AmEx/JCB Expands

The global merchant services agreement between AmEx and JCB expanded this morning. Since the agreement was announced in June 2000, the markets in which AmEx will provide merchant-related services for JCB have been extended to include Mexico and India, in addition to Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The agreement calls for merchants on the American Express network in these five markets to be given the opportunity to begin accepting JCB cards, and for AmEx to become the merchant acquirer for JCB. Beginning July 31, 2001, American Express in Mexico enabled many travel and entertainment merchants, as well as high-volume retail merchants on its network to accept JCB Cards. The company also began acquisition, processing and servicing of new merchants on JCB’s behalf in Mexico. Over the next 12 months, AmEx will begin providing these same services for JCB in the other four markets. In addition, in the United States, AmEx has started working with JCB to provide technical access to American Express-owned merchant terminals.

Details

ATM Leasing

Triton and Popular Leasing U.S.A., the American leasing arm of Puerto Rico-based Banco Popular, have signed an agreement that will make affordable ATM lease financing products available to a wide range of businesses. The new program will include longer lease terms, lower down payments, and more aggressive credit scoring. Triton has also structured an arrangement with its distributors to co-provide limited financial recourse as well as re-marketing services to Popular Leasing in the event of lease defaults. The new program makes it possible for businesses with a wide range of credit ratings, including those that have been in operation for as little as six months, to obtain lease terms of 60 months, and in some cases, up to 66 months. Down payments consist of only the first and last month payments only.

Details

KEB EXITS CARD BIZ

Korea Exchange Bank has agreed to sell its controlling stake in its credit card operations to Citibank for 660 billion won or about US$516 million. KEB is unloading the unit to achieve overall bank profitability. It took more than four months to negoiate the deal with Citibank. South Korea’s credit card industry is dominated by Samsung, LG, Hyundai, and Kookmin Card. VISA and MasterCard logged more than US$127 billion in card volume last year in the country.

Details

Equitex Sub-Prime Marketing

Equitex, Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Key Financial Systems, Inc. of Clearwater, Florida, has signed marketing alliances with nine new independent marketing organizations. Five of these organizations have already begun marketing on Key’s behalf while the remaining four are expected to begin within the next thirty days.

“One of the main growth strategies in our overall business plan is to increase our inbound telemarketing efforts through direct mail, direct solicitation, and print media,” stated Scott Lucas, President of Key. “These alliances give us the opportunity to reach new market segments and increase our capacity in as much as the alliances increase our ability to reach a larger number of consumers. In addition,” continued Mr. Lucas, “Key has begun a new direct mail campaign with an experienced credit card marketer that could potentially generate up to 1,000,000 leads per month for our market segment.”

The expanded marketing efforts include the use of direct mail, print media, Internet and email advertising to generate calls to inbound call centers. In addition, telemarketing centers selling various other products and services to customers in Key’s market segments will transfer interested and qualified credit card applicants directly to a Key inbound call center.

Equitex, Inc. is a holding company operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries Nova Financial Systems and Key Financial Systems of Clearwater, Florida. Nova and Key design and service credit card products for those who need to build or rebuild credit; marketed through direct mail, print media, telemarketing for financial institutions and the Internet through alliances with a number of popular Internet web sites.

Details

TIME-STAMP

ZeitControl cardsystems GmbH presents two new terminals for the and door attendance. These terminals are suitable for software and
system houses for the connection to existing software.

The TimeStamp is available in two new versions TimeStamps RFID for reading RFID-transponders and TimeStamp Chipcard. Both versions
can be used in the time registration and attendance. We recommend the contactless RFID version, because it works also in a dusty
environment.

These terminals from our own production are fitted out with an extremely versatile equipment like RS232/RS485 – interface, modem
connection, LED-display with 2×16 characters, keypad with 14 keys as well as 60 kBytes of memory.

Details

PrimeDomain & UltraCard

Upgrade International Corporation is pleased to announce that it has entered into strategic alliance agreements with PrimeDomain International and their affiliated companies.

The involvement of PrimeDomain International is aimed at providing the Upgrade group of companies with ample capital resources and commercial expertise in order to accelerate the commercialization of the group’s products and services. Through its subsidiary, PrimeStrategies, PrimeDomain International has been instrumental in establishing market presence for numerous companies internationally. PrimeOrigin has contributed significantly to its client company’s technology development and commercialization. PrimeCapital Partners’ principals have raised in excess of 1 billion dollars of equity capital for developing technology companies.

Mr. Daniel Bland, President and CEO of Upgrade International Corp. states, “At this critical juncture in the Company’s life cycle, having completed our research and development and poised for the execution of our product launch, we have been seeking a partner that shares our strategic vision for the mass market implementation of our business plan. We have been very impressed with the track record of PrimeDomain International and are very pleased to announce to our shareholders our association with this respected group of companies.”

