Source: SCM Microsystems
SCM Microsystems (Nasdaq: SCMM; Prime Standard: SMY), OMNIKEY and Kobil Systems have agreed on a joint standard for developing smart card readers with integrated PINpads (Class 2 readers). The creation of a common specification for smart card readers with integrated PINpads paves the way for increased development of smart card applications requiring high security and for the use of PIN-enabled smart card readers.
The use of a smart card in conjunction with a Personal Identification Number(PIN) significantly increases the security of transactions made using the card. Entering the PIN for the card on a keypad that is independent of the host computer prevents illicit copying of passwords from the computer keyboard.
At the end of the 1990s, technical specifications for smart card readers and terminals were adopted under the internationally accepted PC/SC standards. However, at that time smart card readers with integrated keypads were not included. Therefore, reader manufacturers worldwide have had to develop their own proprietary PINpad reader software and driver solutions in order to provide them to the developers of smart card applications. With smart card usage now expanding rapidly around the world, it is critical that smart card application developers have access to a common, accepted Class 2 reader platform.
In order to increase acceptance and demand for secure Class 2 readers, SCM, OMNIKEY and Kobil have agreed on a joint standard for the implementation of secure PIN entry, working under the umbrella of TeleTrusT, which seeks to promote the trustworthiness of information and communication technology. Application developers, end users and the reader manufacturers themselves will now benefit from the compatibility and interoperability of PIN-enabled smart card readers.
Prof. Dr. Helmut Reimer, Managing Director of TeleTrusT e.V., is very sympathetic to this initiative. He stated, "TeleTrusT appreciates the agreement on a standard for trustworthy smart card applications by the most important international suppliers of smart card readers. This is an important signal to the market."
Class 2 PINpad readers were developed for applications where the content of the smart card is protected by a PIN to prevent unauthorized copying or use of the information stored on the card. PINpad smart card readers are particularly suited for digital signature and HBCI (Home banking computing interface) applications for both end users and enterprises.