First Union ATMs

At a press conference held today, First Union Corporation, the nation’s sixth largest bank holding company, announced a partnership agreement with Card Capture Services (CCS). Through the partnership, CCS will initially place and manage 500 ATMs for First Union Corp. The agreement is the largest of its kind to date, and marks a new trend in bank ATM strategies.![][1]

As part of the agreement, First Union assumes the hardware cost and will provide the cash for the ATMs in retail locations nationally. CCS will continue to manage maintenance, processing, media, cash, and the relationship with the retail locations. The machines will retain CCSExpress signage. CCS and First Union will share transaction revenues. The announcement coincided with BAI’s Retail Delivery show, the banking industry’s largest conference, held in Las Vegas.

According to Al Sale, Executive Vice President of First Union, “CCS offered a cost effective way for First Union to quickly expand an ATM network without the corresponding infrastructure costs typically associated with ATM management. Although First Union has similar ATM deployment capabilities, in this instance CCS offered us a very efficient speed-to-market opportunity. All future transactions will be negotiated based upon the strengths of each partner.”

Outsourcing more profitable

A recent study by Dove & Associates reveals that, on average, independent ATM programs enjoy a cost advantage over bank programs. According to the study, the average cost for a bank to operate an off-premise ATM is $1,090 per month. For large banks, this number climbs to $1,180. The average cost per month for an independent ATM company is $703. Recognizing this advantage, in late 1997 CCS designed an ATM bank placement and management program modeled after its successful merchant-owned ATM program.

How CCS works with First Union

CCS works with First Union to develop and execute ATM strategies that expand brand presence and increase ATM profitability. Through CCS, First Union is able to tap nearly 5,000 existing ATMs in retail locations, including national and retail chains, a dedicated ATM sales force, site research capability, 24-hour customer service and monitoring and cash management.

ATM outsourcing seminar Thursday, December 4

ATMs in non-bank, or off-premise, locations are the fastest growing and most competitive segment of the ATM industry. Consumer demand for convenience, profit potential and banks’ national expansion strategies are driving off-premise growth. Formerly competitors for off-premise placements, banks and independent companies such as CCS and First Union are now forming unique ATM partnerships.

Dave Grano, president and CEO of Card Capture Services will discuss the economics of off-premise deployment as part of a panel of experts at the Retail Delivery conference on Thursday, December 3 at 3:15 p.m.

About First Union

First Union Corp. is a leading provider of financial services to more than 16 million customers throughout the East Coast and the nation. First Union has the fourth largest ATM network in the nation with more than 3,700 ATMs, is the nation’s sixth largest bank holding company, based on assets of $235 billion as of September 30, 1998, and ranks among the top 15 financial services companies in the world, based on market capitalization of $63 billion. The company operates full-service banking offices in twelve states and Washington, D.C.

About CCS

With nearly 5,000 ATMs, Portland, Oregon-based CCS is a leader in off-premise ATM placement and management. To date, the company has become the outsource partner for 33 banks of all sizes. CCS recently opened offices in Canada and Mexico. For more information about CCS, visit booth # 4728 at BAI’s Retail Delivery ’98 conference, or the company’s web site at [www.CCSExpress.com][2].

[1]: /graphic/firstunion/firstunion.jpg
[2]: http://www.ccsexpress.com

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BellSouth PrePaid Cards

BellSouth Long Distance introduced its prepaid phone card Thursday. The card is available at any of the 300 BellSouth Mobility and BellSouth Mobility DCS stores located throughout the BellSouth nine-state region. BellSouth is also planning to have the card available early next year in retail outlets such as convenience stores, chain stores and service stations both nationally and across its nine-state territory.The card is available in $10, $20 and $30 denominations.

