Portable Smart Card Reader

Gemplus announced from Paris, Tuesday, a new portable smart card reader specially designed for applications requiring mobility, user authentication, and data transfer, such as healthcare and social programs, loyalty, and electronic purse. The ‘GCR800-MS’ has a twin smart card interface that can handle the reading and writing of two cards at the same time, an important feature for authentication or digital signature. A docking station for the card reader has an integrated modem that allows connection if required to a central server for data transfer or the updating of an application program. The portable ‘GCR800-MS’ electronic architecture also accepts any type of memory or microprocessor card. The MS in the product name stands for ‘Multi-SAMs’ and it can be specified with 0-, 2- or 4 Security Access Modules. It can handle up to four different applications individually protected and secured.  The ‘GCR800-MS’ is available now from 1,500 French francs for the basic version.

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NetB@ank Expansion

Atlanta-based Net.B@nk announced Tuesday it will expand its product line and offer VISA and MasterCard credit cards to its online banking customers. The Internet bank recently added online brokerage accounts and mortgage lending services. Net.B@nk, Inc., achieved profitability for the bank’s second quarter 1998, making it the first profitable Internet bank in the country. Net.B@nk also claims to be the world’s largest Internet bank with 15,000 accounts, offering checking, money market accounts and certificates of deposits.

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Faster Returns

TeleCheck Recovery Services recently added capabilities to electronically re-present returned checks via the ACH. TeleCheck’s ‘Electronic Check Collection’ provides benefits over traditional paper re-deposits, including faster re-deposit time and greater precision in determining potential fund availability.  Electronic re-deposit resolution takes only four days, compared to ten to eleven days for paper checks. Banks process electronic transactions before processing paper re-deposits, increasing the probability of reaching the account while funds are available.  In addition, TeleCheck’s predictive systems increase accuracy in timing re-deposits for collection to maximize the probability of successful collection.

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Datakey Order

Datakey, Inc., a Minneapolis-based provider of information security systems, announced receipt of a second order from a United States government agency for their SignaSURE CIP smart card-based product. SignaSURE CIP will allow authorized users to digitally sign documents for electronic distribution to appropriate legal entities with absolute confidence in signature authenticity.

The second order is for 500 SignaSURE CIP packages and complements the first order of 500 packages and 300 additional smart cards announced on August 31, 1998.  The program is expected to expand to more than 12,000 users over the next three years.

SignaSURE CIP is an information security product that adds a smart card to data security application software. Datakey smart cards provide on-card cryptographic key generation, on-card processing and storage of private cryptographic data and on-card storage of digital credentials. These features provide the benefits of truly non-repudiatable digital signatures, stronger security than software solutions and  the ability for users to digitally sign documents from multiple workstations.

Datakey, Inc. is an international supplier of electronic products and services.  The Company provides product, subsystem and system solutions to record, store, and transmit electronic information. Datakey provides products and systems directed to the information security markets that enable user authentication, secure data exchange, and information validation.  The Company also provides OEM products, consisting of proprietary memory keys, cards and other custom-shaped tokens, that serve as a convenient way to carry electronic information and are packaged to survive in portable environments.

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Diebold Demo

Diebold, Incorporated participated in a demonstration announcing the latest developments in Windows Distributed interNet Applications architecture for Financial Services (Windows DNA FS).  This demonstration supports Microsoft’s initiative to promote the development of standards that will allow systems from participating vendors to interoperate in the financial services industry.

The demonstration, which took place Monday, shows the integration of Diebold automated teller machines (ATMs) into a Windows DNA FS environment. By utilizing Diebold’s newest software solutions, OPTinet and OPTix, financial institutions are able to make use of existing investments in technology by reusing development tools and programming resources. Applications become less dependent on the delivery channel and the operating system, allowing quicker introduction into numerous environments.

Diebold’s OPTinet application and OPTix software platform provide the basis for integrating an ATM with a financial services infrastructure provided within DNA FS.  OPTinet utilizes the power and flexibility of Internet technologies to leverage solutions developed for other delivery channels onto Diebold ATMs.

The demonstration integrates Crestar Bank’s ATM delivery channel with its home banking, teller and IVR platforms.  This allows for the use of common data and consistent presentation regardless of delivery channel and provides increased customer satisfaction, more opportunities to market to customers and lower cost of ownership.

