SureFire Commerce Inc., a provider of robust transaction processing and payment solutions, announced a partnership agreement with Smart Online, Inc. a leading online provider of small business productivity applications. Under the terms of this agreement, SureFire Commerce’s Total TransActions solution will be fully integrated into Smart Online’s Web-based productivity applications for small businesses and
made available to Smart Online and the small business syndicated platforms of
its Fortune 1000 partners, such as Compaq, Bank One, The Company Corporation,
Cable & Wireless, and the Banknorth Group.

The SureFire Total TransActions solution allows small businesses and
SOHOs (Small Office/Home Office) to accept VISA, MasterCard, and FirePay(R)
Personal Account brands via a virtual point-of-sale machine. This means that
any part-time or full-time business with access to a Web browser can start
accepting payments in just days without having to build a Web site with e-
commerce functionality. Users of the SureFire Total TransActions solution can
accept over-the-counter credit card payments simply by entering a customer’s
credit card information into the SureFire Total TransActions interface on the

The SureFire Total TransActions solution will be integrated into Smart
Online’s Web-based applications, allowing small businesses to accept credit
card payments, present bills electronically, and even schedule recurring
billing. This cutting-edge functionality will also be integrated into dozens
of small business resource centres, including Smart Online and its syndicated
platform that includes the small business centres of major Fortune 1000
companies, reaching literally millions of small businesses.

Over the coming months, SureFire Commerce intends to add new
functionality to the SureFire Total TransActions solution, which will give
small businesses even greater flexibility in collecting payments. The goal is
to make the SureFire Total TransActions solution THE way for small businesses
to get paid, whether a company does business online or offline, or both.

“Our syndicated partners and small business customers have been asking
for a widely available and affordable payment solution that will help them
grow their businesses,” said Michael Nouri, CEO and Chairman of Smart Online.
“To meet those requests, we’ve selected SureFire Commerce’s Total TransActions
solution because it goes well beyond value, offering a full range of
transaction processing capabilities and management tools that empower high-
risk small businesses to accept credit card payments in a simple, rapid, and
cost-effective way. SureFire Commerce has developed unique and robust payment
technologies that many companies trust and we are proud to offer this value to
the constituencies of the syndicated partners of Smart Online.”

“At SureFire, we aim to make the SureFire Total TransActions solution,
which enables anyone with a standard Web browser to accept credit card
payments, THE money centre for small business,” said Rory Olson, President and
CEO of SureFire Commerce. “SmartOnline, with its industry-leading Fortune 1000
partners, is an excellent example of how we will proliferate this
groundbreaking product to companies that reach millions of small businesses in
their respective fields. We are offering the solution to selected leaders in a
wide variety of commerce categories as a private-labeled solution and plan to
leverage these strong partnerships to offer some of our other products, such
as FirePay, for consumers looking for P2P functionality. As with other recent
partnerships such as Intuit (QuickBooks) and (American Airlines,
America West), we expect this partnership to yield a significant number of
online transactions through prestigious business portals,” concluded Olson.

About Smart Online

Smart Online, Inc. offers the industry’s broadest array of Web-delivered
business productivity applications that power the start-up, growth, and
management of small- and medium-size enterprises across the U.S. and Europe.
Smart Online’s Web-native business productivity applications are integrated
into companies such as Bank One, The Banknorth Group, the Company Corporation,
Cable & Wireless, AIG, etc. These applications can be rapidly and seamlessly
integrated into partners’ Web sites, greatly enhancing the value of partners’
e-relationships with their end-users. Smart Online is a privately held company
with headquarters in Durham, N.C., and offices in Charlotte, N.C., the United
Kingdom, and France. For more information about Smart Online, Inc. please
visit the company’s Web site at

About SureFire Commerce

SureFire Commerce Inc. is a global provider of secure online payment
solutions and e-commerce support, processing over $1.2 billion of online
transactions annually. The Company specializes in payment solutions in three
core areas: Internet payment processing for online merchants, bill presentment
and payment processing for physical businesses, and corporate billing
solutions. SureFire Commerce’s online payment solutions are marketed to
consumers and merchants through strategic partnership agreements with
companies that have significant brand recognition and distribution channels.
SureFire Commerce is headquartered in Montreal (Quebec) with offices in Hull
(Quebec) and London (England).



Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited announced that holiday sales exceeded expectations during the key
December selling season, including double-digit sales growth in several core
retail categories.

Commenting on the holiday period, Wayne Sales, president and CEO, noted:
“We enjoyed strong growth across all of our key holiday and basic goods
categories, led by double-digit growth in hardware and home improvement,
automotive tires and accessories, Christmas décor and lighting. We achieved
this sales growth without extensive discounting activity, enabling us to
maintain the strength of our margins.” Sales added: “We finished with total
sales growth of five per cent in the month of December, in spite of softer
sales in winter seasonal goods in Ontario and other pockets of the country due
to a lack of snow and cold weather. By comparison, winter seasonal goods
contributed almost all of the sales growth in the previous December and we
would expect to pick up some of that growth in winter seasonal goods early in
the first quarter of 2002.”

Canadian Tire Retail surpassed the $5 billion in retail sales mark for
the first time in its history in 2001.

Canadian Tire’s online channel,, showed strong
growth, with traffic up 70 per cent, sales up 252 per cent and average basket
purchases up 11 per cent in December compared to the same month last year. In
October, became the most visited, Canadian-operated retail
eCommerce site according to industry data, with more than 2 million visits.
Traffic and sales increased in November and December consecutively,
reinforcing the webstore’s key role as a vehicle for customers to access
Canadian Tire both for product research and to buy products directly.

All of Canadian Tire’s businesses performed strongly during 2001 and into
the holiday period:

– Canadian Tire Financial Services experienced double-digit growth in
credit card sales and receivables during December, as a result of the
expansion in the number of Options MasterCard accounts and strong
retail sales.

– PartSource, the specialty automotive chain focused on heavy do-it-
yourself customers and the wholesale segment, has now opened a total
of 30 retail stores and experienced double-digit growth on a
comparable store basis in 2001 with sales in December surpassing that

– Canadian Tire Petroleum, despite significant industry declines in
retail gasoline prices, continued its strong performance, complemented
by very healthy results in its propane, convenience, car wash and pit
stop businesses.

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSE: CTR.a, CTR) operates a strategic
portfolio of integrated businesses engaged in retail, financial services and
petroleum. Canadian Tire Retail is the country’s most-shopped retailer,
offering a unique mix of products and services through three specialty
categories in which the organization is the market leader – Automotive, Sports
and Leisure, and Home Products. offers Canadians the
opportunity to shop online. With 450 Canadian Tire Associate Stores serving
communities nationwide, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited and the Associate
Dealers together employ more than 38,000 Canadians. PartSource is an
automotive parts specialty chain with 30 stores designed to meet the needs of
major purchasers of automotive parts – professional automotive installers and
serious do-it-yourselfers. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages related
financial products and services for retail and petroleum customers, and also
markets other value-added products to our customers. Canadian Tire Petroleum
is one of the country’s largest and most productive independent retailers of
gasoline, with 203 outlets.



TEMENOS, a global vendor of integrated banking software that supports international banking, announced it has closed calendar year 2001 with a strong quarter and remains optimistic about the future. Initial License Fee signings for the quarter ended 31 December 2001 increased by more than 50% over the same quarter last year.

“As the quarter progressed, we saw an increasing willingness of prospects to commit to purchases,” said Andreas Andreades, Deputy CEO of TEMENOS. “The drivers for reducing costs and improving efficiencies continue to be very strong in the global marketplace today despite the continuing weak economic environment. Many institutions are taking advantage of replacing out-dated legacy systems with a modern banking platform like TEMENOS GLOBUS(TM) (GLOBUS) thereby reducing costs and reliance on manual processing. We believe this trend will continue and are poised to take advantage of it with our industry-leading products and services.”

“During the fourth quarter of 2001, TEMENOS closed a considerable amount of business from both new and existing clients. The quality of signings was particularly pleasing. Contract wins with Tier 1 institutions, as well as client wins in new geographies, are the cornerstone of our “land and expand” based business model, as we seek to grow and win increased market share,” said Andreades.

