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.



Digital Insight Corp. ( ), announced that American Airlines Federal Credit Union will offer Digital Insight’s comprehensive portfolio of outsourced, Internet-based financial products and services to its 190,000 members.

Impressed with Digital Insight’s overall eFinance strategy, American Airlines FCU has agreed to deploy the Company’s AXIS platform, including Internet Banking, Bill Payment, and access to online statements and check images. In addition to the online offerings, the $2.9 billion-asset federal credit union will take advantage of Digital Insight’s training program, DI University, and offer end-user marketing materials from Digital Insight’s MarketSite(TM).

![][1] “We are eager to offer Digital Insight’s eFinance solution to our members,” said John M. Tippets, president and CEO for American Airlines FCU. “This online offering is the type of innovative financial services that our members want. Digital Insight’s vision for enhanced Internet services is a match with American Airlines FCU’s expectations.”

“We are thrilled to add American Airlines Federal Credit Union to our growing list of visionary financial institution clients,” said John Dorman, Digital Insight chairman and CEO. “Financial institutions like American Airlines FCU partner with Digital Insight because they understand the value from cutting-edge technology that transforms their web real estate into a central hub for all its members’ financial transactions.”

About American Airlines Federal Credit Union

Celebrating 65 years of member service and approaching $3.0 billion in assets, American Airlines Federal Credit Union (AAFCU) ( ) is the largest credit union in the state of Texas, and is the eighth largest credit union in the United States. AAFCU is a traditional “single sponsor” occupational credit union serving the financial needs of active and retired employees of AMR Inc., American Airlines, American Eagle, TWA Airlines LLC, Sabre Inc., LSG/Sky Chefs, Inc., and Worldwide Flight Services Membership is also extended to the spouses, children and permanent household members.

About Digital Insight

Digital Insight(TM) Corporation (Nasdaq: DGIN) ( ) is the preferred eFinance enabler for visionary financial institutions. Through its comprehensive portfolio of outsourced, Internet-based financial products and services built upon the company’s unique architecture, Digital Insight moves banks and credit unions Beyond Internet Banking(TM) to become the trusted transaction hub for their retail and commercial customers. Exclusively endorsed by the American Bankers Association(R) (ABA), and currently serving more than 1,300 financial institution clients nationwide, Digital Insight provides retail and commercial Internet banking, electronic bill payment and presentment, eCommerce portal technology, wireless channel delivery, advanced targeted marketing, website development and maintenance, as well as online and call center lending services. Each Digital Insight product and service reinforces the brands of its client financial institutions.

[1]: /graphic/americanair/aacu.gif


Metris Donation

Metris Companies Inc. announced that it is donating $15,000 to The League of United Latin American Citizens. The contribution by Metris supports the company’s participation this week in the LULAC National Convention & Exposition in Phoenix (June 3-9).

LULAC, founded in 1929, is the nation’s oldest and largest Hispanic organization, with approximately 115,000 members throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population in the United States. Metris is sponsoring live on-stage entertainment throughout the convention and hosting an awards breakfast for Hispanic law enforcement officials on June 5. Representatives from Metris and MasterCard(R) will appear as panelists at a Smart Money Management workshop on June 7.

“This donation of time and resources reflects our growing commitment to the Hispanic community,” said Joseph Hoffman, Metris Executive Vice President, Consumer Credit Card Marketing/Operations. “We are proud to support LULAC and the valuable work and services they provide to people every day.” Metris issues MasterCard credit cards to the U.S. Hispanic market under the Banco Popular and Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank brands. Last year, Metris purchased Banco Popular’s U.S. credit card business, which included more than 170,000 active accounts. Metris also markets its credit cards through partnerships with Western Union and Hispanic-owned retailer La Curacao.

Arizona Gov. Jane Hull and other community and political dignitaries are scheduled to appear at the LULAC convention, which is expected to draw over 7,000 people. Convention participants will take part in workshops and training sessions, and delegates will elect LULAC leaders and discuss issues and set policies for the upcoming year.

Other corporations supporting LULAC include AT&T Corp., Chase Bank, The Coca-Cola Company, General Motors Corporation and IBM Corporation.

Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer and provider of consumer credit products and enhancement services, primarily to moderate-income consumers. The company was recognized in September 2000 as one of “America’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies” by Fortune magazine. Based in Minnetonka, Minn., Metris also has operations in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; White Marsh, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. Metris employs approximately 4,200 people. Visit Metris on the Internet at [][1].



