Hibernia CreditFYI

The newest on-line financial service available on Hibernia’s Internet site ([www.hiberniabank.com][1]) can help small businesses make quick, accurate and informed decisions about extending credit to their business customers.

From the Hibernia Web site, users can link directly to CreditFYI(SM), an Internet service developed by Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., and Net Earnings. Through CreditFYI, small businesses can obtain immediate credit evaluations of their small-business customers.

Historically, small companies have had to go through the time-consuming and expensive process of obtaining and evaluating lengthy credit reports and other data before deciding whether to extend credit terms to their small-business customers. The new CreditFYI service uses proven credit-scoring technology to evaluate the creditworthiness of small businesses across the U.S.

Each evaluation includes a concise overview of the company’s credit history and highlights, along with an assessment of the customer as relatively low, moderate, high or very high risk. Credit history includes information such as reported tax liens, bankruptcies and late payments to creditors.

Each CreditFYI evaluation costs $14.95, which is billed to the credit card of the customer ordering the evaluation. If enough information on a company is not available to produce an evaluation, a CreditFYI summary shows the available information at a cost of $4.95.

“CreditFYI is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to help small businesses decide whether to extend credit to specific customers,” said Stan Demarest, Small-Business Banking marketing and product manager. “It won’t make the decisions for them, but it will give them the information they need to make better decisions. As a result, it will help many of our customers manage their cash flow better.”

From Hibernia’s Web site, a small-business owner can review a sample evaluation from CreditFYI, gather information about the service, learn about extending credit or order a credit evaluation. Once there, the user only needs to enter the name of the customer for which the evaluation is sought and the state in which the customer is located. In less than a minute, the evaluation or summary will appear on the screen.

Hibernia, a leading provider of innovative business solutions to small businesses, is the only bank in the mid-south, and one of only four financial services companies in the U.S., to offer CreditFYI.

Following completion of pending mergers, Hibernia would be a $13.8-billion-asset banking organization with 253 banking locations in 34 Louisiana parishes and 12 Texas counties. It would be either first, second or third in deposit market share in 32 Louisiana parishes and five Texas counties. Hibernia’s Louisiana markets represent approximately 82% of the state’s population and 86% of its deposits. Its statewide Louisiana deposit share would be 22%.

The company’s common stock (HIB) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Hibernia news releases, product-and-service information and other useful data can be accessed through the company’s Internet site at [www.hiberniabank.com][2]. Requests for information about Hibernia products and services can be e-mailed to [mailus@hiberniabank.com][3].

[1]: http://www.hiberniabank.com
[2]: http://www.hiberniabank.com
[3]: mailto:mailus@hiberniabank.com

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First North American Card Bonds

NationsBanc Montgomery Securities LLC Monday said it priced on November 6, 1998, a $600 million asset-backed issuance by First North American National Bank (“FNANB”) Credit Card Master Trust, Series 1998-1.

The securities are backed by FNANB’s portfolio of VISA/MasterCard credit card receivables.  Series 1998-1 represents the third issuance by FNANB Credit Card Master Trust; Series 1997-1 closed in early ’97 with an aggregate issuance amount of $1 Billion, and Series 1997-2 closed in November ’97 with an aggregate issuance amount of $900 Million.  NationsBanc Montgomery lead managed all three Series.

“FNANB issues ABS paper regularly, at least annually, and this represents their first foray into the ABS markets since turmoil hit the ABS markets in October. This transaction is significant in that the subordinated Class B and Class C Certificates were placed despite relatively adverse market conditions for subordinate paper, at an all-in cost lower to the issuer than other credit enhancement options considered, such as a monoline insurance wrap.  In addition, we found a home for the subordinate Class D Certificates, for a net advance rate against receivables of approximately 98%, said Luis Arnaneda, Principal at NationsBanc Montgomery.”

