HBC Rewards VISA

The competition among reward cards in Canada will heat up tomorrow with the unveiling of the ‘CIBC HBC Rewards VISA’. The launch of the new co-branded card will coincide with the launch of Hudson’s Bay Company’s new loyalty rewards program, ‘HBC Rewards’. The new credit card program is an expansion of the current ‘CIBC Club Z VISA’. Starting Wednesday, the 500,000 ‘Club Z’ cards-in-force will become ‘CIBC HBC Rewards VISAs’. Under the new program, cardholders earn fifteen points for every dollar spent on the card with a 100% point bonus on all purchases made at any of the Hudson’s Bay Company family of stores. Cardholders also receive up to 20% off the regular number of ‘HBC Rewards’ points required for reward redemption in the catalogue. The ‘Zellers Club Z’ program was launched in 1986 and the ‘CIBC Club Z VISA’card was introduced in 1995. HBC says that upon launch of the new ‘HBC Rewards’ program it will have 7.35 million members automatically enrolled through the existing 6.5 million ‘Club Z’ members and the initial enrollment of 850,000 ‘Bay’ customers.

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BofA Internet Exec

Bank of America announced that John Rosenfeld, a former global e-business leader with General Electric, will join the bank as Consumer e-Commerce executive. In this position, he will be responsible for executing the company’s growth strategy for meeting consumer financial needs through digital delivery channels www.bankofamerica.com.

His immediate priorities will center on continuing to expand the electronic reach of the bank, building out customer self-service applications and adding new online services that will help broaden and deepen customer relationships. Bank of America is the nation’s leading provider of online financial services, with more than 3.2 million online banking customers.

Rosenfeld joins the company from General Electric Aircraft Engines, where he was responsible for building an e-commerce infrastructure that today does more than $1 billion worth of aircraft business through the Internet. This included launching a customer Web center and establishing direct procurement links between GE and key customers.

“John is joining Bank of America at a time when digital technology is expanding our opportunities to enhance the customer experience with greater speed, convenience and self-service capabilities,” said Amy Brinkley, Consumer Products executive. “He’s going to help us leverage the tremendous strengths of our franchise to bring customers the choices they want and need through the Internet.”

James D. Dixon, bankofamerica.com executive, said that Rosenfeld would bring a new perspective that will help Bank of America as it aggressively develops its e-commerce capabilities. “John’s experience at GE and other companies shows that he understands that the Internet is more than just another delivery channel – it’s a way to offer customers more value, more access and better choices,” Dixon said. “We are eager to get him on board.”

In addition to his experience at GE, Rosenfeld’s career includes leadership of e-commerce and Internet operations at Lexmark International and seven years as a Special Forces captain in the United States Army. He will locate to Charlotte, N.C., and begins his Bank of America assignment April 30.

About Bank of America

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 13,000 ATMs, as well as 38 international offices, a telephone banking network that handles over a half billion calls a year and an Internet Web site that provides online access for over 3 million customers, more than any other bank. Bank of America stock (ticker: BAC) is listed on the New York, Pacific and London stock exchanges.

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MerchantOnline CEO

MerchantOnline, a provider of secure transaction networks and devices for credit cards and debit cards, announced a restructuring of its senior management. The company appointed former Visa U.S.A. Inc. senior vice president James Degracia as its Chief Executive Officer and President. While at Visa, Degracia was responsible for all e-commerce activities in the US Region.

Degracia joined MerchantOnline’s board as a director last year. Robert Hausman, formerly the MerchantOnline Chief Administrative Officer is now Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Hausman’s previous position was one of several executive positions eliminated. Founder Tarek Kirschen resigned as Chairman, CEO, President and Director.

Degracia was a senior vice president with Visa U.S.A. Inc. in 1998-1999 where he initially developed smart card strategies and programs before becoming responsible for all e-commerce activities. In the last year, Degracia consulted for several young technology companies. Most recently, he developed the marketing and business integration capabilities for UNX, Inc., an online broker/dealer that is a market leader in advanced securities trading capabilities for institutional traders. Prior to joining Visa, Degracia was vice president and technology leader for American Express where he worked with businesses to find applications for secure e-commerce technology and multi-application smart cards. Degracia was vice president and director in various marketing roles with Household Credit Services in Salinas, California, from 1990 to 1996, and he was product manager with Discover Card Services in Riverwoods, Illinois from 1987 to 1990. He earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

About MerchantOnline.com

Founded in December 1997, MerchantOnline provides a secure transaction network that enables business and consumers to use one payment system for both their real world and virtual world needs utilizing credit card, ATM/debit cards and other payment programs. Except for historical matters, the matters in this press release are forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements reflect assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties which might affect the Company’s business and prospects and cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, including those risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-QSB for the quarter ended January 31, 2001 filed with the SEC.

