Gemplus, the leading smart card solutions provider, announced – in concert
Nextel Communications, Inc.’s announcement of the i85 phone by Motorola- that
it has been chosen by Nextel as the provider of SIM cards for the Motorola
wireless phone. These SIM cards are the first in the world to be manufactured
to a specification other than the Global System for Mobile Communications
(GSM). That means North American users of non-GSM phones can enjoy the same
advanced features and high security that wireless customers in Europe and Asia
have come to expect.

Gemplus is manufacturing the SIM cards for Nextel to iDEN(R) standard
specifications. This Motorola technology supports voice, data, short messages
and other features in one phone. It operates in the 800 MHz and 1.5 GHz bands
and is based on TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access).
A key benefit of the Gemplus SIM card for Nextel and its customers is enhanced
security, with a strongly encrypted “handshake” between the user and the
network that provides a highly dependable means of user identification. SIM
cards create the freedom for users to roam internationally without losing
personal set-ups and to change wireless terminals as they wish, without
customer care. SIM cards also open the door to application security for mobile
commerce and wireless Intranet.
The integration with Motorola was the first of its kind successful
of a SIM card in a mass-market non-GSM phone.

“This is a groundbreaking development for North American wireless networks,”
said Jean-Louis Carrara, Director of Telecommunications for Gemplus in North
America. “The use of SIM cards in the Nextel network is a tremendous
endorsement of smart card technologies, demonstrating the intrinsic value of
SIM cards in all networks, for all wireless technologies.”
Gemplus has been manufacturing the cards for wireless phones since 1992 and
issued 41% of SIM Card units sold in 1999 (source Eurosmart/Gemplus 2000), the
largest of any single manufacturer. Gemplus has been providing more than 250
wireless operators with SIM cards, software, and services since 1988. The
company’s other innovations in the mobile phone market include products and
technologies such as the development environment GemXplore(R) CASE, the remote
SIM management platform GemXplore Suite, and Java Card(TM) SIMs.
“As the world’s largest producer of SIM cards for cellular phones, Gemplus has
both the technical and manufacturing expertise necessary to ensure that high
quality SIMs will be readily available to meet the demand expected for the i85
phone,” said Greg Santoro, Vice President Internet and Wireless Services at
Nextel. “The security and dependability their smart cards provide is
in the industry.”

About Gemplus

GEMPLUS the world’s leading smart card solutions provider

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 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
at GEMP in the form of ADSs.



Strategic Internet Investments Incorporated announced that Strategic Profits
Inc. has released its beta version 1.0 of its recurring batch software.
SPI will have the basic batch virtual POS terminal ready for beta testing
within two weeks. SPI has been a secure payment service providers since 1997,
and provider of e-solutions since 1994.

The recurring batch software will provide merchants with the ability to
generate a database of recurring credit card transactions through a Windows
based software application. The transactions will then process automatically
according to the schedule the merchant sets up. An e-invoice and e-receipting
functionality will also be provided within the application. The interface is
user-friendly, creates browser-based reports and allows the database to be
downloaded to other desktop applications. This system will work in
with SPI’s existing Verifone Payworks 3 payment engine and become part of the
PayPaq(TM) stable of payment applications.
“This application will provide merchants that have recurring monthly credit
card billings, like membership fees, subscriptions or payment plans, etc. with
a simple to use desktop application that automates the process,” says
Clarke Luckhurst, President and CEO of Strategic Profits, Inc. “Merchants can
now realize the following benefits less manpower — as re-keying credit card
data is no longer required; less errors — data is only input once; better
record keeping — management reports are built in; sensitive data can be kept
within one secure and encrypted application.”

About Strategic Profits, Inc.

SPI has been providing Internet commerce solutions to small and medium
enterprises, not-for-profit and charities since 1994 including secure credit
card transactions since 1997. SPI provides full Internet service offerings
including online education, web hosting and design, Internet marketing, secure
shopping cart and payment order systems, as well as secure payment
through Moneris Solutions and through out North American with GPS. Secure cash
transactions are available through their partners,! In 1998
launched the e-commerce pilot with their consortium
partners Industry Canada, Royal Bank of Canada. Today,
is a fully commercialized portal offering online shopping, fundraising, and
turnkey e-commerce solutions. http//
Feb. 1,
2001 SPI, HP Canada Ltd. and TELUS announced an alliance to deliver a new
generation secure Internet-based credit card payment service…PayPaq(TM)!



