First USA Paymentech Sued By Shareholders

On October 17, 1997, a securities class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Civil Action No. 3-97-CV2563-P, on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of First USA Paymentech, Inc. (NYSE: PTI, “Paymentech” or the “Company”) between April 15, 1997 and September 24, 1997, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

The complaint alleges the Paymentech and certain officers and directors of the Company during the relevant time period violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, by, among other things, misrepresenting material information concerning the Company’s revenues, earnings, net worth and prospects for growth.

In particular, the complaint alleges that Paymentech failed to disclose that at all relevant times the Company was experiencing a dramatic slowdown in sales due to its acquisition by a new majority owner, Banc One Corporation (“Banc One”) and that Company’s acquisition activity also slowed dramatically for the same reason. Banc One effectively became a majority owner of Paymentech when it agreed to acquire Paymentech’s then-majority owner First USA, Inc., in January 1997. The complaint also charges defendants with artifically inflating the Company’s reported financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter of 1997, the period ending June 30, 1997, by failing to timely write-down obsolete inventory and impaired asstes. The Company’s declining earnings, slowing growth and inflated net worth were effectively hidden from the market until September 24, 1997, when the Company admitted that it had materially overstated its asset value and earnings for the fourth quarter of 1997, that it would be revising and restarting those results, and that it would not meet analysts’ expectations for the first quarter of fiscal 1998. Because of the issuance of a series of false and misleading statements concerning Paymentech’s business and defendants’ concealment of matters regarding the deteriorating business of the Company, the price of Paymentech common stock was artifically inflated during the Class Period. During the time when certain material information was concealed from investors, officers of Paymentech sold large blocks of Paymentech stock at artifically inflated prices.

Plaintiff seeds to recover damages on behalf of class members and is represented in this action by the New York law firm of Wolf Popper LLP and the Texas law firm of Puls & Chambers, L.L.P. Wolf Popper has extensive experience representing shareholders in class actions and has successfully recovered billions of dollars for defrauded investors and shareholders. Its reputation and expertise in shareholder and other class action litigation has been repeatedly recognized by the courts.

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U.S. Bancorp & 3GI Smart Card Partnership

Smart Card Integrator to Work with Corporate Payment Systems Division to Develop Multi- Application Systems for Public and Private Enterprises

U.S.Bancorp, Corporate Payment Systems division and 3-G International, Inc., Springfield, VA today announced an agreement to jointly develop and market multi-application smart card systems.

As the largest and most experienced issuer of Visa(R) corporate and purchasing cards, U.S. Bancorp plays a key role in official government purchase cards as the sole contractor for the highly successful International Merchant Purchase Authorization Card (I.M.P.A.C.(R)) program. 3GI is the leading smart card integrator and software development company in North America. The company has six years experience in designing and building multi-function smart card systems for the Federal Government, having contracts with the General Services Administration (GSA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the State Department, Department of Defense (DoD), and for smart card security at the 1997 presidential inauguration. Within one DoD project, the MARC Program, 3GI has issued well over 100,000 multi- application smart cards.

“This is a natural progression of our leadership role in the arena of travel, purchasing and government payment systems,” said Steven M. Putney, President, Corporate Payment Systems. “Our intent is to offer our customers cutting edge smart card technology in totally secure, multi-application systems.

“We’re particularly pleased to have 3GI as our partner in this venture, because they have designed and implemented some of the world’s most advanced smart card projects. This partnership extends not only to the Federal Government, but also to several projects in the commercial market.”

Indicators point to the Federal Government taking the lead in implementing smart card technology in the United States. The DoD is already testing smart cards for mobility and readiness processing, as well as identification. 3GI helped launch these projects and other tests that include stored value cards, emergency medical documentation, food service and prison management. Smart Card testing is expected to include government purchasing and travel cards, and expanded use of the existing fleet fuel card system.

“Our partnership with U.S. Bancorp is a direct result of our many successes in building large-scale smart card systems,” said Thomas L. Gregg, President, 3G International, Inc. “We have developed flexible PC and terminal software and leading edge development tools which allow a single card to support multiple applications very securely. Our software also solves many of the card interoperability problems in the smart card industry today. Through our partnership with U.S. Bancorp and the work we are doing jointly with Visa, 3GI is one of the few companies combining chip-based payment functions with non-financial applications on the same card. Our partnership with U.S. Bancorp for these projects is really a natural for both companies.”

