ABNH Turnaround

After a tumultuous year, American Bank Note Holographics reported yesterday that operating income for 2000 was $500,000, compared with an operating loss of $600,000 for the previous year. The Company, which produces holograms for credit cards, now has no debt, and cash of $7.9 million. Working capital also increased by 400% from $2.1 million to $10.4 million. Total revenue for the year ended Dec 31, was $19.5 million, compared with $21.7 million for the same period in 1999. The decline in revenue reflects the effect of high inventory levels at credit card customers at the end of 1999 that reduced purchases in 2000 and the repositioning of the business to focus on strategic, higher margin growth markets. For more details visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


Sam’s ATMs

The nation’s top members-only warehouse club is now carrying ATMs in its vendor catalog. Wal-Mart- owned SAM’S CLUB has signed a deal to offer Triton ATMs, plus installation and service. The contract was won by MN-based, ATM distributor, Access Cash International. Featured in the SAM’S CLUB catalog will be Triton’s ‘Model 9600’, a popular off-premise ATM, and Triton’s new ‘Mako Low’, another popular model designed for low-traffic environments. The new catalog is scheduled for release this week. SAM’S CLUB has 150,000 business members. Access Cash has deployed 8,500 ATMs in North America. MS-based Triton is the second largest manufacturer of ATMs and ATM management software in the U.S. and has more than 50,000 installations in over 15 countries worldwide.


NPC 2000

National Processing Company released its 2000 Annual Report, which summarizes the Company’s record- breaking performance and features NPC President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas A. Wimsett’s letter to customers, shareholders and employees.

Wimsett’s letter describes the people, values and key objectives that are at the heart of NPC’s performance. It states: “2000 marked a year of outstanding accomplishment. Our relentless pursuit of performance and growth has allowed us to achieve exceptional financial results, build nationwide sales momentum and advance our vision to make NPC a great company and a great place to work.” The letter continues to reflect upon what NPC is today: why it works, its values and beliefs and how NPC intends to continue to grow and prosper.

The 2000 results described in the annual report include:

* A 20 percent increase in revenues for Merchant Services

* Net income up 39 percent to $49 million

* Earnings per share up 38 percent

About National Processing Company

NPC is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. NPC is 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ([http://www.national-city.com][1]), a Cleveland based $89 billion financial holding company, supporting over 500,000 merchant locations, representing one out of every six Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding NPC can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net][2].

[1]: http://www.national-city.com/
[2]: http://www.npc.net/



Gemplus, the leading smart card solutions provider, has announced – in concert with Nextel Communications, Inc.’s announcement of the i85 phone by Motorola – that it has been chosen by Nextel as the provider of SIM cards for the Motorola wireless phone. These SIM cards are the first in the world to be manufactured to a specification other than the Global System for Mobile Communications. That means North American users of non-GSM phones can enjoy the same advanced features and high security that wireless customers in Europe and Asia have come to expect.

Gemplus is manufacturing the SIM cards for Nextel to iDEN standard specifications. This Motorola technology supports voice, data, short messages and other features in one phone. It operates in the 800 MHz and 1.5 GHz bands and is based on TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access).

A key benefit of the Gemplus SIM card for Nextel and its customers is enhanced security, with a strongly encrypted “handshake” between the user and the network that provides a highly dependable means of user identification. SIM cards create the freedom for users to roam internationally without losing their personal set-ups and to change wireless terminals as they wish, without calling customer care. SIM cards also open the door to application security for mobile commerce and wireless Intranet.

The integration with Motorola was the first of its kind: successful integration of a SIM card in a mass-market non-GSM phone.

“This is a groundbreaking development for North American wireless networks,” said Jean-Louis Carrara, Director of Telecommunications for Gemplus in North America. “The use of SIM cards in the Nextel network is a tremendous endorsement of smart card technologies, demonstrating the intrinsic value of SIM cards in all networks, for all wireless technologies.” Gemplus has been manufacturing the cards for wireless phones since 1992 and has issued 41% of SIM Card units sold in 1999 (source Eurosmart/Gemplus 2000), the largest of any single manufacturer. Gemplus has been providing more than 250 wireless operators with SIM cards, software, and services since 1988. The company’s other innovations in the mobile phone market include products and technologies such as the development environment GemXplore(R) CASE, the remote SIM management platform GemXplore Suite, and Java Card(TM) SIMs. “As the world’s largest producer of SIM cards for cellular phones, Gemplus has both the technical and manufacturing expertise necessary to ensure that high quality SIMs will be readily available to meet the demand expected for the i85 phone,” said Greg Santoro, Vice President Internet and Wireless Services at Nextel. “The security and dependability their smart cards provide is unrivalled in the industry.”

