GCA Signs 22

Twenty-two gaming properties recently signed contracts to use the innovative products and services of Global Cash Access, the leading supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry.

GCA offers an array of products and services ranging from the latest ATM technology in the gaming industry to guest development marketing services that help casinos understand their customers and increase traffic to the gaming floor and special events.

“GCA provides us with top-notch products, which is important both to us as property managers and to our customers who demand the convenience and security of the best cash access devices available,” said Ryan Robinson, director of financial operations for Pechanga Entertainment Center.

Several of the properties that signed contracts chose to use at least one of GCA’s newest products or services. Green Valley Ranch, Sunset Station and Miccosukee Indian Gaming are among the first casinos to use GCA’s QuikCredit product.

A gaming industry first, QuikCredit presents an alternative for patrons who have been denied cash advance or ATM transactions for any number of reasons and for casinos that don’t extend credit to middle-level ($100 to $5,000) patrons or don’t currently extend credit at all. In addition to authorizing and extending credit, GCA performs all debt collections, enabling casino managers to focus on hospitality and other customer service aspects of their business.

Properties that recently signed agreements with GCA are:

— Bordertown Casino Restaurant – Reno, Nev. — Carson Valley Inn – Minden, Nev. — Casino Niagara – Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada — Club Cal Neva – Reno, Nev. — Grand Victoria Casino and Resort – Elgin, Ill. — Green Valley Ranch – Henderson, Nev. — Hacienda Hotel and Casino – Boulder City, Nev. — Harvey’s Casino and Resort – Lake Tahoe – Stateline, Nev. — Hurricane Harry’s – Las Vegas — Hyatt Lake Las Vegas – Henderson, Nev. — Hyatt Regency Aruba – Palm Beach, Aruba, Dutch West Indies — Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino – Incline Village, Nev. — Jerry’s Nugget – Las Vegas — Miccosukee Indian Gaming – Miami, Fla. — Nassau Regional Off Track Betting Corp. – Hempstead, N.Y. — Pechanga Entertainment Center – Temecula, Calif. — Saddle West Hotel and Casino – Pahrump, Nev. — Silver Legacy Resort Casino – Reno, Nev. — Silverton Hotel Casino & RV Park – Las Vegas — Sunset Station – Henderson, Nev. — St. Jo Frontier Casino – St. Joseph, Mo. — Texas Treasure II – Freeport, Texas

About Global Cash Access

Global Cash Access is a joint venture of First Data Corp. and M&C International, Inc. Providing access to the gaming industry’s largest patron database, Global Cash Access uses Internet technologies to deliver funds transfer, financial management and customer relationship marketing services to more than 1,000 gaming properties in the US, Canada, Caribbean and Europe. More information on the company is available at [www.globalcashaccess.com][1].

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


Charge-off Uptick

Charge-offs continued to soar in November hitting a record 6.42% as some analysts continue to predict that losses may approach the 8.0% level this year. According to RAM Research’s Bankcard Barometer, charge-offs rose 40% last year.

(based on previous month’s experience)
Dec 00: 4.58% Jul 01: 5.31%
Jan 01: 4.65% Aug 01: 5.52%
Feb 01: 4.70% Sep 01: 5.60%
Mar 01: 4.74% Oct 01: 6.01%
Apr 01: 4.83% Nov 01: 6.33%
May 01 4.93% Dec 01: 6.42%
Jun 01: 5.10%
Source: RAM Research’s Bankcard Barometer


Online Marketing

Credit card marketing on the Internet has collapsed over the past six months as five major players have either totally pulled banner ads or dramatically curtailed online marketing. This week Providian, the most active online marketer of credit cards, has pulled the plug on all online marketing activities for its Getsmart VISA and its new smart VISA. In November, the pioneer of Internet-centric credit cards and one of the most prolific advertisers of credit cards online, NextCard, began pulling banner ads from Web sites. Also in November, CompuCredit, the issuer of the Aspire VISA card, stopped taking applications online and cut marketing according to CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com][1]). In September Capital One also began reducing its online marketing activities, and Bank of America pulled all of its online credit card ads in mid-August. Providian, Capital One, and NextCard consistently ranked among the 25 most active on-line advertisers to the at-work and at-home Internet audience, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Boston-based Compete says NextCard and Providian each received about 260,000 online credit card applications monthly.

