Risk & Reward

A highly regarded consumer credit management training program, scheduled for next month, is open to credit executives from all financial institutions. The program, ‘Consumer Credit Managing Risk and Reward’, is headed by former Citibank and Ford Motor executive David Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence is also the author of ‘The Handbook of Consumer Lending’. The seminar is usually offered internally at major banks such as NationsBank, Chase Manhattan and U.S. Bancorp. The program uses case studies, exercises, and a computer-based profit-modeling game to ensure active involvement. The seminar will be held in New York City, February 10-12. For information/reservations call 1-212-866-2395.

Details

Credit Card Email Reporting

Paymentech, the third largest processor of bankcard transactions in the nation, launched an industry-leading electronic merchant reporting system today. The new service, “Email Reporting,” uses secured E-mail to send merchant statements to its direct marketing customers.

With Paymentech’s Email Reporting, customers simply open their existing E-mail to retreive merchant reports that are waiting first thing every morning. The service only requires standard E-mail and PGP encryption software.

Paymentech is the largest processor of electronic payments for the direct response industry, which includes cataloguers, telemarketers, response television marketers, on-line service providers and other such merchants.

“Paymentech merchants can now replace their mailed or faxed reports with these electronic statements,” said Larry Bouchard, group manager for Paymentech’s direct response product management. “E-mail reports are in ASCII format and can be viewed with a word processing program or easily imported into an existing spreadsheet software for additional for additional analysis of credit card activity.”

“We chose an E-mail solution over a web site download for greater customer convenience,” said Bouchard. “Issues of browser capability, web access, downloading needs and other potential customer headaches are avoided.”

There are no additional fees to the merchant for E-mail distribution. Email Reporting is the lartest addition to the credit card processor’s full menu of customer service, reporting, and information management tools tailored tot eh direct response industry.

One of the first Paymentech customers to go live with Email Reporting was America Online. “Email Reporting is much faster and more accurate,” said Ralph Gentile, revenue analyst. “We import the electronic statement data via a macro directly into spreadsheets, and can view the data, and start our analysis within a minute. When done manually from paper, the process took substantially longer. Electronic statements also eliminate potential document storage and retrieval problems.”

At Lands’ End, Email Reporting will also be used for international payment processing reports that are sent to offices in other countries. “Paymentech’s Email Reporting will be more reliable than faxes or post,” said Terry R. James, treasurer for Land’s End. “Regardless of what office or country, electronic statements can be quickly directed to the appropriate individuals within our organization.”

A number of Paymentech’s merchant activity statements are now available via Email Reporting, including daily, weekly and monthly summary and detail transaction activity reports. During the first quarter of 1998, Paymentech expects to add chargeback, electronic check processing and retrieval activity reports.

Paymentech, founded in 1985, is the leading provider of full-service electronic payment solutions to the direct response industry. The company also provides third-party transaction processing and complete commercial card payment programs to businesses and other entities. Paymentech is the third largest processor of bankcard transactions in the United States and a leading issuer of commercial cards.

Details

Equifax Check Refund Service

Equifax  and Direct Systems, Inc., today announced they will jointly market and distribute online refund authorization services to the retail sector.

Equifax Retail Solutions currently provides check authorization and verification services to over 138,000 retail locations, significantly reducing the losses suffered by the retail sector due to bad checks.  4/Refund Control from Direct Systems, Inc., provides a similar online authorization and verification service to reduce losses retailers currently suffer due to fraudulent returns.

“This relationship with Direct Systems will allow us to offer our customers a more comprehensive solution for addressing retail fraudulent activities which continue to escalate,” said Tom Gordon, senior vice president and general manager, Equifax Retail Solutions.

4/Refund Control represents a significant step forward in implementing new technology in the retail environment.  Retailers lose billions of dollars every year as a result of refund fraud.  Through the application of state of the art artificial intelligence software, and a powerful database of information on consumer refund activity, 4/Refund Control is quickly able to identify potentially fraudulent refund transactions, providing retailers with the information required to either approve or deny the refund.

“Direct Systems is excited by the opportunity to expand the client base of 4/Refund Control.  This alliance will provide retailers with access to new technology and strategies that will dramatically improve the effectiveness of the loss prevention programs already in place,” said Timothy L. Denton, president of Direct Systems, Inc.  “Equifax is the worldwide market leader in information services and a company like ours in an emerging technology couldn’t ask for a better ally.”

