NPC Names New CEO

Thomas A. Wimsett has been elected president and chief executive officer by the board of directors of National Processing, Inc., a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and corporate outsourcing solutions. He succeeds Robert E. Showalter, 62, who is retiring from the company.

“Tom Wimsett has been instrumental in focusing National Processing on its core businesses of merchant credit card processing, imaging and travel-related services,” said Robert G. Siefers, chairman of National Processing and vice chairman and chief financial officer of National City Corporation. “Tom is knowledgeable and respected in his profession, and he will provide effective strategic direction and day-to-day leadership for the organization.”

In related actions, National Processing’s directors accepted the retirement of Showalter from the board and voted to increase the number of directors from seven to eight. The board appointed Jon L. Gorney, National City executive vice president, and J. Armando Ramirez, National City senior vice president, as directors.

Wimsett, 35, previously served as executive vice president of National Processing’s Merchant Services division. He began his career with National Processing in 1983 and has held a variety of managerial positions in each of the company’s three business lines. In 1988 Wimsett was one of the primary executives responsible for establishing National Processing’s first international operations in Juarez, Mexico. In 1994 he was responsible for the integration of two check acceptance firms acquired by National Processing. Wimsett was named executive vice president of National Processing and president of NPC Check Services, Inc. in 1995. In 1997 his responsibilities were expanded to include the company’s Merchant Card Services business.

Wimsett graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and attended graduate school at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a member of the Treasury Management Association, Electronic Transaction Association, MasterCard’s Acquirer Committee and Visa’s U.S.A. Acquirer Council. Wimsett resides in Bardstown, Ky., with his wife Rhonda and their three children. He is a member of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association and is actively involved in coaching youth basketball.

Showalter has headed National Processing since March 1997, following assignments as president and chief executive officer of National City Bank, Northeast and National City Bank, Northwest. Previously he was president of CommerceNational Bank in Lexington, where in 1986 he oversaw the merger of two banks into CommerceNational. Prior to joining CommerceNational, he was with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for nearly 25 years and spent 10 years as senior vice president in charge of the Cincinnati office.

“Bob Showalter has had a long and distinguished career in the banking industry,” said Siefers. “Always a leader in his profession, he has provided outstanding service to clients, our company and the communities in which he served throughout his various assignments in Kentucky and Ohio. We have benefited from his wisdom and experience, and we wish him the best in his well-earned retirement.”

Showalter earned an undergraduate degree from Marietta College and a master’s in business administration from Case Western Reserve University and also attended Harvard’s Advanced Management Program. He held numerous community positions throughout his career, including chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Toledo, head of the United Way campaign in Lexington and board member for hospitals in Cincinnati, Toledo and Lexington.

Showalter and his wife Shirley have four children and three grandchildren. They plan to divide their time between residences in Lexington, Ky., and Naples, Fla., and to pursue their interests in travel and gardening.

National Processing is a leading provider of transaction processing services and customized processing solutions. Approximately 88 percent of the company is owned by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC).

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Bull Becomes Proton VAR

Proton World and Bull Smart Cards and Terminals announced yesterday that they had signed an agreement making Bull a worldwide, non-exclusive value-added reseller of Proton for Windows/NT.

The Proton for Windows/NT package allows all sorts and sizes of organizations with Windows/NT systems to enjoy the benefits of Proton-based multiple-application smart cards: from a few dozen cards to a few hundred thousand cards, the system is designed to suit the requirements of closed user groups of all kinds: financial institutions, companies, educational campuses, amusement parks, local government facility users, transport operator customers etc. Proton applications successfully implemented so far include electronic purse (for small payments at shops, vending machines, secure Internet payments, public transport ticketing etc.), security access control, customer loyalty programs, cardholder identification, healthcare refunds and telecommunications.

