August Debt

Consumer credit logged another sluggish month in August as revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, grew a mere 2.1% during August. American consumers added only $1.2 billion to new revolving debt during the month versus $5.9 billion last August. The figures further confirm the consumer has pulled back on spending and that a full blown recession is underway. The consumer response to the September 11th events, as reflected in next month’s revolving debt data, will further confirm the depth of recession. According to preliminary figures released Friday afternoon by the Federal Reserve, revolving debt stood at $702.6 billion during August. Non-revolving debt edged up slightly to $888.3 billion. At the end of August, American consumers were $1.591 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.


Aug01 Jul01 Jun01 May01 Apr01 Mar01 Feb01
%GRWTH: 2.1% 1.9 2.1 4.5 14.2 11.9 20.8
$OWED: $702.6 701.4 700.3 699.0 697.6 688.2 681.4

Jan01 Dec00 Nov00 Oct00 Sep00 Aug00 Jul00
%GRWTH: 11.6% 5.0 10.9 4.7% 7.8 12.6 6.7
$OWED: $670.3 663.4 660.6 654.8 649.3 645.1 638.2

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 10/5/01;
For complete historical data visit


FDC 3Q/01

First Data reported Monday that its Payment Services business segment posted 3Q/01 revenue of $689 million, a 16% increase, and profit of $226 million, a 19% increase. Much of the boost resulted from a 20% increase in worldwide money transfer transactions via Western Union. Merchant Services, comprised primarily of the company’s merchant acquiring and TeleCheck businesses, produced 3Q/01 revenue of $543 million, an increase of 21% compared to the same period last year. Merchant acquiring volumes and transactions both grew 8% for the quarter. Card Issuing Services generated 3Q operating profits of $89 million on revenue of $384 million. The company ended the quarter with 304 million accounts on file. During the quarter, the company continued its execution of the integration plans for its acquisition of PaySys International. Emerging Payments, First Data’s eONE Global business formed last fall, reported $25 million in revenue for the third quarter. For complete details on FDC’s 3Q/01 results visit CardData ([][1])



Online Activity

Online purchases rebounded to normal levels in September following a slowdown in consumer activity in the days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, according to the ‘eCommerce Index’ released this morning from NextCard. However, the nationwide economic slowdown has driven down online travel prices at sites such as Priceline’s average transaction amount is down about 30% from the second quarter and down 37% from the average for 2000.

Merchant 2000 Avg. Q1 2001 Q2 2001 July August Sept. $ 42.31 $ 40.10 $ 42.77 $ 36.85 $ 40.58 $ 39.07 $ 33.55 $ 36.66 $ 37.80 $ 35.01 $ 37.20 $ 9.09 $ 305.15 $ 81.47 $266.04 $239.47 $218.16 $190.07 $ 16.40 $ 16.70 $ 18.24 $ 21.19 $ 22.74 $ 22.99 $ 88.47 $ 97.98 $109.34 $102.41 $ 99.53 $ 94.85


Instant Truvue

Experian, a worldwide provider of information solutions, announced its Truvue customer data integration technology now allows instant access to Experian’s continuously updated national reference database. Such access previously was only available as a custom feature. Experian is the only provider of true real-time data access and update technology.

“Truvue’s real-time content exchange makes it possible for customer information to be accessed and updated instantly. This allows corporations online access to a dynamically updated references repository rather than to a static database that is refreshed through batch file updates only monthly or even quarterly,” said Joanna Kuo, executive vice president of Experian’s integrated solutions business unit. “Companies using Truvue’s real-time online service have access to the most current consumer identification data available in the industry.”

Truvue cleanses and integrates customer information from disparate sources across the company’s organization to achieve a single view of each customer. Adding the unique ability for real-time content exchange, companies are able to enhance internal data with continuously updated customer information from Experian’s national reference database. Additionally, companies can instantly link current transaction data with historic information, verify and correct customer-and-prospect identification data directly at the point of customer interaction and personalize offers instantly while the prospect or customer is talking with a company representative or shopping on the Web.

Through Truvue’s state-of-the-art integration technology and real-time content exchange features, companies improve data quality, obtain a comprehensive and up-to-the-second view of the customer and develop a solid foundation to a successful customer relationship management (CRM) strategy.

