Japanese card firm JCB in collaboration with Sony and Toppan Printing has developed a new smart card combining FeliCa contactless and EMV contact interfaces in a single IC chip.
The first practical application of JCB's 'DualPlus' card will be as a multi-function ID card for JCB employees starting in May 2003.
News of the roll out follows Visa's announcement earlier this week that it is collaborating with Sony and Infineon to develop a similar dual interface card for production by end-2003.
The payment schemes are keen to ride on the coat-tails of the popular contactless FeliCa application, which has gained traction in mass transit schemes throughout Asia.
JCB says the dual interface technology incorporates a linkage function that allows access to shared data on the chip from both contactless and contact interface applications, offering higher functionality at a lower cost than current 'hybrid' cards with two separate chips.
The linkage function enables further potential benefits such as the inclusion of contactless payments in the cardholder's loyalty point programme through a home card-reader. Also, in the future the addition of type B communication capacity, coming into wider use in government applications, promises even greater flexibility.
JCB says it will issue the DualPlus card to employees in May when the company moves headquarters to a new location. Contactless functions will include building and floor access control as well as cafeteria and vending machine post-payment, while contact applications will support employee benefits. Some cards will also be equipped with the contact interface EMV-standard credit application J/Smart.