RS2 Software Group announced the introduction of new software for
automatic voice authorization process (AVAM) to provide merchants rapid and
efficient response to card transaction approval request. The new software
has been developed in partnership with the Hungarian company Geomant, who
specialize in automated call center and telecom solutions.

AVAM complements RS2’s BankWORKS® card payment solutions and offers non-stop
automated handling of incoming merchant calls requesting voice
authorizations. As an integrated module it efficiently handles real-time IVR
management for bank acquiring operations and takes full advantage of the
latest communication and encryption techniques in conjunction with
BankWORKS® front-end communication message switch.

In the announcement Mr. Boris Vujicic, Director, RS2 Software Group said,
‘The new software offers major benefits to retailers, merchants, and also to
the banking industry, who benefit from manpower savings in the area of
manual voice request processing. Mr. Vujicic commented further, ‘We are
delighted to offer this new software to our existing and new customers who
will increase their ability to offer value-added services to their merchant
client base.’

In joining in the announcement Mr. Krisztian Hazi, Marketing and
Communications Manager at Geomant added, ‘Geomant is delighted to have
developed AVAM together with RS2 leading to improved workflows and
efficiencies in the transaction approval process, and is pleased that AVAM
has been selected by RS2 as part of their product range to improve services
to our mutual clients.’

Geomant Call Center Solutions

Geomant, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary develops, integrates and
supports a wide range of industry-leading software components for call
centers. Geomant employs professional engineers, consultants and
specialists, all of whom have broad experience in the Telecom industry.
Primary focus of Geomant products includes Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
applications, Computer Telephone Integration (CTI) applications and CRM
integrations. With a commitment to their clients and the philosophy of
providing global market service, Geomant has successfully delivered numerous
projects in Europe and the Middle East. By serving some of the leading
players in the telecommunications sector, financial institutions and major
governmental organizations Geomant has repeatedly demonstrated its skills,
competence, and gained customer satisfaction and respect.

For further information visit www.geomant.com

RS2 Software Group

RS2 Software Group is a global provider of business driven electronic
payment solutions and Internet services, consultancy and related services to
the banking and financial industry, service providers and retailers.

For more than 12 years, RS2 Software Group has been focused on
implementation of open architecture based payment systems for central
Issuing and Acquiring processing. RS2 clients have benefited from the group’
s full attention to all aspects in this specialized field of data
processing. The BankWORKS® product suite available from RS2 includes support
for online authorizations and message switching, ATM/POS networking,
merchant acquiring, card issuing, domestic and international clearing,
including full multi-currency facilities for cross-border business

RS2 Software Group lists major financial institutions as its clients.
BankWORKS® products are installed at over 80 locations in more than 30
countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia. RS2
Software Group companies have offices in Germany, Malta, Hungary, America,
Egypt, Lebanon and Hong Kong.

Please find further information at www.rs2.com


MAXCash Card

Lodi, CA-based PayStar Corporation has signed an agreement with Worldwide Marketing Solutions to launch the PayStar ‘MAXCash’ prepaid debit card. The new card is a stored value card product incorporating debit point of sale purchase capability, ATM cash access, as well as money transfer features. For example, parents can have two cards allowing them to transfer money from card to card, almost like an electronic allowance. PayStar merchants earn a commission for the initial ‘MAXCash’ sale and will continue earning residual income each time the card is used as an ATM card, point-of-sale purchase or card-to- card transfer. PayStar is also offering co-branded opportunities to select merchants.



Amex Bank of Canada announced the
launch of Offer Zone, its first all-Canadian online merchant marketplace that
gives Cardmembers access to dozens of national and local merchant promotions
designed exclusively for them.

Bell Canada, Chateau Mont Ste-Anne, IBM, Lobster Direct, Mastermind Toys,
Safeway and Sport Mart are among the first partners to be approved for Offer
Zone. Promotions are posted on
can be
redeemed online through links to merchants’ websites or offline by printing
paper coupons for use at retail locations. There is no limit on the number of
times Cardmembers can take advantage of offers.