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Missed Opportunities

Deluxe Corp. released a study yesterday showing that 43% of consumers say financial services companies do not know their personal financial needs very well. Nearly 60% of consumers surveyed said the offers they receive are irrelevant to their financial needs. Deluxe also found that local financial services companies have an advantage. A majority of consumers, 62%, said they’re more likely to accept offers from their local financial services company than from a national credit card company or other financial services provider. Furthermore, 67% of respondents said they were more likely to accept offers if they were presented in person. Deluxe also found that potentially good customers aren’t even targeted:  39% of respondents whose household income exceeds $50,000 said they don’t receive any mail offers from their financial services company.

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Iris ATMs

NCR and Sensar, Inc. confirmed yesterday that three more banks in Europe have signed up to pilot ATMs that utilize iris scan access. The three new banks join Nationwide Building Society of Britain which has run a trial for the past six months at a branch in Swindon, England. The three banks are: Banco Ambrosiano Veneto of Italy, Den norske Bank of Norway and Akbank in Turkey. NCR says there have been more than 1,000 participants in the trial at Nationwide’s Swindon branch. The company released a recent survey yesterday at the BAI Retail Delivery ’98 which shows that 91% would choose iris identification in future above either PINs or signatures; 94% would recommend iris identification to friends and family; and 94% were either comfortable or very comfortable using the new system. With 266 identification characteristics, the iris is the human body’s most unique physical structure.  Every person on the planet, including identical twins, have different irises.  Even a person’s own le ft and right iris are completely different.  Unlike other measurable human features in the face, the patterns in the human iris do not change over time.

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ATM Locator

VISA and MasterCard announced Wednesday they are developing an ATM locator application for a new wireless handheld organizer. The new ‘Palm VII’ from 3Com, will provide fast, secure and easy out-of-the-box access to personal, business and Internet information. The product will enable users to quickly and easily obtain important information from various Web sites remotely via a wireless connection to the Internet. With the new ‘Palm VII’ organizer, 3Com also introduces a new model for accessing Internet information, called “web clipping”.  Web clipping is a means of extracting a specific set of needed information from a given Web site, by requesting certain types of information via special query forms that reside on the ‘Palm VII’ device.  VISA’s ATM Locator offers a way to pinpoint the location of any of VISA’s 450,000 ATMs in 120 countries worldwide and is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. MasterCard’s ATM Locator offers location information for 430,000 ATMs in over 100 countries. MasterCard says its service will also include an interactive feature allowing ‘PalmVII’ users to transmit their location from the handheld device and then receive a list of three nearby ATMs. The new organizer enters a national field trial in January, and is expected to be widely available in the U.S. next year.

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SourceNDP

With SourceNDP, processing starts at the source — where checks are received — to dramatically accelerate funds availability.

Unisys Corporation this week announced SourceNDP, low-cost, compact check-image-capture technology that allows banks to start check processing at its logical source — the teller’s window.

Facilitating more efficient bank workflow, SourceNDP eliminates the need for banks to wait until checks can be sent to a centralized operations center to start processing checks. As a result, funds are available to the bank much more quickly and courier costs for sending checks for processing are slashed. SourceNDP is one of the first business-critical systems built on Microsoft Corporation’s Windows CE, a compact and portable operating system built from the ground up to enable the development of a broad range of business and consumer devices. The system’s compact, 6×14-inch footprint fits in either the teller window or the back counter.

Its low cost and ability to process 200-4000 checks a day make it suitable for bank branches, credit unions, and retail stores. It provides most of the features of larger image capture systems, at a fraction of the cost. SourceNDP captures check images at any number of distributed sites, such as bank branches. Check images and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) or Optical Character Recognition (OCR) code lines are transmitted throughout the day, making it possible for amount entry and balancing to occur well in advance of the arrival of checks at the processing center.

The “courtesy amount,” the handwritten numeric value of the check, can also be transmitted to further accelerate processing.

“SourceNDP goes a long way towards eliminating geography as a limiting factor in banking operations,” said Bob Thompson, senior vice president, Community First Service Corp., Fargo, N.D. “We think it will enable us to achieve courier cost reductions, more efficient central balancing, and better services to all customers.”

