Economic Impact

The government’s employment report, released this morning, shows the nation’s unemployment rate jumped to 5.4% in October from 4.9% in September, the highest jump in 21 years. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that consumer spending dropped 1.8% during September, the largest decline since January 1987. While a portion of the decline was directly attributable to the events of September 11th, the steady erosion of consumer confidence and rising unemployment during the summer were the underlying factors. Earlier this week, The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence in October sank to its lowest level since 1994. Some analysts are predicting credit card chargeoffs may top 8% next year. Considering the travel pullback, fourth quarter charge volume may be off by more than 2% compared to last year’s activity.

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NAMM Alliance Pays Off

First of Omaha Merchant Processing, a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and one of the nation’s leading acquiring banks and NAMM-International Music Products Association, a proven international provider of diversified services for merchants in the music industry for over 100 years, recently announced the one year anniversary of their relationship in the card processing industry. In the past year alone, over 1,000 music related merchants have chosen to benefit from NAMM membership, by taking advantage of the diversified card processing products and superior customer service First of Omaha(R) has to offer.

PG Guitars in West Monroe, LA was the 1,000th NAMM member-company to sign with the NAMM bankcard program. Matt Minchow, Vice President of Business Development at First of Omaha, had this to say regarding the strength and mutually beneficial relationship with NAMM; “We feel that the program’s success is attributed to both NAMM and First of Omaha’s ability to provide superior service to members. It is refreshing in this day and age to work with an organization that has 100% of its efforts dedicated to helping their members. Through our partnership with NAMM, one of the strongest associations in the country, First of Omaha has been able to develop an exclusive program for NAMM members. This program has been able to provide savings to over 1000 NAMM members who have joined in the First of Omaha credit card processing program. This is a milestone for NAMM and First of Omaha to have had so many members from one organization accept a program so quickly. We are extremely excited that NAMM has recently endorsed us to provide a check guarantee and verification program for its’ members which will provide additional benefits to its’ members.”

“We encourage participation in this program because we believe First of Omaha not only has excellent rates, but more importantly they have high service levels and a respect for the special needs of association members. They understand that each member who participates in the program is part of a greater group, and in NAMM’s case the group just happens to be a $7 billion dollar industry,” stated Judy Bohlim, NAMM’s Director of Membership Services. “Every member who joins the program contributes to the overall negotiating power of the group. That’s what NAMM business programs are all about.”

About First of Omaha Merchant Processing

First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a premier payment processor specializing in providing service to both the traditional and Internet direct marketing industry, as well as the traditional face-to-face card acceptance market. First of Omaha provides financial management and payment processing solutions for independent sales organizations, 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 their 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 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. First of Omaha’s Internet address is [www.foomp.com][1].

About NAMM

The International Music Products Association (NAMM), founded in 1901, is the preeminent global association serving the music products industry. As the 7,700-member international association celebrates its centennial this year, the organization welcomes Joe Lamond as its new President and CEO. A not-for-profit, full-service, member-driven organization, NAMM’s mission is to unify, lead, and strengthen the global music products industry and to increase active participation in music making.

NAMM’s members represent every aspect of musical instrument manufacturing and retailing. The success of NAMM relies on the strong and productive relationships it holds with its members, but the organization also understands the vital role of the consumer and sees music makers as an extension of the NAMM family, forming the foundation of the industry. Two of NAMM’s most important annual events are the trade shows held in January in Southern California and in July in Nashville. These two conventions, open only to NAMM members and the trade, attract literally tens of thousands of attendees who want to see new innovations and developments in music making. They also meet to discuss issues of importance to the organization, to the industry and to the public. To find out more about the NAMM merchant bankcard processing program, contact Melanie Ripley at 800-767-6266 extension 166.

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

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VISA & priceline.com Expand

Visa U.S.A. and priceline.com announced new marketing and security initiatives as the companies expand a relationship that has been in place since priceline.com’s Name Your Own Price service launched in 1998.

To offer its customers state-of-the-art online transaction protection, priceline.com is the first provider of online travel services to implement Verified by Visa, a password-based authentication system for Visa cardholders. Priceline.com will make Verified by Visa available to users of its airline ticket, hotel room, rental car and long distance calling services. The companies are also putting into place new marketing initiatives. For the first time, priceline.com will display advertisements promoting Visa.

