ARKSYS & TriSense

ARKSYS and TriSense Software Ltd. today announced a strategic alliance to provide TriSense Software’s electronic bill presentment and payment solution, PaySense, to U.S. mid-range financial institutions in conjunction with ARKSYS’ commercial cash management and personal banking solutions.

ARKSYS and TriSense have complementary product offerings that serve both commercial and retail banking businesses. Under the terms of the alliance, ARKSYS will market the PaySense system to its existing and potential mid-sized financial institution customers together with its own commercial and retail offerings.

TriSense, a financial systems software company, specifically designed the PaySense solution to enable banks to deliver electronic bill presentment and payment services directly to their commercial and retail customers. With PaySense, banks can control all aspects of the service, including the biller relationship, management of the biller’s data and service fee pricing. PaySense allows banks to increase ACH and other fee income while offering unparalleled savings and control to billers and convenience and value to individual bill payers.

“We believe this alliance complements ARKSYS’ commercial banking solution, Commercial-ACCESS, and our home banking solution, Personal-ACCESS, providing financial institutions with a comprehensive Internet banking solution,” said Mary H. Rose, vice president of Business Development with ARKSYS. “Bill presentment is perhaps one of the key strategic factors impacting banks’ future role in both cash management and payment processing.”

ARKSYS’ Commercial-ACCESS and Personal-ACCESS are designed for the Internet but ready for use as a secure proprietary on-line system. Acting either as an Internet or intranet system, the products provide banking customers with on-line, real-time 24-hour access to accounts and information. The products interface with ARKSYS’ Integrated Transaction Management to provide current on-line, real-time information.

The PaySense system delivers bills and payments via an enhanced e-mail facility that features ironclad security, rapid connection with existing billing systems, guaranteed delivery and reliability, and rich graphical billing capability. “PaySense is the only true bank-centric electronic bill presentment and payment system,” said David R. Lamm, president and chief executive officer of TriSense Software Ltd. “We’re delighted that this alliance will bring bill presentment to the mid-range banking market along with ARKSYS’ broad Internet banking solutions.”

The alliance enhances the commercial and home banking services that financial institutions can offer and provides a complete financial management solution for Internet banking customers. Institutions can gain the ability to strengthen relationships with customers through Internet banking products.

About the Companies

TriSense Software Ltd. is a Minneapolis-based financial systems software company founded in 1996 by David R. Lamm after the sale of his former venture, Document Solutions Inc., a company that developed check “image statements” for community banks. Building on this expertise, TriSense developed the PaySense electronic bill presentment and delivery system for banks and financial service companies. Its staff includes personnel with more than 125 years of bank-related experience. Visit TriSense Software’s Web site at [][1].

ARKSYS offers Integrated Transaction Management (ITM), a family of payment and transaction processing solutions. ITM provides functionality that allows U.S. mid-range and off-shore locations of large International financial and nonfinancial institutions to facilitate customers’ on-line, real-time transactions twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, from a variety of devices. ARKSYS’ ITM processes and manages retail delivery operations including card and client management systems, international credit card, debit card, ATM and POS management; merchant management; electronic funds network solutions, on-line and intercept processing; access solutions, interactive voice response, Internet/intranet/extranet personal banking and bill payment; Internet security; and wholesale delivery with Internet/intranet/extranet commercial cash management. The company’s offerings are established in more than 70 countries. Visit ARKSYS on the World Wide Web at [][2].     ARKSYS, Integrated Transaction Management and ITM are trademarks of Arkansas Systems Inc. TriSense and PaySense are trademarks of TriSense Software Ltd.



MBE Alliance Pays-Off

USA Technologies Inc., a specialist in credit card-activated control systems for office equipment, reported revenues for the first quarter of $548,208, compared with revenues of $144,536 for the same period last year.  The company has recently signed corporate partners, including Mail Boxes Etc., IBM, Marriott Hotels, Resorts & Suites, Promus, Best Western, Choice Hotels and Prime Hospitality. USTT’s flagship product is MBE Business Express which offers credit card-activated self-service office systems for business travelers and consumers who need to access the internet or e-mail or use personal computers, printers, copiers and fax machines while they are away from their office or home.  Each unit features IBM personal computers as well as IBM’s service and support network, as well as a dial through telephone to a nearby Mail Boxes Etc. location for additional services and support such as color copying projects, binding and packing and shipping.


