The Global Chipcard Alliance announced yesterday that MasterCard International has joined the organization. The news came from the annual membership meeting underway this week in Long Beach, CA. MasterCard International said yesterday it believes chip technology will allow consumers to customize their cards with multiple applications including credit, debit, travel preferences, health records, telephone information, retailer loyalty programs, and electronic cash. As a part of this week, the GCA will host the ‘First Smart Card Global Summit’.


$6.8 Billion of Chip Cards

Gartner Group’s Dataquest subsidiary said Monday that the worldwide chip card market reached $1.4 billion in 1997, and the market is forecast to continue to show strong growth with revenue reaching $6.8 billion in 2002. Europe was the #1 region for chip card revenue, accounting for 76.8% of the worldwide market in 1997.  Dataquest predicts by 2002, Europe’s share of worldwide chip card revenue will decline to 47.8%, while Asia/Pacific will be the #2 region with 30.1% of worldwide sales. The Americas (not including the U.S.) will account for 8.6% of sales in 2002, and the U.S. will have 7.8% of chip card revenue. The chip card is the highest-volume electronics end product in the world today with an estimated 462 million cards sold in 1997. Smart cards accounted for 56.2% of chip card revenue in 1997. Pay phone cards led the industry with 67.7% of the chip cards shipped in 1997. Dataquest projects smart card revenue to represent 70% of the market by 2002.


SCF First President

William J. Barr, Chairman of the Board of the Smart Card Forum (SCF), a multi-industry organization working to accelerate the widespread acceptance of smart card technology, announced Monday that Donna Farmer has been named as the Forum’s first President and CEO. Ms. Farmer is a lawyer with extensive experience in business, technology, finance and public policy.

“Donna Farmer has a unique blend of leadership qualities that make her a perfect fit with the Smart Card Forum,” says Barr. “Experience in technology. A strong management background. Skill at bringing people together. An ability to define a strategic direction. These are key attributes that will play an important role in the articulation and achievement of the Forum’s vision.”

“Creating this new office of President and CEO is a welcome necessity as it reflects the unrelenting progress of smart card technology and the large size of our membership,” adds Barr. “It’s a bigger job for a bigger organization that represents a much bigger technology.”

As part of the move, Barr relinquishes the title of President of the Forum and retains the title of Chairman of the Board of Directors. Farmer will work closely with the Board to implement the Forum’s strategic plan and to recruit new members. She will assume the role of primary spokesperson for the organization. As such, Farmer will be the leading public source of information on the Smart Card Forum.

“These are exciting times for smart card technology,” says Farmer. “The Forum’s 200 members are at the leading edge of its evolution from emergence to commercialization. We’re seeing new pilots, new implementations, new applications, and a new level of consumer interest that together constitute a rising tide of marketplace acceptance. I look forward to applying my experience to the task of ensuring the Forum’s work continues to lead smart card technology forward.”

Farmer joins the Forum from CertCo, where she served as Vice President of Strategic Business Development. There, she was responsible for creating the strategic relationships that drive CertCo’s mission of enabling banks and other trust institutions with revenue-bearing public key infrastructure capability.

At CertCo, Farmer negotiated technology partner agreements and managed relationships with a number of technology partners, including smart card, directory, and application vendors.

During 1996 and 1997, Farmer was counsel to the Science Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives where she was responsible for all information technology-related issues. Working with the Subcommittee on Technology, she directed hearings and wrote legislation concerning U.S. encryption policies, as well as other regulatory matters affecting the electronic marketplace.

From 1993-95, Farmer was a principal in a Washington D.C.-based equity investment firm. She was responsible for funding companies involved in data interoperability and Internet services. This venture capital work involved identifying opportunities, proceeding with due diligence, helping select management, preparing portfolio firms for the public market, and matching them with strategic partners.

Farmer previously worked as Business Technology Advisor for Analytic Services Corp., a U.S. government-affiliated firm. Earlier in her career, she practiced law as a litigator in New York City.

Farmer has a J.D. from New York Law and a B.A. from Columbia University. She is a member of the New York and Washington, D.C. bars. She has served as editorial advisor for the MIT Press book series on the future of information technologies, and has been a frequent speaker at conferences on topics such as privacy, encryption and computer security.

