Giesecke & Devrient Delivers Millionth “e-card”

Giesecke & Devrient Delivers Millionth “e-card”

Production of the Austrian social insurance card is on target

Munich, June 16, 2005–National distribution of the Austrian social insurance e-card was started on May 30 of this year. The production at the international technology group Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), the provider of the card, is running in top gear. The millionth e-card will be shipped today. By November of this year, all eight million cards will have been delivered. Austria is thereby taking a leading role in the move to modernize Europe’s public health systems.

“We ship 70,000 cards daily and are on schedule, meaning that every Austrian will have an e-card by November. All eight million cards will be issued by then,” said Michael Nitz, head of the Industry and Government division in Giesecke & Devrient’s Cards segment. In April 2004, the Federation of Austrian Social Insurance Organizations charged G&D with developing a high-performance smart card for Austria. The aim was to replace the current paper-based health care vouchers with an up-to-date electronic health card, the “e-card”. This card is also the European Health Insurance Card.

At the end of 2004, the e-card was tested in an initial test phase in two practices in Burgenland in real-time operation. After these tests were completed successfully at the end of February of this year, the trial was expanded to take in a total of 80 medical practices with around 110,000 patients in the Eisenstadt, Neusiedl, and Rust districts. After this successful trial, the country-wide delivery of the e-card began at the end of May.

Along with eight million cards, G&D is delivering a complete solution that also includes the electronic card management system. The numerous functions on one individual card were made possible by the Card Application Management System (CAMS). CAMS manages all the data and applications on the card throughout its life. A system such as this is essential if future additions to the card functionality, whether already planned or potential options, are to be managed without replacing the cards. The Austrian government is planning additional applications for the e-card starting next year. It is pre-set to be used as a citizen’s card and is ideal for use as a high-tech ID document in e-government applications, as envisaged by the Austrian authorities. Official requirements for signature functions, encryption processes and storage capacity are already met in full.

About Giesecke & Devrient:

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), based in Munich, Germany, is an international technology group operating subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world. Founded in Leipzig in 1852, G&D began as a printer of securities, and later specialized in banknote production. The company has been developing solutions and complete systems for automatic currency processing since 1970. Today, G&D is also a technology leader in smart cards, and a solutions provider in a wide range of fields, including telecommunications, electronic payments, identification, health, transportation, and IT security. In fiscal 2004, the group employed some 7,300 people and generated revenue of€1.16 billion. For more information, visit our Web site at