Visa Launches Mobile Visa Wave Payment Pilot In Malaysia
Visa International, in collaboration with Maybank, Maxis Communications Berhad (Maxis) and Nokia, has launched its first Mobile Visa Wave Payment Pilot in Malaysia. Two hundred participants who are both Maybankard Visa cardholders and Maxis mobile phone subscribers will participate in the four-month trial beginning today.
Mobile Visa Wave Payment in Malaysia is unique in that it combines Near
Field Communications (NFC) with Visa Wave Contactless Card technologies, building on the
successes of the existing Visa Wave contactless card platform. Mobile Visa Wave Payment can be
made across all merchants in Malaysia that have Visa Wave-supported terminals. No change to
the current acceptance infrastructure is required.
Visa Wave is a major milestone in contactless card payment and chip innovation. Payments are done via NFC, using Radio Frequency (RF), much like those used in mass transit environments. By simply holding the Visa Wave card at a close range (4cm) from the specially installed payment reader, the card will be detected and transaction processed.
Visa International’s country manager for Malaysia, Jeffrey Perera, said Malaysia was the first country in the world to launch Visa Wave contactless card technology in 2004 and is now the first to launch Mobile Visa Wave Payment.
“Visa is the global leader in contactless payments with four million contactless cards issued in Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea and the United States. We introduced Visa Wave to Malaysia two years ago to the day, and now there are 2,500 outlets in Malaysia that accept Visa Wave. Currently there are more than 160,000 Visa Wave cards issued in Malaysia and we are targeting 600,000 cards by end-2006. By the end of this year, about 10 percent all Visa payment cards are expected to carry the Wave functionality and within the next three to five years, Visa Wave cards will be the norm rather than the exception,” added Perera.
In Malaysia, the pilot Maybankard Visa Wave-enabled phone is two products in one. The Nokia 3220 model operates as a standard mobile phone connected to the Maxis network and, with the built-in Visa Wave function, can also be used to wave and pay wherever a Visa Wave sign is displayed. Cardholders selected for the pilot will be issued a phone pre-programmed with their regular Maybankard Visa Wave card information. And, of course, they can continue to use the physical card at Visa’s 27 million merchant locations and more than one million ATMs worldwide.
Inside the Visa Wave-enabled phone cover is a secure chip and an antenna that sends an RF signal to the terminal, transferring payment information quickly and securely, to a reader connected to the merchant's card terminal. By simply holding the phone at close range to the specially-installed payment reader at participating merchant outlets, the payment details will be detected and the transaction processed.
The Mobile Visa Wave Payment is embedded with a chip that uses the latest cryptography, security and smart card technologies, making it highly secure. The transaction only works when the Mobile Visa Wave phone is in close contact with a terminal, thereby ensuring that the cardholder’s information cannot be intercepted en route from the card to the terminal. Additional security features, which are based on industry-wide global standards, are built into point-of-sale terminals that accept Visa Wave.
In addition to the rapid take-up in Malaysia, Visa Wave programs in other parts of Asia Pacific – one in Korea and two in Taiwan – are also immensely popular. In Korea, Visa Wave has partnered with leading retailer, Tesco, to create a co-branded card that is now deployed through 66 nationwide stores with more than 50,000 cardholders. In Taiwan, Visa has collaborated with Watsons and Costco. The Watsons co-branded program has attracted more than 60,000 cardholders, and the card is accepted at more than 400 stores nationwide, while the CostCo co-branded card has 240,000 cardholders to date.
“Merchants, noting that consumers are embracing Visa Wave, are very pleased with the faster-moving queues,” said Jung. “Cardholders like the high-tech feel of Visa Wave and the fact that it’s so easy to use, saving them time and bother from having to search for small change.”
These observations were backed by a recent NFC and contactless payment technology study in the US by Visa International and Philip Electronics. The study showed that consumers like the convenience, ease of use and trendy aspects of making secure transactions with their mobile phones. Retail purchases with the mobile phone were particularly well received, as participants found the NFC technology and Visa contactless payments easy to understand, convenient and fast.
For further information on Mobile Visa Wave, please visit: http://www.visa-asia.com/ap/sea/cardholders/cardsservices/visa_wave_mobile.shtml
PM can't calm Coalition nerves on smart card
April 27, 2006
THE introduction of a national smart card with photo ID has upset
Coalition MPs and privacy experts who believe it could develop into a national identity card
Instead, the Prime Minister praised the plan, which he said would save billions of dollars in welfare fraud.
As revealed by The Australian, cabinet yesterday formally ruled out a national ID card after senior ministers complained it would be too intrusive.
But senior ministers backed the new government services card, which will be introduced in 18 months.
It will be necessary for anyone who receives welfare or health payments, replacing about 17 cards covering welfare, health, and veterans' and pension entitlements.
Mr Howard insisted the access card would not become a "Trojan Horse" for a national ID card, although he said there would be some "enhanced" identity features, such as the use of biometric technology.
Coalition MPs and privacy groups are not convinced.
Liberal backbencher Steven Ciobo said the devil was in the detail with these types of proposal.
The Queensland MP is concerned it could develop into a national ID card over time.
"There is potential for that, and that is why I want to know the legislative framework," Mr Ciobo said.
Other government MPs are privately also expressing reservations but want to scrutinise thenew access card plan more carefully.
The card will not be cheap. It is estimated to cost about $1billion over four years to implement.
But the consulting firm KPMG indicated it could save taxpayers up to $3billion over 10 years.
The card will be phased in over two years, starting in 2008, and by 2010 people will be able to access government health and welfare services only if they can produce the card.
Cabinet had a solid debate yesterday on the merits of a smart card.
Mr Howard insisted the plan did not resemble a compulsory identity card, as proposed by Labor in 1987.
"The fundamental features of a national ID card, as I understand it, is that, firstly, it's compulsory and, secondly, that you've basically got to carry it with you all the time," he said. "You don't have to carry this card anywhere, and you won't be required to produce it.
"So even with all of the enhanced security features and ... even if some features were added to it in future, it would not alter its fundamental character."
But Australian Council of Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman said the breadth of government services that would require people to register for the card meant it would become a de facto national ID.
"We say this is step one of two steps to a national ID card," he said.
Similarly, Australian Privacy Foundation deputy chair David Vaile accused Mr Howard of "sophistry" in denying it was not an ID card.
"This is by definition an ID card, because it is required as a proof of identity to access a vast range of government services," Mr Vaile said. "It remains to be seen whether it is taken further to become a national ID, but it's already halfway, or three-quarters, of the way there."
Mr Howard said the Government had sought to strike a balance between improving identity security with "the legitimate concerns people have" about privacy.
"But I would expect that this card will be very widely supported in the community."
Labor has called on the Government to publicly release a detailed study by KPMG into the costs associated with the smart card, and the options for using it as an identity card.
Korean Telcos To Roll Out Contactless Payment
South Korea’s major mobile telcos plan to roll out contactless payment to their subscribers and intend to later put the payment application on SIM cards.
The operators, led by SK Telecom and KTF, are spending $10 million to equip 150,000 readers at department stores, restaurants and other merchant locations by the end of the year to handle contactless payments supporting PayPass technology from MasterCard International and Visa Wave from Visa International. They have distributed about 20,000 miniature credit cards that fit inside mobile handsets, with a credit application issued by Samsung Card. They hope to roll out at least 50,000 of the cards this year.
Mobile Payment Remains Stalled In Europe
Acceptance of mobile-payment systems that let consumers make contactless purchases by waving a mobile phone near a reader remains a distant goal in Europe, according to a recent survey by consulting firm Edgar, Dunn & Co. and Mobile Payments World magazine.
