For the first year since 1995, the number of checks processed by the Federal Reserve System decreased in 2000. Last year, the Fed processed 16,993,800,000 checks, down 0.5% from 1999. However, costs and prices for check processing continued to increase. The unit cost to the Fed to process a check increased to 4.0 cents in 2000, up from 3.8 cents in 1999. Additionally, the unit price charged by the Fed for check processing increased to 4.3 cents, up from 4.1 cents. The data were gathered from the Federal Reserve System’s annual reports to Congress on Reserve Bank operations. By comparison, the Fed’s ACH volume in 2000 increased 14%, to 3,812,191,000. The unit cost for an ACH payment was 1.6 cents, down from 1.7 cents in 1999, and the unit price was 1.9 cents, down from 2.1 cents. The Fed says that the decline in ACH prices is partly due to the consolidation of data processing facilities and the inherent economies of scale in electronic payment processing.Details
Curl Corporation, a developer of Internet infrastructure software, and
adisoft AG, a leading German provider of online home banking software,
announced a broad strategic alliance which includes upgrading 500,000 users
of adisoft AG’s online home banking application to the Curl Content Language.
Curl and adisoft AG have also committed to developing future online
banking applications in the Curl Content Language as well as to jointly
introduce adisoft AG’s revolutionary MobileManager mobile data transmission
product that uses adisoft AG’s patent-pending radio wave protocol in the
U.S. In addition, adisoft AG will create a call center desk to support the
Curl Content Language on behalf of Curl Content Language adopters in
Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The alliance is expected to result in
incremental revenues to both companies of approximately US $10 million
By using the Curl Content Language to develop future software
products, adisoft AG will provide faster, more frequent and more flexible
customization of its online banking products and services to each of its
banking customers while significantly reducing deployment and upgrade
costs. To date, adisoft AG has delivered more than 1,000,000 copies of
online software products to end-user customers served by more than 3,400
banking institutions it supports in Germany.
“Over the past decade, adisoft has earned its dominant market
position by employing innovative technologies to our customers’ needs. We
continue to be committed to using advanced technologies that enable our
customers to deliver value-add services to their own end-user customers,”
said Karl Schlagenhauf, CEO of adisoft AG. “adisoft AG is pleased to be the
first in our market to exploit Curl’s revolutionary Internet software
technology to help banking institutions maintain their competitive
advantage while gaining an experienced marketer of software infrastructure
technology in the United States for our MobileManager product line.”
The groundbreaking Curl Content Language combines text formatting,
scripting, rich 2-D and 3-D graphics, and a full object-oriented
programming environment in a single platform.
Robert A. Young, chairman and CEO of Curl, said: “adisoft AG has
established a reputation for providing leading-edge software products to
the financial services industry. With the Curl technology, adisoft AG has
the power to develop products for this market with greater usability and
data visualization. Curl’s complete Web software environment offers adisoft
AG the ability to change applications dynamically on the fly, and deliver
an unprecedented level of rich, interactive functionality.”
Robert Young added further that “adisoft is renowned in Germany for
its high-level of customer support. We welcome adisoft AG’s application of
such award winning customer support to Curl’s products and technologies in
adisoft AG’s decision to partner with Curl in both Europe and the
U.S. reflects Curl’s unique leadership position in providing advanced
technology to markets that demand rich, fast, highly interactive Web
About adisoft AG
adisoft AG is a leading software company in the areas of online
banking, brokerage and payment systems, and mobile data communications.
adisoft AG customers include financial service providers and other
companies that need secure, rapid and cost-optimized data communications.
With its patent-pending communications technology and the use of the latest
development tools, adisoft AG sets new standards for the design of
e-business solutions. adisoft AG products are used in the financial domain
by computer centers, banks and savings banks. In the communications sector,
the company’s customers include leading insurance companies, public
administration offices, telephone companies and Internet service providers.
For more information visit www.adisoft.de .
About Curl Corporation
Curl Corporation enables Web content providers, creators of
e-commerce sites and programmers to develop and deploy next-generation Web
pages and applications by providing full application-level functionality
and a substantially richer, more interactive user experience. Curl’s
client-side processing capability significantly boosts performance and
dramatically improves the online experience for conducting business,
supporting e-commerce and enhancing entertainment. The Curl technology
substantially reduces file sizes typically associated with rich media. This
allows for faster downloads at a cost lower than standard Web content
delivery. Curl, located in Cambridge, Mass., was founded by a team of
internationally renowned computer scientists from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. For more information, visit www.curl.com .
