InterCept Lawsuit

A shareholder lawsuit has been filed against InterCept, alleging the company made material misrepresentations that the adult pornography Internet portion of their merchant processing business was insignificant and failing to disclose that new VISA regulations, which were targeted specifically to address risks of Internet pornography card processing, had caused a material loss of business.  A shareholder lawsuit has been filed against InterCept, alleging the company made material misrepresentations that the adult pornography Internet portion of their merchant processing business was insignificant and failing to disclose that new VISA regulations, which were targeted specifically to address risks of Internet pornography card processing, had caused a material loss of business.

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VSDC & FELICA

Sony, Infineon, and VISA International have teamed for the joint
development of a single-chip “GlobalPlatform” multi-application chip
product that supports both “VISA Smart Debit/Credit” payment and “FeliCa”
contactless applications. More than 60 million VISA smart cards based on
EMV contact payment technology have been issued worldwide (9 million in
Asia-Pacific) and over 35 million contactless cards employing Sony’s
“FeliCa” operating system have been issued, mostly in Hong Kong, Singapore,
and Japan. VISA plans to work with Sony and Infineon to jointly develop a
single-chip “GlobalPlatform” product that supports all industry standard
contact and contactless interfaces. The alliance leverages VISA’s
leadership in the payment industry, Sony’s strength in contactless IC
technology, and Infineon’s expertise in the design of secure smart card
solutions. VISA’s ultimate goal is the achievement of cross-platform
interoperability across the “GlobalPlatform” and “FeliCa” operating
environments, which would allow cardholders to use “FeliCa-based”
applications to take advantage of special discounts or accumulate loyalty
points when making purchases on their VISA cards and enable service
providers to offer cardholders the convenience of using “VSDC” payment
functionality to top-up the value on prepaid transit or e-purse
applications in one simple transaction.

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COF CFO

Capital One confirmed yesterday that one of its senior executives received a notice from the SEC alleging personal trading in the company’s stock while in possession of material nonpublic information. The news drove Cap One’s stock down by nearly 11% before closing down 9% for the day at $28.25. Cap One said its EVP/CFO, David Willey, received the “Wells” notice two weeks ago and has since resigned. In the interim, Dave Lawson will assume the role of acting CFO. Capital One emphasized to the investment community that no other company executives, including its two top executives, Richard Fairbanks and Nigel Morris, have received a similar notice from the SEC. The potential civil charges that may be filed against Willey by the SEC apparently center around $5 million in trades that he and his wife made in May, 2002. Two months later, Capital One disclosed it had signed an informal MOU with bank regulators addressing its loss reserves and sub-prime credit card business. The July 16th MOU sent the company’ stock down by more than 40% and class action shareholder lawsuits quickly followed. One lawsuit alleged that Cap One insiders sold more than $8.2 million in Cap One common stock at artificially inflated prices. Cap One’s stock traded as high as $66 per share and as low as $24 over the past year. (CF Library 7/22/02)

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ADVANTEX 4Q/02

Toronto-based Advantex Marketing International reported fourth calendar
quarter revenue of $24.3 million, about the same as the year ago quarter.
Net loss for the quarter was $584,000, compared to a net loss of $556,000
one year ago. The company says the latest quarter reflects the costs
associated with the expansion of the “CIBC Aerogold ADVANTEX Benefit”
program and the startup of the “Bank of America/US Airways Dividend Miles”
program. During the quarter, the Company also announced the launch of its
third loyalty e-mall program and the beginning of a new relationship with
its third airline partner, “United Mileage Plus.”

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Portfolio Monitor — Owner Notices

Experian has introduced “Portfolio Monitor — Owner Notices,” an online tool which provides users with daily alerts when changes are recorded on the accounts of small business owners or guarantors whose credit history may be linked with that of a business.  The accounts are monitored for bankruptcies, liens and judgments, major derogatory payment information, new inquiries and trades on file and collection information.  Client settings may be customized to filter selected accounts and the types of notices preferred, and messages can be sent automatically via e-mail.

