G&D Russia

Giesecke & Devrient and a Russian state-owned banknote printing company have opened a smart card production facility in Perm, Russia. Goznak PPFG’s Znak/Perm subsidiary expects to initially manufacture eight million prepaid telephone cards following the delivery of G&D equipment and management this week. The joint venture, G&D-ZnakCard Z.A.O., also expects to produce smart cards for GSM mobile phone applications and for electronic payment systems with a annual production capacity of 10 million cards. Znak/Perm has 80 branches throughout Russia distributing driving licenses, ID documents and insurance policies.

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HONOR West

After closing four network purchases in the Midwest and Southwestern regions yesterday HONOR announced formation of a new subsidiary, HONOR Technologies West. Yesterday’s acquisition closing of BankMate, will add 850 member institutions and five million cardholder. HONOR will now process about 90 million transactions per month. HONOR West will use the green HONOR emblem.

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Online Mortgages Get Boost

Intuit Launches QuickenMortgage On The Internet

Intuit Inc. announced today it has launched QuickenMortgage (at ), a web service offering consumers one-stop shopping for great mortgages from a set of the nation’s leading lenders.

“By comparison shopping online, consumers can save time and money and make a more informed mortgage decision,” said Bill Harris, Intuit executive vice president. “At Intuit, we strive to make financial decisions easier, by providing objective information and interactive tools on all aspects of household and family finances. In this case, we have created a new channel for mortgage lenders to communicate directly with their customers and prospects.”

QuickenMortgage’s unique Pre-qualification Interview helps consumers make apples-to-apples comparisons of different mortgage loan products, customized to their particular property and financial situation. Potential home buyers and customers seeking to refinance can pre-qualify in minutes with one of the six charter lenders, and even start the mortgage application process online.

Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, Countrywide Home Loans, HomeSide Lending, North American Mortgage Company, PNC Mortgage, and Principal Residential Mortgage, six of the nation’s top 25 lenders, are offering loans electronically via QuickenMortgage. These lenders, and others to be added in the future, will offer a wide range of products, including conventional and jumbo loans with fixed or adjustable rates, or balloon payment loans, directly to customers visiting the QuickenMortgage site. Also available are Veteran’s Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.

For consumers who are not yet ready to get a loan, QuickenMortgage offers three interactive tools:

* “How Much House Can You Afford?” calculates the loan amount a consumer can afford and how to afford an even bigger loan.

* “Should You Refinance Today?” assesses a homeowner’s current mortgage and suggests whether refinancing makes sense, based on the current lending rates.

* “What Are Today’s Rates?” displays the current average rates available for different types of loans in each state.

Consumers can also use QuickenMortgage to get real estate and mortgage news from independent services such as Inman News and Mortgage Market Information Services. Expert advice is also available as well as a comprehensive directory of web resources featuring the best home and mortgage web sites.

QuickenMortgage is free to all users and can be accessed from the Internet at or directly from their Quicken 98 software. QuickenMortgage is also available through Excite’s Business & Investing Channel and Intuit’s Quicken.com.

Harris said that in the future QuickenMortgage will provide consumers the ability to complete a full application online, lock in rates, obtain a credit report, and use “best-fit” analysis tools that will allow visitors to calculate the impact of various mortgage options on their current financial situation.

“Chase is excited to be a Charter Lender for Intuit’s QuickenMortgage,” said Gregg Gorman, executive vice president of Chase Manhattan Mortgage. “Blending Chase’s strength in the mortgage industry with Intuit’s experience in software development will create a powerful combination that can benefit all of our mutual customers.”

“Intuit’s approach is consistent with Countrywide’s consumer direct strategy to provide easy direct access to home loan products,” said Stan Kurland, president of Countrywide Home Loans. “We feel Intuit’s expertise in personal financial software combined with Countrywide’s mortgage processing efficiency creates a great opportunity to serve the home loan needs of more consumers.”

“HomeSide Lending and Intuit are both proven leaders in the financial marketplace,” said Mark Johnson, Homeside’s executive vice president of Production. “Working together on QuickenMortgage, we believe we will provide new and exciting alternatives for consumers seeking to fulfill their dreams of homeownership.”

“The timing of North American Mortgage Company’s alliance with Intuit will allow us to showcase our expanded line of mortgage products, which was brought about by the recent merger of Dime Savings Bank and North American Mortgage,” explained Fred Koons, chairman and chief executive officer of North American Mortgage Company — now the eighth-largest residential lender. “QuickenMortgage will provide consumers with a convenient, cost-effective means to obtain one of our many mortgage products for the purchase or refinance of a home,” added Koons.

