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
( 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 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 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. 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, 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’s engineering design expertise,” commented Llavan Fernando,’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 [][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 [][3].

[1]: /graphic/@pos/@pos.gif



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



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 [][2].

[1]: /graphic/cardserv_intern/cardservice.gif



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


AmEx Buys Lease Co

American Express Company and 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 ([][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



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.



The Smart Card Alliance, the largest smart card oriented, non-profit entity in the world, announced it will hold its first industry conference for 2001, “Smart Cards and Consumers Security and Convenience” with pre-conference events beginning February 26th, 2001 and the actual conference taking place on February 28 – March 1, 2001 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Sheraton City Centre.

The event will start off with the Educational Institute, a comprehensive smart card education program presented by top industry executives, beginning Monday 26th. A Pre-conference tutorial on Tuesday focuses on the subject of Personalization and Card Issuance and features speakers from Gemplus, Schlumberger, and Datacard. For those participants interested in learning more about Public Key Infrastructure technology, the highly regarded PKI 101 Tutorial will be offered again on Tuesday as well.

The featured conference agenda will begin on Wednesday, February 28th and end on Thursday, March 1st. The feature keynote for the Conference will be Austin Hill, President of Zero Knowledge Systems. In addition, industry leaders and representatives of government, financial, and consumer organizations that are issuing millions of smart cards in North America will share successful experiences of smart card applications as well as some disappointments from their respective industries, which have used smart card technology. The conference always draws attendees from a range of sectors, including financial institutions, issuers, consumers, technology, card manufacturers, government agencies and universities, offering opportunities to network with the drivers of the smart card industry.

At this meeting, the newly organized Alliance board, consisting of the combined leadership of the former Smart Card Industry Association and Smart Card Forum boards will present the new vision and mission of the Smart Card Alliance. It will also introduce some of the member-driven committees such as the Alliance’s Smart Card Network Security Initiative, Market Survey Committee, Marketing Committee, Stable Points Initiative, and Educational Institute Committee that will help shape the industry in the future. Those committees will be recruiting participants and may hold some individual sessions during the conference to discuss their goals.

“The Alliance represents the go-to place for producers and users of the technology alike,” said Allen Gilstrap, Vice President, Global Network Services for American Express and Chairman of the Smart Card Alliance. “The renewed emphasis on working committees and the continued support from our diverse membership will allow us to expand our outreach and education efforts.”

The entire industry as well as anyone interested is invited to celebrate this first Alliance meeting. To register, please call The Alliance office at (212) 837-7713 or visit the Alliance website at [][1].

About The Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association of over 175 members working to accelerate the widespread acceptance of multiple application smart card technology by bringing together, in an open forum, leading users and technologists from both the public and private sectors. The Smart Card Alliance is the leading organization for education and awareness of topical issues associated with the use and adoption of smart card systems. For more information about The Smart Card Alliance, log on to the organization’s Web site at [][2].




MDC Corporation of Toronto announced that its card services unit Metaca Corp.,
has acquired
100% ownership of NBS Canada, the Canadian card services unit of Mist Inc.,
and the third largest card services provider based in Canada. NBS Canada is a
supplier of plastic cards and personalization services to financial
institutions and retailers in Canada and the United States.

The transaction is expected to add $10 million in annual revenues to
Metaca and will position Metaca as the largest card services provider based in
Canada, offering an increasing range of card related services to major
magnetic stripe and smart card issuers.

“The purchase of NBS Canada is a strategically important move for Metaca.
It will substantially advance our stated plan to widen and deepen our scope of
customer relationships within the financial institution, loyalty and
commercial segments,” said Greg McKenzie, President and Chief Operating
Officer of Metaca. “The other strategic advantage is NBS Canada’s smart card
personalization platform and innovative in-house card design and pre-press
capabilities. I think these will greatly enhance our service offering and
customer service.”

“This acquisition is consistent with MDC’s ongoing strategic plan of
expanding card services, which was initiated by the 1996 purchase of Davis +
Henderson, Canada’s leading cheque manufacturer,” added Miles S. Nadal,
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of MDC.

“Our focus on the continued development of our card services business
reflects our commitment and desire to develop products and services that meet
progressive customer needs and complement our paper payment systems business,”
he said.

“We’re delighted to be joining Metaca, it’s a good fit,” said Dan
Pelletier, President of NBS Card Services Canada. “Our combined organization
will deliver increased value to customers and increased delivery
efficiencies.” Pelletier will continue as General Manager of the combined
business reporting to McKenzie.

