21 March 2005
MasterCard International, in collaboration with some of the world's leading technology vendors, has announced the availability of US$0.99 multi-application smart card.
The price breakthrough is part of the overall One SMART™ MasterCard® program to provide customer financial institutions with greater technology choices, critical assistance and the flexibility they need to launch a successful smart card program. With the support of leading vendors, MasterCard will further accelerate the migration of payment cards to multi-application smart cards in Asia/Pacific, South Asia, Middle East and Africa.
"We have been working closely with MasterCard to provide market-leading technical solutions to our customers. In partnership with our customers, we have lowered the costs of implementing smart cards so that financial institutions have a more attractive business case for adopting valued-added chip-based offerings. Keycorp is committed to supporting its customers in the migration to chip and looks forward to many more successful collaborations with MasterCard," explained Tim Fletcher, Keycorp's General Manager, Smart Card Technologies.
MasterCard has teamed up with technology companies including Keycorp Limited of Australia, Infineon Technologies AG of Germany and a number of leading regional and global smart card manufacturers to deliver the US$0.99 white card, based on the new MULTOS step/one platform.
MasterCard first introduced the MULTOS-based multi-application smart card under its US$2.99 chip program in December 2000. In December 2003, MasterCard brought down the price of its state of the art, multi-application MULTOS card by 33 percent to US$1.99.
The new US$0.99 smart card contains M/Chip™, the MasterCard EMV credit/debit application, and the MasterCard Open Data Storage TM program (MODS), which allows for the secure storage and retrieval of personal data for loyalty, e-ticketing and more. Issuers also have the option of loading other value-added applications of their choice to the card. The ability to offer these high specification smart cards at such a competitive price was made possible by the increasing adoption of smart cards and MasterCard's collaboration with key industry players.
"The US$0.99 smart card program is designed to offer our customer financial institutions a delivery platform with the ability to launch highly customized, differentiated programs. With the drop in price of MasterCard's multi-application smart card and the support of leading technology vendors, MasterCard has again demonstrated to the marketplace why it is the best partner for smart cards," said Shuan Ghaidan, vice president, Advanced Payment Systems, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard International.
"Offering cost efficient multi-application cards is just one of the many ways in which MasterCard helps support the EMV migration process for our customer financial institutions. This price breakthrough is an extremely attractive incentive for our issuing banks to further develop and roll-out EMV-compliant smart cards in the South Asia, Middle East and Africa region," said V.S. Chandrasekhar, vice-president, Product Delivery, MasterCard International, South Asia, Middle East & Africa Region.
MasterCard continues to be a leader in the smart card arena with more 30 million MasterCard® Cirrus®, Maestro® - and Mondex® - branded smart cards in Asia/Pacific and more than 233 million smart cards issued worldwide. About 50% of these 233 million smart cards now carry EMV chips, demonstrating the increasing momentum for EMV compliance. Also, more than half of these smart cards carry value-added applications such as loyalty, digital ID, e-ticketing, e-coupons and personal data storage.