ASE Partner Program

Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd. announced yesterday the official launch of the Partner’s Program for ASE — The Aladdin Smartcard Environment. Aladdin has introduced the ASE Partner Program to stimulate and develop PC-based smart card technology.

“The essence of the ASE Partner Program is the creation of a network of companies focused on the development and promotion of smart card products. The program will establish and maintain a base of smart card business partners who will be able to gain from each other’s experiences and business connections,” says ASE Partner Program Manager Micki Segal. “Aladdin is committed to putting its wealth of experience, imagination and market influence behind its partners.”

The ASE Partner Program encompasses several types of Partnerships ranging from Smart card, PC, Hardware and Electronic Equipment Manufacturers to VARS, Resellers, Consultants and Software Developers/System Integrators.

“Our ASE Partners will be able to gain unique marketing and technical advantages through a network of shared information, expanding their customer base across the globe and increasing business opportunities through contact with other ASE Partners,” says Aladdin’s Director of Smart Cards, Eyal Manger.

ASE has been invaluable for designers of virtually all kinds of smart card applications and Internet-based commerce. Successful applications developed and deployed by ASE products include access control, prepayment vending systems, authentication, digital signature, health care, electronic purse, biometric recognition systems and software distribution.

Further details of such applications can be seen on Aladdin’s Web site — [www.aks.com][1]. To become an ASE Partner please contact Aladdin at ase.partner@aks.com.

About Aladdin

Aladdin Knowledge Systems is a global leader in the secure licensing and distribution of digital content. Aladdin’s product range includes HASP(R) and Hardlock(R), key-based software security systems which monitor software licensing and prevent unauthorized use of computer programs; Privilege(TM), a suite of software licensing and metering tools for developers and corporate IT managers; and ASE(R) – The Aladdin Smartcard Environment – a set of smart card application development tools for integrating smart cards with PCs. Aladdin is an ISO 9002 accredited company with headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, and 5 international offices and distributors in more than 40 countries, serving over 25,000 clients worldwide. For more information, visit the Aladdin home page at .

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

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ExpenseLink 2.2

Gelco Information Network, leading U.S. supplier of best-practice outsourced solutions for travel expense and trade promotion management, announced Wednesday the April 1998 availability of an enhanced version of ExpenseLink, its PC-based travel expense management solution.

With ExpenseLink 2.2, Gelco extends corporate card management to the traveler level by providing them with daily downloads of transaction information and account maintenance updates. All the information appears in an on-screen worksheet on the traveler’s PC for quick, easy, and accurate expense reporting and account management.

Gelco has provided corporate card management through direct, pre-scheduled corporate card payments since 1992, empowering customers to time payments for optimum cash flow while minimizing the risk of delinquencies. “Since we first started paying corporate cards in 1992, we’ve paid tens of billions of dollars in corporate card payments — and managed more than 500 million corporate card transactions,” said Bob Karrick, Gelco president and CEO. ExpenseLink also offers travelers an on-screen corporate card reconciliation feature.

These corporate card management tools are part of Gelco’s complete travel expense management solution, an outsourced service that relieves companies of the cost and administrative burdens of travel expense management, while providing 100% of their travelers with easy expense reporting and fast, direct reimbursement into their bank accounts.

“This is the next step in total corporate card management,” said Ken Davison, VP of product and marketing at Gelco. “For several years our outsourced processing services have helped companies reap the benefits of corporate charge cards. Our pre-scheduled, direct corporate card payments bring our customers cash flow benefits and reduced delinquency rates, while freeing their travelers of worries about tapped-out corporate cards. And now, because we process corporate card transactions in such volume, we can get and provide daily access to charge information — so travelers can account for every charge and build expense reports faster and easier.”

In addition to the corporate card management enhancement, ExpenseLink 2.2 will also include several other new features, developed in response to customer demand.

— Automated LAN/WAN installation – LAN/WAN users will be able to bypass time-consuming set-up programs. ExpenseLink 2.2 will offer users the convenience of “silent installation” directly off their company’s LAN/WAN. “We installed our last 100 companies in an average of 49 days,” said Leo Smith, VP of client services for Gelco. “We think that this enhancement will let us get even faster.”

— Expanded cost control capabilities – Managers using the 2.2 Approver Module will be able to view every expense report detail, including project and cost center codes and out-of-policy explanations. Armed with this additional data, managers will have the information they need to move quickly through the approval process.

— Self-paced training tutorial – All new in the Approver Module, enhanced in the Employee Module, ExpenseLink 2.2 will include a progressive tutorial for a faster, easier training process.

