Visa pushes down chip card costs

Visa pushes down chip card costs

Visa has reduced the costs of a range of smart cards by an average of 10 per cent, pushing down the price of entry-level multi-application chip cards to $2.60.

Visa says that 14 million low cost smart cards have been issued since it first introduced its cost-cutting programme in spring 2000. With today's announcement, Visa adds two new multi-application smart cards to the programme bringing the total number of cards to nine.

These range from simple, single application payment cards with a choice of security options to suit different market conditions to sophisticated Java-based GlobalPlatform cards that can carry several other applications, such as loyalty, transit, identification, and site access.

Prices for entry-level, single application cards start at less than $1, less than one fifth of the price five years ago, says Visa. GlobalPlatform multi-application cards now start at $2.60 and peak at $4.08.

Brian Hartzer, managing director of consumer finance at ANZ Bank in Australia welcomes the latest cost-cutting drive. "The incremental cost of adding a chip to payment cards has a major bearing on the business case for card issuers, and was certainly seen as one of the major challenges in chip migration by ANZ in Australia and New Zealand. By using chip cards supplied under Visa's low cost card programme, ANZ was able to reduce the incremental chip cost by almost half, which strongly assisted the business case for chip."

Choi Seung-Jin, senior manager for the payment business team at SK Telecom in South Korea, says the reduced price levels should provide new opportunities for both banks and telcos to implement EMV payment and electronic purse applications in the mobile payment chip environment.

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