First 2000

First, Inc., a global provider of electronic payment processing solutions, announced the filing of its Form 10K and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2000 and for the fourth quarter of the same year. First Ecom, which is still in development stage, posted revenues for the fiscal year 2000 of US$ 854,871 as compared with revenues for 1999 of US$2,634. The increase is attributable to an increase in revenues from payment processing and systems integration revenue contributed by Asia Internet Limited, a business acquired on March 31,2000. Net loss for the year 2000 after amortization, depreciation and non-cash compensation associated with stock options was $ 17,809,461 as compared to the year 1999 operating loss of $ 6,788,885. The current year’s loss includes one time non-recurring losses totaling US$4,038,182 for the write down of certain assets to their net realizable value. The Company also recognized a new expense relating to an additional imputed interest charge of US $380,000 for warrants issued with debt in 1999 due to the implementation of the Emerging Issues Task Force pronouncement (EITF) 00-27. This is an accounting change that the Company was required to implement in the 2000 year.

Net loss per share for the year 2000 was US$ 0.98 per share as compared to the net loss per share of US$ 0.56 for the year 1999.

As at December 31, 2000 the company had in excess of US$ 31,000,000 cash on hand as compared to US $11,000,000 at December 31, 1999.

For the fourth quarter of 2000, the Company had revenues of $189,150 as compared to $2,634 in the fourth quarter of 1999 and a net loss of $7,227,060 as compared to $2,789,907 in 1999. The 2000 fourth quarter loss included $3,854,382 of one-time charges to write down assets to net realizable value and the accounting change charge of $380,000. The loss for the fourth quarter was $0.38 per share ($0.16 before the one-time write down and accounting change charge) as compared to $0.21 for the fourth quarter of 1999.

“Our second full year of operations saw a dramatic change in the business environment,” said Gregory Pek, president and Co-CEO of First “This change plus some internal issues resulted in First Ecom having to change its business approach. During the last quarter of 2000 the board and management started to restructure and re-focus the Company in addition to significantly reducing the burn rate. These changes should be completed and start to bear fruit within the first half of 2001. The major changes made included a reduction in staff levels, which included the closing of Asia Internet Limited and the withdrawal from the business of systems integration as well as moving to smaller premises. The Company also formed First Ecom Data Services Asia Limited (FEDS Asia), which is primarily responsible for the selling of the newly productized First Ecom gateway to banks in Asia.”

Pek also announced the appointment of Steve Corbin as President of FEDS Asia. Mr. Corbin will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of FEDS Asia and the carrying out of the Company’s new sales initiatives.

Pek announced that the Board of Directors and management were studying other opportunities for the Company and had retained Bain & Company to provide strategic advice.

Pek added, “With our new structure and focus plus our strong cash position the Company can build upon the successes it had during 2000. These included the raising and preserving of significant capital, listing on National Market of the NASDAQ in June, our listing on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, the bringing on line of two banks in Hong Kong during September and December and the formation and start of operations of First Ecommerce Data Services (FEDS) our joint venture with the Bank of Bermuda.

The Company’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2000 accompanied the filing of its Form 10-K with the Securities & Exchange Commission on April 2, 2001, which is available on-line at the SEC’s Edgar database at [][1].

Financial Summary

Financial Highlights (Unaudited)
Year Ended Year Ended
December 31, 2000 December 31, 1999
Revenues $854,871 $2,634
Net (Loss) $(17,809,461) $(6,788,885)
Basic and diluted net loss
per share $(0.98) $(0.56)
Shares used to compute basic
and diluted net loss per share 18,064,980 12,043,662
Operating (loss) $(17,031,779) $(6,354,222)

Fourth quarter results for First Ecom were also announced:

Financial Summary

Financial Highlights (Unaudited)
Quarter Ended Quarter Ended
December 31, 2000 December 31, 1999
Revenues $189,150 $2,634
Net (Loss) $7,227,060 $2,789,907
Basic and diluted net loss
per share $(0.38) $(0.21)
Shares used to compute basic
and diluted net loss per share 19,210,037 13,220,254
Operating (loss) $(5,619,368) $(2,585,362)

About First

As a global provider of electronic payment processing, First provides secure, easy-to-implement and low-cost online payment processing services to banks and their merchants worldwide. Through strategic partnerships with banks, ISPs, e-commerce product suppliers, system integrators and storefront solution providers, First will process credit card transactions made over the Internet in multiple currencies, either domestically or offshore in a tax-neutral jurisdiction.

