BofA Pix Cards

Bank of America is bringing picture-perfect security to customers in Florida with its introduction of the Photo Security Check Card and Photo Security Credit Card. Bank of America, the largest Check Card issuer, is the first bank in this state to offer the check card product.

Each Photo Security Card features a customer’s photograph and signature. Both the Check Card and Credit Card offer a new level of protection against card fraud and theft. Merchants who accept the card for payment can easily verify a customer’s identification by just looking at the card. Customers are additionally protected by the Bank of America coverage of any liability incurred for properly reported unauthorized transactions and 24-hour monitoring of suspicious account activity.

The Photo Security(R) Cards are available free of charge to new and existing Bank of America checking account customers and credit card customers. Customers can sign up to receive the cards at Florida banking centers, where customers’ photographs are taken onsite.

“Bank of America is committed to protecting our customer’s financial relationship. With the introduction of Photo Security cards, we will reduce fraudulent use of our customer’s Check Cards and set the standard for consumer protection among financial institutions,” said Katherine Lacoste, senior vice president for Consumer Card Sales at the Charlotte-based bank.

The Photo Security Check Card can be used for ATM transactions as well as for purchases anywhere the Visa(R) symbol is displayed. The Check Card offers the convenience and ease of a credit card, but purchases are deducted directly from the customer’s checking account with no monthly fee or interest charges.

Bank of America was the first bank to offer complete liability protection for its Check Cards and ATM cards. Before its leading industry move in 1997 to waive liability, customers could be held responsible for unauthorized transactions.

Bank of America is the largest check card issuer with more than 22 million cards issued. Additionally, Bank of America has more than 13,000 ATMs nationwide. Bank of America is also the third largest bank credit card issuer, as measured by purchase volume.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), with $680 billion in assets, is the largest bank in the United States. It has full-service operations in 21 states and the District of Columbia and provides financial products and services to 30 million households and two million businesses, as well as international corporate financial services for business transactions in 190 countries. The company’s stock (ticker: BAC) is listed on the New York, Pacific and London stock exchanges, and certain shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


Oberthur CFO

Oberthur Card Systems has named Ken Blakeley chief financial officer of Oberthur Card Systems for consolidation of all financial activities in the U.S. His extensive background as a financial manager provides Oberthur with broad-based financial planning and analysis that enhances strategic decision-making.

“With Oberthur’s expansion in the U.S. market coupled with the reporting requirements of the COB (Commission des Operations de Bourse, the French securities commission), we needed to expand our senior management team with top level financial expertise,” noted CEO Philippe Tartavull. “Ken’s record of leadership and ability to build strong financial teams will further support our efforts to expand our software development and manufacturing capacity as well as identify and analyze prospective acquisitions.”

Most recently, Blakeley was a financial manager for Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) where he successfully developed strategic operations plans and advised senior management on investment decisions for the $30 billion company. He also acquired international experience by working for ARCO in London for a few years.

Blakeley received his MBA and BSBA with honors in Accounting at the University of Southern California and is a certified public accountant in the state of California.

About Oberthur Card Systems

Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange, Code SICOVAM 12413), a global leader and innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the future by offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, UMTS, e-wallet technologies & card management systems coupled with a firm commitment to open standards. As the world No. 1 supplier of MasterCard and Visa cards, No. 1 in banking, e-commerce, m-commerce and pay-TV, Oberthur is also No. 1 in Java(TM) and GSM technologies.

Employing 3,000 people worldwide, Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach ensured by 30 sales offices and 13 manufacturing sites across the five continents. Oberthur Card Systems had sales of 185.8 million Euros in 1999.


Card Alert Acquisition

HNC Software has acquired privately held Card Alert Services Inc., an Arlington, VA-based, risk management company that provides early detection and common-purchase-point analysis of payment card fraud on shared ATM and POS systems. HNC has acquired all of Card Alert’s outstanding stock and other securities in a merger in exchange for approximately 200,000 shares of HNC common stock. Card Alert Services was founded in 1995 and has more than 9,000 financial institutions using its services. The company worked with leading regional ATM networks, including CU Cooperative Systems, MAC, NYCE, PULSE, STAR, TYME, and LINK.


