RPM Tax Refunds

Cendant’s Jackson Hewitt tax preparation service has deployed InnoVentry’s ‘RPM’ in select locations to deliver instant cash for tax refund proceeds during the 2001 tax season. The ‘RPM’ machines are touch-screen activated and include a multimedia second screen that can deliver customized promotional messages in English and Spanish. The machines are targeted at the 40 million Americans who do not regularly use traditional bank accounts. To-date the InnoVentry cash management machines have served more than 1 million customers, cashing more than $1 billion worth of checks. Jackson Hewitt has installed the ‘RPMs’ at locations in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia and Nevada.


iE Execs

iE, a provider of integrated e-business applications to the financial services industry, has made three senior appointments that further strengthen its hand in the rapidly growing card solutions sector.

Caroline Vander Galien joins the company as VP Sales and Marketing for the US operation, bringing 13 years’ experience in e-commerce and transaction processing – most recently at Cybercash Inc, where she was VP sales. She will be responsible for the continuing success of the iE NetFinance application suite and iE ScreenSurfer web-to-host gateway in the North American market.

Also new to the US operation is Michael Danziger, Product Director, who comes to iE with 15 years’ e-business and credit-card industry experience behind him. His role is to refine iE’s market strategy and product direction for iE NetFinance in the US. Before joining iE, Michael was Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Computer Associates International and prior to this was Vice President of Electronic Commerce for MasterCard International. Michael managed MasterCard’s Digital Certificate program and was a member of the MasterCard team which earned the 1999 ComputerWorld Smithsonian Award for their work in Global Secure Electronic Commerce. Michael was also Director of Business Development for the MasterCard Automated Point-of-Sale Program (MAPP).

In Europe, Helen Clulow has joined iE from NatWest where she gained several years’ experience of e-business and corporate and commercial banking, and rose to become head of product strategy and marketing for commercial cards. Helen joins iE as E-Business Manager for Europe with responsibility for refining product strategy for iE NetFinance in the European cards and banking services marketplaces. She joins iE’s E-Business Group headed by Jerry Mulle, who also joined iE last year from NatWest to lead this group of finance industry specialists responsible for identifying and defining the e-business solutions which iE takes to banks, insurers and investment fund organisations.

Roger Willcocks, chief executive, iE, said: “It is fast becoming a cliche to say that knowledge of the business is at least as important as expertise in the technology. With these latest appointments, iE now has tremendous depth of knowledge of the cards sector in the US and Europe to complement their market-leading and award-winning iE NetFinance e-business solution. I’m delighted to welcome Caroline, Michael and Helen to the team.”



Comerica Bank launched a new prepaid MasterCard product that aims to replace traditional paper checks issued for employee compensation or reimbursements. The ‘Comerica CompCard’ is a prepaid account which can be funded in real time via the ACH. The card is accepted at all MasterCard merchant locations including ATMs that accept MasterCard. Comerica says the new prepaid card can be utilized by businesses for their regular payment needs such as reimbursements, benefits, for incentive or bonus payments, advances to accommodate business travel or vacation needs, for project/grant funding as well as another option for payroll. The Detroit-based bank also noted the ‘Comerica CompCard’ can be developed to serve multiple other purposes, including employee identification and security access.


The RAM Report

The second issue of The RAM Report, a new weekly international payment card news service, will be released later today from London. Today’s issue will cover payment card developments in South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, France, Germany, Korea, China, and the UK. The new service from RAM Research Group Ltd is being distributed on a free limited trial basis to CardFlash’s 20,000+ users worldwide for the next few weeks. Full details for each news items summarized in The RAM Report are available via ramresearch.com.


Nova 4Q/00

NOVA Corporation reported fourth quarter revenue of $395.5 million versus $388.1 million for the same period last year. Adjusted earnings for 4Q/00 totaled $55.9 million. The Company also reported that new account signings for the fourth quarter exceeded 30,000, bringing the full year total to over 123,000. The fourth quarter signings are projected to generate approximately $3.0 billion in annualized processing volume. Additionally, NOVA reported a fourth quarter increase in Internet volume of 583% over the fourth quarter of 1999.



Gemplus, the world’s
number one provider of smart card-based solutions, and Euronet Worldwide, a
leading provider of secure
electronic financial transaction solutions, announced the signature of a
strategic alliance whereby Gemplus will market and
deliver Euronet Worldwide’s expanding suite of wireless payment solutions to
GSM mobile operators around the world.

