PayByCheck Biometrics

ITI Services, Inc., a leading payment processor, announced that it has teamed with DigitalPersona to introduce the first mass-market, real-time, biometric authentication process for authenticating users and protecting their personal banking information while they shop online. The new authentication process is seamlessly integrated with ‘PayByCheck’ ([][1]) which has been in wide use for over 5 years and works with all bank accounts.

“We are pleased to lead the way in further protecting online shoppers’ personal finances with finger scanning,” said Ron Ehli, CEO of ITI Services. “Our new service is capable of drastically reducing identity theft and we believe biometrics should be used to protect all online transactions.”

Payments made using the non-obtrusive ‘finger-scan’ process is based on DigitalPersona’s award winning U.are.U Online Service. This process uses the icasi (Internet Commerce Account Status Information) network, developed to protect consumer and business bank accounts and credit cards from unauthorized use.

To make a payment using the finger scanner, users install the U.are.U software and small finger scanner, which plugs into a USB port on the computer or is built into the keyboard. They then register to protect their accounts with icasi ([][2]). When they make an online purchase from a participating merchant, a window pops up asking for authentication using the finger scanner. If the scan is successful the transaction is completed, usually within a six- second time frame. The icasi network protects users’ financial information without tracking them personally by ensuring that the authentication process is kept separate from the payment process.

As an added benefit, once the simple plug-and-play DigitalPersona solution is installed, it can also be used to replace computer passwords that can be lost, forgotten, or stolen with a more reliable level of security based on the user’s finger-scan. “We believe in putting personal security into the hands of consumers,” said Fabio Righi, CEO of DigitalPersona. “We are excited to work with a mainstream payment provider”. “Online users can now protect their personal information with just one touch.”

Payments made using PayByCheck benefit consumers and online businesses alike. Consumers benefit from the added protection while businesses benefit from a reduction in fraudulent purchases. “When you can add this level of protection for only pennies per transaction, why wouldn’t you?” said Ehli.”

An online demonstration is located at About ITI Services ITI Services is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington and is the provider of PayByCheck and other innovative payment systems. Since 1997 PayByCheck has been implemented by thousands of leading companies worldwide to verify, authenticate and process Internet payments using the existing bank infrastructure. [][3]

About DigitalPersona

DigitalPersona is the leading provider of biometric authentication solutions for mainstream markets. The company’s award-winning U.are.U fingerprint recognition technology eliminates the need for passwords, PIN codes, and cards. With U.are.U, users securely and conveniently access information and conduct transactions with a simple touch of a finger. [][4]



Leapfrog Refutes Rumors

Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc. announced Friday that rumors regarding an SEC investigation of the company or its founders are unfounded.

Leapfrog’s President and CEO, Randall Schrader, stated, “Ordinarily, we would not comment on anonymous rumors circulated over the Internet, but we think it is important to set matters straight, particularly as it relates to the SEC. This sort of garbage is a distraction that prevents the company from focusing on more important issues like revenues and profits. We believe these rumors originated from disgruntled former employees. Our duty is to create shareholder value, not to pander to rumor mongers or dissatisfied former employees. It’s time to move on.”

A call to SEC lawyer Ian Karpel, Denver, Colorado, from the company confirms that there is no investigation or inquiry into Leapfrog or its founders.

About Leapfrog Smart Products:

Leapfrog is poised at the forefront of providing proprietary software and hardware solutions, including biometric technologies developed for user authentication and access control in both computer networks and physical environments. The company, through creating compelling applications to generate demand for its products, intends to be a recognized leader in providing Smart Card software and hardware solutions. For more information on Leapfrog, please visit the Company’s web site at [][1].




Hilton HHonors, one
of the world’s leading guest reward programs, has added Air China, the
carrier for the People’s Republic of China, to the program’s family of travel

Travelers may now earn 800 Air China Companion kilometers for every qualifying
stay at participating Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels,
Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels around
the world. At Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites hotels, members will
earn 160 kilometers per stay.

