Gemplus Fighting

Reports of friction between members of Gemplus top management and allegation of financial irregularities have apparently been overblown. Yesterday, the smart card manufacturer reported that accounting firms hired to investigate the claims found no indication of intentional wrongdoing or circumvention of corporate or tax laws. Rumors that Gemplus CEO Antonio Perez and Gemplus founder Marc Lassus had fought vigorously over the company’s restructuring plans were exaggerated according to company officials. As the economy softened and demand for Gemplus products waned, the company decided to close two plants and layoff about 800 employees. For the second quarter Gemplus reported revenue of 252 million Euros and an operating loss of 12 million Euros. The restructuring underway saves the company 40 million Euros in annual expenses. Gemplus has signed a major contract with Target Corporation to provide smart cards and in-home readers for the ‘Target smart VISA’ card launch, scheduled for the fourth quarter. (CF Library 8/1/01)

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EMV PLUS

At the Proton World Forum in Brussels this week, Proton World launched “EMV Plus” its new credit/debit solution based on the EMV 2000 specifications and Proton Prisma Single Profile EMV (SP/EMV), a new entry-level product in the Proton Prisma family of smart card products aimed at EMV issuers.

“EMV Plus” has been developed in close collaboration with EMV issuers. It is made up of a card application, a host module and a range of complementary services, including advice on migration from magstripe systems, EMV training, partner selection and project management. “EMV Plus” features multiple brands, fast on-line authorisation, multiple profiles, co-branding, card manufacturer independence, simplified personalisation and unsurpassed security. It offers issuers cost savings, an improved choice of partners, greater simplicity, a system based on open standards and a vision for the future of EMV by providing a solution that is flexible and scaleable.

Proton Prisma SP/EMV cards are based on the CALC platform, Proton World’s spearhead implementation of the Open Platform 2.1 specifications, which is common to all Proton Prisma, and will contain “EMV Plus” and space for Third-Party-defined applications such as secure access or customer loyalty schemes.

Proton Prisma SP/EMV has been developed in response to requests from EMV credit/debit issuers who require the simplest possible smart card solution at the lowest-possible price for their initial EMV migration.

Proton World sees Proton Prisma SP/EMV as an entry-level product which nevertheless offers a full solution for mono-application EMV projects. The card and host software is backed up with a full range of training modules, card personalisation and management tools and the benefit of Proton World’s expertise in project definition and management. Issuers retain the options of migrating to, or mixing Proton Prisma SP/EMV with, more sophisticated Proton Prisma multi-application card solutions in the future, because both CALC and each single application is identical to those used in the other Proton Prisma profile packages: (BP (basic), EP (embedded), MP (mobile) and DP (dynamic)).

The first customer for Proton Prisma SP/EMV will be Banksys, Proton World’s Belgian licensee, which has affirmed its commitment to Proton World’s Proton Prisma technology roadmap.

The Proton Prisma range of smart card products, which was launched earlier this year, retains and reinforces the open architecture and state-of-the-art, end-to-end security that has contributed to the success of the Proton technology, and offers compliance with the leading international smart card standards. This means that issuers retain the widest possible choice of system components from leading manufacturers, within a security framework defined by Proton World.

Peter Stroo, Products & Marketing Manager at Proton World, said: ” We have developed the Proton Prisma SP/EMV solution based on our field experience. Its deployment by issuers is a start point for EMV, not an end point. Proton Prisma SP/EMV will enable issuers to move smoothly and cost-effectively to the deployment of multiple-application smart cards, while enjoying immediatly the benefits of CALC, such as card manufacturer-independence.”

Armand Linkens, CEO of Proton World, said: “Proton Prisma is the next generation of smart card products, and issuers who use are far more diverse and require great flexibility.This is why we have extended the Proton Prisma family to cover a wide range of smart card and SIM applications. The cost-effectiveness of Proton Prisma SP/EMV will be particularly appealing to issuers who wish to issue different types of cards to different segments of their customer bases.”

More info on EMV PLUS can be found at www.protonworld.com/emv.

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Lynk on Motient Network

Lynk Systems, Inc., a leading electronic transaction processor, announced that it will offer an expanded wireless payment processing solution for retail and restaurant merchants via the Motient Network.

