Fast Food ATM Scrip

SIMS Communications Inc. announced Friday it has established a product sales division to market its ATM services and scrip terminals to fast food chains and convenience stores. The firm indicated the market’s response to ‘SIMS’ ATM’ scrip offerings has been strong with more than 500 orders, including those from outlets for McDonalds, KFC, Burger King,  Subway and Arby’s. A customer simply swipes his/her ATM card through a SIMS countertop scrip machine, enters an amount and receives a voucher. This voucher is then used to make a purchase and to receive cash back. The company also announced Friday it has appointed Jeffrey McKay as president of its ATM Scrip Services Division. McKay formerly was president of U.S. Cash Exchange.

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NDC Finishes CheckRite Purchase

National Data Corporation announced today that it has finalized its purchase of the assets of Data Broadcasting Corporation’s check services business, CheckRite.

On February 13, NDC and DBCC signed a definitive agreement under which NDC agreed to acquire substantially all the assets of CheckRite. The acquisition reinforces NDC’s leadership position in providing a wide array of check services.

CheckRite, based in Salt Lake City, is a leading provider of check services. Its operations serve approximately 35,000 merchants, primarily in Western and Midwestern markets throughout the United States.

“CheckRite becomes a key element in our full range of payment services and product offerings,” said Tom Dunn, NDC’s general manager of Integrated Payment Systems. “It greatly expands our presence and our geographic reach in a business that continues to show significant growth.”

The CheckRite business will operate within NDC’s Integrated Payment Systems line of business and continue to be based in Salt Lake City.

National Data Corporation is a leading provider of payment systems solutions and health information services that add value to its customers’ operations.

When used in this report, press releases and elsewhere by management of National Data Corporation, from time to time, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s operations, economic performance and financial condition, including in particular, the likelihood of the Company’s success in developing and expanding its business. These statements are based on a number of assumptions and estimates which are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, and reflect future business decisions which are subject to change. A variety of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the Company’s forward-looking statements, some of which include competition in the market for the Company’s services, continued expansion of the Company’s product and service offerings and other risk factors that are discussed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) reports and other filings. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward- looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligations to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or thereof, as the case may be, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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Dial-Up ATM Products

WA-based TransAlliance announced this morning the immediate availability of dial-up ATM communications support. The company says its dial-up product offering not only supports dial-up ATMs, such as Diebold’s ‘CashSource Plus’ but will also allow clients to deploy traditional leased-line terminals using dial-up technology. TransAlliance offers a full range of terminal management services.

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PO Cards Upgraded

The U.S. Postal Services’ ‘FirstClass PhoneCard’ has been upgraded to include conference calling, voice mail, and FAX mail box services. The new line of calling cards will also feature postage stamp art. SmarTalk Teleservices produced the new cards that also feature lower rates and expanded customer service. The cards went on sale this week at 14,000 postal retail and vending locations nationwide.

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Siemens Promotion

Siemens Microelectronics, Inc. has named Joerg Borchert vice president of the company’s Security and Chip Card IC group.

In his new position, Borchert will take responsibility for Siemens’ fast growing chip card business in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“The United States is ground zero for an explosion in the use of smart card technology over the next few years,” Borchert explained. “Growth will be driven by several factors, including a need for secure access, secure payment and other electronic commerce transactions. One of the key technologies fueling that growth is the ability to put multiple functions — such as debit, credit, cash purse and secure ATM access — all on a single bank card.”

According to Borchert, Siemens believes that the chip card business worldwide will more than double in size over the next three years, to a value of $2.8 billion by the year 2001.

In 1997, Siemens shipped more than 500 million smart card chips, making it one of the world’s leading vendors of chip card ICs. Smart cards are already a major market in Europe and Asia, where they are commonly used in banking, transportation, government, health care and other applications. In North America, however, magnetic strip cards continue to dominate the business, and sales of microprocessor based smart cards are just beginning to take off.

Siemens manufactures ICs for a range of card markets including:

security access cards; memory cards; smart cards; multimedia cards; and stand-alone serial EEPROMs.

Borchert joined Siemens in 1986 and initially served as staff to Siemens’ Corporate Board of Directors handling mergers and acquisitions. In 1992, he joined Siemens Semiconductors in sales, and in 1994 he was given responsibility for smart card ICs for worldwide banking and credit card projects. In 1996, Borchert was named worldwide marketing director for chip card ICs.

A native of Hamburg, Germany, Borchert studied Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany from 1978 to 1984. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from that university in 1988.

In his spare time, Borchert enjoys competition sailing, skiing and mountain climbing.

About Siemens Microelectronics

Siemens Microelectronics, Inc. (SMI), based in Cupertino, develops and manufactures semiconductors, optoelectronics and passive components for the communications, automotive and computer peripherals industries. SMI offers one of the broadest product portfolios in the microelectronics industry, and is a market leader in communications ICs, smart power products, embedded DRAM technology and custom optoelectronics. A subsidiary of Siemens Corporation, NY, SMI is affiliated with Siemens AG Semiconductor Group and Passive Components Group, Munich, Germany.

