EDS to Use LinkUp for CUs

Standard Register announced Monday that its LinkUp intelligent check printing software will be included in EDS’ information technology services for credit unions nationwide.

In the agreement, EDS’ credit union services unit will include LinkUp among its service offerings. LinkUp works by printing on-demand, negotiable documents from blank, secure paper stock using existing data from customers’ computer systems.

![][1]     “EDS’ credit union clients will benefit from our relationship with Standard Register because its LinkUp product can provide them with a more convenient, secure method for printing checks and other negotiable documents,” said Scott Butler, national service delivery manager of EDS’ Credit Union Industry Group.

“LinkUp is ideally suited for credit unions, filling a significant void that currently exists in the area of secure magnetic ink character recognition, or MICR laser check printing,” said Rita Zimmerman, Standard Register manager, business partner program. “We are delighted to be working with EDS, an industry leader in the financial services sector.”

EDS began providing data processing services to credit unions in 1974. The company’s credit union services unit currently provides more than 2,400 credit unions with innovative financial services technologies, such as Web-based and PC-based home banking, debit cards, and multipurpose automated teller machines.

EDS, the official information technology services provider for World Cup 1998, is a leader in the global information services industry. The company’s more than 110,000 employees specialize in applying a range of ideas and technologies to help business and government customers improve their economics, products, services and relationships. EDS, which serves customers in 45 countries, reported revenues of $15.2 billion in 1997. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Visit EDS via the Internet at .

Standard Register is a recognized leader in delivering document management systems, products and services to healthcare, financial and general business markets. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the company employs more than 9,000 people and operates a nationwide network of printing facilities and sales offices. Standard Register reported 1997 revenues of $965.7 million. For more information, call 800-755-6405 or visit [www.stdreg.com][2].

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[2]: http://www.stdreg.com

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EBT/EFT Education

NationsBank and three consumer advocacy and education organizations: Consumer Action, National Consumer Law Center, and National Urban League, announced Monday they have formed the ‘EBT/EFT Education Consortium’.  The group released the first issue of its publication yesterday, the “EBT/EFT Update,” an eight-page tabloid-style newspaper. The group said 50,000 copies will be distributed through 4,000 consumer advocacy and community organizations nationally.  The “EBT/EFT Update” contains the latest news from Treasury, reports about current EBT programs, information about direct deposit and low-cost bank account options, and other useful news for state and federal benefit recipients and their advocates. The “EBT/EFT Update” is available online at .

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CVS Buys 20,000 Terminals

VeriFone announced Monday that CVS Corporation, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, has chosen VeriFone technology to offer expanded payment options to customers.

The Everest point of sale payment terminal enables CVS for the first time to accept debit payments, in addition to currently accepted credit payments, in all 4,000 CVS stores in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

The CVS chain-wide rollout of nearly 20,000 payment terminals represents one of the largest Everest rollouts in the U.S. and reasserts VeriFone’s position as the dominant provider of electronic payment systems hardware to the chain drug industry. With the CVS rollout, VeriFone will have installed over 45,000 terminals in the chain drug market, contributing to its dominant market share in the overall multi-lane industry.

![][1]     “We are proud to have the largest drug store chain using a VeriFone solution,” said Greg Rhine, VP and general manager, VeriFone North America. “CVS extends VeriFone’s leadership position in the major multi-lane industry, joining retailers including Kroger, American Stores, Rite Aid and Ahold.”

The installation of Everest point of sale payment terminals at CVS locations is scheduled for completion in February 1999, allowing CVS to leap into an excellent position for meeting future EBT regulations, and potentially migrating to smart cards.

“At CVS, our concern for the customer drives every decision we make, including our decisions about new technologies,” said Vin Minchillo, vice president of Retail Systems for CVS. “We chose the payment technology of VeriFone’s Everest customer-activated terminal because it allows CVS to offer a greater selection of payment options to our customers. And, because the Everest interfaces with our existing technology, we are able to implement the solution quickly.”

