Holiday Spending

Americans plan to spend $1,564 per household during the holidays, down 7% from last year, but $6 more than the average holiday budget in 1999. The ‘2001 American Express Retail Index’ on holiday shopping also found that consumers plan to spend $216 on entertaining this year, up 10% from 2000, and have budgeted, on average, $1,042 for gifts, $139 for holiday travel, $78 for decorations and $88 for miscellaneous holiday expenses. To pay for holiday purchases, 57% of shoppers will use credit cards, up from 52% last year. Shoppers will also use cash (90%), checks (59%) and ATM/debit cards (34%). Forty-two percent of consumers plan to use the Internet in some way this year – to browse, compare prices, shop or send cards or photos electronically – compared to 34% in 2000. While 27% of this season’s online shoppers will browse the Internet for gift ideas, 22% say they plan to make online purchases, up 7% over 2000.

Details

Catalog Cards

Less than a week after a U. S. District Court, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission, closed down a marketer of gold catalog cards, such cards are re-surfacing for the holiday season with more sophistication. Las Vegas-based CCS launched this week a nationwide mail-drop of a solicitation which includes a pre-issued, personalized credit card attached. The ‘First National Card’ also has an activation sticker attached and is designed in the same format as VISA and MasterCards, according to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com). The card offers credit purchases of items from a proprietary catalog with a 30% minimum down payment. The card also offers cash advances with a limit ranging from $20 to $150. The card carries a $200 activation fee and a $99 annual fee.

Details

NAP Signs IBB

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 Independent Bankers’ Bank. NPC will provide marketing and merchant processing services to the community banks that IBB serves.

Independent Bankers’ Bank offers a wide variety of traditional and non- traditional correspondent bank services to community banks in the Midwest. The agreement with NPC provides IBB the ability to market credit and debit card processing services to its customers – allowing them to effectively compete in their markets.

“NPC has been very successful in providing merchant processing services to organizations like IBB,” said Randy Sagar, senior vice president of Independent Sales for NPC. “NPC understands the importance of offering competitively priced products with superior service and support for these types of programs. We look forward to working with IBB to market merchant processing services to their bank customers.”

“The agreement with IBB fits right in line with our strategy to package NPC’s processing scale and efficiencies, and deliver them to downstream markets,” said Thomas A. Wimsett, president and chief executive officer of NPC. “The IBB program gives community banks the ability to offer their customers value-added products and unparalleled service at very competitive prices. NPC also brings leadership and processing expertise, as well as the financial stability of one of the largest processors in the world.”

“Independent Bankers’ Bank is known as an innovative financial leader, of a wide variety of financial correspondent services, to the many Midwest communities we serve,” said John D. Schneider, president of IBB. “What matters most to our community banks is the difference we can make in offering valuable products and services that they need to compete in their markets. Our relationship with NPC provides yet another important service we can market to our valued customers.”

About Independent Bankers’ Bank

Independent Bankers’ Bank is a 15-year old commercial Bankers’ Bank with $275 million in assets and owned by 117 community institutions. IBB serves over 500 community banks in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan providing traditional and non-traditional correspondent services to community financial institutions.

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][1]), 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][2].

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

Details

3Q/01 Delinquency

While charge-offs are growing at 20%+ annual rate, delinquency is increasing by about half as much. Based on third quarter data released by ten of the nation’s top twelve issuers, with at least $10 billion in receivables, 30-day delinquency is running at a rate of 5.71% compared to 5.21% one year ago. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]), Capital One and Fleet are the only two top issuers reporting declines in delinquency. Bank of America and Chase do not disclose delinquency data. Among issuers reporting 30+ day delinquency, Providian reported the largest increase, with delinquency rising more than 29% since 3Q/00. Citibank, which only reports 90+ day delinquency, experienced a sharp rise, perhaps reflecting exposure in the deteriorating sub-prime market through the Associates card portfolio. For complete details on each issuer’s track record visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][2]).

