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)

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

Stocks Crash

The stock market headed straight down at the opening bell with all major indices significantly down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk more than 600 points in the first hour of trading and the Nasdaq has dropped more than 100 points. Internet connections to trading firms bogged down, preventing personal retail investors from trading or getting current information. However, the easing of SEC rules pertaining to stock buy backs should smooth out some of the roughing sailing expected today in stock trading as the markets open. Morgan Stanley said it expects to utilize some or all of its remaining $1 billion authorization under its capital management and equity anti-dilution repurchase programs. As expected American Express was the hardest hit as it opened for trading at 10:30am at $29.00.

CARD STOCKS
9/17 9/10
COMPANY OPEN CLOSE 52wk Lo
Providian $25.60 $26.30 $25.55
MBNA $30.00 $31.24 $27.30
Metris $22.65 $23.20 $19.15
Capital One $48.10 $50.37 $45.88
Household $55.04 $56.31 $43.88
Amer Express $29.00 $35.01 $33.70
NextCard $ 7.80 $ 7.85 $ 4.56
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

Experian CreditCommander

Experian, a leading global information solutions company, announced it has signed an agreement with MicroBilt Corporation, a provider of credit access software via the Internet. Experian’s Fast Start suite of applicant scoring models is now available to the financial services industry through MicroBilt’s CreditCommander.com interactive Web site.

“We are very pleased that MicroBilt has added our industry-leading Fast Start scorecards to CreditCommander.com,” said Rob Fite, director of strategic initiatives for Experian’s decision solutions business unit. “With access to these industry specific semi-custom scorecards, MicroBilt’s customers, such as credit unions and banks, can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the new credit evaluation process.

Experian’s Fast Start suite of empirically derived scorecards makes use of account credit bureau data as well as industry- and product-specific data to help banks and credit unions improve the efficiency and speed of the credit decisioning process. For each industry model, pooled data is analyzed, predictive characteristics are selected, point values are assigned, and the model is validated against a subpopulation of the original pooled data. This provides a flexible alternative to the development of a custom model.

“We are delighted to begin offering Experian’s Fast Start scoring models to existing and prospective customers,” states Mike Garretson, senior vice president and general manager of MicroBilt Corporation. “For example, integrating the Credit Union model into CreditCommander.com gives lenders the ability to quickly and accurately zero in on the right decision and product to offer their potential clients.”

Experian has developed a comprehensive suite of industry specific models including automobile, bankcard, credit union, home equity, and direct and subprime loans.

About Experian

Experian enables organizations to find the best prospects and make fast, informed decisions to improve and personalize relationships with their customers. It does this by combining sophisticated and intelligent decision-making software and systems with some of the world’s most comprehensive databases of information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles and property. Through multi-channel delivery of its Web-based products and services, Experian enables its clients to conduct secure and profitable e-business and develop state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for communicating and building relationships with customers. Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Orange, Calif. Its 12,000 people support clients in more than 50 countries. Annual sales are approximately $1.5 billion.

For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .

About MicroBilt:

MicroBilt, a division of Bristol is a nationwide leader in credit bureau data access and retrieval, providing credit solutions to the Financial (banking, mortgages, home equity, credit union, collections), Rental or Leasing, Health Care, Insurance, Law Enforcement, Educational (Universities, Colleges and institutions of higher learning) and Utilities (gas, electric, cellular, cable, residential phones) industries. MicroBilt provides interfaces with the three consumer bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union and the two commercial bureaus, Dun & Bradstreet and Experian Business. Bureau data is available via dial-up software, Internet website access (), or through an integrated custom interface utilizing the Software Developers Kit. The company also enables web sites to enhance their content offerings by delivering a CreditCommander.com co-branded site to their established online communities. MicroBilt services over 30,000 customers throughout the United States and Canada. MicroBilt (), formerly a First Data Corporation subsidiary, is headquartered in Kennesaw, Georgia with offices in Princeton, New Jersey, South Carolina, Arizona and California.

Details

Universal Money 2Q

Universal Money reported revenues for the second quarter ended July 31, 2001 of $ 2.4 million as compared to $2.1 million for the second quarter ended July 31, 2000. The Company reported net income of $76,186 for the second quarter ended July 31, 2001, compared to net income of $60,488 for the second quarter ended July 31, 2000. The number of ATMs in the Company’s network increased to 615 ATMs in the second quarter ended July 31, 2001, from 549 in the second quarter ended July 31, 2000. Additional information is contained in the Company’s Form 10-QSB for the second quarter ended July 31, 2001 filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Universal Money is engaged in the business of operating a network of automated teller machines (ATMs), as well as providing network management and switching services for banks and third party ATM owners. The ATMs provide holders of debit and credit cards access to cash, account information and other services at convenient locations and times.

Universal Money and Universal Money Center are registered trademarks of Universal Money Centers, Inc., and are the property of the owner herein.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
(unaudited)
SECOND QUARTER ENDED JULY 31
2001 2000
Revenues $2,416,768 2,074,234
Net Income $76,186 60,488
Earnings per share $.019 .031
Total assets $3,777,432 3,481,426
Stockholders’ equity $2,000,939 1,138,464

Details

Intelli-Check Acquires IDentiScan

Intelli-Check, Inc., a developer of advanced document verification systems, announced has signed a letter of intent to purchase all of the assets of The IDentiScan Company, LLC, for $1 million of restricted common stock, plus additional incentives upon meeting specific objectives over the next three years.

The purchase is subject to the satisfactory completion of due diligence and execution of a definitive agreement expected in the fourth quarter.

IDentiScan, a privately held company based in Ellington, Conn., designs and sells age verification terminals, which assist merchants of age-restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco in determining whether the purchaser of these products is of legal age for their purchase.

“The natural synergies and the combination of the two companies’ patented technologies, will substantially strengthen our already sophisticated intellectual property portfolio,” stated Frank Mandelbaum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Intelli-Check. “The acquisition will allow us to effectively provide a more cost effective alternative to that segment of the market requiring only age-verification.”

Mr. Mandelbaum noted that both companies have had the distraction and expense of a costly and complex patent infringement litigation proceeding through the courts. The litigation between the parties will cease upon closing of the transaction and the ability of Intelli-Check to enforce its patents will be further enhanced. Mr. Mandelbaum further noted that, in light of the recent terrorist attacks, its ID-Check technology is fully capable of increasing security and deterring terrorism at high profile buildings, car rental agencies and airports by verifying the validity of drivers licenses, state issued ID’s and military identification presented to gain entry, rent vehicles or board airplanes. The recent purchase of our ID-Check units by the Department of Defense for the purpose of increasing security at the entrances to the Pentagon by deploying these units in the near future is proof of this capability. Intelli-Check(R), Inc. designs, develops, and markets an advanced document verification system to enable retailers to prevent economic loss caused by various frauds utilizing fake ID’s and to determine whether purchasers of age restricted products meet the minimum age requirements for their sale. Fake ID’s of the highest quality are easily obtainable and have become a major tool in “identity theft,” the fastest growing crime in the U.S. The ID Check(R) terminal, with its patented software, analyzes and displays information encoded in magnetic stripes and barcodes found on driver licenses, military identification and other forms of government-issued identification issued by over 50 jurisdictions.

IDentiScan’s patented terminals read machine encoded information on driver’s licenses, state issued ID cards and display whether the encoded information from that document supports a claim of legal age by the purchaser. In view of legislation passed or proposed in many states, the use of IDentiScan’s terminals demonstrate the retailer’s compliance with regulation and due diligence.

Details