Fischer International Systems Corporation announced Tuesday that its Smarty Smart Card Reader has been certified by Mondex International with a Type Approval Certificate to work with Mondex International’s smart card and electronic cash smart card payment systems used by financial institutions worldwide. The Smarty smart card reader looks like a 3.5 inch diskette, has a slot in the back for a smart card, and fits into any personal computer’s 3.5 inch floppy disk drive to access smart card information. With Smarty, Mondex cash cardholders can use their personal computer and the Internet to access their bank accounts and add cash to their smart cards from the convenience of home, 24 hours a day.
“We are pleased that Mondex International has type approved Smarty, one of the most innovative smart card devices we’ve seen come to market,” said Jim Rudd, chief technology officer for Mondex USA, an independent company that is commercially developing Mondex in the US. “Smarty’s adaptability to existing PC technology and its ease of use will surely encourage electronic cash and smart card acceptance by US consumers.”
The Mondex card is the most `cash-like’ of the electronic cash smart cards on the market today. Such cards are being 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 product which allows for person-to-person payments in both the real and the virtual world,” said Chris Potts, Deputy CEO, Mondex International. “An integral enabler for Mondex as a payment in electronic commerce will be smart card readers such as the Smarty and it is the technical innovation and expertise of companies like Fischer that are helping to make Mondex a global reality.”
“Fischer International is delighted to achieve this partnership status with Mondex International,” said Michael S. Battaglia, president and chief executive officer for Fischer. “Smarty is an enabling technology that provides a key link between consumers’ Mondex cash cards and their PCs. We believe electronic cash systems like Mondex are changing the way people think about money, shopping and commerce. Smarty can help bring that `new way to pay’ directly into the comfort and convenience of the home.”
Smarty, announced by Fischer International earlier this year, has been featured on CNN, Fox News, and CNN fn, as well as in numerous publications including BusinessWeek. Smarty is unique among smart card readers because it is the only one that works from the 3.5 inch drive, which is standard in most PCs and laptops now in use worldwide. Smarty bridges the gap between smart cards and personal computers.
Smarty is being pilot tested and evaluated initially as part of financial applications for electronic banking transactions and general business for corporate network access control applications. Companies evaluating Smarty include most major banks, Visa, and The Telia Group (Sweden). Smarty supports smart cards from Schlumberger and Gemplus.
About Mondex International
Mondex International is a smart card technology company, best known for the Mondex electronic cash product. Mondex electronic cash is being developed by franchisees in 50 countries representing a potential market place of in excess of 3 billion. Mondex is also the only electronic cash system in the world to operate with a single global technology allowing for cross-country payments.
Mondex is currently being used in 16 implementations around the world including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Philippines, UK and USA. By the end of 1997, Mondex International will have produced in excess of 1,000,000 reloadable Mondex cards; this figure is expected to rise to 5,000,000 reloadable cards by the end of 1998.
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 remaining 49 percent is owned by twenty-seven other major organizations across Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. Further information regarding Mondex is available on their web site at [www.mondex.com].
About Mondex USA
Headquartered in San Francisco, Mondex USA was formed in April 1997 as an independent and separate company from Mondex International that is commercially developing Mondex electronic cash for the US market. The company is owned by seven financial service organizations: AT&T Universal Card Services, Chase Manhattan, First Chicago NBD, MasterCard, Michigan National Bank, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Discover, and Wells Fargo. To learn more, visit Mondex USA’s web site at [www.mondexusa.com].
About Fischer International Systems Corporation
Fischer International Systems Corporation (FISC) develops, markets and supports a family of enterprise-wide office automation and computer products, including TAO(TM) for messaging and the SmartDisk product line. FISC sells and supports its products to a diverse international customer base. The company is headquartered in Naples, Florida and has offices in North America and Europe. Contact Fischer International at [www.fisc.com].