Net.B@nk Prez

Net.B@nk, Inc., the holding company for Net.B@nk (, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender and the world’s leading Internet bank with more than $1.3 billion in assets, Monday announced the appointment of Michael Fitzgerald as president.

Fitzgerald, who has more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry, reports to D.R. Grimes, Net.B@nk chief executive officer. He joins Net.B@nk from Massachusetts-based Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, where he most recently served as the president of, its electronic banking division. In that position, he created one of the first bank Web sites in the world and the first virtual branch offering a complete home banking program.

“Net.B@nk is experiencing phenomenal growth with more than 5,000 customer accounts per month,” Grimes said. “With the addition of Mike’s experience, we are in an even stronger position to increase those numbers. Mike is known in the Internet banking world for his early and innovative product development skills, his commitment to building an infrastructure to support rapid growth, and his accomplishments in cultivating strategic partnerships that add greater value to the customer’s home banking experience. Like Net.B@nk, Mike has accomplished a great deal in proving the viability of the Internet banking model. I am confident that Mike will help us achieve even greater success in the future.”

Fitzgerald earlier held senior management positions at Century Bancorp, Inc., Mellon Bank and Merchants National Bank. Fitzgerald holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a graduate degree from the University of Colorado School of Bank Marketing.

“With 80 percent of households expected to be banking online this year, my mission is to educate them about the strengths of Net.B@nk — our services, our online banking philosophy and what we uniquely can offer them,” Fitzgerald said. “Online banking has achieved considerable momentum among consumers, and that trend will only continue. Net.B@nk is strongly positioned, and I’m very pleased to be part of a management team that is driven to bring the advantages of Internet banking to its customers.”

Net.B@nk, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTBK), is a financial services company whose sole subsidiary, Net.B@nk, Member FDIC, is the first profitable pure Internet bank in the country, having achieved profitability in the past seven successive quarters. With over $1.3 billion in assets and customers in all 50 United States and 20 foreign countries, Net.B@nk is the largest FDIC-insured bank operating solely on the Internet. In addition to free checking and money market accounts and certificates of deposits with exceptional interest rates, Net.B@nk offers its customers the ultimate convenience in banking. Products and services include free online account access, free unlimited online bill payment, free checks, unlimited ATM use, VISA(R) Check Card, VISA(R) credit cards, online brokerage services, mortgage lending, home equity lines and loans, and business equipment leasing services. Net.B@nk is a member of the Cirrus, Honor/Star, and AFFN ATM networks. For more information on Net.B@nk, its products and services, visit the Web site at [][1], or call 888-256-6932.



Input Japan Deal

San Jose-based Input Software announced an agreement with Japan’s Wanbishi Archives Co. Ltd. whereby the two companies announced full-scale deployment of InputAccel for a project to digitize more than ten million credit card applications for Japan’s largest credit card company. The result is instant information access online, allowing customer service representatives to quickly verify customer seals, signatures and other personal writing descriptions, and respond instantly to customer inquiries by phone.


Joseph to NOVA Board

NOVA Corporation announced Monday that Pamela A. Joseph, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of NOVA Corporation, has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. Ms. Joseph’s addition to the Board increases NOVA’s Board of Directors to a total of eight directors.

“Since joining NOVA in 1994, Pam has worked in nearly every area of the Company and she has played a major role in our growth and ongoing development. No one in our Company knows the business as well as Pam, and no one has contributed more to our success,” said NOVA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Grzedzinski. “She joined us as part of our sales and marketing organization, and with her strong leadership her role has increased to include our technical organization and operations. Pam’s strong vision contributed to NOVA’s technological advancement and played a key role both in directing NOVA’s early participation in Econex, LLC, and as the point person in developing NOVA’s value-added Internet strategy for small merchants. The knowledge and experience she brings to our Board will be invaluable as we pursue our strategies for growth in our core processing business, the Internet, and as we look internationally for new opportunities,” Grzedzinski concluded.

Ms. Joseph’s background includes nearly three years with VISA International where, as the Director of New Market Development, she was responsible for establishing VISA card acceptance in the supermarket industry. She joined NOVA in 1994 as Vice President of Marketing and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Development one year later. She was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 1997, and promoted to Senior Executive Vice President last year. Ms. Joseph is a graduate of the University of Illinois, with a major in business administration. She currently lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband and two children.

