Federated Settles Bankruptcy Suite

A Federal Judge in Boston has given preliminary approval to a settlement of a nationwide class action lawsuit brought on behalf of bankruptcy debtors who reaffirmed credit card debts allegedly owed to subsidiaries, affiliates and operating divisions of Federated Department Stores. The settlement involves payments totaling approximately $4 million. Under the terms of the settlement, class members will receive account credits or cash in the amount of all principal, finance charges and late fees paid on reaffirmed debt, together with 8% interest compounded from the date of such payments.


Biometrics Company Sold

CORE VENTURES INC. (OTC Bulletin Board: CVNK) a Colorado company today announced that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Princeton, N.J. based PRINTSCAN INTERNATIONAL INC., developer of the patented PRINTSCAN software system that provides automatic and foolproof verification of any individual’s identity via fingerprints, a company in the emerging biometrics industry.

PRINTSCAN automates the process of verifying the identity of individuals for a variety of security purposes. PRINTSCAN’s patented fingerprint identification verification systems feature its coincidental sequencing software algorithm which has been operating in limited commercial application since 1996. In installations to date, the PRINTSCAN system has been demonstrated to produce absolutely no false positives. Torben Huge-Jensen, President of PRINTSCAN said, “The speed and ease with which the PRINTSCAN Software System can be used makes it ideal for a myriad of potential applications, such as ATM, credit card transactions, prevention of welfare fraud, secure access, immigration control and control systems for prisons and police departments. The U.S. market offers the greatest opportunity for the commercial application of our product. However, we are actively seeking new business opportunities in other markets, including Asia.” The global market for biometric technologies such as PRINTSCAN’s is estimated to be in excess of $50 billion.**

As part of the agreement, CORE VENTURES has arranged for $1.5 million in private placement financing. In conjunction with the acquisition of: PRINTSCAN, CORE VENTURES has retained an investment banking firm to raise $5 million in an equity offering to aid the roll-out of PRINTSCAN’s product.

Ashif Jiwa, President of CORE VENTURES said, “We are very excited at the prospect of having such a patented product with such widespread application as PRINTSCAN’s. The acquisition of PRINTSCAN will position us to become the international leader in automated fingerprint identification systems, and a major force in the rapidly evolving biometrics industry.”

** (Research Report conducted in the United Kingdom in 1994)


NCR & IA Link Up

NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR) and IA Corporation (NASDAQ:IACP) today jointly announced a global strategic alliance agreement to offer world-class item-processing solutions to financial institutions.

The agreement marries NCR’s global breadth and experience in consumer banking with IA’s leading enterprise software applications for the financial services industry.

Under the agreement, NCR will sell IA’s CheckVision(R) products around the world under the banner of ImageMark(TM), the new enterprise-wide family of image-based item-processing solutions already in use in several banks in the U.S. and abroad. The IA products, particularly CheckVision Archive, will be incorporated into the ImageMark(TM) Archive and Delivery (IAD) platform, to provide an all-items archive and advanced information delivery services to bank customers.

As part of the IAD platform, CheckVision Archive enables banks to capture financial transactions including images, store this information in a transaction repository, and then deliver the information to bank customers in any way that they can access the bank, including bank branches, call centers, home banking systems and self-service terminals.

The agreement also establishes a technology alliance for IA and NCR to jointly develop software to enhance the suite of CheckVision products.

“A scaleable transaction archive that also supports cash management and other applications is in great demand right now by the financial services industry. With advanced archive solutions built upon an open system at the center of their operations, banks can offer both retail and corporate customers many new attractive revenue generating services,” said Bill Hipps, NCR Vice President of Deployment.

“NCR chose IA’s CheckVision software to be an important part of the centerpiece of NCR’s ImageMark(TM) strategy because of its proven success in 16 of the largest U.S. banks.”

“IA has a solid technology base in transaction processing software development and a successful line of archive and advanced cash management products,” said Thierry Leger, IA Vice President of Marketing. “This global strategic alliance significantly expands our product distribution capability.”

NCR hardware and CheckVision software are already in combined operation at several banks such as Crestar, National City, UMB and Union Bank of California.

