Super Sub-Prime

The demise of the Net 1st MasterCard issued by the now defunct Florida-based Net First National Bank, Colorado-based Equitex, and its Florida-based Key Financial Systems subsidiary has opened the door for new super sub-prime bank credit cards. According to CardTrak’s monthly commentary ([][1]), the firm behind the Future VISA Card program has switched to promoting the AmeriOneCard MasterCard. Robert Johnson of Tampa, Florida and JohnsonLane.Com Marketing Services have unleashed a major promotional effort for the new card on the Internet. The AmeriOneCard MasterCard is issued by First National Bank of Central Texas. Unlike the Net 1st MasterCard, the AmeriOneCard does not come with an immediate balance. Rather, cardholders are required to deposit, preferably by ACH, at least $15 per month to the card to build an available balance. The card charges an $89.95 membership fee and a $9.95 monthly maintenance fee for essentially a debit card that is reported to the major credit bureaus as a credit card. On March 1st, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shut down Florida-based Net First National Bank. The patented “Pay-As-You-Go” credit card program, the basis for the Net 1st MasterCard, issued credit cards to consumers without a credit check or a security deposit. The card came with a $500 credit limit and a $500 balance. As the cardholder pays down the balance, the credit line will open and a credit history may build. Under the program, cardholders are required to make a $15 per month payment of which $7 is applied to the outstanding balance and $8 is applied to a ongoing monthly fee. (CF Library 3/4/02; 3/11/02)




Experian has been awarded a major contract to supply its web-based consumer identity authentication system ­ e-identity ­ to Camelot Interactive. E-identity will be used by Camelot Interactive as an identity authentication tool for its new online gaming website.

Camelot, the operator of the UK’s exclusive provider of the National Lottery games, expects to re-launch launch the new The National Lottery website later this year, which will allow, allowing users to play a wide range of National Lottery games through the Internet. The first Instants games should be available from around the end of 2002.. The service will then be extended to include mobileWAP technology and interactive television.

Central to the delivery of the new gaming service and one of the main reasons e-identity was chosen as an identification tool, is the support it can provide Camelot Interactive in its continued promotion and commitment to responsible playgaming. By introducing e-identity, Camelot Interactive will be able to verify and authenticate all new player registrations and confirm that all customers are who they claim to be. This will ensure that only people aged sixteen and over, resident at a UK address and legally entitled to playgamble will have access to the site. As a result, only those people meeting all the strict criteria laid down by Camelot Interactive will be able to register and play the National Lottery games using the Internet.

Internet and any other interactive remote channels.

Richard Hurd-’ Wwood, Director of Camelot Interactive, Camelot, commented: “With the addition of Experian’s e-identity, we can ensure that all our customers are authenticated during the registration process to guard against illegal and under-age use of the site.

“E-identity will also help to us to promote responsible playgaming by preventing people from registering at multiple or bogus addresses and limiting any exposure to irresponsible playgambling.”

Richard Fiddis, Chief Operating Officer of Experian UK & Ireland, added: “We are delighted that Camelot Interactive has chosen e-identity as its authentication solution, as this further cements our position as the leading provider of identity authentication solutions in the UK. As more and more business is conducted online there is an increasing need for electronic consumer identification solutions, removing the need for companies to resort to paper-based proofs of identity.

“Using e-identity, Camelot Interactive will be able to authenticate its customers remotely, in real time, gaining a wider understanding of its customer-base in a transparent and non-intrusive manner. As an authentication solution, e-identity can also help to reduce the number of fraudulent remote credit card transactions – safeguarding against card-not-present (CNP) fraud*.”

E-identity, which is available via the Internet on, accesses Experian’s vast consumer databases and public information sources to return an ‘authentication score’ so that organisations can have sufficient confidence that a consumer is genuine before proceeding with a financial transaction or commercial agreement.

