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City Card Systems AG signs an agreement with SCM Microsystems for 10,000 smart card terminals; JPMorgan Investor Services converts asset managers to the new SWIFT messaging standards; The African Banking Corporation signs a software deal with AXS-One Inc.

City Card Systems AG, Switzerland, has signed an agreement with SCM Microsystems for 10,000 terminals designed for merchant loyalty programs using smart cards.

The use of smart cards in the retail environment and programs aimed at rewarding loyal customers are both fast growing trends. With this contract, SCM broadens and strengthens its position as a leading supplier of the end user infrastructure that enables smart cards applications.

City Card Systems AG provides small and midsize retail businesses a low-cost and easy-to-customize solution to implement their own professional customer loyalty programs. City Card provides merchants everything they need to make the program successful, including: loyalty cards for distribution to business patrons; software applications that award and track loyalty points; marketing material to promote individual loyalty programs and redemption schemes; and SCM's retail card terminals that provide the mechanism for consumers to collect, review and redeem points they have earned through the program.

Merchants can customize all aspects of the loyalty card, from graphical design to the features the card will enable, such as reward value and redemption. Information collected through the program can be used by merchants to build customer databases, forecast orders and plan promotional campaigns, much like a Customer Relation Management (CRM) system.

"We have put together a package that provides the resources, expertise and support needed to create successful loyalty schemes, and SCM's terminals are an important part of our solution," said Andreas Wilk, general manager of City Card Systems AG. "Besides being very reliable and cost-effective, SCM's terminals address all the technology requirements the retail environment needs."

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JPMorgan Investor Services announced that it has successfully converted several prominent asset managers to the new Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) messaging standards as of November 2001.

This is part of the larger initiative to meet the deadline date imposed by SWIFT of November 2002, to complete the migration to the new message standard.

"We are pleased with the successful conversion of the asset managers to the new message standards," said Tonya Wilson, vice president, Global Client Technology Manager, JPMorgan Investor Services. "As a leader in the industry, we partnered with our clients very early in the process to ensure a smooth transition to the new messaging standards."

The new SWIFT messages were created to provide common standards to improve STP rates and reduce risk. The ISO 15022 message comprises two components a data field dictionary and a catalogue of present and future messages that has been compiled by the industry. The components will work together and ensure overall improvements to STP rates and thus reduce operating costs across the financial services industry.

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The African Banking Corporation has signed a contract with AXS-One Inc. to install its software in the corporation's Botswana operations.

This deal, although relatively small, represents an additional commitment to AXS-One, a global provider of e-business solutions, from an existing client, and is the company's first installation in Botswana.

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