GlobeSet Update

GlobeSet Inc. announced this week the release of the ‘GlobeSet Merchant Adapter 2.1′ with support for Microsoft’ Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition’. The adapter works in conjunction with the ‘GlobeSet POS’, an application designed for payment processing between a cardholder and a financial payment gateway. The ‘Merchant Adapter 2.1’ features the ability to allow merchants to simultaneously process both SET and SSL transactions over the Internet and offers an extensive merchant integration manual designed to educate merchants on how to process both SET and SSL credit card payment authorizations through their on-line storefronts.


Coinstar Shopper

Coinstar Inc.will unveil this morning a prototype of its ‘Coinstar Shopper’ Internet platform, which enables consumers to save money and increases supermarket loyalty. At the beginning of a store visit, the consumer swipes their supermarket’s frequent shopper card, and the ‘Coinstar Shopper’ responds with special offers from the retailer, a personalized meal plan, and on-line purchases from leading non-grocery retailers on the Internet. This service enables retailers to deliver targeted messages, customized discounts, and sell additional products to consumers on their shopping trips. The ‘Coinstar Shopper’ will also allow consumers to join special grocer clubs, check their frequent shopper points balance, and receive special travel discounts. The company says there are currently more than 8,000 stores with frequent shopper programs, reaching more than 80 million consumers per week. Coinstar operates a network of more than 5,000 self service, coin counting machines in supermakets spread across 37 states.



CardLogix, a leading U.S. manufacturer of smart cards, announced that it is partnering with Humetrix’, Inc., to enable easy and secure smart card-based Internet transactions for healthcare insurers, providers and consumers. This agreement incorporates Humetrix’s line of Netissimo’ products and services for direct and secure Internet access. The addition of the CardLogix smart card platform increases the ease-of-use and security of Humetrix solutions. The announcement was made at the annual HIMSS Conference And Exposition in Atlanta, where CardLogix is exhibiting in Booth 2214.

Two-thirds of all visitors to the worldwide web have accessed health information, with half inquiring about a specific condition or disease. Providers and insurers benefit from fast, secure access to medical databases, reference materials and claims information for better patient care and business management, keeping costs down.

CardLogix and Humetrix products are aimed at healthcare consumers, providers and insurers. Humetrix offers tailored solutions and integration services to meet specific consumer needs.

‘ Humetrix is a valuable partner for us, with in-depth knowledge of the technical and business dimensions of this vast industry in the U.S.’, said Bruce Ross, Vice President Of Marketing for CardLogix. Dr. Bettina Experton, President and CEO Of Humetrix, comments that Humetrix solutions integrate smoothly with CardLogix smart cards and Smart Toolz’ Application Development Software. ‘We have identified some key opportunities for our combined products’.

Founded in 1994, CardLogix manufactures smart cards and development software for integrating smart card technology into computing and transaction systems. Key application areas include Healthcare, Security, Entertainment and Banking. Contact CardLogix at 16 Hughes, Irvine, CA. 92618, (949)380-1312, [][1] and

Humetrix’, Inc. Incorporated, founded in 1991, develops and sells proprietary smart card applications and smart card-based products and services that address the entire spectrum of Internet communications and transactions for Healthcare, Banking, Finance and Travel and Leisure. For more information, contact Humetrix at 110 5th Street, Del Mar, Ca., 92014, (619) 259-8987 and



Best Value

STAR Telecommunications subsidiary PT-1 Communications, was cited as the best value in low-cost dial-around service in the March 1999 SmartMoney article entitled “Ringing Endorsements.” PT-1 is the nation’s largest prepaid calling card provider. PT-1’s ‘101-6868’ service was rated the best value among fifteen other dial-around services. The interstate long-distance rate is 7.9 cents a minute round-the-clock. The service also has no hidden surcharges, no minimum talk-times and no monthly service fees. PT-1 says it plans to expand its service nationwide following the installation of our national OC-12 fiber backbone in June.


Mag Stripe to Smart Card

Bull, Europay and the Slovakian bank Slovenska Sporitelna announced Thursday the world’s first deployment of 100,000 microprocessor cards complying with the Europay-Mastercard-VISA (EMV) international standard and Europay’s “off-the-shelf” specifications. Slovakia is the second country in the world to migrate to EMV standard microprocessor cards. Slovenska Sporitelna, Europay member, is one of the major distributors of ‘Maestro’. Bull says that migrating from a magnetic strip cards to an EMV smart cards is a major issue for banks. It requires interoperability, security and must be done quickly and easily.



