Azerbaijan ID Cards

Canadian Bank Note has signed a contract with the Government of Azerbaijan for approximately $10 million US for the supply of 13 million national ID cards. The system has the capacity to link all government document issuance, inspection and tracking systems to a centralized database. The ID cards and the system will be delivered and installed within the next 12 months by the CBN Identification Systems Group.

Details

ACS to Genpass

ACS signed a definitive agreement late last week to sell its ATM processing and maintenance business for $180 million. The business is being acquired by Genpass, Inc. a newly formed company funded by GTCR Golder Rauner. The acquisition marks a re-entry into the transaction processing industry for Bipin Shah, a driving force behind the MAC ATM network. Shah will head the newly acquired businesses. His business partner and co-founder of Genpass, Gregory Dillett, will serve as CFO. The ATM businesses acquired from ACS include its Electronic Commerce Group and its Service Solutions Group. The combined businesses support more than 16,000 ATMs in 49 states, process more than 220 million transactions annually for over 500 customers, and provide ATM maintenance to 350 clients including banks, credit unions, retailers and casinos. ACS was advised on the transaction by First Annapolis Capital, Inc.

Details

Wasserman to Maloney

The Maloney Group ([www.maloneygroup.com][1]), a New York-based strategic communications consulting firm, today announced that Gail Wasserman, 39, formerly Vice President of Public Affairs at American Express Company, has joined the firm as Managing Partner. In her new role Ms. Wasserman will help run the consultancy and counsel CEOs on management and marketing issues.

“Gail’s keen insight into how different audiences accept or reject corporate messages adds a new dimension to the Maloney Group’s ability build our clients’ businesses,” said Toni Maloney, the firm’s founder and CEO. “Her creative and strategic talents will help raise the visibility of new product launches, accelerate the growth of new-economy companies and increase the value of businesses’ intangible assets by improving employee loyalty.”

The Maloney Group is a nine-year-old business-to-business marketing innovator whose clients include big brand names like United Airlines, AT&T and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as those rooted in the newer economy, such as interactive marketing firm Modem Media.

The Maloney Group originated the Inside-out MarketingTM methodology that integrates employee communications and customer marketing efforts into one holistic process to achieve maximum revenue growth.

Prior to joining The Maloney Group, Ms. Wasserman set corporate communications strategy for American Express’s most visible businesses: the U.S. Consumer Card Services Group, the Establishment Services division and the Global Advertising and Sponsorship group. She helped launch Amex products with household names like Delta Airlines, Costco and Fidelity, and introduced Membership Rewards, now the world’s largest consumer loyalty program. A recent achievement was the launch of Blue, the most successful new product introduction in the company’s history. Ms. Wasserman also announced new celebrity endorsers, including Tiger Woods, and was the primary spokesperson on consumer issues such as privacy, security and customer service.

Prior to joining American Express, Ms. Wasserman served as Vice President of Public Relations at Ogilvy & Mather, and Publicity and Promotion Director for George Braziller, Inc., a publisher of fine art and fiction. She holds a B.S. in communications and art history from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.

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

Details

Bank Plus Settlements

Bank Plus Corporation reported that in June 2000 its wholly-owned subsidiary Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB completed the previously announced sales of the MMG Direct, Inc. credit card portfolio and the Bank’s credit card servicing center located in Beaverton, Oregon.  In conjunction with this sale, the buyer of the credit card servicing center is now servicing the Bank’s American Direct Credit, Inc. credit card portfolio and has an option to purchase the ADC portfolio.

The Bank also reported the completion of the sale of its Beverly Hills branch office with $82 million of deposits to First Bank of Beverly Hills, FSB.

The following updates the status of the previously announced resolution of the outstanding cardholder litigation in Alabama and Mississippi relating to the ADC credit card program.

