GemClub Launched

Gemplus Corporation announced today the availability of GemClub, a re-programmable smart card for loyalty programs that enables card issuers to set loyalty program parameters at the point of sale.

Smart cards are wallet-sized plastic cards that have a microprocessor or memory chip embedded in them that can store and process data. In loyalty applications, smart cards are used by airlines, retail chains, gas stations, and other consumer-oriented businesses to allow customers to collect points each time they perform a transaction.

GemClub’s new operating system, designed specifically for loyalty programs, features modularized intelligence and a re-programmable structure. The card’s intelligence incorporates patented counters that optimize memory, enabling the issuer to store loyalty program parameters — such as the percentage of the purchase to receive points or which days will have double points awarded — directly on the card. Since these rules are stored offline, the issuer can change them at the point of sale terminal, eliminating the need to reissue the card every time program rules are revised or a new award plateau is reached by a customer.

It is the card’s re-programmability that makes it possible to create and delete files, update data, and add new partnerships and applications at the point-of-sale terminal, after the card has been issued.

“In the intensely competitive drive to gain customer loyalty, it is becoming more and more important to personalize the relationship with the customer at the point of sale and to have technology that is quickly adaptable to changing market conditions,” said Bob Riesenbach, manager of Gemplus’ loyalty and private card business division in North America. “Gemplus has specifically designed GemClub to meet these requirements.”

Loyalty Applications

In loyalty applications, smart cards equipped with microprocessors register new points instantly at the point of sale and provide information on the points earned when a purchase is made. Points can instantly be traded in for gifts, discounts, rebates, or services.

Loyalty points based on the amount of the transaction are then downloaded immediately into the chip on the card. Point balances are always current and ready for redemption, and are printed on the customer’s receipt after each transaction.

About Gemplus

Gemplus Corporation is the North American subsidiary of Gemplus Group, the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe and smart cards. It manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.

In 1996, Gemplus Group’s total sales were $440 million. By the end of 1997, the company will have a production capacity of 900 million plastic and smart cards.

Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce. Information about Gemplus’ products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: .


Advanta’s Rebound

Improved credit card margins due to re-pricing, and growth in its mortgage and business services areas continue to fuel Advanta’s recovery. For the third quarter Advanta posted net income of $42.4 million or about 92 cents per share. Advanta’s net interest margin topped 8% for the third quarter compared to 7.6% in the second quarter and 6.19% during third quarter 1996. Chargeoffs continue to dog Advanta rising to 7.39% for the quarter compared to 3.7% a year ago and 30+ day delinquency increased to 5.2% compared to 3.89% last year. Both areas increased slightly over the second quarter in percentage terms but actually declined in absolute dollars. Advanta’s card portfolio continues to contract ending the quarter at $10.5 billion compared to $12.7 billion at the beginning of the year.


Biometrics & Smart Cards

Keyware Technologies and Bull CP8, a unit of Groupe Bull today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding joint cooperation on the development, promotion and distribution of biometric authentication and smart card technology. The joint development will encompass implementation of personal authentication technology by Keyware Technologies’ LBV, Layered Biometric Verification in Bull smart cards. Keyware Technologies, the pioneer of layered biometric verification applications, and Bull CP8, the world-leader in CPU-based smart cards, with a 60% market share, will initially deliver Smart Card solutions integrating voice verification. At a later stage these will be extended with facial, finger print and other personal characteristics. The MOU encompasses the intention of combined promotion and marketing by both Bull CP8 and Keyware Technologies in all major world markets.

![][1] The developments will be achieved under PC/SC Workgroup Specifications. The PC/SC Workgroup was formed in 1996 by Microsoft, Bull CP8, Hewlett-Packard, Schlumberger and Siemens Nixdorf, to address critical technical issues related to the integration of smart card technology with the PC. The PC/SC Workgroup recently presented the specifications of the PS/SC standard.

