Vital & TNS

Vital Processing Services is recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, announces the addition of a new data communications service provider to its existing communications network. The Company has signed a multi-year agreement with Transaction Network Services, Inc. (TNS) to deliver POS transaction network services. TNS is one of the leading providers of fast, reliable data communications services for transaction-oriented applications.

“The provision of secure data communications connectivity is mission-critical to the transaction processing business,” said Jonathan Palmer, president and CEO of Vital. “This agreement provides Vital s acquirers and merchants with an alternative communications partner.”

“At Vital, fault-tolerance and redundancy are built into every aspect of our processing services,” Palmer continued. “In a strategic review earlier this year we identified service provider diversity as another step we could take towards assuring no single point of failure throughout our operation.”

Brian Bates, TNS President and Chief Operating Officer commented, “As a leading network transport provider to the POS industry, TNS is very pleased to have this opportunity to support Vital s business with both current and future network access technologies. We look forward to delivering a transaction transport solution that meets the rigorous requirements of Vital and its customers.”

“TNS was selected after a thorough review and extensive selection process,” said Robert Blair, executive vice president and chief information officer at Vital. “TNS stood out based on their experience and leadership in POS networking and their systemic focus on quality.”

The new relationship with TNS will allow Vital s merchants to continue to have access to local, toll-free 950 services, one of the most efficient merchant networking alternatives. Vital and its customers will also benefit from additional connectivity options offered by TNS through its secure, nationwide transaction transport network.

About Transaction Network Services

Transaction Network Services is one of the leading providers of fast, cost-effective data communications services for transaction-oriented applications. Transaction Network Services provides reliable and secure transaction delivery platforms to enable transaction authorization and processing across several vertical markets and trading communities. Since its inception in 1990, Transaction Network Services has designed and implemented one of the fastest, most reliable and lowest cost networks for the transport of transaction-oriented data.

Transaction Network Services proprietary network technologies have been deployed in the United States and internationally, and Transaction Network Services network has become a preferred network servicing the card processing and dial-up automatic teller machine markets.

For further information about Transaction Network Services transaction solutions, please refer to [www.tnsi.com][1].

About Vital Processing Services

A leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, Vital Processing Services® (Vital®) is the commerce connection between acquirers and merchants, processing one out of every four authorized payment transactions in North America. From authorizing and capturing electronic payments at the merchant point of sale, to clearing and settling transactions, Vital provides highly reliable, integrated end-to-end processing services to more than 300 acquirers and over one million merchants. Vital processes all payment types for merchants of all sizes from a wide array of industries and provides merchants and acquirers with the information and tools to efficiently manage their payment processing businesses. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa U.S.A. and TSYS® (“NYSE: TSS”). Additional information regarding Vital can be found at [www.vitalps.com][2].

[1]: http://www.tnsi.com/
[2]: http://www.vitalps.com

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VISA Olympics

VISA International has inked a deal to renew its Olympic sponsorship through the 2012 Olympic Games. VISA will continue to be the exclusive payment card and official payment service for the four Olympic Games following “ATHENS 2004.” This will include the “XX Olympic Winter Games” in Torino in 2006, the “Games of the XXIX Olympiad” in Beijing in 2008, and the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games, whose sites have yet to be selected. VISA’s renewed sponsorship extends to all participating National Olympic Committees and their Olympic teams. Rights include advertising and promotional use of Olympic marks and graphics, as well as marks from the National and International Olympic Committees. The agreement also gives VISA the exclusive global marketing rights and official status for the Paralympic Games through 2012. VISA began its Olympic partnership in 1986.

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NCR Update

NCR says its ATMs dispense $2 million dollars in cash every minute of every day in over 100 different currencies. NCR’s next generation “M Series” Personas(TM) ATMs customize the ATM experience based on each bank’s needs. The next big move is to make depositing at the ATM as simple and trusted as withdrawing cash. To do this, NCR’s new ATMs can offer no-envelope deposit.

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Sprint Emerges

The demise of MCI/Worldcom deals with credit card issuers and loyalty programs has given away to a new suitor, namely Sprint. Sprint announced this week a marketing partnership to provide United “Mileage Plus” members, including holders of the Bank One “Mileage Plus VISA,” an opportunity to earn up to 6,000 bonus miles for choosing Sprint for residential long-distance service. The switch from MCI to Sprint for United is effective immediately. Sprint will offer United “Mileage Plus” members the opportunity to earn 5,000 “Mileage Plus” bonus miles. These miles will be awarded over the course of six months when members sign up for one of the select “Sprint 7 Cents” long-distance products. In addition, if customers choose to sign up online they will receive an additional 1,000 miles. Once choosing Sprint in the Mileage Plus program, customers will earn five miles for every dollar spent with Sprint for their residential long-distance services.

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HBOS APTRA

HBOS, the financial services group formed by the merger of the Halifax and
the Bank of Scotland, have inked a deal to deploy NCR’s “APTRA Edge”
software across its entire ATM network made up of 3,400 NCR ATMs and 400
Fujitsu ATMs. The deal includes 14,000 “UP-to-SPEED” upgrade kits to
support the move to “APTRA Edge,” while allowing HBOS to meet new
accessibility, smart card and encryption standards in banking. Plans to
roll out the software to all of HBOS’ ATMs follow the successful
installation of “APTRA Edge” on 300 NCR ATMs last year and earlier this
year. “APTRA Edge” will enable HBOS to integrate its complete ATM network
with other service channels, opening up the possibility to provide
cross-channel consistency in customer service, branding and communication
to all HBOS customers. The vendor-independent software will be installed on
all ATMs by the end of 2003. HBOS has over 25 million customers.