For more information, visit or contact First at +(852) 2801-5181 or by e-mail at



Greenland Acquisition

Greenland Corporation announced it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for its first acquisition, a comparatively small, but fast growing company in the point-of-sale, check processing and merchant services business. The LOI was completed after meetings among the executives and various board members of both companies.

Greenland President and CEO, T. A. “Kip” Hyde, Jr. stated, “The company we are acquiring has an excellent reputation in the industry, with a strong management team that will add substantial depth to Greenland’s current organization. In addition, while this company has utilized internal cash flow to sustain its high rate of growth, Greenland as a public company brings significant added value to support their continued growth.”

“With our recently announced long-term equity funding agreement completed (pending an effective SEC registration statement), this acquisition positions the combined companies for accelerated internal growth, as Greenland continues to expand its presence in point-of-sale services.”

Hyde continued, “As indicated in my initial announcement, one of my first goals was to seek related corporate acquisitions that will provide immediate and sustainable revenue for Greenland Corporation. This transaction is the start of realizing that goal and one of several recent actions designed to increase Company and shareholder value.” The parties expect to close without material change to the current deal terms and conditions in the next sixty-to-ninety days.

About Greenland Corporation

Greenland Corporation is a holding company which operates a wholly owned subsidiary called Check Central that performs check cashing transaction processing and is a developer and manufacturer of the MaxCash(TM) Automated Banking Machine (ABM) providing self service check cashing, ATM functionality, phone card and money order dispensing, as well as other products and services. The Company’s common stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “GLCP.” Visit Greenland Corporation on the Internet at [][1].



ATS 2000

ATS Money Systems, Inc. reported its results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2000. Revenues decreased 19% from 1999 to $11,378,772 and the Company incurred a net loss of $60,449 ($.01 per share) compared with net income of $1,316,128 ($.23 per share) in 1999.

In explaining the results for 2000, Gerard F. Murphy, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer stated that “the decrease in revenues resulted from significant sales in 1999 which were not repeated in 2000, and a drop-off in revenues from our wholly-owned IEI subsidiary. The net loss resulted from losses in IEI’s operations. IEI, before consolidation of its 2000 results, incurred a net loss of $1,144,404 on revenues of $283,675, which was attributed to the write-off of discontinued software projects and the costs associated with a major curtailment of its operations.”

On March 2, 2001, ATS announced that it had entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger with a U.S. subsidiary of De La Rue plc, pursuant to which, and subject to stockholders’ approval, ATS will merge with such subsidiary and ATS stockholders will receive cash for their shares of ATS common stock. The negotiation of the price to be paid to ATS shareholders took into account the contemplated results of operations for ATS, without including IEI.

ATS expects to file preliminary proxy materials with the SEC in early April, for a Special Meeting of its stockholders to approve the proposed merger.

On March 9, 2001, ATS filed for de-certification of its common stock under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. As a result, ATS is not required to comply with the SEC’s periodic reporting requirements and will not file an annual report to the SEC on Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2000.

ATS is engaged in the development, sales and service of currency counting systems running on DOS, UNIX and Windows NT platforms for department and chain store cash offices. IEI is a supplier to the retail marketplace, providing an end-to-end solution that integrates point-of-sale, in-store processing and host applications in a distributed computing network.


