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Tuesday, December 23, 2003
UNIVERSAL EXPRESS ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH BLACKSTONE
Universal Cash Express, a subsidiary of Universal Express, Inc. (OTCBB:USXP), has entered a strategic partnership agreement with Blackstone, a leading provider of electronic prepaid products and services. Under the terms of the agreement, Universal Cash Express products will be offered through thousands of points of presence that Blackstone has in place with retail merchants worldwide. Additionally, Universal Express will introduce co-branded Blackstone terminals to thousands of private postal stores within the Universal Express WorldPost network of merchants. Universal products offered from the terminals will include a floral gift card from a major floral association and the Universal Express Platinum Prepaid MasterCard/DebitCard program. Blackstone is a pioneer in the prepaid telecommunications industry and is currently one of the country’s largest providers of prepaid products and services. Luis Arias, Blackstone’s chief executive officer, was recently awarded a patent by the US Patent & Trademark Office (No.: US 6,651,885) for the Real Time Electronic PIN Delivery System utilized in the co-branded terminals to be offered by Universal Express. Merchants can print or activate prepaid cards (calling cards, gift cards, Internet service, wireless recharge cards, etc.), whereby distribution is done with electronic PINs, that are delivered via an integrated thermal card printer. Merchants can also accept checks, smart cards and ATM/debit/EBT (electronic benefit transfers) cards; process Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, and Diner’s Club transactions; and view real-time reports. Brett Hudson, president of Universal Cash Express, stated, "The new relationship with Blackstone allows Universal Cash Express to introduce its exclusive prepaid and stored value card programs to a huge array of retail markets and merchants at the same time. Our complete library of prepaid products will now get exposure through the vast Blackstone network of retail locations." "We are enthusiastic about the agreement with Universal and its potential. Universal’s products have an excellent reputation in the marketplace and we are excited to include them in our product offering," commented Mike Acton, Blackstone’s president. About Blackstone Established and headquartered in Miami, Florida since 1995, Blackstone provides innovative solutions to local, national and international companies seeking to maximize their full potential – from calling cards, POS terminals, merchant processing, marketing & distribution to self-service and interactive kiosks – Blackstone offers a complete array of services to design, integrate and maintain high-impact, strategic business solutions via our global network of alliances and resources. For more information visit www.blackstoneonline.com About Universal Express Universal Express, Inc. owns and operates several subsidiaries including Universal Express Capital Corp. (USXP Cash Express Division), Universal Express Logistics (Luggage Express and the Virtual Bellhop, LLC), the WorldPost Network – private postal network, and SCI, our industry insurance company. These subsidiaries and divisions provide the private postal industry, customers, and couriers with value-added services and products, logistical services, equipment leasing, and cost-effective delivery of goods worldwide. For more information visit www.usxp.com Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: The statements contained herein, which are not historical, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, certain delays beyond the Company's control with respect to market acceptance of new technologies, products and services, delays in testing and evaluation of products and services, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investor Relations Contact: David K. Waldman/Jody Burfening Lippert Heilshorn & Associates (212) 838-3777