General Instrument's Digital Interactive Cable TV Set-Top Terminals to Become The Latest New Acceptance Device for Visa Smart Cards

General Instrument and Visa to Expand Reach of Visa

Open Platform and Visa Cash

Dec 10, 1998, 00:00 ET from General Instrument Corporation

    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
     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
     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