STMicroelectronics Announces Norwegian License for its Proton Prisma Software Platform for Smart Cards

STMicroelectronics Announces Norwegian License for its Proton Prisma Software Platform for Smart Cards

New Footprint for Proton Prisma Technology in Europe

GENEVA, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/–STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) today announced that it has signed an agreement for the deployment of its Proton Prisma smart card system software technology in Norway with BBS (Bankenes BetalingsSentral AS). BBS is owned by and acts on behalf of the Norwegian banks–Den norske Bank, Sparebanken 1 Gruppen, Gjensidige NOR Sparebank and Terra Gruppen. Under the terms of the agreement, BBS will become a licensee for Norway for Proton Prisma. The agreement marks a significant step by the Norwegian banks in their migration to smart cards, and to EMV* in particular.

The cards that will be used in the first phase will be the Proton Prisma BP (basic profile), on which the Visa or MasterCard EMV application will co-exist with the Norwegian domestic debit Bank-Axept. Other applications are expected to be added in the future, such as the existing Norwegian Proton-based e-purse ‘Smapengekort’ and the BankID application.

The Norwegian banks have appointed BBS–which for many years has been successful in providing national card payment systems and EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer Point Of Sale) solutions to the banks. BBS will coordinate the development and launch of new payment solutions as an integral part of its strategy to migrate to smart cards.

The cooperation between the banks and BBS has led to a common reliance on Proton Prisma technology. Key to their decision making process were the well recognized flexibility and openness offered by the Proton Prisma platform, in addition to ST’s EMV PLUS* application. Also, the platform met the banks’ long term vision, as Proton Prisma enables the optimization of the total cost of ownership for the entire system.

BBS will be running the multi-issuing Proton Prisma smart card management system ‘Matrix’ for the various Norwegian banks, allowing each of them to offer differentiated services to their clients.

The banks, together with BBS, are planning to launch the pilot in Q2 2004 to be prepared for roll-out in Q4 2004. The present debit or credit magstripe cards will, as from then, be replaced by Proton Prisma cards in line with their natural renewing cycle. It is targeted that all cards should be replaced by the end of 2006.

The Proton Prisma deployment in Norway is one more in an ever growing list of ongoing Proton Prisma projects. Existing projects are in Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Knut Bjerke, Executive Vice President at BBS and Hans-Petter Bredesen, Director of business development cards at BBS, are very optimistic on behalf of the Norwegian banks and confirm their commitment in using Proton Prisma technology, giving banks the opportunity to issue smart cards with one or more applications. The advantages that exist for the banks are many: Proton Prisma giving the banks freedom in three dimensions–card suppliers, card types, and applications including new business–and user possibilities. Yet an additional advantage for the banks is the likelihood of card usage escalation within their highly competitive market of payment solutions.

Armand Linkens, Group Vice President within ST’s Smartcard ICs Division, commented, “This contract is the result of our long lasting relationship with the Norwegian banks and BBS. We are very proud that, once again, a major banking community has chosen Proton Prisma for a nationwide deployment, recognizing the benefits of our technology for its EMV migration in particular. ST will actively support BBS to ensure a smooth installation and implementation of the project. We look forward with confidence to a successful EMV migration in Norway.”

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 http://www.st.com.

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