Another One Exits

The shakeout in the bank credit card industry continues as First Maryland Bancorp agreed yesterday to sell off its entire portfolio to BankAmerica Corporation. First Maryland Bancorp’s portfolio includes the card business of subsidiaries First Omni Bank (DE) and Dauphin Deposit (PA). At the end of the third quarter First Omni had $576 million in receivables while Dauphin Deposit held $47 million, according to CardData. Terms of the sale were not disclosed other than to confirm the $623 million portfolio was sold “at a premium”. One year ago First Omni broke through the $1 billion mark in receivables riding on the success of its Bell Atlantic cobranded program. During the third quarter the issuer sold off the Bell Atlantic portion to Chase Manhattan. Yesterday’s announcement will boost BankAmerica’s card portfolio to $10.7 billion in receivables.

First Maryland Snapshot (before selloffs)
First Omni $1,003,378,000 516,428 1,545,626
Dauphin Dpst $ 46,719,559 39,559 71,914
Source: Bankcard Update/CardData (2Q-97 data)


Read Me A Story Sponsors

Capital One Joins VISA-RIF Program

Capital One Bank sponsored a local performance of “Read Me a Story” for more than 500 children at Capital One’s Dallas/Fort Worth facility on Thursday. Mayor Kenneth Barr of Fort Worth joined the cast of Visa’s Reading is FUNdamental (RIF) literacy roadshow to promote the benefits of reading with the children of Capital One’s more than 500 associates, as well as the students of his alma mater, D. McRae Elementary School.

“The ability to read well is the cornerstone of an informed citizenry and a productive work force, but critical for the continued success of our city. The City is a strong supporter of the Fort Worth Independent School District and its goal that all students will become proficient readers by the end of the second grade. To help achieve this goal, we are fortunate to have the commitment of Capital One and Visa to help our young people get excited about reading,” said Mayor Kenneth Barr of Fort Worth.

“The Visa ‘Read Me a Story’ program is an excellent opportunity for us all — parents, teachers, local businesses and the more than 6,000 associates of Capital One — to promote the benefits and excitement that go hand in hand with education and reading a book,” said Mitch Beres, Capital One’s D/FW Site Manager. “All of us at Capital One are thrilled to share this opportunity with our Fort Worth Adopt-A-School partner, D. McRae Elementary School. Capital One associates are committed to making a difference in the community as volunteers and mentors with adopt-a-school and other community projects.”

An emphasis on reading improvement in Texas and in such cities as Fort Worth is already making a significant impact. Fort Worth’s public schools are in the second year of an Elementary Reading Initiative that has seen reading improvements ranging from 1 – 12 percent in six grades on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS).

“The ‘Read Me a Story’ program reinforces the benefits of reading to — and with — children from their earliest years,” said Mike McGinley, Director of Risk Operations for Capital One’s D/FW location. “We are pleased to support the efforts of local teachers and administrators to improve reading by supporting programs like ‘Read Me a Story,’ which encourages children and parents to enjoy reading together.”

Reading is FUNdamental is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization, serving over 3.8 million children each year through 17,000 RIF sites throughout 50 states, and involving the help of 219,000 volunteers. Last year, RIF put more than 10 million books in children’s hands. Reading is FUNdamental has provided more than 173 million books since its founding in 1966 and celebrated its 30th birthday last year. For more information on “Read Me a Story,” call toll free (888) 703-READ (703- 7323) or visit the “Read Me a Story” Web site at [][1].

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation is a financial services company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 10.7 million customers and $13.5 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 1997, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.

National City Sponsores VISA-RIF Program

National City Corporation and Visa U.S.A. have teamed up to help address what has been labeled as a national reading crisis in America.

Recent studies reveal:

* Over 40 percent of the nation’s fourth graders can’t read at the basic level for their grade.

* 60 percent of high school seniors can’t read at the level they should.

* Only half of young children routinely are read to by their parents.

* There is a direct correlation between parental involvement and reading comprehension.

