VISA U.S.A. and Lincoln Property Company this week announced an agreement to streamline rent payments for more than 10,000 residents of Lincoln’s premier development known as The Village in Dallas, TX. Beginning immediately, residents of The Village, which is comprised of 13 properties and 7,300 units, will have the option of paying their monthly rent automatically with their VISA card. In November 2000, VISA first launched a program to incent tenants to charge rent payments to their VISA cards. As a result, San Francisco-based RentPayment and VISA U.S.A. formed a partnership and launched a contest. RentPayment and VISA offered $500 in rent paid each month to several lucky subscribers within the RentPayment billing network. (CF Library 11/28/00)Details
TELUS Corporation and Fincentric Corporation
have partnered to provide systems consulting, integration, hosting and
software licensing and support in a seven-year agreement with Envision
Credit Union, Canada’s fourth largest credit union.
TELUS and Fincentric will provide a banking solution through a single
banking platform that integrates in-branch, ATM, telephone and Internet
systems for Envision’s 100,000 members. Value of the agreement is not being
“By combining the technology and application management expertise of TELUS
with world-class banking software from Fincentric, we are able to create a
first-class banking solution for our membership as a whole,” says Gord
Huston, Envision CEO. “Our partnership with TELUS and Fincentric has created
the optimal balance of banking system functionality, flexibility,
extensibility and reliable operation while at the same time managing the
cost of technology to Envision.”
TELUS will provide systems integration and consulting services to transition
Envision from multiple banking system providers to a state-of-the-art
technology solution, powered by Fincentric’s i-Wealthview Banking(tm)
platform. TELUS will also support Envision’s technology and information
systems team with a complete suite of banking system management services
ranging from ongoing systems integration and consulting services,
application management and enhancement services, systems operation and
technology management, telecommunication network provisioning and
“This agreement provides TELUS with an opportunity to demonstrate our
ability to deliver a truly integrated solution for Envision’s business
needs,” says Garry Rasmussen, president and CEO of TELUS Enterprise
Fincentric’s i-Wealthview Banking(tm), is a customer-centric front-to-back
office banking system for financial institutions. It offers comprehensive
applications for deposits, payments, and consumer lending with integration
across multiple delivery channels, including, branch, ATM, telephone and
Internet banking. i-Wealthview Banking(tm) features Customer Value
Management(tm) capabilities that enable the institution to analyze the value
of each member, formulate strategies to maximize their value, and improve
retention levels of their membership.
“Envision is a forward-thinking credit union that places the needs of its
membership first. i-Wealthview is a member-centric banking system that will
enable Envision to develop lifetime member relationships,” says Mike
Cardiff, president and CEO of Fincentric. “We are pleased to team with TELUS
to provide Envision with a solution that will enable the credit union to
match its products and services to its members’ needs.”
About Envision Credit Union
Envision Credit Union is a full-service credit union, created in 2001 from
the amalgamation of FIRST Heritage Savings Credit Union and Delta Credit
Union. Envision Credit Union, with over $2 billion in assets and 100,000
members, operates 18 credit union branches and 16 insurance offices
throughout British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, as well as
north in Kitimat. The credit union offers a full range of deposit, lending,
and insurance services to individuals and businesses. For more information,
TELUS Corporation (TSE: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is one of Canada’s leading
telecommunications companies, providing a full range of telecommunications
products and services that connect Canadians to the world. The company is
the leading service provider in Western Canada and provides data, Internet
Protocol, voice and wireless services to Central and Eastern Canada. For
more information about TELUS, visit www.telus.com.
TELUS Enterprise Solutions is the e.business division of TELUS and is a
leading and comprehensive e.business services and Information Technology
(IT) outsourcing services provider.
