Smart Card Talk : January 2011 : Volume 16 : Number 1

Executive Director’s Letter » Member Profile » Feature of the Month »
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Executive Director’s Letter

Dear members and friends of the Alliance,

My January 2011 letter is a look forward to what promises to be a very interesting year in the smart card industry and a preview of some of the important industry milestones on the horizon. Before looking ahead, let me briefly look back on 2010 and the successes, failures and unexpected events that occurred which will help shape the new year ahead.

Looking back, I predicted that the first U.S. bank-issued EMV credit cards for international traveler use outside of the U.S. would arrive in 2010. I was correct with the United Nations Federal Credit Union issuing EMV cards to their members and was caught by surprise by Travelex, a non-bank issuer known by most travelers as the airport currency exchange company, scooping the banking industry with a free prepaid chip & PIN debit card that travelers could use to exchange U.S. dollars into euros or British pounds. No need to change banks or apply for a new card that would only be used when traveling abroad–I can pick one up at the airport and use it, then get U.S. dollars back after my trip. On the mobile front, NFC technology proved to be stubbornly slow to arrive; even the … »

SCALA Associate Director’s Letter

Dear Smart Card Alliance Latin America (SCALA) members and friends,

First, I would like to wish all of you great professional and personal success for 2011.

One of the things that makes our industry so unique and exciting versus other industries is that the people of the smart card industry have a vocation and commitment to the technology. There are many other industries where people are working because it is their profession or because they receive a monthly check. I hope people in our industry don’t misunderstand my viewpoint. I am not saying that our colleagues are not professionals or that they should not be paid; my statement is that individuals in our industry have a passion that is the glue that joins all of us to smart card technology and the Smart Card Alliance.

4th Annual 2011 Mobile and Transit Payments Summit

Member Profile

This month Smart Card Talk is featuring a profile of the Smart Card Alliance–providing a snapshot of Alliance perspectives on market trends, obstacles and drivers for smart card technology in the U.S.

1. What is the Smart Card Alliance’s main mission?

The Smart Card Alliance mission is to accelerate the widespread adoption, usage, and application of smart card technology in North and Latin America. We do this by bringing together users and technology providers in an open forum to address opportunities and challenges for our industry. This balance makes the Smart Card Alliance a unique place where users, issuers and suppliers meet to exchange ideas, discuss common issues, and work together to develop and expand the use of all types of integrated circuit “chip” cards and alternative form factors using smart card technology in the Americas.

An important aspect of our mission that often is missed is that we cover smart card technology in all form factors. So regardless of whether the technology is built into a plastic card, a key fob, a USB token, a subscriber identity module (SIM) or secure element in a mobile phone, or some other innovative new form factor, the Alliance is engaged in promoting the use of the technology in payment, healthcare, transportation, identity, access control and telecommunications applications.

2011 Smart Card Alliance Annual Conference

Feature of the Month

The Alliance Industry Councils–2010 Year in Review

The Smart Card Alliance member-driven Industry Councils continued to produce an impressive set of deliverables in 2010, completing 27 projects, holding 13 physical events, and issuing 16 news releases on Council activities or industry positions. Projects focused on educating the different end markets on how smart card technology can be used in healthcare, payment, identity and access control applications and on providing input to the U.S. government on how smart card technology can address critical identity and security issues.

Member participation in Councils grew in 2010, with over 460 individuals from more than 100 organizations participating in at least one Council. Seventy-eight percent of member organizations are involved in Council activities, with strong participation from all membership levels.

This month’s feature article reviews highlights of each Council’s activities in 2010.

Upcoming CSCIP Training and Exam Dates

CSCIP Training &
Exam Prep Course¹
CSCIP Exam City, State, Country
January 26, 2011
(CSCIP only)
January 27, 2011 Philadelphia/Ambler, PA
(Hosted at LTK Engineering, Ambler PA)
February 15, 2011
(CSCIP only)
February 17, 2011 Salt Lake City, UT
(Mobile & Transit Payments Summit)
March 1, 2011
(CSCIP/G only)
March 2, 2011 Gaithersburg, MD
(Washington DC area)
May 2, 2011
May 5, 2011 Chicago, IL
(Smart Card Alliance Annual Conf)
¹ This full day course is held from 9:00am–4:30pm at a location to be named in the city, state listed above. The cost for attending this course is $475 ($380 for members)