Smart Card Website

CyberMark, the leading developer and supplier of smart card solutions for closed campus markets announces plans to launch a major Internet based service for it’s rapidly growing smart card customer base. The web site, targeted at CyberMark’s 700,000 cardholders, will provide advanced services including the ability to add funds to stored- value chips from bank accounts, membership authentication, loyalty programs, surveys and voting, and downloading new smart card applications over the Internet. The site will bear the logo’s of institutions issuing the cards, and valid cardholders will enjoy free Internet access.

“Over the next twelve months CyberMark expects our smart card base to exceed well over two million subscribers,” said Jeff Staples, director of Internet marketing at CyberMark. “Smart card management tools are now capable of delivering card services over the Internet. CyberMark will be the first to offer such services while expanding the value proposition for cardholders and partner institutions.”

“Card management is an extremely valuable service to CyberMark’s large base of cardholders,” stated Donna Farmer, president and CEO of the Smart Card Forum. “As the smart card industry grows over the coming months, card management services will be a critical element in sustaining growth; satisfying both the consumers demand for new applications, and card issuer’s demands for increased service to their customers.”

Founded in 1996, CyberMark is a leading electronic commerce company, specializing in the creation of smart card communities on the Internet and in closed campus environments.

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In The Pink

Sub-prime credit card specialist, The Credit Store, will not be trading on the OTC Bulletin Board today but may appear this morning on the National Quotation Bureau’s ‘Pink Sheets’. The company says it has not been able to meet the deadline set by the NASD to become a publicly reporting company. The Credit Store says it has filed a Registration Statement on Form 10 with the SEC, which is conducting its review. The company says it anticipates that its common stock will be able to resume trading via the OTCBB.

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New ICE

Hypercom unveiled the ‘ICE 6500’ and the ‘ePic ICE 5500″ terminals yesterday. The ‘ICE 6500″ is an Internet-enabled, customer-activated, stand-alone touch screen card payment terminal that integrates a web appliance. The ‘ICE 6500’ is the first stand-alone point-of-sale payment terminal with a 6″, 256-color 1/4 VGA touch graphics display screen and built-in web browser. It supports a full range of electronic payment transactions including debit, credit, check, gift card, and EBT, as well as a range of browser-based value-added functions, such as ECR, on-screen advertising, interactive coupons, e-mail, electronic statements and merchant e-commerce. The ‘ePic ICE 5500’ is a touch screen-based high speed card payment terminal. Offering all of the operational features of Hypercom’s ‘ICE 5000’ terminal, the ‘ePic ICE 5500’ supports a full range of secure electronic payment transactions including debit, credit, checks and EBT. When supplied with a smart card reader, the terminal device also supports smart card based credit, debit and stored value, such as ‘Mondex’, ‘VISA Cash’ and meets the international EMV standard. When used in concert with Hypercom’s ‘ePicPortz’ software, the ‘ePic ICE 5500’ also enables merchants to access a range of Internet-based services including: e-mail, on-screen advertising, interactive electronic coupons, electronic receipt capture and storage, access to DDA account information, merchant e-commerce function, and cash management reporting through a standard browser. The ‘ICE 6500’ will be available in late April while the ‘ePic ICE 5500’ is ready for shipment now.

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Discover & Switchboard

Discover Financial Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., and Switchboard Incorporated, the popular Internet directory and local merchant network, today announced an expansion of their existing relationship that is focused on helping Discover/Novus Network merchants promote their businesses online.

Discovercard.com now features a custom-designed version of Switchboard’s acclaimed yellow pages directory highlighting Discover/Novus Network merchants participating in the Switchboard Local Merchant Program. Discover/Novus Network merchants participating in Switchboard’s Local Merchant Program will have access to a broad range of cost effective services to help them establish, manage and expand their online presence and reach qualified customers. Based on Switchboard’s “What’s Nearby?” guides, this custom designed version of Switchboard’s yellow pages directory features a series of guides that will make it easier for Discover Cardmembers to find Discover/Novus Network merchants.

Switchboard’s “What’s Nearby?” guides on Discovercard.com are designed to help consumers locate shopping and entertainment options and explore college life across the U.S. These provide Discover/Novus Network merchants an additional level of Internet exposure to help them connect with consumers who are ready to buy as they search for products and services in their local market or across the country.

The guides each have a different area of focus. The Campus Guide, which is tightly integrated with the Discovercard.com StudentCenter, lets any college student enter their campus address and quickly get access to local merchants in their area. The Entertainment Guide allows Discover Cardmembers to simply enter their home or work address, or the address of a travel destination, and then easily find a variety of entertainment oriented businesses that are nearby including restaurants, theatres, museums, golf courses, video rental stores and ice cream parlors. The Online Shopping Guide provides Cardmembers with a categorized index of online merchants to help with all of their shopping needs.

