Chase 1.45% ROA

Chase Manhattan reported this morning that operating earnings for its credit card portfolio grew 11% during 4Q/99. The increase is attributable to improved credit quality. During 1999 charge-offs, as a percentage of average receivables, declined from 6.27% to 5.24%. Delinquencies (90+ day) also decreased from 2.17% to 1.92% last year. However, fourth quarter operating revenues declined 6%, due to lower yields and fees as a result of the improving credit quality of the portfolio, and as a result of higher interest rates. For the year, operating earnings were up 16% to $523 million. The increase in operating earnings reflects a two percent increase in revenue and improved credit quality due to lower consumer bankruptcies and enhanced collections performance. The cash return on managed assets for the full year was 1.45 percent. As of Dec. 31, average card receivables for Chase’s domestic and international accounts stood at $33.3 billion compared to $31.9 billion for year-end 1998. For more current and historical details on Chase Manhattan’s credit card portfolio visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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MarketMax

Equifax launched this morning its a new verification and risk assessment service. ‘MarketMax’ provides a verification and risk-assessment score for consumers who have thin or no credit files. The new service draws from a variety of non-credit information databases. MarketMax is driven by data attributes housed outside the traditional consumer credit file and managed by sophisticated scoring algorithms. It analyzes consumer demographics, address files, bank accounts closed for cause, utility disconnections, known fraudulent activity and other public record information to predict the risk levels of prospects. The new service recently completed a successful Beta test with a national retail card issuer.

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beenz Hires Yuen

beenz.com, the web’s currency announced the appointment of David Yuen to the position of President, beenz.com Asia-Pacific. David will officially take this role on February 1, 2000.

As President, David will manage the head office for the Asia-Pacific region, based in Singapore. He will be responsible for expanding beenz.com throughout the region and increasing the profile of beenz in the Singapore market.

David joins beenz.com with more than 12 years experience in fields of information management, telecommunications, and consulting. David has held positions in executive management, sales, research, and operations.

“We are extremely excited David will be heading up our Asia-Pacific region,” said Philip Letts, chairman and CEO of beenz.com. “He has a major challenge ahead of him and we look forward to success in the Asia-Pacific region.”

beenz is the universal web currency that can be earned by consumers by simply visiting, interacting with, or shopping at participating web sites. Consumers can then spend their beenz with participating traders on DVDs, sporting goods, vacations, books, downloadable music, clothing and thousands of other products and services by paying with beenz. Major websites that offer and/or accept beenz as payment include The Motley Fool, MP3.com, SpeedyClick.com, Sprint Canada, Excite (UK) and VNUnet.

Prior to joining beenz.com, David held the position of general manager of e-Business Applications for Oracle in South Asia. He was responsible for overseeing all e-Commerce and application business activities, covering 11 countries in the region. Previous to this role, David was the director of business development for Oracle Asia-Pacific. He has also held a number of research, sales and management positions in Oracle USA, Ernst & Young, and Schlumberger-Doll research.

David has an undergraduate and graduate degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a business degree from the Sloan School of Management.

About beenz.com

beenz.com, creator of beenz, the web’s currency(TM), is headquartered in New York with offices across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and in South Africa. beenz is a powerful online marketing tool designed to attract and maintain the attention of online consumers. beenz technology partners are Oracle Corporation (Nasdaq: ORCL), Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) and Exodus (Nasdaq: EXDS). beenz also has a strategic marketing alliance with DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK). The company’s founder and chief technology officer is Charles Cohen. Philip Letts is the chairman and chief executive officer. For more information, please visit [http://www.beenz.com][1].

