Three leading wireless solution providers, Baltimore Technologies, AU-System,
and Gemplus, announced the world’s first and most advanced security and
authentication technologies featuring digital signatures over General Packet
Radio Services networks.

This ground-breaking development in secure mobile commerce has been
achieved in partnership with Ericsson, using the R520 handset, and will be demonstrated at
the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany from 22-28 March.
Security and bandwidth have been two critical success factors in the uptake of
mobile commerce across the globe. GPRS provides at least four times greater
bandwidth than typical GSM based connections and introduces core network
changes in preparation for 3G networks. The new mobile commerce and business
services require even greater security which is now being addressed jointly by
Baltimore Technologies, AU-System and Gemplus.

E-security for mobile devices is provided by digital certificates, which are
issued using a Wireless Public Key Infrastructure (WPKI) by network operators
and content providers. These digital certificates are stored on the mobile
devices using S/WIM (Subscriber Wireless Identity Module), the latest
development in chip cards. The combination of WPKI and GPRS enables the
provision of secure mobile services in the next generation mobile market.
According to Bo Albertson, Marketing Director Communications, Ericsson Mobile
Communications, “Ericsson regards mobile e-commerce as one of the exiting new
applications enabled by the combination of sufficient security level in the
phone and the greatly enhanced data transmission rates offered by GPRS. This
project gives powerful proof of the phone becoming a personal trusted device
allowing for new exciting services and applications and we are very pleased to
participate with the R 520 handset.”

“GPRS allows customers to access more data-enriched services with the added
benefits of ‘always on, faster download’,” stated John Fallon, Director of
Wireless at Baltimore Technologies. “This combined offering from three leading
wireless solution providers makes available a comprehensive integrated
solution in tandem with the launch of 2.5G networks this year across the

“This is a major break-through in wireless security, which is becoming
increasingly important as GPRS and 3G networks are enabling new mobile
applications,” says Christer Bjork, Business Area Manager at AU-System. “The
solution is a great example of how AU-System, together with leading mobile
vendors, can create viable solutions based on emerging technologies and enable
a fast time-to-market.”
“The availability of secure and trusted solutions will be a major contribution
to the success of m-commerce. Gemplus has leading experience in S/WIM cards
thanks to this partnership, takes wireless networks to new levels of security
forging a Bond of Trust between consumers, financial institutions and mobile
operators,” said Patrick Imbert, Mobile Commerce Director, Gemplus.
The solution has been developed based on cutting-edge technologies from a
consortium of leading vendors within the mobile communications industry,
Baltimore Telepathy wireless e-security from Baltimore Technologies,
GemXploreTM Trust S/WIM cards from Gemplus and consultancy services from
AU-System, to achieve a complete end-to-end security solution based on the
latest WPKI and WIM standards

About GPRS

GPRS is a major step on the road towards 3G networks utilising an Internet
Protocol IP backbone and packet based communication and thus is often referred
to as 2.5G. Bandwidth is significantly greater than traditional GSM networks
opening up a far greater range of services for mobile users, all of which
require enhanced security. Such networks offer subscribers “always on”
connectivity, eliminating repetitive and time-consuming reconnections making
mobile intranet services possible, such access to corporate databases and
resources on the move.

About Baltimore Technologies
Baltimore Technologies develops and markets security products and services to
enable companies to develop trusted, secure systems for e-business, the
Internet and mobile commerce. Its products include a wide range of Public Key
Infrastructure (PKI) products and services, wireless e-security solutions,
cryptographic tool-kits, access control & authorization, content security
(MIMEsweeper products) security applications and hardware cryptographic
devices. Baltimore’s global professional services organization offers a wide
variety of consulting, training and deployment support to its customers
worldwide. Baltimore Technologies markets and sells its solutions worldwide
directly and through the TrustedWorld partner program. TrustedWorld includes
many of the world’s leading technology companies and a wide variety of global,
regional and local business alliance partners.

