DataCard’s New Corp Dev VP

DataCard Corporation announced today that Michael J. Schnaus has accepted the position of Vice President of Corporate Development. Schnaus joins DataCard after six years with Alliant Techsystems, where he most recently served as Director of Business Development.

“Mike brings 20 years of experience and success in mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance,” said Glenn Highland, DataCard’s president and CEO. “His knowledge and abilities will help us make good strategic and profitable decisions as we continue to grow the company.”

While at Alliant Techsystems, Schnaus was responsible for all aspects of the company’s mergers, acquisitions and divestiture activities—including acquisition candidate searches, strategic assessments, financial analysis, negotiations, due diligence and integration activities.

Before joining Alliant Techsystems, Schnaus served in a number of business development, investment banking and finance positions for Talley Industries, Republic Corporation, the Ryder, Stillwell consulting firm and Deloitte, Haskins and Sells.

Schnaus also serves on the board of directors for Doolittles Restaurants and the Notre Dame Club of Minnesota. He earned an M.B.A. from UCLA and a B.A. in accounting from Notre Dame.

DataCard Corporation, a privately held company based in Minneapolis, Minn., is a world leader in innovative plastic card solutions. The company offers a spectrum of card-related products and services, including digital photo ID systems, badging services, card personalization systems, systems integration services and transaction terminals.


Ask The Credit Expert

The National Foundation for Consumer Credit and USA Today will team up this week to hold a national 12-hour telephone call-in to help consumers with credit problems.. The “Ask-the-Expert” event is being held in conjunction with the NFCC annual conference underway this morning in Atlanta. More than 100 member counselor volunteers will field calls pertaining to credit and debt, this Wednesday from 9am-9pm. USA Today will promote the event and feature special articles reviewing the growth of consumer debt and offering assorted credit tips.


Magic Line Hits Aug Record

Magic Line, Inc., the Midwest’s largest regional electronic funds transfer (EFT) network, announces a record breaking 15.1 million transactions for the month of August, 1997, a 40% increase over August, 1996. The figure is for all Magic Line transactions including ATM, Point-of-Sale (POS), national Gateway volume, off-line debit with MasterMoney and Visa Check cards, remote banking and smart card transactions in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri and seven other states.

“Magic Line’s August record is directly attributable to our growth in technical excellence and the resulting products and services we offer, as well as the growing number of financial institutions across the Midwest choosing us as their EFT network,” said John G. Bascom, president and chief executive officer, Magic Line.

As one of the top regional EFT networks linked throughout the United States and globally, Magic Line supports 14.9 million cardholders with access to over 131,000 ATM, POS and home banking terminals. The company offers: full-service ATM placement and management; ATM terminal driving with customized options; cardbase management and authorization services; on-line POS debit services with ML Pay, Maestro and Interlink; off-line POS debit services with MasterMoney and Visa Check Card; remote banking/bill payment services; the Magic Line Mobile ATM; Internet Web Site development; marketing services; and the Magic Line PrePaid Calling Card. Magic Line’s Internet Web Site address is .


US Wireless – Unicard Deal

U.S. Wireless Data Inc. announced today it has signed a multifaceted agreement with Unicard Systems Inc. (“Unicard”) for a card processing program.

Under the terms of the agreement, U.S. Wireless Data (“USWD”) will develop and provide a high speed card processing solution which will include both hardware and software components. USWD will provide its TRANZ(TM) Enabler units as well as newly developed proprietary software to convert Unicard’s existing Verifone dial-up card processing terminals into high speed wireless terminals that operate over CDPD networks.

USWD will develop additional terminal application software that will perform both the Unicard enrollment process as well as deliver wireless credit card transactions processing in 3 to 5 seconds. Unicard Systems will become a registered agent of USWD and has placed an initial order for 400 USWD TRANZ Enabler units. USWD will receive recurring revenues from all TRANZ Enabler units placed by Unicard.

Unicard Systems, based in Dallas, is a service provider to over 500 restaurants and nightclubs in Texas. Approximately 50% of Texas is “dry” for the sale of alcoholic beverages under an open saloon type permit and restaurants must have a private club permit to provide beverage service to its patrons which requires membership accounting. Unicard provides for a single identification card that allows a person to quickly be enrolled into any restaurant. The Unicard enrollment process involves communication between a Verifone credit card terminal at the restaurant and an authorization host at the Unicard offices. Card authorization using traditional dial-up systems take up to 20 seconds, whereas the U.S. Wireless Data TRANZ Enabler technology will reduce authorization time to under 3 seconds.

