Datacard Smart Card Solution Drives Successful Smart Card Launch At FNBO

Datacard Smart Card Solution Drives Successful Smart Card Launch At FNBO

Low cost-per-card, easy implementation and consultative expertise allow FNBO to keep smart card program in-house

Minnetonka, Minn., April 4, 2003–Datacard Group today announced the successful launch of an innovative cost-per-card smart card solution at First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), one of five national banks currently issuing financial smart cards in the U.S. FNBO, which is using the Datacard solution to personalize a Visa® branded smart card it calls “smartOneSM,” opted to issue its smart cards in-house for a variety of reasons, including cost, control and simplicity. “The smart card infrastructure we developed for FNBO includes everything they need to personalize single- or multi-application smart cards as part of their in-house card operation,” said Scott Henkel, vice president of Datacard’s solutions division. “While FNBO is currently promoting their first smart card product, they will be able to use our infrastructure to issue virtually any smart card.”

Technical highlights of the Datacard solution include a data generation system, Datacard® smart card personalization manager software (SCPM), and a new smart card module for FNBO’s existing Datacard® 9000 Series card issuance system.

The Datacard solution also features an open architecture and GlobalPlatform®-compliant scripts, which are widely regarded as worldwide standards. GlobalPlatform, a cross-industry membership organization, has defined open specifications that standardize back-end smart card processes, such as card personalization, security, key management, application loading and life cycle management. These specifications define an end-to-end smart card platform upon which standardized consumer and business applications can be built, distributed and managed. The openness and broad compatibility of the GlobalPlatform scripts provides FNBO with great flexibility.

“When FNBO first contemplated issuing smart cards, they were leaning towards outsourcing the personalization process to a service bureau, primarily because they did not want to disrupt card operations,” Henkel said. “They also wanted their investment to be cost effective.”

Datacard addressed FNBO’s concerns with an innovative cost-per-card solution. In addition to a nominal start-up installation and training fee, FNBO simply pays a fixed cost for each card personalized by the Datacard solution. The per-card fees FNBO pays can ultimately go towards the purchase of the Datacard solution. “This approach greatly limits FNBO’s investment risk,” Henkel said. “If their smart card programs grow, they have the infrastructure in place to handle the demand. If not, they have not committed a great deal of money to systems and software.”

In addition to cost benefits, Datacard’s solution allowed FNBO to establish an in-house smart card infrastructure without disrupting its large and highly efficient financial card operation. “Datacard made the process smooth and seamless for us,” said David Nutty, vice president for FNBO. “Datacard helped us leverage existing systems wherever possible and they integrated the other systems and software we needed quickly and efficiently.

“In fact, issuing smart cards in-house–where we have full control over schedules and cardholder data–requires no more management or operational effort than if we had gone outside,” Nutty said. “We’re pleased with the results. We’re able to serve our smart card customers extremely well today and the infrastructure will allow us to maintain our high standards as the demand for smart card-based products grows.”

In addition to minimal risk, operational simplicity and the open architecture, Datacard also provided extremely valuable consultative expertise throughout the implementation process. “Datacard has always been the clear leader in card personalization,” Nutty said. “Their ability to help us understand smart card technology and navigate through critical technical issues greatly extends their leadership position in our eyes. They are an important partner and a trusted ally for us as we enter the smart card age.”

Datacard Group provides software, systems and professional services needed to build profitable card programs. The company’s portfolio includes a complete line of smart card solutions, secure digital identity systems and card personalization systems. Datacard Group, which is privately held and based in Minnetonka, Minn., serves customers in more than 120 countries. (

First Nation Bank Omaha’s parent company, First National of Nebraska, is one of the largest bank holding companies headquartered west of the Mississippi River. First National and its affiliates have nearly $13 billion in managed assets and more than 6,700 employee associates located across the U.S. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, South Dakota, Texas and Georgia.