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), is the result of a merger between First Bank System, Inc. of Minneapolis and U.S. Bancorp, formerly headquartered in Portland, Oregon. With $72 billion in assets, USB is the 14th largest bank holding company in the nation, operating more than 1,000 banking offices in 17 states: Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, California, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Nevada, South Dakota, Montana, Iowa, Illinois, Utah, Wisconsin, Kansas and Wyoming. The company provides comprehensive banking, trust, investment and payment systems products and services to consumers, businesses and institutions. It operates a network of 4,500 ATMs throughout the U.S. and 24-hour, seven days a week telephone customer services centers. The company is the largest provider of Visa corporate travel and purchasing cards in the world and one of the largest providers of corporate trust services in the U.S.

3-G International is headquartered in Springfield, VA. The company has offices in Williamsburg, VA, Honolulu, HI, and Chengdu, PRC, and currently provides smart card solutions for health care, network access, physical access security, payments, transportation and specialized government applications.

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60,000 Gemplus Cards for Univ of Toronto

Gemplus Corporation (Gemplus) today announced that it will supply 60,000 Gemplus microprocessor smart cards for the University of Toronto’s closed system that is being developed by CyberMark. The cards will be used for patron identification in the library network, cashless payment of library fees and food services, and card-based control and payment for photocopiers, computers, and laser printers.

The University of Toronto system brings the total number of cards supplied by Gemplus to closed systems to more than 1 million.

CyberMark provides consulting, integration, card issuance, and application development services for higher education, corporate campuses, government entities, stadiums, and resorts.

In addition to the cards it will be supplying to CyberMark for the University of Toronto, Gemplus has supplied more than 120,000 smart cards to other universities in North America. This list includes other CyberMark clients such as Florida State University, Villanova, Skidmore College, Ohio Dominican College, and Guilford College as well as other vendors’ clients including Eastern Washington University, University of Pembroke, and Kansas State University.

In the retail market, Gemplus has supplied more than 150,000 cards for loyalty and/ or stored value applications.

In the government arena, Gemplus has supplied close to 200,000 smart cards for closed systems at Fort Knox, Parris Island, the USS Yorktown, Hickam Air Force Base, GSA Headquarters, West Point, the Air Force Academy, and for the MARC (multi-technology automated reader card) program, a personnel prototype system being evaluated by the Department of Defense. Additionally, it is providing approximately 100,000 smart cards to closed systems being developed for the various sports stadium projects, and 400,000 cards for coin laundry systems.

Gemplus uses the Federal Registry’s definition of a closed system as “any environment in which system access is controlled by persons who are responsible for the content of electronic records that are on the system.”

“Closed systems are really a microcosm of the anticipated widespread use of smart card technology in society at large,” said Charles Cagliostro, Gemplus’ director of emerging markets. “Gemplus and its partners have been pioneers in developing these multi-application systems, and have a wealth of experience in quickly deploying turnkey smart card solutions. These systems give Gemplus the ability to plan products which have the hooks necessary for open system multi-application cards.”

“Closed systems are where it’s at in today’s smart card industry,” said Bill Norwood, chip card visionary and vice president of CyberMark. “We have implemented the CyberMark smart card solution at six institutions in the past year, and we have two more already scheduled for the spring. The power of the smart card is its multi-applicational potential, and closed systems have immediate multi-applicational needs.”

About Gemplus Corporation

Gemplus Corporation is the North American subsidiary of Gemplus Group (Gemplus), the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe and smart cards. Gemplus manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.

In 1996, Gemplus’ total sales were $440 million. By the end of 1997, the company will have a production capacity of 900 million plastic and smart cards.

Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce. Information about Gemplus’ products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: .

About CyberMark

CyberMark provides card technology consulting, integration, mass issuance, and application development services for higher education, corporate campuses, government entities, stadiums, resorts, and gaming facilities. More than one million individuals utilize CyberMark cards at installations ranging from 1,000 to 60,000 card holders. For information, visit or call (850) 561-1055.

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Neuristics Hies BONY Credit Risk Manager

Neuristics Corporation, providers of advanced decision-support tools for consumer lenders, announced today that Anton Blumberg, formerly a Bank of New York executive, has joined Neuristics as vice president, according to Richard B. Leavy, Neuristics CEO.