Fincentric Corporation is a leading global provider of enterprise wealth
management and core banking software. Fincentric’s i-Wealthview(tm) wealth
management software products include ‘next generation’ core banking,
Customer Value Management(tm), data aggregation, Internet and wireless
financial portals and full multi-channel support. Its revolutionary Customer
Value Management(tm) capabilities provide profitability and relationship
analysis that allow financial institutions to recognize the value of each
customer, and maximize their profitability. Fincentric products enable
financial institutions to quickly deploy solutions for their converging
financial service offerings, while also supporting capabilities for
increasing customer profitability, customer acquisition, and retention.
Fincentric has approximately 300 customers worldwide, and has strategic
relationships with Microsoft, Compaq, and other international partners. For
more information, visit Fincentric’s home page at www.fincentric.com, or
call (604) 278-6470.
Incurrent Solutions, Inc., the leading provider of Internet customer self-service solutions for the credit card industry, announced the successful launch of the MBNA, Metris, First USA, and Target cardmember self-service and billing web sites. All of the above sites have been brought operational over the last 180 days and are showing a consistent upward trend in user adoption. Incurrent now serves eight of the industry’s top twenty bankcard issuers, representing more than two million active cardholders enrolled in the CardSite service.
Incurrent’s impressive growth is directly attributable to its highly secure processing procedures, facilities, and highly specialized team of engineers who are experienced in meeting and exceeding the security, performance, and uptime requirements of the largest financial institutions in the world. Succeeding in this environment has required a significant ongoing investment by Incurrent in its hosting facilities.
Incurrent operates a secure state-of-the-art data center. Data Center Features include:
– 24-hour physical security
– Controlled access points throughout the facility utilizing biometric authentication measures
– CCTV digital surveillance with digital video archive
– Private steel cages with electronically monitored locking cabinets
– Enhanced environmental controls for fire detection
– Structural protection against fire, floods and earthquakes
– Enhanced power and HVAC services, with backup diesel gas generators capable of powering the entire facility at full capacity for 72 hours.
“Based on our rapid growth and the events of September 11th, we have proactively enhanced our ability to provide secure, uninterrupted service,” said Chairman and CEO Loren Hulber. “This investment in our IT infrastructure as well as strict adherence to operational and security best-practices has earned Incurrent Service Provider certification from TruSecure and the continuous audit approvals of the major banks we serve today. 99.6 percent up-time performance enables us to achieve an extremely high confidence level among our clients and is a large factor in our dramatic growth of late.”
“Online self-service and bill handling has become a mission critical service and strategic requirement for large issuers now that enrollment figures include millions of accounts” said Paul Jamieson, President and Senior Analyst of FiSite Research. “Two years ago banks had a much smaller percentage of their cardmembers utilizing their sites daily, so the performance need was not nearly as critical as they are today.”
About Incurrent Solutions
Founded in 1997, Incurrent Solutions (www.incurrent.com) provides advanced Internet and wireless services to card-issuing banks and transaction processors. Incurrent’s clients include Sears Roebuck, NextCard, Certegy (formerly Equifax Card Services), Bank One, Fleet Credit Card Services, Metris Companies, and other major card issuers. Incurrent has seen the volume of its clientele’s total card member base grow from 15 million to 100 million in two years, reflecting a rapidly growing industry need for its services.
CardSite, Incurrent’s cutting-edge, Internet-based CRM solution, enhances cardholder experience and cultivates account loyalty at a cost significantly lower than traditional customer interaction methods. Cardholders enjoy real-time access to account information, statements, bill payment, secure e-mail, reports, searches, interactive sessions, and other service-enhancing tools for web, wireless and voice channels.Details
U.S. Wireless Data announced it has signed an agreement with Cingular Wireless under which USWD will offer Cingular’s nationwide Mobitex wireless packet data network as part of its Synapse(SM) wireless service for credit, debit and EBT transactions, as well as ATM transactions and data telemetry applications.
“This agreement expands the choices available to our sales channels and their merchant customers who rely on Synapse to process a myriad of transactions without the need to be connected to a phone line,” said Dean M. Leavitt, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Wireless Data. “It also further strengthens our robust national coverage to serve vending machines, taxi cabs, ATMs, delivery services, and various other businesses that can benefit from wireless connectivity.”
