Forbes & McCann to Speak at EC Show

Electronic commerce may be the present marketing trend, but how can a company, big or small, ensure that it is ready to do business on the Web? The 1998 Internet & Electronic Commerce Conference & Exposition has captured the electronic commerce experience and expertise of several industry leaders to answer questions and predict the future of EC. In addition to GartnerGroup presentations and industry case studies, iEC keynote speakers provide powerful examples of EC success stories. This year Malcolm “Steve” Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes Inc.; Jim McCann, president of 1-800-FLOWERS, Inc.; Michael S. Dell, chairman and CEO for Dell Computer Corporation; and Halsey Minor, chairman and CEO of CNET, will each share their views and expectations on electronic commerce.

“This is a conference about learning first-hand the dos and don’ts of implementing a successful EC strategy,” said Rich Westerfield, iEC show director. “We are thrilled to have all four of these distinguished gentlemen talk to our attendees about how the Internet is generating additional revenue for businesses. The addition of Steve Forbes as a keynote speaker underscores the point that electronic commerce is truly integrated into the plans of mainstream business.”

GartnerGroup has planed this year’s conference with four distinct program tracks to appeal to a myriad of professionals.

— Track 1 Industry EC Case Studies. Prioritizing, supporting and     funding online initiatives and then measuring the success or     failure of EC programs has become a crucial element as companies     look to determine the effectiveness of their Web-enabled business     strategies. Case studies from the insurance, retail, publishing,     and entertainment industries will be used to effectively explore     this topic.

— Track 2 EC Over the Internet. Leading Web commerce merchants are     fast becoming aware of the previously “hidden” complexities and     expenses of EC ventures. Discussions such as How to Organize for     Web EC Success, EC and Extranet Applications, E-Marketplace,     Managing Purchasing on the Internet, and The Future of EC will     analyze the risks and rewards of doing business on the Internet.

— Track 3 Interactive Marketing. Interactive marketing isn’t just     about having a Web site. It’s about engaging customers in a     continuous two-way dialogue in order to better hone marketing     messages. Sessions such as Marketing in a Multichannel World,     Interactive Marketing, Push Technology, Personalizing Web Sites,     Value Networks, and Customers in the Driver’s Seat identify the     opportunities and pitfalls of using the Internet as a marketing     medium.

— Track 4 Online Financial Services. Banking, brokerage,     Smartcards and payment schedules are all essential elements of     the online financial services industry. E-Banking Case Studies,     “Cyber-Venture” Funding, Internet Security Futures, E-Payments,     and SET conference sessions will generate important discussions     on the challenges facing the industry.

“The four tracks in the GartnerGroup conference program offer a variety of solutions to executives from diverse backgrounds,” said Dave Taylor, GartnerGroup vice president and research director. “Case studies will cover many industries, including publishing, entertainment, financial services, and travel, to name a few. The speakers, moderators and panelists for the conference provide answers through first-hand experience as well as research.”

Developing and supporting a successful EC strategy is never easy, but the 1998 iEC keynote speakers have set new industry standards. These industry leaders will share their personal experience and insights into their EC strategies and solutions.

— Malcolm “Steve” Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes Inc. Mr.     Forbes will discuss how to create the perfect match when marrying     target audience with advertiser. On a national scale, he will     address the powerful effects electronic commerce will have on the     American economy.

— Jim McCann, president of 1-800-FLOWERS Started as a small     family-owned flower shop in New York, 1-800-FLOWERS grew to be     the world’s largest florist. As an early adopter of electronic     commerce, Mr. McCann began selling over the Internet six years     ago and will share his success story and strategy.

— Michael S. Dell, chairman and CEO for Dell Computer Corporation     Building a Web site that generates $3 million in sales per day is     virtually unheard of. But Mr. Dell has done it and might be the     first to make a billion dollars over the Internet alone. He will     share his successful EC initiative.

— Halsey Minor, chairman and CEO of CNET Can CNET’s new SNAP do for     the Internet what AOL did for online services? And if so, will     Halsey Minor become the new king of “content?” Mr. Minor will     discuss how he is partnering for EC success.

With over 200 exhibits, 80 conference sessions, and more than 10,000 attendees, iEC is the nation’s largest event dedicated to electronic commerce.

