VISA has endorsed Java as the most flexible, secure and economical technology for its members. The ‘Open Platform’ will first focus on fundamental banking applications such as credit/debit and stored value. Future applications will include loyalty programs, home banking, and telecommunications services. Schlumberger also announced Friday the release of its second Java card product ‘Cyberflex 2.0 Core’. Schlumberger says the new card implements functionalities required for multiple applications and increases the amount of rewritable memory by more than 20%.Details
Following Friday’s announcement of the release of ‘Java Card API 2.0’, Schlumberger said today it has been selected by VISA International to develop a new generation of multiple-application smart cards based on Java. VISA has endorsed Java as the most flexible, secure and economical technology for its members. The ‘Open Platform’ will first focus on fundamental banking applications such as credit/debit and stored value. Future applications will include loyalty programs, home banking, and telecommunications services. Schlumberger also announced Friday the release of its second Java card product ‘Cyberflex 2.0 Core’. Schlumberger says the new card implements functionalities required for multiple applications and increases the amount of rewritable memory by more than 20%.Details
SPARAK Financial Systems and nFront today announced a licensing agreement that will allow community banks throughout the United States to offer secure financial services on the Internet. SPARAK, a Fargo, North Dakota-based core processing provider for community banks, will incorporate nFront’s flagship product, nHome(tm), as its Internet banking solution. Under the agreement, SPARAK will outsource Internet data processing to nFront’s data center in Athens, Georgia.
This agreement enables SPARAK to offer its 210 community bank customers full-service Internet banking, allowing their customers to open new accounts, apply for loans, view account balances and history, transfer funds, pay bills electronically, view personal information on record at the bank, generate reports based on customer activity, download Active Statements into personal financial management software, interact with customer representatives via e-mail, and have access to a bank that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“SPARAK is committed to delivering the latest technology to our customers, and we believe that Internet banking is an extremely valuable tool for community banks,” said Steve Anderson, Director of Marketing and co-Founder of SPARAK. “We selected nFront as our solution because of their Internet banking product and their knowledge of the banking industry. While there are a number of companies in the market talking Internet banking, nFront is delivering. By combining our skills, we will have the best solution for our customers.”
Tripp Rackley, President of nFront, said, “SPARAK will jointly market nHome on the national level while providing their customers a completely secure and customizable Internet banking solution. nFront is looking forward to a long prosperous relationship with SPARAK and working with their team of professionals.”
The first of SPARAK’s community banks to take advantage of the nHome offering is Bank of Versailles. Located in Versailles, Missouri, the bank has an asset size of $140 million and three branches. Bank of Versailles considers itself a “niche” bank that mostly targets retirees living near the Lake of the Ozarks region.
“We try to utilize technology whenever available so as to operate more efficiently,” said David Baumgartener, Executive Vice President of Bank of Versailles. “We hope to maximize our employee productivity by allowing our customers to access their accounts via the Internet.”
“We have had a good relationship with SPARAK and feel that their partnership with nFront provides us with an opportunity to expand our market at a fairly low cost and without having to add staff,” continued Baumgartener.
SPARAK was formed in 1984. The company began as a software house providing in-house software development and support to banks using NCR computers. Today SPARAK develops and markets the top rated SPARAK 3000(r) Software System (along with computer and proof hardware manufactured by NCR and others) to community banks across the United States.
SPARAK 3000(r) is a complete account processing system that includes a unique customer CIF database linking all banking modules to include DDA, Savings, C/Ds, Loans and G/L.
nFront provides full service Internet banking solutions for community banks with nHome, its premier Internet Banking software. From opening accounts to paying bills or transferring funds, nHome supports all the functionality of traditional brick and mortar branches and gives community banks the opportunity to do customer specific marketing. In addition, customers will have unlimited banking hours and more personalized service in a secure banking environment. nHome supports the highest level of data encryption available today and runs on the Windows NT operating system. nFront is also a Microsoft Solution Provider. Founded in 1996, nFront owns the registration rights of the www.banking.com domain name.Details
Wachovia Bank Card Services today announced plans to open a credit card customer service center in Chesapeake, Va.
The center will be located in the Crossways facility at 1400 Crossways Boulevard, currently occupied by some Central Fidelity operational functions. The credit card center is expected to employ more than 100 by the end of 1998 and initially will occupy approximately one-fourth of the 50,000-square-foot building. Assuming consummation of its mergers with Central Fidelity Banks Inc. and Jefferson Bankshares Inc., Wachovia Bank Card Services expects to begin operations in Chesapeake in the first quarter of 1998.
