Internet Payment Patent

Another process patent holder has surfaced, threatening payment card industry players with infringement lawsuits. AZ-based Net MoneyIN announced Monday it has filed a patent infringement suit against thirty-three companies that enable Internet merchants to accept credit cards for purchases made on the Internet. Included in the lawsuit, are: Mellon, VeriSign, Cardservice, American Express, Bank One, Citibank, Wells Fargo & Co, InfoSpace, and Payment LLC. Net MoneyIN says it is looking for at least 3 cents per transaction. The two patents named in the lawsuit involve Internet payment gateway or third-party processor.

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GPN ICE

Global Payments has awarded Hypercom an 18 month contract for as many as 7,500 of Hypercom’s ICE card payment terminals. GPN says this is the first time in several years it or its predecessor, NDC e-Commerce, has entered into a direct agreement with Hypercom. Under the terms of the agreement, GPN will deploy Hypercom’s ‘ICE’ terminals to thousands of merchants in the USA, through its direct, financial institution and ISOs channels. Hypercom’s new ‘ePOS-infocommerce ICE 5700’ device is a high performance, touch-screen based, card payment terminal that magnetically reads the MICR Line on a check and supports dial-up to Global Payments Check Services for fast verification against negative files or check guarantee via positive online authorizations.

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PDA Conceal It

DATA BECKER Corp. introduces new utilities for the Palm OS that address two growing PDA issues – data security and memory capacity. Conceal It protects information on a handheld device by encrypting and then “ghosting” files. Compress IT extends handheld memory by condensing, or “zipping” files up to 85% of their original size.

Conceal IT works with all standard Palm OS applications by encrypting and then hiding sensitive, personal information such as bank account information, credit card numbers, and work documents. If a PDA is lost or stolen, any information that has been concealed or encrypted remains completely hidden from view. Conceal IT offers business travelers, doctors, attorneys and anyone with confidential information stored on a Palm OS an easy, safe and cost-effective method for protecting it.

Compress IT lets users “zip” or condense files, thus freeing up valuable PDA memory. Photos, databases and text documents that are not used on a regular basis can be stored in a smaller memory space through a one-click function. This program expands the utility of a PDA by increasing its memory capacity.

“With these two new products for the Palm OS, DATA BECKER continues to provide consumers with high-value, low-cost products from premiere developers,” said Howard March, president and CEO of DATA BECKER. “Conceal IT offers the first affordable security encryption product for standard Palm OS devices, while Compress IT offers an inexpensive solution to a common user problem.”

There are many ways for handheld devices to be compromised. With Conceal IT, the encrypted files appear empty to the would-be thief, so there is much less temptation to retrieve a password to search for information.

Conceal IT is easy to install and use. A user-assigned password controls access to the data. Unlike other security programs, documents or databases that are concealed do not show up on the PDA screen at all. Once data is encrypted, it is moved to the Conceal IT database, and the information is then ghosted from the standard Palm applications. Even during hot synchs, the information is transferred to the PC in an encrypted form. Any information on the host PC that was present before the synch will remain on the PC and visible and any encrypted information synched from the PDA will remain encrypted and thus unavailable on the PC.

Pricing and Availability

Compress IT and Conceal IT are available today over the web at www.Databecker.com, AOL, buydirect.com or at retail outlets such as CompUSA, Staples, Best Buy, Electronics Boutique and others. Each program is priced at $29.95.

Conceal IT and Compress IT are compatible with the Palm M100, Palm M105, Palm VII, Palm Vx, Palm V, Palm IIIc, Palm IIIxe, Palm IIIx, Palm III, IBM WorkPad, Handspring Visor, Sony Clie, and TRGpro.

System requirements for both products include: Pentium 166 or higher; Windows 95C/98(SE)/ME, 32 MB of RAM, Pentium 233 or higher, Windows NT4(SP6)/2000/XP, 64 MB of RAM , 256 colors with 2MB graphics card, 640 x 480 resolution, CD-ROM, Mouse, Palm or Palm Compatible handheld, Palm OS 3.01 with 2 MB of RAM.

About DATA BECKER

DATA BECKER Corporation ([www.databecker.com][1]) is a privately held publisher of high-quality, value-priced fun and functional computer software, books and accessories for the North American retail market. DATA BECKER, founded in 1999, has introduced over 40 titles and sold 450,000 units of software in its first two years of operation. It is currently ranked 43nd (by NPD Intelect) out of 1234 software publishers in the US.