Lynk has been offering the Lipman Nurit 3010 wireless terminal using CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) technology since February 2001. The addition of connectivity to Motient gives Lynk access to the largest two-way radio network in the country. The Motient network area extends to 99% of the 500 most populated U.S. cities.

“We are very excited by the additions of the Lynk retail and restaurant wireless POS solutions,” said Mike Fabbri, vice president, Sales for Motient. “The immediacy of information provided with the Lynk wireless solution directly supports Motient’s desire to make e-business transactions happen whenever and wherever required.”

A key feature of Lynk’s wireless offering is its restaurant application on the Nurit 3010. Having just completed a successful beta test on the wireless Nurit at Le Yaca Restaurant in Williamsburg, VA, Lynk is the first major processor to offer pay-at-the-table functionality to the restaurant industry. “Lynk’s wireless solution has been a great experience for us, especially when dealing with large groups paying with separate checks,” said Joy Abid, owner of Le Yaca.

Known for its durability and ease of use, the Nurit 3010 is the most highly recognized wireless terminal in the marketplace. The “go-anywhere” wireless terminal allows restaurant and retail merchants to improve business operations by offering increased mobility, speed and flexibility, while reducing operating costs.

Consumers and merchants are demanding faster and virtually anytime, anywhere payment capabilities and services. The Nurit 3010 Motient Wireless Terminal clearly addresses these needs.

About Motient

Motient ( ) owns and operates an integrated terrestrial/satellite network and provides a wide range of two-way mobile and Internet communications services principally to business-to-business customers and enterprises. The company provides eLink(SM) and BlackBerry(TM) by Motient two-way wireless email service to customers accessing email through corporate servers, Internet Service Provider (ISP) and Mail Service Provider (MSP) accounts, and paging network suppliers. Motient serves a variety of markets including mobile professionals, telemetry, transportation, field service, and nationwide voice dispatch offering coverage to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and hundreds of miles of U. S. coastal waters.

About Lynk

Lynk is a single-source provider of electronic transaction processing services and products for petroleum and convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants, quick-serve restaurants, major retailers, e-tailers and the US government. With direct connectivity to virtually every payment network nationwide, Lynk’s clients and customers receive unsurpassed processing performance. Lynk’s key offerings include merchant payment processing from point-of-sale terminals or via the Internet, ATM transaction services, e-funds distribution solutions and Web-based transaction processing services.

Founded in 1991, Lynk has received Visa’s Service Quality Performance Award, and has earned recognition as one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. magazine and Deloitte & Touche. For more information, please visit Lynk’s corporate web site at .

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GEMPLUS INVESTIGATION

Reports of in-fighting between members of Gemplus’ top management and
allegation of financial irregularities have apparently been overblown. This
week, the smart card manufacturer
reported that accountant firms hired to investigate the claims found no
indication of intentional wrongdoing or circumvention of corporate or tax
laws. Rumors that Gemplus CEO Antonio Perez and Gemplus founder Marc Lassus
had fought vigorously over the company’s restructuring plans were
exaggerated according to company officials. As the economy softened and
demand for Gemplus products waned, the company decided to close two plants
and layoff about 800 employees. For the second quarter Gemplus reported
revenue of 252 million Euros and an operating loss of 12 million Euros. The
restructuring underway save the company 40 million Euros in annual
expenses. Gemplus has signed a major contract with Target Corporation to
provide smart cards and in-home readers for the ‘Target smart VISA’ card
launch, scheduled for the fourth quarter.

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OPC in St. Louis

Official Payments Corporation announced that the Collector of Revenue Office for the City of St. Louis, MO has signed a service agreement with the company.

The agreement enables St. Louis taxpayers to settle their real estate and personal property tax obligations by credit card over the Internet ([www.officialpayments.com][1]) or via telephone (800-2PAY-TAX) through Official Payments’ systems. The new service is expected to launch in early October. American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa will be the credit cards accepted by the program. Official Payments, a leading provider of electronic payment options, has similar agreements with over 900 government entities across the country including the Internal Revenue Service, 18 state governments and the District of Columbia.

