NavigatER for VISA

Visa International and Necho Systems Corp., a leading provider of Web-based enterprise-wide travel and expense processing applications, announced a marketing alliance to deliver global expense management software to corporations with Visa Corporate card programs.

Necho Systems Corp. and Visa International will offer their services through Visa member financial institutions in the Asia Pacific and European Union regions initially, with expansion potential in Visa’s other four regions. Targeted at mid to large sized card programs, including those associated with multi-national corporations, Necho’s flagship travel and expense processing software, NavigatER helps corporations streamline the approval workflow process of expense claims, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Visa Corporate is the ideal travel and entertainment payment solution for medium to large companies. These companies provide Visa Corporate cards to their employees who travel on business and require a payment card with worldwide acceptance, value-added services and cash access. Visa Corporate provides companies with acceptance at over 19 million merchant locations worldwide, meeting companies’ most important requirement. Visa Corporate also helps companies to monitor and control employees’ travel and entertainment expenditures, for both international and domestic traveling.

Necho Systems Corp. has developed a standard Visa corporate card import data interface that will automate the input import of Visa Corporate card transactions from the Visa Corporate Issuer to the company’s system.

With travel and entertainment expenses (T&E) being the third largest controllable expense that companies incur, more companies are turning to Visa Corporate for help in streamlining administration and reduce costs. Visa Corporate sales volume continues to grow at a rate exceeding 40% annually, as more companies enjoy the benefits of a card program. The partnership between Visa and Necho will help large companies better manage the data and information from their Visa Corporate cards, and therefore benefit from a greater level of savings and control. The combination of one of the world’s most accepted Corporate cards and one of the world’s leading T&E expense processing applications will enable companies to enjoy unprecedented client savings and benefits. The more you use the card, the more the company benefits.

“Visa research has shown that establishing an automated expense reporting system and capturing and storing data were the two key factors to better managing T&E,” said Jacqueline Buonassisi, Vice President, Small Business and T&E Platforms, Visa International. “Companies that implement these two best practices are achieving reductions of administration costs of 83%, and enjoying vendor discounts of approximately 18%. With this alliance, companies using Visa Corporate will be able to enjoy the significant savings and controls that it provides.”

“Necho’s NavigatER application provides Visa International clients with software that has been designed specifically to integrate with the Visa Corporate Card program, allowing businesses to gain the benefits of automating their expense claim workflow”, said Scott Anderson, president and founder of Necho Systems Corp. “Our partnership with Visa International is just one more way we’re trying to provide business solutions that deliver savings and convenience for the modern enterprise.”

About Visa Global Commercial Product Platforms

Visa International’s Commercial Product Platforms Division offers tailored commercial payment solutions for its member banks and corporate clients globally. Visa International is experiencing 40% annual growth rates across its commercial card product lines. There are more than 12 million Visa commercial cards issued globally. Visa International’s three commercial card programs, Visa Business, Visa Purchasing and Visa Corporate respectively focus on: the payment needs of small businesses; the procurement needs of medium to large firms; and the travel and entertainment expenses of medium to large firms.

Visa’s Commercial Product Platforms Division is also at the leading edge of expanding product platforms and integrating enhanced data, new technologies and delivery channels to meet changing commercial market needs. Visa’s business-to-business e-commerce initiatives have included online trading hubs, online procurement strategic alliances and global standards for worldwide interoperability.

About Visa International

As the “World’s Best Way to Pay,” Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and the largest payment system worldwide with more volume than all other major payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders.

Visa has more than 80 smart card programs in 35 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including 8 million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction(TM) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are over 1 billion Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Cash, Interlink and PLUS cards in the market.

Visa-branded cards generate US$1.6 trillion in annual volume and are accepted at over 19 million worldwide locations, including at more than 627,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [www.visa.com][1].

About Necho Systems Corp.