Thad Peterson, a director at Edgar, Dunn, tells Card Technology sister publication CardLine Europe that the findings are based on responses from 351 executives in the financial-services and mobile-telecommunications industries, of whom 45% were working out of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Compared to respondents in the Americas and Asia, Europeans "were the most pessimistic group of the three" in terms of their view of the length of time it will take for mobile payment to catch on, Peterson says. According to Peterson, one reason Europeans have been slow to accept mobile payment is because European banks in recent years have been investing heavily in the switch from magnetic-stripe payment cards to chip cards that comply with EMV, the global payment standard for smart cards.
"There's potentially a bit of fatigue just from the giant installation of EMV. That was a very expensive thing to install," he says. "It's kind of hard to look at the next big thing when you're still in the middle of this big thing." Nonetheless, Peterson predicts that the UK may move more quickly on mobile payment than many of its neighbors. He notes that Oyster, a contactless card used by London commuters to pay transit fares, has been popular among users.
"So given that Oyster is so successful, one could logically expect that that would be where (mobile payment) would emerge more quickly," Peterson says. (2006-04-19)
Visa's new chip gives credit-card fraudsters the slip
Published: Thursday, April 20, 2006
Your next credit card may not require you to sign on the dotted line. Under an aggressive rollout set to begin in 2007, Visa, MasterCard and Interac have committed to a so-called "smart card" technology they say will eliminate 80 per cent of credit-card fraud. The smart cards -- which are the same size as the current magnetic stripe cards -- contain an encrypted chip that makes counterfeiting virtually impossible.
Commonplace in Europe and parts of Asia, the cards are already available through a few financial institutions in Canada, "This new chip has been out about five years and it has not been compromised anywhere in the world," said Frank Van Nie, Visa's vice-president relationship management. "Every one of these chips has its own ID. If you took the data off this and put it onto a different chip it wouldn't work." Instead of a signature, the card will work with a PIN (personal identification number), similar to debit cards.
But, unlike a mag-stripe debit card, bad guys can't use it unless they know your PIN and have your actual card. Losses from fraud committed on Canadian Visa cards now exceed $100 million a year.
Van Nie said the chip on the card can hold much more data than the current magnetic stripe cards. "There is potential for new revenue streams for the bank in selling space on that chip to others -- applications like loyalty programs," he said.
Earlier-generation smart cards have been in use in France since the early 1990s. Visa estimates there are 125 million of their new smart cards worldwide. More than 25 million Canadian-issued Visa cards and terminals at more than 600,000 merchants will be replaced.
Van Nie could not identify the cost of changeover.
Banks scramble after cyber-breach Stolen card numbers could mean millions in losses.
Richard Burnett Sentinel Staff Writer Published April 21, 2006
From Citibank to SunTrust, credit unions to community banks, America's financial institutions are scrambling to deal with the biggest cyber-heist of customer debit-card numbers to date.
The huge computer-hacking incident, which took place more than a month ago, has led to potentially millions of dollars in theft by a global ring of hackers using the stolen debit information and personal-identification numbers, industry experts said this week.
In recent weeks, the nation's banks have quietly tried to extinguish the problem by closing hundreds of thousands of debit-card accounts and providing customers new cards, account numbers and PINs, industry officials said.
Exact figures are unknown -- some banks have reported numbers; others have not. It is thought that at least 350,000 accounts across the country were defrauded, involving more than $10 million in losses, according to some experts.
"In terms of financial damage, this is definitely the biggest documented case of debit-card fraud we know of," said Avivah Litan, a banking analyst and online-fraud expert for Gartner Inc., an information-technology research company.
Central Florida's three major banks -- Bank of America, Wachovia and SunTrust -- have acknowledged notifying certain customers about the problem, closing an unspecified number of accounts and issuing new cards and PINs.
The banks said they are closely monitoring the affected accounts for suspicious activity and that a large majority of their customers were not hit by the electronic theft.
Customers whose accounts may have been affected are getting new cards in the mail with letters instructing them to destroy the old ones. Most banks are telling customers that their old cards may have been exposed to fraudulent activity because of a "third-party" security breach.
Kurt Koehler, a Valencia Community College student and part-time house painter, said he got a notice from Bank of America that included a new debit card but said little.
"It was very low key, not a big deal; but it didn't give much information at all, nothing about how it happened or when it might have happened," he said. "And that made me feel even more uneasy."
SunTrust began to take action about four weeks ago after detecting fraudulent charges on some accounts, bank spokesman Hugh Suhr said. Not all customers who were contacted were victims of fraud, he said.
"Our card processor gave us a list of account numbers that might have been compromised," Suhr said. "As a precaution, we've been replacing them in several waves. We're probably in the final wave of that right now."
The financial-services industry's latest security breach came after a series of incidents last year in which more than 50 million account numbers were stolen or misplaced and exposed to potential fraud.
In one case alone, hackers invaded the computers of an Atlanta-based credit-card-processing company, stealing an estimated 40 million credit- and debit-card numbers. The company, CardSystems Solutions Inc., processed card transactions for Visa, MasterCard and all major card brands.
The current case, however, has triggered even more fraud than the CardSystems incident, banking officials said. That's because this time the hackers also captured customer PINs, which made it possible for them to quickly make unauthorized purchases from all over the world and loot accounts from any automated-teller machine.
Banks are trying to find out who's responsible for the breach, said Doug Johnson, counsel for the American Bankers Association. The evidence suggests that it occurred in the retail sector, not the banking system, he said.
"We believe there's a retailer at the end of this chain that was improperly storing PIN-number information in their computer database," Johnson said.
Last month, Visa issued a warning that identified office-supply retailer OfficeMax Inc. as a source of the breach. OfficeMax denied involvement.
Litan, the Gartner analyst, said the source of the problem is more likely a third-party transaction processor that works electronic transactions for a number of retailers. Technically speaking, it is more likely the hackers captured the PIN data as it was speeding through the third-party computers, she said.
Whatever the source, Litan said the banks are being more proactive than ever in dealing with this case. In past breaches, many banks were hesitant to notify customers and reissue cards until actual fraud occurred, she said.
"When you're talking about debit fraud that involves the use of PINs, the banks are required to absorb those losses," Litan said. "With credit-card fraud and debit fraud involving signatures, the losses are eventually shifted to the retailers. That's why the banks have been taking action so quickly this time."
Law-enforcement agencies have also focused on the financial sector's latest security breach. Although the hacker ring is thought to be based in eastern Europe, authorities last month arrested 14 people from New York to Georgia on charges of buying stolen debit-card data, creating counterfeit cards and using them to make fraudulent purchases. Several suspects have already pleaded guilty.
Information from the Knight-Ridder Tribune wire service was used in this report. Richard Burnett can be reached at 407-420-5256 or email@example.com.
Smart Card Shipments Projected To Grow By 20% This Year
Smart card vendors will ship more than 2.2 billion smart cards worldwide this year, 20% more than in 2005, according to projections released today by vendor association Eurosmart. Shipments will increase in nearly all market segments, including subscriber identity module cards for mobile phones, banking smart cards and chip-based ID cards and documents, said the organization today in a press conference.
The vendor group says continued growing demand for SIM cards from mobile network operators in Latin America, India, Africa and the Middle East, along with more orders for SIMs packing 3G applications in Europe and elsewhere, will push SIM shipments up by just under 19% to more than 1.6 billion units in 2006, Eurosmart projects. This will include a return to growth of SIM shipments in China. The Eurosmart estimate includes projections for shipments by Chinese SIM vendors, which are not members of the group.