There is clear evidence this week of growing support for the Mondex ‘MULTOS’ multi-application, smart card operating system. Hitachi revealed this week that it now has orders for more than one million units for the world’s first ‘MULTOS’ chip to be shipping in volume. Hitachi began shipping its ‘H8/3112 MULTOS’ chip in Sept. Hitachi also announced, earlier this month, a new enhanced 16K chip (H8/3114) which supports ‘MULTOS version 4.0’. The 16K announcement complemented Keycorp’s recent 16K chip announcement and the news that Mondex International has granted a Japanese franchise to Sanwa Bank and credit card giant JCB. Meanwhile, Finland’s two largest card fabricators, Setec and Miotec, said this week they are set to offer ‘MULTOS’ cards. Also IVR-supplier, InterVoice, announced that its ‘InterVoice Gateway’ will now support ‘MULTOS’ smart cards allowing innovations such as personal ATMs to be attached to phones so that consumers can withdraw electronic cash or download new applications to their card using the telephone. Finally, BT is demonstrating this week a new digital ID solution, based on ‘MULTOS’, which provides consumers with a secure, portable access token to Internet and network-based interactive services.


MCI E-Bill

MCI WorldCom announced an agreement with CheckFree, the nation’s leading provider of electronic billing and payment, that will allow MCI WorldCom to expand its residential online portfolio in the world of e-commerce.

By giving MCI WorldCom residential customers the option to receive and pay their bills using the Internet, CheckFree and MCI WorldCom are the first to deliver what other companies have been promising for years — online bill payment and delivery by a nationwide telecommunications provider. MCI WorldCom now offers customers one more option to use the Internet to view and pay their bills, in addition to its existing online credit card or direct debit payment options.

To register for electronic bill delivery and payment, MCI WorldCom customers can enroll in MCI WorldCom’s online account manager at [][1] and choose to change their payment option, or go to the CheckFree E-Bill Web site at ; both sites will require the customer’s MCI WorldCom account number and an e-mail address. After registering, MCI WorldCom customers will receive a final paper bill by mail, then all future bills will be presented electronically. The electronic version of their monthly bill will include color graphics, logos and full- billing detail.

Using CheckFree E-Bill(SM) — backed by the industry’s most comprehensive point-to-point security — MCI WorldCom residential customers can simply click to approve the bill for payment, and the amount of the bill is deducted electronically from their designated bank account. Once MCI WorldCom customers are registered with CheckFree and MCI WorldCom’s Online Account Manager, they will also be able to view past bills on their computer or print them for future reference.

“The Internet allows us to make everyday tasks easier for our customers,” said Joyce Dorris, director of brand marketing for MCI WorldCom. “This E-Bill offering with CheckFree gives our customers added convenience they want while giving MCI WorldCom added cost savings by driving more business online.”

Bill summary will be available via Quicken and through online banks and other financial services sites that support CheckFree E-Bill. These sites include:

* First Union at

* Intuit’s Quicken 98/99 software

* Charles Schwab at

* Morgan Stanley Dean Witter at

* Prudential Securities at

Customers can then link back to MCI WorldCom’s Online Account Manager to view their account details and service their account online.

“Enabling electronic billing and payment for MCI WorldCom customers is an important step forward for the industry,” said Pete Kight, chairman and chief executive officer of CheckFree. “And as more financial services companies are coming online with bill presentment, including leading institutions like Bank One, an even broader range of consumers can electronically receive and pay their core bills. Being able to receive and pay these core bills — telecommunications, utilities, mortgage and credit card — will accelerate acceptance of the convenience and utility of electronic billing dramatically. MCI WorldCom’s obvious significance to the telecommunications industry, and its commitment to providing its customers with convenience and quality, makes this a strategic win for CheckFree.”


In addition to the convenience of paying bills without the hassle of checks and stamps, MCI WorldCom’s Online Account Manager has been enhanced to give customers complete control over their accounts. Secure account information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers can see their current and past MCI WorldCom statements, review and update account information, add products and services, and more, all from the comfort of their own computer.

