ITS Networks Inc. announced it has signed
an agreement with El Corte Ingles, Spain’s top retailer and department store
chain to distribute its line of “Melanie” calling cards.
El Corte Ingles is one of Spain’s largest companies and has over ninety
stores distributed all over the country. They have agreed to distribute the
“Melanie” cards in all of their shops and department stores. The card itself
will be a prepaid low cost calling card available in 1000 (6.01 euros) and
2000 (12.02 euros) pesetas versions.

At the same time as its introduction into the market, ITS is to launch a
very large marketing campaign in press, radio and exterior supports. The
world famous actress Melanie Griffith will also make several public
appearances in the main El Corte Ingles stores to further promote the product.
The President of ITS Networks Inc (ITSN), Frederic Cohen states that, “A
distribution agreement with El Corte Ingles is a very exciting move for us.
Apart from giving us great prestige, it is very synergistic with our national
expansion plans. Because of the population’s fascination with Melanie, and
her husband Antonio Banderas, we know that this card will be a great success.
The design of the card is still secret but all I can tell you is that it is
absolutely stunning. There will be 5 different designs, and a special
promotion for those wanting to collect all five cards”.

I.T.S. Europe S.L., a wholly owned subsidiary of ITS Networks Inc (ITSN),
is a Spanish telecommunications corporation. ITS offers the market Direct
Pre-Selected Fixed Line Services, Cellular Services, Email, Broadband, Dial
Around Calling, Calling Cards, Auto Dialers, Call Back Services, Business to
Business E-Commerce and other Internet and Web Design Services.


TRM 2Q/01

OR-based TRM Corporation yesterday reported second quarter revenue of $20.4 million, up 5.6% from $19.3 million in the second quarter of 2000. Revenues from the Company’s ATM business drove the revenue increase and contributed $4.5 million of the total for the quarter, up 104%, $2.3 million, from the same period last year. However, TRM’s ATM business recorded a loss of $1.2 million for the quarter. The Company’s e-Commerce unit recorded a loss of $1.1 million before interest, taxes and minority interest. As of June 30, 2001, TRM has 1,847 ATMs installed in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. For complete details on TRM’s 2Q/01 performance visit CardData ([][1]).



OPC Signs Anchorage

Official Payments Corporation announced the launch of a new service for citizens of the Municipality of Anchorage, AK, which allows them to pay real estate taxes by credit card over the Internet.

The Municipality of Anchorage, AK is the first client to be serviced in the State of Alaska. Now, Anchorage residents can either pay taxes via the Internet by visiting the Municipality of Anchorage website at or, or telephone by calling toll-free 1-800-2PAY-TAX. American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa are the cards accepted by the program. Real estate taxes are due August 15, 2001. Official Payments Corp. charges taxpayers a nominal convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions.

“We continuously strive to provide effective, innovative and convenient service options for our taxpayers. We feel that Official Payments Corp. will be able to deliver that service to our taxpayers as they have been successful with other clients in the United States,” said Dan Moore, Treasurer of the Municipality of Anchorage, AK. The agreement will assist the Municipality of Anchorage, AK in the collection of over $200 million in real estate taxes annually. “This service will be available 24 hours a day, 7days a weeks, making it accessible for all taxpayers while simplifying the process,” added Treasurer Dan Moore.

There are over 80,000 real estate property parcels within the Municipality of Anchorage, covering over 1,900 square miles of land. Taxpayers in Anchorage made real estate property tax payments with an average obligation of $3,200.00 a bill to the Anchorage Municipality treasury that represented over $200 million.

Official Payments has similar agreements with over 900 government entities across the country. The company has contacts with the Internal Revenue Service and eighteen state governments and the District of Columbia to collect taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone.

Official Payments Corp. charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at For example, a taxpayer who owed Anchorage $3,200.00 in real estate taxes and charged their taxes would find a total of $3,287.00 on their credit card statement: $3,200.00 for the tax bill and $87.00 for the convenience fee. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.

About Official Payments Corp.

Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. The company is unequaled in market penetration and national footprint. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 900 county and municipal governments in 48 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.

Official Payments was founded in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market. The company’s success in new client acquisition, increasing business with its existing clients and in building consumer awareness can be attributed to the combination of an enormous market opportunity with a highly skilled and experienced management and staff, aggressive sales and marketing, and a core competency in developing and implementing leading-edge technical systems.


