VISA Online Sweepstakes

Visa U.S.A., the world’s largest consumer payment system, is giving online shoppers the chance to win a $50,000 shopping spree during the month of August — just in time for the busy back-to-school shopping season. The “Visa Online Shopping Spree” has been designed to drive traffic to merchant Web sites and motivate consumers to use their Visa cards online. Over 20 leading online retailers and over 90 Visa Member banks are participating in the promotion.

Each time cardholders use their Visa card to make an online purchase at participating merchants between August 1 and August 31, 2001, they will be automatically entered to win a $50,000 Visa card. Visa will also give 250 first prize winners a $100 Visa card. Winners can use these Visa stored-value cards to go on a shopping spree anywhere Visa is accepted — at approximately 22 million locations worldwide. The more times cardholders use their Visa card at participating online merchants, the more times they will be automatically entered into the sweepstakes. No purchase or obligation necessary to enter or win. For more details, including Official Rules, visit beginning August 1, 2001.

“During May 2001, Visa’s `Win What You Spend X 10′ promotion exceeded our expectations — the number of participating merchants and banks was higher than anticipated and we were very successful at generating awareness for the promotion,” said Gerry Sweeney, Vice President of e-Visa, Visa U.S.A.’s e-commerce division. “Visa is excited to launch our next online promotion, offering consumers an even bigger reward for shopping online.”

“Online promotions, like the `Visa Online Shopping Spree,’ can be used to help drive traffic to our site and ultimately increase sales. This new Visa promotion also provides incremental exposure for the brand,” said Chris Woodburn, Vice-President of Marketing,

“NextCard is committed to giving cardholders an enjoyable and rewarding online shopping experience and the `Visa Online Shopping Spree’ gives us an easy, turnkey way to offer additional value to our cardholders,” said Christopher Tracy, Vice-President of eCommerce Marketing, NextCard.

The promotion will be supported through a comprehensive marketing program, including online advertising on popular shopping-related sites, e-mail and viral marketing campaigns, and online merchant point-of-sale signage. Additionally, over 90 Visa Member banks will be featuring the promotion on their websites.

You can learn more about the “Visa Online Shopping Spree” Promotion and participating merchants by visiting [][1] beginning August 1, 2001.

About Visa U.S.A.

Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with the best way to pay and be paid. More than 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate over $810 billion in annual transaction volume — including more than half of all Internet payments — with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry more than 353 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, stored value and check cards, accepted at approximately 22 million locations worldwide. Visa has long led the industry in developing payment security standards, and has been named the most trusted payment brand online. Visa’s people, partnerships, brand and payment technology are helping to create universal commerce — the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere and by any device. Please visit [][2] for additional information.



NYC Parking

New York City has purchased an additional 220 ‘DG Classic’ multi-space parking terminals for on-street parking from SchlumbergerSema. With the new purchase, a total of 665 SchlumbergerSema terminals now replace over 7,000 conventional single-space terminals for on- and off-street parking in NYC. The city is also using the terminals to prevent delivery trucks from blocking traffic in the Times Square area of midtown. For the first time ever, when commercial trucks are making deliveries in this heavily congested area, they must park at metered spaces while they are loading and unloading. The SchlumbergerSema terminals, which can monitor up to 15 parking spaces on-street and in excess of 100 parking spaces off-street, are designed with a special mounting that attaches to existing city light poles. The terminals accept flexible payment options, including private cards, credit cards, smart cards and coins.


@pos & Federated

@pos announced the launch of an initiative to implement online debit capabilities at 34,000 point-of sale-locations within Federated Department Stores, Inc.

This comprehensive rollout calls for the installation of new and enhanced @pos’ debit-ready iPOS 3100 transaction devices for all of Federated’s 450 store locations. The iPOS 3100 already delivers signature capture functionality for Federated and this program will add a virtual pin pad to the device that will allow the addition of online debit functionality. Federated has successfully offered online debit capabilities in its Macy’s Puerto Rico store since October 2000. Rollout of iPOS 3100 devices for the Federated installed base is planned for completion prior to the beginning of the holiday season.