The world’s premier card manufacturing
association the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA)will
hold its
11th Annual EXPO in Athens, Greece. The event will be held November 11-14,
2001, at the Athenaeum Inter-Continental Hotel. Known for centuries as a
leading center of knowledge, the Athens location will complement ICMA’s
in-depth educational conference for card manufacturers, personalizers, and
product and service providers.

The ICMA 11th Annual EXPO 2001 will feature an exhibition of plastic card
suppliers of card manufacturing equipment, materials, components and
ICMA has a full conference program planned consisting of both management and
technical topics. The EXPO culminates with the Final Night Awards Banquet
featuring the presentation of the Élan Awards for Card Manufacturing

ICMA encourages qualified industry participants to submit a paper for the
conference addressing both management and technical topics dealing with
card industry trends and production, personalization, technical, application
and marketing issues. If interested, a one-paragraph abstract should be faxed
or e-mailed to Mary Kay Metcalf at fax (609) 799-7032; e-mail by May 31, 2001.

For ICMA 11th Annual EXPO 2001 exhibiting, registration or sponsorship
information or for information on becoming a member of ICMA, contact Lynn
McCullough, phone (609) 799-4900; fax (609) 799-7032or visit the ICMA web
site at http//

About ICMA
Based in Princeton Junction, NJ, ICMA is a non-profit association of plastic
card manufacturers, personalizers and related industry participants. With
than 220 members globally, the ICMA acts as a clearinghouse for industry
issues, including the production, technology, application, security and
environmental issues of plastic cards.



Euronet Worldwide, a leading provider of secure electronic financial
transaction solutions and National Telecommunications Company, a
technology-based holding company active in the communication and information
technology fields in Egypt and the Middle East, announced the forming of
Cashnet, a branded Electronic Fund Transfer network.
Cashnet is a joint venture between Euronet, NTC and Quantum Fund, a member of
the George Soros group of funds, for developing and operating an Automated
Teller Machine (ATM) network for banks and card issuers in Egypt.
Cashnet will launch 50 ATMs by June of this year, and the company’s business
plan calls for the operation of 500 ATMs by 2004. The services Cashnet will
provide to Egyptian financial institutions include

— Deploying and operating the Cashnet-owned, Cashnet-branded ATM network

— Operating bank-owned, bank-branded ATMs

— Operating POS terminals

— Providing connections or secure transaction gateway services between banks and international networks such as Visa and MasterCard

— Providing authorization interfaces for the Internet and GSM mobile operators

— Providing debit and credit card issuance and related services

At this time, Cashnet has entered into agreements to provide services to
Citibank, Egyptian American Bank (EAB), Visa, MasterCard, American Express,
Diners Club International. As part of this agreement, Euronet Worldwide will
provide Cashnet with day-to-day management services, and processing of Cashnet
electronic transactions via the company’s Budapest, Hungary, processing
“Egypt is a market of 65 million people with a virtually undeveloped EFT
industry that is on the verge of tremendous growth,” said Dr. M.T. Bardai,

“By using Euronet’s processing center and their expertise in deploying and
operating ATMs as well as issuing debit cards, Cashnet will quickly be
positioned to influence and assist the growth of the EFT industry.”
“We are tremendously excited about this partnership,” said Michael Brown,
Euronet Worldwide Chairman and CEO. “This opens a new territory for us in the
emerging markets of the Middle East and Africa. In addition, we will continue
to pursue software sales and electronic recharge solutions for mobile
and will utilize Cashnet as a subcontractor for the in-country implementation
and support of these services. Currently nine Egyptian banks use Euronet’s
software for ATM, switching and debit card services.”
As a global provider of secure financial transactions, Euronet continues to
expand its geographic and marketplace presence throughout Europe, the Middle
East, Africa, the Americas and Asia/Pacific. This expansion enables our
customers to provide their consumers a wide array of transaction touchpoints
and provides Euronet continued transaction volume growth.

