First USA Fallout

Bank One confirmed yesterday that First USA’s chairman and CEO, Richard Vague, has resigned. The news follows the release of Bank One’s latest earnings report which revealed that sluggish growth in the First USA card division is dragging on Bank One’s earnings. Bank One says the company will continue to be highly focused on stabilizing returns at First USA. The First USA problems involve marketing, pricing and customer issues. In response to Vague’s decision to leave, Bill Boardman has been elected chairman and head of First USA. The Bank One board of directors also announced yesterday that Verne Istock will become president of Bank One. John McCoy has also been elected chairman while continuing to serve as CEO of Bank One. The First USA executive management team, which has been together for some time, has been coming apart. In May, Randy Christofferson resigned as president of First USA Bank.

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ChargeBack Defender

PA-based riskwise.com has introduced a tool that helps e-commerce merchants identify customers who are using a stolen card, have a history of not paying for products, are abusive of product returns or have a propensity for family fraud (unauthorized purchases by children). ‘ChargeBack Defender’ offers: access to more than 50 databases containing more than two billion consumer records; proprietary models designed to accurately predict the risk associated with a first-time transaction without the need to depend on purchasing history of a specific customer; predictive results in an average of two seconds or less; and the industry’s lowest false/positive rate due to riskwise.com’s multiple databases used for each individual identifier that instantly verify any discrepancies suspected during the transaction. riskwise.com is run by Paul Fichtman.

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Equifax 3Q/99

Equifax Payment Services posted a strong third quarter. Payment Services, which operates globally through Card Solutions and Check Solutions, increased revenue 23% to $175.1 million for 3Q/99. The revenue increase in Payment Services was driven primarily by merchant and card processing in U.S. Card Solutions, the card services business in Brazil, and the new U.K. card processing operations. Check Solutions was also a significant contributor with a revenue increase of 17% as this business continues to grow both domestically and internationally. Operating income for Payment Services of $34.8 million increased 26.3% due to the continued strong performance of both Card Solutions and Check Solutions. For more details on Equifax’s 3Q/99 visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ATM Ads

Diebold, Card Capture Services, and FL-based iATM have launched a targeted advertising campaign with a major pharmaceutical company to promote over-the-counter products on ATM screens on 141 Diebold ‘CSP200’ ATMs located in Rite-Aid stores nationwide. The three-month pilot may be expanded to include additional ATMs in other high traffic retail locations. Three screens, each promoting a different over-the-counter product, will be displayed during the pilot program. Displays will occur during the welcome stage, when a cardholder approaches the machine, and during the transaction stage. The companies expect to deliver 200,000 ad impressions during the three month trial. A special discount coupon complete with unique bar code, will be delivered to every user during each transaction. In order to manage the ‘CSP200’ terminals, Diebold utilized ‘CSP Manager’, a remote host.

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MBNA & Scientific American

MBNA America Bank and Scientific American magazine announced Tuesday Scientific American’s sponsorship of MBNA’s credit card services for its readers.

Scientific American is a leading publication of science and technology, providing information on current advances in medicine, computer technology, and transportation. It serves more than 500,000 professionals.

The partnership with Scientific American adds to the more than 1,300 professional groups that sponsor MBNA’s credit card services, making it one of MBNA’s fastest growing sectors.

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America, N.A., a national bank, has $67.4 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.

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Diebold Acquires Brazilian IT Firm

Diebold, Incorporated announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to purchase all of the stock of Procomp Amazonia Industria Electronica, S.A. The acquisition, for a combination of cash and stock, is expected to be completed by October 31, 1999 and is anticipated to be immediately accretive.

Procomp manufactures and markets a wide array of innovative technological solutions, including personal computers, servers, software, professional services, and retail and banking automation equipment. In 1998, the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture purchased 30,000 personal computers from Procomp for use in schools nationwide. Automated teller machines (ATMs) and other self-service terminals account for approximately 50 percent of Procomp’s overall business. Diebold has supplied Procomp with internal components for the manufacture of their self-service terminals since 1991.

