Comdata’s Diamond Anniversary

Comdata officials announce the company’s Diamond Anniversary celebration; a year long event to become “a shining example of its commitment to excellence in transportation services,” said Comdata President, Tony Holcombe.

Comdata has planned a number of activities throughout the year in commemoration of its thirty-year heritage, including the incorporation of a new corporate logo to be used in the company’s promotional materials, trade shows and advertisements. In addition, the company has planned `progressive birthday party’ events for employees, customers and trade show participants throughout the year.

“Comdata Corporation began as a relatively small business. We have enjoyed a very fortunate past by taking advantage of technology and applying it to the benefit of our diverse clientele,” said Comdata President Tony Holcombe. “As we embark on a new century of service, we look forward to building on our success by bringing innovative new products to market and maintaining our sharp focus on superior customer service.”

A pioneer in electronic funds disbursement and reporting technology for the transportation industry, Comdata launched `The Blue Card’ in 1981, which would serve as the predecessor to the Comchek Card(R), introduced several years later. A relatively simple approach to a novel idea, the `Blue Card’ gave trucking fleets a new way to provide funds to their drivers. Prior to the existence of the Comchek Card, these companies would be forced to issue a company credit card, wire money or provide cash to their drivers for fueling their trucks and paying for maintenance and repairs.

Today, the Comchek Card is the most universally-accepted over-the-road fueling card in the nation, accepted at over 5,000 truck stops and travel plazas and 350,000 Cirrus ATM machines in North America. Recently, Comdata announced the launch of Maestro point-of-sale access to its Comchek Card customers with Cirrus ATM access. The addition of the Maestro network opens up a whole new retail realm for the professional driver, since they can purchase goods and services at such national retailers as Albertsons, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens and the United States Postal Service.

Over the span of three decades, Comdata has grown from a one office operation in Nashville, TN to a nationally recognized financial services leader with thirteen locations and 2,000 employees throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company’s product and service solutions incorporate the Comchek brand in its Driver Relations, Regulatory Compliance, Fuel Management, Merchant Services and Telecommunications divisions.

As the nation’s leading provider of financial and information services to the transportation industry, Comdata () provides funds transfer, fuel purchase, cash advance and permit services, as well as fuel optimization and routing software to the trucking industry; point of sale and data collection services to the truck stop industry; and long-distance telecommunications to the transportation industry.

Comdata is a business unit of Minneapolis-based Ceridian Corporation (NYSE: CEN), a leading information services company that serves the human resources, transportation and electronic media markets. Ceridian’s human resources businesses include Ceridian Employer Services, a provider of human resource management systems and payroll and tax filing services, and Ceridian Performance Partners, a provider of fully integrated workplace effectiveness solutions. Ceridian’s electronic media sector includes Arbitron; an international media and marketing research firm.


TRM Promotes CIO

TRM Corporation announced Monday that it has promoted Gary Cosmer to the newly created position of Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO). Cosmer, formally Director of Information Systems, is leading the company through the implementation of new ERP based operating systems as well as a Y2K compliance plan.

Fred Stockton, President and CEO, has high praise for Cosmer. “Gary joined us in 1997 and immediately started the process of upgrading our information and communication systems into a state-of-the-art position. Microsoft and various trade journals have recognized his team’s efforts several times during the past eighteen months for their innovative solutions. They have built an internet-based VPN (virtual private network) access solution that allowed us to link our 55 worldwide Service Centers to TRM Headquarters, saving $150,000 per year in data acquisition costs. Recently, under Cosmer’s leadership, TRM chose Oracle Software for its new ERP based operating systems. We believe that Gary’s promotion to Vice President and CIO reinforces TRM’s strong commitment to build world class information systems that allow us to better service the needs of our customers.”

Before joining TRM Corporation in December 1997, Cosmer was a Systems Engineer for CTR Business Systems. He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Advance Technology Studies from Southern Illinois University and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer specializing in Intra/Internet-based solutions.

TRM Corporation provides convenience photocopy services through its Copy Centers located in retail establishments throughout the United States, Canada, England, Wales, Scotland and France. A total of 31,000 Copy Centers are installed worldwide. TRM’s Copy Centers are located in independent as well as large chain retailers, a sample of which include Albertsons, Eckerd, Marsh, Shaw’s and American Drug. Last month, TRM Corporation launched its new ATM Division after signing a seven-year agreement to be the exclusive ATM provider for The Pantry and Lil’ Champ convenience store chain.


FUSA VersaPay

First USA has signed-up major Internet merchants for its ‘VersaPay’ digital wallet. New clients include, CBS MarketWatch, CoolSavings, CyberianOutpost, FANSonly, Impulse! Buy Network, iVillage, Recompute, SkyMall, ToySmart, Virtual Technology Corporation, Virtual Vineyards and ZD Net. The First USA ‘VersaPay’ service is built on the ‘InstaBuy’ new ‘Agile Wallet Platform’ by CyberCash. Consumers can register for the ‘VersaPay’ service by shopping at e-retailers or visiting websites that use ‘VersaPay’ digital wallet. Once registered, consumers can use ‘VersaPay’ at all merchants offering the service.


