Polaroid to Use Eltron

Zebra Technologies Corporation, leading manufacturer of plastic card printers and thermal bar code printers, and Polaroid Corporation announced that they have entered into an OEM agreement for Zebra’s Eltron card printers to be a component of the new Polaroid System 75, the new low-cost and easy-to-use digital ID badge making system.

This system allows a customer to quickly and easily design a photo identification badge on a personal computer. The System 75 can capture a picture, print two to three ID badges a minute, and create and maintain an image database and registry. Polaroid will market the on-demand imaging and printing package where there is an increasing need for security and instant identification such as schools and small- and medium-sized businesses.

“Our OEM relationship with Zebra is based on the strength of the Eltron card printer reputation and the exceptional technology and design. Together, we can aggressively expand and build the commercial marketplace,” said Karl R. LaPan, head of Polaroid’s North American Commercial ID and Ventures Group.

Donald Skinner, president of Eltron Card Printer Products, said “Our partnership with Polaroid is a very significant one. Polaroid is the worldwide leader in instant imaging. This is a great opportunity for Polaroid and Zebra to work together. Through this alliance we will be able to bring instant issue card personalization to a greater audience.”

The Polaroid System 75 is comprised of Polaroid PDC digital camera, Polaroid ID Card Maker Imaging Software and the Polaroid 75 Color Card Printer. Eltron Card Printer Products is supplying the Polaroid 75, a custom OEM color card printer. The two companies plan to continue expanding the initial product offering with additional card printer models in the future.

Polaroid has been producing driver’s licenses and identification cards for more than 25 years using both photographic and digital systems. Polaroid currently produces digital driver’s licenses in states including California, Texas, Georgia and West Virginia. Internationally, Polaroid produces identification documents for governments in more than 60 countries including Brazil, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, the Philippines, Mexico, Botswana, and Saudi Arabia.

Polaroid Corporation, with annual sales of approximately $1.8 billion, is the worldwide leader in instant imaging. Polaroid supplies instant photographic cameras and films; digital imaging hardware, software and media; secure identification systems; sunglasses and polarizers to markets worldwide. For more information about Polaroid, visit [http://www.polaroid.com][1].

Zebra Technologies Corporation manufactures and distributes Zebra- and Eltron-brand on-demand bar code label printers, secure ID printing systems and plastic card printers used in automatic identification and plastic card personalization applications worldwide. The company also offers software and related supplies, including more than 300 label and ribbon combinations. Zebra’s customers include more than 70 percent of the FORTUNE 500. The company’s stock is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ZBRA. Information about Zebra Technologies Corporation can be found at [http://www.zebra.com][2]. The Eltron card printer site is located at [http://www.eltroncards.com][3].

[1]: http://www.polaroid.com/
[2]: http://www.zebra.com/
[3]: http://www.eltroncards.com/


Associates Oil Cards

Associates reported yesterday that its oil card portfolio grew 40% last year to 11 million oil card accounts. At year-end 1999, Associates had $11.7 billion in credit card outstandings compared to $10.3 billion for Dec 31, 1998. Credit card delinquency (60+ day) dropped from 4.73% to 4.17% during 1999. Card chargeoffs also dropped from 7.38% to 7.07% last year. For current and historical financial statistics on Associates visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


Disclosure Amendment

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote overwhelmingly next Tuesday to pass a bankruptcy reform bill. However yesterday, Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md) successfully pushed through an amendment requiring credit card issuers to warn cardholders about the costs associated with paying just the minimum amount due each month. Under the Sarbanes amendment, card issuers would be required to inform cardholders, via the monthly statement, how long it would take to pay-off the existing balance by making the minimum payments. Prior to the Sarbanes amendment, the Senate bill required credit card issuers to merely list a toll-free number for more consumer information. The prior amendment also did not require card issuers to specifically state that information pertaining to projected credit costs was available. It was unclear yesterday whether the Sarbanes amendment would make it through the process of reconciling the Senate and House versions of the bankruptcy reform legislation.


Schlumberger Acquires telweb

Schlumberger Test & Transactions, a unit of Schlumberger Limited announced that it has acquired 100% of the capital stock of telweb, inc., a Canadian start-up. This acquisition positions Schlumberger in the fast-growing domain of web-based e-commerce and information networking. This is a logical step in the evolution towards smart-card enabled secure e-business.

Headquartered in Qu©bec, Canada, telweb is a pioneer of Internet accessibility with its WebPayphone Network’ and has already secured several major public Internet portal installations. Deployment of its system has begun in the City of Calgary and at a major European Airport. Focused on today’s business traveler and daily commuter, the public Internet portals provide a resource that allows users to quickly conduct secure transactions and communications without a PC. Real time merchandising is enabled via credit and smart card transactions in a secure network environment. Target environments include airports, hotels, business communities and municipalities. In conjunction with telecom providers, the systems will support local content and revenue models.