“Participation on Quicken Mortgage is a natural next step for PNC Mortgage,” said Rick Lovett, executive vice president of PNC Mortgage. “PNC Mortgage has extensive experience offering mortgages to customers anywhere in the United States through innovative and convenient channels that converge at its national telemarketing center. The Intuit QuickenMortgage web site is very customer friendly and we are pleased to be a charter participant.”

“Intuit is at the forefront of consumer direct software and marketing,” said Paul Bognanno, president and CEO of Principal Residential Mortgage, Inc. “Combining their skills with Principal Residential’s mortgage expertise will give online consumers a real edge when it comes to mortgage transactions. We expect the consumer to benefit tremendously from this powerful combination.”

“Enabling consumers is our top priority at Inman News Features,” said Kris Inman, executive vice president, Inman News Features. “Intuit is completely devoted to that mission.”

“We are looking forward to providing our information to Quicken’s Internet visitors to ease many of their concerns surrounding the complexity of mortgage loans,” said Jim De Both, president of Mortgage Market Information Services. “We take pride in our role as an advocate for consumer mortgage information. QuickenMortgage users will be able to use this information to make a more educated home financing decision.”

Intuit Inc., a financial software and Web-based services company, develops and markets Quicken, the leading personal finance software; TurboTax, the best-selling tax preparation software; and QuickBooks, the most popular small- business accounting software. Intuit’s Quicken.com Web site () offers a complete set of personal finance news, information and tools, including the leading mutual fund and insurance sites. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses.

Countrywide and Intuit Team Up to Provide On-Line Mortgages

Today, Countrywide Home Loans, the nation’s largest independent mortgage lender, and Intuit, Inc., a financial software and Web-based services company, began a new channel of originations for the home loan industry. Consumers now have on-line access to mortgage information, rates and applications through Intuit’s QuickenMortgage(TM) Web site, in which Countrywide is a charter lender. The Web site is available via the Quicken Financial Network, , or directly through Quicken 98 software.

With the mortgage information provided by Countrywide, and the easy-to-use interactive tools, consumers are able to electronically obtain mortgage advice, current rates, pre-qualify for loans and apply for loans on-line. A full range of mortgage products are available, including fixed-rate and adjustable, conventional, government and jumbo loans. Low downpayment programs with more flexible guidelines are also offered.

“This is a bold new step that provides the consumer with direct access to home loan products,” said Cameron King, executive vice president of Countrywide’s Electronic Commerce Division. “Countrywide and Intuit are two companies that have pioneered a creative and efficient new channel so more consumers can obtain the benefits of home ownership, economically. The future of the Countrywide/Intuit relationship will make applying and obtaining home loans as easy as home banking on a personal computer. Both companies believe the future will incorporate all aspects of home financing, including quick approvals and the automation of the closing process.”

Intuit’s Quicken Financial Network offers a complete set of personal finance news, information and tools, including the leading mutual fund and insurance sites. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses.

Founded in 1969, Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., produces, purchases, sells and services loans for single-family homes. The company is headquartered in Calabasas, California, and has more than 400 locations across the country.

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CCS Strikes

OR-based Card Capture Services was selected from a pool of fifteen ATM providers to provide more than 300 ATMs for AMF Bowling Centers nationally. The installation of the ‘CCSExpress ATMs’ is expected to be completed by the end of this year. After the AMF installation, CCS’ ATM portfolio will include 3,200 units. Meanwhile Card Capture was named the 12th fastest growing private company in the Portland metro area due to its 414% revenue growth between 1994 and 1996.

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Phone Fraud Control

Teltrust, one of the nation’s leading providers of wholesale telecommunications services, has announced that live fraud control is now available to eliminate the fraudulent use of complimentary call completion and excessive refunds on its STATUS payphone refund and repair service.

The addition of live fraud control makes STATUS the most flexible and cost effective refund and repair service in the industry. When payphone owners combine live fraud control with complimentary call completion, they offer their users the highest level of customer satisfaction and simultaneously eliminate refund checks.

“While payphone owners expressed their desire to improve overall customer satisfaction, it was also clear that they needed a way to reduce the costs associated with providing refund and repair services,” said Micky Smith, director, Caller Support Services at Teltrust. “Since the use of complimentary call completion has conclusively shown to increase caller satisfaction, it was important to develop the comprehensive fraud controls which would provide phone owners with total confidence in a call completion method which could not be abused.”