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


CardData 4Q/01

OH-based National City reported a 2.7% drop in 4Q/01 receivables compared to the end of 2000. According to CardData’s 4Q/01 portfolio survey, NC’s charge volume for the fourth quarter was also off, by 7%, at $1,186,310,138. National City’s card receivables stood at $2,203,055,593 as of 12/31/01. Other issuers reporting this week continue to report mixed results for 4Q/01.

CU of Texas (TX) $44,313,906 -0.4% 16,270 +0.6%
Provident Central CU (CA) $36,817,131 -8.1% 19,441 -7.1%
Max FCU (AL) $30,600,430 +5.6% 14,459 -4.0%
Sikorsky FCU (CT) $28,391,020 +17.4% 13,383 +1.9%
La Capital CU (LA) $20,234,761 +13.0% 6,162 +0.6%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com) CHG- compared to 4Q/00


Cap One Bonds

Capital One is gearing up to market $738 million in credit card-backed bonds. The $609 million AAA-rated class tranche may come in around one-month Libor plus 20 bps. A $75 million single-A rated class bond may fetch one-month Libor plus 60 bps. Last week, Robertson Stephens cut its investment ratings on Capital One to a “buy” from a “strong buy”, and set a price target of $71 per share. Cap One closed at $53.45 yesterday. The issuer will release its 4Q/01 earnings report next Tuesday after the market close. For complete details on Cap One’s and historical data visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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



Cadence Design Systems, Inc., the world’s leading supplier of electronic design products and services, announced that it has entered into an agreement to supply design technologies to Gemplus, the world’s leading smart card solutions provider, for a complete front-to-back design solution.

Under the license agreement, electronic designers at Gemplus have access to the complete range of Cadence design technologies. This will enable Gemplus to address its demanding design needs for customized chips and reduce time-to-market for its smart card products. Design technologies included are Cadence NC-Sim for simulation, BuildGates Synthesis, FormalCheck Model Checker, Verification Cockpit, Cadence Analog Design Environment, Virtuoso custom layout, and Diva physical verification and extraction.

Gemplus selected the comprehensive Cadence technology suite to assist it in meeting the target window in the highly competitive smart card market.

“The complete design technology portfolio offered by Cadence gave us a one-stop shop with the flexibility to work with a wider range of chip manufacturers,” commented Jean-Luc Ledys, director of Silicon Technologies, Gemplus. “In addition, to help us maintain our competitive edge we were looking for a tool that would allow us to design the smallest die size possible. After several evaluations the Cadence solution delivered superior performance and productivity benefits.”

“Gemplus is a key player in a market that is fast growing and leading advanced electronic design,” said Tom Brigiotta, vice president European sales and marketing. “By utilizing the Cadence integrated IC design environment, Gemplus was able to ramp up rapidly and concentrate on the development of its complex chip technology.”

About Gemplus

Gemplus is the world’s leading smart card solutions provider. Since its creation in 1988, Gemplus International S.A (Euronext:Sicovam 5768 and Nasdaq:GEMP) has driven the global marketing and deployment of smart card-based applications for telecommunications, financial services and e-business security. For more than a decade, Gemplus has pioneered applications that enable network operators around the world to answer the changing needs of their customers. Gemplus was first to market with a 3G card and supplies a product range compliant with new and emerging transmission standards — 2.5G and 3G. In 2000, revenue was 1.205 BE, up 57% from the previous year’s 767 ME. Net income was 99 ME. Gemplus employs more than 7800 people in 37 countries worldwide. Since December 11, 2000, Gemplus shares have been trading on the Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the NASDAQ Stock Market in the form of ADSs. For more information, visit the Gemplus website at www.gemplus.com.

About Cadence

Cadence is the largest supplier of electronic design technologies, methodology services, and design services. Cadence solutions are used to accelerate and manage the design of semiconductors, computer systems, networking and telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics, and a variety of other electronics-based products. With approximately 5,700 employees and 2000 revenues of approximately $1.3 billion, Cadence has sales offices, design centers, and research facilities around the world. The company is headquartered in San Jose, California, and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CDN. More information about the company, its products, and services is available at www.cadence.com.


Students Fail

Today’s youth, as part of the Net generation of shoppers, are armed with more than $150 billion in spending power.

