G&A Imaging Names CFO

Today, G&A Imaging announced the appointment of Kenneth D. Charbonneau as Chief Financial Officer. Formerly Partner, High Technology Practice at KPMG, Mr. Charbonneau joins G&A Imaging to oversee the company’s national and international expansion, and to direct the corporate financing activities leading to an initial public offering.

“G&A Imaging is poised for substantial growth and success,” says Charbonneau, “I am pleased to be part of such an innovative and capable company, and I look forward to the challenges of guiding G&A forward.” For the past twenty-one years, Ken Charbonneau has provided a wide range of business, finance, tax, securities, due diligence and financial reporting services through KPMG to many technology organizations in Ottawa-Carleton. Since 1990, he has served KPMG Ottawa as leader of the High Technology Practice Group; Human Resources partner; and Due Diligence Assistance Services leader.

According to G&A Imaging President, Ray St-Maurice: “Ken Charbonneau joins us at a very interesting point in the company’s history as we prepare for an IPO and establish a new subsidiary company in Germany. Ken’s proven track record of working with many of Ottawa’s high tech companies speaks for itself. We are proud that such an experienced and well-respected member of KPMG has become an integral member of the G&A team.”

Ken Charbonneau graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Carleton University, and received his CA designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1979. Ken Charbonneau is based at G&A Imaging’s world headquarters in Ottawa-Hull, Canada.

About G&A Imaging Founded in 1988, G&A Imaging offers dynamic and innovative digital image management solutions to clients that range from home computer users to multinational corporations. G&A Imaging’s internationally recognized EPISUITE and PhotoRecall software lines reflect the company’s commitment to quality and excellence in product development. G&A Imaging’s clients include IBM France, CN Tower, Deutsche Bank, BASF, Egypt Army, Mexican Voter’s Registration, Sabena Belgium and Mercedes Benz. G&A Imaging has offices in the U.S., Singapore, Germany and Canada.

Details

Tourneau Credit Card

Tourneau, Inc., the nation’s largest fine watch retailer, is parlaying its prestigious image and credit advantages to benefit its customers via the new Tourneau private label credit card. Tourneau has signed a five-year agreement with Retailer Financial Services, a GE Capital Services company.

Historically, many retailers have experienced an increase in sales following the introduction of a private label card program.  Tourneau’s new card customers are able to participate in exclusive promotions tailored to their buying patterns, and are eligible for flexible payment schedules that “buy time” to pay off high-ticket items.

Under the agreement, GE Capital will provide Tourneau with enhanced consumer marketing and database management services; new account origination and processing; credit purchase funding; immediate sales authorization; credit card and billing statement production; account payment processing; customer service; collections and total risk management.

“As the world’s premier watch retailer, we need a leading financial services partner with unsurpassed customer service capabilities.  GE Capital provides the outstanding level of quality, customer service and marketing expertise that our customers demand,” said Howard Levitt, Chief Operating Office of Tourneau.

Commenting on the synergies, Ed Stewart, President and CEO of GE Capital Retailer Financial Services, noted “Tourneau is an innovative retailer with an unsurpassed reutation for quality and service.  Our partnership will allow Tourneau the opportunity to extend to its customer more buying power and flexibility than ever before.”

Tourneau, Inc., headquartered in New York City, has nine locations in New York, California, Florida and Texas.  The company recently opened its 16,000 sq. ft. flagship store on the corner of 57th street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan.  Tourneau represents more than 70 brands of fine watches in more than 7,000 styles which retail for $60 to $250,000.  Their product selection includes such exclusive names as Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Movado, Breitling, Piaget and Patek Phillippe.  Tourneau also offers an extensive collection of vintage watches, fine jewelry and writing instruments.

GE Capital Retailer Financial Services (RFS) is a world leader in providing credit, customer service, billing and payment processig services for retailers and consumers in the United States and Canada.  It provides third-party private label credit card, proprietary credit services and database marketing solutions to more than 300 retailers and 70 million cardholders in North America.  Retailer Financial Services is a GE Capital Services company.

GE Capital Services, with assests of over US$250 billion, is a global, diversified financial services company.  A wholly-owned subsidary of General Electric Company, GE Capital Services, based in Stamford, CT, provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a varity of consumer services, such as car leasing, home mortgages and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world.  GE is a diversified manufacturing, technology and servies company with operations worldwide.