According to Gartner researcher Scott Nelson, CRM has exposed at many companies “an information crisis resulting from inconsistent, inaccessible, incorrect or out-of-sync data sources.” Gartner estimates that at least 50 percent of companies pursuing a CRM strategy face data-quality issues, and companies that “fail to address data-quality issues risk missed opportunities and operational efficiencies.”

Truvue applies data-cleansing procedures at the initial point of data entry preventing inaccurate data from polluting a company’s database systems. As a customer-service associate, for instance, keys in new data, that information is verified by immediately referencing Experian’s national reference database. The verified data is then introduced into a company’s database systems.

“Proper data management begins the very moment data is collected from a customer or prospect, whether it is handled over the phone, on the Web or in person,” added Kuo. “Companies commonly record customer-service sessions to ensure quality, but they lack a similar process to ensure the accurate entry of customer data. Truvue installs a data-quality checkpoint at every point of customer interaction.”

Experian’s Truvue service is based on the same core technology Experian uses to integrate and standardize its own consumer and business data from thousands of sources to meet stringent demands of accuracy, timeliness and privacy.

About Experian

Experian enables organizations to find the best prospects and make fast, informed decisions to improve and personalize relationships with their customers. It does this by combining sophisticated and intelligent decision- making software and systems with some of the world’s most comprehensive databases of information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles and property. Through multi-channel delivery of its Web-based products and services, Experian enables its clients to conduct secure and profitable e-business and develop state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for communicating and building one-to-one relationships with customers. Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Orange, Calif. Its 12,000 people support clients in more than 50 countries. Annual sales are approximately $1.5 billion.

For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [][1].



Interlink Postponement

VISA USA’s Board of Directors voted last week to postpone the previously announced increase in Interlink interchange reimbursement fees. The new fee schedule was set to go into effect this week. VISA decided to postpone the effective date of the new rates to March 1, 2002. Last month, Wal-Mart Stores announced it would no longer accept VISA’s ‘Interlink’ POS on-line debit cards in its 2,700 stores effective October 13. Wal-Mart said it made the decision despite the fact that VISA offered the retailer as much as $32 million in incentive payments if the company would accept the increased transaction fees by ‘Interlink’. Less than 10% of Wal-Mart’s total debit card business is processed by the ‘Interlink’ network. Following the Wal-Mart decision, Publix Super Markets, Racetrac Petroleum, and Walgreen announced they will stop accepting Interlink debit cards October 13. VISA made the decision in June to boost ‘Interlink’ transaction fees for most merchants from 45 bps +3 cents with a 20 cents maximum to 65 bps +12 cents with a 45 cents maximum. The fee revolt comes in advance of an anti-trust trial between major retailers and VISA/MasterCard over acceptance of off-line debit cards which require significantly higher transaction fees than on-line debit cards. The trial is expected to get underway next year. Wal-Mart is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. VISA said its decision last week to delay the Interlink rate increase is due to “system changes as well as cardholder and merchant communications that could not be completed on the accelerated schedule originally envisioned.” (CF Library 9/5/01; 9/11/01; 9/17/01; 9/21/01)


AT&T SwiftPay

AT&T Wireless has signed a multi-year contract to enable AT&T ‘Free2Go’ wireless customers to use the Western Union ‘SwiftPay’ service. Next month, ‘Free2Go’ customers will be able to present the ‘SwiftPay’ card at nearly 40,000 Western Union agent locations around the country to replenish their prepaid minutes. Payments may be made in variable amounts over $25, in $1.00 intervals. The ‘SwiftPay’ service facilitates consumer pre-payment for any services or products where pre-payment is a requirement or an option.


Pitney Bowes EBPP

Pitney Bowes Inc. announced a new partnership between two of its rapidly growing product suites: docSense, which offers electronic bill presentment and payment, and PitneyPay, a comprehensive Internet payment solution. By merging their respective technologies, PitneyPay and docSense are meeting increased market demand for end-to-end billing and payments solutions and working together to develop innovative eCommerce tools. Founded in 1920, Pitney Bowes has become the leading global provider of mail and document management solutions, and has gained an unparalleled knowledge of bill creation and distribution. The company manages billions of dollars in postal payments on an annual basis, and has an established history of facilitating international payments and equipment leases. As a result, Pitney Bowes has become one of the world’s most established and trusted business-to-business intermediaries. By bridging company’s invoicing experience and its financial services capabilities, Pitney Bowes has created a complete eBusiness service offering, making it one of the formidable players in the burgeoning online billing and payment space. “Pitney Bowes’ established history as a print service bureau, and an installed base of paper billers provides the firm with significant industry knowledge and recognition,” said Andrei Arkhipov, financial technologies analyst, Aberdeen Group. “Pitney Bowes has gained the technology to be considered one of the premier invoicing and payment solutions providers in its targeted markets. Besides the technology edge, the firm’s income statement and balance sheet make it a powerful Internet invoicing force, which many will find hard to reckon with.”

