iPad Launched

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions will unveil a powerful handheld computer next week which combines retailing and card payment technologies with Microsoft ‘Windows CE .NET’ operating system. At 10 ounces, the featherweight ‘iPAD’ combines scanner, magnetic-card and smart-card reader, and keypad with encryption and wireless capabilities. The ‘iPAD’ can be used for inventory management, debit transactions, price verifications, phone calls, line busting, mobile POS, and gift registry. It uses an Intel processor and can support any 802.11b wireless LAN infrastructure. With ‘Windows CE .NET’, the ‘iPAD’ will support both XML and VoIP. The new handheld will be available to retailers by summer.

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Allcharge Funding

AllCharge, the provider of a technology to monetize digital content, announced the recent closing of a $3.4 million Series A/B Preferred funding round.

The round was led by VAL Investment Group, LLC, an affiliate of Verticality Investment Group, LLC, and also included other existing AllCharge investors. AllCharge will use the new funding to expand the market penetration of its online payment solution, which lets merchants sell any type and amount of digital content while allowing consumers to pay virtually any way they wish. In addition to intensifying its marketing and sales efforts, AllCharge will invest in ongoing product enhancements and customer care.

“As content monetization is becoming key in the effort to turn the Internet into a profitable business space, our flexible payment platform, designed specifically for digital commerce, is facing an explosion in demand,” says Jakob Schwerdt, president and CEO of AllCharge. “With this recent investment, we are ready to respond to the exciting market opportunities and quickly move toward profitability.”

“Despite a general decline of investments in the Internet sector, we still see great interest in companies that have a clear path to profitability, and that offer premium infrastructure products and services,” says Sholem Greenbaum, a principal of VAL. “With its visionary strategy, its solid product, and its experienced management team, AllCharge is such a company, geared to succeed in the promising online content industry.”

About AllCharge

Founded in 2000, AllCharge provides a sophisticated e-payment technology. The system allows merchants to price and sell any type of digital content, and consumers to purchase any amount of premium content, using their preferred payment channel. AllCharge supports all payment methods, pricing models, and digital content purchases. The company is headquartered in New York City, and maintains extensive R&D facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel. For more information, visit [www.allcharge.com][1].

About VAL Investment Group LLC

VAL Investment Group, an affiliate of the Verticality Investment Group, is a venture capital management company that focuses on investment in private technology companies, generally those involved in hardware and software development focusing on the Internet, programming tools, development environments, and programming languages. For more information, call Ronny Apfel at 201/656-9253 or Sholem Greenbaum at 212/266-9269 or visit the web site at [http://www.verticality.com][2].

[1]: http://www.allcharge.com/
[2]: http://www.verticality.com/

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Olympic Reunion Center

Four-time Olympian, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, recently announced program details for the Visa Olympians Reunion Center and invited all Olympic Alumni to enjoy ongoing hospitality during their visit to the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. “Olympians from around the world will have a place of their own — to gather, renew old friendships and share their unique experiences,” he said. “The Visa Olympians Reunion Center has served importantly to promote the Olympic spirit and ideals.” Prince Albert is the International Spokesperson for the Center.

The Visa Olympians Reunion Center will celebrate its Grand Opening with a special program on February 7, and will begin daily operations on February 8, with hours from 2:00 p.m. until midnight throughout the Games.

Designed expressly for the use of Olympic Alumni, the Visa Olympians Reunion Center was first developed for the 1996 Games in Atlanta and served again, in Sydney, to enhance the Games experience of all visiting Olympians. More than 2,700 individual Olympians visited the Sydney Center. Now part of an Olympic tradition, the Salt Lake Visa Olympians Reunion Center will be the first at an Olympic Winter Games. The program is based on a partnership between the IOC, the World Olympians Association, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Visa, the founding partner.

With its downtown location in the Salt Lake Hardware Building, adjacent to the Olympic Medals Plaza, it will be a lively place for the world’s Olympians to congregate and enjoy hospitality. The Visa Olympians Reunion Center, as a communications focal point, will serve as a focal point for Olympians to enjoy the full range of Olympic family activities.

“The Visa Olympians Reunion Center is a critical part of our focus during each Olympic Games,” remarked Liston Bochette, three-time Olympian and Secretary General of the World Olympians Association (WOA), the international alumni organization founded by the International Olympic Committee. “We are making great strides in expanding every Olympians opportunity to participate within the Olympic family and continue to impact the movement productively. We are very grateful to Visa for its ongoing commitment to the Olympic movement, and in particular for this program which has benefited thousands of Olympians since its inception at the 1996 Atlanta Games.”