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Card Award

The 1998 Outstanding Smart Card Application Award was awarded this week to the Seoul Bus Association for their bus card system. The contactless automatic fare collection system for the Seoul, Korea bus system was started in March 1996 and now has 8,700 smart card terminal-equipped busses from 90 bus companies. There are also more than 2,000 recharging units and 5 million cards in circulation. The system processes 3 million transactions per day and provides 80,000 daily recharges. The system is the first fully-implemented large-scale contactless and automatic fare collection system.

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Charge In

The fifth largest hamburger chain the U.S. is now taking credit cards following agreements signed with Paymentech. Oklahoma City-based Sonic Corp. will now accept credit cards at more than 300 company-owned Sonic Drive-Ins. Paymentech, a major merchant acquirer for restaurants, will also market its payment solutions to an additional 1,400 Sonic franchised locations nationwide. Sonic becomes the first franchised burger chain to launch a corporate-level credit card acceptance program.

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New SCIA Board

The Smart Card Industry Association (SCIA) announced last night at its Annual Member Meeting the election of three new members and six returning members to its Board of Directors for 1998.

“This Board illustrates the growth of SCIA over the last year,” said Dan Cunningham, SCIA president and CEO.  “The six returning members reflect an appreciation for the work that’s been done in advancing SCIA and its initiatives this past year-new members add experience and expertise that will allow us to continue to flourish in the coming years.”

New Directors are:

R. Kirk Brafford, program manager, Giesecke & Devrient America, Inc.

Bruce Caswell, manager North America, IBM Global Smart Card Solutions.

Bill Norwood, vice president of New Business Development for CyberMark.

Returning Directors are:

Jonathan Adams, marketing director, Smart Cards, North America, Schlumberger Smart Cards and Systems.

Charles Cagliostro, director, Strategic Alliances and Closed Systems, Gemplus Corporation in North America.

Gerald Hubbard, vice president of marketing, Bull Worldwide Information Systems, Personal Transaction Systems.

Jim Lout, president and CEO, Precis Smart Card Systems, Inc.

Benjamin L. Miller, founder and chairman, the CardTech/SecurTech (CTST) Conference.

Peter Quadagno, president, Quadagno & Associates, Inc.

The Board of Directors was elected by a general membership vote; the Board was to elect its new officers at its first meeting, April 27 at CardTech/SecurTech ’98. SCIA is a global trade association active in the smart card industry which strives to stimulate the adoption, use, understanding and innovation of smart card technology in the marketplace.  SCIA is also co-founder and a sponsor of CardTech/SecurTech, the leading advanced card and security technology conference. For more information, contact SCIA at 191 Clarksville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648; tel: (800) 848-7242 or (609) 799-5654; fax: (609) 799-7032; or access SCIA’s web site at [www.scia.org][1].

[1]: http://www.scia.org

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Datastrip’s New Toolkit

Datastrip Ltd has released a 32-bit Windows development toolkit which allows companies to create ID cards rapidly and easily using a low-cost printed 2D symbology.

Known as a Datastrip, the 2D symbology will store around 1kbyte of data in a coded machine-readable form on a typical CR-80 card format, enough for text, photographic, or biometric information such as a signature or fingerprint.  This is ideal for implementing a wide range of high-performance ID applications at very low cost.  A printed Datastrip provides around an order of magnitude greater capacity than the typical magnetic-stripe card at the same kind of cost, or, comparable versatility to a smart card at perhaps a tenth of the price.

The new Windows Developer’s Kit is compatible with Windows NT and 95 and offers a suite of tools for creating Datastrip applications.  To simplify development, the software provides users with an application structure offering pre-defined fields for storing different types of information such as text, a photo, and binary or user-defined data.  A range of add-in utilities are available for handling specific biometric templates such as signatures or fingerprints.

The package also includes a ‘Datastrip Wizard’ utility which guides users through the software creation process, allowing novices to build applications without training.

Datastrip offers a full range of complementary equipment for Datastrip-based ID systems including card printers, card readers and computer peripherals.  These allow users to produce cards, and configure working systems to perform manual or automated checks, or both.  One peripheral, the DSView240T automatic card reader, offers what is believed to be a unique facility in the ID card market by integrating its own miniature LCD display.  This allows data to be viewed manually, which is ideal for standalone ID applications.  At security gates for example, cards could utilise the Datastrip for storing photo, confidential text or a biometric template such as a signature.

Any card-based data may be captured and logged, or verified automatically by connecting the peripheral to a PC or network.

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Belgium AmEx Card

Belgium’s Generale Bank signed distribution agreements yesterday with American Express to offer AmEx cards to both its private and business customers. AmEx will continue to manage relationships with existing and new merchants. Generale Bank says it will position the AmEx cards to meet the demands of its affluent customer base. Last year American Express introduced the Platinum Card in Belgium. Applications for the Generale Bank American Express card will be available at the bank’s branches starting this coming Monday.

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SmartGift

FAR POINT Consulting and Gemplus are joining up to provide ‘SmartGift’, a smart card-based gift certificate solution for retailers.  SmartGift, which was developed by FAR POINT using Gemplus smart cards, does away with the need for cash refunds, eliminates incidents of fraud from counterfeit gift certificates, and reduces accounting errors common in labor-intensive paper-based systems, while keeping the customer linked to the store for the full value of the gift certificate. Retail store personnel will simply insert the smart card into the reader, which will then decrement a specified amount from the value of the card for the purchase being made.

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