Consumer retail volume is projected to increase this year according to the National Retail Federation. NRF expects retail sales in the GAFS category (general merchandise, apparel specialty, furniture, home furnishings, electronics, appliances, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores) to increase 3.7% in 2002, compared to the 2.2% gain seen in 2001. The NRF attributes the rebound to low interest rates, falling energy prices, low inflation, mortgage refinancing and a rebound in the stock market.Details
Providian announced Monday that another top card executive from Fleet Boston has joined its top management. Warren Wilcox has joined Providian as Vice Chairman, Planning and Marketing. Wilcox served as EVP, Planning and Development of Fleet Credit Card Services since 1998. Prior to that, he spent twelve years with Household’s credit card unit. Wilcox joins colleague Joseph Saunders who recently left Fleet to become Providian’s President and CEO. Meanwhile Providian is the process of raising interest rates across its sub-prime portfolio from 23.99% to 29.99%. Providian suspended lending to the sub-prime market following its third quarter earnings report which disclosed soaring chargeoffs. Last week Providian cut 800 more jobs and shut-down marketing of its ‘Getsmart VISA’ and new ‘smart VISA’ program. (CF Library 10/22/01; 11/15/01; 11/26/01; 1/03/02; 1/08/02)Details
Fifth Third Bancorp’s 2001 fourth quarter net income totaled $385,477,000, a 21 percent increase over fourth quarter 2000’s net income of $319,124,000. Fourth quarter earnings per diluted share were $.65, an increase of 18 percent over $.55 per share for the same period in 2000. For the year, operating income was $1,393,430,000, up 15 percent over 2000’s $1,207,126,000, resulting in operating earnings per diluted share of $2.37, an increase of 13 percent over last year’s $2.10. On an operating basis, 2001 return on average assets (ROA) was 1.97 percent and return on average equity (ROE) was 19.2 percent on an increased capital base, from 1.81 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively, in 2000. For the fourth quarter, ROA and ROE were 2.16 percent and 20.0 percent, respectively, compared to 1.87 percent and 20.4 percent in 2000’s fourth quarter. Fifth Third’s capital ratio improved throughout 2001 to 10.80 percent in the fourth quarter, comparing favorably to 9.18 percent in fourth quarter 2000.
“I would like to thank all of our employees for their hard work in producing another rewarding year for our shareholders. Their accomplishments have created an even stronger growth company for the future without interrupting our performance track record,” stated George A. Schaefer, Jr., President and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp. “2001 was our 28th year of uninterrupted earnings increases, including the last 23 at double-digit growth rates. Earnings this quarter continued to be driven by strong revenue growth, an improved net interest margin and controlled credit quality that remains among the best in the industry despite the challenges of an uncertain external environment. The recognized financial strength of our balance sheet, the flexibility provided by $7.6 billion in equity capital, sales opportunities in both our new and existing markets and a culture of simply executing better on the basics serve to effectively position Fifth Third to continue to deliver consistent earnings growth.”
“In addition to delivering quality growth in our existing markets, our employees teamed up to execute flawlessly on several acquisitions in 2001, most notably Old Kent, the largest and most successful in our history. We are well on our way to achieving the financial objectives from these transactions and look forward to their continued earnings opportunities. More importantly, the fourth quarter and 2001 results prove that we are unwilling to compromise the financial performance and balance sheet quality that our shareholders expect in order to create these opportunities.”
Schaefer continued, “The last several months have brought a number of challenges to some of our competitors and the financial services industry in general. Hard work, a focused operating model and a conservative risk profile can never entirely insulate even the best performing companies. The foundation of our track record is not in operating with immunity from these challenges, but rather in maintaining the flexibility to respond without sacrificing the earnings our shareholders have come to expect. An investment in Fifth Third is defined by consistent, quality growth without regard for difficult credit cycles, a recessionary economy or other external factors. It is with a great deal of pride that we announce another year of record earnings and look forward to meeting the opportunities and challenges that 2002 will provide. We believe we made your company even stronger in terms of future growth prospects and safety.”
Operating earnings for 2001 and 2000 exclude nonrecurring pretax merger charges of $384 million and $99 million, respectively. The effect of these one-time charges in 2001 and 2000 was to reduce net income by $293.6 million, or $.50 per share, and $66.6 million, or $.12 per share, respectively. Operating earnings in 2001 also exclude an after tax charge for a nonrecurring change in accounting principle of $6.8 million or $.01 per share. Financial data for all prior periods have been restated for the acquisition of Old Kent Financial Corporation, accounted for as a pooling of interests. In general, the effects of the pooling lowered Fifth Third’s originally reported financial performance ratios and growth rates.
