Kmart MasterCard

Capital One is hitting mailboxes across the country this week with solicitations for its new ‘Kmart MasterCard’. The card offers a 0% interest rate on all new Kmart purchases for six months. The APR for non-Kmart purchases and for Kmart purchases after the intro period is prime +10.3%. There is no annual fee for the new MasterCard. However accounts 30+ days past due will incur a $4 monthly membership fee. Cap One also imposes a punitive 25.9% APR on seriously delinquent accounts. The Wal-Mart MasterCard from Chase was launched in October 1996.

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Lacy – New Sears CEO

The board of directors of Sears, Roebuck and Co. elected Alan J. Lacy president and chief executive officer of the corporation, effective Oct. 1. Lacy also was elected a member of the board as of Oct. 1. He succeeds Arthur C. Martinez, who will continue as chairman of the board until his retirement in December, at which time Lacy also will become chairman.

Lacy, 46, currently is president, Services, responsible for the corporation’s credit services, home services, direct response and e-commerce businesses, comprising more than 45,000 Sears associates. He joined Sears in 1994 as senior vice president of finance and was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1995. In December 1997, he was named president, Sears Credit, and assumed his current position in September 1999.

“The board undertook a comprehensive review of internal and external candidates, and we are very pleased that an internal selection was the right choice. The review process confirmed the strength of Sears management team,” said Michael A. Miles, chairman of the board nominating committee that led the search process. “Alan’s impressive accomplishments, effective leadership and extensive first-hand knowledge of the company made him our clear choice.”

Commenting on Lacy’s accomplishments, Martinez said, “Alan has successfully tackled several difficult assignments in the past six years. He led the drive to strengthen Sears important credit business, and he is now leading a significant improvement in our home services businesses. In addition, his vision and talent as a strategist in the e-commerce business have quickly moved Sears into an industry-leading position. Sears has tremendous opportunities, and I am confident Alan will develop them.”

“Sears is one of America’s great institutions, and I am honored to be entrusted with its future,” said Lacy. “Few newly appointed CEOs step into positions where an organization’s strengths are as clear and its prospects as compelling as Sears. It’s both an advantage and a challenge.

“We all are grateful to Arthur for his dynamic leadership and integrity over the past eight years, during which the company successfully met many challenges. His personal commitment to Sears and confidence in Sears never wavered, leading to 1999 record net income of $1.47 billion.”

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of home, apparel and automotive products and services. It serves families across the country through approximately 860 full-line department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail outlets and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company’s Web site, [http://www.sears.com][1].

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

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Fargo Printers

MN-based Fargo Electronics yesterday unveiled a new series of professional printers, ‘Direct-To-Card’ printers and introduced the ‘Persona’ brand printers. Included in the ‘Professional Series’ are Fargo’s ‘HDP700 Series’, which utilize Fargo’s high definition printing technology; the ‘DTC700 Series’ and the new ‘DTC500 Series’ printers which offer ‘Direct-To-Card’ printing; and the ‘Pro-L’, Fargo’s laminating printer. The ‘Professional Series’ printers provide edge-to-edge card printing, electronic card encoding of proximity cards and smart cards, and four-line LCD panels. The ‘Direct-To-Card’ printers offers options such as dual card hoppers and increased security. The series includes single-sided printers: the ‘DTC510’ and the ‘DTC515’, and dual-sided printers: the ‘DTC520’ the ‘DTC525’. The ‘Persona’ brand card printers are priced below Fargo’s high-volume professional printers and include three color printers: the single-sided ‘C15’ and ‘C10’; and dual-sided ‘C25’. The ‘M10’ is the line’s monochrome resin printer offering.

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Tidel Rumor

Houston-based Tidel Technologies said this morning that the rumor concerning the loss of the company’s largest customer, Credit Card Center, is unfounded. The Credit Card Center also confirmed there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that it is eliminating Tidel from its product line. CCC says it expects orders for Tidel equipment for 3Q/00 will exceed its projections. Tidel Technologies is a manufacturer of ATMs and cash security equipment designed for specialty retail marketers. To date, Tidel has sold more than 25,000 retail ATMs and 110,000 retail cash controllers in the U.S. and 36 other countries.

