Hart on Actrade Board

Actrade Financial Technologies, Ltd., a leading provider of electronic payment technologies that deliver financial solutions for commercial trade, announced that Alex W. “Pete” Hart, has joined its Board of Directors. The addition of Mr. Hart increases the size of Actrade’s Board from six to seven members.

As a pioneer in the global payments industry, Mr. Hart’s distinguished career includes such prominent roles as President and Chief Executive Officer of MasterCard International (1988 to 1994), and Chief Executive Officer of the Advanta Corporation, a diversified financial services organization (1994 to 1997). He currently serves as a consultant to the industry, where he specializes in payment services and consumer finance with a focus on emerging technologies.

“One of my recent interests is the potential for electronic payment technologies to facilitate commercial transactions beyond that of commercial credit cards — specifically, for large dollar transactions — which represent a significant market opportunity,” said Mr. Hart. “Actrade has a distinct and proven business based on the success of their E-TAD Payment Solution and its supporting electronic payment technology, which is specialized for conducting large dollar commercial transactions. I am excited about the opportunity to serve as a Director on Actrade’s Board, and to be a part of Actrade’s vision for establishing their E-TAD Payment Solution as the standard for commercial trade.”

Prior to joining MasterCard International, Mr. Hart spent ten years at First Interstate Bancorp, the 17-state multibank holding company that is now part of Wells Fargo; initially as President and Chief Executive Officer of First Interstate Services Company, the system-wide technology and operations subsidiary, and then as Executive Vice President of the parent, where he was responsible for consumer banking and operations.

Mr. Hart currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of several prominent companies, including Global Payments Inc., HNC Software, Sanchez Computer Associates and Silicon Valley Bancshares.

“With Pete’s extensive background in the global payments industry, he brings the type of industry knowledge and insight that will be invaluable to us as we continue to expand distribution of our E-TAD Payment Solution,” commented Alexander C. Stonkus, President and Chief Executive Officer of Actrade Financial Technologies, Ltd. “Pete is an industry visionary and he is highly regarded in the banking, financial services and payments industry. And what is most important to us is that he understands the current and future capabilities of our E-TAD Payment Solution and its ability to capitalize on the vast market opportunity for conducting large dollar commercial transactions. We are honored to have representation on our Board of Directors by an individual with the industry background and professional caliber of Mr. Pete Hart.”

About Actrade

Actrade Financial Technologies, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACRT) ([www.actrade.com][1]), is a leading provider of electronic payment technologies that deliver financial solutions for commercial trade. Administered by the company’s subsidiary, Actrade Capital, Inc., the company’s leading product is the Electronic Trade Acceptance Draft (E-TAD(TM)) Program. E-TAD is an irrevocable and negotiable electronic payment obligation, issued by a buyer for a specific sum, to be paid on a definitive date through automatic debiting of a buyer’s designated bank account. E-TAD technology provides online credit, payment, settlement and integration solutions. Through E-TAD, buyers can pay for purchases with terms up to six months while suppliers receive immediate payment. E-TAD facilitates commercial trade by providing a secure, streamlined payment solution for both offline and online purchases. Actrade Capital, Inc. has offices in the U.S. and Canada, through its subsidiary Actrade Capital Canada, Inc.

The company’s International Merchandise Trade division represents various U.S. and foreign manufacturers by buying and re-selling their products in international markets through the application of specialized trade finance techniques.

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


Latin America 2000

MasterCard outpaced VISA in Latin American card growth last year but VISA continues to dominate the region with a market share of nearly 85%. According to data released today by The RAM Report, gross purchase and cash volume in Latin America increased more than 27% during 2000 while total transactions increased nearly 26%. MasterCard added four million new cardholders last year to bring its total Latin America cards to 29.6 million. VISA holds an overwhelming lead in merchant acceptance locations by nearly a two to one ratio. Among the fastest growing Latin America countries with at least US$1 billion in volume: Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.

Gross $US Volume: $151.6b (+28.6%) $27.5b (+21.1%) $179.1b (+27.4%)
Total Transactions: 2.2b (+29.4%) 532.3m (+18.6%) 2.7b (+25.6%)
Cards-in-Force: 110.5m (+10.2%) 29.6m (+15.6%) 140.1m (+11.2%)
Merchant Locations: 1.8m 1.1m NM
Source: The RAM Report (www.ramresearch.com)


NPC Signs Brinker

National Processing Company a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc. announced the signing of a multi-year credit card processing agreement with Brinker International. Under the terms of the agreement, NPC will provide merchant processing solutions for all Brinker International Visa and MasterCard transactions.

