Visa launches low-cost smart card

Visa launches low-cost smart card

Visa International and semi-conductor specialist STMicroelectronics have launched a new smart card that will cost less than one US dollar.

The card will be compliant with the international EMV specification and support the Visa Smart Debit/Credit application. The specification was developed by Europay, Mastercard and Visa International to ensure global interoperability between chip cards and terminals.

The company's aim is to enable banks to introduce single application smart cards and reduce fraud.

Gaylon Howe, executive vice-president, consumer product platforms, Visa International, says that many banks would like to issue smart cards but are concerned about the cost compared to traditional magnetic stripe cards. She says: "This new product will allow Visa member banks to enter the market at low cost and benefit from the increased security and functionality provided by chip technology."

The smart card will cost less than a dollar. It was developed in partnership with IBM and is part of a major Visa programme to reduce the cost of issuing smart cards.

This smart card will be manufactured by smart card specialist ORGA System House, based in Frankfurt. Other manufacturers are currently negotiating with Visa to join the programme.

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