Saratoga To Target Hispanics

Saratoga International Holdings, Corp. released additional information concerning the operation of its recently acquired telecom operation through its wholly owned subsidiary, Saratoga Telecom Corp.

The Telecom industry and the purchase of the Telecom division of Internet Interview, Inc. which was closed last week, represents a major opportunity for the company. The company initially plans to market pre-paid long distance cards over the Internet to Spanish speaking countries.

The company’s operation within the pre-paid long distance telephone card arena will be the foundation from which SHCC will launch its Internet based business. The company is planning to concentrate on building by acquisition and by increase in market share within the Telecom sector of e-commerce. The Internet offers a multitude of commercial venture opportunities that have relatively low cost entry and huge upside potential.

SHCC’s association with major telecom industry companies lends credibility to SHCC’s entry into the e-commerce field. The company plans to offer its products and services to Central and South America initially with expansion to Europe and the Pacific to follow.

The company is pursuing selling other products on the net. Included is the selling of phone-to-phone service over the net. Negotiations are currently underway with several providers of telecom products and services. Industry analysts forecast that in two to three years telephony over the Internet will be the medium of choice for the movement of voice and data. At a fraction of today’s prices Internet phone usage is expected to explode. Several companies have such products available or under development. SHCC is of the opinion that the company would be ideally positioned to sell these exciting new services.. More details will be published, as they become available.

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CheckFree Signs Navy FCU

CheckFree and Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union, Wednesday announced the availability of online electronic billing and payment (EBP) through the Navy Federal-branded Web Bill Pay service powered by CheckFree. The service became available to Navy Federal’s 1.8 million members worldwide in late December.

By using the Navy Federal Web Bill Pay service, members have access to their summary and detailed bill information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, Navy Federal members are able to pay their bills with the click of a button. To register and begin receiving and paying their bills electronically, Navy Federal members can visit http://www.navyfcu.org under “Web Bill Pay.”

“With our members deployed around the world, Web Bill Pay, a part of Navy Federal Online, is another way to provide them 24 by 7 service,” said Franklin Myers, senior vice president of Research and Development at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Web Bill Pay and our other electronic services reinforce Navy Federal’s motto of ‘We Serve Where You Serve.'”

CheckFree now has contracts with more than 50 of the nation’s top 100 billers to present bills via Web sites such as Navy Federal that offer the CheckFree EBP service. These companies include: Ameren (Union Electric), American Electric Power, AT&T, Avista Utilities (Washington Water Power), BellSouth, Boston Edison, Chase Credit Card, Chase Mortgage, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Consumers’ Energy, Countrywide Home Loans Inc., Cox Communications, CUNA Mutual Group, Florida Power & Light, GPU Energy, GTE, Hawaiian Electric, HomeSide Lending, Illinois Power, International Billing Services, MCI WorldCom, Nevada Power, Northeast Utilities, Northern Illinois Gas (NICOR), Public Service Company of New Mexico, PGE, Small Business Administration, Southern California Edison, Southern Co., and Total System Services Inc. (TSYS).

“We are pleased to count Navy Federal as part of our growing distribution network for EBP,” said Lynn Busing, executive vice president of Account Management for CheckFree. “Credit unions have a long history of providing financial services for consumers; therefore, it is no surprise that industry leaders like Navy Federal are among the first to offer the future of electronic billing and payment to their customers.”

About Navy Federal Credit Union

Headquartered in Vienna, Va., Navy Federal Credit Union, with assets of $11 billion, operates 86 member service centers and 211 “No Surcharge” proprietary ATMs around the world. The credit union serves most military and civilian personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps and their families.

About CheckFree

Founded in 1981, CheckFree (http://www.checkfree.com ), the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corporation, is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services, software and related products. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable nearly three million consumers to receive and pay bills over the Internet or electronically through a variety of bill aggregation points, including banks, brokerage firms, portals and interactive content sites on the Internet, and personal financial management (PFM) software. CheckFree’s range of services and products are focused on enabling customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure Internet transactions.

After more than a year of beta testing, CheckFree launched the nation’s first fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution, CheckFree E-Bill, in March of 1997. Today, the Company has multi-year contracts with more than 50 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through the CheckFree distribution network.

