AmEx Oscar Scholarships

American Express announced Wednesday the creation of  a series of scholarships, totaling $500,000, for the American Film Institute on behalf of 20 Academy Award nominees.  The scholarships will go to talented aspiring filmmakers to study at the AFI’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, which has trained many of the world’s directors, producers, screenwriters and cinematographers.

The scholarships will be created in the name of each of these Oscar-nominated American Express Cardmembers  Kim Basinger, James Cameron, Peter Cattaneo, Helena Bonham Carter, Joan Cusack, Matt Damon, Minnie Driver, Robert Duvall, Atom Egoyan, Peter Fonda, Robert Forster, Curtis Hanson, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Gloria Stuart, Gus Van Sant and Kate Winslet.

“We wanted to congratulate Cardmembers who are Oscar nominees in a way that would honor their profession.  By working with the American Film Institute, American Express is creating a series of scholarships to empower the next generation of filmmakers,” said Nancy Smith, Vice President of Global Sponsorships for American Express, noting that the company is a long-time sponsor of the Academy Awards(R).  “American Express seeks to play a supporting role for film professionals everywhere.”

Jean Picker Firstenberg, Director and CEO of the American Film Institute (AFI), said  “Through this program, these Oscar nominees and American Express are providing for the future of American filmmaking.  American movies set the standard for the world, and Oscar nominees represent this great American art form at its highest level of achievement.  So it is fitting to recognize their work through scholarships.  AFI is grateful to the nominees and to American Express for supporting American filmmaking.”

American Express will announce the establishment of the film scholarships to AFI and congratulate the nominees with full-page ads (see attached) in newspapers and magazines across the country, beginning March 13.

Graduates of AFI’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies include  Ed Zwick, Amy Heckerling, Mimi Leder, David Lynch, Marshall Herkovitz, John McTiernan, Terence Malick, Jon Avnet, Carl Franklin, Martin Brest, Paul Schrader, and Janusz Kaminski.  Also known as the AFI Conservatory, the Center was established in 1969 and trains many of the world’s most talented aspiring filmmakers in the European conservatory tradition as part of a two-year graduate program composed of seven disciplines  directing, producing, cinematography, editing, production design, screenwriting and digital media arts.  AFI Fellows often have already earned graduate degrees in film studies from other institutions and/or have produced a significant body of work before coming to AFI.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, AFI is the national arts organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the art of film, television and other forms of the moving image.  AFI’s programs promote innovation and excellence through teaching, presenting, preserving and redefining the moving image.

American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850.  It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.  For more information on American Express, visit our web site at [americanexpress.com][1].

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

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CheckFree/Integrion Deal

CheckFree Corporation and Integrion Financial Network announced Wednesday that they had signed an agreement whereby CheckFree will assume the management of Integrion’s Herndon, Virginia operations later this summer.  This operation, which handles bill payment fulfillment and customer service, serves approximately 50 financial institution customers of Integrion.

The agreement is a significant step in the 10-year processing Strategic Alliance Agreement announced in October 1997 in which CheckFree will become the supplier of back-end electronic billing and payment processing services to Integrion customers.  In turn, Integrion’s Interactive Financial Services (IFS) platform will become CheckFree’s preferred front-end system for routing financial transactions.

Upon completion of today’s outsourcing agreement, Integrion warrants on three million shares of CheckFree stock will be vested, exercisable at $20-15/16.  CheckFree plans to take a non-cash charge of $30 to $40 million related to such warrants at the end of the quarter ended March 31, 1998.  Both parties expressed satisfaction that another milestone in their relationship had been reached on schedule.  CheckFree and Integrion are jointly developing the next generation banking, bill payment and presentment platform based on Integrion’s IFS platform and CheckFree’s processing infrastructure.

About Integrion Financial Network

Integrion Financial Network provides interactive banking and electronic commerce solutions to financial institutions.  Through the Interactive Financial Services (IFS) platform, Integrion offers financial institutions a network through which electronic transactions flow from multiple consumer access points to a bank’s host system and/or processor.  Integrion’s operating philosophy allows banks to determine the manner and format in which home banking and electronic commerce services are offered, ensuring consistency with the bank’s full range of services, effective branding by the bank and maximum customer benefit.