Equifax will distribute 4/Refund Control through existing sales and marketing channels to retail stores currently connected to Equifax and using check verification and other Equifax services.

Equifax Retail Solutions is a leading provider of check guarantee, verification and other information-based decision solutions for retailers, authorizing more than $19 billion worth of checks around the world in 1997. Equifax is a global leader in providing information, processing, consulting and software solutions that facilitate and enhance buyer-seller transactions worldwide.  The company serves businesses in the banking, finance, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities and health care administration industries.  Equifax is changing the shape of global commerce through growth and innovation, driven by technology and people.  It operates globally in 17 countries, with sales in 40 countries.  Founded in 1899 in Atlanta, Equifax today has 10,000 employees around the world.  Revenues for the 12 months ended September 30, 1997, exceeded $1.3 billion.  Visit the company’s Internet web site at .

Details

Mailtek & TSYS Total Solutions Merge

Total System Services, Inc., announced the merger of its wholly owned subsidiaries Mailtek, Inc. and TSYS Total Solutions, Inc.  In an effort to streamline operations, Mailtek will become part of TSYS Total Solutions (formerly Lincoln Marketing).

Cliff Mason, recently named president of Total Solutions said, “We are excited about the merger and know that Mailtek’s service capabilities will be a definite asset to TSYS Total Solutions.  By combining the strengths of Total Solutions and Mailtek, we will increase our direct mail capacity and diversify other products and services. Combining our resources puts us in a great position for future growth.”

Mailtek, based in Atlanta, will continue to operate out of Atlanta and Total Solutions will continue to work out of Columbus, Ga., in its new 72,000 square foot building. The new headquarters will accommodate growth in the company’s telemarketing division.  New direct mail resources are being added immediately to enhance the Atlanta facility’s current capabilities.

TSYS Chairman of the Board and CEO, Richard W. Ussery said, “Our objective for quite some time has been to develop a totally integrated direct marketing company.  This merger helps us to accomplish this goal. The services provided by Total Solutions and Mailtek are complementary, so the decision to establish one company was a practical one.”

Mailtek began as Software Services, Inc. in 1976, as a contract programmer to NCR computer users. Founded by Frank (Clint) Kibler, Jr., the company began providing mailing services in the late 1970s for its first client, C&S Bank. In 1982, Kibler determined Software Services should focus its efforts on mailing service.  In 1985, the name was changed to Mailtek, Inc. to communicate the company’s new service focus to the marketplace.  Mailtek was purchased in 1992 as a wholly owned subsidiary of TSYS.

Based in Columbus, Ga., Total Solutions specializes in inbound-outbound telemarketing, acquisition mailing, application processing, direct mail, correspondence fulfillment and other mailing services including laser printing and MICR, response processing and data entry, among others.  These services are provided to banks and other financial institutions and integrate seamlessly into TSYS’ card processing system.  The company has been a wholly owned subsidiary of TSYS since 1992.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ga., TSYS is one of the world’s largest credit, debit, commercial and private-label card processing companies, serving card- issuing institutions throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, representing more than 92 million cardholder accounts.  TSYS provides a comprehensive on-line system of data processing services marketed as THE TOTAL SYSTEM(R).  In 1996, TSYS formed a joint venture with Visa(R) U.S.A. to create Vital Processing Services L.L.C. ([http//www.vitalps.com][1]), a leading full- service merchant services provider. TSYS’ 1997 revenues totaled $361.5 million; the company is an 80.7 percent owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE SNV) (), a $9.3 billion asset, multi- financial services company and a component of the Standard and Poors 500 Index.  Synovus also includes 34 banking affiliates in four southeastern states, a full-service brokerage firm, a comprehensive trust services provider and a mortgage services company. TSYS’ Internet address is .

[1]: http://www.vitalps.com

Details

ECS Set to Grow

Global Games/Communications, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota, unveiled its development plan for its subsidiary, Electronic Card Services, Inc. of Miami, Florida on Tuesday.