TeamPad Terminal

Fujitsu-ICL Systems unveiled this morning a lightweight, Microsoft Windows CE-based handheld device for portable POS. The ‘TeamPad 500’ offers retailers connectivity to virtually any wireless LAN, OPOS compliance, a Windows CE platform, 150-MHz processor, touch-screen and combined keypad, integrated printer, scanner and magnetic-card reader. The POS device also offers an extended battery life and is weatherproofed and ruggedized to withstand four-foot drops to concrete. The ‘TeamPad 500’ gives store associates real-time access to customer, real-time credit authorizations, and price verifications. The new handheld terminal is priced at $2,300 for the base unit.


GPN – Comerica

Global Payments this morning announced an agreement to expand its alliance relationship with Comerica following Comerica’s acquisition of Imperial Bank in January. Under the terms of the agreement, Global Payments will retain its majority interest in an expanded alliance, including Imperial Bank’s merchant portfolio, for a purchase price of $20.4 million. In addition, the term of the original Comerica alliance agreement will be extended through March 2008. The purchase was in conjunction with the 1996 Comerica alliance agreement between Comerica and National Data Corporation, at that time the parent company of Global Payments. The agreement will significantly expand Global’s West Coast presence through Imperial’s merchant portfolio, totaling 15,200 merchant locations, primarily in traditional retail and hospitality markets.



Kuwait Food Company (Americana),
franchisee of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hardee’s, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s
and Baskin Robbins restaurants in the Middle East, announced a US$1.1
million contract with NCR Corporation to install point-of-sale
(POS) systems in more than 80 restaurants throughout Saudi Arabia.

The total solution incorporates NCR’s 7454 — a hospitality, touchscreen POS
workstation with advanced multimedia functionality — as well as an existing
license for software from Compris, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NCR that
specializes in software for fast food restaurants. Installation will be
complete in October 2002.

“NCR’s breadth of services and support infrastructure, as well as the
superior design and reliability of the NCR 7454, made our decision simple,”
said Mr. Ali Nour El Dine, Corporate IT director, Americana. “We are
confident that NCR has the global reach and expertise to ensure our success.”
An intuitive touchscreen interface makes NCR’s hospitality solution simple
to operate. When not in use by store personnel, the workstations can run
customer promotions or employee training programs.

“Our reputation and commitment to excellence in the hospitality industry
are known worldwide,” said Alberto Camuri, vice president of NCR Retail
Solutions Division for Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia Pacific.
“NCR has the global reach and local resources to manage and maintain a smooth
and successful rollout.”

About Kuwait Food Company (Americana)
Founded in 1963, Kuwait Food Company (Americana) operates in nine Middle
Eastern countries and is a market leader throughout the Middle East in
restaurant operations, food processing, food retail, and other related

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship
Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial,
communications, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s
Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled Teradata(R)
warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, store
automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business
solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry
knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer
support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and
leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 33,200 in more than 100
countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More
information about NCR and its solutions may be found at .


De La Rue Buys CSI

CSI, a high-speed currency sorting and solution company, announced it is being acquired by the Cash Systems division of De La Rue plc., a publicly traded UK based company. De La Rue is paying cash consideration US $35.5m, comprising estimated net shareholders funds of US $9.0m. De La Rue is also assuming CSI’s debt, estimated at US$ 19.0m.

![][1] CSI provides cash handling solutions, including banknote sorters and software systems for Central Banks, commercial banks, cash in transit companies and other bulk cash operations worldwide. The business’s principal manufacturing location and operational headquarters is in Irving, Texas with its commercial headquarters being situated in the UK. It also has a network of sales, service and distribution centres in six other locations worldwide. CSI employs 274 staff of whom, 128 are based in the USA, 82 in the UK and the balance in CSI’s other overseas offices.

CSI is the only company in the cash processing industry dedicated solely to high-performance currency processing systems and the provision of advanced cash management solutions. It recorded sales of US $51m in the year to 31 December 2000 and an operating profit of US $5.3m before interest and tax, although this included one off licence fee income of US$ 1m.

De La Rue intends to merge CSI’s operations with its existing Cash Processing business and anticipates substantial cost savings as a result of the merger because of the substantial overlap in operations in many areas. A thorough review will be undertaken by both management teams, with appropriate consultation, to establish the size of the opportunity and cost of implementing the savings plan.

De La Rue believes there are excellent synergies between CSI and its Cash Processing business with scope for enhancing revenue where the complementary strengths of the two businesses can be exploited. CSI is strong in the commercial market and has a well developed sorter product range particularly in super fast sorters and multi-denomination sorting systems. De La Rue has strong links with many of the world’s Central Banks and a product range with particular strengths in the desktop sorting and desktop counting markets. Geographically, De La Rue is well placed in Africa, Middle East, South and Central America and the Far East, whereas CSI is strong in the UK, US and Australian markets.

