Bank of America chooses Oberthur contactless payment fobs for US trial

Source: Oberthur Card Systems

Bank of America has chosen Oberthur Card Systems to provide Contactless payment Fobs as part of a trial to test radio frequency contactless payment companion devices.

As contactless cards continue to grow in issuance, Bank of America is testing consumer interest in companion devices for contactless payment, and plans to issue Oberthur Card Systems VersaFOBs with MasterCard PayPass - a first in the US marketplace.

The Bank of America user acceptance trial program will distribute Oberthur's VersaFOBs with MasterCard PayPass as companion devices to its traditional credit cards. VersaFOB is a contactless payment sub-card that snaps out of a full-size payment card and is inserted in a key-chain casing. Oberthur will supply the cards and fob casings, while Bank of America will handle personalization and fulfillment in-house. MasterCard has certified the Bank of America VersaFOB trial program.

"Research indicates that the issuance of alternative form factors, such as FOBs will further the adoption of contactless payments," said Philippe Tartavull, president of Oberthur Card Systems of America. "Following the initial contactless pilots back in 2003, it became clear that the industry should not limit itself to the traditional card form factors."

Using a regular size payment card throughout the production process allows the use of standard industry card manufacturing and personalization equipment regardless of the final shape of the contactless fob. The key advantage of VersaFOB is that it allows fobs to be cost effectively produced and it meets ISO standards.

"Oberthur's VersaFOB is the ideal contactless fob, it was designed to be produced in volume using standard manufacturing and personalization equipment," said John Suchanec, Senior Vice President of Bank of America. "That allows financial institutions, such as Bank of America, to issue fobs at reasonable costs. Our long-standing relationship with Oberthur and their expertise in the smart-card space make them an ideal partner for this trial."

"MasterCard has worked closely with Oberthur to create a solution that lets our customers develop non-card contactless payment devices with minimized incremental costs," said Richard Fletcher, Group Head, Mobile/Wireless Center of Excellence, MasterCard Worldwide. "Issuers such as Bank of America now have the 'best of both worlds.' They can use their traditional card-based manufacturing and issuance systems to bring new three dimensional cardholder devices to market."

VersaFOB is patented, and Oberthur is open to licensing the manufacturing and personalization of VersaFOB products to card manufacturers and commercial personalization bureaus.

During the first half of 2006, Oberthur shipped several million contactless cards and is uniquely positioned to lead the market with its end-to-end offering that includes product development, manufacturing, personalization and fulfillment.

Comments: (0)