Baltimore Technologies employs over 1200 people worldwide and operates from
over 38 cities, with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland; London, UK; Boston, USA
and Sydney, Australia. Baltimore Technologies plc is a public company with
listings on NASDAQ (BALT) and the London Stock Exchange (BLM). For further
information and press releases on Baltimore Technologies, please visit

About AU-System and WAP

AU-System is an active member in the WAP Forum and has participated in the
development of the WAP browser used by Ericsson in its terminals. The company
also has a distributor’s agreement with Ericsson, giving AU-System the
right to
licence the WAP browser to other suppliers of communication devices as the AUS
WAP Browser. The browser is compliant with the latest specifications from the
WAP Forum and the client list includes companies like Motorola, Samsung,
and LG Electronics. Apart from software licences, AU-System also offers
consultancy services such as service development for mobile operators,
solutions development, e.g. secure mobile banking and stock trading, and
adaptation of the AUS WAP browser to various environments.

About AU-System

AU-System is a leading Mobile Internet consultancy. Through the subsidiary
SandbergTrygg, the company also offers integrated services for marketing
communications. Major clients include Ericsson, Telia, Scania,
and Singapore Telecom. AU-System was established in 1974 and currently employs
more than 1000 staff in offices in Sweden, the U.K., Italy, the U.S., Thailand
and Singapore. AU-System is listed on Attract40 of the OM Stockholm Exchange,
under the symbol AUS. For more information, please visit

About GemXploreTM Trust

GemXploreTM Trust is an enhanced SIM card with full support of Public Key
Cryptography to enable end-to-end mobile transaction security. It brings the
mobile phone one step closer to being our most trusted personal device.
GemXploreTM Trust is a SIM/WIM card, enabling RSA-1024 bit digital signature,
fully compliant with the latest WAP standards.

About Gemplus

GEMPLUS the world’s leading smart card solutions provider Since its creation
in 1988, Gemplus International S.A.(Euronext Sicovam 5768 and NASDAQGEMP)
driven the global marketing and deployment of smart card-based applications
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
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 BE, up
57% from the previous year’s 767ME. Net income was 99 ME. Gemplus employs more
than 7800 people in 37 countries worldwide.
Since 11 December 2000, Gemplus shares have been trading on Euronext Paris
First Market and on Nasdaq in the form of ADSs. Visit our website


EAL4 Augmented

Gemplus, the world’s leading smart card solutions provider, and STMicroelectronics, a world leader in designing and manufacturing secure smart card microcontrollers, announced the successful security certification of a smart card solution that combines Gemplus’ embedded software and ST’s ST19 hardware platform. The certificate was granted under the new ISO15408 standard, also known as the Common Criteria, to a level of EAL4 Augmented. The ST 19 platform and embedded Gemplus secure software will be used in smart cards for telecommunications and banking applications.

![][1] For some years, the smart card industry has recognized the pre-eminent importance of formal security evaluation and certification to internationally recognized criteria. ISO15408 security evaluations are performed by independent, accredited Evaluation Facilities licensed by an appropriate Certification Body. In France, where the ST/Gemplus security evaluation was performed, the Certification Body is the DCSSI (Direction Centrale de la Securite des Systemes d’Information), a government organization that reports to the National Defense General Secretary. The evaluation was performed by SERMA Technologies, based at Pessac, near Bordeaux, and the resulting certificate was awarded by DCSSI.

“We are proud of this common achievement with Gemplus, which illustrates the benefits of re-using existing platform certifications,” said Maurizio Felici, Group Vice-President and General Manager of ST’s smart card division. “Because the ST19 hardware, including its development environment, was already certified to ISO14508, the evaluation and certification process for the new product was faster and less expensive, which benefits both our immediate customers and their end users.” The ST19 was the world’s first smart card chip platform to gain ISO15408 certification, which was awarded in May 2000.

“Increasingly sophisticated security measures are required to protect businesses from technological attack,” said Daniel Bois, Senior Vice-President Technology and R&D of Gemplus. “The certificate is a key achievement for us, since it will enable our customers to implement, on a world-wide basis, fully secure smart card based solutions for all types of electronic transactions.” The ST19 family of microcomputer-based smart card ICs employs state-of-the-art memory management techniques to allow the secure implementation of multiple applications on a single smart card. ST19 devices also have an outstanding resistance to the attack known as DPA (Differential Power Analysis), to which many other designs have proven vulnerable.


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 BE, up 57% from the previous year’s 767ME. Net income was 99 ME. Gemplus employs more than 7800 people in 37 countries worldwide. Since 11 December 2000, Gemplus shares have been trading on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the Nasdaq stock market in the form of ADSs. Gemplus: [][2]

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics (formerly SGS-THOMSON Microelectronics) is a global independent semiconductor company, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on the ParisBourse and on the Milan Stock Exchange. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive products and industrial automation and control systems. In 2000, the Company’s net revenues were $7,813.2 million and net earnings were $1,452.1 million. Further information on ST can be found at [][3].