     –  Definitive settlement agreements have been executed for all of the
         individual lawsuits filed in Alabama.
     –  The Company has negotiated agreements in principle to settle all of
         the lawsuits filed in Mississippi and is in the process of executing
         these agreements.
     –  A definitive settlement agreement has been executed and preliminarily
         approved by the court for the initial class action lawsuit filed in
         Alabama.  Notices will be mailed to all members of the class at the
         beginning of July.  The cutoff date for members of the class to opt
         out of the class is August 8, 2000.  The Company anticipates a final
         order from the Alabama court in early September.  Such an order will
         become final within 42 days of its issuance, unless appealed.  No
         assurances can be given that a final order will be entered or that
         such an order will not be appealed.  The second class action lawsuit
         filed in Alabama was settled as an individual action.

There have been no changes in the estimated settlement costs recorded in the first quarter 2000 as a result of the negotiation and execution of these agreements.

Bank Plus Corporation is the holding company for Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB, which offers a broad range of consumer financial services, including demand and time deposits and mortgage loans.  In addition, through its affiliate Gateway Investment Services, Inc., a NASD-registered broker/dealer, Fidelity provides customers of the Bank with investment products, including mutual funds, annuities and insurance.  Fidelity operates through 30 full-service branches, 29 of which are located in Los Angeles and Orange counties in Southern California.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this release, including without limitation statements containing the words “believes”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “expects”, “contemplated” and words of similar import, constitute ” forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.  Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Bank Plus and Fidelity to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Such factors are referred to in Bank Plus’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K as of December 31, 1999 and its most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as of March 31, 2000.  A number of other factors may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial performance.  These factors include a national or regional economic slowdown or recession which increases the risk of defaults and credit losses; movements in market interest rates that reduce our margins or the fair value of the financial instruments we hold; restrictions imposed on the Bank’s operations by regulators such as a prohibition on the payment of dividends to Bank Plus; failure of the Bank and third parties to enter into written definitive agreements on significant transactions, including litigation settlement transactions, and to close such transactions; failure of regulatory authorities to issue approvals or non-objection to material transactions involving the Bank; actions by the Bank’s regulators that could adversely affect the Bank’s capital levels; an increase in the number of customers seeking protection under the bankruptcy laws which increases the amount of charge-offs; the effects of fraud or other contract breaches by third parties or customers; the effectiveness of the Company’s collection efforts and the outcome of pending and future litigation.  Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements.  Bank Plus disclaims any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements included herein to reflect future events or developments.

Details

Antitrust Bandwagon

Another purported non-partisan VISA and MC supporter has surfaced. The Washington, DC-based Small Business Survival Committee issued a press release late last week criticizing the government’s case as another attempt to impose government regulation on a competitive industry. The group says: “The case against Visa and MasterCard, like other recent antitrust actions, has nothing to do with helping consumers, and has everything to do with helping big companies like American Express achieve in the courtroom what they could not do in the marketplace. If American Express and their allies at the Department of Justice are successful in this case, it will be a disaster to small business owners. Increased government regulation in the credit card industry will undoubtedly mean higher costs for small businesses using credit cards. If companies like American Express are successful in these types of antitrust cases, no small business in America is safe. SBSC has about 50,000 members.

Details

Euronet Software

Euronet Services Inc. announces that it has signed a record level of new software sales contracts in the second quarter.  The total value of software sales contracts signed in this quarter was $5.3 million — a 65% increase over the first quarter signed software contracts of $3.2 million. The Q2 signed sales contract of $5.3 million is the highest value of signed software contracts for any quarter in the company’s history.

The $5.3 million figure represents the total license fees and other compensation that is provided in software contracts signed during the quarter. These amounts will be booked into software sales backlog as deposits are received under the contracts, and will generate revenues to Euronet as the company performs the contracts by installing the software purchased.  As performance generally occurs over a period of several months, revenues from these signed contracts will most likely be realized over the next several quarters.

“We are very pleased with our success in signing new software contracts in the second quarter,” commented Michael Brown, Chairman and CEO of Euronet Services.  “The investments we have made in new technologies and our efforts to increase customer satisfaction are starting to pay off.  We expect to see continued strong demand for our core products and services, as well as growing interest in our new credit card and wireless banking products.”

