Helsinki City Transport introduces text messages as travel tickets during the International Car Free Day Campaign (22nd-23rd September). The world’s first mobile ticket service for public transport is provided by PlusDial MTSP together with technology partner Add2Phone Ltd.

SMS-ticket service uses standard text messages and a unique validation method to provide the service for all mobile phone subscribers in the Helsinki metropolitan area. During the two-day pilot, all customer feedback is collected and analyzed to benefit a large-scale SMS-ticket trial that is scheduled to begin later this year. The ticket is specially priced and is valid for a full day of travel on the city’s green trams and metro service.

“Mobile payment and ticketing makes public transport in Helsinki more accessible. Buying a ticket in advance is easy and it makes tram traffic more flexible. SMS-ticket service will increase the number of commuters in Helsinki City Transport, especially among younger passenger groups and people visiting in Helsinki,” comments Mr. Seppo Vepsalainen, Planning Director, Helsinki City Transport.

Text messages are a part of everyday life in Helsinki and the Helsinki City Transport Ticket service is another Finnish breakthrough in mobile services and m-commerce. The ticket arrives in real-time when it’s ordered and is automatically recorded on to the customer’s phone bill. All major mobile network operators in Finland, including Sonera, Radiolinja and Telia, have opened their network access for the SMS-ticket service.

About Add2Phone

Add2Phone is a global forerunner in software technology for the mobile applications market. Our products include Mobile Advertising Server, Mobile Content Server and Mobile Competition Server. Add2Phone technology provides a proven and reliable growth path into advanced mobile services and m-Commerce. Add2Phone headquarters and research and development center is located in Helsinki, Finland. Add2Phone sales offices and customer support centers are located in Frankfurt (Germany) and Boston (USA).



The Bank of New York announced Thursday that the Bank’s ATM network was restored and completely operational as of 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night. The Bank’s ATM network consists of 350 machines located within the New York tri-state area. BONY says that as a result of the inconvenience, the bank will fully reimburse all customers for any surcharge fees they incurred from having to use ATMs of other banks since the attack on the World Trade Center last week. BONY was the most impacted of all the New York banks due its operating locations in lower Manhattan.



Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic
Corp., received a second order to provide ticketing gates to Shanghai Metro.
The transit authority has experienced increased ridership since Cubic
completed installation of the original automated fare collection system
last year.

This latest order increases Cubic sales to Shanghai Metro to more than
$31 million in fare collection equipment and keeps Cubic positioned to
obtain more additions.

The new award follows the recent program milestone of Shanghai Metro’s
formal acceptance of the system for Lines 1 and 2, built under a 1996
contract. The fare collection system accepts both magnetic and smart card
ticketing and is managed by a sophisticated central computer system
designed by Cubic.

“We are delighted that we are developing a good relationship with our
Shanghai customer that further positions Cubic to capture a larger share of
the automatic ticketing systems business in a city where the urban
population is one of the largest in the world,” said Walter C. Zable,
president and CEO of Cubic Transportation Systems.

The most advanced electronic ticketing systems in China are in
Shanghai and Guangzhou, where Cubic is also the system supplier. These
successful installations also position Cubic to capture other projects in
China’s emerging mass transit market, including Beijing, host city for the
2008 Olympic Games, which will be investing in significant transportation
infrastructure. Additionally, Nanjing, Chongqin, and Tianjing plan to build
major metros over the next 10 years.

“With our proven technology base and broad product line, Cubic can
better serve the emerging Chinese transit market,” said Zable. “Cubic can
provide a more cost-effective fully integrated approach to providing
commuters the kind of service they deserve in the 21st century.”
Cubic Transportation Systems is the world’s largest supplier of
integrated ticketing and automated fare collection systems for mass
transit. Every year, nearly 10 billion people use Cubic systems in more
than 40 major markets in five continents, including London, Washington
D.C., Hong Kong, Chicago, New York, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Atlanta, San
Francisco, Sydney, Singapore and Miami among other major installations.
The company introduced the first contactless smart card ever used in
mass transit in 1989. Since then Cubic has integrated various smart card
technologies on several contracts in Europe, Asia, and North America,
including Chicago and the Washington Metro which are the first American
systems using smart card technology. Cubic also is supplying the entire
Automated Fare Collection System including smart card as part of the
TranSys consortium for the London PRESTIGE project.