Well known as a leading provider of anti-fraud and money laundering prevention solutions, Experian provides e-identity and other identification tools to a wide range of leading organisations including many in the banking and finance sector, retail and travel industry sectors where it is currently consistently detecting 90 per cent of fraudulent online credit card transactions.


VeriFone & MicroPortal

VeriFone Inc., the worldwide leader in electronic payment solutions, and Atrana Solutions, Inc., Dallas, TX, a leader in point of sale (POS) terminal software solutions, announced the availability of MicroPortal, Atrana’s new technology designed to optimize delivery of value-added products and services to the POS, utilizing VeriFone’s extensive line of multi-application terminals.

MicroPortal enhances the POS terminal by enabling service providers to add and manage value-added applications without modifying the terminal’s payment software, and facilitates management of the terminal while working seamlessly with the resident application. MicroPortal can be used as a standalone application or in conjunction with any terminal payment software, including VeriFone’s SoftPay application. Value-added applications supported and enhanced by MicroPortal include activation and delivery of prepaid products, age and identity verification, gift cards and message delivery.

Accor Lodging North America, a division of Paris based Accor, is the first lodging chain to implement this new technology across the US. Two of its brands, Red Roof Inns and Motel 6 are deploying VeriFone terminals with Atrana’s MicroPortal technology to support prepaid long distance card services for one of the nation’s largest carriers.

“At Accor Lodging North America, we are constantly evaluating new technologies that enhance the lodging experience of our traveling customers,” said group executive vice president of marketing and sales Carol Kirby. “This solution will enable our sites to enhance customer service by providing superior prepaid long distance card service to our patrons. ”

“MicroPortal delivers new products and services to the terminal while totally eliminating costly software development projects or upgrades in the future,” said Atrana CEO, Salah Boukadoum. “We are pleased to work with VeriFone to introduce this new versatile product on their popular Omni line of terminals and to continue this effort with their next generation of payment solutions.”

“Multi-application capabilities give processors and ISO’s the ability to expand their portfolio of services, changing the point of sale into a new point of profit,” said Stuart Taylor, VP of Marketing, VeriFone Inc. “Value-added applications generate new revenue streams and improve merchant retention. The integration of Atrana’s MicroPortal with VeriFone’s Verix multi-application architecture facilitates the fastest delivery of new services by eliminating the need for re-certification of the existing payment application.”

VeriFone’s Verix architecture with both hardware and software separation provides a secure environment for the MicroPortal Applets, and also allows secure sharing of information between applications, eliminating the need for clerks to re-key critical data. The MicroPortal is available today on VeriFone’s Omni 3700 and Omni 3300 terminal families.

About Atrana

Based in Dallas, Atrana is a leader in providing point-of-sale (POS) card payment terminal software and systems to retailers, transaction processors and stored value providers. The company’s broad expertise in POS systems, back-end transaction servers and retail integration enables it to offer its clients complete technology solutions for credit, debit, fleet, loyalty, prepaid, gift card and other transaction-based services. Atrana’s customers include many of the industry’s largest transaction processors and service providers. Atrana’s Internet address is [][1].

For further information on Atrana, Inc. please contact Brad Prizer at, or at 214-741-5222.

About Accor Lodging North America

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Accor Lodging North America is a division of Paris-based Accor ([][2]), the world’s third-largest hospitality company and the European leader in travel, tourism and corporate services. Accor Lodging North America operates more than 1,200 upscale and economy properties owned by Accor including the upscale Sofitel and Novotel hotel locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the nationwide economy leaders Red Roof Inns, Motel 6 and Studio 6. Together, Red Roof Inns ([][3]), Motel 6 ([][4]), and Studio 6 ([][5]), comprise more than 10% of the entire U.S. budget lodging segment.

About VeriFone, Inc.

VeriFone, Inc., () is the leading global provider of secure electronic-payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than nine million electronic-payment systems, which are used in more than 100 countries. VeriFone, Inc. is held by Gores Technology Group, an international acquisition and management company.

