AmEx & AOL

American Express Publishing Corporation announced a content agreement with America Online, the world’s leading interactive services company, under which content from American Express Publishing magazines Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine will be available across several America Online brands.

Under the agreement, travel and epicurean content from Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine will be available to online consumers through co-branded sites available across America Online brands including AOL, CompuServe and Articles, reviews, recipes and other promotional opportunities from the magazines will be available to the more than 31 million AOL and CompuServe members and the tens of millions of additional visitors to The magazines will be promoted in the Travel Channel and House & Home Channel of the America Online brands, in areas on entertaining, travel interests and more. AOL members will also be able to access the magazines through AOL Keyword: Travel + Leisure, and AOL Keyword: Food & Wine. As part of the agreement, AOL will also be promoted in all American Express Publishing magazines: Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Departures, T&L Golf, Travel + Leisure Family, and SkyGuide.

![][1] In addition, America Online and Travel + Leisure will work together on a consumer survey called Travel America, to be presented in both online and print media. An online poll will be created by Travel + Leisure and conducted by America Online, and the results will be published as a story in Travel + Leisure later this year. Currently celebrating its 30th year, Travel + Leisure is the world’s largest travel magazine.

Richard Fairfield, CFO/VP, Business Development, American Express Publishing, said, “We are thrilled to expose content from Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine to America Online’s wide audience. In addition, by setting up customized versions of and, we can offer users of the America Online brands great deals on our magazines, books, and other products.”

Jonathan Sacks, President of AOL, said, “American Express Publishing is a leader in luxury lifestyle publications, and I’m pleased to make their great content on travel, food and entertaining available to the users of our brands. Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine are extremely popular, and I’m sure our members will appreciate being able to more easily access online all the features, recipes, travel tips and other information the magazines offer.” American Express Publishing is the leading publisher of luxury lifestyle magazines. Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Departures, T&L Golf, and Travel + Leisure Family magazines are part of the American Express Publishing Corporation, a subsidiary of the American Express Company managed by Time, Inc. under the terms of an agreement signed in March 1993. The company also publishes SkyGuide and a variety of cooking, travel, wine, time management, and financial books and products, plus a custom publishing group.

[1]: /graphic/aol/aol_logo.gif


Credit Ed Week

National Credit Education Week will get underway next week. The national public service campaign is sponsored by the American Collectors Association, Creditors International, and the JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. The campaign focuses on American youth. Yesterday, FL-based InCharge Institute of America said it will release a study that found over half of the survey respondents indicated their parents did not talk to them about the importance of a good credit rating or using credit cards responsibly. The JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is releasing a book entitled: “Improving Financial Literacy: What Schools and Parents Can and Cannot Do”, which is largely based on the results from JumpStart’s 2000 survey measuring 12th graders’ level of knowledge of personal finance basics.


Cubic NYC Deal

Cubic Transportation Systems said Monday it has been awarded two contracts totaling $8 million to provide more gating and computer equipment to support New York City Transit’s ‘MetroCard’ system. The central computer system stores all data collected on the transit system’s ‘MetroCard’ reloadable magnetic stripe card, including entries, transfers, fares and discounts. It handles more than 6.5 million transactions daily for New York City Transit’s bus and rail systems, Long Island Bus and the New York City Department of Transportation, which contracts with seven independent bus operators. In February, Cubic won a $20 million contract to provide the nation’s first interstate “touchless” mass transit ticketing system. The Washington (DC) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority named Cubic the prime contractor for a new regional program, linking payment for WMATA buses serving Washington, D.C. and parts of Maryland and Virginia with the Metro’s existing ‘SmarTrip’ fare collection system. Cubic-designed payment systems for mass transit are in place in more than 40 major markets on five continents. (CF Library 2/2/01; 3/28/01)


Infinite Perks

VISA announced yesterday it is beefing up its global premium card with an exclusive offer from Guggenheim museums. Through the end of this year, ‘VISA Infinite’ cardholders will receive two-for-one admission to any of the Guggenheim museums worldwide and a 10% discount on Guggenheim publications in the Guggenheim Online Store. VISA introduced the new card in October in conjunction with National City. The ‘VISA Infinite’ card, originally announced by VISA in Oct 1998, features no preset spending limit, a high minimum credit limit, a customized reward system and a premium concierge service. National City is charging $150 per year for the card. (CF Library 10/30/98; 10/4/00)