The owners of Integrion are ABN AMRO North America, Bank One, Bank of America, Citibank, Comerica, First Chicago NBD, First Union National Bank, Fleet Financial, IBM, KeyCorp, Mellon Bank, Michigan National Bank, NationsBank, Norwest, PNC Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, US Bancorp, Visa U.S.A and Washington Mutual, Inc.  Additional information about Integrion can be found on the Internet at .

About CheckFree

Founded in 1981, CheckFree Corporation () is a wholly owned subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corporation and is the leading provider of electronic commerce services, software and related products for more than 2.2 million consumers, 1,000 businesses and 850 financial institutions. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable its members to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure transactions on the Internet.

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Home ATM Smart Cards

Transaction Software International, Inc. announced the addition of smart card support to the company’s Internet home banking product, VAS-HOME (Virtual ATM Simulator). Using the actual transaction “script” files prepared for real ATMs, VAS-HOME presents the familiar street-corner ATM interface to bank customers over the Internet.  It allows customers to access account information, pay bills, transfer funds and manage their accounts on-line without special software. The company has plans to embark upon a live-use, pilot program with a domestic financial institution.

Brian L. Lee, Vice President, Technology at Transoft, says, “This enhancement ushers in another Transoft innovation in the automation of electronic commerce.  The ATM is a universally accepted banking medium.  There is no easier delivery mechanism than to bring it into the customer’s home. The addition of smart card capabilities to VAS-HOME completes the transfer path of value from the card holder’s account to his pocket under tight security in a Web browser.”

The hardware component employed in Transoft’s smart card support can be attached to virtually any PC via a serial, parallel, USB or PCMCIA port.  It is compliant with all major international smart card standards and supports the Data Encryption Standard (DES), access passwords and existing Personal Identification Number (PIN) security measures.

The software interface conforms to the Microsoft Smart Card SDK that is endorsed by industry leading vendors including Gemplus, Group Bull, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Schlumberger Electronic Transactions, Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems and Trithelm Technologies.

Smart card use is gaining acceptance in the U.S. and abroad.  According to industry sources, there are 50 million smart cards deployed in banking applications worldwide.  In the financial services sector alone, an average annual smart card growth in excess of 50% is expected over the next five years.

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CommerceInteract

Sterling Commerce announced Wednesday it will provide COMMERCEInteract, a secure Web-based catalog and ordering system for business-to-business transactions, to Zellerbach, A Mead Company. Zellerbach provides products and services to the industrial supply, printing, and packaging markets.

COMMERCEInteract will enable Zellerbach customers to use either Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer to search product information and place orders, with payment accepted via credit card.  Transaction information will be integrated into Zellerbach’s back office system via electronic data interchange (EDI).  The initial target market for the Web-based service is several hundred Zellerbach customers in the hospitality and healthcare industries.

“This product will help us reach out via the World Wide Web with a solution that helps reduce current channel costs,” said David Wallace, manager, customer technology solutions for Zellerbach.  “In addition, we can capitalize on our existing electronic commerce investment, since the information from COMMERCEInteract will be seamlessly integrated into our ongoing order and inventory management systems.”

Components of COMMERCEInteract to be utilized by Zellerbach include

* Text and graphical catalogs, enabling customers to browse product and pricing information

* Order placement and management capability for Zellerbach’s full line of printing, packaging, and industrial supply items

* Administrative and maintenance tools for easy updating of catalog information, and customized levels of access for customers to meet Zellerbach’s business requirements

Data transmissions for COMMERCEInteract are encrypted via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, and the Web site resides on a server in Sterling Commerce’s data center.  Secure access and the EDI processing is handled via Sterling’s COMMERCENetwork.

“We are pleased to help Zellerbach positively impact its top and bottom lines while reaching customers more effectively,” said Paul L. H. Olson, president of Sterling Commerce’s Commerce Services Group.  “This solution combines the Web’s ease of use with the reliability and security of COMMERCENetwork to help Zellerbach build, manage and improve the quality of relationships with its trading communities.”

