Visa Medical

KingThomason Group, Inc., a diversified financial and insurance services and products company, reported that it has signed an exclusive financial services contract with the Los Angeles Foundation for Medical Care, according to a joint statement by T.E. “Tim” King III, president and chief executive officer, and Hume A. “Tommy” Thomason, chairman of the board. The contract calls for KingThomason to make available a bank specific, private label, Visa medical accounts receivable credit card to those patients of the Foundation’s 9000 physicians and 80 hospitals who have past due accounts payable.

The Foundation’s medical care provider members currently have approximately $1.4 billion in past due non-insurance-covered accounts receivable. Richard Michel, the Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commenting on medical care providers’ escalating problem of past due accounts receivable, said, “While 75% of our members past due accounts receivable average less than $1,000 and are less then one year old, heretofore there has been no patient-friendly, non-aggressive means to recover these sums even though a 1999 Neilson Report stated that 94% of all consumers, who owe money on accounts that have been written off by their creditors, would pay their bills if there was a reasonable way of making payments. We believe the KingThomason Credit Card Program is a viable answer and will enable our medical care provider members with a vehicle to recover a significant percentage of their outstanding accounts receivable, and we wholeheartedly endorse it.”

King noted that although, as indicated above, there is information to support the thesis that a very high percentage of past due accounts receivable may be recoverable, the Company, for planning purposes, is using only a 25% recovery percentage.

In summary, the Program works as follows. The approved patient has their accounts receivable amount transferred to the Visa Card. The credit limit on the card is for the amount of the balance owed. As the principal is paid down, these monies are placed on deposit at the issuing credit card bank as collateral for any additional charges that may be made on the card and are subsequently defaulted. Twelve months from issuance, the now-performing credit card debt is “seasoned” and portions of the growing asset base, the amount and timing of the sale being at the discretion of the Company, can be sold in a liquid market at par (face value) with 65% of the proceeds accruing to the client physician or hospital, and 35% to KTG. There is also a monthly interest component on the credit card that generates cash flow for both KTG and physicians/hospital clients, and KTG also earns approximately four percent interest on the collateral reserve monies held at the credit card issuing bank.

Thomason, co-founder of KingThomason, commented, “The past due medical accounts receivable problem is nationwide in scope and has now reached what can only be characterized as crisis proportions. Indeed, in California, for example, only 44% of physicians and physicians groups are currently able to meet state solvency standards. Our Medical Accounts Receivable Credit Card Program is specifically designed to help the medical community address this problem, first in Los Angeles County and California, and eventually nationwide.”

About the KingThomason Group, Inc.

King and Thomason founded what is now KingThomason Group, Inc. in 1998 on the belief that there was a growing and unmet need, as well as financial opportunity, in providing proprietary products and services for overlooked and/or underserved financial and insurance niche markets. The past three years have principally been spent in researching, developing, and market testing a wide range of unique products and services for these markets, assembling a group of 6,500 independent agents and brokers, as well as forging the crucial insurance and reinsurance relationships vital to the insurance side of the Company’s business model. KTG’s insurance operations (excluding the sale of non-proprietary insurance products such as “off-the-shelf” life, accident, health, and automobile insurance where KTG simply acts as a traditional insurance broker) actually function as a hybrid insurance company, i.e. KTG is not involved in either adjudication of claims or the issuance of policies, and assumes no insurance underwriting risk.

About the Los Angeles Foundation for Medical Care

Los Angeles Foundation for Medical Care provides medical industry business support, contract negotiations with insurance companies, and member services support to all of their physician/hospital members and strives to maintain the integrity of the patient-physician relationship.


Metris Funding

Metris Asset Funding Co. has signed an agreement with Merrill Lynch to establish a committed $850 million warehouse facility for the purpose of financing credit card receivables. As a result of this transaction, Metris Companies and its Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank now has approximately $2.1 billion of available funding for new growth in its credit card portfolio. During the fourth quarter, Metris/Direct reported a 46% increase in profits. During the quarter, Metris added more than 290,000 new credit card accounts, including 40,000 from a bank card portfolio acquisition, resulting in a total of 4.9 million accounts at the end of the year. The managed credit card loan portfolio increased by $880 million during the fourth quarter, resulting in a portfolio of more than $11.9 billion at Dec 31. For current and historical performance on Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Bank visit CardData ([][1]).



