UNIX Processing

GA-based CoreCard Software has inked a deal to be the exclusive distributor of RS2’s UNIX-based “BankWORKS” integrated e-payment processing solution in the Americas including Latin America. CoreCard will provide consulting, implementation and other support services for the “BankWORKS” solution in these markets. “BankWORKS” supports all aspects of card issuing and acquiring services. It is built on an open architecture and supports smart cards, e-Commerce, Internet and Mobile-Banking. “BankWORKS” products are installed at over 80 locations in more than 30 countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia. CoreCard is a PaySys International spin-off with Intelligent Systems Corporation as its largest investor.

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M-VT101

Epson has unveiled a new thermal card printer which provides retailers with a way to print individual pre-paid long distance and cellular cards on inexpensive blank media. The new “M-VT101” is also suitable for customer loyalty and frequent-buyer programs, gift cards, promotional offers, coupons, membership cards, event tickets, and temporary photo ID cards. Printing thermal cards on demand costs approximately two cents per card versus 20-25 cents each for plastic cards. The “M-VT101” has an estimated lifetime of 100,000 printed cards.

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NPC Shakeup

National Processing’s board of directors named Jon Gorney as the company’s CEO following the unexpected resignation yesterday of CEO/president Thomas Wimsett. Gorney was also named chairman succeeding Paul Clark. Clark will remain a member of the National Processing board of directors. Gorney joined National City in 1973. He was elected EVP of National City in 1993 and is responsible for all bank operations and technology functions. NPC says it will name a new president in the near future.

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AAA Cheques

AAA this morning announced that it will convert its current foreign and domestic travelers cheque portfolio to VISA from American Express after signing an agreement with Travelex to supply global, Visa-branded payment products and foreign exchange services. As a result, AAA members will receive fee-free VISA “Travelers Cheques” as well as access to prepaid AAA “VISA Travel Money” cards, “VISA Gift” cards, VISA credit cards and foreign currency. The conversion begins in January. AAA provides its more than 45 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services.

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Metris Lawsuits

Shareholder lawsuits against Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank were filed last week by several litigation firms. The suits allege that Metris misled the investing community concerning the existence and the adverse material effect of a Report of Examination issued by the OCC. The lawsuits also allege that the OCC released the ROE to defendants on November 5, 2001, but Metris failed to reveal the existence of the ROE to the public until April 17, and thereafter misrepresented the effect it would have on Metris. Metris stock is currently trading around $2 per share compared to $29 per share one year ago. The law firms filing suits include: Weiss & Yourman; Lockridge Grindal Nauen; Stull, Stull & Brody; Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates; and Schiffrin & Barroway. Metris reported a net loss for the second quarter of $36.4 million. The managed credit card loan portfolio at June 30, was $11.7 billion, a decrease of $81 million during the quarter. Credit card charge volume decreased 14% to $2.2 billion in the second quarter of 2002, compared to $2.5 billion in the second quarter of 2001, according to CardData (www.carddata.com).

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IGNITE SMART CARDS

San Diego-based Patriot Scientific has inked a deal with a major
Chinese manufacturer to integrate its “IGNITE” embedded microprocessor
technology into a silicon solution for a smart card product. Last year,
China issued a total of 320.2 million smart cards, among those were 253.3
million memory IC cards and 66.9 million CPU based cards. China’s smart
card industries have formed an industrial chain to accelerate the
development and modernization of finance, telecom, transportation and other
industries. PTSC has successfully integrated the industry’s smallest and
most powerful RISC 32-bit microprocessor. It also has a full Java
application environment.

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Discover Promotion

Discover Card is launching a new promotion tomorrow offering its cardholders a chance to win a balance pay-off at the start of 2003. The “Ring in the Rewards with Discover Card” promotion features a sweepstakes with ten “Balance Paid in Full” (up to $10,000) grand prizes. Winners will be announced on Discover Card’s Times Square sign on New Year’s Eve. This year’s promotion also includes “Everyday Rewards” in the October billing statements. Participating merchants include: Bed Bath & Beyond, Borders, Burlington Coat Factory, The Sharper Image, and Waldenbooks. Discover Card is also setting up Discover Card kiosks to high-traffic shopping areas in 10 cities across the country in November and December, offering hot beverages and coupons to people who show a recent Discover Card receipt. The print campaign to support the “Ring in the Rewards with Discover Card” promotion will launch October 1st as well as visuals on the Discover Card sign in Times Square.

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SWIFT PARTNERSHIP

SWIFT has teamed with webMethods to upgrade the the payment
processes between financial institutions and corporate customers. There is
no standard, universally accepted method to support
“Straight-Through-Processing” for payment processes between banks and their
corporate customers. webMethods has developed support for the SWIFT
“TrustAct” and “e-paymentsPlus” solutions, providing financial institutions
with a fully integrated solution for connecting with corporate clients’
back-end systems. The solution allows corporate businesses to seamlessly
integrate electronic payment processes with their supply chain management
and back-end
ERP systems. Financial institutions benefit from higher levels of process
automation and STP as the solution ties in automatically with the inter-bank
payment processes that generate MT103s. webMethods and SWIFT will jointly
promote the integrated solution.

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