OK-based debt collector Commercial Financial Services will layoff about 1,800 employees today to cut its work force by 50%. Employee notification packets were distributed yesterday. According to the Daily Oklahoman, employees were informed Monday to remove personal belongings to make the process easier. The company said the average salary range for its employees was $30-$35k. CFS confirmed yesterday it will close one of its offices in Oklahoma City and its Tulsa offices this weekend. Since filing for Chapter 11 protection last month about 15 companies have expressed an interest or have submitted proposals to acquire CFS.Details
Carolina First Corporation announced an agreement between its subsidiary, Carolina First Bank, and American Express ATM Holdings, Inc. Under the agreement, Carolina First Bank will display its name and logo on all American Express ATMs in South Carolina. In addition, Carolina First Bank customers may use American Express ATMs in South Carolina without being charged a fee. American Express expects its network of over 40 ATMs in South Carolina to be operational in the first quarter of 1999.
James W. Terry, Jr., President of Carolina First Bank, said, “Our affiliation with American Express doubles the number of free ATMs available for our customers. Plus, the American Express ATMs will be located in high traffic areas where customers choose to shop or purchase gasoline. This initiative is an excellent fit with our strategy of making banking convenient for our customers.”
Carolina First Corporation, headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, is the largest independent bank holding company in South Carolina with $2.7 billion in total assets and 73 banking offices throughout the state. It operates Carolina First Bank, the largest South Carolina-based commercial bank, and Carolina First Mortgage Company, the second largest mortgage loan servicer in South Carolina. Other subsidiaries include an automobile finance company, a credit card servicing company and a small business investment company which invests in bank technology companies. Carolina First’s common stock trades on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol CAFC. Additional information about Carolina First is available on its web site at [www.carolinafirst.com].
CyberCash, Inc., the world leader in e-commerce payment technologies and services, announced Thursday that it has raised $10 million in equity capital through a private placement of common stock and warrants. CyberCash says it plans to use this equity to support the roll out of its new InstaBuy one-click shopping service. Funds managed by Rose Glen Capital Management, L.P. and The Palladin Group, L.P., respectively, provided the financing.
“The additional funds will help to support marketing, sales and customer support efforts behind CyberCash’s InstaBuy Service unveiled in August of 1998,” Condon said. “It will assist us in telling the story about the safety and convenience of our universal, interoperable one-click Internet shopping capability. The InstaBuy Service meets the needs of merchants who want to convert a higher percentage of web visitors to buyers, addresses the desires of consumers who want the convenience of one-click shopping and solves a problem for banks that want to strengthen their relationships with customers online.”
The private placement involves the issuance of Units, each consisting of one share of the Company’s common stock and a warrant to purchase 0.75 shares of the Company’s common stock. The purchase price is $16.40 per Unit, which is 105% of the closing bid price of the Company’s common stock on January 5, 1999. The exercise price of each warrant is $20, subject to reset under certain circumstances beginning one year after the date of issuance. The Company has agreed to register under the Securities Act of 1933 the resale of the common stock issued in the offering as well as the common stock issuable when the warrants are exercised.
In addition, the Company is committed to sell, and the investors have agreed to purchase, additional Units for an additional $5 million in cash after the registration statement covering this private placement is declared effective by the SEC.
CyberCash is the world’s leading provider of secure electronic commerce payment technologies and services spanning the retail point of sale through the Internet, CyberCash, the CyberCash logo and InstaBuy are trademarks or service marks of CyberCash, Inc.
This press release contains statements that are forward looking, including statements about the Company’s future profitability and stock price. They are based on the Company’s current expectations, and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks, and actual results may differ materially. The uncertainties and risk include the need for additional capital, the pace of growth of Internet commerce, the development by the Company and its competitors of new products and services, strategic decisions by major participants in the industry, competitive pricing pressures, legal and regulatory developments, general economic conditions, and stock market developments affecting technology companies. Further information about these and other relevant risks and uncertainties may be found in the Company’s report on Form 10-K, and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all of which are available from the Commission and from the Company’s worldwide web site as well as other sources.Details
IVI Checkmate Corp. a leading North American electronic payments solutions provider today announced an initial order for $1.1 million from Bank of America for its e(N)-Check 430 check reader. Bank of America, who recently merged with NationsBank, will install the check readers in its branches throughout California.
