New Bull COO

Bull announced Friday in the United States that Don Zereski, senior executive vice president, Operations, has been appointed chief operating officer. Zereski is now in charge of the company’s worldwide product and services divisions in addition to his existing responsibilities as head of Bull’s sales networks and marketing. Based in Paris, he reports to Guy de Panafieu, Bull’s chairman and CEO.

Zereski was appointed senior executive VP, Operations in July, after two years as head of Bull’s North & South America sales networks.

Don Zereski is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, and completed the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. He acquired his management experience with Digital, as vice president of American operations, then with Data General, where from 1993 he was in charge of systems integration and services worldwide. Before joining Bull, he was president of Northcrest International Limited.

With a presence in more than 85 countries, more than 21,000 employees, and combined revenues in 1997 of $4.2 billion, Bull offers a wide range of systems, infrastructure software and IT services through focused innovation, alliances with the best partners, and its own integration expertise. Based in France, the company’s worldwide software division, BullSoft, and its North/South America operations are headquartered in Billerica, Mass. The company’s Web address is and, in the U.S., .

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Bio MasterCard

Canada Trust has introduced the first biodegradable credit cards in Canada with the launch of the Canada Trust “Friends of the Environment Foundation” MasterCard. The biodegradable credit card is made of a plant-based substance called ‘Biopol’. ‘Biopol’ credit cards break down in the presence of soil, moisture or salt water in a few months. In addition to the use of a biodegradable card, the new MasterCard will generate funds for the non-profit group based on card transaction volume. The Canada Trust “Friends of the Environment Foundation”, established in 1990, provides funding support for initiatives that protect and preserve the Canadian environment. The regular and gold MasterCards have no annual fee. The annual interest rate is 17.9% and 15.9% respectively. A special offer this month features an intro rate of 7.9% for the first six months.

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E-Bank Hits $1 Billion

TeleBank revealed Thursday that is has surpassed the threshold of 50,000 accounts and the $1 billion in deposits mark. TeleBank recently introduced ‘True Internet Checking’, which gives account holders the convenience of completing transactions, such as bill payments over the Internet, while yielding the premium rates of a money market account. TeleBank’s Internet checking account holders receive interest on account balances over $2,500, free printed checks, free unlimited bill payments, free Internet account access, a free ATM/Debit card; and they pay no monthly fees.

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PNC to Metris

PNC Bank completed its sale of out-of-footprint, non-affinity credit card accounts to Metris’ Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank yesterday. The portfolio involved receivables of $821 million and nearly 500,000 accounts. PNC says the sale of the portfolio is part of a series of initiatives designed to improve the returns in PNC’s national consumer banking business.The sale of the credit card portfolio, which was announced in Sept. brings Metris’ credit card portfolio to over $5.0 billion in receivables and nearly 3.0 million accounts. At the end of the third quarter Direct Merchants held $4,242,768,000 in receivables and 2,300,000 active accounts according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). CardData reports that PNC held $3,867,150,000 in receivables and 2,075,445 active accounts as of Sept. 30, 1998.

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

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Casinos Get Iced

Hypercom announced Thursday that its ‘ICE’ or ‘Interactive Consumer Environment 5000’ terminals are being deployed to more than 1,000 casinos around the country by the Global Cash Access consortium. Established in June, the Global Cash Access consortium is the largest cash access provider to casinos and includes BA Merchant Services, Inc., USA Processing and First Data Corp.. Hypercom’s terminals will be used in conjunction with its ‘T7E’ terminal to form a complete point-of-service cash solution for casino players. The roll-out began this month at Bally’s in Atlantic City and will include casinos in Las Vegas and riverboats nationwide. The deployments will be completed within 60 days. The ‘ICE 5000’ terminals are delivered with touch screen and smart card functionality and are equipped with Hypercom’s ‘FastPOS’ 9600 baud modems built in.

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M&I Data VISA Awards

M&I Data Services, a leading provider of electronic funds transfer solutions and bank card services, announces that its bankcard services division is the recipient of three Visa U.S.A. awards:  two 1998 Member Service Quality Performance Awards, plus a special award.

This marks the sixth time that BankCard Services earned one of the best copy request rates and the second time the division received recognition for one of the best chargeback rates by an Acquirer with annual Visa sales between $2 billion and $5 billion. BankCard Services also received a special award for winning in the copy request category for five or more consecutive years.

“The BankCard Services Division of M&I Data Services made quality service our 1998 team goal,” said Mark Courchane, general manager of BankCard Services for M&I Data Services.  “These awards recognize the efforts and dedication of the BankCard Services Team in providing a high level of service to its customers.”

“We are excited about receiving these awards from Visa U.S.A.  This reflects our commitment to provide superior service quality to customers,” said Frank D’Angelo, senior vice president and general manager of Electronic Funds Delivery (EFD) Services and BankCard Services for M&I Data Services.

