Holiday Sales Weak

Consumer spending for the three-day Thanksgiving weekend showed only a slight gain over last year’s strong Thanksgiving weekend sales, resulting in a 1.0 percent gain in same-store sales, according to TeleCheck Services, the world’s leading check-acceptance company.

Data are based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of authorized checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 167,000 subscribing locations. Checks account for more than one-third of retail spending. TeleCheck is a subsidiary of First Data Corp..

“Sales slowed over the weekend, resulting in a 1.0 percent same-store sales gain for the three-day period, compared to the 4.3 percent gain TeleCheck reported for the same three days in 1996,” said Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck’s senior economic adviser.

“Many consumers took advantage of early sales promotions and discounts, which resulted in smaller receipts for retailers. And many others used the Thanksgiving weekend as an opportunity to browse and plan for items they’ll buy later in the season. For the last few years, spending has slowed following the Thanksgiving weekend, then increased closer to Christmas, with the biggest shopping days occurring the last week before Christmas.”

The Northeast was the strongest region, up 4.4 percent. Sales rose 4.3 percent in New York, with New York City up 2.1 percent. Massachusetts’ sales grew by 2.0 percent, with Boston up 3.2 percent.

In the Southeast, sales rose 2.3 percent, with Georgia up 4.5 percent, Tennessee gaining 3.3 percent and Florida rising 2.1 percent. Sales dropped 1.6 percent in Louisiana and 2.7 percent in the Carolinas.

Atlanta’s sales rose 5.2 percent and Nashville’s grew by 2.8 percent, while Memphis’ dropped 2.9 percent and New Orleans declined 1.8 percent. Sales rose by 3.4 percent in Tampa and 2.5 percent in Orlando, but dropped 0.5 percent in Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

The Midwest had a 1.4 percent gain, with Minnesota up 3.1 percent, Wisconsin up 2.4 percent and Ohio up 1.9 percent. Sales rose 0.4 percent in Michigan and dropped 0.9 percent in Illinois. Sales were down 0.4 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul and up 5.3 percent in Milwaukee. Cleveland’s sales rose by 1.9 percent, Detroit’s were up 0.5 percent and Chicago’s rose 2.3 percent.

The Mid-Atlantic was up 0.3 percent, with New Jersey up 3.3 percent, Maryland up 0.3 percent and Pennsylvania up 0.2 percent. Virginia’s sales dropped 0.1 percent and the District of Columbia’s were down 1.9 percent. Baltimore’s sales dropped 0.8 percent, Pittsburgh’s were down 0.3 percent and Philadelphia’s sales dropped 2.8 percent.

Sales in the West were down 0.7 percent. Oregon’s sales rose 5.3 percent, Colorado’s and Washington’s were both up 0.4 percent and Arizona’s grew 0.2 percent. Hawaii’s sales dropped 1.0 percent and California’s declined by 1.6 percent.

Sales rose by 3.2 percent in Portland and by 1.5 percent in Denver, but dropped 1.0 percent in Seattle. Sales rose 2.1 percent in Phoenix and 0.7 percent in San Diego, while Los Angeles’ sales dropped 0.7 percent and the Bay Area’s declined by 2.0 percent.

The Southwest’s sales dropped 1.3 percent, with Oklahoma up 1.3 percent, Missouri down 0.7 percent and Texas down 1.6 percent. Sales rose by 1.7 percent in Tulsa and 1.6 percent in Oklahoma City and dropped 1.4 percent in St. Louis and 5.1 percent in Kansas City. Sales rose 3.0 percent in Austin and 0.3 percent in Houston, but declined 0.3 percent in Dallas/Fort Worth and 1.8 percent in San Antonio.

TeleCheck’s index is compiled on a calendar basis and is based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers at a broad cross-section of retailers. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. Checks account for 37 percent of retail spending. In 1996, TeleCheck authorized more than $40.2 billion in checks and processed more than 645 million check inquiries.

Founded in 1992, Hackensack, N.J.-based First Data 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 or services by credit, debit or smart card at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check, or wire money — seamlessly and effortlessly.

For more information about First Data, visit the company on the Internet at .

Ford holds the Weatherford Chair of Finance at Middle Tennessee State University. Earlier in his career he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served on former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s Federal Open Market Committee.

Note to Editors: The TeleCheck logo and additional information on retail sales figures can be downloaded from the TeleCheck Web site at .