Outstanding Deposit Growth and Balance Sheet Trends
Successful sales and promotional campaigns for Retail and Commercial deposits produced a record number of new accounts in 2001 evidenced by 26 percent year-over-year growth in average transaction account balances. In Retail, the momentum begun by the highly successful Winter Wonderland and Spring Ahead consumer checking account campaigns and the expansion of products to new markets continued in the fourth quarter with the Rake In a Billion campaign featuring over 120,000 new account openings and $1.1 billion in new balances.
Overall, average demand deposit balances increased 29 percent and interest checking balances grew 27 percent versus last year’s fourth quarter, and 18 percent and 21 percent on the full year, respectively. In the fourth quarter, average consumer demand deposits posted 55 percent growth and commercial demand continued to exhibit positive growth with a 15 percent increase.
Loan and lease balances remained relatively stable this quarter with comparisons to prior periods affected by the numerous sales, divestitures, securitizations, and related off balance sheet movements of approximately $4.0 billion of loans and leases in 2001 and an additional $838 million in the latter part of last year’s fourth quarter. Adjusting for the impact of these transactions, average loans and leases increased approximately five percent on a comparative basis over the same quarter last year. Direct installment loan originations more than doubled last year’s production and exceeded $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter and $4.6 billion for the full year compared to $600 million in last year’s fourth quarter and $2.4 billion for the full year, driving increases in total installment loan balances of eight percent over last year’s fourth quarter and one percent sequentially.
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2000, net interest income on a fully- taxable equivalent basis increased nine percent due to three percent growth in average earning assets and a 24 basis point (bp) increase in the net interest margin. Sequentially, net interest income on a fully-taxable equivalent basis increased three percent on essentially flat earning assets and a 14 bp increase in the net interest margin. The net interest margin has improved steadily in 2001 due to a lower interest rate environment and the corresponding effect on funding costs.
In the fourth quarter, Fifth Third undertook risk management initiatives to effectively position the securities portfolio by selling $1.3 billion in short term securities at a gain of $17.9 million. The $12 million year-over- year increase in securities gains provided substantial year-end flexibility in addressing certain lower rated commercial credits above previously announced expectations.
Service Income Advances 25 Percent
Recent strong business line revenue growth trends continued in the fourth quarter with non-interest income up 25 percent over the same quarter last year and 20 percent for the full year excluding the impact of non-mortgage related securities gains. Data Processing once again led with 30 percent plus year- over-year growth. Even without the $15 million revenue added by the October 31st acquisition of Universal Companies (USB), a merchant processor headquartered in Milwaukee serving over 61,000 small business merchant locations, Data Processing revenue increased by 32 percent year-over-year. Overall, Data Processing posted 52 percent growth over last year’s fourth quarter and 38 percent over the full year on the addition of several significant new merchant and electronic funds transfer (EFT) customer relationships. Midwest Payment Systems (MPS), the bank’s data processing subsidiary, processed over 6.6 billion ATM, point of sale, and e-commerce transactions in 2001, a number that has more tha_ tripled in four years, for over 159,000 merchant locations and 1,100 financial institutions worldwide.
Successful sales of Retail and Commercial deposit accounts and corporate treasury management products fueled increases in deposit service income of 35 percent for the quarter and 23 percent for the full year. Overall fourth quarter Retail deposit revenues increased 27 percent year-over-year, driven by the success of sales campaigns and direct marketing programs in generating new account relationships in both new and existing markets. Similarly, Commercial deposit based revenues increased 49 percent over last year’s fourth quarter on the strength of product introduction and cross-sell as well as new customer relationships.
