NPC Renews Trader Joes

National Processing Company announced today that Trader’s Joes has renewed its agreement with NPC and signed a multi-year contract for merchant processing services. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide settlement for all Trader Joe’s VISA and MasterCard transactions.

Trader Joe’s owns and operates 156 stores in fourteen states providing a different approach to grocery store shopping — products are unique, many exclusively designed for Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s currently offers more than 800 private label grocery items confirming their mission to bring the best food and beverage values anywhere to their customers and to provide the information necessary to make informed buying decisions.

“NPC is pleased to renew its relationship with Trader Joe’s,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “Like Trader Joe’s, NPC strives to offer superior products and outstanding service to our customers. We do this by leveraging our economies-of-scale, coupled with our economies-of-skill; i.e. having one of the most experienced groups of industry professionals on staff. This formula translates to a win-win relationship for NPC, and our clients.”

![][1] About Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s began in 1958 as a chain of convenience stores in the Los Angeles area, and has grown to become a prestigious retailer offering over 800 unique grocery items, as well as hard-to-find boutique (domestic and imported) wines and gourmet food items, at outstanding prices. Still privately held and company-operated, Trader Joe’s operates 156 stores in fourteen states. Customers enjoy the combination of great prices, intriguing food and friendly service – creating a fun place to shop. Additional information regarding Trader Joe’s can be obtained at [www.traderjoes.com][2] .

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 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( http://www.nationalcity.com ), 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 [www.npc.net][3] .

[1]: /graphic/traderjoes/traderjoes.gif
[2]: http://www.traderjoes.com/
[3]: http://http://www.npc.net/

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UPS Investment

Newtek Capital, Inc., a specialist in acquiring, developing and operating early stage high growth businesses, announced a major investment in Universal Processing Services, a full service integrator of electronic processing systems and solutions.

The $3.6 million investment was made through Newtek’s New York-based certified capital company. UPS offers credit card processing, debit and check card processing, smart card acceptance, customized gift card programs, electronic benefits transfers, check guarantee and conversion and automated teller machines. Ken Baldo, President of UPS, stated: “We make it our business to consult with every merchant to understand their needs and to demonstrate how our services can support their daily business critical operational requirements. As our industry changes, technology advances and competition increases, UPS and our processing specialists remain committed to offering the highest caliber of personalized services utilizing our state-of-the-art True Price Processing system.” Universal, headquartered in New York City, recently signed a contract to acquire a portfolio of high-end retail and restaurant accounts and expects to close in June. The funding by Newtek is expected to support the expansion of Universal’s marketing programs, corporate infrastructure and the hiring of key employees. Newtek received a 60% ownership interest along with 3 of 5 board seats for its investment.

About Newtek Capital

Newtek Capital, Inc. (www.newtekcapital.com) creates significant non-dilutive capital through the operation of seven CAPCOs in four states. Since 1998, Newtek has raised more than $119 million of certified capital and has made investments in 25 companies, 11 majority-owned or primarily controlled partner companies and investments in 14 other businesses. It operates as a holding company for a network of partner companies in a collaborative and coordinated effort to develop successful businesses in a number of emerging and technological areas.

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Vital EVPs

Vital Processing Services, a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, announced the appointments of two individuals to new leadership roles. Keith Smith was named executive vice president of sales and marketing and Denise Lewis was named executive vice president of product development.

Smith, formerly president and CEO of Vital Merchant Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vital Processing Services, will lead sales and marketing for both Vital Processing Services and Vital Merchant Services. Vital Merchant Services is an industry leading terminal management and point of sale support services company. Smith will continue to serve on Vital’s Management Committee and report to Jonathan Palmer, president and CEO of Vital Processing Services.

“Integrating sales and marketing in this way will help Vital focus on our clients. Under Keith’s leadership, our sales consultants will bring the full benefit of every Vital offering to every one of our clients,” said Palmer.

“I look forward to the opportunity to coordinate and lead Vital’s sales and marketing functions. Vital is client focused and market-driven; our success is measured by our clients’ success. I am more excited than ever about Vital’s future,” added Smith.

Denise Lewis has been named executive vice president of product development. In this role, Denise will be responsible for Vital’s product development and product management functions. Additionally, Denise will serve as a member of Vital’s Management Committee and will report to Palmer.

“Vital is committed to excellence in the breadth and strength of the products and services we deliver to our clients. I look forward to Denise providing dynamic leadership to our very capable Product Team,” said Palmer.

Lewis joins Vital with more than 20 years of diversified financial services industry experience, largely focused in retail delivery and payments.

