MPS Giant Eagle

Fifth Third’s Midwest Payment Systems signed a five-year agreement to provide debit card processing services to Giant Eagle. The Pittsburgh-based supermarket chain currently operates 201 stores with locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. MPS processes almost three billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 55,000 retail locations and financial institutions worldwide, including Federated Department Stores, The Kroger Co. and CompUSA. MPS’ merchant customer base generates more than $30 billion in credit card sales annually.


ECHO Merchant Booklet

Electronic Clearing House, Inc. is offering a free guide for small business owners interested in accepting credit cards or improving their profitability from accepting credit cards.

The guide, “The ABCs of Credit Card Processing,” explains how the credit card system works from the merchant’s perspective. Recently published by ECHO for the company’s 8,000 merchant clients, the guide also explains strategies to avoid chargeback expenses and prevent costly fraud at retail locations, mail order businesses or Internet businesses.

To obtain a free copy of the guide, call ECHO at (800) 262-3246, extension 3111, and ask for marketing.

ECHO provides credit card processing, check guarantee, inventory tracking services and various Internet services to more than 19,000 retail merchants and U-Haul dealers across the nation. ECHO also designs, develops and manufacturers software and point-of-sale hardware that is utilized as credit card processing terminals, automated money order dispensers, inventory tracking devices and casino cash advance systems.


Xtranet Update

Xtranet Systems Inc.Tuesday announced that for the 1st quarter of 1999, it processed $68,380,209 for 912,205 credit card transactions for primarily Internet Merchants.

“We are extremely pleased with our progress in reaching our target of processing a minimum of $500,000,000 in 1999,” said William L. Shaw, chief executive officer of Xtranet. “As we integrate both regional and major offshore banks into our system, we not only increase our capabilities for our Internet Merchants, but we are also accommodating the retail merchants of these banks onto our system.”

The reduction in processing from the 4th quarter of 1998 to the 1st quarter of 1999 was attributed to seasonal variations, and continuing improvements in Xtranet’s proprietary risk management system, which in the short term tends to reduce processing volume while increasing the Merchant’s net revenue per completed transaction.

Xtranet recently completed a week training Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBV) personnel in Mexico City, so that BBV’s 22,000 domestic retail merchants could begin processing through Xtranet’s system.

“As we have already begun to process Hospitality Merchants through BBV, it is a natural next step to bring all of BBV’s domestic retail merchants onto our system,” said Shaw. “Although this process took longer than anticipated due to the inherent problems in translating technical information for the training, we look forward to a long relationship with BBV in Mexico, the Caribbean, South America and Europe, and we hope to handle credit card processing through additional BBV offices before the end of the year.”

Xtranet anticipates processing significant credit card transaction volume in Mexico for International Hospitality Merchants, major Corporate Merchants, as well as local domestic Hotel and Time-Share Merchant Accounts.

Xtranet is a provider of e-commerce credit-card processing, proprietary risk management services, and stand alone financial processing solutions to Internet Merchants and Offshore Financial Institutions throughout the world. Having begun as a developer of extranet systems, Xtranet has now moved into the front lines of e-commerce by offering proprietary credit card processing services uniquely suited to high volume Internet Merchants worldwide. Within its International Network, Xtranet has operations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the United States, and will soon be establishing operations in Bermuda, Europe and the United Kingdom. Xtranet projects that it will process a minimum of $500,000,000 in total credit card transactions in 1999.

“Thanks to aggressive overseas expansion, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBV) is Basque-ing in the international limelight. In Spain, BBV offers wholesale and retail banking services at nearly 3,000 offices, including corporate, and consumer lending, credit card services, and ATMs. BBV also operates in 26 countries worldwide, where it provides investment banking and brokerage services, venture capital, and investment management. In Latin America, BBV owns major stakes in banks in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela; it also invests in pension funds, insurance outfits, and industrial companies. BBV is part of the Spanish consortium that has purchased Telesp (formerly part of Brazil’s Telecomunicacoes Brasileiras).” (As quoted in Hoover’s Company Profiles at [][1].)