The overall growth of 18.7% for SIM shipments this year is lower than the 24% increase in SIM volumes in 2005. Vendors shipped nearly 1.4 billion units last year, according to revised figures also released today. But the projected increase for 2006 is still substantial and means SIMs would account for more than 73% of total smart card shipments–those with microprocessor chips¬–this year.
Banking smart card shipments will increase by 20% to 400 million, forecasts the vendor group, thanks to continued rollouts of credit and debit cards complying with the international EMV standard in Europe, including in Turkey and France, and in such new EMV markets as Canada, South Korea, Ukraine, Thailand and China. This also includes more shipments of contactless payment cards to issuers in the United States and the beginning of shipments of contactless cards to banks and credit card companies in Asia. Overall, banking smart cards shipments also grew by 20% in 2005 to 336 million units, estimates Eurosmart.
Shipments of chip-based ID cards and documents will grow faster than any other market segment this year, projects the organization—by 42% to 85 million units. This takes in ID cards and health cards, as well as electronic passports, but doesn’t include China’s national ID card. “The growth this year is accelerating, almost twice the growth of last year,” says Jacques Seneca, head of the Europe-Middle-East-Africa region for France-based card vendor Gemplus International and the incoming chairman of Eurosmart. “We do expect this will continue. He attributed the projected increases to ramping up of shipments of e-passports and sales of cards to some emerging ID and health card projects.
Not all governments are issuing e-passports and those that will begin this year probably will start slowly. Passport bureaus will issue roughly 13 million to 17 million e-passports this year from all vendors, whether Eurosmart members or not, estimates Olivier Piou, CEO of France-based card vendor Axalto and outgoing chairman of the trade organization. At full deployment, in around 2008, governments will be issuing more than 50 million e-passports per year, he says. The smart card industry, which supplies some of the contactless chips and operating systems for the biometric-based passports, has placed the projection lower in the past, estimating that 50 million would be the maximum number of e-passports shipped per year, or about one-tenth of the base of 500 million conventional passports on issue. Most passports expire every 10 years. But Piou believes there will be additional demand, to replace lost and stolen passports, for example.
Second generation health card projects in France and Germany may also see some volume this year along with some chip-based national ID card projects, such as one planned in Morocco, says Seneca. In 2005, vendors worldwide shipped 60 million ID cards and health cards, up 25% from the year before. This also excluded the Chinese national ID card, which Eurosmart says it can’t get an accurate read on.
Piou, who had served as Eurosmart’s chairman for three years, noted the shipment in 2005 of nearly 1.4 million SIM cards meant that–on average–the industry was selling a SIM for every subscriber of GSM networks worldwide. Of course, some subscribers keep their SIM cards for years and some, like those in China, may go through several SIM cards per year–all of them prepaid. Firm estimates for growth in the Chinese market are hard to come by, but what is clear is European vendors are losing market share to Chinese vendors, which may have seen an increase in shipments last year.
Piou tells Card Technology he believes prices will continue to fall in China and elsewhere around the world because of increasing competition among vendors. Last year, overall SIM prices fell by an estimated 20%, a sharper drop than the previous year. Piou’s counterpart at Gemplus, CEO Alex Mandl, predicted prices could again fall by this much in 2006. Vendors have been trying to add features and memory to SIMs to slow the fall, but have been unsuccessful to date.
“This is part of (unit) growth; it’s part of the technology segment,” Piou says. “It has been the case in the past four to five years. Good technology will help compensate.” (2006-04-20)
Santa Monica Uses Smart Cards For Parking
Irvine, CA-based CardLogix says it is providing the city of Santa Monica, CA with chip-based memory cards that drivers can use to pay parking fees at 6,400 streetside parking meters, a CardLogix spokesperson tells Card Technology. Users can buy and add value to the stored value cards at city offices. Santa Monica collects a fee for each card sold. Plans call for the cards to be accepted at parking garages as well, the spokesperson says. (2006-04-19)
Visa Learns Contactless Lesson In Taiwan: Faster Is Better
Visa International’s Asia-Pacific regional office says issuers had rolled out 300,000 Visa-branded contactless credit cards as of last month in Taiwan and are issuing about 15,000 contactless cards per month. Philip Yen, executive vice president and general manager for strategic innovations for the region, says Visa learned a valuable lesson during its first contactless trial in Taiwan, held between May and September of last year at more than 100 retail gasoline stations of China Petroleum Corp.
Although Yen wouldn’t reveal details of transaction times or overall card use, it’s clear the more than 13,000 consumers issued contactless credit cards for the pilot didn’t take to the new payment method as project backers had hoped.
Transactions were too slow and clerks weren’t adequately trained in operating the payment terminals for contactless purchases. “Forcing every transaction to go online to confirm the transaction defeats the purpose; offline is better than online,” Yen says, adding: “It is a new way to accept payment, and it’s important to train the staff.” Visa banks and card companies in Taiwan have since issued other contactless credit cards, including cobranded store cards accepted at about 400 outlets of general merchandiser Watsons Taiwan and several Costco warehouse stores.
Both the Watsons and Costco cards allow the transactions to remain offline, with the terminal authorizing the purchases. It isn’t clear whether these transactions comply with Visa’s “quick” EMV chip technology, which is more secure than contactless transactions based on magnetic-stripe data. Visa and other card organizations use mag-stripe data in the United States for all contactless transactions, which go online for authorization. Network connections, however, are generally quick in the United States.
Visa Asia-Pacific members are also issuing contactless credit cards in Malaysia and, more recently, in South Korea. (2006-04-11)
First Authentication Solution Specifically Designed for Visually
Impaired Users of On-Line Banking
SURESNES, France, April 11 /PRNewswire/ --
- With Xi-Sign 4500, Banks can now Provide Their Visually Impaired Customers a Security Solution for On-Line Banking Services
Based on XIRING patented technology "Chip-to-Speech", the Xi-Sign 4500 will be the first CAP-compliant device to offer a smart card based authentication solution for visually impaired users.
As the popularity of alternative banking channels, such as online and telephone banking, continues to grow, there is a growing need for banks to remotely authenticate all customers during non face-to-face transactions and that includes the visually impaired.
In Europe, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) states that disabled people have important rights of access to everyday services, and that service providers must make reasonable adjustments to accommodate their specific need. This includes remote banking services. Furthermore when shopping with a card, it is important that a disabled person can check the most recent transactions made with the card to avoid fraud. The Xi-Sign 4500 meets these needs.
Xi-Sign 4500 features a specific audio interface based on the patented "Chip-to-Speech" technology owned by XIRING, that enables the device to recite any text displayed on the screen in a clear recorded voice, and which is accessed with a discrete earphone. Using this function the device can "read" the one-time password calculated by the EMV banking card, and also read back the transaction logs from the card so a user can audibly check the amounts charged to the card. The reader is portable and off-line so it can be used in any location as a means of on-line authentication.
It also features an oversize screen, displaying the authentication password in 7mm characters for the partially sighted that represents twice the size of characters displayed on existing relevant devices. When the device is turned on the first time, a special "Discovery" mode is activated which helps the user to learn the layout of the keyboard using audible indications, in order to memorize the position and the associated function of each key.
Thanks to the innovative Chip-to-Speech audio interface, the user is guided in an audio manner and so benefits from the security of smart card based authentication to access on-line services just like anybody else.