The combined business will offer customers unrivalled levels of service and access to leading edge sorting technologies, software, consulting and holistic solutions. The CSI brand will be retained in the combined operations due to its excellent reputation in this market.

Commenting Ian Much, Chief Executive, De La Rue plc said:

“Following the successful reorganisation of Cash Systems over the past two years our strategy is now focused on growth opportunities to expand our global reach and the range of products and solutions we offer to our customers. CSI’s large and respected cash processing business is an excellent fit with our own business and enhances our global position in this important market. The combined business will possess market leading expertise and offer a comprehensive range of cash processing solutions to those organisations which handle and process large volumes of cash.”

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


Global ATM Alliance

Five of the world’s leading
financial institutions launched the first Global ATM Alliance to create
innovative financial services expressly for their customers who travel
internationally. The group’s first major initiative will be to offer their
combined customer base free access to more than 20,000 cash machines on three

The Global ATM Alliance will make cash withdrawals free of international
access fees through a combined network of automated teller machines to all
customers of the five institutions: Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank,
Scotiabank, and Westpac. The 36 million customers of these five banks can
begin using the alliance’s cash machine network without charge on July 1,

The network of ATMs is located throughout the United States, the United
Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Australia. In all of these countries, customers
who use their debit card at cash machines that display the banks’ logos will
incur no access fee.

“We are proud to be a member of the Global ATM Alliance,” said Bond
Isaacson, Payments executive, Bank of America. “Bank of America has a unique
opportunity to now offer its customers even greater value while they are away
from home. In addition, enabling the alliance’s 36 million customers to
access cash free of charge — wherever they travel in the world, for business
and pleasure — is a powerful way to deliver on customer convenience.”
“This strategic partnership is a world first for global customer service
and marks the beginning of a multinational cooperation within the cash machine
industry. Going forward, we expect to add new partners to offer this service
in many more of the world’s countries,” Isaacson added.
The founding members of the alliance have a domestic coverage of more than
20,000 ATMs:

* Bank of America — more than 12,000 ATMs in the United States
* Barclays — more than 3,000 ATMs throughout the United Kingdom
* Deutsche Bank — more than 1,800 in Germany
* Scotiabank — more than 2,100 ATMs in Canada
* Westpac — 1,500 ATMs in Australia

In the coming months, the alliance will expand its service coverage to
include their international ATMs (more than 2,500 ATMs in 58 countries) and
actively pursue other members, targeting Mexico, Spain, Asia, South America
and South Africa.

One of the world’s leading financial services companies, Bank of America
is committed to making banking work for customers like it never has before.
Through innovative technologies and the ingenuity of its people, Bank of
America provides individuals, small businesses and commercial, corporate and
institutional clients across the United States and around the world new and
better ways to manage their financial lives. The company enables customers to
do their banking and investing whenever, wherever and however they choose
through the nation’s largest financial services network, including
approximately 4,400 domestic offices and 12,000 U.S. based ATMs, as well as 38
international offices serving clients in 190 countries, and an Internet Web
site that provides online access for more than 3 million customers, more than
any other bank.

About Barclays

Barclays PLC is the UK’s fourth largest bank and has total assets of 316 billion pounds. Barclays has over 16 million customers, over 2,700 branches and over 3,000 ATMs. The Barclays Group is an international business with operations in over 60 countries and 75,300 employees world-wide. The bank has five key business groupings — Retail Financial Services, Business Banking, Barclaycard, Barclays Capital and Barclays Global Investors (BGI). Barclays is the largest on-line bank in the UK and the fifth largest globally.

About Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank/Deutsche Bank 24: One of the world’s leading financial institutions with total assets of 940 billion euros and more than 98,000 employees worldwide. Within the “Private Clients and Asset Management”- Group, Deutsche Bank provides its more than 11 million private and retail customers an extensive offer of Private Banking and Personal Banking (Deutsche Bank 24) services.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions with about $275 billion (Canadian Dollars) in assets and approximately 52,000 employees worldwide including affiliates. It is also Canada’s most international bank, with more than 2,000 branches and offices in over 50 countries and a network of 2,100 ATMs in Canada.

About Westpac

Westpac is Australia’s first bank and a leading provider of financial solutions to eight million customers in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. The Westpac Group (including Bank of Melbourne and Challenge Bank) employs 29,000 people around the world, with total assets over $184 billion (Australian Currency) and has 1,500 ATMs throughout Australia.