Financial terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed, but priceline.com said they will contribute positively to priceline.com’s results. “Priceline.com is pleased to broaden our relationship with Visa U.S.A., which has been a strong supporter and partner since our inception,” said priceline.com Chairman and CEO Richard S. Braddock. “We applaud Visa’s work to advance online payment security and we welcome the opportunity to support Verified by Visa.”

“Strengthening payment security is an important step in building consumer confidence online,” said Carl F. Pascarella, President & CEO of Visa U.S.A, “Today’s agreement underscores the shared commitment of Visa and priceline.com to provide customers with a safe, hassle-free online shopping experience.” Visa cardholders can register for Verified by Visa through their card Issuers’ Web sites. The personalized passwords become their online “signatures” for Web purchases. Then, each time a cardholder makes a purchase at priceline.com, or other participating e-merchants, a Verified by Visa window will ask for the password to authenticate the cardholder.

About Visa U.S.A.

Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with the best way to pay and be paid. More than 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate over $810 billion in annual transaction volume – including more than half of all Internet payments – with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry more than 353 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, stored value and check cards, accepted at approximately 22 million locations worldwide. Visa has long led the industry in developing payment security standards, and has been named the most trusted payment brand online. Visa’s people, partnerships, brand and payment technology are helping to create universal commerce – the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere and by any device. Please visit [http://www.visa.com][1] for additional information.

About Priceline.com

Priceline.com is the Name Your Own Price(sm) Internet service that offers products for sale in four categories: a travel service that offers leisure airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars; a personal finance service that offers home mortgages, refinancing and home equity loans through an independent licensee; an automotive service that offers new cars; and a telecommunications service that offers long distance calling services. Priceline.com licenses its business model to independent licensees, including pricelinemortgage and certain international licensees. In these arrangements, priceline.com generally receives royalties for licensing its intellectual property. Priceline.com also holds securities carrying the right to purchase a significant equity stake in the licensees under certain conditions. Unless those rights are exercised, the results of licensee operations will not be included in priceline.com’s financial statements.

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

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Smart-J Platform Chip

NCT Group, Inc. announced that STMicroelectronics has introduced the ST22WJ64 smart card chip, developed from the Smart-J 32-bit RISC platform created by Advancel Logic Corp., a subsidiary of NCTI. Samples of this chip, which executes Java code, will be available at the end of 2001. Volume quantities, for which NCTI will receive per unit royalties, will be available in the first quarter of 2002.

The ST22WJ64 chip is built around a 32-bit RISC core which ST is now combining with its unrivalled security know-how and advanced 0.18 micron process technology, making it the ideal chip on which to develop multi-application solutions, open platforms and high-powered e-business and m-commerce applications. The move to 0.18 micron technology allows ST to provide smart card chips with higher memory capacities, smaller die sizes, more enhanced features and significant performance gains.

The ST smart card advanced development platform is especially valuable because it allows Java(TM) applications to be developed quickly and easily. “Of all its royalty-bearing license agreements to date, we believe this agreement with ST represents the largest revenue generation opportunity for NCTI, due to the current size and forecasted growth of the smart card market,” said Michael Parrella, chairman and CEO, NCTI. “It is especially gratifying to see our technology complete the cycle from concept to market introduction with STMicroelectronics, the recognized world leader in smart cards.”

According to published market data, shipments of smart cards grew 27% in the year 2000, to reach 1.8 billion units. Continued double-digit growth is expected for 2001, driven largely by wireless applications.

A smart card contains an embedded integrated circuit that can process information on the card once inserted and powered by a card reader. Examples of microcontroller smart cards are the electronic purse credit/debit card functions, ID cards that provide authorized access to networks and subscriber identification modules (SIM) that secure certain PCS cellular phones against fraud. The emergence of multi-function/multi-application needs in various application fields requires higher complexity, larger memory sizes and higher performance chip architectures.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is the world’s third largest independent semiconductor company. The Company shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronics applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products and industrial automation, automotive products and control systems. In 2000, the Company’s net revenues were $7,813.2 million and net earnings were $1,452.1 million. Further information on STMicroelectronics can be found at [www.st.com][1].

