Wireless Payments

Financial institutions have an opportunity to participate in developing new wireless payment technologies or sit on the sidelines as others take the lead, according to a new report from Meridien Research. Wireless telephone usage is increasing exponentially worldwide and telecommunications providers are scrambling to increase profits. Facilitating wireless payments is one way to add revenues and increase profitability. Financial institutions must move aggressively into this space or risk losing the business to telecommunications providers and others.

“Financial institutions have always enjoyed an exclusive franchise in the payments business,” said Jeanne Capachin, senior analyst at Meridien and author of the report. “Wireless payments represent both a threat and an opportunity for institutions to retain this important ‘privilege’ and can also provide a platform from which to offer new services to customers.”

Wireless Payments at the Point of Sale: Expanding POSsibilities provides an in-depth look at the marketplace, solution elements, and vendors of wireless payments as well as several case studies. More information on purchasing this report can be obtained from sales@meridien-research.com or by calling 617-796-2800.

About Meridien Research

Meridien Research of Newton, MA, provides analytical research services to users and providers of financial industry technology. Meridien Research targets three technology areas of strategic importance to financial services firms: eFinancial Services, Trading & Risk Management and Customer Relationship Management. Each practice delivers quarterly reports and monthly briefs, detailing new issues and challenges. Visit [www.meridien-research.com/press][1] to register for announcements as new research becomes available. For media relations, contact Parallax LLC at 1.781.235.7025 or parallax@meridien-research.com.

[1]: http://www.meridien-research.com/press



Gasper Corporation, a leading
provider of self-service management software, announced that Bital Bank
of Mexico has increased its ATM availability to 96% with Gasper Manager
software. This near-perfect availability rating has improved Bital’s customer
satisfaction level and is helping the bank expand its ATM network.

“We were able to customize the Gasper system to do exactly what we needed
done,” said Alvaro Meir, Sub-Director of the User Help Desk at Bital. “The
system produces specific reports that tell us just what is happening with
every machine in the network helping us to pinpoint small problems before they
become large ones. It also helps us determine the best locations for new
machines as we expand the network.”

With a network of 3,600 ATMs and plans to grow to 4,500 in the next twelve
months, Bital Bank of Mexico needed to ensure that its network would be
available whenever customers needed it. The company faced the added challenge
that the network infrastructure consisted of three different brands of
machines (Fujitsu, Diebold and NCR) and three different types of switches
(IBM-Action 2000, TandemK-Connex and TandemS-Connex). Bital wanted to install
a system for reporting, troubleshooting, monitoring and dispatching service
that would be cost-effective and efficient.

After considerable research, Bital determined that the best system to meet
their complex and demanding criteria was Gasper Corporation’s Gasper Manager.
Using Gasper Core Manager, Automated Service Manager and Automated Command
Manager, Bital has created a customized reporting and troubleshooting system
that has raised ATM availability from 76% to 96% over the past two years.

Bital selected those components of the Gasper Manager system that would
best meet its requirements for overall system management including monitoring,
troubleshooting, service dispatch and reporting. The company carefully
customized each component to achieve its goals of better reporting and
enhanced availability.

Gasper Manager is a Windows-based self-service management solution that
features sophisticated online monitoring, integrated trouble ticketing and
notification systems, and the most comprehensive reporting capabilities in the

Gasper Manager’s components work together to optimize ATM availability and
cost-effectiveness. The Core Manager interprets ATM status codes, takes
action based on customer-defined rules, opens and manages trouble tickets,
notifies appropriate personnel and reports on network and service team
activity. The Automated Service Manager executes and manages service team
notification, tracks performance, and escalates based on customer-defined
parameters. The Automated Command Manager enables and manages host commands
to ATMs and other elements.

Users of the Gasper Manager solution, like Bital, enjoy improvements in
availability and associated revenues arising from increased customer
satisfaction, decreased service costs through the reduction of first- and
second-line service calls, and lower operational costs due to improved help
desk productivity.

About Gasper Corp.

Gasper Corp., a leading provider of ATM management software, offers
comprehensive solutions that are specifically tailored to solve ATM management
problems. The company’s solutions monitor ATMs and manage the entire ATM
support process to maximize ATM availability, profitability and customer
satisfaction for ATM networks worldwide. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the
company’s solutions are used to manage more than 170,000 ATMs worldwide. Visit
the Gasper Corp. web site at http//www.gasper-corp.com .