Other major companies utilizing COMMERCEInteract to streamline their supply chain process include Owens Corning and Pirelli Cables North America. COMMERCEInteract is part of a comprehensive range of business solutions from Sterling Commerce that help companies effectively incorporate the Internet and World Wide Web into their electronic commerce programs.

Sterling Commerce is a leading, global provider of business-to-business electronic commerce software and value-added services.  The company is ranked eighth on Forbes magazine’s list of the Best-Performing Small Companies in America.  Also, The Red Herring, a magazine which covers the business of technology, named Sterling Commerce as one of the five Best Long-Term Potential technology companies.  Sterling Commerce has been providing electronic commerce solutions for over 20 years, and has 36 office locations and more than 50 distributors worldwide.  Sterling Commerce has over 37,000 customers and 1,700 employees worldwide, and 1997 revenues of over $350 million.  For more information, visit the Sterling Commerce Web site at .

Zellerbach, a division of The Mead Corporation, is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, with locations throughout the United States.  A leading national sales and marketing company, Zellerbach provides value-added solutions and services for the printing, packaging and industrial supply markets.  The company specializes in partnering with customers to determine their needs and provides cost-effective recommendations for their operations.

The COMMERCE suite of services and products are marks of Sterling Commerce, Inc.

All other products or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Debt Search

CA-based The Debt Marketplace, Inc. said its new on-line service for buyers and sellers of delinquent receivables is receiving about 9,000 hits per month. Launched last month, ‘Debt Search’ enables participants to maintain control over the entire marketing, solicitation and contact process while maintaining appropriate confidentiality. Sellers can list portfolios and then receive messages through blind e-mail, screening potential partners. Buyers can review bad debt portfolios by product type and can post a detailed profile listing to provide sellers with preliminary due diligence information. ‘Debt Search’ also offers service providers the opportunity to advertise to the debt trading industry.

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GlobeID Banking

GlobeID Software SA today announced the introduction of GlobeID Banking, a new software product suite based on the Company’s patented technology that enables banks and financial institutions to offer consumers and businesses a variety of integrated retail banking services.

An extension of the GlobeID Banking Middle Office Solution (MOS), the new software suite includes optional modules that support home banking, Internet payments and micropayments, financial EDI services as well as customer care and administration services. Whether directly operated by a bank or through a third-party service provider, GlobeID Banking enables financial institutions to develop their customized retail banking strategy and to take advantage of their own look and feel. Beyond standard payment instruments such as credit cards, GlobeID Banking supports the development of multiple new Internet payment instruments including direct debit account, pre- or postpaid virtual cash, electronic cash, and billing services, with custom payment conventions such as installment or certified payments. GlobeID Banking is expected to be available by the end of the second quarter of 1998.

“With this introduction, GlobeID Software is well positioned to be a leading supplier of secure transaction platforms for numerous electronic business value-added services,” said Francois Chaillou, President and CEO of GlobeID Software. “The launch of GlobeID Banking underscores our long-term commitment to meeting the evolving electronic commerce needs of the financial services industry. This new product also demonstrates our determination to support open standard protocols.”

The patented GlobeID technology, which has generated more than US $5 million of licensing revenues, was purchased from GCTech SA, GlobeID Software’s predecessor company in October 1997. More than 80,000 customers have access to the GlobeID payment system, and merchant kits have been distributed across Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Alain Couder, Chief Operating Officer of Bull SA, the majority stockholder of GlobeID, said, “GlobeID Banking opens up unprecedented opportunities for banks and other financial institutions to offer their customers innovative, value-added payment services for electronic commerce. GlobeID’s payment experience, combined with Bull’s expertise in secure transactions and smart cards, will provide a safe and convenient shopping environment for customers and merchants alike.”

