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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Cap One Management

The Wall Street Transcript released a glowing review of Capital One’s top management team. One of the analysts cited says that Capital One has probably the best management of any company in the specialty finance sector. The review said the top management team, headed by Rich Fairbank and Nigel Morris, “can see around corners” and therefore is able to consistently step ahead of what is going on in the industry. One analyst said he thinks that Richard Fairbank is one of the few CEOs in the industry that have displayed charisma. The analyst refers to Cap One’s concentration on information-based technologies. Metris Companies was also reviewed in the report.

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Royal Olympic Card

Canada’s Royal Bank announced Friday the launch of an affinity credit card with the Canadian Olympic Association. Each time sports enthusiasts use the new card, amateur athletes across Canada benefit through a marketing agreement that generates revenue for the COA and the cardholders’ choice of several participating sports federations. The partnership includes Swimming Canada, Waterpolo Canada, Federation of Canadian Archers, Canadian Canoe Association, Biathlon Canada and Speed Skating Canada. Each card bears the logos of the COA and the cardholders’ preferred sport.The new affinity card will be offered as both a ‘VISA Classic’ and ‘VISA Gold’ card.

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Direct Connect

American Airlines announced this morning it will join the GetThere Supplier Network in the GetThere Marketplace, the largest B2B online travel marketplace. As the second major airline to join the network, today’s development will offer corporations the ability to purchase discounted airline fares directly without credit cards. United Airlines is also a member of the GetThere Supplier Network. The GetThere Marketplace provides online travel procurement to major corporations that together spend nearly $10 billion in travel each year. Other members of the GetThere Supplier Network include Accor Hotels, Avis Rent a Car, British Airways, Budget Rent a Car, Candlewood Hotels, Hertz Corporation, Marriott International, Micros Fidelio & Hotel Bank, Northwest Airlines, Radisson Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and TWA. GetThere is currently being acquired by TX-based Sabre Holdings.

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VISA VOI Winner

Visa International announced that “Racing With the Dolphins” by Sun-ik Kim from Korea was named as the Grand Prizewinner of the Visa Olympics of the Imagination 23-nation youth art competition. Sun-ik and one of his parents will attend the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Utah, USA, as guests of Visa.

Visa Olympics of the Imagination challenged school children, ages 9-13, to use their imaginations to create an original piece of art that represented what the Olympic motto of “Citius, Altius, Fortius” meant to them. The program ran in from late 1999 through June 2000 in most countries. Over 400,000 entries were received.

Sun-ik was selected by renowned Australian artist Ken Done, VOI’s special Ambassador and Artist-in-Residence during the Olympic Games. “I had seen VOI before and I was really struck by the high quality and joy of it,” said Ken. “This piece of artwork reminds people of the absolute ideals of the Games.” His selection was announced at the Awards Ceremony at the VOI Exhibit which is located just outside the IMAX Theatre in Darling Harbour. The children’s winning art will be on display during the entire Olympic Games, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.

The medals were awarded to the children by IOC president Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, Olympians Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner. Olympians Prince Albert of Monaco, Kip Janvrin, Deng Ya Ping, and the Olympic Mascots were also in attendance. A number of Ambassadors, Consuls and other VIP guests attended to congratulate the children.

“The selection of the grand prizewinner was very challenging because all of the artwork is superb,” said P. Scot Smythe, Visa International’s Vice President of Event Marketing. “The exhibit, containing the 33 pieces of artwork, is extremely impressive and it reinforces our belief in the talent and awareness of today’s children in not only the Olympic Movement, but the world they live in. Visa is proud to exhibit to Olympic visitors the talent of our winners.”

Sydney Activities

The winners of the program and a parent or guardian are attending the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as the guests of Visa in Sydney, Australia, and will be here until September 19. The winners will attend three Olympic events, Men’s Gymnastics, Men’s Basketball and Women’s Beach Volleyball, as well as receive special tours of Sydney, the Taronga Zoo, and the Sydney Aquarium. Additionally, the winners will have the opportunity to put their artistic talents to use when they paint Olympic Athletes on September 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Doltone Reception Centre at Darling Island, Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, adjacent to the Sydney Media Centre. A number of Olympic athletes will model for the children and will be available to answer any questions the children may have.