Air China Companion kilometers can be earned in addition to Hilton HHonors
hotel points through HHonors’ unique Double Dip benefit, which allows
members to earn both Points & Miles for every qualifying stay.
“The addition of Air China as a new travel partner continues to extend
global reach,” said Jeffrey Diskin, president and chief operating officer of
Hilton HHonors Worldwide. “We are delighted to be associated with this vibrant
and exciting country and to offer this wonderful earnings opportunity to both
our members in and traveling to China.”

About Air China

The largest and leading airline in China, Air China operates 135 domestic and
international routes covering 95 cities in more than 21 countries worldwide.
The Air China Companion program has 70,000 international members and close to
500 thousand domestic members. Air China Companion is China’s first and number
one frequent flyer program.

About Hilton HHonors

Hilton HHonors is a guest reward program that gives frequent travelers a
way to earn the rewards they want most. Enrolled members can Double Dip to
HHonors points and airline miles for the same stay, at nearly any rate, at
than 2,100 participating Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels,
Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, and Homewood Suites by
Hilton hotels around the world.

Due to the unmatched flexibility, generosity and value offered by HHonors
program features, as well as the many attractive promotions that HHonors
each year, the program has been recognized with numerous travel industry
Membership in HHonors is free. Travelers may enroll online by visiting Or, to enroll
instantly in
the program and make
reservations, consumers in the U.S. and Canada may call 1-800-HHONORS. Outside
the U.S. and Canada, travelers may call the Hilton Reservations Worldwide
office in their area. Travelers also may pick up an enrollment form with a
membership card at any participating Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy
Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn or Homewood
by Hilton hotel around the world.



More issuers are jumping on the bandwagon to push late fees and over-limit fees from $29 to $35. MBNA is notifying cardholders this week it will begin assessing a $35 late fee and over-limit fee in the March billing cycles. Several major issuers including Citibank, Discover, Fleet, and a handful of sub-prime issuers, have recently boosted late fees. However, MBNA is the first major issuer to re-price both late fees and over-limit fees above the $29 barrier. MBNA is not considered, historically, a price leader in the credit card industry. Under the amended credit card terms, MBNA will charge a $15 late fee for balances under $100; a $25 fee for balances between $100 and $1,000; and a $35 fee for past due balances above $1,000. Accounts going over the credit limit by $500 will be subject to a $15 over-limit fee, while accounts exceeding the credit limit by $500 to $1,000 will be subject to a $25 over-limit fee; and accounts going over-limit by $1,000 will be subject to a $35 over-limit fee. MBNA notes that accounts with credit limits under $1,000 will be subject to the full $35 fee. Citibank and Discover have adopted the same tiered pricing schedule as MBNA for late fees. (CF Library 8/30/01; 2/7/02)


SLC Taxis Go Wireless

Visitors to Salt Lake City can pay for a cab ride with their credit card — as long as they are in one of the 80 taxicabs equipped with new wireless credit card technology.

Through the efforts of Wells Fargo Merchant Services and U.S. Wireless Data, visitors to Salt Lake City have the convenience of paying for cab rides with their credit card. The technology has been deployed in taxicabs of Salt Lake City-based Ute Taxicab Company.

The wireless taxicab technology is similar to credit card terminals used in stores, allowing taxicab drivers to swipe a credit card or other payment card and receive a real-time authorization. It uses Synapse(SM) technology from U.S. Wireless Data to communicate over a wireless data network, making mobile card payments faster and more secure.

“We are thrilled to provide this technology to visitors of Salt Lake City,” said Dean M. Leavitt, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Wireless Data. “International travelers may already be familiar with paying for taxicabs with credit cards because this capability exists in many parts of the world. Our Synapse technology is bringing this capability to the U.S., making travel more convenient.”