Because it uses Windows CE, SourceNDP is compatible with the rest of the Unisys scalable transport product line, which is based on Windows NT. The Unisys unique Common Application Program Interface (CAPI) permits applications running on other Unisys transports to be easily migrated to SourceNDP, providing a wide array of applications and providers to supply solutions based on the product.

“The use of Windows CE in the SourceNDP is transparent to customers, and will make the SourceNDP easy to support and capable of easily incorporating new features required by the market,” said Tony Barbagallo, the group manager for embedded systems for Windows CE, Microsoft Corporation. “SourceNDP is an excellent example of how the creative application of Windows CE to specific vertical market needs will propel the software environment into mainstream business use.”

SourceNDP communicates directly to the enterprise network via an Ethernet connection without a dedicated PC. A single SourceNDP system can be shared by several users.

SourceNDP is priced un $5,000, and is available in November from Unisys and its licensed partners. Courtesy Amount Recognition (CAR) capability is available as an option.

About Unisys

Unisys is more than 33,000 employees helping customers in 100 countries apply information technology to solve their business problems. Unisys solutions are based on a broad portfolio of global information services including systems integration, outsourcing, “repeatable” application solutions, consulting, network integration, remote network management, and multivendor maintenance and support, coupled with enterprise-class servers and associated middleware, software and storage. Repeatable solutions are focused on key vertical markets including financial services, transportation, telecommunications, government, publishing and other commercial markets. Headquartered in Blue Bell, in the Greater Philadelphia area, Unisys 1997 annual revenue was $6.6 billion. Access the Unisys home page on the World Wide Web – [http://www.unisys.com][1] – for further information.

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

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CardSystems

CardSystems, Inc. and NeuralTech, Inc., Wednesday revealed plans to merge. The new company will be known as CardSystems and will create a new enterprise capable of providing complete solutions to card issuers, acquirers and processors. Both companies said the bankcard processing industry has been stalled in some places because of the need for integrated, automated solutions linking widely distributed and legacy data sources.  The complexity of the task, however, makes it more involved than simply retooling. The new company will utilize industry best practices and advanced methods pioneered by CardSystems, coupled with artificial neural network intelligence technologies developed by NeuralTech. CardSystems was formed in 1990 and has evolved its proprietary ‘CardSMART’ card processing methodology into a template that can be utilized across a wide spectrum of applications. The merged company will operate primarily from its Fairfax, VA and Dallas, TX locations.

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Paymentech Canada

Paymentech Canada, a unit of Paymentech, Inc., is launching credit card and electronic payment processing for two major Canadian electronic retailing entities. The new clients are The Shopping Channel, Canada’s only nationally televised 24-hour shop-at-home-service, and Admission Network, Inc., which manages ticketing services for over 1,000 venues in six countries.

The new business represents a total of almost $200 million in sales volume and 2.6 million transactions on an annual basis. The direct marketing customers will be fully implemented early next year.

“Paymentech’s seamless multi-currency credit card processing and timely funds delivery meets our high standards of customer service,” said Jean-Francoys Brousseau, president of Admission Network.

“We process Canadian and U.S. sales from mail, phone, the Web, box offices and ticket outlets,” said Brousseau. “Paymentech’s flexible applications can accommodate these different order-taking scenarios.” Paymentech will process North American credit card payments for Admission Network, which handles ticketing for such events as Cirque du Soleil.

“We chose Paymentech for its enhanced processing systems,” said Mike Smith, director of information technology for The Shopping Channel. “We wanted to handle credit card transactions in a more timely fashion. That allows us to provide greater service to our customers.”

“As a payment processor with direct response expertise, we offer unique services for marketers who sell to customers in Canada, the U.S. and other countries,” said Hugh A. Ramolla, Paymentech Canada’s national sales director. “Our Canadian growth reflects the demand for such industry-specific services.” Paymentech currently processes credit cards and other electronic payments for nearly 100 Canadian direct marketers. Paymentech has also developed Internet capability to facilitate the delivery and reporting of credit card activity. Paymentech works with several electronic commerce-enabling solution providers such as nGage Electronic Commerce, a division of MTS Advanced, Inc., to provide total payment solutions.