[1]: /graphic/stmicroelectronics/st.gif



Visa Canada announced that Canadians
boosted their spending on Visa cards in 2000 by 15.9 percent to more than $93
billion extending Visa’s run of double-digit growth into its eighth year.
Visa Canada predicts that the record will remain intact in 2001 with
spending on Visa cards expected to increase by 12 percent to more than $100

The projected spending reflects the findings of a just-completed third
annual national consumer survey that reveals Canadians continue to be upbeat
about their personal spending and prospects despite some concerns over the
general economic outlook. According to the Visa sponsored research conducted
in February by Thompson Lightstone & Company Limited, 83 percent of the
respondents expect personal spending this year to either increase or remain
unchanged. Last year, 81 percent expected to increase or maintain their

Expectations for personal spending mirror confidence in personal
prospects with 41 percent of the respondents this year claiming they are very
confident about their personal outlook. It is the highest such rating in the
three-year history of the study. Last year 36 percent expressed strong
confidence in their personal prospects compared to 38 percent in 1999.
Optimism about personal spending continues to be highest in the Province
of Quebec where 92 percent of the respondents expect to increase or maintain
their personal purchasing this year. Atlantic Canadians and Ontarians, at 88
percent and 82 percent respectively, follow closely in second and third place.
In terms of personal spending priorities, in all regions clothing was the
number one priority, with the exception of British Columbia where
entertainment heads the list. The findings also show that 75 percent of the
respondents expect to either increase or maintain their use of credit cards
over the coming year, up slightly from the 72 percent who responded similarly
in the two previous studies.

“The study findings point to continued consumer confidence in personal
prospects which we expect will translate into more transactions and continued
strong growth in the Visa franchise across Canada,” stated Visa Canada
President Derek Fry. “We took a number of initiatives last year to promote
both the Visa brand and Visa card use while giving Canadians many reasons to
feel confident with the reliability and security of the Canadian payment

Last year, credit card fraud prevention was a top priority for the Visa
issuing institutions in Canada. In the three prior years fraud grew at 40
percent annually and would have exceeded $200 million last year if strong
action had not been taken. The aggressive fraud prevention measures taken by
Visa members cut the card fraud rate drastically and fraud totaled $120
million for the year. In the coming year, Visa Canada and its members will
continue to focus on fraud and on the use of chip technology for fraud

In October, the Visa issuers in Canada adopted, Zero Liability, a policy
eliminating liability for Visa cardholders who experience fraud through
unauthorized use of their cards. The introduction coincided with the launch of
a major and highly successful Internet shopping promotion involving 13
Canadian e-tailers which ran through November to December 25.
This year, Visa plans to expand its Internet promotions beyond the
Christmas season to include the Back-to-School shopping season. In Canada, the
quickly maturing Internet shopping market is expected to be worth $5.7 billion
in 2001.

In November, Visa formed a group within Visa Canada dedicated exclusively
to developing and enhancing new payment initiatives in the physical and
virtual worlds. The group, e-Visa, will focus on new markets such as
person payments, new delivery channels such as interactive TV and personal
digital assistants (PDA), new authentication and security programs and new

During 2000 Visa stepped up its efforts to be the payment choice
available to Canadians whenever and wherever they want to use their Visa
cards. Almost 850 million Visa transactions, averaging $98.58, were carried
out in stores and retail outlets of all types during the year.
On the consumer education front, Visa launched a $1.5 million personal
financial management education program for high school students last June.
Called Choices & Decisions Taking Charge of Your Financial Life, it includes
a CD ROM, teaching aids and study materials. It has been distributed to more
than 4,000 schools in Canada free of charge and is reaching almost 600,000
students annually.

About Visa Canada

As the “World’s Best Way To Pay”, Visa is the leading credit card payment
brand in Canada with more than 23 million Visa cards accepted at more than
562,000 merchant locations across the country. Visa Canada plays a pivotal
role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 26
Member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa-branded cards
generate more than $93 billion in annual volume in Canada and are accepted at
over 16,250 ATMs in Canada. Visa’s Internet address is



CardBASE Technologies Ltd* , a leading provider of
smart card solutions for secure e-commerce, announced that it has been
recommended for both ISO90012000 and TickIT by SGS Yarsley International
Certification Services Limited.

