Smart payment cards in the U.S. got a big boost yesterday as a major retailer announced it will issue ‘smart VISA’ cards as well as install EMV-compliant smart card terminals throughout its chain of stores. MN-based Target Corporation will issue the new smart cards through its Retailers National Bank affiliate this Fall, and will deploy smart card POS terminals in all 990 Target Stores by the Spring of 2002. Target currently has 36.4 million retail credit card accounts according to CardData, and plans to convert millions of these accounts to ‘smart VISA’ cards. VISA says it expects Target to contribute significant growth to the number of ‘smart VISA’ cards issued in the U.S. Even though discussions are still underway, Target says it will focus on developing a loyalty function of the co-branded ‘smart VISA’ that could enable a cardholder to download electronic coupons onto the card from a PC. Target also expects to expand the functionality of its current rewards program offered under the ‘Target Guest Card’ program with the new smart card. The company currently operates 1,320 stores in 46 states including 990 Target stores, 266 Mervyn’s stores and 64 Marshall Field’s stores.
Credit card marketing in Canada has hit a new peak with 45.8 million direct mail solicitations during the first quarter, with 73% of mailings coming from U.S. monoline firms. Despite the influx of new card offers, the low Canadian consumer response rate of 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2000 was equal to that in the U.S., according to BAIGlobal’s ‘Mail Monitor’ tracking service. For the first quarter of 2001, Canada had a 0.9% response rate while the U.S. was at 0.7 percent. Canadian households received 2.3 offers while their U.S. counterparts got 4.7 offers. BAI says Canada’s low response rate is the result of higher penetration of credit cards in Canada, where 89% of households already have a credit card compared to 76% in the U.S. The U.S. monolines are hitting the Canadian market for ‘Platinum’ cards which accounted for 69% of all solicitations.
In today’s issue of ‘The RAM Report’: Shell UK deploys VeriFone multi-application terminals; American Express adds Alitalia, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific Airways to its companion ticket program for Platinum cardholders; Trintech signs Germany’s GZS; and details on the First Islamic credit card. ‘The RAM Report’ ([www.ramresearch.com]) covers all international payment card developments.
Nazomi Communications Inc., the inventor of universal and scalable coprocessor products for Java(TM) technology, announced the release of the JSMART coprocessor for Java Card technology. The JSMART Java Card coprocessor is based on Nazomi’s JSTAR architecture, ‘the leading hardware approach to boosting performance of Java-enabled devices while also reducing power consumption during Java software execution.
“Smart cards enabled with Java Card technology are rapidly becoming a key enabler for commerce, identification, authentification, and other simple transaction-based applications,” said Jay Kamdar, vice president of marketing and COO for Nazomi. “Shopping, banking, stock portfolio management, government entitlement, military programs, health insurance plans and other applications are utilizing smart card technology to facilitate portable transaction and authentication services.”
The JSMART Java Card coprocessor is fully compatible with the Java Card 2.1.2 specifications and can be interfaced with any 8-bit, 16-bit or 32-bit smart card microprocessor, making it an ideal Java Card microprocessor. The JSMART coprocessor is fully invisible to the smart card and only becomes active when executing Java Card application software. This leaves the native microprocessor’s instruction set architecture unaffected and capable of executing non-Java Card applications.
Kamdar explained that market adoption of Java Card is being driven by a desire for a universal development language, a universal runtime platform and the ability to run separate secure applications. Smart cards derive power from a smart card reader and the card itself has no capability for energy dissipation, making energy consumption and dissipation critical issues for smart card designs. The JSMART coprocessor addresses these critical issues by completing applications and transactions faster and more efficiently, which results in less energy consumed and dissipated.
“Our ability to scale the JSTAR technology to fit many applications and markets affirms the flexibility of our architecture,” said Mukesh Patel, CEO and co-founder of Nazomi. “We are confident that Java Card will become the de facto standard platform for smart cards. Our Java Card solution now offers an enhanced value proposition for manufacturers developing smart cards enabled with Java Card technology. Nazomi is fulfilling its strategy to be the dominant broad-based supplier of intermediate language and Java technology performance boosting technology to microprocessor and system on chip manufacturers who are targeting products from smart cards to Internet appliances.”