Olympians are invited to pre-register for the Visa Olympians Reunion Center on the Internet by going to the World Olympians Association website at . They will be able to get updated information on the reunion center program and other activities of the World Olympians Association.

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Priceless Holidays

MasterCard reported this week that card volume during the holiday shopping season was up 20% over 2000. MasterCard says overall retail dollar volumes increased 18.3% while grocery store volumes grew 32.8%. Department store volumes grew 9.3% while discount store volumes were up 13.8%. Travel and Entertainment volumes logged a 14.6% increase with airline spending up 2.3%, restaurant volumes up 27.1%, as hotel and rental car growth remained flat. MasterCard noted that average ticket price for purchases has dropped approximately three percent, due to slower T&E growth and a slower economy.

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ATM Manager 5.0

MA-based e-ClassicSystems has released version 5.0 of its ‘ATM Manager Pro’ software suite. Introduced in May 2000, the software now manages the operations of more than 46,000 ATMs worldwide. Version 5.0 offers statistical and financial accounting for financial institutions that allow other banks’ cardholders to withdraw cash surcharge-free in their network. The new version also offers statistical and financial accounting to measure the EBT usage at each location and its corresponding impact on interchange fees. Other features include the ability to nest multiple events, analyze special trends, and support for multiple media types in terminals.

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EURO ATMS

Millions of customers heralded
the new year by withdrawing crisp new euro notes from an NCR Corporation
automated teller machine. With bank branches closed for the
holiday, the ATM became the focus of those eager to acquire and spend the new
currency. On an average day, customers use an ATM for around 70 percent of
their cash requirements. This was no average day, however, with cash
withdrawals reaching exceptional levels.

As the clear ATM market leader in Europe, NCR had a crucial role to play
in ensuring the introduction of the euro was a painless experience for the
person on the street. NCR operates 50 percent of the 200,000 ATM machines in
the euro zone.

Distribution of the new euro currency from NCR ATMs has passed without
major incident. The company’s euro command center, set up to monitor the
smooth running of NCR’s products across the euro zone and coordinate the
deployment of engineers, reports that service calls during the changeover
period were in line with expectations for the level of transactions processed.

“Taking cash out of an ATM is now something we all take for granted,
whatever the currency unit. This was a vast undertaking and a lot of planning
went into the achievement of a smooth changeover,” said Simon Rubin, NCR
Financial Solutions division’s vice president of marketing for Europe, Africa
and the Middle East. “We began planning for what has been dubbed ‘e-day’ back
in 1996, and have been working with our customers to ensure their software and
hardware is euro-compliant.”

ATMs have been the main means of access to the euro. Around 50 percent of
euro notes have already been put into circulation and the European Central
Bank has stated that in some countries the demand for notes was up to four
times the level for a typical New Year’s Day.

“In the Netherlands alone our machines processed 2.5 million transactions
on January 1,” said Rubin, “and it has been reported that at peak times the
network was processing 23 transactions per second.”

Throughout the euro zone around 96 percent of ATMs are now dispensing
euros. In Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, Austria and
Luxembourg, all machines are dispensing the new notes.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship
Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial,
communications, manufacturing, travel and transportation, and insurance
markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled
Teradata(R) warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM)
applications, store automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The
company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-
established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding
software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and
media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 32,900 in
more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500
Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at
http://www.ncr.com.

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PSIGATE FUNDING

Mr. Anthony Palumbo, Chief Executive
Officer of Payment Services Interactive Gateway Corp. announced it has signed
an engagement letter with Octagon Capital
Corporation in connection with a proposed “best efforts” private
placement. The Offering is to consist of a minimum of
$1,000,000 and a maximum of $1,500,000. The Offering will consist of Units,
each Unit consisting of $1,000 principal amount of 10% convertible debentures
and 3,500 common share purchase warrants.

The Offering of Units is scheduled to close on or about January 15, 2002,
subject to receipt of regulatory approval and completion of due diligence.

The Debentures shall be convertible at $0.10 per underlying common share
at any time from the date of issuance to the maturity date, January 15, 2004.
PSiGate will have a right to redeem the Debentures if at any time after the
first anniversary date of issuance the 30-day weighted average trading price
of PSiGate’s common shares is at least 150% of the conversion price ($0.15).
Each Warrant accompanying the Unit shall be exercisable into one common share
at a price of $0.10 per common share. The Warrants shall expire on January 15,
2004.

