BillingZone & KUBRA

BillingZone, LLC, a leading B2B electronic invoice presentment and payment consolidator, and KUBRA, the leader in customer communication and relationship management outsource solutions, announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance. The new partnership offers mutual customers advanced capabilities in the complex financial supply chain environment with respect to the invoice-to-collect and procure-to-pay processes.

The alliance between KUBRA and BillingZone will deliver exceptional value to participating companies with large B2B invoice volume. The partnership channels KUBRA’s electronic invoices, statements and credit memos into the BillingZone.com EIPP consolidated service most preferred by business payers. Billers will enjoy the benefits of an integrated EIPP solution that offers paper-based, EDI, Web-based, and consolidated invoice and payment processes rather than fragmented solutions for presentment and payer consolidation services. The new alliance offers customers access to all types of invoicing and provides consolidation to business payers for the greatest usage and penetration.

“KUBRA recognizes that we need flexible invoice solutions to maximize our reach and meet the needs of billers,” said Rick Watkin, president and chief executive officer, KUBRA. “The alliance with BillingZone allows us to offer a complete suite of services to billers. We also understand that payer communities have different needs. As a supplier of e-products, we are providing a solution today that is designed for the future so that customers can grow with KUBRA as their one-stop provider. BillingZone is the only consolidator in operation today that can deliver quality EIPP services to KUBRA’s customers.”

“At BillingZone, we have built the leading consolidator service for B2B EIPP to be open to invoices and payments from the majority of sources and formats,” said Eric Smith, president and chief executive officer of BillingZone, LLC. “For KUBRA’s customers, this will mean that more of their customers will be able to access, review, and pay their bills electronically. This leads to the robust cost-savings and enhanced customer relationships that KUBRA’s customers expect from e-billing. We are pleased to be working with KUBRA to offer this valuable service to their customers.”

KUBRA’s offering, KUBRA e-invoice(TM), was designed as a straightforward interactive environment for payee and payer process stakeholders in the invoice-to-collect marketplace. It is a complete end-to-end B2B EIPP solution that delivers workflow and dispute handling, interactive customer care, payment processing and personalized marketing with respect to digital invoice creation and delivery. The product’s enhanced customer self-care features and its streamlined workflow for receipt, review, dispute, approval and payment of invoices enables billers to simultaneously reduce support costs while providing business customers with greater convenience and improved service.

Under the new alliance with BillingZone, customers using the KUBRA e-invoice(TM) product suite will be offered advanced distribution of electronic presentment and payment services to their associated payer communities through the BillingZone.com(TM) service. BillingZone recently launched its Open Alliance Program, offering companies an easy, flexible path to link existing software and Web site solutions with an Internet service that offers a broad network of participants. BillingZone consolidates transactional data from multiple invoicing sources into one centralized hub, efficiently distributes invoices to multiple customers through the BillingZone.com Web site, offers a sophisticated set of payables functionality, and provides financial reconciliation back to the suppliers through their existing banking, credit card and settlement relationships.

About KUBRA

KUBRA leads the market in delivering comprehensive customer communication and customer relationship management outsourced solutions. KUBRA has leveraged their expertise in these skill sets to offer various business communities personalized interactive customer communication and management solutions. Since the company’s inception in 1992, they have created a multinational corporation that creates value for their customers in the form of enhanced access to new markets, reduced costs and increased profitability.

KUBRA’s capabilities in data processing, print production, electronic presentment and delivery and secure payment processing allows them to provide customer communication solutions through any channel and to facilitate the communication program throughout its entire life cycle — from document conception and presentment to customer response and payment. More information on the Company is available on the Internet at .

About BillingZone, LLC

BillingZone, LLC offers a business-to-business electronic invoice presentment and payment service that provides businesses a consolidated model for presenting, receiving and paying invoices on the Internet. The service is expressly designed to meet the needs of corporate billers and payers and provides to payers the convenience of paying multiple bills at one site. BillingZone helps companies streamline the complexity of invoicing and payment processes, realize cost savings by eliminating paper and manual processes, and speeds up the communication between companies and their customers or suppliers. BillingZone, LLC is a joint venture of two industry leaders, PNC Bank, N.A., a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), and Perot Systems Corporation (NYSE: PER). Please contact BillingZone, LLC at (412) 705-3000 or via e-mail at info@billingzone.com. Additional information is available on the company’s web site at .