VOI winners were selected from Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Czech Republic, Curacao, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, United States and Uruguay.

Photos of the winning artwork can be viewed by accessing the VOI Web site . Artwork of past winners and periodic updates on Sydney activities can also be viewed through the Web site. Eighty-two young artists from 28 countries already have attended Olympic Summer and Winter Games as guests of Visa over the past three Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway; Atlanta, Georgia, USA and Nagano, Japan. Visa received more than 400,000 entries for the 2000 Olympic Games program. Judging was based on originality, imagination, artistic merit, and how well their art captured the ideals of the Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (Faster, Higher, Stronger).

VOI History

Originally, the Olympic Games were as much a matter of art as athleticism, with poets, musicians, painters and sculptors competing for medals alongside athletes. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, was keen to revive the link and in 1906 awarded gold, silver and bronze medals for five artistic competitions. Because of the two world wars, these contests were held only sporadically until 1949, when they were dropped altogether and replaced by Olympic cultural programs. Visa began its Olympic Games sponsorship in 1986 and since then has sponsored three Olympic Summer Games (Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta) and four Olympic Winter Games (Calgary, Albertville Lillehammer, and Nagano). In Sydney, Visa continues its Olympic sponsorship role as a Worldwide Partner as the exclusive card and the official payment system for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

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Pathways Acquisition

Upgrade International Corp. has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire ownership of The Pathways Group, Inc. The Pathways Group Inc provides turn key solutions in the smart card arena as a full service hardware integrator, software developer and backroom transactions processor. Upgrade International said today the Pathways acquisition will mark the beginning of the transformation of Upgrade from research and development to a revenue generating group of companies, for the first time since 1998, when it acquired a stake in UltraCard Inc. Pathways said it decided to embrace Upgrade and the UltraCard technology, because it expects ‘UltraCard’ to replace other microprocessor-based technologies.

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Dovetail Expansion

NJ-based Dovetail Systems has signed a joint marketing agreement with Sun Microsystems to target the solution requirements of Tier 1 and Tier 2 financial institutions, primarily in North America and in the UK. Using open Internet standards based on Java technology and architected on the Java 2 Platform, the Dovetail Payments System has been designed for Tier 1 and Tier 2 financial institutions to handle all inter-bank payments and funds transfer types, including new standards such as CLS, S.W.I.F.T. MT103, and those emerging from global e-commerce. Dovetail Systems also announced it has agreed to acquire Rule Financial, a London-based specialist IT consultancy. Rule Financial will operate as the European division of Dovetail Systems and be responsible for promoting, implementing and supporting the Dovetail Payments System product set in the UK and the rest of Europe. Rule Financial was founded in 1997 by a group of senior IT staff drawn from leading Investment Banks and IT consultancies.

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Celebrity PhoneCards

NYC-based 9278 Communications is launching a new phone card that features names and images of hundreds of top celebrities as well as daily entertainment news updates from MTV Networks. The ‘Access Live Phonecard Plus’ will also offer domestic long distance rates as low as 1.9 cents per minute. First edition ‘Access Live Phonecards’ will feature NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Tupac Shakur, and Pamela Anderson. Each phonecard from the ‘Access Live’ music series will allow callers access to voice prompts with daily music news from MTV. 9278 Communications currently has a network of over 400 master distributors, retailing over 140 different prepaid card products primarily in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut markets.

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Fry’s Food VISA

U.S. Bank has teamed up with Fry’s Food Stores in Phoenix, Ariz. to offer the Fry’s Visa card. This new credit card will reward customers with points toward free gifts every time the card is used. The Fry’s Visa card is available to customers in Arizona starting September 18.

