Cash Tech’s CFO

Cash Technologies, Inc. announced Friday the appointment of Robert M. Gielow as its Chief Financial Officer, replacing Richard Miller.  Mr. Miller, a Director and Founder of the Company, had been serving as interim CFO.

Mr. Gielow, 53, most recently was Vice President and General Manager of the Emerging Business Services division of ADP from July to December of 1998.

From 1991 until July 1998, Mr. Gielow served as VP Finance and later as CFO of Kinko’s, Inc. which operated approximately 850 domestic and 30 foreign branch offices.  While at Kinko’s, Mr. Gielow played a key role in the consolidation of 125 independent operating companies into the $1.6 billion Kinko’s Inc. entity.

Mr. Gielow started his career at Xerox Corporation, where he spent 15 years in a variety of financial and administrative assignments.

“We are fortunate to have found someone with the depth of experience and knowledge in finance, technology and operations that Bob Gielow possesses to serve as our CFO,” said Bruce Korman, Cash Technologies Chairman and CEO.

Cash Technologies’ wholly owned Austrian subsidiary, CoinBank Automation Handels GmbH, recently announced that it has reached an agreement with Bank Austria’s subsidiary, Creditanstalt AG, to install its CoinBank(R) advanced coin deposit machines on a trial basis.  With more than 200 branches, Bank Austria is Austria’s largest banking group with more than US$140 billion in assets, in addition to being Austria’s largest publicly traded corporation.

“The conversion of local currencies to the euro within the European Union (“EU”) will provide enormous opportunities for European cash handling equipment providers like CoinBank Automation,” said Korman.  “Bank Austria, a banking technology innovator, is one of the first of many European banks that we expect to embrace the electronic-commerce enabled CoinBank(R) machine.”

More than 70 billion coins need to be redeemed in Europe before July 2002, when local coin and currency denominations will become worthless for common use.  The CoinBank(R) self-service coin deposit machine is the ideal solution to help the EU cope with this problem.  It is entirely software driven, allowing coins in any country to be programmed for acceptance now and the new euro coins later.

Cash Technologies, Inc. develops and markets innovative e-commerce kiosks, including advanced self-service coin counters and the multifunction ATM-X(TM) automated teller machine.  The Company also provides computerized cash processing services to banks, armored carriers, rapid transit agencies and other cash-intensive businesses.

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Gaining Strength

Improved quality in Sears’ credit card portfolio helped offset retail softness, the company said yesterday. The company also reported an 8.5% decrease in credit revenues during the fourth quarter. The decrease in credit revenues was attributable to reduced late fee income and a lower level of owned credit card receivables. Average managed domestic credit card receivables stood at $27.7 billion for 4Q/98 compared to $27.9 billion for 4Q/97. Sears reported Thursday that its domestic provision for uncollectible accounts for 4Q/98 was $245 million, a 60.7% decrease from $623 million in the fourth quarter of 1997.  The company says the decrease in the provision is due to favorable trends in delinquency rates, charge-off experience and bankruptcies and a decrease in credit card balances. For the full 4Q/98 earnings report for Sears please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

SEARS   U.S.  CARD   PORTFOLIO   PERFORMANCE
4Q/98 4Q/97
Net Chargeoff 6.74% 7.76%
Delinquency 7.23% 7.03%
Net Interest Margin 14.25% 14.88%
Financing Rate 5.84% 6.14%
Portfolio Yield 20.09% 21.02%
Source CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Transaction Systems Latest Q

Transaction Systems Architects, Inc., a leading global provider of application software for electronic payments reported record revenue of $86.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 1999, an increase of 25 percent over the same quarter last year. Pro forma net income for the quarter was $9.8 million and $.31 per share (diluted). The pro forma results exclude transaction expenses of $653 thousand related to the acquisition of Media Integration BV (MINT). The acquisition of MINT was completed in the first quarter and has been accounted for as a pooling of interest. Accordingly, TSAI’s financial statements have been restated to include the results of MINT for all periods presented. The acquisition of U.S. Processing, Inc. was also completed in the first quarter and was accounted for using the purchase method.

