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Press Release

Thales enables Metro Bank to bring in-store card issuance to the UK high street

Thales P3 helps combat fraud and improve customer service

CARTES 2010, Paris, France and Thame, UK – 8 December 2010 – Thales (Paris: HO), leader in information systems and communications security, announces that Metro Bank has implemented Thales’s P3™ solution, allowing the bank to deliver on its customer service promise by creating and issuing new bank cards on the spot. Thales P3 - Personalization Preparation Process - supports Verisoft’s InstantEMV application and the MagTek ExpressCardEMV to provide Metro Bank with everything it needs to generate and manage the EMV cryptographic card data in-house and right out of the box.

With the implementation of this P3-supported solution, Metro Bank becomes the first financial institution in the UK with the ability to issue a new or replacement card to customers in-store on the spot, rather than the normal three to four working days required via the postal service.

For the bank, being able to provide its customers with a fully personalised EMV bank card in-branch reduces the cost of mailing cards. By delivering the card and PIN to the customer on the spot, it also reduces the risk of either being lost or fraudulently intercepted in the post. For the customer, the key benefit is of course the time saved as well as convenience – if a card is lost or stolen for example, a new one can be issued in-store straight away.

“IT is a critical element in the delivery of customer service. Thales P3 enables us to issue a customer with a new or replacement card on the spot” says Craig Donaldson, Chief Executive Officer at Metro Bank.

“Our P3 solution, in conjunction with Verisoft’s Instant EMV application and the MagTek ExpressCardEMV, enables Metro Bank to create and issue EMV smart cards on the spot. It’s an exciting development in the UK retail banking market and it will be interesting to see whether other UK banks follow suite in offering their customers a quicker way to get their cards, or whether Metro Bank will remain alone offering this differentiated service,” says Franck Greverie, Thales vice president in charge of information technology security activities. 

Thales P3 – Personalization Preparation Process – makes it easy to create and issue EMV smart cards without sacrificing control. Developed to closely reflect the evolving needs of the major card schemes, including American Express, JCB, MasterCard® and Visa, P3 supports a full range of contact and contactless chip applications from all the global card associations and a range of smart card platforms including MULTOS, GlobalPlatform as well as proprietary systems. P3 uses Thales P3CM, a robust highly secure hardware cryptographic module which is optimized for high-performance EMV data preparation.

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Notes to editors
The Information Technology Security activities of Thales provides data encryption solutions to the financial services, high technology manufacturing, government, and technology sectors.  With a 40-year track record of protecting corporate and government information, Thales solutions are used by four of the five largest energy and aerospace companies, 22 NATO countries, and they secure more than 70 percent of worldwide payment transactions.  Thales e-Security has offices in France, Hong Kong, Norway, United States and the United Kingdom. 

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About Thales
Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2009 the company generated revenues of €12.9 billion, with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 22,500 engineers and researchers Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.

Press Contacts
Liz Harris
Thales, Information Technology Security
+44 (0)1223 723612

Victoire Le Barazer
Thales, Security Solutions & Services
+33 1 73 32 13 20