Returning for its fourth year, GartnerGroup leads iEC with its high-level conference focusing on strategies for senior-level executives and decision makers. For the first time at iEC, the International Computer Security Association (ICSA) will cover security issues and Forbes magazine will host a conference focusing on electronic commerce initiatives for small businesses and entrepreneurs. In addition, iEC will launch the first technical skills conference for MIS and IT managers responsible for EC implementation. All four conferences will be held at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on April 27-29, 1998.

In addition to the conference program and keynote speakers, over 200 vendors including sponsors AT&T, GE Information Services, IBM, KPMG Peat Marwick, Manugistics, Mastercard, Microsoft and UUNET will demonstrate the latest products and services available. Exhibitors include hardware manufacturers, software developers, and business integrators.

As the world’s leading authority on information technology (IT), GartnerGroup provides its clients with cutting-edge insights that support competitive decision making across the IT spectrum. With expertise in the areas of IT research, decision support, analysis, measurement, consulting and training, GartnerGroup is at the center of a global community of more than 33,000 individual clients, representing over 9,000 discrete organizations served by more than 750 analysts in over 80 locations around the world. Its unique “value-added” resources are the intellectual capital of GartnerGroup and its robust proprietary databases. Through those resources, together with formal methodologies, GartnerGroup offers the integrated products and services that bring clarity to the current and future direction of the world’s hottest and most volatile industry. Additional information is available on the World Wide Web at .

Advanstar Communications is a world-wide business information company, which publishes more than 70 business magazines and professional journals, produces over 100 exhibitions and conferences throughout the world, as well as related direct marketing, database, directory and reference products. In addition to serving the electronic commerce industry, the company’s portfolio serves health care, pharmaceutical and scientific fields and a variety of retail and service industry segments. The company currently operates from multiple offices in the United States, Latin America, United Kingdom, and Asia. For more information, visit the events Web site at .


Canada’s Largest Prepaid Calling Card Supplier

DataWave Systems Inc.,  manufacturer of the world’s only intelligent prepaid calling card dispensers, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with DCI Telecommunications, Inc., an international supplier of telecommunication services and the parent company of Cardcaller Canada Inc., to create a joint venture for the marketing, sale and service of prepaid long distance telephone calling cards in Canada.

This new joint venture will create Canada’s single largest independent entity devoted solely to the sale of prepaid calling cards. With combined revenues of over $12 million (CDN) the joint venture will control more than 40 percent of the Canadian marketplace. The joint venture will be twice as large as any other company in Canada that is dedicated to the sale of prepaid calling cards.

According to the agreement, both companies will contribute all existing Canadian business to the joint venture. Until now, DataWave’s Canadian business has been transacted through Phone Line International (PLI) Inc., a 100 percent owned subsidiary of DataWave. PLI retails prepaid calling cards in over 800 locations throughout Canada.

Commenting on this exciting new partnership, Charles Zwebner, President of Cardcaller Canada, noted that “DataWave’s technology was extremely compatible with our needs, adding a powerful new dimension to the services that we offer our customers.” Based in Toronto, Cardcaller Canada was the first company to introduce prepaid calling cards to the Canadian marketplace. The company operates its own switching platform, and retails its product under the “Cardcaller” name in over 2,500 retail locations.

Card Caller Canada is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of DCI Telecommunications Inc., a publicly traded company based in Stratford, Connecticut. “By joining forces, this new joint venture will become more competitive in the market place and aggressively pursue greater market share” … said Joseph Murphy – President & CEO of DCI.

DataWave’s state-of-the-art Telecard Merchandisers (DTMs) and Over-The-Counter Devices (OTCs) are intelligent electronic merchandising systems with a propriety real-time feature called Point-of-Sale Activation. The calling cards in the dispenser have no value until credit or cash payment is made, at which time the calling card is automatically activated to the specified denomination. This eliminates costs associated with inventory control. DataWave currently distributes its prepaid products in over 2,500 retail locations in Canada and the United States and has recently signed an agreement with AT&T in the United States.

Both DataWave and Cardcaller Canada are confident that this joint venture represents the most efficient and cost-effective strategy for increasing market share and consolidating the fragmented Canadian marketplace. According to Clive Barwin, CEO and President of DataWave, “The Canadian marketplace offers significant opportunities for growth. This new partnership will allow us to aggressively focus on increasing market share while consolidating and acquiring other prepaid calling card companies. This, in turn, will allow us to offer consumers an improved product through more efficient streamlined service operations.”


