MBNA & Apple

Apple and MBNA introduced instant financing that allows qualified customers to make monthly payments on Apple products, including the entirely new line of desktops recently debuted at Macworld New York.

Through the program — which enables monthly payments as low as $19.99 for the new $799 Indigo iMac — customers can apply for financing and receive immediate notification at the point of purchase. The program is available now through Apple’s online Apple Store([http://www.apple.com][1]) in the United States, and is currently being rolled out to Apple authorized resellers.

“Apple is all about making the best technology more accessible to consumers,” said Fred Anderson, Apple’s CFO. “We are proud to work with MBNA, a recognized pioneer in providing immediate web-based loan decisions, to give more people a chance to experience our revolutionary products.”

Loans up to $25,000 are available to qualified customers with a choice of four payment terms: 24, 36, 48 and 60 months. Customers will be able to reaccess their account without reapplying for a loan, enabling future purchases of Apple products with ease.

“Apple represents innovation and quality,” said Gregg Bacchieri, senior vice chairman of MBNA. “We look forward to providing Apple customers with the innovative and high quality services they expect from MBNA.”

Apple’s new product line includes the revolutionary new Power Mac(TM) G4 Cube, an all-new iMac family in stunning new colors (Indigo, Ruby, Sage, Graphite and Snow), dual-processor Power Mac G4s, a new family of displays, and the new optical Apple Pro Mouse and Apple Pro Keyboard, which come standard with all Apple desktops.

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $76.3 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan and insurance products. MBNA.com ([http://www.MBNA.com][2]) provides credit card, consumer loan, retail deposit and shopping services.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.

[1]: http://www.apple.com/
[2]: http://www.mbna.com/


Nova 2Q

NOVA Corporation yesterday reported second quarter operating results, before a one-time charge, of $0.31 per diluted share based on record revenues of $405.8 million.

The Company also announced a pre-tax charge to earnings totaling $142.5 million, resulting in a reported after tax net loss of $0.99 per share for the quarter. Net income, before the charge, was $22.1 million, or an increase of 7.8% over the $20.5 million from the same period a year ago. Earnings per diluted share, excluding the charge, increased 10.7% from the $0.28 per share reported for the same period in 1999. Second quarter results also include an incremental $0.01 per share impact resulting from consolidation of 100% of the operating results of the Company’s majority owned subsidiary, Econex, LLC, (“Econex”).

Revenues for the second quarter corresponded with the Company’s July 26, 2000, pre-earnings announcement. Commenting on the quarter, NOVA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Grzedzinski said, “Although we are not pleased with the results of our second quarter, we are encouraged by the fact that our revenue shortfall, relative to original analyst expectations, is largely isolated within a single component of our business.” The Company reported that merchant processing revenues originated through NOVA’s bank and trade association relationships increased 20.1%, while revenues generated from merchant processing activities relative to NOVA’s 1998 acquisition of PMT Services, Inc., (“PMT”) declined by 12.2%. Grzedzinski commented further by saying, “Excessive attrition in the former PMT portfolio, along with lower than anticipated profitability, combined to produce an impaired asset that is eroding at a relatively rapid pace. The corresponding result has had the multiple effect of lower than anticipated revenues and operating profits, while masking superb results in the other components of our business,” he said. Commenting on the recent pre-earnings press release issued by the Company, Grzedzinski said, “On July 26th, we attempted to shed some light on the situation by identifying several contributing factors to our revenue shortfall but, in the final analysis, more than 90% of the issue is related to non-performance in the PMT asset.” He went on to say that, “It is important to clarify that excessive attrition is the primary cause, and that it is isolated to this particular book of business. In fact, new sales remain strong,” adding that, “We signed over 31,000 new accounts during the quarter, and we expect to put up similar new sales numbers in the third and fourth quarters.”

