Anthrax Impact

The fear of anthrax infested mail will inevitably slow up cardholder correspondence and may affect credit card payment processing. Last Friday Providian received two Seattle-postmarked envelopes with a yellowish, grainy substance that had leaked from one of the envelopes and partially coated the other. Ten Providian employees were decontaminated and treated at an Oakland hospital with a preventative course of antibiotics. Local authorities have ruled out anthrax as the unknown substance sent to Providian but they have not ruled out other biological agents.

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DATACARD RECORD

Datacard Group announced it
shipped the 800th smart card personalization module for its flagship card
issuance systems early this month.

The module, which can be integrated with Datacard(R) 9000 or 7000 Series
Systems, provides card issuers with secure, reliable, high-speed smart card
personalization capabilities. It’s used worldwide for a variety of
applications, including financial, healthcare, transit, loyalty,
telecommunications, identity and e-commerce programs.

“We’ve seen strong sales in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.
Clearly, the smart card issuance infrastructure is rapidly expanding on a
global basis as card issuers move quickly to capitalize on new market
opportunities,” said Bob Beer, Datacard’s vice president of smart card
solutions.

“Personalization systems are only part of Datacard’s complete portfolio of
smart card offerings,” Beer said. “The company also offers smart card operating
systems, life cycle management systems, smart card personalization managers and
a variety of consultative services.”

“Datacard offers everything you need to launch a successful smart card
program,” Beer said. “We’re also the only solutions provider with a complete
infrastructure for multi-application smart card issuance and life cycle
management.”

Other inline capabilities for Datacard 9000 and 7000 Series Systems include
full-color photo printing, magnetic stripe encoding, high-speed embossing,
color topping, thermal printing of logos, text and bar codes, laser engraving,
topcoat application and card delivery.

Datacard Group provides financial institutions, corporations, consumer
marketers, governments, schools, healthcare providers, service bureaus and
other enterprises with the software, systems and professional services they
need to build successful card programs. The company’s portfolio includes the
world’s best-selling smart card solutions and card issuance systems, as well as
a complete line of digital identity systems. Consultative services include a
smart card security laboratory that serves the world’s leading smart card
issuers. DataCard Corporation, doing business as Datacard Group, is privately
held and based in Minnetonka, Minn. Datacard Group serves customers in more
than 200 countries. (www.datacard.com.)

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ATM/POS Cards

Americans value their ATM cards more than they do their newspaper and cable television services. According to a new national consumer study commissioned by PULSE EFT, the debit card ranks second only to the home telephone as a coveted asset. The study, conducted by Houston-based Analytica, found that on a scale of 1-to-10, with 10 representing “extremely important,” cardholders placed an average value of 7.58 on their ATM/debit card. In contrast, the same group rated cable television at 5.73, Internet access at 5.67 and the newspaper at 4.75. The survey also shows nearly 68% of cardholders had used their cards to pay for merchandise, and 45% had gotten cash back when making a purchase with their card. At the same time, the survey revealed that ATM cardholders typically used their card 4.78 times during a two-week period, approximately 3.12 times to make a purchase and 1.65 times at an ATM.

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3Q/01 Credit Unions

Mid-sized credit unions reported an average growth rate of 4.9% for the third quarter. Among top performers is Anheuser-Busch Employees Credit Union which racked up an impressive 24% increase in card loans between 3Q/00 and 3Q/01. The University of Colorado Federal Credit Union also scored an above average growth rate in receivables during the same period, according to early portfolio reports to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

