TeamPad Terminal

Fujitsu-ICL Systems unveiled this morning a lightweight, Microsoft Windows CE-based handheld device for portable POS. The ‘TeamPad 500’ offers retailers connectivity to virtually any wireless LAN, OPOS compliance, a Windows CE platform, 150-MHz processor, touch-screen and combined keypad, integrated printer, scanner and magnetic-card reader. The POS device also offers an extended battery life and is weatherproofed and ruggedized to withstand four-foot drops to concrete. The ‘TeamPad 500’ gives store associates real-time access to customer, real-time credit authorizations, and price verifications. The new handheld terminal is priced at $2,300 for the base unit.

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GPN – Comerica

Global Payments this morning announced an agreement to expand its alliance relationship with Comerica following Comerica’s acquisition of Imperial Bank in January. Under the terms of the agreement, Global Payments will retain its majority interest in an expanded alliance, including Imperial Bank’s merchant portfolio, for a purchase price of $20.4 million. In addition, the term of the original Comerica alliance agreement will be extended through March 2008. The purchase was in conjunction with the 1996 Comerica alliance agreement between Comerica and National Data Corporation, at that time the parent company of Global Payments. The agreement will significantly expand Global’s West Coast presence through Imperial’s merchant portfolio, totaling 15,200 merchant locations, primarily in traditional retail and hospitality markets.

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NCR POS DEAL

Kuwait Food Company (Americana),
franchisee of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hardee’s, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s
and Baskin Robbins restaurants in the Middle East, announced a US$1.1
million contract with NCR Corporation to install point-of-sale
(POS) systems in more than 80 restaurants throughout Saudi Arabia.

The total solution incorporates NCR’s 7454 — a hospitality, touchscreen POS
workstation with advanced multimedia functionality — as well as an existing
license for software from Compris, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NCR that
specializes in software for fast food restaurants. Installation will be
complete in October 2002.

“NCR’s breadth of services and support infrastructure, as well as the
superior design and reliability of the NCR 7454, made our decision simple,”
said Mr. Ali Nour El Dine, Corporate IT director, Americana. “We are
confident that NCR has the global reach and expertise to ensure our success.”
An intuitive touchscreen interface makes NCR’s hospitality solution simple
to operate. When not in use by store personnel, the workstations can run
customer promotions or employee training programs.

“Our reputation and commitment to excellence in the hospitality industry
are known worldwide,” said Alberto Camuri, vice president of NCR Retail
Solutions Division for Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia Pacific.
“NCR has the global reach and local resources to manage and maintain a smooth
and successful rollout.”

About Kuwait Food Company (Americana)
Founded in 1963, Kuwait Food Company (Americana) operates in nine Middle
Eastern countries and is a market leader throughout the Middle East in
restaurant operations, food processing, food retail, and other related
industries.

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 www.ncr.com .

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De La Rue Buys CSI

CSI, a high-speed currency sorting and solution company, announced it is being acquired by the Cash Systems division of De La Rue plc., a publicly traded UK based company. De La Rue is paying cash consideration US $35.5m, comprising estimated net shareholders funds of US $9.0m. De La Rue is also assuming CSI’s debt, estimated at US$ 19.0m.

![][1] CSI provides cash handling solutions, including banknote sorters and software systems for Central Banks, commercial banks, cash in transit companies and other bulk cash operations worldwide. The business’s principal manufacturing location and operational headquarters is in Irving, Texas with its commercial headquarters being situated in the UK. It also has a network of sales, service and distribution centres in six other locations worldwide. CSI employs 274 staff of whom, 128 are based in the USA, 82 in the UK and the balance in CSI’s other overseas offices.

CSI is the only company in the cash processing industry dedicated solely to high-performance currency processing systems and the provision of advanced cash management solutions. It recorded sales of US $51m in the year to 31 December 2000 and an operating profit of US $5.3m before interest and tax, although this included one off licence fee income of US$ 1m.

