Alaric payment technology drives Europe's first MasterCard contactless credit card pilot for Aduno Group

London, England - 19 July 2007

Alaric's Authentic authorisation and switching solution enables pioneering contactless scheme in Switzerland

Alaric International, a leading supplier of advanced technology and fraud detection solutions for the card payments industry, today announces that its Authentic authorisation and switching solution is being used to enable the first contactless EMV credit card launched in Europe - a new generation MasterCard® PayPass(TM) card. The ground-breaking scheme, which has been introduced by the Swiss-based card issuer and acquirer Aduno Group, comes several months ahead of the contactless card rollout in the UK, due to begin in London in autumn this year. Aduno will be operating the new payment card in three areas across Switzerland - in Zurich, Lausanne and Lugano - in a pilot phase, from July to September. Following the trial, the contactless card will be rolled out across the whole of Switzerland.

The new European transaction facility was launched at a McDonald's restaurant in Zurich by Miss Switzerland, Christina Rigozzi, at the end of March. The reigning Miss Switzerland made history by completing the first contactless transaction with this new generation of credit card - the world's fastest. The PayPass card can be used to make payments of small amounts (in Switzerland, up to 40 Swiss francs) without the purchaser having to enter a PIN number or sign a transaction slip. Retailers and restaurants favour contactless payments because they are very fast at the point of service thus reducing queues and creating a more rapid customer service. The latest contactless terminals facilitate payments by receiving and processing encrypted transaction data transmitted from a chip in the credit card using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

Aduno and Alaric have a history of partnering in projects and so it was a logical step for them to work jointly on this innovative solution. "We were familiar with the software solution which Alaric has developed and we also knew that they had the knowledge within the company to support us in our new venture," said Andrea Maffioretti, Head IT Merchant Services, the Aduno Group executive in charge of the project.

"We see this collaboration with Aduno as the first step into the exciting new era of contactless payments," said Martin Hewgill, Head of Marketing at Alaric. "Card issuers looking to implement contactless schemes need a robust, high-performance solution for reliable acceptance in these environments. We are pleased to be providing our industry-leading software and expertise to Aduno for this groundbreaking pilot."

Alaric's software, Authentic (deployed as a sophisticated payment gateway), provides an integrated, total solution to the switching, authentication and authorisation needs of issuers and acquirers of credit, debit, charge or private label cards. Authentic facilitates the integration of latest generation payments applications and new payment delivery channels, such as the new contactless payment card.

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