Canadian P-Card

Comerica has launched a new ‘Canadian Dollar MasterCard Purchasing Card’ to eliminate costs associated with currency exchange. Canadian-based business clients of Comerica will now be able to settle their purchasing card accounts in Canadian dollars. The new card comes with a number of Internet options, including ‘iTracer’, an online information reporting package that, among other features, enables program managers to isolate spending on a company-wide basis with a category of merchants or even a single supplier in order to negotiate volume discounts. The Comerica’s Canadian P-card also enables business managers to place a combination of limits on card use, such as by type of merchant and amount of purchase. These and other limits can be unique to each card. The ‘Canadian Dollar Purchasing Card’, ‘Purchasing Card’, ‘Fleet Card’, ‘Corporate Card’, ‘Multi-Card’ and ‘Comerica CompCARD’ comprise Comerica’s commercial card suite of business card products.



First Data
Resources, the nation’s leading debit card processor and a subsidiary of
electronic commerce and payments leader First Data Corp., announced it has
signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Gasper
Corporation to use Gasper Manager — the leading ATM management solution.
First Data will make the advanced services available to clients representing
over 15,000 ATMs throughout the U.S. and Australia.

First Data will leverage its relationship with NYCE Corporation, an
existing user of Gasper products, that will provide fully-automated ATM
monitoring and dispatching services on behalf of First Data’s U.S. terminal
deploying clients. First Data will also implement and provide the services
through its operation in Australia, one of the largest electronic funds
transfer businesses in that country. The advanced monitoring services
identify ATM issues quickly and easily, which allows First Data to help its
clients decrease customer service calls, increase ATM availability, and lower
operational costs.

“First Data and NYCE understand that our client’s ATM availability
ultimately impacts its customer service and profit objectives,” said Diane
Piccolo, senior vice president of debit services for First Data Resources.
“Our agreement with Gasper will help clients maximize ATM availability and
further demonstrates the value that First Data and NYCE’s combined
capabilities provide to online and offline debit issuers.”

In addition to its automated monitoring capabilities, Gasper Manager
enables detailed reports on ATM availability, reasons for downtime and service
personnel responsiveness that help clients more effectively manage their ATM

“We are pleased to announce our relationship with industry leader First
Data,” said David Gasper, president and chief executive officer of Gasper
Corporation. “We look forward to providing them with a world-class solution
for their transaction processing network.”

First Data announced earlier this year that it acquired a 64% equity
interest in NYCE Corporation. In the U.S., First Data is the leading offline
debit processor, and with the addition of NYCE, First Data now touches well
over one billion online debit point-of-sale transactions each year. The
company established direct connections to five of the major U.S. debit
networks in 2001 to provide its merchant clients with the greatest level of
connectivity. Since 1992, First Data also has operated one of the largest
debit switches in Australia.

About Gasper Corporation

Gasper Corporation, a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of NCR, is a
leading provider of Self-Service management software. Gasper offers
comprehensive solutions that are specifically tailored to solve Self-Service
management problems. The company’s solutions monitor Self-Service Terminals
(SSTs) and manage the entire support process to maximize availability,
profitability and customer satisfaction for Self-Service networks worldwide.
Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the company’s solutions are used to manage more
than 170,000 SSTs worldwide. Visit the Gasper Corporation web site at

About NYCE

NYCE Corporation is one of the leading electronic payments companies in
the United States, providing financial institutions and retailers with shared
network services for automated teller machines (ATMs), on-line debit point-of-
sale (POS) and emerging real-time payment solutions. In addition to
innovative product development, the company also provides processing services
that support ATM management and monitoring services, debit card issuance and
authorization solutions. NYCE’s strategic alliance with First Data
Corporation (FDC) is a unique model for the industry that combines the
strengths of both organizations through product development, service delivery
and complementary national/international reach. Comprising 2,400 financial
institution and retail ATM Participants, the NYCE Network processes
approximately 100 million transactions per month. NYCE Corporation is
headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, and can be found online at

