Axalto, Inc.
PARIS : AXL
PARIS : AXAL

September 21, 2005 08:57 ET

Axalto Opens Advanced Payment Card Personalization Centre in Canada

TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Sep 21, 2005) -

Aiming to help Canadian banks better protect their payment card customers and introduce new services, Axalto today announced the opening of its new advanced payment card personalization centre outside of Toronto, Ontario. The ultra-secure facility, which enables bankers to add smart card technology to credit and debit cards, will start deliveries immediately to one of Canada's largest financial institutions. Axalto will commemorate the opening of this new centre with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 22, 2005, officiated by Axalto's Paul Beverly, president, Americas.

"The Canadian banking industry sees smart card technology as essential to achieving the highest levels of security and services for bank customers. This personalization centre illustrates that Canadian banks can count on Axalto for a successful collaborative effort that puts a personalized smart payment card in the hand of each customer," said Beverly.

Smart cards are tiny computers inside a bankcard that better protect cardholders from the risks of credit card fraud and identity theft. Instead of storing account information on a magnetic stripe, smart bankcards put the information in the computer, where it is highly protected. Smart cards also create opportunities to bring valuable new services like reward programs and more secure Internet payment to banking customers. Financial institutions around the world are moving to smart payment cards, following standards established by Visa, MasterCard and others.

"On behalf of Visa Canada, I'd like to welcome Axalto to the Canadian financial card issuer market and congratulate them on the opening of a smart card personalization centre in Canada," said Derek Fry, president, Visa Canada Association. "As the leader in Canada's chip migration, we recognize the importance of having organizations such as Axalto on board who share our vision to make the transition to smart card technology as smooth as possible. Through this, Canada can realize the substantial benefits smart card technology has to offer -- greater convenience to consumers, added protection to merchants and future services our members will use to differentiate their products in the market."

At the new personalization centre, Axalto will utilize its extensive global personalization and fulfillment experience to assist each bank in preparing and personalizing EMV banking cards. This mass customization includes loading appropriate cardholder data, and then packaging and sending the cards to banks or directly to cardholders.

"There will be 100 million magnetic-stripe credit and debit cards in Canada when banks begin the conversion to smart cards. Axalto has the experience issuers can rely on to upgrade their cards without any 'hiccups' while also providing advice on how to add extra value to those cards," commented David Robertson, publisher of the Nilson Report, the world's leading source of news and proprietary research on consumer payment systems.

According to market estimates by Frost & Sullivan, Axalto shipped 71.7 million microprocessor banking cards worldwide last year. This offering extends Axalto's large presence in Canada, where it has been providing secure smart cards to major wireless operators for over a decade.

About Axalto

Axalto (EURONEXT:AXL) and (EURONEXT:NL0000400653) is the world's leading provider (Gartner 2005, Frost & Sullivan 2004) of microprocessor cards - the key to digital networks - and a major supplier of point-of-sale terminals. Its 4,500 employees, from over 60 nationalities, serve customers in more than 100 countries, with worldwide sales reaching over 3 billion smart cards to date. With a 25-year experience in smart card innovation, the company leads its industry in security technology and open systems.

Axalto creates new generations of products for use in a variety of applications in the telecommunications, finance, retail, transport, entertainment, healthcare, personal identification, information technology and public sector markets. Microprocessor cards provide convenience, security and privacy to public and private services operators, their customers and end users. For more information, please visit www.axalto.com.

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