Euronet Services Inc. is a global leader in the rapidly evolving arena of electronic financial transactions.  The company provides banks and retailers with an advanced infrastructure for connectivity and transaction processing. The company’s Arksys Software Division offers a suite of integrated retail banking products that include ATM management, POS and merchant systems, credit and debit card systems, internet banking, telebanking, and wireless banking. Euronet operates the largest independent ATM network in Europe and is building a growing transaction processing capacity in the United States.  The company serves customers in more than 60 countries around the world.

Any statements contained in this news release, which concern the company’s or management’s intentions, expectations, or are predictions of future performance, are forward-looking statements.  Euronet’s actual results may vary materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including:  technological developments affecting the market for the company’s products and services; foreign exchange fluctuations; and changes in laws and regulations affecting the company’s business.  These risks and other risks are described in the company’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Euronet’s Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 1999, and Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2000.  Copies of these filings may be obtained by contacting the company or the SEC.

Details

Premium Uptick

R.K Hammer, Investment Bankers, has released their First-Half Year 2000 study results of performing credit card portfolios sold. The number, dollar value, and premium prices of recent industry deals have continued to rise from 1999 levels.

First-Half, 2000 Credit Card Portfolio Transactions

# of Card Deals Identified 19
Underlying Assets Sold $4.85 Billion
Average Size Deal $255 Million
Total Accounts Sold 4.86 Million
Average Accounts Sold 255,000
Average Premium above Par 16.97%
Range of Premiums 5.0%-25.3%
Ave. Cost/Acquired Acct. $158
Range of Cost/Acquired Acct. $51-$288
Average OROA Earnings 3.20%
Pre-tax Earnings Multiple 5.30x
%of Deals Done by Advisors 78%
%of Deals done “In-house” 22%

First-Half Notes

Average premiums were up 3.4% from 1999 year-end (16.97% vs. 16.42%). Rising transaction prices were again largely due to improved credit quality. Value of advisor-led deals: 53% greater average deal premium than for “In-house.” An additional $6.5 Billion in deals are also in the pipeline at the start of the 3Q.

Details

M-Commerce

Wireless data and electronic applications should become increasingly popular in the future according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan. The wireless Internet is following the same development pattern as wired internet. Advances in wireless communication technologies are basically extending the Net to a variety of portable devices and appliances such as cellular phones and pagers and palmtop computers. F&S says competition has resulted in the wireless infrastructure becoming cheaper. There are about 70 million cellular phones in the US alone. The cell phone total is in the same range as television subscribers, as well as personal computers. F&S says per-minute pricing has declined considerably over recent years. The average cost per minute has been estimated to range from $0.12 to $0.15, down from prices of more than $0.20 two years ago. Frost & Sullivan believes that the wireless revolution will be driven in the short term by the “anytime anywhere access”.

Details

Flooz

Flooz.com signed agreements last week to feature Toysrus.com. Flooz.com has pioneered a unique method of gift giving by combining e-mail and electronic greeting cards with a stored value platform. Parents or grandparents can purchase ‘Flooz’ with a credit card and then instantly send it by e-mail to their kids for redemption. Kids can then spend their ‘Flooz’ at Toysrus.com or reserve it in their personal Flooz account for use at a later time. Recipients can also spend ‘Flooz’, which is accepted as a branded form of payment, at more than 70 online stores including: Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, Tower Records, Godiva Chocolatier, Art.com, mothernature.com and Fogdog.com.

Details

MULTOS Asian Smart Card

MULTOS,  the  secure,  multi-application  operating system, has been selected by Cable  &  Wireless Hong Kong Telecom SecureNet for the first commercial release of a multi-application smart card in the Asia Pacific region.

C&W  HKT  SecureNet  is  a joint venture company between C&W HKT and Australia’s leading Internet security provider SecureNet Limited.

As  part  of  a  number  of  initiatives developed by Cable & Wireless Hong Kong Telecom and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to encourage  the  growth  of  e-commerce  in  Hong Kong, over 50,000 cards will be initially  issued  throughout the territory.  The card will include a digital ID certificate,  e-cash,  credit/debit  and  a  loyalty program and will run on the smart-card platform MULTOS which is managed by the consortium MAOSCO.