The Smart Card Forum ([][1]) is a non-profit, multi-industry organization of 200 members working to accelerate the widespread acceptance of multiple application smart card technology by bringing together, in an open forum, leading users and technologists from both the public and private sectors.



Star Trek Cards

Paramount Pictures’ ninth Star Trek movie, ‘Star Trek: Insurrection’, which opens Dec. 11, is being promoted by a new series of four AT&T prepaid calling cards. The new ‘Star Trek’ phone cards went on sale yesterday at select retail outlets nationwide. The cards will also be available for purchase through AT&T’s Web site starting this morning. AT&T is also running a special promotion through January 31, 1999. When consumers enter the card’s PIN number they will hear a message telling them if they have won from a variety of prizes, including the grand prize of an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the ‘Star Trek: The Experience’ attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton. AT&T also announced Monday the availability of six new holiday-themed AT&T prepaid cards in 15-, 30-, 60-, 100-, 200-, and 300-minute denominations. As a bonus AT&T is offering a free 10-minute prepaid phone card with the purchase of a 60+ minute denomination card.


AmEx – Alamo AAHP Campaign

American Express Company and Alamo  Rent A Car Monday announced a new campaign to benefit the National Association  for African American Heritage Preservation (NAAAHP), a national service   organization dedicated to the identification, protection and promotion   of the history and heritage of African Americans throughout the United   States and other countries. Each time an American Express Card is   used to rent an Alamo vehicle from November 1, 1998 through January 31, 1999, American  Express and Alamo will donate ten cents from every transaction to NAAAHP, up   to $50,000.* This campaign will allow Cardmembers to help protect and promote  African American contributions to American history and culture. American  Express has also given NAAAHP a grant to research and develop a guidebook  to African American heritage sites across the country which will be available next year.

“American Express is proud to partner with Alamo and NAAAHP in this new campaign,”  said Glenda McNeal, vice president, Strategic Relationships Group, American  Express. “Through this marketing promotion and our grant, we hope to help raise public awareness of cultural heritage sites as well as the significant contributions African Americans have made to this nation.”

“Alamo is extremely pleased to join forces with NAAAHP and American Express,”  said Karen Beard, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Alamo  Rent A Car. “This campaign not only helps supply the necessary funds to NAAAHP for African American heritage preservation, but also assists in building a much needed awareness about African American history and heritage.”

“The collaborative effort between American Express and Alamo enables us to broaden our reach by offering services to a wider audience,”  said Claudia Polley, president and founder, NAAAHP. “And the grant from American Express especially ensures that the work we do will be of the quality we all expect and deserve.” Through philanthropic activities worldwide, American Express seeks to  be a good citizen in the communities in which the Company does business  and where American Express employees live and work. American Express is  the founding sponsor of World Monuments Watch, a program created by the  World Monuments Fund in New York City, which identifies imperiled  historic sites around the world through its List of 100 Most Endangered Sites  and seeks funding for their rescue. The Company also recently sponsored  Africa Fete ’99, a world music tour created by Island Records in  collaboration with the Kennedy Center’s African Odyssey Program which  celebrates diverse African cultures.

American Express Company is a  diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in  1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques,  travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international  banking and has been a strong supporter of the arts since the establishment  of its foundation in 1954. For more information, visit the Company’s Web  site at .

Alamo currently serves more  than 15 million travelers a year through 102 locations in the United States  and Canada, and more than 250 international locations in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, The  Republic of Ireland, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Slovak   Republic, Belgium and The Czech Republic. For more information, visit Alamo’s  Web site at . Though only three years old, the   National Association for African American Heritage Preservation, Inc. has  established itself as the leader in the African American heritage preservation   movement. Born of the good efforts initiated some six years ago by the   National Trust for Historic Preservation to include the built history of   all Americans, NAAAHP is one the Trust’s grateful offspring.

For more information   about NAAAHP, call (888) 358-8388 or visit the organization’s Web site  at .

*  American Express and Alamo will donate  up to $50,000 to NAAAHP based on ten cents per American Express Card   purchase and other transactions and contributions, between 1l/l/98 and  1/31/99. This donation is not tax deductible for Cardmembers.