About Advancel

Advancel Logic Corporation, a subsidiary of NCT Group, Inc., is a developer of algorithm-specific microprocessor cores with native Java(TM) execution. In May 2000, Advancel granted exclusive rights to create, make, market, sell and license products and intellectual property based upon the company’s Java Turbo-J(TM) technology to Infinite Technology Corporation, a semiconductor original publishing enterprise, specializing in the design, manufacturing and marketing of DSP solutions to create system-on-chip products. For more information, refer to [www.infinite-tech.com][2], or call 972/437-7800.

About NCT Group, Inc.

NCT Group, Inc. is a publicly traded, high-tech company with an extensive portfolio of proprietary algorithms and a wide variety of product offerings for consumer, commercial and industrial applications. NCTI’s strong technology base of using sound and signal waves to electronically reduce noise, improve signal-to-noise ratio and enhance sound quality, drives leading edge technological innovations. For more information refer to [http://www.nctgroupinc.com][3].

[1]: http://www.st.com/
[2]: http://www.infinite-tech.com/
[3]: http://www.nctgroupinc.com/

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Card Complaints

About 1,000 of the 2,400 complaints processed last year by the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs were complaints about credit cards. The complaint data on state-chartered banks regulated by the FRB and released Thursday, shows that about 60% of the credit card complaints fall into three categories. The categories include: disputes about billing errors; concerns about penalty charges and other fees (such as late fees, over-the-limit fees, and annual fees); and disputes involving alleged errors in reporting consumers’ payment history and the denial of requests for credit cards due to erroneous credit reports. The FRB says another survey showed about 60% of respondents found solicitations offering a low introductory rate to be confusing. However two-thirds of consumers in the survey who had bank credit cards said that obtaining information on credit terms was “easy”.

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OPC Expands in Kentucky

Official Payments Corporation, the leading provider of electronic payment options to more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states, announced today that Louisville/Jefferson County Revenue Commission has signed a service agreement with the company.

This agreement will enable taxpayers of Louisville and Jefferson County, to pay withholding, net profit, insurance premium, transient room, and delinquent City of Louisville real estate tax obligations over the Internet by visiting [http://www.officialpayments.com][1], or via telephone by calling toll-free 1-800-2PAY-TAX. The programs will commence in mid-November. Official Payments has similar agreements with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 1000 local government entities to enable payment of various taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over Internet and telephone. The Louisville metropolitan area is home to over one million people. Jefferson County is the largest of 120 counties in the state of Kentucky. Last year, Louisville/Jefferson County Revenue Commission collected over $370 million in withholding, net profit, insurance premium, transient room, and delinquent City of Louisville real estate taxes filed by over 115,000 taxpayers.

“We are excited about this new business development in Kentucky. We are confident that other cities and counties in the state will follow Louisville/Jefferson County Revenue Commission’s lead and bring the convenience of electronic payments to their citizens,” stated Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments.

“We continue to strive to provide taxpayers with the most innovative and efficient service available,” stated Tom Stocker, Secretary-Treasurer. “This Internet and telephone payment service will give citizens the flexibility and convenience of paying taxes by credit card, and will help our office increase its efficiency,” added Mr. Stocker.

Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at . For example, a taxpayer who owed $800 and charged their taxes would find a total of $825 on their credit card statement: $800 for the tax bill and $25 for the convenience fee. American Express(R), MasterCard(R), Discover(R) and VISA(R) are the credit cards accepted by the program. Depending on their credit card program, taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs may be eligible to earn rewards points, cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles in return for paying their taxes.

About Official Payments Corporation

Founded in 1996, Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 1,000 county and municipal governments across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market.

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

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Priceless Promotion

MasterCard International said yesterday it has created a fourth quarter holiday promotion that, for the first time, will run throughout North America. The “Priceless Holiday Gifts” promotion will award the winning cardholder with five “Priceless” experiences including an African Safari, a visit from a celebrity chef, behind-the-scenes access to the Houston Space Center, enrollment in the Formula One Race and Racing School in Great Britain, and VIP treatment at the My VH-1 Music Awards. MasterCard said more than 140 member institutions are participating in the promotion and 8 of the top 10 MasterCard acquirers have ordered more than 275,000 point-of-purchase displays. To support the campaign MasterCard will roll-out two 30-second and two 15-second TV ads, as well as two print ads.

