IBPP Wallet

First National Bank of Omaha announced it will issue the first electronic wallet for processing electronic checks for ‘Internet Bill Presentment and Payment’. First National is also the first bank to establish a new business unit devoted solely to providing IBPP services with wallet technology. The bank has selected CyberCash and edocs as partners in this new business. First National will utilize CyberCash’s ‘InstaBuy Agile Wallet’ platform to load and manage payment information for billers. First National also has entered into a strategic alliance with edocs to provide an integrated development environment for billers. edocs’ flagship product, ‘BillDirect’ software application enables companies to deploy and manage their own IBPP solution to deliver personalized, interactive bills, statements and invoices through the biller’s own Web site and other portals.

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FUSA Connections

First USA announced this morning the debut of ‘First USA Connections’, an online shopping destination created exclusively for First USA cardholders. The new service connects First USA’s 65 million cardholders to exclusive offers and savings from about 50 merchants and service providers. From any page within the ‘First USA Connections’ shopping site, cardholders can access product information, recommendations and side-by-side features comparisons through a consumer product guide. Cardholders may also search special deals by category or keyword. Savings range from free gifts to discounts of as much as 50% on various products and services. Special offers on the ‘First USA Connections’ website include: a free gift from jcrew.com with a purchase of $80 or more; 50% off bestsellers from coolsavings.com; 10% off any purchase plus free shipping from Computer Furniture Direct; and $10 off any purchase of $25 or more from wine.com.

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Wojcik Joins Hypercom

Hypercom Corporation, a global provider of electronic payment solutions, has named John J. Wojcik vice president of global business development. Mr. Wojcik is a recognized expert on card-based electronic benefit transfer systems. He is an active member of the EFTA EBT Council, and a former member of the U.S. Federal Government’s EBT Steering Committee.

Mr. Wojcik is a 15-year veteran of the card automation and EBT industry. Immediately prior to joining Hypercom(R), Mr. Wojcik served as general manager of the government, education, medical and business division at VeriFone. He established and directed that company’s entrance into the government EBT market, and also positioned the company as a provider of automated licensing systems for the game and fish industry.

Mr. Wojcik has also held sales and management positions with McDonnell Douglas, First Data Corporation and Xerox Corporation. At First Data Corporation, Mr. Wojcik was instrumental in creating the nation’s first on-line eligibility transaction system for the Federal Medicaid program.

In his new position, Mr. Wojcik will be directly responsible for spearheading Hypercom’s growth in the government, healthcare, education and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) markets. He will report to Jairo E. Gonzalez, senior executive officer, Hypercom Corporation.

“John Wojcik is a proven innovator with in-depth experience in the card-based electronic benefit transfer arena,” said Gonzalez. “His industry knowledge and leadership experience will significantly enhance Hypercom’s global expansion plans in this increasingly important market.”

A sought-after speaker on EBT, Mr. Wojcik has addressed conventions and conferences in the US, Europe and Africa.

Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) is the single-source global provider of end-to-end electronic payment solutions, including card payment systems, peripherals, network products, software and e-commerce payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom markets its products in more than 70 countries through a global network of affiliates and offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. Hypercom’s Internet address is [www.hypercom.com][1].

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

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CBQ & Signio

CBQ, Inc. and Signio, a leading provider of e-commerce payment services, announced a strategic reseller partnership and the integration of Signio’s Internet Payment Platform into CBQ, Inc.’s PriorityCASH E-Business Payment Service.

Yesterday’s announcement enables CBQ to provide a broad range of Internet-enabled electronic payment services to its customers. The combining of PriorityCASH customer driven interface with Signio’s Internet payment processing platform instantly brings enhanced capabilities, a reliable payment platform and increased efficiencies to customers of The E-Business Marketplace.

Signio offers integrated payment services for real time credit card authorization, debit card, purchase cards, and pay-by-check services guaranteed by Telechek(TM) for a flat monthly fee. Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) transactions and fraud detection are also available through the Signio platform. Integrating the Signio payment platform also allows CBQ to offer its customers processing services for over nine currencies and provide for International credit card processing.

“With the easiest to deploy payment service in the marketplace, Signio gave CBQ the ability to move from the CyberCash platform and, in one day integrate their highly reliable platform with our own PriorityCASH system. This upgrade to Signio clearly establishes a solid foundation for our E-Business Service to grow from,” stated John Harris, CEO of CBQ, Inc.

Said Philippe Courtot, Signio CEO and chairman, “We are extremely pleased the company has chosen to integrate our payment platform into PriorityCASH, and make it even easier for businesses to leverage the power of the Internet with a fully functional a e-commerce web site.”

About Signio

Signio, Inc., (formerly known as PaymentNet) is committed to bringing simplicity and excellence to Internet payment processing and help businesses profit from the rapidly expanding e-commerce market. With its flat fee monthly pricing model and growing menu of services, Signio brings affordability and convenience to the process of selling online.

