eCHARGE Prodigy

Prodigy Communications Corp. and eCHARGE Corp. announced Monday a new service to allow new Prodigy members to have their monthly Prodigy Internet payment billed through their local phone bill rather than to a credit card using ‘eCHARGE MY PHONE!’. eCHARGE says more than half of the world’s online users don’t have a credit card. Prodigy plans to make the new service available by year’s end.

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Drug Card

A card-based consumer loyalty marketing program within traditional chain drug store companies will be launched next month by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Three traditional chain drug store companies are working as a group with Consumer Card Marketing, Inc. to develop the loyalty program pilot. These chains will work together in a share group to develop, implement, and analyze techniques for building the links between customer-specific information and their marketing programs. In addition, a select group of prominent manufacturers have agreed to support the initiative, participate in quarterly share group meetings, and aid in the analysis of this 15-month initial program period.

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Cafe Card

Borders Cafe Espresso introduced an electronic gift card Monday. The new ‘Borders Gift Card’ enables customers to purchase food items as well as books, music and video. Borders, Inc. operates over 265 Borders Books and Music stores in the USA and with cafe operations in nearly all of its stores. Borders is one of the nation’s largest specialty coffee retailers.

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eCommerce Index

NextCard introduced the ‘NextCard eCommerce Index’ yesterday. Compiled from the monthly activity of approximately 100,000 NextCard Internet VISA cardholders, the NextCard eCommerce Index is based on the number of actual online purchases, rather than page views or site visits. The index is a monthly listing of the top 25 online merchants and the top 10 movers based on the number of online purchase transactions. The top five online merchants include: AOL ONLINE SERVICE; AMAZON.COM; ONSALE; BUY.COM; and CD NOW. The top five movers include: IBM INTERNET SERVICE; WEBVAN; KBKIDS.COM; WAREHOUSE.COM; and ECOST.COM. The ‘eCommerce Movers’ is a monthly listing of the top online merchants that experience the largest percentage change in transaction volume from the previous month.

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Rapid Link Cards

Rapid Link Communication Services formed a partnership with prepaid distributor Clifton Digital Corporation for the marketing, distribution, call routing and customer support of the ‘Digital Advantage’, ‘Metro Card’ and the ‘Link’ series of prepaid phone cards. The three prepaid card programs target customers calling the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Poland and Korea, as well as throughout Europe and within the U.S. Within the next six months, RLCS and Clifton will release 10 more prepaid cards as part of the ‘Link’ series including the ‘New Jersey Link’, the ‘Ohio Link’ and the ‘Detroit Link’.

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Hunter Named CFO

AvantGo, Inc., the authority in managing mobile information, Monday announced that Thomas F. Hunter has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Hunter began his career at IBM, where he was a top sales performer and sales manager. As CFO for First Data Corp., he managed the company’s IPO and played a key role in growing the company’s revenues from $10M to $250M annually. He also served as Executive VP of First Data’s Transaction Processing Division and its Vice President of Operations during his eight years with the company. In his new position, Mr. Hunter will be responsible for AvantGo’s financial operations.

“Bringing Tom on board keeps us on our trajectory as the premier provider of software and services for the handheld computing industry,” said AvantGo CEO Felix Lin. “With his proven executive-level experience, Tom will enable us to further enhance our position as the company enterprises can count on when they need to extend their critical applications to handheld devices.”

Mr. Hunter has owned and managed his own business, Images of Nature Galleries in Palo Alto and Los Gatos, California, for more than nine years. He also served as a corporate financial consultant, primarily involving acquisitions and the integration of post-acquisition operations. His clients included American Express Company and First Data Corp. In addition, Mr. Hunter performed marketing and strategic planning consulting assignments for Direct Marketing Systems Corp. and its clients.

Before that, Mr. Hunter was president of American Supercomputers, Inc. (ASI), based in Sunnyvale, California. Recruited by ASI to be Chief Operating Officer at the time of the company’s first round of venture capital investment, he had day-to-day responsibility for all operations, including Engineering, Strategic Planning, Marketing, Finance and Administration. Mr. Hunter holds an MBA and a BSC from Santa Clara University.

About AvantGo

The authority in managing mobile information, AvantGo, Inc. wirelessly extends Internet, intranet and extranet applications to handheld computers based on the Palm OS and Windows CE platforms. With its core products, AvantGo Enterprise for Fortune 1000 companies and AvantGo.com for individuals on the go, the company helps organizations stay closer to their customers.

Using AvantGo.com, today hundreds of thousands of individuals are accessing free, interactive and personalized content from more than 200 leading content providers. AvantGo also spearheads the Mobile Link initiative, an open, industry standard for connecting mobile devices to server-based applications. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [www.avantgo.com][1].

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

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MetroCard Machines

The MTA New York City Transit, yesterday, awarded Cubic Transportation Systems a $17.8 million contract to produce a smaller, compact version of ‘MetroCard Vending Machines’ that are being installed throughout the New York subway system. The smaller ‘MetroCard Refill Machines’ provide credit/debit payment-only capability for subway and bus riders to reload time or value on their reusable ‘MetroCards’. The new machines are designed to complement the full-service ‘MetroCard Vending Machines’ that provide coin and bill handling capabilities, as well as credit/debit payment for purchasing or reloading ‘MetroCards’. By the end of 2000, it is planned that a total of 2,594 ticketing machines will be installed throughout the New York transit system, of which more than 1,000 will be the MRM design. The new machines will also be contactless smart card ready.

