SmarTalk TeleServices and Boston Communications Group announced a strategic alliance Monday to market prepaid wireless products. BCG is the leading provider of prepaid wireless services to the wireless telecommunications industry, with five of the six largest cellular carriers as its customers. Through the alliance, both parties will promote the use of the SmarTalk prepaid phone card as a nationally available prepaid currency to enable consumers to recharge time on prepaid wireless programs of wireless carriers utilizing the BCGI platform. The objective of the alliance is to process in excess of 250 million prepaid wireless minutes over the next four years.Details
Paymentech introduced an automatic payment service for recurring billing to the cable TV industry yesterday. The program enables multiple system operators to automatically receive customer payments that are billed on a monthly or regularly scheduled basis. The company says credit card usage within the cable industry increased 31% between 1996 and 1997. Credit cards now represent 2% of all subscriber payments.Details
NationsBank and the State of Maryland implemented a corporate purchasing card pilot program yesterday that will reduce the cost of processing more than 150,000 checks annually. Some 80 percent of the state’s small purchase transactions will be made with the new NationsBank card. Maryland became one of the first states to authorize the use of the VISA corporate purchasing card when the pilot program was implemented in March of last year. Since then, the state has used corporate purchasing cards for more than $2.7 million in goods and services. The Maryland Board of Public Works approved regulations that will require all state agencies to use corporate purchasing cards beginning July 1.Details
Nestor, Inc., a leading provider of intelligent-software applications, reported revenues of $931,815 for the first quarter of 1998, as compared with revenues of $1,240,376 for the first quarter of 1997.
For the quarter ended March 31, 1998, the Company reported a loss of $852,635 or $0.09 per share, as compared with a loss of $567,319 or $0.06 per share in the first quarter of 1997.
Commenting on the results for the quarter, David Fox, President and CEO of Nestor, said, “More than 80% of our first quarter revenues were generated by the Financial Solutions Division. While revenues of this division were down as compared with last year’s quarter, we do not believe that this indicates a trend. Applied Communications, Inc. (ACI), our global strategic partner, signed initial fraud-detection licenses with Marshall & Iseley Data Services Corporation. M&I Data Services processes more than 40 million transactions each month, supports more than 6,000 ATMs, and has issued more than 10 million ATM and debit cards.
“The ACI/Nestor pipeline of upgrades and prospects is extremely strong. We expect the marketing momentum for our products to be increased significantly as a result of the recently announced strategic partnership with ACI. The scope of ACI’s marketing rights has been expanded, and ACI’s parent, Transaction System Architects (TSAI) has invested $5 million in Nestor’s equity.
“In the Financial Solutions Division, the ‘post-Christmas’ seasonality that we have come to expect led to negligible new direct sales. However, initial licenses and engineering fees generated by ACI in the quarter accounted for about $420,000 of revenues.
“Our Intelligent Sensors Division contributed $143,589 to our revenue in the quarter, up from a nominal $50,594 in 1997. While both numbers are small, the increase reflects test installations of our TrafficVision product, which is in the first stage of roll-out. We expect to be announcing further installations throughout this year.
“Concurrently with the investment by TSAI, Wand Partners, our largest investor, converted $5.8 million of Redeemable Preferred Stock into Common Stock. Going forward, our earnings per share will not reflect a charge for accrued dividends payable on the Redeemable Preferred Stock. That charge amounted to $113,801 ($0.01 per share) in the first quarter of 1998 and $103,163 in the same quarter of 1997.”
Certain information in this press release may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although the Company believes that its expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved.
Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Providence, RI, Nestor, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative neural-network solutions for data-intensive, mission-critical decision applications. By incorporating its patented pattern-recognition technologies in real-time applications, Nestor provided intelligent systems for financial, Internet, and transportation industries. Offerings include risk-management solutions, interactive database-marketing software, and a suit of tools for real-time traffic management. Nestor’s products are sold direct throughout the US and by selected marketing partners worldwide. For more information, call 401-331-9640 or visit [http://www.nestor.com].