De La Rue intends to merge CSI’s operations with its existing Cash Processing business and anticipates substantial cost savings as a result of the merger because of the substantial overlap in operations in many areas. A thorough review will be undertaken by both management teams, with appropriate consultation, to establish the size of the opportunity and cost of implementing the savings plan.

De La Rue believes there are excellent synergies between CSI and its Cash Processing business with scope for enhancing revenue where the complementary strengths of the two businesses can be exploited. CSI is strong in the commercial market and has a well developed sorter product range particularly in super fast sorters and multi-denomination sorting systems. De La Rue has strong links with many of the world’s Central Banks and a product range with particular strengths in the desktop sorting and desktop counting markets. Geographically, De La Rue is well placed in Africa, Middle East, South and Central America and the Far East, whereas CSI is strong in the UK, US and Australian markets.

The combined business will offer customers unrivalled levels of service and access to leading edge sorting technologies, software, consulting and holistic solutions. The CSI brand will be retained in the combined operations due to its excellent reputation in this market.

Commenting Ian Much, Chief Executive, De La Rue plc said:

“Following the successful reorganisation of Cash Systems over the past two years our strategy is now focused on growth opportunities to expand our global reach and the range of products and solutions we offer to our customers. CSI’s large and respected cash processing business is an excellent fit with our own business and enhances our global position in this important market. The combined business will possess market leading expertise and offer a comprehensive range of cash processing solutions to those organisations which handle and process large volumes of cash.”

[1]: /graphic/csi/csi.gif

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Global ATM Alliance

Five of the world’s leading
financial institutions launched the first Global ATM Alliance to create
innovative financial services expressly for their customers who travel
internationally. The group’s first major initiative will be to offer their
combined customer base free access to more than 20,000 cash machines on three
continents.

The Global ATM Alliance will make cash withdrawals free of international
access fees through a combined network of automated teller machines to all
customers of the five institutions: Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank,
Scotiabank, and Westpac. The 36 million customers of these five banks can
begin using the alliance’s cash machine network without charge on July 1,
2001.

The network of ATMs is located throughout the United States, the United
Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Australia. In all of these countries, customers
who use their debit card at cash machines that display the banks’ logos will
incur no access fee.

“We are proud to be a member of the Global ATM Alliance,” said Bond
Isaacson, Payments executive, Bank of America. “Bank of America has a unique
opportunity to now offer its customers even greater value while they are away
from home. In addition, enabling the alliance’s 36 million customers to
access cash free of charge — wherever they travel in the world, for business
and pleasure — is a powerful way to deliver on customer convenience.”
“This strategic partnership is a world first for global customer service
and marks the beginning of a multinational cooperation within the cash machine
industry. Going forward, we expect to add new partners to offer this service
in many more of the world’s countries,” Isaacson added.
The founding members of the alliance have a domestic coverage of more than
20,000 ATMs:

* Bank of America — more than 12,000 ATMs in the United States
* Barclays — more than 3,000 ATMs throughout the United Kingdom
* Deutsche Bank — more than 1,800 in Germany
* Scotiabank — more than 2,100 ATMs in Canada
* Westpac — 1,500 ATMs in Australia

In the coming months, the alliance will expand its service coverage to
include their international ATMs (more than 2,500 ATMs in 58 countries) and
actively pursue other members, targeting Mexico, Spain, Asia, South America
and South Africa.

One of the world’s leading financial services companies, Bank of America
is committed to making banking work for customers like it never has before.
Through innovative technologies and the ingenuity of its people, Bank of
America provides individuals, small businesses and commercial, corporate and
institutional clients across the United States and around the world new and
better ways to manage their financial lives. The company enables customers to
do their banking and investing whenever, wherever and however they choose
through the nation’s largest financial services network, including
approximately 4,400 domestic offices and 12,000 U.S. based ATMs, as well as 38
international offices serving clients in 190 countries, and an Internet Web
site that provides online access for more than 3 million customers, more than
any other bank.