Necho Systems Corp. is a leading provider of Web-based travel and entertainment (T&E) expense processing solutions for reducing enterprise costs in mid-market organizations with a few hundred, to 10,000 travelers. Necho’s T&E applications provide enterprises with e-commerce processing and payment solutions that dynamically link to corporate card, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and payment systems. NavigatER, Necho’s Web-based T&E software automates every activity within expense processing, from expense claim creation through verification, audit and payment. Necho’s solutions extend into procurement to enable a total solution that offers increased data-capture, workflow and administration benefits across the enterprise.

Necho has specialized in T&E software solutions since 1995 and has many prominent clients including 7-Eleven, Inc., American Electric Power, Janssen-Ortho, Inc. and R.R. Donnelley & Sons. Necho has partnered with industry leaders to offer a complete solution for each client. Necho has offices across North America, for more information on Necho, contact us at www.info@necho.com or 1-800-NECHOSC.

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

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Longest Summer

After four years and two hundred depositions, the U.S. Government’s antitrust case against VISA and MasterCard officially got underway yesterday. The trial is expected to last all summer, ending around September 30. The Justice Department began calling witnesses Tuesday to the hot seat. Those expected to testify this week include: Lawrence Kessler, Banco Popular; John Elliott, formerly of MasterCard; Sandy Woods, Publix Super Markets; and Steve McCurdy, American Express. Next week the Government plans to call to the stand: Kenneth Chenault, American Express; Adam Rothchild, American Express; James Cracchiolo, American Express; Alex W. Pete Hart, ex MasterCard CEO; Russell Hogg, ex MasterCard CEO; Bennett Katz, former general counsel, VISA; Joseph Saunders, FleetBoston Financial; former MasterCard board chairman; and Christopher Zyda, Amazon.com.

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First eCommerce

First of Omaha Merchant Processing announced the release of their First eCommerce program, a one-stop source for electronic commerce services. Advanced data mining, fraud assessment and ancillary services are all standard features of First eCommerce. In addition, First of Omaha merchant customers will take advantage of front office web site development and hosting, including secure Internet payment processing modules. For back office needs, First eCommerce offers web-based tools designed to provide real time, online access to account information.

Nick Baxter, President of First of Omaha, commented on the release of First eCommerce; “With the increasing number of merchants involved in e- commerce initiatives, we feel that we have a single solution which will afford our processing partners the opportunity to increase their bottom line. As always, we strive to foresee and respond to client needs today and into the future. The introduction of First eCommerce offers one convenient and affordable solution encompassing all the necessary Internet growth elements.”

About First of Omaha

First of Omaha is a premier payment processor specializing in providing service to both the traditional and Internet direct marketing industries, as well as the traditional face to face card acceptance market. First of Omaha provides financial management and payment processing solutions for large and small retailers, lodging merchants, petroleum marketers, associations/franchise groups and banks in both the business to consumer and business to business marketplaces. Known for superior customer service, First of Omaha specializes in providing clients the latest in card processing technologies. Through development of a diversified product line, First of Omaha has become a leader in the merchant processing industry, assisting clients in the reduction of chargebacks and fraud. First of Omaha is a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Bank of Omaha and is one of the few remaining in-house bank processors. First National Bank of Omaha, founded in 1863, is the 32nd oldest nationally chartered bank in existence. First of Omaha’s Internet address is [http://www.foomp.com][1].

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

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LaserCards for India

Drexler Technology Corporation announced that it has entered into a LaserCard supply contract with Shonkh Technologies Ltd., of Bangalore, India, and has received a non-refundable $250,000 advance payment. Purchase orders have not been released under the LaserCard supply contract because Shonkh Technologies is in discussions and negotiations with its customer regarding the implementation of an optical memory card program by the government of an Indian state.

If Shonkh Technologies’ program implementation progresses significantly or if significant LaserCard(R) purchase orders are placed with Drexler Technology, additional information will be reported.

Information about Shonkh Technologies is available at [www.shonkh.com][1]. It should be noted, however, that some of the posted Indian newspaper articles reporting on Drexler/Shonkh relationships contain some inaccurate information.