    Transaction details:

                    Class A    Class B          Class C        Class D
    Amount          $402MM     $90MM            $48MM           $60MM
    Enhance-ment %    33%       18%              10%              2%
                 subordination subordination subordination   subordination
    Index       1-month LIBOR  1-month LIBOR  1-month LIBOR  1-month LIBOR
    Expected
     maturity       10/15/01    12/15/01         1/15/02        1/15/02
    Legal final
     maturity        2/15/05     2/15/05         2/15/05        2/15/05
    Average life    2.96 yrs    3.13 yrs         3.22 yrs       3.22 yrs
    Distribution      Public      Public           144A          Private
    Spreads            40     not disclosed    not disclosed    not disclosed
    Payment windows soft bullet  soft bullet    soft bullet    soft bullet

NationsBanc Montgomery has served as lead manager on aggregate public, 144a and private-term asset-backed security issuance of over $9 billion in 1998 and has an aggregate asset-backed conduit capacity of $39 billion.

The firm’s banking professionals structure bond transactions both domestically and internationally involving auto loans and leases, trade receivables, marine loans, franchise loans, student loans, recreational vehicles, manufactured housing, collateralized loan and bond obligations, credit card receivables, consumer installment, future flow receivables, home equity loans, and other asset classes.

NationsBanc Montgomery Securities LLC, a subsidiary of Bank of America, is ranked among the top 10 asset-backed senior managers for public and private placement transactions, according to data supplied by Securities Data Co.. The firm has offices in Charlotte; Chicago; Dallas; Hong Kong and London.

Bank of America is the world’s number one bank based on core capital of $47 billion and the largest US-based bank with total assets of $595 billion. As a leading global financial institution with offices in 37 countries, the bank provides capital raising, trading, treasury and credit related services to corporations, financial institutions and governments around the world.

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Chargeback/Fraud Catalog

The Fraud & Theft Information Bureau, the 15-year old Boynton Beach, Florida based publishing and consulting company specializing in detecting and eliminating causes of businesses’ credit card and check-related losses, including chargebacks, has just released its latest catalog.

The catalog describes the Bureau’s manuals and fraud-blocker data bases that identify the techniques, individuals and organized gangs causing credit card and check fraud losses to businesses and banks totaling billions of dollars a year.

The most popular of the Bureau’s publications are “Total Chargeback and Fraud Control,” and “The top 100 Credit Card Crimes and How to Stop Them.” Most popular of its data bases is the “Directory of Mail Drop Addresses and Zip Codes, ” which identifies the 21,000 addresses that are a popular shield for credit card and check criminals and their fraudulent purchases.

The Fraud & Theft Information bureau was recently awarded the J. Edgar Hoover Memorial Award “for saving businesses, banks and consumers millions of dollars with their publications and fraud proof services.”

The Bureau was founded by Larry Schwartz and Pearl Sax, fraud consultants to leading companies and owners of Checks By Phone, the worldwide instant check payment company.

The entire catalog can be vieweed at the company’s web site, [www.fraudandtheftinfo.com][1]. It is also available by phone at 561-737-8700; by fax at 561-737-5800; via their E-mail address, [sales@fraudandtheftinfo.com][2] or by mail from the Fraud & Theft Information Bureau, PO Box 400, Boynton Beach, FL 33425.

TOTAL CHARGEBACK AND FRAUD CONTROL MANUAL

All 46 kinds of chargebacks, with countermeasures for each; all the rights you are entitled to despite tough bank contracts; how stolen credit card numbers can bankrupt you; why authorization doesn’t protect you; how to prevent your return policy from being violated; how to reverse all improper chargebacks and have the money replaced in your account within 24 hours; how to prevent cancellation of your Visa/MasterCard merchant status. 300 pages in special binder. ISBN 0-914801-11-2. $199.95 plus $15.00 s&h.

[1]: http://www.fraudandtheftinfo.com
[2]: mailto:sales@fraudandtheftinfo.com

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Leveling Out ??