MCI WorldCom customers can also use Online Account Manager to send an e-mail to customer service representatives online, handling all questions a customer may have right on the Web.


MCI WorldCom offers the perfect complement to online bill presentation and payment — online savings. MCI One Net Savings is a long-distance calling plan that allows residential customers to use the Internet to receive added convenience and savings for long-distance calling. By signing up online at [][2], MCI One Net Savings customers receive a 24-hour flat rate of nine cents per minute for state-to-state long-distance calls, in addition to MCI Five-Cent Sundays.


Founded in 1981, CheckFree, the operating subsidiary of CheckFree Holdings Corp. (, is the leading provider of electronic commerce services, software and related products for more than 2.6 million consumers, 1,000 businesses and 850 financial institutions. CheckFree designs, develops and markets services that enable its customers to make electronic payments and collections, automate paper-based recurring financial transactions and conduct secure transactions on the Internet.

CheckFree introduced the nation’s first live, market-release product for electronic bill presentment and payment in March 1997, after completing a successful two-year pilot program. CheckFree E-Bill is the only fully integrated, end-to-end system for electronic presentment and payment of richly formatted bills over the Internet. CheckFree E-Bill uses existing payment systems and allows consumers to access and pay their bills through the branded home-banking services of financial institutions.


MCI WorldCom is a global communications company with revenue of more than $30 billion and established operations in over 65 countries encompassing the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions. MCI WorldCom is a premier provider of facilities-based and fully integrated local, long distance, international and Internet services. MCI WorldCom’s global networks, including its state-of-the-art pan-European network and transoceanic cable systems, provide end-to-end high-capacity connectivity to more than 38,000 buildings worldwide. For more information on MCI WorldCom, visit the World Wide Web at or .



IVI Checkmate 4Q/98

IVI Checkmate Corp. announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 1998.

During the fourth quarter of 1998, IVI Checkmate completed its acquisition of Debitek Holdings Limited (“Debitek”), the leading supplier of smart card and magnetic stripe card payment systems to closed system user groups, in a transaction accounted for as a pooling of interests. In accordance with pooling of interests accounting, the financial statements for 1998 and 1997 were retroactively restated to reflect the historical results of Debitek and the previously announced third quarter merger with Plourde Computer Services (“Plourde”).

Revenue for the fourth quarter of 1998 was $26.5 million, a 7% increase over the revenue of $24.7 million in the fourth quarter of 1997. Earnings before net merger costs for the fourth quarter of 1998 were $1.4 million, or $0.08 per share (diluted). In comparison, earnings for the fourth quarter of 1997 were $1.7 million, or $0.09 per share (diluted), and included a large tax benefit of $922,000, or $0.05 per share (diluted), from reduction of valuation allowances against tax loss carryforwards. Excluding this tax benefit, 1997 fourth quarter earnings would have been $746,000, or $0.04 per share (diluted).

Revenue for the year ended December 31, 1998 was $107.1 million, a 16% increase over the revenue of $92.7 million for the year ended December 31, 1997. Earnings before net merger costs for 1998 were $6.1 million, or $0.35 per share (diluted). Earnings for 1997 were $3.2 million, or $0.19 per share (diluted), and included a large tax benefit of $1.3 million, or $0.08 per share (diluted), from reduction of valuation allowances against tax loss carryforwards. Excluding this tax benefit, 1997 earnings would have been $1.9 million, or $0.11 per share (diluted).

Barry Thomson, President and CEO of IVI Checkmate Corp., commented: “We showed solid financial improvement in the fourth quarter and throughout the year as revenues increased, and operating income, excluding merger costs, showed significant improvement. Our strong financial performance continues to confirm the effectiveness of our growth strategy and related acquisitions. Our customers and our stockholders are seeing a more powerful company through the integration and synergy of complementary technologies and expertise.”

Continued Thomson, “The acquisition of Debitek, combined with IVI Checkmate’s partnership with Ingenico, positions the Company to penetrate a broad range of markets, providing solutions that will bridge the closed system environments used in such markets as education and government to the open payment systems sponsored by such organizations as Visa and MasterCard, as these markets develop.”