“The fast pace and strong growth environment at NOVA provides a unique opportunity to develop and contribute at a level that most companies simply cannot offer,” Ms. Joseph said. “I look forward to the new challenges and being part of a company that is dedicated to being an industry leader in the provision of electronic commerce services.”

NOVA Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, manages and transports payment and other business information on behalf of retailers, community banks and regional financial institutions. NOVA specializes in providing integrated credit and debit card payment processing services, related software application products and value added services to more than 500,000 merchants in the U.S. NOVA merchant customers typically include small- to medium-sized merchants requiring a full spectrum of processing services. For more information on the Company, visit: [][1].




Miami-based TecniCard announced this morning it is launching the first Central American virtual credit card payment solution. The new solution is powered by Trintech’s ‘NetIssuer/ezCard’ solution. TecniCard Inc. issues, acquires and processes credit cards on behalf of 25 leading banks in Central America. TecniCard, through its subsidiaries in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, offers merchant processing services. Its processing infrastructure covers almost all countries from Panama to Belize, including ATM Networks in Nicaragua and Honduras.


Dec Debt

Revolving consumer credit continued to expand at a modest rate during December. According to preliminary figures released Monday afternoon by the Federal Reserve, Americans piled on more than $4 billion in outstanding revolving credit during December. Since July, revolving consumer credit, mostly credit card debt, has grown by $8.5 billion. Overall consumer credit is now growing at a 9.7%, according to the FRB. At the end of December American consumers were $1.399 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

Dec99 Nov99 Oct99 Sep99 Aug99 Jul99 Jun99 May99 Apr99 Mar99 Feb99 Jan99
%GRWTH: 8.4% 9.0 -0.5 0.0 2.5 12.1 13.8 4.5 5.6 -0.9 3.4 11.6
$OWED: $592.8 588.7 584.3 584.5 584.5 584.6 578.5 572.2 569.9 567.3 567.5 565.9
Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 2/07/00; For
complete historical data visit


ORCC & Aurum

VA-based Online Resources & Communications announced this morning it has signed a strategic marketing agreement with Aurum Technology Inc., formerly a division of EDS’ Financial Industry Group that spun-off and became an independent company in December. Both firms focus on the mid-range and community-based banking market. The deal will combine Online Resources’ real-time banking and bill payment infrastructure and Aurum’s application software and item processing capabilities.


Equestrian Processing Enterprises Inc. has received approval of its application for merchant status from Cardservice International Inc. will now be able to provide credit card transaction processing services to horse related businesses whose goods and/or services are offered through’s equestrian portal. Chairman, John Henry, said, “We have received a very competitive discount rate from Cardservice International and now we, in turn, can offer very attractive terms to our clients. This is an important step towards meeting our goal of becoming the Ebay (EBAY) of the horse world”.

About Cardservice International, Inc.

Cardservice International, Inc., is a global leader in providing real-time secure credit card transactions to merchants. Cardservice offers merchants a cost-effective service branded to their businesses, enabling them to provide credit card processing over the Internet as well as to the traditional marketplace. The company’s LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway(SM) utilizes state-of-the-art Secure Sockets Layer technology and is easily scalable to any size business. The gateway is designed to communicate in real time with a business’ core data-processing system to allow online transactions to be posted immediately. The gateway also delivers a full range of capabilities, including sales, returns, authorizations, online check processing and comprehensive real-time reports for easy Web management.

More than 170,000 merchants have contracted with Cardservice International. Of those, 50,000 are actively using Cardservice and/or the LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway as their Internet solution.


“John J. Henry” ————————— John J. Henry, Chairman

From time to time, the company may issue news releases that contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the safe harbor created by those sections. This material may contain statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. For those statements, the company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statement provisions contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and any amendments thereto. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, goals, assumptions, or future events or performance are not statements of historical fact and may be “forward-looking statements.” “Forward-looking statements” are based upon expectations, estimates and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated. “Forward-looking statements” in this action may be identified through the use of words such as “projects,” “expects,” “will,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “believes” or by statements indicating certain actions “may,” “could” or “might” occur. Discussions of factors that may affect future results are contained in the company’s recent filings.


One Million CTO MCs

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited today reported consolidated net earnings per share of $1.89 in fiscal 1999, compared with $2.09 per share earned in 1998. After-tax consolidated earnings were $145.9 million versus $167.0 million in 1998.

The pre-tax consolidated earnings were reduced by unusual expenses of approximately $50 million associated with, among other things, Y2K charges as well as costs to develop an e-commerce business which is scheduled to be launched later in 2000 and the retirement of the CEO as previously announced.

