Vatican Smart Cards

Gemplus announced Monday that organizers of the ‘Catholic Jubilee of the Year 2000’ will use Gemplus smart cards to handle the pilgrims making the trek to the holy cities. An estimated 12 to 20 million pilgrims will be in Rome for the ‘Jubilee’ year making orderly direction and management of the crowds a necessity. Local dioceses and travel agents will issue smart cards to pilgrims to allow access to areas in Italian cities such as Vatican City, Gubbio and Assisi. The committee has already taken delivery of one million new ‘Pilgrim’ cards from Gemplus. The organizers are implementing this solution in partnership with Setefi, a computer services subsidiary of the Cariplo Bank in Italy. Cariplo is responsible for the personalization of the cards and the installation of the network of card readers. The ‘Jubilee’ is an official international holy year that takes place every 25 years, originally decreed by Pope Boniface VIII in the 14th century.

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Taiwan Goes PRISM

Nestor, Inc., in conjunction with its alliance partner ACI Worldwide, Monday announced the licensing of its PRISM fraud management system to Chinatrust Commercial Bank, Taiwan’s largest private bank. Chinatrust will use PRISM to monitor and control credit card fraud.

Chinatrust Commercial Bank is the largest credit card issuer in Taiwan and chose PRISM to monitor fraudulent transactions within its portfolio of 1.6 million cardholders. PRISM will integrate with Chinatrust’s BASE24 processing engine, from ACI, to offer an integrated solution that acquires, authorizes and switches transactions while monitoring those transactions for fraud.

PRISM offers Chinatrust an advanced neural net-based fraud detection system that identifies subtle patterns of fraudulent behavior by comparing individual card and account usage with known patterns of fraud. Transactions are monitored in near-real time or batch environments. When a suspicious transaction is found, it is flagged for prompt and appropriate action. PRISM’s ability to recognize fraudulent activity and learn from experience provides a proactive method to reduce losses from fraud.

“PRISM enables Chinatrust to offer its cardholders an extra level of fraud protection while efficiently processing their transactions,” said Don McLarty, vice president and general director of ACI Worldwide’s Asia/Pacific operation. “And since PRISM integrates with Chinatrust’s BASE24 system, the bank has the ability to handle increasing transaction volumes generated by its card base while monitoring those transactions for current and emerging fraudulent schemes.”

PRISM is supported and distributed around the globe by ACI Worldwide.

About Nestor

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Providence, RI, Nestor, Inc. is a leading provider of intelligent decision-support solutions for the financial services industry. Nestor’s client/server products incorporate innovative pattern-recognition technologies ideally suited for data-intensive, mission-critical decision applications in real-time environments. The company’s products for financial institutions support fraud detection and case management for credit, debit, retail and commercial card fraud, as well as Internet and merchant fraud; bankruptcy prediction; and customer relationship management. Nestor products are sold direct and by selected partners worldwide. Through its subsidiary, Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc., the company also applies its technologies to a suite of video-based intelligent transportation systems that promote enhanced traffic management and improved safety. For more information, call 401-331-9640 or visit [www.nestor.com][1].

About ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq:TSAI) is helping customers change the way the world works with software products developed for consumer banking, corporate banking, retail and systems solutions. The company maintains operations in the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific and is a leading international provider of software for electronic commerce and electronic payments. ACI Worldwide distributed solutions are used by more than 2100 customers in 76 countries. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at

[www.aciworldwide.com][2].

PRISM is a registered trademark of Nestor, Inc. All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

[1]: http://www.nestor.com/
[2]: http://www.aciworldwide.com/

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BillCast 2.0

Just in Time Solutions, the leading provider of Internet billing and interactive customer care software, Monday announced the general availability of BillCast 2.0, the modular, enterprise-class suite of applications designed to provide billers and bill publishers with a sophisticated end-to-end solution for personalized bill presentment, payment, and service delivery. Based on open standards, BillCast 2.0 enables billers to use the electronic bill as a platform for delivering advanced self-care applications. Using a single BillCast application, billers can publish e-bills directly on their own Web sites and simultaneously publish bill summaries to consolidators such as home banking Web sites or portals.

