U.S. Wireless Data Inc. announced Friday the appointment of Alvin C. Rice to its Board of Directors effective June 1, 1998. Rice has a career span of 40 years in banking, investment banking, and commercial business management. As vice-chairman of Bank of America, he was in charge of that bankâs $60 billion worldwide commercial banking business. He had also served as chairman and president of Imperial Bank, been associate of Hambrecht & Quist, and has experience working directly in turnaround situations with such companies as Rheem Manufacturing Co., Pacific Growers, Memorex Corp. and Pacific Bridge Co.Details
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Friday filed for regulatory approval to trade the worldâs first futures and options addressing default risk in the $1.2 trillion consumer credit market. The CME Quarterly Bankruptcy Index, aimed at providing risk institutions, ultimately could help lower interest rates for consumers, exchange officials said. The CME QBI will be the first exchange-traded product designed to specifically target the credit derivative market. The CME Quarterly Bankruptcy Index will be based on the number, in thousands, of new bankruptcy filings in U.S. Bankruptcy courts. Futures will be sized at $1,000 time the CME QBI. The tick size will be .025, equivalent to 25 bankruptcy filings and valued at $25. The contracts will expire in the March quarterly cycle.Details
Citibank and AT&T announced the completion of the previously announced acquisition of AT&T Universal Card Services by Citibank for $3.5 billion. As part of the transaction, the companies also signed a 10-year co-branding and joint marketing agreement. Citibank also named Daniel R. DeMeo, previously head of UCS Marketing as the Citibank USC Business unit manager and senior site officer in Jacksonville, Fla. He will report to A. Sami Siddiqui, General Manager of North America Cards. Citibank said there will be no immediate changes to the Universal card. Cardmembers will be provided with uninterrupted service and can expect to receive the same features and benefits that they now receive from the card.Details
IBM announced that it has extended its support of the SET protocol by beginning the formal compliance testing process established by SET Secure Electronic Transaction LLC. IBM CommercePOINT is the industryâs first suite of end-to-end solutions that enable more secure, quick and easy credit card commerce on the Internet. The payment suite integrates SET into all phases of an electronic commerce transaction, from the consumer, to the merchant and to the acquiring bankâs processor. The result is a complete solution that makes online purchasing more secure for consumers and merchants.Details
The Private Issue Card announced Friday that its 1998 series will feature artwork by country music star, songwriter and actor, Randy Travis; British composer, musician and bandleader, Phil Collins; and a second creation by 1997 artist, the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. The entire 1997 series of Private Issue Cards, including the first Garcia Card, will be retired when the 1998 Cards are introduced. In addition to Garcia, Private Issue featured a watercolor by rock music diva Tina Turner and oil pastel landscape by New York basketball star Patrick Ewing. Ewingâs 1997 Card marked his second creation for the Private Issue Card.Details
First USA has introduced a new line of customer-activated value cards. The First USA Platinum Connect Card, the first in the customer-activated value card series, serves as a calling card with substantial discounts compared to other major long distance providers and offers 60 free minutes of domestic long distance calling time, and 10% cash back rewards on all calling card calls.
The First USA Platinum Supreme Card, a gasoline card scheduled for introduction this summer, will offer $10 in free gas and can be used at any gas pump where Visa and MasterCard are accepted. The customer-activated multifunctional value cards are offered via mail as service and reward cards to pre-approved customers. In addition, if they wish, customers may activate the credit card feature, which offers a 4.9% introductory APR and a 12.99% standard APR with no annual fee. All cards require customer activation via a security protocol before they can be used in any capacity. A customer must separately request activation of the credit feature before it becomes available.Details
By 2005, personal ATMs and stored-value cards will stake out a 10% to 15% share of global network-related banking transactions. Killen estimates 43 billion stored value and phone card transactions by 2005. âStored Value: New Opportunities for Retail Banking and Telecard Providers,â a new study from Killen & Associates states that personal ATMs are key to the explosive growth of smart cards throughout the world economy and society in general. The personal ATM represents a new service and product category for disbursement of monetary value and for the execution of other financial transactions.Details
Montgomery Ward announced Friday that it has reached an agreement with Monogram Bank and Montgomery Ward Credit Corporation for uninterrupted operation of Wardsâ private credit card. The agreement, which was approved Friday by the United States Bankruptcy Court and is supported by the official creditors committee will govern operation of the retailerâs private credit card through Wardsâ expected emergence from Chapter 11 protection in 1999. Under the terms of the deal, Wards will provide additional payment of $2 to $3 million per month to Monogram/MWCC in lieu of an assumption of the credit card operation by Wards or another financial institution.Details
April 2nd has been dubbed “Teach Our Children Day” by the Securities and Exchange Commission during its week-long “Facts on Saving and Investing Campaign.” American Express Financial Advisors believes in the importance of saving and investing, especially for young people and offers the following tips to help parents and young people learn the basics.
