Modern Computer Systems Inc. and its Interactive Cyber- Television subsidiary, known as IC-TV, have announced a strategic alliance with Gemplus International of France.

The French company is to supply smart cards and other support, particularly technology for customer loyalty programs. Some Gemplus managers are to join IC-TV's executive advisory committee to help explore global business opportunities using smart cards.

IC-TV said it seeks to form "the industry's first fully integrated mass- media platform" and "build virtual bridges between the worlds of smart cards and mass media."

The combination of interactive media and smart cards will "allow the company to capture a large data base of information at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods," the company said.

IC-TV, based in Canada, developed Cashfinger, a system for making interactive TV transactions without a set-top box. The company counts Gemplus Canada among its strategic partners, and it has worked with financial institutions in the Mondex smart card venture's Canadian franchise.

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