BP Phone Card Sweepstakes

What would it take to fuel your car for a lifetime? Take care of countless trips to the office, school, grocery store and playground? Run around town and zip down the highway? For the winners of the BP Free Gas for Life sweepstakes, this “free gas” dream will soon come true.

During August and September 1999, consumers can stop by any participating BP station, fill up with at least eight gallons of gasoline, and receive a free 7 minute phone card and a chance to win one of two BP Free Gas for Life awards. Other prizes include a $10,000 VISA shopping spree, or thousands of $5 gas gift certificates.

Last year’s winner of Free Gas for Life from BP was William Bressee of Oxford, New York, who is now enjoying his free-gas lifestyle motoring around with his pickup truck and motorcycle.

Consumers will find the scratch-off phone card game pieces at participating BP stations in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Tosco Marketing Company is the Phoenix-based retail division of the Tosco Corporation (NYSE: TOS), and is responsible for the marketing of a family of well-known convenience store and gasoline brands including BP in the Northeast and Northwest, 76 and Circle K.

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J D Power Winners

J.D. Power released its ‘1999 Comprehensive Credit Cardholder Study’ this morning showing three winners in the cardholder loyalty categories. MBNA ranked highest in cardholder loyalty among VISA/MasterCard Platinum cardholders. Citibank’s ‘AAdvantage’ program scored the highest among rewards credit cardholders and the American Express Optima Card took top place among Gold/Classic cardholders. The J.D. Power study also found that consumers are beginning to use their ‘Platinum’ cards as a debt instrument and that 3% of credit cardholders use the Internet to access their account information. More study results are available from CardFlash Online ([www.cardflash.com][1]).

Cardholder Loyalty Among Reward Cards (Index Scores)

Citibank AAdvantage 108
Mileage Plus First Card 106
AmEx Delta SkyMiles 103
Household GM Card 103
Chase Shell 103
Industry Average 101

Source: J.D. Power and Associates

[1]: http://cardflash.com/

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Platinumized

Bank of America took its ‘America West FlightFund VISA’ to the platinum level yesterday. Under the ‘Platinum’ program, cardholders will now earn two miles for every dollar spent on America West ticket purchases and one mile per dollar on all other purchases. In addition cardholders will now receive 5,000 ‘FlightFund’ bonus miles upon opening an account, 1,000 bonus miles each year upon renewal, and two America West ‘Club Passes’. Bank of America introduced the America West ‘FlightFund VISA Classic’ card more than 10 years ago. The program does not carry a mileage cap for earnings. The ‘America West FlightFund Platinum VISA’ carries a $75 annual fee. The interest rate is Prime +6.99%, adjusted quarterly.

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Credit Store Buys FDIC Portfolio

The Credit Store, Inc. said Monday that it has purchased a $10.4 million portfolio (principal amount) of performing credit card receivables from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The portfolio was purchased at a substantial discount to par through the FDIC’s competitive bidding process, The Credit Store said.

Martin Burke III, chairman and chief executive officer of The Credit Store, commented, “This purchase is an excellent way to increase The Credit Store’s profitable base of performing credit card receivables. While The Credit Store generally does not purchase receivables that are already performing, we believe that we will add significant value over our purchase price in a short period of time.”

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.

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Jury Award

EchoStar Communications Corp. won a Federal Court jury award in Colorado last Friday against Household Retail Services. HRSI was found to have breached its contract with Echo Acceptance Corporation, resulting in a judgment against HRSI of more than $5 million. According to court documents, from 1989 to 1995, HRSI purchased private label credit card accounts from EAC and agreed to pay EAC a percentage of the finance and insurance charges billed on the accounts until the accounts are liquidated. EAC says on Dec. 31, 1994, HRSI unilaterally terminated the agreement and wrongfully discontinued making payments on loans it previously purchased. EAC immediately filed suit in U.S. District Court in Colorado. Four and one-half years later the court found that HRSI breached its contract with EAC.

