VISA is sponsoring the second installment of the new MTV ‘True Life’ series, a weekly television documentary about the lives and concerns of Gen-Xers. The show, entitled “No Money, Mo’ Problems”, will debut April 7 at 10pm. The program will feature an eclectic mix of young Americans in various money management crisis including a Las Vegas dancer working hard to save money to fulfill her desire to become the all-American mom. VISA will direct troubled Gen-Xers to the National Foundation for Consumer Credit at the end of the program.


Bank of Scotland Mondex Program

Bank of Scotland has chosen Amdahl’s Smartcard Group to implement its first smartcard project in Scotland. Amdahl will implement a complete, turnkey solution for the Bank’s Mondex business activities. and has already begun the initial phase of the project at Edinburgh University.

The project provides identification, access control and electronic purse capabilities on a single smartcard, which will be used by students and staff throughout the University’s buildings in Edinburgh. A phased implementation, the system will be operational in April and fully functional for the new student intake in October 1998. It will then be extended to cover more than 25,000 cardholders across the University.

As this is a turnkey solution for Bank of Scotland. Amdahl is providing the project management and integration skills. procurement and technical expertise. in addition to supplying some of the necessary hardware and software for the project. This expertise in integrating different systems and managing large scale projects were among the factors which led the Bank to select Amdahl as its partner for this project.

Commenting on the project, Christine Peace, senior manager for Smartcards Product Development at Bank of Scotland said: “Electronic cash is the next phase in payments systems, taking us into the new millennium. It has many advantages over traditional cash and card systems. and will open up a new world of payment methods by providing people with many more services in their homes, colleges and workplaces.”

“Having evaluated a number of potential partners for the project. we selected Amdahl because their solution was flexible, it could be implemented quickly and effectively. and offered us the potential to use it for other smart card applications.”

Trevor Lafferty, solutions director at Amdahl’s Smartcard Group, is delighted that the Bank opted for Amdahl’s solution. He stated: “Working with Bank of Scotland on the first Mondex application in Scotland is a real achievement for us. Implementing any kind of new technology is a bold move. and it further demonstrates Bank of Scotland’s reputation for the innovative use of new technology, combined with a commitment to reducing costs and improving service to its customers. We’ve already developed a close and highly effective relationship with the Bank, and we’re looking forward to extending this further in the future.”

As one of Scotland’s leading banks. Bank of Scotland has strong connections with other Scottish universities. The successful implementation of the Edinburgh project will act as a blueprint for the Bank to provide similar Mondex applications to other universities in the future.


GemExpresso RAD Unleashed

Gemplus announced yesterday that it is shipping GemXpresso RAD (Rapid Applet Development), a smart card development platform based on Java Card 2.0 and 32-bit RISC processing. GemXpresso RAD enables developers to quickly bring smart card-based electronic commerce, transportation, banking and other applications to market.

GemXpresso’s programming interface is based on the Sun Microsystems Inc. Java Card 2.0 API, the standard for creating Java applets that run on smart cards. The Java platform is an open, object-oriented computing platform that makes it possible for developers to generate and test GemXpresso-based solutions in a few days, enabling competitive product differentiation and lower cost development. The Java platform allows developers to create smart card applications with a new level of interoperability.

GemXpresso RAD speeds up development time by featuring the first object-oriented smart card interface as well as a built-in simulator that allows developers to test applets on their workstations without having to first load them into the smart card. It also provides extensive debugging capabilities that simulates and displays what is occurring inside the “card.”

Prior to GemXpresso, the most advanced smart card was limited to an 8-bit microprocessor. The major advance in processing power that comes with GemXpresso RAD enables developers to optimize the performance of their applications, while providing them with a platform that can quickly scale up to future technologies.

The 32-bit microprocessor also gives smart cards the power they need to run multiple applications — a capability that some experts see as essential to making a strong business case for the implementation of smart card solutions.