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ComSense Grabs Weiner

“ComSense”, maker of the world s first reader-free Internet card, announced that Glenn Weiner has been appointed senior vice president of corporate strategy. Glenn Weiner has joined ComSense from American Express®, where he served as vice president, smart card technologies, and was a member of the technology leadership team that brought Blue” from American Express to market.

We are honored to have Glenn join our management team, said ComSense CEO Alon Atsmon. Few executives today could bring such current and directly relevant experience to ComSense. We will benefit from his counsel strategically, operationally, and commercially.

At AMEX, Glenn Weiner had responsibilities in the areas of technology strategy and partnering. He represented American Express s investments in smart card, interactive, and wireless technologies before industry and regulators. Glenn previously sat on the Board of Directors of leading smart card industry organizations including Global Platform, as well as serving as the chairman of the board of directors of the Interoperability Consortium. Glenn has over 15 years experience as a business executive and international and commercial lawyer, including as President of Arbor Export Finance LLC, an export finance provider with $10 million in capital that made U.S. government guaranteed export financing available to small and mid-sized exporters.

About ComSense

ComSense” is the maker of Comdot” — the world’s first reader-free Internet card technology. ComSense card-based products create value for card issuers and on-line services through their unique user authentication and loyalty functionality. For end users, ComSense cards introduce unprecedented ease and security to online shopping, banking, and Internet and communications services. Founded in mid-1998, ComSense Technologies has its research and development office at its international headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel. Its U.S. headquarters office is in New York City and its manufacturing office is in San Jose, California. For additional information please visit our Web site: [www.com-sense.com][1].

[1]: http://www.com-sense.com

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PAIDCard Launched

PAIDCard.net Inc. (Prepaid Anonymous Internet Debit Card) Monday announced the official launch of its stored value card and back end processing system to the merchant community at the InterActive 2000 Show, to be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, on Sept. 22-24, 2000.

PAIDCard staffers will be located in booth 446 at the show, where they will answer questions and demonstrate the innovative PAIDCard system. PAIDCard’s goal is to aggressively market and distribute a safe, secure, and easy to use solution for online purchasing that will benefit both the consumer and the e-commerce merchant.

“The IA 2000 show will allow us to market our product to a broad audience of potential merchants and to educate the public about the benefits of using our card for purchases over the Internet,” said Gretchen Bender, president of PAIDCard.net Inc.

About PAIDCard.net

PAIDCard.net Inc. is a banking services company currently functioning as a sales agent office. The company is in the process of finalizing contracts to become a registered independent sales organization/merchant service provider. Through their relationships with various banking institutions and with third party processors, the company is able to utilize the Federal Reserve’s Automated Clearing House (ACH) system to deposit and collect funds electronically. Given these capabilities, the company has introduced its own private label stored value card known as PAIDCard (Prepaid Anonymous Internet Debit Card).

The PAIDCard advantage is its ability to alleviate the burden of chargebacks from online merchants, while providing anonymity to the consumer. Fraud is substantially reduced with this method of payment, thus greatly lowering merchant fees and driving added, unexpected revenue to participating e-commerce sites.

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EFTA EBT Council

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association, a leading trade association for the electronic payments and commerce industry, announced the new officers for its EBT Industry Council.

The Council officers for 2001 are:

— Chairman: Bob Bucceri, president, Chaddsford Planning Associates.

— First Vice Chairman & Chairman Elect: John Pfeuffer, vice president, Citicorp Services, Inc.

— Second Vice Chairman: Jane Rice, senior product manager, Vital Processing Services.

— Secretary: Louise Meyer, senior account representative, VeriFone, Inc.

EBT, or electronic benefits transfer, is the use of bankcard technology to deliver government payments or benefits. “I look forward to working with Bob and the entire Executive Committee,” said H. Kurt Helwig, executive director of EFTA. “They are experienced professionals whose background covers all aspects of the EBT industry.” There are challenges facing the EBT industry “that are not new to electronic funds transfer,” added Bucceri, “but are new to our segment. I look forward to working with my colleagues to meet those challenges.”

About the EBT Industry Council

The EBT Industry Council is the nation’s oldest trade group dedicated to the business and policy issues of Electronic Benefits Transfer. Since the early 1990s Council members have worked with federal and state government to resolve a variety of bottom-line EBT challenges, including consumer, political, and technical issues. EBT Industry Council members include processors, financial institutions, ATM networks, technology companies, and manufacturers.

