First, Inc. (NASDAQ: FECC, BSX: FECC, FECC BH), a company with
interests in gas and oil exploitation and electronic payment solutions
announced the filing of its Form 10Q and financial results for the third
quarter ended September 30, 2001.

First Ecom posted revenue derived from the Company’s payment processing
operations of $205,928 and $242,836 for the three and nine months ended
September 30, 2001 as compared to $17,355 and $27,887 for the respective three
months and nine months ended September 30, 2000. The increase in revenue for
the three months ended September 30, 2001 was mainly due to the consolidation
of revenue from the start of operations at First Ecommerce Data Services
Limited (FEDS).

“The third quarter was a good quarter business-wise,” said Gregory Pek,
president and CEO of First Ecom. “We moved quickly and decisively to obtain
quality assets in our new core business of oil and gas, with the
acquisition of
a working equity interest in Gasco Energy which has participation in almost
500,000 acres of land holdings in Utah and Wyoming. Production from the first
wells in Utah has just commenced and Gasco will be reporting revenue in the
fourth quarter.

“The future of payment processing in Asia also looks brighter and during the
quarter the Company secured a major outsourcing deal with UOB in Malaysia.
While business was just starting at FEDS the Company thought it prudent to
accept the offer to sell it in order to better focus on oil and gas as well as
Asian payment processing. In addition to these successes we were able to
finalize the productization of our payment gateway and MARS products into a
e-Acquiring system. This has the potential to be another significant revenue
source, as we will no longer be selling only to banks that want to outsource
but also to those banks and other businesses that want in-house systems. Our
market is therefore much larger. These are all very positive developments.”
Net Loss for the third quarter of 2001, before charges for impairment of
goodwill and the write down of marketable securities, was $2,308,178 as
compared to the third quarter of 2000 net loss of $3,623,459 and $4,357,248
the nine months ended September 30, 2001 compared to $10,398,602 for the nine
months ended September 30, 2000.

Net loss per share for the quarter, before charges for impairment and write
down of marketable securities, was $0.12 per share as compared to a net loss
per share of $0.19 for the same quarter in 2000.
As previously announced, the Company has decided to change its business focus
to that of oil and gas development and exploitation and the during the quarter
the Company acquired, for $19 million, a 26% equity interest in Gasco Energy,
Inc. (NASD-OTC-BB: GASE) a company which acquires and exploits natural gas
properties in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Included in the
Company’s operating results for the third quarter is a $155,701 charge for the
Company’s equity loss from Gasco Energy.

Gasco Energy is one of the leading companies in the development and
exploitation of natural gas reserves in the Rocky Mountain region of the
States. It has land holdings of some 159,000 acres in the Uinta Basin in
northeast Utah and some 332,000 acres in the Green River Basin of southwest

In October 2001 the Company sold FEDS, with a guaranteed receipt of a minimum
of $5 million, resulting in an impairment charge of $3,159,505, which has been
recorded in the three months ended September 30, 2001.
Operating expenses before the impairment charge for the three months ended
September 30, 2001 were 17% lower than for the comparable period in 2000 and
for the nine months ended September 30, 2001 were 33% lower than for the
comparable period in 2000. This reflects the Company’s concentrated effort on
reducing costs. The operating expenses include restructuring costs of $198,821
incurred during the first two quarters.

As of September 30, 2001, the Company’s net current assets stood at $3.0
million (December 31, 2000: $31.8 million). Net cash used in operating
activities decreased from $6,334,932 for the nine months ended September 30,
2000 to $4,592,465 for the nine months ended September 30, 2001, mainly due to
the significant reduction in operating costs in the first nine months of 2001
as compared to the first nine months of 2000.

Net cash used in investing activities for the nine months ended September 30,
2001 was $23,505,347 as compared to $7,316,048 for the nine months ended
September 30, 2000. The major activities were (i) the acquisition of and
investment in FEDS of $3,984,526 and (ii) acquisition of petroleum assets, in
the form of a 26% equity interest in Gasco Energy, Inc., for $19 million.
Further progress was made during the quarter in the payment processing
by the signing of agreements with United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) (UOB) and
American Express. Revenue as a result of these contracts is expected to
commence during the fourth quarter.