About Gelco’s Travel Expense Management Solution

Through its Expense Network, Gelco offers complete outsourced travel expense management solutions that relieve companies of the costly, time-consuming tasks of collecting employee travel expense information, reimbursing employees, paying corporate cards, reconciling their spending against company policies, and entering travel expense data into the general ledger. In addition, Gelco Expense Network enables companies to re-engineer their travel expense processes for 100% of their business travelers quickly and without risk (Gelco offers a touch-tone phone based solution for travelers without PCs).

Outsourcing expense management to Gelco can cut the total cost of processing expense reports by more than 75%. Unlike third-party software, Gelco’s outsourced solutions enable companies to consolidate multiple expense reporting systems, or quickly implement a new program, without heavy demands on MIS — a resource often absorbed by mission-critical projects.

Gelco Expense Network speeds and simplifies expense management by providing employees a strong incentive to complete and file their expense reports reimbursement within three business days of reporting expenses (other reimbursement systems average about 15 days). Gelco pays any and all corporate charge cards on time, eliminating late charges. Automated general ledger updates, from verified Automated Clearing House transactions, are then available for electronic transfer and posting to virtually any accounting software package.

Using best practices control methodologies, Gelco automatically compares every line item to company policies, pays acceptable business expenses, and flags irregular or excessive requests for special attention. By automatically paying standard expenses and focusing managerial attention on exceptions, the system streamlines the expense process, improves control, and gives finance managers a current assessment of liabilities.

Gelco Information Network

Gelco Information Network, Eden Prairie, Minn., is the industry-leading supplier of cost-effective, best-practice based outsourced travel expense and trade promotion management solutions to more than 2000 U.S. and multinational companies and to more than 80 government agencies. In 1997 alone, Gelco processed over 4 million commercial expense reports and managed more than $30 billion in trade promotion funds. For more information on Gelco’s travel expense management solutions, call 1-800-444-6588 ext. No. 400, or visit Gelco’s Web site at [www.GelcoNet.com][1].

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

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India’s First Maestro Transaction

MasterCard International and Citibank announced the next step in the evolution of electronic deposit access in India with the country’s first national and international Maestro transactions. Mr. John Reed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Citicorp was present in Bangalore to witness the first local Maestro transaction made by the cricket world’s most renowned all rounder, Mr. Kapil Dev.

Subsequently, Mr. Andre Sekulic, Deputy President, MasterCard International, Asia/Pacific conducted the first international Maestro transaction in India by using his Maestro card issued in Australia to purchase an Arrow shirt from the well known store ‘Favorite Shop’ equipped with a Citibank Maestro terminal. This event marked the first time a Maestro card from another country was used in India.

“Consumers in Asia/Pacific have been quicker to embrace new payment methods than any other region in the world and we have seen that evidenced in the success of Maestro,” Mr. Andre Sekulic said. “We are proud that Maestro has once again broken new ground, in this case to provide consumers in India and around the world with the future of money today – safe, secure electronic access to their own money.”

“Citibank has pioneered yet another step in the evolution of electronic payments in India,” said Mr. Ashoke Dutt, Head of Global Consumer Banking for Citibank in India.

“In partnership with MasterCard, we have opened up India as the next destination where consumers from around the world can use their Maestro cards to access their own funds while traveling abroad. We have made a major investment deploying 1,000 terminals in Bangalore and plan to roll this program out to other Indian cities later this year.”

In September of last year, Citibank became the first financial institution in India to participate in Maestro, the world’s largest on-line debit program from MasterCard International.

This step provided Citibank customers the unique advantage of being able to access their bank accounts directly from merchant establishments and pay for a wide range of goods with their ATM cards.

Mr. J. Sannon, Senior Vice President and General

Manager, South Asia, MasterCard International said,

“We are delighted to be working with Citibank to enhance the utility of Maestro in India. Not only will Citibank’s investment in this program generate valuable foreign exchange for India, but it also provides an acceptance platform for other Indian banks when they commence issuing Maestro later this year.”

These events in India today register a significant milestone in the development of Maestro and its market leadership. Maestro, launched globally less than five years age, has been taken up by more than 140 million consumers around the world, 36 million of those in Asia/Pacific. In Asia/Pacific, MasterCard anticipates that by the year 2000, Maestro enhanced debit cards will be in the hands of 100 million consumers across the region.

About Citibank

Citibank opened its first office in Calcutta in 1902, and subsequently expanded its network to Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai Bangalore, and Pune. Over the decades, Citibank has emerged as the leading International bank in India with a track record of outstanding business milestones.

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Equifax Wireless Fraud Exchange

Equifax Inc. announced it is developing and maintaining a data exchange that automatically alerts customers in the wireless industry to a potential fraud situation.  The Equifax Wireless Fraud Data Exchange is designed to improve risk assessment for the wireless industry.