About the Electronic Funds Transfer Association

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association is an inter-industry trade association dedicated to the advancement of electronic payments and commerce. In nearly a quarter-century of industry leadership, it has been in the vanguard on many key issues facing the industry. These have included the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, consumer protection for electronic payments, privacy, and security.

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Home Accounts Nabs Pieper

Home Account, the leading provider of Internet-based financial service solutions,announced the appointment of William H. Pieper as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

In making the announcement, Home Account president and CEO Charles A. White pointed to Pieper’s strong background in Home Account’s target markets, emphasizing that the executive will be instrumental in formulating new strategies for the company’s efforts to dominate those markets.

“Bill Pieper’s professional experience is the ideal fit for our strategic initiatives,” White said. “His strengths in entrepreneurial and emerging growth, business development, managing high-growth strategic business units within large international organizations, and developing business services that utilize current technology to deliver solutions are significant advantages in our current plan and will strengthen our future direction.”

Prior to joining Home Account, Pieper was Senior Vice President of Sales for First Data Solutions (NYSE: FDC) in Omaha, Nebraska, the leading provider of Internet and online business and consumer information management solutions to the financial industry. In that position, he built and developed a powerful sales force, restructured and re-engineered the organization for maximum market potential and revenue increase, and developed alternative industry sales channels and enhanced solutions offerings by forming strategic alliances with the leading providers in the vertical industries served by the organization.

Previously, Pieper held key positions at SITEL Corporation (NYSE: SWW) in Omaha, including Senior Vice President of Sales, Chief Marketing Officer, and Senior Vice President of Global Business Development. Before that, he was Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ITI Marketing Services, now APAC Customer Services (NASDAQ: APAC) in Omaha, and Division Vice President of National Account Sales at Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: AUD) in Roseland, New Jersey.

Pieper holds a BS in business administration from the University of Delaware.

About Home Account

HomeAccount, based in Emeryville, Calif., delivers patent protected Internet banking, financial management, and electronic commerce solutions to financial services organizations and their customers. Home Account’s Canopy Suite of online banking products also includes borrowing, brokerage, advice and investing services within a revenue-generating financial center. The company also provides internet-based cash management solutions and CardSolutions(tm), an innovative program for credit card issuers that enables Internet account management. HomeAccount’s OFX (Open Financial Exchange) financial services platform allows access by personal finance management software packages such as Quicken ™ and Microsoft ™ Money. For additional information, please go to [http://www.homeaccount.com][1].

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

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DCTI Goes Mobile

Digital Courier Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of end- to-end, fully-integrated e-payment services, announced that it has enhanced its e-payment services to support mobile commerce (m-commerce). Merchants can now transmit transactions via wireless devices — personal digital assistants and mobile phones — and process them quickly and securely through DCTI.

According to Ovum, an independent research and consulting company, worldwide m-commerce is expected to increase to 373 million users by 2004, compared to 22 million users in 2000.

“The goal of this initiative, as with all DCTI services, is to help our clients stay ahead of the demands of the e-commerce marketplace,” said Don Marshall, President of DCTI. “We are providing merchants with an enhancement to enable them to do business using mobile technology. By offering support for WAP devices, DCTI adds to its complete spectrum of secure, fast, and responsive e-payment services.”

Industry indicators suggest that Internet merchants have begun processing transactions from mobile phones and other wireless devices that use the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). In the U.S., for example, Datamonitor predicts m-commerce revenues to reach $1.2 billion (USD) by 2003, up from today’s $90 million (USD). DCTI’s offering means that merchants may now transmit wireless transactions securely by sending encrypted information to DCTI via WAP Gateways. Most wireless providers, such as Sprint, Nokia, and Motorola, maintain WAP Gateways to facilitate online shopping. Once a transaction is complete, DCTI sends a Wireless Markup Language (WML) response to the WAP Gateway to ensure security and response speed.