ALLTEL I-Banking

ALLTEL announced Thursday its new Internet banking solution which leverages ALLTEL’s existing service delivery infrastructure, thus allowing institutions the ability to integrate the Internet, call center and the branch.  The system provides real-time data sharing between the integrated delivery channels. ALLTEL’s Internet banking solution uses the Microsoft Internet Finance Server Toolkit.  MIFST provides essential components like a sample Web site, Web server components and a server built on the Open Financial Exchange specification. ALLTEL’s Internet banking solution is planned for release in the fourth quarter.


Advanta Unloading Notes

Advanta National Bank a subsidiary of Advanta Corp. announced Thursday that it is extending the offer to purchase (the “Offer to Purchase”) its outstanding promissory notes that were not assumed by Fleet Credit Card LLC in connection with the acquisition of Advanta Corp.’s consumer credit card business by Fleet and certain of its affiliates.

The Bank Notes were issued at various times since July 1993 and at various maturities and rates. As of April 14, 1998, the date of the Offer to Purchase, approximately $113 million of these Bank Notes were outstanding. To date, ANB has received documents relating to the deposit for repurchase of approximately $91 million in principal amount of the Bank Notes.

The Offer to Purchase is being extended to 500 p.m. New York City time on May 21, 1998. The Offer to Purchase had previously been scheduled to expire at 500 p.m. on May 13, 1998.

Advanta is a highly focused financial services company with 2,300 employees, approximately $10 billion in managed assets and an additional $8.8 billion in assets serviced for third parties.

Advanta serves consumers and small businesses with innovative products and services including mortgages, equipment leases, business credit cards, insurance and deposit products. The Company also provides a full range of loan purchasing, contract servicing and securitization services to the mortgage industry.


TSYS Signs Sears

Total System Services announced Thursday the signing of a long-term processing agreement with Sears, Roebuck and Co. to convert and process its private-label portfolio on TSYS’ ‘TS2 Cardholder System’.  The company said yesterday the conversion of 60 million accounts will be the largest in the history of the credit card industry. Sears holds the largest retail card portfolio with more than 32 million active accounts and average managed receivables of $26.8 billion. Terms of yesterday’s contract were not revealed.  TSYS says the large-scale conversion will be quick and efficient since the process is done by changing option settings, not by modifying the system through labor intensive custom code as is the case with other software platforms.


Bankruptcy Reform Update

Official Statement from Bankruptcy Coalition

We are very pleased that the House Judiciary Committee today favorably reported The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1998, clearing the measure for action by the full House. We also applaud Chairman Hyde and the Committee members for putting to rest any questions about the priority status of child support and alimony payments in the bankruptcy process. The amendments adopted by the Committee specifically and categorically state that child support and alimony payments must be given priority in bankruptcy proceedings. There is no greater personal responsibility than meeting one’s child support and alimony obligations, and we strongly support these measures to ensure that these payments are in no way affected by this legislation.

The result is that H.R. 3150 has emerged from the Committee even stronger in terms of personal responsibility and should enjoy strong bipartisan support on the House floor. We urge the full House to act upon this legislation at the earliest opportunity so that sensible, fair bankruptcy reform can be enacted in 1998. We are also pleased that the Senate plans to move forward next week on significant bankruptcy reform legislation.

H.R. 3150 will restore personal responsibility and fairness to our bankruptcy system. For too long now, our flawed bankruptcy law has provided complete debt relief to individuals who have enough income to repay at least some of what they owe. As a result, the overwhelming majority of Americans who pay their bills on time have been forced to pick up the tab – to the tune of about $400 per household – for those who walk away from their debts. This important legislation will correct this flaw by ensuring that bankruptcy filers receive only the amount of debt relief they need, no more, no less.

American Finacial Services Association

America’s Community Bankers

Bankruptcy Issues Council

Consumer Bankers Association

National Retail Federation

U.S. Chamber of Commerce


PaySys Names Data Warehouse GM

George E. Devitt has been named the new Vice President/General Manager for Data Warehousing for PaySys International, Inc., the leading credit card management software company headquartered in Atlanta. In the newly created position, Devitt will oversee the daily operations, development, marketing, and sales efforts for the data warehousing products developed by PaySys, according to Stephen B. Grubb, PaySys International CEO/president.

“We’re fortunate to have someone with George Devitt’s background and experience in the payment systems and information industries to head up our data warehouse group,” said Grubb.

