VISA International became truly international yesterday with the appointment of a top British executive as  CEO and President. Malcolm Williamson, currently Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC, will succeed Ed Jensen who retires October 1. The CEO selection committee was headed by Peter Ellwood, VISA International Board Chairman, and included the chairmen of VISA’s six regional boards as well as Mr. Jensen. The committee made its recommendation yesterday to VISA’s International Board of Directors which unanimously approved the selection. The 59 year old Mr. Williamson was appointed Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC in 1993. During his time as Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered refocused its activities on its key strengths, concentrating on certain business sectors and geographic markets.  Trading profit from 1993-1997 rose from 358 million pounds sterling to 904 million pounds sterling. Mr. Williamson is currently a non-executive director of the UK’s National Grid Group; a board member of the British Invisibles; a member of the British Council of the Industrial Society and UK chairman of the British Thai Business Group. VISA said yesterday that during Jensen’s watch, VISA’s worldwide market share increased by 5 points to 58% and transaction volume has risen by more than 24% annually.


CyberTrust SET Certificates

GTE Internetworking’s CyberTrust Solutions received approved vendor status yesterday by VISA International to provide certificate processing services to VISA members via VISA’s Secure Electronic Commerce initiative. CyberTrust Secure Payment Services, the exclusive provider of MasterCard-branded SET digital certificates, now offers financial institutions the ability to work with a single source provider to manage their certification authority operations for MasterCard and Visa. GTE Internetworking charges a standard monthly fee that includes set up and operation of the SET service, a bundled number of certificates, a range of authorization capabilities, consulting and training.


Debit Card ATM Dispenser

Default Proof Credit Card System Inc. announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office June 19 issued a favorable office action for the company’s Debit Card ATM Dispenser. Default Proof Credit Card System Inc. has developed a system that allows consumers to purchase prepaid debit cards at automated teller machines. The cards dispensed will have the same plastic functions like most online debit cards.


Brand Power

VISA ranked #3 among the most powerful business-to-business brands in the U.S., while MasterCard ranked #8 and American Express #9. The findings, released yesterday, come from the latest ‘ImagePower’ survey conducted by Landor Associates and research specialists Louis Harris & Associates.The rankings are drawn from the ‘ImagePower Index’, which is a composite measure combining each brand’s strength across five different perception criteria: share of mind (awareness), share of heart (regard), value (value for money), momentum (potential for future growth), and uniqueness/singularity (overall business choice). Also among the Top 30: Chase ranking #22 and Citibank ranking #24.

America’s Top 10 Business-to-Business Brands
        (based on ImagePower Index)

RANK                COMPANY                INDEX

1                 Microsoft                 84
2                 UPS                      72
3                 Visa                      72
4                 AT&T                      71
5                 Federal Express           67
6                 Xerox (office equipment)  64
7                 IBM                       57
8                 MasterCard                53
9                 American Express          51
10                Canon                     47
            Source: Landor/Harris


Student Cards

A nationwide study of 750 college students found that nearly two-thirds now have credit cards and more than half of student cardholders pay card balances off each month. According to the survey conducted for Washington, DC-based The Education Resources Institute and the Boston-based Institute for Higher Education Policy, 82% of college students have balances of $1,001 or less. While 59% said they pay their balance off each month, the majority of those who revolved balances paid significantly more than the required minimum payment. About half of the students surveyed indicated that building a credit history was the most important reason for signing up for credit cards. The study also found that 55% of students received their first card in their freshman year in college with 25% obtaining their first credit card in high school.


Euronet Nears 1000 ATMs

Euronet’s ATM network now consists of 942 on-line ATMs, as of yesterday, an 18% increase since the end of the first quarter. Last week Euronet brought American Express in Croatia on line as well as the Polish Association of Credit Unions. Euronet ATMs can accept approximately 80% of the cards issued to date in Poland. According to figures released yesterday, cash withdrawal and other transactions by cardholders over the Euronet ATM network in Hungary, Poland, Germany, Croatia, and the Czech Republic totaled 1,072,978 in April and 1,190,512 in May. These figures compare with 1,053,364 transactions in March, and represent a 2% increase from March to April and an 11% increase from April to May. Established in 1994, Euronet operates the only independent, non-bank owned ATM network in Central Europe.


