Procard Inc. has scored a victory in the commercial card business by licensing its software to Chase Manhattan Bank.

Procard will provide the software as well as support services for Chase's corporate customers who use purchasing, fleet, and travel and entertainment cards. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The New York bank said it was impressed by the software and Procard's track record with other banks.

"We are able to offer our purchasing clients more options for information reporting," said Frank Tufano, purchasing card product executive for Chase treasury solutions.

"This enhances our product line and improves service to our customers.

"Chase is one of the largest purchasing card participants in the U.S.," said Dale Browning, president and chief executive officer of Procard, which is based in Golden, Colo. "The fact that they will be using Procard in back-room support services is important in terms of the credibility of our software and the services we provide."

Since its inception in 1992, Procard has capitalized on the boom in commercial cards. The company licenses its software to Citigroup, Bank One Corp., First Union Corp., and Mellon Bank Corp.

The number of Visa and MasterCard commercial credit and debit cards increased 34% in 1997, to 6.6 million at yearend, according to The Nilson Report of Oxnard, Calif. Volume in 1997 was $35.4 billion, up 44%.

Procard executives said the software enables banks' corporate customers to make administrative changes on-line, rather than relying on a paper- based system for updates such as changes of address and spending parameters.

Procard also provides training, installation, and technical help to bank clients.

Chase is licensing all of Procard's products, including PVS 4, its main purchasing software, and PVS Net, an Internet reporting package.

Procard says that next year it will release a new product, Pathway, that will bundle purchasing, fleet, and travel and entertainment transactions on one card.

There is "a big desire in the marketplace to move to a single-card solution," Mr. Browning said.

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