Engaging, Enabling and Evolving Commerce in Canada since 1989

August 2006 ACTion Newsletter


1. Editorial Comment
2. New Group Formed To Promote Smart Card Technology To Fight Terrorism
3. UK Banks To Use Smart Cards To Battle Online Fraud
4. Gemalto Wins Best Vendor Partner Award From MasterCard
5. New Survey Reveals Generation ''P'' Leads Migration To Payment Cards For Purchases Under $25
6. Chase Reaches Milestones With ''Blink''
7. Infineon To Provide U.S. E-Passport Chips
8. LaserCard Receives Order For Middle Eastern ID Cards
9. ICC Solutions Announces Availability Of New Products
10. Gemalto Receives Order For U.S. E-Passport
11. NFC Forum Issues Its First Four Specifications
12. E-Passport Cloning Claim Does Not Constitute Threat To Border Security & Citizen Privacy
13. Additional Stories Available In Members Only Section



ACI Worldwide (Canada) Inc. ~ member since 1998
Groupe Silicomp ~ new member
Ingenico ~ member since 1990
Visa Canada Association ~ member since 1995


Royal Canadian Mint ~ member since 2005


EMV Introductory Workshop & EMV Expert Course
September 21 & 22, 2006
Toronto, ON, Canada
ACT Canada members receive a 20% discount

2006 Smart Card Alliance Annual Conference
October 3 - 6, 2006
San Diego, CA, USA

Cartes & IT Security 2006
November 7 - 10, 2006
Paris, France
There will be special benefits for Canadians attending Cartes and we will send full information to our members next week.


Collis EMV Academy announces open training courses in Toronto, Canada on September 21 & 22, 2006.

Collis EMV Introductory Workshop, Toronto, 21 September 2006
The Collis EMV Introductory Workshop is an easy-entry course for everyone looking for instant EMV knowledge. Attend, and find out all about the rationale behind EMV, its business drivers, benefits, costs, opportunities and risks. The Collis EMV Introductory Workshop is a non-technical workshop, aimed at a broad audience from both business and IT background.

Collis EMV Expert Course, Toronto, 22 September 2006
This course is for those who want to know all the details that make EMV work. The Collis EMV Expert Course will cover topics from transaction flow to issuer scripting and from EMV data elements to risk management, PIN handling and security. Practical exercises provide unique hands-on EMV experience. Become an EMV Expert with the Collis EMV Expert Course!

As Collis recently joined ACT Canada, we offer an introductory 20% discount on the training fees for ACT Canada members!

For the training program, location and pricing details, as well as for information about customised in-company training, please contact Mr. Maarten Bron, BU Manager, Collis EMV Competence Center: info@collis.nl.

Source: Catherine Johnston, President & CEO, ACT Canada (08/29)

If there are only a million questions that could be asked about advanced cards in general, the Canadian market, EMV and Secure ID, I would be surprised.

Over the course of any week, we get questions that cover a very broad spectrum of interests. Member enquiries run the gamut from technical and policy questions to where to find suppliers and even how to find "thrifty" accommodations in Paris. Others ask about the state of the Canadian market. Government callers often ask for our input on policy or legislation or the state-of-the-art. After seventeen years, ACT Canada has amassed a great deal of information and developed a global network and we use this for the benefit of our members.

So to meet the needs of our members, we are working on several initiatives this fall and winter. Here are a few of them.

ACT website: we will be adding content for members and redesigning the site. Members are invited to provide input during this process.

AGM: the date will be announced soon. We will repeat last year's popular roundtable networking session, as well.

Cardware 07: planning has started. Members and readers are invited to suggest topics you would like on the program.

Cartes: we will highlight our members and are working with Cartes on additional benefits for Canadians, as we are the country of honour this year. Members will receive more information in the coming weeks.

Consumer research: Ipsos Reid and ACT Canada are working together to conduct this research, critically important at this stage of the market.

Glossary: members are currently reviewing our now 39-page glossary, helping make sense of acronyms and the extensive terminology of technology, applications, standards and procedures.

