BRITISH AIRWAYS CARD

British Airways announced a partnership with
Royal Bank of Canada to introduce a new Visa credit card designed to reward
Canada’s international frequent flyers.

Called the Royal Bank/British Airways Visa Platinum Card, it’s the only
credit card in Canada that earns cardholders rewards and services on British
Airways. Those international flyers will now be able to accumulate frequent
flyer miles faster with every card purchase, redeemable for flights and other
rewards, while receiving extensive features geared to their special needs such
as free out-of-country medical insurance and worldwide cash advances.

“The Royal Bank/British Airways Visa Platinum card is the ideal
complement to Executive Club membership,” said Bob Brunner, British Airways’
director of Business Travel Marketing. “Part of being the leading airline for
the 21st Century is offering the most attractive rewards to our customers.”

Every dollar of spending charged to the card generates one Executive Club
“mile.” Upon approved enrollment, each cardholder receives 5,000 bonus miles
and a complementary companion ticket that can be used in conjunction with full
fare travel in any class on British Airways. For each annual renewal a member
receives 2,500 bonus miles and can earn another complementary companion
ticket. Every dollar charged for British Airways products and services,
including flights and British Airways Holidays land products earns two miles.
“Mileage” can be redeemed for flights on any of British Airways’ airline
partners Aer Lingus, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, America West
Airline, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Finnair, Iberia, JAL, LanChile and Qantas.

“Royal Bank’s credit card strategy is to offer cardholders the widest
variety of options and features to meet their needs,” said Mark Tonnesen,
executive vice-president, E-Commerce and Cards, Royal Bank. “We’re very
pleased to partner with British Airways to offer customers this co-branded
credit card with superior rewards and benefits.”

Membership of British Airways Executive Club North America is free.
Further information can be obtained from The Executive Club Customer Service
Centre in Toronto (416) 250-9429 or Toll Free on 1-800-463-3932. For more
information on the Royal Bank/British Airways Visa Platinum Card visit the
British Airways Website at www.britishairways.ca or Royal Bank’s Website at www.royalbank.com/cards/ba.

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UNO MONEY TRANSFERS

Miami-based UNO Money Transfers announced it has entered into an agreement
with
one of Mexico’s largest financial institutions, BBVA Bancomer, to offer direct
and faster payment of remittances to the country. Under the agreement,
Bancomer
and its related payment centers will provide UNO clients in Florida,
Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey with instant folio numbers, which
make remittances available for payment within minutes at any of the
institution’s 1,500 locations throughout Mexico.

“This partnership is a major step forward in strengthening UNO’s presence in
the Mexican market,” said Oscar Garcia, Jr., UNO Money Transfer’s chief
operating officer. “Adding Bancomer to our representative network gives UNO
widespread reach throughout the entire country and allows us to further
capitalize on a Mexico corridor business that continues to grow at a healthy
pace.

“The agreement also reflects UNO’s ongoing commitment to enhancing its product
offerings and customer service,” added Garcia. “Our clients can now benefit
from the direct service with Bancomer, which ensures their beneficiaries will
receive payment almost instantaneously. “The service also will include a
complimentary three-minute phone call to Mexico to notify family members of
the
remittance.”

For more information, please call toll free at 1-800-358-6652 or visit UNO’s
web site at www.unomoneytransfers.com.
UNO Money Transfers is a leading provider of money transmitting services to
Latin America, the Caribbean and the world. Headquartered in Miami, Fla., UNO
is licensed in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida and has a
network of more than 500 representatives and agents throughout the United
States. Internationally, UNO has representatives in North America, Central and
South America, the Caribbean, most of Europe, as well as several countries
throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

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Russell Leaves TSAI

Transaction Systems Architects, Inc., a leading global provider of enterprise e-payments and e-commerce software, announced that David C. Russell, president, will be leaving the company.

“We sincerely appreciate Dave’s service to the company over the past dozen years,” said Larry G. Fendley, interim CEO. “His contributions in key areas of the company, and especially his role as `customer advocate’ have helped us develop the market-leadership position we now enjoy. We wish Dave well in his new endeavors.”

“I have enjoyed my time with TSA,” said Russell. “It has been a privilege to work with people committed to excellence, and to doing it on a global scale. The franchise is well-positioned for the next stage of success.”

About Transaction Systems Architects, Inc.

Transaction Systems Architects’ software facilitates electronic payments by providing consumers and companies access to their money. Its products are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, secure electronic commerce, mobile commerce, smart cards, secure electronic document delivery and payment, checks, high-value money transfers, bulk payment clearing and settlement, and enterprise e-infrastructure. Transaction Systems Architects’ solutions are used on more than 3,700 product systems in 78 countries on six continents.

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CRYSTAL MULTOS

Innovation and networked economy consultancy Crystal
Innovation, today announced that it has joined the MULTOS Global Supplier
Network. The Crystal Catalytic Process will enable MULTOS Issuers to identify
opportunities for the creation of innovative multi-application smart card
applications.