Cubic Transportation Systems is one of Cubic Corp.’s two major
segments. The Cubic Defense Group provides battle command training,
instrumented training systems, avionics, data links, product logistical
support and radio communication systems. For more information about Cubic,
see the company’s Web site at



The Logix Cos., a leader in identification authentication software, and Hypercom Corp., the leading provider of secure electronic payment terminals, Thursday released IDLogix, a positive ID verification software solution for use on Hypercom’s secure touch screen ICE terminals.

IDLogix instantaneously displays highly precise encoded information about an individual’s physical characteristics and description details based on information stored on drivers’ license magnetic stripes and barcodes.

It is ideal for airport ticket counters, bus and train stations, rental car companies and other sites where fast and highly accurate verification of an individual’s identity is essential.

“Law enforcement agencies and commercial organizations are together clamping down on those who present fraudulently-produced identification or otherwise pretend to be someone they are not,” said Scott Bahneman, senior vice president of business development, The Logix Cos.

“Now, you can accurately verify someone’s identity by simply swiping the person’s magnetic-stripe driver’s license, or scanning the license’s 2-D bar code onto a compact ICE card terminal equipped with IDLogix — and also conduct traditional credit/debit, check, EBT and loyalty card transactions if desired.”

“Up until now it has been too easy to create and pass off false ID or use someone else’s ID. With IDLogix, we have now embarked on the introduction of a series of technologies that will prevent this.

“Through the use of Hypercom’s secure graphic touch screen terminals, we enable the display of identification-related information which is read from encoded magnetic stripes and secure 2-D barcodes found on most currently-issued drivers’ licenses and other ID cards.

“This capability allows positive verification of the authenticity of an ID document and allows you to match the ID data and description to the person presenting the document,” said O.B. Rawls, IV, senior vice president and general manger, Hypercom USA/Canada.

“Combined with secure electronic payments, and especially rapidly emerging smart cards, this new capability will create a highly secure, fraud resistant payment and ID environment. Applications include car rental, airport check-ins or ticket purchases, age verification and other identification and access functions.

“We think these capabilities, when combined with other advanced ICE functions, such as electronic signature capture, have enormous and very positive potential that can help boost security and eliminate fraud in a number of areas,” said Rawls.

The IDLogix application was developed by The Logix Cos. It can support identification and/or age verification using Hypercom’s Visual HDT (VHDT) C++-based developer’s software platform and Hypercom’s ICE card payment terminals.

Hypercom’s epic (ePOS-infocommerce(TM)) ICE devices are compact, high-performance, touch screen-based, Web-enabled terminals.

ICE terminals incorporate physical security features and Hypercom’s TranSafe(TM) operating system that integrates a firewall-protected, multi-applications functionality, along with EMV chip card capability, a secure PIN pad, built-in HTML/HTTP Web browser, and integrated receipt printer.

In addition to the secure payment applications, Hypercom’s ICE terminals support a range of value-added applications and services including: electronic signature and receipt capture, e-mail, on-screen advertising, interactive electronic coupons, and cash management reporting through a standard browser — as well as secure credit, debit, and smart card functions.

About Hypercom ([][1])

Hypercom Corp. is the leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.

Hypercom’s products include secure Web-enabled transaction terminals that work seamlessly with its networking equipment and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards and traditional payment applications.

The company’s widely-accepted ePOS-infocommerce(TM) (epic) framework of consumer-activated, EMV-certified, touch-screen ICE (Interactive Consumer Environment) terminals enable acquirers and merchants to decrease costs, increase revenues and improve customer retention.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Hypercom is independently acknowledged as the leading provider of point-of-sale card payment terminals worldwide. Demand for Hypercom’s terminals surpassed 1 million units last year alone. Hypercom today maintains an installed base of more than 4 million terminals in over 100 countries which conduct over 10 billion transactions annually.

About The Logix Cos.

