Picture-Perfect Security

Bank of America is offering picture security with its introduction of the Photo ‘Security Check Card’ and Credit Card in Texas and New Mexico. The Photo Security Cards feature a customer’s photograph and signature on the front of the card. Both the Check Card and Credit Card offer a new level of protection against card fraud and theft. Merchants who accept the card for payment can easily verify a customer’s identification by just looking at the card.


Capital One Partners With DoubleClick

Capital One and DoubleClick announced this morning that Capital One will be the preferred credit card partner on DoubleClick’s newly-created ‘Shopping and Services Program’, which was recently announced. Capital One will be able to utilize a variety of creative options-including banners,buttons and email text links-to acquire new customers and begin to learn more about the consumers’ interests and passions.


NextCard and UM Agreed

NextCard the First True Internet Visa, and United Media (), the licensing and syndication company, Friday announced a joint Internet marketing agreement to offer co-branded products and card services for DILBERT, the popular icon of American corporate culture. Under the terms of the agreement, NextCard and United Media will collaborate to create the DILBERT Visa card for Internet fans of Scott Adams’ comic strip.

“We are very happy to announce this partnership with NextCard,” stated Michael Zimbalist, general manager, OnLine Services, United Media. “The innovative online features of the DILBERT Visa credit card make it ideal for marketing on the web. We know DILBERT fans will sign up online and add the DILBERT Visa credit card to their wallet.”

“The DILBERT fans are tech-savvy and have a tremendously strong affinity with the characters,” said Richard Goebel, director of business development at NextCard. “With DILBERT’s active online following, we have a unique opportunity to create an innovative and distinctive product, and have some fun along the way.”

NextCard, Inc.

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, making it one of the premier online credit cards. NextCard continues to innovate with its Double Rewards program, GoShopping! tools, original PictureCard design, digital wallet and online customer service. ( )

About United Media

United Media (UM) is a fully-integrated, worldwide licensing and syndication company that focuses on building brand equity around a wide range of creative content through its two syndicates: United Feature Syndicate (UFS) and Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and licensing: United Media Licensing (UML). UM licenses and/or syndicates a variety of properties including PEANUTS(TM) (), DILBERT(TM) (), Nancy and Sluggo, MIFFY, Wallace & Gromit, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Fido Dido and The State Hermitage. United Media () is an E.W. Scripps Company.


HyperSecur & Oberthur Sign Contract

HyperSecur Corporation (http://www.HyperSecur.com) announced today it has signed an International Agency Contract for Canada with Oberthur Smart Cards USA (http://www.oberthurusa.com/) based in Rancho Dominguez, California.

The Contract gives HyperSecur exclusive Canadian rights and non-exclusive worldwide rights to sell Oberthur Smart Cards’ magnetic stripe, memory and microprocessor card products and personalization services. “Having a company like Oberthur provides us the opportunity to have access to their product line and dramatically accelerates our business development timeline,” said Charles P. Villeneuve, President, HyperSecur. “We have discussed with Oberthur the possibility of manufacturing smart cards using our HyperProximity(TM) chip but no decisions have been made at this time.” “HyperSecur is a key element of our North American strategy,” said Philippe Tartavull, Chief Operating Officer, Oberthur Smart Cards USA. “Oberthur Smart Cards believes in partnering with companies offering innovative products and services that complement our own. Their geographic location enables us to increase our opportunities in the Canadian market. This is clearly a win-win situation.”

HyperSecur recently acquired HyperSecur (Canada), which represented that its major asset is the HyperProximity(TM) chip. This technology was introduced last month at the STMicroelectronics, Inc. (NYSE: STM) booth at the CardTech/SecurTech Conference held in Chicago. The technology will be implemented in the ST16HF52 contactless smart card from STMicroelectronics. The chip is a dual proximity level contactless solution based on ISO 14443 Type B. Samples of the HyperProximity(TM) chip should be available by the end of this month with deliveries of chip orders at the end of the year.