Merger and acquisition costs in 1998 totaled $11.1 million (net of $1.5 million tax benefit), including fourth quarter costs of $691,000 (net of $94,000 tax benefit) related to the acquisition of Debitek. The effect of these costs would be to reduce 1998 earnings for the fourth quarter to $729,000, or $0.04 per share, and to a loss for the year of $5.0 million, or $0.28 per share.

Greg Lewis, President and CEO of IVI Checkmate’s U.S. Operations, said: “1998 was a challenging year for our U.S. operations in light of the combination of International Verifact Inc. and Checkmate Electronics (the “Combination”) and our ensuing acquisitions. The acquisition of Debitek in the fourth quarter, combined with the Company’s other subsidiaries, National Transaction Network, Total Retail Systems and Plourde, positions IVI Checkmate to provide the best integrated and stand-beside electronic payment solutions in the marketplace.”




Cheque Free Gets JAWS

JAWS Technologies Inc. announced this week the formation of a business alliance with Cheque Free Corporation, a pioneer in user-friendly, preauthorized payment processing.

The companies have developed a partnership whereby JAWS Technologies will provide security technology and practices to Cheque Free’s Preauthorized Payment program and its related Electronic Funds Transfer technology. Specifically, Cheque Free will incorporate JAWS L5 encryption technology into its current Internet billing solution for the Internet Service Provider market. The addition of this security element to Cheque Free’s electronic payment processing will ensure the integrity of ISPs’ customer billing information against intrusive or malicious acts. JAWS will provide ongoing consultative services to its partner for all security matters.

“Our strategic relationship with Cheque Free complements our business objectives to integrate JAWS security solutions into the electronic commerce and ISP markets,” states Robert Kubbernus, CEO, JAWS Technologies. “We are pleased to partner with a leader in e-commerce and offer our security technologies and practices through Cheque Free’s full service Electronic Funds Transfer technology. E-commerce reaches far beyond simple online transactions between a customer and a vendor. Trillions of dollars in securities, currencies, payment vouchers and settlements move electronically each year. The commercial need for security is astronomical.”

Cheque Free Corporation’s Vice President, Marc Bourgeois confirms that “Working closely with JAWS Technologies will further our mission to increase our clients’ profitability by providing reliable, accurate, timely and now the most secure electronic commerce services in a cost effective manner.”

About Cheque Free Corporation

Cheque Free Corporation is the pioneer in user-friendly, preauthorized payment processing. The company’s Preauthorized Payment program incorporates all of the benefits of Electronic Fund Transfer technology into one complete, full-service package. The benefits of the full-service system are being enjoyed by a variety of industry types such as insurance, health and Internet Service Provider organizations. Visit the company’s web site at for further information about Cheque Free Corporation.

About JAWS Technologies

JAWS Technologies, Inc. (NASD-OTC BB: “JAWZ”) is dedicated to the development and integration of information risk management strategies for secure business practices on a global scale. JAWS Technologies offers an extensive security consulting practice that addresses explicit business requirements. The JAWS IT Security Practice, performed by a team of high caliber security experts, encompasses a robust series of IT audit routines. JAWS Technologies is at the forefront of the cryptography industry with uncompromised security technologies. The sophistication of proprietary security technology solutions coupled with leading edge packaged data encryption software products provides JAWS clients fast, strong and easy-to-use security management tools. For more information, visit the company’s web site at .

Forward-looking statements and comments in this press release are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such statements relating to, among other things, the prospects for the companies to complete the transaction and enhance operating results, are necessarily subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which are significant in scope and nature. These risks may be further discussed in periodic reports and registration statements to be filed by the Company from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the future.


MasterCard’s Consumer Confidence Index

Consumer confidence around the region recovered dramatically in the second half of 1998, according to MasterCard International. The twice-yearly MasterIndex survey measures consumer confidence in thirteen countries and territories in Asia Pacific. From record lows in the June 1998 survey, the latest set of results show that, with the exception of India, consumer confidence in each of the twelve other markets surveyed is up.

In Malaysia there has been a dramatic shift, with the MasterIndex up from its all-time low of 23.8 in June 1998, to 67.6 in the December 1998 survey (the MasterIndex score ranges from 0 most pessimistic, to 100 most optimistic, with 50 denoting a situation of neutrality). In Korea, the MasterIndex is up from a low of 14.1 in June 1998 to 44.3 in December.

