CCS Goes International

Card Capture Services, Inc. a leading independent ATM provider in the U.S., announces its expansion into international markets.  The company has hired a Director of International, and established satellite business offices in Montreal, and Mexico City under the names CCS Canada and CCS Mexico respectively.

International outlook

Consumer demand for convenient access to cash is particularly acute in developing countries where banks are limited and the majority of transactions are cash based.  The rate of new ATM deployments is increasing in the U.S. and the world, with the international market for new ATMs outpacing U.S. growth.

According to Dave Granco, president and CEO of Card Capture Services, “CCS has successfully developed a market for independent ATMs in the U.S.  We believe this expertise will translate in other countries.  The worldwide demand for convenient, safe access to cash is clear, and we now have the infrastructure in place to go forward.”

Opening of  Canadian Market Prompts Expansion

Due to changes in Canadian legislation enacted this year, for the first time, non-bank companies have been able to deploy ATMs in Canada.  Canada is a traditional first step for U.S. companies expanding internationally. According to David Cheveallier, director of international for CCS, “the opening of the Canadian market coincided with our interest in expanding internationally.  The timing was right.”  Card Capture Services opened CCS Canada in Montreal in third quarter 1997.  The office is staffed by three Canadians.

Established Mexican Company Joins CCS

CCS purchases privately owned Mexico City-based company, SEISA, in fourth quarter 1998.  Under the new name CCS Mexico, the company will lead development of the emerging independent ATM market in Mexico.  The company is staffed by 8.

Patricio Mangino and Manuel Mangino, formerly of SEISA, will lead CCS Mexico. Both possess over 20 years experience in the ATM and banking industries in Mexico.  Most recently they have been leading distributors for Diebold Inc. and Triton Systems ATMs in Mexico.

About CCS

One of the first independent ATM companies in the U.S., Portland, Oregon-based CCS has pioneered convenient cash access since 1993.  Today CCS is a leading U.S. ATM provider with 6,200 ATMs nationwide.  The company offers turn-key ATM programs to a growing base of retailers, banks and entertainment venues in North America.  For more information about CCS, visit the company’s web site at [][1].



Rocky Year

Plagued by a year of surprise accounting irregularities from its acquisition of CUC International, Cendant Corp. posted a strong fourth quarter and a surprisingly strong year in its individual membership segment. For the 4Q/98 Cendant reported a 27% increase in net revenue for membership and service fees from $1.1 billion for 4Q/97 to $1.3 billion for 4Q/98. For the year net revenue for membership and service fees rose from $4.0 billion in 1997 to $5.0 billion for 1998. The individual membership segment of Cendant’s revenues grew 31% last year. For 4Q/98 individual memberships logged in at $272 million versus $207 million for 4Q/97. Cendant markets its individual memberships to credit cardholders nationwide.


TSYS Wins GA Award

Citing its pursuit of excellence and outstanding overall achievements, Total System Services, Inc.  has been selected to receive the 1998 Georgia Oglethorpe Award for Performance Excellence.

About the award introduced in 1997, The Honorable Roy E. Barnes, Governor of Georgia, said “The Georgia Oglethorpe Award, which uses the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria for Performance Excellence, involves rigorous organizational assessment and is Georgia’s highest level of recognition for organizational performance excellence.”

TSYS Chairman of the Board and CEO Richard W. Ussery said, “This award is an affirmation of the hard work and dedication of TSYS team members.  Providing the highest level of customer service, being the employer of choice, and creating value for our shareholders are essential components of our corporate culture.  We will continue to strive for quality improvements.  I’m very proud to be a members of this exceptional team.”

TSYS, along with the U.S. Army Infantry School and Center, Fort Benning, GA., will be recognized during the second Georgia Oglethorpe awards Banquet, to be help March 18, 1999, in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

TSYS Winning Attributes/Strengths:

1. Oglethorpe examiners found one of TSYS’ greatest strengths to be its sense of family and teamwork.  People Development Expoeal (PDE), a strategy for ensuring its values and culture are preserved throughout the company for generations to come.  Fortune magazine listed PDE as a primary factor in naming the Synovus family of companies, of which TSYS is the largest entity, as “The Best Company to Work for in America.”

