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September 1, 1999
Verifone, a division of the Hewlett-Packard Company, has announced 'Omnicash', an electronic payment card supported with processing units.
Verifone India Limited Country Manager Atul Saran explains that Omnicash is part of a comprehensive plan that the company has developed for all those involved in electronic commerce, including financial institutions and merchants.
Saran believes it is ideal for add-on loyalty programmes and should be a support for SMARS, the Indian electronic cash standards.
He said Omnicash aims to replace paper currency with an electronic equivalent and the money equivalent is stored in a smart card.
At all merchant locations, Verifone could set up POS terminals and the smart card readers could process transactions, similar to the way a credit card is authorised.
The key difference with Omnicash is that authorisations are local and there is no need to call a remote host.
Customers can "refill" their cards when their electronic money is exhausted at designated "refill stations".
The settlement process is automated, wherein the card issuer replaces the electronic money accumulated at the merchant with conventional money, completing the cash chain.
Connections in Lanka
Verifone and Smartnet Lanka Limited, a consortium of banks and financial institutions in Sri Lanka, have jointly set up a secured payment network, including kiosks all across Sri Lanka.
Saran told reporters that the secured payment network would cover about 3,000 installations in Sri Lanka.
The network would actually be a widespread network of card readers and processing centre that would accept payment from debit, credit and smart cards.
Verifone will facilitate users to accomplish a wide range of e-payment functions, including transaction switching and credit/debit authorisation settlement.
It will provide a spectrum of payment systems including hardware components like terminals, printers, personal identification number pads, smart card appliances and network controllers, he added.
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