Four new Tier 1 institutions were added:

— Schroders will be implementing GLOBUS for their Private Banking operations in London and Zurich,

— Mellon Financial Corporation have purchased GLOBUS to support international cash management operations in Boston, London, and Toronto, the first phase of the project will see GLOBUS delivered and running live within a six month timeframe,

— MeesPierson (the Private Bankers of the Fortis Group) will be implementing GLOBUS for their private banking operations,

— A major bank will be installing GLOBUS in their Australian and New Zealand operations to replace older legacy systems.

This brings the total number of contracts signed with Tier 1 institutions during 2001 to 6, compared to a target of 3 to 4. This means that today TEMENOS GLOBUS has been selected by 21 of the world’s top 100 banks.

In addition, significant contracts were signed with a variety of new clients including Close Brothers a premier UK private bank. Contracts were also signed in new geographies including Vietnam, New Zealand, Tunisia and Kosovo.

Importantly, additional business was committed by existing clients. Credit Suisse committed to the implementation of GLOBUS in their Frankfurt operations, one of its largest sites outside Switzerland. Raiffeisen Zentralbank, EFG and Al Rajhi Banking and Investments all purchased the GLOBUS Internet Banking module that was launched in July 2001.

Our Asset Management Module, which was released in December 2001, gained rapid acceptance and was instrumental in securing an initial contract with Schroders and an upgrade from Credit Suisse.

“We are particularly pleased with the size of the sales pipeline throughout the world and our ability to convert prospects to clients,” said Phillip Stanning, Global Sales Director of TEMENOS. “Previously deferred projects and strategic investments are now being approved. Despite the restructuring that is continuing in many institutions we are confident that we will be able to realize significant opportunities. The pipeline of potential business continued to grow during this quarter”.

TEMENOS plans to release full year results on Tuesday, March 12th.


TEMENOS is a global leader in providing financial institutions with integrated banking systems that increase productivity, profitability, and allow them to respond to changing market conditions. The company’s solutions are utilised in a variety of segments including retail and wholesale banking as well as for treasury and accounting functions. TEMENOS customers include Deutsche Bank (GER: DBK), Barclays Bank (LONDON: BARC) and Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER). TEMENOS has 40 offices in 28 countries and has installed over 500 systems since its founding in 1993. The company had revenues of $106.4 Million in the nine months ending 30 September, 2001. In June, 2001 TEMENOS became a public company, listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (TEMN).


Debit-it! Expands

Exhibitors and attendees at major events will soon be able to pay on-line and via a phone call using a unique check processing system from AmeriNet, Inc. called “Debit-it!” thanks to an agreement announced today by AmeriNet and IAEM Services Inc. (a subsidiary of the International Association for Exhibition Management).

Debit-it! allows customers who don’t have credit cards or don’t want to risk using them to do secure on-line or phone debit purchases quickly, easily and securely.

For merchants, debit-it saves on transaction and administrative costs since the service is less expensive than credit card processing.

IAEM will utilize the unique electronic funds transfer technology to process checks from exhibitors. IAEM will also offer Debit-it! to its members.

“IAEM members will receive a discount when using the Debit-it! system since the cost to process debit transactions is considerably less than credit cards,” noted Pat Dane, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing for AmeriNet.

The Debit-it! transaction processing technology includes a server that combines AmeriNet’s Debit-it! functionality into a software package that merchants can install at their location to provide a powerful on-site extension of their e-commerce engine or order management system.

Features of Debit-it include a user interface that mirrors a credit card transaction; (real time) and batch processing of checks; an AmeriNet Parsing engine that eliminates 8 – 10% of errors up front; fraud screening built into the check processing system; processing of web and phone orders; paperless transactions; custom reporting, and ease of integration through a transaction server that integrates in less than 2 hours.

Debit-it gives companies confidence that a check will clear through a rapid verification system that AmeriNet operates from a vast networking and database operation in its Clearwater, Florida facilities. In addition, the Debit-it! server maintains a secure connection to the host severs and includes failure notification to both the merchant and AmeriNet’s technical staff.