2. TSYS has enjoyed strong financial performance since its inception, evidence by a stock return of two-and-a-half times that of the S&P 500 from 1983 1997. TSYS’ financial performance has gathered national recognition form such leading publications as Forbes, Business Week, and Fortune, and was named by Georgia Trend magazine as “ The Best Small, Publicly Held Company in Georgia.”

3. TSYS has twice received the regional award in the Corporate category from the Georgia Economic Developers Associates (GEDA), given to the company from each of the eleven economic development regions that made the greatest economic and/or social contribution to its community.  TSYS has also received the statewide GEDA award in the Corporate category for service to existing industry, given to the local economic development group that has the most outstanding existing industry program in the state.  Examples of TSYS’ winning initiatives include its partnership with Columbus State University, revitalization and renovation of historic sites, and supporting numerous charities like United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and Meals on Wheels.

4. TSYS and Columbus State University (CSU) have engaged in a joint effort called the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP), designed to help businesses and universities  solve business problems with intellectual resources.  CSU and TSYS are working together to educate develop sufficient numbers of mainframe computing professionals.  Since the program’s inception in 1990, more than 600 computer professionals educated at CSU have been employed by TSYS.

5. TSYS has an aggressive Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance schedule which has enabled the company to position itself for a larger share of the market, evidenced by the signing of several large clients in 1998, including Sears Roebuck & Co., the world’s largest retailer.  TSYS’ premier software systems, TS, is designed to be Y2K compliant.

6. TSYS is the only third-party processor with clients who are successful contenders for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) contracts. Recently, GSA awarded contracts to six card issuers for the next-generation government charge cards.  TSYS performed the necessary upgrades in 1998 to support the unique needs required under the new GSA contacts.  Today TSYS processes approximately 86 percent of the MasterCard and Visa USA commercial cards in the United States and 100% of the GSA-issued cards.

7. TSYS has developed and implemented a strategic supplier alliance program called PRIME, which consists of a supplier profile for selection purposes, a supplier performance report, supplier site visits, and supplier feedback mechanisms.  The success of PRIME has enabled TSYS to develop a supplier partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, the first of its kind in U.S. Postal Service history.

8. Visa and MasterCard have recognized TSYS as having the fastest authorization response times in the industry.  Since 1996, TSYS has received four VisaNet Processor Performance Awards for Lowest Assured transaction Response Rate and Lowest Purchase Authorization Response Time in relationship to its competitors.

TSYS ([][1]) 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 ([][2]), TSYS serves card-issuing institutions throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. Creating innovative processing solutions,  TSYS makes it possible for more than 117 million cardholders to use their cards and enables card-issuing institutions to profitably compete and better serve their customers through out world-class people, technology and service.



ATM Vision

EDS seized the opportunity this week at the Chicago Auto Show to showcase its ATM Vision solution. Thousands of journalists covering the event have the opportunity to see a 15-second ‘OnStar’ commercial while using an ATM in the media center. The General Motors ‘OnStar’ system combines global positioning and cellular technology to connect a vehicle and its driver to the 24/7 OnStar Center where advisors assist with anything from emergency situations to convenience services. In addition to the ATM placement at the EDS Media Center, the pilot program will run advertisements on Chicago ATMs during and after the auto show. It is expected that from February 15 through 28, 130,000 impressions will be shown across 138 Chicago ATM locations. EDS is also in the midst of a pilot program introducing technology that puts full-motion advertising in front of the consumer. The pilot is being tested on EDS’ proprietary ATMs in San Diego, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.


New ECHO Board Member

Electronic Clearing House Inc. Tuesday announced the appointment of Aristides W. Georgantas as a director to serve on ECHO’s Board of Directors.