Wells Fargo & Company has licensed BillCast 2.0, which will enable its business units to offer Internet bill presentment and payment. “With its support for open standards, BillCast lays the foundation for extending customer relationships into the Internet, and enables us to use the electronic bill as a basis for developing a deeper relationship with our customers,” said Scott Peterson, senior vice president of Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Internet Services Group. “After examining a variety of alternatives, we believe Just in Time’s BillCast platform provides the best, standards-based bill presentment and payment solution in the market today.”

“Ultimately, the success of the electronic bill presentment and payment market depends on both giving consumers choice in where they can receive bills and giving billers the opportunity to leverage the Internet bill as a way to attract and retain customers by delivering advanced self-service capabilities,” said Paul Hughes, senior analyst at The Yankee Group. “As more consumers adopt Internet billing, demands for higher levels of support will increase, and that is why interoperability and open standards will become more important. BillCast 2.0 and its implementation by Wells Fargo are strong evidence that Just in Time clearly supports the needs of the market.”

Douglas S. Thompson, president and CEO of Just in Time Solutions, commented, “We’re focused on delivering Internet billing solutions that allow the biller to own the customer relationship. With BillCast 2.0, billers can offer a new level of convenience, personalized service and interactive care that will help increase customer satisfaction and lower churn, while meeting their customers’ needs for access through multiple delivery channels.”

About BillCast 2.0

The BillCast 2.0 suite of applications enables billers to offer their customers a compelling personalized billing experience. The core BillCast platform provides a complete, out-of-the-box brandable application, while the optional BillCast Distribution, Payment and Data Translation Modules offer added functionality as the biller’s needs grow. The complete BillCast 2.0 suite is an end-to-end solution for the Internet billing process, including personalization, presentation, payment, integration with back-end systems, and distribution — via interoperable standards such as Open Financial Exchange (OFX). The Java-based BillCast suite is available on the Sun Solaris and Windows NT platforms.

BillCast Platform

The BillCast platform not only allows customers to receive, view, and analyze detail for current and past bills, it also delivers a highly personalized billing experience. Using a combination of sophisticated customer profiling and powerful business rules, BillCast transforms the bill into a “customer home page,” which provides access to customer care features as well as billing and payment conveniences. BillCast also allows billers to tailor each customer’s service experience according to preferences established in the customer’s own profile.

BillCast enables self-service Internet billing and customer care through the entire electronic channel, including Web, e-mail, interactive voice response (IVR) applications, set-top boxes, personal digital assistants and ATMs. BillCast allows billers to deliver a consistent customer experience regardless of the medium.

BillCast Payment Module

The BillCast Payment Module delivers capabilities to support the payment of bills directly from a biller’s Web site through the biller’s choice of payment processors. This module enables convenient consumer-facing functionality in the BillCast Payment Browser(TM), including multiple funding accounts, multiple account types (credit cards, debit cards and checking), the ability to schedule and manage payments, the ability to set up automatic payments, and sophisticated notification services, such as e-mails regarding pending due dates.

The Payment Module works with existing payment processing services such as Signio, CheckFree, Direct ACH, ePay and RPS, or with in-house direct debit systems that connect to the Payment Module through payment engines. Remittance and exception information is received and made available by the Payment Module for feeding to a biller’s accounts receivable system.

BillCast Distribution Module

The BillCast Distribution Module handles enrollment and bill summary distribution to consolidators such as home banking Web sites, portals, and personal financial managers (PFMs). The Distribution Module supports open standards-based protocols, including the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) standard for online bill presentment. This module is 100 percent OFX-compliant and has migration support for all future EBPP standards. The Distribution Module has batch capabilities for high-volume throughput and provides enterprise-class overall performance for bill publishers and high-volume billers. It features a transaction server that supports the ten critical transactions for distributed customer care including Signon, Find Biller, Enroll, Service Activation, Service Change, Service Delete, Change User Info, Account Info, Bill Summary and Notify.

