Transaction Network Services signed a multi-year contract with EDS to provide a dial-up network system for the EFT processor’s ATM operations. Yesterday’s  deal will make dial-up ATM transport capabilities available to ATMs currently processing via leased lines on the EDS system. TNS will use its ‘TransXpress ATM Connect’ service and its ‘TransXpress 1000’ dial-up modem. The ‘TransXpress 1000’ modem allows legacy ATMs that lack built-in dial-up capabilities to accomplish dial-up transactions via standard phone lines without any modifications to the ATM itself. In addition, ‘TransXpress ATM Connect’ provides a platform to facilitate ISDN, CDPD, and other wireless access.


ATM Challenges

Robin Abrams, CEO of VeriFone, says “If you really care about how the market will take shape for the next generation of ATM machines and smart cards, and about the growing power of Microsoft software in the retail and banking markets, you are in for a special treat.”

TCI and Palo Alto Cable Co-op are currently airing interviews conducted by Michael Killen, President of Killen & Associates, with experts from leading ATM/cash dispenser providers.

The interviews will run TCI Channel 15A on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. and on Palo Alto Cable Co-op Channel 6 starting on Thursday, June 11 at 10:00 p.m., repeated on Sundays at 4:00 p.m., beginning June 14.

Stefan Bucek, General Manager of TCI in San Jose, Calif., states, “Over the past 6 years, Michael Killen has produced programs that attract a select audience interested in identifying new markets driven by technology changes and user needs. This series continues this trend and offers viewers more choice programming.”

Executives interviewed by Mr. Killen for this series are:

—   Haydn Abbott, Managing Director, DeLaRue Cash Systems

—   Javier Lopez-Bartolome, Vice President, Sales, Siemens Nixdorf, Information Systems AG

—   Neill Collins, Vice President, Operations & Financial Controller, Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc.

—   Reinoud G. J. Drenth, Corporate Vice President, Managing Director & Chief Executive, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Diebold, Inc.

—   Mike Hudson, Senior Vice President, Tidel Engineering

—   Neil P. Marcous, E.V.P./General Manager, Electronics Markets, EDS

—   Bob Tramontano, Vice President, NCR Financial Systems Limited

—   Gregory Riche, Advisory I/T Specialist, IBM Global Services

—   Paul A. Krykorka, ABM Product Manager, IBM Canada Ltd.

The combined ATM shipments of these companies account for 67% of the global ATM market.

For additional information, visit Killen & Associates Web site: [ ][1]



New Risk Module

Honolulu-based Kamakura Corp introduced ‘Kamakura Risk Manager-dc’ yesterday, a standalone module that enables banks to easily and accurately calculate the value of credit card loans. The ‘KRM-dc’ module utilizes a practical and realistic valuation approach that leads to accurate interest-rate risk analysis. The tool uses analytics including: yield curve smoothing techniques; various term structure models; term structure parameter fitting functions; Delta hedge calculations; and various types of sensitivity analysis. The module automatically calculates regression equations using historical data for balances and rates.  To properly define the evolution of market rates, product rates and portfolio balances, users can use the ‘KRM-dc’ software to select a term structure model and derive the proper parameters.  Value, delta, duration and convexity, and Delta hedges are also automatically calculated.  ‘KRM-dc’ can be integrated into third-party tools.


Canmax to Build Prepaid Phone Card Biz

Canmax Inc., a leading supplier of point-of-sale automation and telecommunications services to convenience stores and petroleum retailers, announced that Scott R. Matthews has joined Canmax as Vice President of Telecommunications Development/Sales and Marketing.

An original player in the young and rapidly growing prepaid phone card industry, Matthews has helped facilitate the substantial growth of several companies in the past six years including ATCALL, Inc. and Galaxy Communications, Inc.  After success with ATCALL, Matthews left and, in 1995, started Crystal Communications, Inc., which he built to $24 million in annual revenue and, in 1996, sold to Galaxy Long Distance.  As Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Galaxy, he was instrumental in helping the company double its revenues during his tenure.

“We are extremely pleased to have Scott on board,” said Roger Bryant, president and chief executive officer of Canmax.  “Scott brings a new business opportunity to Canmax.  Our objective is to unite his strong prepaid phone card marketing capabilities with Canmax’s 17 years of experience in point-of- sale software development and customer service.  Our software applications will conveniently and efficiently allow prepaid cards to be activated at the time of purchase by the issuer of the card, dramatically reducing card theft and shelf life.  We will provide not just the calling card programs but also customer support, activation and service. This is a huge opportunity for Canmax, and we are extremely pleased to have Scott with us to develop this market.”

“Canmax is uniquely positioned to deliver a brand new and highly needed service to the prepaid phone card industry,” commented Matthews. “Convenience stores and petroleum resellers are demanding this service, and we are in a position to deliver it.  This will be a huge convenience for customers and a significant selling point.  I am pleased to be a part of this opportunity.”