“The acquisition of Procomp is an important part of our globalization strategy, as it expands our presence in Latin America and enhances our position within the financial self-service niche,” said Robert W. Mahoney, chairman and chief executive officer of Diebold. “More importantly, however, Procomp’s diversity of product and scope will allow us to expand into new directions and offer a more comprehensive global product line.”

The strong management team that has more than tripled Procomp’s revenue over the last five years will remain in place. Eric Jan Roorda will stay on in the capacity of President of the Brazilian operation.

“We are very pleased with this transaction which will open new channels of distribution for Procomp throughout Latin America and beyond,” said Roorda. “Our management team’s knowledge of the Brazilian market and our diverse product line, when combined with Diebold’s international distribution channels will make for a stronger global position. By working together we can optimize our engineering, research and development capabilities to become highly competitive on a worldwide scale.”

Procomp employs nearly 2,300 employees and operates more than 150 service locations throughout Brazil. In 1998, Procomp shipped more than 11,300 self- service terminals of which 7,300 were cash dispensers and ATMs. The company reported gross sales revenue of R$ 463,000,000 (US$399,000,000).

Procomp manufactured, installed and serviced more than 160,000 electronic polling stations for use in Brazil’s national election in 1998. More than 60 million Brazilian voters were able to cast their ballots in an efficient and secure manner using Procomp technology.

“Besides manufacturing and sales capabilities, Procomp’s sizeable service organization, unparalleled in South America, will provide top-notch maintenance and support to our customers,” commented Ernesto R. Unanue, Diebold corporate vice president and managing director for Latin America. “Long term, we anticipate that the acquisition of Procomp will continue to expand our presence and product lines in South America as well as worldwide.”

Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, the company employs more than 7,000 associates in more than 135 locations worldwide with headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of US$1.2 billion in 1998 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.diebold.com][1].

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

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Scotiabank Deploys PIN Pad

IVI Checkmate Corp. announced that Scotiabank will be the first Canadian financial institution to deploy a smart card capable PIN Pad throughout Canada.

All new shipments of Scotiabank’s 2020 and 2020 Lite point-of-sale terminals (IVI Checkmate’s eN-Counter 2000 and eN-Counter 400 terminals) will include IVI Checkmate’s eN-Crypt 1200 PIN Pad. The eN-Crypt 1200 PIN Pad has all the security features of the current IVI Checkmate PIN Pad Scotiabank is using and includes the ability to accept smart cards.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Scotiabank to implement tomorrow’s technology in a seamless manner. It will provide a familiar customer interface (PIN Pad) today with the capability of handling tomorrow’s smart card based transactions, loyalty programs, electronic gift certificates and more,” said Barry Thomson, President and CEO of IVI Checkmate.

“We are really excited at Scotiabank about being the first financial institution in Canada to routinely deploy smart card capable PIN Pads. A lot of trials have taken place on the use of smart cards and many practical and viable uses for these cards will be emerging in the near future. By switching over to these PIN Pads today, we are protecting our merchants’ future by ensuring they have the first smart card capable PIN Pads and are ready to accept some of the new smart card applications under development,” said Albert Wahbe, Scotiabank’s Executive Vice-President, Electronic Banking.

The addition of the eN-Crypt 1200 PIN Pad follows closely on the footsteps of Scotiabank’s national launch of the 2020 mobile terminal solution (IVI Checkmate’s Elite 780 RF). Both provide the merchant with the ability to accept smart cards in the future for loyalty-based applications, stored value and other value-add features.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions, with more than $227 billion in assets and more than 41,000 employees worldwide. It is also Canada’s most international bank, with over 1,600 branches and offices in more than 50 countries on six continents. Scotiabank is on the World Wide Web at [www.scotiabank.ca][1].

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, travel & entertainment, 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, visit its web site at [http://www.ivicheckmate.com][2].

