Priceline Phone Cards

After a failed attempt at grocery and gasoline savings cards, announced yesterday an expansion of the ‘Priceline Long Distance’s Name Your Own Price’ service. Priceline has added Qwest Communications International and the CNM Network as supplier/partners to its phone card program operated by Priceline Long Distance LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Priceline Long Distance enables customers to choose their own price for blocks of domestic and international calling time. Priceline Long Distance customers can save up to 40% or more over other popular long distance calling plans. The pre-paid phone cards can be purchased in 60-, 125-, 250-, 500- and 1,000-minute blocks. Priceline currently has Net2Phone and Deltathree as phone card partners.



ACI Worldwide, a leading international provider of enterprise e-payment solutions, announces the continued adoption of its e-payment processing solutions for retailers. Four retailers in the U.S. and Mexico have recently licensed WINPAY24 and join more than 80 retailers worldwide that use ACI software to process debit and credit card transactions.

ACI’s newest retail customers include:

— Hy-Vee, Inc.

— Weis Markets, Inc.

— OfficeMax Mexico

WINPAY24 offers retailers a fast, reliable software system to capture and authorize consumer payments. The system operates on the Microsoft(R) Windows platform and supports interfaces to leading EFT software providers, major point-of-sale systems, authorization networks and settlement institutions. In addition to debit and credit card processing, WINPAY24 can provide a fast check authorization and tracking system that helps retailers limit exposure to losses from check runners, organized fraud schemes, checks written on closed accounts and checks from customers who consistently write non-sufficient funds (NSF) checks. The WINPAY24 system also supports gift card and paper certificate programs, EBT programs, including the U.S. Food Stamp and AFDC programs.

“Retailers choosing our WINPAY24 software are looking for a solution designed specifically for the retail industry and the challenges retailers face,” said Doug Parr, managing director of ACI Worldwide’s Americas operation. “WINPAY24 provides a blend of performance and flexibility to satisfy retailers’ unique business and processing needs. The system can help retailers control costs, limit consumers’ in-lane checkout time, and accept a wide variety of consumer payments.”

About ACI Worldwide

Every second of every day, consumers are initiating electronic payment transactions — getting cash at ATMs, using debit and credit cards to make purchases in stores and on the Internet, banking by phone and PC, paying bills online. Twenty billion times a year, ACI software is used to process these transactions, powering the world’s online payment systems. ACI was founded in 1975 and pioneered the development of applications and networking software for online transaction processing. Today more than 530 customers in 71 countries use ACI supplied software. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at


FOMC Action

The Federal Open Market Committee decided Wednesday to keep its target for the federal funds rate unchanged at 1-3/4 percent. Signs that weakness in demand is abating and economic activity is beginning to firm have become more prevalent. With the forces restraining the economy starting to diminish, and with the long-term prospects for productivity growth remaining favorable and monetary policy accommodative, the outlook for economic recovery has become more promising. The degree of any strength in business capital and household spending, however, is still uncertain. Hence, the Committee continues to believe that, against the background of its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth and of the information currently available, the risks are weighted mainly toward conditions that may generate economic weakness in the foreseeable future.


Procisa Application with Active Card Control

Works, a leading provider of spend management applications, announced the general availability of the Works Procisa application with Active Card Control technology. This solution enables companies to use commercial credit cards, such as purchasing cards and corporate cards, to manage a greater amount of their overall spending without sacrificing control. This is made possible by combining the Procisa application’s pre-spending approval capabilities with the efficient payment processes offered by commercial credit cards, which together help companies better manage spending and realize savings from greater back-office efficiencies and streamlined payment processes.

The Procisa application with Active Card Control technology provides companies with the flexibility to distribute cards with different levels of spending authority and control to individuals within their organizations. This includes cards that can be used to make purchases without advanced approval, cards that require pre-approval for every purchase and any combination in between. If a cardholder needs to make a purchase above and beyond his spending authority, he submits a request through the Procisa application and it’s automatically compared to company spending policies. The request is then approved, denied or automatically sent on to designated personnel for online review and approval. Once approved, the spending settings on the individual’s credit card are instantly adjusted to allow the purchase.