National Processing Company a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc. announced that it has again been awarded, the VISA Member Service Quality Performance Award in the category of Best Chargeback Performance. This is the eighth straight year that NPC has won this prestigious award.
VISA established the Service Quality Performance Award programs in 1992, to recognize Processors for superior operating performance that result in the highest quality of service to the merchant community. The award emphasizes not only consistent, superior performance, but also a commitment to continued service quality improvement. To win, the Member must demonstrate a sustained level of operating excellence in key areas that directly affects the VISA card holder:
* Improving authorization performance by increasing approvals without risk
* Eliminating unwarranted copy requests by providing more accurate and descriptive transaction information to cardholders
* Eliminating unnecessary chargebacks by identifying and addressing problem areas, by training merchant sales staff on proper card acceptance procedures, and by educating back-office staff on VISA operating regulations governing exception item processing
“NPC is honored to once again receive this award,” said Thomas A. Wimsett, president and chief executive officer of NPC. “The receipt of this award confirms our commitment to provide our clients with superior products and outstanding service. Our dedicated employees are what sets us apart from the competition and allows us to win this distinguished award year after year.”
About National Processing, Inc.
National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary, National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. National Processing is 86 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( ), a Cleveland based $91 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 500,000 merchant locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R) transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be obtained at .Details
SureFire Commerce Inc. announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2002. The
Company repeated last quarter’s record revenue results and increased revenue
by 89% compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2001, while achieving net
profitability for the first time.
“SureFire Commerce is a world leader in managed and high risk Internet
payment transactions for a variety of online businesses, having developed a
particular proprietary expertise in managing risk and processing deposits for
licensed online gaming entities,” said Rory Olson, President and CEO of
SureFire Commerce Inc. “Despite the ongoing economic and technology sector
downturn, SureFire has maintained the record pace of transaction processing
which it set for itself in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, almost doubling
revenue compared to the year earlier period. We have processed more than three
million individual transactions and in excess of US$300 million in secure
electronic transactions during the quarter,” continued Mr. Olson.
For the three-month period ended June 30, 2001, revenues totalled
$25.8 million, compared to $13.6 million for the three-month period ended
June 30, 2000. Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter totalled
$101.3 million, including $73.3 million in customer deposits as well as
$28.0 million in free cash.
SureFire also achieved an important milestone by registering its first
net profit of $1.0 million, or $0.01 per share, compared to a net loss of
$1.7 million, including amortization of goodwill and intangibles, or $0.02 per
share for the three-month period ended June 30, 2000. The Company reported
EBITDA of $3.0 million in the first quarter compared to $2.3 million in the
same period last fiscal year, representing the seventh consecutive quarter of
operating profit. Profitability in the quarter was negatively impacted by a
foreign exchange loss of $1.0 million and professional fees of $0.5 million
related to the signing of strategic agreements and the evaluation of several
corporate development opportunities.
There have been a number of recent legislative and legal developments
that point to a positive future for online gaming, including legislation in
the State of Nevada. SureFire intends to strengthen its leading position in
this area worldwide, expanding the company’s franchise by pursuing
partnerships and opportunities with established land-based leaders in the
As a result of these developments, SureFire has, at its discretion,
terminated its relationship with several smaller licensed online gaming
entities which the Company believes do not fit into the profile of risk and
compliance consistent with the high regulatory standards of mature gaming
jurisdictions like Nevada.
“The Company is seeing particularly consistent growth in its core
business of processing managed and high risk transactions with a market
leading share of business coming from licensed online gaming entities,” said
Rory Olson. “Online gaming is growing and expanding globally, and has received
very positive analyst coverage and reporting from leading investment banks
including Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Alex Brown. This
growth and acceptance, combined with recent positive legislative developments
in such mature and respected gaming jurisdictions as Nevada and the United
Kingdom, is extremely positive for our business going forward.”
First Quarter Highlights
During the quarter, SureFire continued to demonstrate its unique private-
label marketing and integration abilities, while strengthening its growth
strategy in terms of merchant acquisition and transaction volume growth. The
Company also secured exciting new venues for its FirePay Personal Account
solution, which enables consumers to pay for products and services on the Web
without having to divulge sensitive credit card information.
