Equitex 3Q/01

Equitex, Inc. announced its unaudited financial results for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2001. On August 6, 2001, the Company completed the distribution of all of its assets and liabilities to Equitex 2000, Inc. Immediately following this transaction, Equitex completed the acquisitions of Key Financial Systems, Inc. (“Key”) and Nova Financial Systems, Inc. (“Nova”), which were recorded as reverse acquisitions. The financial statements presented for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2000, are those of Key and Nova. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2001, the financial results of Key and Nova are presented on a consolidated basis with financial results of Equitex for the period from August 6, 2001 through September 30, 2001.

While total income remained relatively stable for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2001 compared to the same 2000 period, increased personnel costs associated with implementing Key’s accelerated telemarketing campaigns resulted in additional operating expenses, most notably in the third quarter of 2001.

“As a result of card issuance limitations imposed by our issuing bank last year, we experienced lower expenses related to new accounts compared to 2001 as we were unable to aggressively market our product,” stated Scott Lucas, Key and Nova President. “Our marketing accelerated in April 2001 with 93,566 accounts added in May through September placing a larger expense burden on Key during this period when compared to last year. Our business model recognizes significant expenses at the beginning of the cardholder’s life with future expenses decreasing on customer accounts retained in future periods. As the number of seasoned accounts increases, we would expect to see a decline in expenses related to those accounts.

“While our accelerated marketing initiatives affected our bottom line in the short-term,” continued Mr. Lucas, “based on our prior experience we should realize the benefits of this investment in 2002.”

“We are very pleased with the net operating income Key and Nova contributed for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2001,” stated Henry Fong, President of Equitex, Inc. “Especially given the fact these numbers include approximately $375,000 in Equitex expenses at the holding company level for the period following the acquisitions through quarter’s end.”

Equitex, Inc. is a holding company operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries Nova Financial Systems and Key Financial Systems of Clearwater, Florida. Nova and Key design and service credit card products for those who need to build or rebuild credit; marketed through direct mail, print media, telemarketing for financial institutions and the Internet through alliances with a number of popular Internet web sites.

Equitex, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Selected Condensed Consolidated/Combined Financial Data
September 30, 2001
(unaudited)

For the Three Months For the Nine Months
Ended September 30, Ended September 30,
2001 2000 2001 2000
Credit card income,
net of provision
for losses $3,015,571 $2,436,274 $7,689,222 $9,206,522
Other income 1,096,622 1,598,548 3,508,371 2,299,584
Total income 4,112,193 4,034,822 11,197,593 11,506,106

Operating expenses (3,881,286) (2,899,559) (9,789,508) (8,083,563)

Income before taxes 230,097 1,135,263 1,408,085 3,422,543
Income tax (expense)
benefit (60,000) — 57,500 —

Net income 170,907 1,135,263 1,465,585 3,422,543

Beneficial
conversion
features (2,366,156) — (2,366,156) —
Deemed preferred
stock dividends (60,600) (18,200) (60,600) (35,900)

Net income (loss)
applicable to
common
shareholders $(2,255,849) $1,135,263 $(961,171) $3,422,543

Net loss per
common share $(0.15) $0.13 $(0.09) $0.38
Weighted average
number of
common shares
outstanding 14,585,390 8,903,730 10,896,018 8,903,730

September 30, 2001 December 31, 2000

Total Assets $9,999,354 $7,163,464
Total liabilities 6,880,770 6,265,299
Stockholders’ equity 3,118,584 898,165
Liabilities and stockholders’ equity $9,999,354 $7,163,464

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FOM ICE Terminals

First of Omaha Merchant Processing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and one of the nation’s leading credit card acquirers, announced that it will roll out Hypercom Corporation’s secure ICE touch screen information and transaction terminals and related value-added epic applications to merchants nationwide. Hypercom’s epic Services Division will support First of Omaha Merchant Processing in providing electronic signature and receipt capture, customized receipts with merchant logos and promotional messages, as well as on-screen platform advertising.

