HORSHAM, Pa. and SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardholders using
a Visa smart card could soon be able to access new interactive services over
their cable television network, according to Visa International and General
Instrument Corporation (NYSE: GIC).
Visa and General Instrument have signed a memorandum of understanding
which would enable GI's broadband digital network system to accept Visa
branded multi-function smart cards. Under a more definitive agreement, the
Visa Open Platform would be made available to broadband network operators and
integrated by GI for implementation on advanced interactive digital set-tops
and systems. The Visa Open Platform is a flexible non-proprietary platform
that enables the fast and easy development of globally interoperable multiple
application smart card systems. The agreement would further expand the
acceptance of the Visa Open Platform into yet another industry sector. Last
month, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) agreed to
use the Open Platform as a basis for specifications to enable smart cards to
be loaded with applications via GSM mobile phones.
Philip Yen, senior vice president, Emerging Products at Visa
International, said: "We are delighted that support for the Visa Open
Platform across different industry sectors continues to grow. There must be a
truly open standard for smart card technology that not only benefits the
financial sector but the entire smart card industry. GI's commitment to offer
the Visa Open Platform to network operators furthers the creation of a common
technological base which will enable the banking industry to work with the
cable TV industry to offer joint services to their customers."
Visa and GI will explore ways to integrate payment and other interactive
services into Visa multi-function smart cards, GI's interactive digital set-
top terminals and GI's digital network hardware and software. This will
maximize the benefits to end-users and generate more revenue for network
Visa cardholders will have potential access to a variety of interactive
services, such as TV-shopping, pay-per-view using Visa Cash, home banking,
loyalty and electronic coupons. Added Mr. Yen: "Being able to use your Visa
smart card over the digital TV network creates a world of new opportunities.
One example would be to down load special offers or coupons from a TV
advertisement onto your Visa smart card. As long as there are common
standards, the scope to develop new applications is almost limitless."
Denton Kanouff, Vice President of Marketing for General Instrument's
Digital Network Systems, said, "GI's digital system delivers real-time
interactive digital services for broadband network operators including Video-
on-Demand, Internet access and e-mail. This is another example of the
flexibility, evolvability and power of GI's platform. Visa is an innovator in
offering new consumer payment conveniences and we are sure our collaboration
can deliver attractive new services for consumers and operators."
As part of a more definitive agreement, Visa and GI plan to undertake a
number of joint activities including prototype development and market testing.
It is anticipated that GI will provide interactive digital consumer set-top
terminals and network systems while Visa will ensure the systems architecture
can process payment and other smart card services conveniently and securely.
General Instrument Corporation (NYSE: GIC) is a leading worldwide provider
of integrated and interactive broadband access solutions, teaming with its
business partners to lead the convergence of the Internet, telecommunications
and video entertainment industries. Visit GI at web site http://www.gic.com.
As the "World's Best Way to Pay", Visa is the leading payment brand and
the largest consumer payment system worldwide with more volume than all other
major payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new
payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 Member financial
institutions and their cardholders. Visa has more than 70 smart card programs
in 33 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards,
including more than eight million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering Secure
Electronic Transaction (SET) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce.
There are more than 620 million Visa-branded cards, which generate over
US$1.2 trillion in annual volume. Visa is accepted at more than 15 million
worldwide locations, including over 450,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM
Network. Visa's Internet address is www.visa.com.
Notes To Editors:
About the Visa Open Platform
Visa's Open Platform is a collection of specifications and technologies
that define the foundation for the deployment and growth of the secure,
multifunction smart card. With the Visa Open Platform, software developers
can create programs that run on a wide variety of chips and operating systems,
enabling banks and financial institutions to develop their own smart cards on
which they can run numerous programs, providing their customers with a broad
array of value-added functions. A strong proponent of open systems, Visa
International has made the Visa Open Platform specification freely available
to all interested parties.
About Visa Cash
Visa Cash is an electronic purse or stored value card which serves as a
fast and convenient alternative to cash and coins for small purchases. Visa
Cash stores monetary value which is electronically deducted from the card each
time it is used. The amount of the purchase is then transferred to the
merchant's account. In many cases, it is the first step that a bank will take
in implementing a multi-function smart card program. With the advent of the
Common Electronic Purse Specifications, Visa Cash will become a globally
interoperable electronic purse card.
The Common Electronic Purse Specifications (CEPS) are being developed by
Visa International, Visa Espana/SERMEPA of Spain, ZKA of Germany, and Europay
International. The Specifications, due to be published in December of this
year, will provide global interoperability for electronic purse cards
worldwide. In addition to the four organizations developing CEPS, commitment
to adopt the Specifications has also been announced by SSB in Italy, Proton
World International, the National Banks in Sweden, and NETS in Singapore.
More than 90 percent of the worlds electronic purse cards will become
interoperable based on CEPS.
SOURCE General Instrument Corporation