Hits Keep Coming

Credit card issuers advertising on CardWeb’s consumer channels have apparently discovered a gold mine of traffic. According to official Internet traffic statistics released last week, a record 4.4 million page views were delivered during January. One major card issuer revealed card application rates exceeded target by 147% and approvals hit 112% of the goal. All advertising slots for CardWeb’s consumer channels are currently booked under one year minimum contracts. Current participants include: Capital One, First USA, NationsBank, Chase Manhattan, AFBA, Wachovia, Commerce Bank, NextCard, People’s Bank and Arkansas National Bank. Harriet Bailey, CardWeb’s national sales manager, says the higher than average application and approval rates are due to a simple format, whereby consumers seeking info about the best credit card deals from CardWeb, do so without having to reveal any personal data. CardWeb’s high traffic is driven by many elements including its long-term credibility with the national news media. For example this past weekend CardWeb was cited to consumers by Parade magazine as the sole source of objective credit card information. Yesterday, Robert McKinley, president of CardWeb, announced after the firm’s annual board meeting in the Florida Keys, that CardWeb’s flagship consumer publication, CardTrak, will be switching this year to a not-for-profit structure.

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ATM Record

NCR Corp. reported yesterday it delivered a record 46,509 ATMs to customers worldwide in 1998, representing a 10% increase over 1997 deliveries of 42,440 units.  In addition to new terminals, NCR delivered a record number of upgrades and kits both in volume and value. NCR said its offering of ATMs, associated software and service solutions has resulted in new orders from the biggest American banks including, Citibank, Bank One and Wells Fargo. Last week Diebold reported it shipped 26,286 self-service terminals and 26,211 upgrade modules worldwide in 1998.

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AmEx EMEA

American Express has upgraded the telecommunications network for its POS terminals in the UK and Europe. Transaction Network Services Limited was awarded the contract. The new system enables American Express to monitor all transaction statistics from its UK authorization center in Brighton, while providing detailed management data on each transaction passing through the network.

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Retail Merger

Federated Department Stores and Fingerhut Companies jointly announced Thursday a definitive merger agreement under which Federated will acquire Fingerhut for $1.7 billion. Federated said Fingerhut’s state-of-the-art infrastructure for catalog and Internet order fulfillment, coupled with its prowess in database management and direct marketing, will provide a platform for further growth of Federated’s strong retail brands web site retailing operations. Federated also indicated it expects Fingerhut’s expertise to strengthen Federated’s private label credit card business.

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Diebold Thailand

Diebold, Incorporated, will establish a subsidiary in Thailand to provide sales, service and support to the Thai market.  Diebold has appointed Verapun Patanayindee, managing director, Diebold Thailand.   He will oversee the company, a wholly- owned subsidiary, that will provide nationwide sales and service to Thailand.

“We’re very excited about establishing a direct Diebold presence in the Thai market,” said Michael J. Hillock, Diebold group vice president, International Sales and Service.  “Thailand’s banks have been using our automated teller machines for more than a decade.  We are very pleased to now work directly with our customers to develop innovative solutions to their business challenges.”

Diebold Thailand will initially employ approximately 20 associates, and expects to employ more than 100 within the next three years.     Prior to joining Diebold, Verapun Patanayindee, served as executive director for Sahaviriya Infotech Computer, a systems integrator in the banking and telecommunications industries, based in Bangkok.  Born in Bangkok, Verapun is a graduate of King Mongkut Institute of Technology University.

Diebold, Incorporated is the global leader in providing integrated delivery systems and services.  Founded in 1859, the company employs more than 6,000 associates in some 120 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 [www.diebold.com][1]

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

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IVI ITS

IVI Checkmate Corp.formed an Integrated Transaction Solutions division yesterday. ITS will be responsible for marketing electronic payment products and solutions to VARs and distributors serving the middle tier retail marketplace. IVI’s direct sales force has focused on the top 200 retailers in North America and has giving the firm a 76% market share of installed check readers and over 72% market share of installed consumer activated debit/credit terminals in large multi-lane retail chains. The formation of ITS positions IVI Checkmate to provide industry leading electronic payment solutions for integration into VARs and distributor retail systems serving the middle tier retail market segment.

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SIMS POS

SIMS Communications announced yesterday it has released ‘Version 2.0′ of its POS terminal software. The new version allows a consumer to indicate the value of phone time being purchased on a SIMS prepaid phone card, and, by swiping the card through the terminal, activates the card’s PIN using data encryption technology for security. In the industry, prepaid phone cards are typically stocked live with their PINs usable, and they are primarily sold under normal credit terms at fixed, denoted prices, requiring multiple SKUs. SIMS ships the retailer inactive cards with dead PINs under a single SKU, and with no up-front billing. At the time of sale, the phone card is swiped through the terminal, the consumer enters the purchase amount, and using data encryption technology, it is remotely activated by SIMS’ phone card system. The wholesale price is then paid to SIMS through electronic funds transfer after the retailer has been paid for the sale.

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Halifax Shifts Gears

Halifax Plc is to streamline its check processing with an approximately $2.3 million (U.S.) systems solution from leading systems integrator, BancTec, Inc..  The new system, due to go live in June, uses the latest imaging, workflow and archiving technology to handle up to 650,000 items per day.

The new BancTec solution incorporates BancTec’s ImageFIRST(R) TPS(TM) check clearing system and ImageFIRST(R) GeMS (General Enquiry Management Suite), together with ImageFIRST(R) OpenARCHIVE(TM).