About Gores Technology Group

With headquarters in Los Angeles, Gores Technology Group (GTG) is a privately held international acquisition and management firm that pursues an aggressive strategy of acquiring promising high-technology organizations and managing them for growth and profitability. GTG has a proven track record of acquiring and successfully managing companies including many divisions acquired from large publicly traded companies through its commitment to customers, employees and continued development of intellectual property. GTG has acquired and managed approximately 35 interrelated but autonomous technology-oriented companies with locations throughout the world. Those companies provide a broad range of technology-based products and services to a substantial customer base representing millions of active users worldwide. Visit the company’s Web site at [][6].




VISA International has hired Government Relations Australia to lobby against the proposals by the Reserve Bank of Australia which call for an end to merchant fees and the option of charging consumers a fee for each credit card transaction. Two of the principals in the VISA lobby effort are former NSW government minister Michael Yabsley and former Labor federal treasurer John Dawkins. Dawkins previously had ministerial responsibility with the Reserve Bank. The RBA’s proposal would significantly reduce interchange fees with the result that credit card issuers would be forced either to raise fees or reduce services to cardholders. The RBA proposal involves changes to what are known as four-party payment systems such as MasterCard, Bankcard and VISA. Three-party payment systems such as American Express and Diner’s Club, which typically carry higher fees than four-party systems, are excluded from the proposal. Under the terms of the proposals unveiled on December 14, 2001, the RBA would regulate three key areas of four-party credit card systems: the setting of interchange fees, surcharging, and who can join the system.


WA Bank Expands ATMs

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc. and Electronic Transactions Advantage Inc., a Fujitsu business partner, have signed an exclusive, two-year contract with Columbia Bank to standardize Fujitsu’s ATM platform for the financial institution’s automated-teller machine (ATM) network.

Tacoma, Wash.-based Columbia Bank is purchasing 23 Fujitsu Series 8000(TM) ATMs, which offer a Microsoft Windows(R) 2000 platform, Web enablement, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, and Triple Data Encryption Standard (DES) for increased security. The Series 8000 ATMs are capable of supporting an array of next-generation transactions for dispensing cash, loan applications, concert tickets, stamps, and more. The bank is also upgrading 54 Series 7000 ATMs with Fujitsu’s Prism software to add a higher level of security and greater ADA compliance. Columbia Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Banking System Inc., is a Washington state-chartered full-service commercial bank with 33 branches located throughout the Puget Sound region.

“This agreement strengthens Columbia Bank’s ability to combine the convenience of modern technology with the care of old-fashioned, customer-friendly banking,” said Becky Kettenring, Columbia Bank’s ATM program vice president. “Years ago, we conducted competitive research on ATMs. Results showed that Fujitsu’s equipment provided industry-leading features at a competitive price. Fujitsu’s Series 8000 ATMs continue to offer these benefits and will enable us to increase revenue through expanded services, advertising and point-of-service (POS) displays.

“In addition to Fujitsu’s hardware,” said Kettenring, “Columbia Bank’s back-room operations team voted for Fujitsu’s Windows 2000 platform because it’s easier to operate, manage, and maintain than ATMs that use proprietary software.”

“Columbia Bank’s management is committed to building closer customer relationships through Web-enabled ATM technology that ‘personalizes’ communication. They’ve also determined to streamline and simplify operations by using one ATM vendor,” said Pat Scott, chief executive officer of Auburn, Wash.-based ETAdvantage. “We recommended Fujitsu as the exclusive ATM vendor because its Series 8000 can reduce the bank’s cost of ownership while adding value to its customers’ experience.”

Fujitsu Series 8000 ATM Features

Fujitsu’s Series 8000 ATMs offer North American banks, credit unions, and other financial service providers next-generation features, including:

— Lower cost of ownership (TCO), with large capacity dispensers, fewer moving parts, universal components, low-maintenance thermal printers, and color LCD displays.

— Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.