“Today’s announcement is a further demonstration of the leadership Gemplus has shown in the development of Java technology-based smart card solutions,” said John Landwehr, director of product marketing for the Gemplus Internet group. “We were pioneers in the development of Java technology-based operating systems, and with GemXpresso RAD, we are the first company to launch a 32-bit Java Card 2.0-based card.”

“The GemXpresso RAD kit truly provides the openness and efficiency of the Java language on a smart card,” said Jon Collinson, head of strategy and business development at British Telecom (BT) consumer mobility. “With this kit, we believe Gemplus has contributed significantly to the viability of the Java platform as a fast and flexible delivery mechanism for future value- added services on smart cards.”

Gemplus will be demonstrating GemXpresso RAD at the JavaOne Conference in its booth (#316), in the Java Technology Town area and the JavaOne Hacker’s Lounge, March 24 – 27, 1998, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. GemXpresso RAD will also be featured in the Gemplus booth at CEBIT (Hall 23-Booth A17), March 19-25, 1998 in Hanover, Germany.

Java Card Forum Co-Founder

As a co-founder of the Java Card Forum, Gemplus provided extensive input and feedback to Sun’s JavaSoft division, while creating the Java Card 2.0 specification. Additionally, Gemplus worked for many years on specifications and the development of an open, modular card operating system through Integrity Arts, the Gemplus subsidiary recently acquired by Sun.

“The availability of GemXpresso RAD to the market makes possible the development of an exciting range of powerful solutions based on the Java platform,” said Patrice Peyret, director of consumer transactions at JavaSoft, a division of Sun Microsystems, Inc. “The combination of more powerful hardware and Java Card 2.0’s advanced software architecture will allow the rapid development of new and more advanced smart card applications.”

Pricing and Availability

GemXpresso RAD includes an applet prototyping-card based on a 32-bit processor, and a developer environment featuring a Virtual Machine and class libraries based on Java Card 2.0.

Customers can choose between the GemXpresso RAD kit containing a reader, two cards and software, with e-mail technical support for the special price of US$499 through May 1, 1998 (after this date the kit will be price at US$799); or the GemXpresso RAD professional kit, which adds telephone technical support and two full days of training, for US$3,999.

Gemplus is developing a variety of 8-bit and 32-bit Java-based deployment cards that it expects to be available beginning in late 1998.

GemXpresso RAD is available immediately and can be purchased through the Gemplus Web Store, the new virtual smart card store on the Internet that Gemplus launched today. It can be accessed at .

About Gemplus

Gemplus () is the world’s leading provider of conventional and smart card-based solutions. Gemplus sells magnetic stripe cards, memory and microprocessor-based smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags and smart objects. The company designs and markets software, development tools and readers. Gemplus also provides consulting, training and personalization services to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible card-based solutions to its developers, distributors, partners, and customers.

With sales of over US$585 million in 1997, Gemplus employs more than 4,100 people, in ten manufacturing facilities, five R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world. Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, identity, access control, pay TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, and information technology.

Gemplus is a registered trademark of Gemplus Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner.



The nation’s sixteenth largest issuer of VISA and MasterCards is pulling in the reins on national marketing, focusing on its core bank marketing area. First Union confirmed Friday it has put national solicitations on hold and will now target consumers in its twelve state banking service region. Also First Union card chief Fred Winkler announced Friday he will resign effective April 1. Former First USA CFO Jack Antonini, who took over as head of consumer banking last summer, said First Union will now data-mine relationships, cross-selling new products and services. First Union indicated above average losses in its national card segments also contributed to the shift in strategy. Winkler, formerly a top exec of AT&T Universal, will have his responsibilities divided among several executives. First Union chief credit officer David Nole will become SVP of credit cards and Keith Myers, COO of consumer banking, will oversee debit and smart cards. The Charlotte Observer reported Saturday that Winkler will pursue options to take advantage of his national background.


CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay

IA Corp. announced this morning CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay, an advanced new application that allows banks to review critical check information and input correct information and decisions to combat check and draft fraud.

With IA’s unique software features, high-volume draft customers can also maximize efficiencies by distributing and balancing work loads among employees in geographically dispersed locations throughout the company.

