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Issue Date: September 2000 (es)

Smartcard market set to boom, driven by US acceptance

September 2000

Smart Communications, the largest GSM network operator in the Philippines and acknowledged world leader in the mobile commerce arena, has taken delivery of its first shipment of 500 000 South African-developed and produced 32K SIM cards.
Alex D. Ibasco, Head of M-Commerce Business Development at Smart Communications says the aSIMetrix SIM will enable the company, which now boasts over 3,5 million subscribers, to take its award-winning SMART Money 'electronic wallet' product forward.
JSE-listed Prism Holdings developed the aSIMetrix SIM (subscriber identification module) to allow secure, authenticated transactions across today's, and tomorrow's, GSM cellular networks.
"As we evolved our m-commerce products and services, we required higher levels of functionality not available from traditional SIM manufacturers. Prism had a close match to what we wanted and could actually deliver the SIMs we require," Ibasco explains.
SMART Money is the world's first and only reloadable electronic cash card linked to a mobile phone. SMART Money functions like an electronic wallet that can already be used to pay for everyday purchases at all global MasterCard transaction points.
"We are working on new features and capabilities that will make SMART Money more flexible and useful. Prism's aSIMetrix SIM will play a significant role in this development," Ibasco explains.
Prism's Group Marketing Director, Steven Sidley says while most SIM cards in use today are 16K, the Prism aSIMetrix SIM has 32K memory. A 64K SIM will follow later this year. "A larger memory allows operators to load more applications onto the SIM, giving them an opportunity to offer their customers a greater selection of value added services," he says.
Prism's aSIMetrix SIM is also the only SIM to offer a set of advanced cryptographic plug-ins. This ensures transaction security to the most stringent banking standards, alongside the standard GSM and WIB (wireless Internet browser) functionality found on other advanced 32K SIM cards.
"The development of the aSIMetrix SIM is the realisation of Prism's wireless strategy and plays an important role in providing the levels of security and functionality required for the widespread adoption of m-commerce," Sidley concludes.
For details contact Steven Sidley of Prism Holdings on tel: (011) 548 1000.


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