Authorize.Net 3.0

Authorize.Net Corporation, the preferred payment-processing service for e-commerce, announced the availability of Authorize.Net 3.0, the latest version of the most widely used service for credit card authorization, processing and management for Internet-based businesses. With industry-first advances in fraud detection, risk management and service functionality, Authorize.Net 3.0 makes enabling e-commerce and conducting business on the Internet a possibility for businesses of all sizes.

A server-based transaction processor, Authorize.Net 3.0 includes key features addressing business imperatives of e-commerce and traditional obstacles preventing businesses from moving to the Internet. Foremost among Authorize.Net 3.0 features are Authorize.Net’s proprietary Fraudscreen.Net(TM) service and RiskManager.Net(TM) system.

“We’re in daily contact with the merchants who use our service and the banks that support them. On top of security and reliability, the largest concern we hear expressed is how merchants and their banks manage their own risk,” said David Heaps, President of Authorize.Net Corporation. “With our Authorize.Net 3.0 technology, we’ve given those businesses and banks the unprecedented ability to transact purchases on the Internet while minimizing their risk exposure in real time. These advancements make Internet-based transactions less susceptible to fraud than the everyday transaction at the local mall.”

Fraudscreen.Net(TM) and the RiskManager.Net(TM) System

Fraudscreen.Net provides a 150-point, merchant-specific check that allows merchants to better evaluate and prevent fraud because of stolen cards, fraudulent numbers and other types of fraud common to card-not-present transactions. The new RiskManager.Net solution allows acquiring banks the ability to stop high-risk transactions before they are captured, thereby reducing the traditional risk associated transactions from high-risk portfolios. Using Authorize.Net’s RiskManager.Net technology allows banks to analyze transactions in real time while the bank can still stop the transaction, as opposed to the traditional once-a-day risk analysis when most transactions have already been processed.

Authorize.Net 3.0 Features

In addition to the advances in fraud detection and risk management, Authorize.Net 3.0 also includes service enhancements that make it the easiest to integrate, most reliable and most functional payment processing service available. Building on a solid foundation of past versions, the new features of Authorize.Net 3.0 include:

— Multi-Platform Payment Processing — Authorize.Net 3.0 supports all of the world’s leading credit card processing platforms, including First Data Corporation (FDC), Nova, Paymentech. Both Vital and Global Payment Systems will be added in Q2, 1999.

— Multi-User Capabilities — Merchants using Authorize.Net can track transactions and manage their accounts while using personalized management accounts for each individual user within the company.

— Server-Host Based Open Architecture — Authorize.Net 3.0 allows merchants and developers to integrate and customize capabilities according to their current operating platform.

— Corporate/Purchasing Card Support — Industry data suggests that business-to-business e-commerce will grow exponentially over the next few years. Authorize.Net 3.0 supports level II data, allowing for more detailed business-related transactions through corporate cards or purchasing cards.

— High-Speed Processing — Authorize.Net 3.0 builds upon a reputation of the fastest Internet processor in the business. Employing the latest hardware and software advances as well as direct high-speed connections to all interchange processors (FDC, Nova, Paymentech, etc.), version 3.0 significantly improves average processing times over industry standards.

During the past few months, a beta version of Authorize.Net 3.0 has been running on more than 150 systems with web-based merchants conducting regular transactions.

“The benefit of Authorize.Net 3.0 boils down to one word: speed,” said Kyle Lussier, president of iWorker Inc., a software and technology development firm that is beta testing Authorize.Net through its web site, ( “The speed of Authorize.Net 3.0 has a number of important implications that makes it ideal for our business. First and foremost, the speed of integration was a preeminent concern for us because our business is built on our ability to sell on the Internet.

