SchlumbergerSema announced that the
Schlumberger Hong Kong smart card manufacturing facility has been certified
by the GSM Association’s Security Accreditation Scheme (SAS), a prestigious
status conferred upon smart card manufacturers for meeting stringent
security standards in smart card manufacturing.

This milestone marks SchlumbergerSema as the first and only smart card
supplier in Asia to achieve GSM SAS certification. With the certification,
SchlumbergerSema smart cards are now manufactured in a total of six
SAS-certified plants – as many as all other manufacturers combined. The
other five SchlumbergerSema SAS-certified smart card production and
personalization facilities are Pont Audemer and Orléans in France, Barcelona
in Spain, Felixstowe in the UK, and Owing Mills in the USA. The European,
North American and Asian mobile operator community can now benefit from the
wealth of expertise SchlumbergerSema has built up over many years designing
and maintaining highly secure production facilities for the financial
services community.

With the growth of financially-related mobile services such as m-banking and
m-commerce, and the vital pre-requisite of consumer trust to ensure the
viability of such value-added applications, SIM (subscriber identity
module)) smart card production and personalization now requires higher
levels of security usually associated with smart bank cards. Industry
analyst firm IDC expects the m-commerce market to be worth US$557 million by
year-end, and US$12.4 billion by 2005. According to the IDC report, the
m-commerce market in Asia will remain dominated by B2C
(business-to-consumer) spending.

SAS certification is only awarded to sites which reach the highest levels of
security for plant, processes and people, and this achievement sends a
powerful message to mobile operators as they focus on bringing the new
generation of value added services to market.

“By achieving this level of security certification, we are able to enhance
our customers’ competitive edge, particularly in Asia Pacific, where the
growth of mobile commerce is expected to be phenomenal,” said Cedric
Collomb, marketing director, Mobile Communications for SchlumbergerSema in
Asia Pacific. “SchlumbergerSema customers can be assured that there are
quality processes and policies in place to ensure that the products they
receive meet the highest quality industry standards.”

The certification confirms the highest level of overall quality and

* Product security to guard against theft and losses

* Quantitative integrity against lost cards, duplicated cards and lost
product information

* Information security against data losses, manipulations and network

SAS certification is awarded after an annual security audit, carried out by
leading standards bodies. The audit covers security strategy and procedures,
information security, personnel security, physical security, logistics,
manufacturing management, and computer and network security. The
examination is exhaustive and unforgiving as the security chain is only as
good as its weakest link, and companies must achieve a grade of seven or
more out of ten in 49 different areas across the seven sections. Just one
score below is enough to forfeit the certification.

About SchlumbergerSema

SchlumbergerSema is a leading information technology services company
providing IT consulting, systems integration, managed services, products and
IP network security solutions serving the telecommunications, utility,
finance, transport, oil and gas and public sector markets. With more than
30,000 employees in 130 countries, SchlumbergerSema is one of two business
segments of Schlumberger Limited, a global technology services company.
Additional information is available at


Cardinal Platform VPAS

CardinalCommerce Corporation, architects of a proprietary Payment Authentication Platform, is one of the first technologies to have successfully completed testing of the Visa Payer Authentication System based on the Visa 3-D Secure interoperability standard. The combination of Visa’s system and Cardinal’s Platform eliminates fraud by authenticating or definitively identifying parties prior to authorizing payments.

The Cardinal Payment Authentication Platform operating system can support multiple security technologies (e.g. passwords, smart cards, digital certificates, tokens, biometrics, etc.) with one installation. This technology neutral approach enables issuers to choose single or multiple technologies today and, over time, add or migrate to new and different technologies, including cellular phones or PDA’s for wireless authentication.

The Payment Authentication Platform is also being integrated with MasterCard International’s Secure Payment Application (SPA) as well as the EFT networks. Thus, Cardinal can offer one system to issuing banks, credit and debit card processors for Internet and wireless payment transactions. “Our one system approach takes technology, payment initiative and consumer preference risk out of the equation,” states John Lazzaro, Senior Vice President, CardinalCommerce. “We make the choice simple, our one system approach gives our customers constant flexibility without the need for independent or multiple system implementations.”

“The successful testing by Visa, of our patent pending process, was the result of our concept, design and dedicated development effort to ensure that e-commerce can be safe, secure and private” comments Chandra Balasubramanian, Chief Technology Officer, CardinalCommerce.