About HyperSecur Corporation

HyperSecur Corporation plans to exploit the technology with strategic partnerships to develop the hardware and software necessary to market the new technology to card manufacturers, system integrators and end users. The final product will be a new contactless chip and smart card based operating system supporting an innovative security structure. Presently, there is very limited use of the HyperProximity technology. At this time, the Company has not fully evaluated the market potential of the technology and, therefore, is not sure of its size. The Class A common stock of the corporation is traded on the Over-The-Counter Electronic Bulletin Board (“OTCBB”) system with the symbol: HYURA.

About Oberthur Smart Cards

Oberthur Smart Cards, a leading manufacturer, technology and solutions provider of microprocessor cards and systems, is a division of Francois-Charles Oberthur, one of the world’s leading high- security printers. Oberthur manufactures and personalizes smart cards and magnetic stripe cards in three production centers in the United States and Europe. Oberthur Smart Cards produced over 225 million cards worldwide in 1998, including 30 million microprocessor cards and 45 million memory cards. Founded in 1987, Oberthur Smart Cards has become the world leader in microprocessor transaction cards and is also present in other market segments such as telecommunications, GSM, Internet, e-commerce, government, healthcare, pay-TV and transit.


The Credit Store Board Member

Geoffrey A. Thompson has joined the Board of Directors of The Credit Store, Inc. Mr. Thompson is the retired former president and chief executive officer of Marine Midland Banks, Inc., Buffalo, NY, now HSBC Bank USA. With Mr. Thompson, The Credit Store’s Board membership now stands at five, including three outside directors. Thompson, 58, serves currently on the boards of several other private and public corporations and non-profit organizations, including the Near East Foundation, where he is chairman and chief executive officer. In addition to Marine Midland, previous positions include being a principal at the investment firm Kohlberg & Company, the head of the consumer credit subsidiary of General Electric Credit, and president at two executive search firms. He is a former director of the Bank Holding Company Association and the former vice-chairman of the National Second Mortgage Association and the New York Business Council. Thompson also has served on the Board of Directors at HSBC Holdings plc, London, the world’s most profitable bank. Thompson began his banking career at Citibank.

“We are gratified that Jeff Thompson will bring his significant credentials and skill to The Credit Store Board of Directors,” Martin J. Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of The Credit Store said. “In just under three short years, The Credit Store has defined a new and profitable niche in the consumer credit marketplace. Jeff Thompson, through his wide knowledge and experience, will bring exceptional insight and direction to The Credit Store over the years ahead.”

The Credit Store, Inc. is a nationwide financial service company engaged in the acquisition and collection of non-performing consumer receivables and the origination of and servicing of credit cards. The Company acquires portfolios of non-performing consumer debt at substantial discounts, and then uses its direct marketing expertise to contact and negotiate settlement with consumers, most of the time placing settlement on new unsecured credit cards offered through The Credit Store.


Royal Bank Getting CSI

Royal Bank of Canada Friday announced it will make an offer to acquire all the outstanding common shares of CSI Credit Systems International, for $1.30 cash per share. The net value of the transaction is estimated at $15 million. CSI is a Burnaby-based electronic marketing company that specializes in loyalty marketing solutions for retailers. With CSI’s ‘ERNEX’ point-of-sale software, merchants can, in addition to processing debit and credit card transactions, offer customers instant reward points, electronic coupons, electronic gift certificates, instant redemption and personalized receipt messages.


Healthy Benchmarks

Fitch IBCA reported Friday that given the abundance of positive market signals relating to delinquency, bankruptcy trends, and the ongoing strength of the US economy . . . credit card chargeoffs will continue to decline in the near term. Fitch also predicted that other performance measures will remain stable at their current healthy levels. The analysis was based on several factors including the fact that May credit card chargeoffs declined to 5.91%, the lowest level since Dec. 1996. The index is now 15% below its May 1997 peak and has registered 10 consecutive year-over-year and three straight month-over-month improvements. Fitch IBCA’s 60-day delinquency index posted its largest one-month decline in more than a year, trimming 12 bps to settle at 3.02%, its lowest level since Sept. 1996.


