Tidel 4Q to be Off

Tidel Technologies, Inc. the fastest-growing major U.S. manufacturer of off-premise ATMs, announced Friday that financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter will be below expectations, although the Company still anticipates record revenues and net earnings for the fiscal year ended September 30, 1998 taken as a whole.  Tidel will report complete fourth quarter and year end 1998 results in mid December.

Revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to approximate $8.5 million, a decline of 7% from the same quarter in 1997, due to reduced sales of ATM products near the end of the fiscal year.  Two factors accounted for the softness in sales.  Industrywide concerns about proposed legislation, which would have greatly curtailed ATM surcharge fees, caused several major customers to reduce purchase order quantities to levels below previously expected amounts.  This proposed legislation was overwhelmingly defeated by the Senate and is no longer an issue for Tidel.  In addition, the Company made sweeping changes to its entire product line for introduction in fiscal 1999, prompting customers to defer some orders to the next quarter to benefit from the new features of the recently introduced Ignition series ATMs.  The Company has experienced similar temporary sales declines upon introduction of new equipment in previous years, and accordingly, does not believe that the recent trend will impact the performance of future quarters.

Tidel anticipates that net income and earnings per share will be near breakeven for the fourth quarter, as a result of the reduced sales.  In addition, profit margins decreased due to pricing discounts utilized to help sell existing inventories of 1998 model ATM products.

James T. Rash, Chief Executive Officer, noted, “We are entering 1999 with the strongest financial position in the history of the Company.  With our recently introduced Ignition series, we have developed an innovative successor to our popular ATM line that will allow us to compete effectively in existing markets, and will accommodate our planned expansion into international markets as well.  Going forward, the Company expects record sales and earnings for fiscal 1999.  Additional announcements regarding our new product lines and strategic alliances will be forthcoming shortly.”

Tidel Technologies, Inc. is a Texas based manufacturer of automated teller machines and cash security equipment designed for specialty retail marketers. Tidel pioneered the dial-up ATM in 1992, and is the fastest growing major ATM manufacturer in the United States.


AmEx Catering Promo

American Express has launched a new business building program available to restaurateurs who welcome American Express Cards.  The Catering and Private Party Program is a cost-effective marketing program that uses consumer media, direct mail and promotions to help merchants who want to develop and increase restaurant catering and private party revenue.  With this program, American Express hopes to help restaurateurs increase revenue in the catering/private party business, which represents a $17.7 billion niche segment in the restaurant industry. This marks the first time that a charge and card company has developed a business building program for this segment of the restaurant industry.

The program was designed to support restaurateurs in promoting the benefits of hosting catered events at restaurants.  It enables restaurateurs to build business and revenues by taking advantage of seasonal and special events like corporate holiday parties and celebrations.  The program markets to patrons and business customers who may not otherwise use restaurants for special occasions.  It can also help increase the dining check average.  Restaurateurs who are interested in participating in the program should call their American Express accounts representative or (888)263-9267.

Merchants can utilize all or some of the creative components of the program including:

Marketing-based print advertising campaigns: restaurateurs can increase the awareness of their catering and private party services through special “Great Parties Call For Great Places”  advertisements which will appear in local newspapers and magazines this holiday season.  These Include The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine and Chicago Magazine.

Postcard program: merchants can create specially designed postcards to promote their catering private party services to American Express Cardmembers.  For one low cost, American Express will handle all the details including customization, printing, postage and mailing house services.

Marketing campaigns: restaurateurs can work with American Express to develop promotional offers for American Express Cardmembers.

The Catering & Private Party Program provides merchants with flexibility to choose the components that are most appropriate for their business.  The cost of the program depends upon the services selected by the merchant.

“By partnering with American Express, restaurateurs will be able to attract new customers through increased exposure,” said Bruce Bozzi Jr., catering sales manager for New York-based Palm Restaurant.  “The program will allow them to expand their local marketing efforts and tap into a new customer base that they normally wouldn’t have access to.”

“American Express is committed to helping its merchant partners build business.  We are pleased that this innovative program will help restaurants build additional revenue while attracting new customers,” said Lloyd M. Wirshba, vice president and general manager, Restaurant and Entertainment Industries.  “We are also confident that are Cardmembers will benefit by taking advantage of the professional expertise of restaurateurs in planning their special events and earning Membership Rewards points.”