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FRAMEWORKS

724 Solutions Inc. has announced a reseller agreement with Iletisim
Teknoloji Danismanlik — a leader in speech recognition solutions and
one
of the largest solutions providers in Turkey — to enable ITD to resell 724
Solutions’ 724 FrameWorks (formerly known as the Wireless Internet
Platform) in Turkey, Poland, Romania and Central Asia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Elektronik Sanal Ticaret, a subsidiary
of ITD that focuses on the provision of wired and wireless e-commerce
solutions, can now offer its wide range of customers mobile banking services
enabled by 724 Solutions’ technology. The 724 FrameWorks, together with ITD’s
expertise in speech recognition solutions, will allow users to access account
balances, move money between accounts and pay bills from voice-enabled mobile
devices, simply by inputting their account information and passwords in the
most natural way — using speech.

“This relationship underscores our strategy to develop commanding distribution
partnerships with specialized partners in key markets worldwide. We will blend
ITD’s extensive local market knowledge and experience with 724 Solution’s
award-winning mobile transaction technologies and solutions,” remarked John
Sims, Chief Executive Officer, 724 Solutions. “Reseller partners represent a
critical component to our success in our goal to establish 724 Solutions as a
global leader in the wireless industry and ITD fits the bill perfectly.”
Beginning with the implementation of Turkey’s first interactive voice response
system and continuing with more recent ventures into smart card technology,
ITD
(http://www.itd.com.tr/english/in
dex.asp) has positioned itself as a regional leader providing technology
solutions to the financial service sector and other business.
“We selected 724 Solutions as our mobile banking solution provider because of
its global reputation and the open structure of the 724 FrameWorks platform.
Most importantly, and perhaps the deciding factor in our choice, was the
synergy between our speech recognition technology and 724 Solutions’
market-leading solutions,” commented Coskun Ural, President and Chairman, ITD
and EST.

The 724 FrameWorks consists of adaptors, gateways, core engine services and an
application framework for powering highly scalable, secure mobile transactions
on different devices, networks and protocols. The award-winning platform has
successfully completed performance testing confirming its capacity to support
10 million customers and handle the demands of 100,000 concurrent users
executing 10,000 transactions per second.

About 724 Solutions Inc.

724 Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq:SVNX)(TSE:SVN) is a leading provider of mobile
Internet infrastructure software and applications. It makes m-business happen
globally by powering the delivery of secure mobile transactions for financial
institutions and mobile operators. With dual headquarters in Toronto, Canada,
and Austin, Texas, the company has development and sales offices around the
world. For more information visit
http://www.724.com.

About ITD

Founded in Istanbul in 1991, ITD (Iletisim Teknoloji Danismanlik Ticaret A.S.)
provides services on payment systems, voice systems and e-business solutions.
Particularly addressing finance, telecommunications and retail industries, ITD
offers solutions on call automation, interactive voice response systems, call
management, speech recognition and customer service automation. The company
provides various services in transaction automation systems ranging from POS
terminals, to end-to-end payment solutions, smart card payment terminals,
Internet payment systems and card management systems. E-business solutions
rendered by ITD help banks, securities houses, finance portals and other
financial institutions to provide fast Internet services. These solutions
allow
customers to execute financial transactions, to obtain personal and market
information on financial status, to pay invoices and to have access to
financial services through Internet integrated tools. For more information
visit
http://www.itd.com.tr

About EST:

A sister company of ITD, EST was founded in 1999, and specializes in Internet
based solutions and products. The company provides a shared e-commerce
infrastructure, preferred by leading financial institutions of Turkey.
Security
Management Systems and Web-based application development are its other main
presence areas. VeriFone and Baltimore Technologies are the main business
partners of EST in Virtual Payment Systems and Internet Security Solutions.
For
more information visit
http://www.est.com.tr

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San Francisco Retreat

The two most innovative credit card issuers of the last few years have unraveled within days of each other. With their stock prices down 90%, both Providian and NextCard have put themselves on the sale block. Yesterday afternoon, Providian announced it has engaged Salomon Smith Barney and Goldman, Sachs to assist the company to explore strategic alternatives. Yesterday morning, NextCard announced it has retained Goldman, Sachs to explore the sale of the company to a better capitalized financial institution. NextCard’s stock dropped from $5.35 to $0.87 per share yesterday, a staggering 84% one-day decline. In January, NextCard was trading at nearly $13 per share as the issuer was predicting profitability by the end of this year. Providian, one of the most productive marketing machines in the industry, closed at $3.89 yesterday compared to a high of $64.06 in January. NextCard was the undisputed pioneer of Internet credit card marketing and was founded in 1997 by former Providian executives. Providian, dogged by consumer lawsuits over its credit card practices, has been re-inventing itself over the past two years, emerging as the biggest cheerleader of smart credit cards in the USA. With $33.5 billion in credit card receivables from the two issuers on the sale block it is inevitable that another major wave of consolidation is underway.