Devitt, who will be based in PaySys offices in Orlando, Fla., will also be responsible for developing additional markets for the company’s data warehouse software, PS. InfoSource(TM), and for creating additional data warehousing programs.

He brings more than 15 years technology experience to his new position. Previously, he was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Americas Group, for VeriFone, Inc., a Hewlett-Packard Company. At VeriFone, he was responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies for Internet commerce, consumer systems, SmartCard and client/server solutions. He managed product marketing and marketing communications as well as business development staffs.

Prior to VeriFone, he was Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Sales, for Micro Design International, Inc., a Florida based computer peripheral products company. He was also Director, North American Sales and Support, for GO Corporation, a California “pen-based” computer company; an area, district and branch manager for Metaphor, Inc., an IBM company, marketing client-server relational database and decision support products; a Major Accounts Program Manager for Hewlett-Packard; and Marketing Manager for IBM. Devitt graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. degree in business administration. He is a member of the Sales and Marketing Executive Association, Data Processing Management Association, and the University of Florida Alumni Association.

PaySys International, a pioneer in credit card management software, has installations running in over 30 countries on 6 continents. PaySys systems process more credit card accounts daily than any other card system. Banks and retail establishments worldwide use the PaySys solutions more than any other comparable product for their processing needs.

VisionPLUS, which handles retail, bankcard and loan processing all in one system, is the latest product from PaySys, the company that also developed the legendary CardPac and VISION21. A privately-held company headquartered in Atlanta, PaySys has over 400 employees and operates offices and support centers in Orlando, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; Melbourne, Australia; Dublin, Ireland; Singapore; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Costa Rica. Information about PaySys and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at [][1].



AIB Adds Brokerage Services

Atlanta Internet Bank launched an online brokerage services division, AIB Investment Services.  Now AIB customers can have access to all of their assets at their fingertips at one location, and automatically transfer idle cash from their UVEST brokerage account to their FDIC-insured, high interest AIB deposit account.

“We are proud to offer our customers another service that is designed to provide maximum convenience to manage their investment portfolios and banking — all under one roof,” said D.R. Grimes, chief executive officer of Atlanta Internet Bank.  “We are creating an environment where our customers can easily access their UVEST brokerage and AIB bank accounts anytime and anywhere to place trades, pay bills, write checks, use ATM’s and make purchases using a Debit Card.”

Customers are awarded with 50 free real-time quotes with every new account opened, with every trade placed and for every month the account remains open. Other benefits of opening a brokerage account include free portfolio tracking, free market information and access to detailed company and industry reports at reduced rates.

AIB Investment Services is bringing these online brokerage services to its customers through UVEST Investment Services, member NASD/SIPC.  Investors will be able to easily trade stocks and options online.  The customer’s online transaction history is automatically updated by the next day.

AIB has also partnered with to bring its customers free portfolio tracking services.  Through UVEST, will provide comprehensive financial research on over 500,000 companies and industries for a minimal fee per report.

Through AIB’s Investment Services, customers will be charged $25.00 per stock trade for up to 2,000 shares and a $3.50 per month brokerage account fee.

According to Grimes, AIB Investment Services plans to have consolidated statements available in the near future.  AIB also plans to offer financial planning and asset allocation services through UVEST.

Securities are offered by UVEST Investment Services, member NASD/SIPC. UVEST is independent of any financial institution.  Securities (1) are not deposits of this institution; (2) are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC, NCUA or any other government agency; (3) are not obligations of, or guaranteed by, any financial institution; and (4) involve investment risks, including the potential for fluctuations in investment return and the potential loss of principal.  UVEST is a registered trademark of UVEST Financial Services Group, Inc.

Atlanta Internet Bank (AIB) has quickly become the world’s leading provider of online consumer retail banking and financial services.  AIB offers checking, money market accounts and certificates of deposits with exceptional interest rates.  AIB is a Member, FDIC.  AIB is the world’s premier provider of electronic financial services and can be found on the World Wide Web at [][1], or reached toll-free at 1-888-256-6932



ATM Interfacing

Home Financial Network announced Thursday the incorporation of speech recognition and touch screen technologies in its Home ATM software. Home ATM’s speech recognition enhancement is being developed using the Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech engine from Dragon Systems, Inc. and IBM’s Via Voice technology. HFN’s touch screen technology uses ELO IntelliTouch controllers, designed for surface acoustic wave touch screens.  The company will soon add AccuTouch controllers for touch screens that rely on capacitive and resistive technology. The company is also developing a free-standing kiosk version of Home ATM using 100% Pure Java and touch screen design.


