UK

Abbey National is selling its credit card business to MBNA Europe for
slightly more than $400 million. Under a five-year deal, Abbey will become
an agent of MBNA in the UK market. Reportedly MBNA paid an 18% premium for
the Abbey card portfolio. Abbey currently has
about 550,000 cardholders or about a 1.3% market share in the UK. MBNA and
Abbey will launch a new series of agent VISA cards in about 90 days which
will include cashback and platinum cards.

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Trillion Dollars

The top dozen of bank credit card issuers in the U.S. accounted for more than $1 trillion in charge volume last year.

TOP DOZEN U.S. ISSUERS
(2000 Charge Volume)
1. American Express $221.6 billion
2. Citigroup $188.0 billion
3. Bank One/First USA $142.5 billion
4. MBNA America $105.4 billion
5. Discover $ 90.1 billion
6. Chase Manhattan $ 60.8 billion
7. Bank of America $ 54.5 billion
8. Capital One $ 37.5 billion
9. U.S. Bancorp $ 34.1 billion
10. Household $ 33.0 billion
11. Providian $ 26.3 billion
12. FleetBoston $ 19.1 billion
TOTAL: $1,012.9 billion
Source: CardData
(www.carddata.com)

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VISA EU

The European Region of VISA International reported yesterday that card volume increased 20% last year to nearly Euro 600 billion, while card numbers were up by 14% to over 177 million. The total number of transactions on VISA cards totalled 8.6 billion. Expenditure on ‘Visa Debit’ cards totalled Euro 232 billion, a 23% annual rate of growth. Cards-in-circulation throughout Europe stack up as follows: UK (61 million); Spain (26 million); France (19.4 million); Italy (11.4 million); Germany (8.1 million); Sweden (4 million); and Norway (2.7 million). For more details on VISA’s EU region and other international markets visit The RAM Report ([www.ramresearch.com][1]).

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

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VISA Smart Cards

VISA International reported Wednesday that its members have issued 42 million VISA-branded smart cards worldwide. More than 80% of these cards have been issued in Europe. The U.S., Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa accounted for 8 million of the total VISA-branded smart cards issued worldwide. VISA said its last accounting of smart cards, conducted in 1999, showed 23 million VISA-branded smart cards worldwide. Despite the success in the EU region, VISA is pushing more chip card technology in Europe and recently committed to investing 168 million euros to incent more VISA issuers to upgrade their card products. In the U.S., VISA efforts are in the early stages as three major issuers have launched smart cards. Earlier this month, VISA announced the first ‘smart VISA Business’ card in conjunction with FleetBoston. (CF Library 3/6/01)

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CHINA

Western Union Financial Services,
Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. announced it has
signed an agreement with China Post, China’s national postal system,
significantly expanding the company’s presence in Asia. China Post and
Western Union will launch money transfer services in 250 locations
immediately, and plan to expand to approximately 1,000 locations within a
year. Eventually, more than 40,000 of China Post’s 66,000 locations will
offer Western Union’s money transfer services.

The alliance with China Post complements Western Union’s recent agreements
with national post offices in India and Indonesia, and strengthens the
company’s presence in the Asia Pacific region. The agreement will allow
consumers in China to send and receive money, both domestically and
internationally, through Western Union’s money transfer system.

“The Chinese people have an enormous need for safe, reliable and
convenient means to send and receive money in China and throughout the world,”
says Ric Duques, Chairman and CEO, First Data Corp. “With our expansive
global agent network, Western Union is uniquely positioned to meet this need.
With the addition of China Post to Western Union’s agent network, the company
continues an important strategy of making its money transfer service available
at post offices.”

Western Union’s money transfer services are available at a number of post
offices throughout Western Europe, including France, Germany, Spain and
Portugal, as well as a growing list of post offices in Asia. Combined with
Western Union’s recent agreements with postal authorities in India and
Indonesia, the agreement with the China Post gives the company access to

billions of new potential users of its money transfer services.

The Western Union/China Post alliance has received the complete backing of
Liu Liqing, postmaster general of China Post, and the alliance is seen as a
win/win proposition for both organizations. Western Union currently is
working to establish an office in China to facilitate the immediate rollout of
its services to Chinese consumers.