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Fair, Isaac Signs Dillard Portfolio

Dillard National Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dillard’s, Inc., has purchased behavior models from Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. to evaluate customer-level risk across its retail portfolio of 10 million accounts. The behavior models will be used in Fair, Isaac’s TRIAD adaptive control system, which Dillard’s gained when it acquired Mercantile Stores Company, Inc. in 1998. TRIAD is a powerful, automated portfolio management system combining behavior scoring, adaptive control software and strategy consulting for improved customer service and customer value.

“The bank will use the new behavior models to help us take full advantage of TRIAD functionality,” said Randy Hankins, president, Dillard National Bank. The company plans to use TRIAD to standardize strategies on both the Dillard’s and acquired Mercantile accounts, as well as to increase merchandise sales, improve collection rates, and enhance customer service. Dillard’s expanded its portfolio by approximately 3.5 million accounts via the Mercantile Stores acquisition. The behavior models will be used on revolving credit, special purchase plans and installment purchases.

Fair, Isaac(R) (www.fairisaac.com) helps businesses worldwide maximize the value of data to make more profitable decisions about their customers, operations and portfolios. Fair, Isaac delivers data management services, analytics, software, and consulting to the financial services, direct marketing, personal lines insurance, retail, and healthcare industries. For more information, call Fair, Isaac at 800-999-2955.

Established 60 years ago by William Dillard, Dillard’s, Inc. of Little Rock, Ark., currently operates 337 stores in 29 states featuring branded and private label merchandise. The retail chain has annual sales of more than $7.7 billion.

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PayMate 1000

Datacap announced this week that First Data Merchant Services will be the first to market the ‘PayMate 1000’, an electronic cash and credit register which provides small and mid-sized merchants with a single device to process cash, checks, credit and debit transactions. FDMS says small and mid-sized businesses typically used separate registers and card terminals. The ‘PayMate 1000’ enables merchants to centralize all payment transactions in one device plus consolidate reporting. Wachovia Merchant Services says it will offer the new Datacap device to new merchant clients as well as its existing client base of 28,000 merchant locations.

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Hypercom Changes

George Wallner will assume the title of president and CEO of Hypercom this morning while Albert Irato will become chairman of the board of directors. Wallner, who had been chairman and chief technologist, founded Hypercom and has been its chief architect over the years. With this organizational change, he will be responsible for all business activities of the company. Wallner will continue to directly oversee research and development activities. Irato, who is 61, had been president and CEO since 1992, steps into the chairmanship role as part of a succession plan. He will continue to provide counsel and support to the CEO. In addition to these changes, Hypercom is combining its US/Canada POS group with its International POS operations to create Hypercom Global POS, a streamlined organization that will be responsible for all payment product sales and support.

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Home Account Deal Closes

Home Account Holdings, Inc. and First Data Corporation officially closed yesterday the merger of the operations of First Data Direct Banking with Home Account, pursuant to their agreement previously announced May 5. The new firm is called Home Account.

The transaction was concluded concurrent with the first of two rounds of funding, with a combined total in excess of $20 million. The financing group led by Oak Investment Partners includes Marsh & McLennan Capital, Inc., New Enterprise Associates, and Mobius Management Systems, Inc.

David P. Bailis, executive vice president of First Data Corporation, said, “Our relationship with Home Account is another example of our commitment to help our clients take advantage of opportunities to do business on the Internet.”

![][1] The combination of Home Account and First Data Direct Banking brings together the most complete range of turnkey and customized Internet-based banking and financial planning services available on the market in either in-house or outsourced solutions.

First Data retains a minority equity interest in the new firm and will provide ongoing data processing services under a long-term processing agreement. Randy Kahn, who had been president of First Data Direct Banking, has joined Home Account as executive vice president. Additionally, David Treinen, senior vice president of First Data corporate planning and development, will serve on the Home Account board of directors.

Ed Glassmeyer, general partner and cofounder of Oak Investment Partners, commented, “With its vision, scope of services, intellectual property and market momentum, the combination of Home Account and Direct Banking immediately creates the leading online financial services offering for institutions that want an Internet presence.”

Charles A. White, president and chief executive officer of Home Account, said, “We are pleased to partner with organizations of such caliber and see this as a vote of confidence in Home Account’s capabilities. I look forward to working with them to reshape the Internet financial services landscape.”

Home Account recently relocated its headquarters to Emeryville, Calif., from Charleston, S.C., where it was founded. The company will maintain the Charleston office, which is expected to grow, as a product development facility. Home Account has more than 90 customers ranging in size from Bank of America to small community banks. Customers also include brokerages and credit card issuers.