The Logix Cos. is an information processor, specializing in integrating identity authentication technology, customer and prospect data processing, and merchant financial processing services to the public and private sector.

They supply Risk Management services, through their IDLogix system, a system which provides ID authentication for retail and non-retail customers by reading electronic encoded data from a valid, government-issued identification document — typically a driver’s license or state-issued ID card.

They also provide Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) services through their TouchLogix system, an Internet-based data management service which monitors and stores customer demographics for the benefit of retailers.

Other services include electronic check conversion (CheckLogix), credit/debit card processing service (PaymentLogix), and ATM processing services and support with Web-enabled cash management (EFTLogix). The Logix Cos. Internet address is [][2].



E-BANKING, Inc., a
leading global provider of e-financial solutions, today announced a US$2.5
million contract with the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates to
establish an Application Service Provider Center for electronic banking
services in the United Arab Emirates.

“An enormous technological modernization is currently underway in the
Middle East and throughout the entire Asian region. The United Arab Emirates
is leading the way, and technology is playing a major role,” said
Govin Misir, Chairman and CEO of “This transaction was made in
conjunction with Al Ghurair Enterprises for Computers (AGEC), our distributor
in the UAE. The distributor relationships we’ve established around the globe
continue to reward, and we look forward to benefiting from both
existing and new relationships as they help us to further drive our revenue

“’s products will enable the Central Bank to quickly move to
the forefront of the region in terms of technological capability, and provide
a leadership role in strengthening the electronic banking infrastructure of
the country,” said Bank spokesperson Mr. Khalifa Al Dhaheri. “After performing
careful due diligence upon all vendors, was the only provider that
could supply high quality end-to-end electronic banking solution that would
enable the bank to establish an electronic banking infrastructure that meets
all our technical requirements.’s solution is very secure,
reliable and highly efficient which will provide the benefits we are looking
for as the volume of transactions increases in the UAE.”

Under the terms of the agreement, will provide the Bank with
its FTS and VFS software solutions. FTS enables efficient transactions from
any end-user delivery channel and exchanges them securely and seamlessly with
any destination.’s FTS switching technology is installed
throughout the world and is acknowledged as the leading edge technology in its
field. FTS is capable of providing scaleable transaction management solutions
to meet the needs for small financial institutions and for such world leading
global banks as the Bank of China.’s open system FTS technology is
replacing the Bank’s previous proprietary national switch providing the Bank
with the inherent flexibility of open system technology. Linked with’s java based MCF architecture, the FTS solution provides
significant value to its customers through managing the customer information
for all applications.’s VFS software facilitates the secure exchange of information
and transactions over the Intranet/Internet and allows for the custom
deployment of bank-branded financial services. Beyond providing Internet
access to all its banking customers, organizations using VFS can add value to
their business clients’ banking experience as customers can leverage the
efficiencies of on-line electronic banking to manage their payroll, payables
and receivables.


Founded in 1986, is a leading developer of electronic payment
systems and transaction processing solutions, including e-commerce
applications with a focus on the financial services industry.
provides real-time end-to-end e-banking solutions that include Internet
banking, interactive voice recognition (IVR), debit and credit card issuing,
automated teller machines and point-of-sale network management, retail branch
management, and e-CRM enabling technology. also provides
investment brokerage client and portfolio management applications for the
brokerage industry; e-health solutions which enable health insurance claims to
be evaluated at the point of service, processed and settled in real time; and
e-government solutions which enable consumers to pay fees for government
services in person, at kiosks, through IVR systems or the Internet. For more
information, please visit the Company’s website at .