Cingular Wireless’ nationwide Mobitex packet data network provides extensive and seamless coverage in 492 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and non-MSAs, high reliability, low latency and other key features. Smart Business Magazine selected Cingular’s Mobitex network as an MVP Award Winner as the “Best of the Best” wireless data network in 2001 and 1999, and Network Computing cited the Cingular network as a Finalist for its 2001 “Well Connected Award.”
Now, new U.S. Wireless Data customers using Cingular’s data network will have the optional advantage of U.S. Wireless Data’s online activation and management tools and reseller support call center.
This technology is opening many new opportunities for transaction-based applications, such as credit cards. Besides eliminating the wire, transactions are also faster because the service is “always on” – there is no dialing needed. Wireless connectivity can also be more cost-effective because the wireless data network allows small “packets” of information to be transmitted very efficiently. Synapse utilizes these advantages in delivering data transaction services to a growing variety of businesses.
About U.S. Wireless Data
U.S. Wireless Data makes credit card and ATM transactions faster and more cost effective. USWD connects credit card processing companies to their merchant clients. Using wireless and landline technology, USWD provides improved transport, data translation, and value-added processing. In addition, by enabling wireless point of sale terminals, USWD adds speed and mobility that has been unachievable in the past. USWD now handles more than 500 million transactions each year through its centralized computer center and nationwide network. Further information is available at [www.uswirelessdata.com].
NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association has selected Capital One Financial Corporation, Tower Federal Credit Union, and Wells Fargo & Company as winners of the 2002 ACH Quality Award in recognition of their successes in implementing quality Automated Clearing House processes.
“The ACH is a high-quality payments system, and the ACH Quality Award showcases best practices and forward-looking business practices among ACH participants,” said Mary Ann Francis, Chair of NACHA’s ACH Quality Task Force and a Senior Vice President at National City Corporation. “The 2002 ACH Quality Awards highlight both well established ACH products, such as Direct Deposit, and new ACH applications.”
Capital One Financial Corporation, of Falls Church, Virginia, is being recognized as a corporate originator of ACH payments. In 1999, Capital One offered customers the ability to view their statements and make payments over the Internet. With more than 5 million customers signed up, electronic payments have grown to 18 percent of all payments. Capital One also offers telephone payments and monthly automatic debits, and receives electronic payments from consumer bill payment and home banking services.
As a result of its use of electronic payments, Capital One’s ACH origination volume increased by 985 percent in 2001. To support over 2 million ACH payments monthly, Capital One implemented automated notification of change processes and routing number verification. These changes have resulted in substantial cost savings through reduced administrative returns and fewer customer payment inquiries.
Tower Federal Credit Union of Laurel, Maryland is being recognized as a receiving depository financial institution for improvements to its Direct Deposit services for its members. Tower developed an automated program to review the more than 5,000 ACH payments received each day for data mismatches. This allows Tower to address any deposit problem on the day the deposit is received, eliminating delay or financial impact to the member. During the first six months, Tower prevented the delay of deposits totaling more than $28,000.
Tower also implemented a Direct Deposit allocation program that automatically disburses funds received via the ACH network according to a member’s predetermined instructions. By automatically reviewing incoming Direct Deposits for changes to company information, Tower ensures that members’ allocations are processed accurately, rather than waiting for a member to notify Tower of changes or problems.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, with $308 billion in assets, is being recognized as an originating depository financial institution for its Check Truncation Decision Processing, which identifies checks that are ineligible for electronic conversion and ensures correct MICR line parsing. Solving these challenges greatly reduces exception items, improves collection rates, improves processing quality, and satisfies consumer expectations for problem- free service.
Wells Fargo’s Check Truncation Decision Processing was deployed during NACHA’s Accounts Receivable Truncation pilot on behalf of an e-check customer. Item return rates were reduced from 10 percent to 1.1 percent. Wells Fargo Treasury Management has shown that a 98.9 percent check conversion success rate is possible, and has its sights set on a 99 percent-plus success rate.
