Cendant Rewards Expands

Cendant Business Services announced Thursday they have expanded the ‘Cendant Rewards’ program to include fleet fuel and vehicle maintenance purchases. The rewards program is linked to a MasterCard/Cendant Card. Under the program cardholders earn one point for every dollar spent on T&E and fleet purchases, one bonus point  for each dollar spent doing business with a key vendor and another bonus point if dealing with a Cendant-owned company such as Avis, Days Inn and Ramada. The reward points are redeemable towards hotel discounts and free airline tickets. Free domestic airline tickets require 25,000 minimum points, while tickets to Hawaii require 40,000 minimum points and tickets to Europe require 50,000 points minimum.


NCI Demo

Network Controls International, Inc. (NCI) will demo the Virtual Banking channel of NCI Business Centre, an innovative, browser-based retail delivery solution suite that takes full advantage of Internet/Intranet technology, at BAI Retail Delivery ’98 in Las Vegas.

An enterprise-wide solution designed for the financial services industry, NCI Business Centre provides banking automation for all delivery channels using on a single technology.

The Virtual Banking channel, the Internet banking component of NCI Business Centre, provides support for smart card technology for delivery to Internet-connected PCs, kiosks, web TVs and personal digital assistants.

“We’ll demo the smart card function of our sample home banking application from the NCI Business Centre’s Virtual Banking channel, providing transfer of funds to and from the smart card.

“We will also demo live Internet banking functions, such as transferring funds between accounts and accessing an EFT authorization system installed in Albany, New York, using the TPII product from our parent company, IFS International,” says Per Olof Ezelius, NCI president and CEO.

The smart card demo will show how a banking customer inserts a stored value card (SVC) and transfers money to and from the card, crediting and debiting selected customer accounts.

The Virtual Banking channel also provides the standard functions provided by Internet banking channels, such as the ability to view balances, pay bills, execute transactions and balance their checkbooks 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

NCI Business Centre makes use of the most powerful network and database technology available, such as Windows NT Server, Windows NT/95/98 clients, browser-based delivery, Internet/Intranet protocol (TCP/IP) and a centralized Oracle database.

NCI Business Centre has been designed as a server-centric solution that automates all delivery channels, including Marketing, Branch (teller, platform and back office), Call Center, Kiosks and Virtual Banking (those banking services available to customers through Internet access) based on a single technology.

This server-centric design permits easy scaling and configuring of the system throughout the enterprise. Furthermore, it provides superior operational advantages in maintaining and supporting the system at a fraction of the cost compared with traditional systems.

This new offering by NCI will complement a bank’s existing core banking host systems, such as Alltel Systematics, Hogan, Jack Henry, Fiserv, and EDS Newtrend Miser2.

Established in 1983, NCI provides information technology solutions for the financial services industry with innovative, server-centric and browser-based retail delivery products.

NCI’s operations include wholly owned European subsidiaries in London, UK and Viersen, Germany and an Asia-Pacific branch office in Melbourne, Australia. NCI Holdings, Inc., the parent company of NCI, was acquired by IFS International, Inc. earlier this year.


EFTA Summit ’99

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association Wednesday announced that San Diego has been chosen as the site of the group’s 1999 Spring member “Summit.”

The Summit, one of two semi-annual membership meetings scheduled in 1999, will be held Tuesday, March 23, at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, with the EFTA board of directors meeting to follow the next day.

The theme of the San Diego Summit will be “Internet Strategies: A New Commerce or a New Competitor?” Scheduled sessions will include Internet-exclusive financial service providers, according to EFTA Executive Director H. Kurt Helwig.

“Being on the West Coast will allow us to take advantage of the proximity to many of the Internet-related companies located in California,” said Helwig, “as well as being responsive to the needs of our growing West Coast membership.”

The second EFTA Summit is slated for September in Washington D.C.

The complete 1999 EFTA meeting schedule follows:

— March 23-24 Semi-annual Spring Summit and Board of Directors First Quarter Meeting, San Diego

— June 16 EFTA Board of Directors Second Quarter Meeting, Washington D.C.

— Sept. 14-15 Semi-annual Fall Summit and Board of Directors Third Quarter Meeting, Washington D.C.

— Nov. 7-10 EBT–The Next Generation II, Washington D.C.

— Dec. 7 EFTA Board of Directors Fourth Quarter Meeting, Miami.

For more information on EFTA’s Semi-annual Summit series please call 703/435-9800, or visit the web site at [www.efta.org][1].

About the Electronic Funds Transfer Association

Now in its third decade, the Electronic Funds Transfer Association is the nation’s leading inter-industry trade association dedicated to electronic payment systems and commerce. EFTA members include Fujitsu ICL Systems, Mag-Tek Inc., and Visa, Wells Fargo Bank, Benton International, and the Star ATM Network.

