Newsbit

ICL: Asian bank puts salaries on smart cards

Story Filed: Tuesday, March 23, 1999 2:44 PM EST

MAR 23, 1999, M2 Communications - ICL, the IT services company and Fujitsu Ltd, in partnership with the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) in Thailand, have introduced the first semi-salary card in the form of a smart card. This means that salaries are paid half in cash and half on a smart card. The SCB SmartCard system is expected to stimulate the economy through "electronic credits" transferred from the Bank to its manufacturing clients and their employees.

Currently, 200 SCB employees are piloting the system that employs audit technology on all transactions. So if the smart card is lost, stolen, or damaged it will be replaced without loss of funds. Before the end of March this year, 1,000 more cards will be issued, followed by a roll out to SCB's clients in manufacturing through an "electronic credits" initiative, putting over 20,000 cards into circulation.

The SCB SmartCard system is a multi-application, electronic purse solution and is chip/magnetic strip compatible. ICL's SmartCity technology will manage the system's back office, including card issuing, transaction processing, settlement, and database management.

Bill Simpson, marketing manager of ICL's Smart Card Group explains: "The concept will solve a very real problem for many of Thailand's employers. Now SCB can provide credit without money actually leaving the bank and the manufacturers can pay salaries, half on the smart card and half in cash.

"It also allows them to hire more employees and increase production without increasing cash outflow. And because the electronic purse system is usable in many local retailers, it will also help stimulate the local economy."

The SCB SmartCard system is a secure cashless payment system, capable of supporting two electronic purses initially: an open purse for users to load personal funds via a load-terminal and a closed purse where salaries are loaded by employers. Both purses can be used at participating retailers and at a later stage a loyalty system will encourage card usage and give employees discounts at participating stores.

Since the Asian economic crisis, it has been difficult for banks to provide cash loans or credits to manufacturers, which has been identified as an industry that will generate economic growth. In an attempt to stimulate the economy, SCB plans to provide "electronic credits" to manufacturers, which represent 15% of domestic production, through the deployment of smart cards.

"ICL has implemented similar solutions for organisations in many parts of Russia and the Ukraine but this is the first installation of its kind in Asia. The application of SmartCity technology is not exclusive to developed economies and is able to provide an immediate solution to emerging economies," concludes Simpson.

Notes to Editors

Siam Commercial Bank

SCB has gained a strong reputation for efficient and reliable services, and its utilisation of advance technology to meet international standards. The Bank has a reputation for its leadership in the development of new products and services based on recent technological advances. It was the first bank to introduce Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) and to combine a citizen identification card with an ATM. With its prestigious ISO 9002 accreditation, SCB is able to provide customers nationwide and around the globe with the highest quality of service. SCB Website: www.scb.co.th

Fujitsu Limited

Fujitsu Limited is a leading provider of information technology products and solutions for the global marketplace. Founded in Japan in 1935 as a telephone equipment maker, the Fujitsu Group had consolidated revenues of $37.7 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998. With over 500 group companies, including Amdahl and ICL, Fujitsu is one of the world's largest suppliers of computers and information systems solutions, telecommunications and semiconductor products, software and services. The Fujitsu Group has 180,000 employees worldwide and operations in more than 100 countries.

Fujitsu Systems Business (Thailand) Ltd., an affiliate of the Fujitsu Group in Thailand, was incorporated in November 1990 with 20 million baht of registered capital. Fujitsu's website http://www.fujitsu.co.jp

SmartCity

SmartCity is ICL's end-to-end multi-application smart card system that supports electronic purse, credit and debit cards, loyalty cards, identity card and many other applications. Recognised as the world's most advanced SmartCard system, SmartCity has been installed in over 60 sites worldwide with 1 million cards in use everyday.

ICL

ICL is a leading supplier of IT systems and services. Operating in over 70 countries and employing over 19,000 people, the Group's revenues for 1997 were GBP 2,477.1 million generating a pre-tax profit of GBP 30.0 million. The company implements IT systems for major projects and provides innovative services to a range of industries covering amongst others, retail, finance, travel, telecoms and utilities together with education, local and central government sectors. ICL services include outsourcing, helpdesks, network services, inter/intranets, electronic commerce, interactive kiosks, smart card systems, digital cities and web sites. ICL plans to relist on the stock market in 2000.

ICL's website: http://www.icl.com

Copyright 1994-99 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

CONTACT: Nigel Turner, ICL Tel: +44 (0)1753 555280 e-mail: nigel.turner@icl.com Sandra Richardson, ICL, Press Office Tel: +44 (0)1753 604668 Email: sandra.richardson@icl.com Shelley Facius/Shavaun Glen, Firefly Communications Tel: +44 (0)171 381 4505 e-mail: sglen@firefly.co.uk





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