THIRD QUARTER DELINQUENCY
3Q/00 3Q/01 DAYS CHANGE
1. Citigroup: 1.34% 1.82% 90+ +35.8%
2. MBNA**: 4.65% 4.90% 30+ + 5.4%
3. First USA: 4.14% 4.25% 30+ + 2.7%
4. Discover: 5.47% 6.31% 30+ +15.4%
5. AmEx: 2.60% 3.20% 30+ +23.1%
6. Capital One: 5.32% 5.29% 30+ – 0.6%
7. Providian: 6.71% 8.66% 30+ +29.1%
8. Fleet: 4.61% 4.13% 30+ -10.4%
9. Household 3.48% 3.91% 60+ +12.4%
10. Metris: 8.20% 8.90% 30+ + 8.5%
30+ day Avg*: 5.21% 5.71% + 9.6%
*60+ day and 90+ day are not meaningful ** MBNA – Reported delinquency
for 3Q was 4.23% compared to 4.65% last year, however the 3Q/01 delinquency
figure was skewed by the special treatment of accounts affected by the Sept
11th events. Discounting the special account treatment, MBNA says the actual
delinquency would probably fall between 4.85% and 4.95%. SOURCE: CardData
(www.carddata.com)

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

Details

AmEx Blue

American Express has activated an application on its smart ‘Blue’ credit card for the holidays. Starting tomorrow, ‘Blue’ cardholders will receive 30% off any on-sale and regular priced merchandise at all U.S. Virgin Megastores. The savings will be activated at the register by the chip imbedded on the ‘Blue’ card. When first launched in May, the ‘Blue for Music’ campaign offered a 30% discount on selected titles. Both companies said yesterday that due to the overwhelming response from Virgin customers, the two companies have extended the savings all merchandise for the holiday season. The promotion will end Dec 26th. Point of sale terminals that incorporate smart card readers have been installed in all U.S. Virgin Megastores. Starting tomorrow, the campaign will be promoted through national radio advertisements, online advertisements, email, and in-store elements such as live DJ drops, signage, and window clings. (CF Library 5/9/01)

Details

TeleCheck Holiday Projections

Saturday, November 24, at approximately 4 p.m. EST, TeleCheck will issue its first Retail Sales Index report for the 2001 holiday shopping season. TeleCheck

Services, a subsidiary of Denver-based First Data Corp., forecasts an increase of 2 percent over the 2000 season.

Sales Period Release Day
11/23 (‘Black Friday’ snapshot) 11/24 p.m.
11/23-25 (3 days) 11/26 p.m.
11/23-12/2 (10 days), November data 12/3 p.m.
11/23-12/9 (17 days) 12/10 p.m.
11/23-12/16 (24 days) 12/17 p.m.
11/23-12/24 (32 days), top days 12/26 p.m.
12/26 (day-after Christmas snapshot) 12/27 p.m.

Details

Double Promotion

Marriott International, Inc. and Visa will offer double points and double night credit toward special elite status and benefits for Visa cardholders and Marriott Rewards members, October 15, 2001 through March 31, 2002.

Starting with the second hotel stay paid for with a Visa card during this period, Marriott Rewards members will earn double points toward free vacations or any of more than 300 reward options. Plus, members will achieve elite recognition and privileges twice as fast when using Visa for their second and each subsequent night at any of Marriott Rewards’ 2,100 participating hotels.

As a final added bonus, the timeframe for achieving Marriott Rewards elite status has been extended to March 31, 2002 — giving members 15 months, rather than the normal 12 months, to reach their desired elite threshold and benefits.

“As the world’s leading payment card brand, Visa is constantly looking for ways to deliver added value to our cardholders,” said Tom Shepard, senior vice president, marketing partnerships, Visa International. “Our global partnership with Marriott enables us to do just that — the Double Points, Double Nights promotion provides Visa cardholders with exciting benefits from one of the world’s leading hotel chains.”

“Recognizing that many travel schedules have been reduced in recent weeks, we want to assure guests that Marriott is steadfast and focused on taking care of their needs and in providing every advantage that we can at this time,” said Lynne Roach-Hildebrand, senior vice president Marriott Customer Relationship Management.