About First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers
the global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment
services, First Data serves approximately 2.6 million merchant locations,
1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and
more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using
virtually any form of payment. With 28,000 employees worldwide, the company
provides credit, debit, smart card and stored-value card issuing and merchant
transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; Western Union(R)
money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification
services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada,
Japan, Mexico, Spain, the Netherlands, the Middle East and Germany. Its money
transfer agent network includes approximately 117,000 locations in more than
185 countries and territories. For more information, please visit the
company’s Web site at


Motorola Falcon

HNC Software Inc., a leading provider of high-end analytics and decision management software, announced that Motorola has selected HNC Falcon Fraud Manager for Merchants to enhance its fraud detection capabilities on Internet transactions originating around the world.

Falcon Fraud Manager for Merchants provides credit card fraud detection and risk-management capabilities that lower fraud losses and increase revenues for online merchants and service providers.

![][1] “HNC has extensive experience detecting payment fraud patterns from around the world,” said Michael Schutter, Motorola’s planning manager. “HNC’s Falcon Fraud Manager will allow Motorola to provide a high level of fraud protection to consumers worldwide, while minimizing order cycle time and fraud risk.” Meridian Research projects annual online fraud to rise to US$9 billion by 2001 and $60 billion by 2005. In addition, a study by Datamonitor found that almost 50 percent of all credit card fraud occurs online.

“We developed Falcon Fraud Manager for Merchants to provide real-time detection of fraudulent payment activity regardless of the originating locale,” explained Michael Chiappetta, group vice president of HNC’s risk suite of products.

“Motorola’s selection of HNC further confirms our ability to provide a worldwide solution to global companies with customers on every continent.”

About HNC Software Inc.

HNC is a leading provider of high-end analytic and decision management software that enables global companies to manage customer interactions by converting data and business experiences into real-time recommendations. HNC’s proven software empowers Global 2000 companies in the financial services, insurance, telecommunications, health care, and other industries and governments to make millions of the right mission-critical customer decisions, and take action in real time, substantially improving financial performance, reducing costs and decreasing risk. For more information, visit [][2].

About Motorola

Motorola Inc. (NYSE:MOT) is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion. For more information, visit Motorola on the Web at [][3].

[1]: /graphic/motorola/motorola.jpg



While recent, more rigorous security
procedures have lengthened the amount of time spent en route, many travelers
may soon find a pleasant surprise once they reach their hotel. No lines at the
check in.

With NCR Corporation’s Xpress Hotel Check-In, a self-service
kiosk developed in conjunction with hospitality technology provider VingCard
Elsafe, Inc., hotel guests can bypass the front desk and check in or out at
any time — all without staff assistance.

“With tighter security and other safety measures now in place, travelers
need to factor in the length of time it takes to go from point A to point B,”
says Brian Sullivan, NCR Canada’s Vice-president of Retail Solutions. “By the
time they reach their hotel, the last thing they want to do is wait in another
line. By offering guests a self-serve option, hotel operators can provide
additional convenience and ensure that a pleasant stay begins the moment
guests arrive.”

To use NCR Xpress Hotel Check-In, guests simply insert a credit card into
the kiosk, which identifies and welcomes them while it processes the card
information. Guests are asked to confirm reservation details and are then
issued a room key. When checking out, the self-service kiosk quickly allows
guests to confirm charges and receive their receipt, on the spot.

NCR’s Web Kiosk is the base platform for the Xpress Hotel Check-In
program. Its multi-media functionality can be used to promote the hotel’s
restaurant, or provide information such as gift store hours or specials.
Advertisements for local attractions can give valuable information to guests,
while generating advertising revenue for hotels.

In a study conducted by Vanderbilt University, respondents placed “ease
of check in and check out” ahead of “friendly professional service” and
“price” as important attributes of lodging operations. Moreover, 53 percent
said they are likely to use a check-in kiosk.

