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Giesecke & Devrient targets Italian smart card market

26 July 2005  |  5056 views  |  0 Source: Giesecke & Devrient

International technology group Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is strengthening its position on the Italian market.

After four years of successful business activities with payment cards, G&D has now opened a subsidiary in Milan that's supplying its new smart card technology to BNL, one of Italy's largest banks.

The Italian market is strategically important for G&D. By the end of the year, there will be a total of 1.2 million chip-based payment cards in circulation. "We have set a goal of further expanding our market share in Italy," is how Michael Kuemmerle, head of G&D's payment division, explained the motivation for the new subsidiary.

G&D has about 60 percent of the payment card market in Italy. "With the increasing number of EMV projects with different bank sectors, G&D was able to make a name for itself in the past few years as a specialist for the EMV conversion. At the same time, the increasing number of projects has made it more and more important to have a well-versed team on site to ensure that the customer is served in the best possible manner," explained Mr. Kuemmerle.

The switchover of the bankcards to the EMV standard meets the requirements of the Associazione Bancaria Italiana (ABI) that determine that all debit cards are to be sequentially switched from magnetic stripe to smart card technology by the 1st of January, 2006. As the Zentrale Kreditausschuss (ZKA) does in Germany, ABI supports the interests of the Italian banking and financial institutions. "The decision to use EMV technology today for debit cards shows how BNL pays attention to innovation and technology," commented Edoardo Baumgartner, general manager of the new subsidiary, referring to the steps taken by BNL.

Card delivery starts in August of 2005 and will be completed by the end of the year. G&D functions as a general contractor and supplies the body of the cards with the implemented chip module. Personalization, key management, data generation and conversion on the card are performed by Metalplex, the Italian G&D partner.

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