In addition, the Company completed the productization of its e-Acquirer
gateway system. This will allow the Company to sell complete systems to banks
and financial institutions that do not wish to outsource the entire payment

The Company had a total of 24 (including 10 at FEDS) full time employees as at
September 30, 2001 as compared to 56 full time employees, not including FEDS,
as at September 30, 2000. This decrease in employees has resulted in a
recovery, during the nine months ended September 30, 2001, of $2,202,766 of
previously expensed stock-based compensation costs. During the comparable
period ended September 30, 2000, the Company expensed $3,050,794 of

The Company’s financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2001
accompanied the filing of its Form 10-Q with the Securities & Exchange
Commission on November 14, 2001, which is available on-line at the SEC’s Edgar
database at

About First

First Inc. has interests in both oil and gas exploitation as well as
being a global provider of electronic payment solutions through its wholly
subsidiary First Ecom Systems Limited.
For more information, visit or
contact First at
+(852) 2801-5181 or by e-mail at


FTC MOR Notice

The FTC’s Division of Enforcement announced this week they recently conducted a surf of 110 major Internet retailers to find out whether e-tailers were making “quick-ship” claims. As a result of the surf, FTC staff sent letters to 72 e-tailers reminding them of the federal ‘Mail Order Rule’ and ‘Warranty Rule’. The FTC staff found that 52 of the 110 sites made “quick-ship” claims and that 52 of the sites selling warranted products didn’t provide adequate information about the warranties. In 1999, the FTC brought civil penalty actions against seven well-known e-tailers for allegedly violating the Mail Order Rule. The companies paid more than $1.5 million in total penalties.



Bibit Payment Services made available figures that indicate consumer payment
transactions on a
global basis have rebounded to levels higher than those prior to the
of September 2001. The Company also announced that it has developed the Bibit
Index, which measures aggregate global consumer spending patterns across a
number of industries, including travel, books, CD/video, computers, and
flowers. The Bibit Index is scheduled to be issued on a quarterly basis.
The Bibit Index is designed to show increases and decreases in purchase
transactions from week to week by establishing a benchmark from which to
change. Bibit is the leading payment processing service in Europe, and has a
significant presence in the U.S. market. Using volumes of data derived from
global transaction base, Bibit can track aggregate purchasing patterns by
industry, geographic region, market or time span. The Bibit Index is separate
from other economic indicators, and provides a neutral, independent and
unbiased report of consumer spending across product categories.
The initial Bibit Index uses the week of September 2, 2001 as a benchmark,
tracks transaction volume on a weekly basis through the week of October 7,
2001. Following the September 11 attacks, transactions across all categories
fell by 31% for the week of September 9-15. However, the weeks of September
– October 7 show a continual increase in spending. The week of September 30,
global transactions rebounded to top pre-September 11 levels by 11%. The same
period shows that the travel industry was the most severely affected by the
events of September 11, but also experienced the sharpest rebound; by the
of September 30, spending on travel was 11% higher than prior to September
At the same time, the book category was the only industry to see a sustained
increase in spending, with an 8% jump immediately following the September 11

Using the week of September 2, 2001 as the benchmark, transaction activity
fluctuated week-to-week as follows:

Bibit provides transaction processing across all payment channels, including
Internet, call centers, and point-of-sale. The Bibit payment platform
a multi-lingual, end-to-end payment service that combines 60 multi-currency
international payment methods, including conventional credit cards and the
protocol for secure transactions, into a single digital solution. Bibit’s
service offering includes full reconciliation and administrative services,
handling both the technical and financial management of the payment
solution in
a fully secure environment. The payment service seamlessly integrates into
existing transaction generating platforms and enables businesses to extend
their reach into the European market.
About Bibit Payment Services
Bibit Internet Payments is Europe’s leading Internet Payment Service
Founded in the Netherlands in 1997, Bibit currently operates on a
scale, including Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the
United States. Bibit’s extensive international client list includes
multi-channel retailers, as well as pure web shops, call centers, and
points-of-sale. Customers include Dell Computer, DaimlerChrysler, Yahoo!, The
Financial Times, Canon, and Fleurop Interflora. Bibit is a privately held
company, with investments from Residex Investments, BNP Paribas (Paribas
Investments), Twinning and Continuum Group Ltd. For more information, please
call 408/399-9938, or visit


Transmedia 3Q/01

FL-based Transmedia Network, issuer of the largest dining discount card program, reported gross sales in the dining sector were $47.6 million for the quarter ending Sept 30th, compared with $46.8 million in the prior year period. For the quarter, the company recorded net income of $945,000 compared with a net loss in the same quarter of last year of $2.4 million. Transmedia offers its nearly 7 million members a variety of dining savings and rewards programs at more than 7,500 restaurants via means of a registered credit card. The savings are offered through the Company’s dining programs, either branded under the name ‘iDine’ or provided through private label partnerships, such as airline frequent flyer programs, club memberships or other affinity organizations. For complete details on Transmedia’s 3Q/01 results visit CardData ([][1])




