ADS Signs Reeds

Alliance Data Systems Corp. and Reeds Jewelers, Inc. announced the signing of a seven-year agreement for Alliance Data to provide a full-service private label credit card program for Reeds’ 115-store chain. Reeds Jewelers, Inc. stores are located in 21 states primarily in the Southeast and Midwest section of the United States and operate under the names Reeds Jewelers, Mills Jewelers, and Reeds Jewelers Outlets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide a full-service private label credit card program that will include account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization and data capture; private label credit card issuance; payment processing; statement generation; and customer service.

“We selected Alliance Data Systems to provide the critical services we need to build stronger relationships with our customers as well as to continue to stay competitive,” said Alan M. Zimmer, President and CEO, Reeds Jewelers, Inc. “By implementing this private label program, we are giving our customers greater convenience and value while helping us grow our business and strengthen our balance sheet.”

“We are excited about forming this business relationship with Reeds and are looking forward to delivering services that help them build critical market share and increased customer loyalty,” said Ivan Szeftel, president, retail credit services, Alliance Data Systems. “With our retail heritage and strong industry experience, Alliance Data is confident about providing the solutions and services that fit Reeds’ specific and evolving needs.”

About Alliance Data Systems

Based in Dallas, Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) is a leading provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services, assisting retail, petroleum, utility and financial services companies in managing the critical interactions between them and their customers. Alliance Data each year manages over 2.5 billion transactions and 72 million consumer accounts for some of North America’s most recognizable companies. The Company also operates and markets the largest coalition loyalty program in Canada. Alliance Data Systems employs over 6,500 associates at more than 20 locations in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. For more information about the company, visit its web site, [][1].

About Reeds Jewelers, Inc.

Based in Wilmington, NC, Reeds Jewelers, Inc. (ASE:RJI) is the 10th largest retail jewelry chain in the United States. It operates specialty retail stores primarily in enclosed regional malls located principally in the country’s Sunbelt sections. For more information about the company, visit its web site, [][2].



Casio Reader

Semtek Innovative Solutions has sealed a deal with Casio to provide a customized magnetic card reader for the ‘Cassiopeia EG-800’, which operates using Microsoft ‘Windows-Powered Pocket PC 2002’ software. The first card reader, named the ‘Pocket Swipe’ will be a ruggedized, port powered, three track, ISO and AAMVA compliant attachment for the ‘CASSIOPEIA EG-800’. The ‘Pocket Swipe’ incorporates Semtek patented micro-power technology. The solution will be offered for commercial applications such as wireless credit card processing, health care, law enforcement, ID verification, POS/restaurant applications and lead retrieval. The new card readers will be available in January.


CNP Risk Management

ClearCommerce Corporation, the leading provider of payment processing and risk management software for e-commerce, announced the launch of ClearCommerce Risk Management, a comprehensive solution that enables merchants to effectively fight the growing problem of card-not-present payment fraud and achieve optimal results in loss prevention.

ClearCommerce Risk Management is the first software solution that combines the industry’s most powerful arsenal of online risk management technologies; total business user control over the risk management process; enterprise-class reliability availability, performance, and security; and no transaction fees. ClearCommerce Risk Management enables risk managers to effectively manage financial risk, minimize costs, and maximize transaction throughput and customer satisfaction.

“Card-not-present fraud is estimated to be 10 times higher than for card- present transactions,” said Daniele Micci-Barreca, director of risk management of ClearCommerce. “There is no single silver bullet solution; success in controlling both fraud losses and review costs can only be achieved by combining multiple risk management screening approaches.”

ClearCommerce Risk Management bundles powerful technologies and professional services that address the key elements of an effective risk management program — Authentication, Screening, Case Management, and Analysis and Tuning.

Authentication – ClearCommerce Payer Authentication is certified by Visa for worldwide use with Visa’s new Verified by Visa program. Using Visa’s 3D Secure Payer Authentication technology, it authenticates participating cardholders and eliminates the merchant’s liability for fraud-related charge- backs. ClearCommerce Risk Management also supports the integration of other business authentication processes into the risk management assessment.