About National Telecommunications Corporation

National Telecommunications Corporation, “NTC,” was established in 1995 as a
technology-based holding company active in the Communication and Information
Technology fields in Egypt and the Middle East. NTC’s strategic plan is to
establish subsidiaries in DATA, Software Development, e-Commerce services, and
Telecommunication and Electronic Manufacturing. NTC has established the first
Cyber Center in the Middle East and the first Data network in Egypt. NTC is
positioning itself to be the premier financial services company in Egypt using
Smart Card technology.

About Euronet Worldwide

Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in providing secure electronic
financial transaction solutions. The company offers financial payment
middleware, financial network gateways, outsourcing and consulting services to
financial institutions and mobile operators. These solutions enable their
customers to access personal financial information and perform secure
transactions — any time, any place. The company has processing centers
in the United States, Europe and Asia, including owning and operating the
largest independent ATM network in Europe. Euronet was recently ranked number
two on the Deloitte & Touche Technical Fast 500, a ranking of the
fastest-growing technology companies in North America. With corporate
headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and European headquarters in Budapest,
Hungary, Euronet serves more than 200 clients in 60 countries.



Keyware, one of the world’s leading providers of biometric and centralized
authentication solutions, announced it has acquired Data Management and
Processing, a provider of smart card authorization services for merchants and
card issuers. The acquisition will strengthen Keyware’s existing biometric and
smart card business, allowing the company to offer secure biometric
authentication in addition to providing authorization for each customer card

The purchase was made for approximately $1.1 million (U.S.) in cash and an
additional $800,000 in Keyware stock to be paid out over the next two years.
During the past year, DMP had revenues in excess of 50 million Belgian francs
(approximately $1.1 million U.S.) and earnings of 2.5 million Belgian francs.
DMP (, which stands for Data Management and
Processing, is under contract with a number of major card issuers to handle
authorization services for more than 1.5 million cards and accounts. Each day,
DMP servers authorize transactions from some 50,000 EFT terminals located at
retail stores, restaurants and other locations throughout the Benelux region.
The company has permanent online connections to authorization hosts for
acceptance of VISA, Eurocard, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club,
Aurora, Tempo and other credit card organizations. DMP provides secure
authorization and clearance services to card issuers as well as directly to
merchants, and collects a small fee for each transaction. Customers currently
under contract include Citibank, Diners Club, Cetelem Group (Cetelem Belgium,
Fortis Credit Card, Fimaser), Mobistar and Proxis.
Keyware sells smart card software applications (loyalty, ticketing, identity)
and provides ongoing maintenance contracts through its smart card division.
company has worked with DMP for the authorization and clearance step in its
smart card transactions. In the future, Keyware plans to offer card issuers,
e-commerce and wireless vendors a simple way to authenticate a customer’s
identity with biometrics in addition to providing standard authorization
services for the transaction.

“Enhancing security through biometrics”

“Security is a critical challenge for market acceptance of smart cards,” said
Francis Declercq, president and CEO of Keyware. “By adding biometrics, we can
authenticate the user before authorizing the transaction and enhance the
security. This can open up a huge number of possible applications, especially
for e-commerce and wireless transactions. By joining forces with DMP, we can
bring secure authentication to a large blue chip customer base and replicate
that solution well beyond the Benelux region, since e-commerce and wireless
transactions are not confined by national borders.”
According to Declercq, the acquisition of DMP furthers the company’s goal of
bringing biometrics to a much larger audience. “This is an implementation of
our strategy to bring biometrics with smart card applications to the mass
market,” he said. “It lets us offer customers authentication and authorization
services anywhere, anytime and from any device.”

“Major opportunity for development of biometric security”

Martin Gandar, principal analyst for Butler Group stated “The rapid growth we
have expected in the adoption of smart card technology which has been slow to
materialize and the ever growing problem with fraud has undoubtedly opened up
major opportunity for the deployment of biometric security techniques to
authenticate the user or card holder.”
He added “To date we have been surprised by the low number of manufacturers
looking to develop security devices such as smart card readers into standard
desktop equipment. However we are now seeing a great deal of development in
this area with major developers offering smart card options on standard office
based equipment to support hot desking which in its turn will undoubtedly fuel
the move to an increase in online commerce.”

