LeMay to NPC

Carol A. LeMay has joined National Processing Co. as vice president of National Retail Sales, the company announced today. NPC is the operating subsidiary of National Processing Inc. and is the second-largest provider of merchant credit card processing.

Prior to joining NPC, LeMay served as national sales director for Momentum, located in Atlanta. She has served as vice president of National Sales in the credit and debit card industry with recognized companies such as NaBanco and National Data Corporation for the past 14 years.

“Carol is well known in the credit and debit card industry. She is a hard worker and is dedicated to providing the best solutions for her customers. She has extensive experience selling to large National Retailers, and we are certain that she will be a strong player for NPC,” said Mark Pyke, executive vice president of National Processing Company Merchant Services.

“I am extremely excited about joining NPC. The company’s commitment to their existing customers and prospects in the National Retail Division will make them even more successful in the future,” said LeMay.

LeMay resides in Atlanta with her husband, Arthur. She has four children and three grandchildren.

About National Processing

National Processing is a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and corporate outsourcing services. National Processing supports over 470,000 merchants, representing one out of every six Visa and MasterCard transactions processed nationally. Approximately 88 percent of National Processing Inc. is owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), a Cleveland-based $87 billion bank holding company.

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VISA Canadian Smart Cards

VHS Network, Inc. announced Friday that Visa Canada approves SmartCards for Banks.

The acceleration of the demand for “smartCARD” applications alone will focus major players, such as Institutions and Banks, on this technology. VHSN has been a major proponent of application on chip cards for many years. VHS Network released the news today that, “Visa Members in Canada analyze SmartCards.” According to VHS Network, “Visa issuers in Canada have taken the first step toward replacing their 22 million magnetic-stripe credit cards with ChipCards,” as the Visa Canada board this week approved in principle a migration to SmartCards and asked member banks to get internal approval for such a move. MasterCard’s Canadian board will take up a possible switch to SmartCards this Spring.

The Company is also in the final phase of testing with their set-top box at several major companies that place set-top boxes in housing developments, using advanced fiber optics systems. Their set-top box has passed its initial testing and is in its final phase.

It will provide the most advanced streaming video with unsurpassed clarity. The Company has tested their set-top box alongside three major manufacturers’ boxes. VHSN’s box has outperformed all other and is the only box to successfully provide streaming video at a cost effective base. The potential for this box is phenomenal and will be sold aggressively.

Industry sales in set-top boxes in the year 2000 are expected to be in the billions. The VHS Network will be aggressively taking its share of this market. “It would appear that our predictions are becoming reality,” stated Mr. Elwin Cathcart, CEO and Director of VHS Network, Inc. The new Millennium would be a turnaround for the Company.

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AmEx NBA

American Express expanded its marketing campaign for its exclusive NBA sponsorship last week. Last month AmEx unleashed the ‘Streets’ advertising campaign which featured noteworthy individualists who represent achievement in their chosen fields, including entertainment, fashion, music and sports. The campaign was expanded last week to feature eight NBA stars of yesterday and today in national media outlets in New York, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. For the NBA versions, the familiar “Member Since” date from the card and ads has been replaced with a superlative that represents the style and image of the featured player. Some of the taglines: Marcus Camby (Tenacious Since), Allan Houston (Smooth Since) and Walt “Clyde” Frazier (Dishin’ & Swishin’ Since) in New York; and Jerry West (Clutch Since). AmEx’s sponsorship of the NBA is in its fifth year.

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Cybermoola

San Francisco-based Cybermoola has signed Catalina Marketing to distribute Cybermoola’s prepaid Internet shopping cards in West Coast supermarkets beginning in April. Consumers purchasing Cybermoola at the supermarket checkout counter will receive a certificate printed from the Catalina Marketing Network printer that contains a 16-digit unique serial number. Each certificate will have a stored dollar value equal to the amount paid to the cashier and is activated by going to Cybermoola’s web site. Once activated, Cybermoola cards can be used to make online purchases at Internet merchants such as CDuniverse.com, Brandmania.com, AccessStyle.com and others. The card is primarily targeted at teenagers. Cybermoola’s initial test market focuses on the Western U.S., including northern California. Cybermoola will eventually be available to all 14,000 supermarket locations in Catalina’s network, enabling most major supermarket chains to sell Cybermoola prepaid Internet shopping cards.