About DCTI:

DCTI is at the forefront of Internet payment technology. A recognized specialist in risk management and fraud control, DCTI provides highly- scalable, reliable, and fully-integrated payment software and systems for businesses, Internet merchants, and financial institutions. Payment features of the DCTI system include advanced authentication, validation, fraud screening, payment authorization, settlement, and real-time reporting. DCTI’s notable client base and affiliations include U.S. and international banks and merchants and ongoing development partnerships with industry leaders such as Equifax, NDC e-Commerce, TSAI, and GlobalPlatform. For more information, please visit [http://www.dcti.com][1].

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

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Simera Airflex Roaming

Schlumberger Test & Transactions, a business segment of Schlumberger Limited announced mobile phone operator Korea Telecom Freetel?s subscribers are the first in the world to benefit from international roaming between Code Division Multiple Access and Global System for Mobile Communication networks via Simera Airflex, a unique removable user identity module (R-UIM ) smart card developed by Schlumberger. This is the world’s first commercial application for the new R-UIM card. Delivery of the new service to KTF subscribers is expected to be in time for use by Korean visitors to the Sydney Olympic games.

Simera Airflex is the first card to implement the R-UIM standard for CDMA phones, which allows CDMA subscribers to place the card into the subscriber identity module (SIM) slot of a GSM phone when travelling and obtain GSM network coverage. This gives Korea Telecom Freetel?s customers international roaming in 86 countries, including 45 states in the USA, covered by GSM networks.

The R-UIM specification provides subscribers with an internationally-compatible and removable identity module for both the CDMA and GSM networks as well as enables GSM network coverage throughout the world. The R-UIM identity module provides a flexible platform for the development and deployment of value-added services (VAS) for KTF?s subscribers. Value added services can now be developed with the existing GSM SIM Toolkit (STK). Thanks to compatibility with the Java Card standard, it is also possible to re-load and change applets on the Simera Airflex in the field.

This approach greatly simplifies VAS development compared with producing dedicated application firmware for the embedded processor inside the phone. Moreover, the new card opens up a migration path for KTF to the use of identity modules in the third generation (3G) evolution for CDMA terminals, providing the benefits of smart card-based security for mobile commerce.

KTF’s CDMA subscribers travelling to countries within the global GSM footprint now simply take their R-UIM module card and plug it into a GSM handset to gain instant access to the new network. KTF plans to make available rental handsets at the company’s lounge in Kimpo International Airport.

“Simera Airflex cards give us a powerful platform for evolving our mobile communications brand”, said Pyo Hyun Myung, vice president of Korea Telecom Freetel. “Right now, they help us to introduce truly international roaming services. In the future, they will give us an additional flexible route for delivering value-added services, which can be personalized to suit individual subscribers.”

“The smart card-based identity module is a catalyst for the evolution of mobile phones, allowing services to be provided both ergonomically and with very high levels of security,” said Jean Claude Deturche, vice president of marketing for Mobile Communications & Public Telephony, Asia Pacific. ?The R-UIM offers great potential and we have been delighted to work with such a forward looking operator as KTF to pioneer its role in CDMA networks. We expect KTF’s new service to be an influential example for CDMA operators worldwide?.

The Simera Airflex card was developed by Schlumberger at its regional Asia-Pacific Technical Center in Hong Kong. They are fabricated and personalized at the Schlumberger manufacturing plant in Hong Kong.

About Schlumberger Test & Transactions Schlumberger Test & Transactions provides consulting, integration and products for testing and measurement of semiconductor devices, smart card-based transactions, IP (Internet protocol) network security and wireless services. With 1999 revenue of $1.2 billion and over 7000 employees in more than 40 countries, it is a business segment of Schlumberger Limited [NYSE: SLB], a global technology services company with 1999 revenue of $8.4 billion. More information is available at [www.slb.com][1].

About Schlumberger Test & Transactions Asia

In Asia, Schlumberger Test & Transactions has set up the Hong Kong Cards Industrial Center (HKCIC), a world class smart card manufacturing facility, and the Asia Technical Center, a smart card application development center in Hong Kong. Recently, it has also invested in the building of the Korea Technology Center, which will focus on design, and manufacture of test systems for semiconductor devices. These centers were established to support the burgeoning interest and demand for smart card applications as well as semiconductor test in the region. Schlumberger Test & Transactions employs some 1,800 people in over 34 operations spanning 15 Asian countries.

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

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