Beanie Baby Card

MBNA said yesterday that its new ‘Beanie Baby MasterCard’ generated more responses in its first three weeks than any other Web-driven initiative over the same period. The new ‘Ty Platinum Plus MasterCard’ is the first credit card to be offered with an exclusive, companion ‘Beanie Baby’. ‘M.C. Beanie’, a brown bear whose nose features the familiar red-and-orange MasterCard logo, will be sent to each ‘Ty Platinum Plus MasterCard’ cardholder upon initial use of the card. ‘M.C. Beanie’ was created exclusively for MasterCard by Ty Warner, chairman and CEO of Ty Inc. In addition to ‘M.C. Beanie’, the ‘Ty MasterCard’ offers a points program. Cardholders can redeem points to obtain Ty merchandise, including ‘Beanie Babies’ created exclusively for the program. The card is marketed through Ty’s Web site.

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Heartland & ARA

The Arizona Restaurant Association and Heartland Payment Systems Inc. recently announced an expanded partnership, which utilizes Heartland’s statewide sales professionals as an additional distribution channel for ARA memberships across the state of Arizona.

Heartland’s local sales professionals have started offering ARA memberships along with its value-added services in addition to HPS credit card and payroll processing services to restaurant merchants in Arizona. In the spirit of a true partnership, the ARA will compensate the Heartland sales team for increasing their membership sales. This unique distribution channel strategy sets a precedent in the industry, which both HPS and the ARA are convinced will gain popularity with other state association partners. Currently, Heartland is moving forward with similar arrangements with other restaurant and hospitality partners throughout the United States. “We believe that our expanded relationship with the Arizona Restaurant Association is a testament to the outstanding reputation of our dedicated relationship managers as an excellent distribution channel in Arizona as well as throughout the United States,” said Sanford Brown, SVP of sales and association marketing director, HPS. Brown continued, “As a new distribution channel for ARA programs and services, HPS will generate synergies between our organizations, which will further cement our partnership and increase both organizations’ market reach.” The ARA agrees as Joe Yuhas, ARA executive director stated, “Our association is very excited about this new initiative. Of course, this effort only strengthens our already solid partnership with Heartland. “But more importantly, it positions the Arizona Restaurant Association for sustained growth and expands our ability to bring the services of our association to even more restaurant merchants and their employees across the state.” This expanded partnership is a prime example of how a non-profit organization and a “for profit” company can work together to provide more value-added services and additional support to the restaurant industry. By using HPS as a distribution channel and combining marketing resources, both organizations will be able to increase their exposure in the marketplace and dramatically reduce costs to the ARA, which can be passed on to their members. Yuhas sums it up nicely, “Both the ARA and HPS stories are strong ones. As an association, we save our members thousands of dollars each year, which is added to their bottom lines in what is one of the most competitive of all industries. The addition of Heartland to our membership development team will allow both of us to present our stories to more restaurant merchants than ever before.”

About ARA

The Arizona Restaurant Association is the voice of the Arizona restaurant industry, some 8,000 members strong and representing over 8 percent of the Arizona economy. They are committed to serving the unique needs of their member restaurants and food service professionals by promoting a pro-business, pro-restaurant message and the value of the free enterprise system.

About Heartland

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. (HPS) is a full-service payment systems solutions provider, handling merchant card and payroll processing services for over 50,000 merchants of all types and sizes. Using a strategically located national sales force, HPS builds long-term business relationships in local sales territories providing merchants with enhanced technology tools that assist them in more effectively operating their businesses. For more information about HPS, please visit them online at [www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com][1] or [www.e-hps.com][2].

[1]: http://www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com
[2]: http://www.e-hps.com

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NCR CFO

NCR Corporation announced that Earl Shanks has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer effective September 10, succeeding David Bearman who is retiring from the company at the end of 2001. Bearman will work with Shanks over the coming months to transition the financial leadership of NCR.

Shanks most recently served as NCR’s vice president of corporate finance. Previously, he served as vice president and corporate controller, as well as treasurer and head of mergers and acquisitions. He joined NCR in 1996 from Chicago-based apparel maker Fruit of the Loom, Ltd. where he was vice president and treasurer.

“Earl is an exceptional executive to succeed David,” said Lars Nyberg, chairman and chief executive officer of NCR. “He quickly demonstrated leadership in each of the corporate finance positions he has held since coming to NCR, and continually demonstrates the qualities necessary to be an outstanding chief financial officer for the company.”

Commenting on his impending retirement, Bearman said, “I am delighted to have been a part of the transformation of NCR these past three years. I am extremely confident in Earl’s abilities and in the financial strength of the company going forward. Now is the right time in the evolution of NCR and for myself personally to make this change.”

Bearman came to NCR in 1998 after nine years with Cardinal Health, Inc. and 20 years with General Electric Company.

“I join everyone at NCR in thanking David for his contributions as we’ve worked together to complete the transition from being a computer hardware vendor to a technology solutions provider,” said Nyberg. “Through his complete restructure of our global finance operations, David leaves behind a strong foundation from which NCR can continue to grow and succeed.”

