Electronic commerce and payments leader
First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) today announced it has selected Kozo Watanabe,
48, as managing director responsible for overseeing First Data’s role in
Nihon Card Processing Co. Ltd. (NICAP) ? the first company in Japan to
outsource credit card processing services. NICAP, a joint venture company
recently established by First Data and leading Japanese companies NTT DATA,
DC Card, and DCS, began operations in March.

In addition to his managing director role, Watanabe will join NICAP’s
board of directors as representative director and deputy president
effective Oct. 1. NICAP processes approximately 6 million authorizations a
month for DC Card, an affiliate of Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. Watanabe will
work closely with Takahiro Tamura, president and chief executive officer
for the joint venture, from NTT Data.

“Mr. Watanabe’s broad-based financial services background and knowledge
of the Japanese marketplace will lend tremendous strength to NICAP as it
lays the foundation to decrease costs, increase efficiencies and add
flexibility for Japan’s card issuers,” said Eula Adams, senior executive
vice president, First Data Corp. and head of worldwide card operations.
Since 1997, Watanabe had served as vice president and general manager
for American Express’ Travelers Cheque Group in Japan responsible for its
overall strategic business development. Watanabe has over 25 years’
experience in the financial services industry in business and product
development roles with Sanwa Bank Ltd., Midland Bank Group and Credit
Commercial de France in Tokyo.

NICAP was formed by First Data and NTT DATA, the data processing
subsidiary of Japan’s leading telecommunications company, NTT Corp.; DC
Card, the fourth largest bankcard issuer and acquirer in Japan; and Diamond
Computer Service Co. (DCS), a large-scale information systems provider with
expertise in credit card and finance operations.

First Data Resources processes for nearly 300 million accounts on file
around the world. For more than 30 years, First Data has offered products
and services which enable clients to enhance their portfolio growth,
increase market share, reduce risk and improve profitability.

About First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers
the global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment
services, First Data serves approximately 2.6 million merchant locations,
1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and
more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using
virtually any form of payment. With 27,000 employees worldwide, the company
provides credit, debit, smart card and stored-value card issuing and
merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions;
Western Union® money transfers and money orders; and check processing and
verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom,
Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Germany. Its money transfer agent
network includes approximately 109,000 locations in more than 186 countries
and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site
at www.firstdata.com.


Female Cardholders

Nearly 76.1 million women have or use credit cards, compared with 68.2 million men. With a 50%+ market share it is no surprise that VISA has the most female cardholder’s with a total of 49.9 million female consumers. However it is a big surprise that American Express ranks number five among female account holders. AmEx falls behind not only VISA and MasterCard, but also Sears (22.5 million), J.C. Penney (20.6 million), and Discover (17.9 million). The findings come from a MarketResearch.com/Simmons Market Research Bureau co-branded study released Monday. According to the survey some credit card issuers don’t aggressively pursue women as consumers. For example, though women comprise 48% of the total executive or professional class, Diners Club holds only 49.3% of women cardholders.



Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited announced a new integrated Strategic Plan
designed to extend and accelerate the Corporation’s growth. The plan is
targeted to position Canadian Tire Corporation for achievement of top-quartile
performance among North American retailers in Total Return to Shareholders
over a five-year outlook period (2001-2005).
“We set out to build a roadmap for Canadian Tire’s future that would
deliver increased shareholder value through consistent and superior growth of
key financial measures, and to achieve top-quartile performance among North
American retailers,” said Wayne Sales, president and chief executive officer.
“After undertaking a comprehensive strategic planning and review process
throughout 2001 we have developed a vision for growth and supporting
strategies that are compelling, achievable and financially prudent,” said

To attain top-quartile performance among North American retailers, the
strategic plan has established compounded average annual growth rate (CAGR)
targets over the outlook period of 2001-2005 as follows:

– Revenue growth of greater than 10 per cent

– Comparable store sales growth of 3-4 per cent

– Earnings Per Share (EPS) growth of 12-15 per cent

– Earnings Before Income Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) of
10-15 per cent

