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 SOMERSET, N.J., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Trendar Corp. and AT&T (NYSE: T) are teaming to provide a transaction station for truck stops based in AT&T's smart card technology that will move trucks more efficiently through fueling islands and cut down on costly billing errors.
 AT&T contactless smart cards look like credit cards -- they're the same size and just as thin -- but they have microprocessors and memory chips laminated within their plastic shells. Developed at AT&T Bell Laboratories, their electronic memory cam hold the equivalent of several pages of typewritten information, personalized to the card's user.
 The SmartFuel System, located at the fuel pump, can accept AT&T contactless smart cards or standard magnetic stripe cards.
 Drivers using magnetic-stripe cards will be asked for data such as their driver number and truck number. If they have smart cards, this information will be stored on the cards and read by the SmartFuel System, greatly improving the efficiency of the transaction process. The driver merely needs to verify the data. The sale is then instantly authorized. When the fueling process is complete, the system automatically dials out for payment authorization. By the time the driver gets to the fuel desk, a ticket is printed and ready for his or her signature.
 In addition to speeding the fueling process, the SmartFuel System instantaneously sends information about the transaction to the fleet operator's headquarters.
 "Fuel sales at truck stops are much more complicated than what most automobile drivers are used to, and the stakes are much higher," explains Ernest Betancourt, chairman of Trendar. "A truck stop fuel desk has to accommodate up to 60 different payment methods, and varying prices depending upon which of the nation's 77,000 fleets are involved. As a result, there is a large margin for error in each transaction. A cashier can easily charge the wrong fuel price, record the billing information incorrectly, or give cash discounts on credit purchases."
 "Smart cards are a perfect way to take much of the guesswork out of these transactions," adds Betancourt, "and AT&T, with its superior technology and unparalleled customer support, is the best source for smart card systems and solutions."
 The smart card will store such information as the truck number, purchase authorization limits, the driver's license number, the name of the fleet operator, and any discount to which trucks in this fleet are entitled.
 The first SmartFuel systems will be installed in Virginia during the second quarter of this year.
 "We cooperated with Trendar on this offer because of the company's reputation as an innovator in the field of truck fueling systems," said Tom Cerwinski, AT&T Smart Cards Market Manager. "And this is just the beginning of how smart cards can serve this industry. Today, most toll booths, weigh station and ports of entry require trucks to stop, with costs ticking away at a dollar per minute. Equipped with smart cards, commercial vehicles could be located, classified, weighed and identified for taxation and other purposes while in motion. In addition to speeding the trip, this reduces the need to have drivers carry cash, it can provide accurate records of trip expenses, and it could allow the owners to track or locate their vehicles. The same smart card could be used to record engine information, vehicle weight, manifest and state permits, and to pay for repairs and taxes."
 A prototype of the new SmartFuel(TM) System was demonstrated at a meeting of the National Association of Truck Stop Operators in Orlando last week.
 Trendar Corp., based in Nashville, Tenn., is the leading provider of truckstop point-of-sale systems for fuel purchases in the United States. Its systems record the sale of approximately 7.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually in more than 1,100 truck stops throughout the U.S.
 AT&T Smart Cards, based in Somerset, N.J., is a leading supplier of contactless smart cards and applications.
 Additional Background About AT&T's Smart Cards:
 AT&T's smart card consists of an 8-bit microcomputer, and features its own operating system, 3 kilobytes of electrically erasable read-only memory (EEPROM), an asynchronous serial data link, and a security system to prevent files from unauthorized use.
 AT&T's smart card differs from other smart cards in several important ways:
 -- It uses a contactless interface to provide power to the card and to perform data transfer. Other smart cards have exposed metallic contacts, which produce reliability problems with wear, contamination, and damage due to electrostatic discharge.
 -- The microprocessor uses a UNIX(TM) - like operating system designed specifically for AT&T's smart card. Host computers or terminals can interact with the card using predefined, high-level software commands.
 -- The card's file management architecture allows a number of applications to reside on one card. For example, in banking, one card can be used to hold information on a customer's checking, savings, loan and line-of-credit accounts, while also storing biometrics, such as the customer's signature, voice and fingerprints for security. In addition, that same card can be used for travel or other applications.
 -- The card has built-in security features. Information stored on the card can be isolated in such a way that access to data in a particular file on the card can be limited to users authorized to access that portion of the card. This allows different applications to reside on the same card without giving all handlers access to the entire database.
 -- Security is also enhanced by the inclusion of a security algorithm. Encryption, decryption and message authentication can be performed to facilitate secure transmissions over insecure links to and from the host system or terminal.
 AT&T smart cards are already being used in several ways:
 -- Electronic toll collection. Without stopping, drivers approaching a toll plaza insert a smart card into a transmitter mounted on their dashboards. Information stored on the card is transmitted to the toll station via radio link, and the cost of each toll is either debited from a pre-paid amount on the card or recorded for billing later.
 -- Electronic benefits Italy's post office is now using a pension- administration system supplied by Olivetti that uses AT&T's smart card as a record-keeping device for pensioners.
 -- Computer security. Other customers are using the AT&T smart card to limit access to computer systems containing proprietary information. Authorized users dial into the systems from their portable computers, and the systems have been programmed to interface with a smart card. Without the card, the systems cannot be accessed.
 -- Building security. AT&T has several applications in the U.S. and Japan in which the smart card is used for employee identification and building access control.
 But these are just the beginning. The government could use smart cards to replace printed food stamps and other benefits. A medical smart card could provide a physician with a patient's complete and up- to-date medical record. The same smart card can also store insurance information in a separate file.
 "The 1990s is a decade of customization," says Diane Wetherington, president of AT&T Smart Cards. "Businesses will need to redesign the way information is gathered and processed, in part because customers' definitions of acceptable service times and intervals are changing. In some cases, this will require reengineering where and how products and services are delivered. Smart cards will revolutionize personal and business information access and processing by providing instant point- of-need transactions."
 -0- 2/26/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy Rutherford of Trendar, 615-367-1000, or Michael Jacobs of AT&T, 908-582-4767/

CO: AT&T Bell Laboratories; Trendar Corp. ST: New Jersey, Tennessee IN: CPR SU: PDT

LD-SM -- NY004 -- 0731 02/26/93 09:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 26, 1993

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