SVS Signs Pier 1

Stored Value Systems, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Comdata Corporation, announced it has successfully developed an electronic cash card program for Fort Worth, Texas- based Pier 1 Imports, the nation’s largest specialty home furnishings retailer, with over 800 stores in 48 states and Canada. The multi-year partnership establishes SVS as the exclusive cash card provider for the retailer, representing Pier 1’s entrance into the rapidly growing retail gift card arena.

In September 2000, the Pier 1 electronic cash card became the first card of its kind developed to automatically calculate Canadian and United States currency equivalents in real time, at the point of sale. This feature allows Canadian Pier 1 customers to shop for items in U.S. stores, and vice versa, without time-consuming steps for conversion at the check out.

“We’re very excited to have Pier 1 in the SVS retailer family,” said SVS senior vice president Wayne Chatham. “It’s clear that shoppers all across America are comfortable using electronic cash as a means of gift giving and receiving in-store credit for merchandise returns. Pier 1 shoppers have now officially joined the paperless economy with a personal and convenient way to purchase items.”

“Pier 1 is glad to offer our customers more convenient ways to celebrate events throughout the year; the electronic cash card is the perfect way to give,” said Hank Williamson, Pier 1’s vice president of sales and store support. “Since the card’s launch a couple of months ago, we have sold over 450,000 gift cards. It has been received well by our customers.”

SVS pioneered the electronic cash card product in 1995 and now counts some of the nation’s largest and most recognizable names in the retail industry among its list of clientele. Among others, SVS clients include Target, Radio Shack, J.C. Penney, BP Oil, Citgo, Exxon/Mobil, and Lowe’s.

SVS cash cards are used primarily as replacements for paper gift certificates. Some retailers, like Pier 1, also use their electronic cash cards for corporate incentive programs. Pier 1 gift cards are available for purchase in any of the company’s U.S. or Canadian stores, as well as their online store ([http://www.pier1.com][1] ).

Pier 1 card values can be added to at any time, and shoppers can check their balances at any Pier 1 location or by dialing the toll-free number printed on the back of the card. Callers will be directed to a call center designed to handle merchant and shopper inquiries for all SVS retailers; an arrangement that allows merchants to private label their cash card-based customer care with a team completely dedicated to enhancing the shopping experience in their stores.

About Stored Value Systems (SVS):

Stored Value Systems, Inc. (SVS) is the nation’s leading provider of retail cash card services and chip card programs. Retailers across America rely on SVS to create customer loyalty, increase transaction volumes and strengthen their competitive position in the retailer marketplace. The people of SVS are the experts at building retail brands and keeping satisfied shoppers in stores. Headquartered in Louisville, KY, Stored Value Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Comdata Corporation.

About Comdata:

Comdata Corporation ([http://www.comdata.com][2] ) is redefining the movement of money and information through technology for businesses, customers and employees. A leading provider of transaction and information services, Comdata has been an industry innovator since the company was founded in 1969. Comdata provides Comchek(R) credit and debit processing and reporting for commercial fleets and merchants, electronic cash and gift card services for retailers, chip card programs for governmental agencies and fuel management systems. Headquartered in Brentwood, TN, Comdata employs nearly 2,000 people throughout the United States and Canada. Comdata is a business unit of Minneapolis-based Ceridian Corporation (NYSE: CEN).

About Pier 1:

Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE: PIR) is North America’s largest specialty retailer of imported decorative home furnishings, gifts and related items with over 800 stores in 48 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Japan. Additional company and product information is located at [pier1.com][3].