The addition of online debit functionality allows Federated to substantially lower its transaction processing costs for a significant percentage of its transactions — the result is a rapid return on their investment for the estimated $7 million project. Sales associates will increase their selling time by reducing transaction length and customers now have another convenient payment alternative. In addition, Federated benefits from @pos’ secure transaction technology and PIN security to provide a secure environment for its customers.

“The iPOS 3100 offers significant opportunities for retailers to reduce transaction processing expenses, meet customer needs by providing flexible payment options and support one-on-one customer interaction,” said Llavan Fernando, Chief Executive Officer for @pos. “Federated has consistently led the industry by implementing state of the art systems to serve its customers. Our long and successful relationship with this leading retailer has allowed @pos to identify customer requirements early and respond with the technology to meet those needs.”

The iPOS 3100 has been an industry standard in point-of-sale technology since 1998. Features contained in the device include signature capture, touch screen PIN entry, built-in magnetic stripe reader, and a fully programmable display for customized text and graphics. The terminal integrates with open platform-based transaction systems such as DOS, IBM Flex OS or Windows. RS-232 and RS-485 connectivity options offer maximum flexibility for host system configuration and interfacing to a cash register.

About @pos

@pos (OTC BB:EPOS) is a leader in secure, interactive electronic transaction technologies. The company delivers technologies that include signature capture pads, web-enabled platforms, smart card interfaces, and encryption engines supporting DES and Triple DES, in addition to offering an extensive suite of software tools. @pos currently markets its products to the retail, government and banking segments for applications that include electronic signature capture, debit and credit payments. For more information, see [][1], email to, or call 408/468-5400.

About Federated Department Stores, Inc.

Federated, with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s leading department store retailers, with annual sales of more than $18.4 billion. Federated currently operates more than 450 stores in 34 states, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, The Bon Marche, Burdines, Goldsmith’s, Lazarus and Rich’s, as well as, and Bloomingdale’s By Mail. Federated also operates the Fingerhut catalog and e-commerce subsidiary. Additional information is available online at [][2].



Transmedia 2Q/01

Transmedia Network reported total operating revenues for the quarter ending June 30 of $14.0 million, an increase of 21% over the same quarter a year earlier. Gross dining sales increased 14%, aggregating $49.4 million for the quarter, compared with $43.3 million in the prior year period. For the quarter, the Company recorded a net profit of $826,000 compared with a net loss of $4.1 million in the same quarter last year. Transmedia Network presently offers its over 6 million members a variety of dining savings and rewards programs at more than 7,500 restaurants throughout the USA via means of a registered credit card. The savings are offered through the Company’s dining programs, either branded under the name ‘iDine’ or provided through private label partnerships, such as airline frequent flyer programs, club memberships or other affinity organizations. For complete details on Transmedia’s 2Q/01 performance visit CardData ([][1]).



Delay Insurance

In the wake of delayed travel and air rage, American Express unveiled a new service that will pay for hotel accommodations in the event of a disruption in schedule. ‘Travel Delay Protection’ coverage pays for lodging expenses of up to $200 a night for up to two nights in the event of a missed connection, delayed flight departure, flight cancellation or denied boarding. The cost for the service is $9.95 per ticket. The coverage applies to missed connections, delayed flight departures, flight cancellations and denied boarding when there is no onward transportation made available by 11 p.m. the same day. Once enrolled in ‘Travel Delay Protection’, the cardholder is billed automatically for each scheduled airline flight purchased on their American Express Card.



Gemplus International S.A. reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2001. Revenue for the second quarter was 252 million Euros, down 8% from the same quarter a year ago. Operating loss, before restructuring, was 12 million Euros, compared with an operating profit of 34 million Euros for the same quarter a year ago. Operating loss, after restructuring, was 41 million Euros. Net loss for the second quarter, including restructuring, was 40 million Euros, or 0.06 Euro per fully diluted share. Net loss for the quarter, excluding restructuring, was 21 million Euros, or 0.03 Euro per diluted share.

