SCM & MICROSOFT

Ismaning-based SCM Microsystems says Microsoft will use its smart card
readers to develop a class driver for the USB “Chip Card Interface Device”
specification. Microsoft will use SCM’s “USB SCR331 CCID” reader as a
reference model to develop drivers for Windows XP and Microsoft .NET
operating systems. This will simplify installation and lead to a generic
‘Plug and Play’ solution for smart card customers. SCM’s Security business
provides smart card reader technology for the PC platform and conditional
access modules for the digital TV platform to OEM customers in the
government, financial, enterprise and broadcasting markets worldwide.

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Xmas Spending

Another survey projects a 5% increase in holiday spending this year. According to a survey for The Conference Board, Americans intend to spend an average of $483 on gifts this Christmas, up from last year’s $462. The research found about 34% of U.S. families will spend $500 or more on Christmas gifts, with another 38% spending between $200 and $500. About 27% of American households intend to buy holiday gifts online this year, an increase from last year’s 21%. The Conference Board survey also found that households headed by people 55-64 intend to spend the most this year, averaging $521 per family, while families earning more than $50,000 intend to spend $649 for Christmas gifts, or about one-and-a-third times the national average.

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FUELMASTER EXPANSION

OTI Africa and British Petroleum have signed a five-year extension for
OTI’s smart card based gasoline management system. BP’s “FuelMaster” has
been installed in more than 500 BP service stations
throughout Southern Africa and additional sites have been earmarked for
installation in 2003. According to the agreement, BP will continue to pay
OTI Africa an agreed volume-based remuneration even after termination of
the agreement, for as long as customers continue to use the “FuelMaster”
system and OTI Africa will continue to provide services to such customers.
Furthermore, OTI Africa will receive a monthly management fee plus a per
unit tag generation fee in respect of the “FuelMaster Express” offer which
is aimed at private motorists.

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EURONET DEAL

Euronet Worldwide it is entering the India market with a
multiyear ATM outsourcing agreement to operate 450 ATMs. Euronet will
deploy 200 new bank-owned ATMs in India’s largest cities, and Euronet also
will take over the driving of the bank’s existing 250 ATMs. When fully
implemented, this outsourcing project is anticipated to represent 4 to 5%
of India’s ATM market. The Indian market comprises more than 50 major
banks, 300 million bank accounts and approximately 7,500 ATMs. In addition
to the ATM outsourcing contract, Euronet has signed another contract for
ATM and mobile recharge services with Hutchison Max Telecom, which operates
under the Orange brand in Mumbai, India. Hutchison is a leading mobile
operator in India with approximately 1.5 million mobile customers with 60
percent using prepaid accounts. Through agreements Euronet has signed with
two banks to implement recharge services on their ATMs, Hutchison customers
will be able to use approximately 1,000 ATMs to purchase prepaid airtime
for their mobile phones.

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Euronet India

Euronet Worldwide it is entering the India market with a multiyear ATM outsourcing agreement to operate 450 ATMs. Euronet will deploy 200 new bank-owned ATMs in India’s largest cities, and Euronet also will take over the driving of the bank’s existing 250 ATMs. When fully implemented, this outsourcing project is anticipated to represent 4 to 5% of India’s ATM market. The Indian market comprises more than 50 major banks, 300 million bank accounts and approximately 7,500 ATMs. In addition to the ATM outsourcing contract, Euronet has signed another contract for ATM and mobile recharge services with Hutchison Max Telecom, which operates under the Orange brand in Mumbai, India. Hutchison is a leading mobile operator in India with approximately 1.5 million mobile customers with 60 percent using prepaid accounts. Through agreements Euronet has signed with two banks to implement recharge services on their ATMs, Hutchison customers will be able to use approximately 1,000 ATMs to purchase prepaid airtime for their mobile phones

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Gift Card Applet

CO-based Smart Transaction Systems has developed a new gift card applet that adds gift card capability to specific models of VeriFone and Thales credit card terminals. The gift card applet is loaded onto the terminal and runs on the same terminal as the credit card software. The company has made versions of its gift card applet available for the VeriFone “Tranz 330,” VeriFone “Tranz 380,” VeriFone “Tranz 460” and all versions of the Thales “Talento” terminal.

