Fleet Card Provider Expands

Ceridian Corporation (NYSE: CEN) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of International Automated Energy Systems, Inc. (IAES), a Naples, Fla., fleet management company providing services that enable businesses to pay for fuel for their commercial vehicles, and control and manage their ongoing fleet expenses. In February 1996, Ceridian purchased a 19.9 percent interest in IAES; now it owns 100 percent of the fleet management company. Terms were not disclosed.

IAES had been a member of the Barron Collier Companies, a family owned organization with interests in real estate and development, agriculture, and oil and gas exploration. Through an alliance with VISA, IAES provides the only fleet card operating in the market that has the national brand recognition and universal acceptance of a major purchasing card. Its revenue in 1996 totaled approximately $1.9 million.

Ceridian’s Comdata subsidiary is a leading provider of fueling services for the long-haul trucking market and its Comchek(R) card is the primary fuel card used at the 8,000 truck stops where most fuel for over-the-road trucking is sold. IAES’s VISA(R) Fleet card is a complementary product that enables light and medium-duty fleets that are primarily operating in local markets to provide authorized drivers with the convenience of obtaining fuel at over 190,000 convenience stores and service stations where retail VISA cards are accepted.

Like the Comchek card, the VISA Fleet card captures transaction data, including vehicle odometer readings and the driver’s Personal Identification Number (PIN), as well as the merchant name, location and transaction amount. The information is provided to the customer in a detailed monthly report, and controls may be placed on individual cards within each account to restrict transactions according to the wishes of each fleet customer.

“The local fueling market is a strategic and important extension of Comdata’s business,” said Tony Holcombe, president and chief executive officer of Comdata. “IAES’s VISA Fleet card is an excellent point of entry into a market which, measured in terms of fueling transactions, exceeds Comdata’s traditional long-haul base. IAES’s local fuel management product is the only active product in the market that has the combined benefits of broad merchant acceptance, cashier recognition and the ability to capitalize on a general purpose business card while fulfilling the control and data-gathering requirements for fuel purchases.”

“This is a very exciting time for IAES, since we feel that Comdata’s strong market position in the long-haul segment is the perfect complement to IAES’s focus on the local fueling market,” said C.J. Hueston, president of IAES. “Our goal has always been to focus on a single-source solution for the fleet market. To be the best provider, an organization must address all market needs, not develop one at the expense of the other. We believe our current and future customers will benefit from the addition of new products and services that this exciting relationship will bring,” she said.

Comdata [(http://www.comdata.com)][1] provides funds transfer, fuel purchase, cash advance, and permit services, as well as fuel optimization and routing software, for the trucking industry; point-of-sale and data collection services for the truck stop industry; cash advance, cash access, and database marketing services for the gaming industry; and long-distance telecommunications services for the transportation and gaming industries.

Comdata is part of Ceridian Corporation [(http://www.ceridian.com)][2], a leading information services and defense electronics company that serves the human resources, electronic media, transportation, gaming and government markets. Its information services segment includes Comdata; a group of human resources businesses, including Ceridian Employer Services, a leading payroll processor; and several marketing information businesses, including the Arbitron Company. Its defense business is Computing Devices International.

IAES Fact Sheet

Description IAES is a fleet management company that provides a
fleet management system to the local fueling market
for fuel and other vehicle-related purchases and

IAES administers this system through two products:
the VISA(R) Fleet card — an alliance with VISA — and
the proprietary IAES card. IAES has an established
distribution network of over 190,000 convenience
stores and service stations.

Customers IAES serves more than 4,000 local fleets across North
America, including corporate, commercial,
government and utility trucks and cars.

IAES has processing agreements with major oil
companies, including Amoco, Exxon, Shell, BP, Citgo,
and Marathon.

Revenue Approximately $1.9 million in 1996.

and Locations 48 employees work at the company’s headquarters
in Naples, Fla., and at a second location in Orlando.

Year of Origin IAES was founded in 1979.

Ceridian’s Businesses

Ceridian Corporation is an information services and defense electronics company that helps customers improve their productivity and competitive position.

Information Services for the Transportation and Gaming Industries

Comdata provides funds transfer, fuel purchase, cash advance and permit services, as well as fleet optimization and routing software, for the transportation industry, and funds transfer and other services for the gaming industry.

Information Services for the Human Resources Market

Ceridian Employer Services provides human resources management systems, outsourced payroll and tax filing services, self-service workflow solutions, and in-house payroll and benefits software.

Centre-file provides payroll and human resources products and services to customers in the UK.