Operating income was $15.0 million for the quarter compared to operating income of $11.9 million for the same quarter last year, an increase of 26 percent. Excluding the aforementioned transaction related expenses, the company reported pro forma net income of $9.8 million, $.31 per share (diluted) compared to $7.7 million, $.25 per share (diluted) in the first quarter fiscal year 1998. Compared to net income and earnings per share for first quarter 1998, the current increase was 26 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Net income and earnings per share including the transaction related expenses was $9.4 million and $.30 per share (diluted), respectively.

The company completed the quarter with $198.9 million in backlog consisting of $67.7 million in non-recurring revenue and $131.2 million in recurring revenue. Backlog increased $49.4 million, a 33 percent increase compared to backlog for first quarter of fiscal year 1998. Non-recurring revenues are composed of fees specified in software and services contracts the company expects to recognize in the next 12 months. Recurring revenues include all monthly license fees, maintenance fees and facilities management fees that the company expects to recognize over the next 12 months.

Cash flow from operating activities was $9.0 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 1999. The combined cash and cash equivalent balance at December 31, 1998 was $62 million.

“We are pleased with our first quarter results of strong revenue and earnings growth as it provides a solid start for fiscal year 1999,” said William E. Fisher, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Transaction Systems Architects. “During the quarter our Americas channel and Europe, Middle East and Africa channel achieved revenue growth of 32 percent and 23 percent, respectively. The Asia/Pacific region which represents 8 percent of total revenue was down 10 percent as compared with the first quarter fiscal year 98.”

Transaction Systems Architects’ software facilitates electronic payments by providing consumers and companies access to their money. Its products are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, home banking services, checks, wire transfers as well as automated clearing and settlement. Transaction Systems’ solutions are used on more than 3,300 product systems in 70 countries on six continents.

For the latest financials on TSAI please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Equifax Payment Services

Equifax reported yesterday that the strong performance of its Payment Services operations drove revenue growth for the fourth quarter. Payment Services, which operates through Card Services and Check Services, increased revenue 25.6% to $159.6 million in the fourth quarter. The revenue increase in Payment Services was led primarily by growth in Card Services, with an increase in card and merchant processing, as well as the acquisition of 59% of Unnisa, a card services business in Brazil. Operating income of $36.5 million increased 28.5% primarily as a result of the substantial operating leverage from the integration of the acquisition of CUNA Service Group, Inc. in late 1996, as well as continued growth of the Card Services business and strong performance of Check Services. For additional 4Q/98 earnings information for Equifax please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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The MARK Cards

ORGA Card Systems said Thursday it has been chosen by The MARK of the Quad Cities to implement a chip-based, stored-value card for the 12,000-seat-capacity, all-purpose arena. The six-year-old facility serves the Quad Cities area in IL. With an initial delivery of pre-loaded $20 disposable cards available in four designs, the program will enable MARK customers to make cashless purchases along the building’s concessions concourse. The first series of new smart cards will be marketed to United Hockey League fans attending Quad City Mallard home games at the arena.

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Checkmate Order

IVI Checkmate Corp. said Thursday it has received a $2.5 Million order for the ‘eN-Crypt 2100’ customer activated debit/credit terminal from Fred Meyer Inc. for its Fred Meyer Stores and Quality Food Centers. Smith’s Food & Drug Centers Inc., a subsidiary of Fred Meyer Inc., had previously installed 3,000 IVI Checkmate ‘eN-Crypt 2100’ payment terminals to complete a chain-wide rollout of Smith’s. OR-based Fred Meyer operates about 800 stores in a variety of food and drug and multi-department formats located in 12 western states from Alaska to Texas.

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Ticket Transactions Up/Running

Ticketmaster, a USA company has begun its rollout of accepting MasterCard, Visa and Discover at retail Ticket Center locations throughout the U.S. and has selected Chase Merchant Services to provide credit card processing for all credit card transactions. Under the long-term agreement, Chase Merchant Services will provide card processing services for more than 15 million Ticketmaster credit card transactions annually via Ticketmaster’s Charge-By-Phone Network, retail Ticket Center locations, Internet site, and select venue box offices. Ticketmaster expects all 2,900 of its retail Ticket Center locations to be able to accept credit cards within the year.