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SMILE PROGRESS

The Co-operative Bank again demonstrated that profits and ethics can go hand in hand when today it reported record interim pre-tax profits of £60.2m, up nine per cent on last year.

This is the 15th consecutive set of record interim and annual results that The Co-operative Bank has produced since 1994. Profits since 1997 alone have nearly doubled.

The increase in profits for the half year arose from higher operating income, up six per cent at £241m, while operating costs rose just three per cent to £146m. This resulted in a further improvement in the Bank’s cost/income ratio, which fell by 2.1 percentage points to 60.5 per cent – an all time low. The Bank’s balance sheet remained robust, with strong liquidity and capital ratios. Retail customer deposits and lending both continued to grow strongly.

smile, the Internet bank, continued to grow its customer numbers, expand its range of services, and consolidated its reputation as the best service provider in the hotly-contested Internet bank sector. Since its launch in October 1999, smile has acquired over 400,000 account holders, of which around 80 per cent are new to The Co-operative Bank Group.

In addition to its financial success in the first half of 2001, The Co-operative Bank gained unprecedented recognition for its achievements as a socially responsible business, with several high-profile and prestigious awards. In July 2001, the Bank was judged to be ‘Company of the Year’ in the Business In The Community Awards for Excellence. It was also runner-up for the hotly contested ‘Cause Related Marketing’ Award.

The Bank’s Partnership Approach, and its stance on ethical and environmental issues, led to awards for the ‘Best Social Report’ and the ‘Best Environmental Report’ from a combination of the Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

In recognition of its working environment and culture, the Bank was selected by the Sunday Times and the Department of Trade and Industry as one of the 50 ‘Best Companies to Work For’ in 2001.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Mervyn Pedelty said: “These are another set of very satisfying results for everyone connected with The Co-operative Bank. The impressive financial figures, together with the external recognition of our achievements, confirm that we have a sustainable formula for business success.”

During the first half of the year, the Bank completed its programme of installing 350 cash machines (ATM’s) in Co-op convenience stores. They have proved so popular in these retail locations that a further 350 ATM’s will be installed in Co-op stores by the end of 2002.

The Bank has also continued to develop new products to meet the changing needs of its customers. Earlier this year, it introduced a range of Visa Platinum cards, including a fixed-rate card at 9.8 per cent APR guaranteed until 2006. In June, the Bank introduced ‘Privilege’, a new, highly featured, current account which, for a monthly fee of £6, provides a wide range of benefits, including worldwide family travel insurance, plus preferential overdraft rates.

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Paytrust & Spectrum

Paytrust, the leading online bill management service, and Spectrum EBP, L.L.C., a bank consortium that facilitates the exchange of electronic bills and payments, announced a strategic alliance whereby Paytrust will join Spectrum as a consumer service provider partner.

With this alliance, Paytrust will certify its award-winning CSP platform to Spectrum’s payment and presentment network – providing Spectrum member banks the ability to offer their customers a complete, consumer-focused online bill management solution, and allowing Paytrust to receive electronic bills and issue electronic payments via the Spectrum network.

Spectrum, a bank-centric payment and presentment technology platform founded by J.P. Morgan Chase & Company (NYSE: JPM), Wachovia Corporation (NYSE: WB) and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), provides financial institutions a secure, open and interoperable infrastructure to exchange electronic bills and payments. Including its three founders, 22 financial institutions currently belong to the Spectrum network or have signed letters of intent to participate in the network. Spectrum’s participant banks include 6 of the top 10 U.S. banks, representing 7.4 million online consumers, and 10 of the top 30 credit card issuers nationwide.