GlobeID Banking 2.0

GlobeID offers a highly customizable set of solutions, including a wide variety of payment methods, such as credit card, e-check, direct-debit account, virtual cash, micropayments and electronic purses. The technology also supports standard payment protocols, such as SET and C-SET, as well as standard security protocols, such as SSL, enabling maximum interoperability across and between customers’ platforms and legacy platforms. GlobeID’s technology is already used by Kleline SA of the Paribas Banking Group in Europe and is integrated with major international merchant servers, such as Microsoft, Intershop, Oracle, iCat and Ilog.

GlobeID Banking Middle Office Solution (MOS) GlobeID Banking Middle Office Solution (MOS) is the core of the GlobeID banking services. MOS lets banks manage their retail and corporate services in a secure Internet environment with support for hardware and software based authentication mechanisms. Equally important, MOS does not require banks to modify their retail banking interfaces, but is designed to incorporate into banks’ existing network infrastructures through a set of extended APIs. MOS also includes a set of databases (consumers, merchants, brands, networks, banks) and associated database management tools. Its CORBA based Core Software Bus supports additional modules such as a Support module (call center), Security module (firewall) and Management module (accounting and registration). The CORBA-based Application Software Bus, meanwhile, allows a GlobeID MOS to operate the retail banking solution using one or more GlobeID Banking application modules (IPH, IVC, HB, FEDI).

GlobeID Banking HomeBanking (HB) With support for new standards in Internet financial services technology, such as OFX and Gold Standard, the GlobeID Banking HB module plugs into the GlobeID Banking MOS Application Software Layer and seamlessly integrates with legacy networks, systems and services.

GlobeID Banking Internet Payment Handler (IPH) IPH allows a middle-office operator to offer value-added Internet payment services. In conjunction with payment gateways, IPH supports a wide range of payment instruments such as major credit cards, echecks as well as direct debit accounts, virtual cash, electronic cash, private label credit or debit cards.

GlobeID Banking Internet Virtual Cash (IVC) Recent developments in smart card technology will contribute significantly to the growth of electronic purse solutions. While these solutions are being tested and deployed, the GlobeID Banking IVC module–a secure software approach using a notational stored value mechanism–enables GlobeID Banking operators to issue a cash- like payment instrument on the Internet. IVC also supports both multiple foreign currencies and micropayments (small transactions typically less than $1) which cannot be economically processed by credit cards or direct debit accounts. An SSL- based implementation is used for micropayment transactions, and a SETbased implementation is available for larger transactions with optional non-repudiation services. A first implementation of IVC has been operational since mid-1996 and is currently being used by merchants for micropayment services.

GlobeID Banking Financial EDI (FEDI) Advances in EDI over the Internet, too, will lead to an increasing number of small businesses embracing GlobeID technology. The GlobeID Banking FEDI enables merchants and businesses to report GlobeID 2.0 transactions to their accounting systems — an important advantage for small businesses when transaction volume is high and an absolute requirement for micropayment service providers who must account for all transactions.

Commenting on these technological advances, Pieter Van Der Linden, GlobeID Software’s Chief Technology Officer, said, “Internet-based commerce has evolved significantly since the GlobeID Payment product was developed in 1996. New standards have emerged and software now needs to support multiple protocols for customers using various payment and authentication instruments.”

Mr. Van Der Linden continued, “When developing GlobeID’s technology, our guiding insight is that one enters a store to buy, not to pay. After the success of the value-added purchasing functions included with GlobeID Payment 1.2, we extend these functions to end-to-end standard payment protocols such as SET and C-SET in the GlobeID Banking 2.0 product.”

About GlobeID Software

Paris-based GlobeID Software SA () develops and markets software for securing and certifying online transactions. GlobeID Software carries on the work of its predecessor company, GCTech SA (Paris, France), which pioneered the technology in 1995 and joined forces with Bull SA to establish GlobeID Software in October 1997.

Edeltrust, the management holding company, and Bull respectively own 31.5% and 68.5% of GlobeID Software’s stock. GlobeID Software’s product line includes GlobeID Banking and GlobeID IAM.