The ACH Quality Award winners will receive the award and present their winning entries at NACHA’s PAYMENTS 2002 conference in Dallas, Texas on Monday, April 15, 2002. Their case studies will also be published in NACHA’s 2002 Electronic Payments Review and Buyers’ Guide.
The ACH Network serves 20,000 financial institutions, 3.5 million businesses, and 100 million individuals. The ACH Network is commonly used for Direct Deposit of payroll and government benefits such as Social Security, Direct Payment of consumer bills, business-to-business payments, federal tax payments, and, increasingly, e-checks and e-commerce payments. In 2000 there were 6.9 billion ACH payments made worth more than $20 trillion.
About NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association
NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system. NACHA represents more than 12,000 financial institutions through direct memberships and a network of regional payments associations, and 650 organizations through its industry councils. NACHA develops operating rules and business practices for the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network and for electronic payments in the areas of Internet commerce, electronic bill and invoice presentment and payment (EBPP, EIPP), e- checks, financial electronic data interchange (EDI), international payments, and electronic benefits transfer (EBT). Visit NACHA on the Internet at .Details
SchlumbergerSema, a business unit of
Schlumberger Limited, announced its Codeshield applet verification
software. This is the first on-card code verifier optimized for use on
new-generation Java-powered smart cards to overcome traditional barriers of
program size and performance.
Co-developed with Trusted Logic, this advanced technology is expected to
become a key differentiator for banks and other organizations that require
high levels of trust for building customer loyalty. SchlumbergerSema will
also license the software to third parties, accelerating the adoption and
deployment of JavaCard technology.
The Codeshield technology is the first practical and effective means of
checking the “health” of Java applets downloaded to smart cards in the
field. It addresses the key security concern currently inhibiting many
organizations from taking full advantage of the benefits of Java-based smart
cards: the risk of their customers downloading an unsafe applet. Codeshield
software removes that risk through compulsory checks on the integrity of any
applet the cardholder tries to install. The software rejects any suspect
applet before it reaches the card.
“The combination of intrinsic smart card security and Java flexibility
offers enormous potential, but many organizations are holding back from
leveraging the benefits of post-issuance deployment because they are
concerned that their customers could unsuspectingly load faulty or malicious
applets onto their cards,” said Jorgen Rasmussen, president, Cards,
SchlumbergerSema. “Now that we have a practical solution, our goal is to
make Codeshield technology an industry standard which will benefit the
entire marketplace and accelerate the roll-out of Java-based smart
“The on-card Java bytecode verification technology was the first component
to be patented by Trusted Logic and licensed as a consistent product line
which also encompasses the terminal side,” stated Dominique Bolignano,
president and CEO of Trusted Logic. “Trusted Logic is an early-believer in
the Java application verification concept, and is proud to have
SchlumbergerSema deploy its state-of-the-art technology worldwide.”
The bytecode verifier lies at the foundation of the Java security
architecture. This important part of the Java virtual machine rejects
invalid programs before they are executed. Until now, the size and
complexity of the algorithms required to perform bytecode verification have
made it impractical for it to reside where it’s most needed: on the Java
smart card in the user’s wallet or mobile phone. Codeshield software
removes these constraints. Its small footprint and neutral impact on
execution performance make it an extremely practical and effective safeguard
against the threat of accidental or purposeful card contamination.
The addition of Codeshield technology to the SchlumbergerSema smart card
security portfolio is the latest breakthrough in the company’s Java-based
solutions. Since it developed the first Java-based smart card in 1996,
SchlumbergerSema has sold nearly 100 million of its Java-based smart cards.
The company’s ground-breaking Java-based smart card technology delivers
innovative, secure and user-friendly payment, security and information
services across the wired and wireless worlds.
The Codeshield software integrated into a SchlumbergerSema Java-based smart
card will be available later this year.
