USTT Expansion

USA Technologies’ self-serve credit card-activated business centers are now reaching into apartment communities. The company announced yesterday it is installing its ‘Business Express’ center in a Baltimore, MD apartment complex with nearly 1,000 housing units and 3,000 residents. The company has largely focused on the hotel industry. To date, more than 300 hotels have set up a USA ‘Business Express’ center. USA says there are about 23,000 large apartment complexes in the US.

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New Destiny Client

Destiny Software Corporation, a leading provider of Internet financial services systems, announced Thursday that it is developing a comprehensive Internet system for The Northern Trust Company. The system combines banking, credit, mutual fund, brokerage and trust information to provide high net worth clients with a consolidated view of their entire relationship with Northern Trust through the Internet.

The initial phase of the Private Passport Internet system delivers “customer-centric” access to all Northern Trust accounts. The system enables high net worth clients to create customizable account and transaction reports, transfer funds, purchase, redeem and exchange mutual funds and initiate customer service requests online. Northern Trust expects to roll out the initial phase of its new Private Passport system in May of this year.

“The diverse financial needs of our clients require Internet services way beyond basic retail banking,” stated Lori Nerenberg, Vice President of The Northern Trust Company. “Destiny Software’s robust technology, quality people and proven implementation process have enabled us to develop our unique Internet system in the tight timeframes that we required.”

Northern Trust’s new Internet system uses Granite Foundation(TM), Destiny’s object-oriented platform for financial Internet solutions. The new offering contains over 200 Web screens and consolidates data from 8 different back-end systems to securely process Web-based transactions across a full range of financial account types. The new Private Passport system will complement Northern Trust’s existing online banking product, which provides basic banking and bill payment capabilities.

“Northern Trust is widely recognized as an innovator in the high net worth marketplace,” commented Lucinda Duncalfe, chief executive of Destiny Software. “Their commitment to high-quality and high-touch customer relationships has led Northern to develop leading online services that have put them at the forefront of this expanding market. The new Private Passport offering, with its comprehensive reporting and transactional features, sets a new bar for the delivery of financial services over the Internet.”

Northern Trust and Destiny are already working on the second phase of Private Passport, which they will roll out in the second half of 1999. This phase will include access for Microsoft Money and Quicken through OFX, Spanish language support, expanded transaction capabilities, including the ability to open new mutual fund accounts online, and access for authorized service providers, such as accountants and investment managers.

Northern Trust will continue to enhance its Internet offering with additional transactional features, such as online trading and bill payment and presentment, new access channels including the telephone and Personal Digital Assistants, and one-to-one marketing and financial planning capabilities. Destiny Software and Northern Trust will discuss current and future phases of the new system in detail during their presentation on April 12th, 1:15 to 2:00 PM, at BAI’s Internet Banking Conference in Atlanta.

About The Northern Trust Company

The Northern Trust Company is the principal subsidiary of Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS), a bank holding company and one of the country’s largest trust and treasury management institutions. The company has subsidiaries in Illinois, Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, New York, Georgia and Connecticut, as well as offices in Toronto, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. As of December 31, 1998, total assets of the Corporation were $27.9 billion and trust assets under administration were $1.3 trillion. Northern Trust’s web site is located at [www.northerntrust.com][1].

About Destiny Software

Destiny Software is a leading provider of Internet systems to the world’s premier financial institutions. The company’s software and consulting services enable these organizations to build sophisticated Internet systems, rapidly and reliably. Destiny’s fixed price, fixed time project methodology, backed by a track record of success, eliminates the risks in implementing complex Internet solutions. Destiny’s clients include Bank of America, Fleet Financial, GE Capital and First USA (a Bank One subsidiary). The company’s web site is located at [www.destinysoftware.com][2].

[1]: http://www.northerntrust.com
[2]: http://www.destinysoftware.com

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New Meridien Research Services

Gathering intelligence about retail customers is only the first of two core competencies required to prevail in today’s financial services market, according to Meridien Research, the Newton, MA based research and advisory firm. Market leadership will also require the ability to harness information and leverage knowledge to promote profitable interactions with those customers.

Forecasting that investments in customer management technologies will continue to grow in importance for financial institutions of all kinds, Meridien Research has announced a new line-up of research and advisory programs to support buyers and vendors of these technologies. Beginning in May, Meridien will provide two new research services in its Customer Management practice area.

The first is Customer Knowledge, which will focus on technologies and information management techniques that support better understanding of retail customers. The other is Customer Interaction, which will explore interactive technology strategies and solutions that facilitate effective marketing and profitable sales of financial services.