Chrysler Triple Points

Dollar Rent A Car, a subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., is awarding Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge Rewards Visa credit card members triple Rewards Points (three points) for every dollar charged at participating DOLLAR locations.

Through Dec. 31, 2002, each time cardholders charge their DOLLAR rental on a Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge Rewards Visa credit card they will earn three Reward Points on the total amount of the purchase, instead of the usual one Rewards Point.

Rewards Points may be redeemed for Dealer Dollars, which are good at any participating authorized Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge dealership. Dealer Dollars can be used like cash for items such as an oil change or an alignment in the service department, the purchase of quality Mopar parts, a down payment on a new or used vehicle, or even an extended service contract.

Dollar is the newest Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge Rewards Visa Bonus Point Partner. For Complete Rules on these promotions, cardholders can log on to , or .

The Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge Rewards Visa credit cards are products of DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC and are available only in the United States.

About Dollar Rent A Car

Dollar Rent A Car has more than 400 worldwide locations in 26 countries, with a significant presence in Australia, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, including 260 locations in the United States. The company and its licensees have locations at most major airports across the nation, and a fleet of 75,000 vehicles. Through its alliance with Sixt rent a car, Dollar offers service in more than 25 additional countries covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. DOLLAR worldwide headquarters is located in Tulsa, Okla. For additional information, the DOLLAR Web address is [][1].



CheckFree & Wells

CheckFree this morning refuted speculative comments in a Deutsche Bank Alex Brown report regarding CheckFree’s relationship with Wells Fargo. The report, which was issued on Friday, March 15, suggested that Wells Fargo will no longer be using CheckFree’s electronic billing and payment services by the end of the calendar year. Wells Fargo’s Consumer Internet Services said this morning it expects to continue EBPP relationships with CheckFree, Metavante, Spectrum, and others. CheckFree insists that it has a strong partnership with Wells Fargo.


MasterCard Advertising

MasterCard confirmed it will advertise on this week’s Academy Awards broadcast for the first time. The sold-out Oscar event is the second most watched telecast in the USA with an average of 45 million viewers and is considered the “Super Bowl for Women.” MasterCard will use the event to launch two new spots. As part of its “Priceless” campaign, MasterCard will air one spot titled “Running Errands,” which features the brand’s debit card product, and a second spot titled “Pets,” a brand spot recently filmed in London, England. In “Running Errands,” featuring the MasterCard Debit Card, a determined mother is racing through the streets in an effort to equip her son (who is on his way to school) with the supplies he needs. By using her debit MasterCard instead of checks, she is able to accomplish her errands faster and with fewer hassles, all before her son gets to school. The “Pets’ commercial is set to the tune, “I Gotta Be Me,” recorded by artist Wyclef Jean, and highlights owners’ special affection for their dogs. The brand spot highlights MasterCard’s assistance in helping owners get everything they need for man’s best friend, whether the dogs are getting into trouble or just being themselves. The ads will be supported ad buys in related shows such as the Barbara Walters Oscar show and the arrival and post-Awards show.


Internet Radar

Citigroup is the only credit card issuer showing up on the latest Jupiter Media Metrix U.S. Top 50 Web and digital media property ratings for February. The listing was previously dominated by Providian, Capital One, and NextCard. Jupiter says Internet usage grew 1.9%, from 110.0 million in January to 112.0 million in February. The key growth categories were traffic increases to site categories relating to Valentine’s Day, taxes and vacations. The Olympics were responsible for spawning several of the entrants on Jupiter’s newcomers list. Citigroup had 8,245,000 visitors during February and ranked as #50.


eConnect Dividends

eConnect announced that eConnect will issue one share of eGS stock per 100 shares of eConnect stock to shareholders of record as of April 3, 2002. eGS intends to apply to the American Stock Exchange to go public at a later date this year.

“eGS is currently a privately held subsidiary of eConnect that has been formed with the strategic goal of positioning itself as an Internet agent for future state regulated and licensed games of chance and skill,” said eConnect Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas S. Hughes. “These games will be played from home at Internet web sites that are state licensed or state run with same-as-cash devices such as the eCashPad. eGS anticipates generating an agent fee for various services.”

eGS currently has a service contract with Bentley Communications (OTC Bulletin Board: BTLY), which is focused on establishing same-as-cash services for its Off Track Betting On web site. As previously announced, Bentley has placed an order with eConnect for 100,000 eCashPads to be delivered this year.

