Plastic fantastic goes on display at Cartes

Plastic fantastic goes on display at Cartes

Improvements in online banking security, prototypes for 'ultra-mobile' m-payments, contactless and eco card initiatives are among the new technologies on show at the annual Cartes & IDentification event in Paris which opens Monday.

IBM and authentication outfit Vasco have come together at Cartes to demonstrate a prototype online banking security system, based on Big Blue's Zone Trusted Information Channel (ZTIC) technology. First unveiled last year, ZTIC plugs into the USB port of any computer to add an extra layer of security on top of existing authentication systems like smart cards, PINs and one-time validation codes.

It creates a direct, secure channel to the bank's online transaction server, bypassing the PC which could be infected by malware or susceptible to hacker attacks.

Big Blue has now tapped Vasco's Digipass 865, a USB-connectible smartcard reader for the system which offers an additional keypad, a larger graphical display and an integrated battery for off-line transactions.

IBM says that by working with Vasco it benefits from the Digipass 865's larger footprint and enables banks to offer customers more security.

Explaining the move to tap Vasco hardware, IBM Research - Zurich scientist, Douglas Dykeman, scientist, IBM Research, says: "In speaking with customers many are looking for a combination of the security and ease-of-integration of the ZTIC combined with the convenience of large keypads and displays of traditional smartcard readers."

The prototype is available in "low quantities" for customer trials and the original ZTIC system is also still available.

Also at Cartes, Visa Europe, Telefónica O2 and Giesecke & Devrient have unveiled a SIM card that can be transferred to different handsets for mobile payments.

Using G&D's Smart Card Web Server (SCWS) SIM cards, Telefónica O2 data communications and Visa Europe's payment application; the technology allows users to store all relevant payment and security credentials as well as the user interface in one place. The SIM can be taken out from one SCWS-enabled mobile handset and placed into another supporting the technology.

The SCWS technology uses the SIM card as a local server inside the mobile phone to display a user interface to enable m-payment services. G&D says it differs from Java application or localised software implementations of user interfaces by using standard Internet technology such as HTML or Https secure connections.

Sandra Alzetta, head, innovation, Visa Europe, says: "This prototype is proof that the technology to enable easy mobile payments for consumers is maturing. Making mobile payments secure yet easy for consumers is key. Together with the partners for this project, we are preparing for the future when a consumer can move their Visa mobile application from one phone to another for uninterrupted use of payments when they change their handsets."

Visa competitor MasterCard has also unveiled a new security solution for m-payments by extending its Chip Authentication Programme to to the mobile device for the generation of dynamic one-time passwords. The card scheme says the development allows part of the transaction to be included in the generation of a password - "this means that banks can enable cardholders to create a unique signature for a transaction". It says the system should help to combat phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Meanwhile, another vendor, Gemalto, has gone green with the launch of a bio-sourced degradable smart card. The card body is made from renewable material, is easily recyclable and compostable, and can be incinerated without emissions of toxic fumes.

Elsewhere at the show, Hypercom has unveiled a new contactless reader featuring an innovative clip-on, countertop or wall-mount design and easy plug & play set-up that allows merchants using Hypercom's Optimum terminals to upgrade their current device to accept mobile payments and other contactless transactions.

Belgium's Clear2Pay is also focussing on the contactless market through a joint venture with Alcatel Lucent which will marry RFID stickers to stored value account technology for mobile micropayments. Initially, the relationship will focus on delivering proximity/contactless payment using RFID stickers and tags and evolve to NFC-enabled mobile phones, say the partners, who are marketing the system to wireless operators at Cartes. In the future, the same platform will deliver remittance payments, person to person payment services and SMS ticketing.

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