ICBA Currency Service

Travelex and the Independent Community Bankers of America are expanding on their 20-year relationship by launching a new service for community banks, My Travel Wallet. My Travel Wallet allows consumers to purchase foreign travel cash and other international travel essentials online through community bank Web sites.

Through My Travel Wallet, community banking customers can choose from more than 70 foreign currencies, foreign currency travelers cheques and TravelSolve, a travel assistance program that provides access to a wide range of emergency, travel, financial and concierge services for a full 90 days — all for home delivery as quickly as overnight.

“Traditionally many community banks have had to choose between the expense and risk of offering foreign currency themselves, or referring customers to larger financial institutions to meet the needs of their customers. We feel that My Travel Wallet offers a better solution for the bank, while delivering enhanced convenience to the customer,” said Robert Gulledge, ICBA chairman.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this new service to ICBA members. My Travel Wallet strongly complements the existing Visa Travelers Cheque program and offers community banks the opportunity to broaden their foreign exchange services at no cost and with no impact on their branch operations,” Tom Tucker, Travelex senior vice president of sales development.

My Travel Wallet also features an unlimited exchange rate calculator and offers free 2-day shipping for orders over $500. Orders placed through My Travel Wallet can be paid for using a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.

ICBA is the primary voice for the nation’s community banks, representing 5,000 institutions at nearly 17,000 locations nationwide. Community banks are independently owned and operated and are characterized by attention to customer service, lower fees and small business, agricultural and consumer lending. ICBA’s members hold more than $486 billion in insured deposits, $592 billion in assets and more than $355 billion in loans for consumers, small businesses and farms. They employ nearly 239,000 citizens in the communities they serve. For more information, visit [http://www.icba.org][1].

Travelex, founded in 1976, is a diversified money business offering retail, corporate and commercial currency services to consumers, corporations and institutions throughout the world. The Travelex Group acquired Thomas Cook Global & Financial Services, the financial services division of Thomas Cook, on March 27, 2001, solidifying the company’s position as the world’s largest foreign currency specialist. Headquartered in London, Travelex is privately owned and employs approximately 5000 staff around the world. 3i, Europe’s largest venture capital company, is a 33% shareholder.

[1]: http://www.icba.org/


NAC MasterCard

MasterCard has partnered with the National Association of Cities to launch a co-branded corporate card geared specifically toward municipal governments. The new card will include fleet and purchasing capabilities similar to MasterCard’s other public sector cards. The corporate card was introduced in conjunction with the launch of the NAC ‘Building America’ program which promotes more than 10,000 U.S. cities, towns and villages through a central Web site. The Web site, which took two years to build, offers information about individual towns, including business resources, points of interest and recreational activities. The new ‘Building America.org MasterCard’ is being issued through AmSouth and ComData. The NAC was founded in 1999 with 68 municipal members and has grown to represent more than 5,000 municipalities.


NOVA Lands Regis

NOVA Information Systems announced Wednesday that it signed a multi-year agreement with Regis Corporation to provide merchant processing services for its corporate store locations in the United States.

NOVA — one of the country’s largest merchant payment processors — will begin implementation of its merchant-processing contract, valued at $256 million in charge volume, with Minneapolis-based Regis in Jan. 2002. Utilizing NOVA’s merchant-processing services will allow Regis — the world’s largest owner, operator, franchiser and consolidator of hair and retail product salons — to save time and money associated with processing credit cards in its salons.

“Regis is very excited about expanding our relationship with NOVA,” said Kyle P. Didier, vice president finance at Regis Corporation. “During the past several years, credit card usage in our salons has continued to grow as a percentage of our overall business and so have the costs associated with accepting credits. Our partnership with NOVA will help us better manage and mitigate future costs associated with credit card acceptance.”

“We are thrilled to provide Regis with the best possible merchant payment services available today,” said Pamela Joseph, senior executive vice president at NOVA. “We look forward to providing Regis with the industry-leading banking services that will help the company better serve its clientele.”

Regis Corporation (NASDAQ:RGIS), based in Minneapolis, is the largest owner, operator, franchiser and acquirer of hair and retail product salons in the world. Regis operates and franchises nearly 7,400 salons in six divisions: Regis Salons, Strip Center Salons (primarily Supercuts and Cost Cutters), MasterCuts, Trade Secret, WalMart/SmartStyle Family Hair Salons, and International, and has 41,000 employees worldwide.

