Shopping Stampede Underway

Retailers can expect sales to increase during the next week according to the International Mass Retail Association (IMRA), based on findings included in IMRA’s third weekly Holiday Shopping Poll, sponsored by Visa USA. According to the poll of 1,000 consumers nationwide, nearly three-quarters (70%) report that they have not yet purchased all their gifts for the holidays.

In IMRA’s earlier survey, released last November, about 50% of consumers said they planned to do the majority of their shopping by the first two weeks in December, but only 30% of consumers report that they are finished, according to IMRA’s latest poll. Lack of time may be a major factor, especially since many consumers are trying to fit in other holiday activities such as baking cookies (50%) and putting up lights (70%), according to the IMRA Week One poll.

Retailers can expect shopping crowds to be busy all week; half of all consumers (49%) reported that they are shopping during the week, rather than fighting crowds on the weekend. Also, many of these shoppers will be heading to music stores, since forty percent (40%) of consumers said they plan to buy at least one music CD this holiday season.

The survey also showed that one-third of consumers (33%) are more likely to make spontaneous purchases, if they are carrying a payment card such as a credit card, debit card, bank card or ATM card.

The third weekly IMRA “Holiday Shopping Study,” random telephone poll of 1,000 adult consumers was conducted over the weekend of December 12-14. For a complete copy of the poll, contact Robin Lanier at 703-841-2300 or visit IMRA’s Web site at .

The International Mass Retail Association represents the mass retail industry — consumers’ first choice for price, value and convenience. Its membership includes the fastest growing retailers in the world — discount department stores, home centers, category dominant specialty discounters, catalogue showrooms, dollar stores, warehouse clubs, deep discount drugstores, and off-price stores — and the manufacturers who supply them. IMRA retail members operate more than 77,000 American stores and employ millions of workers. One in every ten Americans works in the mass retail industry, and IMRA retail members represent over $411 billion in annual sales.


Quicken 98 Covers 29 Card Issuers

Intuit Inc.’s Quicken personal finance products claimed over 80% of retail market share units, according to PC Data. In the first full month since the Quicken 98 family of products became available on October 23, Quicken Deluxe 98 was the #1 best-selling personal productivity software.

“Quicken has been the #1 personal finance software program for every month since PC Data began collecting industry data in 1991,” said Ann Stephens, president of PC Data. With the introduction of Quicken 98, Intuit continues to lead the category, with no competitor even coming close.

According to PC Data’s November 1997 report, Quicken 98 outsold the #2 title in the personal finance category (Microsoft Money) by a margin of 4 to 1 as measured in units. With Quicken 98 retail unit share at 83%, Quicken 98 products generated 88% of sales revenue for the personal finance software category. PC Data is the leading market research firm for software and hardware point-of-sale data. Their research is based on analysis of reseller software sales by forty-two major retailers including CompUSA, Best Buy, Egghead, Office Depot, Babbages and Price Costco.

The Quicken 98 family — Quicken Basic 98, Quicken Deluxe 98, Quicken Home & Business 98, and Quicken Suite 98 — are the most popular personal finance software products available today. “Quicken is a critical part of our fall selling season,” said Marty Lobkowicz, vice president and general merchandise manager of Office Depot. “Customers demand the product, and we do everything we can to make it easy for them to find the version of Quicken 98 that best fits their needs.”

“Quicken is certainly among the hottest software products on our shelves,” said Scott Maentz, vice president of software product marketing at Tech Data, a leading full-line distributor of personal computer products. “We’re seeing strong demand from our resellers and retail dealer customers for both Quicken 98 and TurboTax, Intuit’s tax preparation products.”

Quicken 98 combines the benefits of the desktop and the Web, creating a powerful but easy-to-use solution that takes consumers beyond organizing and into the realms of making smarter investment decisions, finding great deals on insurance and mortgages and being prepared for emergencies. Additionally, Quicken 98 directly links to Intuit’s award-winning website,, to give customers access to objective financial information, including personal finance news and tools as well as the leading mutual fund and insurance sites on the World Wide Web.