“This is about helping merchants increase revenues, decrease costs and improve efficiencies at the point-of-sale. That’s what these solutions do. They are generating a great deal of interest among our merchant customers, and we are pleased to make them available to merchants nationwide,” said Nicholas W. Baxter, president, First of Omaha Merchant Processing. Hypercom’s ePOS-infocommerce(TM) (epic) electronic signature and receipt capture service (ERC) creates a paperless system that securely stores and retrieves electronic receipts on demand, virtually eliminating bank chargebacks and the need for merchants to manually retrieve paper receipts. Hypercom(R) ERC combines secure front-end signature capture with a secure back-end receipt storage and retrieval platform. Customers simply swipe their card, interact with the terminal through the intuitive touch-screen displays, and sign directly on the screen.

All receipt data, including the cardholder’s signature, is electronically captured and stored on secure servers. Signature and transaction data are locked together as a single image and time-stamped for fraud prevention. The integrated chargeback defense mechanism allows for the quick location and retrieval of the disputed transaction, which can then be sent to the appropriate party by electronic mail, fax or electronic data interchange. This process complies with MasterCard(R) and VISA(R) operating regulations. Hypercom’s POS advertising service allows merchants to generate custom logos on receipts, and display and send sophisticated interactive messages and revenue-generating incentives to the customer when they are interacting with, and have their attention focused on, Hypercom’s ICE platform at the point-of-sale. Coupon choices, messages and loyalty program rewards can also be printed on to the receipts to build customer loyalty and generate incremental revenue. “Our goal is to help merchants increase revenues and efficiency with the most secure products at the point-of-sale. That’s what we are doing with First of Omaha Merchant Processing. These are tamper resistant platforms and value-added services that can help merchants streamline operations and boost revenues at the point-of-sale,” said O.B. Rawls IV, president, Hypercom North America.

About First of Omaha Merchant Processing ([www.foomp.com][1])

First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a premier payment processor specializing in providing service to both the traditional and Internet marketing industry, as well as the traditional face to face card acceptance market. First of Omaha provides financial management and payment processing solutions for large and small retailers, restaurants, lodging merchants, petroleum marketers, associations/franchise groups and banks in both the business to consumer and business to business marketplaces. Known for superior customer service, First of Omaha specializes in providing clients the latest in card processing technologies. Through development of a diversified product line, First of Omaha has become a leader in the merchant processing industry, assisting clients in the reduction of chargebacks and fraud. First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and is one of the few remaining in-house bank processors. First National Bank of Omaha, founded in 1863, is the 32nd oldest nationally chartered bank in existence.

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

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC) is the leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers. Hypercom’s products include secure web-enabled information and transaction platforms that work seamlessly with its networking equipment and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards and traditional payment applications. The company’s widely-accepted ePOS-infocommerce (epic) framework of consumer-activated, EMV-certified, touch-screen ICE (Interactive Consumer Environment) information and transaction platforms enable acquirers and merchants to decrease costs, increase revenues and improve customer retention. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom is independently acknowledged as the leading provider of point-of-sale information and transaction platforms. Demand for Hypercom’s platforms surpassed one million units last year alone. Hypercom today maintains an installed base of more than 4 million platforms in over 100 countries, which conduct over 10 billion transactions annually.

[1]: http://www.foomp.com
[2]: http://www.hypercom.com/

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Anthrax Impact

While the Sept 11th terrorist attacks had no immediate impact on direct mail credit card offers, the October anthrax mail attacks are expected to drive response rates to record low levels. Nearly half of all Americans are less inclined to open junk mail and more than one-third are less likely to open mailed offers for new credit cards in the wake of the anthrax scare. According to the latest ‘Mail Monitor’ report by BAIGlobal, credit card issuers sent out 394 million credit card solicitations during September, slightly down from August’s 405 million offers, but well above last September’s 249 million pieces of mail. The research firm says the average response rate fell to 0.6% in September, compared to 0.7% one year ago. Meanwhile an informal homepage poll conducted by CardWeb.com found that 72% of consumers are paying more attention to the address information on mail received, but only 26% say they experience anxiety when opening their mail. Over 40% indicated they would be more inclined to shop for a new credit card on the Internet, while half of Americans said they would prefer to use email to correspond with credit card companies.

