Fargo Apple Printers

Fargo Electronics, Inc. has released a new Apple Macintosh Driver Kit for the Fargo DTC500 Series, making these popular card printer/encoders available to the education, graphic arts, and other market segments which utilize Macintosh computers. Fargo is the world’s leader in innovative technologies for desktop card printer/encoders which create personalized plastic identification cards complete with digital images and text, lamination, and electronically encoded information.

The new drivers will allow either the Fargo DTC510/515 (single-sided) or the DTC520/525 (dual-sided) Card Printer/Encoders to work on any Macintosh running Mac OS 8.6 or higher. Mac OS X is not currently supported. The new driver also offers USB connectivity, using a USB-to-parallel cable, as well as supporting older systems with Nubus or PCI Parallel cards. The new drivers – offered free of charge – can be downloaded directly at [http://www.fargo.com][1] tech_support/drivers_firmware_results.asp, obtained on CDs as a kit (P/N 085641) from a local Fargo Solution Provider, or ordered directly from Fargo. “By making the Macintosh Driver Kit available, Fargo meets the needs of a wide customer segment which depends on the Mac platform,” said Kathleen Phillips, Vice President of Marketing for Fargo. “The DTC500 Series, introduced 15 months ago, is the most popular card printer/encoder in Fargo’s Professional Series. “The DTC500 Series features a 4-line LCD panel, removable card cleaning cartridge, dual locking 200-card capacity input hoppers, and Fargo’s exclusive RibbonTraq(TM) technology,” said Phillips. “It represents an excellent value, and was designed to meet the needs of end users such as schools, where security, reliability, and ease-of-use are important purchasing factors.”

About Fargo

Fargo Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRGO) is the world’s leader in innovative technologies for desktop plastic card personalization systems. Based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Fargo card personalization systems create individualized plastic identification cards complete with digital images and text, lamination, and electronically encoded information. Personalized identification cards provide physical, information and transaction security for a wide variety of applications including retail stores, e-commerce, government installations, schools, sports and recreation facilities, clubs and associations, and correctional facilities. More than 60,000 Fargo systems are currently installed throughout the U.S. and in over 100 other countries. For more information, visit Fargo’s Web site at [http://www.fargo.com][2].

[1]: http://www.fargo.com/
[2]: http://www.fargo.com/



Chohung Bank confirmed that Citibank has expressed an interest in acquiring
49% of the South Korean bank’s credit card portfolio. Citibank had previously
been involved in negotiations with Korea Exchange Bank to acquire its credit
card unit
but those talks ended in October. Chohung says it is looking for a company
can offer advanced management techniques for its credit card division.



Wincor Nixdorf announced this morning that Books-A-Million has selected its ‘BEETLE/S’ POS systems for its stores nationwide. The installation will involve approximately 1,000 ‘BEETLE/S’ systems at 204 stores. Books-A-Million says the new POS system, which includes JDA’s ‘Win/DSS’ software and electronic payment systems from AJB Software, offers faster credit card authorization, the ability to handle debit cards, automatic check handling, and enhanced capabilities to handle gift cards at the POS. Books-A-Million operates four store brands: Books-A-Million, Books & Co., Bookland, and Joe Muggs Newsstands.



Trintech Group Plc, a global provider of secure payment infrastructure
solutions, announced that Unibanco, one of
Brazil’s largest banks, has selected PayWare eIssuer to power its recently
launched “NumClique” online payment service.

As part of the agreement, Unibanco has deployed Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer
solution to provide Brazilian cardholders and Unibanco’s 10.9 million retail
banking customers and 5.8 million cardholders with a virtual payment tool that
enables secure Internet purchases on thousands of websites worldwide. PayWare
eIssuer’s technology guides the user through the online shopping experience
with intuitive “drag and drop” technology that can reduce the purchasing time
by over 60 percent. With consumers citing convenience and security as their
two priorities for Internet shopping, PayWare eIssuer protects the user’s
identity with password protection, encryption and compliance with card
organizations’ standards.

“We are delighted with the roll-out of our NumClique service as it adds
convenience and security for our customers that want to shop on the Internet,”
said Geraldo Travaglia, executive director of Unibanco’s Internet Department.
“With PayWare eIssuer from Trintech we are able to provide our customers with
the types of services they expect from a world-class bank.”

Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer integrates with Unibanco’s Card Management
System to improve efficiencies as well as providing a host of new services to
cardholders. The NumClique wallet provides robust logic for blocking and
unblocking credit cards, debit cards and virtual credit cards, while providing
access to on-line services such as bank statements, credit limits and payment
of bills. Additionally, Unibanco cardholders can update information once
through the NumClique wallet and that information is passed to other Unibanco
systems. Unibanco’s NumClique stores and maintains all of the eCard data, such
as the user’s name and card number, expiration date, name of the service
provider and security code (CVV) and personal details about the customer. It
also allows the cardholder to maintain their favorite links and provides
additional promotional offers for eCard holders.

“Unibanco has been a leading bank in Brazil for many years and the
roll-out of its NumClique service will ensure it stays ahead of the technology
curve and maintain its market leadership,” says Trevor Healy, EVP of
Trintech’s ePayments Division. “The endorsement of one of Latin America’s
leading banks, coupled with the encouraging data from online purchases during
the holiday period, prove that PayWare eIssuer is a technology which meets the
requirements of the ever changing payment landscape.”

About Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer Solution

PayWare eIssuer is a complete consumer payment solution. This convenient
and secure payment tool can reside on a desktop PC, PDA or any other mobile
device and can support any payment card type.

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic
payment infrastructure solutions for card-based transactions for physical
world commerce, eCommerce and mobile commerce. The company offers a complete
range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and
procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the
deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and
SET(TM) compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture
solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant
and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging
world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be reached on the Web at


NCR Windows XP

NCR Corporation announced it will support Windows XP Professional, the premier operating system from Microsoft Corp., on select point-of-sale workstations by mid-2002. Developer-to-developer software will be available early in the second quarter.

Built on an enhanced Windows 2000 engine, Windows XP provides improved security, reliability and usability — increasingly critical requirements for the retail industry. NCR’s support for Windows XP will include open point of sale retail and application program interface support for NCR’s extensive portfolio of retail peripherals. Tools related to operating system recovery and systems management will also be provided.

NCR also plans to support Microsoft Windows XP Embedded and is currently collaborating on installation with key retail customers. Microsoft’s newest entry in the embedded space, Windows XP Embedded architecture utilizes key components of Windows XP and offers its advantages in conjunction with the ability to boot a system using CompactFlash or other media. Customized solutions made possible by a tailored operating platform can potentially lower the total cost of ownership and provide a smaller footprint. NCR also plans to provide OPOS support in the Windows XP Embedded environment.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the greatest choice and flexibility at the point of sale,” said Bruce Donis, NCR general manager, POS systems. “Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded will join a family of operating systems offered by NCR, providing retailers the flexibility to choose the platform that best meets their business and application needs.”

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include the Teradata(R) database and analytical applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) and demand chain management, store automation systems and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long- established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 32,900 in more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at [http://www.ncr.com][1].

NCR and Teradata are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.

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


Wireless Retailing

As the National Retail Federation Convention and Expo gets underway this week in New York, the hottest exhibits will be around handheld wireless POS solutions. NCR will demonstrate its ‘Advanced Store@General Merchandise’ software platform which can be integrated with Web-enabled PDAs, Fujitsu Transaction Solutions will unveil its ‘iPAD’ handheld computer which runs on the Microsoft ‘Windows CE .NET’ operating system, and @pos will introduce the mobile ‘MX1000’. NCR will demonstrate its open solution with a ‘Symbol PPT 2800’ portable pen terminal, running ‘Microsoft Windows CE’. NCR says its system enables store associates to tally customers’ purchases while they are standing in line, greatly reducing the time needed to complete the transaction at the POS terminal. The featherweight Fujitsu ‘iPAD’ combines scanner, magnetic-card and smart-card reader, and keypad with encryption and wireless capabilities. The ‘@pos MX1000’ device fully integrates credit card payment processing, signature capture, and inventory data collection. The terminal is a wireless solution for inventory management, instant data retrieval, restaurants, route delivery or any environment where a mobile appliance is needed. The MX1000’s has a large backlit graphic LCD display, pressure sensitive touch pad, and integrated key pad which can be soft programmed to meet the retailer’s needs. With the built-in laser scanner, the MX1000 can read barcodes for merchandise data collection. (CF Library 1/9/02)


Lodging 2002

While the U.S. card networks indicate flat payment card charge volume for the hotel/lodging sector during the fourth quarter, a new study found the fourth quarter’s occupancy to be 54.8%, the lowest since 1971. The PricewaterhouseCoopers’ analysis forecasts the full-year lodging industry occupancy will continue to decline in 2002 to 59.6%, compared to 60.3% in 2001, and 63.7% in 2000. PricewaterhouseCoopers also forecasts that no chain scale segment will enjoy occupancy gains until 2003. The PricewaterhouseCoopers research indicates that factors affecting occupancy, in ranked order, were concerns about: the economy; air travel inconvenience; possible air travel delays from perceived threats; and safety. (CF Library 1/9/02)