McKenzie noted that the acquisition will add Desjardins, Laurentian Bank,
Alberta Treasury Branch, Firstar, Shoppers Drug Mart, Petro-Canada, Sears and
BCE Emergis – additional critical mass to the ongoing relationships of its
already impressive line-up of existing customers, including Royal Bank, CIBC,
National Bank, Bell Canada, Telus, Loyalty Management Group (Air Miles) and
Barnes and Noble.

About Metaca

Metaca Corporation is Canada’s leading Cardprogram Management(TM) Company
with a blue chip customer portfolio, which includes financial services,
telecommunications, retail, loyalty, insurance and utility industries. Metaca
supports this customer portfolio from operations in Canada and in Australia
where it operates under the Placard name. Metaca is owned 85% by MDC and 15%
by Symcor Services Inc.

About Symcor

Symcor is a leading North American customer communication, information
delivery and item processing services provider, with customers in the retail
and corporate banking, mutual fund, investment banking, insurance, retail,
telecom and utility industries across the country. Symcor’s services include
Web development, cheque processing, credit card and payment processing, and a
full range of customer bill and statement advisory, design and presentment
capabilities. Symcor is a joint venture established by Bank of Montreal, Royal
Bank Financial Group and TD Bank Financial Group, combining the “best of the
best” practices from these complex organizations.

About MDC Corporation Inc. (“MDC”)

MDC is a publicly traded international business services organization
with operating units in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and
Australia. MDC offers security sensitive transaction products and services in
four primary areas: Personalized Transaction Products such as personal and
business cheques; Electronic Transaction Products such as credit, debit,
telephone and smart cards; Secure Ticketing Products, such as airline, transit
and event tickets; Stamps, both postal and excise. In addition, MDC is
majority owner of Maxxcom Inc., which is the largest full service marketing
communications organization based in Canada. MDC shares are traded on the
Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MDZ.A and on NASDAQ National Market
Systems under the symbol MDCA.



Marconi Online Systems and a primary European Coca-Cola bottler announced an
important new pilot for
‘Dial-a-Coke’ with a possible future deployment to over 6,000 machines.
This pilot potentially transforms the way consumers will buy drinks from
vending machines.
Eddie King, TCCC Europe, Manager Retail Equipment Innovation, is keen to
understand the improved choice that m-commerce may offer to its customers.
program is very important to both Coca-Cola Europe and Marconi, and has the
full backing of The Coca-Cola Company.
Selected machines will be specially upgraded to become ‘Dial-a-Coke’ outlets
using Marconi’s Intelligent Vending(TM) technology – an innovative ‘future
today’ solution which allows a consumer to pay for their drink using a GSM
cellular phone. ‘Dial-a-Coke’ means that people may no longer worry about
having the right change in their pockets to make a purchase. The system is
designed to be quick and very easy to use, and because it will work alongside
existing coin systems, customers will always be able to buy what they want.

The machines will also use Marconi’s world leading Intelligent Vending
solutions to deliver `Online Vending’. The system allows vending machines to
call in overnight, making sure that the very latest sales and operational
reports arrive at the bottler’s depot every morning.

This innovative concept of making each machine an intelligent part of a
proactive system has already delivered proven benefits to other drink bottlers
around the world. By combining the `Dial-a-Coke’ facility with on-line vending
machines, the bottler will be able to easily track the success of the new
scheme, reporting the number of cash and Dial-a-Coke transactions for each
machine together with the date and time each product was sold.

“In addition, keeping out-of-stocks to a minimum and improving customer
confidence that machines are always clean, filled and working are other
benefits from the Intelligent Vending solution” said Peter Short, Vice
President – Marconi Online Systems. “And because operators are able to
streamline delivery routes, fully account for cash and stock and reduce the
impact of machine faults such as coin jams by prioritizing maintenance visits,
significant operational savings have also been seen.”

“Marconi is serious about providing the most advanced m-commerce and
innovations to vending, fuel dispenser and retail consumers. We are
focusing on
increased sales, improved customer convenience and reduced overheads.” said
Short. “Along with new payment techniques, we are constantly looking for other
ways that retailers can raise vending machine revenues – the current Marconi
solution includes interactive media screens, loyalty and promotion services
which dramatically increase machine sales and develop valuable consumer

About Marconi Online Systems

Marconi Online Systems is a dedicated division of the Marconi Group which has
evolved from Marconi Communications and Marconi Commerce Systems businesses,
bringing an innovative approach to the provision of products and services for
remote points-of-sale, including intelligent vending applications. Marconi
Online Systems has offices in the USA, the United Kingdom and in New Zealand.