“We selected Chase Merchant Services because of its state-of-the- art technology and its ability to handle the high volume processing of Ticketmaster’s Charge-By-Phone, retail, and Internet credit card sales,” said Eugene Cobuzzi, COO, Ticketmaster Group, Inc. “We look forward to working closely with Chase Merchant Services to continue to provide optimum ticketing services to our clients as well as to providing entertainment fans with fast and easy access to purchasing event tickets.”

“We are pleased to form a strategic partnership with a leader in the entertainment industry,” said Diane Vogt, chief executive officer of Chase Merchant Services. “This agreement reflects positively on our ability to provide the economies of scale and highest degree of innovation that service providers seek for payment processing.”

Ticketmaster, a USA company (NasdaqUSAI) is the world’s leading computerized ticketing service; selling 70 million tickets valued at more than two billion dollars, through more than 2,900 retail Ticket Center outlets; 29 worldwide telephone call centers; and its Internet site. Ticketmaster serves more than 3,750 clients in the U.S., South America, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. The company provides ticketing for 94 professional sports franchises and hundreds of leading arenas, stadiums, performing arts venues, and theaters including such prominent facilities as Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Great Western Forum and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and the United Center in Chicago. Clients receive comprehensive ticket inventory control and management, broad distribution, and dedicated marketing and support services. Consumers receive convenient access to tickets for more than 150,000 events a year, including a broad range of concerts, sports, family entertainment, performing arts, and movies.

Chase Merchant Services is the nation’s largest merchant acquirer, processing nearly 2 billion transactions a year and more than $100 billion in annual credit and debit card sales volume. Chase Merchant Services is a joint venture between First Data Merchant Services Corporation, the world’s leading processor of Visa and MasterCard transactions, and The Chase Manhattan Bank (NYSECMB), the fourth largest bankcard issuer in the United States.

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Maryland EBT

Citicorp Services confirmed yesterday it has been selected by the State of Maryland Department of Human Resources to provide EBT services in the state under a newly awarded contract. The state presently has an EBT system operated by another contractor, but re-bid the project in 1998 because the current contract expires in late 1999. Since the Maryland program is already operational, Citicorp Services will work on transferring the state’s EBT processing to its own system from the current contractor’s system. Over 40 states are involved in some stage of EBT.

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Valentine Gift Card

As gift cards continue to explode on the marketplace, Borders Books and Music announced Thursday they will introduce a Valentine’s Day electronic gift certificate card.The Borders ‘Valentine’s Day’ gift card, available in a $25 denomination, goes on sale Feb. 1 in all U.S. Borders stores and through Borders.com. It is the size of a credit card and features a colorful heart graphic. It is redeemable only at Borders Books and Music locations in the U.S.. The electronic gift certificate card automatically retains any unused balance and there is a toll-free phone line to check for updated balance information. Borders will include a free blank journal, valued at $4.95 with the gift card.

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ChequeMARK E-Check System

LML Payment Systems Inc. announces that its subsidiary ChequeMARK Inc. is launching its Patented Point-Of-Sale Electronic Checking system for use on the Internet.  The ChequeMARK System, which enables retailers to convert a paper check transaction into a fully automated paperless electronic transaction, will likewise be designed for implementation by web merchants (“e-tailers”) as an alternative payment system to the current methods of Internet payment such as credit card, paper check drafts and virtual cash.

The ChequeMARK System will empower e-tailers to allow Internet consumers access to funds residing in their bank accounts in order to make purchases at e-tailers’ web sites.  While presently, the majority of Internet transactions are completed with credit cards, consumers’ overall preferred payment method is the personal check.  In 1997, personal check dollar volume was more than double the dollar volume for credit and debit cards combined.  During the same period, checks were also used 1 1/2 times more frequently than credit and debit cards combined.  The Company believes that its Patented Electronic Checking system will enable e-tailers to benefit from the same consumer payment preference.

