VISA Business

VISA USA reported this morning that its suite of commercial payments and information management services produced volume totaling $77.7 billion last year, an increase of 20.2% over 2001. VISA said its small business segment grew 31% last year. VISA also says its next generation electronic B2B payment solution, designed to bridge the current payment gap in the procure-to-pay process to replace the use of checks, is on track to become generally available in the latter half of this year. The “VISA Commerce” solution conducted live transactions over the “VisaNet” system in testing last year. Meanwhile, VISA reported that approximately 12% of total U.S. consumer spending is now conducted on a VISA-branded card, more than all other major card brands combined. VISA previously announced that it processed $989 billion in consumer and commercial volume in 2002, an 8.1% increase over 2001. For complete details on the network statistics visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

STM Buys PWI

STMicroelectronics is acquiring Proton World International from ERG Ltd in a deal valued at $66 million. Under terms of the deal, ERG Group will receive cash consideration of $60 million, plus a business-related consideration for up to 10 years. Additionally, ST and ERG Group will enter into a long-term business relationship through a technology license agreement and will work together in the deployment of PWI’s technology in transit applications worldwide. Based in Belgium, PWI has approximately 90 employees and develops smart card system software (card OS, middleware and application software), especially for e-purse, EMV debit/credit cards, PKI security, and data management applications. The deal is expected to close by June 30th.

MerchantPC

Infonox announced MerchantPC, an integrated PC-based POS software solution for food service retailers that connects counter service, home delivery and table service into one powerful and comprehensive system. Capitalizing on the latest in wireless, PDA and Internet technologies, MerchantPC integrates orders, transactions, payments, customer reporting, inventory control and financial management activities for food service operations.

MBNA SMART CARDS

MBNA Ireland is rolling-out a smart card, becoming the first chip card in Ireland. MBNA is issuing the card to new customers as well as card replacements for existing customers. MBNA’s international businesses in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada have more than 7.5 million Customers with $11 billion in loans. MBNA has a 13% market share of credit card loans in the U.K. and Ireland and a 7% market share in Canada.

Smart Label USA

ASK S.A. has entered the contactless paper-based smart label products business. The first RFID product, “C.label,” is based on the high speed “ISO 14443” for contactless technology, it is the only smart label that permits the management of 100 items a second and anti-theft protection ranging as far as one meter. ASK says that since February, the city of Marseilles, France has used the ASK smart label solution in all of their 17 libraries for managing and tracking their entire inventory including CDs, books and cassettes.

CARD PROTEST

The petroleum station members of the Figisc/Anisa, Faib/Aisa, and Fegica
unions will refuse to accept credit cards and debit cards between April
9-11and 16-22. The members are protesting a new 0.23 euro surcharge being
imposed by Cogeban on each ATM transaction payment. The gas station members
also say that credit card fees of 1.2% of the transaction plus a flat fee
of 0.775 euro is wiping out their profits. The group is threatening to
cancel their payment card merchant agreements if the fees are not reduced.

STM & PROTON WORLD

STMicroelectronics has acquired Proton World International from ERG Ltd in a deal valued at US$66 million. Under terms of the deal, ERG Group will receive cash consideration of US$60 million, plus a business-related consideration for up to 10 years. Additionally, ST and ERG Group will enter into a long-term business relationship through a technology license agreement and will work together in the deployment of PWI’s technology in transit applications worldwide. Based in Belgium, PWI has approximately 90 employees and develops smart card system software (card OS, middleware and application software), especially for e-purse, EMV debit/credit cards, PKI security, and data management applications. The deal is expected to close by June 30th.

Kaiser Permanente & GPN

Global Payments Inc., announced that Kaiser Permanente has expanded its relationship to include a complete suite of processing services including authorization and settlement for credit cards, debit cards and checks, as well as online reporting capabilities. Under this new agreement, Kaiser Permanente will use a variety of Global processing solutions through many of its business segments including optical, pharmacy and medical facilities.

BIG BANK UPGRADES

Bank Millennium, formerly BIG Bank GDANSKI, is upgrading its information technology systems with the help of Fiserv.
The migration involves moving both one million retail and corporate customers to the Fiserv core banking and teller solution. As a result, Bank Millennium staff can access information on any customer from all of the bank’s 367 branches across the country. The bank is owned by Banco Comercial Portugues.

Tidel Delisted

Tidel Technologies, Inc. announced it has been notified by the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel of its decision to delist the Company’s common stock from the Nasdaq SmallCap Market effective with the open of business on March 26, 2003. The Company believes it will continue to have a market for its stock, which would trade on the National Quotation Bureau’s Pink Sheets.