Here’s how the Fry’s Visa card works. Customers who use the Fry’s Visa card will earn points for each dollar charged on the card. Every time the card is used at a Fry’s store, the cardholder earns two points per dollar charged. For all other purchases, cardholders receive one point for each dollar charged at any of the other 18 million locations where Visa is accepted. There is no annual fee if the card is used three times in a twelve-month period. The points are redeemable for various items including $50 Fry’s gift certificates, American Airline tickets, restaurant gift certificates at any Macayo’s, Red Lobster or Olive Garden nationwide, and tickets to both local and national attractions including AMC Theatres, Blockbuster, Durango Mountain Resort, Castles n’ Coasters and the Flandrau Science Center among others.

“We are constantly striving to offer our customers new and unique services and ways to save,” stated Michael Donnelly, president of Fry’s. “The Fry’s Visa card is one way for us to both thank and reward our customers by offerings points toward free groceries and other items.”

“This is one credit card that every Fry’s customers should carry,” said Daniel Frate, president of payment systems for U.S. Bancorp. “The interest rates are very competitive with other credit cards, but the Fry’s Visa card provides the extra incentive of very generous rewards for the cardholder. It’s really a good offer for Fry’s customers.”

Applications for the card are available at all Fry’s stores. U.S. Bank, a Fry’s partner and one of the largest issuers of credit cards in the nation, issues the Fry’s Visa card. The rewards program was developed and will be managed by MyPoints Offline Services, a division of MyPoints.com (Nasdaq: MYPT).

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $86 billion in assets, is the 10th largest financial services holding company in the nation and operates approximately 1,000 banking offices in the Midwest and West. The company provides comprehensive banking, trust, investment and payment systems products and services to consumers, businesses and institutions. It operates a network of 5,000 ATMs and provides 24-hour, seven-days-a-week telephone customer service. The company offers full-service brokerage services at approximately 100 offices through U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. The company is the largest provider of Visa corporate and purchasing cards in the world, and is one of the largest providers of corporate trust services in the nation. For further information, please see the U.S. Bancorp web site at [http://www.usbank.com][1]

Fry’s is a division of Kroger Company, which was founded in 1883 by Barney H. Kroger in Cincinnati. Today, Kroger is the nation’s largest supermarket operator with nearly 2,200 retail locations and sales of $43 billion. The Phoenix-based Fry’s division is one of the largest in the Kroger organization, serving approximately 4 million Arizona customers in an average week.

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

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NACHA Names Chair

The members of NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association have elected a new Board of Directors under its recently approved reorganization plan. Janet C. Boyst, Senior Vice President and Group Executive at Wachovia Bank, was elected Chair of the Board.

“This Board represents a new way of doing business at NACHA,” said Boyst. “With a streamlined Board, NACHA can be proactive in preparing the electronic payments system for the future. In addition, with community banks, credit unions and NACHA’s industry councils specifically represented on the Board for the first time, NACHA is in a better position to serve all users of the payments system.”

The new Board of Directors consists of 19 directors representing the entire membership. In addition to Boyst, the officers elected are John C. Kline of Union Savings Bank in Connecticut as Vice Chair, and Phillip C. Ahwesh of Mellon Bank as Secretary/Treasurer.

Representing regional payments associations on the Board are Ann-Marie Bartels of the Mid-America Payments Exchange, Charles B. Bretz of Compass Bank, Ronald L. Burniske of Chartway Federal Credit Union, Ward H. Gailey, Jr. of SunTrust Bank, John Kephart of Commerce Bank of Washington, Francis Lee of Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union, Keith K. Theisen of Wells Fargo Bank, George F. Thomas of the Electronic Payments Network, and Dennis Toda of Western Corporate Federal Credit Union.

Representing direct financial institution members are Marcie Haitema of Chase Bank, Mark J. Havlik of First Union Bank, and Leonard J. Heckwolf of Bank One.

Representing NACHA’s industry councils are Richard S. Jenkins of SHAZAM, Fred Laing, II of the Upper Midwest ACH Association, Nolan L. North of T. Rowe Price, and Jane Wallace of Bank of America.

Two non-voting members of the Board are Elliott C. McEntee, President and Chief Executive Officer of NACHA, and Harold J. Piotrowski, Past Chair of the Board.

