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Investment To Meet Increasing Smart Card Demand

Million Dollar Investment To Meet Increasing Smart Card Demand Will Reach ROI Within Six Months

Since investing in two new smart card machines late last year, Security Plastics has been working overtime to meet substantial orders for Multos smart cards. The orders are indicative of a world conversion trend from financial magnetic strip cards to the more secure chip-based smart cards. The company predicts that the US$500,000 (NZ$1m) investment will pay for itself by June 2002.

Security Plastics is supplying Australian partner KeyCorp with Multos smart cards as part of two large orders from leading banks in Taiwan and Korea. These two projects are involving round-the-clock manufacture of between 150,000 to 200,000 smart cards per month until June at least. The runs are close to meeting the maximum limit of the new machines which can turnaround nearly a quarter of a million chip-based cards per month.

Smart cards are replacing magnetic strip cards because they can store and process data with military level security. As well as secure financial transactions smart cards can be loaded with additional features such as multiple currency options and loyalty programmes.

The company also has orders in the pipeline from key partners and banks throughout Australasia, and is considering further investments in new technology, including modular software (to be able to load Java-based applications on the cards) and training, to reap the opportunities within this exploding market.

Security Plastics New Zealand new General Manager, Richard Webster, and the international business development manager Sonya McGill, pushed hard for the investment in the new smart card machines when orders flooded in during September 2001.

“We’ve known for a long time that smart cards would take off,” said Ms McGill. “There is an increasing trend in the banking industry to replace magnetic strip cards with smart-cards that can also offer multiple currency and loyalty options. To take advantage of this and position ourselves above overseas competition, we made the necessary strategic decision to invest in new technology. We are hugely satisfied with the results achieved so far.”

Security Plastics was only the second company in the world to be accredited for loading the Mondex Purse onto Multos smart cards, and the only Multos certified card manufacturer in Australasia. Multos offers military standard high-level security - a feature that many banks are insisting on. Unlike magnetic strip cards, Multos smart cards are near impossible to counterfeit.

About Security Plastics Ltd (A Division of W&H Print)

Security Plastics is the largest plastic card-manufacturer in Australasia and one of the top performing companies in the entire Wilson and Horton group. The company provides the design, production, initialising and commissioning of security cards and smart cards, and pioneered the introduction of smart cards in 1993 by establishing Australasia's first smart card manufacturing facility.

Over 65% of production is exported. Most of this comprises smart cards, which represent the next generation of plastic card technology. In the New Zealand domestic market Security Plastics manufactures and produces cards for the Financial sector, retail outlets, clubs, Photo Identity cards for commercial and Government departments, Fuel cards, Access and Security cards, Promotional and Smart Cards.

Security Plastic’s client list includes over 130 of the world's most influential banks in thirty countries. These include Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Hong Kong Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Westpac, Bank of New Zealand, Citibank and Bank of China as well as Privatbank, ICICI Bank and Mashreq Bank. Additionally, the company manufactures for a number of large issuers such as EXXON Mobil, Shell, & Caltex.

Security Plastics is New Zealand's only certified card manufacturer. It is certified to manufacture for Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Bankcard Associates Multos and Mondex. The company fully meets the security and quality standards of these organisations and manufactures in excess of 30 million cards per annum.

With offices in Wellington, Auckland, Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne, Security Plastics is now the largest plastic card supplier in this region, and has an extensive export base that includes Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the USA.

- Ends -

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