These SMS, SIM Toolkit and WAP-based payment and mobile banking solutions
are offered as a completely outsourced,
wireless ASP solution to all mobile operators. Gemplus will leverage its 100+
dedicated mobile operator sales force and
impressive customer base to promote Euronet’s products and services. Gemplus
currently provides products and services to over
80% of all GSM operators. Euronet will operate the ASP data centers and manage
every aspect of the integration between
financial institutions, card organizations, wireless devices, and mobile

The services offered will enable prepaid mobile phone subscribers to
purchase and recharge additional prepaid airtime over
their GSM phone, at a point-of-sale terminal, over the Internet, or at an ATM.

Since prepaid phone services are the fastest-growing segment of the mobile
phone market, Euronet’s prepaid electronic
ReCharge products will have a significant impact on mobile operators’ P&L.
Indeed, carriers will be able to eliminate
paper-based logistics associated with scratch cards (production, delivery,
inventory management), reduce significantly their
distribution costs, enhance user experience (one-step recharge — any time, any
place), and control churn.

These products are immediately available and mobile operators interested in
them can be operational within a typical timeframe
of 60 days.

The two companies are committed to continuously cooperating and
co-developing innovative solutions and services providing
mobile operators an expanding suite of next-generation mobile commerce
products, including solutions in the areas of bill
payment and bill presentment, event messaging and wireless e-purse solutions.

“Having Euronet Worldwide as our electronic financial transactions partner
constitutes a perfect match of our STK technology
and Euronet’s secure financial transaction technology,” said Philippe Lutman,
Gemplus’ Director Marketing Wireless. “By
combining forces, these market-ready turnkey solutions will allow mobile
operators to quickly bring to market innovative mobile
solutions. Consumers are continually seeking ways to access faster, easier ways
to perform financial transactions and these
combined technologies will quickly address this need.”

“This relationship marks a major milestone for our Euronet Wireless product
line,” said Michael Brown, Euronet Worldwide
Chairman and CEO. “The dynamic combination of our secure payment solutions and
Gemplus’ STK technology and penetration
into the mobile operator space and will make this turn-key ASP offering a
winning choice for all mobile carriers. These exciting
and innovative products are on the cutting edge of secure mobile payment
technology and both companies are committed to
delivering solutions that simplify consumers’ lives.”

Brown continued: “This agreement with Gemplus adds another integral partner
in our strategy of expanding sale channels and
distribution of our products by collaborating with dynamic companies around the
world. Euronet’s wireless partners — including
Aether Systems, Inc. in the United States — will help us reach our goal of
being a dominant provider of secure wireless payment
transaction solutions.”

As a global provider of secure financial transactions, Euronet continues to
expand its geographic and marketplace presence
throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia/Pacific. This
expansion allows our customers to provide their
consumers a wide array of additional transaction touchpoints and provides
Euronet continued transaction volume growth.

About Gemplus

Since its creation in 1988, Gemplus
(www.gemplus.com) has been driving the worldwide
deployment and marketing of smart
card-based specific applications and services for telecommunication, financial
services and e-business security. Gemplus smart
card technology has been a driving force in the deployment of wireless
telephony since 1990, when SIM cards were introduced
into the GSM standard. Since then, Gemplus has enhanced SIM technology to
provide greater value-added services to most
wireless operators and their network subscribers. Gemplus now provides products
compliant with new transmission standards
(2.5G,3G). Gemplus is present throughout the value chain: chip design, software
development, card management system and
consulting. Gemplus provides its clients and partners with comprehensive,
integrated, tailor-made solutions for their security,
personalization and privacy management needs. In 2000, revenue was 1.205
Billions of Euros ($US 1295 millions), up 57%
from the previous year’s 767ME. Net income was 99 millions of Euros ($US 106

Gemplus employs over 7,870 people in more than 37 countries worldwide.
Gemplus shares are traded on Euronext Paris S.A.
First Market and on Nasdaq in the form of ADSs since December 11, 2000.

About Euronet Worldwide

Euronet Worldwide is a global provider of secure electronic financial
transaction solutions. The company provides financial
payment middleware, financial network gateways, outsourcing, and consulting
services to financial institutions, brokerages, and
mobile operators, in turn enabling their customers to access their personal
financial information and perform secure financial
transactions — any time, any place. The company’s proprietary transaction
management system powers financial transaction
solutions for more than 200 clients in 60 countries, as well as the company’s
processing centers located in the United States,
Europe and Asia. Euronet was recently ranked number two on the Deloitte &
Touche Technical Fast 500, a ranking of the
fastest-growing technology companies in North America. The company owns and
operates the largest independent ATM
network in Europe with corporate headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and
European headquarters in Budapest, Hungary.
Visit our web site at


Hand Held @pos

Hand Held Products and @pos.com announced they have completed an agreement where HHP will license @pos’ Penware 1500 and iPOS 3100 point-of-sale technology platforms.

