The PNC Bank USA Flag Check Card, with its colorful depiction of the stars and stripes, was announced Thursday as part of ongoing disaster relief efforts by The PNC Financial Services Group . Customers may obtain the card for a $5 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Under the theme, “Carry a Part of America with You,” PNC customers may come to any branch to get the check card or they can call 1-877-BANK-PNC or visit The check card may be used with no transaction fees at more than 3,200 PNC Bank ATMs and to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. In addition, $1 from every order of the bank’s “Pride in America” flag checks will be donated by the check printer Clarke American to the United Way’s September 11th Relief Fund.



Catuity, Inc. announced that it has entered into a multi-faceted development and cross-licensing contract with Visa U.S.A. Under the agreement Catuity will undertake new development work on its loyalty system, provide Visa with on-going technical support and provide a license to Visa U.S.A. for its suite of loyalty software and technology. Catuity will also receive from Visa a license to the new Visa technology developed under this agreement, which it will market to Visa member banks and merchants. The contract provides current revenue to Catuity of over $4 million and could provide significant additional value to Catuity in the coming years.



Fair, Isaac and Company reported Thursday that revenues for the fourth quarter reached $86.5 million, up 10% compared with $78.8 million reported in the fourth quarter last year. Net income for the period rose 82% to $14.3 million. For the full year fiscal 2001, revenues increased 10% to $329.1 million compared to $298.6 million reported in fiscal 2000. Net income for fiscal 2001 was $46.1 million, up 67% compared with $27.6 million reported in the same period last year.



American Payment Systems announced its intention to make a strategic investment in Q Comm International. APS already has a large distribution network that will dovetail with the existing Q Comm network and services. This alliance will enable Q Comm to not only place more Qxpress terminals but add new products to our entire network. APS has agreed, subject to due diligence, to invest $5.7 million for 11,400,000 shares of Q Comm common stock.



Global Payments Inc. introduced the Retail and Restaurant @dvantage application on the Thales e-Transactions’ Talento point-of-sale terminal. Global will provide transaction processing and full implementation, deployment, training, and customer support services for the Thales’ application and the Talento T-Ipp device. The application possesses dual-market processing functionality, providing complete point-of-sale credit, debit and check processing capabilities to retail or restaurant merchants of all sizes via a single terminal. The application includes Global Payments’ Check @dvantage Guarantee and Verification programs.



The Electronic Payments Network announced today that PNC Bank has converted the majority of its Automated Clearing House (ACH) volume from the Federal Reserve Bank to EPN’s private sector ACH system. Several new banks have recently joined the payment system as a result of new and anticipated enhancements that include Internet functionality that will make EPN the first Internet-enabled payments infrastructure able to support true B2B e-commerce. One key feature of these enhancements, to be implemented next year, is a Universal Payment Identification Code (UPIC) that protects against fraud and makes initiating payments easier.



Capital One expects earnings per share for the year ending December 31,2002 to increase by 20 percent over 2001. Capital One also announced that its Board of Directors has approved an entrepreneurial compensation program for its senior executives. These stock options will also vest if Capital One attains cumulative earnings per share of $5.03 over four consecutive quarters by the end of 2004. Capital One’s other senior executives will have the opportunity to forego up to 50 percent of their expected annual cash incentives for 2002 through 2004 in exchange for performance-based stock options.



SchlumbergerSema has scooped two ‘Best
Smart Card Application of the Year’ Sesames awards at the smart card
industry’s annual Cartes exhibition in Paris, France. Both of the winning
solutions — a security badge for Royal Dutch Shell and an Internet security
system for the Lloyds TSB bank — provide state-of-the-art PKI (public key
infrastructure) security to transactions conducted over networks.

The Smart Badge for Royal Dutch Shell is an innovative implementation of
security technology that is believed to be the first major Smart Cards for
Windows 2000 application. It uses cryptography-equipped SchlumbergerSema
Cyberflex(TM) smart cards to provide physical access to buildings, network
access and corporate ID. The capabilities of the card allows the company to
authenticate end users, digitally sign and encrypt documents and emails, and
provide non-repudiation for digital transactions.

The system for the UK bank Lloyds TSB — implemented by SchlumbergerSema in
conjunction with ActivCard and Entrust — utilizes a SchlumbergerSema
Cryptoflex smart card-based PKI for Internet-based services. It enables
business customers to access their bank account online and undertake
transactions and a full range of activities using a smart card to encrypt
information and generate digital signatures. The system will allow
customers to view balances and statements, user administration, perform
two-to-sign transactions, and make payments via BACS.

The Sesames awards are a key part of the annual Cartes smart card industry
event, which celebrates the unique contribution and investment of leading
manufacturers like SchlumbergerSema in developing next-generation solutions
for the digital age.

About SchlumbergerSema

SchlumbergerSema is a leading information technology services company
providing consulting, systems integration, managed services, business
continuity systems, products and IP network security solutions serving the
telecommunications, utility, finance, transport, oil and gas, and public
sector markets. With more than 30,000 employees in 130 countries,
SchlumbergerSema is one of two business segments of Schlumberger Limited, a
global technology services company. For more information about
SchlumbergerSema, visit


Providian Suit

Another shareholder lawsuit has emerged in the wake of the collapse of Providian’s stock price. The class action lawsuit was filed by Boston-based Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo. The complaint says Providian failed to tell investors that it had changed from a policy and practice of immediately writing-off receivables upon receipt of electronic notification that customers had filed for bankruptcy to a policy and practice of accumulating or “batching” bankruptcy notifications and then writing off those receivables once per month. That change, which occurred in late June, allowed Providian to defer recognition of some $30 million in charge-offs from the second to the third quarter of 2001. As a result, the company’s reported earnings for the second quarter were inflated by six cents per share, and its managed charge-off rate was understated by 40 basis points. The complaint also alleges that three top officers of the company sold roughly $22 million worth of stock at artificially inflated prices.


