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"This way to the egress"

P.T. Barnum also said something about suckers, too...

Bob Hettinga


First Data, First USA Paymentech, GE Capital Invest in First Virtual Holdings

Wednesday 96.09.18 - San Diego, CA USA - First Virtual Holdings, Inc.,
developer of Internet transaction systems, announced today that First Data
Corp. and First USA Paymentech, Inc., two of the nation's largest credit
card processing companies, and GE Capital have invested a total of $12.5
million in First Virtual Holdings, Inc.

"This strategic alliance reinforces our belief that electronic commerce is
coming of age on the Internet," said Lee Stein, chairman and chief executive
officer of First Virtual. "It creates a powerful new combination between
First Virtual, with its proven on-line transaction system, and leading
credit card acquiring and processing companies. This represents a tremendous
vote of confidence in our system by three industry leaders."

In addition, the companies are discussing joint marketing agreements based
on the concept of giving more than 200 million card holders automatic buying
power on the Internet using the secure VirtualPIN(TM) identifier from First

"We expect that this partnership will enable First Virtual to significantly
broaden its global marketing," Stein said. "Our secure e-mail based system
is proven, easy to use and doesn't require specialized technologies. The
VirtualPIN(TM) serves as the only identifier an individual needs for
conducting business in cyberspace. It enables sellers and buyers on the
Internet to link securely to any currency, payment system or standard
verification system. With First Data, First USA Paymentech and GE Capital as
partners, we anticipate more rapid acceptance of the Internet as an
important distribution channel for businesses of all sizes."

Stein said First Virtual created its VirtualPIN and Internet payment system
to be part of a more complex transactional e-mail system for future
marketing, customer service, communications and transaction applications.

"The VirtualPIN provides the single identifier that can tie together all
parts of the marketing and distribution chain: initial information, outbound
offer, purchase order, confirmation, credit verification, transaction
settlement and fulfilment of the order," said Stein. "The VirtualPIN serves
as a convenient and secure alias for an individual's identity, including e-
mail address and personal, demographic, shipping and financial information.
This gives new power and privacy to the individual and puts him or her at
the center of the electronic marketing universe."

Stein said Pamela Patsley, chief executive officer of First USA Paymentech,
Inc., and John McKinley, chief technology officer of GE Capital, have been
elected to the First Virtual board of directors.

Robert Hettinga ([email protected])
e$, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"'Bart Bucks' are not legal tender."
                -- Punishment, 100 times on a chalkboard,
                       for Bart Simpson
The e$ Home Page: http://www.vmeng.com/rah/