The Teacher’s Credit Union (TCU), a billion dollar institution and the largest credit union in Indiana, recently selected the Procisa application with Active Card Control technology to more effectively manage operational spending. The solution will make it possible for TCU to use Visa commercial credit cards to pay for a number of high dollar expenses, including technology purchases and spending associated with construction of seven new credit union branches. “The capabilities of the Procisa application provide the controls we need to use our credit cards to purchase things we never would have paid for with cards before, such as expensive capital items that require pre-purchase approval,” said Amy Sink, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Teacher’s Credit Union. “This control, combined with the streamlined payment process and reporting available from a commercial credit card program, will help us reduce our overall expenses and operate more efficiently.”

In addition to its pre-spending approval capabilities, the Procisa application also provides:

— Streamlined accounting processes: allow companies to automate allocation of purchases, split individual transactions between multiple account codes, and add additional line item purchase detail either before or after the purchase is made, leading to increased efficiency and accuracy in the back-office.

— Real-time card administration: gives companies the ability to manage cards one at a time or in groups; request, activate and suspend cards; and manage card spending settings online. Changes take effect immediately.

— Visibility into spending: allows company managers to view up-to-date spending activity for their area of responsibility and use the data for detailed spending analysis.

“The Works Procisa application multiplies the possibilities of what a company can do with its commercial card program,” said Bo Holland, president and CEO of Works. “The upfront controls of the application combined with the payment efficiencies of the card program make it the ideal solution for managing a high percentage of a company’s spending.”

The Procisa application with Active Card Control technology is currently available through PNC Bank and will soon be available through additional banks. For more information, contact Works at 800-967-5726 or visit .

About Works ()

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Works is a leading provider of spend management applications. The company’s flagship product, the Works Procisa(TM) application, allows organizations to gain up-front control over company spending and reduce costs.


MasterCard Business Cards

As noted in yesterday’s CardFlash, MasterCard will unveil a business card solution this week geared toward companies with annual sales between $10 million to $250 million, and• have, on average, between 100 to 250 employees. The ‘MasterCard Middle Market Solution’ includes three major components. The ‘MasterCard Corporate Multi Card’ allows mid-sized businesses to combine their T&E, purchasing and fleet expenses into a single, manageable program. ‘•MasterCard Smart Data OnLine’ enables businesses to track, view and manage card expenditures across the entire organization. The ‘MasterCard Rewards Program’ can be customized by the issuer for the middle-market customer. MasterCard estimates the middle-market segment represents more than 137,000 potential customers. Under the program, issuers receive a ready-made marketing toolkit supporting the solution, including design templates, sales presentations, research summaries and tools to help issuers immediately implement the solution.



Ernex Marketing Technologies Inc., a provider of real-time marketing solutions, announced it has signed on eight new customers in the last several weeks, spanning 100 hospitality and retail point-of-sale (POS) locations. Ernex services being used include Ernex’s Real-Time Points loyalty programs, E-Gift stored value gift card programs, reward fulfillment services, and a suite of business intelligence analytical reporting services.


Ernex provides marketing technology services to help its clients achieve customer relationship management (CRM) success through real-time loyalty points programs, electronic gift cards and customized offers at the point-of-sale. The recent client wins reflect Ernex’s overarching mission of helping its clients cost-effectively identify, reward, and personalize offers to their card-carrying customers. The Ernex-enabled point-of-sale tracks customer spending and behavior, and can instantly respond back to customers on their receipts with coupons, messages or even prizes – based on a real-time central database. Ernex has proven successes in a variety of markets, including retail, restaurant, golf, hotel, and travel – managing millions of cardholder accounts and thousands of points-of-sale.


The eight new clients include programs at 100 locations.

— The Palm Restaurant ( has implemented its “837 Club” rewards program with plans to roll out Ernex’s gift card program in the New Year. The Palm, the oldest family-owned white tablecloth restaurant to expand across the United States while still maintaining its family ownership, is based in Washington, DC. The Palm has 25 participating locations. As part of the relationship with The Palm, Ernex will fulfill reward redemption, provide cardholder support, and provide data keying services through its Customer Service Center.

— Maverick Southern Kitchens ( has dubbed its loyalty program “The Maverick Collection.” Maverick Southern Kitchens owns and operates restaurants, a retail and wholesale bakery, and provides food and beverage services to area hotels. Five Maverick locations will participate in the program, and will use Ernex’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system for points lookups for cardholders. The program’s features include bonus points for birthdays and anniversaries, and a web-based cardholder points balance lookup feature.

