NYCE Surcharges

NYCE amended its ‘Network Operating Rules’ yesterday to allow selective surcharging at ATMs within the NYCE Network. Prior to the rule change, NYCE participants were subject to a surcharge one, surcharge all policy for non-customers. Under the new rules, network participants will have greater flexibility to provide their customers with a larger population of surcharge-free ATMs. The company said yesterday it believes that free market competition among financial institutions and ATM deployers ensures that consumers will continue to have a wide range of choices when using ATMs and NYCE intends to leave the business decision whether or not to surcharge up to each individual ATM deployer. The new rules will be effective July 15.

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BISYS Names Group Marketing Prez

The BISYS Group, Inc. announced Monday the appointment of Neil P. Marcous as group president of Marketing and Information Services.  Marcous will provide executive oversight of BISYS TOTALPLUS and Document Solutions divisions which provide technology outsourcing and check imaging solutions to over 1,000 community banks.  In addition, Marcous will be responsible for BISYS Networking Services — a leading provider of network design, integration and management, as well as BISYS Creative Solutions — a rapidly growing automated marketing services company providing leading edge capabilities to mortgage and consumer loan originators and credit card solicitation companies.  The Marketing and Information Services group provides technology, marketing and research services to a combined total of over 3,000 financial institutions.

Marcous joins BISYS after serving Electronic Data Systems, Inc. (“EDS”) since 1989 as executive vice president/group manager of its Consumer Network Services business unit.  In this leadership capacity, Marcous established and grew the EDS unit into the largest third party ATM/debit card processing service in the nation and oversaw its expansion from 60 million transactions annually to over 1.6 billion.  Marcous was responsible for relationships with over 3,300 institutions and led such initiatives as the establishment of the Transaction Alliance — an electronic network formed by a consortium of major financial institutions including Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America. Marcous has also been a frequent industry spokesperson appearing on CNBC and as a witness before Congress providing expert testimony on electronic commerce issues.

BISYS was formed in a management led buyout from ADP in 1989 and became a public company through an IPO in March 1992.  Marcous has served as an outside director of The BISYS Group, Inc.  since 1994 and previously served as senior vice president of the Electronic Financial Services Division of ADP from 1984 to 1989.

BISYS chairman and CEO Lynn J. Mangum expressed his excitement about Marcous joining the company.  “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Neil for over 12 years and his decision to join our senior management team dramatically expands our potential to capitalize on our strong strategic position.  Neil is a proven builder of businesses and his addition offers us tremendous growth opportunities for not only BISYS but our clients,” Mangum remarked.

Marcous stated, “As a long time director and business partner, I’ve had the opportunity to closely watch as BISYS has grown revenues ten-fold since its founding from ADP.”   Marcous further noted, “I’m thrilled to join Lynn’s team and share the company’s vision of creating growth opportunities and competitive advantages for its clients.”  Marcous plans to continue the company’s strong internal growth rate complemented by acquisitions.  “BISYS is a leader in all of its businesses and so we can leverage our strong platforms with expanded products and services to benefit a large client base,” said Marcous.

The BISYS Group, Inc., headquartered in Little Falls, NJ, supports more than 9,000 financial institutions and corporate clients through its integrated business units.  BISYS provides technology outsourcing and check imaging applications to more than 1,000 financial institutions nationwide; distributes and administers over 60 families of mutual funds consisting of more than 700 portfolios; provides retirement plan services to over 6,000 companies in partnership with 30 of the nation’s leading bank and investment management companies; and provides insurance distribution solutions, telephone/Internet product sales programs, enterprise-wide networking services, and loan/deposit product pricing research.  BISYS trades on Nasdaq under the symbol BSYS. Additional information is available at [http://www.bisys.com][1].

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including but not limited to economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors affecting the Company’s operations, markets, services and related products, prices, and other factors discussed in the Company’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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

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Racom Collects

CO-based Racom Systems confirmed yesterday that it has received the first licensing royalties for its ferroelectric smart card technology. The royalties were received for the production and sale of contactless smart cards supplied by Cubic Corporation to the Washington, DC Metro public transportation system. Racom has signed alliance agreements with Hitachi, Fujitsu and Rohm, each of which has licensed Racom technology for use in radio frequency identification systems.

