Debt Loads

The July issue of Consumer Reports magazine is enlightening consumers of the total costs of revolving a $19 pizza to a ‘VISA’ card. The latest issue, released yesterday, focuses on managing debt. CU says Americans now carry debt loads equivalent to 99% of their annual disposable income, a proportion that’s nearly doubled over the past 40 years. CU says college-age kids are particularly susceptible to today’s importuning lenders and predicts about 100,000 people, under 25, will file for bankruptcy this year alone. The article entitled: “The New Rules of Borrowing,” also lays out seven strategies to help people of all ages and backgrounds borrow prudently, use credit wisely and pare down existing debt. The article also includes a table that guides would-be borrowers to the right type of loan for their needs. Consumer Reports has a loyal readership of more than five million consumers.

Details

Euro Takes Off

VISA International reported Monday that Euro payments on ‘VISA’ cards are doubling every month. Since the currency was introduced Jan. 1, VISA has processed more than one million transactions totaling 30 million Euro or about $31 million in U.S. dollars. VISA says this represents 1.35% of its total European traffic. VISA also points out that U.S. cardholders traveling in Europe accounted for nearly 2.0% of the total Euro transactions. VISA found that 13% of Euro/VISA transactions occurred among Internet, mail and phone order transactions. In Europe, cardholders in Spain, Holland and Belgium have been the most active with Euro transactions.

Details

Edify Award

Edify Corporation, a leading global provider of Internet and voice e-Commerce portal solutions, announced Monday that Frost & Sullivan, an international marketing consulting company, has honored Edify with its prestigious “Market Engineering Product Line Strategy Award.” Based on in-depth interviews and analyses of companies in the electronic funds transfer industry, Frost & Sullivan singled out Edify for making a positive contribution by being the first to offer financial institutions with a Consumer Banking Suite supporting bill presentment and bill payment capabilities.

“Such innovation and foresight continues to elevate Edify to the leadership position in the Internet banking space,” said Norvin Leong, an industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. The company’s consumer-oriented Electronic Banking System covers an array of online banking features and capabilities. This depth in feature set distinguishes Edify from the rest of the field in terms of a product line strategy.”

Edify’s Electronic Banking System (EBS) is a comprehensive direct banking solution that provides financial institutions the means to deploy personalized, content-rich electronic banking services via multiple channels including the Internet, telephone and personal financial management software. EBS Release 3 Consumer Banking Suite consists of the Electronic Banking System platform and 17 standard and optional modules — the two newest of which are Electronic CheckBook and Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment (EBPP) designed for consumer direct banking services. The EBS Release 3 modules were created as an integrated electronic delivery system that provides sophisticated billing and payment management services that work in conjunction with leading third-party consolidators including CheckFree. EBPP brings repeat traffic to the financial institution’s portal site allowing them to proactively offer content and services tailored to the customer’s needs.

“Edify’s consumer banking customers continue to demand aggressive and thorough bill presentment and payment solutions,” said Jeffrey M. Crowe, president and CEO of Edify Corporation. “The Frost & Sullivan award strongly confirms our leadership position. We will continue to innovate and offer groundbreaking products to further raise the bar and shape the direction of the online financial industry.”

In just two months since its introduction in April 1999, the Consumer Banking Suite has been licensed by over 115 financial institutions. These Edify customers range from the top 100 U.S. banks including Chase Manhattan, First Merchants and Mercantile Bank to a number of regional credit unions such as Boeing Credit Union, American Electronics Association Credit Union and Rockwell Credit Union. Edify’s Consumer Banking Suite is also used by international banks in countries such as Australia (ANZ Bank, Bendigo Bank, Macquarie Bank, BankWest), New Zealand (Countrywide) and Italy (Banca di Roma, Cassa di Risparmio Perugia) as well as Internet-only banks like NetB@ank and CompuBank.

Market Engineering Awards are based on Frost & Sullivan’s research and consulting work in the U.S. Electronic Funds Transfer Software industry in 1998. Winners are selected from an in-depth analysis of the market competitors and interviews with those companies that make up the industry. The Frost & Sullivan research management team has reviewed these awards and the criteria used to select the winners to ensure that the competition and award system are as fair as possible given the subjective nature of market analysis and competitive assessment.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan is an international marketing consulting and company that monitors the information technology industry for market trends, market measurements and strategies. This ongoing research is utilized to update a series of online research publications such as Banking, Financial and Retail Custom Subscription () and to support industry participants with customized consulting needs. Additional information about Frost & Sullivan can be obtained at .