— Web-enabled capabilities that will eventually allow customers to use ATMs for all the same banking transactions they currently conduct from their PCs, such as loan applications and bill payments. New types of transactions, such as phone cards and event ticket purchases, will further enhance the customer experience.

— The capability to dispense a range of media, such as stamps, coupons, event tickets, credit card-sized media, and other items of value.

— Windows 2000 operating system that supports both traditional financial transactions and future services. Windows XP will be available by mid-2002.

— World’s highest footprint-to-capacity ratio in an ATM.

“Fujitsu and ETAdvantage have successfully teamed together to offer ATM operators the most innovative, advanced ATM technologies,” said Neill Collins, Fujitsu vice president of financial systems sales. “This contract validates our commitment to become a customer’s total lifecycle management solutions provider, resulting in a winning combination of decreased costs and increased customer satisfaction.”

About Columbia Bank

Columbia Bank is a Washington state-chartered full-service commercial bank providing products and services to individuals, businesses and the real estate community. A wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Banking System Inc. (Nasdaq:COLB), Columbia Bank currently has 33 branches in Pierce, King, Cowlitz, Kitsap, and Thurston counties. Web site: [][1]

About Electronic Transactions Advantage Inc.

ETAdvantage is a full-service Fujitsu ATM business partner providing ATM services in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Services to all financial institutions include site surveys, recommendations of equipment, sales of new and refurbished equipment, installation, hardware services for all ATMs, first line service, depot repair, and dispatch. Web site: [][2]

About Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc.

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc., headquartered in Dallas, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702). The company is a total lifecycle solutions supplier for North American retailers and financial services providers. Fujitsu optimizes the customer’s technology lifecycle and reduces total cost of ownership with point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software, handheld devices and applications, Web-enabled automated-teller machines (ATMs) and infrastructure services, including asset management. Fujitsu offers world-class customer-service support, call centers, product staging/integration and rapid-response rollouts. It serves customers such as Allfirst Financial, Albertson’s, Recreational Equipment Inc., Safeway and Staples, among others. Web site: [][3]

For sales and product information call 800/340-4425




Freestar Technologies, Inc. announced that it has opened its new North American headquarters in the heart
of New York City to launch the sales and marketing of its PaySafeNow system in
the North American market. Freestar’s PaySafeNow system is the first system
to allow consumers to execute PIN-secured ATM, debit card, credit card and
smart card transactions over the Internet.

The PaySafeNow solution bundles Freestar’s proprietary software with a
secure card reader that connects the consumer’s PC to the financial
institution holding the consumer’s banked funds. The reader is compatible
with both magnetic-stripe and smart-card technologies, and utilizes a secure
numeric keypad to enter PINs and passwords. This system creates two-factor
authentication, which is required for ATM/debit transactions.

The PaySafeNow System is endorsed and certified by Banco Nacional de
Credito, a division of the National Financial Group (GFN), a principal
financial institution in the Caribbean and Latin American region.

Supporting the expansion of its sales and marketing effort, the Company also
announced the appointment of Cynthia Aadal as Director of Business
Development. Prior to joining FSTI, Ms. Aadal was a founding partner and
Director of Business Development for Get Real Girl, Inc. a consumer and multi-
media company featured on Oprah, NBC, QVC, the Wall Street Journal, Red
Herring and other media. She was also a business development specialist for
Abacus Online, a division of Double-click – the world’s leading Internet
advertising firm. Ms. Aadal holds a degree in Political Science and
Communications from the University of Arizona.

Paul Egan, CEO of Freestar Technologies, said, “This is an extremely
important step for Freestar Technologies with regard to the execution of our
business plan and the globalization of our PaySafeNow system. New York is the
business center of the world and therefore it is a natural choice for our
North America headquarters.

Mr. Egan concluded, “We are also very pleased to announce the appointment
of Cynthia Aadal, who will bring additional strength and experience to the
management team and enhance our position in a competitive market place.”

About Freestar Technologies, Inc.