“Offering self-service technology like kiosks can help provide hotel
operators with a competitive advantage, particularly at a time when many are
suffering from a decrease in business and leisure travel,” says Sullivan. “In
addition to potential advertising revenue, Xpress Hotel Check-In gives hotel
operators the ability to better utilize labour resources.”

“These days, time is our most valuable commodity,” says Anthony Pollard,
President of the Hotel Association of Canada. “In Canada, where use of the ATM
is the highest anywhere in the world, this time-saving initiative will be very
well received in our 7,000-plus hotels.”

About VingCard

The world leader in hotel security technology, VingCard Elsafe, Inc. has
products installed in more than 15,000 properties worldwide. As a subsidiary
of ASSA ABLOY, a public Swedish company traded on the Stockholm Stock
Exchange, VingCard Elsafe, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer and
distributor of locking systems and related products for the hospitality
market. The group’s international network consists of 12 subsidiaries and 75

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship
Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide. NCR’s Relationship Technology
solutions include the Teradata(R) database and analytical applications such as
customer relationship management (CRM) and demand chain management, store
automation systems and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s
business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established
industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global
customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products,
and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 32,900 in more than 100
countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More
information about NCR and its solutions may be found at


Discover 4Q/01

Morgan Stanley reported this morning that its Credit Services/Discover Card division posted fourth quarter net income of $193 million, a 31% gain from a year ago. Discover card receivables were up a modest 4.6% and credit card charge volume was down 3% from last year. MS says the increase in profits during the quarter ending November 30th was driven by higher net interest income and lower marketing and business development expenses, partially offset by an increase in net charge-offs. In addition, merchant and cardholder fees increased 12% from a year ago to $539 million. However higher cardholder fees were primarily responsible for the increase. Discover said the decline in transaction volume was largely the result of lower balance transfers. The chargeoff rate was essentially flat with the prior quarter, but up 128 basis points from a year ago. The over-90-day delinquency rate was 3.02% compared to 2.42% in fourth quarter 2000. The decline in credit quality reflects the weakness in the U.S. economy, a high level of national bankruptcy filings and the adverse impact of the seasoning of cardholder accounts. During 4Q/01, Discover opened 995,000 accounts and 161,000 new merchant locations. For complete details on Discover’s 4Q/01 current and historical performance visit CardData ([][1]).

4Q/00* 1Q/01* 2Q/01* 3Q/01* 4Q/01*
Receivables: $47.1b $49.5b $50.2b $49.7b $49.3b
Volume: $22.8b $24.4b $23.5b $23.3b $22.1b
Accounts: 42.6m 43.7m 44.7m 45.4m 45.7m
Actives: 23.8m 24.0m 24.3m 24.0m 24.0m
Chargeoffs: 4.57% 4.79% 4.98% 5.79% 5.85%
Delinquency: 5.92% 6.34% 5.84% 6.31% 6.85%
Yield: 14.13% 13.66% 13.34% 13.34% 13.48%

*4Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 11/30/00; 1Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 2/28/01;
2Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 5/31/01; 3Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 8/31/01;
4Q/01 fiscal quarter ended 11/30/01.

Source: CardData ([][2])




NCR Corporation announced a multimillion-pound contract with HBOS, the
financial services
group formed by the recent merger of the Halifax and the Bank of Scotland, to
implement NCR’s APTRA Edge self-service software on 200 NCR Personas automated
teller machines, which were bought to replace old units.

The implementation, a joint development between NCR and HBOS, will include
NCR software, tools and licenses, architecture and design, professional
services, and project management. APTRA Edge will be installed initially on
the new NCR ATMs, including Personas 75 and Personas 70 models. Plans to
roll-out the software to the bank’s other ATMs are under consideration.

