Visa International has launched the "smart Visa Challenge," a competitive call to find and develop innovative smart card applications using Java card technology and tools, as well as to reward and offer royalties to their creators.
The competition also seeks new ideas for services that would leverage and enhance the existing payment, loyalty and Internet access applications that are already part of the smart Visa technology platform.
Acting as pseudo venture capitalists, Visa and partners Sun Microsystems, Providian Financial, First USA Bank and Fleet Credit Card Services will select several Challenge winners and potentially bring their new Java card technology-based smart card solutions to market by spring 2002.
Any U.S. resident with an idea or application for a new Java Card technology-based smart card solution is qualified to enter the smart Visa Challenge. In addition to recognition and royalties stemming from the market launch of their application, winners will enjoy cash prizes - from $1,000 to $75,000 - plus additional Visa-provided benefits.
In October, the companies will choose the top 20 ideas to be developed to full applications or services: ten in the online (Internet) category and ten in the offline (retail) category. All finished applications and ideas will be reviewed in January 2002, with prizes awarded in February 2002. The due date for entries is August 24, 2001.
"We want Java developers to know that we're willing to back up and reward great new ideas for our smart card platform. The smart Visa Challenge allows us to do just that," says Patrick Gauthier, senior vice president, smart card applications and market development, Visa U.S.A.