InterCept Endorsement

Atlanta-based The InterCept Group said Friday that the Community Bankers Association of Georgia (CBA) has entered a joint marketing arrangement with the InterCept Switch. CBA has endorsed the InterCept Switch as a Premium Service Provider of ATM services for its community bank members. CBA has over 325 community bank members. Members of the InterCept Switch agree to waive ATM surcharge fees for other network member’s cardholders, while they retain the ability to surcharge transactions performed by cardholders outside the alliance. By combining the strengths of all network participants, the InterCept Switch is able to offer member financial institutions a network of surcharge-free ATMs to help them compete more effectively with the large regional holding company banks.


SPS Earnings

SPS Transaction Services reported Friday a 15% increase in electronic transactions processed for the second quarter, from 109 million to 126 million.  Active commercial accounts at June 30 were 1,004,000, up 6% from 945,000 a year ago. Total loans outstanding, which represent both owned and securitized credit card loans, declined and were $1.7 billion at June 30, down from $1.9 billion at the end of the same period last year. Active consumer private label credit card accounts, both owned and managed, decreased 8% to 2.8 million, compared to the second quarter in 1997. In April, SPS announced an agreement to sell substantially all of its assets to Associates First Capital Corporation, which is expected to close by year’s end.


Cards UK ’98

An inaugural exhibition and conference, Cards UK ’98 will open at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham on 20th November and run until the 26th November, covering all aspects of smart card technology.

The recent announcement of proposed time scales by the Association of Payment Clearing Services (APACS) for the switch from mag-stripe to smart card by UK banks has heightened interest in the technology. Cards UK will be the only relevant event for potential users to gain a comparison of what is available before the first stage of the change swings into action.

Free tickets and conference programmes can be obtained from the Organisers on tel: 0171 827 5975. Cards UK is one of a series of worldwide ‘Card’ events organised by AIC Worldwide. More information can be obtained from the Cards Worldwide website on [][1].



Liberty 2000 Certified

The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) announced Friday Liberty Check Printers of Roseville, Minnesota has received ITAA 2000 certification. ITAA 2000 is the industry’s century date change certification program. The program examines processes and methods used by companies to perform their Year 2000 software conversions.

Liberty, one of the nation’s leading providers of checks for credit unions, participated in a rigorous evaluation of its approach to date conversion, with extensive analysis in eleven discrete process areas deemed necessary to a successful Year 2000 conversion. Liberty Check Printers developed Liberty Direct, Dos, all versions; MICR Quick, Windows 3.1, version 2.63; and Member Focus, Windows 95, version 1.x using certified methods. Certification indicates Liberty has the core capabilities needed to successfully address the Year 2000 challenge.

ITAA is the IT industry’s leading trade group on the Year 2000 software conversion issue. The ITAA Year 2000 Task Force conducts a full program of Year 2000-related activities, all aimed at helping customers in government and the private sector respond quickly and effectively to the software conversion challenge. A separate white paper, vendor directory, buyer’s guide and other materials on the Year 2000 issue are available on the ITAA home page. ITAA also publishes Year 2000 Outlook, a weekly Internet-based newsletter dedicated to coverage of this issue.

The Software Productivity Consortium, Herndon, Va., performs the technical evaluation of program applicants.

ITAA consists of 11,000 direct and affiliate members throughout the U.S. which produce products and services in the IT industry. The Association plays a leading role in public policy issues of concern to the IT industry, including taxes, intellectual property, telecommunications law, encryption, securities litigation reform, and human resources policy. ITAA members range from the smallest IT start ups to industry leaders in the software, services, systems integration, telecommunications, Internet, and computer consulting fields. Learn more about ITAA and its positions on the issues by connecting to its home page at

Liberty provides personal checks, card services, business products and marketing support to 4,000 credit unions in all 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. Liberty, an employee-owned company, is headquartered in Mounds View, Minnesota, and serves the credit union movement from production plants throughout the country.

For more Liberty information, contact Rick Foy, Public Relations Manager at 1-800-607-2435, ext. 2436 or Wendy Morgenweck, Liberty Year 2000 Coordinator, ext. 2787, or visit Liberty’s Web site at


Echidna Hits UK

Echidna Technology Limited, a company providing e-commerce consultancy and solutions, has launched in the UK. Echidna is one of the first companies that have emerged due to the demand for security products and services in the area of e-commerce.

Echidna’s solutions are based on the use of digital certificate technology within a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Digital certificates are essentially electronic forms of identification that are used to secure data and uniquely authenticate users over the Internet, intranets and extranets. Certificates provide a more secure platform for information sharing than traditional user names and passwords.

Echidna incorporates the use of smartcard technology within its solutions to act as the storage device for the certificates. “Smartcards are ideal for use as the receptacle device for certificates as they are extremely difficult to hack or copy. This provides excellent security for organisations vending content over networks where they need to be sure a subscriber can’t share the service with others”, said Richard Allen a founder of Echidna.

There has been a lot of debate recently over the control of certificate technology which incorporates the use of digital keys to sign and encrypt messages. Earlier this year the DTI recommended licensing for organisations that offer such services. “We are not a public CA (certificate authority)” explained Craig Richman a director at Echidna, “what we aim to do is help organisations set-up and manage their own private CA which pertains specifically to a closed user group, intranet or extranet application. We believe nobody is better positioned to validate the identity of client users than the provider of the data that is being shared”.

Echidna can be found on the web at [][1] or via email at [][2]



Cap One Dividend

Capital One Financial Corporation today announceda quarterly dividend of $.08 per share payable August 21, 1998 to stockholders of record as of August 13, 1998.  This is the Company’s Fourteenth consecutive quarterly dividends since it became an independent company on February 28, 1998.  Dividends declared by the Company are eligible for direct reinvestment in the Company’s common stok under its Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan.  For additional plan information, stockholders should contact First Chicago Trust Company of New York at (800) 446-2617.

