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October 31, 1999

Siemens Stalks Italian Smartcard Market

By CBR Staff Writer

Siemens Informatica, the Italian arm of Siemens Business Services AG, is to provide the applications on banking smartcards for a partnership controlled by Telecom Italia and a consortium of Italian banks. Siemens hopes the deal with Tecnologie & Servizi per il Pubblico (TSP), jointly owned by the Italian carrier and Societa per I Servizi Bancari, will give it a strong position for bidding for future projects.

TSP is one of the few organizations that has direct experience of urban smartcard usage, having conducted more than 10 pilots in cities like Turin and Siena. Italian banks are just starting to switch from magnetic stripe cards to smartcards and with 60 million people, Italy represents a significant market for Siemens.

The initial application will be an electronic purse, which will run on top of the credit or debit functions on the card, but transport, GSM mobile phone, identification and medical records are all possible applications, says Siemens. The company is awaiting the awarding of a tender to provide identification and e-signature smartcard applications for a pilot in Milan, which should be finalized this year.

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