On Friday, December 12, 1997 approximately 530 youngsters from Prospect and Christ the King elementary schools will assemble in the Shaw High School auditorium located at 15320 Euclid Ave. to hear stories read aloud by some of America’s favorite storybook characters and receive a book donated by National City. The outreach effort is part of a nationwide fundraising and reading awareness campaign called “Read Me A Story” being undertaken by Visa U.S.A. Inc. to benefit Reading is Fundamental (RIF), America’s oldest and largest children’s nonprofit literacy organization.

This is the second year National City and Visa have hosted the event in Cleveland. The tour will visit approximately 24 cities during the holidays to spread the joys of reading to children across America. National City also sponsored shows in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Louisville, Kentucky, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana in this year’s tour.

Visa has guaranteed a $1 million minimum contribution to RIF related to Visa card sale transactions from November 1 through December 31, 1997. Proceeds will be distributed in 1998 to 3,000 participating local RIF programs around the country to help children read.

“This is a very important event,” states Mimi Shenk, assistant vice president and director of community sponsorships at National City. “These youngsters are America’s future. National City applauds this program.”

Children will be treated to a 30-minute original music performance filled with dancing, singing and a special story reading by the entire “Read Me A Story” storybook cast including: Angelina Ballerina, Babar, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, Peter Pan and many other favorite storybook characters.

National City Corporation Profile

National City (NYSE: NCC) is a $53 billion diversified financial services company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. National City operates banks and other financial services subsidiaries principally in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. On December 1, 1997, National City announced a definitive agreement to merge with First of America Bank Corporation, a $22 billion bank holding company headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan. That transaction is expected to close in the second quarter 1998, subject to regulatory and stockholder approval. National City can be found on the Internet at .

Rite Aid tro Sponsor VISA-RIF Program

Rite Aid is teaming up with Visa to support Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the largest children’s literacy organization in the nation.

Visa’s “Read Me a Story” program will visit the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor on Friday, Dec. 12 at 4pm. Five popular children’s characters such as Peter Pan, Little Red Riding Hood, Mother Goose, and Clifford the Big Red Dog will take the stage in the common area of the mall about 500 feet from Rite Aid.

After the fifteen-minute performance the characters will meet and greet children at the front of the mall and pass out bookmarks and balloons.

In addition, each time someone uses their Visa card for a purchase at any Rite Aid store in December a portion of the sale goes to RIF.

Visa has guaranteed a $1 million minimum contribution to Reading Is Fundamental, related to Visa card sales transactions from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 1997. Void where prohibited or restricted.

Rite Aid is involved with numerous charities such as Children’s Miracle Network and the company’s own Mother’s Day Mammograms(R) program.

Mother’s Day Mammograms(R) is designed to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer. The program offers free mammograms to thousands of uninsured and underinsured women through a unique network of public and private sector partnerships.

Rite Aid is a major sponsor of the Children’s Miracle Network and this year raised $1.3 million for local Children’s hospitals in 26 states.

Rite Aid pharmacists also participate in community outreach programs by teaching elementary students about poison prevention, holding flu and childhood immunization clinics, educating high school students about responsible use of medication, and informing senior citizens about drug interactions.

General information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available free of charge through the company’s website at .



U.S. Wireless Raises Cash

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. announced yesterday it has concluded a private placement pursuant to Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 by which the Company raised gross proceeds of approximately $3,000,000.

The instrument gives the holder the right to convert principal into shares of USWDA’s common stock in the future at 80% of market price, but not lower than $4 per share for the first 270 days and no higher than $6 per share. The investment instrument carries an 8% coupon, which drops to a 4% coupon once the underlying shares of common stock are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The coupon is payable in shares of the Company’s common stock. The investment also provides the Company with redemption privileges. The proceeds will primarily be used as working capital to fund the national launch of the Company’s proprietary wireless transactions processing solutions and to repay existing obligations.

The Company plans to file a report on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission setting forth further details with respect to the financing.

USWDA also announced it plans to file an application with NASDAQ within the next 21 days for inclusion of its shares to be re-listed and traded on the NASDAQ Small Cap stock market. Re-listing would give the common stock greater visibility and prominence in the financial community. Moreover, trading data of the Company’s common stock would be widely distributed by wire services for dissemination by newspapers and other media.

