Canada’s Fincentric Corporation announced that South Africa-based 20twenty Financial Services completed implementation and
went online on July 21, 2001 using Fincentric’s i-Wealthview Banking(TM)
software. 20twenty (www.20twenty.com) is the first ‘cyberbank’ in the region.
It licensed i-Wealthview Banking(TM) as its Internet banking system for
providing retail banking services to web-savvy consumers in South Africa.
20twenty Financial Services is based in Cape Town and is 65% owned by
Saambou Bank, a national retail bank headquartered in South Africa. 20twenty
currently offers an innovative transactional account called the “20one
account” that encompasses saving and current accounts, credit card and
optional line of credit – all in one. 20twenty plans to add new products
shortly, including electronic bill payment and presentment, financial
aggregation and a rewards program. It targets retail consumers and expects to
capture 15% of South Africa’s online banking market by the end of year one.
Mr. Christo Davel, Chief Executive Officer of 20twenty Financial Services
stated, “We selected i-Wealthview(TM) because of its advanced e-banking and
wealth management capabilities that fit well with 20twenty’s business
objectives. i-Wealthview’s Customer Value Management(TM) (CVM) features
provide us with the ability to analyze our customer-base for profitability and
other measures of value, and facilitate strategies to maximize customer

Mike Cardiff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fincentric
commented, “20twenty is positioned to capitalize on South Africa’s high
propensity for online banking. With i-Wealthview, they are able to provide
innovative new products to their web-savvy customers and focus on delivering
the highest levels of customer service. We are pleased to be an instrumental
part of their strategy for achieving unparalleled levels of customer
acquisition and retention.”

About Fincentric

Fincentric is a leading developer of software solutions for the global
financial services industry. Fincentric, formerly Prologic Corporation, has
more than 300 customers worldwide. Fincentric software products enable
financial institutions to quickly deploy solutions for their converging
financial service offerings, while also supporting capabilities for increasing
customer profitability, customer acquisition, and retention. Through strategic
alliances with Microsoft, Compaq, and other international partners, Fincentric
delivers complete, end-to-end, multi-channel wealth management solutions to
large, global financial institutions. For more information, visit Fincentric’s
home page at www.fincentric.com , or call (604) 278-6470.


Sub-Prime Slump

As sub-prime focused issuers continue to languish in the stock market, new players are still emerging. Yesterday, DE-based Junum Inc. announced the creation of NextTech Card Services. NextTech intends to originate and issue secured, unsecured, balance transfer and fee-based MasterCard and VISA credit cards to the sub-prime community. The company also intends to specialize in providing front-end credit card processing services tailored to sub-prime business owners. Junum specializes in credit management, debt exchange and financial services. Meanwhile the top sub-prime players are in still in rough water on Wall Street. Yesterday Providian’s stock retrenched by 5.6% closing at $19.35. Metris/Direct Merchants edged down to $23.90 on Wednesday. Last week Providian sank to $18.35 per share and Metris hit bottom at $19.15 per share. In other sub-prime developments, Los Angeles-based Bank Plus/Fidelity Federal Bank announced yesterday that the arbitrators in the proceeding between it and Durga Ma Corp. issued an interim award to Durga Ma of $2.3 million in damages for lost profits arising from a sub-prime credit card program under which cards were never issued. Last year, Bank Plus unloaded two sub-prime portfolios, the MMG Direct credit card portfolio and the ADC credit card portfolio, following exorbitant losses and a messy fallout with the partners involved in the program. Bank Plus is currently in the process of merging with FBOP Corporation. (CF Library 7/5/00: 6/4/01)



Gemplus International S.A, the leading provider of solutions empowered by smart cards, announced that the company anticipates it will report reduced net sales and net earnings for its third quarter ending September 30, 2001.