Even India, the only market surveyed not to report a positive shift, moved just three Index points lower from a MasterIndex of 51.7 to 49.3 – maintaining a neutral score.

According to Jonathon Gould, Senior Vice President, Marketing, MasterCard Asia Pacific, “These are the most significant results, indicating a positive outlook, since we began the survey in 1993. There is a clear regional trend. While there is still caution among most consumers around the region (only three markets – China, Malaysia and the Philippines – returned optimistic Index scores) and we’re not back to the levels of confidence seen around the region pre-June 1997, this survey is a clear indication that consumer confidence is returning.”

Country Findings

– Australia’s consumer confidence rose from a record low of 29.3 in June 1998 to 47.1 in December 1998. While still short of its record high MasterIndex of 81.7 in 1994, it is almost back to its pre-Asian economic crisis level of 52.6. Scores on all five economic variables surveyed were up and there is a positive outlook on two key factors in the MasterIndex survey: regular income (66.6) and confidence in the stability of the stock market (48.9).

– China’s MasterIndex of 54.7 up from 52.1 in June 1998, is the average of the scores in three separate surveys in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Beijing’s MasterIndex has improved significantly (from 46.5 to 57.2). Shanghai’s has contracted slightly (61.4 to 56.2), while Guangzhou’s remains practically unchanged (47.7 to 46.6). A more optimistic view on the future of the economy (55.2 to 57.1), regular income (57.1 to 62.3) and quality of life (56.4 to 68.7) were key contributors to the improved MasterIndex.

– Consumer confidence edged up slightly in Hong Kong (13.1 to 14.4). Just before the crisis began, the MasterIndex read 60.5. Six months after the crisis it fell to 23.3 before hitting its low of 13.1 in June 1998. Employment (6.8 to 9.6), economy (9.5 to 15.2), stock market (21.7 to 22.7) and quality of life (6.3 to 8.3) all saw marginal improvements in the MasterIndex score. The one area that saw a decline was concern about regular income which fell from 21.1 to 16.3.

– Although India was the only market to record a decline in consumer confidence, it was only slight, from 51.7 to 49.3. The score was still the fourth highest MasterIndex in the region, indicating consumers believe the status quo will be maintained. A less optimistic outlook on future employment prospects (35.6 to 29.7), regular income (86.8 to 73.6) and quality of life (58.8 to 49.2) contributed to the lower MasterIndex score.

– An improved outlook on all five economic factors saw the Indonesian MasterIndex climb from an all time low of 15.3 in June 1998 to 30.6 in the latest survey. However, it is still some way from its record highs of 95.9 and 93.7 in the two surveys prior to the Asian economic crisis. Regular income (20.4 to 54.9), stock market (13.7 to 34.4) and economy (10.4 to 17.9) saw the greatest shifts in Indonesian consumer confidence.

– While Japan remains the country with the lowest MasterIndex score in the region, it did show an improvement. Its MasterIndex of 10 is its highest since the start of the Asian economic crisis, when it dropped to 5 in December 1997, and to a low of 1 in June 1998. Improved confidence in the stock market (2.6 to 13.9) and quality of life (0 to 24.4) helped push the MasterIndex score up. It also has to be remembered that Japan has traditionally scored lowly in the MasterIndex with an all time high of only 42.6 recorded in December 1996.

– The Korean MasterIndex is second only to Malaysia in terms of improvement. It is the country’s most dramatic MasterIndex positive shift since the survey began, up from 14.1 in June 1998 to 44.3 in December. There were improvements across all five economic variables, most notably in confidence in the stock market (37.3 to 68.3), economy (14.8 to 55.0) and employment (6.7 to 37.2).

– Malaysia recorded the highest MasterIndex in the region, leaping from an all-time low of 23.8 in June 1998 to the optimistic 67.6 in December 1998. While still not at its pre-economic crisis highs when it was regularly recording MasterIndex scores in the 90s, there has been a dramatic improvement in consumer confidence since the last survey. The MasterIndex for all five economic variables was up, with stock market (23.3 to 75.3), economy (30.6 to 78.7) and employment (19.5 to 66) all showing notable shifts.

