PPP Names VPs

Perfect Plastic Printing announced last week the promotion of 3 senior managers to Vice President.

Wally Maier has been promoted to V.P. Manufacturing. Wally has been Director of Manufacturing for the past 3 years. He has 46 years of experience in the printing industry, and is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology.

Dale Pfingst is the new V.P. Quality and R & D. Dale has been with PPP for the last 8 years and is the principal architect of PPP’s Quality program. Dale has his MBA from Notre Dame and is a registered Quality Engineer.

Christopher Smoczynski has been promoted to Group Vice President. Over the last 11 years, Chris has spent a year or more in management of every department at PPP. Chris has a BS in printing from Rochester Institute of Technology.

PPP is one of the world’s leaders in secure credit card manufacturing, and has been producing the finest quality secure credit cards since 1965.

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SUM ATM Adds Up

Bank Rhode Island announced last week that it has joined the SUM Program, giving its customers surcharge-free access to over 2,500 ATMs throughout New England.

Bank Rhode Island customers can now use any SUM ATM in New England without a surcharge fee, including the 85 SUM ATMs in Rhode Island and over 1,800 throughout Massachusetts.

The Program allows Bank Rhode Island to continue to expand ATM access for its customers. Last year, the Bank signed an agreement with Atlas ATM, bringing an additional 51 machines into the Bank Rhode Island network. With the addition of the SUM Program, the Bank’s customers can now access more than 140 ATMs in the state without incurring a surcharge fee.

“We are always looking for ways to make banking more convenient for our customers,” said James V. DeRentis, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking. “This program allows us to provide our customers, many of whom work or travel all over New England, with surcharge-free access to ATMs. And our Custom Banking customers can access these ATMs free of all charges.”

Custom Banking is Bank Rhode Island’s relationship checking account. Custom Banking customers can combine all eligible account balances – deposit, mortgage and other loan balances – to meet minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees.

The SUM Program is administered by the NYCE Corporation and is designed to help minimize ATM fees for consumers. SUM Program members agree to provide surcharge-free transactions at designated ATMs for the customers of all participating institutions. There are presently 411 financial institutions participating in the SUM Program.

Participating ATMs can be identified by the green and gold SUM symbol displayed on the machine. A complete listing of SUM ATM locations can be found by visiting [www.sum-atm.com][1].

Bank Rhode Island, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bancorp Rhode Island, Inc., is a full-service, FDIC-insured financial institution headquartered in Providence. As of December 31, 2000, Bancorp Rhode Island’s total assets stood at $739.4 million and total deposits were $631.6 million. Bancorp Rhode Island’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol “BARI” and its corporate web site is located at [www.bankri.com][2].

[1]: http://www.sum-atm.com/
[2]: http://www.bankri.com/

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ICMA Singapore

The International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) will host a member benefits seminar for potential member companies located in the Asia/Pacific region. The meeting will be held Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 1:00pm at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the Cards Asia Show being held April 25-27.

The host of the meeting is Tai Kyo Choi, vice president of ICMA and president of KBC Corporation, Seoul Korea. The meeting will commence with a luncheon, followed by an audio-visual presentation about ICMA, the world’s leading trade association for plastic card manufacturers and personalizers, and its numerous member benefits. These include educational workshops and conferences, the annual ICMA EXPO, market surveys, networking, email discussion forum, publications, Internet site, public relations opportunities, industry referrals, discounts to ICMA events, scholarships and more.

Attendees witll also benefit from a discussion on the latest industry trends presented by Chou Fang Soong, vice president of financial services of Secu-Card Gemplus Singapore and Steven Yap, director of plastic card manufacturing of Secur-Card Gemplus Singapore. A long-time ICMA member, Gemplus is the world’s largest card manufacturer, and is represented on the ICMA Board of Directors.