With Quicken 98, customers can make online payments with any U.S. financial institution. Quicken 98 works with 53 of the nation’s leading financial institutions covering 47 million checking accounts and 29 major credit cards covering 80 million accounts to download statements into Quicken. In addition to the growing number of financial institutions who support statement download for checking and credit card accounts, Quicken Deluxe 98 for Windows today supports investment transaction download from four major brokerages — Charles Schwab, E*TRADE, Fidelity Investments(R), and Waterhouse Securities. Quicken Deluxe 98 supports investment transaction download from more investment firms than any other financial management software. By early 1998, eight other financial institutions — Accutrade(R), American Century Investments, Ameritrade(R), Discover Brokerage Direct, DLJdirect, PaineWebber Incorporated, Smith Barney, and T. Rowe Price — will offer online investment tracking as well.

Quicken 98 is available for Windows 3.1 as a 16-bit application and for Windows 95 as a 32-bit application. Typical retail pricing for Quicken Deluxe 98 is $59.95 minus a $20.00 rebate from Intuit for previous Quicken users. Quicken Basic 98 is $39.95 minus a $10.00 Intuit rebate for previous Quicken users. Quicken Deluxe 98 and Quicken Basic 98 are available in versions for Macintosh with the same prices and rebates. Quicken Home & Business typically retails for $89.95 minus a $20.00 Intuit rebate for previous Quicken users; Quicken Suite 98 retails for $89.95 minus a $20.00 Intuit rebate for previous Quicken users.

Source: PC Data, personal finance market units, all platforms, month ending November 30, 1997, with over 70 percent of retail customers covered.

About Intuit

Intuit Inc., a financial software and Web-based services company, develops and markets Quicken, 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 Web site offers a complete set of personal financial news, information and tools, including the leading mutual fund and insurance sites. Intuit’s products and services enable individuals, small businesses, and financial professionals to better manage their financial lives and businesses.

This press release contains forward-looking statements about results or other events that have not yet occurred. This includes, but is not limited to, statements related to the expected launch and other details of the online investment tracking feature in Quicken. The actual results or events may differ materially from those anticipated. Such factors include, but are not limited to, potential technical problems in developing the feature and integrating it with a variety of brokerage firms’ systems, and Intuit’s ability to successfully negotiate agreements with brokerage firms. Intuit assumes no responsibility to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events occurring after the date of this press release. Information about other factors that could affect future results and events is included in Intuit’s fiscal 1997 Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

NOTE: Intuit, the Intuit logo, Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax, among others, are registered trademarks of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries. Quicken Financial Network, among others, is a trademark of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other names or brands may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such.


Rodeo Drive Goes Online

The Rodeo Drive Committee today announced Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, one of the most famous and elegant shopping districts in the world, will soon be a part of the Information Superhighway. It has selected Delray Beach, Florida based WorldWide Webs, Inc. to design, develop and maintain the official web site.

“We are planning to provide a truly interactive experience,” said Ron Michaels, President of the Rodeo Drive Committee. “Not only for shopping, but also to get a taste of the history, ambiance, and mystique of Rodeo Drive.”

According to WorldWide Webs, Inc. President Vince Ceccola, the new site will feature cutting edge Virtual Reality technology that will allow visitors to stroll up and down Rodeo Drive via their computers. Starting in March of 1998, visitors will be able to “step into” each of the “virtual” store fronts, and shop at each location. Ceccola added, “We plan to offer a sophisticated and exciting adventure.”

Represented will be many of the high fashion boutiques and other emporiums that have made Rodeo Drive one of the most glamorous and famous shopping districts in the world, as well as some of the most elegant hotels in the area. Through the use of video and the latest web technology, visitors will be able to view on their computer screens actual images of each store they enter, including recorded messages from each store’s owner or manager.

Visitors can then shop at their leisure from participating merchant’s entire inventory, or from items especially selected for the web site. The web site will incorporate Visa International and Mastercard International’s Set Secure Electronic Transaction(a) technology, which offers the latest in real time commerce and credit card security.

Celebrating its 25th year, the Rodeo Drive Committee is comprised of the street’s landlords and merchants, which include many of the world’s foremost designer names. Its more than 80 members include Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. The Rodeo Drive Committee estimates that shoppers spend more than $500 million annually on Rodeo Drive.

WorldWide Webs, Inc., () was founded in 1995 and specializes in Internet Development and Electronic Commerce solutions. In addition to its Delray Beach, FL headquarters, the company has locations in Beverly Hills,CA; East Brunswick, NJ; and Philadelphia, PA.


