Electronic payment supplier, Verifone has unveiled a hand-held smart card device which lets consumers download electronic cash over the Internet.
The personal ATM, smartcard reader/writer integrates with Verifone?s existing client/server Verismart system enabling users to connect to their bank account and download electronic cash into their home or office.
According to Thomas Kilcoyne, general manager of the consumer systems division at Verifone, the company plans to partner with other consumer appliance manufacturers to develop further technologies around the system.
These will include organisations like Mondex International who supply a global electronic cash smartcard, Gemplus and Web TV Networks. ?Smart cards look like credit cards, but they hold a hundred times more data? said Kilcoyne.
One advantage of an ?electronic purse? or smart card is that it can be used instead of fumbling for pocket change at car park tellers or ticket booths etc. Also, if the card is lost or stolen its contents can only be accessed by the original owner.
Andy Courtneidge, head of the new smart card division at UK consultants OSI , believes the smart card market is really starting to take off. ?Ninety five percent of cards in use today are still magnetic strip but we are definitely seeing a move to smartcards,? he said.
Verifone?s Personal ATM can also be used to load airline loyalty miles, individual healthcard insurance, telephone and utility account information and a range of other personal services. The product will begin shipping later this year.
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