“This acquisition further positions Schlumberger in the secure information and e-commerce transactions domain,’ stated Irwin Pfister, executive vice president, Schlumberger Test & Transactions. ‘Combining telweb’s offerings with world-class Schlumberger information security technology and smart card leadership, we are now uniquely positioned to deliver a seamless and ubiquitous solution for the world’s most active airports and travel terminals. Our approach will ensure delivery of customer convenience through a uniform ‘look and feel’ promoting ease of use and access while conducting secure Internet-based transactions, globally.”

The broad relationships Schlumberger enjoys with global telecom providers and Internet access leaders will ensure best-of-breed content and Internet services. The acquisition reflects the continued commitment of Schlumberger to the delivery of integrated solutions which leverage its far-reaching technological leadership and proximity to its customers. “We are excited to be part of Schlumberger,’ stated Stephan Lepage, president, telweb. ‘Schlumberger is the only global leader able to offer a wide range of solutions based on expertise in smart card technology, corporate networks and information security.”


eBanker USA.com Cards

eVision USA.Com, Inc., an integrated online solutions provider, announced the launch of a new financial services web portal by its subsidiary, eBanker USA.com, Inc. ([www.ebankerusa.com][1]).

eBanker is an online financial services corporation with the mission of identifying and serving high-margin, financial market niches. The eBanker web portal is designed to provide individuals and corporations with convenient, online access to capital in the form of customized financial products and services.

“The rapid consolidation in the financial services industry has left many consumer and corporate needs underserved and often ignored. We believe that the launch of the eBanker portal will enable us to become a leader in the alternative financial solutions marketplace,” stated Fai H. Chan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of eVision.

eBanker will initially offer six customized financial products and services:

— eBanker Customized Corporate Financing — offers emerging or established, public or private, companies convenient access to much needed financing in the form of short-term bridge loans. Interest is charged at competitive interest rates in exchange for equity participation.

— The eBanker Corporate Credit Card — offers qualifying public companies substantial lines of credit in the convenient form of a major credit card.

— The eBanker Global Secured Credit Card — offers individuals that lack a favorable credit history the ability to rapidly establish a positive credit profile while enjoying all of the benefits of a major credit card.

— eBanker Share Financing — offers large block shareholders such as corporations, corporate officers, directors, and other investors that qualify, credit secured by their sometimes illiquid stock portfolios.

— eBanker Bond Financing — offers institutions and qualified investors credit secured by their rated or un-rated bond portfolios.

— eBanker Property Development Financing — offers financing for the acquisition and construction of condominiums, housing divisions and commercial buildings with interest charged at competitive interest rates in exchange for profit participation.

As eBanker progresses towards its goal of becoming a world-class financial services web portal, it intends to diversify its product lines and expand its services globally. Future versions of the eBanker web portal will include: additional customized financial solutions; free and premium financial information; valuable financial tools, planning information and educational materials; and extensive links to financial service providers around the world.

eVision is an integrated online solutions provider. eVision’s consolidated subsidiaries and significant equity investments operate within five distinct divisions: eFinance, eServices, eCommunications, eInformation, and eMedical.

eBanker is a 29% owned consolidated subsidiary of eVision.

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


Smart Card Gift Certificates

Neighborhood Box Office, Inc., an industry leader of gift certificate sales and distribution services for affiliated shopping malls and retails announced this week its agreement to license smart card technology from Phoenix, Arizona based Touch Technology International, a leading provider of smart card solution software.

Under the terms of the agreement, NBO will use “CardTouch”, TTI’s smart card and back-office software, to offer gift certificates on smart cards for its customers. Advantages of using smart cards instead of paper or magnetic stripe card gift certificates include the ability to purchase and redeem using smart cards over the Internet, and to offer customer loyalty programs on the same cards.

“With their ease of use and multifunctionality, smart cards are becoming increasingly popular with retailers and consumers alike,” said Steve Smith, TTI’s vice president, product marketing. “TTI is excited to help NBO harness the power of smart cards for their broad customer base.”

Known for its flexibility and security, CardTouch has been implemented in a wide variety of smart card markets, including retail, military, corporate, university campuses, and transportation. CardTouch software provides comprehensive capability for automated back-end functions, including settlement, funds pool management and funds movement, which previously required manual efforts.

“By offering gift certificates on smart cards NBO continues to meet the needs of our customers today and tomorrow,” said Luther Perkins, NBO’s executive vice president. “Our research indicates smart cards will take off in the months to come and TTI’s advanced technology positions us for future growth.”

