European Phone Card Patent

IDT Corporation today announced that it has negotiated an agreement to receive income derived from a master patent covering pre-paid calling cards throughout Europe. Under the agreement, the Company is entitled to receive royalties from all companies selling pre-paid calling cards in Europe who take a license under the patent or against which the patent is successfully enforced. Phone companies using or intending to use the patented process can negotiate to receive credit towards their royalty obligations by purchasing telecommunications services from IDT. This is anticipated to be attractive to European carriers in that it will enable them to fulfill demand for their services without raising total costs, and in most cases, will actually cut them. It is expected this will greatly accelerate the growth of IDT’s carrier business from Europe.

“IDT has already established itself as a leader in pre-paid calling cards in the U.S., and we look forward to emerging as a dominant player in the European market,” said IDT’s CEO Howard Jonas. “Not only does our carrier network give us the best available international rates, but now it looks like all our competitors will have to sit up and take notice. This is a real home run – a bit like winning the Grand National.”

Under the patent agreement, IDT is entitled to grant sub-licenses with respect to applicable pre-paid calling cards in Europe. Consequently, current pre-paid calling card companies and prospective pre-paid calling card vendors who are using or intend to use the patented process can apply for a sub-license from IDT. IDT is able to bring the pre-paid calling card technology to Europe due to its extensive telecommunications infrastructure as well as its own facilities-based switch in London with C7 signaling.

“This is an innovative step by IDT to establish itself in the European marketplace,” said Christopher Hoyle of Rakisons, a well-established international practice specializing in gaining licenses for new telecommunications operators. “Technological change is leading to ever more inventive ways to provide telecom services. IDT is to be congratulated for seeking to highlight that protection of intellectual property rights is crucial to ensuring the benefit of these enhancements flows to consumers in the form of better services and cheaper phone bills.”

The Company will also be selling its own discounted pre-paid calling card throughout Europe. IDT Global Limited Calling Cards will be available for purchase throughout Europe at newsstands and kiosks.

IDT Corporation is a diversified telecommunications company with seven years of innovation within the international telecommunications arena. The Company provides international long distance services to individuals and businesses in over 225 countries and directly to telecommunications carriers in the US and overseas. The Company currently has over 400,000 retail customers using an array of services including international long distance and Internet services, and prepaid calling cards. The Company is also a leader in Internet Telephony, with its Net2Phone product – the first commercial telephone service to bridge live calls between the Internet and telephones.

Except for historical information, all of the expectations and assumptions contained in the foregoing are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the competitive environment for Internet telephony, changes of rates of all related telco rates and services, legislation that may affect the Internet Telephony industry, IDT’s ability to operate the services described on a large scale commercial level. For additional information regarding these and other risks associated with the Company’s business refer to the Company’s reports filed with the SEC.


Cubic GO Card for DC Transit

Ramtron International Corporation announced today that it has received an initial order to begin shipments of advanced FRAM(R) contactless smart card chips to Cubic Corporation (AMEX:CUB) in December 1997. The chips will be used to build the SmarTrip smart card for the Washington DC public transportation system. Ramtron’s new generation nonvolatile memory technology allows commuters to pay transit fare “hassle free.”

“We believe that FRAM memory will shape the future of advanced smart card development,” said L. David Sikes, Ramtron’s chairman and CEO. “Ramtron, using its leadership in ferroelectric memory technology, is the first to deliver an ideal FRAM-based smart card memory. With a two-year lead on the competition, we are looking toward a bright future in this important application area.”

In a report recently released by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the SmarTrip received accolades from commuters that participated in a one year test program. “The card is very effective, and it saves time,” mentioned one passenger. “I loved it. (the card) was very easy and had no problems whatsoever. I feel the card will save time and make using Metro easier for me,” said another.

Cubic fare collection systems are in operation in major cities on five continents. These systems process over 20 million passengers a day and provide secure revenue accounting in excess of $3 billion a year. Cubic embarked on the development of a “next generation” fare card in 1987 and determined that a contactless smart card would best meet the transit demands of the 21st Century. To prove the effectiveness of their concept, Cubic participated in two pilot programs, in London and Washington DC, that successfully demonstrated the technology’s efficiency, convenience and public acceptance.

For more information about Ramtron and its products, contact Communications Department, Ramtron International Corporation, 1850 Ramtron Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, 80921. Telephone is 800/545-FRAM (3726); FAX is 719/481-9294; E-mail address is . Homepage is .