Global acquired ECS in December 1997. ECS is a young business providing prepaid phone cards through both counter sales and machine dispensing. Its initial distribution has been in the Toronto, Canada market. ECS’s rapid growth is reflected by third quarter 1997 revenues of $450,000 and fourth quarter revenues of $750,000. Global paid $1.6 million for ECS in cash and restricted stock.

Global’s immediate plans are to double the outlets in Toronto by the end of January 1998. Subsequent installations are planned for Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver during the first half of 1998, and several U.S. cities will be entered during the third and fourth quarter of 1998. Strategic alliances have been established with several entertainment magazines to promote the cards and expand the number of outlets.

“We expect an exponential growth for this company,” commented Mr. Gary Borglund, President of Global. “We have the sites, machines and marketing clout to triple the volume of ECS in the next few months. In addition, we are adding other applications to the cards…they will be be able to be used for dating chat line and related services, for Internet Access, as well as other uses. Our new sites will provide a high volume of traffic with a focus on upwardly mobile, younger demographics with a knowledge and affinity for the use of plastic card access to many applications. Our current projections are for $14 million in revenue in calendar 1998, with an operating profit margin approaching fifty percent (50%).”

Electronic cash card sales in 1997 were just over $2 billion in prepaid phone card usage alone, and an annual volume of over $4 billion is expected by the year 2001. The prepaid cards will fit strategically with Global’s Village concept, as the cards can be used to access Internet services when traveling, and the Village will be an effective mechanism to market the cards to Internet browsers.

Global Communications provides commercial Internet services, third party credit card processing, and Internet entertainment with bingo and lotto games. Several other acquisitions are in process by which Global will expand its Internet services and revenue sources.

Details

VISA Sends Young Artists to Olympics

Artistic talents and creative imaginations will send five children from the United States to the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan next month.  Winners met the challenge of the “Visa Olympics of the Imagination” international art competition, a contest inspiring thousands of children worldwide — between the ages of nine and 13 — to submit original artwork illustrating a special person they admire participating in an Olympic Winter sport.

![][1]     The five U.S. winners selected from thousands of entries nationwide are Philip Tanedo, Los Angeles; Alyssa Wehr, Grinnell, Iowa; Shuki Merlis, Atlanta; Zareen Mehmud, Brooklyn, New York; and Sadek Ghaznavi, Brooklyn, New York.

“We are proud to be able to bring together the worlds of sport and art by honoring artistic talents and imaginations of schoolchildren in true Olympic style,” said Michael Beindorff, executive vice president of marketing and product management, Visa U.S.A. “‘Visa Olympics of the Imagination’ is an opportunity to unite people from around the world in a celebration of the human spirit and Olympic competition.”

The five young artists from the United States join 21 children from 13 nations on an all-expenses-paid trip by Visa with a parent to witness the pinnacle of athletic competition.  Children’s artwork created for the contest will be displayed at an international art exhibit in the Olympic city of Nagano, Japan.

Winning United States entries can be found on the Visa Olympic of the Imagination Internet site at [http//www.visa.com/visakids/][2].

Entries include

“Jonathon Larson  La ‘American’ Boheme”

Philip Tanedo, age 13 from Los Angeles, portrays Jonathon Larson, the composer of the Broadway musical Rent, figure skating because he is a true artist and figure skating is one of the most artistic Olympic sports.

“Mother Teresa  An Eternal Legacy”

Zareen Mehmud, age 13 from Brooklyn, New York, portrays Mother Teresa as a hockey player fighting the opposing team’s defense to make her goal symbolizing how Mother Teresa was a fighter for her beliefs.

“Katie”

Alyssa Wehr, age 13 from Grinnell, Iowa, admires her sister Katie and portrays her figure skating symbolizing her efforts to never give up.

“Koss Skates for Olympic Aid”

Shuki Merlis, age 11 from Atlanta, portrays Johann Olav Koss the great Olympian speed skater who started Olympic Aid, an organization that raises money for children that need help all over the world.

“‘Air’ Olympics ’98”

Sadek Ghhaznavi, age 13 from Brooklyn, New York, portrays a famous basketball player competing in a variety of Olympic Winter sports symbolizing his reputation of athletic prowess and talented ability to master any sport.