The process, starting from the very beginning of the product development
process enables card issuers to unlock the knowledge held within their
organisations and start realising its value. Using a proprietary collaborative
working environment, the Crystal Catalytic Process accelerates product
development by stimulating creativity in all participants. It then supports
selection, validation and testing of the concepts prior to driving the
business
solutions through to completion in a highly compressed timescale.
“The Crystal Catalytic Process is unique in taking organisations from the very
start of the development process.” Says Richard Cooper of Crystal Innovation.
“Unlike most consultancies and suppliers, we have expertise in drawing out
fledgling concepts and developing them into solid business propositions”
The synergy between the Crystal Catalytic Process and the MULTOS operating
system are clear, MULTOS provides the flexibility within the card operating
system and Crystal can help issuers make the most of it. Crystal’s unique
Catalytic Process will help card issuers using MULTOS to deliver innovative
multi-application smart card solutions in a fast, effective and robust manner,
focussing on creating sustainable business advantage.
About Crystal Innovation Limited
Crystal Innovation enables clients to create new business opportunities that
will be at the leading edge of their industry, by combining collaborative
working, client industry knowledge and extensive experience of innovative
processes.

Crystal are experts in the disciplines of knowledge management, balanced
scorecard, strategy, process, and facilitation, using technology to work both
smarter and faster. It’s methodologies have been developed and implemented
with
a variety of blue chip companies since 1996, including Nationwide, British
Airways, Mg technologies ag, TetraPak, Lotus Professional Services, Danske
Bank
and Severn Trent.

Crystal is made up of a multidisciplinary team that combines knowledge,
experience and energy in their approach and work style. It has a diverse
client
base across Europe, and has offices in London and Oslo. For further
information, please contact Richard Cooper, Crystal Innovation +44 (0)207
592
0437, e-mail Richard.Cooper@crystalise.com.
About MULTOS/MAOSCO
MULTOS is a highly secure multi-application smart card operating system
specification and supports a wide range of applications including e-cash, PKI
and interactive loyalty. This open standard is managed and developed by a
consortium of 13 of the worlds leading smart card companies, and is the only
commercial operating system to attain the security requirements of ITSEC
E6-high. (ITSEC is an independent and rigorous security evaluation scheme
supported by more than 14 countries worldwide, whose results are openly

published.) Third party software developers provide a broad catalogue of
MULTOS
applications and value-added services for card users and issuers that can be
deployed consistently across all implementations of MULTOS. Leading the
booming
m-commerce market, the MULTOS hosted SecureSIM environment provides the
world’s
most secure multi-application SIM card for mobile phones. For more information
about MULTOS, visit www.multos.com.

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CARD RATE WAR

A credit card rate battle has erupted in the Middle East following the
introduction, last weekend, of a new VISA card and the unveiling of an
American
Express ‘Blue’ card. MasterCard may soon join the battle as it announced plans
to open a new office in Dubai by October. Next week, a three day ‘Cards Middle
East’ conference produced by Terrapinn, will get underway in Dubai for the
second consecutive year. Last Saturday, the National Bank of Dubai
introduced a
new VISA card which offers an interest rate of 1.75% with NBD customers
receiving a 1.25% rate. On Sunday, American Express rolled out its ‘Blue’
credit card offering a six-month intro rate of 1.0%, followed by a go-to
APR of
1.95%. Under the NBD program there is a Dhs 150 annual fee which is waived for
the first year. The annual fee is waived or reduced in subsequent years based
on charge volume. The new AmEx ‘Blue’ credit card also offers a ‘MoneyBack’
rebate program which credits back 1% of annual purchase volume to the
cardholder. The AmEx Blue card carries a Dhs 175 annual fee. VISA has about
one
million cards-in-force in the UAE. AmEx is the process of launching its ‘Blue’
card worldwide after signing up more than six million Americans for the smart
card version of ‘Blue’. The Mid-East cards conference scheduled for next week
is being sponsored by Hypercom, VISA, ACI and others.

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TAXI SMART CARDS

Kanagawa Chuo Kotsu Co. will begin utilizing smart cards to call taxis from
public phones. The service will be introduced throughout Kanagawa Prefecture
next month. Users will be able to promptly inform the company of their
location
by inserting the smart card, which contains the cardholder’s personal
information into smart card ready public phones. The smart cards will be
priced
at 1,000 yen each. The service has been jointly developed with
telecommunications equipment maker Tamura Electric Works Ltd. and information
technology service provider Rios Corp.

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Royal BA Card

Royal Bank of Canada and British Airways unveiled yesterday a new co-branded VISA credit card. The ‘Royal Bank/British Airways VISA Platinum Card’ offers one ‘Executive Club’ mile for each dollar of all card purchases and two miles for each dollar charged for British Airways products and services. A special bonus of 5,000 miles is awarded upon approved enrollment along with a complementary companion ticket. For each annual renewal a member receives 2,500 bonus miles and can earn another complementary companion ticket. Online applications for the card will be available beginning May 14. Royal is charging a 20.5% interest rate and $165 annual fee. Co-applicant cards cost an additional $75 per year. There is a 17 day grace period on purchases. First USA issues a co-branded VISA card with British Airways in the US. First USA offers ‘Classic’, ‘Platinum’, and ‘Signature’ versions of the co-branded BA card. First USA charges a $65 annual fee and a fixed 17.99% APR for its ‘Platinum’ version, according to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]).