Headquartered in Mountain View, Drexler Technology Corporation manufactures LaserCard(R) optical memory cards used for immigration, healthcare, automotive, ID/access, data logging, and other digital read/write wallet-card applications. The Drexler/LaserCard website address is [www.lasercard.com][2]. Drexler’s subsidiary, LaserCard Systems Corporation, makes optical card reader/writers, develops optical card system software, and markets card-related systems and peripherals. Drexler Technology reported net income of $5,360,000 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000.

[1]: http://www.shonkh.com/
[2]: http://www.lasercard.com/

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China Debit Cards

GMAI-Asia.com announced Tuesday it has introduced an online debit card program for eCommerce sales on its iAtoZ.com website with two of China’s largest banks. The online debit card program offered by GMAI-Asia.com, in conjunction with China Construction Bank and China Merchants Bank, will enable customers who do not hold credit cards to shop and buy online at GMAI-Asia.com’s eCommerce website and cybermall. The iAtoZ.com website offers C2C and B2C retail and auction platforms, including more than 100,000 listed product from over 5,000 merchant partners, as well as defined vertical markets in cellular telephones and wireless communication products, consumer electronics and services, and an auction portal for high-end, authenticated collectibles. Customers will register for the debit cards at the Web site and will also be able to use the cards for payment at GMAI-Asia.com’s over 600 physical cell phone and jewelry stores and kiosks that GMAI-Asia.com is rapidly converting into full-service Internet centers.

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Smarty in Singapore

SmartDisk Corporation, a company whose products simplify the digital lifestyle, announced a planned June roll-out of its Smarty smart card reader/writer for use with the Electronic Purse Services Program in Singapore.

As a result of this initiative, the Smarty will now be deployed with two of the most popular cash cards in that country, the Visa Cash CashCard and the Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) CashCard.

“Electronic cash is becoming increasingly popular in Asia and other parts of the world,” said Quresh Sachee, Vice President, Marketing and Sales, SmartDisk Corporation. “Through NETS, the Smarty becomes associated with one of the most popular electronic cash networks in Singapore. Visa already is offering Smarty to its Platinum smart card program members in Latin America, so this new rollout represents the broadening of that relationship on a global scale.”

“We believe that our customers will view Smarty’s ease-of-use as an added benefit in conducting online transactions,” said David Chan, Director of Stored Value Products and Alliances, Asia Pacific Region for Visa International. “We also believe it will help attract newcomers to electronic cash.”

“NETS is constantly exploring ways to promote CashCards and the introduction of a user-friendly smart card reader, like the Smarty, will help further accelerate the acceptance of the payment mode,” said Chan Kah Khuen, General Manager, Development, NETS.

Using Smarty, NETS CashCard and Visa Cash CashCard users will be able to shop online for games, eyewear, educational materials, groceries and other products from a variety of merchants. Smarty, which is the size and shape of a 3.5-inch floppy disk, allows consumers to access e-commerce products and services through a computer. One simply inserts the CashCard into the Smarty and then slips the Smarty into the computer’s floppy drive. Transactions are then subtracted and recorded on the card. Users can load electronic cash onto the cards at automated teller machines, NETS Kiosks and designated gas stations.

Smarty will be available at retail outlets this June throughout Singapore, as well as through SmartDisk’s web site (www.smartdiskdirect.com/smarty .html).

In addition to Internet shopping, the Smarty can also be used for a range of other smart card applications. Smarty permits fast, 24-hour online electronic funds transfers for home banking customers. It also enables health care customers and providers to store and transfer important patient data over the Internet. Finally, Smarty is used with network security applications, allowing PC and network access control and authentication, secure storage of data and much more.

The Smarty already plays an important role in Visa International’s Visa Platinum initiative, a smart card program in Visa’s Latin America and Caribbean region that enables cardholders to gain access to their account information over the Internet.

