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First USA and CyberMark announced Thursday they will jointly issue the first publicly-available credit card in the U.S. to also feature smart-card technology. The ‘Florida State University MasterCard’ will make it possible for school alumni, faculty and supporters to replace cash at FSU football stadium concession stands and at selected area merchants. In addition to stored value, the cards provide access to campus meal plans, library services and sporting events, as well as serving as the key to dormitories and campus buildings. Cardholders will be able to load up to $100 on their FSU smart-MasterCard chip through special cash-to-chip and account-to-chip machines located within FSUs Doak Campbell stadium. When they have depleted the stored value, cardholders can reload their chips either by using cash or by charging the desired amount back to the credit card account. Under the program there are no fees for reloading. The card will be offered, beginning tomorrow, when the FSU’s Seminoles host Duke University. The ‘FSU Smart MasterCard’ offers a 3.9% intro rate followed by a fixed 9.99% APR. New cardholders also receive $25 in electronic cash on their cards to encourage use of the new smart-card feature. The card’s stored-value component, which utilizes CyberMark’s proprietary smart-card technology, will operate on the company’s ‘SmartWorld’ system. First USA’s and CyberMark said yesterday they are working to add Tallahassee-area merchants to the ‘SmartWorld’ network. First Data Resources is providing card fulfillment services, including embossing, encoding, chip personalization and card distribution services. First USA currently has 1300 affinity programs.

FULL STORY:
First USA and smart-card innovator CyberMark announced Thursday they will jointly issue the first publicly-available credit card in the United States to also feature smart-card technology. The Florida State University MasterCard will make it possible for school alumni, faculty and supporters to replace cash at FSU football stadium concession stands and at selected area merchants.

“This new program represents a breakthrough in cashless payment technology,” said William V. Nutting, executive vice president, partnership marketing, First USA. “Following the launch of the Florida State University MasterCard, we plan to offer smart-card technology to many of our other affinity, military and professional sports partners.”

Cardmembers will be able to load up to $100 on their smart-card chip through special cash-to-chip and account-to-chip machines located within FSU’s Doak Campbell stadium. When they have depleted the stored value, Cardmembers can “reload” their chips either by using cash or by charging the desired amount back to the credit card account. Cardmembers will not be charged any fees for reloading the chip from their FSU MasterCard.

The card’s stored-value component, which utilizes CyberMark’s proprietary smart-card technology, will operate on the company’s SmartWorld system. Currently, First USA’s parent company Bank One and CyberMark are working together to add Tallahassee-area merchants to the SmartWorld network. The Florida State University MasterCard can also be used as a traditional credit card at over 15 million locations worldwide. Omaha, Neb.-based First Data Resources is providing card fulfillment services, including embossing, encoding, chip personalization and distribution to Cardmembers.

“Combining credit card functionality with chip-based stored value is a natural way to begin moving smart-card technology into the hands of the public,” said James B. Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of CyberMark. “We see immediate applications for smart credit cards to replace cash on college campuses, in stadiums and on military bases — key segments where both First USA and CyberMark have distinguished themselves as market leaders.”

First USA and CyberMark plan to migrate other capabilities such as customer loyalty programs, Mondex electronic cash, and chip-based debit and credit onto the MULTOS smart card platform capable of supporting multiple applications.

The card will be offered beginning September 19 at Florida State’s Doak Campbell stadium, when the Seminoles host Duke University. Additionally, applications for the card will be mailed to Florida State supporters, will be available at subsequent university sporting events and can be obtained at locations throughout the campus. In addition, individuals can apply by calling a special toll-free number (888/456-4FSU).

Florida State University has long been an innovator in smart-card technology. In early 1996, the school was among the first in the country to issue smart cards to students. In addition to stored value, the cutting-edge cards from CyberMark provide access to campus meal plans, library services and sporting events, as well as serving as the key to dormitories and campus buildings.

The Florida State University MasterCard features a low 3.9% introductory APR, followed by a highly competitive 9.99% interest rate. As an added bonus, new Cardmembers receive $25 in electronic cash on their cards to encourage use of the new smart-card feature. Additional benefits include: a credit line up to $100,000; a money-saving balance-transfer option; and 24-hour, toll-free customer-service support.

First USA (www.firstusa.com), a subsidiary of BANC ONE CORPORATION, is a financial services company specializing in the credit card business and is among the largest providers of Visa, MasterCard and private-label credit cards in the nation. First USA has partnerships with more than 1,300 premier organizations, including: Ohio State University, Arizona State University, the University of Tennessee, Yale University, Bank One Ballpark (Arizona Diamondbacks), Coors Field (Colorado Rockies), Pro Player Stadium (Miami), the U.S. Naval Institute and over 130 Air Force Club locations. First USA has approximately 43 million cards issued and $41.6 billion in total loans outstanding.

CyberMark (www.cybermark.com) develops smart card solutions for education, corporate, financial, government and entertainment markets. One-half million individuals utilize CyberMark’s multi-application smart cards at installations including the University of Toronto, the University of Kansas, and more than a dozen additional sites. Cardholders conduct smart card based payments using their cards at locations displaying the SmartWorld logo. SmartWorld is a registered trademark of CyberMark.

MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions, serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. More than 600 million MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Mondex cards are accepted at more than 15 million locations worldwide. In 1997, gross dollar volume exceeded $600 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.mastercard.com.

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