“We are extremely interested in providing easy-to-use online services for our Discover Cardmembers to encourage them to do business with our merchant network,” said Colleen Zambole, vice president, Electronic Commerce, Discover Financial Services, Inc. “This directory of businesses is the latest in a series of online initiatives to provide substantive benefits to our Cardmembers and merchants.”

“We are pleased to see our relationship with Discover Financial Services grow in new directions. The Discover directory and guides bring a new level of exposure to the Discover/Novus Network merchants in our local merchant network while simultaneously introducing a new audience of consumers to the power of Switchboard,” said Switchboard president, Dean Polnerow.

About Discover Financial Services

Discover Financial Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., operates the Discover(R) Card brands with more than 48 million Cardmembers and the Discover/Novus Network. The Network is the largest independent credit card network in the United States with more than 3.5 million merchant and cash access locations.

About Switchboard Incorporated

Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Switchboard Incorporated, is a leading Internet-based local merchant network interconnecting consumers, merchants and national advertisers. Its flagship website, CBS Switchboard.com ([www.switchboard.com][1]) offers a broad range of functions, content and services including yellow and white pages, E-mail and website directories, and interactive maps and driving directions. Viewed more than 50 million times each month, CBS Switchboard.com connects consumers searching for specific products and services with the merchants that provide them. Switchboard also provides local merchants with efficient, cost-effective services to help them establish, manage and expand their businesses online. Banyan Worldwide (NASDAQ: BNYN) and CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) own approximately 41% and 31% of the outstanding shares of Switchboard, respectively. Switchboard is a registered trademark of Switchboard Incorporated. “CBS” and the CBS “eye” device are registered trademarks of CBS Broadcasting Inc.

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

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STAR Partners

Paymentech announced plans Wednesday to implement comprehensive rating criteria for VARs with whom the company works to deliver payment processing solutions. The ‘STAR Partners’ program will focus on a three-tiered VAR classification program. Paymentech will assess payment related issues such as connectivity (Dial, IP, ISDN, etc.); market-specific product lines; AVS and CVV2; purchase card level II; debit (MasterSession or DUKPT); American Express and Discover Card split dial capabilities; and payment options supported within applications, including card types and check services. The project will enhance Paymentech’s ISO and agent bank sales and client relation efforts to identify and determine VAR payment integration offerings as well as the support from Paymentech’s Advance Products Group. Paymentech also announced yesterday the launch of a ‘Top Tier Help Desk’ to provide call and install resources for agent bank and ISO field personnel. A technical staff has been directed to address specific sales and merchant set-up questions.

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EC-Karte System

Cubic Transportation Systems completed the installation of Germany’s first full-scale, fully integrated contactless smart card fare collection system for mass transit. The system, which ties 11 independent bus operators to a single fare medium, has just gone into operation in Freiburg. Cubic’s newest contactless ticketing application automatically processes payments, letting bus riders carry different types of tickets on a single card, and allowing payment by the German ‘EC-Karte’ credit card. Cubic’s latest-generation Mobile Fare Computer enables SudbadenBus GmbH to use the ISO-compliant ‘Type A’ contactless card platform. Several cities in Germany have or plan to have transit smart card pilots. Freiburg represents the production implementation of contactless smart card technology. The project was awarded to Cubic in March 1998.

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MasterCard & Captura

While VISA has Extensity, MasterCard has Captura. MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions and Captura announced an agreement to provide MasterCard member banks and their multinational customers with a web-based, integrated, comprehensive corporate credit card payment and expense management system. ‘Captura Expense’ allows global enterprises to allocate payment using single card and electronic payment solutions with the MasterCard card programs. Captura Expense electronically captures accounting data for systematic approval processing, final disbursements, and key business analysis through automated downloads of all credit card transactions.

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BillingZone

Ross Perot and PNC Bank have teamed up to deliver a business-to-business digital marketplace for electronic bill presentment and payment. Under terms of the deal PNC Bank and Perot Systems Corp. will own the joint venture 50/50. ‘BillingZone’ will offer a payer-focused EBPP service to business clients. Up to now, EBPP solutions have been primarily driven by the needs of billers, often requiring payers to move from one biller site to the next in order to pay their bills online. PNC Bank is the ninth largest provider of treasury management services in the nation. Time0, a business unit of Perot Systems, is building the venture’s EBPP digital marketplace platform, slated for release this summer. The new organization will be headquartered in Pittsburgh. BillingZone’s EBPP service will be demonstrated at the NACHA conference next month.

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Metris Jobs

Metris Companies Inc., one of the nation’s fastest growing direct marketing companies, announced today a recruiting effort to fill approximately 500 positions in the company’s new Scottsdale operations center. Interested candidates are invited to attend a company-hosted job fair on Monday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the new Metris facility at 17600 Perimeter Dr. in Scottsdale.