In the second quarter NOVA recorded a pre-tax special charge of $142.5 million, or $1.31 per share, which included a charge of $84.6 million specifically related to an intangible asset comprised of merchant contracts acquired as part of the 1998 acquisition of PMT. The Company also announced a decision to accelerate the amortization of the remaining PMT-related intangible asset. The remainder of the pre-tax charge, or $57.9 million, was recorded to recognize an impairment of receivables the Company believes it will not collect. This includes approximately $54 million in receivables and related legal costs originating from former PMT business units. Commenting on the one-time charge, Grzedzinski said, “The closing of the second quarter happened to coincide with the completion of the PMT integration and normal analysis of our balance sheet and related assets. This work was substantially aided by the analytical data available as a result of having two full quarters of processing history with the majority of the PMT business on our platform. Our normal review of the data prompted us to take a very critical look at the associated intangible and receivable assets and, with that work now complete, we have concluded that the rapid rate of attrition and lower than anticipated profit characteristics of this book of business warrants the impaired asset treatment and write off of certain receivables.” Grzedzinski added that, “Our normal review of all other assets identified justification to retire several other receivables, including items totaling $4 million relating to what we refer to as core NOVA, or our bank originated book of business.” With respect to several of the written off receivables, Grzedzinski stated, “In examining various receivables emanating from former PMT business units, we have also concluded that certain items warrant further action and, as a consequence, litigation is either in process or pending,” adding that, “It would be inappropriate to elaborate any further on these items.”

The Company has also announced that it has decided to integrate Econex, LLC, a joint venture formed in 1999 to provide card processing services to the growing Internet merchant market, into NOVA’s core operations. As part of this decision, NOVA will continue to market the product line under the Econex brand name. Grzedzinski said that, “From a customer perspective, nothing will change relative to the Econex brand as we integrate the product development, sales and customer support activities into our core operations.” He also said, “We firmly believe Internet merchant processing represents a tremendous opportunity for NOVA and that this component of our business will continue to grow quite rapidly.” The impact of the decision to integrate Econex operations into NOVA will result in a third quarter charge estimated at $13 million, or approximately $0.12 per share. Grzedzinski concluded his comments on Econex by saying, “We remain committed to our Internet strategy and the Econex product line,” adding that, “We continue to see triple-digit growth in Internet processing volume, coupled with strong and growing demand for Econex products and services.”

Grzedzinski continued his commentary on the quarter and related actions by saying, “While second quarter earnings before the charge exceeded those of a year ago, we are clearly disappointed by these results and the need to take the actions we have communicated. With our technology, scale, capacity and distribution channels, NOVA has the tools necessary to deliver far better results, which we will demonstrate over time. Meanwhile, our operating plan is to focus on our core markets, customers and product sets in order to return to consistent delivery of double digit revenue growth, and proportionately greater bottom-line profits, as quickly as possible.”

Grzedzinski went on to say, “In order to clarify and align our expectations with those of the market, we are also providing revised revenue and earnings estimates for the remainder of 2000 and 2001. Our targeted projections for revenue growth for the third and fourth quarters of 2000 are estimated at 5% to 6%, and these estimates suggest a range of pre-charge operating earnings per share of $1.22 to $1.26 for the full year. Estimates for 2001 indicate consolidated revenue growth per quarter ranging from 7% to 10% and annualized earnings per share in a range of $1.43 to $1.47.” Grzedzinski concluded his comments by saying, “To demonstrate our confidence in our business model and prospects, the Company will be an active buyer of NIS shares when our trading window re-opens August 14th.” In June of 1999, NOVA Corporation announced authorization of a share re-purchase program of up to $250 million. To date, the Company has purchased shares totaling approximately $155 million under the program.

About NOVA Corporation

NOVA Corporation (NYSE:NIS – news), headquartered in Atlanta, GA., manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products and value-added services to more than 500,000 merchants in the U.S. NOVA merchant customers typically include small-to medium-sized merchants requiring a full spectrum of processing services. For more information on the company, visit [www.novacorp.net][1].

For complete current and historical data on Nova visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][2]).

[1]: http://www.novacorp.net/
[2]: http://www.carddata.com/


VISA Buxx Card

The kiddie card war has moved to the system level as VISA U.S.A. revealed the development of a parent-controlled, re-loadable payment card. ‘VISA Buxx” comes armed with a range of parental controls including pre-determined spending values, online transaction monitoring and a parent-administered financial skills assessment test. Parents are able to monitor how much money their teen spends by viewing current or past account statements on the ‘VISA Buxx’ website or by a toll-free number that details where and when purchases were made. VISA says the new website will be operational on August 14. The teen’s name is embossed on the card, and all materials are mailed directly to the parents’ address. Meanwhile, U.S. Bancorp announced it will be among the first banks to offer the new card. The ‘U.S. Bank VISA Buxx’ will be available as of August 21. Bank of America will also issue the teen card. VISA says teens spend more than $153 billion dollars a year.