Official Payments Corporation announced a new business award with the County of Hawaii. The award entails a new Internet and telephone payment system that will enable citizens to charge property taxes to their credit cards. The contract represents the firm’s first business within the state of Hawaii. With this addition, Official Payments now provides credit card payment services to the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 900 counties and municipalities in 49 states across the country. The County of Hawaii encompasses the entire island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. The county’s Finance Department collects approximately $91 million in property taxes annually on over 128,000 land parcels. According to Bill Takaba, County of Hawaii Director of Finance, “the county elected to begin accepting payments electronically in order to improve the efficiency of our department and make the process of paying taxes easier on our citizens.” When the systems are launched later this year, taxpayers in the County of Hawaii will be able to use the American Express(R) Card, Discover(R) Card, VISA(R), and MasterCard(R) to make their tax payments by visiting [][1] on the Internet or by calling 1-800-2PAY-TAX(SM). Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at [][2]. As a bonus, 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

Official Payments Corporation (Nasdaq: OPAY) is the leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. 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. The company is unequaled in market penetration and national footprint. Official Payments is the incumbent in contracts with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and well over 800 county and municipal governments in 49 states across the United States. In 2000, Official Payments collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state, and local government payments.

Official Payments was founded in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. 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. The company has experienced rapid and sustained growth over the past six reported quarters in revenue, new client acquisition, and addition of incremental services to existing clients. The company’s success can be attributed to the combination of an enormous market opportunity with a highly skilled and experienced management and staff, aggressive sales and marketing, and a core competency in developing and implementing leading-edge technical systems.




“As part of Sears Canada’s on-going quest to
offer Sears Club members additional payment and reward options, Sears has
teamed up with entertainment industry leader ADMISSION,” announced Danielle
Bussieres, Manager, Sears Loyalty Programs. “This new alliance provides Sears
Cardholders with the opportunity to enjoy world-class entertainment while
earning valuable Sears Club points.”

“ADMISSION is pleased to be able to offer Sears Cardholders with the
option to use their card to make entertainment purchases. As a ticket
distributor, we believe that this partnership will enhance the service we
provide to both our clients: Quebec venues and consumers. My entire staff
joins me in welcoming Sears Cardholders in Quebec,” states Christian Leduc,

This new alliance provides Sears 2 million Cardholders in Quebec with the
opportunity to reap rewards when making their entertainment purchases at
ADMISSION, by phone at 514-790-1245 (in Montreal) or toll free at
1-800-361-4595. Sears Cardholders will earn one Sears Club point for every
dollar they spend on their card at ADMISSION. Points can be redeemed for Sears
merchandise, services and travel offered at any Sears department, furniture
and appliances or outlet store as well as through Sears catalogues and online
at .

The Sears Card is the number one credit card in Canada with more card-
carrying customers than any other single retail, bank or specialty card issuer
in the country. More than 80 per cent of Canadian households are Sears Club

SEARS CLUB, the most broadly based customer rewards program in Canada,
was established in 1987. It has rapidly expanded its range of earning
opportunities and rewards for its more than 8.9 million members nationwide
through alliances with Bell Mobility, Bell World, Ticketmaster Canada Ltd.,
IBM, Choice Hotels Canada, AMJ Campbell Van Lines, All-Purpose Realty,
Pharmasave, Roots, VIA and more. For more information on the SEARS CLUB and/or
to become a member, visit Sears online at or call 1-800-265-3675
(English), 1-800-650-9950 (French).

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that encompasses
118 Sears department stores, seven urban Eatons department stores and 37
furniture and appliances stores. The Company publishes Canada’s only general
merchandise catalogue and has over 2,100 catalogue pick-up locations. In
addition, Sears has 133 dealer stores, 16 outlet stores, 36 floor covering
centres, 66 auto centres, 110 Sears Travel offices and offers shopping online
at .

ADMISSION is the largest ticketing network in Quebec, numbering more than
125 points of sales and operating a call centre, open 365 days a year from 8
a.m. and 12 a.m. (EST), with a toll free number for consumers in Canada and
the United States. It is also the leading provider of computerised networked
ticketing services in Quebec, working with 80% of the venues, including many
of the foremost entertainment facilities and promoters as well as tour
professional sports franchises.


CompUSA Checks

TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world’s leading check acceptance company and a subsidiary of Denver-based First Data Corp. announced that it is providing its Check Guarantee service to all CompUSA’ locations across the U.S. CompUSA, one of the nation’s leading retailers and resellers of personal computers and related products and services, currently operates 218 CompUSA Computer Superstores in 84 major metropolitan markets.

