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.


Bank One Settlement

Bank One has offered to pay $45 million plus interest to settle a shareholder lawsuit related to the handling of its First USA credit card division. Yesterday, the bank holding company, also announced it has resolved a regulatory investigation by the NASD and has agreed to pay a $1.8 million fine to settle charges related to the internal accounting problems caused by a systems changeover and its regulatory treatment. Under the proposed shareholder settlement, Bank One will pay 11 cents a share to investors who bought stock between Oct. 22 and Nov. 10, 2000. The class action lawsuit alleges that Bank One officers misled shareholders about the financial trouble in its First USA subsidiary.



President’s Choice Bank launched the
new President’s Choice Financial MasterCard in British Columbia, allowing
consumers in the province to be the first in Canada to be able to earn free
grocery rewards for everyday spending on their credit card.

“The President’s Choice philosophy has always been about searching the
world to bring consumers unprecedented value”, explains Geoff Wilson, Vice
President Industry and Investor Relations, Loblaw Companies Limited, “We
believe that the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard offers the best
credit card value for Canadian consumers with its unbeatable combination of
free grocery rewards, premium credit card benefits and no annual fee.”

The main feature of the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard is the
PC points loyalty program. PC points is a unique program designed
specifically for customers of President’s Choice Financial services. Customers
who use this new MasterCard can earn PC points on purchases everywhere,
redeemable for free groceries in Loblaw Companies Limited owned and franchised
stores such as Real Canadian Superstores in BC. Other great travel and
merchandise rewards will be introduced to the PC(TM) points program in the
near future.

Accepted at 19 million locations worldwide, the President’s Choice
Financial MasterCard also offers all the benefits of a premium credit card
such as purchase assurance, extended warranty for purchases on the card and
MasterCard Roadside Assistance – all for no annual fee.

“Nine of the past 11 new credit card issuers in Canada have chosen
MasterCard,” said Craig Penney, Vice President and General Manager, MasterCard
Canada. “Both the President’s Choice Financial and MasterCard brands are seen
as leaders in their respective industries in developing innovative programs
that directly benefit consumers. This relationship is a natural match which
will give Canadians more choice in the way they want to pay.”

The launch in British Columbia represents the first stage of a roll-out
of the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard across Canada. Over the next
three months, the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard will be introduced
in Alberta, the Prairies, Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces with Quebec
following in 2002.

About President’s Choice Financial services

Since the launch in February 1998, President’s Choice Financial services,
a co-venture between Loblaw Companies Limited and Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce, have grown at a rapid pace, offering Canadians unprecedented savings
of time and money. President’s Choice Financial services include Canada’s only
no fee daily bank account, the Interest First(TM) savings account with a
premium interest rate currently at 4.10 percent, the Unbeatable, Eatable
Mortgage(TM) which combines better rates and free groceries, a low-cost
borrowing account, a daily interest investment account RRSP, a variety of
loans, high interest GICs, plus PC(TM) points towards free groceries. There
are more than 240 President’s Choice Financial bank machines and 180
President’s Choice Financial pavilions located at Loblaw Companies Limited
stores across Canada. President’s Choice Financial core banking services are
provided by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The President’s Choice
Financial MasterCard will be provided by President’s Choice Bank, a subsidiary
of Loblaw Companies Limited.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment
brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and
Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation
today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions,
MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210
countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation,
offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional
worlds. With more than 19 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in
more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard card. In 1999, gross
dollar volume exceeded US $727 billion.



ID Data plc, The AIM-quoted manufacturer of secure transaction systems and
smart card services, announces the appointment of Bob Thomson as Sales
Director. Bob Thomson, formerly the ICL clients director of Barclay Bank
plc for five years, was also the ICL Services Director for Retail &
Financial Services (UK) in his 21 year career with ICL. His experience is
ideally suited to head the newly created marketing team at ID Data.

Commenting of the appointment, Peter Cox , Chief Executive of ID Data,
said “Bob’s skills in managing resources and relationships, developing
people and business planning will build on out existing position and the
healthy progress we are making. His background in banking and retail
ideally fits out business.”

