SCM Microsystems, Inc. has announced that Motorola, has selected SCM as its
smart card interface
supplier of choice, for Motorola’s Streamaster 5000 advanced set-top box.
Streamaster is a multimedia broadband information, entertainment and
communications center that derives its content from xDSL service providers.

SCM will provide Motorola with its Smart Transporter Chip, a universal
smart card reader interface, based on SCM’s widely adopted SmartOS.
“SCM has an excellent reputation for its smart card-based solutions and
the Smart Transporter Chip is a great solution for our set-top boxes,” said
Jackie Beauchamp, general manager, Multimedia Systems Division at Motorola.
“SCM demonstrated the ability to control both design and manufacture of its
chips. Also, it was important that SCM could supply us with the large
quantities of product needed, as we predict high demand for Streamaster 5000.”
Streamaster 5000 supports a rich variety of basic and enhanced services.
These include premium digital TV, Web browsing, e-mail, online 3-D games,
personal video recording and video/music-on-demand. By incorporating SCM’s
Smart Transporter Chip, Motorola’s newest set-top box will also support smart
card-based payment transactions for items such as pay-per-view movies, music
downloads and T-commerce purchases.

“Being chosen as a supplier of choice for one of the world’s leading names
in broadband communications is the highest endorsement — not just for the
quality of our products, but for our ability to manufacture and produce units
in very high volume,” said Jason Schouw, vice president of U.S. sales for
SCM’s PC Security division. “Our smart card chips are extremely versatile and
can be used in a variety of platforms and applications. Combined with our
manufacturing capability, OEMs have a powerful argument to buy from SCM.”
SCM’s Smart Transporter Chip enables easy integration of support for all
smart cards, including ISO 7816 compliant smart cards. The Smart Transporter
Chip’s architecture is based on open standards and is upgradeable to support
new smart card protocols and functions.

About SCM Microsystems

SCM Microsystems is a leading supplier of solutions that open the
Digital World by enabling people to conveniently access digital content and
services. SCM’s advanced silicon solutions, hardware and software enable
secure exchange of electronic information for digital applications from
e-commerce to broadband content delivery by providing controlled access points
to platforms such as PCs, digital cameras and digital television set-top
boxes. Known as a premier supplier to OEM companies around the world, SCM also
serves the retail market through its Dazzle, Microtech and FAST product
brands. Global headquarters are in Fremont, Calif., with European
headquarters in Pfaffenhofen, Germany. For additional information, visit the
SCM Microsystems Website at http//

About Motorola

Motorola, Inc. is a global leader in providing integrated communications
and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion



Diebold is upgrading its proprietary ‘DECAL’ electronic customer access link, to allow customers to monitor and generate Diebold ATM service calls from any computer with an Internet browser. ‘DECALWeb’ eliminates the need for a dedicated computer to create and track service calls. ‘DECALWeb’ customers can set a priority for the service, monitor the estimated time of arrival of the service technician, review the service action and identify when the problem has been resolved. The implementation of ‘DECALWeb’ follows the recent announcement of an agreement with MDSI Mobile Data Solutions Inc. to implement a new wireless data communications system based on MDSI’s ‘Advantex-Enterprise Gateway’ wireless connectivity solution.



Metaca Corporation, Canada’s leading
integrator and manager of smart card solutions, today announced that it has
signed an agreement with EdgeWare Technologies Corporation, to
provide EdgeTech products, which includes a suite of advanced, open
architecture software solutions for use in retail and smart card-based
applications. Metaca is owned 85% by MDC Corporation Inc. and 15% by Symcor
Services Inc.

“Metaca has commenced integration of EdgeWare’s applications to our
CardProgram management offering. We selected Edgeware because they offer
best-in-class applications, a standard that we build into the architecture of
all our smart-card solutions for customers”, said President and Chief
Operating Officer, Gregory McKenzie. “We are excited about this relationship
and the additional value that it will help us bring to our clients.”

“EdgeWare Technologies is pleased to be working with Metaca, the market
leader in smart-card technology integration, which has established many long-
term customer relationships within the financial institution, commercial and
loyalty segments,” said Ed Anderson, President of EdgeWare Technologies.
The additional capabilities, made available through this agreement, will
enhance the unique CardProgram(TM) Management solutions already being
delivered by Metaca to its customers.