As Nigel Reavley, Director of Business Unit Banking at XIRING, explains, "XIRING is currently working with major banks in the UK and Europe to develop EMV based authentication solutions that best meet the diverse needs of their customers, whatever these might be. As a result of our strong client relationships and an excellent knowledge of the banking sector, XIRING has been able to identify this need in the market and develop a specific solution based on our certified Xi-Sign platform."
"The Xi-Sign 4500 is a testament to the banking community's commitment to meet the specific needs of all of their customers and to deliver the best service possible."
Families sign up for 'smart cards'
The Arizona Republic Apr. 16, 2006 12:00 AM
If police officers and firefighters swarmed his family's Scottsdale home in an emergency, Todd Person might try to yell for help, but no words would come out. The autistic 21-year-old doesn't speak and suffers seizures. Since he looks like the average young adult, officers or paramedics unfamiliar with his condition could mistake his reactions as refusal to cooperate.
To prevent that confusion, the Persons joined as many as 20 other
special-needs families to register for Scottsdale's new First Responder Smart Card Program.
The program is the first of its kind in Maricopa County and is being considered by communities throughout Arizona. The addresses of special-needs families are flagged in police dispatch systems, so first responders have information about residents like Todd, and how to be sensitive to their disabilities, in advance of a 911 call.
"He would just as soon watch the fire, instead of leave the house or respond to verbal directions from first responders," said Todd's mother, Laurie Person. "Auditorily, he'll hear the loud noise like a fire truck going by. But he doesn't pay attention to it."
The Smart Card program is geared toward people with cognitive or developmental disabilities, Alzheimer's, and other conditions that require special care. Registered families keep a detailed 4-by-6 paper Smart Card in a magnetic envelope on their refrigerators so emergency workers can have quick answers about the victim's particular developmental disabilities, medical history, prescriptions, and other information.
Smart Cards also list phone numbers and information such as what directions the special-needs person might respond to in an emergency. Natalie Summit, coordinator for Scottsdale's voluntary program, said parents or guardians of special-needs residents need not worry about logging their personal information into the police-dispatch system.
"It's flagging an address, not a person or diagnosis," Summit said. Scottsdale's program is based on a model established in May by the Prescott Valley Police Department.
Since helping Scottsdale establish its own program earlier this year, Prescott Valley officials have made presentations in Mesa, Mohave County, and Verde Valley. Prescott Valley Police Cmdr. Laura Molinaro said the goal is to get as many Arizona agencies as possible on board with the Smart Card program.
Registration is free, but families are required to attend a community
meeting to get familiar with the 911 process. The program is also inexpensive. Printed
materials and sensitivity training for first responders to create awareness of Smart Cards are
the program's only expenses.
Molinaro cited a Prescott Valley police call, in which residents reported a male and female fighting in the back yard, as a good example of how the Smart Card program can help prevent confusion. Officers were dispatched to a home where a mother was trying to calm down her autistic son.
The officers noted the address as part of the Smart Card Program and saw that a special-needs person with autism was at the scene.
The smart card way to self-esteem
The Hindu Sunday, Apr 16, 2006
The smart card initiative in Karnataka seeks to bring a sense of
inclusion, along with better health facilities, to sex workers.
We now feel that we are workers like anyone else, pursuing a livelihood... be able to buy clothes for themselves and their loved ones. By taking advantage of cash incentives, offered by some vendors, these women from now on can look their best. With every purchase, points will be added. These accumulated points, credited to their smart cards, can be redeemed for discounts or gifts, when they make purchases at a later date. They can also present these cards at restaurants or at the store where they buy their provisions.
The only condition
The only string attached to keep these cards valid is that they will have to turn up for health check-ups at least once in every three months. The women will have to report at the clinic set up by the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), Mysore (funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's India AIDS Initiative) for the sex workers, where they will undergo a thorough health check-up, for any symptoms of STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections).
The Ashodaya Mahila Samanwaya Samithi is a newly registered organisation of sex workers from Mysore and Mandya districts who have been mobilised by the KHPT. This innovative smart card scheme is the result of several discussions and partnership between KHPT, Ashodaya and Pennant Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd., which prepared the software for the initiative.
The pilot smart card initiative involves 500 sex workers. "We are excited at the prospect of getting the smart card. It is not so much about the discount, but as much about the feeling that I am as privileged as any other person in society," says Vijaylakshmi.
At the onset of this project, five business establishments that include two restaurants, two garment shops and a provision store have taken up this smart card initiative, and shortly will introduce it to their customers. Small hand-held computers, Simputers, at their establishments will read the smart cards. While the vendors can record and read their transactions on these cards, they will have no access to the health data stored on them. The health data can only be entered and accessed at the clinic, using the main computer. The system is designed in such a way that the Simputers will not read cards that have not been updated at the clinic in the last three months.
With the sex worker facing stigma and discrimination every day of her life, the smart card is more than just a "plastic" cash incentive; it symbolises a sense of self-worth, independence and most importantly, a sense of inclusion. "These days, everyone carries a credit, insurance or other cards, so why not us?" was the uniform chorus among them.
The courage to question
Their experience in the last two years, of coming together, has helped them to assess their own lives more objectively and in some cases even come to terms with the choices they were forced to make. They articulate this clearly. "We used to constantly feel guilty and worthless because we felt we were doing something wrong. Since we became part of the self-organisation, we realise that we had responded to many compulsions and realities in our lives. Most of these were not of our making and therefore we now feel that we are workers like anyone else, pursuing a livelihood like anyone else."
Having suffered neglect, abuse, exploitation, harassment and even violence from either close family members, clients, middlemen, law enforcement officers or often, just the general public, they say, "Most of us did not enter this profession voluntarily. Our circumstances and those around us forced us to, why should people question what we do to survive?" They are beginning to gain the courage to question and to negotiate. They recognise their rights like any other citizen and are prepared to exercise them.
With sex workers having to support their families with their earnings and needing to spend a substantial amount on transport, refreshments and their personal grooming and appearance, getting a discount on their purchases and bills is a meaningful incentive. As Pushpa put it, "It is not uncommon for us to buy as many as three new saris a month. Being smartly dressed is an integral part of our work."
The real aim
The real driving force behind the new smart cards initiative is to motivate the women to seek optimum options to enhance their health. Regular health check-ups and timely treatment are essential to counter the risk of STI in their profession. The efforts of Ashodaya has ensured that over 1,100 sex workers are availing of the health services, provided at the clinic.
Ashodaya, along with well-known public figures, has celebrated Labour Day, Independence Day, World AIDS Day, and more recently their first anniversary. In their effort to gain the respect that they deserve from society, the smart card could turn out to be another small step in their courageous journey towards being recognised as equals.
French Card Market Continues To Grow
The number of payment cards in France issued mainly by the country’s major banks topped 50 million for the first time in 2005, according to card organization Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, which says transactions, volume and average card use also climbed. Cartes Bancaires, whose members are in the process of converting all of their proprietary chip cards to the international EMV standard, says there were just under 51.2 million CB cards in circulation at the end of last year, up 4.2% from the year before. Cardholders used the cards, which are largely direct or deferred debit cards, nearly 6.3 billion times last year, up 6%, for total spending of 236.8 billion euros (US$280.5 million). That’s an increase of 7.8%. Cartes Bancaires also reports cardholders are using their cards more often to make purchases–an average 103.5 times per year–and less for withdrawals from ATMs. France had just under 1.1 million point-of-sale terminals in 2005 accepting CB cards and 46,100 ATMs. The 2005 figures continue a steady growth trend in France, which has among the most advanced card markets in Europe—but also one of the most protected. Cartes Bancaires, run by the major banks, does not allow their cards to be cobranded and has been successful in holding foreign card issuance at bay. The single euro payments area being mandated by European officials should change this. France was the first major country to move their magnetic stripe payment cards to fraud-resistant smart cards, in the early 1990s, using the domestic standard. (2006-04-11)
Chip cards to cost billions; retailers worry costs could outweigh benefits
Rita Trichur, Canadian Press Sunday, April 16, 2006
TORONTO (CP) - The highly anticipated transition to new chip-enabled credit and debit cards in Canada could cost billions with no guarantee to retailers the technology's benefits will justify such a hefty outlay, says an industry group.
