PHOENIX -- Deluxe Data Systems Inc. has announced a new version of its electronic funds transfer software aimed at medium-sized banks and credit unions.

The software, Connex Prime, is derived from Milwaukee-based Deluxe's existing Connex EFT software that has been sold to many of the country's largest banks and regional automated teller machine networks.

While the original Connex software was aimed mainly at banks with over $25 billion of assets and was used to route transactions coming from hundreds of ATMs, Connex Prime, which was debuted at the Bank Administration Institute's retail delivery systems conference, has been modified for use by mid-sized institutions with as little as $1 billion of assets and as few as a dozen cash machines.

Officials at Deluxe Data, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based check printer Deluxe Corp., said Connex Prime is an attempt to capitalize on medium-sized banks' growing desire to control more facets of their retail delivery systems, rather than turning to outsourcing.

"Interest in alternative retail distribution strategies is not confined to just the top 50 banks," said Paul Schmelzer, vice president of software products at Deluxe Data, referring to the lure of multi-function ATMs, debit card point of sale systems, and home banking via personal computer. "And technology is letting us offer essentially the same capabilities to a much broader market."

Like its big-bank predecessor, Connex Prime runs on Tandem Computers Inc.'s line of fault-tolerant hardware used by banks to run the ATM networks. But Deluxe officials said Tandem has recently introduced models that are more affordable for institutions running only 10 to 50 cash machines.

While Mr. Schmelzer noted the importance of lower hardware costs, he added that the new software was modified to make it easier to install and modify for institutions that may not have the sophisticated programming staff of a large bank. This includes employing a networked personal computer running Microsoft Corp. Windows operating system, so bank employees can easily make changes to the system, such as adding a new ATM or point of sale terminal.

Pricing for Connex Prime was not disclosed, but Deluxe Data officials said the system's cost was based on the number of devices controlled and the size of the bank.

In another product debut in the ATM/EFT arena at the BAI show, Dayton, Ohio-based Gasper Corp. announced a significantly enhanced version of its PC-based ATM network management software currently used by more than 180 banks and EFT networks.

The new software, called Gasper4, is designed to alert banks when ATMs, branch terminals or POS devices experience problems. For example, if an ATM's receipt printer stops working, the system can automatically telephone the branch manager, who hears a computerized voice describe the problem, Gasper executives said.

The software runs on PC networks running Windows and Windows NT, company officials said, and can monitor thousands of devices simultaneously.

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