Francis Declercq, President and CEO of Keyware Technologies states: “The application of layered biometric verification in Smart Cards will provide enhanced security to both users and service providers. We are delighted that Bull CP8 has selected our unique technology.” The SDK of VoiceGuardian, the voice verification application for software developers, systems integrators and OEMs wishing to develop smart card applications based on LBV, will be released this month. The rapid growth of three key markets – electronic commerce, corporate Intranets and physical access – is driving the demand for numerous smart card applications protected by biometrics. Keyware Technologies and Bull aim to provide an unprecedented platform for exciting new applications based on biometrics.

According to Eric Pradier, Bull CP8 Vice President, “Smart Card Technology provides a secure platform for consumer payments and gives scope for service differentiation. Thousands of organisations have already started implementing their own smart card applications aimed at new markets. Smart card-based applications are starting to take off in a big way now all over the world. In particular, Bull CP8 is a major supplier to large projects on a national and international scale in areas such as Electronic Purse, Health Cards, EMV bank cards, etc. This market trend presents a great opportunity for software developers, VARs, Masters VARs, integrators, ISVs and dealers. Bull and Keyware Technologies intend to prepare the best platform for Biometric Applications based on the new specification of the PC/SC Consortium. In the meantime, Bull CP8 will reinforce the Smart Advantage Program towards its indirect channels.”

By the end of the century, well over 1 billion smart cards will be produced annually. Microprocessor-based cards will represent in terms of value, nearly 80% of the total card business by the beginning of the next century. Industry analysts believe that the market for PC-based smart card applications will experience a boom during the next few years. Recent surveys from Dataquest show that sales of such smart card applications, including personal identification, electronic purse, authentication, Internet and Intranet security, community and personal entertainment applications, will grow 20-fold by the year 2000.

Bull CP8, a unit of Groupe Bull, Louveciennes, France, is the world leader in secure smart-card solutions. Bull CP8’s history in smart cards goes back to their inception in 1979, when in collaboration with Motorola, Michel Ugon of Bull CP8 produced the world’s first microprocessor card. Since then, Bull has gone on to leverage this technology advantage through the deployment of world-beating products. Bull CP8 is the world leader in smart card operating systems, with over 60% of all chip cards sold based on Bull CP8 technology. More than 140 million Bull CP8 microprocessor cards are in use worldwide. Bull CP8 develops and offers a range of products, including contact and contactless smart cards, secure card operating systems (including the only smart card to receive the ITSEC’s “E3 strong” security classification), turnkey payment cards and electronic purse systems, WAN and LAN security systems, automated teller machines (ATMs), electronic cash dispensers, statement printers, POS terminals and software. Services include full technical and applications consulting, training and customer service and support. Bull CP8 supplies the most successful electronic purse card in the world, with more than 10 million cards being distributed across Europe and beyond.

Keyware Technologies has offices in Brussels and Woburn, Massachusetts, USA. The company is the pioneer in LBV, Layered Biometric Verification, technology solutions. Keyware Technologies specialises in applied biometrics – the science of verifying an individual’s identity by means of personal characteristics, for example voice, face and fingerprints. These unique and inimitable biometric features are stored and matched against samples of spoken passwords, prints and facial snapshots. This ensures the highest possible security levels. Keyware Technologies is the first company to offer layered biometric verification. The company caters for multiple markets, including network, data, telephony, Internet/ Intranet and physical access.

[1]: /graphic/bull/bull.gif


Equifax Banner Quarter

Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today reported outstanding third quarter results driven by double digit revenue growth, continued operating leverage and the strong performance of Credit Reporting Services, Card Services and European operations.

Third quarter highlights which contributed to these results include:

— Revenues for the period ending September 30, 1997, climbed 13.7% to $344.1 million compared to the prior year period.

— Operating income of $82.7 million increased 22.9% over the comparable period.

— Earnings per share from continuing operations rose from $.27 during the same period last year to $.33 for the third quarter of 1997.

“Equifax continues to deliver strong growth momentum once again with these record-setting third quarter results. The company is strategically positioned to continue to capitalize on global opportunities as demand for our products and services remains strong,” said Equifax Vice-Chairman and CEO Daniel W. McGlaughlin. “Equifax has posted earnings per share increases, before unusual items, averaging more than 19% over the last four years, and earnings per share from continuing operations, before unusual items, are up 24% through the first nine months of 1997.”