In connection with the Offering, Octagon shall be entitled to receive 8%
on the gross proceeds realized other than those proceeds generated by
subscriptions made by officers of PSiGate. Currently, the officers of PSiGate
have committed to a minimum of $400,000 of the Offering. In addition, Octagon
shall be granted compensation options equal to 8% of the common shares
underlying the Debentures.

PSiGate plans to use the proceeds from the Offering for working capital
purposes and for debt repayment.

About PSiGate

Payment Services Interactive Gateway Corp. empowers businesses on the
Internet by providing secure, cost-effective and trusted e-commerce solutions.
PSiGate provides an easy and seamless interface to new or existing online
commerce enterprises, offering a reliable means of real – time payment
collection and financial transaction processing, as well as credit card batch
processing. Management services include automated shipping calculations, fraud
screening and financial account reporting. PSiGate also provides VISA,
MasterCard and American Express Internet Merchant Accounts (Merchant IDs) for
Canadian and USA – based businesses. For more information, please visit
http://www.psigate.com.

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WAFER-PIERCE EXEC

NanoPierce Card Technologies
GmbH, a subsidiary of NanoPierce Technologies, Inc., announced
that Mr. Michael von Mackensen joined the company effective January 1,
2002.

He will be in charge of Sales & Marketing for the introduction of
WaferPierce to key applications, among others, like Smart Card Chip
Modules
and LEDs. Mr. von Mackensen will report directly to Dr. Michael E. Wernle, CEO
& President of NanoPierce Card Technologies GmbH.
Mr. von Mackensen is a highly experienced Sales and Marketing expert in the
field of electronics. After receiving his master’s degree in electrical
engineering from the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg,
Germany, he started his career beginning in 1998 in the Marketing Group of the
ceramic components division at EPCOS AG.

EPCOS, a manufacturer of passive electronic components headquartered in
Munich,
is the market leader in Europe and number two worldwide. EPCOS’ largest
shareholders are Siemens AG and the Matsushita Group.
As Product Marketing Manager for multilayer technology, he was responsible for
business development in different regions, including European countries like
Austria, Benelux, France, Germany and the NAFTA (USA, Canada, Mexico) region.
Over the years he has established very close contacts with most of the
market-leading key customers in three important industry branches:
Telecommunication, Industrial and Automotive Electronics. Mr. von Mackensen
coordinated worldwide projects with multinational project teams within these
market segments.

During the last year, Mr. von Mackensen headed the marketing activities of the
new EPCOS division Piezo Technology. By focusing on the automotive market,
EPCOS achieved a worldwide leading market position in the field of multilayer
piezo actuators. This technology is going to revolutionize the market for
engine fuel injection systems. The technology enables the development of
next-generation engine systems characterized by higher efficiency, lower fuel
consumption and minimized emissions.

Commenting on his new position with NanoPierce Card Technologies, Mr. von
Mackensen said: “As a private long-term shareholder, I have been following the
exceedingly positive development of NanoPierce since 2000. The exciting
NCS(TM)
technology, technically very sophisticated and with significant cost benefits
over competitive technologies, is right on the edge of its market penetration.
It will be a most interesting challenge for me to accompany NanoPierce on its
way to success. I absolutely believe in the superiority of the NCS(TM)
technology and its immediate acceptance by the electronics market.”

“Based on his experience, especially with the introduction of new technologies
to the electronics industry, Mr. von Mackensen will be a valuable addition to
our team. I am really glad to have him on board,” stated Dr. Michael E.
Wernle,
CEO & President of NanoPierce Card Technologies GmbH. “This is the next
step to
enrich our staff with qualified key personnel to fulfill our long-term Sales &
Marketing Plan and to bring our technology to the electronics market.”
NanoPierce Card Technologies GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of NanoPierce
Technologies, Inc., of Denver, Colorado, USA, which is traded on the Nasdaq
stock market (OTCBB:NPCT) as well as in Frankfurt and Hamburg (OTC:NPI). In
addition to the 12 patents it owns, NanoPierce has numerous applications
pending, others in preparation, and various other intellectual properties
related to NanoPierce’s proprietary NCS(TM) (NanoPierce Connection System).
This advanced system is designed to provide significant improvement over
conventional electrical and mechanical interconnection methods for
high-density
circuit boards, components, sockets, connectors, semiconductor packaging and
electronic systems.
For more information about NanoPierce Technologies, Inc., log on to the
Company’s website at http://www.nanopierce.com.