Evon Kelly, CEO of USWDA stated, “This financing completes the first and most important phase of our turnaround and squarely positions the company to attack the marketplace with its wireless transactions processing solutions. It also shows renewed investor confidence in U.S. Wireless Data and its business strategy. Further, we are excited about the possibility of a future re-listing of our common shares on the NASDAQ Small Cap Market.”

USWDA’s proprietary enabling technology, TRANZ(TM) Enabler, converts a merchant’s existing dial-up TRANZ VeriFone credit-card terminal into a high-speed wireless terminal. It provides merchants with a faster and more cost efficient way to transact business.

The wireless transaction takes 3 to 5 seconds verses 11 to 20 seconds with a dial-up service. Going wireless means the merchant no longer needs a dedicated or shared telephone line to carry transaction traffic, thereby eliminating delays, busy signals and the cost to install or pay for monthly telephone service.

U.S. Wireless Data announced in August, 1997, a joint marketing and operating agreement with GTE Wireless, the wireless business unit of GTE Corp., to distribute USWDA’s TRANZ Enabler wireless credit card processing system using GTE’s cellular CDPD network.

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. has developed, tested and is now delivering compelling new proprietary products, programs and standards to the transaction processing and credit card industry which utilize Cellular Digital Packet Data (“CDPD”) wireless networks.

USWDA delivers the fastest and most cost-effective transaction processing solution to retail merchants in the United States today — wired or wireless. USWDA will generate recurring revenue from every transaction processed by merchants who utilize the Company’s CDPD wireless technology.

The Company’s strategy will be to deploy its technology through marketing and partnership agreements with major cellular phone companies, regional and community banks, select ISO’s and its own sales force.


Hypercom China Order

Hypercom Corp. has received multiple orders from distributors in China for point-of-sale (POS) terminals and additional networking equipment as part of a previous agreement, Hypercom Wednesday announced.

The combined orders are for approximately $14.3 million (U.S.). The company is scheduled to begin shipments in early 1998.

“These orders demonstrate not only the competitiveness of the Hypercom product, but also the effectiveness of our distribution channels in China,” said Clive Cooper-Smith, managing director, Hypercom’s Asia-Pacific Rim Region. “Hypercom’s strength in the China market is a result of our pioneering work and the substantial investment we are making in establishing a local presence. We opened an office in Beijing in August and plan to open two more offices in China in coming months.”

Hypercom Selected as Preferred Provider by China Construction Bank

In other news, Hypercom was selected as a preferred provider of POS solutions for national China Construction Bank. Hypercom is the only foreign provider of POS solutions for national China Construction Bank for a selective program.

“We chose Hypercom Corp. as one of our `Three Excellence’ partners because the company offers excellent products, excellent service and excellent value,” said Li Derang, vice president of technology, China Construction Bank. “Hypercom helps us provide to our clients the benefits of leading-edge technology, high security for transactions and high performance. We are confident that this business relationship is an excellent start on our long-term business relationship with Hypercom.”

Founded in 1954 with headquarters in Beijing, China Construction Bank is one of five specialized banks in China. The bank has assets of approximately RMB 2,125.3 million.


Hypercom is a leading supplier of point-of-sale (POS) payment systems and enterprise networking solutions. The company also produces Pinnacle client/server transaction processing software. With headquarters in Phoenix, Hypercom’s products are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.

The company has corporate offices in the Asia-Pacific Rim region in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney, Australia. Hypercom consists of four divisions: Hypercom International, Hypercom POS US/Canada, Hypercom Network Systems and Hypercom Manufacturing Resources.

For further information on Hypercom, via fax free of charge, dial 800/PRO-INFO and enter company code “HYC.”

Certain matters discussed within this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although management of Hypercom believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include industry, competitive and technological changes; risks associated with international operations and foreign currency fluctuations; the composition, timing and size of orders from and shipments to major customers; inventory obsolescence; market acceptance of new products and other risks detailed from time to time in Hypercom’s Securities and Exchange Commission reports including the company’s prospectus dated Nov. 13, 1997.