American Express is welcome at more of the stores, restaurants, hotels and service providers where Cardmembers spend on everything from health and beauty aids to computers to a weekend away.  Current American Express research shows that based on the way American Express Cardmembers use their American Express Cards, Cardmembers can put 94 percent of their plastic spending on American Express.  Presently, a fast growing number of merchants worldwide welcome American Express, with a new establishment accepting the Card every two minutes.

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Express Company- a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850.  It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.


First Data 3Q

First Data Corp. reported Friday that domestic merchant processing services revenues were up 2% for the quarter to $331 million. Merchant bankcard volumes showed good growth, with dollar volume up 13% to $62 billion and transactions processed up 12% to 1.1 billion. Domestic card issuer services revenues were up 6% over last year’s quarter to $310 million.  Total domestic accounts on file increased 23% to 185 million, while active accounts on file were up 13%. During the third quarter, the FDC converted the Wells Fargo bankcard portfolio and signed First Consumers National Bank, whose private label portfolio includes Spiegel Catalog, Eddie Bauer and Newport News, for conversion in 1999.  Processing revenues were up 11% in the quarter, while back-office servicing revenues (from credit application processing, customer service and pre-charge-off collections) were down 23% as those activities continue to be rationalized to a profitable base.


Ascendant SigCap

Hypercom Corporation today introduced Ascendent SigCap, a high-volume electronic signature and receipt capture, storage and retrieval software solution. Ascendent SigCap allows merchants and banks to electronically capture and store millions of signatures and receipts, and retrieve them for dispute resolution.

Ascendent SigCap operates independent of the transaction processing host. As such it can be added to an existing transaction processing environment, or to a merchant’s system, with minimum delay and integration complexity. Thus Ascendent SigCap allows electronic payment processors to add electronic receipt capture and retrieval quickly and easily without having to change existing legacy systems.

“The days of merchants storing boxes of receipts in the back office or spending hours sorting through them to find the receipt of a disputed transaction can quickly become ancient history,” said Theodore (Ted) F. Cole, Senior Vice President, Ascendent Software Products Group, Hypercom Corporation. “Ascendent SigCap for the first time allows financial institutions to support high-volume electronic receipt capture, reduce dispute resolution costs and speed response time to merchant queries. Most importantly for merchants, the system can drastically cut chargebacks.”

Built on the Ascendent Transaction Environment (ATE), SigCap captures signature and receipt data from the terminal and stores it in a database on the Ascendent SigCap server. If needed at a later date, the data can be accessed to view or retrieve an image of the signed receipt. The retrieved receipt can be printed, e-mailed, faxed or EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) transferred to the requesting institution.

SigCap provides the performance and reliability necessary to meet the stringent requirements inherent in bank and processing center 24-hour per day, seven day a week operations. It incorporates a comprehensive list of features including easy-to-use menus for retrieving, displaying and printing disputed transaction information; scalability ranging from small transaction volumes to millions per month; database independence and fast, fault-tolerant transaction processing with Hypercom’s Ascendent Transaction Environment.

Ascendent SigCap: How It Works

Ascendent SigCap incorporates a transaction processing engine that captures the signature and receipt data from the merchant point-of-sale (POS) terminal. Each receipt/signature is transmitted by the terminal and stored by SigCap as a self-contained record within the SigCap server database. This separation of signature and receipt data from the financial transaction eliminates the need for closely integrating the signature and receipt storage and retrieval system with the financial host, a major obstacle to building simple retrieval systems in the past.

The Ascendent SigCap server can be located either at the host or it can be remote. Signature/receipt data can be received from the terminal either in a batch format, or on a per transaction basis as part of the financial transaction communications. SigCap can be used as a stand-alone product or added as an option to Hypercom’s Ascendent software family of client/server payment processing and data transaction solutions including the Advanced Transaction Processor (ATP), Network Terminal System (NTS), Loyalty Management System (LMS) and RealPay and SET applications for e-commerce.

“Ascendent SigCap is the perfect end-to-end solution when combined with Hypercom’s powerful new T5000 POS terminal or ICE Peripheral,” Mr. Cole said.

Ascendent SigCap is available now through a Hypercom sales representative.

