Proton World has moved to quash speculation about the availability and viability of the CEPS e-purse interoperability standards by demonstrating working prototypes at the Cartes show in Paris.
Belgium-based Proton World has used the occasion to demonstrate the compatibility of its Prisma multi-application smart card architecture with CEPS e-purse interoperability standards.
In the so-called Ducato pilot project, Proton's CEPS technology has been trialled by bank card organisations Banksys of Belgium and Holland's Interpay for e-purse loading and payment transactions. The tests included the processing of international Visa Cash transactions through VisaNet and Clip transactions through EPSNet.
Proton claims that Cartes 2001 marks the "coming-of-age" of CEPS: "They are no longer mere paper specifications: the demonstrations show that CEPS are robust and can be successfully implemented on an international basis," says the company.
CEPS was intended to ensure cross-border interoperability for e-purse transactions in time for the introduction of the European single currency in January 2002. But the Ducato project remains at an early stage and the CEPS standard is unlikely to be implemented in a commercial setting for some years to come.
The CEPS demonstrations are one of a raft of initiatives unveiled by Proton World in Paris.
The company has also signed an agreement for the co-marketing of smart card solutions that combine its Prisma architecture and on-card security toolkit ASPIC, with ActivCard's digital identity systems and solutions.
The partnership will enable financial institutions to buy an end-to-end solution for their payment, identity and network security applications, say the companies. Based on the combined technologies, the cards can be supported by a single issuing and management system and can be updated dynamically at any time after issuance using simple PC readers, terminals or other communication channels.
An issuer could support, within the same product range, a single application card (e.g. an EMV based credit product for one group of customers or an ID card for log-in security for another), as well as a multi-application card supporting credit, secure log-in, loyalty, travel and ticketing services.
Proton World has also signed an agreement with Smart Chip Technologies to adapt its e-llegiance and Loyalty Central loyalty solutions for compatibility with the Prisma framework. Smart Chip Technologies' software has been designed to work in smart card and wireless multi-platform environments, so that issuers can increase customer loyalty through incentives and rewards, initiated by purchases using any portable electronic device, including smart cards, personal digital assistants, mobile phones and laptop PCs.
Also at the show, Oberthur Card Systems announced the launch of a range of new card solutions based on Proton World's Prisma technology. The new spectrum spans from entry-level mono-application Proton Prisma SP/EMV cards right up to multi-application RSA-equipped Proton Prisma DP cards, with dynamically-downloadable applications in Java applets.