“Financial institutions need to create brand awareness by servicing their customers in a more consistent manner across all points of interaction including self-service terminals, call centers, home banking, Internet access and direct interaction,” said Tripp Johnson, senior vice president, electronic commerce manager at Crestar Bank.  “Diebold’s OPTinet software allows Crestar to quickly integrate the Internet banking and ATM delivery channels, adding transactions currently not available through the traditional ATM delivery channel.”

“Diebold’s OPTinet software and Microsoft’s DNA FS strategy both have the same common goal, to protect a customer’s investment,” said Roy Shirah, director, product planning and management for self-service systems at Diebold. “With OPTinet, a customer can leverage the transactions currently available through their existing ATM delivery channel while developing new transactions and services so they can be deployed across many delivery channels.”

Crestar Financial Corporation is the $26.2 billion-asset holding company for Crestar Bank with 396 banking offices and 700 ATMs in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.  Other subsidiaries provide insurance, equipment and automobile leasing, mortgage banking and full-service securities and investment advisory services.

Diebold, Incorporated (pronounced DEE-bold), headquartered in Canton, Ohio, USA, is a global leader in providing card-based transaction systems, security and service solutions to the financial, education, healthcare, utility and retail industries.  Founded in 1859, the company develops, manufactures, sells and services automated teller machines, campus and smart card systems, electronic and physical security equipment, automated medication and supplies dispensing systems, integrated systems solutions, software and banking supplies.  For more information about Diebold, Incorporated, visit the company’s Web site at .

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Diebold Mid-East

Diebold, Incorporated has appointed Kishan Reddy to the position of systems engineer. Based in Dubai, Reddy is responsible for providing technical support to Diebold Middle East customers and distributors.

“Kishan’s establishment in Dubai is a sign of Diebold’s commitment to the Middle East,” said Reinoud G. J. Drenth, Diebold’s vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa.  “His knowledge of the financial industry and his experience in the Middle East are pertinent to Diebold’s business development in Middle East markets.”

Prior to joining Diebold in September, Reddy was employed with Gulf Business Machines, Dubai, UAE, an IBM business partner, as an industry specialist for the Middle East in self-service banking solutions.  Prior to that position, Reddy was employed with Philips Information Systems, located in the Middle East office, where he supported banking solutions for seven years. Reddy holds a master’s degree in computer science from Jawaharal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

Diebold, Incorporated (pronounced DEE-bold), headquartered in Canton, Ohio, USA, is a global leader in providing card-based transaction systems, security and service solutions to the financial, education, healthcare, utility and retail industries.  Founded in 1859, the company develops, manufactures, sells and services automated teller machines, campus and card systems, electronic and physical security equipment, automated medication and supplies dispensing systems, integrated systems solutions, software and banking supplies.  For more information about Diebold, Incorporated, visit the company’s Web site at .

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FTB Online Ranks High

Executives of First Tennessee Bank, Memphis, TN, and Home Account Network Inc., Charleston, SC, confirmed Tuesday that FTB Online, First Tennessee’s Internet Banking service, ranks first in customer confidence in a national study of Internet banking services issued earlier this month.  FTB Online is based on Canopy software provided by Home Account.  The announcement was made at the Financial Services in CyberSpace Conference here.

FTB Online received the highest score in customer confidence and the fourth highest overall score of the 69 banks included in the Internet Bankers Scorecard, a quarterly study by Gomez Advisors of Concord, MA.  According to the Gomez Advisors’ website, the scorecard rates the quality of Internet banking sites for consumers according to five criteria including customer confidence, ease of use, on-site resources, relationship services and overall cost.  FTB Online also ranked in the top 10 in the previous scorecard, which was issued last June, just weeks after FTB Online went into operation.

“Customer response has been enthusiastic since FTB Online ‘went live’ just last May,” said Susan H. Terry, Senior Vice President for FTB Online.  “This high ranking in a national study reinforces our conviction that we provide a flexible, robust service that meets real customer needs, backed by superior customer support.  We believe this high level of support is essential to fostering consumer confidence in using online financial services.”

“We’re delighted with this success, but we’re constantly striving for improvement,” commented Xenia Kwee, Home Account’s Vice President, Marketing. “First Tennessee is currently installing our new OFX-compliant Canopy Server and HTML interface, which enables financial institutions to offer customers greater flexibility in accessing banking and financial planning applications.”