“The decision to establish this center is indicative of the growth of our credit card function and the need for additional capacity for providing customer service to our credit card customers,” said Wachovia Chief Executive L.M. Baker Jr. “We are pleased to be able to locate the center in Chesapeake where we will be able to provide continuing employment opportunities for some employees of Central Fidelity and Jefferson.”
Wachovia expects to receive all required approvals and to complete mergers with Central Fidelity and Jefferson by year-end, and to merge their subsidiary banks into Wachovia Bank, N.A., effective March 20, 1998.
Wachovia Bank Card Services is a subsidiary of Wachovia Corporation (NYSE: WB), an interstate banking company with dual headquarters in Atlanta and Winston-Salem, N.C. Wachovia is the 20th largest bank holding company in the U.S. with assets totaling $48.5 billion. Upon completion of its mergers with Central Fidelity, Jefferson and 1st United Bancorp of Boca Raton, Fla., Wachovia will be the 17th largest bank holding company in the country with assets exceeding $60 billion. U.S. Banker magazine recently rated Wachovia Corporation the No. 1 banking organization in the U.S. for 1996 among banking organizations with assets of more than $25 billion.Details
Sears’ card loans rose to $27 billion for the third quarter compared to $25 billion for third quarter 1996 but the company is very concerned about adverse industry trends as it heads into the fourth quarter. The company said yesterday: “Sears continues to experience an increase in the rate of delinquencies and charge-offs while a number of other credit card issuers have recently reported a flattening in their charge-off rates. If our delinquency and uncollectible accounts could have a significant adverse effect on the company’s overall operating results in future periods. We are taking steps to mitigate the effect of these trends on earnings, and are assessing their expected magnitude and duration.”Details
Hypercom Inc., the worldâs largest independent supplier of point-of-sale (POS) hardware, software and network payment automation products, has signed as agreement with NOVUS Services, the third largest credit card network in the U.S., to deploy and service Hypercom terminals.
“The agreement is an important piece of our overall strategic plan aimed at keeping NOVUS Services on the leading edge of service and Convenience for our customers,” noted Ken Williams, director, link Services for NOVUS Network.
For Hypercom Inc., which is steadily gaining market share as a global supplier of POS technology, “the agreement with NOVUS Services marks another milestone in our respective expansion efforts,” said Al Irato, President and CEO of Hypercom.
NOVUS Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co., operates the Discover Card, the NOVUS Network and a growing number of new card brands accepted at all NOVUS Network locations.
The NOVUS Network, the third largest credit card network in the United States, consists of merchant and cash access locations that accept the Discover Card and other NOVUS Card brands.
Hypercom Inc. is a leading supplier of point-of-sale (POS) hardware, software and network payment automation products. For more than a decade, Hypercom has been providing solutions for delivering and processing financial transactions which enable end users to easily add evolving payment applications and expand their POS networks. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Hypercom markets its products in more than 50 countries via 65 global distributors. John Marshall is Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for Hypercom. Hypercomâs Internet address is [www.hypercom.com]
! General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP), one of the nation’s leading shopping center companies, today announced it has entered into a new marketing partnership with Pepsi-Cola Company and an expanded multi-year, multi-program marketing partnership with Visa U.S.A.
“These innovative Pepsi and Visa U.S.A marketing partnerships not only will result in greater value for our customers, increase mall traffic and build business for all involved parties, but significantly benefit local communities and other national causes,” said John Bucksbaum, GGP’s executive vice president. “They are ‘first-of-their-kind,’ in-mall initiatives that make sense for all three companies.”
In addition to placing Pepsi vendors in key GGP shopping malls across the country, this new agreement allows both Pepsi and GGP to combine forces on national and local marketing and promotional campaigns. To officially kick off the partnership, Pepsi will support GGP’s “Natural Santa Experience” and a food court sales promotion this holiday season. GGP’s naturally-bearded santas will present over two million Christmas cups to children. The association offers enhanced opportunities for Pepsi bottlers and GGP malls to develop local marketing campaigns. The agreement also includes the new “one for the road” initiative where Pepsi vending machines will be placed at GGP mall exits.