Recently published reports indicate that Internet purchases will balloon from approximately $15 Billion in 1998 to over $3 Trillion by 2003.  The Company plans to make the ChequeMARK System available to Internet commerce service providers (“CSP’s”) and Internet payment processors who design and develop other payment methods on behalf of the rapidly expanding universe of e-tailers.  The Company believes that personal electronic checking will form an integral part of the Internet commerce industry and expects ChequeMARK’s entry to become one of the dominant methods of payment.

The Company owns U.S. Patent No. 5,484,988 with specific regard to a “checkwriting point-of-sale system” and operates the ChequeMARK System, a central database and authorization system administering various consumer payment services, collectively referred to as “Electronic Checking.”

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Online Shopping – A Hit

December was predicted to be a breakthrough season for Internet shopping and indeed, the click of the mouse was heard across America more than ever before this holiday.  But more important than the number of shoppers who logged on is the astonishing 98 percent of online holiday shoppers that said they had a satisfactory or very satisfactory experience according to a Visa U.S.A. survey released today.

The future of online shopping continues to be bright — 90 percent of respondents who shopped online said they plan to continue and 88 percent would recommend shopping online to a friend.

“This past holiday season set the benchmark for online shopping not just for the holidays, but for the future of e-commerce,” said Joe Vause, vice president of electronic commerce for Visa U.S.A.  “Getting consumers to try shopping online isn’t nearly as tough as getting them to come back, which is why we are pleased to see a strong commitment by consumers to continue shopping online.”

In the 1,128 person survey commissioned by Visa U.S.A., 51 percent of the respondents purchased a portion of their holiday gifts online this past year — exceeding pre-holiday expectations by 5 percentage points.  And for 19 percent of these consumers, this marked their maiden online shopping voyage.

Online Shopping Experience

* 92 percent of respondents found most of their gifts ordered online arrived by the expected date, and 95 percent of those gifts arrived in good condition.  62 percent of online shoppers said they were very satisfied with the telephone customer service they received when they spoke to a representative.

* Of the online shoppers surveyed who paid for online holiday purchases with a credit card, 55 percent felt that the financial information they were providing was very secure.

Most Popular Purchases

* For this holiday, clothes and books were predicted to top the shopping list.  Of Visa’s survey respondents who did shop online this holiday, 43 percent bought books, 30 percent bought clothes, 27 percent bought CDs, and 18 percent bought toys.  15 percent of the online shoppers surveyed spent more than they planned on their gifts, with the largest portion (33 percent) spending between $100 and $249 on Internet purchases.  52 percent of those purchases were made using a Visa card.

* In the November 1998 online shopping survey by Visa, 29 percent of Internet shoppers said they were most likely to shop online for their children this holiday season and by far the hardest person to shop for would be a spouse or partner.  In this latest survey, children and spouses/partners received the most gifts and 92 percent of respondents found the Internet did make it easier to buy gifts for “hard to shop for” relatives.

Brand Awareness Online

* The November 1998 Visa survey found that 86 percent of online shoppers have a specific product in mind when they shop online.  That was true this holiday — 43 percent of online holiday shoppers went first to the web page of a company that makes the product they wanted.  64 percent of respondents also said they are aware of advertising promoting online shopping.

The Visa U.S.A. survey was conducted January 5 — January 12, by NFO Research Inc. of Greenwich, Conn., among 1,128 adults who have access to the Internet on a computer at home or in the office.  Of those polled, half were interviewed over the telephone and half completed the survey online.  This survey was conducted as a follow-up to a pre-holiday survey released in November 1998.

Visa, the leading card brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide, is a payment solutions provider for consumers, merchants and government.  It 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 is the only consumer payment system to facilitate more than $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year.  Visa’s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 15 million worldwide locations, including more than 450,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network.  Visa’s Internet address is [http//www.visa.com][1].