Linda Chandler, managing partner and CEO, PrimeCapital Partners states, “Prime Capital Partners invests in companies that are able to prove their business model, establish a defensible technology, secure a pathway to revenues and profitability, and present a compelling case that they are entering into a phase of very explosive business growth. Upgrade International Corp. represents one of the best suited business opportunities that we have had the opportunity to work with to date.”

Upgrade International Corp. through its ownership interest in UltraCard Inc., Efornet Corp., and cQue Corporation is engaged in the development and commercialization of a patented ultra high capacity portable data storage technology. UltraCard’s patented method for using existing hard disk storage technology provides both highly durable media in a credit card format and an inexpensive read/write device that together will become the next generation in personal portable data storage for a broad range of existing and new markets. Management believes that the UltraCard technology will potentially provide numerous industrial users with a combination of high levels of security and a vastly greater amount of personal transportable data storage at the lowest cost in the industry. In addition the acquisition and development of existing SmartCard solution providers represents a strategic market strategy designed to accelerate the integration of the vastly superior technology inherent in the UltraCard into existing and newly developing markets. For more information on PrimeCapital Partners, see their web site at [www.primedomain.com][1].

On Behalf of the Board of Directors,

Daniel Bland President

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

Details

AMEX/JCB AGREEMENT

Beginning this week, American Express
Cardmembers from around the world will be able to use their Cards at a
significantly expanded network of merchants across Japan, as a result of a
global agreement between American Express and JCB, Japan’s largest card issuer
and merchant acquirer.

Since the agreement was announced in June 2000, the markets in which
American Express will provide merchant-related services for JCB have been
expanded to include Mexico and India, in addition to Australia, New Zealand
and Canada. The agreement calls for merchants on the American Express network
in these five markets to be given the opportunity to begin accepting JCB
cards, and for American Express to become the merchant acquirer for JCB and to
assume responsibility for processing and servicing all new merchants.
Beginning July 31, 2001, American Express in Mexico enabled many travel
and entertainment merchants, as well as high-volume retail merchants on its
network to accept JCB Cards. The company also began acquisition, processing
and servicing of new merchants on JCB’s behalf in Mexico. Over the next 12
months, American Express will begin providing these same services for JCB in
the other four markets. In addition, in the United States, American Express
has started working with JCB to provide technical access to American
Express-owned merchant terminals.

“We are delighted with the progress of our strategic partnership with JCB.
This reciprocal relationship is truly a groundbreaking one between two highly
respected global brands. As a result, American Express Cardmembers from
around the world will be able to use their cards virtually everywhere in Japan
that they would like to,” said David House, Group President of American
Express Global Establishment Services, Travelers Cheque and Network Services.
Isao Nakanishi, President and CEO of JCB Co. Ltd., stated, “JCB values
this relationship with American Express both inside and outside Japan as the
launch of a truly innovative strategy in the global card market. As our
relationship progresses over the years, we believe that the benefits to our
JCB Cardmembers traveling abroad will increase correspondingly.”

JCB, which launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding
overseas in 1981, is an international brand and the largest card issuer and
merchant acquirer in Japan. Its merchant network spans 167 countries and
territories, and serves more than 38 million card holders worldwide. More
information about JCB can be found at http://www.jcbinternational.com/.
American Express is a diversified worldwide financial, travel and network
services company. Founded in 1850, it is a leader in charge and credit cards,
Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance
and international banking. American Express has more than 54 million cards in
force worldwide and a presence in more than 200 countries and territories.
More information about American Express can be found at http://www.americanexpress.com/.

Details

AMEX CARDS

American Express is in discussions to issue cards in China by means of
partnerships with local banks, including Bank of China and the Industrial
and Commercial Bank of China. American Express has been working with Bank
of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to expand ATM
coverage. AmEx is also in talks with eight commercial banks to increase the
merchant acceptance throughout the country.

Details

Ad Agency Tanks

As online currency firms, beenz.com and flooz.com, folded this week, the overall Internet shake-out is spreading to online advertising services. Next Wednesday, OH-based AdOutlet, which handled credit card advertising for major issuers, will be closing its doors. The privately-held company, founded in 1998, had offices in Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. At one time the firm employed more than 100 people. As of this week, only seven employees remain, according to company executives. Among major credit card ad clients was First USA. AdOutlet was known for its ‘Advertising Distribution System’ which creates target-specific searches that identify available inventory and generates tailor-made results for ad clients. Earlier this year, the firm created a new business unit, ADS Media Solutions, which focused on a private-branded exchange and an internal sales solution for the cable television advertising industry and television and radio station groups. The company also formerly operated under the ‘Ad Net Marketing’ trade name.

Details

10 Min Check Card

U.S. Bank has announced a new service that allows customers to open checking accounts instantly at usbank.com. The new service makes it possible to apply, get a decision and fund a checking account in about 10 minutes.