Reasons for the reduction include soft demand for GSM SIM modules, customer requested project delays in its Financial Services Business and the unfavorable currency effects of a weakening U.S. Dollar.=

The company said that it now expects Q3 revenue to finish in the 225-235 million Euros range, with operating profit to finish at a 30-37 million Euros loss. Adjusted for the divestitures of Skidata and the Tags business which occurred during the third quarter, the revised third quarter guidance was for revenues of 259 million euros and an operating loss between 11 and 17 million euros.

The company said that there is no indication that GSM SIM module demand would improve much in the next quarter. As a result, the Q4 is also going to be softer than expectations.

GSM SIM module demand to show little improvement in the short term

“In the past two weeks, we have seen a rapid deterioration in our revenue prospects for the third and fourth quarter” said Antonio Perez, President and CEO of Gemplus International S.A. He added that, while he was quite optimistic about the mid-to-long term prospects for the GSM SIM modules, he felt the short term would be “very challenging.”

Financial Services Business to be impacted by US customer initiated requests to delay shipments

Perez said that the company was also analyzing the preliminary implications that recent world events would have on demand, particularly in the U.S. market.

In its Financial Services Business, the company noted that as a result of the global economic uncertainties, it has received several customer initiated requests to delay shipments.

However, Perez stated that he was confident that the revenue associated with the projects delayed in Q3 would be recognized in Q4.

Unfavorable impact of weaker dollar on revenue performance

In addition, the economic slowdown in the U.S. is creating a weaker U.S. Dollar, which in turn is having an unfavorable impact on the company’s revenue performance and operating profit. Much of the revenue that the company generates in Southeast Asia is dollar denominated. Gemplus currently estimates that the currency effect could contribute as much as 8 million euro unfavorable impact to the operating profit. This amount represents about 40% of the shortfall in operating profit. Perez noted that “fortunately, about half of this effect will be offset by the company’s hedging program and will be reported in other income.”

Positive effect of tight cost control to dampen impact of difficult business conditions

Finally, Perez highlighted the solid progress the company had made with hiring and expense controls. These controls were established late last year and are accomplishing their intended purpose. He said that these controls would remain in place until the business situation improved.

The company noted that it would not be providing specific guidance for the fourth quarter nor for FY2001 at this time. “Obviously, given the situation in our specific markets and adding the uncertainty in the world economic environment, our visibility looking forward is not at the confidence level we require to provide meaningful guidance and set performance expectations,” concluded Perez. The company will communicate performance guidance when it is confident enough that the visibility will have improved and the economic environment stabilized.

The Company intends to report its actual third quarter financial results on November 6, 2001.


Authorize.Net Record

InfoSpace, Inc., a leading provider of the platform and applications that enable partners to deliver consumer and commerce services across the Internet to any device over current and next-generation networks, announced the company signed up a record number of new merchants to process transactions on the Authorize.Net payments platform in August.

InfoSpace is also showing strong momentum in its strategy announced March 8, 2001 to offer the platform enabling financial institutions, independent sales organizations (ISOs) and resellers to roll out payments services to customers under their own brand. In the past 30 days, InfoSpace has announced that it will power payments solutions for Wells Fargo and Dydacomp. In addition, InfoSpace announced that it has signed an agreement to power a new payments solution for Union Bank of California.

August’s strong performance reflects the continued growth and market acceptance of InfoSpace’s merchant services. This year, the number of transactions processed through InfoSpace’s commerce services grew from 7 million in Q1 to more than 8 million in Q2, representing growth in the total dollar value of transactions processed from $500 million to more than $600 million.

“August marked a month of great achievement for the Authorize.Net payment processing platform. We are seeing strong growth through both our reseller channel and our platform solution offered directly to leading financial institutions and other merchant service providers,” said Prakash Kondepudi, executive vice president of merchant services for InfoSpace.

InfoSpace’s Authorize.Net service has been pioneering online payment processing solutions since 1996. Authorize.Net provides server-based payment solutions that enable merchants to authorize, process and manage credit card and electronic check transactions in a secure, real-time environment 24 hours a day on Internet-enabled mobile devices and personal computers. The service is offered directly to merchants through Authorize.Net’s reseller channel and as a platform solution to financial institutions and merchant service providers, enabling them to roll out global payments services under their own brand. Over 120,000 merchants have signed up to process transactions using Authorize.Net.

