Credit Store Promotions

The Credit Store said Friday that, at a recent meeting of its Board of Directors, the following title appointments were confirmed:

– Michael J. Philippe, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, was named an executive vice president of the Company.

– Richard S. Angel was named an executive vice president and General Counsel. He was formerly vice president and corporate counsel.

– Cynthia D. Hassoun, Corporate Secretary, was named a senior vice president. She was previously a vice president.

– Patrick Steffl was named a senior vice president. Mr. Steffl is in charge of Marketing and Portfolio Acquisition and was previously a vice president.

The Board of Directors also confirmed the following senior managers as new vice presidents of the Company:

– Deb Griese, Controller.

– Jean Gerritsen, Director of Operations

– Pat Lund, Director of Human Resources.

– Charles A. Schultz, Director of Finance .

Martin J. Burke III is The Credit Store’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Kevin T. Riordan is President and Chief Operating Officer. Messrs. Burke and Riordan said, “The Credit Store’s Board of Directors wishes to express its gratitude in a significant and important way through these promotions. The success of our Company — and its rapid move to profitability from its start-up –are to due to the smart and dedicated work of each of these individuals.”

At the same meeting, the Board also confirmed William Buriak as a senior vice president and Chief Information Officer and Jonathan Pike as senior vice president of Operations. Messrs. Buriak and Pike have just joined The Credit Store’s senior management, as recently announced.

The Credit Store, Inc. is a nationwide financial services company engaged in the acquisition and recovery of non-performing consumer receivables and the origination and servicing of credit cards. The Company acquires portfolios of non-performing consumer receivables and originates new credit cards to those consumers who agree to pay all or a portion of the outstanding amount due on their debt. The new card is issued with an initial balance and credit line equal to the agreed repayment amount. After appropriate seasoning, The Credit Store attempts to sell or securitize the credit card receivables generated by its business strategy. The Credit Store began its current operations in Oct. 1996.


Fee Production

With the recent consumer backlash over punitive cardholder fees, many of the nation’s top issuers are building new revenue streams with fee-based services. More than five million Citibank cardholders have signed up for at least one fee-based service while more than one million cardholders have enrolled in two or more fee-based services, according to marketing intelligence gathered by CardWatch ([][1]). The most lucrative new product is a debt suspension/cancellation product. Under such programs cardholders pay a monthly fee and in return their credit card account is frozen in the event of unemployment, temporary disability, family leave, or other specific reasons. Debt cancellation takes effect if the cardholder dies. Since these programs are totally in-house it eliminates privacy issues with sharing cardholder data with third parties and offers a much higher profit margin since it cuts out an insurance partner. Net profit margins for debt deferment programs average nearly 80% compared to the 54% net margin for credit insurance programs. Unlike insurance, debt suspension or debt cancellation programs are not regulated. Over the past year, Citibank and Wells Fargo have introduced debt suspension products. Capital One, Fleet and Providian have offered such debt deferment programs for at least three years.



NPC Gets Papa John’s

NPC (National Processing Company) announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Papa John’s International to provide point-of-sale credit card processing services. This agreement increases NPC’s leadership in the emerging quick service restaurant/home delivery market.

Under a new long-term agreement, NPC will provide processing of Visa and MasterCard transactions for all corporate Papa John’s locations.

“We are excited to have Papa John’s as a part of NPC’s Merchant Service business,” said Tom Wimsett, President and CEO of NPC. “The restaurant/home delivery market is an industry segment in which NPC is very focused. Papa John’s is an outstanding company, and we are very pleased to be assisting them in expanding their payment options to include credit card acceptance.”

“Partnering with NPC makes a lot of sense for Papa John’s,” said Lou Di Fazio, Papa John’s International’s Vice President of Corporate Operations. “At Papa John’s we have raised the bar on quality in the pizza category and NPC is helping us provide additional quality and service to our valued customers. Credit card acceptance is simply another way for us to reach the consumer.”

National Processing Company is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing services and corporate outsourcing solutions. NPC processes over $100 billion in credit card sales representing over 2 billion transactions. Approximately 1 out of every 6 MasterCard and Visa transactions are processed by NPC. NPC can be found on the World Wide Web at [][1].

Approximately 88 percent of NPC is owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), a Cleveland-based $85 billion bank holding company.

Papa John’s International, Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky is the recognized quality leader in the pizza category and the fastest growing pizza company in America.

For three years running, Papa John’s has received the highest quality and overall customer satisfaction ratings among national pizza chains in the prestigious Restaurants & Institutions’ Choice in Chains consumer survey (1997, 1998 and 1999).



Intl VISA Debit

VISA International announced this weekend it will launch VISA signature-based debit card programs in all the 13 major markets of its Asia Pacific region by February. VISA says its decision is based on the success of ‘VISA Electron’. Currently ‘VISA Electron’ or ‘VISA Debit’ cards are being issued in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan. By year’s end VISA member banks in Malaysia, India and Indonesia will issue ‘VISA Electron’. By February VISA signature-based debit cards will be issued in Taiwan and the Philippines. VISA says PIN-based debit cards have limited acceptance due to the high cost of installing special terminals. VISA has one million ‘Electron’ merchant locations in Asia Pacific. Since June 1998, VISA branded debit cards in that region have grown 71%, from 28 million to 48 million. Worldwide VISA has more than 280 million debit cards with total annual sales volume of nearly $600 billion.


