Cap One Training

Capital One Financial Corporation topped Training’s inaugural list of “Top 50 Training Organizations.” The list is the cover story in the magazine’s March 2001 issue.

Training ranked companies on their ability to align personal development goals with corporate strategy, prepare associates for future leadership roles, and find and retain talented associates — all areas in which Capital One was found to excel.

“The success of Capital One is a direct result of our emphasis on human capital,” said Nigel Morris, Capital One’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Our strategy is to hire the best and the brightest and then place them in an environment where development is encouraged and innovation is rewarded.”

Capital One, known for using research and testing to transform the “one- size-fits-all” credit card industry, relies on the same innovative techniques to recruit new associates and develop their skills.

To ensure success from the start, all recruits go through rigorous testing and simulations that have a proven track record of predicting job performance. Capital One then invests heavily in development, starting with an intensive four-day assimilation program designed to indoctrinate new associates in the company’s distinct culture.

Capital One associates work with their managers to create a Development Action Plan that highlights areas for improvement and includes specific steps to attain the next level. The DAP is supported by a competency-based performance management process that aligns the individual’s objectives with the company’s objectives to ensure the development of core competencies and provide a way to reward performance.

“We have made a commitment to investing in our associates to develop the leadership and other competencies needed to support our rapid growth,” said Dennis Liberson, Executive Vice President for Human Resources. “This recognition from Training validates what we’ve seen — you can expect more from your associates when you provide more resources to help them succeed.”

In six years, Capital One has grown from 2,000 associates to almost 20,000. The company hired associates for 3,000 new positions in 2000 alone and plans to fill 8,000 more positions in the next four years.

In addition to this award from Training, Capital One has been on Fortune’s list of the “Best Companies to Work For” the past three years and Computer World’s list of the “Best Places to Work in IT” by for the past two years.

Capital One has operations in Richmond, Fredericksburg and Falls Church, Virginia; Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Federal Way, Washington; Boise, Idaho; and Boston, Massachusetts; as well as in London and Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([http://www.CapitalOne.com][1]) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 33.8 million accounts and $29.5 billion in managed loans outstanding as of December 31, 2000. Capital One is one of the major financial service providers on the Internet, with online account decisioning, real-time account numbering, online retail deposits and a growing number of customers serviced online. Capital One is a FORTUNE 500 company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.

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

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Saturn Reader

Israel-based OTI unveiled the first fully integrated smart card reader to accept both ‘ISO 7816’ contact cards and ‘ISO 14443 Type A, B, and D’ contactless cards, including the Mifare platform. The new ‘Saturn’ reader, based on OTI’s ‘EYECON’ technology platform, is a multi-function contact and contactless smart card reader designed to interface with either a PC or POS terminal. The ‘Saturn’ software resides on a flash memory card to allow rapid, trouble-free upgrades after installation. The Saturn can also be combined with contactless solutions from OTI to offer the ultimate in smart card functionality.

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Secure Smart Cards

While smart cards offer a much higher level of security than traditional magnetic stripe cards they are still susceptible to counterfeiting. However a patent was issued last week for a new method of making smart cards counterfeit-resistant. CA-based Drexler Technology, the leader in optical cards, was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,199,761 for a “Validation Method for Electronic Cash Cards and Digital Identity Cards Utilizing Optical Data Storage.” E-cash cards have been counterfeited by the use of electronic techniques to break the security codes. However this counterfeiting can now be inhibited by bonding an optical memory stripe to the smart card with pre-recorded or post-recorded validation data at one or multiple locations on the cards. This optical validation data would be read with a photodetector array and could be transmitted to the recipient during funds transfer and/or used locally to control dispensing of cash or data. Therefore, successful counterfeiting of the modified electronic cash or digital identity card would require meeting exacting electronic and optical requirements.

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ATM Loss

DE-based WSFS Financial confirmed this morning it will take a charge against earnings following the loss of funds related to an armored car carrier engaged to supply cash to ATM’s operated by customers of ‘Cash Connect’, the ATM division of WSFS. Criminal investigations are ongoing and have resulted in the arrest of certain armored car carrier employees. The armored car carrier has subsequently declared bankruptcy. WSFS estimates that the related net loss, after taxes, will be between $450,000 and $650,000 and will be charged to earnings in the first quarter of 2001.

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Lowe’s Card Online

Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse announced Monday that Lowe’s credit card holders will be able to receive and pay their bills online, effective immediately.