As they increasingly turn to the Web for purchases, credit cards have become an inevitable fact of their financial life. While credit cards can teach young adults responsibility and how to manage their money early on, Citibank, the #1 provider of credit cards in the world, continues to raise the standard for credit education among young adults and is taking substantial steps to ensure they do not get in over their heads. According to its new national survey of over 1,000 college students, Citi Cards learned that although the majority of respondents understand the importance of establishing a good credit history in college and beyond, and 62% were aware of what a credit report is, a significant 74% have never seen their own report.

The study also revealed that students’ knowledge of key details such as where to get a copy of their report, who has permission to access it, how often to obtain a copy of their report, and the impact of current spending habits or missed payments, was inaccurate.

In an effort to increase student awareness of these issues, Citi is taking its already extensive credit education program one step further. Teaming with Experian(R), one of the nation’s leading consumer credit agencies, Citi is personalizing credit education and empowering its student cardmembers with a free copy of their own credit report – in an easily accessible format. This latest groundbreaking initiative bolsters Citi’s commitment to advancing financial literacy among young adults. It’s the latest offering from Citi Cards’ comprehensive Credit-ED program, designed to provide students with the ongoing support they need to stay on the responsible track and use credit to their advantage.

“We believe that the more you know about credit, and particularly your own credit, the more likely you are to use this powerful tool wisely,” explains Citi’s College Credit Business Manager, Gina Doynow. “Credit cards are a way of life for everyone, including college students. Whether it’s online shopping, buying books at the campus bookstore or purchasing a ticket to go home for the holidays, credit cards can benefit college students in many ways. Citi has undertaken this initiative to ensure that students are aware of how their spending and payment habits now will affect their future. We are dedicated to making sure they understand how important it is to not spend more than they can afford.”

To help college students start the new year on the right financial foot, Citi Cards and Experian offer these practical and essential tips to creating a healthy credit history:

— Pay your bills on time. If you pay late, you not only incur a fee, but it can appear on your credit report and affect your ability to get a loan, an apartment, or even a job in the future.

— Set up a realistic budget, and stick to it.

— When applying for credit, provide complete, accurate, and consistent identification to set up a credit history correctly from the beginning.

— Don’t apply for more credit cards than you need; too much available credit can make you look like a risk to future lenders.

— Keep balances well below your credit limits.

— Review your credit report every year to check for inaccuracies.

About Citibank

Citibank is part of Citigroup (NYSE: C), the preeminent global financial services company with some 190 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Travelers. Additional information may be found at: [www.citigroup.com][1].

About Credit-ED

Citi Cards is the largest provider of credit cards to college students in the United States. As the leader in the college market, Citi Cards is committed to advancing financial literacy and responsible credit management among students by providing them with the utmost guidance and resources they need to spend wisely. Through its Credit-ED(SM) Program, an ongoing and comprehensive credit education initiative, Citi Cards offers a variety of free financial management tools to students, parents and college administrators that include: the www.credit-ED.citibank.com Web site where students – and parents – can learn the fundamentals of money management; the “Ask Anita” e-mail service allowing students to receive answers to their credit-related questions via anita.future@citibank.com; and the www.credit-EDadministrator.com Web site for college administrators to help guide their students to financial “smarts.”

About Experian

Experian enables organizations to find the best prospects and make fast, informed decisions to improve and personalize relationships with their customers. It does this by combining sophisticated and intelligent decision-making software and systems with some of the world’s most comprehensive databases of information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles and property. Through multi-channel delivery of its Web-based products and services, Experian enables its clients to conduct secure and profitable e-business and develop state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for communicating and building one-to-one relationships with customers. Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Orange, Calif. Its 12,000 people support clients in more than 50 countries. Annual sales are approximately $1.5 billion.

For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [www.experian.com][2].

[1]: http://www.citigroup.com
[2]: http://www.experian.com


Cashless Olympic Pilot

On March 1, 2001, Visa asked three American hopefuls for the Salt Lake Olympic Winter and Paralympic Winter Games to use only their Visa cards and electronic payments to pay for all of their day-to-day expenses over $10 for a year. The point of this program was to see if three busy people could live their lives virtually without traditional payments — and to demonstrate the value of Visa and other contemporary payment methods.