[1]: http://www.pier1.com/
[2]: http://www.comdata.com/
[3]: http://www.pier1.com

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SCOT Fingerprints

NCR Corporation, the company that introduced the world to point-of-sale automation, announced it will unveil the latest in self-checkout technology at the Food Marketing Institute’s MarkeTechnics show in New Orleans this week. Applying its checkout expertise to this growing market, NCR is equipping its award-winning self- checkout solution, known as “SCOT,” with:

– Fingerprint recognition that expedites the payment process and saves shoppers the hassle of using a debit or credit card by enabling them to pay by “touch”;

– Radio-frequency, wireless handheld scanners that save shoppers the task of lifting large, heavy “bottom-of-the-cart” items such as charcoal and dog food;

– Integrated surveillance software that facilitates the checkout experience by deactivating anti-theft tags;

– Video technology capable of running promotions, specials or other customer information.

“NCR is a world leader in self-service solutions, from ATMs to Web Kiosks to Self-Checkout. With an estimated 20 billion self-service transactions conducted on NCR systems each year, NCR is committed to helping consumers help themselves, and to meeting all the needs of retailers at the point of service,” said NCR Canada President, Brian Sullivan.

Microsoft has honored NCR for innovation in the self-checkout and growing Web kiosk markets; The Nilson Report has recognized NCR as the leader in ATM shipments; and Venture Data Corporation has ranked NCR number-one in bar code scanners. NCR is also the first and only company to offer a “convertible” self- checkout system, which can be easily converted from self-service to assisted service during peak traffic hours.

“We don’t believe one size fits all,” said Sullivan. “By offering a flexible and configurable self-checkout solution, we can maximize a retailer’s front-end productivity while delivering greater customer satisfaction.”

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial, communications, manufacturing, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled Teradata(TM) warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, store automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long- established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 32,900 in more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at [www.ncr.com][1].

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

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PreCash Express Terminals

PreNet Corporation, an electronic cash transaction company, and First of Omaha Merchant Processing, a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and one of the nation’s leading credit card processors, announced Friday the national availability of the PreCash Express Terminal, a point-of-sale terminal that makes it easier for retailers to process prepaid wireless transactions.

A customized Dassault AT Talento, the PreCash Express Terminal enables retailers to process PreCash transactions, thus adding minutes to a customer’s wireless phone account. The PreCash Express Terminal can also be used to process a full range of credit card transactions if the retailer so desires.

PreCash is an electronic payment card that links customers to their wireless account, enabling them to easily “refill” or make payments to their accounts at any PreCash refill location. PreCash Cards use existing bankcard networks, and can either be processed on a retailer’s existing POS device or on the new PreCash Express Terminal. PreCash retailers enjoy the benefits of increased foot traffic into their stores while minimizing inventory issues, such as fraud and shrinkage, associated with traditional prepaid phone cards.

“The PreCash Express Terminal is ideal for smaller retailers with just a few locations,” said Richard Dietz, president of PreNet Corporation. “It’s easy to set-up and can be used immediately to process PreCash transactions. And, it uses First of Omaha’s leading payment processing network, ensuring no hassles for the retailer.”

Nick Baxter, president of First of Omaha(R), commented, “We see the market for processing payments for prepaid and stored-value products growing rapidly, particularly in the wireless industry. We’re proud to work with PreNet to offer a comprehensive solution to enable retailers to process PreCash transactions using our full range of processing services.”

About the PreCash Express Terminal

The PreCash Express Terminal is a stand-alone solution enabling retailers to process PreCash transactions. Its slim design allows it to fit anywhere, making it flexible with the retailer’s counter display. It displays graphics on the terminal screen and even has an integrated seven line per second printer so it’s fast and easy to read. All retailers need to get started is a source of electricity and access to an analog phone line.

About First of Omaha Merchant Processing

First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a premier payment processor specializing in providing service to both the traditional and Internet marketing industry, as well as the traditional face to face card acceptance market. First of Omaha provides financial management and payment processing solutions for large and small retailers, restaurants, lodging merchants, petroleum marketers, associations/franchise groups and banks in both the business to consumer and business to business marketplaces. Known for superior customer service, First of Omaha specializes in providing clients the latest in card processing technologies. Through development of a diversified product line, First of Omaha has become a leader in the merchant processing industry, assisting clients in the reduction of chargebacks and fraud. First of Omaha Merchant Processing is a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and is one of the few remaining in-house bank processors. First National Bank of Omaha, founded in 1863, is the 32nd oldest nationally chartered bank in existence.