Paytrust provides CSP services to premier partner financial services institutions, including American Express, Citibank, E*TRADE, GE Financial Network, NextCard and U.S. Clearing. Today’s agreement with Spectrum allows Paytrust to further enhance both its “pay anyone” and innovative “present everything” capabilities. With Paytrust, consumers and small businesses can receive, review, pay and organize all their bills online through their preferred financial services provider. Paytrust can present 100% of a subscriber’s bills online, regardless of a bill’s originating format, by receiving electronic feeds directly from billers, biller service providers, and now the Spectrum network; aggregating online billing information from biller-direct web sites; or using patent-pending software to scan and process paper bills. “Certifying to Spectrum not only enables Paytrust’s strategic partners to participate in Spectrum if and when they choose,” said Edward G. McLaughlin, CEO of Paytrust. “It also provides all current and future Spectrum participant banks the ability to rapidly deploy a world-class CSP platform enabling their customers to receive and pay bills through the Spectrum network.”

“We welcome Paytrust to Spectrum. Through our alliance, Paytrust brings its industry-leading CSP platform and significant base of online consumers to the Spectrum network of 7.4 million online consumers.” said John Perry, Spectrum’s Chairman and CEO. “Our relationship with Paytrust demonstrates Spectrum’s commitment to our participants to build a robust network of both billers and consumers through strategic alliances without disintermediating financial institutions.”

About Paytrust

Paytrust delivers 100% of a subscriber’s bills online, offering complete bill delivery and management and far surpassing traditional bill pay-only or partial bill delivery services. Paytrust has built a strong track record of innovation, leading the industry in delivering consumer-focused solutions such as complete bill presentment, email bill delivery, wireless bill presentment and payment, SmartBalance(TM) automated checkbook balancing and SmartBills(TM) electronic bill aggregation.

Paytrust’s unique capabilities and superior user experience have garnered numerous recent awards, including Forbes’ “Best of the Web 2001”, Business Week’s “Top Products of 2000” and Yahoo Internet Life’s “Sites We Love.” Founded in October 1998, Paytrust is the flagship product of PAYTRU$T, Inc., a privately held company based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Paytrust continues to enjoy strong support from its premier group of investors, which includes American Express, Capital One, Citibank, ComVentures, E*TRADE, FT Ventures and Spectrum Equity (not affiliated with Spectrum EBP L.L.C.). In September 2000, Paytrust acquired PayMyBills.com, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of PAYTRU$T, Inc. More information about the company can be found on its web site, www.paytrust.com, or by calling 1-800-PAYTRUST.

About Spectrum

Spectrum EBP, L.L.C., headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is an independent company fully owned by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Wachovia Corporation (WB) and Wells Fargo & Company (WFC). Formed to facilitate the exchange of electronic bills and payments, Spectrum’s mission is to provide a secure, open and interoperable infrastructure to electronically link consumer and biller service providers. Additionally, Spectrum seeks to provide value to its participants by providing superior service and reducing overall bill presentment and payment costs. Spectrum does not host any bills directly, nor does it retain any bill details. Including the three founders, 22 financial institutions currently belong to the Spectrum network or have signed letters of intent to participate in the network. More information on Spectrum can be found at .

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Teen Cards

US and UK teenagers spent $483 million on-line last year, with this figure to increase to $10.6 billion by 2005 according to a new research report. Datamonitor says teenage payment systems, such as prepaid cards, are currently provided by only a handful of suppliers. As such, the sector is lucrative, but marketing and advertising to teenage consumers is likely to prove difficult and operators should look to tie-in with larger teenage-friendly brands. Datamonitor says that although teens can make purchases indirectly using a parent’s credit cards, the buying experience is not the same due to the loss of independence for the teenager. The research firm says the dominance of the credit card in the US will allow products connected to parents’ credit cards to flourish. However, Europe will see more independent solutions emerging, with products developed by independent companies such as Smartcreds and Splash Plastic, but also from banks.

