Smile, the Internet banking service recently started by Co-operative Bank, said it will issue smart cards supplied by Schlumberger.

The bank is offering Visa gold and classic credit cards as well as a Smile debit card with chips embedded in the plastic.

The computer chip on a card affords "exceptional levels of security" and "a tremendous opportunity to add value to our services," said Keith Girling, head of technology at smile.co.uk.

Schlumberger Smart Cards and Terminals, which is also supplying cards to the competing Internet bank Egg, "is helping us plan for tomorrow's e-commerce and mobile banking services," Mr. Girling said.

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