Latin America VISA Promo

Visa International and Marriott International, Inc. will offer 5,000 bonus Marriott Rewards points, guaranteed early check-in and an extended checkout to Visa cardholders and Marriott Rewards members staying at select Marriott and Renaissance hotels throughout Latin America from July until December 20, 2000. To receive the additional perks and points toward free Marriott hotels stays, frequent flyer miles or any of over 200 reward options, Marriott Rewards members must request rate code VSSA when making a reservation, and pay for their stay with any Visa card.

Special business travel rates and complimentary use of hotel health facilities are also provided through participating properties. Other amenities may include a room upgrade, free faxing, free laundry services and more. Amenities and special services will vary at participating hotels. The offer is available at the following Marriott and Renaissance properties:

Marriott Plaza Hotel – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Renaissance Sao Paulo – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Santiago Marriott Hotel – Santiago, Chile
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel – San Jose, Costa Rica
Renaissance Jaragua – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
JW Quito Marriott Hotel – Quito, Ecuador
San Salvador Marriott Hotel — San Salvador, El Salvador
Guatemala City Marriott – Guatemala City, Guatemala
Mexico City Airport Marriott – Mexico City, Mexico
JW Marriott Hotel – Mexico City, Mexico
Renaissance Mexico City – Mexico City, Mexico (opens Nov. 1, 2000)
Panama City Marriott Hotel – Panama City, Panama
Lima Marriott Hotel – Lima, Peru
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino – San Juan, Puerto Rico

“As the world’s leading payment system, Visa is constantly looking for new ways to benefit our cardholders,” said Tom Shepard, SVP, International Marketing Partnerships and Sponsorship, Visa International. “Our partnership with Marriott enables us to do just that – provide Visa cardholders with added value in Latin America and around the world.”

“Our partnership with Visa has provided us with a great opportunity to do something special for our members who take repeated business trips to Latin America,” said Lynne Roach-Hildebrand, senior vice president, Marriott Loyalty and Database Marketing. “Now in addition to the normal 10 points per U.S. dollar spent at our hotels, travelers who visit these fantastic hotels and pay with their Visa card will earn free vacations faster than ever before.”

Travelers may find more information about this special opportunity online at [http://www.visa.com][1] or at [http://www.marriottlatinoamerica.com][2].

The promotion is applicable only to Marriott Rewards members electing to earn points instead of miles. Promotion is void to Visa cardholders in France, Tunisia, South Korea, Spain, Finland, Germany, Belgium and Austria.

Enrollment or additional information about Marriott Rewards may be obtained by calling Marriott Guest Services (U.S. and Canada) at 801-468-4000, visiting MarriottRewards.com, or inquiring at the front desk of any participating hotel. Membership is complimentary.

About Visa:

As the “World’s Best Way to Pay,” Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and the largest payment system worldwide with more volume than all other major payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa has more than 80 smart card programs in 35 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including 8 million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction(TM) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are over 1 billion Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Cash, Interlink and PLUS cards in the market. Visa-branded cards generate US$1.6 trillion in annual volume and are accepted at over 19 million worldwide locations, including at more than 627,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [http://www.visa.com][3].

About Marriott Rewards:

In May 1997, Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) introduced Marriott Rewards, the world’s largest multi-brand frequent guest program with 1,800 participating hotels and more than 13 million members. Marriott Rewards offers members the choice of earning/redeeming points, or earning frequent flyer mileage at nine distinct lodging brands — Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites; Renaissance Hotels, Resorts and Suites; Marriott Conference Centers; Marriott Vacation Club International; Courtyard by Marriott; Fairfield Inn by Marriott; Residence Inn by Marriott; SpringHill Suites by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Points may also be earned at ExecuStay by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments. For the past three years, Marriott Rewards has been named “Best Hotel Reward Program in the World” by Business Traveller International magazine. Marriott Rewards can be found online at [http://www.marriottrewards.com][4].

[1]: http://www.visa.com/
[2]: http://www.marriottlatinoamerica.com/
[3]: http://www.visa.com/
[4]: http://www.marriottrewards.com/



Total System Services, Inc. announced the signing of a 10-year agreement with The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, to process its 7 million consumer and commercial card accounts.

