AmEx Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus activated its “EuroFree” promotion Sunday offering free travel to 17 cities in the U.K. and Europe. Aer Lingus passengers using the American Express card to purchase a special APEX transatlantic ticket or higher before Sept. 15 will receive a free onward roundtrip ticket from Ireland to 17 cities in Britain or continental Europe. Aer Lingus flies non-stop from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Boston’s Logan International Airport, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark International Airport to Ireland. Travel must take place between Sept. 15 and Nov. 15.

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Australia I-Bank

Melbourne-based National Australia Bank – the largest financial institution in Australia and part of the National Australia Bank group, launched a FICS-developed transactional Internet banking suite for its retail customers. Developed as an “Australianized” version of FICS Group’s standard FICS – Retail Internet Banking product, the new system leverages the Java programming language to offer a range of on-line banking services to the Bank’s customers. The product is currently undergoing a trial with staff members and selected customers. National Australia Bank plans to make a full launch of the product later this year.

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Wireless Store

Vancouver-based The General Store International Corp. is introducing wireless transactions for its home delivery grocery business.  The General Store will launch the program immediately in the Vancouver and Seattle markets.  The company expects to expand to other major cities in the U.S. and Canada later this year. British Columbia Telephone and its subsidiary, BC Tel Mobility, are providing the CDPD technology.

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Online Procurement

VISA U.S.A. and CyberSystem Technologies are combining the ‘VISA Purchasing’ card with CyberSystems’ IntraMall, a private network that enables PC-based shopping, comparing and purchasing, to provide a cost-efficient environment in which government agencies and other organizations can buy goods and services. CyberSystem’s IntraMall was first implemented by the National Institutes of Health in August 1997.  Within NIH’s IntraMall, comparison shopping and purchasing can now be completed from the desktops of the agency’s scientists and researchers. The NIH says its per-order processing costs dropped from $100 to $5. There are more than 100 NIH IntraMall merchants; an additional 20 vendors are expected to open their doors in the virtual mall later this summer.

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Diebold Posts 2Q Loss

Diebold reported this week second quarter net income of $27,406,000, or $.39 per share on revenues of $280,592,000, excluding an after-tax charge associated with a previously disclosed realignment plan.  Including the charge, the company posted a net loss of $14,444,000, or $.21 per share.  For the same period in 1997 the company reported net income of $30,690,000, or $.44 per share, on revenues of $303,202,000 in the 1997 second quarter. For the six months ended June 30, Diebold had net income of $54,257,000, or $.78 per share, excluding the charge, on revenues of $576,331,000. Including the charge, net income was $12,407,000, or $.18 per share.  This compares with net income of $54,423,000, or $.78 per share, on revenues of $567,810,000 for the 1997 six-month period.

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IDT Beefs Up

IDT announced Friday that it has completed the final phase of the upgrade to its pre-paid platform. This upgrade which allows users to use a single PIN from any of IDT’s worldwide local access nodes has enabled IDT to leapfrog competitors and significantly increase its debit card traffic in the current quarter.     It is anticipated that this upgrade will continue to help drive IDT’s growth as it will enable the Company to seamlessly expand into new territories, allow the Company to cross market its different services over the same platform, and will allow for customized billing options such as frequent caller and specific termination discounts.     The highly-scaleable Y2K-compliant FCP 2000 universal platform runs the latest Oracle 8.0 software and allows the Company to run all its multiple billing programs under one managed database.

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Rennaissance VISA

First USA and Boulder, CO-based Renaissance Entertainment Corp. unveiled the ‘Renaissance Faire VISA’  card Friday. The ‘Renaissance Faire’ is an outdoor family entertainment event which romanticizes the ambiance of a Renaissance era marketplace and includes craft shops, period food, dancers, jousters, musicians and historical characters from Elizabethan England. The company was organized in April 1993 to operate Rennaissance Faires in five U.S. metro areas. The new, no-annual fee ‘Renaissance Faire VISA’ card will feature merchandise and admission related discounts, plus a 4.9% introductory APR.  The REC and First USA agreement includes card marketing exclusivity, a fee for each approved application, a percentage of the net retail sales posted to each account and some additional unspecified royalties. Scheduled to coincide with REC’s Bristol, Northern California, and New York Renaissance Faires, the credit card offer will be launched at the end of this week.

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Asian EFTPOS Study

POS terminalvendors, including Groupe Bull, Dassault AT, De La Rue Fortronics, Hypercom, Schlumberger, Spectra Technologies, VeriFone and others are all vying for a share of the sizable and growing Asian market for EFTPOS terminal infrastructure. According to a new study released this week by Killen & Associates, data on the volume of card-based transactions as well as the penetration of credit, debit, and smart cards support considerable upside potential for more cards and terminals in the countries studied. The study provides details on a country-by-country basis and identifies the most opportune markets for equipment and cards.

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Gelco – Extensity Parnter

Gelco Information Network, Inc., and Extensity a proven pioneer in the development of Web-based applications to reduce major operational costs in corporations, today announced they have formed an exclusive partnership. The partnership will lead to the development and deployment of the most technologically advanced travel expense solution available. Initially, the agreement provides Gelco with an exclusive license to offer Extensity Expense Reports in an outsourced package that will be marketed under Gelco’s ExpenseLink® name. The first project to result from the partnership is an Internet-based browser travel expense solution that will combine Extensity Expense Reports, the first and only 100% Pure Java application to automate expense reporting, with Gelco’s ExpenseLink, the only complete outsourced expense management solution. This complete solution will be available to travelers in January of 1999.

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New IBM E-Commerce Partners

IBM today announced relationships with several business partners that now make it possible for e-businesses to improve their online advertising and merchandising, fulfillment, supply chain management and customer service as well as more robust solutions for online payments. Included in IBM’s announcements made here at Internet World Summer are 11 new business partners, the expansion of Internet payment options for consumers and merchants, an initiative to provide certificate processing and payment gateway facilities for European financial institutions, and the addition of five new customers using IBM e-business solutions.

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CCS Names CFO

Card Capture Services, Inc., has added a new member to its executive team. Christopher L. Marsh joins the company as chief financial officer. He brings nearly 15 years of financial and leadership experience to the CCS executive team. Most recently Marsh served as senior vice president & director of The Greenbrier Logistics Companies in Lake Oswego OR. Prior to that he was president of Superior Transportation System. He has also served as CFO for both Evergreen International Airlines, and LaFran Machine and Manufacturing. Marsh holds a degree in business administration from Oregon State University. Card Capture Services, Inc. was incorporated in May, 1993, in Portland, Oregon.

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BANKATLANTIC   600+  ATMS

BankAtlantic is approaching the 600 ATM milestone, with 90% percent of its ATMs deployed in retail establishments, including Wal-Mart stores, gasoline and convenience food stores, malls, entertainment complexes, college campuses and other nontraditional locations, including three cruise ship lines. BankAtlantic has more than doubled its ATM installations in the last eight months, primarily in Florida.  Among the most recent new locations 10 Quick Stop convenience food stores in the Sarasota area. Nearly 90 other locations soon to be added are part of two other convenience food chains, Kwik King and Island Foods, with stores in central Florida.

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