After spending many hours with the major players in the contactless chip and card manufacturing industry researching this month’s cover story on ISO 14443 Type A vs. Type B, I wanted to use this column to commend the industry. They are really pulling together it seems, recognizing that a consolidated voice of ISO 14443 supporters is stronger than a fragmented voice of Type A or Type B.
But then I step back and remember that while we have many subscribers working in the industry, more than 5000 of you don’t work for the industry—you buy or will buy from it. To the transit system operator, the financial and payment card specialist, or the corporate security officer—does it really matter that the industry is curbing its infighting?
On one hand no. On another it really does. I think that it shows a maturation process. We are less focused on fighting with each other for a specific order and more focused on the bigger picture—promoting the benefits of contactless technology as a whole to decision makers like you. While no one is giving up the short-term battles (the specific projects and bids that arise), we are focusing more intently on the long-term war (the promotion of contactless as the technology of choice for secure personal ID).
As you will read in the article, the playing field has been leveled by technology. The differences in the card types have been minimized as advanced chip offerings have emerged. And an almost universal push for multi-technology, or multi-interface readers is making the selection of a specific type far less significant.
So to the industry, I say congratulations. And to all of you decision makers and issuers out there, the time has never been better to choose contactless!
Chris Corum, Editor