Royal Bank’s PowerWallet

Industry analysts estimate that about two thirds of all Internet purchases are abandoned midstream, mostly due to the time required for shoppers to input all requested information once they are ready to buy. This fall, with a secure electronic wallet developed by Qpass and eHNC, Royal Bank customers will be able to shop on the Internet quickly and easily. The PowerWallet, which will accompany consumers on their shopping trips in the virtual world, will store important information required to complete Internet credit card purchases.

PowerWallet, developed by Qpass and eHNC and unveiled this week at Internet World in Chicago, gives online purchases the speed and convenience of an express checkout lane. Royal Bank is first in Canada and among the first banks in North America to provide secure e-wallets to Internet shoppers.

“The introduction of digital wallets will boost the growth of e-commerce in Canada,” says Al McGale, Vice President, eCommerce@Cards for Royal Bank. “PowerWallet is the kind of innovation Royal Bank is committed to bringing to our online customers.”

“If two-thirds of customers in line at your neighborhood grocery store threw up their hands in frustration before reaching the cash register, you can bet someone would be doing something about it,” said Chase Franklin, Founder and CEO of Qpass. “Our goal with PowerWallet is to eliminate the lengthy order processes, the hassle of keeping track of different passwords and the general insecurity of purchasing online.”

PowerWallet assists Internet shoppers in many ways:

– With PowerWallet, shoppers need to fill out their credit card and billing information just once. It’s stored securely in the Qpass network data centre, then activated with the simple click of a computer mouse, completing transactions on the Web.

– PowerWallet “learns” new forms and adapts to the frequent changes merchants make to forms, through eHNC’s free-form text analysis and adaptive learning technology. The more an individual uses the PowerWallet, the more personalized and helpful the whole Qpass network becomes.

– PowerWallet gives users the tools to keep receipts of your online purchases, while storing Web shopping preferences, including site-specific passwords.

“This is the year of the digital wallet,” said Michael Thiemann, CEO and president of eHNC, the Internet solutions division of HNC. “eHNC understands the needs of the e-commerce triad, merchants, consumers and banks. Today, online merchants require shoppers to fill out individual forms for their site. It’s like asking a shopper to fill out an application every time they want to make a purchase at a new store. PowerWallet lets online shoppers provide information once and shop anywhere on the Web.”

Royal Bank expects to offer a pilot program of PowerWallets to clients this fall. After users register, the information is directly loaded into their PowerWallet account via a secure, proprietary communications channel. The one-click PowerWallet button will automatically be added to the toolbar of their Internet browser.

Royal Bank (RY) is Canada’s premier global financial services group and a leading provider of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and corporate and investment banking. Royal Bank and its key subsidiaries Royal Trust, RBC Dominion Securities, RBC Insurance, and Royal Bank Action Direct have 60,000 employees who serve 10 million clients through more than 1,500 branches and offices in over 30 countries.

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Calling Card Market Study

According to new research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, the U.S. Card Calling Services Market has shown substantial growth, reporting revenues totaling approximately $10 billion in revenues for 1998. F&S says the card calling services market is at the development stage of its life cycle, although it is still exhibiting rapid growth. Card calling services will continue to see substantial revenue growth for the next three to five years. The new study states the primary contributing factor to the growth has been the increased marketing and promotion of prepaid card calling services by major telecommunications carriers and their increased distribution through recognized retail channels. Other drivers behind the lucrative nature of the card calling services industry include increased competition exerting downward pressure on card rates, the convenience of calling cards, and the significant increase in mobile workforce and business travelers. Restraints in this market include price wars that reduce the perceived market value, growth in the prepaid cellular telephone market and the imposition of pay phone compensation.

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Citibank 2Q/99

Citigroup reported yesterday that core income for cards unit increased 96% to $267 million driven by the performance of its acquired AT&T Universal Card Services portfolio and the recently acquired Mellon portfolio. Revenues rose 10% primarily from risk-based fee increases, a 15% rise in sales volume and 13% growth in receivables in U.S. bankcards over the prior year quarter. Receivables reached $70.3 billion and accounts rose 4%, or 1.7 million. Credit continued to improve, as net charge-offs as a percentage of average receivables in the U.S. bankcard portfolio fell to 4.63% from 5.65% in the prior year period and 4.72% in the 1999 first quarter. Internationally Citigroup entered into a co-branding alliance with Cathay Pacific Airways and launched its bankcard product in Hungary and Guam during the second quarter. For complete 2Q/99 financials for Citigroup visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