DATA BECKER’s diverse software titles fall into categories including music creation/recording, Palm products, entertainment and games, home design and web productivity/utility. Its best selling software titles include America, a real-time strategy game that challenges players to build a nation, 1,000 Essential Programs for the PalmT OS, MP3 Wizard 3.0 and 20,000 Business Cards. Visit [www.databecker.com][2] for complete product offerings.

[1]: http://www.databecker.com
[2]: http://www.databecker.com

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PayStar 3Q

PayStar Corporation, the nation’s leader in providing content-based Internet Kiosks, Cashless ATM devices, Prepaid Telecom Services and Wireless Banking, announces the recasting of Q3 estimated revenues to lower than expected. This recast is a result of the recent economic downturns and a reduction in Cashless Teller Machine purchase orders from its U.S. Cash Exchange Business Unit.

Recently a major national distributor has notified U.S. Cash Exchange that its orders for third quarter will be significantly lower than originally forecast due to one of its major dealers going out of business. A Summit Technologies (national distributor) spokesperson said it is currently in negotiations with two new replacement dealers and orders for Q4 should return to normal.

PayStar is pleased to announce that plans are under way to lower Q3 short-term debt by approximately $3.5 million, which will significantly improve the balance sheet. PayStar’s recent reorganization has resulted in a 15% reduction in force. This will result in what management believes will continue to improve the bottom line and accomplish year-end goals.

About PayStar

PayStar Corporation, a premier global distributor of telephony and financial services, provides its customers with an array of enabling devices. PayStar is comprised of three fully integrated divisions: Commercial Telephony Switch Services, Consumer Internet and Telephony Products including prepaid cards, and Consumer Services providing service and maintenance of Cashless ATMs (CTMs), payphones and Internet enabled kiosks. PayStar is the location services provider (LSP) to retail merchants and is considered a “carrier’s carrier” for wholesale telecom services worldwide. Success is driven by internal sales and mergers and acquisitions. PayStar’s global strategy centers on expanding its network of thousands of merchant locations that utilize its enabling devices. This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the company’s actual results or outcome to be materially different from those anticipated and discussed herein. These include the company’s historic lack of profitability, end user customer acceptance and actual demand, which may differ significantly from expectations, the need for the company to manage its growth, the need to raise funds for operations and other risks with the regulation of the telecommunications industry. For more information, call PayStar at 877/769-7827 or visit their website at [http:/www.paystar.com][1].

[1]: http://www.paystar.com

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OPC Signs Tampa

Official Payments Corporation announced a new service agreement with the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office in Tampa, Fla.

The service will allow citizens of Hillsborough County, which includes the city of Tampa, to pay personal property and real estate taxes by credit card over the Internet or via the telephone. Official Payments is the leading provider of credit card tax payment systems via its Internet and telephone systems. The company has similar agreements with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments and over 900 counties and municipalities in 48 states.

Hillsborough’s systems will include a new lookup feature enabling taxpayers to access securely their personal payment information, such as amount owed, on Hillsborough County’s Web site or interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system. The taxpayer is then transferred to Official Payments to make that payment, eliminating the need to re-enter payment information.

“These new services assist me in the achievement of making the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office one of the most modern and cost-effective workplaces in the state,” said Doug Belden, Hillsborough County Tax Collector. “Every change we make should either improve service to the public or make the workplace better for our employees. This system provided by Official Payments Corp. will help us accomplish both.”

“This new business in the Tampa Bay area is a significant step in broadening our local business development in Florida,” said Thomas R. Evans, Chairman & CEO of Official Payments. “Hillsborough County represents a substantial tax base and revenue opportunity for our company, and Doug Belden is a pioneer in e-government in the state of Florida. We are delighted to welcome the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office as a partner.”

Annually, Hillsborough County collects over $700 million in real estate taxes and $147 million in personal property taxes. County statistics place the average annual real estate tax bill at $2,100, and the average annual personal property tax bill at $3,200. The new service in Hillsborough is now live and accepting payments. Real estate and property tax payments are due in Hillsborough County on Nov. 1, 2001. Taxpayers can make their payment using American Express(R), Discover Card(R), MasterCard(R) or Visa(R) by calling 813/635-5200 or by visiting the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s site at on the Internet. Hillsborough payments can also be made via the Official Payments Web site at www.officialpayments.com. Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions; rates vary depending on the amount changed. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at www.officialpayments.com. 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 has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 900 county and municipal governments in 48 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’s success in new client acquisition, increasing business with its existing clients and in building consumer awareness 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.

