I-COM EXPANSION

ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand and one of the large Australian banks have confirmed they will use Carreker’s Internet-enabled cash inventory management solution to aid in the management of their cash inventories. The “Integrated Cash Operations Modules” (iCom) solution uses demand-based inventory management techniques to identify a daily cash activity profile for each cash point. The technology determines the
optimal inventory, order, and shipment amounts for cash at individual branches, ATMs, transportation providers, and vaults. It interprets and imitates historical cash usage data to define customer behavior and adjusts
for variables to forecast future customer demand. In addition, iCom provides multiple levels of customized alerts to prevent cash outage situations.

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PAYMASTER ACQUISITION

Colorado-based Equitex has closed its previously announced transaction with Paymaster Jamaica Limited. Under terms of the agreement, Equitex has provided a capital advance to Paymaster Jamaica that may be converted into stock of a newly formed subsidiary, Paymaster Worldwide, Inc. Paymaster Worldwide will be equally and jointly owned by Equitex and Paymaster Jamaica and its purpose is to replicate and commercialize the Paymaster Jamaica business model throughout North America, and possibly worldwide. Equitex also announced today the formation of a new subsidiary, Denaris Corporation, which will act as the stored value card operation of Equitex. Denaris will support Equitex’s transaction with Paymaster Jamaica as well as all future stored value card programs.

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INFOCARD EXPANDS

Wisbech, Cambridgeshire-based Burall InfoCard Ltd is expanding its system-integration services to manage a contract to supply an initial 40,000 smart card readers for the new Vehicle Inspectorate MOT system, due to be launched by the British Government in 2003. The system will use smart card technology to assist in the capture of data regarding MOT tests for 30 million vehicle inspections each year, which is then transferred to a central computer. Checks will be made against every vehicle registration which will trace the MOT tester in which garage issued a particular vehicle with its MOT, including the detail of its emission test. The smart card technology will also provide garages with a robust, secure and portable data storage system that will log information and prevent fraud. InfoCard also announced it has named Lawrence Faulkner to serve as Divisional Director. Siemens Business Services was awarded the prime contract of £2 million to supply readers for the new Vehicle Inspectorate MOT system.

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TOWERGROUP EXPANSION

TowerGroup has appointed John Stone to the role of managing partner, International Advisory Services. In his new London-based position, Mr. Stone will oversee all TowerGroup consulting and advisory operations outside of North America. He will also oversee the ongoing business development efforts of TowerGroup managing director, EMEA, Ole Skjodstrup. The company also announced that Greggory Kobelski, who currently serves as managing director, will assume Mr. Stone’s former role as partner-in-charge, Consulting Services, North America.

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Gaming Chips

Salt Lake City-based Smart Chip Technologies announce that RNG Gaming has agreed to license and pay advance royalties to use Smart Chip’s loyalty patent and end-to-end loyalty system for gaming. RNG Gaming will integrate Smart Chip Technologies’ “e-llegiance” and “LoyaltyCentral” loyalty system with its gaming software and back-end tracking system to provide smart card driven wireless terminals for in-room and off-site online gaming in casinos, resorts, airplanes, and other venues. Under the terms of the licensing agreements, RNG Gaming has an exclusive worldwide license and sublicensing rights for gaming and has agreed to pay SCTN a minimum of $1.5 million in the first two years, with anticipated SCTN revenues of at least $9,000,000 in year five. In addition, RNG Gaming has prepaid SCTN a portion of projected licensing fees, generating the first significant revenues for the development stage company.

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Surgical Email

Email, as a marketing channel, now produces about 3% of all new accounts. Yesterday, Experian introduced a new service which will enable credit card issuers to fine tune email solicitations based on credit risk. To take advantage of Experian’s new “Email Prescreen,” customers provide to Experian their lists of prospect email addresses and their intended online offers. After credit information about each prospect is extracted from the company’s nationwide database of more than 230 million credit-active consumers, they are segmented using up to 12 different levels of prescreen criteria to determine acceptable levels of risk according to each customer’s wishes. On behalf of the customer, Experian then deploys the credit offer to the pre-approved prospects through the company’s email center. When an email offer is returned without being delivered, Experian sends a printed offer via the post office to the prospect’s physical address. Automatic tracking of responses allows up-to-the-minute availability of activity reports via a password-protected, remote access Web response portal, with the majority of responses coming within 48 to 72 hours post-launch. Experian says a recent test campaign using “Email Prescreen” to reach out to 650,000 online prospects enjoyed a 1.9% click through rate.

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Cruise Cards

The Norwegian Cruise Line Group has partnered with MBNA to offer consumers an “Norwegian Cruise Line MasterCard” and “Orient Lines MasterCard.” NCL will also be giving travel agents a $25 commission for every credit card application they generate that is approved and activated. The no annual fee “Norwegian Cruise Line Platinum Plus MasterCard” and the “Orient Lines Platinum Plus MasterCard” offers the opportunity to earn three points for every $100 charged and one additional point, or a total of four, for every $100 in purchases of products or services of NCL, Orient Lines or Star Cruises. They can redeem these points for stateroom upgrades and “good-as-cash” cruise certificate credits with all the brands in the Star Cruises Group – NCL, Orient Lines and Star Cruises. Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line operates a fleet of nine ships sailing to more than 140 ports around the world.

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