Working Assets Billing

EUR Systems, a market leader in outsourced and turnkey billing and customer care solutions, announced that Working Assets, a long distance, credit card and Internet company, has signed a three-year extension to their long-standing contract.

Under the contract, EUR will continue to provide message collection, rating, billing, printing and mailing, back office support and remittance processing services for Working Assets. EUR provides Working Assets with a unique bill messaging capability that reinforces the progressive image of Working Assets month after month and enables them to dynamically communicate with their customers. EUR produces bills that contain Working Assets’ newsworthy information and specialized messages and prints them on 100% post consumer waste recycled paper. These customized bills help reinforce what Working Assets stands for… “a world that is more just, humane and environmentally sustainable.”

“EUR provides us with custom features that are important to our clients and to our image,” says Ted Volchok, VP of Billing and Development of Working Assets. “Since 1985, our company has raised over $25 million to non-profit organizations, such as Amnesty International and the Rainforest Action Network. Each bill also highlights two political issues under debate, explaining what’s at stake and whom to contact. Our customers are interested in these issues, and EUR gives us the proper tools we need to easily and efficiently reach all of them.”

“Working Assets sets the standard in making the bill work for them,” said John Boyd, President and CEO of EUR Systems. “We are pleased that our EUR billing technology and service is valued so highly by Working Assets and that we have had the opportunity to partner in their many successes over the past ten years.”

In addition to bill messaging, EUR Systems provides a number of back office functions to Working Assets, such as remittance processing. EUR also manages the Working Assets book club by fulfilling orders, maintaining the inventory and collecting payment.

About Working Assets

Working Assets is a long distance, credit card and Internet services company that was created to build a world that is more just, humane and environmentally sustainable. Since Working Assets was created in 1985, the company has raised over $25 million by helping people make a difference in the world through progressive philanthropy and political activism. Working Assets donates a portion of its revenue to nonprofit groups working for peace, human rights, equality, education and the environment. The company also serves as a strong political force, dedicated to giving its customers the opportunity to speak out on critical public issues. Working Assets’ website is located at [www.workingassets.com][1].

About EUR

Serving the telecommunications industry for over 40 years, EUR Systems is a leading billing and customer care outsourcing service provider offering complete, flexible solutions for maximum revenue. EUR supports some of the world’s foremost communications providers, including AT&T, Global One, Working Assets and Time Warner Telecom, with end-user customer care & billing, inter-carrier billing, and wholesale billing services.

To offer a complete, custom solution, EUR augments its high quality billing services with bill print/stuff/mail, remittance processing and customer service capabilities, and a renowned data center offering complete, 24/7 backup protection. Additionally, EUR offers total ASP solutions using Daleen’s software. The most valuable service EUR offers is its experienced, reliable staff of over 250 telecommunication-industry specialists who are dedicated to offering total creative solutions. EUR’s website is located at [www.eursystems.com][2].

[1]: http://www.workingassets.com/
[2]: http://www.eursystems.com/

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E-COMMERCE EUROPE

The UK continues to lead Europe and the United States for visitors to e-commerce websites, according to the latest results from Internet monitoring company NetValue.

Of the eight countries included in the survey (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the US), the UK had the highest percentage of home Internet users visiting an e-commerce website in May.

In the UK, 75.9 per cent of all home Internet users visited an e-tailing website, with 42.1 per cent going on to make a secure connection on a site. In the US, 73.9 per cent of home Internet users visited an e-commerce site, with just 28.8 per cent making a secure connection.

Although Sweden and Denmark have the largest proportion of households online, Swedes and Danes are least likely to shop online. Only 8.1 per cent of Danish visitors and 6.9 per cent of Swedish visitors to an e-commerce website actually entered a secure area of the site, where confidential information is exchanged (for example, entering and transmitting credit card details).

Top 10 European E-Commerce Domains, May 2001(i)

Amazon.de was the number one e-commerce site in Europe last month, visited by more than 2.5 million unique visitors. Lastminute.com was the only travel site to make it into the top ten, visited by more than one million unique visitors in Europe.