About Western Union

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data
Corporation (NYSE FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer
services. The company provides rapid money transfer service through a global
agent network. Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at
approximately 101,000 agent locations in more than 185 countries and
territories using the Western Union and Orlandi Valuta money transfer
networks. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western
Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in
1871. Western Union is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2001.

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Enhanced Payment Manager

Wells Fargo recently launched a service that enables business customers to initiate domestic and international payments, including wires and ACH transactions with a single electronic payment file. Wells Fargo’s Payment Manager service has been enhanced to include International ACH payments, an inexpensive payment alternative offered by a small group of financial institutions. Combining International ACH with existing Payment Manager capabilities, Wells Fargo can now seamlessly generate all of a company’s payments, international or domestic, from a single file containing all its payment instructions. This solution allows companies to streamline their payment processes and reduce the administrative tasks associated with payment processing.

“Customers can simply send Wells Fargo one payment file in almost any format, typically directly from their ERP system or treasury management workstation, containing all of their domestic and international payment instructions. Wells Fargo can then generate all of the customers’ U.S. dollar and foreign currency payments, including international and domestic ACH, wire payments and domestic checks. This streamlined process offers users substantial savings in time and expense,” states Steve Ellis, executive vice president of Wholesale Internet Solutions at Wells Fargo.

“Payment Manager, as well as additional Wells Fargo ACH debit and credit services, put the ability to originate International ACH payments in the hands of any size company,” states David J. Zuercher, executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s International Group. “Wells Fargo’s International ACH leadership began in 1995 with origination to Canada. Building on our international payment experience, we now offer International ACH payments to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, with additional countries to be added in the future.”

Noble Drilling recently implemented the combined Payment Manager and International ACH payment solution. “Noble Drilling is pleased to be part of Wells Fargo’s leading edge automated global payments service,” states Mark L. Mey, vice president and treasurer, Noble Drilling Corporation. “As we could not find any banks offering this service, we challenged Wells Fargo to develop a custom payments solution for Noble. This has evolved into a world-class product capable of realizing tremendous efficiencies and cost savings for corporations.”

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified financial services company with $272 billion in assets. Noble Drilling Corporation is a leading global provider of diversified services for the oil and gas industry.

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Dove Consumer Study

Dove Consulting announced that, in conjunction with the American Bankers Association, the firm will conduct a nationwide trend study on consumer payment preferences. The major goals of this initiative is to provide a valid fact base and insights on consumer payments, including:

— The choices consumers have for payment mechanisms and the extent to which they are aware of these choices

— The mix of payment mechanisms consumers use today and the underlying reasons for this mix

— Preferences that consumers have for various payment mechanisms, the primary drivers of these preferences and the extent to which gaps exist with mechanisms available today

— The relative attractiveness of potential consumer payment mechanisms and the primary drivers of this attraction

In addition, the study will explore how payment products and channels can be tailored, packaged, and priced to build share of wallet and profitability. By comparing results with the ABA/Dove 1999 study, sponsors will have access to two very deep databases and be able to use these as projective instruments for planning purposes.

Dove Consulting is seeking sponsors for the study.

“The proliferation of new consumer channels-from Internet to wireless to kiosk to enhanced ATM-creates obvious opportunities for financial institutions to open up new spaces for growth,” says Ann Schmitt, a director in Dove’s financial services practice. “But considerable challenges as well when it comes to understanding how consumer payment preferences are changing.”

“The payoff for sponsors will be not only identifying opportunities for growth, but also avoidance of unwarranted investment in payment options with low consumer demand potential.”

Payment mechanisms included in the study will ultimately be determined by sponsors, but at a minimum will address Cash; Checks (paper, electronic truncation at the point of sale, electronic initiated); Signature (off-line) debit; PIN-based (on-line) debit; and Credit.

Three sponsorship positions are currently available. For more information regarding sponsorship, please contact Ann Schmitt at Dove Consulting at 303-663-2048.

About Dove Consulting

Since 1981, Dove Consulting has been helping companies move beyond the boundaries of their business to open up new spaces for growth. Dove’s Financial Services practice is one of the most respected in the area of e- Payments, distribution, and consumer Internet financial services strategy. American Express, Bank of America, Capital One Financial, Charles Schwab & Co., Diebold, eBay, S1 Corporation, and Boeing are among the leading clients served by Dove.

