ABN AMRO today announced it is to become the first bank in the MasterCard SEMEA region (Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa) to launch a smart chip credit card based on M/Chip 4.
The new credit card, launched on 28th March 2005, uses Thales' P3 technology to provide customers with the highest possible security and the ability to add new applications during the lifetime of the cards. The project further demonstrates Thales' ability to supply world-class security solutions across the MULTOS platform.
The launch, as well as being the first of its kind in the region, is the latest in a series of chip technology developments deployed by ABN AMRO. To realise this massive step forward the bank has worked in association with Thales and local channel partner Infotel Pakistan, who provided their P3 EMV (M/Chip 4) standard technology. Thales' P3 products handle the Data Preparation and Key Management which is required to write information to smart cards.
The P3 technology supports the MULTOS operating system (OS) selected by the bank. The MULTOS OS is the most secure multi-application smart card OS in the world providing customers with high level security for their information and authorisation details stored on the smart card. The MULTOS platform also provides a mechanism for updating software on the credit card after it has been issued which means a number of different applications can be held on a single smart card simultaneously, separately and securely.
ABN AMRO will launch the new cards with pre-installed credit and loyalty applications, and is also investigating the addition of further applications including health, ID and e-purse functions.
Salaman Sarwar Butt, country consumer head of ABN AMRO said: "Our customers need services that compliment their lifestyle and as a result ABN AMRO always aims to offer convenient services which make life easier. Our new credit card will support our high levels of customer service by ensuring top level security along with the flexibility to use one smart card for numerous functions. This latest launch serves to highlight our dedication to developing chip technology and our commitment to furthering technology development in the Middle East region".
Chris Woods, regional business manager of Thales' e-Security business line
said: "ABN AMRO is clearly setting the pace of smart card development in Pakistan's banking market and by capitalising on Thales' vast experience and specialist products in this area they look sure to continue to do so. We expect this launch to provide the impetus for an increased momentum in smart card development and use in the region and look forward to announcing further contracts".