The ISO90012000 version, released last December, has a greater emphasis
placed on top management being involved in the quality processes than its
predecessor. Dedication to customer satisfaction in all phases of software
development lifecycle is a key requirement of the audit and CardBASE
achieved this with its commitment to ‘delivering customer satisfaction’.

Commenting on the announcement, Brian Kearney, CEO at CardBASE said
“achieving formal accreditation for the quality of our software engineering
and customer services functions is an important part of our business
development. Starting a year ago, we invested heavily in developing our
Quality system and this certification further enhances our ability to sell
our software into financial and government institutions who place an
emphasis on proven quality processes”.

Margaret Kavanagh, Quality Manager at CardBASE stated, “Obtaining both ISO
90012000 and TickIT is a marvellous achievement and a result of the hard
work and commitment by people at all levels within the organisation. Our
focus was to develop a quality system that works for us with maximum buy-in
from staff and management. We empowered staff with the necessary skills and
resources to generate a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement.
We now have a strong quality culture that permeates the entire organisation,
it is an ongoing process with continuous improvement and we do not intend to
stop here.”


CardBASE Technologies® a leading provider of smart card solutions for secure
e-commerce, is a European company serving world markets from its
headquarters in Ireland and offices in the United States and Africa. Since
its foundation in 1993, CardBASE Technologies has been providing innovative
smart card management systems for the Internet, Banking, Financial and
Airline markets.

The CardBASE solution supports Multiple Application Smart Cards, Card
Personalisation, Card Management, Transaction Processing and Settlement.
CardBASE solutions have been specifically designed to support the Visa
International led Common Electronic Purse Specification (CEPS), EMV and the
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) standards.



VISA International, LippoBank and PT Wicaksana Overseas International have
signed an agreement to enable Indonesian merchants to have access to a B2B
distribution card which utilizes wireless technology. The ‘LippoBank VISA
Distribution Card’ is supported by a mobile-phone- based system providing for
purchase settlement through a VISA deposit or credit card account. The new
would also enable the distributor of a product or service to outsource the
and cheque collection process. The ‘LVDC’ operates on a software solution
developed by PT Generasi Dwi Gemilang.


EPOST Card Billing

EPOST announced several leading Canadian companies that are now sending e-bills to customers through EPOST, the world’s first electronic post office. The new EPOST mailers include premier Canadian brands such as Canadian Tire, Enersource Hydro Mississauga, Sears and TELUS. These companies join the growing list of EPOST mailers, including Columbia House, The City of Toronto, Costco and Radio Shack, who are already sending mail through EPOST’s on-line delivery service.

In the coming months, the new mailers announced today will be joined by the Bay and Zellers, the retail brands of Hudson’s Bay Company, and several prominent Canadian retailers from National Retail Credit Services Company (NRCS). NRCS administers the private label credit card process for over 30 major retail organizations throughout Canada. Some of the first NRCS clients to launch with EPOST will include Holt Renfrew, Home Hardware and Petro- Canada.

“As the world’s first electronic post office, EPOST is digitizing the mail and defining a new market space in Canada. Our primary focus at this time is to build density in the electronic mailbox so that EPOST offers consumers a valuable service,” said Peter Melanson, President and CEO, EPOST. “With the announcement of these new mailers today, we believe we’ve taken another giant step forward in creating a service that will ultimately benefit all Canadians.”

Consumers who wish to receive and pay their bills through EPOST can do so by registering for a free Electronic Post Office Box at [][1]. Once registered, customers create their personal list of mailers and begin receiving their mail on-line, including e-bills. Customers can modify their EPOST preferences at any time, adding new mailers to their list as they become available.

EPOST’s free service has many advantages for consumers including:

– Convenience — EPOST keeps mail organized by offering one, convenient location for receiving the mail consumers choose to move on-line.

– Privacy and Security — All mail sent through EPOST is electronically postmarked, providing a guarantee that the mail has not been tampered with.

– Choice — EPOST lets customers choose the companies who they wish to receive mail from, and it lets them receive any type of mail, not just e-bills.

– Access — EPOST is a web-based service that lets customers access their mail when they want, where they want.