NCR Corporation Background

NCR supplies banks and other financial institutions with Banking Solutions in the Age of the Consumer — solutions that are tailored to NCR customers’ individual needs so that they can offer the best services to their consumers. Apart from item-processing systems, these solutions include Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), relationship management systems, and consumer delivery systems.

NCR Corporation’s computer systems, store automation, banking systems, consulting and support services are used by customers in more than 130 countries around the world. NCR is located on the World Wide Web at [http://www.ncr.com.][1]

ImageMark(TM) is a registered trademark of NCR Corporation.

IA Corporation Background

IA Corporation is headquartered in Emeryville, Calif. and listed on NASDAQ (IACP). The company develops, markets, implements and supports software solutions for financial services organizations that require flexible automation of high-volume, complex transactions.

The Company currently sells two leading application framework software products for advanced cash management services, CheckVision and RemitVision(R), which are built upon the Company’s advanced, client/server complex transactions management software platform, WorkVision(TM).

IA offers scaleable, enterprise-wide application framework software products that enable its customers to manage and automate their business processes from end to end. These software products are deployed through professional services that include comprehensive installation, training, ongoing maintenance, support and development services.

The Company’s customers include Harris Bank, Mellon Bank Corp., Sanwa Bank California, Ltd., UMB Bank, NA and Wachovia. IA can be found on the World Wide Web at:

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


Inflight Credit Card Gambling

Interactive Entertainment Limited (NASDAQ: IELSF)(IEL) has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire all the outstanding capital stock of London-based Inflight Interactive Limited.

The acquisition will result in increased product offerings and greater market access to the world’s leading air carriers. Inflight Interactive Limited is a joint venture of JPM International, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sega Enterprises of Japan and which develops and markets games of chance, skill and amusement around the world, and Inflight Productions, a provider of audio and video programming to the airline industry.

As a result of the acquisition, IEL will manage the future application of JPM’s international games design and gaming expertise in the inflight entertainment (IFE) environment.

Inflight Interactive’s current managing director, Ian Walberg, will assume the position of managing director – Europe for IEL and will be based in London, at 15 Stukeley Street, WC2B 5LT.

“As we gear-up to launch on Singapore Airlines, the timing could not be better to form a solid strategic alliance with such partners as JPM and Inflight Productions,” said Gordon Stevenson, president and CEO of IEL. “The acquisition of Inflight Interactive provides our company with a competitive edge which is sure to enhance our cadre of games and our ability to attract more airlines. With the added expertise of Ian Walberg, IEL has further strengthened its position as a leader in providing and marketing inflight gaming software. Once the acquisition is closed, we will be able to provide PC games developed with JPM’s expertise.”

“We are extremely pleased to join the IEL family,” said Ian Walberg, managing director of Inflight Interactive. “JPM has 25 years of experience in designing and developing games of chance, amusement and skill which it has marketed in over 31 countries around the world. Inflight Productions has been providing a complete range of in-flight entertainment to over 50 airlines during the past 17 years. When you combine these solid track records with IEL’s strength in inflight gaming software design and back-office support, you have a winning combination that can’t be beaten.”

IEL has partnered with Singapore Airlines as the first mega carrier for the purpose of offering inflight gaming entertainment to passengers on international, long-haul flights equipped with a sophisticated in-seat system. Passengers will be able to engage in a variety of traditional and innovative wagering games by using their credit card for a maximum betting limit of US$350 and winnings capped at US$3,500. The system will allow airlines to recoup a significant profit margin while compiling vital passenger data and marketing statistics.

Inflight Interactive currently has PC games onboard Cathay Pacific Airways, Egyptair, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Malaysia Airlines; and JPM has marketed games to pubs, clubs, cafes and casinos from London to Las Vegas to Tokyo.

As consideration for the acquisition of the outstanding stock of Inflight Interactive Limited, IEL will issue 500,000 shares of the common stock, par value $.01 per share, of IEL to the shareholders of Inflight Interactive. Additionally, IEL would allocate a maximum of 250,000 shares of common stock as a bonus award to be awarded based upon the achievement of certain milestones. All such stock issued in the transaction would be restricted stock and would be subject to agreed resale volume limitations.

The license from JPM would last for an initial period of two years and thereafter from year to year subject, after the first two years, to one year’s notice of termination. Termination of the license would not terminate IEL’s rights to continue using games that it had adopted prior to the termination.

