PRE-PAID CELLULAR

Raanana-based Retalix announced that the Company is launching a joint venture with Lipman Electronic Engineering to market a new technology that simplifies the process of purchasing pre-paid cellular air-time. Due to the response in pre-paid mobile phone sales throughout Europe — currently running at some 75% of all new purchases — the two companies have combined to develop a unique system that allows consumers to purchase airtime directly at the point of sale by inputing a personal phone number on either Retalix POS terminals or Lipman credit-card terminals. Retalix and Lipman are currently evaluating the validity of the concept through pilot programs with a number of Israeli cell phone companies and if successful, Angel envisages the venture expanding, with the technology being offered to Lipman’s existing customer base worldwide.

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NVB ATMS

Munich-based Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG has signed an agreement with Euronet Worldwide to pilot cash management outsourcing services at a limited number of HVB ATMs. HVB Germany, which has 3.3 million retail customers and more than 1,000 ATMs across Germany, will begin coordinating the cash management pilot at 24-60 ATMs with Euronet this month. Euronet ‘s cash management outsourcing services, including forecasting cash usage and managing cash logistics, will assist the Bank in optimizing their ATM program, while reducing the total cost of ownership.

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ADS ACQUISITION

Alliance Data Systems announced the acquisition of Enlogix Group from Duke Energy and will begin providing customer information system hosting for five utility companies, including Union Gas and Pacific Northern Gas. The deal provides a foray for Alliance Data into the Canadian utility market, and offers the opportunity for ADS to provide additional outsourced services, such as customer care, to other North American
utility companies. Duke Energy acquired Enlogix as well as Union Gas and a 41% interest in Pacific Northern Gas in March 2002 as part of the Westcoast Energy transaction.

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ECHO Deal

Electronic Clearing House has entered into an agreement to provide a complete check management solution to Hastings Entertainment. Under terms of the deal ECHO will provide check authorization at the point-of-sale through using ECHO’s NCN database; consolidated returns and electronic check imaging through Provident Bank; automated check re-presentment; a second re-presentment using ECHO’s SmartDate (payday) technology to increase probability of check clearing; and collection services in the event of a returned check. TX-based Hastings Entertainment is a leading multimedia entertainment retailer that combines the sale of books, music, software, periodicals, new and used DVDs, videos and video games with the rental of videos, DVDs and video games in a superstore format. Hastings currently operates 144 stores primarily in small to medium-sized markets throughout the USA.

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Concord EFS

Concord EFS was downgraded Friday by Bear Stearns to “neutral” from “buy” and the firm was also hit with a class action securities lawsuit. The Bear Stearns action stems from Concord’s lowered earnings forecast. Concord EFS said last week that in full-year 2002 it now expects to realize revenue growth of 26% to 28% instead of 30% to 35%. The Company cited recent acquisitions which increased expenses and delays in acting on its backlog of new business as key factors. The company also indicated that revenues from smaller retailers have decreased in the slow economy. Bear Stearns also cited “the loss of management credibility” as another reason for its downgrade. Concord EFS announced Thursday that Edward Labry, Concord president, would succeed chairman and CEO Dan Palmer as CEO in May 2003. Concord EFS said this morning it intends to vigorously defend itself against a purported class action lawsuit filed against the company on Friday. The lawsuit alleges violations of securities laws by the company and other named defendants. (CF Library 9/5/02)

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POSTBANK & GEMPLUS

Postbank has selected Gemplus International as the supplier of their new debit bank cards. The Postbank “Giropas” card was created and produced by a different vendor in 2001 and introduced to the market beginning of 2002. Gemplus’ German PVC production site in Herne has managed to emulate the complex design of the “Giropas” card and reproduce an identical copy. Postbank has more than 7.5 million account holders and is one of the largest financial service providers in the Netherlands.

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PayPoint & ThruComm

PayPoint Electronic Systems has inked a deal to provide the ThruComm “Integrator” service to merchants nationwide after successfully deploying the “Integrator” service to over 130 petroleum, specialty retail and restaurant locations, including ARCO petroleum stations. he ThruComm Integrator(TM) service delivers 3-5 second POS transaction response times and connects up to six devices simultaneously, so merchants do not need multiple dial-up phone lines.

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Web Ad Power

As Internet advertising continues to deliver lower credit card account acquisition costs, a new study, released this morning, shows that business decision makers are more heavily influenced by advertising on the Web than advertising on any other top medium. An overwhelming 77% of key decision makers said that the Web is the place where they prefer to find out about new products and companies, and nearly half said that the Web has actually influenced them to make a purchase or obtain a service for their business. Among the interesting findings in the survey were: 17% use the Web at least five hours per weekday (excluding e-mail) and 90% said that they use the Web to read general news. The study was jointly conducted by washingtonpost.com, Nielsen//NetRatings @plan and MORI Research.

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Jumping Juniper

Juniper Bank reported this morning that it now manages more than 500,000 credit card accounts with $800 million in receivables. One year ago the credit card issuer had about $300 million in outstandings and 150,000 accounts. Juniper also announced this morning it has expanded its management team. Kevin Murphy has been named director of collections; Phillip Weaver as director of strategic planning; and Kathy Kreusch-Cobb as director or human resources. Murphy spent the last 12 years at First USA as EVP of customer support and collections. Weaver also worked at First USA as EVP of strategic planning. Kreucsh-Cobb was SVP of human resources at First USA.

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