P2P Payments

Online payment services are growing rapidly among auction Web site users. Only 14% of auction buyers reported that they used an online payment for their first online auction purchase however 37% say they have used an online payment service to pay for their most recent purchase. By contrast, checks and money orders combined were used by 50% of auction buyers for their first purchase, but by only 29% for their most recent purchase. The results of ESP Consulting’s recent study also found that 46% of respondents limit their online purchases to the general retail arena, while the remainder are active buyers and/or sellers at online auctions. The payment habits of online auction buyers are dramatically different than online retail shoppers. Among online retail shoppers, 73% used a credit card to pay for their most recent purchase while 18% used a debit card. By contrast, just 1% of online retail shoppers used an online payment service for their most recent purchase.


ADS Signs Another

Alliance Data Systems confirmed this morning it has signed a five-year agreement with women’s specialty retailer AnnTaylor Stores. ADS will provide private label credit card services to approximately 541 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft and Ann Taylor Factory stores nationwide, as well as the Ann Taylor online store. The program will provide includes account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services. Earlier this month, ADS announced a five-year agreement with specialty retailer Williams-Sonoma to provide a full-service, turnkey private label credit card program for about 200 Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids retail stores as well as catalog and Internet sales channels. Last month, ADS and Reeds Jewelers signed a seven-year agreement for Alliance Data to provide a full-service private label credit card program for Reeds’ 115-store chain located in 21 states primarily in the Southeast and Midwest section of the United States. The stores operate under the names Reeds Jewelers, Mills Jewelers, and Reeds Jewelers Outlets. (CF Library 12/11/01; 1/15/02)


Jamba Juice Gift Checks

Gift Check Solutions has been selected by Jamba Juice to provide hosted e-commerce services, which allow Jamba Juice customers to order gift certificates online at [www.jambajuice.com][1].

Gift Check Solutions’ e-commerce services provide a secure online environment for Jamba Juice customers to order one or more gift certificates in $5 denominations, which are redeemable at any of Jamba Juice’s more than 325 locations throughout the United States. The gift certificates are available online and can be sent to the customer’s location or shipped directly to friends and family.

“Everyone loves smoothies, and our customers are making Jamba Juice smoothies an increasingly popular gift,” said Dan Lester, manager of Sales/AR and Technology at Jamba Juice. “To ensure that we can meet the demand of our customers who want to order online, we selected Gift Check Solutions. “GCS offers a packaged solution that eliminates much of the management and hassle typically associated with coordinating an online gift certificate program over a large base of stores like Jamba Juice. Our gift certificates were a big hit during this past holiday season.”

“We provide our customers with a service that conveniently meets their needs,” said John Bechard, president of Gift Check Solutions.

“Jamba Juice is growing in popularity, and now its customers can give the gift of `Jamba’ to their friends and family by ordering the gift certificates online. This opens a new source of revenues for Jamba Juice by using their Web site as a tool to attract future customers and service existing customers.”

About Jamba Juice

Jamba Juice(R) is the category-defining leader in all-natural, made-to-order fruit smoothies, fresh squeezed juices, and healthy snacks. The company maintains its reputation by providing a stimulating experience featuring unique products made with the highest quality ingredients, vibrant stores and outstanding customer service. Jamba Juice has more than 325 company and franchised/licensed stores in 20 states nationwide, and can also be found at select Whole Foods Markets, college campuses and airport locations.

About Gift Check Solutions

Based in Salt Lake City, Gift Check Solutions provides paper- and electronic-based gift products and services. The company manages the creation, processing, printing and fulfillment of gift certificates and gift cards. Electronic gift cards utilize magnetic swipe card technology, allowing gift card transactions to be processed real-time via a secure network. Gift Check Solutions also offers hosted e-commerce services for online gift certificate and ordering and customized point-of-purchase materials to drive gift certificate and gift card sales throughout the year. For more information, visit [http://www.giftchecksolutions.com][2] or call 888/739-9971.

[1]: http://www.jambajuice.com/
[2]: http://www.giftchecksolutions.com/


French Gov P-Card

Europay International has won five French public sector purchasing card contracts through its partnerships with Cre’dit Agricole, Cre’dit Mutuel/CIC and Europay France. Cre’dit Mutuel/CIC won the contracts for the French Ministry of Defence, the French Ministry of the Interior and the Commune of Issy les Moulineaux, while Credit Agricole has been awarded the contracts for the Laboratoire National d’Essais located at Issy les Moulineaux and the Commune of Meudon. A total of nine contracts were bid according to The RAM Report (www.ramreport.com). The Cre’dit Agricole/Answork purchasing solution and the MasterCard, Cre’dit Mutuel/CIC, Ingenico consortium solution will both offer detailed transaction data and authorization controls that will provide these five public sector organizations with tailored management information programs.



