MBNA is moving into the credit union segment. Yesterday, CO-based Ent Federal Credit Union signed an agreement for MBNA to market and manage credit card operations for Ent. Ent Federal Credit Union is a $1.2 billion credit union headquartered in Colorado Springs, with 13 branch locations serving 130,000 members. It is the largest credit union in Colorado. MBNA also recently purchased a small bank portfolio in Michigan with 50,000 cardholders (CF Library 6/28/01)

Receivables: $35,894,869 Actives: 16,342
1Q Volume: $15,895,958 Cards: 40,076
Accounts: 27,772
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)



Hitachi announced it will close its SIM card factory in Ryuo City in Yamanashi Prefecture due to the European mobile phone slump. Hitachi indicated it will continue production of SIM card chips at its two other plants in Japan. The company started the Yamanashi plant in January after investing 30 billion yen for its construction. Hitachi’s production of SIM card chips has declined from 22 million units per month to 13 million.


Opt-Out Tool

MI-based eRef.net has released a free, automated tool to let customers assert their right to privacy with every bank and financial institution with whom they do, or have done, business. The free ‘Privacy Opt-Out’ tool is available at [www.eref.net/privacy/][1].. The tool not only provides the letter that customers need to send, but also addresses and formats it for them. eRef also enables customers to choose a carbon-copy option that sends a copy of the request to their senators and congressional representatives to protest the privacy invasion created by Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

[1]: http://www.eref.net/privacy/


Integris MSSP

According to the FBI, over 90% of e-commerce security breaches are inside jobs, over one million U.S. credit card numbers have been stolen, and 90% of all passwords can be cracked by hackers, costing U.S. businesses approximately $15 billion a year. Complicating the security issue are new privacy regulations which went into effect earlier this week. Yesterday, Integris and PRISM Security announced they are collaborating to provide a solution, ‘Managed Security Service’, to attack the problem for U.S. businesses. Integris’ MSSP service offering provides monitoring of both hardware and software on enterprise networks; daily, weekly and monthly Internet security reports; secure storage of firewall, IDS and access control logs; software upgrades and bug fixes for any component of the PRISM system; and tracking information protection and privacy laws as well as legal issues. Managing security has become a stickier issue due to the privacy regulations of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act which went into effect earlier this week. Likewise HIPAA, the ‘Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’, which went into effect in December, has strenuous provisions related to the proper care and protection of patient identifiable information.


NYCE – Citi

Citibank has expanded the NYCE Network in the Midwest. This week Citibank’s 270 Chicago-area ATMs began displaying new NYCE signage. NYCE says since the introduction of the NYCE brand in the Midwest last year, consumer awareness of NYCE within Michigan, Indiana and Illinois has nearly doubled. NYCE also opened an office in Chicago last month. (CF Library 5/30/01)


MC Spanair

Spanair announced this week it is offering free companion tickets for MasterCard holders. The special offer entitles U.S. purchasers of a round-trip business class ticket, using a MasterCard, to a free companion ticket. Complimentary limousine service is included in the offer. The offer applies to Spanair flights from Washington Dulles International Airport to Spain. Tickets must be purchased by August 15 to qualify. Spanair offered a similar promotion last year. (CF Library 8/9/00)


2Q/01 Portfolios

Despite the uptick in bankruptcies and chargeoffs, the second quarter earnings reports, due out this month, are expected to show solid performance by credit card issuers due to favorable funding costs. Early 2Q/01 portfolio data, collected by CardData, reveals positive performance even among smaller issuers. The major portfolios are projected to report double digit increases in profitability even though U.S. credit card portfolio losses hit a four-year high in April. However the higher 2Q profits may be short-lived as rising unemployment, high fuel costs, and a stagnant stock market, drive higher losses in the third and fourth quarters. Bankruptcy reform legislation may also produce an abnormal rise in filings, driving card losses even higherm for the second half of 2001.