Consummation of the transaction is subject to IEL’s completion of its financial and legal due diligence of Inflight Interactive and the parties entering into a binding definitive agreement with respect to the transaction. The parties currently anticipate consummating the transaction by the end of September 1997.

IEL, based in Memphis, Tenn., was founded to introduce onboard gaming entertainment through an airline’s multi-channel, interactive in-seat system. In addition to partnering with Singapore Airlines, IEL is currently in negotiation with a number of international airlines that are also interested in introducing inflight gaming.


Fiserv Buys FIS

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV) announced today that it has agreed to acquire FIS, Inc. (FIS), a national provider of financial information software and processing services with operations in Orlando, Fla., and Baton Rouge, La. The FIS organization currently serves commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions, mortgage companies, finance companies and other financial services providers in more than 40 states.

“The FIS organization has a reputation for long-term commitment and dedication to client service, qualities that blend well with the Fiserv focus on the financial industry,” said George D. Dalton, Fiserv Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to innovative products, FIS brings to the Fiserv organization a loyal client base, an experienced technical and banking services staff, and a proven management team.

“We have known the people at FIS for many, many years, and they represent an extremely good management team,” added Dalton. “Les Muma, our Vice Chairman and President, is a Florida native who has known Harry Shuman for over 25 years. This relationship between Les and Harry was key in bringing the transaction together successfully. Harry’s addition in the Southeast adds significant management strength to Fiserv, and we look forward to working together toward furthering our common goal of making our clients successful.”

Formed in 1968, FIS is a broadly diversified organization serving more than 250 clients nationwide. The company provides complete core-bank data processing services, loan origination and loan servicing software, loan servicing data processing, revolving credit information processing, ATM processing services, electronic report archival and document imaging products, information security software, Internet access services and much more. FIS has more than 190 professionals specializing in serving the financial industry.

“This is a positive step for both our clients and our employees,” said W. Harry Shuman, FIS Chief Executive Officer and President. “Through this relationship we will utilize the extensive resources of Fiserv to complement and enhance our technology, client service and product offerings.” Shuman, who has been with the company since its inception, will continue to serve in his capacity as President of Fiserv Orlando (previously FIS) and also will be responsible for the Fiserv Tampa business unit.

With this agreement, the Fiserv presence in Florida will include more than 540 professionals in Orlando and approximately 435 more through its other Florida-based operations in Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa and Titusville. Worldwide, Fiserv employs more than 9,000 financial services professionals skilled in information management and financial services.

Fiserv, Inc. is an independent provider of financial data processing systems and related information management services and products worldwide. With operations in over 75 cities including London and Singapore, Fiserv serves more than 5,000 banks, credit unions, mortgage firms and savings institutions. A publicly held company headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., Fiserv is traded on the NASDAQ over-the-counter market under the symbol FISV.


Rockwell’s Electronic Commerce Division

Rockwell announced that its Switching Systems Division will be renamed Rockwell Electronic Commerce Division (ECD), and said the unit would restructure internally to apply expanded resources to the emerging global markets for forms of “personalized electronic commerce.”

ECD Vice President and General Manager Michael Caglarcan made the announcement at a news conference held during the Incoming Call Center Management Conference in Denver.

The name change, new vision, and restructuring signify the commitment of Rockwell to ECD’s growth as a major part of the global corporation’s predominant focus on commercial electronics markets, according to Caglarcan.

“We are very excited about the long term growth prospects for ECD,” said Dwight Decker, president of Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, which includes the Electronic Commerce Division. “Virtually all industries are attempting to get closer to their customers and are increasingly targeting electronic marketing systems as a key tool in the attraction and retention of these customers. This is the business of the new Electronic Commerce Division, helping our customers make their customers more successful.”

“The call center industry is growing steadily, and our business in call centers has been growing at 40 percent a year,” said Caglarcan. “We will expand our capabilities and product portfolios to accommodate the changing needs of consumers and global businesses in a networked economy, while providing the same high quality products, service and support for the broader field of personal electronics commerce that our automatic call distributor (ACD) and call center customers have relied on for the past 20 years.