“The Company continues to gain traction for all of its transaction
processing products, including its bill payment offering for Intuit Canada’s
QuickBooks users, and its credit card acceptance and stored value products for
a variety of Internet merchants including a growing number coming from
recently announced deals with InQuent, Network Commerce and its
Freemerchant.com property,” stated Joel Leonoff, Chief Operating Officer of
SureFire Commerce. “FreeMerchant.com will give us access to over 250,000
businesses and a significant footprint in the United States. We will continue
to seek out partners like these that provide us with large consumer and
Significant highlights for the first quarter include:
– the achievement of US$300 million in online transaction processing
volume versus US$170 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2001;
– the registration of more than 10,000 users of the stored-value account
FirePay in the month of June 2001 alone;
– the processing of 12 million FirePay transactions in eight months;
– a strategic alliance agreement with InQuent Technologies Inc., the
leading provider of wholesale hosting platforms to communications
carriers and service providers;
– a strategic alliance agreement with Infopia, a leading developer of
product exposure and marketplace feedback services;
– a strategic alliance agreement with Network Commerce Inc., a
technology infrastructure and services company, whose FreeMerchant.com
subsidiary has a customer base of 250,000 merchants – the second
largest online merchant base in the world;
– the formalization and consolidation of the Company’s risk management
– investments of 10% of e-commerce revenue in research and development.
SureFire Commerce is recognized as a world leader in managed risk and
high risk Internet payment transactions. The Company possesses a number of
tools to protect itself and its partners against Internet fraud, including
information on billions of credit card transactions, fraud protection
algorithms, real-time processing capabilities and the use of a 128-bit SSL
data encryption standard.
About SureFire Commerce Inc.
SureFire Commerce Inc. is a global business-to-business provider of
proprietary e-commerce solutions in the area of secure credit card transaction
processing and merchant enabling. SureFire Commerce is an international
provider of secure online transaction processing services to goods and
services merchants in the areas of retail sales, sports, entertainment and
licensed online gaming, among others. Total transactions processed exceeded
$1.2 billion in fiscal 2001. SureFire Commerce’s merchant enabling solutions
provide telecommunications companies, Internet service providers, high traffic
portals and financial institutions the ability to generate recurrent revenue
streams for themselves and their small- and medium-sized business customers.
SureFire Commerce is headquartered in Montreal (Quebec) with offices in Hull
(Quebec), Boston (Massachusetts) and London (England).
These interim consolidated financial statements are in accordance
with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles and are consistent
with the policies outlined in the Corporation’s audited financial
statements, except where stated below. The interim financial statements
and related notes should be read in conjunction with the Corporation’s
audited financial statements. When necessary, the financial statements
include amounts based on informed estimates and best judgments of
management. The results of operations for the interim periods reported
are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for the year.
Certain comparative figures have been reclassified to conform with the
current year’s presentation.
1 New Accounting Pronouncements
As at April 1, 2001, the Corporation adopted the recommendations of
the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants on the presentation
of interim financial statements. The new recommendations require
minimum note disclosure including the basis of presentation of the
interim financial statements.
The Corporation is engaged in e-commerce processing services.
Revenue from e-commerce processing services are recognized at the
time services are rendered. In February 2001, the Ontario Securities
Commission issued its initial report on revenue recognition. This
report indicates that companies should follow the Securities and
Exchange Commission’s Accounting Bulletin 101 (SAB 101) – Revenue
Recognition in Financial Statements released in December 1999. As at
April 1, 2001, the Corporation adopted on a prospective basis, the
new recommendation for set-up fee revenues by deferring the fees
over the expected term of the customer relationship. In addition,
the Corporation is also deferring set-up costs incurred over the
As at April 1, 2001, the Corporation adopted, on a retroactive
basis, the new recommendations of the Canadian Institute of
Chartered Accountants with respect to Section 3500, Earnings per
Share. Under the new recommendations, the treasury stock method is
to be used, instead of the current imputed earnings approach, for
determining the dilutive effect of stock options. All prior diluted
earnings per share amounts have been recalculated in accordance with
the new requirements. Since the Corporation had incurred losses,
such recalculations did not result in any change to the
Corporation’s previously reported diluted earnings per share for all
As at April 1, 2001, the Corporation adopted the new method of
accounting for goodwill and intangibles as outlined in accounting
pronouncements both in the United States and in Canada. The
application of these pronouncements requires that goodwill and
certain intangibles no longer be amortized but rather reviewed for
permanent impairment. If it is determined that there is an
impairment, then the value of goodwill and intangibles is written
off against earnings in the year such impairment occurs. The US
standard (FASB 142) was released on July 23, 2001 and is applicable
for all companies with a fiscal year end beginning after March 15,
2001. On August 1, 2001, the Canadian Institute of Chartered
Accountants released a similar guideline under Section 3062 of the
CICA Handbook for companies with a fiscal year end beginning on or
after April 1, 2001.
