July 13, 2010

SCA releases new report on smart card market in the Americas

The Smart Card Alliance has released a new report on the state of the smart card market in the Americas, “Smart Cards & Smart Card ICs - Americas - 2010

Source Article

The Smart Card Alliance has released a new report on the state of the smart card market in the Americas, “Smart Cards & Smart Card ICs - Americas - 2010,” created by IMS Research in association exclusively with the SCA.

“This report is the first research of its kind to address smart cards specifically for the Americas, and contains the most up-to-date smart card research available for the region,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “That makes it an essential marketing tool for anyone that is part of the smart card market in the United States, Canada, Mexico or Latin America.”

According to Vanderhoof, the report contains over 90 tables and 50 figures designed to help companies identify growth areas and opportunities, and make more educated investments in developing smart card-based products and services.

For the report, IMS Research has drawn on interviews with major smart card manufacturers, smart card system suppliers, and semiconductor suppliers to the smart card industry.

The report features the following:

Estimates of the smart card installed base for 2008 and 2009 with forecasts to 2014.
Forecast unit shipment volumes to 2014.

Breakdowns by product type, end-user sector and geographic region for smart cards and smart card ICs.

Trends and opportunities in fast developing sectors such as payment and banking, and ID.
Market breakdowns segmented by smart card type, user sector, memory requirement, core bit-width, card type, and geographic region.

Market share estimates for leading vendors in terms of total unit shipments, with additional splits by memory and microcontroller card types.

Market share estimates for the first half of 2009 for SIM cards, payment and banking, and e-ID.
Pricing and ordering information for the report can be found on both IMS Research’s site and SCA’s site.

Posted by staff at 06:44 AM

February 24, 2005

Smart Card Payment Platform

First Time in U.S. That Local Merchant Network Supports Smart Card Payment System for in-Store Purchases and Parking

HAMPTON FALLS, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 23, 2005--Parcxmart Technologies(TM), Inc., an electronic payments company specializing in smart card payment solutions, announced that the Parcxmart(TM) smart card payment platform has gone live today in stores in the Japantown section of San Jose, California. The participating Japantown merchants will now be able to distribute Parcxmart(TM) Cards, load value onto these cards using VeriFone Omni 3750 POS terminals, and then accept the cards for in-store purchases. The Parcxmart card can be used for on-street and off-street parking payments in participating cities once Parcxmart-compliant single and multi-space meters are installed.

"This marks the first time in the U.S. that a local merchant network is supporting smart card payments for in-store purchases and eventually on and off-street parking applications," said John Regan, President and CEO of Parcxmart Technologies. "The Parcxmart system is also the first smart card payment system that operates seamlessly between private merchant and public municipal networks."

The Parcxmart(TM) Card solution is a comprehensive payment platform that uses smart card technology to offer drivers and consumers a convenient one card alternative to coins and cash for small dollar transactions at on-street and off-street parking locations, as well as for retail purchases at participating merchants across the United States.

"Establishing the Parcxmart merchant network is the first step in ending the need for coins and small dollar bill transactions for consumers who want to segment their commuting expenses conveniently onto one card," said Regan. "The Parcxmart merchant network supports this easy payment for parking and shopping, making the transaction fast and cost-effective. We will continue our rapid expansion into other markets as we integrate into single and multi-space parking meters, and other garage payment systems."

About Parcxmart Technologies, Inc. (www.parcxmart.com)

Founded in 2003, Parcxmart is an electronic payments company specializing in smart card payment solutions, delivering value to customers with its initial focus on Municipal parking operations and local merchant communities.

Posted by Craig at 03:25 PM

January 04, 2005

Sheetz Rolls Out PayPass

Sheetz, Inc., announced that it will be accepting MasterCard PayPass across its entire chain of stores.


Sheetz Puts MasterCard PayPass to Work
January 4, 2005

ALTOONA, PA -- Sheetz, Inc., announced that it will be accepting MasterCard PayPass across its entire chain of stores. The convenience store chain said it's the first retailer in the nation to accept MasterCard International's radio-frequency (RF)-based payment option.