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CHINA

The People’s Bank of China is accelerating its efforts to integrate the
country’s bank card systems this year into a unified bank card association.
All commercial banks must be able to handle all cards recognized by the
association by the end of 2002. Under current law, the foreign currency
card business must abide by China’s regulations on foreign exchange
management, however foreign banks will be able to do foreign currency card
businesses three years after China’s World Trade Organization entry.

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Discover 1Q/01

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. reported net income for its Credit Services/Discover Card division of $142 million for the quarter ended Feb 28. However both charge-offs and delinquency grew during the quarter, reflecting the weakness in the U.S. consumer economy. The credit card net charge-off rate increased to 4.79%, 13 bps higher than last year’s first quarter and 22 bps higher than the previous quarter. The 30+-day delinquency rate was 6.34% compared to 5.58% a year ago and 5.92% for the prior quarter. Managed credit card loans rose to $49.5 billion, an 18% from a year ago. Transaction volume increased 4% from first quarter 2000 to $24.4 billion. Merchant and cardmember fees rose 6% to $629 million. For the quarter, Discover opened almost 1.4 million new cardmember accounts, bringing the total number of cardmember accounts to a record 43.7 million. For complete details on Discover’s latest quarterly results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

DISCOVER CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
1Q/00* 2Q/00* 3Q/00* 4Q/00* 1Q/01*
Receivables: $42.0b $43.7b $44.8b $47.1b $49.5b
Volume: $23.5b $21.9b $21.9b $22.8b $24.4b
Accounts: 39.2m 40.4m 41.4m 42.6m 43.7m
Actives: 22.8m 23.1m 23.1m 23.8m 24.0m
Chargeoffs: 4.66% 4.21% 4.18% 4.57% 4.79%
Delinquency: 5.58% 5.11% 5.47% 5.92% 6.34%
Yield: 13.35% 13.69% 14.05% 14.13% 13.66%

*1Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 2/29/00; 2Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 5/31/00; 3Q/00
fiscal quarter ended 8/31/00; 4Q/00 fiscal quarter ended 11/30/00; 1Q/01
fiscal quarter ended 2/28/01. Source: CardData (http://www.carddata.com)

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UK

Euronet Worldwide, a leading provider of secure electronic financial
transaction
solutions, announced it has been selected to
provide ATMs and other value-added ATM services at Alldays convenience store
locations in the United Kingdom.

Euronet is the first independent ATM operator selected by Alldays as an
ATM
provider. Euronet will provide Alldays with
ATM site identification, installation, monitoring, dispatch, maintenance,
telecommunications, cash delivery, authorization and
customer support.
Alldays, headquartered in Eastleigh, England, is considered one of the
most
dynamic convenience store groups in the U.K.
Alldays management is very enthusiastic about providing their customers with
convenience ATMs in their stores, as well as new
ATM services, including prepaid mobile phone airtime “top-up,” vouchering,
advertising, ticketing and coupon issuing. Initially, 40
Euronet ATMs will be installed by the end of April 2001, with an additional 60
to be installed by the end of the year.

“We are very pleased to be selected by Alldays to supply convenience ATMs
for their store locations,” said Michael Brown,
Euronet Worldwide CEO and Chairman. “When Alldays decided to provide
additional
ATM convenience for their customers,
they needed an ATM provider with the requisite experience and total commitment
to customer service and the ability to provide
additional value-added ATM services.

“These machines will offer more services than traditional ATMs — from
mobile phone “top-up” to couponing. This program is
yet another example of the secure financial transaction flexibility our
company
provides to retail businesses, financial institutions
and mobile operators on a global basis.”

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 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 financial
transactions — any time, any place. The company has processing centers
located
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, U.S.A., and European headquarters in
Budapest,

Hungary, Euronet serves more than 200
clients in 60 countries.

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CardSite on Sema

Incurrent Solutions, the leading provider of Internet-based account acquisition and Cardmember Relationship Managementsm solutions for the payment card industry, announced this week it has signed a marketing agreement to cooperatively market Incurrent’s CardSite to Sema’s card-issuing clients. Sema, the word’s largest international provider of credit card processing systems, with over 200 card clients around the globe, has recently launched Essentis, a new card management system. CardSite will be marketed in conjunction with Essentis and to Sema’s existing clients.