Screening – FraudShield(TM), based on patent pending technology, is the risk manager’s control panel. Through FraudShield, risk managers have the flexibility to design a customized, automated transaction screening process that combines multiple screening technologies, including sophisticated business rules, FraudAnalyzer neural network risk scoring, GeoLocator international IP address location, intelligent lockouts, and processor- supported verification mechanisms.

Case Management – In addition to completely configurable screening criteria, ClearCommerce Risk Management provides flexibility for managing suspicious transactions. Those identified as potentially fraudulent may be rejected outright, or placed in a “review pending” state for verification by risk management staff.

Analysis and Tuning – Achieving and maintaining optimum results requires a continuous process of monitoring and re-tuning. ClearCommerce Risk Management generates a database of all relevant transaction screening, approval, and outcome data that enables risk managers to analyze and tune their process. ClearCommerce also provides risk management consulting services to help maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the screening process and leverage the detection technologies available in the ClearCommerce software.

“Industry leading retailers from our roster of over 40,000 customers have looked to us to help solve their growing and ever-changing risk management challenges,” said Robert Lynch, president and chief executive officer of ClearCommerce. “As the leading provider of payment processing and transaction management solutions, we are uniquely positioned to deliver these best of breed fraud protection technologies.”

ClearCommerce Risk Management software is immediately available and may be used with ClearCommerce or proprietary payment applications, or third-party payment services to provide a complete financial transaction system.

About ClearCommerce Corp.

Austin, Texas-based ClearCommerce is the leading provider of e-commerce payment processing and risk management software to safeguard and automate online financial transaction processing. ClearCommerce software is used by more than 40,000 businesses worldwide, including customers such as Apple Computer, PETsMART, Sony Online, and Chase Merchant Services. For more information, visit [][1].



Sub-Prime Opportunity

With Providian, CompuCredit, and NextCard temporarily out of sub-prime marketing, Capital One has seized the opportunity with a major direct mail push this week for its new ‘VISA Premier’ credit card. The sub-prime card is being offered with annual fees ranging from $39 to $72, and with interest rates between a fixed 14.9% and a prime +13.8% APR. Some of the offers require a $49 security deposit according to’s ‘CardWatch’ service ([][1]). Cap One is also offering a 0% APR on purchases through March on the secured card version, and a 0% APR on purchases and cash advances through June for the unsecured version. Providian announced in late October it was withdrawing from the sub-prime market following the release of a very weak 3Q earnings report. NextCard, said on Oct 30th it was ending its secured card program after regulators imposed new limitations on NextBank’s activities. NextCard, the pioneer of the Internet-centric credit card, has also largely shutdown its marketing activities since. CompuCredit, which has been actively purging inactive account to improve its risk profile, has pulled the plug on online applications for its sub-prime ‘Aspire VISA’ card until the first quarter. (CF Library 10/22/01; 10/30/01;10/31/01)



Intell-A-Check New Execs

Intell-A-Check, Corp., a leader in electronic payment solutions, announced the appointments of Raymond Johnson as vice president of sales and Steve Bey as director of information technology.

“Highly-experienced professionals such as Mr. Johnson and Mr. Bey reinforce Intell-A-Check’s already solid management team,” said Joe Gage, CEO, Intell-A-Check. “With the competitive nature of the payment processing industry, Intell-A-Check relies on the talent and experience of its management team and employees to continue providing the best payment solutions, and highest service quality available to the company’s growing customer base.”

As vice president of sales, Mr. Johnson will provide strategic direction and leadership for the Intell-A-Check Sales Division, and will focus on maintaining a dynamic sales force concentrating on Fortune 1000 customers.

Mr. Johnson has been involved in sales and business development for more than 20 years, and has profitably managed growth in Fortune 500 and various start-up companies. Before joining Intell-A-Check, he served as vice president of sales and marketing for Advanstar Communications, Inc., where he developed strategies such as broadening product categories with Web storefronts, e-mail campaigns and targeted advertising, special service promotions and product sponsorships.

Prior to his work with Advanstar Communications, Mr. Johnson was the vice president of sales, marketing & business development for J.D. Power Clubs, Inc. He has also held several positions at Bell Atlantic Corporation (Verizon) including general manager, vice president of national channel and major account sales, and sales director of national account service.

Mr. Johnson received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Economics from Rutgers University, and a Master’s of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Master’s of Science degree from Boston College.

