Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE:IFX - FWB:IFX) today announced it has been providing contactless chips for one of the world's largest contactless payment programs initiated by MasterCard Worldwide.
Infineon supplies its highly-secure contactless smartcard microcontrollers to many of the MasterCard PayPass deployments in 13 countries worldwide, including Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia and the US. Designed to make payment transactions more convenient than actual cash, magnetic-stripe cards or conventional chip-based cards, the future debit and credit cards will contain a chip featuring a contactless interface and state-of-the-art cryptographic capabilities.
Currently, there are more than two billion debit, credit and other payment cards in circulation worldwide. In 2006, at least 400 million chip-based payment cards were expected to be issued on a worldwide basis with MasterCard and Visa programs alone accounting for about 17 million contactless chip cards. According to market research company Frost & Sullivan, the conventional contactless payment smart card market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 63 percent over the next five years.
"Serving as a preferred partner for many of today's major contactless payment systems demonstrates Infineon's strong commitment to providing best-in-class semiconductor products, helping to institute new payment applications and driving next-gene-ration contactless schemes," said Dr. Helmut Gassel, Vice President and General Manager of the Chip Card & Security ICs business unit at Infineon Technologies. "Our combined expertise in security and contactless technology enables us to be the volume supplier not only in payment, but also in other major contactless markets such as e-passport deployments in the US and other countries or public transport projects such as "T-Money" in Korea."