Euronet Expands into Croatia

Euronet Services Inc. announced Tuesday that cash withdrawal and other transactions by cardholders over its ATM network in Hungary, Poland and Germany reached 726,051 in November. This figure compares with 647,675 transactions in October and represents a 12% increase. As previously reported, this figure includes transactions processed under the Company’s driving contract with Budapest Bank whereby Euronet operates ATMs and processes transactions on behalf of Budapest Bank.

Euronet also reported that it has 655 ATMs installed as of today, including 20 in Croatia. Euronet’s network in Croatia went “live” on December 11.

Since its last press release, the Company has signed card acceptance agreements with Cuprum Bank in Poland and Raiffeissenbank in Croatia. Euronet’s connection with Cuprum Bank went “live” on October 30. The contract with Raiffeissenbank includes the provision by Euronet of its new “Blue Diamond” card issuance services. The Blue Diamond product is a combined hardware and software solution for the issuance of debit cards by banks, using ARKSYS software and IBM hardware. Euronet has developed this product to increase the pace of card issuance, particularly by smaller banks, in the markets in which it operates.

Established in 1994, Euronet operates the only independent, non-bank owned ATM network in Central Europe. Through agreements and relationships with local banks, international card issuers and ATM networks such as American Express, VISA, Plus, MasterCard, Europay and Cirrus, Euronet’s ATMs are able to process ATM transactions for holders of credit and debit cards issued by or bearing logos of such banks and card issuing organizations. In addition, Euronet offers outsourced ATM management services to local banks that own proprietary ATMs.



The U.S. Postal Service launched a two-week test yesterday of a virtual post office. During the pilot, 2,300 pre-selected customers will be able to purchase a limited selection of stamps and stamp products on the World Wide Web via credit cards. The ‘StampsOnline’ web site was launched last year to provide information about the stamp program and the hobby of stamp collecting. Since its initial launch, the USPS says 60% of e-mail messages received have been inquiries to purchase stamps online. If this month’s pilot is successful the USPS will open ‘StampsOnline’ to the general public during the first quarter 1998.


Flawed Analysis

The Consumer Federation of America accused the banking industry of “irresponsible” credit card lending that has strapped an estimated 60 million American households with credit card debt exceeding $7,000 on average. To make its case the CFA cited card issuers with high charge-off rates as the most reckless. The consumer group said the “least responsible” banks include Mellon Bank and Hurley State Bank with a 9% charge-off rate, Wells Fargo with an 8.6% chargeoff rate, First Union with an 8.4% loss rate and Advanta with an 8.2% chargeoff rate. Among the “most responsible” issuers cited: MBNA with a 2.1% chargeoff rate, People’s with 2.4% loss rate, Travelers Bank at 2.7% and First USA at 2.9%. The CFA analysis is grossly flawed since it fails to take into account the growth rate in receivables for each issuer. For example chargeoffs are artificially low at MBNA and First USA since both issuers are the two fastest growing major issuers, while Wells Fargo and Advanta are among industry laggards. MBNA’s card loans grew 31% during the period cited by the CFA. By contrast Wells Fargo’s card loans only increased 8% during the same period. Advanta actually experienced a loss in card loans of 14% between mid-year 1996 and 1997. A simplistic analysis argues that if MBNA is growing four times as fast as Wells Fargo then its losses, on a percentage of outstanding basis, would be four times lower.

Growth Rates vs. Loss Rates (2Q96-2Q97)
(change in card outstandings vs charge-off rates)
Mellon -26% 9.0% MBNA +31% 2.1%

Wells Fargo +8% 8.6% People’s +23% 2.4%
First Union +10 8.4% First USA +32% 2.9%
Advanta -14% 8.2% Travelers +41% 2.7%
Source: Bankcard Update/Bankcard Barometer


Dismal Christmas

Unless there is a mad stampede of holiday shopping in the remaining shopping days, 1997 will go down as a disappointing year in retail sales. FDR’s TeleCheck Services said same-store sales, based on checks written, are up a measly 0.3% for the first seventeen shopping days. Based on VISA’s ‘SpendTrak’ and other issuer-reported data, holiday credit card volume is only up 12% this year compared an average of 20% annually since 1993.


