Mondex Co-Develops Wireless Pay System

LONDON - Mondex International has teamed up with Vodafone AirTouch on a system that permits small-value cash payments over the latter's wireless phone network.The system, demonstrated at last month's Cartes '99 conference in Paris, uses the European cellular telephone standard, GSM - Global System for Mobile communications - which requires a smart card to authenticate the customer. This subscriber identity card was supplied to Mondex by Giesecke & Devrient of Germany, with the payment capability added on.

"This is exactly the sort of cutting-edge technology we would like to be involved in rolling out globally," said Paul Donovan, marketing director at Vodafone, which has made a high-profile takeover bid for another top wireless provider, Mannesmann of Germany.

Mondex, a subsidiary of MasterCard International, is making a strong bid for the emerging wireless payment market, saying its low-cost, card-to-card transfer capability is best suited to small, spontaneous network purchases. Giesecke & Devrient executive vice president Klaus Vedder said, "Mondex has the edge [in the GSM area] as a platform for electronic commerce."

Firm Picks Microsoft's Chip-Card System

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Amazing Smart Card Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Publicard Inc. of Fairfield, Conn., said it has chosen the Microsoft Windows for Smart Card system. It will become part of SmartPassky, a system for storing and managing passwords and identification data of heavy Internet users.Amazing Smart Card intends to use Windows for all consumer applications as it moves from a proprietary platform to "a worldwide, leading-edge smart card system operating system," said company president and chief executive officer Don Witmer.

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