About Barclays

Barclays PLC is the UK’s fourth largest bank and has total assets of 316 billion pounds. Barclays has over 16 million customers, over 2,700 branches and over 3,000 ATMs. The Barclays Group is an international business with operations in over 60 countries and 75,300 employees world-wide. The bank has five key business groupings — Retail Financial Services, Business Banking, Barclaycard, Barclays Capital and Barclays Global Investors (BGI). Barclays is the largest on-line bank in the UK and the fifth largest globally.

About Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank/Deutsche Bank 24: One of the world’s leading financial institutions with total assets of 940 billion euros and more than 98,000 employees worldwide. Within the “Private Clients and Asset Management”- Group, Deutsche Bank provides its more than 11 million private and retail customers an extensive offer of Private Banking and Personal Banking (Deutsche Bank 24) services.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions with about $275 billion (Canadian Dollars) in assets and approximately 52,000 employees worldwide including affiliates. It is also Canada’s most international bank, with more than 2,000 branches and offices in over 50 countries and a network of 2,100 ATMs in Canada.

About Westpac

Westpac is Australia’s first bank and a leading provider of financial solutions to eight million customers in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. The Westpac Group (including Bank of Melbourne and Challenge Bank) employs 29,000 people around the world, with total assets over $184 billion (Australian Currency) and has 1,500 ATMs throughout Australia.

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NPC Signs Bizland

National Processing Company a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc. announced a multiyear strategic alliance with leading Online Resource Center provider, BizLand, Inc. This alliance will leverage the marketing capabilities, expertise and technology of both organizations, as well as deliver tremendous value to the small business community.

NPC’s newly released Business Resource Center will enable NPC merchants to create an online presence in a simple and cost-effective manner by offering the tools required to succeed in today’s competitive online market. NPC will provide all the service and support necessary to establish, promote and e- commerce-enable merchant stores. In addition, BizLand will refer online merchants seeking to accept credit cards to NPC via NPC’s online merchant application.

Quick and Seamless Online Offering

NPC’s Business Resource Center will initially offer two service levels representing the progression that a merchant goes through as it builds on-line capabilities.

StoreFront contains everything needed for a small business to establish a presence on the World Wide Web for the first time. It includes web site design and maintenance, domain registration, web hosting services, email capabilities and online marketing/customer management tools.

eCommerce introduces e-commerce capabilities. It includes the ability to create an online store, maintain catalogs of products or services, take orders, handle fulfillment, provide customer service, process credit card payments, and settle transactions.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for both BizLand and NPC to capitalize on each others unique distribution capabilities,” stated Eric Barth, senior vice president of Strategic Development at NPC. “NPC’s merchant services will be made available to BizLand’s more than one million online members while NPC’s Business Resource Center will be marketed through NPC’s Independent Sales Organization and Regional Sales channel.”

“This alliance draws on the strengths of both organizations to deliver a superior product offering to help our mutual customers enhance their business success,” stated Steve Sydness, chief executive officer of BizLand. “Working with NPC to deliver web-based solutions directly to small businesses opens a new and exciting channel for BizLand. We are confident of its success.”

“NPC currently provides credit card processing of on-line sales for hundreds of our large national customers,” stated Thomas A. Wimsett, president and chief executive officer of NPC. “This product offering is consistent with our dual-market strategy and will allow us to provide a robust set of online services for our regional or ‘Mom and Pop’ merchant base.

About Bizland, Inc.

BizLand, Inc. ( http://www.BizLand.com ) is a leading provider of online resources to small businesses and a leading vendor of private-labeled Web sites to large enterprises and financial institutions. BizLand offers a complete array of Web-based services ranging from e-commerce storefronts to online promotional tools. BizLand also cultivates a strong small business community through its community message boards and its advice and articles from industry experts. BizLand’s private label solution, “Powered by BizLand,” combines BizLand’s considerable small business expertise with the clients’ products or services to produce a customized, small business Resource Center. Powered by BizLand clients include Eastern Bank, Xerox Corporation and 3Com, Inc.