TeleCheck National Holiday Retail Sales Index
Thanksgiving Weekend Sales (Period: 11/28-11/30/97)
Dec. 2, 1997

11/28-11/30/97 November
————– ——–

NATIONAL 1.0% -0.4%

SOUTHEAST 2.3% 0.9%
Florida 2.1% 1.4%
Miami/Fort Lauderdale -0.5% -2.9%
Orlando 2.5% 2.8%
Tampa 3.4% 0.3%
Louisiana -1.6% -0.9%
New Orleans -1.8% -2.1%
Georgia 4.5% 4.7%
Atlanta 5.2% 5.3%
Tennessee 3.3% 2.0%
Memphis -2.9% -4.0%
Nashville 2.8% 3.7%
The Carolinas -2.7% -3.5%

SOUTHWEST -1.3% -0.5%
Texas -1.6% 0.1%
Austin 3.0% 0.2%
Dallas/Fort Worth -0.3% 0.6%
Houston 0.3% 2.8%
San Antonio -1.8% -2.8%
Missouri -0.7% 1.2%
Kansas City -5.1% -7.6%
St. Louis -1.4% 4.1%
Oklahoma 1.3% -2.0%
Oklahoma City 1.6% -0.7%
Tulsa 1.7% -2.2%

WEST -0.7% -1.3%
Arizona 0.2% 3.7%
Phoenix 2.1% 5.1%
California -1.6% -1.3%
Bay Area -2.0% -3.4%
Los Angeles -0.7% 0.5%
San Diego 0.7% 1.8%
Oregon 5.3% -2.3%
Portland 3.2% -3.0%
Washington 0.4% -1.2%
Seattle -1.0% 1.1%
Colorado 0.4% -0.2%
Denver 1.5% 2.0%
Hawaii -1.0% 0.6%

NORTHEAST 4.4% 0.1%
Massachusetts 2.0% 1.2%
Boston 3.2% -0.4%
New York 4.3% -0.7%
New York City 2.1% -5.3%

MIDWEST 1.4% 0.9%
Illinois -0.9% 0.7%
Chicago 2.3% 3.3%
Michigan 0.4% 1.2%
Detroit 0.5% 0.3%
Minnesota 3.1% -1.9%
Minneapolis/St. Paul -0.4% -2.4%
Wisconsin 2.4% 0.4%
Milwaukee 5.3% -0.5%
Ohio 1.9% 2.2%
Cleveland 1.9% 3.0%

MID-ATLANTIC 0.3% -2.5%
District of Columbia -1.9% -2.7%
Pennsylvania 0.2% -3.7%
Philadelphia -2.8% -5.1%
Pittsburgh -0.3% -2.4%
New Jersey 3.3% -3.6%
Virginia -0.1% -0.8%
Maryland 0.3% -4.1%
Baltimore -0.8% -2.0%

Details

Carter Named BUYPASS President

BUYPASS Corporation has announced the promotion of Ron Carter, previously senior vice president, Petroleum/Convenience Store and Hospitality Product Sales for BUYPASS Corporation, to president of BUYPASS. BUYPASS Corporation, a subsidiary of Electronic Payment Services, Inc. (EPS) is a major third-party POS processor and debit transaction acquirer with annual transaction volume of over 900 million.

“Ron Carter possesses in-depth experience and a wealth of knowledge in the industries BUYPASS serves, and we are very excited that Ron has accepted the challenge of applying this experience and knowledge to managing our BUYPASS operation,” said Richard Garman, president and chief executive officer, EPS. Carter reports to Ruth Ann Marshall, former BUYPASS president, who was promoted to executive vice president and group executive of EPS. In her new role, Marshall is now responsible for all BUYPASS and MAC(R) client relationships, including customer service and product management functions.

Other BUYPASS 3rd Quarter Highlights

— Tim Finn succeeds Ron Carter as vice president of Petroleum and Convenience Store Sales.

— BUYPASS’ third-quarter transaction volume was 265.3 million, up 32% over third quarter 1996. This included 57.3 million debit POS transactions, 85% above third quarter 1996, and 5.9 million electronic benefits transfer (EBT) transactions.

— BUYPASS expanded its EBT offering to include programs in Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, and Oregon during the third quarter; BUYPASS now processes for EBT programs in 24 states.