– Return on Invested Capital of greater than 10 per cent after tax

Sales noted: “Canadian Tire’s strong track record of success in growing
our businesses provides an excellent foundation to accelerate our performance.
We are the country’s most-shopped retailer and have a network of experienced
Associate Dealers who have a vested interest in the success of their stores
and communities. We have one of the highest volume independent gasoline
station networks in Canada and our financial services business is highly
profitable and growing. In PartSource, we have a unique specialty chain that
extends our leadership in automotive, and we also have one of the top ten
Canadian eCommerce sites, a national automobile club and several other unique
assets such as our real estate portfolio and Canadian Tire ‘Money’ — Canada’s
most recognized loyalty program.”

“Our current portfolio of businesses is very strong and this Strategic
Plan recognizes the inherent strengths we have across our organization as well
as the power of leveraging our core capabilities and unique assets to develop
new businesses,” Sales added.

Canadian Tire’s Strategic Plan focuses on three primary areas of growth,
which are:

– accelerating growth and performance in the core Canadian Tire Retail

– pursuing unexploited growth in the Financial Services, Petroleum and
PartSource businesses; and

– aggressively pursuing new business growth opportunities that leverage
Canadian Tire’s core capabilities and unique assets.

The Corporation has established three distinct strategic business units
led by senior Canadian Tire executives with accountability for implementing
the Strategic Plan within their businesses and for fully leveraging business
synergies across the enterprise.

– Canadian Tire Retail, is led by President Mark Foote. Mark is a
seasoned executive with more than 20 years of retail business
experience. His scope of accountability includes Canadian Tire Retail’s
strategies, tactical marketing and merchandising initiatives for the
store network, the supply chain and Pacific Rim buying offices. He
leads a best-in-class retail team highly focused on driving growth.
– Canadian Tire Financial Services is led by President Tom Gauld. Since
joining Canadian Tire, Tom and his team have transformed Canadian Tire
Financial Services into a growing and very profitable business focused
on Canadian Tire’s brand. He has built a highly capable executive team
with extensive experience in risk management, credit marketing,
technology systems and customer relationship management.
– New Business Development, Petroleum and Partsource is led by Executive
Vice-President, New Business Development Mike Medline, who joined the
Corporation in January from Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. where he was
Senior Vice-President, Strategy and Corporate Development. Mike has a
broad mandate including development of new businesses as well as
operating accountability for Canadian Tire’s Petroleum and PartSource

In addition, Andy Giancamilli has joined the Corporation as Executive
Vice-President, Dealer Operations. Andy brings more than 30 years of retail
operating experience to this position and was most recently President and
Chief Operating Officer of Kmart Corporation in the U.S.
The Corporation believes the Associate Dealer model is a key competitive
strength due to the level of commitment to our success that comes from the
significant investment all Associate Dealers have in Canadian Tire as
shareholders, as well as in their businesses. Associate Dealers have
considerable retail expertise compared to other retail models. The Associate
Dealers and their more than 30,000 store team members, many of whom are also
shareholders, represent the front-line face of Canadian Tire to retail
customers. They are highly motivated and committed to the success of the
organization. The Strategic Planning process identified ways to leverage this
competitive advantage in order to accelerate our growth and performance and to
improve the consistency of the shopping experience across the network. Andy
Giancamilli and his team will be focused on working with our Associate Dealers
to achieve these goals throughout the outlook period.
The Strategic Plan incorporates several initiatives that have been
categorized under the umbrella of “Strategic Imperatives”. These imperatives
and supporting strategies follow:

Strategic Imperative No. 1: Strengthen and accelerate growth and
performance in Canadian Tire’s core retail business

Canadian Tire Retail has significant opportunities to strengthen and
accelerate its growth and performance during the outlook period (2001-2005).
Several initiatives have been targeted to accomplish that goal.