Georgantas has served as executive vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank Inc., and chairman and chief executive officer of Chemical Bank New Jersey NA. Georgantas is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

“Mr. Georgantas has over 28 of years experience in banking, strategic planning and marketing,” stated Joel M. Barry, chairman and chief executive officer of ECHO. “He knows the financial services industry and we are extremely fortunate to have a director with his level of knowledge and management experience.”

“I am delighted to serve as a director of ECHO. I believe they have the capabilities in terms of key personnel, innovative products and communications expertise to be a leader in the financial services industry and I look forward to helping in any way I can,” stated Georgantas.

Electronic Clearing House provides credit card processing, check guarantee, inventory tracking services and various Internet services to more than 17,000 retail merchants and U-Haul dealers across the nation.

Through its subsidiary, Computer Based Controls, ECHO designs, develops and manufactures software and point-of-sale hardware that is utilized as credit card processing terminals, automated money order dispensers, utility bill payment systems, and inventory tracking devices.


GemXplore CASE

Gemplus announces today the first commercial application of its GemXplore? CASE development tool for implementing SIM-based value added services (VAS). Gemplus’ customer, Mobistar, a highly innovative Belgian operator, was able to develop a new service based on Gemplus SIM Toolkit technology in a few days, believed to be the first time an operator has been able to develop a complete application in-house and in such a short space of time.

“Being able to develop the application in house in just a few days using GemXplore CASE tools gave Mobistar a huge competitive advantage,” said Martin Willems, Value Added Services Project Manager at Mobistar. “Our new service, pronto box, offers a SIM Toolkit compatible phone and a SIM card giving access to information services, reminders, and billing information. It is the first of many services Mobistar will be developing using GemXplore CASE.”

Before the availability of GemXplore CASE, the customer had to specify each new application with the smart card vendor and rely on the smart card vendor to develop and launch the application. This was a process that took three to four months. The capabilities of GemXplore CASE mean that the entry level for creating new systems of mobile banking, information on demand and others in the exploding market for menu based services, has become even more accessible. “The experience of Mobistar, one of the world’s most dynamic mobile operators, shows that GemXplore CASE fulfils its prime objective – enabling mobile operators to develop and launch value-added services in record time,” said Philippe Martineau, Director of Wireless Communications Marketing Product Group at Gemplus. “This will fundamentally change the marketplace in this highly competitive field.”

Gemplus has already issued more than 100 GemXplore CASE kits to operators and partners. This is the first time a customer has used the product to implement a service and launch it commercially. The Mobistar application is one of the first to be developed entirely by a GSM operator in their own premises. The availability of GemXplore CASE means that the number of menu based services being introduced on the GSM market is increasing exponentially.

The advantages of using the Gemplus kit according to Mobistar are:

* Easy to learn and use visual development interface

* Speed of development

* The application can be easily modified and tested during the development phase

* Easy application customization

* Ability to design applications on demand

* It is easy for the operator to store a SIM Toolkit application on SIM cards

* Ease of prototyping

* Ability to produce small batches of cards for a specific application

The SIM card (subscriber identity module) is a smart card that is necessary in every GSM card to access the network. Without a SIM, the GSM phone will not work. Initially designed to access the network and ensure subscription security, the SIM has become the ideal platform for value added services as operators have control of the information in the SIM.

SIM Toolkit is a GSM Standard (GSM 11.14) designed to facilitate access to mobile services. With SIM Toolkit, services are menu-driven. For example to access a weather information service without SIM Toolkit, the user has to remember and dial a complex number. With SIM Toolkit, the user can browse down to the weather menu and the handset will dial the appropriate number.