The Shopping Channel (tSc) reaches into 5.6 million homes across Canada and ships well over 1 million packages each year. The Shopping Channel, headquartered in Toronto, is a division of Rogers Communications Inc. Founded in Canada, Admission Network, Inc., manages ticketing services there and in the USA, the Czech Republic, Austria, Holland and France. In North America, the Admission Ticketing Network provides consumers, venues and promoters with ticketing services through a growing number of Admission Ticket Outlets, a 1-800-service that offers toll free access from anywhere in North America, and a dedicated Web Site that delivers goods anytime, anywhere. Paymentech, Inc., founded in 1985, is a major provider of full-service electronic payment solutions and the top processor for direct response merchants such as cataloguers, telemarketers, and on-line service providers. Paymentech is the third largest acquirer of bankcard transactions and a leading issuer of commercial cards in the United States.

[www.paymentech.com][1]

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

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Mini-Wedge Reader

Mag-Tek, an international leading provider of card technology solutions, introduced its Mini-Wedge Swipe Reader this week.

The small footprint card reader offers enhanced features and is priced lower than comparable readers in the marketplace.

Its very small footprint is attractive for limited space. It effortlessly reads ISO, ANSI, AAMVA and CDL cards. The Mini-Wedge Swipe Reader has bi-directional read capability. Versions are available for reading single, dual or triple-track magnetic stripe cards.

New features include a red/green light indicator, built-in programmability and a six foot cable with AT and PS/2 connectors. The Mini-Wedge is available in pearl white or black.

Mag-Tek Inc. () manufactures an ever-expanding line of card readers, MICR check readers, encoders and motorized readers for financial institutions, OEMs and retailers. Since 1972 its headquarters have been in Carson, with sales offices throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and international distribution in more than 40 countries. Mag-Tek, known worldwide as an industry leader in technology and innovation, pioneered magnetic stripe readers more than 25 years ago.

Mag-Tek technology is used in millions of point-of-sale (POS) and financial transactions that utilize debit cards and credit cards at grocery store checkouts, automated gas pumps, pay phones and airplane seat phones throughout the world. For more information on the Mini-Wedge Swipe Reader or other Mag-Tek products call 888/624-8350 or contact your Mag-Tek Representative.

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Optika eMedia

Optika Inc. announced a complete extranet software solution tailored to meet the needs of customers in the financial services sector. The vertical solution is built upon the latest version of Optika eMedia — Optika’s new Web-based software suite that provides financial institutions the ability to manage business transactions in both paper and electronic formats. Optika eMedia Financial also includes a specialized services module and workflow templates developed to facilitate and streamline various types of financial transactions. In related news, Optika also announced today that the company has entered into a strategic alliance with McCracken Financial Software, a leading provider of commercial mortgage banking software.

“Based on Optika’s outstanding record in the financial services market, it is only natural for us to provide a product strategy that maximizes our potential in this market,” said Mark K. Ruport, president, CEO and chairman of Optika. “Having successfully deployed solutions at financial institutions with a wide array of applications, we have worked with Optika customers to create tools and templates critical to improving operations in the financial services industry.

Through our experience with customers such as ARVEST Bank Group, GMAC Commercial Mortgage and United Companies Financial Corporation, Optika has a strong foothold with the middle-tier institutions who constitute approximately 67 percent of the market — a group of institutions largely ignored by our competitors.”

An initial adopter of Optika eMedia Financial is ARVEST Bank Group (ABG), a multi-bank holding company with headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The company operates and owns several community banks, with management responsibilities for banking, investments and mortgage institutions. According to Jon Pascoe, ABG’s imaging manager, ABG is deploying document and image management, COLD and customized workflow systems in its core banking, investment and mortgage lending areas to improve customer service levels, increase the efficiency of backoffice operations and meet recordkeeping requirements of its regulators in a cost-effective manner. The EDMS (Electronic Document Management System) technology, when deployed, is expected to automate various business processes and provide ABG associates immediate access to centrally located repositories of corporate and customer information.