About CVS

CVS is the nation’s largest drugstore chain in terms of store count with more than 4,000 stores in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Its team of 90,000 employees working in stores, distribution centers, and its headquarters have grown CVS into a market leader ranked second in sales, with sales expected to exceed $15 billion in 1998 and first in store count. In addition, CVS is expected to fill 12 percent of all U.S. prescriptions in 1998. With plans to open 320 new or relocated stores per year, CVS hopes to continue its aggressive growth strategy that was exemplified with the acquisition of Revco in 1997, the largest acquisition in chain drug history, and Arbor Drug in 1998.

About VeriFone

VeriFone, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than six million electronic payment systems, which are used in over 100 countries.

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Clean Card

A Florida company announced its plans Monday to revolutionize the coin laundry business with smart cards. LAUNDROMAX demonstrated the new smart ‘Clean Card’ yesterday to Florida businessmen. Currently, LAUNDROMAX has 3 stores open in South Florida and the company plans to open more than 20 stores in Dade, Broward and Monroe counties in the next 18 months, and more than 400 in the next five years nationwide. LAUNDROMAX investors and board members include Keith Cobb, former CEO of Alamo Rent A Car, Mike Maroone, President of Republic Industries Automotive Division and Gerry Geddis, former COO and President of Blockbuster Entertainment.

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New ICE Family Member

Hypercom unveiled the ‘T5000’ Interactive Customer Equipment (ICE) terminal yesterday. The powerful, multi-function touch-screen terminal incorporates a high-speed thermal printer and paper cutter, as well as Hypercom’s new ‘FastPOS’ 9600bps modem. The ‘T5000’ will also support a range of new value-added transactions, including loyalty and smart card schemes, such as VISA Cash, Mondex and EMV. By integrating the terminal and printer, the total terminal footprint is reduced and, at six lines per second, receipt printing is fast. The automatic paper cutter reduces paper jams as it eliminates paper tearing by the cashiers. The ‘T5000’ also has a built-in secure PIN Pad and an electronic signature capture pad.

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Nationwide Wireless

Processing wireless, credit/debit card transactions anytime, virtually anywhere companies do business in the U.S., will become a reality with an agreement between BellSouth Wireless Data and Transaction Network Services. The agreement, to be announced later this week from the ETA Conference in San Francisco, will include the support of three, new, portable, wireless POS terminals including the ‘Nurit 2090’ by Lipman Electronic Engineering, the Hypercom ‘T7PRR’ and the Intellect ‘9770’. Last year, the TNS network carried 2.4 billion card transactions and serves as a hub for more than 40 processors. BellSouth Wireless Data operates its wireless data service throughout the U.S., covering more than 93% of the urban business population located in 266 metropolitan areas with a total population of 200 million people.

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SmartNet ’98

The Smart Card Forum announced Friday it will host ‘SmartNet ’98’, a special one-day symposium, as part of its 6th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, September 9-10. The theme of this smart card industry event-of-the-year is: “Accelerating the Marketplace: Competition, Collaboration and Consumer Confidence”. The special symposium will be held September 10 and will focus on the use of smart cards in the cyberworld and applications of smart cards for networks. Three main areas will be addressed: compelling applications for early adopters; keys to acceptance by mainstream users; and overcoming the barriers to adoption and deployment.

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HOT Debit POS

HONOR said Friday that debit card POS usage is skyrocketing. HONOR reported a 52% increase in the number of POS purchases in the first half of 1998, compared to the same period last year. HONOR recorded an average of 26.8 million POS purchases per month during the first six months of 1998, up from an average of 17.6 million transactions monthly in the first six months of 1997. Total POS transactions through June reached 161 million. In addition, the number of POS transactions processed by HONOR has steadily risen month over month from 24.8 million transactions in January to 27.3 million transactions in June, an increase of almost 11%. A new monthly record was set in May with 29.2 million transactions.