As truly vendor-independent software, APTRA Edge offers flexibility
regardless of the make of ATM manufacturer or switching provider. APTRA Edge
will also enable HBOS to integrate its ATM network with the other service
channels and back-end systems, bringing improved product design and delivery,
and consistent branding.

“In this competitive climate, speed is essential,” said David Walken, head
of Retail Operations at HBOS. “In the future, we will be able to develop one
version of software that can be used at ATMs and kiosks. APTRA Edge enables
us to reduce our software development costs and introduce services quickly on
these channels.”

The new partnership with NCR follows a successful pilot of APTRA Edge in
2001 that saw NCR and Halifax jointly develop the software to deliver Halifax
images from the latest advertising campaigns to multiple vendor ATMs.

“APTRA Edge is the first environment that provides Internet-ready,
multivendor, self-service applications using Microsoft’s market-leading
Windows NT software and industry standard ActiveXFS technology,” said Jim
Piggot, software solutions vice president for NCR’s Financial Solutions
division. “Combined with our world-leading professional service multivendor
experience, APTRA Edge gives HBOS a powerful competitive advantage in the UK
banking market.”

About HBOS

HBOS, formed in September from the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland,
has assets of over 290 billion pounds sterling and has over 25 million
customers. It is the UK’s leading mortgage and savings provider as well as
being one of the most innovative players in the Corporate and Business Banking
markets. It is also one of the leading players in Long Term Savings and Asset
Management. The HBOS Group consists of leading brand names such as Halifax,
Bank of Scotland, Clerical Medical, Intelligent Finance, Birmingham Midshires
and E-Sure.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship
Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide. NCR’s Relationship
Technology solutions include the Teradata(R) database and analytical
applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) and demand chain
management, store automation systems and automated teller machines (ATMs).
The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-
established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding
software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and
media products, and leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 32,900 in
more than 100 countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500
Index. More information about NCR and its solutions may be found at


Card Manufacturing

The International Card Manufacturers Association reported that in 2000, approximately 8.8 billion cards were manufactured, an 11.4% growth rate over 1999 when 7.9 billion cards were manufactured. However, the global card market measured in U.S. dollars declined 4.5% from 1999, from $4.5 billion to $4.3 billion due to the impact of severe price pressures. Traditional cards represent 82% of the units and 24.8% of the dollars while chip cards represent 18% of the units and 75.2% of the dollars on a global basis. The ICMA ‘Third Annual Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey’ revealed that while the North American region leads the world in the total number of cards manufactured, Europe continues to be the most lucrative market. The $2 billion European dollar card market continues to be four times the size of the North American market, although slightly down from the $2.2 billion in market in 1999, and is driven by chip cards, which are a mature product in the European region. The products surveyed were plastic cards of all thickness, including traditional cards with and without magnetic stripe, and chip cards that include contact, contactless and combi-cards for diverse applications such as financial hologram cards, ID cards, phone cards, access cards, radio frequency identification cards and more.



STMicroelectronics and Gemplus announced the availability of a single-chip USB
smart card
reader solution to be delivered by Gemplus in its new version of GemCore Pro
Solution for EMV-certified card readers.

The chip, an 8-bit application specific ST7 known as ST7SCR, is designed and
manufactured by STMicroelectronics. The EMV firmware and software environment
has been developed by Gemplus.

The solution provides an exceptionally high level of security versus cost for
securing Internet transactions in the PC environment and is aimed at products
including standalone USB smart card readers or keyboards with an integrated
smart card interface. The security level can be brought up to level 3 by
use of
an additional PIN pad. A comprehensive software environment is provided by
Gemplus for interfacing with the application.