This year’s roller coaster ride in revolving credit regained stability during September, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the Federal Reserve. Revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, grew at a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.8% during September compared to a 6.9% annual rate for September 1997. Preliminary figures for the third quarter, complied by CardWeb’s CardData service, shows bank credit card debt is growing slightly more than 10% annually. Over the past twelve months consumers have added $21.6 billion to total revolving credit, or an average of $1.8 billion per month. Overall consumer credit is growing 7.9% annually according to the FRB. At the end of September, American consumers were $1.224 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

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Extra 10 Yards

MBNA confirmed Friday it has signed a 10-year extension with the Penn State Alumni Association for their affinity card program. The extension until the year 2008 also significantly expands the current ‘Penn State’ credit card program. The expansion will give members of the alumni association the opportunity to select additional MBNA products and services, including consumer loans, and deposit and insurance products. The expanded program also includes an endorsement from Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, who earned his 300th victory earlier this year. MBNA says it has signed 150,000 Penn State alumni and students for the ‘Penn State MBNA’ credit card since its inception. MBNA also reports its affinity programs with more than 500 colleges and universities has netted 3 million cardholders with $4 billion in balances to-date.

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GemGold Card Approved

Gemplus announced last week the successful certification of its GemGold Card or ‘Jin Hui Ka’. The certification was granted by the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC),and is based on PBOC Integrated Circuit Card Specifications .

The GemGold Card – a multipurpose chip card incorporates both electronic deposit and electronic purse capabilities and is one the first IC cards which met and passed PBOC stringent specifications, giving Gemplus the license to supply the nation’s financial institutions a standardized card.

The specification test for the bank cards include security, communication protocol, compatibility, essencial function test and physical feature test. The test was carried out by the Bank Card Certification Centre, a PBOC certifying authority.

Commenting on the efforts made by both local and international smart card vendors, Mr Liu Yongchun, Deputy General Director of Department of Payment, Science & Technical Department of PBOC said at his speech during a press conference in Beijing, “I would like to thank both the local and the foreign card and terminal vendors for their support of our banking development in China. With the first batch of card certified, it has set the basis for us to start our pilot implementation.” He added, “cards that are certified today have gone through many rounds of testing, this has shown the importance of product certification. Products that are not certified will be refused entry into the financial market of China.”

According to Serge Barthelemy, CEO for Gemplus Greater China, “the successful testing of Gemplus GemGold card is proof of Gemplus expertise and capabilities and we are indeed honoured to be working with the Peoples Bank of China in helping them lay a solid foundation to pave the way for China’s payment system.” Gemplus is already highly committed to the China market where we recently invested US$30 million and we looking forward to actively working with banks to incorporate our GemGold card offering into their system.

About Gemplus

Gemplus is the world’s leading provider of plastic and smart card-based solutions. With sales of over US$592 million in 1997, Gemplus employs more than 4,111 people in 10 manufacturing facilities, 5 R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world. Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, trasportation, education, healthcare, identity, access control, pay TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, access control and information technology.

Gemplus Technologies Asia Pacific, headquartered in Singapore, had sales revenue exceeding US$100 million throughout Asia Pacific. The company has manufacturing facilities in China and Singapore. Gemplus in Asia Pacific has over 50% market share.

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NeuralTech & SPC

NeuralTech, Inc. and SPC Inc., doing business as First of Omaha Merchant Processing, announced last week a settlement effective November 3rd, 1998, of a lawsuit filed by SPC Inc. against NeuralTech on October 23, 1998. The parties announced a resolution of the lawsuit and indicated an intention to continue the vendor relationship under which SPC utilizes NeuralTech’s CADRE Merchant Software. The settlement did not involve payment of damages by either party. John Cramp, President of NeuralTech, stated “We are pleased that SPC and NeuralTech were able to work together to resolve the differences that led to the complaint. We have committed to an aggressive schedule to accommodate Year 2000 compliance concerns of SPC and to resolve concerns raised by SPC about the performance of several CADRE Merchant Software functions within SPC’s processing system.” Nicholas W. Baxter, spokesperson for SPC, said “we are satisfied with the resolution of the lawsuit and look forward to fully implementing NeuralTech’s CADRE Merchant Software within our business.”

