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 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.


Dime Platinum VISA

The Dime Savings Bank of New York and First USA announced yesterday, their plans to offer a new credit card, ‘Dime Platinum VISA’. This new credit card will serve both Dime customers and it subsidiary, North American Mortgage Company. The no-annual-fee ‘Dime Platinum Visa’ will offer a 3.9% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, and a go-to APR rate of 9.9%, with credit limits ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. The card extends Platinum privileges including automatic purchase protection, exception travel accident insurance, emergency cash and airline ticket replacement, auto rental collision coverage and lost luggage protection.


Smart Card Success

Yesterday at the Secure Card & Commerce Tokyo ’99 conference, George Wallner, chairman and chief technologist at Hypercom Corporation, discussed the success of smart cards, noting the cost of chip cards compared to mag strip cards is still the largest barrier to overcome. More than 2.5 billion cards worldwide are used for commercial or personal financial transactions, fewer than 99 million are smart cards. In contrast, there are more than 650 million conventional magnetic stripe-based credit and debit cards in the United States alone. Wallner suggests that the success of smart cards is tied directly to multi-applications and a new infrastructure.



USA based IFS International announced this week that Sampath Bank in Colombo, Sri Lanka has purchased ‘TPII’ to manage their new ATM network. The ‘TPII’ will run on Compaq ‘Proliant 7000SCO Unix’ hardware with the ATM’s supplied by IBM. November 1997 saw Sampath Bank become the first bank in Sri Lanka and the South Asia region to issue debit cards, at which time, they simultaneously established connectivity to MasterCards Maestro and Cirrus networks. Sampath Bank is a public bank and is considered to be the most technically advanced bank in the country.


Thomas Food And AMEX

Thomas Food Industry Register, the largest food industry resource for food professionals since 1898, and American Express Company, a leader in commercial charge and credit cards, announced the signing of a new strategic marketing agreement. The purpose of the alliance is to cross promote both companies’ products and services to food industry wholesalers/distributors and suppliers.

The agreement includes a number of joint marketing campaigns to promote acceptance of the American Express cards in addition to planned, nationwide market research among various food industry segments. The two companies are co-sponsoring Thomas Food Industry Register’s ninth FoodTRENDS survey which will examine purchasing trends among restaurants, wholesaler/distributors and food processors. Survey results will be released in late spring of 1999. In addition, American Express will be dominantly featured with a promotional campaign targeting wholesalers/distributors at .

According to Philip Philliou, American Express Establishment Services Director of Strategy & Marketing, “We are responding to our small business customers who want to use their American Express Card for purchases at food distributors, wholesale grocers and restaurant supply houses. Our relationship with Thomas Food Industry Register, the flagship publication of Thomas Publishing Company, will provide us with new channels for reaching this important market.”

“American Express is synonymous with business-to-business purchasing and Thomas Food Industry Register is synonymous with supplier sourcing. This makes for exciting business opportunities,” said TFIR Publisher Linda Rigano, adding, “Our directory (in print, on CD-ROM and on-line) helps buyers find products; American Express enables them to close the transaction quickly and efficiently.”

In addition to food, American Express is targeting strategic partnerships in other business-to-business industry segments including electronics, lumber, computers and automotive suppliers.

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Express Company — a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.

Thomas Food Industry Register is published by Thomas Publishing Company, one of the oldest and most respected publishers of trade and industrial directories including the renowned Thomas Register of American Manufacturers.

Buyers rely on Thomas Food Industry Register to locate virtually any type of food industry product, ingredient, equipment or supply in the United States and Canada. This buying guide is available free to qualified food industry specifiers and buyers in a single hard-cover volume, CD-ROM and on-line.


