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.

Details

Secure Card and Commerce ’99

The Japan Industrial Journal (JIJ) has obtained reports from major international companies that Secure Card & Commerce Tokyo 1999, a show JIJ is organizing, presents an ideal environment for non-Japanese companies seeking to drive sales in Japan. The show takes place April 14-16, 1999 at the Tokyo “Big Shot” Convention Center.

According to JIJ, a leading organizer of international exhibitions and a top daily economic and industrial newspaper in Japan, several factors contribute to the opportunity, which SCC Tokyo ’99 presents. It is the first international card industry exclusive show in Japan; exhibitors will be showcasing their products and services in on of the world’s leading card-using countries; and a forecasted favorable yen will yield higher sales for importers.

Additionally, the deregulation of financial markets in Japan will introduce foreign competition to previously regulated and protected Japanese financial institutions.

According to Holly Sacks, vice president of marketing for Eltron International – one of a growing number of internationally savvy card industry suppliers – “Eltron’s secure identification printing systems worldwide. Secure Card and Commerce Tokyo ’99 offers Eltron exciting prospects with exposure to Japanese and adjacent regional markets in this important new segment of our business.”

Major supporting organizations and media for SCC Tokyo ’99 include the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA), Card Technology magazine, Smart Card Technology International, Card Forum and SJB Services.

The global card industry in flourishing in Japan, due to the manifold applications of cards; from the telecom industry to major mass transit systems, they are becoming a staple in Japan’s industry and commerce.

Thus, an invaluable opportunity exists for exhibiting companies who wish to penetrate the increasingly open Japanese market for card-related products and services. JIJ President Y. Tamashita says, “Japan represents a major opportunity for foreign card and commerce companies.”

For more information about exhibiting at SCC Tokyo ’99 contact (from outside Japan) Lori Miller at Secure Card and Commerce, PO Box 3263, Princeton, NJ 08543-3263; tel: 609-799-3422 fax: 609-799-7032; e-mail [lmiller@scctokyo.com][1]. In Japan, contact David A. Wright at ExpoMax International Ltd., Nakano-ku, Nakano 3-19-23 Tokyo 164-0001 Japan; tel: 03-5340 3491; fax:035340-3492; e-mail [info@scctokyo.com][2]; or visit the Web site at [www.scctokyo.com][3].

[1]: mailto:lmiller@scctokyo.com
[2]: mailto:info@scctokyo.com
[3]: http://www.scctokyo.com

Details

AmEx Passport ’98

America’s premier fashion extravaganza, Macy’s and American Express Passport ’98 “Different Together” presented by the 1999 Mercury Cougar and Lincoln Mercury — California region, brings an evening of high-energy fashion theater to Santa Monica Air Center’s Barker Hangar, on Saturday, September 26.  Founding Chair Elizabeth Taylor and Event Chair Earvin “Magic” Johnson will join M*A*C AIDS Fund co-chair k.d. lang to raise funds for 10 Los Angeles non-profit organizations dedicated to HIV/AIDS research and care.  Tickets for this unique fashion production will go on sale Sunday, August 9.

Combining all the excitement of Hollywood with the high-tech wizardry of Silicon Valley, Passport showcases the best of Macy’s fall fashion collections for men, women and children.  Guest designers include Shelli Segal for Laundry, Elie Tahari, and Marsha Akins for Makins Hats.  The clean sophisticated collections of BOSS Hugo Boss and HUGO Hugo Boss will also be featured on the runway.  Additional show highlights include “hard bodies” by Calvin Klein Underwear and “hard jeans” by Levi’s, a fashion flashback through the millennium with M*A*C. and a fun and friendly children’s sportswear segment featuring Disney’s Mickey and Pooh.

“The theme ‘Different Together’ reflects a study in contrasting ideas which dominated the fall collections,” stated Macy’s West Fashion Director Bill Bigler.  “We saw a clean, spare, minimalist look presented side-by side with a very ornate detailed look.  The theme also reflects the diverse faces of the communities that are affected by HIV/AIDS as well as the organizations that have come together to provide care and find a cure for this pandemic.”

