ASK S.A., a world leader in dual interface contactless smart cards, announced
the ERG Group has selected them as the preferred supplier for transit
applications. ASK also announced the acquisition of the manufacturing assets
for the Venus contactless smart cards developed by Motorola, along with an
unrestricted production license, in a three-way transaction between ERG,
Motorola and ASK. Details of the transaction were not announced.
The realignment of strategy at Motorola and the ERG Group in the global
Automated Fare Collection market created this opportunity for us, said Bruno
Moreau, deputy general manager for ASK. We want to step in and take over
Motorola left off, and the first order of business is to put in place a stable
and reliable manufacturing capability for Venus smart card products. We are
optimistic that this will help us to better serve our current and future
clients, and it will stimulate the growth of the contactless smart card
industry as a whole.
The Venus technology is an operating system embedded on the chip of a smart
card. Like the other products of ASK, it is focused on high-speed contactless
smart card transactions for Automated Fare Collection applications in transit
systems. ERG transit projects such as San Francisco, Rome and Manchester
currently use the Venus technology.
ASK will continue to manufacture and market its existing line of contactless
card products for transit. The company will also capitalize on their know-how
to create a new generation Venus card that provides a migration path going
forward for customers using this technology.
To complete this transaction, the ERG Group acquired a license to Motorola s
Venus platform smart card technology along with the plant and equipment needed
for the manufacture of Venus smart cards. ERG in turn sold the manufacturing
plant and equipment to ASK and granted ASK a non-exclusive sublicense to the
About ASK S.A.
Founded in 1997, ASK is today a world leader in the design, development,
marketing and manufacturing of dual interface contactless smart cards. The
international smart card community recently recognized the company s unique
contactless paper technology for disposable ticketing at the Cartes 2001 card
show in Paris, when ASK won two prestigious 2001 SESAME awards — Best
Application and Best Transport Application. ASK has already supplied more
7 million contactless cards and paper contactless tickets that are in
in more than 35 cities in Europe, Asia and America. Clients include SNCF and
RATP in Paris; transit operators in Lisbon, Lyon, Venice, Naples, Taipei and
Nice; and BMS, a project in France sponsored jointly by the financial services
and transport industries. The ASK manufacturing and personalization
are near Nice in Sophia Antipolis, France with commercial offices in Paris and