Exchange members continually contribute information on their suspect fraud cases to this database.  When a consumer application is processed via Equifax’s proprietary MultiVision(sm) platform, the fraud data exchange automatically checks the database for a match.  A flag is returned when a match is found.

Val Perry, senior vice president and general manager, Equifax Telecommunications & Utilities Solutions, said, “Wireless industry leaders told Equifax they needed a tool to indicate potentially fraudulent situations without overtaxing the user with additional keystrokes or an abundance of ‘false’ flags.  Working together, we have come up with a solution Equifax’s Wireless Fraud Data Exchange.

“Our experience in developing and running the National Telecommunications Data Exchange (NTDE), the National Consumer Telecommunications Data Exchange Inc. (NCTDE, Inc.) and Exchange(sm) 2000 makes this a perfect fit,” Perry added.

Combating subscription fraud while at the same time keeping acquisition costs low requires a delicate balance.  Equifax’s Fraud Data Exchange reduces exposure to write-offs and operational costs by indicating when an application may require further investigation.

The Equifax Wireless Fraud Data Exchange will be available to the wireless industry in the second quarter of 1998.  For more information, please contact Natt Davis at 404-885-8074.

All of the Equifax Telecommunications & Utilities Solutions’ products can be accessed via MultiVision, including

*POSITIVE ID(sm) — Identification verification.

*D.L Advantage(sm) — Identification verification through driver’s license information.

*Safescan(R) — Fraud alert.

*Wireless Risk Assessment Model(sm) — Credit score designed specifically for the wireless industry.

*Exchange(sm) — Payment history with other telecommunications vendors and skip tracing information.

Equifax’s worldwide knowledge-based information, transaction processing, consulting and software businesses are designed to bring buyers and sellers together, thus changing the shape of global commerce.  Equifax serves the banking, financial, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities, automotive, government and health care industries.  It is a leading supplier of business information solutions in Canada, the UK and Latin America. Equifax operates in 17 countries with sales in more than 40 countries. Founded in 1899 in Atlanta, Equifax today has 10,000 employees around the world.  Revenues for the 12 months ended December 31, 1997, were $1.4 billion.  On the Internet, Equifax Telecommunications and Utilities Solutions is .

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Fee Spiral

Late fees and over-limit fees continued their upward trend in February as major issuers are now charging nearly $20, on average, for late payments.

     AMONG  ISSUERS  WITH  $100  MILLION+  IN  OUTSTANDINGS
                    LATE FEES           OVER-LIMIT FEES
     Mar 97        $15.01              $14.72
     Sep 97        $18.82              $17.51
     Dec 97        $19.24              $18.44
     Mar 98        $19.33              $18.53
          Source Bankcard Barometer, March 1998

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Coca-Cola Cards

Coca-Cola USA announced Monday it will distribute more than 55 million ‘Coca-Cola Cards’ beginning this week. The special Coke promotion provides customers with a red-wallet size card that contains up to 50 special offers from retailers, restaurants and recreational venues, most of which can be used again and again. The company says the program is the most localized national initiative it has ever offered, with more than 280 local versions of the program. Totally more than 9,500 partners will participate featuring more than 20,000 local offers.

Coca-Cola also announced yesterday that MasterCard will join the program for the second year by offering chances to win a loaded ‘Coca-Cola MasterCard ATM Cash Card’ on 1.1 billion specially marked packages of Coca-Cola. The cash card chances will also appear under bottle caps and on the sides of cups at fountain outlets. MasterCard said yesterday it will begin its participation in May and will award more than 2.2 million ‘Coca-Cola MasterCards’ with values of $20, $40 and $100.

Coca-Cola projected nearly half or 25 million of the Coca-Cola cards will be distributed by hand via ‘Teen Card Crews’ organized by bottlers nationwide.

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M&I’s Total Solution

Businesses looking for a technology partner to build a “virtual store front” via the Internet can now work with M&I Data Services, a financial software and services provider, to build their own E-commerce “store.”

E-commerce refers to the purchase of goods or services via the Internet. The banking industry expects E-commerce, one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Internet, to be a $220-billion business by the year 2000.

The advantages of doing business online include 24-hour access to customers, a fast-growing pool of Internet users worldwide, the ability to respond instantaneously to customers and a more efficient way to conduct business-to-business transactions.

“E-commerce offers the ability to easily and cost effectively expand markets and streamline distribution of products and services,” said Nancy Langer, vice president and general manager of the M&I Data Services Home Banking Division.  “Our unique technology and financial background allows us to provide turn-key, front-to-back-end solutions.  On the front-end, we can build a website for any business, plus handle the back-end transaction when a purchase is made from your website.”