The SIM Toolkit defines how the card should interact with the outside world and extends the communication protocol between the card and the handset. The SIM initiates commands independently of the handset and the network, giving it a proactive role for the first time. SIM Toolkit is required to install Value Added Services on top of bearer services (call, receive calls, send messages). Applications can be entirely defined by the operator and additional menus installed on the handset by the SIM. It is therefore possible to issue the GSM service together with Operator Specific Menus such as mobile banking, mobile commerce, mobile internet or information-on-demand (which enables connection to content providers through an easy to browse list of information types).

About Mobistar

Mobistar launched the second GSM-900 mobile phone network in Belgium in August 1996, directly covering 97 percent of the Belgian population. At the end of 1998, Mobistar had 510,000 customers. Mobistar was first in Belgium with a prepaid solution (Tempo) and flexible subscription packages (Optimum). The introduction of a SIM Toolkit application for direct and easy access to the existing Mobistar complementary services is a new initiative towards easy and widespread mobile telephony service. Since 1998 Mobistar offers also fixed telephony services.

About Gemplus

Gemplus ([][1]) is the world?s leading provider of plastic and smart card-based solutions. Gemplus sells magnetic stripe cards, memory and microprocessor-based smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags and smart objects. The company designs and markets software, development tools and readers. Gemplus also provides consulting, training and personalization services to deliver the industry?s most comprehensive and flexible card-based solutions to its developers, distributors, partners and customers.

With sales of over US$590 million in 1997, Gemplus employs more than 4,100 people in 10 manufacturing facilities, five R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world. Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, identity, physical access control, Pay-TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, logical access control and information technology.



Online Banking Stats

According to survey figures released yesterday by CT-based INTECO Corp., PC banking households soared from 3.8 million in the third quarter of 1997 to 7 million by the end of 1998. INTECO says the two factors are responsible for driving the explosive growth in online banking. One is the 68% rise in the number of U.S. households with access to the Internet (up from 22 million in 3Q97 to 37 million by the end of 1998). The second is the “build it and they will come” approach taken by financial institutions. The company says two out of three online banking households are made up of married couples with household income in excess of $50,000. Forty-four percent are dual income households with mean income more than 50 percent higher than the national average. The most findings were based on 16,500 interviews conducted in December 1998.


FDC Direct Banking Expands

First Data Direct Banking today announced that a former Security First executive has joined its growing sales team. Computer software and telecommunications hardware and software sales veteran Sandy MacDougall has joined the Internet financial services solution vendor as Vice President and Sales Manager for the Southwestern U.S.. The announcement was made today by James Allen, Vice President and Director of Sales.

In his new role, MacDougall will be responsible for direct sales of First Data Direct Banking’s industry-leading NetPrecision Home Banking, Card Services and Brokerage Services products. He will also manage reseller relationships in the Southwestern sales territory.

“We are thrilled to have an Internet financial service sales executive of Sandy’s caliber join First Data Direct Banking,” Allen said.

The provider of outsourced financial service products is expanding its sales staff to meet rapidly increasing demand. In 1998, more than one client a week signed up for First Data Direct Banking’s Internet products, and the pace is accelerating in 1999. At the end of 1998, some 72 banks, card issuers and brokerage firms were counted among the company’s clients.

“I look forward to the opportunity to bring First Data Direct Banking’s compelling Internet financial service offerings to financial institutions in the Southwest,” MacDougall said. “We will continue to build on the tremendous momentum First Data Direct Banking created with the launch of its NetPrecision 30/30 product last year.”

MacDougall chose to join First Data Direct Banking “becuase they have products providing a total solution across credit cards, loans and deposit accounts. Direct Banking brings professionalism and a proven host systems integration process that delivers clients to market rapidly.

“Banks yearn for retail-based online and real-time deposit, credit card data, Internet bill delivery and payment complemented with commercial cash management products. NetPrecision provides access to the issuers’ proprietary credit card transactions and Internet bills. This financial information becomes key content as the Internet moves forward and the industry matures and consolidates. The company will be one of the winners and a major player in the e-commerce initiatives of its clients.”

