Lucky Strike

Bingo and Gaming International announced Thursday that the Los Angeles Superior Court has ruled that the ‘Lucky Strike’ machines are not gambling devices. The machines, which resemble the one-armed bandits sell pre-paid phone cards. At the same time of purchase, the machines enter the customer in a promotional sweepstakes which offers cash prizes from $1 to $1,000. What makes this legal is the fact that no purchase is necessary to play and the odds of winning are posted on the side of the machine. Look for the ‘Lucky Strike’ pre-paid phone card vending machines to start appearing by the years end.

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VISA Hosts

VISA International will host the first-ever international Government Payment Card Conference for international, federal and state government agencies. Representatives from the U.S. and the UK will discuss the various aspects of implementing and running Government Purchasing and Travel & Entertainment Card programs, similar to the U.S. Government Services Administration’s ‘Smart Pay Program’. A ‘Government Payment Card’ is a payment card in which there are no revolving interest payments. The ‘VISA Travel’ card provides government agencies with a method of payment for employees’ travel needs while limiting ATM access and setting total spending limits.

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e*PICS

Electronic Identification, announced yesterday a new ID card technology called ‘e*PICS’. The card combines radio frequency technology and biometric identification to identify the user without the use of passwords and PIN numbers. A digital profile of the individual is created by capturing a digital fingerprint, photograph and personal details. This information is then burned into a chip on the card. The information is then extracted from the card via radio frequency which checks the validity against the network information.

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PrivatBank

Ukraine’s ‘PrivatBank’ announced Wednesday that Hypercom will provide end-to-end solutions for their precessing network. The agreement includes 30 ‘Integrated Enterprise Networking’ nodes and more than 1000 ‘T7P’ POS terminals. One Hypercom ‘IEN 6000’ network controller will be installed at the bank’s central computer centre in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine with smaller IEN 2500 models to be installed at 16 major regional bank branches throughout the Ukraine.

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ACE Names VP

ACE Cash Express, Inc., the nation’s largest check-cashing chain and a significant provider of related retail financial services, has named Debra A. Bradford as the vice president of finance. Bradford was previously at IPS Card Solutions, a division of First Data Corp.

The vice president of finance position was recently created to oversee all finance-related activities. Bradford will direct all external and internal financial reporting, treasury, planning and analysis, and general accounting.

Before joining ACE, Bradford was the chief operating officer for IPS Card Solutions where she led the overall operations of the company. Bradford spent 14 years at IPS Card Solutions in various leadership roles including controller and vice president of finance and operations.

“As ACE continues to grow and expand, our management team must also evolve,” said Jay B. Shipowitz, senior vice president and chief financial officer of ACE. “We are excited to welcome Debra to our senior management team, and feel her transaction processing experience combined with a strong operational focus is ideal for ACE.”

ACE Cash Express, Inc. is headquartered in Irving, Texas and is the largest owner, operator and franchiser of check-cashing stores in the United States. Founded in 1968, the company currently has a network of 897 stores, consisting of 779 company-owned stores and 118 franchised stores in 29 states. ACE offers a broad range of financial and check-cashing services and is one of the largest providers of MoneyGram wire transfer transactions. In addition, ACE offers money orders, small consumer loans, bill payment services and prepaid local and long distance telecommunication services.

The company’s web site is found at .

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Hypercom Terminals to Turkey

Hypercom Corporation, a global provider of electronic payment solutions and the largest supplier of point-of-sale (POS) payment systems in Turkey, Wednesday announced an agreement toprovide 10,000 POS terminals and 52 Integrated Enterprise Networking (IEN) nodes to IsBank. This latest agreement increases the total number of Hypercom terminals ordered by this leading Turkish bank during the last two years to more than 25,000, and is in direct support of IsBank’s card acquisition activities.

“Our retail merchants have told us that they prefer the Hypercom terminal because it is extremely reliable, easy to operate, requires minimal counter space and processes transactions extremely quickly” said Mr. Kadir Akgoz, DP Manager, IsBank. In addition to that, Hypercom’s solutions allow us to better protect ourselves against fraudulent transactions because every transaction is authorised reliably on-line. Hypercom is a perfect fit for IsBank’s card acquisition activities.”