In addition to live and passive fraud controls, Teltrust’s STATUS service features:

* Complimentary call completion in lieu of refund (3-5 minutes)

* Prepaid calling card refund in lieu of currency refunds

* Site-specific payphone profiling

* 24-hour electronic access to detailed service ticket information

Founded in 1986, Teltrust is one of the nation’s leading providers of wholesale telecommunications services and a leading outsource service bureau for diversified voice, data and live agent services, including national directory assistance services, call placement services, payphone refund and repair services, prepaid and proprietary calling card services, third party verification services and network transmission services. Teltrust employs over 1,000 people at its network-based call processing centers and administrative offices and operates state-of-the-art telephony switches located throughout the United States.

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NYCE Going

The NYCE Network set an all-time one-week debit POS volume record last week. During the seven days between Oct 27 and Nov 2, more than two million on-line POS transactions were conducted through NYCE. For the same week last year the network logged 1.5 million transactions. NYCE attributes some of the surge to its current ‘Buy You Stuff’ advertising campaign promoting POS services.

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NDC MD Expansion

National Data Corporation (NDC) announced today that it has expanded a marketing agreement with the Maryland Retailers Association to provide its check guarantee service to more than 1,000 member retailers throughout the state of Maryland.

NDC currently serves as the association’s preferred provider for credit card processing services.

“We are pleased about this additional opportunity to expand our relationship with a large number of successful retailers,” said Tom Dunn, NDC’s general manager of Integrated Payment Systems. “We look forward to providing our end-to-end capabilities to this growing membership base.”

The Maryland Retailers Association is a non-profit trade organization of independent and national chain retailers who sell a variety of general merchandise. The association is dedicated to providing information, education and support services to Maryland retailers.

National Data Corporation is a leading provider of information services for the payment systems and health care markets.

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Diebold Reloader

Diebold’s ‘iq EPIC’ smart card reload device has been registered for use in ‘VISA Cash’ projects in the U.S. There are currently 25 ‘iq EPIC’ terminals installed in NYC’s Upper West Side for participants of the recently launched NYC smart card pilot. Meanwhile PNC Bank announced yesterday it has purchased 200 of Diebold’s ‘1064i’ through-the-wall ATMs for installation in Turkey Hill Minit Markets throughout Pennsylvania.

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Purchasing Card Standards

Dun & Bradstreet announced Tuesday that American Express, MasterCard and VISA have endorsed D&B’s ‘Standard Product and Service Codes’ classification for commercial cards. The ‘SPSC’ is a non-proprietary, hierarchical numbering system, managed by D&B, that allows identification for either a broad product group or a specific classification. The coding structure consists of approximately 6,000 listings. The code consists of 10 digits and includes five levels of classification. The AZ-based Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies said the acceptance of ‘SPSC’ will significantly reduce the internal cost to companies maintaining a proprietary commodity code system.

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Imperial Bank – Visteon Team

Visteon Corporation, a developer of distributed, client-server software applications for enterprise-scale ambulatory physician organizations, today announced that additional products and services will be available for its customers through an alliance with Imperial Technology Solutions (ITS), a division of Los Angeles-based Imperial Bank.

Visteon(R) and ITS will jointly provide an Internet eligibility system which allows Visteon’s customers to access eligibility systems from more than 40 major commercial payers including Prudential, Cigna, Aetna, and many Medicare and Medicaid carriers. All transactions are secured by a 128-bit encryption technology that is supported by major browsers, such as Netscape’s Navigator and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Eligibility requests are entered on-line or in a batch mode. A response from an on-line transaction is typically received in 10-30 seconds.

Visteon will also offer ITS Receivables Payment Manager (RPM) credit/debit card system, the healthcare industry’s first Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 95 Integrated payment card server. This system makes it easier for physician practices to collect co-pay and patient-responsible balances at the point of service. Rather than the traditional method of attaching a credit card receipt to a patient encounter form which takes three to four days to process, the RPM system integrates with patient records and accounts receivable systems, completing the transaction in a matter of seconds. This method improves both the process and the speed with which the funds are received.

“Our relationship with ITS will allow Visteon to assist our customers in achieving significant workflow enhancement as well as documented financial benefit through use of these tools,” said John Cooper, vice president of marketing and corporate development for Visteon. “With the Internet application, all of the payors’ proprietary systems become accessible through a single, simple user interface. That translates to improved workflow for our customers.

“The credit/debit card system will help our customers drastically cut their accounts receivable. And with our enterprise-scale customers, this can mean a significant contribution to their bottom line,” Cooper added.

Imperial Technology Solutions, until recently known as Imperial Bank’s Health Care Technology Group, is the only division of a major bank in the country with a team of healthcare, technology and marketing specialists solely dedicated to providing financial technology solutions to the healthcare industry.