Since 1988, more than $6 million has been raised by Macy’s and American Express through Passport events to benefit HIV/AIDS research and care organizations.  Beneficiaries for this year’s event include AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Bienestar Latino AIDS Project, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Magic Johnson Foundation, Inc., Project Inform, Project Angel Food, Reach LA, The Serra Project, Tuesday’s Child and The UCLA Center for HIV and Digestive Diseases at UCLA AIDS Institute.

For its third year as title sponsor of Los Angeles and twelfth year as presenting sponsor in San Francisco, American Express continues to “do more” and extend its commitment to Passport.  This year, American Express Cardmembers can use their American Express Cards at Macy’s from August 17 to September 26, and help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  American Express will donate up to $100,000 to HIV/AIDS research, prevention, education and direct care organizations in the Los Angeles area.  The donation is based on 50 cents per Card purchase during the promotion and one dollar per purchase on September 26 and 27 at Macy’s Beverly Center.

Macy’s and American Express Passport ’98 “Different Together” promises to be the most sensational production yet.  The evening begins with an exclusive VIP cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a culinary feast presented by the award-winning team at Along Came Mary Productions.  A lavish hors d’oeuvres buffet created by top Los Angeles restaurants will be served to general Passport attendees at 6:30 p.m.  The Passport fashion show begins at 8:30 p.m.

Macy’s and American Express Passport ’98 tickets go on sale Sunday, August 9, at 10:00 a.m.  Tickets for Saturday night’s cocktail reception and fashion show cost $50 and $40 per person.  To order tickets please call 888-ETM-TIXS, or visit any ETM Ticket Machine in Southern California.  Tickets are also available over the internet by visiting the web site at .  Tickets for the exclusive VIP dinner and fashion show cost $1,000 and $500 per person and are available by calling 310/201-5033.

Barker Hangar is located at the Santa Monica Air Center, 3021 Airport Avenue.  For more information please call 800-334-6158 or visit our Macy’s Passport ’98 web site at .

Details

Debt Rebounds

After a significant contraction in May, revolving debt among American consumers rebounded during June, according to preliminary figures released Friday afternoon by the Federal Reserve.  However, total revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, remains slightly below April’s record of $542.5 billion. While the figures may appear to show some caution among consumers, the growth rate is 30% higher than the annual rate of growth calculated for June 1997. Overall consumer credit grew 6.4% for June compared to 2.2% for last June. At the end of June, American consumers were $1.256 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

                                 REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
            Jun98     May98     Apr98    Mar98     Feb98  
%GRWTH:    5.5%     -5.6%     4.6       9.7 7.8
$OWED:     $542.4    $539.9    542.5     540.4     536.1

             Jan98     Dec97     Nov97     Oct97 Sep97       
%GRWTH:     4.1       2.3      -2.1      10.0       6.2
$OWED:      532.6     530.8     529.8     530.7     526.4
  Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 08/07/98

Details

DatCard’s FBI Cards

Alumni attending this year’s FBI National Academy Associates (NAA) Conference–Using Technology to Improve Performance–didn’t have to wait long to see one of the hottest new technologies in law enforcement. As they entered the conference, they each received a full-color photo ID produced by a DataCard photo system.

In a matter minutes, each alumnus and their family members received a badge that included a full-color photo and conference logo, as well as proof of identification throughout the conference, which ran from July 18-22 at the Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

“We were extremely pleased with the DataCard photo ID systems,” said Tony Lanata, conference chairman. “The delegates were impressed with the quality of the badges and there were no bottlenecks at the registration area. Everything moved along very smoothly.”

According to Lanata, the photo ID process provided two benefits for attendees. “The names, photos and other information printed on the cards made it easy for the alumni to get to know each other,” Lanata said. “Plus our alumni got a real, live demonstration of a DataCard digital photo ID system. It was a good learning experience.”

