Elan Renews ME Bank

Elan Financial Services has renewed its contract with Bangor Savings Bank in Bangor, Maine, to provide a wide range of financial services for five years. Bangor Savings Bank, with $1.3 billion in assets, has been with Elan since 1991.

Elan Financial Services will drive Bangor Savings Bank’s 42 ATMs and process its customers’ electronic funds transfer (EFT) transactions and Visa check card transactions.

Elan Financial Services supports more than 10,000 ATMs and 12 million cards, for 3,000 financial institutions, with a complete range of products and services including credit card issuing, ATM, debit card, and merchant processing. Elan provides full-service support and management tools that are offered uniquely through a single source.

Elan is part of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB). With assets in excess of $171 billion, U.S. Bancorp is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States and operates the third largest bank-owned ATM network. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at [usbank.com][1].

[1]: http://usbank.com

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Leapfrog Gets Financing

Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc., announced that it has entered into an agreement for venture capital-backed financing for the company. The investment, totaling $3,900,000 is expected to begin closing by April 15, 2002. The purchaser is Broad Street Capital Partners I fund based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Mark Thatcher, principal and managing director for Broad Street, was enthusiastic about the investment, “The Broad Street fund was established specifically to invest in small cap companies that have great potential in growing markets. Leapfrog is a perfect fit for us; we think the company has sound management, a solid business plan, and a proven market for their technology.” The Broad Street fund is newly established and Leapfrog will be one of the first portfolio companies.

“Broad Street’s investment into Leapfrog marks the first venture capital into the company,” comments Leapfrog CEO, Randall Schrader. “We believe that with this infusion, we will be able to strengthen our balance sheet and begin execution of our marketing plan. This funding positions us well for future financing and establishes our fiscal viability. We can now truly penetrate our targeted markets and generate significant revenues. As an emerging company, we will be able to begin the next stage of our corporate growth.”

The funds are scheduled to be received by Leapfrog in three traunches beginning in April and completed by May 31. The investment is in the form of a convertible preferred stock priced at $1.50 per share, with an accumulated dividend. The preferred shares are convertible on a one-for-one basis to common stock. Upon completion of funding, Broad Street will also have a seat on Leapfrog’s Board of Directors.

About Leapfrog Smart Products:

Leapfrog is poised at the forefront of providing proprietary software and hardware solutions, including biometric technologies developed for user authentication and access control in both computer networks and physical environments. The company, by creating compelling applications to generate demand for its products, intends to be a recognized leader in providing Smart Card software and hardware solutions. For more information on Leapfrog, please visit the Company’s web site at .

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ICMA MEMBERS

The International Card Manufacturers Association, a global non-profit association for card manufacturers, personalizers and service providers, recently announced the addition of five new members. These new members include two associate members, or suppliers, and three principal members, or card manufacturers.

Associate Members (Suppliers)
· Indigo USA, Woburn, MA, USA
· MagTek Inc., Carlson, CA USA

Principal Members (Card Manufacturers)
· IntelCav Cartoes Ltda, Getulioo Vargas – RS, Brazil
· Mahavir Decorative Products Pvt. Ltd., Pune, India
· SOKYMAT SA, Cards & Labels, Granges Veveyse, Switzerland

“ICMA’s strength is drawn from the vast knowledge and expertise we obtain from our membership base,” said Jeffrey E. Barnhart, executive director of ICMA. “The addition of new members enables ICMA to further expand its services and better serve the needs of this ever-changing industry.”

For information on becoming a member of ICMA, contact Lynn McCullough at (609) 799-4900; e-mail lmccullough@icma.com or visit the ICMA Web site at http://www.icma.com.

About ICMA

Based in Princeton Junction, NJ, ICMA is a non-profit association of plastic card manufacturers, personalizers and related industry participants. With more than 220 members globally, the ICMA acts as a clearinghouse for industry issues, including the production, technology, application, security and environmental issues of plastic cards.

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TransLink Expands

Less than six weeks after the start of a six-month pilot program for the TransLink regional fare payment system in the San Francisco Bay Area, the size of the test program may nearly double. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and a half-dozen Bay Area transit operators agreed yesterday to issue as many as 2,000 to 3,000 additional TransLink smart cards to new pilot program volunteers over the next few weeks. The first batch of TransLink smart cards were mailed to some 4,300 program volunteers in late January, and the pilot program began Feb. 1 on selected routes and at certain stations of six of the region’s largest transit agencies. Each TransLink smart card distributed to pilot program volunteers is pre-loaded with $3 in TransLink e-cash. Participants in the demonstration can load additional value onto their smart cards at self-serve Add Value Machines in transit stations and some 40 retail locations throughout the Bay Area, or by calling the TransLink Customer Service Center. The group also announced yesterday that TransLink is scheduled to go into operation next month throughout San Francisco’s Muni Metro light-rail system. (CF Library 1/31/02)

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BIN RAIDING

Consumers are placing themselves at serious
risk
of becoming fraud victims in the wake of a new crime that has arrived from the
US and is spreading across Britain, according to two surveys commissioned by
Experian, the information solutions company and leading provider of fraud
prevention solutions.

