Finger Cards Coming

Siemens Semiconductors said Wednesday it will roll-out a fingertip sensor chip by the Fall of this year. Siemen’s fingertip sensor chip digitizes the user’s fingertip directly onto the chip, which can be integrated into a phone, an ATM, an automobile or other applications. The sensor is based on standard 0.8 micron CMOS technology and features 50mW power consumption and 500 dpi resolution. The sensor can register fingerprints in less than 100ms.

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Bull Java Terminal APIs

Bull  announced Wednesday it has been selected by Visa to develop Java Terminal APIs supporting the Visa Open Platform. The Visa Open Platform is destined to accelerate the creation and deployment of smart card-based applications for cards and terminals. Bull is the only supplier working on both card and terminal Java technologies with Visa and for the general market. Following its long-standing collaboration with Visa, Bull is developing the Open Platform terminal software specifications to make it easier and faster for software developers to write applications that accept smart cards. Bull will develop a simulator including the Java Virtual Machine, the APIs and applications on a PC. The APIs use an object-oriented approach that can take advantage of the “write once, run anywhere” features of Java.

“Our final beta-version of the simulator will be ready for June,” said Christian Goire, manager, advanced projects, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals, and president of the Java Card Forum. “This project is consistent with our work on Java, in particular our Java Odyssey I card, based on the specifications of the Java Card Forum, and Odyssey II card that will support Visa Open Platform Card APIs. This cooperation with Visa is an additional step for us to develop Java solutions, to give its Members the most advanced solution currently available.”

“The Visa Open Platform supports the multifunction capability needed to realize our vision for smart cards,” said Judy Smythe, senior vice president, Chip Products, Visa International. “We are pleased to have Bull’s experience with smart cards and multi-application terminals in the development of the terminal software API. The development of the Visa Open Platform Terminal API is a major next step in responding to Visa Member requirements to hasten smart card acceptance worldwide.”

About Bull Smart Cards and Terminals

Bull designs and markets a wide range of contact and contactless microprocessor smart cards, electronic payment terminals and automatic points of contact, including cash dispensers and multimedia kiosk POS terminals. In 1997, these activities generated revenue of $237 million, an increase of 32 percent over 1996.

The history of smart cards at Bull goes back to 1979 when Bull’s Michel Ugon, in collaboration with Motorola, invented the world’s first microprocessor card (CP8 technology). Today, all microprocessor cards worldwide still use Bull CP8 technology for the micro-electronic part (SPOM – Self-Programmable One chip Memory) patent. More than 420 million microprocessor cards use CP8 technology, either as patents, applications or operating systems. Bull is world leader in the electronic purse segment with more than 27 million cards in use in ten countries. Approximately 60 percent of the world’s smart cards used in banking today have been designed by Bull. Bull also is a leader in electronic payment terminals, with 650,000 machines installed worldwide. More information on can be found on the World Wide Web at: [http://www.cp8.bull.net][1], on Groupe Bull at: [http://www.bull.com][2].

[1]: http://www.cp8.bull.net/
[2]: http://www.bull.com/

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Cendant Card

PHH/Paymentech announced this week it will change its name to Cendant Business Services. The firm has also revised the look of its MasterCard-branded corporate card to the ‘Cendant Card’.  The MasterCard corporate card program was created through a joint venture between PHH Vehicle Management Services and Paymentech and was the first to offer the ‘MasterCard Corporate Fleet Card’.

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AmEx Goes MULTOS

The smart payment card battle between ‘MULTOS’ and ‘Java’ picked up steam yesterday as American Express announced it has signed global, non-exclusive licenses for ‘MULTOS’.  AmEx said it will use ‘MULTOS’ as a preferred smart card operating system to expand its offerings with smart cards that provide both financial and non-financial applications, such as hotel, airline, loyalty, and charge/credit/e-purse.  American Express joined MAOSCO yesterday, an industry-wide consortium formed to promote, develop, and implement the ‘MULTOS’ specification. The company said ‘MULTOS’ will enable it to provide personalized smart cards and to combine electronic ticketing, telephone, retailer loyalty and credit, debit, e-purse and other applications all on a single smart card.  AmEx says it will also leverage ‘MULTOS’ with ‘Proton’. AmEx is a global licensee of Proton, Banksys’ e-purse technology.  American Express currently has multifunction, multi-application smart card pilots with Hilton Hotels, IBM, American Airlines and Continental Airlines.