“CompUSA joins a growing number of national retailers taking measures to lower the cost of check acceptance while streamlining operations and increasing sales,” said Randy Rutledge, chief marketing officer, TeleCheck Services, Inc. “National retailers like CompUSA are attracted to our Guarantee service because they can accept checks with confidence knowing they will be reimbursed for the full face value of any approved check that is returned.”

TeleCheck helps its customers reduce the risk of accepting checks by providing access to the industry’s largest and most accurately maintained databases and risk management systems. Through the use of sophisticated risk scoring models, TeleCheck is able to analyze over 35 different criteria to decide whether to accept or decline a check. With TeleCheck, merchants can accept checks and build business by offering a liberal check acceptance policy. Checks are still a favorite with consumers, accounting for about one- third of retail spending.

“TeleCheck’s Guarantee service allows CompUSA greater flexibility with our check approval policy, making it easier for shoppers to use checks,” said Larry Mondry, chief operating officer for CompUSA. “All check transactions are guaranteed by TeleCheck, which saves time and money with handling fees, and allows our team members more time to focus on serving the customer.”

About TeleCheck Services, Inc.

TeleCheck is the world’s leading provider of paper and electronic check services, helping more than 272,000 retail, financial institution, grocery and other industry clients to increase their profitability, reduce risk and streamline operations. TeleCheck’s check acceptance and electronic commerce solutions help businesses safely and efficiently accept payment at the point- of-sale, by telephone, over the Internet, and through timed or recurring ACH payments. TeleCheck services are offered through a sales and service network in more than 90 cities in the United States and in Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and New Zealand. In 2000, TeleCheck authorized more than $163 billion in checks, representing nearly 3.2 billion transactions. For more information about TeleCheck, visit the Internet site at .

About CompUSA

CompUSA Inc. () is one of the nation’s leading retailers and resellers of personal computers and related products and services. CompUSA Inc. currently operates 218 CompUSA Computer Superstores in 84 major metropolitan markets across the United States that serve retail, corporate, government and education customers and includes technical service departments. Many of the stores include classroom-training facilities.

About First Data Corp.

First Data Corp., with global headquarters in Denver, powers the global economy. Serving nearly 2.6 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, stored-value card or check at the point- of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at .



The Dutch finance group Fortis and Entra, subsidiary of TietoEnator, has signed a licence agreement concerning Entra’s credit card management solution, Entra Card. Fortis will use Entra Card for the issuing and administration of Visa and Europay cards on the Dutch market. The system delivery and related consultancy work is the single largest deal for the Entra Group so far. The deal also includes a five years support agreement for the card system. The system went live at the end of August 2001.

“The deal with Fortis is our largest single project so far,” says Erik Clausen, Business Area Manager, Entra Payment Solutions. “The financial sector is developing with the earlier mainframe environments being replaced by more scalable platforms. The market for this kind of solutions is large and Entra Card is well positioned for the IT-developments that are taking place among our customers.”

Entra Card is based on IBM eServer iSeries. It’s a software product for the issuing, authorization, acquiring and administration of credit cards. More than thirty global customers use Entra Card for their credit card management including banks, retail chains, telecom operators, hotel chains and financial companies. The Entra Card system gives the customers a cost efficient administration of the cardholders, their transactions and the merchants linked to the system. Entra Card supports VISA, Europay and MasterCard as well as the banks’ EMV-standard.

“The new system for credit card management provides us with a well-suited platform for existing and future services,” says Wim Vliegenthart, Financial Director at Visa Card Services, Fortis operations for card issuing. “The continuous development of our card operations makes it necessary for us to develop our underlying systems on an ongoing basis. Entra has proved to be a strategic partner for this purpose.”

Visa Card Services serves 1.7 million cardholders, has agreements with 90,000 merchants and processes tens of millions of transactions per year. Through the joint venture Betafin, Fortis also handles the private label card programme for the Dutch retail chain Bijenkorf. This programme is also included in Entra’s project for the finance group.

The project has been running for two years and was started after a selection procedure where 25 suppliers’ products were evaluated of which three were pilot tested, as a basis for the company’s choice of supplier.