ORCC Signs 73 CUs

Alliances between Online Resources & Communications Corporation and a distinguished group of suppliers to the nation’s credit unions are expected to solidify the company’s reputation as the premier provider of interactive services to credit unions. New partnerships and milestones in existing ones were announced today at CU TECH, the national technology forum and trade show of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

Online Resources, which began providing interactive services to its first credit union client in 1993, now has 73 credit unions under contract. And through its alliance partners, it now has access to more than 1,200 credit unions with assets exceeding $25 million, a full 50% of that market, according to Ray Crosier, executive vice president, client services. He contributes the company’s success to its high quality bill pay services and its ability to unbundle its turnkey solution so it might complement services its partners offer. “We provide credit unions the entire full service package or the missing pieces to complete in-house technology platform,” Crosier said. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to ally ourselves with other established, trusted vendors in the credit union industry – vendors whose dedication to the industry and standards of service are the same as ours.”

Developments announced today include

THE CO-OP has announced the availability in March of its third option for home banking and bill payment. Access Anywhere Expanded provides for an open account relationship, where members can pay bills and transfer funds among all the accounts they hold with the institution, except investment accounts.

Cardinal Services Corp. (CSC), which designs Web sites for credit unions, will sell Online Resources’ complete home banking and bill pay services. CSC, serves more than 30 institutions and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Stanford Federal Credit Union.

The Credit Union Service Corporation (CUSC) leverages the Online Resources’ service platform for the more than 400 credit unions in its network. CUSC institutions serve 10.2 million members.

AFTECH, a leading provider of software systems to credit unions, has announced its seventh customer to sign up for the Online Remittance Service — JAX Navy Federal Credit Union, one of the nation’s largest credit unions with more than 220,000 members .

Computer Marketing Corporation, providing equipment procurement, fully integrated accounting system software, conversion, training and on-going support services for credit unions nationwide, announced it will resell the Online Remittance Services.

SOS Computer Systems, Inc., a reseller of hardware and provider of custom applications software programming services specializing in credit union management applications, has announced it is piloting the Online Remittance Services for use with its Web-based home banking solutions.

ULTRADATA is extending its reseller agreement with Online Resources and continues to offer the Online Remittance Service to users of its UltraAccess software module.

Crosier said today’s announcements underscore the attraction Online Resources’ services have among credit unions. Some of its partners are offering the company’s comprehensive, “one-stop shop” service. Others are offering the Online Remittance Service (ORS) because of its reputation for being the most reliable and cost-effective bill pay service in the industry. Still others are leveraging the company’s Web design and hosting services.

McLean, Va.-based Online Resources & Communications Corporation () is a leading wholesaler of interactive consumer financial services to financial institutions. The company provides a “one-stop shop” for its institutional clients. It integrates a large variety of consumer access options (PC, ScreenPhone, Telephone via internet or private network) with an extensive set of financial transaction services (billpaying, banking and other services). Using its patented ATM network-based architecture, the company’s real-time transactions offer major cost and quality benefits. The company’s core services are augmented by a host of products and support services. Online Resources, a privately-held company founded in 1989, serves 225 financial institutions nationwide.


Internet ATM & Net Precision

The Home Financial Network and First Data Direct Banking agreed yesterday to combine HFN’s ‘Internet ATM’ home banking software with First Data’s ‘NetPrecision’ Internet banking service to create a seamless, OFX-compliant Internet banking solution that can be customized for each financial institution. First Data says it is packaging the solution and making it available as part of its service to mid-sized and community financial institutions.


TSYS Canada Opens

After a succession of new client announcements with leading Canadian financial institutions and retailers, Total System Services, Inc.formally established its presence in Canada by opening TSYS Canada, Inc.