PhoneMiles Rewards

A Canadian firm has launched the ‘PhoneMiles Reward Program’ which enables consumers to earn and accumulate free long distance airtime from every purchase they make with retailers using a special POS system. Ontario-based UniLink says each participating retailer receives a ‘Unilink P.O.S.’ terminal and a supply of ‘PhoneMiles’ cards. The first time a consumer visits any retail partner outlet and makes a purchase, they will be invited to become a member and will be gifted with free 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. In the first 75 days of the program, UniLink has signed up over 255 retail partners, mainly in the Greater Toronto area, with more than 16,500 ‘PhoneMiles’ members.


GemSafe Enterprise

Gemplus S.A., the world’s leading provider of smart card solutions, released the next generation of GemSAFE Enterprise, a corporate security solution enabling companies to protect their business communications. GSE offers the most advanced security solutions, combining smart card and public key infrastructure technologies to secure network applications and data transactions. The solution safeguards privacy throughout the enterprise and external business communication by providing controls over authentication and access.

The key added features of the next generation GSE include multiple PKI support and an enhanced card management system, providing remote diagnostics and maintenance. The added capabilities in the new version enable businesses to print and personalize their cards locally, or through a Gemplus personalization center for larger deployments. Combining the card management system with user stations and a development kit, the solution allows businesses to deploy and manage the entire lifecycle of smart cards in-house. The flexibility of the solution makes it possible for enterprises to personalize card systems to fit their individual needs.

The GSE solution customer-base includes a broad range of multi-national corporations, such as ABN AMRO, BRED Banque, British Petroleum, Connecticut Hospital Association, Czech Government, Mondadori Informatica Education, PinkRoccade, Telecom Italia Mobile and Telefonica.

“GemSAFE Enterprise fits our needs well. It was necessary to find a solution that accommodates strong controls for access and authentication,” said Eric Koop, VP for ABN AMRO Bank. “We have trust in the GemSAFE solution; we now have peace of mind that communication and transaction information is being conducted in a secure and convenient manner.”

Pete Lindstrom, a Senior Security Analyst from Hurwitz Group states: “The smart card industry is poised for growth as PKI becomes more widely adopted and e-businesses increase their demand for stronger authentication than the use of a password. Smart cards play a key role in boosting the potential of PKI, authentication, and digital signatures; providing a significant increase in security.” Offering tamper-resistant storage of encryption keys and digital certificates, smart cards are an ideal way to secure and maintain authorized access for business-critical information and applications. GSE provides smart card solutions that meet rigorous security needs for a variety of industries such as retail, banking, and healthcare. Smart cards offer portability and complete control over information access for convenience and protection of privacy.

About Gemplus

GEMPLUS: the world’s leading smart card solutions provider. Since its creation in 1988, Gemplus International S.A.(Euronext: Sicovam 5768 and Nasdaq:GEMP) has driven the global marketing and deployment of smart card-based applications for telecommunications, financial services and e-business security.

Gemplus is instrumental throughout the value chain — chip design, card management systems, software development, and consulting — delivering integrated custom-made solutions for the security, personalization and privacy management needs of clients and partners worldwide.

Gemplus technology has played a defining role in the development of wireless telephony since the introduction of SIM cards into the GSM standard in 1990. For more than a decade, Gemplus has pioneered applications that enable network operators around the world to answer the changing needs of their customers. Gemplus was first to market with a 3G card and supplies a product range compliant with new and emerging transmission standards – 2.5G, 3G. In 2000, revenue was 1.205 billion Euros, up 57% from the previous year’s 767 million Euros. Net income was 99 million Euros. Gemplus employs more than 7800 people in 37 countries worldwide.

Since December 11, 2000, Gemplus shares have been trading on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on Nasdaq Stock Market(TM) at GEMP in the form of ADSs. Gemplus: [][1] Gemplus is a registered trademark and service mark of Gemplus S.A. GemSAFE and the Gemplus logo are trademarks and service marks of Gemplus S.A. RSA Security is a trademark and service mark of RSA Security, Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.