The reorganization plan announced on June 19, 2000 streamlined the governance of the association, established new voting rights for financial institutions on the operating rules for the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, and established direct membership in NACHA for financial institutions.

“The goal of the reorganization is to further NACHA’s pursuit of its mission to be the leader in the development, promotion and use of electronic solutions to improve the payments system,” said McEntee. “As the payments industry embraces a changing landscape, NACHA must continue to evolve in order to remain an effective organization.”

About NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system. NACHA represents more than 12,000 financial institutions through its 33 regional payments associations, and 700 organizations through its six industry councils and corporate Affiliate Membership Program. NACHA facilitates the development of operating rules and standards for the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network and for electronic payments in the areas of Internet commerce, electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP), financial electronic data interchange (EDI), international payments, electronic checks, electronic benefits transfer (EBT) and student lending. Visit NACHA on the Internet at [http://www.nacha.org][1].

[1]: http://www.nacha.org/

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DataCard Supplier

Datacard Group announced the formation of a strategic alliance that will enhance the company’s portfolio of card personalization supplies. Under the agreement, Maple Roll Leaf and Coding Products–which are both divisions of Illinois Tool Works, Inc – will be the exclusive manufacture of topping foils, UltraGrafix(R) print ribbons, indent ribbons, cleaning tapes, clear topcoats and card stickers for Datacard Group and their card personalization products. For their part, Datacard will have exclusive global distribution of these products, and will continue to sell, distribute and support their complete portfolio of card personalization supply products on a worldwide basis.

“We believe this alliance will benefit Datacard customers on a number of fronts,” said Paul Schroeder, senior vice president and general manager for Datacard’s Secure Issuance Division. “Our customers will get the great service and support they’ve come to expect from Datacard, plus exceptional quality and value in the supplies they buy from us.

“Maple Roll Leaf and Coding Products both have strong reputations for manufacturing high-quality, high-reliability products,” Schroeder said. “Their commitment to quality, combined with our rigorous internal testing procedures, will result in superior supply products for Datacard customers.”

Datacard will collaborate with the two companies to develop new products and enhance the performance of existing supply items. “Our joint development efforts, coupled with their vast manufacturing capacity, will improve both product selection and availability for Datacard customers,” Schroeder said.

Datacard Group is a world leader in card production, card issuance and identity management solutions. The company provides its customers with integrated systems for a variety of financial, identification and healthcare applications. A diverse solutions portfolio the world’s best-selling card personalization, card printing and digital identity systems. Datacard Group also offers a full range of smart card solutions, including application development tools, card issuance systems and card life cycle management systems. Datacard Corporation, doing business as Datacard Group, is privately held and based in Minnetonka, Minn. Datacard Group employs more than 1,800 people worldwide and serves customers in more than 120 countries. ([www.datacard.com][1])

ITW is a $9.3 billion manufacturer of highly engineered components and industrial systems. The company consists of more than 500 decentralized operations (such as Maple Roll Leaf and Coding Products) in 40 countries and employs more than 52,000 people.

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

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eConnect Returns

San Pedro, CA-based eConnect confirmed this morning that it expects the first commercially-ready models of the ‘eCashPad’, the Company’s first secure electronic payment product, to be delivered to affiliate National Data Funding Corp. on Sept. 25. eConnect has placed an initial order to manufacture 100,000 ‘eCashPads’ with Asia Pacific Micro Devices Inc., of Oakland, CA. With its proprietary software, the ‘eCashPad’ will enable users to swipe ATM card-with-PIN as well as credit and smart cards, routing account numbers exclusively to authorizing financial institutions for secure, ‘Bank Eyes Only’ e-commerce transactions. NDFC of Chico, CA has agreed in principle to be acquired by eConnect. Trading in the stock of eConnect was briefly suspended in March amidst allegations of fraud. A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of stockholders. The complaint alleges that eConnect Iinflated its relationship with Palm Computing and made other false claims. (See CF 3/21/00)

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