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AmEx & AOL Time Warner

American Express announced this morning an expanded relationship with AOL Time Warner. The cross-platform marketing alliance will promote multiple American Express products across a wide variety of AOL Time Warner assets and expand redemption options for the ‘Membership Rewards’ program. The new alliance consolidates previous long-standing agreements between a variety of American Express and AOL Time Warner divisions, while significantly expanding the companies’ relationship through the development of a series of advertising and event marketing programs using AOL Time Warner’s on-air, print, online, and music and entertainment assets. In addition, the companies will work on joint initiatives to build the share of ‘American Express Card’ spending on AOL Time Warner properties. With the partnership, the 9 million enrollees of ‘Membership Rewards’ will be able to redeem points for a variety of AOL Time Warner goods and services, beginning with magazine subscriptions.

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DUAL-CURRENCY E-COMMERCE

Moneris Solutions, a leading North
American processor of credit and debit card transactions and Payment Services
Interactive Gateway Corp., a leading electronic bill
presentment and payment service provider, announced a partnership
that enables Canadian retailers to process online payments in Canadian and/or
U.S. dollars and set up a Canadian and/or U.S. bank account.

PSiGate now offers Canadian merchants the advantage of operating in
Canada, the U.S. or in both countries, PSiGate can now issue Canadian
retailers who want an online presence with their own distinct Merchant ID, in
the country of their choice. Canadian merchants can now conduct business
seamlessly with this new option. In addition, PSiGate will now be able to
provide U.S. merchants with U.S. merchant accounts.

“We are pleased to be working with a progressive, technology company such
as PSiGate,” said Swen Swenson, ISO Account Executive, Moneris Solutions Inc.
“Moneris has its pulse on the Internet, and with PSiGate we are enhancing our
on-line point-of-sale products and services with the addition of EBPP
technology and dual-currency Merchant ID offerings.”

“Today, PSiGate and Moneris Solutions streamline the online payment
process for merchants and consumers,” said Robert Fenos, Executive Vice
President, PSiGate Corp. “Canadian merchants can now set up a Canadian and/or
U.S. dollar payment solution because both PSiGate and Moneris have a Canadian
and U.S. presence. This frees online merchants to concentrate on their core
business knowing that their back-end transactions in either currency on the
Internet are being securely taken care of no matter what denomination they
work with.”

PSiGate offers complete gateway solutions, industry-leading fraud
protection, Internet Merchant ID’s, back-end processing of card-based
transactions and a seamless integration with the largest range of storefront
web site solution providers. This one-stop solution in partnership with
Moneris Solutions enables Canadian merchants to accept VISA, MasterCard,
American Express, and Discovery Card transactions in dual-currency. Also U.S.
merchants have the ability to accept the same cards in U.S. currency.

About Moneris Solutions Corp.:

Moneris (Mon-er-is) Solutions is North America’s 6th largest technology
and merchant processing company. Moneris was formed in December 2000 as a
result of a 50:50 joint investment between Canadian and U.S. banks – RBC
Financial Group, Harris Bank and Bank of Montreal. Moneris provides businesses
with technologically advanced, easy to use, point-of-sale solutions designed
to electronically process and authorize credit and debit card transactions,
including customized loyalty card transactions. Moneris’ leading-edge
technology allows merchants to streamline payment processing and improve
business efficiency. Moneris serves more than 300,000 Canadian customers and
has a staff of 900 employees. With head offices in Toronto, Ontario, the
company also has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Montreal, Quebec. For more
information, please visit www.moneris.com.

About PSiGate

Payment Services Interactive Gateway Inc. (PSiGate) empowers businesses
on the Internet by providing secure, cost-effective and trusted e-commerce
solutions. PSiGate provides an easy and seamless interface to your new or
existing online commerce enterprise, offering you a reliable means of real-
time, or batch payment collection and financial transaction processing. In
addition, our management services include automated shipping calculations,
fraud screening, and financial account reporting. PSiGate also provides
Internet Merchant Accounts for VISA, Master Card and American Express for
Canadian and U.S. merchants. For more information, please visit
www.psigate.com.

