Due to rapid expansion SIM card and solutions provider Bluefish Technologies
has moved from serviced office accommodation in Reading, UK to their own new
office building in nearby Ruscombe. The move has been necessitated by
Bluefish’s need to recruit more staff and accommodate their fast growing team
of application development engineers.

The new offices are within easy reach of Reading, the M4 and M40 motorways and
are conveniently situated for access to Heathrow Airport. The completely
restored 200 year old barn based building provides modern office facilities in
an attractive location. “We are recruiting heavily and in what is a very
competitive environment we needed to have offices which would cope with our
continued expansion and be appealing to prospective employees and
customers. At
Castle End Park we have all this and more.” Said Jon Twigg, Managing Director
of Bluefish.

Bluefish are currently recruiting application development engineers, sales and
marketing personnel and customer service and support staff. More details
can be
found on the company’s web site at www.bluefish-tech.com.
Bluefish Technologies is a SIM solutions provider founded in 2000, with
from ACG AG*, and is the only smart card supplier to focus entirely on the
wireless telecommunications industry. With offices in Germany and the UK, and
more to follow worldwide, Bluefish pioneers a “virtual” approach to SIM card
production and draws upon over 150 years experience of the GSM sector.

SIM applications are currently in their infancy but are already a key
differentiator and revenue generator for network operators. As mobile networks
progress from providing predominantly voice based services (2G) towards third
generation (3G) technology the nature of applications and services will change
radically. It will be these SIM enabled applications at the heart of the
wireless future, operating on open platforms with high levels of security.
Visit www.bluefish-tech.com for further information.

* ACG AG with headquarters in Wiesbaden and Munich is a high-tech broker for
chips and smart cards and market and technology leader for contactless chip
applications. In the fiscal year 2000 (ending December 31) the turnover
rose to
362.8 million Euro and the EBITDA reached 13 million Euro. The company employs
462 people and has a presence at 32 international locations in 17 countries.



Ingenico S.A. and IVI Checkmate Corp. announced that they have
entered into a merger agreement in which
Ingenico has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares which it
does not already own of IVI Checkmate in a cash acquisition valued at
approximately US$55.3 million or US$3.30 per share, representing a 65%
premium over the closing price of IVI Checkmate’s common stock on
April 5, 2001. The acquisition has been approved by a special
committee of the IVI Checkmate’s board established to consider
proposals from Ingenico and the board of directors of both companies.

The acquisition of IVI Checkmate is a natural extension of Ingenico’s
extensive portfolio of secured transaction products as IVI Checkmate
provides products and systems that will enhance Ingenico’s current
offerings. The acquisition will strengthen Ingenico’s position as a
leading provider of products and systems in the field of secured
transaction technologies and serves as a platform to expand Ingenico’s
operations in North America.

L. Barry Thomson, President and CEO of IVI Checkmate said, “We welcome
the opportunity to join forces with Ingenico. We believe this
transaction will benefit our customers and suppliers while delivering
a substantial stock price premium to our stockholders.”

Jean-Jacques Poutrel, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Groupe INGENICO,
said, “This acquisition is of strategic importance to Ingenico’s
international operations as we believe it will enable us to achieve
our stated objective of fulfilling customers’ payment and transaction
automation requirements throughout the world.”

Simultaneously with the execution of the merger agreement, Ingenico
made a direct investment in IVI Checkmate by purchasing approximately
2.6 million shares of newly issued IVI Checkmate common stock for an
aggregate purchase price of approximately US$5.2 million (representing
the closing price for shares of IVI Checkmate’s common stock on the
last full trading day prior to execution of the merger agreement).
IVI Checkmate will use these proceeds for working capital and other
general corporate purposes. This investment increases Ingenico’s
ownership of IVI Checkmate’s outstanding common stock to approximately

19.9% on a fully diluted basis.

The merger is expected to close during the third quarter of this year,
subject to the approval of shareholders and regulatory authorities and
satisfaction of other customary conditions. Wachovia Securities, Inc.
served as the financial advisor to IVI Checkmate.

About Ingenico

Ingenico which is generally considered the inventor (1980) of the
modern electronic payment terminal, is a leading provider of smart
card based secured transaction products and systems. It has
subsidiaries and partnerships all over the world and customers in over
50 countries and territories where its installed base exceeds 3
million point-of-sale terminals. See www.ingenico.com for more

About IVI Checkmate

IVI Checkmate is a major electronic transaction solutions provider in
North America. The company designs, develops and markets innovative
payment and value-added solutions that optimize transaction management
at the point-of-service in the retail, financial, travel &
entertainment, health care and transportation industries. IVI
Checkmate’s software, hardware and professional services minimize
transaction costs, reduce operational complexity, and improve
profitability for its customers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.