“When we launched FTB Online, our customers needed Microsoft Internet Explorer to access their accounts,” Terry explained.  “With this upgrade, customers will be able to do their online banking and financial planning through other browsers or from personal financial managers.  We look forward to this added flexibility and a quality website keeping us at the top of the charts.”

About First Tennessee

First Tennessee, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., is a high-performing, nationwide, diversified financial services institution and is one of the 50 largest bank holding companies in the United States in asset size and market capitalization.  Banking and other financial services are provided through the regional banking group and three national lines of business:  FT Mortgage Companies, First Tennessee Capital Markets and transaction processing. Transaction processing includes credit card merchant processing, MONEYBELT (automated teller machine network), First Express (nationwide check clearing operation), and other transaction-oriented cash management products.  The corporation’s common stock is traded over-the-counter on the Nasdaq Stock Market’s national market system under the symbol FTEN.  It is listed in the financial section of most newspapers as FstTN Ntl and is included in the Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400 index.  More information is available at First Tennessee’s web site at .

About Home Account

Home Account delivers home banking, financial management and electronic commerce solutions to banks, brokers and other financial institutions.  Home Account’s products include:  Canopy Server, an OFX (Open Financial Exchange) financial services platform that allows distribution of services through multiple channels; Internet application servers for banking, bill payment, investments and financial planning; Canopy Clients, a series of financial management user interfaces available in Java and HTML; and the Canopy Advisor, a strategic financial management system for use by individuals and financial professionals.  Although Home Account’s products are designed as components which can operate separately, the Home Account product suite when combined provides an integrated customer relationship management system, the Canopy Continuum, that assists financial institutions in building profitable, long-term relationships with their customers.

Home Account is located in Charleston, SC, with offices in Oakland, CA, and Atlanta, GA.  Home Account includes among its technology partners Sun Microsystems, Oracle Corporation, VeriFone, Hewlett-Packard and Forte Software.

Please see Home Account’s website at .

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Equifax 3Q

Equifax reported yesterday that Payment Services, which operates through Card Services and Check Services, increased revenue 20.0% to $130.4 million for the third quarter. Card Services is a provider of third party full-service processing solutions to credit unions and independent banks in the U.S.   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 $26.5 million increased 45.4% 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. For complete third quarter financials on Equifax dial [www.carddata.com][1].

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

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People’s 3Q

CT-based People’s Bank reported that managed credit card balances increased by $289 million or 9% since June 30. Credit card net charge-offs as a percent of average managed receivables logged in at 3.95% compared to 4.10% for the third quarter of last year and 4.11% for the 1998 second quarter.  Credit card delinquencies improved to 3.03% of quarter-end managed receivables, compared to 3.25% a year ago and 3.19% at June 30. Managed credit card yield of 10.71% was up 29 basis points from 10.42% a year ago, however, compared to the second quarter of 1998, the managed credit card yield declined 28 basis points from 10.99%. The decline was attributed to the addition of new credit card accounts earning introductory rates, as well as the interest rate environment and intense competition. People’s UK portfolio reached $209 million in the third quarter, contributing $69 million of the year-over-year growth environment. For complete third quarter financials on People’s Bank dial [www.carddata.com][1].

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

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Siemens Beetle

The newly formed Siemens Information and Communications Products LLC announced the formation of Siemens Nixdorf Retail and Banking Systems LLC, which began operations on October 1, 1998. Siemens Nixdorf develops and supplies open systems hardware and software solutions for the retail and banking industries to provide customers with expert knowledge in these markets where Siemens Nixdorf is number one in Germany, number two in Europe and fourth in global market share.

In the United States and Canada, the Retail arm of the new company focuses on providing the customer with store solutions through customer offerings such as:

— “Beetle” Point-Of-Sale Systems: This best-in-class offering combines the processing power of a PC-based Point of Sale (POS) system with the flexibility to support the widest range of retail peripherals, providing the end user with a new level of capability, compatibility and service.

— Software Applications: Powerful retail software designed to provide full-function client/server POS processing, with an open architecture that allows maximum hardware independence.

— Complementary Software Solutions for SAP Retail:     Open Store Connection System (Open SCS) – This first of its kind software allows the cost-effective integration of heterogeneous branch systems into the entire SAP R/3 Retail system.  SILOGICS – Middleware for a seamless flow of information from and to external Warehouse Management Systems to SAP R/3.