Alaska Option Selects BASE24

Applied Communications, Inc. (ACI), a subsidiary of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc., announces the licensing of its BASE24 software to the Alaska Option electronic funds transfer network. Alaska Option will replace its current processing platform with BASE24-atm to process, authorize and switch transactions for its state- wide ATM and debit point-of-sale (POS) network and enable participation in the State of Alaska’s Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program.

“Our network is used by 23 financial institutions across Alaska, and averages 1.3 million transactions a month. High availability, performance and flexibility are critical requirements,” said B. John Shipe, president and chief executive officer of Alaska Option. “BASE24 helps us to meet these needs with round-the-clock, high-volume processing and the flexibility to offer new services like EBT.”

Designed to operate on Tandem NonStop(R) Himalaya(R) servers, BASE24’s fault-tolerant features offer proven, 24 x 7 availability and high-volume processing. BASE24 also provides state-of-the-art settlement and networking capabilities to efficiently operate in complex switching environments.

BASE24’s open architecture gives Alaska Option the flexibility to customize services offered to its members and add services as needed. “BASE24 provides flexible switch subsystems that give Alaska Option state-of-the-art settlement and routing capabilities,” said Susan Swenson, senior product manager at ACI. “This gives Alaska Option the flexibility to set individual routing schemes, processing parameters and functions for each of its customers and the ability to expand those customized services into areas like Alaska’s EBT program.”

“ACI is proud to be involved in Alaska Option’s roll-out of EBT services,” said Dan Heimann, director of Strategic Marketing at ACI. “The ability to augment BASE24’s full-function switching abilities with value-added services like EBT offers the high performance and reliability EFT networks need to provide convenient, always-available financial services.

Applied Communications, Inc. is a subsidiary of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSAI). Transaction Systems’ software facilitates electronic payments and electronic commerce by providing consumers and companies access to their money. The company’s products are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, remote banking services, checks, wire transfers and automated clearing and settlement. Its solutions are used on more than 2,700 product systems in 69 countries on six continents.

Visit TSA and ACI on the World Wide Web at .


Changing of the Guard

Household International announced management succession plans at HFC, the company’s U.S. consumer finance business, and at HFC Bank plc, the company’s United Kingdom business.

In anticipation of his retirement at the end of 1998, Robert F. Elliott will relinquish his role as Group Executive — U.S. Consumer Finance and become vice chairman of Household International. Mr. Elliott will further develop Household’s capabilities in consumer finance portfolio acquisitions, strategic alliances and new product and channel development.

Gary Gilmer, currently managing director and chief executive officer of HFC Bank plc, Household’s U. K. operation, will succeed Mr. Elliott as Group Executive – U.S. Consumer Finance. Mr. Gilmer started with HFC in 1972, and has held a variety of management positions throughout Household. Under his leadership, HFC Bank plc has enjoyed significant growth and profitability and has emerged as one of the United Kingdom’s leading companies in consumer finance and credit cards.

Succeeding Mr. Gilmer as managing director and chief executive officer of HFC Bank plc will be Adrian Hill, presently chief operating officer of the unit. Mr. Hill joined HFC Bank in 1989 and has held several positions, including chief financial officer. Mr. Hill has had direct operating responsibility for the launch and management of the Goldfish Card joint venture with British Gas Trading, one of the most successful new product launches in the U. K. financial services industry.

Commenting on these changes, William F. Aldinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Household, said, “Today’s announcement marks a key milestone for Household, as we have now designated the senior management team that will lead two of our most important businesses into the future. Gary is an extremely talented executive, with a great record of achievements in his career at Household. He has done a terrific job managing our U. K. company, and I look forward to comparable success as Gary takes the helm of HFC.”

Mr. Aldinger continued, “I am also extremely pleased to announce the promotion of Adrian Hill, who has been a vital member of Gary’s team at HFC Bank. As chief operating officer, Adrian has been a leader in developing innovative lending programs while improving the efficiency of our core business.

“Finally, I am pleased that Bob Elliott has agreed to postpone his retirement to the end of next year. As a 33-year veteran of Household, Bob possesses a unique set of skills, experience and wisdom. I expect Bob to be a significant contributor in the areas of portfolio acquisition and joint venture development.”