MiniData provides payroll and related services to small businesses in the U.S.

Resumix provides advanced human skills management software and services that enable customers to electronically process resumes, build employee and applicant databases, and identify qualified candidates for hire, promotion and reassignment.

FLX Corporation is a leading developer of high-performance software for human resources, recruiting and benefits management.

Usertech helps companies implement new business systems by providing comprehensive user support programs; it also provides expert systems that enable employers to address employee and retiree questions about benefits, payroll, and human resources policies and programs.

Ceridian Performance Partners provides a broad array of work-life, employee assistance, wellness, training, and management services.

EAS Technologies provides advanced time, attendance and workforce management solutions.

Washington Consulting Services & Technologies is a provider of human resources software applications, consulting and seminar services, primarily to the government market.

Information Services for the Electronic Media Industry

Arbitron is a media information firm that provides ratings and other services to broadcasters, cable systems, advertisers and agencies.

Defense Electronics

Computing Devices International provides mission-critical electronics, software, systems integration and information management for defense, government agencies and commercial customers in selected markets.

[1]: http://www.comdata.com
[2]: http://www.ceridian.com


Bankruptcy Pain

Card issuers continue to be dogged by personal bankruptcies as the percentage of gross chargeoffs, according to the latest issue of Bankcard Barometer. This year, a record number, between 1.2 and 1.3 million personal bankruptcies, are expected to be filed. Bankruptcy reform has been a hot issue as Congress is expected to act on various proposals in October. This morning the Bankruptcy Issues Council is holding a special news conference at the National Press Bldg in Washington.

BANKRUPTCY (% Gross Charge-Offs)
Aug 96: 36.9% Dec 96: 41.1% Apr 97: 41.1%
Sep 96: 38.8% Jan 97: 40.9% May 97: 42.4%
Oct 96: 39.7% Feb 97: 40.9% Jun 97: 41.7%
Nov 96: 40.3% Mar 97: 40.8% Jul 97: 41.9%
Source: CardData and Bankcard Barometer


Cap One For Sale?

Rumors that Capital One is being pursued gained strength Thursday on Wall Street as its stock price jumped 3 3/4 to close at 40 1/8 on trading volume of more than two million shares. Cap One’s stock price has been on a roller coaster this week after soaring Tuesday, diving Wednesday and climbing again yesterday. NationsBank, First Union, Mellon and Chase have been cited as possible suitors with NationsBank surfacing as the most likely candidate. Informed sources in Richmond, VA confirmed Thursday that a due diligence effort is underway. At mid-year Cap One held $12.3 billion in receivables, 9.3 million accounts and year-to-date volume of $6 billion according to CardData. Last week Cap One announced it signed up its ten millionth cardholder.


Chase Buys Bell Atlantic VISA

A new Bell Atlantic credit card will be issued next year as a result of the agreement announced Thursday between Bell Atlantic and Chase Manhattan Bank. The announcement follows last week’s merger between Bell Atlantic and NYNEX. Chase, which already issues the NYNEX credit card, purchased the Bell Atlantic Visa portfolio from First Omni Bank. Chase will combine the two portfolios and issue a credit card bearing the new Bell Atlantic logo. The Bell Atlantic Visa was introduced in October 1995 and has grown to more than 500,000 customers and $355 million in receivables. R. K. Hammer served as transaction advisor to First Omni.


People’s TJX VISA

People’s Bank kicked-off a back-to-school promotion for its ‘TJX’ VISA card yesterday. Each time consumers use the TJX VISA Card at off-price retailers, T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, they will receive a reward equal to five percent of their purchases. The no-fee card carries a 6.9% six month intro rate and a 15.9% fixed long-term rate. T. J. Maxx currently operates more than 575 stores in 47 states. Marshalls has more than 450 stores spanning 37 states and Puerto Rico


Soloist Poised for Growth

That’s right, the Soloist is a technological breakthrough that allows merchants to accept your Credit Card anywhere, even in a tree. This Credit Card Terminal is the first handheld, battery powered terminal available today. The Soloist verifies the customers Credit Card using CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) the latest digital cellular provided by companies like Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, AT&T, and GTE Mobile.

The Soloist can perform a wireless transaction in as little as 3 seconds and it does it at a lower cost than traditional dial-up terminals. “We’re excited to be able to offer our point-of-sale customers a handheld unit for their wireless data credit card transactions,” said Bob Hunsberger, staff director of wireless data applications for Bell Atlantic.