CREDIT UNION 3Q/00-RECV 3Q/01-RECV CHANGE
1. Pa State Employees $ 203,932,323 $ 190,154,987 +7.2%
2. Patelco $ 101,340,810 $ 107,000,000 -5.6%
3. Delta Employees $ 98,647,000 $ 90,069,000 +9.5%
4. Randolph Brooks $ 83,191,434 $ 75,710,827 +9.8%
5. Alaska USA $ 58,371,500 $ 58,842,200 -0.8%
6. Univ of Colorado $ 50,383,919 $ 44,092,216 +14.2%
7. CU of Texas $ 44,495,931 $ 42,239,723 +5.3%
8. Northwest $ 44,157,677 $ 44,963,637 -1.7%
9. Provident Central $ 37,213,718 $ 39,362,937 -5.5%
10. Anheuser-Busch $ 34,576,250 $ 27,942,820 +23.7%
Peer Group Totals: $ 756,319,562 $720,378,347 + 4.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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IRIDIUM PHONE CARDS

Stratos announces that it is the first to
make available a range of new, flexible Prepaid Calling Cards for multiple
satellite networks, including Inmarsat-A, -B, -M, mini-M, North America MSAT
(Marinesat/Landsat/Oceancell) and Iridium – a first for the Iridium satellite
network.

Stratos Prepaid Calling Cards are the premium solution for vessel
crewmembers wishing to contact friends and family while at sea, for third
party users of satellite phones in any environment, or simply as an
alternative to reconciliation of monthly billing. Prepaid Calling Card users
are greeted with automated voice prompts that provide English, French, and
Spanish language options, with additional languages available in the future.

“Stratos Prepaid Calling Cards are a reliable, flexible and convenient
way for anyone to manage the cost of their satellite phone calls – from
individual users to larger corporate customers,” said Jim Parm, Stratos COO.
“Stratos Prepaid Cards represent another featured and innovative product in
the Stratos remote communications solution suite, and is the first and only
prepaid card for the Iridium network.”

“These cards allow users to make satellite phone calls at no cost to the
owner of the satellite phone, so that the owner no longer has to reconcile
individual calls for billing,” said Paul Downey, Stratos Product Manager.
“This method of satellite communication accessibility represents the next
stage of pervasive remote communications.”

Stratos Prepaid Calling Cards are a simple solution to a formerly complex
problem. The user simply scratches the 9-digit PIN number and follows the easy
instructions on the back of the card to complete the call. Cards are disposed
of when their value has been depleted.

Stratos is pleased to offer these Prepaid Calling Cards anywhere in the
world. To order Stratos Calling Cards, simply contact your authorized Stratos
distributor or visit our web site at
http://www.stratos.ca.

About Stratos

Stratos (http://www.stratos.ca) is a publicly traded
(TSE:SGB) international
telecommunication services provider offering customers operating in remote
locations a variety of wireless, IP, data, and voice solutions through a range
of newly emerging and established technologies such as Inmarsat, Intelsat,
Iridium, VSAT, and others. Stratos serves an array of diverse markets
including government, military, industrial, aeronautical, recreational and
maritime users anywhere in the world.

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OPC in VA

Official Payments Corporation announced Friday that the Commonwealth of Virginia has expanded its service

agreement with the company. Commencing at the end of October, the Commonwealth of Virginia will begin accepting credit-card payments for business bills and estimated taxes. Payments can be made over the Internet by visiting [http://www.officialpayments.com][1] or via the telephone by calling 1- 800-2PAY-TAX. Official Payments has similar agreements with over 900 government entities within 49 states across the country. The company has contacts with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments including the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia to collect taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone.

Last year, the Commonwealth of Virginia collected over $2.5 billion in business taxes and $700 million in estimated taxes. Business bills are disseminated on a monthly or quarterly basis. Fourth quarter 2001 estimated taxes will be due January 15, 2002. A 2002 estimated tax coupon booklet will be mailed to taxpayers in late December of this year. American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa are the cards accepted by the programs.

“We are pleased to expand our services to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Adding these two new payment categories, to our existing categories, balance-due taxes and notices of assessments/consolidated bill statements, increases our market potential to over $3.2 billion in Virginia,” stated Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Official Payments Corp. “The Commonwealth benefits from costs savings and error reduction, while bringing the benefits of convenience, cash management, and rewards to its taxpayers,” Evans added.