Customers can choose from a wide variety of products and services
including retail offers, dining and entertainment, travel and equipment for
home offices. Offers range from discounts, free passes and complimentary gifts
to product upgrades and free shipping and handling.

“Offer Zone enhances our competitive advantage on the Internet,” says
Peter Orrell, Vice President of Merchant Services, American Express.
“Cardmembers get unique and valuable offers all in one place, with great new
deals posted every month. And our merchant partners get a direct and no-cost
way to build relationships with high spending and Internet savvy Cardmembers.”

Rick Newell, Head of Online Operations for Mastermind Toys, says, “We’re
pleased to be among the first to participate in Offer Zone. We continue to
look for new ways to grow online sales and Offer Zone is an ideal way for us
to expand our reach. Plus we know from experience that online offers encourage
greater customer loyalty and believe this concept will help build stronger e-
shopping behaviour among Canadians.”

While new to Canada, Offer Zone has been a big success for Amex in the
United States, where it has been directly responsible for a 10% lift in
Cardmember spending. It has also helped build repeat business for
participating merchants, with more than 80% of Offer Zone customers continuing
to spend regularly after their first experience.

Orrell says that online shopping among Canadian Cardmembers is on the
rise. “Customers are comfortable shopping with Amex because they trust in the
brand.” He adds the Company’s fraud protection guarantee means Cardmembers are
not held responsible for unauthorized charges.

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex
Canada Inc. Both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the New York based American
Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of
American Express Company, which provides a range of financial and travel
related services for consumers and companies. Amex Bank of Canada is the
issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. Amex Canada Inc. operates the
Travel Service Network, Corporate Travel and Travellers Cheque divisions in
Canada. Amex opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now
employs 3,700 Canadians coast to coast.


Smarter SmarTrip

In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks, the Washington, D.C. contactless ‘SmarTrip’ transit card is adding a security application for employee identification and building access. Under the new security system, WMATA’s treasury employees will be issued individualized ‘SmarTrip’ cards that contain employee-related information. The new security function is one of several potential uses that can reside on the ‘SmarTrip’ card, which 200,000 commuters in the nation’s capital use to pay their Metrorail fares, parking fees, and soon bus fares throughout the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore corridor. Cubic designed and developed the ‘GO CARD’ system, which is the core technology behind ‘SmarTrip’, the first contactless smart card system introduced by a major mass transit agency in the United States.



CASHSWITCH, Dubai’s leading online
financial services company, has licensed Misys International Banking Systems’
(Misys) Fontis iBanking solution in a deal which will make Internet banking
more accessible and cost-effective for banks in the Gulf region.

Through its new strategic alliance with Misys, CASHSWITCH, promoted by the
multi-billion U.S. Dollar Bahwan Group of Oman, can act as an Application
Solution Provider (ASP) or can directly license the Fontis iBanking platform
to banks in the Middle East region. In its role as an ASP, CASHSWITCH will
provide an Internet banking service on behalf of banks, who wish to make such
services available to their clients, but prefer not to incur the development
costs normally associated with them.

As a result of the partnership between Misys and CASHSWITCH, banks in the
Middle East will now be able to offer their clients the convenience of
e-banking, immediately and at relatively low cost. Through Misys’ leading-edge
solution, bank clients can take advantage of a variety of e-banking services
from account management and transaction inquiries to secure funds transfers,
enabling them to fulfill all of their banking requirements online.

CASHSWITCH already provides a wide range of Internet services to the Gulf
region’s financial sector. According to R. Seetharaman, CEO of CASHSWITCH and
a former senior banker “At CASHSWITCH we believe that fast and economical
implementations of quality technology products are essential for regional
banks entering the e-banking arena. For this reason, we closely evaluated the
e-banking solutions in the market before finally selecting Fontis as our
platform of choice. Our final decision rested on the fact that this proven
solution offers a secure, flexible e-banking platform that can be easily
implemented and rolled out to clients in exceptionally short timeframes.”