Greg Lewis, President and CEO of IVI Checkmate’s U.S. Operations, stated, “Bank of America’s selection of IVI Checkmate as their partner in teller window check processing is a tribute to our leadership in customer payment solutions. The e(N)-Check 430 has become the industry’s leading check reader as a result of its superior reliability, outstanding read accuracy and exceptional fraud detection. These attributes combine to reduce our customers operating costs while enhancing their client service.” Lewis adds, “This agreement builds upon our success in branch automation, a growth market segment for IVI Checkmate.”
Bank of America, with approximately $600 billion in total assets, is the largest bank in the U.S., with full-service consumer and commercial operations in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Bank of America provides financial products and services to 30 million households and two million businesses, as well as providing international corporate financial services for business transactions in 190 countries. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) stock is listed on the New York, Pacific, London, and Tokyo stock exchanges.
IVI Checkmate is the third largest electronic payment solutions provider in North America. IVI Checkmate is a full-service solutions provider in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America serving the retail, financial, hospitality, banking, healthcare and transportation industries. With offices in the U.S. and Canada as well as established strategic alliances and worldwide partnerships, IVI Checkmate is well positioned to deliver leading products and global technologies to its customers.Details
Bank of America said Wednesday it has initiated a fingerprint-based ‘VISA Cash’ smart card biometric program that provides participants with access to online banking services. A limited number of Bank of America associates are participating in the new program. To use the new biometric application, an associate first stores his or her online banking login ID, passcode and fingerprint on the chip attached to their B of A multi-application smart card. The participant then opens a log-in web page, inserts their smart card into a portable smart card reader, and then inserts the reader device into the computer’s diskette drive. The associate then places their finger on a small scanning device attached to the PC. The biometric software matches the fingerprint image from the scanner against the image already stored on the smart card’s chip. A fingerprint match unlocks the chip containing the participant’s online banking login ID and passcode, automatically launching them onto the first web page for Bank of America’s PC Load smart card program. From this web page, participating B of A associates can transfer value from their checking account onto the ‘VISA Cash’ stored value application on their smart card.Details
Beginning now, corporate air travelers can enjoy enhanced benefits and a wider range of travel information capabilities with the new US Airways Air Travel Card.
The Air Travel Card, which has always offered such benefits as:
–the ability to pay for all airline travel using only one credit card,
–worldwide card acceptance,
–no initial deposits, annual fees or extra card charges,
–cardless accounts to ensure against unauthorized use, and
–$200,000 worth of travel insurance at no charge,
now has been enhanced to include the following benefits for cardholders:
–management reports to summarize travel patterns and itemize costs,
–simplified record-keeping, payment and cost accounting data,
–customized billing statements to detail and track airfare expenses,
–flexibility to choose how and when to receive monthly billing statements, as well as the number of statements to be received, and the
–ability to receive billing statements electronically. US airways is one of 27 airlines throughout the world that issues the Air Travel Card, which is now accepted by more than 200 airlines worldwide.
There are many ways to contact US Airways. For additional information on the US Airways Air Travel Card, call US Airways at 800-528-3819 or email them at [UATP@usairways.com]. Information is available about US Airways flights by contacting your professional travel consultant or calling US Airways at 800-428-4322. You can also visit their Web site at [www.usairways.com].
