Notification Services

Experian launched its ‘Notification Services’ suite which combines ‘Marketing Triggers’, ‘Risk Triggers’ and ‘Retention Triggers’. The advanced triggering technology, for pre-screen, cross-sell, up-sell, and account monitoring, is targeted at credit card companies who require an end-to-end, event-based triggering solution that addresses every phase of the customer life cycle. The suite can provide daily, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly notification triggers. For example, using ‘Notification Services’ a credit card company can enhance retention efforts by identifying current customers who have inquired about a new credit relationship within the last three months, helping them to take action and keep that customer.


SAS Card Solutions

SAS Institute announced three new enterprise marketing automation software solutions for the credit card, telecommunications, and insurance industries.

In these highly competitive industries where products can be copied in days and service can not be used to achieve differentiation, the only thing organizations have to create and sustain competitive advantage is customer intelligence.

The new customer relationship management (CRM) solutions significantly reduce the time organizations in these industries need to create and act upon customer intelligence. They reduce campaign deployment times, improve campaign return on investment and increase customer profitability. Implementation time is expected to be as low as three months – compared with the industry norm of six months for EMA solutions – thanks to industry-specific, pre-defined features. After deployment, companies can modify and extend the predefined models as well as create their own models. Marketers quickly gain understanding of customer needs and preferences and automate campaigns that reduce attrition and increase customer profitability.

“Analytics incorporated into EMA solutions are essential for optimizing customer interactions and enhancing the customer’s relationship with an organization,” said Gabriele Dobenecker, a program director with META Group. “Companies that provide a tight integration of sophisticated analytics and EMA functionality give organizations a head-start in customer intimacy.”

“SAS is distinct in its ability to cut through the complexities of global corporations like ours running massive client databases on multiple platforms and needing to integrate that data from disparate sources,” said Shaun Coyne, chief technical officer at GE Capital Real Estate. “The SAS Solution for EMA helped us improve net income by controlling costs of customer acquisition and risk through more intelligent targeted marketing. SAS’ new industry solutions are good news for companies that need to jump-start their CRM program and improve campaign effectiveness.”

Companies in highly competitive industries like credit card, telecommunications and insurance need to maximize payback on expensive marketing campaigns. By integrating customer analytics with campaign management, they reduce the margin of error and speed ROI. The SAS Solutions for EMA automatically feed customer intelligence from analytical CRM technology into a campaign management front-end through which campaigns are executed.

Basing campaigns on up-to-date customer intelligence means that companies reduce implementation cycles and improve campaign profitability by reaching customers with the right message at the right time. Automation is particularly valuable in complex multi-channel campaign environments, where marketing departments are often expected to perform exponentially higher numbers of campaigns with no increase in resources. Companies will appreciate that SAS for EMA is also a highly scalable and integrated solution. This eliminates the risks and costs of integrating, maintaining, and upgrading multiple software products. “Integrated solutions speed implementation of campaigns. In the highly competitive financial services market, the quicker you can get customer intelligence together and act on it, the sooner you can serve your customer – before a competitor does,” added Coyne. “We appreciate working with this global vendor of strong, dependable CRM solutions. SAS for EMA allows us to roll out a consistent global marketing strategy that’s helping us meet corporate revenue objectives to grow GE Capital.”

“Nothing equips decision makers better than access to knowledge. SAS customers have seen that the intelligence derived from a single, comprehensive customer view shortens campaign cycles, improves response rates, ensures higher customer satisfaction, and results in higher customer profitability,” said Jim Davis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at SAS. “The new industry solutions for EMA deliver state-of-the-art customer analytics and campaign management to get companies in the race, but it’s the resulting customer intelligence that wins the race for them.”

Industry Solutions for EMA

The foundation for all three industry solutions for EMA is SAS’ award-winning campaign management, data warehousing and data mining software. The common architecture covers data storage and data mining models that deliver intelligence on customer behavior and allow for accurate customer segmentation, campaign execution and campaign reporting. These new applications can be implemented quickly because they include standard industry data models, as well as predefined industry-specific campaign templates, behavioral models and business reports, all built upon the best practices in the industry.


SAS expects to distribute the new software solutions through SAS’ direct sales channels with first customer shipments in fourth quarter 2001.

About SAS

SAS is the world leader in e-intelligence software and services, enabling its customers to turn raw data – including the vast quantity generated by e-business – into usable knowledge. Software from SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company, is used at more than 35,000 business, government and university sites in 110 countries. For more information visit [][1].

