SmartCity, the multi-application and electronic purse system marketed by the ICL Smart Card Group, will be distributed in Asia by Fujistu Ltd.

Fujitsu is the parent of ICL, a London-based information technology company with $4.4 billion of revenue, of which the smart card unit is a part.

In their recent announcement of the formal distribution agreement, the companies said the tie-in with Tokyo-based Fujitsu has already resulted in installations in Thailand with Siam Commercial Bank and several universities.

"Building upon ICL's experiences in Europe and the United States and Fujitsu's excellent support infrastructure in Asia-Pacific, we are confident that smart card scheme operators in our region will consider utilizing SmartCity as the basis of their systems," said Koichi Hironishi, vice president of Fujitsu's consumer transaction systems group.

Phil Eames, director of ICL Smart Card Group, said, "Asia-Pacific is widely recognized as one of the fastest-growing smart card regions in the world. I am sure that SmartCity, with its rigorous security features, scalability, and rich functionality, will fit the requirements of Asian users.''

ICL said 1.5 million cards are in active use at 70 SmartCity sites in Europe and the United States. Among those installations are Florida State University and Fort Knox, Ky.

In a separate announcement, ICL of London said it expanded a 15-month-old alliance with Microsoft Corp. to jointly develop Windows-based applications in such areas as on-line banking, education, electronic shopping, and smart cards. The deal will include opening five "solution centers" in addition to the seven already in place, two of which are in the United States -- in Washington state and North Carolina.

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