As befits a subsidiary of one of the corporate world's most prolific research and development machines, AT&T Universal Card Services owns or has access to enough technology to dazzle any prospective buyer.

Much of it is exploratory, such as the company's 10% stake in the Mondex USA smart card franchise. AT&T executives do not expect such activities to have much bearing on negotiations that will focus on $14 billion of credit card receivables.

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