Syntellect IFS Certified

Syntellect Inc. completed the certification process to connect to Integrion Financial Network’s Interactive Financial Services (IFS) platform.  The certification ensures that Syntellect’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) product conforms to the GOLD standard, the open, cross-platform messaging interface employed by Integrion for retail banking transactions.  The connectivity between Syntellect’s IVR and Integrion’s IFS platform will be employed at Michigan National, an owner of Integrion, this summer.


SmarTalk Rings Up Earnings

SmarTalk TeleServices, Inc. reported Wednesday financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 1998. For the first quarter of 1998, revenues grew 23.3% to $39.6 million from $32.1 million reported for the fourth quarter of 1997, and 437.6% from $7.4 million reported for the first quarter last year. The Company also reported break-even earnings per share from continued operations compared with a net loss of $0.02 per share for the first quarter last year.

The majority of SmarTalk’s revenues come from decremented minutes, which are the number of minutes of consumer usage of the Company’s services. Minutes decremented for the first quarter increased by 45.4% to 160.9 million, compared with 110.6 million for the quarter ending December 31, 1997, and increased by 357% compared with 35.2 million decremented minutes for the quarter ended March 31, 1997. Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) are used by the Company’s customers to access the SmarTalk system. The Company also tracks PINs activated as an indication of unique, new card accesses into the Company’s call processing network. In the first quarter ending March 31, 1998, the Company reported a 46% increase to 3.5 million new PIN activations compared with 2.4 million PINs activated for the quarter ending December 31, 1997, and a 697% increase compared with 437,055 PINs activated for the quarter ending March 31, 1997.

“Revenues for the quarter were in line with our previously announced estimates,” stated SmarTalk CEO Erich Spangenberg. “The increase in decremented minutes and revenues for the quarter demonstrate that more consumers are purchasing and using SmarTalk prepaid calling cards. The PIN activations number reflects a significant increase in consumer acceptance. We exited the quarter selling through approximately 34,000 storefronts and look to roll-out a significant number of additional storefronts over the balance of 1998.”

Company President and COO Jeff Lindauer stated “Our consolidation strategy is starting to yield results as evidenced by our break-even quarter. As of May 1st, the Company’s Los Angeles corporate office was closed and the promotional division will close its Boston office. The management team is coming together under one roof in Ohio, which we anticipate will make a positive impact on our business. We currently are in temporary quarters and expect to move into permanent corporate headquarters in Columbus in July. In addition to executing on our consolidation strategy and pursuing new business opportunities, we’ve recently completed the first phase of the roll-out of SmarTalk products to more than 14,000 U.S. Postal Service offices and vending locations.”

Commenting on the numbers for the quarter, SmarTalk CFO Andy Folck stated “Our numbers do not reflect any revenues from the call center operation which were in excess of $5 million. From January 1st, the call center has been classified as a discontinued operation and is anticipated to be sold during 1998. The loss attributable to the operation and closure of the call center is $3.3 million, or $0.15 per share. We do not consider the call center operation to be part of the Company’s core business.”

According to Senior VP Sales Jack Feingold “We’ve completely repositioned the USPS prepaid card as `A New Way to Communicate.’ This merchandising effort is being headed by SmarTalk’s VP Alternative Distribution, Mark Sterbens who, working closely with SmarTalk Chairman Robert Lorsch, developed the program with the USPS. We recently added in excess of 1,000 new retail storefronts including RaceTrac Convenience Stores, United Hardware, Southwest Supermarkets, Thrifty White stores, and others. We’ve also initiated a `most wanted’ list, which focuses our new business efforts on a number of the largest North American retailers and promotional marketers.

“We’ve become much more aggressive with our international strategy. We’ve lowered rates to Mexico and Canada. Calls from the U.S. to anywhere in Mexico are now only two units per minute on selected cards, including cards available at the U.S. Postal Service. Calls from the U.S. to anywhere in Canada, and calls from anywhere in Canada to the U.S. are only one unit per minute. As a result of this strategy, the Company has already expanded our long-term relationship with Office Depot to add their Canadian stores,” continued Mr. Feingold. “We’ve also begun rolling out higher value and co-branded SmarTalk cards to over 1,000 American Stores locations including Sav-On and Osco Drugs, and Lucky, Acme and Jewel supermarkets.”

