Mr. Anthony Palumbo, Chief Executive
Officer of Payment Services Interactive Gateway Corp. announced it has signed
an engagement letter with Octagon Capital
Corporation in connection with a proposed “best efforts” private
placement. The Offering is to consist of a minimum of
$1,000,000 and a maximum of $1,500,000. The Offering will consist of Units,
each Unit consisting of $1,000 principal amount of 10% convertible debentures
and 3,500 common share purchase warrants.

The Offering of Units is scheduled to close on or about January 15, 2002,
subject to receipt of regulatory approval and completion of due diligence.

The Debentures shall be convertible at $0.10 per underlying common share
at any time from the date of issuance to the maturity date, January 15, 2004.
PSiGate will have a right to redeem the Debentures if at any time after the
first anniversary date of issuance the 30-day weighted average trading price
of PSiGate’s common shares is at least 150% of the conversion price ($0.15).
Each Warrant accompanying the Unit shall be exercisable into one common share
at a price of $0.10 per common share. The Warrants shall expire on January 15,

In connection with the Offering, Octagon shall be entitled to receive 8%
on the gross proceeds realized other than those proceeds generated by
subscriptions made by officers of PSiGate. Currently, the officers of PSiGate
have committed to a minimum of $400,000 of the Offering. In addition, Octagon
shall be granted compensation options equal to 8% of the common shares
underlying the Debentures.

PSiGate plans to use the proceeds from the Offering for working capital
purposes and for debt repayment.

About PSiGate

Payment Services Interactive Gateway Corp. empowers businesses on the
Internet by providing secure, cost-effective and trusted e-commerce solutions.
PSiGate provides an easy and seamless interface to new or existing online
commerce enterprises, offering a reliable means of real – time payment
collection and financial transaction processing, as well as credit card batch
processing. Management services include automated shipping calculations, fraud
screening and financial account reporting. PSiGate also provides VISA,
MasterCard and American Express Internet Merchant Accounts (Merchant IDs) for
Canadian and USA – based businesses. For more information, please visit



NanoPierce Card Technologies
GmbH, a subsidiary of NanoPierce Technologies, Inc., announced
that Mr. Michael von Mackensen joined the company effective January 1,

He will be in charge of Sales & Marketing for the introduction of
WaferPierce to key applications, among others, like Smart Card Chip
and LEDs. Mr. von Mackensen will report directly to Dr. Michael E. Wernle, CEO
& President of NanoPierce Card Technologies GmbH.
Mr. von Mackensen is a highly experienced Sales and Marketing expert in the
field of electronics. After receiving his master’s degree in electrical
engineering from the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg,
Germany, he started his career beginning in 1998 in the Marketing Group of the
ceramic components division at EPCOS AG.

EPCOS, a manufacturer of passive electronic components headquartered in
is the market leader in Europe and number two worldwide. EPCOS’ largest
shareholders are Siemens AG and the Matsushita Group.
As Product Marketing Manager for multilayer technology, he was responsible for
business development in different regions, including European countries like
Austria, Benelux, France, Germany and the NAFTA (USA, Canada, Mexico) region.
Over the years he has established very close contacts with most of the
market-leading key customers in three important industry branches:
Telecommunication, Industrial and Automotive Electronics. Mr. von Mackensen
coordinated worldwide projects with multinational project teams within these
market segments.

During the last year, Mr. von Mackensen headed the marketing activities of the
new EPCOS division Piezo Technology. By focusing on the automotive market,
EPCOS achieved a worldwide leading market position in the field of multilayer
piezo actuators. This technology is going to revolutionize the market for
engine fuel injection systems. The technology enables the development of
next-generation engine systems characterized by higher efficiency, lower fuel
consumption and minimized emissions.

Commenting on his new position with NanoPierce Card Technologies, Mr. von
Mackensen said: “As a private long-term shareholder, I have been following the
exceedingly positive development of NanoPierce since 2000. The exciting
technology, technically very sophisticated and with significant cost benefits
over competitive technologies, is right on the edge of its market penetration.
It will be a most interesting challenge for me to accompany NanoPierce on its
way to success. I absolutely believe in the superiority of the NCS(TM)
technology and its immediate acceptance by the electronics market.”

