FINA is zapping the need for credit card applications with a new automated credit card conversion process that begins at the store level.  ‘ZAP APP’ uses a POS terminal to transmit cardholder/applicant information to FINA’s card processing center automatically.  The new, paperless system enables the company to have FINA cards in customers’ hands in as little as seven business days. The system also reduces distributor charge-backs due to incomplete forms, as well as multiple-card-use fraud. FINA began the pilot program ‘ZAP APP’  last November in Wichita Falls, Texas, Lawton, Okla. and surrounding markets. Six weeks into the testing period, seven distributors who had 50 FINA branded locations participating, including 13 recently converted stations, had processed over 3,100 applications with an approval rate of nearly 70 percent.


Cap One in S&P 500

Standard & Poor’s announced Capital One Financial Corporation was named to its S&P 500 Index.

“We’re pleased that S&P recognized Capital One’s outstanding record of achievement by including us in the S&P 500,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Capital One’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “S&P’s action acknowledges Capital One’s leading position in the consumer finance industry.”

Standard & Poor’s Financial Information Services, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, provides financial, economic, and investment information, as well as analytical services, to the global financial community and commodity trading markets. Standard & Poor’s calculates and maintains the S&P 500, which is widely considered a key barometer of stock market activity and performance benchmarks for professional money managers.

“Since Capital One became an independent company in 1995, we’ve experienced exponential growth. Our strategy of mass customizing products has proven successful for nearly 13 million customers and we are planning to continue on this growth track with innovative products and expansion into overseas markets,” said Nigel Morris, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., Capital One Financial Corporation () is a financial services company with more than 7,000 associates worldwide, whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One subsidiaries collectively near 12.7 million customers and $14.0 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 1998, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.


Hypercom Opens Software Development Center

Hypercom Corporation, the fastest growing global electronic payment systems vendor, today announced the opening of the new Hypercom Dallas Software Development Center and also announced the appointment of William H. “Bill” Smiers, who will manage the new operation as vice president of Engineering Development.

Smiers joins Hypercom from Verifone, where he was vice president of Verifone’s Dallas Engineering and Development Center, with additional responsibilities in the Bangalore India Development Center. Smiers formerly held engineering management positions with Texas Instruments and Lockheed Electronics.

![][1]     “The addition of Bill and his team affirms our continuing investment in our core POS terminal hardware and software business,” said Al Irato, president and CEO of Hypercom Corporation. “Our customers have continually complimented Hypercom’s product development, under the direction of Senior Vice President Paul Whittle. With the addition of Bill Smiers and his talented team we can continue to accelerate the growth of the business and satisfy the needs of our customers, many of whom know Bill.”

“We’re delighted to add Bill and his staff to our team. Clearly they are the best of the first-round draft choices in our industry,” said Paul Whittle, senior vice president of POS Systems Development. “The Dallas group will play a vital role in continuing our consistent effort to meet market demand for innovative, cost-effective POS systems.”

“I’m excited to join the leading independent company in the POS market,” said Smiers. “My team is anxious to contribute to Hypercom’s leadership in the industry and help add to its track record of providing valuable and innovative products to help customers meet their business needs.”

About Hypercom Corporation

Hypercom Corporation is the world’s number one independent supplier of point-of-sale payment hardware, software and networking technology. The company also supplies Internet-based processing solutions. Hypercom markets innovative solutions for delivering and processing secure electronic payments and the infrastructure to rapidly and cost-effectively integrate and deploy card-based acceptance applications.

Hypercom’s end-to-end product family of terminals, peripherals, POS network products and software enables merchants and service providers to automate credit, debit and other electronic payment transactions with seamless integration, scalability and interoperability.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 50 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 [ ][2]

[1]: /graphic/hypercom/smiers.jpg



VISA International became truly international yesterday with the appointment of a top British executive as  CEO and President. Malcolm Williamson, currently Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC, will succeed Ed Jensen who retires October 1. The CEO selection committee was headed by Peter Ellwood, VISA International Board Chairman, and included the chairmen of VISA’s six regional boards as well as Mr. Jensen. The committee made its recommendation yesterday to VISA’s International Board of Directors which unanimously approved the selection. The 59 year old Mr. Williamson was appointed Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC in 1993. During his time as Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered refocused its activities on its key strengths, concentrating on certain business sectors and geographic markets.  Trading profit from 1993-1997 rose from 358 million pounds sterling to 904 million pounds sterling. Mr. Williamson is currently a non-executive director of the UK’s National Grid Group; a board member of the British Invisibles; a member of the British Council of the Industrial Society and UK chairman of the British Thai Business Group. VISA said yesterday that during Jensen’s watch, VISA’s worldwide market share increased by 5 points to 58% and transaction volume has risen by more than 24% annually.


