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Legic involvement in NFC smart phones.

LEGIC Identisystems Ltd : 09 November, 2007  (New Product)
Contactless card company becomes involved in near field communications for smart phone payment systems.
Since May 2007, LEGIC has been involved in a joint NFC pilot project with Swisscom and Selecta. An NFC-enabled mobile telephone and the embedded LEGIC solution make payments at Selecta vending machines child's play: easy, safe, and contactless.

Mobile telephony is already something we can't imagine being without. New NFC (Near Field Communication) technology will revolutionise our daily transactions further still and make many deeds even easier. Buying a bus ticket, paying at a machine or kiosk, opening a door or accessing information services: in the future, the mobile telephone will be able to do all.

LEGIC, Swisscom and Selecta are pursuing new paths with this NFC pilot project. In the Swisscom's modern buildings in Bern, Switzerland, Swisscom staff use their mobile phones to get chilled drinks and snacks from Selecta vending machines. The ability to connect a mobile phone to contactless applications, such as to make cashless payments using electronic purses, is opening up endless possibilities thanks to LEGIC's new card-in-card solutions. For a long time these two worlds, with their different technologies, were not compatible. Buying drinks using an electronic purse was only possible with the contactless staff badge, while the mobile phone was used for standard communication purposes.
NFC technology enables mobile phones to behave as conventional contactless cards and to connect to the network via mobile technology. Contactless applications can also work when the phone battery is empty or no network is available. The new solutions therefore combine the advantages of both technologies, providing more security, ease-of-use and availability.

The partners of this pilot project intend to convert the project into a real business model. Additional applications, such as the integration of Adasoft secure entry applications used in all Swisscom buildings, will also be discussed.

For Swisscom, NFC is not only a trend-setting technology, but the key to greater comfort for end users, who will be able to access everyday cashless services with their mobile phone. This includes buying everyday items such as snacks and drinks, booking tickets, and more. Thanks to contactless NFC technology, end users will simply have to present their mobile phone and they will be able to buy easily, without cash.

Swisscom is supporting the further development of SIM cards as hosts for the new NFC applications. It is actively engaged in the development of new services and working closely with leading mobile phone manufacturers to bring a wide variety of NFC phones quickly to the market. Customers will only be able to benefit from these new services if relevant appliances are available and if all network operators cooperate. Swisscom believes that an agreement between mobile phone companies is vital in order to avoid individual solutions.

Thomas Kummernuss, Product Manager and responsible for NFC development at Swisscom, is delighted with the success of the pilot project: "Swisscom believes in the potential of NFC technology in Switzerland: cashless payments, public transport ticketing, access control, etc. will be more secure, comfortable and customer-friendly with a mobile phone. We are also discussing the possibility of a single service offer and a B2B business model. The success of this project is helping us to convince our partners and customers of the advantages and possibilities of the new contactless technology in mobile phones."

Selecta is an international trendsetter for easy, safe and fast purchases from vending machines, in private or public areas. The Swiss market leader endeavours to offer its customers up-to-date and trend-setting products and solutions. Contactless technologies like NFC set new priorities in the development of such solutions. Cashless payments at vending machines are a good starting point. Selecta is giving NFC solutions the chance to be accepted on the market, in particular in public and semi-public areas. Pilot projects like the one with Swisscom underpin and strengthen acceptance by consumers. They contribute, through communication, to the creation of further applications and card acceptors, such as in the public transport field or with wholesalers.

LEGIC's contactless smart card technology has been world leader for several years. LEGIC is pursuing new directions with its card-in-card solutions. In the form of a virtual card, LEGIC functionality will be applied to dual interface cards or third party NFC mobile phones via the new software solution for smart card platforms.

This enables the connection of public transport applications, PC access via PKI or credit cards with LEGIC applications such as access control or cashless payments. Thanks to further extensions of the LEGIC technology - there are already over 50,000 facilities with more than one million LEGIC readers in service - and to a worldwide licence partner network, the possibilities for building on existing and developing new, even more comfortable solutions, are endless.

"We're expecting a lot from the NFC technology in connection with our LEGIC card-in-card solutions. We are world leader in contactless smart card technology for personal identification applications. The fact that the LEGIC all-in-one area can be integrated into third party cards and NFC mobile phones widens the scope of our technology and also makes way for new solutions for our partners, as well as providing advantages and comfort to the end user. In the future, it will be possible to go to work just with a mobile phone and to do without all the different cards", explained Urs Lampe, Vice President Product Marketing & New Business of LEGIC Identsystems.
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