United States winners were selected by a prestigious panel of judges at an event sponsored by Visa in conjunction with the International Children’s Art Museum in San Francisco, which specializes in the exchange of children’s art from around the world.  Judges included Bay Area Olympian Matt Biondi and world-renowned artist Alexandra Nechita, 12, who is touted as “Mozart with a paintbrush.”  Judging of entries was based on originality, imagination and artistic merit.

Winners of the “Visa Olympics of the Imagination” art competition will attend the 1998 Winter Games as guests of Visa from February 5-11.  The young artists will observe the Opening Ceremonies and be spectators at Olympic events such as Women’s Ice Hockey and Speed Skating.  In addition, they will be involved in a number of Japanese cultural activities and exchanges including creating a gigantic mural painting with children from all around the world.

On the evening of February 7, Visa will unveil an outdoor exhibit of the children’s art and award the “first medals of the Olympic Games” as part of a special presentation on the Olympics ceremonial stage.  The grand prize winner will earn a “Best of Show” award and earn a trip for two to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Visa, a worldwide sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1986, is the official payment system of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and will continue as the exclusive card and official payment system for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide.  It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy.  Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year.  Visa’s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 380,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network.  Visa’s Internet address is .

[1]: /graphic/visa/olympics/3.gif
[2]: http://www.visa.com/visakids/

Details

MBNA’s Payoff

MBNA’s unprecedented investment in its ‘Platinum Plus’ program paid off in spades last year. According to MBNA’s fourth quarter income report, released publicly yesterday, MBNA added 9.4 million new accounts representing 11.4 million cardholders during 1997. Although not disclosed, it is estimated MBNA generates more than 80% of its new cardholders from solicitations for its ‘Platinum Plus’ VISA and MasterCard program. Two years ago MBNA took a $54.3 million pre-tax charge for expenses related to the launch of its platinum program and continues to significantly outspend its competitors in platinum marketing. In other financial highlights MBNA’s total managed loans hit $49.4 billion at year’s end (the credit card portion should be around $44 billion) and year-to-date card volume logged in at $66,399,425,000. For the fourth quarter card volume was $18,976,327,000 compared to $16,478,242,000 for the third quarter. Despite MBNA’s platinum success the issuer continues to expand its affinity portfolio, adding 563 new programs last year.

                            MBNA  VITALS
             Card Receivables Growth          +24.6%             
             Volume Growth                    +36.3%
             Delinquency (30+ day)*            4.59%
             Charge-Offs*                      3.97%
             Net Interest Margin*              7.50%
* percentage of managed loans including credit cards and consumer
installment loans)
       Source company report

Details

Fleet Rated

Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of ‘A-‘ (Single-A-Minus) to the $500 million subordinated debt offering of Fleet Financial Group.  These 30-year securities are noncallable, and were priced at 99.122 percent for a yield to maturity of 6.945 percent.

DCR reaffirmed its ratings of Fleet Financial Group following a series of agreements by Fleet to acquire three significant consumer financial services businesses.  The acquisition of Columbia Management Company and the pending acquisitions of Quick & Reilly Group, Inc.(Q&R), and the credit card operations of Advanta Corp. provide Fleet with a broad array of consumer financial products and distribution channels that should enhance earnings stability and diversification.

In addition to significantly expanding Fleet’s investment management services, the Columbia and Q&R acquisitions provide an opportunity to sell banking products to a new, geographically diverse customer base.  Columbia gives Fleet a $22 billion family of mutual funds, increases assets under management to $74 billion and is expected to increase noninterest income by 5 percent.  The acquisition of Q&R brings Fleet extensive investment product distribution capabilities and provides it with specialized market making and securities clearing businesses.  Q&R will operate independently, offering discount brokerage services through its national network of 117 branches.  The company also operates a securities clearing company that services 340 correspondents and acts as a specialist and market maker in several listed and over-the-counter securities.

Initially, the agreement to acquire Columbia raised some concerns regarding increased leverage.  However, as a pooling, the Q&R transaction required Fleet to reissue 10.75 million shares in the fourth quarter 1997 to cleanse tainted shares and has strengthened capital ratios.

The acquisition of Advanta`s credit card operation should further enhance Fleet’s earnings and geographic diversification.  The combination of Fleet’s risk management discipline and Advanta’s marketing expertise should allow the company to effectively compete in the rapidly evolving credit card industry. Fleet’s success with recent acquisitions mitigates concerns associated with the integration of Advanta`s credit card operations.