Atlanta-based NOVA Information Systems manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products and value-added services to more than 650,000 merchant locations in the United States. For more information on the company, visit [http://www.novainfo.com][1].

[1]: http://www.novainfo.com/


STM 4Q/01

STMicroelectronics reported financial results for the fourth
quarter and year ended December 31, 2001.

Fourth Quarter 2001 Results

Net revenues for the fourth quarter were $1,447.9 million, a 3.4 % sequential
increase over the $1,400.7 million reported in the 2001 third quarter.
Sales of
differentiated products totaled $1,012.1 million, a 3.9% increase over the
previous quarter, and accounted for 69.9% of fourth quarter revenues. In last
year’s fourth quarter, net revenues were $2,191.7 million, and differentiated
product sales equaled $1,367.1 million.

The differentiated product sales increase was the major contributor to
sequential fourth quarter revenue growth. Logic and memories were $203.1
million or 14% of net revenues, essentially flat with the prior period.
Discretes grew 6.7% from the third quarter, to $151.8 million (10.5% of net
revenues) and Standard and Commodities was $81.0 million (5.6% of net
revenues), declining 1.1% from the third quarter.

With respect to applications, Computer registered the highest sequential
revenue gain in the period, increasing 13.9% and accounting for 23.1% of
quarter net revenues. Consumer rose 1.9% from the third quarter and 19.6% of
fourth quarter net revenues. Telecom was virtually flat on a sequential basis
and comprised 34.2% of net revenues. Automotive was up 0.8% over the prior
quarter and represented 11.1% of net sales. Industrial products, which include
smart cards and distribution, accounted for 12.0% of net revenues rising 1.3%

Pasquale Pistorio, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Fourth
quarter performance was in line with the guidance we provided in our third
quarter earnings release of October 18, 2001. The 3.4% sequential revenue
increase posted in this difficult market environment reflected a more
product mix as well as the sales gains in computer peripherals and the
continued growth of the wireless portion of our telecom business.”

“Gross profit edged down slightly on a sequential basis, but gross margin was
penalized by low utilization rates, as a consequence of the Company’s
accelerated inventory reduction program which succeeded in paring $134.5
million from 2001 third quarter inventory levels,” Mr. Pistorio noted.
Selling, general, and administrative expenses were $140.3 million, 9.7% of net
revenues, for the 2001 fourth quarter. This compares to $144.2 million in the
third quarter and $193.1 million in the year ago quarter.

Research and Development expenses totaled $220.8 million or 15.2% of net
revenues. This compares to $229.2 million in the 2001 third quarter and $286.4
million in the 2000 fourth quarter.

Operating income in the fourth quarter was $70.6 million, including the impact
of $10.9 million in impairment and restructuring charges relating to the
previously announced closings of the Company’s manufacturing facilities in
Ottawa, Canada and Rancho Bernardo, California. On a comparable basis, 2001
third quarter operating income was $48.2 million, including $23.3 million of
impairment and restructuring charges, and 2000 fourth quarter operating income
was $563.2 million.

Net income for the 2001 fourth quarter was $45 million or $0.05 per diluted
share, increasing from the $35.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share reported
in the third quarter of 2001. In last year’s fourth quarter, net income was
$461.9 million, or $0.50 per diluted share. Pro forma net income for the 2001
fourth quarter was $55.2 million, or $0.06 per diluted share.

Summarizing ST’s 2001 fourth quarter results, Mr. Pistorio stated: “Within a
poor industry environment, characterized by significant overcapacity and
pricing pressures, ST continued to outperform the industry in the markets it
serves and to further strengthen its financial position.”
Pro forma Full Year 2001 Results Excluding Restructuring and Excess Inventory
Net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2001 were $6,356.9 million, an
18.6% decrease from $7,813.2 million in 2000. Gross profit was $2,380.6
million, or 37.4% of net revenues, down from the $3,596.3 million, or 46% of
net revenues, reported in 2000. Operating income and net income, which include
pro forma results for the 2001 second, third and fourth quarters, were $755.2
million and $600.8 million, respectively.