“As customers demand online access to their accounts, banks are now
seeking economically viable ways to meet their demands. By offering Misys’
Fontis solution, CASHSWITCH is in the unique position of being able to not
only meet but exceed their e-banking requirements,” says Ms. Hind Suhail
Bahwan, Chairperson, CASHSWITCH.

Commenting on the exciting new alliance with CASHSWITCH, Alan Prior,
Regional General Manager for Misys in the Middle East, said: “We are
constantly seeking new and innovative ways to empower our customers in the
region. We are delighted to be working in partnership with CASHSWITCH and to
be in a position to offer outstanding business solutions to our clients in
this region.”


@pos Retailer

Retail Store Systems Inc. has been selected by one of the largest entertainment retailers in the United States to provide custom point-of-sale software to integrate the @pos smart card transaction system.

The customized software application, which is currently managing more than 320 point-of-sale terminals, is able to read smart card data transmitted from the @pos iPOS TC payment devices at each check-out location. The devices allow customers to conduct secure credit card transactions, review a line-item display of their purchases, and use smart cards to access discounts on selected merchandise.

The system was installed to enhance the customer relationship and to provide a highly interactive experience at the time of purchase. Personal data contained on the smart card chip such as customer identification, purchasing behavior, and loyalty data can also be tracked and stored. This installation is the first implementation of the iPOS TC using a M700 smart card reader in the United States. Some experts in the retail industry have commented on this type of function being a phase in customer relationship management (CRM).

In its core business, Retail Store Systems provides a complete retail solution from host to point-of-sale, focusing on open systems solutions. Retail Store Systems’ expertise is bringing state-of-the-art technology to the general retail, specialty, and supermarket segments by utilizing partnerships with IBM, Lotus, Microsoft, Symbol, Monarch/Paxar, and other “best of breed” solutions. For more information on Retail Store Systems, visit their Web site at [http://www.rss.com][1].

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



ITC Systems, the leading developer and
supplier of smart card solutions for higher education, library, corporate,
stadium, and government markets in North America announces it has acquired
Access Control Technologies, Inc. of St. Louis, MO.

These two industry leaders provide unique capabilities in integrated
transaction control solutions and when combined become the premier company in
this market.

“The combining of respective company skills, customer knowledge and
engineering capabilities between ACT and ITC Systems enhances our product
line, provides best of breed solutions in integrated transaction control
solutions, and builds critical organizational mass in the USA,” said Campbell
Richardson, President and CEO of ITC Systems.

“ACT is excited about joining forces with the industry leader ITC
Systems,” said Lyn Barth, President and CEO of ACT. He further states, “We
believe ITC Systems is in a formidable position to serve the increasingly
sophisticated needs of the marketplace whether the requirements are for
excellent customer service, advanced technology, or strong engineering
capabilities. I am elated by the positive feed back received from our key

“We have positioned ITC Systems for the future with enhanced resources,
greater capabilities and a complete UPOS product offering for our customers”
said Campbell Richardson. He further offered, “I am delighted to have the ACT
team on board with ITC and in particular to have Lyn Barth become part of our
senior management team as Staff Scientist.”

ITC Systems Company Information

ITC Systems (ITC) is a world leader in integrated transaction control
systems with offices in St. Louis and Toronto. Since 1987, ITC has developed a
line of Unattended-Point-of-Sale (UPOS) Terminals for a multitude of self-
serve applications utilizing an ‘e-purse’ Smart Card as the payment method.
Their UPOS Terminals are successfully installed on vending machines, copiers,
laundry machines, cash registers and other self serve ‘charge for use’
applications. To augment the product offering, ITC also provides back office
transaction processing software, ‘pay for print’ software and ‘meal plan’
software. Their products are currently being used in college and university
campuses, libraries, government institutions, and more. ITC now offers its
customers a choice of smart card or magnetic stripe technology for a vast
array of equipment and services, using both open market and closed proprietary

Access Control Technologies Company Information

Access Control Technologies, Inc. (ACT) has been a leader in design,
manufacture, and servicing of card reader/writers for a multitude of self-
serve applications utilizing a magnetic card as the payment method. These
devices are successfully installed on vending machines, copiers, laundry
machines, cash registers and other self serve ‘charge for use’ applications.
All of these applications can be serviced with the Credit Card technology
designed as a continuing development of the “self serve” environment.

