Mag-Tek introduced its new small-footprint ‘Port-Powered RS- 232 Swipe Reader’ last week. The new reader, which is powered by a serial port only, has bi-directional read capability, reading single, dual or triple-track mag-stripe cards. Single unit pricing starts at less than $100.Details
UCI Medical Affiliates, Inc. announced Friday that it has executed an Acquisition Agreement in which UCI will acquire the assets of MainStreet Healthcare Corporation of Atlanta, Georgia for a combination of cash, UCI stock and debt assumption. The closing is expected to occur on or about March 3l,1998. MainStreet, with annualized revenues of approximately $7 million and with approximately 100 employees, owns and operates nine primary care medical offices in the Atlanta, Georgia area and two primary care medical offices in Knoxville, Tennessee.
With this acquisition, Columbia, S.C. based UCI will operate 51 freestanding, primary care focused medical centers in South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. “This expansion into neighboring states fits perfectly into our core business plan of enhancing our influence as a primary care based physician group which negotiates with insurance payors for fair rates and which is committed to quality, affordable and accessible care for our patients,” said M. F. McFarland, III, M.D., UCI’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
A. Wayne Johnson, MainStreet’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will join UCI’s Board of Directors concurrent with the closing of the acquisition. Mr. Johnson brings to the UCI Board added expertise in the areas of investment banking and multi-state development. Prior to co-founding MainStreet, Mr. Johnson was President of one of the operating subsidiaries of First Data Corporation, was an Executive Vice President of Visa USA and was a partner in the consulting division of Deloitte & Touche LLP.
The Company also announced that revenue for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending September 30, 1998 increased by 25% to $8,078,000 from $6,488,000 for the first quarter of the fiscal year ended September 30, 1997. Revenue growth is attributed to both same center increases in patient visits and patient charges at established centers and to the expansion in the number of centers UCI operates.
Patient encounters increased to 115,000 in the first quarter of fiscal year 1998 from 96,000 in the first quarter of fiscal year 1997.
The Company reported a net loss of $877,000 or $.15 per share for the first quarter of fiscal year 1998, as compared to a profit of $30,000 or $.01 per share for the first quarter of fiscal year 1997. “Recent losses are attributable in part to assimilation issues related to recent acquisitions, and in part to the Company continuing to invest heavily in the information systems and infrastructure necessary to support continued expansion by practice acquisitions (such as MainStreet), so that it can position itself to successfully operate in the rapidly changing primary care market place,” said Jerry F, Wells, Jr., CPA, UCI’s Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer.
The Company’s December 31, 1997 balance sheet reflects an increase in total assets to $22,961,000, as compared to $16,549,000 at December 31, 1996, while stockholders’ equity at December 31, 1997 increased to $9,441,000 from $7,852,000 at December 31, 1996.
UCI Medical Affiliates, Inc., provides nonmedical management and administrative services for freestanding medical centers which operate as Doctor’s Care urgent care centers, Doctor’s Surgical Group, Doctor’s Orthopedic Group, the UCI Division of Family Medicine and Progressive Therapy Services.
This press release contains forward-looking statements subject to the safe harbor created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company cautions readers of this press release that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward- looking statements. Although the Company’s management believes that their expectations of future performance are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of their knowledge of their business and operations, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from their expectations. Factors which could cause actual results to differ from expectations include, among other things, the difficulty in controlling the Company’s cost of providing healthcare and administering its network of Centers; the possible negative effects from changes in reimbursement and capitation payment levels and payment practices by insurance companies, healthcare plans, government payors and other payment sources; the difficulty of attracting primary care physicians; the increasing competition for patients among healthcare providers; possible government regulations in multiple jurisdictions negatively impacting the existing organizational structure of the Company; the possible negative effects of prospective healthcare reform; the challenges and uncertainties in the implementation of the Company’s expansion and development strategy; the dependence on key personnel, and other factors described in other reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Details
The battle for credit card insurance king American Bankers Insurance Group is heating up as Cendant Corp, formerly HFS and CUC International, filed suit Friday against AIG for canceling its ‘D&O’ insurance. According to this morning’s Wall Street Journal, Cendant obtained a “Directors & Officers” insurance policy from AIG subsidiary National Union Fire Insurance Company effective Dec. 17. The policy was canceled under questionable circumstances on Jan. 21 for alleged non-payment. Last week AIG claimed to state regulators that Cendant was not experienced at running an insurance concern and is highly leveraged. AIG has offered $2.2 billion while Cendant has offered $2.7 billion for American Bankers.Details
Hypercom Corporation is helping MOL Company, Hungary’s largest oil and gas firm, launch a newly implemented smart card loyalty program throughout Hungary. The program rollout, the result of a previous agreement, uses Hypercom’s point-of-sale terminals and software upgraded by Hypercom.
