Syntellect IVR for Mondex Pilot

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd has installed Syntellect’s Mondex smartcard technology in Hong Kong as part of the world’s biggest full-scale launch of the Mondex electronic cash system.

HongkongBank installed 52 ports of VocalPoint IVR (interactive voice response) technology from Syntellect which, combined with Syntellect’s Mondex device support software developed with the bank, allows Mondex smartcard transactions to be conducted automatically over a telephone line.

With the new Syntellect system, Mondex cardholders can use telephones or Point of Sale terminals to transfer money from their bank accounts to their Mondex cards and from their cards to their accounts remotely at any time. Retailers can automatically upload Mondex funds from POS transaction terminals directly into their bank accounts at the end of the day, or when a predetermined amount of Mondex money has been received from shoppers.

“We have used Syntellect IVR equipment successfully as a standard for many years across several hundred telephone lines, and we found that Syntellect was as responsive as it was enthusiastic about developing the new Mondex smartcard device support,” states Tim Cureton, HSBC Head of Group Telecommunications.

A full-scale launch of the Mondex cash system in Hong Kong occurred on Nov. 10th following an earlier pilot in 1996. More than 5,000 local merchants have agreed to accept Mondex cards for payments, and all HongkongBank and Hang Seng Bank (another HSBC Group subsidiary) customers are eligible for Mondex cards.

To date, the Hong Kong program has proved very successful with more than 50,000 cards issued or under application.

The concept of electronic cash is rapidly gaining acceptance and Mondex implementations continue to take place around the world. Mondex is currently being used in 21 locations across the globe from Australia to Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Philippines, UK and USA. By the end of 1997, Mondex International will have produced more than 1 million cash-reloadable Mondex cards; this figure is expected to rise to 5 million reloadable cards by the end of 1998.

This announcement is the latest step in Syntellect’s commitment to helping banks implement the Mondex electronic cash system. Syntellect is now certified as an official Mondex supplier.

Syntellect has also signed a joint marketing and development agreement with the Amdahl SmartCard Group, a division of Amdahl Corporation, the computer software, services and systems company. While Syntellect’s IVR software allows Mondex transactions to take place automatically over a telephone line, Amdahl provides a hardware and software host system that gives financial organizations value transfer, value management, audit, settlement and reporting capabilities for Mondex. Through this partnership, Syntellect and Amdahl have already implemented their Mondex solutions at locations in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Syntellect is also pursuing partnerships with other suppliers which provide Mondex card interface devices or host systems.

Mondex International Ltd

Mondex International grants licenses to franchisees to allow them to exploit the Mondex electronic cash technology in a given territory. Since its incorporation in 1996, Mondex has issued 29 franchises across 5 continents. Mondex is being developed by franchisees in over 50 countries, representing a potential market place of more than 3 billion people.

Mondex is the most ‘cash-like’ of the electronic cash smartcards which are beginning to be introduced around the world as a more efficient alternative to physical cash; for use in everyday shopping and as a future payment mechanism in a wide variety of areas such as the Internet and ‘pay-per-view’ TV.

Mondex is the only electronic cash system in the world to operate with a single global technology allowing for cross-country payments. It allows up to five different currencies to be carried on the card at any one time in separate electronic pockets.

MasterCard International acquired 51% of the company in February 1997 and has decided to adopt Mondex International’s technology as its future choice of strategic chip platform.

The following companies are also shareholders (directly or indirectly) in Mondex International: National Westminster Bank, Ulster Bank, Scotiabank, Credit Union Central of Canada, The National Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Canada Trust, Le Mouvement des caisses Desjardins, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Midland Bank, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Chase Manhattan, First Chicago NBD, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand), Bank of New Zealand, Countrywide Banking Corporation, The National Bank of New Zealand, ASB Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation (New Zealand).

Mondex H8/3109 smartcard chip

The new H8/3109 customized smartcard chip being used features an on-board crypto co-processor, and offers 8Kbytes of EEPROM and 14Kbytes of ROM allowing for high-speed numerical calculations and the longer key lengths which are required for public key algorithms, such as RSA, DSA, Zero Knowledge and others.

Further information regarding Mondex is available on their web site at: .