BillCast Data Translation Module

The BillCast Data Translation Module enables easy integration with back-end systems by converting legacy data, especially print streams, into XML, the standards-based form compatible with the BillCast platform. It provides translation support for a wide range of data formats, including AFP, Xerox Metacode, IPDS, SCS, DSC/DSE/EBCDIC, ASCII and DJDE. The Data Translation Module has fully validated XML output and gives billers the flexibility to define their own data formats.

Pricing and Availability

The BillCast 2.0 suite of applications is available immediately. Pricing begins at $75,000.

About Just in Time Solutions

Just in Time Solutions is the leading provider of complete software solutions for Internet billing and interactive customer care. The company’s modular BillCast(TM) software suite enables relationship-centric billers to deploy secure, scalable solutions for personalized billing, payment and service delivery that increase the value of each customer interaction. Just in Time Solutions helped pioneer the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) standard for online bill presentment and the thin consolidator model, and continues to champion open standards. Founded in 1995 and based in San Francisco, Just in Time Solutions’ customers include some of the largest billing organizations and service providers in the industry, including AT&T, Bank of America, Intuit and Output Technology Solutions. For more information, please visit [www.justintime.com.][1]

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

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Chinese Smart Cards

Motorola and the Nanjing Public Transit IC Card Co. signed a cooperative agreement Monday to design and implement an integrated smart card system called the ‘Nanjing Public Transit Automated Fare Collection’ project. Yesterday’s agreement covers ‘Phase I’ of a multi-phased effort to implement smart cards as a form of payment for the entire city public transport network that includes buses, ferries and the Metro subway system in Nanjing, China. The first phase will involve automating the bus system. A field trial of the system is scheduled to begin in March of 2000 and last three months, with full-system implementation planned for July of 2000. During ‘Phase I’ of the project, Motorola will design and implement the smart card system for all three bus companies currently operating within the bus system of Nanjing providing more than 2,000 bus validators and issuing 400,000 Motorola ‘M-Smart Mercury’ contactless smart cards to riders. The system design, integration, implementation, training and system maintenance will be managed on behalf of Motorola by Huamin Smart Card Systems Co, a joint-venture company established by Motorola and Huaxu Golden Card Co. last year. Motorola also has contracted with Nanjing Eastide Co. to integrate the components for the validators and to establish an after-sale maintenance center in support of the Nanjing AFC project.

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New Control

UK-based Callmate Telecom International Inc. announced Friday it has agreed to buy controlling interest in FL-based American MultiCredit Inc. and Diaspora Finance Limited. American MulitCredit holds exclusive settlement processing rights for Internet credit card clearing transactions for two card issuing banks, South Bank and Trust Company Ltd and MultiCredit SA. South Bank has a primary membership status with MasterCard to conduct both an issuing and acquiring business. The MIPS or communication lines to MasterCard are held at the AMC offices in Fort Lauderdale, FL. MultiCredit SA has a primary membership status with VISA which allows both issuing and acquiring business. The VAPS or communication lines to VISA International are held in Guatemala City. The relationship with the two banks enables American MultiCredit to acquire transactions and issue cards internationally and domestically. AMC says since both SBT and MSA have their own MIPS and VAPS and a contract with AMC for their use, AMC is able to conduct business as a settlement processor offering payment services to other international and/or off-shore banks. Callmate says its stock acquisition will enable the firm to link its telecom expertise with the e-commerce expertise of AMC and Diaspora. Diaspora is a supplier of real time credit card processing over the Internet.

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Oasis IST/Switch in Turkey

Oasis Technology Ltd. Friday announced that Bankalararasi Kart Merkezi A.S., the Turkish inter-bank credit and debit card processing network, has selected the Oasis IST/Switch software to support its transaction authorization and processing. The Oasis IST/Switch, operational since May 18, 1999, is being used by BKM to route nearly a million credit and debit card transactions each day between 40 Turkish banks and the major international card associations such as Visa, MasterCard and Europay.

