Advanta’s CEO Takes Options

Advanta Corporation announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Alter has given up his entire salary and annual bonuses for 2002 through 2004 in exchange for stock options. Mr. Alter will receive instead options on 1,500,000 Class B shares. The options were priced at market on the dates of grant and will vest incrementally over the next three years, beginning in late February 2003. Advanta is a highly focused financial services company which has been providing innovative financial solutions since 1951. Advanta leverages its first-class direct marketing and information based expertise to develop state-of-the-art data warehousing and statistical modeling tools that identify potential customers and new target markets. It has used these distinctive capabilities to become one of the nation’s largest issuers of MasterCard business credit cards to small businesses. Learn more about Advanta at [][1].




In a move that will ensure price
consistency from shelf to checkout, Netherlands-based Hoogvliet Supermarkets
announced it is deploying electronic shelf labels (ESLs) from NCR
Corporation throughout its 34-store chain.

ESLs are digital tags that attach to shelves or other store fixtures.
They display the price of merchandise or food items in large, clear characters
and provide other information to shoppers or store personnel. Price
discrepancies between shelf and checkout are eliminated because the NCR
RealPrice wireless ESL solution is linked to the same computer file used
by the store’s point-of-sale system.

“Thanks to the lower cost of NCR RealPrice, retailers can now realize a
return on investment of 12 to 18 months with ESLs,” said Pete Bartolotta, vice
president and general manager, NCR RealPrice. “ESLs eliminate the cost of
replacing paper labels as prices change, help improve inventory and
replenishment operations and allow stores to respond to competitive pricing
pressures by implementing price changes or launching sales on short notice.”

NCR recently introduced the NCR RealPrice brand to more clearly convey the
benefits unique to ESLs.

“As retailers adopt this and other new retail technologies, it is critical
to link the real operational challenges they face with real, measurable
solutions,” Bartolotta said. “The name, NCR RealPrice, clearly and simply
illustrates the product’s most distinct advantage.”

Known for its discount pricing and emphasis on customer service, Hoogvliet
began installing NCR RealPrice in September 2001 and expects to have
approximately 5,500 labels in each store by the end of this month. In
addition to ESL hardware and software, NCR is providing project planning,
infrastructure installation, label overlays and maintenance, including remote

Beyond pricing accuracy, the NCR digital displays will enable Hoogvliet
customers to easily compare the price of an item in euros with the price in
Dutch guilders.

“The new shelf labels helped us and our shoppers make a smooth transition
to the new currency,” said M.W. Pietersma, managing director for Hoogvliet.
“Beyond this important immediate benefit, NCR’s ESL solution is improving
operational efficiency so we can continue offering the lowest possible

“NCR RealPrice can help ease consumer anxiety about pricing
discrepancies,” Bartolotta said. “Moreover, the ability of ESLs to display
supportive text messages along with pricing information greatly supports the
retailer’s aim to increase service levels at the point of decision – the

About Hoogvliet Supermarkets BV

Founded in 1968, Hoogvliet was one of the first retailers to introduce the
Netherlands to the “cash & carry” supermarket concept – offering a wide
assortment of groceries, produce, fresh baked goods and other items at
discount prices. “The customer is king” at Hoogvliet, where attentive staff,
quality products, modern facilities and the effective use of technology help
make shopping a pleasure. A family-owned company headquartered in Alphen aan
den Rijn, Hoogvliet today operates 34 stores located in the central part of
the country. Visit Hoogvliet on the Web at

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship
Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial,
communications, manufacturing, travel and transportation, and insurance
markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled
Teradata(R) warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM)
applications, store automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The
company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-
established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding
software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and
media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 31,400 in
more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500
Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at



The merger of two of the electronic funds transfer industry’s most prominent networks has been completed, according to officials from the PULSE EFT Association and TYME Corporation. The merger was approved by an affirmative vote of more than 95% of TYME’s outstanding shares, and all TYME participants signed PULSE membership agreements. The combined system further solidifies PULSE’s status as one of the leading independent financial industry owned and controlled providers of automated teller machine and point-of-sale processing services.