— BUYPASS increased the number of terminals certified for supporting EBT transactions by completing testing and certification on new software for VeriFone’s TRANZ 330 POS terminal. The software now supports EBT transactions in addition to debit and credit.

— BUYPASS added l,342 new merchant locations in the third quarter.

Electronic Payment Services, Inc. (EPS), a privately held company headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, is a leading electronic funds transfer (EFT) processor in the United States, with over 2 billion transactions annually. EPS is the holding company for BUYPASS Corporation and MONEY ACCESS SERVICE INC.

BUYPASS Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, provides processing for 50 of the top 200 grocery store chains in the United States. One out of every ten debit POS transactions performed in the United States is processed by BUYPASS. BUYPASS also has electronic benefits transfer (EBT) programs in 24 states and provides gateway access to over 46 credit, debit and EBT gateways.

Details

EPS Promotes Marshall

Electronic Payment Services, Inc. (EPS) announced the promotion of Ruth Ann Marshall, previously president of BUYPASS Corporation, the point-of-sale (POS) subsidiary of EPS, to the newly created position of executive vice president and group executive of EPS. Marshall will have responsibility for all BUYPASS, MAC(R) network and EPS processing client relationships, including customer service and product management functions. The MAC(R) network is the largest electronic funds transfer (EFT) network in the nation based on switch transactions.

“Ruth Ann Marshall possesses in-depth experience in strategic business planning and management, as well as broad experience in the customer service and client satisfaction areas,” said Richard Garman, president and chief executive officer, EPS. “We’re very pleased with her accomplishments at BUYPASS, where she achieved unprecedented levels of client satisfaction and revenue growth. Ruth Ann’s leadership and business acumen have enabled her to develop strong client relationships, and her market-centric approach will help us to deliver superior products and services,” said Garman.

Other EPS/MONEY ACCESS SERVICE INC. (MAS) Third Quarter Highlights

— Total EPS switch transaction volume was 591 million, up 27% over third quarter 1996.

— 48 new financial institutions joined the MAC network across 14 states and EPS business development signed up 21 new merchants and independent sales organizations across 14 states for participation in MAC network during the third quarter.

— The MAC network consistently hit over 105 million transactions for each month during the third quarter and achieved a record high of 111.6 million transactions in August.

— MAS total switch volume was 326 million in the third quarter 1997, consisting of 297 million ATM transactions and 29.5 million debit POS transactions.

— 95 financial institutions signed off-line debit card processing contracts in the third quarter, bringing the total to 285 institutions year-to-date.

— A record number of 2,821 ATMs were installed during the third quarter. Total number of ATMs currently driven by EPS is 18,435.

— There are currently 27,860 ATMs and 36.5 million cards bearing the MAC logo.

Electronic Payment Services, Inc. (EPS), a privately held company headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, is a leading electronic funds transfer (EFT) processor in the United States, with over 2 billion transactions annually. EPS is the holding company for BUYPASS Corporation and MONEY ACCESS SERVICE INC.

BUYPASS Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a major third- party POS processor and debit transaction acquirer with annual transaction volume of over 900 million. BUYPASS provides processing for 50 of the top 200 grocery store chains in the United States. One out of every ten debit POS transactions performed in the United States is processed by BUYPASS. BUYPASS also has electronic benefits transfer (EBT) programs in 24 states and provides gateway access to over 46 credit, debit and EBT gateways.

MONEY ACCESS SERVICE INC., headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, is the leading EFT processor to the financial services industry, driving 18,500 ATMs in all 50 states. The MAC network is the largest EFT network in the United States based on over 1 billion switch transactions annually, with 28,000 ATMs and 400,100 POS terminals nationally. Over 2,100 financial institutions are members of the MAC network, with 36.5 million customers carrying cards bearing the MAC logo. MONEY ACCESS SERVICE INC. controls the license rights for the registered trademark MAC.

Details

ClearCallCenter 2.0

Clarify Inc., the leading provider of front office solutions, today introduced ClearCallCenter 2.0, a comprehensive solution for call centers that supports both inbound/outbound sales and service. The new Clarify release adds advanced scripting and post-call follow-up capabilities to turn leads and inquiries into profitable, long-term customer relationships.