Included in the EdgeTech(R) suite of products is EdgeSmart(TM), which is
designed to deliver customer services and incentives incorporated on either
stored value payment cards or co-branded loyalty smart cards. In addition, in
response to customer demand for complete end-to-end solutions, EdgeTech(R)
solutions, EdgeHost(TM) and AnalysEdge(TM), provide seamless web-enabled
architecture to facilitate host settlement, activity analysis, reporting and
communications for smart card applications.

Metaca clients, as a result of the EdgeTech(R) relationship, will also
benefit from solutions that will address needs for Customer Incentives &
Rewards, ID and Secure Access, Campuses (Institutional and Corporate), Events,
Sports Complexes, Conferences, Theme Parks, Transit, Transportation, and

About Metaca

Metaca Corporation is a leading global CardProgram(TM) Management Company
with a blue-chip customer portfolio, which includes financial services,
telecommunications, loyalty, retail, insurance and utility industries. Metaca
supports this customer portfolio from operations in Canada and Australia.

About EdgeWare Technologies

EdgeWare Technologies is a Canadian software and services firm that
designs, develops, markets and supports multi-application, scalable, platform
independent smart card software solutions for business, institutions and
governments worldwide.

About MDC Corporation Inc.

MDC is a publicly traded international business services organization
with operating units in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and
Australia. MDC offers security sensitive transaction products and services in
four primary areas Personalized Transaction Products such as personal and
business cheques; Electronic Transaction Products such as credit, debit,
telephone and smart cards; Secure Ticketing Products, such as airline, transit
and event tickets; Stamps, both postal and excise. In addition, MDC is
majority owner of Maxxcom Inc., which is the largest full service marketing
communications organization based in Canada. MDC shares are traded on the
Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MDZ.A and on NASDAQ National Market
Systems under the symbol MDCA. Further information regarding MDC may be
obtained at the website at

About Symcor

Symcor is a leading North American customer communication and item
processing services provider, with customers in retail and corporate banking,
mutual fund, investment banking, insurance, retail, telecom and utility
industries across the country. Symcor’s services include Web development,
cheque processing, credit card and payment processing, and a full range of
customer bill and statement advisory, design and presentment capabilities.
Symcor is a joint venture established by Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank
Financial Group and TD Bank Financial Group.



Building on its reputation in the financial services sector, Entegrity has
signed partnership agreement with EuroSignCard SA to deliver access
management capabilities for e-business to financial institutions in
Luxembourg, the world’s fifth largest banking centre.
EuroSignCard is a European trust centre for digital signatures, delivering
services to secure electronic financial transactions and promote consumer
confidence in e-business. Entegrity Solutions Corporation is a leader in
application security software and services.

“It has become abundantly apparent to organisations involved in the
transfer of large funds and interaction between competing institutions,
that security infrastructure, while absolutely essential, is just the first
step in exploiting the potential of e-business and inspiring confidence,”
explains David Sweigert, managing director of EuroSignCard SA. “Security
infrastructure focuses on ‘keeping the bad guys out,’ but Entegrity
Solutions’ AssureAccess provides the technological and administrative
capabilities to open back-end applications to partners over the internet
while managing access rights, user authentication, audit logs and central
administration. Becoming a member of Entegrity’s AssurePartner Programme
means we can offer the financial services community a complete security
solution that promotes e-business in a trusted environment.”
Sweigert continued “Our customers are often dealing with millions of euros
in a single transfer. Confidence in the transaction validity, the right of
those involved to execute that business, and in the ability to audit the
path that a transaction has taken, is paramount to the ongoing business.
Entegrity’s product range extends our ability to provide that to our
customers and becoming part of the AssurePartner Programme aligns us even
closer with Identrus, the consortium of global financial institutions, to
promote international confidence in e-business in financial services.”

About EuroSignCard S.A.