The Retail Council of Canada, a non-profit association representing more than 9,000 merchants across the country, supports efforts by credit-card companies and payment services to cut down on card fraud, but says retailers have no clear sense of their share of the final costs even though the multi-year rollout is set to begin in 2007.
"This is a very, very expensive change," said Peter Woolford, the council's vice-president of policy development and research.
"We have not seen any evidence that suggests that this an economic thing for retailers to do. The costs would far exceed the benefits to retail."
A chip card contains a microchip akin to a small computer processor, with memory, logic and a set of software applications.
Instead of a magnetic-stripe card that is swiped, new chip-based cards will be dipped into a reader and shoppers will be asked to enter a personal identification number, or PIN, instead of a signature to verify payment.
"With PIN, you've got that extra level of authentication," said Allen Wright, director of chip initiatives with Visa Canada, the country's leading credit-card company.
"What we've found from the research is that Canadians believe that PIN is a better way of securing their transactions than a signature."
Both Visa and MasterCard say the new cards are virtually impossible to counterfeit, promising greater security to consumers and retailers who are increasingly falling victim to scams.
In 2005, Visa and MasterCard wrote off a total of $168.6 million in fraudulent accounts, up from $163.18 million the year before.
Meanwhile, bank-card fraud is also on the rise but continues to affect only a minority of Canadians, says Interac Association, the national debit-card service.
In 2005, Canadian financial institutions reimbursed about $70.4 million to customers after scams compromised 72,000 bank cards. That compared to total reimbursements of $60.2 million affecting some 48,900 cards in 2004.
The chip-based system is already widely used in Europe, Asia and parts of Latin America. For its part, France, which began implementing chip in the late 1980s, has experienced a 75 per cent reduction in fraud.
"And the interesting thing is that reduction has been maintained year over year," Wright said.
"So, we can expect at least the same magnitude of fraud reduction, we hope."
Woolford, however, was quick to point out that it could ultimately cost billions to address a Canadian fraud problem that amounts to hundreds of millions.
"We are supportive of the move to chip - anything we can do to stop fraud, anything we can do to stop criminals is a positive step," he said.
Canadian chip card rollouts to begin next year
TORONTO — The payment industry is readying itself for the rollout of chip card technology, with the first transactions to likely take place in less than two years.
Consumers can expect to see chip-based debit and credit cards in the market by 2007, according to spokespeople from Interac Association, MasterCard Canada Inc. and Visa Canada Association. Visa currently offers a couple of chip cards in Canada including the RBC Avion Visa card and expects 85 per cent of transactions to be between chip-based cards and terminals by 2010.
American Express does not have firm release dates for such a product but a spokesperson confirmed it is considering it and will gauge market reaction when more products from other payment providers are introduced.
“This is about providing for the long-term security of payment cards services in Canada,” said Kirland Morris, director of strategic policy and integration at Interac. “At the same time, what a chip card offers is a technology platform that is much more flexible than what we have today under mag stripe.”
Flash your card & pass that toll bridge
Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:43:18 am TIMES NEWS NETWORK - India
MUMBAI: Next time when you are passing a toll bridge, don't reach the wallet for change. Instead just flash your card and go. Many private and foreign banks are working on various pilot projects with state governments to try and launch a pay-pass card in the country.
In India, there is a huge market for pay-pass cards, particularly with a host of toll bridges coming up in metros like Mumbai and Delhi. This project, bankers say, could be rolled out in Mumbai on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link Project, existing Mumbai-Pune Expressway and at various toll points in Thane, Vashi and Dahisar.
In Delhi, bankers and payment companies are planning to implement this on Delhi-Noida toll bridge, subject to government support. A foreign bank is working on a pilot project with Delhi government.
"The introduction of pay-pass cards will transform the entire toll payment system in the country. It will save a lot of time and also reduce paper work," said the credit card head of a foreign bank. "This card is best for use in high speed transactions like toll bridges, petrol pumps, retail outlets among others," he added.
A pay-pass card is a smart card with a chip and a magnetic stripe which can be taped at a pay-pass reader and the fee will be deducted instantly from your card. Internationally, the pay-pass card is actively used in Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea and UK.
"All banks are running this programme on a pilot basis as the investment required is huge," said an official at a private sector bank."A chip card is expensive and the bank has to incur around Rs 300-500 on it. Customers may have to pay around Rs 500 to Rs 1,000," the official added.
Chip card hits glitch abroad Full chip-and-PIN cards coming in '07
Apr. 6, 2006. 07:30 AM
The continuing voyages of Don Macaulay took him to Great Britain, armed with one of Canada's first chip-equipped credit cards.
He expected his card to be welcomed like an equal. Instead, it was treated like an alien from a backward planet.
"Maybe it was a bit of English humour," quips the Mississauga software engineer.
"A card associated with travel can't be used if you actually travel somewhere."
Macaulay carries one of the Royal Bank of Canada's Avion travel-rewards cards. It has a computer chip embedded in the plastic as a security feature.
Chip-equipped cards started to come to Canada a few years ago. They are claimed to provide a far higher level of defence against fraud than traditional cards with just a magnetic stripe.
Next year, card issuers will gear up distribution and take a further step forward. Each new card will allow the user to enter a personal identification number, or PIN, to complete a credit transaction, rather than sign a receipt.
This change should shorten the time we spend in line-ups to pay for goods, as more consumers get the cards each year and as stores get the required electronic readers.
Europeans are farther advanced with the transition to chip cards, and, as Macaulay discovered recently, it's a bit of a problem to boldly go abroad with the first generation of chip cards.
"England had just switched to forcing the use of PINs on Feb. 14," he wrote to me. "I found that my Avion card did not work in over 90 per cent of the places I tried to use it.
"In most cases the chip wasn't recognized, nor was the magnetic stripe.
"Bewildered shop assistants and barkeeps, after (they attempted) much swiping, rubbing and so on, could sometimes be persuaded that typing in the card number and expiry date would work."
Macaulay is in the field of global software development. So he can imagine it takes time to work out cultural and political differences in computer-based systems.
Yet he found the experience frustrating, and suggested that other consumers might like a warning.
A spokesperson for Visa Canada provided some explanations.
Mei Ankrett said Europeans with chip-and-PIN cards must now use PINs for all transactions on the home continent.
"The requirement does not apply to magnetic stripe cards or signature-preferred chip cards," she said. "Avion has both a chip and magnetic stripe, which requires a signature only — no PIN."
Travelling Canucks should still be able to use their non-chip cards, and the signature-preferred chip cards offered by Visa issuers such as the Royal Bank.
Ankrett said Visa Europe is working with merchants to remind them to follow the prompts on their point-of-sale terminals, which should simply request a signature from a Canadian cardholder rather than a PIN, and allow a transaction to be processed.
"Unfortunately, there has been some merchant confusion around this rule, and some have misinterpreted it to mean that they can no longer accept any card that is not chip-and-PIN," she said.
Visa Canada's website at http://www.visa.ca offers travellers more information on how to conduct themselves during the temporary chip divide.