Thales e-Security, a leading worldwide provider of e-Business security
solutions, announced a strategic partnership with Tecnocomputacion 3000,
S.A. in Venezuela and Identificacion Plastica, S.A. in Colombia. The two
companies will be responsible for sales and distribution, technical support
integration services of the Thales e-Security solutions in the Venezuelan and
Colombian territories, providing added-value services to customers in Banking,
Healthcare and Insurance.

“Tecnocomputacion 3000 and Identificacion Plastica are very pleased to partner
with Thales e-Security,” said Gabriel Sternberg, Business Director of the
group. “Over the past years we have built an extensive knowledge and expertise
in developing and integrating solutions for financial markets. This makes
us an
ideal partner of choice for Thales in our countries to commercialize and
support its e-Business hardware and software solutions. We are convinced that
our customers will benefit enormously from our partnership with Thales.”
Thales e-Security operates in three main markets covering e-security, card
payment and network security, addressing the business security needs of
corporations and governments alike. “We are very excited about our partnership
with Tecnocomputacion 3000 and Identificacion Plastica,” said Cynthia Provin,
President of Thales e-Security. “With their in-depth expertise in the smart
card area, combined with the Thales e-Security products, they can provide
customers with the personalization and transaction processing solutions
required to support the chip card migration in the region,” she concluded.

About Tecnocomputacion 3000 and Identificacion Plastica

Tecnocomputacion 3000, S.A. and Identificacion Plastica, S.A. are privately
held companies based in Caracas, Venezuela and Bogota, Colombia that belong to
the Grupo Empresarial 3000 Consortium (GE3C). For over 18 years, GE3C and its
companies have been distributing, integrating and servicing in Venezuela and
Colombia hi-tech products (hardware and software) manufactured by companies
around the world. Over the years, they have successfully penetrated the
Banking, Insurance, Healthcare and Oil & Gas industries by implementing and
maintaining different systems and solutions. To learn more about GE3C or
any of
its companies, please visit
http://www.tecnocomputacion.com or write to

About Thales e-Security

Thales e-Security provides e-business security solutions to several thousand
customers worldwide. Over half of the world’s banks, together with the
of the busiest exchanges, currently use Thales e-Security technology.
in three main markets covering e-security, card payment and network security,
Thales e-Security addresses the business security needs of corporations and
governments alike. For more than 20 years the company has been at the
of security and payment technology, co-operating and contributing to set the
industry standards used for financial transactions and e-commerce globally.

Thales e-Security is part of the IT & Services Business Area of the Thales
group, a global supplier of leading-edge electronics in the fields of Defense,
Aerospace and IT & S. Thales has $7.6 bn of revenues and employs 65,000 people



Johannesburg-based Prism Holdings Limited has been contracted by OPW Fuelling
Components Europe to deliver a smart card-based fuel-purchasing system to
Arabia. A R2 million pilot is being launched next month. Under the contract,
fleet vehicles will be fitted with OPW vehicle identification tags that are
transmitted as the nozzle is inserted into the vehicle’s fuel tank. The VIT
determines how much fuel is required and the vehicle odometer reading. This
information is sent to a site controller which is connected to a Prism
terminal. The driver’s smart card is then inserted into the terminal which has
been preloaded for fuel purchases. The terminal validates the driver and pre
authorizes the fuel purchase.



Samsung Electronics expects its smart card chip to become widely used in
cards. Visa International has certified that the chip complies with the
Europay/Master Card/Visa (EMV) technology standard, and Samsung is poised
to go
after the rapidly growing world credit card market.

EMV technology certification covers specifications for financial transaction
systems and Smart Card-based credit cards. These specifications have been
agreed upon by Europay Co., Master Card International and Visa International.
They must be adhered to for Smart Cards to be universally compatible in world

EMV certification does not cover financial transaction systems themselves. A
certification level is assigned to each Smart Card, or chip used in Smart
Cards. The certification process is a strict and varied hardware risk
review on
these ICs. Future product application will be determined by the level of
certification acquired.

Visa International has conferred EMV Technology Level 2 certification on the
8-bit Smart Card chip with a built-in 8KB EEPROM for SIM cards used in GSM
wireless communications. This level covers basic operation and architecture as
well as protection against hacking.