End-to-End Home Banking

InteliData Technologies Corp announced yesterday the first end-to-end home banking solution that will allow banks and their processors to link directly with users of both Intuit, Inc.’s Quicken and transactional Web sites. InteliData’s solution is the first to support the personal financial management software Quicken using the Open Financial Exchange message set. The solution will allow online banking customers to download up- to-the-minute account information for multiple checking, savings and credit card accounts.  Users will also be able to do real-time funds transfers between accounts, and pay bills electronically through both  Quicken and transactional Web sites.


IVI Checkmate is Official Center

Checkmate Electronics, Inc.announced yesterday that Checkmate’s shareholders voted in favor of a merger with Toronto-based International Verifact Inc. by a majority of 65.7%, voting at a special meeting of shareholders convened in Atlanta today. At the same time, International Verifact Inc. announced their shareholders had also voted in favor of the merger with Checkmate by a majority of 99.9%. The combined company becomes the third largest in the electronic payment solutions industry in North America. Its combined revenues approach those of the current second largest company in the industry. IVI Checkmate Corp. has a leadership position in providing end to end electronic transaction solutions including check reading, credit and debit card processing, signature capture and Smart Cards.

![][1] As provided in the Combination Agreement and Plan of Arrangement, Checkmate (based in Roswell, Georgia) will be renamed IVI Checkmate, Inc. IVI (based in Toronto, Canada) will be renamed IVI Checkmate, Ltd. Both Companies become wholly-owned subsidiaries of a Delaware corporation, `IVI Checkmate Corp.’ (“IVI Checkmate”) which will be based in Roswell, Georgia, north of Atlanta. The new securities are expected to begin trading on or about June 26, 1998.

The IVI Checkmate common stock will trade on the NASDAQ NMS under the symbol: “CMIV”, and also on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol: “CIVI”. IVI’s exchangeable shares will trade only on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol: “IVI”. Checkmate shareholders will receive 1.2775 shares of IVI Checkmate common stock for each Checkmate common share.

J. Stanford Spence, currently Chairman and CEO of Checkmate, who becomes Chairman of IVI Checkmate Corp., says: “Gregory A. Lewis will lead the US operations, now known as IVI Checkmate, Inc., as its new President and COO. L. Barry Thomson, currently President and CEO of IVI, will become CEO of IVI Checkmate Corp., and will also be responsible for the day to day operations of Toronto-based IVI Checkmate, Ltd.”

Mr. Spence says, “IVI Checkmate Corp. will implement a strategy to progressively grow beyond being a terminal manufacturer to delivering end to end transaction solutions for the large retail, middle retail and small retailer markets, while penetrating the bank automation, hospitality, healthcare, insurance and transport market segments.”

IVI Checkmate is a full-service solution provider in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Its innovative automation payment solutions are capable of handling electronic payment transactions such as check, debit, credit, smart card, and electronic benefits transfer, together with interactive touch screen applications in such industries as retail, banking, healthcare, hospitality and transportation. With offices in the United States and Canada, and strategic alliances and partnerships worldwide, IVI Checkmate is poised to deliver leading products and global technology to its customers. Additional information is available on the Internet at [ ][2]

[1]: /graphic/ivi/ivi.gif


Smart Pep Card

Pepperdine University  is upgrading its student ‘Pep Card’ to a smart card by the start of classes this Fall. Diebold will transform the more than 5,000 ‘Pep Cards’ into a near-cashless environment for Pepperdine by allowing monetary value to be loaded onto the campus ID card. The cards will be used for photocopying, laser printing, and payment for food and drink at various locations throughout Pepperdine’s six campuses.  Campus vending and laundry facilities will eventually accept the cards. Future plans also include expanding the card’s functionality into the Malibu community by allowing students, faculty and staff to use their cards at off-campus locations such as restaurants, laundromats and convenience stores. The new Diebold system also allows the university to integrate the carding systems of all the Pepperdine campuses into one network. Pepperdine will also be the first university to benefit from Diebold’s ‘CS Print’ software, which allows the university to administer print charges at workstations and laser printers at each of their campuses.


Fitch Rates Partners First

Partners First Credit Card Master Trust’s $538 million class A floating-rate credit card certificates, are expected to be rated ‘AAA’ by Fitch IBCA.  The corresponding $113 million class B floating-rate certificates from both series are expected to be rated ‘A’.  This is the second and third issuance from the PFCCMT since the establishment of Partners First through a joint venture between BankBoston (NH), N.A., Bank of Montreal and First Annapolis Corporation to establish a credit card business.