Apr99 5.91% 18.65% 15.96% 3.02% 5.64%
Mar99 5.94% 20.24% 16.87% 3.14% 5.92%
Feb99 6.05% 19.49% 15.44% 3.25% 5.69%
Jan99 6.10% 19.23% 15.82% 3.28% 5.37%

Dec98 6.00% 19.57% 15.62% 3.15% 5.34%
Nov98 6.27% 19.45% 15.06% 3.26% 5.15%
Oct98 6.20% 19.99% 15.87% 3.26% 5.20%
Sep98 6.35% 19.12% 15.09% 3.19% 4.94%
Aug98 6.29% 19.81% 15.65% 3.17% 4.82%
Jul98 6.30% 19.58% 15.99% 3.15% 4.59%
Jun98 6.72% 19.10% 15.34% 3.17% 4.14%
May98 6.63% 19.02% 14.88% 3.23% 4.40%
Apr98 6.58% 18.73% 15.21% 3.28% 4.57%

CO-chargeoffs; GY-gross yield; MP-monthly payment rate; DL- 60+ day
delinquency rate; SP-3-month excess spread
Source: Fitch IBCA


Philips Semiconductors Approved

Philips Semiconductors and ODS Landis & Gyr, an international smart card manufacturer, announced this morning that the German Central Credit Control Committee of Banks (Zentraler KreditausschuŸ, ZKA) has approved the hardware/software combination based on the new P8WE5032 high security crypto controller for the Geldkarte project. GeldKarte is currently the most widely used electronic purse in Germany


Bull Addition

Bull announced Friday that Philippe Cambriel has joined the company’s Smart Cards & Terminals division as director of marketing and sales. He takes over from Armand Malka and Jerome Janin, who have moved on to other positions. Previously, Cambriel was director of the Intel PC & servers business within Bull’s Servers division.

“My mission is to make the most of the formidable R&D know-how at Bull Smart Cards & Terminals to address market requirements, and consolidate our position as leader in smart card software,” said Cambriel. “The key to succeeding in this mission will be defining products and solutions, then marketing them world-wide. The Bull network, established in over 80 countries, provides extraordinary support. I am also going to be making maximum use of Bull’s core business – IT and systems integration – because the marketplace clearly demonstrates that these two areas are becoming critical to the deployment of smart card solutions.”

The Marketing & Sales unit is now structured around three major focuses: GSM (a complete offer including cards, OTA servers and integration services); Open Networks (electronic commerce and network access security); and Banking (where Bull is world leader).

An MBA graduate of the INSEAD business school, and holder of an aeronautical engineering degree from SUP’AERO, Philippe Cambriel began his career with aircraft manufacturer Aerospatiale. He then joined Compaq, where he was in charge of sales and marketing, first for Compaq France, then Compaq Europe, before being appointed chief executive of IPC France.

About Bull Smart Cards and Terminals

Bull Smart Cards & Terminals is the industry leader in the field of secured financial transactions. Bull designs, develops and markets global smart card solutions for financial, loyalty, transport, telecommunications, healthcare and other applications. Products include contact-contactless cards plus a full range of general purpose and EFT/POS terminals (in partnership with Ingenico), automated teller machines, as well as associated software and services. Bull Smart Cards & Terminals is the acknowledged industry leader in research, development and security related to smart cards & related terminals. The company is also the worldwide leader in electronic purse cards. Since inventing the microprocessor smart card in 1976, Bull has obtained more than 1,200 patents in the field, and has received certification for smart card security that is the highest level ever achieved by a smart card.

In 1998, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals had revenue of $246 million. By relying on Bull’s international network, the division achieves 80% of the revenue abroad. More information on Bull Smart Cards & Terminals can be found on the World Wide Web at: [www.cp8.bull.net][1], on Groupe Bull Web site: www.bull.com, and in the U.S. at [www.us.bull.com][2].

