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October 28, 1999

Big Three Card Companies Endorse ActivCard

By CBR Staff Writer

Europe’s three biggest credit card processors have certified ActiveReader, creating massively expanded market potential for the latest product of the Suresnes, France smartcard company, ActivCard SA. The company’s smartcard reader has been certified for use with the credit cards of the Europay, Mastercard and Visa – the so-called EMV group. Between them these company’s have circulated 1 billion smartcards in France, Germany and the Benelux region, a total that dwarfs the European population of 200 million cards which ActiveReader had previously been able to process.

ActiveCard now expects to sell around 200,000 of its compact and customisable card readers in the next 12 months, at a price of between $50 and $100. Around half of this figure is expected to be accounted for by CyberCom, a consortium of French banks with which Activecard already has a contract. The company also expects to increase sales outside France, having recently opened new offices in London, Stockholm and Munich. The UK and Germany are particular targets for the company, which wants to increase their current 10% contribution to annual sales to around 25%, or $3m.

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