Global ATM Fees

Last week’s announcement that Bank of America, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Scotiabank, and Westpac are forming a global network to provide customers with “free” ATM access is not totally “free”. For example, Barclays will drop its 1.50% withdrawal fee within the new worldwide network of 20,000 ATMs, but it will continue to assess a 2.75% foreign exchange fee. In response to Friday’s announcement, London-based Nationwide Building Society said it will continue to offer its customers cash withdrawals at 500,000 VISA ATMs worldwide without a foreign exchange fee or a cash withdrawal fee. The new global ATM network will become active on July 1 and will serve 36 million customers of Barclays and the four other banks.



MasterCard International and The China Economic Monitoring and Analysis Center released the results of a survey recently conducted on the usage of credit. Researchers found that the main demographic for credit purchases are those with a monthly income of between 1,501 yuan and 8,000 yuan, especially white-collar workers who make between 3,001 yuan and 5,000 yuan a month. However, medium-and high-income groups with monthly salaries above 1,501 yuan are more aware of credit usage than low-income groups with monthly salaries below 1,500 yuan. Consumers between ages 24 and 35 also know more about spending on credit than people in other age groups. In Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing and Zhengzhou, the proportion of people embracing the idea of buying on credit is higher than in other cities. In Guangzhou, consumers are more conservative. The survey found that compared with people in other cities, Beijing residents are more interested in spending on credit for housing and daily necessities. When borrowing money, they mainly rely on credit cards and loans from relatives and friends. Over the past six months, loans taken out by Beijingers ranged mostly between 5,001 yuan and 50,000 yuan or amounted to more than 80,000 yuan. Among those who took out a loan during the past six months, 26.5% borrowed more than 100,000 yuan. Despite this, the proportion of Beijingers who have ever bought on credit over the past six months is merely 11.3%, ranking last among the seven cities. The proportion of respondents with a potential credit demand of less than 30,000 yuan increased from 52% during the fourth quarter last year to nearly 60% in the first quarter this year. More than 70% of those who have bought on credit over the past six months actually borrowed less than 30,000 yuan. The survey was based on feedback from 2,100 residents in China’s seven major cities– Beijing , Shanghai , Zhengzhou , Wuhan , Guangzhou , Chengdu and Xi’an.


Mondex Ownership

MasterCard is taking over the full reins of Mondex International by the end of June. Under terms of an agreement in principle, reached with the other shareholders of Mondex International last week, Mastercard will assume full ownership of Mondex and direct control of all its operations and management. MasterCard currently owns 58% of MXI. The other current shareholders of Mondex International include: Mondex Canada, Banco Internacional, Bancomer, Banco Nacional de Mexico, Bank One, Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel, Countrywide Banking, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp., HSBC Bank, JCB, J.P. Morgan Chase, Mondex Australasia, National Australia Bank, National Westminster, Sanwa Bank, Ulster Bank, Wells Fargo, and Universal Holdcorp. MasterCard says it will continue providing service to the ‘MULTOS’ consortium, which is MasterCard’s preferred operating system for multi-application smart cards, and it will also continue managing Mondex electronic cash and the Mondex Certification Authority. To date, more than 6 million smart cards have been issued on the ‘MULTOS’ platform, and more than 75 issuers are now committed to issuing 20 million additional ‘MULTOS’ smart cards. More than 70 companies currently supply ‘MULTOS’-related products and services. Mondex electronic cash has been franchised or licensed for use in 55 countries and territories around the world. There are approximately 30 Mondex implementations underway around the world, with additional activity expected over the coming year. Last month MasterCard announced the largest single purchase of ‘MULTOS’-based chip cards as Mondex Philippines placed an order for 500,000 smart cards. Also during May, Schlumberger joined the ‘MULTOS’ consortium. (CF Library 5/8/01; 5/18/01)



Nationwide has responded to the announcement that Barclays Bank is to offer
free cash machine withdrawals from 20,000 foreign cash machines.
Barclays has reportedly described its initiative as a “world first”.
Although it is dropping its 1.50% withdrawal fee, Barclays’ customers using
one of the 20,000 ATMs will still face a 2.75% foreign exchange loading.
Nationwide does not charge current account holders a foreign exchange or
cash withdrawal fee. It means they can withdraw cash from over 500,000 ATMs
world-wide without any fees from Nationwide.
Jeremy del Strother, Nationwide’s communications director, said “A
Barclays’ customer withdrawing £500 abroad today would pay a total of
£21.25 in charges. Even without the cash withdrawal fee, they would still
be £13.75 better off with Nationwide.
“Barclays followed Nationwide’s lead in not imposing surcharges in the UK.
Maybe Barclays and other big banks will eventually copy our example abroad.
Until then, bank customers wanting true fee-free withdrawals abroad will
find it cheaper and easier to move their account to Nationwide.”
Barclays is reportedly offering fee-free withdrawals at 20,000 ATMs from
next month, as part of an alliance with Bank of America, Scotiabank in
Canada, Westpac in Australia and Deutsche Bank in Germany.
In July 1999, Barclays announced plans to introduce a surcharge of £1 for
cash withdrawals in the UK. Nationwide threatened to sue Barclays and led a
campaign resulting in it and other large banks abandoning their surcharging


ECN Head

Electronic Clearing House Inc. announced the appointment of Jane M. Keller as executive director of ECHO’s new National Check Network.