About JSTAR and JSMART Technology
Java software running in a JSTAR or JSMART technology enhanced system consistently executes ten times faster and consumes one thirtieth (1/30) of the energy of interpreter-only methods of Java bytecode execution, based on tests run in the exact same system with and without JSTAR technology enabled using industry standard benchmark tests and complex Java application software. The JSTAR technology bridges the gap between the stack-based Java runtime environment and register-based microprocessors using on-the-fly optimized interpretation. JSTAR technology enabled microprocessors do not require any additional system memory, and in fact reduces memory accesses while executing Java software. This results in greatly improved performance and reduced power consumption meaning users of JSTAR technology enhanced devices experience responsive and consistent performance and extended battery life.
The JSTAR Java coprocessor is fully compatible with all Java Platform standards and offers a low-cost and high-performance intermediate language processing solution targeted for the J2ME and PersonalJava Platforms. JSTAR technology is an advanced Java bytecode interpretation engine implemented in silicon that retrieves Java bytecode instructions from memory and interprets them on the fly into an optimum sequence of native CPU instructions that are fed directly to the CPU for immediate execution. In essence, a JSTAR technology enhanced microprocessor becomes bilingual. The JSTAR Java coprocessor handles 160 (or 70%) of the 227 Java bytecodes with the same efficiency as its own native CPU instructions. Consisting of synthesizable Verilog RTL Silicon Intellectual Property, a typical JSTAR implementation takes 30,000 logic gates. Any semiconductor foundry can implement its synthesizable design. In a 0.18-micron process, when the JSTAR Java coprocessor is active it consumes 180 uW/MHz at 1.5 volts. Customer deliverables include detailed implementation documentation, a verification suite, a J2ME CLDC reference implementation, and a software kernel that works with any Java VM.
The JSMART Java Card coprocessor is fully compatible with all Java Card standards and offers a low-cost and high-performance intermediate language processing solution targeted for the Java Card Platform. The JSMART Java coprocessor is a derivative of the JSTAR architecture handling 167 (or 86%) of the 195 Java Card bytecodes with the same efficiency as its own native CPU instructions. Consisting of synthesizable Verilog RTL Silicon Intellectual Property, a typical JSMART implementation takes 5,000 logic gates. Any semiconductor foundry can implement its synthesizable design. In a 0.18- micron process, when the JSMART Java coprocessor is active it consumes 30 uW/MHz at 1.5 volts. Customer deliverables include detailed implementation documentation, a verification suite, and a software kernel that works with any Java Card VM.
JSTAR technology was designed from the ground up with an overall system perspective in mind, resulting in the unique instruction path processing architecture for intermediate languages that offers fully transparent operation, allowing all existing application software, operating system software and other binaries to run as-is. The same transparency also applies to the use of application development tools and debuggers.
A JSTAR or JSMART technology enabled system significantly reduces overall system power consumption when running a Virtual Machine and does not require any additional system memory, which is in contrast to real-time compilation techniques used to achieve Virtual Machine and Java software acceleration that places heavy processing and power-drain burdens on the system while it compiles Java software. Compilation techniques expand Java software as much as tenfold and therefore require a large amount of memory to store the compiled code. An additional benefit of the JSTAR architecture is that its architecture scales to applications that range from JavaCard(TM) smart cards to servers, and its acceleration scales linearly with the microprocessor clock frequency.
JSTAR and JSMART technology integrate with any stand-alone microprocessor, microprocessor core embedded into a system on chip (SoC), or smart card microprocessor such as those from AMD, ARM, Hitachi, IBM, Infineon, Intel, MIPS, Motorola, National Semiconductor, NEC, Toshiba, and others.