“AmeriNet’s reputation and established history were instrumental in the IAEM Services Board of Directors’ approving the program. IAEM Services is extremely pleased to partner with AmeriNet on this program. The program provides IAEM members added value and another method by which to collect monies,” according to Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP, IAEM Services Executive Director and IAEM Senior Vice President.

“Some 40 percent of consumers don’t have credit cards, or don’t have the ability to use credit cards, but do have access to checking accounts,” says Dane. “Most tradeshow organizers utilize credit cards and mailed in checks as their primary and only payment service for vendors and attendees. This system has inherent problems not the least of which are tardy payment processes via check and very high charges by credit card companies for processing payments”.

About AmeriNet, Inc.

AmeriNet, Inc., founded in 1994, has an established history of providing checking account debit transactions over the phone and the Internet. AmeriNet’s proprietary system, called Debit-it, makes purchases as easy as a credit card payment, which gives customers without credit cards or those concerned with security a convenient an easy-to-use option that is very similar to credit card transactions. Debit-it has processed over 5 million transactions over the Internet the past two years. AmeriNet is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and has its network operations in Clearwater, Florida. Debit-it is the exclusive check processor for the Electronic Retailers Assoc and U.S. West (the largest U.S. Call Center).

About IAEM Services ([][1])

IAEM Services, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of IAEM. The mission of IAEM Services is to provide IAEM members with products and services designed to meet their needs and that offer superior value at competitive prices.




CIBC and American Express announced a
milestone agreement for CIBC to issue American Express-branded credit cards in

The news means that CIBC will become the first bank in Canada to offer
both American Express and VISA credit cards, offering consumers greater
convenience and choice. In addition, American Express has established its
first card-issuing partnership in Canada.

Already the largest VISA issuer in the country, CIBC will issue a line of
card products under the name “entourage,” leveraging American Express’
powerful brand name and product development capabilities. CIBC entourage
American Express cardmembers will carry the strengths of two financial leaders
wherever they go – the accessibility of CIBC and the global reach of American

Financial details of the agreement are not disclosed.

The “entourage” line is being launched with three new credit cards:

– CIBC entourage American Express Card, Canada’s first smart chip
credit card available nationally which provides greater security for
online shopping;

– CIBC entourage Platinum American Express Card with exclusive features
and benefits; and

– CIBC entourage Business American Express Card, offering special
benefits for small and medium-sized businesses.

The CIBC “entourage” smart card is a credit card embedded with a smart-
chip microprocessor that functions like a mini-computer, capable of carrying
multiple applications. Initially, the smart card technology will be used to
enhance the security of purchases, particularly for shopping on the Internet.
Additional functions can be added over time, such as applications for managing
loyalty programs or conducting electronic banking activities.

“Our customers are the winners with this announcement,” says Christine
Croucher, executive vice president, CIBC card products division. “CIBC’s
alliance with American Express brings them greater innovation, more choice,
global assistance and the ability to make secure purchases over the World Wide
Web. Consumers have the added advantage and convenience of being able to carry
two different brands of credit cards from one issuer.”

Customers apply for the card at CIBC and can use it wherever American
Express is accepted.

Under the new agreement, CIBC will issue the cards, own the accounts and
handle the customer service support for the entourage American Express Cards,
including authorizations, billing and credit management. CIBC will also be
responsible for marketing the cards to millions of new and existing customers
across the country.

The CIBC “entourage” brand will be supported with an extensive national
marketing campaign, including television advertisements, direct mail, online
media and various outdoor media.

Cardmembers can use their CIBC “entourage” cards at American Express
merchant locations in more than 200 countries and territories. They’ll also
benefit from American Express’ global service through its 1,700 Travel Service
Locations, and be able to access cash at American Express’ more than 500,000
ATMs worldwide and at 4,500 CIBC ATMs across Canada.

Over the past five years, American Express has formed 72 card-issuing
partnerships with banks and other institutions around the world. The agreement
with CIBC establishes an important new distribution channel for American
Express-branded products in Canada and will generate more spending volume
through the company’s global merchant network.

“Today’s news marks a very significant step forward in our partnership
strategy,” says Steve McCurdy, vice president, American Express Global Network
Services, the unit that manages the company’s third-party card-issuing
business. “CIBC is one of the most prestigious financial institutions in the
world and Canada is a critically important credit card market for us.”