Details

TNS – M&I

Transaction Network Services announced Thursday a multi-year contract with M&I Data Services to provide ‘950’ transport services to M&I’s dial-up ATM and POS devices. Under terms of the agreement, M&I Data will immediately begin migrating its existing dial-up ATM and POS devices to the TNS network. Currently M&I’s EFT Services division processes more than 40 millon dial and dedicated line transactions each month and supports more than 6,000 ATMs.

Details

DataWave to Distribute AT&T Prepaid Cards

DataWave Systems Inc has signed an agreement to distribute AT&T PrePaid Cards throughout the United States.

The agreement provides DataWave with the resources to create and implement a marketing program that will bring the advantages of DataWave technology and the AT&T brand, to customers within the 48 continental states of the United States of America as well as Hawaii. DataWave will provide businesses with a comprehensive national merchandising program for AT&T Prepaid Cards relying on DataWave’s proprietary technology. These state-of-the-art electronic merchandisers (DTMs) dispense prepaid calling cards that are activated at the point-of-sale. This unique Point-of-Sale Activation eliminates risks typically associated with the sale of prepaid calling cards, as well as costs associated with inventory control.

In turn, customers can enjoy DataWave’s technology with the universally recognized AT&T PrePaid Cards throughout the United States. AT&T Corporation is the leading provider of long-distance and wireless services in the U.S., with the world’s largest and most sophisticated communications network. AT&T serves more than 90 million customers in the U.S. alone, and operates in over 200 countries worldwide.

“Prepaid calling is one of the fastest growing segments of the telecommunications industry, and AT&T is wholly committed to being the leader”, said Mark Evans, Director of AT&T PrePaid Cards. “DataWave’s turn-key merchandising program and leading-edge technology solved many of the fundamental problems associated with selling prepaid calling cards. The prepaid card industry has grown rapidly over the last few years, and we fully expect this significant growth to continue.”

DataWave’s Telecard Merchandisers (DTMs) and Over-The-Counter Devices (OTCs) are intelligent electronic merchandising systems with a propriety real-time feature called Point-of-Sale Activation. The calling cards in the dispenser have no value until credit or cash payment is made, at which time the calling card is automatically activated to the specified denomination. This eliminates costs associated with inventory control.

“DataWave’s unique technology offers retailers a powerful merchandising program that is ideal for high-traffic areas, those that are conducive to vending situations, such as convenience stores, shopping malls, airports, transit stations, industrial settings, youth hostels, gas stations and military bases,” added Les Bennett, sales director for AT&T PrePaid Cards.

According to Clive Barwin, President of DataWave Systems, “I anticipate this agreement having an enormous impact on our business, allowing us to leverage a relationship with one of the world’s most successful marketing and sales forces, giving us access to crucial markets where AT&T is a powerful player. Though DataWave already operates in over 2,500 sites in North America, we anticipate that working with AT&T will help DataWave gain access to additional outlets where AT&T maintains relationships. For example, the hospitality industry represents a very large portion of the prepaid calling card market, and AT&T has a major presence in the hospitality industry.”

Details

Canadian Swipe Phones

Nearly half of Canada’s 184,000 payphones have mag stripe readers which is giving the prepaid phone card market a boost. Yesterday SmarTalk TeleServices introduced a ‘swipeable’ prepaid phone card which will initially be distributed through Petro- Canada’s 1,800 service centers. SmarTalk says the prepaid phone market in Canada is red hot and is expected to grow from about $60 million last year to as high as $150 million this year.

Details

Platinum Rush

The number of platinum VISA and MasterCards is approaching 15 million nationwide representing a 1000% increase from eighteen months ago, according to the February issue of CardTrak. The platinum war has escalated to the point where at least one card issuer has a titanium card in testing. CardTrak says the go-to interest rate is averaging 14.83% while the most commonly offered intro rate is 5.9%. MBNA has also selectively offered intro rates of 3.9% and 4.9%. People’s Bank is offering the lowest go-to platinum rate of 11.9%.