— Levy Restaurants ( will work with Ernex on its “Levy Preferred” program. Levy Restaurants were founded in 1978 by brothers Larry and Mark Levy, and has grown from one delicatessen in Chicago to a specialized, industry-leading food and dining organization, boasting national and international accolades. With a diverse and disciplined culinary background that lead to tremendous success in the restaurant business, Levy Restaurants pioneered a new category of upscale food service – providing authentic restaurant experiences in places one would least expect to find them, such as sports stadiums, ballparks, arenas, convention centers, zoos and more. There are 10 Levy locations participating in the program. The program provides bonus points on birthday and anniversaries as well as for lapsed customers. Additionally, real-time redemption of points is offered at the point of sale. Levy Restaurants also participates in the Compass Rewards Program – launched with Ernex t echnology in July 2001 – offering stakeholders special incentives for dining at close to 50 participating restaurants. The Compass Group is the world’s second-largest food service company with operations in more than 70 countries, providing contract catering and concession services at airports, hospitals, rest areas, and schools.

— Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club ( is run by the Klauber-Moulton-Mancini family of resorts, shops and restaurants on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The club is using Ernex technology at seven participating locations for its loyalty program. Members may accrue points at The Colony Restaurants, Michael’s On East, Michael’s Mediterranean Grille, Pattigeorge’s, Michael’s Wine Cellar, Le Tennique, and The Colony Spa and Salon. This real-time loyalty program also offers bonus points to club members on their birthdays, anniversaries, and as an incentive for lapsed customers. This innovative club also offers exclusive special events for its members, including culinary trips to restaurants across Florida, fashion shows, culinary demonstrations, progressive dinner boat trips, and more. The program includes real-time redemption of points at the point-of-sale, and an IVR and web-based points-lookup for members.

— R.J. Gator’s HomeTown Grill & Bar ( is offering the “R.J.Gator’s Frequent Diner Program” for its patrons. The Restaurant chain is an authentic Florida-style casual dining neighborhood restaurant that captures the laid-back atmosphere of a Key West grill. Nine R.J. Gator locations are participating in the program. Ernex provides fulfillment for gift certificates for cardholder redemptions. The program also includes an IVR system and web-based interface for cardholders to check on their points. Cardholders receive cards on their birthdays and anniversaries.

— That’s Amore Restaurants ( offers a program called “Friends of the Family” in six participating locations. The That’s Amore restaurant concept originated in May of 1991 during an after dinner stroll on Taylor Street in Chicago, by friends and business partners of 30 years – Fred Berman and Artie Altschuler. They found themselves eating a remarkable, over-portioned, southern Italian dinner and discovered that there was a need for this type of restaurant in Washington, D.C. Today, Chef Gennaro Ferrigno’s cuisine champions the idea of “old school” Italian cooking and is a critic of “short cuts” and chain restaurant automation. The “Friends of the Family” program awards points toward free coupon certificates issued at the point-of-sale, IVR and web-based points lookup for cardholders, birthday and anniversary cards, real-time redemption of points at the point-of-sale, and bonus points on Mondays.

— CompuSmart (, Canada’s largest computer superstore network with the first Canadian computer superstore opened in 1982. CompuSmart is using Ernex’s technology to provide a reloadable gift card program for customers at 20 of its store locations. CompuSmart will stand to benefit from being able to electronically track and reconcile its gift card spending across all locations, increase gift card sales, and reduce fraud with a more secure real-time electronic system.

— Coast Hotels & Resorts ( – Western Canada’s leading chain of hotels and resorts throughout British Colulmbia and Alberta is using Ernex technology at 18 of its locations to improve service delivery of its Coast Select loyalty program. The program will begin in March. Hotel guests qualify for Silver, Gold or Platinum status based on their number of stays and room nights at participating locations, earning them special benefits such as complimentary room upgrades. Front desk clerks will use Ernex-enabled point-of-sale systems to automatically record member stays and track redemption of room upgrades.


Ernex Marketing Technologies is a provider of innovative real-time marketing solutions for merchants, credit card and bankcard issuers, and large membership organizations. Its solutions include loyalty programs, stored-value gift card programs, reward fulfillment services and loyalty database hosting services. For more information, contact Ernex at 877-GO-ERNEX or visit Ernex is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada.



“Student debt has increased by a quarter in 12 months, yet on average students spend £20 a week on drink and 86% own a mobile phone”, according to the Student Living Report 2002, published today.

The report represents one of the most comprehensive quantitative surveys of full time undergraduate and postgraduate students. The findings are part of an ongoing study to explore how students are meeting the challenges and opportunities of the higher education experience.