“This partnership will certainly benefit consumers through greater choice
and convenience and lead to increased competition in the card industry by
introducing a new level of innovation in product development.”

Today’s announcement marks an expansion of the existing business
relationships between CIBC and American Express. CIBC provides treasury, cash
management and foreign exchange services for American Express. It is one of
the largest distributors of American Express Travelers Cheques in Canada. In
addition, American Express provides corporate travel services for CIBC.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution offering more than
eight million personal banking and business customers a full range of products
and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches
and offices across Canada, in the United States and around the world. CIBC is
a leader in electronic banking, with more than three million e-banking
customers accessing telephone and Internet banking. CIBC is also Canada’s
leading credit card issuer and offers a broad range of choice and value. To
find other news releases and information about CIBC, visit the bank’s Media
Center at

About American Express Global Network Services

Since 1996, American Express has been aggressively pursuing a strategy of
opening its merchant network and card product portfolio to third-party issuers
around the world. By leveraging its global infrastructure and the powerful
appeal of the American Express brand, the company aims to gain even broader
reach for its network worldwide. American Express has established more than 70
card-issuing partnership arrangements in close to 80 countries. For more
information about the American Express Global Network Services, please visit

CIBC entourage American Express Card

Product Fact Sheet

CIBC entourage American Express Card

– CIBC entourage American Express cardmembers will carry the strength
of two financial leaders wherever they go

– CIBC entourage makes customers’ lives easier by providing the
national accessibility and assistance of CIBC and the global services
of American Express

– CIBC entourage provides an unprecedented combination of financial,
travel, entertainment and shopping services on a national and
international level – it’s the one card Canadians need wherever they

– All of the CIBC entourage American Express Cards offer the following
features and benefits:

– Front Of The Line Entertainment Benefits give entourage
cardholders preferential access to some of the most popular
concerts, theatre, sporting events, and art exhibitions
throughout Canada. entourage cardholders can get tickets before
they go on sale to the general public, access seats reserved
especially for American Express cardmembers, and gain
complimentary admission to art galleries and museums.

– Worldwide Cash Advances at any Interac or CIBC ABM across
Canada, or at any bank machine around the world displaying the
American Express logo

– Free Personalized entourage Convenience Cheques to pay bills,
make payments where a credit card is not normally accepted, or
to consolidate credit card accounts

– Global Assistance from CIBC that’s just a phone call away

– American Express Travel Service Locations Worldwide are open to
cardmembers in 1,700 locations in more than 200 countries and
territories around the world

– CIBC entourage Travel Assistance Service is available anywhere
in the world

– Emergency Card Replacement and Emergency Cash

– Purchase Guard and Extended Warranty Insurance, Fraud Detection
and Loss Coverage

CIBC entourage American Express Card, smart chip credit card features

– The CIBC entourage American Express Card is the first smart chip
credit card av_ilable nationally

– The card helps make online payments more secure plus it can be used
as a traditional credit card wherever American Express is accepted

– State-of-the-web smart chip technology, embedded right into the card,
can be used at selected Internet merchants displaying the LockIT
brand. LockIT is an exciting new service offered by American Express.
It ensures Internet credit card payments are handled in a way that
offers cardmembers a more secure way to complete the purchase.

– A secure online payment is accomplished using three basic
tools: the entourage smart chip portion of the card, a Smart
Card Reader and a personal smart chip password

– A Smart Card Reader is essential for accessing the online
payment security and is a one-time $50 purchase

– In the future cardmembers will be able to upgrade their
entourage card with new services and functions via a secure
web-site without having to order a new card

– Online fraud protection is guaranteed – with absolutely any
online purchase made with a CIBC entourage American Express
card, cardmembers are not responsible for any unauthorized

– Additional benefits of the CIBC entourage American Express Card

– Up to one per cent cash back with entourage earnings

– No annual fee and a 19.5 per cent current annual interest rate

– $100,000 Common Carrier Accident Insurance

– Three free additional cards

– Optional: 15-Day Travel Medical Insurance, CIBC Payment
Protector, CIBC Hot Line Service, CIBC Auto Club

CIBC entourage Business American Express Card features

– This no annual fee credit card with a low interest rate of CIBC prime
plus four per cent makes it easier for a customer to run their

– This card offers the following features and benefits:

– Business Savings Program lets cardmembers take advantage of
discounts when they purchase from companies like AVIS,
Travelodge Canada Corp. and NEBS Business Forms Ltd.