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VISA EDS

EDS Brazil and Visanet announced the renewal of a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract under which EDS (NYSE: EDS) provides financial transaction processing for all Visa credit card transactions in Brazil. Full terms of the contract extension were not disclosed. Visanet processes more than US$12 billion each year in financial transactions, representing all Visa credit card transactions in Brazil, as well as debit transactions from Visa Electron, an alternative to payment by cash or check. EDS provides Visanet with business process outsourcing services and technology infrastructure. The renewed agreement extends a relationship between the two companies that began in 1996. In recent years Visanet has become the financial transaction processing leader in Brazil in both market share and in customer care. The company provides high quality and varied services to its merchant clients and associated banks. Approximately 650 EDS employees are assigned to work collaboratively with Visanet, combining EDS’ processing expertise with Visanet’s knowledge of the Brazilian billing and payment market. To support Visanet’s growth, EDS has consistently invested in improving the quality and increasing productivity of the operations developed to serve Visanet. For example, EDS migrated all Visanet processing to EDS’ new Service Management Center in Sao Benardo do Campo, which handles high volume transaction processing with state-of-the-art processing and telecommunications capabilities. Visanet is located in nearly 4000 Brazilian cities, with 600,000 associated stores and 42 branches throughout the country. Last year, the company had revenues of over US$10 billion, processing more than 450 million transactions. With 140,000 machines, Visanet runs the largest network of ATMs in Brazil and electronically processes 95 percent of its transactions. Visanet receives 400,000 calls daily at its central authorization center, and 40,000 calls at its customer assistance center. EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy, implementation and hosting for clients managing the business and technology complexities of the digital economy. EDS brings together the world’s best technologies to address critical client business imperatives. It helps clients eliminate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their customers’ trust and continuously seek improvement. EDS, with its management consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world’s leading companies and governments in 55 countries. EDS reported revenues of $19.2 billion in 2000.

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Interlink Revolt

FL-based Publix Super Markets confirmed Friday it will no longer accept VISA’s ‘Interlink’ POS debit cards effective October 13. The grocery store chain is the third retailer to announce the Interlink action. Last week, Racetrac Petroleum, a gasoline convenience store retailer that operates stores in twelve Southeastern states, announced it will stop accepting Interlink debit cards next month. Two weeks ago, Wal-Mart Stores announced it will not accept VISA’s ‘Interlink’ POS on-line debit cards in its 2,700 stores effective October 13. Publix has 673 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Publix says it will accept other brands, including Presto!, STAR, Pulse, CU24, MAC, NYCE and Bank of America. (CF Library 9/5/01; 9/11/01)

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Equitex Acquires MCA

Equitex, Inc. announced the signing of a letter of intent to acquire Money Centers of America, Inc. from its current stockholders, the largest of which is the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. Completion of the acquisition is subject to further due diligence, negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement, and is subject to customary regulatory, tribal, board of director and any necessary stockholder approvals.

MCA, based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, provides cash access, technology, and marketing services to the gaming and retail markets. The company’s funds transfer systems allow casino patrons to access cash through check cashing, credit/debit card cash advances, automated teller machines and wire transfers. MCA owns a proprietary Cash Access System which processes check, credit and debit card transactions thereby reducing the need for third party vendors.

“The proposed Money Centers of America acquisition would complement our Key Financial Systems and Nova Financial Systems operations and most especially our recently announced acquisition of Chex Services, Inc. scheduled for closing next month,” commented Henry Fong, Equitex President. “MCA’s Cash Access System would allow Chex Services to process its debit and credit card transactions in-house, eliminating the need for third party processors and their related fees.”

“The Equitex transaction will allow Money Centers of America to continue our plan to develop and acquire technologies and companies in the funds transfer industry for gaming and retail funds transfer applications,” said Chris Wolfington, CEO of MCA.

Equitex, Inc. is a holding company operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries Nova Financial Systems and Key Financial Systems of Clearwater, Florida. Nova and Key design and service credit card products for those who need to build or rebuild credit; marketed through direct mail, print media, telemarketing for financial institutions and the Internet through alliances with a number of popular Internet web sites.