“As a leader in the payment processing industry, Wells Fargo is pleased to provide this technology-based solution to meet merchant and cardholder needs,” said Todd Ablowitz, Director of Product Strategy and Implementation for Wells Fargo Merchant Services, L.L.C. “U.S. Wireless Data is helping us make travel more convenient for passengers, allowing taxi drivers to pick up more fares because being low on cash is no longer an obstacle to taking a cab.”


Wells Fargo Merchant Services, L.L.C. is a joint venture between Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and First Data Merchant Services (FDMS). Wells Fargo Bank is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), one of the nation’s premier financial institutions. Wells Fargo offers a diverse array of financial services including banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance from over 5,300 stores, the Internet and other distribution channels across North America and elsewhere internationally. A subsidiary of First Data Corp., First Data Merchant Services annually processes and settles almost 9 billion transactions for more than $490 billion in sales volume from 2.8 million merchant locations.


U.S. Wireless Data (USWD) (OTC Bulletin Board: USWE) makes credit card and ATM transactions faster and more cost effective. USWD connects credit card processing companies to their merchant clients. Using wireless and landline technology, USWD provides improved transport, data translation, and value-added processing. In addition, by enabling wireless point of sale terminals, USWD adds speed and mobility that has been unachievable in the past. USWD now handles more than 500 million transactions each year through its centralized computer center and nationwide network. Further information is available at [][1].




Acer, one of the world’s
largest PC vendors has selected Arterium software, created by Sydney based
Cards etc, as the smart card management system for their smart card management

Arterium software will enable Acer to launch, manage and enhance smart
card programs for their customers with one system. Arterium manages the
entire lifetime of the card from launch through to expiry and enables partners
who share space on the chip to retrieve and update cardholders, cards and

Craig Dower, Joint CEO of Cards etc says organizations are looking to
smart card technology as a means to increase customer loyalty, improve market
share and ultimately cut down the cost of launching new products on a card.

“Arterium enables organizations to add or delete products from a smart
card after the card is issued. There’s no longer any need to issue new cards
along with new products. Cardholders can download or delete products via
various means, including the web, ATM networks and company intranets.

“Marketers can test new products and loyalty partnerships quickly,
ultimately increasing their speed to market and profitability.”

About Cards etc

Cards etc is a provider of smart software and solutions for smart card,
e-commerce and similar e-transaction systems. From its base in Sydney,
Australia, it developed Arterium, smart software that provides infrastructure
management for smart cards, products and devices. Cards etc’s consultants
have several years experience in implementing leading edge projects
internationally, including smart card, stored value, loyalty, transaction
switching, internet payment and corporate purchasing card solutions. Cards
etc also provides professional services integrating new technology solutions
into existing environments. Cards etc has offices in Europe, Asia and

About Acer

Established in 1976, Acer is among the world’s top ten branded PC vendors.
Acer employs marketing and service operations across Asia-Pacific, Europe, the
Middle East, and the Americas, supporting dealers and distributors in over 100
nations. In addition to offering a broad spectrum of IT services, Acer is
also a leading innovator of e-business, providing MegaMicro e-enabling
solutions that combine IT products with a range of Micro services delivered
via Acer’s Mega infrastructure. For more information about Acer, please visit
our website at


Synapse Aloha Stadium

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc., the leader in wireless transaction services, and Volume Services America, a leading provider of concessions services for stadiums and sports venues, have teamed for the second year in a row to make credit card transactions as fast as cash for fans at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The Synapse wireless technology from U.S. Wireless Data allows vendors to swipe credit cards and get approvals in 3-5 seconds, a fraction of the time of traditional dial-up authorizations, which can take 18 – 20 seconds. As was demonstrated last year at Aloha Stadium, the improved speed is a benefit to vendors and fans alike.

