EZ Pay

IGT capped a year of demand for its EZ Pay Ticket System-equipped gaming machines with the first installations at casinos in Atlantic City, Colorado and Indiana. Additional installations of EZ Pay machines at casinos in Southern Nevada and Manitoba, Canada, brought the total installed base of the ticket-in ticket-out machines to more than 34,000 units in 58 locations worldwide.

Bally’s in Atlantic City became the first casino there to offer EZ Pay technology. Bally’s offers 54 of the machines, all video nickel games, and said it intends to convert up to 4,200 slots to the EZ Pay system, after the machines pass a 60- to 270-day test period by the Casino Control Commission. Park Place Entertainment, which owns Bally’s, plans to expand EZ Pay installations to its other Atlantic City casinos — Caesars, Claridge and Hilton — by the end of March.

“We’re very pleased with the progress EZ Pay technology is making in every gaming venue where it’s been introduced,” said Rich Pennington, IGT’s Senior Vice President of Product Management. “The response to ticket-in ticket-out technology has been positive from customers and casino operators, which include Park Place Entertainment properties and a host of others.”

Other December EZ Pay installations included:

— The new Green Valley Ranch casino in Henderson, Nev. — 2,000 machines connected to the EZ Pay System; — Forty machines at the Avi Casino in Laughlin, Nev., and 43 machines at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm, south of Las Vegas; — Sunset Station in Las Vegas — 361 machines; — Blue Chip casino in Indiana — 127 machines; — Isle of Capri in Colorado — 38 machines; — Two casino properties in Manitoba, each with 140 machines.

EZ Pay technology combines ticket printers with traditional machine hopper pays to improve the cashout function on a gaming machine. Casino operators can program a machine to pay a portion of its payout in coins and the rest as a ticket. That ticket can be redeemed or played in a variety of ways. It can be reinserted in other EZ Play machines, exchanged for cash at a casino cashier, cashed by casino floor attendants with wireless validation units, or even held by the player for use at a later time. The system can also be programmed to pay out tickets only, with the hopper as a backup.

IGT is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of microprocessor-based gaming products and software systems in all jurisdictions where gaming is legal. For more information on International Game Technology, visit the company web site at [http://www.igt.com[.][1]][2]

[2]: http://www.igt.com/


Card Chart

The California Department of Financial Institutions announced this week it is offering a informational chart about minimum payments on credit cards on its Web Site. The ‘AB 865’ (Chapter 711, Statutes of 2001) requires a credit card issuer to provide cardholders information regarding the length of time it will take to pay off the balance due on an open-end credit card account. As part of ‘AB 865’, DFI was required to establish a detailed chart illustrating the approximate number of months, in addition to the approximate total cost, to repay an outstanding balance if the cardholder pays only the required minimum monthly payments.


Portfolio Sales Dip

Less than 20 million bank credit card accounts changed ownership last year as the result of portfolio sales, compared to about 25 million accounts that changed hands in 2000. The average premiums paid for the portfolios sold during 2001 averaged 18.1%, down slightly from 18.5% for 2000, but still significantly higher than the 13.1% average premium paid in 1998. According to data complied by Thousand Oaks, CA-based R.K. Hammer, at least six proposed credit card deals were pulled from the market last year mostly for low-ball bids averaging about 10%. Hammer notes that regulators have declined to approve sales of sub-prime or secured portfolios, even those between well capitalized, willing buyers and sellers with signed definitive agreements. Portfolio credit quality will continue to impede portfolio sales during 2002. Hammer specializes in card portfolio valuations, fairness opinions and buy/sell/hold decisions.