CITIBANK U.S. PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT

2Q/99 1Q/99 4Q/98 2Q/98
RECV: $70.3b $69.4b $69.6b $62.0b
Q-VOL: $40.8b $36.8b $42.2b $35.4b
ACCTS: 41.1m 41.4m 40.5m 39.4m
CO: 4.63% 4.72% 4.82% 5.65%
DEL: 1.36% 1.46% 1.45% 1.56%

CO-charge-offs as a percentage of average receivables; DEL- 90+ day
delinquency rate, percentage of dollars past due

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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iAuthorizer Terminal

Atomic Software announces its new iAuthorizer Web Terminal Internet payment software that was created for low-volume Internet, mail/phone order, retail, and home-based businesses to accept electronic payments affordably.

This new product and service offers a contemporary, low-cost method to merchants for processing electronic payment transactions using a PC and the Internet. iAuthorizer Web Terminal is designed to replace a standalone credit card authorization terminal for merchants that process less than 25 transactions per day.

Merchants simply key in the transaction data on the Web Terminal screen and click on the submit button to send the transaction securely over the Internet to their credit card processor or bank for authorization. When the transaction is approved, an E-mail confirmation is sent to the merchant. The transactions are deposited into their account automatically every day. Merchants can view their reports including the current transaction batch, totals by payment type, and deposit settlement history using a password protected merchant console.

The transaction data and customer information is also downloadable for import into other business management programs for simplified bookkeeping. Web Terminal is certified for use with most of the largest transaction processors and thousands of banks in the United States so merchants may keep their existing banking relationships. It also performs address verification to help eliminate fraud and provide access to the lowest possible transaction rates. “Smaller merchants can now use the Internet to process their electronic payments at a substantially lower fixed cost than before,” states Walt Murphy, Vice President of Business Development. “In addition, Web Terminal enables merchants to leverage their PC investment more effectively.” Atomic Software is a venture-funded company that provides electronic payment solutions to Internet, mail/phone order, retail, and restaurant companies. The Company’s products are certified for use by most major banks and transaction processors in the United States. For more information, contact Walt Murphy, Vice President of Business Development at 678/942-2600 or E-mail to info@atomic-software.com.

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PowerWallet

Qpass and eHNC Monday announced ‘PowerWallet’, a new service that gives online shoppers the speed and convenience of a supermarket’s express checkout lane. ‘PowerWallet’ fills in any form on the Internet, manages online receipts and keeps track of site-specific user names, secure passwords and other shopping preferences. Key solutions include allowing shoppers to fill out their credit card and billing information once, store it securely in the Qpass network data center and then activate it with a mouse click to complete a transaction at any secure point of sale on the Web.

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AmEx Desktop Portal

American Express announced Monday that it is developing a desktop portal for business-to-business electronic commerce to be called: ‘American Express @ Work’. The new online business center will deliver a suite of Web-based T&E and purchasing management applications. The portal will integrate existing transaction applications, such as ‘AXI Travel’ for online travel reservations and software for electronic expense reporting, along with new online services, such as ‘Corporate Card’ setup and the ability to download current charges and make changes to the account. The portal will also provide content designed to help managers and employees determine the best travel or purchasing decision. ‘Release 1.0’ of ‘American Express @ Work’, featuring a first layer of product functionality, will begin testing with four American Express clients this month: BASF Corp., Dun & Bradstreet , Nationwide and Scientific-Atlanta Inc. Product development will continue through the fall, and by the end of the year, the company hopes to make the portal available with basic functionality to all ‘Corporate Card’, ‘Business Travel’ and ‘Corporate Purchasing Card’ customers.

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NextCard Signs MapQuest

NextCard announced today an exclusive marketing agreement with MapQuest.com, a leader in advanced mapping systems. Under the terms of the three-year, $4.5 million agreement NextCard becomes the exclusive credit card sponsor for [http://www.mapquest.com][1], the second largest travel site on the Web. In addition, NextCard will design special sweepstakes and promotions specifically for MapQuest.com users.

“NextCard is thrilled to offer customized card products to the over 3 million MapQuest.com users,” said Dan Springer, chief marketing officer at NextCard. “After extensive testing, we’ve determined that MapQuest.com is an ideal partner for reaching the millions of online consumers seeking innovative financial service online.”

“MapQuest.com chose NextCard as a partner because we feel they offer the best credit card product for Internet users,” said Mike Crosson, vice president of advertising at MapQuest.com. “This new relationship enhances the features offered on the MapQuest.com site.”

NextCard, Inc.