Holiday Inn Card

The ‘Priority Club Worldwide Platinum VISA’ card was unveiled Thursday in a partnership between Holiday Hospitality, VISA and First USA. The new cobranded VISA card enables cardholders to earn points towards free stays any Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express hotels, as well as airline miles and brand-name merchandise. The program offers a bonus 5,000 point award for the first use of the card and one ‘Priority Point’ for each purchase dollar made thereafter. Card pricing is: no-annual-fee, 5.9% six- month intro rate, and a 14.99% fixed long-term rate. The new program has significant potential as Holiday Hospitality already has five million participants in its ‘Priority Club’ program and serves 50% of U.S. business travelers annually at its 2,400 properties worldwide.


Green Tree Launches Two Private Label Cards

Green Tree Financial Corporation announced today that its Green Tree Retail Services division has reached separate agreements with two growing retailers, McCoy’s Building Supply Centers(TM) and RoomStore of Phoenix, LLC, to provide private-label credit card programs to the customers of each of these regional retailers.

McCoy’s, headquartered in San Marcos, Texas, is a building supply company with over 100 stores. Originally founded in 1923 as a roofing contractor in the Houston, Texas area, privately owned McCoy’s has grown into a major regional organization with operations in six southwestern states. Prior to the launch of the new program, McCoy’s did not offer customers in-house financing. Realizing the potential of providing attractive financing options, store managers asked McCoy’s management to develop a financing program. This new program created in partnership with Green Tree Retail Services has already delivered new customers and incremental sales.

Phoenix, Ariz.-based RoomStore is a regional furniture retailer with six stores in the metropolitan Phoenix area as well as two new stores in Sacramento, Calif. RoomStore, which was founded in 1993 by members of the original Levitz Furniture Company, specializes in selling complete rooms of contemporary furniture with a low price guarantee. RoomStore has experienced rapid growth since the first two stores opened in Phoenix just four years ago. Green Tree was selected as RoomStore’s new credit provider after an extensive review of the leading private-label providers.

Launched in 1995, Green Tree Retail Services is a rapidly growing provider of revolving credit for retail merchants and their customers. The division is focused on providing incremental value to the sales efforts of retailers through the design and execution of innovative marketing programs.

Green Tree Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company with nationwide operations serving customers in the consumer finance, commercial finance and insurance markets. With managed finance receivables of $26 billion, Green Tree is one of the largest multi-line finance companies in the United States. Founded in 1975, Green Tree has approximately 5,000 employees at 200 company locations that work with 18,000 retail dealers across the country as well as directly with consumers.



ARCO Products Company signed agreements yesterday to place up to 850 KeyCorp ATMs in ARCO AM/PM convenience stores across five western states. The deal will boost Key’s ATM network by 40%, to 2,900 units, and will expand KeyCorp’s reach to sixteen states. The states involved in Thursday’s announcement include CA, WA, OR, NV and AZ. ARCO was the first to launch the gas-and-convenience store concept in the late 70s and today the average ARCO retail outlet pumps more than 225,000 gallons per month compared to an industry average of 130,000 gallons per month.


BellSouth NASCAR Card

BellSouth Mobility (BMI) Prepaid Cellular customers, NASCAR fans and prepaid card collectors now have a new reason to visit BellSouth’s retail stores. November 1 will mark the debut of a limited edition $30 Prepaid card with an image of the BellSouth NASCAR Busch Series entry on the front.

“We are delighted to offer the $30 card featuring our Busch car driven by Joe Nemechek,” said Odie Donald, president of BellSouth Mobility. “Having the opportunity to satisfy our pre-paid consumers’ needs, as well as feature our sponsorship of number 87 and in the process satisfy the NASCAR and card collector’s needs keeps us on the right track.”

BellSouth’s Prepaid Cellular Service is aimed at customers who are budget conscious, who wish to control usage by their employees or perhaps their college student, and for those who wish to give a unique gift to family members, friends or business associates.

According to BMI Marketing Manager Nicole Lipson, the cards will not be reprinted and are only available until the current inventory is sold. The racing image is available in the $30 card only. “Our Prepaid service targets those who want the safety and convenience of wireless service, but who are the more moderate users,” Lipson said.

“Of course, we know the functional benefits of the prepaid cards to our customers,” Lipson said. “The popularity of all things related to NASCAR and the fact that this is a one-time printing will also make this card immensely popular with the fans and certainly an item card collectors will want to have,” Lipson added.

BMI’s Prepaid service does not require a contract, credit checks or deposits. There are no monthly bills since the airtime is paid in advance by cash or credit card. BMI retail store locations may be found in the BellSouth Yellow Pages under Cellular or on the Internet at .