As at June 30, 2001, the total number of options exceeded the current
authorized number of common shares that may be issued under the stock
option plan by 3,316,206. The Corporation will request Board of
Directors’ and shareholders’ approval to increase the authorized
number of common shares that may be issued under the stock option
7 Basic and diluted earnings (loss) per common share
Per share amounts have been computed based on the weighted average
number of common shares outstanding each period. Fully diluted
loss per share is calculated by adjusting outstanding shares,
assuming any dilutive effects of stock options. For the prior period
presented, the effect of stock options and warrants were not
included, as the effect would be anti-dilutive. Consequently, there
is no difference between the basic and dilutive net loss per share.
The weighted average number of potential common shares from options
and warrants for the three month period ended June 30, 2000 was
approximately 3.2 million.
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited reported second quarter consolidated net earnings of $53.4 million,
compared to the $49.0 million recorded in 2000, an 8.9 percent increase.
Earnings before interest expense, income tax, depreciation and amortization
(EBITDA) also rose 8.9 percent to $142.8 million from $131.1 million in the
second quarter last year. Earnings per share for the quarter were $0.67, up
8.5 percent from the $0.62 per share recorded in 2000.
“I am pleased to report that Canadian Tire Retail experienced
exceptionally strong comparable store sales in a very challenging economic
environment. During the quarter we also achieved double digit growth in total
retail sales. These results reflect not only very strong seasonal sales, but
also healthy increases across all of our key merchandising categories. In
particular, we experienced very strong sales of non-promotional merchandise.
Our results also reflect significant achievements in our focus on improving
productivity and implementing strategic initiatives,” said Wayne Sales,
president and chief executive officer. “All of our businesses contributed to
our earnings performance during the quarter, including Retail, Financial
Services and Petroleum,” Sales added.
Canadian Tire Associate Dealers reported strong second quarter retail
sales up 12.9 percent, a testament to customer acceptance of CTR’s product
offering and a return to normal summer weather conditions compared to the same
period last year. Comparable store sales increased by 7.0 percent, the
strongest quarterly increase in over seven years.
Major factors contributing to improvements in consolidated pre-tax
earnings included a 12.0 percent increase in pre-tax earnings in Financial
Services reflecting cost reductions and productivity improvements, and a
significant increase in pre-tax earnings in Petroleum. Increased shipments and
revenues in Canadian Tire Retail helped offset the significant investments in
growth initiatives. Increased expenses associated with these initiatives
reduced pre-tax earnings during the quarter by $4 million for the continued
development of CTR’s e-Commerce offering and $2 million for PartSource. The
net result was a 1.9 percent pre-tax earnings increase in CTR.
Canadian Tire finished the first six months with consolidated net
earnings of $82.1 million, up 12.2 percent from a year earlier. Earnings per
share were $1.04, an 11.7 percent increase over the first half of 2000. First
half results reflect increased earnings in all businesses as well as the $8
million first quarter pre-tax gain on the sale of the third-party credit card
receivables business in Financial Services.
Consolidated gross operating revenue for the second quarter was $1,499.3
million, up 7.2 percent from the $1,398.2 million recorded in 2000. Major
factors included strong retail sales contributing to a 7.3 percent increase
in shipments at Canadian Tire Retail, complemented by a 10.4 percent increase
in gross operating revenue in Petroleum. Revenues in Financial Services for
the quarter were down 1.8 percent, reflecting reduced revenue contributions
due to the sale in the first quarter of the third-party receivables business.
Consolidated gross operating revenue for the first half of 2001 was $2,634.6
million, an increase of 5.3 percent over the $2,502.5 million recorded in the
same period last year.
– Construction of the new Calgary Distribution Centre building has been
substantially completed and handed off to Canadian Tire and GENCO, the
third-party operator of this facility. Integration and system testing
is underway and the Distribution facility will be fully operational
commencing in the first quarter of 2002. This represents a key
milestone in the development of the Corporation’s more cost-effective
regional replenishment and multi-channel distribution system.
– Vendor supply chain service levels to the Corporation reached a record
high during the second quarter. Service levels from the distribution
centres to Canadian Tire Associate Stores were up 103 basis points over
the same period last year.
– As part of the Customer Values initiative, web-based learning
technology has been introduced in more than 90 percent of Canadian
Tire stores, with more than 100 learning modules in production
delivering product knowledge and customer service training for store
– Consumer traffic to www.canadiantire.ca , including unique visitors,
continues to be very strong and Canadian Tire’s web store is one of the
top ten e-Commerce sites in Canada.
