Comcast VISA & Rosenbluth Sign

Rosenbluth Vacations has been selected as the exclusive travel agency for Comcast Rewards, an innovative loyalty program for Comcast Cellular and Cable customers which combines the traditional benefits of a Visa credit card with a localized approach to delivering customer rewards. Points earned by members for their cellular, cable or credit card use can be redeemed for a wide range of rewards in the areas of sports and entertainment, travel and dining, shopping and communications. The Program was developed by Comcast Corporation and Advanta Corporation, the issuer of the VISA credit cards.

“Rosenbluth Vacations shares many similarities with both Comcast and Advanta. They are headquartered in Philadelphia, are respected and recognized for providing superior service and they are innovative marketers,” said David Taber, director of Pricing and Retention for Comcast Cellular. “We are excited to offer our customers a highly professional travel service that provides them with vacation values and significant Comcast Rewards points.”

As the exclusive travel agency for the Comcast Rewards Program, Rosenbluth Vacations offers members the opportunity to earn big points whenever they travel. From an airline ticket to a world cruise or a family vacation — every time members make their travel arrangements through Rosenbluth’s Comcast Rewards Travel Program, they earn up to 10 points per dollar spent. The points earned depends on the type of travel purchased through Rosenbluth Vacations:

— Members will earn 5 points per dollar on airline tickets.

— Members will earn 10 points per dollar on vacation packages and
cruises.

— Members paying for their airline tickets and vacation packages or
cruises with the Comcast Rewards Visa Card will earn even more points
— 6 points per dollar on airline tickets and 11 points per dollar on
vacation packages and cruises

For every type of travel booked through Rosenbluth Vacations, the absolute lowest prices are offered.

“We are delighted to have been chosen as the exclusive travel agency of the Comcast Rewards Program,” commented Lee M. Rosenbluth, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rosenbluth Vacations. “Comcast and Advanta are leading companies and we are proud to be a partner in this innovative marketing initiative.”

To take advantage of the Comcast Rewards Travel Program provided by Rosenbluth Vacations and begin earning thousands of points, members can call the special toll-free Comcast Rewards Travel Line at 1-888-TAKE A TRIP, or call or visit the nearest Rosenbluth Vacations office. Members must provide their Comcast Rewards membership number or their Comcast Rewards Visa card account number at the time of making a reservation. Those who are not yet members of the Comcast Rewards Program can call 1-888-515-2273 to apply for the Comcast Rewards Visa card.

Rosenbluth Vacations has annual sales of over $90 million and offers a variety of vacation services for consumers worldwide through online services, the Internet, cable television, direct mail programs, and 25 wholly owned retail Vacation & Cruise Centers.

Details

ON/2 Year 2000 Solution

With millions of potentially impacted users, Dallas-based S2 Systems, Inc., today announced general availability of its ON/2(R) Version 2.3.2 software that will ward off its customers’ potential problems associated with the numeric change to the Year 2000. ON/2 is used by numerous Fortune 5000 retailers, financial services organizations, healthcare companies and more where continuous online transaction processing (OLTP) applications and services are required.

According to the Gartner Group, 90 percent of all applications will be impacted by the Year 2000 problem, costing a medium size organization up to $5 million to support Year 2000 changes. To offset some of this time, pressure and expense, S2’s ON/2 software licenses will be free of charge to its current maintenance customers running the Stratus Computer VOS(R) operating system.

“Imagine a customer walking up to an ATM after midnight on Dec. 31, 1999, and the screen is blank. Consider how you would feel if your local supermarket can’t take your check, debit or credit card on Jan. 1, 2000,” said Ivan Koon, president of S2 Systems, Inc. “With this new investment in ON/2, we ensure that our existing and future clients keep their businesses running smoothly — all day, every day, no matter where they are around the world.”

ON/2 is a continuously reliable OLTP system that drives retail payments, electronic banking and other electronic funds transfer services. “Literally millions of individuals globally would be affected if organizations like S2 did not support Year 2000 changes,” Koon added. ON/2 Version 2.3.2 is certified under Stratus VOS 12.2.1f for RISC systems and VOS 13.3.Ob for Continuum systems. The software is scheduled for general availability Aug. 29.