“The call center is becoming a consolidated entity that handles all types of contacts, from all types of sources — whether it’s a customer calling for general information, requesting simple service, or submitting an order via fax, email or the Web,” said Donna Novitsky, Clarify’s vice president of marketing. “Competitive companies need a centralized resource for collecting and managing this data, plus representatives who are empowered to provide a broad range of services. ClearCallCenter provides one-stop customer care, allowing the representative to do more for the customer at the initial point of contact.”

Using ClearCallCenter, valuable customer information — from raw list data to established customer files — can be centralized and shared with everyone throughout the enterprise for consistent interaction no matter what the intent. “With ClearCallCenter,” Novitsky noted, “the call center becomes a strategic tool to capture information and enables the agent to quickly provide prospects with the information they need so that eventually, that phone call or Web-based request turns into a lasting customer relationship.”

Clarify’s ClearCallCenter supports complete customer sales and service, where certain issues — such as complex sales cycle or technical support questions — are escalated to another department or specialist within the organization. ClearCallCenter is integrated with the entire Clarify front-office suite, which supports the full customer life-cycle, from pre-sale to post-sale.

Puma Technology to Deploy ClearCallCenter

Puma Technology, Inc. (), a leading provider of Mobile Data Exchange(TM) software providing solutions for advanced synchronization between mobile computing devices and PCs, has selected Clarify’s ClearCallCenter to centralize the information on prospects and customers being gathered at its San Jose, Calif.-based call center.

“ClearCallCenter is a powerful system that helps solve our business needs,” said Steve Magidson, vice president of corporate communications, Puma Technology. “Centralizing the customer database has given our sales professionals a ‘one point access center’ which has enabled them to capture the details of every customer call, and then share them across the company. Puma has been able to use this information to enhance our marketing campaigns and help shape the development of our IntelliSync synchronization solutions for mobile computing devices. Our goal is to ensure that all customer needs are thoroughly met, and ClearCallCenter is one of the important tools that has assisted in our achieving this goal.”

Puma Technology’s decision to purchase ClearCallCenter was also based on the product’s seamless integration with other Clarify products, and the company’s successful experience with ClearSupport, Clarify’s technical support management system. “Clarify’s products deliver true out-of-the-box functionality,” Magidson noted. “We implemented ClearSupport in just two months — long before the scheduled date — without any difficulties at all.”

New Release Adds Workflow-Based Action Items, Script Manager ClearCallCenter 2.0 is the next generation of Clarify’s ClearTelebusiness system, announced in April. ClearCallCenter replaces ClearTelebusiness and delivers expanded call center functionality. The latest release incorporates several new and powerful features, including workflow-based action items, which allow users to create follow-up activities that automatically remind the representative when that task is “due” to ensure that no sales lead or customer request “falls through the cracks.” Routine tasks such as sending out promotional materials are automated, thereby increasing the efficiency and profitability of the call center.

Also new in version 2.0 is an enhanced scripting engine designed to improve the effectiveness of every customer contact. ClearCallCenter’s Script Manager allows the call center manager to associate one or multiple scripts with a campaign. The system automatically presents the designated script to the agent based on inbound sales opportunities or lead sources. Script Manager provides dynamic branching based on the caller’s responses, ensuring that the agent asks the appropriate questions for that caller. Based on the caller’s responses, Script Manager then generates a rating for the prospect, which can be used with Clarify’s workflow to ensure proper handling of the opportunity. Script Manager also prompts the agent with upselling or cross-selling opportunities. In addition, the entire script — with branching and workflow — can be easily administered by a call center manager with Clarify’s point and click system.

ClearCallCenter: Powerful Tools for Every Call Center Process Clarify’s ClearCallCenter provides all the tools necessary to maximize the efficiency — and profitability — of every customer interaction.

* Service Request Management: ClearCallCenter provides customer service management so that service representatives can make basic changes to the customer database — such as a new address, phone number or account — and the ability to answer routine product questions, as well as to electronically route difficult or complex issues to designated technical support specialists. Fully integrated with the Clarify front office suite, ClearCallCenter gives agents a 360 degree view of the customer situation — enabling them to provide better and more personalized service, as well as the ability to identify potential new sales opportunities.

* Campaign Management: ClearCallCenter provides a point-and-click capability for planning, implementing and tracking multiple sales and marketing campaigns. The system supports the import/export of data, such as purchased lists or fulfillment requests. ClearCallCenter tracks special pricing, costs, lead sources and other vital demographics. In addition, it can determine the amount of time and money spent on a campaign, forecast the expected return and make calculations during the actual process of a campaign, allowing management to make appropriate changes, as needed.