ISSUER 2Q/01 1Q/01 2Q/01 1Q/01
Anheuser-Busch Employees CU $33,997,000 $33,093,500 17,504 17,491
Citizens Financial Group $ 9,155,407 $ 8,522,516 6,993 6,823
Clinton National Bank $ 1,024,493 $ 1,044,306 1,419 1,385
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)



U-Haul International has awarded ECHO a bid for the U-Haul ‘Check Fee Saver’ program. The program includes check guarantee, check re-presentment and check verification services for its independent dealers who participate in the U-Haul ‘Preferred Dealer Program’. ECHO developed and manufactured the software and hardware that provide inventory processing services for U-Haul dealers. ECHO also processes and supports the daily transaction activity for more than 15,000 dealers and was recently awarded the bid to offer credit card processing to U-Haul independent dealers who participate in the ‘Preferred Dealer Program’.


Satisfusion MC

Los Angeles area-based SatisFusion, hasn sealed a deal to introduce merchants to the ‘MasterCard Exclusives Online’ program through its SmarterMall. This week, the developer of after-sales support and retentions infrastructure platform, announced that Maxon/Topaz3 will be among the first to offer exclusive promotions for MasterCard cardholders through SatisFusion’s SmarterMall. Through SmarterMall, MasterCard cardholders will receive up to a 20% discount on ‘Maxon/Topaz3’ products such as the ‘TruTalk’ family radio service personal communicators and ‘Legacy ProLine’ professional two-way radios.



724 Solutions Inc. and CashEdge, Inc. announced that they have teamed to deliver a powerful new financial aggregation solution for financial institutions that offers wireless accessibility, actionable alerts, and a range of customization options that provide financial institutions with greater control over system branding and implementation. Financial institutions will also have the option of hosting all or part of the solution themselves, and the ability to develop more extensive customer profile data. The new aggregation platform will be marketed by both companies.

“724 Solutions is developing innovative approaches for financial institutions seeking the ultimate in wireless aggregation capability. By combining CashEdge’s advanced aggregation technology with our aggregation experience and wireless and actionable alerts capabilities, we have created what we believe is the most feature-rich aggregation product in the market today,” said John Sims, Chief Executive Officer, 724 Solutions.

“The combined solution includes tools and normalized data to power actionable alerts, financial advice engines, and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms — which we view as crucial for financial institutions who are looking to achieve a positive return on investment from their aggregation offering,” he added. “Adopting CashEdge’s aggregation technology and investing in the company gives 724 Solutions the freedom to focus on our core strengths of enabling secure mobile transactions, while allowing us to deliver a highly functional and valuable aggregation product.”

Features of the combined product include

— Financial Dashboard CashEdge’s account management tool gives consumers a single view of all of their key relationship information — including account balances and transaction histories — regardless of how many financial institutions they do business with;

— Personalized actionable alerts powered by 724 Solutions’ alerts technology, consumers can be notified by phone or on the Internet-enabled device of their choice when transactions have been completed, or when their credit card balances hit pre-set highs or lows, etc.;

— Mobile access because consumers are increasingly mobile and are accessing the Internet and Internet-based services using everything from PCs to digital mobile phones, personal digital assistants and pagers, 724 Solutions has developed award-winning wireless capability that allows consumers to access the offering over virtually any Internet-enabled device;

— Rapid deployment the solution is available today in a hosted environment, enabling financial institutions to get up-and-running quickly; both companies are collaborating on offering an enterprise version of the solution that will be available shortly.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in demand for aggregation platforms that can go beyond the basic ability to passively monitor accounts on a desktop screen. Financial institutions realize that aggregation services can be profitable, but only if they are combined with a range of other attractive features that add value and functionality in the eyes of the retail customer,” said Sanjeev Dheer, Chief Executive Officer of CashEdge.

“This new aggregation service we have developed with 724 Solutions is a major step toward our vision of creating advanced technologies that provide people with comprehensive and secure personal financial management services.”

About CashEdge

CashEdge is a leading provider of personal finance management solutions to financial institutions worldwide. CashEdge’s technology combines the power of financial information aggregation with transaction capability, allowing consumers to transfer funds between accounts, at over 23,000 financial institutions throughout the U.S. CashEdge is the first aggregator to offer a multi-lingual, multi-currency platform currently supporting financial institutions in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. CashEdge was founded in November 1999, and has offices in Milpitas, California, New York City, and Toronto, Canada. CashEdge’s clients include Laurentian Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, The Vanguard Group and Yahoo!Finance. For more information, please visit www.cashedge.com.

