International smart card specifications body, GlobalPlatform, has launched a new level of membership that will provide small consulting practices with an opportunity to contribute to the organization's development and promotion of interoperable smart card specifications.
With the introduction of Consultant Membership, GlobalPlatform now offers five levels of participation - Full, Participating, Observer, Consultant and Public Entity - to accommodate the types of organizations that operate within the smart card market, and encourage their input and commitment to creating an open infrastructure. To qualify for membership at this level, consulting firms must only employ one or two experts, who cannot have full or part time employment at a publicly held company, government agency or educational institute. The annual fee will be US $1,500.
Similar to Observer Members, consultants joining GlobalPlatform will be able to monitor its card, device and systems technology developments, and debate GlobalPlatform's business and technical priorities by participating in the organization's Advisory Council; a forum attended by GlobalPlatform's Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Consultants also have the opportunity to actively contribute to GlobalPlatform's Government and Mobile Task Force initiatives. Launched in 2006, the Government Task Force works with public agencies to develop solutions to assist the sector in sourcing open technology from suppliers and integrators. The second group, the Mobile Task Force, was established last year and aims to harmonize industry specifications to mitigate the risk of standards fracturing at this critical time of mobile payment technology deployment.
Bob Beer, Chairman of GlobalPlatform and Vice President of Business Development at Datacard Group, comments: "Smart card consultants play a key role in the growth and progression of the industry, and we felt it was necessary to ensure that the wealth of knowledge from this expert community was captured and reflected in GlobalPlatform's technology. GlobalPlatform was prompted to create this new tier of membership due to the number of enquiries received from consultants, and as such, we expect to receive a positive response from the industry and wel and welcome many new consultant members over the coming months."