IRS Extends OPC

Official Payments Corporation, the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities, announced the Internal Revenue Service has exercised its option for a one year extension the company’s contract to collect and process individual income tax payments by credit card over the Internet and telephone.

![][1] The current contract authorizes Official Payments to provide a service which allows taxpayers to make tax year 2000 Form 1040 Balance Due Payments, filing and payments with Form 4868 Extension of Time to File, and 2001 Form 1040ES Estimated Payments on the Internet at www.officialpayments.com or by telephone at 1-800-2PAY-TAX. The new award extends the current agreement for an additional calendar year. In addition to the IRS, Official Payments has similar agreements with 17 state governments and over 700 counties and municipalities across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in credit card payments on behalf of its federal, state, and local government clients.

“We are gratified and pleased with the new award from the IRS. It is encouraging when your largest client renews your business,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “With our busiest season ahead of us, our momentum is strong. This time last year we had six state clients and 450 county and municipal clients. Today we do business with 17 states and well over 700 counties and municipalities. We attribute our market-leading position and success to a highly developed knowledge base and core competency in delivering a unique service to government organizations and their constituents,” Mr. Evans added.

About Official Payments Corporation

Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. The company is unequaled in market penetration and national footprint. Official Payments is the incumbent in agreements with the Internal Revenue Service, 17 state governments, and well over 700 county and municipal governments in 41 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state, and local government payments. Official Payments was founded in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market. The company has experienced rapid and sustained growth over the past six reported quarters in revenue, new client acquisition, and addition of incremental services to existing clients. The company’s success can be attributed to the combination of an enormous market opportunity with a highly skilled and experienced management and staff, aggressive sales and marketing, and a core competency in developing and implementing leading-edge technical systems.

[1]: /graphic/officialpayments/opay.gif

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SOUTH AFRICA

VISA International reported big increases in payment cards in Southern
Africa. In South Africa, about 3.1 million VISA cards are now in
circulation, a 64% increase over last year. Botswana is currently the
fastest-growing card market in the region with an increase of more than
500% in card numbers during the past year. Card volume has increased 225%
to US$58,946 per person. In Kenya card numbers soared by 74% and
expenditure by 112%, while in Zimbabwe there are more than a 250,000 cards
in circulation.

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Apriva on ICE

Hypercom Corporation and Apriva, Inc., a wireless Application Service Provider, announced that Apriva will provide wireless applications and connectivity for Hypercom’s highly popular epic ICE 4000. The ICE 4000 is a high performance Internet-enabled, wireless card payment terminal and web appliance for merchants and service providers, including car rental companies, stadiums, medical facilities, restaurants and other organizations that want to bring the payment function directly to the consumer.

The Apriva wireless gateway service is a complement to Hypercom’s ePicPortz security and gateway server software. The Apriva service provides the transport and back office integration architecture required to rapidly deploy mobile applications. It will allow merchants to securely and cost-effectively support traditional payment functions including credit, debit, and smart cards virtually anywhere, anytime.

“Demands on the average consumer’s time have never been greater. Competition at the retail level has never been more intense. Both are demanding faster, more secure and virtually `anytime, anywhere’ payment capabilities and services, and the epic ICE 4000 squarely addresses these needs,” said Jairo E. Gonzalez, president, Hypercom(R) Transaction Systems Group. “The ICE 4000 is a compact and robust card payment web appliance. This customer-activated device is extremely easy to use, and it can deliver an array of important value-added features and services. It is the ideal solution for retail stores, restaurants, hotels, stadiums and other organizations that want to use proven technology to maintain their competitive edge. And we are pleased to offer the ICE 4000 with Apriva’s wireless applications and connectivity.”

“Hypercom’s ICE 4000, coupled with Apriva’s wireless communications gateway integrates mobility, technology and real-time transaction processing to deliver a highly-effective and secure wireless card payment solution,” said Chris Spinella, Chairman and CEO of Apriva. “We are very pleased to be able to offer this proven and efficient wireless capability to the nation’s merchants.” The highly secure handheld ePOS-infocommerce(TM) (epic) ICE 4000 card payment terminal is a high performance, touch screen-based, Internet-enabled device that incorporates a firewall-protected multi-application operating system, EMV chip card capability, secure PIN pad, built-in HTML/HTTP web browser and integrated receipt printer. In addition to the embedded applications, the ICE 4000 supports a range of value-added applications and services including: electronic signature and receipt capture, e-mail, on-screen advertising, interactive electronic coupons, and cash management reporting through a standard browser – as well as secure credit, debit and smart card functions. The ICE 4000 can be worn or carried by service providers, or it can be wall-powered for stationary use. It packs the same full functionality and revenue-generating features of Hypercom’s popular epic ICE family of Internet-enabled appliances, including an easy-to-use touch-screen pen entry capability, graphics thermal printer, automatic paper cutter, magnetic stripe and smart card reader and built-in lithium ion battery.