“We are very proud of our association with GGP,” said Mairead Martinez, director, New Business, Pepsi-Cola Company. “In our never-ending efforts to connect with consumers in a meaningful way, this agreement further enables us to reach our consumers not only where they live, but also, where they spend leisure time and shop.”
GGP Partnership Initiative with Visa U.S.A Significantly Expanding
The expanded partnership with Visa U.S.A. will add six custom-designed programs that each organization will cross-promote. The first mall program, the NFL Ultimate Week of Football, began on September 1, when GGP shoppers who used their Visa cards(R) began receiving a chance to win mall gift certificates and a grand prize of a trip to Super Bowl XXXII, and the 1998 Pro Bowl. This holiday season, GGP also will be continuing a free holiday gift wrapping service for Visa card users, as well as supporting Visa’s national “Read Me a Story” children’s literacy initiative.
“Visa is excited to continue our relationship with General Growth Properties through this new multi-year partnership,” said Bruce McElhinney, senior vice president of retail marketing at Visa U.S.A. “This marketing alliance is a win-win situation. GGP will benefit from promotions that incorporate other Visa relationships such as the NFL and the Olympics, while Visa will be able to effectively market to GGP’s broad range of customers.”
In September, GGP, along with several additional mall developers, introduced a new, co-branded “Mall VIP” Visa card targeted at frequent shoppers. Shoppers using this Visa card at participating malls are rebated two percent of the value of their purchases in the form of mall gift certificates, while non-mall purchases earn a one percent rebate.
Initially a seasonal program, GGP is now entering the third year of its free holiday gift wrapping service for shoppers using their Visa cards at GGP shopping centers. “The impact of this program last year was impressive,” said Charlie Graves, GGP’s vice president of Consumer Marketing. “GGP wrapped more than $25 million worth of gifts, while Visa converted 37 percent of the program participants to using their Visa card. It was a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially our customers. This year’s gift wrap program will benefit local charities.”
“These partnerships build business by successfully uniting brand marketing initiatives with GGP’s core assets and will reward our mall customers with added value,” added Graves. With more than one billion customer visits annually, Graves predicts more companies will follow the lead of Pepsi and Visa U.S.A.
Graves’ newly created Consumer Marketing department at General Growth is charged with forging additional partnerships in the future. He envisions America’s brands embracing this new medium for face-to-face communication.
General Growth Properties is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced shopping center owners, developers and managers in the United States. It currently has ownership interests in, or management responsibilities for, more than 119 shopping malls in 37 states, encompassing approximately 92 million square feet. This includes a mall recently opened in Waterbury, Conn., and another scheduled to open in July, 1998, in Coralville (Iowa City), Iowa. For more information, visit the company website at [http://www.generalgrowth.com.]
Pepsi-Cola Company, based in Somers, New York, is a division of PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP).
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 370,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [http://www.visa.com.]
Cap One realized a remarkable quarter as earnings hit $49 million compared to $39 million last quarter and $38 million in the third quarter 1996. During the third quarter, the Company added 868,000 net new consumer accounts, bringing the total to 10.7 million, or a 32 percent annualized growth. Managed consumer loans increased by $736 million to $13.5 billion in outstanding receivables. The managed net interest margin increased to 9.05 percent in the third quarter of 1997 from 8.30 percent in the second quarter of 1997 and 8.35 percent in the comparable period of 1996. This increase principally reflects growth in the Company’s higher-yielding loans, the impact of repricing $700 million in introductory rate credit card loans during the quarter and scheduled increases in fees. The managed net charge-off rate increased to 6.66 percent in the third quarter of 1997, compared with 6.38 percent in the previous quarter. This increase reflects the continued aging of the portfolio and the effect of increases in industry losses. Delinquency rates increased slightly to 6.36 percent as of September 30, compared with 6.33 percent as of June 30.Details
RSA Data Security, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDTI), today announced that its cryptographic technology is providing the underlying security in Gemplus Corporation’s recently announced GPK4000 smart card.
Gemplus’ smart card features an advanced cryptographic co-processor and is the first public key smart card to combine digital signature, on-board key generation and electronic payment with multi-application functionality. The GPK4000’s cryptographic functionality includes 1024-bit RSA-based digital signature at sub-second speed and 4Kbytes of application memory.