Hypercom is the world’s largest independent provider of payment transaction solutions, including point-of-sale terminals, peripherals, networking equipment and software. MOL Company handles all processes from exploration through processing and sales.
A trial program of the MOL customer loyalty system was launched February 4 with 45 Hypercom point-of-sale terminals at 40 of MOL’s filling stations in the Budapest area. The trial program is now scheduled to run through May.
“The introduction of smart cards by MOL required only a relatively simple software upgrade to the Hypercom terminals and PC cash registers. We expect to do the same for electronic purse functionality later this year. By purchasing Hypercom equipment, MOL Company ‘future proofed’ its systems,” said Lajos Kecskemeti, country manager for Hypercom Hungary.
“We have been using Hypercom terminals in 330 of our petrol stations since 1995. We are delighted that it has proven so easy to introduce smart card functionality to our existing Hypercom system,” said Dr. Janos Gyorfi, general manager of MOL’s Filling Stations Division.
Concurrent with the trial program, MOL Company is updating its cash registers in its filling stations outside the Budapest area. MOL’s nationwide system is scheduled to rollout in May with 500 terminals at 330 filling stations.
The system uses personal computer-based cash registers attached to Hypercom T-7P terminals with Hypercom’s S7SC pin pads and smart card reader. The MOL program is designed to introduce a loyalty program for the company’s regular customers. The aim of the MOL program is to increase market share and average transaction values.
Using smart cards with Hypercom point-of-sale terminals, cardholders can earn points by purchasing fuel or other goods at MOL Company filing stations. The loyalty program rewards customers for higher margin non-fuel purchases in addition to fuel. Cardholders earn one point per liter of fuel and one point per 100 forints spent on non-fuel goods and services.
The system is offline and points are stored on the smart cards. Cardholders can then either redeem their points for discounts of goods available at MOL Company filing stations or from an exclusive MOL catalogue.
MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company is among the largest companies in Central Europe. It is active at all levels in the oil industry. MOL Co. gives high priority providing superior service, primary through its nationwide network of 330 filling stations. MOL Co. is currently upgrading its station network to become of the most modern and environmentally-friendly in Europe.
Hypercom Corporation (NYSEHYC) is the world’s leading independent supplier of point-of-sale technology. The company also supplies Internet-based payment processing solutions. Hypercom provides innovative solutions for delivering and processing secure electronic payments and the infrastructure to quickly and cost-effectively integrate and deploy new payment applications.
Hypercom’s end-to-end product family of terminals, peripherals, POS network products and software enables merchants and service providers to automate credit, debit and other electronic payment transactions with seamless integration, scalability and interoperability.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 50 countries through a global network of offices and affiliates in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com].
Sun Banking Corporation, a subsidiary of Sun Life of Canada, announced today it will enter the credit card business in the UK. Sun will compete against the likes of Capital One, MBNA America, Household’s Hamilton Direct, and Bank of Scotland’s Capital Bank. According to this morning’s London Daily Mail, U.S. based People’s Bank offers the best long term pricing in the UK with a 15.9% rate on standard and 14.9% rate on gold cards without annual fees.Details
VISA announced yesterday its card fraud rate has dropped to an unprecedented eight basis points of total volume or about $400 million. VISA says fraud has been dropping each year since 1993 primarily due to programs aimed at ‘not received issued’ cards, identity fraud and suspicious purchase patterns. According to VISA stats, 1996 fraud was eleven basis points of volume (approx. $450 million) while 1993 fraud stood at nineteen basis points (approx $385 million).Details
Telecommunications marketer Quintel Entertainment of Pearl River, NY announced Thursday it has signed agreements to offer and issue a secured credit card on behalf of Merrick Bancorp of Salt Lake City. Quintel says its expertise with check debiting and clearing technology in conjunction with its direct marketing techniques makes the secured card program a natural extension. Quintel has a database of 30 million consumers.Details
With the recent installation of two additional System 7000 dialer packages at the Allied Bond & Collection Agency call center, EIS International Inc., a leading provider of call center software, is now the sole supplier of dialer systems for Allied’s 280 agent stations.
“We looked at every major manufacturer in the industry and decided on EIS,” said Richard Strahm, manager of predictive dialer technology at Allied. “The finalists were EIS and Mosaix,” he added. The 93 agent stations provisioned by these System 7000s were previously supported by older installed Mosaix systems, according to Strahm.
“The reason we selected EIS,” Strahm said, “is EIS’ continued responsiveness to our growing and ever-changing requirements, as well as their true partnership approach and commitment to our relationship, whether we are in a current buying cycle or not. In addition, I believe no other vendor can out-perform EIS’ openness, flexibility and responsiveness.”