“This merger is especially significant in light of industry developments that have removed a large portion of the nation’s EFT infrastructure from the stewardship of financial institutions,” said PULSE president and CEO Stan Paur. “The consolidation of the two networks is a natural in light of the mutual ownership structure and the similar operating philosophies.”

TYME president Jim Martin, who will remain head of PULSE’s Wisconsin operations, said the merger offers important strategic benefits to TYME members.

“We felt it was important to our members and to cardholders that TYME be aligned with an organization owned and controlled by the financial industry,” he said.

“Not only does PULSE embody that principle, but it also is widely recognized as an industry innovator and leader. We are very comfortable and confident in joining forces with PULSE for the future.”

Paur noted that PULSE patterned its business philosophy and infrastructure after TYME, which was organized in 1975 and was the first shared EFT network in the country. He said consumers will continue to see the familiar TYME logo on ATMs and at POS terminals, now appearing alongside the PULSE brand. TYME cardholders should notice no changes in the services they have come to count on and to respect but will gain the benefit of access to more ATMs and POS locations.

Following the merger, PULSE membership now includes 3,500 banks, credit unions and savings and loans throughout a 22-state primary service area stretching from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. PULSE links an estimated 70 million cardholders with more than 83,000 PULSE-branded ATMs and 350,000 POS merchant locations throughout the United States. The network expects to process more than one billion transactions in 2002. In recent years PULSE has become known as a valued resource for consumer research related to EFT services and an effective national voice on public policy issues relevant to the financial services industry.

Completion of the TYME merger represents the second expansion of the network over the past 12 months. PULSE acquired the Ohio-based Money Station network last January.


Direct Merchants Lawsuits

Metris Companies/Direct Merchants Bank announced Friday an agreement to settle separate lawsuits filed in Minnesota, Arizona, and California over its credit card and enhancement services business practices. Under the terms of the settlement, Metris will pay approximately $5.5 million for plaintiff attorneys’ fees and agree that all payments received by 5 p.m. Eastern time will be credited to the cardholder’s account the same day. In addition, for two years, Metris will agree to give refunds to customers who wish to cancel purchases of Metris enhancement services, including credit protection, extended service plans and membership clubs. The agreement will also enable former cardholders who apply and qualify for a new credit card to pay no annual fee and receive a 9.9% APR for one year. Metris will also offer to make a charitable contribution of $8 in their name or give them a choice of a coupon book good for discounts on a variety of goods and services or enrollment in a card registration or travel protection service. The agreement will cover all current and former cardholders who were issued credit cards from January 1, 1995 through February 1, 2002. Metris said it expects the agreement will have no material adverse effect on its earnings. The lawsuits were filed in 2000 and 2001 and alleged that Direct Merchants Bank routinely assessed fees for the purchase of fee-based services which cardholders did not authorize and repeatedly charged late payment fees and interest for cardholder payments that were not in fact late or delayed. (CF Library 5/25/00)


JCB China

JCB International Company announced last week plans to issue credit cards in China, according to [The RAM Report][1]. In cooperation with the People’s Bank of China, JCB plans to grant card-issuing licenses to Chinese commercial banks such as Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications.



Super Bowl Ads

VISA’s two television ads, which ran during last night’s ‘Super Bowl XXXVI’, ranked among the top third of all ads airing during the event. Budweiser landed four of the top five rankings according to the ’14th Annual USA Today Ad Meter’. VISA’s “Jason Sehorn, Michael Johnson race horse” ad ranked #13 among viewers, while the “Kevin Bacon encounters six degrees of separation” ad ranked as #17. Budweiser’s “Stain Sheets” commercial was the most liked Super Bowl ad among the total of 56 ads airing. Pepsi’s “Britney Spears old Pepsi ads” commercials ranked among the least popular. Pepsi spent nearly $6 million in production costs for the 90-second version. Reportedly 30-second ad placements for this year’s ‘Super Bowl XXXVI’ cost as much as $1.9 million each. An estimated 130 million viewers tuned into last night’s broadcast which turned into one of the most exciting match ups ever.