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. (R)indicates USA registration. Copyright(c)2001 SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC, USA. All rights reserved.




MasterCard International has reached an agreement in principle with the other shareholders of Mondex International to assume full ownership of Mondex International (MXI) and direct control of all of MXI’s operations and management.

The proposed agreement, which is subject to the final approval by MXI shareholders, would increase MasterCard’s ownership share from the current 58 percent.

Under MasterCard’s management, MXI will continue providing service to the MULTOS consortium – the open industry forum that manages the MULTOS smart card platform, which is MasterCard’s preferred operating system for multi-application smart cards. MXI will also continue managing Mondex electronic cash and the Mondex Certification Authority and security infrastructure, in addition to providing ongoing support and services to the Mondex franchisees and licensees.

“As a founding shareholder of Mondex International, we are very pleased with this development,” said David J. Mills, general manager, HSBC Bank plc. “This agreement will streamline the governance and management of MXI’s products and services, providing greater flexibility to meet the needs of MXI franchise holders in the rapidly-evolving marketplace.”

“This acquisition is closely aligned with our strategy of giving MasterCard’s member financial institutions access to the best and most secure choices available in the marketplace and strengthens MasterCard’s overall position in smart card development by leveraging Mondex’s technological expertise under one roof,” said Chris Thom, senior executive vice president of MasterCard International. “In acquiring MXI,” he continued, “we are bringing into MasterCard the world’s most secure and flexible smart card operating system, a full-functioning certification authority, the Mondex offline e-cash program, and considerable technical expertise. Under MasterCard’s management, these assets will be fully available to help MasterCard’s members and Mondex franchise holders develop best-in-class smart card programs.”

MULTOS is the most robust, flexible and secure smart card platform in the market today. It is the only operating system for smart cards to have been certified with the prestigious ITSEC Level E6 security rating, the highest available. MULTOS is an open platform, which enables a number of different, independently functioning applications to reside on a single card simultaneously. To date, more than 6 million smart cards have been issued on the MULTOS platform, and more than 75 issuers are now committed to issuing 20 million additional MULTOS smart cards. More than 70 companies currently supply MULTOS-related products and services.

The Mondex Certification Authority, located in a highly secure facility, maintains best-in-class security and operations capabilities. It manages a well-established process for chip security and analysis. The authority handles issuance of certificates globally for the MULTOS “load and delete” mechanism, Mondex e-cash, and the MasterCard M/Chip(TM) family of payment applications. MasterCard is also evaluating offering the certification authority services to other industry participants requiring key management services.

Mondex Electronic Cash is the most complete and fully developed electronic cash proposition in the marketplace today and offers a number of unique benefits, including the only truly global and interoperable electronic cash product available today; multi-currency capability; the only card-to-card payment capability; offline transactions with immediate value transfer; and the highest security currently available. With virtually no per transaction cost, Mondex cash offers essentially zero marginal cost for the issuer. Mondex electronic cash has been franchised or licensed for use in 55 countries and territories around the world. There are approximately 30 Mondex implementations underway around the world, with additional activity expected over the coming year.

In addition to MasterCard International, current shareholders of Mondex International include 3328678 Canada Inc (“Mondex Canada”), Banco Internacional S.A., Bancomer S.A., Banco Nacional de Mexico S.A., Bank One Corporation, Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel S.A., Countrywide Banking Corporation, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, HSBC Bank plc., JCB Co. Ltd., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Mondex Australasia Pty Ltd., National Australia Bank Limited, National Westminster Bank plc., The Sanwa Bank Limited, Ulster Bank Limited, Wells Fargo & Company, and Universal Holdcorp Inc.

The proposed acquisition is expected to close at the end of this month.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International is a leader in global e-business. The association is focused on providing its member financial institutions with customized, meaningful global e-business solutions that connect them to customers in both the online and offline worlds. Through its investment in industry innovation, participation in standards development and business alliances, MasterCard is staying in the forefront of technology integration to enable anytime, anywhere payments across multiple channels and various devices. MasterCard’s global e-business solutions include Internet interactive services, security, smart cards, mobile commerce/wireless, e-wallets, business to business electronic commerce, and numerous emerging technologies.