The two additional System 7000s bring Allied’s total to five, according to Rhine Morgan, EIS vice president of collections/industry applications. “Many of the nation’s largest collections agencies, retailers, credit card issuers and telephone companies use System 7000 to execute their calling strategies,” Morgan said. “It is designed to manage the unique productivity challenges experienced by these types of organizations,” he explained.
System 7000 is a flexible call automation system designed to meet the unique needs of the collections industry and includes such features as
* Digital Announcement to Answering Machines — a digital messaging feature that can play messages to connected calls identified as answering machines without the intervention of an agent;
* Diligence — the ability to record information (time, date, action result code, phone number attempted, session name and agent ID) about the attempts made to contact the debtor as part of the patron record; and
* Skip Tracing + Add New Number — in addition to providing the ability to locate and dial a series of numbers or parties related to a particular debtor, the “Add New Number” feature permits the agent to add a new number to the record and direct the system to call the number.
In addition, System 7000’s EIS-patented call-pacing algorithm — SmartPace(TM) — dynamically adjusts the dialing speed to maximize the number of contacts while producing fewer no-contact or abandoned calls. With this function, users can set a target abandon rate that allows them to meet state and federal regulations. The system then automatically maintains that rate for the duration of a campaign, keeping agents as busy as possible within the target abandon rate.
Allied Bond & Collection Agency, headquartered in the Philadelphia suburb of Trevose, Pennsylvania, is a major supplier of accounts receivable, collections and call center outsourcing. Allied is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Outsourcing Solutions Inc. (OSI) of St. Louis, Missouri.
EIS International Inc., headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, is a leading provider of advanced solutions for outbound and integrated inbound/outbound applications for the call center industry. With more than 1,460 systems and more than 80,000 workstations installed worldwide, EIS provides systems for telemarketing, customer service, fund-raising, market research and collections to increase productivity, enhance operational efficiency and improve agent effectiveness in the call center. A member of the Object Management Group (OMG), EIS recently adopted CORBA(TM) (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) as a platform for future products. Additional information about EIS is available by calling 800-274-5676 or by visiting the company’s Web site at .
This press release contains forward-looking statements (statements that are not historical facts) that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including references to customer and marketplace acceptance of new and existing products and services. Investors are cautioned that all forward- looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, competitive factors, general economic conditions, customer relations, technological change, product/service introductions and acceptance, distribution networks, changes in industry practices, one-time events and other factors described herein and under the heading “Factors Affecting Future Results” in EIS’ quarterly Form 10-Q and annual Form 10-K reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, copies of which are available from EIS. Should any of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, eventual outcomes may vary materially from those anticipated.
EIS International is a registered trademark of EIS International Inc. System 7000 and SmartPace are trademarks of EIS International Inc. CORBA is a trademark of the Object Management Group.Details
NCR Corporation today announced that is has signed a multimillion dollar agreement with EDS New Zealand to supply ImageMarkTM – its state-of-the-art image item processing solution – for use withing EDS’ Item Image Processing Service.
Under the agreement – one of the largest orders for the ImageMark suite of solutions since its launch last year – NCR will provide the ImageMark Proff of Delivery (POD) and Image Archive and Delivery solutions to EDS New Zealand to implement a distributed cheque capture and storage facility on a multi-bank basis.
“ImageMark is one of NCR’s flagship solutions and we are delighted that EDS has decided to work with NCR to provide this innovative technology to banks in the New Zealand market. We are also proud of the fact that this solution is the first to be implemented with a seven-year storage capacity,” said Brenda Hemphill, NCR’s Payments solutions team leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The ImageMark suite of solutions enables the processing of a cheque image – rather than the traditional physical paper cheque – eliminating the need for paper storage and presents the opportunity for substantial cost savings for the banks. In addition, a bank can use the information stored within the image to increase its knowledge of their customers’ banking activities, to allow them to offer products and services tailored to individual customers’ specific needs.
“ImageMark allows retail banks to reduce the time and cost of processing cheques presented by consumers and business customers, as well as the ability to provide revenue-generating products and services tailored to meet customers’ individual and specific needs,” added Ms. Hemphil. “It is a Year 2000 compliant cheque-processing solution that retains the data integrity requirements of each institution – and their customers – while reducing the financial burden imposed by implementing multiple cheque-processing solutions across the industry”.Details
Three state hospitality-industry associations have begun credit card discount programs through First Tennessee Merchant Services Inc., a subsidiary of First Tennessee Bank National Assoc. Members of the Alabama Restaurant Assoc., the Iowa Hospitality Assoc., and the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Assoc. can receive very beneficial rates for processing of VISA and MasterCard purchases through First Tennessee Merchant Services. The results could save individual members thousands of dollars each year.