As Group Executive — U.S. Consumer Finance, Mr. Gilmer will report to Mr. Aldinger. As chief executive officer of HFC Bank plc, Mr. Hill will report to Lawrence N. Bangs, Group Executive-Private Label, United Kingdom, Canada, Insurance, US Consumer Banking and Auto Finance. The management appointments will be effective January, 1998.

Household International, through its subsidiaries, is a leading provider of consumer financial services, primarily consumer lending and credit card products, in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. One of Household’s primary businesses is HFC, the nation’s oldest consumer finance company. Household is also one of the largest issuers of private-label and general purpose credit cards in the United States. Its principal cards include The GM Card and the AFL-CIO’s Union Privilege card.


CashSource Plus Certified

Diebold, Incorporated, a world leader in self-service technology, announced that its CashSource Plus(TM) retail cash dispenser is now certified by 13 electronic financial networks and retail automated teller machine (ATM) deployers.

The growing list includes, most recently, EDS of Texas, the nation’s largest deployer of off-premises ATMs, and M & I Data Services of Wisconsin, one of the Midwest’s largest electronic funds processors. Other networks that have certified the CashSource Plus include MAC/EPS, Wilmington, Del.; Concord Computing, Memphis, Tenn.; InterCept, Norcross, Ga.; US Processing, Brown Deer, Wis.; Shazam Network, Johnston, Iowa; Mellon Network Services, Pittsburgh; Sun Communications, Dallas; CommLink, Houston; EFT Datalink, Inc., Carrollton, Texas; and Lynk Systems, a third party processor based in Atlanta which was first to certify CashSource Plus earlier this year.

Certification is the process by which a network puts the product through multiple tests to ensure its integrity on the network.

Diebold’s CashSource Plus is a low-cost cash dispenser designed specifically for convenience stores, food retailers, gas stations, hotels, drug stores, entertainment locations and other retail locations. In addition to providing consumers with quick access to cash, it dispenses coupons, postage stamps, pre-paid phone vouchers or other revenue-generating items.

“Diebold is very pleased with the reception CashSource Plus is receiving from the nation’s largest electronic financial networks and retail ATM deployers,” said Robert J. Nemens, program manager for Diebold. “The successful launch of the CashSource Plus demonstrates what Diebold does best — providing quality self-service technology that meets the needs of the marketplace with strong installation and service support.”

Diebold, Incorporated (pronounced DEE-bold) headquartered in Canton, Ohio, is a global leader in providing card-based transaction systems, security and service solutions to the financial, education and healthcare industries. Founded in 1859, the company develops, manufactures, sells and services automated teller machines, campus systems, smart card systems, electronic and physical security equipment, automated medication dispensing systems, integrated systems solutions, software and supplies.


VeriFone/NEC Japanese Deal

As Japan’s rapid growth of Internet commerce climbs to reach an estimated $18 billion by the year 2001, VeriFone, Inc., the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions, announced today an agreement in principle with NEC to develop and market Internet payment products based on the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) protocol in Japan.

VeriFone’s SET products will include extensions enabling Japanese consumers to conduct business in the way they are accustomed to while benefiting from the security of the SET standard.

NEC and VeriFone intend to work together to build on the functionality of VeriFone’s Internet payment product suite by implementing the Japanese Payment Options (JPO) to the SET protocol. Sumitomo Credit Services, with 1.7 million merchant customers, plans to be the first to deploy VeriFone’s products complete with JPO extensions.

“NEC is committed to providing world class solutions which meet the needs of the Japanese market,” said Kunihiko Kimura, general manager, Electronic Commerce Business Promotion, NEC Corporation. “By participating with VeriFone, we are utilizing open global standards to deliver products tailored to Japan’s unique payment environment.”

To ensure broad distribution in the complex Japanese market, VeriFone has developed a strategic distribution relationship with NEC Japan, the preeminent supplier of computer products, communications systems and electronic devices. Hewlett-Packard, VeriFone’s parent company, will also distribute with VeriFone in Japan, allowing HP to sell the payment products within its well established hardware channels.

SET, developed by MasterCard and Visa in partnership with VeriFone and other industry leaders, is a standard protocol for safeguarding credit card purchases made over open networks such as the Internet. The power and flexibility of the SET global protocol, also allows for specific extensions necessary to accommodate regional requirements.