Saving Money Makes Cents Tips for Teens on Saving Money
Whether you’re saving money for little things like a movie and popcorn, bigger things like a stereo or a car or really big things like a college education, the following tips can help keep your savings on track:
— Set a savings goal and keep track of your progress. Include what things you want to save for and prioritize them. Keep track of how much they cost and decide if you really want them.
— Find a safe place to keep your savings. Ask your parents to help you set up a special place to put your money — banks are great because your money earns interest and you won’t be tempted to spend it.
— Avoid spur-of-the-moment spending. Think about what you’d like to buy and why.
— When you purchase items, wait for them to go on sale.
— Only buy items when you have money. Don’t borrow to buy things and then overspend and go broke!
— Ask your parents/guardians about what “extra” chores you can do for them to earn extra cash. Save the money you earn.
— Remember, saving money and watching it grow is fun!
Tips for Parents/Guardians on Helping Teens Save
Teens are confronted with difficult choices every day, and one of those choices is whether to save or spend the money they earn. As parents/guardians, we can help teens learn money management skills that encourage financial independence over time. Following are a few tips to get you started encouraging the young person in your life to save:
— Ask young people what they plan to spend the dollars they earn on. Are they thinking about what they want today? Or, are they thinking about what they want over time (i.e. a college education). Encourage goal setting and planning so they make thoughtful spending decisions.
— Help your teen pick something special to save for and work with them to prioritize the items.
— Help young people find a part-time job or offer them “extra” projects and odd jobs around the house and yard in which they can earn some extra “savings.”
— Encourage saving by helping young people set up a special place to put their money. Bank accounts can be a home away from home for your teen’s money.Details
NCR Corporation, the world leader in self-service solutions for the retail banking industry, is to begin supplying some its most innovative products under original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreements.
The company has established a new division within its self-service headquarters in Dundee, Scotland to service OEM customers with products such as cash dispensers. Developed by NCR as the state-of-the art technology for dispensing banknotes and other small media from its own automated teller machines (ATMs), the dispensers will be used by OEM purchasers to integrate into their own products.
“NCR has received a lot of positive attention for key technologies we have developed, like our vacuum dispenser architecture,” said Danny O’Brien, vice president, self-service. “We now have an opportunity to broaden the reach of those technologies through OEMs who recognize it is more effective to sell proven solutions than develop their own.”
The new division will be headed by Ekkehard Fabel who said that: “the OEM channel represents another way for NCR to meet that demand while strengthening the marketplace position of NCR self-service solutions.” He added that OEM customers would receive after sales support via NCR’s 20,000 service consultants around the world.
NCR last year maintained its position as the world’s leading supplier of ATMs, shipping more than 44,000 terminals around the world.
About NCR’s Financial Solutions Group
NCR supplies banks and other financial institutions with Banking Solutions in the Age of the Consumer – solutions that are tailored to our customers’ individual needs so that they can offer the best services to their consumers. These solutions cover the areas of self-service, payment, channel delivery and customer management.