MacDougall was most recently National Major Account Executive at Security First Technologies, where he was responsible for sales of that company’s Internet banking and brokerage products to large banks, brokerages and insurance firms. His previous experience includes sales and director roles at InteliData Technologies and IBM Corp.

MacDougall will be based in Los Angeles. His territory encompasses southern California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.

About First Data Direct Banking

First Data Direct Banking builds and hosts customized Internet financial service solutions for financial institutions of all sizes.

Using the NetSpeed process, financial institutions can have fully functional, branded web sites up and running in just 30 business days with the NetPrecision system.

Los Angeles-based First Data Direct Banking ties leading-edge online financial services partnerships and template, custom-built of existing web sites into transaction processing provided by electronic payments processing leader First Data Corp. Direct Banking can be found on the World Wide Web at [][1].

Atlanta-based First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC) is a global leader in payment systems, electronic commerce and information management products and services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or smart card at the point of sale or over the Internet, by check or wire money. For further information about First Data, please visit the company on the Internet at [][2].



Diebold – Taiwan

Diebold, Incorporated announced it has appointed Licent Information Technology as its distributor in Taiwan. LIT will market, install, service and support Diebold automated teller machines and other self-service solutions throughout Taiwan.

James Chen, Diebold vice president and managing director, Asia/Pacific, said that Diebold looks forward to growing its roster of satisfied customers in the area.

“Banks in Taiwan have used Diebold-designed and manufactured ATMs for more than a decade,” said Chen. “Now we are able to bring more innovative technology and 140 years of experience in banking solutions to this knowledgeable marketplace.”

Chen added that LIT’s experience in the ATM business and its intimate understanding of the market will be a great asset to Diebold’s customers. Previously, Diebold distributed ATMs in Taiwan through IBM.

“Diebold is a global leader in self-service banking technology and has an outstanding reputation for service and technology,” said Martin Huang, president of LIT. “Our unique strength in self-service banking is business development, professional services and customer service. We look forward to bringing Diebold’s state-of-the-art retail delivery solutions to Taiwan customers.”

LIT offers 75 years of experience in banking automation with 24-hour service centers in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung. Diebold, Incorporated is the global leader in providing integrated delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, the company employs more than 6,000 employees in some 120 locations worldwide with headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenues 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 [][1].



Sears Fraud

Sears Bankruptcy Management Services, Inc. pleaded guilty yesterday to an extensive scheme to defraud bankruptcy debtors nationwide. The Sears subsidiary agreed to plead guilty and pay a $60 million fine. The plea agreement must still be accepted by the U.S. District Court. Sears has already paid over $180 million in restitution to about 188,000 debtors and $40 million in civil fines to 50 state attorneys general. The U.S. Attorney’s office also announced Tuesday the settlement of a civil action which the government filed against Sears April, 1997 to halt its reaffirmation practices. Yesterday’s settlement permanently enjoins Sears from ever again repeating its illegal practices and recognizes that Sears has made full and complete restitution to the debtors. Because of the substantial criminal fine, the U.S. agreed to forego its claim for civil penalties. The $60 million criminal fine, will be deposited into the Crime Victims Fund, a major funding source for victim services throughout the country.The anticipated fine will have no effect on Sears earnings. In the second quarter of 1997, Sears took a pre-tax charge of $475 million against earnings to cover the costs of restitution.


Hypercom – Brazil

Hypercom Corporation, a global provider of electronic payment solutions, announced that it is deploying its Ascendent Network Terminal Server software and point-of-sale terminals to support more than 17,435 providers of the Unimed North/Northeast Healthcare Cooperative.

The cooperative serves 1.2 million patients in 63 cities throughout Northeastern Brazil. Hypercom’s NTS will allow Unimed’s physician, hospital and clinic providers to instantaneously determine patient medical eligibility, authorize medical services and prescriptions and process provider balances, issue reports and project their monthly expenses.