Click on the graphics below to view the entire commercial in REAL Player.[][1]VISA Race [][2]VISA Kevin Bacon[][3]PepsiBritney[][4]Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales[][5]Anheuser-Busch Card [][6]Anheuser-Busch Texan [][7]Anheuser-Busch Satin sheets[][8]Anheuser-Busch anniversary [][9]Anheuser-Busch Earnhardt Jr.




NCR is rolling out this week a new, enhanced, and modular self-checkout solution. ‘NCR FastLane’ offers a smaller footprint and can be easily upgraded to feature small- and large-order bagging areas and a new take-away conveyor belt without having to reinstall the core system. The new solution also incorporates other NCR technologies, including touchscreens and scanners, and can accept cash, check, credit, debit and coupons. It can also be programmed in multiple languages. Home Depot is piloting ‘NCR FastLane’ and BJ’s Wholesale Club has intentions to pilot ‘NCR FastLane’ in one of its stores in April. The Food Marketing Institute says nearly 20% of food retailers had self-checkout installed in 2001. Optimal Robotics is also launching its new line of smaller, more compact ‘U-Scan’ systems this week. (CF Library 2/1/02)


Federated Falcon

Federated Department Stores announced this morning it is implementing HNC’s ‘Falcon Fraud Manager’ for its more than 1 million VISA cards. The cards are issued through FDS National Bank. ‘Falcon’ is a neural network-based predictive software system that examines transaction, cardholder and merchant data to detect a wide range of payment card fraud. It is currently in-force on more than 450 million payment card accounts worldwide. Last year, HNC released a specialized version of the ‘Falcon’ bank card fraud detection system developed specifically for international card issuers. ‘Falcon Quick Track’ offers fraud detection abilities to mid-sized European card issuers at a significantly reduced implementation time. (CF Library 4/12/01)


Intelli-Check & Sensormatic

Intelli-Check, Inc., a developer of advanced document verification systems, announced that the non-exclusive OEM agreement with Sensormatic Electronics Corp., recently acquired by Tyco International Ltd., which expires on March 31, 2002, will by mutual agreement not be renewed.

Intelli-Check said that Sensormatic has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of money and additionally return to Intelli-Check previously paid for and unsold CHECK-FIRST units in its inventory to meet its obligations under the agreement.

Intelli-Check will recognize the income in the first quarter of 2002. Intelli-Check, Inc. ([][1]) is a developer and marketer of an advanced state-of-the art document verification system for authenticating the validity of driver licenses and ID cards used as proof of identity.

Intelli-Check’s multi-purpose ID-CHECK(R) units are fully capable of increasing security and as a tool that can be used to deter terrorism at military installations, high profile buildings, airports and other sites and are also an effective tool against “identity theft,” which often is supported by fake IDs and is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. ID-CHECK(R) units enable a user to prevent economic loss from check-cashing, credit card and various other frauds utilizing fake IDs and to determine whether purchasers of age-restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco meet minimum age requirements for their sale. ID-CHECK(R), with its patented technology, analyzes and displays information encoded in magnetic stripes and barcodes found on driver licenses, military identification and other forms of state and government-issued identification from more than 50 jurisdictions.



AmEx/Delta SLC Double Miles

American Express announced that Delta SkyMiles Credit Cardmembers can earn double miles on all purchases made on their Card in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah during the month of February.

“The Delta SkyMiles Credit Card flies past the other airline reward cards when it comes to offering value and benefits to our customers — especially with great bonus mile opportunities,” said Richard Quigley, vice president, cobrand marketing at American Express. “Giving double miles on all purchases made by Cardmembers in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah this February is another way we can reward our customers, support travel and showcase the value of the Card.”