Freestar Technologies, Inc.’s Enhanced Transactional Secure Software
(“ETSS”) is a proprietary software package that enables consumers to
consummate secure e-commerce transactions over the Internet using credit,
debit, ATM (with PIN) or smart cards. The ETSS system integrates a consumer-
side card-swipe terminal with a back-end host-processing center. It encrypts
sensitive financial data at the consumer’s personal computer, using powerful
DES encryption and algorithms. It sends an authorization number to the e-
commerce merchant, rather than the consumer’s credit card information, to
provide a maximum level of security. The Company plans to link several large,
established smart card systems together on an ETSS-based standard to achieve
economies of scale and further market penetration for this secure e-commerce
payment system. For more information visit the Web site of the Company at .


E-Check Booklet

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced the publication of a guide to help consumers better understand their rights and responsibilities with regard to electronic check conversion transactions. The guide, “When is Your Check Not a Check? Electronic Check Conversion,” discusses what electronic check conversion is, how consumers can tell if their check will be electronically converted, some of the differences between a regular check transaction and electronic check conversion, consumers’ rights in an electronic check conversion transaction, and what consumers can do if they have problems with such transactions. In an electronic check conversion transaction, a consumer authorizes the use of a check to obtain information for initiating an electronic debit from the consumer’s account. “When Is Your Check Not a Check?” covers electronic check conversion at the point of sale as well as when the consumer has mailed a check to a company that uses electronic check conversion. The guide also provides a checklist for consumers to use before and after an electronic check conversion transaction, and items to review when they receive their account statements from financial institutions. Print copies of the guide are available from Publications Services, Mail Stop 127, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551. The first 100 copies are free. The guide is also available on the Board’s web site at . A PDF (Portable Document Format) version is provided on the web site so that consumer groups, financial institutions, and retailers can download and print copies for distribution to their clients and customers. It includes a space on the back panel for organizations to provide their own contact information.



Performance Technology announced the pilot using Gemplus GemExpresso lite smart chip and magnetic stripe cards (same cards used by leading US Banks and retailers such as First USA, Fleet, Providian, and TARGET, as part of the Smart Visa Program) with the eConnect (OTC Bulletin Board: ECNC) eCashPad and is scheduled to kick off April 8, 2002. The cards have a Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) compliant debit/credit application, loyalty application, and other e-consumer services applications from Gemplus. Consumers will use their PlayersCash cards for payment, loyalty, and security at and other OTB services. eGS, a gaming service subsidiary of eConnect, will service the pilot in partnership with Performance Technology. Pilot participants will access their account balance information, transaction history, and be able to load their card through the web site. Once loaded the value added PlayersCash card will then be used with the eCashPad to affect same as cash payments at participating OTB sites. “Gaming requires same as cash payments and since the usage of PIN debit over the internet with processing through ATM networks is not presently supported, the usage of the value added PlayersCash smart card and the eCashPad is a great alternative payment solution,” said Mr. McRae, CEO of Performance Technology. The eCashPad is a $59.95 full service terminal for home Internet usage and enables credit card swipes at Bank Eyes Only web merchant sites. Each eCashPad is injected with a working key which will enable same as cash Internet PIN debit at participating Bank Eyes Only sites once Regional ATM card networks support ATM card and PIN Internet usage. Same as cash at participating web merchant sites can also be effected by PlayersCash smart card usage at web merchant sites. Information on the eCashPad can be found at About Performance Technology: Performance Technology, Inc. headquartered in San Francisco, CA is a Management and Technology consulting firm. Since 1991 PT has helped small to fortune 100 organizations through comprehensive analysis determine “where they are (point A),” focus their goals and objectives; “where they want to be (point B)” and all the necessary steps in getting from point A to Point B. ( In 2000 PT started a subsidiary named that provides private label payment, loyalty, and security magnetic stripe and smart chip based cards along with issuing processing services. (


FDC Renews FPB

First Data has signed a three-year contract extension with SD-based PREMIER Bankcard. Under the agreement, First Data will provide cardholder processing services for First Premier Bank’s more than 2 million active credit cards through 2008. First Data has provided cardholder processing services to First Premier since 1989 and also provides Quick Collect services through its Western Union subsidiary. PREMIER has been in the sub-prime secured and unsecured credit card market since 1989.