About Gemplus

GEMPLUS: the world’s leading smart card solutions provider

Since its creation in 1988, Gemplus International S.A.(Euronext: Sicovam 5768 and NASDAQ:GEMP) has driven the global marketing and deployment of smart card-based applications for telecommunications, financial services and e-business security. Gemplus is instrumental throughout the value chain – chip design, card management systems, software development, and consulting – delivering integrated custom-made solutions for the security, personalization and privacy management needs of clients and partners worldwide. Gemplus technology has played a defining role in the development of wireless telephony since the introduction of SIM cards into the GSM standard in 1990. For more than a decade, Gemplus has pioneered applications that enable network operators around the world to answer the changing needs of their customers. Gemplus was first to market with a 3G card and supplies a product range compliant with new and emerging transmission standards – 2.5G, 3G. In 2000, revenue was 1.205 billion Euros, up 57% from the previous year’s 767 million Euros. Net income was 99 million Euros. Gemplus employs more than 7800 people in 37 countries worldwide. Since December 11, 2000, Gemplus shares have been trading on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on Nasdaq Stock Market(TM) at GEMP in the form of ADSs.


ATM Manager Pro

MA-based e-ClassicSystems announced this morning the addition of 6,600 ATMs in the first quarter for its ATM management software solution. The Company also announced the release of ‘ATM Manager Pro 3.3’ which provides a wizard to add new ATMs, and incorporates group-level terms. ‘ATM Manager Pro’ is a back-office solution which allows financial institutions and ISOs to catalog and warehouse all ATM information into its relational database through its patent-pending application programs. Upon capturing the data from any number of processors, customers can access and report on vital business information and trends, generate operating statements for each ATM or group of ATMs, generate accounting statements for vendors or merchants, improve cash management, and track ATM event information. The current number of ATMs managed by ‘ATM Manager Pro’ now exceeds 20,000.



A system to fight ‘Non Receipt Intercept’ credit card fraud losses has been extended to all issuers, regardless of the volume of the mailing, destination or special logistical needs. Until now, the ‘RACE’ program, developed by NY-based Pro Security Services and authorized by the U.S. Postal Service, has generally been limited to the top U.S. issuers. The ‘Risk Area Card / Check Expedite’ program was originally created to reduce the extensive handling associated with mass mailings of plastics into “Hot-ZIP”, or theft-prone areas, but has evolved into a variety of services that address NRI fraud losses. Some of the new ‘RACE’ services include reissue and special project mailings of plastics, convenience checks, debit cards, money orders, traveler^Os cheques, equity checks, stocks, bonds, bank notes, statements and other financial instruments. Pro Security has also expanded the ‘RACE’ program services to Canada, Mexico and other locations worldwide. Pro Security currently services more than 100 U.S. Postal Sectional Center Facilities in 33 states and has a network of more than 175 security agents.


GCA Enters NJ

The three gaming properties of Trump Taj Mahal Associates in New Jersey recently signed a three-year contract to utilize the technologically advanced products and services of Global Cash Access, a supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry.

GCA will install its award-winning Automated Cashier Machine and QuikCash Plus Web products at Trump Marina Hotel & Casino, Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. The properties are among the first casinos in Atlantic City to use the ground-breaking ACM, the first of its kind in the gaming industry.

Much more than just a conventional ATM, the ACM is a web-based “smart ATM” that functions like a “virtual cashier” by using facial biometrics recognition technology to offer patrons a quick way to meet cash access and other entertainment needs in a single stop – without relying on the availability of cage operators.

The ACM revolutionizes the ATM industry, both within and beyond the gaming realm, by offering a complete center with multiple transaction choices, including ATM, credit card cash advance and POS debit. Other transactions choices currently in development for the ACM are personal check cashing, casino credit, Western Union money transfer, cashless gaming and Entertainment Source, which provides show information and dispenses tickets.