As director of information technology, Mr. Bey is responsible for managing all aspects of the Intell-A-Check technology infrastructure, which includes redundant data center facilities, and system activities that apply to the company’s outsourced services offering, including the application service provider version of Intell-A-Check’s flagship product, Intell-A-Check! ™.

With more than 20 years experience as an information systems professional, Mr. Bey was the director of information technology of new media/Internet start-up at Oxygen Media, LLC, where he provided technical and managerial leadership to the information systems department that included IT Web operations and resource management. As a manager of technology infrastructure at DLJ Direct, Mr. Bey’s primary responsibility was to manage production and development systems infrastructure, design and implement dual redundant facilities, and care for systems security, production lifecycle and Internet access performance, integrity and availability.

He has also held various positions at Shen Milsom & Wilke, Inc., where one of his major responsibilities was to design and implement data, voice and video network systems supporting the major data center at the world’s tallest buildings in Malaysia. Prior to his work at Shen Milsom & Wilke, Mr. Bey served as a vice president in the Capital Markets Department at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he focused on trading systems architecture, design and implementation.

Mr. Bey received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Newark College of Engineering and a Master’s of Science degree in Engineering Management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Internet Computer Society.

About Intell-A-Check, Corp.

Founded in 1993, Belleville, NJ-based Intell-A-Check, Corp. provides electronic bill payment solutions to Fortune 1000 organizations that process more than $1.5 billion annually through their Intell-A-Check * solutions in the utility, financial services and retail industries.

In addition to reliable check, electronic check, ACH, credit and debit card bill payment solutions, Intell-A-Check also provides a fully-integrated platform for check guarantee/verification and ACH settlement services that eliminates C.O.D and instances of unfulfilled orders due to non-receipt of check payment.

Intell-A-Check’s solution enables its clients to offer their customers the flexibility of making payments at anytime and from anywhere, over the phone, through an automated voice response system, via the Internet, or directly from their billing or order entry systems. Intell-A-Check offers its solutions as either a client-installed offering or as an outsourced service. For additional information, contact Intell-A-Check at (800) 946-8355, or via the Web at [][1].



POS e-Checks

RichSolutions Inc., leading provider of ePayment Web Services and developer of RichPayments.NET, announced the immediate availability of Electronic Check Capture and Retrieval Service, a paperless check processing system.

The ECCRS system automates deposits of checks into merchant back accounts, while securely capturing and storing the check images, virtually eliminating bank disputes and the need for merchants to manually store and process paper checks.

With RichSolutions’ ECCRS, checks taken at the point-of-sale are scanned with MagTek’s new MICRImage reader, a device that reads the MICR data with high accuracy, and also captures the check image in a single pass. The check information is electronically sent to Global eTelecom where it is converted into an electronic funds transfer for ACH processing.

The converted checks are automatically deposited to the merchant account, reducing the time spent on banking. The ECCRS system securely stores the check image and transaction data together as a single time-stamped image. The integrated dispute defense mechanism allows for the quick location and retrieval of the disputed transaction that can then be sent to the appropriate party by electronic mail, fax or electronic data interchange. ECCRS is built on RichPayments.NET, a new Web ePayment service that processes credit, debit and check transactions. Receipts and check images can be electronically captured and stored on secure servers in both physical and virtual domains for future retrieval.

“Merchants want to increase revenues, decrease costs and improve operational efficiencies. That’s exactly what these solutions help them do, and we are pleased to team up with MagTek and Global eTelecom to bring these important payment solutions to banks, processors, independent sales organizations (ISOs), independent software vendors (ISVs) and ultimately merchants,” said Bill Pittman, president of RichSolutions Inc. “Together, RichSolutions and Global eTelecom provide the necessary infrastructure for a viable check conversion solution, and MagTek’s MICRImage reader is the perfect choice to capture MICR data and check images for this service. All these elements create an end-to-end solution which is a major step forward for the POS industry,” said Kiran Gandhi, vice president of Marketing at MagTek.

“We are excited by RichSolutions’ product offering. By combining MagTek’s MICRImage reader with a software-based solution at the point of sale, the merchant has more choices in how they accept checks, while avoiding the expense and limitations of traditional stand-alone credit card/check terminal systems,” said Joseph D. Korinek, senior vice president of Information and Technology at Global eTelecom.

