Home Training Industry News Trade Shows White Papers US Government

Smart Card Organization and Industry Associations

Advanced Card Technology Association of Canada - The Advanced Card Technology Association of Canada is a premier source of information about smart, optical, capacitive and other emerging card technologies, and biometrics. Since 1989, ACT has monitored the Canadian and global marketplace for members from around the world and promotes awareness, understanding and use of these technologies. 905 426 6360

Asia Pacific Smart Card Forum -

European Smart Card Industry Association - The EUROSMART Association - European Smart Card Association - was formed in order to promote smart cards and smart card systems.

International Card Manufacturers Association

The Smartex global network of smart card Societies Card Forum International is published bimonthly and focuses on the information needs of decision-makers in the rapidly growing industry of card-based applications and technologies. Provides news about Electronic and Mobile Payment technologies. The information is updated daily.

SmartCards Trends - links to suppliers and organizations.

GlobalPlatform Organization

GlobalPlatform is establishing standards for smart card infrastructure that enable issuers to capitalize on the power and promise of this new technology by developing an open and interoperable system. Global Platform is an independent organisation seeking to promote a common global and interoperable infrastructure for cards, terminals and systems. That allows issuers from many industries the flexible use of Smart Cards.

Standardizing technology and furthering the development of globally compatible smart card specifications is a key aim for GlobalPlatform, a three-year-old not-for-profit cross-industry international business organization. Its 56 global members include American Express Co., IBM Global Services-Americas, Sun Microsystems Inc., Visa International and the Bank of Nova Scotia.

The organization is working on systems that will allow portability of applications across any chip cards, standardized smart card management systems, and compatibility with any technology platform, said GlobalPlatform technical director Marc Kekicheff.

"Microsoft is no longer investing in Windows technology for smart cards, so we're mostly using Java cards, but we're not excluding any programming language," he said.

The GlobalPlatform specifications can lead the smart card industry to a point where cards with generic pre-and-post issuance, flexible levels of security and customizable management systems are the norm, he said. "Every application can live on the card as if it was there alone, safe behind its own firewall and doesn't need to know there are other applications on the card, until it needs to interact with them, and then it's just a simple matter of adding an interface that will allow that to happen.

02/05 - GlobalPlatform has published a revised version - v4.0 - of its Smart Card Management System (SCMS) Functional Requirements.

The new version of the SCMS Functional Requirements, last published in 2002, reflects updates to benefit the entire GlobalPlatform smart card infrastructure for cards, devices and systems. Specifically, it addresses Smart Card Management features required to pre-authorize part of the card management to a third party. This brings it into alignment with the GlobalPlatform Card Specification v2.1.1, which defines card requirements for delegate management*.

The overall purpose of the GlobalPlatform SCMS Functional Requirements is to describe the necessary features of a Smart Card Management Environment in order to effectively manage the lifecycle of a multi-application smart card and its related applications, during the pre-production, production and post-production phases. As with all GlobalPlatform systems technology, these requirements apply equally to GlobalPlatform cards, native and other open smart cards. International Card Manufacturing Association

Smart Card Industry Association - The Smart Card Industry Association is a global trade association active in the smart card industry which strives to stimulate the adoption, use, understanding and innovation of smart card technology in the marketplace. Platform giving information about smart cards.

The Smart Card Alliance - The Smart Card Alliance is the leading not-for-profit, multi-industry association of over 185 member firms working to accelerate the widespread acceptance of multiple application smart card technology. The Smart Card Alliance represents a very diverse group of industries and government groups, many of whom have seemingly competitive interests.  Membership ranges from $1000 to $10,000. Asia Pacific Smart Card Association - Global organisation (UK, Asia, South Africa) which creates and manages forums in which companies and individuals in the smart card industry meet to exchange ideas, learn about new developments in their own and related fields, and develop common themes.

The Java Card Forum is promoting Java as the favoured programming language for Smart Card applications and focuses on the development and recommendation of specification to Sun Microsystems, Inc.. The Forum's activities are intended to promote the Java Card API specification as an industry standard, reflecting the needs of smart card manufacturers and their customers.

The WLAN Smart Card Consortium is a major new initiative to define specifications for world-wide access to wireless LAN networks with smart card security and related capabilities. Smart cards will provide functions for world-wide wireless security, quality of service, roaming, and related services. Twenty-three companies and organizations have joined the consortium as members, including major infrastructure providers, card and chip manufacturers, start-ups, and academic institutions.

U.S. General Services Administration Federal Smart Card Website in e-government - major portal to government policies and initiatives with smart cards.

U.S. Government Smart Card Program Standards and Research Department - information about the smart card interoperability program and specification. It describes NIST's interoperability and conformance testing programs and serves as a road map for related information about smart cards.  The primary goal of the Government Smart Card program is to build a framework for smart card interoperability, enabling broad adoption of this critical technology by the public and private sectors.

Smart Card Technology International -

Common Electronic Purse Specifications ( CEPS )

The Common Electronic Purse Specifications (CEPS) define requirements for all components needed by an organization to implement a globally interoperable electronic purse program, while maintaining full accountability and auditability.

One of the primary purposes of CEPSCO, LLC will be to ensure that all interested parties developing or using CEPS-compliant products are able to offer input into decisions which affect the specifications. To enable this, user organizations such as vendors, financial institutions, national payment schemes, telephone companies and mass transit groups which plan to implement CEPS, will be able to participate in user groups. These groups will be able to submit recommendations and comments to CEPSCO, LLC for review and potential implementation.