The Collector of Revenue Office for the City of St. Louis collects over $200 million annually in real estate and personal property taxes, with an average property tax bill of $1,000. Tax bills will be mailed out October 1, 2001 and are due by December 31, 2001. City residents will be able to pay via Internet by visiting the Official Payments Web site at www.officialpayments.com, or by calling Official Payments at 1-800-2PAY-TAX.

Official Payments charges taxpayers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found on the Internet at www.officialpayments.com. For example, a taxpayer who owed a current balance of $1,000 in real estate taxes and charged their taxes would find a total of $1,035 on their credit card statement: $1,000 for the tax bill and $35 for the convenience fee. American Express(R), MasterCard(R), Discover(R) and VISA(R) are the credit cards accepted by the program. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back on 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.

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

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MOBILE 3-D SECURE

Visa International announced
a new global specification that ensures the security of Internet payments made
over mobile phones.

The Mobile 3-D Secure specification is based on existing payment
technologies and is a result of Visa’s ongoing efforts to ensure that both
buyers and sellers are protected when they use or accept a Visa card. It
supports Visa’s ongoing commitment to realize universal commerce (u-commerce)
— the ability to conduct secure commerce anywhere, anytime with any type of
device.

Developed in conjunction with some 15 major industry players, including
Ericsson, Motorola and Oracle Mobile, the specification is part of Visa
Authenticated Payment, a comprehensive e-commerce program designed to ensure
safe and secure online payment transactions. The Mobile 3-D Secure
specification extends payment authentication initiatives into mobile commerce,
enabling Visa card issuers to validate the identity of their cardholders in
real time. It ensures that payment data sent over open networks is not
compromised and allows consumers to actively protect their Visa accounts from
unauthorized use when shopping on-line over mobile devices.
“While the vast majority of Internet transactions still take place via
PCs, it is essential that a secure standard be in place for transactions that
originate from mobile phones or other mobile devices,” said Philip Yen,
executive vice president, e-Visa International. “Consumers need to feel the
same sense of security when they shop online using a mobile phone as when they
shop in the physical world.”

The Mobile 3-D Secure specification supports global interoperability,
enabling consumers to have a consistent and seamless experience regardless of
the method or device being used to access the Internet. It minimizes the
impact on merchants and requires no changes to backend payment systems.
The growth in mobile phone usage shows a clear trend toward wireless
Internet devices. According to Nokia, during 2002, more people will be
accessing the Internet with handheld, wireless devices than via landlines.
Analyst and consulting company Ovum Limited suggests that, globally,
373 million wireless subscribers will be buying on-line in 2004.
A number of Visa m-commerce programs are currently underway worldwide to
test the viability of m-commerce payment solutions and raise consumer
awareness. In Asia, Visa has partnered with Hutchison Telecommunications and
Dao Heng Bank to develop a mobile payment service using Mobile 3-D Secure. In
Europe, Visa has signed a strategic alliance with Omnitel Vodafone while, in
the US, Visa and Sprint are working together to help facilitate secure mobile
payments and create opportunities to purchase goods and services over the
Sprint PCS nationwide wireless network.

Barclaycard’s IT Director, Jennifer Allerton, said: “There is strong
demand from consumers and merchants in Europe for mobile card payments. At
Barclaycard, we have successfully trialled 3D-Secure on the Internet, and
working with Visa and Arcot, we demonstrated 3D-Secure working over WAP in
June. This announcement is a significant step forward in the development of
m-commerce.”

The Mobile 3-D Secure specification can be obtained from Visa at
mobile3d@visa.com.

Visa is the world’s leading payments brand and the largest payments system
worldwide. Visa-branded cards generate almost US$2 trillion in annual volume
and are accepted at over 22 million locations around the world. The Visa
organization plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and
technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their
cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering
the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce — the ability to conduct
commerce anytime, anywhere, over any type of device.

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Qxpress Phone Card Terminals

Q Comm International Inc., a prepaid wireless technology and information services company, Tuesday announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Houston-based Camelot Comm Inc., a prepaid services company.

Through the alliance, Camelot Comm has begun placing Q Comm’s Qxpress terminals, already with nearly 300 installed in various retail locations nationwide.