Bin raiding – the process of searching through bins to obtain personal
financial information to commit fraud – is growing at a phenomenal rate in the
UK but consumers remain unaware and, as yet, uninformed of its dangers. Bin
raiding is already widely recognized in the US, where it is known as dumpster
diving, with Americans being far more aware of the issue and taking much
greater care over how they discard their financial information.

To find out the extent to which people leave themselves vulnerable to identity
theft, Experian, in conjunction with Nottingham City Council and with the
support of Nottinghamshire Police, commissioned an independent, data
protection
registered research company to analyze the contents of hundreds of domestic
refuse bins under controlled, secure conditions, to see what people were
throwing away which could be useful to fraudsters. All data was anonymized to
ensure that nobody’s privacy was infringed.

The most worrying aspect of this new type of crime is that consumers continue
to discard significant quantities of personal financial information which can
and are being used by fraudsters to commit transaction fraud and identity
theft. The results of this research showed that:

· On average one in every five bins contains a whole credit or debit card
number
linked to an individual name and 80 percent of these have an associated
expiration
date. In more affluent areas, up to two in five bins (40 per cent) contains a
whole credit or debit card number linked to an individual name and 80 percent
of these have an associated expiration date.

· Only 14 percent of household rubbish bins contain absolutely no information
of interest to fraudsters.

· Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of bins contain the full name and full
address of at least one household member.

· Bank account details are regularly found in bins and, on average, one in
every
five bins contains a bank account number and sort code that could be
related to
the full name and address of a household member. In more affluent areas, 27
percent of bins contains bank account numbers and sort code details.

· Only rarely were attempts made to destroy information. Just eight per
cent of
households throwing away full card numbers had made attempts to destroy the
documents, and only one percent of households had been successful.
In a second survey commissioned by Experian to find out how widespread the
problem of bin raiding is, it was revealed that 75 percent of local
authorities admit that bin raiding is regularly taking place in their area
and,
of these, 80 percent agree that the problem is getting worse.

“It is staggering what people throw away,” commented Gareth Jones, Head of
Fraud at Experian. “One bin contained a signed blank cheque and another an
unused cheque book. From one bin, there was an individual’s full name,
address,
date of birth, bank account number, sort code, employment details, and medical
information. This person had also thrown away a whole benefit book, utility
bill, and other official letters that might be used to corroborate identity.
There was also significant information about this person contained in a
completed passport application.

“Just as worrying is how widespread bin-raiding has already become. While
it is
predominantly an urban phenomenon at this stage, it is already spreading into
rural areas. Not one local authority surveyed denied that bin-raiding
occurs in
their area.”

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GATED FARES

Cubic Transportation Systems Ltd., in England, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corp., has received a Euro2.2 million ($2 million U.S.) contract from the Rotterdam Electronic Tram to install the Netherlands’ first “gated” public transit fare collection system.

Under the contract, Cubic will provide and maintain an innovative access control system for six new stations of the Benelux Line in Rotterdam, the most recent extension of the Rotterdam metro network, which begins operation this year. The system consists of gates and a central computing sub-system.

The new system has a series of gates that allow the traveller access to the station with tram, bus card, or season ticket. Data is loaded to and collected from the gates by the computer sub-system. With the new system, RET can easily obtain information regarding travel patterns which will help in planning for the transportation needs of the future. The system will provide RET several benefits including increased revenue by reducing fare evasion, the mentioned travel data, and most importantly, provide added security by restricting access to legitimate passengers. This last aspect is in concert with Cubic’s expansion into security access control. The design of the access system also allows RET to connect to a national electronic ticketing system. The Netherlands has plans for such a system and this contract with RET places Cubic in a good position for the future.

Cubic, the world leader in automated fare collection, is teamed with EDS, a leader in IT operation and management, on this project as well as other joint pursuits in Europe. Cubic is providing the entire system while EDS is providing operational services.

According to RET commercial director, Trix van Bennekom, “When deciding on Cubic and EDS, we chose a combination of international expertise and practical experience in order to guarantee the best possible solution for our passengers.”