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U.S. Army Smart Card Readers

SCM Microsystems, Inc., a leading provider of solutions that open the Digital World, and Logicon, a Northrop Grumman company, announced they are working together to supply smart card readers to the U.S. Army. To date, 50,000 SCM readers have been delivered as part of the initial deployment.

Under the Department of Defense’s new Common Access Card program, Logicon is providing SCM’s reader technology to the U.S. Army as part of its complete smart card solution for secure authentication. Based on the CAC specifications, the U.S. Army will use smart cards as a single badge for multiple security measures such as physical identification, building access and network access. Over four million active duty military personnel, selected reserve, DoD civilian employees and eligible contractor personnel will use the standard identification badge which will be deployed over the next few years.

“SCM’s reader technology is important to the U.S. Army’s smart card initiative, enabling multiple security checkpoints through a single device,” said John Gist, Logicon’s program manager for the General Services Administration (GSA) Smart Access Common ID Card contract. “The readers will assist the U.S. Army in promoting a secure environment.”

“The DoD’s decision to base its security initiative on smart card technology is a significant endorsement for the industry as a whole,” said Jason Schouw, vice president, Americas, for SCM Microsystems. “Logicon is a trusted solution provider to the U.S. government and its use of SCM’s products clearly confirms SCM as a leading manufacturer in smart card reader technology. SCM is pleased to supply and support the government’s new program for secure authentication through the U.S. Army’s entire network.”

SCM is providing a variety of serial port, USB and PCMCIA readers to Logicon for the U.S. Army to address the need for secure access to both desktop and laptop computers, as well as other devices. All of SCM’s readers are compliant with PS/SC standards to allow full smart card handling capabilities of Microsoft(r) Windows(r).

About Logicon

Logicon Inc., a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation, is a premier provider of advanced information technology solutions, engineering and business services for government and commercial clients. Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, Logicon’s expertise spans such areas as information systems integration; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); enterprise hardware and software solutions; training and simulation; base and range support; signals intelligence; space systems; health informatics; and specialized scientific, engineering and technical services. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [www.northropgrummanit.com][1].

About SCM Microsystems

SCM Microsystems is a leading supplier of solutions that open the Digital World by enabling people to conveniently access digital content and services. SCM’s advanced silicon, hardware and software solutions enable secure exchange of electronic information for digital applications from e-commerce to broadband content delivery by providing controlled access points to platforms such as PCs, digital cameras and digital television set-top boxes. Known as a premier supplier to OEM companies around the world, SCM also serves the retail market through its Dazzle and Microtech product brands. Global headquarters are in Fremont, Calif., with European headquarters in Pfaffenhofen, Germany. For additional information, visit the SCM Microsystems Web site at [www.scmmicro.com][2].

[1]: http://www.northropgrummanit.com/
[2]: http://www.scmmicro.com/

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All In The Family

Wal-Mart announced yesterday it has launched a new program in which Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB will accept each other’s private-label credit cards. The giant retailer says nine out of every 10 SAM’S CLUB credit card holders already shop at Wal-Mart. As an added benefit, some four million Wal-Mart credit card holders are receiving SAM’S CLUB one-day passes. GE Card Services is the credit provider for all Wal-Mart Stores private-label credit card programs. Wal-Mart Stores operates more than 2,700 discount stores, Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, and more than 490 SAM’S CLUBS in the United States.

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Vital Approves Apriva Readers

APRIVA Inc., an innovator in wireless solutions for businesses, Monday announced its Class B certification with Vital Processing Services. With the certification of APRIVA’s full line of point-of-sale magnetic card readers and POS service, APRIVA’s customers can now process credit card sales through Vital’s POS network.