These American athletes — aerialist Emily Cook, bobsledder Jean Racine and skier Mary Riddell — have used only their Visa Check cards, Visa credit cards or electronic payments to purchase anything over $10 — including rent, utilities, car payments, travel and bills. They were provided money management computer software to assist in their budgeting and were asked to keep a personal journal to capture anecdotes of their experiences while participating in this program.

All of the athletes made only minor adjustments to how they handled their finances and quickly realized the benefits of putting today’s payment methods to work for them: security, global acceptance, convenience and freedom. All agree that using Visa and electronic payments is easier than they thought it would be, has given them greater financial control, and is worth continuing in the future.

Excerpts from Athlete’s Journal Entries:

* Jean Racine on the benefits of using her Visa card … “When I used to spend with cash, I had no idea where my money went. Now that I spend with my Visa cards, I can track all my expenses. This really helps me with my budgeting. Living this way is convenient and definitely a lot easier than I thought it would be.”

* Emily Cook on how this program made it easier for her to travel … “My travel schedule can be a nightmare. One time, I had to fly into four different countries before I reached my final destination. While my teammates had to change currencies four different times, I just used my Visa card for all my purchases. It was simple and convenient, and I got a better exchange rate. It doesn’t get much better than this.”

* Racine on the benefits of Visa and electronic payments … “I really like how I can take care of bills from the road. With a schedule as demanding as mine, now I never have to worry about missing a payment.”

* Mary Riddell on getting a smaller wallet … “I feel a lot safer not carrying cash around. All I have in my wallet is my Visa, which is accepted almost everywhere.”

* Riddell on how this program has given her more financial control … “Usually, I’m borrowing money from my dad. This program has really helped me with my budgeting. Paying with Visa [and electronic payments] gives me peace of mind because I’m now financially stable. I can view all of my purchases on one statement. I’m really in control.”

* Cook on life after the program … “I will absolutely continue to live this way after the program is over. I’ve been enlightened.”



The Federal Reserve Board this week named eleven new members to its Consumer Advisory Council for three-year terms and designated a new Chair and Vice Chair of the Council for 2002.

The Council advises the Board on the exercise of its responsibilities under the Consumer Credit Protection Act and on other matters in the area of consumer financial services. The Council meets three times a year in Washington, D.C.

Dorothy Broadman was designated Chair; her term runs through December 2002. Starting February 11, Ms. Broadman will be Director of Corporate Citizenship at Capital One Financial Corporation in Northern Virginia. Previously, she held positions at Cal Fed Bank/First Nationwide Bank, Citibank and Wells Fargo.

Ronald Reiter was designated Vice Chair; his term on the Council ends in December 2003. Mr. Reiter is Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice.

The eleven new members are:

Janie Barrera San Antonio, Texas Ms. Barrera is President and Chief Executive Officer of ACCION Texas. ACCION, the largest nonprofit micro-lending organization in Texas, provides small loans and management training to micro-enterprises throughout Texas. Ms. Barrera positioned the organization for three Community Development Financial Institution awards totaling over $3 million. She received the 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Microenterprise Development. Ms. Barrera has received recognition for her accomplishments including the Small Business Administration Financial Services Advocate of the Year, and the Minority Enterprise Development Consortium’s Corporate Advocate of the Year. She also serves on JP Morgan Chase Bank’s Advisory Board of Directors in San Antonio, JP Morgan Chase National Community Advisory Board, and Washington Mutual Bank’s Texas Advisory Board.Kenneth P. Bordelon Baton Rouge, LouisianaMr. Bordelon has been Chief Executive Officer of the E Federal Credit Union since 1998. Previously, he was the credit union’s Chief Financial Officer. He led the implementation of online ATM service, debit cards, online banking, electronic bill payment, and two branch offices serving as shared outlets in the Credit Union Cooperative Branching network (CUCB). In addition to his duties at E Federal, Mr. Bordelon serves on the boards of CUCB and Southern Financial Exchange, the electronic payments systems solutions network association for the south central United States.Robin Coffey Chicago, IllinoisMs. Coffey is Vice President and Community Development Manager for Harris Trust and Savings Bank, where her responsibilities include setting benchmarks and monitoring Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) compliance for 26 banking charters. Previously, she managed the bank’s community development lending including both affordable housing loans and small business loans in low-income neighborhoods. Ms. Coffey works with the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.Thomas P. FitzGibbon, Jr. Chicago, IllinoisMr. FitzGibbon is President of MB Community Development Corporation and Senior Vice President of MB Financial Bank, N.A. He manages the delivery of community development equity and debt investments, economic development, and housing finance programs. He is also in charge of residential, consumer and small business lending programs, internet banking, and insured deposit product delivery systems. Previously, he was Vice President of Community Reinvestment and Regulatory Compliance for Comerica Bank-Illinois. Mr. FitzGibbon serves on the Board of the Woodstock Institute, and on the faculty of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s National Community Development Lending School.Larry Hawkins, Jr. Houston, TexasSince 1990, Mr. Hawkins has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Unity National Bank in Houston, a minority-owned bank primarily serving a low-income population. He is knowledgeable about opportunities and challenges facing small community banks and often speaks at schools and community organization functions. Mr. Hawkins’ banking career began in 1970, and he has worked in many banking areas including loan processing, collections, small business, and personal lending. He has been active in many community and banking organizations and now serves as a Board Member for the Greater Houston Partnership and the Independent Bankers Association of Texas. He also serves as Chairman of the Disaster Services Committee of the American Red Cross.Ruhi Maker Rochester, New YorkMs. Maker is a Senior Attorney with the Public Interest Law Office of Rochester. She provides advocacy on Community Reinvestment Act issues at the local, state, and national level. She has assisted Monroe County and the City of Rochester on implementation of a Fair Housing Action Plan and has chaired the City’s Real Estate and Lending Team. She has expertise in private and subsidized housing law and has been involved in trial work, appeals, and litigation on these issues. Ms. Maker has also been involved in litigation on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Truth in Lending Act. She is a founding member of the Predatory Lending Advisory Task Force in Rochester, convened by area banks with members representing banks, community groups, and city officials.Patricia McCoy Cleveland, OhioMs. McCoy is a professor of law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University. She teaches courses on banking and securities regulation, and she is the author of a major treatise on federal banking regulation that includes an extensive analysis of the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws. Ms. McCoy is chairman of the Section on Financial Institutions and Consumer Financial Services of the Association of American Law Schools and is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Strategic Alliance on Predatory Lending. She has written and spoken regularly on financial modernization and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, predatory lending, the unbanked, consumer privacy, CRA reform, and fair lending.Debra S. Reyes Tampa, FloridaMs. Reyes is the President of Neighborhood Lending Partners, Inc. (NLP), a mortgage-lending consortium with membership representing 43 banks and thrifts. Her responsibilities include managing the lending program, conducting marketing and outreach, establishing a secondary market for the organization’s products, and overseeing loan collection. Ms. Reyes helped to provide over $90 million in loan funds to construct or revitalize 4,000 units of affordable housing. Prior to initiating NLP, she served as Director of Compliance for several banks, including Barnett Bank, N.A. Ms. Reyes serves on Tampa’s Partners in Homeownership organization and Fannie Mae’s Southeastern Regional Advisory Council.Benson Roberts Washington, District of ColumbiaMr. Roberts is Vice President of Policy for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the nation’s largest nonprofit community development support organization. The organization makes $600 million in investments, loans, and grants annually. Mr. Roberts manages housing, urban and rural community development, finance, and economic development policy issues. He is involved in Community Reinvestment Act policy at both the regulatory and legislative levels. He played a major role in the enactment of the federal housing block grant program and the New Markets Tax Credit legislation and is working on President Bush’s “Renewing the Dream” tax credit to benefit low-income home buyers. Mr. Roberts is a board member of the Center for Community Change, the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, and the National Housing Conference.Agnes Bundy Scanlan Boston, MassachusettsMs. Bundy Scanlan is Managing Director and Chief Privacy Officer for FleetBoston Financial. She established the Corporate Privacy Office and is responsible for development and implementation of corporate privacy policies. Previously, Ms. Bundy Scanlan established Fleet Financial Group’s Corporate Community Development Department and was responsible for all Community Reinvestment Act lending, investment, and services and for fair lending initiatives. She co-chairs the CRA Subcomm_ttee for the Consumer Bankers Association.Hubert Van Tol Sparta, WisconsinMr. Van Tol is founder and Co-Director of Fairness in Rural Lending, which engages in research and advocacy on lending issues in the rural Midwest. Previously, Mr. Van Tol founded and operated Bank Watchers, a firm specializing in information services and organizational development for nonprofit organizations working with low- and moderate-income consumers. Mr. Van Tol also served for eleven years as the Executive Director of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, which engages in education, advocacy, community reinvestment, lending discrimination research, and environmental justice. He serves on the executive committee of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.Council members whose terms continue through 2002 are:

Teresa Bryce General Counsel Nexstar Financial Corporation St. Louis, Missouri Robert M. Cheadle Legislative Counsel The Chickasaw Tribal Legislature Ada, Oklahoma Lester Firstenberger Attorney Hopkinton, Masschusetts Jeremy Nowak Chief Executive Officer The Reinvestment Fund Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Council members whose terms continue through 2003 are:Anthony Abbate President and Chief Executive Officer Interchange Bank Saddle Brook, New Jersey Manuel Casanova, Jr. Executive Vice President International Bank of Commerce Brownsville, Texas Constance K. Chamberlin President and Chief Executive Officer Housing Opportunities Made Equal Richmond, Virginia Earl Jarolimek Vice President/Corporate Compliance Officer Community First Bankshares Fargo, North Dakota J. Patrick Liddy Director of Compliance Fifth Third Bancorp Cincinnati, Ohio Oscar Marquis Attorney Hunton and Williams Park Ridge, Illinois Elizabeth Renuart Staff Attorney National Consumer Law Center Boston, Massachusetts Russell Schrader Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Visa U.S.A. San Francisco, California Frank Torres, III Legislative Counsel Consumers Union Washington, District of Columbia


Incurrent COO

Incurrent Solutions, Inc., the leading provider of Internet-based CRM solutions for the payment industry, is pleased to announce the appointment of David J. Hickey to the position of Chief Operating Officer for Incurrent.

Hickey will assume leadership responsibility for Incurrent’s Project Management, Professional Services, Creative Services, Development and IT activities. “We are extremely pleased to have Dave on board. He brings with him the experience, knowledge, and management skills necessary to streamline our operations and exceed customer expectations. We look forward to strong growth in 2002,” said Loren Hulber, Chairman and CEO of Incurrent Solutions.

Hickey comes to Incurrent from Telelogic North America, where as senior Vice President, Operations, he successfully managed the integration of three large companies within a six-month time frame following a series of acquisitions. Hickey significantly improved operating margins on support and services revenues while being able to deliver high quality products. Prior to this success, Hickey was COO of Quality Systems Software, Inc., which was acquired by Telelogic. QSS was a leading provider of enterprise-class requirements management systems, software and consulting services. It was the provider of choice among Fortune 1000 companies including AT & T, Boeing, Citibank, Motorola and NASA. Hickey managed the organization through a growth cycle that took it from a $5 million company to a $30 million company over a 4-year period, winning the New Jersey Technology Council “Private Company of the Year” Award in 1997.

About Incurrent Solutions

Founded in 1997, Incurrent Solutions (www.incurrent.com) provides advanced Internet, voice and wireless services to card-issuing banks and transaction processors. Incurrent’s clients include Sears Roebuck, NextCard, Certegy (formerly Equifax Card Services), Fiserv, Fleet Credit Card Services, Metris Companies, and other major card issuers. Incurrent has seen the volume of its clientele’s total cardmember base grow from 15 million to 100 million, reflecting a rapidly growing industry need for its services.

CardSite, Incurrent’s cutting-edge, Internet-based CRM solution, enhances cardholder experience and cultivates account loyalty at a cost significantly lower than traditional customer interaction methods. Cardholders enjoy real-time access to account information, statements, bill payment, secure e-mail, reports, searches, interactive sessions, and other service-enhancing tools for web, wireless and voice channels.


Providian Sale?

Wall Street rumors that Providian is in final negotiations to sell all or part of its $32 billion portfolio to Household sent its stock up 15% Thursday to close at $4.14. Providian is desperately seeking to unload $3 billion of higher-risk credit card receivables as well as its international portfolios. However the issuer indicated it also considering the sale of other segments or possibly the entire portfolio. Providian suspended lending to sub-prime market following its third quarter acknowledgement of soaring chargeoffs. This week Providian cut 800 more jobs and shut-down marketing of its ‘Getsmart VISA’ and new ‘smart VISA’ program, according to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]). (CF Library 10/22/01; 11/15/01; 11/26/01; 1/03/02; 1/08/02)

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



SureFire Commerce Inc., a provider of robust transaction processing and payment solutions, announced a partnership agreement with Smart Online, Inc. a leading online provider of small business productivity applications. Under the terms of this agreement, SureFire Commerce’s Total TransActions solution will be fully integrated into Smart Online’s Web-based productivity applications for small businesses and
made available to Smart Online and the small business syndicated platforms of
its Fortune 1000 partners, such as Compaq, Bank One, The Company Corporation,
Cable & Wireless, and the Banknorth Group.

