Mondex has granted Unisys Corp. a license to help sell and deploy its electronic cash technology worldwide.
Unisys, based in Blue Bell, Pa., offers Mondex extensive experience in retail bank clearing and settlement systems and other payment systems. The company, reaching beyond its historical focus on computer manufacturing, said it is well suited to help the electronic payments industry move toward stored-value card technology.
Mondex, which was developed by National Westminster Bank of the United Kingdom, has manufacturing agreements with Hitachi, Panasonic, and Oki America Inc., among others. Natwest and Midland Bank, working closely with British Telecom, are testing the chip-card-based technology in the British town of Swindon.
In a partnership with Keycorp, an Australian terminal and smart card manufacturer unrelated to the Cleveland-based bank of the same name, Unisys will be able to provide Mondex licensees with equipment, consulting, servicing, and operating systems.
The Unisys agreement extends the "possibilities (of Mondex's) reaching the marketplace with a broader list of products that offer additional features," said Edward R. Berryman, Unisys' vice president of electronic commerce.
Unlike Mondex's other suppliers, he said, "Unisys offers full end-to-end service for its clients, including help with product selection, system integration, deployment, merchandising of devices to consumers and merchants, support in the field, and quick delivery of replacement products."
The company is "excited about Mondex - a clearly advanced, workable scheme," that has the potential for being one of the major stored-value players in the world, said Andrew Neill, Unisys' relationship manager for Mondex.
As banking companies adopt Mondex, they will "almost without exception require the assistance of systems integration firms," said Timothy J. Stewart, executive vice president, Mondex International, the newly recruited head of the Americas region.
The agreement is nonexclusive, and Unisys said it plans to work with any smart card company requested by its clients.
However, Mondex will be recommended to Unisys' clients that are looking to implement such types of programs. The target audience is financial services companies, health clubs, hospitals, and technology companies, like Microsoft, that would be interested in issuing the Mondex brand.