“These are very exciting, new relationships that further expand First Tennessee Merchant Services’ leading role in serving the hospitality industry,” said Ronald R. Nation, president of First Tennessee Merchant Services. “We will help restaurants, bars associated vendors and suppliers in these three states reduce their processing costs while providing them with the same top-notch service that ensures that First Tennessee Merchant Services remains one of the leading credit card providers in the nation.”
First Tennessee Merchant Services’ service includes detailed reports to ensure accurate review and analysis. Payments of deposits may also be faster than with other processors.
The Alabama Restaurant Assoc. has more than 700 members, the Iowa Hospitality Assoc. has more than 600 members, and the 80-year-old New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Assoc. has more than 800 members.
First Tennessee National Corp., parent company of First Tennessee Bank National Assoc., headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., is a nationwide, diversified financial services institution and one of the 50 largest bank holding companies in the United States in market capitalization and asset size. Banking and other financial services are provided through the regional banking group and three national lines of business FT Mortgage Companies, First Tennessee Capital Markets and transaction processing. Transaction processing includes credit card merchant processing, MONEY BELT (automated teller machine network), First Express (nationwide check clearing), and transaction-oriented cash management products. The corporation’s common stock is traded over the counter on the Nasdaq Stock Market’s national market system under the symbol FTEN. It is listed in the financial section of most newspapers as FstTN Ntl and is included in the Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400 index. More information is available at First Tennessee’s Web site at [www.ftb.com].
Applied Communications, Inc. , a subsidiary of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc., announces the licensing of an integrated suite of BASE24 software and CO-ach high-volume payments processing software to Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej Spolka Akcyjna , the third largest bank in Poland. BGZ SA will use BASE24-atm, BASE24-pos and BASE24 Remote Banking products operating on a Tandem NonStop computer server to integrate and upgrade its retail banking services. BGZ SA also will use ACI’s CO-ach multi-institution payment clearing and settlement system to automate clearing, settlement and distribution of electronic debit and credit transactions for its more than 1,200 branches and affiliate members.
“Our customers want the same anywhere-anytime financial services enjoyed by bank customers around the world,” said Adam Kapica, managing director of BGZ SA’s Development and Strategy Office. “In response to our customers’ needs, we initiated ‘Automation of the Bank’ — a project designed to automate and upgrade our processing capabilities. BASE24 and CO-ach will help us modernize our operation with a proven system that delivers around the clock availability and reliability.”
Migration to the integrated BASE24 platform offers BGZ SA the ability to consolidate retail delivery processing while increasing performance. BASE24’s scaleable, modular design enables the bank to integrate its current ATM and POS processing onto a single platform — and add Remote Banking services– while handling ever-increasing transaction volumes. The BASE24 applications chosen by BGZ SA share the same customer account information and communication links to third-party networks, giving the bank the ability to offer its customers consistent account information from a variety of access points. The BASE24 system also gives BGZ SA the flexibility to add emerging technologies like smart cards and Internet banking to its processing platform as needed.
BGZ SA will use CO-ach to establish a clearing center that provides online, automated clearing and settlement for its branches and corporate banking customers. CO-ach gives BGZ SA the ability to process, track, settle and clear demanding transaction volumes under the control of a highly sophisticated risk management function.
“BGZ SA joins more than 600 financial institutions, processors, switches and retailers around the world using ACI solutions to meet never-ending demand for convenient, around-the-clock financial services,” said Tom Boje, managing director of ACI’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Operation, based in the United Kingdom. “Whether the need is to process EFT transactions from retail banking or corporate banking sources, our customers enjoy high performance, availability and reliability every minute of every day.”
Applied Communications, Inc. is a subsidiary of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. (Nasdaq TSAI). Transaction Systems’ software facilitates electronic payments and electronic commerce by providing consumers and companies access to their money. The company’s products are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, home banking services, checks, wire transfers and automated clearing and settlement. Its solutions are used on more than 2,800 product systems in 69 countries on six continents. Visit TSA and ACI on the World Wide Web at .Details
The Principal Financial Group launched a nationwide pilot of a virtual bank yesterday that initially offers checking accounts with ATM access and will eventually offer electronic bill payment and credit cards. Based in Des Moines, the Principal Bank, began testing its service with employees of The Principal and a limited number of outside customers. The branch-less, virtual bank will open to the general public April 1. During the testing period participants will be able to open checking accounts or savings accounts and purchase CDs. When the bank’s doors open April 1 the service will be expanded to include telephone banking, transfer of funds between accounts, and consumer loans. Principal Bank says it will introduce bill payment and credit cards on July 1.Details