GetSmart Gets Serious

Providian’s online loan marketplace,, launched a national TV advertising campaign Tuesday under the theme “The Better Way To Get Money”. The first flight of TV spots will run through the end of July in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. Providian says it will run a concurrent radio campaign to support the television spots. The company says the national ad campaign is the beginning of a long term advertising commitment to build brand awareness and to maintain market leadership. Providian also indicated the campaign is being launched in response to various initial public offerings which are being secondarily employed as publicity campaigns. is a online loan service without content. Its service includes offerings of home loans, business loans, student loans and credit cards. While owned by Providian, a top ten bank card issuer and dominate issuer of subprime credit cards, offers credit cards issued by other major competitors. When it purchased the web site in February Providian indicated it would use the site to locate subprime prospects among the turndowns generated by the competitors featured on the site. However this week Providian launched a suite of new card products, under the ‘Aria’ brand name, to cover all credit risk segments of the consumer market.


Triton Names VP

Dr. Ernest Burdette, president of Triton Systems, Inc. announced here today that Mr. Nelson L. Hanks has been named vice president of operations. Mr. Hanks comes to Triton Systems from the nation’s third-largest direct-sale PC supplier, Micron Electronics, Inc., where he was Senior Vice President in charge of corporate-wide sales forecasting and business planning. Triton Systems is the world’s leading manufacturer of cash-dispensing automated teller machines (ATMs) for off-premise locations, the fastest growing segment of the ATM market.

Dr. Burdette said the signing of the top high-technology executive rounds out Triton’s restructuring of its senior management team. During the past year, two of the company’s three founding partners retired after 20 years with Triton. As a result, Triton last year began hiring top industry executives to manage the company through its next growth phase. In August 1998, former VeriFone general manager Mr. Ken Paull was hired as vice president of sales and marketing. In January, 1998, Ms. Mary Edith Dressel, Triton’s marketing and sales manager, was promoted to vice president of corporate resources.

In his new role, Mr. Hanks is responsible for production, including shipping and receiving, purchasing, inventory management, warehousing and quality. Mr. Hanks plans to streamline supply chain management and operations at Triton, reduce production cycle time and costs, and further improve product quality.

At Micron Technology, Inc., the parent company of Micron Electronics, Mr. Hanks held various senior management positions during his nine years with the company, initially working to establish semiconductor assembly and test operations in Europe and subsequently becoming president and CEO of that division. He later joined Micron’s new computer manufacturing subsidiary in the US where he held a broad range of senior management positions in operations. Among other achievements during his tenure, Mr. Hanks reduced parts costs and achieved high inventory accuracy for $1.5 billion in purchased parts annually, developed a strategy and implementation plan for expansion of the contract manufacturing subsidiary, and greatly improved forecasting and business planning capability.

“Nelson Hanks has a broad background in operations management that will be a great asset to Triton,” commented Dr. Burdette. “He also brings a wealth of experience in new facility startup, inventory management, vendor relations and ERP system implementation and use. As Triton moves forward with several key infrastructure development projects that underpin our growth and expansion plans in 1999–including opening Phase I of our new manufacturing facility, implementing an Oracle ERP system and gaining ISO 9000 certification–Nelson will be an invaluable addition to our team.”

“As a rapidly growing company that is expanding internationally, Triton is an exciting and rewarding place to be,” said Hanks. “Triton is currently making the necessary infrastructure investments to build world-class, global operations, and I look forward to lending my international experience and expertise in global supply chain management to ensure Triton’s success. Most importantly, by streamlining Triton’s operations, we’ll ultimately be able to serve Triton’s customers even better.”

Before joining Micron Technology, Mr. Hanks was senior vice president of operations for QMS, Inc., a laser printer manufacturer. While at QMS, Mr. Hanks was responsible for automating many areas such as PC board assembly and test. He was also an integral part of a management team that took the company from $32 million to $225 million in sales.

Earlier affiliations included Boeing Electronics, Inc. and Texas Instruments, Inc. Mr. Hanks holds a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University and an MS in Industrial Administration from the University of Dallas Graduate School of Management.