Headquartered in Luxembourg, EuroSignCard S.A. provides security technology
for electronic transactions to commercial and government organizations.
EuroSignCard’s products include Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
architectures, smart cards, and cryptography techniques.
EuroSignCard maintains relationships with Entrust Technologies, Baltimore
Technologies, Identrus LLC, Digital Signature Trust and other top
performing security companies. EuroSignCard was formed in 1999 and recently
received a cash infusion of 1,500,000 euro in July, 2000. The firm
specializes in technology that complies with E.U. Directive 1999/93.



Telstra Corp Ltd and Coca-Cola are testing a new service called
‘Dial-a-Coke’. With the program, Telstra mobile customers can order a drink
from a vending machine and have the AU$2 billed to their phones. The
m-commerce trial is the first of several Telstra is considering, including
dial-up parking, shopping and ticket purchases. Coke is running a similar
trial in Chile.


Citi UK Card Deal

Citibank confirmed this morning it is buying CT-based People’s United Kingdom credit card portfolio. Citibank International PLC is acquiring People’s U.K credit card operations for approximately $526 million. The portfolio has about $426 million in receivables. According to CardData ([][1]), People’s UK portfolio has been growing about 18% annually. People’s says it wants to focus its resources on building a dominant franchise in Connecticut, expand on national lending and concentrate on the core U.S. credit card business. Last month, Abbey National agreed to sell its credit card business to MBNA Europe for slightly more than $400 million. Reportedly MBNA paid an 18% premium for the Abbey card portfolio.(CF Library 1/19/01; 3/20/01)




Citigroup, Inc. and People’s Bank announced that Citigroup,
through its subsidiary Citibank International PLC, acquired People’s United
Kingdom (U.K.) credit card operations for 368 million pounds sterling
(approximately $526 million U.S.), including 298 million pounds sterling
(approximately $426 million U.S.) in receivables, together with other assets
and liabilities associated with the business. The acquisition expands
Citigroup’s presence in the U.K. and strengthens the company’s position as a
leading bank card issuer in Europe and around the globe.

“This transaction represents a further step in our efforts to expand our
consumer business globally, broadening our presence in the important U.K.
marketplace,” said Robert B. Willumstad, Chairman and CEO, Citigroup Global
Consumer. “The People’s U.K. credit card business represents a significant
increase to our own profitable and growing business in the U.K.”

“The U.K. credit card operation is a successful and growing business, but
it had reached a point where we would need to dedicate significant additional
financial and management resources to support and grow the business properly,”
said John A. Klein, president and chief executive officer of People’s. “After
careful consideration, we decided it was in the best interest of our
shareholders to focus our resources on continuing to build a dominant
franchise in Connecticut, expand on national lending and concentrate on the
core U.S. credit card business. We are grateful to our employees in the U.K.
and look forward to working with Citigroup to ensure a smooth transition.”

Citigroup (NYSE C), the preeminent global financial services company,
provides some 120 million consumers, corporations, governments and
institutions in more than 100 countries with a broad range of financial
products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and
investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management.
Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark umbrella are Citibank,
CitiFinancial, Primerica, Salomon Smith Barney, and Travelers. Additional
information may be found at http//

People’s Bank,, is a
diversified financial services
company providing consumer, commercial, insurance and investment services.
The bank is a leader in supermarket banking, with 53 of its 146 branches
located in Super Stop & Shop stores. Through its subsidiaries, People’s
provides brokerage services, money management, equipment leasing and
insurance. In the U.S., People’s is the 16th largest issuer of Master Card and
Visa credit cards.


Bankruptcy Surge

The rise in unemployment coupled with the new personal bankruptcy regulations will likely produce a surge in bankruptcy filings. The 1996 bankruptcy bill, passed during a robust economy, produced a sharp rise in personal filings. Standard & Poor’s predicts that this time around credit card portfolio losses will rise to 6.1% from last year’s average of 5.5%. If the current growth recession turns into a real recession, the outlook is worse. Even a mild near-term recession could send the loss rate up to 6.8%. However, S&P notes that the spread of credit card rates above costs is over 5%. Another 60 bps of losses is essentially built into the pricing, and even the extra 130 bps that could occur in a recession would maintain a reasonable profit margin. S&P says debt service costs are nearly back to the peak of 14.4% of after-tax income reached in 1986 because higher levels of debt are offsetting lower interest rates. The bankruptcy reform legislation will go into effect six months after a presidential signature, according to CardTrak ([][1]).




VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, and worldwide leader in
electronic payment solutions, announced that e-Smart Direct Services Inc., is
the first network processor in Canada to install VeriFone Omni 3300
multi-application terminals.
e-Smart began installing the Omni 3300 in merchant locations throughout Canada
earlier this month to support debit and credit e-payment applications. The
company also intends to support value-added applications, including chip-based
loyalty and couponing, in the next quarter.
e-Smart, one of the 89 members of Canada’s Interac Direct Payment debit
network, provides point of sale (POS) services for all types of Canadian
retailers and commercial activities. The company joined VeriFone’s growing
global Developer Forum and used VeriFone’s Verix Developer Toolkit to
develop a
payment application for VeriFone’s Verix platform.
e-Smart elected to use VeriFone SC 550 smart card readers, which meet Canadian
standards for PIN-entry, to support smart card, debit and other PIN-based
transactions. In addition, e-Smart has also purchased VeriFone’s VeriTalk Lite
terminal management software to support the rapid and economical deployment of
applications in a multi-application environment. VeriTalk Lite is a download
engine for small- to medium-sized processors that enables fast deployment of
new payment, payment-related and value-added applications by supporting
simultaneous application downloads, thereby lowering the cost per download
in a
multi-application environment.

“Being a smaller, more nimble organization allows us to quickly evolve our
offering to meet the changing needs of Canadian merchants, and to embrace
virtually any new technology or standard that comes along. With our new
VeriFone solution, we can add applications for our merchants very quickly, and
can be assured that the solution is Interac-compliant and backed by VeriFone’s
reputation for quality and reliability,” said Mischa Weisz, president and CEO
of e-Smart Direct Services Inc. “We plan to help Canadian merchants by
exploiting every possible feature of the Omni 3300, especially its ability to
support multiple applications that can add significant value to a merchant’s
point of sale.”

VeriFone’s Omni 3300 terminal is designed to handle the performance demands of
e-payment. The Omni 3300 with VeriFone’s Verix operating platform, features
true application separation at both the hardware and software level. The Omni
3300 features a triple-track magnetic-stripe reader, a 32-bit processor with a
14.4K modem, 3 MB of memory and a 12.5 lines-per-second integrated printer.
“VeriFone is thrilled that our Verix-based family of payment terminals is
introduced to the Canadian marketplace by e-Smart,” said Bud Waller, vice
president and general manager of North American sales and marketing at
VeriFone. “We’ve seen strong growth in our Developer Forum around the globe,
indicating that our Omni 3300 family of terminals, featuring the open
architecture of the Verix operating environment, is gaining momentum as the
platform of choice for developers looking to provide processors and merchants
worldwide with applications that maximize the value of their point of sale.”

About e-Smart Direct Services

e-Smart Direct Services Inc. is a leader in fully integrated processing
services for Retailers, Financial Institutions and Independent Service
Operators. As a Direct Member of the Interac(R) Association, e-Smart Direct
Services processes debit and credit transactions originating from Automated
Teller Machines (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) devices. e-Smart’s wholesale
processing rates as well as it’s ability to design, program and implement
custom retail applications such as “convenience fees” (surcharging) and
programs that have attracted retailers throughout Canada to this alternative
e-payment solution.

About VeriFone

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

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company — a leading global provider of computing and imaging
solutions and services — is focused on making technology and its benefits
accessible to individuals and businesses through simple appliances, useful
e-services and an Internet infrastructure that’s always on.
HP has 88,500 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing
operations of $48.8 billion in its 2000 fiscal year. Information about HP and
its products can be found on the World Wide Web at http//


ACE 1Q/01

ACE Cash Express, Inc., the nation’s largest check-cashing chain and a significant provider of related retail financial services, announced that it expects to report a loss for its third quarter ended March 31, 2001. The Company expects to report revenues of approximately $59.8 million for the third quarter, with a loss for the quarter expected to range from approximately $4.1 to $4.4 million, resulting in a quarterly diluted loss per share ranging from approximately $0.41 to $0.43. The expected diluted loss per share would be less than the analysts’ estimates of $0.56 to $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter.

