Visa introduces low cost offline chip card

Visa introduces low cost offline chip card

Following its announcement in July of a smart card costing less than one dollar, Visa International is introducing a new low cost chip card with enhanced fraud protection for those markets that process a high level of offline transactions.

The new card, which will be available next year, will cost $1.99 and is being developed by STMicroelectronics, in partnership with IBM. One of the first smart card manufacturers to offer the new card will be Orga.

The card will contain a crypto-coprocessor and is aimed at markets that require an enhanced level of authentication when transactions are conducted offline. Such transactions tend to occur in those markets that have high telecommunication costs, making online approval expensive.

All Visa-branded EMV smart cards provide offline authentication controls that allow cards to detect attempts to tamper with data stored in the chip even though there is no real time online connection to the issuer. The new $1.99 card offers a further enhancement to these controls, called dynamic data authentication (DDA), which protects against illegal counterfeiting.

The $1.99 smart card is a single application card containing a Visa credit or debit application. Visa has previously announced a family of low cost Open Platform card products that can carry multiple applications. This includes a $3 smart card; a card with dynamic data authentication for $4; and a card with a contact/contactless dual interface for under $5.

The sub one dollar card announced in July is a single application, non-Open Platform smart card containing the Visa smart credit/debit application. This is currently going through the certification process and the first deliveries to Visa member banks are expected soon, says the card organisation.

James Lee, senior vice president, emerging technologies, Visa International, comments: “Recognising that different markets have different needs, we have developed a family of smart card products that offer both single and multi-functionality as well as different layers of security for both online and offline environments.”

In a seperate initiative, through its Smart Partner Programme, Visa says it has negotiated 25 new offers with 14 global technology vendors. This builds on a series of discounts offered last year for a limited number of early adopter banks. It brings the total number of discounts and offers to 28 from 17 vendors.

In addition, five new companies have joined the Smart Partner Programme including Cards etc, Oasis Technology, Orga, Philips Semiconductors, and ST Microelectronics.

Gaylon Howe, executive vice president of consumer product platforms at Visa International says that over a third of Visa member banks that have requested information from the Smart Partners have ended up making commitments as a result of the discounted prices.

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