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 .

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De La Rue Buys CSI

CSI, a high-speed currency sorting and solution company, has announced it is being acquired by the Cash Systems division of De La Rue plc., a publicly traded UK based company. De La Rue is paying cash consideration US $35.5m, comprising estimated net shareholders funds of US $9.0m. De La Rue is also assuming CSI’s debt, estimated at US$ 19.0m.

CSI provides cash handling solutions, including banknote sorters and software systems for Central Banks, commercial banks, cash in transit companies and other bulk cash operations worldwide. The business’s principal manufacturing location and operational headquarters is in Irving, Texas with its commercial headquarters being situated in the UK. It also has a network of sales, service and distribution centres in six other locations worldwide. CSI employs 274 staff of whom, 128 are based in the USA, 82 in the UK and the balance in CSI’s other overseas offices.

CSI is the only company in the cash processing industry dedicated solely to high-performance currency processing systems and the provision of advanced cash management solutions. It recorded sales of US $51m in the year to 31 December 2000 and an operating profit of US $5.3m before interest and tax, although this included one off licence fee income of US$ 1m.

De La Rue intends to merge CSI’s operations with its existing Cash Processing business and anticipates substantial cost savings as a result of the merger because of the substantial overlap in operations in many areas. A thorough review will be undertaken by both management teams, with appropriate consultation, to establish the size of the opportunity and cost of implementing the savings plan.

De La Rue believes there are excellent synergies between CSI and its Cash Processing business with scope for enhancing revenue where the complementary strengths of the two businesses can be exploited. CSI is strong in the commercial market and has a well developed sorter product range particularly in super fast sorters and multi-denomination sorting systems. De La Rue has strong links with many of the world’s Central Banks and a product range with particular strengths in the desktop sorting and desktop counting markets. Geographically, De La Rue is well placed in Africa, Middle East, South and Central America and the Far East, whereas CSI is strong in the UK, US and Australian markets.

The combined business will offer customers unrivalled levels of service and access to leading edge sorting technologies, software, consulting and holistic solutions. The CSI brand will be retained in the combined operations due to its excellent reputation in this market.

Commenting Ian Much, Chief Executive, De La Rue plc said:

“Following the successful reorganization of Cash Systems over the past two years our strategy is now focused on growth opportunities to expand our global reach and the range of products and solutions we offer to our customers. CSI’s large and respected cash processing business is an excellent fit with our own business and enhances our global position in this important market. The combined business will possess market leading expertise and offer a comprehensive range of cash processing solutions to those organizations which handle and process large volumes of cash.”

De La Rue believes there are excellent synergies between CSI and its Cash Processing business with scope for enhancing revenue where the complementary strengths of the two businesses can be exploited. CSI is strong in the commercial market and has a well developed sorter product range particularly in super fast sorters and multi-denomination sorting systems. De La Rue has strong links with many of the world’s Central Banks and a product range with particular strengths in the desktop sorting and desktop counting markets. Geographically, De La Rue is well placed in Africa, Middle East, South and Central America and the Far East, whereas CSI is strong in the UK, US and Australian markets.

The combined business will offer customers unrivalled levels of service and access to leading edge sorting technologies, software, consulting and holistic solutions. The CSI brand will be retained in the combined operations due to its excellent reputation in this market.

Details

First American CMSI

The First American Corporation, the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services, and Credit Management Solutions, Inc., a premier technology provider of credit automation software and services, jointly announced that First American has completed its acquisition of CMSI. The acquired entity will be known as First American CMSI.

