Reinforcing its central role in implementing state-of-the-art products and technologies, Bull announced today at CardTech-SecurTech that Visa has chosen Bull’s microprocessor cards and terminals for its Visa Smart(TM) program. With this program, Visa is making it possible for its 21,000 Member banks to migrate towards credit card systems based on microprocessor smart cards, while keeping investments, risks and lead times to a minimum.
The Visa Smart program brings together leading companies worldwide, including card manufacturers, terminal manufacturers, consulting firms and service companies. Bull is an approved partner in both the Java card and terminal categories.
“We are delighted that Bull has become a partner in Visa Smart, which brings together leading technology suppliers and a comprehensive group of chip-based products and services to help Visa Member banks launch smart card programs quickly and cost efficiently,” said Philip Yen, senior vice president, Open Platform, Visa International.
Visa’s technological approach is based on the Java Open Platform. Visa customers will subsequently be able to use this platform to provide new Visa card services without having to replace all existing cards.
“As the world’s leading supplier of microprocessor smart cards for the banking sector and long-time partner with Visa, including the VisaCash(TM) program, Bull will be actively backing Visa Smart,” said David Levy, president & CEO of Bull Smart Cards & Terminals. “The Java Open Platform will ensure Visa card interoperability.”
“We are delighted to be working with Visa on this important initiative,” said Christian Goire, chairman of the Java Card Forum and in charge of advanced projects for Bull Smart Cards & Terminals. “Bull was one of the first smart card manufacturers to take up Java technology. We created, with the INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control, in May 1996 an economic interest group to jointly capitalize on their knowledge of virtual machines. Bull introduced its first a Java card, Odyssey I, in February. Odyssey II will conform with Visa’s Visa Open Technology platform.”
Bull Smart Cards in the Banking Sector
Bull is the world leader in electronic purses cards. In France in 1980, Bull was behind the first microprocessor credit/debit card that was subsequently used on a one-country scale: the BO’ card. This card, used for making both withdrawals and payments, is accepted in all of France’s cash distributors (25,000 today) and payment terminals (500,000 retailers equipped). More than 28 million of these cards are currently in circulation in France, representing an annual transaction total of more than FF1000 billion ($179 billion). In Great Britain, Bull is an active member in the UKIS project with NatWest (National Westminster Bank).
Bull also designs the range of SmartEMV multi-application cards, which fully comply with the specifications jointly defined by Europay, Mastercard and Visa. The SmartEMV offer is based on Bull’s unique expertise in terms of security which, according to ITSEC criteria, has been certified at the highest level ever reached by a smart card.
Bull’s Smart Card Terminals Offer
Bull’s know-how consists in controlling the design, manufacture and marketing of a series of electronic payment terminals capable of satisfying a wide range of specifications and providing customers with the ability to adapt each type of terminal to the country concerned.
Bull has 650,000 electronic payment terminals installed throughout the world. Bull is a leading European payment terminal manufacturer and is particularly well established in Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. In Latin America, Bull is the leading Visa provider in the framework of the development of electronic payment by debit/credit card and of the Visa Cash electronic purse program.
About Bull Smart Cards and Terminals
Bull designs and markets a wide range of contact and contactless microprocessor smart cards, electronic payment terminals and automatic points of contact, including cash dispensers and multimedia kiosk POS terminals. In 1997, these activities generated revenue of $237 million, an increase of 32 percent over 1996.
The history of smart cards at Bull goes back to 1979 when Bull’s Michel Ugon, in collaboration with Motorola, invented the world’s first microprocessor card (CP8 technology). Today, all microprocessor cards worldwide still use Bull CP8 technology for the micro-electronic part (SPOM – Self-Programmable One chip Memory) patent. More than 420 million microprocessor cards use CP8 technology, either as patents, applications or operating systems.
Bull is the world leader in the electronic purse segment with more than 27 million cards in use in ten countries. Approximately 60 percent of the world’s smart cards used in banking today have been designed by Bull. Bull also is a leader in electronic payment terminals, with 650,000 machines installed worldwide.
More information on Bull Smart Cards & Terminals can be found on the World Wide Web at: [www.cp8.bull.net], on Groupe Bull Web site: www.bull.com, and in the U.S. at [www.us.bull.com]