SchlumbergerSema is a leading information technology services company
providing consulting, systems integration, managed services and products to
the telecommunications, energy and utilities, finance, transport and public
sector markets. With more than 30,000 employees serving customers in 65
countries, SchlumbergerSema is one of two business segments of Schlumberger
Limited, a global technology services company. For more information about
SchlumbergerSema, visit http://www.slb.com.
About Trusted Logic
French start-up created in Versailles in January 1999, Trusted Logic has
specialized in the development of highly secure components for Java-based
embedded systems. Initially renowned for its embedded Java verifiers and
virtual machines, Trusted Logic now offers a wide range of innovative
products securing Java cards and Java terminals, as well as premier services
for conducting security evaluations and Common Criteria certifications. For
more information about Trusted Logic, go visit http://www.trusted-logic.com.
PayPal, Inc., a leading online payment service, announced the creation of a formal advisory board composed of leading sellers in the online auction community. The company intends to use the Auction Seller Advisory Board as a key source for gaining PayPal auction product and policy feedback, as well as for gathering ideas for future product development.
“Understanding what the auction seller community needs and delivering it quickly has been a key to PayPal’s success,” said JoAnne Rockower, PayPal Auctions Product Manager and a former auction seller. “This advisory board takes that commitment to a new level by providing some of the most successful auction sellers online with a direct communication channel to PayPal’s product development team. Formalizing this board is the best way for us to get solid feedback from sellers and to let them know that we’re listening.”
Though PayPal has worked informally with some online auction sellers for years, the company solicited additional members for the advisory board from throughout the United States based on criteria such as the individual’s length of time using the PayPal service and feedback rating on popular auction websites. All of the advisory board members are regular participants in online message boards, where online payment product ideas are frequently discussed among sellers.
“I am very happy to be part of this advisory board,” said Jay Senese, the number one seller by volume on the Internet’s most popular auction site. “I’ve been using PayPal to accept payments for more than two years, and I’ve found it to be fast, secure and reasonably priced. My buyers love it. Now 80% of my payments are paid through PayPal and for that I’m thankful — getting paid with PayPal is 10 times faster than processing checks or money orders.”
Creation of the advisory board stemmed from the work of a PayPal employee known on Internet message boards as “PayPal Damon,” who for two years has perused postings to gather product suggestions from users of the service. Some of the insight resulted in creation of the PayPal shopping cart, PayPal’s Seller Protection Policy, and the popular “refund” button.
“Because of the generosity of these PayPal community members with their time and ideas, we feel confident that PayPal will continue to lead the way in product innovation and customer satisfaction,” said Rockower.
PayPal enables any business or consumer with email to send and receive online payments securely, conveniently and cost-effectively. PayPal’s account-based network builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards to create a global payment system. PayPal has more than 15 million member accounts, including more than 3 million business accounts. In 2001, PayPal processed over $3.5 billion in payments.
Based in Palo Alto, California, PayPal is available to users in 39 countries including the United States. Further information about the company can be found at .Details
After dropping 23% on Monday, Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Bank posted a 5.9% recovery yesterday to close at $20.15 per share. On Monday, an analyst with Wachovia Securities cut 2002 earnings estimates after concerns over credit quality following Metris’ 10-K filing on Friday. Yesterday, an analyst with Ventana Capital rated Metris as a “sell.” However, there is disagreement among other analysts. Merrill Lynch says it is expecting a chargeoff peak in the next few months, and remains comfortable with its earnings estimates and maintains a “Strong Buy” rating. Bear, Stearns & Co. says they view Metris’ ability to comply with the new capital standards for subprime assets as a sign of the company’s flexibility and they do not believe there are any significant issues that cause a revision of their estimates or its view that Metris shares are undervalued. CS First Boston says the concerns raised about Metris’ 10-K are unfounded as its believes all issues have been dealt with by the company, and do not present incremental risk. CF First Boston also reiterated its “Strong Buy” rating. Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. also said the company’s 10-K-stock price weakness is unwarranted. FBR reiterated its “TOP PICK” rating and $63 price target. For current and historical performance on Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Bank visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]). (CF Library 1/16/02)
PayStar Corporation, the nation’s leader in providing content based Internet Kiosks, Cashless ATM devices, Prepaid Wireless Banking Services and Telecom Services today announced the forming of a strategic partnership with Instruments & Equipment Company of Sparta, NJ, to produce PayStar’s highly customized Public Internet Access Terminals via PayStar’s InfoStation Network located in select Choice Hotel brands nationwide.