President Philip W. Tomlinson said, “TSYS is delighted that the Royal Bank Group, a preeminent European bank and market leader, has entrusted its business to us and that we were able to reach a definitive agreement within two months after signing the letter of intent.”

Bruce Bacon, Managing Director of TSYS Europe said, “We look forward to a long and productive relationship with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. TSYS is dedicated to providing superior systems and services to RBS and to others in Europe.”

The Royal Bank Group is the second-largest credit card issuer in the United Kingdom with one of the fastest growing card portfolios in all of Europe. TSYS will provide complete processing services for The Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts portfolios, all of which are part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The Royal Bank Group chose TSYS for its outstanding customer service and leading-edge processing systems which provide optimum flexibility, superior portfolio management and speed to market.

“Total System Services’ commitment to customer service and innovative processing solutions makes them the obvious choice for us. It is very important for us to obtain adaptable systems so that we may expand our market share. TS2 delivers this to us in a state-of-the-art system that will allow us to provide our cardholders with the highest standards of customer service,” said Stephen Brannan, Managing Director, Card Business, Royal Bank of Scotland Group. “Our progress with TSYS over the past several months has been outstanding. The Royal Bank Group continues to maintain high enthusiasm for the functionality richness TSYS will deliver, thus enabling us to expand our position as an innovative leader in the cards business,” added Brannan.

About Card Growth in Europe

Card usage and credit are projected to grow significantly in Europe. Credit cards account for 29 percent of all cards in Europe. European Card Review reported that credit card growth was up 8.3 percent in 1999. Transaction volumes are growing at approximately 20 percent per year, according to Payment Cards in Europe 1999.

About The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, founded in 1727, is one of Europe’s leading financial services companies, and one of the largest banks in the UK, operating and throughout the world. In March 2000 it acquired National Westminster Bank plc, creating an enlarged group which ranks first in the UK in corporate banking, private banking, offshore banking, and private motor insurance, and second in retail banking. The enlarged group has more than 2,000 branches throughout the UK and Ireland, and serves more than 15 million customers.

About Total System Services, Inc.

TSYS provides global commerce solutions. With more than 181 million accounts on file, TSYS facilitates the payment exchange between buyers and sellers. TSYS and its family of companies offer a full range of acquiring and issuing business services from credit application to collections for credit, debit, commercial, stored value and retail accounts. TSYS’ Europeanized TS2(R) Processing System, the most technologically advanced transaction processing software built in the 1990’s, has been adapted to accommodate the unique requirements for the market. Based in Columbus, Ga., TSYS ([http://www.totalsystem.com][1]) is an 80.8 percent-owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ([http://www.synovus.com][2]), No. 5 on FORTUNE magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2000. For more information, contact news@totalsystem.com .

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


GCA Signs 12

Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn., recently signed a five-year contract to utilize the technologically advanced products and services of Global Cash Access, a supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry.

Under the new agreement, Mohegan Sun will take advantage of GCA’s full suite of cash access services and Telecheck check cashing at the Casino of the Earth at Mohegan Sun as well as the highly anticipated $800 million Casino of the Sky at Mohegan Sun. Completion of Project Sunburst is scheduled for Fall of 2001 (Casino of the Sky, Mohegan Sun Arena and the Shops at Mohegan Sun) and Spring of 2002 (1,200-room luxury hotel and 100,000 square foot convention center).

“Very simply, we chose GCA because of its superior technology and unparalleled customer service,” said Alan Greenstein, Vice President of Casino Accounting at Mohegan Sun. “We look forward to having GCA as our cash access vendor for another five years.”

Properties that recently signed agreements with GCA are:

— Mohegan Sun casino – Uncasville, Conn.

— Jok-erz Wild Casino – Petaluma, Cal.

— Freehold Raceway – Freehold, N.J.

— Tilliey Int’l & Assoc. – Coral Gables, Fla.

— McCarran Airport Slot Concession – Las Vegas, Nev.

— Muckleshoot Indian Casino – Aurburn, Wash.

— Habana Casino – Tacoma, Wash.

— Luciano’s Casino – Tacoma, Wash.

— Coeur D’Alene Casino – Worley, Id.

— Tollgate Casino – Central City, Col.

— Bull Durham Casino – Blackhawk, Col.