About Triton Systems

As the leading manufacturer of cash-dispensing ATMs for off-premise locations, Triton Systems is committed to redefining and leading the retail market for cash delivery systems. As the third largest manufacturer of ATMs and ATM management software, Triton has been named two years in a row to Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500” ranking of fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. Triton was also named one of America’s top 25 most successful small manufacturers by IW Growing Companies in November 1998.

Triton’s product line includes the industry-leading 9600 series cash-dispensing ATMs, with various communication network interfaces such as CDPD. Additional products include the Triton Connect(tm) software package for accessing and controlling ATMs from a centralized location, ATMjr Demonstrators(tm) and ATMjr plus CAS(tm) (Card Activation System) for financial institutions, SuperScrip(tm) terminal, the new Mako Cash Dispenser(tm) and the VendMate(tm) sidecar, which accepts cash and dispenses vending items such as tickets, certificates, and phone cards.

Triton ATMs are in use in over 30,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada, with recent expansion into Latin America and other regions throughout the world. The company is headquartered in Long Beach, Mississippi. For more information, visit the Triton Systems website at or contact Mary Edith Dressel,, 800-367-7191, Ext 3122.


FUSA Announces Resignation

First USA, the world’s largest Visa credit card issuer, confirmed Tuesday that Randy L. Christofferson, president of First USA Bank, has resigned to pursue other interests. The announcement was made by Richard W. Vague, chairman and chief executive officer of First USA.

“We appreciate Randy’s contributions to First USA and wish him well as he considers a number of alternatives outside of the company,” said Vague.

The First USA executive leadership team, which has been together for some time, will continue to report directly to Vague.

First USA (), a subsidiary of BANK ONE CORPORATION , is the world’s largest issuer of Visa cards. First USA offers credit cards for consumers and businesses under the First USA, First Card and Bank One names and on behalf of more than 1,500 marketing partners. BANK ONE CORPORATION, with assets of more than $250 billion, is the nation’s fifth-largest bank holding company.


AMEX Awards Free S&H

American Express announced yesterday, it is providing free shipping and handling to customers who use their American Express(R) Gold Card, Rewards Plus Gold Card or Platinum Card(R) to order from select mail-order and/or online merchants.

“By providing free shipping and handling at these popular mail-order and online retailers, we are giving shoppers another great reason to use their American Express Card,” said Michele Rankin, Vice President of Card Marketing for American Express. “This is also another way we can work with retailers to help them build business and add value to our mutual customers.”

Following is a list of participating merchants, some of which are in the program for mail-order purchases only, some for online purchases only.

Chef’s Catalog 800-338-3232,
Eddie Bauer 800-426-8020,
Eximious of London 800-446-9454,
Hearth Song 800-325-2502
Kenneth Cole 800-KEN-COLE,
Patagonia 800-638-6464,
Sharper Image 800-344-4444
Smith & Hawken 800-776-3336,
The Territory Ahead
Tourneau 800-348-3332

Protecting Your Purchases

American Express has an Online Shopping Guarantee, which protects its cardmembers from any unauthorized charges made on-line to their card accounts. Consumers should also be aware of the Federal Mail/Telephone Order Merchandise Rule which also covers orders made online and requires that ordered merchandise is delivered within 30 days, unless stated otherwise, and if there are delays, the merchant must notify the customer. Also, American Express does not allow merchants to charge a Cardmember’s account for an item until it is shipped, unless the merchant has a signed agreement with the Cardmember stating otherwise.

“A credit card is often one of the best ways to protect your purchases whether you are buying in-store, from a mail-order catalog or online,” Rankin noted.

Many American Express Cards offer various types of benefits that help protect purchases. These include:

— Coverage to protect your purchases against no-return policies

— Free replacement for stolen or damaged items

— Guarantee of the lowest price

— Extension of the manufacturer’s warranty

Consumers should call their credit card company to ask about benefits, as well as limitations or restrictions. For free brochures on how to help protect purchases, check out the Company’s website at or write to: American Express Company, P.O. Box 4635, Trenton, NJ, 08650-9874, and ask for our brochures on Online Shopping Tips and “Protecting Your Purchases.”