PLATINUM  PLAYERS

Advanta AT&T Universal Bank of America Banc One  Capital One Chase Manhattan Citibank First Bank First Chicago First USA MBNA America NationsBank People’s Providian  Wells Fargo Wash Mutual First Natl Omaha Source CardTrak, Feb 98

Details

Advanta Card Bonds Rated

Advanta Credit Card Master Trust II’s $966 million class A and $86.25 million class B floating-rate asset-backed certificates, series 1998-A, are expected to be rated ‘AAA’ and ‘A’, respectively, by Fitch IBCA.  With a weighted average life of three years, the securities represent the trust’s first issuance since series 1996-E, which was sold in November 1996.

The expected ratings are based on the strength of the pool of receivables generated under Advanta National Bank (ANB) MasterCard and Visa accounts, available credit enhancement, servicing provided by ANB and sound legal and cash flow structures.

For the January 1998 distribution date, trust chargeoffs increased to a level of 7.47%, the highest level since July 1997.  Additionally, monthly payment rate has remained stable the last six months, averaging above 11.0%, while yield has increased due to a majority of accounts being risk based priced, which has resulted in a stable three month average excess spread level above 5%.

Credit enhancement for the class A certificates initially totals 18.0% and is comprised of 7.5% subordination of the class B certificates, 8.5% collateral interest and 2.0% cash collateral account (CCA).  Class B certificates are initially enhanced 10.5% by the collateral interest and the CCA, respectively.  The CCA will be funded an additional 50 basis points (bps) after closing from excess finance charge collections, increasing it to 2.5% as well as increasing overall enhancement for the class A certificates to 18.5% and the class B certificates to 11.0%.

With the levels of credit enhancement available, series 1998-A can withstand simultaneous declines of 35% in portfolio yield and 40% in monthly payment rate, while chargeoffs increase to a level of 34% and still make full interest and principal payments to class A investors.  Class B enhancement covers simultaneous declines of 25% in portfolio yield and 30% in monthly payment rate, while chargeoffs increase to a level of 23%.  In addition, to address the interest rate and basis risk associated with uncapped floating coupons, the available enhancement enables a coupon stress to historic-high LIBOR levels without a corresponding increase in portfolio yield. Furthermore, investors are protected from a deterioration in credit quality by early amortization events, which would trigger an early payout of investor principal.

Class A and B certificateholders will receive monthly interest payments of 4 bps and 24 bps over one-month LIBOR, respectively, throughout the revolving and accumulation periods and on the scheduled payment date, provided an early payout event does not occur.  Interest will be paid on the 15th of each month commencing April 1998.  Following a variable accumulation period, principal is expected to be paid to class A certificateholders on the January 2001 distribution date and to class B certificateholders one month later. The series termination date is July 2003.  As part of Group One, series 1998-A will share excess principal and finance charge collections with 14 other Group One series.

For information about performance on any outstanding Advanta CCMT II series please refer to Fitch IBCA Asset-Backed Surveillance on the Internet at ‘ ‘ or on Bloomberg by typing ‘FTC’ ‘GO’.

Details

New Sales Rep for UK Retail Logic

Payment card authorisation over the Internet and purchasing card solutions are two new key areas of responsibility for 31 year old Chris Ryalls – newly appointed as a Sales Executive by Retail Logic, the Electronic Fund Transfer specialist and developer of the Solve/SE suite of payment card processing programs. Generating sales in existing markets such as the retail, leisure, hospitality, financial and IT sectors, will also make up an important part of his brief.

Chris Ryalls, who has over 3 years experience within the field of electronic commerce, will be charged with the task of generating further sales within this rapidly expanding market. He will be responsible for adding to Retail Logic’s existing portfolio of customers, including Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Cable Online, LineOne (a News International company), Quza, Interplay and Virtual Precincts.

Generating new business from large corporates interested in purchasing card solutions will be another major concern for Chris Ryalls. Designed to eliminate the costly operation of processing low-value business-to-business orders, purchasing cards; reduce administrative costs, control the quantity of supplies and reduce fraud significantly. Existing customers within this sector include Farnell Components and RS Components.

Well established in the retail, hospitality, leisure, financial and IT markets Retail Logic provides authorisation and payment capture software which currently supports 100,000 Point of Sale terminals. Existing clients include The Burton Group, HMV, Powerhouse, Safeway, Scottish Telecom, AT Mays, Manchester United FC, Orange, Telewest Communications, Cable On-Line, Halifax Direct, Mercedes Benz Finance, The RAC and Swinton Insurance.