* Lead Accountability: ClearCallCenter automates the process of identifying, qualifying and managing sales leads. Imported leads can be queued to specific agents and outbound calls can be automatically placed to leads. Every lead that enters the system is owned and managed by a sales representative. Users can easily define notification and escalation procedures so that leads not acted upon within a prescribed period of time will trigger a notification to a manager or automated reassignment. An activity log provides information about each person who worked on a lead, enabling companies to quickly and easily calculate commissions and recognize revenue. Clarify’s workflow also facilitates collaboration across the enterprise and with outside partners, such as resellers, while adhering to a strict ownership paradigm in which leads or inquiries must be “accepted” before they are reassigned. This unique Clarify capability is critical in the sales environment, where a misplaced lead can easily prompt a customer’s call to a competitor.

* Literature Fulfillment: ClearCallCenter allows representatives to mail, email or fax literature from their desktop. Clarify is the only vendor who can track the inventory and automatically notify the appropriate person when the stock levels fall below a reorder level, as well as track inventory as it is used. The system’s open architecture enables integration with third-party fulfillment systems, so that literature requests can be automatically passed electronically to an outsourcer.

In addition, ClearCallCenter is fully-integrated with Clarify’s ClearExpress Publisher module, a leading-edge Internet “push technology” product that allows the call center representative to proactively send appropriate information to a prospect or customer, utilizing a wide variety of customer-defined delivery formats (e.g., Web, email, fax, pager).

* Quotation Management: ClearCallCenter assists representatives in quickly developing customer quotes and taking orders. Quotes can be sent electronically to the customer and then accepted over the phone. Clarify’s architecture allows for real-time or batch interfaces to other applications, such as credit card verification, price books and order management systems, enabling representatives to close business immediately. The Clarify system supports multi-national pricing based on a campaign, product or customer.

* Analysis and Reporting: ClearCallCenter provides easy-to-use tools to analyze results and identify opportunities for improved profitability. Each lead generated can be associated with a primary lead source based on a campaign or list. Clarify automatically calculates and presents detailed analysis to assess the effectiveness of individual sources or entire campaigns. Users can view the number of leads that were generated for a particular campaign and track them in terms of resulting revenue. Leads that are still in the sales cycle are included, enabling organizations to identify those that are most likely to result in sales. Management can measure profitability of individual campaigns, sales representatives or products.

Pricing and Availability

ClearCallCenter 2.0 is available immediately for a $20,000 (U.S.) application fee, plus $3,750 per concurrent user. The push-enabled ClearExpress Publisher is available for a $20,000 (U.S.) application fee.

About Clarify Inc.

Clarify is the leading provider of front office solutions that bring companies closer to their customers. The company’s proven approach to sales and support solutions have made it the trusted partner of Global 1000 corporations, such as Amoco Corp., Cisco Systems, GE Medical Systems, Georgia-Pacific, Hewlett-Packard Co., MCI, Microsoft Corp., Motorola, Sprint PCS, Toyota and Transamerica Corp. Clarify focuses on delivering total solutions through strategic alliances with world-class companies including Aspect Tele-communications, Cambridge Technology Partners, CrossRoads Software, Ericsson, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG and Nortel. Founded in 1990, Clarify is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. Its products are sold through sales and service offices throughout the world. Clarify can be reached at 408-573-3000; via e-mail at info@clarify.com; or via the Web at .

Details

Platinum AAdvantage

The nation’s largest co-branded airline bank credit card has gone platinum. Citibank and American Airlines rolled out the new ‘Citibank Platinum Select AAdvantage’ yesterday. The upgraded program offers unlimited air mileage earned on purchases, double air mileage on American Airlines ticket purchases, $500,000 travel accident insurance and a dedicated customer service number. Citibank is charging $125 for the platinum version and will continue to assess interest at its core pricing structure of prime +9.4%. A mail-drop to current cardholders began Monday. There are 30 million AAdvantage members with nearly two million participating in the Citibank program.

Details

SmartCity 4.0

Product Technologies Inc. announced Tuesday the availability of version 4.0 of SmartCity. SmartCity is a turnkey smart card based e-purse (electronic purse) application that also provides a multi-application development platform and tools to systems integrators. SmartCity 4.0 is an object-oriented client-server application that is EMV-compatible (Europay, MasterCard and Visa). It also supports secure multi-party loyalty applications that can be integrated with e-purse applications.