– 12 new-format stores were opened during the quarter, bringing to 249
the total number of new-format stores that have been opened since the
rebuilding program was initiated in 1994.
– PartSource completed the conversion and integration of
Auto Village/Drivers stores to the PartSource format and banner.
– Financial Services made significant progress in its continued expansion
of the Options MasterCard portfolio and average balances and ancillary
credit products benefited during the quarter as a result.
“Canadian Tire’s quarterly results indicate that our aggressive approach
to growing our business and reducing costs is paying off, and at the same time
we are putting in place a strong foundation for our future growth and
shareholder returns,” noted Sales.
Canadian Tire is committed to continually improving near-term earnings
and performance by continuing to invest in existing programs which are
designed to increase total and comparable store sales and to significantly
reduce costs. At the same time, Canadian Tire is in the process of undertaking
a comprehensive strategic review of the Corporation’s businesses and
opportunities for long-term growth. The Corporation plans to communicate the
direction of its Strategic Plan in late September.
The Corporation reaffirms its outlook for an increase in gross operating
revenues in the range of six to eight percent in 2001 and to increase
consolidated net earnings in the range of seven to nine percent. This
excludes any gain from the securitization of credit charge receivables.
Effective July 1, 2001, the Corporation adopted the new recommendations issued
by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Accounting Guideline 12
“Transfers of Receivables”. As a result of the adoption of the new accounting
rules, the Corporation will realize a gain of approximately $8 million to $9
million before taxes in the third quarter of 2001.
On August 2, 2001 the Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per
share on each Common and Class A Non-Voting share. The dividend is payable on
December 1, 2001 to holders of record on October 31, 2001.
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSE: CTR.a, CTR) – the country’s most
shopped retailer – offers a unique mix of products and services through three
distinct, yet inter-related businesses. Canadian Tire Retail and the Associate
Dealers together form one of Canada’s best-known and most successful
retailers, offering customers the convenience and leadership of three
specialty stores under one roof – Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home
Products. Canadian Tire Retail recently launched www.canadiantire.ca , offering
Canadians a brand new way for customers to shop online for automotive, sports,
leisure and home products. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages related
financial products and services for retail and petroleum customers, and also
markets other value-added products to our customers. Canadian Tire Petroleum
is one of the country’s largest independent retailers of gasoline, with 203
outlets. With 443 Canadian Tire Associate Stores serving communities
nationwide, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited and the Associate Dealers
together employ more than 38,000 Canadians.
VISA International reported a 20.5% annual growth rate in worldwide first
quarter total card volume, posting $314 billion in purchase volume and $160
billion in cash volume. The CEMEA region reported the strongest growth,
producing nearly $15 billion in total card volume, a 47% increase over
1Q/00. In the European Union, VISA reported $135 billion in total card
volume, a 19% increase over last year. Card volume in the Asia Pacific
region, which grew 45% overall, included $39 billion in purchase volume and
$25 billion in cash volume. Asia Pacific’s cash volume nearly doubled over
last year’s activity. VISA Canada’s 1Q/01 total volume was $15 billion, a
14% increase over first quarter 2000. In Latin America and the Caribbean,
VISA reported $41 billion in total volume, a 28% increase. As of March 31,
VISA had 813.6 million cards and 687.3 million accounts worldwide.
Value Communications Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rediff.com India Limited, and a leading provider of long distance calling services, announced the launch of VC DIRECT, its direct long distance service which now allows consumers to call overseas without the hassles of a phone card.
The launch event was attended by leading dignitaries, community leaders, and the South Asian media.
The long distance market to South Asia is divided into two categories: prepaid phone cards and direct-dial carriers. Value Communications Corporation promises to beat the prices offered by direct-dial carriers with an extremely aggressive pricing plan, while maintaining the simplicity and high quality of direct dialing. Consumers will now be able to dial to over 200 international destinations without the hassle of a calling card or PIN numbers using the newly launched VC DIRECT service.
Commenting on the new service, Arvind J. Singh, Chief Executive Officer of Value Communications Corporation said, “This is a truly innovative product in response to the needs of the South Asian consumer in the United States. It stems from our undying belief that we need to provide our customer significant savings, ease of use and ultimate flexibility in calling. That, to us, is true value.” He further quips, “The South Asian customer is very discerning. They are smart, and always know a good deal when they see one. We need to reach out to them as we have attempted to over the last five years.”
