DTA - Recent Projects

A system for reclaiming VAT. This system uses a variety of methods for shoppers from outside the EU to reclaim the VAT paid on their purchases when they leave the UK. Ingenico terminals are used to print out a VAT reclaim form or they update a database which is then accessed at the leaving port or airport to print out the form with all the shopper's purchases. Additionally users of specific credit and debit cards merely have to pay for the purchases using those cards for the database to be updated and the VAT forms created from the transaction records.

A loyalty scheme integrated with debit card payments. This scheme operates in Norway. It is based around Football Clubs. Club supporters register their bank account details with the scheme, and whenever they use their registered debit card in an associated shop or merchant they will receive a percentage of each transaction as a bonus, and the football club will also get a larger percentage. The football clubs and the scheme recruit merchants to support them and encourage their supporters to join and spend money in the shops which support their club.

Each supporter is able to choose which football club to support, and the club and the merchants are able to send messages by email or text message to various categories of supporters (those who live in a certain area, or who spend most and so on).

The advantages for the clubs are evident - they receive income from merchants who now have a good reason to provide support since the club is pushing customers their way. Supporters also help their club by shopping as normal, and since the transaction is logged automatically there is no extra training or special cards involved in the purchase.

An identity checking system. The system involves the use of MiFare or TagIT cards or tokens. Each person who is required to be securely identified has their photo, and optionally some biometric details, stored on a server. When they are required to prove their identity they wave their ID card or token over a reader, which then connects to the server and retrieves their details and photograph. Optionally their biometric data may be read and compared with the data on file.

The system is very fast and responsive, and people may be deleted from the system rapidly when required.

An environmental monitoring system. This consists of web enabled monitoring devices with sensors for humidity, temperature, light levels, sound with additonal plug-in sensors. These devices are polled by a console on the LAN. This provides a visual display of the monitored sensors, and when alarms are triggered warnings are sent by email or SMS to selected contacts.

A database system for an educational charity. The system maintains details on students and their individual tutors. It keeps track of their educational achievements, their outcomes and so on. Reports are generated into Excel spreadsheets for finishing off.

A newspaper vending automat. Subscribers to newspapers and magazines are issued with a card which they can then swipe at an automat and their paper is dispensed. Subsequent swipes on the same day are ignored. Details of new customers and customers to be deleted are transferred via GSM modem or wireless LAN each night, as are the transaction data for inclusion into a central database.
This system has been extended using a Thales terminal which sits on a newsagent's counter and allows a customer to swipe their card, and if it is valid makes a beep which signals the newsagent to deliver a newspaper. Swipes are then sent by SMS message to a gateway to record the transactions.

An immigration visa system using Mifare cards. At the visa application stage photographs, biometric and personal data is collected and stored onto a flexible Mifare card which is then stuck onto a passport page, and covered with a paper visa document showing a photograph and visa details. On entry to the host country the traveller walks into an immigration gate which reads the visa through the passport and requests confirmation of the biometric data held on the mifare card (fingerprint, iris, handprint etc). The immigration officer is presented with the photograph, visa data and whether the biometric data was authenticated, processes the applicant and allows the traveller to proceed into the country (or not).

A hardware/software development creating a network enabled smart card reader for a local education authority. This enabled readers to be connected to a LAN and attendance data, generated by the students inserting their smart cards when coming into class, was collected into the school's server and kept in a SQL Server database.

A system in Majorca to enable credit and debit card payments to be made via the internet using satellite links. This system consisted of a payment station which accepted credit and debit cards. The payment station was initially in hotel environments offering internet and email access to their customers. When a customer inserted their card and selected a payment amount a link was initiated to an internet based authorisation center, and the transaction authenticated. The link consisted of a satellite dish on the roof of the hotel which accessed the internet by sending information to a communications satellite linked to the internet via a ground station in the UK.

A smart card based payment system in an exhibition hall enabling payments to food and drink retailers to be made using a rechargeable smart card. This system used Ingenico Elite 710 terminals.

A discount scheme developed for a tourist guide publisher. Ingenico Elite 710 terminals were programmed to issue discount vouchers after a card was swiped or a voucher number entered at the keyboard. Depending on the voucher number one or more discount tickets could be issued. Each transaction was recorded and collected using DTA-POLL for billing and sales analysis.

A marketing aid permitting a stand holder at a conference to run a prize giving promotion. Each delegate to the conference was issued with a smart card which was read at the conference in a specially designed booth. At random intervals the insertion of a card caused the computer to issue a prize, which was then handed over by the stand personnel.

A pilot system for a local authority implementing a bonus points system for students and jobseekers. Each student is given a smart card which is updated with points, the value depending on the activity, which are then 'cashed in' when enough have been earned. Initially 3000 cards have been issued, with more users coming on line as time goes on. Data is collected from terminals via direct dial and internet email connections.

