Schlumberger announced it will produce smart cards south of the border.

The company said it would do so in partnership with Printer, Mexico's largest maker of magnetic stripe cards. Schlumberger-Printer, the new venture, will be 80%-owned by the French smart card maker.

Printer makes more than 20 million plastic cards a year and prints checks and currency.

Schlumberger-Printer will supply smart cards to Banco Bilbao de Viscaya, a major Mexican financial institution, for field trials of Visa Cash in 1997.

Printer also will make cards for the Mexican government's Pase program, under which millions of smart cards will be issued for health, social security, and welfare.

Schlumberger also announced formation of the Schlumberger Associates Program, designed to create a network for pivotal smart card business segments.

The French company will lend its expertise and market position to North American companies pursuing business opportunities with smart cards. The program targets application developers and systems integrators as well as distributors and consultants.

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