EPOST is the world’s first electronic post office. An alliance between shareholders Canada Post Corporation, Cebra Inc. (Bank of Montreal’s wholly owned e-commerce subsidiary), and TELUS Corporation, EPOST delivers the mail on-line for Canada Post. In addition to having over 130,000 Canadians register for their free EPOST box, 90 companies have committed to participate with the service. EPOST was named one of the top Canadian e-businesses in an independent survey by Bain & Company and The Globe and Mail. EPOST ranked ninth in “The e25,” an exclusive report on the 25 hottest dot-coms in Canada. For more information on EPOST, visit [][2].




Cubic Transportation Systems Australia, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic
Corp., has won the prestigious Western Sydney Industry Award for Product
Innovation for its “world-class upgrade” of CityRail’s ticketing system.
With its state-of-the-art touchscreen technology in CityRail ticketing
and successful integration of locally developed software into the existing
system, Cubic is delighted with being the co-winner of the Product Innovation

Receiving his award from New South Wales Premier Bob Carr, Cubic Australia
managing director Tom Walker said “The Product Innovation Award not only
highlights Cubic Australia’s world class upgrade of CityRail’s ticketing
but also the real benefit and strength that Western Sydney can offer
suppliers and integrators when they choose to work from here.”
“Western Sydney provides Cubic with the people, the skills, and a wealth of
local suppliers, which greatly contributes to the success of our company. The
NSW (New South Wales) government is truly providing top class infrastructure
and training for local industry, and together with CityRail, we have been able
to pass those benefits onto the travelling public,” Walker said.
“The integration of updated and new technology into the CityRail ticketing
system prolongs the life of the existing machines, reduces government spending
on machine replacement and maintenance, and makes Sydney train travel simpler
and faster for commuters.”

It has involved the successful marriage of new technology to the existing
system, an important requirement for successful implementation of ticketing
systems. The software also allows for easy enhancement in the future.
“By choosing Cubic’s flexible system back in the early 90s, CityRail not only
saves tax payers money today — it’s more cost effective to upgrade than to
replace such technology — but also leaves open future options, such as the
of smartcards and other improvements in years to come,” Walker said.
“Coming on top of our ticketing system’s performance during the Olympic peak
period last year — CityRail showed more than 99 percent availability — and
our successful delivery of the Airport Link ticketing system, we are very
pleased and honored with this award and the recognition it brings to
Cubic,” he
Walker said the Premier, Minister for Western Sydney Kim Yeadon, the state
government, other award sponsors, and Auburn local member Peter Nagle should
also be congratulated for highlighting the very real strengths of working in
the region.

Cubic Australia was also a finalist in the Information Technology category of
the Western Sydney Industry Awards.
The Western Sydney Industry Awards, run by the New South Wales Government’s
Office of Western Sydney, are the most strategic set of regional awards in
Australia. The Awards acknowledge and promote the importance of key industries
integral to the future growth and development of the nation, articulate key
drivers of growth for the region, and give vital recognition to the region’s
most innovative businesses.
Cubic already plays a major role in Sydney’s transport network as the group
behind CityRail’s ticketing system, which processes more than half a billion
ticketing transactions a year across the greater Sydney metropolitan area and
is relied upon by nearly a million commuters daily.
Cubic is a key member of the SMARTPOS consortium, which is bidding to
supply an
integrated, smartcard-based mass transit ticketing systems for Sydney and
Brisbane, Australia covering rail, bus and ferries. The members of SMARTPOS
include fellow industry leaders, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, EDS
Australia and Philips Australia.

In Australia, contact Taras Misko, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide (02)
9291 3303 0402 038 459

About Cubic

Cubic Transportation Systems is the world’s largest supplier of automated
ticketing systems and services. A world leader in innovation, Cubic was first
to introduce transit contactless smartcards in the late 1980s. Cubic’s
Australian subsidiary has been operating in NSW for 10 years, where its
CityRail solution supports close to a million journeys daily.
Cubic’s Defense Group provides instrumented training systems for military
forces, data links, avionics systems, product logistical support, battle
command training, radio communications systems, and field service operation


SMARTPOS represents a consortium of companies with a rich history of providing
world-class transport technology and financial transaction processing
solutions. The consortium consists of Cubic Transportation Systems (Australia)
Pty Ltd, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, EDS (Australia) Pty Ltd and
Philips Electronics Australia Ltd.
SMARTPOS brings together the experience and expertise necessary to introduce
and integrate a new smartcard-based, user-friendly payment system for public


NPC Promotions

National Processing Company announced several promotions this morning. “Our merchant processing business has continued to experience dramatic growth, stated Thomas A. Wimsett, president and chief executive officer of NPC. “These individuals were promoted due to their strong industry knowledge, their relentless focus on customers and their outstanding leadership skills. Collectively, these five individuals have over 71 years of industry experience.”