Once approved, customers can fund the new account by mailing a check, transferring funds from an existing U.S. Bank account or by requesting an automatic transfer from an account at another financial institution. They can start using the account within two days.

Visitors to usbank.com will have the ability to open any of eight types of checking accounts, a U.S. Bank Check Card and Reserve Lines of Credit up to $2,000.

“The fact that we can approve checking account applications within minutes of the request places U.S. Bancorp at the forefront of our competitors in both speed and convenience,” says Steve SaLoutos, head of product management at U.S. Bank. “As anyone who shops or surfs online knows, speed is everything — and we’re positioning ourselves as the Best Bank in America for safe, convenient online banking solutions.”

Since 1999, the number of consumers banking online in the United States has risen by 96 percent. In 1999, 11.4 million Americans banked online. Today, the number has reached 22.3 million, according to industry-watcher Gomez, Inc. “Online banking is one of the fastest growing segments of our business, and is a big reason why many people make us their bank of choice,” SaLoutos said.

U.S. Bank plans to expand this service to enable customers to open savings accounts, affinity checking accounts, the WorldPerks Check Card and certificates of deposit (CDs), and will continually enhance the efficiency of site.

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 Bank and U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at and Firstar Bank at .

Details

Beetle Deal

Wincor Nixdorf and Triversity Inc. announced that they are expanding their existing relationship into a broader alliance to deliver complete store solutions to North American retailers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Triversity will sell Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE POS systems and become an Authorized Service Provider for Wincor Nixdorf technology and support services. Wincor Nixdorf will recommend Triversity’s Transactionware and Cypress software solutions to its North American customers.

“This expanded relationship leverages both companies’ strengths in order to offer turnkey solutions to retail customers,” said Jeff Soisson, vice president of Wincor Nixdorf’s Retail Solutions Group. “The synergy between Wincor Nixdorf and Triversity has been very positive, and we look forward to taking the relationship to the next level. Through this alliance, Wincor Nixdorf gains a strategic new channel for our POS systems in the North American marketplace.”

“We are delighted to expand our alliance with Wincor Nixdorf,” said Greg Bandler, vice president of corporate marketing for Triversity. “The retail market continues to demand open POS platforms that offer both flexibility and value. By combining our strengths, Triversity and Wincor Nixdorf will allow retailers to better serve their customers at all interaction points.”

About Triversity Inc.

Triversity is a leading software provider delivering integrated multi-channel, customer-centric solutions for the retail industry. By integrating market-leading Point-of-Sale/Point-of-Interaction (POS/POI) applications with intelligent retail customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, Triversity allows retailers the capability to offer a consistent shopping experience across all channels, all the time, and enables them to easily and effectively manage the customer lifecycle on a one-to-one basis. Triversity is a single source for retailers to extend existing traditional transaction processing to multiple points of interaction, including the Internet, kiosks and wireless devices. The company’s TAP model enables retailers to Transact with their customers; Analyze their market baskets and customer data; and, deliver Personalized marketing programs and incentives across all channels of distribution.

Triversity’s retail solutions are installed in over 350 retailers in 32 countries. Retail clients include the U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), Discovery Channel, Hallmark, Pep Boys, Rite Aid, The Shoe Company, The Sports Authority, Wawa and Williams-Sonoma. Triversity is headquartered in Toronto, with regional offices in Philadelphia, Dallas, Mexico City and Sydney. For more information, please visit .

The BEETLE Family of POS Systems

Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE family of POS systems addresses the complete spectrum of customer touch points in the retail store environment. With solutions that encompass thin-client POS terminals, lean- and thick-client POS systems, kiosks, lottery terminals, and mobile POS devices, the BEETLE family is the industry’s most comprehensive POS product line. An open design supporting commonality of components across the entire BEETLE family substantially simplifies software deployment and hardware maintenance, keeping costs down and productivity high.

More than just PCs, BEETLE systems are rugged, designed to withstand the rigors of retail environments. All systems include standard retail interfaces, accept a wide range of peripherals, and are compliant with established retail software standards. Standard operating systems include Red Hat(R) Linux(R), the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) family, and Microsoft DOS.

The BEETLE family of POS systems is the industry’s first and only complete line of customer-proven, Linux-ready POS systems in production. The systems also offer the most expansive and complete set of JavaPOS(tm) drivers for POS peripherals.

About Wincor Nixdorf

Worldwide, Wincor Nixdorf Inc. is one of the fastest growing providers of IT products and solutions for the retail and banking industries. Wincor Nixdorf’s offerings include hardware, application software, professional services and a complete range of service programs including on-site support, depot service and Advanced Exchange. Wincor Nixdorf is the world’s third largest provider of POS systems and automated teller machines. Employing more than 4,600 people, Wincor Nixdorf operates in 40 countries with manufacturing plants in Germany and Singapore. North American headquarters are in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit [www.wincor-nixdorf.com/usa][1].

[1]: http://www.wincor-nixdorf.com/usa

Details