Bull is now licensed to sell the Proton for Windows/NT smart card management software package to its customers, incorporating it into its “SmartPurse” solutions which include Proton-compatible hardware (cards, personal balance readers, and EFT-POS terminals), and software (payment servers and systems integration). Part of Groupe Bull, the world-wide IT specialists, Bull Smart Cards and Terminals is the world’s No. 1 supplier of secure microprocessor cards (debit/credit cards and electronic purses) for the banking sector.

“Bull Smart Cards and Terminals welcomes this agreement as further proof of our commitment to continuing our long-term partnership with Proton World,” said David Levy, president of Bull Smart Cards and Terminals. “With Proton for Windows/NT we are able to offer the world’s leading smart card technology to organizations traditionally thought of as too small to enjoy the benefits of Proton.”

“Proton World is very pleased to further develop our long-standing relationship with Bull with this agreement,” said Armand Linkens, managing director of Proton World. “We developed Proton for Windows/NT to enable as many organizations as possible to use our technology and benefit from its unrivalled speed, security and flexibility. We are confident that Bull will find new opportunities to integrate our technology into systems around the world.”

About Proton World

PROTON WORLD was created by major smart card players (American Express, Banksys, ERG, Interpay and Visa International) to give a boost to common smart card and electronic purses standards. Proton World is a high-technology company which delivers global smart card solutions world-wide. It continues the development and licensing of Proton smart card applications, which have already been licensed in 17 countries. The Proton technology is the most broadly implemented in national roll-outs and is the most actively used world-wide: the Proton-based smart card schemes have together performed more than 103 million purse transactions since they have been introduced. It also has the largest acceptance base, with more than 250,000 terminals installed.

Multiple applications are available today on the Proton platform (for example electronic commerce, access control, loyalty schemes, telecommunications services, mass transit, university campus cards etc.).

Proton will support a variety of technologies and specifications to deliver open, interoperable and global smart card solutions. It will support and implement the Common Electronic Purse Specifications (CEPS) to ensure interoperability of electronic purse schemes world-wide. For more information, please visit our web site at [www.protonworld.com][1].

About Bull Smart Cards & Terminals

Bull Smart Cards & Terminals is the industry leader in the field of secured financial transactions. Bull designs, develops and markets global smart card solutions for financial, loyalty, transport, telecommunications, healthcare and other applications. Products include contact-contactless cards plus a full range of general purpose and EFT/POS terminals (in partnership with Ingenico), automated teller machines, as well as associated software and services.

Bull Smart Cards & Terminals is the acknowledged industry leader in research, development and security related to smart cards & related terminals. The company is also the worldwide leader in electronic purse cards. Since inventing the microprocessor smart card in 1976, Bull has obtained more than 1200 patents in the field, and has received certification for smart card security that is the highest level ever achieved by a smart card.

In 1998, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals earned revenues of 1450 million FRF. Through the Bull international network, the division achieves 80% of its revenue outside France More information can be obtained by visiting our web site at [www.bull.net][2].

[1]: http://www.protonworld.com/
[2]: http://www.bull.net/

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Discover 3Q/99

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s Credit Services Division, which includes Discover Financial Services, reported net income of $202 million for the fiscal third quarter ending August 31, a 10% increase over last year. MSDW says the credit division has finally been re-energized after the sell-off of the ‘Bravo’ and ‘Prime Option’ credit cards as well as the unloading of SPS to Associates. Credit quality improved substantially over the past twelve months as the net charge-off rate declined to 5.29% from 6.56%. The over-30-day delinquency rate also declined to 6.34% compared to 7.19% a year ago. Transaction volume also increased 24% to a record $18.3 billion driven by increased sales volume and balance transfers. Managed consumer loans ended the quarter at $34.4 billion. However, marketing and business development expenses continue to increase. For the third quarter Credit Services spent $253 million, primarily as a result of the continued promotion of ‘Discover Platinum’ and a higher level of cardmember rewards due to increased transaction volume. The Discover/ NOVUS Network added 117,000 new merchant locations during the quarter. The division says the next quarter should show results from the new ‘Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’ credit card which was launched in the United Kingdom during August. For more 3Q/99 details on MSDW/Discover Financial Services visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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FDC SkyTeller