Smart Cards USA

The big day for smart cards in the U.S. has finally arrived. Fleet Credit Card Services and Providian will announce the launch of the first ‘smart VISA’ cards this morning. First USA will also issue the ‘smart VISA’ later this year. ‘smart VISA’ is VISA’s answer the American Express ‘Blue Card’. VISA says its new payment product is the first multi-functional card that is accepted wherever VISA is accepted worldwide. The AmEx ‘Blue Card’, the first general purpose smart card issued in the U.S., has signed up more than three million cardholders since its launch in Sept. 1999. AmEx expects to reach the four million card mark by the end of this year for its translucent smart card. The new ‘smart VISA’ card will be based on a multi-application ‘Java Card’ platform. The new ‘smart VISA’ card will also cost about one third less than other smart cards in the marketplace. Providian is offering a clear plastic version of smart VISA card. The new Providian smart card is being marketed around the “Clear” theme i.e. “Clear Advantage”, “Clear Security”, “Clear Problem Resolution”, “Clear Satisfaction”, and “Clear Future”. Stay tuned as more details unravel by visiting CardFlash Online ([][1]) throughout the day.



Shenzhen Goes SLMsoft, Inc., a leading global provider of electronic financial transaction solutions for the e-commerce market, announced that Shenzhen Development Bank has selected’s credit card issuing and management, and ATM network management solutions.

“We’re very pleased to have Shenzhen Development Bank as a new client,” said Chairman and CEO Govin Misir. “Building on our reputation as an established provider of networking, card system and electronic banking technology within the region, this new client was referred to us by an existing customer, the Bank of China. We expect to continue expanding our business into the Asian market as regional banks further adopt the type of new electronic and Internet banking solutions currently being established as standards in North America.”

Under the agreement, will provide its ESP-Link/FTS Financial Transaction Solution for ATM network management and the ESP-Link/CCS credit card issuing and management solution to the Bank as it modernizes to meet the growing demand for customer-focused services.

“We selected for our technology partner because, in our opinion, the Company’s technology offers us the greatest ease of installation and broadest range of applications as we and China in general move toward a fully modernized, customer-focused banking system,” said Lin Zhou, President of Shenzhen Development Bank. “We recognize customer services as key to driving revenue growth in China. The ESP-Link ATM network management and credit card issuing and management solutions will allow us to issue our own revolving-credit credit cards and acquire transactions from local credit, debit and virtual cards. In addition,’s solutions will interface with the National Bank Card Center, along with Shenzhen Net, Shanghai Net and Guangdong Net, all of which are national and local Golden Card Networks connecting regional banks’ branches with larger central banks. Important to our ongoing expansion toward the ability to offer truly international services, the ESP-Link/FTS solution will provide us with connectivity to VISA International.”’s technology will enable the Bank to provide its customers with service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – a marked improvement from what is currently used at Shenzhen Development Bank. The Bank’s present system shuts down daily from midnight to 6 am. Bank President Lin Zhou concluded by commenting that, “’s solutions are flexible and modular, allowing us to add new functionalities with ease. We intend to continue our strategy of increasing the use of technological solutions to attract more local and international clientele.”

About Shenzhen Development Bank

The Shenzhen Development Bank is the first independent, public-owned, full-service bank in China, unlike most banks that are Government State-owned. Its shares are traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Shenzhen Development Bank has gained a reputation for outstanding customer service and is very small-business friendly. The Shenzhen Development Bank is recognized as one of the fastest growing banks in China and continues to introduce leading-edge products and services to satisfy a new generation of clients. As of 1999 Shenzhen Development Bank has over 50 branches in 12 cities and total assets of over US$5 billion.

