Ontario, a Canadian city of 100,000, as the next testing ground for its smart card system. With a full-scale test up and running in Swindon, England, and a small pilot under way for employees of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank, Mondex inked agreements with two Canadian banks earlier this year to franchise the system. The Canadian test was announced last week at a joint news conference with Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Bell Canada, the telephone company that has agreed to be a major supplier and marketing partner. A one-year pilot of the British E-money system, developed by National Westminster Bank of London and Midland Bank, will begin in Guelph, southwest of Toronto, in mid-1996. Mondex terminals will be set up in Guelph's retail stores, restaurants, parking lots, theaters, buses, vending machines, fast food outlets, and hot dog stands. Bell Canada will adapt hundreds of payphones to accept the electronic cash. A global rollout of the program is scheduled for 1997. The system includes smart cards with embedded computer chips, electronic wallets, and smart card readers as well as point of sale terminals. Swindon was the first city to test the Mondex system, beginning last July. Mondex said more than 8,000 consumers and 75% of the community's 1,000 merchants use the system. Transactions are up to more than 20,000 per week and are increasing steadily, Mondex said.
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