(i) This ranking includes data from Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK

Source NetValue Consultancy

European and US Internet penetration

Scandinavia continues to lead the rest of Europe and the US for Internet penetration. In May, 57.6 per cent of Swedish households and 55.5 per cent of Danish households were connected to the Internet. Of the eight countries, the US was in third position, with 50.6 per cent of households connected, and the UK was in fifth position, with 38.4 per cent of households connected.

Although Spain has fewest households connected, users spend more time online and view more pages than any other European country. On average, Spanish Internet users connected for 9.4 hours and viewed 924 pages.

Source NetValue Audience Report, May 2001

About NetValue

NetValue, a global leader in Internet intelligence, delivers unprecedented insight into online user behaviour, e-business, Internet trends and activity, by incorporating its superior technology and pristine research methodology.

NetValue’s technology provides us with the unparalleled flexibility and scalability to customise our offerings and tailor our products to meet clients’ specific business needs. It delivers the greatest depth and breadth of protocol measurement, capturing all Internet protocol activity including web, email, chat, audio, video, games, instant messaging, FTP, etc. NetValue’s aggregation and categorisation technologies provide the most concise panel-based service providing real-time intelligence about Internet activity.

Founded in France in 1998, NetValue has operations in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Norway, US, Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan. NetValue clients include AOL, MSN, T-Online, Wanadoo, Mastercard, Procter & Gamble, Danone, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, SG Cowen, Qualcomm and Harvard Business School. NetValue can be reached at http//www.netvalue.com

Panels are recruited by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) globally, and are fully representative of the Internet universe in each country. The process for implementing and managing the user panels is consistent globally, thereby ensuring comparability between each market.

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My Travel Wallet

Preferred vendors of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Thomas Cook Global & Financial Services, the financial services division of Thomas Cook Holdings Ltd., and its subsidiary Interpayment Services Ltd. were acquired by The Travelex Group earlier this year. The new combined company is the world’s leading provider of outsourced travel money to financial institutions and travel agencies. Travelex also operates the world’s largest retail foreign exchange business and is the second largest issuer of travelers cheques in the world.

The Travelex Group will continue Thomas Cook and Interpayment’s longstanding relationship with ICBA, its member banks, and the community bank customers they serve. The Travelex Group currently offers two programs to ICBA member banks. Interpayment Services is the provider of the ICBA Visa Travelers Cheque Program that offers customized travelers cheques to ICBA member banks.

Thomas Cook is also piloting My Travel Wallet with approximately 100 ICBA member banks. My Travel Wallet is an online foreign currency ordering solution that is easily integrated into any ICBA member banks’ Web site. My Travel Wallet offers both foreign currency and foreign currency travelers cheques directly to consumers through their ICBA member bank’s Web site. “We look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with Thomas Cook and look forward to the new technological and global opportunities Travelex can bring to the existing ICBA/Thomas Cook programs,” says Jim Goetz, chairman, Security First Bank of North Dakota.

“We expect the new combined company to bring additional value to the ICBA relationship,” says Tom Tucker, senior vice president of the Global Traveler Services division. “As part of The Travelex Group, we are more committed and focused on the continued success of our existing programs with ICBA. We are looking for new ways to enhance our services, be it through leveraging technology to improve operational efficiencies or by introducing new products and services that support the needs of community bank customers. The latest example is a pilot we are working on with ICBA to streamline travelers cheque settlement via an extranet solution.”

ICBA is the primary voice for the nation’s community banks, representing 5,000 institutions at nearly 17,000 locations nationwide. Community banks are independently owned and operated and are characterized by attention to customer service, lower fees and small business, agricultural and consumer lending. ICBA’s members hold more than $486 billion in insured deposits, $592 billion in assets and more than $355 billion in loans for consumers, small businesses and farms. They employ nearly 239,000 citizens in the communities they serve. For more information, visit [www.icba.org][1] .