Shanks began his career at Peat Marwick International in 1978, which joined with Klynveld Main Goerdeler in 1987 to become global professional services organization KPMG International. During his five-year tenure, Shanks served in various management positions before joining Farley Industries, Inc. in 1983 as director of tax. There he served in key areas of financial management including treasury, acquisitions, divestitures and tax planning. Farley Industries acquired Fruit of the Loom in 1985.

Shanks is a graduate of the University of Illinois, where he earned both a master’s degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in organizational behavior.

In his new role as chief financial officer, Shanks will report to Nyberg and will replace Bearman as a member of NCR’s four-person Executive Committee, which is responsible for setting company direction. Other members of this committee include Nyberg, Mark Hurd, president of NCR and chief operating officer of the company’s Teradata Division, and Howard Lance, president of NCR and chief operating officer of the company’s Retail and Financial Group.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include the Teradata(R) database and analytical applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) and demand chain management, store automation systems and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long- established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 33,300 in more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at .

NCR and Teradata are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.

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Hyper Deal

Hypercom Corp. has entered into a contract valued at an expected $30 million with First Data’s TASQ Technology. Hypercom says the deal reflects the escalating demand for consumer-activated, EMV smart card capable, touch screen payment terminals. Hypercom’s ‘ePOS-infocommerce ICE’ terminals incorporate Hypercom’s ‘TranSafe’ operating system, which incorporates, multi-tasking, firewall-protected multi-application functionality, along with EMV chip card capability, a secure PIN pad, built-in HTML/HTTP Web browser and integrated receipt printer.

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Canadian Bankruptcies

Canadian consumer bankruptcies increased 7.9% in July 2001 compared to the same period one year ago. According to statistics released this week by the Federal Superintendent of Bankruptcy, a total of 7,073 individuals declared bankruptcy in July 2000, compared to 6,554 one year ago. More than 400,000 personal bankruptcies were filed during the second calendar quarter of 2001 in the U.S.A., the highest number ever filed in one quarter. According to data released last month by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, a total of 400,394 petitions were filed between April 1 and June 30 of this year, a 24.5% increase over the 321,729 cases filed in the same period last year.

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JBA SPECS

Dai Nippon Printing Co and Toppan Printing Co have become the first firms
to develop operating software for a smart cash card based on specifications
set by the Japanese Bankers Association. Dai Nippon Printing will provide
the software for a smart card that Fuji Bank and Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank of
the Mizuho Financial Group began issuing on a trial basis last week. It
will also develop a card for use in ATMs. Toppan Printing will ship a smart
card based on the new software by next April with projected annual sales of
one million cards. Toppan also plans to develop a smart card that provides
both credit and cash card functions.

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Charge for the Cure

Sunstone Hotel Investors, L.L.C. will partner with American Express in the “Charge for the Cure” campaign, September 1, 2001 through October 31, 2001. During these months American Express will donate one cent for every American Express charge made at any one of Sunstone’s 53 hotels. All of Sunstone’s properties will take part in “Charge for the Cure,” most notably the Portland Marriott City Center on Broadway, San Diego’s Holiday Inn Harbor View, the Sheraton Salt Lake City Centre, Salt Lake’s University Park Marriott, and the Utah Valley Marriott Conference Center in Provo. American Express will ultimately make a donation of up to $500,000 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation based upon consumer charges made at all participating merchants.

John Elston, Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Sunstone Hotels, says, “The ‘Charge for the Cure’ campaign is an excellent opportunity for businesses like ours to help make a difference. Just by encouraging our guests to use their American Express cards, we’ll be helping the Susan G. Komen Foundation further their efforts in finding a cure for breast cancer. This is an opportunity we just couldn’t afford to pass up.”

To take part in “Charge for the Cure,” guests simply need to pay for their hotel charges using their American Express card. All of Sunstone’s hotels will display in-property signage alerting guests of the “Charge for the Cure” campaign. Sunstone Hotels owns and operates properties throughout CA, OR, WA, AZ, MN, UT, ID, and AK, all of which will be participating in the “Charge for the Cure.” For a complete listing of Sunstone Hotels, visit the Sunstone web site at:

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U.S. Bank/AmEx

U.S. Bank has signed an agreement to sell American Express Travelers Cheques. The cheques are currently available at all U.S. Bank locations. U.S. Bank customers can also purchase American Express Cheques for Two, a travelers cheque that allows two people to share the same set of cheques, and American Express Gift Cheques, which are like gift certificates that can be redeemed anywhere that accepts American Express Travelers Cheques. Gift Cheques are available in denominations of $25, $50 and $100.

American Express issues the world’s leading and best recognized brand of travelers cheques. American Express Travelers Cheques are accepted nearly everywhere around the world and are replaceable if lost or stolen.