“Our clients’ requests for new types of reports mirror our own research findings that investments in retail customer management technologies will continue to grow more complex and more strategic well into the next millennium,” said Bill Bradway, research director at Meridien Research. “In addition, risk management disciplines are coming out of the ivory tower to be integrated on a real-time basis into sales and marketing initiatives, delivery channel development, and product development and pricing. The realignment of our research and advisory practices will enable us to fully explore these trends and provide the most useful and forward-thinking analysis and opinion for financial institutions and technology vendors.”

The announcement was made at the first annual Meridien Research Financial Services User Conference held in Boston last week. This highly interactive, two-day forum focused on the technologies critical to providing financial services to retail customers.

The conference was designed for Meridien Research clients — technology leaders from banking, brokerage and insurance, as well as the vendor communities that serve them — to share their automation strategies, success stories, and plans for the future. Industry leaders giving formal presentations included Robert W. Lindemann, voice response program manager at United Services Automobile Association (USAA), on integrated, individualized customer interactions, Jim Carswell, vice president of credit scoring in the risk management division of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), on using customer information for risk management, and Donna Redel, CIO of Prudential Securities, on delivery of financial services via electronic channels.

In other sessions, Meridien Research updated its clients on key Meridien projections about future technology challenges and strategic business trends that will impact technology investments, including spending forecasts for financial institutions as Euro and Y2K projects wind down.

Meridien’s next user forum is scheduled for November 8-9, 1999. It will cover the technology research practices — Risk Management, Customer Management and Electronic Delivery — that support financial services for business and institutional customers.

Meridien Research of Newton, MA, provides analytical research and advisory services to users and providers of strategic technology in the financial services industries. Meridien Research specifically examines technology investments which may lead to competitive advantage, but are associated with difficult technology decisions, funding challenges and implementation paths. These technology areas include electronic delivery, risk management, and customer management in retail and commercial financial services. Meridien Research publishes quarterly reports and monthly briefs, which detail issues and challenges, provide real-world case studies, and offer projections and guidance in technology investments.

For more information about Meridien Research, call Amy Habeshian at 1-617-796-2800 or visit the Meridien Research Web site at .

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ARKSYS in East Asia

ARKSYS announced its first agreement in the East Asian market with Banco Comercial de Macau of Macau. ARKSYS will provide the Macau-based bank with the company’s Integrated Credit Card System, an IBM AS/400-based solution for issuing credit cards and processing credit transactions.

In conjunction with the bank’s 25th anniversary, Banco Comercial de Macau sought to complete its retail banking offerings with an in-house credit card offering. ARKSYS’ products provided a seamless integration with the bank’s core retail banking system. ICCS will enable Banco Comercial de Macau to issue cards, acquire transactions and provide an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) connection to the Visa network.

ARKSYS offers Integrated Transaction Management, a suite of payment and transaction processing systems that allows financial institutions to provide customers online, real time transactions twenty four hours a day, seven days a week from a variety of delivery channels. ARKSYS ITM solution provides financial institutions with the ability to integrate and manage retail delivery operations including ATMs, POS terminals, credit cards/debit cards, merchant management, electronic funds networks, interactive voice response, Internet/Intranet personal banking, bill payment and commercial PC banking. The company’s solutions are established in more than 60 countries. ARKSYS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Euronet Services Inc. (Nasdaq: EEFT).

For more information, contact Tom Kleinsorge, Manager of Marketing, Voice 501-218-7188 (USA)/Fax 501-218-7302 (USA)/E-mail tkleinsorge@arksys.com or by mail at 17500 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR USA 72211. ARKSYS’ home page address is http://www.arksys.com.

SOURCE ARKSYS Web Site: http://www.arksys.com

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NTT Breakdown

Japan’s NTT Data Corp. confirmed yesterday that CAFIS online credit card processing system crashed yesterday for about 2.5 hours. Nearly 500,000 NTT card terminals were unable to process card transactions from about 10 A.M. to 12:30 P.M., local time, Wednesday. The company estimates more than 200,000 transactions, mostly JCB and DC cards, were affected. According to Kyodo News, two computers in the Tokyo center were the culprits. Kyodo says NTT’s system crashed for four hours last June and for 30 minutes last July.

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GPT Buys Part of Abacus

Global Payment Technologies, Inc. , a leading manufacturer and innovator of currency acceptance systems used in the worldwide gaming, beverage, and vending industries, Wednesday announced the acquisition of 25% of Abacus Financial Management Systems Ltd., a UK-based software company, and the formation of Abacus Financial Management, Inc. US.

Stephen Katz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GPT, said, “Abacus currently has a hardware and software product, of which GPT’s validators are a key component, that has for the past year been tested in several locations of a major UK-based retailer that operates hundreds of stores and thousands of cash registers. This rigorous testing has recently been completed, and we are excited about the current and potential applications for this product.”