The new Advanced Positive Pay application leverages IA’s CheckVision Archive(TM) product. IA’s CheckVision Archive is an advanced software solution for financial institutions to store and leverage transaction information, such as check images, MICR data and credit slips. CheckVision Archive is the keystone for the transition from current banking processes to national electronic banking operations.

How It Works

Client-Edited Decisions

With IA CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay, banks and their clients can view critical items, checks or drafts, and payment information important to combating fraud, such as item number, item amount, item date, and front and back images of checks or drafts, in real-time from their PC.

Unlike other positive pay applications, CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay allows bank clients to interact directly with the bank, supplying the necessary information to correct data errors and make pay or return decisions.

CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay also provides the ability to communicate the reasons for returning or paying an item with pre-defined codes, making it easier to collect decisions from remote locations.

Multiple Client Sites

CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay electronically transmits item images to various locations, eliminating the need for banks to collect checks or drafts in a centralized location and redistribute to the issuing branch or office.

Images can be automatically sorted and batched for each location. Also, since most organizations use dispersed or decentralized disbursement, the corporation can let each office issue items, yet still minimize the risk of fraud.

Load Leveling

Banks can further maximize efficiencies by distributing and balancing the work load of processing suspect items and pay decisions among workers. Using the Load Leveling feature, banks can define a maximum number of items a user will get or further delineate work load by volume, dollar amount or type of work item. This allows organizations to balance the work load or take advantage of location and time zone differences.

“IA’s CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay is truly an innovative product for banks, allowing them to streamline operations, consolidate decisions and possibly reduce costs and overall write-offs,” said Terry Leger, vice president of marketing for IA. “IA’s CheckVision Archive software is the keystone to offering such new strategic products, allowing banks to store all transaction information and gain competitive advantages by offering unique new services.”

CheckVision Archive

IA’s CheckVision Archive stores in electronic form all types of transaction information such as MICR data, images of checks and deposit slips, credit and cash tickets, as well as customer information including statements and credit documentation. This information is used throughout the enterprise for customer service and a host of new, innovative product-delivery concepts.

This newly introduced software is strategic to the banking industry and will lead to future applications in electronic banking, advanced cash management and Electronic Check Presentment (ECP) with image exchange.

Internally, banks can use CheckVision Archive to streamline and accelerate check-processing operations through more efficient storage and retrieval. It can also help banks respond to new challenges facing the financial services industry such as increased competition, globalization and geographic distribution.

The first IA customer to incorporate CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay is CoreStates-QuestPoint, a leading transaction and information services provider and one of the top 25 leading financial institutions in the U.S.

IA CheckVision Archive customers include Comerica, SouthTrust, Fleet and Citibank. IA will demonstrate the new CheckVision Advanced Positive Pay application, as well as CheckVision Archive, at the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) tradeshow, Booth No. 611, March 24-27, in New Orleans.

IA Corporation

IA Corp. is headquartered in Emeryville, Calif. and listed on NASDAQIACP. The company currently sells leading archive and application software solutions for advanced banking and cash management services such as CheckVision Positive Pay and CheckVision ARP.

The company’s customers include leading organizations such as Crestar, GE Capital Mortgage Corp., Harris Bank, Mellon Bank Corp., CoreStates-QuestPoint, Sanwa Bank California, LTD., UMB, NA and Wachovia.

IA is located at 1900 Powell St., Emeryville, CA 94608-1840; U.S. Telephone 510/450-7000; Fax 510/450-7099; Email; Website .

This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the development and the availability of the complete CheckVision system. These statements involve risks and uncertainty, including without limitation the ability of the Company to complete development of the CheckVision system. Investors are encouraged to review the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 1996 and the Form 10-Q for the period ended Sept. 30, 1997 for a discussion of additional factors that could affect the Company’s future performance.


Wal-Mart MasterCard Wins Award

The best marketed new products of the year were honored at the 1997 Edison Best New Products Awards including the Wal-Mart MasterCard from Chase. More than 800 of the marketing and advertising industry’s leading executives gathered for the Edison Awards, the most prestigious accolades for excellence in new product marketing and innovation.