TSYS Canada will be headquartered in Welland, Ontario, Canada, and will be a wholly owned subsidiary of TSYS, established to provide support for TSYS’ newly signed Canadian clients.  TSYS Canada will initially employ programmers, who will assist with the conversion of Canadian Tire Acceptance Limited’s (CTAL’s) six million private-label and MasterCard accounts from the retailer’s in-house system to TS2(R), TSYS’ state-of-the-art, Year 2000 compliant software system.  TS2 is the complete rewrite of TSYS’ Cardholder System.  The card processing system offers exceptional levels of service and performance beyond any application in today’s card processing domain.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the country’s largest hardgoods retailer, CTAL is the fourth largest MasterCard issuer in Canada.  Canadian Tire has 430 stores across Canada.  Forty percent of Canadians visit a Canadian Tire store each week, and 85 percent of Canadians live within a 15-minute drive of a Canadian Tire store.

TSYS President Philip W. Tomlinson said, “We are excited about the events that have taken place in Canada in the past year.  The opening of TSYS Canada, Inc. culminates a year of successfully building relationships in the region. TSYS Canada, Inc. will provide our Canadian clients the assistance necessary to successfully be converted to our TS2 card-processing platform.”

CTAL President Tom Gauld said, “The opening of TSYS Canada, Inc. affirms TSYS’ commitment to our business, and we expect the transition from our in- house processing system to TSYS’ TS2 system to be seamless.  We look forward to the enhanced levels of product and service offerings that TS2 will afford us and our customers.”

Located in Welland, Ontario, Canadian Tire Acceptance Limited (CTAL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited. CTAL currently provides a variety of credit and other financial services to more than 6 million Canadian Tire customers. Services include the Canadian Tire Credit Card, the Options MasterCard, the Canadian Tire AutoClub, a Long Distance Savings Plan and a selection of insurance products.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ga., TSYS is one of the world’s largest credit, debit, commercial and private-label card processing companies, serving card- issuing institutions throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, representing more than 92 million cardholder accounts. TSYS provides a comprehensive on-line system of data processing services marketed as THE TOTAL SYSTEM(R). In 1996, TSYS formed a joint venture with Visa(R) U.S.A. to create Vital Processing Services L.L.C. (), a leading full-service merchant services provider. TSYS’ 1997 revenues totaled $361.5 million; the company is an 80.7 percent owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE SNV) (), a $9.3 billion asset, multi-financial services company and a component of the Standard and Poors 500 Index.  Synovus also includes 34 banking affiliates in four Southeastern states, a full-service brokerage firm, a comprehensive trust services provider and a mortgage services company. TSYS’ Internet address is .


CDPD Catches On

AT&T Wireless Services announced that U.S. Wireless Data, Inc. and Unicard Systems, Inc. have begun using the AT&T Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) network to provide rapid verification of customer information for hundreds of Texas restaurants.

The wireless system enables operators of private clubs to quickly verify the membership status of patrons, reducing verification time from 20 or more seconds to just 2-3 seconds.

In many Texas counties, restaurants serving alcoholic beverages must form a private club and certify that customers are members. To facilitate business, restaurants have formed a network which honors card-carrying members from participating clubs. Using standard dial-up verification technology, it takes 20 seconds or more to receive verification once a member’s card is swiped through a card-processing terminal. Busy signals and other delays often lengthen the process and result in unhappy customers and the temptation to bypass the process, putting merchants at risk. The wireless verification system is used in over 200 Texas clubs, with a goal of 600-800 by year-end 1998.

Leveraging AT&T’s CDPD Network

The Texas system utilizes Unicard’s new SUN System which employs U.S. Wireless Data’s proprietary software and TRANZ(TM) Enabler units to convert Unicard’s Verifone dial-up card processing terminals into high speed wireless terminals. The SUN System transmits data between the card-processing terminals and a central verification server via the AT&T wireless network. The same technology can be used for credit card transactions.

“We feel absolutely confident in our choosing to go with the AT&T network,” said Rod Stambaugh, chairman of U.S. Wireless Data. “Reliable and cost-effective, the AT&T CDPD network gives us the ideal platform to provide our customers with the level of service and dependability they have come to expect from U.S. Wireless Data.”

“The fact that our CDPD network was chosen as part of this dynamic package proves once again how AT&T Wireless plays a major role in the competitive business-to-business market by adding value through our exceptional network technology and capabilities,” said Andy Willett, director of product management for the AT&T wireless data division. “Like other value added resellers and solutions providers, U.S. Wireless Data and Unicard Systems have found that they can leverage our network to help their customers connect quickly and cost-effectively. While wireless verification is relatively new, I think it will rapidly become a widespread solution for transaction processing.”