Upon his appointment, Bob Thomson said “ID Data’s products and services
officer real value to customers’ businesses. I look forward to being part
of this new team and to offering products to wider international markets.”

Other members of the marketing team include Neil Drake, whose background in
journalism, market research and PR stand him in good stead for his role as
Marketing Services Executive. Anna Grainger comes to the position of Sales
and Marketing Coordinator, with extensive training, telemarketing and Sales
experience. Michele Cottis, is joining Anna as Sales and Marketing
Co-ordinator with ten years’ experience as a team leader in sales and
customers relations. The whole team have extensive contacts in, and
knowledge of, the international markets that ID Data is expanding further into.



SCM Microsystems, Inc. has announced that Motorola, has selected SCM as its
smart card interface
supplier of choice, for Motorola’s Streamaster 5000 advanced set-top box.
Streamaster is a multimedia broadband information, entertainment and
communications center that derives its content from xDSL service providers.

SCM will provide Motorola with its Smart Transporter Chip, a universal
smart card reader interface, based on SCM’s widely adopted SmartOS.
“SCM has an excellent reputation for its smart card-based solutions and
the Smart Transporter Chip is a great solution for our set-top boxes,” said
Jackie Beauchamp, general manager, Multimedia Systems Division at Motorola.
“SCM demonstrated the ability to control both design and manufacture of its
chips. Also, it was important that SCM could supply us with the large
quantities of product needed, as we predict high demand for Streamaster 5000.”
Streamaster 5000 supports a rich variety of basic and enhanced services.
These include premium digital TV, Web browsing, e-mail, online 3-D games,
personal video recording and video/music-on-demand. By incorporating SCM’s
Smart Transporter Chip, Motorola’s newest set-top box will also support smart
card-based payment transactions for items such as pay-per-view movies, music
downloads and T-commerce purchases.

“Being chosen as a supplier of choice for one of the world’s leading names
in broadband communications is the highest endorsement — not just for the
quality of our products, but for our ability to manufacture and produce units
in very high volume,” said Jason Schouw, vice president of U.S. sales for
SCM’s PC Security division. “Our smart card chips are extremely versatile and
can be used in a variety of platforms and applications. Combined with our
manufacturing capability, OEMs have a powerful argument to buy from SCM.”
SCM’s Smart Transporter Chip enables easy integration of support for all
smart cards, including ISO 7816 compliant smart cards. The Smart Transporter
Chip’s architecture is based on open standards and is upgradeable to support
new smart card protocols and functions.

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. For additional information, visit the
SCM Microsystems Website at http//

About Motorola

Motorola, Inc. is a global leader in providing integrated communications
and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion



Diebold is upgrading its proprietary ‘DECAL’ electronic customer access link, to allow customers to monitor and generate Diebold ATM service calls from any computer with an Internet browser. ‘DECALWeb’ eliminates the need for a dedicated computer to create and track service calls. ‘DECALWeb’ customers can set a priority for the service, monitor the estimated time of arrival of the service technician, review the service action and identify when the problem has been resolved. The implementation of ‘DECALWeb’ follows the recent announcement of an agreement with MDSI Mobile Data Solutions Inc. to implement a new wireless data communications system based on MDSI’s ‘Advantex-Enterprise Gateway’ wireless connectivity solution.



Metaca Corporation, Canada’s leading
integrator and manager of smart card solutions, today announced that it has
signed an agreement with EdgeWare Technologies Corporation, to
provide EdgeTech products, which includes a suite of advanced, open
architecture software solutions for use in retail and smart card-based
applications. Metaca is owned 85% by MDC Corporation Inc. and 15% by Symcor
Services Inc.

“Metaca has commenced integration of EdgeWare’s applications to our
CardProgram management offering. We selected Edgeware because they offer
best-in-class applications, a standard that we build into the architecture of
all our smart-card solutions for customers”, said President and Chief
Operating Officer, Gregory McKenzie. “We are excited about this relationship
and the additional value that it will help us bring to our clients.”

“EdgeWare Technologies is pleased to be working with Metaca, the market
leader in smart-card technology integration, which has established many long-
term customer relationships within the financial institution, commercial and
loyalty segments,” said Ed Anderson, President of EdgeWare Technologies.
The additional capabilities, made available through this agreement, will
enhance the unique CardProgram(TM) Management solutions already being
delivered by Metaca to its customers.