Trintech Group Plc, a global provider of
secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions, announced the launch
of ReconNET 6.1, the latest release of the industry-standard deposit
verification and reconciliation solution. ReconNET 6.1 incorporates a host of
new features, including an online browser-based application suite, Print to
Excel, Fast Find and Favorites functions. All these enhancements have met
with universal approval from one of the solution’s Beta customers,
Alabama Power.

The launch of ReconNET 6.1 is one of the highlights of the company’s sixth
annual ReconNET Customer Conference, which this year is being held at the
San Diego Marriott and Marina, San Diego, California, 17-20 March. The
ReconNET Customer Conference provides a forum to discuss best business
practices with other ReconNET clients, ReconNET consultants and leading
industry vendors through business sessions and industry networking

“I did not believe the product could get any better, but the new features
in 6.1 make ReconNET even easier to use and our routine operations much
faster,” said Marsha Fifer, at Alabama Power. “Due to the complexity of our
collection files, a simple search wasn’t sufficient to locate the sixty or so
EDIs (Electronic Data Interchange) that are credited to our bank account
daily. This process was very time-consuming since standard-matching
principles could not be used. Also in Version 6.1, I found the new online
application allows us to communicate for research purposes in a one-step
process instead of three. This coupled with the new Fast Find features will
definitely cut our reconciliation time significantly.”

“ReconNET 6.1 is all about meeting and exceeding our customer’s
requirements,” said Tom DeLany, Director of Product Management in the Funds
Management Systems Division at Trintech. “We are particularly pleased with
the overwhelmingly positive response we received from our Beta customers
regarding the new features we added, such as ReconNET Online, Fast Find,
Favorites and Print to Excel functions that make ReconNET 6.1 the most
advanced deposit verification and reconciliation product in the market.”

Among the more than 275 leading organizations using ReconNET are such
well-known companies as Target Corporation, Eddie Bauer, The Limited,
Radio Shack, Foot Locker, Best Buy, Hallmark Cards, Verizon Wireless,
Sprint PCS, Kroger, AMC Theaters, Budget Rent a Car, Outback Steakhouse,
Burger King, Wendy’s, and many others.

About ReconNET 6.1

ReconNET, part of Trintech’s PayWare suite of products, provides
business-to-business enterprise reconciliation and treasury platforms that
streamline the management of cash deposits, credit card payments and
disbursements. 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.
For additional information about the ReconNET solution, contact Trintech
at 15851 Dallas Parkway, Suite 940, Addison, TX 75001 (Tel: 972-701-9802) or
on the Internet at

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic
payment infrastructure solutions for card-based transactions for physical
world commerce, eCommerce and mobile commerce. The company offers a complete
range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and
procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the
deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL and
SET(TM) compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture
solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant
and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the emerging
world of electronic commerce.


Emergent Acquires BizPay

Emergent Financial Group, an electronic transaction data processing company for non-bank consumer financial services, has announced the execution of binding agreements to acquire the BizPay suite of online payment transfer technology.

The BizPay suite enables consumers to instantly and securely send money to participating merchants or any other e-mail user in the world, including those using Web-enabled cellular telephones, pagers, and other handheld devices. BizPay software also enables small- to mid-sized businesses and home-based businesses to participate fully in e-commerce without a traditional retail credit card merchant account. The technology also functions as a digital wallet solution where consumers may store cash value in their virtual BizPay account.

“BizPay fits hand and glove with our money transfer activities and extends our technology to the Web, where we can service targeted vertical markets,” said Jason Galanis, CEO of Emergent. “PayPal has been properly lauded for their email-based money transfer services popularized initially through online auctions like Ebay. In conjunction with our partners, Emergent management believes it has access to similar niche vertical market applications to exploit BizPay.”