Metris expects its new Scottsdale facility to accommodate more than 600 collections, customer service, information technology and management employees by year-end. The company currently employs more than 120 people in the Scottsdale area.

“We’re excited to be a growing member of the Scottsdale community and think that we stand a notch above the competition based on our compensation and benefits package, the quality of our facilities, the services we offer and the care we show our employees,” said David R. Reak, executive vice president. “Metris offers a fast track for advancement and an opportunity to work with a highly experienced management team.”

Metris’ expanded growth in Scottsdale reflects the company’s aggressive growth, marked recently by the opening of new facilities in Tulsa, Okla., and Jacksonville, Fla. Later this year, the company will open a new corporate headquarters in suburban Minneapolis.

Metris Companies Inc. is an information-based direct marketer of consumer credit products and fee-based services primarily to moderate-income consumers. Based in St. Louis Park, Minn., Metris also has operations in Jacksonville, Fla.; Champaign, Ill.; Baltimore, Md.; and Tulsa, Okla. It employs more than 3,300 people.

Visit Metris on the Internet at [www.metriscompanies.com][1], [www.directmerchantsbank.com][2], [www.purchaseshield.com][3], [www.idirectalert.com][4], [www.ifraudalert.com][5], [www.itripsaver.com][6], [www.metristravel.com][7].

[1]: http://www.metriscompanies.com/
[2]: http://www.directmerchantsbank.com/
[3]: http://www.purchaseshield.com/
[4]: http://www.idirectalert.com/
[5]: http://www.ifraudalert.com/
[6]: http://www.itripsaver.com/
[7]: http://www.metristravel.com/

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Card Debt Soars

The 1999 holiday shopping season pushed revolving consumer credit significantly higher during January. According to preliminary figures released Tuesday afternoon by the Federal Reserve, Americans piled on $7.5 billion in outstanding revolving credit during January. Last year, American cardholders added $6.2 billion during January 1999. Over the past twelve months consumers have added a total of $37.6 billion to revolving credit. Revolving credit is mostly credit card debt. Overall consumer credit is now growing at a 14.6% rate, according to the FRB. At the end of January American consumers were $1.412 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
Jan 00 Dec99 Nov99 Oct99 Sep99 Aug99 Jul99
%GRWTH: 15.1% 12.5 10.2 -0.5 0.0 2.5 12.1
$OWED: $603.5 596.0 589.8 584.3 584.5 584.5 584.6

Jun99 May99 Apr99 Mar99 Feb99 Jan99
%GRWTH: 13.8 4.5 5.6 -0.9 3.4 11.6
$OWED: 578.5 572.2 569.9 567.3 567.5 565.9

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 3/07/00;
For complete historical data visit www.carddata.com.

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MBNA Wedding Loans

An online wedding resource called, The Knot, announced yesterday a three-year partnership with MBNA to provide financial-related services to brides and grooms. As part of the new program, MBNA will sponsor a special editorial section on The Knot, geared towards helping couples plan their wedding budget. This area, set to launch next month, will feature articles on budgeting and finance-related topics. In addition, couples will be able to find out more about the services that MBNA offers to engaged couples, including loans to help them pay for their wedding. This section on The Knot will link to an MBNA website where to-be-weds can apply on-line for a special wedding loan and receive an instant decision. Applicants who are approved will receive checks from MBNA which can be used for any or all wedding-related expenses.

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Princivalle to TradeOut.com

TradeOut.com (www.tradeout.com), a global Internet marketplace for business surplus, announced Tuesday that it has named Karin Princivalle as its Vice President of People.

Karin joins TradeOut.com from Citigroup’s credit card business, the largest credit card business in the world with 53 million accounts and 90 million cards in circulation. In this role, Karin had responsibility for approximately 15,000 employees located throughout North America. She brings over 20 years of human resources experience from Citigroup, Frito-Lay and Kaiser Aluminum.

During Karin’s tenure with Citigroup, she was involved in business start-ups in Washington, D.C. and San Antonio, Texas; led the integration of the AT&T Universal Card acquisition and managed the human resources activities in Citigroup’s emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

“Karin has a strong track record of developing strategic Human Resources frameworks focusing on leadership development and building high performance work environments,” said TradeOut.com CEO George Samenuk.

Princivalle joins TradeOut.com after 15 years with Citigroup. She received her BS in Labor Relations from LaSalle University and her MA in Industrial Relations from St. Francis. TradeOut.com ([www.tradeout.com][1])

TradeOut.com, a privately held company based in Ardsley, New York, is a business-to-business Internet marketplace for excess inventory and idle assets. TradeOut.com offers a fast and easy way to buy and sell business surplus, and features products for sale from a wide variety of industries, from consumer products to utilities. For more information about TradeOut.com, visit [www.tradeout.com][2], send an e-mail to customerservice@tradeout.com or call 1-888-525-TRADE.

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

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