S2 Systems, Inc., is a world-leading supplier of business electronic commerce software and professional services. S2 Systems focuses on electronic commerce gateway, electronic banking/payments, healthcare transaction processing and decision support systems for retail, financial services, healthcare and evolving industries. With headquarters in Dallas and offices in Atlanta, Hong Kong, London, and Sydney, S2 Systems products are used by customers in more than 60 countries. S2 Systems is a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Stratus Computer (NYSE: SRA). S2 is at 15301 Dallas Parkway, Suite 600, Dallas, TX 75248, Phone: 972-458-3800, Fax: 972-458-3870, [http://www.s2sytems.com.][1]

[1]: http://www.s2systems.com

Details

IVI’s Chip Farm

International Verifact Inc. (Nasdaq: IVIAF; TSE: IVI) announced today that it is providing Scotiabank with the first Canadian, all-in-one debit, credit, cheque authorization and smart card solution for use with VISA Cash.

IVI will be supplying Scotiabank with a new product called the ‘chip farm’, a peripheral that sits under IVI’s existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals. The chip farm provides added POS terminal flexibility by allowing for several smart card formats to be accepted as well as providing additional POS application memory, if necessary. IVI’s chip farm and software application have already received Visa International’s certification and Mondex certification will be pursued in the near future. “The chip farm will protect the bank’s or merchant’s hardware investment by allowing them flexibility never before offered in a POS device” said Geoff Bowen, Vice President of Sales, IVI.

“We are very pleased to be working with VISA Canada and IVI on this exciting new payment method” said Edward Lomax, Scotiabank’s Assistant General Manager of Merchant Products. “VISA brings high market awareness and acceptance to smart card payments, while IVI brings its strong technical resources and reliability to the transaction terminal. IVI and Scotiabank are working closely in developing a new approach to stored value acceptance from the transaction terminal perspective.” “This approach is very innovative,” said Mr. Lomax. “It provides additional memory to existing POS terminals, providing VISA Cash capabilities and the flexibility of accepting new stored value card schemes such as Mondex in the future.”

“By working with merchants and leading financial institutions like Scotiabank, IVI continues to provide the most flexible Smart Card options in North America today,” said L. Barry Thomson, President and Chief Executive Officer of IVI. “Scotiabank’s decision to utilize IVI’s Chip Farm will give merchants the ultimate flexibility in that the investment merchants have already made in existing terminals now have a clear product migration strategy for stored value card capability. The Chip Farm is already VISA Cash certified and we are aggressively seeking Mondex certification as well.”

To date, more than four million VISA Cash cards have been made available for approximately 3.7 million purchases worth approximately $12 million in 17 trials in 11 countries. Twenty-four VISA Cash programs are in progress worldwide with 75 Visa Member Institutions in 15 countries. Seven new trials including one in Barrie, Ontario, are planned to begin before 1998.

Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions, with more than $176 billion in assets and more than 34,500 employees worldwide. It is also Canada’s most international bank with more than 1,468 branches and offices in 48 countries on five continents. Scotiabank is on the Worldwide Web at

IVI is engaged in the design, development and sale of electronic payment solutions for retailers, financial institutions, governments and other businesses. IVI’s hardware and software products include point-of-sale debit/credit/EFT/EBT terminals, check readers, smart card readers, POS printers, and secure PIN entry devices. Additional company information is available on the IVI website at [http://www.ivinet.com.][1]

[1]: http://www.ivinet.com

Details

VISA Olympics Art Contest Underway

Although the 1998 Winter Olympic Games are six months away, the Olympic spirit is already taking hold as children throughout the nation gear-up for the Visa Olympics of the Imagination international art contest. Like the exceptional athletic skills of Olympic competitors, these children’s artistic talents and imaginations can take them all the way to the Nagano Games.

The Visa Olympics of the Imagination international art contest challenges schoolchildren between the ages of 9 and 13 years old to create artwork that shows a person they admire participating in an Olympic Winter Games sport. No restriction is placed on imagination, so family members, movies stars, political figures, teachers and, in fact, the whole spectrum of people familiar to the young artists are fair game to their paints and brushes.