Brinker International, the world’s premier multi-concept casual dining restaurant company, operates over 1,100 locations in 47 states and 20 countries. NPC will provide Brinker front-end authorization and settlement services to all its locations.

“NPC is delighted to have Brinker International back in our processing portfolio,” said Drew Soinski, senior vice president of Travel and Entertainment for NPC. “Since losing the Brinker account, NPC has made a substantial investment in developing products and services specifically for the restaurant industry. We are honored to have earned their business back.”

“NPC is delighted to be processing again for such a premier company as Brinker International,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “Our commitment to the restaurant industry, and understanding its needs and future trends has allowed us to deliver the most cost-effective solutions. Like NPC, Brinker’s growth and success is due to their commitment to quality and service, and continuing to provide innovative products for their customers.”

“We are pleased to be partner again with NPC,” said Chuck Sonsteby, chief financial officer for Brinker International. “NPC’s national presence fits well with our growth strategies — allowing us to focus on our customers.”

About Brinker International

Brinker International is the world’s premier multi-concept casual dining restaurant company. Brinker operates over 1,100 units in 47 states and 20 countries under the names: Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Corner Bakery Cafe, Big Bowl, Cozymel’s Coastal Mexican Grill, and EatZi’s Market & Bakery.

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 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( http://www.nationalcity.com ), a Cleveland based $91 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 500,000 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 http://www.npc.net .


AmEx Starwood

American Express and Starwood Hotels & Resorts unveiled a new co-branded credit card yesterday. The ‘Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express’ will integrate Starwood’s current rewards program with new incentives and a general purpose credit card. Cardholders will earn one ‘Starpoint’ for every eligible dollar charged for purchases plus two additional ‘Starpoints’ for every eligible dollar charged at participating Starwood hotels. Starwood ‘Preferred Guest Gold’ and ‘Platinum’ members earn three ‘Starpoints’ per eligible dollar spent. Other card benefits include bonus points during the first year for charging Starwood stays on the card, an annual 50% off coupon, and complimentary membership in ‘Preferred Plus’, a new level of the ‘Starwood Preferred Guest’, offering complimentary upgrades, late checkout, and free newspapers. Points are redeemed for free Starwood nights or can be transferred into 29 different airline program at a 1:1 ratio. The card offers a six-month 2.9% intro APR on purchases followed by a prime +9.99% interest rate. The card also carries a $30 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. The card has a 20 day grace period and offers credit lines up to $100,000. Starwood Hotels include: The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points and W Hotels.



Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc. announced that
Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company, Limited has implemented its
StrategyWare decision engine for new account origination to boost
the volume and profitability of its portfolio. Japan’s leading credit
card issuer will use StrategyWare to streamline and automate its
account origination operations and greatly enhance its risk management
decisions to meet changing marketplace demands.

“Until recently, Japanese financial institutions have primarily
invested in their technology infrastructures, and have not focused as
much on risk management issues,” said Andrew Jennings, Vice President
of International Markets for Fair, Isaac. “Using StrategyWare to
implement targeted risk management solutions will help Sumitomo Mitsui
boost the profitability of their portfolio.”

There are approximately 205 million consumer credit cards issued in
Japan, compared with
nearly 1.4 billion issued in the U.S. Over the last decade it has been
very difficult for issuers in Japan to grow their portfolios–not only
because of the country’s economic problems, but also because of
Japanese consumers’ preference to use cash, or to pay off monthly

StrategyWare is a comprehensive and flexible decision strategy
management system that gives business users a sophisticated ability to
design, test and execute complex decision strategies, without relying
on programming support. It processes decision requests by applying
user defined decision strategies and generates decision responses
including decisions and actions. These can be used by systems such as
the client’s credit application processing system to speed responses
to an applicant, match products to applicants more effectively and
control risk.

About Fair, Isaac

Fair, Isaac (www.fairisaac.com) is a global provider of customer
analytics and decision technology. Widely recognized for our
pioneering work in credit scoring, Fair, Isaac revolutionized the way
lending decisions are made. Today the company helps clients in
multiple industries increase the value of customer relationships.
Fair, Isaac has made the Forbes list of the top 200 U.S. small
companies eight times in the last nine years. Headquartered in San
Rafael, California, Fair, Isaac reported revenues of $298 million in
fiscal 2000.