![][1] The agreement gives HHP complete control of the design, development and manufacture of HHP’s popular Transaction Team POS terminals. The agreement, dated December 29, 2000, is a replacement of the limited manufacturing license contract signed between the two companies in January 2000, and enhances HHP’s ability to respond directly to its customers’ specific requests for modifications, customizations and improvements.

The agreement gives HHP a non-exclusive, worldwide and perpetual license for @pos’ Penware 1500 and iPOS 3100 technology platforms. Under the agreement, HHP can modify the @pos.com terminal technology platforms to meet its evolving customer and market requirements. Enhancements by HHP to the terminal technology platforms are the exclusive property of HHP. @pos.com will retain all rights and titles to the existing technology platforms and will continue further research and development.

According to Kevin Jost, President and CEO of HHP, “The agreement will allow us to accelerate product improvements and feature enhancements of this exciting new product line. HHP is now selling, marketing, engineering, and manufacturing the TT3100 terminals. The Transaction Team terminal family is being widely adopted by leading retailers for POS automation projects and has been a key driver to our business growth in the retail POS market. This latest agreement with @pos.com, secures HHP’s ability to provide continued product enhancements and customer support.”

“This expanded agreement leverages HHP’s strengths as a high quality POS product provider and showcases @pos.com’s engineering design expertise,” commented Llavan Fernando, @pos.com’s CEO and CTO. “In addition, it allows @pos to focus on the next generation technology for the POS environment.”

About Hand Held Products

Hand Held Products, Inc. is a global leader in image-based data collection, offering the industry’s most complete and affordable line of image-based hand held bar code scanners, mobile computers and retail peripherals. More information on Hand Held Products’ product lines is available at [www.handheld.com][2].

About @pos

@pos (OTC BB: EPOS) is the pioneer in Web-enabling the point-of-sale and point-of-presence environments. @pos’ technology allows its licensing partners and customers to utilize secure interactive transaction products for electronic signature capture, debit and credit payments, display advertisements, promotions, and surveys. For more information, see [www.atpos.com][3].

[1]: /graphic/@pos/@pos.gif
[2]: http://www.handheld.com/
[3]: http://www.atpos.com/



OTI announced that its JV, e-Smart System, Inc., a 50:50 joint venture
between OTI and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. will commence a field
test for OTI’s smart card and readers
for use in an automated fare collection service in CKI’s toll bridge in Panyu,
Guandong province.

The project will utilize OTI’s patented contact/contactless smart card
solutions for the Beidou Bridge’s toll payment, with the aim of improving fare
collection efficiency and traffic flow.

The field test will be officially launched in April and will use
5,000 of OTI’s combined contact/contactless cards operating in ten toll
stations. Once successfully completed, e-Smart plans to discuss with other
bridge and toll road operators whose projects are linked to this bridge to
join this e-toll system.

The Beidou Bridge is part of a larger system that includes eight toll
bridges with more than one hundred toll stations, including one of the most
highly-trafficked toll bridges in the Guangdong region of China. The Beidou
Bridge in Panyu is just one of CKI’s toll roads and bridge projects in China
which totals over 600 km. Tens of millions of vehicles pass through this toll
system every year. Revenues are expected to be generated through customer
support fees in addition to ongoing product sales.

“Leveraging CKI’s infrastructure portfolio and OTI’s technology has
enabled e-Smart to extend our reach into the toll road market,” said Shai Ziv,
CEO of e-Smart. “Once deployed for fare collection, we can extend the use of
these contactless smart cards usage for other payment applications in the city
such as public transit, utility meters, social services benefits, banking
applications, loyalty programs, and more.”

Oded Bashan, CEO of OTI, added, “The toll road application validates our
strategy to provide many applications on a single smart card in a variety of

Users in the system will merely present a contactless smart card to a
reader installed at each toll station. The fare will automatically deduct
from the e-cash purse stored on the chip, eliminating the last-minute search
for the exact fare amount or the time-consuming wait for change from the
tollbooth operator. Once depleted, e-cash value can be added to the smart
card at convenient recharging stations. System operators benefit from reduced
cash handling and the “float” earned from prepayment of tolls loaded on the
smart card.

About e-Smart System

e-Smart System is an equally owned joint venture of Cheung Kong
Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. and On Track Innovations Ltd., (OTI), providing
comprehensive solutions with OTI products including: e-purse, secured access
control, mass transportation, web access, loyalty programs, car parking, toll
roads, time & attendance, and many more.