“Second, because we allow our customers to download our product directly from the Web, we need instantaneous processing and posting of every transaction so we can be as responsive to our customers as possible. In our beta testing, the speed and reliability of version 3.0 has only underscored in our mind that Authorize.Net is the best payment gateway available. As our company evolves, we look forward to integrating all of the features and potential of Authorize.Net’s offerings.”

Authorize.Net 3.0 is a server-based transaction processing service. Merchants currently using Authorize.Net 2.5 will be automatically upgraded in accordance with this service offering. Authorize.Net 3.0 is available through Authorize.Net Corporation’s Accredited Reseller Network of over 500 acquiring banks and merchant service providers (see for more information).

About Authorize.Net’s Products

The Authorize.Net family of products provides a payment authorization solution for practically every e-commerce, retail or service situation. Authorize.Net’s product line includes:

— Authorize.Net WebLink — WebLink provides credit card authorization, processing and management for web-based businesses. WebLink is an

entry-level, server-based offering that requires no additional hardware, software or development expertise and is integrated with more than 100 leading web-site development products and shopping cart programs.

— Automated Direct Communication (ADC) — ADC is Authorize.Net’s own developer platform designed specifically for technology providers, shopping cart vendors and other e-commerce related products.

— Authorize.Net Virtual Terminal — Virtual Terminal provides credit card authorization, processing and management done through a merchant’s traditional sales setting. Replacing standard authorization terminals, Virtual Terminal allows merchants to process card-present transactions through the Internet by hand-keying information into Authorize.Net.

— eCheck.Net — eCheck.Net provides electronic check (ACH) processing for both web site and traditional storefront operations. eCheck.Net allows consumers to use a traditional bank check or savings account for electronic payment.

About Authorize.Net Corporation

Founded in 1996, Authorize.Net Corporation is the preferred payment-processing service for e-commerce – providing secure, reliable and easy-to-use payment solutions that make the Internet a new revenue opportunity for businesses of all sizes. These tools also provide a smarter, faster, more economical method of transaction processing for retail-based storefronts and the services industry. From its beginnings, Authorize.Net Corporation has blossomed to nearly 30,000 clients, with a growth rate of more than 3,500 new merchants per month. Its client-base outnumbers those of its nearest competitor by more than two to one. For more information on Authorize.Net Corporation, visit .


Peregrine Gets 2nd VISA Contract

Peregrine Systems Ltd, the world’s leading supplier of chargeback processing software, today announced that it has been awarded its second major contract with Visa International in the last 12 months. Under the terms of the agreement, Peregrine Systems will provide Visa member banks in the EU and CEMEA regions with development, implementation and support services for Visa’s PASS and NEMESIS systems.

‘Peregrine systems’ detailed knowledge of the card payments industry combined with its impressive track-record of working with Visa International, were key factors in the awarding of this contract. We expect the agreement to greatly enhance our existing fraud prevention offering to our member banks,’ said Manuel Da Silva Fraud Management Dept. – Visa International

PASS and NEMESIS are two screening systems, designed to reduce fraud losses by issuers and acquirers providing an automated checking facility across Visa card Issuers and Acquirers. PASS is used by card Issuers to screen new card applications for possible fraud and multiple applications. NEMESIS is designed to assist credit card acquirers in identifying merchants previously terminated by another Acquirer in the market.

‘Application fraud is a significant and growing problem for Visa member banks throughout Europe. We are therefore delighted to be involved with Visa International in tackling this problem pro-actively. This agreement represents a further endorsement of the strength of our offering in the card payment sector’said Brian Caulfield, Managing Director, Peregrine Systems Ltd.

About Visa International

As the world’s best way to pay, Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest payment system worldwide with more volume than all other major payment systems combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders and the global economy. Visa’s 600 million cards, generating US$1 trillion in annual volume, are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 380,000 ATM’s in the Visa Global ATM Network.