"Sheetz prides itself on being a pioneer in the convenience store industry, and being the first retailer to implement 'tap and go' payments across the entire chain is yet another example of our mission to continually improve our customers' shopping experience," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing for Sheetz. "MasterCard PayPass leads the way in the RF-based payment segment and will provide Sheetz customers with more convenience and time savings at the checkout than ever before."

All 305 Sheetz locations will be equipped and ready to accept MasterCard PayPass in-store by March 1. Sheetz will be expanding PayPass acceptance to all of its stores' gas pumps throughout the spring of 2005.

MasterCard PayPass cardholders can pay for purchases at Sheetz by tapping their PayPass-enabled payment card on a specially equipped terminal that utilizes an RF chip to complete a payment transaction, said Sheetz, eliminating the need for customers to hand over their payment card to a merchant or manually swipe it through a reader. Moments after the cardholder taps his or her PayPass-enabled card, account details are communicated to the terminal and then processed through the MasterCard network for clearing and settlement.

According to Sheetz, the MasterCard PayPass streamlines customers' shopping experience by eliminating the need for customers to sign their payment card receipts for all sales under $25. Currently, more than 80 percent of convenience store transactions are less than $25.

Posted by Craig at 02:24 PM

April 22, 2004

Useful Links - Cards

Smart Card Supply dot com
ID Badge, blank cards, custom cards, LoCo and HiCo

Posted by Craig at 02:32 PM

March 03, 2004

Credit Cards Retail

Low Customer Use Prompts Target to Drop 'Smart Chip' Feature from Credit Card

By Scott Carlson, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, Minn.

Mar. 3--Target Stores said Tuesday it plans this summer to drop the embedded "smart chip" feature from its namesake Visa credit card over the next year, citing low consumer use.

The Minneapolis-based retailer added the chip to its Target Visa card shortly after rolling out the credit card program 2 1/2 years ago. The chip technology enables shoppers to access special offers through the Internet or store kiosks without paper coupons, and track points redeemable for merchandise.

Target and Visa said their co-branded credit card initiative has been a success, noting more than 9 million accounts have opened since the fall of 2001.

Also, the Target Visa credit card has helped boost its parent company's financial results. Last week, Target Corp. reported its consolidated credit card operations, led mostly by Target Visa, generated a pre-tax profit of $641 million in 2003, a 20.5 percent increase compared with the prior year.

The retailer said "smart coupons" -- the only loyalty program requiring use of the smart chip -- experienced limited use by shoppers.

Don Davis, editor of Card Technology magazine, was not surprised by Target's decision, contending the retailer did not effectively promote the feature.


To see more of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress.

Posted by Craig at 08:41 PM

February 23, 2004

RFID Drivers

Target Issues RFID Mandate

BREAKING NEWS: The retailer plans to require suppliers to put EPC tags on pallets and cases beginning in late spring 2005.
Feb. 20, 2004Target, the fourth largest retailer in the United States, has told its top suppliers that they will be required to apply RFID tags on pallets and cases sent to "select" regional distribution facilities beginning late spring 2005. The company wants all suppliers to tag pallets and cases by the spring of 2007.

The information was disseminated in the form of a letter from Target CIO Paul Singer to vendor partners on the company's extranet. It says: "Target expects top vendor partners to apply tags to all pallets and cases and start shipping to select regional distribution facilities beginning late spring 2005. Targets intent is to accept RFID tags from all vendors as a supplement to the current bar code markings at the carton and pallet level by spring 2007."

The company sees RFID as a complement to current bar code and electronic data interchange (EDI) technologies. Like Wal-Mart, Target is requiring RFID tags as well as the continued use of all current bar coding requirements. The company is currently testing proof-of-concept RFID technologies at the pallet and case level with selected vendor partners.

In the letter, Singer writes that Target "supports a retail industry migration approach" to the adoption of RFID. The letter says that Target is working with EPCglobal to develop common technology standards that will benefit both retailers and their suppliers.