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 8.9% to $641.4 million
in 2001, and increased to 10.1% of net revenues from 9.0% in 2000.
Research and development expenditures were $977.9 million for the year 2001
compared to $1,026.3 million in 2000. As a percentage of revenues, R&D
expenditures increased to 15.4% from 13.1% in 2000.

Reviewing the Company’s comparative full year financial performance, Mr.
Pistorio noted: “ST’s year-over-year revenue decline of 18.6% compares to
estimated declines of 32% and 26%, respectively, for the industry and ST’s
served market. Importantly, the Company remained profitable during the worst
downturn in the history of the semiconductor industry. This was achieved
through a combination of cost reduction programs, yield improvements, and
optimization measures that enabled ST to avoid the major employee lay-offs
characterized most of our industry.”

Mr. Pistorio continued: “ST ended 2001 in a strong financial position, posting
positive operating cash flow of $225.4 million and with the flexibility
provided by a cash position in excess of $2.4 billion.”

Full Year 2001 Results on an As-Reported Basis

Net revenues for the 2001 period were $6,356.9 million. Gross profit was
$2,309.9 million. Operating income was $339.0 million, and net income was
$257.1 million, or $0.29 per diluted share.

Balance Sheet Highlights

At December 31, 2001, cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities
totaled $2.4 billion; long-term debt was $2.8 billion (83% of which consisted
of convertible debt). Capital expenditures were $1.7 billion in 2001, compared
to $3.3 billion in 2000.

Recent Developments

During the fourth quarter, the Company completed both of its previously
announced stock repurchase programs, bringing the total number of shares
purchased during 2001 to 9.4 million. In addition, on December 11, 2001 the
Company’s principal shareholder, STMicroelectronics Holding II B.V., completed
the private placement of 69 million of the Company’s Common Shares, for the
final benefit of Finmeccanica and France Telecom, two of its ultimate
shareholders. France Telecom also completed the offering of EUR 1.5 billion
notes exchangeable into 30 million existing underlying common shares of
STMicroelectronics on or after January 2, 2004.

Summary & Outlook

All indications are that in 2001 ST was one of only a handful of broadline
semiconductor manufacturers to report profits. This achievement is closely
linked to the Company’s longstanding strategy of emphasizing differentiated
products destined for specific high growth applications within focused market
segments. Strategic customer alliances, sales from which accounted for 47% of
2001 net revenues, have been important contributors to ST’s solid track

Mr. Pistorio commented, “First quarter 2002 visibility remains limited, and
industry-wide overcapacity is causing greater than anticipated pricing
pressures across most of ST’s product families. This, combined with seasonal
factors, leads the Company to expect first quarter 2002 revenues to be 3%-7%
below those of the 2001 fourth quarter.”

“Gross margin, already depressed by declining prices, will continue to be
penalized by the underutilization rates that are particularly severe in the
Company’s more mature 6″ wafer fabs. As previously reported, ST has been
reviewing its strategy with respect to these facilities in order to maintain
its flexibility and efficiency within this difficult market environment. Our
present expectations, based on improving market conditions in 2002 do not
contemplate any further closures or downsizing. However, without the expected
pick up in demand and/or pricing, the Company could incur further impairment
and restructuring charges with respect to its more mature 6″ Fabs in 2002,”
Pistorio said.

“It is expected that firs_ quarter 2002 gross margin will bottom-out somewhere
around 31% with gross margin progressively increasing in 2002 as industry
capacity becomes more aligned with demand,” Mr. Pistorio noted.

ST’s capital expenditures for 2002 should be approximately $1.2 billion, one
half of which is related to maintenance and optimization of existing plants.
The remaining amount will be primarily allocated to R&D, 12″ wafer projects
expansion of leading-edge technology capacity. “These investments, in concert
with ongoing product development and strategic initiatives will enable ST
to be
in a strong position to capture additional and profitable market share as
global economic and business conditions improve,” Mr. Pistorio concluded.

Products, Technology and Design Wins

During the fourth quarter, ST continued to introduce innovative products and
technology, with particular emphasis on digital consumer and security
applications that will accelerate the era of convergence, which ST expects
power the next cycle of the semiconductor market.