“Home banking and the worldwide deployment of IT-based solutions will boost
market for low-cost PC-based smart card terminals. ST’s cost-effective USB
8-bit solutions have been selected because they provide a powerful
implementation of our GemCore smart card interface firmware,” commented
Alexandre Lorenzi, Smart Card Interfaces Activity Director, Gemplus.
“This development program between the two companies combines Gemplus’ smart
card terminal system know-how and ST’s capability to integrate analog, digital
and flash memory functions into a very competitive single-chip solution,” said
Daniel Colonna, Marketing Director for Microcontroller Products at

The ST7SCR peripherals include an ISO7816 UART jointly designed with Gemplus
and a power supply management unit to ensure compatibility with all smart card
voltage types (5.0V, 3.0V and 1.8V), thus making it possible to build a low
cost EMV-certified solution. In addition, the device features a USB interface,
16K of flash, 512 bytes of RAM, as well as a timer, watchdog and low voltage
detector. It is available in both TQFP64 and SO24 packages.
The GemCore Pro EMV and USB-compliant solution is available from Gemplus. The
silicon and the USB library software will be available in January 2002 from
STMicroelectronics. Compared to current solutions, GemCore PRO achieves a
significant cost reduction that has already convinced major consumer
electronics goods manufacturers to select GemCore as their preferred smart
interface solution.

(a) EMV = Eurocard MasterCard Visa

About GEMPLUS: The world’s number one provider of solutions empowered by Smart
Cards (Gartner Dataquest 2001, Frost & Sullivan 2001).
Gemplus helps its clients offer an exceptional range of portable, personalized
solutions that bring security and convenience to people’s lives. These include
mobile internet access, inter-operable banking facilities, e-commerce and a
wealth of other applications. Gemplus is the only completely dedicated, truly
global player in the Smart Card industry, with the largest R&D team,
experience, and an outstanding track record of technological innovation.
Gemplus trades its shares on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on the
Stock Market(TM) as GEMP in the form of ADSs. Its revenue in 2000 was 1.205
Billion Euros. It employs 7200 people in 37 countries throughout the world.
Gemplus: Your Passport to the Digital Age

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is the world’s third largest independent semiconductor
company. The Company shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on
Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. The Company designs, develops,
manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits
(ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic
applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer
products, automotive products and industrial automation and control
systems. In
2000, the Company’s net revenues were $7,813.2 million and net earnings were
$1,452.1 million. Further information on ST can be found at


ActivCard Promotes Bogdan

ActivCard, a leading provider of smart card and digital identity provisioning products and technology, announced it has appointed Tad Bogdan as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Bogdan is now responsible for ActivCard’s worldwide sales, including OEM, channel and direct sales and worldwide marketing including product marketing, business development, marketing communications and technical support.

“Tad brings with him a wealth of directly relevant international sales, marketing and senior management experience and is ideally suited to drive the success of the ActivCard team,” said Steven Humphreys, ActivCard’s CEO. “Tad has a unique and broad range of knowledge and experience in networking technology and digital identity solutions. We enthusiastically welcome him to the ActivCard team.”

Bogdan has a consistent track record of driving new technologies and solutions to become the dominant leaders in their respective markets. At Sun Microsystems, Tad managed the JavaSoft strategic accounts organization and was responsible for building the sales, marketing and business development efforts of the Java Card(TM) smart card environment from its inception. In the process, Tad established Java Card(TM) OEM license agreements with over 90% of the smart card industry, including market leaders such as Motorola, Schlumberger, Gemplus and Oberthur Card Systems. Within two years, Bogdan was successful at establishing the market’s understanding of the value and potential of the new Java Card platform, now the clear market leader and industry standard.

In total, Tad is a nine year veteran of Sun Microsystems. Beginning in 1985, he established Sun’s early sales, marketing and technical support operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Most recently, Tad was the Senior Vice President of Channels and Strategic Accounts at MobileWay, a leading wireless services provider, delivering a secure communications infrastructure for mobile messaging and authentication. Tad was also the Senior Vice President and founding member of Brodia, a secure digital identity provider, where he grew the company to become the dominant provider of digital wallet solutions for the financial service industry.