About, Inc. is a leading provider of end-to-end open system e-commerce solutions to financial institutions, governments and healthcare organizations. Founded in 1986, delivers the world’s broadest array of electronic transaction management solutions to customers in 53 countries around the globe. provides all the software, services and infrastructure businesses need to offer complete B2B and B2C e-commerce services to their customers. The Company is a single-source provider of in-house and outsourced solutions through its EC-street(TM) network of e-commerce products and services. The EC-street network includes Internet banking, ATM and kiosk networks and services, core banking systems, check imaging, telephone banking, electronic bill presentment and bill payment, point-of-sale and point-of- service management, debit and credit card solutions, web site design and hosting, and e-financial portal development. EC-street’s real-time connectivity is facilitated through’s ESP-Link(TM) middleware. The Company has over 620 employees in 22 offices worldwide.


FDC Stock Dip

First Data Corp. reiterated its 2000 and long-term revenue and earnings outlook.

The company said it expects to achieve 2000 revenue growth from continuing operations in the low double digits and pro forma revenue growth from continuing operations in the range of 13 – 17 percent. First Data also said it expects earnings per share growth for the year of 17 – 20 percent.

In addition, the company reiterated that its stated long-term objective is to achieve pro forma revenue growth from continuing operations as well as EPS growth in the range of 13-16 percent.

“While we’re still in the planning process for next year, we are confident we will achieve our stated growth rates for 2001. Key growth drivers include continued expansion of Western Union international and our merchant processing business as well as effective cost management in card issuer services,” said Ric Duques, chairman and CEO of First Data Corp. “The company has operated successfully in an evolving banking environment for the last several years and will continue to leverage our core strengths to enhance our leadership position.”

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. helps move the world’s money. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves more than two 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. With more than 30,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Germany. In addition, its Western Union(R) network includes approximately 90,000 agent locations with operations in 182 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at .


ABN Nabs Wechsler

American Bank Note Holographics, Inc. announced Friday that Douglas Wechsler has been named Vice President, Marketing.

ABNH is a leader in the design, origination and production of security holograms for clients such as MasterCard, VISA, The United States Government, Merck and Eli Lilly.

Mr. Wechsler is responsible for the design and implementation of marketing programs, market analysis and new business development. He reports to Russell LaCoste, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Marketing. He will also work closely with Michael Banahan, Vice President of Sales, to support the Company’s sales team.

Mr. Wechsler comes to ABNH with an extensive background in the graphic arts industry. He has held senior marketing positions with industry leaders, including The Lehigh Press as Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development and Worldwide Director of Marketing for Pantone, Inc. At American Signature, Mr. Wechsler designed and implemented new marketing initiatives that drove a significant increase in company sales.

Commenting on the appointment, Kenneth Traub, President and CEO said, “Doug Wechsler is an experienced marketing professional who brings keen insights to our management team. We are delighted to be working with Doug, particularly now that we are increasing our emphasis on corporate and product marketing to support our long-term growth objectives.”

Mr. Wechsler stated, “I am honored to join the management team of ABNH. The Company’s accomplishments over the past year and a half have been very impressive. I believe that with increased attention to product marketing as well as the needs of our target markets, we will develop more effective solutions and increase the awareness of these offerings in the marketplace.” American Bank Note Holographics is a world leader in the origination, production and marketing of mass-produced holograms. The Company’s products are used primarily for security applications such as counterfeiting protection and authentication for transaction cards, identification cards and documents of value, and consumer and industrial products, as well as for packaging and promotional applications.


