Transaction System Acquisition

Transaction Systems Architects announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IntraNet, Inc., of Newton, MA.  Transaction Systems will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of IntraNet in exchange for approximately 1.225 million shares of  TSA common stock. IntraNet is a leading provider of electronic payment systems for the worldwide banking community. The company’s Money Transfer System (MTS) and CACHE application software products are used by nearly half of the 50 largest U.S. banks and by financial institutions in Europe and Australia.  IntraNet products provide the critical payments processing infrastructure that keeps money moving across town or around the globe.


ICVERIFY & MS Site Server

ICVERIFY also announced Monday that its popular NetVERIFY software now works with Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition. Merchants use NetVERIFY to process and settle transactions for all major card brands as well as Mastercard or Visa-branded debit/check cards. Transactions can be processed from the Internet in real time or batch mode. Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition helps Windows NT-based web developers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) address complex e-commerce requirements.


VISA Java Card

Symantec Corp.  announced Monday that work has begun with Visa International and Sun Microsystems to integrate ‘Java Card’ technology and ‘Visa Open Platform’ libraries within the popular Visual Cafe for ‘Java Rapid Application Development’ environment. The integration will give JavaCard developers the ability to build applications that support Visa’s libraries as easily as they build Java desktop applications today.  The Java Card API enables a new generation of networking capabilities for payment cards, electronic commerce, network access, affinity programs, gaming applications and authentication — capitalizing on the power of smart card technology.


Vital Honored

Vital Processing Services was honored with the Commitment to Caring Award by the Valley of the Sun United Way and the Gold Award by the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, Georgia.

Vital was one of three organizations honored with the Commitment to Caring Award at a recent Valley of the Sun United Way Awards Ceremony held at the world-renown Phoenician Resort. The Awards Ceremony is an annual event held to recognize organizations that significantly contributed to the yearly campaign. Nearly 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to fund one of 300 charities or programs in the metro-Phoenix community.

This year, the Valley of the Sun United Way raised a record-breaking $35 million, a 16 percent increase from 1996.  These results catapulted the Valley of the Sun chapter to one of the top five United Ways in the country. Vital was key to that success, contributing an increase of 216 percent over its 1996 campaign.

One of Vital’s more popular fundraisers is an annual Golf Tournament where its clients, local celebrities and athletes, friends, employees and their families teed off to raise more than $14,000 this year.  In addition, Vital’s employee donations grew 444 percent over its 1996 campaign.

“Vital has always been a responsible and active corporate citizen, and the United Way is a perfect example of our commitment.  We are proud to receive the United Way’s prestigious awards.  Our employees look forward to making an even greater contribution to the Phoenix and Columbus communities next year,” said Fred Gumbel, president and CEO of Vital.

For Vital’s contribution to this year’s campaign in Columbus, Dick Hagan, vice president and campaign director for the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, presented Fred Gumbel with one of the United Way’s highest awards, the Gold Award, at a recent Vital employee forum.  Vital increased its contribution by 473 percent over last year.

Out of 250 companies, Vital was one of 34 companies to achieve the Gold Award.  The criteria for the receiving the Gold Award is that a company has more than 60 percent employee participation, more than 10 percent increase in employee per capita giving, a minimum of $100. donation per employee with one or more employees making a $1,000. or more donation.

The United Way of America, the national office, is headquartered in Alexandria, Va.  There are approximately 2,000 community-based United Way organizations.  Each is independent, separately incorporated, and governed by local volunteers.  The system began in 1887 in Denver and was once known as “Community Chest.”

Vital Processing Services (Vital) is a leading full-service merchant processing company.  Its clients include financial institutions that provide credit card processing to their merchant customers.  Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Vital offers financial institutions operational services that enhance business solutions without competing for their merchant business.  Its services include merchant POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; clearing, settlement and exception processing; merchant accounting, billing, and reporting; operational fulfillment services (including the outsourcing of chargeback and retrieval processing); risk management; and customer service.  Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(R) U.S.A. and Total System Services, Inc.(TSYS(R)) ([][1]).  Vital’s Internet address is [][2].



