ASK FUNDING

Sophia Antipolis-based ASK has closed a new round of financing of
US$15.8 million. Apax Partners enters into the capitalization of ASK
alongside three existing investors that contributed $3.2 million to this
round, CDC-Ixis Innovation, Credit Lyonnais Private Equity and the Banque
de Vizille. New investors AdAstra and iglobe partners invested $4.9
million in this round. Other existing investors are Advent Venture
Partners and LongTerm Partners. The additional funding enables ASK, which
will approximately double its sales to $20.9 million this year, to
accelerate its already strong growth. The investment comes at a time when
the worldwide market is developing rapidly, growing 46% in 2001 and
forecast to grow 58% in 2002. ASK will utilize the new capital to expand
its production capacity and to accelerate its international sales activity,
particularly in America and Asia.

Certegy 3Q/02

Certegy Inc. reported third quarter revenue of $254.5 million and net income of $24.4 million compared to $238.0 million in revenues and $26.0 million in net income for 3Q/01. Certegy added 2.2 million cards globally during the quarter, increasing its North American card base to 22.2 million and its international card base to 24.0 million. Card Services generated revenue of $167.6 million an increase of 2.9% over the prior year quarter. International card revenue declined by 2.3% due to unfavorable currency rates and volatile economic conditions in Brazil. Check Services generated revenue of $86.9 million in the third quarter, an increase of $11.7 million, or 15.6% over the third quarter of 2001. Check volumes increased 11.7% over the prior year quarter. Check Services’ operating income grew to $12.1 million, or 4.1% over third quarter 2001. The company expects 2003 revenue to increase 6% to 8%. For complete details on Certegy’s 3Q/02 earnings visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

Business Science

Fair, Isaac unveiled its “Business Science” suite yesterday. A result of synergies created by the recent merger of Fair, Isaac and HNC Software, “Business Science” integrates the combined company’s standard-setting decision management technologies and makes them available to custom application developers. The introduction of Fair, Isaac’s new product suite corresponds with growing industry interest in the area of Enterprise Decision Management, or EDM. Enterprise Decision Management refers to the ways that organizations model, analyze and drive business processes based on data, business policies and desired outcomes. “Business Science” solutions allow organizations to create custom Enterprise Decision Management solutions for managing business decisions used within corporate software applications.

ImageWear Exec

San Diego-based ImageWare Systems has hired Joseph Schuler, formerly with Fargo Electronics, as president of ImageWare ID Systems Group. Schuler joins ImageWare from Fargo Electronics where he directed the strategic vision for the company’s smart card encoding systems and managed the Fargo Technology Alliance.

QualTeq Deal

NJ-based QualTeq will license its patented “Foil Card” technology to Travel Tags/Xtreme Graphics. Travel Tags, based in Inver Grove Heights, MN, specializes in plastic printing using digital, silkscreen and UV lithography printing processes with a product line including membership cards, phone cards, identification cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and more. The company is part of the Taylor Corporation, an international corporation of more than 85 individual companies providing innovative solutions through printing, manufacturing, designing, distributing and e-commerce. QualTeq has also licensed its “Foil Card” technology to Plastag Corporation, Schlumberger, Versatile Card Technology, and CPI Card Group.

Business Barometer

A majority of small businesses foresee expansion opportunities for their firms in the next six months and more than one fourth say they plan to add workers during the next six months.The survey, conducted for the American Express “OPEN Small Business Network,” also found that business growth was the top priority among small business owners, cited by 42%, and cash flow was the second most important business priority, cited by 18%. The cash flow issues of greatest concern include accounts receivable (18%); the ability to pay bills on time (16%); having enough cash on hand to win new business (15%) and the ability to track cash flow (8%). To manage cash flow issues that arise, small business owners report they are most likely to put off purchases (23%), obtain and use a line of credit (19%), use a charge or credit card (15%) or take out a short-term loan (10%). Only 3% said they would dip into personal or private funds. According to the survey, about three-quarters (74%) of small businesses use a credit or charge card for various business expenses, up slightly from March (71%). In addition, many small companies continue using “plastic” in non-traditional spending categories. While nearly half (49%) use a charge or credit card for travel expenses and 38% use them for entertainment expenses; 38% use a card to make purchases from wholesalers; to purchase office supplies (38%); and to purchase computer equipment (31%). In addition, 16% purchase business or professional services on their cards.

CardData 3Q/02

Third quarter results continue to show a mixed bag when it comes to growth since the previous quarter. Among issuers reporting yesterday, Navy Federal Credit Union reported a 4.1% one quarter gain while the State Employees of Maryland Credit Union reported a 4% drop. For complete details on the top U.S. issuers third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ISSUER 3Q/02 OUT 2Q/02 OUT CHANGE
Navy
FCU $1,364,998,724 $1,310,381,509 +4.1%
Columbus
B&T $ 208,650,345 $ 213,593,388 -2.3%
Security Service
FCU $ 114,008,959 $ 112,593,905 +0.9%
California Commerce
Bank $ 91,242,026 $ 84,650,798 +7.1%
State Employees MD
CU $ 47,953,875 $ 49,853,207 -4.0%
TOTAL $1,826,853,929 $ 1,771,072,807 +3.2%

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

SCM & Micron

SCM Microsystems announced it will provide smart card readers to MicronPC as part of a joint initiative to provide secure network access to GSA and military personnel under the DoD’s “Common Access Card” program. SCM’s USB, serial and PCMCIA smart card readers will be offered as an external option on MicronPC’s ClientPro 325, 525, and CH desktop computers, as well as the TransPort T1000, V1000, and GX3 notebooks.

iDine 3Q/02

iDine Rewards Network reported 3Q/02 gross dining sales of $81.3 million, representing an increase of 70.8% over the corresponding prior year period’s dining sales of $47.6 million and a 24.3% increase over the $65.4 million reported in the previous quarter. The Company currently has 14.5 million credit cards registered through 11 million enrolled accounts. In the current three-month period, the Company recorded net income before taxes of $5.5 million versus net income before taxes of $1.0 million in the year ago period and $3.9 million in the three months ended June 30. Dining incentives are offered through the Company’s dining programs, either branded under the name iDine or provided through co-branded and private label partnerships, such as airline frequent flyer programs, club memberships or other affinity organizations. For complete details on iDine’s 3Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

ALIEN ID CARD

The Brazil Federal Police has extended its existing contract for the
production of the country’s alien ID card with Digimarc ID Systems. Since
1997 the Brazil Federal Police has issued more than 1.5 million alien ID
Cards to individuals residing in Brazil under work or immigration visas
using the System 600 card production system from Digimarc ID Systems. Under
the terms of the contract Digimarc provides hardware, software,
maintenance, consumables, and operations support to the Brazil Federal
Police. The System 600, developed by Digimarc, was selected for the quality
and security it provides. This highly secure central issue system produces
Alien ID Cards with a variety of security features, including Digimarc’s
proprietary PolaSecure feature, ultraviolet reactive ink, security indicia,
digitized photo, signature, and fingerprint.