The SureFire Total TransActions solution allows small businesses and
SOHOs (Small Office/Home Office) to accept VISA, MasterCard, and FirePay(R)
Personal Account brands via a virtual point-of-sale machine. This means that
any part-time or full-time business with access to a Web browser can start
accepting payments in just days without having to build a Web site with e-
commerce functionality. Users of the SureFire Total TransActions solution can
accept over-the-counter credit card payments simply by entering a customer’s
credit card information into the SureFire Total TransActions interface on the

The SureFire Total TransActions solution will be integrated into Smart
Online’s Web-based applications, allowing small businesses to accept credit
card payments, present bills electronically, and even schedule recurring
billing. This cutting-edge functionality will also be integrated into dozens
of small business resource centres, including Smart Online and its syndicated
platform that includes the small business centres of major Fortune 1000
companies, reaching literally millions of small businesses.

Over the coming months, SureFire Commerce intends to add new
functionality to the SureFire Total TransActions solution, which will give
small businesses even greater flexibility in collecting payments. The goal is
to make the SureFire Total TransActions solution THE way for small businesses
to get paid, whether a company does business online or offline, or both.

“Our syndicated partners and small business customers have been asking
for a widely available and affordable payment solution that will help them
grow their businesses,” said Michael Nouri, CEO and Chairman of Smart Online.
“To meet those requests, we’ve selected SureFire Commerce’s Total TransActions
solution because it goes well beyond value, offering a full range of
transaction processing capabilities and management tools that empower high-
risk small businesses to accept credit card payments in a simple, rapid, and
cost-effective way. SureFire Commerce has developed unique and robust payment
technologies that many companies trust and we are proud to offer this value to
the constituencies of the syndicated partners of Smart Online.”

“At SureFire, we aim to make the SureFire Total TransActions solution,
which enables anyone with a standard Web browser to accept credit card
payments, THE money centre for small business,” said Rory Olson, President and
CEO of SureFire Commerce. “SmartOnline, with its industry-leading Fortune 1000
partners, is an excellent example of how we will proliferate this
groundbreaking product to companies that reach millions of small businesses in
their respective fields. We are offering the solution to selected leaders in a
wide variety of commerce categories as a private-labeled solution and plan to
leverage these strong partnerships to offer some of our other products, such
as FirePay, for consumers looking for P2P functionality. As with other recent
partnerships such as Intuit (QuickBooks) and points.com (American Airlines,
America West), we expect this partnership to yield a significant number of
online transactions through prestigious business portals,” concluded Olson.

About Smart Online

Smart Online, Inc. offers the industry’s broadest array of Web-delivered
business productivity applications that power the start-up, growth, and
management of small- and medium-size enterprises across the U.S. and Europe.
Smart Online’s Web-native business productivity applications are integrated
into companies such as Bank One, The Banknorth Group, the Company Corporation,
Cable & Wireless, AIG, etc. These applications can be rapidly and seamlessly
integrated into partners’ Web sites, greatly enhancing the value of partners’
e-relationships with their end-users. Smart Online is a privately held company
with headquarters in Durham, N.C., and offices in Charlotte, N.C., the United
Kingdom, and France. For more information about Smart Online, Inc. please
visit the company’s Web site at http://www.smartonline.com.

About SureFire Commerce

SureFire Commerce Inc. is a global provider of secure online payment
solutions and e-commerce support, processing over $1.2 billion of online
transactions annually. The Company specializes in payment solutions in three
core areas: Internet payment processing for online merchants, bill presentment
and payment processing for physical businesses, and corporate billing
solutions. SureFire Commerce’s online payment solutions are marketed to
consumers and merchants through strategic partnership agreements with
companies that have significant brand recognition and distribution channels.
SureFire Commerce is headquartered in Montreal (Quebec) with offices in Hull
(Quebec) and London (England).