[1]: http://www.scotiabank.ca/
[2]: http://www.ivicheckmate.com/

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Household Ends Slump

The steady contraction in Household’s credit card portfolio ended in the third quarter according to figures released to CardData Tuesday afternoon. Household’s U.S. account base grew from 14,171,000 accounts on June 30 to 14,458,000 accounts on Sept. 30. The growth came from expansion of its Union Privilege card segment. (The figures exclude private label and U.K. card accounts.) Household’s portfolio peaked in the second quarter of 1998 with 16,950,000 accounts but declined following portfolio sales and high attrition. Meanwhile, Household’s receivables have stabilized at $12.6 billion. Household’s receivables peaked in the first quarter of 1998, hitting $17.2 billion. Overall, Household reported Tuesday the highest quarterly earnings in the company’s history. Third quarter income hit a record $399.9 million, driven largely by the outstanding performance of its HFC/Beneficial consumer finance business. The company’s managed net interest margin expanded to 8.36% from 8.31% in the second quarter and 7.92% a year ago. The sequential quarterly expansion reflected stronger pricing in the company’s bank credit card and other unsecured product lines, partially offset by higher funding costs. Managed fee income, consisting mainly of interchange income and other credit card-related fees, increased 9.5% in the third quarter. Private label receivables increased 3.6% for the third quarter. For details on Household’s 3Q/99 statistics and historical performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Schlumberger 3Q/99

Schlumberger’s Smart Cards & Terminals unit reported yesterday that 3Q/99 revenue grew 5% over 3Q/98 while orders grew about 13% during the same period. Orders for cards were led by mobile communications SIM cards in Asia and Europe, including the first ‘Simera’ Java-programmable SIM cards orders in Malaysia and Taiwan. Asian smart card sales grew largely due to the shipment of ‘Qianflex’ smart cards for several Chinese banks. European card sales increased strongly over the same period last year due to growing demand for Simera cards. Municipalities sales also rose strongly, reflecting high activity from the Paris regional transport authority and first deliveries for London’s Docklands Light Railway ticketing project. New York City also selected Schlumberger during the third quarter to provide an integrated on- and off-street parking solution that features the nation’s first centralized wireless communication capability. For more details on Schlumberger’s 3Q/99 visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Metris Promotions

Metris Companies Inc., one of the fastest growing direct marketing companies in the nation, has announced the promotion of two key executives.

Named executive vice presidents are Joe Hoffman, consumer credit marketing; and David Reak, risk management, recovery and collections. Both have been with Metris as senior vice presidents.

Hoffman joined Metris as senior vice president of consumer credit marketing in 1998. He previously held key management positions at Advanta and Citibank. He earned B.A. and M.B.A. degrees at Loyola College in Baltimore.

Reak joined Metris in 1995 as vice president of risk management. He assumed responsibility for recovery in 1998 and collections in 1999. He previously held key management positions at American Express. He earned a B.S. degree in business administration at the State University of New York at Brockport.

“Dave and Joe are strong leaders with keen understanding of our business,” said Ronald N. Zebeck, president and chief executive officer. “Their substantial contributions are helping to drive Metris’ continued growth.”

Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and fee-based services primarily to moderate income consumers. Based in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Metris also has operations in Phoenix, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; Baltimore, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. Metris employs more than 3,000 people.

Visit Metris on the Internet at [www.metriscompanies.com][1].

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

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MBNA Signs Toronto Raptors

MBNA Canada Bank announced Monday that the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association has teamed with MBNA to endorse MBNA’s credit card services for its fans.

The Raptors are the first NBA team to endorse MBNA Canada and join ten other NBA teams, including the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics that endorse MBNA.

In addition to the NBA partnerships, MBNA has endorsements from more than 600 sports organizations, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), PGA of America, and the American Quarter Horse Association.

Established in 1997, MBNA Canada has acquired more than 180 endorsements, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Canadian Football League, the Canadian Automobile Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and the Canadian Nurses Association.

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has more than $67.4 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposits, consumer loan, and insurance products.

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