[1]: http://www.icba.org/

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GEMPLUS SELLS SKIDATA

Gemplus International S.A.announced that it has reached an agreement with Kudelski S.A. (SWXKUD) for the sale of SkiData AG, its leading electronic access-control solutions business unit. The transaction values the SkiData enterprise at 140 million Euro. Under the terms of the agreement, Kudelski S.A. will pay partly in cash and partly in shares. The agreement includes provisions that protect the value and liquidity of the share component to Gemplus. The transaction is expected to close within the next two months subject to customary closing conditions.

Gemplus indicated that this transaction was the result of an ongoing strategic process to further focus on its key growth markets. “Since the days leading to our IPO, we have openly discussed our strategic intent to focus on three important markets Telecommunications, Financial Services and E-Business Security,” said Antonio Perez, President and CEO of Gemplus. “The sale of SkiData results from the implementation of this strategy and reflects our belief that by concentrating our resources and attention on these high growth market segments, we will be much better aligned to achieve the vast potential that they represent.”

Kudelski S.A. is a leader in the domain of conditional access and system management solutions for digital interactive television and broadband internet as well as in the area of smart card-based security and ticketing systems. SkiData, which employs 350 people, had revenues of 81 million Euro in 2000. In 2000, Gemplus reported 1.205 billion Euro in revenue and employed more than 7800 people.

“Both groups have obvious synergies and close cultural ties,” stated Andre Laux, SkiData’s CEO. “We are pleased to join Kudelski S.A.”

“We are delighted that we are able to execute our strategy while preserving employment and reinforcing SkiData’s success,” added Perez. “We have also established an excellent relationship with Kudelski S.A., which could be beneficial over the longer term.”

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(TM) 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(TM) www.gemplus.com

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Bank One DPS

VISA U.S.A. announced this morning that Bank One is converting its check card portfolio to the VISA ‘Debit Processing Service’processing platform. Bank One is the third largest ‘VISA Check Card’ issuer in the U.S. with over 4.2 million cards. In addition to providing ‘VISA Check Card’ processing support, VISA ‘DPS’ will offer HNC ‘Falcon’ fraud detection services which provides real-time neural network scoring, customized rules and strategies, a sophisticated case management workstation, and complete management reporting. The ‘DPS Falcon’ fraud detection service is completely integrated with the DPS authorization system, allowing for real-time authorization decision capabilities.

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Pocket Quicken

Intuit and LandWare unveiled this morning ‘Pocket Quicken 2.0’ for the Palm OS platform. Pocket Quicken enables on-the-go access to account balances, credit limits, transaction histories, exchange rates and more. Pocket Quicken’s account list provides a succinct overview of a person’s financial situation and provides alerts when accounts are overdrawn. The account list is flexible, allowing consumers to sort by preferred accounts, account names or types. Two taps provide an instant report of credit card balances, assets, liabilities, investments, cash in hand and more. New to ‘Pocket Quicken 2.0’ is the ability to maintain accounts and transactions in foreign currencies. For example, ‘Pocket Quicken’ allows a consumer to record a hotel bill paid in Swiss Francs or gifts purchased in New Zealand dollars with their American credit card and automatically takes care of the conversion. An extensive list of currencies, including conversion rates, is automatically downloaded from Quicken each time the customer presses the HotSync button, and ‘Pocket Quicken’ places the original amount in the memo field for future reference. A new security feature prompts ‘Pocket Quicken’ users to enter a PIN when viewing account information. Even if the handheld is powered off while ‘Pocket Quicken’ is running, the consumer will be prompted for a PIN upon powering-up the handheld. The product retails at $39.95.

