Canadian Transactions Average $90

Canadians are expected to swipe their debit and credit cards at a record pace today according to Bank of Montreal’s Electronic Banking Services Division.

“The last few days before Christmas typically make or break the entire year for large and small retailers,” said Wendy Porter, Vice-President, Merchant Services, Bank of Montreal. “We’re expecting retailers equipped with our terminals to make approximately 115 credit and debit card transactions per second at some point in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, as last-minute shoppers flock to the stores in search of that perfect gift.”

Ms. Porter noted that Bank of Montreal is expecting to process close to 43 million debit card transactions this month, an increase of 40 per cent over the monthly average. On the credit card side, she estimated over 33 million transactions, nearly one-third more than the monthly average.

As of December 22, Bank of Montreal processed more than 32 million debit card transactions for the month and close to 25 million credit card transactions.

According to Ms. Porter, the average debit card transaction is estimated at about $50; the average credit card transaction is estimated at just over $90. Bank of Montreal operates 50,000 debit point-of-sale terminals across Canada.

Details

Not So Merry Christmas

Based on checkwriting, which represents about one-third of all retail spending, shoppers continue to hold back and remain value conscious. For the 24 shopping days of the 27-day holiday shopping period American consumers are spending about 50 basis points more this year than 1996. The data are based on same-store sales as reported this morning by TeleCheck Services. TeleCheck says the Northeast leads with a 4.4% gain while spending is off 2.1% in the Southwest.

Details

Natl Data Sets Record Dec 22

A record of more than 500 transactions per second was set yesterday on its Atlanta network by National Data Corporation (NYSE: NDC) (NDC).

“This new record is a reflection of a significant increase in demand for our services … in Atlanta as well as in other NDC centers,” said Robert A. Yellowlees, NDC chairman and chief executive officer. “It underscores the capacity and reliability of our network and is a tribute to our people who design, maintain and operate it.”

National Data Corporation is a leading provider of health information services and payment systems solutions that add value to its customers’ operations.

When used in this report, press releases and elsewhere by management or the Company from time to time, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s operations, economic performance and financial condition, including in particular, the likelihood of the Company’s success in developing and expanding its business. These statements are based on a number of assumptions and estimates which are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, and reflect future business decisions which are subject to change. A variety of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the Company’s forward-looking statements, some of which include competition in the market for the Company’s services, continued expansion of the Company’s processing and payment systems markets, successfully completing and integrating acquisitions in existing and new markets and other risk factors that are discussed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) reports and other filings. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligations to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or thereof, as the case may be, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Details

Revere Comm to Expand Phone Cards

Revere has begun negotiations with several companies to create a North American distribution base both at the retail/ mass consumer and corporate level for prepaid phone cards. With these strategic alliances, Revere expects to increase its penetration both in the Prepaid calling markets and enhanced Long Distance product sales. Pierre Van Neste, Revere’s VP of Sales and Marketing, expects positive returns on these potential alliances:

“It is important for Revere to be one step ahead of it’s competition both in aggressive posturing and market awareness. By maximizing Revere’s distribution potential in the North American market place, we are able to proliferate Revere branded calling programs as well as provide direct to market support for North American Corporate initiatives.

Revere is currently completing it’s preliminary implementation of it’s Montreal and Toronto direct to market strategy. This is part of Revere’s plan to ensure a National presence in the major centres across Canada. Expansion is expected to continue through 1998 in the Canadian, US and International market place.

Revere is pleased to announce the appointment of Rick Villanueva as Special Projects Manager. Mr. Villanueva has a wealth of experience in the Prepaid Calling Card industry and brings with him a host of key industry contacts as well as, expertise in managing and implementing new clients and “Value Added” mechanisms.

Revere has positioned itself in the market place with respects to fundraising initiatives both in the 1-900/ 1-800 and Prepaid Calling Card realms for registered Canadian Charities. The Kidney Foundation of BC, The Victorian Hospice Society, The Father/ Mother Equal Rights Society and the Kinsmen Foundation Rehabilitation in support of the 1-900-565-MOMS donation drive, are new additions to Revere’s fund raising relationships. The Kinsmen project is expected to be a year round donation platform with concentration in March 1998 for the Kinsmen’s Mother’s March of Dimes.

Revere waives all set up charges for registered Canadian Charities.

Revere is in process of investigating the implementation of an Investor Relations firm that will complement the aggressive posturing Revere is taking with respects to maximizing return on investment to the shareholders. Revere is currently investigating several options and expects to have this component in place no later than January 12, 1998.

The Alberta Stock Exchange has neither approved or disapproved of the information contained herein.