About Smarty

The Smarty smart card reader/writer acts as a bridge between a smart card and a PC. Smarty has the same dimensions as a 3.5-inch floppy disk and includes a slot into which a smart card can be inserted. A smart card is inserted into the Smarty and then placed into a PC’s floppy drive. Increasing use of smart cards in Asia, Europe and the U.S. is fueling a need for a versatile, economical card reader. Smarty fulfills this need, supporting electronic commerce, banking, health care, and government applications, and the high-level security that such transactions require including access control, network authentication and data certification.

About Visa

Visa, “the world’s best way to pay,” is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide with more volume than all other payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa has more than 80 smart card programs in 35 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including over eight million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are more than one billion Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Cash, Interlink and PLUS cards in the market. Visa-branded cards generate US $1.6 trillion in annual volume and are accepted at more than 19 million worldwide locations, including at over 627,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [www.visa.com][1].

About NETS

NETS was founded in 1985 by five major banks, namely DBS Bank, OCBC Bank Group, Overseas Union Bank, POSBank and United Overseas Bank to operate and manage an online debit payment service. TatLee Bank (since merged with Keppel Bank to form Keppel TatLee Bank) and Keppel Bank joined as NETS shareholder banks in 1990 and 1992, respectively.

With the formation of Keppel TatLee Bank and the acquisition of POSBank by DBS Bank, NETS’s current shareholder banks are DBS Bank, Keppel TatLee Bank, OCBC Bank, Overseas Union Bank, and United Overseas Bank.

Through the years, NETS has developed a comprehensive range of electronic payment services such as EFTPOS, Shared ATM service, FEDI (Financial Electronic Data Interchange), NETS Kiosk, CashCard, SET Payment Gateway, CashCard for Open Network E-commerce (C-ONE), Business-to-Business Internet Payment service, HomeNETS, e-bill service and Trade Finance service. For more information, please go to [www.nets.com.sg][2].

About SmartDisk Corporation

SmartDisk designs, develops, manufactures and markets digital connectivity products and personal storage systems that allow consumers to easily access and exchange digital data. The company is using its proprietary and patented technologies to capitalize on the growing demand for digital applications and increased usage of the Internet. SmartDisk’s investors and partners include Apple, Hitachi, IBM, NEC, SanDisk, SCM Microsystems, Sony, Toshiba and others. For more information, go to [www.smartdisk.com][3].

[1]: http://www.visa.com/
[2]: http://www.nets.com.sg/
[3]: http://www.smartdisk.com/

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CPI Smart Cards

Los Angeles-based CPI Card Group yesterday signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft for ‘Windows for Smart Cards’. Immediate plans for CPI include producing smart cards in quantities in excess of half a million for CPI associate Smart Card Integrators, who will deploy the cards as part of the SCILogix system in European casinos. CPI and SCI have also recently formed a strategic partnership with Global Payment Technologies to develop an integrated bill acceptor/smart card product that can provide cashless solutions for the gaming industry worldwide. The initial focus of the integrated product will be the South African, Australian and Asian gaming markets. CPI produces plastic cards and bank cards from three manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles, Denver and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Canadians Online

According to a new study, Canadian Internet users are rapidly becoming Internet shoppers but, security fears, service frustrations and limited offerings are discouraging Canadians from purchasing online. These are among the findings of ‘Winning the Online Consumer in Canada’, a report released this morning by The Boston Consulting Group. The BCG study focuses on a comparison of Canadian online consumer attitudes and satisfaction levels with those of U.S. consumers. Among the study’s conclusions: Canadian online purchasers are clamoring for Canadian sites, partly because they want access to familiar products and partly out of loyalty. Purchasing from Canadian sites also means that consumers will not have to face the additional compromises presented by U.S. sites, such as a high exchange rate, customs duties, and slower, more expensive delivery. BCG says the typical Canadian online purchaser conducted five online transactions and spent CDN$220 over the last 12 months. Meanwhile American online purchasers averaged 11 transactions and spent CDN$705 over the same period.