First Data assumed full ownership of CO-based SkyTeller, LLC yesterday. FDC agreed to assume all of SkyTeller’s debt under SkyTeller’s ‘Plan of Reorganization’. SkyTeller, a development stage company, provides foreign currency exchange services for international travelers. Through SkyTeller In-Flight Services, international travelers can purchase destination currency from the comfort of their seat while on board international flights. And, through SkyTeller Pre-Flight Services, currently available in the U.S., travelers can purchase destination currency for delivery to their home or office from participating travel agents, by SkyTeller’s web site or by calling an 800 number. When aboard an airliner, flight attendants operate an automated POS device that performs the currency calculations for dispensing currency of the destination country and processing payments. SkyTeller accepts multiple currencies, travelers cheques, and credit cards for payment. The POS device also processes in-flight duty free purchases.

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Under 20 Card

While First USA targets the 50+ group with its ‘Reader’s Digest’ card and American Express goes after the GenX and GenY segment with its new ‘Blue’ card, a San Francisco-based company announced Tuesday an Internet payment card for teens. Cybermoola Inc. premiered its ‘Cybermoola’ card yesterday which combines the features of a pre-paid phone card and the benefits of an online cash account. Teens activate their ‘Cybermoola’ cards by filling out a brief form at the Cybermoola web site. Upon completion of registration, they receive an account and PIN number. The card can then be used at participating e-merchant sites such as CelebritySightings.com, EZCD.com, Outletmall.com and SaulGoodman.com. The cards are available in denominations of $10-$500 and can be purchased and recharged online. As part of the charter launch, the company will be giving away 100,000 ‘Cybermoola’ Internet cash cards worth a total of nearly $2 million. The cards will be distributed between now and the end of October, distributed mainly to teens 13-18 years of age in select major markets including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The sampling program will be conducted at a variety of teen-oriented events such as movies, concerts, school assemblies, and through email.

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Delinquencies Head South

Further confirming the downward trend in delinquencies, the ABA’s ‘Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin’ shows consumer credit loan delinquencies are at a four-year low. According to the report, released Tuesday, 3.33% of all accounts were delinquent in the second quarter, compared to 3.58% in the previous quarter. Second quarter credit card delinquencies, based on total dollars outstanding, dropped for the third consecutive quarter to 4.10% in the second quarter from 4.44% in the first quarter of 1999.

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PayWare Net in VSEC

Trintech, a leading provider of secure electronic payment solutions, Tuesday announced the implementation of its PayWare Net as part of the Visa Secure Electronic Commerce program in Peru. The Trintech PayWare Net product provides Visanet del Perº, the country’s single merchant acquirer and its merchant affiliates, an electronic commerce solution that allows them to process Visa transactions in a secure way utilizing the SET (Secure Electronic TransactionTM) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocols. The first implementation of the VSEC solution was with Telefonica de Peru, the largest telephone company in Peru, which began processing transactions in early September.

The ambitious VSEC in Peru initiative enables Visa cardholder and merchant authentication by means of SET digital certificates Currently, five of Peru’s largest banks – Banco de Cr©dito del Perº, Banco Santander, Banco Continental Interbank, Banco Sudamericano y Citibank NA – are actively participating in the project and facilitating electronic payment transactions using Trintech technology, including PayWare Net and NetWallet. To ensure security, Visanet del Peru chose the SET standard developed by Visa in conjunction with leading security and technology companies.

“Trintech’s PayWare Net met our stringent demands for scalability, performance and security,” said Bruno Bertolotti, general director of Visanet del Perº. “We are quickly rolling out our scheme to incorporate dozens of merchants and thousands of Peruvian Internet users. PayWare will enable us to handle the rapid volume increase and maintain our high standards of security and service,” added Bertolotti.

“This is a significant development for secure electronic commerce, not only in Peru, but the region as well,” said Jurgen Wassmmann, manager of Visa International Latin America and Caribbean Region. “The decision to use the SET protocol for online transactions is a move in the right direction and we are confident that this initiative will also encourage other banks in the Andean Region to adopt SET.”

