01 June 1998

ELECTRONIC CASH card Mondex is about to wind-down its three year pilot scheme in Swindon. The MasterCard-controlled company says the trial has served its purpose and now plans a series of new developments taking the concept a stage further. These include combining the card with a debit function, plus joint ventures with new partners. There is expected to be a 'significant' roll-out in London - 'Everything we do now is part of the introduction of Mondex commercially', says UK chief executive Ron Clark. The battle to dominate the global market for 'electronic purses' is hotting-up with the announcement by Visa and American Express that they intend to take a stake in Proton, a Belgian rival to the UK-developed Mondex. Proton is already the most widely used 'purse' with 30m cards and 200,000 terminals in fifteen countries. Mondex, however, has sold licenses to 53 countries and bids to become the globe's leading cashcard.