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KALIGNITE CE

ERG Announces Acquisition of Proton World
The ERG Group announced the full acquisition of Belgian-based Proton
World International (Proton World), the leading, global, high-security
payment
and identity smart card technology company.

In consideration, ERG will issue the former shareholders of Proton World –
American Express, Banksys, Interpay Nederland and Visa International – with
approximately 75.5 million shares (representing 8.4 per cent of ERG’s
capital).

In addition, ERG has agreed to pay cash consideration of approximately A$58.8
million. The shares will be subject to escrow agreements. The agreements with
American Express and Visa International also provide for an entitlement to 8
million ERG options that are exercisable if certain performance criteria,
which
will enhance the value of Proton World, are achieved.

The sale agreements call for long-term (5-7 year) service level agreements to
be executed by American Express, Banksys and Interpay Nederland. The
contracts
are expected to generate revenue in excess of A$200 million.
Proton World was formed in 1998 as a joint venture between ERG, Banksys (a
joint venture between the Belgian banks), American Express, Interpay
Nederland
(a joint venture of the Dutch banks), and Visa International. There are now
more than 35 million Proton-based smart cards in circulation worldwide and
more
than 500 banks have deployed the technology.

ERG’s Chief Executive, Mr Peter Fogarty, said the full acquisition of Proton
World would enhance ERG’s strengths in the smart card arena.
“ERG’s existing MASS technology is the world’s leading transport smart card
technology. The combination with Proton Prisma technology means that ERG will
now have the ability to deliver full multi-application smart card solutions,
including high-level security for the financial services and identity
markets.

“In addition, the ERG Group is very pleased to have American Express,
Banksys,
Interpay and Visa as investors in ERG and the benefit of long-term recurring
revenue contracts with American Express, Banksys and Interpay.”
The parties to the transaction made the following comments:
Proton World, Chief Executive Officer, Dr Armand Linkens: “Proton World has
made a name for itself with its security architecture and smart card
solutions
in the financial industry. Our know-how is very complementary with the
achievements of ERG in Mass Transit. The commonality of vision and cultures
of
the two companies assure me of an even greater worldwide success of the ERG
Group and its subsidiary Proton World in the key markets of transit, finance,
mobile telephony and identity.”

American Express, President, Northern Europe, Mr John de Trafford: “American
Express has been actively involved in the development of the Proton platform
and has recently committed to use their upcoming Proton Prisma product for
future issuances of smart cards worldwide.”

Banksys, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Lebeer: “We fully support ERG in
moving Proton World forwards to new markets and customers. As an early
mover in
applying new technologies we will remain an important customer for ERG’s
financial products. We are happy to conclude this deal.”
Interpay Nederland, Director, Mr Antoon Kuijpers: “Our commercial
relationship
with Proton World and new shareholding in ERG ideally complements the joint
venture established with ERG in the Netherlands earlier this year. As a
company, we have positioned ourselves to ensure we participate in our country
and indeed the world’s adoption of smart cards.”
Visa International EU, Chief Operating Officer, Mr Philippe Menier: “Many
Visa
Members are already significant users of Proton technology and we are
delighted
that they are. Visa is proud of the part that it played in the creation of
Proton World and is happy to support ERG in this next phase of the company’s
development. As we continue with our programs designed to change Europe’s
Visa
cards to use the chip, we are confident that our Members will expand their
use
of the Proton technology. We look forward to continuing to work with Proton
as
a member of the Visa Smart partner program.”