1986 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Avg Weighted Premium: 20.4% 18.7% 20.7% 17.7% 13.2% 13.1% 16.4% 18.5% 18.1%
Minimum Premium Paid: 14.3% 7.0% 5.0% 0.0% N/A (30.0%) 3.0% 2.0% 3.0%
Maximum Premium Paid: 29.6% 27.0% 27.5% 23.0% 24.5% 25.2% 23.9% 27.8% 29.8%
Source: RK Hammer Investment Bankers (Thousand Oaks, CA)


Oberthur smart VISA Application

Bankcard issuers will be able to use a new smart card application for the convenient storage of data on the smart Visa cards. The “Convenience Storage” application was developed by Oberthur Card Systems and is based on the smart Visa Framework, which Oberthur developed with Visa U.S.A. earlier this year. The smart Visa Framework is a comprehensive set of commands, data structures, security protocols, and access methods that help to generically manage personal data. Also, pending Visa certification, Oberthur plans to introduce its new CosmopolIC Lite low-cost Open Platform card featuring the smart Visa Framework in ROM in early 2002.

“The key advantage we provide is that the card gives cardholders total control of any data they might want to store on the card, from payment products to drivers’ license information, through a global PIN management system,” noted Oberthur executive vice-president of sales and field marketing Thierry Burgess. “Personal data is securely stored directly on the smart card.”

Cardholders will be able to use Oberthur’s PC-based Convenience Storage application to store and retrieve any type of data from their card. Typical uses include the storage of personal information such as birthdays, Social Security numbers or frequent flyer account numbers.

The smart Visa Framework applet suite was designed by Visa U.S.A. and developed by Oberthur. It integrates standard functions, commands and data structures for personal data applications, whether for authentication or convenience purpose. The smart Visa Framework also offers a standard security framework for the management of credentials — such as pass codes and digital certificates, and standardized functions such as common PIN management. The Convenience Storage application utilizes the smart Visa Framework to introduce a tag-based data structure allowing for the storage of a wide range of personal information on a smart card.

“We are very pleased with the result of our collaboration with Oberthur,” said Patrick Gauthier, senior vice president of smart card applications for e-Visa, a division of Visa U.S.A. “With these new products, Oberthur demonstrates their broad understanding and ability to deliver on the value proposition for smart cards.”

About Oberthur Card Systems

Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange – Code EUROCLEAR 12413), a global leader and the innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the future by offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, 3G (IMT-2000/UMTS), e-wallet technologies & Internet-based card management services coupled with a firm commitment to open standards.

Championing EMV migration, Oberthur is the world’s number one supplier of MasterCard and Visa cards, a leader in the banking, e-commerce, m-commerce and pay-TV sectors, and in Java(TM) and GSM technologies.

Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach with an industrial and commercial presence in 21 countries across the five continents. Oberthur Card Systems had sales of 451.1 million Euros in 2000.


HH Brand

Dogged by charges of predatory lending practices, Household International announced it will launch a $12 million national advertising campaign next week. Aimed at business and opinion leaders, the campaign will emphasize Household’s nearly 125-year record of helping customers get the credit they need to get a new start on life, make a major purchase, send a child to college or meet unexpected expenses. Developed by Gotham Inc., the campaign breaks on network and cable television programs, as well as in leading business publications. The campaign is an extension of a corporate branding program that Household initiated in 1999, which included the launch of a new corporate identity and brand in early 2001.


Conseco Finance CEO

Conseco, Inc. announced that it has named Charles H. (Chuck) Cremens as President and CEO of its subsidiary, Conseco Finance. Cremens succeeds Bruce Crittenden who resigned to pursue other interests.

Commenting on the management change, Conseco Chairman and CEO Gary Wendt expressed appreciation for Crittenden’s leadership at Conseco Finance. “Bruce built a great team at Conseco Finance,” said Wendt. “And in the early stages of our turnaround he did the difficult things that needed to be done. All of us at Conseco wish him well.

“We are pleased, however, to announce the appointment of Chuck Cremens as the new President of Conseco Finance. He brings a wealth of experience and new perspective to an important part of the Conseco family.” Cremens (47) brings to the position 20 years of diverse experience in various financial services companies. From June 1999 to July 2001, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of WMF Group, Ltd, the largest originator of Fannie Mae and FHA multi-family loans, with a $15 billion mortgage-servicing portfolio. WMF merged with Prudential in June 2000.