“The ACM enhances the customer experience and adds significant value to a casino,” said Kirk Sanford, GCA chief executive officer. “We’ve had tremendous feedback from customers who have used the ACM – they’ve found that it’s fun to use, faster than going to the cage and extremely user friendly.” Through the ACM, which was recently recognized by Casino Journal as one of the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Products/Services of 2001, Global Cash Access is the first to bring facial biometrics recognition to the casino industry. This state-of-the-art technology ensures a secure, non-intrusive transaction with unparalleled efficiency. Digital images identify ACM users in less than one second with 99.9 percent accuracy. Patrons must enroll the first time they use the ACM, but the process is simple. After a patron’s identity is verified for the first time, subsequent transactions are instantly carried out at the ACM, without the need for cashier involvement.

QCP Web, a full service transaction processing system for cage operators, consolidates processing for all types of financial transactions – including credit and debit cash advance, TeleCheck guarantee, Western Union wire transfer and Central Credit – into a cutting edge, web-based environment. Cage operators use QCP Web to quickly and efficiently enroll patrons the first time they use the ACM.

Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 and is a joint venture of First Data Corp. and M&C International, Inc. Providing access to the gaming industry’s largest patron database, Global Cash Access uses Internet technologies to deliver funds transfer, financial management and customer relationship marketing services to more than 1,000 gaming properties nationwide. More information on the company is available at [www.globalcashaccess.com][1].

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


Morgan Stanley Logo

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter has a new look. As part of an ongoing global branding initiative, the company changed its brand name to Morgan Stanley and unveiled its new signature, a crisp, modern treatment of the venerable Wall Street name.

“Our logo is the visual anchor of a contemporary and dynamic identity,” said Phil Raskin, Chief Marketing Officer for Morgan Stanley. “The brand name Morgan Stanley is clear and memorable – as a global brand should be – and it brings the benefit of global recognition as a preeminent, trusted financial services firm.”

Last year, Morgan Stanley launched a global branding effort focused on its commitment to client-tailored excellence. The initiative included the new “Well Connected” ad campaign for the firm’s individual investor group and the “Network the World” campaign for its institutional securities business. The latest ” Well Connected” campaign featuring the new signature will begin tomorrow in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. The graphic element of the signature, appearing above the Morgan name, is a “directional triangle.” It points toward the northeast, the general direction of financial success. As a delta, the triangle symbolizes change and the inclination to innovate. The three points symbolize the three groups served by the firm: clients, shareholders and employees. The typeface is News Gothic. While the firm’s brand name is Morgan Stanley, the legal name remains Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.

Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm and a market leader in securities, asset management and credit services. With more than 600 offices in 28 countries, Morgan Stanley connects people, ideas and capital to help clients achieve their financial aspirations.


Bad Quarter

American Express said this morning that first quarter earnings for the TRS unit are expected to only increase by 13% to 15% over 1Q/00, reflecting a slowdown in worldwide billed business growth, particularly in the latter part of the quarter as the economy and spending by corporations weakened globally. The news sank AmEx stock this morning. AmEx says it expects worldwide volume to increase 8% to 10% from last year’s first quarter. Worldwide lending balances are expected to increase more than 20%, reflecting in part recent acquisitions. AmEx also provided guidance that it expects first quarter earnings per share to be approximately 18% below the $0.48 that it earned in the same period a year ago.  The decline is expected to reflect pre-tax losses of about $185 million from the write-down and sale of certain high-yield securities. In pre-market trading AmEx stock price slipped well below $38 per share, after closing Friday at $41.30. AmEx will release its 1Q/01 data on April 23.



Paytrust unveiled its new electronic bill aggregation technology this morning. ‘SmartBills’ automatically retrieves electronic bills directly from a biller’s web site, providing the biller with all of the benefits of electronic bill distribution without requiring any additional programming effort or expense. The Paytrust ‘SmartBill’ engine is in production today with more than 20 major billers, which together represent over 30% of total consumer bill volume. ‘SmartBills’ extend Paytrust’s universal bill delivery capability, enabling online delivery of bills from any format supported by the biller, including paper bills, biller-direct web sites or standards-based electronic bill formats such as OFX.


