News Burst: BT to trial smart cards

Cards could enable office working, new e-commerce opportunities

Smart cards to enable workers to log on to offices from home are to be trialled by BT, the company announced Tuesday.

The trial, to be run with Microsoft, will begin early next year. The smartcard will allow people to access their office network from a PC or laptop using a simple PIN. Initially 500 people will trial the cards.

In the future it is hoped the cards will be developed for other applications, such as access to buildings, electronic transactions, online banking, e-cash and customer loyalty programmes. Head of smart cards at BT, Steve Brown, believes they will become invaluable on the Net. "Smart cards are going to be an important tool for businesses wanting to exploit e-commerce and Internet opportunities," he said.

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