About InfoSpace, Inc.

InfoSpace, Inc. (NASDAQ: INSP) provides an integrated technology platform and suite of applications that enable partners to deliver consumer and commerce services across the Internet to any device over current and next-generation wireless, broadband and narrowband networks. The Company’s array of products includes consumer services, such as communication, entertainment, gaming and speech applications, as well as commerce services, including payments, promotions and shopping. Together, the InfoSpace platform and applications comprise a highly flexible and scalable end-to-end solution that can be rapidly deployed under a partner’s brand. InfoSpace’s partners and affiliates include more than 3,200 Web sites and companies worldwide, including Verizon, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, ALLTEL, Virgin Mobile, Charles Schwab, Intel, Lucent, Nortel, AOL, Microsoft, Lycos, National Discount Brokers and Bloomberg, among others.


Gores Deal

Fiserv announced this morning that Gores Technology Group has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Fiserv Human Resource Information Services. Gores recently acquired VeriFone. Fiserv HRIS was acquired as part of the company’s 1991 acquisition of Citicorp Information Resources, Inc.. Firserv said the firm did not fit the long-range strategic direction of Fiserv. Fiserv HRIS has annualized revenue of approximately $35 million. In May, Hewlett-Packard sold its VeriFone electronic-payment systems unit to a privately held international acquisition and management company, Gores Technology Group. HP acquired Verifone during April 1997 in a stock swap deal valued at $1.18 billion. Gores specializes in acquiring high-tech organizations, has, to date, acquired approximately 35 companies with annual revenues in the aggregate of over $2 billion. (CF Library 4/24/97; 5/11/01)


CyberMark Snags Santmire

CyberMark, Inc. announces that Glenn Santmire accepted the smart card innovator’s offer to join as President and Chief Executive Officer. CyberMark, based in Tallahassee, Florida, is the nation’s leading issuer of smart card systems to “controlled” communities.

The company’s smart card technology is used in more than 50 communities and is carried by one million cardholders throughout North America. As a total solutions provider, the company’s offering includes a broad base of multi function applications including smart card issuance, loyalty, security, transaction and information processing services.

Mr. Santmire has extensive experience in the financial services industry. He joins CyberMark following six years at Unisys Corporation where he served in a number of senior management positions including President of its Worldwide Financial Service Group. Prior to helping Unisys expand its position in the financial services sector, he held senior executive roles with MasterCard International, Citibank NA, and American Express. He also successfully co-founded and sold a technology services company. Mr. Santmire received a BA and MBA from New York University and a JD from George Washington University School of Law.

CyberMark’s Board of Directors selected Mr. Santmire following an extensive search that included senior executives from both the smart card and financial services industries. According to Board Member Dr. Mert VanderLind, Battelle Memorial Institute, “Glenn brings to CyberMark his considerable business experience along with proven abilities to client focus and build cardholder relationships. Our board is pleased to have recruited an individual of his stature to take CyberMark to the next level of success.”

On his decision to join the company, Mr. Santmire commented, “Smart card growth in the US is at a take off stage. Accelerating market forces, declining technology costs, open standards, multi applications and rapid Internet services growth are all combining to make the business case for chip technology compelling. CyberMark is uniquely positioned for this growth — our technology pipeline is strong, the cardholder base is large, the management team is very experienced, and solid revenue streams have been established.”

Adds Dr. Mert VanderLind, “We feel that Glenn rounds out an extremely capable management team. I am optimistic about CyberMark’s continued growth potential with his type of leadership and vision.”