Through a relationship with CheckFree i-Solutions, the leading provider of interactive e-billing and e-statement applications, Lowe’s six million credit card holders can view and pay their Lowe’s credit card bills at their choice of nearly 275 financial services sites and Internet portals.

To begin managing their accounts online, Lowe’s customers can start at the lowes.com home page then click, Save Some Time. At this page, Lowe’s customers can learn more about the benefits of electronic billing and payment and where to enroll. Once the Lowe’s customer decides where they want to pay their bill, they can review their bill detail and approve their payment with the specified payment amount deducted electronically from their designated bank, credit union or brokerage account in a matter of minutes.

“Online account management is an important way we are adding convenience for our customers through lowes.com,” said Matt Deeter, vice-president of Lowe’s Internet business group. “In addition to shopping for close to 10,000 products on our enhanced site, a consumer can view and pay their credit card bill from their choice of financial services and Internet portal sites.”

“National retailers such as Lowe’s understand the value of building relationships online with electronic billing and payment services as an integral part of their Internet initiative,” said Tom Stampiglia, president of CheckFree Software Division. “Lowe’s credit card customers will experience the convenience of paying their Lowe’s credit card bills and other accounts electronically to save time every month, thereby freeing up more time for things they would rather be doing, such as home improvement.”

In November, Lowe’s re-launched lowes.com, adding an e-commerce component to the site. The new site, which continues to give advice to the do-it-yourselfer through its nearly 1,000-project how-to library, made available for purchase more than 3,000 major appliances and 8,000 tools. More products will be added in the coming months. Customers may have their items shipped to them from Lowe’s stores or warehouses, or may choose to pick up their orders from a convenient Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse store. Lowes.com also rolled out a full complement of e-Customer Service options for its customers, which now also includes online credit card account management.

About CheckFree

CheckFree ([http://www.checkfree.com][1]), is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded in 1981 and celebrating its 20th year in e-commerce, CheckFree launched the first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution in March of 1997. Today, CheckFree services enable 4.4 million consumers to receive and pay bills over the Internet or electronically. The Company has multi-year contracts with 222 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through its network of partnerships with nearly 275 financial services organizations, including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and content sites, and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree i-Solutions is the leading provider of interactive e-billing and e-statement software and services that enable companies to transform bills and statements into interactive conduits for customer relationship management, marketing and customer self service.

About Lowe’s

With 2000 sales of $18.8 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is the world’s second largest home improvement retailer. Headquartered in Wilkesboro, N.C., Lowe’s is the 15th largest retailer in the U.S. as well as the 34th largest retailer worldwide. Lowe’s and its 100,000 employees are Improving Home Improvement for nearly five million do-it-yourself retail and commercial business customers each week at more than 600 stores in 40 states. For more information, visit or shop lowes.com.

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

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G&D Web Site

Giesecke & Devrient , an internationally operating technology group, announced the official launch of their expanded website [http://www.gdai.com][1] to meet the needs and interests of their North American corporate customers.

The extensive section devoted to Cards & Card Systems provides comprehensive information on leading-edge solutions and also demonstrates G&D’s focused commitment to building a smart future for its Canadian, U.S. and Mexican business partners.

“We are committed to growth, innovation, technology and people. The release of this expanded website is a first step as G&D embarks on a new “frontier” for strategic growth and innovation that will strengthen and reinforce that commitment,” says Jim Frye, President of Card Systems, United States and Canada. “I am excited with this new unified front, as it will offer customers advantages in service and support that extend throughout the United States and Canada and into the global marketplace.

This is a time of substantial growth for G&D, as we lead the way in the areas of Magnetic Stripe, Smart Cards, Fulfillment and eBanking solutions for North America,” adds Mr. Frye.

Special website highlights include; G&D’s Products & Service from Design Concepts to Manufacturing through to Card Issuance, Forms Management and Statement Processing, The G&D website clearly demonstrates the organization’s full in house end-to-end business solutions. For those interested in developments in Mexico, the G&D Mexico website can be accessed via the Mexican Flag on the home page. Visitors are also able to view Munich headquarters and worldwide subsidiaries on G&D’s Munich site through a direct link in Profile.

Another area that is expected to draw a lot of attention is the Consumer Showcase where consumers and customers can view How a Card is Produced, and are invited to submit their ideas on what they would like to see in card technology. Additionally, they can view G&D’s first phase Gallery of Cards including two cards in which G&D won finalist awards for Best Secure and Best Non-Secure Card Design from the International Card Manufacturers Association in 2000.