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Web Segmentation

First USA will take online card marketing to a higher level of segmentation with the signing of a one-year agreement with GeoCities. The partnership will enable First USA to target market its credit card products to specific visitor interests throughout GeoCities. First USA will offer hundreds of its credit card products to GeoCities homesteaders and visitors through keyword searches and targeted banners throughout GeoCities’ 40 special-interest communities.  First USA currently has more than 1,200 affinity and co-branded card products. GeoCities’ site currently receives more than 789 million page views and 115 million visits each month. For March the web site had 14.7 million unique visitors.

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MasterCard Promotion

MasterCard International today announced the promotion of Jean Rozwadowski to the position of executive vice president, Europe and Middle East/Africa Regions, effective immediately.

Mr. Rozwadowski, 51, was previously senior vice president and general manager for Europe and Middle East/Africa Regions. Mr. Rozwadowski will continue to report directly to MasterCard President and CEO Bob Selander.

“This promotion recognizes the increased scope and importance of Jean’s responsibilities, which include managing our efforts in eight of MasterCard’s key markets worldwide,” said Selander. “Jean’s expertise has been invaluable in the planning and implementation of our agreement with Europay — MasterCard’s strategic business partner for Europe.”

Since joining MasterCard in 1996, Mr. Rozwadowski has served as the primary interface with Europay and has spearheaded the association’s new business building initiatives in Europe. In his expanded role, Mr. Rozwadowski will continue to strengthen MasterCard’s relationship with Europay and with key contacts in the Middle East/Africa Regions. Mr. Rozwadowski is based in Waterloo, Belgium.

Mr. Rozwadowski has more than 20 years of international payments industry experience in numerous markets around the world. Mr. Rozwadowski holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and a diploma from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris.

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Unprofitable Gov Cards

American Express indicated Wednesday it will no longer pursue U.S. Government card accounts for the purchase and travel card business based on a reevaluation of the earnings potential of the business.  American Express is one of  six card issuers selected by the GSA’s ‘Master Award’ program earlier this year to bid for accounts from individual federal agencies. American Express is currently the government’s travel card provider under an agreement that expires on November 30, and its activities with that program will not be affected. AmEx says the current pricing arena for these programs does not make good business and pales in comparison to the returns and growth opportunities of AmEx’s core corporate business. The company says the government business has been modestly profitable for the past few years, but based on the initial rounds of bidding it became apparent the returns will deteriorate significantly.

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CheckFree Up 24%

CheckFree Holdings Corporation announced Wednesday quarterly revenues of $61.8 million for the third quarter ended March 31, 1998 compared to $50.2 million for the same period in the prior year.  For the nine months ended March 31, 1998, the Company reported revenues of $170.4 million, compared to $121.4 million for the same period in the prior year.

Excluding a non-cash charge related to the vesting of warrants issued in connection with the Integrion alliance and a gain on disposition of assets related to the sale of the Item Processing software business, the Company reported net income of $57,000 for the quarter, or zero cents per share, compared to a net loss of $4.8 million, or ten cents per share for the same period in the prior year.  Including the non-cash charge related to the Integrion warrants and the gain on disposition of assets, the Company reported a net loss for the quarter of $17.5 million, or 32 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $142.9 million, or $2.83 per share for the same period in the prior year.

For the nine months ended March 31, 1998, excluding the non-cash charge related to the Integrion warrants, a gain on asset dispositions, exclusivity amortization and a charge for purchased in-process research and development, the Company reported a net loss of $4.4 million, or eight cents per share, compared to a net loss of $17.9 million, or 40 cents per share for the same period in the prior year.  Including the non-cash Integrion warrant charge, the gain on dispositions, exclusivity amortization and purchased in-process research and development, the Company reported a net loss on a year-to-date basis of $9.5 million, or 17 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $155.9 million, or $3.50 per share for the same period in the prior year.

