Legacy Converter

CR Systems announced that Union State Bank has completed a successful implementation of its flagship product, Legacy Converter.

Legacy Converter is a data communication system that can significantly reduce ATM and teller network costs by converting ATM or teller terminal traffic to TCP/IP, eliminating separate data lines.

Union State Bank is a $1 billion-asset institution with 22 branches headquartered in Orangeburg, N.Y. When it approached CR Systems, the bank sought to eliminate much of the cost of the separate data lines necessary to run its ATM network.

“Prior to using Legacy Converter, we had 42 lines – two communication lines supporting each of our 21 remote locations – one for the ATM traffic and one for the data traffic,” said Joe Anderson, assistant vice president of Data Processing for Union State Bank. “Now we have one line providing communication between our host and all of our sites. On that one line, we can bring all the ATM traffic into our data center, plus all the data transmission that goes back and forth normally between a branch and the host, for such things as new accounts, balances and teller transactions. This considerably reduces our monthly costs.”

In addition to greatly decreasing the costs associated with every additional – yet unnecessary – data line, the Legacy Converter system enhances the manageability and security of networks and improves their overall infrastructure. “Many banks are still paying for multiple communication lines and the resulting maintenance costs month after month without realizing there is a solution,” said Klaus Akselsen, vice president of CR Systems Corp. “Sometimes infrastructure issues are overlooked, resulting in greater costs, poor manageability of their systems, compromised security and a reduction in the overall quality of the infrastructure itself. Legacy Converter provides solutions in all these areas.”

Increased control and manageability have proved to be major benefits to Union State Bank, according to Anderson. “Because of Legacy Converter, we have better control of our remotes by pinpointing problems early on – leading to less downtime at remote locations,” he said. “Basically, it provides us with a good network management system. We also have dialed back-up capability built into the box so that if the main leg goes out, it will automatically try to communicate with our host through an ISDN line and make a connection for the failed line.”

Legacy Converter is available as a board/software solution or a box solution. Typically, the remote (branch) end requires a board/software solution, which is based on a communication card and software. Legacy Converter can have up to five cards (10 ports) in one Windows NT platform. It also provides gateway functionality between NT platforms and mainframes.

The central (host) end can be either a board/software solution or a box solution, depending on the number of lines required. The box solution is available in a small, two-port version and a larger version with up to 40 ports in one unit. Multiple boxes can be clustered to support virtually any number of lines.

Customer Support Another CR Systems Hallmark

Another hallmark of CR Systems is the high-level of support it provides customers. “CR Systems is the most responsive vendor we work with at the data center,” Anderson reported. “If we have any problem, they are immediately addressing the situation.” “Union State Bank is growing, and our needs are constantly changing. We have not come up with a problem that CR Systems has not been able to address, and that gives us confidence that we are aligning ourselves with the right company. They are extremely professional and knowledgeable.”

About the Company

CR Systems has been involved in multi-protocol data communications for more than 20 years. The company is headquartered in Hvidovre, Denmark, with North American headquarters in Atlanta. It is partially owned by Delta Air Lines, the largest single user of CR Systems’ technology.

The company develops, manufactures and sells solutions that allow multiple protocols and multiple application platforms to share network resources. Its core competence is communication protocols and protocol conversion. For more information on CR Systems, contact Klaus Akselsen at (404) 767-8230, via fax at (404) 767-1372, write to CR Systems, 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30354, or e-mail akselsen@crsystems.com. Visit CR Systems’ Web site at [http://www.crsystems.com.][1]

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


AmEx Intl Head

American Express appointed James M. Cracchiolo as president of its international travel related services unit yesterday. Cracchiolo replaces Thomas Ryder, who resigned in April. In his expanded role Cracchiolo will lead two of the three top AmEx initiatives, namely the growth of international business and building a global network. Cracchiolo has served most recently as president of the company’s newly formed Global Network Services, which develops partnerships with banks and other financial institutions to issue proprietary and non-proprietary cards.  During his tenure, AmEx has signed 32 card-issuing partners outside the U.S.. Prior to heading GNS, Mr. Cracchiolo was SVP of TRS Quality, Re-engineering and Business Strategy.


