The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd has installed Syntellect’s Mondex smartcard technology in Hong Kong as part of the world’s biggest full-scale launch of the Mondex electronic cash system.
HongkongBank installed 52 ports of VocalPoint IVR (interactive voice response) technology from Syntellect which, combined with Syntellect’s Mondex device support software developed with the bank, allows Mondex smartcard transactions to be conducted automatically over a telephone line.
With the new Syntellect system, Mondex cardholders can use telephones or Point of Sale terminals to transfer money from their bank accounts to their Mondex cards and from their cards to their accounts remotely at any time. Retailers can automatically upload Mondex funds from POS transaction terminals directly into their bank accounts at the end of the day, or when a predetermined amount of Mondex money has been received from shoppers.
“We have used Syntellect IVR equipment successfully as a standard for many years across several hundred telephone lines, and we found that Syntellect was as responsive as it was enthusiastic about developing the new Mondex smartcard device support,” states Tim Cureton, HSBC Head of Group Telecommunications.
A full-scale launch of the Mondex cash system in Hong Kong occurred on Nov. 10th following an earlier pilot in 1996. More than 5,000 local merchants have agreed to accept Mondex cards for payments, and all HongkongBank and Hang Seng Bank (another HSBC Group subsidiary) customers are eligible for Mondex cards.
To date, the Hong Kong program has proved very successful with more than 50,000 cards issued or under application.
The concept of electronic cash is rapidly gaining acceptance and Mondex implementations continue to take place around the world. Mondex is currently being used in 21 locations across the globe from Australia to Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Philippines, UK and USA. By the end of 1997, Mondex International will have produced more than 1 million cash-reloadable Mondex cards; this figure is expected to rise to 5 million reloadable cards by the end of 1998.
This announcement is the latest step in Syntellect’s commitment to helping banks implement the Mondex electronic cash system. Syntellect is now certified as an official Mondex supplier.
Syntellect has also signed a joint marketing and development agreement with the Amdahl SmartCard Group, a division of Amdahl Corporation, the computer software, services and systems company. While Syntellect’s IVR software allows Mondex transactions to take place automatically over a telephone line, Amdahl provides a hardware and software host system that gives financial organizations value transfer, value management, audit, settlement and reporting capabilities for Mondex. Through this partnership, Syntellect and Amdahl have already implemented their Mondex solutions at locations in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Syntellect is also pursuing partnerships with other suppliers which provide Mondex card interface devices or host systems.
Mondex International Ltd
Mondex International grants licenses to franchisees to allow them to exploit the Mondex electronic cash technology in a given territory. Since its incorporation in 1996, Mondex has issued 29 franchises across 5 continents. Mondex is being developed by franchisees in over 50 countries, representing a potential market place of more than 3 billion people.
Mondex is the most ‘cash-like’ of the electronic cash smartcards which are beginning to be introduced around the world as a more efficient alternative to physical cash; for use in everyday shopping and as a future payment mechanism in a wide variety of areas such as the Internet and ‘pay-per-view’ TV.
Mondex is the only electronic cash system in the world to operate with a single global technology allowing for cross-country payments. It allows up to five different currencies to be carried on the card at any one time in separate electronic pockets.
MasterCard International acquired 51% of the company in February 1997 and has decided to adopt Mondex International’s technology as its future choice of strategic chip platform.
The following companies are also shareholders (directly or indirectly) in Mondex International: National Westminster Bank, Ulster Bank, Scotiabank, Credit Union Central of Canada, The National Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Canada Trust, Le Mouvement des caisses Desjardins, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Midland Bank, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Chase Manhattan, First Chicago NBD, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand), Bank of New Zealand, Countrywide Banking Corporation, The National Bank of New Zealand, ASB Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation (New Zealand).
Mondex H8/3109 smartcard chip
The new H8/3109 customized smartcard chip being used features an on-board crypto co-processor, and offers 8Kbytes of EEPROM and 14Kbytes of ROM allowing for high-speed numerical calculations and the longer key lengths which are required for public key algorithms, such as RSA, DSA, Zero Knowledge and others.
Further information regarding Mondex is available on their web site at: .
HSBC Group (HSBC Holdings plc)
HSBC Holdings plc., the holding company of the HSBC Group, whose major subsidiaries include The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd., Midland Bank in the UK, Marine Midland Bank in USA, HSBC Bamerindus in Brazil and others, is among the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations. The company has more than 5,000 offices in 78 countries and assets in excess of 270 billion Pounds Sterling.
Syntellect Inc. is a global leader in interactive communications. More than 3,000 organizations in 55 countries rely on Syntellect’s advanced systems and services to communicate with their customers. Founded in 1984, Syntellect offers a comprehensive range of products and services including powerful interactive voice response and predictive dialing technology, as well as outsourced solutions through Syntellect Interactive Services. Syntellect is headquartered in Atlanta with regional operations in Phoenix and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit the Syntellect Web site at .Details