The eConnect eCashPad will deliver same-as-cash payments through the service of PlayersCash smart card as developed by Performance Technologies. Consumers will be able to use their eCashPad to load their PlayersCash smart card through This will give consumers access to their personal checking account and enable them to move funds to their PlayersCash smart card.

eConnect shareholders should not call Corporate Stock Transfer, as the eGS shares are not currently registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and will be issued to eConnect shareholders by eGS. If you have eConnect shares listed in street name with your broker, then the eGS shares will be issued to your broker, who will then distribute the shares to you. If you have your name and address listed at Corporate Stock Transfer, then eGS will directly mail your eGS stock certificate.


VersaCheck Gets Certified

G7 Productivity Systems Inc. is proud to announce Microsoft certification of its VersaCheck 2002 family of check creation and personal finance software.

The certification allows G7 to apply the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP logo to its VersaCheck(TM) packaging and the company’s Web site. Also, G7 Productivity Systems’ products will be mentioned on Microsoft’s Web site and specifically displayed in a select catalog published by Microsoft(R).

While most other non-Microsoft(R) software offerings only rate as Windows XP “compatible,” VersaCheck(TM) 2002 is certified 100 percent compliant with ALL important functional criteria associated with the new Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP operating system. This ensures full XP support and interoperability with previous Windows(R) versions.

About VersaCheck(TM)

VersaCheck(TM) 2002 is the #1 check creation software allowing users to manage their personal and business finances and print bank accepted checks using VersaCheck(TM) blank security check paper available at retail stores nationwide. This leads to significant savings (50-80 percent) compared to pre-printed checks available from banks and mail order companies. VersaCheck(TM) 2002 products work stand-alone and with Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) Quicken(R), QuickBooks(R) and Money. New VersaCheck(TM) 2002 also supports check and draft delivery over the Internet or the telephone as well as settlement of Credit Card payments using a new built-in Credit Card terminal to accept Visa(R), MasterCard(R), American Express(R) and Discover(R). A new feature of VersaCheck(TM) 2002 Premium PLUS is the ability to create paper and electronic invoices and estimates as well as numerous reports and charts.

VersaCheck(TM) 2002 software and blank check paper is available from the company’s Web site at and most computer retailers and office superstores.

About G7 Productivity Systems Inc.

The company specializes in publishing and distribution of its line of productivity software titles for home and business users. Main titles are: VersaCheck(TM) 2002 family — “Check Creation and Financial Manager,” WebCommerce(TM) — “Internet Business Builder,” eTransForm(TM) — “Electronic form design and publishing on the Internet” and many more.


NAREX Success

NAREX Inc. announced that its artificial intelligence-based custom scoring service is significantly reducing roll rates for one of the country’s largest credit grantors. For the past three months, the service has reduced compound roll across all buckets between 4% and 8%; a direct consequence has been a dramatic reduction in the number of accounts being charged off.

According to NAREX President and CEO Bernhard Nann, the scoring service is producing millions of dollars in collections increases and charge-off reductions for the client. “Our highly sophisticated modeling technology prioritizes thousands of accounts for this client, leading the client to match resources to accounts effectively. Thanks to these analytics, the client has realized millions of dollars in improvements.”

About NAREX Inc.

Established in 1995, NAREX Inc. is the industry leader in collections and recovery analytical solutions. In addition to highly predictive custom scoring models, NAREX offers other unique analytics-driven services such as account placement optimization and collection treatment optimization. Further information about NAREX can be found at [][1].



AmEx Advertising

American Express launched a new brand advertising campaign this weekend which introduces the new company anchor line, “Make Life Rewarding.” The new campaign includes the creation of an original song written as an “anthem” for the two first television spots and performed by recording artist Alana Davis. It also includes a print campaign that reunites American Express with photographer Annie Leibovitz who shot the “Portraits” campaign for the company in the 1980s. The campaign is a mix of 60- and 30-second TV commercials and both single and two-page print spreads. The print campaign, “Rewarding Lives,” will debut in early April in major national magazines. The campaign will feature pairs or groups of individuals whose relationship to one another fosters great success and inspiration. The television spots center on AmEx’s relationships with customers/clients and the company’s role in everyday life. The TV campaign will begin with a series of nine spots. The new AmEx campaign was created by Ogilvy & Mather with Gordon Bowen.