Emergent plans to deploy BizPay immediately in connection with its previously announced agreements with Atlantic Payments Systems and Global Collect (see news March 18, 2002).

The Agreement provides for Emergent’s acquisition of the BizPay technology from Consygen in consideration for a long-term royalty agreement and an agreement to commercialize the product. To date, Emergent has invested capital to relocate the hardware and software platform to its headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, has provided for credit card processing agreements with a major bank with over $100 billion in assets and Emergent has agreed to maintain regulatory compliance for the money transmission components of BizPay. PayPal (NMS: PYPL), a competitive product, has recently received notification from certain state regulators about the applicable regulation of its online payment services as a Money Services Business. Emergent’s subsidiary is a registered Money Services Business.

BizPay is not currently generating any revenue for the Company, nor is there any assurance that it ever will or, if it does, that it will be successful. The Seller previously established formal agreements with Cardservice International, a division of First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC), and EarthLink (NMS: ELNK) to offer the product, but was unable to raise sufficient capital to implement the developed technology or, recently, to secure the critical sponsorship agreements.

About Emergent Financial Group

Emergent ([][1]) is a holding company, which owns transaction processing subsidiary companies principally engaged in person-to-person (P-to-P) money transfers. Emergent is principally engaged in building a distribution network for non-bank financial services delivered through countertop point-of-sale devices in retail locations globally. We believe our proprietary technology is the only end-to-end fully electronic solution available for international wire remittances originated in-store. The Hispanic expatriate community in the United States is estimated to account for the majority of the $49 billion in cash transmissions originating from the U.S. in 2001, a market growing at 15% annually.

Emergent derives its revenues from transaction processing fees, net of commissions paid to certain selling agents, and/or for services such as non-bank wire transfer services.

More information is available from Emergent Financial Group, Inc., Boulder, Colorado, 303/544-0044.




VendTek Systems Inc. announces it has launched a Pilot of e-Fresh™ self-serve kiosks for the
distribution of prepaid wireless phone time in Beijing, China.

The e-Fresh system in China is branded “Yi Tong,” meaning “Easy Through.”
The Pilot consists of the deployment of 5 e-Fresh™ kiosks and is scheduled
to last three months. Each kiosk has Chinese character interface and
exterior graphics. The kiosks currently retail China Mobile prepaid wireless
time. The kiosks are deployed in a variety of locations in Beijing,
including a Department store, a China Mobile wireless phone store, and a
university site. The kiosks are connected via public phone lines to a
VendTek server also located in Beijing. In addition to the distribution of
electronic vouchers, the kiosks distribute traditional prepaid phone cards.

“We believe VendTek and its Chinese partner are the first to offer
electronic pin distribution in China,” says VendTek President, Paul Brock.
“The market potential in China is immense. With our Chinese partner we are
working with China Mobile, which has one of the World’s largest cellular
phone subscriber bases. Noted researcher Gartner Dataquest Asia-Pacific
recently revealed that pre-paid connections in China surged to 66 million in
the fourth quarter of 2001 compared to 12 million in fourth quarter 2000.
Our short term objective is to prove consumer acceptance of the new
distribution paradigm, which could lead to a large scale e-Fresh deployment
in Beijing and other major centers.”

The Company is also in early stage discussions with partners in China for
potential financing and production after the Pilot.

About VendTek and e-Fresh™

VendTek uses its expertise in payment and self-serve technologies, smart
cards and networking to develop systems for transaction automation.
VendTek’s secure proprietary systems reduce shrinkage, improve access for
consumers, increase the number of selling outlets and selling hours, and
enhance overall security making the systems superior to traditional
distribution and alternative channels. VendTek’s e-Freshä System enables
consumers to purchase prepaid services, such as cellular time, via POS and
self-serve terminals connected to a central server.