About TTI

TTI provides software products and systems integration services for smart card implementations. Since its inception in 1991, TTI’s sole focus has been the smart card industry. The company employs 65 people covering the full complement of smart card disciplines. For more information on TTI, CardTouch and other TTI products visit [http://www.touchtechnology.com][1].

About NBO

NBO was organized in 1994 for the purpose of developing, marketing, owning and operating transactional-based kiosks, which currently sell gift certificates. NBO’s proprietary Gift Certificate and Ticketing Software System has been developed with state-of-the-art technology. NBO’s future lies in firmly establishing itself as a leader in gift certificate/card sales and distribution systems. The addition of smart card technology to NBO’s products offers unlimited possibilities for NBO’s current and future clients. For more information on NBO visit [http://www.nbo.com][2].

[1]: http://www.touchtechnology.com/
[2]: http://www.nbo.com/


Gemplus Infusion

Texas Pacific Group, an international private equity firm, announced Wednesday it has agreed to invest between $300 and $500 million in equity into Gemplus. Gemplus says it will use the new capital to dramatically expand the company’s presence in the wireless communications, e-commerce, and Internet security markets. Gemplus says its smart card solutions will be the key enabling technology in ‘3rd Generation’ wireless networks. Gemplus also estimates it has more than a 40% market share of the GSM market.


Trintech Hires Shea and Harte

Trintech announced the appointment of Kevin Shea and John Harte to key executive positions in the company, reporting into the CEO, John McGuire. Trintech’s growth and potential prompted Kevin C. Shea, former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at National Data Corporation, to join as Chief Operating Officer of Trintech Group PLC. He will also serve on the Board of Directors of Trintech. Mr Shea’s move follows the appointment late last year of John Harte, former Chief Executive Officer and President of NeoVista Software, Inc, a developer of enterprise business intelligence software, to the position of Executive Vice President of global sales, marketing and services. The many years of high-tech experience brought by Mr. Shea and Mr. Harte round out Trintech’s executive management team in its San Mateo headquarters.

“This is a very exciting time for Trintech as we continue to develop our business globally,” says John McGuire, CEO at Trintech. “Our tremendous growth and ongoing success requires a team of talented and seasoned professionals to ensure that we develop both the scalable business infrastructure and key business relationships required to attain and support our growth objectives. Both Kevin and John provide the optimum balance of experience and vision necessary to compete in today’s e-commerce environment.”

Kevin Shea joins Trintech as Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for managing all product lines on a global basis and key operational functions within the company. Mr. Shea brings a wealth of payment experience and operational skills to the role. Prior to Trintech, Mr. Shea served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at National Data Corporation, a leading provider of information services for health care and electronic commerce markets with $750 million in revenue. In his role at National Data Corporation, Mr. Shea was responsible for business strategy and the company’s merger and acquisition strategy. Prior to serving as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Shea was Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Payment Systems Business line. Mr. Shea was also responsible for corporate and business operating plans and functional financial support. Prior to joining National Data Corporation in 1987, Mr. Shea worked as chief operating officer and principal at First Interstate Bancorp subsidiary where he was responsible for assessing business opportunities for the holding company. Mr. Shea worked also at Citicorp for nine years and was responsible for managing various merchant and consumer payment operations.

John Harte joins Trintech as Executive Vice President of global sales, marketing and services. In this role, Mr. Harte will have group-wide responsibility for all sales and marketing programs across the company, as well as managing the professional services and customer support organizations. Mr. Harte comes to Trintech after holding the position of President and CEO of NeoVista Software, Inc since 1996. At NeoVista, Mr. Harte established the company as a premier supplier of business intelligence software, gaining high visibility in the market with marquee accounts such as Wal*Mart, State Farm, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Morgan Stanley, and J C Penney. Prior to NeoVista, Mr. Harte was Vice President of worldwide sales, marketing and services with Alliant Computer Systems.

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech Group PLC is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for card-based transactions in the physical world and over the Internet. The company offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and SET? compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIX® and Windows NT? platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94003 (Tel: 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel: 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at [http://www.trintech.com][1].

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


FDC & Yclip.com

First Data has taken an equity position in Yclip.com Inc., an Internet advertising technology and information systems company. The alliance will combine First Data’s merchant processing platforms with Yclip.com’s advertising technology and expertise. The two companies will jointly create and deliver online promotional tools to consumer communities as well as incentive-related information and tools to Internet content providers. These web-based technology solutions will enable merchants to extend offers to online consumers in the form of credit card incentives, without the need for consumers to print a coupon. FDC will own 16% of Yclip. The new services will be available by summer.