Investment Advisory revenues increased four percent over the same quarter last year and nine percent for the full year despite equity market weakness for much of the year. Declines in market sensitive service income were mitigated by double-digit increases in private client services across all product lines and in retail brokerage as annuity sales continue to increase through the Banking Centers. Fifth Third remains committed to investing in and broadening the sales efforts in order to take advantage of strong investment performance and continues to focus its sales efforts on integrating services across business lines to take advantage of an expanding customer base. Fifth Third Investment Advisors, among the largest money managers in the Midwest, has over $34 billion in assets under management, $188 billion in assets under care, and $12 billion in Fifth Third Funds, our nationally recognized family of 31 stock, bond and money market mutual funds. With eight affiliates delivering double digit revenue growth in 2001 and 10 funds awarded four or five-star ratings from Morningstar, Fifth Third looks forward to continuing to increase the revenue contribution from Investment Advisory in coming periods.
Mortgage net revenue in the fourth quarter totaled $50.4 million compared to $41.6 million last quarter and $64.3 million in 2000’s fourth quarter. The fourth quarter and future contribution of Mortgage Banking has been reduced from prior periods as a result of the previously disclosed divestiture of Old Kent’s out-of-market residential and subprime mortgage origination capabilities. Fifth Third remains committed to offering residential mortgages as part of its full financial services product offering to customers within its geographic footprint because of the importance of the resulting customer relationships and cross-sell opportunities. Fourth quarter mortgage net revenue was comprised of $77.8 million in total mortgage banking fees, plus $73.2 million of securities gains on the sale of balance sheet hedge investments, and less $100.6 million in amortization and valuation adjustments on mortgage servicing rights. The sale of these balance sheet instruments and the subsequent valuation adjustments were made necessary by declines in short- term interest rates, corresponding anticipated increases in prepayment speeds and the decreased origination capacity associated with the divestitures. Management will continue to evaluate alternatives related to the mortgage servicing portfolio. In-footprint mortgage origination totaled $8.5 billion in the twelve months ending December 31, 2001 versus $4.2 billion in 2000, an increase of 105 percent, with an additional $9.3 billion in origination contributed to 2001 results from divested operations. For the fourth quarter, mortgage origination totaled $2.5 billion versus $2.0 billion of in-footprint origination last quarter.
Other service charges and fees totaled $136.2 million in the fourth quarter and $542.2 million for the year, increases of 42 percent and 39 percent, respectively. The growth is primarily due to increases in loan fees across nearly all categories from continued steady loan demand. Other fourth quarter highlights include a 73 percent year-over-year and 16 percent sequential increase in Commercial banking revenues. Institutional fixed income trading and sales and card revenues also advanced 92 percent and 17 percent over the same quarter last year, respectively.
Controlled Credit Quality
With indicators mixed as to the depth and duration of the current economic downturn, we are realistic about the impact a protracted recession could have on credit quality throughout the industry and at Fifth Third. Fifth Third’s long history of low exposure limits, avoidance of national or sub-prime lending businesses, centralized risk management, and diversified portfolio position us well to effectively weather a downturn and reduce the likelihood of significant unexpected losses. While the amount of charge-offs has increased from prior periods, Fifth Third notes that it remains in line with historical ten-year averages and represents a small percentage of our total loan and lease portfolio.
Nonperforming assets (NPAs) now stand at 57 bp of total loans and leases and other real estate owned at December 31, 2001, relatively consistent with the 51 bp last quarter and in line with previously announced expectations. The fourth quarter provision for loan losses totaled $61.6 million, a 95 percent increase over last year’s fourth quarter and 30 percent increase over last quarter’s $47.5 million, remaining steady overall at 1.50 percent of total loans and leases outstanding. Net charge-offs for the quarter were $54.6 million, compared to $46.7 million last quarter and $34.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2000. As a percentage of total loans and leases, fourth quarter net charge-offs were 52 bp, compared to 33 bp in 2000’s fourth quarter and 44 bp last quarter.
Demonstrated Expense Control
Fourth quarter operating expenses increased nine percent over the same period last year versus a 15 percent increase in revenues, excluding non- mortgage related securities gains. Expense savings related to headcount reductions and divested businesses associated with the acquisition of Old Kent Financial Corp are partially mitigated by strong growth in all of our markets, the addition of sales officers in Investment Advisory, the purchase acquisition of USB and incremental expenses associated with traditionally higher fourth quarter transaction volumes. Demonstrating the ability to consistently grow revenues faster than expenses, Fifth Third’s fourth quarter efficiency ratio, inclusive of securities transactions associated with on balance sheet hedging activity related to the mortgage servicing portfolio, stands at 45.2 percent versus 45.3 percent last quarter on a comparable basis. Exclusive of all securities transactions, the fourth quarter efficiency ratio was 48.4 percent. Fifth Third expects a return to a more traditional level of operating expenses, relative to revenues, in the first quarter of 2002.