Consolidated Statement of Operations
Quarter Ending March 31
Revenues $931,815 $1,240,376
Net Income (Loss) $(852,635) $(567,319)
Diluted Income (Loss)
per Common Share $ (0.09) $(0.06)
Average Shares Outstanding 9,438,987 8,936,610
Following the launch of its biodegradable credit card in the U.K. last year Greenpeace announced yesterday it will offer the ‘BioCard’ in the U.S. through Household Bank. The card was issued in the U.K. through Cooperative Bank. The non-PVC plastic payment card is 95% biodegradable and can be manufactured with a chip. The plastic core and transparent clear overlaminates are fully biodegradable. The mag stripe, signature strip, hologram and printing inks are not known to be biodegradable. Greenpeace USA indicated yesterday it will market the product in recycled envelopes with dioxin-free paper. The enviromental group called on U.S. banks to migrate to similar technology.Details
Tempus Software, Inc. and Equifax agreed yesterday that Equifax Healthcare Solutions will deliver patient identification verification and financial information services through Tempus’ Encompass patient scheduling software. For the first time, hospitals will automatically confirm patient ID and access financial information services during initial scheduling.
Equifax has been serving the healthcare industry with information and collections services for 25 years. The Tempus Software partnership is the latest advancement in providing information services at the point of scheduling.
Using automatic trigger technology, Tempus’ Encompass will launch an inquiry to Equifax’s database when a patient or doctor’s office calls to schedule a hospital appointment. Equifax will return key identifying information and action messages to enable users to confirm patient information and assist patients who may need financial assistance.
Patient identification information that is not verified can result in difficulty collecting payment for services after discharge. In a recent Equifax study of one typical hospital’s records of patients with outstanding past-due balances, analysis revealed that 66% of the patient records had variances in name, address or Social Security Number. These records, consisting of three weeks of admissions, represented more than $2 million in outstanding receivables. About one-sixth of these records also received a warning from the Equifax system for reasons such as “SSN issued to person reported deceased” and “Address is a mail receiving service.”
“Equifax’s patient ID data and financial analysis generate savings throughout the healthcare accounts receivable process,” said Margy Jones, senior vice president and general manager, Equifax Healthcare Solutions. “Getting accurate ID and financial data up front streamlines registration, assists in establishing payment plans, prioritizes collection cases and even reduces returned mail.”
Jones continued, “This strategy is certainly not designed to deny or delay hospital services. The process complies fully with the provisions of COBRA and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and is a means to facilitate admission and to make pre-arrangements for meeting subsequent financial obligations for the self-pay portion of the account.”
David Hayes, president and CEO of Tempus Software, said, “Our partnership with Equifax means hospitals will save money by instantly confirming patient information and channeling patients into the right billing stream at the earliest possible point in the healthcare process. By launching on-line inquiries to Equifax automatically, scheduling continues to be fast and easy for patients, while reducing healthcare costs behind the scenes.”
In addition to providing Equifax’s flexible decisioning platform to meet patient account financial analysis needs, Tempus’ other healthcare access management modules include automated patient reminder technology and on-line insurance eligibility verification.
Equifax’s worldwide knowledge-based information, transaction processing, consulting and software businesses are designed to bring buyers and sellers together, thus changing the shape of global commerce. Equifax serves the banking, financial, retail, credit card, automotive, telecommunications/utilities, government and healthcare industries. It is a leading supplier of business information solutions in Canada, the UK and Latin America. Equifax operates in 17 countries with sales in more than 40 countries.
Founded in 1899 in Atlanta, Equifax today has 10,000 employees around the world. Revenues for the 12 months ended March 31, 1998, totaled more than $1.4 billion. Visit the company’s Internet web site at .