End-To-End Hypercom Solution: SigCap and ICE

When operated in conjunction with Hypercom’s T5000 Interactive Customer Equipment (ICE) POS terminal or ICE Peripheral, SigCap facilitates a complete electronic signature capture, receipt storage and retrieval system that eliminates the need for a paper copy of the receipt, and its related handling and retrieval. This provides a complete and efficient paperless environment that improves merchant efficiency and service, while reducing chargeback.

Hypercom’s ICE is a modular terminal concept that employs an interactive touch-screen to meet the increasing requirement for easy-to-operate customer-activated card acceptance devices.

The ICE represents an entirely new generation of interactive, consumer- operated card acceptance terminals which, when combined with Ascendent SigCap, deliver a highly-efficient and effective end-to-end solution in supporting electronic signature and receipt capture, storage and retrieval.

Ascendent by Hypercom

Ascendent transaction software is a comprehensive family of front-end client/server payment and data transaction processing software solutions and related professional services.

Ascendent software solutions most often serve as an adaptive layer for host legacy systems that allow financial transaction companies to quickly and easily add new functionality, features, programs and performance without disrupting or replacing existing mission-critical legacy systems.

“Ascendent software by Hypercom provides an adaptation layer for host legacy systems that allows financial transaction companies to quickly and easily support new functions and payment modes without replacing their existing transaction infrastructure investments,” Mr. Cole said. “Ascendent software exemplifies Hypercom’s continuing heritage of providing industry leadership with innovative solutions, and we are very pleased to announce this newest addition to Hypercom’s Ascendent family.”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Hypercom Corporation 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 [www.hypercom.com][1].

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


CFS Downgrade

Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has downgraded its current ratings on outstanding CFS serviced ABS transactions from ‘A’  to ‘BB’  last week, affecting approximately $1.53 billion in securities outstanding as of the Sept. reporting date. Duff & Phelps says the projected cash flow available from, in this case, pools of previously defaulted credit card loans must meet standards of predictive validity and reliability commensurate with the ratings applied to the securities issued. It is DCR’s opinion that the reliability of cash flows from the pools of collateral backing CFS’ asset-backed transactions is no longer consistent with its initial ratings. By DCR’s estimate, as of the August  reporting date, one ABS transaction was behind scheduled collections by over $5.5 million dollars or 19.08%, while another ABS was also behind $1.78 million or 6.8%.  Other CFS ABS’ were also behind expectations by $1.8 million or 6.87% and by $2.1 million or 12.88%.  There has been recent allegations involving certain receivables sales to a company called DIMAT, Inc. and in particular that there may be links between DIMAT, Inc. and CFS or CFS shareholders. In response to these allegations, the CFS’ President and Chairman stated, according to Standard & Poor’s, that “there appears to be some basis for certain of these allegations.”


Advanced Positive Pay

Bankers attending CHEXPO 98 will have the opportunity to see IA Corp.’s latest image-based cash management products including CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay, a new application that allows banks to review critical check information and input information or decisions to combat check and draft fraud.

IA Corp. , a leading developer of archive and application software solutions for the financial services industry, will demonstrate the benefits of IA CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay at the Fourth Annual Check Technology Conference and Exposition.

IA’s CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay lets payable-through draft and check issuers remotely review electronic images of drafts or checks from multiple sites and upload to banks their payment decisions with ad-hoc data corrections.

“CHEXPO 98 focuses on check payment systems and the technologies that are moving the industry forward into the 21st Century. IA’s products address these issues and will provide attendees with innovative and strategic solutions that can help bankers gain a competitive edge,” said Terry Leger, vice president of marketing for IA Corp.

The Advanced Positive Pay application leverages IA’s CheckVision Archive product. IA’s CheckVision Archive is an advanced software solution for financial institutions to store and leverage transaction information, such as check images, MICR data and credit slips. CheckVision Archive is the keystone for the transition from current banking processes to national electronic banking operations.

IA Corporation

IA Corporation develops, markets, implements and supports application software solutions for financial services institutions. The Company’s software applications leverage the value of archived transaction information enabling financial institutions to generate additional revenues, obtain operational cost savings and extract important marketing data.

The Company currently sells two comprehensive software application frameworks, CheckVision and RemitVision, that are built upon the Company’s transaction archive and information management platform.

The company’s customers include leading organizations such as Comerica, Mellon Bank, Fleet Bank, Wachovia, Harris Bank and UMB Bank, NA.