The ICE 4000 offers a choice of communications options, with models supporting a variety of wireless WAN technologies (GSM, CDPD, Mobitex), wireless technologies (900MHz), and a wireline modem that incorporates Hypercom 9600 FastPOS(TM) technology, and a LAN interface. Optional components and add-ons include an adapter for use in autos and memory options of 1.0 to 1.5 MB. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Apriva ([www.apriva.com][1]) is a wireless Application Service Provider that delivers high-performance mobile applications and application development solutions worldwide. Apriva’s Point-of-Sale (POS) system, built using its state-of-the-art wireless application server technology, provides a device-independent infrastructure that securely connects wireless terminals and PDAs to card processors and other transaction service providers. For developers and system integrators, Apriva offers a comprehensive suite of products and solutions to facilitate rapid development and deployment of mobile applications.

Hypercom Corporation ([www.hypercom.com][2]) 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 3.5 million card payment terminals which operate in over 100 countries and conduct more than 2.5 billion transactions annually.

[1]: http://www.apriva.com/
[2]: http://www.hypercom.com/

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JAPAN

Toyota Motor Corp. said this week it will unveil a smart credit card in Japan
next month. Last year Toyota established a Toyota bank subsidiary to issue the
new credit card. Toyota secured the right of direct issue from VISA
International and MasterCard International in March 2000. Under terms of the
VISA/MC deal, Toyota is authorized to cobrand with other companies to use the
VISA or MasterCard name and is permitted to build its own network of
affiliated
retailers. The new Toyota Credit Card will also contain a chip that will be
used
track cardholder activity. Reportedly Toyota will venture into other financial
services including banking and brokerage services. Toyota projects it will
sign
up 5 million cardholders within the first four years. The automaker also
predicts profit from financial services will top $800 million by 2005. The new
Toyota credit card will be marketed through Toyota’s dealership network in
Japan. There are no immediate plans to market the card outside Japan.

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CMSI 4Q/00

Maryland-based Credit Management Solutions reported a pretax loss of $1.0 million for 4Q/00 compared to a pretax loss of $2.0 million for 4Q/99. Total fourth quarter revenue was $ 6.9 million versus $ 5.2 million in the comparable period of 1999. The company is currently merging with The First American Corporation. CMSI also announced yesterday the immediate resignation of Miles Grody from the Board of Directors of CMSI, and from the positions of President of CMSI Systems, Inc. subsidiary and SVP of CMSI. For more details on CMSI financials visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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CANADA

Toronto-based MIST confirmed it is now conducting a major
pilot of its wireless POS terminal with McDonald’s in Canada. The MIST
‘Freedom II’ pilot is being conducted in the Vivencia Restaurant franchise
at the Stouffville, Ontario, Canada location. Customers can operate the
portable device at both the drive-through windows and at the restaurant’s
counter. There are now more than 1,100 McDonald’s restaurants in Canada
that serve approximately 3 million Canadians every day.

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NCR-CCC

NCR Corp confirmed this week it will take a $42 million charge for loans and receivables related to prior business with Philadelphia-based Credit Card Center, a distributor of ATM equipment into the U.S. small retailer marketplace. In October, NCR and Credit Card Center signed a three-and-a-half year global deal for 50,000 NCR ATMs. As part of this agreement, NCR provided $16 million of financing, primarily to support infrastructure investments by CCC. NCR says CCC’s growth has outpaced its capital and management resources. In the last few weeks the firm has had significant challenges in obtaining adequate lease financing and has experienced cashflow problems with a sharp drop off in new and existing customers. While NCR has worked with CCC to develop stronger customer leasing support and a more stable capital structure, within the last week, CCC’s ability to satisfy its financial obligations to NCR has become a significant concern to the company. NCR anticipates that it will take a charge for the full amount of CCC’s obligations to NCR. (CF Library 10/19/00)

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UK

The
competitive heat for a slice of the UK’s burgeoning (pound)120 million ($180
million) consumer credit market is about to be turned up dramatically
through a
new strategic partnership announced this week in the UK and the US
Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., the US-based architect of the
top-rated FICO score, and Callcredit, a new consumer credit reference
agency
in the UK, said their partnership will be the UK’s first to deliver
consumer credit scores directly over the Web to lenders throughout the UK
This strategic move by Callcredit provides this newcomer to the
well-established UK consumer credit market with a running start. It will
introduce the scores in June as a key element of its service, which will gain
the company quick market share and visibility. The UK’s credit reference
market
is among the country’s fastest-growing industries, with some 140 million
credit
applications processed annually.