Tempus Software, Inc. is the nation’s leading developer of enterprise-wide patient and resource scheduling software. The Encompass system automates the process of scheduling patients for ancillary and surgical procedures. Tempus Software’s healthcare access management solutions support fast and easy entry into a delivery system and expand information services in scheduling. Tempus currently has over 150 sites nationwide. Visit Tempus on the World Wide Web at .Details
Banco de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay, the largest bank in Uruguay, and Banco de Montevideo, Uruguay’s third largest bank, purchased the franchise rights Friday for Mondex electronic cash in Uruguay. The deal gives the banks exclusive rights to commercially develop Mondex electronic cash in Uruguay and represents the first Mondex franchise sold in South America. To mark the signing of the deal, the very first interregional Mondex transaction between the United States and South America was performed via telephone last week. Using a Mondex card, the president of the Republic of Uruguay, transferred value between the banks headquarters in Montevideo, Uruguay, the BROU branch in New York, and back again. A Mondex transaction over the Internet was also performed.Details
About 10% of American households with major credit cards are struggling to pay credit card bills. The finding comes from Tampa- based PSI Global which also found that risky cardholders have put off other household payments to meet their minimum credit card payments, have borrowed money to make credit card payments, and have been contacted by credit card issuers because of their late payments. However PSI says the number of cardholders who actually default is about 1%. Based on a study of 2,248 households, PSI concluded that risky cardholders are distributed evenly among all age groups, all education levels and all income levels.Details
Chase Manhattan announced today that it has purchased all of Marine Midland Bank’s ‘Continental Airlines OnePass’ co-branded credit card portfolio. Chase and Continental Airlines signed an 8-year contract in January. The new ‘Continental Airlines Visa from Chase’ and the new ‘Continental Airlines MasterCard from Chase’, issued in classic and platinum, was launched in March to consumers throughout the U.S.. Prior to its agreement with Chase Manhattan, Continental’s credit card had been issued by Marine Midland Bank. Marine Midland will continue to handle customer service and billing for current cardholders until the accounts are transferred to Chase. Customers will continue to earn frequent flyer miles when they use their Marine Midland Continental credit cards, and there will be no interruption in benefits. Continental is the fifth largest U.S. carrier.Details
BA Master Credit Card Trust’s $648.75 million class A floating-rate asset backed certificates, series 1998-B, are expected to be rated ‘AAA’ by Fitch IBCA. In addition, the corresponding $41.25 million class B floating-rate certificates are expected be rated ‘A’.
The certificates are backed by a pool of credit card receivables generated under Bank of America MasterCard and Visa accounts. Fitch IBCA’s expected ratings are based on the high quality of the collateral pool, available credit enhancement, Bank of America’s servicing expertise, and the sound legal and cash flow structures.
Credit enhancement totaling 13.5% of the initial invested amount will be available to class A certificateholders through subordination of class B, equal to 5.5% of the total invested amount, and the collateral interest. Class B’s 8.0% credit enhancement stems from subordination of the $60 million collateral interest (CIA). The CIA is a privately placed, uncertificated ownership interest in the trust subordinate in payment rights to classes A and B.
Several economic and credit stress scenarios were devised by Fitch IBCA to determine appropriate credit enhancement levels. The scenarios simultaneously stress yield, chargeoff, and monthly payment rate steady state assumptions. In addition, to address the interest rate risk associated with uncapped floating-rate coupons, the coupon is stressed to worst case London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) levels without a 1:1 adjustment to yield.
Under the available enhancement, class A withstands a 35% decrease in yield, a 45% decline in payment rates and chargeoffs increasing to 30% and still makes full and timely payments of investor principal and interest. Class B sustains a 25% decrease in yield, a 35% decline in payment rates and chargeoffs increasing to more than 20% without suffering a principal or interest loss.
Early amortization events protect certificateholders from prolonged exposure to deterioration in portfolio performance and/or a transferor/servicer default. Occurrence of an amortization event will trigger a rapid payout of principal and investors may be repaid earlier or, in rare circumstances, later than expected.