Optika eMedia Financial is comprised of three key components:

—   Optika eMedia software — manages both paper and electronic transaction information and allows the retrieval and viewing of all formats of documents, images and electronic data, such as electronic forms, electronic data interchange (EDI) and communications associated with business transactions;

—   Optika Business Solutions Methodology(TM) — provides special services designed to make delivery of high-value financial solutions a rapid, repeatable, low-risk process that ensures a long-term sustainable advantage; and

—   Financial Services templates — designed to automate specific types of processes that often occur within a financial transaction lifecycle. These include pre-defined workflow processes, customizable user interfaces called Galleries and integration points into line-of-business applications. Templates for commercial lending, consumer lending, mortgage lending and claims processing are being established, with additional templates being rolled out throughout 1999.

In order to drive Optika eMedia Financial into the market, Optika is allocating and training resources dedicated to delivering financial services solutions, including personnel in its services, sales and product marketing organizations.

Optika eMedia Solves a Unique Business Problem

Strict regulations in lending, banking and brokerage demand a high degree of quality in creation, execution and service, all without slowing transaction time. Unfortunately, documentation surrounding most transactions in this area comes in many unique forms — fax, paper and hand written forms, electronic and computer sources. From these disparate sources, financial institutions must cull and organize histories and reports for stringent auditing requirements. Today’s financial institutions are seeking low-risk, high-return, information technology solutions that simplify, integrate and extend their investments in legacy solutions while breaking new ground in electronic commerce applications.

Unlike its traditional competitors, Optika helps financial institutions optimize the infrastructure of the Web while streamlining paper-based processes. This “bridge,” unique to eMedia, allows a company to move to Internet-based transaction processes at the pace that is right for them. Optika eMedia Financial first solves the paper-intensive documentation problem by providing a quick and simple means of accessing all sources of documents through an integrated software suite of imaging and document management, workflow and COLD. The extranet client then enables financial services customers to access critical transaction information while institutions maintain control of both the paper and labor-intensive processes associated with their financial transactions.

“Optika is the only vendor who offers a solution with the infrastructure to manage paper-based transactions today and Web commerce in the future,” said Tom Reynolds, manager of network and desktop services, GMAC Commercial Mortgage. “eMedia enables us to conduct more rapid and efficient transactions with our partners by automating our paper-based processes.”

Optika eMedia’s distributed architecture allows institutions to perform remote capture of documents, resulting in improved communications between central and branch locations of financial institutions. This allows immediate access from all points in the enterprise, eliminating the need for physical distribution and management of those documents across the institution.

“Optika clearly sees the changes at hand in the financial services marketplace.

Leveraging their core expertise in imaging and document management, workflow and COLD, Optika is blending in the electronic side of the transaction to deliver a very holistic solutions offering,” said Ray Edwards, principal of Lighthouse Consulting, an independent consulting practice focusing on the financial services industry. “They are positioning themselves to serve the coalescing industries of banking, insurance and the securities and exchange market. Most importantly, Optika has created this offering by building and implementing systems with financial services institutions; thus, the bottom-line is real solutions based on the experience of real institutions.”

About Optika

Optika Inc. is leveraging the infrastructure of the World Wide Web to provide the bridge between paper and electronic commerce across the enterprise and throughout supply chains. Optika, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., provides software and solutions that enable Fortune 1000 companies to efficiently and inexpensively manage the high-volume flow of paper and electronic data associated with running today’s businesses. Optika has been named one of the Top 250 technology companies for 1998 by Software Magazine and has been honored as a Top 10 Technology Impact Company for 1997 and a One to Watch Company for 1998 by KMWorld. For more information about Optika, please contact the company at 719.548.9800 or visit Optika on the Internet at [www.optika.com][1].