Included in the EdgeTech(R) suite of products is EdgeSmart(TM), which is
designed to deliver customer services and incentives incorporated on either
stored value payment cards or co-branded loyalty smart cards. In addition, in
response to customer demand for complete end-to-end solutions, EdgeTech(R)
solutions, EdgeHost(TM) and AnalysEdge(TM), provide seamless web-enabled
architecture to facilitate host settlement, activity analysis, reporting and
communications for smart card applications.

Metaca clients, as a result of the EdgeTech(R) relationship, will also
benefit from solutions that will address needs for Customer Incentives &
Rewards, ID and Secure Access, Campuses (Institutional and Corporate), Events,
Sports Complexes, Conferences, Theme Parks, Transit, Transportation, and

About Metaca

Metaca Corporation is a leading global CardProgram(TM) Management Company
with a blue-chip customer portfolio, which includes financial services,
telecommunications, loyalty, retail, insurance and utility industries. Metaca
supports this customer portfolio from operations in Canada and Australia.

About EdgeWare Technologies

EdgeWare Technologies is a Canadian software and services firm that
designs, develops, markets and supports multi-application, scalable, platform
independent smart card software solutions for business, institutions and
governments worldwide.

About MDC Corporation Inc.

MDC is a publicly traded international business services organization
with operating units in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and
Australia. MDC offers security sensitive transaction products and services in
four primary areas Personalized Transaction Products such as personal and
business cheques; Electronic Transaction Products such as credit, debit,
telephone and smart cards; Secure Ticketing Products, such as airline, transit
and event tickets; Stamps, both postal and excise. In addition, MDC is
majority owner of Maxxcom Inc., which is the largest full service marketing
communications organization based in Canada. MDC shares are traded on the
Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MDZ.A and on NASDAQ National Market
Systems under the symbol MDCA. Further information regarding MDC may be
obtained at the website at

About Symcor

Symcor is a leading North American customer communication and item
processing services provider, with customers in retail and corporate banking,
mutual fund, investment banking, insurance, retail, telecom and utility
industries across the country. Symcor’s services include Web development,
cheque processing, credit card and payment processing, and a full range of
customer bill and statement advisory, design and presentment capabilities.
Symcor is a joint venture established by Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank
Financial Group and TD Bank Financial Group.



Building on its reputation in the financial services sector, Entegrity has
signed partnership agreement with EuroSignCard SA to deliver access
management capabilities for e-business to financial institutions in
Luxembourg, the world’s fifth largest banking centre.
EuroSignCard is a European trust centre for digital signatures, delivering
services to secure electronic financial transactions and promote consumer
confidence in e-business. Entegrity Solutions Corporation is a leader in
application security software and services.

“It has become abundantly apparent to organisations involved in the
transfer of large funds and interaction between competing institutions,
that security infrastructure, while absolutely essential, is just the first
step in exploiting the potential of e-business and inspiring confidence,”
explains David Sweigert, managing director of EuroSignCard SA. “Security
infrastructure focuses on ‘keeping the bad guys out,’ but Entegrity
Solutions’ AssureAccess provides the technological and administrative
capabilities to open back-end applications to partners over the internet
while managing access rights, user authentication, audit logs and central
administration. Becoming a member of Entegrity’s AssurePartner Programme
means we can offer the financial services community a complete security
solution that promotes e-business in a trusted environment.”
Sweigert continued “Our customers are often dealing with millions of euros
in a single transfer. Confidence in the transaction validity, the right of
those involved to execute that business, and in the ability to audit the
path that a transaction has taken, is paramount to the ongoing business.
Entegrity’s product range extends our ability to provide that to our
customers and becoming part of the AssurePartner Programme aligns us even
closer with Identrus, the consortium of global financial institutions, to
promote international confidence in e-business in financial services.”

About EuroSignCard S.A.

Headquartered in Luxembourg, EuroSignCard S.A. provides security technology
for electronic transactions to commercial and government organizations.
EuroSignCard’s products include Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
architectures, smart cards, and cryptography techniques.
EuroSignCard maintains relationships with Entrust Technologies, Baltimore
Technologies, Identrus LLC, Digital Signature Trust and other top
performing security companies. EuroSignCard was formed in 1999 and recently
received a cash infusion of 1,500,000 euro in July, 2000. The firm
specializes in technology that complies with E.U. Directive 1999/93.



