The Pathways Group, Inc. announced Wednesday that it has entered into a Letter of Intent with Proton World, the international end-to-end smart card solutions provider, based in Brussels, Belgium. The aim of the Letter of Intent, is to establish a series of comprehensive, non-exclusive business relationship agreements which will license Pathways to develop applications on the Proton platform, integrate Pathways existing applications on to the Proton platform and to operate the back office transaction processing under the Proton security system. The agreement also anticipates the use of the Proton System on Pathways proprietary Sprinticket unattended Point-of-Sale kiosks and other integrated systems.
! Proton World was created by major smart card industry players (American Express, Banksys, ERG, Interpay Nederland, and Visa International) to enhance international smart card and electronic purse standards. Proton is currently the world’s largest electronic purse platform, licensed in 15 countries with 30 million smart cards issued and accepted at 230,000 terminals. The platform provides a complete set of powerful and easy-to-use building blocks. Proton’s technology is the most broadly implemented in national rollouts (Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland have national schemes of Proton-based smart cards) in both number of transactions and installed terminal base. In Belgium alone, the Proton card was used for more than 3.3 million transactions in February 1999.
The multi-functionality of the Proton electronic purse systems is one of the keys to the success of this platform. It is suitable for multiple applications because it can replace several means of payment (such as cash and telephone cards) and can function in various environments (including public transport ticketing and Internet payments). Proton not only provides a reliable, convenient, and secure electronic purse, but also responds to global requirements for system integration and multi-application support, useful in today’s world and vital in the emerging virtual world of tomorrow.
Joining the ranks of worldwide Proton licensees will strengthen Pathways’ existing product offerings. Under the terms of the Letter of Intent, Proton will provide Processing, Development, and System Integration licenses which will allow Pathways’ software to operate within the Proton platform for their hardware technology used in point of sale and automated ticketing systems. Pathways’ plans to use the Proton System to install integrated smart card systems at retailers, theaters, amusement parks, and resorts. This will allow Pathways to provide a full suite of services to its clients, including custom applications, card fulfillment and personalization, as well as credit and debit card processing. In addition to electronic purse applications, smart cards can be used for scrip and loyalty programs, telephone services, security access, medical and healthcare services, and secure payments on the Internet.
Carey Daly, President and CEO of The Pathways Group, has recently returned from a trip to Europe, where he met with the senior management of Proton World in Brussels. Subsequently, Mr. Armand Linkens, Managing Director of Proton World visited the Senior Executives of Pathways, in their Santa Rosa, California facility. The result of these meetings was the subject letter of intent, which has led to current contract negotiations.
Mr. Daly was quoted as saying, “At long last, Pathways has secured the missing piece in our business strategy to position Pathways as the leader in transaction processing in the United States. Pathways can now offer credit card, debit card and smart card transaction processing from one terminal through one provider. Merchants will enjoy custom tailored loyalty schemes while riding on a secure, open system, payment card. We can now offer credit card issuing banks their own chip card with an internationally recognized system of security and infrastructure. Our existing products become more robust because we now have the strength of a system, which has been time and field proven, in the open system arena. Our target markets have expanded dramatically as a result of this agreement and our existing client base will be afforded yet another layer of functionality and versatility. Not only does this open up the opportunity to integrate a platform for secure Internet transactions, it also means that this same security can be applied to secure Internet access, a major problem in our industry. The PROTON platform will allow Pathways to successfully compete with every other smart card business on a global scale. Finally, I believe this partnership will mark a major turning point in our business model. We are, needless to say, very proud to deliver this opportunity to our clients and our shareholders.”
The Pathways Group, Inc. provides clients with innovative and unique solutions for securely creating, capturing and processing data and electronic transactions using custom application software and hardware systems. The company was established in 1987 by Carey Daly and has evolved into a leader in the development of custom software and hardware for electronic banking, data and transaction processing, and smart card applications. Pathways creation of proprietary “back office” systems allows for the capture and processing of data and transfer of funds via “ACH” protocol, the standard used in the banking industry for transfer of funds in retail, medical and institutional environments.
SOURCE Pathways Group, Incorporated