In the field of digital consumer and multimedia applications, ST made several
important announcements during the quarter that will strengthen its
position as
a leader in this market. Notable achievements included the introduction of a
new System-on-Chip (SoC) device that combines a 32-bit SuperH(TM)
microprocessor with high-performance graphics for next-generation set-top box,
Internet and interactive TV applications. ST also added a new device to its
industry-leading OMEGA family of set-top box decoder chips that integrates
additional features and reduces system cost in sophisticated high-volume
applications such as Personal Video Recorders (PVR). Together, these two new
chips provide a complete and cost-effective solution for interactive
Internet-capable and PVR-enabled set-top boxes. ST also began volume shipments
of a SuperH-based microprocessor supporting Windows CE 3.0, Microsoft’s
real-time embedded operating system for 32-bit connected mobile devices.
For cable set-top boxes, ST introduced a single-chip Quadrature Amplitude
Modulation/Forward Error Correction (QAMFEC) demodulator. The device is fully
compliant with all key worldwide specifications, making it ideal as a
solution for cable TV set-top boxes, cable tuners with embedded demodulation,
cable modems and network interface modules. In the emerging market for xDSL
set-top boxes, ST also achieved a design win for ADSL chips for low-bit-rate
video streaming applications from a world-leading European-based consumer
equipment manufacturer.

ST also announced the first VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) microprocessor
core to result from its on-going collaboration with Hewlett-Packard Company.
This device is a scaleable and customizable core for use in multimedia SoC
devices. Primarily aimed at video/audio streaming applications such as MPEG-2,
MPEG-4 and MP3 in new digital consumer equipment, the new core delivers an
unprecedented combination of high performance, low power consumption, low
silicon cost and fast time-to-market.

In the security field, ST announced important developments in the areas of
smart card ICs and biometric technology. ST confirmed that it is supplying its
TouchChip(TM) biometric hardware for a new laptop computer developed by
Samsung. The laptop will contain an integrated TouchChip fingerprint sensor
ST’s Protector Suite(TM) OEM software, which offers sophisticated and
easy-to-use tools for securing computers and protecting private data through
the use of robust biometric technology.

Another milestone in the security field was the announcement by ST and Hyundai
Smart Technologies of the world’s first VSDC (Visa Smart Debit/Credit)
Technology Level 3 approved dual-interface multi-application smart card. This
card is expected to accelerate the migration to chip-based EMV (Eurocard
Mastercard Visa) compliant cards with the addition of a contactless interface
for new applications, while maintaining an extremely high security level that
is recognized worldwide.

Other security innovations included the introduction of the world’s smallest
electrically erasable tags and the migration of secure smart card IC platforms
to the Company’s 0.18-micron process technology. The move to 0.18-micron
technology allows ST to provide smart card ICs with higher memory capacities,
smaller die sizes, more enhanced features and significant performance gains.
In the area of automotive and car multimedia, further strengthening its
relationship with Delphi Automotive Systems, the largest producer of vehicle
systems and components in the world, ST announced an agreement to cooperate on
the design and development of new smart power IC products for automotive
applications. The resulting devices will be manufactured in ST’s advanced BCD
process, which integrates bipolar circuits for precision analog functions,
circuits for high-density logic and DMOS circuits for power devices into a
monolithic IC. ST also expanded its automotive customer base with design wins
for chips for engine control, ABS and airbag applications.

Also during the fourth quarter, the 200,000 mark was passed in the total
of ST’s receiver chipsets shipped to manufacturers for the XM Radio digital
satellite radio service in the US. XM Radio has now gained 30,000 paying
subscribers and additionally is to be offered by General Motors as an
option on
23 new car and truck models that will be introduced this year.