About Bull SA

Bull () is an international I.T. group based in Europe with 21,267 people and operations in more than 85 countries. In 1997, Bull earned revenues of $4.2 billion including over 65% outside of France, its country of origin.

Bull offers a wide range of systems, infrastructure software and I.T. services, through focused innovation, alliances with the best partners and its own integration expertise.

In its industry, Bull is recognized for innovative products such as Escala servers, Sagister multiframes, CP8 smart cards and infrastructure software such as ISM/OpenMaster for management of systems and networks. In I.T. services, Bull is ranked in Europe as the third largest systems integrator and fifth in maintenance and support services.

GlobeID Banking Testimonials Pierre Simon, President of Kleline SA     “Kleline has been using GlobeID technology since 1996. Last December, we renewed this commitment and will implement the GlobeID Banking product on our Internet payment platform, the leading platform in the European market.” Abdallah Hitti, Chief Operating Officer of Kleline SA     “GlobeID Banking 2.0 meets all of our expectations for the electronic commerce marketplace. The open MOS platform will enable us to offer more payment options and customer care services to over 120 merchants and 80,000 consumers.” M. Colonna d’Istria, On-line Editor, Le Monde     “GlobeID’s micropayment features have allowed Le Monde to sell entire copies of its daily paper on the Internet to thousands of customers worldwide for a little less than a dollar on a pay-perview basis. The use of this technology for near-dollar transactions with non-repudiation and digital receipt services, as well as built-in customer care services, helped us launch services without having to deal with the usual technical challenges, such as VAT and record-keeping. We expect that GlobeID Banking will enable us to reach more customers since it will allow them to set up GlobeID accounts directly with GlobeID Banking operators, without installing any specific software on their client platforms.” Gael de Kertanguy, Chief Operating Officer of Globe Online Internet Mall     “After eleven months of operation, GlobeID Payment has processed more than 60,000 transactions for our merchants. We expect that GlobeID Banking will be the most efficient way to process secure Internet payments in 1998. Moreover, a large portion of our business involves international currencies, and Globe Online’s merchants have been successful in foreign sales because IVCs support multiple currencies.

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Oracle Processing

Oracle Corp announced the official release of ‘Oracle Payment Server 1.0’ Wednesday. The new solution provides Web site developers to ability to deploy complete e-commerce applications quickly. The server is bundled with third-party payment systems from ICVERIFY and CyberCash. As a ‘Java’ cartridge to Oracle’s ‘Web Application Server 3.0’, ‘Payment Server 1.0’ offers rules-based payment routing, easy application integration, SSL/SET security and single/multiple site support.

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Amtrak Smart Cards

Giesecke & Devrient America picked up a contract to provide the security key card system for Amtrak’s new high-speed train service. The system, consisting of contactless smart cards and card readers, will be installed in trains that begin service in the Northeast Corridor in 1999. Amtrak’s ‘High-Speed Rail’ program is a $2.4 billion initiative funded jointly by the federal government and the private sector. Under the program 18 new trains will be manufactured to travel at speeds up to 150 mph. The trains will operate between Boston, New York and Washington, DC.

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Cardservice Intl Alliance

Continuing its dedication to e-commerce solutions, Encanto Networks announced a strategic alliance with Cardservice International to provide e.go Commerce customers with merchant acquiring accounts.

Cardservice is the leading provider of merchant acquiring services for Internet-based businesses, while Encanto is the first company to provide a complete Internet commerce solution for small business. Working together, Encanto and Cardservice are making it substantially easier for small businesses to make money through Internet commerce.

“Our goal is to eliminate the complexity and delays involved in getting a Web storefront up and running,” said Bob Frankenberg, CEO and President of Encanto Networks. “Cardservice is an ideal partner due to their experience in providing acquiring services for small business Internet merchants.”

e.go Commerce webstations provide an easy-to-use and affordable way for small businesses to accept payments over the Internet. Through previous partnerships with CommerceWAVE and VeriFone, Encanto has built an e-commerce architecture to accommodate Webstore creation, order processing, and electronic payment. In addition to providing all the tools needed to establish an online storefront, e.go Commerce offers a comprehensive Internet solution, including Web site creation, company-wide email and Internet connectivity.