Most recently, Lewis served as executive vice president and chief information and technology officer at Electronic Payment Services, Inc. (EPS), which is now part of Concord EFS. Before her stint at EPS, Lewis spent several years at BP, one of the largest oil companies in the world. Her last position at BP was general manager, National Credit Card Center, where she was responsible for all of the company’s credit card marketing, processing and collections activities.

Lewis commented, “I am eager to share my expertise and experience with the talented team at Vital. My objective is to help Vital differentiate itself in the market on the strength of its products. We aim to help our clients, the country’s leading merchant acquirers, win!”

About Vital Processing Services (http://www.vitalps.com )

Arizona-based Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing services to merchants, such as POS products, electronic authorization and data capture; VirtualNet(TM) Internet-commerce services; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; risk management; and customer service. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa(R) USA and TSYS(R) (NYSE: TSS). For more information, contact Vital Processing Services’ Sales Department at (480) 333-7799.

About Vital Merchant Services

Headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., Vital Merchant Services is a leader in terminal management and point of sale support services. The variety of POS support services includes terminal equipment procurement and deployment, inventory management, replacement and repair services, merchant training and installation, merchant supplies replenishment and world-class help desk support. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vital Processing Services. For more information, contact Vital Merchant Services’ Sales Department at (800) 686-1999.

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iGEN MasterCard

CA-based Next Estate Communications and GA-based Synovus’ pointpathbank have teamed to unveil this week the ‘iGEN MasterCard’ for the teen retail market. The new prepaid teen card will initially be available in about 100 Rite-Aid stores in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The card is expected to be available at more than 3,700 Rite-Aid stores in 30 states by the end of summer. The card is available in any denomination between $20 and $500 for a convenience fee of $3.95 per card. ‘iGEN MasterCard’ accounts can be “reloaded” at participating Rite-Aid stores, with a toll-free phone call or on the iGEN Web site. (CF Library 8/3/00)

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VISA Desjardins Falcon

HNC Software Inc. announced that Visa Desjardins, a subsidiary of the Mouvement des caisses Desjardins and the primary issuer of Visa cards in Quebec, will implement Falcon, HNC’s industry-leading payment card fraud detection system, to enhance the fraud detection capabilities for its credit card portfolios. “We look forward to enjoying the reduced fraud rates that other Canadian card issuers are seeing with Falcon,” said Louise Paquette, chief security officer at Visa Desjardins. “We’ve always provided the highest level of fraud detection for our merchants and cardholders, and augmenting our systems with Falcon is the logical next step to match our aggressive portfolio growth strategy over the next few years.” After years of 40 percent annual card fraud growth during the latter part of the 1990’s, Canadian credit card issuers are starting to see a decline in fraud rates due to their increased use of neural network fraud detection solutions. According to the Canadian Bankers Association, credit card fraud cost Canadian financial institutions and card issuers nearly $227 million (Canadian) (approximately $156 million US) in 1999. This figure dropped to $203 (Canadian) million for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2000, indicating that best practice fraud detection solutions such as Falcon are gaining traction in the war against card fraud. Verifying this trend, Visa Canada reported 1999 credit card losses at $150 million (Canadian), and had projected losses in 2000 to top the $200 million mark. Instead, losses from card fraud dropped approximately 40 percent for the year. HNC’s list of Canadian Falcon customers includes major institutions such as CIBC, Toronto Dominion, and Canada Trust.

![][1] “We’re glad that Falcon is helping stem the tide of payment card fraud in Canada, as it has done in the United States and overall in North America,” said Michael Chiappetta, vice president of customer analytics for HNC Software. “We’re confident that Visa Desjardins will gain the reduced credit and debit card fraud rates with Falcon with which our other Canadian customers have benefited.” Falcon, a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder, and merchant data to detect a wide range of payment card fraud, currently protects more than 400 million payment card accounts worldwide.

About Mouvement des caisses Desjardins

With more than 36,000 employees and overall assets reaching $80 billion, the Mouvement des caisses Desjardins is the top financial institution and the largest private employer in Quebec. It is the only institution to offer a full range of financial products and services through its network of caisses (ATM’s) located throughout Quebec. In addition, Desjardins is a leader in Quebec in terms of e-commerce with more than 1.5 million visits per month. It’s Web site, www.desjardins.com, is the most frequented financial site in Quebec and second overall in Canada. 28,000 companies are already using its AccesD Affaires business service. The Mouvement Desjardins’ mission is to contribute to the economic and social well being of individuals and communities.

About HNC Software Inc.

HNC Software is a leading provider of Customer Insight solutions including intelligent response, decision management, and customer analytics software that enables companies in the financial, telecommunications, e-commerce and insurance industries to acquire, manage and retain customers. For more information, visit www.hnc.com or contact Rob Jensen at 858/799-8122.