More than 25,000 new products were introduced in 1997, yet new products continue to maintain a failure rate between 80 and 90 percent. This year’s Edison Awards showcased the 1997 product successes.

More than 25 categories ranging from food, high-tech, financial services, cosmetics, automobiles were selected to receive the Edison honors with gold, silver and bronze awards.

Edison Award winners are determined by a vote of more than 3,500 senior marketing and advertising executives across the United States, selecting products and services that excel on marketplace and technological innovation, marketplace success, market structure, and societal impact.


The Grand Edison New Product Marketer of the Year is the premier award determined by a company’s stellar performance as reflected by the panel’s ballot response and the success of its various new products introduced into the marketplace. The award was presented to     –Colgate-Palmolive Company     By paying close attention to changing consumer preferences,     Colgate introduced ten major new products in 1997 spearheaded by     Total, the first and only toothpaste cleared by the FDA for its     ability to prevent gingivitis, plaque and cavities.

Lois Jubiler, Executive Vice President, Chief of Operations,     Developed Markets, Colgate-Palmolive Company accepted this award.

Colgate Total is a truly revolutionary new toothpaste, providing     the key therapeutic benefits consumers demand protection against     cavities, plaque, gingivitis, tartar, and bad breath. Moreover,     its patented, unique formula continues to work after brushing     stops — providing long-lasting protection for up to 12 hours.


The American Marketing Association established the Edison Achievement Awards as a vehicle to recognize business executives who have made significant and lasting contributions to marketing during their distinguished business careers. The honors this year went to     –Martha Stewart, Chairman, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LLC     Ms. Stewart is the driving force behind a rapidly growing     enterprise that includes a television series, a syndicated     column, a national radio program, product lines and a magazine     that virtually redefined its category.

–Reuben Mark, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,     Colgate-Palmolive Company     Reuben Mark is leading the 191-year-old company to one of its     most successful years ever, with sales of $8.7 billion. The U.S.     introduction of Total has been hailed as a breakthrough success,     following the product’s excellent reception in 103 countries     to date.


The American Marketing Association honors the Advertising Agency     that achieved the most Edison Award winning marketing/advertising     campaigns for their clients more than any other agency.     This year’s honor was awarded to     –Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide     FCB clients have received seven Gold, Silver or Bronze Edison     Awards.

Brendan Ryan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Foote,     Cone & Belding Worldwide accepted this honor.

“New product marketing is undeniably one of the most difficult tasks faced by American business today,” noted Dennis Jorgensen, Chief Executive Officer of the American Marketing Association. “The Edison Awards symbolize the drive to remain at the forefront of product innovation and creativity.”

The American Marketing Association is the world’s largest and most comprehensive professional society of marketers.



Aquafresh(R) Whitening SmithKline Beecham, Pittsburgh, PA

Barbie Fashion Designer CD-Rom Mattel, El Segundo, CA

COLD-EEZE(R) with Zigg The Quigley Corporation, Doylestown, PA

Colgate(R) Total(TM) Toothpaste Colgate-Palmolive Company, New York, NY

Drypers Diapers with Baking Soda, Aloe Vera And Sesame Street     Characters Drypers Corporation, Houston, TX

Frappuccino(R) Bars Starbucks Ice Cream Partnership, Seattle, WA

Frappuccino(TM) Coffee Drink North American Coffee Partnership, Seattle, WA

Hugo woman Hugo Boss Procter & Gamble, Santa Monica, CA

Ice Breakers LifeSavers Company, Parsippany, NJ

Jordan Nike, Inc., Beaverton, OR

Just 5(TM) 5-Minute Colorant Combe Incorporated, White Plains, NY

Maytag Neptune Washer Maytag Appliances, Newton, IA

MCI Collegiate Calling Card MCI, Boulder, CO

Michelins MXV4 ZP Michelin(R), Greenville, SC

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 Microsoft Corporation, Portland, OR