Keller is the co-owner of Triad Consultant Group, a collection agency consultancy firm, and over the past six years has served as its lead consultant to more than 100 collection agencies across the nation. She is also a co-owner of RIO L.L.C., a collection firm located in Des Moines, Iowa.

Over the years, Keller has served in various collection-related capacities. Past positions include Loss Prevention Manager for Target Stores, Loss Prevention Manager for a mid-western grocery store chain, Marketing/Sales Manager with Vali-Chek, a check collection division of Credit Bureau Enterprises, and Managing Partner with MTR Collections. Keller has also worked as an industry lobbyist with various state legislatures in the midwest to restructure collection service fee laws.

“Jane Keller brings a depth of hands-on, in-depth knowledge of the collection industry to NCN. She understands the regulatory, legislative and state/federal issues that are key concerns to collection agencies today,” stated Joel M. Barry, CEO of ECHO.

“Her proven integrity and unwavering commitment to the collection industry over the past 17 years makes her a perfect choice to be the executive director of NCN. ECHO’s credit card, debit card and check related products and services will be channeled through 230 NCN check collection agency members, who will be able to offer these products to their combined base of over 30,000 retail merchants. “We believe that through Jane’s leadership, NCN will quickly become the nation’s premier check service to the collection industry,” stated Barry.

Electronic Clearing House Inc. provides debit and credit card processing, check guarantee, check verification, check conversion, check re-presentment, check collection, and inventory tracking to more than 58,000 retail merchants and U-Haul dealers across the nation.


Bank Plus Merger

Bank Plus Corporation and its subsidiaries, which include Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB, announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with FBOP Corporation, under which Bank Plus and Fidelity will be acquired by FBOP. Under the terms of the agreement FBOP will pay $7.25 per share in cash for Bank Plus common stock. The transaction is subject to approval by Bank Plus stockholders and regulatory authorities.

Mark K. Mason, president and chief executive officer of Bank Plus, said: “This transaction completes the successful turnaround we have been working toward for the past two and a half years. The merger with FBOP will bring the benefits of greater resources and an expanded product line allowing us to increase the quality of our already superior service to our customers.”

The merger is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2001. No assurances can be given that the merger will be completed or, if completed, will be completed within that time frame.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P., acted as financial advisor to the Company in connection with this transaction.

About Bank Plus

Bank Plus Corporation is the holding company for Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB, which offers a broad range of consumer financial services, including demand and time deposits and mortgage loans. In addition, through its affiliate Gateway Investment Services, Inc., a NASD-registered broker/dealer, Fidelity provides customers of the Bank with investment products, including mutual funds, annuities and insurance. Fidelity operates through 30 full-service branches, 29 of which are located in Los Angeles and Orange counties in Southern California.

About FBOP

FBOP Corporation, an $8 billion multi-bank financial services holding company headquartered in Oak Park, Illinois conducts its operations through subsidiary banks in Illinois, Texas and California.

Prior to the consummation of the transaction Bank Plus will file a proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Stockholders are urged to read the proxy statement (when available) because it will contain important information about the proposed transaction. Investors and stockholders will be able to obtain copies of this document (when available), along with other related documents filed by Bank Plus with the SEC, free of charge, through the web site maintained by the SEC at . Stockholders can also obtain copies of the proxy statement (when available) along with any related documents Bank Plus has filed with the SEC by contacting the Bank Plus Investor Relations Department.


Verix Awards

VeriFone this morning announced the winners of the ‘Verix Innovation Awards’. ‘Verix’ is an architecture that can support a variety of applications running on the same terminal. Among the 20 winners: GE Card Services. GE was recognized for its multi-application installation of over 5,000 ‘Omni 3300’ payment terminals running their own private label credit application. Other winners include Automated License Systems and Central Bank as partners in delivering a solution to the Missouri Department of Conservation that uses Verix-based ‘Omni 3300’ terminals to issue various types of fishing and hunting licenses at a merchant’s point of sale. Smartconnect Private Limited in India was honored for its RetailSmart application that enables a full fledged Electronic Cash Register System running on an ‘Omni 3300’ or ‘Omni 3350’ terminal. Brazil-based developer and VeriFone reseller APPI Informatica was recognized for delivering direct web-based connectivity to VeriFone terminals. E-pay Ltd, a UK-based telco customer, was recognized for creating an application that enables electronic top up payments for pre-pay mobile phone customers in the UK. Prism Payment Technologies, a South African VIP specializing in the payment and transaction switching business, was honored for developing an application for Payshop, a company establishing a value-added multi-application switching environment in Portugal.