Ray deKozan, chairman, Cubic Transportation Systems, said, “We are pleased to be working on this, our first transit project in the Netherlands and proud that our proven expertise and reputation in the international community, especially in London, positioned us to be selected for this project. Our hope is that this is to be the first of several transit projects in the Netherlands.”

Cubic is the world’s largest supplier of integrated ticketing and automated fare collection systems for mass transit, including magnetic and smart card ticket media.

Every year, at least 10 billion passengers on five continents in more than 40 major markets pay for their mass transit rides using Cubic-designed payment systems. Cubic’s installations include London, Washington DC, Hong Kong, Chicago, New York, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Atlanta, San Francisco, Sydney, Singapore, and Miami, among others.

Cubic’s other major segment, the Cubic Defense Group, provides instrumented air and ground combat training systems, battle command training simulations, and simulation support for United States and allied military forces. The Group also produces high technology avionics, data links and communications products for government and commercial customers and provides a wide range of technical and logistics services. For more information about Cubic, see the company’s Web site at www.cubic.com.

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Careless Americans

A new survey shows Americans are very concerned about someone obtaining their credit, debit, or check card numbers, but at the same time a surprising number of Americans are careless when it comes to disposing of receipts. According to a recent Paymentech survey, almost half the population is more concerned about someone obtaining their credit, check, or debit numbers than about losing their car keys, checkbook, appointment book, cell phone, or even having someone hack into their computer files. Yet 35% of those polled said they are “just a little” or “not at all” concerned that many receipts expose entire account numbers and expiration dates. On those occasions where consumers do not keep the receipt from a credit card purchase, 33% throw the receipt away after tearing or shredding it, 13% throw the receipt away without tearing or shredding it, 13% leave it in the bag they got with the purchase, 2% leave it with the clerk, store, or restaurant, and 24% never throw away any receipts. When informed that some receipts expose the entire series of sixteen card numbers and expiration dates used to make the purchase, more than half of the respondents expressed concern. Thirty-six percent said that they are very concerned, 21% said that they are somewhat concerned, 14% said they are just a little concerned and 21% said that they are not concerned at all.

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CAMPUS SMART CARDS

QI Systems Inc. announced the successful completion of the University of Northern British Columbia’s campus-wide smart card automation system, marking British Columbia’s first university to convert from a magnetic stripe-based card system to a smart card system.

The contract contributes $170,000 to QI’s 2002 revenue.

The campus-wide automation system involved installing QI’s smart card payment terminals for the Unattended Point Of Sales (UPOS) machines, including name brand vending, laundry, copier, and parking equipment. In addition, QI developed, designed, and installed direct cash-to-card value reload stations, which are PC based, capable of cash-to-card, accounts-to-card and credit-to-card with on-line communication capability. Moreover, the stations are designed to accept bills and coins, print receipts on demand, dispense cards, have a built in alarm, and can reload values to a variety of proprietary and open card schemes. Touch Technology International, Inc., a leading turnkey smart card solutions system integrator providing back office operations and management software for campuses, the military and corporations, provided the operating system for the project with the installation of its transaction processing, settlement and reporting software.

Mesbah Taherzadeh, president and CEO, stated, “Our latest successful conversion with UNBC clearly demonstrates QI’s capability of providing UPOS smart card payment solutions for the most complex and extensive closed- and open-systems. Furthermore, our complex and versatile reload stations significantly facilitate the user’s experience, a key component for a seamless conversion and quick adaptation. We are confident that as users increasingly recognize the significant benefits provided by smart cards, such as dramatically improved security and convenience, more institutions will evolve to our smart card solutions, especially universities, one of our major target markets.”

This latest contract follows QI’s recent contract for its UPOS payment terminals for two large college campuses in Northern California, where QI is installing its UPOS payment terminals for soda and snack vending machines, copiers, network printing, pay and display parking and value reload stations. QI is optimistic that its terminals will be installed into six additional colleges in California by the end of 2002, executing on its strategy of aggressively pursuing the high-growth campus target market.

Also, through its partnership with JAYD LLC, QI was recently awarded a substantial contract to provide its smart card hybrid payment terminals and other related equipment for installation by one of the largest metropolitan transit authorities in the United States. The first phase of this project is valued at $150,000 with the second and third phase considerations estimated to be valued up to $2 million.

Mr. Taherzadeh added, “We look forward to building on this strong momentum as we pursue the UPOS market, which has an estimated growth rate of 35%.”