New CardLogix MOST Cards

CardLogix, a leading U.S. manufacturer of  smart cards and card development software, has added seven new cards to its M.O.S.T.™ (Microprocessor Operating System Technology) Family of solutions. These new cards feature added communications capability, higher storage capacity and greater security to suit a wide range of high security and card applications.  These new cards are supported by CardLogix’ M.O.S.T. Toolz™ Card Development Environment, which builds file structures for card and system prototyping. The family  is further supported by the Cardplex™ API, and the Smart Toolz™ Smart Card Development Kit.

The M.O.S.T Card™ Operating System (C.O.S.) Software is combined with leading microprocessor technology to produce a smart card solution that stores and manages multiple files, functions and applications for the transaction of value and information.  Multifunction smart cards store, transact and protect data better than conventional magnetic-stripe cards with stored value, credit and security access residing on a single smart card. The M.O.S.T ™  C.O.S. within the chip organizes and processes data similar to  a personal computer, enabling the M.O.S.T. Card to handle multiple files and applications.  In place of several cards, a single M.O.S.T. Card can perform a variety of functions for a cardholder, enhancing multiple, daily activities such as purchases, employment, healthcare and leisure.


The M.O.S.T. Card Family Features The Following:

CLX PART #USER MEMORY Bytes EEPROMI/OSPECIAL FEATURESPrice @ 1000 pieces  CLXSU064KJ0/T=0*8KT=0Authentication, Purse$4.50 CLXSU064KJ0/T=18KT=1Authentication, Purse$4.65 CLXSU064KJ0/T=1ED8KT=0Authentication, Purse, DES Encryption $5.50 CLXSU064KJ0/T=0ED8KT=1Authentication, Purse, DES Encryption $5.65 CLXSU128KJ1/T=016KT=0Authentication, Purse$5.50 CLXSU128KJ1/T=116KT=1Authentication, Purse$5.65 CLXSU128KJ1/T=0ED16KT=0Authentication, Purse, DES Encryption $6.50 CLXSU128KJ1/T=1ED16KT=1Authentication, Purse, DES Encryption $6.65

*Previously Available

More About M.O.S.T. Cards

M.O.S.T. Cards are available now.  M.O.S.T. Toolz for Windows 95, Windows NT v5.0 and Windows 98 is also immediately available.  For further information, contact CardLogix at (949) 380-1312, fax (949) 380-1428 and [][1].

More About CardLogix

Founded in 1994, CardLogix is a leading provider of development software and cards for integrating smart card technology into computing and transaction systems.  Key application areas include Information and Access Security, Entertainment, Health Informatics and Banking.  Contact CardLogix at 16 Hughes, Irvine, CA.  92618, and [][2]



VeriFone’s Blockbuster

VeriFone confirmed Monday that Blockbuster has chosen VeriFone to upgrade its POS on-line debit and ‘GiftCard’ acceptance in 3,400 locations. The upgrade will enable Blockbuster to increase the speed of customer-activated debit payment and otherwise enhance the benefit of the ‘Blockbuster GiftCard’ at the point of sale. To date, about 3,000 VeriFone ‘Everest’ POS terminals have been installed at over 1,000 Blockbuster stores nationwide. VeriFone Support Services expects to install the remaining 2,400 Blockbuster locations with 9,000 Everest terminals by year end. Blockbuster has about 6,000 U.S. outlets.


Bank Plus Sued

A lawsuit has been filed in the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles on behalf of purchasers of Bank Plus Corp. common stock between Aug. 14, 1998 and Sept. 22, 1998 by the law firm of Weiss & Yourman to recover damages caused by defendants’ violations of California securities laws and other common law claims.

BPC is the holding company for Fidelity Federal Bank, FSB “Fidelity”.

The action alleges that defendants issued false and misleading statements which materially misrepresented the financial condition and future prospects of BPC’s affinity credit card program. In particular, the complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants failed to disclose that: (a) increases in delinquencies and charge-offs threatened the viability of BPC’s sub-prime affinity credit card program; (b) BPC’s earnings and revenues were being improperly supported by the recognition of billed but uncollectible credit card fee income; (c) BPC would suffer a material reduction in revenues and earnings as the revenue stream from the growth of BPC’s sub-prime affinity credit card program was terminated; and (d) BPC was at material risk to have the capitalization classification for Fidelity reduced from a rating of “well capitalized” to a rating of “adequately capitalized” at the end of the third financial quarter of 1998.