Senior VP of Marketing Joe Borocz added “We’ve taken key strategic steps to launch our prepaid cellular product offering. We acquired Debit Cellular Network which brought us key enabling technology to build a true inbound and outbound prepaid cellular solution unlike any other solution currently available in the marketplace. Additionally, we announced a new strategic alliance last week with Boston Communications Group, the leading provider of prepaid wireless services to the wireless telecommunications industry. Our joint effort will give major national wireless carriers the opportunity to capitalize on SmarTalk’s broad-based national distribution channel and to use SmarTalk brand phone cards as a virtual `currency’ for their customers to recharge prepaid wireless phones.”

SmarTalk TeleServices, Inc. currently maintains distribution agreements with the U.S. Postal Service and leading mass merchandisers, consumer electronics retailers, supermarkets, hotels, home office superstores and convenience stores throughout North America and the U.K. The Company also creates promotional phone card programs for advertisers and corporate clients. Visit the SmarTalk website at [][1].

Note Certain statements made herein that are not historical in nature are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding anticipated increases in consumer acceptance and use of prepaid calling card products and their reliance upon such products; the expected benefits resulting from the Company’s consolidation strategy and management relocation to Ohio; the ability of the Company to increase sell-through at existing retail locations and to add new retail locations and retail customers to its existing distribution infrastructure; the ability of the Company to succeed in attracting its “most wanted” customers; the success of the Company’s anticipated international expansion; the success of the Company in completing the timely launch of its prepaid cellular product offering. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risks include, without limitation, risks relating to the likelihood that consumer acceptance and use of prepaid calling card products may not reach anticipated levels; the difficulty in successfully completing the Company’s consolidation strategy and the disruption that may be caused by the relocation of its management to Ohio; the ability of the Company to increase sell-through at existing retail locations and its ability to add new retail locations and retail customers to its existing distribution infrastructure; the possibility that the Company may not succeed in attracting its “most wanted” customers; the difficulty facing the Company in expanding its international presence; the ability of the Company to implement a timely launch of its prepaid cellular product offering. Investors who seek more information about the Company’s business and relevant risk factors may wish to review the Company’s SEC reports, including, without limitation, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for 1997 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

                     SMARTALK TELESERVICES, INC.
                       STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS

                Quarter Ended           1997 Quarter-Over-Quarter
                   March 31,
               1998        1997       4th Qtr     3rd Qtr     2nd Qtr

Revenues   $39,612,521  $7,368,333 $32,131,600 $20,565,623 $11,796,890
Cost of
revenue    23,908,488   4,760,748  16,670,129  11,796,488  7,204,054
profit     15,704,033   2,607,585  15,461,471   8,769,135  4,592,836
Sales and
marketing   5,450,629   2,545,414   3,288,851   4,672,415  2,996,050
General and
strative    9,084,480     901,231   8,006,597   3,667,800  2,619,144
and taxes   1,168,924    (839,060)  4,166,023     428,920 (1,022,358)
income      1,129,006     528,763   1,243,519     790,142    580,761
expense     2,390,958           0   2,625,014     740,425    224,748
taxes               0           0           0           0          0
Earnings (loss)
before one-time
charges and
operations    (93,028)   (310,297)  2,784,528     478,637   (666,345)
One-time charges     0           0 (64,186,000)          0          0
operations (3,278,148)          0           0           0          0
(loss)     ($3,371,176) ($310,297)($61,401,472)  $478,637  ($666,345)

Per share
Before one-time charges
operations      ($0.00)   ($0.02)      $0.17       $0.03     ($0.05)
charges           0.00      0.00       (3.87)       0.00       0.00
operations       (0.15)      0.00       0.00        0.00       0.00
    Total        ($0.15)    ($0.02)    ($3.70)      $0.03     ($0.05)

                Quarter Ended           1997 Quarter-Over-Quarter
                   March 31,
               1998        1997       4th Qtr     3rd Qtr     2nd Qtr

shares    21,902,362  12,897,674  16,597,729  16,846,271  13,940,285

minutes   160,854,041  35,221,086 110,626,816  91,207,466  54,824,541

activated  3,483,123     437,055   2,385,174   1,770,574     693,447
Gross margin 
percentage     39.64%      35.39%      48.12%      42.64%      38.93%
Depreciation  474,473      43,355     371,562     275,036     114,987
zation     2,782,209           0   1,444,524   1,190,070     395,715