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April 11, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Savings bank Caja de Madrid has introduced its own electronic payment Visa-Cash card, designed as a substitute for cash when making small purchases and telephone calls. The initiative will begin with an $800,000 pilot project in Majadahonda, Madrid. Agreements have been reached with 250 local businesses, which have taken free delivery of the point-of-sale terminals required for recognition of the card’s special chip. Cardholders load up the card with a maximum of $200 at a time for general purchases and $40 for use with public telephones from their Caja de Madrid account. This operation can be performed at any automatic teller machine that shows the Visa-Cash sign. The card’s chip keeps a note of how much money the user has left on the card, and thus no telephone verification is required when a purchase is made. The card can be re-loaded as many times as the user wishes, or the money held can be paid back into an account. Caja de Madrid reports that for greater flexibility the card uses the same Visa- approved TIBC mask as other electronic payment cards now available or about to be launched. This same mask will also be used for Spain’s 7m health and social security Smart Cards under development by Motorola Inc (CI No 2,870). Caja de Madrid announced that the savings bank planned to spend $5.6m on the Visa-Cash initiative, of which $4m has been earmarked for the production of 6,000 point-of-sale terminals and the remaining $1.6m will cover the manufacture of the cards. There are plans to extend the scheme to other parts of Spain in the course of this year.

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