Donna Carbone, Senior Vice President, Risk Management

Donna Carbone’s primary areas of responsibility include credit underwriting, risk management and contract management. Prior to joining NPC in 1996, Carbone served as Director of Risk Management with First Data Merchant Services.

Mark Vogt, Senior Vice President, Merchant Services Financial Analysis

Mark Vogt is responsible for all aspects of financial planning, including business modeling, budgeting, pricing and variance analysis. Vogt is a 14-year veteran of NPC, holding a variety of positions within the Finance area.

Tammy Simcoe, Vice President, Client Relations

Tammy Simcoe is responsible for all customer service and retention efforts for the NPC Travel and Entertainment portfolio — consisting of 45 national merchants. Simcoe is a 21-year veteran of NPC, holding a variety of positions within the Merchant Services area.

Dawn M. Thompson, Vice President, Corporate Marketing

As Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Thompson will oversee the strategic direction of Corporate Marketing, spearhead public relations and external corporate communications, as well as have a strong focus on developing Marketing plans for NPC’s next generation products, such as NPC Access and AcceleratedPay. Thompson joined NPC in 2000 as Director of Corporate Marketing.

Lisa Travelstead, Vice President, Chargebacks and Retrievals

Lisa Travelstead is responsible for all aspects of merchant services’ chargebacks, retrievals, arbitration, compliance and good faith collection. Travelstead is a 24-year veteran of NPC, holding a variety of positions with the Merchant Services chargeback and retrieval area.

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) ([][1] ), a Cleveland based $89 billion financial holding company, supporting over 500,000 merchant locations, representing one out of every six 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 .




MasterCard International announced that its Global Board of Directors has
elected Lance L. Weaver as
its chairman. Mr. Weaver joined the Board of Directors of MasterCard
International in July of 1997. Mr. Weaver is a senior vice chairman and chief
administrative officer of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a wholly owned subsidiary
of MBNA Corporation (NYSE KRB). He succeeds Donald L. Boudreau, recently
retired vice chairman of The Chase Manhattan Bank, as chairman of the board of
MasterCard International.

“Lance’s experience in a broad range of banking areas, both in the U.S.
and abroad, will serve him well as the chairman of MasterCard International,”
said Robert Selander, president and CEO of MasterCard. “In nearly four years
as a director, his leadership on various issues has been instrumental in
furthering MasterCard’s international growth and success.”

“Over the many years that MasterCard and MBNA have had a long and
successful partnership, it has always been clear that MasterCard’s success
comes from its dedication to superior Customer service and innovation,” said
Mr. Weaver. “I look forward to working with each member of the global board
to continue on that successful path laid down by Don Boudreau on behalf of all
MasterCard members and their customers worldwide.”

A graduate of Georgetown University’s Business School, Mr. Weaver has held
a variety of positions in the retail banking business. Mr. Weaver is a member
of the Georgetown University Board of Regents. In addition to his board
chairmanship of MasterCard International, he serves on the board of Tower Hill
School, Wilmington Renaissance Corporation, and the Grand Opera House’s Board
of Trustees and Executive Committee. Mr. Weaver also serves as a Trustee and
member of the Board of Directors of Christiana Care Corporation and chairs the
Helen F. Graham Cancer Center Committee.

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment
brands in the world. With 22,000 member financial organizations, serving
consumers in 210 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader
in quality and innovation. Nearly 700 million MasterCard(R), Maestro(R),
Cirrus(R), and Mondex(R) cards are in circulation today. With more than
17 million locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants
than the MasterCard Card. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide
Web site at http//

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank,
N.A., a national bank, has $88.8 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest
independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit,
consumer loan, and insurance products.
(http// provides
credit card, consumer loan, retail deposit, travel, and shopping services.