Strategy Initiatives:

– New Format/Next Generation Stores: Canadian Tire’s new-format store
program continues to be a key strategic driver of both comparable store
and total sales growth. The Strategic Plan calls for a total of 40-50
incremental stores over the outlook period, bringing the total retail
network to between 480-490 Canadian Tire Associate Stores. 350-370 of
this number will be new-format stores.

The pace of new store builds will be evaluated on a yearly basis, and
in 2002 approximately 20 new-format stores will open. This pace, while
lower than 2001, is the largest ongoing retail expansion in the
country, and will allow the Corporation to focus investments on higher-
return projects, including focusing on in-filling strategic markets
such as Toronto. Lower investment levels in 2002 for new-format stores
will also provide additional financial flexibility to allow us to
integrate new retail concepts into the new-store format and invest in
other key corporate growth initiatives.

– Customer Values: A series of initiatives have already been introduced
under the “Customer Values” banner to drive customer service
improvement and comparable store sales growth. Focus has been directed
towards the in-stock position in Canadian Tire Retail and programs to
ensure friendly, knowledgeable staff are available to serve customers.
Significant progress has been made in this area, including the
introduction of 160 English and French web-based customer service and
product knowledge learning modules to the more than 30,000 store team
members across Canada.

– Business Simplification: Canadian Tire Retail has identified
significant opportunities to take costs out of corporate and store
operations and to drive comparable store sales growth. For example, up
to 40 per cent of new-format store space is currently allocated to
warehousing products. New initiatives have been planned to determine
optimal ways to reduce the amount of square footage devoted to product
storage in order to convert this space into retail square footage
across the store network. Significant simplification and cost
opportunities exist in areas such as merchandise flow, inventory
management and supply chain ordering processes.

– Concept Renewal: Since 1994 Canadian Tire has embarked on an aggressive
national store expansion program that has to date introduced more than
250 new-format stores into the marketplace. As part of our Strategic
Plan, Canadian Tire Retail will undertake a process of concept renewal
under which new retail approaches and innovations will be introduced.
The Strategic Plan envisions a much broader positioning of the Canadian
Tire brand including new categories of business, services offered
within stores and fundamental merchandising changes. Concept renewal is
a core strategy designed to drive comparable store sales.

– Improving Execution: Several areas of enterprise-wide execution have
been targeted for improvement. Working with our Associate Dealers and
with vendors, the Corporation will be introducing a process of testing
and certifying marketing programs to improve the cost, speed and
consistency of program execution across the store network. Other
initiatives designed to enhance execution include further improvements
in Canadian Tire Retail’s promotion programs, and vendor and category
management processes.

– Auto Service: Canadian Tire enjoys Canada’s largest share of the
automotive aftermarket maintenance and repair market, and has 5,400
service bays representing approximately 11 per cent of the market
total. A series of initiatives has been established in the Auto Service
business, led by Associate Dealers and supported by the Corporation, to
consistently improve the customer experience and grow market share in
line with the scale of our presence in in-bay auto service and to
improve consistent auto service delivery.

– CustomerLink: This initiative is a multi-year program as part of a
supply-chain wide improvement effort that will directly result in mutli-
channel capabilities in a regional replenishment supply chain system,
reducing costs and increasing store service levels. This initiative is
also a key program in ensuring the Corporation’s supply chain capacity
continues to respond to additional growth.

– Canadian Tire Online: The Strategic Plan process reinforced Canadian
Tire Online’s as a key marketing vehicle. Canadian Tire’s web store
www.canadiantire.ca drives synergies between Canadian Tire’s various
businesses, and is one of the country’s top ten eCommerce sites. The
site was upgraded in September 2001 to prepare for the holiday selling
season. Canadian Tire Online will achieve break even performance on an
operating basis in 2002, and continues to drive incremental sales
online and in-store traffic. Canadian Tire will continue to support
growth of this vehicle as part of the Strategic Plan.