“Peru is a country that has shown great willingness to embrace the Internet,” said John McGuire, CEO of Trintech. “The implementation of a secure e-commerce pilot using proven payment technology from Trintech, backed by trusted brand such as Visa, will help Peruvian banks, merchants and consumers leapfrog legacy technology and trade with confidence on the Internet.”

About PayWare Net

PayWare Net is a highly flexible, merchant payment platform for the acceptance of electronic payment transactions in the physical, remote and virtual environments. With PayWare Net merchants and customers can utilize multiple card electronic payment types (credit, debit, chip, Internet), multiple card acceptance channels (physical, remote, Internet), a variety of currencies and many communication and security protocols. Other features include:

o Extensive range of security features with the goal of preventing Internet card fraud:

o Scalable payment technology designed to scale to increased eMerchant sales volume

o Merchant storefront integration

o Sophisticated payment features

o ERP Integration Support

o Shipping/Tracking Integration Interface allows for more streamlined customer service

o Interoperability

o Business-to-Business eCommerce

About Visa As the “World’s Best Way to Pay,” Visa is the leading payment brand and the largest payment system in the world 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 cardholders. Visa has more than 70 smart card programs in 33 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including 8 million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction? programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are over 850 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 17 million worldwide locations, including at more than 500,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa, Latin America and Caribbean Region, Internet address is [www.visalatam.com][1].

About Visanet del Peru

Visanet Peru is a member of the acquiring group formed by the member institutions of Visa in Peru and by Visa International to handle, with exclusivity, the Visa card payments at their merchants. It has been operating since 1997 and has 15,000 merchants located in 60 cities within Peru. Its network of PoS terminals (Point of Sale) process 90% of electronic transactions in the country. Visanet Peru has 10 branches in other important cities in Peru to facilitate the needs of its member merchants and its member institutions with the Visa brand. Visanet can also be contacted through its Web site at [www.visanet.com.pe][2]

About Trintech

Founded in 1987, Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic payment solutions for card-based transactions in the physical world and over the Internet. The company offers a complete range of payment software products for credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications, as well as being a world leader in the deployment of payment solutions for Internet commerce that are fully SSL- and SET-compliant. Trintech’s range of scalable open systems architecture solutions for UNIX® and Windows NT? platforms covers consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for physical payments and the burgeoning world of electronic commerce. Trintech can be contacted at 2105 South Bascom Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008, USA (Tel: 408 879 1884). Trintech can be reached on the Web at [http://www.trintech.com][3].

[1]: http://www.visalatam.com/
[2]: http://www.visanet.com.pe/
[3]: http://www.trintech.com/

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Hot Teen Segment

More than 10 million, or two-thirds of all U.S. teen net users will make a purchase online by the year 2002, a dramatic increase from the 2 million (22%), estimated for 1998 and projected 1999 year-end figures of 3.9 million (35%), according to a new study by eMarketer. The ‘eRetail Report’ shows the number of teenagers (aged 13-17) who actively use the web will rise from 11.1 million in 1999 to 15.3 million in 2002, teen users as a percent of all net users in America will shrink from 16% in 1999 to 14.8% in 2002. The report also indicates that while teens as a group have significantly greater access to the web than their adult counterparts, they are currently less likely than adults to actually make purchases online. Teens will spend $161 million online in 1999, representing less than 1% of total U.S. online spending. Teen online spending will climb to over $1.4 billion by 2002, representing 2.2% of total consumer e-commerce.

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LendingTree to MoneyTree

NC-based LendingTree, Inc., announced Tuesday that the company has completed its third round of financing totaling $50 million in private equity capital. The group of corporate and institutional investors, led by Capital Z Financial Services Fund II, L.P, includes GE Capital, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Marsh & McLennan Capital and priceline.com. The eye-popping deal is one of the top Internet funding deals this year. This year, LendingTree has grown its number of lenders on the network from nine to more than 80. LendingTree currently processes over $65 million a day in loan demand from consumers seeking home mortgages, home equity, automobile financing, personal loans and credit cards. LendingTree said it will use the fresh capital to intensify marketing efforts specifically focused on brand building among consumer and business audiences.

