SFR TRANSACTIONS

SFR, the second largest mobile operator in France, has signed an agreement
with Baltimore Technologies and Atos Origin to provide the security
technology behind a new national mobile commerce service.
The service enables SFR’s mobile subscribers to digitally sign transactions
over their mobile phones. The project is one of the first pilots in France
that enables subscribers to digitally sign mobile transactions and
simultaneously authorize secure credit card payments. Baltimore was
selected by SFR as part of a consortium of partners led by Atos Origin, who
will integrate the pilot, provide the gateway and host the platform. The
consortium also includes Gemplus, who will provide the SIM cards and OTA
servers. The pilot programme was launched last week in Paris and will run
over 4 months. Initial mobile commerce applications will include remote
payments, credit top-up, authentication to loyalty programmes and premium
content.

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MC I-Coupons

Mastercard has inked a contract with MI-based Entertainment Publications to provide MasterCard cardholders the ability to save up to 50% at local merchants through a customized, Internet-based printable coupon program. Entertainment Publications says it is considered the pioneer of the “2-for-1” discount and is best known for its flagship product, the “Entertainment” book. Using its database of best-in-class offers from more than 100,000 merchant locations in 161 North American markets, Entertainment develops customized discount programs for hundreds of well-known corporations who wish to use discounts in their customer acquisition, retention and loyalty efforts. The specific program that MasterCard will offer is called “Entertainment Local Connections.” Entertainment Publications serves more than 160 major markets and does business with more than 70,000 local merchants and national corporations representing more than 275,000 North American locations.

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Imagine A Million

Diners Club has launched its “Imagine A Million Sweepstakes” offering a grand prize of one million “Club Reward” points. Diners is also awarding 16 monthly prizes, including ten 10,000 point awards, five 50,000 point awards, and one 100,000 point award. The contest will run until January 15, 2003. Three grand prizes will be awarded, including a 250,000 point award, 500,000 point award, and 1,000,000 point award. Diners Club and Diners Club Carte Blanche cardholders are automatically entered with each purchase.

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MasterCard 3Q/02

MasterCard passed the 300 million mark in U.S. payment cards during the third quarter. Gross dollar volume for the third quarter hit $155.9 billion compared with $125.0 billion for the 3Q/01, a 24.7% increase. MasterCard’s year-to-date volume of $439.7 billion represented a 17.8% increase over the same period in 2001. Purchase volume grew 16.6% and cash volume grew 21.0% during this same period. At September 30th, the number of MasterCard cards issued in the USA increased 15.1% to almost 309 million. In Canada, MasterCard GDV rose 19.8% for the first nine months of this year, and 21.1% for the third quarter of 2002, in each case compared to the same period in 2001. Purchase volume in Canada remained strong in the first nine months of 2002, representing over 82.2% of GDV in that region. At the end of the third quarter, Canadian banks had increased the number of MasterCard cards issued by 19.1% compared to 3Q/01. For more details on MasterCard’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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NJ Dining Card

DiningGiftCard.com has launched a prepaid dining gift card for consumers living in Central New Jersey. the dining gift card allows the recipient to enjoy fine cuisine from more than 40 restaurants, ranging from four-star to family fare, in the five-county area of Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Somerset and Union. The cards are available in denominations of $25, $50, $75, $100, $150, and $250.

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MI Ski Card

For the ninth season, the Michigan Snowsport Industries Association has released its prepaid “White Gold Card” that enables purchasers to ski one time at each of the 23 participating ski areas across the state. The card looks like a credit card, divided into squares. Each ski area is assigned to a square and one square is designated for the ski tune-up. The purchaser takes the White Gold Card to the ski area’s lift ticket window, where the square corresponding to that ski area is punched out.

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Check Fraud

Attempted check fraud at the nation’s banks surpassed $4.3 billion in 2001, doubling for the second time in four years. The American Bankers Association Deposit Account Fraud Survey Report says actual dollar losses remained relatively stable at $698 million, up slightly from the $679 million that banks lost in 1999, the last year of ABA’s survey. Since the last survey, the number of check fraud incidents increased 34% to 600,085 cases in 2001. However, average losses per case went down from $1,518 in 1999 to $1,163 in 2001. The most common type of check fraud in 2001 was forgery, with about one-third of fraud cases and fraud losses attributed to forged signatures and endorsements.

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Billserv Seeks Strategic Alternatives

Texas-based Billserv said yesterday it has cut jobs, reducing its salary burden by 66%, and is aggressively pursuing strategic alternatives, including investment in or sale of the Company. he Company took this action due to continued weak capital markets and lower than anticipated available cash. The Company will continue to seek new customers and focus on servicing its existing customers.

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Sears Trouble

Sears was hammered yesterday as it stock fell to its lowest level in two decades following an analyst downgrade by Goldman Sachs which suggested the retailer may suffer a prolonged slump in profit and sales growth, on top of beefing-up credit card reserves. Meanwhile, another analyst thinks the stock market has not yet adequately discounted the price of Sears shares based on the information found in the Sears 10Q, filed earlier this week. FL-based Allen Douglas Securities issued a warning and a sell recommendation on Sears yesterday. The research firms says the recently released Cash Flow Statement data indicates that Sears generated negative operating cash flow of ($1.1 Billion) for the nine months and ($928 million) for its third quarter. The research firm also says another reason for the sell recommendation is the complete lack of confidence in Sears’ management based on recent events. After two Chicago newspaper articles suggested that Sears’ management was unaware of its credit card receivables problem, the head of Sears’ credit card division abruptly left the company. Also Sears gave EPS guidance of $.80 to $.82 per share for its third quarter, but changed the EPS guidance to $.59 ten days later. For complete details on Sears’ third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Entertainment Gift Card

WI-based Marcus Theatres has launched an “Entertainment Gift Card” for consumers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio. The stored-value gift cards are available in any amount from $5 to $500 dollars and can be reloaded with additional value. The cards go on sale this week at Marcus Theatres in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio, and at [www.marcustheatres.com][1].

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

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.NET CARD

SchlumbergerSema has introduced the “.NET Card,” which utilizes smart card
security to the delivery of Wi-Fi, digital rights management solutions,
next-generation mobile messaging and home entertainment applications. The
new technology enables easy integration with all types of multimedia
applications, and complements the company’s existing portfolio of smart
card platforms that will serve as the core technology for multimedia
network services through various connected devices such as MP3 systems,
game boxes, PDA’s, PC’s, cable and satellite TV systems, and, potentially,
next generation phones. The advanced infrastructure behind the “.NET Card”
technology incorporates a service layer designed to enable a range of
applications to be automatically downloaded and installed onto the smart
card. The platform also has multi-language functionality for maximum
flexibility and ease-of-use within the developer community. The platform
will allow cross functionality between applications and services developed
in any language supported by the “.NET” framework, including Visual Basic,
.NET, C# and J#. SchlumbergerSema has licensed an ECMA-335 standard named
Common Language Infrastructure from Hive-Minded as a component for its
“.NET Card” platform.

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