Details

FDC & Wells Fargo

First Data Enterprises and Wells Fargo inked a 10-year bankcard processing agreement yesterday. First Data will provide data processing and other card portfolio management services to more than 3.4 million credit cards and more than 3.5 million debit cards. At the end of the third quarter Wells held $7.4 billion in card receivables with a YTD card charge volume of $7.7 billion, according to Bankcard Barometer. Wells was also the first partner to join First Data’s ‘Merchant Bank Alliance’.

Details

Card Industry’s Pulse

American cardholders are paying about 6% more in basic pricing and about 33% more in punitive pricing according to data released this morning and gathered by CardData for Bankcard Barometer. On a weighted-to-outstandings basis, most consumers are paying an annual percentage interest rate of nearly 19%, and if an annual fee is involved, it will average about $18. The average card APR has been driven higher this year by the proliferation of high-risk APRs. The highest tier rates now range from 21.4% to 32.6%. The most dramatic pricing change this year has been late fees and over-limit fees. Meanwhile the growth in delinquency and chargeoffs continues to outpace the rise in core pricing.

1997 YEAREND SNAPSHOT
DEC 97 DEC 96 CHANGE
Standard APR 18.81% 17.68% +6%
Standard Ann Fee $17.82 $16.70 +7%
Gold APR 17.93% 16.91% +6%
Gold Ann Fee $35.28 $34.39 +3%
Late Fee $19.24 $14.21 +35%
Over-limit Fee $18.44 $13.94 +32%
Delinquency 5.36% 4.89% +10%
Charge-Offs 5.63% 4.85% +16%
Bankruptcy 42.2% 41.1% +3%
Attrition 8.14% 8.35% -3%
Fraud 0.10% 0.18% -44%
Yields 13.35% 13.39% -0.2%
Note: for definitions/methodology see Bankcard Barometer, Dec 97 issue

Details

CT Bank Intros WisePay Next Week

Tolland Bank announced today that it will introduce WisePay — its complete telephone bill payment service — on December 29, 1997. This expanded telephone banking service allows retail customers to pay any bill by phone through a toll free number … including rent/mortgage, car payments, credit cards, and utilities. Customers will be able to pay bills to virtually any company they choose. In addition, customers will have the opportunity to pay bills 24 hours a day 7 days a week from home, the office, even on the road — anywhere there’s a phone!

Joseph Rossi, President/CE0 said, “Tolland Bank is committed to keeping up with the rapidly changing world of technology and offering electronic products, that give people added convenience and ultimately more time to enjoy life.”

For a demonstration of WisePay, the new telephone bill pay service, call 800-374-6502. Information on WisePay is available at the Bank’s website: [www.tollandbank.com][1], all seven Tolland Bank offices, or by calling 860-875- 2500 or 800-326-5984.

Tolland Bank is a Connecticut-chartered savings bank with offices in Vernon, Tolland, Ellington, Coventry, Stafford Springs, and Willington. Tolland Bank is the subsidiary of Alliance Bancorp of New England, Inc. which is traded on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol ANE.

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

Details

NBS Picks CMA

NBS Card Technology has selected Creative Marketing Alliance as its marketing communications agency of record.

Based in Princetion Juncion, N.J., CMA will handle public relations, advertising and other marketing communications for NBS Card Technology, a business of NBS Technologies, Inc. headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

“CMA has exceptional exceptional expertise and experience in marketing communications and PR that includes a proven track record in the card industry,” NBS Card Technology Vice President of Marketing Martin Chu says. “To meet our marketing communications goals, we needed someone who first understood them, and then could address them – CMA has that ability.”

“We’re excited to partner with NBS Card Technology,” CMA President Jeffery Barnhart says. “As a key player in an expanding technology, NBS CArd Technology has enormous potential to grow as a leader in marketplace. We look forward to helping them attian and maintain that postion.”

NBS Card Technology Corporation, a division of NBS Technologies Inc., is a world leader in the manufacturing of card personalization systems. NBS Card Technology offers a full line of card personalizaiton solutions to the financial, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation and retail markets, as well as government agencies and the education community. The company’s products are sold and serviced worldwide.

NBS Technologies, Inc. is a Toronto-based information technology company with offices in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. NBS specializes in providing card technology, transaction automation and digital imaging identification-based systems and solutions.

Creative Marketing Alliance is a single-source resource for strategic marketing counsel and creative communications. Through its four strategic business groups: strategic marketing, public relations, advertising/creative services and association management/event planning, clients receive strategic soluitons for building their business.