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JAL & NPC

National Processing Company
a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly
owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc. announced the
signing of an agreement with JAL Hotels Company Ltd. to utilize NPC Commission
Express for its commission payment and reporting services. NPC Commission
Express is one of the travel industry’s leading third-party electronic
settlement systems, currently settling commission payments for over 110,000
travel agencies in more than 25 different currencies.

JAL Hotels Company Ltd. (JAL Hotels), a hotel operating company, was
established in 1970 as a subsidiary of Japan Airlines. The company currently
operates two brands of hotel properties: Nikko Hotels International (NHI) and
Hotel JAL City. NHI is a hotel chain that provides luxury facilities and
services at urban locations and resort destinations around the world. Hotel
JAL City is an independent brand focusing on the specific needs of the
business traveler, predominantly at locations along Japan Airline domestic
route destinations.

“We are delighted to partner with JAL Hotels,” said John T. McRae, II,
Senior Vice President of Payment Services for NPC. “JAL Hotels is known
throughout the world for providing first-class products and services. NPC
Commission Express will enable JAL Hotels to enhance their product offerings
— speeding commission payments to the agents that sell their products and
services worldwide.”

“NPC ‘s broad-based knowledge and experience delivering payment solutions
to the travel industry made them the logical choice for our automated
commission disbursements,” said Nobuaki Tatsuoka, deputy executive officer of
Marketing & Operations for JAL Hotels Company Ltd. “We will begin using NPC’s
services for our properties in Japan, and then eventually expand to properties
worldwide.”

About JAL Hotels Company Ltd.

JAL Hotels Company Ltd. has a capital of 4.272 billion yen, and its 2000
sales amounted to 129 billion yen. The company operates two hotel brands;
“Nikko Hotels International” and “Hotel JAL City”, with a total of 51 hotels
(30 in Japan and 21 overseas), and 16,346 rooms.

About National Processing, Inc.

National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary,
National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit
card processing. National Processing is 86 percent owned by National City
Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( ), a Cleveland based
$94 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 600,000 merchant
locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R)
transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer
superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering
their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology
and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be
obtained at .

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AAdvantage Alamo

Alamo Rent A Car is awarding triple ‘AAdvantage’ or ‘AOL AAdvantage Miles’ and a free upgrade to corporate customers and members who rent through ‘Quicksilver’ between now and December 18.(R) and are members of the AAdvantage or AOL AAdvantage program. Alamo serves customers at 109 locations in the USA and Canada, and more than 400 international locations in Europe and Latin America.

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NPC & JAL

National Processing Company has signed an agreement with JAL Hotels Company to utilize ‘NPC Commission Express’ for its commission payment and reporting services. The NPC settlement system currently settles commission payments for over 110,000 travel agencies in more than 25 different currencies. JAL operates Nikko Hotels International and Hotel JAL City with a total of 51 hotels.

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OPC SD

Official Payments Corporation has signed Spink, Hughes, Clay and Davidson County in South Dakota to service agreements to enable taxpayers to pay their real estate tax obligations with credit cards over the Internet or via the telephone. OPC has agreements to collect and process credit card payments with the IRS, 18 state governments, the District of Columbia, and over 900 county and municipal governments in 48 states across the United States. In 2000, OPC collected and processed over $925 million in federal, state and local government payments.

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PayPal Users

PayPal confirmed this week it has surpassed 10 million registered users in more than 35 countries. The on-line payment service is used to settle more than 1 in 4 eBay auctions, with PayPal members spending approximately $10 million a day in 200,000 transactions. PayPal Shops offers a directory of more than 18,000 on-line merchants that prefer to be paid through PayPal. Using PayPal, online shoppers can charge payments to their credit cards or transfer funds from their checking accounts without revealing account information to the Web site at which they are shopping.

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Global Level 3

Global Payments has certified Internet technology provider, 3Delta Systems. This suite of Web-based payment processing solutions extends the functionality of Global Payments’ purchasing card offering to include Internet processing for ‘Level III’ transactions. VA-based 3Delta Systems primary focus is to provide multi-functional payment systems to merchants doing business with corporate or government customers.

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