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1.7 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of more than 20,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. MasterCard’s award-winning Priceless(R) advertising campaign is now seen in 81 countries and in more than 36 languages, giving the MasterCard brand reach and scope unrivaled by any competitor in the industry. With more than 21 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 2000, gross dollar volume exceeded US$857 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http//


Smart Data Solution

Paymentech, the premier electronic payment solutions provider for direct marketing and Internet business, has partnered with QUEit Corporation to offer merchants a direct marketing solution that lowers customer acquisition costs. Some Paymentech merchants currently testing the QUEit Trust and Reward Network are Palm, Simutronics Corporation, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Espinoza Cigars and Zig Ziglar. In honor of the partnership, Paymentech and QUEit will feature Latin cigar rollers rolling Espinoza cigars in their booth at the catalog conference.

QUEit is a simple, powerful “smart data” application that allows merchants to efficiently use the Internet to make highly targeted offers to consumers who have asked for them. Jeffrey Vick, CEO of QUEit, said, “Affordable new customer acquisition is a direct marketer’s primary challenge, QUEit is the solution.” The QUEit system allows merchants to control what offers they make, and to whom, tracking the offers all the way through to the sale. This is all done using the Internet with no software to download. By permission of consumers, QUEit collects personal information from consumers and assimilates it into a database. Consumers are provided targeted marketing while being compensated for the use of their personal information. Merchants create specific offers and enter them into the QUEit system. While entering the offer, the merchant is able to specify their target audience by naming geographic, demographic or psychographic preferences. This system allows merchants to lower customer acquisition costs considerably and increase margins by only targeting consumers that are likely to buy their product.

About Paymentech

Dallas-based Paymentech, the payment solutions company, delivers secure and reliable electronic payment services in merchant acquiring and point-of-sale transaction processing with a wide array of product functionality and support. Paymentech processed approximately 3.4 billion total transactions and $109 billion in bankcard sales volume in 2000. Founded in 1985, the nation’s largest processor and acquirer of credit card transactions is also the leader in non-face-to-face payment processing for Internet and direct marketing.

About QUEit

QUEit Corporation is privately held and founded by experienced Internet marketing leaders. QUEit has received investment funding from private investors, as well as enterprise partners such as Paymentech. With online U.S. advertising spending representing a projected $7.3 billion market in 2001 alone, QUEit Corporation has accepted the challenge of providing consumers and merchants a profitable new way to do business on the Net.



The rising
demand for multiple payment, Internet and value-added applications at
the point of sale has led to worldwide adoption of Verix,
VeriFone’s multi-app architecture that can efficiently and securely
supports a variety of applications running on the same terminal. To
celebrate the one-year anniversary of Verix, VeriFone today announced
the winners of the Verix Innovation awards.

Verix is already used in 29 countries around the world, providing
unmatched freedom to deliver payment and value-added solutions. The
Verix Innovation awards recognize innovative solutions implemented by
VeriFone International Partners (VIPs), customers, and members of
VeriFone’s Developer Forum-solutions that expand the e-payment
industry using Verix and running on the Omni 3300, Omni 3350 and
portable Omni 3600 terminals.

Winners were awarded across all regions and vertical market
segments, including financial retail, petroleum/convenience store,
multi-lane retail, telecom, and government-education-medical. They
represent a wide variety of innovative Verix-based payment and
value-added solutions to support credit, debit, pre-paid telco,
electronic bill payment, loyalty, government regulation, smart cards,
contactless payment, and Internet-connected e-services.

“We’re pleased to honor these winners — after all, their
innovation is the fuel driving the rapid rate of acceptance we’re
seeing around the world for our Verix-based solutions,” said
Pierre-Francois Catte, vice president and general manager of VeriFone.
“With VeriFone, these companies are defining the new point of sale; a
global, secure, multi-purpose ‘point of profit’ that generates new
revenue streams, improves customer loyalty, and lowers the total cost
of ownership.”

“We value our relationship with VeriFone over the years, and the
Verix operating system has enabled us to deliver innovative solutions
that that help differentiate us in the market place,” said Glenn
Marino, senior vice president of GE Card Services. “Our ability to
meet the needs of our clients with state-of-the-art POS solutions is a
critical part of our service to our customers.”

“New, unexpected, high-performance capabilities at the POS are
what place ALS ahead of the competition, and VeriFone’s Verix
operating environment is making is possible for us to deliver
innovative solutions,” said Jimmy Wilson, chairman of Automated
Licensing Systems.