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

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Citibank 1.7% ROA

Citigroup reported this morning that credit card core income increased 11% for 4Q/99 over 4Q/98. After-tax core income for 4Q/99 was $325 million compared to $293 million for 4Q/98 and $297 million for 3Q/99. Citigroup’s card ROA edged up to 1.70% compared to 1.64% one year ago and 1.55% for the prior quarter. The nation’s largest issuer of VISA and MasterCards also posted a 4% increase in U.S. card volume and 7% growth in receivables which offset the impact of rising interest rates. End-of-period managed card receivables stood at $74.2 billion, a $3.5 billion rise since the end of the third quarter. Card volume hit $43.8 billion for 4Q/99 compared to $40.9 billion for 3Q/99 and $42.2 billion for 4Q/98. Total card accounts were flat at 40.6 million. One year ago Citigroup had 40.5 million gross US card accounts. Citigroup also reports that U.S. bankcard chargeoffs continued to improve in 4Q/99, declining 39 basis points over the prior year, to 4.43%. Delinquency (90+ day) dropped slightly from 1.45% for 4Q/98 to 1.44% for 4Q/99. For complete details on Citigroup’s 4Q/99 statistics visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Omni 3200M

VeriFone and BellSouth Wireless Data introduced Monday the ‘Omni 3200M’, a wireless POS terminal that accepts debit-card, credit-card and EBT payment. With the core ‘Mobitex’ technology of the nationwide BellSouth Intelligent Wireless Network, the ‘Omni 3200M’ speeds up payment transaction times to 6 to 8 seconds. Nova Information Systems is currently underway with a pilot project using the ‘Omni 3200M’. VoicePointe, a cellular-phone retailer in Norcross, GA. is a participant in the pilot.

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Nutting Quits FUSA

Maingate Corporation announced the appointment of William V. Nutting as chief executive officer of their Internet web site.

Founded in March 1997, Maingate is the Internet’s leading vertical portal for the U.S. military community, retirees and their families.

Mr. Nutting most recently served as executive vice president for First USA Bank in Wilmington, Delaware. During his tenure, First USA signed some of the nation’s most prestigious affinity groups, including The National Geographic Society, the American Medical Association and Yale University.

Nutting also initiated First USA’s Smart Card strategy, including the first U.S. launch of a smart credit card in October 1998 at Florida State University.

Mr. Nutting said that his decision to leave First USA was a difficult one. “My experience at First USA has been invaluable and extremely rewarding, and I’ve been fortunate to work with a fantastic team. I’m confident that this opportunity to be part of the fast-growing Internet business will be an exciting challenge.”

Prior to joining First USA, Mr. Nutting held positions with G.E. Capital in Westport, Connecticut, American Express in New York City and General Foods in White Plains, New York. He received his postgraduate degree in international marketing from New York University, an MBA from the University of Detroit and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Maingate Corporation is backed by two privately held investment groups–ITC Holdings (West Point, Georgia) and Seaboard & Co. (with offices in Charleston, South Carolina and Baltimore, Maryland).

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Schlumberger Ships VISA Cash

Schlumberger, the world’s leading supplier of Visa Cash stored value cards, is one of the first smart card suppliers to attain Visa’s highest product security rating and certification.

Following this approval by Visa International, Schlumberger has begun shipping its new Visa Cash 1.6.1 stored value cards for distribution in Asia and the U.S.

Schlumberger has been a leading contributor to the development of Visa smart card products, from the initial e-purse trials at the Atlanta Olympics to the first Visa Open Platform implementation providing an industry standard for multiple application smart card products.

Said Georgann Scally, vice president, Visa International: “Schlumberger has been a long-term strategic partner for Visa. This certification is an indication of Schlumberger’s security expertise and its commitment to the financial sector in ensuring the successful use of Visa products by customers worldwide.”

This latest Schlumberger Visa Cash offering provides multiple application features and simplified customization for the user, allowing functionality to be shaped according to the needs and applications desired.

In addition to the Visa Cash e-purse application, the Schlumberger Visa Cash 1.6.1 card also contains the Visa Smart debit/credit facility and provides support for up to 12 loyalty programs, making it ideal for today’s multiple-merchant environment. The new Schlumberger Visa Cash 1.6.1 stored-value smart card is fully supported with a complete personalization solution, consulting services and project management.

