MasterCard push new smartcard

Contactless card security for under $4

MasterCard has rolled out a global dual-interface (contact and contactless) smartcard for the Asia Pacific, Middle Eastern and African (APEMA) markets named the MasterCard PayPass M/Chip 4 Combi Card.

The "latest generation" of MasterCard EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) payment applications uses both contact and contactless chip payment solutions on a MULTOS (multiple operating system) 32K dual-interface platform provided by Keycorp.

The PayPass M/Chip 4 Combi Card can also be used to store and retrieve personal data.

The smartcard release is part of MasterCard's OneSmart program, a global push aiming to provide issuers with choices, support and a strategic direction for organizations launching a smartcard project.

The PayPass M/Chip 4 Combi Card is available to issuers for around $US2.99.

Shuan Ghaidan, Asia Pacific head of MasterCard product sales and delivery, said since the first release two years ago use of contacless payment systems in the Asia Pacific region rose significantly.

"Since the PayPass pilot launch in the region in October 2004, we have seen great momentum in the uptake of contactless payment solutions," Ghaidan said.

"The ability to offer this highly sophisticated dual-interface card program at such a competitive price was made possible by the increasing adoption of contactless payments and the lower costs associated with a unique globally interoperable system."

Richard Cusson, smartcard general manager for Keycorp, said the contactless MULTOS product has huge potential which Keycorp can capitalize on.

"Over the years, we have worked with MasterCard to spearhead the development of chip-based solutions to support industry players in their move to chip," Cusson said.

"Banks, transit systems, e-government and retail applications are all areas where contactless technology has huge potential."

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