This breakthrough technology will allow pizza delivery, taxis, bus services, cruise ships, home delivery companies and limousines the chance to accept credit cards and verify checks. “You can even accept credit cards right at the table in a restaurant,” said Charles Busch III, VP of Symphony Inc. You might not need to accept credit cards in a tree — but if you wanted to — now you can.


Proffitt’s Restructured Card Bond

Department store retailer Proffitt’s, Inc. (NYSE: PFT) today announced the completion of a restructuring of its private label credit card accounts receivable securitization.

Under the restructured arrangement, the recently formed Proffitt’s Credit Card Master Trust issued a total of $200 million in Series 1997-2 five-year asset backed securities supported by credit card receivables originated at the Company’s Proffitt’s, McRae’s, Herberger’s, and Parisian Divisions. The securities were issued in two classes: $180 million in AAA/Aaa rated Class A Certificates priced at 99.587% with a coupon of 6.50% and $20 million in A/A1 rated Class B Certificates priced at 99.642% with a coupon of 6.69%. The Class A Certificates were underwritten by NationsBanc Capital Markets, Inc., BancAmerica Securities, Inc., and J.P. Morgan & Co. The Class B Certificates were underwritten by NationsBanc Capital Markets, Inc. Proceeds of the Series 1997-2 Certificates were used to repay outstanding borrowings and to terminate the Company’s previous securitization arrangement with an asset-backed commercial paper conduit.

Concurrent with the issuance of the Series 1997-2 Certificates, Proffitt’s Credit Card Master Trust issued $125 million in Series 1997-1 Variable Funding Certificates. The Variable Funding Certificates will provide the Master Trust with borrowing capacity based on commercial paper rates for seasonal and expansion-related growth in the underlying receivables portfolio. Co-purchasers of the Variable Funding Certificate were Enterprise Funding Corporation and Receivables Capital Corporation.

Proffitt’s, Inc. Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Douglas E. Coltharp, commented, “We are extremely pleased by the attractive terms which we were able to realize in the securitization market. The favorable advance rates and interest rates are both indicative of the quality in the underlying receivables portfolio. The restructuring of the accounts receivable facility, together with our recently completed issuance of Senior Notes and the increase and amendment of our Revolving Credit Facility, completes the implementation of a comprehensive capital structure strategy. This strategy, which was initiated in the spring of this year, was intended to provide Proffitt’s with greater operating flexibility by reducing the level of secured indebtedness, increasing the percentage of fixed vs. floating rate obligations, and lengthening the duration of our financing commitments.”

Proffitt’s, Inc. operates 176 stores in twenty-four states under the names of Proffitt’s, McRae’s, Younkers, Parisian, and Herberger’s. The Company’s annual revenues exceed $2.3 billion.


PO Promotes FirstClass PhoneCard to Students

With nearly 30 million high school and college students returning to school this fall, many parents are now feeling the effect of last-minute shopping, spending and a host of other exhausting details associated with getting their children back into the hallowed halls of higher learning.

With many students traveling away to school — perhaps for the first time — here are some ideas that parents will not want to overlook to help their children feel more at ease and in touch with home:

— Lighten their load by mailing some essential items ahead of their arrival. Parcel post or Priority Mail offered by the Postal Service are economical choices for sending extra clothing, a CD player, alarm clock, fan or other small electronic appliance, reference books, software manuals and so forth. Packing materials are available at postal retail outlets. Let the post office do the heavy work.

— Be sure to send along some special personal items, from posters to framed family photos to stuffed animals and mementos.

— Purchase pens, stationery and postage stamps to make it a breeze for them to write home.

— Give them an address book and fill it out with phone numbers and addresses of friends and family. They will appreciate it when they want to write or call.

— Make sure they do call home by giving them a pre-paid phone card. The FirstClass PhoneCard is available at many post offices nationwide or by calling 1-800-297-POST (7678). Backed by the U.S. Postal Service and American Express, the cards are both rechargeable and replaceable if lost or stolen and are available in a variety of denominations.

— Ensure their mail goes with them by having them prepare a change-of-address card and signing it as an individual mover. If they expect to return home for the following summer, make it a temporary change of address (which expires after one year) that can be canceled when they return. Be sure to note any special addressing requirements at the school, especially if it has a central mail room. Don’t forget the complete ZIP Code and any applicable building or room numbers.

— Periodically send a package of local newspapers so they can keep up with news from home.

— Order subscriptions to their favorite magazines to read on those rainy afternoons. They’ll think of you when they do.

— Surprise them once in a while with a special care package of their favorite non-perishable goodies like cookies, candy, crackers or chips.