“Our second quarter operating results reflect the progress we have made in strategically repositioning the company,” said Antonio Perez, president and CEO. “We have adjusted and realigned our resources to exploit the opportunities in the Telecommunications, Financial Services and E-Business Security Applications markets.”

The company announced that it had successfully implemented its planned restructuring program. “This is a major step forward to increase our financial competitiveness,” added Perez. “This restructuring will reduce headcount by 567 people by the end of 2001 and save the company 40 million Euros in annual expenses, with about 17 million of the savings occurring in the second half of the year.” The company noted that it would be taking a 28 million Euro restructuring charge. No social plan was implemented in France.

Perez also noted that the sale of its SkiData operation complements its restructuring programs and would enhance the company’s strategic focus. Gemplus announced an agreement to sell Skidata to Kudelski S.A. in June and expects to finalize the transaction shortly.

“I am also very pleased with the continued rapid growth and margin improvement that we are seeing in our Financial Services Business,” added Perez. Earlier, the company announced that this business unit had recently been awarded a major contract with the Target Corporation. “These recent developments demonstrate that our strategy is on track. The contract with Target Corporation, the fourth largest general merchandise retailer in the U.S., is particularly interesting as it marks a significant milestone in the adoption of smart card based solutions in the U.S. retail sector.”

The company indicated that its reported results included a favorable 10 million Euro royalty expense adjustment. “While we achieved our goal of restructuring to improve our cost base and competitiveness, we had to deal with the challenging Telecommunications market and resulting softness in our GSM business,” commented Perez. “The impact of the business mix shift from Telecommunications and GSM to Financial Services has been felt in gross margin. However, the underlying rapid growth and significant margin improvement in our Financial Services business are very exciting.”

“We expect to maintain our leadership market share in the SIM card market and are encouraged by signs that the excess SIM inventory at operators are coming down,” added Perez. “We should see a more reasonable balance between inventory and end-user demand by the end of the year.” The company now believes that the market for GSM SIM cards is around 300 million units which based upon historical correlation implies a total number of mobile handsets shipped by manufacturers this year to be 375-380 million units.

Looking forward, Gemplus indicated that it expects third quarter revenue to grow 7% sequentially with operating losses of about 13-18 million Euros. For the year 2001, the company expects revenue will be flat to down compared to the year 2000 with operating profit, before restructuring, at about 5 million Euros.

Cash and cash equivalents were 430 million Euros at June 30, 2001. The company’s financial results were derived from its consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standards (IAS).

About Gemplus

GEMPLUS: the world’s number one provider of solutions empowered by Smart Cards (Gartner Dataquest 2001).

Gemplus helps its clients offer an exceptional range of portable, personalized solutions that bring security and convenience to people’s lives. These include mobile Internet access, inter-operable banking facilities, e-commerce and a wealth of other applications.

Gemplus is the only completely dedicated, truly global player in the Smart Card industry, with the largest R&D team, unrivalled experience, and an outstanding track record of technological innovation.

Gemplus trades its shares on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the Nasdaq Stock Market(R) as GEMP in the form of ADSs. Its revenue in 2000 was 1.205 billion Euros. It employs 7800 people in 37 countries throughout the world.

Gemplus: Your Passport to the Digital Age —


$30+ Late Fees

Late payment and over-limit fees continue to test the $30 barrier. This week Metris/Direct Merchants Bank unleashed an 0% APR ‘Titanium MasterCard’ which carries a late payment fee and over-limit fee of $34. The ‘Metris MasterCard’ also carries a 4% balance transfer fee and cash advance fee subject to a $4 to $15 minimum, according to CardWatch ( Last November, Fleet Credit Card Services began charging a $35 late fee on all its card products including the new ‘Fusion smart VISA’. However Fleet has continued to cap over-limit fees at $29. Advanta was the first card issuer to institute $35 fees for holders of its business card products. Industry wide late payment fees currently average $27.88 and over-limit fees currently average $26.32, according to CardData ( The most commonly charged late and over-limit fee among major issuers is $29. (CF Library 11/7/00)



Average salaries for this year’s graduates have risen by an inflation-busting 8%, according to the 2001 NatWest Graduate Survey. Nearly one third of graduates had a job lined up before they finished their exams and, on average, they will be earning £13,410.

