Digital Insight Corp. ([http://www.digitalinsight.com][1]), a leading eFinance enabler, announced the conversion of American Airlines Federal Credit Union ([http://www.AACreditUnion.org][2]), Texas’ largest credit union, to Digital Insight’s AXIS Internet Banking and Bill Payment. Digital Insight was able to transfer bill pay users from AAFCU’s previous Internet banking system onto the AXIS platform, while retaining user registration and payee information.

The eighth largest credit union in the U.S., AAFCU also deployed AXIS Advanced Target Marketing, as well as several of the progressive features offered by Digital Insight, including Online Statements and Check Imaging.

“Digital Insight’s technology allows us to offer great service to our members,” said Carol Brown, Vice President of Member and Lending Services at 202,000-member AAFCU. “Entering registration and payment information is essential to using online bill payment; enabling this migration to occur without requiring members to re-key this information is a significant benefit.”

“As an inherently ‘sticky’ service, online bill payment is an important cornerstone of any Internet banking application,” said Lynn Busing, CheckFree’s executive vice president. “Financial institutions like AAFCU that migrate to Digital Insight’s AXIS platform can also benefit from CheckFree’s decades of online bill payment experience and dial-tone quality.”

“We’re in a new wave of Internet banking,” said Dale Walker, Digital Insight’s president and COO for Digital Insight. “Many financial institutions want to offer a better quality of service to their customer base. With the success of this type of conversion, we are making that transition as easy as possible.”

Digital Insight was able to extract the bill payment information from the previous provider’s CheckFree account, verify the data, and then populate its own CheckFree account. The result was a transfer of data so that AAFCU’s members did not have to re-register or re-enter their vital payee information. With this conversion, the members’ bill payment history was preserved as well.

“Combined with the training programs and customizable marketing materials that Digital Insight has offered us, we are prepared to bring many more members to online banking,” said Brown.

About Digital Insight

Digital Insight(TM) Corporation (Nasdaq: DGIN) ([http://www.digitalinsight.com][3]) is the preferred eFinance enabler for visionary financial institutions. Through its comprehensive portfolio of outsourced, Internet-based financial products and services built upon the company’s unique architecture, Digital Insight moves banks and credit unions Beyond Internet Banking(TM) to become the trusted transaction hub for their retail and commercial customers. Exclusively endorsed by the American Bankers Association(R) (ABA), and currently serving nearly 1400 financial institution clients nationwide, Digital Insight provides retail and commercial Internet banking, electronic bill payment and presentment, eCommerce portal technology, wireless channel delivery, advanced targeted marketing, website development and maintenance, as well as online and call center lending services. Each Digital Insight product and service reinforces the brands of its client financial institutions. Digital Insight. Beyond Internet Banking.(TM)

[1]: http://www.digitalinsight.com/
[2]: http://www.aacreditunion.org/
[3]: http://www.digitalinsight.com/



First Data Europe, Europe’s largest card transaction processor and subsidiary
of First Data Corporation, announced a long term contract to provide
cardholder and merchant transaction processing for National Bank of Kuwait,
the largest financial institution in Kuwait. Financial terms of the agreement
are not disclosed.

Although First Data Europe has a number of clients in the Middle East,
Bank of Kuwait is their first client in Kuwait. The transfer from in-house
processing to the First Data Europe system will take place over the coming
months. National Bank of Kuwait will not only benefit from traditional
processing services but also enhanced smart card functionality.

Gerald Hawkins, Chief Executive, First Data Europe said “Our ongoing
in system functionality and product enhancements, as well as our commitment to
developing our business presence in the increasingly competitive Middle East
market where we already have a number of prestigious clients, were key factors
in securing this long term contract with the National Bank of Kuwait. We
forward to a long and mutually rewarding business relationship with the Bank.”

Ibrahim Dabdoub, Chief Executive Officer, National Bank of Kuwait, said “NBK
strives to maintain its lead in product and service innovation with the aid of
strong partnerships and the use of the latest technology. Our partnership
First Data was motivated by our ongoing commitment to provide world-class
service offerings to our customers. We are focused on staying attuned to our
customer needs to gain a better understanding of the ways by which we can
provide added value to our cardholders.”