HSBC Group (HSBC Holdings plc)

HSBC Holdings plc., the holding company of the HSBC Group, whose major subsidiaries include The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd., Midland Bank in the UK, Marine Midland Bank in USA, HSBC Bamerindus in Brazil and others, is among the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations. The company has more than 5,000 offices in 78 countries and assets in excess of 270 billion Pounds Sterling.

Syntellect

Syntellect Inc. is a global leader in interactive communications. More than 3,000 organizations in 55 countries rely on Syntellect’s advanced systems and services to communicate with their customers. Founded in 1984, Syntellect offers a comprehensive range of products and services including powerful interactive voice response and predictive dialing technology, as well as outsourced solutions through Syntellect Interactive Services. Syntellect is headquartered in Atlanta with regional operations in Phoenix and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit the Syntellect Web site at .

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Betting Inc. Looks for CEO

Betting Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BETT) has started the search for the Chief Executive Officer to guide Betting Inc., stated Tom Hughes, Chairman of Betting Inc.

The business of Betting Inc. is to act as a facilitator of home or office ATM card or Smart Card wagers, which is the same as cash to the gaming operators. Betting Inc. will primarily focus on England, Australia, Japan and other countries where the wagering environment is conducive to usage of the Pay Master, which has been exclusively licensed by Betting Inc. from Electronic Transactions and Technologies (ET&T) (formerly HPOS) to place same day cash bets by ATM card or Smart Card from a home or office location.

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DataCard in FDR’s QuicKardz

DataCard Corporation announced Monday that First Data Resources, a unit of First Data Corporation, has begun marketing a new credit and debit card solution for remote locations that features the DataCardr 150i card issuance system.

The new QuicKardzÖ System allows card issuers to provide a ready-to-use credit and debit card in a matter of minutes. Instead of waiting days or weeks for financial cards, customers can apply for and receive cards during the same visit.

“QuicKardz is another turnkey solution from First Data that allows our clients to differentiate themselves in a crowded and competitive market,” said Tim Rosenthal, senior vice president of FDR’s PlastiCard Custom Services Division.

“The instant issuance capability also helps our clients generate revenue streams faster than before,” Rosenthal said. “Instead of waiting for cards to be mailed from a central location, consumers can begin using their cards_and generating revenue for our clients_immediately.”

Rosenthal said the new QuicKardz System also reduces costs associated with mailing cards, such as postage, printing and handling. Plus, it provides card issuers with important cross-selling opportunities.

“The card issuance process gives customer service representatives valuable one-on-one time with customers,” Rosenthal said. “They can use that time to sell other products and services offered by the issuer.”

The QuicKardz System also provides card issuers with an effective fraud-fighting solution, according to Rosenthal. “When you hand customers their financial cards you don’t have to worry about cards becoming lost or stolen during the mailing process,” he said.

FDR chose the DataCard 150i system after exploring a wide range of card personalization systems, according to Rosenthal.

“FDR has a reputation for providing innovative and reliable products,” he said. “We believe DataCard 150i offers the power and reliability that can help us strengthen that reputation.”

“Plus, the DataCard 150i has optional smart card capabilities,” Rosenthal added. “That will be an important feature as our clients begin issuing stored value cards and other smart card-based products.”

“The new QuicKardz System provides card issuers with powerful marketing advantages and it helps reduce card issuance costs,” said Dave Gilbert, marketing director for DataCard’s instant issuance business unit. “The market is ready for an innovative solution like this.”

“We’re pleased FDR chose to build its new solution around the DataCard 150i” Gilbert added. “We look forward to measurable long-term success for both FDR and DataCard.”

Hackensack, N.J.-based First Data Corporation (NYSE:FDC) is a global leader in payment systems, electronic commerce and information management products and services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or smart card at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check or wire money. For more information, please visit the Internet at [www.firstdatacorp.com][1].

DataCard Corporation, a privately held company based in Minneapolis, Minn., is a world leader in innovative plastic card solutions. The company offers a spectrum of card-related products and services, including digital photo ID systems, badging services, card personalization systems, systems integration services and transaction terminals. ([www.datacard.com][2])

[1]: http://www.firstdatacorp.com
[2]: http://www.datacard.com

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Diebold Buys Out InterBold

Diebold, Incorporated today announced that the purchase price for the 30 percent partnership interest of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) in InterBold has been established at the capital account of IBM’s partnership interest, which is less than US$20 million. InterBold is the joint venture between Diebold and IBM that was formed to provide self-service products for the financial and other industries.