About 724 Solutions Inc.

724 Solutions Inc. is a leading global provider of Internet infrastructure software that enables the delivery of secure financial services applications and mobile transaction solutions across a wide range of Internet-enabled devices. The 724 Solutions suite of products and services enables companies to realize value through the mobile Internet by building, deploying, and integrating personalized and secure mobile commerce and lifestyle applications. With dual headquarters in Toronto, Canada, and Austin, Texas, the company has development and sales offices around the world. 724 Solutions’ common shares are listed on the NASDAQ National Market (SVNX) and The Toronto Stock Exchange (SVN). For additional information visit www.724.com.


Leapfrog Funding

Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc. announced that it is close to finalizing a significant private placement with accredited investors. The investors are completing necessary due diligence work required before funding can be completed.

Proceeds from the private placement will be used for working capital, debt reduction, and to expand sales and marketing in the healthcare and security industries. In June, Leapfrog secured the fifth hospital contract for its Smart card-based healthcare product.

“We have worked for over a year to complete this endeavor,” said Co-Chief Executive Officer, Dale Grogan. “We believe that the investment will reinforce Leapfrog’s competitive position in our industry. As a leading supplier of Smart card and Biometric software, we intend to aggressively pursue our strategy of targeting our core markets of Healthcare, Security and Government in the North America. After years of research and development, we have identified the business areas that will be early adopters of Smart cards and will provide a good return to our investors.”

About Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc.

Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc. is a world-class leader in Smart card software development, biometrics and system solutions integration. Located in Maitland, Florida, Leapfrog is dedicated to creating wide sweeping applications for Smart cards. Smart cards are credit card-sized pieces of plastic with a computer microprocessor embedded within. Current applications of Smart card software include personal identification, e-purse transactions, loyalty point storage, physical and logical access, as well as portable storage of medical records. Leapfrog, through its General Services Administration (GSA) master contract, is also certified as a contractor with the United States Federal government. Leapfrog Smart Products, Inc. is publicly traded on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol “FROG.”



Experian, the global information solutions company and one of Nottingham’s largest employers, has announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art data processing center in Nottingham. The new purpose-built computer processing center will be sited at Ruddington Fields Business Park and operate in conjunction with Experian’s existing data processing facilities within the City. The building – which is due for completion in two years – will extend over 100,000 square feet and cost more than £25 million to construct. It will accommodate up to 120 computer specialist personnel.The new data center will increase Experian’s overall data processing floor area within Nottingham by 100 percent, and provide IT and processing support to Experian’s clients in over 50 countries. It will furnish Experian with a technology facility to underpin the company’s future business growth needs for the next 15 to 20 years. The announcement follows a land purchase agreement with Wilson Bowden Developments, developers of Ruddington Fields Business Park, for £2.4 million. The Business Park has been specially tailored for hi-tech business and the site for the new IT building is already serviced with fibre optic links that will connect to Experian’s existing IT facilities in other parts of Nottingham. John Saunders, Chief Executive of Experian International, commented “The new purpose built data processing center will provide Experian with essential IT support for the continued expansion of its business into and beyond the next decade. At Ruddington Fields, we plan to build a showpiece data processing center in which to demonstrate to clients from all parts of the world Experian’s unique solutions for managing customer relationships.””Ruddington Fields Business Park will provide an excellent working environment for our employees. Situated in a purpose built hi-tech business park, the site commands views of Rushcliffe Country Park, which is in easy walking distance, and offers convenient vehicle access to Nottingham’s ring road, along with its own parking.” Experian is an information solutions company. It uses the power of information to help its clients target prospective customers, manage existing customer relationships and identify opportunities for profitable growth. Through multi-channel delivery of its web-based products and services, Experian enables its clients to conduct secure and profitable e-business. Experian is a subsidiary of The Great Universal Stores P.L.C. and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Orange, California. Its 12,000 people support clients in over 50 countries. Annual sales are in excess of £1 billion. For more information, visit the company’s web site on www.experian.com.