Strategic Imperative No. 2: Pursue unexploited growth and profit
opportunities in Financial Services, Petroleum and PartSource

Canadian Tire’s second strategic imperative establishes key growth
initiatives across its Financial Services, Petroleum and PartSource
businesses. Canadian Tire Corporation represents a diversified group of
businesses that enjoy tremendous synergies. Each of these businesses makes
important contributions to the success of Canadian Tire as a whole.
Canadian Tire Financial Services has refocused its operations on core
Canadian Tire-branded products and has built world-class processes and systems
including its call centres and processing platform. Canadian Tire Financial
Services currently contributes approximately one-third of the Corporation’s
annual pre-tax net earnings. As the largest non-bank issuer of MasterCard in
Canada, Canadian Tire Financial Services has extensive experience in credit
card risk management.

Substantially increased earnings and revenues in Canadian Tire Financial
Services are a cornerstone element of our Strategic Plan.

Strategy Initiative:

– Accelerate Options MasterCard Growth: Canadian Tire Financial Services
currently has more than 1.2 million Options MasterCard holders and 3.6
million retail card holders. Options MasterCard customers enjoy use of
the card not only in Canadian Tire stores but also worldwide, where
they can collect Canadian Tire ‘Money’ to shop in Canadian Tire stores,
further driving comparable store sales. Options MasterCard represents
more than one-half of all outstanding receivables.

The Strategic Plan includes accelerated roll-out of Options MasterCard,
allowing Financial Services’ to play a more active role in the $35
billion bank card market. It is anticipated the majority of these new
receivables would be securitized, reducing funding requirements. Other
growth opportunities are also being explored such as warranty and
insurance products to leverage core strengths. Financial Services
enjoys a proven loyalty platform in Canadian Tire ‘Money’, low-cost and
high volume in-store account acquisition and extensive operational and
risk management capabilities. Tender shift to Canadian Tire-branded
credit card products provides attractive returns and additional
synergies with our retail network.

Canadian Tire Petroleum sites enjoy a much higher average volume of
gasoline pumped compared to other gasoline stations driven primarily by brand
recognition and the Canadian Tire ‘Money’ program. As a result, this business
provides strong revenue and earnings contributions as well as providing
significant cross-merchandising opportunities and excellent return on invested

Two key growth initiatives in Canadian Tire’s Petroleum business will be
pursued as part of the Strategic Plan.

Strategy Initiatives:

– New Gas Bars and Re-branding Partnerships: Canadian Tire will continue
to open new gas stations adjacent to its new-format stores, leveraging
existing real estate holdings. In addition, Canadian Tire will explore
partnership opportunities to re-brand lower-volume sites of other
gasoline retailers. Canadian Tire can offer lower-volume sites of other
gasoline retailers competitive advantage by driving higher volumes by
converting these sites to the Canadian Tire brand, offering Canadian
Tire ‘Money’, and operating these sites with our low cost model.

– Car Wash Network: Canadian Tire Petroleum currently operates a network
of 18 car washes. These operations provide excellent return on invested
capital and create the added competitive advantage of providing
customer convenience, cross-merchandising opportunities and fit with
the brand. Canadian Tire will pursue the addition of new car washes
taking advantage of existing real estate holdings wherever possible.

PartSource is a national specialty automotive chain focused on the
wholesale and heavy do-it-yourself markets. PartSource is performing well with
a double-digit increase in comparable store sales year to date. The chain is
comprised of 30 stores and the Corporation expects PartSource to achieve
profitability on an operating income basis in 2002. The pace of growth for the
chain will be based on performance and its ability to compete for capital.

Strategic Imperative No. 3: Develop and explore new business

Canadian Tire Corporation is committed to pursuing new businesses and
growth channels that leverage our core capabilities and unique assets. A
standardized decision-making process has been established to review new
business opportunities, several of which are currently being evaluated as part
of that process.

