CROSS INDUSTRY ORGANIZATION ESTABLISHED TO ADVANCE GLOBAL SMART CARD ADOPTION
SAN FRANCISCO, October 21, 1999 – A major new initiative to advance a standardized infrastructure for multiple application smart cards has been launched with the creation of a new organization called GlobalPlatform, Inc.
The organization has been established by leading companies from the payments and communications industries, the government sector and the vendor community, and is the first to promote a global infrastructure for smart card implementation across multiple industries. Its goal is to reduce barriers hindering the growth of cross-industry, multiple application smart cards but continue to allow smart card issuers the freedom to choose from a variety of cards, terminals and back-end systems.
“For smart cards to reach their true potential, consumers need to use them for a wide variety of functions. This may mean using the card with a mobile phone to make purchases over the Internet or using the card to securely access a PC. At the moment, these things are all possible but to achieve widespread use we must see cooperative development from leading global organizations,” said David Anastasi, President and CEO of the Global Chip Card Alliance (GCA).
Members that are entitled to full participation in GlobalPlatform activities, including technical development and leadership positions, include British Telecommunications, Gemplus, Infineon Technologies, JCB, Keycorp, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, NTT, Oberthur Card Systems, Proton World International, SERMEPA, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems, and Visa International. Additional participating members include NEC, New Media Development Association, Schlumberger, and Toshiba.
GlobalPlatform is open to all parties with an interest in the development and use of multiple application smart cards, combining the interests of smart card issuers, vendors, industry groups, public entities and technology companies.
Technology consultancy, Ovum, estimates that up to seven billion smart cards will be in circulation by 2004 with most being issued by telecommunications companies. In some parts of the world, particularly in Europe, smart cards are becoming common place as banks migrate their payment cards from the traditional magnetic stripe technology to chip. However, lack of common infrastructure is widely seen as a major reason for the slow introduction of smart cards globally. Currently, there are no guidelines or specifications to ensure that a smart card developed and issued by one industry will be compatible with a card issued by another.
GlobalPlatform’s efforts to advance common specifications will be accelerated by the transfer of the Open Platform card specifications and terminal framework developed by Visa International. Open Platform technology can be implemented with the Java Card™ platform from Sun Microsystems and Microsoft Windows for Smart Cards . GlobalPlatform will manage, promote and evolve the Open Platform specifications to ensure that card issuers are provided with a wide choice of card technologies with common back-end systems for application loading and management.
GlobalPlatform will be driven by a cross-industry board of directors who will lead the work activities of various committees. Through the efforts of these committees, the organization will develop conventions needed to facilitate card issuance, application deployment, card acceptance devices, and post-issuance loading and management of on-card services. This is intended to result in secure back end systems for all industries, making it cost effective and easy for a card issuer to offer a variety of functions on one card.
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COMMENTS ABOUT GLOBALPLATFORM
Steve Brown, head of smart cards at British Telecommunications, said:
“This new organization is the first to focus on dynamic, multiple application smart cards which use various operating systems and cross industry applications. It brings together, in one group, a wide range of businesses which firmly believe in the tremendous potential of smart cards and who wish to see cross industry cooperation to ensure that this potential is harnessed. As such, it is a truly democratic, independent organization with priorities set by a board of directors and wide ranging member companies. At BT, we believe that the multiple application smart card will play a key role in consumers’ lives, both corporately and individually, by enabling access to the individual’s chosen services, and by allowing those services to be personalized and changed without the need to reissue the card. We aim to build on our position of trust to play a key role in this market, and we are convinced that GlobalPlatform will play a crucial part in advancing the whole smart card industry. We look forward to working with the other members to achieve this essential goal.”
Keizo Nakamura, senior managing director, JCB Co. Ltd. said:
“As one of the major international credit card brands, as well as the number one issuer in Japan, JCB has issued over 500 types of co-branded cards. Always holding our customers’ need for convenience as priority one, we see the multiple application smart card as an essential product of the future. JCB brings to the consortium lessons of consumer needs taught by 40 million co-branded card holders. We are dedicated to active participation in Global Platform as we promote cross-industry, multiple application smart cards which provide a high degree of customer convenience. We expect our efforts to broaden further the use of smart cards to mobile phones, PCs, set top boxes and other devices internationally.”
Mike Dusche, product manager, Microsoft Windows for Smart Card, said:
"Microsoft is pleased to see world class companies from various industries coming together to focus on smart card interoperability. An open dialogue and cooperative working environment will be critical to robust cross industry programs. Microsoft supports this initiative and expects the work of GlobalPlatform to improve the customer experience and advance smart card growth."
Shigehiko Suzuki, senior vice president, NTT, said:
“As a global information sharing corporate group, the NTT Group sees a great future in the convergence of smart cards and networks. We believe that the specifications to be defined by GlobalPlatform will lead to products that will further the development of worldwide information sharing services. The NTT Group is determined to work closely with other members and make a significant contribution to the consortium in order to achieve this goal.”
Proton World International
Yves Moulart, executive vice-president, Research & Development at Proton World, said:
“Proton World was created to drive forward the creation of common international and inter-sector standards for smart cards, as interoperability is key to the expansion of smart card use. The Proton technology is already compatible with most of the world’s cards, terminals and operating systems, as well as CEPS, which will encourage interoperability between existing schemes. We welcome the creation of GlobalPlatform to develop the Open Platform specifications for new sectors and to raise the overall profile of smart cards around the world.”
José Gabeiras, managing director, SERMEPA, said:
"In today’s world, different industries, such as telecommunications, banking, computers, Internet, payment systems, digital TV etc., are being supported by their own "auxiliary" industries (i.e. card suppliers, terminal vendors, software houses, etc.). Taking into account the speed at which chip technology is evolving, there is an ever increasing risk that each one of such auxiliary industries adopts advanced smart card technologies which are not only very different, but also incompatible among them. The creation of GlobalPlatform is a firm step towards achieving compatibility via technological standards. It will enable a progressive reduction of costs and the attainment of global economies of scale."
Smart Card Forum
Donna Farmer, president and CEO of the Smart Card Forum, said:
"As the smart card is applied to ID and authentication applications for e-commerce, we anticipate that demand for multiple application smart cards for business-to-business, government, financial, health, and consumer applications will rise. Industry focus on the establishment of a back office system infrastructure for smart card system management is essential to broad, interoperable deployment of multiple application smart cards, and we applaud the efforts of GlobalPlatform in addressing key system infrastructure issues associated with multiple application smart card deployments. We expect to work cooperatively with GlobalPlatform as the Smart Card Forum continues its mission of educating and communicating key issues and advances in multiple application smart card systems to its members."
Patrice Peyret, director, Consumer and Embedded, Platform Software Engineering, Sun Microsystems, said:
"Sun strongly supports the effort to create a common smart card infrastructure through GlobalPlatform. Sun has been actively involved in the advancement of smart card technologies and is proud to have contributed to successful smart card deployments based on the Open Platform and Java Card technology."
Stephen Schapp, executive vice president, Visa International, said:
“The growth of smart cards is undoubtedly being hindered by the emergence of competing technologies. We strongly believe that it is time for all industries with an interest in smart card technology to come together and define ways in which we can standardize infrastructure. We need to build a common infrastructure upon which companies from all sectors can provide competitive products and applications. The Open Platform specifications developed by Visa have gone a long way to provide a level of standardization while allowing choice and flexibility. The GlobalPlatform organization will allow the Open Platform specifications to evolve beyond just the financial services and telecommunications industries.”