BellSouth Mobility is a subsidiary of BellSouth Cellular Corp. and, with its partners, provides wireless communications services to nearly 3 million customers in eight southeastern states.


Total Debt Recovery Solution

American Management Systems (AMS) and Dozier Electronic Commerce Solutions today announced an alliance to provide their clients full collections and recovery management support for consumer and small business financial accounts. The alliance, announced at the Credit Card Collections Conference VI, enables clients of AMS’s collections solutions, CACSPlus(R) and CMS(R), to process seriously delinquent accounts through integration with Dozier Electronic Commerce Solutions’ broad based network of third party collectors.

Using advanced decision management techniques, a financial institution can determine which customer accounts to outsource for recoveries and which accounts to retain. Dozier Electronic Commerce Solutions assists in determining the most effective strategies for handling pre-charge-off and charge-off accounts through advanced relational analyses and segmentation modeling, and maintains the accounting for charged-off accounts. Dozier also provides full portfolio performance reports to the financial institution.

“Financial institutions are seeking flexible ways to manage delinquent accounts, consistent with their overall relationship with their customers,” said Sandra Devine, Vice President, AMS’s Consumer Financial Services Group. “AMS’s alliance with Dozier gives our clients an excellent option to effectively manage their risk on delinquent accounts while maintaining their own relationship with particular customers or customer segments.”

“This fully integrated solution significantly increases a financial institution’s return on delinquent account portfolios through active account management using a variety of distribution channels,” said John Dozier, President and CEO of Dozier Electronic Commerce Solutions. “We are pleased to work with AMS to provide its clients these enhanced collections and risk management services.”

Dozier Electronic Commerce Solutions is a business process outsourcer providing electronic commerce, data warehousing and portfolio analysis services to the debt collection industry. The company’s offerings include legal network services, financial EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), and portfolio segmentation analytics. Dozier also delivers innovative electronic commerce solutions to a far range of companies moving information in the debt collection industry. Dozier Electronic Commerce Solutions is an award winning, privately held, venture-backed technology company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

AMS’s business is to partner with clients to achieve breakthrough performance through the intelligent use of information technology. AMS is an international business and information technology consulting firm that provides a full range of services: business re-engineering, change management, systems integration, and systems development and implementation. AMS, which completed its 27th consecutive year of growth, is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with offices in 53 cities worldwide. AMS’s revenues for 1996 were $812 million.

AMS’s site on the World Wide Web is:

Dozier Electronic Commerce Solutions’ site is:


GPS – ADS Boogie

Global Payment Systems signed an agreement Wednesday to provide cobrand credit card processing solutions to Alliance Data Systems’ 55 million private label customers. Global agreed to provide services to support ADS’ co-branded product offering including card production, credit card authorizations, statement production and system servicing. Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems offers private label services to clients in retail, petroleum, casual dining and direct-to-home satellite programming industries.


ATC – Western Union Extend Contract

ATC Communications, the operating subsidiary of ATC Communications Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATCT) announces a long- term extension to its existing agreement with Western Union Financial Services, Inc., the industry leader in providing consumers and commercial entities with electronic and paper-based systems for transferring funds or making payments. The existing agreement with Western Union has two years remaining.

ATC’s call center agents will continue to provide inbound customer service for Western Union’s domestic customers by processing messaging information and money transfer transactions and handling inquiries on funds availability. The contract extension calls for Western Union to allocate a minimum amount of monthly customer service-related call traffic to ATC.

“Western Union’s decision to extend its agreement with ATC demonstrates their confidence in our ability to consistently deliver high quality, technologically-current teleservices,” said Michael Santry, Chairman, CEO and President of ATC Communications Group and its subsidiary. “This contract also demonstrates our success in developing a portfolio of long-term, value-based partnerships versus a base of business consisting of short-term, commodity- based contracts.”

Founded in 1851, Western Union created the world’s first electronic consumer money transfer service in 1871. Today, Western Union remains the industry leader, transferring funds virtually instantaneously among 36,000 agent locations in 140 countries. Western Union is a subsidiary of First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC), a leading provider of credit card processing, payment systems, electronic commerce and information-based services to businesses and consumers.

ATC Communications Group, Inc. is a 12-year-old publicly held company. Its operating subsidiary, ATC Communications, offers custom-developed strategic sales and service applications, outsourced and facility management operations and traditional high-volume transaction-based teleservices under the heading “telesourcing.” ATC employs approximately 3,100 people and has equipped more than 3,200 dual mode call center workstations. ATC has been designated as one of America’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies by Fortune magazine two years in a row. Among ATC’s blue-chip clients are American Express, AT&T, Chicago RTA, Integrion Financial Network (formerly Visa Interactive), Pacific Bell, Transamerica, US WEST, and Western Union. The Irving, Texas-based company had $97.6 million in revenues during fiscal 1997. Information regarding ATC can be found on its Website at .