The following winners were among the 20 recipients of the Verix
Innovation Awards
GE Card Services was recognized for its multi-application
installation of over 5,000 Omni 3300 payment terminals running their
own private label credit application. Selected terminals are also
using VeriFone’s SoftPay e-payment software. The Verix
multi-application platform allows GE Card Services to promote their
private label application to a broader customer base.

Automated License Systems and Central Bank were honored as
partners in delivering a solution to the Missouri Department of
Conservation that uses Verix-based Omni 3300 terminals to issue
various types of fishing and hunting licenses at a merchant’s point of

Smartconnect Private Limited in India was honored for its
RetailSmart application that enables a full fledged Electronic Cash
Register System running on an Omni 3300 or Omni 3350 terminal. The
application stores up to 600 items with programmable name and price,
offers three payment modes, five levels of security access, and can be
programmed to work in the local currency. It provides extensive
management reports and eliminates the need to have a separate ECR,
making it an ideal solution for low-end merchants.

Brazil-based developer and VeriFone reseller APPI Informatica was
recognized for delivering direct web-based connectivity to VeriFone
terminals, including the Omni 3350 multi-application terminal. Called
VeriNET, the application allows VeriFone terminals to use the Internet
to transport electronic transactions, dramatically reducing
communications costs for banks, financial institutions and merchants
alike. APPI customers in Brazil include health systems provider UNIMED
and electronic bill payment services provider PAG & PRONTO.

E-pay Ltd, a UK-based telco customer, was recognized for creating
an application that enables electronic top up payments for pre-pay
mobile phone customers in the UK. The application runs on the Omni
3350 terminal and will demonstrate the multiple application capability
of the product as they add payment and loyalty functionality in the

Prism Payment Technologies, a South African VIP specializing in
the payment and transaction switching business, was honored for
developing an application for Payshop, a company establishing a
value-added multi-application switching environment in Portugal.
Payshop will deploy 1,200 Omni 3350 terminals there. The company plans
to provide its services across Europe, using Omni 3350 terminals as
the transaction-gathering device, running multiple applications
developed by Prism.

Other Verix Innovation Award winners by region include

North America

— ExxonMobil

— Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company

— e-Smart Direct Services Inc.

Asia Pacific

— E-Pay Asia Limited

— GHL Transact Sdn. Bhd.

— Loxley Business Information Technology Company Limited

Latin America and the Caribbean

— Bancomer

— Bancard

— Teracom Chile

Europe, Middle East and Africa

— Moneybox

— Printec

— Point Sweden

— Point Latvia

— Marshal

About Verix

VeriFone’s Verix operating platform provides true application
separation at the hardware and software level, minimizing the need for
processors or acquirers to go through lengthy and costly
re-certification processes when new applications are added to a
payment appliance. Dynamic memory allocation within Verix ensures
efficient use of memory by automatically adjusting to the size of each
application residing on a terminal, allowing for larger, more complex
applications to be added while maximizing the amount of memory
available on the terminal. VeriShield, a security architecture
incorporated within the hardware and software of Verix-based VeriFone
terminals, provides a comprehensive solution for defending against
increasingly sophisticated fraud. VeriShield includes file
authentication technology, which makes it possible to verify the
authenticity of a given file before it can be executed on a terminal.

About VeriFone

VeriFone (http// is the
global provider
of secure electronic-payment solutions for financial institutions,
merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than nine million
electronic-payment systems, which are used in more than 100 countries.


Global ATM Fees

Last week’s announcement that Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Scotiabank, and Westpac are forming a global network to provide customers with “free” ATM access is not totally “free”. For example, Barclays will drop its 1.50% withdrawal fee within the new worldwide network of 20,000 ATMs, but it will continue to assess a 2.75% foreign exchange fee. In response to Friday’s announcement, London-based Nationwide Building Society said it will continue to offer its customers cash withdrawals at 500,000 VISA ATMs worldwide without a foreign exchange fee or a cash withdrawal fee. The new global ATM network will become active on July 1 and will serve 36 million customers of Barclays and the four other banks.



