Gemplus, Sun Microsystems and Visa International have announced the availability of a three dollar Open Platform smart card. The card, named GemXpresso Lite, is based on the multi-application Java Card platform.
The Java Card platform is capable of hosting various combinations of applications, such as loyalty, secure Internet access and electronic purse, alongside Visa's debit/credit payment applications. The Open Platform also features a dynamic downloading capability that enables applications to be loaded or removed from a card after it has been issued.
"This new three dollar card, with multi-application capability, substantially enhances the business case for smart card adoption by banks," says Duncan Brown, consulting director at independent analyst Ovum. "Banks considering smart cards must now ask themselves 'why not' rather than 'why'".
The GemXpresso Lite card is fully compliant with Open Platform 2.0 and Java Card 2.1 specifications and is available now to Visa member banks that wish to introduce a multi-application smart card program.
Stephen Schapp, executive vice president, global product platforms, Visa International, says the new card will "substantially enhance" the business case for the multi-application smart card. "Combined with other discounts that Visa has negotiated with terminal and systems vendors, Visa member banks now have a complete multi-function smart card solution at an affordable price," he says.