Fleet’s improved profitability and expanded banking franchise have resulted from earlier acquisitions of Shawmut National Corporation and NatWest Bank, N.A.  These acquisitions have strengthened Fleet’s market position in New England and the metropolitan NY and NJ areas.  The mergers also produced a company with solid asset quality and a diversified banking and financial services franchise.  Over the long term, these transactions have the potential to significantly improve profitability through improved efficiency and revenue growth opportunities.  The two bank acquisitions also allowed Fleet to improve its balance sheet efficiency by shedding low-yielding assets and high-cost purchased funds.  At the same time, the new asset mix and higher leverage increase the risk profile of the balance sheet.

Details

More with Less

Early results from Bankcard Update’s/CardData’s ‘Fourth Quarter Portfolio Survey’ shows some card issuers experienced slight growth or a slight contraction in their cardbase but still posted healthy results for 1997. First National of Nebraska’s fourth quarter volume grew 5% compared to last year while card loans increased 10.5% for 1997 despite the fact that the number of accounts dropped more than 300,000. An exception, Travelers added 77,971 accounts during the fourth quarter and 1997’s receivables growth exceeded 48%. Huntington National Bank upped receivables 20.3% last year while active accounts inched up 2.4%. First Tennessee’s card outstandings rose 4.8% during 1997 while the number of accounts only grew by 13,000.

                           EOY  RECV           4Q VOLUME           EOY ACCTS
First Natl Nebraska        $3,345,391,000      $1,042,620,000      3,815,280
Travelers Bank             $1,361,083,000      $1,088,637,000        984,798
Huntington Natl Bnk          $612,908,000        $302,510,000        460,263
First Tennessee              $564,000,000        $324,539,000        533,000
       Source Bankcard Update/CardData (301-695-4660)

Details

G&D Cardtech Opens

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr. Hilmar Dosch, accompanied by G&D’s principal stockholders, Mrs. Verena Mitschke von Collande and Mrs. Claudia Miller, and Volker Bartholomaei, president of G&D America, Inc., officially opened the expanded and modernized G&D Cardtech production facility in suburban Cleveland, OH Tuesday. G&D America acquired Cardtech in April, 1997 and is investing upwards of $50 million in the US to upgrade the plant to produce state-of-the-art chipcards and more than double the plant’s capacity for conventional magnetic stripe cards.

In remarks to invited guests, Dosch emphasized that G&D’s decision to acquire Cardtech “…symbolizes our commitment to a growing presence in the US and our strong desire to develop a world class manufacturing base in the Americas.” Dosch said that his expectations for G&D Cardtech “are not at all radical we simply want our facility to be absolutely world class in terms of products, production quality, and customer service.”

G&D has enlarged the Cardtech facility by 55 percent and more than doubled its card capacity to over 100 million cards annually, making G&D Cardtech one of the largest US card producers. Ongoing modernization will enable G&D to produce cutting-edge chipcards within the near future. G&D’s integrated North American strategy links its Canadian subsidiary G&D Security Cards Systems, Inc. (GDSCS) with its Mexico unit (Giesecke y Devrient de Mexico S.A. de C.V.) and permits G&D to address the full spectrum of card applications ranging from magnetic stripe cards to highly-customized environments utilizing its proprietary STARCOS(R) operating systems. The combined production capacities of the three sites gives G&D the largest capacity of any North American card and card systems manufacturer.

Dosch emphasized that the Munich-headquartered G&D was becoming increasingly global in its focus with a sales and manufacturing presence in Spain, Belgium, Greece, Russia, Singapore, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and South Africa in addition to its North American operations. While G&D is very much a high-tech company, Dosch stressed that “security and competence” remained the guiding principles of the firm.

Gearing up for the smart card ‘revolution’ in North America, G&D has been a key player in the largest and most innovative of smart card rollouts. G&D produced nearly one million Visa Cash(R) cards for Nationsbank during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics and is the leading supplier of Visa Cash cards for Citibank’s innovative smart card project in New York City involving more than 700 merchants. GDSCS also has been involved in sophisticated smart card pilots including the Scotiabank Visa Cash card pilot in Barrie, Ontario. GDSCS recently received its Provisional Bureau certification by Mondex International to produce and supply Mondex(R) cards for smart card electronic purse and loyalty applications.