In addition to earning double points and double night credit toward elite status when paying with Visa, Marriott Rewards members can receive a free weekend night for every three paid weekend nights spent with Marriott Sept. 14 through Dec. 23, 2001, with the ongoing Marriott’s Rewarding Weekends offer. While members residing outside the United States are automatically eligible to participate in Marriott’s Rewarding Weekends, registration is required to participate in Marriott Rewards Double Points, Double Nights. For more information about the offer and to participate, visit marriottrewards.com or call the local Marriott Guest Services office listed below.

With 15 million members, Marriott Rewards is the world’s largest and most-preferred frequent guest program. Marriott Rewards offers travelers the fastest way to a free night or a free flight, and stands alone as the largest provider of free nights in the industry.

To make a reservation at Marriott hotels worldwide, call Marriott Worldwide Reservations or visit marriott.com.

Marriott Rewards Guest Services:

Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean: 1-801-468-4000
Europe and the United Kingdom: 44 (0) 20 7584 5500
Australia/Asia Pacific: (61) (2) 8298 5250
Japan: 81-3-5405 1513

Terms and Conditions. To earn double points and double nights starting with your second stay between 10/15/01 to 3/31/02, payment must be made with a Visa card. Registration for this promotion is required for all Marriott Rewards members worldwide. Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for doubled points or toward elite level status. You must be a points-earning Marriott Rewards member to receive the double points and the double night credit. All Marriott Rewards program terms and conditions apply. For a complete list, please refer to your Program Guide or log on to marriottrewards.com.

About Marriott Rewards. In May 1997, Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) introduced Marriott Rewards, the world’s largest multi-brand frequent guest program with 2,100 participating hotels and 15 million members. Marriott Rewards offers members the choice of earning/redeeming points or earning frequent flyer mileage at nine distinct lodging brands: Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites; Renaissance Hotels, Resorts and Suites; Marriott Conference Centers; Marriott Vacation Club International; Courtyard by Marriott; Fairfield Inn by Marriott; Residence Inn by Marriott; SpringHill Suites by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Points may also be earned at ExecuStay by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments. For the past five years, Marriott Rewards has been named “Best Hotel Reward Program in the World” by Business Traveler magazine. Marriott Rewards may be found online at [http://www.marriottrewards.com][1].

About Visa Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and the largest payment system worldwide. Visa-branded cards generate almost US$2 trillion in annual volume and are accepted at over 22 million locations around the world. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce – the ability to conduct commerce anytime, anywhere, and any way. For more information, visit [http://www.visa.com][2].

[1]: http://www.marriottrewards.com/
[2]: http://www.visa.com/

Details

LEVEL 3 SMART CARD

STMicroelectronics and Hyundai Smart Technologies Co., Ltd. announced the
availability of the world’s first Visa VSDC* Technology
Level 3 approved dual-interface multi-application smart card.

This card is expected to accelerate the migration to chip-based EMV* compliant
cards with the addition of a contactless interface for new applications while
also maintaining an extremely high security level recognized worldwide.
This multi-application card, based upon an ST19RF08 smart card controller IC,
is compliant to the international EMV specification and supports the Visa
Smart
Debit/Credit application. The card also supports the Korean national e-Purse
scheme, K-cash, for which it has already been certified by the Korea Electric
Testing Institute. It will offer to banks a cost-effective multi-application
solution with the added benefits of contactless technology.

Chun Kyung Kim, General Manager at HST, said: “This card represents a major
breakthrough for the Korean banking community, as it will significantly
increase the opportunities to deploy the secure Visa VSDC Cards with the
K-cash
purse, with the unrivalled advantage of the contactless capability. This
solution may also be adapted to the needs of other institutions both on a
national level, but also on an international scale. This cards could be
particularly tailored to the current EMV migrations being undertaken in both
Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

The number of HST’s Visa smart cards being issued is increasing significantly.
This new card opens the door to a wide range of applications, including
transport with the addition of the contactless interface. The cards’
optimization offers the best ever performance/features to price ratio, with
the
advantage of being available in volume quantities today.

Andy Raschmeier, Financial Transactions Business Unit Director, Smartcard
Division, STMicroelectronics, said: “We believe that this card, with its dual
interface, its cost effectiveness and the use of the highly secure and
powerful
ST19RF08 smart card IC, will help banks to migrate to both contact and
contactless smart card solutions according to their local and specific needs.”