Telstra Corp Ltd and Coca-Cola are testing a new service called
‘Dial-a-Coke’. With the program, Telstra mobile customers can order a drink
from a vending machine and have the AU$2 billed to their phones. The
m-commerce trial is the first of several Telstra is considering, including
dial-up parking, shopping and ticket purchases. Coke is running a similar
trial in Chile.


Citi UK Card Deal

Citibank confirmed this morning it is buying CT-based People’s United Kingdom credit card portfolio. Citibank International PLC is acquiring People’s U.K credit card operations for approximately $526 million. The portfolio has about $426 million in receivables. According to CardData ([][1]), People’s UK portfolio has been growing about 18% annually. People’s says it wants to focus its resources on building a dominant franchise in Connecticut, expand on national lending and concentrate on the core U.S. credit card business. Last month, Abbey National agreed to sell its credit card business to MBNA Europe for slightly more than $400 million. Reportedly MBNA paid an 18% premium for the Abbey card portfolio.(CF Library 1/19/01; 3/20/01)




Citigroup, Inc. and People’s Bank announced that Citigroup,
through its subsidiary Citibank International PLC, acquired People’s United
Kingdom (U.K.) credit card operations for 368 million pounds sterling
(approximately $526 million U.S.), including 298 million pounds sterling
(approximately $426 million U.S.) in receivables, together with other assets
and liabilities associated with the business. The acquisition expands
Citigroup’s presence in the U.K. and strengthens the company’s position as a
leading bank card issuer in Europe and around the globe.

“This transaction represents a further step in our efforts to expand our
consumer business globally, broadening our presence in the important U.K.
marketplace,” said Robert B. Willumstad, Chairman and CEO, Citigroup Global
Consumer. “The People’s U.K. credit card business represents a significant
increase to our own profitable and growing business in the U.K.”

“The U.K. credit card operation is a successful and growing business, but
it had reached a point where we would need to dedicate significant additional
financial and management resources to support and grow the business properly,”
said John A. Klein, president and chief executive officer of People’s. “After
careful consideration, we decided it was in the best interest of our
shareholders to focus our resources on continuing to build a dominant
franchise in Connecticut, expand on national lending and concentrate on the
core U.S. credit card business. We are grateful to our employees in the U.K.
and look forward to working with Citigroup to ensure a smooth transition.”

Citigroup (NYSE C), the preeminent global financial services company,
provides some 120 million consumers, corporations, governments and
institutions in more than 100 countries with a broad range of financial
products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and
investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management.
Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark umbrella are Citibank,
CitiFinancial, Primerica, Salomon Smith Barney, and Travelers. Additional
information may be found at http//

People’s Bank,, is a
diversified financial services
company providing consumer, commercial, insurance and investment services.
The bank is a leader in supermarket banking, with 53 of its 146 branches
located in Super Stop & Shop stores. Through its subsidiaries, People’s
provides brokerage services, money management, equipment leasing and
insurance. In the U.S., People’s is the 16th largest issuer of Master Card and
Visa credit cards.


Bankruptcy Surge

The rise in unemployment coupled with the new personal bankruptcy regulations will likely produce a surge in bankruptcy filings. The 1996 bankruptcy bill, passed during a robust economy, produced a sharp rise in personal filings. Standard & Poor’s predicts that this time around credit card portfolio losses will rise to 6.1% from last year’s average of 5.5%. If the current growth recession turns into a real recession, the outlook is worse. Even a mild near-term recession could send the loss rate up to 6.8%. However, S&P notes that the spread of credit card rates above costs is over 5%. Another 60 bps of losses is essentially built into the pricing, and even the extra 130 bps that could occur in a recession would maintain a reasonable profit margin. S&P says debt service costs are nearly back to the peak of 14.4% of after-tax income reached in 1986 because higher levels of debt are offsetting lower interest rates. The bankruptcy reform legislation will go into effect six months after a presidential signature, according to CardTrak ([][1]).