“Scott brings unparalleled experience and extensive relationships with both wholesalers and retailers of prepaid phone cards,” continued Bryant. “We intend to build this business by leveraging our relationships in ways that will generate cash flow and increasingly higher sales levels. Additionally, we are looking for acquisitions and partners with whom we can enhance our marketing and technical capabilities.”

As of 1997, industry sources identify the prepaid phone card business as a $1.5 billion industry projected to grow to more than $5 billion by the year 2000.  Canmax plans to address this market through three sales channels: telemarketing, direct sales and wholesale distribution.

Matthews graduated from Florida State University with a bachelors degree in business management and marketing.  After graduation, Matthews played professional baseball for three years with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Before entering the prepaid phone card business, Matthews was involved in sports advertising with IMG and Wyse Advertising in Cleveland.

Canmax is a leading developer and supplier of point-of-sale software for the convenience store and retail petroleum industries, and general telecommunications to a broad market.


Bankruptcy Pace

Personal bankruptcies set an all-time record for any 12-month period and are growing about 6% annually according to figures released yesterday by the industry-funded Bankruptcy Issues Council. Based on data collected by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 1.37 million personal bankruptcy petitions were filed for the 12-month period ending March 31. During the first quarter of this year, 341,708 personal petitions were filed, a 6% increase over the same period last year. BIC says it does not make sense that the number of personal bankruptcies is growing while unemployment and interest rates are falling and the stock market is booming. Bankruptcy reform bills are currently bouncing around Congress. The full House of Representatives may consider H.R. 3150, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1998, next week.


AmEx Musical Chairs

American Express Vice Chairman Chuck Farr is leaving the company at the end of June, it was announced Tuesday. Farr was in charge of the AmEx smart card and debit card initiatives. He was also responsible for completing the assessment and reassignment of the remaining stored value product areas, as well as leading AmEx’s Foreign Exchange Services business. Anne Busquet, head of American Express Relationship Services, has now been given responsibility for the company’s smart card development efforts. Phillip Riese, head of the U.S. Consumer Card Services Group, will take on responsibility for debit card initiatives.


Trintech Speaks in London

John McGuire, CEO, Trintech Group said yesterday at the Venture Market Europe conference in London: “The Internet has been a medium for communication and the exchange of information for a number of years.

“Including more commercial functions, such as electronic commerce, has proved a more difficult task.  A combination of security concerns, consumer and merchant indifference and banking reluctance has combined to keep Web-based commerce in the margins of retailing.  Nevertheless, the Internet’s potential to be the vehicle for conducting significant volumes of commercial activity seems to have arrived thanks to a number of factors.

“In essence, Internet users tend to be younger, wealthier and are moving to on-line buying in increasing numbers as their busy lives get even busier. The missing piece of the puzzle is technology and most importantly, payment software.  Providing a secure and robust payment infrastructure has been one of the challenges banks and merchants have had to overcome in order to exploit the latent potential of electronic commerce.

“This is where Trintech has proven its pre-eminence.  As a company with ten years experience exclusively in payment software, Trintech has been perfectly positioned to develop Internet payment solutions that comply with the latest industry standards.  What Trintech’s experience has taught us is that pedigree is everything.

“The company client list includes American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Deutsche Bank, SAP among others.  Its global partners are the leaders in their field and include Microsoft, Oracle, Tandem and Netscape. What has impressed all of the companies listed is Trintech’s ability to deliver a payment component essential for their success on-time and to specification.  Trintech can boast on being the only payment company in the world that works across all the major operating systems and platforms.

“As banks and retailers struggle to make sense of what should prove to be a wonderful opportunity, technical interoperability is essential if e-commerce is to be a success.  Trintech has been doing it for ten years in the physical world and is doing it now in the virtual world.”


SDM and Gasper Team up

SDM International, a leading provider of EFT and EDI communications software and Gasper Corp., provider of ATM service management systems, have agreed to engage in joint sales and marketing activities with SDM’s prospects and customers to provide a unified solution. They have also agreed to a joint certification program to ensure long-term compatibility of their products.

“Controlling costs of operations is essential to maintaining a competitive ATM operation,” said Gene Truelove, CEO and President of SDM International. “OCM24, coupled with Gasper Manager, allows our bank customers to efficiently manage and expand their ATM networks.”

“Maintaining availability is a key competitive advantage for banks seeking to improve their customer service,” said David Gasper, CEO and President of Gasper Corporation. “The high processing availability provided by OCM24 running on the IBM System/390 Parallel Enterprise Server, coupled with the ATM and network availability of a Gasper managed system, enable customers to achieve their availability goals,” he added.