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $71 billion in assets, operates 16 affiliates with 933 full-service Banking Centers, including 142 Bank Mart(R)(R) locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 1,847 Jeanie(R)(R) ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida and West Virginia. The financial strength of Fifth Third’s affiliate banks continues to be recognized by rating agencies with deposit ratings of AA- and Aa2 from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. Additionally, Fifth Third Bancorp continues to maintain the highest short-term ratings available at A-1+ and Prime-1, and was recently recognized by Moody’s with one of the highest senior debt ratings for any U.S. bank holding company of Aa3. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Retail, Commercial, Investment Advisors and Midwest Payment Systems, the Bank’s data processing subsidiary. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at [http://www.53.com] . The Company’s common stock is traded in the over-the-counter market through The NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol “FITB_”
For complete details on Fifth Third’s 4Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Corillian Corp., a leading global provider of eFinance solutions, announced that Bank One Corporation has extended its license and deployed Corillianâs Voyager Internet banking platform for use on its FirstUSA.com site.
Bank One’s Consumer Internet Group, formed to integrate Internet initiatives across the corporation, has recently completed the migration of FirstUSA.com customers onto the Corillian Voyager Internet banking platform. This single-enterprise website aligns with the CIG strategy of unifying the Internet platforms of both Bank One and its subsidiary First USA, providing support for both FirstUSA.com and bankone.com customers and allowing them to see their full portfolio of Bank One products. Through the Voyager platform, First USA cardholders now have real-time online access to their First USA accounts to check statement balances, review recent charges and payments, transfer balances, download transaction history and make payments on their First USA card.
âCorillianâs Voyager platform has worked very well for our bankone.com customers, so it made sense to bring it to our First USA customers as part of our strategy to create uniformity throughout the organization.â said Kevin Watters, head of the Consumer Internet Group. âWith Voyager, we are able to accelerate our plan to enhance efficiency for all of our online banking operations.â
Corillian Voyager – The Operating System for eFinance(TM) – is a high-performance platform that allows for the delivery of financial services to customers over the Internet. Voyager provides a link between a financial institutionâs legacy host system and its consumers, using Internet browsers, personal financial management software and Internet-ready wireless devices. Voyagerâs open architecture design allows an institution to quickly integrate emerging technologies, deploy the platform in-house or in a secure data center, and customize the entire Internet banking presentation to its customers.
âWe are excited to expand our relationship with Bank One by providing our innovative applications for eFinance to FirstUSA.com customers,â said Ted Spooner, CEO of Corillian. âFirst USA and Bank One are leading the way in taking advantage of the strategic delivery capabilities of the Internet. Using Corillianâs Voyager platform, Bank One has a scalable and flexible foundation for integrating all of its Internet initiatives into one complete and comprehensive solution.â
About Corillian Corporation
Based in Oregon, and with international offices in Europe, Asia and Australia, Corillian Corporation is an award-winning provider of eFinance-enabling software for the financial services industry. Built on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform, Corillian applications support Internet banking, bill delivery and payment, brokerage, customer relationship management, enhanced data aggregation, and small business transactions. Corillian Voyager can be deployed on-site at the financial institution or in the state-of-the-art Corillian Data Center. Corillian technology also enables Open Financial Exchange (OFX) access by finance management software packages such as Quicken(R), QuickBooks(R) and Microsoft(R) Money. For more information about Corillian Corporation, visit our Web site at [www.corillian.com].
About Bank One/First USA
Bank One Corporation (NYSE: ONE) is the nation’s fifth-largest bank holding company, with assets of more than $270 billion. Visit our site at [www.bankone.com]. First USA, a subsidiary of Bank One Corporation (NYSE: ONE), is the largest issuer of Visa(R) credit cards in the world. First USA offers credit cards for consumers and businesses under the First USA and Bank One names and on behalf of its 1,900 marketing partners. Visit our site at [www.firstusa.com].
Alliance Data Systems Corp., a leading provider of transaction services, marketing services and credit services, announced that a five-year agreement has been signed with specialty retailer Williams-Sonoma, Inc. to provide a full-service, turnkey private label credit card program for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids retail stores as well as catalog and Internet sales channels. Alliance Data will provide services to approximately 200 Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids stores throughout the United States.