MasterCard, Visa, VeriFone and other industry leaders are developing the extensions necessary to make SET products a reality in the Japanese market. By allowing for iterative negotiation and variable payment options, these Japanese extensions allow consumers and merchants to conduct Internet commerce in much the same way as a face-to-face buying situation.

“Internet commerce is a global phenomenon that must accommodate local practices,” said George Hoyem, vice president and general manager Internet Commerce Division, VeriFone. “By partnering with NEC we will be able to address the specific needs of the Japanese market and leverage our expertise in Internet payments to ignite Internet commerce in Japan.”

Building on an existing agreement with Microsoft, VeriFone’s vPOS merchant product with JPO extensions will be integrated with Microsoft’s Site Server, Japan’s premier commerce solution.

“Microsoft and VeriFone are committed to delivering Internet commerce solutions built on a global standard which meet the needs of local business practices,” said Koichi Kato, senior group manager, Personal & Business Systems Product Marketing, Microsoft Co., Ltd. “We believe that the combination of VeriFone’s payment products, NEC’s market expertise and Microsoft’s Back Office and Site Server commerce solution provide all of the necessary elements to unleash the Japan market potential.”

About VeriFone

VeriFone, Inc. (), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company, is the leading global provider of secure electronic payment solutions for financial institutions, merchants and consumers. VeriFone has shipped more than six million electronic payment systems, which are used in over 100 countries.

About NEC

NEC Corporation (NASDAQ:NIPNY) pioneered the concept of C&C, the integration of Computers and Communications, and is the only company in the world to be counted among top ranking corporations spanning the wide range of fields essential for this vision of multimedia: computers, communications and electron devices. Employing in excess of 150,000 people around the world, NEC saw net sales in fiscal year 1996-97 amount to 4,948 billion yen (approx. US$40 billion). For further information visit our home page at:


U.S. Wireless Names Director

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. announced today the appointment of Richard S. Barton to its board of directors. This appointment brings the total number of board members to six.

Mr. Barton serves on the boards of both Avon Products, Inc. and the United States Chamber of Commerce. He is currently chairman, CEO, and president of ADATOM, Inc., a California based company which markets and sells retail and shopping solutions, including electronic catalogues and stores. He assumed these positions in September 1996 after completing a Sloan Fellowship at Stanford University.

Mr. Barton ended a distinguished 24 year career with Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) in 1995. From 1993 to 1995, he held the positions of president, United States Customer Operations as well as corporate vice president. For the prior two years, he served as president, chairman and CEO of Xerox Canada, Inc.

From 1989 to 1991, Mr. Barton was vice president, North American systems sales for Xerox’ Integrated Systems Operations. Prior to 1991, he held several positions at Xerox that included, vice president marketing operations for Xerox’ United States Marketing Group, and executive assistant to the president, chairman, and CEO of Xerox Corp.

Mr. Barton earned his B.S. from Adelphi University, completed the Wharton Executive Development Program and the Wharton International Forum’s China, Japan, Europe and United States segments at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a master in business management from Stanford University.

Commenting on the appointment, Evon Kelly, CEO of U.S. Wireless Data, stated, “It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we welcome Mr. Barton to the board of U.S. Wireless Data. I look forward to drawing off of his tremendous breadth of business acumen, experience and contacts as we strive to make U.S. Wireless Data the industry standard in wireless transaction and credit card processing.”

USWDA’s proprietary enabling technology, TRANZ(TM) Enabler, converts a merchant’s existing dial-up TRANZ VeriFone credit-card terminal into a high-speed wireless terminal. It provides merchants with a faster and more cost efficient way to transact business. The wireless transaction takes 3 to 5 seconds verses 11 to 20 seconds with a dial-up service.

Going wireless means the merchant no longer needs a dedicated or shared telephone line to carry transaction traffic, thereby eliminating delays, busy signals and the cost to install or pay for monthly telephone service.

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. has developed, tested and is now delivering compelling new proprietary products, programs and standards to the transaction processing and credit card industry which utilize Cellular Digital Packet Data (“CDPD”) wireless networks. USWD delivers the fastest and most cost-effective transaction processing solution to retail merchants in the United States today — wired or wireless.

USWD will generate recurring revenue from every transaction processed by merchants who utilize the company’s CDPD wireless technology. The company’s strategy will be to deploy its technology through marketing and partnership agreements with major cellular phone companies, regional and community banks, select ISO’s, and its own sales force.