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

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SMART ID CARD

The Government’s multi-purpose smart card is planning to expand to include
toll payments and cash withdrawal from ATMs. The National Registration
Department is currently working with GMPC Corporation Sdn Bhd to develop
the new applications. The card may also be expanded for use in payphones.
The ‘GMPC’ card integrates four Government applications and two optional
applications on a single card-the national identification, the national
driving license, passport details, health information. The target is to
distribute 600,000 GMPC smartcards by year-end in West Malaysia.

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Nissen GE SVP

The General Electric Company announced that David R. Nissen, 49, has been named Senior Vice President of the General Electric Company. He was named an officer of the General Electric Company in 1996.

Said GE President and Chairman-elect Jeffrey R. Immelt in making the announcement: “Dave has developed an incredibly successful and global business from the ground up. He’s a great leader who is making strong contributions to the sustained growth and performance of GE Capital.”

Nissen is currently president and chief executive officer of Global Consumer Finance (GCF), the 6th largest operating company within General Electric and is the largest of GE Capital’s 24 businesses. GCF delivers credit and insurance products and services to retailers, auto dealers and consumers in 33 countries around the world. He will continue to report to GE Capital Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Denis J. Nayden.

Since joining GE Capital, GE’s financial services arm, in 1981, Nissen has held positions of increasing responsibility. From 1987 through 1990, he led GE Capital’s US private label credit card business and from 1990 to 1994, he was vice president and general manager, U.S. Consumer Financial Services. Nissen created GCF in 1994 and today the unit’s assets exceed US$37 billion. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

GE (NYSE:GE), with 2000 revenues of $130 billion, is a diversified technology, services and manufacturing company with a commitment to achieving customer success. GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs 313,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .

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MONDEX FREEPASS

Mondex Korea announced plans to issue the ‘Mondex Freepass Card’ in
association with Kookmin Bank and Kookmin Card. The card provides e-cash,
debit card functions and online certification features. Cardholders over 18
years of age
can also add regular credit card features to their existing cards. A
palm-size Internet terminal for the use with the Freepass Card will allow
the transfer of cash between family members as well. The electronic cash
can be spent at COEX mall, coffee shops, book stores, movie theaters, paid
Internet sites, cybershops, and taxis and get 5% to 25% discounts at some
stores.

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E-PHONE CARDS

ePHONE Telecom, Inc. a global Internet telephony services carrier for
businesses and individuals, announced it has secured an order to provide
prepaid calling card services to a global US based company.

The company, which has interests in the Latin American market, will
specifically target Mexico with this calling card product. This initial
3-month
deal valued at approximately $500,000, is ePHONE’s first foray into the Latin
American market and demonstrates its continued focus on delivering services
across the globe.

The intention of this order is to establish a long-term relationship between
the two companies that will develop into additional business revenue
generating
opportunities. These additional opportunities are expected to roll out during
the remainder of this year and include an additional calling card program
marketed around a major global sporting event next year.
“In addition to providing us significant revenue over a short time period,
this
order will be our first foray into the Spanish-speaking market where prepaid
calling card programs are in high demand. Continued immigration of ethnic
communities to the US will ensure continued growth,” stated Carmine
Taglialatela, ePHONE’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “This
transaction
comes on the heel’s of our largest prepaid calling card order to date and
represents another major achievement for the company. Customers recognize the
value ePHONE brings with its award winning technology and its solid team of
industry veterans. We see a great deal of opportunity in the calling card
market and we intend to capitalize on it.”
The prepaid calling card market is increasingly attractive, with the ethnic
market continuing to be the main force behind expected growth.
A recent Atlantic – ACM, a global research consulting firm headquartered in
Boston, study found a base of 30 million cards in North American
circulation in
1993, which grew to 400 million in 1998 and is expected to grow to 700 million
cards in 2003. Atlantic – ACM also anticipates prepaid revenues will approach
$7-8 billion by 2005.

About ePHONE Telecom

ePHONE Telecom is a global full service telecommunications provider for
businesses and individuals. EPHONE enables long distance calling at local
pricing via access devices that connect customers to ePHONE’s network built on
its award winning Internet Protocol (IP) technology. For more information
about
ePHONE Telecom, please visit www.ephonetelecom.com.

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Blue Music

American Express announced a three-part program to enhance the music experience for ‘Blue’ customers while expanding the functionality of Blue’s smart chip at physical retail locations. The ‘Blue for Music’ program offers cardholders: 30% off on featured artists’ CDs at Virgin Megastores nationwide and at Virgin’s Web site; concert benefits at SFX Amphitheaters; and a special AmEx Web site where cardholders can enjoy music-related content including exclusive MP-3 downloads and artist features. New POS terminals that incorporate smart card readers will be installed in all U.S. Virgin Megastores and will be used to activate the special ‘Blue’ CD offers. SFX will operate the ‘Summer Concerts in Blue’ – Will Call window which will be equipped with an AmEx ‘Blue’ smart card reader, which verifies the cardholder’s order.

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