Receipt of this certification paves the way for Samsung to expand into Smart
Card chips for finance related products-a market that is expected to grow
rapidly in Europe, China and elsewhere. Importantly, the certification was
granted by Visa International, a highly trusted company with a large share of
the world credit card market. The high degree of technology and security that
the chip represents has been amply proven, and this should also help to boost

Samsung Electronics started the Smart Card chip business in 1993, and sales
have grown steadily ever since. Despite a sluggish semiconductor market the
company has seen 3 times increase in sales for 2001.
Samsung expects to receive EMV technology certification for other Smart Card
ICs , such as COMBI card in the first quarter of this year. This way, the
company will be able to accommodate new credit cards with a variety of
functions including the Openplatform card market.

About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductors, the
electronics industry, and digital convergence technology. The company employs
approximately 66,000 people in 46 countries. Samsung Electronics is the
largest producer of memory chips, Smart Card Chips, Display Driver ICs,
TFT-LCDs, and monitors. Also the company is the fourth-largest manufacturer of
mobile phones. Samsung Electronics consists of four main business units:
Digital Media, Semiconductor, Information & Communications, and Home Appliance
Businesses. For more information, please visit the web site,


OPC 4Q/01

The dominant provider of electronic payment options to government entities reported Thursday that during 2001 it realized a 59% increase in its client base and a 73% surge in the number of payment services provided on behalf of those clients. Official Payments Corporation reported 1,177 total clients at the end of 2001 and 1,988 total payment services as of Dec 31. Revenues for the fourth quarter were $4.3 million, a 37% increase over 4Q/00. The net loss on a GAAP basis for the current quarter was $9.4 million compared to a net loss of $6.1 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2000. Net loss on a GAAP basis for 2001 was $41.3 million. Revenues increased 21% to $31.4 million for the fiscal year 2001. During the fourth quarter, the company underwent a corporate restructuring intended to reduce significantly the company’s operating expenses and use of cash. For complete details on OPC’s 4Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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



Europay International, MasterCard’s partner in Europe, has won its first
French public sector purchasing card contracts through its partnerships with
Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel/CIC and Europay France. Crédit Mutuel/CIC have
won the contracts for the French Ministry of Defence, the French Ministry of
the Interior and the Commune of Issy les Moulineaux, while Credit Agricole has
been awarded the contracts for the Laboratoire National d’Essais located at
Issy les Moulineaux and the Commune of Meudon.

These French government contracts represent the most significant of nine
calls for tender. Each of the five projects will commence with a pilot phase,
testing in particular the virtual and the face-to-face purchasing requirements
of the individual programmes.

“This success is an important milestone for Europay International, MasterCard
and Europay France,” said Jean-Pierre Ledru, Chairman of Europay International
and Chairman of Europay France. “By winning more than 50% of the tenders for
the development of a purchasing card, the two key MasterCard Members in France
demonstrate once again our ability to innovate and our willingness to be
present in every new market that opens to payment systems.”

“By working with our Members on different approaches and by understanding the
needs of the French Government, we believe we have devised flexible solutions
that will work well not only in France, but also with other clients across
Europe”, explained Javier Perez, General Manager Customer Division at Europay

“MasterCard has a proven global purchasing card solution, but considering the
complexities of the European market our success shows that we’ve done more
just translate and adapt a successful business model,” explained Georgios
Sideris, Product Manager, Corporate Payment Solutions at Europay
“The ‘best-in-market’ combination of the consortium players was key to the
approach. “

The Crédit Agricole/Answork purchasing solution and the MasterCard, Crédit
Mutuel/CIC, Ingenico consortium solution will both offer detailed transaction
data and authorization controls that will provide these five public sector
organizations with tailored management information programmes. In addition the
programmes will help to eliminate paper invoices while still providing the
possibility for their retrieval at any time. The two teams will be offering
training and implementation support, e-commerce capabilities and seamless
integration of the card platform, as well as MasterCard global payment

“The Crédit Agricole solution has been developed in partnership with Answork,
the French e-marketplace that we participate in. This will allow us to combine
our in-depth knowledge of French local communities with the strength of a
highly efficient French platform,” said Jean-Pierre Ledru, Senior Executive
Vice-President of Crédit Agricole.

For Michel Lucas, CEO of Crédit Mutuel and Chairman of the Board of CIC, “The
group formed by Crédit Mutuel and CIC once more showed its ability to
understand the customers’ needs and create adequate and innovative solutions.
The purchasing card of Crédit Mutuel/CIC is a remarkable tool, generating
direct and indirect savings for all key organizations, both in the public and
private sector.”

Work on each of the pilots will start immediately, with the pilot stage
designed to pave the way for a future which will involve less paper, less
administration, greater transparency, cost savings and potentially more
developed programmes with expanded benefits and applications.