Details

Last Minute Tips from NFCC

Time is running out. For those who have not completed their holiday shopping, just a few precious days are left. However, the shopping decisions made between now and the holidays will determine whether or not we will be paying off 1997’s holiday bills well into 1998.

“When we’re in a time crunch, we’re likely to shop with our heart rather than with our head,” says Durant Abernethy, president of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (NFCC). “But, by keeping the season in perspective, consumers can avoid the overspending that comes with last-minute shopping.” To help holiday shoppers, NFCC is offering a four-part series called: Holiday Spending: A Plan for the Season. Parts one through three covered budgeting, inexpensive gift ideas and smart shopping strategies. This final installment offers advice for last minute shopping.

Part Four: Last Minute Tips

• Review your budget. How much have you spent already this holiday season? Add up what you’ve spent to date. Subtract this amount from the money you had allocated for holiday spending. Refine your gift list and other holiday spending to stay within your overall budget. And remember, if you overspend on one item or another, you don’t have to throw the whole budget out. Simply readjust the rest of your spending. If you don’t have a budget, devise one now.

• Think twice before you buy. Before buying a gift, ask yourself if the gift will be both appropriate for the recipient and within your price range. Don’t buy the gift just to have something, and watch the extra impulse gifts. Plan to pay for gift purchased with a credit card within 90 days. A $20 sweater bought on credit could end up costing $30 if not paid off promptly.

• Use presentation to dress up inexpensive gifts. We all love to receive beautiful packages. Put home-made cookies in a decorative basket or hand paint a photo frame. Make your own wrapping paper with butcher paper, glitter and stamps.

• Put off some gift giving until after the holidays. You may agree in advance with family and friends to exchange gifts after the holidays. This way you cn take advantage of the after-Christmas sales and you can shop leisurely.

• Take time for yourself. Make room in your schedule for a trip to the gym or a long, hot bath. This will enable you to relax and rejuvenate. After you are rested, then tackle your remaining shopping and chores. This approach should help you from overspending simply because you are stressed.

To learn more about budgeting and using credit or to receive confidential money management counseling, contact a local NFCC member agency. The National Foundation for Consumer Credit is the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit organization providing education and conseling services on budgeting and credit. NFCC members, located in 1,300 offices across the United States, Puero Rico, and Canada can be identified by the NFCC member seal. This seal signifies standards that include agency accreditation, counselor certification, and policies that ensure confidential services that are free or low-cost. Many members operate under the name Consumer Credit Counseling Services. To locate the closest NFCC member office, call toll-free, 24 hours a day 1-800-388-2227 or visit the NFCC Home Page at [www.nfcc.org][1]. Spanish speaking consumers can call 1-800-682-9832.

[1]: http://www.nfcc.org

Details

CyberCash Names Global Exec

CyberCash, Inc. appointed Steve Crispinelli to Vice President, Global Business Development. Crispinelli, 50, will oversee all strategic relationships and business development outside the US, expanding CyberCash’s reach in Asia, Europe and Latin America. The new role builds on his success helping to establish CyberCash’s presence in Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada.

“This new position reflects CyberCash’s increasing leadership in global electronic commerce, as well as our continued expansion abroad,” said Bruce Wilson, Executive Vice President, Global Business Development. “Steve’s charter is to forge new relationships with merchants, key strategic alliance partners, and financial institutions. He has already helped develop some of our strongest relationships within the international banking community and significantly expanded our overseas merchant base.”

As CyberCash’s Director of Global Business Development, Mr. Crispinelli built joint ventures and strategic alliances with major leading financial institutions including Sumitomo Bank and Softbank in Japan, Dresdner Bank and Sachsen LB in Germany, Barclays Bank in the UK, and Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Canada.

Mr. Crispinelli joined CyberCash in 1996 and has over 15 years of international business and management experience. He launched, ITSI, a data security company based in Europe while living in the UK. Upon returning to the US, Mr. Crispinelli established a consultancy to develop sales and marketing programs for newly formed companies including Wireless Transactions Inc. Prior to this, he held a number of senior positions including director of international sales and marketing at Diebold, a world leader in manufacturing ATM’s and security systems, and national and regional sales manager at Northern Telecom, and Olivetti. He holds a bachelor of science in business from Fordham University and a masters in English Literature from City University.

About CyberCash

CyberCash, Inc., of Reston, Virginia, is a technology-driven company that provides software and services to enable secure financial transactions on the Internet. The Company offers a complete suite of Internet payment services, including a credit card service, which handles payments using major credit cards; an innovative micropayment service, which enables cash transactions; and a secure electronic check service, which allows consumer-to-business payments from a bank account. CyberCash is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol CYCH. CyberCash’s web address is

Details