Humboldt EVP/CCO

Humboldt Bancorp has named Mark Wardlow, formerly of Bank of America, as EVP/Chief Credit Officer to replace the retiring Ron Barkley. Mr. Wardlow brings 23 years of lending experience to the organization. He most recently served as Senior Vice President/Market Manager for Bank of America’s North Central Valley Regional Commercial Banking Office, located in Modesto, California. Additionally, he was Market President for Bank of America in a seven county Central California area, coordinating community relations and local interests.

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DATACARD ACQUISITION

Datacard Group confirmed it will acquire the assets of Gilles Leroux S.A., a manufacturer of plastic card production, control and personalization systems and supplier of solutions to the GSM smart card market. Datacard intends to continue manufacturing the Gilles Leroux product line at the Orleans, France production facility. The company will also receive Gilles Leroux card counting and card testing systems as part of the acquisition. Datacard was awarded the right to purchase the Gilles Leroux assets by the Commercial Court of Orleans, France, which has been overseeing Gilles Leroux S.A. since it filed for bankruptcy protection last year. Datacard expects to complete the transaction within 30 days.

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CardWorks Expansion

Plainview, NY-based Cardholder Management Services will see its card servicing portfolio soar from 1.2 million to about 2.5 million next month, and will be moving to larger facilities later this year. CMS is picking up the new accounts as part of a deal between Providian and CardWorks, the parent of CMS. In April, Providian announced a plan to unload $2.6 billion in sub-prime credit card receivables. Goldman Sachs, Salomon Smith Barney, CompuCredit, and CardWorks formed two limited liability companies to buy the high risk assets held in 1.7 million credit card accounts. CardWorks and CompuCredit split the $2.6 billion portfolio. The purchasers plan to finance the acquisition through a securitization. Under terms of the deal, Providian will hold an interest in the securitized assets valued at approximately $155 million, and will preserve an option to purchase up to 15% of the equity in the limited liability companies. Providian expects to take an after-tax loss of approximately $240 million due to the sale. (CF Library 4/16/02)

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RESTAURANT RECON-NET

Dublin-based Trintech Group says Consolidated Restaurant Operations has selected ReconNET 6.1 to manage all its reconciliation and deposit verification requirements. The Dallas-based company owns, operates, and franchises more than 140 restaurants around the U.S., with annual sales of $200 million. With ReconNET, CRO can completely automate the reconciliation process to manage its cash, check, and credit card transactions. ReconNET 6.1 features improvements include support for Microsoft SQL 2000, Windows XP Professional, and Crystal 8.5, extensive usability enhancements, and a web-enabled application for access to ReconNET via the Internet.

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IT Budgets

Nearly forty-five percent of retail IT budgets will increase in 2002 thanks to consumer interest in payment technologies. A Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Retail IT Research report found that consumers are generally interested in technology applications that provide greater convenience, speed, and cost savings. For example, nearly 80% of consumers used, plan to use, or would use an automated payment facility at gas pumps. Consumers also use automated teller machines (75%) and debit/credit self-operated keypad machines at checkout (66%). Technology that is least likely to be used by consumers includes Internet access in stores (25%), automated meal planners/budgeters (12%) and promotions/specials that can automatically be sent to wireless devices (11%). Approximately 80% of survey respondents indicated that their current IT objectives are largely geared toward reducing costs.

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SMART LABELS

Rudolstadt-based ExypnoTech GmbH has signed a deal to supply smart labels to Munich-based Schreiner LogiData GmbH. Schreiner and NanoPierce, the parent of ExypnoTech GmbH, have been collaborating since November 2000 to evaluate and test NanoPierce’s Connection System technology for the production of smart labels. RFID labels are increasingly being used in a wide range of applications, such as express mail services, baggage tracking, article monitoring, product authentication, inventory management and library administration. They are viewed as the next generation of technology to replace barcode labels.

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VISA ATM Locator

VISA and InfoNow have teamed to offer VISA member banks the option to add a co-branded referral and locator service to their Web sites that will supply multi-lingual data and information on VISA’s 400,000 ATM locations in 130 countries worldwide. Using InfoNow’s technology, Visa member banks can follow a simple wizard to build their own locator within minutes. Click-down menus within the wizard allow the member bank to choose specific fonts and colors to create a customized look and feel. Users are then able to browse their bank’s Web site or the Visa site to find ATMs or locations where they can use their credit or debit card.

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AEROPLAN PARTNERS

Air Canada’s Aeroplan frequent flyer program has added two partners. By the end of this year, Aeroplan members will be able to accumulate up to one Aeroplan Mile for every one dollar of purchases made at hardware retail outlets operating under Sodisco-Howden national banner PRO or under the Do-it, Ferplus and Bâtitout banners, as well as up to 10,000 Aeroplan Miles on purchases of residential VOXCOM security systems. More than six million members earn Aeroplan Miles toward reward travel to destinations served by Air Canada, its regional airline, Air Canada Jazz, and worldwide partner airlines comprising the Star Alliance network.

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Elite 640

Ingenico yesterday introduced a customer-activated payment terminal with integrated EMV approved smart card reader, for use by U.S. major multi-lane retailers. The Elite 640 supports credit, check cards, debit cards, EBT, loyalty, gift cards, phone cards and smart card-based transactions. Available with the integrated EMV approved smart card reader is an optional four SAM slots. The Elite 640 exceeds INTERAC and VISA SPED specifications for transaction security. The Elite 640 features a simple keypad, large LCD display, a backlit LCD display, and 4 screen addressable keys.

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Oberthur 32K Card Certified

Oberthur has received FIPS 140-1 Certification for its CosmopolIC 32K smart card. The award means that Oberthur Card Systems is compliant with the stringent Common Access Card specifications issued by the Department of Defense, an existing customer. This certification is the minimal required level of security for all DoD and other government applications involving smart cards used for authentication and identification.

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Citi Card VAN

Citibank will officially launch a free, Virtual Account Number service today for its 100 million North American cardholders. Using Orbiscom’s Control Payment Number technology, a random, substitute account number is generated for each online purchase. To participate, cardholders download the Virtual Account Numbers payment software after registering at Citibank’s Web site, and assigning themselves a user name and password. When making a purchase, the customer enters that user name and password for authentication and with one click a random substitute credit card number is generated and transferred into the retailer’s checkout form. Orbiscom’s Controlled Payment Platform also supports Verified by VISA and MasterCard’s SPA services, as well as emerging authentication protocols such as smart cards and biometrics.

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BuyCell

MA-based Cerylion has launched BuyCell, a new, mobile payment service that integrates POS devices and the e-Wallet services of major cellular carriers, enabling restaurant and hotel patrons to make payments using their mobile phone or other handheld device without divulging credit card information. Cerylion’s technology provides each individual user with a secure mobile Webspace where he or she can store and create links to personal information, such as contact lists, calendars, loyalty programs, and credit card information. When a user opts to pay using BuyCell, the point-of-sale device communicates to the credit card portion of the user’s Webspace and then sends an SMS to the user’s mobile phone, enabling the user to view a record of the transaction and approve it. Any credit card information in a user’s Webspace is stored securely behind a firewall, not on the device or the phone.

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