Rate Still King

Cobranded, rewards-type credit cards clearly drive volume but plain vanilla, lower-rate cards issued by major players are emerging as the winners in producing higher yields. Among industry sectors tracked by Bankcard Barometer, major issuers ($3 billion+) specializing in no-frills, long-term lower interest rates are realizing average annual growth rates of 19% in card loans, the highest among all industry segments. By comparison average annual growth in receivables among the cobranded/affinity specialists is 14%, as of the third quarter. The two segments ran neck-to-neck from 1993 to 1996. Average growth rates among some other segments: secured cards 17% and credit unions 18%.


Oracle Payment Processing

The world’s second largest software company is testing an integrated payment processing solution designed for help systems integrators speed the development and deployment of electronic commerce applications. ‘Oracle Payment Server 1.0’ is a Java cartridge that is deployed on the ‘Oracle Web Application Server 3.0’ and bundles third-party payment systems from ICVERIFY and CyberCash. Some of the key features of yesterday’s beta release of the software include: rules-based payment routing, a single API, SSL/SET security and multiple-site support.


APrinT HoloPass

Advanced Precision Technology Inc., a San Francisco based developer of personal authentication systems, unveiled its latest fingerprint capture device, the APrinT HoloPass at the CTST – West, one of the world’s leading smart cards, security and biometrics technologies events.

The HoloPass, which was co-developed with SRI International of Menlo Park, CA, incorporates APT’s patented holographic optics to consistently produce forensic quality images vital for public safety, civil and commercial applications requiring one-to-one verification and one-to-many matching.

“We’ve designed the HoloPass to meet the most stringent image quality specifications”, said Bruce A. Pastorius, APT’s President and CEO, “In addition, our flexible compact design allows the HoloPass(TM) to be used either as a desktop device or be integrated into virtually any transaction approval application such as ATMs, time and attendance, physical security and database access.”

APT will offer the HoloPass for $695 to value-added resellers, OEMs and system integrators. Evaluation units and complementary software will be shipped to several potential channel partners and end users in the government and commercial sectors by January, 1998.


Holiday Consumer Pulse

Among the myriads of holiday statistics is the quirky fact that 26% of shoppers say credit or debit cards encourages them to spend more. The finding came from the VISA-sponsored, International Mass Retail Association’s ‘Weekly Holiday Shopping Study’, conducted last week. The IMRA study also found only 4% of shoppers will use the Internet to purchase gifts and that pet gifts and power tools are the hottest gift items this year.



Smart cards were taken to a new level yesterday as San Jose- based Amazing Controls! introduced the largest storage capacity chip card yet. ‘JumboCard!’ offers a storage capacity of up to 1 Mbit of data, is less expensive and more flexible than optical or flash memory cards. The company is demonstrating the product at this week’s CardTech/SecurTech West conference by uploading and storing complex X-ray images combined with patient data. Amazing Controls! also introduced its ‘ComboCard’ yesterday which combines ‘MIFARE’ contactless RF technology with either secure memory or microprocessor smart card capability. The ‘JumboCard!’ runs about $40 each in volume and the ‘ComboCard!’ runs between $3 and $10 each, depending on chips used for the contact function.


PC/SC Specifications

The PC/SC Workgroup, a collaborative effort of leading international personal computer and smart card companies united to integrate their technologies under common standards, announced the release of version 1.0 of the PC/SC specifications, allowing broad integration of smart card benefits into the personal computer.

Like other applications such as identity and payment, smart cards are widely seen as the key enabling component in the emerging public key security infrastructure underlying internet and electronic commerce. Smart card technology is increasingly relied upon to provide secure access and authenticity of transactions and information exchange. The smart card offers a highly tamper-resistant hardware component to complement the robust public key cryptographic algorithm.

The new specifications, previously available in beta form for review and comment, are the conclusion of a year-long collaboration between major industry leaders in the smart card-PC markets. PC/SC Workgroup members include Bull Personal Transaction Systems, Gemplus, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft Corp., Schlumberger, Siemens-Nixdorf Inc., Sun Microsystems, Toshiba Corp., and VeriFone. These companies bring together valuable expertise in smart cards, electronic commerce, desktop and portable PC operating systems, personal computers, network computers, advanced portable PCs, and network security technology.

