About the Alliance : FAQ

Secure Technology Alliance FAQ

What is the Secure Technology Alliance?

The Secure Technology Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association, working to stimulate the understanding, adoption and widespread application of secure solutions, including smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software. The Alliance brings together leading users and industry suppliers implementing secure payments, identification, access, healthcare, mobile, and IoT applications to address security issues and grow the size of the market for secure hardware technologies that protects privacy and enhances data security and integrity.

The Secure Technology Alliance was formerly called the Smart Card Alliance. The name was changed in March 2017 when the organization expanded its charter.

What are the objectives of the Secure Technology Alliance?

The Secure Technology Alliance objective is to provide industry leadership for stimulating the understanding, adoption and widespread application of secure solutions, including smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software. The Alliance focuses on providing education, training, industry outreach and open forums to promote the appropriate use of secure technologies for authentication, commerce, and the Internet of Things to protect privacy and data.

What are the priorities of the Alliance?

The four main priorities of the Alliance are:

  • To influence standards and best practices that are relevant to the understanding, adoption and widespread application of secure solutions, including smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software
  • To maintain a voice in public policy that affects adoption and implementation of smart card, embedded chip and other security technologies
  • To serve as an educational resource to its members and industry stakeholders implementing secure solutions
  • To provide a forum for cutting-edge discussions and projects on issues surrounding the implementation of secure solutions including smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software 

What technologies are in scope for the Secure Technology Alliance?

The Alliance takes a broad perspective on secure technologies, including smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software, to provide best practices and educational resources on the most relevant technology for secure payments, identification, access and mobile applications and systems.

What is embedded chip technology?

Embedded chip technology is integrated circuit technology that is built into different form factors (e.g., in smart cards, mobile devices, and wearables) or embedded in network-connected and other devices. Embedded chip technology may be secure chips that include hardware and software security mechanisms (such as those used in smart cards and mobile SIMs/UICCs) or other chip technologies.

What is the relationship between the Secure Technology Alliance and the U.S. Payments Forum?

The U.S. Payments Forum, formerly called the EMV Migration Forum from 2012 to 2016, was formed by the Smart Card Alliance and continues to be an affiliated chapter of the Secure Technology Alliance. The Forum has its own separate bylaws and membership and is managed by a Forum-member-elected Steering Committee, with management oversight by the Secure Technology Alliance Board of Directors.

What is the focus of the Secure Technology Alliance’s conferences, education, and training activities?

The Alliance conferences, education, and training programs focus attention on current uses of smart cards as well as emerging new security technologies and policies impacting payment and identification systems. Started by the Smart Card Alliance, these events and programs have evolved to cover a broad set of the security technologies covered under the new mission. In addition, new education and training programs covering new markets and technologies have been added to the Alliance conference calendar.

Have the CSCIP and CSEIP certification programs been impacted by the expanded focus and name-change of the organization?

The Secure Technology Alliance is continuing to host the industry-leading Certified Smart Card Industry Professional (CSCIP) and Certified System Engineer ICAM PACS (CSEIP) training and certification programs developed by the Smart Card Alliance. The programs are continuously updated to include the technologies covered under the new mission.

How can my company or organization get involved with the Secure Technology Alliance?

Membership in the Secure Technology Alliance is open to any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, industry association, or governmental body who is a producer, provider, issuer or user of smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software, or who is a vendor, service provider, research organization, government organization, engineering organization, or consultant with a demonstrated interest in promoting the mission of the Alliance.

Any organization implementing secure payments, identification, access and mobile applications and industry suppliers of smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software products and services would benefit from participation in the Alliance.

Do companies that are members of the Secure Technology Alliance and the U.S. Payments Forum receive a discount for belonging to both organizations?

Yes. Members who join both organizations receive a 20% discount on their second membership. The Secure Technology Alliance has also recently added a Leadership Council Plus membership level that provides full benefits in the Secure Technology Alliance and the U.S. Payments Forum (formerly the EMV Migration Forum), all for one single membership fee.

Why was the name changed from Smart Card Alliance?

The Smart Card Alliance changed its name to Secure Technology Alliance as a result of expanding its charter and activities to cover not just smart card technology, but also embedded chip technology and related hardware and software that support the implementation of secure solutions.

The Smart Card Alliance focus has always been on providing best practices and educational resources on designing and building secure payments, identification, access and mobile applications and systems. As we move into an increasingly interconnected and mobile world, the technology used in smart cards – secure embedded integrated circuits or chips – is being used in many different forms (e.g., in cards, mobile devices, and wearables, and embedded in network connected devices) and both hardware and software security solutions are being implemented in different layers of secure system architectures. The Secure Technology Alliance engages in activities across the full spectrum of these security technologies.

Are smart cards still a priority for the Secure Technology Alliance?

Yes, smart cards are still a priority for the Secure Technology Alliance. Smart cards (also known as chip cards) are the global standard for secure payment, identity, access and mobile applications and the Smart Card Alliance provided industry leadership, education and training on smart card technology. The Secure Technology Alliance continues these activities and expanded its efforts to include embedded chip technology and related hardware and software supporting the implementation of secure solutions.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Contact i[email protected] if you have additional questions. Additional information on Alliance programs and membership can be found at the organization’s web site, http://www.securetechalliance.org.