NextCard, Inc., creator of The First True Internet Visa, is considered one the industry’s leading target marketer of consumer credit on the Internet. Since its launch in December 1997, over 2 million people have applied for the NextCard Internet Visa, making it one of the premier online credit cards. The Company is a Top 10 online advertiser and continues to innovate with its Double Rewards program, complete GoShopping! tools, original PictureCard design, a one-click digital wallet and exceptional online customer service. NextCard was recently named a “HOT 100 Company” by Upside Magazine.

MapQuest

MapQuest.com, Inc. is a leader in advanced mapping systems. The Company launched its popular web site ([http://www.mapquest.com][2]) on February 5, 1996. Today, MapQuest.com is receiving more than 3.1 million unique visitors monthly to its consumer web site. MapQuest.com has developed a diverse network of more than 500 business partners, including: Yahoo, Lycos, Infoseek, Excite, AOL Digital City, CitySearch, Travelocity, Bank of America, MasterCard, Kinko’s, Blockbuster, and Dayton Hudson. The Company has been in operation since 1967. THE SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995. Information contained herein as to NextCard’s expectations and goals are forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ from those projected in these statements due to portfolio characteristics, economic conditions, competition in the industry and other factors detailed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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

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BannerDirect Update

BannerDirect of New York, NY, is pleased to have named Paul Stramberg corporate controller as of July 1,1999. In this newly created position, Mr. Stramberg will be reporting directly to Christine Fontana, President. ‘Paul’s 20 years of combined public and private accounting experience make him the perfect fit for this new position,’ says Ms. Fontana.

Based in New York, Mr. Stramberg will be responsible for overseeing the general accounting department, financial analysis, acquisition possiblities and all other facets of financial control.

‘During the course of a year replete with transaction and growth, it became clear the demands of our business required this position,’ says Ms. Fontana. ‘Paul will have a key role in the corporation.’

Paul Stramberg’s previous positions include controller of Simplex where he ran the accounting department; asisant controller for Latin Communications, Inc.; and, manager of general accounting for CBS Inc.-News Division. He is a graduate of Rider University in New Jersey and currently resides in Ridgewood, NJ, with his wife Ruth and their 2 children.

BannerDirect, Inc. was founded in 1990 as a full-service direct marketing agency devoted primarily to direct response marketing for the financail, entertainment, oil, and retail industries. As today’s announcement demonstrates, BannerDirect has recently experienced significant expansion in both its client base in traditional and new industries as well as its employee base. The company is geographically positioned to meet the needs of its clients with corporate headquarters in New York City, Production management headquarters in Wilmington(NC), and account management offices in Milwaukee(WI), New York City and Carson City(NV).

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Wireless All-Star

MasterCard, ARAMARK and U.S. Wireless Data teamed up at last week at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game FanFest to offer wireless payment services. MasterCard and ARAMARK operated more than twenty merchandise outlets during the ‘FanFest’. For these outlets, U.S. Wireless Data and MasterCard provided point-of-sale technology powered by USWD’s ‘Wireless Express Payment Service’.

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eCode’s AutoFiller

eCode.com, the Internet’s first and only online identity management service, announced Monday the formal launch of AutoFiller, a Web form-filling utility that allows Internet users to instantly populate any online form with their contact information. eCode.com also announced today that eCode members can choose to have AutoFiller automatically enter their credit card information on online shopping forms.

Announced earlier this month as a beta product, AutoFiller saves users significant time and frustration in filling out lengthy registration forms.

The utility, free to everyone, is directly launched from users’ browsers or bookmarks and can reside on their desktops. Whenever users want to fill out an online form, they click the AutoFill button and the form is instantly populated. AutoFiller supports Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.

“AutoFiller and its new credit card feature make Web surfing and online shopping faster and easier,” said Rohit Chandra, founder and CEO of Santa Clara, California-based eCode.com. “eCode.com is committed to providing its users with innovative features that enhance their Internet experience. We expect AutoFiller will become indispensable to Web users because it is secure, easy to use and works on any Web site.

Some of the most popular sites AutoFiller supports include Amazon.com (Nasdaq:AMZN), America Online (NYSE:AOL), CBS MarketWatch.com (Nasdaq:MKTW), CDNOW (Nasdaq:CDNW), Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCH), Compaq (NYSE:CPQ), Dell (Nasdaq:DELL), E-Trade (Nasdaq:EGRP), eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY), Lycos (Nasdaq:LCOS), Infoseek (Nasdaq:SEEK), Priceline.com (Nasdaq:PCLN), and Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO).