About Nazomi Communications
Nazomi Communications, Inc. is a technology company focused on providing efficient universal and scalable intermediate language processing products. Nazomi’s flagship products include JSTAR and JSMART. JSTAR is specifically for the J2ME and PersonalJava Platforms, targeted at wireless mobile devices, Internet appliances and embedded applications. JSMART is specifically for Java Card technology targeted at smart cards. Nazomi was founded in September 1998 by two highly experienced Java technology veterans from Sun Microsystems. Nazomi is privately held and is located at 2200 Laurelwood Road, Santa Clara, California, 95054, phone: (408) 654-8988, fax: (408) 654-2938, web: http://www.nazomi.com, email: [email protected]
JSTAR and JSMART are trademarks of Nazomi Communications, Inc. Sun, Sun Microsystems, Java, PersonalJava, J2ME, and Java Card are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Oberthur Card Systems will announce today the launch a software package, smart card and a reader, that gives end-users and corporations smart card PKI authentication to secure network access and payment for online goods through any Internet-enabled PC, PDA, dual-slot mobile phone or set-top box. The ‘AuthentIC Web Pack’ uses an open-platform-based smart card. It is being implemented by GlobalPlatform, whose members include Infineon, Motorola, NEC, Sun and VISA. For PC-based transactions, the ‘AuthentIC Web Pack’ enables users to securely access corporate and private networks as well as the Internet, securely purchase or access online services by accessing an e-wallet and encrypt e-mails and protect online content.
Oberthur Card Systems has received VISA approval for its ‘GalactIC 2.1’ smart payment card. This latest addition to the ‘VISA Smart’ range offered by Oberthur is based upon ‘Open Platform 2.0.1’ and integrates RSA and PKI functionalities. It is the first multi-application payment card offering the RSA and PKI functionalities. Oberthur Card Systems is the number one supplier of VISA cards worldwide.
MasterCard announced Wednesday deployment of a new payment-processing platform that offers maximum flexibility for member financial institutions to leverage technology to mass customize payment processing. MasterCard has initiated a three-step strategy for delivery of its new core processing platform. These steps include: 1. a massive, world-wide upgrade of ‘Banknet’, MasterCard’s global network, to the industry’s first virtual private network; 2. development of new customizable features and functionality through proprietary modular software, focused on the introduction of a new clearing system; and 3. distribution of network processing to ‘Regional Service Centers’, enabling customized local processing. MasterCard is also rolling out its new ‘Global Clearing Management System’, the replacement for its previous clearing system, ‘INET’, with members and processors. GCMS captures more information than ever during clearing, gives members more control over how the data is handled and links authorization and clearing messages. Thirty-three members already have committed to early migration to the new clearing platform. The new platform is also designed to accommodate any type of payment, including those initiated through emerging and evolving payment channels such as the Internet and wireless devices.
Oberthur Card Systems said this morning it is doubling output with an investment in new manufacturing equipment of approximately $5 million. The investment makes Oberthur’s Rancho Dominguez, CA, headquarters the largest smart card producing facility per day for GSM, memory and microprocessor applications in the U.S. The new equipment infrastructure will give Oberthur the capacity to create 160,000 cards per day just in Los Angeles. Combined with its existing manufacturing plant in Exton, PA, Oberthur can now produce and deliver 200,000 specialized cards designed to market specifications. Half of the 200,000 capacity will be dedicated to memory cards such as prepaid phone cards and half to microprocessor cards such as GSM cards.
Oberthur Card Systems launched the world’s first fully standardized 64K, RSA-enabled, Java-based ‘SIM Toolkit’ card. The ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ card is the first on the market to bring together both the WIM and SIM Toolkit functions on one card. Developed with Infineon Technologies, ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’s’ RSA capabilities and memory size facilitate and support high-level security systems including PKI. The ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ also supports simultaneous SAT & WIM hosting due to its 64K EEPROM user memory. ‘SIMphonIC SWIM’ is compliant with the ‘ETSI 11.11’ and ‘11.14’ specifications and is based upon the latest model in Infineon Technology’s 66Plus controllers’ family.