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

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Integrion Growth

Integrion Financial Network announced Wednesday that approximately 750,000 subscribers are now banking online through Integrion, positioning the company as the leading provider of end-to-end electronic banking services in the country.  These consumers have relationships with financial institutions that have selected Integrion as their provider for interactive banking and electronic commerce.

Integrion made the announcement at the Bank Administration Institute’s Retail Delivery Systems Conference.

The number of subscribers has been rapidly increasing over the last few months, growing in excess of 2,000 consumers per day.  As of November 30, the subscriber count surpassed 747,000, an increase of 64,000 from October.  Based on market estimates of 5 million total online banking households in 1998, Integrion commands a leading market share of 15%.  At current rates, Integrion will surpass the one million subscriber milestone in early 1999.

William M. Fenimore Jr., CEO and Managing Director of Integrion, said: “From the very beginning, Integrion has been focused on providing our customer banks with a solution that is capable of handling significant subscriber and transaction volumes in a reliable and secure manner.  The hundreds of thousands of bank customers now online clearly demonstrate the effort is a success.”

Mr. Fenimore added, “As online banking, electronic bill payment and bill presentment gain mass acceptance over the next several years, financial institutions will be accountable for delivering these services to millions of customers in a dependable way.  Integrion is committed to standing behind our financial institutions as an industrial strength and stable technology partner.”

In 1998 Integrion owner banks PNC, Michigan National and ABN AMRO launched web-based electronic banking services through Integrion.  These banks joined Bank One and Nationsbank — now Bank of America — which went live with Integrion’s electronic banking platform services in 1997.  Washington Mutual and Mellon Bank are currently piloting Integrion services and plan to go live in 1999. In addition, Bank One and PNC announced their intention this year to use Integrion’s IFS platform to provide Internet-based electronic bill presentment and payment services to their customers in 1999.

Owned by 15 banks, IBM and Visa USA, Integrion Financial Network provides interactive banking and electronic commerce services to financial institutions. Through the Interactive Financial Services (IFS) platform, Integrion offers financial institutions a network through which electronic transactions flow from multiple consumer access points to a bank’s host system or processor.

Technology partnerships with IBM and CheckFree allow for the delivery of flexible, high-utility applications to financial institutions for the benefit of end customers. Integrion’s operating philosophy allows banks to determine the manner and format in which home banking and electronic commerce services are offered, ensuring consistency with the bank’s full range of services, effective branding by the bank, and maximum customer benefit.

The IFS platform is a real-time middleware solution that connects multiple electronic access devices with financial institution legacy systems. Through IFS, Integrion financial institutions are able to leverage a shared investment and achieve economies of scale that are difficult to duplicate on a proprietary basis. IFS was developed by IBM and is used by Integrion owner banks, which represent more than 75 percent of the households in the United States and Canada.

For more information, visit the Integrion web site at [http://www.integrion.net/][1].

[1]: http://www.integrion.net

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@dvanced Payment

Paris-based GlobeID Software unleashed its ‘@dvanced Payment’ solution suite yesterday aimed at high volume Internet payment operators.  ‘@dvanced Payment’ is a set of Oracle-based databases providing payor and payee account management and reporting services. Built in a modular fashion, @dvanced Payment uses a CORBA-distributed software bus architecture which interfaces through a set of APIs to various optional ‘@Pay’ modules to constitute advanced Internet payment solutions. ‘@dvanced Payment Merchant Acquiring Solution’ allows authorization and clearing of Internet payment transactions and provides reporting capabilities to both merchants and consumers. It supports major credit cards through the ‘@Pay ISO 8583’ module and uses the web as the reporting channel for all merchants services. The company also introduced ‘@dvanced Payment E-Purse Service Solution’ which allows smart card user communities to link to the Internet, enabling customers to refill their smart card and use it to p urchase over the Internet while merchants acquire smart card payments.

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