“The kiosk team at I&E has gone to great lengths to produce a specialized series of Internet kiosks that will enhance PayStar’s product offerings,” commented Carla Buckner, Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing for PayStar. “The units are both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional.”
The NCR EasyPoint kiosks, with custom remote-administration software, are designed to offer interactive consumer service capabilities in an attractive terminal. Consumers will be able to enjoy the diverse functionality of the kiosks, which will feature both touch screen and keyboard options. The units will support Internet browsing, fully synchronized full-motion video and high-quality audio, wireless communications along with various peripherals, such as credit card readers, dollar bill acceptors and magnetic stripe readers.
“I&E is totally committed to becoming the industry’s premier source for kiosk systems and solutions,” stated Brian McGrady, General Manager of Instruments & Equipment Company. “Our goal is to produce a kiosk that represents the best in technology, quality, functionality, innovation and value. We are pleased that PayStar is committed to the same high level of quality assurance.”
About Instruments & Equipment
Instruments & Equipment Company is a supplier and full-service integrator for NCR Easy Point Web Kiosks, Public Internet Access Systems and Custom Kiosk solutions. Utilizing a core hardware competency and several key strategic partnerships, I&E has developed a “One-Stop-Shop” capability to provide kiosk hardware systems and solutions to end-users, VAR’s & integrators, and the O.E.M. By working closely with IT professionals and system integrators, I&E’s Engineers insure success and can take any kiosk project from the critical initial prototype stage to the roll-out, including nation-wide service and maintenance.
PayStar Corporation, a premier global distributor of telephony and financial services, provides its customers with an array of enabling devices. PayStar is comprised of three fully integrated divisions: Commercial Telephony Switch Services, Consumer Internet and Telephony Products including prepaid cards, and Consumer Services providing service and maintenance of Cashless Teller Machines (CTMs) and Internet enabled kiosks. PayStar is the location services provider (LSP) to retail merchants and is considered a “carriers carrier” for wholesale telecom services worldwide. Internal sales as well as mergers and acquisitions drive success. PayStar’s global strategy centers on expanding its network of thousands of locations that utilize state-of-the-art enabling devices.Details
Data collected by Moneris Solutions, Canada’s
largest processor of credit and debit card transactions, shows that overall
retail spending on debit and credit increased 4.46 per cent in the week of
March 11-17, compared to the two weeks immediately preceding.
The first week of March school vacations saw specific categories spike in
– Apparel up 11.3 per cent from the weeks prior. In particular, sports
apparel stores were up 23.6 per cent, family clothing stores up 17.6
per cent, and shoe stores up 18.3 per cent;
– Pampering also seems to be the order of the week as health and beauty
spa sales were up almost 87 per cent;
– Traditional holiday favourites like music stores experienced 8 per
cent increases; and
– Hobby, toy and game shops saw a 4 per cent increase.
At the same time, business-to-business credit and debit transactions
dropped off 14.9 per cent for the week, presumably reflecting the higher
number of people on vacation from work.
“Clearly March break holidays are a time for spending,” said Jim
Baumgartner, President, Moneris Solutions. “And we’ve only just begun the
cycle of March and Easter school holidays across Canada. Moneris’ daily data
combined with the official retail sales figures released last week both seem
to underscore that Canadians are in the mood to spend and certain retail
segments are benefiting.”