Target will require suppliers to use UHF tags based on the EPC Class 0 and Class 1 protocols. But the company expects to move to EPC Class 1 Gen 2 when tags and readers based on this specification become widely available. Class 1 Gen 2 specifications are supposed to be completed by the middle of this year, and the first products should be on the market before the end of the year.

The letter from Singer doesn't make clear how Target defines "top suppliers" or whether the tagging requirements apply only to shipments sent to the 1,200 stores that operate under the Target name or include the 350 Mervyn's and Marshall Field's stores that the company also operates.

Singer did not respond to several requests for an interviewed for this article, but in his letter, he states: "We will learn more this spring in our pilot projects, and will share more information with our vendor partners later in 2004."

RFID Journal - Target Issues RFID Mandate

Posted by Craig at 04:54 PM

January 07, 2004

Smart Cards and HIPAA

Denver Health Embraces Smart Card Technology For HIPAA Security

Smart cards can be used to support HIPAA compliance, increase security and simplify system access for caregivers and patients alike, according to a white paper from the Smart Card Alliance.

Denver Health has adopted a smart card system allowing employees to securely access patient information across its healthcare network. The package is from Gemplus International.

Interlink Group consultants working close with Denver Health department were able to integrate the smart cards utilizing active directory certificates to provide a single sign-on solution.

Gemplus smart cards allowed Denver Health to develop a solution that was cost-effective and allowed for the implementation to be completed within three weeks, the company said.

The smart cards are helping Denver Health comply with HIPAA regulations by allowing physicians, nurses and staff to access hospital computer systems with a single sign-on, the company said. "This eliminates the security risk of employees sharing passwords, and thereby protects Denver Healths sensitive patient information from unauthorized access."

The smart cards feature two-factor authentication, which combines the traditional "something you know" (password or PIN), with "something you have" (the badge or card), enabling greater security than traditional usernames/passwords.

Smart cards have a "unique capability to make information access easier for users while at the same time enforcing the more robust security and privacy policies required of healthcare organizations to bring their environments into HIPAA," the alliance said.

HIPAA Compliance and Smart Cards: Solutions to Privacy and Security Requirements provides an overview on how smart cards work and outlines key implementation success factors. The white paper includes profiles of smart health card implementations, including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Mississippi Baptist Health Systems and the French, German and Taiwanese health cards.

On-card intelligence, processing and cryptography capabilities make smart cards capable of enabling compliance with strong privacy guidelines and of enforcing the privacy and security policies set by the healthcare organization, according to the alliance.

The alliance said representatives from 19 organizations were involved in the development of the white paper. The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology.

Addresses: Gemplus Corp., Keith Valley Business Center, One Progress Drive, Horsham, PA 19044; (215) 390-2000, fax: (215) 390-2353, www.gemplus.com. Denver Health, 777 Bannock St., Denver, CO 80204-4507; (303) 436-6000, www.denverhealth.org. Smart Card Alliance, 191 Clarksville Rd., Princeton Junction, NJ 08550; (800) 556-6828, www.smartcardalliance.org.

Posted by Craig at 07:11 PM

December 03, 2003

Retailers say gift cards are boosting sales

What is small, plastic and shiny and will bring retailers $45 billion in sales this year? The answer is gift cards, which are quickly replacing paper gift certificates.

Unlike gift certificates, which often are stored in the cash drawer away from the customer's eye, gift cards are displayed prominently. They look like credit cards and come in various colors and designs. Although they cost more than printing paper certificates, gift cards generate more revenue for retailers and are less likely to be counterfeited.

Gift cards are swiping market share from gift certificates. They burst onto the retail scene in 1995 when the likes of Blockbuster, Kmart Corp. and Coca-Cola Co. began testing the products.

Lately, other retailers have taken notice and gift cards are now sold at restaurants such as Don Pablo's, bookstores such as Books-A-Million, as well as national hair salons and movie theaters.

In fact, gift-card sales are expected to surpass $72 billion in 2006, said Cathy Heitmueller, associate director of sales with Columbus, Ga.-based Total System Services Inc.

Total Systems Services, or TSYS, creates and tracks gift cards for 12 million shoppers at department stores such as Nordstrom's and Canadian Tire.