MasterCard International and The China Economic Monitoring and Analysis Center released the results of a survey recently conducted on the usage of credit. Researchers found that the main demographic for credit purchases are those with a monthly income of between 1,501 yuan and 8,000 yuan, especially white-collar workers who make between 3,001 yuan and 5,000 yuan a month. However, medium-and high-income groups with monthly salaries above 1,501 yuan are more aware of credit usage than low-income groups with monthly salaries below 1,500 yuan. Consumers between ages 24 and 35 also know more about spending on credit than people in other age groups. In Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing and Zhengzhou, the proportion of people embracing the idea of buying on credit is higher than in other cities. In Guangzhou, consumers are more conservative. The survey found that compared with people in other cities, Beijing residents are more interested in spending on credit for housing and daily necessities. When borrowing money, they mainly rely on credit cards and loans from relatives and friends. Over the past six months, loans taken out by Beijingers ranged mostly between 5,001 yuan and 50,000 yuan or amounted to more than 80,000 yuan. Among those who took out a loan during the past six months, 26.5% borrowed more than 100,000 yuan. Despite this, the proportion of Beijingers who have ever bought on credit over the past six months is merely 11.3%, ranking last among the seven cities. The proportion of respondents with a potential credit demand of less than 30,000 yuan increased from 52% during the fourth quarter last year to nearly 60% in the first quarter this year. More than 70% of those who have bought on credit over the past six months actually borrowed less than 30,000 yuan. The survey was based on feedback from 2,100 residents in China’s seven major cities– Beijing , Shanghai , Zhengzhou , Wuhan , Guangzhou , Chengdu and Xi’an.


Mondex Ownership

MasterCard is taking over the full reins of Mondex International by the end of June. Under terms of an agreement in principle, reached with the other shareholders of Mondex International last week, Mastercard will assume full ownership of Mondex and direct control of all its operations and management. MasterCard currently owns 58% of MXI. The other current shareholders of Mondex International include: Mondex Canada, Banco Internacional, Bancomer, Banco Nacional de Mexico, Bank One, Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel, Countrywide Banking, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp., HSBC Bank, JCB, J.P. Morgan Chase, Mondex Australasia, National Australia Bank, National Westminster, Sanwa Bank, Ulster Bank, Wells Fargo, and Universal Holdcorp. MasterCard says it will continue providing service to the ‘MULTOS’ consortium, which is MasterCard’s preferred operating system for multi-application smart cards, and it will also continue managing Mondex electronic cash and the Mondex Certification Authority. To date, more than 6 million smart cards have been issued on the ‘MULTOS’ platform, and more than 75 issuers are now committed to issuing 20 million additional ‘MULTOS’ smart cards. More than 70 companies currently supply ‘MULTOS’-related products and services. Mondex electronic cash has been franchised or licensed for use in 55 countries and territories around the world. There are approximately 30 Mondex implementations underway around the world, with additional activity expected over the coming year. Last month MasterCard announced the largest single purchase of ‘MULTOS’-based chip cards as Mondex Philippines placed an order for 500,000 smart cards. Also during May, Schlumberger joined the ‘MULTOS’ consortium. (CF Library 5/8/01; 5/18/01)



Nationwide has responded to the announcement that Barclays Bank is to offer
free cash machine withdrawals from 20,000 foreign cash machines.
Barclays has reportedly described its initiative as a “world first”.
Although it is dropping its 1.50% withdrawal fee, Barclays’ customers using
one of the 20,000 ATMs will still face a 2.75% foreign exchange loading.
Nationwide does not charge current account holders a foreign exchange or
cash withdrawal fee. It means they can withdraw cash from over 500,000 ATMs
world-wide without any fees from Nationwide.
Jeremy del Strother, Nationwide’s communications director, said “A
Barclays’ customer withdrawing £500 abroad today would pay a total of
£21.25 in charges. Even without the cash withdrawal fee, they would still
be £13.75 better off with Nationwide.
“Barclays followed Nationwide’s lead in not imposing surcharges in the UK.
Maybe Barclays and other big banks will eventually copy our example abroad.
Until then, bank customers wanting true fee-free withdrawals abroad will
find it cheaper and easier to move their account to Nationwide.”
Barclays is reportedly offering fee-free withdrawals at 20,000 ATMs from
next month, as part of an alliance with Bank of America, Scotiabank in
Canada, Westpac in Australia and Deutsche Bank in Germany.
In July 1999, Barclays announced plans to introduce a surcharge of £1 for
cash withdrawals in the UK. Nationwide threatened to sue Barclays and led a
campaign resulting in it and other large banks abandoning their surcharging


ECN Head

Electronic Clearing House Inc. announced the appointment of Jane M. Keller as executive director of ECHO’s new National Check Network.

Keller is the co-owner of Triad Consultant Group, a collection agency consultancy firm, and over the past six years has served as its lead consultant to more than 100 collection agencies across the nation. She is also a co-owner of RIO L.L.C., a collection firm located in Des Moines, Iowa.