Advance registration is required. To sign up or for more information on attending the meeting and ICMA membership, contact Lori Nasatka at ICMA headquarters, tel: 609-799-4900; fax: 609-799-7032; email: Inasatka@icma.com — or visit the ICMA web site at

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Bluetooth ATMs

The introduction of Bluetooth technology could have a significant impact on ATM usage in the USA. NCR said last week that the combination of access to mobile media and the print and delivery facilities available at the ATM machines could open up a number of new opportunities for those with a mobile lifestyle. Bluetooth provides the link between the mobile world and self-service, whereby the consumer carries the interface. As an example of the benefit of this potential shift via Bluetooth, consumers can now order tickets to an event while away from home or the office. However, they either have to await delivery or arrange to collect at a venue convenient to the distributor. Using today’s web-enabled ATMs, coupled in the future with mobile access, consumers could not just order the tickets, but receive them at their ATM or collect them at a location they determine as convenient.

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CTAL Card Sale

Canadian Tire Acceptance Limited confirmed Friday the sale of its Hamilton Discount Corporation Limited subsidiary to The Associates. Hamilton is a provider of private label credit card programs to some of Canada’s largest retailers. As part of the deal, The Associates will also purchase from CTAL outstanding credit charge receivables managed on behalf of a third-party retailer. Total cash proceeds from both transactions will exceed $135 million with a net pre-tax gain to CTAL of approximately $8 million. The deal does not affect Canadian Tire’s other credit card products including the ‘Options MasterCard’ and proprietary Canadian Tire retail card. Both cards are profitable, growing about 24% annually. Under last week’s agreement, The Associates will retain all 117 HDC employees across Canada and will continue to operate as Hamilton Discount Corporation Limited.

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Merchant Services Synapse

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with Merchant Services Inc., a leading credit/debit card acquirer and independent sales organization, to offer wireless, high-speed credit card authorization services via USWD’s Synapse platform.

U.S. Wireless Data’s platform will enable MSI to offer state-of-the-art wireless processing services to its merchants. A company that has experienced revenue growth of over 700% in the past two years, MSI is projecting a substantial increase in wireless merchant accounts. MSI, by utilizing Synapse, will be able to provide more services to their existing wireless clients as well as being able to provide a full service solution to new clients, who wish to benefit from the speed and mobility that U.S. Wireless Data can provide.

MSI will sell U.S. Wireless Data’s wireless solutions through its sales force of approximately 700 sales representatives across 75 offices nationwide. The company targets small to mid-sized merchants, currently serving approximately 60,000 merchants. MSI is one of the largest independent sales organizations of Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN), a leading provider of payment and electronic commerce solutions, and one of the largest card transaction processing companies in North America.

“We are excited to be working with MSI to provide wireless credit card services to the important market of small and mid-sized merchants,” said Dean M. Leavitt, Chairman & CEO of U.S. Wireless Data. “Many of the key merchant categories for wireless are in this segment of the market–such as towing services, movers, restaurants, locksmiths, taxis and limos. We are confident that U.S. Wireless Data will provide a superior wireless solution to MSI’s merchants.”

“U.S. Wireless Data prides itself on providing the most advanced wireless terminal technology in the bankcard industry today,” said Ray Sidhom, President and CEO of MSI. “This relationship will help MSI to provide more services to our current merchant base as well as potential new merchants. Synapse’s online, real-time transaction reporting capability will provide valuable information to help our merchants better manage their businesses. Utilizing U.S. Wireless Data’s Synapse platform, we expect to sign up approximately 2,500 wireless merchant accounts annually.”

“Global Payments Inc. is excited about the new opportunities that U.S. Wireless Data’s wireless platform opens up to us,” said Vaden Landers, Managing Director, ISO Line of Business, for Global Payments Inc. “We are pleased to offer Synapse through our independent sales organization, MSI, to meet the growing demand for wireless services.”

In August 2000, Global Payments Inc. announced a two-year transaction processing agreement to offer wireless, high-speed credit card authorization services utilizing U.S. Wireless Data’s Synapse platform, to new and existing merchants of Global Payments through its network of banks and acquirers.

About U.S. Wireless Data, Inc.