Datacard Consult p7

Datacard Group announced it has assembled an elite team of smart card specialists that will provide card issuers with a wide range of security evaluation services. The new group, called Datacard Consult p7, will be based in London and serve major card issuers around the world.

The team, which is comprised of experienced mathematicians, cryptographers and smart card chip experts, is already working closely with a number of the world’s largest corporations to measure and improve the security of high-profile smart card programs.

“Creating a trusted platform is a paramount concern for most smart card programs, especially for financial and personal data applications”, said Graham Higgins, Head of Datacard Consult p7. “We believe we have the most accomplished team in the industry for measuring and improving the integrity and security of a chip, an operating system or an entire smart card program. “Essentially, we examine our customer’s chips and operating systems with the skill associated with a more sophisticated attack,” Higgins said. “We generally are able to find fraud, theft and forgery risks that our customers were not expecting.”

Higgins said that although Datacard Consult p7 customers have talented in-house technical staff, they don’t have the specialized skills required to uncover security gaps that can be exploited by the more sophisticated attacks. “Security risks change constantly. Thieves are always attempting to leapfrog the latest security measures,” Higgins said. “Fortunately, because we have a gifted team that focuses exclusively on the smart card, we understand this reality and strive to remain several steps ahead of the latest attack strategies.”

Higgins, along with many of the security experts who comprise the team, previously worked for a company called platform seven (p7), which Datacard acquired in March 2000. p7 as the research and development arm of National Westminster Bank and creator of the Mondex electronic purse scheme and MULTOS operating system, had developed a worldwide reputation for innovative, robust software products and unmatched consultative services.

“Acquiring p7 greatly expanded our smart card portfolio,” said Jerry Johnson, Datacard president and CEO. “We’re now able to provide our customers with the world’s most complete line of smart card issuance and smart card management solutions — including an end-to-end architecture for issuance of multi-application smart cards.

“The acquisition also provided us with the nucleus for Datacard Consult p7, which will become a vital resource for our customers,” Johnson said. “Our mission is to help our customers develop smart card programs that are successful out of the gate and over the long run. Datacard Consult p7 services are a vital part of our overall solution.”

Datacard Consult p7 expects to provide services for a variety of organizations in a number of markets, including financial, healthcare, telecommunications, retail, transportation, insurance, government and education. They also expect to continue providing application development and chip / card evaluation services to all industry sectors.

“Smart cards, especially multi-application smart cards, will store a variety of private and valuable data,” Higgins said. “It will be imperative that card issuers protect this data and preserve trusted relationships with their cardholders. We believe we’re uniquely qualified to help card issuers accomplish that.”

Datacard Group is a world leader in innovative plastic card personalization and identity management solutions. The company provides its customers with integrated systems for a variety of financial, identification and healthcare applications. A diverse solutions portfolio features a broad range of card-related products and services, including the world’s best-selling card personalization and printing systems. Datacard Group also offers smart card life cycle management software, smart card personalization systems, smart card personalization applications and a variety of products and services designed to enhance card-issuing operations. Datacard Corporation, doing business as Datacard Group, is privately held and based in Minnetonka, Minn. The company serves customers in more than 200 countries worldwide. [][1]



IVI Acquistion

The French firm Ingenico made it official last week that it is merging with IVI Checkmate. The two firms entered into merger discussions in February. Under terms of the deal, Ingenico will acquire all of the outstanding shares which it does not already own of IVI Checkmate in a cash acquisition valued at approximately $55.3 million. Prior to the deal Ingenico owned about 9% of IVI. 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 $5.2 million. IVI Checkmate will use these proceeds for working capital and other general corporate purposes. This investment immediately increases Ingenico’s ownership of IVI Checkmate’s outstanding common stock to approximately 19.9%. (CF Library 2/5/01)


Hypercom Croatia Deal

Hypercom Corporation has delivered 6000 T7PS and S8 Point of Sale terminals to Privredna Banka Zagreb in Croatia with a further 1000 to be shipped in May. This deal makes Hypercom the leading provider of POS payment terminals, and PBZ the largest POS acquirer in the country.

