Smart Egg Card

Prudential’s Egg Internet bank will announce this morning that it has chosen Schlumberger for its ‘Egg’ smart card. Schlumberger will also assist Egg to identify and develop new electronic services that will use the multi-application and personalization capabilities of a card chip.The new ‘Egg’ smart card will conform to the UK’s national standard for smart credit cards, ‘UKIS’, ensuring compatibility with existing clearing systems as well as the major worldwide EMV smart financial card standard.

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Stable Chargeoffs

More evidence that chargeoffs have leveled off Standard & Poor’s reported Friday that credit card charge-off rates, among card-backed securities in August, were relatively stable for the third consecutive month. The monthly charge-off rate for August, and reported in mid-September, stayed flat at 5.7%. S&P says the 5.7% charge-off rate represents the lowest charge-off rate since May 1996, when losses barely topped 5.5%. However charge-offs tend to decline for many trusts in August, due to seasonal patterns. Still, S&P says positive delinquency trends suggest that losses will stay at these levels, if not move down in the upcoming months. Delinquencies have held steady at around 4.6% for the past several months. S&P tracks the performance of approximately $294 billion in receivables held in trusts of publicly rated credit card-backed securities, which make up nearly two-thirds of the total bank card market.

CREDIT CARD QUALITY INDEXES
Performance month Aug 97 Aug 98 June 99 July 99 Aug 99
Outstandings(bil.$) 240.1 259.9 285.1 290.2 294.3
Yield (%) 19.0 19.9 20.7 19.2 19.8
Charge-offs (%) 5.7 6.1 5.9 5.7 5.7
Weighted base rate(%) 7.5 7.8 7.2 7.2 7.5
Excess spread (%) 5.7 6.1 7.6 6.3 6.6
Delinquencies (%) 5.0 5.0 4.4 4.5 4.6
Payment rate(%) 13.9 15.9 16.4 16.5 17.1

Source: Standard & Poor’s

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Big E Goes Wireless

Hypercom and Lynk Systems have teamed up to offer an estimated 1,000,000 attendees at the 78th Eastern States Exposition the opportunity to purchase admission tickets and souvenirs with their credit or debit cards, instead of cash or personal checks, using Hypercom’s ‘T7PRC’ wireless card payment terminals. Atlanta-based Lynk Systems is an integrated provider of payment services, cash dispensing services and other related value-added products and services.

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Fannie Mae Credit Ed

Fannie Mae Foundation Chairman Franklin D. Raines announced the launch on October 4th of “Your Credit Matters,” a national consumer-education advertising campaign designed to help people understand how credit works and the impact it has on their ability to buy a home. The advertising campaign, utilizing English and Spanish-language media, will air on national broadcast television and cable networks. Consumers who respond to the advertising by calling a free 800- number will receive a new free guide, “Knowing and Understanding Your Credit.” The campaign also includes a special 30-minute educational program that will air on the Black Entertainment Television (BET) cable network on Sundays at noon EDT starting on October 10 through January 2, 2000.

“Understanding the role that good credit plays in an individual’s ability to become a homeowner is crucial. Yet research undertaken by the Fannie Mae Foundation, as well as the 1999 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, has shown that for too many Americans, the relationship between paying your bills on time and being considered a good credit risk is poorly understood. If we are to make progress in expanding homeownership in America, we have to mount an aggressive educational effort, to help people understand how to keep from having bad credit. For those who, for whatever reason, have gotten themselves into some trouble with their credit, we need to help them understand or how to repair it,” said Raines.

“To meet this need, the Fannie Mae Foundation, which has already helped put millions of Americans on the path to homeownership through its “Opening Doors” campaign, will now launch the most comprehensive education effort ever undertaken to address this critical issue,” said Raines.