Over the years, Keller has served in various collection-related capacities. Past positions include Loss Prevention Manager for Target Stores, Loss Prevention Manager for a mid-western grocery store chain, Marketing/Sales Manager with Vali-Chek, a check collection division of Credit Bureau Enterprises, and Managing Partner with MTR Collections. Keller has also worked as an industry lobbyist with various state legislatures in the midwest to restructure collection service fee laws.

“Jane Keller brings a depth of hands-on, in-depth knowledge of the collection industry to NCN. She understands the regulatory, legislative and state/federal issues that are key concerns to collection agencies today,” stated Joel M. Barry, CEO of ECHO.

“Her proven integrity and unwavering commitment to the collection industry over the past 17 years makes her a perfect choice to be the executive director of NCN. ECHO’s credit card, debit card and check related products and services will be channeled through 230 NCN check collection agency members, who will be able to offer these products to their combined base of over 30,000 retail merchants. “We believe that through Jane’s leadership, NCN will quickly become the nation’s premier check service to the collection industry,” stated Barry.

Electronic Clearing House Inc. provides debit and credit card processing, check guarantee, check verification, check conversion, check re-presentment, check collection, and inventory tracking to more than 58,000 retail merchants and U-Haul dealers across the nation.


Bank Plus Merger

Bank Plus Corporation and its subsidiaries, which include Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB, announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with FBOP Corporation, under which Bank Plus and Fidelity will be acquired by FBOP. Under the terms of the agreement FBOP will pay $7.25 per share in cash for Bank Plus common stock. The transaction is subject to approval by Bank Plus stockholders and regulatory authorities.

Mark K. Mason, president and chief executive officer of Bank Plus, said: “This transaction completes the successful turnaround we have been working toward for the past two and a half years. The merger with FBOP will bring the benefits of greater resources and an expanded product line allowing us to increase the quality of our already superior service to our customers.”

The merger is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2001. No assurances can be given that the merger will be completed or, if completed, will be completed within that time frame.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P., acted as financial advisor to the Company in connection with this transaction.

About Bank Plus

Bank Plus Corporation is the holding company for Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB, which offers a broad range of consumer financial services, including demand and time deposits and mortgage loans. In addition, through its affiliate Gateway Investment Services, Inc., a NASD-registered broker/dealer, Fidelity provides customers of the Bank with investment products, including mutual funds, annuities and insurance. Fidelity operates through 30 full-service branches, 29 of which are located in Los Angeles and Orange counties in Southern California.

About FBOP

FBOP Corporation, an $8 billion multi-bank financial services holding company headquartered in Oak Park, Illinois conducts its operations through subsidiary banks in Illinois, Texas and California.

Prior to the consummation of the transaction Bank Plus will file a proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Stockholders are urged to read the proxy statement (when available) because it will contain important information about the proposed transaction. Investors and stockholders will be able to obtain copies of this document (when available), along with other related documents filed by Bank Plus with the SEC, free of charge, through the web site maintained by the SEC at . Stockholders can also obtain copies of the proxy statement (when available) along with any related documents Bank Plus has filed with the SEC by contacting the Bank Plus Investor Relations Department.


Verix Awards

VeriFone this morning announced the winners of the ‘Verix Innovation Awards’. ‘Verix’ is an architecture that can support a variety of applications running on the same terminal. Among the 20 winners: GE Card Services. GE was recognized for its multi-application installation of over 5,000 ‘Omni 3300’ payment terminals running their own private label credit application. Other winners include Automated License Systems and Central Bank as partners in delivering a solution to the Missouri Department of Conservation that uses Verix-based ‘Omni 3300’ terminals to issue various types of fishing and hunting licenses at a merchant’s point of sale. Smartconnect Private Limited in India was honored for its RetailSmart application that enables a full fledged Electronic Cash Register System running on an ‘Omni 3300’ or ‘Omni 3350’ terminal. Brazil-based developer and VeriFone reseller APPI Informatica was recognized for delivering direct web-based connectivity to VeriFone terminals. E-pay Ltd, a UK-based telco customer, was recognized for creating an application that enables electronic top up payments for pre-pay mobile phone customers in the UK. Prism Payment Technologies, a South African VIP specializing in the payment and transaction switching business, was honored for developing an application for Payshop, a company establishing a value-added multi-application switching environment in Portugal.