“Anton brings to us deep knowledge of credit risk management and loss-control strategy and operations, as well as his experience in developing and utilizing advanced decision-support tools for a leading consumer lending institution,” said Leavy. “His background will assist us in further aligning our products with the needs of our lending-institution clients.”

“The most profitable lenders already recognize that their operations increasingly rely on the use of rigorous analytical tools to manage the lifecycle of accounts – from acquisition through ongoing risk and profitability management to collections, ” said Blumberg. “I am convinced that Neuristics’ decision support tools offer the most highly focused and sophisticated approach to ensuring lender profitability, and I am pleased to be part of this exceptional team.”

Before coming to Neuristics, Anton Blumberg was vice president of the Risk Services Group of the Bank of New York (Delaware). There, he was responsible for all aspects of the bank’s risk containment strategies, including developing, testing, and implementing advanced data mining and data interpretation statistical technologies. He also served as co-chairman of the First Data Resources Client Risk Advisory Group, where he oversaw the formation and implementation of FDR’s strategies and decision support tools on behalf of the company’s client base.

Prior to joining The Bank of New York, Anton Blumberg was vice president of portfolio risk management at First USA Bank, where he co-directed the design and installation of the industry’s first neural fraud-scoring model. Earlier, Blumberg was employed by Mellon Bank as a credit operations manager and credit policy analyst. He holds a BS in finance from Drexel University.

About Neuristics

Neuristics Corporation develops and markets intelligent decision-support tools that enable consumer lenders to uncover new opportunities for profit and to reduce risk and overhead in acquisitions and relationship management. Neuristics clients include major banks, financial transaction processors, and a third of the top 25 credit card issuers. Founded in 1993, Neuristics is a privately held firm based in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Wachovia-Central Fidelity Merger Approved

Central Fidelity Banks Inc., the parent of Central Fidelity National Bank in Richmond, Va., and Wachovia Corporation today announced they have received Federal Reserve approval for the merger between Central Fidelity and Wachovia. The merger was first announced June 24, 1997.

The agreement, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is subject to the approval of Central Fidelity shareholders. Shareholders are expected to vote Nov. 21, and assuming all required approvals have been received, the merger is expected to close in mid-December. Central Fidelity will continue to operate under its name until March 20, 1998, when the merger and integration with Wachovia Bank, N.A, is completed.

Central Fidelity Banks Inc., headquartered in Richmond, Va., had assets of $10.5 billion as of Sept. 30, 1997, and is the third largest Virginia-based banking company.

Wachovia Corporation, the parent of Wachovia Bank, N.A., is the 20th largest U.S. banking company with assets totaling $47.5 billion at Sept. 30, 1997. Upon completion of mergers with Central Fidelity, Jefferson Bankshares Inc. in Charlottesville, Va., and 1st United Bancorp of Boca Raton, Fla., Wachovia will be the 17th largest banking holding company in the country with assets exceeding $60 billion. U.S. Banker magazine rated Wachovia the No. 1 banking company in the country for 1996 among banking companies with assets of more than $25 billion.

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EFT Platform for Winn-Dixie

Applied Communications, Inc. (ACI), a subsidiary of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSAI), announces that Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., the fifth largest food retailer in the U.S., has selected a suite of software from ACI to process, route and acquire EFT transactions for the retail chain. The integrated solution will be facility managed by U.S. Processing, Inc. (USPI), an EFT transaction processing firm, and will give Winn-Dixie a robust platform designed to meet high-performance requirements.

An integrated pair of ACI BASE24 products will form the core of the platform. BASE24-atm and BASE24-pos operating on Tandem NonStop(R) Himalaya(R) computer servers will process transactions generated by the retailer’s 1,180-store network of 1,000 ATMs and 14,000 POS devices. BASE24-atm gives Winn-Dixie a state-of-the art processing and switching system that provides ATM terminal driving, transaction authorization, flexible routing, host and interchange interfaces and network control. BASE24-pos gives the retailer a completely automated and centralized EFT system to authorize, capture and process debit, credit and EBT transactions at the point-of-sale.

“BASE24 offers Winn-Dixie a high performance, reliable platform that supports the convenient, around-the-clock services customers demand,” said Ed Mangold, senior vice president of ACI’s Americas division. “It allows Winn- Dixie to offer customers an assortment of payment options, from debit card to credit card to EBT. In addition, the system is expandable to support emerging forms of service delivery.”