About the Investors

Oak Investment Partners has organized eight venture capital partnerships with total committed capital of $1.6 billion since its founding in 1978. Oak has sponsored more than 250 companies, primarily in the high tech and retail field, including leading Internet infrastructure players Inktomi and Exodus and content provider TheStreet.com.

Marsh & McLennan Capital, the principal private equity investment subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC), currently manages over $2.5 billion of capital. MMC is also the parent company of Marsh, the world’s leading risk and insurance services firm; Putnam Investments, one of the largest investment management companies in the United States; and Mercer Consulting Group, a major global provider of consulting services.

New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a venture capital firm, invests principally in early stage companies in information technology and medical and life sciences. Since its founding in 1978, more than 100 NEA companies have gone public; over 60 since 1991.

Mobius Management Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise-wide electronic document warehouse solutions that turn high-volume information archives into a powerful tool for electronic commerce, customer service and improved operational efficiency. Both Oak and NEA are investors in Mobius

Management Systems, Inc.

About Home Account

Home Account delivers home banking, financial management and electronic commerce solutions to banks, brokerages and other financial institutions. Home Account’s products include: Canopy Server(TM), an OFX (Open Financial Exchange) financial services platform that allows distribution of services through multiple channels; Canopy Advisor(TM), a strategic financial planning system for use by individuals and financial professionals; Canopy First(TM), a family of outsourced, scalable and brandable Internet products and services for banks, brokerages and other financial institutions; Canopy Card(TM), innovative Internet account access programs for card issuers; Canopy Business(TM), Internet-based cash management services for business customers; and Canopy Clients(TM), a series of financial management user interfaces.

Although Home Account’s products are designed as components which can operate separately, the Home Account product suite, when combined, provides an integrated customer relationship management system, the Canopy Continuum(TM), that assists financial institutions in building profitable, long-term relationships with their customers. Using the NetSpeed(TM) implementation process as a template, financial institutions can have fully functional, branded web sites up and running in just 30 business days.

Home Account is headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., with offices in Charleston, S.C.; Omaha, Neb.; Los Angeles and Atlanta. Please see Home Account’s website at http://www.homeaccount.com.

Home Account, Canopy Server, Canopy Advisor, Canopy First, Canopy Card, Canopy Business, Canopy Clients, Canopy NetSpeed and Canopy Continuum are trademarks of Home Account Holdings, Inc.

About First Data

Atlanta-based First Data Corporation is a leader in electronic payment services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allow millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or stored-value card at the point-of-sale, over the Internet, by check or by wire transfer. With 33,000 employees worldwide, the company serves clients throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Germany. Its Western Union network includes 55,000 locations with operations in 168 countries. In 1998, First Data processed more than four billion cardholder transactions representing $300 billion. For more information on First Data, please visit the company website at http://www.firstdatacorp.com.

[1]: /graphic/firstdata/firstdata.jpg

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Kiddie Card

AT&T Corp. has been granted patent #5914472 for a system and method to enable a parent to control the use of an ancillary credit or debit transaction card which is issued to a child. The system calls for a central computer to communicate with an issuer computer having a data base containing account information and spending limits for the transaction card to permit the parent to set a spending limit for the ancillary card given to the child. If the child attempts to exceed the credit limit the central computer initiates contact with the parent via two way pager, cellular telephone, or other personal communication service, and queries the parent whether to authorize the transaction by increasing the spending limit of the ancillary cardholder or deny the transaction. AT&T’s kiddie card system requires four databases to function: card issuer database; a database of credit limits pre-approved by the cardholder; a database of contact information for the parent; and a database of account credit limits approved by the card issuer.

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PubliCARD To Buy Absec

PubliCARD announced Wednesday that it has signed a letter of intent to purchase all of the assets of Absec Ltd., one of the leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of cost recovery and cashless payment and control systems. This acquisition would position PubliCARD to provide smart card products and solutions in the growing education sector both in the United States and Europe. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The agreement would designate European-based Absec as the seventh subsidiary of PubliCARD. This subsidiary would expand the U.S.-based company’s capabilities to the delivery of smart cards to college, university, high-school and corporate campuses globally.

“Colleges and universities, as well as corporations, are enjoying a great deal of success in the deployment of smart cards and systems on campuses worldwide today,” says Richard Phillimore, executive vice president of smart card businesses for PubliCARD. “The acquisition of a substantial and credible company like Absec would fit precisely into our corporate strategy, and entering this early adopter market would serve as an important component of the smart card business PubliCARD is dedicated to building.”