“Based on his experience, especially with the introduction of new technologies
to the electronics industry, Mr. von Mackensen will be a valuable addition to
our team. I am really glad to have him on board,” stated Dr. Michael E.
CEO & President of NanoPierce Card Technologies GmbH. “This is the next
step to
enrich our staff with qualified key personnel to fulfill our long-term Sales &
Marketing Plan and to bring our technology to the electronics market.”
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
electronic systems.
For more information about NanoPierce Technologies, Inc., log on to the
Company’s website at


AmEx & AOL Time Warner

American Express announced this morning an expanded relationship with AOL Time Warner. The cross-platform marketing alliance will promote multiple American Express products across a wide variety of AOL Time Warner assets and expand redemption options for the ‘Membership Rewards’ program. The new alliance consolidates previous long-standing agreements between a variety of American Express and AOL Time Warner divisions, while significantly expanding the companies’ relationship through the development of a series of advertising and event marketing programs using AOL Time Warner’s on-air, print, online, and music and entertainment assets. In addition, the companies will work on joint initiatives to build the share of ‘American Express Card’ spending on AOL Time Warner properties. With the partnership, the 9 million enrollees of ‘Membership Rewards’ will be able to redeem points for a variety of AOL Time Warner goods and services, beginning with magazine subscriptions.



Moneris Solutions, a leading North
American processor of credit and debit card transactions and Payment Services
Interactive Gateway Corp., a leading electronic bill
presentment and payment service provider, announced a partnership
that enables Canadian retailers to process online payments in Canadian and/or
U.S. dollars and set up a Canadian and/or U.S. bank account.

PSiGate now offers Canadian merchants the advantage of operating in
Canada, the U.S. or in both countries, PSiGate can now issue Canadian
retailers who want an online presence with their own distinct Merchant ID, in
the country of their choice. Canadian merchants can now conduct business
seamlessly with this new option. In addition, PSiGate will now be able to
provide U.S. merchants with U.S. merchant accounts.

“We are pleased to be working with a progressive, technology company such
as PSiGate,” said Swen Swenson, ISO Account Executive, Moneris Solutions Inc.
“Moneris has its pulse on the Internet, and with PSiGate we are enhancing our
on-line point-of-sale products and services with the addition of EBPP
technology and dual-currency Merchant ID offerings.”

“Today, PSiGate and Moneris Solutions streamline the online payment
process for merchants and consumers,” said Robert Fenos, Executive Vice
President, PSiGate Corp. “Canadian merchants can now set up a Canadian and/or
U.S. dollar payment solution because both PSiGate and Moneris have a Canadian
and U.S. presence. This frees online merchants to concentrate on their core
business knowing that their back-end transactions in either currency on the
Internet are being securely taken care of no matter what denomination they
work with.”

PSiGate offers complete gateway solutions, industry-leading fraud
protection, Internet Merchant ID’s, back-end processing of card-based
transactions and a seamless integration with the largest range of storefront
web site solution providers. This one-stop solution in partnership with
Moneris Solutions enables Canadian merchants to accept VISA, MasterCard,
American Express, and Discovery Card transactions in dual-currency. Also U.S.
merchants have the ability to accept the same cards in U.S. currency.

About Moneris Solutions Corp.:

Moneris (Mon-er-is) Solutions is North America’s 6th largest technology
and merchant processing company. Moneris was formed in December 2000 as a
result of a 50:50 joint investment between Canadian and U.S. banks – RBC
Financial Group, Harris Bank and Bank of Montreal. Moneris provides businesses
with technologically advanced, easy to use, point-of-sale solutions designed
to electronically process and authorize credit and debit card transactions,
including customized loyalty card transactions. Moneris’ leading-edge
technology allows merchants to streamline payment processing and improve
business efficiency. Moneris serves more than 300,000 Canadian customers and
has a staff of 900 employees. With head offices in Toronto, Ontario, the
company also has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Montreal, Quebec. For more
information, please visit

About PSiGate

Payment Services Interactive Gateway Inc. (PSiGate) empowers businesses
on the Internet by providing secure, cost-effective and trusted e-commerce
solutions. PSiGate provides an easy and seamless interface to your new or
existing online commerce enterprise, offering you a reliable means of real-
time, or batch payment collection and financial transaction processing. In
addition, our management services include automated shipping calculations,
fraud screening, and financial account reporting. PSiGate also provides
Internet Merchant Accounts for VISA, Master Card and American Express for
Canadian and U.S. merchants. For more information, please visit