ImageFIRST TPS recognizes details on the checks as they pass through the reader sorter transports at a rated speed of 1000 documents per minute.  Any ‘rejects’ are sent to PC workstations to be re-keyed by an operator, from an image on screen — rather than the paper original.  These images can also be used for signature verification.

All items are archived to BancTec’s ImageFIRST OpenARCHIVE, from where they can be retrieved by any terminal on the network, making the information instantly and easily accessible for later inquiry purposes.  Exceptions (e.g. unpaid items) are then passed to BancTec’s ImageFIRST GeMS system.  Here, they are routed by a workflow system through the various inquiry processes.

“The BancTec solution will enable the Halifax to process checks more efficiently.  Imaging technology makes data more easily and more widely available, and will enable us to improve still further the quality of the service we provide to our customers,” commented John Walsh, General Manager of Payment Systems at the Halifax.

“These solutions demonstrate our commitment to delivering IT systems that help deliver tangible business benefits to our customers,” said Grahame N. Clark, Jr., BancTec’s chairman and chief executive officer.  “This important project also underscores our success in delivering advanced transaction processing solutions to the world’s leading financial institutions.”

One of Europe’s largest personal services businesses, Halifax, looks after more personal savings in Britain than any other financial institution and services nearly one quarter of UK mortgages.  Other activities include financial services, providing life assurance, pensions and investment products; it also runs Halifax Property Services — a leading estate agency, Halifax Direct — a 24-hour telephone banking service and Halifax General Insurance Services Ltd. — offering a full range of personal insurance products.

BancTec is a worldwide systems integration and services company specializing in transaction management solutions for the banking, financial services, insurance, healthcare, government, utility, telecommunications and retail industries.  The company is also a leading provider of maintenance services for major computer companies, government and corporate customers. BancTec employs more than 4,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

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Trajecta East Coast

Austin, TX-based Trajecta, Inc. announced the opening of its Atlanta office. The new office will service credit card and banking clients on the east coast by providing local customer service and sales support. Co-directing office activities will be Jim Heilman and Tim Bates, who have over 30 years of combined financial services and technology experience. Trajecta’s decisioning technologies predict, test, track and optimize strategic goals based on a complete and integrated view of revenue, risk and costs.

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Amazing Acquisitions

PubliCARD, Inc. said yesterday it has successfully completed its acquisition of Amazing Smart Card Technologies. Amazing is a veteran in the smart card market, beginning in 1986 as a card manufacturer and later expanding into application development and systems integration. Recently, Amazing introduced Smart Guardian, the first personalized smart card system, designed to manage individuals’ access to the Internet.

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GlobeSet Greece

GlobeSet Inc., the world’s largest OEM provider of software solutions for electronic commerce, continues its pace of expanding its global reach for its secure payment products and services for Internet-based transactions by forming an alliance with Greece’s Informer.

The OEM agreement entitles Informer, one of the largest IT integrators in Greece, to license and support GlobeSet’s transaction and payment solutions for secure electronic commerce over the Internet. As GlobeSet develops additional transaction applications in 1999, it will license its technology to Informer.

Informer was established in 1979 and focuses its efforts in the government, banking, European Union and private enterprises sectors. Within the banking sector, Informer has a specialized department staffed with people with years of experience in the financial sector who can provide total consulting and software solutions for Internet banking and electronic commerce. Apart from its success in the Greek domestic market, it has developed significant activity abroad with successful installations in multinational groups of companies. Informer’s personnel are in the position to offer, supply, install and support turnkey solutions for any market sector utilizing its vast expertise in IT and communications.

“GlobeSet’s success in the global marketplace will be measured, in part, by the success of our OEM partners,” said Dennis Jolly, Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Operations, GlobeSet. “We are confident that our relationship with Informer will be fruitful as we couple the industry’s only complete suite of SET(TM) compliant and SSL software solutions for secure electronic commerce with Informer’s knowledge of system integration for the Greek market.”

GlobeSet’s line of transaction and payment solutions and services for secure electronic commerce include the GlobeSet Wallet(TM), GlobeSet ServerWallet(TM), GlobeSet POS(TM), GlobeSet ServerPOS(TM), GlobeSet Gateway(TM), and GlobeSet CA(TM). The products for consumers, merchants, portals, ISPs, banks and financial institutions have been awarded industry-first SET Marks signifying their compliance with the SET 1.0 specification.

SET, the standard for secure payment card transactions over the Internet, was developed by Visa and MasterCard, with participation from leading technology companies around the world including Austin-based GlobeSet Inc.

“Informer is a market leader in the Greek IT market and is committed in providing solutions to the banking sector, both in Greece and in the neighborhood area,” said Simos Simoudis, president, Informer. “The solutions offered are based on Globus, which is a well known international package, and several other applications mainly in the area of direct banking, Internet banking, phone banking and ATM/POS handling.” Mr. Simoudis also added, “The SET compliant suite of software offered by GlobeSet will provide Informer with a competitive advantage in the field of e-commerce and will complement the solutions we offer.”

About GlobeSet

GlobeSet Inc., is the world’s largest OEM provider of software solutions for electronic commerce. The company’s server-based products enable e-commerce production deployment and offer a migration path across multiple evolving transaction/certificate standards. With offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific, GlobeSet’s OEM partners have implemented numerous electronic commerce solutions around the world for major banks, retailers and financial processors. Founded in 1994, GlobeSet Inc. is a privately held corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas. Additional information about GlobeSet can be found at [http://www.GlobeSet.com][1]

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

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