IA is located at 1900 Powell St., Emeryville, CA 94608-1840, U.S. Telephone: (510) 450-7000. Fax: (510) 450-7099. Email: [[email protected]][1]; Website: [iacorporation.com][2]

[1]: mailto:[email protected]
[2]: http://www.iacorporation.com


Fast Growing CCS

In an issue hitting newstands last week, Inc. magazine lists Card Capture Services, Inc.(CCS) as the 43rd fastest growing private company in the country. A leading independent provider of ATMs nationwide, CCS is the highest ranking of seven Oregon companies on the list.

Of the listing, company president and CEO, Dave Grano comments, “This accomplishment is only possible thanks to the hard work of a truly dedicated staff, and the steadfast support we have received from people and businesses who have furthered our efforts to build a strong company.” Grano adds, “We are honored to be counted among such fine companies.”

Portland, Oregon based Card Capture Services, Inc.(CCS) offers turn-key ATM programs which include transaction processing, machine maintenance, customer service, accounting and reporting to a growing base of Automated Teller Machines(ATMs) nationwide. Founded in 1993, the company currently has 60+ employees and a nationwide network of 30 independently contracted dealers. For more information about CCS, visit the company’s web site at [www.CCSExpress.com][1].

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


Sears 3Q Slip

Sears, Roebuck and Co. reported third-quarter net income of $44 million compared with $353 million in the third quarter of 1997 due to a number of extraordinary items.  However the company experienced a 12.3% decline in credit card revenues. The decrease in credit revenues was attributable to reduced late fee income and a lower level of owned credit card receivables. In the third quarter of 1998, the domestic provision for uncollectible accounts was $281 million, a 19.2% decrease from $348 million in the third quarter of 1997.  The decrease in the provision is due to favorable trends in delinquency rates, charge-off experience and bankruptcies. Managed credit card receivable balances increased 0.4% from the third quarter of 1997 to $27.4 billion.


TNS Aquisition

RI-based GTECH Holdings said Friday that it is engaged in discussions regarding the possible acquisition of  VA-based Transaction Network Services, Inc..  No agreement has been reached and significant issues, including acquisition financing, remain unresolved.  GTECH Holdings Corporation, headquartered in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, is the world’s leading supplier of computerized on-line lottery products and services. Last week Transaction Network Services signed an agreement with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., to provide transaction transport services to Discover Financial Services for Discover Card and other bankcard credit authorizations.


Remote Cards

Israel-based OrdaCard announced Friday a new Internet service for remote photo ID cards production. The service is based on a new product developed by Clal Imaging Ltd. and the upgraded Indigo offset digital printer. The system allows remote live enrollment at customer sites anywhere throughout the world, secured transfer of data, photos and biometrics data over a low cost Internet connection to OrdaCard’s central printing location. OrdaCard will then print personalized data on plastic cards, Magnetic stripe cards and smart cards using an Indigo offset printer that works at speeds of up to 5,000 cards per hour, integrated into the modern smart card production line at OrdaCard.



CA-based Brentwood Medical Products and NY-based NOVUS Technologies announced Friday a strategic alliance that will introduce ‘CardioCard’. The ‘CardioCard’ is a  new product that stores digital electrocardiogram records on an optical memory card, and will be available in November. The ‘NOVUS CardioCard’ is a permanent, portable storage device that archives and communicates patient information and medical history through a network of physicians, clinics and hospitals. The ‘CardioCard’ is part of the NOVUS HealthPass family of optical card products and is capable of storing hundreds of ECG records, as well as a wide variety of information including: demographics, insurance, lab tests, prescriptions, medical images (x-rays, MRI, CT and ultrasound) and other clinical and administrative records. There was no indication Friday that the card would carry payment applications.



VISA International and the National Football League announced Friday marketing partnerships for Mexico and Japan that provide exclusivity in the consumer payment category through March 31, 1999.  With last week’s agreement, VISA will become the official and preferred payment card of the NFL in Mexico and Japan, and is granted exclusive rights to use the logos, names and colors of the NFL and its member clubs in the payment card category in those countries. Both Mexico and Japan have previously hosted pre-season NFL games on a regular basis. In April 1995, Visa U.S.A. and the NFL announced that VISA would be the official payment card of the NFL through March 31, 2000.