Credit Card Feature Makes Online Shopping Simple and Secure

eCode users can start using the AutoFiller credit card feature by entering their credit card type, number and expiration date into their secure contact profile on the eCode.com Web site once. When users want to include their credit card information along with their contact information, they simply check the “fill credit card” box on the AutoFiller toolbar. By default, AutoFiller will not send any credit card information unless the users check the box. The contact and credit card information is secured each time users autofill an online form. AutoFiller sends all information using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol. SSL encrypts the information so that it cannot be read as the information travels over the Internet. SSL protocol utilizes multi-layer security, including data encryption, server authentication, message integrity and client authentication. eCode.com is a member of the TRUSTe program and respects the privacy of its members. The site follows the strictest guidelines for protecting and maintaining any and all information the members provide.

eCode.com’s Free Service and Innovative Features Help People Stay in Touch

eCode.com has become the Internet’s hub for contact information because of its unique concept of a single, permanent online user ID called an eCode. Internet users can sign up at: eCode.com also offers the following features:

— Online Business Card and Self-Updating Address Book — eCode.com users can create graphical Web-Enabled Business Cards called WEB Cards that they can attach to their emails or display on their own Web sites. Users can collect the eCodes of their colleagues, friends and loved ones and build virtual, self- updating Address Books. When a user’s contact information changes, the updates are automatically reflected in the eCode Address Books of all his contacts. eCode users control their contact information at all times. They decide with whom they share their eCodes and who has access to that information. Visitors and other members alike cannot access a member’s contact information unless they know his or her electronic Code.

— Zero-Data-Entry Maps and Directions — eCode.com members never need to give out directions. Their WEB Card has an automatic map link icon that provides one-click driving directions and maps to friends and associates. When eCode users view another member’s WEB Card, the system automatically recognizes the two addresses and displays the maps and directions. No manual data entry is required.

— Outlook(TM) and Palm(TM) Synchronization — eCode.com members can upload and download their eCode Address Books with Microsoft Outlook and 3Com (Nasdaq:COMS) Palm organizers.

Personalized URL and Self-Updating Guest Book — eCode.com also provides its members with their own personalized URL, e.g. http://JDoe.eCode.com, which includes their WEB Card, a self-updating guest book and a counter. Users can host their own guest books without even having a Web site.

About eCode.com

Founded in 1997, privately held and funded eCode.com is the first and only Internet User Identity Company. The company’s eCode.com online identity service allows computer users to create self-updating online business cards and virtual address books. The company can be reached by eCode at eCodeInfo, on the Web at [http://www.eCode.com][1], by email at info@eCode.com, by telephone at 408/845-9400, and by mail at 2350 Mission College Blvd., Suite 777, Santa Clara, CA, 95054.

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

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ATM Market Study

A new study by Atlanta-based Speer & Associates found that average monthly ATM transactions per terminal decreased by 30% to 3,491, reflecting the impact of continued off-premise terminal deployment on the number of monthly ATM transactions per terminal. ATM transactions per card grew slightly to 62 in 1998, up 7% from 58 transactions per card in 1997. Speer also found that the number of ATMs per institution increased 24% overall, as banks focus on establishing larger proprietary programs to service customers while also taking advantage of revenue-generating opportunities. Foreign transaction fees continue to be prevalent among debit card issuers, as many larger issuers now charge $1.50 for foreign withdrawal transactions, compared to an overall industry average of $1.22. In the study Speer projects that after growing at a 25% to 30% clip for the past several years, ATM terminal deployment is slowing, and the research firm expects the rate to continue to drop, with a 10% to 12% annual growth rate through 2000. S&A expects ATM transactions to grow at 11% per year through 2003 to 24 billion, while on- and off-line debit POS volume will expand at 24% per year to reach 13 billion transactions.

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Chase 2Q/99

Chase Manhattan added 200,000 accounts during the second quarter while outstandings grew about $800 million, according to 2Q/99 results gathered by CardData (www.carddata.com). However Chase’s overall portfolio is about two million accounts less than last year. Chase will release its 2Q/99 earnings report tomorrow.

CHASE SNAPSHOT

2Q/99 1Q/99 4Q/98 2Q/98
RECV: $32.2b $31.4b $32.2b $31.4b
Q-VOL: $13.7b $11.9b $13.1b $11.3b
ACCTS: 20.8m 20.6m 21.0m 22.8m
ACTIVES: 12.6m 12.5m 12.8m 13.8m
CARDS: 28.4m 28.9m 29.0m 31.9m

Source: CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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