Nevada Power Goes I-Bill

CheckFree and Las Vegas- based Nevada Power Company yesterday announced that Internet-based electronic billing and payment will soon be available for Nevada Power Company’s more than 550,000 electricity and energy services customers.

By using CheckFree’s E-Bill service, Nevada Power Company customers will be able to receive full-color electric bills at no charge — complete with graphics, logos and full billing detail — through the World Wide Web. Once they have enrolled at, Nevada Power Company customers will be able to view and pay their electric bills with the touch of a button. Customers can also access their account information through Nevada Power Company’s Web site at Nevada Power Company plans to make CheckFree E-Bill available to customers in its southern Nevada service area in June of 1999.

Nevada Power Company customers will also have access to their bills via CheckFree’s growing list of active distribution points. These include:

— First Union at

— Intuit’s Quicken 98/99 software

— Charles Schwab at

— Morgan Stanley Dean Witter at

— Prudential Securities at

Future Web site launches for CheckFree E-Bill include Bank One and PNC Bank.

“It’s important to give customers convenient options when it comes to receiving and paying their bill,” said Michael Niggli, Nevada Power Company president and chief operating officer. “As the fastest growing electric utility in the nation, Nevada Power Company continues to add services that we feel provide the most benefit to our customers. We are pleased to offer CheckFree E-Bill to our customers as a helpful, bill-paying alternative.”

Matt Lewis, Senior Vice President of Electronic Commerce Product Management and Marketing for CheckFree, said, “Nevada Power Company, like other industry leaders, recognizes the cost-savings associated with presenting bills electronically. Add to that the one-to-one customer communications that the Internet provides, and you have a win-win scenario for both the biller and the consumer.”

While PC-based bill payment is not new, receiving and paying bills electronically through the Web has only recently been made possible using CheckFree E-Bill. Since launching the nation’s first fully integrated, market-proven electronic billing and payment solution in 1997, CheckFree has signed multi-year contracts with more than 40 of the nation’s larger billers, including: Ameren (Union Electric), American Electric Power, AT&T, Avista Utilities (Washington Water Power), BellSouth, Boston Edison, Chase Credit Card, Chase Mortgage, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Consumers’ Energy, Countrywide Mortgage, CUNA Mutual Group, Florida Power & Light, GPU Energy, GTE, HomeSide Lending, Illinois Power, International Billing Services (IBS), MCI WorldCom, Northeast Utilities, Northern Illinois Gas, Portland General Electric, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Small Business Administration, Southern California Edison, Southern Company and Total System Services Inc. (TSYS).

About Nevada Power Company

Nevada Power Company provides electricity and energy services to residents of Las Vegas and southern Nevada and is the nation’s fastest-growing electric utility. Nevada Power Company can be found on the World Wide Web at [][1].

About CheckFree Founded in 1981, CheckFree (, the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corp., is the leading provider of electronic commerce services, software and related products for more than 2.6 million consumers, 1,000 businesses and 850 financial institutions. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable its customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure transactions on the Internet.




The Fitch IBCA ‘Credit Card Chargeoff IndexCredit’ reported yesterday that charge-offs increased slightly to 6.10% for the January collection period. The ’60+ Day Delinquency Index’ also increased moderately to 3.28%. However, despite an uptick in chargeoffs coupled with a downturn in yield, the three-month excess spread index increased to 5.37%, its highest level since October 1994. Historically, portfolio yields have pulled back in February due to a shortage of collection days in January. Nevertheless, Fitch says that recent trends indicate a movement toward higher yields due to higher fee income, maturation of teaser-rate product, and issuers’ ability to reprice riskier cardholders. The Fitch IBCA indices track the performance of credit card receivables backing $183 billion in asset-backed securities.

BANK CREDIT CARD INDICES (as percentages of outstandings)
Period Chargeoff Yield MPR Delinquency Spread
2/99 6.10 19.23 15.82 3.28 5.37
1/99 6.00 19.57 15.62 3.15 5.34
12/98 6.27 19.45 15.06 3.26 5.15
11/98 6.20 19.99 15.87 3.26 5.20
10/98 6.35 19.12 15.09 3.19 4.94
9/98 6.29 19.81 15.65 3.17 4.82
2/98 6.52 18.40 15.50 3.73 3.70
NOTE: yield-gross yield; MPR-monthly payment rate; delinquency-60 day+
delinquency; spread-3 month excess spread
Source: FitchIBCA


Cap One – Strong Buy

Piper Jaffray Inc. Senior Research Analyst Jeffrey Evanson has expanded his coverage of the consumer finance industry to include credit card issuers. Today, Piper Jaffray initiated coverage of four credit card issuers: Capital One Financial Corporation# (COF–123-7/8) with a strong buy rating, American Express Company# (AXP–$107-7/8) with a buy rating, MBNA Corporation# (KRB–23 5/8) with a buy rating and Providian Financial Corp.# (PVN–98 /) with a buy rating.