“I am extremely pleased with the financial results we’ve been able to achieve this quarter,” said Peter J. Kight, chairman and chief executive officer of CheckFree.  “We hit our first profitable quarter as a publicly held company right on schedule, and we believe it is just the beginning of the rewards our employees and shareholders can expect as we prepare for the next generation of financial electronic commerce services.”  Mr. Kight added, “During the quarter, we completed our fiscal 1999 planning process and expect to achieve revenue of $265 to $270 million, and earnings per share of 32 cents for fiscal year 1999.  The 1999 plan assumes the completion of the previously announced software divestiture by June 30, 1998, and revenue growth of 35 percent over fiscal year 1998.”

CheckFree currently has agreements with more than 350 financial institutions to provide banking and electronic billing and payment processing services.  At March 31, 1998, with the Integrion alliance, more than 2.4 million home banking and bill payment subscribers were relying on CheckFree for behind-the-scenes processing, an increase of 60 percent over the prior year and an eight percent sequential increase over December 31, 1997.

CheckFree Expands Relationship with Intuit to Become the Exclusive     Provider of Bill Presentment and Payment for Quicken Software and Web site     Through an 18-month agreement, CheckFree will be the exclusive provider of electronic bill presentment and payment processing for Intuit’s Quicken personal financial management software and Quicken.com Web site.  Since December 1997, Quicken 98 for Windows customers have been able to both receive and pay their bills with a click of the mouse, enabled by CheckFree’s behind- the-scenes processing.  Later this year, electronic bill presentment will also be incorporated into Quicken.com ([http://www.quicken.com][1]), a leading personal finance Web site.  After receiving and processing billing information from its corporate customers, CheckFree will forward bill summary data to Quicken.com subscribers via the World Wide Web.  Customers will log on to the site directly, or be directed there by their bank-branded Quicken 98 software package, and view and pay their bills electronically.

“A year and a half ago, we began our relationship with Intuit with the purchase of their processing business,” said Kight.  “This acquisition marked a milestone in CheckFree’s history — making us the leading provider of payment processing to financial institutions.  With the recent announcement to be the exclusive provider of electronic bill presentment and payment processing for Quicken, we are now clearly leading the emerging market of bill presentment.”

Integrion Update

In March, CheckFree completed the Integrion outsourcing agreement that results in CheckFree processing for the former Visa Interactive business acquired by Integrion.  In addition, Integrion continues to migrate banks to its IFS platform while it completes the seamless integration with CheckFree’s processing engine.  Currently, NationsBank and Bank One are live with customers on the IFS system.  PNC, Michigan National and Washington Mutual are in implementation and will be live later this year, as well as another 4 Integrion banks that have committed to full implementation in 1998.  Banks using IFS will be the first to offer their customers fully integrated electronic banking, billing, and payment services developed by CheckFree and Integrion.

Genesis Platform Consolidation

Genesis is a three-phase infrastructure project to maximize operating effectiveness for remittance processing, data center costs and electronic banking and bill payment.  Completed ahead of schedule, the newly developed processing engine is in production at high volumes with traffic from numerous sources including NationsBank, Chase and Key Bank.

The second phase of the Genesis project — creating a single, centralized, state-of-the-art data center is nearly complete.  Most recently, the Austin data center was moved to the new Atlanta center, moving nearly one million customers 950 miles.  By June 30, Columbus will be moved to the new center, completing the data consolidations approximately three months ahead of schedule.

During the quarter the company also completed development of the new online systems for banking and bill payment.  Beta testing for these applications will be conducted during the fourth quarter and customers will begin to be migrated to the new platform in the second half of the calendar year.