— Integration Services: Siemens’ top level integration services     combine with project management to provide solutions that offer maximum cost-efficient functionality while protecting retailers’ investments in technology.

“It’s refreshing to see a company whose total focus is on addressing and understanding the issues and challenges of the retail industry,” Said Charles Mitchell, vice president of Information Technology at Nordstrom. “Rather than being asked to adapt ourselves to existing technologies, Siemens Nixdorf worked to provide us with custom developed solutions in an open environment which will enable us to maximize our investment from the technologies implemented.”

The Banking arm of Siemens Nixdorf Retail and Banking Systems has focused on the highly successful Self Service Products which have propelled Siemens Nixdorf to a 5.2 percent market share worldwide in ATMs. (Nielson Report, May 1998) The Self Service Products line consists of:

— Hardware – Offerings include a product range of automated teller machines and automatic teller safes, information/statement printers, POI-/POS-terminals, as well as branch and ticket printer.

— Software – Software modules have been designed for both the national and international markets and can be used in a wide range of industries and market segments, such as banking, insurance, retail, tourism and local government.

In addition to the Self Service Product line, Siemens Nixdorf offers products geared toward the non-bank environment such as the ATM Pro Cash Compact, the first Windows NT-based cash dispenser designed specifically for the non-bank environment. Its Pentium processor, VGA monitor, and high quality full-motion video provide advertising capabilities that bring an added value to any ATM placement. Customers can advertise in-store daily specials as well as develop an income stream through national and regional advertisers.

“We examined other equipment and found the Siemens Nixdorf equipment to be superior in style and functionality,” said Beth Bailey Alexander, president of The Bailey Group, a leading supplier of automated teller machines for the non-banking marketplace. “Every problem and limitation we experienced with other ATMs has been successfully addressed and surpassed with their machine. The ProCash Compact provides the high visibilty, compactness and ease-of-use needed in most retail markets.”

Siemens Nixdorf Retail and banking Systems LLC is a separate legal entity and a division of Siemens Information and Communication Products LLC. The new company is headed by Jan B. Andersson, president and CEO, with Pietro Parravicini as CFO.

About Siemens Information and Communications Products

Siemens Information and Communication Products designs, manufactures, implements and supports advanced technology products for customers within Fortune 1000, medium-to large-size enterprises and consumer retail market segments. Offerings include communication devices, computer systems, retail and banking systems, communication cables and information technology service. Siemens Information and Communication Products is part of the Siemens family of companies, which in the latest fiscal year had approximately $65 billion in combined revenues and 386,000 employees in more than 190 countries. Home page: [www.siemens.com/ic/products][1].

[1]: http://www.siemens.com/ic.products

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Card Marketing Online

A new report released yesterday by Atlanta-based Brittain Associates confirms First USA as the leader in credit card marketing on the Web. Based on a September survey of 1200 adult Internet users, Brittain estimates that nearly seven million new credit card accounts have been opened because of Internet marketing in the U.S.. The report says First USA is far ahead of its competitors in online account acquisition. Second place MBNA has only signed up about one third as many accounts online as First USA. Other issuers whose on-line shares registered in the Brittain measurement include Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, First Premier Bank, First Bank, and Heritage Bank of Commerce. With over 51 million adults in the U.S. claiming to regularly access the Internet, its use as a credit card marketing channel looks promising according to Brittain. The study says over 15 million of these Web-connected consumers logged on at one time or another to search for a new credit card. Nearly three-quarters of these consumers then applied for one or more cards they found on-line. The study also measured how many consumers have bought other specific goods and services via on-line shopping and whether they used a credit card to pay for on-line orders. Brittain is also releasing two other studies including ‘e.Financial Services’ and ‘Consumer Privacy vs. Direct Marketing’. For more info call 404-636-6155.

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Excellence

MasterCard International was one of ten companies, two individuals and a public relations agency honored in Boston yesterday for their commitment to communications measurement and research. The ‘Delahaye Circle of Excellence’ honored MasterCard with an award in ‘International Measurement’. MasterCard began evaluating its domestic public relations efforts two years ago. After a successful international pilot program in 1996, it launched its global competitive measurement program at the beginning of 1997 and has since expanded it to cover 17 individual markets. MasterCard uses the measurement to track the effectiveness of programs in different regions and to ensure message consistency throughout its global markets.

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