The APRIVA POS system is a device-independent infrastructure for securely connecting wireless terminals and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to major card processors. With the Vital Processing Services Class B certification, APRIVA’s network can be used across the nation, enabling users of the APRIVA system the ability to process credit card transactions on Vital’s leading system.

Arizona-based Vital Processing Services is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing and related services to merchants.

Vital provides leading point-of-sale (POS) products and services, electronic authorization and data capture; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; risk management; and merchant support services.

Vital also provides POS equipment management services through its subsidiary Vital Merchant Services and a full suite of Information Services in conjunction with Vital’s wholly owned subsidiary GRS. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa U.S.A. and TSYS(R) (NYSE: TSS), a global leader in payments processing.

“The Vital Class B certification is an important part of the APRIVA infrastructure and service,” said Kevin Hickey, chief executive officer and president, APRIVA Inc. “By offering our customers the Vital processing system, APRIVA is able to quickly and securely process credit-card transactions no matter the device, network or infrastructure.”

“We are pleased to Class B certify APRIVA’s magnetic card readers and POS Service to our network to enable APRIVA’s customer base to process mobile transactions reliably, securely and efficiently,” said Denise Lewis, executive vice president of Products and Marketing for Vital Processing Services. APRIVA Inc. ([www.apriva.com][1]) provides a wireless solution network infrastructure, as well as the software and hardware required to develop and deploy high-performance mobile applications. Its unique and flexible offering provides an end-to-end, reliable framework for handling wireless applications for any business from anywhere at any time. APRIVA’s system is device and network agnostic, enabling it to work with virtually any device or any network, with an infrastructure that provides point-of-sale, magnetic card, barcode scanning and Smart Card capabilities to wireless devices.

APRIVA’s product offerings include: the APRIVA Point-of-Sale (POS) system, a device-independent infrastructure for securely connecting wireless terminals and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to most major card processors; the APRIVA Magcard Reader for scanning data on three-track, magnetic-stripe credit and identification cards; and the APRIVA Wireless Barcode Scanner system for automatic tracking of products, pricing and inventory. Additional information on Vital can be found at [www.vitalps.com][2].

[1]: http://www.apriva.com/
[2]: http://www.vitalps.com/

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Minneapolis Air Miles

The Minneapolis Downtown Council announced a new program in which downtown Minneapolis shoppers can earn free Northwest Airlines WorldPerks miles during the holiday season. Under the “FLYBUY” program shoppers will earn 100 miles for every $100 they spend at participating stores.

“The Downtown Council has created this unprecedented offer to encourage people to shop downtown and to return travelers to the air which will help Northwest Airlines, an important partner in our regional economy,” said Sam Grabarski, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

Shoppers will earn one hundred miles for every $100 purchase, up to 2,000 miles. Shoppers can combine these miles with the miles they earn for purchases made using their WorldPerks Visa(R) and earn a free trip even faster.

To receive the miles, shoppers must make their purchases during the FLYBUY promotion (Nov. 23 – Dec. 26) and bring their receipts from participating stores to the Downtown Council booth located on the main floor of City Center, next to the customer service center. The receipts will be totaled and the purchaser will be given a 100-mile voucher for every $100 spent, up to 2,000 miles. The Downtown Council booth is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information on “FLYBUY”, visit [http://www.downtownminneapolis.com][1] or call 612-338-3807.