Triton Systems, Inc., a wholly
owned operating company of Dover Corporation and the leading manufacturer of
off-premise ATMs, announces the establishment of an exclusive Distributor
agreement with Capture Systems to support and distribute Triton products
throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Capture Systems has been founded by a collaboration of various ATM-related
business interests throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Jorge
Fernandez, co-founder for Capture Systems and former Director of Latin
American and Caribbean business operations for Triton, stated, “We are
extremely pleased to enter into this agreement with Triton. Our collective
experience with Triton and this region indicates that Triton’s products are
the best solution in this growing off-premise market.”

Triton President, Dr. Ernest Burdette stated, “We are excited about
building on the foundation that Jorge and others have laid for Triton in this
market. This agreement makes sense for both of us and we are optimistic about
the direction of this partnership.” Fernandez also sees advantages for Triton
customers in the region: “Capture Systems brings more than 20 years
experience in the industry and this market. Furthermore, we will be able to
bring value-added services and products to this market, focused on the needs
of the off-premise owner.”

Both Triton and Capture Systems see a great deal of potential for the off-
premise market in these regions.

About Triton Systems, Inc.

As the leading provider of cash-dispensing ATMs for off-premise locations,
Triton is committed to redefining and leading the retail market for cash
delivery systems. Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM
management software in North America and has more than 55,000 installations in
over 15 countries worldwide.

Triton is headquartered in Long Beach, MS and is an operating company of
Dover Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Corporation. For more
information about Triton, please visit or call
1-228-868-1317 (U.S. toll free 1-800-367-7191).

About Capture Systems, Inc.

Capture Systems was founded to provide value added systems integration
products and services to the Financial, Retail and e-commerce Industries in
Latin America and the Caribbean including; sales/marketing, technical
expertise, consulting and local support services. Capture markets its
products and services direct to end users as well as through a network of
local value added partners.

The company’s founders have over 30 years of combined experience working
with financial institutions, Retailing and Healthcare providers throughout the
region. Capture Systems is privately held and is located in Miami, Florida.
For more information about Capture Systems, please call 1-305.446.0018. Jorge
Fernandez is the company’s president and General Manager ( ).


Debit Miles

Air miles for debit card use picked up another player yesterday as US Airways and Bank of America launched a new ‘Dividend Miles VISA Check Card’ and ‘Dividend Miles VISA Business Card’. In March, U.S. Bank and Northwest Airlines introduced the ‘WorldPerks VISA Check Card’. Two years ago Chase Manhattan and Continental Airlines introduced the first co-branded debit card and the first debit card to offer air mileage rewards from a major carrier. Under the US Airways/BofA program, consumer cardholders earn 1,000 ‘Dividend Miles’ after the first purchase, and one ‘Dividend Mile’ for every $2 in purchases thereafter. ‘Dividend Miles VISA Business Card’ customers will earn one ‘Dividend Mile’ for each $1 spent in net purchases and two miles for every $1 spent on US Airways goods and services purchased directly from US Airways. The business owner also will receive 5,000 bonus miles after the first purchase is made using the card, one complimentary ‘US Airways Club’ pass each year and a 10% discount on ‘Dividend Incentives’ purchases. Business owners will also earn ‘Dividend Miles’ purchases made by their employees with all miles credited to one account designated by the business owner. (CF Library 3/27/01)


Online Satisfaction

Thirty-five percent of all Americans report being very satisfied with their online holiday shopping experience, according to the eSpending Report released by Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking and securities firm, Harris Interactive, a worldwide market research and consulting firm, and NetRatings, Inc., the fastest growing Internet audience measurement and analysis firm. Additionally, 17 percent stated that their holiday shopping satisfaction is higher this season than last year.

“Quality customer service has not been impacted by the dot-com shake out or economic conditions this year and remains a key factor for online shoppers,” said Sean Kaldor, vice president, analytical services, NetRatings.

According to the Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday eCommerce Index, traffic to ecommerce Web sites jumped 14 percent during the second week of November, signaling the beginning of the online holiday shopping season.