GPT has acquired a 25% interest in Abacus and, together with the principal of Abacus, has formed a new US-based company, AFM-US, that has the exclusive rights to distribute the new product in North America. GPT owns 80% of AFM-US and plans to commence domestic test marketing of the new product shortly.

“We believe the formation of AFM-US is a natural progression of GPT’s growing business interests,” said Katz. “Abacus’ product offers the retail market a more secure, efficient, and reliable process for the counting, storage, and transportation of its receipts. The product is intended to be used in conjunction with the traditional cash register that we know today. Essentially, we are able to offer the retail market a “cash handling system” that should allow retailers to discover new dimensions of security, control, accuracy, and speed.”

James Redding, Chairman of Abacus Financial Management Systems Ltd., added, “Abacus embraces the new alliance with GPT, as GPT’s experience and reputation in the advanced automated currency acceptance and validation market should boost the new product’s acceptance and help drive the market going forward.”

Global Payment Technologies, Inc. is a United States-based designer, manufacturer, and marketer of automated currency acceptance and validation systems used to receive and authenticate currencies in a variety of payment applications worldwide. GPT’s proprietary and patented technologies are among the most advanced in the industry.

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Chile’s CorpGroup Installs CrediTable

CorpGroup, a leading financial services corporation in Latin America, will be among the first financial groups in the region to install Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc.’s StrategyWare decision support system for account origination. CorpGroup also purchased CrediTable credit application models and custom application models from Fair, Isaac and will use these solutions to manage its credit card, consumer and installment loan portfolios. CorpGroup Financial, the Banking Division, was created by Infisa (Chilean shareholders) in 1997, when it joined forces with Chase Capital Partners, National Bank of Canada and two top American Investment Funds to form a conglomerate with an initial $750 million fund targeted for Latin America financial investments.

“We’re implementing Fair, Isaac solutions to help us better manage our various portfolios using a customer-centric view instead of our current product-specific view,” said Carlos Auszenker, head of Risk Management of CorpGroup. “Using StrategyWare for account origination and management will empower our analysts with comprehensive decision-making tools to become more customer-focused.”

CorpGroup is devoted to investment in the Latin America financial sector with plans to become a major regional financial network, encompassing banking, insurance, pension fund administration, and related businesses. The Banking Division includes CorpBanca and Banco Del Orinoco in Venezuela, CorpBanca in Argentina and Chile, and Corfinsa and Financiera Condell in Chile.

Fair, Isaac’s StrategyWare gives credit analysts powerful adaptive control capabilities to design, test and execute complex decision strategies without additional programming support. CrediTable predictive models enable credit grantors to apply application scoring quickly to new, small or niche portfolios that lack the extensive history required for custom model development.

Fair, Isaac (http://www.fairisaac.com) helps businesses worldwide maximize the value of data to make more profitable decisions about their customers, operations and portfolios. Fair, Isaac delivers data management services, analytics, software, and consulting to the financial services, direct marketing, personal lines insurance, retail, and healthcare industries.

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Bally Card

Bally Total Fitness is keeping its co-branded credit card program alive with a new MBNA agreement. By the end of this summer MBNA will begin marketing the ‘Bally Total Fitness Platinum MasterCard’ and ‘Bally Total Fitness Platinum VISA’ card. The Bally program was originally launched in Aug. 1996 as a restricted-credit VISA card with OR-based Orchard Federal Savings Bank. Under the Orchard VISA program, Bally transferred members’ membership fees to the VISA card. Last August Bally had signed up 100,000 customers for the VISA program. Bally indicated yesterday the number has since grown to 125,000. Bally expanded the card program with Metris Companies in Apr. 1997 as a MasterCard co-branded program. The Bally/Metris MasterCard offered an airline mileage reward. Metris launched its marketing program for the ‘Bally Rewards MasterCard and Gold MasterCard’ in Aug, 1997, with a one million piece pre-approved maildrop. The Metris program apparently produced lackluster results. Bally will discontinue the Metris program but retain the Orchard program. The MBNA version will offer membership upgrades, apparel, merchandise, personal training, nutritional supplements, and reductions in membership dues. Bally Total Fitness is the largest, commercial operator of fitness centers in the USA, with about four million members and 330 facilities in 27 states and Canada.

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MedCard on PC

SIMS Communications, Inc. announced Wednesday that the Company is shipping a PC software version of its reputed MedCard System for healthcare claims processing and benefits verification.

The MedCard System, a completely paperless system, electronically processes 100% third-party insurance billings at the healthcare provider’s office.