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BONY ATMs

The Bank of New York expects to have its ATMs in service by this afternoon, but it may still take another day or two. The ATMs have been down since Tuesday. BONY said Friday it will reimburse customers for ATM surcharges incurred when using other bank’s ATMs. BONY facilities on Barclay Street and Wall Street were evacuated in last week’s terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan.

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Diebold Deal

Diebold confirmed this morning it is in negotiations to acquire the equipment maintenance operations, excluding PCs, alarms and branch automation, of Bank of America in the Western region. The negotiations also include a multi-year, multi-million dollar per year maintenance outsourcing agreement, covering ATMs and certain other bank products. BofA will continue to own and operate the ATMs. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

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AmEx Offices

American Express announced over the weekend it has signed an agreement with The Landis Group to lease approximately 175,000 square feet of office space in Stamford, CT. American Express has also moved some of its operations to New Jersey, where it houses backup facilities. AmEx says Stamford will be one of several locations in the metropolitan New York area where it is leasing facilities to accommodate its headquarters staff. The American Express headquarters was extensively damaged last week and the company lost its offices in 7 World Trade Center. AmEx had a handful of employees in 1 World Trade Center.

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HEALTH SMARTCARDS

StarBridge Global Inc., an expanded and restructured network, systems
integration and smartcard services provider company with interests in
China, has filed its July 2001 quarterly report on Form 10-QSB with the
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

Mr. David Turik, President and CEO of StarBridge said: “As previously
indicated in our June 2001 Update, the national review of the Anti-Epidemic
and Sanitation stations (“Health Stations”) by the Chinese Ministry of
Health has impacted on the smartcard rollout program during the first half
of the year and more significantly in the July quarter. The aim of this
review is to increase the efficiency of the Health Stations through further
automation of their operations. Accordingly, our subsidiary Ai Wei, in
conjunction with the local agents, agreed to reduce the implementation of
the Health Card Registration and Maintenance system (“HCRM system”) and
smartcard rollout until completion of the review.”

Mr. Turik stated: “We anticipate that the review of the Health
Stations will be finalized in the months of September and October 2001, at
which time implementation of the HCRM system and smartcard rollout will
resume. To date, Ai Wei has appointed agents in Xian, Sheungfan, Nanchang
and Ningbo.”

Mr. Turik further explained: “Although the review has slowed our
implementation program we believe that the subsequent anticipated improved
efficiencies and automation of the Health Stations may provide greater
assistance in implementing the HCRM system and ultimately accelerate the
smartcard rollout program. To address this potential, the Company is
assessing the costs and benefits of adopting a distribution model of
working directly with the Health Stations to implement the HCRM system, in
addition to continuing to appoint new agents.”

Mr. Turik also said: “It is pleasing to report that our 45%-owned CCF
StarBridge Hengxin Corporation Ltd joint venture reported stronger sales in
the July quarter of $3,891,000 and net income of $194,550. This result was
higher compared to the previous three months ended April 30, 2001, in which
lower sales and net income were recorded due to the Chinese New Year
holidays impacting on work orders in the early part of the April quarter.”
Management confirmed that it continues to work towards securing
long-term equity and/or debt funding and that it has had a series of
positive meetings, with a number of parties. Management hopes to finalize a
financing in the current fiscal quarter, ending October 31, 2001.
Mr. Turik stated: “Our US representative office, located at 140
Broadway, New York is in very close proximity to the World Trade Center
area. We offer our heartfelt condolences, prayers and sympathy to the
families and friends that have been touched by the horrific and heinous
acts of the terrorists. We have been incredibly impressed by the resilience
shown by New Yorkers and the continued bravery demonstrated by the rescue
workers.”

StarBridge Global conducts business through two Sino-foreign joint
ventures in China.

CCF StarBridge Hengxin Corporation Ltd., 45% owned by StarBridge and
55% owned by China Beijing CCF StarBridge Computer Technology Co. Ltd.,
(China Changfeng) a major Chinese corporation, is a network systems
integration and applications development business and also the holder of a
national ISP license in China.

Through Gold Phoenix Associates Limited, StarBridge owns 60% of Ai
Wei Information Technology Corporation Ltd, with the remaining 40% owned by
China Changfeng. Ai Wei was formed to develop a health card registration
and management system (“HCRM System”) in China for those individuals
working in the food or food-related industries. The HCRM System is designed
to provide a computerized system for the registration and data storage
process regarding hygiene standard inspections and other information
relating to workers in the food industry utilizing a smart card system
consisting of a credit-card size plastic card with an imbedded computer chip.

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