Under the terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide a full-service private label credit card program that will include account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; and customer service functions for all sales channels. Additionally, Alliance Data will provide customized marketing services such as a customer reward program designed to increase direct-channel sales via Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids catalogs.
When asked about the choice of Alliance Data Systems, Pat Connolly, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., said: “We selected Alliance Data Systems after an extensive evaluation of providers within the private label credit card industry. Alliance Data has a proven track record in providing such programs, and demonstrated the know-how and necessary experience in providing an effective program across all three channels: retail, catalog, and Internet. Additionally, they have a deep understanding of the retail business. We believe that our relationship with Alliance in this program can be a significant factor in our future sales growth.”
âThe expertise and systems we have built in credit services is an ideal fit with the needs of William-Sonoma, Inc.,â said Ivan Szeftel, president, retail credit services, Alliance Data Systems. âWeâre looking forward to providing Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids with these important services that will help to increase the loyalty and profitability of their customers. Our proven retail experience in store, catalog and web sales channels gives Alliance Data an added measure of expertise that will help deliver effective and results-driven services for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids.â
About Alliance Data Systems
Based in Dallas, Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) is a leading provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services, assisting retail, petroleum, utility and financial services companies in managing the critical interactions between them and their customers. Alliance Data each year manages over 2.5 billion transactions and 72 million consumer accounts for some of North America’s most recognizable companies. The Company also operates and markets the largest coalition loyalty program in Canada. Alliance Data Systems employs over 6,500 associates at more than 20 locations in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. For more information about the company, visit its web site, [http://www.alliancedatasystems.com].
About Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a national specialty retailer of high quality products for the home. These products are marketed through more than 400 retail stores, six mail order catalogs (Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Bed + Bath, Pottery Barn Kids, Hold Everything and Chambers), and eCommerce Web sites at [http://www.williams-sonoma.com], [http://www.potterybarn.com] and [http://www.potterybarnkids.com]. The company is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information about the company, visit its corporate web site, [http://www.williams-sonomainc.com].
Alliance Data Systemsâ Safe Harbor Statement/Forward Looking Statement Statements contained in this press release which are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements, as the term is defined in the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “anticipate”, “estimate” “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include, among other things, statements relating to growth strategy, global expansion, use of proceeds, dividend policy, projected capital expenditures, sales and marketing expenses, research and development expenditures, other costs and expenses, revenue, profitability, liquidity and capital resources, and development. Any and all of the forward-looking statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions we might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many factors, including the risks outlined in the company’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, will be important in determining future results. Actual results may vary materially.
MasterCard’s ‘Remote Payment and Presentment Service’ this morning announced that its electronic bill presentment service is now processing live transactions from billers to consumers via participants Billserv and Online Resources. The MasterCard ‘RPPS’ model allows biller service providers, such as Billserv, to communicate with multiple consumer service providers, such as Online Resources, via a single connection through the ‘RPPS’ hub. Billserv currently has 96 signed billers; 76 are in a production environment stage, with the remaining 20 in various stages of implementation. Online Resources distributes bill payment and presentment services to more than 525 banks, thrifts and credit unions. First Virginia Banks is a participant in the ‘RPPS’ program via Online Resources and is planning an expansion of the service to its customer base in spring 2002.Details
Fujitsu Transaction Solutions and Inabled Online introduced the ‘Web-enabled Series 8000 ATMs’ to deliver ATMs with big-screen interactive displays and real-time content delivery that includes news, weather reports and in-store advertising and messaging. The ATM connects to a 42-inch high-definition plasma display panel to present real-time advertising and content. The ATM digital signage solution is an intuitive tool for users who – via coupons and promotions – are encouraged to use the appliance. The store customer can view a product promotion, delivered by Inabled, on the large plasma screen. The customer will be able to touch the PDP’s interactive button and obtain a discount coupon at an adjoining Fujitsu ATM. Pricing varies, depending on system requirements and the level of lifecycle management services provided, but starts at approximately $20,000.Details
NanoPierce Card Technologies
GmbH, a subsidiary of NanoPierce Technologies, Inc., announced the appointment
of Bernhard Maier, effective immediately, as Director of Operations to
spearhead the development of high-volume smart inlay production
for NanoPierce Technologies.
Until now, Mr. Maier held the position of Manager, Marketing and Sales. His
former duties will be assumed by Mr. Michael von Mackensen.