Hypercom’s T7P is a compact, high-performance point-of-sale terminal that supports credit and debit card processing. The highly popular terminal speeds up transaction times and helps prevent long queues at the checkout counter. Equally important, the ‘plug and play’ Hypercom T7P is designed to save on cashier training, installation time and costs, processing and settlement time. Upgrades or re-configurations can be handled remotely.

“IsBank and Hypercom are working very closely together to bring the latest international transaction processing solutions to the Turkish market” said Rob Meli, Managing Director of Hypercom Europe. It is a distinct pleasure to provide this leading bank with proven electronic payment solutions.”

IsBank is installing the 52 IEN controllers in regional branches to extend its geographical network coverage and add capacity in those areas experiencing increasing credit and debit card authorisation transactions. Incorporating Hypercom’s advanced IENView(TM) network management system, IsBank can remotely manage all of the nodes from its central computer center.

Hypercom’s POS and networking equipment is being supplied to IsBank by Hypercom’s local Turkish partner, SERVUS. Based in Istanbul, SERVUS is a diverse information technology group providing sales, support and third-party maintenance services for computer systems ranging from mainframes to personal computers. SERVUS has to-date provided over 550 IEN networking nodes and more than 67,000 Hypercom POS terminals to banks and retailers throughout Turkey. Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is a global provider of end-to-end software, networking and hardware electronic payment solutions, including multi-functional point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, networking products, Ascendent(TM) payment and transaction software and Internet-based and electronic commerce payment solutions. On a global basis Hypercom delivers the services and technology infrastructure required to quickly integrate and deploy new payment applications. These applications provide competitive value-add programs, improved business performance and lower total cost of ownership.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products on all continents, with installations in over 60 countries. European sales and support offices are located in the United Kingdom, Hungary and Russia. In addition local EMEA distributors have been appointed in Germany, Poland, Romania, the Baltic States, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Russia, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Mauritius, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Bahrain, Jordan, Czech Republic, Croatia, Israel and South Africa. More information on Hypercom and its products can be found at [www.hypercom.com][1].

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

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The Phantom Menace?

Credit card volume soared for the opening day of the much awaited Star Wars prequel. Atlanta-based National Data Corp. says a record number of movie tickets were purchased over the Internet and through online kiosks with credit and debit cards. NDC says Star Wars charge volume rivaled Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day in terms of credit card peaks. NDC also says its credit card volume increased by more than 25% at its West Coast center, during the first day of the movie’s ticket sales. NDC handles more than 3.7 billion transactions annually.

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PeopleSoft eMarketplace

PeopleSoft yesterday announced PeopleSoft eMarketplace, a new application for business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce. Integrated with the PeopleSoft e-business backbone, PeopleSoft eMarketplace provides a multi-channel solution including sales, customer self-service, product marketing, order fulfillment, and closed-loop analytics. PeopleSoft eMarketplace will allow organizations to deploy Internet sites to sell goods and services. PeopleSoft eMarketplace is built on the leading Internet commerce technology of Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition. The first phase of PeopleSoft eMarketplace is on schedule to be generally available in the summer of 1999.

PeopleSoft eMarketplace is the first offering from an ERP vendor to combine sophisticated closed-loop analytics and dynamic transaction generation capabilities with traditional e-commerce functionality. PeopleSoft eMarketplace will leverage PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management analytic capabilities to create the most personalized experience for the end customer, and maximize revenue, profitability, and other strategic business objectives for the seller.

In addition to closed-loop analytics, the PeopleSoft eMarketplace solution will include an Internet storefront; customer self-service functionality enabling buyers to view order history and preferences; product merchandising and marketing functions allowing targeted promotions; and tight integration with PeopleSoft’s supply chain management solution for real-time pricing, inventory availability, speedy order fulfillment, and access to order, shipment, and delivery status.

“Today’s announcement of PeopleSoft eMarketplace brings enterprise power to Internet commerce by providing an end-to-end solution that will integrate the Internet storefront, back-office fulfillment, and analytic applications,” said Jeff Carr, PeopleSoft senior vice president of marketing and strategy execution. “PeopleSoft eMarketplace provides the complete ‘dot.com-in-a-box’ functionality that today’s companies — from startups to multinationals —

will need to compete in the Internet economy.”

Intelligently Linking Enterprise Applications and Internet Commerce

The tight integration between PeopleSoft eMarketplace and PeopleSoft supply chain management solutions allows organizations to deploy their commerce solutions in “Internet time” and reduce total cost of ownership. Built on Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition technology, PeopleSoft eMarketplace provides customers with a proven technology platform upon which to deploy their e-commerce solutions.