QI smart card solutions’ robust capabilities include, but are not limited to, smart card payment terminals for use in a variety of vending machines, pay and display parking, newspaper boxes, washing/drying machines, printers, copiers, secure delivery systems, door access systems, provision of variety of value reload stations and hybrid payment terminals. QI’s diverse smart card schemes include Visa Cash and Mondex, where QI is one of only two companies in the world certified for both card schemes, Card Touch, QI, CANTV, EFM, POM and TELUS.

About QI Systems Inc.

QI Systems Inc. (www.qisystems.ca) designs hardware and software for the rapidly expanding cash card industry. It is a leader in supplying solutions for smart card vending with products in use in Canada, the U.S., Venezuela, Hong Kong, the UK, and Norway. QI’s SmartVend technology enables debit card purchases by consumers from a wide range of vending machines types. The SmartVend system is currently being used in conjunction with many card schemes, including VisaCash, Mondex (Multos), CANTV (Venezuelan phone card), Telus SmartONE card and others. Due to the modular structure of SmartVend, multiple card schemes can be run in parallel in the same unit with new schemes added at a later date. QI’s SmartVend systems have been installed in Coca-Cola and Pepsi vending machines, coffee, snack and sandwich machines, laundromat machines, copiers, newspaper vending boxes for such publications as USAToday and in parking machines.

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Discover 2GO

Discover launched a revolutionary new credit card yesterday that brings the card out of the wallet onto a key chain–much to the dismay of its card issuing rivals. The Discover 2GO Card is shaped differently and smaller than a traditional credit card but has a mag stripe containing the same account information as the cardholder’s existing Discover Card. The unique and patent-pending design is housed in a protective case that attaches to a key chain, belt, or money clip. Users simply rotate the card out of its case and swipe. After a year-long pilot, the Discover 2GO Card is now launching in select Midwest markets, with national availability this summer. The card may also offer Discover the option of upgrading to a contact and/or contactless chip, giving it a potentially huge competitive advantage as the overall U.S. market migrates to a smart card infrastructure and wireless transactions. To-date, clear or translucent smart cards, have not rung consumer’s “bell” in the USA, other than to provide some limited design or sex appeal. A card with a different shape and a chip may best communicate to consumers the technological advantages of a smart card. Discover did not reveal the manufacturer of the new card but indicated it may provide that information at alater time.

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ID Congress

The CardTech/SecurTech Conference announced yesterday that this year’s event will include the first Worldwide ID Congress. The annual CTST Conference will be held in New Orleans, from April 22-25. The first Worldwide ID Congress will discuss the future of large-scale ID programs, anti-counterfeiting procedures, and biometric technologies. This new program will raise the subject of identification and its overarching influence in these uncertain times. Tate Preston, VP/Government Solutions, DataCard Group will lead the “ID Challenges in the 21st Century” discussion. David Snodgrass, Solutions Director, Digital Imaging, Unisys Corporation will review “Large Scale ID Systems.” Clive Reedman, Management Board Member of the Association for Biometrics, UK Police IT Organization will handle “ID Systems, Processes and Enforcement.” John Woodward, Senior Policy Analyst, The Rand Corporation, will lead “Practical Biometric Application Development.”

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GPN VIP Gaming Services

Global Payments continues to build a strong presence in the gaming industry with eight gaming establishments signing agreements for check processing services from Global’s VIP Preferred suite of products.

Under the agreements, Global Payments will provide one or a combination of VIP Preferred products to each of the following casino properties: Black Hawk Casino By Hyatt in Black Hawk, Colorado; Binion’s Horseshoe Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada; Downs At Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Hurricane Harry’s in Las Vegas, Nevada; Jacksonville Kennel Club in Jacksonville, Florida; Orange Park Kennel Club in Orange Park, Florida; Southern Cruz Casino in Little River, South Carolina; and St. Johns Greyhound Park in Jacksonville, Florida.

Global Payments, a gaming industry leader in check-cashing transactions, has added significant enhancements to the VIP Preferred product line, which is designed to specifically meet the needs of the gaming industry. The latest release of VIP Preferred’s proprietary software provides the gaming industry with the tools to establish up to $10,000 revolving check cashing limits for their customers in as little as 45 seconds.

Offering the highest limits in the industry combined with speed and efficiency, VIP Preferred cardholders gain fast, hassle free access to cash, while gaming establishments maximize every opportunity to increase money to their floor and eliminate associated risk by having the payment of their transactions 100 percent guaranteed.

“The simplicity and speed with which we can process paper and electronic check transactions, significantly increases the level of service, while building customer loyalty for our gaming establishment customers,” said Global Payments Check Services Group President, Scott W. Haskins. “Momentum is building rapidly for our innovative suite of products as we consistently enhance the content,” he said.

Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.

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