Examples of business opportunities that will go through this decision-
making process include new formats, acquisitions and joint ventures, strategic
alliances and expansion in markets outside of Canada. All of these potential
new business opportunities must meet stringent operating and financial

The Corporation’s Strategic Plan establishes a set of assessment
parameters under which new business growth initiatives will be rigorously
reviewed in order to proceed. These parameters include, but are not limited,

– Managing risk by employing a staged “test and learn” approach wherever
possible for any new initiative before full roll-out;

– Ensuring that core capabilities and privileged assets are being

– Strictly reviewing the financial potential of each opportunity,
including its ability to drive value-creation, accretiveness to
earnings and synergies with our existing businesses;

– Managing growth prudently by limiting impacts on balance sheet ratios;

– Assessing the impacts on our shareholders and existing businesses.

Strategic Imperative No. 4: Enhancing financial flexibility through
capital and cost productivity

Canadian Tire is committed to managing growth and execution of its
Strategic Plan in a financially prudent and balanced fashion. Several
initiatives will ensure a structure that will maintain a strong balance sheet
and manage impacts on the Corporation’s financial flexibility. These
initiatives include:

– Reducing working capital requirements, including inventory reductions
and other initiatives to further improve receivables and payables

– Reducing capital in new-format stores and improving return on capital
employed, through major process and design enhancements, resulting in
improved comparable store sales growth

– Determining the optimal level of capital expenditures, and prioritizing
investment among those initiatives that provide timely and strong
levels of return on invested capital.

– Whenever possible, pursue new growth initiatives that require minimal
corporate capital support and leverage existing assets and core

– Establishing specific targets for cost reduction and cost productivity

“We are confident our growth vision and strategy for the future will
result in Canadian Tire becoming an elite performer among North American
retailers, and we are committed to achieving this goal in a financially sound
manner that delivers superior returns to shareholders,” said Huw Thomas,
executive vice-president and chief financial officer.
“Our team is energized by the magnitude of the opportunities, the clarity
of our growth roadmap and our ability to become a top-quartile performer while
managing our financial flexibility and strength,” added Sales.


In light of uncertainty in the global marketplace, Canadian Tire wishes
to provide investors with some insight into our current business trends. While
retail sales were somewhat impacted by tragic events in the United States,
they have recovered to normal levels. Based on current trends Canadian Tire
today reaffirms its forecast for an increase in gross operating revenues of
six to eight per cent in 2001 and an increase in consolidated net earnings in
the range of seven to nine per cent, excluding gains from the securitization
of credit charge receivables.

This forecast reflects our financial performance to date and the nature
of our product mix which provides Canadians with essential products and
services. While there is still uncertainty about the future impact of the
extraordinary events in the United States, we are actively monitoring,
managing and adjusting our business initiatives as required in response to the
situation. The Corporation will adjust and communicate any changes to our 2001
forecast if required.

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSE: CTR.a, CTR) — the country’s
most shopped retailer — offers a unique mix of products and services through
three distinct, yet inter-related businesses. Canadian Tire Retail and the
Associate Dealers together form one of Canada’s best-known and most successful
retailers, offering customers the convenience and leadership of three
specialty stores under one roof — Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home
Products. Canadian Tire’s online marketing channel www.canadiantire.ca , offers
Canadians a way to shop online for automotive, sports, leisure and home
products. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages related financial products
and services for retail and petroleum customers, and also markets other value-
added products to our customers. Canadian Tire Petroleum is one of the
country’s largest independent retailers of gasoline, with 203 outlets. With
443 Canadian Tire Associate Stores serving communities nationwide, Canadian
Tire Corporation, Limited and the Associate Dealers together employ more than
38,000 Canadians.


MC Ops Center

MasterCard International yesterday officially opened its new Global Technology & Operations headquarters in the St. Louis area. MasterCard says it processes as many as 26 million authorizations in this facility on a single day, and settles as much as $4 billion on a single day between financial institutions worldwide. The building is a four-wing complex that contains 550,000 square feet of space and is located in O’Fallon, Missouri. There are three wings of office space, as well as a Data Center. The building overlooks a 10-acre lake. MasterCard says its St. Louis payroll is $170 million and covers more than 2200 jobs.


USWD Signs Datamark

Datamark Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of electronic customer loyalty and gift card programs, has selected U.S. Wireless Data, Inc., through its NXT subsidiary, to provide its dial transaction network, connecting Datamark with their merchant customer locations nationwide.