Million $ Shot

An Illinois man beat out nine other MasterCard contestants this week at New York City’s Chelsea Piers Sky Rink to head to the Stanley Cup Finals to take MasterCard’s ‘1998 Million Dollar Stanley Cup Shot’.  Next month, during the intermission between the second and third periods of Game One, broadcast by Fox, Dr. Richard Chaifetz will take to the ice, representing not only his own million-dollar dreams but the million-dollar hopes of an eager ‘MasterCard/NHL on Fox ‘ home viewer as well. That viewer will call in to be selected during the first period of Fox’s Game One, and when Chaifetz takes aim from the near blue line, one shot could earn him and the lucky caller a million bucks each. Karyn Bye, five-time national team member and former Women’s Player of the Year, will spend next week by Chaifetz’s side, training him for his Stanley Cup appearance.


Real Quiet

It will be anything but real quiet for VISA next weekend if ‘Real Quiet’, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, wins the VISA Triple Crown Challenge and earns a $5 million payout. VISA will present Real Quiet owner Mike Pegram an oversized ‘VISA Card’ in the winner’s circle at the Belmont Stakes June 6. VISA’s five-year commitment as the title sponsor of the Triple Crown Challenge, offering a $5 million bonus, began in 1996. The Triple Crown has only been bestowed eleven times in the history of the sport. The most recent winner was Affirmed in 1978 and this year marks the 25th anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown victory.


Delaware Bank Card

Insurance World, the largest auto insurance company in the state of Florida announces the opening of its first Quick Cash Financial and Check Cashing Center.  The Center will cash payroll and government checks and will provide numerous additional financial services, including programs for direct deposit of Social Security and other government benefits checks.  Insurance World plans to open an additional 49 Quick Cash Centers at other Insurance World offices throughout the state of Florida.

A Grand Opening Celebration will be held June 4 at the Sanford, Fla. office at 2555 South French Avenue.  Free food and beverages, a face-painting clown and other entertainment will be provided.  Money-saving coupons will be distributed, and there will be drawings for gifts, including free cellular phones with air time, free home telephone service and free long-distance phone cards.  The Grand Prize will be a free 27-inch color TV with a PrimeStar digital receiver and a free year of service.  Adults age 18 and over are eligible to enter the prize drawing.

The Insurance World/Quick Cash Check Cashing Center will be open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A featured service of the Insurance World/Quick Cash Centers will be the Delaware Bank Card Direct Deposit Program.  Through this program, all Federal Government benefits recipients can now have a bank account, without credit approval, for the direct deposit of their Federal Government benefits checks.

Advantages of the Delaware Bank Card Direct Deposit Program are:

—  No credit approval required. All recipients of monthly Federal Government benefits checks are eligible for a Delaware Bank Card Direct Deposit Account.

—  No waiting for checks to come in the mail.  Benefits are immediately available for withdrawal on the designated day of direct deposit by using the recipient’s Delaware Bank Card.

—  No waiting in line to cash Federal Government benefits checks every month.  Funds are available at any ATM on the day of deposit.

—  No need to carry large sums of cash.  The funds in the accounts of recipients are immediately available at any ATM using the recipient’s Delaware Bank Card.

—  Delaware Bank Card members are prepared for 1999, when, by law, all recipients of Federal Government benefits must have a method for direct deposit of their benefits checks.

“We are very excited about this new Delaware Bank Card Program,” said Steve Lucas, owner of Insurance World.  “It is now easy for everyone to have convenient and immediate direct deposit access to their Federal Government Benefits, without the credit requirements and other hassles associated with opening a checking account at a bank.”

According to regulations which have been released by the Federal Government beginning in 1999, all benefits recipients must have a method for electronic transfer of their funds, such as a direct deposit account.  Yet, a large percentage of recipients are either ineligible or do not wish to open a checking account for the direct deposit of their benefits.

The Delaware Bank Card Direct Deposit Program differs from other direct deposit programs in that no credit approval, check-writing, or check-cashing is required to have immediate access to monthly Federal Government benefits via direct deposit.  The program is also unique in providing the option of a monthly cash advance of up to $80.00.

Insurance World is the largest auto insurance company in the state of Florida, with fifty company-owned and franchised agencies, employing over 200 persons.  The company is dedicated to providing insurance and financial services to all citizens, regardless of financial or credit history.