Jay B. Shipowitz, President and Chief Operating Officer stated, “The expected quarterly loss stems from accelerating store closures and an increased loan loss provision on Goleta National Bank (GNB) loan participations. The Company has been in a growth period for many years, especially with the recent acquisitions of 114 stores. We have concluded that, in order to continue growth and enhance the Company’s ability to be competitive, it is necessary to close several unprofitable or under-performing stores; our operations can then focus on our most productive stores. We expect our productivity, efficiency, and profitability to increase in fiscal 2002 and thereafter due to this action. We also expect to continue to pursue opening up new locations and opportunistic acquisitions. We anticipate that during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001, we will have opened approximately 50 new locations. The consumer acceptance for the loan product (Advance Cash Express) has exceeded our expectations; during the first nine months of fiscal 2001, customers have completed over 1,000,000 loan transactions at ACE stores. The GNB loan participations have been profitable, and we expect that to continue. We believe that the loan product will continue to bring significant revenues to ACE.”

Approximately 50 percent of the difference between the analysts’ estimates and the Company’s expected quarterly results would be attributable to less- than-anticipated profits from the Company’s participations in loans made by GNB at the Company’s stores. The losses resulting from borrowers’ nonpayment of loans are expected to exceed the Company’s loan-loss allowance. That allowance was based on the Company’s prior experience with its “payday loan” product.

The remainder of the difference between the analysts’ estimates and the Company’s expected quarterly results is attributable to the Company’s plans to accelerate the closure of approximately 84 unprofitable or underperforming stores. The Company would typically close these stores at various times over the next two or three years depending on the circumstances of each store and its local market. The Company has frequently made decisions to close unprofitable or underperforming stores to coincide with the expiration of store leases. The Company has determined, however, that closing these stores in the near future would benefit its future operations. The store closings are expected to occur before June 30, 2001. A store-closing expense of up to $8.6 million is expected, which would include costs associated with lease terminations, reduction of employees, write-off of goodwill, and disposals of certain fixed assets and inventory because of store closings. Prior to these store closings, the Company owned 1,055 locations. The 84 stores planned to be closed constitute approximately 8 percent of the Company’s owned locations.

Mr. Shipowitz further remarked, “As previously disclosed, our loan loss provision relating to loan participations purchased from GNB were originally established on the assumption that loan losses would be consistent with our experience with our previous payday loan product. In this quarter, our third full fiscal quarter of purchasing loan participations, we have concluded that the new loan product has performed differently and resulted in greater losses than anticipated. GNB and ACE have had some time to see how the product has performed as it has been more extensively offered over the last year; GNB continues to refine the underwriting criteria, and we have established new procedures for collections. These methods have already begun to substantially improve our collection rate.”

Donald H. Neustadt, chief executive officer, stated, “We are disappointed that the third-quarter financial results are less than expected. Though the store closings contribute to the loss, we believe that it was prudent to take the charge to better position the Company for the future. The accelerated store closings reflect our focus on long-term productivity and better use of capital. We cannot justify any additional investment in marginal stores due to factors such as location or market suitability. We anticipate increased profitability in future years because of the closures. Moreover, with the acquisitions of 114 stores, ACE will remain on track for network growth for fiscal 2001, even with the closures.”

For the entire fiscal year ending June 30, 2001, ACE now estimates that its diluted earnings per share will range between approximately $0.03 and $0.05. For its next fiscal year, ending June 30, 2002, ACE now estimates, based on currently available information and assumed business trends, that its total revenue will range from approximately $210 million to $215 million, resulting in diluted earnings per share ranging from approximately $1.30 to $1.36.

More information will be provided when the Company announces its full financial results for the third quarter, including a “Business Outlook” during the week of April 16, 2001.

