A microprocessor chip developed by INSIDE Contactless in partnership with industry leaders CPI Card Group, Giesecke & Devrient, and Smartrac Technology, has been approved for use in Visa contactless payment cards issued in the U.S. The performance of the MicroPassT L4 contactless chip and its half-size antenna, allows issuing banks more flexibility in card design.
New Visa card provides issuing banks with more flexibility
Aix-en-Provence, France – INSIDE Contactless announced that its MicroPass- L4, a next generation contactless microprocessor chip, has been approved for use in Visa Contactless payments in the U.S.
MicroPass is a key component of a new contactless product developed in partnership with Smartrac Technology Ltd., for the pre-lamination processes, and the card manufacturers Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (G&D) and CPI Card Group. The new product significantly enhances the business case for contactless payments. Volume production for US financial institutions will begin in January 2006.
Thanks to the exceptional performance of the MicroPass L4 contactless chip and a half-size antenna, the new contactless product provides issuing banks with more flexibility for card design, optimizes card-terminal read capabilities, and supports the existing 4-line embossing process.
According to information released by Visa, the new features provide more flexibility for card embossing and design, and supports a variety of card shapes that allows issuers to differentiate their products in the marketplace. In addition, the enhanced card and chip performance boosts card-terminal read capabilities leading to a more consistent cardholder experience at the point of sale.
With MicroPass L4, INSIDE introduces a new payment platform that is dedicated to contactless technology, and specifically designed for the “3G” U.S. Payment Market. This new generation of contactless chip technology provides a cost-efficient solution, while also delivering the reliability, speed, and performance that have contributed to the success of contactless payments in the U.S.
“We believe that our combined solution will enable banks to deploy this new technology on a large scale and will generate new revenue streams very quickly”, says Didier Serra, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Sales, INSIDE Contactless Americas. “The partnership with INSIDE, Smartrac, CPI, and G&D combines state-of-the-art products with extensive expertise in technology integration. Each organization has a long standing track record of enabling customers to adopt new technology quickly and securely.”
“This solution is well suited to the US market where there is a growing demand for cost-efficient contactless products,” said Ayman Hammad, director, Product Development, Visa USA. “More financial institutions are seeing the benefits and market opportunities of contactless cards, and we are very pleased that INSIDE Contactless, Smartrac, CPI Card Group and Giesecke & Devrient have partnered with Visa to develop a contactless card that is cost-effective and delivers the speed and convenience merchants and consumers are looking for.”
Greater choice in state-of-the-art card products means financial institutions who want to offer new payment programs can begin to do so quickly and efficiently. Jim Lee, senior vice president, Product Standards and Implementation, Visa International, said: “Visa has a long track record in developing innovative, cost-effective smart card products for its member financial institutions. Through the Visa Smart Breakthrough program, Visa has contributed its knowledge of the technical and business requirements of Visa members and their markets and worked with technology companies to create the most suitable products. This announcement is no exception.”
“We are extremely proud of our relationship with INSIDE Contactless to develop this optimized contactless card. The operational efficiencies gained set the stage for the next generation of contactless cards, offering enhanced performance, durability and quality,” commented Kim Madore, Director of Emerging Technology North America, G&D. “This new smart card technology allows G&D to put the first small antenna contactless card in the U.S. Market. By migrating smart card technology to new form factors and integrating it with memory and advanced features, payment and security will be available everywhere.”
“This partnership demonstrates CPI’s ability to partner with industry leaders to develop new payment solutions, incorporating the latest technology and specifications”, comments Robert Clarke, VP Sales & Marketing at CPI Card Group. “We are proud to partner with INSIDE and Smartrac to develop the next generation of contactless product.”
About INSIDE Contactless
INSIDE Contactless is a fabless company that focuses exclusively on designing and developing semiconductor chips (memory and microprocessor) and hardware platforms (couplers and readers) related to 13.56 MHz contactless technology. Delivering the industry’s most comprehensive solutions, INSIDE also provides services for supporting its customers throughout the integration and industrialization phases of its products.
INSIDE’s multi-standard and cost effective products offer optimized performance and security for applications in the Payment, Identity and Access Control markets. In just ten years, INSIDE Contactless has became the second largest provider of 13.56 MHz contactless chips. Strategically located with headquarters in France and offices in China, Singapore and in the United States, INSIDE works with a worldwide customer base. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.insidecontactless.com.
Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), based in Munich, Germany, is an international technology group operating subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world. Founded in 1852, G&D began as a printer of securities, and later specialized in banknote production. The company has been developing solutions and complete systems for automatic currency processing since 1970. Today, G&D is also a technology leader in smart cards, and a solutions provider in a wide range of fields, including telecommunications, electronic payments, identification, health, transportation, and IT security (PKI). In fiscal 2004, G&D employed some 7,300 people and generated a revenue of ?1.16 billion. For more information, visit our Web site at www.ca.gi-de.com.
About CPI Card Group
CPI Card Group, a world leader in plastic card manufacturing for over 20 years, offers a single source for plastic cards from foil cards and holograms, to translucent and smart cards. CPI’s two ISO 9001:2000 certified sites include CPI Card Group – Colorado, Inc. in Littleton, Colorado and CPI Card Group – Nevada, Inc in North Las Vegas, Nevada. The Nevada facility produces high-quality, general-purpose, magnetic stripe and smart cards for many applications. The Colorado facility, certified to produce Visa products, specializes in distinctive contactless financial cards with the largest capacity in North America.