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

NationsBank’s First SET Tx

NationsBank announced Tuesday the successful execution of the bank’s first SET Secure Electronic Transaction, which enables a customer to securely use their credit card over the Internet without fear of another party intercepting, monitoring or changing the transactions.

This transaction differs from others announced in the United States in that it uses the 1.0 production specification and software from different technology providers.

NationsBank has been working with the 1.0 production specification for the past six months.  In conjunction with IBM and MasterCard, NationsBank conducted a SET enabled transaction to purchase items from a MasterCard promotional web site.  The 1.0 specification is the industry-approved standard for transmitting credit card information over the Internet.

“This SET initiative underscores our commitment to electronic commerce, the Internet and addressing customer concerns about security,” said Rick Collins, vice president of New Product Development for Card Services at NationsBank.  “Our successful completion of an end-to-end SET transaction represents the first step towards offering a solution to our customers who want to securely shop on the Internet.”

Currently, the technology is available only in pilot projects.  Future initiatives include expanding the technology to consumers, although no timetable has been established.

NationsBank used a branded IBM CommercePOINT Wallet(TM) and the IBM Registry for SET(TM) certificate services, which enables a consumer to securely store and transmit their credit card information to a merchant web site over the Internet.

MasterCard, working with GlobeSet(TM), provided a merchant server and payment gateway.  This combination of software allows transactions to flow securely over the Internet from the customer to the merchant to the bank and back, thereby fully authenticating interoperability.

“Ensuring security is a key aspect of IBM’s focus on e-business — using the Internet to improve business efficiency,” said Mark Greene, vice president, Internet payments and certification for IBM.  “IBM is delighted to work with NationsBank and MasterCard to enable secure Internet transactions for their customers.  As the first SET 1.0 launch in the U.S., this is a landmark accomplishment.”

“While there has been a lot of worry lately about SET interoperability, efforts like these with leading banks like NationsBank go a long way to showing the path forward to secure and efficient Internet commerce,” said Steve Mott, senior vice president for Electronic Commerce/New Ventures at MasterCard.

“GlobeSet congratulates NationsBank on their groundbreaking achievement in the SET arena,” said Dennis Jolly, vice president of sales and operations for GlobeSet.  “We look forward to more milestones in the future, helping to develop SET business solutions that further demonstrate our full interoperability with other SET vendors and customers.”

As the industry’s leading provider of electronic business solutions, IBM was the first company to bring to market in 1996 a comprehensive suite of secure end-to-end electronic commerce solutions, the CommercePOINT family of products and services.  In April, IBM announced the first merchant server in the industry to use the SET protocol, Net.Commerce.

MasterCard International, a payments company with one of the world’s most recognizable brands, is dedicated to helping more than 23,000 financial institutions around the world offer consumers a variety of payment options.

MasterCard remains focused on helping shape the future of money by expanding acceptance of its global brands (MasterCard(R), Maestro(R), Mondex(R), and Cirrus(R), the world’s largest ATM network) and maintaining reliable, secure networks facilitating global value exchange.

GlobeSet is a leading developer of comprehensive, SET software solutions for secure payment card transactions over the Internet, with applications for the buyer, merchant, financial processor, and certification authority.  The company is part of the SET design team and serves as a charter member of the SET Business Review Panel.

NationsBank Corporation (NYSE NB), headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a bank holding company that provides financial products and services nationally and internationally to individuals, businesses, corporations, institutional investors and government agencies.  NationsBank has primary retail and commercial banking operations in 16 states and the District of Columbia.  With its completed acquisition of Barnett Banks on January 9, 1998, NationsBank has total assets of $310 billion.

Details

MBNA Dividend

MBNA’s  Board of Directors approved an increase of 12.5% in the quarterly dividend rate to $.09 per common share, which will increase the annual rate to $.36.  The cash dividend is payable April 1, 1998, to stockholders of record as of March 16, 1998.

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $49.4 billion in managed loans.  MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world and one of the two largest overall, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, insurance, and card acceptance services.

Details