“We chose American Express because they share our strong commitment to customer service,” said Steven S. SaLoutos, senior vice president, U.S. Bank. “These travelers cheques are the perfect addition to the wide range of products and services U.S. Bank has available for customers.”

American Express’ “Worldwide Refund Delivery Service” promises the best refund service for lost or stolen cheques including, if necessary, hand-delivered refunds virtually anywhere in the world.

Chris Cowan, Vice President of National Accounts Sales and Development for the American Express Travelers Cheque Group stated, “We are truly excited about this new partnership with U.S. Bank and their customers. U.S. Bank’s strong presence, with over 1000 locations in the Midwest and West, will significantly increase consumer access to our family of Cheque products.” American Express Company ( ), founded in 1850, is a global travel, financial and network services provider.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with assets in excess of $165 billion, is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,262 banking offices and 5,208 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of Firstar Banks and U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the Web at and Firstar Bank at

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Providian Slips

Providian, this morning, lowered its earnings estimates for the year, citing a recent slowdown in customer purchase activity, softer loan demand relative to expectations, and ongoing credit tightening by the Company. In the third quarter, Providian expects to report an improvement in its managed net credit loss rate to below the second quarter rate of 10.29%. At the currently expected loan growth levels, Providian says it is likely that the fourth quarter managed net credit loss rate will be between 10.45% and 10.75%. Providian indicated it is revising its 2001 earnings guidance to $3.20 to $3.25 per diluted share, representing a 17% to 19% increase over 2000 earnings per share before one-time adjustments. Providian’s stock tumbled last week after analysts complained about the manner in which Providian revealed it had changed its policy on how it accounts for bad loans. Credit Suisse First Boston and Goldman Sachs analysts both cut their earnings outlooks after Providian disclosed in a recent regulatory filing that is now taking up to 30 days to write off accounts when customers notify them that they will not pay because of bankruptcy. Analyst aid that while the policy change is consistent with practices, and within regulatory guidelines, it caused a two-week period when bankruptcies were not being charged-off, and this lowered the loss rate in the second quarter.

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BANKRUPTCY UPTICK

Canadian consumer bankruptcies increased 7.9 per
cent in July 2001 over July 2000, according to statistics released by
the Federal Superintendent of Bankruptcy. A total of 7,073 individuals
declared bankruptcy in July 2000, compared to 6,554 filed in July 2000.
“This represents a dramatic increase in the rate of Canadian bankruptcy
filings when compared to the 3.2 per cent increase over the first six months
of this year, ” said Frank Kisluk, President, Debtor Consulting Services Ltd,
of Toronto. In the United States, filings increased 24 per cent over the same
period.

According to Kisluk, “The significant rise in July filings could be an
indicator of even more dramatic increases to come in personal bankruptcies
over the next six months.”

Citing the U.S. economy which Canada typically mirrors, Kisluk believes
that “a combination of factors contributed to the increase in July filings
including continuous job layoffs, a near zero-savings rate, reduced consumer
spending and an increased credit card delinquency rate.” In July, the U.S.
credit card delinquency rate, based on account balances more than 30 days past
due, rose for the eighth straight month to 5.06 per cent.

“We have evidence that Canadian and U.S. bankruptcy filings have
traditionally grown at the same pace, and based on the July statistics, we can
expect that Canada is now entering a catch-up phase to the U.S. number of
filings. We anticipate that Canadian insolvencies are set to expand rapidly
over the next six months,” Kisluk added.

ABOUT DEBTOR CONSULTING SERVICES LTD.

Toronto-based Debtor Consulting Services Ltd. specializes in the field of
financial structuring and insolvency services. President and Bankruptcy
Trustee Frank Kisluk incorporates into his practise over 32 years of
professional experience. Kisluk is the author of Life After Debt and Dear
Creditor.

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CD Cards

An Omaha firm has come up with a payment card that inserts into a personal computer CD-ROM drive. Media Services says the new, patent pending, multi-use payment card, will offer the same confidence as a card present transaction. The cards will contain a mag stripe, signature stripe, smart chip, along with the customer name/account number printed on the face of the CD card. The CD-R portion of the card also has enough capacity for advertising and promotional use. Card issuers could create splash screens, and audio/video promoting other products and services. Media Services is the card producer for NYCE’s ‘SafeDebit’ product that currently uses the first generation of the multi-use payment card.

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Advance Fee Scam

A Georgia man, who did business out of Atlanta, as HomeLife Credit Services, has agreed to be permanently banned from any involvement in activities related to credit-related goods or services. The firm was caught in the FTC’s ‘Operation Advance Fee Loan 2000′ sweep. HomeLife used telemarketers to solicit consumers to apply for unsecured credit cards by falsely promising that, in exchange for a one-time fee of $129.95, consumers would receive credit cards with a $2,500 credit limit. HomeLife debited the fee directly from the consumers’ bank accounts, but consumers never received the promised credit cards. Instead of a new credit card, consumers received a package from HomeLife containing a list of banks to which they could contact to apply for a credit card, along with a booklet about maintaining good credit.

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