May 02, 2002

Two Danish banks will pilot a system that enables customers to obtain cash from a traditional automated teller machine (ATM) using a mobile phone.

The project, which utilizes technology from NCR Corporation, AU-System and beamtrust a/s, involves cash withdrawals from three ATMs owned by Spar Nord Bank and Laan & Spar Bank. The consumer is able to initiate the transaction process prior to approaching the ATM, choosing the transaction type, amount and account details. At the ATM, the consumer enters the security personal identification number into the mobile phone and the transaction details are transmitted to the ATM. The ATM processes the transaction and dispenses the cash.

During the initial phase of the trial, the companies will assess the ease of use and how consumers adapt to the replacement of the magnetic-stripe card with a mobile phone to withdraw cash.

The Danish pilot is the first time a mobile phone is being used to withdraw cash in a live environment at a traditional ATM rather than a concept model.

Although infrared technology is used for the communications link, ATMs could also be adapted to accept Bluetooth technology once this has come into more widespread use.

"This is something we have been working on for some time," said Mark Grossi, chief technology officer at NCR's Financial Solutions division. "Mobile phone use in Europe in particular has really taken off. People are using their phones in ways we could not have imagined a short time ago and they have become an essential part of people's increasingly mobile lifestyles."

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Two French banking groups--Societe Generale and Caisse d'Epargne--have launched e-Carte Bleue, a virtual credit card designed to secure Internet transactions.

After signing up with one of the banks, an Internet user will receive a one-time only e-Carte Bleue number which will be used instead of the plastic credit card number for Web purchases. This number is provided to the Internet user in real time by their bank for each payment transaction.

By eliminating the need for the cardholder's real card number to transit over the Internet and at the retailer's point of sale, the e-Carte Bleue service provides consumers with a simple and concrete solution to facilitate electronic commerce while maintaining the confidence of cyber-consumers.

"The strong points of the e-Carte Bleue service which will enable it to quickly capture the market are its simplicity of use for the Internet user and the absence of any impact on the transaction processing systems for the online merchant," said Gerard Nebouy, chief executive officer of Carte Bleue.

The e-Carte Bleue service was developed in partnership with the France Telecom Group. Other French banks, including Credit Lyonnais and Banques Populaires, are expected to launch the service later this year.

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The Bank of N. T. Butterfield of Hamilton, Bermuda, has renewed its license agreement with ALLTEL Information Services, agreeing to a six-year extension for core account banking software.

The ALLTEL products deployed at the bank include deposit, loans, customer information and branch automation systems.

The Bank of N.T. Butterfield has $5 billion in assets and $39 billion of client assets under administration. The bank offers a full range of banking, credit, investment, treasury, trust and custody services through its headquarters in Bermuda, as well as offices in Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

"ALLTEL's systems have proven themselves reliable," said Alan R. Thompson, chief executive officer for the Bank of Butterfield. "We understand the importance of having systems that are proven and dependable.