Cardinal has completed both a hosted or software installed version of its platform that makes it simple and economical for issuing banks or processors to begin one or more of the secure payment initiatives. The initial implementation can start with Visa’s VPAS and then can be leveraged to include other payment initiatives including MasterCard and the ATM networks. “Banks want to make it easier and safer for consumers to buy online and our system provides the authentication capability to work on virtually any payment network,” cited Mr. Lazzaro.

About CardinalCommerce Corporation:

CardinalCommerce Corporation is one of the leading providers of authentication solutions for securing electronic, transactional and wireless commerce. Cardinal has developed an authentication system to ensure that individuals, businesses and government agencies can process electronic transactions and access confidential information safely, securely and privately. The Payment Authentication Platform for Issuers(TM) provides a single platform that can integrate a suite of authentication technologies (e.g. smart cards, biometrics, digital certificates, tokens, one time number systems, etc.) allowing banks to select the products that best meet their needs. At the same time, this ensures consumer acceptance by allowing consumers a choice on the authentication technology that best meets their needs. For more information, visit [][1].




Sony Corp will announce today, plans to introduce a new credit card next
Sony Finance International Inc. will begin issuing cards to Sony employees in
early 2002 with plans to take the program to the general public during the
second calendar quarter. Sony currently has a number of co-branding
relationships with bank issued credit cards. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported
that in addition to the normal credit functions, the new
cards will likely adopt the electronic money standard that the company has
promoting. The new credit cards will be accepted at all locations currently
accepting cards issued by Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co. For international
Sony is expected to sign a deal with VISA.


Cashless Vending Patent

USA Technologies, Inc. announced it had received another important patent to protect its cashless transaction and interactive media networking technology.

This latest patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office is for “System and method for networking and controlling vending machines,” which further protests USA Technologies’ ability to provide cashless payment technologies, interactive content, and equipment inventory and diagnostic monitoring services remotely through the use of the Company’s USALive(TM) network.

“This patent and the patent applications we have pending position us strongly in a growing variety of mass market opportunities, especially vending, point-of-sale, business equipment, travel and transportation, and other cash based industries,” said George Jensen, Chairman and CEO, USA Technologies, Inc.

USA Technologies now has been issued 15 patents, with another 39 patents pending in the United States, and 16 pending overseas. “We aggressively work to protect our ideas, products and services with patents, as well as work to turn our ideas into practical technology products and services,” said Brock Kolls, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, USA Technologies, Inc.

Many of the patents are to protect USA Technologies’ unique e-Port(TM) cashless and mobile commerce technology, and the Company’s USALive(TM) communications network. USA Technologies is a leader in unattended point-of- sale payment systems that give consumers cashless access to goods, services and information by swiping a credit card, bank card, smart card, or ID card through the e-Port device.

“The latest patents continue to focus on many key aspects of today’s competitive wireless and e-business technologies,” said Mr. Kolls. “It applies to scalability, interaction with other technologies and products, the convenience and cost savings of wireless connection, improved auditing and cashless transaction capability, and greater security,” he said.

About USA Technologies:

USA Technologies is recognized as a leader in cashless micro transactions and interactive media technology and associated financial services. USA Technologies provides credit card activated and other cashless systems, allowing end users, ranging from consumers to business professionals, to communicate, conduct business or make ordinary commerce transactions, outside of the home or workplace. USA Technologies is an IBM (NYSE: IBM – news) Business Partner and an inaugural member of the Sprint (NYSE: FON – news) Enabling Application Service Provider Program for e-commerce. It has also established relationships with a number of global IT, multimedia, and telecommunications companies including Marconi Online Systems, RadiSys Corporation, DoubleClick Inc., and Xerox Corporation. Visit the USA Technologies home page at [][1].




Gasper Corporation, the leading provider of Self-Service management solutions,
announced the successful implementation of Gasper Manager into Bank
Danamon’s extensive network of over 700 ATMs comprising four major ATM brands.
Bank Danamon is the second largest private bank in Indonesia, with US$5
in assets and a vast branch network throughout the Indonesian archipelago. The
venture further strengthens Gasper’s position as a global leader in
Self-Service management–a position earned through revolutionary products that
allow customers such as Danamon to improve its customer service.