In addition to the United States, contest entries are being collected in India, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Germany, Sweden and Norway. Each of the 14 different nations is tailoring the contest differently. In the United States, artwork will be collected between August 15, 1997 and November 3, 1997. The San Francisco-based not-for-profit organization, International Children’s Art Museum (ICAM) is coordinating outreach to 3,500 schools and the collection and judging of entries. Judging of entries from the United States — based on originality, imagination and artistic merit — will be conducted by a prestigious panel of judges from the art community, as well as representatives from ICAM and local celebrities.

Four children from the United States, along with one parent or guardian each, will attend the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan from February 5 – 11, 1998, as guests of Visa. While in Nagano, the winning artists from the United States will join 22 other children from around the world at the Opening Ceremonies and as spectators at Olympic events such as Figure Skating and Speed Skating. During their stay, the children will also be involved in a number of Japanese cultural activities and exchanges.

On the evening of February 7, 1998, Visa will unveil an outdoor exhibit of the children’s art and, at a special medal ceremony hosted by a past Winter Olympian, will award gold medals to the children and name one top winner whose artwork has been chosen from among the 1998 grand prize winners as “Best of Show” for artistic merit. The “Best of Show” winner will earn a trip for two to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Rachel Carter, 13, of New Zealand, was awarded “Best of Show” during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games and will accompany this year’s winners to the Nagano Games.

Additional information on the Visa Olympics of the Imagination, including submission information, is available by calling ICAM at 415-772-9977, or by accessing the Visa Olympics of the Imagination Internet site, at http://www.visa.com/visakids/. The site features a teacher’s guide that integrates the contest into the classroom, artwork from past winners, a downloadable screensaver, and a children’s Olympic trivia quiz.

Founded in 1972, the International Children’s Art Museum’s mission of broadening viewer’s perspectives on art and world cultures through children’s art drives its annual exchange of over 10,000 pieces of children’s artwork worldwide and its permanent collection of children’s artwork at the International Children’s Art Museum in San Francisco.

Visa, a worldwide sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1986, is the official payment system of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and will continue as the exclusive card and official payment system for the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.

Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa’s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 370,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address in

Details

First USA Chargeoff Modifications

Fitch Investors Service said Friday First USA is modifying its chargeoff policies for its card bonds to align them with Banc One’s accounting policies. First USA writes off credit card accounts as uncollectible after 210 days while Banc One writes off at 180 days. Both institutions write off bankrupt accounts upon notice. Fitch says the change will boost First USA’s card bond chargeoffs but not to levels requiring a rating change. The modification will be phased-in over the next six months. For the August distribution date FUSA’s chargeoffs were 7.33% compared to 5.7% in July.

Details

U.S. Army Corps Expands Card Program

Recreational users at Louisville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes may pay for maps and charts, shoreline permit fees, and advance payment of recreation fees with Visa and MasterCard under a new Corps Credit Card Program.

The benefits to the public include the ease of charging without the worry of carrying money to Corps facilities and allows campers to reserve campsites and pay for camping nights.

“I think folks like it. People seem to like using plastic,” Bob Barnett, Rough River Lake park manager, said.

For the Corps, the program reduces losses from bad checks, verifies card validity and sees if there is sufficient credit to cover the charge. The program also electronically transfers money from purchases to an interest- bearing account within 48 hours which speeds payment to the government compared to the previous methods of money collection.

The program started as a test in 1988 in four Corps districts — Nashville, Tulsa, Little Rock and Fort Worth. The program has expanded to every district. Headquarters for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested that Nashville District serve as the National Credit Card Program Manager based on its experience with the credit card program. Nashville District provided customer service training, orientation, implementation and execution instructions for all Corps districts.

The Corps selected NationsBank to provide the credit card services. NationsBank is the largest provider of federal credit card services and was already providing credit card services to 43 other federal agencies, including the National Park Service.

