Easier to add loyalty programmes to smart Visa cards
Visa has released a free framework that allows developers to add new features (including loyalty programmes) to smart Visa cards more easily.
Visa has released smart Visa Framework, a set of common commands, data structures, security protocols and access methods that help to manage personal data. The new framework is free of charge and is enabled for Open Platform 2.0. Designed by Visa USA and developed by Oberthur Card Systems, it is intended to reduce the time and cost of development for smart card applications.
A generic applet suite does not predetermine or limit the kind of data it manages, and it allows various concurrent data structures. This means that a single applet can be used to support a variety of programmes - from frequent-shopper services to internet authentication. Visa's new solution defines the applet lifecycle, thereby eliminating the need for developers to redesign applets or manage cumbersome card-personalization processes. New applications can be deployed for cards already issued via software for PCs and point-of-sale devices.
Oberthur has also developed a "Convenience Storage" application, based on the smart Visa Framework, which makes it easier for bank card issuers to store data on smart Visa cards. Also, pending Visa certification, Oberthur plans to introduce its new CosmopolIC Lite low-cost Open Platform card featuring the smart Visa Framework in ROM in early 2002.
According to Oberthur executive vice-president of sales and field marketing, Thierry Burgess, "The key advantage we provide is that the card gives cardholders total control of any data they might want to store on the card, from payment products to drivers' licence information, through a global PIN management system. Personal data is securely stored directly on the smart card."
Cardholders will be able to use the PC-based Convenience Storage application to store and retrieve any type of data from their card. Typical uses include the storage of personal information such as birthdays, Social Security numbers or frequent flyer account numbers.
Card issuers, merchants, developers, card providers and other interested parties can obtain the smart Visa Framework applet code and documentation from Visa USA.