About Hyundai Smart Technologies Co., Ltd.

Hyundai Smart Technologies Co., Ltd.(HST) was founded in August, 1998 and is a
leading information technology company specialized in smart card products in
Korea. It had been originally formed in 1994 as part of Hyundai Electronics
Inc. (HEI, one of the Korean Conglomerate companies) as an IC Card Business
Unit to perform the Korean National Identification (NID) Project driven by the
Korean Government. Its various types of high performance and low cost smart
card products such as Banking Card, PKI Card, general Identification Card,
Electronic Fund Transfer terminal, etc., are based on the HST’s state-of-the
art technology. HST is pursuing a total system solution to meet the exact
requirements of customers in the field of both responsive customer service and
technical assistance. HST’s years of efforts and investments are now resulting
in its excellent solutions such as Chip Operating System, installation service
of Card Personalization System, System Integration service related to the
e-Purse and EMV card fields, and many other solutions in smart card
applications. Further information on HST can be found at
www.hyundaist.com.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is the world’s third largest independent semiconductor
company. The Company shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on
Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. The Company designs, develops,
manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits
(ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic
applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer
products, automotive products and industrial automation and control
systems. In
2000, the Company’s net revenues were $7,813.2 million and net earnings were
$1,452.1 million. Further information on ST can be found at
www.st.com.

Details

eONE German Acquisition

eONE Global, LP, an innovator in identifying and developing emerging payment technologies, has completed its acquisition of the assets that comprised the M-Business division of Brokat Technologies. eONE Global’s newest operating unit, Encorus Technologies, will focus on driving the acceptance and usage of mobile payments worldwide.

The assets of the acquisition provide the foundation for Encorus Technologies GmbH (Encorus-Germany), located in Stuttgart, which provides flexible and open mobile payments software and infrastructure for Encorus’ processing services business. Encorus Technologies Limited, which will base executives and primary operations in Ireland, offers efficient payment processing services to customers worldwide. Most of the existing management of the M-business unit team will join Encorus-Germany in their current roles and report to eONE Global Managing Director John Duncan.

“Encorus-Germany is poised to play a significant role in the next generation of payment innovation — secure, standard and simple mobile payments via any type of mobile device — from cell phones to Palm devices,” said Duncan. “Encorus-Germany’s solutions provide merchants, carriers and consumers with universal, convenient and instant mobile transaction payment processing services available to anyone, anywhere, at any time. The addition of Encorus as eONE Global’s third operating unit positions us to take full advantage of the migration to mobile payments.”

“We’re very excited to be part of the eONE Global family,” stated Stephan Kruppa, executive vice president of Encorus-Germany. “We now have a more complete value proposition by combining our leading mobile payment software with eONE Global’s superior processing capabilities. This is indeed an exciting new step in building a community of mobile operators and merchants powerfully connected through a global standard for mobile purchasing.”

Encorus will initially focus on facilitating digital content micropayments (smaller transactions of less than one US dollar or one euro), and secure Internet macropayments with debit or credit cards, expanding into person-to-person payments and point-of-sale macropayments. Implementations have begun in Europe, and will then move into Asia and the United States. By 2005, the Tower Group expects the number of mobile payment users in Europe and Asia to exceed 54 million.

Among the assets acquired in this transaction is Brokat’s secure, convenient and flexible PaymentWorks product family. Encorus’ PaymentWorks software solution uses open standards and enables mobile operators to offer customers secure, easy-to-use mobile payment services. Easy to implement, PaymentWorks handles both micropayments and macropayments, and provides authentication and authorization services.

Beyond those mobile payment capabilities, Encorus will be extending its software business into a broader payments processing platform. As an operating company of eONE Global, which is majority owned by First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), Encorus benefits from First Data’s global processing scale and infrastructure as well as extensive distribution channels: 2.6 million merchant locations, 1,400 financial institutions and other card issuers and millions of consumers. First Data also owns Western Union, a money transfer network with 117,000 agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories. By leveraging First Data’s scale and assets, Encorus has tremendous opportunity in point-of-sale payments and will also focus on efforts to establish direct routing and settlement for these transactions.