About OTI

Established in 1990, OTI (On Track Innovations) designs and develops
contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of
a wide variety of markets. Applications developed by OTI include product
solutions for mass transit, parking, gas management systems, loyalty schemes,
ID and secure campuses. OTI has regional offices in the US, Europe, Asia
Pacific, and Africa to market and support its products. The company was
awarded the prestigious ESCAT Award for smart card innovation in both 1998 and
2000. Visit OTI on the Internet at http://www.oti.co.il.



ConSyGen Wednesday announced it has reached a formal agreement with Cardservice International Inc. to rollout ConSyGen’s BizPay payment system to Cardservice International’s existing sales channels, as well as to its major Internet service providers and commerce solution provides.

![][1] The BizPay suite of software solutions enable small- to mid-sized businesses and home-based businesses to participate fully in e-commerce without a traditional retail credit card merchant account. Consumers can instantly and securely send money to participating merchants or any other e-mail user in the world, including those using Web-enabled cellular telephones, pagers, and other handheld devices.

“The execution of this agreement sets the stage for BizPay to be the next great payment system for the Internet,” stated ConSyGen’s chief operating officer, Jason Genet. “Some of the largest ISPs and CSPs in the world have expressed serious interest in deploying BizPay to their customers, and through our partnership with Cardservice International, we’ll be able meet those demands.

“It’s a great day for ConSyGen, and we’re very pleased to partner with a company we hold in such high regard.”

“The backend transaction component enables businesses to accept customer credit cards without requiring the merchant to have a traditional merchant account,” said Cardservice International’s senior vice president of sales, John Burtzloff. “BizPay(TM) and the LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway will pave a new path for e-commerce, and that makes this a very exciting partnership.”

About ConSyGen: Established in 1996 as a high technology software development and R&D company, ConSyGen Inc. has focused its business on providing innovative and superior commerce solutions worldwide. The primary CSGI product lineup includes the Counterfeit Cop(TM) and BizPay(TM).

BizPay(TM) is the ultimate e-commerce and payment solution that enables Person-to-Person (P2P), Consumer-to-Business (C2B), and Business-to-Business (B2B) transactions. BizPay(TM) will revolutionize the way electronic commerce evolves. BizPay(TM) will clearly set new standards for payment transactions, as we know them today.

About Cardservice International: Cardservice International Inc. is a global leader in providing real-time secure credit card transactions to merchants. Cardservice offers merchants a cost effective service tailored to their businesses, enabling them to provide credit card processing over the Internet, as well as to the traditional marketplace.

More than 185,000 merchants have contracted with Cardservice International. Of those, 55,000 are actively using Cardservice as their Internet solution. First Data Corp (FDC) a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services holds a 50 percent equity position with Cardservice. For more information about Cardservice International visit [www.cardservice.com][2].

[1]: /graphic/cardserv_intern/cardservice.gif
[2]: http://www.cardservice.com/



MIST Inc. announced that is has signed a significant agreement with The
Horizon Group, one of the largest U.S.
distributors of POS equipment, to distribute MIST Freedom II terminals in the
United States.

Horizon, a Hypercom company based in St. Louis, chose MIST’s Freedom II
wireless POS terminals to meet its growing
customer base desiring wireless solutions. Horizon is also uniquely equipped to
provide specific deployment services, such as
software loading and encryption using the Freedom II terminals.

MIST’s wireless, direct-payment technology delivers leading-edge
capabilities in Point-of-Sale (POS) transaction terminals.
MIST Freedom wireless terminals allow businesses on the go, such as mobile
merchants or taxi companies, to offer customers
the convenience, flexibility, security, and revenue benefits of direct payment.

“MIST is an innovative leader in wireless electronic transaction solutions,
and we can immediately benefit from this new
relationship, as well as from synergies between their wireless transaction
solutions and our existing customer base,” said Scott
Rutledge from The Horizon Group. “We are pleased to add the MIST Freedom line
to our product base offering.”

“Our agreement with Horizon Group opens new markets for MIST’s wireless
payment terminals in the United States,” said
Linda Horwath, vice president, MIST, U.S. Sales. “The POS market can benefit
from our innovative technology with a truly
hand-held mobile system. As the need for wireless continues to grow in the
U.S., so does the need for more flexible, faster and
reliable wireless payment solutions.”

MIST’s Freedom II is a wireless portable device that allows a merchant to
perform credit or debit card transactions from any
location. What sets the Freedom II apart is its ease and flexibility of use
because integrated within each device is a wireless
modem supporting multiple platforms including, CDPD, Mobitex and Ardis/Motient.