All of Canadian Tire’s operating divisions made strong contributions to 1999 operating earnings before the expense adjustment. Canadian Tire Retail (CTR) operating earnings before the adjustment were up 8.1 percent while Canadian Tire Financial Services and Canadian Tire Petroleum operating earnings increased 8.0 percent and 81.3 percent respectively.

The Corporation closed the year with consolidated gross operating revenue of $4.7 billion, 8.8 percent ahead of the $4.3 billion reported in 1998.

“In addition to our strong operating performance in 1999, Canadian Tire achieved a number of key strategic accomplishments,” said Stephen E. Bachand, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We opened 51 new-format stores bringing our total to 188 since the program started; we announced the national roll-out of the PartSource automotive parts stores; we upgraded 20 gas bars; we passed the one million mark for Canadian Tire Options MasterCard holders; and made significant investments to enhance supply chain capabilities.”

“The Corporation is in a strong financial and market position and our growth strategy is sound and performing well. We have the best management team in the business and in a national survey, we were recently selected as Canada’s best company to work for,” Bachand added.

The Corporation’s new-format store program, which began in 1994, will be completed in four years. Planned openings in addition to other major elements of the Corporation’s growth strategy, including PartSource and e-commerce, will contribute significantly to its performance

Fourth quarter consolidated gross operating revenue increased by 13.1 percent to $1.3 billion. This strong revenue growth was driven by increased shipments to Associate Dealers. Consolidated net earnings for the quarter were $13.0 million compared to $44.0 million a year earlier. The decline in earnings was due to the expenses described earlier. Net earnings per share for the quarter were $0.16 versus $0.56 in the same quarter of 1998.

Canadian Tire Retail

Canadian Tire Associate Dealers recorded a strong year. Total retail sales were up 7.7 percent over 1998, an improvement over the increase of 7.5 percent reported a year earlier. This trend reflects the increased contribution of the additional new-format stores. Comparable store sales increased by 2.9 percent in 1999. Associate Dealers recorded strong retail sales for the fourth quarter, up 10.2 percent.

CTR closed 1999 with gross operating revenue of $3.8 billion, up 8.2 percent from the $3.5 billion recorded in 1998. The increase was driven by higher retail sales which resulted in a year-over-year 8.0 percent increase in shipments to Associate Dealers.

CTR operating earnings — before the described expense adjustment — for the year were $214.4 million, 13.2 percent up from the $189.5 million earned in 1998. All three merchandising divisions of CTR — Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home Products — contributed strong shipment and margin growth. CTR operating earnings after the adjustment were $155.9 million, down 17.7 percent from a year earlier.

Fourth quarter, CTR gross operating revenue totaled $1,026.3 million, up 10.9 percent from $925.4 million in 1998. Operating earnings — before the described expense adjustment — for the quarter were $64.3 million compared to $55.7 million a year earlier. CTR operating earnings after the adjustment were $5.8 million.

Canadian Tire Financial Services

Canadian Tire Financial Services recorded 1999 gross operating revenue of $306.0 million, up 0.2 percent from the $305.4 million recorded a year earlier. The revenue performance was impacted by the licensing of Financial Services’ long-distance program to a third party. Operating earnings in 1999 were $56.0 million, up 8.0 percent from $51.9 million in 1998, due to the continued focus on improving the quality of the credit card portfolio.

Fourth quarter gross operating revenue was $83.0 million, compared with $77.3 million in the same quarter of 1998. Operating earnings in the fourth quarter were $12.5 million versus $11.2 million a year earlier.

Canadian Tire Petroleum

Canadian Tire Petroleum reported 1999 gross operating revenue of $622.0 million, up 17.3 percent from $530.2 million in 1998. The increase in revenue, resulted primarily from the year-over-year 9.1 percent increase in gasoline sales volume. Operating earnings for the year were $15.2 million, an 81.3 percent increase over the $8.4 million earned in 1998. The improvement in operating earnings was the result of continued expense reduction and increased gross margin dollars due to higher gasoline sales volumes. Petroleum’s fourth quarter gross operating revenue totaled $176.5 million compared with $134.4 million a year earlier. Operating earnings for the quarter were $3.1 million versus $2.6 million in 1998.


On December 2, 1999 the Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share on each Common and Class A Non-Voting share. The dividend is payable on March 1, 2000 to holders of record on January 31, 2000.