About CyberMark:

CyberMark is one of the leading providers of smart card technology in North America with installations in Higher Education Institutions, Corporate Facilities, Automobile Dealerships, Retail Centers and Event Venues. Based out of Tallahassee, FL, CyberMark’s experienced personnel have been working with identification card systems for decades and are experts in all methods of ID card management, distribution, printing, marketing, implementation, system customization, application development and systems integration. For more information, visit .



ACI Worldwide, a leading international provider of enterprise e-payment solutions, announces that NCR is extending its support of ACI’s BASE24-infobase software to NCR’s APTRA-enabled ATMs. ACI and NCR have long supported BASE24-infobase on OS/2 platforms. NCR becomes one of the first ATM providers to announce its support of BASE24-infobase for Windows solutions.

ACI’s BASE24-infobase is a data collection and distribution solution that gives users the ability to download and collect files from NCR ATMs–eliminating “sneaker ware” and the need for costly site visits. The ACI system can download software, graphics files and other data, as well as collect electronic journals, all via existing network infrastructure. “With the increasing penetration of Windows platforms into the ATM marketplace, NCR’s support of BASE24-infobase is key to our customers’ migration plans,” said Steve Gilde, director of product management at ACI Worldwide. “The versatility of our system gives customers the ability to send software fixes through their ATM communication network–helping to eliminate the cost associated with sending a technician to each and every ATM. They also can distribute specific graphics files to selected ATMs for advertising and service promotion at a single ATM, or a series of ATMs–and marketing messages can be updated electronically.”

NCR’s extended support of BASE24-infobase further expands the capability of APTRA, NCR’s self-service software. Jim Piggot, vice president of software and services at NCR’s Financial Solutions Division commented, “A robust software management system is a must. The BASE24-infobase solution enables our customers to update graphics, branding messages, currency templates and encryption files remotely, without the need for a field visit.” General availability of NCR’s NT-based support of BASE24-infobase is expected in the first quarter of calendar year 2002.

About ACI Worldwide

Every second of every day, consumers are initiating electronic payment transactions–getting cash at ATMs, using debit and credit cards to make purchases in stores and on the Internet, banking by phone and PC, paying bills online. Twenty billion times a year, ACI software is used to process these transactions, powering the world’s online payment systems. ACI was founded in 1975 and pioneered the development of applications and networking software for online transaction processing. Today more than 530 customers in 79 countries use ACI supplied software. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at [www.aciworldwide.com][1].

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


Tidel Recovery

Tidel Technologies attempt to collect on its losses related to the bankruptcy of PA-based Credit Card Center has met with some success. This week, an agreement, approved by the Federal Bankruptcy Court was executed. The agreement allowed Tidel and NCR to jointly acquire the entire inventory of ATMs owned by CCC. The inventory consists of more than 4,000 ATMs, together with related parts and supplies, originally manufactured by Tidel, NCR and several other companies. On Monday, Tidel and NCR paid $8 million for the inventory. Tidel says it expects to recover between 1,500 and 2,000 of its own ATMs, or approximately one-third of the units not paid for by CCC prior to its collapse. At the bankruptcy filing date, CCC owed Tidel the principal amount of approximately $27 million. Tidel reported a net loss of $16.5 million for its third fiscal quarter ending June 30. Results included the effects of an $18 million provision for losses on the company’s receivables from Credit Card Center. (CF Library 5/11/01; 6/14/01; 8/22/01)


AmEx & Best Western

Best Western International, the world’s largest hotel chain, has teamed up with American Express with an offer that rewards travelers again and again.

This first-ever offer provides triple Delta SkyMiles (750 miles) to Best Western guests who pay for their weekend stay with their American Express card. Guests traveling to California, Nevada or Hawaii will earn an additional 250 miles (1,000 miles total) at participating hotels during the promotion.

The offer is available from Sept. 28 through Dec. 30, 2001 for qualified stays at Best Westerns in North America. Guests who stay at least one weekend night (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) simply need to present their SkyMiles membership card at check-in and pay for their stay using an American Express card. For more information, visit www.bestwestern.com. “Best Western is delighted to partner with American Express and Delta Air Lines(R) to encourage travel by offering triple miles,” said Bob Gilbert, CTC, vice president of worldwide marketing and sales.