About First Data Europe

First Data Europe
(http://www.firstdata.co.uk) is the
leading independent third party transaction processor in Europe and Europe’s
leading Internet-only processor. FDE services major banks and financial
institutions in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands and the
Middle East.

About First Data Corporation

First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers the
global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services,
First Data serves approximately 2.5 million merchant locations, 1400 card
issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure
people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of
payment. With more than 27,000 employees worldwide, the company provides
credit, debit, smart card and stored-value card issuing and merchant
transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; Western Union
money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification
services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada,
Mexico, Spain and Germany. Its money transfer agent network includes
approximately 104,000 locations in more than 185 countries and territories.
For more information, please visit the company’s website at

About National Bank of Kuwait

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was founded in1952 as the first indigenous bank
and the first joint stock company in Kuwait and the Gulf. It is by the the
largest financial institution in Kuwait with an effective market dominance in
the commercial banking market. NBK stands out in Kuwait and among Arab banks
in terms of its local and international network, which includes branches,
subsidiaries and representative offices in London, New York, Paris, Geneva,
Bahrain, Beirut, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, with other ambitious plans
for regional expansion.

With capital resources in excess of US$1.3 billion, NBK is ranked amongst the
top 300 banks in the world and fourth amongst Arab banks. In 2000, NBK
reported a record net profit of US$330 million (one of the most profiable
in the Arab World). NBK reported a record net profit of US$275 million for
the first nine months of 2001. For more information, please visit NBK’s
website at


OPC Signs Bridgeport

Official Payments Corporation announced an agreement to provide a new service for the City of Bridgeport, CT. The service allows Bridgeport citizens to pay personal property, real estate, and motor vehicle taxes by credit card, via Internet and telephone.

When the system goes live early next year, Bridgeport residents will be able to pay these taxes by visiting [www.officialpayments.com][1] or by calling (800) 2PAY-TAX. American Express(R), Discover Card(R), MasterCard(R) and Visa(R) are the cards accepted by the program. Annually, Bridgeport collects $115 million in real estate taxes, $20 million in personal property taxes and $18 million in motor vehicle taxes.

“This service saves taxpayers a minimum of $120,000 a year,” said Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim. “Bridgeport is moving into the 21st century technologically and no longer has to absorb processing fees.” Bridgeport Tax Collector Robert G. Tetreault added, “We wanted to give taxpayers and citizens a new option for satisfying their tax obligations. This type of service will give citizens the flexibility to pay taxes by credit card over the telephone or through the Internet, which will be a new convenience.”

“By selecting Official Payments, Bridgeport joins more than 1,000 of our government clients who benefit from the processing efficiencies that electronic payments provide. Bridgeport citizens will be able to pay local, state, and federal taxes – all through our secure, easy-to-use systems,” stated Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments.

Official Payments has similar agreements with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments including Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and more than 1,000 local government entities in all 50 states to collect a variety of taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone.

Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [www.officialpayments.com][2]. For example, a taxpayer who owed the City of Bridgeport $3,000 in real estate taxes and charged their taxes would find a total of $3,087 on their credit card statement: $3,000 for the tax bill and $87 for the convenience fee. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.

About Official Payments Corporation

Founded in 1996, Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 1,000 county and municipal governments across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market.

[1]: http://www.officialpayments.com/
[2]: http://www.officialpayments.com/


Sheetz Z-Card

Sheetz Inc. introduces their new gift card — the “Z-Card” — now available at all 270 Sheetz convenience/gasoline outlets.

The “Z-Card” can be purchased in amounts from $10 to $100 and can be used toward any product purchase at all Sheetz locations.

“Expectations are high for our newest Sheetz product,” said Rich Steckroth, new business development manager for Sheetz. “Because Z-Cards don’t have to be secured behind the counter like paper gift certificates, we can merchandise them on the floor. As a result, they’re a greater impulse buy through the holidays and for special events.

“Early results tell us that the average dollar value purchase of the gift card is already up over last year’s paper gift certificates,” he continued.

For a limited time, customers can receive free priority shipping if they would like to order $100 or more in Z-Cards from Sheetz either online at [http://www.sheetz.com][1].

