Sharp increase in smart card projects worldwide

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on November 26, 2003

Sharp increase in smart card projects worldwide

Having noticed a sharp increase in global demand for smart card services, MasterCard International is now working with its customers on over 400 chip projects around the world - more than double the number of projects active in the fourth quarter of 2002.

According to MasterCard, smart card activity has been particularly strong in the Asia/Pacific region, where the number of EMV smart cards has continued to double each year, currently totalling some 14.5 million. The same trend holds true in Latin America/Caribbean, South Asia, Middle East Africa.

Europe continues to lead the world with more than 200 chip migration programmes now underway. One of MasterCard's key European customers, Credit Mutuel Centre-Est Europe, is expected to be the first bank to issue M/Chip 4 on MULTOS in a massive, country-wide roll out beginning in early 2004.

Widespread shift This widespread technology shift has helped to guide recent decisions by MasterCard's regional boards in Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and South Asia and Middle East Africa, which have all recently enacted intra-regional liability shift policies, calling for the full-scale adoption of smart cards and chip terminals in 2005 to 2006. Migration incentives are already in place in most of these regions.

To help ensure a steady stream of MasterCard chip products in the marketplace, MasterCard is working to equip the vendor community with the tools they need to support MasterCard-based smart card programmes around the world. Card vendors including Austria Card, Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient, and Setec have committed to supporting M/Chip 4. MasterCard has also recently signed an agreement with Ingenico, making the firm a key supporter of the M/Chip deployment programme.

Developer programme Last year, MasterCard announced OneSMART MasterCard - its global support programme covering every aspect necessary to launch smart cards, with all of the company's global smart card solutions, technical expertise, and marketing support consolidated under a single banner.

Expanding on this, MasterCard has launched its M/Chip Deployment Programme to provide support for those migrating payment cards from the magnetic stripe platform to chip. The programme focuses specifically on addressing all aspects of chip migration, and consists of three components:

  • The M/Chip application and its enabling infrastructure;
  • M/Chip implementation support services;
  • Industry products and services based on the M/Chip specification.

Smart applications The programme allows project developers to deliver a range of additional applications, including:

  • M/Chip Pre-Authorized, which allows cardholders to place cash in a pre-authorized account, which is regulated by the chip's open-to-buy counter. The cardholder continues to use the card in an off-line mode until the amount requested exceeds the card's open-to-buy counter, at which point funds must be replenished.  
  • Chip Authentication Programme. M/Chip 4 cards can be used in conjunction with MasterCard SecureCode to generate the authentication data necessary to guarantee e-commerce transactions. This programme can also be used for internet banking and other applications requiring positive cardholder authorisation.  
  • MasterCard PayPass. M/Chip 4 also supports emerging solutions such as the PayPass contactless payment programme. It can be offered with PayPass contactless capability either on a single, integrated chip, or as a hybrid two-chip (contact and contactless) card.

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