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Concentrex Adds MC RPPS

MasterCard International and Concentrex Incorporated, a leading provider of Internet banking technology to financial services institutions, announced they have signed an agreement enabling Concentrex to access MasterCard’s Remote Payment and Presentment Service on behalf of more than 1 million consumers in its network of over 375 financial institutions. Concentrex is among the first Customer Service Providers to sign with MasterCard for its combined electronic bill presentment and payment services.

Under the new agreement, MasterCard will act as a bill presentment and payment “hub,” offering Concentrex’s online banking customers the ability to present bills to consumers through MasterCard’s RPPS network. MasterCard’s RPPS program will also provide Concentrex’s participating financial institutions flexible connectivity to process transactions without capturing or storing consumer or biller relationship information. More than one million consumers currently do their online banking through Concentrex’s financial service customers.

By leveraging MasterCard’s existing payment relationships through its RPPS service, this agreement allows the industry to reach a greater number of potential online banking customers than ever before. MasterCard’s 14 years of experience, along with its proven payments network, risk management and customer service infrastructure, will also enable Concentrex to leverage MasterCard’s expertise, customer base and payments experience. As a result of this service, consumers have gained more convenience with access to more of their bills online, while billers have the opportunity to access a greater number of consumers then ever before. Member financial institutions can promote interoperability and leverage MasterCard’s extensive payments experience and “hub”. The full service offering will be available to all banks, Customer Service Providers and Biller Service Providers in September 2000.

“We’ve found that it’s not enough for a financial institution to offer an online option to consumers,” said Matt Chapman, chairman and chief executive officer of Concentrex. “Consumers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and demanding. They want systems that allow them maximum flexibility with timing of payments; through MasterCard’s vast payments network, our customers can offer greater control over bill payments.”

“We’re pleased to enter into this agreement with Concentrex, because it will benefit both consumers and billers, and greatly accelerate the acceptance rate of electronic bill payment and presentment in the financial industry,” said Ruth Ann Marshall, president, North American Region, MasterCard International. According to Forrester Research, a leading technology research firm, access to a majority of bills is the key factor to increasing consumer adoption for electronic bill payment and presentment.

About MasterCard

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of 22,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. With more than 18 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 1999, gross dollar volume exceeded US$727 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at [http://www.mastercard.com][1].

About Concentrex Incorporated

Concentrex Incorporated, based in Portland, OR, is a leading provider of technology-powered solutions to deliver financial services, including a broad range of traditional software and services integrated with leading dot.com solutions that already enable its customers to serve over one million home banking consumers. Concentrex serves over 5,000 financial institutions of all types and sizes in the United States. Concentrex has offices in eleven additional cities across the country. Its World Wide Web address is [www.concentrex.com][2].

[1]: http://www.mastercard.com/
[2]: http://www.concentrex.com/

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EuroDebit

In response to the fact that only 3.5% of all European retail purchases in 1999 were made by credit card and that less than 20% of Europeans own credit cards, Seattle-based EuroDebit Systems announced this morning a new service to provide online debiting of European checking accounts. ‘DirectDebit’ processing services provides U.S. online merchants with the gateway necessary to conduct financial transactions with European buyers. Automatic debit is more widely accepted in Europe than personal checks for nearly all transactions and is ideal for purchases over the Internet. EuroDebit says that since U.S. e-Commerce companies do not have direct access to the European banking system or its debit approval processes, online merchants in the U.S. and Canada need a service like ‘DirectDebit’ to handle real-time, online debit-processing in addition to traditional credit card transactions. The online consumer market in Europe grew by 200% in 1999 and accounted for nearly US$3.5 billion in sales.

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Fleet – CardSite

Incurrent Solutions ([www.incurrent.com][1]), a leading provider of web and wireless “cardmember relationship management” solutions for the payment card industry, announced that Fleet Credit Card Services has implemented Incurrent’s CardSite CRM suite. Fleet went into production with CardSite in May, providing over eight million of its customers with real-time Internet access to this exciting new service site.