Encanto and Cardservice will provide a Web based application process which streamlines merchant enrollment and setup of the merchant account. Once the account is set up at Cardservice, the merchant will be able to authorize and settle credit card orders directly from their e.go Commerce web storefront.

Offering merchant accounts to e.go Commerce customers, Cardservice provides a critical and often overlooked component of Internet Commerce. In order to authorize and settle credit card transactions, it is necessary for a merchant to have an account with an acquiring financial institution. One of the biggest problems for small merchants is obtaining a relationship with an acquiring institution. Criteria that are applied for evaluation of the worthiness of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to accept credit cards are often inappropriate for Internet based merchants, requiring weeks of processing time. Working together, Cardservice and Encanto are streamlining the merchant enrollment process on the Internet so that e.go owners will have their applications processed in a manner best suited to Internet-based businesses. Merchant applications for accounts will be processed in a matter of days.

Cardservice specializes in providing merchant acquiring services for small businesses. Cardservice has underwritten a significant number of the merchants currently doing business on the Internet, and is the largest privately owned business in the electronic transaction processing industry today.

“Being on the forefront of e-commerce advancement, Encanto is providing a solid Internet solution for small businesses,” said Chuck Burtzloff, President and CEO of Cardservice. “This partnership is opening doors to companies who would otherwise find it too difficult or time consuming to secure an acquiring bank for online processing. We are happy to make it possible for Encanto customers to do business over the Internet.”

About Encanto Networks

Encanto Networks, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., is dedicated to the creation of successful small businesses on the Internet. By removing today’s cost and complexity barriers, Encanto’s e.go webstations and InstantConnect(SM) services enable everyone to own and personally maintain an affordable, active Internet presence. Additional information about Encanto and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at [http://www.encanto.com][1].

Encanto Networks’ e.go is the industry’s first Java-based, integrated hardware/software webstation. e.go enables anyone who can use a browser to establish an operating Web site in as little as 30 minutes. That same person can use e.go Commerce to create a Webstore with catalog that accepts secure electronic payment over the Internet. e.go connects to the Internet using Encanto Networks’ InstantConnect service. Starting at $49.95 per month, InstantConnect is six-to-ten times less expensive than leased-line alternatives.

Encanto, Encanto Networks, e.go, and e.go Commerce are trademarks and InstantConnect and InstantConnect with ISDN are service marks of Encanto Networks Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About Cardservice International

Cardservice International, is an independent credit card processor and an Internet communications company based in Agoura Hills, Calif.     Cardservice International is one of the fastest growing transactions processing companies in the United States. Incorporated in 1988, the company has more than 550 corporate employees, 200 sales offices and in excess of 2,200 Sales Representatives nationwide. Cardservice International offers a complete range of traditional and Internet consumer payment options.

Cardservice International has a rapidly growing customer base of over 150,000 merchants processing an annual bankcard volume in excess of 6 billion dollars.

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

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SEAL Support

VISA urged Congress yesterday to approve the ‘Digital Signature and Electronic Authorization Law of 1998’ and to promote an international environment that supports the use of digital signatures. VISA testified that inconsistent state law requirements coupled with inconsistent rules of other countries will stifle the development of secure on-line payment technology. VISA also told the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and Technology that digital signature laws should not apply to closed systems, such as the VISA system.

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Off-Shore, Off-Site ATMs

Triton Systems projected a boom in off-premise ATM deployment in the international marketplace over the next two to three years. Company officials said yesterday more than 60% of the 33,000 ATMs deployed in the U.S. during 1996 were off-site cash dispensing machines. They believe the same trend is emerging, at a faster pace, globally. The MS-based company announced yesterday a major initiative to capture some of the expected growth by signing distributors in Latin America and Europe. Triton’s ATMs are currently available throughout Ireland and the U.K. from ITG Group PLC based in Dublin. Triton’s Mexican distributor is SEISA. The company says it will also shortly introduce ATMs using the CDPD wireless technology.

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