Debt Roller Coaster

Revolving consumer credit downshifted during July. For the second consecutive month revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, has slipped below last years’ growth levels. According to preliminary figures released Friday by the Federal Reserve, Americans added nearly $4 billion in outstanding revolving credit during July, compared to $5.7 billion in June and $6.4 billion in May. Since the start of this year, American consumers have tacked about $43 billion onto total revolving consumer debt. Overall consumer credit is now growing at a 7.7% rate, according to the FRB. At the end of July, American consumers were $1.472 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

Jul00 Jun00 May00 Apr00 Mar00 Feb 00 Jan00
%GRWTH: 7.2% 10.9 12.7 13.5 13.8 9.4 18.5
$OWED: $638.4b 634.6 628.9 622.5 615.5 608.5 605.0

Dec99 Nov99 Oct99 Sep 99 Aug99 Jul99 Jun99
%GRWTH: 12.5 10.2 -0.5 0.0 2.5 12.1 13.8
$OWED: 595.8 589.8 584.3 584.5 584.5 584.6 578.5

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 09/08/00; For complete
historical data visit


HNC Acquisition

HNC Software said Friday it has acquired privately held Systems/Link Corporation, headquartered in Cranbury, NJ. Systems/Link develops and markets mobile phone roaming data management, fraud and pre-paid billing software solutions for wireless telecommunications providers. HNC has acquired all of Systems/Link’s outstanding stock and other securities in a merger in exchange for approximately 600,000 shares of HNC common stock, including shares subject to options that will be assumed by HNC in the acquisition and $5.6 million in cash. HNC also agreed to retire $5.7 million in debt. Systems/Link’s flagship product, ‘RoamEx’, the wireless industry’s roaming data exchange network, covers more than 95% of the cellular POPs in North America for delivery of roaming calls back to home carrier target applications for fraud, pre-paid billing management, post-pay usage monitoring and other mission-critical applications.


Deutsche Expands E-Cash

Deutsche Bank 24 AG announced this morning an expansion of payments enabled by the eCash payment engine in Germany. New eCash features that include mobile access through cell phones and PDAs, payments at physical retail locations, new user interfaces and enhanced merchant administration and settlement. Aral AG, Data Becker, Vobis Microcomputers and Spinnrad GmbH are among the new merchants being added to the service. At least 25 top German merchants have been added , with plans for over 300 additional merchants to come online by the end of this year. Under terms of today’s deal Deutsche Bank 24 will take a minority equity stake in eCash Technologies. Deutsche Bank 24 began offering eCash payments to customers in February in combination with the cobranded Yahoo MasterCard credit card, after a multiyear pilot program with eCash Technologies.


NextCard Milestone

NextCard confirmed this morning it has topped $1 billion in credit card loans and has also surpassed 500,000 customer accounts. The growth represents a 100% increase in six months. NextCard also says it is on track to hit profitability in the fourth quarter. The issuer of Internet-centric VISA cards attributed its quick climb to the $1 billion mark to adherence to a calculated growth plan, smart direct marketing and customer acquisition, development of our profile-based pricing system, and meticulous risk management. According to CardData, NextCard hit the 100,000 account and $250 million milestone just one year ago.

3Q/00* 2Q/00 1Q/00 4Q/99 3Q/99 2Q/99
Recv: $1,0b+ $829.7m $638.8m $416.3m $268.0m $163.4m
Accts: 500k+ 443k 337k 220k 134k 85k
* as of 9/11/00; Recv- receivables; Accts- accounts; Source: CardData


Card Hackers

Western Union confirmed Sunday that hackers broke into its Web site last week and made off with the credit and debit card information of 15,700 customers who transferred money on the site. The Web site remains out-of-service this morning. A subsidiary of First Data, Western Union said VISA and MasterCard began monitoring the compromised accounts over the weekend, and as of last night, no fraudulent transactions had been reported. According to published reports, the problem occurred while the site was undergoing maintenance. Western Union said the problem was caused by human error and not an inherent technical flaw. Systems employees conducting regular maintenance left parts of it unprotected, allowing hackers to break in. The apparent hack occurred some time last week and was discovered on Friday. The problem involved [][1] and not [][2]. Western Union launched its transactional Web site in June.