Entra is a part of TietoEnator, Finance Sector. For further information, visit . The services of TietoEnator Finance Sector are based on a strategic partnership with our customers. Finance Sector’s solutions business concentrates on key technologies and the goal is, via Europe, to be a global e-finance solutions provider. In addition to net banking solutions, Finance Sector also commands strong expertise in payment systems and selected capital market solutions. Finance Sector operates in 11 different countries with more than 1600 experts and over 300 customers world-wide. TietoEnator Finance Sector is the leading partner for the banking, insurance and finance sector in Northern Europe.

With a staff of 10,000 and annual net sales of 1.1 billion euro, TietoEnator is a leading supplier of high value-added IT services in Europe. TietoEnator provides consulting, systems development and integration, operation and support, product development services for customers, and software services. The Group has in-depth knowledge of its customers’ businesses in areas such as telecommunications, finance, the public sector and the forest and energy industries.


Real-Time CCS Link

Global Cash Access, a supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the gaming industry, has launched a “real time” interface to its Central Credit Services. The interface, Central Credit Real Time, uses leading-edge technology to facilitate the credit decision-making process by bridging a property’s in-house casino management software (CMS) with the Central Credit database. Patron updates can now be made as they occur at a property, or in real time, so the amount of time required for credit reporting requests is substantially reduced. Information is automatically, securely and transparently delivered to Central Credit. “Prior to Central Credit Real Time, casino personnel spent a great deal of time trading phone calls between Central Credit and various properties to determine a patron’s credit status,” said Pamela Shinkle, chief operating office of GCA and president and chief operating officer of Central Credit LLC. “Central Credit Real Time considerably reduces the amount of time required for gaming inquiries by insuring up-to-the-minute information at the click of a button.” With implementation of the Central Credit RT interface, properties send transaction types through a message engine to Central Credit as they occur. Central Credit validates the transmission, acknowledges receipt and stores the data for future inquiries. Some examples of transactions that are automatically updated include establishing new patrons; updating patron names, account numbers or preferred status; issuing/paying of markers; and posting/paying of returns. Central Credit RT stands to deliver measurable benefits to casino properties. Casino personnel no longer have to update data in their property’s CMS and then inform Central Credit of changes. Automatic information updates increase cage and credit personnel productivity by reducing manual requests and the number and length of calls to and from Central Credit. Casinos also benefit from quicker response times for gaming inquiries, thus reducing the amount of time for casinos to grant credit to their patrons. Faster response times improve customer relations and increase dollars to the gaming floor.

Although Central Credit RT interface does require a few simple system changes, it provides properties with more accurate data in a real time environment, said Shinkle.

About Global Cash Access

Global Cash Access was formed in 1998 and is a joint venture of First Data Corp. and M&C International, Inc. Providing access to the gaming industry’s largest patron database, Global Cash Access uses Internet technologies to deliver funds transfer, financial management and customer relationship marketing services to more than 1,000 gaming properties nationwide. More information on the company is available at [][1]. CONTACT: Katcher Vaughn & Bailey Dana Coleman or Roy Vaughn, 615/248-8202




People’s Bank of China announced it will issue a new banking card that can be used to withdraw cash from any ATM located in five major cities. The ‘Yinlian’ card will access funds from any bank account at any ATM in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The new program will take effect before the end of this year.The national payment system currently links banking networks in 18 major cities, where certain bank cards can be used to withdraw cash and to make deposits at any of the payment terminals. More than 50 financial institutions in China had issued 330 million bank cards as of mid-year, up 18.4% from one year. Annual bank card volume is about 4.85 trillion yuan (US$577.3 billion), an increase of more than 200% from a year ago. The country has 129,000 banking outlets and 49,000 ATMs.


Fee Waivers

Metris Companies, and its subsidiary Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank, announced Thursday they will waive late fees for cardholders in geographic areas centered around New York City and Washington. Metris says customers in these areas with payment due dates from Sept. 11 to Oct. 11 will not incur late fees due to possible delays in the United States postal delivery system. American Express, Discover and most, major VISA/MasterCard issuers have announced they will waive late fees and in some cases boost credit lines for those in the affected areas.