Welcome Real-time announced that Akbank, a leading Turkish bank, has begun
deploying Welcome
Real-time’s XLS software. The new card product, called Axess, is the world’s
first chip-based credit
card combining real-time rewards and cash back features. The number of
participating retail outlets has reached 2,500 just days after the launch.
With its unique value proposition, Axess card defines a new era of customer
relationship marketing. Akbank aims to become a leading player in the plastic
cards market with Axess as part of the country’s planned migration from
magnetic-stripe cards to chip cards. In addition to alternative payment
solutions, the Axess card is enhanced with smart marketing applications
such as
cash back and instant delivery of targeted incentives based on Recency,
Frequency, and Monetary Value (RFM). The cash back application returns real
value to cardholders by giving back a percentage of all cumulative purchases
available instantly as currency for the upcoming purchases at participating
merchants. For the first year, there is no annual fee for Axess Card,
additional Axess Card members on the account.

“With this new and exciting payment system brand, we bring real value to the
Turkish credit card consumer,” said Ilker Oral, Akbank’s executive vice
president responsible for payment systems. OIn our view, there is no such
as a good customer or a bad customer; there are only customers that you know,
and those that you do not yet know. We deliver to the payment cards market a
new way of knowing the customer, and this new way will increase customer
satisfaction, which is the greatest payback possible for smart card
“Turkey is a very important credit card market and one of the more dynamic
regions for chip migration in Europe,” said Aneace Haddad, president and
CEO of
Welcome Real-time. “Axess’ real-time rewards and cash back features
combined in
a single, convenient payment process, place Akbank and Turkey at the forefront
of bankcard marketing and technology worldwide. Customers don’t have to
remember to pull out pieces of paper or other cards, or worry about missing
on valuable rewards and discounts.”

About Welcome Real-time

Welcome Real-time’s smart transaction platform enhances payment transactions
with revenue boosting services such as instantly awarded loyalty points,
coupons, punch cards, vouchers, tickets and cash back — all in a single
convenient payment process.
The company’s patents provide broad protection in Europe, North America and
Asia. More than 17 patent applications cover the ability to dynamically manage
services relating to entries, visits or cumulative spending at designated
merchants, the ability to add and redeem e-coupons from a smart card, or the
use of mobile phones and hand held devices to perform smart transactions.
Welcome Real-time is headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, France, with offices in
Philadelphia and Singapore. For additional information please visit our Web

About Akbank

Established in 1948, Akbank is one of the largest banks in Turkey in terms of
assets. Akbank offers a wide range of consumer, commercial and international
trade finance products and services — as well as private banking — to
its customer base and core businesses of deposit taking and lending.
banking, brokerage, insurance and leasing services are provided through its
Akbank’s vision is to become the leading multi-specialist bank in Turkey in
terms of its market share. Its sound fundamentals coupled with its strong
franchise and brand name have placed it today in a leading market position.
Bank concentrates exclusively on financial services while maintaining a strong
capital base, brand name, franchise and management structure. Akbank pushes
technology to its limits to provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art
financial services to the widest possible client base.
Akbank’s shares are listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE). The market
capitalization of Akbank as of December 28, 2001 is US$ 2.6 billion. Akbank
operates through the Head Office in Istanbul, and in 13 regional offices
throughout Turkey. The bank is represented in the United Kingdom, France,
Germany, and the Netherlands. For more information please visit:


Providian Pullback

The most active online marketer of credit cards is pulling the plug this week on all advertising. In a rapidly unfolding reorganization, led by its new CEO, Providian announced Monday it will cease all marketing activities for its ‘Getsmart VISA’ and the new ‘Providian smart VISA’. It is unclear this morning whether Providian is totally abandoning its smart card program, but the move would be reasonable given the higher cost but current, limited value added of ‘smart VISAs’. Providian’s decision to cut ‘Getsmart’ credit card marketing does not affect its marketing of other products including ‘Getsmart Mortgages’. Providian is in the process of cutting 800 jobs this week. Providian is striving to reduce its workforce by approximately 11% since announcing its five-point rebuilding plan in October. Providian said last week it expects to take a first quarter charge of approximately $10-$15 million in connection with the January personnel reductions. Providian is also exploring the possible sale of approximately $3 billion in high-risk assets. Joseph Saunders, formerly of Fleet and Household, was hired as CEO, replacing Shailesh Mehta, who stepped down in October. (CF Library 10/22/01; 11/15/01; 11/26/01; 1/03/02)


OPC Signs CT Towns

Official Payments Corporation ([][1]) announced that eight Connecticut towns have signed service agreements with the company. Under these agreements, town citizens will be able to pay real estate, personal property, and motor vehicle taxes, as well as utility bills and various other fees, with their credit cards by visiting [][2] or calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX. Annually, the towns collect approximately $188 million in these taxes and fees. American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa are the cards accepted by the programs. The new systems for the towns of Burlington, Cheshire, Coventry, Ledyard, Plymouth, Redding, Windham and Woodstock will be available in February 2002. With these new additions, Official Payments now serves 22 clients in the state of Connecticut in addition to the state itself. The company is headquartered in Stamford, CT.

