Electronic Clearing House Inc., a relatively small merchant processing company with a checkered financial past, announced two contracts expected to generate over $3 million in sales.
The contracts, with an equipment subsidiary called Computer Based Controls Inc., call for delivery of EB920 point of sale hardware and software to U-Haul International and Integrated Payment Systems. The latter is a division of First Data Corp., which administers the American Express money-order program.
The orders are continuing evidence that the merchant processing company, known as Echo, is turning itself around. The company was forced into a Federal Trade Commission consent decree last year for its deal ings with disreputable telemarketers, and its earnings have suffered since.
Echo also has signed processing agreements with three California community banks in the past several months, most recently First Charter Bank of Beverly Hills.
The new equipment is to be shipped beginning this month and culminating by yearend.
First Data's IPS unit, which is licensed to sell American Express Money Orders, already uses the EB920 system for automated money order dispensing. It reaffirmed it will continue its relationship with Echo's Computer Based Controls.
U-Haul and CBC jointly developed a program that will enable U-Haul dealers to track remote inventories and generate rental contracts using the point of sale equipment.
Meanwhile, Echo said the processing deal with First Charter Bank has increased its total volume by 5%.
Also, a tentative court decision, regarding an action Echo filed in 1993 against a debtor merchant, may allow the company to initiate collection of $210,000 in guaranteed chargebacks, which it was required to pay out in 1992 and 1993.
Echo reported revenues of $2.1 million in the quarter that ended March 31, and $4.6 million for its fiscal half year. Those figures were less than half the $4.7 million and $8.7 million reported a year earlier.
All but about $200,000 of the latest quarter's revenues came from bank card processing, and most of the rest was from terminal sales and leases.
The company had net losses of $215,000 in the first quarter and $381,000 in the half, compared with income of $116,000 and $242,000 in 1993.