Online Ads Surge

Online advertising for consumer-credit services increased 93% so far this year, from 8.0 billion ad impressions in the first quarter to 15.4 billion in the third quarter. The anthrax mail scare is now accelerating online advertising within the financial services industry. According to data from Jupiter Media Metrix’ ‘AdRelevance’ service, credit card companies were responsible for 79% of online advertising this year in the consumer-credit segment. VISA was responsible for 59%; MasterCard 15%; Discover/Novus 3% and American Express 2%. The remaining 21% of consumer-credit advertising was conducted by various credit counseling and reporting companies: Neway was responsible for 8%; ConsumerInfo.com 6%; and PrivacyGuard 2%. Providian Financial’s Getsmart.com was the leading consumer-credit advertiser and also the leading financial services advertiser overall in the third quarter with 5.6 billion impressions. Providian had 2.2 billion impressions on Yahoo!, 512.0 million on iWon and 272.8 million on MSN. According to Media Metrix audience-ratings data, traffic to Getsmart.com increased 386%, from 1.1 million unique visitors in January 2001 to 5.2 million in September 2001.

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AMEX ROOTS

Amex Bank of Canada announced that Roots,Canada’s largest lifestyle brand and
official outfitter of the 2002 Canadian and U.S Olympic teams, will join its
Membership Rewards program givingCardmembers an opportunity to use points for
purchases at Roots stores. Starting November 1st, 2001 American Express
Cardmembers enrolled inMembership Rewards can redeem for Roots Canadian dollar
gift certificates atpoint levels of 2,500 points for $25, 5,000 points for
$50,
and 10,000 pointsfor $100 gift certificates. Canadian Cardmembers can use
their
certificates atover 200 Roots stores in Canada and the United States.
“Bringing a brand as dynamic and exciting as Roots on board is great newsfor
Cardmembers,” says Rob McClean, Director of Membership Rewards at
AmericanExpress. “With Roots’ commitment to providing quality merchandise
and a
highlevel of customer service, we’re able to expand our reward options and
giveCardmembers access to one of the most fashionable brands anywhere.”

“The
Membership Rewards program is a great way for us to expand our brandto Amex
customers,” says Marshall Myles, CEO of Roots. “We look forward to
thepartnership bringing about many marketing opportunities in the future.”
What started as a single store with a single product, Roots has growninto an
internationally recognized brand with over 200 stores and productsranging from
watches to fragrances to kids and baby clothes. “The variety and choice
that
Roots offers Cardmembers is unbeatable,”adds McClean. Amex has recently
focused significant attention into offering a broaderrange of options in its
Membership Rewards program. The addition of onlinemerchandise and brands like
Roots has helped make retail one of the mostpopular reward options in the
program. In the last year, several new partnerslike WestJet Airlines, Gap and
car rental companies- Budget, Hertz and ThriftyCar Rental- have joined the
Membership Rewards line up giving Cardmembers moreways to redeem. For more
information or to redeem points visit
www.americanexpress.ca orcall
1-800-668-2639.

Membership Rewards is one of the most diverse loyalty programs in
themarketplace and offers one of the quickest ways to earn points. It offers
over150 reward choices starting at only 1,500 points for things like air
travel,hotel accommodations, car rental and travel and entertainment packages.
Onceenrolled in the program, one point is earned for virtually every dollar
spenton an eligible Card. Plus with the optional Points Accelerator
service,enrolled American Express Gold Card and Platinum Card members can earn
1.5Membership Rewards points on purchases charged to their Card.

Established
in Toronto in 1973, Roots has evolved into an internationallyrecognized
lifestyle brand. Roots remains proud of its history of commitmentto its
customers, its employees, and community at large. Roots plans tocontinue its
sustainable growth and to lead innovatively in the development ofthe Roots
contemporary lifestyle.

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NPC Accelerated Pay

As part of an effort to expand its current customer base, better serve its customers and lead the industry in providing electronic settlement solutions, National Processing Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc. , announced the introduction of its new global payment platform, AcceleratedPAY.

The market size for electronic settlement and reporting is expected to more than triple in the next ten years. NPC has been a pioneer in electronic settlement, starting over 20-years ago by providing settlement payments for airline tickets sold by travel agencies in the United States. NPC is the sole domestic clearinghouse for travel agency sales for the entire airline industry — settling approximately $80 billion in 2000. NPC has capitalized on its current electronic settlement platform, Commission Express, by introducing it into different markets, specifically car rental, cruise lines, hotels and tour operators.