Details

NewHounds for VISA Biz Cardholders

Knight Ridder Real Cities and Visa U.S.A announced  Wednesday a partnership to provide individual NewsHound accounts to all Visa Business cardholders free of charge.  NewsHound, a customizable online news search and retrieval service, will enable Visa Business cardholders to efficiently track daily news about their industries, competitors, technology and more.

NewsHound continuously scans numerous information sources and delivers personalized articles and information to users’ Web pages or e-mail addresses.

“Small business owners need good information to succeed,” said Bob Ingle, president of Knight Ridder New Media.  “NewsHound provides the kind of information that a business owner can make sound business decisions on. It will deliver only the relevant information they need, quickly and seamlessly.”

NewsHound searches for articles from the nation’s highest quality newspapers including The Philadelphia Inquirer and Miami Herald.  The Web- based service provides intelligent software search agents that Visa Business cardholders can “train” to fetch and deliver specific information relevant to them.

“We looked at other news services and chose NewsHound because of its excellent resources, customizable features and its exceptional technology,” said Bruno Perreault, senior vice president, Visa Commercial Card Products, Visa U.S.A.  “NewsHound is an important addition to our Web site for small businesses.  It enhances our goal of serving the small business sector by providing the necessary educational tools to support the growth of entrepreneurial spirit.”

NewsHound uses Verity’s agent search technology, relational-database technology from Oracle Corp. and Netscape Communications Corp.’s Enterprise Server with LiveWire.

For detailed information about NewsHound and Visa visit

* NewsHound –

* Visa Small Business Online Resource –

* Knight Ridder Real Cities –

NewsHound(TM) is a trademark of Knight Ridder New Media and is part of the Real Cities network. Real Cities(TM)is a trademark of Knight Ridder New Media.

Knight Ridder New Media, located in San Jose, Calif. is a division of Knight Ridder.  Real Cities is Knight Ridder’s national online network consisting of 33 web sites and Internet products.  Knight Ridder is the nation’s second largest newspaper publisher, with products in print and online.  The company publishes 32 daily newspapers in 29 U.S. markets, reaching 9.3 million readers daily and 12.9 million on Sunday.  Knight Ridder has investments in two newsprint mills and is headquartered in Miami, Florida.

Details

Lockhart Chairs S. Calif USOC

H. Eugene Lockhart, president of The Global Retail Bank at BankAmerica Corp., has been appointed Southern California Chairman of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). As Southern California Chairman, he will lead a campaign to raise $2.5 million to support America’s Olympic athletes.

As President of BankAmerica’s Global Retail Bank, Lockhart is responsible for all commercial banking, consumer, small business and global private banking delivered through more than 3,000 branches and offices and a network of Versateller ATMs. The Global Retail Bank also includes BankAmerica Mortgage Group; Bank of America (Asia) Ltd., with headquarters in Hong Kong; Bank of America Illinois, and BA Merchant Services.

“U.S. athletes invest thousands of hours of training,” Lockhart said. “They undergo tremendous personal and financial sacrifice for the chance to represent our nation in the Olympic Games. Of the 197 nations included in the Olympic Movement, the United States is the only one whose Olympic team receives no sustaining government funds. Our athletes rely on private-sector support. We can’t let them down.”

Between 1993 and 1996, more than 25,000 athletes trained at the Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Lake Placid and San Diego. They received free room and board, training facilities, sports medicine care, sport science testing and analysis, local transportation and recreational facilities.

During that time, the USOC awarded 10,000 grants totaling more than $29 million in direct aid to athletes. Support for California athletes exceeded $8 million. A record $109 million was awarded through the USOC grant program to various sports governing bodies and other member-organizations. The USOC also underwrites housing, transportation, outfitting, food, training and all other support for athletes competing in the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games and other major competitions.

Before joining Bank of America, Lockhart was chief executive officer of MasterCard International Inc. and was at Midland Bank plc in London. His positions at Midland included chief executive, U.K. Banking and Group Operations, Main Board of Director of the Bank, and chairman of the Thomas Cook Group. Prior to joining Midland Bank, Lockhart was chief financial officer of CT Bowring & Co. and March McLennan (Overseas) Inc. based in London and New York.