ACH E-Sign

This week The Electronic Payments Association approved an ‘E-Sign’ provision for the NACHA ACH Operating Rules. Under the new rule, any electronic signature that complies with the ‘Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act’ will be deemed to comply with NACHA’s requirements for “similarly authenticating” a consumer ACH debit authorization. NACHA currently requires a consumer debit to be authorized in writing, and signed or similarly authenticated. NACHA’s ‘E-Sign’ rule modifies the similarly authenticated standard to allow an electronic authorization to be authenticated by the consumer using a process that evidences both the consumer’s identity and his or her assent to the authorization. This requirement matches the requirement of the Federal Reserve’s ‘Regulation E’, which was recently amended to implement provisions of the ‘E-Sign’ legislation. NACHA’s rule will become effective on January 1, 2002.



SureFire Commerce Inc., a leading
global provider of secure online transaction processing services, and Infopia
Inc., a leading developer of product exposure and marketplace feedback
services, announced the signing of a strategic alliance agreement. The
new alliance will allow merchants affiliated with both companies to penetrate
high-traffic e-markets with motivated buyers and perform online payment

“This strategic alliance is exciting news for our existing merchants and
paves the way to further merchant acquisition and transaction volume growth
for SureFire,” said Rory Olson, President and CEO of SureFire Commerce. “Our
merchants will now benefit from a tool that presents their products and
services to motivated buyers in high-traffic marketplaces, while SureFire
gains access to Marketplace Manager(TM) merchants who can benefit immediately
from our bullet-proof transaction processing engine, FirePay.”

“Our goal is to make selling products online as painless and profitable
as possible for our merchants,” said Bjorn Espenes, President and CEO of
Infopia. “Our partnership with SureFire Commerce is another major step in
taking the pain out of conducting business online. It is exciting to work with
a partner who shares the vision of what merchants and retailers can accomplish
online. We’re pleased to offer merchants seamless integration into the FirePay
Transaction Processing System.”

About Infopia, Inc.

Infopia, Inc. is a pre-IPO, high-growth Internet exposure and marketplace
feedback service company that uses proprietary technology to penetrate
existing online marketplaces for product exposure, returning transactions and
marketplace feedback on a product-specific level. Infopia’s unique service
drastically reduces the cost and challenges of customer acquisition by
strategically placing product information in a growing network of high-traffic
e-markets and community sites where buyers routinely turn to find such

The net result for merchants is instant, massive exposure resulting in
more product sales, increased revenues, lowered customer acquisitions costs
and the development of previously untapped marketing and sales channels. The
Infopia system also provides extensive, product-specific market response
reports to assist merchants in their inventory and pricing decisions. Founded
in 1999, Infopia already has placed product listings valued in excess of $100
million. The company is based in Salt Lake City.

About SureFire Commerce Inc.

SureFire Commerce Inc. is a global business-to-business provider of
proprietary e-commerce solutions in the area of secure credit card transaction
processing and merchant enabling. SureFire Commerce is an international
provider of secure online transaction processing services to goods and
services merchants in the areas of retail sales, sports, entertainment and
licensed online gaming, among others. Total transactions processed exceeded
$1.2 billion in fiscal 2001. SureFire Commerce’s merchant enabling solutions
provide telecommunications companies, Internet service providers, high traffic
portals and financial institutions the ability to generate recurrent revenue
streams for themselves and their small- and medium-sized business customers.
SureFire Commerce is headquartered in Montreal (Quebec) with offices in Hull
(Quebec), Boston (Massachusetts) and London (England).



Rumors of an American Express sale to Morgan Stanley continue to abound following a report in this week’s issue of Barron’s. An AmEx-Discover combination would create the second largest card issuer in the U.S. with nearly $80 billion in receivables and more than 70 million accounts. However, analysts have expressed skepticism over the possible deal due to the high price tag involved. This is the second round of rumors involving a sale or merger of American Express. In March, there were rumors of a possible merger between AmEx and Citigroup. Last summer, AmEx CEO Kenneth Chenault revealed details of a previous merger attempt with Citibank during his testimony in the DOJ antitrust trial against VISA and MasterCard. AmEx has assets of $155 billion and a market capitalization of $54 billion. (CF Library 6/30/00; 3/30/01)

Receivables: $30.2b $49.5b $79.7b
Q Vol: $55.6b $24.4b $80.0b
Accounts: 26.7m 43.7m 70.4m
Cards: 34.2m 53.2m 87.4m
m-million b-billion Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)



IFS International, Inc.announced that following the
acquisition of TSB Bank Ireland by the Irish Life and Permanent Group plc
(IL&P) in Ireland, TPII has been selected to manage the entire network of
Automated Teller Machines (ATM) for the new group. As a result of the
acquisition IL&P are to create a new banking entity branded as Permanent TSB.
TPII was originally installed at TSB Ireland in 1994 and will continue to
run and manage the network of ATMs for the Permanent TSB network. The
existing Irish Permanent ATMs are now being migrated from the current
outsourced processing center solution to TPII.