As a result of the alleged false and misleading statements, the price of BPC common stock was artificially inflated throughout the Class Period. On the last day of the Class Period when defendants were finally forced to disclose the truth about BPC’s affinity credit card program the price of BPC common stock plummeted 25% from $7.25 on Sept. 21, 1998 to close at $5.44 on Sept. 22, 1998 on an extraordinarily high trading.

If you wish to join the lawsuit, or have any questions concerning this notice, or your rights or interests with respect to this matter, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Douglas Britton of Weiss & Yourman toll-free at 800/437-7918, via e-mail at [][1], or on the firm’s website at [][2].



CFA Fee Study

The Consumer Federation of America has called a press conference for this Thursday to release a new consumer study that purportedly shows that banks have increased credit card income while pushing consumers into debt. The study, covering 1995 to 1998, and based on approximately 100 credit cards issued by 74 banks, will show that credit card income has been increasing due to soaring late payment fees, rising over-limit fees, punitive A.P.R.s and shrinking grace periods. CFA will attempt to correlate the changes in pricing policies with historical data on increasing consumer indebtedness. However it is believed the CFA study, embargoed until Nov. 5, will ignore the fundamental changes in cardholder behavior and the intensity of competition over the past four years.


PubliCARD, Inc.

Publicker Industries Inc. announced Monday that it has executed a definitive merger agreement to acquire 100% of Tritheim Technologies, Inc. for approximately $9 million in common stock, and certain other consideration. The definitive agreement modified Publicker’s previously announced plan to acquire a 50% ownership interest in Tritheim.  Consummation of the transaction is subject to approval of Tritheim’s shareholders and other customary conditions and is expected to close within the next 30 days.

Publicker’s president, Mr. James Weis, said, “We are delighted that the negotiations of the agreement with Tritheim moved ahead quickly and we anticipate a timely closing of the transaction.  We are currently exploring other smart card related acquisitions and believe that our ability to utilize our stock for the acquisition of ownership interests together with our ability to provide the funding necessary for the rapid growth of these businesses represents an innovative combination that is attractive and beneficial to both sides.  Our acquisition strategy has attracted a lot of interest within the smart card community and we actively invite inquiries from other smart card software and hardware developers.  Coupled with the investment earlier this year in Greenwald Intellicard, we are continuing our push to position the Company to significantly participate in the U.S. smart card industry.”

Publicker also announced that its Board of Directors approved a change in the Company’s name to “PubliCARD, Inc.”  Mr. Weis stated, “Our Board believes it is in the best interest of the Company to change its name to PubliCARD to more clearly convey a consistent overall image and the strategic direction of the Company.”

About the Company

Publicker Industries Inc., headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, owns companies engaged in manufacturing and engineering services.  Greenwald Industries designs and manufactures coin meter systems used primarily in the commercial laundry appliance industry and, through its interest in Greenwald Intellicard, manufactures and sells smart card readers, value transfer stations, card management software and machine interface boards to the commercial laundry appliance industry as well as for the parking and access control industries.  Orr-Schelen-Mayeron & Associates provides general engineering, design and architectural services.

About Tritheim Technologies, Inc.

Tritheim Technologies, located in Tarpon Springs, Florida, has developed both hardware and software smart card products and is already recognized as a creative innovator of such products.  Its hardware products include serial, parallel and PCMCIA smart card readers, smart port docking stations and smart card reader chipsets.  Its software products include smart card software development tools for developing smart card applications, PC security software, Internet security smart card software, Internet purchase terminal software and Internet automatic teller software.


ATM Broadcast Center

By year’s end Crestar will download advertising and marketing messages, video clips and even coupon graphics from a central site to a selective group of ATMs or to all ATMs in its network. Crestar will utilize a new service from Diebold called ‘RemoteLink’. With the new program Crestar simply provides Diebold with the graphics and a customized schedule that details which ATMs are to be updated and when the new graphics should appear.  Diebold personnel then take complete responsibility for the management and execution of the program. Through ‘RemoteLink’, each ATM in a network can present a unique, specific advertising message or change screens and present certain messages at different times of the day. Advertisers can precisely target messages to specific neighborhoods at specific times throughout the day, or adjust their advertising messages with local and national events and holidays. In addition, the couponing feature of Diebold’s ‘RemoteLink Plus’ program enables consumers to receive a coupon that can be tied to the marketing message on the screen. Crestar is planning to employ ‘RemoteLink’ on 20 of its 700+ Diebold ATMs by the end of this year.