Chief Financial Officer Dave Post said, “The operating leverage inherent in our business remains evident, as the operating income margin set a third quarter record of 24.0% versus 22.2% in 1996.” During the quarter the Company’s stock repurchase program remained active, with .9 million shares of stock repurchased for $28 million. Approximately $72 million remained available for repurchase as of September 30, 1997.

During the third quarter, Equifax incurred expenses of about $1.4 million related to Year 2000 compliance. Equifax has been addressing the issue to ensure its systems are ready well in advance of the Millennium. For the year, Equifax estimates Year 2000 compliance expenses of $.02 to $.03 per share.


Credit Services revenue of $153.4 million increased 5.5% and operating income of $58.5 million increased 12.2%, primarily due to growth in Credit Reporting Services, Credit Marketing Services and Risk Management, but revenue was negatively impacted by the second quarter divestiture of National Decision Systems. Credit Reporting Services revenue benefited from strong demand within the banking and telecommunications industries. The divestiture of National Decision Systems will have a negative impact on the fourth quarter earnings comparison, because the majority of this unit’s income was recognized during the fourth quarter.

Payment Services revenue of $108.6 million grew 28.2% led by strong growth in Card Services. Card Services revenue grew 59.5% as a result of increased business and the acquisition of CSG Card Services. Payment Services operating income of $18.2 million increased 13.5% benefiting from the strong revenue growth in Card Services as well as improvement within Check Services but was partially offset by the timing of software sales with FBS Software.

Revenue in International Operations of $79.7 million grew 35.1% as a result of Canadian and European credit operations, acquisitions in Canada and the purchase of the remaining 50% interest of DICOM in Chile. Operating income in International Operations of $13.1 million increased 22.1% as a result of strong performance of U.K. operations, continuing operating leverage from the integration of European acquisitions and the DICOM acquisition.

Revenue in General Information Services, which now solely consists of revenue associated with the lottery subcontract, was $2.4 million, and operating income was $2.2 million.

Equifax is a world leader in providing financial information and processing solutions, with global operations in consumer and commercial credit information services, payment services, software, modeling, analytics and consulting and direct-to-consumer services. The company serves many industries including banking, finance, retail, credit card, telecommunications and utilities and health care. Equifax was founded in 1899 in Atlanta and today has 10,000 employees around the world. It operates globally in 17 countries, with sales in 40 countries. Equifax revenues for the 12 months ended September 30, 1997, exceeded $1.3 billion.

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

Third quarter (Unaudited) 1997 1996
Operating revenue $344,086 $302,712
Income from continuing operations:
Operating income before impairment
loss $ 82,737 $ 67,300
Asset impairment loss (A) — —
Operating income 82,737 67,300
Other income, net (B) 1,489 754
Interest expense (5,229) (4,191)
Income from continuing operations
before income taxes 78,997 63,863
Provision for income taxes 31,757 25,322
Income from continuing operations 47,240 38,541

Discontinued operations (C):
Income from discontinued operations,
net of income taxes of $4,872 for the
2nd quarter of 1996, and $10,179 and
$12,258 for the first nine months of
1997 and 1996 respectively — 7,263
Costs associated with effecting the
spinoff, net of income tax benefit
of $2,154 — —
Total discontinued operations — 7,263
Net income $ 47,240 $ 45,804
Average number of shares outstanding 144,226 144,752

Per common share:
Income from continuing operations $0.33 $0.27
Income from discontinued operations — 0.05
Costs associated with effecting the
spinoff — —
Net income $0.33 $0.32

Nine months (Unaudited) 1997 1996
Operating revenue $999,114 $890,661
Income from continuing operations:
Operating income before impairment
loss $229,048 $186,445
Asset impairment loss (A) — (10,313)
Operating income 229,048 176,132
Other income, net (B) 44,652 10,166
Interest expense (15,033) (11,426)
Income from continuing operations
before income taxes 258,667 174,872
Provision for income taxes 111,696 69,337
Income from continuing operations 146,971 105,535

