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Smart cards, which are formed by embedding a semiconductor chip in a thin plastic card, are fast becoming recognized as a card technology that will soon supersede conventional magnetic stripe cards. This technology features large data storage capability and a high level of data security.
Smart cards are indispensable when implementing electronic settlement systems using electronic money, and have an important role as an economic media that can be a substitute for cash value.
This work will describe the Mondex1) electronic cash system in which Hitachi, Ltd. is a key participant. The microprocessor used for this system features various functions, including large capacity data storage and a particularly high level of data security. Mondex will form the basis for future electronic settlement systems.
In addition, it is becoming clear that smart cards technology will become widely used in the area of credit cards. Hitachi has developed a variety of microcomputers for smart cards and is rapidly becoming a leading company in this field.
1) Registered trademark of Mondex International Ltd.