About the Company

ACE Cash Express, Inc. is headquartered in Irving, Texas and is the largest owner, operator and franchiser of check-cashing stores in the United States. Founded in 1968, the company has a total network of 1,221 stores, consisting of 1,055 company-owned stores and 166 franchised stores in 33 states and the District of Columbia. ACE also maintains automatic check- cashing machines, which provide financial services without the need for a service associate, at 71 locations. ACE offers a broad range of financial and check-cashing services and is one of the largest providers of MoneyGram wire transfer transactions. In addition, ACE offers money orders, bill payment services, and prepaid local and long distance telecommunication services. Under ACE’s agreement with Goleta National Bank (GNB), GNB currently makes small consumer loans available to customers at various ACE company-owned stores. The company’s website is found at [][1].




E-xact Transactions Ltd. has recently signed an agreement with Intrawest
Corporation to integrate its’ transaction processing services for Intrawest’s
new online resort technology.
Intrawest is the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts
across North America. The company owns ten mountain resorts, including
Whistler/Blackcomb, North America’s most popular mountain resort, as well as
several golf and beach resorts. E-xact will provide a critical piece for their
new online infrastructure by processing all the online transactions for
each of
their resorts and provide independent financial audit of these transactions.
“E-xact provides a world-class solution and we’re thrilled to be working with
Intrawest and their partners – Pivotal Software and Microsoft in bringing
transaction automation to their resorts. Our services fit especially well due
to our deep reach into both Canadian and U.S. financial networks,” says Peter
Fahlman, President and CEO of E-xact. “We already provide transaction services
to the Resort Ownership group, so Intrawest management can now get complete
financial reporting for both of these business units through one easy
interface – in real-time!”

Intrawest will rollout several services and marketing campaigns over the
months for on-line ticket sales, reservations, renewals, and miscellaneous
product sales. Last year Intrawest saw 6.2 million skiers, 546,000 rounds of
golf, and 8,000 yearly members – many of whom will be using these new online

“The scope of our business required the right partner for handling our
financial transactions and we’re pleased with the choice we’ve made with
E-xact. Their technology provided the kind of performance and scale we were
looking for and their continued work with other high profile companies like
Dell Computer, Advanced Book Exchange and Sony Music, gives us great
as we launch our online initiatives,” says Kevin Stunder, Director of
Intrawest’s E-commerce Division.

About E-xact Transactions Ltd. (CDNXEXZ.U)

E-xact specializes in the real-time, secure movement of mission critical
financial information. E-xact offers clients on-line automated application
services through Speedy Merchant, and transactional services for IP-based
Point-Of-Sale. Headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., further information is
available at

About Intrawest Corporation (NYEIDR, TSEITW)

Intrawest is the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts
across North America. The company owns many of North America’s most popular,
world-class, four-season resorts including Whistler/Blackcomb. The company is
headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. and is located online at



CardSelect International announced that it is ready to offer its credit card and loyalty card system for integration into a bank’s services. This back-end system enables card issuers to offer credit cards with multiple loyalty programs to their customers.

This new technology platform will allow consumers to select the merchant reward programs they use most often and link them either online or offline to their financial transaction card of choice. The company can tailor the program to work efficiently in either magnetic stripe or smart card environments. CardSelect is offering the service to card issuers and processors. CardSelect was awarded a United States Patent in 1999 for its “Gateway Apparatus for Designing and Issuing Multiple Application Cards”. This technology enables multiple applications from different vendors to be combined on virtual cards, magnetic stripe cards and/or smart cards. Consumers would need only one card to pay for purchases and to accumulate and track merchant loyalty points/miles.

According to Holger Mackenthun, president of CardSelect International, issuers are currently exploring various new options to make their card programs more appealing to customers. “Card issuers must find ways other than low interest rates to differentiate their products and brands in a crowded marketplace,” Mackenthun says. “That’s why we are confident that our loyalty program solution will help banks create an exciting value proposition for their cardholders and associated merchants.”

About CardSelect International

CardSelect International was founded by former executives of a major international smart card manufacturer. The company has developed a patented loyalty platform for customizing and issuing credit cards, smart cards and multiple application cards both online and offline. The company provides backend services for loyalty programs and co-branding solutions that enables consumers to personalize an ALL IN ONE CARD with their favorite merchant and membership club reward programs. More information on CardSelect can be found on the company’s web site at [][1].