Globe Staff and True Product ID Technologies to be Embedded in Multi-Usage Smart Card in the Philippines; The ERG Group of Australia to Design/Implement the System
PHILADELPHIA and BAYONNE, France, June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/–True Product ID, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: TPDI) (TPID) and Globe Staff Consulting Corporation (Pink Sheets: GSFC) today announced that they will both have their technologies embedded into SmartCards in the Philippines. GSFC is a majority owned subsidiary of Sure Trace Security Corporation (OTC: SSTY) and TPID is a former SSTY subsidiary.
Two companies, one based in the Philippines and one from Australia have entered into an exclusive agreement to launch a brand-new electronic payment system using contactless card technology in the Philippines. The card functions like a debit card and can be reloaded from time to time. It can be used in convenience stores, fast food centers, drugstores, gas stations, supermarkets, and eventually, transportation systems. One of the two companies, First Versatile Smartcard Solutions Corporation (VersaCard), the marketer, was recently acquired by the MacKay Group. The other, who will provide the hardware and software for the venture, is the ERG Group of Australia (ERG.AX).
The ERG Group (http://www.erggroup.com) is a world leader in the development and supply of integrated fare management and software systems for the transit industry, and for its smart card systems and services. The Group has installed systems in major cities throughout the world including Hong Kong, Melbourne, Rome, San Francisco and Singapore, with installations in progress in Gothenburg, Seattle, Stockholm, Sydney and Washington, D.C. ERG has delivered systems that support more than 20 million smart cards in circulation and handle approximately 5 billion transactions per annum. ERG is an Australian-based company, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and employs 900 people in 11 countries. Executives of both VersaCard and ERG stated they hope this is the first step to convert the Philippines into a cashless society.
Richard Bendis, President/CEO of True Product ID, Inc., stated, “We are excited to have a company such as ERG recognize the value of and to incorporate both TPID’s S-DNA taggant and its related technologies and the ‘Tag and Track’ technology of Globe Staff into their SmartCards and believe that this will only be the first market in which both technologies are appended to these type of cards.”
Michael Donnelly, a member of the Management Board of ERG Group of Australia, added, “ERG, through the ERG Transit Systems, has installed systems in major countries and cities all over the world. In Hong Kong it is called the Octopus card, which is a creative way to explain that the card has as many uses as octopus tentacles: to pay fares in public transport, pay for purchases, and even act as a personal identity card for entry in buildings and schools.”
Joseph Issifu, President and COO of First Versatile Smartcard Solutions Corp., added, “There are only 8 million people in Hong Kong but the number of Octopus cards in circulation is 13 million. So far, there are over 20 million smart cards in circulation worldwide, with various names such as EZ Link in Singapore, which handle approximately five billion transactions per annum.”
James MacKay, Chairman, First Versatile Smartcard Solutions Corp. and Joseph Issifu, President and COO of First Versatile Smartcard Solutions Corp., and Michael Donnelly, member of the Management Board of ERG Group of Australia, signed the licensing agreement May 27, 2006 in the Philippines.
This new ‘Cashless’ and ‘Contactless’ Versatile card will contain a stored value, and it can be reloaded in convenience stores, reloading counters or machines, in banks, ATMs or even through cell phones. “You can initially get the card at outlets where you usually get phone cards and Internet cards. This is really mass-based distribution,” Issifu assured. Donnelly offered that, “Ultimate convenience, safety and security, and budget control over lifestyle expenses is what this partnership between First Versatile Smartcard and ERG means in the long term. Users can move around practically cashless and debit their expenses against the stored value in their cards–transport, food, products, and soon, even services, like payments in Internet cafes.” “Eventually, you can do most things with the chip in your card or in your watch or in your pendant, or in your cell phone,” MacKay stated. “If it gets stolen, report the theft right away and the chip is blacklisted. Then you simply apply for a replacement.”
“To secure First Versatile cards further, they will contain TPID’s S-DNA (synthetic DNA), which is used to mark each card with a particular signature. A highly advanced scanning technology provides portable field authentication and determines which cards contain the S-DNA and which don’t, thereby eliminating counterfeit cards immediately,” Issifu added. “Once marked, the item is marked forever. The S-DNA technology will be used to code each of the First Versatile cards to make them practically theft-proof. If stolen, the card is retired and a new one, also containing S-DNA, is issued as replacement.”
In addition, the cards will carry GSFC’s “Tag and Track” system. The “Tag and Track” system will provide a flexible, rapidly deployable assisted-GPS / GSM location-based service including an innovative integrated RFID technology that enables a wide array of customizable applications. The technology locates and/or tracks vehicles, objects, assets or people… in this case SmartCards. VersaCard customers will deploy a portable receiver or reader device, which will be used to pick up the signal transmitted by our “Tag and Track” Tracker with its integrated RFID Tag. This system was originally conceived/developed on a Special Police Forces request from the French Ministry of the Interior. The Company’s RFID chip will be a miniaturized, implantable radio frequency identification device that has the potential to be used in a variety of security, financial, and other applications. It is smaller than a grain of rice; the encoded information is captured by briefly passing a proprietary scanner or passing through any receivers.
First Versatile chairman James MacKay of the MacKay Group, a global corporation with a broad range of interests, particularly very strong in IT, and based in Beijing, New York, Philadelphia and Paris, considers the investment in the Philippines as timely, very trend-setting, and revolutionary. “It will impact hugely on the lives of the Filipinos, as well as provide amazing buying convenience and change the way people do business and transport themselves and their products. It will give them the 21st century technology they deserve.”
ERG supplies the hardware and its exclusive Multiple-Application SmartCard Solution (MASS), which is the most advanced software of its kind in the world backed by research in excess of US$100 million. MASS can manage a large smart card database, financial reconciliation, and gather management data for transit and other applications. This same system will be applied to the Philippine setting, not just for mass transport but for other retail transactions.