Delta – Amex Renew

Delta Air Lines and American Express Thursday announced an agreement to extend their long-term partnership. The deal involves the cobranded ‘Delta SkyMiles’ credit cards and participation of Delta Air Lines in the ‘Membership Rewards’ program. The co-branded credit card was introduced in 1996. In 1991, Delta became one of the first partners in the AmEx ‘Membership Miles Program’, now ‘Membership Rewards’. The program now has more than 8 million enrollees worldwide. The Delta Air Lines co-branded program is now the third largest co-branded airline mileage in the US following the United Airlines and American Airlines programs.

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Down Month

All credit card statistics for card bonds declined during May according to the Fitch ‘Credit Card Index’. While the good news is that chargeoffs and delinquency declined the bad news is gross yields also declined during May. The Fitch database of $214 billion of credit card-backed securities shows the 60-day delinquency rate is now at its lowest level since Aug 1996. Chargeoffs also dipped to the lowest level since the start of this year.

CREDIT CARD SECURITIZATION PERFORMANCE
Period CO GY MP DL SP
May00 5.38% 18.44% 15.47% 2.89% 5.47%
Apr00 5.43% 19.72% 17.34% 3.01% 5.62%
Mar00 5.50% 19.30% 16.05% 3.21% 5.52%
Feb00 5.45% 18.48% 16.36% 3.06% 5.53%
Jan00 5.53% 19.36% 16.71% 3.17% 5.89%
May99 5.91% 18.65% 15.96% 3.02% 5.64%
CO-chargeoffs; GY-gross yield; MP-monthly payment rate; DL-60+ day
delinquency rate; SP-3-month excess spread

Source: Fitch IBCA Credit Card Index

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ATM Gold

Arkansas Federal Credit Union wanted to raise its maximum ATM transaction amount from $300 to $500 but was concerned about the increased frequency of reloading its machine. The solution was found in dispensing the new Sacagawea golden one dollar coin which freed up a note dispenser for $50 bills.The credit union is the first financial institution in the country to dispense the newly minted, golden one dollar coin at an ATM.

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PocketCard Discount

Timebeat4teens, a subsidiary of Timebeat.com Enterprises Inc. and developer of an Internet destination geared toward the explosive teenage market, announced today it has named PocketCard as a preferred method of payment on its e-commerce site, www.timebeat4teens.com.

Timebeat4teens visitors and their parents can enroll for PocketCard’s high-tech Visa Card by accessing the timebeat4teens site. Timebeat will offer a 20% discount on any item on its site with the use of the PocketCard Visa.

Chairman of Timebeat.com Enterprises, Thomas L. Crom, stated, “With teen spending estimated to reach $250 billion in 2000, PocketCard offers teens a way to participate in cashless transactions and thereby encourages e-commerce transactions. PocketCard and Timebeat are complementary partners because we both recognize that the youth generation is a vital, driving force of the new economy. Together, we are granting today’s youth the independence, convenience and security they deserve.”

Crom added, “PocketCard is the preferred payment method for online retailers such as Alloy Online (NASDAQ: ALOY). Unlike Alloy, Timebeat4teens is providing a 20% discount incentive with usage to boost both PocketCard and Timebeat4teens sales.”

Embossed with the timebeat4teens.com URL and the teen’s name, this adult-funded Visa Card will grant teens the freedom to shop anywhere Visa is accepted. Differing from a credit card, PocketCard strictly restricts spending to preset limits. Any attempt to spend more than previously specified is denied at the point of purchase.

PocketCard utilizes the latest Internet technology, which gives the parent or other adult sponsor authority to instantly add funds via the Internet or telephone. As a value-added feature, purchases can be tracked instantly through e-mail alerts.

About PocketCard, Inc.

PocketCard, Inc. invented the financial service product known as sponsored payment cards, which are special purchasing cards for financial dependents with instant funding, reporting and control. PocketCard’s unique service is possible through a patent-pending technology platform that allows instant transfer of money and information-any time, any place-both online and off. PocketCard’s business model is designed to reach families, businesses and individuals with its innovative e-finance and relationship-marking services. PocketCard works with leading credit card issuers, processors, retailers, media and others to continually deliver cutting-edge applications.

About Timebeat.com Enterprises

Timebeat.com is a dynamic Internet company focused on the design and operation of premier interactive websites. Currently numbered at 60 million, young consumers are growing 20% faster than the total U.S. population. Timebeat4teens (www.timebeat4teens.com) targets this new generation with a line of jewelry, watches, records, clothing, and related merchandise that appeals to teens and young adults. Timebeat will introduce the site, utilizing the latest advancements in Internet technology, during the summer of 2000.

