The industry-backed Ducato project has completed implementation of CEPS (common electronic purse specifications) e-purse interoperability standards.
CEPS offers financial institutions a common underlying technology for a global interoperable electronic purse system. It makes use of banks' current payments infrastructures, rather than inventing a whole new system.
The Ducato project was launched in September 2000 to validate CEPS-related technologies across banking organisations worldwide. Partners involved in the initiative include Banksys, Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, Europay International, Interpay Nederland, Proton World, Sermepa, Sistema 4B and Visa International.
The two CEPS-compatible smart card technologies used in the Ducato project are Sermepa’s Advantis (applied by Sermepa and Groupement des Cartes Bancaires) and Proton World’s Proton Prisma (applied by Banksys and Interpay). Banksys and Interpay used C-ZAM/Smash terminals from Banksys for CEPS load and payment transactions.
The Advantis multi-application technology from Sermepa enables EMV Debit/Credit and CEPS functionality in the same card. Those applications have been officially validated by Visa International and Europay International.
Proton Prisma can be implemented on mono-application cards or multiple-application cards (combining EMV credit/debit, e-purse, PKI-based identification, contactless transport ticketing etc) Proton-based CEPS cards can be branded Visa Cash or Clip.
Completion of the project ensures CEPS is now ready for implementation by issuers and acquirers on an international and inter-technology basis, say the partners. Currently, CEPS is supported by organisations from over 30 countries, representing more than 90% of the world's electronic purse cards.
Visa International is ready to process Visa Cash through VisaNet and Europay International is ready to process Clip transactions through EPSNet.