In the computer peripherals arena, ST achieved three design wins for SoC
devices with major hard-disk drive customers. Additionally, ST gained major
design wins with two of the world’s leading printer manufacturers, including
two designs for CMOS-based digital engines, the processing heart of a printer,
and one for a printer-head driver chip, which will be manufactured in ST’s
mixed-signal BCD process. Maintaining its impetus in the telecommunications
field, ST also gained important design wins from a major Asian mobile phone
manufacturer for audio front-end ICs and power management chips.
Underlining its strength in combining CMOS optical sensing technology with
signal processing into a highly integrated solution, ST unveiled details of
single chip device that powers Microsoft’s newest line of optical mouse
products. Co-developed by Microsoft and ST, the chip integrates all of the
optical detection and signal processing circuitry required to deliver an
unprecedented level of performance in terms of sensitivity and frame rate,
while remaining within the stringent cost structures of the PC accessory

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is the world’s third largest independent semiconductor
company. The Company shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on
Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. The Company designs, develops,
manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits
(ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic
applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer
products, automotive products and industrial automation and control systems.
Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.



Finance.com Group of Morocco has adopted a solution from 724 Solutions Inc. to
power its planned mobile commerce offering. In a first North-African
implementation for the company, 724 Solutions is
integrating its award-winning financial services applications with Ericsson’s
Mobile Commerce Platform, to deliver mobile commerce services to a marketplace
of four million consumers.

Finance.com — the holding company of BMCE Bank (Banque Marocaine du Commerce
Exterieur) and 20 percent holder of Moroccan GSM operator Meditel — will
initially be offering mobile banking and brokerage services to consumers
through BMCE Bank, Morocco’s second-largest financial institution.

“We decided to work with 724 Solutions for many reasons, but it was the
scalability of the solution to meet with high subscriber potential and its
focus on mobile network operators,” said Joao Urbano, Director of Mobile
Internet Services Ericsson North Africa. “Right from the outset, our policy
been to work only with best-of-breed partners and 724 Solutions is recognized
as being the leader in its field.”

According to Africa Telecom, Morocco has more than four million mobile
subscribers and accounts for approximately 20 percent of the total
North-African mobile subscriber base. In fact, over the last year, the
subscriber base grew by 176 percent — the third fastest expanding mobile
marketplace in the world.

“This marks an important footprint for 724 Solutions as we enter the growing
North African market, extending our applications and solutions to meet the
needs of Finance.com and its Moroccan users,” said Chris Erickson, Managing
Director of 724 Solutions-EMEA. “724 Solutions and Ericsson have successfully
brought our respective wireless solutions together to deliver a secure mobile
financial transaction platform for the first of what we hope will be numerous
joint customers in countries around the world.”

About 724 Solutions Inc.

724 Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq:SVNX) (TSE:SVN) is a leading provider of mobile
Internet infrastructure software and applications. It makes m-business happen
globally by powering the delivery of secure mobile transactions for financial
institutions and mobile operators. With dual headquarters in Toronto, Canada,
and Austin, Texas, the company has development and sales offices around the
world. For more information, visit


FDC Acquires STV Firm

First Data Corp., a leader in electronic commerce and payment services, announced that it has acquired Gift Card Services, Inc., a provider of stored-value gift cards to small and mid-sized retailers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Formed in 1994, Tulsa-based GCS offers a wide range of gift card services including 24 hour client support and proprietary software featuring database management, customized reporting and on-line transaction processing. GCS gift cards are reloadable and are offered in either fixed or variable denominations. GCS allows the small to mid-sized retailer to create customized gift card programs, eliminating many of the expenses involved in operating an in-house, paper-based gift certificate program.

The acquisition of GCS will complement First Data’s ValueLink(R) gift card business. Already a leader in stored-value card programs, ValueLink currently serves large national and regional merchant accounts. The addition of GCS strengthens First Data’s position in the gift card business by tapping into a new market segment.

“The depth and breadth of First Data’s experience in stored-value will be a real benefit to GCS, allowing us to grow our business and expand our market share,” said Byrne Webb, chief executive officer, GCS. “Teaming with First Data means that GCS will have access to a wide variety of additional resources. This will allow us to offer our customers a broader range of services, giving small to medium-sized companies the same advantages currently available to large retailers in the stored-value market.”

“The stored-value/gift card business is an emerging market with potential for explosive growth,” said Michael Yerington, president, Western Union North America, the First Data subsidiary that manages the ValueLink and GCS businesses. “The addition of GCS to the First Data family of businesses allows us to leverage their expertise in the small to mid-sized merchant market with our experience in managing larger, national accounts. Its complementary capabilities and strengths make GCS a great fit for our business.”