Catuity 4Q/01

Catuity reported total operating revenue of $2.02 million for 2001, an increase of 169% over 2000. Last year, 70% of Catuity’s revenue resulted from the company’s relationship with VISA and 96% of revenue was derived from its US operations. For 2001, the company reported a net loss of $3.88 million compared to a net loss of $3.81 million in 2000. In each of the past two years Catuity’s financial results have reflected non-recurring items, including legal expenses in 2000 and 2001 in connection with a lawsuit filed by Welcome Real-time, a competitor, and an extraordinary loss on the early extinguishment of debt in 2000, and a non-cash sales discount in 2001. If the amounts related to these items were excluded, on a pro-forma basis the Company’s losses would have been $2.78 million in 2001 and $3.28 million in 2000. For current and historical performance on Catuity visit CardData ([][1]).




Vodafone Group Plc and T-Mobile International AG announce an
initiative to create an interoperable mobile payment platform to accelerate
customer and merchant adoption of mobile transactions. The companies are
planning to launch the open platform toward the end of the year, with an
initial roll out in Germany and the UK. Vodafone and T-Mobile hope that other
operators will join them in launching the payment platform.

The payment scheme will deliver a secure and easy-to-use payment solution
for the purchase of goods and services via a mobile device. Wireless
customers simply store their personal details and preferred payment options in
a virtual wallet, and then choose which payment instrument they wish to use
when making payments via their mobile phone, similar to undertaking a
transaction from a conventional wallet.

Multiple payment options will be available including traditional credit
and debit cards, making transactions possible with any participating merchant
of the scheme. It is also possible, as part of this scheme, that smaller
purchases will be billed direct either to the customer’s bill, by pre-paid
top-up card or using other micro payment mechanisms. The aim of the scheme is
to provide an end-to-end experience that is convenient, secure, user-friendly
and trustworthy.

Thomas Geitner, Chief Executive, Global Products and Services, Vodafone,
said, “An open, interoperable platform for mobile payments will be a
significant enabler of m-commerce, enhancing the array of content, services
and commerce options available to customers. Our goal is to bring additional
value to customers by turning their mobile phones into convenient wallets. We
believe mobile customers should be able to use their devices as a payment
tool, much as they use their credit or debit cards or cash today.”

“There is a strong need for industry synergies to drive the usage of
mobile data services,” said Nikesh Arora, Executive Board Member, New
Business, T-Mobile and CEO, T-Motion. “We see a global vision to make the
mobile device multifunctional, a phone “too” approach -consumers using their
devices for phonecalls, as a games console, a messaging terminal or a virtual
wallet. We aim to offer a seamless end-to-end solution for consumers and
enterprises and integrating commerce into that solution is a key milestone.”

Encorus Technologies, owned by eONE Global, is working with the operators
on this initiative by combining its PaymentWorks(TM) software with the
payments expertise of First Data Corp (NYSE: FDC), the world’s largest payment
processor and eONE Global’s largest investor.

About Vodafone

Vodafone is the world’s largest mobile operator with over 100m
proportionate customers worldwide operating in 28 countries across 5

About T-Mobile

Since early 2000, the majority global mobile communication activities of
the Deutsche Telekom Group have been coordinated under the roof of T-Mobile
International AG, one of the world’s largest GSM telecommunications providers.
The acquisition of the U.S. mobile communication providers VoiceStream and
Powertel, represents a key milestone in the company’s internationalization
strategy. With six UMTS licenses T-Mobile will continue to establish its
footprint and gain competitive advantage through its commitment to mobile
data. T-Mobile focuses on two core product areas for mobile data services —
T-Mobile online, focusing on consumer services, and Mobile Business Solutions,
a business-to-business product unit delivering wireless office applications to
the corporate user.

About eONE Global

eONE Global LP ( ) identifies, develops, and operates
emerging payment systems spanning the business, government and mobile markets.
Its operating companies include: govONE Solutions, LP
( ), which enables businesses and consumers to
calculate taxes and make payments to government and businesses electronically;
Taxware ( ) a division of govONE Solutions, is a leading
developer of worldwide commercial tax compliance systems; Encorus Technologies
( ) which is focused on building a flexible and open
infrastructure and developing efficient payment processing services to drive
the acceptance and usage of mobile payments worldwide; and SurePay, LP
( ), which creates electronic business payment solutions to
complete the financial supply chain for enterprises. eONE Global is owned by
global payment services leader First Data Corp. ( ) and
iFormation Group, ( ) a company founded by The Boston
Consulting Group, General Atlantic Partners, LLC and The Goldman Sachs Group