Discontinued operations (C):
Income from discontinued operations,
net of income taxes of $4,872 for the
2nd quarter of 1996, and $10,179 and
$12,258 for the first nine months of
1997 and 1996 respectively 14,336 18,244
Costs associated with effecting the
spinoff, net of income tax benefit
of $2,154 (12,887) —
Total discontinued operations 1,449 18,244
Net income $148,420 $123,779
Average number of shares outstanding 144,659 145,781

Per common share:
Income from continuing operations $1.02 $0.72
Income from discontinued operations 0.10 0.13
Costs associated with effecting the
spinoff (0.09) —
Net income $1.03 $0.85

(A) — In accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 121, “Accounting for the Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and for Long-Lived Assets to be Disposed of,” in June 1996, the Company recorded a loss to write off certain intangible assets in the Healthcare division of its General Information Services segment.

(B) — During the second quarter of 1997, the Company’s National Decision Systems business unit was sold resulting in a pretax gain of $42.8 million ($17.9 million net of tax, or $.12 per share) recorded as other income.

(C) — In December 1996, the Company announced its intention to split into two independent publicly traded companies by spinning off its Insurance Services industry segment through a pro rata, tax-free dividend of stock in the new company (ChoicePoint Inc.) to existing Equifax shareholders. In July 1997, the Company received a favorable ruling from the IRS regarding the tax-free status of the dividend, and on August 7, 1997, the dividend of ChoicePoint stock took place. Accordingly, the Company’s Insurance Services segment results are now shown as discontinued operations, and the costs associated with effecting the spinoff have been expensed.


KeyCorp Names Consumer Vice Chairman

KeyBank the $66 billion banking unit of KeyCorp — announced today that it has named Sandra Maltby vice chairman of the bank’s three principal consumer segments.

Previously the executive in charge of Key’s small business division, Maltby, 38, will lead KeyBank’s nationwide efforts to develop and deliver innovative products and services to consumers in the company’s small business, mature market and retail private banking segments. Earlier this year, under Maltby’s direction, KeyBank was named the nation’s top small business lender.

The move underscores KeyBank’s commitment to structuring its organization and resources — its KeyCenter network, marketing and sales efforts and electronic banking — around the needs and lifestyles of distinct customer segments. Maltby will continue to report to Robert G. Jones, president of Retail Banking.

“Sandy’s stellar performance and success with Key’s small business division make her ideally qualified to define the framework within which Key will develop the products and services consumers need to manage their finances and plan for their futures,” said Gary R. Allen, KeyBank chairman and chief executive officer. “Sandy brings to her new role a keen understanding of the economic issues facing consumers and the strategic expertise to maximize Key’s office network, salesforce and electronic delivery alternatives to deliver sound financial solutions.”

Maltby began her career in the credit card center of the former Ameritrust Company N.A. in 1978. There she earned various promotions, assuming the position of assistant vice president and small business lender in 1987. She was elected vice president in 1988 and was responsible for the sales and service of one of Ameritrust’s largest retail branch networks. When Ameritrust merged with Society Corporation (now KeyCorp) in 1991, she was promoted to senior vice president of Society’s Merchant Services Division. In 1994, Maltby was named head of Key’s Small Business Services Division. There, she spearheaded the launch of one of Key’s most successful consumer business lines. In 1997 she was promoted to executive vice president.

Maltby is a member of the Consumer Bankers Association’s Small Business committee, a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council and a member of the BAI Corporate Services Commission. She is a leader of a number of initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs face the many challenges associated with owning a small business. She has addressed such audiences as the Wharton University Entrepreneurial Club, the Harvard University Enterprise Club and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She has frequently appeared in both television and print media discussing issues relevant to America’s small businesses and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of small business.

Maltby earned a bachelor of business administration degree and a master of business administration degree from Baldwin-Wallace College.

KeyBank National Association is a subsidiary of KeyCorp, one of the nation’s largest financial services companies with assets of approximately $70 billion. Through three principal lines of business — corporate banking, consumer finance, and community banking — the Cleveland- based company provides retail and wholesale banking, investment, financing, and money management services to individuals and companies across the U.S. Key companies have a presence in 46 states from Maine to Alaska, including its network of KeyCenters, 1,900 ATMs, affiliate offices, and four telebanking centers (1-800-KEY2YOU) that provide financial products and services 24 hours a day, every day of the year. KeyCorp’s Web site can be found at .