About First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. Serving approximately 2.6 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, smart card, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com][1].

[1]: http://www.firstdata.com/



Shell Canada Products announced the
launch of its new easyPAY payment technology at participating Shell retail
sites in Winnipeg.

Shell easyPAY uses a microchip embedded in a tag that fits on a key ring.
It communicates with a pump-mounted receiver to automatically bill fuel to the
customer’s chosen credit card and instantly record AIR MILES(R) reward miles.

With a free Shell easyPAY key tag, customers can drive to participating
Shell retail sites, present their key tag in front of the easyPAY symbol on a
pump and fill up without swiping a credit card. The easyPAY is fast, simple
and secure. EasyPAY transactions never transmit personal information.
Customers can identify participating sites by the easyPAY logo on Shell
station signs.

“Shell conducted extensive research that revealed speed and convenience
are becoming increasingly important for consumers purchasing gasoline,” says
Terry Blaney, Shell Vice President, Marketing. “We designed easyPAY to meet
the needs of consumers who want to have a simple, quick and efficient
experience when fuelling up,” he added.

Customers have three options when applying for their free easyPAY tag.
They can apply online at
up an application form at
participating Shell retail sites in Winnipeg or by calling 1-877-EASYPAY.

easyPAY fact sheet follows.

Shell easyPAY Fact Sheet

– With a Shell easyPAY(TM) key tag, consumers can drive to participating
Shell stations, present their personally programmed key tag in front of
the easyPAY sign on a pump and fill up without swiping a credit card.
– Shell was the first gasoline retailer in Canada to introduce this
– Using a microchip embedded in a tag that fits on a key ring, easyPAY
communicates with a pump-mounted receiver to automatically charge fuel
to the consumer’s chosen credit card and instantly record AIR MILES(R)
reward miles.
– easyPAY completely eliminates the need for credit cards and AIR MILES
Collector Cards.
– Credit card number transmission cannot be intercepted when using
easyPAY. The Shell easyPAY systems operates on a dedicated, secure
radio frequency. All that is ever transmitted is the unique
identification number that associates the tag with the customer’s
account information. The number is connected to account information
only once the encrypted transaction reaches Shell’s secure computer
system. Personal information is never transmitted. Industry Canada
approves the easyPAY transmission system.
– easyPAY provides extra security as customers do not need to expose
wallets or purses during a fuelling transaction.
– Participating stations in Winnipeg, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal,
Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver offer easyPAY. A complete list of
participating stations will be provided upon request.

– Participating Winnipeg sites are:

– Portage Ave & Olive Street
– Corydon Avenue & Tuxedo Avenue
– Roblin Boulevard & Dale Boulevard
– St. Mary’s Road & St. Michael Road
– Lakewood Boulevard & Fermor Avenue
– Jefferson Avenue & Adsum Drive
– McPhillips Street & Leila Avenue
– Scurfield Boulevard & Kenaston Boulevard
– Pembina Highway & Dalhousie Drive

– Consumers can apply for their free easyPAY tag online at

http://www.shell.ca/easyPAY, in person at
participating Shell stations, or by
calling 1-877-EASYPAY.


LaserCard Deal

Drexler Technology has landed its biggest deal to-date for its multi-biometric ID cards. Under a U.S. government subcontract through VA-based Information Spectrum, Drexler received a $10.4 million order for its ‘LaserCard’. The new order is part of an $81 million government procurement program for optical memory cards used for INS “Green Cards” and Department of State “Laser Visas.” Under the five-year U.S. government subcontract, awarded to the Company in June 2000 for up to 24 million ‘LaserCard’ optical memory cards, approximately 9,020,000 cards have been ordered thus far, including yesterday’s order.



Fincentric Corporation, a leading global
provider of wealth management and next generation banking software,
announced that the company’s board of directors has appointed Nick
Mancini, President and CEO of Assante Canada, to its board of directors.
Assante Corporation is a provider of integrated wealth and life
management services. As President and CEO, Mr. Mancini leads a network of
1,500 advisors and manages a staff of 550 employees who work in the areas of
sales and marketing, advisor recruitment, operations, information
technology, finance and human resources.