The Knowing and Understanding Your Credit guide — developed in collaboration with The National Endowment for Financial Education — helps consumers understand what credit is, learn how to establish good credit and repair credit problems, and learn how to take control of their credit as the first step in the home-buying process. The guide, available in English and Spanish, will be distributed to consumers for free. Television advertising, direct mail, events, and partner organizations will all help inform consumers that the guide is available. Consumers may call 1.800.605.5200 for a copy of the English guide or 1.800.541.6300 for a copy of the Spanish guide, or visit [http://www.creditguide.org][1].

The credit guide is designed as the first step in the home buying process, for those who need to take control of their credit prior to their search for a home and the financing to buy it. It is meant to work in tandem with the Foundation’s other home-buying guides, Opening the Door to a Home of Your Own and Choosing the Mortgage That’s Right for You. The Fannie Mae Foundation’s “Opening Doors” campaign was designed in 1993 to help overcome the lack of information about the home-buying process, which research has shown is one of the principle barriers to homeownership, especially for minorities, younger Americans, and those with lower incomes. Since the “Opening Doors” campaign began, there has been a dramatic rise in the percentage of those who say they feel comfortable that they have enough information to begin the home-buying process. In a survey for the Fannie Mae Foundation last year, there was a 75% increase in the percentage of African Americans who now feel comfortable with their knowledge of the mortgage process, compared to 1994.

“Your Credit Matters” and “Opening Doors” advertising will both run concurrently this fall. The “Your Credit Matters” advertising campaign will be supported by other outreach components, including working with national and local organizations, student outreach and credit information events.

“The Federal Trade Commission commends the Fannie Mae Foundation on its new campaign to educate people about taking control of their credit,” said Jodi Bernstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC has long been a champion of helping consumers understand the value of good credit. In fact, consumers call the Federal Trade Commission for information about credit more than any other topic. We’re very pleased that the Fannie Mae Foundation will help consumers get important information about using credit wisely.”

The Fannie Mae Foundation — the leading foundation in the country devoted to affordable-housing issues — transforms communities through innovative partnerships and initiatives that revitalize neighborhoods and create affordable homeownership and housing opportunities across America. The Fannie Mae Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization, separate from, but whose sole source of support is Fannie Mae.

[1]: http://www.creditguide.org/

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K-Wallet

DOCdata Media Services, a leading provider of fulfillment services for home entertainment products and KLELine the European market leader in handling of online payments, are pleased to announce their cooperation in services supporting e-commerce transactions.

This cooperation will enable DOCdata Media Services to broaden the package of services it offers to companies that sell products over the Internet (e-commerce companies). DOCdata Media Services has until now provided order fulfillment services, and with this cooperation will also be offering the handling of online payments. KLELine will present and promote DOCdata Media Services to all their existing e-commerce customers (approx. 400) as their preferred fulfillment service provider. With this combination of online payment handling and e-commerce fulfillment, DOCdata Media Services and KLELine will offer a unique total-service package to the rapidly growing e-commerce market.

DOCdata Media Services was started in 1997 with the offering of “one-stop shopping supply chain management”, meaning offering a complete range of pre-production, production, product fulfillment, distribution and order (e-commerce) fulfillment. To this end, the DOCdata IT system has been customized to meet the needs of e-commerce fulfillment, and a fully automated stock receiving, maintenance, picking, sorting and packing system has been designed. Phase One of this system, a fully automated sorting system, will be operational this month.

KLELine is the European market leader in handling online payments. KLELine offers all existing payment methods for electronic commerce including, credit card clearing, debit card clearing and also a new electronic wallet called the K-WALLET. KLELine is part of the BNP-Paribas group.

Operational Aspects

Under the new arrangement, e-commerce companies will conclude an overall agreement with DOCdata Media Services for both fulfillment and payment handling services. DOCdata Media Services will then subcontract the payment handling to KLELine.

The e-commerce company will be linked to the DOCdata-KLELine system enabling online credit card acceptance. After the clearance of credit card details, DOCdata Media Services will perform the agreed fulfillment activities, which can include purchasing, picking, packing and shipping. At the moment of shipment, the accepted and secured payment is executed. The e-commerce company then receives confirmation that the order has been executed, and that the payment will be transferred to them.