New MBNA Bonds Rated

MBNA Master Credit Card Trust II’s $637.5 million class A floating-rate asset-backed certificates, series 1997-M, are expected to be rated ‘AAA’ by Fitch. In addition, the corresponding $56.3 million class B certificates are expected to be rated ‘A+’. The certificates are backed by a pool of receivables generated under MBNA MasterCard and Visa accounts. The expected ratings are based on the high quality of the receivables pool, available credit enhancement, MBNA’s underwriting and servicing expertise and sound legal and cash flow structures.

Credit enhancement for the class A certificates totals 15% and is comprised of 7.5% subordination of class B certificates and a 7.5% collateral interest. The class B certificates, in turn, are enhanced 7.5% by the collateral interest.

With the levels of credit enhancement available, series 1997-M can withstand simultaneous declines of 35% in yield and 45% in monthly payment rates, while chargeoffs increase to a level of 28% and still make full interest and principal payments to class A investors. Class B enhancement covers simultaneous declines of 25% in yield and 35% in MPR, while chargeoffs rise to a level of 19%. 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.

Investors are protected from a deterioration in credit quality by early amortization events, which would trigger an early payout of investor principal. However, MBNA’s historically healthy and stable excess spread levels help to minimize this early amortization risk.

Class A and B certificateholders will receive quarterly interest payments of 11 basis points (bps) and 27 bps over three-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 January, April, July and October. Following a variable accumulation period, principal is expected to be paid to certificateholders on the October 2002 distribution date. The series termination date is March 2005. As a part of Group One, series 1997-M will share excess principal collections with other Group One series.

For information about performance on any outstanding MBNA MCCT II series, please refer to Fitch Asset-Backed Surveillance on the internet at ” ” or on Bloomberg by typing “FTC GO”.


MBNA $750 Million Securitization

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB) announced today that MBNA America Bank, N.A., its wholly owned subsidiary, priced $750 million of five-year floating rate credit card asset backed securities. The securitization from the MBNA Master Credit Card Trust II consists of two classes of publicly traded securities (Class A and Class B) as well as a privately placed collateral invested amount.

The transaction, Series 1997-M, includes $637.5 million Class A (Senior) floating rate asset backed certificates, $56.25 million of Class B (Subordinate) floating rate asset backed certificates and a $56.25 million privately placed floating rate collateral invested amount. The 5.0 year Class A certificates accrue interest at 11 basis points over the three month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). The 5.0 year Class B certificates accrue interest at 27 basis points over the three month LIBOR. Both the Class A and Class B certificates were priced at par. The transaction, which is scheduled to close November 6, 1997, was lead managed by Salomon Brothers Inc, and co-managed by Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co., and J.P. Morgan & Co.

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $46.2 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the country’s second largest credit card lender, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, insurance, and card acceptance services.


Paymentech Sells ASK! Technical Group

TASQ Technology, Inc. announced it has acquired ASK! Technical Group, the terminal inventory management division of Paymentech, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition includes a long-term service contract for TASQ to provide terminal inventory manangement services for new and existing Paymentech customers. TASQ will integrate ASK’s Cleveland, Ohio, facility into the new 65,000 sq. ft. TASQ facility in Rocklin, California. The transition should take place within 90 days.

Said Ron Chaisson, president of TASQ Technology, “The acquisition and consolidation of ASK! Technical Group is in line with our corporate philosophy of providing higher service levels at more efficient costs to our partners.”

With this acquisition, TASQ will furnish inventory management services to over one million merchants through strategic alliances with more than 55 of the most prominent companies in the credit card industry. TASQ is a leader in providing POS related inventory and information solutions to this market.

“Our continuing goal at Paymentech is to concentrate on the delivery of premier payment processing and transaction services,” said Michael P. Duffy, chief operating officer of Paymentech. “This is another step in sharpening our focus on our core lines of business: direct marketing acquiring, third-party processing and commercial card payment solutions.”

“Our merchants will receive the highest quality POS terminal maintenance and replacement service with TASQ,” said Duffy. “Our partnership with TASQ ensures a smooth transition as well as future opportunities for both companies.”

Paymentech, founded in 1985, provides full-service electronic payment solutions. A leading transaction processor, Paymentech is the third largest processor of bankcard transactions in the United States, issues commercial card products to businesses and other entities, and provides commercial card payment and information processing.