The new GPK4000 card was designed with a number of advanced security features, including an on-board key generation mechanism that ensures the private component of the public key pair that performs the digital signature is never seen outside the card, and also can store industry-standard X.509 certificates in memory.
“Gemplus is a worldwide leader in the design and production of smart cards,” said Jim Bidzos, president of RSA Data Security. “The company’s selection of RSA encryption technology for its advanced GPK4000 product demonstrates once again that RSA’s encryption technology is the product of choice for consumer and corporate electronic commerce applications. Our cryptography provides a strong solution to assure the privacy, authentication and integrity of smart card enabled electronic transactions.”
“In developing the GPK4000 card for the electronic commerce market, we wanted to be sure we incorporated the most advanced security technology,” said Dominique Trempont, president of Gemplus Americas. “With RSA, we know we have the most trusted encryption available to support the card’s authentication, digital signature, and privacy features.”
The Gemplus announcement follows by only one month another major win for RSA in the smart card segment of the security market. In September, RSA announced that Visa International plans to conduct a market trial of RSA public-key encrypted smart cards in the United Kingdom and Japan. The Visa trial will use a Philips Semiconductors P83C858 cryptocontroller chip which features embedded RSA public-key cryptography.
As announced earlier this year, Gemplus’ smart card technology will also be used as part of Security Dynamics’ Enterprise Security Services (ESS) framework. RSA and Security Dynamics plan to use Gemplus technology to provide SecurID smart cards for network security applications such as user authentication and secure, electronic storage of user identification.
Gemplus is the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe and smart cards. It manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.
In 1996, Gemplus Group’s total sales were $440 million. By the end of 1997, the company will have a production capacity of 900 million plastic and smart cards.
Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce. Information about Gemplus’ products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: [http://www.gemplus.com.]
RSA Data Security, Inc.
RSA Data Security, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc., is the world’s brand name for cryptography, with more than 80 million copies of RSA encryption and authentication technologies installed and in use worldwide. RSA technologies are part of existing and proposed standards for the Internet and World Wide Web, CCITT, ISO, ANSI, IEEE, and business, financial and electronic commerce networks around the globe. RSA develops and markets platform-independent developer’s kits and end-user products and provides comprehensive cryptographic consulting services.
Founded in 1982 by the inventors of the RSA Public Key Cryptosystem, the company is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. Information about RSA can be found at: [http://www.rsa.com.]
SecurID is a registered trademark of Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc. All other product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective corporations.
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to (i) the planned market trial by VISA International of RSA public-key encrypted smart cards in the United Kingdom and Japan and (ii) the planned use by Security Dynamics and RSA of Gemplus technology to provide SecurID smart cards for network security applications, and such statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are delays in product development, undetected software errors or bugs, competitive pressures, technical difficulties, market acceptance of Gemplus smart cards and Security Dynamics’ ESS framework, changes in customer requirements, general economic conditions and the risk factors detailed from time to time in Security Dynamics’ periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation Security Dynamics’ Registration Statement on Form S-3, as amended (File No. 333-35035), filed on September 5, 1997.
Visa International completed the world’s first SET 1.0 transactions in Latin America and the first-ever SET 1.0 transactions with an EMV Visa chip card in Asia-Pacific. The transactions involved a Banco Frances del Rio de la Plata Visa card used to purchase a bottle of wine from a supermarket in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the second to purchase a book from an office supply merchant in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The world’s first chip and electronic commerce transaction was also completed today as part of the Smart Commerce Japan project in Tokyo, Japan using SET 1.0 software and a Visa chip card. Visa, Toshiba Corporation and technology providers CyberCash, IBM, Netscape and VeriSign completed the transactions with a chip card and SET software just hours after the first SET 1.0 transaction in Latin America.Details
BT Financial Corporation (BTFC) has agreed to sell its credit card business to MBNA American Bank, N.A.
According to John H. Anderson, Chairman and CEO of BTFC, the credit card portfolio will transfer by the end of the year to MBNA, which will take over the marketing and servicing of the program. BTFC will share in the credit card business over the next five years by offering MBNA products through its banking affiliate.
Credit card competition has prompted BTFC to contract with MBNA in anticipation that the bank will be able to offer a more competitive rate and maintain the efficiency needed for quality customer service, according to Anderson. The credit card industry has become a critical mass business requiring a national product scope. “We are proud of our relationship with MBNA, the second largest credit card lender in the country.” Anderson said the decision was part of a focus on core competencies that BTFC has redirected itself upon. The sale of the $4.5 million credit card portfolio will have a positive impact on 1997 earnings.
