In cooperation with Banksys, Unisource NV is extending its Internet electronic payment system to include payments using electronic purses based on the Banksys’ Proton operating system.
“This dramatically increases the number of customers who will be able to make fast, efficient and safe transactions over the Internet”, says Julian Wilson, director Unisource Smart Access. “It is also ample proof of the flexibility of our technology to accommodate various payment vehicles and systems”.
“This agreement is a first step ensuring interoperability between the different Proton technology based smart card schemes in Europe first and worldwide later ” says Armand Linkens, Banksys’ Director of Marketing and Sales, “it will benefit all Proton World members in offering an efficient application in the fast growing sector of the payments over the Internet”.
The Unisource smart access project is based on enabling users to make payments via the Internet on a low cost and secure basis, by simply using their smart card with either a PC, hand-held computer or advanced telephone screen, which needs to be equipped with a smart card reader. The money transaction provides the user with the requested result instantly, without having to go through a lengthy and costly subscription process with the information provider. The transaction also has the benefit for the merchant of being much more efficient at lower cost than other payment systems such as credit cards. Any means of Internet access, e.g. fixed line, dial-up or GSM, is suitable.
As the result of technological cooperation with Banksys, customers will be able to pay for digital goods with their local Proton based electronic purse in their own currency, independent of their own location or the nationality of the Internet merchant. The next in a series of electronic payment trials will provide customers using Proton technology the opportunity to purchase network products in a controlled environment. Following that, full scale operation of the system will be pursued.
Banksys is a subsidiary of the Belgian banks and is the national EFT/POS operator and authorisation centre. It has been created in 1989 with the merger of Bancontact and Mister cash debit card schemes. Banksys also handles all EFT/POS related activities from the design and production of payment terminals & security devices to the edition of pin mailers. Banksys has been licensing the Proton smart card scheme to 14 countries or organisations so far, all linked in a global association called Proton World. The objective of this organisation is to promote the worldwide marketing, interoperability and multi-application of the Proton electronic smart card scheme.
Unisource NV is a pan-European telecommunications company, created in response to the changing European business environment and customers’ requirements for pan-European and global communication services. The company was established in 1992 by Telia of Sweden and PTT Telecom of the Netherlands. Swisscom of Switzerland became a partner in 1993. In 1994, Unisource gave its pan-European venture a global reach by forming a joint venture with AT&T, called AT&T-Unisource Communications Services. Unisource is also a founding equity partner with AT&T, KDD of Japan and Singapore Telecom of the WorldPartners company. AT&T-Unisource Communications Services is a member of the WorldPartners Association, which today consists of 17 telecom service providers, distributing services in over 30 countries around the world. Unisource shareholders also hold a majority stake in Infonet, whose WorldNetwork data communications services now cover 180 countries world-wide.Details