This new multi-application functionality allows issuers to deploy systems that enable the end user to make cash purchases from the e-purse while collecting loyalty points that are stored on the card’s chip. SmartCity is an open, modular platform that supports a high level of interoperability which means that SmartCity applications can accept and process smart cards from multiple issuers.

“Over fifty man years have gone into the development of the SmartCity application,” said William Mangino, PTI’s president and chairman. “The release of SmartCity 4.0 follows nearly five years of installation experience which entailed working closely with systems integrators, card issuers, merchants, and cardholders. It provides the features the smart card industry has been waiting for, in an advanced 32-bit object-oriented design.”

Features

The rearchitected SmartCity 4.0 smart card solution incorporates all proven features of earlier SmartCity versions, plus:

— Underlying software objects that can be easily integrated into third party solutions;

–Card Priming Module to support electronic personalization of EMV smart cards, other rechargeable smart cards, and disposable memory cards;

–Card Setup to configure card structures and access conditions for purses, loyalty, and multi-applications;

–Batch/Remote Priming Station to support automated batch personalization and color printing of cards at centralized and/or remote card issuing locations;

–Database Setup Wizard to guide system engineers and system administrators through the initial database setup;

–Workstation Settings to allow simplified setup and control of client workstations;

–Device Personalization Wizard to download encryption keys to system devices; and

–New Customer and Merchant Explorer applications for customer support personnel.

SmartCity 4.0 runs on Microsoft Windows NT clients interfacing with relational databases running on Windows NT or a UNIX server.

Pricing And Availability

SmartCity 4.0 is available for immediate shipment; price varies according to size of installation.

About PTI

PTI is a leading supplier to systems integrators of smart card-based e-purse applications that can be used in combination with loyalty and other applications. It is headquartered in Middletown, CT, with a branch office in Moscow, Russia. Further information on the company can be found at: .

Details

M&I VISA Cash

Milwaukee-based M&I Data Services announced yesterday it will expand its in-house smart card pilot to reloadable ‘VISA Cash’ cards in the second quarter 1998. The expanded program will involve 3,700 employees on the company’s two corporate campuses. The ‘VISA Cash’ program will utilize Diebold’s ‘iq Summary’ transaction processing software and M&I Data Services’ EFT processing platform. M&I introduced $20 disposable smart cards two months ago to its employees.

Details

First Global Commerce

Working with eight of the world’s most distinguished financial institutions, Hewlett-Packard Company, VeriFone and EDS announced yesterday that First Global Commerce, a worldwide industry initiative designed to develop and promote open electronic banking and commerce, now and in the 21st century.

First Global Commerce is composed of two major elements, an interactive industry forum and an initial platform of open electronic commerce solutions. The forum, initially representing North America, Europe and Asia, will emphasize the open exchange of information and ideas between global technology partners and financial services institutions to shape the direction and drive the dynamic changes in electronic commerce technology.

Building on an open technology architecture, forum members will promote the deployment of a broad range of electronic payment solutions that initially consists of three product groups: enterprise payment solutions, Internet commerce solutions and smart card solutions.

“First Global Commerce is a strategic industry initiative designed to provide financial institutions a basis for developing and implementing a complete foundation for value-added banking services for the next century,” said Lloyd Mahaffey, senior vice president, Global Marketing and Development at VeriFone. “We believe that VeriFone, HP and EDS are in a strong position to unify financial services organizations and technology providers to propel the market development of open electronic commerce solutions.”

VeriFone’s Integrated Payment System (IPS) forms the initial core solution that supports the First Global Commerce initiative. IPS is a modular and scaleable electronic commerce platform supporting merchant point of sale, Internet commerce and Smart Card applications. It is designed to support the flexible implementation of various VeriFone electronic commerce solutions as well as provide a basis for third-parties to develop compatible solutions.

“This is a rare opportunity for cross-industry cooperation to change the way people will interact with their financial institutions and purchase goods and services,” said Glenn Osaka, HP vice president and general manager of the Extended Enterprise Business Unit. “First Global Commerce has a broad global mandate to take decisive leadership and action in electronic business.”

HP will provide member organizations with open client/server enterprise computing solutions, including business servers, professional services, security and worldwide support. Utilizing its extensive expertise in systems integration and its global technology infrastructure, EDS is expected to provide financial institutions access to the First Global Commerce solutions and help reduce the risk associated with adopting new technology.