In addition to electronic payment methods, DOCdata is also offering e-commerce companies the option of pre-printed cheque payments (giro payments). DOCdata is licensed to produce giro cheques in most countries in Europe.

Previous Cooperation Successful

KLELine and DOCdata Media Services worked together successfully on the recent launch of BOXMAN.COM, the largest virtual entertainment store in Europe. The BOXMAN.COM cooperation served as a pilot to test market receptiveness to the combined services, as well as the cultural compatibility of the two companies.

The joint experience has shown that e-commerce companies are looking for partners who can handle the full range of logistics behind the e-commerce transaction. Furthermore, based on the initial cooperation, the strategy and culture of the two companies seem to be highly compatible. Both companies believe in the high potential of e-commerce and are investing strongly in their e-commerce service offering. Finally, the two companies are fully committed to offering the highest levels of service, quality and reliability.

Company Profiles

DOCdata Media Services is part of the DOCdata group. DOCdata N.V. is a leading independent service provider to the audio and multi media publishers, wholesalers and retailers, software, E-commerce and direct marketing and telecommunication industries with facilities in The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States. DOCdata N.V. is listed on the Amsterdam Exchanges (AEX) and on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the ticker symbol DOCD.

Created as a financial institution in 1996, KLELine, a subsidiary of BNP/Paribas, is Europe’s leading provider of secured payment services on the Internet. KLELine is a real platform for managing the financial flows involved in e-commerce, whatever the payment method chosen by the trader or surfer: virtual k-wallet, SSL encrypting, followed by SET and smart cards as soon as they become available. KLELine secures confidential data, authenticates the parties involved and offers them a range of back office services.

KLELine pursues a policy of strategic, technical (Carsat, Cegetel, e-comptoir and Netcommerce) and commercial (CETELEM, Integra, CEGETEL Entreprises, NetPlus, W3Financial in Sweden, Datacash in England, DOCdata Media Services, BI-BIT in Holland, Globe Online, Matra Grolier Network in France, Vicinity, ClickPay/Professo in New York) partnerships. KLELine is now developing worldwide with three commercial offices (United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom) and can claim an international presence: almost 400 traders and 35 trading malls and platforms world-wide use KLELine’s financial services.

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In-Store Cash Recycler

Diebold, Incorporated, will present three revenue-building products at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show, October 2-5, 1999, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Shown for the first time will be the CSP retail cash dispenser with Provisor Currency Module that allows store personnel to recycle in-store cash. The 1064ix retail cash dispenser will dispense pre-paid phone vouchers with a product demonstration and the ChangeGard(TM) 8400 cash controller will also be available for demonstration, in Diebold’s booth #606 at the show. The products shown at NACS demonstrate Diebold’s focus on delivering solutions that reduce costs and increase revenue for retailers.

CSP 200P – The CashSource Plus(TM) 200P features an important enhancement to the popular CSP 200 off-premises cash dispenser. The CSP 200P includes the Provisor Currency Module that enables store employees to replenish dispenser cash at the unit without opening the secure vault. Store employees can feed any single denomination of currency, one bill at a time, into the Provisor module.

The CSP 200P provides greater potential for placing cash dispensers in locations with very low transaction volume. By eliminating the need for armored car services to replenish the unit, the cost of operation can be greatly lowered. Optional password protection and multiple transaction receipts can provide a solid audit trail for cash loaded into the dispenser.

ChangeGard 8400 – The 8400 is the high-end model in Diebold’s complete offering of cash controllers. It provides secure storage for cash, reducing the risk of robbery and internal shrinkage. As many as 100 users can be programmed into the machine, each with their own identification number and authorization level. Up to 5,000 transactions can be stored and audited through detailed reports provided by ChangeGard’s on-board printer.