Lockhart graduated from the University of Virginia with a BSME in 1972. He also earned an MBA from Darden School at the University of Virginia in 1974. He has served on the boards of RJR Nabisco Holdings, Dun & Bradstreet, the Royal Academy of Art, SWIFT and University of Virginia Darden School Trustees.

Details

G&D Mondex Accreditation

Giesecke & Devrient America Inc.  announced Wednesday that its Canadian subsidiary Giesecke & Devrient Security Card Systems Inc. has received provisional Mondex Bureau Accreditation and Application Type Approval by Mondex International Limited for the manufacture of Mondex cards which includes fabrication, embedding, personalization, and customization.

It is anticipated that full Bureau Accreditation will be awarded by the end of April. This Accreditation makes Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) a full partner in the worldwide implementation of the Mondex electronic cash payment system.

Mondex is the most ‘cash-like’ of the electronic purses which are being introduced around the world as a more efficient alternative to physical cash for use in everyday shopping and as a future payment mechanism in a wide variety of areas such as the Internet and ‘pay-per-view’ TV.

With a worldwide production capacity of upwards of 300 million cards annually, G&D views accreditation as an important step in the company’s ability to support the global implementation of Mondex.

Chris Potts, deputy chief executive, Mondex International, said, “Mondex is now being developed by franchisees in over 50 countries. As the number of Mondex franchisees increases, the need for us to develop relationships with world class manufacturers such as G&D grows. G&D is a trusted provider of “Bureau Services” for card manufacturing worldwide. Today’s announcement shows that Mondex Electronic Cash is a global reality and we are pleased to be working with a major player in the smart card industry.”

“This accreditation demonstrates G&D’s commitment to support the development of the innovative Mondex payment system in North America,” commented Jurgen Nehls, member of G&D’s board of directors and head of its Cards and Card Systems Division.

“With the Mondex accreditation of our Canadian facility in place, G&D will be positioned to provide comprehensive smart card-based applications and solutions across the chip-card spectrum ranging from payment applications to GSM cards for mobile phone networks.”

ABOUT MONDEX INTERNATIONAL

Mondex International grants licenses to franchisees to allow them to exploit the Mondex electronic cash technology in a given territory. Since its incorporation in 1996, Mondex has issued 29 licenses across five continents. Mondex is being developed by franchisees in over 50 countries representing a potential market place of in excess of three billion people.

Mondex is the only electronic cash system in the world to operate with a single global technology allowing for cross-border payments. It allows up to five different currencies to be carried on the card at any one time in separate electronic pockets.

Mondex is currently being used in 21 implementations around the world including Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Philippines, the UK and the U.S. By early 1998, Mondex International had produced in excess of one million reloadable cards; this figure is expected to rise to 5,000,000 reloadable cards by the end of 1998.

Mastercard International acquired 51% of the company in 1997 and has decided to adopt Mondex International’s technology as its future choice of strategic chip platform. Further information regarding Mondex is available on their web site at www.mondex.com.

ABOUT MONDEX CANADA

Mondex Canada consists of Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada Trust, Credit Union Central of Canada, Le Mouvement des caisses Desjardins, Hongkong Bank of Canada, National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank, Scotiabank, and Toronto Dominion Bank.

ABOUT GIESECKE & DEVRIENT

Giesecke & Devrient GmbH is a world leader in the development and production of cards and card systems, including microprocessor, memory, and magnetic stripe cards. A privately-held Munich-based corporation, Giesecke & Devrient employs 4,300 people worldwide in its operating units in Germany, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, China, Russia, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and the United States.

The rapidly expanding G&D America manages over 900 employees and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Giesecke and Devrient. The Virginia-based company focuses its North American sales and development efforts on products for Giesecke & Devrient’s Card and Card Systems Division and its pioneering currency processing systems which are used by major central banks and leading commercial banks throughout the world.

As one of the largest manufacturers of secure magnetic stripe and chip cards in North America, G&D America operates production and research facilities in Cleveland, Ohio; Bedford, Massachusetts; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; as well as in Toronto and Mexico City.

For further information, please contact G&D America toll free at 800/296-4371 or see the Giesecke & Devrient GmbH web site at .

Details