“Gasper’s edge is their innovation,” said Mr Muliadi Rahardja, a director of
Bank Danamon. “Gasper Manager doesn’t stop at managing ATM devices; if a
service call is required, Gasper automatically dispatches a service technician
via phone, pager, email, fax and a variety of other electronic means. As a
result our ATMs are online longer, and service costs are reduced.” Gasper’s
solution generates tremendous cost savings to the bank by reducing the total
number of required service calls; the system automatically sends
as restart, send, and load–to the ATMs in an effort to put them back into
service without human involvement. When service calls are required, automated
dispatching saves money by reducing help desk involvement–even escalating
calls to secondary authorities when needed.

“We’re extremely excited to be working with Bank Danamon,” said John Pillmann,
of Gasper Corporation. “We’ve made every effort to ensure that this
implementation went smoothly, and we will continue to provide the service
needed to make this a lasting and successful partnership.”

“The implementation only took two weeks,” said Pillmann. “During that time, we
were able to install and test a vast network of teller machines at about 500
branches, and tie everything together with the bank’s ICBS core banking
system.” While Bank Danamon is fully utilizing Gasper manager’s many
sophisticated features, they also rely on Gasper’s basic qualities such as the
system’s reliability, and its ability to manage disparate ATM systems from
Diebold, Wincor, and Digital–all of which are used by Bank Danamon.
Gasper Corp.’s presence in Indonesia further positions the company as a global
leader in the industry. With offices in three countries and existing customers
in United States, Latin America, Europe and South Africa, Gasper is well
positioned to succeed in new growth markets worldwide.

About Bank Danamon

Bank Danamon is one of Indonesia’s four designated core banks in the private
sector. As one of the core banks in Indonesia, the new Bank Danamon is fully
structured for and capable of delivering nationwide banking services. It will
do so by relying on four key pillars: fully dedicated and committed people,
financial strength, information technology and sound business strategy. Bank
Danamon post-merger includes a conglomerate of nine Indonesian banks, and
provides approximately 500 branch offices and more than 700 on-line ATM units
throughout Indonesia.

About Gasper Corporation

Gasper Corporation, a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of NCR, is a
provider of Self-Service management software. Gasper offers comprehensive
solutions that are specifically tailored to solve Self-Service management
problems. The company’s solutions monitor Self-Service Terminals (SSTs) and
manage the entire SST support process to maximize SST availability,
profitability and customer satisfaction for SST networks worldwide.
Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the company’s solutions are used to manage more
than 170,000 SSTs worldwide. Visit the Gasper Corporation web site at


Giant Eagle ATMs

Citizens Bank and Pittsburgh-based grocery store chain Giant Eagle, Inc. announced a long-term agreement to place 41 Citizens branches in Giant Eagle stores and a commitment from the bank to open additional grocery store-based branches in Giant Eagle stores in western Pennsylvania.

Citizens also announced it will introduce new, full-service Citizens “Green Machine” ATMs at Giant Eagle stores, replacing all Mellon Bank ATMs. The “Green Machines,” which will be free to Citizens customers, will enable them to make deposits, withdraw cash and transfer funds. All Citizens branches located in a Giant Eagle store will be open seven days a week.

“Citizens Bank is extremely pleased to partner with Giant Eagle,” said Citizens Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Steinour. “Giant Eagle is all about meeting its customers’ needs, and so are we. Citizens Bank prides itself on providing great customer service, or, as we like to call it, legendary service. It means providing customers what they want, when they want it, and where they want it. Citizens Bank will have extended hours and be open seven days a week for the convenience of our customers. Our mutual commitment to customers is complementary, and I am looking forward to growing with Giant Eagle.”

“More than a decade ago, when Giant Eagle first began offering in-store banking services through Mellon Bank, we quickly learned how many of our customers truly appreciated this convenience,” said Giant Eagle Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Shapira. “Giant Eagle’s new relationship with Citizens Bank ensures the continued availability of banking services for these customers and, thanks to the bank’s commitment to increase the number of branches in Giant Eagle stores, will deliver this convenience to many more of our customers throughout the state. I am delighted we can continue to offer banking services through such an innovative partner as Citizens Bank.”

“This agreement between Citizens Bank and Giant Eagle strengthens the in-store banking relationship Mellon Financial Corporation initiated with the grocery store chain in 1990,” said Mellon Financial Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Martin McGuinn. “I congratulate both of these organizations for their efforts and cooperation to come to an agreement that will bring tremendous value to people in western Pennsylvania.”