Under this agreement, PubliCARD would expand its products and services to provide campus cards that include applications such as physical and network access control; e-cash for use in making purchases and for using laundry and vending machines; payment for school meals, and more.

“Absec is excited about the possibility of teaming with a like-minded consortium,” says Colin Foster, president and CEO of Absec. “We have been building our company’s expertise in the cashless vending business since the early 80s, and we feel that we could benefit from a sales and marketing standpoint both in Europe and in the United States from the synergies at work within PubliCARD.”

“The intended addition of Absec to PubliCARD’s rapidly growing lineup of smart card businesses moves the company another step closer to its goal of providing total smart card solutions across a wide range of global markets,” says James J. Weis, president and CEO of PubliCARD. “Absec’s campus card capabilities would complement the rest of our smart card-related products and services. The acquisition would add significant strength to PubliCARD’s distribution in Europe and in other parts of the world while enhancing Absec’s sales capabilities in the U.S.”

PubliCARD currently has five subsidiaries that develop and deliver smart card-based solutions and products. They include Amazing Smart Card Technologies, Greenwald Intellicard, Greystone Peripherals, Tritheim Technologies and SmartCardSource.com. PubliCARD also has one subsidiary, Greenwald Industries, that develops and manufactures coin products. The acquisition of Absec would enable PubliCARD to deliver its first smart card-based campus solution.

Consummation of the acquisition is subject to, among other things, negotiation and execution of a mutually satisfactory definitive acquisition agreement and satisfaction or waiver of the conditions that may be specified in such an agreement.

About PubliCARD, Inc.

Headquartered at Fairfield, CT, PubliCARD develops and deploys smart card systems and technology. With a presence in the U.S. and international smart card markets, PubliCARD specializes in many areas of smart card technology, including chip card manufacturing, smart card readers, electronic commerce security software, components for applications in cable and broadcast access, unattended point-of-sale equipment, chipsets, web filtering systems, a complete range of PCMCIA and digital photography products and more. You can find more information at www.publicard.com.

About Absec Ltd.

Based in Bangor, Northern Ireland, Absec is a leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of cost recovery and cashless systems to education, health, commercial catering and professional offices in more than 40 countries. Absec also has offices in England and distributes its products and solutions throughout Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. You can find more information at [www.absec.com][1].

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

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Mellon Closes Network Sale

Mellon Bank Corporation announced Wednesday it has completed the previously announced sale of its network services electronic transaction processing unit to U.S. Bank. Terms of the transaction, announced on May 11, were not disclosed.

Mellon Network Services provides data processing services that include point-of-sale and debit card processing, ATM terminal driving, card issuance and gateways to both regional and national networks. Mellon is retaining its smart card stored-value technology and purchasing card product.

On Jan. 15, 1999, Mellon announced plans to sell its commercial and residential mortgage businesses, as well as its credit card business and network services unit, as part of an initiative to sharpen its strategic focus on businesses with the highest growth and potential for return to its shareholders.

In late March, Mellon completed the sale of its credit card business to Citibank and also announced an agreement to sell the commercial mortgage servicing portfolio to GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation. The commercial mortgage transaction, which is closing on a portfolio-by-portfolio basis, is expected to be completed during the third quarter of this year. Mellon also expects to sell its residential mortgage business by the end of the third quarter of this year.

A broad-based financial services company with a bank at its core, Mellon Bank Corporation ranks among the nation’s largest financial services companies in market capitalization. With more than $2.3 trillion in assets under management, administration or custody, including more than $400 billion under management, Mellon provides a full range of banking, investment and trust products and services to individuals and small, midsize and large businesses and institutions. Its mutual fund companies, The Dreyfus Corporation and Founders Asset Management in the United States, and Newton Management Limited in the United Kingdom, place Mellon as one of the world’s leading bank managers of mutual funds. Mellon also is a global leader in benefits consulting through its Buck Consultants, Inc., subsidiary in New York. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Mellon’s principal subsidiary is Mellon Bank, N.A.

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VISANet Latin America

Bull announced Wednesday that the national VISA networks in Brazil and Peru have placed orders with Bull for 5,000 new EFT-POS retailer terminals. VisaNet do Brazil has ordered 3,000 payment terminals. In Peru, VisaNet has just ordered 2,000 terminals that will be installed before the end of the year. The Bull terminals accept both mag stripe and smart cards. Bull says it has over 100,000 payment terminals installed in Latin America including Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Puerto-Rico and Costa-Rica.