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AMEX Mistakes

American Express President/COO Kenneth Chenault acknowledged yesterday that his company made a number of strategic errors over the past 20 years but has been hamstrung by VISA and Master Card rules. Chenault confirmed that AMEX made a mistake in passing up co-branding opportunities with American Airlines and AT&T. He testified, however, that his company would like to enter the debit card market and needs bank relationships to do so. He also gave the AmEx side of a failed merger with Citibank. Looking ahead, Chenault indicated AmEx would like to undercut VISA and MasterCard merchant fees for debit cards. He also detailed discussions AmEx held with MBNA, Bank One and Capital One. Chenault further addressed his opinion of an 18-page Bain & Co. report, commissioned by AmEx, that suggested AmEx use the government to attack the underpinnings of VISA’s business structure. He characterized the report as “ludicrous” and “naive”.

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Smart Amusement Card

Schlumberger e-Transactions Solutions, a unit of the Test & Transactions business segment of Schlumberger announced a partnership with Sega Enterprises, Ltd. to provide a new smart card for use in Sega’s network of amusement arcades throughout Japan. Supported by Toppan Label Co., Ltd, it represents Japan’s first entertainment-related smart card system technology.

Sega plans to deploy a smart card system across “Entertainment Stage net@”, the high-speed high-capacity fiberoptic network set to link all its amusement arcades. The new Schlumberger solution will provide membership verification and stored value credits to enable customers to access the vast store of digital contents. Charges for its use will be based on on-line time, and a single smart card will be all that any subscriber needs to use the service.

The smart card will also allow Sega’s partner companies that provide content to market their products more effectively, by accessing customer data stored on a server to target user profiles. When the smart card system is expanded to other Sega arcades in the future, alliance companies will have access to real-time market trend data and sales information in order to customize services such as flexible pricing and time-discounts by outlet.

“No business is evolving faster than networking and e-communications businesses. With 20 years of Schlumberger experience in providing smart card-based solutions, the next generation of consumers can enjoy the convenience and security of a smart card which is also an effective tool for offering further customer incentives,” said Tameyasu Anayama, vice president and general manager of Schlumberger.

The card system has been specially designed and developed for Sega using a proven high security solution from the Schlumberger product line. It functionality can easily be ported on a platform of the EMV specification used across the financial industry. The solution draws on highly flexible and expandable technology enabling Sega to adapt memory size according to member profile and usage. The card will be available at “Entertainment Stage net@” .

Isao Ohkawa, president & CEO, Sega added: “The use of networks is spreading through industries like the entertainment sector at a great speed. net@ is a new model adapted to the needs of a networked society, and the introduction of smart cards is critical to its realization. I am delighted to be working with Schlumberger to make net@ powerful force in the entertainment business.”

Schlumberger, which has well-established technology and product lines particularly in security, ID, loyalty and e-purse, is working with Sega to create a new smart card system for the amusement business that also has potential applications in other industries.

About “Entertainment Stage net@”

“Entertainment Stage net@” is a project which aims to create entirely new business formats by linking amusement facilities with 1 Gbps-class high-speed fiber-optic lines (in terms of maximum communication capacity, approximately 8,000 times the capacity of an ISDN line for household use) and creating an entertainment space that allows real-time communication by means of a range of digital contents over this fiber-optic network.

About Sega

Sega Enterprizes, Ltd. is a nearly $2.5 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega’s World Wide Web site is located at [www.sega.co.jp][1].

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger is the leading provider of smart card-based solutions worldwide. Drawing on 20 years experience in pioneering smart card innovations, Schlumberger is continuing to evolve the new generation of smart cards, parking terminals, ticketing machines, payphones, banking terminals, servers, software, applications and systems integration that will pay a key role in the 21st century’s digital age. Additional information is available at .

Schlumberger Test & 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][2].

[1]: http://www.sega.co.jp/
[2]: http://www.slb.com/

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VISA’s Vessey

Prologic Corporation, the leading global provider of financial services software, has appointed Paul Vessey to its Board of Directors.

As Executive Vice President, Emerging Technology, and Chief Operating Officer for Visa, USA, Paul has a deep understanding of the business challenges facing the financial services industry, and insight into which technologies will become tomorrow’s standards for supporting new, strategic business initiatives. Paul Vessey brings more than twenty years of experience and leadership in the banking industry to Prologic’s Board.