USWD’s proprietary enabling technology, TRANZ 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, vs. 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 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. USWD delivers the fastest and most cost-effective transaction processing solution to retail merchants in the United States today – wired or wireless. USWD will generate recurring revenue from every transaction processed by merchants who utilize the company’s 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 and its own sales force.


Another Online Gambling Firm Organized

Betting Inc., a publicly traded Missouri Corporation, and Blankenship Ventures, a California Limited Liability Company, announce the creation of Global Wagering Gate, a California Joint Venture.

The purpose of this joint venture is to develop home and office point of sale pay per play wagering systems in the United Kingdom and Malaysia.

The wagering systems will feature the utilization of Betting Inc.’s “Gamer” an ATM card with PIN or smart card device developed and exclusively controlled by Betting Inc. which will send non reversible pay per play same day cash to the gaming operator using regular dial up phone lines.

Betting Inc.’s “Gamer” will interact with the Gate which will be directly connected into the banking host system. One of the additional purposes of the joint venture is to promote the ability to place wagering transactions on a country to country basis and develop legal markets within the United States.

Global Wagering Gate is being initially capitalized in the amount of two million eight hundred thousand dollars ($2,800,000) in capital and lines of credit.


Don’t Annoy Me

A New Jersey telemarketer announced this morning the launch of a new telemarketing prevention service. ‘Don’t Annoy Me, Inc.’ will add and maintain a consumer’s name on the notification list of thousands of telemarketers for an initial membership fee of $19.95 and $9.95 for each annual renewal. DAM says it can also provide customers with documentation for legal recourse if a telemarketing abuse occurs.


Another Troubled Marriage

The ‘BJ’s Wholesale Club MasterCard’ has joined the ranks of co-branded bank credit cards teetering on divorce. The card issuer, Beneficial National Bank, has decided not to renew some convenience-use cardholders. BNB has been negotiating with BJ’s to make certain adjustments in account terms to return the program to profitability for BNB.. However as negotiations broke down BNB filed suit Sept 19 in Delaware to end the relationship. BJ’s responded last week by filing suit in Massachusetts, alleging breach of contract. In its suit BJ’s alleges BNB will terminate 12,000 expiring accounts this month with plans to not renew upwards of 30,000 additional accounts. The co-branded program was launched two years just prior to major, fundamental changes in the credit card business including a steep rise in bad debt and escalating convenience use.. The BJ’s MasterCard offers a 2% rebate on BJ purchases and a 1% on all other purchases with no cap. The program has about 260,000 cardholders or about 6.5% of BJ’s total membership. BNB also issues the PriceCostco and Kmart private label cards.



International Data Response Corporation (IDRC) is pleased to announce the appointment of David Parkes to the position of President and CEO of IDRC International, and President and CEO of S&P Data Corp.

In this position, Mr. Parkes will be responsible for all aspects of S&P Data Corp. in Canada, as well as for the future development of IDRC business outside Canada and the United States. Mr. Parkes replaces Dan Plashkes, S&P Data’s founder and current CEO. Mr. Plashkes, who is a Director of IDRC, has relocated to the United States to focus on the development of IDRC’s business in the U.S. market. “David brings to IDRC outstanding leadership and a track record of building highly successful customer-focused businesses” said Jeff Stiefler, IDRC’s Chairman and CEO. “We could not be more pleased that he has agreed to join IDRC. David’s arrival also allows us to fill our very long standing goal of having Dan Plashkes focus on building IDRC’s businesses in the U.S., following his success in building S&P to its position of industry leadership in Canada.”

Mr. Parkes has substantial senior executive experience in the Canadian telecommunication, retail and food service industries. Most recently, he was President and CEO of a Canadian competitive long distance carrier, previously holding senior marketing, sales and customer care positions with a Canadian wireless communications carrier. Mr. Parkes is a B.Sc and M.B.A graduate of York University in Toronto, and serves as a director of Canadian Special Olympics.

S&P Data Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of IDRC, providing superior inbound and outbound teleservices to companies throughout Canada. IDRC is one of North America’s largest teleservices firms, operating over 30 call centres and employing over 7,000 people in Canada and the United States.