Highlights of the quarter

* April 20, 1998 — CheckFree sells cash management and wire transfer       business units to Fundtech Ltd. For $18.25 million.     * April 1,1998 – CheckFree announces plans to divest seven of its software       products to enhance the company’s focus on core businesses in electronic       commerce products and services.  The products include: cash management,       wire transfer, leasing, item processing, imaging, mortgage and safe box       accounting.     * March 24, 1998 – CheckFree sells item processing unit to Houston-based       CONIX Systems, Inc.     * March 11, 1998 – Integrion and CheckFree sign agreement for processing       partnership, whereby CheckFree assumed management of the Herndon, Va.-       based company’s operations to handle bill payment fulfillment and       customer service to approximately 50 of Integrion’s financial       institution customers.     * March 4, 1998 – CheckFree launches CheckFree Trade RECON(TM), a       Windows-based client/server solution for global cash and securities       reconciliation.     * February 23, 1998 – CheckFree E-Bill receives 1998 Marketing Award for       Excellence (MAX), sponsored by Georgia State University’s College of       Business Administration and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.  The award       honors the outstanding product, service and marketing innovations       developed in Georgia during the previous year.     * January 29, 1998 – CheckFree and Harris Bank of Chicago form strategic       ACH business alliance to process the bank’s 45 million ACH transactions       conducted per year.     * January 28, 1998 – Home Depot replaces its reconciliation system with       CheckFree RECON-Plus for Windows for automating reconciliation       for its 609 stores nationwide.     * January 13, 1998 – CheckFree and CUNA Mutual Group launch electronic       billing and payment program to allow CUNA Mutual’s policyholders to       receive and pay their premiums on the Internet via CheckFree E-Bill.

Founded in 1981, CheckFree ([http://www.checkfree.com][2]) is the leading provider of electronic commerce services, software and related products for more than 2.4 million consumers, 1,000 businesses and 850 financial institutions.  CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable its customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure transactions on the Internet.

Certain of the Company’s statements in this news release contain forward- looking statements, including the statements regarding projections of future revenues and profitability (4th paragraph), incorporation of CheckFree’s bill presentment technology into quicken.com (6th paragraph), CheckFree’s lead in the emerging market of bill presentment (7th paragraph), implementation of additional Integrion clients (8th paragraph) and expected completion of the Genesis project (10th paragraph).  These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation the timely implementation of existing bank processing agreements, the ability of the Company to sell its processing services to additional banks, the acceptance of the Company’s electronic banking and bill payment services by financial institutions, businesses and their customers, the acceptance of the Company’s applications software, services and related products by financial institutions, the impact of competitive services and products, the effect of any future acquisitions or divestitures, and the timely development and acceptance of new electronic commerce services and products, as well as the various risks inherent in the Company’s business and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 1997.  One or more of these factors have affected, and could in the future affect, the Company’s business and financial results in future periods and could cause actual results to differ materially from plans and projections.  All forward-looking statements made in this press release are based on information presently available to management, and the Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

               CHECKFREE HOLDINGS CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
                 Consolidated Condensed Results of Operations
                                 (Unaudited)
                    (In thousands, except per share data)

                              Three Months Ended         Nine Months Ended
                                    March 31,                 March 31,
                              1998          1997         1998          1997
      Revenues:
    Processing
     and servicing         $42,147       $30,293     $115,093       $72,658

    License fees             8,116         8,181       21,411        21,675
    Maintenance fees         6,644         7,300       19,904        15,654
    Other                    4,843         4,414       13,945        11,368
    Total Revenues          61,750        50,188      170,353       121,355

      Expenses:
    Cost of processing,
     servicing and support  34,213        30,357       94,332        75,784
    Research and development 9,360         8,556       26,157        22,527
    Sales, marketing
     and royalties           6,692         8,868       22,002        21,278
    General and
     administrative          5,215         3,923       15,748        12,924
    Depreciation
     and amortization        6,264         6,697       19,380        18,013
    In process research
     and development           —       140,000          719       140,000
    Charge for
     stock warrants         32,409          —-       32,409           —
    Exclusivity amortization   —         2,994        2,963         2,994
    Total Expenses          94,153       201,395      213,710       293,520
    Net gain on
     disposition of assets   3,080         6,250       28,449         6,250
    Loss from operations   (29,323)    (144,957)      (14,908)     (165,915)
    Interest, net              752           250        1,866         1,132

