STMicroelectronics Announces Mass Roll-out in Poland and Czech Republic of VISA Cards Based on Proton Prisma Smart Card Platform

STMicroelectronics Announces Mass Roll-out in Poland and Czech Republic of VISA Cards Based on Proton Prisma Smart Card Platform

Geneva, July 17, 2003–STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) today announced that CSOB Bank in the Czech Republic and Kredyt Bank Poland have received VISA certification for the personalization of their Proton Prisma cards and will begin a mass roll-out of these cards in the next few weeks. Both banks are part of the KBC Bank & Insurance Group, one of Europe’s important financial groups and leading financial institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, which signed a license agreement with Proton World International in 2002 allowing a number of KBC’s associated banks in Central and Eastern Europe to start implementing the Proton Prisma multi-application smart card technology.

In 2002, Kredyt Bank began working with Proton World International, which was acquired by STMicroelectronics in April 2003, to implement the infrastructure required to allow issuance of Proton Prisma EMV cards. Kredyt Bank installed MATRIX, which is the Proton Prisma card management and personalization system, and integrated it successfully into its own host system.

Following the certification from VISA of the personalized Proton Prisma card, Kredyt Bank started in June 2003 to issue chip-based VISA Classic and VISA Gold credit cards.

In a later phase, Kredyt Bank also plans to replace its present VISA Electron and Maestro debit cards by Proton Prisma-based EMV cards. The bank is also exploring opportunities to optimize the multi-application functionality of the Proton Prisma platform by working with partners in loyalty applications.

In the Czech Republic, CSOB Bank has also successfully installed Proton Prisma’s Matrix card lifecycle management and personalization system and is starting the migration of its Visa Electron debit card base to chip technology in June 2003, for which it received Visa certification. Other CSOB card products will be gradually converted to the same Proton Prisma EMV multi-application platform: e.g. CSOB’s Post Savings Bank will later this year start converting all its debit cards to Proton Prisma.

Following the successful implementations of the Proton Prisma platform in the Czech Republic and Poland, a third KBC-affiliated bank, K&H, has also decided to implement the platform in Hungary.

Matrix has been designed to manage the lifecycle and application inventory of every issued smart card throughout its lifecycle. As the host-based implementation of the CALC end-to-end specifications, its modular design allows issuers to start small, with limited investments, then to migrate gradually and seamlessly to the full multi-application functionality.

“Kredyt Bank is committed to be the pioneer issuer of EMV multi-application cards in Poland and Proton Prisma seems to have the satisfactory capacity to this effect. We are looking forward to have not only VSDC functionality on our cards, but also an open platform chip technology, which would enable us to successfully expand our banking offer to commercial entities developing their loyalty programs and other functions for applications operated on smart cards,” said Jaroslaw Chrzanowski, Managing Director Card Center of Kredyt Bank.

Petr Skala, Manager Cards Department from CSOB Bank, commented, “We are proud to be with the first to mass roll-out EMV cards on the multi-application Proton Prisma platform. The flexibility of this technology will allow our group not only to roll-out EMV compliant bank products, but also allow us to add and open additional applications using the same infrastructure and deliver to our clients and business partners higher value through the card products.”

“Proton Prisma is proven technology today” added, Armand Linkens, Group Vice President, for the newly acquired Proton products, within STMicroelectronics’ Memory Products Group. “By being the first to mass issue Proton Prisma smart cards, KBC and its affiliates Kredyt Bank and CSOB are setting a milestone here. As their decisions were the result of fundamental study work and business evaluations, we are proud to have them as references, that can testify of the quality of Proton products in general and Proton Prisma in particular.”

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2002, the Company’s net revenues were $6.32 billion and net earnings were $429.4 million. Further information on ST can be found at

Proton World International was acquired by STMicroelectronics, the world’s second largest supplier of smart card chips, in April 2003. Its product offer includes Proton Prisma: a family of smart card technology products that consists of smart card system software (card OS, middleware and application software), especially for e-purse, EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) debit/credit cards, PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) security, and data management applications.

About Kredyt Bank (Poland)

Kredyt Bank S.A. is one of the top five banking groups in Poland by total assets, with increasing market shares in deposits and loans. Its network comprises nearly 390 outlets spread nationwide. It has a branch and service outlets in Lithuania, a representative office in Kaliningrad (Russia) and a subsidiary in the Ukraine (Kredyt Bank Ukraine).

About CSOB Bank (Czech Republic)

CSOB is one of the premier financial services groups in Central Europe. Acquired by KBC Bank & Insurance Group in 1999, it caters for 3.4 million customers in the Czech Republic–where it leads the market (market share of 20-25% in lending and customer deposits)–and in Slovakia.


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