The ChangeGard 8400 delivers multiple cash management functions. It can accept and dispense bills, with a capacity of up to 1,000 notes. It also dispenses coins and acts as a drop safe for checks or other documents of value. As a result, cash counting errors are reduced and the daily reconciliation process is greatly simplified.

1064ix retail cash dispenser – The flexible 1064ix is designed and engineered to contain a small-footprint. It offers options including: 15-inch color monitor and touch screen; integrated smart card and magnetic stripe reader; thermal printer for receipts, coupons, graphics; multiple cassettes for dispensing revenue-generating items.

With up to four cassettes, the 1064ix can dispense stamps, coupons, pre- paid phone voucher, gift certificates and other revenue generating items. Using the 15-inch color monitor, the largest display available, deployers can increase revenue by presenting advertising and promotional messages.

Diebold, Incorporated is the global leader in providing integrated delivery systems and services. Founded in 1859, the company employs more than 7,000 associates in more than 135 locations worldwide with headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of US$1.2 billion in 1998 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.diebold.com][1].

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

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Fall Marketing Battle

The pre-holiday battle to sign up new bank credit card accounts remains strong this year. Intro rates continue to dominate the market this year instead of the single digit, fixed go-to APR, according to CardWatch ([www.cardwatch.com][1]). Among the best current offers for consumers is CT-based People’s Bank no-annual-fee ‘Premier Platinum VISA’ offer. People’s is offering a 2.9% fixed APR for new purchases and balance transfers until the first day of the April 2000 billing cycle. The go-to APR is a fixed 11.99% and the punitive APR is a fixed 25.99%. People’s is promoting the card as being free from balance transfer fees. Discover continues to promote a 2.9% intro rate for balance transfers for its new ‘Discover Platinum’. The intro rate expires during the February 2000 billing cycle. Discover is offering a 12.99% fixed, go-to rate and no-annual-fee. However Discover continues to employ the two-cycle ADB method of calculating interest. Meanwhile Fleet Bank continues to hammer away at mailboxes with its fixed, 7.99% go-to APR ‘Platinum MasterCard’. According to CardWatch, Fleet’s punitive pricing includes a 14.99% APR for accounts with two, 30-day lates in a six month period; a 21.99% APR for any account with a 60-day late; and a 24.99% APR for closed accounts. Other issuers offering intro rates this fall: First USA 1.9%; AmEx 0% and 2.9%; Citibank 3.9%; and National City 3.9%.

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

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Phone Card Deal

AZ-based Inter-Tel.net, Inc. has entered into an agreement with TX-based GoComm Wireless Ltd. in which GoComm will place orders for a minimum of 1500 Inter-Tel.net prepayer calling card terminals over the next six months. The prepayer point-of-purchase terminal prints and validates pre-paid long distance telephone calling cards. GoComm will market the pre-paid long distance telephone cards and prepayer terminals through its international wireless distribution partners and other retailers.

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Name Change

As part of its new corporate strategy, California-based Fair, Isaac and Company, Inc., has announced that its Credit & Risk Management Associates and DynaMark subsidiaries will change their names to Fair, Isaac as of October 1. Fair, Isaac, a provider of decision-making solutions to businesses worldwide, is integrating the capabilities of CRMA and DynaMark to offer a broader and richer set of solutions to new and existing clients. CRMA, acquired by Fair, Isaac in 1996, consults with financial services, telecommunications, healthcare and eBusiness companies. Partners Don Sanders and Larry Dukes will assume SVP responsibilities for Fair, Isaac’s consumer credit risk management consulting, systems integration and software integration business units.

Fair, Isaac ([http://www.fairisaac.com][1]) helps businesses worldwide maximize the value of data to make more profitable decisions about their customers, operations and portfolios. Known for its pioneering work in credit scoring and its use of data in transaction-level decisions, Fair, Isaac now delivers data management services, analytics, software and consulting to the financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and eBusiness markets. Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Fair, Isaac employs 1,600 people in 18 offices worldwide. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 1998, the company reported revenues of $245.5 million.