— The Midnight Gambler – Provincetown, Mass.

Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 through a joint venture of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) and USA Processing, Inc. Providing access to the gaming industry’s largest patron database, Global Cash Access uses Internet technologies to deliver funds transfer, financial management and customer relationship marketing services to more than 1,200 gaming properties nationwide.

About Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun, which opened in October 1996, is the Northeast’s most spectacular casino, offering its patrons world-class gaming and entertainment facilities. In addition to the casinos of Atlantic City, Mohegan Sun is one of only two casinos in New England legally authorized to operate slot machines and table games. Featuring an extraordinary Mohegan-themed design unlike any other in the industry, Mohegan Sun is one of the most unique casinos in the world. Mohegan Sun offers 179,500 feet of gaming space, which currently accommodates over 3,000 slot machines and 192 gaming tables, while offering some of the region’s finest dining, entertainment, and retail shopping.

The $800 million expansion of the entertainment and gaming destination is the largest private development on the East Coast. When completed, it will forge Mohegan Sun’s position as one of the largest and most spectacular casino destinations in the world. The expansion includes spectacularly designed and appointed amenities including a 1,200 room, 34-story hotel that features approximately 200 luxury and suites; over 100,000 square feet of premier meeting and function space, including the largest ballroom in the Northeast; the “Casino of the Sky,” which consists of 115,000 square feet of additional gaming space; a 10,000-seat arena, a 16,000 square foot spa, salon and fitness center; an additional 150,000 square feet of premium retail and food and beverage space featuring dozens of fine shops and branded food outlets in a two-story atrium.



Fair, Isaac and Company announced this morning an agreement with Trans Union to offer ‘NextGen’ credit scores. ‘NextGen’ moves beyond classic ‘FICO®’ scores by using the latest advancements in predictive technology. Named ‘PRECISION’ at Trans Union and ‘Pinnacle’ at Equifax, ‘NextGen’ scores are now available at two major U.S. credit reporting agencies, and through Fair, Isaac’s ‘PreScore Service’ and ‘ScoreNet Service’. The classic ‘FICO®’ scores will continue to be available at all three major credit reporting agencies. Credit grantors have a choice between the two Fair, Isaac scoring solutions.


FDC Canada

First Data Corp. said this morning it will begin processing cards for Toronto-based Home Trust Company, a new federal trust company in Canada, next month. Home Trust will issue Canada’s first secured VISA card to the four million Canadians who may not be able to obtain a credit card or who desire to build or reestablish their credit. The contract term with FDC is five years. FDC provides money transfer services to Canadian consumers through its 1,800 Western Union agent locations, and offers check verification and acceptance and other payment services to 4,700 merchants through TeleCheck, as well as merchant processing and other services through First Data Loan Company Canada.


Network Commerce PCCharge

Network Commerce Inc., a leading provider of technology infrastructure, services and networks for businesses, merchants, Internet sites, and wireless networks conducting commerce online, announced its Network Commerce PCCharge Commerce Server transaction processing software technology has been incorporated into the Internet Commerce Program, a business Internet service launched July 21 by Visa U.S.A and Compaq Computer Corporation.

The ICP is designed to be a one-stop Web solution for businesses of all sizes, enabling merchants to create and launch an online business in just 14 days. The Visa-Compaq ICP was created to provide merchants with scalable hardware, software and services needed to secure credit and debit card transactions via the Internet. The program offers businesses a choice of pre-configured Compaq hardware platforms, along with application consulting and outsourcing services, and was designed to meet the growing needs of merchants wanting to gain an online presence.

Network Commerce’s PCCharge products for small to large businesses are among the leading payment processing technologies on the market. Over 20,000 businesses currently utilize Network Commerce PCCharge products for electronic transactions.

“This business alliance with Visa U.S.A. and Compaq to incorporate our payment processing technology into the Internet Commerce Program was an important opportunity for us,” said Tony Abruzzio, vice president of Network Commerce. “Thousands of businesses of all sizes use our technology for secure, reliable payment processing. With the ICP, we are expanding our customer base and introducing new customers to Network Commerce products and services.” “We chose Network Commerce to provide the PCCharge Commerce Server transaction processing technology for the Internet Commerce Program because of its industrial-strength products and leadership in the industry,” said Jim Dreher, customer program manager at Compaq. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality, fastest-to-implement e-commerce solution on the market.”