The offer is indeed compelling. There are several plans a customer may choose from depending on their needs. A caller to India, for example, can get connected to any city for just 39.9 cents a minute, all-inclusive, on the national plan, or 29.9 cents to certain specific cities on the city plan. There are no additional charges. On the contrary, direct-dial companies typically charge multiple additional fees and taxes over and above their advertised rates.
Says Singh, “This is a key differentiator between us and our competition – we want consumers to realize the significance of their savings with the VC DIRECT service because they often overlook the additional charges they pay their long distance provider. For example, an advertised rate of 53 cents per minute by AT&T and MCI translates to about 68 cents a minute when you figure in all the additional charges in fine print! Compare that with our offer, and you will see why our customers save as much as 60% over other direct-dial companies.”
With the VC DIRECT(TM) service, the consumer need not even switch their existing carrier. “We can now provide our customers the simplicity of direct dialing without the hassles of switching long distance carriers or remembering and punching in long PIN numbers. The customer simply dials a toll free number followed by their destination number. It’s that easy!” says Sandeep Shrivastava, President and Chief Operating Officer of the company. He adds, “Our customer also has the flexibility to charge their account conveniently through a credit card on our web site (www.valucomonline.com) or through our friendly customer care group using our toll free number, 1-888-VALUCOM.”
As part of the added value, the company also assures users of the freedom to call from multiple phone lines. “Our service allows the customer to take the savings with them to their cell phone or even their work phone. We know more and more, our customer is on the road and uses the cell phone primarily to stay in touch. This is an edge over AT&T, MCI or any other direct-dial carrier, that restricts calls from a home line only,” adds Shrivastava.
Pursuant to their commitment to drive this market, Value Communications Corporation intends to launch the new VC DIRECT(TM) service in South Asian media in the U.S., by way of a hard hitting campaign. The focus of the advertising message is to explain the simplicity of use and comparative savings realized over direct-dial companies like AT&T or MCI. A launch campaign comprising of Print, TV, Radio and Internet has been developed by Value Communications Corporation’s New York based advertising agency 1947 Communications Inc.
About Value Communications Corporation
Founded in 1996, Value Communications Corporation (www.valucomonline.com ) has been a successful player in the international long distance category. The company focuses on Internet-based marketing of international telecom services to Indians and South Asians in the United States. Their initial foray in international calling services came in the form of pre-paid calling cards that provided high quality, and reliable service via virtual PIN numbers. The company has since delivered significant value to their customers through innovative pricing, no frills calling plans, and a breadth of products. Value Communications Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rediff.com India Limited (Nasdaq: REDF), one of India’s leading Internet portals focusing on India and the global Indian community.
Value Communications Corporation is led by Arvind J. Singh, CEO, a graduate of The Anderson School of Management at UCLA and a former executive with Kraft Foods, Inc., and Sandeep Shrivastava, President and COO, a graduate of The Wharton School and a former executive with Ameritech Corporation and General Mills, Inc.
Founded in 1996, Rediff.com India Ltd., (Nasdaq: REDF) is one of the leading Internet, communications and media companies serving over one billion global Indians, both online and offline. Through its online and offline product and service offerings Rediff.com offers interest specific channels, local language editions, sophisticated search capabilities, online shopping, long distance calling cards and Internet based telephony services. It’s news publication, India Abroad, is one of the oldest and largest South Asian weekly newspaper serving the Indian American community in the United States. The company also provides users extensive Internet community offerings all tailored to the interests of Indians worldwide. Rediff.com has offices in New York, Chicago and New Delhi and is headquartered in Mumbai, India.Details
Isaac and Company, Inc. announced that it will implement
Eastern Europe’s first automated credit decisioning platform at
Warsaw-based Kredyt Bank S.A., one of Poland’s leading financial
institutions. The new, state-of-the-art system will enable the bank to
consistently and quickly assess risk for all of its consumer and small
business portfolios and make more profitable, customer-centric lending
Under the agreement, Fair, Isaac will integrate its
StrategyWare(R) decision engine for account origination and credit
application models as part of the overall solution, which is expected
to be operational in the fourth quarter of this year. StrategyWare
gives credit grantors powerful adaptive control capabilities to
improve origination decisions by designing, testing and executing
complex decision strategies, without relying on programming support.
The move by Kredyt Bank to implement Fair, Isaac decision
technology solutions is in direct response to the rapid increase in
credit applications currently being experienced by lenders throughout
the region. Credit card growth in Poland was up 105 percent and
transaction volumes jumped 105 percent in the late 1990s according to
the 2000 Global Card Directory. Historically, credit decisions have
been made manually in Poland and in other Eastern European countries.