Minute Maid Premium Orange Juice The Minute Maid Company, Houston, TX

ML 320 Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc., Montvale, NJ

Netscape Communicator 4.0 Netscape Communications Corporation, Mountain View, CA

Pillsbury One Step(TM) Refrigerated Cookie Pillsbury Company, Minneapolis, MN

Plymouth Prowler Chrysler Corporation, Auburn Hills, MI

Shout(R) Wipes S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Racine, WI

Sprint Personal Communication Services Sprint PCS, Kansas City, MO

The WNBA’s Inaugural Season Women’s National Basketball Association, New York, NY

Tombstone(R) Oven Rising(TM) Crust Pizza Kraft Foods, Glenview, IL

Top Speed Nail Color Revlon, New York, NY

Vagistat-1 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New York, NY


Boxster Porsche Cars North America Inc., Reno, NV

Calgon After Bath Body Mist Coty US, Inc., New York, NY

Colgate Wave(TM) Toothbrush Colgate-Palmolive Company, New York, NY

Dial for Kids Dial Corporation, Scottsdale, AZ

Eggo(TM) Buttermilk Pancakes Kellogg USA, Battle Creek, MI

Everfit Hanes, Winston-Salem, NC

Hot & Cold Benetton Fragrance/French Fragrances, Miami Lakes, FL

Icon for Men Matrix Essentials, Inc., Solon, OH

INSTEAD(R) Ultrafem Inc., New York, NY

Lincoln Navigator Lincoln-Mercury Division/Ford Motor Company, Detroit, MI

Martha Stewart Everyday Kmart Corporation, Troy, MI Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, New York, NY

MCI One MCI Mass Markets, Washington, DC

Nestle Pretzel Flipz Nestle USA, Inc., Glendale, CA

PalmPilot(TM) connected organizer 3Com Corporation, Mt. View, CA

SnackWell’s(TM) Candy LifeSavers Company, Nabisco, Parsippany, NJ

Soft Soap(R) brand Aquarium(TM) Series Liquid Soap Colgate-Palmolive Company, New York, NY

Surge The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, GA

Taco Bell Home Original Dinner Kits Kraft Foods, Glenview, IL

Wal-Mart MasterCard Chase Manhattan Bank, Hewlett, NY

Windex No-Drip S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Racine, WI.


Children’s(R) Advil Whitehall-Robins Healthcare, Madison, NJ

Christian Dior Mascara Flash Parfums Christian Dior, Inc., New York, NY

Clearpath(TM) Ameritech Cellular, Hoffman Estates, IL

HP PhotoSmart PC Photography System Hewlett-Packard Company, San Diego, CA

Incredi-Bagel(TM) State Fair Foods, Inc., Dallas, TX

Indian Summer by Priscilla Presley Wella Fragrance, New York, NY

Keri(R) Anti-bacterial Hand Lotion Bristol-Myers Products, New York, NY

Martha Stewart Everyday Colors Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, New York, NY The Sherwin-Williams Company, Troy, MI

Pledge Electronics S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Racine, WI

Reese’s(R) Crunchy Cookie Cups Hershey Chocolate North America, Hershey, PA

SLK 230 Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc., Montvale, NJ

The Preserve(R) Toothbrush Recycline, Inc., Somerville, MA

V-8 Splash Tropical Blend Campbell Soup Company, Camden, NJ

Vavoom Styling Shampoo & Conditioner Matrix Essentials, Inc., Solon, OH

W1 by RAYMOND WEIL geneve, Woodland Hills, CA


GPS Picks DataCard

DataCard Corporation announced today that Global Payment Systems has selected the DataCard 80 series platform and a DataCard receipt printer to support its Global Hospitality LAN credit card payment and folio management system.

![][1]     The new Global solution, which dramatically speeds and simplifies guest registration, features DataCard(R) 485 and DataCard(R) 780 LAN terminals for larger lodging facilities, and the stand-alone DataCard(R) 680 transaction terminal for smaller facilities. Global utilizes the DataCard(R) SilentPartner(TM) receipt printer with all three terminals.

