DALLAS – Word is spreadin’ like brushfire! A Mecca in Texas: three unlikely pardners-all sheriffs in the financial services industry-gangin’ up, blazin’ a trail, formin’ a posse, and aimin’ to ambush technology. Why, it’s unheard of in these parts! Casting off those Lone Ranger masks, the Texas Credit Union League, PULSE EFT Association of Texas, and the Independent Bankers Association of Texas are teaming up to structure TechMecca 2001. They’re roundin’ up a combined industry showcase for financial services technology, with the showdown set for November 28-30 in Arlington, Texas. The three entities collectively represent more than 2,300 credit unions, banks, and savings and loans throughout the South and Southwest. TechMecca counts three of the nation’s top financial gurus among its conference lineup. Carl F. Pascarella, president and chief executive officer of Visa U.S.A. and former president of Visa International’s Asia-Pacific Region and director of the Asia-Pacific Regional Board, keynotes the conference’s opening session discussing “The Impact of Technology on the Payments Industry.” Security technologist Bruce Schneier, whose expertise on cryptography, computer security and privacy have been sought by Microsoft, the National Security Agency, Citibank and the White House staff, will address “Network Security in the 21st Century.” Founder and Chief Technical Officer of the managed-security monitoring company, Counterpane Internet Security, Inc., Schneier is author of the bestseller, “Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World.” Futurist consultant Ed Barlow, Jr., President of Creating the Future, Inc. and strategist for a broad spectrum of the country’s professional and trade industries including the American Bar Association, the Defense Department’s Center of National Security and the Travel Industry Association of America, will discuss “Creating The Future Through Technology.” Draw, pardner? TechMecca looks to draw over 200 exhibitors-including FiData Inc., MoneyMaker, MasterCard International, Intercept, and BankImaging.com-and 1,200 attendees from the three industry arms. MasterCard is the largest sponsor of the event. Richard Ensweiler, president and CEO of the Texas Credit Union League, projects that TechMecca will be a “big, big show”-Texas-size-and a conduit for “the most technologically advanced information available in the financial services industry. . We have seven huge islands on the trade show floor and they are already almost sold out. ” He says this year’s conference is branded as the first of three such conferences, with subsequent years’ conferences scheduled for Austin and San Antonio. “ Our members have not been exposed to a systems conference of this size before with major sponsors and major vendors-nothing as economical and accessible,” according to Ensweiler. Conference fees will be charged per institution regardless of the head count, he says, so institutions can send as many as they want, and attendees can select the training track and/or the trade show.” “TechMecca definitely can be the start of more cooperative ventures between banks and credit unions,” the TCUL CEO projects. Stan Paur, president and CEO of PULSE says TechMecca “represents an important milestone in cooperation among financial industry groups-combining our collective strengths to create a unique educational forum focusing on technology ideas and services-of great value to all institutions regardless of size or type.” Christopher Williston, president and CEO of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas calls it “a flagship event, not only for the Southwestern region of the United States, but for other parts of the country, as well. I would be surprised,” he says, “if this is not something that will be a trend as you look to groups who need to think outside the box.” The three CEOs meet together with some regularity, Williston explains, since all are members of the PULSE Board. “In a brainstorming session one afternoon, we came to a mutual understanding that for all of us to be successful in these trade shows it makes more sense to work together.” Emily Hine, TCUL vice president/credit union development, and a member of the team meeting weekly to plan the event, outlines the program as “top-notch” ranging from e-signature solutions to biometrics applications, with “topics generic enough to transcend industry lines. The breakout sessions fall within four educational tracks: delivery channel options, security/privacy considerations, operational/technology issues, and products customers will love.” Hine describes TechMecca as “an adventure in which all three organizations have an enormous opportunity to work together for the best interests of their members. Banks and credit unions have their differences. We accept that and make the best of it. To grow and expand, though, you have to be able to take a little risk, to go out on a limb. If we fight each other, who wins? This conference is a learning forum. We all need to educate and insure that we’re bringing the best products and services to our members.” As for Arlington, Texas-well it’s stokin’ up the campfires, and chompin’ at the bit to show the industry that the town’s big enough for all of `em to saddle up and hit the trail for TechMecca 2001. For registration and conference details call (800) 724-5495 or consult the Web site www.techmecca.net. [email protected]

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