Sub-Prime Segment

OR-based First Consumers National Bank is approaching the one million card mark. According to 3Q/99 data gathered by CardData, FCNB now has 922,298 cards and 891,769 accounts. Both figures jumped by nearly 30,000 during the third quarter. The sub-prime and secured card specialist now holds $543,112,880 in receivables and has handled $695,278,707 in charge volume since Jan.1. Between the second and third quarter FCNB card receivables have grown nearly 13%. Since 3Q/98, FCNB’s receivables have soared by 48% and its account base has increased by 30%. For the latest 3Q/99 data and historical data on more than 350 issuers visit CardData ([][1]).




VISA and other major firms have teamed up to create GlobalPlatform, Inc. to advance a standardized infrastructure for multiple application smart cards. GlobalPlatform’s efforts to advance common specifications will be accelerated by the transfer of the ‘Open Platform’ card specifications and terminal framework developed by VISA International. Members that are entitled to full participation in GlobalPlatform activities, including technical development and leadership positions, include British Telecommunications, Gemplus, Infineon Technologies, JCB, Keycorp, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, NTT, Oberthur Card Systems, Proton World International, SERMEPA, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems, and VISA International. Additional participating members include NEC, New Media Development Association, Schlumberger, and Toshiba.


Nickel Calling Card

The calling card war is heating up again as Sprint is extending its ‘Nickel Nights’ to Spring calling cards. Sprint now offers residential users the five-cents-a-minute rate on all domestic long-distance calling card calls, every night of the week, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., for a flat rate of $12.95 a month. New advertising broke this weekend featuring music from Alicia Bridges original track, “I Love The Nightlife.” McCann-Erickson New York created the ads.


DMA Survey

Eighteen percent of Americans made an online purchase in the last year, according to a study released Saturday by the Direct Marketing Association. The study also revealed that Internet shoppers spent an average of $559 on online purchases in the last year, with one in 10 spending more than $1,000 online. Other findings include: 69% of Internet shoppers have also shopped from catalogs; 38% of Internet shoppers have purchased from book and/or music clubs; and 66% of Internet shoppers have subscribed to magazines by phone or mail. The study, commissioned by The DMA and conducted by Eldrick & Lavidge Marketing Research, was partially sponsored by the United States Postal Service.


Renaissance Conversions

Renaissance Holdings, Incorporated, with subsidiaries Orchard Bank and Renaissance Bankcard Services, completed the conversions of two credit card load portfolios purchased during the past year. RHI integrated more than 175,000 credit card accounts onto its existing servicing platform.

On March 1, 1999, Orchard Bank purchased a $91 million portfolio of performing and charged-off Visa® credit card accounts from Mercury Finance Company. The conversion was completed in late July. In August, Orchard Bank converted a second sub-prime Visa card portfolio purchased from Strutsman County State Bank in 1998. This portfolio consisted of $43 million in performing and non-performing accounts. With the addition of these two portfolios, Renaissance now manages over 900,000 accounts.

“With our dedicated focus in serving the sub-prime credit card market, RHI has become an excellent resource for organizations who want to sell under-performing or distressed portfolios,” said Tim Purcell, Director of Portfolio Acquisitions.

Renassaince seeks both active and charged-off consumer load portfolios with average balances under $1,500 per account. Portfolios of interest include low-balance retail store revolving or installment loans; bank, thrift or finance company installment loans; oil card revolving accounts; and MasterCard/Visa revolving accounts.

Privately held RHI originates, manages and services customized sub-prime MasterCard® and Visa® programs on behalf of cardholders, financial institutions, retailers and affinity groups. RHI provides credit cards and credit education to individuals who often have difficulty obtaining credit from traditional lenders. The company helped pioneer sub-prime credit card products and management systems and is considered a knowledge leader in this market segment.


WCW MasterCard

World Championship Wrestling and Capital One have re-launched the ‘WCW MasterCard’ with new designs, new logos and a new benefit for professional wrestling fans. Added to the card design lineup are WCW superstars, Ric Flair and Konnan. Cardholders also now get priority seating at the new WCW theme restaurant, the Nitro Grill, now open in the Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Capital One launched the card last October to WCW’s 30 million fans.


New Elva Chip

Elva Inc. announced the new chip AT88SC 1608 designed by Elva for Atmel is being used in a revolutionary secure identity card application that merges secure smart card technology with fingerprint verification, card printing biometrics identification, and digital imaging. The encryption/decryption technology developed for Atmel by Elva combined with Polaroid’s’ PFS-100 fingerprint imaging developed by Atmel and Polaroid — compares the cardholders’ actual fingerprint against the fingerprint stored in the smart card or ID card verifying the holders’ identity.

Polaroid ID cards are actually integrated circuits called smart card ICs, acknowledged to be a large part of the most secure designs available in today’s market with the ability to guarantee that sensitive personal information will never leave the card undetected or without authorization. This is only one example of common success that binds Elva to the company’s partnership with Atmel, a worldwide advanced logic mixed signal, nonvolatile memory and RF Semiconductor company.

The new smart card IC provides 17,408 bits of serial EEPROM memory organized into nine zones, eight user zones, and one configuration zone. The device is optimized as a secure memory system for the smart card market. The designed chip includes 64-bit authentication, 8 sets of passwords and both authentication and password attempts counters.

Elva, Inc. creates secure transaction systems for the internet trade sector and exchange transactions between individuals and business structures. Smart card technology, telecommunications, security/cryptology and software engineering are Elva’s areas of expertise.

Please Visit Elva’s Website at: [][1]

Joyce Research Group (“JRG”) prepared this material, for the company discussed herein, based upon information supplied by the client or other sources believed to be reliable. The company’s actual results could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statement discussed in this press release. This material is for information purposes and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities. JRG, its affiliates, and/or its officers, directors and employees may from time to time have a position in these securities. JRG has received $15,000 compensation for public relation services.