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Translucent Cards

The use of translucent credit cards has spread beyond the USA. France’s Banque Directe introduced Friday the translucent ‘VISA Carte Bleue’ smart card to be marketed as the ‘Directe Card’. One of the cards unique features is the option for cardholders to set a monthly spending limit for online purchases. Once the limit has been reached the cardholder is notified by email. The ‘Directe Card’ carries a 39 Euro annual fee. The bank describes the card as “very Zen”. Eighteen months ago, American Express introduced the first translucent smart card with the launch the ‘Blue’ smart card. Last July, MBNA introduced its first translucent credit card, the ‘Quantum VISA/MasterCard’ featuring a credit line up to $1 million. St. Charles, IL-based Perfect Plastic Printing produces the translucent ‘Quantum’ card. In September 2000, Providian introduced a translucent card with the introduction of the first ‘smart VISA’ cards in the USA. The Providian card is called the ‘Clear smart VISA’. In October, Schlumberger Test & Transactions unveiled its new transparent smart card called: ‘Luxea’. (CF Library 6/16/00; 7/7/00; 10/26/00)

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Splash-Money

Seattle-based SplashData introduced a personal finance application for Palm OS handhelds that allows users to manage credit cards and other transactions while on the go. ‘SplashMoney’ is an electronic checkbook and credit card register that allows users to record transactions, track account balances, reconcile bank statements, generate cash flow analysis reports and manage finances while on the go. ‘SplashMoney’ may be used stand-alone on a Palm OS handheld or as a companion to desktop software such as Quicken or Microsoft Money. The Palm application is being offered for $19.95.

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Major Issuers 1Q/01

Earlier indications of a sharp decline in first quarter receivables appears to have moderated among larger issuer. The average 1Q/01 decline among a sample of top issuers shows an average first quarter contraction of 3.4% compared to the fourth quarter according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ISSUER 1Q/01 RCV 4Q/00 RCV CHANGE
Citibank $100.5 b $103.2 b -2.6%
First USA $ 64.0 b $ 67.0 b -4.5%
Fleet Boston $ 14.1 b $ 14.7 b -4.1%
Wachovia $ 7.7 b $ 8.1 b -4.9%
Frst Natl NE $ 3.7 b $ 3.7 b NC
Total $190.0 b $196.7 b -3.4%

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

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EFTA Meeting

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association will convene its Electronic Commerce Payments Council on Wednesday, May 9 in Chicago to explore a variety of e-commerce payment models.

“E-commerce activity is exploding within the payments sector,” notes Kurt Helwig, EFTA executive director. “Participants in the business need to understand who the players are, who is offering viable business solutions, and whether these solutions offer solid value propositions for all stakeholders – consumers, merchants, processors, as well as financial institutions, networks and other third parties that are committing resources to bring these solutions to market.

“EFTA’s Electronic Commerce Payments Council offers a forum in which representatives from all sides of the business can explore their mutual needs,” he continues. “Participation in the Council offers a unique opportunity to shape the future of this dynamic field.”

Reflecting the inter-industry composition of EFTA’s membership and the need to share viewpoints across industry lines, a panel of e-merchants and e-merchant service providers will address E-commerce Payments: What Works, What Doesn’t and What’s Next.

Moderated by Steve Klebe, vice president of strategic alliances, payment and risk at CyberSource, the panel will include Catherine Genovese, vice president of operations at Playboy.com, Inc.; Mike Martinez, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Enable Systems, and Rene Pelegero, director of global payments at Amazon.com.

Mr. Pelegero also serves as co-chair of the Council, with Paul Schmelzer, formerly of Star Systems, Inc. In addition to the merchant-focused panel, guest speakers will present three e-commerce solutions classified as Models I and II, according to classifications developed by the Advanced Payments Group, a subcommittee of EFTA’s Network Executives’ Council. Earlier this year the subcommittee released Online Debit on the Internet: Models and Guideline, providing an open technological and operating framework that encourages a variety of interoperable e-commerce solutions.