Successful WaferPierce developments at NanoPierce in Colorado Springs
with favorable smart inlay developments in the Munich laboratory represent
a solid basis and a springboard enabling NanoPierce to launch
production activities. Smart inlays will soon become NanoPierce’s first
high-volume commercial application, to take advantage of the benefits of the
revolutionary NanoPierce Connection System NCS(TM) in a market with enormous
growth potential. Mr. Maier, a founding member of NanoPierce Card Technologies
GmbH and a longstanding co-worker of Dr. Michael E. Wernle, will be in charge
of establishing the smart inlay production activities.
“This is a significant step and a new challenge for NanoPierce Technologies,
but over the past few months we have developed a sound foundation in our
laboratories for initiating smart inlay production. Not only is the timing
perfect, but smart inlays are also the ideal product for proving the
suitability of WaferPierce(TM) in an industrial manufacturing environment.
There is no doubt in my mind that this project will be an unqualified success
for the Company, and I appreciate management’s confidence in my ability to
manage and execute this vital task,” said Mr. Maier.
Michael Wernle commented: “I have known Bernhard Maier for several years; he
was part of my team at Meinen, Ziegel & Co. He is a dedicated, resourceful and
highly capable manager, and it is difficult to imagine a better choice for
establishing NanoPierce’s presence in this large strategic market. Without
exception, every project he has been responsible for has been completed
successfully. I feel very fortunate to have him on our team.”
Inlays are used by manufacturers to produce smart labels, smart cards and
RFID (radio frequency device) products, such as smart tags. RFID tags are
currently employed for tracking and identifying luggage, autos, shipping
containers, express mail, rail cars, personal access, automated toll
collection, article surveillance, library books and vehicle immobilizer or
“smart key” applications, to name just a few applications. It is reported, for
instance, that Texas Instruments has shipped more than 50 million RFID tags
used in vehicle immobilizers and that Ford Motor Company has used smart tags,
embedded in the ignition key with an encrypted ID number to start the engines
on Ford automobiles less than 8 years old.
Paul H. Metzinger, President and Chief Executive Officer of NanoPierce, noted:
“According to a 1999 Venture Development Corp. study, ‘Global Markets and
Applications for Radio Frequency Identification Equipment and Systems,’ the
market for RFID systems will be about $1.6B in 2002 and its expected to grow
25% annually for the next five years. They predict that end-to-end tracking of
materials used in the complete supply chain in all manufacturing industries
be the next killer application for RFID tags.”
About NanoPierce Technologies, Inc.
NanoPierce Card Technologies GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of NanoPierce
Technologies, Inc., of Denver, Colorado, USA, which is traded on the Nasdaq
stock market (OTCBB:NPCT) as well as in Frankfurt and Hamburg (OTC:NPI). In
addition to the 12 patents it owns, NanoPierce has numerous applications
pending, others in preparation, and various other intellectual properties
related to NanoPierce’s proprietary NCS(TM) (NanoPierce Connection System).
This advanced system is designed to provide significant improvement over
conventional electrical and mechanical interconnection methods for
circuit boards, components, sockets, connectors, semiconductor packaging and
For more information about NanoPierce Technologies, Inc., log on to the
Company’s website at http://www.nanopierce.com.
Official Payments Corporation ([www.officialpayments.com]) announced the launch of updated systems that accept credit card payments for federal income taxes. Taxpayers can make the following payments by visiting [www.officialpayments.com], or by calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX:
Form Type Tax Year(s) Start Date
Form 1040 (A, EZ, TeleFile) 2001 01/11/02
Form 4868 Automatic Extension to File 2001 01/11/02
Form 1040ES Estimated Tax for Individuals 2002 03/01/02
Installment Agreement Payments, Form 1040 1998 – 2001 01/11/02
Balance Due Notice Payments, Form 1040 2001 05/01/02
The Internet and telephone payment systems, operated by Official Payments, are available to all taxpayers including paper filers, electronic filers, those who use tax-preparation software and those whose returns are prepared by accountants and tax professionals.