Best Western International is the world’s largest hotel chain with more than 4,000 hotels in 83 countries and territories. It is a membership organization of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members.

For more information about Best Western, visit the Best Western Newsroom at [www.bestwestern.com/newsroom][1].

[1]: http://www.bestwestern.com/newsroom


Terrorist Impact

American consumers say the horrible events of more than two weeks ago will not dampen their saving, investing, or holiday spending. However 40% of consumers say they will not travel by airline during the upcoming holiday season. According to a CardWeb.com online poll, two-thirds of consumers indicate the recent terrorist events will have no impact on their spending and credit/debit card use for the rest of this year. About 30% say they will invest more in stock and bonds and 55% say their savings habits will not change. More than three quarters say their cash handling habits will not change. When it comes to travel, more than 60% say they will not fly at all or will only fly domestically. Less than one out of five consumers say they will travel internationally during the holiday season. About 60% say they will not avoid large cities or large events out of concern of possible terrorist attacks. Analysts meanwhile predict this holiday season will produce very weak retail sales due to rising unemployment and other economic effects in the wake of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


ValueStar Expands

ValueStar Corporation said this week that its ‘Customer-Rated Program’ is now fully operational in the San Francisco Bay Area and is ready to expand nationwide. The program allows ValueStar to collect customer ratings and collect commissions from offline credit card transactions. The ‘ValueStar Customer-Rated Program’ allows consumers and corporate buyers to search for high quality local businesses, rate their satisfaction and earn rewards. Merchants can track their ValueStar transactions online in addition to monitoring their ‘ValueStar Customer Satisfaction Rating’. Last month, First Data Merchant Services invested an additional $2 million in the program. To-date, First National Bank of Omaha, Sanwa Merchant Services, First Virginia Merchant Services, Cardservice International, and United Merchant Services have signed on for the program. ValueStar also recent named Steven Van Fleet and David Bailis, both of First Data, to its Board of Directors. (CF Library 5/16/01; 5/30/01; 6/1/01; 6/11/01)


VISA Corporate Relations

Barbara (Barie) Carmichael has been appointed to the position of executive vice president, corporate relations for Visa U.S.A., according to Carl F. Pascarella, president and chief executive officer, Visa U.S.A., Inc.

As steward of Visa U.S.A.’s corporate reputation, Carmichael, 53, will serve as the company’s chief communications strategist. She will have overall responsibility for all corporate communications and reputation management activities in the U.S. including: media relations; public relations; executive communications; employee communications; public affairs; and issues management. In addition Carmichael will serve on Visa U.S.A.’s executive management committee, and report directly to Pascarella.

‘We’re delighted to have Barie Carmichael drive our corporate relations function as we seek to grow Visa’s leadership position in this extremely competitive industry,’ noted Pascarella. ‘Visa has evolved from a credit card association to a multi-faceted payments organization. As the world’s largest joint venture, Visa communicates with many diverse constituent groups. It’s critical that we have someone with Barie’s expertise and background to spearhead these efforts.’ Carmichael, a highly regarded communications executive, comes to Visa U.S.A. from Dow Corning Corporation, based in Midland, Michigan. At Dow Corning, Carmichael held the post of vice president and chief communications officer, where she was responsible for worldwide communications activities including providing communications counsel to Dow Corning’s management team. Prior to her tenure at Dow Corning, Carmichael served as director, corporate communications, for NCR Comten, a subsidiary of NCR Corporation.

Carmichael began her career in higher education, holding teaching positions at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, the University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas in St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Carmichael holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Carleton College (1970), a master’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota (1977). Her professional affiliations include: Public Relations Seminar, Arthur W. Page Society, and The Conference Board Council on Communications Strategies.

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 $835 billion in annual transaction volume – including more than half of all Internet payments – with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry 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.