California-based SCM Microsystems says it has become one of the first three companies in the world to deliver a programmable smart card reader that complies with the Finread payments specifications.
SCM's smart card reader, STR-Finread, can be attached to any PC connected to the Internet. When making a remote transaction a small Java-based program called a Finlet is downloaded into the reader to manage the interaction with the smart card. Working together, the card and reader secure the transaction by authenticating digital certificates, verifying PIN entry and digitally signing the transaction. The same reader can work successfully for any smart card application that complies with the Finread standard.
STR-Finread supports multiple applications including payments, e-purse reloading, loyalty systems, home banking, digital signatures and any Java-based programme that follows the Finread standards, as long as it has been verified and electronically signed by a trusted party.
The Finread specifications were drafted by a consortium of payments schemes and smart card manufacturers to support e-commerce, Web banking and digital signature applications. The standard also guarantees interoperability between different smart card issuing entities and across multiple reader manufacturers.
Robert Schneider, CEO of SCM Microsystems, says a Finread compliant reader provides consumers with the highest level of end-to-end security for Internet transactions and protects retailers against losses due to uncovered payments.
"The success of this programme is significant because it shows that a compliant smart card reader can be certified as trusted, and then used with different payment and transaction applications from different entities," he says.