This year the report addresses new areas such as attitudes to politics, part-time work, living on a budget and stress, whilst uncovering fresh information on issues covered in the 2001 report such as academic studies, accommodation, financial preparations and crime.

The UNITE Group plc, the UK’s leading specialist provider of student accommodation services, commissioned MORI (Market & Opinion Research International), to conduct the survey among over 1,000 full time undergraduate and postgraduate students at universities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland between October and November 2001. Interviews were conducted face to face across twenty universities.

Headline findings from the report show:


– 1 in 4 students are now admitting to financial trouble

– At the start of the academic year 2001 / 02 university students say they currently owe and must repay on average £4,203, an increase of £877 since last year (26%).

– 43% of students have a part-time job during term time (1-29 hours per week)

– Student debt and juggling university work with other commitments are the worst aspects of university life
– 46% of students would prefer the current system of student loans to the new system of maintenance grants and higher student taxation on graduation.

– 90% believe that the money they are spending on their education is a good investment in their future.

– If there was a general election tomorrow, our young professionals in training would vote as follows: 28% Labour, 20% Lib Dem and 11% Conservative.

– Students are more likely to support a Single European Currency than the General Public.

– Given the choice, students said they preferred the current system of student loans (46%) to any potential new system involving maintenance grants and graduate taxation.
Leisure pursuits:

– Going to the pub is the preferred social pursuit of 52% of students. On average, students spend £20 on alcoholic drink in a typical week.

– Two-thirds of students own a PC and/or laptop – an increase of 7% from last year-86% of students now own a mobile phone.

– Over half of students admit to being more stressed since starting at university

– 86% have an optimistic outlook for the future and 88% are happy with life.

– 96% consider going to university a worthwhile experience.

– 25% of students have been a victim of crime.

– 60% of students still believe in the institution of marriage.

– If there was a general election tomorrow, our young professionals in training would vote as follows: 28% Labour, 20% Lib Dem and 11% Conservative.

– Students are more likely to support a Single European Currency than the General Public.

Given the choice, students said they preferred the current system of student loans (46%) to any potential new system involving maintenance grants and graduate taxation.

Commenting on the Student Living Report, UNITE’s Chief Executive, Nicholas Porter, said:

“The Student Living Report 2002 is one of the most comprehensive studies of the views, concerns and aspirations of students. This year’s research has highlighted some interesting issues such as the fact that over 50% of students now admit to more stress since starting at university, and that three quarters are in debt. Through continuous research, UNITE can keep pace with changing student lifestyles. We will not only be better equipped to help our partners within the HE sector plan for their future accommodation needs, but will also be able to support students through care and welfare in our own student accommodation.”

Professor Bob Worcester, Chairman of MORI, added:

“The `Student Experience’ is constantly evolving. To ensure that their needs and wants are met, it is important for all involved in the provision of Higher Education services to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues facing today’s students. MORI is delighted to be working in partnership with UNITE for a second year to present the findings of this enlightening survey.”

Technical Note: MORI conducted 1,068 face-to-face interviews with full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students between 22nd October and 16th November 2001.

Additional press releases are available and Photographs can be accessed via password at the Company’s website at


NextCard Layoffs

NextCard, Inc.announced that it has reduced its staff by approximately 170 persons, or 19 percent of the Company’s current workforce. The reductions came from all areas of the Company’s operations. More information on risk factors affecting the Company is available in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K.



Elo TouchSystems,
Inc., the global leader in touch technology and a unit of Tyco Electronics,
today announces that NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America, Inc., the
number one vendor of LCD desktop displays, has named Elo TouchSystems as an
Authorized Integrator of touchscreen technology for NEC-Mitsubishi LCD display
products. Under the agreement, Elo will provide touchscreen technology and
expert integration services for NEC-Mitsubishi display customers. The NEC-
Mitsubishi LCD display will be shown at booth #3050 at the Healthcare
Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition,
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia from January 28 to 31, 2002.

“We are pleased to have Elo as an authorized integrator because of their
expertise in touchscreen applications,” says Lisa Ahern, program manager for
NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America, Inc. “We are also impressed
with the quality of Elo’s integration services and touchscreen technology. We
believe this agreement represents an exciting new dimension for NEC-Mitsubishi
display products.”

“Combining our touchscreen technology with NEC-Mitsubishi LCD display
products provides an excellent touch solution for customers in a number of
vertical markets,” says Scott Smith, Elo’s OEM Sales Manager. “Because NEC-
Mitsubishi LCD products have great designs and outstanding performance, the
addition of Elo’s touchscreen technology can now turn LCD products into
superior interactive touchmonitors.”