[1]: http://www.cp8.bull.net/
[2]: http://www.us.bull.com


The Kids and Teens Market

Kids and teens have become a growth sector for online shopping, according to Jupiter Communications. Jupiter’s research, which was unveiled today during the opening session of Digital Kids ’99, showed that marketers are actively targeting kids and teens for digital transactions. This marks a shift from more passive online advertising–and parents are concerned. Teens (13 to 18 years old) and kids (5 to 12 years old) are spending more time and money online. According to a recent Jupiter/NFO Consumer Survey, which queried 600 teens and kids, 67 percent of online teens and 37 percent of online kids indicate that they have researched or bought products online. Jupiter forecasts that teens will account for $1.2 billion and kids will account for $100 million of the e-commerce dollars in 2002.

“Similar to the off-line market, kids and teens have a profound impact on online purchasing decisions. Today’s kids are sophisticated and see the Internet as a preferred tool for information gathering; commerce is a natural progression,” said Anya Sacharow, an analyst with Jupiter’s Consumer Content Strategies. “Instead of grabbing parents’ coat sleeves, today’s digital kids ask parents for credit card numbers-in place of an allowance-and buy products online.”

Kids and teens are the two largest growth sectors of the Internet population, though they will directly account for less than five percent of the online shopping revenues in 2002. In 1998, approximately 8.6 million kids and 8.4 million teens were online. By 2002, 21.9 million kids (155 percent increase) and 16.6 million teens (97 percent increase) will be online.

This trend of kids’ growing sophistication and direct involvement in commerce will open doors for marketers but it is also a cause for concern to parents. Over the past year, parental concern regarding advertising to kids has more than doubled: from 17 percent in 1998 to 45 percent in 1999. Despite the lucrative revenue opportunity that advertising to kids presents, engaging kids in online spending is a challenging proposition. “Online players that are looking to target these younger consumers risk alienating parents, creating a negative brand image, and fostering greedy customers,” Sacharow said.

Sacharow advises companies that choose to target online commerce efforts toward kids to exercise responsible selling techniques: creating a transactional experience that helps kids grow as they learn about fiscal responsibility, the value of money, and evaluation of products. Such a strategy will prove to parents that sellers are delivering value not simply a product.

The presentation of Jupiter’s research on the digital kids market will kick off Jupiter’s Digital Kids ’99, which begins today in San Francisco at the Argent Hotel. Jupiter’s annual industry event is exploring the key strategic, creative, and business issues involved in constructing Web communities and entertainment for kids. With a focus on the coming broadband revolution, Digital Kids ’99 brings together the key players-from conventional media stalwarts to the hungry new media upstarts-to discuss the latest industry trends.

Digital Kids ’99 will feature keynote addresses from Peter Eio, President, LEGO Systems, and Chairman, Toy Manufacturers of America; Stan Lee, Chairman, Stan Lee Media; and Herb Scannell, President, Nickelodeon. Panel topics include Defining the Digital Kid; Marketing to the Postmodern Kid; Kids and the Consumer Internet Economy; Shopping: The Kid Factor; Regulation, Kids and Commerce; Commerce and the Networked Family; Sizing the Digital Kids Market; and Web Television: Kids Content Meets Convergence.

Digital Kids ’99 will feature more than 20 exhibitors showcasing innovative products and services for the travel industry. Primary sponsors of Digital Kids ’99 include: ALFY, Inc., Disney Online, Headbone Interactive, KiddoNet, Kids On-Line America (the KOLA Network), Mpath Interactive, NFO Interactive, Nickelodeon Online and Zeeks.com.

Jupiter will produce seven additional forums in 1999, including the Jupiter Online Advertising, Plug.In, Digital Hollywood, and Financial Services Forums. To register or to receive further information on Jupiter forums, contact Jupiter at 212-780-6060 x103 or 800-773-4545 x103, or visit Jupiter online at www.jup.com.