Prior to WMF, Cremens was Chief Investment Officer for Beacon Properties Corp., where he spearheaded the growth of the office REIT from $500 million to $4 billion in under two years. Beacon merged with Equity Office Properties in December 1997.

A graduate of Williams College, Cremens spent the first 16 years (1978 to 1993) of his business career at Bank of Boston where he served as Managing Director of the Corporate Finance Department and, later, as Managing Director of the Restructured Real Estate Department. As a senior officer of the corporation, he served on the $85 billion bank’s National Credit Committee and Credit Accounting Committee.

>From 1993 to 1995, Cremens was President of the Real Estate Investment Division of Aetna where he was responsible for managing a $15 billion portfolio of mortgage loans and a $1.5 billion real estate portfolio.

Headquartered in suburban Indianapolis, Conseco is one of middle America’s leading sources for insurance, investment and lending products. Its subsidiary, Conseco Finance Corp., is headquartered in St. Paul, MN.


Hot Cards

Retail coffee specialist Starbucks reported Thursday it has issued more than 2.3 million gift card cards within the first six weeks of launch. Target’s Retailers National Bank continues to plow along with its new ‘smart VISA’ card, topping 2.0 million cards at year-end, following the issuance of 1.4 million smart credit cards within its first six weeks. The ‘Starbucks Card’ was launched the week after Thanksgiving and is available in any monetary denomination from $5 to $500. The cards are available for purchase and can be reloaded via Starbuck’s physical locations, toll-free phone call or online at the Starbucks Web site. Starbucks also reported Thursday that its holiday sales were up 22% over the previous year. Meanwhile, Target reported it signed up 1.4 million VISA cardholders as of November 3rd with credit limits ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Target projected 2.0 million active VISA accounts on-file and more than $1 billion in VISA receivables by December 31st. Target has been soliciting the upper tier of its ‘Guest Card’ private label program for the new ‘smart VISA’ card since September. (CF Library 6/20/01; 10/05/01; 11/21/01; 11/28/01)


Conferences Return

After attendance at industry conferences fell to its lowest level in history following the 9/11 attacks, there is a consensus that travel is off to a strong start in 2002. The collapse in business travel was so significant during the fourth quarter it forced the International Card Manufacturers Association to pull the plug on the ’11th Annual Card Manufacturing EXPO 2001′ scheduled for November in Athens, Greece. However the January calendar of events is full with most events reporting last-minute registrations, according to CardConferences ([www.cardconferences.com][1]). Among the events for this month is the ‘2nd Annual CyberSABOTAGE!’ conference in late January in Miami which will feature speakers from VISA and the U.S. Secret Service. World Research Group is also running its ‘Third Annual One Card Solution Summit’ on January 30 to 31 in Phoenix, AZ. The WRG event will offer case studies involving the assessment of internal processes and the benefits of one card programs, as well as steps required by card managers to effectively assess process costs.

Smart Card Tech India New Delhi Jan7-9
CRM Summit Scottsdale Jan13-17
Identity Fraud Amsterdam Jan24-25
Financial Network Security New York Jan 28-30
One Card Solution Summit Phoenix Jan 30-31
CyberSABOTAGE! Miami Jan30-Feb1
Source: CardConferences (www.cardconferences.com)

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


TSAI Lowers Forecast

Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. a leading global provider of enterprise e-payments and e-commerce software, announced that it expects revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2002 to be $65 to $66 million and pro forma diluted earnings per share of $.02 to $.03. Original guidance was revenue of $70 to $75 million and pro forma diluted earnings per share of $.06 to $.12.

“Clearly, technology companies are facing a difficult spending environment,” said Larry G. Fendley, interim COO. “Despite our market leadership position, we are not immune to this worldwide economic slowdown. While we continue to have visibility to good opportunities in the coming quarters, contract closing timeframes are being extended. In this climate, our customers are extremely cautious about their spending.