Fleet 4Q/01

Fleet posted a 6% annual gain in receivables during 2001 while the issuer’s charge volume soared by 28%. Fleet reported 5,508,000 active accounts for the fourth quarter compared to 5,240,000 for 3Q/01 and 5,300,000 one year ago. For latest 4Q/01 portfolio stats for the nation’s top 350 issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

4Q/01 3Q/01 2Q/01 1Q/01 4Q/00 Y/Y CHG
RECV $15.6b $14.6b $14.5b $14.1b $14.7b +6.1%
VOL $ 6.8b $ 5.8b $ 5.5b $ 4.3b $ 5.3b +28.3%
ACCTS 7.0m 7.2m 6.6m 6.5m 6.8m +2.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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


plaNet & FOO

First of Omaha Merchant Processing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and one of the nation’s leading credit card acquirers, and plaNet Consulting Inc., a software solutions business unit of CSG Systems International, have entered into an alliance, whereby plaNet will provide software architecture, development, and maintenance services for two critical First of Omaha platforms. These development projects will provide First of Omaha with robust credit card authorization and billing platforms to be offered to their existing and prospective clients and will build upon the already solid relationship between the two firms.

“First of Omaha is excited to launch these two new project initiatives with plaNet. These projects, when completed, will allow us to provide considerably improved credit card authorization and related billing functionality to our existing clients,” said Nick Baxter, president of First of Omaha Merchant Processing.

“We, of course, are quite pleased to strengthen our existing relationship with First of Omaha. We have deployed an excellent team of resources to meet the demands of these assignments”, said Mike Wofford, president of plaNet Consulting. “plaNet specializes in providing payments-related solutions and we believe this engagement will play well to our strengths in this industry” Wofford said.

plaNet Consulting and First National of Nebraska have joined forces on a number of other fronts in recent years. plaNet is a leading customer of First of Omaha’s data center services offered through its First Technology Solutions business unit. plaNet provides application hosting services for several clients via its arrangement with First Technology Solutions. First of Omaha has previously licensed software from plaNet for the deployment of Web reporting and statement services for its merchant client base. The two firms continue to define areas in which they may leverage their strengths in the payments and technology sectors.

About First of Omaha Merchant Processing

First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a premier payment processor specializing in providing services to both the traditional and Internet direct marketing industry, as well as the traditional face-to-face card acceptance market. First of Omaha provides financial management and payment processing solutions for independent sales organizations, large and small retailers, restaurants, lodging merchants, petroleum marketers, associations/franchise groups and banks in both the business to consumer and business to business marketplaces. Known for their superior customer service, First of Omaha specializes in providing clients the latest in card processing technologies. Through development of a diversified product line, First of Omaha has become a leader in the merchant processing industry, assisting clients in the reduction of chargebacks and fraud. First of Omaha is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and is one of the few remaining in-house bank processors. First National Bank of Omaha, founded in 1863, is the 32nd oldest nationally chartered bank in existence. First of Omaha’s Internet address is [www.foomp.com][1].

About plaNet Consulting, Inc.

plaNet Consulting, a division of CSG Systems International, is a leading e-business solutions company providing products, services, consulting, and outsourcing to help customers facilitate electronic commerce via the Internet and other delivery channels. plaNet Consulting offers cost-effective, ready-to-deploy business solutions for e-commerce and knowledge portals. plaNet Consulting solutions are deployed using a customizable object framework enabling their clients a very short term ROI. icFoundation(TM), part of the Intelligent Commerce(TM) Product Suite, provides an application development platform for delivering highly scalable, mission critical solutions for companies conducting business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce. plaNet Consulting has provided Internet, electronic data interchange (EDI), and consulting solutions to more than 150 customers in the United States and internationally. plaNet Consulting is a Microsoft(R) Certified Solution Provider, a Microsoft(R) Independent Software Vendor, and a Lotus Notes Business Partner. More information about plaNet Consulting can be found at [www.planetci.com][2].

[1]: http://www.foomp.com/
[2]: http://www.planetci.com/


Top Ten Analysis

The average balance per active account among the nation’s top ten issuers was $2,368 at the end of November compared to $2,774 at the end of December 2000. According to Bankcard Barometer, the year-to-date charge volume posted an average of $3,765 as of Nov 30th.