About Marconi’s Intelligent Vending(tm) Solutions

Developed over 8 years and now the only complete solution that is fully
approved by The Coca-Cola Company, Marconi’s Intelligent Vending makes vending
management easier and more accurate. Marconi’s technology is already being
by two of the largest Coca-Cola bottling companies in North America to improve
profitability through increased sales and reductions in distribution costs. In
fact, Coca-Cola bottlers already have 65,000 machines online with Marconi
around the world.

About Marconi Commerce Systems

Marconi Commerce Systems is the global leader in offering end-to-end
solutions that provide retailers with ways to offer more convenience and value
to their customers. The company has three business lines that work together to
create a network of technologies through integrated point-of-sale systems,
backoffice/home office software, service and consulting solutions (Retail
Solutions), wireless information management (Online), and state-of-the-art
dispensers (Service Station Equipment). Headquartered in Greensboro, NC, the
company has operations in the USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, UK, Argentina,
China, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. Parent company, Marconi plc is a
global communications and IT company, with 49,000 employees worldwide and
in over 100 countries. It supplies advanced communications solutions and the
key technologies and services for the Internet. Marconi plc is listed on the
London Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ under the symbol MONI.



Utimaco Safeware is the first
security company worldwide to present smartcard-based security solutions for
authentication, encryption and digital signatures using a biometric key. A
new method developed in co-operation with the Swedish company Precise
Biometrics AB and the Finnish company Miotec Oy allows to unlock smartcards by
fingerprints. The smartcard can then be used for authentication,
single-sign-on (SSO), encryption or digital signatures. The integration of
the biometric fingerprint method into Utimaco Safeware’s professional security
applications combines high security with greater convenience for the user.

In contrast to biometric methods of the first generation, which allowed
to compare biometric characteristics to digital patterns but not offering
encryption functions, biometry can now be integrated for the first time into
complex security applications. This “first” confirms Utimaco Safeware’s
leading position in the area of smartcard-based security solutions.

SafeGuard(R) Biometrics is the base module of Utimaco Safeware’s new
biometric security technology. It provides smartcard-based access control for
PC operating systems, including single-sign-on and desktop lock. Instead of a
PIN, the smartcard authenticates its legitimate user by a fingerprint using
the innovative “match on card” technology, which verifies the fingerprint
directly on the card. In combination with other SafeGuard(R) products,
SafeGuard(R) Biometrics forms a security suite allowing to use the
biometry-enabled smartcards for such complex security applications as file
encryption, certificate-based digital signatures, strong authentication and

As a consequence, the users of SafeGuard(R) Biometrics do not have to
remember a PIN, the support costs and time losses caused by forgotten PINs are
eliminated. The simple sign-on by fingerprint also greatly facilitates the
day-to-day use of security applications for users. What is more, SafeGuard(R)
Biometrics makes it impossible for users to pass on their cards and PINs to
other persons (e.g. so that a colleague can substitute for them). Although
this might seem convenient in some cases, it should not be possible for
digital signatures that have to be unambiguously assigned to their original
user. SafeGuard(R) Biometrics has been developed in co-operation with the
Swedish company Precise Biometrics, the technological leader in the area of
fingerprint technology, and the Finnish security house, Miotec.

Precise Biometrics, a strategic partner of Utimaco Safeware in the area of
biometrics, contributed the combined fingerprint/smartcard reader and the
innovative “Mach On Card”-technology. This new technology allows to replace
the PIN code on smartcards by fingerprints. The PC/SC-compatible reader
requires no separate power supply and is connected to the PC via the parallel
port or the USB port. A new fingerprint verification method developed by
Precise (Precise Pattern Matching) enables the efficient and accurate checking
of fingerprints. Miotec contributed the new MioCOS card operating system,
which enables advanced authentication like biometrics. Several fingerprints
can be stored on a card and can be used like a PIN. The user can be
authenticated by any combination of PINs and fingerprints. The card features
a 1024 bit RSA co-processor and on-card key generation and enables the use of
the smartcards for digital signatures.

SafeGuard(R) Biometrics will be available in the second quarter of 2001.
Utimaco Safeware AG is the leading European manufacturer of certified IT
security solutions for professional use. Utimaco Safeware develops and sells
integrated security solutions based on established standards for the following
areas: mobile/desktop security and Internet security.

