INFINEON CHINA

Munich-based Infineon Technologies AG and Shanghai-based Semiconductor
Manufacturing International Corporation have sealed a deal to cooperate on
the production of standard memory chips. Under the terms of the agreement,
Infineon will transfer its 0.14-µm DRAM trench technology to SMIC, with an
option for future transfer of its 0.11-µm technology. The increase in
capacity from SMIC will help to bolster output from Infineon’s
international cluster of DRAM production sites, which comprise the
company-owned production facilities in Dresden, Germany, and Richmond,
Virginia, plants in Taiwan operated by Winbond, and the recently announced
production joint venture with Nanya, among others. Following the ramp up of
the SMIC facility, the cooperation will enable Infineon to increase its
overall capacity by around 20,000 wafer starts per month by 2005.

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Netzee Dissolves

Atlanta-based Netzee has entered into an agreement to sell substantially all of its assets for $10.4 million in cash to Certegy and to liquidate/dissolve Netzee. InterCept, owns 28% of Netzee’s common stock and, jointly with John Harland and Co., provides Netzee with a line of credit. As a result of the transaction, InterCept anticipates that it will record a one-time charge of approximately $6.0 to $6.5 million in the fourth quarter. Netzee provided financial institutions with a suite of Internet-based products and services, including full-service Internet banking, bill payment, cash management, Internet commerce services, custom Web design and hosting, branded portal design, targeted marketing and implementation and marketing services. Netzee was formed in 1999 as a subsidiary of InterCept, and as the successor to a company founded in 1996. Netzee became a public company in November 1999. The parties expect the transaction to close on or about January 15th.

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Eckerd’s Senior Rewards

The Eckerd Corporation says its is expanding its “Senior Rewards Card” loyalty card program to all 422 Texas locations. Seniors can enroll in the Senior Rewards Card program at any Texas Eckerd pharmacy effective Monday, December 9th. To begin earning cash back, eligible customers simply fill out an enrollment form and receive the Card, ready for use during the same visit and future visits. There is no membership fee and the Card balance can be accrued or spent, as the customer desires.

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Gemplus Restructuring

Gemplus confirmed this morning it is cutting about 1,000 employees, 483 of whom are in France. The company says its manufacturing, G&A, and most other parts of the business will also be impacted by the cost-cutting. The smart card manufacturer says the telecommunication and banking markets are becoming more competitive putting pressure on Gemplus’ profitability. This is further compounded by the emergence of new low cost manufacturers, especially in Asia. Gemplus says in France, the restructuring plan will not lead to any site closures and the volumes manufactured will remain comparable with 2002. Furthermore, the core of Gemplus R&D will remain in France, notably with the recent opening of its technological center in La Ciotat. The program is expected to deliver savings in the range of 100 million euros for the full year. Including the 2002 restructuring plan, totals savings should exceed 200 million euros, the full benefit of which is expected to be seen in 2004. For complete details on Gemplus 3Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Fair Isaac Unloads Network Connectivity

Fair, Isaac has agreed to sell the company’s Network Connectivity business unit to Bridium, an insurance industry software provider. The decision to divest the unit — which provides solutions for workers compensation compliance reporting — was made during a strategic review of business operations conducted following the merger of Fair, Isaac and HNC Software.

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SchlumbergerSema & Citi Smart Cards

SchlumbergerSema announced it has completed deployment of its smart card solution to Citibank for the bank’s “Citi.You Card” and “Citi Smart Card”. The SchlumbergerSema Cyberflex Palmera card used in Citi Cards smart card products are loaded with loyalty applications for smart card transactions, as well as with software applets for enabling smart card-based authentication.

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CustomCash

Internet Payment Solutions has launched “CustomCash”, an Internet payment method that enables consumers to shop on-line without sacrificing privacy and exposing personal information such as credit card numbers. CustomCash certificates are uniquely created for specific companies. Certificates are for a stated value and can be debited until the total value is exhausted. At no time are personal details such as credit card numbers ever transmitted over the Internet, thus making the approach secure as well as fraud-proof.

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Late Fees

For the first time in more than ten years late fees stopped climbing. During November, fees for late payments remained flat at $30.04. The most common late fee now charged by U.S. issuers is $29 with many of the top issuers now assessing a $35 fee on higher balances that become past due. Over the past twelve months late fees have grown by 6.3%. Since November 1994, late fees have surged by 140%, from $12.52.

BANK CREDIT CARD LATE PAYMENT FEES
Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov.
1994: $11.60 $11.71 $11.94 $11.95 $11.96 $11.97 $11.98 $11.99 $12.02 $12.44
2002: $28.58 $28.79 $29.65 $29.84 $29.88 $29.90 $29.92 $29.92 $29.96 $30.04
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Experian Buys Four Bureaus

Experian has acquired Credit Data Idaho, Inc., of Boise, Idaho; Credit Data Resources of Spokane, Wash; Credit Bureau of Pocatello, Inc. of Pocatello, Idaho; and Iberia Credit Bureau of New Iberia, La. Benefits accruing as a result of these acquisitions include the ability to provide all clients a more seamless interaction with Experian as well as a full range of products to optimize customer relationships. In addition, clients will gain access to all Experian products and services including portfolio management, collections, scoring and a complete suite of fraud prevention solutions.

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