RealTime IT News

Australian Vendor Joins Global Smart Card Group

Australian e-commerce and smart card company Keycorp has helped initiate a worldwide organisation to promote a standard infrastructure for the smart card industry.

Keycorp joins 14 international companies from the payments and telecommunications industries, government sector and vendor community, including Visa International, Microsoft and Sun Micrososystems.

The group aims to reduce barriers to the development of cross-industry, multiple application smart cards, by collaborating to promote a standard global infrastructure and the wider adoption of multiple application smart cards.

"Business progress is being hindered by competing smart card technologies," said Visa International's executive vice president for Australia and New Zealand, Hilton Sack. "GlobalPlatform will pursue the opportunity to standardise infrastructure while allowing solutions providers to develop competitive or unique product capabilities."

GlobalPlatform aims to provide an environment in which to converge smart card technologies, including Sun's Java Card, Microsoft's Smart Cards, and Keycorp's smart card-capable terminals, smart card management system, and smart card-based e-commerce.

"Keycorp sees Visa's initiative in establishing GlobalPlatform as a significant development in the worldwide move towards standardisation of smart card platforms," said Keycorp managing director, John Wood. "This has to be good news for the smart card industry, for card issuers and for consumers in Australia and other countries who are looking for the security and convenience benefits that smart cards deliver."

Currently absent from GlobalPlatform's membership are Mastercard and Mondex, which have supported a smart card platform called the Multos smart card operating system.

Australian telecommunications carrier Telstra is also yet to join the initiative, after investing last month in a smart card joint venture company with ERG and the ANZ Bank, which aims to develop a common platform for the Australian market.