But as a leader in the use of advanced, more sophisticated
technologies in this region, Kredyt Bank has identified and is
addressing the need to bring consistency and speed to its process of
“Leading credit grantors in major world markets, including Western
Europe, Latin America and Asia, have embraced Fair, Isaac’s powerful
analytics and decision technology and recognized the value that our
solutions can bring to their business,” said Tom Grudnowski, Fair,
Isaac’s CEO. “Kredyt Bank’s decision to adopt state-of-the-art
technology to automate its credit decisions will now help to shape the
future of how credit decisions are made throughout Eastern Europe.
It’s extremely gratifying that Kredyt Bank has chosen to work with
Fair, Isaac on what will likely be a standard-setting initiative for
Poland and other Eastern European countries.”
Frank Jansen, deputy CEO of Kredyt Bank, said, “We chose Fair,
Isaac for this project because of their deep expertise in analytics
and their unparalleled experience in market-specific areas,
specifically the Polish market. We are confident that Fair, Isaac’s
automated decisioning solution will help us vastly enhance our
decisioning capabilities through all channels, including the
Internet,” Jansen explained.
Demand for Fair, Isaac’s world-class analytics and decision
technology on the global stage has significantly stepped up. The
company has seen an extraordinary expansion of its solutions in
Europe, Latin America and Asia. Over the last five years, Fair, Isaac
has also played a leadership role in Eastern Europe, helping financial
and telecom institutions to understand and then build simple
decisioning solutions to better manage their client portfolios. Today,
many Eastern European lenders have reached a new level, requiring more
sophisticated solutions that automate decisions quickly and
accurately. The result for Fair, Isaac has been stellar. The company
now works with 13 of the top financial services organizations in
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic and said that its revenue from
work in the region has more than doubled since 1998.
About Fair, Isaac
Fair, Isaac and Company is a global provider of customer analytics
and decision technology. Widely recognized for its pioneering work in
credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way lending decisions
are made. Today the company helps clients in multiple industries
increase the value of customer relationships. Fair, Isaac has made the
Forbes list of the top 200 U.S. small companies eight times in the
last nine years. Headquartered in San Rafael, California, Fair, Isaac
reported revenues of $298 million in fiscal 2000.
For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.fairisaac.com/.
About Kredyt Bank
Founded in 1990, Kredyt Bank S.A. is one of the top ten banking
groups in Poland by total assets, with increasing market shares in
deposits and loans. Originally concentrated in corporate banking and
trade finance, Kredyt Bank is now also active in retail (deposit
taking and customer finance) and investment banking. The Bank today
operates a network of more than 340 outlets nationwide. It has also
built up a presence abroad by opening a branch and service outlets in
Lithuania, a representative office in Kaliningrad (Russia) and a
subsidiary in Ukraine (West-Ukrainian Commercial Bank).
Driven by a significant increase in cards issued, MasterCard’s overall growth in U.S. card volume is outpacing VISA’s, as MasterCard racked up a 16.8% annual growth rate in the first quarter compared to VISA’s 13.0% rate. However both card associations reported substantially stronger growth than American Express (+9.9%) and Discover (+3.8%). VISA’s growth in cash volume slightly outpaced MasterCard’s, as VISA reported $44.1 billion in first quarter cash volume (+18%) versus MasterCard’s $26.0 billion (+17%). As of March 31, VISA’s market share, based on gross dollar volume and cards-in-force, was 51.9% and 51.2% respectively. At the end of 1Q/01, VISA had 251.4 million credit cards and 103.4 million debit cards in-force. MasterCard had 212.4 million credit cards and 37.9 million debit cards in-force as of March 31. (For complete details on 1Q/01 U.S. brand statistics visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]); for international 1Q/01 brand figures visit The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com]).
1Q/01 U.S. BRAND STATS
(includes credit and off-line debit)
VOLUME CHANGE CARDS CHANGE
VISA $204.6b +13.0% 354.8m +5.5%
MasterCard $109.6b +16.8% 250.3m +19.3%
American Express $ 55.6b + 9.9% 34.2m +8.9%
Discover $ 24.4b + 3.8% 53.2m +8.6%
TOTAL: $394.2b +13.0% 692.5m +10.5%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
DataWave announces results for the quarter ended June 30, 2001.
Revenues improved slightly to US$2,581,368. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $33,122, and net cash provided by operating activities was $US277,781. The Company had a loss of US$(80,704),” reports Josh Emanuel, President and CEO.