“The Schlumberger Visa Cash 1.6.1 enables banks, card issuers and card users worldwide to have access to the latest, most secure Visa Cash technology,” commented Cedric Collomb, marketing manager for financial cards at Schlumberger. “The card’s multiple application features, particularly for loyalty programs, are important for issuers to differentiate their offers in retail markets.”

Schlumberger is the world’s leading supplier of Visa Cash stored value cards delivered to projects in the U.S.A., Hong Kong, Italy, Australia, Spain, Brazil and Latin America. The new Visa Cash 1.6.1 smart card is being lined up for use in a number of new electronic purse initiatives around the world.

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger is the leading provider of smart card-based solutions worldwide. Drawing on 20 years experience in pioneering smart card innovations, Schlumberger is continuing to evolve the new generation of smart cards, parking terminals, ticketing machines, pay phones, banking terminals, servers, software, applications and systems integration that will play a key role in the 21st century’s digital age. Additional information is available at [www.slb.com/smartcards][1].

Schlumberger Test & Transactions provides smart card-based solutions; semiconductor equipment and services; and corporate IP and network solutions to customers throughout the world. It is a business unit of Schlumberger Limited, an $11.8 billion global technology services company.

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 card holders.

Visa has more than 80 smart card programs in 35 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including eight million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction(TM) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are over 880 million Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, PLUS and Visa Cash cards, which generate more than (US)$1.4 trillion in annual volume.

Visa-branded cards are accepted at over 18 million worldwide locations, including at more than 530,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [www.visa.com][2].

[1]: http://www.slb.com/smartcards
[2]: http://www.visa.com/

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Cap One Adds 7 Million

Capital One reported this morning 1999 earnings of $363.1 million compared with earnings of $275.2 million in 1998. For the fourth quarter of 1999, earnings were $97.9 million versus earnings of $72.7 million for 4Q/98. During the fourth quarter, Cap One increased its managed portfolio by a record $1.7 billion to $20.2 billion in outstanding receivables and added a record 2.9 million net new accounts, bringing the total number of accounts to 23.7 million. For the year, the card issuer increased managed receivables by $2.8 billion, or 16%, and added 7.0 million net new accounts, a 42% increase over 1998. The managed net interest margin for 1999 increased by 92 basis points to 10.83% from 9.91% in 1998. In the fourth quarter, the managed net interest margin decreased to 10.78% from 11.14% in the third quarter and increased from 9.45% for the comparable period of 1998. The managed delinquency rate as of Dec. 31 increased to 5.23% versus 5.06% as of Sept. 30 and 4.70% as of Dec. 31, 1998. In the fourth quarter, the managed net charge-off rate was 3.86%, a slight decrease from 3.88% in the third quarter of 1999. Marketing expenses for 1999 increased to a record $732 million, up 64% from $446 million in 1998. Fourth quarter marketing expense of $202 million represents the largest quarterly marketing level to date. For complete details on Capital One’s 4Q/99 statistics visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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OPC Signs OK

Official Payments Corp. has signed an agreement with the State of Oklahoma to allow the state’s residents to pay their 1999 balance-due income tax bill by credit card over the Internet. Official Payments Corp. adds Oklahoma to an existing list of clients including the United States Internal Revenue Service, the District of Columbia, and the states of California, Connecticut, Illinois and New Jersey, for whom they have contracts to process credit card tax payments.

“We are delighted to bring our Internet e-commerce technology and service to the people of Oklahoma,” said Tom Evans. “Our service offers a proven, secure, reliable and convenient way to pay taxes, with added benefits from credit card reward programs,” Mr. Evans added.

Oklahoma taxpayers who take advantage of online filing will be able to pay their balance-due tax obligations with their credit card by visiting either the Official Payments’ website at [www.officialpayments.com][1] or the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s website at . Official Payments Corp.’s e-commerce technology infrastructure will power the credit card transaction processing at both web sites. The new payment service will be available to taxpayers at the end of January 2000.