Norwest Moves Card Portfolio to NV

Norwest Corporation said today it will transfer its $1 billion credit card portfolio from Norwest Bank Iowa to Norwest Bank Nevada. The transfer is scheduled December 31, 1997. The move will affect 40 of the 635 Norwest Card Services jobs in Des Moines.

“Iowa laws regulating the credit card business are more restrictive than the laws of the states where most of our competition is located,” said Brian O’Hare, president of Norwest Card Services. “Nevada law gives card issuers more flexibility to set prices and other terms based on conditions in the competitive market rather than setting them by regulation. By issuing credit cards from a state such as Nevada, we’ll be able to compete equitably with the rest of our industry. This transfer will have no effect on our ability to continue providing outstanding service to our one million customers. Norwest Card Services continues to be committed to Iowa and we intend to maintain many of our operations here in Des Moines.”

The 40 positions that will move from Des Moines to Las Vegas comprise the credit department. Credit analysts whose positions will move to Nevada will be given the opportunity to relocate to the Las Vegas area. “For those employees who don’t want to move to Nevada, we will make every effort to find other positions for them within the Norwest family of businesses in Des Moines,” said O’Hare.

Norwest Card Services is currently part of Norwest Bank Iowa, a subsidiary of Norwest Corporation, an $85.3 billion financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through 3,844 stores in all 50 states, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America and elsewhere internationally.


MoneyGram Signs 100th Country

MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. announced today that it now provides consumer money transfer service to 100 countries. The 100th country was reached this month with the addition of the Republic of South Africa to the worldwide MoneyGram network.

Robbin L. Ayers, Executive Vice President of MoneyGram and General Manager of the company’s international business, said: “The start of service to South Africa marks a milestone achievement for MoneyGram, which has been steadily expanding its international network since 1988, when this modern consumer money transfer service was first introduced as a new payment product within American Express. Now, as an independent company providing service to all parts of the globe, MoneyGram Payment Systems offers customers the ability to send funds rapidly and reliably to countries comprising about 80 percent of the world’s population. And we are continuing to add more countries to the MoneyGram network.”

MoneyGram’s agent in South Africa is Rennie’s, which operates travel agencies in cities and towns throughout the country. Initially, five of these travel offices have joined the network of more than 21,000 retail business locations (including supermarkets, banks, check-cashing stores, travel agencies and convenience stores) in 100 countries that serve as MoneyGram agents — handling the origination and payout of money transfer transactions. Rennie’s is an affiliate of United Kingdom-based Thomas Cook Financial Services, MoneyGram Payment Systems’ joint-venture partner in the development of its international money transfer business.

In addition to South Africa, 15 other countries have become part of the worldwide MoneyGram network during 1997, including Nigeria, Yemen and Venezuela.

MoneyGram money transfer service addresses the needs of a wide range of users who require a fast, reliable and convenient means of sending and receiving money. These users include expatriate or guest workers who regularly send money to support families back in their home countries. Regular users also include travelers who need cash in emergency situations, students, business people and military personnel who find themselves in need of fast, reliable funds delivery.

The largest destination country for money transfers outside of the United States is Mexico, which is the home country of several million migrant workers who spend part of the year working in the U.S. MoneyGram’s business began to grow significantly when, in 1990, it introduced a service that enabled these guest workers to wire money to their loved ones at home for next-day receipt. This represented a substantial improvement over the traditional trans-border money transfer service that had previously been available. As a result, the U.S.-to-Mexico money transfer service, became, and remains, a major component of MoneyGram’s business.

Organized in January 1996 to operate the money transfer service previously provided by First Data Corporation, MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. today is a leading non-bank provider of consumer money transfer and other financial services. Through the MoneyGram(SM) network of more than 21,000 convenient agent locations, customers can wire cash in minutes to more than 100 countries throughout the world. MoneyGram Express Payment(SM) service enables credit card issuers, mortgage servicers, finance companies, collections companies and others to collect good-funds payments from delinquent debtors within hours. The company completed the initial public offering of its common shares on December 11, 1996.