IL&P carried out a thorough evaluation of the existing TPII system, based
on the technical architecture of the product, its performance, the cost of
ownership and potential to meet future requirements. As a result of this
evaluation, IL&P has confirmed that the existing TPII system will be expanded
to accommodate the requirements of the newly enlarged bank.

Alistair Clarke, Regional Director, EMEA, said, “IFS is delighted that
TPII has been chosen by the IL&P Group as the long-term solution for
transaction processing. IFS is looking forward to working and cooperating
with IL&P Group as this forward-thinking organization works toward its
ambitious goals.”

Maurice O’Connor, Head of IT at TSB Bank, commented, “We are pleased to
continue our relationship with IFS International, Inc. We have found TPII to
be a resilient product ideally suited to support the expanding ATM network of
Permanent TSB.”

In additional unrelated news, in a press release dated June 6, 2001, the
Company indicated that the outstanding convertible notes, originally issued
over 12 months ago, had been reduced to $118,000. The Company is now pleased
to inform shareholders that the outstanding balance of these convertible
notes, with an original value of over $1,000,000, has been converted and is no
longer outstanding.

About IFS International Holdings, Inc.

IFS International, Inc. and Network Controls International, Inc. are
subsidiaries of IFS International Holdings, Inc., which has headquarters in
the USA and subsidiary offices in the USA, UK and Australia.
IFS International, Inc. develops, markets and supports software products
for the electronic financial market. IFS International’s TPII and TP-CMS
products provide support for ATMs, Point of Sale devices, network switches,
smart cards and card management. IFS International’s subsidiary, Global
Insight Group, is a supplier of strategic business and technical
implementation support services to the Retail Finance Industry.

NCI, Inc. develops innovative retail delivery applications like NCI
Business Centre(TM) which combines network centric and browser-based
technologies in “One Application” to automate all delivery channels such as
branch teller, platform service, call center, Internet banking and customer
relationship management.


PULSE Returns

The unprecedented shutdown of an ATM network caused by massive flooding in the Houston area is nearly over. PULSE EFT reported yesterday that its primary link between more than 60 million cardholders and 2,700 financial institutions across 22 states has been restored. Operations resumed at the company’s Houston headquarters around midnight Monday after utilizing a secondary processing site in Dallas until power was restored and the computer systems were tested at its primary data center. PULSE’s data center in downtown Houston lost both its primary power source and the use of its emergency backup system early Saturday morning due to the flooding. PULSE says it was the most serious interruption in the network’s 20-year history, which is comprised of more than 76,500 ATMs and more than 300,000 POS terminals.



ID Data plc wins ISO9001 and GSM Association and ETSI membership.
ID Data plc, the UK’s largest supplier of secure transaction
systems and smart card services, has gained full membership of both the
European Telecommunications Standards Institute and the GSM Association
following ISO9001 approval for all its sites by Lloyd’s Register Quality
Assurance. The Company’s admission to these two bodies is in line with ID
Data’s strategy to focus on higher margin business in the telecommunications

ETSI, based in Sophia Antipolis, the silicon valley of the South of France, has
889 members from 54 countries and has aided the definition of harmonized
technical standards for telecommunication products and services.

ID Data joins 500 other organizations in the GSMA, the leading body in the
wireless industry. The GSMA, working in close co-operation with government and
industry, has been instrumental in the development of GSM from the
association’s foundation in 1987.

The ISO9001 is a code of practice used as a common reference standard for
inter-company trading, sub-contracting and the procurement of services or
products. There is one approval and certificate across the whole of the ID Data
Group and the scope is now defined as ‘providers of secure transaction systems
and support services for retail, banking and telephony using magnetic and smart
card technology on a global basis.’

Peter Cox, CEO of ID Data commented; “ID Data is pleased to be admitted to both
ETSI and the GSM Association, which indicates the expanding position of the
company on the global stage. These memberships come on top of having completed
this new ISO 9001 standard, which is better for ID Data, as it is easier to
use, with less focus on bureaucracy and more on management involvement, and
continuous improvement.”