Evanson’s consumer finance coverage also includes diversified finance and financial business services.

Piper Jaffray Inc., soon to be U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, provides a full range of investment products and services to businesses, institutions and individuals. Piper Jaffray’s investment banking business has grown exponentially in the last several years by focusing on the needs of growth companies in the health care, technology, financial institutions, consumer and industrial growth sectors. Piper Jaffray has a national reputation for its expertise in fundamental and technical research as well as equity and debt financing. Securities products and services are offered through Piper Jaffray Inc., member SIPC and NYSE, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB). Through U.S. Bank, Piper Jaffray clients can access a full range of commercial and retail banking products. For more information, visit . Nondeposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or other obligations of or guaranteed by the U.S. Bank National Association or its affiliates, and involve investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.


SIM ROCK’n Tree Card

Bull’s new Java GSM card with 32 Kbytes of memory is the most powerful in the marketplace. The ‘SIM ROCK’n Tree’ card supports sophisticated functionalities, such as the management of a second card in a two-slot cell phone for remote payment and subscriber loyalty programs. Bull is also launching its ‘SIM ROCK’n Lab’ development platform. With the Java language and a high level interface, this platform enables users to develop new applications on the new 32K card with greater flexibility in record time.



BUYPASS Corp.unveiled Friday a new Windows NT-based electronic payment system designed for multi-lane retail and grocery stores. The new system, called ‘PaymeNT2000′, was developed by BUYPASS’ software development unit Manta Systems. By following the NT standard, ‘PaymeNT2000’ may be integrated directly into NCR’s ‘ScanMaster’ and, soon, BASS’ ‘BasspoiNT’ systems. For added flexibility, the ‘PaymeNT2000′ software is written in Sun Microsystems’ Java language. Separately, BUYPASS also announced that it processed a total of 1.27 billion transactions in 1998, a 27% increase over 1997. This included 330 million debit transactions and 59.7 million EBT transactions, an increase of 54% and 151% over 1997, respectively. BUYPASS drives over 220,000 POS terminals at approximately 85,000 merchant locations.


New Battleground

First USA projects it will sign up between 10% and 11% of all new accounts this year via the Internet. Last year, First USA’s online marketing activities generated about 4% of its new card accounts. Bank One’s First USA card division is the most aggressive card advertiser on the Internet. On Feb. 3, America Online and First USA signed a five-year marketing agreement worth up to $500 million for AOL. The agreement gave First USA the designation of exclusive marketer of credit card products and services on AOL, the CompuServe service, AOL.COM and AOL Instant Messenger in the U.S. and Canada. Also during February, First USA signed a multi-year marketing and advertising agreement with Virtual Technology Corp. to offer a co-branded ‘Virtual’ card. The top card issuer also signed an agreement with Consumer Financial Network to market a ‘Platinum VISA’ card through CFM’s corporate intranet. First USA has advertised continuously on CardWeb’s consumer channels since Jan. 1996.


Up For Grabs

The Reader’s Digest Association is looking to do a co-branded credit card deal. The firm says it is planning to select its card partner by June. Ultimately, the company plans to offer a broad range of insurance, debt and asset accumulation products, partnering with several financial institutions. The company says its large customer base, of age 50+ consumers, offers financial institutions the fastest growing and wealthiest demographic. The publisher has deep pockets to execute its new growth strategy. Reader’s Digest is sitting on $300 million in cash and no debt.



Total System Services, Inc. received notice Friday from Universal Card Services Corp., a unit of CitiGroup of its decision not to renew its processing relationship for consumer cards beyond the original term ending August 1, 2000.

Leslie Palmer, senior vice president and chief information officer for UCS said, “Undeniably we share many other common interests with TSYS that we may want to enhance and grow in the future. These include UCS’ business card and the American Advantage Business Card programs. We look forward to a continued relationship with TSYS into the next century.”

TSYS Chairman of the Board and CEO Richard W. Ussery said, “We are proud to have helped UCS grow its portfolio since its inception in 1990. We don’t like to lose any business, especially a client with which we’ve played such a critical and long-term role in its success. The new business we have already signed and are in the process of converting, along with the anticipated growth of our existing clients, will certainly offset this loss.”

TSYS experienced its greatest growth in new business in 1998 and will add 78 million new accounts in 1999. TSYS management believes that the loss of UCS as a consumer card-processing client in 2000 should not have a material adverse effect on TSYS’ financial condition or results of operation for the year ending December 31, 2000.

This press release contains forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements.

TSYS () is one of the world’s leading information technology processors of credit, debit, commercial and private-label cards. An 80.8% owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) (), TSYS serves card-issuing institutions throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Creating innovative processing solutions, TSYS makes it possible for more than 119 million cardholders to use their cards and enables card issuers to profitably compete and better serve their customers through our world-class people, technology and service.