“Visteon is an ideal partner for us,” said Debra K. Hubers, president of ITS. “Their customers already know that applications built using great technology solutions can deliver incredible efficiencies and improvements in workflow.” Hubers added, “Our products and services fit that mold perfectly.”

With more than $4.5 billion in assets, Imperial Bank is one of the leading independent business banks in the country, offering a wide range of financial services tailored to corporate customers, entrepreneurs and professionals. Imperial Bank is the principal subsidiary of Imperial Bancorp (NYSE: IMP).

Visteon is the healthcare industry’s first developer to design and engineer an integrated suite of applications exclusively utilizing Microsoft(R) technologies, including Windows(R) 95, Windows NT(R), and SQL Server(R). With this Microsoft BackOffice(R) certification, Visteon’s system gives users more flexibility and expandability. Visteon’s applications integrate clinical, financial, managed care and administrative information resulting in improved, redesigned workflow. The systems are built using a distributed, client server architecture, resulting in a more robust, comprehensive system that aligns with the distributed business model of today’s more progressive physician organizations.

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New Checkmate Software

Checkmate Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq-NMS Symbol: CMEL) today announced the first of its promised family of leading edge software solutions for retail.

Following on from Checkmate’s announcement of their new GEN4(TM) terminal architecture, the Company’s move into software solutions for the point-of-sale (POS) will add a range of higher margin products with recurring revenues from software maintenance, enhancements and upgrades. This complements Checkmate’s already successful portfolio of POS terminals. This new base application for Checkmate’s combination card and check reader, the CM 2010, will support resellers targeting the small to mid-sized retail market segments (2.5 million points of sale growing at 5% per annum), and is expected to drive increased sales of Checkmate’s already successful small footprint CM 2010 platform for medium and small retailers. Since the piloting of this software with some of Checkmate’s strategic reseller partners, Checkmate’s sales of the CM 2010 increased almost tenfold in the third quarter of 1997.

The new software will allow transaction processors to quickly develop modular and flexible versions of their own applications on this platform. Mid-sized resellers, comprised of ISOs (Independent Sales Organizations), VARs and some merchant banks will be able to add check, debit and even electronic benefits transaction options to their already successful credit card base.

Checkmate reported that their new ‘mom-‘n-popware’ has already been Class B certified with the following magnetic card-based transaction processors: Global Atlanta (NDC), Global St. Louis (MAPP), Vital (VisaNET), NPC, and AMEX. For check processing the application is certified with: ArJay Data Corporation, Checkcare, Equifax, Insta-Check, NDC Check, NPC Check, Rocky Mountain Retail, Secure Payment Systems and TeleCheck.

Gregory A. Lewis, Checkmate’s president and chief operating officer, with his executive background in NDC and Buypass, understands the importance of POS terminal software which allows processors to add their own layers of customization with minimum cost and effort. Lewis, who was also one of the originators of VeriFone, says: “Credit processors, check processors, ISO’s and merchant bank application programmers will find this modular software easy to use. It’s the most economic and efficient way to enhance their own applications and grow their customer base. Programmed in ANSI C, the application provides remote download support and flexible memory allocation for increased transaction storage, making it a winner for customization with versatile functions and a variety of reporting options. The terminal-level selection and set-up for credit, debit, EBT and check processors, combined with the CM 2010’s split-dial capability for accessing different processors off the same terminal, will help ISOs implement solution combinations to meet their customer’s preferences. The screen addressable keys and unique, color coded function keys provide excellent flexibility for customized applications and ease of use for the merchant. Checkmate’s CM 2010 hardware and software even supports competitor peripheral products such as VeriFone printers and PINpads, IVI PINpads, and Datacard Silent Partner printers. The terminal and software is completely ‘Year 2000’ compliant.”

Checkmate believes that the benefits for the small merchant include being able to compete with surrounding large merchants whose expensive integrated point-of-sale payment systems offer all the payment options. Small retailers will be able to process all transaction types, even Smart Card, on a dial-out basis. Merchants can select separately from those card processors and check processors who offer the best services, management reports and best rates.

Checkmate Electronics, Inc., supplies innovative electronic payment solutions for distributors, retailers, and financial service institutions. Checkmate’s products include point-of-sale software and terminals, comprising check readers, MICR analyzers, payment authorization and point-of-transaction promotion/loyalty systems, signature capture devices and electronic transaction processing equipment, all packaged in integrated and cost justified solutions. As a full service provider, Checkmate also offers professional services including application development, consulting, project management, installation services and TotalCARE support and maintenance. Headquartered in Roswell, Ga., Checkmate Electronics, Inc. has over 185 employees.

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