Prior to Assante, Mr. Mancini held senior executive positions in the
financial services and information management industries. He held the
position of Executive Vice President at Trimark where he was responsible for
sales, marketing and business development. Prior to that position he led the
retail group at Canada Trust as Executive Vice President, and before that
was President and CEO at Dun & Bradstreet’s information services’
international group responsible for Asia Pacific, Canada, Latin America as
well as two U.S. divisions. He also held a number of senior executive
positions at American Express including Senior Vice President and General
Manager of the financial services group.

Mr. Mancini is a board member of York University’s MBA program, and Rand
Technologies. He has also served on the board of American Express Bank, and
the advisory board of CIBC Card Services. As a graduate of York University
in Toronto, Mr. Mancini holds an honours B.A. in Economics and a Masters in
Monetary Economics. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Monetary Economics and

“Nick brings to our board high caliber management experience in financial
services, wealth management and IT,” said Mike Cardiff, Fincentric’s
President and CEO. “He will be a key asset as we plot our course towards
becoming the dominant player in wealth management technology.”
Regarding his appointment to the Fincentric board, Mr. Mancini said,
“Fincentric’s strategy and product offerings are extremely well positioned
for the evolving financial services market. The company’s mission is
centered on providing a whole new level of analytical support and value to
wealth management relationships by focusing on both service and
profitability enhancements.”

About Fincentric

Fincentric is the leading developer of wealth management software solutions
for the global banking industry. Fincentric’s i-Wealthview(tm) wealth
management software products include ‘next generation’ core banking,
Customer Value Management(tm), data aggregation, Internet & wireless
financial portals and full multi-channel support. Its revolutionary Customer
Value Management(tm) capabilities provide profitability and relationship
analysis that allow financial institutions to recognize the value of each
customer, and maximize their profitability. Fincentric products enable
financial institutions to quickly deploy solutions for their converging
financial service offerings, while also supporting capabilities for
increasing customer profitability, customer acquisition, and retention.
Fincentric has more than 300 customers worldwide, and has strategic
relationships with Microsoft, Compaq, and other international partners. For
more information, visit Fincentric’s home page at


Tidel PayPort

Tidel Technologies, Inc. and CashWorks, Inc., a financial technology solutions provider, announced the execution of a strategic license, development and deployment agreement to distribute CashWork’s ground-breaking automated check-cashing system, PayPort. As part of the arrangement, Tidel also agreed to invest $500,000 in the form of convertible debt of CashWorks, in exchange for certain marketing rights and future income payments. Mark K. Levenick, COO of Tidel, said, “The U.S. market for non-bank financial services is estimated to exceed $30 billion annually. This alliance with CashWorks facilitates Tidel’s entry into this exciting arena and enables us to expand our horizons beyond hardware manufacturing. It also differentiates our mainstay products from the competition, and provides our distributors with a value-added revenue stream to offer their customers.”

The parties commenced the first pilot test last week, and expect to install up to a total of twenty-five (25) pilot locations before full deployment begins in the marketplace later this year. The technology is designed for use at both new ATM installations and the more than 155,000 ATMs currently installed in non-bank locations in the U.S.

Ken Rees, President of CashWorks, said, “We are excited to partner with Tidel, and we believe their technical expertise and sales support will allow us to quickly expand our network of locations offering the PayPort system. Our check-cashing system, which is unique, cost-effective and, most of all, simple to own and operate, has eliminated the need for expensive, special purpose machines or brick-and-mortar check-cashing locations.” According to Levenick, “Check-cashing services typically generate fees that far exceed those for cash withdrawals at an ATM, and now they can be conducted in about the same time. Any retail location with a Tidel ATM can substantially improve its profitability overnight with the simple addition of a point-of-sale terminal. In addition, we expect that the increase in fee income offered by PayPort will broaden the base of potential ATM locations by including some locations that couldn’t otherwise be profitable with an ATM alone.” Levenick added, “We believe that CashWorks, Inc. has the technology and management team to become a significant player in this space. We have structured our financial relationship so that we can convert our debt into a new issue of preferred stock of CashWorks upon the achievement of certain milestones.”