The transaction is expected to be consummated in the first quarter of 1998 unless IBM exercises its right to rescind the put of its interest in InterBold. Diebold will use its cash reserves to finance the purchase.

“Over the past seven years, the InterBold joint venture has been very successful in achieving its purpose of bringing world class self-service solutions to its markets,” said Gregg A. Searle, chairman of InterBold’s governing committee. “Now the time is right for Diebold to have full control over its core product line and position itself as a leading player in the global marketplace.”

Diebold is continuing its discussions with IBM and others regarding the transition of international distribution for self-service products on a country-by-country basis.

Diebold, Incorporated, 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.

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AXI Signs Up 200 Clients

Companies that have installed AXI (American Express Interactive) report that users are embracing the new online corporate travel reservations system enthusiastically, according to American Express Corporate Services. Since the first ticket was issued for a Monsanto Corporation traveler this summer, registered users and the number of tickets issued on AXI have grown steadily.

In addition to Monsanto, a total of 20 companies will have AXI implemented before year-end. These companies, including The Thomson Corporation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Microsoft Corporation and McGraw-Hill, represent a collective annual travel volume of more than $600 million.

“Novartis’ travelers have been eager to use the Internet to view travel alternatives, but general consumer websites don’t include our supplier contract prices and travel policy,” said Paul Tomaszeski, Executive Director of Administration at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., East Hanover, N.J. “I can set up AXI to steer our travelers to preferred suppliers, which gives us more leverage as a purchaser, while at the same time giving the traveler more control over the process. Our travelers like AXI because it gives them access to information about their options, such as flight alternatives, online seat maps and city maps showing hotel locations.”

Following these initial 20 implementations, AXI, which was developed jointly by American Express and Microsoft, will be available to large and mid-sized companies that want a corporate online travel reservations system that fully supports their travel management policy and negotiated supplier discounts.

During implementation, AXI is customized to incorporate a company’s travel policy and preferred suppliers. AXI can operate over the Internet or via an extranet using a dedicated frame relay connection. Travelers access AXI from their PCs, using Internet Explorer or any standard web-browser software that is HTML 3.0 compatible.

At the same time, AXI’s online reservations are fully integrated with the service provided by a dedicated American Express travel agency location, so that companies can ensure their travel policy is applied in a consistent way, regardless of whether their travelers make reservations on-line or by telephone with a travel counselor. And travel counselors are ready if needed to assist travelers with changes to reservations made on AXI.

Demand Swells to Nearly 200 Clients

Demand for the system has been growing rapidly since AXI was unveiled in July at the National Business Travel Association conference. The number of companies signed up for roll-out has risen to nearly 200 customers, representing more than $4.8 billion in air travel volume. As part of the implementation process, travel managers at these companies are enrolled in American Express’ Client Trial Program, with access to an AXI demonstration website, which allows them to experience the system and provide feedback to the American Express/Microsoft development team.

In addition to features such as travel policy support, highlighting of preferred suppliers, access to negotiated rates and enhanced destination information for travelers, clients cite the integration with American Express’ business travel support and back-office systems as a key factor in making a successful transition to using an online booking system.

“By the year 2000, we expect about 20 – 30 percent of our corporate customers’ travel reservations to be made online through AXI,” said Mike Mulligan, Senior Vice President, American Express Corporate Services Interactive. “We’ll offer customers the option of online or travel counselor-assisted reservations, depending on their needs. By offering an integrated solution, we can ensure that our customers’ travel management objectives are met no matter which channel their travelers use.

“Down the road, we see an increasing demand for AXI because it’s a cost-effective and convenient alternative,” added Mulligan.

Corporate travel managers expect AXI to lower the overall cost of travel by offering travelers choices that comply with company policy, starting with preferred suppliers with negotiated rates or to the airline with the lowest logical airfare. In addition, providing travelers with a self-booking tool lowers the transaction cost and increases employee productivity since travel takes less time to book.

American Express operates the largest travel agency in the world, recording $15.8 billion in worldwide travel sales in 1996. Through its Corporate Services group , the company counts more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500 as customers of its business travel and/or Corporate Card programs. More information on the full range of travel management tools from Corporate Services can be found on the website .