“Fans want to move through the line and get back to their seats quickly,” said Sonja Thomas, cash manager for Volume Services, which manages beverage and merchandise services and utilizes U.S. Wireless Data’s technology for Aloha Stadium and numerous other sports venues, including Pac Bell Park, AllTel Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Qualcomm Stadium. “The speed of wireless transactions can often be faster than counting change. It also gives sales a lift because vendors can manage a higher volume of customers in less time, and the fans are no longer limited by the cash they have on hand when making a purchase.” Synapse also allows temporary placement of kiosks throughout the stadium to maximize vending opportunities. Additionally, the wireless point-of-sale can be easily relocated to provide additional support in high-traffic areas.

“We are excited to work with Volume Services America, an innovative leader in concession services and Stadium Management, to bring wireless payments to Aloha Stadium, and to many of the other venues they serve,” said Dean M. Leavitt, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Wireless Data. “Our Synapse technology is changing the point-of-sale at these stadiums and other recreation and entertainment venues where phone and power connections aren’t readily available.”

About U.S. Wireless Data

U.S. Wireless Data makes credit card and ATM transactions faster and more cost effective. USWD connects credit card processing companies to their merchant clients. Using wireless and landline technology, USWD provides improved transport, data translation, and value-added processing. In addition, by enabling wireless point of sale terminals, USWD adds speed and mobility that has been unachievable in the past. USWD now handles more than 500 million transactions each year through its centralized computer center and nationwide network. Further information is available at [][1].




In accordance with the
requirements of Section 111 of the Securities act (British Columbia) and
Section 101 of the Securities Act (Ontario), Cash Card Communications Corp
Ltd., a private Bermuda company, (the “Investor”) announces that it has
acquired, by way of purchase, beneficial ownership of, or the power to
control or direction over, 2,174,000 common shares of DataWave Systems Inc.
(“DataWave”) at a cost of US$434,800. DataWave is a reporting company whose
shares are posted and listed for trading on the Canadian Venture Exchange
the trading symbol “DTV” and on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) in
the United States under the trading symbol “DWVSF.”

Upon completion, the Investor will have a total of 17,949,000 common shares
currently comprising 40.91% of the outstanding shares of DataWave.
The Investor believes that the Company’s stock is substantially undervalued,
and out of a concern that the Company might receive an unsolicited purchase
offer, it approached Glencoe to acquire 2,174,000 to protect its earlier
The Investor’s acquisition of 2,174,000 shares was made for the express
of discouraging any such “extraordinary transaction.”

As of the date hereof, the Investor does not intend to increase its beneficial
ownership of, or control or direction over, any securities of DataWave.


Providian Rebound

Following the release of Providian’s fourth quarter earnings report which showed a $400+ million loss, some Wall Street research firms raised ratings on the nation’s 7th largest issuer. As a result, Providian’s stock climbed 20% Friday to close at $4.16, after rising to as high as $4.65 during the day. Analysts indicate the company’s share are well below book value and Providian’s capital looks adequate. Merrill Lynch raised its ratings from “neutral” to “buy”. Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been filed against the firm on behalf of current and former Providian employees regarding its 401k retirement plan. Keller Rohrback LLP of Seattle filed the ERISA fraud class action last week. The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Providian breached its fiduciary duties when it was made aware of numerous practices that made Providian’s stock an inappropriate Retirement Plan investment during the Class Period. The suit alleges Providian encouraged participants and beneficiaries of the Plan to continue to make and maintain substantial investments in the Company Stock Funds in the Plan. (CF Library 2/8/02)


NextCard Unraveling

Trading in NextCard’s stock was halted Friday in the wake of the closure of its AZ-based banking unit by the OCC on Thursday. The FDIC, which was appointed receiver of NextBank, said it will mail checks this morning to the customers holding jumbo CDs of the failed bank, up to federal limits. NextBank had total assets of $700 million and total deposits of $554 million, of which $29.4 million in 2,075 accounts exceeded the federal deposit insurance limit. The status of NextCard’s credit card securitizations remains unclear. The receivership of NextBank is a redemption event. However, as disclosed in the ‘NextCard Credit Card Master Note Trust’ offering memorandum, the FDIC may have the power to prevent the commencement of an early amortization period. The FDIC has not yet publicly stated whether it will attempt to prevent the commencement of the early amortization period. NextCard’s stock dipped to 12 cents per share on Thursday and remains halted at 14 cents per share. The Nasdaq Stock Market announced the trading halt status in NextCard at 8:13 a.m. on Friday. (CF Library 2/8/02)