The NXT network ensures fast and secure transport of the transaction data between the merchant site and Datamark’s host computer. When a consumer initiates a gift card or loyalty transaction with a Datamark merchant customer, that merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) device connects to the NXT network using dial-up technology. The NXT network connects the merchant’s POS system directly to the Datamark host, which updates the consumer’s gift or loyalty card account and authorizes the transaction. Currently, Datamark processes millions of transactions each month, many of which are transported by the NXT network.

“We’re very pleased with NXT’s responsiveness in implementing and managing our dial transport infrastructure. The technology and support that NXT provides is critical to ensuring the satisfaction of all our clients, from our small merchant customers to our very large national chains like Electronics Boutique and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Also, with U.S. Wireless Data, we now have the capability of performing wireless gift and loyalty transactions,” said David Berk, Chief Technology Officer of Datamark Technologies.

“U.S. Wireless Data is excited to provide Datamark with advanced transport technology and superior customer service through our NXT operations,” said Christopher O’Hara, President of U.S. Wireless Data. “Datamark’s leadership in the fast-growing electronic customer loyalty and pre-paid card industry allows us to further implement our strategy of providing a complete offering of transaction transport and delivery services through both landline and wireless communications technology.”


U.S. Wireless Data (USWD), and its subsidiary NXT, make credit card and ATM transactions work faster and more economically. USWD connects credit card processing companies to their merchant clients. Using wireless and landline technology, USWD provides improved transport, data translation, and value-added processing. In addition, by enabling wireless point of sale terminals, USWD adds speed and mobility that has been unachievable in the past. USWD now handles more than 500 million transactions each year through its centralized computer center and nationwide network. Further information is available at [www.uswirelessdata.com][1].


Datamark Technologies, Inc. is a marketing driven technology firm and a leading provider of electronic customer loyalty and pre-paid card programs. In operation since 1992, Datamark offers a turnkey solution for card – based programs, including all hardware and software, system integration, database management, customer and technical support, and its own database analysis software. Datamark is currently serving the retail, restaurant, travel, oil & gas, and telecommunications industries throughout North America. Further information is available at [www.datamarktech.com][2].

[1]: http://www.uswirelessdata.com
[2]: http://www.datamarktech.com



Nokia announced its collaboration with IBM, Luottokunta and Radiolinja to
jointly pilot convenient, easy-to-use and secure credit card payments by
using a mobile phone wallet application.
With this pilot, the parties want to demonstrate their commitment to
the mobile wallet concept and WIM (Wireless Identity Module) technology.
The objective of this collaboration with IBM, Luottokunta and
Radiolinja is to demonstrate how consumers are able to make convenient and
secure mobile transactions by using the wallet for transferring payments
and loyalty program information, and WIM for making non-repudiated
transactions. Nokia will provide the pilot phones with the wallet
application and WIM functionality support including a GSM SIM/WIM card
issued by Radiolinja. The chip card will adhere to the WAP Forum WIM
specifications and support standardized mobile public key functionality
offering digital signature capability.

Luottokunta will provide Digital POS (point of sale) service for
merchants. In the pilot service implementation, Luottokunta’s Digital POS
will be able to validate Radiolinja’s WPKI (Wireless Public Key
Infrastructure) signatures and certificates simultaneously with credit card
payment authorizations that are received from the WAP stores via Internet.
Luottokunta’s Digital POS was developed together with IBM Finland. IBM,
having a 30% market share of the Internet market places, will provide the
payment infrastructure consisting of WebSphere Commerce Suite and WebSphere
Payment Manager. IBM will also act as the systems integrator in the pilot.
Radiolinja, as a network operator and trusted 3rd party, will provide the
GSM SIM/WIM chip cards and the certificate database.
The parties are in the process of choosing suitable merchants for the
pilot, which will start in the fourth quarter of 2001 in Finland. The pilot
is an example of the tendency towards development of end-to-end solutions
done in collaboration with various parties, such as operators, banks,
infrastructure vendors and handset manufactures that support the same
technologies to build serviceable mobile market places.
Nokia has today launched the wallet application with the Nokia 6310
in conjunction with the Mobile Commerce World Europe 2001 Conference in
London. The wallet application is being demonstrated in London Arena at
booth D12 from September 25-27, 2001.