By offering a choice between three DataCard transaction terminals, the Global solution can support a broad range of hospitality operations_ranging from 60-room budget and economy properties to full-service establishments with 1,000 or more rooms.

Claude Epps, director of product marketing for Global, said the company chose the DataCard products because they enhance the functionality, speed and convenience of the Global solution.

“Our goal was to develop a reliable, affordable solution that makes guest registration faster, smoother and less expensive,” Epps said. “The DataCard products help us achieve that goal.”

The Global Hospitality LAN system creates a networked registration environment, where guests can walk up to any front desk station and check in or out. At the same time, property managers can process transaction information and use reporting functions at any terminal. They can also integrate information from restaurant and retail outlets for fast transaction reconciliation prior to settlement.

“Check-in or check-out can be completed in as little as 10 seconds,” Epps said. “By comparison, most lodging applications take more than a minute.”

Facilities can utilize either a stand-alone DataCard 680 transaction terminal, or a DataCard 485 with a DataCard 780 transaction terminal that provides a gateway to the LAN. While the 485 is designed as a client station, the 780 incorporates a modem and transaction storage capabilities to also operate as a communication and data server.

“The 485 and 780 are ideal for LAN-based establishments where multi-tasking capabilities are a must,” said Tom Kettell, vice president of marketing for the financial systems business unit at DataCard. “In these facilities, peak business periods require fast, dependable processing of many transactions at the same time. The DataCard terminals have proven that they’re perfect for the job.”

Epps said Global selected the SilentPartner printer because of its speed, quiet operation and compact footprint.

“A core attribute of our new application is speed_and the DataCard SilentPartner is one of the fastest receipt printers on the market,” Epps said. “The quiet thermal printing process also contributed to our decision. It makes for a much more pleasant environment for customers.”

John Mamalakis, senior vice president of DataCard’s financial systems business unit, said the Global solution will help establish DataCard as a leader in POS products for the lodging industry.

“The new Global system is an outstanding product and we’re glad to be part of it,” Mamalakis said. “It’s an excellent opportunity to show that our POS products are reliable, powerful and easy to use.”

DataCard Corporation, a privately held company based in Minneapolis, Minn., provides customers around the world with fully integrated solutions for a variety of financial, identification and healthcare applications. In addition to turnkey solutions, the company offers complete lines of digital photo ID systems and printers and card personalization systems. ([][2])

[1]: /graphic/globalpayment/global.gif



The merger between American Bankers Insurance Group and Cendant Corporation is on its way after American International Group agreed last week to a waiver of its merger agreement with American Bankers. The AIG waiver will expire at 2pm today. Under terms of the AIG agreement American Bankers was precluded from entering into a merger with any third party before May 20. Under terms of last week’s waiver, AIG will receive a termination fee of $100 million from American Bankers and a $10 million fee from Cendant for merger-related activities, if the Cendant merger goes through.


First Citizens & FDR Extend

First Data Resources Inc. announced a five-year contract extension with North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank.  With the extension, First Data will provide transaction processing and other cardholder services through 2003 for the bank’s credit card, private label card and debit card portfolios.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We’re pleased to continue to build our relationship with an industry leader like FDR.  They offer us a valuable blend of technological expertise and the ability to support our goals for growth and profitability,” said Wayne Duncan, executive vice president of First Citizens Bank.

First Citizens Bank, with more than $9 billion in assets, is among the 100 largest banks in the United States and has been an FDR client since 1993.

“We’re glad to continue our relationship with a world-class institution like First Citizens, and we appreciate their confidence in our ability to deliver innovative technology and new products and services that will help them grow their market share and maximize their profits,” said Richard A. Zehnacker, president of First Data Resources.

Based in Raleigh, NC, First Citizens Bank operates more than 350 branches serving nearly 200 towns and cities in North Carolina and Virginia.  Its world wide web page is located at .

Omaha, Neb.-based First Data Resources is a leading global provider of transaction cards and other card-based services to more than 1,400 card issuing clients around the world.