OPC Signs NY Towns

Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) ([][1]) announced that the cities of Rensselaer and Rye and the towns of Amherst, Colonie, and Irondequoit in the state of New York have signed agreements with the company. Under the agreements, citizens of these areas will have the option of paying real estate taxes, utility bills and other fees by credit card over the Internet and via telephone. Commencing in March, residents will be able to make these payments by visiting [][2] or calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX(SM). American Express, Discover Card, Visa and MasterCard are the cards accepted by the program.

Combined, the city and town authorities collected over $410 million in real estate taxes, utility bills and other fees last year. Official Payments provides similar services for the IRS, 21 states including the state of New York, and more than 1,200 local government entities including 22 in New York. “Official Payments continues our expansion in the crucial New York market by adding five clients in some of the state’s largest counties,” stated Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “Now, residents of these areas have the option of charging local, state and federal payments, all through our Internet and telephone systems. We bring the convenience of one-stop shopping to the tax payment process,” added Mr. Evans.

Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [][3]. For example, a taxpayer who owed the City of Rye $4,800 in real estate taxes and charged their taxes would find a total of $4,933 on their credit card statement: $4,800 for the tax bill and $133 for the convenience fee. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.

About Official Payments Corporation

Founded in 1996, Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the IRS, 21 state governments (AL, AR, CA, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MN, MS, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, VA, WA, WI, and WV), the District of Columbia, and more than 1,000 counties and municipalities. The company’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. In 2001, Official Payments collected and processed more than one million transactions totaling $1.2 billion in federal, state and local government payments. Thomas R. Evans, the former President & CEO of the Internet company GeoCities, became Chairman & CEO of Official Payments in the summer of 1999. Mr. Evans brought Official Payments public in November of 1999, raising $80 million in its IPO on the NASDAQ national market.



SCA Snags Troutman’s

Troutman’s Emporium has selected Shoppers Charge Accounts Co. to operate its private label credit card program. Under terms of the agreement, the Mahwah, N.J.-headquartered SCA has acquired the receivables in Troutman’s portfolio and will administer all facets of the chain’s credit card program on an ongoing basis. Headquartered in Eugene, Ore., Troutman’s operates over 30 department stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, northern Nevada and northern California. Locations range in size from 40,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet and sell apparel, cosmetics, giftware, jewelry, accessories and other general merchandise. Troutman’s was ranked 26th nationally last June by The Nilson Report newsletter among retailers that own their store card receivables.

SCA services brick-and-mortar and catalog retailers throughout the U.S., along with their e-commerce operations. The company acquires retailers’ receivables or will develop private label credit card programs for merchants who currently don’t offer a house charge. In both situations, SCA assumes responsibility for generating customers’ billing statements; managing credit, collection, and lockbox functions; and creating customized marketing programs. Ranked among the nation’s largest private label credit card companies, SCA is a division of Hudson United Bank, a subsidiary of Hudson United Bancorp (NYSE: HU). Hudson United Bancorp is a $6.7 billion asset company with over 200 branch offices in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania. Hudson United Bancorp’s subsidiaries offer a full array of innovative products and services to commercial and retail accounts, including imaged checking accounts, 24-hour telephone and Internet banking, loans by phone, alternative investment products, insurance products, private label credit cards programs and a wide variety of commercial loans and services including asset based loans, SBA loans, international services and cash management services. Wealth management services are also provided to individuals and businesses. Public sector products and services are provided to local and state governments, municipalities, educational institutions, civic and not-for-profit organizations.