Monogram Late Fees

The U.S. Supreme Court this week refused to consider an appeal by GE in regard to the state bank status of GE’s Monogram Credit Card Bank of Georgia. The appeal centered on a federal trial judge’s ruling that Monogram is not a state bank as defined by the ‘Federal Deposit Insurance Act’. The ruling in crucial in determining if Monogram is allowed to export credit card pricing to residents of other states without regard to local laws limiting such fees. This week’s decision is seen as victory in a class action suit filed on behalf of a Louisiana resident. In 1995, Patricia Heaton used a ‘Campo’ credit card issued by Monogram and was subjected to annual interest rate of 21.84% and an $18 annual fee. After accumulating $297 in late fees, Heaton filed suit claiming the APR and late fees violated Louisiana law.


TradeCard Signs Playthings

TradeCard, a financial supply chain service provider, announced that International Playthings, the New Jersey-based toy company, has selected TradeCard to replace letters of credit for their trade transactions with overseas vendors.

International Playthings believes the move will yield both process efficiencies and cost savings. Chief Financial Officer Michael Varda said: “In Asia alone, we have 18 vendors who send us hundreds of shipments of toys annually using letters of credit a cumbersome process which often involves frustrating and costly paper chases. But TradeCard gives us the tools we need to streamline and take control of our transactions. We can see every step of a transaction through the TradeCard system, and as a result both manage our working capital better and rein in transaction costs.”

TradeCard offers a single platform which hosts a suite of financial services that enable virtually any type of domestic or cross-border trade transaction to be initiated, tracked and settled in an automated, collaborative environment. Employing these services can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. According to a recent Cap Gemini Ernst & Young benchmarking study of 150 large companies, companies that automate the financial supply chain with TradeCard could save up to 50 to 100 basis points in process costs, which include labor and fees related to purchasing, invoicing, accounts receivables, accounts payables, risk management, and treasury management.

Kurt Cavano, TradeCard Chairman and CEO, said: “We’re delighted to have International Playthings as a customer. TradeCard allows them to focus on their core business instead of getting bogged down in the costly and complex paper process.”

International Playthings has been singled out for over thirty industry awards in the last year alone including the Oppenheim Toy Portfoloio Award and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Award. Their Tomy, Calico Critters and Earlyears brands, among many others, are carried in specialty toy stores throughout the United States.

TradeCard, which has been processing transactions since 1999, launched commercially in April, 2000. Since then, the company has expanded its offerings beyond its signature product, which enables credit-assured cross border trade transactions. Now, through a single platform that hosts a suite of financial services, TradeCard enables virtually any type of domestic or cross-border trade transaction. TradeCard’s platform infrastructure combined with a powerful transaction network and product features comprise a complete financial supply chain offering. A financial supply chain platform can help buyers and sellers better manage their accounts payables and receivables processes by providing more accurate information and visibility into their transactions while automating many of the labor-intensive aspects of payables and receivables management.



Nationwide, the world’s largest building
society, will be the first UK financial services provider to install NCR
Corporation’s advanced cash and check deposit technology using
NCR’s Personas 70 ATM coupled with a Personas 72

Under a multi-million pound agreement, the machines will be rolled out
across 80 Nationwide branches and branded as Nationwide Fast Cash & Cheque.
The agreement also covers professional services, software development, project
management and ongoing maintenance from NCR.

Fast Cash & Cheque performs all the usual ATM functions, such as
dispensing cash and balance information, via a touch-operated color screen.
In addition, Nationwide’s members can

* Deposit up to 30 banknotes, which are immediately credited to the
account and available for withdrawal;

* Deposit checks, for which a receipt incorporating a scanned image of the
check is provided;

* Obtain a building society check.

Eighty percent of those visiting a bank or building society branch do so
to carry out one or more of the above transactions. Unusually, holders of
passbook accounts*, as well card-based ones, can use Fast Cash & Cheque.

Robin Bailey, Nationwide’s branch network director, said, “Adding self-
service options such as Fast Cash & Cheque gives our members greater choice in
the way they carry out everyday transactions with us. It also means our
employees have more time to give the friendly help and advice that our members
expect from Nationwide. Many of the large banks are closing branches. Our
strategy is different. Self-service devices such as Fast Cash & Cheque help
ensure our branches remain economically viable by driving higher volumes of
business through them.”

Andy Morss, NCR’s Financial Solutions Division vice president for Northern
Europe, said, “NCR’s ground-breaking technology is like a branch in the box.
It is easy to use and frees branch staff to deal with customers’ more complex
needs. We worked closely with Nationwide to meet the specifications designed
for their members. Nationwide has once again shown it is a world leader in
adopting technology that improves customer service.”