Current cardholders will receive new cards and information on new features in the near future. New applicants will receive special introductory rates for transferring balances. Merchant program participants will be contacted by bank representatives.
“Our agreement with MBNA is another example of BTFC responding to the needs of its customer,” Anderson said. “Foresight is imperative in today’s banking environment.”
BT Financial Corporation is a bank holding company headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, whose banking affiliate includes Laurel Bank, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It comprises a total of 72 offices serving Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties. BT Financial Corporation’s other affiliates are Laurel Trust Company, a Pennsylvania state-chartered trust company and Bedford Associates, Inc., a real estate company.
This news release may contain forward looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and trends could differ materially from those set forth in such statements due to various factors. Such factors include the possibility that increased demand or prices for the Company’s financial services and product may not occur, changing economic and competitive conditions, technological developments, and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in the Company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Details
Fischer International Systems Corporation (FISC) today announced that its Smarty(TM) Smart Card Reader/Writer will be offered as an important element within Visa International’s Visa Platinum product for Latin America and the Caribbean region.
The initiative sets the stage for widespread growth of electronic commerce in Latin America. The product, presented this week at Visa International’s Regional Member Meeting, Latin America and Caribbean Region, offers the Visa Platinum card — a credit card enhanced with a micro-chip that can provide programmability, increased data storage, security and off-line transactions — together with Fischer’s Smarty smart card reader. The Smarty looks like a 3.5 inch diskette, has a slot in the back that accepts a smart card, and fits into any personal computer’s 3.5 inch floppy disk drive to access smart card information. The Smarty requires no cables or connectors.
“Visa International’s research indicates that a significant share of the upscale cardholders in the region use the Internet regularly. Therefore, Smarty is a viable option enabling usage of the Visa Platinum micro-chip on the Internet,” said Lisa Brito, Vice President of Credit and Commercial Products, Visa International Latin America and Caribbean Region. “Though there are other smart card reader choices available, the Smarty, with its very easy implementation for the end-user, is a very innovative product and an attractive feature for banks to offer consumers,” she added.
To demonstrate how the Smarty can be used in connection with the Visa Platinum card, Visa International set up a private network of 30 personal computers at the meeting, each with a Smarty and a Visa Platinum card. In combination with the Smarty, the Visa Platinum card was able to access a customized electronic wallet, containing a virtual Visa Platinum card, and an exclusive Web site. The Web site features travel and entertainment information, as well as Visa Platinum rewards program account updates.
“We are very pleased to work with Visa International and to support the goals of Visa Platinum in the region. Smarty, again, has taken on the role of facilitator, easily linking the Visa Platinum card to the PC,” said Art Burton, vice president of sales and marketing at Fischer International. “We see the interaction of Visa Platinum with Smarty as a real world example of a strategic solution for organizations and individuals committed to Internet-based business. Smart card technology is a natural complement to our expertise in the areas of token design and security software. We look forward to an ongoing, productive partnership with Visa International.”
About Visa Platinum
Visa Platinum has as its core benefits throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region a minimum US $20,000 credit limit, 24-hour customer service, a concierge service, a comprehensive package of travel insurance, and a flexible point program redeemable for travel and entertainment rewards on any airline, selected hotels and selected car rental agencies, among other rewards.
Visa, “the world’s best way to pay,” 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 its 21,000 member financial institutions, their card holders and the global economy. As the leader in emerging products, Visa has 65 chip programs underway worldwide, including more than 6 million Visa Cash cards, and is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction programs in more than 25 countries for secure Internet commerce. Visa’s 600 million cards, generating over US$1 trillion in annual volume, are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including nearly 370,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is
About Fischer International Systems
Fischer International Systems Corporation (FISC) was founded in 1982 by Addison M. Fischer to develop electronic mail and PC data security software. FISC designs, develops, markets, licenses and supports a family of enterprise-wide office automation (electronic mail and scheduling) software, computer security software and the SmartDisk family of products. These products focus on electronic commerce and security for the Internet, intranets/extranets, LANs, desktop PCs, laptops, and large mainframe environments. FISC has a diverse international customer base and is headquartered in Naples, Florida with offices in North America and Europe. Please contact the FISC web site atDetails