Participating Stores

Department Stores All Gaviidae Stores Other Stores
Neiman Marcus Ann Taylor2nd Wind Exercise
Equipment
Saks 5th Avenue Aveda Lifestyle Store Bergstrom Jewelers
Betlach Crate and Barrel
All City Center Stores Cole – Haan Empty Vase
B. Dalton Franklin Covey Haskell’s Big Cheese
Company
The Body Shop Gaviidae Convenience JB Hudson Jewelers
CCI Wireless Gaviidae Pendleton Nick’s Sports World
Champs Sports Jessica McClintock Open Book
Christmas Corner jv & Company Polo Ralph Lauren
City Convenience Lin Co. Schmitt Music
Company
Claire’s Boutiques Masters of Light Gallery Shinder’s
Elite Fragrances The Museum Company Walgreen Company
Eunice Children’s Paradise Naturalizer Witt’s Liquor
Fanny Farmer Presence
Foot Locker S. Vincent Jewelry Design
Studio
General Nutrition Center St. Croix Shop
GMCVA info. Center Talbots
Goodfellows Talbots Women
Hallmark URBAN Traveler
Jennico Van Haveren’s Flowerworks
KB Toys Vitamin World
Lady Foot Locker
Marshalls All IDS Crystal Court Stores
Minnesota Mania Afterthoughts
Office Depot Badiner Jewelers
Paper Post Banana Republic
Payless Kids Gap
Payless ShoeSource Gap Kids
Planet Games Godiva Chocolatier
Princess Jewelry Hubert White
Radio Shack Love From Minnesota
Ritz Camera Ritz Camera
Sam Goody Sterling Optical
Twinstown TJ Maxx
Wilcock Gallery ValuPlus
Wilson’s Leather VoiceStream Wireless
William Sonoma

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

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CIBC eShops

CIBC launched CIBC eShops, the first
online shopping community offered by a financial institution in Canada that
combines simple, one-stop access to dozens of great merchants with valuable
rewards for CIBC cardholders.

CIBC eShops
(http://www.cibceshops.com) is an online
shopping mall bringing
dozens of trusted Canadian merchants together in one virtual location. CIBC
eShops combines the security and peace-of-mind of online shopping through a
trusted financial institution and the convenience of one-stop shopping in a
virtual shopping mall. It is also the only online shopping mall that rewards
shoppers who use their CIBC-branded credit cards with valuable bonus rewards
points.

“CIBC eShops is a unique shopping experience with the latest online
advancements: simplicity, security, and value,” said Christine Croucher,
executive vice-president, CIBC card products division. “CIBC cardholders can
now shop for gifts, fashion, or electronics easily and securely from the
comfort of their home or office. And CIBC VISA shoppers benefit from great
rewards, exclusive coupons, and special offers.”

CIBC eShops features Canadian merchants, which eliminates the typical
additional costs associated with duty and exchange rate impacts of
international online shopping. Shoppers will be able to buy from any of the
participating merchants and pay at one final checkout point. Returning or
exchanging products will also be easy, as participating stores will have a
thirty-day return guarantee.

CIBC eShops also offers CIBC cardholders rewards – above and beyond the
normal card rewards – for purchases made within the site. For example,
shoppers who purchase using their CIBC Aerogold card will earn double Aeroplan
miles for their purchases and shoppers who use their CIBC VISA HBC Rewards
Card can earn double HBC Rewards points.

CIBC eShops will also benefit participating Canadian merchants. CIBC
eShops will enable merchants to build and conduct business in a virtual store
with secure, real-time transaction processing which includes automatic order
notification, billing and shipping as well as secure and reliable hosting. In
addition, a series of marketing tools and programs are being provided to
online merchants to assist them in driving additional traffic and delivering
increased sales.

Global Payments Inc. is providing the payment processing service to CIBC
eShops, while SureFire Commerce is providing the Internet technology,
infrastructure, online transaction processing and support services to the
bank.

“This initiative underscores Global Payments commitment to Canadian
businesses,” said Barry W. Lawson, Executive Vice President and CIO, Global
Payments Inc. “We are pleased to provide our payment processing services to
CIBC eShops, where online merchants can benefit from our processing solutions
expertise.”

“This will be the most complete, online merchant enabling and shopping
initiative Canada has ever seen,” said Rory Olson, president and CEO of
SureFire Commerce. “SureFire and CIBC’s goal is to create a truly supportive
environment where merchants can succeed in growing their business while also
enhancing the cardholder’s confidence in Internet shopping. With CIBC eShops
we are confident that we have succeeded in this goal.”

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution offering more than
eight million personal banking and business customers a full range of products
and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches
and offices across Canada, in the United States and around the world. CIBC is
Canada’s number one credit card issuer with 30 per cent market share, 43 per
cent of the premium card market, and over four million accounts. To find other
news releases and information about CIBC, visit our Media Centre at
http://www.cibc.com.

Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction
processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs),
financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations
located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global
Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit,
debit and EBT cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check
guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds
transfer services.

SureFire Commerce Inc. is a global business-to-business provider of
online payment solutions and e-commerce support, processing over $1.2 billion
of online transactions annually. The company offers a diverse range of payment
solutions to both online and offline merchants. The company has many strategic
marketing agreements with companies such as AOL Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank
of Commerce (CIBC), Infopia, Intuit Canada, InQuent, Network Commerce,
National Bank of Canada, Points.com, RedBrigade and Webraska. SureFire
Commerce is headquartered in Montreal (Quebec) with offices in Hull (Quebec)
and London (England).

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Cap One Outlook

Fitch revised its ‘Rating Outlook’ for Capital One to “Negative” from “Stable” citing concerns over the company’s torrid growth rate during the last two years. Fitch believes the strong growth rate could mask some level of portfolio weakness, particularly as the economy turns negative. While credit losses at Cap One are expected to rise in coming quarters, reflective of a rise in 12-month lagged charge-off ratios to 6.30% at Sept. 30 from 4.82% the prior year, losses should be tempered by the higher level of superprime accounts in Cap One’s loan portfolio. Fitch also noted, that bolstered by strong account growth, Cap One has been able to supplement spread-based income through increased fee-based revenue throughout its entire customer base. During an economic downturn, Fitch believes that Cap One could offset a portion of an expected rise in credit losses through reduced marketing expenditures, selective account repricing, and additional late and over-limit fees.

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BUYER DRIVEN B2B SALES

Visa Canada released today the results of a
national business-to-business selling study showing that e-commerce B2B
selling will increase by 22 percent by 2005 introducing significant new
challenges for B2B sales professionals.

The study entitled How Business Sells, conducted by Market Probe for Visa
Canada, includes responses from 514 mid to large-scale businesses across the
country. The study shows that 72 percent of B2B selling professionals prefer
selling through traditional channels, in-person and over the phone, rather
than electronically because traditional channels enable sellers to build and
maintain personal relationships with customers.

Despite the preference for traditional channels, the amount of in-person
and phone selling will decline from 70 percent to 57 percent of total B2B
sales by 2005. During the same period, the use of e-commerce sales channels
will almost quadruple from eight percent to 30 percent creating a significant
hurdle for sellers by complicating their ability to establish personal contact
with customers. In addition, rather than displacing direct, person-to-person
selling, e-commerce will create additional channels for sales professionals to
manage.

The findings also indicate that the transition to electronics is, in
part, driven by pressure from the B2B buying side. A previous Visa study (How
Business Buys) indicates that the Canadian purchasing industry anticipates
placing 37 percent of their orders through e-commerce channels by 2005
compared to nine percent today. The study also shows that buyers expect
in-person and phone ordering to decline, accounting for 39 percent of their
ordering activity by 2005 compared to 53 percent today.

Sales professionals’ preference for in-person selling is best reflected
in their use of web sites. Only six percent of the companies surveyed sell
through web sites and 22 percent of sellers do not even have a web site. The
balance of the respondents explain their limited use of web sites by pointing
to the need for personal contact and by citing the difficulties of customized
selling and discussing complex products online. In this regard, sellers are
out of step with purchasers, 22 percent of whom buy through web sites.

“The findings point to some interesting challenges for both sides of the
B2B market in Canada,” said Jacqui Hurd, Senior Manager, Commercial Card
Products, Visa Canada. “Clearly sellers have to adjust to the fact that their
customers are pushing for the efficiencies that electronic ordering provides
them while finding ways to maintain the personal contact that underpins
successful selling. Buyers on the other hand, will have to be sensitive to the
ability and willingness of the sell side to mesh with the internal electronic
purchasing systems they are planning to introduce.”