1. Citibank $2316 $4295
2. MBNA $2388 $4197
3. First USA $3112 $5780
4. Discover $2054 $3563
5. Chase $2716 $4376
6. Capital One $1474 $1939
7. Providian $2639 $2294
8. BofA $2629 $4485
9. Household $1613 $3247
10. Fleet $2736 $3472
AAB – average balance per active account; AAV – average year-to-date
volume per active account;
Source: RAM Research’s Bankcard Barometer


Check Volume

Despite shrinking share, the overall volume of checks written by consumers to pay bills continues to rise, according to the study released this morning. Checks account for 75% of total annual household bill payment volume, down from 79% in 1998, and a decline in share of 6%. According to the study by ESP Consulting, over that same period, the volume of checks written for bill payments rose by 25%. ESP found that cash is used to pay 6% of household bills, while credit cards and money orders each account for another 2% of payment volume. Credit card bills are most likely to be paid by check (88%), followed by utility bills (80%), communications bills (77%) and contributions (76%). Insurance bill payments (50%) are least likely to be paid by check. Just over one-half (52%) of households use some type of electronic bill payment method to pay at least one of their monthly bills. Of the 52% of households that use some type of electronic bill payment, 81% use ACH payments.


Heartland Signs HSS Deal

Recently, Hotel Software Systems, LTD and Heartland Payment Systems Inc. completed an exclusive agreement to offer HPS credit card processing services to HSS customers through expanded interface technology.

Currently, HPS’ newly developed credit card processing interface, which resides on a VisaNet platform, is being used by a select group of HSS merchants. Additionally, the HPS interface allows HSS to offer its customers a choice of credit card processing interfaces in addition to their existing card processing modules operating on the Paymentech and First Data platforms. An acknowledged leader in the transaction processing industry, Heartland has extensive experience with clients specializing in the lodging, restaurant and food service industries, and is an endorsed provider of services to numerous state hospitality associations.

“Our heritage is in the hospitality industry, and our commitment is to develop innovative products and services to meet the needs of our hotel and restaurant partners,” said Sanford Brown, senior vice president Hospitality Market, HPS. “The relationship between HSS and HPS will help us both better service our customers by offering HSS merchants more choices in a card processing service provider.

“This strategic partnership allows both companies to better serve the needs of our existing hotel customers and provides us with additional opportunities to expand our product offerings to each other’s merchant base.” Heartland is committed to the success of the lodging industry and partnering in their success. The HPS and HSS partnership offers customers of both organizations a product offering that has not been previously available, which includes expanded customer service with local, statewide representation from an established company that focuses on credit card and payroll processing. HSS customers benefit by gaining more personalized service, competitive pricing, and additional options when selecting a credit card processor. Ken Fuller, SVP, HSS, stated, “HPS has demonstrated that it is a leading, established player in the hospitality industry. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to the increased choices it will provide to all of our hotel customers. Our customers have been requesting this new credit card interface for some time, and this is an answer to that request. “We have every confidence that Heartland is the right company to provide these services to our customers. Heartland’s innovative technology, national distribution channel, and commitment to customer service are appealing to us as we seek new ways to introduce additional products to our customers and expand our position in the marketplace.”

About HSS

Hotel Software Systems, LTD was acquired by a group of investors including the current chief executive officer and partners of AdVantage Management Fund in November 1997. HSS main corporate offices are in Portland, Ore. Sales offices are located in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Baltimore. HSS sells, installs, and services property management software systems (PMS) used by hotels with less than 300 rooms for functions such as check-in, check-out, reservations, and related functions. HSS’ leading PMS product, Front Clerk, also provides interfaces to third-party systems such as central reservation systems, voice mail, phone call accounting, in-room movies, electronic key cards, and credit card transactions. Currently, HSS serves more than 5,000 hotel properties nationally. For more information about HSS, please visit them online at [www.hssltd.com][1] or contact Ken Fuller at 800/634-9248

About Heartland

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. (HPS) is a full-service payment systems solutions provider, handling merchant card and payroll processing services for over 50,000 merchants of all types and sizes. Using a strategically located national sales force, HPS builds long-term business relationships in local sales territories providing merchants with enhanced technology tools that assist them in more effectively operating their businesses. For more information about HPS, please visit them online at [http://www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com][2] or [http://www.e-hps.com][3] or contact Sanford C. Brown at 888/472-0065.

[1]: http://www.hssltd.com/
[2]: http://www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com/
[3]: http://www.e-hps.com/