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Budweiser Card

Anheuser-Busch and American Express Incentive Services, both based in St. Louis, have launched a special payment card promotion to encourage the use of designated drivers during the upcoming holiday season. More than 1,000 “Budweiser Designated Driver Thank-You Cards” will be awarded instantly or after the holidays. The grand prize, a payment card worth $20,000, will be awarded after the holidays, on January 21st. Instant prizes, $25 payment cards, will be awarded randomly by consumers calling a special toll-free number or registering on the Internet. The promotion runs from November 25th till January 1st. American Express Incentive Services develops and delivers business-to-business reward solutions from employee motivation, loyalty and recognition to distribution partners, sales representatives and customers. AEIS also offers virtual rewards that allow participants to receive points online and to redeem these points at a comprehensive list of online merchants.

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SureFire 3Q/02

Canada’s SureFire Commerce reported an operating loss for the quarter ending 9/30/02 of $2.0 million compared to $4.2 million in the prior quarter and earnings of $1.6 million in the same period of the prior fiscal year. Revenue for the quarter was $10.4 million, compared to $11.7 million for the quarter ended June 30th, and $19.3 million for the comparable period of the previous fiscal year. On October 1st, the Company signed a merger agreement with privately held ebs Electronic Billing Systems. Upon completion of the transaction, SureFire Commerce will acquire 100% of EBS in exchange for SureFire Commerce’s common shares representing approximately 63% of SureFire Commerce’s common shares on a fully diluted basis. Also on October 1st, SureFire sold substantially all of the assets of SiteSell.com Inc. to a third party in exchange for an interest-free note receivable of $3.8 million. Finally SureFire named Mitch Garber, formerly the Company’s EVP/Business Development, as President, CEO and Director of SureFire Commerce on October 1st. Garber played a major role in starting SureFire Commerce’s core business of credit card processing and is responsible for negotiating the merger with EBS. Mr. Garber has replaced Rory Olson, former President and CEO, who resigned on November 20, 2002 as Director of SureFire Commerce.

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SUREFIRE 3Q/02

SureFire Commerce reported an operating loss for the quarter ending
9/30/02 was $2.0 million compared to $4.2 million in the prior quarter and
earnings of $1.6 million in the same period of the prior fiscal year.
Revenue for the quarter was $10.4 million, compared to $11.7 million for
the quarter ended June 30th, and $19.3 million for the comparable period of
the previous fiscal year. On October 1st, the Company signed a merger
agreement with privately held ebs Electronic Billing Systems. Upon
completion of the transaction, SureFire Commerce will acquire 100% of EBS
in exchange for SureFire Commerce’s common shares representing
approximately 63% of SureFire Commerce’s common shares on a fully diluted
basis. Also on October 1st, SureFire sold substantially all of the assets
of SiteSell.com Inc. to a third party in exchange for an interest-free note
receivable of $3.8 million. Finally SureFire named Mitch Garber, formerly
the Company’s EVP/Business Development, as President, CEO and Director of
SureFire Commerce on October 1st. Garber played a major role in starting
SureFire Commerce’s core business of credit card processing and is
responsible for negotiating the merger with EBS. Mr. Garber has replaced
Rory Olson, former President and CEO, who resigned on November 20, 2002 as
Director of SureFire Commerce.

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WorldTeq Card

Telecommunications specialist WorldTeq Group has teamed with VAT to offer private branded debit cards. The Rockville, MD-based company says it is in discussions with several very large Hispanic organizations concerning distribution of the new card product. WorldTeq offers a wide range of telecommunications and Internet services along with related products and utilizes the services of Qwest, UUNET, Global Crossing, and Broadwing. In September, WorldTeq signed an agent contract with Merchant Bank Card Services. (CF Library 9/12/02)

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