Revenues generated from the resale of prepaid long distance time in the U.S. for the three months ended June 30, 2001 were up 1.5 percent from the same quarter last year. Revenues from the sale of prepaid long distance phone cards through the DataWave Merchandisers (“DTMs”) increased 16% for the quarter compared to the same period last year. The number of DTMs installed and operated by the Company increased to more than 1,000 in June 2001 from 962 in June 2000. The Company now sells in more than 3,000 locations in the U.S. (inclusive of DTM locations).
“The Company continues to spend on research and development to move aggressively towards expansion into new markets and to develop new prepaid card products. A five-store test of the Company’s new prepaid payment card in conjunction with Coinstar and Michigan National Bank began in June. The Company also laid the groundwork to enter the Canadian prepaid phone market during the quarter by entering into an agreement to purchase AT&T Prepaid Card Company. This acquisition was closed on July 13, 2001 and should increase revenues considerably and favorably impact net income,” reports Josh Emanuel.
About DataWave ()
DataWave Systems designs, develops, produces, owns and manages a proprietary, intelligent, automated direct-merchandising network, comprised of free-standing intelligent machines (DTMs) and over the counter “swipe” units (OTCs) connected to the gateway and database software through a wireless and/or landline wide area network. This unique leading-edge technology provides for point-of-sale activation, cash/credit card acceptance, detailed reporting and 24/7 remote self-diagnostic troubleshooting, making it virtually maintenance-free. The Company has proven enabling technologies that have allowed it to enter new markets and generate additional revenue streams with innovative prepaid and financial services products. In addition to its successful prepaid calling card business, the company is testing the distribution of the Michigan National Bank Prepaid MasterCard together with Coinstar.
DataWave is now poised to capitalize on the flexibility of its System by augmenting its product range to meet the diversified and changing needs of the prepaid market and in further developing strategic partnerships.Details
During the month of August, American Express Cardmembers can enjoy prix-fixe lunches at some of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants for only $20.01. Twenty-nine restaurants are participating in the exclusive Cardmember program, called “Let’s Do Lunch.”
In addition to enjoying some of the culinary delights San Francisco has to offer, Cardmembers can also feel good about helping those in need. Every time a Cardmember uses the Card to purchase lunch at participating restaurants during the “Let’s Do Lunch” program, American Express will donate up to $10,000, based on $1.50 per transaction at any of the participating restaurants, to Project Open Hand, a San Francisco organization that serves people living with HIV/AIDS, seniors, the homebound or critically ill. The donation is not tax deductible for Cardmembers.
“American Express is always looking for ways to add value for our Cardmembers and our merchants, and we are proud to be the first to offer a program like this to San Francisco,” said Carolynn Atherton, General Manager of American Express, Northern California. “‘Let’s Do Lunch’ is a great opportunity for our Cardmembers to enjoy many of the unique restaurants in San Francisco. It’s also a chance for our merchant partners to showcase their fine cuisine for Cardmembers who might not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy it.”
“We are thrilled and grateful that American Express chose our agency for this innovative venture,” said Tim Etheridge, Director of Communications for Project Open Hand. “The proceeds from ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ will certainly help us continue to do what we have been doing for the past 16 years, and that is, delivering Meals with Love to all those who need us.”
Participating restaurants include: 2223 Restaurant and Bar, Ana Mandara, Bix, Cafe de la Presse, Caffe Espresso, Cafe Pescatore, Farallon, Fringale, Gio’s Restaurant, Grand Cafe, Kuleto’s Italian Restaurant, L’Olivier, Montage, North Beach Restaurant, One Market Restaurant, Oritalia Restaurant and Dragon Bar, Paragon, Pastis, Pizzelle Di North Beach, Puccini & Pinetti, Roy’s, Silks at Mandarin Oriental, Splendido, Stars Bar & Dining, The Cosmopolitan Cafe, The Waterfront Restaurant, Town’s End, Venture Frogs, and XYZ.
Cardmembers can make reservations online at http://www.opentable.com or by calling the participating restaurants directly. Customers are urged to cancel their reservations if they are unable to honor them. Dress codes apply in many of the participating establishments; beverage, tax and gratuity are additional.
For additional information and a list of restaurants offering a $20.01 prix-fixe lunch, log onto . To request a list by mail, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Julian Munoz, American Express, 525 Market Street, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94105.
About American Express
American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) is a diversified worldwide travel, network, and financial services provider founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking. For more information, visit .
About Project Open Hand
Project Open Hand provides home delivered meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS; congregates lunches and nutrition education to seniors and home delivered meals to those who are Homebound and Critically Ill.Details