This broad variety of wireless communication methods allows the merchant to
select one technology that best fits their
geographical area. In addition, there is a built-in thermal printer supporting
seven lines per second printing, and a Nickel Metal
Hydrite battery provides approximately two hours of constant use or 12 hours

About MIST Inc.

MIST Inc., a leading global provider of wireless transaction-enabling
technologies, is in the business of designing,
manufacturing, and distributing wireless and wired Point-of-Sale (POS)
solutions. With facilities in Toronto and Montreal, MIST
has an installed base of more than 550,000 POS terminals.

MIST’s clients include Canadian and international banks, financial
institutions, credit and debit card processors, as well as
retail, hotel, restaurant, healthcare and loyalty customers. The “MIST Freedom”
family of wireless transaction terminals was
developed to complement its range of existing products.

MIST has business offices in Canada and the United States. For more
information, visit www.mistwireless.com.


AmEx Buys Lease Co

American Express Company and SierraCities.com Inc. announced the signing of a definitive agreement for American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. to acquire SierraCities, a leading equipment finance company, for $5.68 a share, or a total of $107.5 million for the approximately 18.9 million shares outstanding.

![][1] American Express will offer to purchase all outstanding shares of SierraCities pursuant to a tender offer expected to commence within the next two weeks. This transaction is subject to the tender of at least two-thirds of the SierraCities shares, as well as other customary conditions, and is expected to be completed by the end of March.

The acquisition of SierraCities, with more than $1.5 billion in receivables, will significantly expand American Express’ existing equipment financing business and further American Express’ leadership in small business lending.

“SierraCities’ capabilities complement our portfolio of lending products and services,” said Kerry D. Hatch, Executive Vice President and General Manager, American Express Small Business Services. “This transaction will significantly increase our scale in small business lending and enhance American Express’ ability to provide convenient and competitive products and services to small companies.”

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with American Express,” said SierraCities CEO, Tom Depping. “The power of the American Express brand combined with its commitment to the small business market will benefit our customers, shareholders and employees.”

American Express provides equipment financing through participating equipment vendors in the form of leases, and directly to small businesses through term loans.

SierraCities, based in Houston, is an innovator of technology solutions for online business-to-business financing. Its state-of-the-art technology platform supports real-time funding of e-commerce transactions by automating a range of processes, including applications, data retrieval and underwriting.

American Express Small Business Services (SBS) has been providing small business equipment financing since 1997. SBS, a unit solely dedicated to supporting firms with fewer than 100 employees, serves more than 2.5 million small business owners with a range of lending and payment services, including charge and credit cards, unsecured lines of credit, term loans and equipment financing.

American Express Company ([http://www.americanexpress.com][2]) is a diversified worldwide financial, travel and network services provider founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance, accounting and international banking.

[1]: /graphic/sierracities/sierracities.gif
[2]: http://www.americanexpress.com/



Dao Heng Bank Group Limited announces the public launch of its Dao Heng Visa
Platinum card, a premium credit card product that offers a wide range of
exclusive privileges to high net-worth individuals with an annual income of
HK$600,000 (US$77,000) or above.

The Dao Heng Visa Platinum card was soft-launched last November. Private
invitations were extended to the Card Centre’s Gold cardholders who are
eligible for Platinum status.

Mr. Vincent Chiang Wai-sam, General Manager – Card Centre, Dao Heng Bank
Limited, said, “We are greatly encouraged by the response of the private
launch. In just two months, we have already issued a few thousand of the
Platinum cards even before any advertising or promotion of the product. We
are confident that we can capture 10 percent of the Platinum card market this

“This is the first time that Dao Heng has partnered with Visa
International to issue the Visa Platinum card. We aim to target quality and
high net-worth clientele. Industry benchmark shows that Platinum cardholders
normally spend three to five times more than general cardholders, and have a
lower rate of bad debt and delinquency. The existing Gold and general card
products cannot reflect their superior status or fulfill their requirements.
Therefore, we believe that there is definitely a market niche for Platinum
cards,” continued Mr. Chiang.

To cater to the special needs of Dao Heng Visa Platinum card target
customers, who are mainly well-heeled professionals and senior executives
leading a modish lifestyle, the product offers unsurpassed travel and
lifestyle related benefits such as Priority Pass membership. Cardholders also
enjoy “Superior Financial Services” which includes high credit limit, lower
annualized interest rate and a “Call-a-Loan” feature. Dao Heng Visa Platinum
card at the same time offers a comprehensive protection package, including
Golfers Protection, Pet Loss Protection, “$0” Lost Card Total Protection and
Immediate Dispute Resolution service.