The American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.

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Natl Data Proc Record

National Data Corporation (NYSE: NDC) announced today that it set a new peak transaction processing record of over 400 transactions per second at its Atlanta complex. At the same time, its front-end network exceeded 450 transactions per second.

Typically, the peak volume records are established closer to December 25. This early indicator suggests even higher volume records over the next ten days.

National Data Corporation is a leading provider of health information services and payment systems solutions.

When used in this report, press releases and elsewhere by management or the Company from time to time, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s operations, economic performance and financial condition, including in particular, the likelihood of the Company’s success in developing and expanding its business. These statements are based on a number of assumptions and estimates which are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, and reflect future business decisions which are subject to change. A variety of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the Company’s forward-looking statements, some of which include competition in the market for the Company’s services, continued expansion of the Company’s processing and payment systems markets, successfully completing and integrating acquisitions in existing and new markets and other risk factors that are discussed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) reports and other filings. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward- looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligations to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or thereof, as the case may be, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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NDC Buys Source Infomatics

National Data Corporation (NYSE: NDC)(NDC) announced today that it has closed the previously announced purchase of Source Informatics Inc. (Source), a privately-held company, and the Over-The-Counter (OTC) Physician Survey business unit of Pharmaceutical Marketing Services Inc. (PMSI).

On August 20, a definitive agreement was announced under which NDC would acquire both health care database information management businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement NDC paid $35,744,000 and issued 2,670,298 shares, giving the transaction a value of approximately $122,528,685, based upon NDC’s closing price of $32.50 per share on December 15, 1997.

Robert A. Yellowlees, Chairman and CEO, said: “Source and the OTC business are a direct extension of our health information services strategy. They provide us with a significant group of talented people and a customer set that will be the nucleus of our new health information management business.

This acquisition accelerates our time to market. It also allows NDC to integrate it with our other services more effectively than building this capability internally over a multi-year period. This capability, combined with the breadth and depth of our existing health care offerings, places NDC in an even more unique position in a market that is demanding more timely information to reduce cost and improve the quality of health care.”

National Data Corporation is a leading provider of health information services and payments systems solutions.

When used in this report, press releases and elsewhere by management or the Company from time to time, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s operations, economic performance and financial condition, including in particular, the likelihood of the Company’s success in developing and expanding its business. These statements are based on a number of assumptions and estimates, which are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, and reflect future business decisions, which are subject to change. A variety of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the Company’s forward-looking statements, some of which include competition in the market for the Company’s services, continued expansion of the Company’s processing and payment systems markets, successfully completing and integrating acquisitions in existing and new markets and other risk factors that are discussed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) reports and other filings. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward- looking statements, which speak only of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligations to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or thereof, as the case may be, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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Betting Inc. Prepares Card Test

Tom Hughes, Chairman of Betting Inc. announced yesterday that Betting Inc. has received from Electronics Transactions and Technologies, (ET&T) (formerly HPOS), the first pay master units which will allow home wagering by ATM card with bank pin or by Smart Card. The Pay Master connects to the phone and provides a printed receipt.

The first phase will be to test from the home, the opening or replenishing of an off-track Betting Account by ATM card which is the same as cash. The second phase will be to test the actual pay-per-play by same as cash ATM cards. Seven states presently allow home OTB activity and the usage of a credit card to open or replenish the account.

Additionally, Betting Inc. is focused on beginning the testing of the opening or replenishing of off-shore casino accounts by the Pay Master and the ATM card.

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nFront Wins Award

nFront, a leading provider of Internet banking solutions for community banks, received Microsoft’s Retail Banking Industry Solution Award for Best Internet Banking Solution. Mike Dusche, Microsoft’s worldwide financial services industry manager, made the announcement earlier this month during the Bank Administration Institute’s (BAI) Retail Delivery ’97 Conference (RDC) in New Orleans.

The awards are designed to recognize independent software vendors who best use Microsoft technology to provide tangible business benefits for banks by creating innovative, line-of-business applications. nFront’s Internet banking solution, nHome(tm), was selected from a nationwide evaluation of companies providing Internet banking solutions as the winner of the Microsoft Industry Solution Award under the Best Internet Banking Solution category. This category rewards the best application showing potential productivity gains and cost reductions derived from using the Internet as a delivery channel.