Signio provides seamless connectivity across the Internet from e-commerce applications to all major back-end payment processors and quickly enables companies to authorize, process, and manage multiple payment types, multi-currency options and different payment schemes. Signio has a growing list of impressive customers, with such notables as CBS Sportsline, C/NET Store.com, Furniture.com, Network Solutions, Inc., Prime Sports Interactive, wine.com, and WebMD. Signio is headquartered in Redwood Shores, Calif. For more information about Signio, visit [http://www.signio.com][1].

About CBQ, Inc.

CBQ, Inc. The E-Business Marketplace, is a total end-to-end provider for implementing customer driven e-business solutions. Through its subsidiaries, Cyberquest, Inc., Reliance Technologies, Inc. and Priority One Electronic Commerce Corp it can design, implement, host, build traffic and process payments for its customers e-business initiatives.

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

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NCR Makeover

NCR Corp. revealed Tuesday it has decided to accelerate its transformation from a computer hardware and product company, to a technology solutions and services provider by focusing its growth in data warehousing, retail store automation and ATMs. The decision will result in a restructuring charge in the range of $200-$250 million for the fourth quarter. NCR expects to realize annual savings of approximately $75 million as a result of the initiatives, beginning in 2000. The changes will include the elimination of approximately 1,500 positions.

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HealthSaver Club Card

HealthSaver Club, a health benefit discount card, debuted this week with a full-scale marketing program that includes an infomercial, direct mail, and the launch of its web site, [http://www.healthsaverclub.com][1]. The site is fast, easy to navigate, and provides descriptions of the plan’s features, benefits, costs, and participating providers. Most importantly, visitors to the site can become members instantaneously online and receive immediate discounts with the click of a mouse.

HealthSaver Club was created to provide discounted health care services and bridge the gap between what regular health insurance companies cover and do not cover, including Medicaid, Medicare, and managed care companies. The nationwide network consists of more than 75,000 healthcare providers with projections to exceed 300,000 by the end of the year. Currently, the network includes 40,000 pharmacies, 19,000 dentists, 12,000 eye professionals, 18,000 chiropractors, 20,000 alternative medicine providers and many more.

Unlike any other card in the marketplace, HealthSaver Club covers basic medical and preventative procedures including prescription drugs at discounted prices for all ages, especially seniors. It also covers “elective” treatments. For example, members receive unlimited dental, vision, eye laser surgery, hearing, chiropractic, holistic and alternative services, weight loss, smoke cessation, magnetic therapy, dermatology, plastic surgery, mental and substance abuse counseling and much more.

“It’s a unique health discount card, one that is setting a new standard in Florida as well as the rest of the country. It is designed to help people get the care they deserve and at prices they can afford, from the 44 million uninsured people in the nation to HMO members facing reduced benefits, says Leila Chang, Executive Director of HealthSaver Club.

HealthSaver Club can be used either in conjunction with existing health insurance or as a stand-alone plan. It’s easy to use and requires no paperwork. Members receive a card (the size of a credit card) to present at participating providers for discounts on products and services at the point of purchase. There are no pre-existing condition restrictions and HealthSaver Club is available to everyone. “Individuals can purchase the card for their own personal or family use. Companies can also purchase it to offer employees an added benefit to their core insurance programs,” says Chang.

Membership costs $89 per person, per year or $109 per family, per year with unlimited dependents. If members join online, they receive an additional $10 off the annual premium. “It’s a small investment with a big return of 10% to 60% in healthcare savings, and the card pays for itself after only using it a few times. With the launch of our website, HealthSaver Club is now not only the healthiest way to save money, but the easiest and fastest way, too,” says Chang.

In tandem with the launch of [http://www.healthsaverclub.com][2], a marketing program totaling in excess of $5 million is being implemented and includes a thirty minute infomercial airing on cable and Paxson channels throughout Florida. In addition, a direct mail campaign to over 700,000 households in the state is also being implemented. The campaign is designed to increase awareness and build brand equity while capitalizing on the opportunity of being one of the first cards of its kind on the market.

[1]: http://www.healthsaverclub.com/
[2]: http://www.healthsaverclub.com/

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AAA STV Cards

AAA, Fleet Boston and VISA are testing two stored value cards. The test is being conducted in 20 AAA offices of Automobile Club of Southern California, California State Automobile Association, AAA Michigan, and AAA Missouri. The two AAA customized products, ‘AAA MemberCash’ card and ‘AAA MemberOne card’, are designed to allow domestic and international travelers to gain access to funds domestically and abroad. The ‘AAA MemberCash’ card is targeted to AAA members traveling internationally, and enables them to access cash in local currency at more than 500,000 VISA ATMs worldwide. The ‘AAA MemberOne’ card is a stored value VISA card. Both cards are branded as AAA products, with Fleet Boston Corp. sponsoring the program.The pilot program with AAA and Fleet Boston is the first proposed partnership VISA has announced following its recent alliance with ClaimCard.

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Paymentech Signs CPA Group

Paymentech’s commercial card unit announced new implementations that reflect the preference of organizations and corporations to expand web-based financial management. Paymentech signed the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) as a new client for Visa corporate and purchasing cards. Commonfund Treasury, Inc. selected Paymentech as its recommended commercial card provider and is marketing the program to colleges and universities nationwide. Paymentech also added MasterCard purchasing cards to Gap Inc’s corporate card program.