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New NACHA e-Pilot Member

MerchantOnline.com is the newest member of an industry group tasked to create industry standards for making secure ATM card payments over the Internet. A pilot program is under way by NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association, a trade group representing more than 12,000 financial institutions. MerchantOnline.com now sits on the 125-member NACHA Internet Council.

“It is important to set industry standards for electronic payments systems that will guarantee safe and secure e-commerce for consumers and for merchants,” said Tarek Kirschen, MerchantOnline.com president and CEO. “This will mean worry-free shopping for the growing number of consumers over the Internet, and greatly diminished charge-backs for merchants.”

NACHA’s pilot program will process ATM card payments over many of the nation’s ATM networks including Pulse, Maestro, Deluxe and Star System. Internet payment processors such as AmeriNet will select specific merchants for the pilot as the program expands in March.

“The benefit of this pilot to consumers is the development of a convenient and secure Internet payment method tied directly to a checking account,” said Elliott C. McEntee, NACHA president and CEO. “Merchants would have a guaranteed, low-cost payment mechanism running in real-time. Financial institutions would act as trusted third parties, just as they do every day for other commercial transactions.”

NACHA develops operating rules for the Automated Clearing House network, commonly used for payments such as direct deposit of payroll and Social Security benefits, and electronic bill payments. In 1998, more than 5.3 billion ACH payments were made, worth over $16 trillion.

Founded in December 1997, MerchantOnline.com offers one-stop solutions for merchants who want to set up and maintain a store on the Internet. It provides businesses with real-time secure credit and debit card processing, shopping cart services and online checking transactions. Other public companies involved in payment card processing include American Express (NYSE:AXP), Banc One Corp. (NYSE:ONE), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Cybercash (Nasdaq:CYCH), Excite (Nasdaq:ATHM), Ebay (Nasdaq:EBAY), First Union Corp. (NYSE:FTU), Intel (Nasdaq:INTC), MBNA Corp. (NYSE:KRB) and Nova Corp. (NYSE:NIS).

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ECHO 1st Quarter Results

Electronic Clearing House Inc. reported fiscal 2000 first quarter net loss of $19,000, virtually a break-even quarter, as compared to net earnings of $258,000 for the same period last year. Net loss before income tax provision was $4,000 for this fiscal quarter vs. $272,000 for the first fiscal quarter 1999. The Company incurred higher operating expenses during this fiscal quarter as a result of the various check related products and services currently under development.

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CitX Signs IntraPayX

CitX Corporation, a four-year-old privately held global leader providing secure Internet e-Commerce services, e-Business portals and network-centric e-Solution deployment tools, announces that it has signed Executive Bank Card Services as an IntraPayX Service Provider to the CitX IntraPay e-Commerce Platform. Under the terms of the relationship, Executive Bank Card will provide CitX business customers the ability to establish a Credit Card Merchant Account automatically online with 24-hour technical and settlement support. CitX will build a private gateway for Executive Bank Card into its IntraPay Processing System and e-Business Portal, where prospective business customers can go to establish their Credit Card Merchant Accounts.

“We welcome Executive Bank Card Services as one of our IntraPayX service providers,” said Tom Goldman, Vice President of Operations for the CitX IntraPayX unit. “The Credit Card Merchant Account services provided by Executive Bank Card will be a sound addition to our e-Commerce service offerings. IntraPayX plans to include other service providers over the next few months to bring further value-added services to our customers.”

