Thales announced today that its e-Transactions business line, a leading supplier in secure electronic transaction solutions, has signed a strategic alliance with Fujian Newland Computer, one of China's top electronics and computer firms. This marketing, industrial and technological partnership will allow Thales to develop its business in China at a time when the demand for secure electronic card transactions looks set to grow tenfold over the next three years.
The strategic alliance between Thales and Fujian Newland Computer represents a significant element of the drive to develop the Chinese card payment and point-of-sale tax collection infrastructure. As part of the alliance, Fujian Newland Computer will be distributing Thales Artema terminals to Chinese merchants, developing banking applications, and providing support and maintenance services. Additionally, Fujian Newland Computer will be responsible for achieving the local certification of the complete Artema product range.
"In China, there are currently over 300,000 merchants already using electronic payment terminals, chiefly at sales outlets that accept foreign payment cards," said Jan-Erik Rottinghuis, VP and Managing Director of Thales' e-Transactions business. "However, with the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, sharp increases in card payments are expected to drive the spread of electronic payment solutions among the country's estimated 19 million merchants."
The Chinese population currently includes no less than 700 million cardholders. But projected growth, combined with preparations for the Olympics in 2008, has led experts to estimate that the number of card payment terminals in use should jump to a total of 2 or 3 million units by 2008.
The Chinese authorities are now embarking on the deployment of these solutions, and have asked major corporations to invest in the development of the country's secure electronic payment infrastructure.
The Thales Artema core payment platform, provides a complete product range for all types of payment and non-payment applications worldwide. The Artema platform implements a high security architecture for EMV applications, and uses a 32bit RISC processor to enable high performance and guarantee fast transaction processing for merchants and cardholders. With its modular, multi-application architecture, Artema meets all of today`s card payment requirements, whilst allowing for future industry evolutions.