New Credit Reporting Laws

The ‘Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 will go into effect this week. The FTC will hold a briefing this morning to explain the new rules. The law takes aim at inaccurate consumer information by requiring credit bureaus to respond within 30 days to consumer complaints and by giving consumers the right to sue both the credit reporting firm and the credit provider over false information. The law also aims at eliminating obsolete information by defining the seven-year reporting rule on bad debts. Under the new law employers will now have to get written permission from current and prospective employees before obtaining their files. A broader discussion of the new law, prepared by noted consumer advocate Gerri Detweiler, is available exclusively via CardTrak Online ().


Schlumberger’s New Products

Schlumberger Electronic Transactions introduced new smart card products this week designed to support the Microsoft Smart Card Software Development Kit (SDK). The demonstration of smart cards in a Windows environment and the applications with Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, met with favorable response from Microsoft(R) Professional Developers Conference- goers.

The products, which include cards, readers, PC software and developer’s kits, enable ISVs and VARs to implement smart-card-based applications for Windows(R) with the most advanced smart card technology available today… These products support industry-standard interfaces providing opportunities to leverage new applications across a large platform base.

The new products introduced include:

— SmartWare(TM), a comprehensive smart card developers’ kit to build PC- based smart card applications using one of Schlumberger’s industry-leading smart cards, such as Cryptoflex(TM), Cyberflex(TM), Multiflex and Payflex.

— SafePaK(TM), a client PC package for information security supporting Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, based on the Cryptoflex smart card and a family of different smart card readers to fit any need.

“We are excited that Schlumberger is delivering smart card products for Microsoft Windows,” said Ed Muth, Group Product Manger for Security and Enterprise marketing at Microsoft. “This will enable our mutual customers to take advantage of smart cards to design and build unique new applications for a wide range of market segments.”

“Smart cards are the most personal, portable computing device, and these are the attributes that make them so exciting for application developers around the world,” said Jacques Cosnefroy, vice president and general manager of Schlumberger Smart Cards division. “The products that we are introducing show the power of smart card technology to bring the best security and privacy to browsers and other PC applications With them, developers in all different markets can catch the next wave in computing.”

SafePaK is an information security application product, supporting Internet Explorer 4.0(R) and Outlook Express(R). With SafePaK, individuals and corporations can improve the security of their network communications and assure the integrity of data and messages. SafePaK comprises Cryptoflex, the industry’s leading cryptographic smart card with strong 1024-bit RSA security, one several optional smart card readers and PC software.

SafePaK has been demonstrated during the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference. Cryptoflex cards have been issued to individuals, which are used to download X.509 certificates, and then used to demonstrate secure web site access and sending signed and encrypted e-mail, all with Internet Explorer 4.0 and Outlook Express.

With SmartWare, an application developer can take advantage of standardized APIs working in the Windows 95 and Windows NT environments to build PC applications of all types. Smart cards are ideal for applications personalized to individuals, such as home banking, health care, insurance, and personal identification. The built-in hardware security of a smart card makes it the logical choice for secure, controlled access to sensitive databases, protecting the privacy of such information.

Each of these products is built on the PC/SC Workgroup specifications, developed by the leaders in smart cards and PC hardware and software. The specifications provide a uniform API for smart card readers and smart cards themselves when used with personal computers.

Schlumberger’s complete line of PC/SC compliant smart cards are designed to offer features and performance for virtually any application:

— Cryptoflex(TM), the only smart card supporting 1024-bit RSA functions;

— Cyberflex(TM), the Card for Java(TM), adhering to the Java Card API;

— Multiflex, a general purpose card ideally suited for ID applications; and

— Payflex, the most cost-effective choice for secure financial applications.

A variety of PC/SC compliant smart card readers have also been announced including:

— Reflex 20 PCMCIA-slot reader for laptops;

— Reflex 60 serial port readers;

— Reflex 60 Chip Set for hardware integration into PCs and other devices;

— Pocket Dock(TM) serial port reader with secure keypad entry and display; and

— Floppy Dock(TM) smart card reader designed to use the floppy disk drive.

About Schlumberger

The Schlumberger Electronic Transactions division of Schlumberger, Ltd., supplies cards, terminals, and management systems across the entire range of magnetic and chip card applications around the world. The company offers its customers The Smart Village(R), a flexible portfolio of smart card-based solutions for businesses and communities of all sizes, including the telecom, banking, retail, network security, mass transit & parking, and health care sectors.