As part of this agreement, OCM24 is being interfaced to Gasper Corporation’s Gasper Manager, an automated service management solution. As a second element of this partnership, Gasper and SDM will implement the Gasper Certified Program — a continuous system certification program that will ensure mutual customers of long-term, reliable interoperability between SDM’s IBM System/390-based software solutions and Gasper’s Windows NT-based software products.

SDM’s OCM24 product is an advanced retail banking delivery system used by financial institutions of all types and sizes to manage proprietary and shared automatic teller machine (ATM) and point-of-sale (POS) networks. Running on the full range of IBM System/390 platforms, OCM24 provides device management, transaction control, authorization, shared networking, cardholder management, and data encryption.

Gasper Manager allows thousands of devices to be managed from a central location; automatically manages field service teams without help desk operator intervention; and enhances ATM availability through quick responses to problems. By automating many help desk functions, the Gasper Manager system enhances service levels and frees up staff for complex problem solving.

Gasper Corporation, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, is the leading provider of ATM service management solutions. Over 50 percent of the ATMs in the United States and 20 percent of worldwide ATMs are monitored by Gasper systems. Gasper’s solutions enable financial institutions and ATM providers to provide high availability while lowering operations costs. Gasper Corporation’s Internet home page is located at [][1]

SDM International has been delivering electronic payments and EDI communication solutions since 1980 and is based near Raleigh, North Carolina. The company is an IBM Business Partner and supports hundreds of product licenses in 18 countries worldwide. For more information on any of SDM’s software products, please contact the SDM sales and marketing department at 919/552-1100, or via e-mail at [][2]. SDM’s Web site is at [][3]



Physician Smart Card

Leapfrog Smart Products Inc., a Smart card application development company, announced that it has signed a contract with RDV Sportsplex Family Practice in Orlando, Florida.

The contract represents the first fully integrated Smart card system for a private medical practice in the United States.

Dr. Richard Baxley, owner of RDV Sportsplex Family Medical Practice said: “We have always been committed to give our patients the very best health care possible. Utilizing technology is just one more way to insure that our patients can benefit from the latest advances in the health care industry.”

How it will work: Under the program worked out by RDV Sportsplex Family Practice and Leapfrog, patients will be issued a Smart card containing relevant medical history and insurance information. The patient will present the card at each office visit. Upon check-in, the patients’s card will be read and the patient will authenticate himself via a PIN or biometric. “Patient authentication will cut down on fraud and misuse of insurance cards,” stated Dale Grogan, president of Leapfrog. Data from the visit will be gathered to integrate into an electronic bill for the insurance carriers.

Also, an off-site point-of-sale integration will be utilized to demonstrate the efficiency of secure, portable information.

“This application will demonstrate the enabling benefits of Smart cards in medicine,” said Leapfrog’s Grogan. “Being able to have the patient check-in more quickly, saves the doctor time and effort in recording data, while helping to eliminate fraud within the system is a win win for everyone involved.”

Smart cards benefit patients by allowing them to carry accurate medical data portably, benefit the physician by saving time recording and reproducing data for referrals and insurance companies, and benefit the insurers by eliminating fraud and the need for redundant tests.

Dr. Baxley’s practice is located in the RDV Sportsplex, the training center of the Orlando Magic basketball team. Since the February unveiling of the 365,000 square-foot complex, Baxley has been the Magic’s “official family doctor.” On top of the professional training facilities of the Magic and the Orlando Solar Bears hockey team, the complex also includes a state-of-the-art health club, childcare facilities and a pediatric medical practice.

Leapfrog Smart Products Inc., an Orlando-based company, is a leading Smart card applications development firm. The company was founded in 1996 and has developed and implemented multiple-application Smart card programs for the hospitality, loyalty and medical industries.


ClaimCard Expands

Sunrise, FL-based ClaimCard announced Monday it has signed Spiegel Catalog as a merchant in the ‘ClaimCard’ network. The agreement includes all Spiegel catalogs and the Spiegel online site. ClaimCard is a unique program designed to improve claim service after a homeowner files an insurance claim. One example includes a claim caused by high winds and rain that destroys clothing, furniture, electronics, etc., and forces a family to seek temporary housing. ClaimCard technologies enable insurance companies to coordinate a hotel room while the home is being repaired, accurately value damaged property, disburse claim benefits faster than writing a check, eliminate the necessity for a claimant to go “out of pocket” after a loss, and completes these tasks at a much lower cost than traditional methods.


Shedding Accounts

Another regional player is tightening the reins as AmSouth announced Monday the sale of a $170 million portion of its credit card portfolio to Associates National Bank. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The receivables sold were acquired by AmSouth through direct mail solicitations or purchases. The bank says it will continue in the credit card business with an emphasis on core customers. At the end of the first quarter AmSouth held $421,303,292 in total receivables from 334,986 gross accounts, according to CardData.