CyberTrust SET Certificates

GTE Internetworking’s CyberTrust Solutions received approved vendor status yesterday by VISA International to provide certificate processing services to VISA members via VISA’s Secure Electronic Commerce initiative. CyberTrust Secure Payment Services, the exclusive provider of MasterCard-branded SET digital certificates, now offers financial institutions the ability to work with a single source provider to manage their certification authority operations for MasterCard and Visa. GTE Internetworking charges a standard monthly fee that includes set up and operation of the SET service, a bundled number of certificates, a range of authorization capabilities, consulting and training.


Debit Card ATM Dispenser

Default Proof Credit Card System Inc. announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office June 19 issued a favorable office action for the company’s Debit Card ATM Dispenser. Default Proof Credit Card System Inc. has developed a system that allows consumers to purchase prepaid debit cards at automated teller machines. The cards dispensed will have the same plastic functions like most online debit cards.


Brand Power

VISA ranked #3 among the most powerful business-to-business brands in the U.S., while MasterCard ranked #8 and American Express #9. The findings, released yesterday, come from the latest ‘ImagePower’ survey conducted by Landor Associates and research specialists Louis Harris & Associates.The rankings are drawn from the ‘ImagePower Index’, which is a composite measure combining each brand’s strength across five different perception criteria: share of mind (awareness), share of heart (regard), value (value for money), momentum (potential for future growth), and uniqueness/singularity (overall business choice). Also among the Top 30: Chase ranking #22 and Citibank ranking #24.

America’s Top 10 Business-to-Business Brands
        (based on ImagePower Index)

RANK                COMPANY                INDEX

1                 Microsoft                 84
2                 UPS                      72
3                 Visa                      72
4                 AT&T                      71
5                 Federal Express           67
6                 Xerox (office equipment)  64
7                 IBM                       57
8                 MasterCard                53
9                 American Express          51
10                Canon                     47
            Source: Landor/Harris


Student Cards

A nationwide study of 750 college students found that nearly two-thirds now have credit cards and more than half of student cardholders pay card balances off each month. According to the survey conducted for Washington, DC-based The Education Resources Institute and the Boston-based Institute for Higher Education Policy, 82% of college students have balances of $1,001 or less. While 59% said they pay their balance off each month, the majority of those who revolved balances paid significantly more than the required minimum payment. About half of the students surveyed indicated that building a credit history was the most important reason for signing up for credit cards. The study also found that 55% of students received their first card in their freshman year in college with 25% obtaining their first credit card in high school.


Euronet Nears 1000 ATMs

Euronet’s ATM network now consists of 942 on-line ATMs, as of yesterday, an 18% increase since the end of the first quarter. Last week Euronet brought American Express in Croatia on line as well as the Polish Association of Credit Unions. Euronet ATMs can accept approximately 80% of the cards issued to date in Poland. According to figures released yesterday, cash withdrawal and other transactions by cardholders over the Euronet ATM network in Hungary, Poland, Germany, Croatia, and the Czech Republic totaled 1,072,978 in April and 1,190,512 in May. These figures compare with 1,053,364 transactions in March, and represent a 2% increase from March to April and an 11% increase from April to May. Established in 1994, Euronet operates the only independent, non-bank owned ATM network in Central Europe.


End-to-End Home Banking

InteliData Technologies Corp announced yesterday the first end-to-end home banking solution that will allow banks and their processors to link directly with users of both Intuit, Inc.’s Quicken and transactional Web sites. InteliData’s solution is the first to support the personal financial management software Quicken using the Open Financial Exchange message set. The solution will allow online banking customers to download up- to-the-minute account information for multiple checking, savings and credit card accounts.  Users will also be able to do real-time funds transfers between accounts, and pay bills electronically through both  Quicken and transactional Web sites.