About Encorus Technologies GmbH

Encorus Technologies ([http://www.encorus.com][1]), an operating company of eONE Global, LP ([http://www.eoneglobal.com][2]), is focused on building a flexible and open infrastructure and offering efficient payment processing services to drive the acceptance and usage of mobile payments worldwide. Encorus connects operators and merchants with a universal payment infrastructure that’s easy to use and secure, while providing consumers with a more convenient, cashless payment alternative. Encorus was founded in November 2001 by eONE Global through an acquisition of the assets of Brokat Technologies’ former M-Business Unit.

About eONE Global

As the leading source for accelerating payment innovation, eONE Global, LP ([http://www.eoneglobal.com][3]) identifies, develops, and operates emerging payment systems and related Internet and wireless technologies spanning the business, government and mobile markets. Its operating companies include SurePay, LP ([http://www.surepay.com][4]), which creates trusted global end-to-end electronic business payment solutions that complete the financial supply chain for corporations and trading networks; govONE Solutions, LP ([http://www.govonesolutions.com][5]), which enables businesses and consumers to calculate taxes and make payments to government and businesses electronically; and Encorus Technologies ([http://www.encorus.com][6]) which is focused on building a flexible and open infrastructure and efficient payment processing services to drive the acceptance and usage of mobile payments worldwide. eONE Global is owned by global e-commerce and payment services leader First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) () and iFormation Group, ([http://www.iformationgroup.com][7]) a company founded by The Boston Consulting Group, General Atlantic Partners, LLC and The Goldman Sachs Group, to build technology-enabled businesses in partnership with the Global 2000.

About Brokat

Brokat Technologies AG (Neuer Markt: BRJ, Nasdaq: BROA) is a leading provider of software and services for flexible e-finance solutions. Based on standardized software components, Brokat develops customized solutions for banks, insurance companies and other financial services providers offering online services to their customers. The advanced multi-channel capabilities allow financial institutions to provide high levels of service to customers on the Web, on wireless devices, via ATMs, through call centers, and in person in branch offices. Brokat was founded in 1994 and is among the pioneers in the sector of electronic financial services. Over 2,000 companies use Brokat solutions. Among these are Allianz, ABN Amro, Advance Bank, LBBW, MLP, and SE-Banken. Further information is available at .

[1]: http://www.encorus.com/
[2]: http://www.eoneglobal.com/
[3]: http://www.eoneglobal.com/
[4]: http://www.surepay.com/
[5]: http://www.govonesolutions.com/
[6]: http://www.encorus.com/
[7]: http://www.iformationgroup.com/

Details

PERSONAS DEAL

NCR Corporation announced an $11 million deal with Shanghai-based Bank of
Communication. The
order involves the purchase of NCR’s Personas 73, Personas 74, Personas 84 and
Personas 86 Self-Service TouchPoints, including software and
services support, and further demonstrates NCR’s prominent position in the
rapidly growing market for financial self-service solutions in China.

In addition to traditional cash dispensing, the new machines will give
Bank of Communication branches the capability to offer additional automated
services, such as cash deposit, passbook printing, account inquires and bill
payment.

A Bank of Communication spokesperson said, “NCR is our long-term business
partner. We have always been confident with their product quality and service
attitude. The fact that we have chosen NCR for this major order is a result
of the relationship built up over a number of years.”

In August NCR announced a similar $13M deal with Bank of China, and
today’s announcement further demonstrates the trend toward increasing
financial self-service automation in this rapidly developing region.

Other recent deals for NCR include ATM orders from Agricultural Bank of
China and Men Sheng Bank.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Albert Tsang, NCR Financial Solutions
Division vice president for the Greater China Area, said, “NCR has a long-term
business relationship with Bank of Communication. We have been the bank’s
major supplier for a number of years. This further demonstrates NCR’s
leadership position in the self-service market.

“With China’s impending entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO),
fierce competition is inevitable. At NCR, we are committed to working with
our customers to enable them to expand service capability, minimize operating
costs and increase efficiency. In response to China’s open policy and in
order to take advantage of the multiple business opportunities brought on by
entry into the WTO, we expect further expansion into China.”

