Following its successful launch in Europe and South America, Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals is introducing the Easyflex smart card with FastOS operating system in North America. Serving as an electronic passport for access/identification and transportation applications, the innovative Easyflex card combines conventional contact-based transactions requiring a card reader with contactless operation — all in a single smart card chip. The flexible, dual-interface technology allows an issuer to customize the card to meet multiple needs. For instance, corporations can use the Easyflex card as an employee ID card to provide secure, fast access to buildings and computer networks, as well as for stored value transactions at on-site cafeterias and vending machines. The card is also ideal for transportation, since operators can issue the card as a ticket, and also link it with other card systems for additional applications, such as retail, banking and e-purse transactions.
“Transportation operators worldwide are beginning to understand the advantages of smart ticketing technology,” stated Jonas Andersson, business segment director, Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals. “The flexible architecture of the Easyflex card and its FastOS operating system allow issuers to immediately take advantage of a more efficient means of ticketing, while providing development options for other types of future transactions.”
Innovative Easyflex Projects Underway in Europe and South America
Brazil — EasyFlex Combines Identification, Transport and Financial Transactions
With 1.5 million citizens, Curitiba, Brazil is beginning a city-wide program that will put Easyflex smart cards into the hands of its entire urban population. During phase one, 30,000 municipal employees will be given a smart card which functions as a local government ID and access card, a payment card for retailers and a passport to preferential services with a participating bank.
These applications will be followed by electronic ticketing for local bus services, which will operate in contactless ‘walk by’ mode. Starting in 1998, the program will be extended to families of municipal employees, and then to the city’s entire population, making Curitiba the world’s first city-wide showcase for the convenience and flexibility of smart cards.
According to government officials, this smart card program reduces costs and speeds the development of Curitiba’s commercial infrastructure, helping to make major improvements in the quality of life in this major commercial center in Southern Brazil.
Finland — Easyflex Links Nationwide Bus Network
Easyflex is providing Finland’s diverse bus network with a single card solution that can be used for nationwide travel on ticketing systems ranging from high-speed contactless terminals used by mass transit operators in major cities, to contact card terminals used on most rural and inter-urban routes. The program provides a common card and clearing service for a network of more than 400 bus operators. A successful user of contact-based smart cards for nearly five years, the Matkahuolto system is switching to Easyflex to accommodate operators who want to use higher-speed contactless cards and terminals.
Easyflex cards can contain just a ticket and the associated administration data, or an electronic purse, which can be used anywhere on the network for buying tickets or for reloading the stored value. One of the key features of the Easyflex card is a high level of security for reloading the electronic purse. Matkahuolto plans to extend the e-purse capability to additional transactions in its transport network, such as refreshments and newspapers.
FastOS — the Flexible Operating System for Wireless and Contact-based Transactions
Easyflex features the powerful new operating system from Schlumberger, FastOS, which enables the wireless and contact-based transactions to run side by side. Easyflex and FastOS build on Schlumberger expertise in both the contactless radio-frequency proximity card market, and in the mainstream contact smart card sector.
The Easyflex contact interface draws on the Schlumberger world-leading Multiflex(TM) technology, which has formed the basis of numerous payment card applications for world-leading banks and credit card companies. The contactless radio frequency (RF) interface is compatible with the Mifare protocol, a technology which currently accounts for around 90 percent of the world’s contactless electronic transport ticketing applications. The FastOS operating system is compatible with the complete range of emerging industry standards for transport cards — including ISO14443A contactless operation), prENV1545 (data structures), and IATA’s specification for airline travel — and with key standards in the mainstream card environment, such as ISO7816, the EMV payment specification, and prENV1546 for e-purses.
Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals offers a flexible portfolio of smart card-based solutions for businesses and communities of all kinds. The company provides cards, terminals, development tools and support in open configurations for operators, developers, integrators and distributors worldwide. Under The Smart Village(R) brand, the Schlumberger offer includes the milestone Cyberflex(TM) card, the industry’s first Java(TM)-based smart card. The Smart Cards & Terminals group operates 45 facilities in 34 countries across the globe. Additional information is available on the World Wide Web at [http://www.slb.com/et/]. Schlumberger Smart Cards & Terminals is a business unit of Schlumberger Limited, a $10.65 billion global technology service company providing oilfield services, natural resource management, transactions based technology and associated systems, and semiconductor test equipment.