“2002 marks our fourth year of processing tax payments for the IRS,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “Our customers tell us that paying their taxes electronically is more convenient than traditional methods. They like the ability to use their credit cards to manage their cash flow, and they also like the potential of earning rewards or cash rebates from their credit card company for making their tax payments,” Evans added. The federal service is authorized through a contract between the Internal Revenue Service and Official Payments. The company charges taxpayers a convenience fee of 2.5% of their credit card tax payments for the service. For example, a taxpayer who makes a $500 payment is charged a total of $512.50: $500 for the tax payment and a 2.5% fee, or $12.50. This is the lowest fee available for tax payments by Internet or telephone. For the federal program (Forms 1040, 1040ES, and 4868) as well as Balance Due Notice Payments Form 1040, American Express(R), MasterCard(R) and Discover Card(R) are accepted. For Installment Agreement Payments Form 1040, MasterCard(R) and Discover Card(R) are accepted.
Official Payments also has contracts with more than 1,000 local government entities in all 50 states, as well as state government entities in 20 states (AL, AR, CA, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MN, MS, NJ, NY, OH, OK, RI, VA, WA, WV, and WI) and the District of Columbia to process a wide variety of business and personal tax and fee payments. A complete list of services is available at [http://www.officialpayments.com].
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’s principal business is enabling consumers to pay their government taxes, fees, fines, and utility bills by credit card, via Internet and telephone. Official Payments has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 1,000 county and municipal governments across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million 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.
American Express has been confirmed to speak at Cards Middle East, a smart
card conference scheduled for May in Dubai. Peter Dean, General Manager –
Middle East, American Express will address the group. Other speakers include
executives from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, Credit Libanais, Banque
Misr, Banque du Caire, Banque de France, Comtrust/Etisalat, NatHealth,
Dubai, Sweden Post, and DNATA. Sponsors and exhibitors at Cards Middle East
include S2 Systems, ACI Worldwide, Fujitsu, Intercard Wireless, VISA, Ominpay,
DZ Card, Card Tech Ltd, First Data, IOCard, G&D, Narboni, and Oma Emirates.
more information: +44 20 7242 2324 or register online
Fargo Electronics, Inc. has released a new Apple Macintosh Driver Kit for the Fargo DTC500 Series, making these popular card printer/encoders available to the education, graphic arts, and other market segments which utilize Macintosh computers. Fargo is the world’s leader in innovative technologies for desktop card printer/encoders which create personalized plastic identification cards complete with digital images and text, lamination, and electronically encoded information.
The new drivers will allow either the Fargo DTC510/515 (single-sided) or the DTC520/525 (dual-sided) Card Printer/Encoders to work on any Macintosh running Mac OS 8.6 or higher. Mac OS X is not currently supported. The new driver also offers USB connectivity, using a USB-to-parallel cable, as well as supporting older systems with Nubus or PCI Parallel cards. The new drivers – offered free of charge – can be downloaded directly at [http://www.fargo.com] tech_support/drivers_firmware_results.asp, obtained on CDs as a kit (P/N 085641) from a local Fargo Solution Provider, or ordered directly from Fargo. “By making the Macintosh Driver Kit available, Fargo meets the needs of a wide customer segment which depends on the Mac platform,” said Kathleen Phillips, Vice President of Marketing for Fargo. “The DTC500 Series, introduced 15 months ago, is the most popular card printer/encoder in Fargo’s Professional Series. “The DTC500 Series features a 4-line LCD panel, removable card cleaning cartridge, dual locking 200-card capacity input hoppers, and Fargo’s exclusive RibbonTraq(TM) technology,” said Phillips. “It represents an excellent value, and was designed to meet the needs of end users such as schools, where security, reliability, and ease-of-use are important purchasing factors.”
Fargo Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRGO) is the world’s leader in innovative technologies for desktop plastic card personalization systems. Based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Fargo card personalization systems create individualized plastic identification cards complete with digital images and text, lamination, and electronically encoded information. Personalized identification cards provide physical, information and transaction security for a wide variety of applications including retail stores, e-commerce, government installations, schools, sports and recreation facilities, clubs and associations, and correctional facilities. More than 60,000 Fargo systems are currently installed throughout the U.S. and in over 100 other countries. For more information, visit Fargo’s Web site at [http://www.fargo.com].
Chohung Bank confirmed that Citibank has expressed an interest in acquiring
49% of the South Korean bank’s credit card portfolio. Citibank had previously
been involved in negotiations with Korea Exchange Bank to acquire its credit
but those talks ended in October. Chohung says it is looking for a company
can offer advanced management techniques for its credit card division.