“We expect our expenses to be below our previously indicated range of $67 to $68 million per quarter,” added Fendley. “In addition, we expect to have excellent operating cashflow for the quarter.”

The company will provide further details regarding its financial performance for the first quarter of fiscal 2002 in its regularly scheduled earnings call, to be held Tuesday, January 29, 2002 at 4:00 pm CST.

About TSA

Transaction Systems Architects’ software facilitates electronic payments by providing consumers and companies access to their money. Its products are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, secure electronic commerce, mobile commerce, smart cards, secure electronic document delivery and payment, checks, high-value money transfers, bulk payment clearing and settlement, and enterprise e-infrastructure. Transaction Systems Architects’ solutions are used on more than 3,600 product systems in 81 countries on six continents.


Chang and Silverado

Cyberfast Systems Inc. announced the appointment of a new Chief Technical Officer, Jack C. Chang, to the Board of Directors and the acquisition of the dynamic new “Silverado” technology, which will be proprietary to the company. Today, Cyberfast Systems’ Board of Directors released the resume and appointment of Jack C. Chang as chief technical officer. The company further announced the acquisition of the new dynamic “Silverado” technology developed by Chang. The appointment and acquisition are effective Jan. 2, 2002.

Resume of Jack C. Chang

Chang is an entrepreneur, inventor and businessman with over 25 years of business and technology experience across multiple industries. He has the proven track record of conceptualizing how technologies can benefit the well being of consumers and businesses and transforming his visions into realities. Many of his past endeavors, including the Automated Teller Machine (Chang is the developer and patent holder of the ATM, US Patent No. 3,833,885), still have profound impacts on consumers, businesses and the society. As a multi-disciplined individual, he has held CEO and other corporate-level positions in sales, corporate development and technology in both large and small corporations. His past customers were consumers and businesses at some of the largest Global 500 companies; including Citibank, Coca-Cola Enterprises, American Express, Sears, Visa and Nations Bank/Bank of America, etc. For many of these customers, he had also provided strategic planning advisory support.

Some of Chang’s past achievements include the following:

— Pioneer user and developer on the use of magnetic strip-based data on plastic cards.

— Implemented the first high speed, high volume magnetic strip-based data card-encoding machine.

— Developer and patent holder of the ATM (Automated Teller Machine).

— First person to put ATM’s online to financial institutions’ authorization databases.

— First person to develop an ATM and POS (Point of Sale) network system that can interface to more than one financial institution for financial transaction authorizations.

— Pioneer developer of modern day electronic banking, interchange and settlement systems.

— Early provider of bank wire, Interactive Voice Response and credit card authorization systems.

— Pioneer in putting gasoline dispensers online to authorization networks.

— First person to develop and deploy encryption devices for bank transaction data.

— Developed a GUI based application generator and database system in 1987 and marketed one of the first PC-based bank teller systems and platform systems created by the generator.

— Developed one of the earliest LAN gateway systems interfacing IBM, Unisys and NCR hosts.

— Developed and marketed a business process redesign tool that can analyze business processes and make redesign recommendations.

— Developed a statement management system that combined the need for paper printing, Electronic Bill Presentment, information archiving and viewing.

— Developed and integrated automated customers care management systems that deploy CTI (Computer Telephony Integration), IVR (Interactive Voice Response), Unified Messaging (integrating FAX, voice mail with email) and the Web-based paradigm of doing business.

— Developed a powerful software tool (code named “Silverado”) that can automate, reduce the complexity and rapidly create, change or “re-engineer” intelligent, database-driven Web sites and Internet-based business processes.

— Currently working with multinational Japanese and European industrial giants in developing technologies and applications that synergistically combine the technologies of wireless, Internet, cryptography, smart card and payment systems.