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VISA-IN-TOUCH

VISA International Asia Pacific has deployed the Pivotal CRM suite as
part of its “VISA in Touch” initiative. Using Pivotal CRM, VISA is able to
simplify its business processes, improve account management, share
information across VISA offices and track each customer’s unique needs,
product usage and history. VISA has customers across more than 40 countries
in the Asia Pacific region, each customer account is complex, and many have
numerous contact points, geographies and time zones. Pivotal, based in
Vancouver, offers a complete CRM software suite including capabilities in
marketing, sales, service, contact centers, partner management and
interactive selling. More than 1,500 companies around the world use Pivotal
including: CIBC, Centex Homes, HarperCollins Publishers, Hitachi Telecom
Inc., Premera Blue
Cross, Royal Bank of Canada, Southern Company, and Vivendi.

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E-PURSE PC RELOADS

Atos Origin and Wave Systems have teamed to develop a new cashless
electronic purse transaction application that could have a stored value
smart card reloaded from a home personal computer.
An electronic purse or e-purse is typically a smart card that has stored
money value and that can be reloaded at a bank or terminal in a retail
store. The electronic wallet, for which Atos Origin is technical operator,
is currently being deployed in France. Wave is the developer of the
“EMBASSY Trust System” and the “EMBASSY 2100” secure e-commerce chip.
“EMBASSY” chips may be embedded in such products as
computer keyboards, smart card readers and other computer components. When
the “EMBASSY” system secures a device such as a personal computer, personal
information such as credit card numbers, PIN numbers and other end user
secrets are protected from theft. An “EMBASSY”-enabled trusted PC features
an e-purse, a secure wallet, secure identity, secure e-mail and secure
shopping capabilities.

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SESAMES 2002

The annual “Sesames” awards were handed out this week at the “Cartes 2002”
expo at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre on the fringes of
Paris. The “Best Technological Innovation” award went to Infineon
Technologies/Sony Corporation for the “my-C/FeliCa” card and the “Best
Banking/Finance Application” was won by Proton World for “EMV Plus.” The
competition for the “Best Technological Innovation” award included
SchlumbergerSema for its new “SIM2SIM” transfer technology, and ASK S.A.
for its “Roll-to-Roll” manufacturing process. The “Best Banking/Finance
Application” competition included Oberthur Card Systems for its “IDOne”
product; MCO Groupe for its “Visubank” product; and Thales E-transactions
for its “Artema” product. Other “Sesames” winners were: Retail Logic’s
“Smart-Solution” for “Best Software”; Activcard’s “Activcard Gold 2.0” for
“Best IT Security Application”; Sita’s “C-Travel” for “Best Transportation
Application”; Technopuce’s “Hemo-TAG” for “Best Health Care Application”;
Oberthur Card Systems’ “My Personal SIM” for “Best GSM Application”; Caisse
Nationale des Caisses d’Epargne’s “ID-Tronic” for “Best E-Commerce
Application”; Xiring’s “Fan Reader” for “Best Customer Loyalty
Application”; and finally, Technopuce’s “Hemo-TAG” for “Best Applications
of the Applications.”

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Iraq Factor

The monthly consumer survey conduced by a MA-based consumer credit counseling firm revealed that 27% of Americans would reduce their use of credit cards to make major purchases if America goes to war with Iraq. The “Cambridge Consumer Credit Index” says it also found that 3% of consumers would spend more on their credit cards due to patriotism. The Index says during November, 38% of Americans plan to take on more debt, with 11% taking on a lot of debt, and 27% taking on a little more debt. In contrast, 62% of Americans plan to pay off debt in the next six months, with 48% expecting to pay off a little and 14% expecting to pay off a lot. In October, 36% of Americans planned to take on more debt, while 64% planned to pay off debt. The monthly consumer survey is released to piggyback on the monthly Federal Reserve consumer credit data.

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Slow Rebound

Americans added $5.6 billion to revolving credit during September compared to a nearly $1 billion contraction during September 2001. The economic pause that occurred one year ago as a result of the terrorist attacks contributed to the contraction. However, compared to September 2000, the 2002 data was encouraging. During September 2000, American’s added $4.2 billion to revolving credit. According to figures released Thursday afternoon by the Federal Reserve, revolving credit is now growing at an annual rate 9.3%, compared to 0.6% one year ago. Since the first of this year consumer revolving credit has grown $36.6 billion. Bank credit card debt at mid-year was $611.4 billion according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Bank credit card outstandings at mid-year were growing at an annual rate of 7.8% while overall consumer credit was growing at an annual rate of 6.9% in September. According to the government figures released yesterday, American consumers were $1.733 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages during September.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
($billions)
Sep02 Aug 02 Jul 02 Jun 02 May 02 Apr 02 Mar 02
GRWTH: 9.3% 10.0 8.9 6.0 4.1 8.0 4.8
$OWED: $729.0 723.4 717.4 715.6 712.1 708.7 705.4

Feb 02 Jan 02 Dec 01 Nov 01 Oct 01 Sep 01 Aug 01
GRWTH: 2.2% 1.8 -9.7 12.7% -7.1 0.6 -2.2
$OWED: $705.0 702.4 692.4 698.0 686.4 692.7 693.5b

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 11/07/02; For complete
historical data visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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

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