Japanese Visa smart cards to run loyalty programmes

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 31, 2002

Japanese Visa smart cards to run loyalty programmes

Visa credit card holders in Japan are to be given the ability to download loyalty applications, among others, to their Visa smart cards via the internet. The service is being launched by Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co (SMCC), and uses standard multi-application smart cards.

The new service allows cardholders who have a PC-based smart card terminal to download the special software to their GlobalPlatform multi-application Visa smart card. The company expects strong demand for this type of card and expects to issue at least 100,000 such cards within one year.

The GlobalPlatform allows Visa card issuers to respond quickly to cardholder demand and market trends, eliminating the need to reissue cards each time a new application is added or removed.

"The ability to download applications onto a smart card after it has been issued provides a new competitive tool for our members and partners," explained David Chan, head of chip products for Visa Asia Pacific.

How it works To download an application, cardholders insert their Visa smart card into a smart card reader connected to their PC, and enter a unique ID and password (for cardholder identification).

The card issuer can, for added security, set different codes and passwords for each application downloaded to the card.

Finally, neither the cardholder nor any third party is able to load applications onto the card without the card issuer's authorisation.

EMV compliant SMCC has already been issuing EMV-compliant Visa multi-application smart cards since July 2002, based on the GlobalPlatform standard (a global cross-industry standard for multi-application smart cards).

By the end of 2001, more than 60 million Visa smart cards were in use around the world, and Visa expects 15 million smart cards to be issued in the Asia Pacific region by the end of 2002.

Through the use of these cards, Visa hopes to allow financial institutions to establish stronger customer relationships by providing a customised combination of services that goes beyond simple banking and payments. Applications could reasonably include identification, loyalty schemes, identity passwords, transit passes, access control and healthcare information.

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