More than 700 alumni, mostly from North America, attended the conference, which featured presentations on new law enforcement technologies and techniques.

“Most alumni work in law enforcement or local government, so it was a good opportunity to show how our digital photo ID solutions outperform the old film-based cut-and-paste systems,” said Renee Garpestad, vice president of DataCard’s photo ID solutions group. “Attending the conference also helped us develop a better understanding of emerging law enforcement needs.”

“We’re committed to providing secure, cost-effective identification solutions for law enforcement agencies and other government organizations,” Garpestad said. “The knowledge we gather at events like this is invaluable for our product development efforts and support of the local government market.”

DataCard Corporation, a privately held company based in Minneapolis, Minn., provides customers around the world with fully integrated solutions for a variety of financial, identification and healthcare applications. In addition to turnkey solutions, the company offers complete lines of card personalization systems, digital photo ID systems, photo ID printers and transaction systems. ([www.datacard.com][1])

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

Details

Online Credit Reports

QSpace Inc.’s  iCreditReport.com, the first service to deliver credit reports in real time over the Internet, announced an agreement this morning  to provide users with instant access to their credit records through Apartments.com’s Moving Center relocation service. iCreditReport.com uses proprietary software that verifies a person’s identity from multiple sources in a matter of seconds, uses SSL protocols and never transmits information over unsecured connections such as e-mail.

Details

GlobelD & GlobeSet

GlobeID Software announced this morning it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with GlobeSet, Inc., to establish a technology and marketing partnership leveraging the GlobeSet Payment System and GlobeID’s GlobeID Banking to provide best of breed end to end payment solutions to the financial services industry.

The GlobeSet Payment System is a comprehensive SET Secure Electronic Transaction software solution. The SET protocol developed by Visa, MasterCard, and their technology partners, including GlobeSet, is recognized as the emerging standard for secure payment card purchases over the Internet.

GlobeID Banking is a world-class self-service solution providing the financial services industry with a strategic foundation to enter the electronic commerce market. GlobeID Banking encompasses the Middle-Office Solution (MOS), the ground-breaking Internet intermediation solution, and five optional modules: Internet Payment Handler (IPH), Internet Virtual Cash (IVC), Home Banking Handler (HBH), Financial Electronic Data Interchange (FEDI) and Foreign Exchange (FEX).

“GlobeSet is very excited at the prospects of leveraging GlobeID’s know how in implementing end to end payment solutions in Europe on the eve of the SET convergence initiated last month by the banking community in France. This cooperation will allow the adoption of Smart Card solutions to support SET card present transactions over the Internet.”says Dennis Jolly, GlobeSet’s Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Operations.

As payment over the Internet becomes more ubiquitous and ignores forever more national boundaries, this partnership responds to a fast growing market requirement for advanced payment services over the Internet such as foreign exchange, loyalty, installment and corporate purchasing programs to be performed in as ever more secured transaction environments.

“GlobeSet’s best of breed interoperable SET Gateway combined with GlobeID Banking give us the ability to deliver to our customers unmatched advanced transaction services in the most secure environment available” says Fabrice de Comarmond, GlobeID Software’s Senior Vice President, Business Development & Partnerships.

About Globeset

GlobeSet is the world’s largest provider of SET software for OEM solutions. GlobeSet provides all four SET applications, including GlobeSet Wallet, GlobeSet POS, GlobeSet Gateway, and GlobeSet CA. All products are in general availability, offer multi-platform support, and fully support secure hardware cryptography and key management. With offices in the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific, GlobeSet has implemented numerous SET solutions around the world for major banks, retailers and financial processors. GlobeSet is a strategic SET solution provider for OEMs worldwide. Founded in 1994, GlobeSet, Inc. is a privately held corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas. Additional information about GlobeSet can be found at .

About GlobeID Software

Paris-based GlobeID Software SA () develops and markets world class electronic commerce transaction solutions. The company’s self service products enable high volume operators to provide advanced, cost efficient transaction services to online communities around the world. GlobeID Software SA is owned 31.5% and 68.5% respectively by the management holding company, Edeltrust, and Bull ().