“This industry-wide effort, culminating in the on-schedule release of the full PC/SC specifications and the first implementation on the Windows platform, lays the critical groundwork for convergence of smart card and computing platform technologies,” said Philippe Goetschel, director of security products for Microsoft. “From network security to electronic commerce applications, both software developers and users can immediately benefit from the ability of market-leading computing platforms and applications to seamlessly integrate with smart card-based resources.”

The smart card provides security and user-friendly portability for information, payment, and secure network access, while the PC/SC specification leads to lower costs and increased choice by offering interoperability among the many smart card product offerings from multiple vendors.

The PC/SC Workgroup also has initiated discussions with the OpenCard Framework group to achieve compatibility between the two approaches.

The Workgroup also provided further details on its specification roadmap and on products already supporting the new standard, including support for the Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT 5.0 operating system platforms. Most of the ten Workgroup members are exhibiting at CardTech-SecurTech West, Dec. 10-11, in San Jose, CA and will be demonstrating PC/SC-compliant products.

The PC/SC Workgroup specifications are completely platform-independent and are available via the organization’s Web site — The first implementation is on the 32-bit Windows platforms. This effort builds upon existing industry smart card standards — ISO7816 and EMV — and complements them by defining low-level device interfaces and device-independent application APIs, as well as resource management to allow multiple applications to share smart card devices attached to a system.

The standardization of the smart card and reader APIs within the operating environments running on most of the worlds computing platforms also will provide a boost to developers of smart card-enabled applications by allowing use of widespread and familiar software development tools.

Standardization Benefits Everyone — PC, Smart Card Industries, and End-Users alike

By using the smart card APIs and device management infrastructure, application developers can easily and rapidly develop and maintain applications that will work with any complaint smart card reader via attachment to PCs.

For smart card manufacturers, PC/SC standards simplify development and maintenance of interface libraries. Smart card reader manufacturers benefit because any PC/SC-compliant smart card application will work with a PC/SC-compliant reader.

The end-user marketplace will be the ultimate beneficiary of PC/SC Workgroup standardization due to investment protection and lower costs. End-users will have a large number of smart card-enabled applications that will use the same interface device, and the cost of the devices will be market-driven based upon a standardization/volume effect.

New Standard Supported Now by Broad Product Offerings

In parallel, the members have each developed their own PC/SC-compliant products. These include:

— Bull’s SmarTLP(TM) serial reader, the SecurLINK2(TM) PCMCIA reader for portable PCs, SafePad for electronic commerce applications plus CP8 smart cards and related services will be available in volume along with PC and network security applications like CP8 LOG for Windows and for Windows NT.

— Gemplus is building PC/SC support into its smart card production, beginning with the GPK2000 and 2nd-generation GPK4000 cryptographic Public Key smart cards for securing online access and E-commerce. PC/SC compatible readers from Gemplus include the new GCR410 serial port reader, the GCR400-FD bay-mount reader, the GCR500 reader with PIN-pad and display, and the GPR400 PCMCIA-based reader.

— Hewlett-Packard plans to ship a PS/2 Integrated Smart Card Reader Keyboard in Q1 98.

— IBM is offering the 5799-QTC Smart Card Toolkit which provides a powerful set of development tools that support application development for IBM’s MultiFunction Card (MFC) using PC/SC compliant devices.

— Microsoft has implemented the PC/SC 1.0 specifications on the Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 platforms and has released the implementation to the Web available at . The Microsoft Smart Card 1.0 release includes the base components for Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, the Smart Card SDK that is integrated with the standard Microsoft Win32 Platform SDK used by ISVs, and the Smart Card DDK available to OEMs and IHVs interested in developing device drivers for the Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 platforms. In addition, Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and Outlook Express are fully smart card-enabled to support client authentication and secure email using S/MIME where the private key material and certificate are stored on the smart card for increased security.

— Schlumberger has introduced Cryptoflex(TM), a cryptographic smart card, the Reflex 20 and Reflex 60 smart card readers and SafePaK(TM), a family of products that combines Cryptoflex, readers, and PC software for network security applications.

— Siemens Nixdorf offers several PC/SC-compliant products, including a PCMCIA card reader, a PS/2 keyboard reader, and the SICRYPT card.