Cubic Transportation Systems, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corp., has
won a contract for approximately US$18 million from TransLink, of Vancouver,
B.C., for 160 new touchscreen-enabled ticket vending machines.
The Cubic machines will issue tickets good across the region’s rail, bus and
ferry public transit systems.

Cubic’s high-tech magnetic ticketing will serve as the base technology for the
new machines, which will be smart card-ready for future upgrades.
The ticket vending machines will be equipped with smart card readers.
Initially, TransLink will use the smart card readers for employee access to
ticket vending machines for maintenance and revenue collection.
The payment options for farecard sales include Canadian bank notes, Canadian
and U.S. coins, and credit or debit cards, and the machines issue a printed
receipt for all passenger transactions. Up to eight languages can be
into the machine. Braille instructions and audio assistance also are included
for passenger interaction.
Cubic is the world’s leading system integrator for regional multi-operator
intermodal ticketing systems. Installations include New York and Chicago,
passengers use the same farecard to ride bus and rail. Cubic’s smart card
systems are in North America (Washington, D.C. and Chicago), Europe and Asia.
Cubic’s touchscreen model vending machines are a proven system in New York,
where more than 1,500 machines are in operation. They will be installed on
Vancouver’s two rail lines, the Expo Line and the expansion Millennium Line,
both operated by B.C. Rapid Transit Co. , a division of TransLink. The new
rapid rail line has 13 stations, and the Expo Line has 20 stations.
The new machines’ advanced design emphasizes customer friendliness, economy of
operation, and stringent security to prevent vandalism. They are replacing the
current ticketing machines that have been in operation in the Vancouver system
for more than 15 years.
Passengers will be able to use the same magnetically encoded ticket to ride
Expo Line and the Millennium Line, currently under construction by the Rapid
Transit Project 2000 (RTP), which is owned by the Province of British

The two lines also share intermodal compatibility with the bus and ferry
systems operated by TransLink’s subsidiaries.
The new electronic bus fare collection system for TransLink was designed by
Cubic and currently is being installed in the city’s 1,268 buses.
Cubic is the world’s largest supplier of integrated ticketing and automated
fare collection systems for mass transit, as well as the technology developer
behind the Nextfare(TM) Solution Suite, a package of advanced tools that
can be
integrated into any automatic fare collection system. An example is Nextfare
Express — called SmartBenefits by WMATA — which enables employers to
and conveniently deliver transit benefits to a customer’s smart card.
On an annual basis, at least 10 billion passengers pay for their mass transit
rides using Cubic-designed payment systems in more than 40 major markets on
five continents, including London, Washington D.C., Hong Kong, Chicago, New
York, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Atlanta, San Francisco, Sydney, Singapore and
among other major installations.



JCB, Hitachi Software Engineering and Cab Card Service Ltd. have jointly
developed a system that enables users to pay for taxi rides with smart
cards instead of vouchers. CCS will collect electronic fare data
transmitted from smart card terminals installed in taxis, and JCB will
utilize the data to bill users and issue payment to taxi companies. The
companies plan to bring the new system on line this month, outfitting about
30,000 metropolitan area cabs with smart card terminals in the first year.



The PhoneMiles Reward Program was initially launched on January 15th, 2001
in the Toronto area, with the intention of capturing a significant share of
the retail long distance market. Consumers no longer need to pay for their
long distance calling regardless of the destination once they become
PhoneMiles Reward Program members.

The PhoneMiles Reward Program has been designed to neutralize the
competition in the retail long distance calling market without having to
sacrifice any of its profit margins. The PhoneMiles Reward Program adopts
the stored-value concept. It allows consumers to earn and accumulate FREE
long distance airtime from every purchase they make with our Retail
Partners through the UniLink Point-of Sales System. It is cost efficient,
easy to manage and above all, beneficial to both the Retail Partner and

This system has been based upon similar technology which consumers use
everyday. Each participating retailer receives a Unilink P.O.S. terminal
and a supply of PhoneMiles cards. The first time a consumer visits any of
our Retail Partner outlets (restaurants, convenience stores, bookstores,
gas stations, etc.) and makes a purchase, they will be invited to become a
member and will be gifted with FREE long distance airtime.
Every time a member makes a further purchase in any of these retail
outlets, they will be gifted with more FREE long distance airtime. The
retailer will swipe the membership card with the UniLink P.O.S. System to
recharge it with more long distance airtime. The value of the reward is
determined with a formula based on the amount spent and where the purchase
was made. The average reward is valued at approximately 3%-20% of the
purchased amount.