The PayPort system allows any retailer with an ATM to provide check cashing and other non-bank financial services, such as payday advance loans and money transfers, through the addition of a PayPort point-of-sale terminal at the counter. The PayPort terminal will be used by a store clerk to scan the check and identify the customer, and automatically authorize the retailer’s ATM to dispense an amount of cash for payroll and government checks up to $1000 per check.

CashWorks, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a technology solutions provider to the non-bank financial market. Formed in July 2001, the CashWorks management team includes several pioneers of automated check cashing. Mr. Ken Rees, President of CashWorks, previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Business Development for InnoVentry Corp. Jointly owned by Wells Fargo, Capital One Financial Corp. and Diebold Incorporated, InnoVentry deployed approximately 1,500 advanced function check cashing machines under the RPM brand. Mr. Michael C. Stinson, Chairman of CashWorks, was a co-founder of Mr. Payroll, an InnoVentry predecessor that developed the world’s first self-service check-cashing machine.

Tidel Technologies, Inc. is a manufacturer of automated teller machines and cash security equipment designed for specialty retail marketers, and pioneered the dial-up ATM in 1992. To date, Tidel has sold more than 35,000 retail ATMs and 115,000 retail cash controllers in the U.S. and 36 other countries. More information about the company and its products may be found on the Internet at [www.tidel.com][1].

[1]: http://www.tidel.com/



Atmel Corporation announced the strengthening of its partnership with
Gemplus, to promote the new monolithic GemCore Pro smart card interface,
which integrates, the new Atmel T83C5121 microcontroller into their one-chip
secure smart card reader.

The improved GemCore one chip solution based on T83C5121 Atmel
offers set-top box, PDA, EFT-POS terminal and mobile phone manufacturers a
unique opportunity to quickly and easily integrate a universal smart card
interface into their devices.

GemCore architectures have all received mandatory certifications for
payment from EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa), ZKA (Zentraler Kreditausschuss,
for the German GeldKarte e-purse system), Mondex, GIE Cartes Bancaires and
Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) to name but a few. Smart card
based applications allow unrivaled security and are thus perfect for
secure payments and transactions from any communicating equipment.

The Atmel T83C5121 integrates a 16-Kbyte on-chip ROM memory, a DC/DC converter
with very high efficiency (75 up to 98%), an ISO7816 UART for easy data
transfer to the card and dual slot capability to address another card (3 volt
SIM card). The DC/DC converter powers the inserted card with the appropriate
voltage (5, 3 or 1.8 volt) regardless of the input voltage. The T83C5121 also
includes a unique power management unit which handles wake up, reset and power
fail. Power down consumption has been optimized to 20 microampere maximum for
mobile applications.

In addition, the T83C5121 contains all the improvements of Atmel’s new C51
core, especially the X2 feature which helps reduce electro-magnetic emissions,
by dividing the crystal frequency by two, while maintaining the same computing
power. For ESD protection card I/O’s have been especially designed to be
resistant to 4,000 volts.

Manish Vadher, marketing director for Standard Microcontrollers at Atmel said,
“GemCore including T83C5121 is a definitive step forward in the innovation of
smart card reader applications helping to reduce time to market for our

Alexandre Lorenzi, Smart Card Interfaces Division director at Gemplus
confirmed, “This cooperation will develop business for both companies in the
fast growing smart card interface market. Gemplus’ expertise in smart card and
Atmel’s knowledge of the consumer and telecom markets will help to develop and
promote the right solutions at optimized costs, opening consumer
electronics to
the promising world of smart card based applications.”

A full set of support tools is also available. It includes a hardware emulator
and a software compiler/simulator and starter kit. Available in industrial and
commercial temperature range, the T83C5121 is packaged in SSOP24, PLCC52 or

Samples with GemCore firmware, complete integration documentation as well as
Gemplus expert services to ensure a smooth certification process will be
available from Gemplus in Q1 2002. Production in volume will start in Q2 2002.
GemCore including T83C5121 achieves a significant 30% cost reduction which has
already convinced major consumer electronics goods manufacturers to select
GemCore as their preferred smart card interface solution.

About Atmel

Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with
manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs,
manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile
memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level
integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage
BCDMOS process technologies.