– New Zealand’s MasterIndex of 45.3 is almost back to its pre-Asian economic crisis level of 46.5, although still some way short of its all time MasterIndex high of 75.4 in December 1995. The latest turnaround in consumer confidence can be attributed to improvements in confidence in future employment prospects (9.4 to 25.8), the stock market (25.6 to 58.5) and the economy (16.0 to 37.6).

– Consumer confidence in the Philippines remained fairly optimistic and continued to be among the highest in the region. The current MasterIndex of 55.7 showed a significant recovery not just from Quarter 2 1998, but from Quarter 4 1997 as well. Filipino consumers are highly optimistic about regular income (87.9). A clear signal that the Filipinos’ believe they have weathered the worst of the regional crisis: There was a significant increase of the MasterIndex scores across all economic variables from last December, except for quality of life (46.5 compared to 48).

– Consumer confidence in Singapore, at 34.6, increased but still remains low. The downward trend which began in Quarter 4 1996 has been reversed for the first time in more than two years. Except for regular income (19.3 vs 30.3), all economic variables registered an increase, notably stock market (48.2 vs 25.9) and economy (40.9 vs 25.4).

– In Taiwan, consumer confidence on most economic factors showed a drastic improvement – all factors showed an increase, with the MasterIndex score leaping from December 1998’s 35 to the current 46.2. The Taiwanese remain most optimistic about regular income (62.2) and quality of life (60). However, employment issues (25) and the economy (34.8) continue to concern most Taiwanese consumers.

– Overall consumer confidence and sentiments on all five economic factors have doubled or even tripled in Thailand. Although the current MasterIndex of 38.5 still indicates apprehension among Thai consumers, the current reading is more optimistic than the previous three MasterIndex readings. In fact the current MasterIndex is even higher than the pre-Asian crisis MasterIndex of 25.3 (Quarter 2 1997). The Thais showed more optimism particularly in the stock market (50 vs 15.7), economy (45.9 vs 18.2) and regular income (40.9 vs 27.2).

Gould summarized, “Last year, we indicated that there would be a turn-around in consumer confidence in most Asian markets by the end of 1998, and we are pleased that our forecast proved to be accurate. While Asian consumers still have valid concerns about the future, the latest MasterIndex shows that most Asians have already begun to believe there may yet be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

MasterCard International

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. More than 600 million MasterCard(R), Maestro(R), Cirrus(R), and Mondex(TM) cards are accepted at more than 15 million locations worldwide. In 1997, gross dollar volume exceeded US$600 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at .


NetPrecision Signs More

Bankers Bank of the West is adding secure, affordable, fully functional Web sites to the array of products and services it provides to independent banks in six western states.

The deal was announced by Roger Reiling, president of Bankers Bank of the West, and Steve Simpson, senior vice president of The Independent BankersBanks (TIB), which developed and manages the Internet banking program.

The bankers’ bank program enables independent banks to launch Internet home banking services that help them compete with Web sites offered by the nation’s largest banks. TIB program member Amarillo National Bank’s Web site was named “Best Internet Banking Web Site” by Retail Delivery News, a prestigious banking industry newsletter.

The program provides turnkey Web site design, production, implementation, project management, training, and a comprehensive consumer marketing program.

The bankers’ bank Internet banking Web sites run on First Data Direct Banking’s NetPrecision Home Banking platform. NetPrecision was the first provider of Internet banking services to receive independent certification of its security procedures from the International Computer Security Association (ICSA).

“We’re pleased to be able to provide state-of-the-art Internet banking services that will help community banks compete on an equal footing with their largest rivals,” said Bankers’ Bank of the West President and Chief Executive Officer Reiling.

Bankers’ Bank of the West provides a variety of cash management, lending and electronic banking services to 356 banks in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah and Nebraska.

“We welcome Bankers’ Bank of the West as a valuable addition to our already successful team of bankers’ banks making our affordable, turnkey Internet banking program available to the nation’s independent banks,” said Simpson. “Programs like this truly fulfill the mission statement of a bankers’ bank by helping to make the nation’s financial institutions more competitive.”

“The Internet is the most dynamic new distribution channel to come along in years, and we’re pleased that our network of bankers’ banks is continuing to grow,” said Randy Kahn, president of First Data Direct Banking. “TIB’s successful program is a major contributor to the rapid growth of our customer base.”