Identity Theft Consultation: as an issue that plagues Canadians and impacts many of our members, we were pleased to answer the Department of Justice Canada's request to provide input on "IDENTITY THEFT: Consultation On Proposals to Amend The Criminal Code"

Technical Specifications for the Development of Innovative Smart Card Solutions for Canadian Transit. We have just completed work on "Business Relationships between the Financial Sector and Transit / Transportation Initiatives", our contribution to this Transport Canada report.

Next month I'll provide more information on the ACT Canada Member council, Network and Education meetings, the President's Advisory Council, the Government Strategic leadership team, the new Privacy Impact Assessment and Design tool for Contactless card applications and our Web-education program.

As you can see, providing information, networking and education for the benefit of our members is keeping us busy. If you would like information on membership or any of these initiatives, please contact us. It would be our pleasure to ACT on your behalf in this rapidly growing market.

Source: ICMA Daily News (08/23)

Several companies announced the founding of a group that will promote the use of contactless smart card technology, which may carve out a large role as the U.S. government requires a variety of secure identification cards to protect against terrorism.

The new group, the SecureID Coalition, includes Texas Instruments, Philips Semiconductors, Infineon Technologies, Gemalto and Oberthur Card Systems.

The coalition was formed to help educate policy makers and others on the uses of contactless smart cards. The coalition's creation was also necessary because existing organizations represent both kinds of competing technologies -- contactless smart card technology and long-range radio frequency identification technology (RFID) - - currently under consideration for various identification cards the government plans to implement.

Gemalto, Infineon Technologies, and Oberthur Card Systems are members of ACT Canada; please visit http://www.gemalto.com; http://www.infineon.com & http://www.oberthurusa.com.

Source: CardTechnology (08/18)

Card issuers in the United Kingdom are moving to address a growing threat from card-not-present fraud, and those plans include the distribution of handheld card readers to customers for use in Internet and telephone transactions, according to press reports.
Barclays Bank plans to provide cardholders with such devices, beginning early next year, and indications are the Lloyds TSB will do the same, according to a report in The Observer newspaper.

The banks are responding to an increase in fraud losses stemming from Internet, telephone, and mail-order transactions. During the first six months of 2006, APACS says, such card-not-present fraud continued to increase.

The handheld readers into which customers insert chip cards will generate one-time passwords that cardholders would then enter to conduct purchases over the Web and telephone and online banking transactions, say the press reports. Barclays reportedly may also use mobile phones to verify smaller purchases by sending customers text messages to notify them of transactions.

Barclays had tested the handheld readers last year, and Lloyds has reportedly done the same. They tested the devices only for Internet banking, sources say.

Source: ICMA Daily News (08/22)

Gemalto announced that it has won a "Best Vendor Partner Award" for its MasterCard(R) OneSmart(TM) PayPass(TM) EMV Contactless Combi Cards at the MasterCard Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa Product Forum in August 2006. Gemalto is delivering the cards to two of Taiwan's leading banks:

"MasterCard presented this Best Vendor Partner Award to Gemalto in recognition of their efforts in taking a lead in designing and producing MasterCard(R) OneSmart(TM) PayPass(TM) EMV Contactless Combi Card to financial institutions in Taiwan. The convenient, flexible and secure MasterCard(R) OneSmart(TM) PayPass(TM) EMV Contactless Combi Card produced by Gemalto will enable banks to extend a wide range of valuable services to their customers." Commented by MasterCard.

The cards are compliant with Taipei Smart Card Corporation's applications (stored value card, and Epurse for transportation applications) and will simplify and quicken small-sum payments for Taiwan's MRT, bus, parking lots and other locations, allowing cardholders to benefit from high-tech, secure and convenient transactions.

Gemalto is a member of ACT Canada; please visit http://www.gemalto.com.

Source: ICMA Daily New (08/24)

Visa USA reported that its volume on purchases less than $25 in targeted small ticket segments totaled $27.3 billion in the first six months of the year, an increase of 17 percent over the same period in 2005. The double-digit growth indicates that Visa payment cards are increasingly being used instead of cash and checks for everyday purchases less than $25.