[1]: /graphic/hnc/hnc.gif

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ATM Scam

Another ATM investment scam was shut down this weekend. The California Corporations Commissioner and the Riverside County District Attorney’s office arrested a Newport Beach man for offering fraudulent investments in ATMs. Philip Gardner was charged with twenty-one counts of illegally and fraudulently selling securities as a result of selling over $1 million in investments through The ATM Store. Senior citizens were solicited through investment opportunity shows and newspaper ads promising returns of 40-100%. Investor funds were then diverted for personal use. ATM machines were not purchased or placed as promised and most investors lost their entire investment. Gardner has a history of securities law violations extending nearly 30 years. In February a Maryland firm offering investments in ATM machines was shut down by state government officials. Largo, MD-based Bankcard Group, Inc. allegedly bilked more than $3 million from 130 investors over the past two and a half years. According to the Maryland Attorney General’s office, the company offered investors a choice between buying an interest in an ATM machine or purchasing the machine outright. The Maryland Attorney General’s office says Bankcard Group sold 200 ATMs but only 44 were delivered and installed. (CF Library 2/1/01)

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Card Mounties

The average Canadian charged $6,010 on all credit cards in 2000, up from $5,040 in 1999. Currently, 77% of Canadians 18 and older hold at least one credit card issued by a financial institution, retailer or gas company, up from 73% a year ago. The annual ‘Credit Card Tracking Study’ conducted by CF Group also found that 45% of Canadians use their cards at least once a week, up from 41% a year ago. CF also found that 43% of Canadians report using a credit card to accumulate rewards, up from 34% last year. When it comes to debit cards, 69% of Canadian adults claim to have made a debit card payment in the month prior to the survey, up from 66% one year ago and 61% in January, 1999.

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C-Store Banks

Strong demand by Americans for convenience products and services like prepaid phone cards and ATMs are expected this summer. Nearly 70% of the 120,000 convenience stores in the USA now have ATMs. The National Association of Convenience Stores said yesterday that sales of prepaid phone cards are now growing at a 24% annual rate. The U.S. convenience store industry, with 119,750 stores across the country, posted $269 billion in total sales for 2000. With nearly 20,000 outlets in the USA, 7-Eleven launched this year a web-enabled, integrated financial services kiosk that merges the capabilities of an ATM with the benefits of the Internet. Initially, 7-Eleven’s ‘V.com’ project will provide conventional ATM services as well as money orders, money transfers and check cashing. In the future, 7-Eleven anticipates that customers will be able to have touch-screen access to services such as bill payment, deposit capability, event ticketing, travel directions and road maps. In March, 7-Eleven signed an agreement for American Express to be the primary provider of ATM services for ‘V.com’. In late 2000, American Express signed a pact to offer a reloadable, prepaid gift card and an Internet shopping card for 7-Elevens nationwide. 7-Eleven also signed a seven-year exclusive agreement with Western Union Financial Services and Integrated Payment Systems for money transfer and money order services. Earlier this week. Equifax announced a major initiative to provide fully automated check-cashing services through 7-Eleven’s ‘Vcom’ kiosks. The service will be available this summer in 94 store locations in Texas and Florida. (CF Library 12/8/00; 2/6/01; 2/28/01; 3/9/01; 5/22/01)

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Marriott Rewards

The ‘Marriott Rewards’ frequent guest program has surpassed 15 million members. Marriott introduced the program exactly four years ago with 2,000 participating hotels. The company says that frequent travelers typically double their number of stays with Marriott lodging brands after joining the program. The 15th millionth member, Neil Thayer of Bath, England, was awarded a trip for two to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

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Card Debt Auction

CO-based NAREX will launch an online credit card debt auction next week. The auction will open on Tuesday, May 29 and will conclude on June 5, and will involve $40 million in credit card debt from a major credit grantor. The sale will be conducted online through the ‘NAREX Recovery Optimizer Auction’ channel on the Narex Web site. Instead of selling entire portfolios, NAREX offers lots consisting of similar accounts. Accounts are grouped according to balance, geographic area, and other characteristics. Generally, lots contain between 300 and 2,000 accounts. In addition to bidding on single lots, bidders in the upcoming sale will have the option of buying groups of lots. Lots in the auction will consist of prime and sub-prime credit card debt. Both fresh and previously worked accounts will be offered.

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e-Port Order

Less than a week after announcing the expansion of its Authorized Reseller Program, USA Technologies, Inc. has received a preliminary order for 10,000 e-Port terminals.

This order for 10,000 e-Ports places this particular partner advantageously to acquire a portion of USA’s first mass produced e-Ports. The order indicates that specific ship dates and quantities are to be provided at a later date by our partner. While there can be no guarantee that this will occur, this preliminary order for e-Port products could result in several million dollars in revenue for USA Technologies.