The hike in salaries has perhaps been driven by the hard bargaining of this year’s debt ridden graduates who are finishing their studies with average debts of £9,000. This is a rise of 40% on last year’s figure and graphically illustrates the full impact of the withdrawal of local education funding and the introduction of tuition fees.

Despite the prospect of finishing college with huge debts, graduates have a positive outlook: 58% claim not to be worried about the money they owe, and getting a job just to pay off their debts is the least important consideration when they are looking for that first job. Only 37% cited paying off debts as an important reason for choosing a particular job, whereas 74% said that a job with long term career prospects was more important and 84% said that a job which they enjoy was the most important factor when finding a job.

Commenting on the Money Matters Survey, Ann-Marie Blake, Head of Graduate Banking Services, said: “This is encouraging news for students worried about the amount of debt they will have when they finish their studies. Whilst debt is rising, so too are their prospects of finding a well paid job.”

NatWest Graduate Package in detail:


· 60 specially trained Graduate Advisers available in most university towns.

· A job finding, home finding and car finding service via · .

· The Graduate Travel Club offering cash discounts on a range of holidays, car hire and flights. The club also includes discounted Travel Insurance along with commission free currency and American Express travellers cheques.

· The interest-free overdraft is £2,000 in the first year after Graduation, reducing to £1,000 and £500 in the 2nd and 3rd years after graduation respectively or

· The Graduate Overdraft Repayment Plan to repay student overdraft interest-free in structured monthly payments up to a maximum of £2,000. These repayments can be spread over three years with loan repaid by the end of graduate terms and

· Graduate Loan for borrowing between £1,000 and £10,000 at a preferential rate (7.5%) with optional repayment holiday of four months or up to 12 months if the graduate is travelling. The loan is available for five years for up to and including £5,000 and up to seven years for loans between £5,100 and £10,000.


· Cheque book and Switch card.

· Free access to 28,000 cash machines in the UK and over 500,000 world-wide.

· Free 24-hour telephone banking and a free Internet banking service.


· Graduate mortgage deals.

· Up to 100% mortgages.

· No Mortgage Indemnity Insurance fee payable.


govONE Acquisition

CO-based govONE Solutions announced this morning it will acquire the assets of MA-based TAXWARE International. While govONE Solutions is focused primarily on payment processing services, the acquisition of TAXWARE’s automated, patent-pending solution adds transaction tax calculation to simplify the entire end-to-end transaction chain. Under the terms of the agreement, govONE Solutions will acquire the assets of TAXWARE for $32 million in cash and a minority equity investment in govONE Solutions. The 150 employees of TAXWARE will become employees of govONE Solutions.



NanoPierce Card Technologies GmbH, a subsidiary of NanoPierce Technologies,
Inc. announced that initial samples of the new WaferPierce process have
been successfully produced.

Development of a test wafer in compliance with NanoPierce
specifications commenced in April of this year, when the company began
working with the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology (ISIT), a
preeminent research and development facility for silicon and wafer
technology located in Itzehoe, Germany. These wafers are now available in
pre-production quantities. The chips on the wafer have contact pads that
are compatible to the I-code chip produced by Philips Semiconductor, a
widely used chip in radio frequency identification (RFID) applications. For
the first time, NanoPierce has at its disposal wafer-based test material
made to its own specifications.