About Peregrine

Established in 1992, Peregrine Systems is now the leading provider of solutions for chargeback processing to the card payments industry. The company focuses on ‘Making Payment Systems Pay’ – enhancing the profitability of card programmes with innovative software solutions. In 1997 Visa International signed a sales and marketing agreement with Peregrine for its ICS and MERCS chargeback products. Peregrine is also a Europay registered vendor. Over the past two years, Peregrine has achieved compound annual growth rates of 75% per annum. Peregrine serves its client base from its headquarters in Dublin and through a global network of strategic alliances. Clients include over 30 major financial institutions throughout Europe and the US. ENDS.


Diebold in Ukraine

Diebold, Incorporated, the global leader in self-service delivery solutions, Monday announced it has appointed System Integration Ltd. as its distributor in Ukraine. System Integration will market, install, service and support Diebold automated teller machines and other self-service solutions throughout Ukraine.

As an International Business Machines partner since 1994, System Integration has been very successful distributing IBM products, having four times been presented with the IBM Award for achieving the highest sales level in the entire Ukrainian market. Previously, Diebold ATMs were marketed under the IBM name in Ukraine.

Reinoud G.J. Drenth, Diebold vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said that Diebold is excited about entering this market.

“In recent years we have seen consistent growth and a high demand for our products in much of eastern Europe. The addition of System Integration as a distributor for our products in Ukraine should help ensure success in that market.”

Drenth added that the philosophy of System Integration — “to direct its activities not in its own interests but that in the needs, problems and objectives of its customers,” is in line with that of Diebold and has been visibly carried out.

“We are very pleased to announce this partnership between our company and Diebold,” said Oleg Shevchenko, chief executive officer of System Integration. “We have had a very strong position in the Ukrainian market dealing with Diebold-manufactured self-service products in the past working through IBM, I am sure that we can achieve much more now partnering with Diebold directly.”

System Integration operates in a special corner of the computer market in Ukraine, and offers several lines, such as ATMs and payment systems, physical and information security, POS-terminals and printers, and supplies.

Diebold, Incorporated is the global leader in providing integrated delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, the company employs more than 6,000 associates in some 120 locations worldwide with headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of US$1.2 billion in 1998 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “DBD.” For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .


Credit ID Crackdown

The Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and eight state and local law enforcers announced Monday that they have filed another 16 law enforcement actions against defendants who falsely claim to help consumers obtain new credit histories through new identification numbers. The FTC says these credit repair con games are spreading like wildfire on the Internet and in unsolicited junk e-mail. Seven complaints filed by the FTC, along with another filed by the Department of Justice at the FTC’s request, allege violations of the ‘Credit Repair Organizations Act’ and the ‘FTC Act’. The other eight cases were announced by state and local law enforcers, including the Maryland, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Texas Attorneys General; the Orange and Santa Clara County, California District Attorneys; the San Diego City Attorney; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.


Online Cash

Las Vegas-based eConnect and First said yesterday they have formed a joint venture to develop same-as-cash Internet transactions by on line debit ATM card and smart cards. The concept involves home devices that will bypass the Internet with sensitive card data and will connect with the Internet merchants for immediate acknowledgment of receipt of the same-as-cash payments. The service, to be called ‘’, will interface between the bank host processor and participants. ET&T, a strategic partner of eConnect, will be driving the transaction into the bank system for card authorization. After bank card authorization is complete, ET&T will then connect with, who will then connect with the participating Internet merchants. The acknowledgment from the Internet merchants will then pass back to, who will then pass the information back to ET&T. The completed receipt of bank card authorization and merchant acknowledgment will then be passed back to the waiting eConnect device which will then print a receipt for the consumer.


iCat E-Commerce

iCat, a division of Intel Corporation, Monday announced the iCat E-commerce Provider Program, which helps companies build branded online stores without having to develop, design, administer or host their own solutions. Through this program participating companies can offer E-commerce capabilities to their own customer bases of small- to mid-sized businesses. iCat’s E-commerce Provider Program also offers the benefits of the Visa Purchasing Card to provide merchants with an automated payment process.