Year Ending December 31,

2000 1999
Equipment and systems sales $8,585,653 $11,272,566
Equipment maintenance and service revenue 2,793,119 2,856,203
Total revenue 11,378,772 14,128,769
Cost of goods sold and service expense:
Equipment and systems 4,643,359 5,463,334
Equipment maintenance and service 968,351 1,050,565
Selling, general and administrative expenses 5,809,502 5,339,809
Total costs and expenses 11,421,212 11,853,708

INCOME (LOSS) FROM OPERATIONS (42,440) 2,275,061
INCOME TAX EXPENSE 94,594 1,024,767

NET INCOME (LOSS) $(60,449) $1,316,128
Basic and diluted $(0.01) $0.23



December 31, December 31,
2000 1999

Cash and cash equivalents $609,560 $1,768,847
Other current assets 3,823,744 3,621,648
Total assets 5,892,963 7,441,248
Current liabilities 941,218 2,348,239
Total liabilities 1,239,859 2,736,733
Stockholders’ equity 4,653,104 4,704,515



VeriFone announced this morning an arrangement with Brazil-based developer and VeriFone reseller APPI Informatica to deliver direct web-based connectivity to VeriFone POS terminals. Called ‘VeriNET’, the application allows VeriFone terminals to use the Internet to transport electronic transactions. APPI customers in Brazil, including health systems provider UNIMED and electronic bill payment services provider PAG & PRONTO, have already started projects using ‘VeriNET’ with ‘VeriFone Omni 3350’ multi-application terminals. APPI’s ‘VeriNET’ application is available worldwide for VeriFone’s ‘Omni 3300’ and ‘Omni 3350’ global, multi-application payment terminals, and is also available for other Omni terminals like the popular ‘Omni 3200’ and other ‘TXO’ models.


Bankruptcy Uptick

An obscure Los Angeles-based Web site says it will release a study this week that shows 30% of American families are at risk for bankruptcy this year. The study found that, based on Bureau of Labor statistics, the three lowest income quintiles of American families, representing about 60% of Americans, spent more than their after-tax income in 1999. The two lowest quintiles, representing about 40% of Americans, earned on average $12,338 after taxes and spent on average $20,808 in 1999. The Web site says that is roughly 32 million households running an annual deficit of $8,160. says all it takes is one negative economic event to push a family into bankruptcy and home foreclosure, which in this weakening market is becoming more likely.


NPC Signs Thornton

National Processing Company announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with Thornton Oil Corporation to provide credit and debit card payment processing. Under the agreement, NPC will provide settlement services for all VISA, MasterCard and debit card transactions.

Thorntons, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is one of the nation’s leading regional convenience store chains, operating 134 stores in five states. Thorntons will benefit from NPC’s extensive experience and leadership providing processing solutions for the petroleum/convenience store industries.

“NPC is excited about regaining the Thorntons account after a brief hiatus,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “NPC got its start processing credit card payments for the petroleum industry in the 1960s, and has a long history of providing high quality payment solutions that minimize costs associated with card acceptance. Our clients benefit from NPC’s processing scale and efficiencies, coupled with superior quality and performance.” Mike Rodgers, Vice President Sales Planning for Thornton Oil Corporation said, “We are very pleased with renewing our electronic payment processing business with NPC. NPC has demonstrated proven leadership and expertise, and has shown a willingness, through flexibility, to meet our processing needs.”

About Thornton Oil Corporation

Thornton Oil Corporation was founded in 1971 by Chairman, James H. Thornton. Headquartered in Louisville, KY, Thornton’s operates in five states, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Connecticut. With over $650,000,000 in annual revenue, Thornton’s ranks among the 500 largest privately held firms in the United States. They are one of the largest independent convenience store and gasoline marketers in the country and rank in the top ten percent in nearly every industry key performance indicator reported by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

About National Processing Company

NPC is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing. NPC is 87 percent owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( [][1] ), a Cleveland based $89 billion financial holding company, supporting 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 NPC can be obtained at [][2].