Money Skills for Military

Visa U.S.A. and the Reserve Officers Association are teaming up to provide financial training, resources, and tools to assist the families of the thousands of United States military Reservists and Guardsmen deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom manage their personal finances.

“Visa is committed to doing what it can to provide the resources and tools necessary to help the men and women who are answering the call of war manage their household finances,” said Rhonda Bentz, Director of Public Affairs, Visa U.S.A. “The Reservists and National Guard personnel that have been called to active duty and their families should have available to them all the tools and information they need to assist them in dealing with the new financial situation they find themselves in.”

Through this partnership program, Visa U.S.A. is working to provide military families with an array of financial management resources, as well as further training in applying these skills. These training sessions were kicked off this week in Washington, DC, at the Reserve Officers Association 2002 Mid-Winter Meeting. In the coming months, Major Commands of the Reserve and National Guard, working with the respective Ombudsmen, will receive tools that will enable them to provide assistance to their local families. As this campaign continues, financial resources on topics such as creating and sticking to a budget, understanding credit reports, and managing credit and debit cards will be made available at military installations across the country. Visa U.S.A. will also be providing nearly 200 military installations nationwide with the Practical Money Skills for Life tools, including instructional videos and interactive learning calculators, so that Family Service Center personnel can further supply ongoing training and assistance to military families.

“We hope these materials and resources will assist service members and their families in managing their new financial situation, which often times includes a reduction in household salary,” Bentz added. “Of course, all families can access Visa’s free, on-line, financial resource Practical Money Skills for Life, [http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com][1] , from any computer at any installation across the country.”

“The tragic events of September 11 called thousands of Reservists into action, many of whom could be back on active duty for a long period of time,” said Col. Chip Holsworth, National President of the Reserve Officers Association. “This extended call to arms presents our Guardsmen and Reservists with unique financial challenges. We are proud to be partnering with Visa U.S.A in this endeavor to educate our military families and guide them in managing their financial resources.”

One family impacted by this call to duty is the Harrington-Crawford household. District of Columbia National Guardsman Sergeant Malek Crawford was called from inactive reserve status to active duty and has been deployed for an indefinite amount of time. His wife, Anisa Harrington-Crawford is at home managing the household finances during her husband’s military activation.

“Being a citizen-soldier you are always ready to go and defend your country and step up when the call comes, but you never think the call is going to impact you the way it actually does,” said Sgt. Crawford. “When the call comes you are ready, but you really don’t realize how your family, your budget, your finances, and your income are affected when deployed.”

“After attending National Guard Family Day at the DC Armory last month and listening to Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life presentation I went back to my office and logged on for myself,” said Anisa Harrington-Crawford. “I plugged our household numbers into the budget calculator and it helped my create a new budget to use during my husband’s deployment. It gave me peace of mind by letting me see that our financial situation wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

“Visa is proud to be able to give a little piece of mind to active duty Americans who are defending our country,” said Bentz. “We will do all we can to educate them and their families by providing training, resources and tools that will allow them to make sound financial decisions during this time of uncertainty.”

About Visa U.S.A.

Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with the best way to pay and be paid. More than 14,000 U.S. financial institutions rely on Visa’s processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate over $810 billion in annual transaction volume — including more than half of all Internet payments — with virtually 100 percent reliability. U.S. consumers carry more than 353 million Visa-branded smart, credit, commercial, stored value and check cards, accepted at approximately 22 million locations worldwide. Visa has long led the industry in developing payment security standards, and has been named the most trusted payment brand online. Visa’s people, partnerships, brand and payment technology are helping to create universal commerce — the ability to safely conduct transactions anytime, anywhere and by any device. Please visit [http://www.visa.com][2] for additional information.

[1]: http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/
[2]: http://www.visa.com/



Mosaic Group Inc., North America’s
leading independent marketing solutions company with capabilities in Canada,
the US and the UK, announced that it has entered into a definitive
merger agreement to acquire Evanston, Illinois based Custom Offers LLC.

Custom Offers is a rapidly growing and profitable internet marketing
solutions company, focused on aggregating large volumes of high quality data
and then monetizing that data through performance driven marketing programs
and through the sale of data to third parties. In 2001, the Company’s start up
year, the Company generated over US$3,000,000 in revenue and achieved

“Although not yet large in dollar size, this is an important strategic,
symbolic and smart acquisition for Mosaic for four major reasons”, says Marc
Byron, CEO of Mosaic. “First, this acquisition speeds our transformation
towards my strategic objective to have Mosaic become the world’s first and
largest company focused on integrating and executing digital, data and direct
capabilities to produce profitable transactions for Brands and for ourselves.
Second, the Custom Offers platform reduces our dependence on and cost of third
party data. Third, Mosaic will become a key provider of data to other third
party marketers, including many of the Brands we currently serve in other
capacities, creating a new and lucrative earnings stream for Mosaic. Fourth,
Mosaic will utilize this platform through which we will begin to sell our own
proprietary products.”