IST/Switch is an Internet-enabled e-payment system that routes credit and debit card payments originating from various electronic commerce channels (such as the Internet, point of sale devices, and ATMs) between the merchants, banks and the authorization/settlement networks involved in the transactions. According to Ercument Buyuksumnulu, head of operations for BKM, the new Oasis system replaces a proprietary system that was expensive to maintain and could not easily accommodate increasing transaction workloads. Buyuksumnulu estimates the new system is capable of processing 25% more transactions than the previous system and costs about 40% less to operate.

“We were looking for a cheaper solution in terms of software costs,” said Buyuksumnulu. “Furthermore, we were keen to link in our own applications with switch software. That wasn’t possible with our Tandem/Deluxe system, so we started to look around for a UNIX-based solution instead.”

In addition to supporting credit and debit card authorizations, BKM uses Oasis IST/Switch to check each transaction it handles against a list of lost and stolen cards. BKM also plans to integrate in-house applications with IST/Switch to support debit card transaction settlement and fraud control. Eventually, BKM expects to process transactions initiated online and protected by the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) authentication process, scheduled for implementation later this year.

The new system also satisfies BKM’s most important installation consideration, says Buyuksumnulu: a reliable, fault-tolerant architecture that provides 100 percent uptime for member institutions and customers throughout Turkey. To ensure failover processing with minimal impact on existing processing performance, Oasis installed its Oasis Replication and Failover (ORF) system at BKM. ORF replicates transaction information to a mirrored external site, and provides for either automated or manual cutover to the remote mirror site to ensure uninterrupted performance.

On the planning board at BKM is an extensive e-commerce transaction processing system and a disaster-recovery site, each of which will require implementation of additional UNIX-based servers and Oasis e-payment software. BKM is now certified to route transactions through the Visa and Europay authorization and settlement networks.

“With BKM, we’ve again demonstrated how it’s possible to meet primary processing performance expectations and provide a scalable platform that is much less costly to maintain,” observes Mike Flaherty, senior vice president of client services at Oasis. “Oasis’ open architecture is enabling BKM to take a major step toward their vision of complete service integration, while ensuring optimal processing performance for the future.”

About Oasis Technology Ltd.

Oasis Technology Ltd. delivers leading e-payment technology to the world, empowering banks, card associations, retailers and third-party processors in more than 70 countries to process more than three billion e-payment transactions every year. Oasis e-payment systems are designed for every step in the payment chain and drive every major payment channel – the Internet, ATM, POS, and telephone. Oasis’ international client base includes ABN Amro, American Express, The Bank of Montreal, Citibank, Credicard Brazil, Diners, Europay, Golden Card (China), MasterCard and Visa. With corporate headquarters located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the company also operates offices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Miami, Florida and California and supports an extensive network of international distributors and sales representatives.

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New Audiotex CEO

Imperial Bank announced Friday that Thomas R. Evans has been named Chairman and CEO of U.S. Audiotex, the leading provider of electronic payment options by credit cards to government entities.

U.S. Audiotex is a San Ramon, Calif.-based firm in which Imperial Bank, the principal subsidiary of Imperial Bancorp, owns an 80% interest. Mr. Evans was previously the President and CEO of GeoCities. He led GeoCities through a $92.4 million IPO in August 1998. GeoCities was subsequently purchased in May 1999 by Yahoo!, Inc. for $5 billion. Mr. Evans left GeoCities shortly after the completion of the merger in June 1999. Prior to his GeoCities tenure, Mr. Evans was President and Publisher of the U.S. News & World Report magazine group, which includes U.S. News & World Report, The Atlantic Monthly and Fast Company.

U.S. Audiotex enables consumers to make electronic payments by credit card to government entities including the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), state governments and local municipalities. With U.S. Audiotex’s Internet and telephone systems, consumers can use their credit cards to electronically pay personal, federal and state income taxes, sales and use taxes, property taxes and fines for traffic violations and parking citations. These electronic payments are completed faster and more efficiently than traditional paper-based methods.

Founded in 1996, U.S. Audiotex has existing relationships with the IRS, the state governments of California and New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and over 400 local municipalities. In addition, U.S. Audiotex has existing relationships with major credit card companies including American Express, MasterCard, VISA, and Discover Card, ensuring ease of payment for the consumer.