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New Wincor Nixdorf Kiosks

TX-based Wincor Nixdorf this week unveiled two new POS kiosks for the hospitality and retail markets including the small-footprint “CERTO” kiosk and the futuristic looking “Orbiter” kiosk. The CERTO kiosk is powered by Wincor Nixdorf’s industry-standard BEETLE platform and is available in freestanding, desktop or wall-mounted configurations. CERTO’s small footprint and attractive design make it particularly suitable for use in locations where space is at a premium.

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PolCard Acquisition

Warsaw-based Innova Capital Sp. z o.o. and Rhode Island-based GTECH Holdings Corporation have teamed to acquire PolCard S.A., debit/credit card merchant transaction acquirer and processor for approximately $60 million, and the assumption of $2 million in debt. Following the closing, GTECH will hold a 62.8% equity stake in PolCard, 36.9% will be held by Innova, and the remaining 0.3% will be retained by one of the current owners, the Polish Bank Association. The PolCard business is being acquired from a group of Polish banks and a travel services company, ORBIS S.A, according to The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]). PolCard has a nationwide retail network of 34,000 POS terminals and established relationships with many of the country’s leading card-issuing banks. PolCard’s most recent annual revenues were $60 million. GTECH has been operating in Poland since 1991, providing products and services to Totalizator Sportowy, the National Lottery, including 6,500 POS terminals and the largest wireless POS network in Central Europe. Currently, less than 17% of bank-card transactions in Poland are cashless transactions originating at the POS as compared to 40% for its Western European neighbors.

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

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FREESTAR TECHNOLOGY

Dublin-based FreeStar has changed its name from Freestar Technologies to
FreeStar Technology Corporation. The Board of Directors predicated
replacement of the word “Technologies” in favor of “Technology” to
facilitate pronunciation in foreign tongues, and added the word
“Corporation” to enhance its corporate image in Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania. FreeStar specializes in enabling credit, debit, PIN or smart
card transactions via the Internet. The company has its corporate
headquarters in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Dublin, Ireland, as
well as an office in Helsinki, Finland.

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Pegasystems & eLoyalty

MA-based Pegasystems has signed IL-based eLoyalty as a partner to support the sale and implementation of “PegaRULES Process Commander,” which enables companies to develop, implement and manage a horizontal set of BPM solutions.  Pegasystems has built an extensive Alliance Program, comprised of three types of partnership: Services Partners, Solution Partners, and Technology Partners.  Services Partners are system integrators and consultants that scope, design, build, deploy, and/or manage client specific Pegasystems-based implementations.

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SUREFIRE 4Q/02

Montreal-based SureFire Commerce reported that it has returned to
operating profitability, with operating earnings of $443,000 in the quarter
ended December 31st. One year ago the company posted an operating loss of
$2.2 million for the same quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $12.7
million, an increase of 22% compared to the prior quarter’s revenue. The
company says the operating profitability is due to
three quarters of restructuring. SureFire processes credit card payments
for Internet, mail-order/telephone-order, and bill payment transactions, as
well as processing checks online and by phone.

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PULSE Sales Exec

TX-based PULSE EFT Association has hired Marie Braeutigam, formerly with NYCE and National City, to represent the network in the Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania markets. PULSE is the nation’s leading independent financial industry-owned and controlled electronic funds transfer network, currently serving more than 3,800 bank, credit union and savings bank members across the country.  It is the only major network solely owned by financial institutions.

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InterCept Changes

Atlanta-based InterCept has restructured its merchant services division and appointed several new key officers. InterCept’s merchant services operations, including Internet Billing Company, InterCept Payment Solutions (formerly EPX), as well as InterCept’s merchant portfolio operations in Tennessee, will now operate as a single business unit known as InterCept Payment Solutions. John Perry has been named CEO of the unit. Tim Barnett, formerly with NOVA, has been hired to serve as EVP/COO. Julie Counterman, also from NOVA, was named EVP/Chief Marketing Officer for the new unit. Pam Clepper, formerly with The Bankers Bank in Atlanta, will serve as EVP of the financial institution division of InterCept Payment Solutions.

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