About IBM

IBM is the world’s largest information technology company, with 80
years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources
from across IBM and key Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of
services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and
small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way
to get more information about IBM is through the IBM home page at www.ibm.com.

About Luottokunta

Luottokunta is a Finnish credit institution that issues and acquires
Visa and Eurocard/MasterCard cards. Luottokunta is jointly owned by Finnish
banks and merchants, offering its customers purchasing power regardless of
time, place and device. Cornerstones of operations are cost-effectiveness,
risk management, reliability of the service and high technical know-how.
About Radiolinja

Founded in 1988, Oy Radiolinja Ab was the first company in the world
to open a GSM network, in 1991. Radiolinja is an operator focusing on
wireless mobile telecommunications, which offers digital mobile
telecommunications services to private and corporate customers. Radiolinja
produces and actively develops various mobile services to enable Finns to
communicate independently of time and location. The Radiolinja Group
includes Oy Radiolinja Ab, and the subsidiaries Radiolinja Eesti AS, UAB
Radiolinja, SIA Radiolinja Latvija and Ecosite Oy. The Group’s net sales in
2000 totalled EUR 614 million and it had more the 1,000 employees.
Radiolinja forms part of the Elisa Group.

About Nokia

Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications. Backed by its
experience, innovation, user-friendliness and secure solutions, the company
has become the leading supplier of mobile phones and a leading supplier of
mobile, fixed and IP networks. By adding mobility to the Internet Nokia
creates new opportunities for companies and further enriches the daily
lives of people. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on six major


Access Cash Acquisition

eFunds Corporation has signed an agreement to purchase all of the remaining equity interests in Access Cash International for about $43.9 million in cash. eFunds first acquired a minority interest in ACI last year. Access Cash is the second largest independent ATM service provider in the USA, with 8,400 owned or managed ATMs. Access Cash provides turnkey ATM deployment solutions, including ATM sales and management activities, as well as branding and advertising services.


Stock Recovery

Credit card stocks made a substantial recovery yesterday after being mercilessly pounded last week. Sub-prime issuers lead the recovery, as Providian gained 12% while Metris and CompuCredit gained more than 11%. MBNA also posted a strong 11%+ gain. Both Capital One and American Express picked up more than 7%. Analysts upgraded MBNA and Capital One yesterday. After the stock market fell more than 14% last week, the broad market gained about 4.4% Monday. NextCard lost about 5% yesterday. This morning stocks headed up again as the market opened.

Mon 9-24-01
Providian 20.80 +12.07 19.00
CompuCredit 6.75 +11.76 6.26
Metris 23.41 +11.42 22.00
MBNA 27.91 +11.42 25.06
Capital One 43.05 +7.63 42.50
Amer Exp 27.51 +7.42 26.55
Household 52.85 +4.99 50.83
Advanta 9.21 +0.66 9.05
NextCard 5.09 – 5.04 4.97
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)


ABM Solution

Greenland Corporation said this morning that Trilicom Data Solutions has completed a new self-service check cashing system, designed to support Greenland’s ‘MAXcash’ ABM, and third-party check cashing POS systems. The system, marketed under the brand name ‘Check Central Solutions’ will be sold as a turnkey, single-store automation package, or as a networked back-office transactions processing solution. Greenland is the developer and manufacturer of the ‘MAXcash Automated Banking Machine’ and related transaction processing systems 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.


MagIC 9000 Certified

SchlumbergerSema announced that Global Payments Inc. has certified its state-of-the-art MagIC 9000 point-of-sale terminal. The certification confirms the terminal’s complete compatibility for wired and wireless credit and debit card payment transactions in conjunction with Global Payment System’s advanced software applications.