The agreement was announced today at a joint news conference at a Giant Eagle location in Waterworks Mall, Fox Chapel, with Steinour, Shapira and McGuinn participating.

Under the agreement, the 41 branches presently operated by Mellon Financial Corporation (Mellon) in Giant Eagle stores in the Pittsburgh region, Erie and the Johnstown/Altoona area will be operated by Citizens beginning December 1, after Citizens completes its purchase of Mellon’s retail, small business and certain middle market commercial banking businesses. Citizens will be aggressively reviewing opportunities to site additional banking branches in Giant Eagle stores where branches are not presently available.

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, a $32.4 billion bank holding company headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. With more than 8,200 employees, Citizens is New England’s second largest commercial bank holding company. Citizens presently operates banks in four states: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Combined, they have more than 330 retail and commercial lending offices and 835 ATM machines. Citizens is wholly owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, a $450 billion global banking organization. Citizens Bank can be accessed on the world wide web at [][1].

About Giant Eagle, Inc.

An active community partner, Giant Eagle provides support for local food banks, community events, the United Way, The Salvation Army, Race For The Cure, and other non-profit organizations. The company has also created education initiatives like Apples For The Students, which has provided millions of dollars in computer equipment, software, and other classroom learning tools for local schools, and the Be A Smart Shopper school nutrition program.

Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 111 corporate and 91 independently owned and operated stores throughout western Pennsylvania, northeastern Ohio, and north central West Virginia.

About Mellon Financial Corporation

Mellon Financial Corporation is a global financial services company. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Mellon is one of the world’s leading providers of financial services for affluent individuals and institutions and corporations, providing private wealth management, institutional asset management, mutual funds, trust and custody, benefits consulting and administration, investor services and cash management. Mellon has more than $2.6 trillion in assets under management, administration or custody, including more than $545 billion under management. Its asset management companies include The Dreyfus Corporation and Newton Investment Management Limited (U.K.).




Giesecke and Devrient has won
the 2001, 5th Annual ICMA (International Card Manufacturers Association) Elan
Awards of Excellence for Best Secure Card Design. The Elan Awards are the
industry’s premier card manufacturing awards and deliver special recognition
to both the manufacturer and their customer. These global awards represent the
pinnacle of card manufacturing achievement in five different categories; Best
Non-Secure Card Design, Best Secure Card Design, Best Phone Card Design,
Technical Achievement Award and People’s Choice Award.

G&D won the Best Secure Card Design category with the President’s Choice
MasterCard produced through CUETS (Credit Union Electronic Transaction
Services). The President’s Choice MasterCard was printed using a combination
of lithographic and silkscreen colour and incorporates the standard MasterCard
features and a red coloured hi-co magnetic stripe.

The criteria for this category are most attractive, beautiful or striking
card based on aesthetics of printed surface within the parameters of VISA,
MasterCard and Europay. The card can be magnetic stripe, chip or hybrid card;
and credit, debit or stored value, as long as it bears the logo of one of the
above organizations.

“We are extremely pleased to have received this significant award and
proud of the G&D team who made it happen. It reaffirms our commitment to be
the recognized leader in each and every market segment we serve by delighting
our customers with innovative solutions.” says Jim Frye, president, Card
Services, United States and Canada.

In addition to winning the category of Best Secure Card Design, G&D was
also awarded finalist in the same category for the Gymnastics Canada Bank of
Montreal MasterCard.

Giesecke & Devrient is an internationally operating technology group. The
organization is a leading supplier of banknotes and security documents,
banknote and security paper and currency automation systems as well as cards,
components and complete multi-functional smart card systems for electronic
payments and telecommunications. The group also offers end-to-end solutions
for security in eBusiness. Giesecke & Devrient employs over 7,100 people
wide, and generates an annual revenue in excess of 1 Billion U.S. dollars.



