Giesecke & Devrient America Inc. said its Starcos smart card system was selected by Netlink Transaction Systems Corp. for a major payroll automation program in Mexico.
Netlink developed the system, Metacard, for a Mexican subsidiary of Metaco LLC, Rochester, N.Y., to pay workers at maquiladora plants near the U.S. border.
Most of the workers do not have bank accounts, and Mexican law requires that they be paid in cash. Metacard provides access to a "virtual bank account."
Besides a chip for multiple applications including electronic purses and a digital image of the employee, each card has bar codes for time-and- attendance registration and a magnetic stripe for access to bank accounts by people who have them.
The system gives banks "a low-cost way to service the large percentage of the population that is economically unbankable," said Donald Sweet, president of Netlink, based in Victor, N.Y.
In a year and a half, $1.2 million has been loaded on the cards. Metaco was a nominee for the Smart Card Industry Association's 1998 application of the year award, which went to the Seoul Bus Association in Korea.