Moneris Solutions can track retail spending on debit and credit in real-time across Canada thanks to its advanced processing systems. Merchants,
suppliers, and marketers rely on regional sales data and trends to maximize
advertising and sales efforts and return on investment.
About Moneris Solutions Corp.:
Moneris Solutions is Canada’s leading technology merchant processing
company. Moneris provides businesses with technologically advanced, easy to
use, point-of-sale solutions designed to electronically process and authorize
credit and debit card transactions, including customized loyalty card
transactions. Moneris’ leading-edge technology allows merchants to streamline
payment processing and improve business efficiency.
Moneris is Canada’s largest and one of North America’s largest merchant
payment processing companies. Moneris serves more than 300,000 North American
customers and has a staff of over 900 employees. With its head office in
Toronto, Ontario, the company also has offices in Chicago, Illinois and
Montreal, Quebec. For more information, please visit www.moneris.com.
Drexler Technology Corporation, manufacturer of multi-biometric border security and immigrant resident ID cards, has received an order from a foreign government for 220 LaserCard read/write drives and associated software, as a follow-on to the 350,000 optical memory ID cards ordered last month by the same new government customer. The $600,000 order for drives and software, for a digital governance application, was placed through a value-added reseller, Information Spectrum, Inc. ([www.informationspectrum.com]), headquartered in Annandale, Virginia. Deliveries were completed the day after the order was received, using Drexler’s finished goods inventory of read/write drives. The foreign government will utilize the 220 LaserCard read/write drives in conjunction with the 350,000 LaserCard(R) optical memory cards that were ordered last month for deliveries during Drexler’s 2003 fiscal year, which begins April 2002. That initial card order, which was announced on February 7, 2002, requires manufacture of the cards by a batch process from lengths of multicolor offset-printed polycarbonate sheet stock provided to Drexler by the customer’s security printer.
This new batch-manufacturing technique was designed to permit governments to provide, under their tight security constraints, banknote-quality printing with secret security features on short lengths of polycarbonate sheet stock for lamination and conversion by Drexler into optical memory cards. The new batch-production technique was developed under Drexler’s research and engineering programs over the past two years and is being utilized commercially for the first time under this LaserCard program.
Normally, Drexler’s optical memory cards are produced completely in-house by a continuous process using silkscreen printing and laminating of 2000-foot lengths of polycarbonate roll stock. The cards manufactured by this new batch-manufacturing method are more costly than those made by Drexler’s normal continuous-roll process, but it provides governments with the benefit of retaining more security printing control for digital governance programs.
Headquartered in Mountain View, Drexler Technology Corporation ([www.lasercard.com]) develops and manufactures optical data storage products and systems, including LaserCard(R) optical memory cards and chip-ready Smart/Optical(TM) cards — a combination of optical memory card and smart card. Drexler’s wholly owned subsidiary, LaserCard Systems Corporation, makes optical card read/write drives, develops optical card system software, and markets card-related data systems and peripherals.
Zebra Technologies and Fargo Electronics this morning announced that they have mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement as it appears unlikely the Federal Trade Commission will clear the transaction as currently proposed. The acquisition was announced on July 31, 2001 and provided for Zebra to acquire all outstanding shares of Fargo common stock for $7.25 per share in cash. Fargo’s stock is currently trading around $6.50 per share. The transaction has been under Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review by the FTC. Fargo said this morning that since it had been in the midst of the transaction, its management had previously declined to offer guidance for 2002. Before any costs related to the acquisition, they currently estimate that Fargo will achieve earnings of 6 to 9 cents per common share in the first quarter of 2002. Fargo estimates are for earnings of 50 to 65 cents per common share for the year 2002, or an increase of 47% to 91% over the 34 cents per common share it achieved in 2001. Fargo Electronics produces desktop plastic card personalization systems. More than 50,000 Fargo systems are currently installed throughout the U.S. and in more than 100 other countries. Zebra Technologies provides on-demand printing solutions to businesses and governments in more than 90 countries around the world including the Eltron-brand plastic card printers.Details