About PreNet Corporation

With headquarters in Portland, Ore. and offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Mo., Dallas and London, PreNet Corporation provides wireless carriers, service providers and stored-value platform providers a cash-loading acceptance mark for loading value onto stored-value products, including prepaid wireless, at select retail locations nationwide. Using existing credit card infrastructure, PreNet’s PreCash has created a new standard for enabling the conversion of cash into electronic currency. As The Next Generation of Cash(TM), PreCash offers consumers simple, secure and convenient cash payment options for the New Economy. For more information about PreNet and PreCash, please visit [http://www.precash.com][1].

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

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Incurrent Execs

Incurrent Solutions, Inc., the leading provider of Internet-based account acquisition and Cardmember Relationship Management solutions for the payment card industry, announced the expansion of their staff with the appointments of Francis Albin and Jim Teters to its sales team. Albin and Teters will join Dan Cone, head of Business Development in the Orlando, Florida office.

Albin and Teters will focus on assisting card issuers to enhance relationships with the growing number of consumers that desire to access, service and manage their credit card accounts via the Internet and wireless channels.

About Francis Albin

Francis Albin most recently served as Managing Director of EMEA operations during a six-year tenure at PaySys International. Previously, he managed domestic sales territories and global partner relationships for PaySys. Prior to his experience at PaySys, Mr. Albin was on the sales force of BancTec, a provider of Tandem based merchant acquiring switch solutions.

About Jim Teters

Jim Teters joins Incurrent with over eleven years of sales and marketing experience in the financial services sector, working predominantly in various positions with Fiserv, a leading provider of software and outsourcing services for the banking industry. During his tenure there Mr. Teters marketed the Fiserv core banking solution to top 200 US banks, worked with strategic account acquisition and most recently marketed Fiserv’s data warehouse services. Additionally, Mr. Teters assisted Phoenix International, a leading NT software provider to the banking industry, as Director of Business Development previous to his most recent position with Fiserv.

About Incurrent Solutions

Founded in 1997, Incurrent Solutions ([www.incurrent.com][1]) provides advanced Internet and wireless services to leading card-issuing banks and transaction processors. Incurrent has seen the volume of its clients’ total cardmember base grow from 15 million to 100 million accounts over the last twelve months alone, reflecting rapid adoption of Incurrent’s CardSite’ services.

About CardSite’

CardSite’, an on-line Cardmember Relationship ManagementSM solution, is delivered under a comprehensive application service provider (ASP) model. Incurrent combines its industry-leading CardSite with client-defined operating services and complete creative design and integration services to form a cohesive Internet and wireless cardholder solution.

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

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FioranoMQ

Payment Technologies, Inc., the leader in online value exchange infrastructure has selected FioranoMQ, to extend Payment Technologies’ physical-world payment solutions into the electronic world. Fiorano Software is the leading provider of standards-based, Java-message-service-compliant messaging infrastructure technology. Organizations across the payments and messaging industries can now offer a variety of secure, private, and easy-to-use electronic payment and merchandising options to their business partners and consumers over the Internet or enterprise networks.

“The exponential growth of e-commerce presents a huge business opportunity for Payment Technologies,” said Jean Woodworth, CEO, Payment Technologies. “Fiorano Software provided us the fast, scalable, standards based, messaging platform that allowed us to leverage our existing application investment to provide online payment solutions.”

Payment Technologies’ solutions provide unbranded account management along with traditional payment capabilities to large merchants, financial institutions and other organizations on the web. Through its VALEXIA platform and VALEXIA support services, Payment Technologies provides person-to-person and business-to-business payments, subscription services, and stored value as well as traditional promotional capabilities such as gift certificates, coupons and loyalty points. The VALEXIA platform enables business partners to increase revenue and support value exchange options.