Easyflex & FastOS

Following its successful launch in Europe and South America, Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals is introducing the Easyflex smart card with FastOS operating system in North America. Serving as an electronic passport for access/identification and transportation applications, the innovative Easyflex card combines conventional contact-based transactions requiring a card reader with contactless operation — all in a single smart card chip. The flexible, dual-interface technology allows an issuer to customize the card to meet multiple needs. For instance, corporations can use the Easyflex card as an employee ID card to provide secure, fast access to buildings and computer networks, as well as for stored value transactions at on-site cafeterias and vending machines. The card is also ideal for transportation, since operators can issue the card as a ticket, and also link it with other card systems for additional applications, such as retail, banking and e-purse transactions.

“Transportation operators worldwide are beginning to understand the advantages of smart ticketing technology,” stated Jonas Andersson, business segment director, Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals. “The flexible architecture of the Easyflex card and its FastOS operating system allow issuers to immediately take advantage of a more efficient means of ticketing, while providing development options for other types of future transactions.”

Innovative Easyflex Projects Underway in Europe and South America

Brazil — EasyFlex Combines Identification, Transport and Financial Transactions

With 1.5 million citizens, Curitiba, Brazil is beginning a city-wide program that will put Easyflex smart cards into the hands of its entire urban population. During phase one, 30,000 municipal employees will be given a smart card which functions as a local government ID and access card, a payment card for retailers and a passport to preferential services with a participating bank.

These applications will be followed by electronic ticketing for local bus services, which will operate in contactless ‘walk by’ mode. Starting in 1998, the program will be extended to families of municipal employees, and then to the city’s entire population, making Curitiba the world’s first city-wide showcase for the convenience and flexibility of smart cards.

According to government officials, this smart card program reduces costs and speeds the development of Curitiba’s commercial infrastructure, helping to make major improvements in the quality of life in this major commercial center in Southern Brazil.

Finland — Easyflex Links Nationwide Bus Network

Easyflex is providing Finland’s diverse bus network with a single card solution that can be used for nationwide travel on ticketing systems ranging from high-speed contactless terminals used by mass transit operators in major cities, to contact card terminals used on most rural and inter-urban routes. The program provides a common card and clearing service for a network of more than 400 bus operators. A successful user of contact-based smart cards for nearly five years, the Matkahuolto system is switching to Easyflex to accommodate operators who want to use higher-speed contactless cards and terminals.

Easyflex cards can contain just a ticket and the associated administration data, or an electronic purse, which can be used anywhere on the network for buying tickets or for reloading the stored value. One of the key features of the Easyflex card is a high level of security for reloading the electronic purse. Matkahuolto plans to extend the e-purse capability to additional transactions in its transport network, such as refreshments and newspapers.

FastOS — the Flexible Operating System for Wireless and Contact-based Transactions

Easyflex features the powerful new operating system from Schlumberger, FastOS, which enables the wireless and contact-based transactions to run side by side. Easyflex and FastOS build on Schlumberger expertise in both the contactless radio-frequency proximity card market, and in the mainstream contact smart card sector.

The Easyflex contact interface draws on the Schlumberger world-leading Multiflex(TM) technology, which has formed the basis of numerous payment card applications for world-leading banks and credit card companies. The contactless radio frequency (RF) interface is compatible with the Mifare protocol, a technology which currently accounts for around 90 percent of the world’s contactless electronic transport ticketing applications. The FastOS operating system is compatible with the complete range of emerging industry standards for transport cards — including ISO14443A contactless operation), prENV1545 (data structures), and IATA’s specification for airline travel — and with key standards in the mainstream card environment, such as ISO7816, the EMV payment specification, and prENV1546 for e-purses.

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals offers a flexible portfolio of smart card-based solutions for businesses and communities of all kinds. The company provides cards, terminals, development tools and support in open configurations for operators, developers, integrators and distributors worldwide. Under The Smart Village(R) brand, the Schlumberger offer includes the milestone Cyberflex(TM) card, the industry’s first Java(TM)-based smart card. The Smart Cards & Terminals group operates 45 facilities in 34 countries across the globe. Additional information is available on the World Wide Web at [][1]. Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals is a business unit of Schlumberger Limited, a $10.65 billion global technology service company providing oilfield services, natural resource management, transactions based technology and associated systems, and semiconductor test equipment.



Industry Pulse

March may turn out to be a turning point for the card industry as delinquency and chargeoffs stabilized while yields continue to climb. The bankruptcy component of chargeoffs declined for the second consecutive month. Meanwhile annual fees, late fees and over-limit fees are still spiraling upward as average card interest rates turn south for the fourth straight month. The good news comes from the April issue of Card Management Information Services’ ‘Bankcard Barometer’.