About Edify

Edify Corporation is a global leader providing Internet and voice e-Commerce portal solutions to intelligently manage customer relationships. The company’s software offers organizations the means to automate, integrate, and personalize interactions with customers through multiple channels, yielding stronger, more profitable relationships. The company’s software has been licensed to more than 1,250 organizations worldwide. Edify software is distributed directly and through leading solutions providers, application partners and distributors around the globe. With more than 470 employees, Edify Corporation is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. with international headquarters in London, England. On May 17, 1999, Edify Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Security First Technologies of Atlanta, Georgia (Nasdaq: SONE). Additional information about Edify may be obtained by calling 408-982-2000 (USA) or +44-181-263-2710 (Europe, Middle East, Africa) or via the World Wide Web at .

Forward Looking Statements

The matters set forth in this press release, such as statements relating to EBS and the Consumer and Business Banking Suites and other products and services are forward looking and are subject to a number of risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Although on-line banking has been available in various forms for many years, there can be no assurance that consumers will accept on-line banking over the Internet or the company’s products, including EBS, in sufficient numbers to make on-line banking or the company’s products successful. In addition, given the uncertainties of software development, there can be no assurance that the company’s products will be implemented in the anticipated time frames or with the anticipated features, functionality or benefits. Further information on the important factors that could affect the results or outcomes discussed in the forward-looking statements is included in Edify’s Annual Report on the Form 10-K and its other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Details

eWallet ECML Ready

Launchpad Technologies Inc., developer of the leading shopping utility, eWallet, yesterday announced the integration of the ECML standard into their product offering. ECML, or electronic commerce modeling language, is a proposed standard for electronic wallets announced last week, endorsed by industry players such as Visa, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, America Online Inc., and others (www.ecml.org). By adding support for merchants who implement ECML eWallet maintains its leadership in providing consumers nearly universal support for their favorite online merchants.

eWallet is designed to simplify the online shopping experience. “By enabling ECML, we provide online merchants with tremendous flexibility to choose any standard they like,” said Larry Gross, CEO of Launchpad Technologies. ” eWallet is very unique in its offering because it is able to support merchants who choose to implement ECML as well as those who do not.”

Launchpad Technologies is an idealab! company founded in 1998. The company recently acquired PointCast Incorporated, a current provider of news and information services throughout the world. The combined company has over one million users and will be offering an integrated product combining e-commerce desktop tools with rich information delivery services. eWallet was launched in 1998 and currently supports over 400 online merchants, making it the most widely accepted electronic wallet available today.

Details

ICE 5000 in Brazil

Hypercom Corporation previewed an ICE 5000 interactive, touch-screen terminal device that will allow consumers throughout Brazil to access, view or print personal checking, savings or investment account information, as well as transfer or download funds to smart cards. Designed specifically for banks that want to provide fast, convenient access to their customers virtually anywhere and anytime, the compact Hypercom solution can be deployed on a large-scale basis in shopping malls, airports, train and bus stations and other high-traffic areas.

“Hypercom’s ICE 5000 banking inquiry and transfer system will for the first time allow banks to deploy compact customer banking devices virtually anywhere, and that’s a win-win for the banks and their customers,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, president, Hypercom International. “We believe this Hypercom solution will dramatically enhance consumer banking in Brazil by providing greater accessibility and convenience.”

Hypercom’s ICE 5000 banking system incorporates a powerful, multi-function touch-screen terminal with high-speed thermal printer, paper cutter, and Hypercom’s new FastPOS(TM) 9600 bits per second (bps) modem. Hypercom’s ICE 5000 provides a highly interactive and intuitive user interface that allows the support of complex transactions with minimum user training. When used in conjunction with the recently released Hypercom(R) Ascendent(TM) Server Environment, the ICE 5000 also supports online advertising and electronic signature and receipt capture, storage and retrieval.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-function point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, Ascendent(TM) payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions.

On a global basis Hypercom delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-added programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 70 countries through a global network of affiliates and offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][1].