Transit Card Alliance Formed

Motorola’s Smartcard Systems Business (SSB) and ERG Limited, a transit fare collection and smart card systems provider, today announced they are forming a smart card marketing alliance to pursue global opportunities in transit and certain multi-application smart card system technologies. The announcement was made at the Cartes ’97 Exhibition and Conference.

The alliance will bring together two significant global players with a full range of expertise necessary for providing transit operators with more efficient and cost effective smart card system solutions.

“By working with ERG, Motorola can draw on the resources of a transit fare collection systems expert with solid experience in clearinghouse and multi-agency fare systems, to provide a complete smart card solution which includes transit applications,” said Mark Davies, Motorola vice president and director of the company’s Smartcard Systems Business.

“By combining our expertise of total fare collection operations with Motorola’s extensive knowledge of smart card product development, software system solutions and system integration and their worldwide distribution organization, we will strengthen our position in the global smart card market, enabling us to offer enhanced transit solutions,” said Peter Fogarty, CEO of ERG.

In transit applications, smart card technology offers faster through put, speeding up the boarding process and making it more convenient for commuters. Also, the technology can provide a wealth of ridership data, which can be used to optimize routes and schedules. Smart card technology can eliminate cash handling and the cost of producing, distributing, collecting and managing fare media.

ERG is a world leader in transit systems utilizing smart card technology. Its wholly owned fare collection division, AES Prodata, was the first company in the world to introduce smart card ticketing to public transport 10 years ago. Recently, ERG implemented the world’s most sophisticated contactless smart card system in Hong Kong. This system is now handling more than 2.0 million transactions per day for six transit operators. That figure is expected to grow to more than 4 million per day in the coming months.

Motorola’s Smartcard Systems Business (SSB) provides its M-Smart(TM) solutions portfolio of smart card products and systems ranging from combination contact/contactless cards, readers and terminals, network infrastructure and system integration services that support multiple smart card applications for customers worldwide. The unit is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, U.S.A.

Motorola, Inc. is one of the world’s leading providers of wireless communications, semiconductors and advanced electronic systems and services. Major equipment businesses include cellular telephone, two-way radio, paging and data communications, personal communications, automotive, defense and space electronics and computers. Communications devices, computers and millions of other products are powered by Motorola semiconductors. Motorola’s 1996 sales were $28 billion.


NationsBank’s Treasury Management Services Website

Commercial businesses are always looking for services that will help them meet their strategic goals. Now they have a new source for information on treasury management services thanks to the NationsBank Treasury Management Web Site.

The web site, located at , offers a wealth of information on payment, receipt, and cash management services to internet users.

The web site was launched on October 7.

“The NationsBank Treasury Management web site is a valuable tool for businesses,” stated Karen 0. Brooks, Vice President, NationsBank Internet Site Manager. “On-line users can do more than find the right mix of treasury management products to meet their needs. They have access to relevant articles and tips that can help them run their business operations more efficiently.”

Visitors to the site will be able to access a number of different areas. By entering a few key pieces of data on their business operations, The Product Finder gives the user customized product information that will best suit their needs.

The What’s New section gives timely information about treasury management and how these advances can help improve business operations. This section will be updated monthly, and will include articles as well as interactive activities. There is also a calendar listing of treasury management seminars in regions across the country. It will be updated frequently, and offers a drop down box by state.

Both customers and prospects can contact a treasury management representative for customer service and product information through the site’s 1-800 customer support line. Customer service numbers are listed in the Contact Us section, and e-mail capability will be added in the coming months.

According to the Ernst & Young Annual Cash Management Survey, NationsBank is ranked second largest in the nation in Cash Management Revenue. As of June 30, 1997, NationsBank had total assets of $240 billion.


CyberDisplay & Wallet Docking Stations Coming

Kopin Corporation and Gemplus today announced a multi-year business alliance agreement under which the companies intend to jointly develop and design smart card personal viewing systems and collaborate with major cellular phone manufacturers and world leading financial institutions to produce cellular phone electronic wallet docking stations. Based upon Kopin’s full color, high resolution, ultra low power CyberDisplays, Kopin and Gemplus are bringing together cellular service providers, cellular phone manufacturers and worldwide financial institutions to provide everyday cellular phone users with complete electronic purse and electronic commerce services. This will enable current wireless operators to add applications, such as electronic purse and loyalty to the smart cards currently being used by their customers.

