DCI Finishes Edge Comm Buy

DCI Telecommunications, Inc., an international supplier of telecommunications services, announced today the completion of the acquisition of privately owned Edge Communications, a Maryland-based prepaid phone card company.  The transaction involves an exchange of common stock valued at $8 million.

Since its founding in 1994, Edge has been engaged in the prepaid telephone card business.  It has achieved success by directing its activities primarily to urban and ethnic markets throughout the United States.  An onsite Customer Service Division is equipped with a state of the art IVR (Interactive Voice Response) protocol.  Its staff consists of bilingual representatives ready to service their diverse customer base.  In 1997, its revenues reached $5.4 million, representing growth of 990% over 1996 results.  Edge is currently profitable and is doing over $8 million in sales for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 1998.  For calendar 1998, its sales are projected to reach $15 million.

This acquisition, along with the recently announced Global Telecommunications transaction, will add $16 million in sales to the company for the trailing twelve month period.  Daniel J. Murphy, DCI’s vice president, financial planning said, “Bolstered by the addition of Edge Communications to the DCI family, revenues should reach $45 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1999.  We also should see a reduction in costs as a result of an increase in the volume of minutes.”

Edge has successfully marketed different prepaid phone card brands of its own design, customized to specific markets.  Its marketing programs include alliances with an array of long distance carriers.  WorldCom, Frontier, Enhanced Communications, the Telephone Company of Central Florida, and Cable & Wireless.  In the coming months, Edge is planning to launch marketing campaigns for new products such as 800 number foreign origination, prepaid dial tone, prepaid pagers, and point-of-sale activation.

DCI Telecommunications is an international supplier of telephone services, including long distance service, prepaid telephone cards and Internet products.  The company has an extensive distribution network throughout North America, Europe and the Far East and owns telephone switching facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Denmark.  DCI recently announced a quarterly cash dividend of one cent per share.  Through its buyback program the company has reacquired over one million shares of common stock.

The company recently reported sales of $6.2 million and $1.3 million in profit (13 cents per share), for the first nine months of fiscal 1998, and has 12 operating facilities, serving customers in eight countries.


Phone Cards Get S.A.F.E.R.

LCI International unveiled the industry’s first universal point of sale activation system for prepaid phone cards yesterday. As of June 1, LCI will make the ‘S.A.F.E.R.’ system (Secure Activation for Every Retailer) available to retailers regardless of size. The new system enables retailers to activate prepaid cards at the time of purchase utilizing their existing credit card authorization terminal and LCI’s proprietary network architecture. Traditionally prepaid cards have either been activated by the retailer by dialing a toll-free number and entering a passcode printed on the back of the card, or automatically when the first call is placed. To safeguard against theft and use of stolen cards, retailers often keep prepaid cards in a secure place, such as in a cash drawer or behind the counter, making them difficult to effectively merchandise and sell. With LCI S.A.F.E.R., retailers can display LCI prepaid cards in high-traffic, visible locations so the product is easier to purchase which can equate to increased sales. The LCI S.A.F.E.R. system can also generate prepaid activation reports for electronic reconciliation, eliminating the need for monthly invoicing.


New T&E Expense Tool

Ariba Technologies announced plans yesterday to deliver a new travel and expense management system in September,  as a part of its Release 5.0 of the Ariba ORMS.  This new application, ‘Ariba Travel and Expense Management’, will extend the functionality of the Ariba ‘Operating Resource Management System’.  Using the new application, travelers will automatically download expenses from their corporate credit cards to avoid manually keying entries, and then easily generate and submit expense reports on-line, routing them for approval according to configurable business rules.  Once approved, the system will then pass information to the company’s payables or payroll system for payment.


Prepaid Wireless Alliance

SmarTalk TeleServices and Boston Communications Group announced a strategic alliance Monday to market prepaid wireless products. BCG is the leading provider of prepaid wireless services to the wireless telecommunications industry, with five of the six largest cellular carriers as its customers. Through the alliance, both parties will promote the use of the SmarTalk prepaid phone card as a nationally available prepaid currency to enable consumers to recharge time on prepaid wireless programs of wireless carriers utilizing the BCGI platform. The objective of the alliance is to process in excess of 250 million prepaid wireless minutes over the next four years.


Cable TV Billing

Paymentech introduced an automatic payment service for recurring billing to the cable TV industry yesterday. The program enables multiple system operators to automatically receive customer payments that are billed on a monthly or regularly scheduled basis. The company says credit card usage within the cable industry increased 31% between 1996 and 1997. Credit cards now represent 2% of all subscriber payments.