Delaware Bank Card, LLC, based in Newark, Delaware is a partially-owned subsidiary of the Bank of Delaware.  Delaware Bank Card’s main product is its Federal Government Benefits Direct Deposit ATM Program.

For more information or to sign up for the Government Benefits Direct Deposit Program, call 800-771-4653.  Or, starting June 4, come to the Quick Cash Financial Center at the Sanford Insurance World Office.


Comerica ATMs

Comerica Bank announced yesterday it will install ATMs in 250 Arbor stores in Michigan, including 22 in Detroit. The agreement is the largest of its kind between a Michigan bank and a local retail chain. The deal also represents a $7 million capital investment by Comerica. The installation of Comerica ATMs in Arbor stores has begun with four pilot locations in Southeast Michigan and is expected to be completed in September.  Next year, the Arbor ATMs will be upgraded to dispense coupons for discounts on Arbor products or community events.


No Surcharging

Following its merger, First Union announced Thursday it is waiving foreign ATM fees an all First Union or CoreStates branded ATMs for its customers in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. First Union and CoreStates customers in that three-state area can now access a network of 1,300 ATMs. The bank has invested $10 million in upgrading its combined ATM network and indicated yesterday it will add, in November, ATM functions to provide immediate cash back for deposits and enable a customer to make one deposit split between two accounts; obtain their most recent monthly statements at the ATM; and change their PINs.


Market Intelligence

Reston, VA-based Paragren Technologies launched ‘CrediTrend’ yesterday. The new service is a consumer-based market monitoring service that provides a comprehensive view of customers’ actual credit card usage directly linked to influencing factors such as household demographics, competitive offers and attitudes. ‘CrediTrend’ gives credit card marketers, bankers and other financial services marketing professionals a better understanding of market share, customer behavior and market dynamics occurring within the industry. The service contains national card and bank market share tracking based on monthly statements collected from a nationwide panel. It also offers a unique on-line look at competitive promotional offers, called ‘PromoVu’. Through this software, it provides standard tracking reports as well as unlimited ad-hoc reporting and drill-down capabilities to support accurate, time-efficient decision-making.


NPC Names Bankcard Proc Head

National Processing, Inc., has named Gregory W. Sahrmann to the position of Executive Vice President of Merchant Services over bankcard processing, the company’s largest division.

The appointment of Sahrmann, formerly Senior Vice President, follows a period of record growth and performance of the Merchant Services Division under the direction of John Leehy, who will serve as an advisor to NPC Chief Executive Officer Bob Showalter.

“Our merchant card business is having a banner year.  Revenues and profits are up, customer renewals have been strong, and we’re bringing on new clients at a record pace.  We plan to continue the momentum with the leadership, knowledge and experience Sahrmann brings to the job,” Showalter said. “Sahrmann’s role in this performance makes him the logical choice to succeed Leehy.”

Sahrmann joined NPC last October after NPC purchased FA Holdings Inc., of Louisville, a leading marketer of credit and debit card processing services and one of the nation’s largest independent sales organizations.  Sahrmann was FA’s Chief Operating Officer, one of its co-founders, and has 15 years of industry experience.

Following the purchase, Leehy, FA’s CEO, was named NPC Executive Vice President of Merchant Services.  He and Sahrmann directed the successful integration of the companies.

“The integration is already paying substantial dividends as illustrated by the performance of the business,”  Showalter said.

As one of the nation’s leading merchant card services companies, NPC processes more than 1.5 billion transactions totaling more than $80 billion each year through its Merchant Services Division.   About 20 percent of all MasterCard & Visa U.S. transactions are processed by NPC, which serves more than 335,000 merchant locations.

Profile of NPC

National Processing, Inc. is a leading provider of transaction processing services and customized processing solutions.  Deploying technology and applications software, NPC provides products and value-added services which include processing of card and check transactions for merchants, outsourcing of administrative and financial functions, and ticket processing and settlement for providers of travel-related services.  NPC can be found on the world wide web at [http://www.npc.net.][1]

Approximately eighty-eight percent of National Processing Inc. is owned by National City Corporation.

