The smallest to date contactless payment fob, made possible by a postage stamp-sized inlay from Texas Instruments, has been certified by MasterCard Worldwide as an approved PayPass product. Oberthur Card Systems will be producing VersaFOB that can be inexpensively customized to allow issuers to differentiate their fobs from competitors’ products.
VersaFOB Offers Banks Cost-Effective Contactless Product Differentiation
Los Angeles–The smallest-ever card-based contactless payment fob, called VersaFOB, was certified by MasterCard Worldwide as an approved PayPass product, Oberthur Card Systems announced. This new contactless payment form factor is just 28.5 mm by 23.6 mm (1.125″ x 0.93″) in size. The sub-card is snapped out of a full size card at the end of the production process and then inserted into a key-chain casing.
“Until now, most contactless payment fobs have required custom equipment and unique processes to produce,” said Philippe Tartavull, president of Oberthur Card Systems of America. “Regardless of the final shape of the VersaFOB, it is based on a regular-sized card body and can be personalized and mass produced using industry standard practices. This enables Oberthur Card Systems to manage production costs and lower the barriers to entry from a cost perspective for our banking clients.”
Since the VersaFOB casings do not contain any of the electronics, they can be inexpensively customized to allow issuers to differentiate their fobs from competitors’ products. This specific antenna was designed extremely small so it could easily be used in larger VersaFOBs – either larger sub-cards or larger casings.
Consumers are already embracing contactless payments with statistics showing that fobs have quickly become one of the top options for shoppers. Merchants also cut their checkout time since cardholders don’t have to pull the card out of their wallets. “Having the payment device on a keychain is the ultimate in speed and convenience for consumers and merchants,” Tartavull said.
Oberthur Card Systems’ VersaFOB has several advantages over competing products:
–The sub-card is secure inside the casing, giving it a robust connection to the keychain and minimizing instances of breakage and loss;
–Three-dimensional devices cannot be manufactured or personalized using traditional equipment and processes, making them more expensive to produce and slowing time to market.
“MasterCard has worked closely with Oberthur Card Systems to create an exclusive solution that lets our customers develop non-card devices with minimized incremental costs,” said Richard Fletcher, Group Head, Mobile/Wireless Center of Excellence, MasterCard Worldwide. “Issuers now have the ‘best of both worlds.’ They can use their traditional card-based manufacturing and issuance systems to bring new three dimensional cardholder devices to market.”
VersaFOB is patented, and Oberthur Card Systems has plans to license the manufacturing and personalization of VersaFOB products to additional card manufacturers and commercial personalization bureaus.
During the first half of 2006, Oberthur Card Systems shipped several million contactless cards and is uniquely positioned to lead the market with its end-to-end offering that includes product development, manufacturing, personalization and fulfillment.