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AXESS XLS

Welcome Real-time announced that Akbank, a leading Turkish bank, has begun
deploying Welcome
Real-time’s XLS software. The new card product, called Axess, is the world’s
first chip-based credit
card combining real-time rewards and cash back features. The number of
participating retail outlets has reached 2,500 just days after the launch.
With its unique value proposition, Axess card defines a new era of customer
relationship marketing. Akbank aims to become a leading player in the plastic
cards market with Axess as part of the country’s planned migration from
magnetic-stripe cards to chip cards. In addition to alternative payment
solutions, the Axess card is enhanced with smart marketing applications
such as
cash back and instant delivery of targeted incentives based on Recency,
Frequency, and Monetary Value (RFM). The cash back application returns real
value to cardholders by giving back a percentage of all cumulative purchases
available instantly as currency for the upcoming purchases at participating
merchants. For the first year, there is no annual fee for Axess Card,
including
additional Axess Card members on the account.

“With this new and exciting payment system brand, we bring real value to the
Turkish credit card consumer,” said Ilker Oral, Akbank’s executive vice
president responsible for payment systems. OIn our view, there is no such
thing
as a good customer or a bad customer; there are only customers that you know,
and those that you do not yet know. We deliver to the payment cards market a
new way of knowing the customer, and this new way will increase customer
satisfaction, which is the greatest payback possible for smart card
technology.”
“Turkey is a very important credit card market and one of the more dynamic
regions for chip migration in Europe,” said Aneace Haddad, president and
CEO of
Welcome Real-time. “Axess’ real-time rewards and cash back features
combined in
a single, convenient payment process, place Akbank and Turkey at the forefront
of bankcard marketing and technology worldwide. Customers don’t have to
remember to pull out pieces of paper or other cards, or worry about missing
out
on valuable rewards and discounts.”

About Welcome Real-time

Welcome Real-time’s smart transaction platform enhances payment transactions
with revenue boosting services such as instantly awarded loyalty points,
coupons, punch cards, vouchers, tickets and cash back — all in a single
convenient payment process.
The company’s patents provide broad protection in Europe, North America and
Asia. More than 17 patent applications cover the ability to dynamically manage
services relating to entries, visits or cumulative spending at designated
merchants, the ability to add and redeem e-coupons from a smart card, or the
use of mobile phones and hand held devices to perform smart transactions.
Welcome Real-time is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France, with offices in
Philadelphia and Singapore. For additional information please visit our Web
site
http://www.welcome-rt.com.

About Akbank

Established in 1948, Akbank is one of the largest banks in Turkey in terms of
assets. Akbank offers a wide range of consumer, commercial and international
trade finance products and services — as well as private banking — to
augment
its customer base and core businesses of deposit taking and lending.
Investment
banking, brokerage, insurance and leasing services are provided through its
subsidiaries.
Akbank’s vision is to become the leading multi-specialist bank in Turkey in
terms of its market share. Its sound fundamentals coupled with its strong
franchise and brand name have placed it today in a leading market position.
The
Bank concentrates exclusively on financial services while maintaining a strong
capital base, brand name, franchise and management structure. Akbank pushes
technology to its limits to provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art
financial services to the widest possible client base.
Akbank’s shares are listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE). The market
capitalization of Akbank as of December 28, 2001 is US$ 2.6 billion. Akbank
operates through the Head Office in Istanbul, and in 13 regional offices
throughout Turkey. The bank is represented in the United Kingdom, France,
Germany, and the Netherlands. For more information please visit:
http://www.akbank.com.tr/e

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Providian Pullback

The most active online marketer of credit cards is pulling the plug this week on all advertising. In a rapidly unfolding reorganization, led by its new CEO, Providian announced Monday it will cease all marketing activities for its ‘Getsmart VISA’ and the new ‘Providian smart VISA’. It is unclear this morning whether Providian is totally abandoning its smart card program, but the move would be reasonable given the higher cost but current, limited value added of ‘smart VISAs’. Providian’s decision to cut ‘Getsmart’ credit card marketing does not affect its marketing of other products including ‘Getsmart Mortgages’. Providian is in the process of cutting 800 jobs this week. Providian is striving to reduce its workforce by approximately 11% since announcing its five-point rebuilding plan in October. Providian said last week it expects to take a first quarter charge of approximately $10-$15 million in connection with the January personnel reductions. Providian is also exploring the possible sale of approximately $3 billion in high-risk assets. Joseph Saunders, formerly of Fleet and Household, was hired as CEO, replacing Shailesh Mehta, who stepped down in October. (CF Library 10/22/01; 11/15/01; 11/26/01; 1/03/02)

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