Schlumberger is a pioneer and is the leader in smart card technology, recently introducing Cyberflex, the first-ever smart card to use the Java Card API, and Cryptoflex, the first smart card to support strong public-key cryptography. For more information, contact the Schlumberger web site at:

Windows 95, Windows NT, Internet Explorer, and Outlook Express are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp. Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.; Cryptoflex, Cyberflex, SafePaK, SmartWare, Pocket Dock and Floppy Dock are trademarks of Schlumberger


IBM Brasil SET Pilot

IBM and Banco do Brasil today announced the launch of South America’s first secure electronic commerce initiative over the Internet using the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) protocol. This makes IBM the first vendor to enable the use of SET on five continents. IBM has helped customers launch more than 30 SET pilots in a dozen countries — more than any other company in the industry.

Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s largest retail bank, is beginning a pilot of SET electronic debit card transactions for a select group of customers, and plans to offer SET credit card transactions in the near future. Banco do Brazil completed the first SET debit transaction in South America at the Brazilian Government Bank on August 21 when a customer purchased an IBM computer over the Internet.

SET is an industry standard for secure electronic commerce that encrypts transactions over open networks.

In addition to the SET pilot in South America, IBM has launched pilots with:

— Chase Manhattan, MasterCard and First Data Corp. to offer the first SET transactions in North America to employees and customers of Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the US;

— Amalgamated Banks of South Africa Limited (ABSA), the largest banking group on that continent; which began with a SET pilot with MasterCard and Persetel, a local information technology supplier;

— PBS Denmark, which in April completed the world’s first multinational SET credit card transaction by purchasing a ticket from Norway’s largest Airline, Braathens SAFE, using a Eurocard MasterCard;

— Citibank Asia Pacific, which began a SET pilot in Singapore and Taiwan following the first SET transaction in Singapore on April 29. The Citibank pilot is expected to reach 500,000 Citibank customers.

“Global adoption of SET is true evidence that businesses around the world are becoming confident in the safety and security of online commerce,” said Mark Greene, vice president of electronic payments and certification, IBM… “IBM is well equipped to help our customers conduct e-business with SET.”

Banco do Brasil is also re-writing its banking applications using Java and is linking these Internet technologies to its legacy systems to create a full network computing solution.

Banco do Brasil is using a full suite of products from IBM*,s CommercePOINT family, including:

— IBM Net.Commerce(a) Merchant Server to link its databases and legacy systems to the Web;

— IBM CommercePOINT Wallet(a) to manage the purchase of goods using Banco do Brasil debit cards;

— IBM CommercePOINT Gateway(a) to route transactions through the Banco do Brasil processing systems;

— IBM Registry for SET(a) to certify the identity of parties involved in online transactions with this digital certification authority.

“It is extremely important that our customers are ready to compete in an electronic economy,” said Hugo Dantas, director of retail, services, technology and infrastructure at Banco do Brasil. “By enabling our customers to conduct online transactions using SET, we are taking a leadership role for businesses in this part of the world.”

About SET

In February 1996, Visa and Mastercard joined with other financial services industry participants to create a technical standard for safeguarding payment-card purchases made over open networks such as the Internet. IBM was instrumental in the development of the joint SET specification that enables the secure use of credit and debit cards on the Internet.

The comprehensive SET specification is based on advanced encryption technology, including digital signatures that electronically confirm the identity of each party involved in an electronic transaction.

About IBM

As the industry’s leading provider of electronic business solutions, IBM was the first company to bring to market in 1996 a comprehensive suite of secure end-to-end electronic commerce solutions, the CommercePOINT family of products and services. In April 1997, IBM announced the first merchant server in the industry to use the SET protocol, Net.Commerce. IBM creates, develops and manufactures advanced information technology products, including computer systems and services, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. More information about IBM*,s many Internet technologies, products and services is available on the Web at .