TRANS24-Settlement Manager and ICE (Intersystem Communications Environment) round out the applications to be integrated with the BASE24 transaction platform. TRANS24-Settlement Manager from ACI affiliate USSI, Inc. provides the tools needed to manage the settlement process for complex acquirer networks. ICE, a networking solution from Insession Inc. and distributed by ACI, offers powerful connectivity capabilities.

The platform will be managed and run by USPI at its Brown Deer, Wisconsin, facility. USPI provides transaction processing services for the EFT industry, including both financial institutions and retail clients. The company supports ATM, POS, credit card, debit card, smart card and record retention applications. USPI offers a comprehensive package, including single-point settlement, monitoring of ATMs, and network access-available around the clock.

USPI is an alliance partner of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc., parent company of ACI and USSI. The companies exchange technical, strategic and market development information. USPI uses BASE24 and TRANS24 software solutions in combination with the latest Tandem and IBM hardware offerings for its processing operation

“USPI is very pleased to be doing business with a major player in the food industry such as Winn-Dixie,” said Michael R. Shutters, president of USPI. “The project is an excellent example of the synergy that results from our strategic alliance with TSA.”

Applied Communications, Inc. and USSI, Inc. are subsidiaries of Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSAI). Transaction Systems’ software facilitates electronic payments by providing consumers and companies access to their money. The company’s products are used to process transactions involving credit cards, debit cards, EBT cards, smart cards, remote banking services, checks, wire transfers and automated clearing and settlement. Its solutions are used on more than 2,700 product systems in 69 countries on six continents. Visit TSA, ACI and USSI, Inc. on the World Wide Web at .

All trademarks are property of their respective owners. Please use upper case with no spaces between letters and numbers of BASE24 and TRANS24.

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AT&T Bails Out

After seven and half years AT&T wants out of the credit card business. In making its announcement yesterday AT&T said it is making the divesture to focus on “only businesses central to AT&T’s communication services strategy”. Besides dumping the AT&T Universal Card portfolio the company is also unloading AT&T Solutions Customer Care, a relationship-management services firm for Fortune 500 companies. AT&T also named C. Michael Armstrong as company chairman and CEO.

While AT&T sent shockwaves through the credit card industry in March 1990 with its launch of a no-annual-fee-for-life VISA and MasterCard, yesterday’s announcement did not come as a surprise. AT&T initially signed up cardholders at an unprecedented rate, more than one million accounts per month. However the company has been frustrated in building its profitability in line with industry averages. AT&T’s average balance per active account is $1106 compared to an industry average of $2109. Universal’s YTD charge volume per active account is $1492 compared to an industry average of $2374. The portfolio ranks as the third largest VISA and MasterCard portfolio in terms of number of accounts but ranks as the seventh largest VISA and MasterCard portfolio in terms of outstandings. At the end of the third quarter AT&T Universal had $14.2 billion in receivables, $6.9 billion in third quarter volume, $19.7 billion in YTD volume, 18.9 million accounts and 22.5 million cards-in-force, according to CardWeb, Inc.’s CardData.

Smith Barney has been designated as the adviser to AT&T on the sale of UCS. Portfolio premiums have been averaging about 13% this year but the UCS portfolio has unique characteristics. The portfolio contains a disproportionate number of non-revolving cardholders and significant percentage of cardholders with no-annual-fee-for-life status. Under current market conditions the ability to assess annual fees is crucial to profitability. AT&T’s timing is good as the company has brought chargeoffs and delinquencies under control and has recovered from an quarterly operating loss less than one year ago. However the market has a glut of portfolios on the block including Advanta’s $10.5 billion portfolio and overall industry profitability.

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Java Card Forum Meets

For the first time, the Java Card Forum, a consortium of smart card manufacturers committed to the Java Card standard, have consulted with industry-leading smart card issuers to further stimulate the growing market for Java-based smart card applications. At its recent meeting in Paris, the Java Card Forum for the first time included in its discussions “Strategic Partners” from 3 major industry sectors including banking and finance, represented by American Express, Citibank, Banksys, Barclay’s, GIE Carte Bancaire, Mondex and Visa. The information technology industry was represented by Hewlett- Packard and NTT Data; and the telecommunications industry was represented by Swisscom and Telecom Finland.