Dynamic ATM Branding

AutoBranch Technologies Inc. announced an agreement with All Trans Credit Union Limited to provide Dynamic Branding financial services to 10,000 All Trans members. This marks a turning point in the financial services industry, as All Trans becomes the world’s first financial institution to take advantage of AutoBranch’s shared ATM network with Dynamic Branding technology.

Unlike conventional ATM networks, the AutoBranch network allows multiple financial institutions to seamlessly support their brand and deliver customized products and services to their clients. Once an All Trans member puts their card into the ATM, AutoBranch Dynamic Branding technology will “transform” the ATM into an All Trans ATM. From that point onward, All Trans will define and deliver its own financial services, provide relevant marketing messages, and present its distinctive “look and feel” — just as though it had created its own coast-to-coast network of ATMs.

“This is a great opportunity for our members,” said Mike Alexander, CEO of All Trans. “By taking advantage of the AutoBranch network, we can extend our reach at minimal cost while ensuring that our members have national access to convenient, surcharge-free banking. Looking forward, we can deliver products and services that today’s traditional ATM technology does not allow. And we can do it all while building our brand and delivering the All Trans personal touch.”

“We are very pleased to be working with a visionary leader like All Trans,” said John Sinton, President and CEO of AutoBranch. “Financial institutions have waited a long time for an affordable ATM channel that can support advanced transactions and CRM initiatives. That capability is available today. And very importantly, institutions can go live in a matter of weeks. Now that the first financial institution has made the move from evaluation to production, we look forward to publicly welcoming many other institutions to the network over the coming weeks and months.”

All Trans cardholders will go live on the AutoBranch network before the end of April.

About All Trans Credit Union Limited

All Trans Credit Union Ltd. strives to help members receive the newest advancements in banking technology. The company’s vision is to provide financial services anytime, anyplace to employees of affiliated bond companies and organizations. More information is available on the corporate Web site at [][1].

About AutoBranch

AutoBranch Technologies Inc. operates a financial transaction network that enables advanced, personalized financial services to be delivered through automated tellers (ATMs) with dramatically reduced costs. Dynamic Branding(TM) allows customized services for each financial institution to be delivered in a cost effective way through a shared network of automated teller machines (ATM). AutoBranch partners with ATM deployers, switching services, network technology providers and retail merchants to create and manage a global, secure network serving its unique, Web-enabled transaction service capabilities to financial institutions. The company is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and Toronto, Ontario. AutoBranch and Dynamic Branding are trademarks of AutoBranch Technologies Inc.

For further information, please see [][2].



Affinity Card King

The affinity credit card king still rules as MBNA surpassed 4,700 programs with various groups last year. The nation’s second largest bank credit card issuer now has nearly 1,200 affinity card programs in Europe and Canada producing $8.9 billion in loans. MBNA also reported this week that its agent bank program produced $13.0 billion in card receivables during 2000. Professional affinity credit card programs in the U.S. are the most active segment of MBNA’s portfolio, generating $19.9 billion in EOY 2000 outstandings from 1,400 programs. For complete current and historical details on MBNA’s portfolio visit CardData (

U.S. Credit Cards: $70.4 billion
Foreign Credit Cards $ 8.9 billion
Consumer Loans: $ 9.5 billion
TOTAL LOANS: $88.8 billion

Progs Recv
Professional Groups 1,400 $19.9 billion
European Groups 825 $ 7.4 billion
College Groups 600 $ 6.4 billion
Sports Groups 530 $ 6.1 billion
Canadian Groups 333 $ 1.5 billion
Other Groups 1,012 $25.0 billion*
Agent Banks NA $13.0 billion
TOTAL 4,700 $79.3 billion
* includes non-affinity related credit cards
SOURCE: CardData (


Electronic Clearing House Inc. announced the release of, an Internet-based portal developed for merchants who process through ECHO. The MerchantAmerica site provides ECHO merchants with a combination of e-commerce, financial and business services not offered by any other processor in the nation.

MerchantAmerica combines three common portals into one for ECHO merchants:

E-Commerce Portal:

— Inclusion in the MerchantAmerica Merchant Directory that currently contains over 1.4 million merchants across the USA.

— Three-page Internet presence, including a “Home” Page, an “About Us” page and a “Contact Us” page. Each page is created and editable by the merchant.

— Full Shopping Cart capability, allowing 1) the merchant to list, price and edit their products for sale on the Internet; and 2) consumers to view and initiate a purchase transaction from the merchant’s site.

