Visa Announces New Smart Card as Chip Card Prices Continue to Drop; Entry-level GlobalPlatform Card Now Available To Visa Banks For $1.98

Visa Announces New Smart Card as Chip Card Prices Continue to Drop; Entry-level GlobalPlatform Card Now Available To Visa Banks For $1.98

SAN FRANCISCO, (BUSINESS WIRE), July 21, 2003–Visa International announced today the launch of a new smart card product costing just US$1.98 and has further reduced the costs of a range of card products launched under the Visa Smart Breakthrough Card program. The price reductions mean that Visa smart card costs have fallen up to 40 per cent since the start of the program in 2000, helping to drive the global adoption of the next generation of payment products.

Visa has been at the forefront of efforts to improve the chip business case for its member banks through initiatives like the Visa Smart Breakthrough Card Program and by introducing common global chip standards, such as the GlobalPlatform specifications. These initiatives have enabled Visa member banks to issue more than 60 million globally accepted Visa smart cards that conform to the international EMV standard–more than any other international payment card system. Of this 60 million, 22 million cards have been issued under the Visa Smart Breakthrough Card program. Bringing the price of smart cards down helps create a better business case for Visa members to issue cards and provide a whole new range of chip-enabled products to cardholders.

“We are proud that our efforts have not only helped to reduce smart cards costs but have also benefited the industry through the adoption of common standards,” said Denny Jensen, senior vice president of Smart Card Readiness and Implementation at Visa International. “The overall goal is to enable Visa members to benefit from chip technology in a cost effective way. This new low priced card, available now, is a good example of how we have been able to provide a GlobalPlatform product that meets specific needs at a good price.”

The new card–called the GP-Entry card–conforms to the GlobalPlatform specifications and has 8K of EEPROM memory and a Visa payment application that supports major authentication technologies, such as Static Data Authentication (SDA) and Dynamic Data Authentication (DDA). It is specifically designed for Visa member banks looking to implement a GlobalPlatform card with basic functionality.

There are currently nine card products in the program supporting DES and PK security with a variety of ROM and EEPROM memory sizes. Prices range from $1.98 for a GlobalPlatform card supporting DDA with 8K of EEPROM to $3.47 for a GlobalPlatform dual interface card also supporting DDA with 16K of EEPROM. The program also includes a static/native card priced at less than a dollar. All prices are based on white plastic cost and include the Visa Smart Debit/Credit (VSDC) application in ROM.

As well as reduced pricing, the Visa Smart Breakthrough Card program also provides a Custom Mask process for GlobalPlatform cards. This allows regions, countries or groups of members to develop a product that is customized to a specific market. For example, if there is a countrywide requirement for a loyalty or ID applet, a custom mask can be produced, which has all required applets in ROM. The Custom Mask process enables parties to bring a customized product to market quicker and more cost-effectively.


Visa International
Sabine Middlemass, 650/432-8307