MONTREAL, Dec. 20, 2000 (PRNewswire) — Olameter today announced that it has put the finishing touches on a deal that will have far-reaching implications for electric utilities and many other service providers.

In an agreement that will pave the way for faster and more efficient e-commerce transactions between Olameter’s partners and their customers, the Montreal-based company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mondex International Ltd. (MXI), a UK-based developer of smart card applications and electronic cash. The “Olameter” Gateway will soon be used to provide commercial and residential end-users with automated services that range from utility meter reading, high-speed Internet access to IP telephony, home automation, security, entertainment and e- commerce applications.

A subsidiary of MasterCard International, MXI has been developing smart card technology in collaboration with leading banks and smart card manufacturers across the world since 1996.

Cost-effective, highly secure and instantaneous, its payment mechanism based on MULTOS, a multi-application smart card operating system, is ideal for high volumes of low-value transactions, pre-payment arrangements and value storage. For Olameter, who was looking to equip its Gateway architecture with a payment system that benefits both retailers and end-users, this solution represents an excellent fit.

MXI’s purse for electronic cash is protected by a highly sophisticated security and risk management system that allows money to change hands via various communications channels in a way that is convenient and mutually advantageous for service providers and consumers.

Once integrated in the Olameter Gateway Architecture, MXI’s e-purse system will allow electric utilities and other service providers to log tremendous savings in general billing and customer relation expenses. This will accommodate, with greater ease, customers who remain uncomfortable with releasing credit card or bank account information over the Internet, or who do not have access to a credit card.

“We wanted a transactional mechanism which was going to make our clients and their customers feel more comfortable,” explained Jan Peeters, Chairman and CEO at Olameter. “And since MXI’s e-purse comes with a rating of ITSEC Level E6 (Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria)- the highest level of encryption available- we felt that we have come about as close as we were going to get to satisfying that demand. We will be able to move money and other sensitive information in a very secure way.”

“But equally important”, added Peeters, “is MXI’s compatibility with Olameter’s overall vision of how to bring effective and innovative site management to both North America and the UK markets.” Determined to find solutions that will evolve with the market place, Olameter is an advocate of a flexible and upgradeable architecture, of which MXI’s integration is a perfect example.

“Everything that is involved with our Gateway is modular and can be integrated easily,” said Peeters, “because we feel that this is the only way we can keep up with the speed of change in the various industries. With MXI and the MULTOS platform, we know we’re right on strategy when it comes to creating an effective, innovative and integrated infrastructure that will function intelligently in both the office and the home, now and for some time to come.”

Founded in 1998, Olameter is a company that is using advanced telemetry and sophisticated back-office systems to redefine how electric metering and other services are managed in North American and UK businesses and homes. Allying itself with utility companies, Olameter is working towards a form of collective, automated site management which will enable end-users to purchase services and e-services easily and painlessly, and for companies to both provide and bill for these services via instantaneous connections.

Linking end- users and service providers through a network of on-site ‘smart’ boxes known as Gateways, Olameter’s aim is to create an infrastructure which offers seamless management of automated services that range from utility meter reading, high-speed Internet access to IP telephony, home automation, security, entertainment and e-commerce applications.

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Mondex International Limited (MXI) provides a global, multi-channel, electronic payment system for the real and virtual worlds. Headquartered in London, the company is a subsidiary of MasterCard International. MXI technology is licensed in over 80 countries around the world. 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. In September 1999, Mondex™ and the MULTOS™ operating system became the first commercial products ever to be awarded ITSEC Level E6 (Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria), the highest ITSEC security rating level available.

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MULTOS is a secure, multi-application operating system. It allows products (in the form of applications) to be added to and deleted from the card or chip. Third-party software developers can develop their own MULTOS applications, allowing them to tailor-design Value-Added Services for the card user. Such applications include loyalty, ticketing, credit, debit and electronic purse. Several MULTOS implementations have recently been awarded ITSEC Level E6 security certificate.

Level E6 is the highest ITSEC rating, providing card issuers and application providers with the highest level of assurance to reflect that the MULTOS product fulfils its security claims. MULTOS is supported by the MAOSCO Consortium which includes Discover Financial Services, American Express, DNP, Europay International, Fujitsu (including its subsidiary ICL), Giesecke and Devrient, Hitachi, Infineon Technologies, Keycorp, MasterCard International and Mondex International, Motorola and Telstra. MULTOS is a trademark of MAOSCO.

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