FDC Signs Scotiabank Inverlat

Electronic commerce and payments leader First Data Corp. announced its card processing subsidiary, First Data Resources, has signed a multi-year contract renewal with Scotiabank Inverlat.

Scotiabank Inverlat is a leading banking institution in Mexico with headquarters in Mexico City. The bank will partner with First Data to receive bankcard processing and other card portfolio management services.

“As a 30-year leader of the card industry, First Data provides us access to a unique array of products and services that help Scotiabank Inverlat execute its plans to grow and diversify our portfolio,” said Carlos San Martin, director of central operations for Scotiabank Inverlat. “We are pleased with First Data’s commitment to providing the advanced tools and technology we need to serve our cardholders and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

Scotiabank Inverlat has been a First Data client since 1994. In addition to Scotiabank Inverlat, First Data processes for three leading financial institutions in Latin America.

“Scotiabank Inverlat is a leader in the Mexican card marketplace and we are very pleased to continue providing the state-of-the-art functionality and expertise needed to successfully manage and grow its card business,” said Eula Adams, senior executive vice president and head of worldwide card operations for First Data. “In addition, this agreement underscores our international growth strategy and our commitment to provide leading-edge payment services to Latin America and other international markets.”

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

About Scotiabank Inverlat

Grupo Financiero Scotiabank Inverlat S.A. de C.V. is one of the principal financial groups in Mexico, with more than 400 branches and almost 1,000 ATMs throughout Mexico. First quarter net income after tax for the Group was $31 million (P$183 million). Scotiabank has a 55% ownership stake in Inverlat. The Group employs approximately 7,200 people across its three main affiliates, Scotiabank Inverlat S.A., Scotia Inverlat Casa de Bolsa S.A. de C.V. and Scotia Inverlat Casa de Cambio S.A. de C.V. Together, these companies offer an integrated suite of financial products and services for the entire spectrum of customers – from individuals and small businesses up to the most sophisticated multinational corporations. See Scotiabank Inverlat at [][1].

Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions, with about $275 billion in assets and approximately 52,000 employees worldwide, including affiliates. It is also Canada’s most international bank with more than 2,000 branches and offices in over 50 countries.

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 [][2].



Taxi Cards

Even though credit cards are widely accepted in taxis from London to Sydney, credit cards may soon work their way into taxis in the Big Apple. The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers says it has tested and approved a credit card program for livery cabs. About 29,000 livery cabs provide service in areas of New York where yellow taxis don’t operate for economic, safety, and sometimes racist reasons. The drivers often use their own cars and serve the communities where they live. Partners in the livery cab program, which utilizes wireless credit card terminals, include Cynergy Data, Lipman USA and U.S. Wireless Data. When a passenger presents a credit card to a driver, the transaction is communicated from the terminal to the cardholder’s bank and back via ‘Synapse’ technology from U.S. Wireless Data. The wireless terminals are manufactured by Lipman USA and transaction processing is provided by Cynergy Data. The system will also have a button to dial 911 and a GPS system to help law enforcement locate a missing vehicle. The terminals will accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and other forms of payment cards.


Linux POS Terminals

Wincor Nixdorf Inc., announced plans to offer Linux as a platform for migrating DOS-based POS systems to full-function, next-generation POS solutions.

The migration offering marks another step in Wincor Nixdorf’s ongoing commitment to assist retailers in building modern POS solutions based on the Red Hat Linux platform.

With the support of Red Hat Inc., Wincor Nixdorf has developed a tool set that enables the technical layer of a DOS-based application to be replaced by a Linux-based technical layer. As the interface to the technical layer does not change for the POS application, implementation of the business rules remains the same, thus protecting the customer’s software investment.

“Many POS systems are still running on DOS, because a considerable number of retailers don’t want to lose the enormous investment made in their existing DOS-based applications,” said Jeff Soisson, vice president, Retail Solutions Group, Wincor Nixdorf. “By replacing the underlying operating system (OS) platform, we can offer retailers a migration path toward a modern POS solution environment that supports advanced POS functionality such as customer relationship management and multi-channel retailing.”

“The open strategies of Wincor Nixdorf have resulted in a customer-driven solution in which retailers and their customers are the winners. Wincor Nixdorf’s business model is built around listening to retailers, then applying our years of retail experience and technology know-how to help them make sound investments that drive productivity and reduce costs,” added Soisson.