Official Payments charges taxpayers a 2.5% convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. For example, a taxpayer who owed $500 in estimated taxes and charged their taxes would find a total of $512.50 on their credit card statement: $500 for the tax bill and a 2.5% convenience fee of $12.50. As a bonus, taxpayers using the service can earn rewards, points, and cash-back on airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.

About Official Payments Corporation

Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. 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. The company is unequaled in market penetration and national footprint. 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 900 county and municipal governments in 49 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.

Official Payments was founded in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. 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. The company’s success in new client acquisition, increasing business with its existing clients and in building consumer awareness can be attributed to the combination of an enormous market opportunity with a highly skilled and experienced management and staff, aggressive sales and marketing, and a core competency in developing and implementing leading-edge technical systems.

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

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Datacard Smart Card Record

Datacard Group announced it shipped the 800th smart card personalization module for its flagship card issuance systems early this month.

The module, which can be integrated with Datacard 9000 or 7000 Series Systems, provides card issuers with secure, reliable, high-speed smart card personalization capabilities. It’s used worldwide for a variety of applications, including financial, healthcare, transit, loyalty, telecommunications, identity and e-commerce programs.

“We’ve seen strong sales in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Clearly, the smart card issuance infrastructure is rapidly expanding on a global basis as card issuers move quickly to capitalize on new market opportunities,” said Bob Beer, Datacard’s vice president of smart card solutions.

“Personalization systems are only part of Datacard’s complete portfolio of smart card offerings,” Beer said. “The company also offers smart card operating systems, life cycle management systems, smart card personalization managers and a variety of consultative services.”

“Datacard offers everything you need to launch a successful smart card program,” Beer said. “We’re also the only solutions provider with a complete infrastructure for multi-application smart card issuance and life cycle management.”

Other inline capabilities for Datacard 9000 and 7000 Series Systems include full-color photo printing, magnetic stripe encoding, high-speed embossing, color topping, thermal printing of logos, text and bar codes, laser engraving, topcoat application and card delivery.

Datacard Group provides financial institutions, corporations, consumer marketers, governments, schools, healthcare providers, service bureaus and other enterprises with the software, systems and professional services they need to build successful card programs. The company’s portfolio includes the world’s best-selling smart card solutions and card issuance systems, as well as a complete line of digital identity systems. Consultative services include a smart card security laboratory that serves the world’s leading smart card issuers. DataCard Corporation, doing business as Datacard Group, is privately held and based in Minnetonka, Minn. Datacard Group serves customers in more than 200 countries. ([www.datacard.com][1].)

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

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Patriotic Cards

As Discover plows forward with a major direct mail and print campaign for its ‘American Flag Card’ in the wake of rising nationalism, other patriotic cards have emerged. 5Star Bank, formerly known AFBA Bank, has launched two ‘United We Stand’ bank credit cards. The 5Star patriotic cards offers applicants nationwide, the choice of a no-annual-fee card with go-to APRs ranging from 10.9%-16.9%, or a $35 annual fee card with APRs ranging from 8.9% to 14.9%. Either pricing choice carries a six-billing-cycle 5.9% promo APR for new purchases and balance transfers. 5Star does not charge fees for balance transfers or convenience checks. The ‘United We Stand’ VISA or MasterCards are available in both ‘Classic’ and ‘Platinum’ levels. The ‘Platinum Premier’ version offers $1 million in travel accident insurance. AFBA (Armed Forces Benefit Association), now known as AFBA – The 5Star Association, primarily offers life insurance to military personnel and government workers. The insurance programs do not carry war clauses or area restrictions. 5Star has approximately 175,000 bank credit cardholders according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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No-Hassle Cards

Capital One has launched a significant print and direct mail promotion for its new ‘No-Hassle Platinum MasterCard’ which offers a package of unprecedented cardholder commitments not seen since the launch of the ‘AT&T Universal VISA/MasterCard’ in 1990. Among the unique features of the new program is the promise that consumers will not receive any telemarketing calls from Cap One. According to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]), other Cap One ‘No-Hassle’ guarantees include no balance transfer fees, no cash advance fees, no annual fees, and no foreign exchange fees “ever”. The new ‘Platinum MasterCard’ also carries a fixed APR of 8.9% or 9.9% for new purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. Cap One has been running full page ads in People and Newsweek with the message “Be Sure to Read the Fine Print” and “Introducing 7.2 Square Inches of Peace of Mind”.