Details

Optima Slips

American Express’ Optima portfolio lost more than 100,000 accounts and $500 million in receivables during the second quarter. According to figures released to CardData yesterday afternoon, total AmEx Optima cards total 8.9 million compared to 9.3 million at the end of the first quarter. AmEx dropped the ‘True Grace’ version of Optima earlier this year.

                   American Express Optima  Snapshot

                                   2Q-98                    1Q-98
RECEIVABLES              $9,409,998,000           $9,950,393,000
Q  VOLUME                $6,365,406,000           $4,948,937,000
GROSS ACCOUNTS              9,787,833                9,890,788
ACTIVE ACCOUNTS              5,712,670                6,207,937
CARDS-IN-FORCE                8,883,082         9,312,719
                   Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

VA Direct Deposit

The Department of Veterans Affairs began the direct depositing of most VA insurance payments into the bank accounts of 100,000 recipients yesterday. The VA began the program last month by mailing 2,000 letters to veterans and beneficiaries receiving monthly insurance payments, explaining the new law and the advantages of using EFT. VA’s Insurance Center plans to follow up by mailing notices to some 10,000 veterans and beneficiaries each month until all 100,000 recipients of monthly insurance payments have been informed of the EFT program. In January 1999, VA will offer the option of EFT to its insurance policyholders and beneficiaries who receive payments on less than a monthly basis, including some 1.2 million policyholders who receive annual dividend checks.

Details

GE Settles

GE Capital confirmed Thursday it has agreed to comprehensive settlements of actions by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general, as well as private class action suits, relating to reaffirmation agreements entered into with bankrupt debtors between January 1, 1993 and June 30, 1997. GE Capital voluntarily made full cash payments to 28,000 debtors last year.  Under terms of yesterday’s settlement agreement, GE Capital will make full payments to an additional 28,000 debtors and implement a process for other potentially eligible debtors to have their claims evaluated and paid if approved by the settlement administrator. GE expects payments to debtors to be less than $100 million and the settlements will not be material to GE Capital’s earnings since reserves were made last year.

Details

GlobeSet & IBM Interoperability

GlobeSet Inc., a leading provider of SET Secure Electronic Transaction software for OEM solutions, announced the successful completion of interoperability testing between the following GlobeSet Payment System and IBM Payment Suite software payment applications:

GlobeSet Wallet v1.1  IBM Consumer Wallet v1.0.11, v1.2
GlobeSet POS v1.1     IBM Payment Server v1.0.15 (SDK 1.0.8)
GlobeSet Gateway v1.2 IBM Payment Gateway v1.0.0.1 (SDK 1.0.3)
GlobeSet CA v1.1      IBM Payment Registry v1.0.1.10

The testing utilized the GlobeSet and IBM standard interoperability testing plans to assess and advance interoperability between each of the applications required for SET transactions. Testing consisted of each vendor’s identified software applications performing and passing basic, advanced and comprehensive interoperability scenarios that replicated real-world payment card transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and certificate authorities.

Approximately 120 test scenarios between the GlobeSet and IBM software applications were completed. Basic and advanced test scenarios performed ranged from receiving payment authorization and payment capture functions, respectively, to more comprehensive credit and payment reversal scenarios covering multiple aspects of message flows.

“This industry-first milestone, the most comprehensive in terms of interoperability testing between two leading SET software vendors, reflects each company’s commitment to customer needs in the financial and retail markets,” said Wes Byrne, vice president, Product Development, GlobeSet. “Customers require technology that works easily and seamlessly into their business processes, and GlobeSet and IBM have jointly delivered on those requirements.”

“Interoperability is a key component in the adoption of SET as a payment protocol,” said Mark Greene, vice president of Internet payments at IBM. “IBM’s work with GlobeSet and other companies in the Internet payment arena is designed to make the transition to SET as seamless as possible for consumers, merchants and financial institutions.”