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. ([www.uswirelessdata.com][1]), founded in1991, markets proprietary technology that brings together three large, rapidly growing industries – transaction processing, wireless data transport and the Internet – to enable wireless payment processing. The company’s Synapse(sm) platform provides a gateway among all of the parties within a wireless point-of-sale (POS) transaction. This enables businesses that require mobility (i.e., not tethered to a telephone line), or fixed-location business that seek faster transaction speed, to accept wireless point-of-sale payments. By providing a seamless interface among merchants’ POS terminals, wireless carriers and card processors, credit, debit and other card transactions can be processed as fast as cash, without the cost and inconvenience of a telephone line. In addition, Synapse’s Internet-based tools offer on-line, real-time transaction monitoring, remote diagnostics and automated terminal activation. The company is headquartered in New York City.

About Merchant Services Inc.

Merchant Services Inc. ([www.gotomsi.com][2]), located in Plainview, NY, was founded in 1989. MSI has 75 offices nationwide and approximately 700 sales representatives. The company targets small to mid-sized merchants, and currently serves approximately 60,000 merchants. MSI’s revenues have grown close to 700% over the past two years. For yearend 2000, MSI is projecting approximately 3 billion in processing volume and approximately 60 million in transaction volume. In the past year, MSI has completed 7 portfolio acquisitions.

About Global Payments

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) ([www.globalpaymentsinc.com][3]) is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management, and funds transfer services.

[1]: http://www.uswirelessdata.com/
[2]: http://www.gotomsi.com/
[3]: http://www.globalpaymentsinc.com/

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CIBC 4Q/00

CIBC reported Friday that credit card balances grew 22% during the quarter ending Jan 31. CIBC is the number one card issuer in Canada with a total portfolio of more than 3.2 million accounts and more than $8 billion in outstanding balances. In the premium card segment, CIBC has more than 40% of market share based on purchase volumes. Revenue was $260 million in the quarter, up $46 million from the first quarter of 2000 due to rising balances and a 22% increase in purchase volumes. Revenue was up $8 million from the prior quarter. For complete details on CIBC’s latest quarter visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Reform Passes

The U.S. House yesterday approved legislation reforming bankruptcy laws by a 306 – 108 vote which included 93 “yes” votes from Democrats. H.R. 333 implements an income/expense screening mechanism to assess the debtor’s repayment ability. Those above a specified income threshold, would be channeled to file under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which involves reorganizing debt and a repayment plan. Currently, many of these debtors file for Chapter 7, which allows for the discharge of debt after the debtors’ assets have been liquidated. H.R. 333 (the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2001) was introduced by Rep. George Gekas (R-PA) and is very similar to legislation that was strongly supported in both Houses of Congress last year but was pocket-vetoed by former President Bill Clinton in December. President Bush has indicated he will sign-off on the legislation if it passes both Houses. The National Retail Federation immediately applauded yesterday’s passage saying the action by the House brings us one step closer to finally ending the misuse of our nation’s bankruptcy system. The NRF says misuse of the bankruptcy system costs Americans more than $4 billion annually and if the current trends continue, 1 out of every 7 U.S. households will have filed for bankruptcy by the end of the decade. The Independent Community Bankers of America also applauded the passage today calling it a “pro-consumer, pro-Main Street bill.” The Washington Post reports that finance and credit card companies, the most vocal advocates for bankruptcy reform, made $9.2 million in campaign contributions during 2000. The biggest single contributor to President Bush’s campaign was MBNA, which gave $240,675 to the Center for Responsive Politics. The U.S. Senate is set to take up the bill next week.

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MoneyGram Italy

MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., a leading provider of consumer money transfers, has been selected as the exclusive money transfer affiliate of Poste Italiane, the Italian Post Office.

“The agreement with Poste Italiane includes up to 14,000 of its locations throughout the country, making it the second largest postal organization in Europe (after the UK) to select MoneyGram to provide money transfer services,” according to Philip W. Milne, president and chief executive officer of Travelers Express/MoneyGram.

“This marks a significant step in MoneyGram’s European expansion strategy,” said Milne. “Our international agent base has grown dramatically over the past year making our network stronger than ever.” Poste Italiane will initially install the MoneyGram service in approximately 1,200 of its locations, with expansion expected into additional locations later in 2001.