About ActivCard

ActivCard, a leader in digital identity and electronic certification technology, delivers core components required to enable next generation e-Business communications and transactions. ActivCard solutions, in conjunction with the applications support for public key-based data confidentiality, and integrity, allow individuals and businesses to perform secure online transactions over the Internet with the ease-of-use of an ATM transaction. Today, more than 2.5 million people use ActivCard products for secure Internet banking, Web access and remote access to corporate networks. ActivCard has headquarters in Fremont, California, and Suresnes, France with worldwide operations in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Singapore, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.



Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc. announced that The University of
Saskatchewan Bookstore in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, has selected
Fujitsu’s ISS45 software, typically used by supermarkets and mid-sized grocery
chains. The bookstore has also added Fujitsu TeamPoS point-of-sale
for its seven citywide stores.

“We compared software solutions available and found that Fujitsu’s ISS45,
despite its typical grocery-store usage, offered us virtually limitless
flexibility and adaptability,” said Finlay Sutherland, consultant for the
Consumer Services Division at The University of Saskatchewan. “We compared its
ability to other solutions and found that it was a perfect fit for the
university. It provides a front-office system that complements and seamlessly
integrates with the existing inventory and back-office systems, and expands
capabilities to generate customized, detailed inventory reports.”

The implementation, which was installed in May 2001, includes ISS45 software,
20 TeamPoS systems with TeamKey(R) touch-screen displays, and Fujitsu
SlimScan(R) 2002 and SlimScan 1200 scanners. The POS systems are located in
seven bookstore-affiliated stores throughout the city of Saskatoon, including
the main campus store. The bookstore totaled more than $12 million in 2000
sales, with items ranging from textbooks to sweatshirts.

Bookstore officials expect a growing return on investment with the system, but
added that such benchmarks won’t be available until late next year.
“The combination of hardware and software gives us a turnkey solution that
allows our staff members to be more productive,” said Larry Wong, general
manager of the bookstores. “For example, we used to bar code just the
textbooks, but now we can bar code almost all merchandise in the store, which
makes check-out much faster while reducing the time we spend conducting
inventory counts and management.”

“Fujitsu’s first bookstore implementation is a testament to the flexibility
durability of our retail solutions,” said Tom Juliano, Fujitsu senior vice
president of marketing and product operations. “We continue to provide North
American retailers with the technology and services they need to make their
businesses stronger and more productive.”
Time Business Machines, an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based value-added
and Fujitsu channel partner, provided technical support, consulting and
training for the implementation.

About The University of Saskatchewan Bookstore

The University of Saskatchewan bookstore is an affiliation of The
University of
Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It serves more than 20,000
students and 5,000 staff per year, with sales exceeding $12 million
Canadian in
2000. The bookstore has seven locations across Saskatoon, including the main
store and four satellites on campus. The store provides products including,
textbooks, school supplies, apparel and general merchandise.
Web site:

About Time Business Machines

Time Business Machines Ltd. (TBM) is an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based
value-added reseller (VAR) providing parking control equipment, liquor and
control systems and point-of-sale (POS) systems to the retail and hospitality
industries. TBM has offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, and has served
western Canada for 35 years. They provide 24-7 service and support on all
products from manufacturers such as Casio, Fujitsu Transaction Solutions, IBM
and NCR.
Web site:

About Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc.

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc., headquartered in Dallas, is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702). The company provides strategic
technology expertise to North American retailers and financial services
providers. Fujitsu optimizes the customer’s technology lifecycle and reduces
total cost of ownership with point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software,
handheld devices and applications, Web-enabled automated-teller-machines
and managed services. Fujitsu offers world-class customer-service support,
centers, product staging/integration and rapid-response roll-outs. It serves
customers such as Allfirst Financial, Albertsons, Recreational Equipment Inc.,
Safeway and Staples, among others.
Web site:


Credit Watch Cited

BusinessWeek has selected Equifax Credit Watch as one of the best products of 2001. Equifax Credit Watch alerts consumers via e-mail, within 24 hours of a change to credit information including new account inquiries or updates reflecting late payments. The service allows the subscriber to discern immediately if changes to their credit information are authorized, or more importantly, unauthorized by the consumer. Equifax Credit Watch is the only service product that was selected. The special report is highlighted in BusinessWeek’s issue dated December 17, 2001.