CEPS requires compatibility with the EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) specifications for smart cards and defines the requirements for an interoperable card application, the card-to-terminal interface, the terminal application for point-of-sale and load transactions, data elements, and recommended message formats for transaction processing. CEPS also provides functional requirements for electronic purse scheme participants and uses public key cryptography for enhanced security. CEPS builds on the EMV foundation by extending global interoperability to electronic purse schemes worldwide and is committed to its global proliferation.

OpenCard Framework Organization

OpenCard Framework is a standard framework announced by an Industry consortium that provides for inter-operable smart cards solutions across many hardware and software platforms. The OpenCard Framework is an open standard providing an architecture and a set of APIs that enable application developers and service providers to build and deploy smart card aware solutions in any OpenCard-compliant environment.

The OpenCard Framework provides a common interface for both the smart card reader and the application on the card. Basing the architecture on Java® technology has resulted in enhanced portability and interoperability, which are key to widespread adoption. The Version 1.0 reference implementation also enables interaction with existing Personal Computer/Smart Card (PC/SC) 1.0 supported reader devices. The consortium expects to see more advances in growth of smart card applications due to this more flexible infrastructure.

The Open Security Exchange, a program of IEEE-ISTO, was created to address today's most significant security challenge - the lack of integration among various components of the security infrastructure. The Open Security Exchange is a cross-industry forum dedicated to delivering vendor-neutral interoperability specifications and best practices guidelines in security management. This enables organizations to more efficiently mitigate risk, optimize their security postures and enforce privacy policies.

The Open Security Exchange addresses the disparate technologies that form today's security infrastructures, allowing for optimal security and operational efficiencies while respecting organization-specific operational requirements. Effective security management will result in: deterrence and accurate detection of threats and attacks; consistent definition and enforcement of security policies; and enhanced organizational collaboration.

FINREAD are European specifications from the FINREAD Consortium for an applet-based secure interoperable smart card reader for online transactions implying sensitive data transfers such as Internet card payments.

Association for Payment Clearing Services APACS, the UK payments association, is a trade association for institutions delivering payments services to end customers. It provides the forum to address co-operative aspects of payments and their development.

Smart Payment Alliance (SPA)

The world’s leading smart card manufacturers--Axalto, Gemplus International S.A., Giesecke & Devrient, and Oberthur Card Systems--have created the Smart Payment Alliance (SPA), a non-profit association dedicated to fostering and facilitating the usage of smart cards to make payments. The SPA is committed to promoting chip card-based payment applications, improving value-added application interoperability, establishing relevant specifications, and improving security and quality.

The Smart Payment Alliance’s main objective is to accelerate the transition from traditional magnetic stripe cards to chip-based cards by:

• Promoting the benefits of smart cards for financial institutions
• Ensuring optimal interoperability between all system components, for both payment and value-added applications
• Establishing representation on standardization committees and within payment associations
• Describing use cases for value-added applications and, whenever necessary, establishing joint industry specifications for them

The strategy of the Alliance is to position itself as a partner of EMVCo and to bolster Visa and MasterCard actions on EMV specifications and their implementation.

Card vendors, terminal vendors, and payment associations willing to contribute to the success of EMV and multi-application cards are welcome and invited to join. The different companies will facilitate market growth together while continuing to compete for market share by differentiating their products and services.

BioSec European Consortium

BioSec was set up at the end of December 2003 to engender a European-wide approach to the development of biometric technologies for security applications. It comprises a multinational consortium of companies, universities, public institutions and governments from nine European countries, providing a solid base for piloting prototypes and applications.

BioSec's three main objectives are:

To enhance biometric technologies: including the refinement of user interfaces, sensors, devices and algorithms, and advancing the usability of biometric devices. Work is being done to improve storage systems, including personal, portable and centralised devices, to improve technology systems such as those that support transactions made over computer networks, and to enhance interoperability of devices and support for public key infrastructures.
To ensure that technologies meet the requirements of real-world scenarios: the work that BioSec is doing in this area includes evaluating usability and acceptability of biometric technologies through field tests, including scenarios for physical and remote access, as well as contributing to the definition and adoption of standards and interoperable solutions for biometric-based transactions.
To become the reference point for all European research into biometric technologies and to ensure that European experts are central to the development of international standards for biometrics to avoid the imposition of unworkable schemes.

The BioSec consortium was set up to conclude its work by end-2005. At the halfway point, the group has just help its second workshop at the European Commission in Brussels to present achievements to date and outline the challenges that are still to be faced. Progress has been good, with a number of workable prototypes developed and good results in field tests.

But a number of challenges remain in bringing biometrics into everyday use. BioSec has boiled these down into three main areas of concern, known to BioSec members as ‘LSD'. These stand for legal issues, such as concerns about privacy and data protection, standardisation issues, including technical interfaces and interchange formats, and deployment issues, divided into technological and social barriers to use.

United Kingdom Smart Card Organizations

The National Smart Card Project was established as part of a series of National Projects sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and forming part of the overall e-government programme identified in the National Strategy for Local e-Government published in November 2002.

The National Smart Card Project involved English local authorities, including Pathfinder authorities, central government departments, and private sector organisations with experience and expertise in the delivery of smart card programmes and solutions. Connections with smart card activity in Scotland, Wales and Europe were made to ensure best practice and knowledge transfer takes place.

Program details documentation on active smart card schemes in the U.K.

Near Field Communication Forum / NFC Forum

All of the large phone manufacturers are definitely interested in NFC, and leading handset maker Nokia is taking an active part in shaping the technology. In 2004, it formed the NFC Forum with NFC's creators, consumer electronics giants Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands and Japan's Sony Corp. The organization sets commercial standards for the Near Field Communication technology and tries to open up markets. Philips and Sony launched the technology in 2002.