“It’s the perfect holiday gift for our customers craving a late night MTO or early morning cup of Sheetz Coffeez(TM) or Cupo’ccino(R),” says Louie Sheetz, Executive VP of Marketing. “We have a lot of customers who request more and more Sheetz stocking stuffer ideas! I’m sure the convenience of Sheetz Z-Cards will find their way to many stockings this holiday!”

Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz was founded in 1952 and today remains a family owned and operated convenience store chain with 270 locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio. Stores are open 24 hours day, 365 days a year.

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


Emergent CFO

Emergent Financial Group, a company specializing in fee-based transaction data processing for non-bank consumer financial services, has announced that Max Lucas has joined the board of directors and has been appointed chief financial officer. Mr. Lucas was formerly chief financial officer and a director of Citibank Credit Services. Prior to his eight years at Citibank, Mr. Lucas was controller and senior vice president at First Chicago, now a part of Bank One (NYSE:ONE), where he worked for twenty-two years.

“Emergent is fortunate to welcome Mr. Lucas to both our board and as our CFO,” said Jason Galanis, chairman and chief executive officer. “His extensive financial services experience in banking and transaction processing is perfectly suited to our Point-of-Sale operations.”

In addition to accounting, financial forecasting and operational responsibilities in connection with his prior positions, Mr. Lucas has also implemented three decades of executive level compliance functions, including risk management, policies and procedures and other regulatory and compliance matters. Mr. Lucas will oversee the subsidiaries of Emergent from the new 11,500 square foot Service and Data Center opened in Boulder, Colo., which includes a 5,000 square foot expansion currently underway.

“I am looking forward to contributing to the growth of Emergent as the company deploys its technology solutions,” said Mr. Lucas. “Banking over the past decades has undergone many changes as a result of new technologies and I believe that Emergent possesses innovative, ground breaking point-of-sale systems.”

About Emergent Financial Group

Emergent ([www.emergentgroup.com][1]) is a financial services holding company, which owns and invests in transaction processing companies that provide non-traditional financial services, including services distributed through Point-of-Sale technologies. The Company is principally engaged in building a distribution network for non-bank financial services delivered through counter-top point-of-sale technologies in retail locations throughout the country and in selected overseas locations. A principal objective of Emergent is to establish and expand a ubiquitous delivery platform capable of generating multiple revenue streams from each retail location. Emergent’s subsidiaries generate recurring fee-based revenue by charging consumers service fees for financial services transactions, such as non-bank wire transfer services. The Company is developing other technologies that may be synergistic and can generate additional revenue through existing installed terminals such as card-based technologies and services like niche credit card, debit card, chip-embedded (or “smart”) card, other stored-value cards and various point-of-sale technologies.

About KeyCom

KeyCom, a wholly owned operating subsidiary of Emergent, has developed proprietary transaction processing software and related systems branded as XTRAN(TM) that permit the collection and subsequent instantaneous remittance of cash to remote locations throughout the world. The XTRAN technology provides the same full range of services as traditional cash remittance companies at significantly reduced costs. In addition, XTRAN is fully Web-enabled and its software is downloadable to credit card merchant terminals. The core of the system is the Automated Bank Capture and Settlement Software (A-B-C’ss), which is able to record cash-based transactions at point-of-sale in a globally distributed geographic network utilizing industry standard credit card merchant terminals. It then transmits the digitized transaction information to any other destination in the world using the Internet, thereby allowing immediate disbursement of the funds to a third party upon presentation of proper identification. The expatriate community in the United States is estimated to account for the majority of the $40 Billion in international cash transmissions originating from the US in 2000, a market growing at 15% annually. The Company derives its revenues from transaction processing fees, net of commissions paid to certain selling agents.

More Information on KeyCom and XRAN is available at [www.xtrancash.com][2].

More information is available from Emergent Financial Group, Inc., Boulder.