So, you might ask, why would RBC or other banks rush to issue chip cards without the PIN capability, when the mass rollout is not scheduled to start until next year?
When the Royal Bank became the first bank in Canada to introduce a chip, on the platinum Avion card in 2003, the institution was thinking of its clients' preference for travel.
The "chip-and-PIN" was not the standard here. Thus, the bank opted to continue with the well known signature option. The chip should provide a higher level of security in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia, where the move to chip payment technology started several years ago.
When full-fledged migration to the new technology starts next year, replacement cards will come with the new chip-and-PIN technology.
We will all eventually receive cards that will be compatible nationally and internationally with PINs — at least at merchant locations with the proper card readers.
Another reader, who just called himself Vern, wondered if there is any danger that punching in our PINs on portable point-of-sale devices could help fraud artists.
Ankrett said fraud artists can use devices to "skim" personal information from the magnetic stripe on a debit card, then "shoulder surf," or set up a camera, to observe you punching in your PIN.
But, she said, chip cards cannot be skimmed, and the chip communicates directly with the card reader to authenticate your PIN in " a secure environment." The reader does not transmit the PIN to a central computer.
How Would You Like to Pay for That? Cash, Card or Phone? Philips and Visa Usability Study Shows Consumers Like the Convenience of Contactless Payment Using Near Field Communication
05.04.2006 16:00:00 Finanzen.net
Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG)(AEX:PHI) and Visa International released the results of a new usability study of Near Field Communication (NFC) and contactless payment technology, which showed that consumers like the convenience, ease of use and "coolness" of making transactions with their mobile phones.
NFC facilitates secure, short-range communication between electronic devices, such as mobile phones, PDAs, computers andpayments terminals via a fast and easy wireless connection. Combined with contactless payment technology, NFC can enable secure and convenient purchases with a mobile device. Using an NFC-enabled mobile phone, participants in the usability study conducted transactions in several different scenarios -- making a purchase at a coffee shop, downloading a movie trailer in a DVD store, shopping from a TV at home, and buying concert tickets from a smart poster.
Test results and implications
Participants in the usability study accepted and appreciated the concept of incorporating information transfer and secure payment functionality into mobile phones. Retail purchases with a mobile phone were particularly well received, as participants found Philips NFC technology and Visa contactless payments easy to understand, convenient and fast.
Study highlights include:
-- Coolness factor of mobile transactions. Users enjoyed downloading content from NFC "smart" posters and responded favorably to the idea of purchasing tickets through posters. They described the technology as "cool" and "awesome" and liked the idea of then being able to use the phone to gain entry into an event.
-- Mobile payment is easy to use. Consumers found it easy to make contactless payment using the mobile phone. Learning curves were very short, with all participants interacting confidently with the mobile phone and payment terminals. Consumers found it intuitive to initiate a transaction by holding up the phone to the terminal, as an alternative to presenting a payment card.
-- Mobile payment is convenient and fast. The test participants enjoyed the ease of use, convenience, speed of contactless payments on an NFC-enabled phone. They also liked the idea of not always having to carry a wallet or purse.
-- "Receiving" transactions should be automatic. When using the phone to make a purchase or download information, the transaction should be automatic; participants liked the simplicity of transactions that were initiated just by holding the mobile phone to an NFC-enabled reader. However, for "sending" applications, such as selling a ticket to a friend, users may prefer to initiate the transaction with a command.
-- Need for clear, consistent mark. Test participants generally looked to find a mark to indicate exactly where an NFC transaction could take place. The most intuitive place for a mark was directly over the communication point. Users did not want to guess where and how to orient their mobile phones to complete a transaction.
"The usability study clearly demonstrates that consumers like the simplicity of using NFC to access and securely pay for entertainment, information and services while on the move," said Christophe Duverne, vice president and general manager, Identification, Philips Semiconductors and Chairman, NFC Forum. "Now it's up to us -- the industry -- to cooperate effectively and deliver on the promise of the technology by driving standardization and building the ecosystems that will ensure commercial success. And of course, we must keep the end-user experience first at all times."
"Visa was very pleased with the results of the study, which demonstrated not only that the participants reacted positively to contactless payments with mobile devices, but also that there is real excitement among consumers," said Gaylon Howe, executive vice president, Consumer Product Platforms, Visa International. "The study provides a strong validation for Visa as we continue to drive acceptance for contactless technology, which will be critical for widespread uptake of mobile payments."
Philips and Visa conducted the study in December 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia. The research is part of the companies' efforts to develop programs that bring convenience, ease of use and security to mobile transactions. The purpose of the research was to take an in-depth look at usability and learn about consumer behavior when interacting with the technology.
|Published: 06/04/2006 - 12:09
Consumers like convenience of contactless m-payments, study shows
NFC facilitates secure, short-range communication between electronic
devices, such as mobile phones, computers and payments terminals via a wireless connection.
Using a NFC-enabled mobile phone, participants in the usability study conducted transactions
in several different scenarios.
Visa says consumers found it easy, convenient and fast to make
contactless payment using the mobile phone. Users enjoyed downloading content from NFC "smart"
Gaylon Howe, EVP, consumer product platforms, Visa International, says
the study demonstrated that consumers react positively to contactless payments with mobile
"The study provides a strong validation for Visa as we continue to drive
acceptance for contactless technology, which will be critical for widespread uptake of mobile
payments," says Howe.
Visa said in February that it is road-testing its new mobile payments
technology on mobile phones in Atlanta's Philips Arena. The NFC trial allows sports fans to
use their hand sets to buy goods at concession stands and stores and to access and download
mobile content such as ringtones, wallpapers and screensavers by holding their NFC-enabled
phone in front of a poster embedded with an NFC tag.
In a separate move MasterCard has teamed with Munich-based Giesecke &
Devrient to launch a full-scale over-the-air (OTA) secure personalisation payment system for
mobile phone-based payments.
MasterCard says the system, which was developed and managed by G&D can
activate its PayPass contactless payment application in the mobile phone securely and
eliminates the need to "manually" personalise mobile handsets individually.
Customers wanting to enable PayPass with their phone make a one-time
request to their bank to register them for the service. Data is sent over the carrier network
and automatically loads and activates the PayPass application in the mobile phone while
personalising the phone's built-in "secure area" with the customers' payment account details.
The OTA infrastructure can also be used to upload additional applications to the handset, as
well as manage and modify user information, says MasterCard.
Pilot projects of the OTA platform are expected to begin shortly,
beginning in the US. First implementations of the G&D system will use NFC-enabled Nokia 3220
Richard Fletcher, group head, mobile/wireless centre of excellence,
MasterCard, says: "MasterCard views mobile phone-based payments as an exciting new channel, as
studies confirm that consumers increasingly prefer using mobile phones for many everyday
Giesecke & Devrient and MasterCard International Launch World's First Over-the-Air Personalization Solution for Mobile Phone-Based Payments
CTIA Wireless 2006
MUNICH, Germany & LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 5, 2006-
New Process Eliminates Time Consuming Need to "Manually" Personalize
Mobile Handsets Individually
This is the first OTA secure personalization and management solution for mobile payments that can activate the MasterCard(R) PayPass(TM) contactless payment application in the mobile phone securely. Customers wanting to enable PayPass with their phone, make a one-time request to their bank to register them for the service. Data is sent over the carrier network and then automatically loads and activates the PayPass payment application in the mobile phone while personalizing the phone's built-in "secure area" with the customers' payment account details. This OTA infrastructure can also be used to upload additional applications to the handset, as well as manage and modify user information.