NCR also has announced its decision to open an office in Xian and to
extend service to the northwestern part of China.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship
Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide. NCR’s Relationship
Technology solutions include the Teradata(R) database and analytical
applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) and demand chain
management, store automation systems 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.

Details

2.8% Increase in Retail Holiday Sales

Retailers will still manage to ring up modest gains this holiday season, despite the ongoing war against terrorism and the recession. Wachovia’s annual holiday sales forecast calls for sales to rise 2.8% nationwide compared to gains of 5.3% in 2000 and 9.0% in 1999. “Given the tragic events of September 11, and all the layoffs that followed in its aftermath, many people will be surprised to see that sales will increase at all,” said Wachovia Securities economist, Mark Vitner.

Holiday sales include sales of department stores, discount stores, home improvement centers, hardware stores, furniture and appliance stores, clothing shops, drug stores, mail order firms and the Internet.

“While our forecast calls for only modest gains this year, it is important to note that retailers will be discounting much more aggressively, which will hold down prices and make year-to-year sales look more smaller in dollar terms,” said Vitner. “Stores and shopping malls will still be crowded, however, and the volume of goods sold is still expected to rise solidly.”

Many retailers are going into the holiday with more inventory than they would like. Orders for the holiday season were placed well before the September 11 attacks. As a result, many stores have started their holiday sales promotions much earlier than in years past. “The automobile manufacturers have already shown us that lower prices and cut-rate financing will bring shoppers back. Now department stores are likely to try the same thing,” added Vitner.

The recession will certainly factor into consumers’ buying plans. Most consumers say they plan to spend the same amount or slightly less than they did one year ago. “That’s not unusual,” noted Vitner, “particularly with the economy in recession.” But consumers have often proved more resilient than many people had thought, particularly during the holiday season. “Christmas comes just once a year and it is awfully hard for folks to cut back too much,” said Vitner. “Instead they are likely to cut corners by shopping more at discount stores and buying clubs.”

The calendar is also working in retailers’ favor this year. Thanksgiving comes relatively early this year and Christmas falls on a Tuesday. “That gives many shoppers a long weekend just prior to Christmas to make those last minute purchases,” said Vitner.

The recession may also figure into the type of gifts consumers buy this year. “Kids might find out that they get a lot more of what they need this holiday season instead of what they necessarily want,” said Vitner. Sales of clothing and household items are expected to be particularly strong this year. Sales of video games, DVD players, CDs and computers will also continue to do well, although gains are expected to trail recent years.

Regionally, Wachovia expects sales to rise the most in Florida and parts of the Southeast and West Coast, where population growth has been stronger and employment conditions have held up relatively well. Sales gains in the more manufacturing-intensive areas of the Northeast and Midwest will slightly trail the nation.

Among major metropolitan areas, Vitner is expecting some of the strongest gains to be along the East Coast. Atlanta should see strong gains, even though job growth has slowed significantly in recent months. The opening of two new shopping malls is expected to pull in shoppers from outside the metro area, helping push sales up 5% over last year.

Several Florida markets, including Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville are expected to post gains in the 5% range and sales are expected to rise 4.0% in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

The Carolinas are also expected to post solid gains, particularly Charlotte and Raleigh. Charlotte area merchants are expected to see gains in the 5.0% range, while merchants in the Raleigh area should see sales rise around 4.5%.

Other East Coast bright spots include the greater Washington, D.C., area, where sales are expected to climb 5%. By contrast, sales are only expected to rise 3.5% in Baltimore.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey will see gains rise roughly in line with the rest of the country. Spending in the Lehigh Valley is expected to rise 3.0% and sales in the greater Harrisburg area will increase just 2.5%.

The Philadelphia area is expected to post slightly stronger gains, with sales climbing 4.0%. Merchants in New Jersey should also see gains in the 4.0% range.