The e-billing component of this partnership, Pitney Bowes docSense, serves the needs of large companies transitioning their current paper-based billing and statement processes to web-enabled delivery. The core bill presentment solution, Digital Document Delivery (D3), provides B-to-B and B-to-C payers with necessary tools to maintain workflow and access control, and allow for more efficient review and approval. D3 is offered to major billing organizations under a software license or as a hosted service. Through the payment component, PitneyPay, users can respond to Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment (EBPP) or Electronic Invoice Payment and Presentment (EIPP) by sending or receiving payments as an ACH Debited payment, escrow, or any combination of payment/escrow, to securely execute payments online. PitneyPay is capable of dispensing simultaneous payments to multiple vendors associated with the transaction through its web-based integrated payment routing system. “Over the past year, we have been developing our transaction capabilities and now have one of the most secure and versatile online payment engines available,” said Michael Ryan, Vice President PitneyPay. “By teaming up with docSense, we will expand the breadth of our offering to provide our customers with a more complete solution for their eBusiness transactions.” Working together, docSense and PitneyPay will support both divisions’ customers to improve the levels of service provided. Both D3 and PitneyPay are XML-compatible and fully compliant with integration standards of most Internet players. Furthermore, D3 can support multiple languages, making it possible to conduct International commerce. The two support a broad spectrum of online transactions by businesses, consumers and governments will be able to attract new customers in multiple markets.

About Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes Inc. is a $4 billion global provider of integrated mail, messaging and document management solutions headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. The company serves over 2 million businesses of all sizes through dealer and direct operations. Pitney Bowes Capital Services, through its PitneyB2Bcapital suite of products and services, is rapidly becoming a leading facilitator of online financial services. PitneyB2Bcapital offers real-time, secure transactions using innovative proprietary technology, providing buyers and sellers with the security of a trusted third party. Pitney Bowes docSense is the company’s global provider of premier solutions for the creation and distribution of efficient and effective documents in paper and digital form For additional information about Pitney Bowes, please visit our Website at [][1]. Contact: A.J. Goodman PR21 212-299-8986 Kelly O’Brien Pitney Bowes 203-922-4291 kelly.o’ Scott Gerschwer PitneyBowes docSense 203-739-3163




Gemplus International S.A and, the leading provider of solutions empowered by smart cards, announced today that the
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued an opinion in the Humetrix v. Gemplus appeal. The opinion
affirms the judgment of the Federal District Court in San Diego against Gemplus in the amount of 15 million dollars U.S., with
interest to be determined. The judgment of the District Court arose from an action filed in February of 1996, based on alleged
breach of contract and tortious interference with contract arising out of an alleged oral partnership to distribute smart cards
to the United States healthcare market.

The company is analyzing the court’s decision and is evaluating its alternatives for further proceedings.

About Gemplus

GEMPLUS: the world’s number one provider of solutions empowered by Smart Cards (Gartner Dataquest 2001).
Gemplus helps its clients offer an exceptional range of portable, personalized solutions that bring security and convenience
to people’s lives. These include mobile internet access, inter-operable banking facilities, e-commerce and a wealth of other

Gemplus is the only completely dedicated, truly global player in the Smart Card industry, with the largest R&D team, unrivalled
experience, and an outstanding track record of technological innovation.
Gemplus trades its shares on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the Nasdaq Stock Market(R) as GEMP in the form of
ADSs. Its revenue in 2000 was 1.205 billion Euros. It employs 7800 people in 37 countries throughout the world.


Jets Card

A new card has been launched this week that goes beyond the privilege of having keys to the executive washroom. The new ‘Marquis Private Jet Card’ entitles its holders to 25 hours of flight time annually in a private jet. The card provides access to NetJets, the fractional aircraft ownership program of Executive Jet, Inc. ‘Marquis Private Jet Card’ owners are guaranteed on-call availability of their aircraft 365 days a year at over 5,000 North American and European airports. The ‘Jet Card’ program offers short-term pre-paid leases in 25-hour increments, ranging from $109,000 to $255,000 depending on the aircraft selected. Aircrafts available in the program include the ‘Citation V Ultra’, ‘Citation Excel’, ‘Hawker 800XP’, ‘Citation X’, and ‘Falcon 2000’.