Hypercom’s transaction processing systems are already deployed in 15 other Unimed regions, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The latest agreement and deployment with Unimed North/Northeast will be completed by the end of the year. At that time, Hypercom(R) will manage transaction processing for 20,000 Unimed healthcare providers serving five million Unimed members in 80 cities throughout Brazil.

“The ever-increasing pace of medical advances and patient needs demand that today’s healthcare provider optimize the delivery and accountability of services,” said Dr. Reginaldo Tavares de Albuquerque, President, Alianca Cooperativista Nacional Unimed. “Hypercom’s Ascendent platform lets us do just that with an end-to-end solution that processes and reacts to very high levels of data virtually instantaneously and is backed by a nationwide technical support staff. That means we can continue to offer the best in services to our healthcare providers and their more than five million patients.”

“Unimed’s selection of Hypercom underscores our position as the leading provider of the healthcare transactions processing solutions and demonstrates the advantages of Hypercom’s solutions,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, President, Hypercom International. “We are very pleased to join with Unimed North/Northeast in its efforts to maintain and enhance its data transaction processing capabilities.”

How the Network Works

After swiping a member’s card, staff at a Unimed-member hospital, physician’s office or clinic can verify insurance eligibility and benefits and authorize medical services and prescriptions. For example, a physician can authorize an X-ray online. The X-ray technician simply swipes the patient’s card through the Hypercom network terminal to access the necessary authorization. By authorizing services online, the overhead costs involved in managing a patient’s payment and medical records are reduced. Unimed network members benefit by having one centralized file that all providers can access, reducing time and processing hassles.

With Hypercom’s Ascendent NTS client/server transaction software, the “brain” of the Unimed network resides on the server. Application processing occurs on a centralized server, which supports the entire terminal population. This approach enables user organizations to update a central processor rather than downloading software to each terminal.

Because Ascendent software runs on the UNIX(TM) and Microsoft Windows(TM) NT platforms, new applications, features and transactions types can be easily added without compromising host integrity. The NTS software serves as an “adaptive layer” by working in concert with legacy mainframe systems. Ascendent software is scalable, interoperable and fault-tolerant. In financial applications, Hypercom’s NTS software supports high performance with current and emerging payment methods, including debit, credit, smart cards and Internet-based commerce.

The Confederation of North/Northeast is a member company of Unimed Cooperative responsible for management of operational process, as well as expansion of the cooperative doctrine throughout North and Northeast regions of Brazil. This regional system consists of 63 Unimed Cooperatives (each one called Singular), and eight State Federations, that currently assist 1,248,325 patients through 17,453 physicians offering an array of services in the States of Acre, Rondonia, Roraima, Amazonas, Para, Amapa, Maranhao, Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia. Unimed Confederation North/Northeast patients are also able to use any of the other Unimed Units’ services located throughout Brazil.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is a global provider of electronic payment solutions, including multi-functional point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, network products, transaction software, 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 for competitive value-add programs, improved business performance and low total cost of ownership.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 60 countries through a global network of offices and affiliates in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [][1].

Hypercom is a registered trademark of Hypercom Corporation. Ascendent is a trademark of Hypercom Corporation. All other products or services mentioned in this document are trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks or registered service marks of their respective owners.

Certain matters discussed within this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although management of Hypercom believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include industry, competitive and technological changes; risks associated with international operations and foreign currency fluctuations; the composition, timing and size of orders from and shipments to major customers; inventory obsolescence; market acceptance of new products and other risks detailed from time to time in Hypercom’s SEC reports, including the company’s 10-K dated September 28, 1998.



Cap One Jobs

Capital One announced Tuesday major expansion plans for its Virginia operations. This year Cap One projects it will hire more than 3,000 associates and will add more than 500,000 square feet of real estate in its four separate Virginia locations. Last year the top issuer expanded by 5,000 employees and now has a total worldwide workforce of more than 10,000. About 7,000 employees are based in Richmond. Two weeks ago Cap One announced its plans to open a West Coast facility near Seattle.