[1]: http://www.efta.org


Skiing Card

First USA and the American Skiing Company are hitting mailboxes this week for the ‘American Skiing Company Edge Platinum VISA’. The program offers five reward points for each dollar spent at any American Skiing Company-owned resort and one reward point for all other card purchases. Cardholders receive a $10 Reward Certificate for each 1,000 reward points. The rewards are good towards for free lift tickets, lodging or merchandise at ASC-owned resorts. American Skiing owns Eastern resorts at Killington, Sunday River, Sugarbush, Mount Snow, Sugarloaf/USA and Attitash Bear Peak. Western resorts include Steamboat, Heavenly and The Canyons. First USA is offering its fixed 9.99% APR with no annual fee. First USA is also offering a free $40 fleece blanket for new cardholders using their card by Feb. 1. The complete solicitation is available via CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]).

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



IFS International announced that it will be taking part in the BAI’s Retail Delivery ’98 Conference at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas from November 30th until December 4th, 1998.

The theme of the conference is “Bringing Strategic Vision to Life: Competing for Profits in the New World of Financial Services” addressing the technological changes and expanded set of banking products and services demanded by today’s consumers and will feature industry leaders and innovators.  IFS, with the TPII family of products, offers a proven solution using the newest computer technologies and is participating on Stand 1727 at the conference.

Simon Theobald, Executive Vice President, IFS International commented, “The theme of the conference is very relevant and timely.  We’re looking forward to participating and spotlighting our state-of-the art TPII system solution which integrates a wide range of electronic funds transfer functions. In particular, this year we are showcasing emerging stored value card and biometric payment card systems working in conjunction with the more traditional magnetic stripe TPII systems.”

IFS International’s subsidiary NCI International, Inc. is also participating in the conference, featuring their Business Centre(TM) product on Stand 3854.

IFS International, Inc. develops, markets, and supports software products for the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) market.  IFS International’s products are used to provide ATM, POS, smart-card, debit card management, bank teller, bank platform, home banking and call-centre solutions to the EFT industry. Its family of software products, marketed under the name TPII, serves as a manager of EFT systems for automated teller machines (ATM), point-of-sale (POS) and voice authorisation.  NCI International, Inc. adds complementary products including NCI Business Centre(TM), an enterprise-wide retail banking solution designed to automate all traditional as well as Internet/Intranet transactions.  IFS also provides a turnkey system for smart-card implementation.

IFS is headquartered in Troy, N.Y., with offices in the United Kingdom and Singapore.  For additional information in the U.S., call +1-518-283-7900, FAX +1-518-283-7336, E-mail [marketing@ifsintl.com][1], web page .

NCI is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. with offices in the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.  For information about NCI, call +1-704-527-4357, FAX +1-704-523-3502, web page .

[1]: mailto:marketing@ifsintl.com


Providian Bravo

Providian Financial confirmed Wednesday that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase 600,000 credit card accounts from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s Bravo card program, representing approximately $350 million in credit card loans. While Morgan Stanley Dean Witter does not officially release portfolio breakouts, it is projected the ‘Bravo’ card program has about 1.3 million accounts and approximately $715 million in total receivables. The company pulled the plug on the ‘Bravo’ program early this year and has plans to migrate the ‘Bravo’ program into the ‘Discover’ card program or other card programs run by MSDW. Details of yesterday’s deal were not disclosed however some analysts suggest Providian is paying a 12% premium for prime ‘Bravo’ accounts. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. Providian said the acquisition will be “mildly accretive” to 1999 earnings. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) Providian had 8.8 million accounts representing $9.7 billion in outstandings at mid-year.

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


Indian Card War

Within days of American Express’ announcement that it will launch credit cards in India, the State Bank of India unveiled yesterday an aggressive ‘VISA’ card program with GE Capital. The bank says it will target middle-class Indians for the first time. India has a total of 3 million credit cardholders with a card charge volume of 50 billion rupees or US$1.2 billion and outstanding balances are about 20 billion rupees or US$512 million. GE and the State Bank of India project the number of credit cardholders in India will grow to 6 million by the year 2000 with annual charge volume soaring to 140 billion rupees or US$3.3 billion. The new card program will be managed by two joint venture companies. State Bank holds a majority stake in the issuing company, while GE Capital owns a majority stake in the processing company.


Tele-FIND Test

Name Brand Sales Inc. announced that the subsidiary, Tele-FIND Technologies Corp. has completed beta testing of its unique Tele-com based system for the identification and retrieval of personal and business properties as well as medical data and other advanced applications.  Network services for the technology are provided by AT&T.

Tele-FIND is now poised to be the dominant player in Canada for its interactive voice recognition system (IVR) and data retrieval technology. The technology imbedded in its unique subscriber based smart card incorporates a bundling of various applications for uses ranging from practical retrieval of lost or stolen property to complex medical data storage and forwarding.  With the completion of the testing stage Tele-FIND is launching this technology through a number of national retailers and distributors and medical institutions.  To ensure an effective launch, Tele- FIND has recruited a group of experienced marketing persons who have extensive backgrounds in such national sales projects. Authorization (from CTC) has been given to test market Tele-FIND at various Canadian Tire Stores and other prominent retailers in Ontario for the 1998 Christmas season.

The smart card’s medical uses responds to a growing need to control, access and deliver private medical records, especially in emergency situations.  Tele-FIND’s unique voice retrieval system enables a subscriber to record, update, relay or transmit vital health and medical information in such critical cases as for example, when the subscriber is incapacitated and is unable to convey his personalized medical history or background to hospital staff.