“Q Comm’s Qxpress POSA system delivers powerful benefits to our retailers,” said Nik Thomas, president of Camelot Comm. “There are the obvious benefits of reporting, control, and inventory elimination. But more and more as you examine the operational issues at the front lines of these retailers, there are increasing needs to carry multiple denominations for multiple products and carriers.

“When you have a $10, $20, $30, $50 and $100 denomination for just one product, this becomes a major issue. Qxpress provides a seamless solution for all of these concerns.”

Camelot Comm anticipates continued roll out of Qxpress terminals. “My plan is to install 7,500 Qxpress terminals by the end of next year,” said Thomas.

Camelot currently provides various retail outlets with several prepaid services including home dial tone, prepaid wireless, and prepaid long distance phone cards. Stores that Camelot serves include check cashing outlets, food marts, convenience stores, independent cellular shops, and grocery stores.

Camelot is the exclusive electronic PIN distributor of Smoke Signal, one of the nation’s largest prepaid dial tone companies. Camelot is also the exclusive distributor of Everyone’s Debit Card (EDC), a new prepaid Master Card. Camelot will officially unveil the product at the National Check Casher’s Association show in San Diego in October.

Camelot’s Thomas anticipates running EDC replenishment sales through Q Comm’s Qxpress terminals starting in first quarter of 2002.

“The EDC card will be issued with zero value so that customers have to go to a Camelot agent location to load and reload this card,” said Thomas. “Once it is loaded, it is used just like a Master Card. It basically gives the unbanked a virtual bank.

“Users will be able to transfer money over ATM networks worldwide, buy things on the Internet, verify a check, rent a car, gain access to telephone service while at a motel, travel without the exposure of carrying cash and enjoy a lot of other important services that many of us take for granted. It gives the unbanked the ability to use a credit card in a society that really demands it.

“We are excited about adding EDC to our portfolio of prepaid services. Through Smoke Signal, who has already spent over $40 million advertising their brand, we have more than 2,000 points of distribution domestically through which we can offer EDC replenishment. Given our relationships with Q Comm and Smoke Signal, I think we’re going to do some big things.

“I’ve been in the prepaid industry for six years and I think that the timing of Q Comm’s technology with the industry’s development is impeccable. We’re going to have a ball over the next couple of years.”

“Our partnership with Camelot is significant,” said Stephen C. Flaherty, president of Q Comm International. “Their exclusive distribution relationships with Smoke Signal and the EDC Master Card product give them and us substantial competitive advantages in the prepaid market.

“Like them, we’re also excited to add the EDC product to our terminals. With estimates showing that more than 30 million working Americans are unbanked, we think the EDC product has great potential. Camelot is a reputable and aggressive marketing company and we’re excited about this partnership.”

About Q Comm International

Q Comm International Inc. ([www.qcomm.com][1]) is a leading prepaid wireless technology and information services company. Utilizing its proprietary platform, Qxpress(TM), Q Comm electronically delivers prepaid wireless airtime products and other prepaid services through a variety of retail locations.

Q Comm’s electronic management system eliminates prepaid wireless hard cards as well as their inventory costs, out-of-stocks, and theft, while providing reporting and inventory management for carriers, agents, and retailers. Qxpress(TM) is not product, operator or currency specific.

Qxpress(TM) essentially acts as a conduit through which Q Comm can efficiently deliver an almost-infinite bandwidth of prepaid wireless and other telecom services from an unlimited number of carriers to its rapidly expanding global network of retailers.

This flexible, electronic platform gives Q Comm, its partner retail sites, agents, and carriers the ability to quickly grow sales at relatively little additional overhead, increasing profitability among all parties.

For its industry innovation and leadership, Q Comm has been selected as one of the “Top 10 Companies to Watch” by Intele-Card News, the leading prepaid telecom publication in the United States.

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

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DOUBLE MILES

China Southern Airlines, the largest airline in The People’s Republic of China, www.cs-air.com/en, is pleased to announce that members of its Sky Pearl Club can now earn Double Miles on special domestic routes starting now – through December 31, 2001.

Available immediately, Sky Pearl Club members who fly between Guiyang and Guangzhou, Beijing and Shenzhen can earn double FFP mileage – regardless of the class of service they fly.