The agreement combines the smart card technology of Gemplus, the world’s largest provider of smart cards, producing an estimated 900 million new cards in 1997, with Kopin’s capabilities in high resolution displays for portable communication products. The goal of the agreement is to offer customers the integration of smart cards and related electronic commerce solutions with Kopin’s CyberDisplays based upon the global reach of both companies and their range of applications, services and technology products.

Kopin and Gemplus have further agreed to use each other’s products in certain applications during the term of the agreement. In addition, the companies will evaluate other joint development activities.

Kopin’s CyberDisplay is the world’s smallest high-performance, high resolution, full function information display. Based on Kopin’s patented SMART SLIDE technology, the CyberDisplay is a 0.24 inch diagonal transmissive active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) imaging device which displays information at 320 by 240 pixel resolution. It enables portable communication devices and personal information products, including smart card viewers, cellular phones and pagers, to display text, e-mail, e-purse, e-commerce, graphics, photographs and video from Internet, intranet and other data or video sources.

Dr. John C. C. Fan, Kopin’s president and chief executive officer, said “This major initiative with Gemplus is another significant step towards establishing Kopin’s CyberDisplay as an industry standard for small form factor flat panel displays. The Gemplus alliance is a very significant business opportunity for Kopin because Gemplus is the unsurpassed leader in providing smart card solutions and applications to customers around the world.”

Marc Lassus, chief executive officer and founder of Gemplus, stated “With this Agreement, Gemplus has enhanced its capabilities in the area of smart card personal viewers and portable wireless electronic commerce systems by providing our customers with the most advanced high resolution, low cost, portable display solutions. In the smart card industry, cost, performance and reliability are all equally important. Kopin’s CyberDisplay is superior in all three areas.”

“New wireless data services, such as electronic mail, electronic commerce, electronic banking and improved wireless security are becoming increasingly more important to our wireless customers”, said Jay Sheth, director of strategic planning at GTE Wireless. “As an industry leader in providing wireless communications, GTE Wireless believes that smart card technologies and small high resolution, low cost color displays from companies like Gemplus and Kopin, will play an important role in delivering next generation wireless data services.”

“We are very excited about being a Kopin partner and bringing the visual age to wireless communications. The CyberDisplay enables high resolution data, graphics and other pertinent information to be clearly displayed in a form factor not previously available,” said Tim Boyd, senior director of product management and marketing for Siemens Wireless Terminals. “Kopin’s display technology coupled with our advanced handset features will improve the functionality of our wireless products.”

Kopin is a leading developer and manufacturer of high resolution, flat panel display products and Wafer-Engineering electronic materials for telecommunications applications. Kopin’s manufacturing alliance with UMC/Unipac, complemented by Kopin’s recently announced business alliance with Motorola, has positioned this team as the first global alliance to offer high volume, low cost microdisplay systems for a large variety of applications.

About Kopin

Founded in 1984 with initial technology developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kopin holds over 125 patents and patent applications for technological breakthroughs in Wafer-Engineered materials and flat panel display technology. These technologies have enabled Kopin to market display products and Wafer-Engineered materials that enhance the delivery and presentation of video, voice and data. The Company has combined advanced AMLCD and integrated circuit technology to produce its CyberDisplay products, a family of ultra-small, high density imaging devices. Wireless telecommunication providers are using Kopin’s Wafer-Engineered electronic materials for high-performance integrated circuits used in advanced pagers, cellular phones and other portable communications devices. For more information, please visit Kopin’s web site at .

About Gemplus

Gemplus Group is the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe cards and smart cards. Gemplus manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.

In 1996, Gemplus total sales were $440 million. In 1997, the company boasts a production capacity of 900 million magnetic stripe and smart cards.

Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce.

Information about Gemplus products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: .

Wafer-Engineered, CyberDisplay and SMART SLIDE are trademarks of Kopin Corporation.

Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made under “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could materially affect future results. Among these risk factors are general economic and business conditions and growth in the flat panel display and gallium arsenide integrated circuit and materials industries, the impact of competitive products and pricing, availability of third-party components, availability of integrated circuit fabrication facilities, cost and yields associated with the production of the Company’s SMART SLIDE imaging devices and Wafer-Engineered materials, loss of significant customers, acceptance of the Company’s products, continuation of collaborative agreements and the other risk factors and cautionary statements listed from time to time in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 1996.


GemFlash Antenna Module Arrives

Gemplus Corporation today announced the availability of GemFlash, the first antenna module for contactless smart cards. GemFlash reduces labor costs associated with the production of contactless cards by at least 20%.

Before GemFlash, manufacturing contactless smart cards required the hand placement of the wireless communications antenna between two layers of laminated plastic — a time-consuming and costly process.

With GemFlash, Gemplus is implementing technical advances that make it possible to secure this antenna around the outside rim of a smart card module. This means that contactless smart cards can now be produced using the same manufacturing process used for manufacturing contact smart cards. This process typically involves either melting down recyclable ABS plastic that is then injected into a card mold with a cavity for the module, or making card bodies from PVC laminated sheets and drilling a cavity. Once the card body is produced, the smart card module is embedded into the module cavity. With GemFlash, contactless smart cards can be manufactured using the same process, however, the GemFlash contactless smart card module — with an incorporated antenna attached — is embedded into the cavity.

This new method of producing contactless smart cards uses the same silicon chips as were used in cards manufactured using the traditional lamination process, only the antenna form and its placement on the card are different.

“With GemFlash, for the first time, Gemplus has a means of using the quicker, less labor-intensive contact smart card technology to produce contactless smart cards,” said Steven Landau, director of Gemplus’ Transportation and Physical Access Control business division for North and South America.

About Contactless Smart Cards

Contactless smart cards are used as identification cards and for physical access in applications such as mass transit, stadium, corporate campus, conventions, building access and amusement parks.

They use radio frequency technology to communicate with a smart card reader, instead of being inserted into the device (contact smart cards). Contactless smart cards transmit and record (read/write) data when placed within a few inches of a reader. They also significantly reduce transaction times compared to cards that require physical insertion in a reader.

In addition to GemFlash, the Gemplus range of contactless smart cards includes GemEasy (the conventional laminated card), GemTwin (a dual-chip, contact/ contactless hybrid card), and GemCombi (a single-chip, contact/contactless card).

Pricing And Availability

The GemFlash 8000 card (8 Kbits) is available now. GemFlash 300 (384 bits) will be available in December 1997. A full range of GemFlash products ranging from 80 bits to 2 Kbytes will be available during 1998. Gemplus will have the capacity to produce 10 million antenna modules per month in 1998. Due to production economies realized by this new process, GemFlash cards will sell for as low as $1.00, depending on volume and memory size.

About Gemplus

Gemplus Group is the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe cards and smart cards. Gemplus manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic RFID tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.

In 1996, Gemplus’ total sales were $440 million. In 1997, the company boasts a production capacity of 900 million magnetic stripe and smart cards.

Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce.

Information about Gemplus’ products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: .


MBNA Dividends

MBNA Announces Quarterly Common Stock Dividend

MBNA’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.08 per common share, payable January 1, 1998, to stockholders of record as of December 15, 1997. On a pre-split basis the dividend would be equivalent to $.12 per common share.

MBNA Corporation (NYSE: KRB), a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $46.2 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the country’s second largest credit card lender, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, insurance, and card acceptance services.

MBNA Corporation Announces Preferred Stock Dividends

MBNA Corporation announced today a quarterly dividend of $.46875 per share on the 7-1/2% Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series A, a quarterly dividend of $.3932 per share on the Adjustable Rate Cumulative Preferred Stock, Series B, and a quarterly dividend of $.515625 on the 8.25% MBNA Capital C Trust Originated Preferred Securities. All preferred stock dividends are payable January 15, 1998 to stockholders of record as of December 31, 1997.

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $46.2 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the country’s second largest credit card lender, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, insurance, and card acceptance services.