Wireless Verification Offers Value to Business

CDPD technology through the AT&T network enables membership verification, credit card transactions and many other types of data transmission. Wireless verification eliminates the need for a dedicated or shared telephone line, allowing businesses to expedite transmissions, therefore eliminating delays, busy signals and the recurring costs of monthly telephone service. The AT&T CDPD network covers 70 of the top 100 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. For developer information about leveraging the AT&T nationwide CDPD wireless network, contact [][1] or call 425/803-4602.

U.S. Wireless Data, Inc., (OTCBB USWDA) has developed, tested and is now delivering compelling new proprietary products, programs and standards for the transaction processing and credit card industry which utilize wireless networks such as the AT&T CDPD network.

Unicard Systems, Inc. is a service provider delivering credit card verification and transaction systems to the restaurant and nightclub industry.

About AT&T

The Wireless Data Division of AT&T Wireless Services is a recognized leader in the development of wireless data communications networks designed to meet the entire spectrum of business data communications requirements, from short transactions, such as messaging, data entry and dispatch, to longer sessions typical of file transfers and interactive computing. Customers can contact the Wireless Data Division at 1-888-DATA-ATT (328-2288), ext. 164. For more information on AT&T Wireless data solutions, check the AT&T Wireless Web site at [][2] and click on the wireless data icon.



TransAlliance Tx Vol Up 49%

TransAlliance, operator of the West Coast Exchange Network and provider of third-party processing services, announced dramatic transaction volume growth for 1997. Total volume processed by TransAlliance for 1997 was 396,098,778 transactions, a 49 percent increase from the year before.

Year-end statistics included substantial growth in the area of on-line and off-line Point-Of-Sale (POS) transactions. Off-line POS transactions achieved a 111% increase over 1996 followed by an 81% increase in on-line POS transactions. TransAlliance has processed off-line Visa Check and MasterMoney transactions since 1992, and today supports these programs for more than 200 financial institutions.

The number of direct connect ATMs driven by TransAlliance increased by 750 in 1997, marked by recent deployments of dial-up cash machines for major retail clients.

“TransAlliance’s diverse transaction processing product mix allows us to meet the needs of our financial institution clients,” said Denny D. Dumler, President and CEO. “Through its service offerings, TransAlliance is enjoying the benefits of the tremendous growth of card bases and terminals achieved by our members. We will continue to provide value-added services to support our client base.”

TransAlliance provides a wide variety of EFT processing services for financial institutions throughout the Western Region of the U.S. and Canada, including The Exchange/ACCEL branded network; cardholder authorization services for ATM, POS, and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) transactions; shared branching; home banking & bill payment services; direct connect and dial-up ATM driving; card production; and ATM servicing.


New IDRC Call Center

IDRC (International Data Response Corporation), announced the opening of its newest U.S. call center in San Diego, CA.

In October, IDRC opened a newly constructed, state-of-the-art inbound call center facility in San Diego, CA.  The 350-workstation center, operated by IDRC USA, showcases the firm’s leading edge technology for its rapidly expanding inbound teleservice and customer care business, and utilizes workstations with dual inbound and outbound capabilities.  The facility is expected to employ more than 600 at capacity, the majority of whom will be full-time teleservice representatives, with an average wage of approximately $8.00 per hour.  In addition, as many as 10% of the positions will be managerial and professional.  All full-time employees will qualify for company benefits and vacation packages.

Bill Strauss, EVP Operations, said that San Diego was chosen from among several other cities for many reasons  “We are a rapidly growing company pursuing the expansion of our operating facilities nationwide.  We typically look for markets with a vast labor pool, strong work ethic, a track record of employee loyalty, support from within the local community, and a favorable political, economic, and business climate.  We found all of this in San Diego,” said Strauss.  Strauss also cited the spirit of cooperation jointly demonstrated by the government and business communities as a significant factor in the decision to locate to San Diego.

John D. Weil, President & CEO of IDRC USA added, “While our U.S. operations have experienced significant outbound growth over the past few years, our new San Diego facility represents a significant increase in our ability to provide inbound teleservices and customer care programs.  These types of programs represent an opportunity to demonstrate superior customer service while enhancing the lifetime value of our client’s customers.”