In his position as EVP and COO for Visa USA, Paul Vessey is responsible for Visa’s Emerging Markets, Product Development, Systems, Processing, Risk and Operations. One of Paul’s most recent proposed initiatives is called “Virtual Visa”, which will significantly impact the way Visa conducts business in the 21st century. Prior to his joining Visa, Paul held the position of Senior Executive Vice President of Card Products at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Prior to CIBC, Paul held the title of Vice President and General Manager of Consumer Financial Services at American Express Canada. Earlier in his esteemed career, he held various positions at the Continental Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank.

In addition to his appointment to Prologic’s Board of Directors, Paul Vessey serves as an Advisory Board Member of Equifax and as a Director of the Toronto Film Festival. Paul has served as Chairman of Visa Canada Association and as Vice Chairman of Visa International.

Paul Vessey is a Business Administration graduate from Durham College of Applied Arts Technology of Oshawa, Ontario in Canada, and graduated from the Advanced Management Program at The International Senior Managers Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.

“With the multitude of players competing in the financial services software field, only Prologic seems to be developing solutions designed to defend the large banks from the `super portals’ and other non-bank competitors that are vying to steal their customers,” said Mr. Vessey. “With the amazing and unique technologies they are developing for many of today’s largest and most progressive financial institutions, Prologic is well positioned to emerge as the dominant player in their field.”

Mike Cardiff, Prologic’s President and CEO stated, “Paul is one of the senior executives in our industry who is shaping the future of how financial services will be provided around the world. With his leadership and incredible insight into the future of financial services IT, I have always found Paul to be a strategic and innovative thinker. I look forward to his contribution as a valuable addition to our Board.”

Prologic Corporation is the leading developer of software solutions for the global financial services industry. Prologic’s customers include 7 of the top 25 largest banks in the world, with over 25 Internet banks using Prologic solutions. Prologic technology enables financial institutions to quickly deploy solutions for their converging financial services offerings, while also supporting capabilities for increasing profitability, customer acquisition and retention. Prologic’s i-Wealthview(TM) enterprise wealth management solution features e-banking, e-brokerage and e-insurance. Through strategic alliances with Microsoft, Compaq Computer Corporation, and other international partners, Prologic’s banking solutions are in use in over 300 financial institutions globally. Visit Prologic’s home page at www.PrologicCorp.com.

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Zaxus Targets MasterCards

Zaxus has extended the capability of its Personalisation Preparation Process card issuance system in addition to Visa Smart Credit Debit and Visa Cash smart card applications. The new P3 system from Zaxus now supports a wider range of chip card applications with the flexibility to offer a range of different products to suit a variety of customer needs including M/Chip Select and M/Chip Lite applications. M/Chip Select is the MasterCard/Europay full credit/debit implementation based on the MULTOS multi-application card. M/Chip Lite is the MasterCard/Europay entry-level credit/debit scheme that is based on a single application low-cost smart card.

Aimed at the new breed of multi-application smart cards, the P3 system allows card issuers to use platforms such as MULTOS and Visa Open Platform (VOP) as the basis for new ranges of card applications. Issuers are no longer limited to single application cards, P3 from Zaxus allows issuers to load a number of card applications side-by-side and possibly even retail chains to load loyalty applications as well.

The introduction of multi-application cards, such as debit/credit and electronic purse, and the new applications for smart card-based schemes require the migration from magnetic stripe to smart card. This has already commenced with pilot schemes and continues with full roll-outs, each with its own infrastructure requirements for producing fully personalised magnetic stripe, smart cards and now multi-application cards.

However, to make use of these new cards a whole new application independent card issuing infrastructure is necessary so that smart cards and new multi-application cards may be brought on-line quickly. The P3 system from Zaxus provides a cost-effective migration path for the emerging card industry, allowing issuers to move into pilot schemes or full roll-out programmes for single or multi-application smart cards by reducing or eliminating the need to change existing card issuing systems.

Allowing service providers to carry out trials of smart cards applications without large investment, P3’s extended product range now offers a ‘Pilot’ system. This is a low-cost, time-limited version that will appeal to those issuers that are keen to carry out assessment trials with low numbers of smart cards before committing to full roll-out.

Now also offering higher card throughput rates, P3 capitalises on the improved performance provided by interconnection to the higher speed Zaxus RG7100 Ethernet host security modules.

Zaxus, a Thomson-CSF Racal company, provides e-business security solutions to several thousand customers worldwide. Over half of the world’s banks, together with the majority of the busiest stock exchanges, currently use Zaxus technology. Operating in three main markets — card payments, e-security and network security — Zaxus addresses the business security needs of corporates and governments alike. For more than 20 years the company has been at the forefront of security and payment technology, co-operating and contributing to set the industry standards used for financial transactions and electronic commerce globally.

