PlastiCard Enterprise Presentation

First Data Resources introduced a new, advanced plastic card delivery system yesterday that will enhance card issuers’ marketing efforts by enabling them to customize card mailers to individual cardholders. The new system leverages the print, document management and inserting technologies from industry leaders Bowe Systec, ISIS Papyrus, and Xerox Corporation, offering flexible, customized printing, card attaching and mailing. FDR’s ‘PlastiCard Enterprise Presentation’ system accesses more than 300 variable data elements from account information to produce a card mailer that is targeted to an individual cardholder. Convenience and balance transfer checks, coupons, and selective messages can also be printed on the mailers to help issuers’ increase card usage and boost revenue. FDR says card issuers also realize cost savings by using a variety of forms with variable template applications and two-sided printing.


AmEx – Netscape

AOL’s Netscape subsidiary and American Express inked a two-year multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement to promote AmEx financial services to small businesses through the ‘Small Business Channel’ on Netcenter. Small businesses represents a third of Netscape 15 million NetCenter registrants. American Express will be a premier sponsor within the Netscape ‘Small Business Channel’ giving American Express exposure through premier placements, banners ads and ad impressions. Among the American Express services that will be featured on the Netscape are the company’s small business charge cards, credit cards, financial advisory services, small business lines of credit, equipment financing and card acceptance services.



The card industry’s first range of smart cards to be based on ‘Java Card 2.1 API’ was announced yesterday by Gemplus. ‘GemXpresso 210’ will provide card issuers with multi-application capabilities and built-in security, including public key encryption support. The ‘GemXpresso 210’ range provides a unique platform that allows a choice in solutions that best meets the requirements of a particular application. The range also enables seamless integration into existing infrastructures and innovative development tools making it possible for companies to quickly bring smart card-based solutions to market. The range incorporates the ‘Java Card secure Virtual Machine’ , an on-board interpreter that makes it possible to download new applications to the smart card and upgrade smart card applications even after the card has been issued. Gemplus also announced Tuesday that ‘GemXpresso210PK’, a version that supports the RSA public key infrastructure for secure transactions and the ‘VISA Open Platform’ architecture for secure applet downloading, has been certified by VISA International for the ‘VisaCash’ applet, becoming the first ‘Java Card’ in the world that has successfully passed this rigorous certification.


Primus Joins AirMiles

PRIMUS Telecommunications Group, Inc., a global facilities-based voice, data, and Internet telecommunications provider, announced that its PRIMUS Canada subsidiary has been named a Sponsor of the Consumer AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s largest and most popular affinity program.

Joining more than 100 other leading Canadian businesses, PRIMUS Canada will award AIR MILES reward miles to customers who use its long distance, Internet and calling card services. New subscribers who switch to PRIMUS Canada services will receive an initial lump sum of reward miles, as well as reward miles for usage on an ongoing basis.

As a result of its recent acquisition of AT&T Canada’s consumer business, PRIMUS became the second largest alternative residential long distance carrier in Canada and now has over 650,000 residential, business and Internet customers. This leading position was instrumental in the decision for The Loyalty Group, owner of the Consumer AIR MILES Reward Program, to honor PRIMUS Canada as a Sponsor.

The significance of partnering with the AIR MILES Reward Program is the ability for PRIMUS Canada to now reach 5.5 million active reward mile Collectors, or over 50% of all Canadian households.

“The reputation and popularity of the AIR MILES Reward Program among Canadian consumers and the opportunity to work with the Coalition of AIR MILES Sponsors were important factors in our determination to join Canada’s premier affinity program,” said Ted Chislett, President of PRIMUS Canada.

“For telecommunications companies, similar affinity programs in the US ushered in a trend of increased spending among consumers. We are very encouraged that our AIR MILES Sponsorship status will enhance PRIMUS Canada’s visibility in the Canadian marketplace. The immense popularity of the AIR MILES Reward Program in Canada and cross promotional opportunities between Sponsors will strengthen PRIMUS Canada’s traditional advertising and marketing campaigns to increase our Canadian long distance/Internet market share.”

Commenting on their new Sponsor, Bryan Pearson, President of the Consumer AIR MILES Reward Program, said, “We are delighted that we now have a strong, aggressive national partner in the Canadian residential long distance, Internet and calling card marketplace. PRIMUS Canada and its customers should benefit greatly from the AIR MILES Reward Program’s high-value offers and breadth of free rewards from flights to movies to sporting events and more.”