CardSite, Incurrent’s comprehensive Cardmember Relationship Management system generates significant card issuer benefits by increasing brand loyalty and enabling cardholders to perform a vast array of account activities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via Internet, wireless and voice channels. These activities include viewing current or historical statements, paying bills, searching transactions or receiving email alerts of their current account status. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to work with such a well respected partner and expand the market opportunity of CardSite into Europe and Asia, as we fully expect to see the same type of growing demand for Internet-based customer service in these markets that we have experienced here in the US,” said Loren Hulber, Incurrent’s President and CEO. “Sema’s new card management system, Essentis is being extremely well received by major international card operations and we will cooperatively promote the utilization of CardSite in order to address issuers’ growing Internet service and EBPP needs. Additionally, Sema’s service bureau operations can also provide us with an excellent infrastructure for hosting the international operations of our CardSite clients.”

“Incurrent’s knowledge of the card industry and their ability to implement CardSite extremely rapidly provided Sema with an attractive, well established solution that we believe will immediately compliment our existing and new product suites,” said Steve Howe, Sema’s Director of International Payment Systems. “The CardSite platform has been extremely popular with US card issuers and we expect to receive a similar response in our markets. The combination of Essentis and CardSite provides an extremely powerful opportunity for issuers to distinguish their programs in a unique, value-added way”.

About Incurrent

Founded in 1997, Incurrent Solutions ([www.incurrent.com][1]) provides advanced Internet and wireless services to card issuing banks and transaction processors. Incurrent’s clients include Fiserv, Fleet Credit Card Services, Alliance Data Systems, Sears, and NextCard. Incurrent has seen the volume of its clientele’s total cardmember base swell from15 million to 100 million during the last twelve months.

About CardSite

Incurrent’s flagship CardSite provides a cutting-edge, Internet-based account acquisition and service solution that enhances the cardholder experience and cultivates account loyalty at a cost that is significantly lower than traditional customer interaction methods. Cardholders enjoy real-time access to account information, statements, bill presentment, secure email, reports, searches, interactive sessions and other service-enhancing tools over web, wireless and voice channels. CardSite is delivered under a comprehensive Application Service Provider (ASP) model. Incurrent combines its industry leading CardSite with client-defined operating services, complete creative design and integration services to form a cohesive Internet and wireless cardholder solution.

About Sema

With over 15 years experience, the International Payment Systems division of Sema International Payment Systems specializes in offering card management software, systems integration, business consultancy and managed card services to the payment cards industry. Over 200 customers across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas use their card processing solutions. Sema International Payment Systems has recently launched Essentis, the next generation payment system solution for card issuer and merchant acquirers. For more information visit [www.essentis.com][2]. Sema, [www.sema.com][3], is one of the world’s leading IT and business service companies. The Group’s 1999 turnover was £1.41 billion, showing a 20 percent increase when compared with the 1998 full results. Turnover has more than doubled over the past five years. Sema has over 21,000 employees currently working across 160 sites worldwide. The Essentis payment card issuing and merchant management system Essentis manages the core processing functions that are crucial to payment card processing including:

* Card Issuing managing portfolios of cards and the card holder information

* Merchant Acquiring Managing the merchant accounting and settlement process

* Interchange Managing the clearing and settlement between card processing organizations and the major payment networks. Essentis is compliant with Visa®, MasterCard®, Europay and JCB. Connection to domestic payment networks can also be provided

* Authorizations Processing the authorization of transactions between issuers and acquiring banks over the major payment networks

* Applications for managing the payment card application and decision making process

* Collections for effective management of the debt collection process The technical design of Essentis allows easy integration with specialist external systems, which enhance the capabilities of the product. These include:

* Internet and mobile commerce technology

* Fraud Management systems

* Behavioral Scoring systems

* ATM and POS networks

* Other external systems (e.g., a central banking database)

The major benefits that Essentis will bring to card processors include:

* Competitive Advantage – Exploiting the latest technology

* Speed to Market – Essentis allows new card products to be developed and launched quickly

* New Delivery Channels – The ability to facilitate the Internet and mobile devices for transactions and customer service operations

* Chip Cards – Essentis will facilitate the processing of chip and magnetic stripe cards. Essentis has been developed to support multi-application chip cards in line with international standards

* Customer Focus – The powerful relational database at the heart of Essentis provides a single up-to-the-minute view of each customer

* Global Solution With multi-currency, multi-language and multi-institution capability, Essentis is equipped for the international cards business.

