MasterCard Promotion

MasterCard has launched a “Vote For Your Vette” promotion in conjunction with the Corvette’s 50th anniversary next year. Corvette MasterCard users and online visitors will have a chance to win a 2003 “50th Anniversary Corvette” and a trip to the “Corvette 50th Anniversary” celebration. Corvette MasterCard users will be automatically entered on card for purchases of ten dollars or more until April 30th. Online visitors simply need to vote for their favorite model to enter. Consumers will be vote from all 50 model years. The most popular model will be used on a special commemorative (Household Bank-issued) MasterCard. As part of the celebration, Household is also offering the first-ever GM officially licensed “Corvette MasterCard.”

IGNITE SMART CARDS

San Diego-based Patriot Scientific has inked a deal with a major
Chinese manufacturer to integrate its “IGNITE” embedded microprocessor
technology into a silicon solution for a smart card product. Last year,
China issued a total of 320.2 million smart cards, among those were 253.3
million memory IC cards and 66.9 million CPU based cards. China’s smart
card industries have formed an industrial chain to accelerate the
development and modernization of finance, telecom, transportation and other
industries. PTSC has successfully integrated the industry’s smallest and
most powerful RISC 32-bit microprocessor. It also has a full Java
application environment.

TransFort 5.0

Arcot Systems released version 5.0 of its popular “TransFort” payment authentication solution which supports all aspects of the “Verified by Visa” and MasterCard “SecureCode” programs. “TransFort 5.0” provides a full set of options for authentication and administration issuers of credit and offline debit cards. The options range from simple passwords to smart cards to “ArcotID” software smart card. “TransFort 5.0 for Merchants” is designed for use in-house at individual merchants, at merchant acquiring gateways, and with hosted payment service providers. “TransFort 5.0 for Payment Organizations” includes directory servers and authentication verifiers that route messages from merchants to issuers.

Metris Lawsuits

Shareholder lawsuits against Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank were filed last week by several litigation firms. The suits allege that Metris misled the investing community concerning the existence and the adverse material effect of a Report of Examination issued by the OCC. The lawsuits also allege that the OCC released the ROE to defendants on November 5, 2001, but Metris failed to reveal the existence of the ROE to the public until April 17, and thereafter misrepresented the effect it would have on Metris. Metris stock is currently trading around $2 per share compared to $29 per share one year ago. The law firms filing suits include: Weiss & Yourman; Lockridge Grindal Nauen; Stull, Stull & Brody; Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates; and Schiffrin & Barroway. Metris reported a net loss for the second quarter of $36.4 million. The managed credit card loan portfolio at June 30, was $11.7 billion, a decrease of $81 million during the quarter. Credit card charge volume decreased 14% to $2.2 billion in the second quarter of 2002, compared to $2.5 billion in the second quarter of 2001, according to CardData (www.carddata.com).

Triton Waves

In December, Triton ATM users will have the ability to make Western Union money transfers, buy prepaid wireless phone minutes and cash government or payroll checks. “Triton Waves” includes three service partners: Western Union, Euronet’s “PaySpot” prepaid wireless phone recharge and Cashworks check cashing services. MS-based Triton says it will be adding additional bundles of services to the “Triton Waves” offering in coming months. “Triton Waves” is an acronym for “Triton with added value enabled services.” Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 70,000 installations in over 17 countries worldwide.

Discover Promotion

Discover Card is launching a new promotion tomorrow offering its cardholders a chance to win a balance pay-off at the start of 2003. The “Ring in the Rewards with Discover Card” promotion features a sweepstakes with ten “Balance Paid in Full” (up to $10,000) grand prizes. Winners will be announced on Discover Card’s Times Square sign on New Year’s Eve. This year’s promotion also includes “Everyday Rewards” in the October billing statements. Participating merchants include: Bed Bath & Beyond, Borders, Burlington Coat Factory, The Sharper Image, and Waldenbooks. Discover Card is also setting up Discover Card kiosks to high-traffic shopping areas in 10 cities across the country in November and December, offering hot beverages and coupons to people who show a recent Discover Card receipt. The print campaign to support the “Ring in the Rewards with Discover Card” promotion will launch October 1st as well as visuals on the Discover Card sign in Times Square.

FleetBoston Campaign

FleetBoston launched this weekend a new advertising campaign for small business created by advertising agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos. The new multimedia advertising campaign will will include TV, radio, our of home and in-branch materials, as well as print and radio ads targeting individual consumers.

LASERCARDS

Drexler Technology Corporation, as a subcontractor, has received a
US$7.4 million order for its LaserCard multi-biometric ID cards from U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service and U.S. Department of State. U.S.
Department of State “Laser Visa” cards are used by more than five million
frequent visitors from Mexico for crossing the border, allowing travel up
to 25 miles into the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas
for 72-hour visits for shopping and other consumer activities. Under the
U.S. government subcontract, awarded to Drexler in June 2000 for up to 24
million “LaserCard” optical memory cards, approximately 11,320,000 cards
have been ordered thus far under seven purchase orders, including the
latest order. The LaserCard optical memory card is capable of recording and
storing up to 2,800 kilobytes (2.8 megabytes) of digital data.

IFS TPII

Moscow-based Progressive Systems & Technology has signed an agreement for
ten TPII licenses from NY-based IFS International. PS&T is a provider of
payment and debit card solutions to banks
within the Russian Federation and Commonwealth of Independent States. PS&T
customers include the Union Card group which is the largest debit card
operating throughout the Russian Federation with more than 300 member
banks. IFS also announced the opening of a production services center in
Moscow.

Net.Pay

Sallie Mae’s new EBPP solution, “Net.Pay,” is picking up steam among colleges and universities across the country. More than one hundred campuses at 42 colleges and universities are now using “Net.Pay” products and services. The “Net.Pay” suite enables students and alumni to make secure Internet payments using a credit card, debit card or ACH debit. The solution also features: electronic bill presentment and payment, lockbox and statement processing services, storefront technology, pay-by-phone capabilities with interactive voice response and tuition payment plan. The “Net.Pay” suite also gives students and their families the ability to schedule payments in advance and receive counseling on payment options. Institutions which have recently implemented “Net.Pay” products and services include: Emerson College, DePaul University, Missouri Western State College, University of Central Arkansas, University of Colorado, University of Louisiana, University of Richmond, and SUNY-Utica.