According to information gathered from the Utah Travel Council, it is estimated that during February 2002, Salt Lake City alone will have 70,000 visitors or more per day. Delta SkyMiles Credit Cardmembers placing their hotel, rental car, restaurant and day-to-day purchases on the Card can earn double SkyMiles, which can be redeemed for a wide variety of Award Travel options including upgrades and Crown Room Club memberships.

“With double miles opportunities throughout Utah, we are able to truly showcase the convenience of using the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card for daily purchases and emphasize the rewarding features of the Card,” added Quigley. Year round, Delta SkyMiles Credit Cardmembers earn two SkyMiles for every eligible dollar charged to the Card for purchases at supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores, home improvement stores, the U.S. Postal Service, wireless phone bills and Delta Air Lines through the Card’s unique Always Double Miles feature(1). Cardmembers continue to earn one SkyMile for every eligible dollar charged for other purchases. Delta SkyMiles Credit Cardmembers also receive American Express(R) Card features, including 24-hour customer service, Global Assist(R) Hotline, Purchase Protection Plan, Buyers Assurance Plan(2) and more. The Delta SkyMiles Card can be used everywhere American Express Cards are welcomed. For more information about the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, visit: [][1] or call 1-800-SKYMILES.

American Express is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, business services, insurance and international banking. Delta SkyMiles members earn mileage by flying Delta, the Delta Connection carriers, Delta Express, Delta Shuttle and Delta’s airline partners, including Delta’s SkyTeam partners. The Delta SkyMiles program offers many other mileage-building opportunities, including the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, MCI, Nextel, EarthLink, participating hotels, car rental companies, cruise line, restaurants, flower purchases, home buying and selling.

1 Always Double Miles(SM) offer applies at qualifying stand-alone supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, home improvement and hardware stores, the U.S. Postal Service, on wireless phone bill payments and Delta Air Lines purchases. Not valid in the departments of superstores or warehouse clubs. All standard Delta SkyMiles program rules and conditions apply. (c)2002 American Express. 2 Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company, Administrative Office, Greenbay, WI. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of Policy AX0951 / AX0953.



Checkout Smart Rewards

Catalina Marketing Corporation introduced Checkout Smart Rewards, a new method for supermarket retailers to offer their customers savings through individualized shopping lists. With enhanced graphics and a new Checkout Coupon format, retailers can combat channel erosion by delivering targeted stealth savings to shoppers based on previous shopping behavior.

“This exciting new application provides supermarket retailers with the opportunity to leverage a targeted shopping list application with traditional weekly specials,” said Cynthia McCloud, Senior Vice President of Retail for Catalina Marketing. “Catalina Marketing is excited about Checkout Smart Rewards and the opportunity to augment frequent shopper programs and loyalty applications, without advertising in traditional media that can be seen by the competition.”

Checkout Smart Rewards provides the retailer with the ability to personalize coupon offers or item discounts that will be available on the customer’s next shopping trip. This program gives the customer a virtual shopping list supported by in-store specials and reduced price items. Checkout Smart Rewards helps promote cross shopping, category growth and pantry loading programs associated with retailer loyalty programs. In addition, targeted national manufacturer offers can be combined with local retailer offers to develop exciting new equity building programs.

“This new application, combined with Catalina Marketing’s current in-store targeted programs, enhances customer relationships with personalized marketing programs,” said Sue Klug, President of Catalina Marketing Services — Retail and Direct Mail. “Through Checkout Smart

Rewards, Catalina Marketing will once again provide new methods of communication between retailers, manufacturers and consumers.”

Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Catalina Marketing Corporation ([][1]) provides a wide range of strategic targeted marketing solutions for consumer goods companies and retailers. The targeted marketing services of the company are provided by interrelated operating groups that strive to influence purchase behavior of consumers wherever and whenever they make purchase decisions. Through these operating groups, Catalina Marketing Corporation is able to reach consumers internationally and domestically — in-store, using incentives, loyalty programs, sampling and advertising messages; at-home, through direct mailings; and online. Personally identifiable data that may be collected from the company’s targeted marketing programs, as well as its research programs, will not be sold or given to any outside party without the express permission of the consumer.