Digital Insight Corp. ( ), announced that American Airlines Federal Credit Union will offer Digital Insight’s comprehensive portfolio of outsourced, Internet-based financial products and services to its 190,000 members.

Impressed with Digital Insight’s overall eFinance strategy, American Airlines FCU has agreed to deploy the Company’s AXIS platform, including Internet Banking, Bill Payment, and access to online statements and check images. In addition to the online offerings, the $2.9 billion-asset federal credit union will take advantage of Digital Insight’s training program, DI University, and offer end-user marketing materials from Digital Insight’s MarketSite(TM).

![][1] “We are eager to offer Digital Insight’s eFinance solution to our members,” said John M. Tippets, president and CEO for American Airlines FCU. “This online offering is the type of innovative financial services that our members want. Digital Insight’s vision for enhanced Internet services is a match with American Airlines FCU’s expectations.”

“We are thrilled to add American Airlines Federal Credit Union to our growing list of visionary financial institution clients,” said John Dorman, Digital Insight chairman and CEO. “Financial institutions like American Airlines FCU partner with Digital Insight because they understand the value from cutting-edge technology that transforms their web real estate into a central hub for all its members’ financial transactions.”

About American Airlines Federal Credit Union

Celebrating 65 years of member service and approaching $3.0 billion in assets, American Airlines Federal Credit Union (AAFCU) ( ) is the largest credit union in the state of Texas, and is the eighth largest credit union in the United States. AAFCU is a traditional “single sponsor” occupational credit union serving the financial needs of active and retired employees of AMR Inc., American Airlines, American Eagle, TWA Airlines LLC, Sabre Inc., LSG/Sky Chefs, Inc., and Worldwide Flight Services Membership is also extended to the spouses, children and permanent household members.

About Digital Insight

Digital Insight(TM) Corporation (Nasdaq: DGIN) ( ) is the preferred eFinance enabler for visionary financial institutions. Through its comprehensive portfolio of outsourced, Internet-based financial products and services built upon the company’s unique architecture, Digital Insight moves banks and credit unions Beyond Internet Banking(TM) to become the trusted transaction hub for their retail and commercial customers. Exclusively endorsed by the American Bankers Association(R) (ABA), and currently serving more than 1,300 financial institution clients nationwide, Digital Insight provides retail and commercial Internet banking, electronic bill payment and presentment, eCommerce portal technology, wireless channel delivery, advanced targeted marketing, website development and maintenance, as well as online and call center lending services. Each Digital Insight product and service reinforces the brands of its client financial institutions.

[1]: /graphic/americanair/aacu.gif


Metris Donation

Metris Companies Inc. announced that it is donating $15,000 to The League of United Latin American Citizens. The contribution by Metris supports the company’s participation this week in the LULAC National Convention & Exposition in Phoenix (June 3-9).

LULAC, founded in 1929, is the nation’s oldest and largest Hispanic organization, with approximately 115,000 members throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population in the United States. Metris is sponsoring live on-stage entertainment throughout the convention and hosting an awards breakfast for Hispanic law enforcement officials on June 5. Representatives from Metris and MasterCard(R) will appear as panelists at a Smart Money Management workshop on June 7.

“This donation of time and resources reflects our growing commitment to the Hispanic community,” said Joseph Hoffman, Metris Executive Vice President, Consumer Credit Card Marketing/Operations. “We are proud to support LULAC and the valuable work and services they provide to people every day.” Metris issues MasterCard credit cards to the U.S. Hispanic market under the Banco Popular and Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank brands. Last year, Metris purchased Banco Popular’s U.S. credit card business, which included more than 170,000 active accounts. Metris also markets its credit cards through partnerships with Western Union and Hispanic-owned retailer La Curacao.

Arizona Gov. Jane Hull and other community and political dignitaries are scheduled to appear at the LULAC convention, which is expected to draw over 7,000 people. Convention participants will take part in workshops and training sessions, and delegates will elect LULAC leaders and discuss issues and set policies for the upcoming year.

Other corporations supporting LULAC include AT&T Corp., Chase Bank, The Coca-Cola Company, General Motors Corporation and IBM Corporation.

Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer and provider of consumer credit products and enhancement services, primarily to moderate-income consumers. The company was recognized in September 2000 as one of “America’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies” by Fortune magazine. Based in Minnetonka, Minn., Metris also has operations in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; White Marsh, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. Metris employs approximately 4,200 people. Visit Metris on the Internet at [][1].



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.


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.



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

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 .