Visit the new Zaxus web site at http://www.zaxus.com

The P3 system is designed to provide card issuers with a ready-made way of migrating from magnetic stripe cards to smart cards. Aimed primarily at the payments card industry, it offers the ability to generate data for credit/debit and electronic purse payment cards. Using P3 reduces or eliminates the need to make changes to the issuer’s host system thereby reducing implementation costs and timescales.

The P3 system produces data in a format that is widely used in the card industry and is compatible with the popular DataCard 9000 personalisation systems.

Ideal for operation in both personalisation bureaux or in-house by card issuers such as banks and similar institutions, P3 generates and maintains the cryptographic keys required for the secure personalisation of cards. This includes the exchange of public key certificates with the scheme Certification Authorities (CA) operated by Visa, MasterCard and Europay. P3 systems also support the generation and transfer of DES keys to and from card suppliers and personalisation systems.

P3 is a stand-alone, PC-based application for a Windows NT platform and uses the Zaxus RG7000 series of Host Security Modules (HSMs) to provide security functions. The HSM carries out all of the cryptographic functions required by P3. It is a tamper resistant device that allows asymmetric keys (RSA) of up to 2048 bits and symmetric keys (DES) to be stored securely without risk of exposure.

Maintaining a high degree of security, all keys, certificates and confidential information stored on the P3 database are encrypted before storage and can only be decrypted by the HSM attached to the P3 system. In addition, the HSM’s cryptographic functions are used to ensure the integrity all of the data generated by P3. This is achieved through the use of conventional Message Authentication Codes (MAC).

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Union Planters Joins NYCE

NYCE has signed $33 billion-asset Union Planters Bank as a participant in the NYCE Network.

The Tennessee-based financial institution brings more than 1,000 ATMs and 1,000,000 cardholders to the Network.

“We look forward to enhancing our ATM services with NYCE’s renowned levels of reliability and accessibility,” said Lloyd DeVaux, Senior Executive Vice President for Technology and Operations with Union Planters Bank. “Our cardholders will benefit greatly from the convenience of being able to access their accounts at thousands of NYCE automated teller machine (ATM) and point-of-sale (POS) locations throughout the country.”

As one of the 30 largest banks in the United States, Union Planters has ATM locations in 12 states, from Illinois to Florida. The bank’s participation in NYCE underscores the Network’s rapid growth into new service areas. NYCE has earned the trust of constituents across the country, and within the past 12 months, established new network relationships with 94 financial institutions.

“In the year since our merger with Magic Line, NYCE has demonstrated its commitment to its geographically-broadened Participant base through initiatives that include the rapidly deployed solution for linking our East and Midwest platforms,” says James S. Judd, Senior Vice President with NYCE. “The addition of Union Planters to our Network illustrates how our dedication to all of our constituents has been the driving force behind building new relationships.”

Founded in 1869, Union Planters is the 27th largest banking company in the nation with $33 billion in assets. The company serves over two million customers with banking locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.

Headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, NYCE Corporation is one of the largest electronic payments companies in the U.S. The NYCE Network provides financial institutions and retailers with shared network services for automated teller machines (ATMs), on-line debit point-of-sale and electronic benefits transfer transactions. Currently, the Network has 2,400 financial institution participants and services more than 45 million cardholders through 38,000 NYCE-branded ATMs and 215,000 point-of-sale retailer locations. The company processes nearly 77 million transactions each month. In addition, NYCE Corporation provides financial institutions with real-time processing services that support ATM management and monitoring services, as well as debit card issuance and authorization solutions. With innovations such as SafeDebitTM, a PIN-secured debit payment solution, NYCE is a frontrunner in the payments industry. NYCE’s web site address is [www.nyce.net][1].

[1]: http://www.nyce.net/

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Precis Foresight Acquisition

Precis Smart Card Systems, Inc. announced that it has completed the audit of Foresight, Inc., and has filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for review. It is anticipated that a shareholder meeting date will be set in the near future to vote on the transaction.

Foresight, Inc., provides value-added benefits and services, packaged as membership programs, that allow clients to enhance profitability, customer loyalty and product differentiation. In 1999, Foresight’s revenues were approximately $6 million, and the company maintains a base of more than 580,000 customers nationwide.