“Payment Technologies’ solution demonstrates the value that FioranoMQ brings to organizations automating their operations and expanding their business application functionality to support the exploding online community,” said Atul Saini, President and CEO of Fiorano Software. “In addition to providing the core messaging services, FioranoMQ is providing the performance and scalability required to deliver and process business critical information.”

Payment Technologies relies on FioranoMQ for the instantaneous and guaranteed delivery of business critical information between the payment system components. As a result, FioranoMQ reliably automates such tasks as updating member registration, confirming credit authorization, exchanging value information between back-end components, and notifying the payment system of potential fraud to maintain the systems security.

“We evaluated several java message service (JMS) implementations to ensure that we could support the performance demands and high transaction volumes of our customers and business partners,” said Steve Sorem, CTO, Payment Technologies. “We ran a series of performance tests and found that Fiorano’s unique file-based data store technology enabled FioranoMQ to outperform all the other JMS implementations. In addition, FioranoMQ was a clear choice for our real-world scalability requirements.”

About Fiorano Software

Founded in 1995, Fiorano Software, Inc. is a leading provider of high-speed messaging solutions for business-to-business e-commerce and integration. FioranoMQ enables organizations to exchange information and integrate business processes in real-time over the Internet or any enterprise network. FioranoMQ was the first JMS implementation and is proven the fastest Java messaging server on the market in benchmark tests. Fiorano’s high-performance, award winning, enterprise products are used by leading companies including Alcatel, AT&T Wireless, EDS, Ericsson, FedEx, JP Morgan, KPMG, Motorola, and Qwest Communications. For more information about Fiorano, Inc. visit [http://www.fiorano.com][1].

About Payment Technologies, Inc.

Payment Technologies, Inc. is the leader in online value exchange infrastructure. It’s Valexia product suite enables businesses to offer a variety of secure, private-label, and easy-to-use electronic payment options to their customers and business partners.

Payment Technologies, Inc. has provided consulting as well as services to the payments industry for more than 10 years. For more information about Payment Technologies, Inc. visit [http://www.paytec.com][2].

[1]: http://www.fiorano.com/
[2]: http://www.paytec.com/

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Kelly Promoted

BannerDirect announced that Patricia Kelly has been named Vice President, Account Management & Strategic Planning, effective immediately, just shy of Ms. Kelly’s one year anniversary. Based in New York, Ms. Kelly will be responsible for spearheading strategic management and client services to position BannerDirect as a leading direct response marketing agency. In addition, Ms. Kelly will head up the sales and marketing departments of the company to foster existing client relationships as well as build new ones.

“In less than a year, it’s become apparent that Patricia is a vital asset to BannerDirect in expanding its strategic marketing expertise,” said Christine Fontana, President, to whom Ms. Kelly will be reporting directly. “Her meteoric rise through the corporate hierarchy reflects the confidence the entire staff has in her abilities.”

Patricia Kelly’s prior positions include Regional Account Manager for Northeast Territory in BannerDirect; Vice President for Chase Manhattan Bank’s Credit Card Services division and Vice President and Marketing Director for European American Bank. Pat has also held senior marketing positions at First Data Corp and Chemical Bank. She received a Master of Arts degree in Business Education and a B.S. in Business Administration from Hofstra University. Ms. Kelly and her husband James Peck currently reside in Brightwaters, NY with their two-year-old daughter, Alexandra.

BannerDirect is a full-service direct marketing agency recognized for the development and execution of direct response marketing programs for clients in the financial, entertainment, telecommunications, association, retail and medical industries. Its services and expertise include comprehensive marketing strategy and planning; creative development; production management; list procurement; list processing; and, data analysis. BannerDirect is headquartered in New York City; production coordination and fulfillment are managed from BannerDirect’s Wilmington (NC) office. BannerDirect has sales offices in New York City, Milwaukee (WI), Carson City (NV), Charlotte (NC) and Brightwaters (NY).

