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Thursday 19 April 2001

ERG-PCL and Partners Introduce Smart Cards into South Wales

A demonstration project funded by The National Assembly for Wales, known as the "SWIFT Smart Card Scheme" is now operational. The introduction of the system, designed and installed by ERG, was made possible due to a National Assembly grant of 600,000 awarded in July 2000 to the SWIFT (South Wales Integrated Fast Transit) consortium of authorities in South Wales. The purpose of the grant was to establish a Smart Card scheme in the Caerphilly to Cardiff public transport corridor. The scheme will demonstrate the potential of the technology in light of the decision to introduce free concessionary travel throughout Wales from April 2002.

Specification, procurement and management of the contract is being undertaken by MVA which was appointed following earlier work on ticketing for SWIFT. MVA has experience in the development of the United Kingdom public transport interoperability specification for Integrated Transport Smart card Organisation Limited (ITSO) and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR).

The system supply and data management is being undertaken by ERG which has outsourced the card issuing, card management, transaction processing and Call Centre to Prepayment Cards Limited (PCL) - the joint company of ERG, the three largest transport operators in the UK and Sema Group - and initially covers the Caerphilly district. ERG will receive approximately $1.5 million for the initial contract which allows for further expansion throughout the SWIFT authorities with the consequential benefits of economies of scale being shared with the local authorities.

The initial roll-out will involve the issue of approximately 30,000 cards to all Caerphilly residents eligible for concessionary travel and the provision of readers on all buses operating between Caerphilly and Cardiff. Expansion to the entire Cardiff Bus and Stagecoach Wales & West fleet of almost 600 vehicles will be completed during April and May enabling Caerphilly CBC to undertake the majority of its concessionary travel reimbursement through smart cards later this year.

The issue and distribution of the Concessionary Travel cards is being undertaken on behalf of ERG-PCL by Post Office Counters Ltd and ESP Systex. All cards will be personalised with a photograph and are expected to have a life of at least three years before reissue is required.

Contact: Tim Burke, ERG Group
Tel: +44 (0)1204 384709
Fax: +44 (0)1204 384806


VeriFone Celebrates 20th Anniversary

VeriFone, a division of Hewlett-Packard Company, has announced that it is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The company also announced its Verix Innovation awards, a program to recognise the most innovative multi-application solutions based on VeriFone's Verix platform in use by customers around the world.

Pierre-Francois Catte, vice president and general manager of VeriFone, explained: "Our Verix Innovation award program gives us the opportunity to personally recognise customers and developers, and share their achievements with the market."

Contact: Jennifer Gordon, Eastwick PR (for VeriFone)
Tel: +1 650 480 4012


ValiCert and Baltimore Partner

ValiCert, a provider of trust solutions for electronic business transactions, and Baltimore Technologies, a specialist in e-Security, have formed an alliance to combine the ValiCert Validation Authority solution with Baltimore's UniCERT public key infrastructure (PKI) system. Through this new OEM arrangement, Baltimore's customers will be able to instantly check the validity of corporate and individual credentials, facilitating electronic transactions that are protected against revoked or suspended digital certificates.

"The combination of Baltimore UniCERT and ValiCert VA provides businesses with the trust infrastructure they need to conduct high-value transactions with confidence," said John O'Sullivan, executive vice president of engineering, Baltimore Technologies.

Web site:
Web site:


Cards etc Appointment

Sydney, Australia-based Cards etc, developer of Arterium - the transaction infrastructure management system for multi-application Smart Cards - has appointed Walter Greenberg as Vice President, Global Accounts. Previously he worked for MasterCard International in New York, where he initially headed the Smart Card-focused stored value product management group and then served as Vice President of Global Chip Card Business Development, overseeing Smart Card activities around the world.

Contact: Richard Leather, Cards etc
Tel: +612 9212 7773
Web site:

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