Initiated in 1998, Wincor Nixdorf’s dedicated work with Linux for retail POS is unprecedented. Wincor Nixdorf’s long-standing investments and achievements include:

— First retail-hardened thin-client POS system — BEETLE /NetPOS

— First Linux-ready POS system platform in production — the BEETLE family

— First thin client competency labs focused on Linux-based POS systems

— Significant Linux-based POS engagements at leading retailers worldwide including Burlington Coat Factory, Carrefour, DIA, and co op Schleswig Holstein eG

— First globally-managed, network centric in-store solution — SmartClient

— First POS vendor to offer a complete set of JavaPOS drivers for Linux

— Active participation in ARTS, JavaPOS and UPOS standards committees

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 Linux, 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 [][1].



Active Card Control

VISA U.S.A. and Works, Inc. have teamed to deliver a unique feature called ‘Active Card Control’. The solution gives midsize companies the flexibility to choose card controls most beneficial to their business, including the ability to dynamically control and manage their VISA commercial card spending through the Web. The ‘ACC’ feature gives companies the ability to use the ‘Works Procisa’ procurement application to customize controls on VISA commercial cards for individual employees and require pre-approval, by purchase type and dollar amount, of purchases before they are made with the card. After an employee’s purchase request is routed and approved through the ‘Procisa’ application, the card controls are adjusted instantly, increasing spending limits to allow for the designated purchase. Once the transaction is completed, the card is automatically reset to its normal limits.


Slowdown Continues

While strong consumer spending has held off a full blown recession this year, there are cracks appearing in the consumer debt data. For the first time in four years, consumer borrowing for automobiles, mobile homes, big-ticket items, and other non-revolving loans has declined. Revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, is also beginning to slow, according to preliminary figures released yesterday afternoon by the Federal Reserve. During June, non-revolving debt declined $3.8 billion, or at a negative annual rate of 5.2%. Meanwhile, American consumers added $2.3 billion to total revolving debt, the smallest monthly increase so far this year. As a result, revolving debt, 95% of which is credit card debt, slowed to an annual growth rate of 3.9% during June. During June 2000, consumer revolving debt increased by $5.8 billion. The slowing pace has been attributed to rising unemployment and may signal an impending slowdown in other borrowing, including mortgages. Total U.S. revolving consumer debt now stands at $703.4 billion which includes about $675 billion in credit card debt. Overall, consumer debt declined 1.2% during June. At the end of June, American consumers were $1.590 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.


Jun01 May01 Apr01 Mar01 Feb01 Jan01 Dec00
%GRWTH: 3.9% 6.0% 14.2 11.9 20.8 11.6 5.0
$OWED: $703.4 701.1 697.6 688.2 681.4 670.3 663.4

Nov00 Oct00 Sep00 Aug00 Jul00 Jun00 May00
%GRWTH: 10.9% 4.7% 7.8 12.6 6.7 11.2 12.7
$OWED: $660.6 654.8 649.3 645.1 638.2 634.7 628.9

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 08/07/01;
For complete historical data visit



Citicorp yesterday completed the acquisition of Banamex-Accival. Citicorp
acquired approximately 4.7 billion of Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival
ordinary shares for approximately $12.48 billion in cash and Citigroup
stock by settling transactions that were conducted on the Mexican Stock
Exchange on Friday, August 3, 2001. As announced on Friday, those
transactions comprised both the acquisition of Banacci shares tendered in
response to Citicorp’s offer to acquire up to 100% of Banacci’s outstanding
shares and the sale of Citigroup shares to the tendering Banacci shareholders.


Sears CardSite

Incurrent Solutions, Inc., the leading provider of Internet-based cardmember self-service solutions for credit card issuers and transaction processors, announced that Sears, Roebuck and Co., the largest proprietary credit card issuer in the world, will utilize Incurrent’s CardSite solution to offer expanded e-services to its nearly 60 million Sears Card and Sears Gold MasterCard holders. Sears expects to begin offering these e-services through its Web site later this year.

CardSite is a powerful Web-based e-CRM solution employed by Fleet Bank, NextCard, Certegy, MBNA and numerous other major credit card issuers. The long-term service agreement between Sears, Roebuck and Incurrent represents the first agreement of its kind between a large retail credit card provider and an Internet-based CRM solution provider.

“Incurrent is proud to deploy our CardSite solution for Sears, the company that blazed the trail for the retail credit card market,” said Loren Hulber, Incurrent’s Chairman and CEO. “Sears has long been a leading merchandiser of quality products. By offering their cardholders CardSite’s full-featured functionality, they are again proving their leadership, this time in the e-service arena.”