                             INDUSTRY  STATS
      Standard APR:     18.76%           Delinquency:      5.41%
      Standard Fee:     $18.25            Chargeoffs:       5.54%
      Gold APR:          17.83%           Bankruptcy:      40.2%
      Gold Fee:         $35.34            Attrition:        8.24%
      Late Fee:         $19.38            Fraud Losses:     0.18%
      Overlimit Fee:    $18.59            Yields:          13.46%
        Source: Bankcard Barometer, April 98 issue


Showing Off Card Stuff

The ‘CardTech/SecurTech ’98’ expo gets underway this morning in Washington, D.C. as hundreds of vendors gather to show-off their high tech card stuff. Giesecke & Devrient America said Friday they will demo the first multi-currency ‘VISA Cash’ smart card on the Internet. The card utilizes G&D’s ‘STARCOS SVO’ operating system. G&D also announced it will demonstrate its new ‘C@ppuccino’ Java smart card and development toolkit. The new toolkit can be used in smart cards for a wide variety of applications including secure payment, telecommunications, multimedia and transportation.


NBS Names Eng VP

Fred Mueller, president of NBS card Technology Corporation, a subsidiary of NBS Technologies Inc., is pleased to announce the appointment of William Sherman III as Vice President of Engineering. In this position, Sherman will oversee NBS’s mechanical, electrical and software development efforts. He will also advise the company on the development and use of technology for new products.

Prior to joining NBS, Sherman was employed for 21 years by Brandt Inc., where he held several key positions: most recently, he served as Vice President of Systems Software Development. In that position, he was responsible for operations in the company’s retail cash management and financial vault automation systems division, where he oversaw the creation of software application products and system integration for coin and currency processing systems.

While at Brandt, he developed and implemented the world’s first and most sought after high-speed Counterfeit Detection System for U.S. currency and the World’s first embedded processor high-speed currency counter, coin sorter controller and cash settlement system.

Sherman holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Engineering Management from Drexel University.

NBS Technologies, Inc. is a multinational company that designs, manufactures and markets an integrated line of plastic card, card issuance, identifications and point-of-sale products, services and software. Customers, who cover a wide range of market segments and applications, include financial institutions, retailers, government agencies and healthcare organizations. NBS Technologies Inc. is a Toronto-based public company that sells to customers in over 85 countries through facilities located in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.


New CCS President

Card Capture Services, Inc.(CCS), a leading independent provider of ATMs nationally, announces the promotion of David Grano to company president. The reorganization occurred mid-March when former president and co-founder Jeff Jetton announced his desire to focus more on broad company initiatives and less on day to day operations.

As president, David Grano will lead corporate initiatives and strategic planning. He will also retain his seat on the company’s board of directors. A former high ranking Nextel Communications executive, Grano joined CCS in November of 1996 as vice president of marketing and distribution. As such he created and oversaw implementation of an expanded marketing and distribution strategy to drive national distribution for the company’s ATM products and services. As a result, company sales grew from $16 million in 1997 to $27.5 million in 1998.

“Since joining CCS, Dave has made an enormous contribution to the company,” commented Jetton. “I am confident that this transition will strengthen CCS, and position the company well for future growth.”

Jeff Jetton will continue as CEO and chairman of the board. As such, he will manage the president to company initiatives, lead merger and acquisition activity, identify new products and increase shareholder value. He will also continue to lead board initiatives as chairman. Jetton and co-founder Steve Wright’s contributions to Oregon’s entrepreneurial growth were recognized last year by the Oregon Entrepreneur Forum with the Oregon Service Entrepreneur award, one of the state’s highest business honors.

Card Capture Services, Inc.(CSS) was incorporated in 1993, in Portland, Oregon. CCS offers turnkey ATM programs providing transaction processing, machine maintenance, customer service, accounting and reporting to a growing base of merchant owned and operated Automated Teller Machines(ATMs) nationwide. By tapping non-traditional and unsaturated markets, CCS is leading the wave of independent ATM deployments nationally. The company currently has 50 employees and a nationwide network of 30 independently contracted dealers.


VISA & Golden Bear

VISA teed-off last night with a new national TV commercial featuring golf legend Jack Nicklaus. The 30-second spot called ‘Higher Learning’ promotes the Nicklaus/Flick Golf Schools with the message that the school does not take American Express. The promotion is part of VISA’s ongoing marketing partnership with Golden Bear Golf. VISA also sponsors a national tour of golf clinics produced by Nicklaus/Flick.