An authentication system for a Norwegian wholesaler, providing secure access to the wholesaler's Internet site where orders and purchases could be made with the sure knowledge that the person logging into the system was in possession of an authorised smart card.

A smart and magnetic card reader interface for an American Internet Kiosk operation.

A Global Email System for a large multinational company. This system allows employees of the company with a valid smart card to initiate an intranet session by placing their card in a reader at a kiosk or desk. When they select the email option CARD LITE immediately logs them into Microsoft Outlook Web Based Email and displays their private mailbox.

An Electronic Purse System for the World Ski Championships held in Trondheim, Norway, during February and March 1997. This DTA-SMART project was run with the cooperation of VISA Norway and VISA International. Between 10% and 15% of all cash transactions at the games were handled by the electonic purse cards, and reconcilation of accounts from each stall and shop was completely finished within 20 minutes of the end of trading, whereas the cash counting reconcilation usually took 5 to 6 hours!

A library security system for Waltham Forest Council in London. This system requires users to insert a smart card to access the computer. The smart card is issued by the library staff in exchange for the user's library card. In this way the library is able to keep track of the use of the computer, and regulate who uses the computer and which applications are run. Libraries often have a problem securing their computers from malicious damage, and the CARD GUARD system has prevented such damage on the computers it has been installed on.

An internet kiosk system in conjunction with a London systems supplier. The CARD LITE system enables usage of the kiosk to be charged for on a program by program basis. Remote charging of the cards is enabled in this system.

An cybercafe system where the CARD LITE programs enable personalised information to be held on the smart cards, and precise timing of computer use.

A polling system collecting data from some 6,000 terminals per week and distributing the information over a network for onward processing. The terminals are a mixture of purpose built controllers and PCs.

An Electronic Purse System for an amusement park near Oslo in Norway. In Phase 1 the staff have been provided with Smart Cards which enable them to purchase items at the staff canteen and from drinks vending machines without the need to carry any cash. This cuts down on the opportunities for theft, since the staff have no reason to be carrying cash at all when they are in the park.

A Privilege Shopping system in Norway comprising a UNIX host and geographically distributed automats, which accept magnetic cards from users, print out vouchers, display advertising, and relay information to and from the host.

A large Point of Sales system for the retail and rental trade. This system consists of 20 minicomputers geographically distributed throughout the UK and Eire and over 2000 POS cash registers, 1000 intelligent videotex and data capture terminals installed in some 1500 retail outlets. Data is collected nightly from each terminal using DTA produced autodialling software, and then Cash Book, Stock Movement, Sundry Cash Analysis and Transmission Reports are printed. Terminals are also periodically reprogrammed with PLU data etc. This system was installed for Thorn EMI in 1979, and has also been extended for use in Scandinavia since that time. It is currently implemented on UNIX hosts under the name DTA-POLL, using PSTN, Network and leased line connections. DTA-POLL is now also in use by many other companies, large and small, transferring information from branch PCs and LANs to head offices.

A front end communications processor (FECP) developed for Sperry (now UNISYS) for Clydesdale Bank. The client operated Bank Teller Terminals using the Burroughs TC-500 protocol, and DTA was called in to write this protocol for an FECP and tune performance to speed up cash withdrawals at bank counters and cashpoint machines. DTA's own operating system, RTM, was used to effect the high performance achieved.

Projects developed on mini and microcomputers using UNIX, XENIX and the relational database INFORMIX. These projects are in the area of debt collection, providing a computerised system to enable the sending of letters to debtors, the management of agents collecting payments, the billing of clients and collection of payments via BACS direct debit via telecoms.

Several viewdata implementations, installed in over 20 countries world-wide on various types of computer including UNISYS, DEC, Norsk Data, Texas Instruments and Altos. These implementations are under VMS, UNIX, XENIX and VORTEX.

A payment system developed under UNIX and DOS to enable the sending of bank transactions to BACS (Banker's Automated Clearing Services) via modems, magnetic tapes or floppy disks.

A dedicated microcomputer system handling video-tape vending machines, with video-tapes being hired and returned by customers using direct debiting bank cards and credit cards. The system transfers transaction data to the banks and receives details of invalid cards by autodialling late at night and then conversing with the bank's computer using a specially written protocol.

An automatic airline ticket dispenser, enabling customers to buy airline tickets using their bank or credit cards from a machine located in airport lobbies.

A car park payment system, allowing customers to pay for their parking using bank or credit cards. This system was installed in Fornebu airport in Norway, as part of a Hasler Zeag Car Park system.

A polling system based on IBM PCs and UNIX computers to collect Telephone Call Logging data from remote sites.

A database system for newsagents, implemented under Windows 3.1 and Borland Objectvision.

A PC based speaking system, driven by mouse movements alone. This is primarily aimed at severely disabled people who cannot speak or move their hands.

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