As the BAI's retail delivery conference has expanded in size and scope, so has the range of vendors using it to launch new products or alliances.

This year's crop of announcements features the kind of innovations in self-service delivery that attendees have come to expect from the conference once known as the ATM show.

But the gathering, which runs through the end of the week, also is expected to shed light on the intentions of some of the important alliances and consortiums that have formed in the past year.

At least one of these, the Microsoft Corp./First Data Corp. bill payment venture MSFDC, is expected to make a major announcement today.

Since its formation in June, MSFDC has been closely watched by bankers- particularly those participating in Integrion Financial Network, the home banking consortium of International Business Machines Corp. and 18 financial institutions.

Both Integrion and MSFDC have been working on systems to automate the presentation and payment of bills, but neither is delivering services yet.

A number of other announcements are expected at the conference.

S2 Systems, which specializes in electronic funds transfer systems, plans to unveil new software that will run on a variety of computer platforms.

The software, called OpeN/2, can run on any computer that uses Unix or Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT operating systems. S2's existing processing software, called ON/2, runs only on hardware from Stratus Computer Inc., which owns S2.

"The market is driving us to offer an open systems-based solution for both retail banking and payments," said Ivan Koon, president of the Dallas- based company.

S2 executives said OpeN/2 already is running the EFT operations of a consortium of six Chinese banks. It currently handles transaction traffic from 185 automated teller machines and 935 point-of-sale terminals.

Online Resources and Communications Corp. plans to announce an upgrade to its home banking system that expands the range of accounts to which banks can provide on-line access.

Customers of banks using the upgraded software can use their personal computers to view and conduct business in checking, savings, mortgage, credit card, and other accounts, said Alex Seltzer, executive vice president of systems and technology for the McLean, Va.-based company.

Princeton Telecom Corp. plans to announce a single-screen billing system called the Multi-Frame CyberView Payment System.

The billing and payment system allows several biller invoices to be displayed on a single screen of a bank's Web site.

Sensar Inc., which specializes in biometric identification technology, plans to unveil a system that identifies automated teller machine users by the physical characteristics of their irises.

The system, which offers an alternative to personal identification numbers, automatically locates an ATM user's eye and captures an image of it. Key characteristics of the iris then are measured and the results are compared against a master file. If a match is found, account access is granted.

Sensar, a Moorestown, N.J.-based spinoff of the Sarnoff Corp., said Citicorp, NCR Corp., and Oki Electric Co. of Japan are testing pre- production versions of the system.

Fair, Isaac & Co. is expected to announce a new product that improves banks' ability to measure and manage credit risk.

The announcement springs from the San Rafael, Calif.-based company's acquisition in July of Risk Management Technologies, which specializes in technology that helps manage interest-rate risk.

On the alliance front, Versatility Inc. is set to announce it is incorporating automated lending technology from Affinity Technology Group Inc. into its call-center systems.

Columbia, S.C.-based Affinity makes systems that use a bank's lending criteria to make decisions on loan applications. The company is best known for its automated loan machines.

Fairfax, Va.-based Versatility derives 47% of its revenues from the financial services industry. "We provide the scripts, the contact history, the loan origination systems, and all of the integration into the computer telephony and data networks necessary to manage the customer relationships," said David Luvison, vice president of business development at Versatility.

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