About the Independent BankersBank

A consistent leader in the correspondent banking industry, TIB is the nation’s leading bankers’ bank, providing correspondent products and services to more than 670 financial institutions. Innovation has been one of TIB’s hallmarks, including its early recognition and adoption of the technological advances and reliable security of the NetPrecision Internet banking product.

TIB has invited all bankers’ banks to join in offering this service. It is anticipated that another three to five bankers’ banks will join the program soon.

About First Data Direct Banking

First Data Direct Banking builds and hosts customized Internet financial service solutions for financial institutions of all sizes.

Using the NetSpeed(SM) process, financial institutions can have fully functional, branded Web sites up and running in just 30 business days with the NetPrecision system.

Los Angeles-based First Data Direct Banking ties leading-edge online financial services partnerships and template, custom-built or existing Web sites into transaction processing provided by electronic payments processing leader First Data Corp. Direct Banking can be found on the World Wide Web at [][1].

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC) is a global leader in payment systems, electronic commerce and information management products and services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or smart cards at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check or wire money. For further information about First Data, visit the company on the Internet at [][2].



Net.B@ank 4Q/98

Net.B@nk, Inc., the world’s largest and only profitable Internet-only bank, announced today its results for the year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 1998. For the year ended December 31, 1998, the Company recorded $4,464,000 net income or $0.70 per share compared to a ($5,577,000) loss or ($1.66) loss per share for a year ago. The Company noted that net income for the year included a one-time tax benefit of approximately $3.0 million or $0.48 per share related to prior year tax losses. Net income for the three months ended December 31, 1998 was $733,000 or $0.11 per share compared to a ($839,000) loss or ($0.14) loss per share for the quarter ended December 31, 1997.

Referring to the results, D. R. Grimes, CEO of Net.B@nk, stated, “The fourth quarter of 1998 continued a record-breaking year for Net.B@nk. 1998 was our first full year of operations as an FDIC-insured thrift. It was also a year when we became the first and only profitable Internet-only financial institution, an accomplishment rare for any e-commerce business. We increased our deposits by almost five-fold to $283.6 million while our total assets quadrupled to $388.4 million. The bank continued its unprecedented growth with a 266% increase in its number of customer accounts in the year 1998 to 17,408 accounts. This growth has carried forward into 1999 with over 20,000 accounts as of today. Total assets as of February 15, 1999 are over one-half billion dollars with the completion of our second offering of our stock on February 5, 1999.”

Grimes further stated, “With these levels of unprecedented growth, and having solidly established the profitability of our business model, we made a strategic decision during the fourth quarter to grow the bank much more aggressively. We have a great opportunity to capitalize on our success as the industry’s first mover and further establish Net.B@nk as the dominant brand name in Internet banking. While we will continue to maintain our original mission of operating a profitable Internet bank, we plan to significantly increase our customer base and core deposits in the future.

“Our profitable fourth quarter operations were obtained in an environment of narrower interest margins and increased marketing efforts. However, continuing our longstanding commitment to share our cost advantages with our customers, Net.B@nk offered among the highest FDIC-insured checking, money market and CD rates in the country. We can continue to offer higher interest rates than other banks due to the lower costs of operating an Internet bank versus the expensive branch office structure of traditional ‘bricks-and-mortar’ banks.”

Grimes said, “We are also committed to complete, convenient, quality banking services. Our new web site offers the most complete set of banking services available from any Internet bank, including the best free-checking account available. We began offering brokerage and lending services in the spring of 1998. As of the end of the year 1998, we had funded over $100 million in first mortgage loans applied for over the Internet.” He specifically noted that 94% of the Bank’s loan portfolio at December 31, 1998 related to single-family residential properties.

Thanking his fellow employees, strategic partners, such as Bisys, CheckFree, NCR, Uvest and Edify, and the bank’s customers, Grimes concluded that the Company would continue to expand its services and alliances in 1999 including such unique services as the bank’s Turbo Tax(TM) link for individual income tax return preparation. Grimes noted that the bank had already begun to aggressively market all of the bank’s services with expanded web site and print advertisements in 1999.

The Company, which went public in July 1997 and completed a second offering in February 1999, has customers throughout all 50 U.S. states and over 20 foreign countries.