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Smart Ideas

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To put some intelligence into smart cards, VISA USA has launched a competition to produce new ideas or applications for the smart VISA card. More than $200,000 in prize money is at stake and the contest is open to any U.S. resident. Any idea or application must be based on Java Card technology for smart cards. Based on an initial collaboration between VISA and Providian, and broadened to benefit from the participation of First USA and Fleet, the smart VISA Challenge is an effort to facilitate the development and rollout of untapped services for the smart VISA technology platform. In addition to recognition and royalties stemming from the market launch of their application, winners will enjoy cash prizes, from $1,000 to $75,000, plus additional VISA-provided benefits. The smart VISA Challenge also seeks innovative new ideas for services that would leverage and enhance the existing payment, loyalty and Internet access applications that are already part of the smart VISA technology platform. In October, the companies will choose the top 20 ideas to be developed to full applications or services: 10 in the online (Internet) category and 10 in the offline (retail) category. All finished applications and ideas will be reviewed in January 2002, with prizes awarded in February 2002. Two Grand Prizes of $75,000 each plus other prizes will be awarded. The due date for entries is August 24, 2001, and prizes will be awarded in February 2002. For more information visit: www.visa.com/smartvisachallenge.

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