The Loyalty Group launched the AIR MILES Reward Program in March 1992, offering Canadians the opportunity to obtain reward miles while shopping for everyday goods and services. There are over 100 participating AIR MILES Sponsors with more than 10,000 Sponsor locations across Canada.

In addition to PRIMUS Canada, key Sponsors include American Express, Shell Canada, The Bay (Canada’s oldest department store), Bank of Montreal, Bank of Montreal MasterCard, Goodyear, Canada Safeway, and A&P/Dominion. And there are now over 100 rewards offered nationally from companies that include Canadian Airlines, American Airlines, National Car Rental and Canon. The Loyalty Group has more than 600 employees in offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

PRIMUS Telecommunications Group, Incorporated is a global facilities-based telecommunications company providing domestic and international long-distance voice, data, Internet, private network and value-added services.

The Company provides services through an extensive global network of owned and leased transmission facilities, including ownership interests in over 30 undersea fiber optic cable systems, 19 international gateway and domestic switches, a satellite earth station and a variety of operating relationships that allow the Company to deliver traffic worldwide.

PRIMUS serves corporate, small- and medium-sized business, residential, ISP and telecommunications carrier customers located in the North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions of the world.

Founded in 1994 and based in McLean, VA, the Company is on a trajectory to meet its $1 billion revenue run rate goal by year end 1999 — one year ahead of plan — while tripling its customer base to almost 1,500,000 since the beginning of this year. News and information are available at the Company’s Website at

The Loyalty Group is a privately-owned subsidiary of Alliance Data Systems, Dallas. Alliance Data Systems is the second largest, third-party private label processing provider in the United States and the leading provider of network services to the petroleum industry. News and information about The Loyalty Group can be found at .

The statements in this release that are forward looking statements are based on current expectations and are not strictly historical statements, which may differ materially from actual results. Not strictly historical statements include, without limitation, those regarding management’s plans, objectives and strategy for future operations, product plans and performance, management’s assessment of market factors, and future financial performance.

Among factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are changes in business conditions, changes in the telecommunications industry and the general economy; competition; changes in service offerings; risks associated with PRIMUS’s limited operating history, entry into developing markets, and managing rapid growth; and risks associated with international operations (including foreign currency translation risks), dependence on effective information systems, and development of the network.

These factors are discussed more fully in PRIMUS’s filings, including its 10K and 10Q filings and the prospectus dated May 6, 1999, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Debit SET

Dutch consumers will be the first in Europe to use debit cards for secure shopping over the Internet when a new service goes live later this week. Operated by Interpay, a cooperative owned by Holland’s banks, the ‘I-Pay with SET’ system uses an enhanced version of the international SET protocol to authenticate Internet merchants and customers to each other, and to protect both debit and credit card numbers. The standard protocol supports only credit cards. The new payment system, which is enabled by PKI security technology provided by Entrust Technologies, is expected to have as many as two million users by the end of 2000. Participating merchants will advertise on a special Web site. SET has had a patchy start in Europe, however Interpay executives believe that by supporting both debit and credit card transactions, Interpay is going to be a real catalyst for growth. Merchants in 18 European countries are already SET-enabled.


NextCard Makes Index

NextCard, Inc. creator of The First True Internet Visa, became a component of the Nasdaq Financial-100 Index last week. With a market cap of over $1 billion, NextCard joins 100 of the largest financial companies listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market.

“NextCard is pleased to be listed on the Nasdaq Financial 100 Index so soon after our initial public offering,” said Jeremy Lent, chief executive officer of NextCard. NextCard began trading on the Nasdaq National Market May 14, 1999.

