IBAA Nov Agenda

Thomas Layman of Visa U.S.A. and Durant Abernethy of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit will speak tot he nation’s community bankers at IBAA Bancard’s Ann ual Card Conference for Community Banks to be held Nov. 9-11, 1997, in Newport Beach, CA. Community bankers will hear various industry experts discuss topics ranging from how to comply with new federal regulatory requirements, activation and retention strategies for credit and debit card programs, how to target specific customer groups with effective segment marketing strategies and the latest news on secured Internet transactions.

Layman, Visa’s chief economist, will discuss economic and business issues affecting the future of the credit and debit card industry. Abernethy, president and CEO for the NFCC, will examine bankruptcy trends that are affecting the entire banking industry and will offer community bankers ways they can reduce their losses. IBAA Executive Visa President Ken Guenther will present the Washington Report and update the bankers on the latest legislative news.

The conference also features workshops by key industry speakers and senior representatives from MasterCard International, Visa U.S.A. and several community banks, as well as IBAA Bancard’s two partners, Equifax Card Services and Fiserv EFT. Other topics to be covered include credit and debit card and electronic banking issues, as well as peer round table discussions.

“Community banks are one of the pillars of our nation’s economy, and are the means by which many consumers depend for everyday banking products,” says David Ballweg, chairman of IBAA Bancard and president of Community State Bank, Union Grove, Wis. “Today’s rapidly changing banking environment demands that bankers stay on the top of emerging issues to remain profitable and competitive. This conference will meet all those needs.”

IBAA Bancard was launched in 1985 by the Independent Banks Association of America and provides community banks with the opportunity to become independent issuers of Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, as well as ATM services. IBAA Bancard is the only national card program dedicated exclusively to the payment system needs of the nation’s community banks.


NDC Exec Joins LHS

David N. Scott, has been appointed vice president of corporate communications for LHS Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHSG) it was announced today. He had been vice president of corporate communications for National Data Corporation (NYSE: NDC). Both firms are based in Atlanta.

In his new position at LHS, Scott will be responsible for public and media relations, investor relations, community relations, internal communications, advertising and marketing communications worldwide. He will report to LHS Chief Financial Officer Jerry Braxton, who joined LHS from National Data last year.

Prior to joining National Data in 1993, Scott was vice president of corporate communications for The Coastal Corporation, a Houston-based diversified energy company. Prior to that he was president of Scott Communications International Corp., an Atlanta-based international public relations agency.

Scott also served as director of public affairs for ITT Corporation’s European operations in Brussels. Before that he worked in a variety of public relations management positions with IBM in the U.S. and Europe. He also worked as a reporter for “The Tampa Tribune” and “The Binghamton (NY) Evening & Sunday Press.”

LHS is a leading worldwide provider of modular billing software products and related services for cellular, personal communications systems (PCS) and land line telecommunications firms and associated companies around the world. Its systems are installed in 40 countries in Europe, North America and Asia. In addition to its Atlanta headquarters, it has major offices in Frankfurt, Germany and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. LHS, which was founded in 1990 and went public May 16, has been ranked the second best performing new offering of 1997 by “Bloomberg News Service.” It opened at $16 in its initial offering May 16 and closed at $46-1/2 August 18 on Nasdaq. It also is traded on the Frankfurt, Germany Neuer Markt Exchange.


New Harley Visa Card

Harley-Davidson announced Monday it will offer the ‘Harley-Davidson Chrome Visa Card’ through its subsidiary Eaglemark Financial Services.. Beginning this fall, the Harley Dream Sweepstakes will give away 52 Harley-Davidson bikes in 52 weeks. Cardholders are automatically entered earning one entry for each dollar charged. When the card is used at participating Harley-Davidson retail locations, cardholders receive two entries per purchase dollar with the Chrome Visa.


Equifax Ranked High

Equifax Inc., the premier financial information and processing solutions company based in Atlanta that’s on the fast track in growth and revenue, just keeps on racking up the high rankings in the world of technology and economic value.

— The Atlanta Business Chronicle named Equifax #1 in its listing of the Fast Tech 50 in Atlanta — for the second year in a row. The list is based on revenue generation and other factors, determined by an annual study conducted by Arthur Andersen LLP. Equifax revenue for 1996 was $1.8 billion.

In addition to producing record revenue, Equifax has also been recognized as a top place to work in the world of technology.

— COMPUTERWORLD Magazine in its June, 1997, issue, listed Equifax #28 out of their 100 Best Places to Work in the information systems field, nationwide. The magazine surveyed the l996 Fortune 1000 and the 40 leading consulting firms to find the best. They based their results on analysis of the organization’s benefits, staff changes and salary increases in 1996 and 1997, female and minority IS staff participation, family care and training.

— Information Week Magazine will name Equifax to the “Information Week 500” as one of the top five financial services companies in the U.S. in a September 1997 issue — for the second year in a row. The magazine commissions a research firm to get on the phone and talk to several information technology people in candidate companies to get information on which to base the rankings. Once the rankings are determined, writers for the magazine talk to the chief technology officers of the top companies. For the past two years, Information Week has interviewed Equifax president and CEO, Dan McGlaughlin, who has a vast background in information technology with IBM, GE and Equifax.

Equifax is also nationally ranked by the major business and financial journals:

— Business Week Global 1000 listings are just out and Equifax ranks #785 globally and #351 in the U.S., based on market value.

— FORBES Magazine picks only 500 U.S. companies each year for the Forbes Market Value 500. For 1996, Equifax ranks #336 (up from #411 in 1995).