As a result of the acquisition, which was approved by CMSI shareholders on May 29, 2001, CMSI shareholders will receive 0.2841 newly issued shares of First American common stock for each CMSI common share. First American will account for the stock-for-stock transaction as a purchase and will issue approximately 2,273,000 new shares of common stock.

![][1] “CMSI processes more than a quarter of a million credit transactions each month, and it has very strong business relationships with some of the world’s largest auto dealers and lenders,” said Anand K. Nallathambi, president of First American’s Consumer Information Group. “We expect the acquisition of CMSI will allow us to expand our consumer segment and provide opportunities to cross market our other valuable auto-related products and services, including merged credit reports, subprime credit data and automobile insurance tracking.”

CMSI’s president and chief executive officer, Scott L. Freiman said: “I am extremely proud of what CMSI has accomplished over its 15-year history. We look forward to continued success as a part of the First American family.”

The First American Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation’s three primary business segments include: title information and services; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage information services and database information and services; and consumer information and services, which provides automotive, sub-prime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; direct-to-consumer public records reporting; resident screening; pre-employment screening; property and automotive insurance tracking services; property and casualty insurance; home warranties; investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at [www.firstam.com][2].

Since it was founded in 1987, CMSI has been a premier provider of credit automation software and services, including online lending and leasing technology. The company’s e-commerce subsidiary, Credit Online, Inc., credit-enables business-to-business transactions through its Internet gateway and its patented CreditConnection(R) technology ([www.creditconnection.com][3]), which links credit originators such as automobile dealers and borrowers with an extensive network of leading prime and nonprime lenders. Through its CMSI Systems, Inc. subsidiary, CMSI licenses credit decisioning and other automation systems and services for consumer and business credit that have been the choice of the world’s largest and most demanding lending institutions. Additional information on CMSI, is available at [www.cmsinc.com][4].

[1]: /graphic/firstamericancorp/firstamericancorp.gif
[2]: http://www.firstam.com/
[3]: http://www.creditconnection.com/
[4]: http://www.cmsinc.com/

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PAYMENTS VIA MOBILE PHONES

BSCH, BBVA, Telefonica Moviles and Airtel announced they had
concluded an agreement to integrate the various projects each had been
developing individually in the field of payments via mobile handsets. The new
project will from the outset be open to all financial institutions, mobile
operators and payment processing companies active in Spain. Amena has also
signed on to the project, and there is an agreement in principal to bring on
various other organisations, including Caja de Madrid, Banco Popular, Banesto,
Banco Sabadell and Xfera. Thus the agreement marks the creation of a Spanish
technological standard, with a clear will for international expansion.
This agreement takes Spain to the forefront in the development of new
business models and co-operation between financial institutions and mobile
operators and strengthens its leadership in the use of new payment system
technologies. Likewise, the project is in line with the objective of the
European Union to strengthen advanced European solutions to lead the
technological development of the information society.

The new standard is based on recognition of the role which mobile
telephony will play in consumers’ daily life, making it an ideal tool for
providing payment platform for their everyday expenses. It will make the
transition to the euro easier and makes it possible to provide an advanced
payment system for mobile businesses (household deliveries, household repairs,
etc.). The new standard will extend the range of businesses which have used
advanced payment methods to date and will open the door to the youngest
segment of the population.

The security offered by the new system will make on-line shopping easier,
give a decisive boost to mobile businesses, and open huge business
opportunities by bringing together the advantages of mobile telephony and
advanced payment systems. It uses the mobile telephone to identify the
account holder who can confirm each transaction via a secret number, different
to that used to activate the telephone.

The parties to the agreement envisage that large credit card companies
such as VISA and Master Card will enter the agreement and the international
company.

The agreement will result in the creation of two companies charged with
establishing the standard in Spain and abroad, respectively. The project will
involve initial investment of close to seven billion pesetas (42.07 million
euros) and envisages the launch of a pilot service in the fourth quarter of
this year and the marketing launch before the end of the year.