“Today’s announcement of PeopleSoft eMarketplace provides a compelling solution to PeopleSoft customers who are looking to leverage the success of their enterprise applications to build an integrated center for e-commerce,” said Charles Stevens, vice president of Microsoft’s Application Developers Customer Unit. “The proven enterprise backbone and analytic capabilities of PeopleSoft combined with the comprehensive Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition will provide customers with a cost-effective platform that is integrated, scalable, and primed for e-commerce.”

“It is imperative to provide the best possible service to our customers, whether they choose to do business with us by Internet, phone, or mail order,” said Jim Prevo, chief information officer of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. “In the past, we needed several different systems to be able to meet these needs: one for mail order processing, one for wholesale order processing, and another to run our GreenMountainCoffee.com storefront. Integration was a big challenge for us. Now, PeopleSoft’s integrated eMarketplace and enterprise backbone will power all of these sales channels for us.”

PeopleSoft eMarketplace will be a separately licensed application that leverages PeopleSoft’s e-business backbone and Enterprise Performance Management technology and applications. Pricing and licensing information will be forthcoming in future announcements. In addition to the alliance with Microsoft, PeopleSoft has leveraged several other relationships for PeopleSoft eMarketplace, including alliances with Vertex, Inc. and Taxware International, Inc. for sales and use tax processing, and CyberSource Corp. for credit card processing.

The PeopleSoft Business Network

PeopleSoft eMarketplace is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to deliver the PeopleSoft Business Network (PSBN), a comprehensive network for electronic business including an Internet-enabled e-business backbone, Enterprise Performance Management, eBusiness Communities for the workplace, an Enterprise Portal, and now PeopleSoft eMarketplace. PeopleSoft introduced PSBN in November 1998, and was the first enterprise software vendor to demonstrate a portal-based enterprise software solution.

About PeopleSoft

PeopleSoft (Nasdaq:PSFT) is a global supplier of Internet-based, electronic business network solutions. PeopleSoft solutions for manufacturing, supply chain, government, education, financial, project and human resource management are used by more than 3,000 customers worldwide.

PeopleSoft is currently developing the PeopleSoft Business Network (PSBN), a network of e-business applications and content that unleashes the power of people to work and transact business in the Internet-enabled world. PSBN incorporates business transactions, knowledge and sophisticated analytics within and across enterprise boundaries, and makes all of this content available to employees, customers and suppliers through a personalized, easy-to-use Internet portal.

Headquartered in Pleasanton, PeopleSoft employs more than 6,600 people and had 1998 revenues of $1.3 billion. PeopleSoft is on the World Wide Web at [www.peoplesoft.com][1].

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

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Pushing The Envelope

Providian Financial Corp., formerly known as First Deposit, is under investigation for alleged fraud by the San Francisco district attorneys office. The king of subprime VISA cards may be subject to criminal charges if prosecutors firm up the evidence. According to yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Better Business Bureau alone received about 850 letters from irate Providian customers. Prosecutors allege that Providian distributed deceptive credit card solicitations, failed to fully disclose terms of its credit card offers, and failed to properly post payments to accounts for existing cardholders. Some of the complaints center on Providian’s perceived requirement that cardholders buy so-called “credit protection” for $12.95 per month. Providian’s “credit protection” plan, unlike most plans, only provides cardholders with a “freeze” on finance charges and fees if the cardholder becomes disabled or loses a job. Providian/First Deposit has a long record of alleged unfair business practices. The firm is largely credited with the passage of legislation for the so-called “Schumer Disclosure Box” for credit card issuers by Congress in the late 80’s. Providian/First Deposit solicited consumers nationally for a no-annual-fee ‘VISA Gold’ card with an undisclosed no-grace-period in the late 80’s. In more recent years the firm is notorious for requiring cardholders to take a cash advance to activate a new account and assessing exorbitant fees/interest for cash advances or foreign transactions.

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WebAuthorize and ECenroll

ABN AMRO North American and LaSalle Bank yesterday announced two new partnerships for further developing their electronic-commerce product development. The companies will be working with California based Tellan Software, using its ‘WebAuthorize’ software to provide secure Internet credit card processing with real-time transaction authorizations. The companies will also use Chicago based The Planet Group’s ‘ECenroll’ for automatic solicitation, enrollment and transaction initiation for electronic payment and collection programs of all types. Both products will be rolled out next month.