Wachovia Corporation (NYSE: WB), created through the September 1, 2001, merger of First Union and Wachovia with assets of $326 billion as of September 30 and $29 billion in stockholders’ equity, is a leading provider of financial services to 19 million retail and corporate customers throughout the East Coast and the nation. The company operates full-service banking offices under the First Union and Wachovia names in 11 East Coast states and Washington, D.C., and offers full-service brokerage with offices in 48 states and global services through more than 30 international offices. Online banking and brokerage products and services are available through wachovia.com and firstunion.com.

Important Notice: Wachovia Securities is the trade name under which Wachovia Corporation conducts its investment banking, capital markets and institutional securities business through First Union Securities, Inc. (“FUSI”), Member NYSE, NASD, SIPC, and through other bank and non-bank and broker-dealer subsidiaries of Wachovia Corporation.

First Union Securities is the trade name under which Wachovia Corporation conducts its asset management and mutual fund, brokerage and insurance businesses through: (1) First Union Securities, Inc. (“FUSI”), a registered broker-dealer and member NYSE/NASD and SIPC; (2) First Clearing Corporation (“FCC”), a separately registered broker-dealer and member NYSE/NASD and SIPC, providing securities clearance and settlement services; (3) First Union Securities Financial Network Inc., a separately registered broker-dealer and member of the NASD and SIPC providing full-service brokerage services; (4) the Capital Management Group within First Union National Bank (“FUNB”), a national banking association, and its subsidiaries, providing asset management, lending, and fiduciary services; (5) various subsidiaries within Wachovia Corporation providing investment advisory, administrative and other services to the Evergreen and Mentor families of mutual funds; and (6) various wholly-owned state insurance agencies.

Stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other securities offered or sold through Wachovia Corporation or any of its bank or non-bank subsidiaries are not deposits of any bank and are not insured, guaranteed or otherwise protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency; are not endorsed or guaranteed by Wachovia Corporation, FUNB, WBNA, or any bank; and involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal.

Details

CAP ONE CRM

Minacs Worldwide Inc. announced the signing of a three-year contract with
Capital One
Financial Corporation to provide comprehensive customer
relationship management services for Capital One’s Canadian operations.
Under the terms of the contract, Minacs will provide a contact center
operation to handle inbound and outbound customer communications as well as e-
mail responses. The center will be based in Moncton, New Brunswick.

“Our company has a strong commitment to the quality of services we offer
to our customers,” said Sartaj Alag, president of Capital One Canada. “Minacs’
experience in building and managing customer contact centers, especially in
the financial services market, will help us deliver and maintain high quality
services to all our Canadian customers anywhere and anytime.”

Capital One is one of the top 10 bank card issuers in North America. The
company has been offering Canadian consumers a range of competitive
MasterCard(R) credit cards since 1997 when it introduced the first Platinum
MasterCard to this market.

Over the three-year period starting January 21, 2002, Minacs will provide
a broad range of CRM solutions including customer service through telephony
and Internet-based communications vehicles. Staff at the contact center will
be trained to respond to general account inquiries, solicitations and credit
card offers, as well as to set up accounts including application processing
and data entry.

“We’re very excited about working with Capital One to help them
strengthen their focus on their Canadian customers,” said Elaine Minacs,
president and CEO of Minacs Worldwide. “Minacs has established a solid
reputation in the financial services market and this new partnership with
Capital One heightens our company’s presence and strengthens our expertise in
this sector.”

The Minacs solution will provide Capital One with several important
benefits including world-class contact center support for their Canadian
credit card customers and qualified, well trained customer service agents that
meet Capital One’s own standards in the U.S. market.

About Capital One

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial
Corporation
(http://www.capitalone.com) is a
holding
company whose principal
subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending
products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 40.1 million customers
and $38.5 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 2001.
Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of
MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New
York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500
index.

About Minacs Worldwide

Minacs Worldwide is a customer relationship management (CRM) services
company that designs, delivers, and manages customized, multimedia contact
center solutions that help its clients build and manage customer relationships
more effectively. Minacs provides sophisticated large-scale CRM solutions to
clients with customers in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the
Pacific Rim. The company employs 3,800 people in 20 locations, and provides a
range of services to Fortune 500 clients in the manufacturing, financial
services, technology, telecommunications and government services sectors. For
more information, please visit the Minacs Web site at
http://www.minacs.com.

Details