With its strategic partner, The New Intesa Group, one of the top ten European banking Groups, out of Italy, PBZ’s business strategy is to become a client-driven organisation using modern banking techniques and introducing new products into a newly dynamic market.

In 1998 PBZ installed a card processing host system and together with Hypercom built a fast modern transaction authorisation network, in order to facilitate profitable merchant acquisition. Since then, the bank has become the largest acquirer in the country. It now has a complete Hypercom infrastructure in place, POS – PIN pads Term Master IENs – IEN View, so that PBZ, unlike other banks in Croatia, can now accept all card types (Europay/MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Diners) on their POS terminals and perform extremely fast authorisations.

“Recently we have seen dynamic changes in the economic and social structure of Croatia as it adjusts to the standards of other European countries. PBZ is committed to matching this growth and our partnership with Hypercom allows us to provide the best service that our customers demand,” said Flora Lendvai, head of the card department at PBZ.

Hypercom’s T7PS terminal, upgrades authorisation-only equipment, allowing merchants to move to electronic data capture and accept debit cards for the first time. T7PS can read all types of credit, debit, check and charge cards. The T7PS can also accept new smart cards, is EMV certified, and an external PIN pad can be attached to support cardholder entry of PIN numbers. Dedicated function keys allow one-step operation of everyday processes, simplifying operations and making it an extremely popular choice with merchants. “We are pleased to have been chosen by PBZ as their strategic POS partner and look forward to working with them in the future as they roll out smart card programs, provide more cash register integration and communication options to merchants,” said Robert McLaughlin, Managing Director of Hypercom EMEA. “In addition, plans are being discussed to migrate the bank to Hypercom’s ICE platform with the many value-added services that it offers.”

About Hypercom ([][1])

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers. Hypercom’s products include secure card payment terminals and web appliances, networking equipment and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards and traditional payment applications. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom maintains an installed base of more than 4 million card payment terminals which operate in over 100 countries and conduct more than 2.85 billion transactions annually. Hypercom’s Internet address is [][2]

About Privredna Banka Zagreb

PBZ has been in operation since 1962, when it was formed as an investment bank in the former Republic of Croatia. In 1989, PBZ was constituted as a joint stock company. It is fully licensed for all domestic and international banking activities through its business divisions. PBZ has a network of 16 branches and over 150 offices throughout Croatia (and representative offices in Frankfurt and Zurich).



VISA & ValiCert

Furthering the security of e-Transactions, ValiCert, Inc., a premier provider of trust solutions for electronic business transactions, announced that its newly announced ValiCert Trust Services has been selected by Visa U.S.A., the world’s largest consumer payments system. As part of this strategic relationship, Visa U.S.A. has selected ValiCert Trust Services to support its recently unveiled Visa Payer Authentication Service, which is part of Visa’s Secure Commerce Program. The ValiCert Trust Service solution is expected to allow Visa U.S.A. to quickly deploy the necessary infrastructure to provide proof management services to Visa member banks worldwide through the new Visa Payer Authentication Service.

Visa’s Payer Authentication Service enables card issuers to confirm the cardholder’s identity to the online merchant during the virtual checkout process. This service delivers a major benefit to consumers by protecting them against unauthorized use of their cards and gives merchants increased confidence in accepting payment cards for online transactions. Visa’s Payer Authentication Service uses the flexibility of ValiCert Trust Services to provide a record of the authenticated transaction. ValiCert’s new set of managed services, which is designed to simplify and speed up the deployment of secure business transaction infrastructures, allows customers of VTS in finance, banking, healthcare, e-Business, m-Commerce and other areas to rapidly and effectively address complex business problems in a valid, highly secure and provable environment with a minimal ramp up period.

“ValiCert’s security solution has played an important role for Visa in building our Payer Authentication Service,” said Kevin Weller, senior vice president of Technology at e-Visa, a division of Visa U.S.A. “Through partnerships with leading security firms like ValiCert, Visa can deliver on its promise to build consumer confidence in online shopping and protect cardholders and merchants from fraud.”