The BankCard Services division of M&I Data Services processes credit card transactions, provides complete cardholder and merchant services, plus offers automated fraud monitoring, credit approval and portfolio risk management.

The Electronic Funds Delivery (EFD) Services division of M&I Data Services processes more than 50 million transactions a month, supports more than 7,000 ATMs, has issued more than 10 million ATM and debit cards, performs network gateway services and has network interfaces to all of the major regional and national ATM and point-of-sale (POS) networks.

Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. 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 $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa’s 660 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 370,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. The company Web site is

M&I Data Services is a provider of leading-edge technology solutions to the financial services industry. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., it offers consulting, software and processing solutions for financial institutions worldwide. The company’s rapid growth is being fueled by innovative product development, strategic product acquisitions and strong growth of its customer relationships. M&I Data Services is a division of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation, a $21.2 billion holding company. For more information, visit the M&I Data Services Web site at

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TNS Signs BB&T

Transaction Network Services announced yesterday that it has signed an agreement with BB&T Corp. to provide enhanced ATM technology and transaction transport services. BB&T has more than 740 ATMs currently in service. BB&T will use the TNS ‘TransXpress 1000’ modem and the TNS ‘Host Interface Processor’ to convert approximately 250 ATMs from multi-drop leased lines to a dial-up network. The ‘TransXpress’ modems convert leased line ATMs to alternative communication access methods by replacing the existing modem at the ATM.

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Sumx Investor

Britton & Koontz Capital Corporation announced Thursday the acquisition of a thirty-five percent interest in Sumx Inc., an Internet banking software and service provider located in Madison, Mississippi and Dallas, Texas for $1 million. Sumx, formerly InterBank Systems, Inc., was founded in January, 1996 by Summit Research, Inc., a software engineering firm and Bazile R. Lanneau, Jr., Vice President of Britton & Koontz Capital, to develop an Internet banking system for Britton & Koontz First National Bank, Britton & Koontz Capital’s wholly owned subsidiary.  The SumxNet Online Banking system enables financial institutions’ customers to view account balances, transfer funds, pay bills, order checks and, where available, view check images.  In addition to consumer bill payment, SumxNet also provides cash management services that include ACH origination and returns, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System submission, wire transfer, secure messaging and memo posting for up-to-the-minute account updates.  Britton & Koontz’ investment will fund marketing and the service bureau implementation of SumxNet.  Sumx can be located at on the Internet and at 601-856-1736 in Madison, Mississippi.

Britton & Koontz Capital Corporation, headquartered in Natchez, Mississippi, is the parent company of Britton & Koontz First National Bank which operates three full service offices in Natchez.  As of September 30, 1998, the Company reported assets of $175.4 million and equity of $19.2 million.  The Company’s stock is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol BKBK and the transfer agent is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company.  Total shares outstanding at September 30, 1998, amounted to 1,767,064.

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Jeep ATM

ARCO mini-market customers who use one of the 680 KeyBank ATM’s across California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona can enter to win a 1999 Jeep Wrangler in KeyBank’s  “KEY TO YOUR CAR SWEEPSTAKES!”. In addition to the car contest, ARCO customers using the ATM have a one in three chance of becoming an instant winner of a 32oz. soft drink. The KeyBank sweepstakes runs until Jan. 4. Following their ATM transaction, interested customers can sign up to win by printing out an entry form. While waiting for a transaction to finish, the ATM screen could also flash an instant soft drink winner award.

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Xmas Checkwriting Slows

With the explosion in debit card use Americans are writing less checks this holiday season. TeleCheck Services reported this week that same-store sales for the first ten days of the holiday shopping period were only up 2.2% over the same period last year. The data are based on a same-store comparison of the dollar volume of authorized checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 200,000 subscribing locations. Checks account for about one-third of retail spending. For the first ten days of the holiday period, the Midwest region led the nation with a 3.6% increase. Other regions: Southeast (+2.7%),  Southwest (+2.1%),  Mid-Atlantic (+1.9%), Northeast (+1.7%) and the West (+1.2%).

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GM Corp Card

General Motors made it official Thursday that it is consolidating all employee corporate charge cards into a single, multifunctional Citibank card supported by a single expense summary and management system. The new corporate card solution will be Intranet based. GM expects the program to be fully functional within one year and projects it will save 93%, or $3.7 million over current processes, by eliminating costs associated with the handling of paper expense reports. The move will be the largest corporate charge card initiative in the world involving 100,000 GM and Delphi employees in North America. GM currently uses a total of eight different cards for four business processes including: corporate travel; telephone calls; fleet purchases; and indirect material purchases. Citibank’s e-Citi Group won the contract and will team with Captura Software of Bothell, WA, to provide the global Intranet-based system. GM says it will expand the program internationally after the North American phase is completed.

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