Profile of National City Corporation

National City Corporation is a $79  billion bank holding company based in Cleveland, Ohio.  The company offers a full range of financial services, ranging from investment banking and brokerage services to traditional banking services for individuals and businesses.  National City has branch offices in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.  National City can be found on the world wide web at [http://www.national-city.com.][2]

[1]: http://www.npc.net/
[2]: http://www.national-city.com/


Access Cash to Sell Diebold ATMs

Diebold, Incorporated the largest manufacturer of ATMs in the United States, has signed Access Cash International to become an authorized Diebold reseller.

Under terms of the marketing agreement, Diebold and Access Cash will market Diebold’s extensive line of ATMs, including CashSource Plus, i Series, and ix Series units in the United States.  The agreement allows both companies to distribute ATMs to financial institutions and other deployers of off-premises ATMs.

“It’s a good move for both companies,” says Thomas W. Swidarski, director, financial industry marketing at Diebold. “We’re pleased to welcome Access Cash to our growing team of approximately 75 authorized Diebold resellers. Access Cash has extensive experience in the retail ATM sector, and teamed with our financial market expertise, together we will be able to offer customers a total solution to their ATM needs.”

Access Cash has installed more than 4,500 ATMs in convenience stores, grocery stores, office towers, malls and other retail sites throughout the United States. The company’s ATM programs complement Diebold’s support programs, including couponing, customer support and upgrades.

“We are very excited to be working with Diebold, the nation’s leading supplier of ATMs,” said Frank Capan, president of Access Cash. “It is another example of how companies can capitalize on each other’s strengths to provide quality products and service to their customers.”

Access Cash International is the fastest growing non-bank ATM deployer in the United States. Access Cash provides self-service financial products including hardware, software, installation, service transaction processing and management. Operating nationwide with its own network of distributors, Access Cash has earned a reputation for its industry knowledge and its commitment to deliver proactive service in a constantly changing market. More information on Access Cash can be found on the World Wide Web at: [http://www.access-cash.com.][1]

Diebold, Incorporated, headquartered in Canton, Ohio, is a global leader in providing card-based transaction systems, security and service solutions to the financial, education, and healthcare industries. Founded in 1859, the company develops, manufactures, sells and services automated teller machines, electronic and physical security equipment, automated medication dispensing systems, software, supplies and integrated systems solutions. For more information about Diebold, Incorporated, visit the company’s web site at [http://www.diebold.com.][2]

[1]: http://www.access-cash.com
[2]: http://www.diebold.com


New Check Printer

Check Technology Corporation announced Wednesday that it has completed the sale of its new, advanced, digital, non-impact print production system, the Imaggia MG20, to Toronto-based Davis+Henderson Intercheques (DHI), the largest check printing company in Canada. Check Technology said that this system represents its first sale to the North American market. DHI intends to use the system to print consumer and business checks for numerous financial institutions, as well as other bank forms requiring security MICR features. The sale is valued at approximately one-half-million dollars.

“DHI has a vision with a commitment to be recognized as a leader in our industry,” said C. Sanford McFarlane, Chairman and CEO of DHI.  “This vision emphasizes the fact that we are not only customer focused but we are solutions driven. The Imaggia press will allow DHI to address the trend to more unique personalized smaller packages that cannot be economically produced in the traditional fashion. A key additional benefit is that the sheet size that can be printed is compatible with a substantial investment previously made in our automated bindery systems. This investment in the Imaggia system is a part of DHI’s technological investment strategy to ensure a continuance of this market leadership positioning.”

Jay Herman, Check Technology’s President and CEO, said, “The selection of the Imaggia system by DHI validates all of the product and market development efforts our people have made over the past several years.” He added, “We look forward to a long and continuing relationship with DHI.”

DHI is a wholly owned subsidiary of MDC Communications Corporation (MDC). MDC is a publicly traded international organization with operating units in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The Company is a leading provider of security product solutions and marketing services to customers in over 65 countries around the world. MDC has a strong record of growth, generated both internally and from strategic corporate acquisitions.

MDC offers security product solutions through five core offerings: personal and business checks; postage and excise stamps; credit, debit and smart cards; event and transportation tickets; and other outsourcing services including remittance processing, data imaging, corporate payables, personalization and fulfillment, and data management. MDC’s diversified range of security products solutions will allow the company to fully participate in the ongoing global evolution of secure products and secure electronic transactions.

Check Technology Corporation manufactures and markets technologically advanced print production systems for financial and forms printers worldwide. The Company, which does business in 48 countries, has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.