Official Payments Corp. charges consumers a convenience fee for processing these credit card transactions. The fee schedule can be found at [www.officialpayments.com][2]. For example, a taxpayer who owed the government $230 and charged their taxes would find a total of $241 on their credit card statement: $230 for the tax bill and $11 for the convenience fee. American Express, Discover Card and MasterCard are the credit cards accepted by the program. Taxpayers using credit cards with bonus rewards programs can, depending on their card’s program, earn rewards, points, and cash-back or airline frequent flyer miles for paying their taxes.

Last year, 650,000 taxpayers in Oklahoma made balance due tax payments with an average obligation of $230 to the state treasury. “This Internet credit card payment option is part of our ongoing effort to provide outstanding service. It is another step towards our goal of making paying taxes as convenient as possible for the people of Oklahoma,” said Paula Ross, Communications Director, Oklahoma Tax Commission. “We are proud to be at the forefront and be among the first states in the nation to provide this kind of service,” Ross added.

About Official Payments Corp.

Official Payments Corporation (formerly U.S. Audiotex Corporation) is a leading provider of electronic payment options to government entities. The company enables consumers to pay government fees and taxes via telephone or the Internet, using their credit cards. The company has partnered with the United States Internal Revenue Service, several state governments, including California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, New Jersey and Oklahoma, and 450 plus municipal and county entities, in which it collects property taxes, real estate taxes, parking fines and other government fees by credit card over the telephone and the Internet. The company is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol OPAY. Official Payments Corp. is committed to making payments to the government go fast, smart and safe.

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

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Standard Register Gift Cards

Standard Register has been selected to print and package a series of gift cards for Al and Ed’s Autosound, a 40-store chain in Southern California specializing in mobile electronics. Sold at point-of-purchase display racks, the card and package feature a full-color skyline of Los Angeles.

Expanding on the traditional gift card that is sold in predetermined denominations, customers can assign any dollar amount using the card’s magnetic stripe. For additional personalization, purchasers can fill in “To” and “From” lines included on the package.

According to Al and Ed’s Autosound CFO Randy Reategui, the retailer will also be issuing the gift card to customers seeking rebates. In both cases, purchases will be deducted from the card until the value has been depleted. “As gift cards become more widely issued, retailers will develop innovative programs that expand on the cards’ strengths in keeping dollars in stores,” says Anne Rogers, Imaging Services marketing manager, Standard Register. “Al and Ed’s Autosound is at the retail forefront by letting customers tailor their own gift cards through customizing the dollar values and by issuing cards for customer rebates.”

Standard Register (NYSE: SR) is a recognized leader in delivering document management systems, products and services to healthcare, financial and general business markets. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the company operates a nationwide network of printing facilities and sales offices. Standard Register reported 1998 revenues of $1.397 billion. For more information, call 800/755-6405 or visit [www.standardregister.com][1].

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

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Chameleon ATM Deal

Tidel Technologies, Inc. announced that Credit Card Center, its largest U.S. customer, has placed an order for Tidel’s new web-enabled ATM product — the Chameleon. The order is valued at approximately $7,000,000, calling for a specified number of units to be shipped throughout 2000. Initial shipments of product commenced earlier this week.

According to Andy Kallok, President of Credit Card Center, “We selected the Chameleon because it is the best multimedia kiosk with ATM and point-of- sale functionality on the market today. In addition to ATM transactions, the unique hardware and software architecture of the Chameleon provides our customers with new revenue streams from broadcast-quality, multimedia advertising and retail-based e-commerce.”

Kallok added, “We intend to use the first units to replace the traditional ATMs located in certain existing customers’ retail locations generating the highest transaction volumes. These advertising-equipped Chameleons will increase the revenue potential of the limited floor space.”

Mark K. Levenick, Chief Operating Officer of Tidel, reported, “This order confirms our vision of the Chameleon platform reinventing the traditional ATM. While the raw power of this platform has only begun to be exploited, we expect the Chameleon to take a leadership position in the emerging kiosk market as new software applications for retail-based e-commerce are completed.”

