Arthur S. Kranzley, a major influence on the development of credit and debit card systems, died this week at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
He was 68. He suffered from complications of emphysema and pneumonia, said his son, Arthur D. Kranzley, an executive with MasterCard International Inc.
The elder Mr. Kranzley spent 45 years in data processing and payment systems, initially with Burroughs Corp. and RCA Corp. In 1962 he formed his own company, Information Sciences Associates.
Renamed Kranzley & Co., the Cherry Hill, N.J., firm became a leader in proprietary credit card systems for banks, airlines, and retailers. It diversified into consumer loan and collection systems, point of sale operations, and automated teller machine networking.
After selling his business to Anacomp Inc. - some pieces went later to American Management Systems - Mr. Kranzley founded a consulting firm, Tasks Inc., in 1983.
The Electronic Funds Transfer Association elected Mr. Kranzley to its hall of fame in 1987. He also devoted time and energy to paralysis research and rehabilitation.
"He was a gracious human being, a true gentleman, and a pioneer of our industry," said Edward J. Hogan, senior vice president of MasterCard International. "I can't ever remember hearing a bad word said about the man.
"The Kranzley software was everywhere," Mr. Hogan recalled. "It went back as far as the California Bankcard Association," a forerunner of MasterCard.
"Art was always courteous and polite and never came off negative, even when he might have been in the middle of a disagreement," said D. Dale Browning, himself a credit card and ATM pioneer and currently senior adviser to Visa International.
Mr. Browning's former bank, Colorado National in Denver, and its Rocky Mountain BankCard System affiliate relied heavily on Kranzley software.
"I bought Rocky Mountain BankCard's switching system from Kranzley, and I took a lot of heat - it was not an inexpensive investment," Mr. Browning said. "Whenever we ran into problems I called Art in and he solved them. He took great pride in his system and wanted his customers to share that pride."
"There are only a handful of people in the business world of that gentleman caliber, and he was one," said Michael Shade, a Verifone Inc. vice president, who worked with Mr. Kranzley at Anacomp. "He was quiet, undemanding, yet very effective."
Mr. Kranzley is survived by his wife, Mildred; four children, including Arthur D., MasterCard's chief of debit products; and five grandchildren. Funeral services were scheduled Friday morning at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, Cherry Hill, N.J.