“Elo qualified as an authorized NEC-Mitsubishi Select Integrator, because
they exhibit superior integration capabilities, are able to support NEC-
Mitsubishi approved quality control and manufacturing work processes, can
maintain regulatory approvals including FCC and UL compliance, and meet
Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) requirements,” added Ahern. “Meeting
these criteria is necessary to insure that NEC-Mitsubishi’s quality standards
are maintained.”

Elo TouchSystems will be offering the NEC MultiSync LCD1550V, NEC
MultiSync LCD1850X the NEC MultiSync LCD2010X and the newly launched NEC
MultiSync LCD1850E with additional LCD models to be offered in the future.
These touchmonitors are available with various touch technologies to address
the many needs of the touch market. The most popular include Elo’s AccuTouch
five-wire resistive and IntelliTouch surface-wave touch technologies.

Elo’s AccuTouch five-wire resistive touch technology is the workhorse of
touchscreens, providing unsurpassed performance. When activated with a
finger, gloved hand, fingernail, or an object such as a credit card, AccuTouch
delivers a fast, accurate response every time. AccuTouch is impervious to
environmental conditions such as liquid spills and splashes, humidity, and
washdown. It’s the most contamination-resistant touchscreen available.
AccuTouch is widely used in point-of-sale, industrial, and medical

Elo’s IntelliTouch surface-wave technology is the optical standard of
touchscreens. Its pure glass construction provides superior optical
performance and makes it the most scratch-resistant technology available.
It’s nearly impossible to physically “wear out” IntelliTouch touchscreens.
IntelliTouch is widely used in public access environments including kiosk,
gaming, and office automation applications.

Integrated NEC-Mitsubishi touchmonitors are available through Elo in both
black and white cabinet options. NEC-Mitsubishi monitors are backed by a
three-year limited warranty, including backlight, in addition to Elo’s five-
year (AccuTouch) and ten-year (IntelliTouch) touch technology warranties. For
more information on NEC-Mitsubishi LCD touchmonitors and other Elo products
and services, contact Elo TouchSystems at 800-ELO-TOUCH (800-356-8682) or
visit Elo’s Web site at or direct electronic mail inquiries

IntelliTouch and AccuTouch are trademarks of Elo TouchSystems, Inc. All
other products and company names referred to herein may be trademarks or
registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.

About Elo TouchSystems

Elo TouchSystems, Inc., global leader in touch technology, is a unit of
Tyco Electronics. Elo develops, manufactures and markets a complete line of
touch products that simplify the interface between people and computers in
both public-access and employee-activated applications. Founded in 1971, the
company is headquartered in Fremont, California, with manufacturing sites in
the U.S., France and Japan. Elo’s main regional offices are in Kessel-Lo,
Belgium and Yokohama, Japan, with additional sales and technical support
offices worldwide. For more information on Elo TouchSystems’ products and
services, call 1-800-ELO-TOUCH in the U.S. or +32-16-35-2100 in Europe or
visit our Web site at

About Tyco Electronics

Tyco Electronics is one of the major business units of Tyco International
Ltd. (NYSE: TYC, LSE: TYI, BSE: TYC). Headquartered in Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, USA, Tyco Electronics is the world’s largest passive electronic
components manufacturer, and a world leader in cutting-edge wireless
technologies, fiber optic active components, and complete power systems. The
company has facilities located in 51 countries serving customers in the
aerospace, automotive, computer, communications, consumer electronics,
industrial and power industries. Tyco Electronics provides advanced technology
products from over thirty well-known and respected product brands, including
Agastat, Alcoswitch, AMP, AMP Netconnect, Buchanan, CoEv, Critchley, Elcon,
Elo TouchSystems, HTS, M/A-COM, Madison Cable, OEG, Potter & Brumfield,
Raychem, Schrack, Simel and TDI Batteries.


Hypercom Lands MSI Deal

Merchant Services Inc., a leading provider of bankcard merchant services, has awarded Hypercom Corp. a 12-month, multi-million dollar contract for 10,000 Hypercom card payment terminals.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merchant Services will provide Hypercom’s card payment terminals to thousands of merchants in the retail and hospitality sectors, as well as to other emerging markets.

“Hypercom is the leader in electronic payments and its card payment terminals are the most advanced and proven products on the market. They deliver an array of secure Internet-based, value-added services at the point-of-sale that are second to none.