“NPC’s vision is to evolve the Commission Express product line to continue providing customers with a comprehensive, best-of-breed solution for all phases of electronic settlement,” said John T. McRae II, senior vice president of Payment Services for NPC. “AcceleratedPAY is being introduced into the healthcare market. This product will provide payment consolidation and act as a settlement clearinghouse for the healthcare industry, just as NPC does for over 110,000 travel agencies worldwide, in 147 different countries and in over two-dozen currencies, for every airline and major car rental company in the United States.”

“Healthcare organizations are constantly looking to lower their administrative cost,” stated John T. McRae II. “While many insurers are reducing cost through electronic submission of claims, few insurers have automated the payment and settlement functions. With over 2,300 managed care organizations, 690,000 physicians, 120,000 dentists and over 5,800 hospitals in the United States, the healthcare industry is ready for an electronic payment clearinghouse solution.”

“With this dedicated initiative, NPC is again leveraging its core competencies to expand into new markets,” stated Thomas A. Wimsett, president and chief executive officer of NPC. “NPC developed the AcceleratedPay solution to offer managed care organizations the ability to electronically disburse and report payments being made to healthcare providers. With our expertise and proven track record in the airline, car rental, cruise line and merchant processing industries, we are well positioned to become a dominant player in electronic settlement solutions for the healthcare industry.”

About National Processing, Inc.

National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 86 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) (), a Cleveland based $96 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 600,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net][1].

[1]: http://www.npc.net/

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Global Payments EBT

Global Payments Inc. announced the support of Electronic Benefits Transfer processing for its merchant, acquiring partner and ISO customers in the United States. Global now provides a complete portfolio of payment delivery services including credit, debit, check, purchasing card and EBT processing.

EBT processing will be offered initially on Global’s Retail and Dining @dvantage(TM) T7 applications running on the Hypercom(TM) T7 family of terminals. Global grocery and convenience store merchants accepting the EBT card can eliminate the traditional paper food stamp process, allowing food stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to purchase eligible food items. The EBT card can also be used like a debit card at retail locations for government cash benefits. Global retail merchants can offer qualified EBT recipients the ability to pay for goods and services and receive cash back with a purchase.

“We are very excited about bringing this opportunity to our customers,” said Global Payments Inc. President and CEO, Paul R. Garcia, “As the EBT program is rolled out to all 50 states and more government programs are added, nationwide EBT transaction volume is estimated to approach $25 billion by 2005. Offering EBT processing allows us to open more sales opportunities for our customers, while at the same time benefiting millions of EBT recipients,” he added.

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 and Europe. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.

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InterCept 3Q/01

The InterCept Group, Inc. reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2001.

Net revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2001 totaled $34.8 million, a 95.4% increase compared with $17.8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2000. Net income available to common shareholders, excluding net losses generated from InterCept’s 28% ownership of Netzee, Inc. totaled $4.0 million, or $0.24 per share (diluted), on 17.0 million average shares outstanding for the three months ended September 30, 2001, versus $2.5 million, or $0.18 per share (diluted), on 13.8 million average shares outstanding for the three months ended September 30, 2000. Net losses reflect losses related to changes in Netzee’s shareholders’ equity less InterCept’s portion of Netzee’s losses. Net loss available to common shareholders including the Netzee-related net losses was ($2.2) million or ($0.14) per diluted share for the three months ended September 30, 2001.

Net revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2001 totaled $92.3 million, a 81.3% increase compared with $50.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2000. Net income available to common shareholders, excluding Netzee-related net losses and a charge of $0.4 million related to the SLM acquisition, totaled $9.9 million, or $0.63 per share (diluted), on 15.6 million average shares outstanding for the nine months ended September 30, 2001, versus $6.3 million or $0.48 per share (diluted), on 13.3 million average shares outstanding for the nine months ended September 30, 2000. Net loss available to common shareholders including the Netzee-related net losses was ($4.7) million or ($0.33) per diluted share for the nine months ended September 30, 2001.

“During the third quarter, InterCept reported strong earnings which we attribute to strong internal growth as well as our strategic plan of acquiring businesses with complementary products or services that enhance our solutions, expand market share and increase our geographic presence,” said John W. Collins, President and CEO of InterCept.

“The market we serve is dynamic as community financial institutions continue to rely more heavily on technology to meet increasing customer demands for the latest products and services delivered through convenient channels. With the successful closing of our secondary offering of common stock in August, we believe InterCept has the capital and resources to continue our course of internal growth and strategic acquisitions to meet these demands,” Collins concluded.

About InterCept

InterCept is a single-source provider of a broad range of technologies, products and services that work together to meet the technology and operating needs of community financial institutions. InterCept’s products and services include core data processing, check processing and imaging, electronic funds transfer, data communications management, and related products and services. For more information about InterCept, go to [http://www.intercept.net][1].