— They also are shipping their desktop and tower PCs with integrated chip card readers. SNI’s near term plans include a SCENIC Mobile notebook with an integrated smart card reader.

— Toshiba plans to start shipping a PCMCIA-type smart card reader/writer, in the first quarter of next year. The company is also developing smart cards with their own APIs for Service Provider and Crypto Provider, which will be introduced in the near future.

— VeriFone plans to adopt the PC/SC specifications, at the appropriate times, into its PC chip card products. Examples include its VeriSmart(TM) Java class hierarchy supporting purse cards and its internet commerce product vWALLET(TM) for the storing of SET certificates. VeriFone will also help develop the next phase of the PC/SC specifications to address smart card devices supporting PIN entry.

Widened Industry Feedback Crucial in Evolution of the PC/SC Standard

With the core work completed, the PC/SC Workgroup will give manufacturers and issuers of PC/SC compliant products a voice in the evolution of the standard at a PC/SC Forum to be held in the Spring of 1998 at CardTech/SecurTech in Washington, D.C.

Now that the v1.0 release level is achieved, the PC/SC Workgroup also will be developing a roadmap for eventual transfer of the specifications to an appropriate standardization body.

PC/SC Workgroup Background

The Workgroup’s mission is to advance the newly released specifications both to ensure that smart cards, smart card readers, and computers made by different manufacturers will work together, and to facilitate the development of PC and other computing platform smart card applications.

The PC/SC specification is designed to be extensible to a variety of computing devices. Leading application developers can now easily add powerful new smart card-based features to their products, and smart cards can be as omnipresent in the computing world as floppy disks to do whatever the application requires concerning secure-access, data portability, digital signatures, authentication and payment for internet commerce, or the other unique attributes that can be provided by a smart card.

Information on the PC/SC Workgroup can be accessed at [][1].

Sun Microsystems and Java are trademarks of Sun Microsystems Inc. All trademarks, service marks, and company names are the property of their respective owners.



Canadian Smart Restaurant Cards

Schlumberger Electronic Transactions today announced that it has joined forces with Value-Added-Reseller Cyberpro Technologies, inc. to provide the Rotisseries St-Hubert restaurant chain with 50,000 stored value smart cards, leading-edge point-of-sale terminals and unique application software for an innovative electronic gift certificate promotion.

Using Schlumberger’s disposable stored value smart cards and leading-edge MagIC 9000 point-of-sale terminals for processing transactions, Rotisseries St-Hubert has begun selling electronic gift certificates valued at $20 and $50 at its 83 locations throughout Canada. The technology-enabled promotion began on December 3. Gift sleeves are offered with each purchase.

“Electronic gift certificates have a higher perceived value than a paper certificate,” stated Daniel Tardif, president, Cyberpro Technologies, inc. “They are also more convenient since they provide customers with exact change on small transactions, instead of a new credit slip each time they spend part of a gift certificate’s value.” Tardif noted that retailers benefit, too, since the fully automated system saves the time and expense associated with processing paper gift certificates and credit slips.

Each of the chain’s locations will be equipped with two of Schlumberger’s MagIC 9000 terminals, one for delivery and the other for restaurant dining. The terminals are part of a total solution designed by Cyberpro that includes the development of the gift certificate application, its integration in terminals, terminal installation, smart cards and the development of a data management center. All transaction records are kept in the memory of the terminal, which is programmed to automatically dial into the Cyberpro Data Center twice a week to upload transaction data to the server. From this data, Cyberpro creates sales statistics and sales data reporting for the Rotisseries St-Hubert head office, which controls and manages the whole system for its franchises.

“Schlumberger’s MagIC 9000 is the ideal payment terminal for this program,” Tardif stated. “The terminals are easily adaptable for specialized application programs, are portable for processing delivery transactions, provide quick and easy processing directly at the table, and offer customers an easy way to enter tips and approve their transaction themselves on the terminal keypad.”