Schlumberger Test & Transactions and Baltimore Technologies announced Friday they intend to develop and deliver solutions aimed at enabling wireless handset subscribers to digitally sign transactions using a mobile phone. The cooperation will involve integration between the Schlumberger regional data processing hubs and Baltimore ‘UniCERT’ to enable the bulk issuance of SIM/WIM smart cards containing digital certificates. Specifically, the solutions will be based on Baltimore’s certificate management system, ‘Telepathy’ and ‘Simera e-motion’, and Schlumberger’s ‘WAP 1.2’ compliant SIM/WIM card.
Canada’s Alberta Treasury Branches unveiled Wednesday the ‘Alberta Gold My Rewards MasterCard’. The new credit card loyalty program offers points for travel that can be redeemed anytime, anywhere, and with any airline. Cardholders will earn one point for every dollar charged and points will not expire. The new MasterCard carries an $89 annual fee and offers a 21 day grace period. Credit lines range from $5,000 to $50,000. The ‘Alberta Gold My Rewards MasterCard’ is one of four personal credit card offerings available from Alberta Treasury Branches. The other three cards include: ‘The Alberta MasterCard’; ‘The Alberta Advantedge MasterCard’; and ‘The Alberta Gold Cash Rebate MasterCard’. ATB has 144 branches and 131 agencies located throughout Alberta.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. , the largest proprietary credit card issuer in the U.S., and CheckFree, the leading provider of electronic billing and payment software and services, announced that Sears’ approximately 60 million credit card customers will be able to view and pay their Sears bills online through their choice of nearly 200 CheckFree-powered Web sites. The agreement between Sears and CheckFree represents the largest business relationship to date between a retailer and an electronic billing and payment provider.
! Sears credit card customers can access bills online, view bill details and approve their bill payment in a matter of moments using CheckFree’s fully integrated electronic billing and payment solution. The approved payment is then made on the date selected by the consumer from the customer’s designated account.
Payments made electronically on Sears credit accounts will be processed by CheckFree Genesis 2000, the industry’s only fully integrated end-to-end electronic billing and payment engine. Customers who pay bills through this service are protected from unauthorized transactions and processing delays by the CheckFree Guarantee.
“With the rapidly expanding capability of Sears online business and our relationship with CheckFree, we will deliver world-class service to our customers where, when and how they choose,” said Kevin Keleghan, Sears Credit Services president. “Online bill presentment and payment is only one of the customer-responsive new Web initiatives that Sears Credit plans to introduce in the near future.”
“Electronic billing and payment services enable a customer-focused organization such as Sears to extend its tradition of customer service to the Internet in a safe, secure and reliable environment,” said Tom Stampiglia, president of CheckFree Software Division. Through the CheckFree Guarantee, Sears can also extend its pledge to offer customers, ‘The good life at a great price. Guaranteed’ to online bill payment.”
Sears is joining a growing number of U.S. companies that offer not only electronic bill payment but also presentment, or online viewing of the statement and detail, to those who subscribe to the service. Customers of the company’s Sears Card, Sears Premier Card and Sears Charge PLUS accounts may utilize the new service by enrolling to pay bills online with Web sites that offer CheckFree EBP services including banks, brokerages, credit unions, Internet portals and personal financial management software. These sites include Summit Bank, Citizens Bank, First Union, NetBank, Wingspanbank.com, Charles Schwab, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Prudential Securities, Navy Federal Credit Union, the U.S. Postal Service, Yahoo!, Quicken.com and Quicken Personal Financial Management Software. A complete list of distribution partners offering CheckFree electronic billing and payment is available at .
CheckFree ( [http://www.checkfree.com]) is the leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products. Founded as an electronic payments processor in 1981, CheckFree launched the first fully integrated EBP solution in early 1997. CheckFree services enable 3.5 million consumers to receive and pay bills over the Internet or electronically. The company has multi-year contracts with nearly 190 of the nation’s top billers to provide online billing and payment through its network of partnerships with nearly 200 consumer service providers (CSPs), including banks, brokerage firms, Internet portals and content sites, and personal financial management (PFM) software.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of nearly $40 billion.
The company serves families throughout the country through approximately 860 department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company’s Web site, [http://www.sears.com].