Social Security Card

Keyware develops centralized authentication software allowing companies to
manage all their authentication methods (PKI, biometrics, smart cards, PINs,
passwords, etc.) from one server, called the Central Authentication Server
(CAS). Keyware integrates its CAS solutions into applications ranging from
Internet and network security to physical access control and smart cards.
Keyware has delivered a number of identity, ticketing, e-payment and customer
loyalty solutions based on smart card technology for companies such as
Delhaize, Kinepolis, Valor and the Belgian Football League. Keyware also
developed the Belgian social security card (SIS).
DMP is also present in the SIS card activity. DMP developed and sold under
license to main pharmacist’s software houses the BNCS (Belgian Native Card
Server) that recognizes Belgian SIS cards and deliver official certificate for
thousands terminals sold by Belgacom, Gemplus, Utimaco and others. DMP
a data processing center in Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium and has a back-up
site in
Brussels. The seven employees are all expected to remain with Keyware.

About Keyware

Founded in 1996 and quoted on NASDAQ Europe (formerly EASDAQ) since June 2000,
Keyware is one of the world’s leading providers of a broad range of
authentication solutions for real-world business applications, and a
pioneer in
the field of biometrics, the technology of verifying an individual by means of
personal characteristics such as voice, face and fingerprints. Keyware’s
centralized authentication server (CAS) with LBV-technology allows
companies to
manage multiple authentication techniques, including biometrics, from one
central server. CAS optimizes security and convenience for physical locations,
e-commerce, network, smart cards and telecommunications applications.
award-winning technology is sold globally through an extended network of OEMs,
system integrators and VARs. Co-headquartered in Brussels (Belgium) and Woburn
(Mass., USA), you can find more information about Keyware at



RHB Bank Berhad, one of Malaysia’s largest commercial banks, has appointed
Corillian, a leading global provider of eFinance-enabling software, to
enhance its online banking services, offering RHB Bank customers personalized
Internet banking services throughout Malaysia and the South East Asia

The agreement signed with Corillian is for the implementation of
Corillian’s Voyager Internet banking platform – a robust, secure system
with proven ability to handle large volumes of online customer traffic.
The system enables RHB Bank to offer personalized financial management,
portal facilities and one-to-one marketing to its customers.

In choosing Corillian to enhance its online banking services, RHB Bank is
joining banks like Bank One, Chase Manhattan, Eurobank and Suncorp Metway
(Australia), which are currently running or in the process of implementing
Corillian’s Voyager platform.

“RHB Bank has in place an eBanking strategy that reinforces the bank’s
dominant positions in the various business segments to meet the challenges
of more intense competition and a very customer focused marketplace,” said
Yvonne Chia, managing director of RHB Bank. “We have shaped our strategy
to leverage on the best complement for our physical and electronic
channels. Our click and mortar approach ensures our customers have a
flexible solution and real-time access to all our channels seamlessly
anytime, any place. We will reach out to our customers in an integrated
manner combining the high volume processing capabilities of our core
banking technologies with advanced customer-friendly web functionalities.
RHB Bank will deliver Internet banking capabilities to our customers in a
highly secured environment using advanced technology capabilities on par
with that of global banks.”

The agreement is the first in Asia for Corillian, already a leading player
in the U.S. with a strong track record for providing cutting-edge eFinance
solutions to financial services institutions. Corillian’s entry to Asia
also demonstrates that successful eFinance solutions developed for the
U.S. market can be adapted for other markets. With over 40 financial
institutions already licensing the Voyager product in the U.S.,
Corillian’s Voyager platform offers unparalleled levels of scalability for
leading banks that are planning to enhance their Internet operations

“This deal is a major step forward for Corillian internationally and I am
sure that RHB Bank will act as an important reference site for us in
Asia,” said Giles Hewson, business director of Asia for Corillian
International. “This will definitely aid Corillian’s penetration of other
Asian markets such as Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The competitive nature of these markets will result in a greater
liberalization and the rapid adoption of new technologies. Domestic banks
that do not invest in world-class eFinance software may find that
international banks are able to attract their best customers away with

state-of-the-art Internet banking services. The unparalleled scalability
and open architecture that Corillian provides will permit forward-thinking
banks like RHB Bank to take the initiative and provide the benchmark for
Internet banking in this region.”