In the Louisville District, the following Corps offices accept credit cards for Golden Age Passports, Annual Day Use Passes and Shelter Reservations:

District lakes in Kentucky Barren River, Buckhorn, Carr Creek, Cave Run, Green River, Nolin, and Rough River

District lakes in Ohio Caesar Creek Visitor Center, C.J. Brown, and William H. Harsha

In the Louisville District, the following lakes also accept credit cards for camping reservations:

Barren River Lake: Bailey’s Point, Narrows, and Tailwater campgrounds Buckhorn Lake: Tailwater Campground Carr Creek Lake: Littcarr Campground Green River Lake: Holmes Bend, Pikes Ridge and Smith Ridge campgrounds Nolin River Lake: Dog Creek, Moutardier and Wax campgrounds Rough River Lake: Axtel, Cave Creek, Laurel Branch and North Fork campgrounds

Annual Passes, Golden Age Passports, navigation charts and lake maps may be bought with credit cards in Room 64 in the Romano Mazzoli Federal Building, 600 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Place, Louisville.

Details

Year 2000 Suit

A Michigan grocer has filed suit against its payment system suppliers following more than 100 system crashes caused by credit cards with expiration dates in the year 2000. Produce Palace International is suing Atlanta-based Tec-America Corp. and Michigan-based All American Cash Register for misrepresenting payment hardware and software as Year 2000-compliant. The store owners indicated the system crashes rendered some cash registers useless. The produce firm is now processing year 2000 credit cards by hand. ComputerWorld magazine quoted one expert this week who predicted year-2000 lawsuits could approach $1 trillion.

Details

Equifax Rated High

Equifax, Inc., the premier financial information and processing solutions company based in Atlanta that’s on the Fast track in growth and revenue, just keeps on racking up the high rankings in the world of technology and economic value.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle named Equifax #1 in its listing of the Fast Tech 50 in Atlanta – for the second year in a row. The list is based on revenue generation and other factors, determined by an annual study conducted by Arthur Andersen LLP. Equifax revenue for 1996 was $1.8 billion.

In addition to producing record revenue, Equifax has also been recognized as a top place to work in the world of technology.

COMPUTERWORLD Magazine in its June, 1997, issue, listed Equifax #28 out of their 100 Best Places to Work in the information systems field, nationwide. The magazine surveyed the 1996 Fortune 1000 and the 40 leading consulting firms to find the best. They based their results on analysis of the organization’s benefits, staff changes and salary increases in 1996 and 1997, female and minority IS staff participation, family care and training.

Information Week Magazine will name Equifax to the “Information Week 500” as one of the top five financial services companies in the U.S. in a September 1997 issue – for the second year in a row. The magazine commissions a research firm to get on the phone and talk to several information technology people in candidate companies to get information on which to base the rankings. Once the rankings are determined, writers for the magazine talk to the chief technology officers of the top companies. For the past two years, Information Week has interviewed Equifax president and CEO, Dan McGlaughlin, who has a vast background in information technology with IBM, GE and Equifax.

Equifax is also nationally ranked by the major business and financial journals:

Business Week Global 1000 listings are just out and Equifax ranks #785 globally and #351 in the U.S., based on market value.

FORBES Magazine picks only 500 U.S companies each year for the Forbes Market Value 500. For 1996, Equifax ranks #336 (up from #411 in 1995).

FORTUNE 1000 rankings by revenue include Equifax at #654 overall and #7 in the Computer Data and Services industry listings.

The Stern Stewart Performance 1000 ranks Equifax #183 by economic market value added, as reported in the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance.

Better Investing Magazine ranks Equifax in its Top 100 most popular and widely held stocks among investment clubs and their members nationwide.

And in recognition of its value, Equifax was recently named tot he S&P 500 Index of Companies by Standard and Poor’s Financial Information Services group.

Rankings within one’s home state are also important.

Atlanta Journal/Constitution found that Equifax ranked #6 in the Top 100 Businesses in Georgia for 1996.

Georgia Trend Magazine ranks Equifax in the “Top 50” Georgia public companies in asset (#18), net income (#9) and revenue (#14).

Equifax is a world leader in providing financial information and processing solutions, with global operations in consumer and commercial credit information services, payment services, software, modeling, analytics and consulting and direct-to-consumer services. The company serves many industries including banking, finance, retail, telecommunications, utilities and health care. Equifax was founded in 1899 in Atlanta and today has 10,000 employees around the world. It operates globally in 17 countries, with sales in 40 countries. After spinning off its Insurance Services Group, which became ChoicePoint Inc. on August 7, Equifax revenues for the 12 months ended June 30, 1997, were just under $1.3 billion.

Details