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Eclipse

TeleCheck Services introduced yesterday the first integrated payment terminal capable of imaging checks at the point of sale. ‘Eclipse’ reads the check MICR line both magnetically and optically. ‘Eclipse’ also accommodates credit cards, debit cards and smart cards. In addition to imaging, other new features include a faster modem and a combination roll/slip inkjet printer capable of printing receipts and information on checks. The new terminal was jointly developed with VeriFone. The terminal’s imaging capabilities enhance the TeleCheck ‘Electronic Check Acceptance’ service, a paper check conversion process that converts MICR information into electronic items, which are processed through the ACH network. ‘Eclipse’ will be available through TeleCheck’s sales & marketing force and through First Data Merchant Services.

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Dog Phone Card

Toronto-based Phonetime International introduced a new, double-sized die-cut prepaid phone card in the shape of ‘Puffy the Dog’, the animal character from the 20th Century Fox movie “There’s Something About Mary.” The new phone card will be cross-promoted with Blockbuster Canada. Since August of last year, Phonetime has supplied private label phone cards to Blockbuster. The new dog card is the third such venture with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Canada Ltd. Phonetime has previously developed a long-distance, prepaid phone card with an ‘X-Files’ theme. The card featured a voice-over from the co-star David Duchovny and ‘X-Files’ theme music, when the customer called in. Phonetime also developed a card based on the movie “Ever After” with lead star Drew Barrymore.

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Bank Plus Update

Bank Plus Corporation reported that as of July 31, 1999 total outstanding balances in the credit card portfolio of its wholly-owned subsidiary Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB, were $271.9 million, a net decrease of $8.0 million from the June 30, 1999 balances, and total delinquencies were 21.0% compared to 20.4% at June 30, 1999.

Delinquencies under the MMG Direct, Inc. program were 20.2% at July 31, 1999, unchanged from the June 30, 1999 percentage level while delinquencies under the American Direct Credit, Inc. portfolio increased from 23.7% at June 30, 1999 to 24.7% at July 31, 1999.

Mark K. Mason, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “As anticipated, the group of accounts responsible for the second-quarter 1999 spike in delinquencies in the ADC portfolio continues to work its way through the delinquency buckets, with delinquencies in the 30 to 59 day bucket peaking in both dollar and percentage terms in May, those in the 60 to 89 day bucket peaking in June and those in the 90 to 119 day bucket peaking in July. Early stage ADC delinquencies (accounts less than 30 days delinquent), which stood at 11.4% at March 31, 1999, have now recovered to below prior levels, decreasing to 10.8% at July 31, 1999. Providing current trends continue, we expect this spike to continue to move through the delinquency buckets over the coming months.”

Bank Plus Corporation is the holding company for Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB, which offers a broad range of consumer financial services, including demand and time deposits and mortgage loans. In addition, through its affiliate Gateway Investment Services, Inc., a NASD-registered broker/dealer, Fidelity provides customers of the Bank with investment products, including mutual funds, annuities and insurance. Fidelity operates through 36 full-service branches, 35 of which are located in Southern California, principally in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Outstanding Credit Card Balances
As of July 31, 1999
(Dollars in thousands)

MMG ADC All Total
Other

Current Balances $92,703 $94,182 $27,894 $214,779
Delinquent Balances :
30 to 59 days 6,100 7,152 1,576 14,828
60 to 89 days 4,953 6,588 630 12,171
90 to 119 days 4,737 7,155 468 12,360
120 to 149 days 4,397 6,168 34 10,599
150 days and over 3,273 3,857 — 7,130
Total Delinquencies 23,460 30,920 2,708 57,088

Total Balances $116,163 $125,102 $30,602 $271,867

Delinquency %
30 to 59 days 5.2% 5.7% 5.2% 5.4%
60 to 89 days 4.3% 5.3% 2.1% 4.5%
90 to 119 days 4.1% 5.7% 1.5% 4.6%
120 to 149 days 3.8% 4.9% 0.1% 3.9%
150 days and over 2.8% 3.1% 0.0% 2.6%
Total 20.2% 24.7% 8.9% 21.0%

Available Credit $19,298 $28,328 $6,753 $54,379

Outstanding ADC Credit Card Balances
(Dollars in thousands)

7/31/99 6/30/99 3/31/99

Current Balances $94,182 $98,701 $122,989
Delinquent Balances :
30 to 59 days 7,152 8,212 5,529
60 to 89 days 6,588 8,113 4,012
90 to 119 days 7,155 6,764 4,245
120 to 149 days 6,168 4,487 3,431
150 days and over * 3,857 3,121 —
Total Delinquencies 30,920 30,697 17,217

Total Balances $125,102 $129,398 $140,206

Delinquency %
30 to 59 days 5.7% 6.3% 3.9%
60 to 89 days 5.3% 6.3% 2.9%
90 to 119 days 5.7% 5.2% 3.0%
120 to 149 days 4.9% 3.5% 2.5%
150 days and over * 3.1% 2.4% —
Total 24.7% 23.7% 12.3%

* Following the transfer of the servicing of the portfolio from ADC to Bank Plus in April 1999, ADC’s contractual charge-off policy was conformed to Fidelity’s charge-off policy, increasing the charge-off period from 150 to 180 days.

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MasterCard India

Outside of China, the nation with the most potential for payment card development is India. This morning MasterCard and Citibank are introducing the ‘Citibank MasterCard Electronic Credit Card’ in India. The new credit card requires electronic authorization for all transactions and thus provides Citibank with cardholder credit limit management. Merchants must have an EDC terminal to read the mag-striped card. The new features an option for truncated account numbers on the face of the card and a new specially designed MasterCard Electronic brand logo on the card face. MasterCard has also produced a new acceptance mark for the ‘MasterCard Electronic’ card to be displayed via decals at all EDC-equipped acceptance locations in India. MasterCard was India’s first credit card and the country’s first deposit access program via ‘Maestro’.

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