CardSite is a comprehensive cardmember relationship management (CRM) solution that provides cardholders with Internet and wireless access to customer self-service, billing, personal financial management, and personalized e-mail messaging capabilities. With Cardsite, Fleet customers can manage their personal finances 7 days a week, 24 hours a day via the Internet.

“Fleet Credit Card Services has grown to be the number eight bank card issuer in the last two years by being aggressive and delivering outstanding value and service to their customers,” said Loren Hulber, President and CEO of Incurrent Solutions. “We’re extremely proud that CardSite is a key component of FCCS’ e-commerce strategy,” he added. Consumers can access the site at www.fleetcards.com and new customers can apply online at www.fleetapplynow.com.

“Fleet Credit Card Services’ new customer service platform provides an interactive channel for the delivery of cardmember conveniences, such as real-time access to statement information, reports, alerts and numerous other customer requests” said Warren Wilcox, Executive Vice President. “Incurrent’s CardSite platform offered a customer care solution that was implemented rapidly and significantly enhanced the value of our product. We are confident our customers will be pleased with this enriched, user-friendly platform,” he added.

Fleet Credit Card Services, headquartered north of Philadelphia in Horsham, PA, is a wholly owned subsidiary of FleetBoston Financial with approximately $14.5 billion in managed receivables and more than eight million customers. FleetBoston Financial is the eighth-largest financial holding company in the United States. An $187 billion diversified financial services company, it offers a comprehensive array of innovative financial solutions to 20 million customers in more than 20 countries and territories. Among the company’s key lines of business are: retail banking, with over 1,250 branches and over 3,400 ATMs in the Northeast; commercial banking, including capital markets/investment banking and commercial finance; investment services, including discount brokerage; and full-service banking through more than 250 offices in Latin America. FleetBoston Financial is headquartered in Boston and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FBF) and the Boston Stock Exchange (BSE: FBF).

Founded in 1997, Incurrent Solutions ([http://www.incurrent.com][2]) provides advanced Internet and wireless services to card issuing banks and transaction processors. The company’s flagship CardSite solution provides a cutting-edge, web-centric service solution that enhances the cardmember experience and cultivates account loyalty. Cardmembers 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 can be delivered via a partial or complete Application Service Provider (ASP) delivery model.

In addition to Fleet Credit Card Services, Incurrent currently provides interactive customer care solutions to industry leading card companies such as Alliance Data Systems, NextCard, and 1stFinancial Bank. With offices in Parsippany, NJ and Orlando, FL, Incurrent combines its industry leading CardSite application with client-defined operating services, complete creative design, and integration services to form a cohesive, Internet and wireless cardmember solution.

[1]: http://www.incurrent.com/
[2]: http://www.incurrent.com/

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SA Cash Card

Boston-based Student Advantage announced this morning it is expanding its ‘SA Cash’ program following the successful results of pilot programs at Dartmouth College, UCLA and American University. The pilot program, in place for two years at Dartmouth and for a more abbreviated period at UCLA and American, resulted in more than 200,000 new transactions and generated more than $2 million in gross merchant sales through the 1999-2000 academic year. ‘SA Cash’ can serve as an enhancement to the university ‘One Card’, an on-campus stored value card in use at more than 750 colleges and universities. The university ‘One Card’ provides students with multiple services, from building access to the ability to purchase goods and services on campus. ‘SA Cash’ takes the university’s ‘One Card’ capabilities one step further by expanding the program off-campus and online. In the Hanover, NH area, ‘SA Cash’ accounted for more than half the total amount of estimated student spending at participating merchants. Eighty-five percent of the freshman class activated the ‘SA Cash’ account with an average deposit of $500. Overall, ‘SA Cash’ was used by 65% of Dartmouth’s student body.

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