ACT manufactures a line of self-serve pay for use currency equipment for
copier applications. Custom engineering for a variety of similar use products
has been a dominant part of ACT’s business and reputation over the past 11
years as well.


EZ-Global Card Deal

Talk Visual Corporation Company President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene A. Rosov announced that the Company has executed a contract with International Wireless Group to provide IWG’s foreign customers traveling in the United States with comprehensive international telecommunications access. IWG is based in Miami, Florida.

“We’re very pleased with the IWG agreement,” said Mr. Rosov. “IWG is a premier provider of cellular telephones to international travelers, and has extensive contacts within the travel industry. They anticipate providing a minimum of 10,000 EZ-GlobalCall customers to us on a monthly recurring basis. The revenue stream associated with this service promises to add approximately $200,000 in monthly revenues. This will help us achieve our overall goals towards profitability for the current period and coming fiscal year.” According to Talk Visual’s new Director of Sales, Andrew Silber, who helped to negotiate the deal with IWG “we are pursuing a broad range of clients like IWG.

They are the first of a group of international destination clients we are in the process of adding to our revenue stream.”


Talk Visual Corporation (OTC-BB:TVCP – news) is a pioneer in the video teleconferencing industry. It is developing global retail facilities to accommodate the growing video-communications needs of two key market segments: businesses and expatriate ethnic populations. Talk Visual can be reached toll-free at 1-877-22VIDEO within the United States, or at 305 572-0575 from abroad. A list of Talk Visual’s videocalling shops is at [http://www.talkvisual.com][1]. Talk Visual sells pagers at [http://www.beeperforabuck.com][2]. Customers may call the Company’s main number at 1-877-22-VIDEO for Talk Visual’s EZ-GlobalCall service. Visitors are directed to visit the company’s home page at [www.talkvisual.com][3] and click on the FAQ section, and or to read the Executives Corner message.

[1]: http://www.talkvisual.com/
[2]: http://www.beeperforabuck.com/
[3]: http://www.talkvisual.com/


eTRAC MasterCard

M&T Bank rolled-out a stored value card program that enables individuals to purchase transit passes and fares with pre-tax dollars through employer-sponsored, ‘Qualified Transportation Expense’ programs. The ‘eTRAC MasterCard’ will initially be launched in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington. Rochester, NY-based Benefit Resource, an M&T Bank client and a benefits service provider, will offer the card to its corporate clients as a benefit to their employees. BRI offers pre-tax programs to more than one-half million employees nationwide. TSYS will provide all processing services related to the ‘eTRAC MasterCard’. This is the first flexible spending, stored-value product processed by TSYS. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York City, subways, buses and railroads move an average of 7.8 million passengers each weekday with an estimated 45% using a debit or credit card to purchase tickets. M&T says the QTE MasterCard program can save an employee between $300 and $500 a year in their commuting costs and employers about $90 per employee per year in payroll taxes.


Top Ten 3Q/01

Major issuers with at least a third of their portfolios in the “sub-prime” market, continue to lead receivables growth through the third quarter. Providian and Direct Merchants have both increased 18% since the first of this year, while Capital One has soared by an estimated 30%. Among “prime” or middle-market focused issuers, Bank of America led with 10.8% growth, while Chase Manhattan racked up a 5.5% gain since January 1. “Super-prime” specialist, MBNA, was only up 4.3% in total managed loans this year. Top issuers with flat performance this year include: First USA, Household and Fleet. Citigroup, the nation’s top issuer, logged a 2.3% gain for the first nine months of this year. Through the end of August, Discover was up 5.5% for the year. Meanwhile, American Express, at the end of the third quarter, had grown 9.1% in U.S. card loans. For complete details on the third quarter performance of U.S. issuers, including receivables, volume, accounts. active accounts, and cards-in-force, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