* Passbook holders need to register their account first and obtain a PIN
number. Card-based accounts can use it immediately.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation (NYSE NCR) is a leader in providing Relationship
Technology(TM) solutions to customers worldwide in the retail, financial,
communications, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s
Relationship Technology solutions include privacy-enabled Teradata(R)
warehouses and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, store
automation and automated teller machines (ATMs). The company’s business
solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry
knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer
support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and
leading edge hardware technology. NCR employs 33,200 in more than 100
countries, and is a component stock of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. More
information about NCR and its solutions may be found at http//www.ncr.com .



MoneyGram Payment
Systems, Inc., a leading provider of consumer money transfers, has been
selected as the money transfer service provider of GWK Bank NV, The
Netherlands. GWK and MoneyGram will provide money transfer services to
consumers at all of GWK’s 65 locations beginning July 2001.

GWK has extensive experience in the money transfer business, acting as one
of Western Union’s most important worldwide agents for the past 10 years.

“After an extensive research project, MoneyGram was chosen as our partner
because of their proactive and flexible approach,” explained Willem-Jan van
den Heuvel, managing director of GWK. “They have already demonstrated their
desire to provide outstanding service to our customers.”

“GWK’s decision to switch providers is a huge vote of confidence in our
service,” said Philip W. Milne, president and chief executive officer of
MoneyGram, “and it brings us a significant ‘win’ in MoneyGram’s international
expansion strategy.”

“With GWK’s excellent reputation, network coverage and experience in the
international money transfer market, we can give MoneyGram customers an even
broader range of options to safely, quickly and reliably both send and receive
money around the globe,” added Mohit Davar, chief operating officer and deputy
CEO, MoneyGram International Limited.

MoneyGram has over 37,000 locations in more than 150 countries around the

MoneyGram transfers are used globally by people without traditional
banking relationships, expatriates who send money to their home country,
traditional bank customers in need of emergency money, tourists without local
bank accounts and others who need rapid and economical wire transfer services.

MoneyGram, which was established in 1988, was acquired in May 1998 by
Travelers Express Company, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Viad Corp
(NYSE VVI), a $1.8 billion business services company traded on the New York
Stock Exchange under the symbol VVI. Viad owns businesses primarily in the
payment services and convention and event services industries.




Data Corp. announced its card processing subsidiary,

First Data Resources, has signed a three-year contract renewal with Popular

Bank & Trust, Ltd.

As the leading financial institution in the Dominican Republic,

Popular Bank & Trust will partner with First Data to receive bankcard

processing and other card portfolio management services until 2004.

Popular Bank & Trust was one of the first Latin American banks to partner

with First Data for card processing services in 1984.

“We are very pleased to continue our strategic partnership with First

Data,” said Aylin Hung de Suarez, business division manager, Popular Bank &

Trust. “As one of the leaders in the card processing industry, First Data

provides the advanced technology, scale of resources, and dedicated service

that helps us improve our profitability and meet the needs of our clients.”

In addition to Popular Bank & Trust, First Data processes for three

leading financial institutions in Latin America. First Data also provides

money transfer services to consumers through more than 176 Western Union®

agent locations throughout the Dominican Republic.

“As First Data continues to enhance its international presence, we are

pleased to renew our relationship with Popular Bank,” said Eula Adams,

senior executive vice president and head of worldwide card operations for

First Data. “For the past three decades, First Data has been committed to

partnering with our issuing clients to deliver the advanced tools and

technology needed to maintain and grow their portfolios in an increasingly

competitive environment.”

First Data processes for 311 million accounts on file around the

world. For more than 30 years, First Data has developed products and

services which enable card issuers to enhance their portfolio growth,

increase market share, reduce risk and improve profitability.

About Popular Bank & Trust

Popular Bank & Trust, which previously operated as Banco Popular Dominicano
(Panama), S.A. acquired Popular Bank & Trust Cayman credit card operations
in November 2000. The Company is an established bank with an international
license to provide services to clients throughout the Dominican Republic
and Latin America. The company has total assets of U.S.$341.8 million.

About First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers
the global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment
services, First Data serves approximately
2.6 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of
consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and
businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment.
With 30,000 employees worldwide, the company provides credit, debit, smart
card and stored-value card issuing and merchant transaction processing
services; Internet commerce solutions; Western Union® money transfers and
money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the
United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and
Germany. Its money transfer agent network includes approximately 104,000
locations in more than 186 countries and territories.


