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Leading Smart Card Technology Company raises £338,000 from The Capital Fund


Aconite Ltd, a leading global provider of Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) and smart card technology solutions, has raised £338,000 from The Capital Fund, a £50 million venture capital fund that invests in fast-growth companies in Greater London, and private investors. The Fund’s contribution follows a previous investment of £250,000 in Aconite in February 2005 and was part of a larger second round fund raising. The Company will use the new capital to support ambitious international growth plans.

Founded in 2000 by Mike Woods, Aconite has grown to over 45 staff and consultants with offices in Europe, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Southern Africa. The company has a global reputation as the industry leader in smart card technology, with specialist expertise in assisting banks, financial institutions and retailers to make the transition from magnetic stripe debit and credit cards to chip and PIN cards - a process known as EMV migration. The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Framework requires banks to implement EMV chip and PIN security standards in all Euro countries by 2010. Magnetic stripe cards will be phased out between 2008 and 2010.

Aconite offers banks and financial institutions a suite of innovative software and consultancy solutions, known as smartprocess®, to help them comply with SEPA. These range from strategic planning for EMV migration to smart card testing and an EMV Script Processor solution that enables banks and other card issuers to increase their control over credit and debit card risk by remotely updating information held in the chip after a card has been issued.

Mike Woods, Chief Executive of Aconite, said: “EMV migration is a complex undertaking that impacts on all aspects of card issuing and transaction systems, from cardholder design and smart card testing to customer service call centre operations and back-office functions such as chargebacks and dispute resolution.

We aim to reduce that complexity by offering systems that are easy to implement, and to ensure that our clients benefit from EMV instead of simply bearing the costs of compliance. Our solutions are designed to focus on risk management, which can help our customers achieve cost savings from reductions in card fraud and bad debts. These can be significant as, in the UK alone, banks are losing £400 million per year through card fraud.”

Companies that are benefiting from Aconite’s solutions include Transaction Network Services, a leading provider of data communications services in the UK transactions market; First Data, a key player in the card processing market; Link, and Bank Leumi, Israel. Aconite has also recently acquired Smart Commerce Inc, a leading provider of smart card technology to the Canadian and American markets, to support its strategic plans for growth in the region.

Mr Woods commented on The Capital Fund: “The Capital Fund has exceeded our expectations and were our natural choice for follow-on funding. Their pragmatic approach and support for growing businesses extends beyond the provision of development capital to a value-added service, which has included the nomination of Tony Shaw, a former CEO of NatWest Corporate Bank, as a non-executive director. Ian Cameron was extremely professional and supportive throughout our fundraising process and we are delighted that the Fund is backing our plans for expansion.”

The Capital Fund’s Investment Director, Ian Cameron, said: “The Aconite management team has achieved some key milestones in the last year, including closing a number of significant sales to key players in the card processing market. We believe that the company has the potential to capitalise on opportunities arising from EMV migration and compliance to provide a service that delivers an excellent return on investment to thousands of financial clients across the globe. We were pleased to make a further investment to support the growth of Aconite.”

PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQ


Publisher Contact Information:

The Capital Fund
+44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Company profile of The Capital Fund
Past press releases of The Capital Fund.

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