The Strategic Partners provided input to the Forum members (Bull, De La Rue, Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient, Hitachi, IBM, Keycorp, Schlumberger and Toshiba) regarding technical issues and industry-specific extensions that could be made to the Java Card specifications. The goal of involving the industry partners is to ensure interoperability of Java Card applications across all industry segments, thereby extending the Write Once, Run Anywhere(R) promise of Java to the world of smart cards and smart card readers. The use of Java on smart cards will mean that all cards can be used in any type of card reader terminal, from automatic teller machines to cell phones to computer system access devices.

Also at the Paris meeting, the Java Card Forum Technical Committee provided its input to Sun on version 2.0 of the Java card specification, which was posted at for public review on September 12th.

To reflect the growing demand for Java-based smart cards, the Java Card Forum plans to expand its Strategic Partner Program in the future to include representatives from the Health Care, Television Broadcasting and Transportation industries.

The Java Card members were present at the Cartes ’97 exhibition in Paris from October 15th until the 17th where they demonstrated their most recent Java Card implementations.

About Gemplus

Gemplus Corporation is the North American subsidiary of Gemplus Group, the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe and smart cards. It manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.

In 1996, Gemplus Group’s total sales were $440 million. By the end of 1997, the company will have a production capacity of 900 million plastic and smart cards.

Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce. Information about Gemplus’ products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: . All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Bankruptcy Not Hurting Banks Says Author

Creditors are pressuring Congress to ignore the National Bankruptcy Review Commission’s proposed recommendations, due out today. Creditors who offered consumers easy access to their drug of choice — credit — are crying “foul” over rising consumer bankruptcy rates. But are creditors really being hurt? Or are they making a political issue out of bankruptcy for their own gain?

Record bankruptcy rates certainly haven’t kept credit card issuers from raking in the profits. Small lenders, like First America and Provident Financial, saw third quarter profits soar 55% and 71%, respectively. Larger creditors are expected to post an average third quarter increase of 16.6%, according to analysts, who predict declines in credit card loss ratios at large credit-issuing banks this year.

Consumer bankruptcy advocate and author Paula Langguth Ryan believes creditors are “trying to get the public to buy their ‘poor-me’ story that deadbeat consumers are milking them dry. Nothing could be further from the truth and it’s time creditors took responsibility for their actions.”

As the bankruptcy guru for America Online’s Moneywhiz personal finance forum, Ms. Ryan speaks daily with consumers who are deluged with offers, even as their drowning in credit card debt.

Credit card issuers sent out a record 880 million mailings the second quarter of 1997, up 39% from last year. Who will receive the bulk of these mailings? College students, small business owners and consumers who pay the minimum payment on their credit cards. Newly bankrupt consumers are also favorite targets, as Ms. Ryan points out in her book, “Bounce Back From Bankruptcy” (Pellingham Casper, $14.95; 800-507-9244). Creditors are tightening their lending standards — but not in the way you think. Instead of cutting back on applications to high-risk consumers, creditors are pulling the plug on good-paying customers.

“Creditors don’t make money off good paying customers,” says Ryan. “Creditors make money off folks who only pay minimum payments. Why do you think Beneficial Bank of Delaware canceled twelve thousand accounts that were paid in full each month? Creditors don’t want your business if you don’t have a credit habit. They only want your business if they’ve gotten you hooked on credit.”

Nearly every amendment to the consumer bankruptcy laws since 1978 has been pro-creditor. Ryan, once bankrupt herself, was the only consumer to testify before the Commission.

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Certificate Validity Management

ValiCert, Inc., a new company delivering encryption technology and services for assuring the validity of digital certificates, today began operations and introduced a comprehensive suite of offerings for certificate validity management, consisting of the ValiCert Toolkit(TM), the ValiCert Server(TM) and the ValiCert Service(TM). The company today also announced the support of several key industry partners including Entegrity Solutions, Entrust Technologies, GTE CyberTrust and Netscape(R) Communications Corporation.

Founded by some of the world’s leading cryptographers, ValiCert’s goal is to develop a broad certificate validation and revocation infrastructure for the Internet. The company’s technology and services enable users to determine, in a time-critical manner, the validity of X.509 digital certificates for secure electronic communications and commerce. ValiCert’s technology achieves this by differentiating between valid and compromised digital certificates — encrypted electronic “signatures” that bind a person’s or server’s identify to a message or transaction. Until the availability of ValiCert’s products, there has been no efficient way to check the validity or revocation status of digital certificates which are being used increasingly to authenticate electronic communications and transactions over the Internet and intranets.