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a recognized world leader in scalable data warehousing, self-service and store automation solutions for the retail, financial and communications industries and other select markets. NCR’s solutions are built on the foundation of the company’s long-established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, world-leading hardware technology, global customer support services and a complete line of consumable and media products.Details
On March 31, 1998, National Bank of Canada securitized a portfolio of credit card receivables representing total outstandings in excess of $687 million. This off-balance sheet financing will enable the National Bank to diversify its sources of funding, strengthen its capital base and improve its return on common shareholders’ equity.
The $500 million in bonds issued by Canadian Credit Card Trust as part of this transaction will mature in seven years. These bonds have also been assigned the highest credit rating by the Canadian Bond Rating Service, Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited and Standard & Poor’s.
Levesque Beaubien Geoffrion Inc. acted as lead manager for the group of underwriters, the two others being Nesbitt Burns and Goldman Sachs Canada. Moreover, Canadian Credit Card Trust is represented by two trustees, namely, General Trust of Canada acting on behalf of purchasers of the bonds issued by Canadian Credit Card Trust and The Trust Company of Bank of Montreal acting on behalf of Canadian Credit Card Trust beneficiaries. Lastly, State Street Bank and Trust Company issued a letter of guarantee for a maximum of $27.5 million.Details
Wharton Asset Management Inc. research analyst Rick Joshi, based in the firm’s New York office , has updated coverage on USA Technologies Inc. with a “Strong Buy” rating. USA’s patented technology makes possible unattended credit card-operated use of equipment including personal computers, copying machines, printers and fax machines.
Joshi’s 12-month price target is $2.15 per share.
“We believe that USA Technologies is grossly undervalued at current levels,” said Joshi. “One reason for this may be that the investment community is not aware of recent developments at the company and especially their far-reaching implications for company valuation. As investors begin to recognize the potential of technology for electronic commerce, and as the company continues to gain analyst following, we believe that this value will be reflected in the stock price over time.
“USA has significant operating leverage in its core unattended credit card-operated equipment business, which we expect to be substantially amplified by its increasing focus over the longer term on interactive advertising that leverages the same customer base and is mostly supported by the same infrastructure, staff and strategic relationships as the core business,” added Joshi. “It therefore affords investors the opportunity to participate in the fast-growing internet sector, with downside risk mitigation from market leadership and earnings from the existing core business, wherein USA’s customers already include leading hotel chains.
“USA Technologies is in the process of establishing itself as the leader in unattended credit card technology. The company has a decisive technological lead, promising new products targeting vast potential markets, including electronic commerce and internet advertising, and major strategic partnerships with Mail Boxes Etc. and others in place. Given its unique technological position, superb growth characteristics and earnings potential, USTT is an outstanding vehicle for risk tolerant investors with a short-term as well as a long term view,” said Joshi.
USA Technologies’ flagship product is MBE Business Express(TM), a joint venture product with Mail Boxes Etc.(a subsidiary of U.S. Office Products). MBE Business Express(TM), using USA’s patented technology and previously marketed by USA as Business Express(TM), provides credit card-activated self- service office systems for business travelers and consumers who need to access the internet or e-mail or use personal computers, printers, copiers and fax machines while they are away from their office or home. Future plans call for each unit to feature a dial through telephone to a nearby Mail Boxes Etc. location for additional services and support such as color copying projects, binding and packing and shipping. A simple swipe of any major credit card activates the office equipment and computer stations which offer many popular software programs as well as access to the internet and e-mail. To maintain security, MBE Business Express(TM) is equipped with TransAct(TM), USA Technologies’ proprietary payment and management system that processes secure, real-time credit card transactions, billing customers for actual services used while ensuring timely payments to the business center owner.
USA Technologies is a leading owner and licensor of networked credit card- activated control systems for the personal computer, photocopier, facsimile and laptop printing capabilities. The company’s proprietary technologies make available unattended, point-of-sale control systems for credit card payments.
Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
With the exception of the historical information contained in this release, the matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties that may individually or mutually impact the matters herein described, including but not limited to product acceptance, economic, competitive, governmental, results of litigation, technological and/or other factors, which are outside the control of the Company.Details