"Within the past three years, there's been an enormous adoption rate," Heitmueller said. "The heavy hitters went first, and the others are branching over to branded gift program."

Locally, Moraine-based Elder-Beerman Stores Corp. unveiled its gift cards for the 2001 holiday shopping season. Company spokeswoman Gloria Siegler said sales jumped that year, partially attributable to the arrival of gift cards.

And Trotwood-based Moto Franchise Corp. is introducing its first gift cards for this holiday shopping season.

How it works
"Studies and research show retailers who had paper certificate programs in place and switched to plastics, increased the amount they sold by 50 percent to 100 percent," Heitmueller said.

Gift cards are sold in denominations usually starting at $5. Unlike paper gift certificates, the store does not return cash value on the unused amount.

With gift certificates, a shopper could buy a Gap sweatshirt for $20 with a $30 gift certificate and get $10 back in cash.

With gift cards, however, once they're swiped, the purchase amount is deducted from the original amount and the remainder stays on the card as a balance.

This can lead to multiple trips back to the same retailer. But 10 percent of gift card users will not use the whole amount, Heitmueller said, putting money back into the retailers' pockets by allowing them to keep the unused portion that has already been paid. Also, customers who spend the entire gift card amount generally spend an additional 30 percent of the gift card total on other products.

There also are inactivity fees that kick in when a card is not used for a certain period. Generally, a retailer will subtract $2.50 or $5 per month if the card is not used.

Besides providing a financial perk, gift cards also help companies with branding. Gift cards carry the company logo, and many have sleek, eye-catching designs. At Best Buy, for example, the gift cards have holograms that make them especially noticeable.

And Bloomingdales, owned by Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores, is launching highly advertised gift cards for the holidays, which include a signed gift card with a picture of singer Harry Connick Jr.

It also has decreased check fraud. Heitmueller said scammers could print fake gift certificates on home computers, but, "It's real difficult to recreate a Target gift card."

The cost of business
But gift cards carry a large expense to businesses that use them, and are still not cost-effective for smaller retailers, experts say.

The cost for gift cards varies between $1 and $3 per card depending on quantity, type of plastic used and the type of scanning surface -- magnetic strip or radio frequency.

Doug Bruggeman, vice president of finance for Dayton-based Rex Stores Corp., said Rex has not yet taken the plunge because it would cost too much.

"We've discussed it, but at this point (we) made a decision it didn't fit," he said.

But if trends continue, gift cards will soon become a staple at retailers as popular as cash registers and receipts.

"They're absolutely everywhere," Heitmueller said.

E-mail [email protected] Call 222-6900, ext. 101.

Posted by Craig at 09:35 PM

November 27, 2003

Smart Card Projects Increasing

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. This article is copyright 2003 TheWiseMarketer.com.

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.

More Info:
Source: MasterCard International

story link

Posted by Craig at 04:15 PM

November 06, 2003

US payments firm buys out loyalty marketer

The real-time marketing solutions firm, Ernex Marketing Technologies, is to be sold by its parent company, RBC Financial Group, to the North American payment processing company, Moneris Solutions Corporation.

US payments firm buys out loyalty marketer

Wednesday November 5, 2003

The real-time marketing solutions firm, Ernex Marketing Technologies, is to be sold by its parent company, RBC Financial Group, to the North American payment processing company, Moneris Solutions Corporation.

Ernex, which markets privately branded loyalty programmes, stored-value gift cards, and real-time electronic marketing solutions for merchants, will continue to offer its electronic marketing solutions to businesses in a variety of industries throughout North America. In addition, combining its expertise with the Moneris payment solution, Ernex will be able to bring new benefits to current and future Moneris merchants. This article is copyright 2003 TheWiseMarketer.com.

"Our decision to acquire Ernex was based on demand from merchants for this suite of products, our recognition of the value offered by the depth of Ernex's expertise, and the strength of their staff," explained Jim Baumgartner, president and CEO for Moneris.

