Visa is working with Infineon to develop a chip-based payment card compatible with Sony's FeliCa contactless interface for mass-transit, loyalty and e-purse applications.
Visa says it aims to complete development of the new chip product by the end of 2003 for incorporation into its smartcard programme. The GlobalPlatform-based multi-application chip product will make it possible for member banks to implement FeliCa based transit, loyalty, and e-purse applications on Visa payment cards.
More than 35 million contactless cards employing the FeliCa operating system have been issued in many countries around the world, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.
Visa plans to work with Sony and Infineon to jointly develop a single-chip GlobalPlatform product that supports all industry standard contact and contactless interfaces. The new product will support payments over the ISO 7816 contact interface and contactless applications across the ISO 14443 type A and type B interfaces and FeliCa.
Bruce Mansfield, regional head of chip, Visa Asia Pacific, says: "The new chip product will provide the ideal platform to combine payment and mass transit functionality on a single smart card in those markets where FeliCa is being used, including Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore."
Nicholas Lee, senior vice president of Singapore's Ez - Link which has issued over 4 million FeliCa-based contactless cards for use on public transport, says the development presents an opportunity for the company to extend its card applications beyond the transit arena. "We also envisage this development to foster the creation of new synergies between the financial and transportation industry and facilitate the development of new and innovative programmes for our cardholders," he adds.