The Company’s successful unveiling of e-Port at recent trade events for the multi-billion dollar global vending industry has resulted in a substantial increase in inquiries for this exciting new technology. Stephen Herbert, President and Chief Operating Officer for USA Technologies stated, “We are rapidly expanding our distribution and reseller network, setting the stage for our vision to initially mass produce and distribute hundreds of thousands of e-Ports.”

USA Technologies is expected to generate revenue from the sale and installation of e-Port, network service fees, and interactive advertising. The Company is in the forefront of the growing cashless micro-transaction worldwide revolution. “This is a market which we believe will grow exponentially over the next few years, and USA is well positioned to be a major force in the space,” said Mr. Herbert. VISA estimates that U.S. transactions below $10.00 total nearly $400 Billion annually and are virtually untouched by credit cards. This market to date has been virtually untapped due to the traditionally high costs associated with micro-transactions which USA’s e-Port overcomes.

“We have inquiries coming in from strategic partners, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and current and new authorized resellers,” continued Mr. Herbert. “Many inquiries have been generated by the promotion and publicity we received at the NAMA vending exposition earlier this year where some of the biggest players in the vending and communications industries featured our technology in their products,” he said.

Since NAMA, several major vending machine manufacturers and distributors, as well as office equipment suppliers have entered discussions with USA Technologies, seeking to either install e-Port technology and connectivity into their products, or resell it independently. The significant increase in interest in e-Port resulted in USA Technologies last week announcing the expansion of its Authorized Reseller Program to target the multi-billion dollar global vending industry.

USA Technologies is responding to the demand from the marketplace by working with a number of strategic partners to help streamline the manufacturing process, and put in place a worldwide network of resellers to distribute its technology and associated network services to markets worldwide.

e-Port would be the world’s first non-PC e-commerce device that could be embedded into vending machines, gas pumps, office equipment and almost any kind of point-of-sale terminal. The technology enables the conversion of unattended points of sale into intelligent “store fronts”, connected to the Internet, and capable of communicating operational data to operators, conducting cashless micro-transactions and providing interactive media at point of sale. It could come fitted with an interactive, video screen that features rotating banner advertisements, giving location owners the ability to communicate with and improve the buying experience of consumers, promote products, provide free access to web based media such as news, sports and weather and possibly generate incremental revenues from interactive media.

USA Technologies is currently in negotiations with major companies in the Communications, IT and other industries who are interested in partnering with USA Technologies on its e-Port product line. In March of this year, USA Technologies announced a Strategic Alliance with Marconi Online Systems. The alliance creates the most comprehensive end-to-end technology solution for the vending industry by bringing together Marconi Online’s Intelligent Vending(TM) service with USA Technologies’ cashless payment and interactive multimedia capabilities delivered through USA’s e-Port(TM) technology. The combined Marconi Online and USA Technologies product offering will enable vending machines to become intelligent, wireless networked machines capable of reporting machine status, handling many forms of cashless payments, and opening up new opportunities in advertising and promotions through interactive media services.

About USA Technologies:

USA Technologies is recognized as a leader in cashless micro-transactions and interactive media technology and associated financial services. USA Technologies provides credit card activated and other cashless systems, allowing end users, ranging from consumers to business professionals, to communicate, conduct business or make ordinary commerce transactions, outside of the home or workplace. USA Technologies is an IBM (NYSE: IBM – news) Business Partner and an inaugural member of the Sprint (NYSE: FON – news) Enabling Application Service Provider Program for e-commerce. It has also established strategic relationships with a number of global IT, multimedia, and telecommunications companies including Marconi Online Systems, RadiSys Corporation, DoubleClick Inc, and Xerox Corporation. Visit the USA Technologies home page at [www.usatech.com][1].

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

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Aerogold Advantex

CIBC this week launched the ‘CIBC Aerogold ADVANTEX Benefit Online’ which endeavors to turn frequent flyers into frequent buyers. CIBC ‘Aerogold’ cardholders and ‘Aerogold VISA’ cardholders can now earn ‘Aeroplan Bonus Miles’ on their purchases at dozens of affiliated e-retailers, including Indigo.ca, IBM.ca, eBags.com, Sharperimage.com and Justwhiteshirts.com. Bonus miles earned are in addition to the one ‘Aeroplan Mile’ per dollar cardholders receive when making purchases with their CIBC ‘Aerogold’ card. The CIBC ‘Aerogold VISA Card’ is the number one premium credit card in Canada with more than 500,000 cardholders. CIBC’s alliance with Aeroplan allows cardholders to earn additional ‘Aeroplan’ miles, redeemable for free flights on Air Canada and its partner airlines.

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