According to Xavier Chanay, general manager of Schlumberger Electronic Transactions’ Banking, Retail & Health division, MagIC terminals are designed to meet the needs of third party developers such as Cyberpro. “The MagIC 9000 is designed as a single, open system for processing credit, debit and smart cards at point-of-sale,” Chanay said. “Our flexible software architecture lends itself to third party development of diverse applications — such as loyalty programs, closed community applications, electronic purse and stored value programs — which must reside side-by-side with existing, certified standard applications.”

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger Electronic Transactions offers a flexible portfolio of smart card-based solutions for businesses and communities of all kinds. The company provides cards, terminals, development tools and support in open configurations for operators, developers, integrators and distributors worldwide . Under The Smart Village brand, the Schlumberger offer includes the milestone Cyberflex card, the industry’s first Java-based smart card.

Schlumberger is unique in that it provides both smart cards and turnkey solutions along with a full range of tools and services for Telecom, Banking, Retail, Mass Transit & Parking, Healthcare and Networks. The company has design and manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America. Its manufacturing capacity exceeds 850 million cards annually to fulfill the needs of government and private sectors as they move toward cashless, p.pless transactions.

The Electronic Transactions group employs over 5,000 people and operates 45 facilities. Among dedicated facilities in 34 countries, the group has 9 research and development centers strategically located in Europe, Asia and North America.

Schlumberger Electronic Transactions is a business segment of Schlumberger Limited, a $9 billion global technology service company providing oilfield services, natural resource management, transactions based technology and associated systems, and semiconductor test equipment.

About Cyberpro

Cyberpro Technologies, inc. is a North American-based smart card solution provider and application developer. The company’s technical know-how of smart card applications coupled with marketing and retail operations expertise allows clients to combine the efficiency of innovative electronic marketing with the primary goal of increased sales and operational efficiency. Cyberpro’s solutions integrate concept development, application programming and its integration in card reading terminals, supply of cards and terminals, as well as a data management system, with added services such as feasibility studies and project management and implementation. Cyberpro is part of the GTC Transcontinental Group Ltd., a North American leader in the communications industry with revenues exceeding $1 billion in 1996 and activities in commercial printing and distribution of periodicals and communication material, as well as electronic information and commerce.


B A Custom Cards Snags Contract

B A Custom Cards, a division of Quebecor Printing Canada announced Wednesday the expansion of its telecommunication card business with the award of a contract for the production and fulfilment for all of the Stentor Alliance card programs.

The members of the Stentor Alliance include: BC TEL, Bell Canada, Island Tel, Manitoba Telecom Services, Maritime Tel & Tel, NBTel, NewTel Communications, NorthwesTel, QuebecTel, SaskTel and TELUS.

The contract includes the production and fulfilment of the Stentor Alliance Calling Card and Call-Me Card(TM) programs; the production of the HELLO!(TM) Phone Pass prepaid long distance phone cards; and the LaPuce(TM)/Quick Change(TM) Payphone Pass.

B A Custom Cards is the premier Canadian manufacturer of smart cards and has been producing the LaPuce(TM)/QuickChange(TM) Payphone Pass smart cards for the past two years.

“The addition of the endorsement from all the remaining Stentor members to that which we received from Bell Canada last month is most gratifying,” said Paul Schurman, president of B A Custom Cards. “We will be able to offer all the Stentor member companies innovative and creative solutions that will allow them to meet their various card programs needs,” he added.

Bob Clark, president of Quebecor Business Services Group said, “Expanding our relationship with Bell Canada to include all members of Stentor truly calls upon the collective capabilities of Quebecor Printing and offers a single source for a variety of cost effective options.”

Located in Mississauga, B A Custom Cards manufactures plastic cards, including financial, loyalty and stored value applications. In addition to card manufacturing, B A Custom Cards offers the most comprehensive range of card program fulfilment services.

B A Custom Cards has one of the most modern facilities of its type in North America and is the first plant in Canada with Chip Card manufacturing capabilities.

Quebecor Printing Canada is the largest commercial printer in Canada. It operates 44 printing and related media services facilities and has more than 6,000 employees located in seven Canadian provinces, three US states and in India.

Quebecor Printing Canada is a division of Quebecor Printing Inc. (NYSE:PRW; ME:IQI; TSE:IQI) which has more than 27,000 employees working in more than 115 printing and related services plants in the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and India.