In a move designed to give its member financial institutions a strategic advantage, MasterCard International announced that it has made it possible for its members to issue MasterCard-, Maestro-, and Cirrus-branded smart cards on the JavaCard platform. With this move, MasterCard is actively supporting MULTOS, JavaCard and all major proprietary platforms. In addition, MasterCard is prepared to support Microsoft’s Windows Powered Smart Cards, based on member demand. Today’s announcement represents a key success for MasterCard’s smart card program, a comprehensive, global solution for moving today’s magnetic stripe payment cards to chip technology.
By delivering its flagship M/Chip(TM) family of credit/debit applications on all platforms, MasterCard is responding to the growing desire of its members to have maximum flexibility when initiating smart card programs of their own. “MasterCard actively supports all smart card platforms, freeing our members to focus on business issues, rather than technology issues when making decisions regarding their payment programs,” said Art Kranzley, senior vice president, Global e-Business, MasterCard International. “We understand that some members want flexibility when it comes to the smart-card platform. We invite other major players in the global payments industry to join us in our decision to actively support all technology platform choices available today.”
At the same time, MasterCard continues to stress its strong support for the MULTOS platform, which remains the company’s preferred operating system for multiapplication smart cards. “We remain 100% committed to MULTOS as MasterCard’s preferred smart card operating system because it represents a totally open, cost-effective, highly secure solution for multiapplication smart cards,” said Kranzley. “In fact, today, MULTOS is more open than ever. New members are joining the MULTOS consortium, pricing has been greatly simplified, and a new policy allows card issuers to build their own facility (i.e., a Certificate Authority) to authorize application loading and deletion. These changes respond directly to our members’ business needs.”
Today’s news also reflects growing demand for MasterCard’s M/Chip credit/debit applications, which in a single software package allows banks to issue EMV-compliant MasterCard(R)-, Maestro(R)-, and Cirrus(R)-branded smart cards. To date, M/Chip has been adopted in 24 countries, on 4 continents, and MasterCard has commitments from members in another 20 countries.
In addition to MULTOS, M/Chip has already been placed on proprietary platforms from Bull, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), Gemplus, Oberthur, and Schlumberger. MasterCard, working with Gemplus, Oberthur and Schlumberger, now offers M/Chip on JavaCard. In addition, MasterCard has completed the preliminary analysis to have M/Chip reside on the Windows Powered Smart Cards platform and has applied for an application developer’s license from Microsoft. M/Chip will be made available on the Windows Powered Smart Card Platform, pending final security review and member demand for such services.
“We are pleased with the growth of smart cards around the world,” said Adam Gluck, vice president of M/Chip product management, MasterCard International. “Five years ago, there was little interest in payments on smart cards. Today, the EMV standard is taking off. Now that M/Chip is available on MULTOS, JavaCard, and a significant number of proprietary operating systems, the industry is poised for explosive growth.”
MasterCard’s current platform strategy can be summarized as follows:
MULTOS – The MULTOS platform remains MasterCard’s preferred operating system for multiapplication smart cards. MULTOS is the most robust, flexible and secure smart card platform in the market today. It is the only operating system for smart cards to have been certified with the prestigious ITSEC Level E6 security rating, the highest available. MULTOS is a totally open platform, which enables a number of different, independently functioning services to be held on a single card simultaneously. To date, more than 6 million smart cards have been issued on the MULTOS platform, and more than 75 issuers are now committed to issuing 20 million additional MULTOS smart cards. More than 70 companies currently supply MULTOS-related products and services.
Control of the MULTOS specification is contractually vested with the members of the MULTOS Consortium, consisting of 13 of the industry’s leading suppliers and card associations, who are working to drive the adoption of MULTOS as an open industry standard for smart cards across all business sectors. JavaCard – MasterCard has worked with Gemplus, Oberthur and Schlumberger to port the M/Chip Lite credit/debit application to the JavaCard platform, which has received broad industry support worldwide. The applications are available now and allow MasterCard members to issue MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) or Cirrus(R) cards on the JavaCard platform.
Windows Powered Smart Cards – MasterCard has applied for an application developer’s license to be ready to place M/Chip on Microsoft’s Windows for Smart Cards platform, pending final security review and member request for such services. Proprietary Platforms – MasterCard has worked with members to place M/Chip on a variety of proprietary platforms from Bull, G&D, Gemplus, Oberthur, and Schlumberger.
MasterCard International is a leader in global e-business. The association is focused on providing its member financial institutions with customized, meaningful global e-business solutions that connect them to customers in both the online and offline worlds. Through its investment in industry innovation, participation in standards development and business alliances, MasterCard is staying in the forefront of technology integration to enable anytime, anywhere payments across multiple channels and various devices. MasterCard’s global e-business solutions include Internet security, smart cards, mobile commerce/wireless, e-wallets, business to business electronic commerce, and numerous emerging technologies.
About MasterCard International
MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. More than 1.7 billion MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R) logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. An association comprised of more than 20,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is the leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. MasterCard’s award-winning Priceless(R) advertising campaign is now seen in 81 countries and in more than 36 languages, giving the MasterCard brand reach and scope unrivaled by any competitor in the industry. With more than 21 million acceptance locations, no card is accepted in more places and by more merchants than the MasterCard Card. In 2000, gross dollar volume exceeded US$857 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at .