“We are delighted that the staff at BusinessWeek recognized Equifax Credit Watch as one of the best products of the year,” said Thomas F. Chapman, chairman and CEO, Equifax (NYSE: EFX). “BusinessWeek’s recognition of the product highlights the importance of credit information management by consumers, particularly at a time when identity theft is on the rise in the U.S. Equifax Credit Watch is just one product, in a suite of services, that enables, enlightens and empowers consumers to manage their own financial well being while safeguarding against the risk of identity theft and fraud.”

Identity theft is considered the fastest growing crime in America, with approximately 350,000 cases a year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Equifax Credit Watch joins other revolutionary consumer products in the BusinessWeek list such as Apple’s iPod, Microsoft’s Xbox, the Samsung 1300 and the Kodak EasyShare.

About Equifax Credit Watch

Equifax Credit Watch alerts consumers via e-mail, within 24 hours of a change to credit information, including new account inquiries or updates reflecting late payments. In addition, the product provides six personal credit profiles; access to a consumer hotline in the event of fraudulent activities; and the ability to initiate a review of a credit file via e-mail. The product is available online at [][1], with an annual subscription rate of $49.95.

About Equifax

Equifax enables and secures global commerce through its information management, consumer credit, marketing services, business information, authentication and e-commerce businesses. As the leader in information services, Equifax adds value wherever customers do business, including the financial services, retail, telecommunications/utilities, information technology, brokerage, insurance and business lending industries and government. Equifax also enlightens, enables and empowers consumers to manage and protect their financial health with services offered at [][2]. The company ranked in the top five in return on equity among Business Week’s Best Performers for 2001. Equifax employs 5,600 in 13 countries and has $1.1 billion in revenue.




Post Office Ltd welcomed the clarity of the Government’s announcement
that it was making an operational assumption that around three million people
will open the universal banking services Post Office’ card account (POCA).
This, along with other banking services offered at Post Office branches, will
enable customers to continue to collect their benefits payments in cash at
Office branches after the switch to automated credit transfer (ACT) from April

“We welcome the clarity of today’s long-awaited announcement, which is a vital
step in the continuing development of universal banking services,” said Basil
Larkins, Executive Director, Post Office Ltd. “This will be of great help
to us
in the ongoing discussions with suppliers to deliver this new service to
customers in just over a year’s time.”

“We are also glad to learn from the Government that there will be no cap on
number of POCAs and that it is committed to funding these Post Office-based
accounts,” he added. “We are, however, still waiting for further details from
the Government about how the switch to electronic benefit payments will happen
and the marketing strategy for ACT migration.”

“There are currently 16 million people using Post Office branches to collect
their benefit payments. We want to enable as many as possible to continue
so from April 2003, either through the Post Office card account, a basic bank
account or their existing account. We will therefore be working closely with
the Government to ensure that customers have the right account for them,” he
concluded. “Whatever account people have, we hope that they will access it
through the Post Office.”

Notes to editors:

– Universal banking services will ensure that benefits recipients and
pensioners can continue to have their money paid over the counter in cash at
their local Post Office branch when the Government moves to automated credit
transfer from April 2003. Universal banking services will give millions of
people currently without any banking facilities access to one of the banks’
basic accounts or the Post Office card account.

– Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest, HSBC, Abbey National,
HBOS, Alliance & Leicester, National Australia Group (Yorkshire Bank,
Clydesdale Bank and Northern Bank), the Co-operative bank and the Nationwide
Building Society will make their basic accounts accessible through Post Office

– Around 28 million customers visit the Post Office each week through its
18,000-strong branch network.