Centura Lands Navy Contract

Corporation, leader of secure, embedded micro and e-business databases and development solutions for Internet Appliances and intelligent devices, announced Wednesday that it has been awarded a Smart Card contract under the guidance of the Department of the Navy’s Chief Information Officer Smart Card Office (DON CIO SCO). The contract calls for Centura Software to assist the Department of the Navy with its Smart Card Initiative. The use of Smart Card technology is viewed as critical to the success of this effort and provides secure access to existing applications combined with the ability to extend this access to the Internet and information appliances.

The DON CIO SCO is leading an effort that addresses the Department of the Navy’s strategic goal to reduce administrative overhead while increasing the Department’s overall readiness. Tony Cieri, director, Department of The Navy states, “Smart Card Technology is not only about Smart Cards, it’s about the revolution in business affairs and the processes that effect the changes taking place in the virtual realm of E-commerce and e-services. The Department of the Navy has long been on the cutting edge of this technology and is the lead service for the Department of Defense. The positive results of this technology will only serve to further enhance the overall readiness of the Department.”

“We believe that with our background in secure databases, Internet solutions, and our experience in server-centric computing — secure access via smart cards, will help the Navy ensure that their strategic goals can enable the Navy to achieve its stated objectives.” States Scott Broomfield, chairman and chief executive officer of Centura Software. “We are pleased to be supporting the DON CIO SCO as they deploy smart card technology to the Department of the Navy.”

About the DON CIO SCO:

The mission of the DON CIO SCO:

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 SEC. 346.

USE OF SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. Not later than October 1, 1999, the Secretary of Defense shall designate the Department of the Navy to be the lead agency for the development and implementation of a Smart Card program for the Department of Defense effective as of the date of the designation.

Not later than November 30, 1999, the Secretary of the Navy shall establish a business plan to implement the use of Smart Cards in one major Naval region of the continental United States that is in the area of operations of the United States Atlantic Command and one major Naval region of the continental United States that is in the area of operations of the United States Pacific Command. The regions selected shall include a major Fleet concentration area. The implementation of the use of Smart Cards in each region shall cover the Navy and Marine Corps bases and all non-deployed units in the region. The Secretary of the Navy shall submit the business plan to the congressional defense committees.

About Centura Software:

Headquartered in Redwood Shores, CA, Centura is a leading provider of secure embedded database, connectivity and development solutions for the Internet Appliance and intelligent devices marketplace. Centura’s product offerings address the growing demand for complete and secure integration capabilities, which enable successful mobile computing. Developers and IT decision makers worldwide have relied on Centura’s rich and innovative technology offerings and its world-class professional services since 1984. The company integrates their solutions in various business systems worldwide including the healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications and financial industries. Centura has 19 offices worldwide, including locations in North America, Latin America, Asia/Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For more information about Centura, visit [http://www.centurasoft.com][1].

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


Alfa Bank Licenses TPII

IFS International, Inc. Wednesday announced that Alfa Bank, a major Moscow, Russia-based banking corporation, licensed IFS’ TPII product to manage its network of Automatic Teller Machines, Point of Sale terminals and payment card systems. The Banking Production Centre (BPC), IFS’ authorized distributor in the Russian Federation, will serve as the prime contractor on the project, overseeing the installation and certification of the system. The TPII software will run on Stratus hardware and will drive a network of devices accepting Visa, Europay, Union Card, American Express, Diners, and JCB cards throughout the Russian Federation.

Vladimir Izoutin, Head of Alfa Bank Card Division, justified the bank’s choice as, “Alfa Bank proved itself to be a leading player on the post-crisis plastic card market in Russia. The growing earnings on business volumes allow us to plan strategic investments in modern technology in order to secure our leadership in long term. The choice of the TPII solution is a result of a tender to participate in which we invited all the internationally recognizable suppliers. Our decision in favor of TPII and IFS is based on two major factors — TPII is a proven innovative product designed with new millennium technology trends in mind, and IFS — is a company who has demonstrated its strong commitment to the Russian market even when the times were not so easy.”

Anatoly Loginov, Executive Director of BPC, commented, “Alfa Bank is the first major Russian Banking Corporation to purchase a payment card system since the melt down of the Russian economy. Given the increasing strength of the economy, it is no surprise to us that they selected IFS’ TPII solution to enhance the quality and range of services that they are currently offering their customers.”

David Hodge, CEO and President of IFS International, stated, “IFS is pleased to become associated with another Russian Federation bank. Once again, the partnership between IFS and BPC is providing major banks with the ability to extend their service offerings and leverage existing technologies to compete in the global marketplace. Furthermore, it is clear that our ‘global team’ initiative, that allows for firms like BPC to provide local support for TPII in foreign markets, continues to meet and even exceed local market requirements.”