The study indicates that B2B sellers are partially addressing the
limitations inherent in e-commerce-based sales channels by turning to
extranets, proprietary electronic systems that provide the ability to post and
control access to information about customized product- and service solutions,
customized price lists and tailored product descriptions. The findings show
that 23 percent of the respondents expect to be using corporate extranets as
B2B sales channels by 2005 compared to five percent today.

“The Visa survey indicates that B2B sales professionals prefer to sell in
person,” said Terry Ruffell, President, Canadian Professional Sales
Association. “There’s no question the sales process is changing. Many sales
professionals are beginning to integrate e-commerce into their sales strategy,
but it is clear that to effectively meet the needs of the buying community, a
solid understanding of e-commerce will be required by all sales
professionals.”

As the “World’s Best Way to Pay”, Visa is a leading provider of consumer
and commercial credit card products in Canada and around the world. There are
more than 500,000 Visa-branded commercial cards in Canada accounting for more
than $3 billion of Visa Canada’s total annual sales volume in 2000. Visa
Canada offers three commercial card products including Visa Purchasing, Visa
Corporate, and Visa Business. The Internet address for Visa is
http://www.visa.com.

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MPS Signs Another

Fifth Third Bank’s Midwest Payment Systems has signed a contract to provide electronic funds transfer and ATM processing services to United Community Bank of Lisle, Illinois.

United Community Bank has $95 million in assets and one ATM.

“MPS’ innovating processing services and the products that support them fit both our long- and short-term goals for our company,” said Nick Mustafa, Vice President, United Community Bank of Lisle. “In MPS we have found a partner in business and not merely a vendor for services.”

“Forging mutually-beneficial partnerships with our clients is a cornerstone of MPS’ business strategy,” said Barry L. Boerstler, Executive Vice President, Fifth Third Bank. “As a highly-regarded processor, we work hard to maintain our reputation as a deliverer of value-added services to financial institutions and merchants.”

Since 1973, MPS has been providing top-quality electronic banking solutions to banks, thrifts, credit unions and merchants. Currently, MPS partners with more than 90,000 financial institutions and merchant locations nationwide for reliable, cost-effective products and services. MPS, a subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, processes more than six billion ATM, POS and e-commerce transactions per year and drives more than 10,000 ATMs.

MPS’ reputation and corporate stability have earned the company many distinctions, including a #1 ranking among EFT processors. MPS’ product offerings include transaction processing, network gateway access, card support, terminal support, as well as many other value-added services. MPS’ flexible services are unparalleled and its in-house authorization and settlement system help make the company one of just a few full-service processors in the U.S. For more information, call 1-800-375-1744 or email at eft.cincinnati@53.com .

Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $70 billion in assets, operates 17 affiliate banks with 939 full-service Banking Centers including 144 Bank Mart(R) locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 1,830 Jeanie(R) ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Florida. Fifth Third’s financial strength continues to be recognized by rating agencies with deposit ratings of AA- and Aa2 and commercial paper ratings of A1+ and P1 from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Retail, Commercial, investment Advisors and Midwest Payment Systems, the Bank’s data processing subsidiary. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at [http://www.53.com][1].

The company’s common stock is traded in the over-the-counter market through the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol “FITB.”

[1]: http://www.53.com/

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Best Buy Deal

Household has signed a seven-year, exclusive private-label credit card agreement with Best Buy. Early next year, Household will become the sole provider of private-label credit cards to all Best Buy stores nationwide and BestBuy.com. As a result, Household will manage Best Buy’s six million accounts that represent more than $2 billion in receivables. Household has managed part of Best Buy’s branded retail credit card program for nearly eight years. In addition, Household provides Best Buy customers with a number of complementary credit management services. Household manages the financing portion of the BestBuy.com site, where customers can apply for the Best Buy card and immediately make purchases using the card. A program introduced last year allows customers to apply for the Best Buy card and a Household Bank MasterCard simultaneously. Best Buy Co. operates retail stores under the names: Best Buy, Magnolia Hi-Fi, Media Play, On Cue, Sam Goody, and Suncoast. Best Buy has more than 1,800 retail stores nationwide.

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