Precidia Technologies Inc. announced the certification of its Ether3201-202
product by Bell Canada, for
Packet3201 service (commonly known in Canada as Datapac) connectivity. This
milestone is the culmination of several months of development and laboratory

The Ether3201-202 product was originally designed to migrate existing
payment terminals from the Packet3201 service to newer IP networks. However,
in this configuration, the Ether3201 will act as the adapter linking newer
payment systems to the existing Packet3201 service network. Packet3201 is
the network of choice to connect payment terminals to Canadian financial
institutions. When merchants and processors migrate to an end to end IP
solution, the same unit will act as the gateway adapter to handle routing
information and transaction management functions. Not only is this solution
cost competitive with existing Packet3201 service network adapters, but with
the migration path it provides, it becomes a key component to the solution
merchants are looking for to address their needs for today and the future.

‘The Ether3201-202 conforms with the Asynchronous Polling Interface (API)
protocol for use on Packet3201 Service’, said Wayne Fontaine, Packet
Services Consultant for Bell Canada. ‘This device can respond to one or more
of 48 poll codes with each poll code running a unique session, a feature
vital for load sharing or sending data to multiple hosts. This product has
been rigorously tested and is proven to offer a successful solution in
environments requiring Packet3201 service connectivity.’

Precidia President Deepak Wanner says the certification is an important step
in the company’s strategy to offer a full suite of connectivity solutions to
Canadian retailers: ‘Bell’s certification of the Ether3201-202 allows us to
provide an IP front end to Packet3201 service today. Legacy networks will
not disappear overnight. Merchants changing their payment systems today need
a transition path that meets not only their needs today, but also in the
future. Not only does this solidify our position as the leader in Point of
Sales networking, but it is also an important milestone in our relationship
with Bell Canada, a valued partner. We are pleased to have received this

The Ether3201 product is already deployed in several Canadian retail
environments, such as Chapters Book stores. It is a cost effective and
innovative solution for retailers who require network connectivity for
retail payment terminals. The Ether3201 has been designed to work with every
major financial institution and processor in Canada.

Precidia Technologies Inc., based in Ottawa, Canada, is a global leader in
the design and manufacture of IP enabling technologies for a wide range of
industries, including retail payments. Precidia’s advanced IP technology
seamlessly migrates retail payment terminals and other equipment onto more
sophisticated IP networks. Precidia’s unique product line consists of
cost-effective access devices, both wired and wireless, and chip technology.
For more information, visit Precidia on the Web at


Providian Warning

CreditSights Inc. says Providian is desperately seeking funds from small time depositors by offering above-market rates. In a report released yesterday the credit research firm says it views Providian’s action as an unsafe and unsound activity that may cause the regulators to exercise their blitz powers. The company strongly warned investors to avoid Providian bonds. CreditSights said that Providian dominates the “Rates & Yields” tables that appear in newspapers nationwide, as well as on popular rate information Websites, such as For jumbo CDs and money markets, CreditSights said Providian offered eight of the 12 highest rates available nationally, in the table which ran in Sunday’s New York Times. The research company says since institutional investors are bailing out of the company’s paper in droves, Providian needs to replace that funding or risk raising cash from card assets of questionable value on its balance sheet. CreditSights accuses the company of taking advantage of the FDIC coverage on deposits less than $100,000 to garner the funds. It believes Providian is engaging in an unsafe or unsound practice by advertising above-market rates to individual depositors and thus endangering the integrity of the bank insurance funds. This could force the regulators to make Providian operate under undercapitalized rules despite capital measures that are higher than the minimum. CreditSights says if this materializes, the company will not be able to offer rates higher than the national average and funding its liabilities will become even more difficult. Providian recently announced it is cutting jobs, suspending dividends, withdrawing earnings guidance, and is seeking to sell-off about $3 billion of its credit card portfolio. For complete details on Providian?s latest earnings report visit CardData ([][1]).




Visa International Asia Pacific announced new policies and a US$25 million
regional investment to accelerate the
migration from today’s magnetic stripe payment cards to EMV-standard smart
cards. Regionally, Visa and its Members will concentrate their initial
investment and efforts in countries that have already started work on smart
cards or expressed concerns about escalating fraud levels.

Under the scheme approved by the Visa International Asia Pacific Board of
Directors in October 2001, the investment has been allocated to support a
range of regional initiatives that will benefit Visa card-issuing banks,
acquiring banks, retailers, technology providers and consumers. The funds
will be available over a seven-year period, beginning 2002. The goal is to
increase member readiness for EMV chip issuance and acquiring. The
initiatives include:

· Training programs for banks, vendors and industry partners

· Enhancement of EMV testing facilities and services

· Support to vendors to increase their range of EMV products and

At the country level, a framework has been agreed and established to
address local initiatives such as domestic policies and funding based on
market readiness, fraud rates and other parameters. Visa will play the
primary role in coordinating activities with its members to achieve
domestic chip migration.