Corillian Voyager – The Operating System for eFinance(TM) – is a
high-performance platform that allows for the delivery of financial
services to customers over the Internet. Voyager provides a link between a
financial institution’s legacy host system and its consumers, using
Internet browsers, personal financial management software and
Internet-ready wireless devices. Voyager’s open architecture design allows
an institution to quickly integrate emerging technologies, deploy the
platform in-house or in a secure data center, and customize the entire
Internet banking presentation to its customers.

About Corillian Corporation

Based in Oregon, and with international offices in Europe and Asia,
Corillian Corporation is an award-winning provider of eFinance-enabling
software for the financial services industry. Built on the Microsoft
Windows 2000 platform, Corillian applications support Internet banking,
bill delivery and payment, brokerage, customer relationship management,
enhanced data aggregation, and small business transactions. Voyager can be
deployed on-site at the financial firm or at a secure data center.
Corillian technology also enables Open Financial Exchange (OFX) access by
finance management software packages such as Quicken®, QuickBooks® and
Microsoft® Money. For more information about Corillian Corporation, visit
the company’s Web site at http//

About RHB Bank

RHB Bank is Malaysia’s third largest commercial bank and offers a
comprehensive range of financial products and services ranging from
retail, commercial and corporate banking to Islamic products and services
and electronic banking. With its Head Office at RHB Centre in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, RHB Bank has built an extensive branch and Sales and
Service Outlets (SSOs) network of over 200 offices throughout Malaysia.
RHB Bank also has a regional presence in the region with branches in
Singapore, Bangkok and Negara Brunei Darussalam.



Philips Semiconductors, a division of
Royal Philips Electronics announced its newly
formed Crypto Competency Center, a leading edge research center
specializing in cryptographic architectures and algorithms. The CCC,
located in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, will focus on the growing demand
for highly secure encryption capabilities for data transactions. The CCC
will focus on applied crypto security research and the pre-development
of IP blocks by creating reusable, embeddable IP blocks capable of
supporting future semiconductor devices that can be integrated in
networking and identification products and systems.

The CCC will provide innovative hardware and software technology for the
secure implementation of existing encryption algorithms such as RSA,
elliptic curves and AES. It will also enable Philips Semiconductors to
stay at the forefront of development for new secure architectures and
algorithms. The CCC results will be used in new chips, enabling a wide
span of secure applications in advanced embedded solutions such as
integrated circuits (ICs) for broadband wired and wireless networks,
virtual private networks, smart cards, radio frequency identification
(RFID), and smart card readers. The resulting silicon solutions will
improve security transactions in applications such as secure network
access, m/e/t-commerce, high-security governmental and emerging on-line
applications such as pay TV, banking and online stock trading.

“The CCC strengthens Philips Semiconductors’ leadership position in
embedded secure technology by reinforcing our commitment to provide our
customers with the core-enabling technology for secure business
transactions,” says Scott McGregor, Executive Vice President, Philips
Semiconductors. “As the demand for secure global transactions increase,
our team of over 20 dedicated scientists and engineers at the CCC will
work to support our commitment and leadership in the digital marketplace
as it continues to grow.”

Philips Semiconductors will show a selection from its portfolio of
products for secure networking and provide an overview of smart card
applications at the RSA Data Security Conference in San Francisco, April
10-12, 2001.

Philips Semiconductors, which had annual revenues of approximately
US$6.3 billion in 2000, designs and manufactures semiconductors and

silicon systems platforms. Philips Semiconductors is spearheading the
emerging field of systems on silicon solutions with the innovative
Nexperia(tm) platform and VLSI Velocity(tm) tool set. The company’s
Sea-of-IP(tm) design methodology allows plug and play intellectual
property blocks for easily customizable products. The company is a
leader in communications, consumer, PC peripherals and automotive
semiconductors, which are key applications for convergence in end-user
products. Philips Semiconductors is headquartered in Eindhoven, The
Netherlands, and has operations throughout the world.