For example if a member buys dinner at a participating Retail Partner
restaurant and spends $100.00, when they swipe their PhoneMiles(TM) card
they receive approximately $10.00 in FREE long distance airtime to use at
their discretion.

Preliminary Results

In the first 75 days of the PhoneMiles(TM) Reward Program, UniLink has
signed up over 255 Retail Partners, mainly in the Greater Toronto area,
with more than 16,500 PhoneMiles(TM) members. To date, the market response
has beaten all forecasts.
UniLink is expecting to initiate this program in the Vancouver area within
the next 30 days.

The IPS Agreement

UniLink has entered into an agreement with IPS International Payment
Solutions. Inc (“IPS”) for IPS to develop a point of sale system (“IPS”
system) allowing for management of data arising from the point-of-sale
activation of pre-paid long distance calling cards or any other
stored-value card at retail locations and consisting of point-of-sale
terminal software and a gateway database software.
UniLink has been granted the licence to use the IPS system on an exclusive
basis in Canada and Hong Kong for a term of 3 years. UniLink also owns all
related source codes of the software and has the right to further modify it
for any future requirements. During the 3-year term, UniLink shall
exclusively engage the IPS system solely for providing UniLink’s telecom
services to its customers or members. At the end of the 3-year term,
UniLink shall automatically acquire the unlimited and unrestricted use as
well as the ownership of the IPS system including all applicable software
and/or hardware.

In return, and subject to regulatory and Board approval, UniLink shall pay
IPS $250,000 Cdn. The first $15,625 Cdn will be the only cash payment. With
the remaining balance to be settled with an issuance of common shares of
UTI. Such issuance of the common shares of UTI to IPS shall occur upon
completion of installing, training and testing of IPS system, but no later
than 30 days from the completion of training. The number of shares to be
issued will be determined by the average closing price of UTI for the 10
trading days immediately preceding the date of issue. IPS will also agree
to a time-release escrow of the UTI shares in accordance with the policies
of the CDNX.



Schlumberger Limited announced that Irwin Pfister is appointed executive vice
president of the new Schlumberger Sema business.
Schlumberger Sema is comprised of Schlumberger Test & Transactions and
Management Services, including the recent acquisitions of CellNet, the
Convergent Group, Bull CP8 and Sema plc.
Mr. Pfister was formerly executive vice president for Schlumberger Test &


MBNA 1Q/01

MBNA reported this morning that it added 2.5 million new accounts during the first quarter, however total managed loans dropped slightly from $88.8 billion for 4Q/00 to $88.0 billion for 1Q/01. Delinquency edged up to 4.60%, compared to 4.49% for the prior quarter, and 4.35% one year ago. Chargeoffs increased from 4.06% for 1Q/00 to 4.35%. While charge volume increased 12.4% over 1Q/00, it declined sharply compared to the fourth quarter. First quarter charge volume was $31.8 billion compared to $34.9 billion for 4Q/00 and $28.3 billion for 1Q/00. MBNA has approximately $70 billion in domestic credit card loans according to CardData. During the first quarter, MBNA signed up 121 affinity card programs worldwide. As of Mar. 31, nearly 1.8 million MBNA customers have enrolled to use ‘NetAccess’, MBNA’s online service, including 376,000 in the first quarter. For the first quarter of this year, MBNA added 210,000 new customers via the Internet. For complete details on MBNA’s 1Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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


AAA 2000

Regardless of economic status the desire to save money is nearly universal. Smart consumers know there are deals to be found in purchasing travel, entertainment and merchandise, and millions of AAA members have found the AAA Show Your Card & Save program one of the best ways to do so.

Last year, AAA members saved more than twelve million times at merchants affiliated with the nation’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization. They received a total of $315 million in discounts on everything from hotel rooms, airplane and train tickets, restaurants, rental cars, theaters, theme parks, vision care, outlet shopping, online shopping, car washes, oil changes, auto parts and flowers.

“The AAA Show Your Card & Save(R) program has become one of the most universally known and understood discount purchasing programs in existence,” said Tom Wilt, managing director of AAA Partnership Programs. “The AAA membership card has become the most recognized and used `coupon’ across North America,” he said.