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

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Beating Projections

Total System Services announced Thursday that it expects its 1999 net income to exceed its 1998 net income by at least 23%, exceeding the current consensus estimate of a 20% increase in 1999 over 1998. The company also announced that it expects its 2000 net income to exceed its 1999 projected net income by at least 13 – 15%, versus the current consensus estimate of a six percent increase in 2000 over 1999 net income.

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Global Cash Deal

CasinoBuilders.com, signed an LOI to acquire Global Cash, Inc., which is located in the Netherlands Antilles, operating as an Internet merchant gateway for e-commerce transactions.

The acquisition will include existing e-commerce client accounts, with growth forecasted to exceed $125,000,000 annually. CasinoBuilders.com will offer the customer friendly Global Cash e-commerce system to the Internet entertainment and gaming industry.

“The acquisition of Global Cash completes our operational strategy to service Internet casino owners with the responsive business solutions they need to be competitive, but more importantly it provides the cornerstone for our strategic growth into “entertaining” e-commerce. All of our five major revenue services (licensing, hosting, software, banking and marketing) are now online and revenue producing. CasinoBuilders.com will now take steps to file our Form 10 to become a fully reporting company,” commented Andy Ruppanner, President and CEO of CasinoBuilders.com. He continued, “Our services business model is now paying dividends with continuing sales of gaming software at $200,000 and ongoing license fees at 30%, as well as annuity revenues with margins exceeding 15%. We are now confident of our ability to attain our year-end business plan.”

Already known for providing the most entertaining Internet casinos, CasinoBuilders.com plans to extend their high standards to the e-commerce processing sector of the Internet entertainment and gaming industry. In addition to ensuring safety and security of funds, CasinoBuilders.com will initiate new standards in Client service for Internet casinos, including fully protecting any personal information, not selling player’s personal information to mailing lists and most importantly, providing accurate and timely payments. Global E-Cash is a legal form of computer-based currency which can be securely purchased with credit cards, wire transfers, and withdrawn (“cashed-out”) via credit card, check or ATM.

The Company believes that this industry exclusive financial service enhances CasinoBuilders.com’s market leadership. Some companies in the same industry are: Cryptologic (TSE: CRY.TO), Casinolive.com (OTC BB: YBET), GLC Limited (NASDAQ: GLXW), Starnet (OTC BB: SNMM), YouBet.com (NASDAQ: UBET) and GIC Global Entertainment (OTC BB: GGNC).

CasinoBuilders.com provides innovative services to the Internet entertainment industry. The services are designed to provide client segmented or turnkey solutions, and include e-commerce, licensing, hosting, marketing, and operational support services in an “off-shore” environment. Recognized for creativity and innovation, the company is dedicated to “Helping Internet gaming entrepreneurs turn their visions into successful companies.” For additional information about our company, please visit our website [www.casinobuilders.com][1].

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

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VISA Joins WAP

VISA International announced Thursday it has become a member of the Wireless Application Protocol Forum. The development of the WAP standard will enable VISA member banks to offer their cardholders a variety of new services using mobile devices, including the opportunity to purchase goods or services over the Internet via a mobile phone. VISA is the first payment association to join the WAP forum. VISA says its participation will be to ensure that secure mechanisms are developed to enable payment transactions and other applications using mobile devices. VISA will conduct a pilot of wireless application technology with MeritaNordbanken and Nokia in Scandinavia. The pilot, announced in May and scheduled to start next summer, will allow bank customers to make payments over the Internet, or at a merchant location, from a mobile phone as well as being able to download applications securely to an EMV compliant bank card. It will use the world’s first fully compliant WAP phone with security provided by WAP. The payment card will use the Open Platform, developed by VISA, and security for Internet transactions will be provided by SET.

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