American Banknote Corp. said its Australian subsidiary, Leigh-Mardon, has formed a joint smart card venture with Gemplus of France.
The companies said they will make cards in Melbourne, their base for marketing systems and services in Australia and New Zealand. They said they will pursue multiple applications such as GSM mobile phones, health care, multimedia, and transportation, as well as banking and payments.
Australia has been a relatively active smart card market, having seen trials by MasterCard and Visa and the formation of a Mondex franchise. The province of Victoria has chosen Gemplus technology for its project of automating government and community services by 2001.
American Banknote chairman and chief executive officer Morris Weissman said he expects Australia's $32 million smart card market to double in three to four years.