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SLICK PayMaster

eConnect announced Wednesday that they have finalized plans to test same-as-cash ATM card usage over the internet with its eGaming and eGate Divisions this summer. The plans for usage include opening and replenishing gaming accounts at the Internet gaming services. The test will occur in two phases with the first one using the ‘Paymaster’ terminal for consumers that do not have a PC with internet access. The second will be completed using eConnect’s ‘SLICK’ card reader and PIN pad, which is used to encrypt the transaction data for secure transmission to the Internet merchant. In both instances the consumer is required to enter their PIN number just as they would at an ATM. The firm will test the technology on various websites. Once tested and proven, the technology can then be used to enable any Internet merchant to accept ATM card payments.

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Beneficial Online Resources

Online Resources & Communications Corporation, a leading provider of Internet and remote banking services, and Concord EFS, Inc., operator of the MAC EFT network, announced yesterday that Beneficial Savings Bank of Philadelphia is the first financial institution to launch an enhanced online banking service made possible by Concord’s proprietary message protocol and Online Resources’ real-time, ATM-based online banking service.

The MAC network will market the service to its 2,500 member institutions under the name Concord InternetConnect.

Working together, the MAC network and Online Resources will enable Beneficial’s customers to pay bills and to transfer funds among 12 accounts, and to view balances and statement information for each. The MAC network’s support of such a broad transaction set — unusual among ATM networks — combined with Online Resources’ Opussm real-time platform, provides Beneficial with an extremely attractive and competitive online banking service to offer its customers. Moreover, Beneficial’s existing link to the MAC network and Online Resources “network of networks” infrastructure and “plug and play” implementation capabilities are making it easy for Beneficial to launch a robust service.

John Kaufmann, Beneficial vice president of retail delivery, said the $1.6 billion institution is excited about launching the service. “We believe MAC and Online Resources have given us a leg up on the competition,” Mr. Kaufmann said. “Having real-time access to so many accounts provides the flexibility that our customers have been telling us they want in an online banking product.”

The MAC network will resell the entire range of Online Resources services, including OpussmChoice, a turnkey service with all the technologies, applications and support systems an institution needs to launch online banking. Services also include the Financial Services Center that allows consumers to find information and conduct transactions on other Web sites. Such actions – buying securities, insurance or items at online stores–can provide new revenue streams for institutions.

Online Resources and the MAC network can assist institutions with market launches, provide marketing materials and customer service, train institutions’ staffs, and design and host Web sites. MAC network account executives and Concord sales staff, recently trained by Online Resources, will target both current member financial institutions and new institutions the network hopes to attract. Currently, MAC member banks serve 60 million direct deposit accounts.

Phillip Valvardi, MAC network president, said that Online Resources’ EFT Gateway links to the MAC network and Concord’s proprietary protocol make the service easy to launch for financial institutions, with more options for consumers. “Most outsourced online banking services can’t offer this level of account access,” Mr. Valvardi said. “By combining our account access capabilities with the Opus real-time platform, we can provide a top-notch service that requires virtually no technical development costs to launch.”

About Concord EFS:

Concord EFS, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEFT) is a vertically-integrated electronic transaction processor, providing transaction authorization, data capture, settlement and funds transfer services to selected markets. Concord’s primary activities include providing credit, debit, check authorization and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) processing services to supermarket, petroleum, convenience store and other retailers; and providing gateway processing, ATM driving and MAC(R) network access to the financial services industry. Concord also provides electronic payment and payroll services to trucking companies, truck stops and other niches of the market.

About ORCC:

McLean, Va.-based Online Resources & Communications Corporation () is a leading provider of electronic commerce services to regional and community financial institutions that brand the services for their consumer and small business customers. Proprietary services are marketed under the Opussm brand and include Internet and remote banking and billpaying services. The company also offers access to complementary financial products, such as online loan approval, insurance shopping, investment information and securities trading. Online Resources operates a call center and provides consumer co-marketing services, including a BankOnline.com Web site to direct potential consumers to its client institutions. Its end-to-end single source solution operates substantially in real-time. The company, founded in 1989, is privately-held and serves more than 315 financial institutions nationwide.

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