MoneyGram had 37,000 locations in more than 150 countries around the world as of Dec. 31, 2000.

MoneyGram wire transfers are used by people without traditional banking relationships, expatriates who send money to their home country, traditional bank customers in need of emergency money transfer services, tourists without local bank accounts and businesses that need rapid and economical wire transfer services.

“Adding new agents like Poste Italiane ensures that MoneyGram customers have an even broader range of options to safely, quickly and reliably both send and receive money around the globe,” said Milne.

MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc., is a subsidiary of Travelers Express Company. Travelers Express is a subsidiary of Viad Corp (NYSE:VVI) and provides payment services in the financial, retail and money transfer areas.

To find a MoneyGram agent, go to [www.moneygram.com][1]. For more information on Travelers Express go to [www.temgweb.com][2] or for Viad Corp, [www.viad.com][3].

[1]: http://www.moneygram.com/
[2]: http://www.temgweb.com/
[3]: http://www.viad.com/

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InfoSpace Payment Platform

An agreement designed to expand Global Payments’ secure, real-time Internet payment offerings was announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement, Global Payments will add InfoSpace’s Authorize.Net payment processing platform to its line of Internet-based payment solutions. Authorize.Net provides a transaction-processing gateway for businesses selling goods and services online allowing merchants to authorize, process and manage credit card payments in real-time from their Web site. Authorize.Net Web-based interface also enables merchants to accept payments from call center, MOTO, wireless, and retail environments.

“This relationship is great news for any merchant whose business depends on a functional, reliable eCommerce payment method, as well as the professional, dependable bankcard service for which Global Payments is known,” said, Senior Vice President, Business Development for InfoSpace, Jeff Marcous.

“The agreement between Global Payments and InfoSpace emphasizes our company’s strong commitment to the expansion of electronic commerce services and secure Internet payment processing solutions that make it fast and convenient for merchants to sell online,” said Barry W. Lawson, CIO of Global Payments Inc.

InfoSpace’s Authorize.Net has been pioneering online payment processing solutions since 1996 and is the most widely integrated gateway solution in the world with over 100,000 merchants enabled to accept secure, real time payments 24 hours a day from any browser accessible source.

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations. Global Payments offers a comprehensive line of payment solutions, including credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, check guarantee, check verification and recovery, terminal management and funds transfer services.

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Handheld Future

Despite the collapse of investor enthusiasm in technology, the future for handheld computer devices couldn’t be brighter. Wireless handheld devices represent the most significant emerging segment of the payment card industry aside from smart cards. Yesterday, MA-based IDC forecast that the worldwide handheld market will grow from 12.9 million units in 2000 to over 63.4 million by 2004. The research firm predicts that 2001 will prove to be the year when mobile access devices hit their stride. Most personal handhelds ship with the Palm operating system. However, new products from Microsoft and Research In Motion have softened Palm’s grip on the market-leading position. According to IDC, smart phones will be the fastest-growing segment of the smart handheld devices market. From 480,000 in 2000, shipments of smart phones will increase at compound annual growth rate of 164% to over 23 million by 2004. Major credit card issuers such as Providian, and up and coming issuers such as Juniper Bank, are already poised to lead the handheld bandwagon.

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Cap One Drops Sprint

Capital One Financial Corporation announced Thursday the conclusion of a direct marketing test relationship with Sprint PCS that began in August 2000. Under the terms of this agreement, Capital One originated wireless telephone accounts for Sprint PCS and Sprint PCS provided the wireless telephone service and managed these accounts as Sprint PCS customers. This relationship was in a test phase to determine the economic value of this business to both companies.

“After evaluating the test results, we determined that the rates of return available to us in this relationship did not compare favorably with our other investment opportunities,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Capital One. “The talent and resources that were devoted to this relationship will best serve Capital One by being deployed to business segments producing higher returns.”

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ([http://www.CapitalOne.com][1] ) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 33.8 million customers and $29.5 billion in managed loans outstanding as of December 31, 2000. Capital One is a FORTUNE 500 company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.

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

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