According to Rajiv Kapoor, executive vice president and general manager,
Marketing and Product Sales, Visa International Asia Pacific, ‘The move to
chip will have considerable savings in fraud related losses. Therefore,
our members have established an aggressive timeline to migrate cards and
infrastructure to EMV global standards. A number of our major countries,
such as Japan, Taiwan and Korea, have already embarked on this accelerated
migration, and we expect other countries to follow suit rapidly as the
benefits are magnified.’ Kapoor added that Visa members had expressed
their support to help drive this changeover in individual countries. He
added, ‘This broad ranging consensus from our members on the proposed
smart card migration is testament to the importance of implementing
payments using chip technology. Our combined proactive approach will
clearly lead to a snowball effect, with local, country, and subsequently
industry-wide backing of this strategically important investment.’

Visa has already mandated that all new debit and credit cards utilizing
chip must be EMV-compliant, and that all existing chip programs must become
compliant by January 2004.

‘Smart cards are the safest, most reliable way to combat the escalating
counterfeit fraud in the marketplace today,’ Kapoor continued. ‘They are
also the most versatile payment tool available because banks can combine
different applications on a single chip to tailor and market their cards to
a consumer ‘segment of one’.’ With its family of low-cost smart cards,
Visa currently offers the widest, most cost-effective range of single and
multi-application products in the marketplace. Visa has also negotiated a
series of arrangements with global vendors and manufacturers to reduce
migration costs.

Kapoor said that Visa had conducted smart card research earlier this year
that indicated consumers’ desire to use chip-based cards as part of their
everyday lives. Under the banner of ‘Heart of Smart’, the research was
conducted in five key Asia Pacific markets and stressed the importance of
convenience, multiple applications on a single card and safety during
payment transactions.

The interest in smart card products is borne out in statistics derived from
the Semiconductor Industry Association, San Jose, CA, USA, which forecast
demand for chip production to significantly increase during 2002, with full
recovery to follow in 2003. Banking applications are estimated to
constitute an important segment. Visa statistics validate this trend,
noting that the number of Visa smart cards in Asia Pacific should double to
12 million by 2002, with Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Australia contributing to
the majority of the growth.

Visa International Asia Pacific has established several key milestones to
underpin the migration to smart cards and global interoperability:

Effective January 2003

All new acquiring bank-owned smart card terminals are required
to be compliant with industry-wide EMV specifications and to meet
specifications for global interoperability.

An interchange incentive of 10 basis points has been established
for payment
transactions between countries in Asia Pacific to reward acquiring banks
and issuing banks who have invested in smart card technology.

Effective January 2006

Losses from fraudulent transactions will shift from card issuers to
merchant acquirers, whenever counterfeit arising from EMV-compliant cards
are used at non-EMV-compliant terminals between countries in Asia Pacific


EMV stands for Europay-MasterCard-Visa, a joint industry working group
created to facilitate the introduction of chip technology into the
international payment systems environment by developing joint
specifications for integrated circuit cards and terminals. EMV serves as
the global framework for chip cards and device manufacturers and is
designed to allow interoperability around the world.

Visa International

Visa is the world’s leading payments brand and the largest payments 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, over any type of device.

Visa in Asia Pacific

With a dominant market share of more than 56 percent in the Asia Pacific
region — more than all other payment brands combined, Visa reported card
sales volume for the 12 months ending December 31, 2000 reached US$332
billion. This figure includes US$246 billion in card sales volume, plus a
further US$86 billion of commercial activity using Visa cards in China, as
reported by Chinese member banks. In the same period, the total number of
Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS-branded cards on issue in the Asia
Pacific region increased 25 percent to 260 million cards. Visa’s Internet
address is


PayStar Buys Kiosk Biz

PayStar Corporation, the nation’s leader in providing content based Internet Kiosks, Prepaid and Wireless Banking Services, Cashless ATM devices and Prepaid Telecom Services is pleased to announce it has signed an LOI with NP Communications to purchase nearly 400 Internet kiosks located in many marquee locations that will be converted to the pay-for-use model using PayStar’s Gold-Sprocket software.