– Business Concierge Service offers an array of convenient
services such as putting cardmembers in touch with information
regarding cultural customs, attractions and entertainment
venues for travel destinations both domestic and abroad

– Year-End Statement Summary

– Two billing and statement options are available to suit the
needs of cardmembers: option one is corporate billing and
payment while option two is billed and paid by the individual

– $100,000 Common Carrier Accident Insurance

– Nine free additional cards

– Optional: 15-Day Travel Medical Insurance, CIBC Hot Line
Service, CIBC Auto Club

CIBC entourage Platinum American Express Card features

– The CIBC entourage Platinum American Express Card provides an
unprecedented combination of advantages and privileges – it’s like a
red carpet and VIP pass combined. It offers the following features
and benefits:

– Platinum Concierge Service gives Platinum cardmembers
preferential treatment – everything from reservation assistance
for restaurants, theatres, concerts, special events and hotels,
arrangements for car rental, limousine or taxi service to
having flowers delivered

– Up to two per cent cash back with entourage earnings

– 60-Day Travel Medical Insurance protects primary cardmembers,
authorized users, accompanying spouses (up to the age of 80)
and legal dependants (under the age of 25) from unexpected
out-of-pocket medical expenses (hospital and physicians’ bills,
paramedical services, accommodation, incidental expenses, and
more) worldwide.

– Minimum Credit Limit of $10,000

– Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance automatically covers the
cardmember for the damage or theft on most rental cars when
they charge the cost to their CIBC entourage Platinum American
Express Card

– Flight Delay and Baggage Insurance

– Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance

– Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance provided
automatically when travel is paid with the CIBC entourage
Platinum American Express Card

– $1,000,000 Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance

– Top Tier Emergency Assistance provides help while travelling

– Year-End Statement Summary

– Three additional cards available for $99 each annually and an
annual fee of $299

– Optional: CIBC Payment Protector, CIBC Hot Line Service, CIBC
Auto Club



Europay International branded cards (Eurocard-MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus) have been helping to drive the successful introduction of the world’s newest currency. Latest figures released show:

· While close to 75% of all payments by consumers are now in euro, almost 100% of cross-border retail transactions authorised by Europay in the euro-zone in the first eight days were in the new currency. The speed of the retailer migration was faster than had been expected.

· Over 5 million MasterCard and Maestro cross-border euro transactions were processed across the euro-zone in the first eight days of the new currency. The number of transactions in the euro-zone was almost 50% higher than for the same period in 2001

· The average amount withdrawn at ATMs varied from country to country across the euro-zone. Austria and Germany were in the lead, with average withdrawals of 245.00 EUR and 240.00 EUR respectively.


Euro ATM Boost

Europay International reported this morning that the speed of the retailer migration to the euro was faster than had been expected. Europay says more than 5 million MasterCard and Maestro cross-border euro transactions were processed across the euro-zone in the first eight days of the new currency. The number of transactions in the euro-zone was almost 50% higher than for the same period in 2001.The average amount withdrawn at ATMs varied from country to country across the euro-zone. Austria and Germany were in the lead, with average withdrawals of 245.00 EUR and 240.00 EUR respectively. At the lower end of the withdrawal range: Luxembourg and Ireland with an average of 115.00 EUR.


MasterCard Joins SEA

The Senior Executives Association appointed its first charter inductee, MasterCard International, to its newly formed Corporate Advisory Board.

The Corporate Advisory Board will create an alliance between the public and private sectors to allow participants to collaborate on issues of mutual interest and to facilitate the design of special forums to share ideas between industry and government. This is an important part of SEA’s mission to foster an outstanding corps of career executives to provide the necessary leadership for managing and directing key federal programs.