Levenick noted, “In addition to marketing the product through our existing network of distributors, we are working directly with a number of end-users in specific markets to develop packaged solutions to fit their needs. The markets initially targeted include hospitality, gaming, mass retailing, financial services and apartment rental. We have significantly expanded our operation to accomplish the additional development necessary to serve these markets, including the addition of significant engineering personnel. We believe that the current customer development activities will result in additional orders for Chameleon throughout the year.”

James T. Rash, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tidel, stated, “The ATM market is changing and we are clearly at the forefront of that change with Chameleon. We are pleased with the progress of the Chameleon product line to date. We have been able to absorb significant development expense to create this product, while continuing to grow earnings from our core business each quarter. We believe our overall strategy will ultimately provide long-term value for our shareholders.”

About Credit Card Center

Credit Card Center is an independent sales organization located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with offices throughout the United States and Canada. Credit Card Center is one of the fastest growing ATM distributors in North America having sold or leased over 5,000 ATMs in 1999.

About Tidel Technologies, Inc.

Tidel is a Texas-based manufacturer of automated teller machines and cash security equipment designed for specialty retail marketers. Tidel pioneered the dial-up ATM in 1992 and is the fastest growing major U.S. manufacturer of ATMs. Tidel’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market(R) under the symbol “ATMS”.

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Eltron P310F

Zebra Technologies Corporation, the worldwide leader in bar code and plastic card on-demand printing solutions, introduced its new Eltron P310F monochrome plastic card printer. The Eltron P310F further strengthens the product line with the most affordable, cost-effective monochrome card printer on the market.

“The P310F is ideally positioned to capitalize on the explosive growth in instant issuance plastic card printing,” said Holly Sacks, vice president of marketing for Zebra’s Eltron Card Printers. “We are poised for this expansion with a quick low-cost printer with superior print resolution. The 300 dpi is perfect for the printing of machine-readable bar codes.” Applications for the P310F include personalized customer loyalty cards, ID cards, club membership cards, durable business cards, and luggage tags — virtually any application where a single-sided personalized plastic card is a better solution.

The small footprint design of the Eltron P310F, perfect for desktop and countertop applications, provides ultra-sharp 300 dpi print resolution for precise, readable bar codes, graphics, and text. It also incorporates a 32-bit processor, 2 Mbytes of image memory and 512Kbytes of Flash memory, in a rugged polycarbonate frame that houses a 1,500-card capacity ribbon mechanism and self-cleaning card handling system. This printer, capable of quickly printing single-sided, high-resolution, monochrome edge-to-edge cards, prints on a variety of plastic card thicknesses from 10 mil to heavy-duty 60 mil cards, at a rate of over 1,000 cards per hour, or one every 3.5 seconds.

The Model P310F is plug-and-play out of the box, making it simple to set up and use. Both Microsoft(R) Windows(R) drivers and WindCard(TM) card design utilities are provided with each unit. Each unit also incorporates an easy-to-change card-cleaning cartridge that thoroughly removes dust before each card is printed. Eltron P310F options include a “non-scratching” magnetic stripe encoder, a smart card contact station for card applications that require encoded information and an optional RS232C serial port.

Pricing/Availability

The Eltron P310F card printer is scheduled for volume production beginning in February. List price of the basic model is $2,495. The Eltron P310F card printer features a full one-year printer warranty, including one-year free hot-swap service for units installed in the United States. An optional extended multi-year warranty program is also available.

Eltron Plastic Card Printers and related supplies are available through a network of over 250 authorized resellers worldwide.

Zebra Technologies Corporation manufactures and distributes Zebra- and Eltron-brand on-demand bar code label printers, secure ID printing systems and plastic card printers used in automatic identification and plastic card personalization applications worldwide. The company also offers software and related supplies, including more than 300 label and ribbon combinations. Zebra’s customers include more than 70 percent of the FORTUNE 500. The company’s stock is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ZBRA. Information about Zebra products can be found at [http://www.zebra.com][1] and [http://www.eltroncards.com][2].

[1]: http://www.zebra.com/
[2]: http://www.eltroncards.com/

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