Aconite, a leading provider of EMV and smart card software solutions and professional services today announced that it had secured 12 software and consultancy contracts in the last 12 months with card issuers across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The majority of the new business came from national banks, who selected Aconite to help them to understand and overcome the challenges of moving from a magnetic stripe to Chip and PIN card base.
"We have witnessed a lot of activity in the GCC, which is being driven to a large extent by developments in Saudi Arabia, where card issuers are striving to meet SAMA-mandated deadlines for EMV compliance", said Patrick Regester, Aconite's EVP Sales & Marketing. "As card issuers in this region take measures to increase security on their cards, neighbouring countries are under pressure to follow suit or risk increased card fraud, as fraudsters target less-protected regions", said Regester.
Aconite offers award-winning solutions that enable card issuers to rapidly and cost-effectively migrate to the EMV standard with minimal disruption to their existing operations. Aconite's approach is to develop solutions that bolt-on to existing systems, enabling banks, processors and financial institutions to quickly benefit from the enhanced risk management capabilities offered by Chip and PIN technology. Through Aconite's Smart Prepaid solution card issuers can go on to exploit their EMV investment further by using the same smart card infrastructure to rapidly enter new contactless prepaid markets, such as transit and retail.
There has been significant demand for Aconite's consulting services from suppliers across the card issuance value chain; from regulators, national card schemes, national switches and numerous banks. Aconite's Head of Consulting, David Worthington, a former SAMA advisor on banking technology comments, "We expect demand for consulting services to continue throughout 2008 and into 2009, as banks in Saudi Arabia migrate their card business operations, technology and services to EMV. Contracts to date have covered both chip and PIN issuing and acquiring consultancy, as well as workshops to scope future servicervice requirements for prepaid, contactless and other smart card related products and services".
Aconite has also seen increased regional sales of their EMV Script Processor solution, which provides for increased risk management and cardholder control. This is possible through the use of dynamic post-issuance scripting, generating and delivering updates or 'scripts' to an EMV card base. Operating alongside risk, fraud and card management systems, scripts are automatically delivered at the point-of-sale and other service points by responding to cardholder behaviour and other risk parameters held on the card. Not only does this reduce risk, but it will allow the bank to maximize their credit lines and increase the profitability of their card business.