Mondex Canada has chosen Sherbrooke, Quebec, for its third communitywide rollout of the electronic cash technology.

The Canadian franchise has been operating its inaugural system in Guelph, Ontario, for more than a year. It recently reported 12,000 cardholders, 560 merchant participants, and $2 million of cash value loaded on the cards.

Mondex also is converting a Kingston, Ontario, trial to its technology. The Kingston participants-Bank of Montreal, Canada Trust, and Toronto- Dominion Bank-changed course from the Belgian Proton technology when they joined the country's other major financial institutions in Mondex Canada.

Visa, with Bank of Nova Scotia still in its corner, has reported issuing 20,000 smart cards in a 500-merchant program in Barrie, Ontario.

The Sherbrooke region, centered about 25 miles north of the Vermont border, will give Mondex its first French Canadian exposure.

"Our experience here will assist us in planning the eventual expansion of Mondex nationally," said Joanne De Laurentiis, president of Mondex Canada. "Quebecers have always been leaders in the adoption of new payment systems, as evidenced by their keen interest in and early adoption of debit cards."

Ms. De Laurentiis, who headed the national Interac debit network before taking the Mondex job in September, said the Sherbrooke launch will require a few months of planning.

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