    Loss before
     income taxes          (28,571)    (144,707)      (13,042)     (164,783)
    Income tax benefit     (11,031)      (1,851)       (3,581)       (8,876)
    Net loss              $(17,540)   $(142,856)      $(9,461)    $(155,907)
    Basic and diluted
     earnings per share:
    Net loss per
     common share           $(0.32)      $(2.83)       $(0.17)       $(3.50)
    Weighted average
     number of shares       55,281        50,499       54,989        44,511
    Supplemental
     reconciliation of net
     income (loss) and
     and income (loss)
     per share:
     Loss before
     income taxes         $(28,571)   $(144,707)    $ (13,042)    $(164,783)
    Exclusivity
     amortization              —         2,994        2,963         2,994
    In process research
     and development           —       140,000          719       140,000
    Charge for
     stock warrants         32,409           —       32,409           —
    Net gain on
     disposition of assets  (3,080)      (6,250)      (28,449)       (6,250)
    Adjusted income (loss)
     before income taxes       758       (7,963)       (5,400)      (28,039)

    Income tax
     expense (benefit)         701       (3,153)       (1,011)      (10,178)

    Net Income (loss)
     excluding exclusivity
     amortization, in process
     research and development,
     charge for stock
     warrants and net gain on
     disposition of assets     $57      $(4,810)      $(4,389)     $(17,861)

    Net income (loss) per
     common share, excluding
     exclusivity amortization,
     in process research and
     development, charge
     for stock warrants and net
     gain on disposition
     of assets               $0.00       $(0.10)       $(0.08)       $(0.40)

               CHECKFREE HOLDINGS CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
                    Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets
                                 (Unaudited)
                                (In thousands)

                                 March 31,               June 30,
                                    1998                   1997
    Current assets:
     Cash, cash equivalents,
      and investments             $63,973                 $36,516
    Accounts receivable, net       31,285                  44,507
    Assets held for sale           25,216                     —
    Other current assets            9,854                   5,200
    Total current assets          130,328                  86,223

    Deferred income taxes          11,105                   3,063
    Property and equipment, net    45,965                  44,027
    Capitalized software
     and intangible assets, net    43,414                  83,540
    Other                           7,066                   6,983
    Total assets                $ 237,878                $223,836
    Current liabilities:
    Accounts payable, accrued
     liabilities and other        $28,469                 $40,293
    Deferred revenues              25,358                  26,498
    Total current liabilities      53,827                  66,791
    Long-term obligations

     – less current portion         6,748                   8,401
    Net stockholders’ equity      177,303                 148,644
    Total liabilities
     and stockholders’ equity   $ 237,878                $223,836

[1]: http://www.quicken.com/
[2]: http://www.checkfree.com/

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Equifax Peru

Equifax disclosed this week it has increased its ownership in Peru’s Infocorp S.A. to 51%. Infocorp was launched in 1995 through Equifax DICOM in Chile. The firm has since become the largest provider of consumer and commercial credit information in Peru. The remaining 49% of Infocorp will continue to be held by the two largest banks in Peru: Banco de Credito del Peru and Banco Wiese.

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FORTAS

De La Rue Card Systems rolled-out ‘FORTAS’ yesterday, a  secure, long-life card material and personalization technique.  The card brings together enhanced security and durability that exceed the anti-counterfeit and 10 year life expectancy requirements of most government identity and driving license programs worldwide.  FORTAS has a unique tamper-evident device to detect if anyone has attempted to remove either the card’s photograph or text by glowing brightly when exposed to an ultra violet light.  Additional security features are based on the card’s personalization method, traditional security print techniques and a 2mm wide banknote-style thread which includes a customizable holographic image embedded into the card material.

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