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3Com POS Support

About 80% of all U.S. payment card transactions are now processed over 3Com enabled networks operated by AT&T, CompuServe, VisaNet and others. Wal-Mart announced Friday it has installed a corporate dial back-up solution which includes 3Com ‘Total Control’ remote access concentrator technology. The solution enables immediate restoration of over 3,000 sites simultaneously, while providing the ability to grow at the rate required to support the growth of domestic and international Wal-Mart stores, Supercenters, and Sam’s Clubs. Wal-Mart says the new back-up system ensures access to on-line elements such as credit card verification, check verification, and Wal-Mart gift cards.

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Money ’99

Microsoft will release the latest version of ‘Money’ this morning. ‘Money 99’ will feature links to more than 350 banks providing automatic updates to bank statements and credit card accounts. The new edition will also integrate links to e-bill services. Microsoft will use the newest version of its personal finance software to drive more traffic to its ‘Investor Site’. American Express Financial Advisors developed tax planning software for ‘Money 99’s’ premium edition.

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Penna’s $28 Million Share

Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher announced Friday that an all state $27.5 million settlement has been reached with two major credit corporations, resolving claims that they illegally collected bad debt from thousands of consumers who declared bankruptcy, including more than 700 from Pennsylvania.

The settlement with General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC), of New York, and Montgomery Ward Credit Corporation, of Delaware, ends a lawsuit filed by Fisher’s Bureau of Consumer Protection that alleged numerous violations of the states Debt Collection Regulations, Bankruptcy Laws and Consumer Protection Law.

According to the Attorneys General, over the last four years, GECC which issues credit cards for several retailers including Montgomery Ward, pressured many of its bankrupt credit customers into signing unenforceable agreements to repay debts that would be dismissed in bankruptcy.  The investigation determined that GECC obtained thousands of bankruptcy debt agreements but never filed those agreements with Federal Bankruptcy Court as required by law.

“Consumers should be aware that bankruptcy debt agreements are legal only if they are voluntary and filed with the bankruptcy court for possible review,” Fisher said.  “In this case, consumers were led to believe they were obligated to pay off their debt or run the risk of being contacted by collection agencies or have their goods repossessed.”

Nationwide, some 60,000 customers will receive an average of $1,000 in either restitution or forgiveness of debt.  In addition, GECC and Montgomery Ward Credit will pay $24.5 million to the states and contribute $3 million to an existing fund for consumer protection and education.

Fisher said Pennsylvania will receive more than $320,000 in the settlement for future public protection purposes and the costs of investigation.

Under the terms of the settlement, affected consumers:

— will have their debt agreement stricken and the companies will waive any rights to repossess merchandise.

— will be reimbursed or receive credit for finance fees and penalties and will be reimbursed for any monies paid on the debt agreement plus 10 percent interest.

— not identified by review of company records will receive a notice and questionnaire to determine eligibility and will receive restitution if they signed an improper debt agreement.

GECC and Montgomery Ward have also agreed to an injunction that will prohibit them from collecting money from improper debt agreements.  The companies are also required to disclose to their bankrupt customers their rights in connection with debt agreements proposed by the creditor.

The Commonwealth’s case was handled by Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph K. Goldberg of Fisher’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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Euronet 1000th ATM

Euronet Services announced Friday the signing of an agreement with the Hungarian Foreign Trade Bank to provide Euronet access to a Europay gateway in Hungary. The company recently brought its 1000th ATM live on the Euronet ATM network. As of this weekend, Euronet’s ATM network consists of 1,018 ATMs, including 385 in Hungary, 382 in Poland, 165 in Germany, 64 in Croatia and 22 in the Czech Republic. Transactions by cardholders over the company’s ATM network in Hungary, Poland, Germany, Croatia and the Czech Republic totaled 1,334,361 in July, a 10% increase over the previous month. Euronet also announced Friday that CIO Anthony Ficarra has been appointed VP. Ficarra was formerly with Bisys, Inc.

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