SmartAxis, working with Apple and smart card reader manufacturers, has developed a Mac OS version of the PC/SC smart-card reader driver framework.

PC/SC is an industry standard that permits smart-card readers to connect up with personal computers. Members of the PC/SC working group include Apple, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Toshiba. SmartAxis will publish the software components for use by other Mac OS developers. The company is also committed to developing a Mac OS X compatible PC/SC solution.

A Mac version of the SmartAxis electronic cash software, integrated with its Mac OS-friendly smart-card reader drivers, is also now available. The system lets Apple users shop with electronic cash on a smart card for the first time.

The SmartAxis payment service lets merchants sell digital services, such as downloadable MP3s online. Paul Smith, chief technical officer at SmartAxis, said: "Macintosh users are a key target for the digital-marketplace thanks to the enormous success of the iBook and iMac."