“At Sears, we are committed to delighting our customers through every venue, whether it’s in our store, over the telephone, or online. In addition to providing value in our goods and services, we want to make the way our customers purchase and finance those products to be as convenient and efficient as possible,” said K. R. Vishwanath, Sears Vice President of Risk Management and Credit Analytics. “We are finding that Incurrent is a great partner for delivering the platform of online services that we need with the features our customers expect.”

Sears chose CardSite for its powerful features, ease of implementation, and its established, integrated links with Total System Services, the data processing company Sears uses for its credit card processing.

About Incurrent Solutions

Founded in 1997, Incurrent Solutions ([][1]) provides advanced Internet and wireless services to card-issuing banks and transaction processors. Incurrent’s clients include NextCard, Certegy, Fiserv, Fleet Credit Card Services, MBNA, Metris Companies, and other major card issuers. Incurrent has seen the volume of its clientele’s total cardmember base grow from 15 million to 100 million, reflecting a rapidly growing industry need for its services.

CardSite, Incurrent’s cutting-edge, Internet-based CRM solution, enhances cardholder experience and cultivates account loyalty at a cost significantly lower than traditional customer interaction methods. Cardholders enjoy real-time access to account information, statements, bill payment, secure e-mail, reports, searches, interactive sessions, and other service-enhancing tools for Web, wireless and voice channels.

About Sears, Roebuck and Company

Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, and home and automotive products and services, with annual revenues of more than $40 billion. The company serves families throughout the country through approximately 860 department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety on online offerings accessible through the company’s Web site, [][2].




S2 Systems, Inc., a global provider of transaction processing, authorization and integrated solutions for the banking, financial and retail sectors, announced the completion of a recent expansion into Beijing, Dubai, Paris, Riyadh, and Sydney, along with an extended presence in Canada and throughout the Americas. S2’s strong foothold in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific positions the company for continued growth as the premier market player for open systems enterprise payment solutions.

S2 Systems’ global expansion is targeted to strengthen its reach into market sectors such as banking, finance and retail — where organizations are under competitive pressure to provide value added services online at reduced cost and maximum uptime. Companies and institutions also require high availability payment solutions to drive increasingly huge transaction volumes in an open architecture environment. In addition, business requirements demand that these solutions support transactions through ATMs and EFTPOS devices, as well as Internet, wireless and other emerging technologies connected by open networks. S2 is leveraging its 18 years of proven industry experience in this area to expand market share.

“Our business is growing internationally as organizations migrate to open systems,” said Stephen Clark, president and CEO of S2 Systems. “We’re seeing major wins in all the regions and a dramatic shift away from proprietary switching platforms. S2 Systems clearly enjoys a leadership position in the area of open systems payment solutions and our global client base is expanding.

We’re opening new offices as a result, and in order to meet the demand of new and existing customers for business-critical transaction processing solutions. S2’s proven ability to deliver high-volume, continuously available solutions is a strong differentiator in the eyes of our customers.”

Today, S2 customers are on every continent of the globe and span across a range of industries. The company’s recently expanded coverage strengthens its global presence and reflects the increasingly high profile of S2’s diverse customer mix. S2 clients include two of the world’s largest credit and travel and entertainment card associations; four international stock exchanges, including the nation’s first stock exchange; three of the top grocery chains in the United States; the world’s largest international airline carrier; and 300 banks around the world.

About S2 Systems

S2 Systems, Inc. is a leading global provider of e-business solutions for the banking, financial services, retail and travel & hospitality industries. For more than 18 years, some of the world’s largest organizations have relied on S2 products to drive their high-volume e-commerce transactions. Today, our leading-edge technology enables businesses worldwide to implement Web-based initiatives that improve operational efficiency, enhance customer service and generate new revenue streams. S2 Systems is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has offices in Atlanta, London, Paris, Maarssen, Stockholm, Dubai, Riyadh, Hong Kong, Beijing, Melbourne, and Sydney. For more information about S2 Systems, visit its Web site at


Oberthur Cards

Oberthur Card Systems unveiled this week its first full array of newly designed cards, including translucent and holographic technology designs for the U.S. market. Oberthur says smart card issuers in the U.S. are looking for cards with the ‘wow’ factor. Oberthur card designs include a full suite of printed security features that offering full face holograms, holographic effects and specially designed explosive inks. In addition to its graphic and printing innovation, Oberthur has established personalization centers throughout the U.S. that provide additional services such as card management, inventory control and reissuance technology that allows new applications to be added to chip cards based on evolving customer preferences.