“Call centers, along with Web-based commerce and video kiosk-based transactions, are becoming popular business-consumer electronic commerce applications. We intend to play a leading role in the transformation of an existing industry and the creation of a new industry,” added Caglarcan.

As the developer of the first ACD and the producer of some of the earliest forms of computer-telephone integration, ECD played a leading role in the creation of the call center industry, which has grown rapidly over the past three decades and now employs millions of people. “Our new name reflects the transformation happening in the industry and our broader focus,” said Caglarcan.

The evolving commercial environment extends past today’s call centers to business-consumer transactions on the Internet and video kiosks in supermarkets and on campuses that expand the reach of personalized customer relationship management. Though the telephone will remain the primary device to access call centers for voice-based transactions, future multimedia electronic commerce is likely to emanate from devices such as personal computers on data networks and wireless personal digital assistants.

“Our core business has been ‘mission critical’ call center systems. Our number one priority is to grow that business globally. However, even as our core business grows, we will also develop focus areas in systems integration and consulting services as well as introduce new personalized electronic commerce applications and products through an expanded set of distribution channels,” said Caglarcan.

To that end, Caglarcan announced that ECD is organizing into three business units to exploit the potential in personalized electronic commerce. The Call Center Systems business unit, headed by Roger Sumner, business director, will deliver the core mission critical call center products. The systems integration and consulting activities associated with computer telephone integration engagements have been consolidated into a second business unit under the leadership of an executive to be named later. A newly formed business unit on alternative and emerging personalized electronic commerce products if headed up by business director Larry Henson.

ECD’s repositioning coincides with the completion of Rockwell’s transformation from a diversified technology enterprise to a company sharply focused on its leadership positions in selected segments of the electronics market (industrial automation, avionics & communications and semiconductor systems.)

Rockwell Electronic Commerce Division is a leading supplier of mission critical call center systems and personalized electronic commerce applications. Rockwell designs, manufactures and services a suite of integrated call processing and workflow management technologies, including automatic call distributors, computer telephony integration software, Internet commerce applications, information collection, reporting and management systems, and call center systems integration and consulting services. For additional information contact Rockwell Electronic Commerce Division, 300 Bauman Court, Wood Dale, IL 60191. Or call 800-416-8199. ECD’s website is [http://www.ecd.rockwell.com.][1]

Rockwell (NYSE:ROK) is a global electronics company with leadership market positions in industrial automation, semiconductor systems, and avionics and communications, with projected 1997 sales of approximately $8 billion and 44,000 employees. In March, Rockwell announced that it would spin-off its automotive components business. That transaction is expected to close September 30.

[1]: http://www.ecd.rockwell.com


NBS Gets Mondex Blessing

NBS Technologies announced Wednesday, ImageMaster and the Advantage 2000 have received Mondex Type Approval certification for both pilot and roll-out phases of the Mondex smart card electronic cash program. The Image Master allows smart card issuers to personalize, activate and customize Mondex cards at high speed. In addition to Mondex, the Advantage 2000 is capable of personalizing up to 390 debit, credit or ATM cards per hour. NBS is currently involved in the Guelph, Ontario Mondex pilot..


Card Hacker Pleads Guilty

The San Francisco man who attempted to sell more than 100,000 credit card numbers for $260,000 at San Francisco International Airport’s smoking room in May, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court. The 37 year old man will be sentenced Nov. 25 and faces 30 years and a $1 million fine.. According to the FBI the man hacked his way into a San Diego ISP’s server using an access account for the University of California and then employed a packet sniffer to steal the card numbers. The FBI uncovered the security breach, made two small buys from the hacker with the final sting coming May 21.


Visa Check Card Energized

With a 78% market share in off-line debit cards, VISA is continuing its high-profile strategy of using celebrities to promote its ‘VISA Check Card’ on national television. VISA announced yesterday that Shirley MacLaine will be featured in new BBDO-created 30-second spots, showing the star on humorous journeys through Medieval France, Ancient Egypt and 19th Century England. The campaign will break next week. VISA says total awareness of its check card product has grown from 54% to 80% since it kicked off its national advertising campaign last year. VISA also confirmed that 4,500 institutions now issue VISA Check Card with 50 million cardholders generating 1.8 million transactions this year.