France controls postie's access with Oz-based Intellect security deal

France's postmen will be allowed multi-site access on their daily rounds thanks to a Smartcard technology deal signed by secure payment solution provider Intellect, and French Postal service La Poste.

Under the deal, La Poste (a paper and electronic mail distributor) will deploy the Australian authentication solution - the Vigik project - across all French post offices in cities with over 25,000 residents, over the next three years.

Authorised postmen will own "electronic keys" or Smartcards which they must validate daily using Intellect's Microbank Home Terminal installed at post offices.

The terminal loads the contactless key with a pre-defined schedule for the day, ensuring the key can only open certain premises that can be used during a specific time, a company statement read.

Intellect's Vigik is based on multiple smartcard schemes, a security chip, systems software and the terminal.

It solves the headache associated with masterkeys being lost by service people (La Poste estimates ten master keys are lost daily), and thus the need to frequently replace locks, according to Intellect.

The system will allow La Poste to control employee access to 700,000 buildings in France by tracking the daily audit trail left by the user.

Intellect would only reveal the deal was worth "tens of millions" of dollars. 60 per cent of the start-up's revenue is drawn from northern European markets, according to Ross Laton, a company director. Intellect will expand the Vigik solution into other major European markets.

With annual turnover of $A23 billion, La Poste aims to make ten per cent of earnings outside France from 2002.

Intellect has also formed a multi-million dollar alliance with the Malaysian Government, agreeing to supply hardware and software for the Government's MultiPurpose Card project.

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