Professional Employment Highlights

Docutel Corp. (1970 – 1977)

In the early 1970s, Chang worked for Docutel Corp. as an electronic engineer, project manager, director of development and in major account sales. He was in charge of and responsible for the development of most of Docutel’s products and, at the same time, was heavily involved in sales. He sold hundreds of ATM’s, including over 100 traveler’s check dispensers, to American Express and was instrumental in the sale of over 1,000 ATM’s in Europe.

Quadstar Corp. (1977 – 1984); Founder and President

Jack Chang founded Quadstar Corp., a builder of EFT transaction switching and processing systems, and sold 110 systems worldwide. In 1984, his successful business had grown to 150 employees when he sold Quadstar to Citicorp, then Quadstar’s largest customer.

Citicorp (1984 – 1987); President of an Operating Corporation within the Headquarters

>From 1984 to 1987, Chang was the head of a Citicorp company with global marketing and sales responsibilities. The revenue generation plans include design and or implementing innovative service delivery infrastructures, such as, encryption, satellite and wireless networks. His marketing and sales endeavors required him to organize and manage a team of U.S. based marketing managers and sales representative, as well as, to coordinate sales activities with regional Citicorp representatives in five continents. During this period, he traveled extensively to close major sales and interacted with high-placed prospective executives of Global 1000 companies.

Itac Corp. (1987 – 1990); Founder and President

In 1987, Chang foresaw the use of PC’s as the platform for bank teller and platform systems and formed Itac Corp. Itac developed an easy to use Windows application generator and, for connectivity, developed and marketed one of the earliest LAN-gateway systems. In 1989, using these tools, Itac created and marketed one of the earliest PC-based bank teller and platform systems and sold the systems to several financial institutions. In 1990, ISC/Bunker Ramo, then the second largest teller/platform system provider, acquired the product line from Itac.

ISS (International Shared Solutions) Inc. 1991 -1998; Founder and President

ISS was a technology and business consulting company. In 1991, to enhance its consulting activities, ISS developed a BPR (Business Process Re-design) tool that can analyze business processes and make redesign recommendations. Chang and his team of technical and business professionals performed business process re-design, management and technology consulting services to Fortune 500 companies.

Global-Vision Inc. (1999 -2001); Founder and President

In 1999, Chang decided to be involved heavily with the Internet and wireless technologies and re-incorporated his operation as Global-Vision. The software products developed under the Global-Vision banner include:

— High volume Laser printer control systems.

— Developed an overall print management system that combined the need for paper printing, Electronic Bill Presentment, information archiving and viewing.

— An advanced Internet/intranet authoring tool (the “Silverado”) that can be used to create not only sophisticated Web sites but also intelligent business process workflow systems.

— Collaborating in the development of wireless technologies and applications with global partners.

Silverado Technology

Cyberfast Systems further announced the acquisition of the “Silverado” technology, developed by Chang. The company has already implemented the process to patent the proprietary “Silverado” technology.

“Silverado” is a user friendly and powerful software tool that can be used by business and technical people alike to rapidly create intelligent, multiple-level business orientated Web pages. Because “Silverado” can help business users to easily create and connect databases to their Web sites, businesses of all vertical industries can rapidly participate in the Internet-based global economy, including e-commerce.

Using a series of proprietary wizards, “Silverado” can prompt the users through the placement of information on the Web pages, the addition of graphics and video clips the overall look and feel of the pages and the inclusion of business rules and logics. At the end of the users specifications, “Silverado” can generate the accurate pre-tested _eb codes without programming from the users in seconds.

