EastNetsTM, a leading payments and security solution provider in Europe, Middle East and Africa, will be announcing the launch of its Instant Issuing solution at the Cards Middle East Conference and Exhibition that will be held from 15-18, May 2005 at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai. The Instant Issuing solution enables banks to comply with Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) standards and ensures a smooth and timely migration ahead of the EMV deadline of January 2006. Financial institutions across the Middle East are upgrading their banking and Point of Sale infrastructures to meet the EMV mandate for smart chip cards. “Instant Issuing is the latest innovative addition to our Service Bureau,” said Hazem Mulhim, CEO, EastNetsTM. By outsourcing card processing to EastNetsTM Service Bureau, banks can issue EMV compliant cards directly from their branches without the complexity and costly investment required for an in-house solution. We currently provide outsourcing services to more than 50 banks through the EastNetsTM Service Bureau.” Mulhim added.The EMV standard is a set of specifications which defines the processing of a transaction, using a chip and a terminal. Enhanced security and efficiency are the principal reasons for the transition to EMV and the most important reason is the significant rise in fraud involving magnetic credit cards. “Replacement of the traditional magnetic stripe cards with EMV compliant smart cards will create a much higher level of protection for card users and reduce the risk to financial institutions” highlighted Mulhim. EastNetsTM, one of the silver sponsors at the Cards Middle East will be co-exhibiting and participating as speakers along with their international partner Trub AG from Switzerland on the second and third day of the conference (16 & 17, May 2005).“The availability of EastNetsTM Instant Issuing solution to banks will further enhance the Middle East’s highly developed and innovative financial infrastructures. The banks in the region have an opportunity to lead the way in complying with international standards and successfully participate in the global economy,” concluded Mulhim. The Cards Middle East conference is focused on cards, transactions, payments and loyalty and includes specific issues such as, EMV applications; card security and fraud prevention; risk management; the impact of Shariah law on Islamic banking; mobile payments and card outsourcing.