[1]: http://www.emergentgroup.com/
[2]: http://www.xtrancash.com/


October Contraction

The contraction in revolving debt was more significant than previously indicated by the monthly figures released by the Federal Reserve. During October Americans cut $3.7 billion off revolving credit, translating into a annual growth rate of -6.4%. The revised figures, released Friday afternoon, show that American consumers have been cutting credit card since June when total revolving credit topped $700 billion. Since then consumers have trimmed revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, by $11.3 billion. The decline may be attributed to the steady migration of credit card debt to home equity loans, which now carry interest rates that average half of the current 14.48% credit card APR. However the effect of the September 11th events undoubtedly played a significant role in the card debt contraction as consumers adjust lifestyles. According to the Federal Reserve, revolving debt stood at $689.0 billion during October. At the end of October, American consumers were $1.628 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.


Oct01 Sep01 Aug01 Jul01 Jun01 May01 Apr01

%GRWTH: -6.4% -1.3 -2.2 -3.7 2.1 4.5 14.2

$OWED: $689.0 692.7 693.5 698.1 700.3 699.0 697.6

Mar01 Feb01 Jan01 Dec00 Nov00 Oct00 Sep00
%GRWTH: 11.9% 20.8 11.6 5.0 10.9 4.7 7.8
$OWED: $688.2 681.4 670.3 663.4 660.6 654.8 649.3

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 12/07/01; For complete historical data visit [www.carddata.com][1].

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


Wireless Partnership

Smart card specialist SchlumbergerSema will announce today a partnership with Televigation, a pioneer in wireless motion-based technology. SchlumbergerSema and Televigation will provide location-based services to mobile communications operators in North America. Users will be able access information via voice, WAP or SIM card applet on the mobile handset. Services include travel assistance, business finder, driving directions and traffic reports.


Citi Smart Card

Citibank and MasterCard have officially entered the smart card market in the USA with the launch of the ‘Citi Smart Card’. The new card is now available with instant online approval, a 9-month 0% APR for balance transfers, free smart card reader and a free electronic wallet. Initial functionality is limited to storing Web sites, user names and passwords plus automatic completion of online shopping forms via the electronic wallet feature. The Citi smart card package also enables cardholders to use digital signatures. Citibank says it plans to expand the functionality of the chip to enable cardholders to consolidate information from other accounts onto the ‘Citi Smart Card’ to give customers easy access to several credit cards at one time. Citi also plans to enable cardholders to download loyalty programs, special discount offers, and coupons from their favorite merchants and to store e-tickets for express check-in at select airports, or VIP entry to concerts, sporting events, and theatre performances. The standard MasterCard carries no annual fee and a prime +12.99% APR. The smart card readers are free through May 31, and will be $25 afterwards. During November, Citi launched a pilot of customized smart card called the ‘citi.you card’ with a rewards program and annual fees as high as $85.


Irato Honored

Al Irato, who helped build Hypercom Corporation into the leading global provider of electronic payment solutions, has been named the recipient of the 2001 Robert A. Mooney Achievement Award.

The award will be presented Dec. 13 at the Sun Theater in Anaheim, California. The award, presented annually, recognizes the recipient’s body of contributions to the electronic payments industry, explained H. Kurt Helwig, executive director of EFTA.

Currently Vice Chairman of Hypercom, Irato presided over the company’s initial public offering in 1997 and has with top management propelled Hypercom to the industry leadership position.

Prior to joining Hypercom, Irato was a senior vice president for American Express. He was responsible for providing end-to-end services to more than 2.2 million merchants, as well as the company’s worldwide transaction authorization system. Irato also introduced Plural Interface Processing (PIP), the standalone countertop terminal system that for the first time enabled tens of thousands of merchants to direct transactions to a variety of payment service providers.

Irato is also a former chairman of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association. In announcing the award, EFTA Chairman Walter C. Patterson said, “Al Irato’s contributions to our industry are many and legendary. From his pioneer work with Express Cash to Hypercom’s new generation of secure terminals and value-added information services platforms, he has been a force for change and evolution.”

The Mooney Award commemorates the accomplishments of the late Robert A. Mooney, a founder and former chairman of EFTA. Previous winners have included Robert P.

Barone, former vice-chairman of Diebold, Inc., D. Dale Browning, a founder of the PLUS ATM system, and Alex “Pete” Hart, chief executive officer of Advanta Corp.