‘PayStar gains valuable, high profile travel and hospitality locations with this purchase,’ stated W.D. Yotty, Chairman and CEO of PayStar. ‘Prime locations in Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Hostels International, the San Francisco Visitors Center, just to name a few, are what we have targeted in the building of PayStar’s Global Virtual Network. We are pleased to have NP Communications Founder and CEO, Robert Kushner, join our PayStar team as a consultant on mergers and acquisitions.’

‘I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with PayStar,’ commented Robert Kushner, NP Communications Founder and CEO. ‘I look forward to being an integral part of the team and to help build PayStar’s Global Virtual Network. My 25 years of successful entrepreneurial experience will compliment PayStar’s ability to access and accomplish future kiosk acquisitions’

About PayStar

PayStar Corporation, a premier global distributor of telephony and financial services, provides its customers with an array of enabling devices. PayStar is comprised of three fully integrated divisions: Commercial Telephony Switch Services, Consumer Internet and Telephony Products including prepaid cards, and Financial Services providing service and maintenance of Cashless Teller Machines (CTMs), pay phones and Internet enabled kiosks. PayStar is the location services provider (LSP) to retail merchants and is considered a “carriers carrier” for wholesale telecom services worldwide. Success is driven by internal sales as well as mergers and acquisitions. PayStar’s global strategy centers on expanding its network of thousands of locations that utilize state-of-the-art enabling devices.



More than 1.7 million adult Canadians will
purchase holiday gifts online this year representing a 60 percent increase
over last year according to a Visa Canada commissioned survey. At the same
time, average spending will decline by more than 25 percent with Canadians
planning to spend an average of $433 online for holiday gifts this year versus
$597 spent last year.

The survey, commissioned by Visa Canada and conducted by Thompson
Lightstone, shows that holiday shoppers will buy for an average of six people
this year and will spend approximately $72 per gift. Approximately 50 percent
of online shopping will occur throughout November, with the majority of
transactions taking place in the last half of the month.

This holiday season 16 percent of adult Canadians will buy gifts online
compared to 10 percent last year. The survey findings show that convenience,
better prices and better selection are helping spur the growth in the number
of online buyers this year.

Among the respondents who say they will shop online, 33 percent list the
inability to see or touch products as an unappealing aspect of online buying.
Only 10 percent of respondents who plan to shop online this holiday season
cite security issues as an unappealing aspect of buying online. The low
profile on security issues may reflect a growing awareness that Visa
cardholders are fully protected against any financial loss as a result of
unauthorized use of their Visa cards.

“Based on the survey findings it appears as though online buyers are
starting to recognize the protection they have in place when shopping online,”
said Susan MacKeown, Director of e-Visa, Visa Canada. “The survey shows that
more Canadians are enjoying the convenience and ease that online shopping

Among Canadians not planning to buy online, 20 percent cite security
issues as an unappealing aspect of shopping online, 15 percent cite the desire
to touch and see the merchandise versus 14 percent who prefer to shop in

This year Visa is supporting online holiday shopping with a direct-mail,
radio and online advertising program directed at more than 12 million Visa
cardholders nationally. The “Trim your tree for less” promotion offers savings
and special offers to consumers who use their Visa cards to shop at or

“Through the promotion, VISA cardholders have access to discounts at 19
of Canada’s top e-tailers,” said Rosanne Flower, Senior Manager, Internet
Marketing, Visa Canada. “E-tailers offering a broad selection of merchandise,
attractive holiday offers and good prices will benefit the most from the
increase in online traffic this year.”

The survey also shows that Canadians are buying a number of different
items online this year. Twenty seven percent of people buying online plan to
buy books, another 20 percent plan to buy clothes, 16 percent toys, 16 percent
electronic equipment, 14 percent music, and eight percent computer-related

The national telephone survey was conducted between October 25th and
October 31st, 2001. A total of 1,000 male and female respondents 18 years of
age and older were interviewed. The findings are accurate, plus or minus 3.1
percent, 19 times out of 20.

As the “World’s Best Way to Pay”, Visa is the leading credit card payment
brand in Canada and around the world. There are more than 23.6 million VISA
cards in Canada accepted at more than 574,000 merchant locations across the
country. VISA is accepted at over 22 million locations around the world
including almost 700,000 ATMs. The Internet address for Visa is