Philips Semiconductors said it has begun volume production of Mifare Pro dual-interface smart cards, which can combine banking and transportation uses on a single card.

The unit of Royal Philips Electronics said initial projects are under way and all major card makers are designing software for Mifare Pro, which is based on a widely deployed contactless technology well suited for high- volume, mass-transit operations.

The tie-in with transportation can assure banks of a "critical mass" of cardholders for any electronic purse or related application. Conversely, a transit operator could avoid having to issue its own cards by loading a fare application on bank cards.

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