Sub-Prime Lender Acquired

Ugly Duckling Corp. (Nasdaq/NM:UGLY) Thursday announced that it has closed the purchase of approximately 78 percent of the senior bank debt of First Merchants Acceptance Corp. (Nasdaq/NM:FMACE) held by seven members of that company’s nine-member bank group.

The bank group’s total senior debt equals approximately $100 million. FMACE filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code on July 11, 1997.

The more significant terms of the purchase provided, among other things, for (1) purchase of the debt at a 10 percent discount of the outstanding principal amount; (2) six-month financing by the bank group to Ugly Duckling for the purchase, with interest accruing at LIBOR plus 2 percent with an up-front payment by Ugly Duckling to the bank group equal to 20 percent of the purchase price; and (3) issuance of stock warrants to the bank group to purchase up to 390,000 shares of Ugly Duckling’s common stock at an exercise price of $20 per share over a 30-month term and subject to a call feature by the company at $27.

With headquarters in Phoenix, Ugly Duckling operates the largest publicly held chain of “buy here-pay here” used-car dealerships in the United States and underwrites, finances and services retail installment contracts generated from the sale of used cars by its dealerships and by third-party used-car dealerships located in selected markets throughout the country.

With headquarters in Deerfield, Ill., FMACE is a national specialty finance company, engaged primarily in financing the purchase of used automobiles by consumers who have limited access to traditional sources of credit.


Free ICVERIFY Component

ICVERIFY(R) Inc., the leading supplier of payment processing software solutions for credit card, purchase card, debit/ATM, and check guarantee transactions in both physical and virtual points-of-sale, today announced that its credit card processing component is fully compatible with Microsoft’s new Internet commerce solution, Microsoft Site Server, Enterprise Edition 2.0.

And for a limited time only, ICVERIFY will offer the component at no charge to developers and end-users.

ICVERIFY is the payment transaction software of choice among software developers and end-users because of its ease of use and ease of integration with multiple platforms and Internet commerce solutions. Today, ICVERIFY is used by more than 250,000 points of sale, including thousands of Web sites and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

“ICVERIFY’s ability to support multiple merchant sites and to communicate with a broad set of processors combined with Microsoft Site Server, Enterprise Edition’s robust functionality, flexible configuration and full scalability allow both merchants and ISPs to meet their commerce needs today as well as expand their commerce offerings as their businesses grow,” said Russ Stockdale, group product manager for Microsoft.

“And by integrating into Site Server, ICVERIFY provides an easy-to-use, complete electronic payment solution for Site Server merchants and ISPs of all sizes and shapes.”

Microsoft Site Server, Enterprise Edition provides an integrated Internet commerce and Web site management solution for online retailing and business-to-business commerce to help businesses make the Web a full extension of their operations.

Site Server generates custom Web pages that support advanced Web technologies such as ActiveX(TM) controls, Java and Web chat. It provides real-time feedback on customer purchasing behavior and allows merchants to use their existing ODBC-compliant databases.

“We found ICVERIFY’s component easy to install and to operate. The documentation was clear and the support outstanding,” said Marco Tabini, technical director of Internet Frontier Inc. [(http://www.ifront.com)][1], one of the beta test sites. Marco Argenti, CEO of Internet Frontier, added that, “ICVERIFY’s product is well worth its price. We are certainly going to use it at our new on-line software commerce site, Softmania [(http://www.softmania.com).”][2]

ICVERIFY’s component for the Site Server, Enterprise Edition is available from ICVERIFY’s web site at http://www.icverify.com . The component will initially be offered at no charge.


ICVERIFY Inc., a privately held, venture capital-funded corporation with United States headquarters in Oakland, and European headquarters in Munich, Germany, is the leading software solution for authorizing credit, purchase, debit/ATM card and check guarantee transactions and is used by more than 250,000 physical and virtual points of sale.

ICVERIFY supports more than 100 major card processing networks — representing 99% of all merchant banks — and has certifications covering the retail, restaurant, hotel, mail/telephone order, auto rental, travel and gasoline industries.

The software processes Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, Carte Blanche, JCB and private-label credit cards, with automatic draft capture to the merchant’s bank account.

ICVERIFY’s functionality includes the ability to support multiple merchant environments. Its reporting and query features enable the merchant to track and to edit transactions efficiently and effectively. ICVERIFY can be reached through the Internet at [http://www.ICVERIFY.com/][3] or by calling 800/666-5777.

[1]: http://www.ifront.com
[2]: http://www.softmania.com
[3]: http://www.ICVERIfY.com/