Additionally, Sky Pearl Club members can earn Bonus Mileage (in Y, C or F Class) on special promotional routes including Guangzhou-Wuhan, Beijing-Shenzhen and Hangzhou-Guangzhou.

Additional information about these new promotions are available at any China Southern Airlines Domestic or International Ticket Office or at any of the newly opened Sky Pearl Club Service Centers at major airport locations throughout China, including Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou and Beijing Capitol Airport as well as regional airports in Changsha, Wuhan, Haikou, Shenzhen and Zhengzhou – all providing a vast slate of convenient new customer services.

China Southern Airlines’ Sky Pearl Club is the fastest growing frequent flyer program in China with more than 500,000 members.

At each new Sky Pearl Club Service Center, passengers can sign up for and instantly receive their permanent Sky Pearl Club membership card and immediately begin accruing FFP mileage. Current Sky Pearl Club members can check their mileage balances or make a claim for any mileage not credited. Club managers will be on hand to answer any passenger questions about their mileage or Sky Pearl Club policies and procedures.

The largest airline in The People’s Republic of China for the past 21 years, China Southern Airlines (www.cs-air.com/en) connects more than 80 cities around the globe. Major business and vacation destinations served in China include: Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong, Kunming, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan, as well as international service, including: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Fukuoka, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Osaka, Penang, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Singapore and Sydney.

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AuthenIC Edefice

Intercede Group, a leading provider of security management products and technologies, licensed its Edefice security and smart card management system to Oberthur Card Systems for integration into Oberthur’s AuthentIC smart card product array, for worldwide distribution. This follows a strategic alliance formed in March between the two companies.

Marc Bertin, Director of E-Commerce at Oberthur Card Systems, said: “Edefice technology will enable our large banking and corporate customers to manage the entire lifecycle of their smart card and PKI infrastructures using a simple to use, business process oriented interface. This is an important and fast growing market for Oberthur. Edefice will make it easier for Oberthur’s customers to consume both smart cards and PKI technology. The addition of Edefice technology to our AuthentIC portfolio is an integral part of Oberthur’s strategy unlocking a new burgeoning market for both our companies.”

By 2004, it is forecast that there will be 169 million smart cards in circulation for network security purposes (source: Gartner Dataquest). This represents a 10-fold growth rate over the next three years. Intercede and Oberthur believe that at least 50 percent of all network security smart cards will be under the control of a smart card management system. Based on this information, the partnership between Intercede and Oberthur Card Systems is expected to generate a stream of international business opportunities for both companies.

Edefice, through its intuitive, web-based interface allows any PC with a web browser to be used for smart card management, eliminating the need for inefficient centralized smart card issuing stations. Oberthur’s deployment of Intercede’s Edefice greatly enhances the security and efficiency of future smart card deployments.

“We are delighted that Oberthur Card Systems, as one of the top three global smart card manufacturers, has selected Edefice technology to support its thrust into the network security market. This validates our technological vision, reinforces the superiority of our technology and provides further evidence of our software development expertise. We are already working with Oberthur’s sales force on a number of international opportunities. The new license agreement formalizes this collaboration and delivers on Intercede’s IPO commitment to internationalise our customer base through OEM and indirect channels,” commented Richard Parris, CEO of Intercede.

About Intercede

Intercede Group plc (IGP LN) (IGP.L) is a leading developer and supplier of security management solutions for computers, networks and software applications. Intercede successfully raised 2.2 million pounds sterling (net of expenses) by way of a placing on the Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) in January 2001, which values the Company at approximately 10 million pounds. Intercede plc is one of only three quoted security software companies in the UK. Intercede’s customers cover a range of industries and include Barclays Bank, Lloyds TSB, the Department for Education and Employment, the NHS, Compaq, ICL. Further information on Intercede can be found at .

Intercede’s Edefice software gives organisations of any size the power to manage their smart card / PKI lifecycles and other security infrastructure through a simple-to-use web-based console. Using a fully distributable, workflow driven architecture, Edefice integrates seamlessly with Windows 2000, XP and NT/S.E. (Compaq’s Security Enhancements for Microsoft Products), and manages with ease multiple device combinations — smart cards, tokens and biometrics. Further information on Edefice can be found at .

