SYMCOR & SCOTIABANK

Scotiabank has signed an agreement for Symcor to manage all of
Scotiabank’s cheque and bill payment processing, including associated
statement and report printing activities across Canada. The deal is valued
at approximately $1.1 billion over 13 years. The announcement involves
approximately 1,000 employees located in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto,
Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver, who will become
Symcor employees, effective February 3, 2003.

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bebe Card

GE Consumer Finance and bebe stores have teamed to launch the company’s first-ever private label credit card program. The “bebe platinum card” offers a 10%-off promotion on the first purchase, advance notice of new merchandise arrivals, special offers and store events. In addition, bebe customers will be able to apply in-store and receive an instant approval. The new card can be used at all bebe, BBSP and BEBE SPORT stores in the USA. bebe designs, develops and produces a distinctive line of contemporary women’s apparel and accessories. The company currently operates 173 stores in the USA and Canada.

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CIM RE-SELLERS

CIM USA has begun a new card printer systems division re-seller program as
part of its corporate wide expansion into the Americas. The “Card Printer
Systems” product line is composed of desktop thermal card printers that
start at only $895 MSRP. CIM expects to increase sales at a rate of 20% a
year in the new division by offering a wide range of card personalization
solutions for photo IDs, access control, loyalty programs, gift cards, etc.
CIM has a worldwide presence with subsidiaries covering the Asia/Pacific
region, and since 1999 is covering the Americas through its subsidiary CIM
USA Inc located in Miami, Florida.

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Online Ads Return

Online financial services advertising is slowly but surely returning after a major pullback last year. During the third quarter online financial services advertising increased 19% to 51.4 billion impressions. Nielsen//NetRatings says the highest growth industry is online travel advertising which surged 39% during the third quarter to 15.9 billion impressions. One year ago, online credit card advertising declined sharply with the collapse of NextCard and the stumble of Providian. Both card issuers were consistently among the top 10 overall online advertisers. Capital One, formerly among the top 25 online advertisers, also pulled back on its online advertising one year ago. Cap One recently confirmed a reduction in its overall marketing budget. During the third quarter, Cap One’s marketing expense was $185.8 million, down 42% from $320.4 million in the second quarter. Among card issuers that remain active with online advertising: Discover, Chase, American Express, 5Star/AFBA, Fleet, Bank One, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank.

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DATAWIRE EXEC

Toronto-based Datawire Communication Networks has appointed Jack Nichols
as VP/Finance and as CFO. Most recently, Mr. Nichols served as SVP/CFO for
Atlanta-based Incanta, a provider of middleware and software premium
content solutions to broadband service providers. Mr. Nichols will be based
out of Datawire’s U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Datawire
Communication Networks offers the VXN, a globally focused, secure,
reliable, real-time, Internet-based transaction delivery network.

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ActivCard & Entrust

ActivCard has signed an “Entrust Developer Program” agreement to deliver high-performance solutions for usage and management of Entrust digital IDs on a multi-application smart card. ActivCard Trinity will soon provide strong multi-factor authentication to Entrust digital IDs stored on a user’s PC or smart card. A single authentication to Trinity will enable the user to sign-on to the desktop operating system, Entrust Entelligence desktop solutions 6.1, other Entrust Ready applications, the network operating system and many other enterprise applications.

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.NET Card

SchlumbergerSema has introduced the “.NET Card,” which utilizes smart card security to the delivery of Wi-Fi, digital rights management solutions, next-generation mobile messaging and home entertainment applications. The new technology enables easy integration with all types of multimedia applications, and complements the company’s existing portfolio of smart card platforms that will serve as the core technology for multimedia network services through various connected devices such as MP3 systems, game boxes, PDA’s, PC’s, cable and satellite TV systems, and, potentially, next generation phones. The advanced infrastructure behind the “.NET Card” technology incorporates a service layer designed to enable a range of applications to be automatically downloaded and installed onto the smart card.

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Incurrent Award

Incurrent has been presented with the award for “Best Practices in Training and Development” by the 11th Annual New Jersey Garden State Council Conference of the Society of Human Resource Management. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 170,000 individual members, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals by providing the most essential and comprehensive set of resources available.

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Interland & VeriSign

Interland is now offering VeriSign’s “Shared Hosting Security Service” and “VeriSign Payment Services” as part of its “blueHALO” shared hosting platform. SHSS provides online merchants with proven and audited authentication and encryption practices. The service gives Interland’s online merchants the same authentication and encryption technology available to large enterprises and allows them to enjoy the proven increase in traffic and completed consumer transactions that come from having a site that displays the VeriSign seal.

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AmEx Stock Repurchase

The Board of Directors of American Express yesterday approved the repurchase of up to 120 million additional common shares, or about 9% of the total shares outstanding. This authorization is a continuation of the company’s share repurchase program, which began in September 1994. Prior to today’s announcement, the board had authorized repurchases totaling 450 million shares, including purchases made under agreements with third parties.

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