Cheung Kong Infrastructure
and On Track Innovations joint venture
kicks off with the one-card-does-it-all "EYECON"
smart card for today's e-world
13 March, 2000 -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong listed Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. (CKI) and German listed Israeli-based On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI) today announced the formation of a cooperative joint venture which is dedicated to delivering the patented "EYECON" microprocessor-based contactless smart card technology to the Asia Pacific region. The EYECON smart card with up to 256 multiple electronic applications is the most powerful solution of its kind commercially available today.
This joint venture will capitalize on the rapid development of e-commerce and internet technology, which is expected to further open up the already fast growing smart card market. The joint venture will leverage the strengths of CKI's local knowledge and established network in Asia together with OTI's technology and product expertise, with the aim to offer corporations and consumers a cost-efficient and convenient solution in today's electronic world.
Representatives attending today's CKI-OTI smart card launch included CKI's Group Managing Director H.L. Kam, and OTI's President and Chief Executive Officer Mr Oded Bashan. The Chief Executive Officer Mr Shai Ziv and Director Mr Ivan Chan of the CKI-OTI joint venture also met with the press. Consulate General of Israel, Hong Kong, Consul General Mr Uri Halfon was the guest of honour.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Kam said: "With the advent of the electronic and internet era, the use of smart card and the convenience it brings becomes increasingly indispensable to our everyday lives. The worldwide smart card market is forecast to reach US$60 billion by 2005, with Asia comprising 40%. Smart card applications are becoming very popular in Asia, as in the case of Europe and the States. With the CKI-OTI joint venture, we are delighted to bring into Asia the most powerful 'one card does it all' EYECON technology, and we aim to be a significant player and a propelling force in Hong Kong's and Asia's fast growing electronic infrastructure world."
Developed on reliable and easy-to-use technology that utilizes a single micro-processor chip, the EYECON contactless smart card allows multiple applications for up to 16 different issuing authorities and up to 256 different and separate applications. This unmatched and ingenious technology also guarantees complete security and independence, meeting the requirements of financial and governmental institutions. The technology can be readily deployed as the platform for the payment tool of the e-commerce and Internet markets.
Mr Bashan commented, "OTI's unique breakthrough in the smart card market reflects not only Israel's flourishing technological industry, but also meets the demand of a fast growing and demanding worldwide contactless smart card market. In particular, our EYECON technology was awarded the ESCAT Award for the 'Most Innovative Smart Card Accomplishment of the Year 97'. In August 1999, OTI was listed in Germany and since then the share price has bounced threefold. Today, our partnership with Cheung Kong Infrastructure is another significant milestone in our company's global development. Together, we shall create invaluable synergies as well as bring the smart card technology and its convenience to the Asian region, tapping into the growing needs of the Asian market, which is expected to reach some US$25 billion by 2005."
The versatile characteristics of the EYECON technology allow its applications in almost every aspect of everyday lives, ranging from B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumers) applications to personal home-use. The range of its applications can be enormous, examples include:
- Transportation solutions (e.g. electronic toll collection, automatic fare collection, vehicle registrations and parking etc.);
- Commercial solutions (e.g. e-banking, debit/credit cards, e-purse, telecom and loyalty programs etc.);
- Governmental solutions (e.g. ID and border crossing platforms such as the one to be adopted by the Israeli immigration, others include taxation, driver licenses and medical information.);
- Security solutions (e.g. biometrics, encryption, fingerprints, electronic door key, access control, Internet access etc.); and
- Others such as niche market solutions (e.g. corporate card, residential housing etc.)
The new venture will establish a research and development center in Hong Kong, with the aim to conduct ongoing product and technological research to meet the different and localized needs within the Asian region. It will strive to secure strategic alliances and co-operations with major system integrators in target countries and participate in international projects that standardize future markets. The joint venture will focus on delivering the EYECON product & services to the Asian market, initially to Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as simultaneously to other target markets including Korea, Japan, Philippines, India, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.
About Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited
Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited (CKI) is a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Index. It is the largest diversified infrastructure company listed in Hong Kong in terms of market capitalization, with investments spanning the Mainland, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Australia. The company has been implementing an aggressive globalization and diversification plan recently.
About On Track Innovations Limited
Established in 1990, On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI) is the world's pioneer in microprocessor-based contactless smart card technology. The company has developed a portfolio of patented contactless smart card technologies, including the microprocessor-based contactless/contact EYECON MultiCard system. It was awarded the prestigious ESCAT Award for the "Most Innovative Smart Card Accomplishment of the Year 97". OTI applies its technologies in a variety of unique and customized applications worldwide, placing its products at the cutting edge of contactless smart card technology. Besides its Israeli headquarters, OTI's worldwide network includes OTI America, OTI Europe, OTI Africa and now the newly launched Asia Pacific operation.