“Our mission with ValiCert Trust Services is to provide e-Commerce enterprises with the fundamental Internet infrastructure they require to perform online Transactions,” said Yosi Amram, president and chief executive officer of ValiCert. “Through our partnership with Visa U.S.A., ValiCert is able to dramatically extend its reach around the world, demonstrating the value of securing online transactions against fraud, as well as providing a valid forum for dispute resolution. Working closely with Visa U.S.A. is an excellent opportunity to showcase the benefits of selecting a ValiCert solution as a viable trusted source.”

About ValiCert Trust Services

ValiCert Trust Services (VTS) has been designed to deal with complex business challenges while providing a fully managed service that results in a complete business solution for the customer. Outsourcing e-Commerce infrastructure to ValiCert through the ValiCert Trust Services offering provides many benefits, including:

— Faster time to market through quick and easy deployment

— Cost-effective deployment, leveraging ValiCert’s investment in:

— Deployed trust infrastructure

— Managed systems and applications

— Staff trained in secure operations

— Investment protection against technology obsolescence and staff turn-over

— Peace of mind from bank-grade data center security and mission-critical reliability

— Trusted Third Party neutrality

To allow customers to greatly reduce time-to-market, ValiCert Trust Services also features a range of useful QuickStart programs. In addition, if a project requires customization or integration of third-party software, the ValiCert Professional Services Organization can deliver complete solution integration.

ValiCert Trust Services has been designed for applications within several vertical markets. For each of these distinct applications, ValiCert Trust Services can be tailored to provide a unique solution to meet the demands and challenges of each market.

About ValiCert

ValiCert is a leading provider of trusted transaction infrastructure products and managed services for conducting business safely over the Internet. The company’s open and neutral security solutions are designed to enable enterprises and service providers to protect all phases of the transaction lifecycle regardless of the type of credentials that are used for authentication purposes. ValiCert’s products and services are available through its direct sales force, resellers and global affiliate network.

ValiCert has technology and marketing alliances with a range of security and e-Commerce companies, as well as systems integrators. The company’s customers include Global 2000 organizations in financial services, telecom, healthcare and government sectors. ValiCert is headquartered in Mountain View, California and has offices throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. ValiCert is available on the World Wide Web at [][1].



CardData 1Q/01

Early returns for the first quarter are showing a sharper decline in receivables than usual. Last year, first quarter outstandings were flat and in prior years, the 1Q contraction ranged from 1% to 3%. Among smaller issuers reporting thus far, the contraction has averaged about 6%, according to CardData ([][1]). A few of the top issuers have also indicated a sharp drop in 1Q/01 receivables on the heels of the sinking economy. 1Q/01 results for the top issuers will be released starting next week.

(Receivables in $Millions)
Baxter CU (IL) $85.2m $91.8m -7.2%
Trustmark Natl (MS) $61.5m $65.8m -6.5%
Pulaski Bank (AR) $46.0m $47.1m -2.3%
Pacific Service CU (CA) $39.1m $41.5m -5.8%
Provident Central CU (CA) $37.3m $40.1m -7.0%
Total $269.1m $286.3m -6.0%
Source: CardData (



Leadership Reclaimed

The acquisition of the Wachovia card portfolio should give Bank One/First USA a badly needed shot-in-the-arm. Since the third quarter of 1998, Bank One/First USA has lost more than ten million gross accounts (5.6 million active accounts) in the wake of aggressive pricing policies that produced a strong consumer backlash and a fair amount of litigation. Bank One/First USA’s image has also been badly tarnished over the past 18 months among shareholders, resulting in a massacre of management. Yesterday’s announced acquisition of Wachovia’s portfolio will add about 2.8 million active accounts to Bank One/First USA’s portfolio, effectively replacing half of the issuer’s recent losses in its account base. More importantly, Wachovia’s pristine portfolio will add more than $8 billion to Bank One/First USA’s outstandings and may immediately add as much as $100 million per year to Bank One’s aftertax earnings. Combined, Bank One/First USA’s new portfolio will exceed $75 billion, making it second only to Citibank. However MBNA, with about $71 billion in domestic outstandings, is not far behind. As the new top management for First USA continues to dig in, it appears the horse race among the top ten issuers is switching gears.