Card Easy ID

VeriFone has come up with a solution to eliminate the Jenna Bush problem. The terminal manufacturer has installed multi-application POS terminals in three liquor stores in Arkansas and Colorado to check a customer’s age as well as accept credit card payments. The three stores installed ‘Omni 3300’ terminals running both the ‘Easy ID’ and ‘SoftPay’ e-payment software. ‘Easy ID’ enables merchants conduct age verification by swiping magnetic-stripe driver’s licenses, which are used in 33 states, or by keying in the birth-date that appears on licenses without a magnetic-stripe. ‘Easy ID’ keeps a journal of the last 500 transactions on the terminal, indicating date, partial license number, birth date, product(s) requested and whether purchase was approved or denied. One of liquor stores plans to add applications to accept check payment, PIN-based debit and a loyalty program.



ValiCert, Inc. announced that TC TrustCenter, a
subsidiary of Germany’s leading private financial institutions that include
Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and HypoVereinsbank, has selected
the ValiCert Validation Authority(TM) (VA) solution for incorporation in the
Identrus system infrastructure it offers to bank customers. By choosing this
ValiCert solution, TC TrustCenter can enable secure e-Transactions among
Identrus member banks worldwide.

Deutsche Bank and HypoVereinsbank recently went into live production with
their Identrus implementation using ValiCert Validation Authority while both
Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank are expected to soon become Identrus-enabled
while also utilizing ValiCert VA. Dresdner Bank Group is one of Europe’s
leading financial services groups with over 1,400 branches and
50,000 employees in more than 70 countries. Commerzbank is one of Germany’s
largest private banks, maintaining outlets in roughly 45 other countries, with
a number of subsidiaries, branches and representative offices in the world’s
leading financial centers. As a “universal” or all-purpose bank, Commerzbank
functions as both a commercial bank, offering a broad palette of services in
wholesale and retail banking, and as an investment bank.

“Secure communication is the key to successful business and TC TrustCenter
meets this need by relying on ValiCert to provide the trust solutions
infrastructure that is vital for online transactions,” said
Sathvik Krishnamurthy, vice president of marketing and business development
for ValiCert. “As a result of the ValiCert-enabled infrastructure put in place
by TC TrustCenter, Identrus member banks such as Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank
can quickly and easily establish privacy, authentication and integrity in the
electronic business process.”

“ValiCert is widely recognized as a leading provider of Identrus-enabled
solutions, making them an ideal TC TrustCenter business partner,” said
Dr. Sabine Kockskamper, managing director of TC TrustCenter. “The ValiCert
Validation Authority solution is extremely flexible and easy to integrate into
our infrastructure, enabling us to offer our customers the reliability they
require to transact secure e-Commerce.”

“Identrus is the first organization to bring together the necessary
components to enable companies worldwide to address trust and risk barriers
that have to date impeded the wide adoption of e-commerce as a means of
facilitating sophisticated global business transactions,” said Kristin Kupres,
chief operating officer for Identrus. “ValiCert provides one of the
infrastructure components that make the Identrus system a reality.”

About TC TrustCenter

The TC TrustCenter GmbH is one of the leading suppliers of IT security
worldwide. The company’s core services are the issuance of digital
certificates and the set-up and operation of Public Key Infrastructures (PKI)
for the administration of digital certificates. The TC TrustCenter GmbH is a
partner for the outsourcing of security infrastructures and manages the
implementation and operation of a PKI. This allows the customers to make use
of TrustCenter-owned technology without having to acquire complicated know-how
about cryptography.

In addition, the TC TrustCenter GmbH, in corporation with the strategic
Partner Global Commerce Systems, establishes the infrastructure within the
framework of the worldwide certification institution of Identrus LLC to allow
the participation of financial institutions in the Identrus system.
With roughly 120 employees, the TC TrustCenter GmbH is a subsidiary of the
Commerzbank AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Dresdner Bank AG and HypoVereinsbank AG. The
company’s headquarters are based in Hamburg, Germany. More information about
TC TrustCenter can be found on the company’s Web site at http//www.trustcenter.de.

About ValiCert

ValiCert is a leading provider of secure solutions for paperless
e-Business. The company’s open and neutral security solutions are designed to
enable enterprises and service providers to protect all phases of the
transaction lifecycle regardless of the type of credentials that are used for
authentication purposes. ValiCert’s products and services are available
through its direct sales force, resellers and global affiliate network.

ValiCert has technology and marketing alliances with a range of security,
e-Commerce and wireless companies, as well as systems integrators. The
company’s customers include Global 2000 organizations in financial services,
telecom, healthcare and government sectors. ValiCert is headquartered in
Mountain View, California and has offices throughout the US, Canada, Europe
and Asia. ValiCert is available on the World Wide Web at http//www.valicert.com.