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Publix EFT Network

ACI Worldwide, a leading international provider of enterprise e-payment solutions, announces the licensing of a suite of consumer e-payment processing applications to Publix Super Markets, Inc., the sixth largest volume supermarket chain in the U.S. Publix will use the ACI software to launch a new processing platform for all payment transactions initiated by consumers at the supermarket’s chain of more than 640 stores, and to process transactions initiated within Publix’s Presto! EFT network.

With ACI’s BASE24(R) software at its core, the new platform will provide Publix with fault-tolerant, scalable e-payment processing to quickly and efficiently handle consumer payments. BASE24 will acquire, route and switch all online transaction traffic for the chain’s network of ATMs and point of sale (POS) devices, and provide check authorization.

“Our existing in-house system just can’t keep up with our business needs,” said Publix spokesman Lee Brunson. “ACI’s applications allow us to add new features and services, keep up with the latest card network mandates, and handle growing transaction volumes.”

“With BASE24 operating in the background, Publix can offer consumers a variety of payment options, and keep its ATM network up and running around the clock,” said Mark Vipond, president of ACI Worldwide. “Our solutions are built for speed and reliability. As a result, they help retailers like Publix streamline and automate their payments processing to satisfy consumer demand and hold down costs.”

A pair of e-payment management applications from ACI, and a suite of communications and monitoring tools from ACI affiliate Insession Technologies, rounds out the solutions licensed by Publix. The solutions manage and automate settlement processes, provide connectivity for complex computing environments, and monitor systems to keep them operating at peak efficiency.

About Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Publix Super Markets is owned and operated by its more than 124,000 employees, with 1999 sales of $13.1 billion. Currently Publix has 647 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. The company has been named one of America’s top 10 places to work in the book, “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America,” as well as one of the top companies in Fortune’s recent list of best workplaces. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized as tops in the grocery business, most recently by an American Customer Satisfaction Index survey published in Fortune magazine.

About ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq:TSAI) helps the world move money. Every minute of every day, retailers, financial institutions and networking industries rely on ACI solutions to manage consumer e-payments and information. As a leading international provider of e-commerce and e-payment solutions, ACI maintains operations in the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific. More than 2,400 customers in 80 countries use ACI distributed solutions. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at [www.aciworldwide.com][1].

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

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Next Gen B2C

Ericsson and IBM confirmed Thursday a major partnership to develop and implement technology that enables high-value, high-volume business-to-client services such as wealth management, account aggregation, mobile trading, and credit card and payment alerts. The alliance will combine Ericsson ‘Mobile Internet’ application building blocks such as Ericsson ‘Mobile e-Pay’, ‘Safetrader’ and ‘WAP Gateway’ with the IBM ‘WebSphere’ infrastructure family of products including ‘WebSphere Everyplace Suite’, and the IBM ‘eServer’ family of products. IBM says many of the wireless projects underway at banks and financial services firms today are in pilot stage, involving only a few hundred consumers and undertaken on a one-off basis to gain first-mover advantage. IBM says financial services companies now are faced with the challenge of delivering higher value financial services to hundreds of thousands of customers located around the globe.

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Famous Dave’s Card

Gift Check Solutions announced it has signed an agreement to provide electronic gift card services for Famous Dave’s of America Inc..

Under terms of the agreement, Gift Check Solutions will manage the gift card fulfillment, processing, security and site maintenance for Famous Dave’s 34 corporate-owned and 10 franchised restaurants in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In addition, Gift Check Solutions will provide hosted e-commerce services, allowing Famous Dave’s to sell gift cards and other products at [www.FamousDaves.com][1].

“We have noticed a dramatic increase in our gift certificate sales since we began using Gift Check Solutions’ gift card program,” stated Doug Anderson, vice president of marketing for Famous Dave’s.

“For November and December of 2000, our sales increased 82 percent over the same period in 1999. Having both company-owned and franchised restaurants, Gift Check Solutions has provided us with a secure gift card system that is flexible enough for everyone to use.”