“As our client list in our home state continues to grow, more citizens are able to pay local, state, and federal taxes and fees, through our secure Internet and telephone systems,” stated Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “People appreciate the convenience of being able to make all of these payments with one company.”

Official Payments has similar agreements with more than 1,000 government entities in all 50 states. The company has contracts with the Internal Revenue Service, 20 state governments including the state of Connecticut, and the District of Columbia to collect taxes, fees, and fines by credit card over the Internet and telephone.

Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [][3]. For example, a taxpayer who charged $4,000 in real estate taxes would find a total of $4,109 on their credit card statement: $4,000 for the tax bill and $109 for the convenience fee. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.

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.



I-Payments Study

The NACHA Internet Council announced Monday it is undertaking two new projects designed to provide financial institutions and merchants with educational resources on managing risk and preventing fraud associated with Internet-initiated payments. A ‘Fraud 101’ project will identify and catalog the various types of Internet payments fraud such as transaction-level fraud, identify theft, invalid accounts, and non-sufficient funds. A risk management project will focus on the risks of specific Internet-initiated payment types such as ACH, credit card, online debit card, offline debit card, and person-to-person payments. Both the fraud and risk management projects will be completed by mid-2002.


2002 Consumer Debt Goals

According to survey conducted last week by ICR/International Communications Research, 28% of Americans think that paying off or paying down their debt is the most important thing they can do in 2002. For the month of January, the reading for the ‘Cambridge Consumer Credit Index’ is 61. This means that on average 39% more Americans are paying off debt than are adding debt. This is a one-point rise from the Index’s initial reading of 60 in December 2001. The research firm says the results show how much Americans are currently struggling with their debts. Despite the recession and widespread layoffs, four in ten Americans took on more debt during the holiday season, 16% will take on more debt in January and 36% expect to take on additional large debts to finance purchases in the first six months of 2002.


Linux Card Processing

Main Street Softworks, Inc., a privately held software development firm and Red Hat, Inc., the leader in open source solutions, announced a relationship to provide ongoing credit card processing support for Red Hat CCVS. As part of the arrangement, Red Hat will recommend Main Street’s MCVE financial software to its CCVS customers. “Here at Main Street Softworks we are providing a critical financial software solution to a diverse group of developers and merchants who utilize Linux/UNIX-like environments to run their core business applications. By working with Red Hat, we have expanded the functionality and processor support of MCVE, which has now evolved into one of the most robust financial software solutions of its kind,” said Brad House, Sr. Developer for Main Street.

About MCVE

MCVE (MainStreet Credit Verification Engine) is a highly scalable credit card authorization engine (or daemon). Designed in C and conforming to POSIX standards, MCVE runs on many of today’s most advanced UNIX/UNIX-like Operating Systems with unprecedented stability and reliability. Integrated into MCVE are leading-edge (standardized) technologies including SSL connectivity and SQL database support. Supporting the Retail, Mail/Phone Order, and E-Commerce industries, MCVE can easily be integrated into an existing website, or POS system housed on any OS that supports TCP/IP. Additionally, MCVE provides ACH capabilities that allow merchants to perform direct deposit payroll and electronic invoicing making today’s paper checks obsolete.

About Main Street Softworks, Inc.

Based in Gainesville, Florida, Main Street Softworks, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of high performance, real-time financial transaction software solutions for businesses of all sizes. Main Street continually develops cutting edge software products offering the functionality, dependability, and manageability that today’s businesses need to remain competitive. For more information about Main Street, visit the company’s Web site at [][1] or call 352-378-8228.



Global Goes BASE24

ACI Worldwide, a leading international provider of enterprise e-payment solutions, announces the licensing of its BASE24 e-payment processing software to Global Payments Inc., a leading provider of electronic processing services in the U.S. and Canada. BASE24 will route and switch debit and credit card transactions initiated at the point of sale for Global Payments’ merchants. Global Payments selected BASE24 after strategic review of many processing alternatives. Implementation will allow Global Payments to control costs and effort associated with maintaining processing platforms. The BASE24 platform also will provide Global’s merchants with scalable 24/7 processing.