Top Ten US VISA/MasterCard Issuers
(As of Sept 30, 2001)
1. Citigroup $105.6b $161.8b
2. MBNA $71.1b $103.1b
3. First USA $66.8b $102.1b
4. Chase $38.2b $ 51.7b
5. Capital One* $32.6b $ 35.7b
6. Providian $31.5b $ 22.7b
7. Bank of America $25.5b $ 35.7b
8. Household $15.1b $ 25.3b
9. Fleet $14.6b $ 15.6b
10. Direct Merchants $11.0b $ 7.1b
TOTAL $412.0b $560.8b

VOL- Year-to-Date Charge Volume * Capital One has not reported as of 11/9/01
therefore estimates based on public information. SOURCE: CardData

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


Travel Forecast

While travel-related credit card volume is currently off 25%, the business travel segment will pickup slightly next year. The National Business Travel Association predicts that overall business travel costs will increase only 3% next year, due to corporations reducing their travel spending and travel suppliers responding by reducing supply. The 2002 forecast shows the average business airfare is expected to be $1102; the average corporate car rental rate will be $66; the average corporate room rate will be $197; and the average business dinner costs will be $25.


ETA January Symposium

The Electronic Transactions Association will be holding its first-ever International Symposium on Jan. 23-25, 2002, in Coral Gables, Fla. ETA?s International Development Committee is sponsoring the event, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency at the Alhambra.

The Symposium will provide an overview of market forces, Visa and MasterCard association rules and regulations relating to the various geographic regions. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of the unique characteristics and issues as they pertain to the international marketplace.

“This event is the next big step in the IDC’s mission of providingETA members with the information, tools and contacts to seize the opportunities for transaction processing and acquiring beyond the borders of the United States,” said Thomas J. DeLuca, chairman of the International Development Committee and senior vice president at Planet Payment. “At each of the past three general ETA meetings, the International Development Committee has helped prepare ETA members for the international marketplace; yet the demand for more information and assistance has been insatiable.This symposium will provide the groundwork for any successful business venture abroad, from foreign technology standards for international processing to legal issues of cross-border card transactions. >From here we will be well positioned to delve deeper into particular markets at future ETA events, workshops and general meetings.”

The opening reception will kick off the Symposium at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23. On Thursday, Jan. 24, key speakers and panelists will cover topics ranging from international processing to privacy implications. Other areas to be discussed include legal, tax and privacy complexities. The interactive format will allow audience members to network with some of the industry?s most respected players. On Friday, Jan. 25, the program will delve into discussions specifically addressing Latin America and the Caribbean, Canada and Europe. A golf outing will round out the event that afternoon.

Speakers invited to participate represent experts involved in the acquiring industry and involved in the global marketplace, including the Boston Consulting Group, Association for Payment Clearing Services, Visa International and MasterCard International. More details regarding the final program and scheduled speakers are available on-line at [http://www.electran.org][1].

ETA encourages all professionals involved in the electronic payments industry to attend. The cost for ETA members is $395. The non-member rate is $595. Registration is available online at [http://www.electran.org][2]. On-site registration will be available as well. To make room reservations at the Hyatt Regency at the Alhambra, call the national reservations line at 800.233.1234, or contact the hotel directly at 305.441.1234. Participants should indicate that they are attending ETA?s International Symposium to receive the room rate of $239. Be sure to watch ETA?s Web site for additional updates.

ETA is an international trade association representing organizations offering electronic transaction processing products and services. Its membership represents leading companies providing services between merchants and settlement banks, financial institutions and businesses providing equipment or services to the industry. ETA was organized in 1990 to influence policy within the industry by providing leadership through education, advocacy and the exchange of information.

[1]: http://www.electran.org/
[2]: http://www.electran.org/