ERG Group

ERG Group is a world leader in the development and supply of integrated fare
management and software systems for the transit industry and technologically
advanced smart card systems and services. In 2000/2001, ERG’s revenue
totalled
A$299.9 million. The Group has established market leadership for its
integrated
multi-application smart card management technology. ERG is an
Australian-based
company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and is ranked in the
Standard &
Poor’s-Australian Stock Exchange Top 100 index.
For more information visit:
http://www.erggroup.com

American Express

Founded in 1850, American Express Company is a global travel, financial and
network services provider. It is a global Proton licensee, and a leader in
smart card development and issuance. In 1999, the company launched Blue from
American Express in the first wide-scale rollout of smart cards in the US.
The
company has since launched Blue in several international markets.
For more information visit:
http://www.americanexpress.com

Banksys
Banksys was founded in 1989 with the merger of two debit card networks
(Bancontact and Mister Cash). In 1995, Banksys launched Proton, the
inter-sector electronic purse smart card, which became the world’s first
e-purse to be rolled out on a national scale in 1996. In 1998, Banksys spun
off
its international smart card activities to form Proton World in association
with four other shareholders and became the Proton licensee for Belgium.
For more information visit:
http://www.banksys.be

Interpay Nederland

Interpay Nederland is a major service provider in payment processing and
related services. It processes large transaction quantities and thus
represents
an important link in the flow of payments in the Netherlands. Each day it
processes more than 6 million payments that are made through giro collection,
direct debit authorization, funds transfers, Eurocard/MasterCard and Visa
credit cards, PIN cards, Chipknips and SET. In 1996, it became the first
international Proton licensee and launched the Chipknip e-purse card.
For more information visit:
http://www.interpay.nl

Visa International

Visa is the world’s largest payment system, with more transaction volume than
all other major payment cards combined. Visa has 21,000 member financial
institutions, more than 80 smart card programs in 35 countries and on the
Internet, and over 1 billion cardholders worldwide, which generate an annual
transaction value of more than US$1.97 trillion. Visa-branded cards are
accepted at over 22 million locations worldwide.
For more information visit:
http://www.visa.com

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VISA & Quova Alliance

Quova, a leading provider of Internet intelligence services to online businesses, announced a global strategic alliance with Visa International. The agreement is designed to address the growing need for Internet infrastructure intelligence services and geolocation solutions for e-commerce and risk management applications.

As a supporter of Quova, Visa will look for opportunities to use Quova’s GeoPoint service to benefit Visa and its member banks, partners and merchants. The relationship calls for the companies to work closely together to identify e-commerce, marketing and risk management applications throughout Visa where Quova’s geolocation technology will be applied.

“Visa is constantly looking to identify new technologies that may benefit the payments and financial services industries,” said Sarah Perry, senior vice president, Strategic Alliances and Investments at Visa International. “Quova’s GeoPoint service is an excellent example of innovative technology that is of value not just to Visa but to our members and merchants worldwide.”

Quova’s GeoPoint service enables Web sites to identify in real-time the geographic location of its visitors — with resolution levels from country down to city. GeoPoint is completely privacy-compliant, as it does not use cookies, profiles, registration data, or click-stream data to identify or track individuals. The service was designed from the ground up specifically to meet the needs of the busiest Web sites and the most demanding applications.

“We’re very happy to be working with Visa,” said Marie Alexander, Quova president and CEO. “Visa is a long-standing market leader and innovator in the financial services arena, and we’re proud to be taking part in the company’s current corporate initiatives.”

About Quova

Founded in January 2000, Quova, Inc. provides Internet infrastructure intelligence services to online businesses. Quova’s first service, GeoPoint, provides the geographic location of Web site visitors in real-time, enabling businesses to manage digital rights, target content, detect fraud, conduct site analysis and foster regulatory compliance. With over 45 industry-leading customers such as Amazon.com and CNET Networks, Quova is the geolocation market leader. A privately owned company with investments from VeriSign, SOFTBANK Venture Capital, IDG Ventures, Nexus Group, and Fidelity Ventures, Quova’s main headquarters are located in Redwood City, California, with European headquarters located in Amsterdam. The company can be reached at 303 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 410, Redwood City, California, 94065, by phone at 650-508-0700, by fax at 650-508-0147, by email at info@quova.com, and on the Web at [http://www.quova.com][1].

About Visa International

Visa is the world’s leading payments brand and the largest payments system worldwide. Visa-branded cards generate almost US $2 trillion in annual volume and are accepted at over 22 million locations around the world. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce — the ability to conduct commerce anytime, anywhere, over any type of device.

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

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