Boulder, CO-based Smart Transaction Systems was awarded a contract by University MealPass of Tampa, FL to provide a system that will drive an alternative meal plan to students at the University of South Florida. Seventeen merchants, all located within one mile of the college campus, currently participate in the plan. The plan offers members exclusive discounts and specials that are advertised weekly. University MealPass will be using Smart Transaction Processor to generate electronic funds settlement for the merchants. The system also maintains a cardholder database indicating the status (e.g. issued, canceled, expired, etc.) and transaction history (e.g. purchases, cash-outs, exceptions, etc.) of each card.Details
According to the ‘Coinstar National Currency Poll’, released Wednesday, 75% of all Americans would still stop to pick up a penny on the street. The poll of 1,000 U.S. adults also found that in the Northeast, 7% of respondents said they would not pick up any coin on the street because they would be embarrassed to be seen doing so. Five percent of the people in the West said they would not pick up coins on the street because they were too lazy. More than 39% of all consumers polled had not cashed in their change for at least one year, while 25% had not cashed in coins in the last three years. According to Coinstar, the typical American adult touches about $600 in change annually.Details
USA Technologies reported Wednesday that at the end of 1998, approximately 1,000 points of distribution nationwide offered USA’s patented credit card-activated business services, an increase of 156% as compared to the end of 1997. USA’s patented ‘TransAct’ technology enables secure credit card activation of a variety of business products, including MBE Business Express, a 24-hour self-service business center product of Mail Boxes Etc.. Other USA credit card-activated business products include Laptop Dataport Express, a functional laptop/dataport connection and workstation, and USA’s Public PC, a stand-alone IBM computer and printer.Details
Mag-Tek Inc. has introduced an insert card reader requiring no external power supply. The new ‘Port-Powered Insert Card Reader’ with RS-232 interface is powered by the serial port signals. It is designed for use at gas pumps, self-service kiosks and in the gaming industry. With dual heads, it reads single or dual track cards in two card orientations. The reader is available with flush mount or extended bezel options, each having vandal-resistant features.Details
Chase Manhattan announced yesterday it will begin to charge non-customers to withdraw cash from Chase ATMs. Chase emphasized yesterday the decision has no impact on Chase customers using a Chase card. Chase will levy non-customer charges at its ATMs ranging from $1 to $1.50, depending on local market conditions. Chase says it is not levying a non-customer charge at 60 branch locations where 50% or more of the residents of the immediate area are low-and moderate-income, nor will Chase charge non-customers who receive their public assistance payments electronically. Chase has 1,499 ATMs in New York and New Jersey.Details
Associates First Capital Corporation announced Wednesday it has completed its acquisition of Avco Financial Services, Inc. for $3.9 billion. The Associates agreed in August 1998 to acquire Avco, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc..
“This is an important day for both organizations, as Avco joins The Associates portfolio of businesses,” said Keith W. Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer of The Associates. “This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit, bringing together two well-respected brands, solid financial services products, a strong branch network and combined operations in 16 countries. We believe this acquisition will enable us to continue to lead the industry and raise customer service standards everywhere we do business.”
As a result of this transaction, The Associates has begun a comprehensive review of affected operations and will announce final plans for integrating the businesses later in the first quarter 1999. The review will focus on overlapping operations in the U.S. and 15 international countries served by both organizations.
According to Hughes, the combined organization worldwide will have more than 22 million customers, 35,000 employees and managed receivables of about $79 billion. The operations of the two organizations will be fully integrated during 1999.
Avco is a global, diversified financial services company with approximately $8.9 billion in assets, 8,000 employees, 1,265 branches and 2.5 million customers. Its product offerings include real estate, retail sales finance and consumer loans, equipment, inventory and vendor finance, and credit and collateral-related insurance. Avco has the fourth largest U.S. consumer branch network and a significant international presence with offices in Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Hong Kong, Spain, Ireland, India and Sweden.
Associates First Capital Corporation, established in 1918, is a leading diversified finance company providing consumer and commercial finance, leasing, insurance and related services worldwide. The Associates has operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica and Taiwan. Headquartered in Dallas, it is one of the nation’s 100 largest companies, based on total market capitalization.Details