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

Details

Paradigm Quake

A new retail banking study, to be released this morning, by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that not one single institution has fully grasped the magnitude of transformation required to become a leading retail bank in the next century. The report says most banks mistakenly see the Internet as just a futuristic delivery channel. PWC/EIU says after compiling the report, it has come to the conclusion that the Internet will revolutionize how banking business models around the world are structured, as well as drastically alter the cost structures to support all this. The Internet will change how banks communicate, both internally and externally, and how they manage employee and customer relationships. The credit card issuing business is also changing as more banks discover the lower acquisition costs of Internet generated accounts. The explosion of the Internet and real-time technology, coupled with consumer readiness to utilize these channels, has outpaced the banking industry’s delivery capabilities. PWC/EIU predicts a paradigm quake that will rattle the entire banking industry. The study notes however that U.S. banks are far ahead of European banks.

Details

Greenland Corp. Board

Greenland Corporation announced the appointment of William Randell Coleman to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Coleman is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Smart Cash ATM, the Carrolton, Texas headquartered ATM distribution corporation that recently signed a major national distribution agreement with Greenland Corporation to distribute Greenland’s automated payroll check-cashing machines.

Dr. Lou Montulli, CEO of Greenland, stated “Mr. Coleman is recognized as a leader in the electronics fund transfer industry and is considered to be one of the top national experts in retail off-premises ATM deployment. As the exclusive distributor of Greenland’s new ‘Bank-in-a-Box’, Mr. Coleman brings with him over twenty years of experience in marketing and recruiting, including extensive work with Fortune 500 companies.”

“Mr. Coleman is a valuable addition to the Board of Directors and his background in the ATM industry will be significant in establishing a strong sales and marketing force for Greenland.”

Greenland Corporation is a manufacturing corporation with existing product and product under development. The Company is currently introducing an automated payroll check-cashing machine with full ATM functionality, and money order dispensing services. Future services to be included with the machine are phone cards and advance payday loan services.

Details

Fee Feeding

According to another study, to be released next month, fee-based revenues earned by banks worldwide will surpass interest earnings within 3 years. Currently the growth in fee income within the bank credit card industry is outpacing the growth in card interest revenues. The forthcoming study by Killen & Associates projects the growth of the Internet and advances in on-line interconnected financial services will further drive the new market for fee-based services. Killen says banks will still conduct their bread-and-butter business, taking in moneys on deposit and making loans, but customers, both corporate and retail, will see new and expanded fee-based service offerings. These will be in on-line cash management, investment, asset management, credit card, EBPP, mortgage, and retail investment services, as well as in upgraded and expanded trade payment and letter of credit products and services. Killen concludes that the risk-reward model for fee-based income far surpasses that of the loan marketplace.

Details

ezCards

San Jose-based Trintech announced this morning the first one-click virtual credit card payment solution for Internet transactions. The ‘ezCard’ solution resides on the consumer’s PC and auto-populates online merchant payment forms. Trintech’s technology for creating ‘ezCards’ is ‘NetIssuer’, part of Trintech’s ‘PayGate’ platform. ‘NetIssuer’ will be generally available for UNIX in August. The new payment solution uses SSL communication encryption. Trintech says besides reducing the frustration of Internet credit card use the new solution also offers card issuers the option to determine the “look and feel” of their ezCards to maximize branding opportunities. In addition, each use of the ‘ezCard’ provides a clear channel of communication for the card issuer, which can be leveraged for customized marketing messages and cross-branding for partners and affinity programs.

Details

Racal Endorsements

Racal-Transcom has been acknowledged as an industry expert in the implementation of smart card technology after completing Europay International and MasterCard International’s Chip Vendor Services Programme. This programme recognises the company as a leader in terminal support and chip solutions, which means that Racal has the relevant expertise to assist Europay and MasterCard members with the implementation of chip technology.

Mike Harris, Head of MasterCard’s Chip Business Group, stressed the importance of a Terminal Management System (TMS) to any chip solution and said that Racal’s competence in this area is renowned industry-wide. He commented: “MasterCard developed the Chip Vendor Services Programme to identify and prepare vendors that have the expertise to support our members’ chip implementations. Racal’s involvement in the successful UKIS (United Kingdom integrated circuit card Interface Specification) smart card trials, combined with its proven TMS expertise, makes the company ideally placed to offer our members the very best in chip implementation support.”

Participation in the programme prepares Racal to support Europay and MasterCard member banks in all stages of the implementation process. These stages comprise card manufacture where the chip is inserted, followed by the personalisation process where the card is made `active’ by the integration of security data and personal information. The next stage is terminal estate deployment and management that calls for certified hardware and software upgrades. Extensive system adaptations are also required during the acquiring and issuing phases to manage the extra information carried by chip.