Precis Smart Card Systems, Inc. is a leading smart card solutions provider. The company provides custom smart card products including stored value solutions, loyalty and reward programs, and healthcare applications for a wide variety of industries. Information about Precis can be found on the web at: [http://www.precis-scs.com][1].

[1]: http://www.precis-scs.com/

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Bull & Imprimerie

Bull Smart Cards & Terminals and Imprimerie Nationale announce the signature of an agreement under which Bull is to become a privileged partner of the leading French printer of fiduciary and administrative documents. The aim of the agreement is to develop a joint capability to offer French and foreign administrations smart-card based fiduciary documents such as ID cards, driving licences and vehicle registration documents.

These new smart cards should meet very stringent levels of security and inviolability.

The agreement between Bull and Imprimerie Nationale comes at a time when many national governments are considering the need to produce strongly secure documents, embodying a range of information and quick and easy to consult. In this respect, the smart card is the ideal solution, individual, easy to use and cost effective.

In 2003 “e-government” will represent a world market of around 100 million cards

“Governmental” or “national” projects on this scale obviously take time to implement because of their implications for daily life. Here, the smart card offers a number of advantages: it is economical, familiar, and easy to use, and also safeguards the rights of the individual citizen. With two or three cards being used per person (health card, driving licence, and ID card), the estimated market amounts to an enormous two billion units.

About Bull Smart Cards & Terminals ([http://www.cp8.bull.net][1])

Since 1998, under the direction of CEO David Levy, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals has been focusing its strategy on the development and marketing of software for microprocessor cards, more popularly known as smart cards, integrating a high level of security.

About Imprimerie Nationale Group ([http://www.imprimerienationale.fr][2])

Imprimerie Nationale Group is responsible for the production of France’s identification and legal documents. This sensitive area of activity demands the complete mastery of highly sophisticated technologies including the design of security procedures using exclusive algorithms, the generation of latent imagery, the printing of variable optical marks and hologram embedding. These techniques enable document authentication and ensure compliance with international standards and Interpol control recommendations.

[1]: http://www.cp8.bull.net/
[2]: http://www.imprimerienationale.fr/

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Amex Canada Call Center

Amex Canada Inc., one of Canada’s leading travel and expense management companies, announced a new business venture that will see the opening of state-of-the-art Call Centres in Canada to provide travel management services to major North American companies.

The first of these Centres will open in Hamilton, Ontario and will provide travel services for employees across North America for PriceWaterhouseCoopers. This Centre will open in August 2000 in Downtown Hamilton and will create an estimated 150 new jobs for the city.

Amex says it is working on other potential North American deals to continue to expand this new business in the next 12-24 months.

U.S. Companies Choose Canada for Service

By providing servicing from a Canadian Call Centre, U.S. customers are taking advantage of Amex Canada’s high quality service and productivity levels.

“We are proud to be taking a leading role in the Canadian travel industry by attracting new business from a broader North American marketplace and bringing it to Canada,” says Michael Bingham, Vice President and General Manager, Amex Canada Corporate Services. “We see this as the beginning of a future trend for the Canadian travel marketplace.”

Bingham says that, until now, this kind of arrangement has been rare among Canadian travel management companies. But many companies that are based in the U.S. and have Canadian operations are now looking for North American service solutions.

“Customers recognize we can deliver highly skilled and motivated employees, quality services and very competitive prices, and they have hired us to do just that,” says Bingham.

Hamilton Chosen to Host First Site

“This announcement is great news for the City of Hamilton and for American Express,” says Robert Morrow, Mayor of Hamilton. “It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to American Express in locating a North American Corporate Travel Centre in Hamilton’s Downtown Core.”

Economic Development and Trade Minister Al Palladini adds, “We have enjoyed working with Amex and the Economic Development Department of Greater Hamilton to help bring this investment here. Amex is a company with international status and their investment speaks to the quality of the skilled workforce in this region.”

Expansion Strengthens Market Leadership

Amex’s focus on expanding its Canadian travel business is part of an aggressive growth strategy designed to strengthen its market leadership. This initiative is key to helping it achieve 25% revenue growth each year.

“The travel agency industry has a very different competitive environment now. With recent reductions in airline commissions, agencies have had to change the way they do business and how they generate revenue for the services they deliver,” says Bingham. “What we’ve done with this new business venture is take advantage of American Express’ global presence and the strength of our operation in order to build new business and new jobs in Canada.”

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company, which provides a range of financial and travel related services for consumers and companies. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Consumer Travel, Corporate Travel and Travellers Cheque divisions in Canada. Amex opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3000 Canadians coast to coast.

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