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Tuesday 4th December 2001

Montreal Implements TranSmart Fare System

Montreal's Intermunicipal Transport Board (Conseils Intermunicipaux de Transport) CIT Roussillon and Le Richelain have implemented the Scotia TranSmart Smart Card based electronic fare system. Developed by EdgeWare and implemented by Scotiabank subsidiary e-Scotia, TranSmart will allow commuters to use reloadable Smart Cards to purchase electronic tickets and passes.

Electronic tickets and passes are uploaded onto the TranSmart card using point-of-sale terminals located at existing ticket and pass distribution points throughout the Montreal region. Passes can be used for an unlimited number of rides during a specific period such as a calendar month, whereas with tickets the card balance is automatically adjusted until the number of tickets purchased runs out. Edgware claim that the card validation is processed in one third of a second.


Catuity and Cards etc. in US Agreement

Catuity and Cards etc have formed a marketing agreement targeted at the US market. The alliance will build upon the integration of the Catuity personalisation process with Cards etc's Arterium Smart Card management software system that was announced earlier this year.

The announcement also follows last month's developments which saw both companies announce deals with Visa USA. The deals saw Catuity's suite of loyalty software and technology being applied to the Visa Smart Card platform and Cards etc. become a member of the Visa Smart Partner Program.

Cards etc's Michael Walters said, "Acceptance of Smart Cards in the US market will likely succeed based on the utility the card provides to the card holder and merchant acquirers. New transaction schemes and fraud reduction, which drove Smart Card acceptance in Europe, will not likely move this technology forward in the US."


'Biometrics Too Expensive' Claim Research Group

Despite the benefits biometrics could bring to financial institutions and consumers alike, the high cost of implementing these technologies combined with a lack of industry consensus could delay its widespread use for at least a decade, according to new research by the TowerGroup.

In its latest report "Biometrics: Security for the New Millennium?", TowerGroup claim that, contrary to popular opinion, it will not be concerns over privacy that will slow widespread biometric adoption, but issues of cost.

The report claims that an institution would have to retool every customer touch-point with new biometric hardware, in addition to costs for training personnel, educating consumers through marketing materials and integrating biometric technologies with existing IT systems.


SSH Launch New Encryption Package

SSH have announced the latest version of its encryption software, SSH Secure Shell 3.1, designed to protect end users, businesses and developers from having their passwords stolen over the Internet.

The new version of Secure Shell integrates extended PKI features and interoperability for more secure digital certificates and Smart Card-based authentication, and added support for the Windows architecture.


National Semiconductor Announce Tri-Band GSM Chipset

National Semiconductor has signalled its entry into the tri-band GSM market space with the launch of its new GSM chipset which integrates a transceiver, power management chip, and analogue and digital basebands.

The chipset is now in full volume production and is claimed to be the company's smallest, lightest phone to date. The chipset's small form factor and high level of integration claim to give handset manufacturers the ability to produce a phone that is approximately the length and width of a credit card.

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