About the Electronic Funds Transfer Association ([www.efta.org][1])

Founded in 1979, the Electronic Funds Transfer Association is an inter-industry trade association dedicated to the advancement of electronic payment systems and commerce. Its members include bankcard associations, financial institutions, manufacturers, technology companies, ATM networks, and government agencies.

About Hypercom Corporation ([www.hypercom.com][2])

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is the leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers.

Hypercom’s products include secure web-enabled information and transaction terminals that work seamlessly with its networking equipment and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards and traditional payment applications. Hypercom maintains an installed base of more than 4 million terminals in over 100 countries, which conduct over 10 billion transactions annually.

[1]: http://www.efta.org/
[2]: http://www.hypercom.com/


TNS 2001

Less than nine months after freeing itself from PSINet, Transaction Network Services has gathered momentum and is now set to expand its global presence. Today, TNS’ proprietary network carries more than seven billion transactions per year from credit, debit, lottery, EBT, check verification, and health care terminals, as well as ATMs. In addition, the TNS network carries FIX transactions for the securities industry and hundreds of millions of Signaling System 7, C7, and LIDB validation queries for the telephone industry. Strapped for cash earlier this year, PSINet signed an agreement to sell its Transaction Solutions unit for $285 million to GTCR Golder Rauner, in partnership with an executive team led by Jack McDonnell the acquired company’s founder. McDonnell sold the company to PSINet in 1999 for $720 million. The company has reverted to its former name, Transaction Network Services, and installed the original TNS management team. (CF Library 3/14/01)



National Processing Company, a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc., announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc. to provide electronic payment settlement and remittance.

For over 20 years, Health Alliance has offered quality health coverage. Founded by physicians in 1980, Health Alliance is the largest managed care organization based in downstate Illinois. Health Alliance underwrites and administers a full range of managed care products on a fully insured or self- funded basis.

Health Alliance will utilize NPC’s global payment platform, AcceleratedPay, for electronic settlement of provider payments. AcceleratedPay will act as a settlement clearinghouse and a payment aggregator for ‘Health Alliance’s electronic payments to physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers. AcceleratedPay will not only enable Health Alliance to offer its healthcare providers an electronic-based system for payment settlement, but additionally, will facilitate a move to Internet reporting tools and solutions. The resulting transition, from paper-based to electronic settlement and remittance, will result in significant savings for both Health Alliance and its providers.

“NPC’s industry experience, commitment to customer excellence and innovative payment solutions made them an obvious choice,” stated Gordon Salm, chief financial officer for Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc. “AcceleratedPay delivers a state-of-the-art solution for efficient and cost- effective electronic settlement of provider payments.”

Senior Vice President John T. McRae II, of NPC’s Payment Services division said “NPC is delighted that Health Alliance has entrusted its settlement and remittance business to us. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Health Alliance. NPC is dedicated to providing a superior solution and service.”

About Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc.

For over 20 years, Health Alliance has offered quality health coverage. Founded by physicians in 1980, Health Alliance is the largest managed care organization based in downstate Illinois. Health Alliance underwrites and administers a full range of managed care products on a fully insured or self- funded basis. More information regarding Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc. is available via the Internet at [http://www.healthalliance.org][1].

About National Processing, Inc.

National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 86 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( [http://www.nationalcity.com][2]), a Cleveland based $96 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 600,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net][3].

[1]: http://www.healthalliance.org/
[2]: http://www.nationalcity.com/
[3]: http://www.npc.net/


Economy Steady

An index, released this morning, indicates that U.S. economic activity held steady in November, after bouncing back during October from the lows triggered by the September 11 terrorist attacks. The ‘Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index’ for November, fell four points in September to 109, but rebounded to 112 in late October, and held at 112 through late November. U.S. consumers remain confident about the security of their jobs, and are reasonably confident about the state of the job market. Consumers are optimistic that stock market prices will rise in coming months, and their reported plans to buy high-ticket products within the next six months are trending up. Numbers on the inflation front are positive as well. These favorable signs, combined with low interest rates and low energy costs, continue to signal that the U.S. economy will begin to grow again by the first quarter of 2002.