Finally, if viewers would like further information, they can readily download G&D’s On-line brochures or request a copy of the bi-annual color publication G&D Report Magazine which highlights G&D worldwide with cover stories, new innovations, current applications, markets and the latest technology research.

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is an internationally operating technology group. With nearly 150 years of history, the Giesecke & Devrient of today upholds their tradition as a trusted leading supplier of banknotes and security documents, banknote and security paper and currency automation systems as well as cards, components and complete multifunctional Smart Card systems for electronic payments and telecommunications. The group also offers end-to-end solutions for security in e-business. G&D is on the leading edge of Smart Card technology in the areas of PKI, Biometrics, e-Commerce, m-Commerce, Internet Banking Solutions, Telecommunications, Transportation, Health Care, Secure Identification and Systems Consulting.

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

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Discover Taxes

As American Express offers bonus air miles to cardholders charging taxes on its ‘Delta’ co-branded cards, Discover is enticing consumers with a special, low, processing fee. Specialists in tax payments via credit card are typically charging a 2.5% convenience fee to process the payments. However, under a special deal with Quicken, Discover cardholders pay a 1.85% + $1.00 processing fee. For the third consecutive year, Discover Card is the exclusive credit card for paying taxes electronically via ‘Quicken TurboTax’ and ‘Quicken TurboTax for the Web’. Discover cardholders can also purchase ‘TurboTax Deluxe’ at a discounted price via Discover Card’s Web site. ‘TurboTax for the Web’ allows Discover cardholders to prepare and file federal 1040 income tax returns online for $14.95 before April 1 and $19.95 after April 1. State returns are only $9.95. Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $25,000 or less qualify to use the service free of charge. Cardholders can pay taxes electronically with their Discover Card immediately after filing online and earn a ‘Cashback Bonus’ award on federal taxes paid.

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ORGA & Leapfrog

Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc., an emerging leader in Smart card software development, and ORGA Card Systems, a global pioneer of integrated Smart card systems, announced they have agreed to develop and jointly promote Smart card and biometric solutions for the global healthcare community.

![][1] Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will play key roles in the joint marketing, development, integration and implementation of Smart card and biometric healthcare solutions. In order to better leverage each other’s areas of expertise, Leapfrog and ORGA will provide each other with preferred pricing and share/exchange select technologies. Leapfrog’s role will be primarily as an application developer and manager of installed solutions, while ORGA will mostly handle manufacturing duties, such as supplying Smart cards, readers and personalization equipment and providing management support.

Dr. Les Bromwell, Chief Executive Officer of Leapfrog, stated, “This agreement with such a high profile, elite company is a major achievement for Leapfrog, and a recognition of our outstanding capabilities in software development for healthcare applications. ORGA is a multi-national company that offers multiple complementary solutions to build upon our products targeted to the highly coveted Smart card and biometric markets. We believe this partnership further demonstrates our commitment to developing leading Smart card software applications and products and confirms that our management team is carrying forward a strong dedication to increase shareholder value by expanding product lines and increasing customer service.”

ORGA, founded near Frankfurt, Germany, in 1972, is a pioneer in the Smart card industry. The Company’s many breakthroughs include manufacturing the first multi-function chip-based card, the first chip-based telephone card in the UK and the first chip-based bank card in Germany. As the leading provider of Smart card solutions within the healthcare industry, ORGA has successfully implemented the national rollout of 80 million healthcare cards in Germany and is a technology provider for the French national healthcare card project, SESAM-Vitale. ORGA is a true global leader in the Smart card market, with solutions for telecommunications, banking, health, retail, Internet, identification systems, e-commerce and m-commerce applications. The Company maintains offices in 13 countries, and agents in more than 50 countries.

About Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc.

Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc. is a world-class leader in Smart card software development, biometrics and system solutions integration. Located in Maitland, Florida, Leapfrog is dedicated to creating innovative software applications for Smart cards and biometrics. Smart cards are credit card- sized pieces of plastic with a computer microprocessor embedded within. Current applications of Smart card software include personal identification, e-purse transactions, loyalty point storage, physical and logical access, as well as portable storage of medical records. Leapfrog, through its General Services Administration (GSA) master contract, is also certified as a contractor with the United States Federal government. Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc. is publicly traded on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol “FROG.”