“This development represents a significant advantage for us and an
important step forward for NanoPierce,” stated Dr. Herbert J. Neuhaus,
Executive Vice President of Technology of NanoPierce Technologies, Inc.
“Previously we only had access to commercially available test material. The
test wafers which are now available to us have chips whose size and
properties closely approximate the components used in our highest priority
applications, such as smart card chip modules and smart labels.”
During the past two weeks, the first contacts were applied to these
wafers by means of the patent-pending WaferPierce(TM) technology developed
by NanoPierce in the company’s laboratory in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“We are producing initial samples on a small scale in our in-house
lab. However, our own cleanroom, including a wetbench specifically designed
to accommodate the WaferPierce(TM) process, will be completed within the
next nine weeks,” said Dr. Neuhaus.

“These new test wafers finally enable us to provide a select group of
customers with sufficient test material,” stated Dr. Michael E. Wernle,
President & CEO of NanoPierce Card Technologies. “We are currently
producing initial samples for a range of various applications. Due to this
important breakthrough, we can now demonstrate WaferPierce(TM) to our
customers in functional applications, and we can move on to the next level
of the design-in process. This development confirms that the technical
market introduction of WaferPierce(TM) is proceeding systematically
according to both our development and our marketing plans.”

As a result of its favorable progress, NanoPierce will be
participating in the key upcoming trade fairs for semiconductor technology
worldwide. These include the IMAPS 2001 Exhibition and Conference
(Baltimore, October 2001); the SemiCon Europe (Munich, May 2002); the
SemiCon West (San Francisco and San Jose, July 2002); and the IMAPS 2002
Exhibition and Conference (Denver, October 2002).

“I am particularly pleased that Dr. Neuhaus and Bin Zou have been
invited to give a presentation at the IMAPS 2001 specifically focusing on
our WaferPierce(TM) technology,” commented Paul H. Metzinger, President &
CEO of NanoPierce Technologies, Inc., Denver. “Dr. Wernle is already
scheduled to make a presentation on the application of our technologies in
the LED field. And now we have the opportunity to report on recent
developments in the electroless process for WaferPierce(TM) to a selected
audience of technical specialists. Without a doubt, this will significantly
arouse the interest of the semiconductor industry in our company.”
NanoPierce Technologies, Inc., of Denver, Colorado, USA, is traded on
the Nasdaq stock market (OTCBB:NPCT) as well as on the Frankfurt and
Hamburg (OTC:NPI). In addition to the 12 patents it owns, NanoPierce has
numerous applications pending, others in preparation, and various other
intellectual properties related to NanoPierce’s proprietary NCS (NanoPierce
Connection System). This advanced system is designed to provide significant
improvement over conventional electrical and mechanical interconnection
methods for high-density circuit boards, components, sockets, connectors,
semiconductor packaging and electronic systems.


Gemplus 2Q/01

While sharpening its strategic focus, smart card manufacturer Gemplus International, reported revenue of 252 million Euros and an operating loss of 12 million Euros for the second quarter. The company also announced a major contract with Target. Second quarter revenue declined 8% from the same quarter a year ago. Last year Gemplus posted an operating profit of 34 million Euros. The decline is attributed to the slowdown in the worldwide SIM card market. The restructuring underway will reduce the headcount by 567 people by the end of this year and save the company 40 million Euros in annual expenses, with about 17 million of the savings occurring in the second half of the year. Gemplus also announced the execution of a major contract with Target Corporation to provide smart cards and in-home readers for the ‘Target smart VISA’ card launch, during the fourth quarter. Target will take a lead role in advancing smart cards in the U.S. both by issuing smart cards through its Retailers National Bank affiliate and by installing POS terminals that accept chip payment in all Target Stores in 2002. Gemplus indicated that it expects third quarter revenue to grow 7% sequentially with operating losses of about 13-18 million Euros. For the year 2001, the company expects revenue will be flat or down compared to the year 2000 with operating profit, before restructuring, at about 5 million Euros. (CF Library 6/20/01) For complete details on Gemplus’ 2Q/01 performance visit CardData ([][1]).