The appointment of MasterCard to the Corporate Advisory Board of the SEA expands the abilities of both organizations to address key issues, including public and private sector relations, government financial management and emerging information technologies.

SEA is a nonpartisan professional association founded in 1980 that promotes ethical and dynamic public service by representing the 6,000 career senior executives in the Federal government. MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions has provided a multitude of procurement solutions designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations.

“We welcome MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions as the first member of our Corporate Advisory Board” said Carol Bonosaro, president of SEA. “We look forward to working with them to promote issues and opportunities of mutual interest. SEA invites other interested private companies to follow MasterCard’s lead and to join our Corporate Advisory Board to work together in areas of mutual interest.”

“Government finance offices and federal agencies have taken the lead in instituting financial systems that have resulted in substantial performance improvements, as well as identifying best practices for financial management,” said Steve Abrams, senior vice president, Corporate Payment Solutions, MasterCard International. “Serving on the SEA board will help MasterCard and our member financial institutions better understand the issues that affect the public sector and enable us to provide solutions that meet the needs of the federal government.”

MasterCard offers a host of services and programs for the federal government, including the MasterCard Government Travel Card, the MasterCard Government Purchasing Card, the MasterCard Government Fleet Card and the MasterCard Government Integrated Card – a single card platform for managing purchasing, fleet and travel responsibilities. Additionally, MasterCard provides the public sector with technological innovations to help them take full advantage of e-procurement. These services include Smart Data OnLine(TM), a web-based reporting tool that captures all data from a government agency’s card transactions and MasterCard SmartLink(TM), a program that integrates data from purchasing card transactions into enterprise resource planning systems. For more information about MasterCard’s programs and services for the public sector please visit

For more information about the SEA Corporate Advisory Board, contact Dr. Andrew Uscher, Director of SEA Operations, at 202-927-7000.

About Senior Executives Association

Whether they direct the FBI agents who investigate organized crime, the NASA astronauts who pilot the space shuttle, or the research scientists who inch closer each day to a cure for cancer, the members of the Senior Executives Association provide the leadership and expertise to manage the Federal government’s departments and agencies.

The Senior Executives Association (SEA) was incorporated in 1980 as a tax-exempt, non-profit professional association representing the interests of career federal executives and committed to effective, efficient and productive leadership in government. SEA seeks to ensure equitable treatment and compensation, continuing professional education, and recognition for the more than 6,000 career federal executives who comprise the nation’s highest civil service ranks.

The almost 3,000 members of SEA represent all Cabinet-level departments, as well as 44 administrative and independent agencies, commissions and corporations. SEA members reside in every state in the country, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and abroad. The current membership of SEA holds 30 percent of all the Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Ranks ever awarded

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro. More than 1.7 billion MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of more than 20,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is a leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. MasterCard’s award-winning Priceless advertising campaign is now seen in 80 countries and in 40 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. With more than 22 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. At September 30, 2001, gross annual dollar volume exceeded US$704 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at .


Prime Premiums

“Super-prime” portfolios have fetched premiums as high as 29% while the price range for “sub-prime” portfolios tops out at 6%. According to data compiled by R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, “super-prime portfolios”, with an average risk score of 760 and charge-offs belows 4.0%, command an average premium of 22%. “Prime” portfolios, or those with average risk scores of 720 and a 5.00% charge-off rate, produce an 18% premium on average. “Sub-prime” portfolios, defined as those with risk scores of 560 and 12.00% charge-off rates, generally produce a negative premium of 15%. The data are based on portfolio sales over the past several years and take into account a wide range of analytical factors. Last year the average premium paid for a bank credit card portfolio was 18.1%, down slightly from 2000’s 18.5%.


PULSE 2001

PULSE EFT Association reported this week it processed a record 714 million transactions, a 33% annual increase, including a single month high of 70.9 million in December. The gain was led by a sharp rise in the number of on-line POS debit transactions processed to 316 million, a 37% increase. Total off-line debit transactions supported by the network almost doubled from 2000 to more than 84.6 million. Last year, PULSE boosted its membership by 500 members resulting from the merger of the Money Station network in early 2001. The anticipated completion of the TYME merger this quarter, will boost the number of banks, credit unions and savings and loans in PULSE to more than 3,500.