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Card Spam

A Cleveland, OH-based company spammed millions of consumers over the Internet late Friday night for a “guaranteed credit card”. The email message sent out by America First Financial offered a complete guide to obtaining “unsecured VISA and MasterCards”. The company said it guarantees buyers a credit card “regardless of past or current credit problems”. The kit is being offered for $46. The firm also offers a credit repair and debt consolidation kit for $25 and $30, respectively.

[Click Here To View Email Message][1]

[Click Here To View Web Page][2]

[1]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/1998/november/9e1.html
[2]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/1998/november/9e2.html

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NYCE Oct Record

The NYCE Network announced today that an all-time one-day volume record for on-line debit point-of-sale (POS) transactions was set on October 31, 1998. On that day, NYCE cardholders conducted more than 559,000 on-line POS transactions through NYCE. This represents an increase of approximately five percent over the previous daily record, which was set on December 24, 1997.

In addition, NYCE’s weekly on-line POS transaction volume surpassed 3 million for the first time during the period of October 26 through November 1, 1998.

“throughout the year, NYCE has continued to promote on-line POS to consumers and sign major merchants to our service. In turn, these efforts have helped us achieve outstanding volume growth,” said Scott Strug, vice president of marketing with NYCE Corporation. “We expect that consumer confidence in on-line POS will continue to boost Network transaction volume, particularly during the busy holiday season”

Based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, NYCE Corporation provides both merchants and financial institutions with flexible, state-of-the-art processing services that support automated teller machine (ATM), on-line debit point-of-sale (POS) and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) transactions. In addition, NYCE provides financial institutions with telephone- and PC-based banking and bill payment solutions, ATM terminal driving, card authorization and management, and gateway access services. The corportaion also operates the NYCE Network, the largest shared regional electronic funds transfer (EFT) network in the Northeast. As of October 31, 1998, more than 1,300 financial institutions participate in the NYCE Network, providing ATM and related payment services to more than 31.1 million cardholders through more than 19,600 ATMs and more than 153,000 POS merchant locations.

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PubliCARD Goes Public

PubliCARD, Inc. reported that it has recently filed an application for trading its shares on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. The Company’s shares have been trading on the over-the-counter bulletin board. The Company’s application is subject to the review and approval of The Nasdaq Stock Market. There can be no assurances regarding the timing of Nasdaq’s decision or that the application will ultimately be approved.

PubliCARD’s president and chief executive officer, James J. Weis, stated “The listing of our shares on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market would represent a significant benefit for our shareholders in terms of increased liquidity. PubliCARD would also benefit from the increased visibility of listing its shares on the premiere trading market for technology companies.”

About the Company

PubliCARD, Inc., headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, owns companies engaged in manufacturing and engineering services. Greenwald Industries designs and manufactures coin meter systems used primarily in the commercial laundry appliance industry and, through its interest in Greenwald Intellicard, manufactures and sells smart card readers, value transfer stations, card management software and machine interface boards to the commercial laundry appliance industry as well as for the parking and access control industries. Orr-Schelen-Mayeron & Associates provides general engineering, design and architectural services.

The Company also recently announced the execution of a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of Tritheim Technologies, a developer of both hardware and software smart card products. Tritheim’s hardware products include serial, parallel and PCMCIA smart card readers, smart port docking stations and smart card reader chipsets. Its software products include smart card software development tools for developing smart card applications, PC security software, Internet security smart card software, Internet purchase terminal software and Internet automatic teller software. Consummation of the transaction is subject to approval of Tritheim’s shareholders and other customary conditions and is expected to close within the next 30 days.

