BIOSCRYPT AWARD

Toronto-based Bioscrypt has been awarded _Product of the Year_ by
BiometriTech Magazine for its access control product. The “V-Smart
iCLASS” is a combination fingerprint biometric with integrated “iCLASS”
smart card reader by HID Corporation. Bioscrypt has over 45,000 readers
deployed worldwide. The company also offers an award winning
pattern-matching technology called, “Bioscrypt Core.”

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Brand Volume 4Q/02

Payment card volume in the USA grew 9.9% in the fourth quarter, with Discover scoring the biggest gain, although its 4Q quarter ended before the December sales period. MasterCard continued to outpace VISA with a 12.2% increase, compared to VISA’s 7.5% growth rate. VISA and MasterCard produced $327.2 billion in purchase volume during 4Q/02, a 10.6% increase. Cash advances between the two networks for 4Q/02 were $100.4 billion, a 5.1% gain, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). American Express posted a strong quarter with $62.9 billion in card volume, a 12.7% increase.

U.S. Quarterly Credit Card Charge Volume by Brand
Fourth Quarter 2002 – Credit + Off-line Debit
VISA $265.0b (+7.5%)
MasterCard $162.7b (+12.2%)
AmEX $62.9b (+12.7%)
Discover* $25.3b (+14.5%)
TOTAL: $515.9b (+9.9%)
* Discover’s fourth quarter ended 11/30/02

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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EURONET & GENPASS

Budapest-based Euronet Worldwide has signed a “PaySpot” processing
agreement with Genpass. “PaySpot” is a US-based recharge services program
that enables consumers to purchase prepaid wireless airtime and
long-distance calling plans from ATMs. Consumers can go to ATMs to recharge
prepaid wireless accounts from all major wireless carriers including
Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, T-Mobile and ALLTEL as
well as approximately 25 other regional wireless carriers. Additionally,
consumers can select from ten different prepaid long-distance calling plans
for calls within the U.S., calls to Mexico and international calls.
Genpass, which drives more than 24,000 ATMs throughout the U.S. and
processes over 360 million annual transactions, will actively market
“PaySpot” transactions through its ATM processing center and will actively
market “PaySpot” services to its ATM clients, ISOs and financial institutions.

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ClearCommerce & Commerce Server

TX-based ClearCommerce says that Microsoft “Commerce Server” customers can now use its software to run financial transaction processing applications in-house in place of outsourced services to process credit cards and other payment options necessary for online commerce.  The new integration between ClearCommerce and Commerce Server 2002 gives online merchants the opportunity to bring this functionality in-house and therefore reduce costs, control their environment and take advantage of the most accurate online retail fraud detection technologies available on the market. ClearCommerce is one of the first transaction processing software vendors to complete certification for Microsoft Commerce Server 2002.

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Tidel Court Victory

Houston-based Tidel Technologies confirmed this week that a lawsuit brought against the ATM firm by Montrose Investments was dismissed by the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Tidel Technologies, Inc. is a manufacturer of automated teller machines and cash security equipment designed for specialty retail marketers.  To date, Tidel has sold more than 40,000 retail ATMs and 150,000 retail cash controllers in the U.S. and 36 other countries.

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Flower Check Card

Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank launched a special “VISA Check Card” for the Philadelphia Flower Show this week that donates $5 of the $10 card to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. When a customer selects a Philadelphia Flower Show Check Card, $5 of the $10 fee will be his or her donation to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.  Proceeds benefit the society’s neighborhood revitalization program, Philadelphia Green.  This is the first time PNC Bank has issued a check card to support a non-profit cultural institution.

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VISA Drive-Thru

Hypercom, Texas Digital Systems, and VISA have hooked up to launch automatic payment solutions for the QSR industry. TDS’ “Order Confirmation Displays” will be integrated with Hypercom’s quick-service card payment terminal technology, along with VISA’s processing, to allow drive-thru patrons to complete transactions using credit or debit cards at the POS. The initial rollout began last month with five installation sites in the Atlanta area with installations to follow in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Wisconsin. According to Global Growth Group’s “QSR Drive-thru Time Study,” only 7.96% of quick service restaurants visited accepted card payments in 2000. In 2002, 14.47% of the restaurants visited accepted cards. VISA says a recent analysis of 100,000 transactions at restaurants within two different major quick service restaurant brands reveals the average transaction for credit customers was 20% to 30% higher than for cash customers. VISA launched a major QSR initiative last year after its 2002 QSR volume exceeded $2.5 billion. (CF Library 11/13/02).

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BANKLINK President

Fiserv has named Paul Frank president of its NY-based BANKLINK business unit.  Prior to joining Fiserv, Frank was with Mellon Financial as Senior Vice President and Division Head of Mellon Network Services, where he managed Mellon’s payment business. He also launched and managed Mellon’s Direct Bank, with responsibility for Internet banking, ATMs, call center and national home equity lending.

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GE & Conseco

GE Consumer Finance is set to acquire Conseco Finance Corp.’s sales finance unit which includes private label credit card receivables. The deal, valued at $310 million, would add $2.4 billion of receivables and more than 2.8 million cards to GE Consumer Finance’s retail sales finance business in the Americas. The receivables include consumer installment and home improvement loan assets in addition to the private label credit card receivables. Conseco’s private label credit card portfolio declined last year from $2.7 billion in receivables to $2.2 billion. In 2001, the portfolio grew more than 51%. Conseco private label credit cards include merchants such as Menard’s, Roomstore, and Bryant Heating. The acquired assets would be managed by GE Consumer Finance’s retail sales finance unit, based in Kettering, OH. GE’s card portfolio currently holds about $26 billion in receivables. During 2002 GE Card Services revenues declined 4%, from $3.94 billion to $3.77 billion, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). The deal is expected to close by June 30th.

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

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MasterCard & ABNH

MasterCard International and American Bank Note Holographics have signed a five-year agreement for ABNH to continue being the primary supplier of holograms for MasterCard cards. ABNH introduced the security hologram in 1981, and a few years later MasterCard was the first major payment card company to utilize the security hologram in a global authentication program. The new agreement provides MasterCard with access to ABNH’s newest technologies and strengthens security procedures and physical security conditions. The agreement also provides for a comprehensive contingency plan arrangement. The contract announcement drove up ABNH’s stock price by 14.6% yesterday, to close at 94 cents per share.

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SmarTalk

The Smart Card Alliance is tackling contactless payments with a special teleconference and a new white paper. The report on “Contactless Payment and the Retail Point of Sale: Applications, Technologies and Transaction Models” provides a comprehensive review of several existing contactless programs around the world, presenting details on the numbers of cards issued, the technology used, the transaction model and any additional applications involved. In addition, the white paper explores the benefits and costs of contactless payment for retailers and issuers. The SCA has also scheduled its first “SmartTalk” teleconference for April 3rd to cover “Trends and Technology Advances In Contactless Payment.” Attendees can pre-register for the discussion at SCA’s Web site.

CONTACTLESS PROGRAMS SNAPSHOT
PROGRAM CARDS TECHNOLOGY
Hong Kong Octopus Card 9.0MM FeliCa 13.56MHz w/Plastic Card
ExxonMobil Speedpass 6.0MM TI Low Frequency w/Transponder
VISA Contactless 7.0MM 13.56 MHz, Infrared w/Plastic Card
or Mobile Phone
MasterCard PayPass Pilot 13.56 MHz w/Plastic Card

Source: Smart Card Alliance

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