CardData 4Q/01

It continues to be a mixed bag for the fourth quarter as most smaller issuers are reporting significant declines in receivables and active accounts. According to the 4Q/01 portfolio survey currently underway, Virginia Credit Union and Suntrust reported hefty gains in the portfolios. Early returns are showing average year-to-date growth in receivables of less less than 1%. Major card issuers are scheduled to release earnings reports next week. For real-time results for 4Q/01 from U.S. issuers and historical data visit CardData ([][1]).

Virginia CU (VA) $ 118,312,619 +30.0% 36,705 +5.2%
Suntrust (FL) $ 93,505,896 +21.8% 16,449 +16.9%
Baxter CU (IL) $ 90,219,514 -1.7% 36,759 -1.3%
Travis FCU (CA) $ 83,664,056 -9.0% 31,645 -7.8%
United Air CU (IL) $ 72,571,025 -7.2% 34,650 +0.3%
Source: CardData (



Safewww & CardinalCommerce Team

Uniondale, New York-based Safewww, Inc., which provides strong two-factor authentication for secure online access, payments and transactions and Cleveland, Ohio-based CardinalCommerce, a leading electronic transaction security company, have jointly developed an end-to-end authentication solution to support the new Visa 3-D Secure and MasterCard SPA secure payment initiatives.

The solution is based on a proprietary and modular architecture to allow seamless support for these and new initiatives expected from other payment networks, including Concord EFS/Star.

“Combining Safewww’s easy to deploy, strong IDshield authentication technology with Cardinal’s proprietary Payment Authentication Platform, provides financial institutions with a powerful solution to support the current secure payment initiatives as well as those to come,” commented Tim Sherwin, Co-founder and Executive Vice President of CardinalCommerce. “Our integrated system, through one common platform and one implementation, addresses the challenges facing our financial institution customers.”

“With financial institutions soon to be facing liability for fraudulent online transactions, they need to ensure that they and their customers are protected from fraud,” added Kenneth Bob, CEO of Safewww. “The joint CardinalCommerce-Safewww solution allows them do so without inconveniencing their customers or adding complexity to the process.”

The joint solution will enable issuing banks to rapidly deploy a software platform for the Verified by Visa and MasterCard SPA programs with no legacy system integration. This will provide an easy-to-use, strong two-factor authentication system to increase security and comfort to cardholders to conduct online transactions. Visa and MasterCard research has shown that consumers are likely to purchase more online with the added security provided by these new initiatives. Furthermore, these initiatives will effectively shift the liability for fraudulent transactions from the merchant to the financial institution. To address the expected $15 billion of credit card fraud predicted by 2004 (Meridien Research), financial institutions need to implement an authentication scheme strong enough to protect the bank from this liability shift, yet that is transparent to their consumers. The CardinalCommerce-Safewww solution satisfies this requirement while allowing the financial institution to leverage the investment for numerous other revenue generating authentication opportunities in the future.

About Safewww Incorporated

Founded in 1999 by Israeli Internet security entrepreneurs, Safewww, Inc. provides identity protection products and services for business and personal Internet transactions. With corporate headquarters in the U.S. and a research and development center in Israel, Safewww has established strategic alliances and received investment capital in the U.S., Israel, Spain, China, Japan and Argentina. Its target online markets include banking, B2B exchanges, digital music and video, auctions, store cards, and gaming. Utilizing patent pending third-party user authentication and content encryption technology, Safewww’s impenetrable and simple-to-use solution allows Internet transactions to achieve the utmost in security without the need to transmit confidential information over the Internet. For information, visit .

About CardinalCommerce Corporation

CardinalCommerce Corporation is a leading provider of a technology-neutral authentication platform for securing electronic and wireless commerce, thus ensuring that individuals, businesses and government agencies can process electronic transactions and access confidential information safely, securely and privately. The first application of Cardinal’s proprietary technology, the Cardinal Payment Authentication Platform, provides consumers, merchants, credit/debit card issuers, and processors the ability to conduct fully authenticated Internet-based e-commerce, while protecting the transactions from fraud. For more information, visit [][1].