Europay and MasterCard’s programme, combined with Racal’s comprehensive knowledge of e-commerce, secure remote access and enterprise network security, allows the company to establish itself as a global frontrunner in providing expertise and support to banks planning the migration to chip technology. Racal can also call upon the expertise it has gained from its own smart card personalisation preparation technology (P3), for the early stages of chip implementation.

Managing director, Stephen Murphy, said: “Racal is the UK’s leading and fastest growing PoS (Point of Sale) terminal supplier and aims to be at the vanguard when it comes to assisting organisations in introducing chip technology. We are delighted to be one of the first companies in the world to have completed Europay and MasterCard’s Chip Vendor Services Programme.”

Racal-Transcom, which forms part of Racal’s Security and Payments business, is the UK’s leading supplier of card payment terminals with over 40 per cent market share in revenue terms and an installed base of 170,000 terminals in the domestic market.

Pre-eminent in secure payment, electronic commerce, secure remote access and enterprise network security, Racal Security and Payments manufactures a comprehensive range of world-leading point of sale terminals and management systems, as well as secure payment systems and network encryption solutions. For more than two decades Racal has been at the forefront of security and payment technology, co-operating and contributing to set the industry standards used for financial transactions and electronic commerce globally. Racal’s Security and Payments business is part of the Racal Electronics Group that has operating companies world-wide.

Notes to Editor:

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world, with 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories. Nearly 700 million MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Mondex cards are in circulation today. With more than 16.2 million locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card.

Europay International, headquartered in Waterloo, Belgium, is the European banks’ leading provider of personal payment and related services. At present, 213 million cards (Maestro, eurocheque, Cirrus and Eurocard- MasterCard) provide European and global debit and credit services, and offer cash access to Europe’s largest network of 214,000 ATMs in 38 countries. Through its alliance with MasterCard International, Europay offers banks products accepted at almost 464,000 ATMs and close to 16.2 million locations world-wide.

Details

Casino Cash ATM

Caesar’s Atlantic City and Sunset Station have recently installed 3-in-1Casino Cash Plus ATMs while four other properties have signed contracts to use the product, a technologically advanced financial transaction innovation from the leading providers of cash access services to the gaming industry, Global Cash Access (GCA) and Bank of America.

The 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus product offers integrated ATM, credit and debit card transaction capability at a single location, providing added speed and convenience for patrons and diminished labor costs for the gaming property.

Historically offered only in Las Vegas, the 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus is now available to gaming properties nationwide.

In addition to Caesar’s Atlantic City and Sunset Station (Las Vegas), gaming properties that have recently signed contracts to use 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus include:

— Bay 101 – San Jose, Cal.

— Casino Arizona – Scottsdale, Ariz.

— Nisqually Redwind – Olympia, Wash.

— Paradise Casino – Ft. Yuma, Ariz.

“The convenience and speed of the 3-in-1 Casino Cash Plus(R) ATM have made a significant impact on our customers’ transaction numbers, with a 20 percent increase in debit card volumes, as well as increases in credit card cash advances,” said Kirk E. Sanford, GCA’s chief executive officer. “It also frees casino personnel to spend more time meeting other customer needs.

“Our technology lets patrons quickly perform any one or more of these transactions and provides them with options to continue their gaming entertainment,” he said.

Formed in 1998 through a joint venture of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC) and USA Processing, Inc., Global Cash Access provides a full range of electronic funds transfer and other services to more than 1,200 gaming properties nationwide.

Details

smartX

Gemplus will announce this morning a new software technology that will simplify smart card-based application development and deployment, enable card and terminal independence, and allow for web-based maintainability. ‘smartX’ separates application development from the complexity of smart card device management, a breakthrough that for the first time allows easy implementation of the same application on different types or generations of smart card. Based on the XML standard, ‘smartX’ allows developers to write smart card applications independent of manufacturer-specific card management protocols, essentially enabling them to write virtual smart card objects that are platform (card and terminal) independent. Gemplus said it expects that ‘smartX’ technology will increase considerably the number of new generation smart cards being developed using popular programming languages such as Java technology, C++ and Visual Basic and will leverage widely deployed legacy systems. The company says not only will smart card applications leveraging ‘smartX’ technology have an enormous time-to-market advantage over their competitors, it also opens the market to a greater number of developers. Gemplus expects ‘smartX’ to accelerate the adoption of smart card technology to enhance applications such as electronic commerce, loyalty, banking, and access control.

Details