About Banco do Brasil

Established in 1808, Banco do Brasil was the first Brazilian bank to operate in domestic and international markets. Its excellent grasp of the markets has enabled Banco do Brasil to operate abroad for more than five decades. Beyond its large branch network of more than 4,500 locations in more than 30 countries, Banco do Brasil widens its scope of action by using correspondent banking services with nearly 1,000 top banks located in 145 countries. The extended scope of action is enlarged by Banco do Brasil’s private communication network called BBNET, with which the bank promotes foreign trade transactions among clients in different countries. For more information on Banco do Brasil visit their Web site at . (a) Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business



EDS, a leader in the global information services industry, has been named the overall winner in the 1997 REACH Awards, a competition sponsored by MasterCard’s U.S. Corporate Products Group and CFO Publishing Corporation. EDS was named the overall winner among 18 other finalist organizations and seven category winners whose programs detailed how reengineering has become an integral component of their cost cutting and operating strategies.

“We’re honored to have been chosen this year’s REACH Awards winner from among such an established group of corporations,” said Paulett Eberhart, Corporate Controller of EDS. “We commend MasterCard and CFO for continuing to educate corporate America about reengineering and the ways in which it makes companies operate smarter and more efficiently.”

In addition to the overall award, EDS was honored for its exceptional customer processing program which reduced costs and cycle time and resulted in the consolidation of collection centers, as well as for its employee processing program, which features very sophisticated employee information access and self service. The 1997 REACH Awards also honored the following companies: Pepsi-Cola Co. for vendor processing, Case Corp. for internal audit operations, and Dell Computer for treasury operations. Moreover, the accounting processing and tax operations categories, underwritten by Andersen Consulting, recognized Case Corp. and TNT Express Worldwide, respectively.

“In the last decade, we’ve watched reengineering evolve from an 1980’s management trend to an established part of the organization,” says Steve Abrams, MasterCard Senior Vice President, U.S. Corporate Products Group. “At MasterCard we now look at reengineering as an essential part of business operations — companies need to be able to find new ways to operate more efficiently. We believe that our sponsorship of the REACH Awards is one way that MasterCard can continue to educate the market about the tools and strategies that will enable companies to do this successfully.”

MasterCard’s sponsorship of the REACH Awards reflects its continuous commitment to corporate innovation and excellence. MasterCard pioneers innovative corporate products used in financial reengineering and, based on its experience, believes companies of all sizes can successfully use reengineering to streamline costs and improve efficiencies. For instance, Owens Corning, winner of the 1996 REACH Award in the control and compliance reengineering category, used the MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card and was able to dramatically transform its reporting and budgeting process. As a result of this improvement, the global manufacturer has made forecasting more timely, reporting more relevant and budgeting less burdensome.

“The REACH Awards are a highly competitive program with stringent judging criteria,” says Greg Hackett, president of the Hackett Group, a consulting firm that specializes in transforming staff functions. “We have been extremely impressed with the quality and sophistication of the entries and believe that the increasing number of participants in the REACH Awards program is a reflection of how reengineering has manifested itself in today’s successful organizations.”

The REACH Awards recognize companies with leading reengineering programs which have successfully reduced costs, improved productivity and facilitated strategic goals within organizations. The awards were created as a vehicle for promoting understanding of the continuing improvement in finance operations and their impact on the overall operations of companies today. Since the inception of the award competition in 1995, the number of entries has more than doubled with submissions from world-renowned companies including Pepsi-Cola Co., Sun Microsystems, Honeywell, Dell Computer and Amoco. Prior years’ overall winners include Owens Corning in 1995 and IBM Corp in 1996.

MasterCard has continually led the market in designing corporate payment programs, beginning with the launch of the first bankcard for small businesses through the development of programs for travel and entertainment, business-to-business purchasing and commercial fleet management. More than one million businesses in over 50 countries have come to rely on MasterCard Corporate programs, which include the MasterCard BusinessCard®, MasterCard Corporate Card, MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card, MasterCard Corporate Fleet Card and MasterCard Corporate Executive Card, as a better way to monitor, manage and control business expenditures.

MasterCard International, a payments company with one of the world’s most recognized brands, is dedicated to helping more than 23,000 financial institutions around the world offer consumers a viriety of payment options. MasterCard remains focused on helping shape the future of money by expanding acceptance of its global brands (MasterCard®, Maestro® Mondex(TM) and Cirrus®, the world’s largest ATM network) and maintaining reliable, secure networks facilitating global value exchange. MasterCard has 400 million credit and debit cards that are accepted at more than 14 million acceptance locations worldwide. In 1996, gross dollar volume generated exceeded $550 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at [][1]