Wells-Norwest Merger Completed

Wells Fargo & Company and Norwest Corporation said Monday they have completed their merger — creating the new Wells Fargo, a diversified financial services company.  The new company is headquartered in San Francisco and has $196 billion in assets, 15 million customers, 5,836 stores and almost 102,000 team members.  It ranks seventh in assets and third in the market value of its stock at September 30 among U.S. bank holding companies.

“We firmly believe this new company — which combines the best of both organizations — will become the premier financial services company in the United States and the leading banking franchise in the Midwest and Western United States,” said Dick Kovacevich, president and chief executive officer of the new company. “Our customers, communities, shareowners and team members all will benefit from this merger with greater convenience and a broader array of products and services.”

Added Kovacevich, “For our 15 million customers, nothing changes yet. Integrating systems is expected to take from six months to two years to complete.

“During the second half of next year, Norwest customers will begin seeing the Norwest name change to Wells Fargo on their stores, checks, statements and other materials.”

Paul Hazen, chairman of Wells Fargo, said the key to a successful integration will be execution. “We’re committed to the goal of doing it right so we can continue to provide outstanding customer service throughout the integration,” he said. “Dozens of transition teams comprised of hundreds of team members are committed to making sure we begin every discussion with what’s best for the customer and ensure the interests of our team members and shareholders are aligned.  We’re going to take our time.  We’re going to do it right.”

The combined franchise has 2,859 banking stores and covers 21 states from California to Ohio.  Norwest Mortgage — the nation’s leading originator and servicer of mortgages — has 824 stores and a presence in all 50 states. Norwest Financial — the premier consumer finance company in the hemisphere — has 1,349 stores in 47 states, all 10 Canadian provinces, the Caribbean, Latin America and elsewhere internationally.

As previously announced, Wells Fargo’s Hazen is chairman, Norwest’s Kovacevich is president and chief executive officer, Norwest’s Les Biller is chief operating officer and vice chairman, and Wells Fargo’s Rod Jacobs is chief financial officer and vice chairman.

The four will work closely together and will be involved in all major decisions affecting the combined company.

Common stockholders of Wells Fargo receive 10 shares of common stock of Norwest in exchange for each share of Wells Fargo common stock.

Norwest’s stock symbol NOB has been retired — stock of the new company will now trade under the symbol WFC.  The two companies announced a definitive agreement June 8.  The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system approved the merger October 14; stockholders of both companies approved the merger October 20.

    The new company:
— ranks 1st in financial services stores in the Western Hemisphere,
— ranks 1st in mortgage originations and servicing,
— ranks 1st in Internet banking,
— ranks 1st in agricultural lending among U.S. banks,
— ranks 1st in student loans,
— ranks 1st in the number of small business loans among U.S. banks,
— ranks 1st in commercial real estate lending,
— ranks 1st in auto finance,
— ranks 1st among banks in insurance agency sales,
— ranks 3rd in the number of ATMs in the U.S,
— ranks 4th in middle-market lending among all banks,
— ranks 4th among all banks in mutual funds under management,
— ranks 3rd in market capitalization among U.S. bank holding companies,
— ranks 7th in assets among U.S. bank holding companies,
— is an industry leader in alternative banking strategy, developed by
Wells Fargo, and
— is an industry leader in community banking strategy, developed by

    Combined data (pro forma  9/30/98)
    Assets  (billions)                      $196
    Loans   (billions)                      $108
    Deposits (billions)                     $130
    Net income (billions – ytd)             $2.1
    Revenue (billions – ytd)                $15.3*
    Customers (millions)                    15
    Mortgage originations
     (billions – ytd)                       $75
    Mortgage servicing (billions)           $233
    Credit card loans (billions)            $6
    Consumer credit card accounts
     (millions)                             4
    Stores                                  5,836
    ATMs                                    6,065
    Market capitalization
     (billions – 9/30/98)                   $58.3
    Common shares outstanding (millions)    1,620
    Net interest margin (ytd)               5.88 %
    Team members                            101,591

    * — Interest income plus non-interest income

Wells Fargo is a $196 billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through 5,836 stores in all 50 states, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and elsewhere internationally.