Magazine article American Banker

Russian Firm Is Trying to Export 'Golden Crown' Smart Cards to U.S

Magazine article American Banker

Russian Firm Is Trying to Export 'Golden Crown' Smart Cards to U.S

Article excerpt

A Russian technology company is attempting to implement a smart card system in the United States.

The Center of Financial Technologies wants to expand its open smart card

system, Zolotaya Korona, or Golden Crown, so that Russian travelers here can access funds stored on their smart cards.

The company, which recently opened an office in Chicago, also wants to offer closed smart card systems to universities, health clubs, and other businesses that might be interested.

While a multitude of U.S. technology firms are experienced in developing

smart card programs for universities, such as Griffin Technology Inc. and Harco Inc., the center will sell its products at a lower price, said Tatyana Nesterova, a spokeswoman. She explained that the lower cost of labor in Russia gives the company an advantage.

The Golden Crown project, an interregional smart card system established

in April 1994, serves 35,000 Russians in 25 cities with more than 100 bank

participants, including three banks in Germany, said Ms. Nesterova.

The center provides issuing banks and accepting merchants equipment, training, software, and maintenance. Terminals are manufactured by Verifone

Inc., Innovatron, and DataCard Corp. Chip cards are manufactured by Solaic

of France.

Consumers can use their cards in department stores, bakeries, grocery stores, drug stores, and other retailers in several Russian cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Omsk, and Vladivostok.

But unlike other trials, the cards are not used for vending machines, transportation, and small-change purchases.

Ms. …

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