PHH MasterCard to Wright Express

Avis Rent A Car, Inc., announced that the Company has transferred the commercial MasterCard program developed by PHH Vehicle Management Services to Wright Express. The transfer is in line with Avis’ strategic goal to pursue synergies between operating units.

In 1997, PHH Vehicle Management Services introduced the industry’s first integrated MasterCard-branded payment solution for fleet, travel, entertainment, and purchasing expenses. The product experienced dramatic growth by giving corporate users the first real-time, Internet-based management information system merging all spending categories into a single data warehouse.

According to Mark E. Miller, President of Avis’ Vehicle Management Services Group, “Our commercial MasterCard program has made great strides based on the competitive advantage of its functionality and management information system. Wright Express is a world-class card organization with over 20,000 corporate clients and over 2.5 million cards in service growing at over 30% annually. This combination is a natural progression for Wright Express, adding a powerful new product offering to its toolkit of solutions for helping companies manage expenses.”

The transfer of the commercial MasterCard program to Wright Express took effect January 1, 2000. Conversion of the portfolio will be completed by mid-year. The company has approximately 4 million cards in circulation, which is second only to American Express.

About the Program

This innovative, multi-purpose corporate MasterCard program was developed and marketed by PHH’s Cendant Business Services division over the past three years.

The MasterCard program covers travel and entertainment, purchasing, and fleet expenses. It offers industry-leading functionality based on the MasterCard platform, expense management capability, and financial allocation tools.

Comprehensive, integrated information is delivered to clients via the Internet. For the MasterCard program, Wright Express will now have available the same data warehousing/Internet technology that has netted PHH numerous awards and recognition, including recently being named one of Information Week’s top 100 E-commerce applications. Clients have online reporting, cardholder access, query and account maintenance capabilities at their fingertips any time, from any Internet browser on virtually a real-time basis.

About Wright Express

Wright Express, an Avis Company, currently offers a wide range of vehicle-based commercial fleet cards to control fleet expenses for fuel and vehicle parts and services. The addition of the MasterCard program represents a significant expansion of Wright Express’ line of purchasing and financial management products.

Wright Express Financial Services Company, an Industrial Loan Corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Wright Express, will be the issuing bank for the MasterCard products. Wright Express will support program operations, client servicing, product strategy and development, and sales and marketing.

In addition to strategic and direct sales efforts, Wright Express will make these products available to the company’s existing Co-brand and Private Label partners and Universal Fleet card customers as well as its new partners and customers.

Michael Dubyak, President and CEO of Wright Express, says, “This move provides Wright Express with a full array of commercial card products for its customers and partners. Now, in addition to our core vehicle card program, we can offer a fleet, or a partner’s fleet, a driver card solution, and even capabilities to manage their corporation’s purchasing and T&E requirements. No one else can offer the options and flexibility that Wright Express does for full, commercial card capabilities”.

Wright Express is a leading provider of information management, payment processing and financial services to car, van and truck fleets throughout the United States. The Wright Express Universal Fleet Card is the industry’s most widely accepted electronic universal fleet card. In addition to its own card, Wright Express supports private label cards for 29 oil companies and cobranded cards for 27 card partners.

Avis is one of the world’s leading providers of comprehensive automotive transportation and vehicle management solutions, with strengths in car rental, vehicle leasing, and vehicle management services. Avis operates the second largest general-use car rental business in the world, with locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Latin American Caribbean region. Avis operates the vehicle management and fuel card businesses through three separate units: PHH North America, PHH Europe and Wright Express. The services of these units consist of vehicle leasing and a broad range of vehicle related fee-based services. The Company manages a fleet of approximately 1 million vehicles and has over 4 million fuel and maintenance cards outstanding. Annually, on a pro forma basis, the Company generates approximately $4.0 billion in total revenue.


Oberthur & MasterCard

Oberthur Card Systems announced Wednesday it will support the entire family of MasterCard payment products, including ‘MasterCard Credit’ and ‘Debit’, ‘Maestro’, ‘Mondex’ and ‘M/Chip’, MasterCard’s chip-based integrated credit/debit application in mobile commerce. Under terms of the joint marketing and development agreement, Oberthur will enhance its ‘SIMphonIC’ and ‘ConnectIC’ card products to enable acceptance of MasterCard payment products.The agreement also includes provisions to support mobile commerce pilots in more than seven countries to demonstrate the ease, flexibility and security of mobile transactions. ‘ConnectIC’ is the world’s first ‘Wireless Application Protocol’ enabled smart card. ‘SIMphonIC’ is the most standardized ‘SIM Application Toolkit’ card on the market.