Gemplus International S.A. warned that first quarter results are expected to
fall short of the company’s previous guidance. Based upon preliminary analysis
of its results for the quarter ending March 31, 2001, the company anticipates
revenue for the first quarter to be approximately 290 million(EURO). This
represents 25% growth from first quarter levels in 2000, instead of the 31-32%
growth projected earlier. The company now expects operating profit to be
slightly below breakeven for the first quarter of 2001.

“Despite continued strong performance in Asia,” said Antonio Perez, president
and chief executive officer, “we are seeing softer SIM card demand in other
regions of the world, particularly Europe and North America. The economic
slowdown in the wireless industry is clearly affecting demand as our customers
assess their businesses. However, 25% revenue growth in the current
environment, while short of our guidance, is solid. This performance follows
our strongest year ever.”

The company indicated that as a result of the volume shortfall it expects an
unfavorable shift in product mix and unfavorable manufacturing variances in
European based factories. Historically, operating profit in the first quarter
has been the weakest of the year.
“The management team is currently finalizing work on a series of proposed
initiatives intended to reduce manufacturing variances, which we plan to
announce very shortly,” added Mr. Perez.
As to the second quarter and full year guidance in the context of these
developments, the company announced that no adjustments would be made to its
original guidance until it has completed its analysis of the first quarter’s
results. The company will communicate its revised guidance during its full
first quarter results conference call on May 2, 2001.

Since its creation in 1988, Gemplus International S.A. (Euronext Sicovam 5768
and NASDAQGEMP) 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 BE, up 57% from the previous year’s 767ME. Net
income was 99 ME. Gemplus employs more than 7800 people in 37 countries
worldwide. Since 11 December 2000, Gemplus shares have been trading on
Paris S.A. First Market and on Nasdaq in the form of ADSs.


The Road Ahead

The first six months of this year may produce a few potholes for credit card issuers. Even though an outright recession seems unlikely and inflation remains under control in the USA, the rise in unemployment, due to the decelerating economy, may impair Americans’ ability to meet their credit card debt payments. The unemployment rate is expected to rise above 5% by early 2002. Standard & Poor’s analysts predicted yesterday that, in the short run, weaker consumer confidence and the destruction of stock market wealth will depress consumer spending and GDP. S&P also said if a mild recession materializes it would have a more severe impact on consumer credit quality. Portfolio performance tracked by CardData ([][1]) and others are already pointing to higher delinquency and chargeoff numbers for March.



Online Fraud

Online merchant fraud continues to be a significant problem according to a new survey by The Worldwide E-Commerce Fraud Prevention Network. Fifty percent of respondents reported that losses from online fraud cost their businesses between $1,000 and $10,000. Nineteen percent reported costs at more than $100,000. However 60% of merchants reported they spend less than 1% of total revenues on fraud prevention. Nineteen percent listed about 1% of revenues, and 10% reported they spend more than 3% of revenues on fraud prevention. Interestingly 33% listed the difficulty in prosecuting Web-based fraud as the greatest threat to their online business. Other threats included: stolen credit cards (22%); lack of security standards across the Web (19%); growing use of credit card generators (14%); and identity theft (12%). The four most popular fraud fighting tools were: address verification systems (70%); customer follow up and real-time authorizations (both 54%) and post-process fraud management (43%). Asked to rate the tools as most effective for reducing online fraud, survey respondents listed the following: address verification systems (68%); real-time authorizations (52%); card verification codes (49%) and customizing rules (42%t). Rated as most effective among at least one-third of respondents were fraud scoring, negative file lists, customer follow-up and post process fraud management. The least utilized tool was a custom-built neural network, with only 12% of merchants indicating they use this fraud prevention method.



Versatile Card Technology, Inc., one of the world’s largest plastic card
manufacturers, is announcing the opening of a 60,000 square foot production
facility in Chennai (Madras), India.
This new venture, Versatile Cards Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of VCT
and is scheduled to begin operations in May 2001.
VCT is opening this new facility in response to an increase in plastic card
business in international markets over the past several years. The VCP
production facility in India will primarily serve the European and Asian
card markets.