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: A number of statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the applicable statements. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the listing of the Company’s shares on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market and the Company’s ability to complete the acquisition of Tritheim and to successfully implement its acquisition strategy including the identification, financing and consummation of any acquisition transaction. For a more detailed discussion of such risks, refer to the Company’s most recent SEC reports, including the Form 1O-K for the year ended December 31, 1997.

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BillerXpert

Netscape is set to announce this morning a new software program to enable large companies to do electronic billing over the Internet. Netscape ‘BillerXpert’ allows companies to use the billing process to improve customer interaction by offering new self-service features, such as convenient one-click payment, in-depth statement analysis, customized views of billing information, and personalized content. The solution also helps companies increase revenue by delivering targeted marketing and enabling them to cross-sell and up-sell additional products and services to users based on usage patterns, behavior and detailed profile information. Companies can use the new product in combination with content and services from Netscape ‘Custom Netcenter’ to build compelling vertical portal sites that move their business to the Internet. ‘BillerXpert 1.0’ will sell for $250,000. Netscape said its first target industry will be the utility sector. Netscape says the program has a potential universe of 1,000 prospects.

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Neng Card Approved

The Neng card, developed by Bull for the Chinese financial sector, has just been given the go-ahead by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The bank subjected the card to a series of certification tests, verifying the quality of the development work, its conformity with the specifications defined by PBOC, and the security of the implemented payment transactions.

This official seal of approval opens the doors of all the Chinese banks which will now be required to offer their customers a payment card to comply with the national standard, such as the Neng card.

Bull was the world’s first supplier to sign a contract with a Chinese bank for payment cards meeting the new set of specifications. Since June, the Pudong Development Bank (PDB) has been experimenting the Neng card and has expressed satisfaction with its choice.

Bull has already delivered 1.2 million smart cards to the Chinese banking sector, thus claiming 70% of the Chinese bank card market.

PBOC has chosen three cities, Shanghai, Beijing and Changsha as the first users of the new cards. All the banks operating in these three cities will be taking part in the project, adding up to a potential 21 million new bank cards.

“This certification proves not only that Bull is a key player in the strongly growing development of the Chinese banking sector, but, demonstrates, above all, the success of our cooperation with Chinese banks as a whole,” declared Jeremy Su, president of Bull Greater China.

Bull and debit-credit cards

Over 60% of bank cards in the world use an operating system developed by Bull, world leader in the banking sector.

In 1980, Bull created the B0′, the first microprocessor-based credit/debit card to be used on a national scale. Developed specifically for France’s Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, the card is used for both payments and withdrawals, and is accepted in all the country’s distributors and payment terminals. Today, 30 million of these cards are in circulation.

Bull, leader in electronic purse cards

Bull, the world leader in smart cards for the banking sector, is also leader in electronic purses. With over 40 million cards delivered in 18 countries, Bull’s e-purse range is the world’s biggest seller.

About Bull Smart Cards & 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, 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 1200 patents in the field, and has received certification for smart card security that is the highest level ever achieved by a smart card.

In 1997, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals earned revenues of 1416 million of FF ($280 million). By relying on Bull international network, the division achieves 80% of the revenue abroad.

About Bull

Bull is an international I.T. group based in Europe with 21,000 people and operations in nearly 100 countries. In 1997, Bull earned revenues of $4.2 billion including over 65% outside of France, its country of origin. Bull offers a wide range of systems, infrastructure software and I.T. services, through focused innovation, alliances with the best partners and its own integration expertise. In its industry, Bull is recognized for innovative products including Escala family of open servers, smart cards and software such as OpenMaster for secure management of systems and networks. In I.T. services, Bull is ranked in Europe as the third largest systems integrator and fifth in maintenance and support services. Information on Bull is available at: http://www.bull.com More information on these activities can be found on the World Wide Web at: , on Groupe Bull at:

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