Pass21 Co., Ltd. an emerging biometric authentication solution
provider in Korea and Veridicom Inc. the leader in fingerprint-based
technologies and services, jointly announced that they have signed a
definitive agreement to acquire all assets of Veridicom, Inc. of California
including its name. Veridicom, a spin off from Lucent Technologies, was the
leading provider of silicon fingerprint sensors, fingerprint matching
algorithms, peripherals and authentication software before its fourth round
of funding failed last February. Veridicom had invested over $36 million
over the last four years and its investors included US Venture Partners,
Lucent, AT&T Ventures, Deutsche Bank, Intel, Seiko Instruments and CSK
among others. Veridicom has been looking for the right candidate for
ownership of the primary assets and had completed three transactions where
it licensed certain technology or sold certain overlapping assets. Pass21
was a customer of Veridicom, embedding Veridicom’s silicon fingerprint
sensor in its Internet online authentication solution for Internet banking
and other e-commerce applications and mobile phones to provide strong
authentication for m-commerce.

This transaction includes the following area:

— Ownership of all intellectual property and know-how related to making
the silicon fingerprint sensors FPS110 and FPS200 and their derivative products
— Ownership of all fingerprint matching algorithms and patents

— Ownership of Veridicom’s authentication server technology

— Ownership of its peripheral business and related patents

Members of the Veridicom team are expected to join this new operation
including the R&D and operations team in the US and the Japanese sales and
support team.

Sukkoo “Dave” Kim, CEO of Pass21 Co., Ltd. said: “We have long been
impressed with Veridicom’s technology. This presented us with an
outstanding opportunity to combine the talent and vast intellectual
property of Veridicom with the authentication technology and long term
vision of Pass21, where personal biometric authentication will play a key
role in mobile commerce and the way we transact e-business using the Internet.”
The transaction is expected to be completed by mid August.
“We have worked hard for the last five months to make this happen and
this news could not have come at a better time,” said Naeem Zafar,
Veridicom’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We believe that with
Pass21’s vision and combined technology this new Veridicom will flourish.”
Michael D’Amour, Veridicom’s CEO added, “We have maintained our
technology with the patience and support of our customers and vendors and
we thank them for that. By placing this technology in the hands of Pass21,
the new Veridicom will now be able to serve our customers and regain our
leadership position.”

About Pass21

PASS21 Co., Ltd, headquartered in Korea, is a leader in fingerprint
authentication technology with a unique biometric authentication solution
for e-commerce and mobile commerce. It delivers technology that provides
the cyberspace security using fingerprint data coupled with PKI technology.
Its business partners include banks, credit cards companies and other
e-business providers and they are introducing the integrated authentication
technology using PKI and biometrics for more secure and convenient Internet
services. Some of the products of Pass21 include the PASS Bio Phone, a
handset equipped with a fingerprint sensor, for mobile commerce and a
integrated authentication system using PASS2001, a compact fingerprint
sensor, for e-commerce authentication targeted at applications such as
m-banking/e-banking, Internet shopping, instant credit approval, ATM cash
withdraw service, electronic money and computer data security. The
technology offers a new, simple, convenient and safe way to the worldwide
Internet users and mobile phone users.

About Veridicom

Veridicom, Inc. was the leader in fingerprint-based technologies and
services that enable trusted e-business transactions across networks,
intranets and the Internet. The company’s extremely accurate silicon
fingerprint sensors and peripherals, advanced recognition algorithms, and
authentication software allow users to conduct business on-line without
fraud or fear. Veridicom, the first technology spin-off from Lucent/Bell
Labs, is delivering solutions with a distinct advantage over other
authentication technologies that rely on passwords and personal
identification numbers (PINs) that can be lost, forgotten or stolen.
Veridicom’s fingerprint sensors are being included in laptops, keyboards
and mobile phones to provide secure authenticated access to the authorized
users. Veridicom works closely with a growing list of vendors and systems
integrators to provide network security solutions for Fortune 1000
companies around the world.