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Cashless Society: Cinemark Theater Workers to Be Paid with a "Cash Card"

From a Listener:

I work at a theater in the Cinemark Movie Theater chain based out of Plano, Texas. I believe it is the third largest theater chain nationwide and the largest privately owned, although they are trying to go public.

I am writing to inform you, your many listeners, and viewers that this company is about to change the way its employees get paid. In the matter of a few more weeks no longer can they get paper paychecks, they have to either get direct deposit or a "PayCard" which they will either have to use in ATM machines, use as a calling card, or to purchase things, then the employees have the option of using credit card-like cash advance checks to get all their money. Even with that choice there are charges involved. There is a rumor that we won't even be able to get paper paystubs unless we go to an ATM.

If you would like to examine the article in the employee newsletter for yourself it can be read at:
http://www2.cinemark.com/vitascope/dec2003/newstoknow.htm

Thank you for your time and keep up the good work spreading the word against the New World Order.

A faithful listener

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From the Cinemark Newsletter:

Premiering at your theatre soon!
The Cinemark PayCard by ComData!

Frequently Asked Questions About The Cinemark PayCard

Q: What Is The Cinemark PayCard?
A: It is a new way for our Team Members to receive bi-weekly pay. Instead of getting paper checks each payday, Team Members who are not on direct deposit will now get paid via the Cinemark PayCard. Team Members will still receive pay stubs each pay period.

Q: Why are we Switching to this Method?
A: After the events of September 11th and the challenges they presented in getting paychecks distributed to our Team Members, we felt that this service was a good option for ensuring that Cinemark's Team Members are always paid on time – even during times of national crisis. During those times when we experience national crises, natural weather disasters and/or problems with transportation (FedEx/UPS/Airborne/U.S. Mail), our Team Members can rest assured that they will be paid on time, without interruption.

Q: How does the Cinemark PayCard work?
A: Each Cinemark Team Member who has not signed up for direct deposit will receive a Cinemark PayCard. Each payday, Team Members' net pay will be loaded to the Cinemark PayCard electronically. Team Members will have several options to choose from to access funds:
1. Team Members will be provided a pack of convenience checks along with his/her PayCard The entire lump sum of the Team Members net pay will be readily available using the free Convenience Checks provided by Cinemark. Team Members would simply register the draft for any amount up to the entire balance of their net pay.
2. Team Members may choose to use the PayCard as a debit card at any Maestro Point of Sale location, including, Eckerd's, K-Mart, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreen's, Publix and almost any grocery theatre, drug theatre or gas station equipped with a PIN pad. There are over 4 million locations in the US.
3. Team Members have the option of using the PayCard at any of the 800,000 Cirrus ATM machines located nationally to get cash up to the total amount of net his/her pay.
4. Team Members may transfer his/her funds to a checking or savings account.
5. Team Members may use his/her PayCard as a long distance calling card.
6. Team Members may use any one or a combination of these options to access funds.

Q: Will it cost me anything to use the Cinemark PayCard?
A: Maybe. This will be determined based on how you choose to access your funds. Your first transaction after each payroll load to your PayCard (each payday) is free. You may register and cash a convenience check for the entire amount of your net pay (the same way you currently cash your regular paper paycheck) and there are no associated fees. Should you choose to use the PayCard as a debit/ATM card after your free first transaction each payday, you will be assessed fees by ComData. Associated fees will be deducted from your remaining balance automatically. A list of fees charged by ComData is outlined in your Team Member Welcome Kit. Some banks may charge additional fees for the use of ATM machines. Those fees will be displayed at each machine and are in addition to any fees charged by ComData. Call the customer service number, 1-800-226-3951 if you have questions about fees and or ATM charges.

Q: How does the Cinemark PayCard Benefit Team Members?
A: The Cinemark PayCard provides several advantages to our Team Members, such as:
- Funds are guaranteed and secure each payday with instant access
- If an Associate is scheduled off or is on vacation during a payday, they do not have to come to the theatre to pick up a check
- Eliminates problems associated with lost/stolen checks or late deliveries
- Provides additional options for Team Members to access his/her money
- No need for Team Members to carry around large sums of cash
- A great alternative for those Team Members who do not have checking accounts

Q: How can I get started on my Cinemark PayCard program?
A: To access your funds through the Cinemark PayCard, you must first obtain your PayCard from the payroll department and follow the directions for registering a Personal Identification Number (PIN) with which to access your account.


Q: How do I register a PIN?
A: From a Touch Tone telephone, simply dial 1-800-741-6060 and follow the Instructions from the computer Voice Response Unit (VRU). It is simple if you listen to the menu and key in the information requested.