Geoffrey  Ross,  managing director of SecureNet, said:  “We chose MULTOS because of  its high security standards and multi-functional capabilities. MULTOS allows products (in the form of applications) to be added to and deleted from the card. The  benefit  of the pre-loaded applications means the smart card is ready to be used  once  plugged  into  the  PC  and  doesn?t  require special software to be installed.”

The smart card will enable consumers to shop online using their credit, debit or electronic  cash card without having personal details exposed over the Internet, making e-commerce easier and more secure.

The  cards  will  also  support an Internet-based loyalty program, where loyalty points  will  be  accumulated  and stored on an Internet server for customers to purchase and redeem goods online from a number of merchants.

The  cards  use  SecureNet’s latest Internet-based and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)  technology  to underpin Hong Kong’s burgeoning e-commerce industry. It is expected  the  facility  will  gain  in  popularity  as more and more people use digital  certificates  as  a  trusted means of identifying, signing and securing their internet and email transmissions.

Ross  concludes:   ‘The development of a multi-application card on MULTOS offers enormous  advantages.   Customers  can choose to buy new applications or discard old  ones  and  can  remotely  load  and delete applications through their PC or public kiosks.’

About MULTOS and MAOSCO

MULTOS  is  a  secure, multi-application smart card platform. It allows products (in  the  form  of applications) to be added to and deleted from the card. Third party  software  developers  can develop their own MULTOS applications, allowing them to tailor design Value Added Services for the card user.  Such applications include  loyalty,  ticketing,  credit,  debit  and  electronic purse. MULTOS was launched  in  May  1997  and  has  met a great success in the financial services industry.  More  recently, combined with PKI applications, MULTOS has become the basis of a number of world leading e-commerce initiatives.

MAOSCO  is  a  world-wide  consortium which was formed to drive the adoption and manage  the  on-going development of MULTOS as an industry standard platform for smart  cards.  Members  of  the  consortium  include  American Express, Discover Financial   Services,   DNP,   Europay  International,  Fujitsu  (including  its subsidiaries   ICL   and  Amdahl),  Giesecke  and  Devrient,  Hitachi,  Infineon Technologies  (a  subsidiary  of Siemens), Keycorp, MasterCard International and Mondex   International,  Motorola  and  Telstra.  For  further  information  see [www.multos.com][1]

About SecureNet Limited SecureNet’s  key  business is supplying data security solutions to corporate and government  organisations,  including  the  banking  and  finance sectors.  With worldwide  e-commerce  forecast  to  grow  by  more than 130 per cent per annum, SecureNet  sees  its role expanding as a forefront provider of Internet security services and equipment.

SecureNet  specialises  in  the development, design and installation of complete security   solutions,   addressing   the   Internet,  remote  banking,  VPN  and data-critical   applications.    An   industry  specialist  in  smartcard,  PKI, firewalls,  secure  payments  and  security  consultancy, SecureNet has become a trusted  name  in  integrated high-technology security products and services. It also  provides  consultancy  and  custom design and solution services for a wide range of IT applications. Web Site: [http://www.securenet.com.au][2]

[1]: http://www.multos.com/
[2]: http://www.securenet.com.au/

Details

CyberCash 25,000

CyberCash, Inc. announced it has signed up the 25,000th merchant for its industry leading CashRegister Internet payment service.

The addition of Babygear.com to a merchant base that includes Kozmo.com, hrblock.com and WebStation.com highlights CyberCash’s continued success in providing industry leading Internet payment services and software.     CyberCash also announced that it has entered the second stage of beta testing for its fraud detection service.  Fraud detection will be generally available in the 3rd quarter of 2000.

“Signing up our 25,000th merchant is an important milestone for CyberCash, underscoring our ability to grow our Internet payment business in a powerful and consistent way.  In the past five months, we have signed up 5,000 new merchants — and couldn’t be more pleased to welcome fast-growing Internet companies like Babygear.com to the CyberCash family,” said James J. Condon, President and Chief Executive Officer of CyberCash.