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

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TU Becomes a CA

VeriSign, Inc., the world’s leading provider of Internet-based trust services, and Trans Union LLC, the nation’s leading consumer credit information company, Thursday announced that Trans Union has selected VeriSign’s Affiliate Services to establish itself as a Certificate Authority (CA) to enable secure Internet transactions between consumers and its Relying Partner Network.  Trans Union’s Relying Partner Network is a value-chain network that brings consumers and Web sites together in such applications as home banking, online auction houses, online brokerages, document delivery, online communities, Internet e-mail services, web retailers and lending services.  As a Certificate Authority, Trans Union will distribute digital certificates to consumers who are referred to the company from the Relying Partner Network, establishing a broad trusted infrastructure for secure e-commerce and communications.

Trans Union maintains one of the largest consumer-oriented databases in the world and is a primary source of credit information for companies that have risk management or portfolio evaluation needs.  The combination of Trans Union’s vast repository of consumer credit information and VeriSign’s expertise in online trust services delivers to the Relying Partner Network a trusted and authenticated population of users to whom they can confidently market their products and services.  With the Relying Partner Network, businesses will increase Web site security, establish broad digital certificate interoperability and reduce online fraud.

“We looked at all of the top providers to help us create a leading digital certificate solution for our partners and consumers and only VeriSign had the broad digital certificate expertise that we were looking for,” said James Randall, Director, Trans Union Internet Business Group.  “With VeriSign’s Affiliate Services, we’re able to offer Internet businesses the ability to verify consumers’ identities using our credit information and authentication infrastructure and enable secure and private Internet transactions.”

Trans Union is deploying its Relying Partner Program during the first quarter of 1999.  Through the use of digital certificates, Trans Union will enable consumers to manage online investments, conduct home banking and engage in secure communications with the confidence that their transactions are private and have not been tampered with in any way, a critical security component when using the Internet for the transfer of private information.

“Trans Union is the clear leader in offering superior, high-value credit information and its decision to secure its business with VeriSign’s Affiliate Services is a testament to the value it places on secure, private online transactions and communications,” said Richard Yanowitch, vice president of marketing at VeriSign.  “By leveraging the security of digital certificates, Trans Union is able to offer its Relying Partners and consumers the confidence that business and transactions conducted over the Internet will be private and secure.”

VeriSign Affiliate Services

VeriSign’s Affiliate Services have been designed to serve the needs of major service providers with extremely high volume digital certificate issuance requirements.  These include electronic commerce service providers who establish themselves as large-scale regional or multi-national Certificate Authorities (CAs); Internet Service Providers or Web hosting companies which deliver connectivity and other value added services to a range of business and consumer customers; and transaction processors, financial services companies, professional services firms, and other entities that operate Internet-based communities of interest (such as Web portals).  These Affiliates typically offer digital certificate services to their customers either under their own brand, the VeriSign brand, or within a co-branded certificate hierarchy.  In many cases, the certificate services are integrated with other value-added services offered by the provider.  Examples include an ISP which offers Web site digital certificates in conjunction with its Web site hosting services or a large e-commerce site which offers certificates to each member of its customer base to support secure user authentication and electronic messaging.

Trans Union LLC

Trans Union is the nation’s leading consumer credit information company, with owned and independent credit bureaus in all 50 states.  The company provides a broad range of industries with products and services that include credit reports, risk scoring models, target marketing systems, pre-employment evaluation reports, skip tracing and search tools, customized lists, transaction services; products that service both equity and first mortgage lenders; as well as other information-based products.  Trans Union also offers similar products through its international operations in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Italy, Mexico and South Africa.  Offices have also recently opened in Chile, Kenya and Peru.

VeriSign, Inc.

VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq VRSN) is the leading provider of Internet-based trust services and digital certificate solutions needed by Web sites, enterprises, electronic commerce service providers and individuals to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications over IP networks. VeriSign’s digital certificate services for Web sites and consumers are available through the company’s Web site at [http//www.verisign.com][1].  The company’s digital certificate services for enterprises and electronic commerce service providers are available through regional account representatives, resellers, and global affiliates.

VeriSign is a registered trademark exclusively licensed to VeriSign, Inc. VeriSign Global Trust Network, VeriSign Trust Network, Global Trust Network, and OnSite are service marks of VeriSign, Inc.  All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

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

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