Verifone Inc., a unit of Hewlett-Packard Co., announced that its Verismart system has been formally endorsed as an option for participants in the Visa Partner Program. Verismart, a client/server technology introduced last year for managing multiple-application smart card programs with a wide range of card-reading devices, is being used by Citibank in the New York City smart card trial.

In that demonstration of cross-system interoperability, Citibank is offering Visa Cash cards to customers on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and Chase Manhattan Bank is issuing Mondex cards.

Thomas J. Kilcoyne, vice president and general manager of Verifone's consumer systems division, said Verismart and "Visa's smart card leadership" would constitute a "powerful combination."

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