[1]: http://www.incurrent.com/
[2]: http://www.essentis.com/
[3]: http://www.sema.com/

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UK

Oberthur Card Systems has
formed a partnership with Intercede,
a provider of Internet and intranet security solutions and products to
create a
strategic working relationship with Oberthur and
Intercede’s edefice office suite.

Intercede’s partnership with Oberthur, its second since being floated on
the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment
Market, aims at providing a complete end-to-end highly secure solution for
e-commerce transactions.

Marc Bertin, E-Business director for Oberthur, said “Our goal is to
provide globally secure online transactions for both
consumers and businesses in this new electronic age, and our collaboration
with
Intercede will allow us to build a secure
e-commerce environment and further strengthen our AuthentIC offering. The
partnership will allow us to deliver innovative
technology today upon which future innovations and developments can be built.”
Richard Parris, managing director of Intercede, added “We have chosen to
partner with Oberthur primarily because of its
renowned strength in this field. Our combined expertise — in Oberthur’s
Java-based solutions and our own experience in the
management and deployment of smart cards and Public Key Infrastructure — will
undoubtedly enable us to develop the most
comprehensive, secure e-commerce offering in a single software solution.”
Intercede’s edefice security management software suite is an open platform
that aims to make the deployment and management
of application and network security solutions easier, quicker, more accessible
and scalable for both end-user customers and
network security integrators.

Configurations available with the core Central Security Manager include
Remote & LAN Access Authentication, Single
Sign-On, Web site Security and Data Secure Laptop. edefice suite allows the
use
of tokens, smart cards and biometrics devices
in any combinations and can administer and manage multiple RAS, RRAS and
RADIUS
servers.

Providing the highest levels of security, Oberthur’s AuthentIC smart cards
meet the key requirement for secure access to
information. With security issues varying from country to country, cultures
and
markets, Oberthur has created a smart card that is
a secure electronic identification system by using electronic keys and
certificates.

Based in an open environment on Java(TM) or Microsoft(TM) with an
interface
to industry standards (PKCS No. 11,
Microsoft CSP), AuthentIC offers a level of flexibility which allows it to be
adapted to different devices and systems and form
part of a Public Key Infrastructure solution. AuthentIC incorporates all
digital signature protocols and standards and includes a
key-generating function.

Designed to support different cryptographic technologies, such as RSA
algorithms, identification technologies and the latest in
high-secure technology — Elliptic Curves — the AuthentIC range of cards is
designed to meet current and future market

requirements with the capability to support future industry standards.

About Oberthur Card Systems

Oberthur Card Systems (Paris Stock Exchange – Code SICOVAM 12413), a
global
leader and the innovator in the smart
card industry, is shaping the future by offering the ultimate in SIM, WAP, 3G
(IMT-2000/UMTS), e-wallet technologies and
Internet-based card management services coupled with a firm commitment to open
standards.

Championing EMV migration, Oberthur is the world’s No. 1 supplier of
MasterCard and Visa cards; No. 1 in banking,
e-commerce, m-commerce and pay-TV; and Oberthur is also the No. 1 in Java(TM)
and GSM technologies.
Oberthur Card Systems has an international reach ensured by 30 sales
offices and 19 manufacturing sites across the five
continents. Oberthur Card Systems had sales of 451.1 million euros in 2000.

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About Intercede Group plc

Intercede Group plc (LSEIGP)(IGP.L) is a leading developer and
supplier of
security management solutions for computers,
networks and software applications. Intercede has successfully raised 2.2
million pounds (net of expenses) by way of a placing
on the Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) which values the company at
approximately 10 million pounds.

Intercede plc is one of only three quoted security software companies in
the United Kingdom. Intercede’s customers cover a
range of industries and include Barclays Bank, Lloyds TSB, Abbey National, the
Department for Education and Employment, the
NHS, Compaq, ICL, Kingfisher and Pharmacia and Upjohn.

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