Currently, the UK’s consumer credit reference agency market is dominated by
two
US-based giants, Equifax and Experian — both of which offer their own
proprietary credit scores to lenders in the UK However, with Fair, Isaac’s
scores widely acknowledged as the “gold standard” in the US and accounting for
upwards of 75 percent of all US mortgage decisions, it is expected that
Callcredit’s new offering will present a formidable challenge to the UK
market.

Tom Grudnowski, Fair, Isaac’s CEO, had this to say about his company’s new
partnership: “Precision is paramount when making important decisions
concerning
an individual’s creditworthiness. And Fair, Isaac has an impressive track
record of bringing insight and intellect to these decisions, which allows
us to
create the most accurate prediction of how an individual will handle
credit. We
are delighted to be working with Callcredit to make this capability widely
available in the UK” Fair, Isaac, which has serviced UK clients since the
mid-1980s, is now deepening its focus on the UK credit market as part of its
global expansion strategy.

Callcredit’s Managing Director, David Coates, said, “Callcredit intends to
revolutionise the consumer credit market by offering UK lenders a flexible,
speedy and cost effective service. We know from our experience that they have
been requesting FICO scores on UK bureau reports for several years as these
are
recognized as the best scoring capabilities. With this package as an integral
part of our product offering, we are extremely excited about Callcredit’s
future prospects.”

About Fair, Isaac

Fair, Isaac is a global provider of customer analytics and decision
technology.
Widely recognised for its pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac
revolutionized the way lending decisions are made. Today the company helps
clients in multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships.
Fair, Isaac has made the Forbes list of the top 200 US small companies eight
times in the last nine years.

About Callcredit

Callcredit (www.callcredit.plc.uk) is a new
consumer credit reference agency created as a partnership between Dun &
Bradstreet, the world’s leading supplier of business to business products, and
Skipton Building Society, the UK’s 6th largest building society and a
recognised force in the financial services arena. This radical new business
will revolutionise the credit reference industry by creating additional choice
and by offering significant value to clients. Committed to utilizing newly
developed technology, including Web-based solutions, Callcredit will provide
innovative, flexible, speedy and cost-effective solutions to their clients.

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FDMS Signs MFB

First Data Merchant Services, a subsidiary of global electronic commerce and payments leader First Data Corp, announced it has signed a long-term merchant processing agreement with Merchant First Bankcard, an Independent Sales Organization which focuses on small- and medium-sized merchants including retail, restaurant, mail/telephone order, wholesale, start-up, home-based and e-commerce.

First Data Merchant Services will provide Merchant First Bankcard with core accounting, front-end authorization processing, settlement, and selected back office merchant processing services. Under this agreement, the companies expect to bring in more than 50,000 new accounts.

Alan Gitles, president and chief executive officer of Merchant First Bankcard said, “We have worked with many processors over the years, but as we look to regain our dominance in the acquiring market, we are turning to First Data because of their proven expertise and commitment. First Data has responded to our needs with a unique, customized product to assist Merchant First Bankcard in facilitating rapid growth through ISO relationships. With this processing platform in place, Merchant First is positioned to expand into partnerships in the fastest growing segment of the merchant industry,” said Gitles.

Merchant First Bankcard, which is located in Schaumburg, Ill., is launching with a senior management team that together has more than 100 years of bankcard experience. Alan Gitles, CEO of Merchant First and an industry veteran, is the former CEO of American National Bankcard, which was sold two years ago. Under Gitles’ leadership, American National had the largest number of registered ISOs in the business. Drawing on this experience, Gitles plans to incorporate one of his foundation policies into Merchant First by ensuring the company has experienced telemarketing professionals who will generate highly qualified leads for all of its ISOs.

“We are very excited about partnering with Merchant First Bankcard as they re-enter the market. Their decision to sign a long term agreement with First Data Merchant Services validates our expertise in the merchant processing industry,” said Bob McNamara, Alliance Group President of First Data Merchant Services. “We have worked with Alan in the past, and look forward to building a new relationship.”

About First Data

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) helps move the world’s money. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves more than two million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. With more than 27,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; Western Union money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Germany. Its money transfer agent network includes approximately 101,000 locations in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com][1].

Merchant First Bankcard

Merchant First Bankcard, a new full service ISO, located in Schaumburg, Ill., possesses a senior management team with over 100 years in the bankcard industry. The company offers ISOs a unique telemarketing lead generation program which will again provide new cutting edge value added services to the ISO community. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.MerchantFirstBankcard.com][2].

[1]: http://www.firstdata.com/
[2]: http://www.merchantfirstbankcard.com/

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UK

While bank credit card rates are tumbling in the UK largely due to
competition from US-based issuers, store cards continue to carry high
interest rates. Timecard now carries an APR of 31.9% compared to an 8% APR
on the Cahoot bank credit card. The latest issue of London-based Moneywise
magazine notes that John Lewis and Waitrose carried the lowest rates for
retail cards, coming in at 13%. Among other retailers charging the highest
interest rates on UK store credit cards: Laura Ashley, Owen Owen, Kwik Fit,
Monsoon, Country Casuals, and Russell & Bromley.