Sears 3Q/01

Sears reported its credit card portfolio grew a minuscule 1.7% over the past twelve months, despite the success of its Gold MasterCard issued through Sears National Bank. Like other top issues, Sears is dogged by rising chargeoffs. However funding costs declined by 10.2% from last year’s quarter due to a favorable interest rate environment. Sears net interest margin is now 14.15% compared to 13.73% one year ago. Credit card receivables for the third quarter logged in at $26.3 billion compared to $25.8 billion for 3Q/00. Sears National Bank’s Gold MasterCard portfolio hit $2.5 billion and has surpassed 9 million accounts according to CardData ( The net charge-off rate increased to 5.62% from 4.97% a year ago, driven by higher credit customer bankruptcy filings this year. However bankruptcy filings have declined in the third quarter from second quarter levels. Delinquencies at the end of the third quarter improved to 7.41% versus 7.47% in last year’s quarter. For complete details on Sears’ 3Q/01 results visit CardData ([][1])



c2it Bounty

Commission Junction ([][1]), the largest pay-for-performance advertising network, announced the addition of Citibank’s c2it service ([][2]) as an advertiser in its network.

c2it is a person-to-person online funds transfer system that allows virtually anyone in the U.S. with an email address to send and receive money online. It also features an international money transfer service that allows payments to 50 countries around the world.

By joining the Commission Junction network, c2it service will make its ads available on a pay-for performance basis to thousands of Web site publishers. The performance-based advertising program is designed for large-scale customer acquisition, as well as to raise c2it awareness. “We chose to run a performance-based advertising program to maximize exposure of our product on the Internet and optimize our marketing dollars,” said James Rose, Chief Marketing Officer of c2it. “Commission Junction’s large stable of publishers will nicely fit our product and target customer base.” c2it will pay the referring publishers $5 for each new approved member. Commission Junction will provide the tracking, reporting and payment services for c2it.

“The addition of c2it to our pay-for-performance advertising network further strengthens our financial services category and provides another quality advertiser for our publishers to work with,” said Lex Sisney, Commission Junction CEO and co-founder. “Our services and technology will allow c2it to lower its customer acquisition costs, expand its member base and maximize its advertising dollars.”

Web sites may participate in c2it’s advertising program by signing up at [][3].

About Citibank

Citibank is part of Citigroup (NYSE:C), the preeminent global financial services company providing some 120 million consumers, corporations, governments and institutions in more than 100 countries with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark umbrella are Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Salomon Smith Barney, and Travelers. Additional information may be found at: [][4].

About Commission Junction

Commission Junction, the largest pay-for-performance advertising network, allows online advertisers to acquire more customers and online publishers to earn the most revenue from their audience. By publishing payment and conversion statistics on advertisers, publishers, and ads within its network, Commission Junction offers one of the first open marketplaces for online advertising. Both advertisers and publishers can quickly gauge the quality and potential of each relationship, allowing them to maximize performance of their online advertising campaigns.

Commission Junction acts as a trusted third party managing the network, tracking and reporting on the ads in real time, and handling monthly commission payments to network members. The company serves billions of impressions each month, ranking it among the largest ad networks in the world operating on a pay-for-performance basis. Clients include leading online marketers eBay, Capital One, NextCard, and The New York Times Home Delivery. Commission Junction is headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, with offices in San Francisco, New York and London. For additional information, visit [][5] or call 800/761-1072.




The 2001 Sesame Award for the Best New Software was awarded to Proton World
this week by an independent jury of experts for Proton Prisma CALC (Card
Application & Life-Cycle manager). This, the third Sesame Award for a product
based on the Proton technology, was accepted by Dr Armand Linkens, CEO of
Proton World.

The Proton Prisma Card and Application Life Cycle manager (CALC) is a
implementation of the Global Platform 2.1 specifications for card application
management, and is used to create software that manages the life-cycle of
multi-application smart cards, including the personalisation of the cards and
the dynamic downloading of applications onto the cards. CALC is present in
every Proton Prisma product, such as those recently chosen by American
the Swedish CASH consortium and Banksys in Belgium.

CALC offers card issuers the following business advantages: card manufacturer
independence (a multi-vendor environment allows the issuer to operate in an
open competitive market); a very light infrastructure at the mass
personalisation bureau (especially important for larger issuers as it reduces
the burden of managing different mass-personalisation bureaux, in a
multi-application, multi-card environment); verification of successful or
non-successful personalisation reported by the card back to the issuer (giving
the issuer a management and follow-up mechanism for the overall
chain); improved security (CALC-based personalisation uses derived keys rather
than master keys, giving less exposure to risk if a personalisation master key
is compromised); the ability to use insecure channels (e.g. the Internet) for
the dynamic downloading of applications, and common PIN management.

Armand Linkens, CEO of Proton World, said: “I am delighted to accept this
on behalf of the Proton World team who created it, the project teams who are
now implementing it, and our customers who have chosen it for their systems. I
thank our customers for their confidence in choosing Proton Prisma and am sure
that this award will inspire others to follow them.”