News Releases


Hitachi America and 1steTech Collaborate on Smart Card Technology

Oct 30, 2000 08:18 AM

BRISBANE, Ca. and FARMINGTON, Utah, October 30, 2000 -- Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT), and 1steTech today announced that the two companies will collaborate on smart card technology and systems solutions.

As part of the agreement, Hitachi America will provide to 1steTech smart card technology and systems consultation and has agreed to demonstrate the Hitachi smart card technology at the 1steTech booth during the 2000 Comdex Trade Show in Las Vegas. In addition, Hitachi has agreed to implement its smart card technology for several 1steTech projects.

The implementation of Hitachi smart card technology will focus on three specific markets. The first is business to consumer transactions or electronic and physical merchant marketing programs with smart card efficiency and security. Credit card processors are looking for a more secure physical and electronic transaction process, merchants are seeking to protect their products and account information and consumers are looking for a method of ensuring the product delivery.

1steTech will employ Hitachi's smart card technology in a marketing demonstration at the upcoming COMDEX 2000 international technology show in Las Vegas, Nevada, from November 13 through 17. The demonstration will focus on both physical and virtual transactions in a secure environment using the MONDEX electronic cash smart card application.

Following the COMDEX technology demonstration, 1steTech will implement a field trial in the Las Vegas, Nevada area in 2001. The smart card applications will be on the MULTOS platform and may include electronic cash and Hitachi's loyalty program "Multi-Pockets". Hitachi's "Multi-Pockets" loyalty application features state-of the art card to card authentication by utilizing encryption keys for each transaction. The project will include supplying many trade merchants, including department, gas and grocery stores, with readers. If the field test is successful, 1steTech will expand the Hitachi smart card solution to selected markets. Depending on demand, the Hitachi smart card solution will be expanded regionally and nationally. Since marketing will be tied to recruiting local merchants and building demand on a market-by-market basis, 1steTech is currently planning for a medium to long-term national deployment.

The use of smart cards provides consumers and merchants with a much higher level of data security than is provided by SSL browsers alone. Utilizing Hitachi's Internet Solution for Mondex (ISM) and 1steTech's licensed technology, 1steTech will be able to assure purchasers that their payment will not be released to the vendor until the delivery company confirms delivery of the merchandise. Hitachi's ISM product is a software solution package for Mondex electronic money system construction on the Internet. Ultimately, this end to end solution can require that the purchaser confirm, utilizing its smart card, acceptance of the merchandise before the payment is released. Under this solution, the consumer would either equip his home PC with a card reader or have the merchandise delivered to a local card equipped merchant.

1st eTech is a privately held Smart Card developer and integrator, leading the e-commerce industry with the introduction of the first automated two-way security technology for smart cards. One of the outstanding features of 1st eTech's security technology is that both the cardholder and merchant are protected from fraudulent transactions. For more information, please go to

Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, consumer electronics and semiconductors, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America. For further information, please go to Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1999 (ended March 31, 2000) consolidated sales of 8,001 billion yen ($75.5 billion*). The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For further information, please go to

*At an exchange rate of 106 yen to the dollar.

Mondex International Limited (MXI,) is a world leader in the provision of a global, multi-channel, electronic payment system for the real and virtual worlds. Headquartered in London, the company is a subsidiary of MasterCard International. Mondex electronic cash is a cost-effective, secure, and immediate payment tool, which can be used across open networks such as telephony or the Internet. Mondex is ideal for high volume, low-value payments for arenas such as digital television, Internet payments, and closed-campus sites. Mondex™ and the MULTOS™ operating system were the first commercial products ever to be awarded ITSEC Level E6 (Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria), the highest ITSEC security rating level available. For further information please go to