Gemplus Short-Fall

Smart card manufacturer, Gemplus International, warned Wednesday that first quarter results will fall short of its projections due to softer SIM card demand, particularly in Europe and North America. The French firm says the economic slowdown in the wireless industry is clearly affecting demand. Based upon preliminary analysis of its 1Q/01 results, the company anticipates revenue to be approximately 290 million EURO. This represents 25% growth from first quarter levels in 2000, instead of the 31-32% growth projected earlier. Gemplus also indicated that as a result of the volume shortfall it expects an unfavorable shift in product mix and unfavorable manufacturing variances in its European based factories. The company has scheduled a conference call with investors this afternoon. On NASDAQ, Gemplus’ stock slipped yesterday from $8.75 to $8.25 per share. The stock had traded as high as $18.75 following its IPO in December. The stock also trades on the Paris bourse. (CF Library 12/12/00)


Preveiler Goes Atomic

Atomic Software, a trusted e-payment technology and services company, announced that Jack Perveiler has joined the firm as Vice President of Sales.

Jack will be responsible for developing and leading the Atomic sales force for the Company’s Internet e-payment, wireless m-payment, and traditional payment software products. Jack will focus on adding new processors, acquiring banks, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Application Service Providers (ASPs), and application developers to the Company’s reseller channel.

Jack brings a strong background of over twenty years of successful selling and sales management in the highly specialized, electronic payment industry. His most recent post, prior to joining Atomic Software, was Vice President of Sales and National Sales Manager for US Wireless Data. Previously Jack was highly successful as the Director of Western Region Sales for Hypercom Corporation. “Jack’s enthusiasm and energy for the new wireless and Internet payment technologies that our Company offers is absolutely contagious,” commented Thomas McCole, President of Atomic Software. “We are all excited about Jack joining us at a time of when our momentum in these new payment arenas are accelerating rapidly.”

Atomic Software is a venture-funded developer and marketer of wireless, Internet e-payment gateway services and software products for mobile and traditional merchants, Internet ISPs and web-based merchants. Its products serve the traditional dialup retail, government, fast food, restaurant, practice management, and mail/phone order system markets. Atomic’s payment gateway services and software products perform credit card authorizations, debit card authorizations, check verification and guarantee services, purchase card authorizations, stored value transactions and electronic settlement (deposit) for merchants. The Company’s products are certified with most major transaction processors and thousands of banks. For further information please contact: Robert Brooks, Director of Wireless Products, 813/995-0268, or visit our web-sites: [][1], [][2], and [][3].



#1 Internet Card

A new study reveals that among individual issuers, the Discover Card is the most popular card used online by U.S. consumers. At the brand or network level, the VISA card dominates Internet card transactions. Discover replaced Citibank as the #1 ranked online card in the annual spring survey of 3,000 consumers. First USA, ranked second last year, has fallen to #6. According to the Brittain Associates study, over four million U.S. consumers claim that their Discover Card is the one that they reach for most often when buying online.

1. VISA 50%
2. MasterCard 31%
3. Discover 12%
4. American Express 8%

1. Discover
2. Citibank
3. Capital One
4. American Express
5. NextCard
6. First USA
7. Providian
9. Wells Fargo
10. Chase
Source: Brittain Associates


Korean Market

[][1] Bank of Korea reported that cash advances provided by domestic credit card companies grew 400% last year and overall household lending surpassed 264 trillion won (US$200.1 billion), up 24%. At year-end 2000, household lending totaled 264.1 trillion won, up 24% from 213 trillion won at the end of 1999. Household lending by banks, savings organizations, insurance and credit card companies reached 238.2 trillion won ($180.4 billion), up 24.8% from the end of last year. Credit card sales directly linked to consumption by households rose 16.9% to 25.8 trillion won ($19.5 billion). Household lending through cash service by credit card companies last year rose by 16.3 trillion won, 4.2 times of the growth in 1999 at 3.89 trillion won. For more international payment card information visit RAM Research Group ([][2]).



0% Offers

Chase has joined the growing list of 0% intro APR credit card offers. In a targeted e-mail solicitation, Chase is offering a five month 0% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers for its ‘Platinum MasterCard’. According to CardWatch ([][1]), the Chase e-mail offer was dispatched this week through Enterprise Marketing Solutions. The offer expires April 21st. The card carries a go-to, risk-based APR ranging from 13.49% to 26.99%. Last month FleetBoston began offering a fixed 0% interest rate on new purchases and balance transfers until December 1. Capital One is offering a 0% APR on new purchases until August for its ‘VISA Platinum Business’ card, while Citibank’s ‘Universal Platinum MasterCard’ is offering a 0% rate on balance transfers until January 1. (CF Library 2/28/01; 3/29/01)