“nFront is a great example of a company that is leveraging Microsoft’s Windows NT and SQL Server as building blocks for the core of an extremely progressive Internet banking application,” said Dusche. “I’m pleased that an independent panel judged them best of show at RDC, reinforcing what their bank customers have already discovered: that nHome is a great way to effectively reach desirable online customers.”

“Winning the Microsoft Industry Solution Award for Internet banking is a great testament to nFront as a company,” said Tripp Rackley, president of nFront. “We have always been 100% committed to Microsoft and utilizing the tools and partnership to deliver a complete Microsoft(r) Windows NT(r) Server-based Internet banking system.

“nFront’s focus is not only on utilizing the latest technology available, but also providing software solutions that community banks can actually use today. We strongly believe that the winners in Internet banking will be financial institutions that are ready to be leaders. Our focus on the Microsoft relationship along with a very dedicated, bright and focused group of individuals on the nFront team has enabled banks across the country to have a 100% Microsoft(r) Windows NT(r) Server-based Internet banking system today.”

An independent panel of judges from the financial services industry selected finalists during the Retail Delivery conference in three categories: Best Retail Branch Banking Solution, Best Internet Banking Solution and Best Banking by Phone Solution. The panel included industry experts Bill Bradway, analyst at Meridien Research; Nancy Davis, publisher of Microbanker; John Geyer, analyst at the Gartner Group; and Jim Pavia, managing editor of Bank Systems & Technology.

nFront provides full service Internet banking solutions for community banks with nHome, its premier Internet Banking software. From opening accounts to paying bills or transferring funds, nHome supports all the functionality of traditional brick and mortar branches and gives community banks the opportunity to do customer specific marketing. In addition, customers will have unlimited banking hours and more personalized service in a secure banking environment. nHome supports the highest level of data encryption available today and runs on the Windows NT Server operating system. nFront is also a Microsoft Certified Solution Provider. Founded in 1996, nFront owns the registration rights of the www.banking.com domain name.

For more information on nFront and Internet banking solutions, contact Alan Powell, (706) 369-3779 ext. 234, apowell@banking.com; or write to nFront at 1551 Jennings Mill Rd., Suite 800A, Bogart, GA 30622.

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ValiCert Global Field Trials

ValiCert, a company delivering encryption technology and services for assuring the validity of digital certificates, announced global field trials of the first certificate validation service, the ValiCert Service, in partnership with leading digital certificate providers from Europe and South Africa. Initial participants in the field trial include international certificate authorities (CAs) Baltimore Technologies (Ireland and the European Union), BelSign (Europe) and Thawte (South Africa/USA).

ValiCert’s global field trial will provide validation of digital certificates using live data, aggregating an array of certificate revocation list (CRL) data from ValiCert’s CA service partners. These CA service partners will use the ValiCert Service to provide scalable validation services to assure the validity of their customers’ certificates across the global Internet. The CA service partners will feed all live data from their CRLs into the ValiCert Service.

The ValiCert Service trial provides a unique opportunity for application developers, enterprises deploying a public key infrastructure, as well as users of certificate-enabled applications and services to test them in a real- world setting using the first available global validation service. The trial will be capable of managing an average transaction rate of more than 30 million certificate validation requests per day.

“To be truly useful, a credit card must be able to be validated anywhere in the world, no matter where it was issued,” said Yosi Amram, president and CEO of ValiCert, Inc. “In the same way, issuers and users of digital certificates need a quick and cost-effective clearing mechanism to assure the validity of these electronic credentials anywhere in the world. The ValiCert service easily scales to meet the requirements of today’s global economy, and provides the first effective worldwide system to validate digital certificates.”

ValiCert’s field trial will begin in January 1998. For information about the ValiCert field trail, see .

Collaboration With Industry Leaders

“We are extremely pleased to partner with this group of leaders in the digital certification industry for our initial field trials,” said Chini Krishnan, chairman and chief technology officer of ValiCert. “This collaborative effort is an essential part of ValiCert’s goal of supporting a robust, scalable validation infrastructure.”

ValiCert’s CA partners in these trials — Baltimore Technologies, BelSign and Thawte — are among the earliest issuers of digital certificates to businesses and individuals.