“Users of digital certificates today face a problem similar to the one users of credit cards faced 25 years ago before automated authorization,” said Chini Krishnan, founder and chairman of ValiCert. “Merchants had to manually verify each credit card presented to them using a cumbersome, outdated printed list of bad numbers.

“Similarly, certificate acceptance has entailed the use of large, unscalable certificate revocation lists, or CRLs, which has posed a barrier to their widespread deployment. ValiCert’s technology removes this barrier by making it quick and painless to verify, during a transaction, the status of any digital certificate.”

Prof. Martin Hellman, co-inventor of public key cryptography, added, “solving the issue of certificate compromise is central to building a reliable authentication infrastructure for secure communications and commerce. ValiCert addresses a basic and troublesome roadblock associated with digital certificates in a truly novel way.” Dr. Hellman is part of ValiCert’s scientific advisory board, and has been instrumental in reviewing, refining and promoting ValiCert’s technology.

“The industry anticipates that by the end of this century, hundreds of millions of digital certificates will be in use,” said Yosi Amram, president and CEO of ValiCert. “Without the robust, scalable validation infrastructure that ValiCert is providing, it will be impossible to manage this tremendous volume effectively.”

ValiCert Products

ValiCert is introducing three core products centered around certificate validity management: ValiCert Server, ValiCert Toolkit and the ValiCert Service.

The ValiCert Toolkit(TM) is targeted at software developers writing applications that consume certificates. By embedding the toolkit into their applications, vendors enable products to efficiently check certificate validity in Internet or intranet communications. ValiCert also provides a comprehensive developer’s guide, fully documented code and access to on-site consulting services.

The ValiCert Server(TM) is targeted at enterprises that deploy certificate systems and provides all the technology necessary for confirmation issuance in an intranet setting. The ValiCert Server constructs a certificate revocation tree from a certificate revocation list, and when requested by client application programs, constructs and issues confirmation of digital certificate status. The ValiCert Server will also be embedded in certificate issuance and management systems utilized by public certificate authorities (CAs).

The ValiCert Service will be targeted at enterprises that are conducting broad-based Internet communications and commerce. It will be a clearinghouse for checking the validity of digital certificates across organizational boundaries. The service will enable certificate issuers to distribute their certificate revocation lists in a timely, secure manner and to make them easily available to applications and people they wish to conduct business with around the world. It will also enable any application accepting certificates, regardless of its source, to be assured of the certificate’s validity.

ValiCert’s Certificate Revocation Tree

ValiCert’s technology solves what is known as the certificate revocation problem. This problem arises because applications that accept certificates need to determine not only that the certificate presented was in good standing at the time of issuance, but also that the certificate has not been revoked subsequently and is valid at the time of acceptance.

The current solution for managing certificate revocation is to maintain electronic lists of bad numbers, called certificate revocation lists (CRLs), which can become very large, cumbersome and difficult to download and process in real time. An application needing to verify a digital certificate must obtain the latest list from the appropriate list issuer, and plow through the list to ensure that the certificate in question is not on the list. This process is slow, inefficient, unscalable and bandwidth intensive. It makes revocation checking unsuitable for mass-market electronic commerce transactions and secure communications.

ValiCert’s technology solves the certificate revocation problem more efficiently by using a new cryptographic technique called a certificate revocation tree. This technique allows anyone with a digital certificate to pre-approve the certificate with a very small piece of tamper-proof data that proves the validity of the certificate beyond doubt to a recipient. Furthermore, because this data is very cheap to construct and process and the cost of the system only scales as the logarithm of the number of revoked certificates, certificate revocation trees are a basis for a truly scalable, global validation infrastructure on the Internet. More information on the mathematics and cryptographic basis of certificate revocation trees is available from ValiCert’s site at .

Product Availability

The ValiCert Server and ValiCert Toolkit are available now. Field trials of the ValiCert Service will begin later this year.