“And that’s what our merchants want to compete in today’s highly competitive market,” said Mario V. Parisi Jr., director of operations, Merchant Services Inc., New Jersey.

“This order is a win-win for Merchant Services’ sales force, distributors, customers and Hypercom, and another strong validation of our epic ICE strategy and the unequaled versatility of our ICE products,” said Chris Alexander, president and chief executive officer, Hypercom Corp.

Hypercom’s epic (ePOS-infocommerce(TM)) ICE(TM) devices are compact, high performance, touch screen-based card payment terminals.

ICE terminals support a range of value-added applications and services including: electronic signature and receipt capture, e-mail, on-screen advertising, interactive electronic coupons, and cash management reporting through a standard browser — as well as secure credit, debit and smart card functions.

About Merchant Services Inc. ([][1])

Headquartered in New Jersey, Merchant Services Inc. (MSI) and its affiliates provide services to more than 25,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and emerging market sectors. Founded in 1989, MSI presents its customers with a broad range of premier transaction processing solutions.

The company has a proactive philosophy of service, which accounts for its fast turn-around of new merchant applications and high retention rate of their expanding merchant portfolio.

About Hypercom ([][2])

Hypercom Corp. is the leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.

Hypercom’s products include secure, high performance, Web-enabled card payment terminals that work seamlessly with its networking equipment and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards and traditional payment applications.

The company’s widely accepted ePOS-infocommerce (epic) framework of consumer-activated, EMV-certified, touch-screen ICE (Interactive Consumer Environment) terminals enable acquirers and merchants to decrease costs, increase revenues and improve customer retention.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Hypercom is independently acknowledged as the leading provider of point-of-sale card payment terminals. Demand for Hypercom’s terminals surpassed 1 million units last year alone. Hypercom today maintains an installed base of more than 5 million terminals in over 100 countries, which conduct over 10 billion transactions annually.

Hypercom is a registered trademark of Hypercom Corp. ICE and ePOS-infocommerce are trademarks of Hypercom Corp. All other products or services mentioned in this document are trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks or registered service marks of their respective owners.



Vital Hires Parker

Vital Processing Services, a recognized leader in technology-based commerce enabling services, announced the appointment of Catherine Corby Parker as product executive in Vital’s Products and Marketing Group to lead the company’s products and market strategy development. Parker will report to Denise Lewis, executive vice president of products and marketing for Vital and will be based in Vital’s Columbus, Ga., office.

“Cathy has already contributed valuable expertise to Vital,” comments Lewis. “During the last year she has served as a consultant to Vital’s Products Group providing strategic planning and strong, focused management. I look forward to having Cathy on board full time so that Vital can benefit more fully from her vast knowledge of the industry.”

“Vital is an invigorated organization with a strong management team focused on winning by helping their clients win in the marketplace,” says Parker. “When you find a company like this, you don’t want to just advise it, you want to be part of it.”

Parker brings 20 years of financial services experience to Vital. Prior to joining Vital full-time, Parker managed her own financial services consulting firm Corby & Company which provided strategic planning and implementation support services to financial institutions and financial technology companies. Previously she served as senior vice president, Speer & Associates, where she led the firm’s Electronic Commerce activities. Prior to that, Parker was a director at Barnett Bank where she headed the alternative delivery system group and gained a reputation in the industry as an innovator in electronic delivery of financial services. She has served in strategic planning roles at Chemical Bank, Fidelity Bank and AT&T Universal Card. Parker’s consulting experience includes Booz, Allen & Hamilton and Earnings Performance Group. She is active in the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) and is a frequent speaker at industry events. Parker holds a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia School of Business.

About Vital Processing Services

Arizona-based Vital Processing Services(R) (Vital(R)) is a leader in technology-based commerce enabling services. Vital’s clients include acquirers and merchant service providers that offer electronic payment processing and related services to merchants. Vital provides leading point- of-sale (POS) products and services, electronic authorization and data capture; clearing, settlement and exception processing; accounting, billing and reporting; risk management; and merchant support services. Vital also provides POS equipment management services through its subsidiary Vital Merchant Services and a full suite of Information Services in conjunction with Vital’s wholly owned subsidiary GRS. Vital is a merchant processing joint venture of Visa U.S.A. and TSYS(R) (NYSE: TSS), a global leader in payments processing. Additional information regarding Vital can be found at .