“The PC version of the MedCard System is an excellent product,” stated Dr. Joseph Bonavoglia of Queens, New York. “It is intuitive and extremely easy to use. And, it fulfills its promise of providing a completely paperless billing operation. I am very impressed.”

“SIMS’ long-term strategy has been is to become the leading content provider for healthcare on the Internet. We aim to be the Yahoo! (Nasdaq:YHOO) of healthcare portals. This announcement adds the third major component to reaching this goal,” stated Mark E. Bennett, SIMS President and Chief Executive Officer. “In January, we announced the development of an Internet electronic commerce system from which consumers will be able to order over 5,000 Bergen Brunswig Corporation (NYSE:BBC) home medical equipment products on the Internet. In February, we announced the development and launch of our Internet Web Portal for healthcare information. Today, we announce that the PC version of our MedCard System will be linked to the Internet through our portal. By so doing, SIMS’ healthcare portal becomes the foundation from which all healthcare activities begin and end. Using our web portal as a gateway, hospitals and healthcare providers soon will be able to access medical benefits verification and eligibility data online, perform paperless third-party billing, order home medical equipment for their patients and research medical information.

“Consumers, using SIMS’ Internet healthcare web portal as a healthcare gateway, also will have access to healthcare chat rooms, healthcare content providers, electronic commerce sites, yellow pages and medical research. In other words, from this totally integrated healthcare environment, our web portal will provide content-rich, single-source access to healthcare information for both healthcare providers and consumers. SIMS’ revenues come from MedCard’s service fees, HME product sales, portal linkage fees and advertising.”

SIMS is currently researching and evaluating potential relationships with turnkey web portal solution providers such as Today.com (OTC BB:TODY) and Infospace.com (Nasdaq:INSP).

InfoSpace.com is a leading provider of private label solutions for content and commerce to web sites and Internet appliances. InfoSpace.com’s affiliate network consists of more than 1,500 Web sites. The company’s affiliates include AOL (NYSE:AOL), Netscape (Nasdaq:NSCP), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT), Lycos (Nasdaq:LCOS), go2net Inc.’s (Nasdaq: GNET) MetaCrawler, Dow Jones (The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition), ABC LocalNet and CBS’s affiliated TV stations. In addition, InfoSpace.com has agreements with a number of providers of Internet access devices including PCs by Acer America and The Pixel Company (for Packard Bell NEC), cellular phones by AT&T Wireless and UnWired Planet, pagers by WolfeTech (Motorola – (NYSE:MOT)), screen phones by InfoGear, Mitel, Mitsui (Nasdaq:MITSY) and Lucent, television set-top boxes by American Interactive Media, @Home (Nasdaq:ATHM), Lucent (NYSE:LU), On Command, Planetweb and Source Media, online kiosks by King kiosk platform and Lexitech kiosk platform, and personal digital assistants by AT&T Wireless, InfoGear and Unwired Planet.

SIMS Communications provides low cost, turnkey, transaction processing solutions to service providers and retailers. Its products include medical insurance verification, medical billing, prepaid phone card activations, customer affinity programs, financial transaction processing using credit cards and ATM/Debit cards and customized associated vertical market applications.

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Chip Card Stats

Worldwide chip card semiconductor shipments totaled 1,323 million units in 1998, resulting in 1,254 million chip cards being shipped according to a new study by GartnerGroup’s Dataquest unit. Siemens Semiconductor produced the largest volume of chip card silicon (microcontrollers and memory) in 1998, with 658 million units (49.7 percent market share). Gemplus manufactured the largest volume of chip cards (smart cards and memory cards) in 1998, with 404 million units (32.2 percent market share).

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Missed the Mark

San Diego-based HNC Software Inc. reported yesterday that, based on a preliminary review of its results for the first quarter, it expects revenue of approximately $48 to $50 million for the quarter, which is approximately 10% lower than the company’s projections. This compares to revenue of $35 million for the first quarter of 1998. The decrease in anticipated Q1 revenue is due primarily to a shortfall in revenue and profit from HNC’s Insurance Solutions Group. HNC will release its final 1Q/99 results on April 19.

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NYCE Goes CAS

NYCE Corp. announced yesterday its decision to bring universal participation in Card Alert Services, Inc. to all NYCE Network card issuing participants. The CAS program helps detect early stage criminal activity which enables institutions to block and reissue compromised cards before fraudulent cash withdrawals are made. CAS receives a subset of switch transactions from NYCE and six other participating shared networks. CAS monitors for abnormal transaction patterns. CAS estimates it has prevented $15 million to $20 million in losses to-date. Under a new network rules change, effective this month, all NYCE issuing participants will become automatic subscribers to CAS. NYCE has an ownership interest in CAS.

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