Maryland Corp Card

NationsBank and the State of Maryland implemented a corporate purchasing card pilot program yesterday that will reduce the cost of processing more than 150,000 checks annually. Some 80 percent of the state’s small purchase transactions will be made with the new NationsBank card.  Maryland became one of the first states to authorize the use of the VISA corporate purchasing card when the pilot program was implemented in March of last year.  Since then, the state has used corporate purchasing cards for more than $2.7 million in goods and services.  The Maryland Board of Public Works approved regulations that will require all state agencies to use corporate purchasing cards beginning July 1.


Nestor’s Rough Quarter

Nestor, Inc., a leading provider of intelligent-software applications, reported revenues of $931,815 for the first quarter of 1998, as compared with revenues of $1,240,376 for the first quarter of 1997.

For the quarter ended March 31, 1998, the Company reported a loss of $852,635 or $0.09 per share, as compared with a loss of $567,319 or $0.06 per share in the first quarter of 1997.

Commenting on the results for the quarter, David Fox, President and CEO of Nestor, said, “More than 80% of our first quarter revenues were generated by the Financial Solutions Division.  While revenues of this division were down as compared with last year’s quarter, we do not believe that this indicates a trend.  Applied Communications, Inc. (ACI), our global strategic partner, signed initial fraud-detection licenses with Marshall & Iseley Data Services Corporation.  M&I Data Services processes more than 40 million transactions each month, supports more than 6,000 ATMs, and has issued more than 10 million ATM and debit cards.

“The ACI/Nestor pipeline of upgrades and prospects is extremely strong. We expect the marketing momentum for our products to be increased significantly as a result of the recently announced strategic partnership with ACI.  The scope of ACI’s marketing rights has been expanded, and ACI’s parent, Transaction System Architects (TSAI) has invested $5 million in Nestor’s equity.

“In the Financial Solutions Division, the ‘post-Christmas’ seasonality that we have come to expect led to negligible new direct sales.  However, initial licenses and engineering fees generated by ACI in the quarter accounted for about $420,000 of revenues.

“Our Intelligent Sensors Division contributed $143,589 to our revenue in the quarter, up from a nominal $50,594 in 1997.  While both numbers are small, the increase reflects test installations of our TrafficVision product, which is in the first stage of roll-out.  We expect to be announcing further installations throughout this year.

“Concurrently with the investment by TSAI, Wand Partners, our largest investor, converted $5.8 million of Redeemable Preferred Stock into Common Stock.  Going forward, our earnings per share will not reflect a charge for accrued dividends payable on the Redeemable Preferred Stock.  That charge amounted to $113,801 ($0.01 per share) in the first quarter of 1998 and $103,163 in the same quarter of 1997.”

Certain information in this press release may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Although the Company believes that its expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved.

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Providence, RI, Nestor, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative neural-network solutions for data-intensive, mission-critical decision applications.  By incorporating its patented pattern-recognition technologies in real-time applications, Nestor provided intelligent systems for financial, Internet, and transportation industries. Offerings include risk-management solutions, interactive database-marketing software, and a suit of tools for real-time traffic management.  Nestor’s products are sold direct throughout the US and by selected marketing partners worldwide.  For more information, call 401-331-9640 or visit [http://www.nestor.com][1].

                                 Nestor, Inc.
                     Consolidated Statement of Operations

                                       Quarter Ending March 31
                                         1998              1997
    Revenues                          $931,815         $1,240,376
    Net Income (Loss)               $(852,635)         $(567,319)
    Diluted Income (Loss)
    per Common Share                  $ (0.09)            $(0.06)
    Average Shares Outstanding       9,438,987          8,936,610

[1]: http://www.nestor.com/


Greenpeace Card Comes Ashore

Following the launch of its biodegradable credit card in the U.K. last year Greenpeace announced yesterday it will offer the ‘BioCard’ in the U.S. through Household Bank. The card was issued in the U.K. through Cooperative Bank. The non-PVC plastic payment card is 95% biodegradable and can be manufactured with a chip. The plastic core and transparent clear overlaminates are fully biodegradable. The mag stripe, signature strip, hologram and printing inks are not known to be biodegradable. Greenpeace USA indicated yesterday it will market the product in recycled envelopes with dioxin-free paper. The enviromental group called on U.S. banks to migrate to similar technology.


Equifax Expands Healthcare Info Srvcs

Tempus Software, Inc. and Equifax agreed yesterday that Equifax Healthcare Solutions will deliver patient identification verification and financial information services through Tempus’ Encompass patient scheduling software.  For the first time, hospitals will automatically confirm patient ID and access financial information services during initial scheduling.

Equifax has been serving the healthcare industry with information and collections services for 25 years.  The Tempus Software partnership is the latest advancement in providing information services at the point of scheduling.