Speakers and their presentations include:

John Donovan, vice president of electronic commerce at Maestro International: The Maestro Electronic Commerce Solution

Kiran Gandhi, vice president, Mag-Tek, and Roger Applewhite, director, emerging payments practice, Benton International/Perot Systems: The Alliance – An Overview

Paul Tomasofsky, vice president, NYCE Corporation: SafeDebit–The Solution for PIN Debit on the Internet

At the conclusion of each presentation, Council members will evaluate the presenters’ e-commerce solutions based on earlier-established criteria, which include consumer and merchant acceptance, value propositions, authentication and security. Speakers will receive copies of Council members’ evaluations, providing the input and reactions of experts in a wide variety of fields. Council participation is limited to EFTA members, but the Association will welcome industry representatives as guests at the May 9 meeting. For information on attendance, contact Eftassn@aol.com. Now approaching a quarter century of service, EFTA is a leading industry trade organization dedicated to the advancement of electronic payment systems and commerce. Members include financial institutions, processors, technology firms and virtually all shared ATM systems in the U.S. URL: [http://www.efta.org][1].

[1]: http://www.efta.org/

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Fleet Palm

Fleet announced this morning wireless banking and bill paying capabilities for online customers who use Palm-compatible handheld devices. Customers of ‘Fleet HomeLink’ online banking can now use a PDA to view real-time banking balances, credit card accounts, and Quick & Reilly investment account balances and details, including the last ten transactions; schedule transfer of funds; pay bills to existing ‘HomeLink’ payees, review and delete scheduled bill payments and transfers; and receive ‘HomeLink’ alert messages. Fleet has 1.4 million ‘HomeLink’ customers or 36% of its bank card customer base.

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Trintech Advisory Board

Trintech Group Plc, a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for the real world, internet and wireless transactions, announced the appointment of Mr. Dennis Goggin and Mr. Paddy Byrne as Regional Directors representing Asia Pacific and Europe on the Advisory Board of Trintech Group Plc.

Mr. Goggin joins Trintech after nearly three decades of successful international banking assignments with Chase Manhattan. He previously served as President and CEO of VISA International/Asia Pacific Region. His extensive payment and card association experience will be invaluable to the Trintech team. In addition, he brings extensive Asia Pacific market knowledge as a result of his highly visible campaign to position Visa as the charge card and debit card leader in the Asia Pacific Region. In his Advisory Board role, Dennis will focus and concentrate Trintech on ePayment developments and progress in Asia Pacific.

Mr. Byrne joins Trintech after thirty years of banking, card and payment systems experience. He was the former Head of Payments, Credit Card, Electronic Business and Information Systems in Bank of Ireland for more than twenty years.

In addition, his external financial services roles have included Chairman of the Irish Payment Services Organization and Irish Banks Nominee on the European Payment Strategy Group. He also served on the VISA Advisory Board and the Europay Regional Board for a number of years. In his Advisory Board role, Paddy will focus on the dynamics in the European bank card market and the evolving security standards and protocols in the Region.

“Trintech is very fortunate to have two such highly regarded and well-respected executives joining the Advisory team,” said Cyril McGuire, Executive Chairman.

“The addition of Paddy and Dennis as Regional members of our Advisory Board comes at an important time in our global growth,” added McGuire. “Given the current state of the global economy, seasoned individuals with comprehensive payment knowledge of strategically important regions like Asia Pacific and Europe are very important to us as we move to solidify our global leadership position in online card payment, eCommerce and mCommerce product offerings.”

Commenting on the Advisory Board appointments Ed Jensen, Advisory Board Chairman said, “I am delighted to welcome Dennis and Paddy on board and am assured that their vision and payment industry knowledge will benefit Trintech in it’s mission to be the leading global provider of secure ePayment infrastructure solutions. Our Advisory Board is a dynamic and proactive group of payment specialists and I have no doubt that it will be further supported and enhanced by Dennis and Paddy’s appointments.”

About Trintech

Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure solutions for real world, Internet and wireless transactions. The company, founded in 1987, offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications. Trintech’s secure product range is deployed in over 35 countries worldwide and covers the payment requirements of consumers, card issuing banks, merchant acquiring institutions, merchants, eMerchants, telcos, wireless operators, ISPs/CSPs, Portals and large corporations. The Group’s range of scalable, open systems architecture solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for all card-based payments, including eCommerce and the emerging world of mCommerce.

Trintech can be reached on the Web at [http://www.trintech.com][1]. Investor information can be found at [www.trintech.com/investor][2].