Q: How can I access All of my funds in cash each payday?
A: You will be provided a pack of blank convenience checks that allow you to call the Comchek Automated Access Service and register a check for all of your funds. These registered checks are guaranteed funds and may be cashed just like you currently do with a regular paycheck.

Q: How can I obtain my cash using my Cinemark Paycard?
A: You can get cash using the Cinemark Paycard at any Cirrus ATM or at any Maestro Point of Sale location, including, Eckerd Drugs, Kmart, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreen's, Publix and almost any grocery theatre, drug theatre or gas station that is equipped with a PIN pad at their registers.

Follow these instructions to access your funds from a Cirrus ATM or Maestro Point of Sale machine:

1. Insert your Cinemark Paycard into the Cirrus ATM or Maestro machine.
2. Enter your 4-digit PIN number.
3. Select “Withdrawal from Checking” when at the ATM or the “Cash Back” option when you are making any kind of purchase.
4. Enter the dollar amount you want to withdraw at the ATM (or at the debit terminal if making a purchase).
5. Upon approval, the ATM machine dispenses the requested amount of cash. If you are making a purchase, the cashier will hand the cash you requested to you.

Q: Why do I keep seeing the words Comchek or Comdata on the instruction brochure and on the back of the Cinemark PayCard?
A: Comdata is the company Cinemark has partnered with to bring our Team Members the Cinemark Paycard. They have 30 years experience in providing PayCards to hundreds of thousands of cardholders. The name Comchek refers to their debit card service. It appears on the back of your Cinemark PayCard.

Q: What is Maestro?
A: Maestro is an electronic PIN-based debit network that accepts approved debit cards, such as your Cinemark PayCard, at the cash register. Food, gas, general merchandise and clothing can all be purchased using the Cinemark PayCard at Maestro locations, including such national outlets as Eckerd Drugs, Kmart, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target, Publix and almost any grocery, drug theatre and gas stations that is equipped with a pin pad at their registers.

Q: If I make a purchase at a Maestro outlet, can I receive cash back?
A: Yes. If you make a purchase using your Cinemark PayCard at a Maestro outlet, you can withdraw cash on the spot, without having to stop at an automated teller machine. Simply follow the instructions on the card reader at the cash register and be sure to collect your money from the cashier when you make your purchase.

Q: How can I contact ComData about my eCash PayCard?
A: To reach a customer service representative call 1-800-226-3931, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also use the Voice Response Unit (VRU) at 1-800-741-6060.

Q: As a Cinemark PayCard cardholder, will I be charged any fees for balance inquiries using Cirrus ATM/Maestro machines or if I try to withdraw more than is in my account?
A: Yes. Balance inquiries and/or declined transactions at ATM machines have associated fees. Therefore, Team Members should always call a customer service representative at 1-800-226-3931 or use the Voice Response Unit (VRU) at 1-800-741-6060 to check balances. There is never a charge for calling the 1-800-Numbers. If you are unsure about your balance, call ComData customer service before using the ATM. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT CINEMARK, INC. NOR COMDATA ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ATM FEES OR ATM MACHINES THAT DO NOT DISPENSE CASH. COMDATA WILL ASSIST TEAM MEMBERS THAT HAVE NOT RECEIVED CASH FROM AN ATM BUT IT COULD TAKE UP TO 60 DAYS TO RETRIEVE.

Q: What should a cardholder do who experiences problems at an ATM machine?
A: Contact a customer service representative at 1-800-226-3931 and relay the problem. Comdata /Cinemark, Inc are not responsible for problems that occur at an ATM. Most ATM's are reliable but there are occasions that funds will not be dispersed due to a problem with that ATM. Comdata will assist the Team Member in researching the loss and will reimburse the funds on an eCash card when the funds are sent to Comdata. (This could be up to 60 days) Team Members may want to use the other options to assure they receive their funds.

Q: What should a cardholder do in the event of a lost or stolen card?
A: Immediately upon discovering that your Cinemark PayCard may be missing, you should contact the ComData Customer Service Dept. at 1-800-226-3931 so they may block your card and assist you in obtaining your funds. Remember that your card cannot be used by anyone else since they don't know your secret PIN number. You must also contact the payroll department so they may issue you a new card.

Q: What should a cardholder do if he/she forgets the PIN number?
A: Contact the Customer Service Department at 1-800-226-3931 for specific instructions on how to obtain the PIN number.

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911:  The Road to Tyranny