IVI–BofA Deal

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.


US Airways Card Beefs-Up

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][1].  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][2].

[1]: mailto:uatp@usairways.com
[2]: http://www.usairways.com/


MealPass Card

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.


Coins Galore

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.


Card Activated

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.


Port Power

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.


Chase ATM Fees

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.


Associates Finishes Avco Deal

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.


Datakey Lands Top Bank Deal

Datakey, Inc., a Minneapolis-based provider of information security systems, has received an order for a customized SignaSURE smart card-based system from a top five ranked U.S. bank.  The new SignaSURE smart card system is intended to replace an existing system used for authentication of large value financial transactions.  It includes an undisclosed number of client seats and a Datakey Security Control Center that initializes and customizes the client smart cards. All system elements are expected to ship in the first quarter of 1999.

“This is a very important competitive award for us,” said Carl Boecher, president and CEO of Datakey.  “It shows the confidence the banking community has placed in our company and our SignaSURE product line.  In addition, the resultant new custom product has direct applicability to other financial services firms who need the same high-security authentication capability that we now can provide.”

Datakey, Inc. is an international supplier of electronic products and services.  The Company provides product, subsystem and system solutions to record, store, and transmit electronic information. Datakey provides products and systems directed to the information security markets that enable user authentication, secure data exchange, and information validation.  The Company also provides OEM products, consisting of proprietary memory keys, cards and other custom-shaped tokens that serve as a convenient way to carry electronic information and are packaged to survive in portable environments.


Fee Freedom

Yesterday marked the start of operations for the ‘Freedom ATM Alliance’ in western Pennsylvania. The major supporter, Dollar Bank, joined 24 other Western Pennsylvania institutions to help its customers declare their independence from surcharging. A network of over 200 ATMs, the Freedom ATM Alliance prohibits ATM surcharges anywhere in the 5-county region surrounding Pittsburgh. However, Dollar, with 58 ATMs in the network, has established a $1.00 surcharge for customers of those institutions who have elected not to join the network as of this morning.


Equifax E-Commerce

Equifax has introduced a range of next-generation e-commerce solutions that revolutionize individual identification, privacy and security over the Internet.  The new services, offered through Equifax Secure E-Commerce Solutions, enable companies to authenticate consumer identity, secure applications and manage digital certificates.  Equifax also announced the opening of its highly secure operations facility to support these new e-commerce offerings.

Equifax is the first in the industry to offer a comprehensive, outsourced security solution that integrates advanced authentication, digital certificate management and scalable directory services to help enterprises significantly reduce the risk, cost and complexity of assuring electronic transaction security, privacy and integrity over the Internet and other networks.

The outsourced e-commerce solution from Equifax enables enterprises to:

Significantly reduce costs and time to market.

Authenticate individuals beyond standard “wallet” information using Equifax’s patent-pending remote authentication technology.

Issue and manage large volumes of customer-branded certificates.

“Equifax has been actively helping its clients conduct commerce for nearly 100 years,” said Jeff Johnson, Equifax senior vice president and general manager of Equifax Secure, Inc.  “As we move toward the millennium, our clients will be doing more and more business over the Internet and other private networks.  We are now in a position to help them meet the challenges of doing business safely over the Internet.”

According to Privacy and American Business, nearly half of the consumers who use personal computers do not access the Internet, saying that ensuring the privacy and security of personal data and on-line transactions would influence them to start using the Internet.  According to Computer Security Institute, more than $130 million has been lost in 1998 from unauthorized insider access, theft of proprietary information, telecommunications and financial fraud, and other security breaches over public and private networks.

“Without secure identification, promises of privacy by companies on the Net simply lack credibility,” said Alan Westin, a professor at Columbia University and one of the nation’s leading privacy experts.  “Equifax Secure will enable its clients to offer Net users a meaningful privacy channel for conducting e-commerce.”

More specifically, Equifax Secure E-Commerce Solutions provides:

A remote authentication service that establishes a new standard for authenticating network users by requesting, comparing and analyzing information furnished by the individual against data from Equifax and other consumer and business information sources.  This allows us to establish whether the applicant is who they claim to be.  The engine offers several levels of authentication to establish proof of identity.

The engine can accept data on consumers either in real-time through a web interface, or in batch mode, for off-line analysis; Certificate management services to manage certificate lifecycles, including issuance, renewal and revocation based on a web model that obviates the need for dedicated client software; and Directory services to access hosted repositories of certificates, privilege data and certificate revocation lists (CRLSs).  Equifax uses an LDAP-compliant X.500 directory that fully conforms to international X.500 standards for electronic directories.

Equifax Secure e-commerce solutions are designed to support multiple applications, including, but not limited to: Consumer Direct: Bill Presentment and Payment and Online Customer Service; Home Banking; and Medical Records Access Control; Intra-Enterprise: Single Sign-On, Employee Benefits Management and Secure Document Exchange; and Business to Business: Purchasing, Procurement and Supply Chain integration.  The service is available for companies across a range of industries, including banking/financial services, healthcare, insurance, telecommunications, utilities, consulting and information technology.

“As more and more organizations extend the reach of their business applications to suppliers, customers and business partners, it’s imperative to assure the integrity — privacy and security — of the applications and associated data,” Johnson said.  “With this e-commerce solution, companies can authenticate individuals, secure business applications, reduce fraud and accelerate use and acceptance of the Internet and other networks for e-commerce.”

Supporting Technology, Facilities

Equifax Secure is supported by public key encryption technology, Equifax’s patent-pending remote authentication engine and IBM’s Vault Registry(TM) technology:

Public Key Infrastructure is the accepted method for addressing concern for security and privacy systems and data.  PKI consists of a Certificate Authority (CA) that issues digital credentials (digital certificates), a Registration Authority (RA) that approves the issuance of these certificates, and a Directory where certificate information is stored.

IBM Vault Registry technology uses encryption and certificate-based authentication for its own security and provides a hardened systems operating environment with high system availability, integrated system monitoring, and strong auditing and reporting capabilities.  A flexible registration application enables organizations to register users for its services and administer the issued certificates over their life cycle.  The application permits organizations to easily customize the registration pages and the policies associated with the registration process to their unique business environment.

Equifax Secure E-Commerce Solutions is supported by a new high-security operations facility that includes the latest in physical and network security features.

Equifax is a worldwide leader in shaping global commerce by bringing buyers and sellers together through its information, transaction processing, consulting and knowledge-based businesses.  Equifax serves the banking, financial, retail, credit card, transportation, telecommunications/utilities and healthcare industries and government.  Founded in 1899, Atlanta-based Equifax today has 14,000 employees in 18 countries and sales in more than 45 countries.  Revenues for the 12 months ended September 30, 1998, were more than $1.5 billion.  For more Equifax information, visit the company’s Internet web site at [www.equifax.com][1].

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