The company reported the business developments at the Treasury Management Association Convention and Exposition in Los Angeles. Paymentech issues MasterCard and Visa commercial cards through its Salt Lake City-based First USA Financial Services unit. The company was the first to market with an Internet- based suite of applications, called PaymentNet, for commercial card reporting, program administration and integration with accounting systems. PaymentNet streamlines data delivery and enables easier distribution to multiple users.

‘The AICPA selects programs that we believe exemplify a high degree of discipline for financial control,’ said Howard Gerner, CPA, manager of financial management for the AICPA. ‘We feel that Paymentech’s on-line access to reporting and administration will accomplish that for both purchasing and corporate cards.’

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the national professional organization of CPAs, with more than 330,000 members in business, industry, public practice, government and education. It is the first professional association to be ISO 9001-certified. ‘Paymentech represents a major advance in offering complete solutions to colleges and universities,’ said Diana Becker Query, managing director of payment systems at Commonfund Treasury, Inc., a subsidiary of Commonfund. Based in Wilton, CT, Commonfund is a nonprofit membership corporation devoted to enhancing the financial resources and operating efficiencies of educational institutions through fund management, investment advice and cash management services.

‘We now can offer Internet-enabled purchasing, travel and fleet programs, including the choice of an integrated ‘one card.’ Paymentech’s technology allows clients to more efficiently administer their programs,’ said Query. ‘Implementation, customer service and relationship management staffs are also technically savvy.’ ‘Proactive and knowledgeable client service magnifies the value of technology,’ said Calvin Chin, senior manager of expense and accounts payable at Gap Inc. ‘Service is integral to our business, and that naturally influenced our decision when looking at card programs. Successful companies require ongoing technological support from their providers.’

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Pete Rose Flap

MasterCard says it is outraged that NBC reporter Jim Gray tarnished what was a wonderful tribute honoring the 30 individuals America chose to be baseball’s All Century Team. MasterCard is outraged that Mr. Gray chose the All Century Team celebration to attack alleged sports gambler Pete Rose, who received more than a 500,000 votes from fans to be a Hall of Famer. MasterCard said yesterday it strongly believes that Mr. Gray owes an apology to the millions of fans that tuned into the last World Series of the century.

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Fun Cards

WA-based The Pathways Group has launched the first cash-free carnival midway system in the U.S., using smart card technology. The new ‘Fun Card’ was field tested at the recent opening of the Funtastic Traveling Shows carnival in San Francisco. Funtastic is also considering the use of ‘Sprinticket’ dispensers to sell and recharge their ‘Fun Cards’. ‘Sprinticket’, an unattended dispensing device designed and manufactured by Pathways, would allow customers to purchase ‘Fun Cards’ using their credit cards or cash. ‘Sprinticket’ devices can also be used to determine the balance or to add value to the ‘Fun Card’.

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Olafsson Leaves Advanta

Advanta Corporation announced Monday the resignation of Olaf Olafsson from the position of President.

Mr. Olafsson will continue as a director of Advanta Corporation and as a special partner and director of Advanta Partners, LP, a private equity investment firm in which Advanta Corporation is the controlling investor.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Advanta tremendously. We’ve made great progress in terms of the quality and trajectory of earnings, new initiatives and partnerships. Now that we have solidified our growth strategy, with Dennis and Bill to lead the Company toward preeminence in its businesses, it is time for me to focus on challenges that will allow me to remain closer to my home and young family in New York. While my role as President has been rewarding, as one can imagine, commuting 4-5 hours per day to and from Advanta’s Spring House headquarters has been a challenge,” said Mr. Olafsson. Mr. Olafsson will become Vice Chairman of Time Warner Digital Media, located in Manhattan.

Business operations will continue under the uninterrupted direction of the Office of the Chairman, of which Mr. Olafsson was a part, now comprised of Dennis Alter and William A. Rosoff. Mr. Rosoff will assume the title of President.

Dennis Alter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated, “I have accepted Olaf’s resignation with mixed feelings. While we will miss his day to day involvement on both personal and business levels, I respect his difficult decision to make a move that is the right one for his family. We look forward to many years of his continuing involvement and strategic insight as a director and with Advanta Partners. We have many important and exciting initiatives in the pipeline which Olaf has been involved in creating.”

During Mr. Olafsson’s tenure as President, Advanta implemented an automated sales and underwriting system at its mortgage business, began testing a new origination and automated decisioning system to take business credit card applications over the Internet, and took significant steps to refine processes in its leasing business resulting in cost efficiencies.

We continue these and our previously discussed initiatives to increase profits, and optimize cash flow and returns on invested capital.

Advanta is a highly focused financial services company with over 2,400 employees, approximately $12.4 billion in managed assets and approximately $9.4 billion in assets serviced for third parties. Advanta provides consumers and small businesses with innovative products and services including mortgages, equipment leases, business credit cards, insurance and deposit products.

The Company also provides a full range of loan purchasing, contract servicing and securitization services to the mortgage industry.

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