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Bankruptcy Projections

This year more people will file for bankruptcy than will graduate from college. And as a result of the economic downturn, stock market devaluation and thousands of corporate layoffs, a growing number of families have reached the brink of economic crisis.

This spring, LowerMyBills.com examined data from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, in addition to various other economic indicators, to reach these staggering conclusions. As Congress enacts tougher bankruptcy legislation, American families are fighting off creditors and searching for answers.

“Most American families are living paycheck-to-paycheck,” said LowerMyBills.com founder and CEO Matt Coffin. “It takes only one negative economic event to push a family into bankruptcy and home foreclosure, which in this weakening market is becoming more likely.”

The LowerMyBills.com study found that Americans are dipping into their past savings, selling investments and running up a staggering amount of debt to cover their growing expenses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey indicates that the three lowest income quintiles of American families, representing about 60 percent of Americans, spent more than their after-tax income in 1999.

The two lowest quintiles, representing about 40 percent of Americans, earned on average $12,338 after taxes and spent on average $20,808 in 1999. That’s roughly 32 million households running an annual deficit of $8,160. This debt is primarily attributed to large amounts of short-term liquidated credit. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve reports that consumer debt has now reached $1 trillion, or nearly $9,000 per U.S. family.

“American families are searching for solutions and tools to lower their monthly expenses,” asserts Mr. Coffin. “They need to recession proof their savings. In this time of economic insecurity, it doesn’t help that the government is rewriting bankruptcy laws to make it harder on the average person to set aside debt that is dragging them down. My mission at LowerMyBills.com is to provide the tools and guidance for the American family to protect their finances and secure their children’s future. LowerMyBills serves as preventative medicine for this looming crisis,” adds Mr. Coffin.

“Many families are unaware of how much money they actually owe, and how to handle their debt,” says Consumer Advocate David Horowitz. “Current bankruptcy laws are unforgiving, often forcing debtors into unrealistic payback plans that create an undue hardship on the family.”

About LowerMyBills.com

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, LowerMyBills.com (http://www.lowermybills.com) is the premier online destination for lowering all recurring monthly bills. Current category offerings include long distance and wireless phone services, taxes, credit cards, loans, insurance, Internet service, debt reduction, credit ratings and energy. Since its inception, LowerMyBills.com has saved U.S. families more than 50 million dollars.

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GiftCards Soar

About 45% of U.S. consumers used a gift card during the past year, representing an increase of 34% over 1999. Prepaid phone card usage also rose by 14% during 2000 with 43% of consumers now using such cards. Standard Register’s third ‘National Consumer and Retailer Survey of Plastic Card Usage’ also found that consumers spend an average of $200 per year on gift cards, an increase of $61 from 1999, and that prepaid phone cards are most often used by travelers. SR also found that the holiday season remains the number one gift card giving occasion (71%), with birthdays (68%) a close second. The survey of 1,000 consumers also found the following percentages of adult usage of cards: credit cards, 87%; ATM cards, 62%; membership cards, 52%; debit cards, 41%; loyalty cards, 18%; and smart cards, 5%. According to the results of the retailer survey, which included interviews of 50 of the top 250 retailers, 44 out of 50 offer gift cards, prepaid phone cards or loyalty cards. In-store signage and point-of-purchase displays remain the most common methods used by retailers for generating awareness of prepaid cards. From an external communications standpoint, 80% of retailers utilize print advertising, followed by the Internet (57%), radio (25%) and television (18%).