[1]: http://www.intercept.net/

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TSYS New Divisions

TSYS announced the integration of two subsidiaries, DotsConnect and TSYS Total Solutions, under the TSYS umbrella. This means that from now on, they will be two divisions of TSYS, rather than separate companies. As TSYS divisions, one will support e-commerce and the other will support customer care and business process management solutions. Their functions remain the same and their commitment to quality and service has never been greater.

This reorganization is part of our “Customer Covenant” our unilateral pledge to serve you, our client, with the highest level of sincerity, fairness, courtesy, respect and gratitude, delivered with unparalleled responsiveness, expertise, efficiency and accuracy.

We are confident that by integrating these companies, we are better positioned to provide our clients with a complete solution through a less complicated, more productive and efficient process.

We will continue to look at all aspects of our organization, as our goal is to better serve you. As always, I appreciate your input and any comments you may have to help us reach this goal.

Thanks for allowing us to serve you.

Philip W. Tomlinson

TSYS President

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Accesspoint Volume

Accesspoint says it has surpassed $150 million in total transaction volume for the year and now services more than 8,500 retailers and businesses nationwide. Accesspoint is a developer and provider of electronic payment processing solutions for merchants. As part of the Company’s core-processing infrastructure, Accesspoint has established relationships with partners such as Chase Manhattan, First Data, First National Bank of Omaha and Hypercom. Corporation.

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Passport Flaw

Microsoft confirmed Monday it is making repairs to its ‘Passport’ program after a serious design flaw was discovered last week enabling hackers to steal credit card numbers. Microsoft says two million customers use the e-wallet feature of ‘Passport’. The company shut-down access to virtual wallets last week affecting wallet users at 70 e-commerce Web sites that support ‘Express Purchase’. Microsoft’s ‘Passport’ has drawn the attention of the Federal Trade Commission over privacy concerns.

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Gemplus 3Q/01

Smart card manufacturer Gemplus International reported third quarter revenue of 226 million Euros, a 27% drop from the same quarter a year ago. Operating loss was 55.3 million Euros, compared with an operating profit of 32 million Euros for the same quarter a year ago. According to the company, the third quarter results reflect three key themes: the unfavorable impact of the continuing weak SIM market, a substantial reduction in the level of operating expenses, and encouraging mid-to-long term prospects strengthened by recent developments in both its Telecommunications and Financial Services businesses. For complete details on Gemplus’ 3Q results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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APRIVA POS Software

APRIVA Inc., an innovator in wireless solutions for businesses, has released the new version of its point-of-sale software.

The new version, 1.5.5r, will allow users of the APRIVA POS devices and platform greater flexibility in their daily transactions. The APRIVA POS 1.5.5r upgrade works on both the Motient (DataTAC) and Cingular (Mobitex) wireless networks, and has been certified by the major credit card processing services. The POS software was developed to work with the APRIVA magnetic card readers, which connect to the RIM Blackberry line of wireless devices, and also works with any terminal that is connected to the APRIVA POS network.

“The newest generation of the APRIVA POS gives both the operators in the field and the home offices greater flexibility and control,” said Kevin Hickey, chief executive officer and president, APRIVA Inc.

“From field service representatives repairing appliances in homes to catering services delivering on-site events, anyone that processes credit card transactions remotely can benefit from the APRIVA point-of-sale devices and network.”

New benefits and features include:

— Enhanced Web site management utility — devices can be managed from the merchant Web site to receive detailed reports from the field.

— Customized merchant setup — Web site can be used to update the devices in the field.

— Receipt management on device — customizable receipts to include personalized sayings on the top and bottom of the receipts.

— Stored sale on device — user able to receive authorization at a later time, if out of a connected area, without an offline process.

— Detailed batch reports on device — ability to view the detailed reports on the device, including card type, invoice, operator, totals and transaction types.

— Not device specific — besides the APRIVA line of POS devices, on the RIM Blackberry platforms, the APRIVA POS network can be used with any wireless terminal.

APRIVA Inc. 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. For more information on APRIVA, please visit the Web site at [http://www.apriva.com][1].

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

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CARD CONFERENCE

The 3rd Annual ‘Cards Middle East Conference & Exhibition’ is still on course for Dubai. The exhibition has been sold out two years in a row. The three-day business conference will focus on the latest developments in smart card technology and mobile commerce. The ‘Cards Middle East’ event will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Dubai, 13th – 15th May, 2002. RAM Research Group is an official sponsor of the event. For more information contact http://www.cards-worldwide.com/cardsme2002/ or mailto:stefan.nilsson@terrapinn.com, tel: +44 20 7827 5997.

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