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MasterCard Travel Card

Bank Rhode Island has teamed with MA-based FirstDebit Corporation to offer a pre-paid MasterCard debit card to high school students traveling in the USA or abroad on school organized trips. The travel card can also be combined with a pre-paid phone card, allowing students to call home from 55 countries. The card is currently being offered to students traveling through EF Tours, one of the world leaders in student travel. Bank Rhode Island is the issuing bank of the ‘EF Travel Card’. Funds can be added to the card and, if lost or stolen, the funds can be frozen and a new card issued within three days. FirstDebit is a host-based stored value company. The firm provides the card processing services via BISYS, marketing content, Web site, application processing, and will be adding Internet banking features this fall.

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Paymentech Gift Cards

Restaurants will now be able to brand and launch their own gift cards following a deal between Paymentech and MICROS Systems. The two firms announced this morning they have teamed to offer an integrated gift card solution. Paymentech developed drivers for the ‘MICROS 3700’ POS and ‘8700’ hospitality management systems that allow merchants to accept and process Paymentech gift cards. Paymentech’s gift card program includes card design and production, POS transaction processing, and merchant reporting. Paymentech Gift Card services encompass customized plastic, transaction processing, specialized reporting, help desk support and database maintenance. Paymentech clients select the card design, customizing the card with their name, logo and artwork. Restaurants can choose from different strategies on how to run their program. Gift cards can be pre-denominated with a specific amount on the card’s face. They can also be non-denominated so merchants, from the POS terminal, can add value to an account when it is sold to a customer. Value can be added and deducted from a gift card at each use.

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eConnect

The $60 personal Internet credit/debit card payment terminal developed by eConnect continues to pick up support. Kanakaris Wireless signed a deal Friday for 1,000 ‘eCashPads’ at $50 each. Kanakaris has the option to purchase an additional 4,000 ‘eCashPads’ at the same price through Dec 31. The ‘eCashPad’ sells for $59.95 and attaches to any desktop computer. Montreal-based First American Payment Systems announced last month it is purchasing an initial 10,000 ‘eCashPads’ as part of its ‘Member Money Exchange Center’ program. MMEC is a full-service online cash transfer system specializing in online gaming and is set to launch in July 2001. eConnect also signed deals with CA-based Mediatechnics Systems and Zimmerman’s Toyland to sell the ‘eCashPad’ to the general public. The home payment terminal was released late last year. (CF Library 11/2/00; 4/18/01; 5/9/01; 5/30/01)

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E-Shoppers

When it comes to using credit cards online, the Brits have it all over the Yanks. In the UK, 76% of all home Internet users visited an e-tailing Web site during May, with 42% going on to make a secure connection on a site. In the US, 74% of home Internet users visited an e-commerce site during May, with just 29% making a secure connection. Although Sweden and Denmark have the largest proportion of households online, Swedes and Danes are least likely to shop online according to data gathered by Paris-based NetValue. Only 8% of Danish visitors and 7% of Swedish visitors to an e-commerce Web site actually entered a secure area of the site. Scandinavia continues to lead the rest of Europe and the US for Internet penetration. In May, 58% of Swedish households and 56% of Danish households were connected to the Internet. Of the eight countries, the US was in third position, with 51% of households connected, and the UK was in fifth position, with 38% of households connected. Although Spain has fewest households connected, users spend more time online and view more pages than any other European country. On average, Spanish Internet users connected for 9.4 hours and viewed 924 pages.

WEB ACTIVITY – EUROPE/USA May 2001
Duration on the Domains per Pages displayed
web (hours) visitor

UK 7.2 49.8 769
France 6.0 43.9 775
Germany 6.6 59.2 825
Spain 9.4 60.2 924
Sweden 6.0 39.8 604
Denmark 5.5 43.7 687
Norway 5.2 39.9 580
US 11.9 54.0 1134
Source: NetValue