As a starting point, EDS will offer ReadySET, a new global service that handles Internet credit card processing for financial institutions. The service is designed to save those institutions time, money and staffing resources, and provide a seamless, secure processing environment.

“Clearly, the First Global Commerce initiative marks a bold step by a forum of industry leaders toward realizing the full market potential of electronic commerce,” said Paul Rudolph, president of EDS Electronic Markets. “With the leadership of VeriFone, HP and EDS, combined with our commitment to industry-wide collaboration and open standards, First Global is ideally positioned to shape the future of electronic commerce and to redefine financial transactions of every kind.”

First Global Commerce has received far-reaching support from some of the industry’s most influential and innovative players. Charter members include Citibank, Mondex, Paymentech, Royal Bank of Canada, Sistema 4B, Sumitomo Credit, Visa and Wells Fargo.

The group is actively promoting the participation of other financial institutions. For banks not already participating, there are a number of ways to qualify for membership. Institutions that have adopted any component of the IPS architecture will qualify to join and take advantage of members’ benefits.

Other interested banks are encouraged to contact one of the founding technology companies, VeriFone, HP or EDS, for membership information and for further details about First Global. In addition, technology companies with open electronic commerce solutions are candidates to join First Global Commerce. As an example, VeriSign Inc., the leading provider of digital certificates for Internet commerce and communications has agreed to join First Global.

For more information on First Global Commerce or IPS, please visit VeriFone’s Web site at .

About HP

HP is the official information-technology hardware and maintenance supplier to the 1998 World Cup soccer tournament and the 1997 Tournament of France. Selected for its technology and skills to support and manage mission-critical applications, HP will help create an information-management infrastructure for handling game-scoring; media centers; personnel accreditation; hotel information; and various ticketing, stadium, warehouse and back-office operations.

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global provider of computing, Internet and intranet solutions, services, communications products and measurement solutions, all of which are recognized for excellence in quality and support. It is the second-largest computer supplier in the world, with computer-related revenue in excess of $35.4 billion in its 1997 fiscal year. HP has 121,900 employees and had revenue of $42.9 billion in its 1997 fiscal year.

Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at .

About VeriFone

VeriFone, Inc. (), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than six million electronic payment systems, which are used in over 100 countries.

About EDS

EDS, the official information technology services provider for World Cup 1998, is a leader in the global information services industry. The company’s approximately 100,000 employees specialize in applying a range of ideas and technologies to help business and government customers improve their economics, products, services and relationships. EDS, which serves customers in 42 countries, reported revenues of $14.4 billion in 1996. The company is independent and publicly owned, and its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange under the symbol EDS. EDS can be visited via the Internet at .

First Global Commerce Industry Reaction

“Royal Bank of Canada is committed to promoting all forms of electronic commerce. We see First Global Commerce as another opportunity to expand our learning, pilot new solutions and ultimately be part of an industry-wide solution to drive open electronic commerce that meets our customer needs. “VeriFone, Hewlett-Packard and EDS are the natural facilitators for this initiative because of their respective industry leadership positions and their commitment to open electronic commerce.” — Chuck Wilson, Senior Manager, Direct Banking Networks, Delivery Channel Management, Royal Bank of Canada

“Paymentech believes the future of electronic commerce depends on offering open payment choices to meet rapidly changing merchant demand. As a major payment processor, Paymentech seeks to partner with technology leaders such as those in the First Global Commerce program. Paymentech hopes to contribute to and benefit from the combined experience of this group.

“The very distributed, open nature of electronic commerce means a successful electronic commerce strategy will involve the integration of several organizations’ products and services. First Global Commerce’s focus on open electronic commerce solutions incorporating the best applications the industry has to offer will allow Paymentech to quickly meet our customer needs.” — Michael P. Duffy, Chief Operating Officer, Paymentech, Inc.

“We are committed to state of the art technology solutions for our customers. We focus on meeting customer needs across multiple payment options from the physical to the Internet world. As a technology leader in financial services, First Global Commerce participation allows us to work collaboratively to shape the direction of open electronic commerce.