Online Stats

While instant, online credit card approvals have been limited to a few advanced Internet issuers such as NextCard and Providian, all top ten U.S. issuers now offer online applications and electronic notification of approval. According to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]), of the top 50 issuers, based on 4Q/00 outstandings, 45 offer online applications and 18 offer online approvals. Sub-prime issuer, Cross Country, requires applicants to download the application and then fax it. Secured card and sub-prime specialist, OR-based First Consumer’s National Bank, and AL-based Compass Bank, promote credit cards, but require applicants to call to apply. A recent consumer survey shows that Internet marketing of credit cards produced four million new accounts last year. Since 1996 more than 13 million new credit card accounts have been opened as a direct result of online marketing. (CF Library 3/13/01)

[1]: /cardwatch/main.html/


Omni 3300 Certified

VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, and worldwide leader in electronic payment solutions, announced that Vital Processing Services, a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, is the first U.S. merchant processor to Class A certify VeriFone’s Omni 3300 payment terminal running VeriFone’s advanced Verix operating environment and SoftPay e-payment application.

The compact, easy-to-use terminal takes full advantage of VeriFone’s global Verix operating environment to support and run multiple applications on a single device and allow information to be shared securely between applications.

“Our acquiring clients who select the Omni 3300 can offer merchants basic credit, debit and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payment capability with Vital’s Class ‘A’ merchant help desk support. The tremendous benefit to our clients is the ability to add new functionality without having to re-certify their payment applications, which will help increase speed to market and decrease costs,” said Eric Turille, executive vice president of Vital Processing Services.

In addition, the terminal is capable of downloading value-add applications, such as private label, gift card, loyalty and supply ordering. The Verix operating environment is unique, in that it has application separation at both the hardware and software level. Verix also features a TCP/IP library, enabling the Omni 3300 to support new Internet-based applications that can provide new revenue streams and improved customer loyalty. VeriFone is already working with e-service providers to develop Internet-based applications for VeriFone terminals. VeriFone’s Developer Forum ([http://www.verifone.hp.com/deve loperforum/][1]) also facilitates the creation of new applications for Verix-based terminals. “For years, our customers have looked for ways to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by adding value-added functionality to their POS terminals, but they always faced the issue that if they changed the application, their Class A certification would be lost,” said Patty Colby, manager of the US Processor Group at VeriFone. “The Omni 3300 eliminates this problem because it allows value-added applications such as private label, loyalty or gift card to be added easily to the terminals without losing Class A certification on their credit and debit applications. This capability has enormous potential for Vital clients looking to differentiate themselves with new value-added applications.”

Omni 3300 Terminal

Supported by VeriFone’s next-generation Verix operating environment, the Omni 3300 terminal securely supports and runs multiple applications in a single device and allows information to be shared securely between applications. VeriFone’s unique implementation of application separation at both the hardware and software level reduces the need for time-consuming and costly certifications when adding or modifying applications. The Omni 3300 also features the same intuitive ATM-style interface and SoftPay software featured on the Omni 3200, letting employees virtually train themselves and greatly reducing errors.

SoftPay Software

SoftPay software enables Vital’s acquiring clients to offer their merchants use of the VeriFone Omni 3300 payment terminals to accept EBT card payments, as well as credit and debit transactions. SoftPay supports card verification numbers for Visa, MasterCard and American Express. In an effort to help reduce credit card fraud at the point of sale, SoftPay is compliant with state requirements of credit card account truncation. The CPS Card Present and Address Verification features enable merchants to qualify for low interchange rates.

About Vital Processing Services ([www.vitalps.com][2])

Arizona-based Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing services to merchants, such as POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; VirtualNet(TM) Internet-commerce services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; acquirer services; risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(R) USA and Total System Services, Inc.(R) (TSYS) (NYSE:TSS).

About VeriFone

VeriFone ([http://www.verifone.hp.com][3]), a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. The division has shipped more than nine million electronic-payment systems, which are used in more than 100 countries.

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company — a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services — is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to individuals and businesses through simple appliances, useful e-services and an Internet infrastructure that’s always on. HP has 88,500 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing operations of $48.8 billion in its 2000 fiscal year. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at [http://www.hp.com][4].

[1]: http://www.verifone.hp.com/developerforum/
[2]: http://www.vitalps.com/
[3]: http://www.verifone.hp.com/
[4]: http://www.hp.com/