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Wednesday, November 21, 2001
Blackstone (, one of the nation’s leading electronic providers of prepaid telecommunications products and services, announced the successful completion of their Hypercom VAR Partner certification earlier this month. According to John Marshall, president of Blackstone’s Prepaid Systems Group, “As a VAR (value added reseller), Blackstone will now offer Hypercom’s clients the opportunity to add a unique value added application to their ICE 5500 terminals”. He also added, “The successful completion of the VAR Certification process is a direct result of our ongoing relationship with Universal Savings Bank and their payment application which operates on the Hypercom ICE 5500. As a result of our relationships with Hypercom and USB, we are now able to reach additional markets and potential customers in the point of sale market”. Hypercom’s VAR Relations Channel focuses on providing companies with complete and comprehensive development toolkits to create customized applications and software to be supported on the Hypercom ICE point of sale platform. Blackstone has developed a truly innovative point-of-sale system. By successfully integrating the processing of all major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express & Discover Card) and ATM/Debit/EBT cards with the sale of prepaid products and utility payments, into one, easy-to-use POS terminal, Blackstone POS, is revolutionizing the electronic transaction industry Blackstone has rapidly become one of the country’s largest providers of prepaid telecommunications products and services with over 300,000 retail locations nationwide. Established and headquartered in Miami, Florida since 1995, Blackstone is privately owned, and managed by a team of executives experienced in payment processing, networking, information services, oil & gas and prepaid telecommunications. Today, Blackstone is successfully merging two industries, prepaid telecommunications and electronic transactions, into one terminal to the benefit of merchants across the United States. Hypercom Corporation (NYSE:HYC – is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants, and acquirers. Hypercom’s products include secure card payment terminals and web appliances, networking equipment, and software applications for e-commerce, m-commerce, smart cards, and traditional payment applications. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Hypercom maintains an installed base of more than 4 million card payment terminals, which operate seamlessly with the products of its Network Systems Division. These solutions are installed in over 100 countries and conduct more than 2.85 billion transactions annually. Founded in 1992, Universal Companies ( perform payment-processing services for agent banks, independent sales organizations and over 55,000 small and medium-sized merchants. Fifth Third Bancorp’s Midwest Payment Systems division, a leading provider of payment processing and EFT services, recently acquired USB. Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, with over $70 billion in assets and operating 16 affiliates with 939 full-service Banking Centers. They operate four main businesses: Retail, Commercial, Investment Advisors and Midwest Payment Systems, the Bank’s data processing subsidiary. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at The company’s common stock is traded in the over-the-counter market through the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol “FITB.” For more information on Blackstone’s products and services, please call 1-800-639-9590 or visit Blackstone POS are trademarks of Blackstone Communications Co., US and foreign patents pending.