Intellect Electronics Inc., the Australian terminal manufacturer, has snagged a career banker and veteran of the smart card industry to craft its global strategy.
The company announced at the CardTech/SecurTech West conference the appointment of Robin Townend, a former MasterCard International executive, as senior vice president of smart card strategy.
Mr. Townend, an early booster of smart card technology, spent 27 years at Barclays Bank PLC of London, rising to senior research manager of card technologies.
He spent two years as MasterCard's senior vice president of chip card technology. He was let go in May, as the U.S.-based card association shifted its focus from MasterCard Cash to the Mondex smart card platform.
At age 47, Mr. Townend is embarking on a new role on the supplier side, promoting equipment to the very people he worked closely with during his banking and MasterCard days. Though the slim, silver-haired Englishman said he's "no salesman," he will be calling on those contacts to win their business.
Mr. Townend had been in discussions with Intellect since he left MasterCard. "I can give them an idea of what bankers want," he said in an interview.
Dividing his time among the U.S., European, Australian, and Asian markets where Intellect has a presence, Mr. Townend will report to Graeme Inchley, chief executive officer of the Perth-based company.
Intellect, which opened an office in San Jose, Calif., last year, saw smart cards as an opportunity to make inroads into the U.S. terminal market, where Verifone Inc. is a dominant force.
Recently, Thomas G. Ream was lured away from Redwood City, Calif.-based Verifone to become president of Intellect in the United States. Mr. Ream headed Verifone's international division, and most recently was in charge of its newly created Professional Services unit. A vice president, he had been with Verifone for close to 10 years.
"At the moment people ask, 'Intellect who?'" said Mr. Townend, but he noted the maker of smart card terminals and electronic wallets sells to big manufacturers like NCR Corp., Unisys, International Business Machines Corp., and Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc.
"One of my roles will be to provide visibility" for the upstart technology firm, he said.
Joseph Schuler, executive vice president of marketing for Schlumberger, the French smart card manufacturer with U.S. headquarters in Morristown, N.J., said Mr. Townend's "wealth of knowledge" would be an asset to Intellect, a company Schlumberger expects to do business with in the near future.