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Rate Cap

Argentina’s Congress is expected this week to move legislation forward to cap credit card interest rates. The action follows some government research, released last month, that shows some credit card issuers charging interest rates as high as 55%. The proposed bill limits credit card rates to the Central Bank’s implicit lending rate plus 20%. Currently there is no usury ceiling in Argentina.

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Mother’s Day Volume

Bank of Montreal reports this morning that credit card transaction volume for the Mother’s Day weekend was the second highest period, second only to Christmas. Debit card use for Mother’s Day ranked among the four highest volume days too.  Bank of Montreal projected Friday it will process 1.8 million debit transactions Sunday, a 31% increase over last year. The bank also projected 1.2 million credit card transactions. Canadians typically use debit for smaller purchases and credit for larger purchases. The average debit card transaction runs about $50 while the average credit card transaction is slightly more than $90. Bank of Montreal operates over 50,000 debit POS terminals across Canada.

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Web Hot

Huntington National Bank confirmed this morning its ‘Web Bank’ has surpassed the 100,000 account mark. The number of online accounts represents an astonishing 5% of Huntington’s customer households. The ‘Huntington Web Bank’ enables customers to view account information, reconcile statements, pay bills,  transfer funds and prepare reports anytime. The banking site was launched in June of last year. The bank introduced the ‘Business Web Bank’ in April. Huntington says it will announce brokerage and credit card services via the Web Bank this summer.

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Optical Card War

Drexler Technology is warning Microsoft today that MS’s entry into the optical ROM card market could possibly lead to infringement of five of Drexler’s U.S. patents plus additional foreign counterpart patents. It has been widely reported that Microsoft is planning for active participation in the optical ROM card market. Drexler Technology has received optical-memory-card related patent license fees of over $35 million to date. Licensees include British Telecommunications, Canon, Hitachi, and Matsushita. Drexler Technology has received orders from the U.S. government totaling 4 million digital optical memory cards to be used by the INS as digital ‘Green Cards’ and by the U.S. State Department as ‘Laser Visa’ cards.

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New Bio Card

Following last week’s introduction of a biodegradable card into the U.S. by Household Bank and Greenpeace USA, Japan’s Orient Corp. and Dai Nippon Printing  Co. announced Friday a new biodegradable credit card.  Orient will issue its first bio cards, on May 25, to Dai Nippon Printing employees. The cards will be issued to the general public later this year. The new bio card incorporates plastic material made of vegetable substances and is dioxin-free.

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BAMS Board

The Board of Directors of BA Merchant Services announced the the resignation last week of H. Eugene Lockhart.  The BAMS board also announced the appointment of Hatim Tyabji and Christopher A. Callero to the Board. Tyabji is chairman of the board, president and CEO of of VeriFone. Callero is group EVP and head of Bank of America’s Global Retail Bank Deposit and Payment Services Division. This includes deposit products, interactive banking, ATMs and self-service delivery, debit cards and business banking.

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March Winds

Consumer credit remains strong so far this year for both the revolving and automobile segments. According to March consumer credit figures released by the Federal Reserve, Thursday afternoon, revolving credit grew at an annual rate of 1.3% compared to a 0.5% rate for last March. Meanwhile automobile consumer credit is roaring with an annual growth rate of 8.4% for March compared to a -3.6% last year. At the end of March, American consumers were $1.242 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

                                 REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
Mar98  Feb98   Jan98   Dec97   Nov97  Oct97  Sep97 Aug97 Jul97 Jun97    
%GRWTH: 1.3%    8.4     4.7     2.3    -2.1   10.0    6.2 8.0   9.4   4.2           
$OWED:  $537.2  536.6   532.9   530.8  529.8  530.7   526.4   523.7 520.2  516.2      
              Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 05/07/98

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