MasterCard PayPass is widely used in the U.S. as a means for making fast and convenient "Tap & Go(TM)" payments. To perform a PayPass transaction using a mobile phone, users simply tap the back of the phone on the landing zone of the special PayPass reader to initiate the transaction. All PayPass-enabled mobile phones can be used at existing PayPass merchant locations.
The mobile phone's secure area can also be used for other security-related applications, such as access control and e-ticketing. G&D provides the complete OTA solution as a service, making it an independent partner for the many different application providers including banks, public transport services and government agencies.
"MasterCard views mobile phone-based payments as an exciting new channel, as studies confirm that consumers increasingly prefer using mobile phones for many everyday activities," said Richard Fletcher, Group Head, Mobile/Wireless Center of Excellence, MasterCard International. "We are excited to be working with G&D as a partner in this pioneering project, enabling our customers to bring secure, scalable PayPass-enabled mobile phone programs to market."
"Giesecke & Devrient's vast experience with security technologies and chip card personalization, in addition to its extensive certification levels, make G&D a trusted business partner for over-the-air personalization payment solutions," commented Dr. Kai Grassie, Head of the New Business Division at G&D.
Pilot projects of this breakthrough over the air contactless payments personalization platform are expected to begin shortly, beginning in the United States. First implementations of the G&D solution will use NFC-enabled Nokia 3220 handsets. G&D will demonstrate the OTA personalization solution at booth # 1244 during CTIA Wireless 2006 in Las Vegas.
GlobalPlatform appoints full time executive director
Monday, April 3 2006
Kevin Gillick, former Smart Card Alliance chairman and Datacard Group
marketing executive, has been named the first executive director for the GlobalPlatform, a
50-member international organization created to establish and maintain interoperable smart
The GlobalPlatform Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Kevin Gillick to the newly-formed position of executive director to take effect immediately.
GlobalPlatform, the world leader in smart card infrastructure development and deployment, established this permanent position to drive awareness and accelerate adoption of the organization's technology standards. The Executive Director will be responsible for the coordination and management of the organization's strategic planning, as well as overseeing all marketing and business development initiatives within key market sectors, namely finance, mobile telecoms, government, transit, retail and healthcare.
Mr. Gillick was selected by the GlobalPlatform Board on the basis of his vast experience within the smart card industry. In addition to his previous roles as Chairman for the Smart Card Alliance and Marketing Executive at Datacard Group, he acted as GlobalPlatform's Marketing Center Chair since 2002.
In this new role, Mr. Gillick will focus his efforts on aligning GlobalPlatform with relevant associations and organizations in the smart card industry and related markets, in order to cultivate relationships and collaborate on mutually beneficial activities leading to market growth.
Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, Mr. Gillick's role will be aligned with the organization's Technical Director, Gil Bernabeu, Technical Advisor for Gemplus' Financial and Security Services Business Unit, and the three existing technical committees; Card, Device and System. This alignment will strengthen the teams' ability to move quickly from technical activities being undertaken, to driving the technology into global markets.
Bob Beer, GlobalPlatform Chair, comments: "On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Kevin Gillick to the position of Executive Director. His in depth knowledge of the smart card industry, coupled with his strong marketing experience, will enhance our standing in the marketplace and, in doing so, add significant value to our members."
"Appointing a full-time Executive Director establishes a consistent "external voice" for the organization, industry analysts, researchers and the media. Kevin will also champion the formation of a new Advisory Council to provide input and guidance on the impact of strategies and tactics specific to GlobalPlatform's development."
These specifications are known as the standard for smart card infrastructure, thanks to their balance of technical superiority and business justification. GlobalPlatform specifications are available royalty-free and have been adopted in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia by many public and private bodies. Currently, there are over 35 GlobalPlatform-based smart card implementations world-wide and approximately 75 million GlobalPlatform cards are in global circulation.
GlobalPlatform is an independent, not-for-profit organization and its strategy is defined and prioritized by a Board of Directors. GlobalPlatform is currently chaired by Robert E. Beer, Vice President Business Development, Datacard Group, and vice-chaired by Marc Kekicheff, Vice President Product Technology, Visa International. For further information: www.globalplatform.org.
Visa Readies Contactless-Payment Trial In UK
Visa Europe will launch a pilot of contactless payment in which consumers can make low-value purchases by tapping a smart card or key fob on a reader in the UK, Guido Mangiagalli, Visa Europe's head of new channels, tells Card Technology sister publication CardLine Europe. "We are in negotiations with a couple of our major members to trial a contactless product starting from September of this year," he says. "If the trials will be positive, they have a full strategy to deploy contactless commercially in 2007." Visa is also discussing contactless trials in other European countries, Mangiagalli adds, although he would not provide details. To achieve widespread acceptance of contactless payment in Europe, Mangiagalli says, merchants must first install point-of-sale terminals that include contactless readers. For that to happen, he adds, European countries must move to a payment system based on chip cards that comply with EMV, the global payment standard for smart cards. "Our contactless platform is built on top of EMV, so we need to have an EMV infrastructure well established," he says. "So the countries that we are targeting today are the countries that are in an advanced state of the deployment of EMV." (2006-04-06)
Drug Store Chain Pleased With Contactless Cards
Card Technology 4 April 2006
Contactless payment cards account for about 4% of card transactions at New York-based pharmacy chain Duane Reade, Chris Darrow, vice president and controller for the 250-store chain, tells Card Technology. “We think this is very good,” he says. About 60% of purchases made at the chain are done with credit and debit cards if one takes out drug purchases, which are typically made through health plans, he says. The chain began to accept contactless payment cards last year. While American Express-, MasterCard- and Visa-branded cards make up roughly equal shares of magnetic stripe credit card transactions, MasterCard International’s PayPass cards account for the vast majority-70%-of contactless transactions at Duane Reade, Darrow says. “MasterCard has gotten into the market much quicker than other (brands),” he says. The average contactless transaction stands at about $18. An average magnetic stripe credit card transaction is more than $30, he says. (2006-04-04)
Vietnamese prefer chip bank cards: survey
The Vietnamese prefer chip bank cards to magnetic strip ones, a recent survey by giant credit card group Visa International has indicated.
Up to 82 percent of the Vietnamese respondents expressed interest in chip cards, which have yet to be issued in the country, the Vietnam News reported Monday citing the survey result.
Plastic smart cards with a microchip that stores identification information and discount points can ensure security better than magnetic strip cards whose contents can be easily copied.
The state-owned Vietnam Industrial and Commercial Bank ( Incombank) and the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (Sacombank) are expected to accept payment via chip cards, and 4,400 chip terminals have already been deployed, said Visa's Vietnam country manager Stuart Tomlinson.
"We expect most chip card acceptance points will be ready by year-end and mass-issued chip cards to be in the market in 2007 ( in Vietnam)," the manager said.
Vietnam's card market has developed rapidly in recent years, with a 300-percent growth in credit cardholders in 2005. Banks in the country issued a total of around 2.1 million credit cards, including 1.6 million domestic cards as of late last year, according to the Vietnam Bank Card Association.
Currently, 90 percent of transactions in Vietnam are cash, with only 6 million people out of the nation's over 83 million using modern bank services, said the association.
High-tech cards discredit fraudsters Requires use of PIN instead of signature
Toronto Star - Apr. 2, 2006. 09:44 AM
Having someone from your bank interrupt you while you make an unusual credit-card purchase can be embarrassing.
But we might all appreciate the value of card issuers doing security checks and enhancing technology to reduce the estimated $200 million a year in credit-card fraud.