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HealthCore Sells Card

HealthCore Medical Solutions, Inc. announced that it has sold certain assets related to its discount healthcare business to Randolph & Associates, Inc., based in Dallas, subject to the assumption of certain liabilities including membership contracts, network access agreements, broker contracts, computer hardware lease and obligations under certain other assigned contracts, including all refunds, if any, to members requested after Aug. 1, 1999.

Upon the sale of the assets, HealthCore has discontinued the operation of its healthcare discount business.

On July 1, HealthCore had announced the execution of a definitive merger agreement with Adatom, Inc., a California-based Internet superstore and e-commerce company ([www.adatom.com][1]). Adatom is developing and implementing a business model that, in addition to its superstore, includes backend fulfillment for other e-commerce sites. Under the terms of the merger, Adatom stockholders will receive common stock of HMSI representing approximately 77.5% of the company subject to adjustment in certain circumstances, including a failure to meet cash assets (as defined in the merger agreement) of at least $2,850,000. The sale of the assets and the related discontinuance of the healthcare discount business are conditions to closing of the merger with Adatom, Inc. The Adatom merger is expected to close at the end of the third quarter of 1999.

The HealthCore Board of Directors has deemed the sale to be in the best interests of the corporation as it will satisfy a condition to closing of the merger with Adatom and will preserve cash assets of the corporation thereby reducing the likelihood of an adjustment, which would result in an increase in the number of shares issued to Adatom shareholders.

Since 1997 HealthCore developed and marketed discount cards entitling members to discounts on major medical, ancillary healthcare services and retail consumer purchases.

Randolph & Associates has been in the insurance business for 10 years.

Statements in this news release that are not descriptions of historical facts are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Word such as “expect,” “intends,” “believes,” “anticipates,” and “likely” also identify forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, including, but not limited to, risks set forth under “risk factors” in periodic reports filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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

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GartnerE

Gartner Group, Inc. Friday announced a new product line for business and information technology executives who are transforming their businesses through E-business initiatives. GartnerE delivers 33 research, advisory and market intelligence services across six areas that deliver key knowledge and strategies to IT and business executives. GartnerE is designed to help plan E-business transformation across the full spectrum of an enterprise’s business.

“If enterprises focus only on the ‘E’ in E-business, they will fail,” said William T. Clifford, president and CEO of GartnerGroup. “Only GartnerGroup currently focuses on the full spectrum of issues driving E-business — from the ‘a’ of application integration to the ‘z’ of zero latency, and including everything in between.”

The first product offerings under the GartnerE banner are available today. For more information, visit [www.gartner.com][1] or call a GartnerGroup sales representative at 941-561-4202.

GartnerE Management

This full-service research and advisory offering covers E-commerce, supply chain management, customer relationship management and outsourcing. This program enables enterprises to integrate their E-business functions and processes across organizational boundaries and collaborate with customers, suppliers and partners.

GartnerE Technology

GartnerE Technology provides research and advisory services for areas such as portals, Web operations, Java, interactive media, security, Internet service providers (ISPs) and ubiquitous computing. The service examines emerging Internet technologies, defines best practices for Internet operation, and reviews strategies for implementing Internet solutions.

GartnerE also offers a full range of market intelligence and survey data from GartnerGroup’s Dataquest across the following four areas:

GartnerE Markets

Infrastructure Worldwide, Infra-access, Remote Access Worldwide, Software, Integration, ISP, E-commerce Worldwide, and E-commerce Services Worldwide.

GartnerE Customer

Internet Adoption/Interactive Home, Technology and Infrastructure U.S., Telecom & Online Services U.S., Media and Entertainment U. S., Financial Services U.S., Technology & Infrastructure for France, Germany and U.K, and Tracking for France, Germany and U.K.

GartnerE Supplier

Access Service Worldwide, Software Worldwide, Packet Voice Worldwide, and Data Services North America.

GartnerE Verticals

Media, Automotive for France, Germany and U.K., Financial U.K., and Travel for France, Germany and U.K.

GartnerGroup assists clients with the “A to Z” of E-business, including customer relationship management, supply chain management, total cost of ownership, infrastructure, security, technology selection and hundreds of other strategic areas.