Baltimore Technologies is a global developer of information security products and services for electronic commerce and Internet business. From their headquarters in Dublin, Baltimore Technologies operates the EuroTrust Trusted Third Party (TTP) infrastructure for electronic commerce throughout the EU. “Baltimore Technologies is excited by ValiCert’s global field trial and feel that this co-operation between leading security providers will accelerate the global expansion of electronic commerce,” said Fran Rooney, CEO of Baltimore Technologies.”

“EuroTrust is at the leading edge of developing a pan-European Trusted Third Party infrastructure exploring aspects of cross certification and authentication,” said Jack Nagle, general manager EuroTrust Services. “ValiCert will provide an ideal opportunity to further explore the logistics and operational issues of a global CA network.”

BelSign issues digital certificates for individuals and corporations to secure business and personal transactions across the Internet and intranets. “BelSign is providing an easy and convenient way to ensure that the participants in an electronic transaction can trust each other,” said Anthony Belpaire, CEO of BelSign. “We look forward to working with ValiCert in offering an important value-added service that will make the Internet a safe place for electronic commerce.”

Thawte is a global provider of security and privacy products and services. “Thawte offers a complete suite of certification services to individuals and organizations,” said Mark Shuttleworth, president and CEO of Thawte. “Given our focus on the creation of a simple, robust trust model for Internet commerce, the partnership with ValiCert makes enormous sense as we cooperatively play a role in the growth of secure online commerce.”

The ValiCert Service

The ValiCert Service is a scalable and network-efficient system for enterprises that are conducting communications and commerce across the Internet. The service enables certificate issuers to distribute all revocation data confirming the validity of a digital certificate in a timely, secure manner. It makes this data — traditionally associated with unscalable, network-intensive certificate revocation lists — easily available to applications and people that they wish to conduct business with around the world. It enables any application, server or person accepting certificates, regardless of its source, to be assured of the certificate’s validity.

The ValiCert Service is targeted at enterprises that are conducting broad- based Internet communications and commerce, as well as individuals using public certificate authorities. Commercial availability of the service is slated for 1998.

The ValiCert Service is part of the company’s comprehensive suite of offerings for certificate validity management, that also includes the ValiCert Toolkit(TM) and the ValiCert Server(TM).

The ValiCert Toolkit is targeted at software developers writing applications that consume certificates. By embedding the toolkit into their applications, vendors enable products to efficiently check certificate validity in Internet or intranet communications.

The ValiCert Server is targeted at enterprises that deploy certificate systems and provides all the technology necessary for confirmation issuance in an intranet setting. The ValiCert Server can also be embedded in certificate issuance and management systems utilized by third-party certificate authorities.

Digital Certificates

Digital certificates are gaining momentum and acceptance for use as electronic credentials for identification (comparable to a driver’s license or employee ID badge), for payment (comparable to a credit card), and for other communications or business transactions conducted over the Internet or corporate intranets today. As with the credit card industry, which developed a way to electronically validate the millions of credit card numbers issued by any bank in the world, the use of digital certificates requires its own clearinghouse network for certificate confirmation, so that individuals and businesses can assure the validity of any certificate.

About ValiCert

ValiCert was established in February 1996 by a group of leading cryptographers and executives from the Internet security industry to build a broad validation infrastructure for electronic commerce. Utilizing technology based on an innovative cryptographic technique called certificate revocation trees, ValiCert delivers an efficient, scalable and transparent solution for checking the validity of digital certificates in any Internet or intranet transaction. The company is collaborating with a number of industry partners including Entegrity Solutions, Entrust Technologies, GTE CyberTrust and Netscape(R) Communications Corporation.

ValiCert is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. and is available on the World Wide Web at , or by e-mail at info@valicert.com.

ValiCert, ValiCert Server, ValiCert Toolkit and the ValiCert Service are trademarks of ValiCert, Inc. Netscape is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation, which is registered in the United States and other jurisdictions.

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Mexican E-Commerce Pilot

Visa, Bancomer, Hewlett-Packard and Verifone launched today the first electronic commerce pilot program in the Americas using the SET 1.0 standard. As a result, Bancomer Visa cardholders will be able to make secure electronic transactions through the Internet. SET 1.0 is a standard developed by Visa in cooperation with other card companies and technology providers. This standard allows both the cardholder and the merchant to authenticate their identity and encrypts the information for transmission through the Internet.