Magnet Conference

Magnet Communications, Inc. , the Internet Business Banking Authority, will host executives from 25 leading banks including SunTrust Banks, Inc. and First Citizens BancShares to discuss the future of Internet business banking and innovative technologies at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta, beginning today, June 12 through Thursday, June 14.

Joining banking leaders will be Ray Graber, a senior analyst with TowerGroup, a research and advisory firm for the financial services industry, who will discuss the needs and trends in business banking. According to TowerGroup , the number of US banks offering Internet-based services will double over the next two years, and close to 90 percent of institutions polled regarded Internet banking as “essential” to their businesses.

To meet the growing demand for Internet business banking services, the Second Annual User Conference will help Magnet determine what services bank executives need to provide their customers to maintain their competitive edge. Magnet will also survey these executives to discover the feedback that banks receive from their business customers regarding services that are most important to them. Magnet will use the responses to continue developing products that will best address business banking needs. Following the conference, an overview of the findings will be available.

“The conference will be a forum for our customers to discuss technology and service innovations that are re-shaping the banking industry,” said Dan Myers, Magnet’s chief quality officer who founded the company in Atlanta six years ago. “This conference enables us to examine the different issues facing banks of all sizes, and help determine how Magnet’s products can best meet their needs.”

The two-day conference will offer product focus groups covering topics such as infrastructure, electronic funds transfer, payments and reporting, and Automated Clearing House (ACH), as well as sessions led by Magnet’s strategic partners in wireless services and Web-enabled billing and payment. First Citizen Bank will also head a customer panel and present a case study detailing their successful adoption of Internet business banking and their innovative marketing approaches.

“We view the User Conference as an excellent forum for discussing the next evolution of business banking,” said Rendall Howell, vice president of eCommerce and Business Online Banking product manager of Raleigh, North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank. “This is a great opportunity to bring industry leaders together to discuss ways to enhance products and services, and make banking more convenient to meet the growing needs of businesses.”

About Magnet Communications

Magnet Communications, Inc., the Internet Business Banking Authority, was founded in 1995 and is a leading provider of business-centric Internet banking infrastructure to banks of all sizes. Magnet’s Internet Banking Suite is one of the most comprehensive Web-based business banking solutions in the market today and allows financial institutions to serve business customers of all sizes. The suite offers more than 15 cash management and business banking applications, including digital signatures, image-based lockbox delivery, and foreign exchange. Magnet’s iPortBiz, a bank-branded hosted services portal, combines digitally secure cash management services with essential business services, including business-to-business bill payment, bill presentment, and tax filing, as well as integration with business financial management packages such as QuickBooks® and wireless channels. For more information regarding Magnet Communications or its products and services, please call 404-892-9300, visit [www.magnetbanking.com][1] or email sales@magnetbanking.com

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



Baltimore Technologies, a global leader in e-security, announced that Bankenes BetalingsSentral, the clearinghouse and payment service provider for the Norwegian banking industry, has chosen Baltimore SelectAccess to allow secure and authenticated Web-based file transfer. This announcement follows the latest release this week of Baltimore SelectAccess v3, with significant enhancements to its personalization, security and audit control features.

Based in Oslo, Norway, BBS has over 800 employees and is the market leader in payment services, with almost 100 percent market share in giro and 68 percent market share in card services. The company also runs Norway’s national Electronic Funds Transfer point-of-sale system, with 60,000 terminals nationwide.

Baltimore SelectAccess enables BBS to closely manage which online transactions each customer is authorized to conduct while ensuring that customers can only access their own account information. In addition, BBS is using Baltimore UniCERT, an award-winning Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system, to issue digital certificates to authenticate users for online communication and transactions. The combination of SelectAccess and UniCERT enables BBS to address the security needs of e-business, namely strong authentication of users with fine-grained authorization management.

According to Ms. Wenke Skjerve, Head of IT Security at BBS, “Baltimore SelectAccess not only meets our requirements for fine-grained access, but also provides the flexibility and ease of use that will help us bring this new offering to market quickly. SelectAccess, combined with UniCERT, means that we know who we are conducting business with while ensuring that only authorized people can transact business online. In addition, SelectAccess allows us to take our service to a new level by providing customers with personalized information.”