The program is aimed at financial institutions, telecommunication companies, ISPs and business-focused Internet sites that already serve as Internet “portals” for their small- to mid-sized business customers, and would like to also offer their customers the value and convenience of an integrated E-commerce capability.

“The iCat E-Commerce Provider program allows companies to immediately establish presences as providers of E-commerce solutions for their own business customers without having to shoulder the substantial cost of development,” said Doug Schulze, general manager of the iCat division of Intel. “This lets Provider companies participate in the booming Internet economy while providing more value to their customers and promoting their brand name — all through a simple program that streamlines the entire process.”

Intel’s iCat division provides the hardware, software, communications and services required to host and serve the Internet stores established through the iCat E-Commerce Provider Program. This allows a provider to focus on marketing the service to its customer base.

The Visa Purchasing Card provide merchants with a solution to automate the payment process while helping to reduce transaction expenses and improve cash flow.

“Our involvement in the iCat E-commerce Provider Program will expand Visa Purchasing Card acceptance to small- to medium-sized businesses,” said Ryan Ross, vice president, New & Emerging Markets, Visa U.S.A. “The Visa Purchasing Card will offer customers of merchants accepting the card the added value of enhanced transaction information when making online purchases.”

Merchants who build online stores through a participating iCat Provider will have the option to access the same marketing services and support a merchant would receive by building a store directly through the existing iCat Commerce Online service. These include assistance in establishing a merchant account and online real-time payment processing, as well as securing space in the iCat Mall. Merchants also have the ability to register their stores with Internet search engines, creating their own unique addresses and monitoring their site position on leading search engines. iCat’s services also enable merchants to advertise through banner ads, and send direct e-mails to their customers and prospect lists as well.

The iCat E-commerce Provider Program is the first new service offering from iCat since it became a division of Intel in February.

About iCat

iCat, based in Seattle, was founded in 1993 and provides small- and mid-sized businesses worldwide with the information, technology, marketing services and personalized support they need to sell products online and be successful in E-commerce. In addition to the iCat E-commerce Provider Program, iCat offers an Affiliate Program that allows revenue sharing with Web sites that refer customers to iCat. In February 1999, iCat became a division of Intel. For more information, or to build an online store, visit the iCat Web Site at

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at [][1].



TRM 1Q/99

TRM Corporation, reported its financial results for the first quarter of 1999. The Company adopted a calendar year fiscal year beginning January 1, 1999.

Net income improved for the quarter to $881,000 producing $.12 per diluted share before preferred stock dividend and $.07 after preferred stock dividend. Last year the Company reported a loss of $3,173,000 or $.45 per share during the corresponding quarter.

Revenue for the quarter was $16,948,000. Revenue per installed CopyCenter worldwide improved 9% providing a strong indication that the improvement initiatives put into place during 1998 have produced the anticipated and desired results. The Company removed 5,000 marginally producing CopyCenters during 1998 as it installed over 8,000 new NextGen(TM) photocopiers into TRM retailer locations.

As a result of efforts concentrated on aligning costs with revenue, expenses for the quarter were reduced by $412,000 or 7%.

“Our team is very pleased by the progress that has been made in strengthening our core Photocopy Division,” said President and C.E.O. Fred Stockton. “We have returned to the position of being a growing company that has the ability to control expenses. The platform is now in a position to support solid and sustainable growth into the future.”

During the quarter, the Company launched its new ATM Division by deploying the first of seven hundred ATM machines scheduled to be placed into the fastest growing convenience store chain in the Southeast United States by the end of 1999. In March, installations began in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida.

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, TRM Corporation is recognized as the world’s leading provider of convenient self-service photocopying. The Company owns and maintains over 31,000 TRM CopyCenters located in independent and multi-site retailer locations in 75 metropolitan service areas in the United States, Canada, England, Wales, Scotland and France. TRM recently entered into the convenient off-premise ATM business.