[1]: http://www.trintech.com/
[2]: http://www.trintech.com/investor

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Providian Exec

Providian Financial Corporation, one of the country’s leading bankcard issuers, announced A. William (Bill) Wiggenhorn, president of Motorola University, will join Providian as executive vice president and chief human resources officer. Wiggenhorn will replace John H. Rogers, who is retiring June 15, 2001, after serving the company since 1989.

“Providian’s most important assets are our employees, and Bill shares that philosophy,” said Providian Chairman and CEO Shailesh J. Mehta. “He has developed an outstanding reputation in building superb training and education solutions for Motorola businesses, associates, as well as Motorola customers and suppliers worldwide. We are delighted to be able to use his expertise.”

Wiggenhorn, a member of the Board of Regents for the Providian Learning Institute, the Company’s advanced management training program, is a widely-recognized human resources and adult learning expert, having participated at a variety of nationally and international prominent events. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Educational Testing Services of Princeton, New Jersey and Co-Chairman of the National Commission on Technology and Adult Learning.

“We will all miss John Rogers,” added Mehta. “His intellect, wisdom and wit have added so much to Providian over the years. We wish him a very happy retirement.”

San Francisco-based Providian Financial ([http://www.providian.com][1]) is one of the leading providers of credit cards and deposit products to customers in the United States, and also offers credit cards and deposit products in the United Kingdom and in Argentina. Providian Financial was named one of America’s Most Admired Companies by a survey in Fortune magazine, one of the nation’s top financial institutions by U.S. Banker magazine, and one of the most technologically innovative companies by InformationWeek magazine. The Company has more than $32 billion in assets under management and over 17 million customers.

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

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Gemplus Marketshare

Gemplus International S.A., a global provider of smart card solutions, has been named the undisputed leader in the smart card industry, according to the latest market survey conducted by Gartner Dataquest. Gemplus tops the smart card market with 35% market share for memory and micro-processor cards in 2000, 3% ahead of its nearest competitor. In all, the company shipped 623 million units last year, according to Gartner Dataquest estimates. Gemplus is even further ahead in the crucial microprocessor segment where it is 5% ahead of its closest rival.

This new study ratifies Gemplus’ long standing leadership in an industry that has experienced significant and rapid restructuring in the past year. Gemplus remains the world’s most prolific smart card solutions provider for telecommunications, financial services and e-business security offering integrated and tailor-made smart card-based systems.

![][1] “We are very proud to be recognized by a body as well respected as Gartner Dataquest as the leader in every segment of our industry,” said Antonio Perez, CEO of Gemplus International SA. “We will continue to develop our product offerings, software and services to better serve our clients and to reinforce our position. Our recent listing and strong financial position allow us to further our ambitions in a market, which in spite of the slow-down in mobile telephony, continues to experience significant growth.”

2000 was a record year for Gemplus with the highest revenue growth amongst the major players in the industry (57% up from 1999) demonstrating its strong business model, technological leadership and powerful market position. This research is published by Gartner Dataquest, the recognized leader in market intelligence for the hi-tech industry ([www.gartner.com][2]).

About Gemplus

Gemplus: The World’s Leading Smart Card Solutions Provider

Since its creation in 1988, Gemplus International S.A.(Euronext: Sicovam 5768 and NASDAQ:GEMP) has driven the global marketing and deployment of smart card-based applications for telecommunications, financial services and e-business security.

Gemplus is instrumental throughout the value chain — chip design, card management systems, software development, and consulting — delivering integrated custom-made solutions for the security, personalization and privacy management needs of clients and partners worldwide.

Gemplus technology has played a defining role in the development of wireless telephony since the introduction of SIM cards into the GSM standard in 1990. For more than a decade, Gemplus has pioneered applications that enable network operators around the world to answer the changing needs of their customers. Gemplus was first to market with a 3G card and supplies a product range compliant with new and emerging transmission standards – 2.5G, 3G.

In 2000, revenue was 1.205 billion Euros, up 57% from the previous year’s 767 million Euros. Net income was 99 million Euros. Gemplus employs more than 7800 people in 37 countries worldwide.

Since December 11, 2000, Gemplus shares have been trading on Euronext Paris S.A. First Market and on Nasdaq Stock Market(TM) at GEMP in the form of ADSs. Gemplus: [www.gemplus.com][3].

[1]: /graphic/gartner/gartner.gif
[2]: http://www.gartner.com/
[3]: http://www.gemplus.com/

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