“This is a great opportunity,” said Mr. Evans. “It is the stated goal of the IRS to have 80% of all tax and information returns filed electronically by the year 2007. With our Internet and telephone conduits, U.S. Audiotex is poised to help make these and other government payment processes more convenient and efficient for the consumer.”

Evans chose the U.S. Audiotex deal for three main reasons. “First,” Evans stated, “the company has an existing business, which is well suited as a foundation for a substantial Internet play. Second, there is a real consumer need for the service: because taxes are an inevitable part of life. And finally, this business model allows for the development of new market applications, the forming of strategic alliances and collaborations with software companies and financial service Internet sites,” Mr. Evans said.

“We pursued and chose Tom Evans because he has a truly unique skill-set and proven leadership acumen,” said George L. Graziadio, Chairman, President and CEO of Imperial Bancorp and Chairman and Co-founder of Imperial Bank. “Tom is highly regarded on Wall Street. He engineered one of the most successful Internet IPOs and mergers in history. He has managed and run large organizations and world-class brands.

“We are convinced that he can attract and lead a team that will allow U.S. Audiotex to execute its business plan,” Mr. Graziadio said. U.S. Audiotex also announced its intention to relocate its corporate headquarters to the New York metropolitan area. A portion of the firm’s operations will remain in California.

About U.S. Audiotex

U.S. Audiotex is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities enabling consumers to use their credit cards to pay, through the Internet or telephone, personal federal and state income taxes, sales and use taxes, property taxes and fines for traffic violations and parking citations. Through its interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system, using the toll free number 1-888-2PAY-TAX, consumers make payments and receive certain customer service information. The company has developed a Web site, [www.8882PAYTAX.com][1], and is working with its existing government clients, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to enable consumers to pay their taxes by credit card over the Internet.

About Imperial Bank

With over $6 billion in assets, Imperial Bank is one of the leading independent business banks headquartered in California and offers a wide range of financial services tailored to corporate customers, entrepreneurs and professionals. Serving mid-sized businesses, Imperial Bank’s strategy focuses on delivering customized financial products and services to manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, service, import/export, apparel and textile businesses; in addition to some of the fastest growing industries such as emerging technology, entertainment, residential construction, and title and escrow.

Founded in 1963 by two California entrepreneurs, Imperial Bank is the principal subsidiary of Imperial Bancorp, with 12 regional banking offices throughout California; in Phoenix, Arizona; and in Denver, Colorado. In addition, Imperial has emerging growth loan offices in Irvine, Los Angeles, Menlo Park and San Diego, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas; Reston, Virginia; and Kirkland, Washington. Imperial can be found on the Web at [www.imperialbank.com][2].

[1]: http://www.8882paytax.com/
[2]: http://www.imperialbank.com/

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Rocky Road

Online financial publisher Intelligent Life Corp., owner of bankrate.com, watched its stock price collapse 37% Friday from $3 27/32 to $2 9/32 after releasing projected financial results for the third quarter. Nearly 600,000 shares traded hands Friday. The NASDAQ traded stock was trading in the $5 to $6 range for most of last week. ILIF says it anticipates that revenue for the quarter will be between $3.2 million and $3.5 million instead of analyst estimates of $4.5 million. Analysts also projected third quarter losses of $4.5 million which the company said Friday will most likely fall between $9.5 million and $9.9 million. ILIF attributed the revenue shortfall primarily to fewer than expected visitors coming to its websites, due in part to the seasonally slow summer period for Internet use. The new projections also reflect significant increases both in marketing expenses and in the costs associated with two acquisitions. Advertising expenses for the third quarter will total approximately $7 million. ILIF acquired Pivot Online or Professional Direct Agency, Inc., an online and direct seller of term life and other insurance products, and Green Magazine, Inc., a personal finance magazine, during the third quarter. ILIF went public in May selling 3,500,000 shares for $13 per share. The stock briefly peaked at $15 per share.

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BrightStar & Trintech

BrightStar Information Technology Group, Inc., a leading e-business services company and SAP National Implementation Partner, and Trintech, a leading provider of secure electronic payment solutions, Friday announced a strategic partnership to provide real time e-commerce solutions based on SAP’s inter-enterprise software to Global 2000 companies.