The Company also announced that it expets to continue repurchasing its common stock in order to miigate the impact of shares issued throuvidend reinvestment, associate stockpurchase and option programs.  Today, the Company’s Board of Directors approved the repurchase of up to an additional 1,500,000 shares of the Company’s common stock over thenext two years, starting later in 1998.  In July 1997, the Company initially announced share repurchase programs of up to 2,000,000 shares to mitigate the impact of shares issuable under benefit plans.  As of June 30, 1998, the Company has repurchased 1,427,875 shares.

Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([][1]) is a holding company with more than 7,500 associates worldwide whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer financial consumer lending products.  Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 13.6 million customers and $15.0 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 1998, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.  Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.



Shout! Card

MCI introduced a customized prepaid card Thursday geared toward families, especially children. The ‘MCI PrePaid Shout! Calling Card’ offers two key features: speed-dial and an anti-theft system. MCI ‘Speed Dial Express’, a key feature of the new prepaid phone card, allows parents or caregivers to pre-program up to six frequently called numbers that are easily retrieved and dialed with the push of a single speed dial button. The prepaid card itself includes six lines on the card’s front panel allowing adults to write the programmed calling destinations.  The printed card holder, with an enclosed key ring that can be attached to backpacks, sports bags or purses, is included with each Shout! purchase. Once programmed, calling is limited to those six numbers, eliminating the potential for theft, fraud or misuse.  The MCI ‘Speed Dial Express’ numbers can be changed or deleted anytime by using a passcode, without deducting calling time from the card. The MCI ‘PrePaid Shout! Card’ is available at Wal-Mart, or by calling a toll-free number or via MCI’s Web site.


Online Credit Services

The Huntington National Bank introduced ‘Online Credit Services’ yesterday to its Web visitors. The enhancement enables any Huntington personal credit card or credit line customer with Internet access to view credit card and credit line information online. From the Huntington home page, three mouse clicks brings customers to the ‘Online Credit Services’ section of the site.  No application is necessary.  Customers simply enter their social security number and ‘Direct Bank’ PIN; or account number and PIN.  Account summary and statement information is continuously available and includes account activity for up to three prior statement periods; account information in a shorter or longer time frame, up to three months; ability to find transactions by date, description or amount; and the ability to export account transaction information into a personal financial management software for expense reporting.


Paperless Florida

The Florida Department of Banking and Finance received its first electronic invoice yesterday through a new system expected to save the state millions of dollars over the next five years. The paperless process involves EDI by COMSYS, which allows state vendors to bill the state, with payment to follow, through EFT. The FL DBF has been working for the past year with Florida Power & Light to fine-tune the process. This is the second phase of the state’s initiatives to eliminate paper and reduce the administrative costs of running government. Last year, an electronic purchasing card system was implemented as the first step. FP&L will be the first vendor to seek payment through the new EDI system. FP&L currently issues 10,000 invoices to the state, totaling about $33 million.


CBANYS  Endorses ACS

CO-based ACS Merchant Services announced last night that the Community Bankers Association of New York State has endorsed the fast-growing ACS MS to process merchant credit and debit card transactions for merchant customers of CBANYS member banks.  CBANYS is a New York trade association representing approximately 100 financial institutions with assets exceeding $160 billion. ACS says it has more than 350 agent banks now on board.


Gemplus Testifies

John Landwehr, director of information technology product marketing for Gemplus, testified this week before the House Commerce Committee on the topic of global electronic commerce.

In his testimony, Mr. Landwehr stressed the importance of a global electronic marketplace and explained that in order for this marketplace to grow, banks, corporations, and consumers must trust electronic commerce technology enough to use it. This trust can be established by providing a secure environment in which to transmit information, and smart cards can help establish this environment.

Mr. Landwehr pointed out that Gemplus has solutions to e-commerce security concerns, but bringing the solutions to market is often hindered by international intellectual property issues. He stated that opening lines of communication within corporations would reduce time-to-market delays considerably for international companies.

“As a global merchant and supplier of technology, Gemplus certainly wants to see electronic commerce succeed,” Mr. Landwehr testified. “For this to happen, the United States must first learn that not all of the great products in the world are made in the U.S.A., and we need to facilitate better technology transfer and global product development strategies.”

As director of the information technology and product marketing division, John Landwehr develops and markets smart card solutions for IT security and electronic commerce customers around the world. Mr. Landwehr travels internationally to educate corporations on the use of smart cards for securing transactions within a business and to consumers. This has included seminars, trade shows, and press and analyst events. He also directs the software strategy for products within the division. Mr. Landwehr is based in Redwood City, CA at Gemplus’ Internet and information technology group headquarters.

For a complete transcript of John Landwehr’s testimony, please visit the Gemplus Website at: .

About Gemplus

Gemplus () is the world’s leading provider of conventional and smart card-based solutions. Gemplus sells magnetic stripe cards, memory and microprocessor-based smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags and smart objects. The company designs and markets software, development tools and readers. Gemplus also provides consulting, training and personalization services to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible card-based solutions to its developers, distributors, partners, and customers.

With sales of over US$590 million in 1997, Gemplus employs more than 4,100 people, in ten manufacturing facilities, five R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world. Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, identity, physical access control, pay TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, logical access control, and information technology.


CGI Signs Laurentian

Montreal-based CGI Group Inc. and the Laurentian Bank of Canada announced an agreement based on which CGI will provide electronic commerce and electronic funds transfer services to the Laurentian Bank, including support for debit card shared cash dispensing and point-of-sale direct payment. The agreement also includes services such as automated teller machine management and overall support of electronic card services. CGI expects the contract to generate $20 million in revenue over its five-year term.