Two major credit card organizations have filled top technology jobs.

Total System Services Inc., the second-largest processor of credit card accounts in the nation, and AT&T Universal Card Services, one of the country's leading credit card programs, each installed high-level executives to direct systems development and operations.

Columbus, Ga.-based Total System tapped Matthew S. Jacobs, a longtime mortgage and card servicing executive, as senior vice president in charge of computer operations.

The AT&T card unit, a major customer of Total System, intends to ratchet up its own technological efforts under a new senior vice president and chief information officer, John T. McGee.

Mr. Jacobs, most recently executive vice president and director of information services for Fleet Mortgage, takes a newly created position covering technical support, system programming, telecommunications, and Tandem system support at Total System. He will report to the chairman and chief executive, Richard Ussery.

Prior to his year and a half with Fleet, Mr. Jacobs spent 10 and a half years at another mortgage entity, Lomas Information Systems, and 11 years at Service Center Inc., a bank-owned credit card processor.

"This is a very exciting time in my career," Mr. Jacobs said. "I feel like I'm back home after a long absence."

His first charge is to complete the conversions of Total System's 114 card-issuing customers to the company's new software, TS2. Mr. Jacobs foresees an ambitious conversion schedule that will take place in stages over the next several years.

While a couple of customers are already on TS2, two of the biggest conversions to come - BankAmerica Corp. and AT&T Universal - will be highly complex.

At AT&T, Mr. McGee, formerly a consultant for Wellcome, the pharmaceutical company, is charged with putting in place a systems infrastructure to enhance data base marketing.

He will report directly to David Hunt, the president and chief executive of AT&T Universal in Jacksonville, Fla.

Mr. McGee inherited the CIO spot from Jim Kutsch, who temporarily managed the company's systems and operations during a 10-month search.

Although most of Mr. McGee's background has been in the pharmaceutical industry - prior to his stint at Wellcome, he served as a vice president at Glaxo Inc. - his expertise in corporate information systems and consumer- focused development is expected to aid AT&T Universal Card Services.

"The kind of person we were looking for was not easy to find," Mr. Hunt said. "The credit card industry is extremely competitive and only the best technology will let us develop the best offers for a variety of consumer needs while providing world-class customer service."

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