“VeriFone’s Integrated Payment System provides an excellent foundation for building a complete suite of electronic commerce products.” — Debra Rossi, Senior Vice President and Division Manager, Merchant Banking, Wells Fargo

“As one of the pioneers in driving commercial smart card deployment in the U.S., Mondex USA is delighted to participate in First Global. Openly exchanging ideas, developing systems, and fostering cooperation among leaders in the industry are absolutely essential to propelling electronic commerce. First Global is a terrific forum for bringing together the participants who will be instrumental in shaping the industry’s future.” — Cynthia Bengier, Director, Strategy and Product Management, Mondex USA

“Accelerating the deployment of electronic commerce calls for a major paradigm shift in how financial institutions and technology providers cooperate. Initiatives like First Global Commerce allow us to combine forces to develop the electronic commerce market and spur its growth. As a leader in the smart card and electronic commerce arena, Visa is pleased to be part of First Global Commerce.” — Janet Pruitt, Senior Vice President, Electronic Commerce, Visa International

“Joining with worldwide leaders for interoperable and flexible solutions is critical to our member banks and their merchant customers. Sistema 4B is an early VeriFone and HP customer offering SET 1.0 Internet payment services, and we are looking forward to incorporating new applications to take advantage of other market opportunities.” — Jose Sanjuan, Deputy General Manager, Sistema 4B

“VeriSign believes that First Global will be a breakthrough initiative for the broad adoption of electronic commerce by financial institutions and their customers. We applaud VeriFone, HP and EDS for their efforts to establish this unique open technology platform and forum and look forward to offering our industry leading digital certificate solutions to its members.” — Stratton Sclavos, President and CEO, VeriSign, Inc.

“The First Global Commerce program will ensure Sumitomo Credit’s ability to utilize technology to deliver innovative products to our customers. By using First Global products, we are able to combine the physical and virtual worlds to continue our leadership and growth in the electronic commerce marketplace.” — Minoru Hamada, Director and General Manager, Emerging Markets, Sumitomo Credit

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STARCOIN

Giesecke & Devrient America announced yesterday it is introducing its multi-application smart card system to the U.S. market. ‘STARCOIN’ is designed for deployment in closed payment environments and includes cards, terminals, load devices, card personalization equipment and a centralized clearing and administration system. G&D says it has deployed four million smart cards using ‘STARCOIN’ in Europe.

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High Powered Card

Utilizing deep-space probe technology IDFocus Ltd introduced a new electronic credit card enabling truckers to weigh and refuel their vehicles without having to swipe a card through a slot or wave it past a sensor. The new ‘IDFocus’ card uses 2.45 GHz remote intelligent communications technology and a single chip with microprocessor, 256 bytes of programmable memory and 4 K of memory. The range of the new contactless card is significantly greater than existing radio frequency based cards. IDFocus says it has a live pilot underway in Fife, WA.

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QuicKardz

First Data Resources announced at this week’s BAI Retail Delivery Conference a new card issuing system that enables banks to issue credit and debit cards instantly at their branch locations. The ‘QuicKardz’ system consists of DataCard’s card production equipment and FDR software. FDR says the system offers the ability to personalize cards at a lower issuance cost while incorporating numerous security features.

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Former Speer President Goes to FDC

First Data Corporation today announced that Richard T. Robiba has joined the company’s Card Services Group as executive vice president. In this new position, Robiba will direct the strategic growth and market expansion of card issuing services to financial institutions.

Before joining First Data, Robiba had been president of Speer & Associates, Inc., an Atlanta-based consulting firm, where he developed and managed consulting services for financial institutions, networks and card associations. His work at Speer also included strategic marketing support and delivery system evaluations as well as operational and financial assessments.

Prior to joining Speer, Robiba was general manager of card products for the Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto, Canada, overseeing all credit and debit card activities, including the merchant and private label programs as well as ATM and shared networks.

Robiba will report to Card Services Group president Aldo Tesi and will be based in Atlanta.

“Rick is a proven leader in the bankcard industry and brings a wealth of experience, talent and vision to our team,” Tesi said. “His goal will be to focus on providing our clients with the full breadth of issuing services — from customer service to decisioning models.”

Robiba is also the former Chairman of the Board of VISA Canada and was a member of the VISA International Board of Directors. In addition, he was responsible for developing the Ideal Financial Network, which was the first interbank shared ATM network in Canada. He was educated at the University of Western Ontario in London and Seneca College in Toronto, and he has served on the faculty of the ABA National School of BankCard Management.

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