Gift Check Solutions’ electronic gift card program utilizes magnetic swipe card technology, allowing all gift card transactions to be processed in real-time through a highly secure network.

Gift Check Solutions’ electronic gift cards are designed to utilize compatible location-established point-of-sale (POS) equipment or a Gift Check Solutions dedicated gift card terminal.

“Famous Dave’s has experienced tremendous growth and success over the past several months, and we welcome them to our growing number of gift card clients,” said John Bechard, president of Gift Check Solutions.

“We believe our gift card system will help Famous Dave’s expand more rapidly than ever, as we allow them to focus their efforts on their business while we take care of all their gift card processing needs.”

A customer may place any dollar value on a gift card. Following a purchase, no change is given; any account balance remains on the customer’s card for future use. In addition, each gift card is customized with Famous Dave’s logo and company theme. Cardholders are available to complete the gift card presentation.

About Famous Dave’s of America

Famous Dave’s of America Inc. owns, operates and franchises barbeque restaurants and blues clubs. The company currently owns 34 locations and franchises an additional 10 units in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, Virginia and Utah.

Its menu features award-winning barbequed and grilled meats, an ample selection of salads, side items, sandwiches and desserts. For more information about Famous Dave’s, visit the company’s Web site at [www.FamousDaves.com][2].

About Gift Check Solutions

Gift Check Solutions offers small- to medium-sized businesses paper and electronic gift certificate systems and services. Gift Check Solutions’ paper gift certificates are encoded with the client’s bank account information and are processed like a check.

The gift certificates are deposited at face value by the redeeming store, allowing for immediate payment while eliminating paperwork and administrative processes. Gift Check Solutions manages the creation, processing, printing and fulfillment of gift certificates and simplifies the ordering process for each location.

Gift Check Solutions also offers customized point-of-purchase materials to drive gift certificate sales throughout the entire year. Gift Check Solutions is headquartered in Salt Lake City. For more information about Gift Check Solutions, visit the company’s Web site at [www.GiftCheckSolutions.com][3].

[1]: http://www.famousdaves.com/
[2]: http://www.famousdaves.com/
[3]: http://www.giftchecksolutions.com/

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Datawave Card

Vancouver-based DataWave Systems is launching a MasterCard-branded prepaid card issued by Michigan National Bank. DataWave designs, develops, produces, owns and manages a proprietary, intelligent, automated direct-merchandising network, comprised of free-standing intelligent machines and over the counter terminal units connected to the gateway and database software through a wireless and/or landline wide area network. DataWave’s development plan call for offering prepaid services for new product lines such as prepaid cards, prepaid travel cards, prepaid gift cards, and prepaid Internet payment cards.

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Schlumberger PCS

Schlumberger Test & Transactions yesterday announced yet another acquisition with a deal to buy PCS Innovations. PCSI’s mobileMAGIC technology provides a secure messaging gateway that enables different mobile devices such as phones, PDAs and pagers, to communicate using multiple applications, regardless of the protocol or standard. MobileMAGIC’s public key infrastructure security allows mobile operators, financial institutions and corporate enterprises to deploy secure messaging and transactional applications over wireless networks.

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Hypercom 4Q/00

Hypercom reported fourth quarter net revenues of $84.5 million versus $76.0 million in the same period a year ago. The net loss for 4Q/00 was $4.2 million compared to $2.0 million for 4Q/99. Hypercom says 4Q was impacted by approximately $750,000 in severance and closing costs and by $1 million in banking costs due to higher interest rates, banking fees and consulting fees. Net revenue for 2000 was $327.6 million with a net loss of $31.0 million. The Company recently announced that it has entered into a commitment letter with an asset-based lender to replace its current credit facilities. Under the commitment letter, the Company would obtain a $40 million senior secured facility. The facility would have a term of three years, would be secured by substantially all the Company’s U.S.-based assets and would provide for interest at the prime rate plus 1% or LIBOR plus 2.75%. Hypercom says it expects results of operations to improve sequentially each quarter and to return to profitability during the latter part of the year.

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