With the new certification, the versatile, multi-application SchlumbergerSema MagIC 9000 terminal can serve as a stand alone payment terminal, be used with Global Payment System’s NET-terminal software, and be integrated with third party software for use in general retail applications and for hospitality industry solutions, such as Global Payment System’s NET-Pad. Additionally the MagIC 9000 terminal can also house gift certificate and loyalty applications for the service provider.

“We are pleased to offer the all-encompassing SchlumbergerSema MagIC 9000 terminal to our retail customers in Canada,” said, Mig Migirdicyan, president of Global Payments Canada-Indirect.”

Providing merchants with rapid-time to market, reduction in costs, increased revenues from value-added loyalty and gift card program, and expanded market availability, the MagIC 9000 terminal offers a flexible solution that enables retailers to quickly and cost effectively transition to new smart-card based applications.

About SchlumbergerSema

SchlumbergerSema is a leading information technology services company providing consulting, systems integration, managed services, business continuity systems, products and IP network security solutions serving the elecommunications, utility, finance, transport, oil and gas, and public sector markets. With more than 30,000 employees in 130 countries, SchlumbergerSema is one of two business segments of Schlumberger Limited, a global technology services company. For more information about SchlumbergerSema, visit .

About Global Payments Inc.

Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.


QuikCredit Launched

Global Cash Access, a supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry, has successfully launched QuikCredit at the Imperial Palace Casino in Las Vegas.

“Imperial Palace is the first casino to utilize QuikCredit, an innovative new GCA product that enables casinos to extend credit and tap new sources for increased gaming revenue,” said Kirk Sanford, GCA’s chief executive officer. QuikCredit, a gaming industry first, is powered by GCA’s proprietary Internet technology and the databases of Central Credit, TeleCheck and GCA – the most complete in the industry. QuikCredit presents an alternative for patrons who have been denied cash advance or ATM transactions for any number of reasons and for casinos that don’t extend credit to middle-level ($300 to $5,000) patrons or don’t currently extend credit at all.

In addition to authorizing and extending credit, GCA performs all debt collections, enabling casino managers to focus on hospitality and other customer service aspects of their business.

“A certain percentage of cash access transactions get declined by cardholders’ banks, but with QuikCredit the denial message at the ATM or cash advance terminal instructs customers how to proceed with a QuikCredit transaction to obtain funds,” said Kurt Sullivan, executive vice president of GCA and director of the company’s QuikCredit division. “The credit-worthiness of the patron is quickly determined by a check against our vast database, so it’s a good experience for the customer and also benefits the casino by generating new gaming revenue.”

Patrons can apply for a QuikCredit line through a process as simple as a credit card cash advance using the Web-based technology of GCA’s QuikCash Plus Web (QCPWeb) full service transaction processing system. While QuikCredit currently serves walk-up patrons with on-the-spot credit approval, future enhancements will allow patrons to pre-qualify for a credit line and have it waiting for them when they arrive at the casino.

“GCA pioneered the cash access paradigm in the gaming industry, and QuikCredit is yet another extension of GCA’s commitment to deliver innovative products that create new gaming revenue sources for the casino,” said Sanford. “It’s a win-win for us – more money on the casino floor without risk,” said Craig Hawkins, director of finance at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. “QuikCredit allows us to address a market segment that was not previously served. The GCA team did a commendable job launching the QuikCredit product as well as training and working with our staff. The product is simple to use, and because it’s Web-based, we experienced zero downtime of our other QCPWeb products, despite the integration process required. GCA has always provided us with first-rate service, and the successful launch of QuikCredit has held true to that tradition.”

About Global Cash Access

Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 and is a joint venture of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) and M&C International, Inc. Providing access to the gaming industry’s largest patron database, Global Cash Access uses Internet technologies to deliver funds transfer, financial management and customer relationship marketing services to more than 1,000 gaming properties nationwide. More information on the company is available at [www.globalcashaccess.com][1].

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