Competitive Pricing Drives Shoppers Online

Lower prices and the ability to easily compare products and item cost on the Internet led 39 percent of Americans to shop online this past week. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said pricing was their main purchasing factor, while 59 percent cited product selection. Additionally, 26 percent of shoppers indicated that shipping costs are impacting their purchasing decisions this season.

“Etailers offering free shipping promotions and competitive pricing have much to gain from luring price-conscious shoppers,” Kaldor continued. “Holiday shoppers feeling the effects of the slowing economy this season are watching their budgets and looking for the perfect gift with the right price.”

One in Three Americans Have Started Holiday Shopping

Findings from the survey revealed that one in three Americans have started their holiday shopping as of the week ending November 9 (see Table 1). Eleven percent of respondents indicated that they have completed their holiday shopping.

“With the holiday season starting in the second week of November this year, we can expect online activity to grow steadily as the season progresses,” said Lori Iventosch-James, director of ecommerce research, Harris Interactive. “The overall outlook for the holiday season is positive, as popular online categories such as home and garden, toys and video games have already emerged as hot gift categories this season.”

Table 1. Online Holiday Shopping Barometer, Week Ending November 9 (U.S.)

Week Week Week
Ending Ending Ending
10/26 11/2 11/9

Finished Shopping 8% 9% 11%
Started, but Not Finished Shopping 23% 31% 35%
Have Yet to Start Shopping 69% 60% 55%

Source: Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive & Nielsen//NetRatings, November

About eSpending Report

The eSpending Report by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen//NetRatings is based upon a weekly national survey of 500 online shoppers randomly chosen from Harris Interactive’s multimillion-member panel of Internet users. The survey data is weighted to represent the online population and has an overall precision of +/- 4.4 percent, which varies by question. The eSpending report offers weekly intelligence on online shopping and spending by market segment and tracks consumer attitudes and motivations that drive online shopping.

About Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking and securities firm that provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.

About Harris Interactive(SM)

Harris Interactive (Nasdaq: HPOL) is a worldwide market research and consulting firm, best known for The Harris Poll (R) and its pioneering use of the Internet to conduct scientifically accurate market research. Strengthened by its recent merger with Total Research Corporation, the Company now combines the power of technology with international expertise in predictive, custom, strategic research. Headquartered in the United States, with offices in the United Kingdom, Japan and a global network of local market and opinion research firms, the Company conducts international research with fluency in multiple languages. For more information about Harris Interactive, visit [][1]. EOE M/F/D/V

About NetRatings, Inc.

NetRatings, Inc. ([][2]) is a leading provider of Internet audience measurement information and analysis. Its technology driven products and services enable customers to make informed business-critical decisions regarding their Internet media and commerce strategies. NetRatings has strategic relationships with both Nielsen Media Research, the leading source of television audience measurement and related services in the U.S. and Canada, and ACNielsen, a leading provider of market research information and analysis to the consumer products and services industries. Worldwide, NetRatings services measure the Internet experiences of more than 225,000 Internet users in 29 countries.

About Nielsen//NetRatings

Through strategic partnerships between NetRatings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT), Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, the Nielsen//NetRatings audience measurement service collects real-time data from more than 225,000 individuals with access to the Internet in 29 countries around the world. Nielsen//NetRatings uses unique technology capable of measuring both Internet use and advertising to provide the most timely, accurate and comprehensive Internet usage data and advertising information in the global marketplace. For more information, please visit [][3].



Xmas Volume

During the 32 shopping days, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, consumers will charge an estimated $121.4 billion to their major bank credit cards, based on retail and travel sales projections as well as dollar charge volume patterns this year. The figure, which excludes commercial card and debit card volume, is only 6.8% higher than last year’s dollar volume of bank credit card charges, and the most sluggish growth since 1991. Last year, Americans charged about $113.7 billion, a 23% gain over 1999. If not for an extra shopping day this year, holiday credit card activity would be up by a mere 3.4%. At mid-year, credit card volume was growing at a 9% annual rate, according to CardData ([][1]). Retail holiday sales are expected to rise by 2% and holiday travel sales are expected to be down by nearly 18%. CardData projects that Americans will use their major credit cards slightly more than 1.3 billion times during the shopping season, or 1.7 million times, on average, per hour. This weekend, the aggregate volume of credit card transactions among VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express may reach 8,500 transactions per second. Californians will charge nearly $17.4 billion and New Yorkers are expected to charge about $10.2 billion between the two major holidays.



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

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

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

Net income (loss)
applicable to
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


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 ([][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 ([][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.



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 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.


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 [][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 [][2].