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Japanese Cardholders to Download Applications to Their Visa Smart Cards

  • Friday, October 25, 2002 10:35AM IST (5:05AM GMT)
Sumitomo Mitsui Visa Becomes First Issuer to Enable New Applications to be Added to Visa Smart Cards After Issuance
San Francisco, United States:  Visa cardholders in Japan are to be the first in the world to download applications to their Visa smart cards via the Internet. Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., Ltd. (SMCC) has launched the innovative new service, allowing cardholders to download PC network access functions to GlobalPlatform(TM) multi-application Visa smart cards. The company expects strong demand for this type of card and expects to issue at least 100,000 such cards within one year.

GlobalPlatform allows Visa card issuers to respond to cardholder demand and market trends much more quickly, eliminating the need to reissue a card each time a new application is added or removed.

"The ability to download applications onto a smart card after it has been issued in the marketplace provides a new competitive tool for our members and partners. It provides flexibility for card issuers to react to changing market conditions and cardholder needs without the expense and effort of re-issuing the card," said David Chan, head of Chip Products, Visa Asia Pacific.

To download an application, SMCC cardholders need only insert the Visa smart card into a reader connected to their PC and enter an ID and password for cardholder identification. An enhanced security feature allows the issuer to authenticate and set a different code for each application. Neither the cardholder nor any third party will be able to load applications onto the card without the card issuer's authorization.

SMCC has been issuing EMV-compliant Visa multi-application smart cards since July. The cards are based on GlobalPlatform technology -- the global cross-industry standard for multi-application cards. The Visa smart card allows financial institutions to establish a stronger customer relationship by providing a combination of services beyond banking and payment that meet the unique needs of cardholders. These applications may include identification, loyalty schemes, identity passwords, transit and healthcare information.

By the end of 2001, more than 60 million Visa smart cards were in use around the world. Visa expects 15 million smart cards to be issued in the Asia Pacific region by the end of 2002.

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