The CitX IntraPay e-Commerce Platform provides most of its functionality through third-party relationships with businesses that can fulfill a specific e-commerce service. Qualifying businesses are able to provide their e-Commerce services to CitX business customers through their participation in the IntraPayX Service Provider program. This enables CitX to focus its efforts as an e-Solution provider — building and managing customers’ e-Business processes through its Web-based e-Business platforms, while maintaining a secure redundant infrastructure.

About CitX

CitX Corporation is a global leader in providing Web-based integrated e-Solution deployment tools, scalable Web-EDI and XML-enabled e-Commerce, Vertical Portal and e-Community platforms, and secure distributed Internet/intranet infrastructure.

CitX’s SynerX suite of Web-centric tools enables the rapid deployment of scalable integrated e-Business, e-Healthcare and other “Future-Proof e-Solutions” that are Web-centric and Enterprise-receptive. The SynerX tools are divided into three categories: B2B and B2C e-Commerce, Vertical Portal Generation and Management, and Web-centric Software Application Deployment and Management, with specific vertical functionality for healthcare, insurance, banking, legal, retail and government applications.

Primary services provided by CitX include fault-tolerant self-healing Internet/intranet distributed networks for secure reliable data transmission and exchange, Web-based electronic payment collection/disbursement with integrated bill presentment, automated Web-to-any electronic messaging, enterprise-to-Web middleware crosswalks, and Internet-based distributed virtual Data Warehouse, personalized Data Marts and Customer Relationship Management tools.

For more information, contact CitX Corporation at 215-538-3535, by e-mail at info@citx.net, or visit the CitX Web site at

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Better Visa Classic II

Instant rewards just got better for Royal Bank Visa Classic II cardholders with the addition of three new retail partners. Beginning this month, cardholders who accumulate 2,500 points or more through spending on their Visa Classic II card have the opportunity to trade points for gift certificates redeemable at more than 340 Bay and Zellers stores and for Famous Players movie packages across the country.

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Same-Store Sales Rose

Although winter storms along the east coast slightly dampened sales for some retailers, nationwide same-store sales for January rose a strong 4.6 percent over the same period last year, according to data compiled by TeleCheck Services, Inc., the world’s leading check acceptance company. The Midwest region led the nation, followed by the West, the Southwest, the Southeast, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. The TeleCheck Retail Index is based on a year-over-year, same-store comparison of the dollar volume of checks written by consumers at more than 27,000 of TeleCheck’s 210,000 subscribing locations. TeleCheck is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based First Data Corp.

“The strong January sales gain reflects the ongoing strength of the U.S. economy. Along with record low levels of unemployment and rising household incomes, consumer confidence and spending are also being bolstered by a strong stock market,” said Dr. William Ford, TeleCheck’s Senior Economic Advisor.

Sales in the Midwest climbed a robust 5.5 percent, with Illinois up 5.9 percent, Michigan up 5.8 percent, Wisconsin up 5.7 percent and Ohio and Minnesota both up 5.0 percent. Sales grew by 6.1 percent in Chicago, 5.5 percent in Milwaukee, 5.2 percent in Minneapolis/St. Paul, 5.4 percent in Cleveland and 5.6 percent in Detroit.

The West was up 5.1 percent with sales increasing 6.2 percent in Hawaii, 5.3 percent in Washington, 4.8 percent in California, 4.7 percent in Colorado, 4.6 percent in Arizona and 4.4 percent in Oregon. Sales rose 5.2 percent in Denver, 4.9 percent in both San Diego and Seattle, 4.8 percent in Los Angeles, 4.6 percent in the Bay Area, 4.5 percent in Portland and 4.2 percent in Phoenix.