Precise Biometrics AB is the leading European provider of biometric
solutions. The Swedish company develops and markets products for
fingerprint-based biometric identification. Its solutions replace passwords,
PIN codes, ID cards and keys in IT, telecom and physical access systems. Miotec Oy
specializes in the development and
marketing of PKI solutions (public key infrastructure), card operating systems
and hightechnology cards.



Schlumberger Limited announced that its Test &
Transactions business segment has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Bull
CP8, a subsidiary of Groupe Bull, based in
Louveciennes, France, for approximately $325 million.

Bull CP8 is a leading provider of highly secured microprocessor-based cards
and associated applications systems for the
banking, mobile communications and network security industries. The scope of
the transaction comprises Bull CP8 and its
operating subsidiaries (Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the
US) as well as its equity interest in several
subsidiaries including Cardsoft, Cyber-COMM, SPOM, Trusted Logic and Xiring.

This acquisition will provide Schlumberger with complementary R&D and smart
card technology capabilities, especially in the
banking segment where Bull CP8 holds a worldwide position.

“The acquisition of Bull CP8 will expand the Schlumberger portfolio of
advanced smart card and security solutions, extending
their offering through our global solutions team,” said Irwin Pfister,
executive vice president Schlumberger Test & Transactions.
“Schlumberger will gain further time-to-market advantage in new-generation
mobile telecommunications smart card applications
and reinforce its presence in the banking and network security segments. Bull
CP8’s highly qualified people, innovative
technological culture and international network of partners will contribute to
further accelerate our growth. Smart card customers
will benefit from a wider range of products and applications and an expanded
support organization.”

David Levy, Bull CP8 chief executive officer added, “Bull CP8 has always
been at the forefront of smart card technology since
its invention in 1977 to the first 32 bit operating system in 2000. Private,
convenient and secure identification of the subscriber is
key to the internet and mobile communication service providers. Schlumberger
and Bull CP8 together will be the leading provider
of software for personal chips. They are the ultimate identification tool and
are fundamental to personal privacy.”


Schlumberger Limited also announced it has reached agreement with the board of
directors of Sema plc on the
terms of a recommended offer for the entire issued and to be
issued share capital of Sema.

The Offer will be made on the basis of approximately $8.09 (560 UK pence) in
cash for each Sema share and approximately $16.18 (1120 UK pence) in cash
for each Sema ADS (each ADS represents 2 Sema shares).

The Offer values the transaction at approximately $5.2 billion
(approximately 3.6 billion UK pounds) fully diluted for the exercise of all
outstanding options.

The Sema Board intends unanimously to recommend the Offer.
Euan Baird, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schlumberger, explained
the importance of this transaction to Schlumberger:

“The acquisition of Sema will enable us to accelerate significantly our
existing information technology strategy. It will enhance our capabilities
and critical mass in systems integration, widen our IT skills and create
revenue synergies in many of our core competencies.

I am confident that the excellent personal relationships which we have
developed with senior Sema management and strong cultural fit between our
organizations will facilitate the integration and subsequent growth of Sema
within the Schlumberger group.

We believe that Sema is the catalyst that will help us approach the
five-year goals for growth and profitability that I set out two years ago.”

Baird further stated:

“For several years, we have been actively exploiting IT to improve our
internal business processes and efficiencies, to grow our existing
businesses and to develop new IT-based revenue generation opportunities.
This focus on leveraging IT has taken the form of extensions of existing
Schlumberger business groups and also the creation of new businesses which
leverage Schlumberger’s long term expertise in network development and
management, IP based applications, backed by a strong culture of global

Such initiatives have been ongoing in all three of the Schlumberger core
vertical markets: oilfield services, wireless telecom and utilities.

We believe that it has become increasingly clear that the winners in the
Internet age will be companies with excellent products and market shares in
specific verticals that are able to substantially enhance their business
models with these new technologies.

Consequently, we have concluded that we need to continue to add strong IT
technology, systems integration and consulting competencies on a global
scale to both accelerate the growth in our core vertical markets and to
establish ourselves as a leading information solutions provider in those
core vertical markets. Sema provides those competencies to us.”

Schlumberger expects to complete this transaction in the second quarter of

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger Limited is a global leader in technical services spanning the
oil and gas, utility, semiconductor testing, smart
cards, network and Internet solutions industries. Schlumberger revenue was
$9.61 billion in 2000. Additional information is
available from Realtime (, the Schlumberger
corporate website.

Schlumberger Test & Transactions provides consulting, systems integration
and products for smart card-based transactions,
IP (Internet Protocol) network security and wireless services, and testing and
measurement of semiconductor devices.