The Global Chipcard Alliance, a standards-setting effort initiated by telecommunications companies, said the German smart card company Orga has become its 18th member.

Jurgen Kempe, Orga's group sales and marketing director, pointed out that the company is a leader in smart cards designed to work with mobile phone systems. It has also done considerable work in multiple-application cards, an area in which the Global Chipcard Alliance is trying to promote cross-system and cross-industry interoperability.

The alliance "is working to provide consumers a worldwide, cross- industry smart card network as well as an easy way to identify the devices where those cards will be accepted, serviced, and protected," said David Anastasi, president of the group and general manager of US West Public Services.

"Orga's industry experience and commitment add great value to the already significant list of GCA members and their accomplishments," Mr. Anastasi added.

Those numbers include the prominent telecommunications companies in Canada, Germany, Malaysia, and the Netherlands, as well as American Express Co., Gemplus Group, Microsoft Corp., and Oracle Corp.

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