Italian payment cards swapping to smart EMV standard
Italian banks are being propositioned by smart card providers, Welcome Real Time and Oberthur Card Systems. The two firms are offering multi-application smart cards for the migration to the EMV payment standard, while at the same time enabling Italian card issuers to offer their cardholders smart card-based loyalty schemes.
Based on the low cost EMV card developed by Oberthur, Welcome's combined transaction and loyalty solutions can be hosted in standard cards, along with the EMV (Europay/Mastercard/Visa) debit/credit application.
Oberthur claims to account for 60% of the magnetic stripe card market in Italy, and says it aims to take the lead in the country's EMV migration as well. With that in mind, the company partnered with Welcome Real Time, which specialises in loyalty solutions and transaction systems.
The Italian market, with around 33 million cards in circulation, is one of the biggest payment markets in Western Europe. After the United Kingdom, Italy is the second European country to tackle the inevitable migration to EMV microprocessor cards.
"Italian banks will now be able to leverage their upcoming EMV infrastructure through easy-to-deploy, value added services that will make the migration happen smoothly, and also boost their revenues," explained Philippe Vinci, CEO for Welcome EMEA.