“Our licensing of BASE24 will enable us to meet the growing around-the-clock processing needs of Global Payments’ merchants,” said Paul R. Garcia, president and CEO of Global Payments. “We are committed to providing our customers with the technology they require to maintain a competitive edge. BASE24 will enable us to provide worry-free processing of non-cash payments, allowing Global’s merchants to focus on other aspects of their business.” BASE24 supports multiple delivery channels, from the traditional — ATM and POS — to the emerging — Internet and mobile. It also supports all card types, including credit, debit and smart cards, and interfaces with global credit and debit networks.

“As a leading provider of merchant processing services, Global Payments knows the value merchants place on being able to reliably handle consumers’ debit and credit card purchases,” said Mark Vipond, president of ACI Worldwide. “With BASE24, Global can offer its merchants fast, efficient processing that is truly scalable and open to a variety of transaction types.”

BASE24 is used by more than 340 ACI customers around the world to manage devices, route and switch transactions, and provide authorization support for high-volume payments processing. The software operates on Compaq NonStop Himalaya systems to provide 24/7 support for ATM and POS networks, manned teller systems, telephone banking, mobile commerce, and Internet banking and commerce. In addition to BASE24, Global licensed software from ACI’s Payments Management suite to handle transaction warehousing and payment settlement.

About Global Payments Inc.

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.

About ACI Worldwide

Every second of every day, consumers are initiating electronic payment transactions — getting cash at ATMs, using debit and credit cards to make purchases in stores and on the Internet, banking by phone and PC, paying bills online. Twenty billion times a year, ACI software is used to process these transactions, powering the world’s online payment systems. ACI was founded in 1975 and pioneered the development of applications and networking software for online transaction processing. Today more than 530 customers in 71 countries use ACI supplied software. Visit ACI Worldwide on the Internet at [][1].



Atmel Level 3 Card

Atmel Corporation announced it has obtained Level 3 approval from Visa International for its AT90SC6464C Smart Card IC, an 8-bit RISC secure AVR Microcontroller, having 64K bytes of Flash program memory, 64K bytes of EEPROM and high end PKI capabilities.

Atmel is the world’s leading supplier of Flash Microcontrollers and is now the first semiconductor vendor in the world, to achieve Visa Level 3 approval on a Smart Card microcontroller having Flash program memory. Having Flash program memory can significantly shorten the development cycle by eliminating the lengthy time for mask ROM manufacture and rework either prior to or during the approval process. The security approval capability permits Smart Card manufacturers and software developers to submit products for banking and financial applications with confidence in the silicon platform such that with secure software, product certification to Visa Level 3 is achievable. With more than 1 billion magnetic stripe bank cards destined to become smart over the next few years, applications such as EMV (Europay(R) MasterCard(R) Visa payment specifications) credit and debit, electronic purse, and multi-application products, the qualification cycle time is becoming a critical issue for time to market. Add to the time for development of a new product, the time for product certification and the total is significant, running to many months. Card developers need to have confidence that their efforts will not be jeopardized by potentially insecure silicon.

About Visa Level 3 Approval

In granting Level 3 approval, Visa acknowledges that with well written secure software, the combined silicon and software embedded, in a card, can provide an end product that meets Visa’s requirements. The silicon on its own is only one component of the product which if not protected by equally secure software, may result in an end product not meeting the security level required for a given application. Since it is a component not a product, only capability approval, not full certification is granted for Smart Card ICs. But equally important without achieving a capability approval level for silicon, card providers cannot develop with confidence of achieving full certification on a given silicon platform.

Ian Duthie, Atmel’s director of secure applications, commented, “People will use electronic methods of payment only if they are confident that these methods are secure. This demands an unbreakable chain of security covering every aspect of the payment system. A vital link in this chain is the IC embedded in the payment card. We believe that formal security evaluation with international bodies is extremely important because it provides customers with a measurable standard. Visa International is recognized as an international brand which provides a level of assurance to the banking community by requiring stringent security for electronic payment systems. Level 3 approval demonstrates to our customers that our Flash Smart Card ICs offer more than flexibility and time to market, they also bring confidence built on security.”

About Atmel

Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, bipolar SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.