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Holiday Sales

Consumers are expected to spend $6 billion online during the months of November and December, up from $3.1 billion spent during the same period in 1998, according to figures released yesterday by Jupiter Communications. Of that $6 billion, $5 billion will be spent on products, $1 billion on travel services. Overall online shopping is expected to grow to $78 billion by 2003. Jupiter expects that 10 million online users will begin shopping this year. However, the research firm cautioned that a Jupiter consumer survey of more than 2,100 online shoppers fielded immediately after the 1998 holiday season found that the overall level of online shopping satisfaction dropped from 88% in the second quarter of 1998 to 74% in the fourth quarter of 1998.

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Teachers Card

Discover Financial Services announced Tuesday the launch of the ‘Discover Educators Card’ which rewards teachers with a 5% special ‘Cashback Bonus’ award for purchases made at merchant partners in the ‘Discover Educators Card’ network. The reward is in addition to the annual ‘Cashback Bonus’ award of up to 1%. Charter partners include Zany Brainy and Ramada Franchise Systems. Zany Brainy is an 8-year old multimedia educational superstore for kids with 95 stores in 25 states. As part of the new program, Discover will donate a portion of each ‘Discover Educators Card’ transaction to Communities In Schools, Inc.

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ATM-X in Rent-Way Pilot

Cash Technologies, Inc. announced Tuesday that it has signed an agreement with Rent-Way, Inc., a leader in the rent-to-own industry, to install its multi-function ATM-X machines at Rent-Way store locations in the Western United States.

Driven by Cash Tech’s EMMA(TM) transaction processing platform, the ATM-X machines will provide multiple e-commerce functions for the very first time on an ATM, representing a major milestone in the ATM industry’s 30 year history. With this new system, Rent-Way customers will be able to easily cash checks, pay bills, get prepaid phone cards and other valuable services, in addition to standard ATM functions, all from a single ATM in the store. In addition, the machine’s bill acceptor will permit the purchase of products and services from the machine with cash. This is expected to be of particular value to Rent-Way’s customers, most of whom make their weekly rental payments in person using cash.

“We are looking forward to demonstrating the commercial viability of ATM-X and its supporting system, the EMMA(TM) transaction processing platform, in a retail environment,” said Bruce Korman, Chairman and CEO of Cash Technologies. “Our technology, the result of intensive development efforts and partnerships with leading electronic commerce firms, will harness the existing ATM network to make non-banking and Internet commerce services a convenient reality at ATMs for the first time.”

“We’re pleased to be able to participate in the first commercial demonstration of the ATM-X,” said Jeff Conway, Chief Financial Officer of Rent-Way, “With more than 300,000 customers visiting our stores every week, we believe that this new system can leverage our existing operations to provide new services and valuable additional revenue.”

A pilot consisting of 3 or 4 stores is expected to be installed in November at locations to be determined and, if successful, shall be expanded throughout the rest of the Rent-Way chain over the next 18 months.

About Rent-Way

Rent-Way operates 866 stores in 35 states under the brand names RentWay and Home-Choice Rentals. Rent-Way rents quality, brand name merchandise such as home entertainment equipment, furniture and major appliances on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis under full service rental-purchase agreements that permit the customer to acquire ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed upon rental period.

About Cash Technologies

Cash Technologies Inc. ([http://www.cashtechnologies.com][1]) develops and markets innovative e-commerce kiosks and systems, including the EMMA(TM) transaction processing software, the multifunction ATM-X(TM) automated teller machine (ATM) and the CoinBank(R) advanced self-service coin counter. The Company also provides computerized cash processing services to banks, armored carriers, rapid transit agencies and other cash-intensive businesses.

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

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