[1]: /graphic/orga/orga.gif

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Petrini Promoted

Providian Financial Corporation yesterday announced that effective April 2, 2001, David J. Petrini has been promoted to vice chairman from his previous position as chief financial officer. Joining Ellen Richey as vice chairman, Petrini will be responsible for overseeing finance, technology and administration.

Petrini, who joined Providian in 1986, was instrumental in spearheading the Company’s financial management initiatives significantly contributing to Providian’s strong track record of growth and profitability.

Jim Rowe, previously president, global e-commerce, has been promoted to chief financial officer, reporting to Petrini. Rowe, who was most recently responsible for building Providian’s online financial businesses, also played a key role in the spin-off of Providian Financial in 1997.

The Company also announced today that Lauri Kober, CEO of GetSmart.com, a Providian subsidiary that is one of the country’s leading online financial marketplaces, will be responsible for the Providian’s e-commerce initiatives reporting to chairman and CEO, Shailesh Mehta.

San Francisco-based Providian Financial ([www.providian.com][1]) is a leading provider of lending and deposit products to customers throughout the U.S. and the UK and offers credit cards in Argentina. Providian Financial has been named one of America’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine, one of the nation’s top financial institutions by U.S. Banker magazine, and one of the most technologically innovative companies by InformationWeek magazine. The Company has more than $31 billion in assets under management and over 16 million customers.

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

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Sub-Prime Acquisitions

Equitex, Inc. has executed an extension agreement for its previously announced acquisitions of Key Financial Systems, Inc. and Nova Financial Systems, Inc., both of Clearwater, Florida. Pursuant to the extension, all parties have agreed to extend the transaction closing date to a date that is ninety days after the filing of a definitive proxy statement for a special meeting of Equitex’s stockholders provided the meeting is held on or before March 14, 2002.

Equitex filed on January 19, 2001 an amendment to the preliminary proxy statement for a special meeting of stockholders originally filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 12, 2000. At the proposed meeting, to be held on a date to be determined, the Company’s stockholders will be asked to consider and vote upon several proposals related to Equitex’s previously announced merger with Key/Nova Financial Systems, Inc.

Key Financial Systems, Inc. and Nova Financial Systems, Inc. design, market and service credit card products aimed at the sub-prime credit market offering an innovative credit card product to customers with litter or poor credit called the Pay As You Go credit card. The companies market through direct mail, telemarketing for financial institutions and the Internet through alliances with a number of popular Internet web sites.

Equitex, Inc. is a holding company currently operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries The Meridian Residential Group, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York and First TeleServices Corp. of Atlanta, Georgia, and its majority-owned subsidiaries nMortgage, Inc. and Triumph Sports, Inc. of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Meridian and nMortgage offer mortgage loan products through the Internet and provide consulting services to the mortgage industry. First TeleServices Corp. is a development stage financial services marketing company developing various financial products targeted to the sub-prime consumer.

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Score Power

Equifax and Fair, Isaac this morning launched ‘Score Power’, which delivers Fair, Isaac’s ‘FICO®’ credit risk score directly to consumers via the Internet. The new service also includes an Equifax ‘Credit Profile’ and a personalized analysis of the score along with suggestions for improving and maintaining it. The introductory price for ‘Score Power’ is $12.95. Once consumers order ‘Score Power’ online and provide identifying information to ensure privacy, the information is delivered online within seconds and will remain available to the consumer online for 30 days from the order date. More than 75% of mortgage loan originations utilize the ‘FICO®’ score. More than 70 of the nation’s 100 largest financial institutions rely on the FICO® score to determine an individual’s credit worthiness, including applicants for credit cards.

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Bankruptcy Package

To speed a final package to President Bush, the supporters of the ‘Bankruptcy Reform Act’ now want the House to either approve the Senate version, or make changes in it and send it back to avoid having to negotiate the differences between the two versions. Issues discussed in this negotiation are likely to be the Lloyd’s of London provision, knocked out shortly before the Senate approved the bill, which would have prevented foreign courts from collecting judgments against any American investors if the investors could demonstrate that they were victims of misrepresentations or omissions from 1975 through 1993; and the homestead exemption, which would limit the amount of home equity that debtors can keep out of the reach of creditors in bankruptcy court to $125,000. President Bush has signaled that he would sign the bankruptcy bill into law, but he is opposed to national caps on homestead exemptions. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the bankruptcy reform bill last Thursday by a vote of 83-15. The U.S. House passed its version of the legislation on March 1. The House approved H.R.333 by a 306 – 108 vote.

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