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Kinney Heads TSYS Collections

Charles F. (Chuck) Kinney has been named president and chief executive officer of TSYS Total Debt Management, a collections and bankruptcy company. Former TDM president and CEO, Richard de Mayo, has been appointed chairman of the board with duties that include maintaining relationships with key clients. TDM is managed by Total System Services, Inc. and owned by Synovus Financial Corp..

Kinney brings more than 33 years of financial experience to TDM, which he will use to lead the company’s strategic direction as well as continue TDM’s commitment to providing the most sophisticated collections and bankruptcy services in the industry.

“This reorganization within TDM enhances its business operations. Both Chuck and Richard are experts in their fields, and we are confident the new structure will benefit not only TDM but the entire TSYS family,” said Richard W. Ussery, TSYS Chairman of the Board and CEO.

In 1999, Synovus acquired the debt collection and bankruptcy management business offered by Wallace & de Mayo, ranked by 1998 volume as the largest collections law firm and ranked by revenue as the fourth largest collections law firm in the nation by Faulkner & Gray, Inc. de Mayo was a founding partner of Wallace & de Mayo. After the acquisition, Wallace & de Mayo was merged into TSYS Total Debt Management and de Mayo was named president, where he served in this capacity from 1999 until the present.

Previously Kinney served as the president and CEO of CFK Consulting, Inc., focusing on the negotiation of credit card and other consumer asset purchases or sales for clients as well as assisting existing and start-up banks with aligning business strategy, risk and product development opportunities. Kinney has also served at multiple financial institutions, including The Prudential Bank and Trust in Atlanta, Ga., where he served as executive vice president and chief operations officer (COO).

Before his appointments at TDM, de Mayo served as special assistant attorney general for the State of Georgia. In 1979, de Mayo merged his law practice to form Wallace & de Mayo, P.C. de Mayo has more than 20 years of legal experience and has served on numerous bar committees. He has served as chairperson of the Debt Collections Seminar for Continuing Legal Education in Georgia, president of the Younger Lawyer Section of the State Bar of Georgia, secretary and treasurer of the State Bar of Georgia and on the Board of Medical Assistance of Georgia.

About TSYS Total Debt Management

With the most sophisticated collections applications in the industry, TSYS Total Debt Management(SM) (TDM) offers clients low-cost, high-value early out and recovery collections and agency management, bankruptcy process and legal account management, and skip tracing services. Located in Atlanta, Ga., TDM handles any or all portions of a client’s collections business.

TDM provides fully-integrated technology offerings like the National Attorney Network (NAN), its legal management unit, which is the nation’s largest legal collections network, serving retailers, banks and finance companies. NAN facilitates and manages the placement of legal collection cases at the account level from the creditor to the collection law firm.

About Total System Services, Inc.

TSYS provides global commerce solutions. With more than 197 million accounts on file, TSYS facilitates the payment exchange between buyers and sellers. TSYS and its family of companies offer a full range of acquiring and issuing business services from accepting electronic payments for goods and services to credit applications and collections for credit, debit, commercial, stored value, retail and chip accounts. TSYS has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada and Japan, and processes for 21 countries and in 11 currencies. Based in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([http://www.totalsystem.com][1] stem.com/> ) is an 80.8 percent-owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. ([http://www.synovus.com][2]), No. 8 on FORTUNE magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2001. For more information, contact news@totalsystem.com .

[1]: http://www.totalsystem.com/
[2]: http://www.synovus.com/

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GP Signs IRN

Global Payments Inc., formerly NDC eCommerce, announced a new processing agreement with Independent Sales Organization, IRN Payment Systems.

Under this new agreement, IRN will market Global’s services to new merchants signed through its extensive nationwide sales force, as well as to IRN’s existing client base of over 20,000 merchants.

![][1] “IRN’s relationship with Global Payments affords us the ability to provide our sales agents and merchants with custom service offerings at competitive prices from a premier industry provider,” said President of IRN Payment Systems, Amedeo Dino Sgueglia.

IRN is an Independent Sales Organization selling payment processing solutions and value-added services, including electronic gift card, stored value and loyalty products, EBT card processing, specialized leasing products and unique wireless solutions to multi-national, as well as Mom and Pop merchants within retail, restaurant, lodging, and emerging markets.

“Global Payments looks forward to providing IRN’s nationwide customer base with dynamic solutions to maximize their business potential,” said Paul R. Garcia, president and CEO of Global Payments Inc. “We are delighted with this latest opportunity to service more of the merchant community. The consummation of this agreement further emphasizes Global’s focus on servicing the ISO marketplace, and IRN’s commitment to the long-term success of their business.”

Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.

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

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