Based in the San Diego area, IDRC specializes in providing inbound and outbound telephone and Internet-based solutions that target businesses and consumers in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, financial services, and insurance, among others. IDRC uses customized, state-of-the-art computer and telephone based technologies in its operations.  IDRC’s focus is to work with selected business partners, helping them and to maximize the lifetime value of their customers through the effective use of telephone and Internet-based support systems.  IDRC is dedicated to developing the combined potential of all of its operating companies by offering fully integrated services to clients throughout North America.  IDRC is a portfolio investment of Menlo Park, CA and New York, NY based McCown De Leeuw & Co., a private venture-banking firm, committed to building companies that make a difference in their respective industries. IDRC is organized geographically into two operating units, consisting of IDRC USA, based in Scottsdale, AZ and IDRC International, based in Toronto, ON.  ProMark One Marketing Services, IntelliSell Corporation, Telnet Systems, and the new San Diego facility operate as integrated business units of IDRC USA, while S&P Data Corporation is the operating unit of IDRC International. Through the combined resources of these companies, IDRC is able to offer a wide spectrum of fully integrated services to clients throughout North America.  The IDRC network of companies currently has nearly 6,800 employees and 4,500 workstations in 31 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

IDRC USA’s headquarters are located 7272 E. Indian School Road, Suite 350, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251.  For more information about IDRC USA, please contact Dawn Wahler, Marketing Manager, at 800-933-0233 or 602-941-6200.


GSA Contract

The U.S. General Services Administration moved closer to providing government agencies with a single payment system for multiple services yesterday, by awarding six contracts to deliver the next generation of federal government charge cards. Currently the GSA has three separate contractors providing purchase, travel or fleet card services to more than two million federal charge cardholders. Under the new agreements contractors may provide more than one of these services which the GSA hopes will lead to an integration of services or a single system. The new contracts, which are effective November 30 of this year, will run for five years, with five additional one-year options. The GSA says card volume for fiscal 1997 exceeded $8.5 billion.

                                NEW GSA CARD SERVICES CONTRACTS
CONTRACTOR                   PURCHASE              TRAVEL                FLEET
American Express                X                     X                    X
Citibank                        X                     X                    X
U.S. Bank*                      X                     X                    X
NationsBank                     X                     X
First Chicago                   X                   
Mellon Bank                     X
       * formerly contracted under Rocky Mountain Bankcard


30/30 Service

First Data Direct banking is reaching out to small and mid- sized financial institutions with a new service that will deliver a full-featured, customized Internet banking solution in as little as thirty days with implementation costs of as little as $30,000. The new program is part of First Data’s ‘NetPrecision’ suite of Internet banking services. First Data says the  service achieves economies of scale previously only enjoyed by the largest banks.


VISA Olympic Volume

In just the first two days of the Nagano Olympic Winter Games, Worldwide  Olympic Partner Visa International’s exclusive ATMs located in Olympic Games venues and select hotels throughout Nagano dispensed nearly 60 million yen (US$500,000).  The two leading transaction sites were the International Broadcast Center (IBC) ATM, where more than 21 million yen (US$170,000) was withdrawn in 659 transactions, and Visa’s Customer Service Center on Nagano’s Chou Dori, where nearly 10 million yen (US$80,000) was withdrawn in 425 transactions.

In addition to the ATM activity at Visa’s Customer Service Center, more than 2,000 visitors stopped by  in the first weekend of the Center’s operation.  While the vast majority of these visitors stopped in for Visa Ispel pins and to view the Visa Olympics of the Imagination art displayed in the lobby, the center did fulfill six emergency card replacements, one traveler’s cheque refund and one Visa Travel Money refund over the weekend.

Volume on Visa cards merchants throughout the Nagano area has also increased significantly, with the largest Visa acquirers reporting increases in volume of more than 20 per cent.

As the world’s best way to pay, Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide with more volume than all other major payment cards combined.  Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders and the global economy.  As the leader in emerging technologies, Visa has more than 70 smart card programs in 29 countries and on the Internet commerce.  Visa’s 618 million cards, generating more than US$ 1 trillion in annual volume, are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 380,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network Visa’s Internet address is [][1].