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Telstra, ERG and ANZ to Partner for Smartcard JV

With an eye towards the future of e-commerce, Telstra, ERG and ANZ announced plans to develop a standard platform and transaction processing joint venture for smartcards.

The companies expect smartcards to play an important role in security as e-commerce becomes a larger chunk of the business world. The unnamed smartcard operating joint venture will receive capital and resources from Telstra, ERG and ANZ.

The venture will operate a centre to process transactions. Initially, the company would accept Telstra's and ERG's smartcard platforms, and would develop an interoperable, multi-application smartcard standards.

"In the future, demand for smartcards will also be driven by customer to business e-commerce, in particular, Internet transactions, and by the need to avoid magnetic stripe fraud," said David Boyles, ANZ's head of technology, e-commerce and payments.

Smartcards are part of the plan to transform Telstra from a telecommunications company to an e-commerce solutions leader, according to Ted Pretty, Telstra's group managing director for convergent business.

"This initiative will enable the smartcard industry in Australia to develop at a faster rate," said Peter Fogarty, ERG's CEO. "It will continue the trend of global rationalisation of the smartcard industry and drive the development of a standard platform across Australia."

The new company will support multiple applications in addition to the e-commerce platform, added Fogarty.