— FORTUNE 1000 rankings by revenue include Equifax at #654 overall and #7 in the Computer Data and Services industry listings.

— The Stern Stewart Performance 1000 ranks Equifax #183 by economic market value added, as reported in the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance.

— Better Investing Magazine ranks Equifax in its Top 100 most popular and widely held stocks among investment clubs and their members nationwide.

— And in recognition of its value, Equifax was recently named to the S&P 500 Index of Companies by Standard and Poor’s Financial Information Services group.

Rankings within one’s home state are also important.

— Atlanta Journal/Constitution found that Equifax ranked #6 in the Top 100 Businesses in Georgia for 1996.

— Georgia Trend Magazine ranks Equifax in the “Top 50” Georgia public companies in assets (#18), net income (#9) and revenue (#14).

Equifax is a world leader in providing financial information and processing solutions, with global operations in consumer and commercial credit information services, payment services, software, modeling, analytics and consulting and direct-to-consumer services. The company serves many industries including banking, finance, retail, telecommunications, utilities and health care. Equifax was founded in 1899 in Atlanta and today has 10,000 employees around the world. It operates globally in 17 countries, with sales in 40 countries. After spinning off its Insurance Services Group, which became ChoicePoint Inc. on August 7, Equifax revenues for the 12 months ended June 30, 1997, were just under $1.3 billion.


Curtis Mathes SFNB HomeBanking

Curtis Mathes and Security First Network Bank signed an agreement Monday to provide fully secured Internet banking services through ‘uniView’, Curtis Mathes’ set-top box. UniView’s Internet channel guide will feature a link, through the Curtis Mathes Xpressway to SFNB’s lineup of Internet banking options. With the Curtis Mathes uniView and a standard television, users can easily surf the net, talk on the phone, fax and e-mail, access TV listings and parental control features, and program VCRs.. A printer port allows for printing information from Internet searches, faxes and e-mails. And, a credit card reader can automatically send encrypted credit card information for purchases.


Hong Kong ’97 Phone Cards

People with a passion for collecting have access to a range of new phone cards with the launch of Technology Control Services’ (TCS UK) Telephone Card Collectors’ Club. TCS has produced four distinctive limited-edition phone card sets, including a unique collection commemorating the Hong Kong ’97 handover to celebrate the launch.

The Collectors’ Club, which is free to join, gives phone card enthusiasts access to first run cards produced by one of the world’s premier calling, card manufacturers.

As well as the Hong Kong ’97 suite, the first series produced exclusively for club members includes “Music Classics” focussing on the imagery of classical musical instruments, “Art Deco” depicting the drama and glamour of 1930’s American architecture and “Around the World” featuring a montage of internationally famous landmarks.

Beautifully presented in a colour-printed wallet, complete with a certificate of authentication detailing the batch number, only 500 editions of each set will ever be produced.

With face value totalling GBP 10, made up of one GBP 5.00, two GBP 2.00 and one GBP 1.00, these unique collectors’ sets can be purchased for just GBP 15.00 + GBP 2.50 postage.

TCS’s, Andy Hudson, said the club was founded to make it easier for serious collectors to include the wide variety of cards produced by TCS in their collections.

“We’re working with many leading organisations to develop calling cards for a range of applications from retail products, to sales promotion and corporate incentives. For example we recently produced a promotional set of four cards for Gillette, featuring action shots of the Benetton Formula 1 Racing Team.

“With each new phone card produced by TCS, 2000 will be set aside for club members to add to their collection. Club members will be able to obtain first issue cards produced for corporates and others, which they would otherwise find near impossible to lay their hands on,” he said.

TCS also plans to regularly produce themed limited edition sets like those developed for the club launch. Club members will be advised in a quarterly bulletin on the availability of new cards and special sets. There is no joining fee or ongoing charges – additionally members are under no obligation to buy.

“Calling card collection is an emerging hobby, which can net great rewards. Like stamps, many mint condition first issue calling cards will develop an intrinsic value, far greater than their face value. Cards can increase in value tremendously. Some cards with an original face value of GBP 10.00 have sold for hundreds of times that amount at auction,” Hudson said.


Year 2000 Compliance Status

In response to the news of the first lawsuit filed over processing problems with credit cards expiring after 1999, VISA and MasterCard reportedly indicated yesterday they will continue with plans to lift restrictions on issuing such cards, effective October 1. InformationWeek magazine says VISA will be 100% year 2000 compliant and MasterCard will be 99.9% compliant by year’s end. The magazine says American Express and Discover indicated they will not be compliant by October 1, but should be by the end of this year. InformationWeek quoted an official of the National Retail Federation who says retailers will take a big hit overhauling POS systems and small shops haven’t got a prayer to comply.


Popular AmEx Card

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and American Express announced Monday an agreement to launch the new ‘Banco Popular American Express Card’ in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and many other Caribbean islands. The card will be available in early 1998. This is American Express’s first network agreement in the Caribbean.


Boots Smart Card Advantage

Boots The Chemists has announced the nationwide roll-out of its Advantage Card smart card operated by technology partner AT&T. Eight million customers are expected to join in the first year, creating one of Europe’s largest loyalty programs. Each Advantage Card will have a micro chip, which will allow the holder to use the card instantly to collect and redeem points against purchases. AT&T says the system will have the capacity in the first 12 months for processing well up to 150,000 card applications in a single day and is likely to generate 0.7 terabyte of data. BTC has 1,268 stores in the UK and serves, 14.5 million customers, each week.