About Network Commerce Inc.

Network Commerce Inc. () is a leading provider of technology infrastructure, services and commerce networks for Internet sites, wireless networks, businesses and merchants. Network Commerce’s core commerce infrastructure technology, services and commerce applications are known as the Network Commerce CommerceSuite. Built on the CommerceSuite are the Network Commerce Business Network and the Network Commerce Consumer Network.


Schlumberger Buys Data Marine

Schlumberger Test & Transactions, a business unit of Schlumberger Limited announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of Scotland-based Data Marine Systems Limited. Data Marine Systems is a global provider of telecommunications services for transmitting data from remote locations. This acquisition will diversify the global network capabilities of Schlumberger. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Our customers are accelerating their demand for high volume secure data transfers from frontier locations,” commented Xavier Flinois, president of Schlumberger Network Solutions. “We are excited by this acquisition, which will enhance our global delivery infrastructure for secure connectivity. Data Marine Systems owns and manages both a global VSAT based network and an extranet that provide secure and remote network access to over 100 companies in the oil and gas industry.”

Established in 1988 as a 3I backed management buyout, Data Marine Systems employs more than 200 experts in the area of remote connectivity and networking. The company is a leader in its field, and has an outstanding reputation in the Oil and Gas sector. Data Marine Systems offers satellite and telecommunications equipment and managed services as well as technical consulting, system engineering and integration.

“Being part of Schlumberger Network Solutions will allow us to more rapidly expand our existing portfolio of telecommunications and IT services, and to reproduce our successful Aberdeen-based partnering network in other regions such as the US, Latin America and East Asia,” stated Alan McLeod, managing director of Data Marine Systems. Our customers will also benefit from additional Schlumberger offerings such as PKI, information security, WAN, and desktop/LAN services.”

About Data Marine Systems

Data Marine Systems Ltd. provides satellite and other communications equipment for sale or lease, as well as bandwidth and managed services. The Company also provides consulting, system engineering and integration as well as turnkey solutions.

About Schlumberger

Network Solutions: A part of Schlumberger Test and Transactions, Network Solutions provides IP network consulting, network design and implementation of secure corporate information communications. Professional services include: secure data access, remote connectivity, PKI systems, network outsourcing, information hubs and data centers. Public telecommunication systems including smart card-based public telephony and multimedia kiosks. Wireless application consulting and integration; secure connectivity for mobile telecommunication operators.

Test & Transactions:

Schlumberger Test and Transactions provides smart card-solutions; semiconductor equipment and services; and corporate IP and network solutions to customers throughout the world. It is a business unit of Schlumberger Limited, an $8.4 billion global technology services company. Additional information is available at [http://www.slb.com][1].

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


New Chase Biz Card

Chase Manhattan is launching a beefed-up ‘MasterCard BusinessCard’ that offers discounts and points. Chase said the card will also offer low-ball pricing with a six-month 3.9% APR followed by a prime +3% on going rate. Chase is also waiving the annual fee for the first year. The new ‘Chase Business MasterCard’ offers automatic discounts with Airborne Express, IBM, AVIS, National Pager Supply and Penny-Wise Office Products. The new card also offers an optional ‘Chase Rewards for Business Program’, which, for a $65 annual fee, allows the small business owner to earn one point for each dollar in purchases charged to the card. Business owners using the rewards program can redeem points for free or discounted flights on any major airline with no blackout dates as well as discounted merchandise, gift certificates, and other travel related services and packages. Chase says it will target its 300,000 small business customers for the new product.


OnePass JCB

Continental Airlines and Japan’s largest credit card firm, JCB, announced plans to launch a co-branded credit card in Asia. The ‘OnePass JCB’ credit card will be launched in Tokyo on Aug. 21st. The new card allows Continental Airlines customers based in Japan to earn ‘OnePass’ miles for purchases. Under the terms of the agreement, cardholders will earn one mile for every 100 yen. As a sign-on bonus for obtaining the card by March 2001, qualifying Gold JCB cardholders will receive 5,000 bonus OnePass miles and Standard cardholders will receive 2,000 bonus OnePass miles. Also, during the promotional period through March 2001, Standard card first-year annual fees will be waived. JCB has more than 7.2 million merchants in 167 countries.