About ValiCert

ValiCert was established in February 1996, by a group of leading cryptographers and executives from the Internet security industry to build a broad validation infrastructure for electronic commerce. Utilizing technology based on an innovative cryptographic technique called certificate revocation trees, ValiCert delivers an efficient, scalable and transparent solution for checking the validity of digital certificates in any Internet or intranet transaction. ValiCert is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. and is available on the World Wide Web at , or by e-mail at info@valicert.com.

ValiCert, ValiCert Toolkit, ValiCert Server and ValiCert Service are trademarks of ValiCert, Inc. All other product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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Wireless Smart Card Pilot

Gemplus, Motorola, CyberMark and Powertel announced yesterday they will test an upgraded ‘FSUCard’ that enables student cardholders to place and receive calls, pages and short-text messages using Motorola’s new ‘StarTAC’ wireless PCS handset. The Florida State University smart card currently has 37,000 faculty and student cardholders. The ‘FSUCard’ offers four electronic purses for bookstores, laundromats, restaurants and vending machines.

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GlobalCenter & iCat Join Forces

GlobalCenter, Inc., the first global digital distribution company, today announced that it has joined forces with iCat Corporation, a leading provider of Internet catalog software, to offer businesses a one-stop solution for both electronic commerce and content management on the Internet. GlobalCenter will build and host customer websites using the iCat Electronic Commerce Suite(TM) allowing growing companies to use the Internet as a strategic channel for commerce initiatives. GlobalCenter customers can now easily publish, manage and sell an inventory of products to a worldwide audience and use the Internet as an efficient distribution channel.

“We envision a world in which people everywhere are more closely connected to content,” said Joel Davis, General Manager, Channel Management for GlobalCenter. “By working with iCat we are helping businesses establish the Net as a strategic channel for content, commerce and communication, using two best-of-breed solutions.”

GlobalCenter and iCat’s combined service, called PrimeWeb iCat Commerce(R), offers all the components that enable electronic commerce, including dynamic catalogues with sophisticated merchandising features such as up-sell and cross-sell, shopping carts, tax and shipping tables, customer tracking and registration, as well as secure credit card processing. This service provides everything a growing company needs to keep an online business open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and efficiently service customers with immediate and dependable access to content.

Opening for Business

PrimeWeb iCat Commerce lets businesses easily build a database of products by entering information or importing it from existing data files. The user then chooses a layout and design from predefined templates, and publishes the product catalogs with a single mouse click. Once in business, the catalogs, sales and customers can be managed remotely from any Internet browser. GlobalCenter takes care of the complexities associated with maintaining a dynamic Internet catalog and insures efficient access to all Web site content.

“We have worked with the likes of Time Warner, Boeing, Ziff-Davis and many others to create Internet catalogs and intranet applications,” said Craig Danuloff, president and CEO of iCat. “We have found that our customers appreciate being insulated from the complexities of making their website a highly effective sales and marketing vehicle. GlobalCenter’s experience in distributing content for Yahoo!, Netscape and others makes this alliance a winning proposition for growing businesses that envision the Internet as a path toward new markets and new revenues.”

Pricing and Availability

PrimeWeb iCat Commerce is now available, starting at $349 a month.

About iCat Corporation

iCat Corporation, founded in 1993 and based in Seattle, Washington, delivers the most complete, powerful, and flexible electronic commerce solution for creating the best catalogs on the Web. The privately held company has technology and marketing relationships with over 300 companies including Open Market, UPS, Compaq, HP, EDS, and CyberCash. Its flagship Electronic Commerce Suite has won more than ten industry awards, including “Best of Class” at Internet Commerce Expo in September 1997. The software is available in the US, France, Germany and Japan from any of iCat’s business partners, leading distributors such as TechData, Ingram Micro, MicroAge, and Trans Cosmos Incorporated, and resellers such as Software Spectrum. For more information, visit the iCat Web site at , or call 888-BUY-ICAT.

About Global Center, Inc.

Sunnyvale, California-based GlobalCenter is the first global Digital Distribution company. GlobalCenter enables businesses to establish and manage the Internet as a strategic channel and provides digital distribution services that connect people everywhere more closely to content. GlobalCenter currently handles 400 million Internet requests and up to a quarter million Internet downloads a day for customers including new media/content providers, software companies, and Internet-focused businesses. Currently, GlobalCenter is the content manager of choice for Netscape, Yahoo!, Quote.com, Playboy, Cox Interactive and more. Additional information can be found at .

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