VCP is expected to have an annual capacity of 80,000,000 cards, produced
for a variety of applications, including credit cards, bank cards, ATM
cards, loyalty programs, membership cards, identification cards, and direct

VCP will also have state-of-the-art milling, embedding, and encoding
equipment to be able to produce chip cards and smart cards.
A minority business venture founded in 1986, Versatile Card Technology,
Inc. is a MasterCard and Visa certified plastic card manufacturer that
currently produces more than 600,000,000 cards per year.



SCM Microsystems, a leading provider of solutions
that open the Digital World, announced at the CeBit trade show in
Hannover that it will develop and deliver a universal secure smart card reader
for consumers in Europe, based on FINREAD specifications to be released in the
first part of 2001. FINREAD is a consortium of European banks whose goal it
is to create a secure online payment system based on smart cards that is
affordable and easy to use, deploy and upgrade.

Through the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), FINREAD is
developing a series of specifications for intelligent smart card readers
intended to support electronic commerce, home banking and digital signature
applications. SCM’s secure readers will be the first to provide support for
multiple applications, including credit card, e-purse, loyalty and secure home
banking. Readers are expected to be available for deployment in the second
half of 2001 with first prototype in June. They will be offered to the market
via various distribution channels throughout Europe.

Members of the FINREAD Consortium include Groupement des Cartes Bancaires
“CB” (France), Visa EU (United Kingdom), Europay International (Belgium),
Banksys (Belgium), Interpay Nederland (the Netherlands), SIZ (German Savings
Banks Financial Group, Germany) and Ingenico (France).

SCM Microsystems has a long track record of developing smart card readers
and terminals for security applications. SCM’s forthcoming generation of
FINREAD compliant readers will include strong cryptographic mechanisms that
will authenticate smart card users, providing a high level of security to
consumers, as well as non-repudiation protection for merchants. In addition,
the readers will rely on an open Java-based application interface and a K-Java
Virtual Machine to enable total interoperability of applications across
different vendors, along with secure download of applets from a trusted

The adoption of FINREAD specifications is a key milestone for the smart
card reader industry,” said Robert Schneider, Chief Executive Officer at SCM
Microsystems. “By defining an open standard, FINREAD will dramatically
accelerate the deployment of smart card readers to support financial
transactions of all sorts. Without interoperability between readers, cards
and applications, this technology is simply too expensive. With these common
standards and with compelling applications from cash downloads to movie
viewing, SCM’s potential for reader deployment is tremendous.”

European banks will benefit from having standardized and secure smart card
readers available for both financial and non-financial transactions. This
will allow them to deploy new applications across Europe, quickly and

Other industries to which SCM is delivering security products also see the
adoption of FINREAD standards as an important development as they work to
create and deploy new services for customers. For example, forthcoming
FINREAD specifications for embedded security will enable digital television
broadcasters to offer viewers the ability to pay for premium content through a
FINREAD compliant remote control, and allow cell phone users to purchase goods
and services using a smart card. SCM will work with its OEM customers to the
hardware and software components necessary to enable any device to be FINREAD

FINREAD specifications will be compliant with other banking standards,
such as Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) and the Europay Mastercard Visa
(EMV) for smart cards. It is expected that the FINREAD smart card reader
initiative will lead to a global standard for secure banking over open

About SCM Microsystems

SCM Microsystems is a leading supplier of solutions that open the Digital
World by enabling people to conveniently access digital content and services.
SCM’s advanced silicon solutions, hardware and software enable secure exchange
of electronic information for digital applications from e-commerce to
broadband content delivery by providing controlled access points to platforms
such as PCs, digital cameras and digital television set-top boxes. Known as a
premier supplier to OEM companies around the world, SCM also serves the retail
market through its Dazzle, Microtech and FAST product brands. Global
headquarters are in Fremont, Calif., with European headquarters in
Pfaffenhofen, Germany.