“Babygear.com provides new and expecting parents with convenience and peace of mind when they shop online.  We want to ensure that when they make an online purchase at Babygear.com their payment is processed quickly, efficiently and securely.  CyberCash is our answer,” said Preston Bealle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Babygear.com.

CyberCash has experienced enormous growth as the leading provider of payment processing services to the exploding Net economy.  Its Internet merchant base has almost doubled in the past year to 25,000.  In addition, CyberCash continues to be a premier source of software for both Internet and physical world payments.  More than 145,000 copies of CyberCash software products have been shipped.

Babygear.com, CyberCash’s 25,000th merchant, is the largest and fastest growing e-commerce site for baby products.  It can be found at http://www.babygear.com.  For more information about CyberCash products, services and partners, visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.cybercash.com][1].

About CyberCash

CyberCash, Inc., is the world’s leading provider of Internet payment services and electronic payment software.  The company uniquely provides services to 25,000 Internet merchants and has shipped more than 145,000 copies of its software products.  CyberCash offers the broadest reach in the payment industry with a comprehensive distribution network that includes direct and indirect sales as well as marketing partnerships with financial institutions, Internet service providers, application service providers, storefront solution providers and leading independent software vendors.

About Babygear.com

Babygear.com is the largest and fastest-growing e-commerce site for baby products on the Internet today.  Offering the largest selection of baby products in one place from more than 100 trusted national brands, the site offers a streamlined approach designed to make life easier for new and expecting parents, and can be found at [http://www.babygear.com][2].

[1]: http://www.cybercash.com/
[2]: http://www.babygear.com/

Details

PAIDCard.net Prez

PAIDCard.net has hired Gretchen H. Bender to the position of President, where she will oversee all operations for the company.

PAIDCard (Prepaid Anonymous Internet Debit Card) is the latest initiative in secure retail and electronic commerce transaction processing. Preliminary market tests show strong acceptance, as the company will go to full market September 1st and will be publicly traded on NASDAQ symbol PDCD.

Ms. Bender comes to PAIDCard from First Bank of Beverly Hills, a subsidiary of Wilshire Financial Services Group (NASDAQ), where she served as Operations Manager in charge of all merchant acquiring activity for the Bankcard Division. Gretchen and her staff serviced a portfolio of nearly 9,000 merchants in the nation’s 48th largest credit card processor.

She was also instrumental in developing and enhancing the Bank’s relationships with CyberCash (NASDAQ), Signio, a division of Verisign (NASDAQ), First Data Resources (NYSE) and NDC e-Commerce (NYSE).

Prior to First Bank of Beverly Hills, Gretchen operated DataBank International, Ltd., a third-party service organization for the Bank of Los Angeles. She was responsible for portfolio profitability and guided DataBank in its development of an international processing solution and additional third party relationships.

Ms. Bender is a Business Administration graduate with a major in Management Information Systems, 1990, from the University of Arizona.

Gary Davies, Chairman of PAIDCard, said, “We are delighted to have an executive with Ms. Bender’s impressive abilities, banking and solid credit card experience with a working knowledge of our specific area of business. She brings with her a world of savvy that we will need to move forward quickly.”

PAIDCard will be available at retail locations and convenience stores nationwide, as well as over the internet. International distribution of the PAIDCard will be developed through affiliate banking relationships and foreign agents.

About PAIDCard.net

PAIDCard.net, Inc. is an internet banking services company functioning as an agent while finalizing contracts to become a registered sales organization for the processing of MasterCard and Visa transactions. Through their relationships with various banking institutions and with third party processors, the company is able to utilize the Federal Reserve’s Automated Clearing House (ACH) system to deposit and collect funds electronically. Given these capabilities, the company has introduced its own private label card known as PAIDCard (Prepaid Anonymous Internet Debit Card).

The PAIDCard advantage is its ability to alleviate the burden of chargebacks from online and retail merchants, while providing anonymity to the consumer. Fraud is substantially reduced with this method of payment, thus greatly lowering merchant fees and driving added, unexpected revenue to participating e-commerce and retail clients.

Details