Thomson Realignment

The parent company of Faulkner & Gray and American Banker announced a realignment yesterday to move away from a product driven model towards a market driven model. Thomson Financial Publishing has divided itself into six new market groups. The new ‘Banking’ market group combines the original American Banker/Bond Buyer company with the banking, bank technology, mortgage and credit union businesses of F&G and the directory and payments solutions businesses of TFP. Richard Burns, formerly with Euromoney plc, has been appointed CEO of the new ‘Banking’ market group. The new Electronic Commerce group will combine e-commerce products from TFP with existing and new F&G products in the areas of card technology, smart cards, data networking, Internet retailing, collections and biometric identification security. Jack Love, CEO of F&G, will head the group.


JC Penney

J. C. Penney Company announced Tuesday that its Board of Directors has authorized management to strengthen the competitiveness and appeal of the JCPenney credit card by outsourcing management of the credit card operation and selling to that management provider its credit card receivables portfolio. The sale of the credit card receivables portfolio is driven by the decision to significantly reduce debt. The department store/drug store chain hopes to wrap up a deal by the end of this year.


Gemplus Gets 2 New CEOs

Gemplus, the world leader in smart card solutions, yesterday announced the appointment of Chou Fang Soong as CEO for the Pacific Asia region and Serge Barthelemy as CEO for Greater China. Gemplus defines Greater China as China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and Pacific Asia covers the other Asia Pacific countries.

Fang Soong and Serge replace current Asia Pacific CEO, Remy de Tonnac, who will be moving to a new role as President of Gemplus Americas, managing all operations in North and Latin America.

Fang Soong was previously Executive Vice President of Gemplus Asia Pacific. A pioneer in the smart card industry in Asia Pacific he was instrumental in the start-up of the Gemplus asian operations in 1989. Over the years, Fang Soong has been directly involved in the development of major smart card programmes including a number of world’s first initiatives in the region. He is an engineering graduate, with over eighteen years of sales and marketing experience in both the information technology and electronic system industries.

Serge in his role as CEO for Greater China will be able to totally devote his time and resources to this unique and extremely dynamic market. This decision is a reinforcement of the commitment by the Gemplus group to develop the smart card industry in the Greater China region. Serge has held various key positions with Gemplus over the past seven years, the most recent being business development director for emerging markets. He is an engineering graduate from Ecole Centrale de Paris and has an MBA from INSEAD, France.

Daniel Le Gal, CEO of Gemplus Group said, “Asia Pacific is a key strategic region for Gemplus and China is taking an increased importance and is expected to become this year?s No. 1 smart card market in the world.

Gemplus? commitment is reflected by the appointments of two CEOs in these geographies, who will ensure smooth management and continued growth of the two Asia Pacific regions. Both Serge and Fang Soong bring with them proven and unique management capabilities that will certainly reinforce Gemplus leadership in the Asia-Pacific market.”

Gemplus Asia Pacific today operates as a fully functioning smart card hub, with two research and development centres, four manufacturing facilities and sales and marketing offices in ten regional business capitals. Gemplus has an estimated market share of over 50% in Asia and the region reported record revenues of US$120 million for 1998.

About Gemplus

Gemplus S.C.A. ([][1]) is the world’s leading provider of plastic and smart card-based solutions (by units sold, source: Dataquest 1998). Gemplus sells magnetic stripe cards, memory and microprocessor-based smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags and smart objects. The company designs and markets software, development tools and readers. Gemplus also provides consulting, training and personalization services to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible card-based solutions to its developers, distributors, partners, and customers. With sales of over $US648 million in 1998, Gemplus employs more than 4,300 people in 10 manufacturing facilities, 5 R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world.

Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, identity, physical access control, pay TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, logical access control and information technology.

Gemplus Technologies Asia had sales revenue exceeding US$120 million throughout Asia Pacific for 1998. The company has manufacturing facilities in China and Singapore. Gemplus in Asia Pacific has over 50% market share.