About GartnerGroup

As the world’s leading authority on IT, GartnerGroup provides clients with a wide range of products and services in the areas of IT advisory services, measurement, research, decision support, analysis and consulting. Founded in 1979, with headquarters in Stamford, Conn., GartnerGroup is at the center of a global community serving Fortune 1000 companies from 80 locations worldwide. GartnerGroup’s unique capabilities and resources help bring clarity to the direction of the world’s hottest and most volatile industry. Additional information about the company is available on the World Wide Web at [www.gartner.com][2].

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

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VISA – Sydney

VISA will be the “Official Card of the 1999 Sydney NFL American Bowl,” to be held this coming weekend. This is the first ‘American Bowl’ to be played in Australia and will be played in the newest Olympic 2000 stadium, Stadium Australia. VISA has been a partner with the NFL since 1995 and currently is the official card of the NFL in the U.S., Japan and Mexico. In Sydney, VISA will also be designated the “Official Card of the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers in Australia” in conjunction with the Sydney ‘American Bowl’. VISA is also a ‘TOP’ sponsor of the upcoming Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and has launched hundreds of merchant, retail and travel programs to promote tourism. The game will take place on Sunday, Aug 8 in Sydney, and will be broadcast in the U.S. on Saturday, August 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX-TV.

RealVideo [56k][1] | [300k][2]

[1]: http://play.rbn.com/?swave/nfl/demand/promo_ab_56k.rm
[2]: http://play.rbn.com/?swave/nfl/demand/promo_ab_300k.rm

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Payday Expands in Calif

Payday Loan Corp. recently opened its 10th store inside a South Gate, Calif., Texaco gas station under the banner of its sister company, Check Cashing Etc.

Consumers can now get a cash advance (deferred deposit loan) where they buy their gas. The concept is the result of a strategic alliance between Payday Loan(SM) and Zelado Inc., which owns and operates the Texaco South Gate franchise at 5651 East Imperial Highway in South Gate.

Offering deferred deposit loans, check cashing, and pre-paid residential telephone services, Check Cashing Etc. joins Subway, TCBY Yogurt, and Mama Ilardo’s at the Texaco South Gate facility in bringing customers an array of “fast and fresh” services. Payday Loan(SM) is also moving forward to open at least five more stores in gas stations throughout Southern California by the end of 1999.

“We have seen ATM systems in grocery stores become a mainstay,” said Cameron Krisfalusi, president of Payday Loan(SM), “and this inspired us to investigate venues where we could make our package of financial services more accessible to the public. Highly trafficked gas stations fit our criteria.

“By being where the cars are,” explained Krisfalusi, “we can appeal to a wider, more fluid customer base, especially since we have the ability to process a completed loan application form in the time it takes to fill a gas tank.

“This alliance will enable us to capture a significant share of the growing deferred deposit loan market that travels beyond the confines of our own fixed-location service centers and to reach those not yet hooked into the Internet. Fortunately for us, Tom Zarifpour, who heads Zelado, Inc., is a real visionary and worked closely with us to turn this idea into reality.”

Payday Loan was established in 1997, and provides deferred deposit loans for customers with short-term cash needs, as well as check cashing, money orders, utility bills payment, and pre-paid residential telephone service through its In-Touch Communications partner. The company has headquarters in Orange, with stores in Anaheim, Buena Park, Downey, Fullerton, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Orange, and Westminster, Calif.; and in Las Vegas, Nev.

Check Cashing Etc. at Texaco South Gate will be open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; telephone 562/622-7711. For more information, call the company’s toll-free number at 888/729-3295 or visit the Web site at [www.paydayloan.com][1].

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

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Xclaim 2.1!

FL-based The ClaimCard, Inc. has released ‘Xclaim! 2.1′, a homeowner content claim valuation application. The solution offers insurance companies the ability to pay homeowner, auto, workers’ compensation indemnity and other claims using “host based smart cards” that operate through the VISA, MasterCard and Interlink networks. The application is delivered to users via a browser through the Internet or wide area network. This enables enterprise-wide access to applications and information in real time. ‘Xclaim!’ modules include ‘ClaimManager’, ‘ClaimValue’, and ‘ClaimPay’, administrator and on-demand reports.

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