For more information on Intercede Group plc contact: Clare Warren of College Hill Associates, ++ 44 (0207) 457 2020, or fax, ++44 (0207) 248 3295, clare.warren@collegehill.com

About Oberthur Card Systems

Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange – Code SICOVAM 12413), a global leader and the innovator in the smart card industry, is shaping the future by offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, 3G (IMT-2000/UMTS), e-wallet technologies & Internet-based card management services coupled with a firm commitment to open standards.

Championing EMV migration, Oberthur is the world’s #1 supplier of MasterCard and Visa cards, #1 in banking, e-commerce, m-commerce and pay-TV, Oberthur is also the #1 in Java(TM) and GSM technologies.

Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach ensured by 30 sales offices and 20 manufacturing sites across the five continents. Oberthur Card Systems had sales of 451.1 million Euros in 2000.

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SYMCOR BRANDING

Symcor Inc., a leading North American
financial transaction outsourcer, announced that it has changed the name
of all of its operating businesses. This change includes the businesses
formerly known as Symcor Services Inc. and Optus Corporation, which was
acquired in December 2000.

“Uniting our businesses under a common name helps drive home the
synergies in our services and is indicative of our common, integrated approach
to providing end-to-end business and technology solutions for customers,” said
Paul Currie, CEO of Symcor Inc. “As well, by dropping ‘services’ from our
name, we’re telling the world that we’re more than just a service provider –
we’re also a solutions provider,” says Paul Currie, Symcor Inc.’s CEO.
As part of the corporate identity change, Symcor Inc. has also adopted a
modern and dynamic new identity design. “Symcor Inc.’s new corporate identity
is designed to reflect the transformational nature of our business and the
power of the electronic and physical worlds brought together,” says Currie.
“It also symbolizes our energy and innovation in offering new products and
services and delivering exceptional customer service.”
“These changes signify the new direction the company has taken in the way
we conduct business and in the products and services we provide,” adds Currie.
Symcor Inc.’s goal is to be the preferred partner in North America for
financial transaction outsourcing services by creating, delivering and
continuously improving financial transaction services to help transform and
enhance its customers’ businesses.

The company plans to grow rapidly in North America by continuously
enhancing operational excellence and by expanding capabilities in payments and
transaction processing as well as digital storage, retrieval and delivery of
information.

About Symcor Inc.

Symcor Inc. is a North American leader in providing financial transaction
outsourcing services in two key business areas – Item Processing and Customer
Communication. Symcor provides individualized product and service solutions to
customers in the banking, mutual fund, insurance, retail, telecom and utility
sectors. Symcor’s services include cheque, payment processing, application and
Web development, and a full range of customer bill and statement advisory,
design and presentment capabilities. For more information, please visit
.

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Stock Update

While the rest of the stock market settled down yesterday, American Express’ stock was beaten down again by another 9.4%. AmEx is now trading at a new 52-week low of $27.38 compared to its share price of $35.01 on Sept. 10. The reaction came from Monday’s statement that AmEx’s third quarter earnings will be affected by the weakness in the travel industry, which makes up one third of AmEx charge volume, and costs associated with relocating its New York City headquarters staff due to the World Trade Center attack. Understandably, American Express yesterday lobbied Congress to provide immediate financial support for the airline industry. Meanwhile MBNA and Capital One were hit hard again yesterday, losing 7.4% and 6.6%, respectively. Capital One reached a new low of $41.96. Providian and NextCard settled down after being clobbered Monday. Providian lost 1% while NextCard gained 2.3%.

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Proton Card Support

Datacard Group confirmed Tuesday it will implement full support for the Proton ‘Prisma’ smart card platform through its ‘Affina’ platform management architecture, which also supports ‘MULTOS’ and ‘Java Card’. Datacard’s support of the Proton ‘Prisma’ platform will mark the first time that issuers will have the choice of which technology to deploy based on any of the platforms supported by the ‘Affina’ system. Issuers will be able to select the most appropriate platform based on applications and business drivers available at the time, to add, delete, block or modify applications stored on smart cards after the cards have been issued to consumers. Datacard recently relocated and expanded it London office, which include its ‘Consult p7’ team. (The RAM Report 8/27/01)

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