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US Smart card adoption to be the focus of CARTES show in America

ID World : 17 September, 2008  (New Product)
CARTES and Identification 2008 goes to America for its 23rd show focussing on the adoption and use of smart card technology
The 23rd edition of CARTES & IDentification (Trade shows and Conference), which will be held from November 4 to 6, 2008, turns the spotlight on the United States. As the largest payment card market in the world, the country has rapidly adopted contactless payment and understood the potential of smart cards in the field of security and access control.

American banks were the first in the world, two or three years ago, to have adopted contactless payment using a chip capable of emulating the magnetic strip of their traditional bank cards.

The American market is the largest market in the world for payment cards, in particular credit payment. It captured more than 56% of the payment transactions made in 2007, representing $40.7bn. The share in this of contactless cards was still modest in 2006, representing just 777 million transactions (27 million cards). However, forecasts predict significant growth by 2011: 2.2 million transactions and 109 million cards.

This market is encouraged by the ease of use and speed offered by contactless, for consumers as well as businesses. The forecast is that 34 million mobile phones will be used by online banking applications in 2012. And 8-30 million phones will be equipped with an NFC interface, for contactless proximity payment applications.

In the area of governmental and federal security, the United States was the first country to run a national "smartcard" programme. This program made it possible to set the specifications and proceed, from 2000, with the deployment of a smart card (the CAC, meaning Common Access Card) now used in all sensitive administrations of the DoD (Department of Defence). More recently, this program also made it possible to develop a smart federal identity card incorporating biometric data, the PIV (Personal Identity Verification).

Since their launch in 2000, 13 million CAC cards have been issued. These cards are used to control access to the workstations of DoD employees, evaluate emails and access websites. A new generation was released in 2006, in compliance with the 2004 directive known as HSPD-12 (Homeland Security Presidential Directive), from which the PIV card originated. These two cards now offer contactless functions to control access to federal buildings and benefit from public key infrastructure (PKI) for deployment and use. They may also use biometric data to authenticate holders at their workstation. Several tens of millions of PIV cards are due to be deployed in due course.

The most ambitious program, but also the most controversial, is the creation of a national identity card issued by each State to replace the driving licences currently used as identity cards by the authorities and which can easily be forged. A few months ago, the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) confirmed, after a series of tests, that the use of biometric data combined with smart card technologies (or "match-on-card", whereby all calculations are carried out in the chip) offered a higher level of security than any other solutions. This could be a solution to the 'privacy' and security questions still posed by the Real ID Act.

So, with the two major advances represented by contactless payment and access control for governmental applications, the smart card has won over the United States in less than 10 years.

CARTES & IDentification 2008 was granted Trade Fair Certification by the US Department of Commerce. Many US exhibitors will be present: ABnote Group, Allsafe Technologies, Atmel, Aware Inc, Cards&Payments, CFC International Inc an ITW Company, CPI Card Group, Cryptography Research Inc, Data Systems Company, Dynamic Card Solutions, eAccess, Functional Materials Inc, Galitt US, GET Group, Go-Trust, HID Global, Hypercom, ICMA, ID Tech, IDCentrix, Innovative Card Technologies, JDSU, Key Innovations Inc, Lasercard Corporation, MasterCard, Meyers, Northern Leasing Systems, Perfect Plastic Printing Corp, Q-Card, Scratch off Systems, Smart Card Alliance, Smartmatic, Solicore Inc, Spartanics, Springcard Inc, Superior Tape & Label, Team Nisca, Telles, Teslin Substrate By PPG, Upek, VeriFone, Versatile Card Technology, Vivotech, Web Technology and Zilog.

The US will also be widely represented at the CARTES & IDentification 2008 Congress. A special session will focus on the US market on Tuesday November 4, from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Speakers will include Geoffrey Gerdes from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Systems, Gregory Garback from Smart Card Alliance, Wendy Humphrey from First Data Corporation, Michael Butler from the American Department of Internal Safety, Kathleen Kraninger from the Department of Homeland Security for the Identity and Iana Bohmer from Northrop Grumman Information Technology. There will also be some 30 speakers from the US presenting new technologies and market changes during conferences dedicated to banking innovation, biometrics, RFID, mobile payment, personalization and co-branding, convergence, NFC and contactless, sustainable development, card security, citizen ID, POS terminals…

And finally the festive side of this event has not been overlooked, with a cocktail in the colors of the USA offered to everyone, both exhibitors and visitors.
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