Expanding operations
With its established merchant base, Moneris will now be able to provide opportunities for Ernex to expand its loyalty marketing and stored-value gift card operations. Furthermore, Brad Lambert, senior vice president for RBC, has confirmed that RBC will continue to use Ernex for its Avion and RBC Reward loyalty programmes.

Stored-value (electronic) gift cards and loyalty programmes are increasing in popularity in the consumer's mind, opening up new marketing and revenue opportunities for merchants. Research collected by Moneris as part of its inaugural Report to Merchants (Spring 2003), found that 46% of Canadians reported having used a gift card, and 24% have not yet purchased one but would consider doing so.

"Ernex's established customer base across North America and strong history of creatively using technology to manage and respond to customer transaction information make it a formidable partner," added Baumgartner.

For additional information:
Visit Moneris at http://www.monerischargeit.com
Visit Ernex Inc at http://www.ernexinc.com

Source: Moneris Solutions

Posted by Craig at 02:58 PM

November 04, 2003

DOD extends Common Access Cards deadline

The Defense Department has extended by six months its deadline for issuing Common Access Cards to its more than 4 million users. It still has about 500,000 cards to distribute.


DOD extends Common Access Cards deadline

By Dawn S. Onley
GCN Staff

The Defense Department has extended by six months its deadline for issuing Common Access Cards to its more than 4 million users. It still has about 500,000 cards to distribute.

Defense initially had planned to issue all the cards by October to active-duty, civilian and contract workers and some reservists. The cardholders use the CACs for network authentication and digital signatures on the departments public-key infrastructure.

The enormity of the project made the extension necessary, said Mike Butler, chief of smart-card programs for DODs Access Card Program Office. The department has been issuing between 10,000 and 14,000 cards a week.

Its a big logistics deal, Butler said. Its a challenge because theres a lot of rules and policies especially when you are giving PKI certificates to folks. Just the encoding time on the CAC takes about five minutes.

The Smart Card Senior Coordinating Group decided in September to push the deadline date back to avoid an onslaught of last-minute waiver requests.

To date, 3.7 million users have received smart cards since the program began more than three years ago. But that number fluctuates between the several thousand employees who have left military service and turned back in their cards and the thousands of new recruits being assigned cards each day, Butler said. The cards currently use the Java Card run-time environment on 32K chips.

After the April deadline, Butler said, the DOD Access Card Office is looking ahead to the next wave of smart cards, which will carry 64K chips. The next-generation cards will also include digital images and biometric identifiers. DODs medical organizations also are working on some standard data elements that they could include on the cards.

Posted by Craig at 02:00 PM

October 16, 2003

Target Preparing Loyalty Campaigns for Smart Card Customers

Having already publicly distributed approximately 10 million of its Target Visa credit cards containing smart chip technology, Minneapolis-based Target will seriously begin leveraging the payment solution this fall by launching.....

Story Link

FMI Retail Electronic Payment Systems: Target Preparing Loyalty Campaigns for Smart Card Customers

WASHINGTON (October 16, 2003) - Having already publicly distributed approximately 10 million of its Target Visa credit cards containing smart chip technology, Minneapolis-based Target will seriously begin leveraging the payment solution this fall by launching a multitude of customer loyalty campaigns involving the co-branded cards, according to Tom Swanson, controller, Target Financial Services.

The discount retailer recently introduced kiosks in its stores that allow eligible customers to download coupons onto their cards and receive targeted offers as a reward for their patronage. Cardholders who visit Target.com can even use a card reader connected with their own computer to receive good deals.

After youve made 10 purchases of Pampers it gives you free diapers on your eleventh purchase, said Swanson, offering up a hypothetical scenario to attendees yesterday at the Food Marketing Institutes Retail Electronic Payment Systems Conference, held here. Swanson wouldnt reveal any further details about the campaigns, but he did indicate that the card would provide some entertainment value. We have to make the card fun, he said.

Brad Barth

More News on Target [Executive Technology]

Note: Kiosk Information Systems offers chip card capability for all of its products along with the conventional magstripe. Being able to transact either/both is a significant advantage. You can request more information by contacting info at gokis.net

Posted by Craig at 04:43 PM