GlobeSet is the only SET software vendor to offer guaranteed interoperability with other vendor products receiving a SET Mark. GlobeSet and IBM have made test versions of their respective payment products available on websites so any SET vendor can perform test functions between their respective applications and GlobeSet’s and IBM’s electronic wallet, merchant payment server, financial processor gateway and certificate authority applications.

In addition, both companies have made publicly available websites detailing the status of interoperability efforts between their suite of products and the SET vendor community. The websites can be found at: www.globeset.com/interop.shtml — [www.software.ibm.com/commerce/payment/interoperability/referenceguide/][1]

SET, developed by Visa, MasterCard and their technology partners, is the emerging standard for secure payment card transactions over the Internet. SET is designed to operate properly with software from multiple vendors, and as such, proven interoperability among SET applications is extremely important.

About GlobeSet

GlobeSet is the world’s largest provider of SET Secure Electronic Transaction software for OEM solutions. GlobeSet provides the following SET applications: GlobeSet Wallet, GlobeSet ServerWallet, GlobeSet POS, GlobeSet Gateway and GlobeSet CA. With offices in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, GlobeSet has implemented numerous SET solutions around the world for major retailers and financial processors. GlobeSet provides SET Solutions to OEMs worldwide. Founded in 1994, GlobeSet Inc. is a privately held corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas. Additional information about GlobeSet can be found at www.globeset.com Editors: GlobeSet, Global Secure Transactions and the GlobeSet logo are trademarks of GlobeSet Inc. SET Secure Electronic Transaction, SET and the SET logo are trademarks owned by SET Secure Electronic Transaction LLC. Used under permission. IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corp.

[1]: http://www.software.ibm.com/commerce/payment/interoperability/referenceguide/

Details

Mac-Gray Up 215%

Mac-Gray Corporation, a leading provider of convenience services including card and coin-operated laundry equipment service to the multi-housing industry, today reported record net income of $2.0 million, or $0.16 per share, and record revenues of $32.9 million for the second quarter of 1998.

This is an increase of 215 percent over tax-adjusted net income of $635,000, or $0.07 per share in last year’s second quarter, and an increase of 31 percent over year-earlier revenue of $25.1 million.

             3 months ended    3 months ended
                 6/30/98          6/30/97        Increase
Revenues $32.9 million $25.1 million 31%
Operating Income $3.7 million    $2.1 million       76%
Pre-tax Income          $2.8 million    $1.1 million      154%
Net Income              $2.0 million $635,000          215%
EBITDA                  $7.3 million    $4.7 million       55%

The average weighted number of common shares outstanding has increased by more than 60 percent since last year’s second quarter as a result of Mac- Gray’s October, 1997 initial public offering.

Income from operations increased by 76 percent, from $2.1 million in the second quarter of 1997 to $3.7 million in this year’s second quarter.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stewart MacDonald said results improved in all of Mac-Gray’s major lines of business and demonstrate that the company’s strategies are succeeding as planned.

Mr. MacDonald said Mac-Gray’s second quarter 1998 financial performance showed the positive effects of synergies made possible by recent acquisitions.

“Our expectations for these acquisitions are being met,” he said.  “We are also seeing encouraging year-to-year revenue increases at those multi-housing laundry facilities where we first installed smart-card equipment.  In this area, too, we are getting the expected results.”

Mac-Gray is its industry’s leader in the introduction of smart cards, which make it unnecessary for laundry customers to use coins.  Smart-card technology is expected to generate higher revenues while increasing customer convenience.

Mac-Gray, founded in 1927, is one of the nation’s leading providers of laundry equipment and service to the multi-housing industry.  In March, 1998 it acquired Intirion Corporation, which produces the MicroFridge family of compact refrigerators/freezers with microwave ovens.  MicroFridge is the leading choice of college and university housing officers for on-campus installation, and is used as well on military bases and in assisted-living facilities and the hotel/motel markets.  In April, 1998 Mac-Gray acquired Copico, Inc., the leading provider of vended reprographics services to the academic and public library markets in the Northeast and Florida.

Details