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ValueStar Signs First VA

ValueStar Corp. announced that First Virginia Merchant Services has signed up for the ValueStar Customer-Rated program. First Virginia Merchant Services can now enroll their qualified merchants in the ValueStar Customer-Rated program, which enables merchants to differentiate themselves from local competition by highlighting quality service. In addition, the program drives ValueStar registered cardholders to participating merchants. The ValueStar Customer-Rated-program is open to all local service merchants, such as auto repair shops, plumbers, pool maintenance companies, dentists, etc.Through this program, ValueStar rates the merchant based upon a verification of their license, insurance, state compliance, legal and financial statuses, and, if qualified, enrolls the merchant in the ValueStar Customer-Rated program, which includes real-time Ratings. ValueStar then promotes these selected merchants to cardholders through a variety of media such as the ValueStar Report, direct mailings, in-store signage, and quality brand placement on the ValueStar web site. Participating merchants agree to: adhere to the ValueStar “Customer Bill of Rights,” participate in the mediation process, allow ValueStar to publicly post their customer satisfaction score, and must keep their customer satisfaction score above 70 on a 100 scale. “We are pleased with the results of the program as it has been well received by the merchant community,” said Jim Stein, CEO of ValueStar. “First Virginia Merchant Services is opening the door to approximately 1400 additional service merchants that could benefit from this program.” “First Virginia Merchant Services is always looking for ways to differentiate itself in the marketplace. The ValueStar proposition provides us with the competitive edge to distinguish our products and services from that of our competitors. ValueStar is a great way for us to help grow the consumer business of our service merchant base,” said Saeed Heshmatpour, Vice President and General Manager for First Virginia Merchant Services. “The ValueStar Customer-Rated program validates local service merchants as quality service providers and improves customer loyalty and increases referrals by matching quality seeking consumers with quality conscious merchants.” Card issuers offering the ValueStar Customer-Rated program to their cardholders can increase their cardholder loyalty, retention and stimulate card usage. By choosing service merchants that have earned this quality seal of approval, consumers can have confidence in their decision, and will gain access to various program benefits not typically offered in the service business sector. How the Customer-Rated Program WorksValueStar first verifies license, insurance, legal and financial statuses of local service businesses. First Virginia Merchant Services will match up transactions paid for with a qualified credit card made with qualified merchants. Consumers are then presented with an online or offline survey that, once processed, updates each local service merchant’s rating score in real time. Because only verified transactions are used, the ratings reflect only actual customer ratings. Customers who rate their satisfaction are also eligible for ValueStar Benefits, which currently include complaint resolution services, a money-back satisfaction guarantee of up to $500 and ValueStar Rating Points redeemable for products, charitable donations, services and travel. To use ValueStar, interested consumers can go to www.valuestar.com or to a participating card issuer Web site. Once on the site, consumers search by merchant name or industry and geographic region. Consumers can then browse lists of rated merchants or see if the merchant they plan to do business with has earned the ValueStar Customer-Rated seal. About ValueStar ValueStar® Corp. (OTC:VLST) is both a pioneer and a leading provider of customer satisfaction ratings of local service companies. Founded in 1992, ValueStar’s mission is to improve the local marketplace by providing knowledge, power and assurance. To accomplish this mission, ValueStar is expanding its branded ratings to the six million local service companies in America by introducing multi-tiered rating designations and adding additional brand content. It has developed the ValueStar Customer-Rated program which enables, matches, rates and rewards local service transactions both online and offline. It currently operates the ValueStar Customer-Rated Program in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Seattle; Chicago; Dallas; Philadelphia; Washington D.C. and Atlanta. For more information, visit ValueStar at www.valuestar.com or call 800-310-6661. ©2001 ValueStar Corporation. All rights reserved. ValueStar, ValueStar Customer-Rated, ValueStar Verified, ValueStar Real-Time Ratings, ValueStar Benefits and the ValueStar logo are trademarks of ValueStar Corporation. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding ValueStar’s business strategy and future plans of operations. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties; both general and specific to the matters discussed in this press release. These and other important factors, including those mentioned in various Securities and Exchange Commission filings made periodically by ValueStar, may cause ValueStar’s actual results and performance to differ materially from the future results and performance expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof and ValueStar expressly disclaims any obligation to provide public updates, revisions or amendments to any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect changes in ValueStar’s expectations or future events.

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