The agreement between the companies means that BrightStar will now be able to offer its customers a proven e-payment solution for secure, real time payment card transactions in SAP e-commerce solutions. Under the agreement, Trintech will refer SAP implementation projects to BrightStar. In return, Trintech gets an implementation partner to better serve the SAP community, and the consulting organizations that support them.

“Many of our SAP implementations now involve an e-commerce element of one type or another,” said Mike Ober, Chief Executive Officer of BrightStar. “Trintech’s PayWare’ application provides the secure, real time processing capabilities that our customers demand from their e-commerce solutions.”

“BrightStar’s experience developing and deploying Web-enabled SAP solutions is exactly what our customers need in an implementation partner,” said John McGuire, Chief Executive Officer of Trintech. “SAP’s R/3 software combined with Trintech’s PayWare ERP and BrightStar’s expertise is a potent formula for delivering scalable, real time e-commerce solutions.”

Trintech’s PayWare ERP was the first credit card payment software to receive certification for SAP R/3. The certified interface links Trintech’s payment application to the Financials (FI) component as well as the Sales and Distribution (SD) component of SAP R/3. PayWare’s functions for the latest release of R/3 include authorization of online requests, request and response for settlement, and RFC protocols.

About BrightStar

BrightStar is a leading e-business services company, providing enterprise-wide business and technology solutions to Global 2000 companies and public sector organizations. BrightStar uses the Web to unify and extend mission critical information systems and applications to customers, suppliers, partners and employees, enabling companies to be more profitable while providing an increased range of services. For more information on how BrightStar can help your company automate business processes, use the Internet for business-to-business commerce, implement an E-commerce strategy, develop a corporate portal or outsource your application hosting and services call (800) 953-4727 or visit the company’s Web site at [www.brightstar.com][1].

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic payment solutions for card-based transactions in the physical world and over the Internet. The company offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL- and SET-compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(tm) platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the burgeoning world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be contacted at 2755 Campus Drive, Suite 220, San Mateo, CA 94403 (Tel: 650/227 7000). Trintech can be reached on the Web at [http://www.trintech.com][2].

[1]: http://www.brightstar.com/
[2]: http://www.trintech.com/

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Exterra Rated

ExTerra Credit Recovery, Inc., a leading purchaser of non-performing credit card debt, announced Friday Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency has formally ranked the Company as an ‘Average’ loan collector. ExTerra is one of only eight loan collectors listed by the rating agency and approved as an Asset-backed Servicer.

“Above Average is the second highest ranking granted by Standard & Poor’s. Given ExTerra’s relatively short time in operation – just over two years – we feel this is a significant achievement for the Company,” said Suzanne Sheuerman, ExTerra’s president and chief executive officer.

ExTerra Credit Recovery ([http://www.exterra.com][1]), specializes in the purchase and recovery of non-performing credit card debt. Founded in 1997 by a team of banking and financial services executives, ExTerra currently owns and manages more than $450 million in credit card receivables. The Company has three call center facilities -Walnut Creek, California (east San Francisco Bay Area), Youngstown, Ohio, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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

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Pele MasterCard

MasterCard, soccer legend Pele, and Brazil’s Unibanco announced this weekend the creation of the ‘Pele Unibanco MasterCard’ benefiting Fundacao Abrinq, a not for profit organization benefiting needy children. The first television spots for the new card, using MasterCard’s Priceless theme, aired yesterday in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Santos. Print and outdoor advertising will appear shortly. Under the program ‘Pele Unibanco MasterCard’ cardholders will be able to contribute R$3,00, R$5,00 or R$10,0 per month, which will appear on their statements. Cardholders will also receive six annual reports explaining how the revenue generated is being used for Abrinq’s social programs. The Fundacao Abrinq Para os Direitos da Crianca (The Abrinq Foundation for Children’s Rights) is a not for profit organization formed in 1990 by representatives of the Brazilian toy industry with the objective of protecting the rights of needy children.

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