In the Southwest, sales jumped 4.8 percent. Missouri climbed 5.4 percent, Oklahoma 4.9 percent and Texas 4.6 percent. Sales grew 5.8 percent in St. Louis, 5.1 percent in Oklahoma City, 5.0 percent in both Austin and Kansas City and 4.9 percent in Tulsa. In other Texas cities, sales rose 4.7 percent in San Antonio, 4.6 percent in Houston and 4.3 percent in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Sales rose 4.1 percent in the Southeast, with Louisiana up 4.9 percent and both Florida and Tennessee up 4.7 percent. Hit by inclement weather mid-month, Georgia rose a modest 3.3 percent and The Carolinas were up 3.1 percent. Sales increased 5.2 percent in Orlando, 4.9 percent in Tampa, 4.8 percent in Nashville, 4.5 percent in both Memphis and New Orleans, 4.4 percent in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and 3.1 percent in Atlanta.

The Mid-Atlantic’s sales increased 3.9 percent. Pennsylvania’s sales grew 4.8 percent, New Jersey’s rose 4.1 percent, Virginia was up 3.6 percent and Maryland’s sales increased 3.1 percent. Pittsburgh saw sales jump 4.8 percent, while both the District of Columbia and Philadelphia experienced 4.5 percent sales gains and Baltimore’s sales grew 3.4 percent.

The Northeast region grew by 3.4 percent. Sales rose 3.7 percent in Massachusetts and 3.0 percent in New York State. Boston’s sales increased by 3.9 percent and New York City’s sales were up 3.5 percent.

TeleCheck’s index is compiled on a calendar basis and is based on the total sales volume of check-writing consumers at a broad cross-section of retailers. Figures are not adjusted for inflation. Checks account for approximately one-third of retail spending. In 1998, TeleCheck authorized over $112 billion in checks and processed more than 2.2 billion check inquiries.

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. helps move the world’s money. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, First Data serves more than two million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at .

Dr. William Ford holds the Weatherford Chair of Finance at Middle Tennessee State University. Earlier in his career he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served on former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s Federal Open Market Committee.

Retail Sales
(Period: 01/01/00-01/31/00)
February 3, 2000

NATIONAL 4.6%

SOUTHEAST 4.1% WEST 5.1% MIDWEST 5.5%
Florida 4.7% Arizona 4.6% Illinois 5.9%
Miami/
Ft. Lauderdale 4.4% Phoenix 4.2% Chicago 6.1%
Orlando 5.2% California 4.8% Michigan 5.8%
Tampa 4.9% Bay Area 4.6% Detroit 5.6%
Louisiana 4.9% Los Angeles 4.8% Minnesota 5.0%
New Orleans 4.5% San Diego 4.9% Minneapolis/
St. Paul 5.2%
Georgia 3.3% Oregon 4.4% Wisconsin 5.7%
Atlanta 3.1% Portland 4.5% Milwaukee 5.5%
Tennessee 4.7% Washington 5.3% Ohio 5.0%
Memphis 4.5% Seattle 4.9% Cleveland 5.4%
Nashville 4.8% Colorado 4.7%
The Carolinas 3.1% Denver 5.2% MID-ATLANTIC 3.9%
Hawaii 6.2% District of
Columbia 4.5%
SOUTHWEST 4.8% Pennsylvania 4.8%
Texas 4.6% NORTHEAST 3.4% Philadelphia 4.5%
Austin 5.0% Massachusetts 3.7% Pittsburgh 4.8%
Dallas/Ft. Worth 4.3% Boston 3.9% New Jersey 4.1%
Houston 4.6% New York 3.0% Virginia 3.6%
San Antonio 4.7% New York City 3.5% Maryland 3.1%
Missouri 5.4% Baltimore 3.4%
Kansas City 5.0%

St. Louis 5.8%
Oklahoma 4.9%
Oklahoma City 5.1%
Tulsa 4.9%

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First USA President/CFO

Bank One Corporation has appointed of Anthony F. Vuoto as president and chief operating officer of First USA, the Corporation’s credit card subsidiary. He will oversee the operating units, including customer service, customer support and credit operations. Vuoto will report directly to William P. Boardman, chairman and chief executive officer of First USA. Boardman will continue to oversee marketing, systems, credit policy and WingspanBank.com, as well as the company’s staff units, which include finance, strategic planning, human resources and legal.

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