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

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First CCS-Teller Sold

Greenland Corporation announced that Mr Ship N’ Chek, a nine store, Nevada-based financial services retail chain purchased the first Check Central Solutions-Teller retail package for approximately $56,000, including a two-year software support and maintenance agreement. The purchase agreement provides for the installation of Greenland’s new Check Central Solutions single store back office processing system, which supports up to three kiosk locations from one store, a MAXcash Automated Banking Machine kiosk, and a PC-based point-of-sale teller package.

With operations in Reno, Las Vegas, Albuquerque and Phoenix, Mr Ship N’ Chek was an early customer of Greenland, having purchased two MAXcash ABMs prior to the termination of Greenland’s call center and check cashing services in March of this year.

Mr. T.A. “Kip” Hyde, Jr., President and CEO of Greenland stated, “Mr Ship N’ Chek was among the first thirty-one Greenland customers negatively impacted by our suspending centralized check cashing operations earlier this year. With the purchase of our new CCS-Teller integrated systems package, they will now be able to resume self-service check cashing operations very quickly.”

Introduced at the recently held FiSCA National Conference and Exhibition, the Check Central Solutions product line is designed so that current check cashing services providers of virtually any size can easily incorporate a MAXcash ABM into their current operations. The back-office transaction processing system can be used locally in each store, or, large check cashing operators can install a network solution connected to a central processing center.

Mr. John Odin, President and CEO of Chekline, Inc., the corporate parent of Mr Ship N’ Chek, and current vice president of the Nevada Independent Check Cashing Association, said, “When my Director of Operations returned from the FiSCA show, he was very excited to tell me that we could now operate our own MAXcash terminals, using our existing staff and customer database. We had already recognized the value of self-service kiosks to our stores and customers, and were pleased with their performance. Now that we have the ability to manage our own terminals, we hope to expand our automation program into all of our stores, and potentially into other locations such as local grocers and convenience stores.”

Hyde ended, “As indicated during the panel discussions at the FiSCA conference, I believe that self-service check cashing will be of similar or even greater benefit to the check cashing industry, just as ATMs have been to the banking industry. We are pleased that Mr Ship N’ Chek has embraced this technology and is the first to start working with the Greenland team again.”

About Greenland Corporation

Greenland Corporation is a holding company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Check Central, is the developer and manufacturer of the MAXcash(TM) Automated Banking Machine(TM) (ABM(TM)) and related Check Central Solutions(TM) transaction processing system software designed to provide self-service check cashing, ATM functionality, phone card and money order dispensing, as well as the capability for other future products and services. The Company’s common stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “GLCP.” Visit Greenland Corporation on the Internet at [http://www.greenlandcorp.com][1].

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

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BofA 3Q/01

Bank of America reported this morning that 3Q credit card receivables are up more than 21% over third quarter 2000. However chargeoffs have edged up nearly 16% over the same period. BofA also reported that card fee income is up 4% over the past twelve months. At the end of the third quarter, BofA had $25.5 billion in managed card loans compared to $24.9 billion for 2Q/01 and $21.0 billion for 3Q/00. Charge-offs for the third quarter stood at 4.81% compared to 4.94% for the prior quarter and 4.16% one year ago. BofA has approximately 25 million accounts and 29 million cardholders. During the third quarter Bank of America launched new national TV ads carrying the theme of “ingenuity.” The company also announced during 3Q that it is increasing its advertising budget from approximately $100 million to $145 million to promote the Bank of America brand in 2002. For complete details on BofA’s 3Q/01 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 8/14/01)

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

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