“We take pride in being the first country in the continent to launch an electronic commerce pilot using the SET 1.0 standard. The cooperation between Visa and Bancomer has made it possible for us to offer Mexican cardholders the most advanced payment systems, ensuring their Internet purchases are secure,” said Eduardo Eraña, President of Visa International in Mexico. “This new effort is proof of Bancomer’s vision and Visa’s technological leadership. It also represents a milestone in the Bancomer-Visa partnership for the development of emerging technologies,” he added.

Bancomer is the first Latin American bank to issue digital certificates using the SET 1.0 standard. These certificates authenticate the cardholder as a legitimate Bancomer Visa cardholder with the ability to make secure electronic transactions. In addition, Liverpool is the first merchant to be issued a SET 1.0 certificate by Bancomer. This allows the cardholder to make purchases on the Web with full confidence that the transaction will be secure and backed by both Visa and Bancomer.

“Bancomer offers the best products and services to provide our customers with the highest degree of convenience when making their transactions, using cutting-edge technology HP and Verifone technology, and Visa’s expertise and know-how,” said Guillermo Acedo, Adjunct Director General of Consumer Banking for the Bancomer Financial Group.

As part of its “First Global” program, aimed at offering integrated solutions for financial institutions, HP contributed consulting, integration, support and the system platform. Verifone contributed its expertise as a leading worldwide provider of payment solutions for the physical and virtual environments, making its SET 1.0-based products a reality for financial institutions (vGate), merchants (vPOS), and consumers (vWALLET).

The electronic commerce process starts when the certified cardholder logs on to the Internet to review the Liverpool catalog, selects an item and orders it online. Once the order is placed, the merchant automatically requests authorization from Bancomer to complete the transaction. When authorization is obtained from the bank, the transaction is cleared and settled. Afterward, the merchant ships item to cardholder.

Bancomer Visa Classic, Visa Gold, Visa Debit and Visa Business cardholders are participating in this program.

Visa, “the best way to pay,” is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 Member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. As leader in the development of new programs, Visa has 69 chip card programs currently in operation throughout the world, including over 7 million Visa Cash cards, and is introducing Secure Electronic Transaction programs in over 25 countries in order to promote secure electronic commerce though the Internet. The 600 million Visa cards issued worldwide generate over US$1 trillion in sales volume annually, and are accepted at over 14 million merchants all over the world, including 380,000 ATMs of the Visa/PLUS network.

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First USA Card Bonds Rated

First USA Credit Card Master Trust’s $700 million class A floating rate asset backed certificates, series 1997-10. are expected to be rated ‘AAA’ by Fitch IBCA. The corresponding $63.25 million class B certificates are expected to be rated ‘A+’.

Fitch IBCA’s expected ratings are based on the strength of the Visa and MasterCard collateral pool, available credit enhancement, excellent servicing capabilities of First USA Bank and the solid legal and cash flow structures framing the transaction.

Credit enhancement supporting class A is derived from the subordination of the class B and CIA certificates equal to 17% of the total initial invested amount. Class B investors are protected from losses by the 9.5% CIA certificates. The CIA certificates are interests in the trust subordinate in payment rights to class A and class B.

Several economic and credit stress scenarios were devised by Fitch IBCA to determine appropriate credit enhancement levels. The scenarios simultaneously stress yield, chargeoff and monthly payment rate steady state assumptions. In addition, to address the interest rate risk associated with uncapped floating- rate coupons, the coupon is stressed to worst case London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) levels without a corresponding adjustment to yield.

Under the available enhancement, class A withstands a 35% decrease in yield, a 40% decline in payment rates and chargeoffs increasing to over 30% and still makes full and timely payments of investor principal and interest. Class B sustains a 25% decrease in yield, a 30% decline in payment rates and chargeoffs increasing to more than 20% without suffering a principal or interest loss.

Class A and class B investors will receive monthly interest payments of 0.09% and 0.27% over One-Month LIBOR throughout the revolving and accumulation periods and on the expected maturity date in January 2001, provided an early payout event does not occur. Early amortization of the securities may result from a deterioration in asset quality, transferor insolvency or servicer default.

Fitch IBCA also expects to affirm its outstanding ratings assigned to existing master trust series, indicating series 1997-10 will not result in a reduction or withdrawal of current ratings.

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