— Statistical data management system to track visitors to the merchant’s Home Page.

— Full reporting of Internet-based sales and inquiries.

— Full “e-commerce” processing capability, allowing merchants to accept credit cards and/or checks as forms of payment over the Internet.

— Five e-mail accounts for corporate and personal use.

— Easy access to a library of corporate and product images to display on the merchant’s Home Page

. Financial Portal:

— Full online reporting and review of all credit card, debit card and check activity.

— Online real time reports on the status of collection efforts on customer-bounced checks and online check image retrieval capability.

— Same day online notice of all chargeback activity. The merchant has both the review and response capability online, significantly diminishing the paperwork normally seen by merchants in dealing with chargeback activity.

— Full access to merchant bank account balance information and recent checking account activity.

— Full capability to transfer funds and/or authorize bill payment through the merchant bank account.

— Ability by merchant to add other banks with which the merchant has a relationship that provides online service and thereby personalize MerchantAmerica to their specific banking needs.

Business Service Portal:

— Quick access to and reservation with all major travel services, including airlines, major hotels and car rental agencies.

— Quick connection to all the shipping services, including UPS, Fed Ex, Airborne and more.

— Quick and easy access to all the providers of insurance services, including life, key man, property and liability.

— Quick access to the nation’s top providers of various business services and office systems.

— Quick access to national and local news, weather and sports resources.

— A Resource Library of links to thousands of businesses that provide important merchant services, including Internet service providers, network systems sources, point-of-sale hardware providers, telecommunication service providers, office supplies and office furniture providers, security system providers and much, much more.

MerchantAmerica has been intentionally developed without any advertising banners or cluttered screens of promotional information in order to be best received and utilized each day by merchants.

Benefits to Non-ECHO Merchants

Listing in the MerchantAmerica Merchant Directory and Home Page capability are offered free of charge to any merchant in the USA while access to all portal capabilities will be available only to merchants who process payment transactions through ECHO.

Marketing MerchantAmerica

A beta program with select ECHO merchants is underway and will be operated for the month of April. A full release of MerchantAmerica to ECHO’s total merchant base is scheduled for May 1, 2001. Active promotion of MerchantAmerica to merchants at large will follow shortly thereafter. Providing a non-ECHO merchant with a free listing in the Merchant Directory and a free Home Page will motivate the merchant to evaluate a possible ECHO processing relationship further.

Once the merchant evaluates ECHO’s competitive and integrated credit card, debit card, check and collection services, and once the merchant understands the features and capabilities of the full MerchantAmerica site, many merchants are expected to decide to take advantage of a full ECHO relationship. Merchants, investors and general visitors are invited to visit and take the “Non-Member Tour” to evaluate the design and nature of the MerchantAmerica site.

Pricing for MerchantAmerica — In today’s market, a merchant can pay thousands of dollars for an interactive, editable Home Page. In addition, an Internet “gateway” (a point of entry on the Internet to a credit card processor) will cost a merchant in the range of $10 to $25 per month.

Hosting services for Home Pages typically cost from $20 to several hundred dollars a month, depending on the size of the site, and providing e-commerce capability to a merchant’s Home Page is typically sold for several hundred dollars by many sales organizations and banks.

Shopping cart programs can cost merchants from several hundred to several thousands of dollars to design and, many times, the merchants still have no direct control over the management of the site. MerchantAmerica provides all of the above and more for $19.95 per month.

Alice Cheung, chief financial officer of ECHO stated, “Over the past several months of development, we have instituted significant automation in the MerchantAmerica system and we have also allowed merchant control over key areas, both of which lower our expense of operation. “The set monthly fee for MerchantAmerica is expected to generate increased income to ECHO just from releasing it to ECHO’s existing base of merchants and we expect to see additional revenue generated from the new merchants who will be attracted to ECHO’s electronic payment services due to the release of the MerchantAmerica portal.”

“There are a lot of merchants who want to have a presence on the Internet but don’t want to have to spend thousands of dollars to do it,” stated Joel M. Barry, chief executive officer of ECHO. “ECHO believes its new MerchantAmerica site provides the best value to any merchant in America. It’s a true statement ‘If you are a merchant in America, you should be in'” Electronic Clearing House Inc. provides debit and credit card processing, check services and inventory tracking to over 58,000 retail merchants and U-Haul dealers across the nation.