“There are significant synergies for both organizations” stated Larry
Organ, founder of Custom Offers. For example, opportunities exist to expand
our data activities with Mosaic Performance Solutions, to leverage the value
of data currently collected by Mosaic such as at Mosaic Performance Solutions
or with the UK Prudential Home Service program, and to leverage Mosaic’s
existing blue chip clients. Our proven and sophisticated data aggregation and
performance driven marketing process fits perfectly into Mosaic’s vision and
strategy to become the leader in digital, data and direct marketing. As part
of Mosaic, we can now grow faster, provide additional value to the Brands we
serve and drive more profitable transactions for Mosaic’s Brand Partners
through our digital channels.”

Byron further adds, “this acquisition signifies an important strategic
shift as we begin to put our unique capability of creating transactions with
consumers to work for ourselves. By leveraging our own data, with our own
products and or services with our own infrastructure, we establish a whole new
revenue and earnings stream for Mosaic. The Custom Offers acquisition is the
first major step in Mosaic’s aggressive plan to ultimately remake Mosaic into
the world’s leading technology based, transaction driven company. Even in its
current relatively small size, Custom Offers drove over 2,000,000 paid
consumer transactions in December.”

Background and Additional Information:

Custom Offers, which is to be immediately rebranded as Mosaic Data
Solutions, provides internet-derived, permission-based consumer data for
direct marketing solutions. The Company sources all consumer data online from
opt-in consumer site registrations. Custom Offers’ consumer database undergoes
an industry leading and exhaustive hygiene process that removes incomplete
names, foreign domains, non-existent street addresses, false e-mail addresses,
and duplicate records. Custom’s database provides rich customer profiles for
any customer acquisition, cross-sell or retention exercise. All consumer data
includes both email and postal addresses, making it a single source for
online, offline, or integrated direct marketing efforts. Custom Offers’
segmented database enables superior results for their clients by allowing them
to engage in highly targeted campaigns.

Custom Offers has three lines of business, each with its own web address.
Custom Offers
(http://www.customoffers.com) earns lead
generation revenue from its
brand partners through consumers visiting the website and by consumer
responses to e-mail solicitations sent out in CustomOffers’ name. CustomOffers
currently has a gross list of 30 million names, of which 10 million are active
and with 1-2 million new names being added each month.

(http://www.offerstoreinc.com) operates
as an agency for other
mailers seeking to take advantage of CustomOffers’ technology and database. As
an example, OfferStore received an order to deploy 50 million credit card
solicitations in the month of December from a major bank.

generates revenue from the
CustomOffers database by renting data products for one-time use, licensing
data to resellers, or selling data in bulk to compiler agencies.

The purchase price for Custom Offers is based on a multiple of up to 5
times average 2002 and 2003 pre-tax earnings and will be settled primarily in
Mosaic common shares. The maximum consideration paid under the earn out cannot
exceed US$49.9 million, with any Mosaic shares issued subject to a floor price
of US$1.80. Closing is subject to customary closing conditions. An example
calculation of the earnout payable and a description of Custom Offers is
available by contacting Mosaic Group Inc.

Mosaic Group Inc., with operations in Canada, the United States, and the
United Kingdom, is a world leading provider of results-driven, measurable
marketing solutions for global brands. Mosaic specializes in three functional
solutions: Direct Marketing Customer Acquisition and Retention Solutions;
Marketing & Infrastructure Solutions; and Sales Solutions & Research, offered
as integrated end-to-end solutions. Mosaic differentiates itself by offering
solutions steeped in technology, driven by efficiency and providing measurable
and sustainable results for our Brand Partners. Mosaic trades on the TSE under
the symbol MGX.



Dallas-based TransFirst has merged the operations of PulseCard, a health services transaction processing firm, into TransFirst Health Services. PulseCard processes $500 million in annual transactions and TransFirst processes $216 million per year in healthcare services related transactions. TransFirst also announced the hiring of two industry veterans to its management team. Mark Travis, formerly with EDS, was appointed SVP/CFO and Joni Floyd, formerly with Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.’s Electronic Commerce Division, was appointed VP for business development and strategic planning. TransFirst, formerly ACS Merchant Services, was founded in 1995 and was recently recapitalized by GTCR Golder Rauner.