Series 1998-B is structured with a revolving period, during which class A and class B investors receive monthly interest payments of one-month LIBOR plus 0.12% and 0.28%, respectively. During the revolving period, principal collections are used to purchase new receivables. Following the revolving period, investors continue receiving monthly interest payments as principal collections are accumulated for distribution in one payment on the expected maturity date. Bank of America may vary the accumulation period length, based on certain conditions, but must maintain it at least a minimum of one month. Principal and a final interest payment is expected to be distributed to class A investors in one payment on the May 2004 distribution date, followed by a single principal distribution to class B investors, expected in June 2004.Details
UbiQ Inc. announced today its UbiQlink software is being integrated with G&A Imaging’s EPISUITE, the premier badging and database maintenance software suite in the worldwide card printing industry.
“We are delighted to have a leading supplier like G&A Imaging integrate our UbiQlink software into their widely used product,” said David Tushie, president of UbiQ Inc. “This combination will mean faster, more cost-effective production of personalized photo smart cards for issuers all over the world.”
“G&A Imaging’s products reflect our unique understanding of digital imaging and security software development, to meet the diverse needs of the international marketplace,” said Ray St-Maurice, President of G&A Imaging. “We create affordable, high-quality products for the mainstream and professional markets, recognized for their value and reliability. Integrating UbiQ’s software into EPISUITE fits with this tradition.”
UbiQlink software (patent pending) simplifies the process of personalizing smart cards. Each card must be unique to the individual to whom it is issued. The software integrates what until now has been a complex, time-intensive, cumbersome process for card issuers. UbiQlink allows card issuers to personalize large quantities of smart cards at significantly higher throughputs and even greater security using various card personalization equipment.
Uniquely designed to support all smart card operating and application systems, UbiQlink provides a universal front-end to the computerized equipment that performs the smart card initialization and personalization process in card issuance systems. It is compatible with all types and models of smart cards and personalization equipment, from manufacturers worldwide. G&A Imaging’s flagship product, EPISUITE for Windows, is a comprehensive badging suite for the Microsoft Windows environment. EPISUITE allows users to design and print their own badges based on information and images maintained in a shared security management database. EPISUITE software is installed throughout the world at locations such as financial institutions, colleges, manufacturing plants, government complexes, airports, and sport stadiums.
About G&A Imaging Ltd.
Founded in 1988, G&A Imaging offers dynamic and innovative digital image management solutions to clients that range from home computer users to multinational corporations. G&A Imaging’s internationally recognized EPISUITE and PhotoRecall software lines reflect the company’s commitment to quality and excellence in product development. G&A Imaging’s clients include IBM France, Toronto Skydome, Deutsche Bank, BASF, Mercedes Benz and the Bank of Canada. G&A Imaging is headquartered in Hull, Canada and has offices in the U.S., Singapore, and Germany.
UbiQ Inc. is a privately held software firm that has developed proprietary, patent-pending technology for high-volume smart card personalization. It was founded in 1994 and is based in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. (The company’s name is short for “ubiquitous,” a reference to the rapid proliferation of smart cards worldwide.) UbiQ’s mission is to be the highest value integrator in the smart card issuance process, reducing the time and cost necessary for secure, faultless “mass” card issuance. The company’s worldwide customers include smart card issuers such as American Express and member institutions of the Visa, Mastercard, and Mondex networks. It has relationships with card service bureaus, smart card manufacturers, and card personalization and printing equipment manufacturers. Markets or applications targeted by UbiQ include electronic commerce, Internet, travel and entertainment, stored-value cards, pay phone, digital wireless and GSM, national ID cards, and healthcare.Details
Beginning this month MasterCard is offering consumers a chance to win one of more than 2.2 million ‘Coca-Cola ATM MasterCard Cards’ with cash values of $20, $40 and $100. This is the second year MasterCard has joined Coca-Cola’s annual summer promotion. The ATM cards will be randomly inserted in more than 1.5 billion packages of Coke. Instant win messages will also appear on fountain cups and under the caps of large bottles of Coke. Winning cards can be redeemed at any MasterCard/Cirrus ATM. The MasterCard Coca-Cola card is a key component of ‘The Coca-Cola Card’ summer promotion announced in mid-March. The ‘Coca-Cola Card’ gives consumers more than 20,000 local discount offers from over 9,500 partners.Details