Bank-owned Norwegian payments processor Bankenes BetalingsSentral (BBS) has signed an agreement with STMicroelectronics for the deployment of its Proton Prisma smart card system software technology, in a move seen as a significant step in the country's migration to EMV-based chip technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, BBS will become a licensee for Norway for Proton Prisma. The cards that will be used in the first phase will be the Proton Prisma BP (basic profile), on which the Visa or MasterCard EMV application will co-exist with the Norwegian domestic debit Bank-Axept. Other applications are expected to be added in the future, such as the existing Norwegian Proton-based e-purse 'Smapengekort' and the BankID application.
The banks, together with BBS, are planning to launch the pilot in Q2 2004 to be prepared for roll-out in Q4 2004. The present debit or credit magstripe cards will be gradually phased out in line with their natural renewing cycle. It is expected that all cards will be replaced by the end of 2006.
The Proton Prisma deployment in Norway adds to existing projects in Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Poland.