Hackensack, N.J.-based First Data Corporation is a global leader in payment systems, electronic commerce and information management products and services.  First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or stored value card at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check or wire money.  For further information about First Data, please visit the Company on the Internet at .


Euronet Files for Public Offering

Euronet Services Inc. announced that it has filed a Registration Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission covering a proposed public offering by Euronet of approximately $100,000,000 gross proceeds of its Senior Discount Notes due 2006. The offering will be underwritten by Merrill Lynch Capital Markets Bank Limited, Frankfurt/Main Branch, as lead manager and Merrill Lynch & Co.

Established in 1994, Euronet operates the only independent, non-bank owned ATM network in Central Europe. Through agreements and relationships with local banks, international card issuers and associations of card issuers such as American Express, Diners Club International, VISA, Plus, MasterCard, Europay and Cirrus, Euronet’s ATMs are able to process ATM transactions for holders of credit and debit cards issued by or bearing the logos of such banks and card issuers. In addition, Euronet offers outsourced ATM management services to local banks that own proprietary ATMs.

A registration statement relating to the Senior Discount Notes has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. The Senior Discount Notes may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the Senior Discount Notes in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

When available, a written prospectus with respect to the Senior Discount Notes meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended may be obtained from Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner and Smith Incorporated, 250 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10281.


Equifax Rated Stable

Standard & Poor’s assigned its preliminary single-‘A’-minus/triple-‘B’-plus rating to Equifax Inc.’s $400 million rule 415 shelf registration.

The outlook has been revised to stable from negative.

Equifax Inc.’s rating reflects an above-average business position in a competitive marketplace. The company provides credit information, card processing, and check authorization services. Equifax’s competitive position is enhanced by product and geographic diversity, while business risk is tempered by the expertise in managing its comprehensive credit files and low working capital requirements.

Restructuring actions have improved operating efficiencies and allowed the company to maintain solid financial performance with operating margins in the mid 20% range, return on permanent capital exceeding 30%, and cash flow to total debt in the 50%area. Earnings prospects are balanced by the challenge of integrating recent acquisitions. The company’s active growth strategy and share repurchase program are not expected to materially diminish credit quality.


The outlook revision reflects the strong performance of Information Services, Card Services, and its European operations, which has diminished the impact that the spin-off of its Insurance Information services group (as a tax-free dividend to its shareholders) had on Equifax’s credit protection measures and financial flexibility. Computer Sciences Corp.’s (CSC) option to sell its credit reporting business to Equifax for a predetermined pricing formula (currently valued in excess of $400 million) is not factored into the current rating or outlook. However, Equifax’ historically moderate financial policy and strong cash generating ability could moderate the rating impact of a transaction with CSC, especially if it does not take place for several years, Standard & Poor’s said.


NLEX Corp Formed

The National Loan Exchange Corp. , a former division of Koll-Dove Global Disposition Services, has formed its own corporation.

Headquartered in St. Louis, NLEX will continue its brokerage services of charged-off consumer loans and credit card accounts on behalf of banks, issuers and other debt originators.

In addition, NLEX is now offering post sale servicing activities. In order to reduce the amount of work involved with contract issues, replacement or repurchase of accounts, documentation requests and other issues currently handled by the seller, NLEX(tm) is offering to screen and process all activities involving the portfolio sale.

This will alleviate the need for the seller to be fully staffed for such servicing. Also, a higher price may often be generated by selling a portfolio by smaller pools to qualified, pre-approved regional buyers.

Most sellers, however, are reluctant to sell to more than one or two buyers per portfolio, mainly because of servicing requirements. By expanding its services, NLEX(tm) is offering sellers the best of both worlds higher prices and less back-end work.

NLEX(tm) is also now offering pre-sale portfolio analysis for data quality and bankrupt and deceased screening. This will also serve to increase the portfolio value and decrease servicing by the seller.

For more information on NLEX(tm), contact Dave Ludwig, President at 800/264-3683.