Mondex International Ltd, the MasterCard-owned smart card and electronic wallet-based electronic payment system, appears to have won its first heavyweight seal of approval. Existing investor AT&T Corp will integrate Mondex with its SecureBuy web hosting service. Hewlett-Packard Co and OpenMarket Inc are also working with AT&T on SecureBuy-Mondex integration. Testing with selected merchants will start this summer, and the company hopes to integrate the two by the first half of next year. Mondex is designed to handle small cash-size payments – in other words not for buying a car or the micro-payments that CyberCash Inc’s solution is designed. It can be used across currencies, is downloadable from ATMs or Point of Sale systems and can access other bank account functions. The internet is the obvious application of Mondex and was a major factor in MasterCard’s decision to take a controlling stake last November in the London- based company (CI No 3,045). Mondex users can make card-to-card transactions as well as buy things, so people can lend each other money electronically, for instance. Mondex, AT&T and HP are also proposing an Internet Open Trading Protocol, which will be published next quarter, and in which AT&T Labs was instrumental in developing. The protocol is not proprietary to Mondex, however, and is compliant with the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) protocol devised by MasterCard and Visa International. The trio also said the protocol is being evaluated by other e-commerce types and investors in Mondex: apart from MasterCard and AT&T, all the other investors are banks, mostly from Australia and New Zealand, but also including Wells Fargo and The Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp Ltd and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
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