“Every organization needs to put in place policy-based mechanisms to securely leverage online assets as they open up their networks for e-business. Secure extranet management reduces administrative costs internally while improving the customer experience through personalized services,” commented Seamus Gill, Business Development Manager for SelectAccess at Baltimore Technologies. “Using Baltimore’s e-security technology, BBS can now offer new personalized online services with the confidence that only authorized and authenticated users can access private and confidential information.”

The combination of SelectAccess and UniCERT offers unparalleled ease of management, featuring intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces. Both solutions are also flexible, policy-driven and are based on open standards. In addition to digital certificates, SelectAccess supports multiple authentication methods, such as PINs and passwords, to meet the diverse needs of the market.

About Baltimore Technologies

Baltimore Technologies develops and markets security products and services to enable companies to develop trusted, secure systems for e-business, the Internet and mobile commerce. Its products include a wide range of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) products and services, access control and authorization solutions, content security (MIMEsweeper) products, wireless e-security solutions, cryptographic tool kits, security applications and hardware cryptographic devices. Baltimore’s global professional services organization offers a wide variety of consulting, training and deployment support to its customers worldwide. Baltimore Technologies markets and sells its solutions worldwide directly and through the TrustedWorld partner program. Baltimore TrustedWorld includes many of the world’s leading technology companies and a wide variety of global, regional and local business alliance partners.

Baltimore Technologies plc is a public company with dual listings on NASDAQ (BALT) and the London Stock Exchange (BLM).

For further information and press releases on Baltimore Technologies, please visit www.baltimore.com.

About BBS

BBS – The Norwegian Banks Payment Services Company – is the market leading provider of payment services to the Norwegian banks. BBS’ mission is to enable banks, companies and private individuals to make and receive payments efficiently and securely. BBS is owned by the Norwegian banks. The company’s operations are divided into four product lines Card services, Giro services, Interbank services and Trusted services. BBS is presently involved in major projects aimed at developing and launching leading-edge solutions for payments and information processing through the Internet, and to establish market-leading trusted services for e-business based on digital certificates and technology from Baltimore Technologies.


Debt Restructuring

Hypercom announced this morning it has entered into a series of financial transactions to increase its liquidity and position itself to complete its debt restructuring. Among today’s developments, a $15 million loan agreement from a bridge investor; loans totaling $3.4 million from a local investor group; and a $1 million loan from the company’s chairman of the board. The proceeds from these new loans will be used to meet the increasing demand for the company’s new epic family of products and to reduce the principal balance under its credit facility by $8.0 million, which includes $500,000 from the company’s cash flow from operations. The company also secured an extension to its Forbearance Agreement with its principal lending group through July 31, 2001.



Europe’s leading payments association – has launched a
unique prepaid debit card using Maestro® – the world’s leading debit brand.
Today, over six hundred delegates received these cards at the Europay fifth
Members’ Meeting in Munich, Germany. Branded with the HypoVereinsbank logo,
each card is preloaded with €10, which can be spent at the Europay stand or at
any of the five million Maestro outlets worldwide.

This unrivalled card offers Europay issuing banks a no-risk, flexible programme
that presents attractive market opportunities. Banks can now target consumers
who do not have a bank account and can offer many types of cards including gift
cards, payroll cards or shopping cards. In addition, there are many co-branding
and promotion opportunities available.

Like other Maestro cards on the market, these prepaid cards are accepted
globally at ATMs or retailers, wherever the Maestro and/or Cirrus decals
appear. Transactions are authorized on-line using PIN or signature, which means
that cardholders and issuing banks benefit from the same high level of security
as offered by traditional Maestro debit cards. Because the money stays in a
pool of funds with the issuing bank, banks remain in control of the card.
Acceptance at retailers can be restricted to hotels, restaurants and travel,
which means that Maestro prepaid cards can also be used as corporate travel &
entertainment cards. Moreover, they are ideal for holidaymakers who do not want
to overspend when away. Airlines, insurance companies, travel agencies and
retail chains also have something to gain from this programme as it presents
new co-branding options.

In the coming months, BBVA – Banco de Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (Spain) will
begin to issue these prepaid cards. Other leading banks are also in the process
of signing up for this programme.

MasterCard International, Europay’s strategic partner, has developed a new
processing platform for banks to use for this new programme. Any bank that is
licensed to issue Maestro can issue the Maestro prepaid debit card with a short
lead-time, once they enrol in the programme.

“Our Member banks now have the chance to enter new market segments, as this
innovative programme offers maximum flexibility to target specific markets,”
commented John Bushby, Marketing Director at Europay International. “It also
creates more business opportunities within a greater number of specific
customer areas,” he added.