Conceived as a way to offer special values to AAA members when traveling, transaction volume for the 44-million-member Association’s discount program grew 14 percent last year. Reasons for the expanded use include heightened awareness among consumers, and a broadened program scope that now includes non-travel items and services.

“AAA is always looking for partnerships that offer quality values to members that are not readily matched elsewhere in the market,” Wilt explained. “Our new partnership with Tanger Outlet Malls is a good example because the offer combines a vacation activity popular with members with the universal appeal of saving money on consumer merchandise.”

For AAA members, the Show Your Card & Save(R) program is eminently easy to use.

Members can locate the merchants near them using AAA.com or simply look for merchants displaying the AAA Show Your Card & Save(R) logo and then produce their AAA membership card when making a reservation, or paying for a purchase. In return, they receive a pre-determined discount, usually between 5 and 30 percent, or a special benefit not available on the same terms to other customers.

AAA provides members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

AAA News Releases are available from



MerchantOnline, a provider of secure transaction networks and devices for credit cards and debit cards, announced it has entered into a distribution agreement with Classic BankCard.

David Latraverse, Director of Sales, stated, “We are very excited about this alliance and look forward to working with Classic BankCard in providing them with our patented PC PayMENT Small Business Package. The agreement allows another top notch ISO/distributor to get our product into the marketplace.” He added, “The combination of the revenue generated from the sale of PC PayMENT and recurring transaction fees will contribute to the continued growth of the company.”

“We have entered into an agreement to purchase the PC PayMENT Small Business Package, which allows us to offer our 30,000 plus customers a lower cost alternative means of accepting Credit and ATM/Debit cards. The patented PC Pay(R) device that is part of this package, adds extra value for our customers by also allowing them the ability to execute online purchases securely and anonymously,” said Mace Horowitz, president of Classic BankCard, Inc. The suggested retail price for the PC PayMENT Small Business Package is $299 – $699 depending on configuration.

About MerchantOnline.com

Founded in December 1997, MerchantOnline provides a secure transaction network that enables business and consumers to use one payment system for both their real world and virtual world needs utilizing credit card, ATM/debit cards and other payment programs.


NPC Hires Cooper

National Processing Company announced the addition of Roger Cooper to its Merchant Services sales team, as Vice President, with his chief focus on the supermarket industry. Mr. Cooper comes to NPC with over 20-years experience in the payments industry — selling and supporting hardware, software and electronic payment services.

Mr. Cooper recently worked as National Account Executive for CheckAGAIN, selling web-based financial services to Top 100 Retailers; and before that was a top salesman for the largest check authorization service, eFunds/SCAN, in the United States. Mr. Cooper spent a major portion of his career with EFT application development companies such as: Tandem, Honeywell, and Burroughs. Throughout his twenty years, Mr. Cooper was successful in developing sales programs, implementing quality assurance programs, and customer/technical support plans.

“We are delighted to have Roger as a part of our team,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “Roger’s expertise and enthusiasm will accelerate our presence in the supermarket industry.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to work for one of the nation’s leading payment processors,” said Cooper. “NPC has demonstrated again and again its dedication and commitment to their people and clientele.”

About National Processing Company

NPC is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. NPC is 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ([http://www.national-city.com][1]), a Cleveland based $89 billion financial holding company, supporting 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 NPC can be obtained at [http://www.npc.net][2].

[1]: http://www.national-city.com/
[2]: http://www.npc.net/


Merchant Acceptance

VISA card acceptance is growing faster than rival MasterCard. VISA is now accepted by 21.4 million merchants worldwide, up 15.9% last year, compared to MasterCard’s 19.6 million, which grew 12.9% during 2000. According to the latest domestic industry stats gathered by CardData and international data gathered by RAM Research Group, the number of VISA merchant locations increased from 18.5 million in 1999 to 21,377,115 during 2000. MasterCard merchant locations increased from 17.4 million for 1999 to 19.6 million last year. If ATMs, member offices, and other locations are factored in, VISA still remains the king of global acceptance. MasterCard’s total acceptance locations hit 21.0 million at the end of 2000 compared to VISA’s 22.4 million. MasterCard still remains the most widely accepted card in Europe and Canada. VISA has a very strong lead in Latin America and a significant lead in Asia Pacific.

(VISA versus MasterCard)

United States 4.7m 4.2m
Canada 568,000 600,000
Europe 4.9m 5.0m
Latin America 1.8m 1.1m
Asia Pacific 9.0m 8.6m
Rest 466,000 200,000

Source: CardData(www.carddata.com) &
RAM Research Group Ltd(www.ramresearch.com)