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MaxCharge v3.0

Maximized Software, Inc. released MaxCharge version 3.0, a major upgrade to its popular MaxCharge product that enables a merchant to securely process credit card transactions directly over the Internet. “The ability to safely support multiple merchant accounts on a single computer is a significant enhancement to our component,” said Ken Spreitzer, President of Maximized Software. “Many online merchants rely on e-commerce solutions provided by their ISP, who in turn have expressed the need for a single, easily configurable solution. Version 3.0 offers quick and secure configuration so that ISPs can control the capabilities of their merchants and maintain the security of their web server(s).” MaxCharge is an ActiveX (COM) component, so it can be used with Microsoft Active Server Pages, Visual Basic, Delphi, Access, ColdFusion, Microsoft .NET, and many other environments, enabling MaxCharge to easily be integrated with most e-commerce products. The product includes sample processing scripts, sample code, documentation, and a test merchant account to help the user become immediately productive.

Merchants using MaxCharge are pleased with the product’s ease of use. “MaxCharge was extremely easy to implement in our e-commerce web site,” said Sean Gailey, Chief Technical Officer of Empire Technologies, Inc., in San Diego, California. “We saved a lot of time and money by using MaxCharge; it cut our development time in half. For the few questions we had, Maximized Software provided quick and reliable technical support.”

MaxCharge version 3.0 provides the following feature enhancements:

— Support for shoppers paying by credit card or check.

— ISP/multiple merchant support.

— Automatic support for redundant processing servers (ECHOnline only).

— Full support for the latest AuthorizeNet and ECHOnline interfaces.

— Supports commercial cards for lower transaction fees (ECHOnline only).

— New InitTestTransaction method makes testing even easier.

— Improved and expanded documentation.

Pricing

MaxCharge version 3.0 costs $295.00 per computer.

Availability

MaxCharge version 3.0 is available for immediate download from the Maximized Software web site at http://www.maximized.com/products/maxcharge/ and requires a computer running Microsoft Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, or later. Upgrades from version 2.0 are free for registered users.

About Maximized Software

Maximized Software, headquartered in Mill Valley, California, was founded in 1992 by Ken Spreitzer. After establishing Maximized Software, Spreitzer achieved industry fame as the creator of Uninstaller for Windows — a best-selling utility program. Maximized Software also created and sold Build-A-Card, the first commercial greeting card site on the Internet. The company’s product line includes several web server and client utilities.

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84 Lumber & Leath Cards

Conseco Finance Corp. is pleased to announce that Leath Furniture, L.L.C., and 84 Lumber Company have renewed multi-year retail credit progrm agreements with the company.

“We’ve had a great relationship with Conseco Finance,” said Barbara Snow, chief financial officer of Leath Furniture, L.L.C. “We value the people we work with. They’ve demonstrated a lot of integrity. We had other bidders, but our established relationship was the deciding factor.”

Leath has been a client of Conseco Finance since December 1996, 84 Lumber Company has been a client of Conseco Finance since March 1999.

“Each of our clients has very different needs,” said Todd Woodard, president of Conseco Finance’s Retail Credit Division. “We’ve made it our job to understand their businesses from the inside out and design customized credit programs to help achieve their sales goals. Then we set out to service these programs better than anyone else in the industry. We believe that’s the best way to maintain strong client relationships.”

Leath, based in Atlanta, operates 26 stores and two distribution centers in Wisonsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Florida. In the Midwest, the company’s stores operate as Leath Furniture. In Florida, the company operates five Modernage Furniture stores. Last year, Leath’s private-label credit card brought in approximately $42 million in sales.

84 Lumber, headquartered in Eighty Four, Penn., is the largest privately held supplier of building materials in the U.S., with 406 stores in 30 states from coast to coast. Professional contractors make up 75 percent of sales, which were approximately $1.8 billion in 1999.

Conseco Finance Corp., with total manages assets of $48 billion, is one of America’s largest finance companies. In just four years, Conseco Finance has become one of the top five issuers of private-label credit cards. The company is also a leader in the home equity, home improvement and manufactured housing finance buisnesses. Conseco Finance is a subsidiary of Conseco, Inc., headquartered in Carmel, Inc. To learn more about Conseco, visit [www.conseco.com][1].

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

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