“The .NET approach improves on the traditional client-server solutions by providing a continuously evolving product that requires less maintenance, improving the return on investment (ROI) for the merchant.”

About RichPayments.NET

RichPayments.NET is the first ePayment Web service compatible with Microsoft’s new .NET initiative. It is certified with major payment processors and has the ability to process credit cards, debit cards and check services on any device, at any time and any place. The ECRS service will be available in RichPayments for Windows; virtual terminal browser-based solutions as well as a Software Developer Kit (SDK) for ISVs. The SDK can be downloaded for free from RichSolutions’ Web site and RichPayments’ products and services are sold through merchant service providers. For more information contact RichSolutions.

About RichSolutions Inc.

RichSolutions Inc. is a privately held corporation based in Redmond, and is the leading provider of innovative ePayment Web Services for processing credit, debit/ATM card and check services. RichSolutions develops integrated ePayment solutions that work on any device, at any time and any place. RichSolutions technology is an alternative to the stand-alone single-function bank terminals many businesses currently use to process payments and provides a full suite of ePayment Web services that can be integrated into Electronic Commerce environments or retail point-of-sale systems. RichSolutions has established long-standing relationships with banks and institutions that help process electronic payment transactions. RichSolutions can be reached through the Internet at [][1] or by calling 425/836-4251.

About MagTek

MagTek Inc. is a leading provider of check reading and imaging equipment used in thousands of point-of-sale and financial locations, and is the world’s leading provider of card readers used for magnetic stripe and smart card applications. The company is a leading innovator of products for customer PIN selection and instant card issuing equipment used by financial institutions worldwide. MagTek products automate transactions at financial institutions, point-of-sale (POS), restaurants, hotels and kiosks worldwide. Since 1972, MagTek’s headquarters have been in Carson, Calif., with sales office throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and distributors in more than 40 countries.

About Global eTelecom

Global eTelecom is a privately held corporation based in Destin, Fla., and owns the most advanced technology for processing checks electronically at the Point of Purchase through the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). Global eTelecom is an active member of NACHA’s Electronic Check Council. Global eTelecom provides its proprietary, fully customizable XML-based electronic check processing services to a nationwide network of banks, independent sales agents and associations, credit card processors, insurance companies, third party software providers, and retail merchants ranging in size from small “Mom & Pop” stores to national retail chains. Global eTelecom’s proprietary Electronic Check Services include: Electronic Check Conversion (Point-of-Purchase), Electronic Mail Order/Telephone Order Checks (MOTO), Encrypted Electronic Internet Checks, Lockbox Conversion, Electronic Recurring Debit, Electronic Represented Check Collection (RCK), Wireless Encrypted Infrared Checks, Electronic Check Image Capture, and Secure Web Based Check Image Retrieval. More information on Global eTelecom can be found on the company’s Web site at [][2].



Diners Club Online

More than 10 million consumers paid their last credit card bill online.* Diners Club joins the growing trend by introducing a new online statement payment option at [][1].

The new service, for busy and/or frequent travelers, enables Cardmembers to “view and pay” their statements online anywhere, anytime. Online statement payment is only the latest of many convenience benefits from Diners Club, including Pay-by-Phone, 24-hour personal customer service, Personalized Rewards, emergency card replacement and access to more than 80 international airport lounges.

Issued in more than 200 countries and 60+ local currencies, Diners Club serves more than 8 million Cardmembers worldwide who, in 2000, charged more than $35 billion.

To learn more about this new online service or to acquire the DINERS CLUB charge card, individuals can call (800) 923-4637 or visit [][2].



ATM Check Retrieval

Diebold, Incorporated has recognized the increased trend for digital image storing of checks and will showcase a concept solution that allows consumers to view or print the digital image of a processed check at an automated teller machine. Diebold will feature the check image retrieval solution at BAI’s Retail Delivery Conference in Anaheim, Calif., December 11-13, 2001.

An estimated 49 billion checks were written in the United States last year and this number is predicted to increase. The check processing procedure affects merchants, financial institutions, Automated Clearing Houses, and Federal Reserve Banks through high costs and long processing periods. In the future, with the use of electronic check retrieval methods, these costs can be reduced dramatically.