Coinstar New CEO

Coinstar Inc. announced the appointment of David Cole as its new chief executive officer. Cole, who was unanimously selected by Coinstar’s board following an extensive nationwide search, brings more than 30 years of leadership, operations, and sales management experience to Coinstar.

For the past 11 years, Cole has served as president of two leading private-label manufacturing companies, The Torbitt & Castleman Company, a $130 million manufacturer of specialty food products, and Paragon Trade Brands, a leading manufacturer of private label disposable diapers and a former subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser. While at Paragon, Cole was part of a management team that led the company through its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition, Cole has worked for several well-known consumer packaged goods companies. “David is a great complement to Coinstar’s already strong management team,” said Coinstar chairman, Ron Weinstein. “His consumer products experience and his work with leading North American and European retailers makes him a perfect match for Coinstar.”

“Coinstar is a great cash generating business with many exciting growth opportunities,” said David Cole, newly appointed CEO of Coinstar. “I look forward to joining the team as we expand the core business and leverage our existing infrastructure through the introduction of new products and services.”

In addition to serving as CEO, Cole has been appointed to Coinstar’s board of directors. He also serves on the boards of Paragon Trade Brands and Changing Paradigms LLC.

About Coinstar Inc.

Coinstar owns and operates the only nationwide network of supermarket-based machines that offer coin counting and other electronic services. Linked by a sophisticated interactive network, the company has nearly 9,000 machines throughout North America as well as in the United Kingdom.


Experian Expands Debit Data Use

Experian, a global information solutions company, announced that it has expanded its relationship with eFunds Corporation, a leading provider of electronic payment, risk management, and related professional services. Experian will continue to use debit data from eFunds’ DebitBureau database in prescreen segmentation and suppression offerings, emerging consumer identification and assessment products, portfolio management, scoring tools and on-line reports.

Under the terms of the renewed agreement, Experian will increase the use of eFunds’ comprehensive debit information in such offerings as its Cross View Solutions suite of services. Validated through the performance of multiple tests on millions of records, Cross View Solutions utilizes the convergence of debit and credit data to provide a unique and more thorough view of consumers where limited credit data is available.

“Our relationship with eFunds has been very beneficial because it has helped our customers identify credit-worthy consumers who have not yet established significant credit history,” said Don Robert, president of Experian’s information solutions business unit. “Our customers are pleased because they have improved risk assessment and screening, and consumers are happy because they’re able to participate in the full economy and have greater access to credit offers.”

The most comprehensive source of debit data available, DebitBureau contains more than three billion records related to checking and savings account opening and closing information, checking account collections data, overdraft histories and check order histories. DebitBureau is growing at a rate of about 31 million records a month, receiving information from more than 82,000 retail locations, 88,000 financial institution locations and other sources.

“The acquisition of new consumers is essential to our customers business,” said Peg Smith, president of strategic business development at Experian. “As pioneers in database development and marketing, we’re pleased to see a widening industry acceptance of the use of debit data as a complement to credit data in the determination of the credit-worthiness of prospects, particularly among emerging populations.”

“Combining credit and debit data provides a much clearer financial picture of the consumer,” said Terry Kuester, president of eFunds’ Financial Services division. “Experian’s customers will be able to make better decisions about the consumer, and the consumer will have access to more financial services.”

About Experian

Experian enables organizations to find the best prospects and make fast, informed decisions to improve and personalize relationships with their customers. It does this by combining sophisticated and intelligent decision-making software and systems with some of the world’s most comprehensive databases of information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles and property. Through multi-channel delivery of its Web-based products and services, Experian enables its clients to conduct secure and profitable e-business and develop state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) systems for communicating and building relationships with customers. Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Orange, California. Its 12,000 people support clients in more than 50 countries. Annual sales are approximately $1.5 billion.

For more information, visit the company’s web site at .

About eFunds

eFunds delivers innovative, reliable and cost-effective technology solutions to meet its customers’ payment and risk management, e-commerce and business process improvement needs. eFunds provides its services to financial institutions, financial services companies, electronic funds networks, retailers, government agencies, e-commerce providers and other companies around the world. For more information, visit .