It's reassuring to know that security checks can reduce the chances of a larcenous salesperson putting through an unauthorized charge, or stop a terrorist from using a copy of your card to buy ingredients for a bomb.
But, when the security department asks to verify your identity before you can complete a purchase with your own card, it rather spoils some of the excitement of conspicuous consumption.
Someone else in a store might jump to conclusion that it's you who is an imposter, counterfeiter or, worse still, a financial nincompoop.
So it's good news that the chances of interrupted transactions will be reduced by the new generation of credit cards starting to inhabit Canadian wallets.
Each of these cards has an embedded computer chip, and the new generation of card readers already in some stores requires the authorized cardholder to enter a personal identification number, or PIN, as we do with debit cards.
Entering a PIN instead of signing a receipt will generally assure the card issuer that you are who you say you are, without requiring you or the merchant to call while you are standing at a cash register.
Provided everyone remembers his or her number, we could enjoy faster checkout lines. The risk of a stranger using a lost card or stealing personal information would go down year by year.
"We are going to continue to apply some of the different security features, even though we have this amazing new layer of chip cards," says Tanya Freedman, Visa Canada's director of public relations. "We are still going to be vigilant ... but it's likely the average cardholder will see the frequency of (requests for identity verification) diminish."
After years of talk about chip technology, which showed up first in Europe, some new-age cards have started to arrive in Canada. For months, the Royal Bank of Canada's Avion travel-rewards cards have each sported a subdivided yellow spot with six contact points to communicate with a card reader.
Some of the new cards will each have a miniature antenna to allow an even quicker checkout, such as at a gasoline pump or parking lot.
The payment industry, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Interac, announced a couple of weeks ago that participants had come together to ensure a smooth migration to chip technology in Canada.
Visa Canada had announced three years earlier that all its members were committed to chip cards, while the Interac Association and MasterCard issuers announced last year.
Chip cards will be rolled out on a large scale starting next year, say executives at Visa Canada, which has 23 member institutions with nearly 27 million cardholders and which processed a record 6,363 transactions per second last Christmas Eve.
Mike Bradley, Visa's vice-president of products and platforms, and Allen Wright, director of chip initiatives, say half of point-of-sale devices that accept Visa cards will be converted by 2008. By 2010, 85 per cent of all Visa transactions will be processed using chip cards.
Bradley says merchants suffered considerable heartburn in the United Kingdom when their rollout of chip technology was pushed through in less than two years from start to finish.
Chip cards have proven to reduce fraud by up to 80 per cent in such countries as Malaysia. After they are introduced, fraud artists tend to migrate to neighbouring countries that have yet to adopt the technology.
Canada is one of the few places in the world where the payments industry is doing a countrywide implementation of chip technology. Others are or have been Brazil, Mexico, Great Britain, France and South Africa.
The slowness of certain countries, including the United States, Mongolia and most parts of Africa, will require international payment cards to continue using raised lettering for carbon imprints and magnetic strips for old-generation card readers for years to come.
Bradley notes, however, that card users do 95 per cent of their transactions in home countries. So, once most Canadians are using chip cards with PINs, security systems will have an easier time picking up fraudulent transactions in another country.
Meanwhile, Visa issuers intend to continue supplying cards that require a signature for the benefit of clients with impaired memory.
That may be a relief to the country's 9 million or so baby boomers as they get older. But, then again, asking to sign a paper receipt could become the new source of embarrassment.
James Daw, CFP, appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. He can be reached at 416-945-8633; 416-865-3630 by fax; or at firstname.lastname@example.org by email.
Credit without contact Key-fob replacing old school swiping
Ontario, CA, 4/3/2006
First there was cash. Then there was plastic. Now there's the key fob.
Credit card companies and banks say busy consumers ever in search of a faster way through a
line will increasingly replace their credit and debit cards with this small device that stores
easily on key chains.
Some 30 million Americans could potentially be waving good-bye to the swipe system this year and adopting a key fob or contactless credit card, up from about 9 million last year, according to David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report, a Carpinteria-based newsletter that tracks the credit card industry.
But some critics say the same technology that makes these contactless payment devices easier to use also makes them more of a target for thieves. Also, the new devices may not be great for consumers who have trouble controlling their debt.
"For people that are very organized and good at managing money, these are excellent tools. But for those who are trying to follow a budget it (swipeless credit cards) can be very dangerous," said Jennifer Root, a spokeswoman for ByDesign Financial Solutions, a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles that helps people manage their debt.
MasterCard, Visa and American Express all offer their own version of swipeless plastic, which take the form of credit cards, debit cards and keychains. They do that by inserting a thumbnail size chip that sends an encrypted code when the card or keychain is held within two to three inches of a scanner, usually attached to the credit card swiper.
Despite their appeal, consumers remain divided on whether the technology bodes well for their pocketbooks. Some say the ease of payment would make such products prime targets for thieves because they do not require a PIN number to use. But others welcome a technology that doesn't require repetitive swiping and signatures.
"Consumers will take to it if merchants and card issuers promote the technology sufficiently," Robertson said.
Ruth Henry, a 76-year-old retired medical receptionist from Woodland Hills, is already in the know about contactless credit cards. She thought about using a similar product called Speedpass a swipeless card offered by Exxon and Mobil gasoline stations but never followed up on the offer.
"But because these things work so quickly, I'd definitely consider it. I like the idea of a key chain credit card. That would be convenient for me," said Henry, displaying a keychain that holds her house key, car key, Ralphs card, Albertsons card and a gym membership ID.
Citibank began offering a swipeless key fob in 2005, allowing consumers to make a purchase by dangling or tapping their keys in front of a reader at the cash register.
Restaurants, drug stores and movie theaters are among the first merchants
to offer swipeless payment. They include McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Ritz Camera Centers,
Asaf Buchner, associate analyst with Jupiter Research in New York, said location is key when attracting more consumers to contactless payment products.
"But I'd say there is a coolness factor of contactless. And there is an attempt to get people to buy into the fact that they are more in control of their life with these products," he said.
When dealing with credit and debit cards, security is usually a priority for people who want more control. And because contactless credit cards don't always require a signature, security issues are a common concern. Most cards and keychains, including MasterCard's PayPass, come with a chip and radio antennas that help identify fraudulent use of cloned card data and random numbers generated at the sales counter.
Stephen Miles, a research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has studied the technology, said swipeless credit cards are safer than traditional because they are virtually impossible to counterfeit.
"It's difficult (for counterfeiters) to eavesdrop on these products," said Miles, who notes the technology is far safer than a traditional credit card because the account numbers are stored on a chip.
But that doesn't alleviate Tom Dworkin's concerns. The 62-year-old businessman said anyone can pick up a contactless card or keychain and immediately begin charging.
"Even though signing for a credit card takes up time, I'd much rather do that than think about someone stealing my keychain," said Dworkin, who was a victim of identity theft about a year ago. "I'd rather see Big Brother stick around in this case and require signatures."
American Express claims that theft of contactless credit cards isn't an issue because the company will cancel payments that were not made by the cardholder. Credit card companies are also beginning to require a signature for contactless purchases of more than $25.
But the speed of a contactless transaction also poses its share of issues. According to American Express, the average ExpressPay transaction takes 12.5 seconds, compared with the 26.7 seconds and 33.7 seconds it takes for credit card and cash transactions.
Francisco Hernandez, 22, from Inglewood, said at that rate, Expresspay would save him at least a couple minutes a week. "But do I really want to make it that easy to spend money?" asked Hernandez, who works for the U.S. Postal Service. "I don't think so."
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