Retrieval of virtually any valued property, from keys to bicycles, is another practical component of the smart card.  Tele-FIND’s technology reduces the finder’s effort of returning the property to making a single toll-free call to the owner.  This system answers numerous marketing studies’ conclusions that a finder will almost always act if his task is simplified.

Revenue from the smart card and its accessories is generated from the initial sale and from on-going recharges.  The medical and property retrieval systems remain in force for as long as billable time remains on the subscriber’s account, thus ensuring high recharge ratio and card retention. As the smart card is a product of a bundling of services, other features and upsales are provided to the user.  One such feature is the conventional prepaid calling card, which offers the lowest rates charged by existing providers.

There are 12 million issued and outstanding common shares of NBS.

NBS is now Year 2000 compliant.

/For further information: please call, Leesa Kaczmarzyk at (416) 699-3990/ (NBTF.)


Smart Play in UK

VeriFone announced Wednesday that the City of Nottingham has selected VeriFone smart card terminals for use in the ‘Shop and Save’ smart card loyalty program. The smart card pilot is designed to stimulate commerce in Nottingham’s downtown area while also rewarding customers for supporting local shops, restaurants, hotels and city amenities. The city indicated yesterday it plans to deploy 250 of the VeriFone ‘OMNI 1250’ smart card terminals at local retail outlets by Christmas. The City Council distributed 100,000 smart cards to its residents at the kick off of the program in October. When shoppers make purchases at participating outlets, the smart card terminals log points equivalent to two per cent of the purchase price into the smart card’s memory. The City of Newcastle has also indicated a desire to implement a similar program.


Republic I-Banking

Fundtech Ltd. announced that Republic National Bank of New York, a global leader in commercial banking, has chosen the ACCESS.pro suite of products from Fundtech to provide them with world-class internet banking software as the progression of their cash management suite.

“We were looking for an innovative solution that would expand the functionality of our electronic banking options and bridge us to the 21st Century,” stated Republic First Vice President Paul Campbell. “We have relationships with thousands of clients around the world. These clients depend on our ability to remain technologically innovative and supportive in order to support them quickly and efficiently. Fundtech’s ACCESS.pro family of products will enable us to provide superior service to our client base while expanding our market reach to a far broader segment than ever before possible.”

ACCESS.pro will give Republic the opportunity to provide its clients with access to a full complement of electronic banking services via a variety of input devices including Windows PCs, Internet browsers, audio response, fax and thin-client devices. It supports English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese and will greatly reduce long-term service and support costs for the bank. The electronic banking applications encompass balance reporting, book and wire transfers, check management, ACH originations, positive pay, letter-of-credit and e-mail. In addition, the system features multiple levels of security, including end-to-end encryption, network level security, authentication, authorization, confidentiality, auditing and non-repudiation. It is both Y2K and Euro compliant.

“We are pleased that Republic has decided to adopt our industry-leading electronic banking solution for their world-wide client base”, said Paul Citarella, Fundtech’s Senior Vice President and General Manager. “Republic always has been recognized as a leader in providing its clients with tools and services to help them better manage their business needs. Our ACCESS.pro products will help them maintain and strengthen their position, as well as move aggressively into other markets”.

Republic National Bank of New York is a full-service international and domestic commercial bank with locations on five continents. Republic’s services include international and domestic private banking, institutional banking, consumer banking and middle market services, as well as acting as a dealer in high-quality bonds, precious metals, foreign exchange and interest rate swaps and other derivatives. The bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic New York Corporation, a holding company with assets of $50.4 billion at September 30, 1998.

Fundtech Ltd. designs, develops, markets and supports a suite of mission-critical client/server software products that enable financial institutions and large business enterprises to process payments, transfer funds and manage their cash positions electronically. The Company’s products are among the most technologically advanced and cost-effective electronic payments, funds transfer and cash management solutions. The Company’s proprietary innovative software architecture, which is based on the Windows NT and UNIX operating systems, provides modular, scaleable, and secure solutions that have been sold to more than 180 financial institutions.


Card Tranches

Credit Lyonnais is set to become the first to issue repackaged, subordinated credit card tranches. The $900 million securitization of the Credit Lyonnais’ CIA/CCA loan portfolio is being handled by Morgan Stanley with Bear Stearns and Credit Lyonnais Securities Inc. acting as co-managers. The deal should be available for the first quarter of 99. Reportedly the transaction will consist of two tranches of single A and triple-B notes, involving 23 loans to different credit card trusts and will be the first securitization of this asset class in the 144A market.



Diebold announced yesterday it has centralized many of its customer and support services at the company’s new ‘Customer and Technology Support Center’ in Green, Ohio. Among services offered from Ohio: 1. Customer Response Center; 2. Systems and Software Support Group; 3. Event/status monitoring and 4. Systems Solutions Lab. With the technology and expertise located in the center, Diebold can now offer customers remote diagnostics, intelligent troubleshooting software and downloading of software fixes all via 1-800-DIEBOLD.