NextCard, Inc., creator of The First True Internet Visa, is considered the industry’s leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet. Since its launch in December 1997, over 2 million people have applied for the NextCard Internet Visa(R), making it one of the premier online credit cards. The Company continues to innovate with a Double Rewards program, complete GoShopping! tools, original PictureCard design, a one-click digital wallet and exceptional online customer service. NextCard was recently named a “HOT 100 Company” by Upside Magazine. ()

The Nasdaq-100 Index, launched in January 1985, rose more than 80 percent in 1998, although past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. The Nasdaq Financial-100 Index consists of 100 of the largest financial companies listed on the Nasdaq National Market tier of The Nasdaq Stock Market. The Nasdaq-Amex Market Group(SM), which operates The Nasdaq Stock Market(R) and the American Stock Exchange(R) (Amex)(R), is a subsidiary of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD)(R), the largest securities-industry, self-regulatory organization in the United States. The union of Nasdaq(R) and Amex creates a Market of Markets(SM) — the world’s first financial market that brings together central auction specialist and multiple Market Maker systems.


It’s Titanium, Baby!

The most hyped movie of the decade now has a credit card to support it and it’s everywhere you want to be baby!. First USA and New Line Cinema announced Tuesday the new ‘Austin Powers Limited-Edition Titanium VISA’ credit card. The program is the first VISA credit card to be associated with the launch of a blockbuster comedy. The no-annual-fee card is available in two shagadelic designs: “It’s Titanium, Baby!” features Mike Myers as cheeky Austin Powers, and “Groovadelic” is a psychedelic ’60s swirl design. The card is available through direct mail, on-site marketing at Loew’s cinemas and via a special toll-free number. Following the first use of their ‘Austin Powers Titanium VISA’ card, cardholders will receive a special complimentary widescreen edition of “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” which includes extra scenes never before seen on VHS. The card offers the current First USA pricing of 2.9% intro APR and 10.99% go-to APR.


Mag Tek Upgrades

CA-based Mag-Tek Inc. released a version this week of its ‘MT-95 HiCo Card Encoder’ to include an emulation mode for the ‘IBM 4777-3 Magnetic Stripe Encoder’. Mag-Tek modified the ‘MT-95’ firmware for the ‘IBM 4777’ emulation mode so that users can easily migrate from LoCo magnetic cards to HiCo magnetic cards. The ‘MT-95’, with its companion cable, will even operate in those applications that include the ‘IBM 4778 PIN-Pad’. The Mag-Tek ‘MT-95’ facilitates instant card issuance, encoding on either High Coercivity or Low Coercivity media.


MBNA’s New E-Wallet

MBNA, the largest independent credit card issuer in the world, and Transactor Networks, a leading provider of online wallet technology, have launched a digital wallet program for MBNA credit card customers. The Transactor wallet simplifies online shopping by allowing MBNA customers to securely store credit card information, shipping and billing addresses. The wallet then automatically fills out order forms at many of the most popular online stores.

“This wallet program is in keeping with MBNA’s ongoing commitment to customer satisfaction, in this case by making shopping over the Internet simpler and more convenient,” said Ron Martinez, CEO of Transactor Networks. “The digital wallet provides an easy and flexible method for Customers to make purchases online and alleviates the complexity that currently exists when shopping on multiple websites.”

Customers who use the MBNA Wallet Service ( also will receive promotional offers and special discounts from major online retailers for travel, books, music, clothing and other online purchases. This program is one of several MBNA e-commerce initiatives that are being deployed to support MBNA customers’ buying experience on the Internet.

“MBNA Customers have always demonstrated a high degree of loyalty towards MBNA products,” said John R. Cochran MBNA’s chief marketing officer. “Our e-commerce initiatives ensure these customers extend their preference for MBNA services to their on-line activities.”

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB) (, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $62.1 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, and insurance products.

San Francisco based Transactor Networks ( delivers a simplified standard interface for online buying free to both consumers and merchants. Offered in partnership with major banks, Transactor streamlines online order forms, purchase records, customer service, and follow on marketing.


Equine MBNA Card

MBNA America and the United States Equestrian Team announced Tuesday the Team’s endorsement of MBNA’s credit card services to its members and supporters.

The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization representing the United States in international equestrian sports, and has, since 1950, selected, trained, equipped, and financed teams to represent the United States in the Olympic and Pan American Games, the World Championships, and other international competition. United States Equestrian Team members have won 27 Olympic and 54 Pan American Games medals since 1952.

The United States Equestrian Team joins more than 40 equine-related groups, and more than 600 sports organizations, that endorse MBNA’s credit card services, making it the fastest growing among MBNA’s sectors.

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America, N.A., has $62.1 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the largest independent credit card lender in the world, also provides retail deposits, consumer loans, and insurance products.