Using automatic trigger technology, Tempus’ Encompass will launch an inquiry to Equifax’s database when a patient or doctor’s office calls to schedule a hospital appointment.  Equifax will return key identifying information and action messages to enable users to confirm patient information and assist patients who may need financial assistance.

Patient identification information that is not verified can result in difficulty collecting payment for services after discharge.  In a recent Equifax study of one typical hospital’s records of patients with outstanding past-due balances, analysis revealed that 66% of the patient records had variances in name, address or Social Security Number.  These records, consisting of three weeks of admissions, represented more than $2 million in outstanding receivables.  About one-sixth of these records also received a warning from the Equifax system for reasons such as “SSN issued to person reported deceased” and “Address is a mail receiving service.”

“Equifax’s patient ID data and financial analysis generate savings throughout the healthcare accounts receivable process,” said Margy Jones, senior vice president and general manager, Equifax Healthcare Solutions. “Getting accurate ID and financial data up front streamlines registration, assists in establishing payment plans, prioritizes collection cases and even reduces returned mail.”

Jones continued, “This strategy is certainly not designed to deny or delay hospital services.  The process complies fully with the provisions of COBRA and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and is a means to facilitate admission and to make pre-arrangements for meeting subsequent financial obligations for the self-pay portion of the account.”

David Hayes, president and CEO of Tempus Software, said, “Our partnership with Equifax means hospitals will save money by instantly confirming patient information and channeling patients into the right billing stream at the earliest possible point in the healthcare process.  By launching on-line inquiries to Equifax automatically, scheduling continues to be fast and easy for patients, while reducing healthcare costs behind the scenes.”

In addition to providing Equifax’s flexible decisioning platform to meet patient account financial analysis needs, Tempus’ other healthcare access management modules include automated patient reminder technology and on-line insurance eligibility verification.

Equifax’s worldwide knowledge-based information, transaction processing, consulting and software businesses are designed to bring buyers and sellers together, thus changing the shape of global commerce. Equifax serves the banking, financial, retail, credit card, automotive, telecommunications/utilities, government and healthcare industries.  It is a leading supplier of business information solutions in Canada, the UK and Latin America.  Equifax operates in 17 countries with sales in more than 40 countries.

Founded in 1899 in Atlanta, Equifax today has 10,000 employees around the world.  Revenues for the 12 months ended March 31, 1998, totaled more than $1.4 billion.  Visit the company’s Internet web site at .

Tempus Software, Inc. is the nation’s leading developer of enterprise-wide patient and resource scheduling software.  The Encompass system automates the process of scheduling patients for ancillary and surgical procedures. Tempus Software’s healthcare access management solutions support fast and easy entry into a delivery system and expand information services in scheduling. Tempus currently has over 150 sites nationwide.  Visit Tempus on the World Wide Web at .


Uruguay Goes Mondex

Banco de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay, the largest bank in Uruguay, and Banco de Montevideo, Uruguay’s third largest bank, purchased the franchise rights Friday for Mondex electronic cash in Uruguay. The deal gives the banks exclusive rights to commercially develop Mondex electronic cash in Uruguay and represents the first Mondex franchise sold in South America. To mark the signing of the deal, the very first interregional Mondex transaction between the United States and South America was performed via telephone last week.  Using a Mondex card, the president of the Republic of Uruguay, transferred value between the banks headquarters in Montevideo, Uruguay, the BROU branch in New York, and back again.  A Mondex transaction over the Internet was also performed.


Card Debt Struggle

About 10% of American households with major credit cards are struggling to pay credit card bills. The finding comes from Tampa- based PSI Global which also found that risky cardholders have put off other household payments to meet their minimum credit card payments, have borrowed money to make credit card payments, and have been contacted by credit card issuers because of their late payments. However PSI says the number of cardholders who actually default is about 1%. Based on a study of 2,248 households, PSI concluded that risky cardholders are distributed evenly among all age groups, all education levels and all income levels.


Chase Buys Continental Cards

Chase Manhattan announced today that it has purchased all of Marine Midland Bank’s ‘Continental Airlines OnePass’ co-branded credit card portfolio.  Chase and Continental Airlines signed an 8-year contract in January. The new ‘Continental Airlines Visa from Chase’ and the new ‘Continental Airlines MasterCard from Chase’, issued in classic and platinum, was launched in March to consumers throughout the U.S.. Prior to its agreement with Chase Manhattan, Continental’s credit card had been issued by Marine Midland Bank. Marine Midland will continue to handle customer service and billing for current cardholders until the accounts are transferred to Chase. Customers will continue to earn frequent flyer miles when they use their Marine Midland Continental credit cards, and there will be no interruption in benefits. Continental is the fifth largest U.S. carrier.