IFS International, Inc. and Network Controls International, Inc. are divisions of IFS International, Inc., which has headquarters in the USA and subsidiary offices in the USA, UK, Singapore, Australia, and Germany.

IFS International, Inc. develops, markets, and supports software products for the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) market. IFS International’s TPII suite of software products provide support for Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), Point of Sale (POS), network switches, smart-card, card management, bank teller platform, home banking and call-center solutions. NCI, Inc. provides complementary products, such as NCI Business Centre, an enterprise-wide retail bank branch solution designed to deliver traditional and Internet/Intranet based transactions.

IFS securities are traded on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market: IFSH Common Stock; IFSHW Redeemable Common Stock Purchase Warrants.



VISA USA and ClaimCard announced a partnership this morning. Through the partnership, ClaimCard will be the VISA ‘TravelMoney’ processor, and will work with VISA ‘Check Card’ and ‘Interlink’ issuers to develop stored value cards. VISA says it has identified several emerging markets that are ready for stored-value solutions. These include medical, insurance, campus-marketing, public benefits, payroll and travel & entertainment. VISA and ClaimCard also indicated this morning they will announce a partnership with one of the country’s premier travel associations shortly. Through the agreement, ClaimCard’s exclusive brand for PIN-based point-of-sale processing will be ‘Interlink’.


Beindorff Quits VISA

The exodus of top talent at VISA continues this morning with the news that Michael Beindorff is leaving to head an Internet healthcare startup. The news also comes on the heels of VISA’s reorganization which was announced yesterday. Beindorff served as VISA’s EVP of marketing and product management for the past four years and was named two weeks ago to be the president and CEO of VISA’s new Internet unit, e-VISA. South San Francisco-based PlanetRx.com said this morning that Mr. Beindorff will serve as EVP and COO. The Internet healthcare company operates it own pharmacy and distribution center in Memphis, TN. The company says Beindorff will lead the firm’s charge to build brand awareness among the crowded e-health market. Prior to joining VISA, Mr. Beindorff spent 15 years with the Coca-Cola Company where he held a variety of positions including vice president, director of marketing and vice president, director of advertising for Coca-Cola USA. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Purpletie.com and on the Board of Advisors for Bamboo.com.


Fleet Card Competition

Competition among fleet cards for the trucking industry got a shot in the arm yesterday as the FTC and Ceridian reached a settlement over Ceridian’s recent acquisitions. The settlement was reached with Ceridian Corp. and its subsidiary Comdata Holdings Corp. over the acquisitions of NTS Corp. and Trendar Corp. At the time they were acquired, NTS was Comdata’s most significant competitor in the fleet card market and Trendar owned the dominant point of sale system by which truck stops accept fleet card transactions. Under the terms of the settlement, Ceridian would grant licenses to other providers of these systems to process transactions using its fleet cards, and would also grant licenses to other fleet card issuers that want to process their cards through the company’s Trendar system. For three years, Comdata would be required to grant a 10-year license to the Trendar system to new and existing fleet card issuers. Comdata would also be required to refer licensees to a third-party developer approved by the Commission, which would perform all programming or other services necessary to enable the licensees to process transactions on the Trendar system. For three years, Comdata would also be required to grant a 10-year license to fuel purchase desk automation system suppliers currently processing the Comdata’s fleet cards, as well as to the first three new system providers that request a license. Licenses granted to new system providers would be transferrable, so if a better-positioned entrant emerges in the future, it can acquire a license. To help prevent the flow of confidential information obtained from Comdata’s competitors between the company’s fleet card and fuel purchase desk automation system businesses, Comdata would be prohibited from transferring any nonpublic information obtained by these businesses between one another.


Behavioral Insights

Finding revolving cardholders made get easier for card issuers. Equifax introduced Equifax ‘Behavioral Insights’ yesterday, one of two new products from the Equifax ‘Dimensions’ knowledge management platform that is designed to facilitate a better understanding of consumer credit utilization patterns to significantly enhance credit marketing programs. Equifax ‘Behavioral Insights’ provides improved modeling and segmentation using time-series credit trend data. ‘Behavioral Insights’ provides four sets of data attributes based on solutions to common business issues: Propensity to Revolve, Balance Tracking, Mortgage Refinance and Usage and Loyalty.