To better match its business cycle with annual reporting, the Company shifted from a July 1st to June 30th fiscal year to a calendar year fiscal year effective January 1, 1999.




Drexler Up 125% for Year

Drexler Technology Corporation reported Monday that its net income and earnings per share more than doubled for the 1999 fiscal year ended March 31, 1999, on a 43% growth in revenues.

Net income rose more than 125% for the year ended March 31, 1999, to $4,127,000, or 41 cents per share diluted, from $1,831,000, or 19 cents per share, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998. Fiscal 1999 revenues rose 43%, to $15,850,000 from $11,081,000 for the previous fiscal year.

For the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, 1999, net income rose to $1,156,000, or 12 cents per share diluted, compared with $853,000, or 9 cents per share, for last year’s fourth quarter. Revenues for the fiscal 1999 fourth quarter were $4,287,000 compared with $3,461,000 for the fourth quarter of last year.

The company’s cash and cash equivalents totaled approximately $8,066,000 at March 31, 1999, compared with approximately $4,830,000 at March 31, 1998. The company has no debt.

Also at March 31, 1999, the company had 9,794,180 shares of common stock outstanding compared with 9,640,747 shares of common stock outstanding at March 31, 1998.

On April 5, 1999, the company announced a $5 million production order for more than one million LaserCard(R) optical memory cards and 250 card reader/writers for a commercial application, with deliveries from April 1999 through March 2000.

Drexler’s patented LaserCard(R) optical memory card is a recordable, credit-card size, digital-data-storage device that offers multiple data-security safeguards and resistance to counterfeiting. LaserCard(R) commercial and government applications include immigration cards, cargo manifests, access cards, healthcare records, high security/interactive ID cards, automotive records, portable records with audit trails, and consumer transaction systems.

Based in Mountain View, Drexler Technology Corporation manufactures LaserCard(R) optical memory cards. Drexler’s wholly owned subsidiary, LaserCard Systems Corporation, markets optical memory card products and develops system software for PC-based optical card systems.




Schlumberger 1Q/99

The turnover of the Smart Cards & Terminals business unit of Schlumberger increased by 14% during the first quarter of 1999, compared with the same period the previous year. Major factors behind this rise are successes with SIM cards for mobile phones, Qianflex? (the bank card for China), and e-purse schemes in Europe. The Stelio intelligent pay-and-display parking terminal also plays a role, thanks to a substantial increase in deliveries. The Test & Transactions division of Schlumberger, which manages Smart Cards & Terminals and Automated Test Equipment (ATE), saw its turnover increase by 12% compared with the fourth quarter of 1998.

Following sustained strong growth, sales of SIM cards have significantly boosted the turnover of Smart Cards & Terminals. The latest figures benefit from the first deliveries of the very latest SIM cards, Cyberflex? Simera?, which are programmable using the Java? language, and growth in e-purse applications – particularly in the Netherlands. In Asia, sales of smart cards have progressed well following the introduction of Qianflex cards in China, and sales of phone cards.

In the increasingly important area of network security, Schlumberger was awarded a pioneering contract to use its Cryptoflex? smart cards to ensure the integrity and security of a European customer’s e-mail traffic. This system also allows authentication of orders and payments. Schlumberger continued to build on the success of its Cyberflex Mobile Solutions through the implementation of mobile banking services in Hong Kong and Germany.

The ATE business unit saw a 49% reduction in turnover compared with the same period last year, following the general caution over capital equipment expenditure by the semiconductor industry. The recent upturn in this sector has resulted in a 26% increase in orders compared with the last quarter of 1998.

Considering the activities of Schlumberger as a whole, first quarter turnover was $2.31 billion – a fall of 24% compared with the same period last year. If a first quarter severance charge for the oilfield services division is excluded, net income and diluted earnings per share were $179 million and $0.32, 53% and 52% lower, respectively, than the same period last year.