Graphic designers and Internet programmers at M&I Data Services utilize their expertise and technology to build the front-end website.  Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Services, the back-end of E-commerce, provides the support mechanisms to securely process credit-card and other payment transactions.

One of the largest card processors in the country, M&I Data Services currently switches and routes more than 40 million EFT transactions monthly and supports more than 1O million card holder accounts.

M&I Data Services offers interfaces that combine existing business systems with the new Internet-based E-commerce services, resulting in a single integrated business system rather than several distinct systems.  Businesses that use E-commerce from M&I Data Services also receive assistance and support from customer service representatives at a toll-free call center.

M&I Data Services has a strong history of providing financial services and years of experience designing high-tech products, including websites.  “We’re leveraging our technology experience,” Langer said.  “We’re not just a financial processing company but a technology provider.”

M&I Data Services offers advanced software and processing services to financial institutions worldwide.  The company is a division of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (Nasdaq MRIS), a $19.5-billion holding company.  Both are headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis.  For more information on products and services from M&I Data Services, visit its website at .

Three Wisconsin Entities Sign E-Commerce Agreements

Background Information

M&I Data Services recently signed agreements to provide services such as websites and E-commerce to three Wisconsin entities the Marcus Corporation, Tyme Corporation and the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The Marcus Corporation

The phase one initiative M&I Data Services has planned for the Marcus Corporation of Milwaukee, is development of a movie theatre website, which allows customers to find theatre locations and show times.  Once phase one is complete, phase two initiatives could include further development of the movie theatre website, which will feature ticket purchasing via the Internet.

Tyme Corporation

Tyme Corporation of Brown Deer has selected M&I Data Services to build and host its website, as well as partner in website development for its customers. The Tyme Corporation website will include a search engine that allows customers to select ATM machines across the Tyme network by location (city, county, zip code) or financial institution 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Department of Transportation

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), Madison, is taking advantage of the E-commerce solution to make license plate registration renewals easier than ever before.

M&I Data Services already provides a telephone renewal system for the DOT, which has processed more than 750,000 vehicle registrations and registration payments since going live.

Recently, the DOT awarded M&I Data Services a contract to host a secured Internet site, allowing Wisconsin residents to conveniently register vehicles and make registration payments electronically over the Internet.

For more information on E-commerce and Home Banking services from M&I Data Services, call contact.

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FDC Rated Stable

Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ‘A-1’ commercial paper and short-term issuer credit ratings, and its single- ‘A’ senior unsecured, bank loan, and long-term issuer credit ratings on First Data Corp.  At the same time, Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook to stable from positive on First Data Corp.

First Data Corp.’s ratings reflect the company’s leading market positions, stable revenue base, and strong free cash flow.

Hackensack, N.J.-based First Data has a diverse, important presence in credit card and merchant processing services.  The addition of Western Union Financial Services Inc. has propelled First Data to the leading position in the consumer money transfer marketplace.  The company’s better-than-average business profile reflects its ability to sustain long-term client relationships that generate sizable recurring revenue streams.  Revenue growth has been strong, and prospects remain favorable as the company cross-sells its products, introduces ancillary services into its installed base, and expands into adjacent markets.  While the pricing environment is being pressured by competitors and customer consolidations, coupled with a recent slowing rate of growth in its merchant processing services, the company has offset this with on-going cost reduction initiatives.

The company enjoys high barriers to entry, and a broad customer base. Profitability measures are strong, with return on permanent capital historically above 20% and EBITDA  interest coverage exceeding 10 times (x).

Free operating cash flow has averaged over $300 million for the past three years, and cash balances of $411 million (as of Dec. 30, 1997) provides adequate financial flexibility.

OUTLOOK STABLE

Management has a growth strategy that includes new products and markets, strategic alliances, and acquisitions.  The outlook revision reflects Standard and Poor’s belief that First Data’s long term business strategy and capital structure is likely to be more consistent with a single-‘A’ rather than a more restrictive single–‘A’-plus  credit rating.

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ATM Wager Card Coming in Apr

Betting Inc. is moving the ATM card into the home for self serviced opening or replenishing of wagering accounts.

Betting Inc. has scheduled April to begin pilots with sports and OTB gaming operators to test home and public location usage of ATM cards and Betting Inc. equipment to open or replenish accounts.

The ATM card same as cash self serviced transactions offer substantial savings for the gaming operators.

The Betting Inc. equipment will begin to be freely distributed to public locations such as airport lounges, car washes, sports bars etc., in April and will be selectively placed in test home environments.

Betting Inc. is the leading company in the emerging multibillion dollar industry of personal encrypted remote financial electronic card transaction wagering.

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