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Metris Closes GE Purchase

Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank, National Association, a subsidiary of Metris Companies Inc., yesterday closed on its purchase of a portion of GE Capital’s consumer bank card portfolio.

The acquired credit card portfolio has approximately 485,000 active accounts, which will convert to the Direct Merchants’ platform later this year, and approximately $1.2 billion in receivables. Terms of the transaction, which was announced May 10, were not disclosed.

“We’re very pleased to announce that we have closed this transaction,” said Ronald N. Zebeck, Metris president and chief executive officer. “What’s more, this portfolio fits our niche focus nicely. We’re positioned to maximize the potential of this portfolio and continue to enhance shareholder value by leveraging our expanded infrastructure in both our consumer credit and fee-based businesses.”

Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and fee-based services primarily to moderate-income consumers. Based in St. Louis Park, Minn., Metris also has operations in Tulsa, Okla.; Baltimore, Md.; Champaign, Ill.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Jacksonville, Fla. Metris currently employs more than 2,500 people nationwide.

Visit Metris on the Internet at www.metriscompanies.com

Certain information discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Securities law. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: higher default and bankruptcy rates of the Company’s target market of moderate income consumers; lack of seasoning of the Company’s credit card portfolio, which creates a risk of increasing loss levels; the Company’s limited history as a stand-alone entity; risks associated with acquired portfolios; interest rate levels; dependence on the capital markets and securitization of the Company’s credit card loans to fund operations; and the general economic climate. For further information on factors that could impact the Company, and statements contained herein, reference should be made to the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and annual reports on Form 10-K.

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Intuit EBPP

Intuit Inc. announced Wednesday that the beta prototype of an online electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP) service is now available at Intuit’s Web site, Quicken.com.

This online billing service makes it easy for consumers to receive and pay bills via the Web and is currently being tested by both customers and billers. This program simplifies financial management for consumers and small businesses by leveraging the Internet to offer an intuitive consumer service that makes it easy for users to receive, view, pay and record their bills. Intuit expects the program to be fully available to customers later this year. The EBPP program was developed and is owned by a joint venture company in which Intuit is a significant participant. The service is offered on Quicken.com pursuant to a license agreement between Intuit and the joint venture.

Web-Based Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment

The new EBPP program is a Web-based service that provides a central point of access for customers to view, track and pay their bills. For the customer, this means not having to go back and forth between multiple billers’ sites to take care of their finances. Customers will also be able to pay any of their other bills, whether they are electronic or “hard copy” paper bills, using this system.

The program allows billers to securely present bills to their customers, at whatever level of detail billers choose. The bills themselves remain hosted on the biller’s system; customers merely access them through the Quicken.com site. Billers representing a wide variety of industries — including Bell South, Florida Power and Light, Portland General Electric and HomeSide Lending — are participating in Quicken.com’s online beta program, available at www.quicken.com/bills.

One of the Web’s Leading Financial Sites

Intuit’s Quicken.com Web site is consistently ranked as one of the most popular and highly regarded financial services portals. Quicken.com combines a high-visibility presence on the Web with Intuit’s extensive experience in innovative financial technology to create the ideal platform for launching this innovative EBPP program.

“This is really the next logical step in meeting the needs of consumers,” said Mark Goines, senior vice president of Intuit’s consumer division. “The beta of this EBPP program puts Quicken.com and the participating billers on the path to providing a positive customer experience with the full version this fall.”

Intuit is the leading provider of financial connectivity and solutions linking consumers and financial services companies. Banking, brokerage, mortgage, insurance and other financial services companies rely on Intuit’s best-selling desktop financial software and one of the Web’s most popular financial sites to better serve existing customers and also to acquire new customers.

Open Technology Platform

The EBPP program was developed using the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) specification in order to maximize flexibility and connectivity between all of the various participants. Intuit believes an open technology platform built around the OFX specification is key to broad-based industry and customer adoption.

About Intuit

Intuit Inc., a financial software and Web-based services company, develops and markets Quicken(R), the leading personal finance software; TurboTax(R), the best-selling tax preparation software; and QuickBooks(R), the most popular small business accounting software.

Intuit’s Quicken.com Web site (www.quicken.com) is a leading financial Web site, offering a comprehensive set of financial news, information and tools, including insurance, mortgage, investment and tax preparation services. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses.

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