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May 16, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:30pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Smart card and electronic money pioneer Mondex International Ltd has passed what began as a proprietary operating system, on to an eight-strong consortium of silicon maufacturers and card vendors in an effort to galvanize the smart card industry by establishing a set of open standards. Included in the Consrtium along with Mondex are silicon makers Hitachi Ltd, Motorola Inc and Siemens AG, smartcard manufacturers Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd, Gemplus SA and Keycorp Ltd, and Mastercard International Inc, the credit card giant that owns 51% of Mondex. The consortium is known as MAOSCO Ltd and Multos is described as a high-security operating system which will enable smart card users to download new products and services on to the card via the telephone, internet or automated teller machine. It will also let card issuers update, add or change applications while the card remains in possession of the customer, obviating the need to reissue cards after every upgrade and enabling the user to customize his card with a portfolio of different applications. Multos also keeps the various applications on the one card separate by embedded firewalls which Mondex says will guarantee their integrity and security. It will provide application developers with a programming language called Multos Executable Language MEL – though C can be used as an alternative – and a programming interface to which they both operate. The first raft of products are expected in the first quarter of 1998. In addition, Mondex has agreed to work with Sun Microsystems Inc to develop the JavaCard application programming interface launched at JavaOne last month (CI No 3,134). MasterCard, with 400m credit cards out there, will use Multos as its chosen chip card system.

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