“Check image retrieval at the ATM reduces branch and call center operating costs by moving these routine transactions to a lower-cost, self-service delivery channel,” said David Bucci, senior vice president, Customer Solutions at Diebold. “In addition to providing consumers with a convenient access point to view or print the image of a previously written check, it’s faster than the system currently used today.” Check image retrieval can take up to five or more business days to complete with the microfilm archiving systems currently in use.

Added features such as the ability to order new checks, verifying the amount of a certain check and verifying whether a check has cleared may be added to an ATM to expand the transaction set available for customers.

Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems and services. Diebold employs more than 12,000 associates with representation in more than 80 countries worldwide with headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $1.7 billion in 2000 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [][1].




Hanvit Bank, South Korea’s second largest bank, has launched a robust,
scalable, and feature-rich mobile banking service backed by technology from
Solutions, the two companies announced today.

Available to Hanvit Bank’s one million-plus online banking customers over the
LG and SK Telecom networks, the mobile banking service marks a first by
supporting their banking business in either Korean or English. The services
available to Hanvit’s customers include checking account balances, viewing
transaction histories, arranging credit card cash advances and initiating
transfers from other bank and credit card accounts.

“Hanvit Bank has long been recognized as a leading innovator in electronic
banking services in the South Korean market, and we strive to maintain that
leadership position by offering innovative services,” said Mr. Yoo, General
Manager of e-Com Center, Hanvit Bank. “We recognized that the ability to offer
a robust mobile banking solution that is localized for the Korean market was
key to our success in this competitive marketplace, and 724 Solutions had the
technology, expertise, and local relationships to make that happen for Hanvit

Mr. Yoo went on to say, “By building an independent platform to international
standards while basing it upon a secure and stable system, Hanvit Bank has
become the Korean leader in mobile banking. Hanvit Bank has finished all
preparations for its ‘Hanvit Bank in my palm’ service, allowing Hanvit Bank to
be with its customers anytime, anyplace and securing its premier position in
the mobile banking business.”

Using 724 Solutions’ award-winning technology and the market expertise of its
local partners Koreadotcom and FutureGroup, Hanvit Bank was able to deploy a
mobile banking solution that speaks to South Korea’s mobile-savvy customers
can easily scale to meet the demands of this growing market. With 29 million
mobile phone subscribers — representing 63 percent of the population —
and 19
million mobile data users, South Korea has one of the highest adoption
rates in
the world according to the Korean Ministry of Information and Communications.
“Hanvit Bank’s mobile banking solution launch caps a very busy year for our
companies,” said John Sims, Chief Executive Officer, 724 Solutions. “The work
we’ve done with Hanvit was accomplished in large part thanks to the local
partnerships we forged, such as the one announced last month with Koreadotcom
to build a wireless application development platform for the South Korean
market under the iMobile5 banner. Today’s announcement is exciting for us
because of the mobile footprint it marks for our company in this fast-growing
market, and because it reinforces our strategy of leveraging our global
partnerships to help our customers get up-and-running with the best mobile
solutions for their respective markets.”

Hanvit Bank plans to make its mobile banking service available to customers on
the KT Freetel network by end-of-year. Earlier this year, the bank rolled out
its aggregation service eClips — based on technology from 724 Solutions — to
its online customers, and to date, more than 18,000 have signed up for the

About Hanvit Bank

Hanvit Bank, created from the merger of The Commercial Bank of Korea and Hanil
Bank on January 4, 1999, is the Republic of Korea’s largest commercial bank in
terms of total assets at more than 100 trillion won and offers a full range of
banking services and products for both individuals and corporations. Hanvit
offers banking services for both the domestic and global markets. It counts a
customer base of 11 million.

About Koreadotcom

Koreadotcom is a full service e-business operating company that delivers
integrated strategic, technology and operational services to clients and
partner companies in the Korean market. By mobilizing corporate, financial and
technology partnerships, Koreadotcom seeks to act as a gateway for global
companies seeking to enter Korea as a prototyping ground and to accelerate
Korea’s superior technology assets into great companies.

About 724 Solutions Inc.

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



Digital Insight Corp. ([][1]), a leading eFinance enabler, announced the conversion of American Airlines Federal Credit Union ([][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) ([][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)




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
( 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 [][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 [][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.