“Silverado” can help businesses to achieve cost savings by reducing the need and dependency on programming support, speeding up the time-to-market and enhancing the productivity of business personnel. Because “Silverado” can help create many Intelligent Web applications expediently without needing expensive and extensive technical resources, it can substantially reduce the personnel required within corporate “IT” departments for creation and maintenance of complex Web sites and database applications. “Silverado” can be successfully implemented by either a single proprietor or the largest enterprises desiring the opportunities and vast reach of the Internet. Cyberfast Systems will be publishing more information and Silverado applications on the companies Web site at: [http://www.cyberfastsystems.com][1]

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



Welcome Real-time announced
that Axiomatique International, its Asia/Pacific subsidiary, is providing the
loyalty application for ANZ (Australia and New Zealand) Banking Group
multi-application chip credit card system launched last month in Australia.
The total system, which includes cards, terminals and the loyalty transaction
processing system, delivers instant rewards to consumers when using the ANZ
branded cards at selected merchants.

“Starting with instant rewards makes a lot of sense. Consumers will
see the benefits right at the point-of-payment, giving ANZ the kind of
boost it
wants for its credit card products,” said Tai Toon Lim, CEO of Axiomatique.
“Chip cards are a great credit card marketing tool, because the technology
enables us to continually enhance our card products,” said Brian Hartzer,
Managing Director, Cards and ePayments. “We decided to start with instant
rewards, and Axiomatique International’s loyalty application and technical
support helped us get to market within our planned timeframes.”
Axiomatique specified the loyalty system architecture, worked with ANZ on the
chip card and terminal applications, and is assisting with integration
developments of the host system with ANZ’s existing credit card systems.
Melbourne-based ANZ is the first major credit card issuing bank in
Australia to
begin converting to chip cards. They announced last November they would
one million Visa-branded credit cards and convert 80,000 point-of-sale
terminals to accept chip cards.

About Welcome Real-time

Welcome Real-time’s smart transaction platform enhances payment transactions
with revenue boosting services such as instantly awarded loyalty points,
coupons, punch cards, vouchers, tickets, and cash back — all in a single
convenient payment process.
The company’s patents provide broad protection in Europe, North America and
Asia. More than 17 patent applications cover the ability to dynamically manage
services relating to entries, visits or cumulative spending at designated
merchants, the ability to add and redeem e-coupons from a smart card, or the
use of mobile phones and hand-held devices to perform smart transactions.
Welcome Real-time is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France, with offices in
Philadelphia and Singapore.


Fote at FDC Helm

First Data Corp. announced that Charlie Fote has officially assumed the role of president and chief executive officer of the world’s leading electronic commerce and payment services company. Former chief executive officer, Ric Duques, remains chairman through 2002.

“Everything has fallen into place for this transition to be completed smoothly. My vision for the future builds upon the solid foundation we’ve established under Ric’s leadership,” Fote said. “Continued growth in our core businesses remains our goal as we continue to look for ways to provide efficient and effective payment systems throughout the world.”

Duques served as chairman and chief executive officer from the company’s initial public offering in 1992. Duques joined American Express in 1987, heading the business that would eventually become First Data in the 1992 IPO.

“We’ve built a strong global payments company with consistent, strong operating and financial performance — especially over the last three years under Charlie’s leadership as president and chief operating officer,” Duques said. “I’m proud to have played a role in the development and growth of First Data since its inception. I now look forward to seeing the company achieve even greater success as First Data continues to provide safe and convenient ways for both businesses and consumers to pay for goods and services around the globe.”

“First Data has the most exceptional people you will ever meet,” Fote said. “Our employees know the payments business and have tremendous dedication to ensuring payments happen seamlessly, efficiently and reliably. It’s those values that will take us to new heights.”

“Even though we’re processing billions of transactions today, that’s still only a small portion of the payment transactions taking place around the world today,” Fote added. “We plan to gain a much larger share of the rest of those transactions through international expansion, innovation, strategic partnerships and peerless delivery of our services.”

Fote, who joined the company in 1975, managed many parts of the business, and was named president and chief operating officer in 1998.

About First Data Corp.

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves approximately 2.6 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. With 28,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit, smart card and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; Western Union(R) money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verifications services through the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Spain, The Netherlands, the Middle East and Germany. Its money transfer agent network includes approximately 117,000 locations in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com][1].

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