in 1999 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [][1].



Blue Card Milestone

American Express has signed up an average of 200,000 cardholders per month for its new ‘Blue’ smart card. AmEx launched the card September 8, kicking-off a $45 million promotional campaign. Atlanta-based Brittain Associates says a survey of 2,000 consumers it conducted between March 1 and 7, confirms there are now over one million ‘Blue’ cardholders. AmEx expects to issue two million ‘Blue’ smart cards by the end of this year. Brittain says it is now conducting on-line interviews with over 1,000 ‘Blue’ card owners, asking about such things as usage patterns, payment behaviors and favorite features of the card. The ‘Blue’ card offers no-annual-fee, a 0% six-month intro APR, and a fixed 9.99% minimum, go-to APR. The new card also has a mag stripe and a chip. The chip feature enables consumers to activate, from a PC smart card reader, the optional ‘American Express Online Wallet’. In late January AmEx added a free rewards program to the card called: ‘BlueLoot’. The rewards program offers one point for each dollar charged and offers rewards such as PalmPilots and MP3 players. During the first six months, the ‘Blue’ card hit a number of snags, such as production problems and delays with the PC smart card reader and the translucent card design.


VISA – Marriott Promotion

Visa U.S.A and Marriott are launching a promotion April 1 to offer double ‘Marriott Rewards’ points for VISA cardholders. Starting with the second hotel stay paid for with a VISA card, ‘Marriott Rewards’ members will earn up to 20 points per dollar, double the normal 10 points per dollar. The promotion runs through June 30. The offer is not available to cardholders in Germany, Austria and Belgium. ‘Marriott Rewards’ has 1,800 participating hotels and more than 12 million members.


Equifax Hires Cummins

Equifax named J. Michael Cummins corporate vice president and chief marketing officer, a new position at the company. Cummins, director and chief executive officer of the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT) at Georgia Tech, will join Equifax April 15, 2000.

“Equifax is a powerful brand,” Chapman said. “And Mike is the marketing expert and strategist our company needs to grow our brand, technology, products and services in new directions, especially in the Internet and customer relationship management businesses. Mike is a strong leader with broad knowledge of the Internet, telecommunications and public policy that will propel our key strategic initiatives.”

“Equifax’s technology and information management capabilities are two best kept secrets,” Cummins said. “Equifax offers a unique combination of the resources and maturity of an established company coupled with Tom’s ‘new economy’ vision for its future.”

Prior to joining GCATT and Georgia Tech, Cummins was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a member of the marketing faculty at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Before coming to Emory, Cummins served as the Associate Dean for External Relations and Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems at the University of Miami School of Business, where he founded the Master’s Program in Management Institute.

Cummins’ earlier career included a range of experiences spanning the three sectors of academia, business, and government. These included an appointment as Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, serving as the Director of Strategic Planning for the international telecommunications satellite consortium, INTELSAT, and leading the development of a deregulation policy initiative for international telecommunications while Director of the International Facilities Planning Division at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC.

Cummins received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Northwestern University.

Equifax ( ), a worldwide leader in shaping global commerce, brings buyers and sellers together through its information management, transaction processing and customer relationship management businesses. Atlanta-based Equifax serves the financial services, retail, credit card, transportation, telecommunications/utilities, information technology and healthcare industries and government. Equifax adds knowledge, expertise, convenience and security to provide value-added solutions and processes for its customers wherever they do business, including the Internet and other networks. Equifax employs more than 13,000 associates in 17 countries with sales in almost 50 and has $1.8 billion in revenue.


Bangkok Transit Cards

Cubic Transportation Systems, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corporation has launched a new mass transit fare collection system in Bangkok.

Cubic designed, built and installed the new system under a $23.7 million contract awarded three years ago by Siemens Transportation Group, the prime contractor for Bangkok’s mass transit rail system. The system utilizes Cubic’s most advanced magnetic ticketing technology for stored-value fare cards, which can be used over and over again simply by reloading value, and single journey tickets, favored by tourists and other non-commuters.

“The Bangkok project strengthens our presence in the Far East,” said Steve Shewmaker, senior vice president, business development for Cubic Transportation Systems. “It’s an example of Cubic’s global position as a technology leader and our commitment to meeting our customers’ unique fare collection requirements.”

Cubic delivered and installed 539 major pieces of fare collection equipment for the Bangkok system, including ticket issuing machines, barrier gates, station computers and analyzer/dispensers for agent booking offices. At the heart of the fare collection system is the Cubic-designed central computer, which integrates all the station equipment to a central source for revenue and data management.

Cubic’s other Far East projects include fare collection systems for Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. The leading systems integrator in advanced magnetic and contactless smart card ticketing systems, Cubic’s customers include many of the world’s largest transit operators, including New York, London, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Seoul and Sydney.

The new Bangkok metro system, built by the Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Ltd., is the largest 100-percent privately financed turnkey metro project in the world. Built on an elevated track, the new Bangkok Transit System operates two lines that utilize 23 stations covering 14.5 miles (23.5 km).