Bluefly VISA/MC

Bluefly, Inc. and First USA announced Wednesday the formation of a five year strategic marketing alliance through which First USA will offer a Bluefly-branded VISA or MasterCard credit card. Bluefly is an Internet retailer of designer fashions and home furnishings at outlet store prices. First USA is the first third-party marketer to be offered promotional space on Bluefly.com. Under the terms of the agreement Bluefly will receive a fee for each card issued under the agreement. Since its launch in Sep.1998, Bluefly.com has quickly grown into one of the most heavily trafficked apparel shopping destinations on the Internet, with the Web site’s unique visitor sessions growing to 5.1 million during the second quarter of 1999, up from 2.1 million during the first quarter of 1999 and 1.1 million during the fourth quarter of 1998.


Petro-Canada Wireless Soars

Petro-Canada’s new portable terminals are speeding up credit card transactions, adding security and enabling customers to use Interac debit cards without leaving their cars.

The first major gasoline marketer in Canada to introduce wireless technology, Petro-Canada has rolled out secure portable payment terminals at many Ontario full-serve outlets this past summer. The wireless terminal is the only handheld point of sale device available in Canada that is both Interac approved and certified Intrinsically Safe to meet the special needs of the petroleum sector. The terminal was co-developed with WANN Connection Devices Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.

“Debit cards are the fastest-growing payment choice for our customers,” says Nigel Hill, Vice-President, Marketing. “We are enhancing service by enabling customers to authorize debit transactions from the convenience of their cars, without having to go into the station to enter their PIN number”.

“Additional security is guaranteed for both debit and credit cards, because the customer controls the transaction and never loses sight of their card,” Hill says.

Hill says Petro-Canada has responded to the customers’ need for added convenience. “It didn’t make sense to provide full attendant service and then ask the driver to walk into the station to authorize the payment or to wait for the attendant to go and process a credit card transaction. With this new technology, we get our customers back on the road fast.”

The new system will also award Petro-Points, so customers can earn points towards great rewards.

After a year of pilot testing, this summer Petro-Canada has trained staff and rolled out the wireless system in Ontario. It plans to extend its wireless credit and debit card terminals across the country later in 1999.

Headquartered in Calgary, Petro-Canada is one of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies, operating in both the upstream and the downstream sectors of the industry. With a coast-to-coast network of close to 1700 retail outlets, Petro-Canada and its more than 4,500 employees are committed to giving back to the community in the areas of environmental sustainability, education and the arts. Petro-Canada’s common and variable voting shares trade on Canadian stock exchanges under the symbol PCA, and its variable voting shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PCZ.



Total System Services announced last night a ten-year agreement with Bank of America to continue processing its credit card portfolio until 2009. The new agreement extends the existing agreement by two years and includes the card portfolios of Bank of America and NationsBank which merged in 1998. TSYS says BofA was its first client to convert to ‘TS2’. The company expects its continued processing of the Bank of America portfolio to produce a net profit margin consistent with its historical net profit margins. TSYS processes more than 196.7 million accounts for an estimated 275.3 million cardholders worldwide.


VISA Reorganization

VISA International voted yesterday to break itself into two business units: “central operation” and “shared services”. The central operation will focus on VISA’s global business strategy, worldwide payment platforms and brand protection. The shared services unit will provide transaction processing and systems services to VISA members. VISA also decided to shift product development and marketing to its six regional units. VISA says the restructuring will make VISA more cost-efficient and cost-effective in meeting the needs of its member banks. The move also comes in response to members’ demands that VISA turn over more control, especially product development, to its members to better meet local and regional competition.


Pet Blessing Card

Forget the pet just bring your card. A new e-card was announced yesterday by AmericanCatholic.org , web site of the Franciscan publisher St. Anthony Messenger Press in anticipation of the annual feast of St. Francis, Oct 4. The patron saint of animals is St. Francis of Assisi. Pet blessing ceremonies will be held at churches around the world this weekend. The ‘Pet Blessing’ e-cards allow people who can’t bring their pet to church a way to bless Fido at home. St. Anthony Messenger Press is publisher of St. Anthony Messenger, a 340,000 circulation national, Catholic family magazine.



Air Travel Card announced Tuesday a partnership with QSP Inc. and National Processing called ‘InControl’. Utilizing QSP software with NPC as the processor, ‘InControl’ is the first system to provide airlines with a complete outsourcing solution for their ‘Air Travel Card’ billing needs. ‘InControl’ is a comprehensive service which processes ‘Air Travel Card’ receivables and account billing information. ‘InControl’ has multiple advantages over competitive products which include: cross-platform architecture, which allows it to run natively on both the mainframe and client/server environments commonly in use by airlines; full service outsourcing capabilities; interline accounting and settlement processing and international VAT tax calculation capabilities.