According to a new Visa-sponsored survey of 1,154 payment cardholders, more than half (55 percent) of the respondents use payments cards for small ticket items less than $25, citing several reasons for the shift. Consumers are turning to cards for everyday purchases for the convenience (86 percent), ease of use (62 percent), speed (45 percent) and expense management (35 percent) benefits cards offer.

Visa's small ticket strategy, expanded earlier this year, has helped accelerate card acceptance and usage at cash-heavy merchants. Visa's No Signature Required Program has made small ticket payments more convenient for merchants and their customers, by waiving the signature requirement for qualifying transactions less than $25 across 17 merchant categories. To further encourage acceptance, Visa's Small Ticket Payment Service offers acquirers decreased credit and debit interchange rates on consumer card transactions of $15 or less in 14 merchant categories. Visa is also driving speed, convenience and sales to merchants through Visa Contactless, an innovation that makes electronic payments up to 25 percent faster than cash transactions.

Visa's survey results also revealed that Generation "P" or Plastic, referring to consumers ages 18-25, is leading the trend of increased use of payment cards for everyday purchases. Sixty percent of Generation "P" prefers payment cards for purchases less than $25, particularly in new and emerging segments such as digital content, vending machines, public transportation, parking and newspapers.

Visa Canada Association is a member of ACT Canada; please visit http://www.visa.ca.

Source: ICMA Daily New (08/01)

One year after launching its contactless credit cards - Chase cards with "blink" - Chase Bank U.S.A., has issued nearly seven million cards with blink to card members in Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. From "blinking" Slurpees(R) at 7-Eleven to Shorti(TM) Hoagies at Wawa, Chase cardmembers may now use their cards with blink at more than 25,000 merchant locations nationwide, ranging from convenience stores to sports stadiums.

Partnering with Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International, Chase was the first issuer to broadly offer contactless credit cards to consumers. Today, Chase card members across the country speed through checkout lines faster and more conveniently at merchant locations including 7-Eleven(R) stores, AMC Theatres(R), Cinemark USA, CVS/pharmacy(R), RaceTrac(R), Regal Entertainment Group(R), Sheetz, Walgreens and Wawa.

Merchants and consumers benefit from blink with the speed, convenience and easy-to-use contactless payment method. Since 2005, blink has transformed everyday payments for some merchants and consumers by:

  • Increasing the average ticket sale for some merchants by 40 percent more than cash purchases;
  • Increasing the frequency of everyday purchases at many contactless-enabled merchants by 35 percent over credit cards with traditional magnetic stripes;
  • Reducing consumers' waiting time in line by 15 to 20 percent in stores and 40 percent at the drive-thru for quick service restaurants; and
  • Reducing consumers' average transaction time by 10 to 40 percent.

MasterCard Canada and Visa Canada Association are members of ACT Canada; please visit http://www.mastercard.ca & http://www.visa.ca.

Source: SecurityFocus.com (08/21)

The U.S. government is going forward with the public deployment of its electronic passport, ordering millions of the wireless chips from semiconductor firm Infineon to place in the back cover of the nation's travel document.

While the U.S. already began issuing the documents to federal employees as of late 2005, the nation--and the 27 countries that take part in the Visa Waiver Program--must start public distribution of electronic passports, or e-passports, but October 2006. In the first year, the U.S. will likely issue up to 15 million of the new passports, Infineon said in its statement.

Infineon is a member of ACT Canada; please visit http://www.infineon.com.

Source: CardTechnology (08/23)

LaserCard Corp. reported this week that it has received a $1.2 million order as part of an $11 million contract to provide optical memory cards and personalization services to an unnamed Middle Eastern country. The company says this is the third of 10 anticipated orders, and that the contracts so far total $4 million. LaserCard says it is responsible for managing the card-personalization process, including printing the cardholder information and encoding data and a hologram. The company expects the card-issuing infrastructure will be in place during the next quarter, allowing the government to issue cards from 20 sites.

LaserCard is a member of ACT Canada; please visit http://www.lasercard.com.

Source: ICC Solutions (08/25)

ICC Solutions is pleased to share news with the industry of new, valuable components within the internationally recognised ICCSim Portfolio.

ICCSim for both card and device testing, now fully supports the new test scripts released to address Visa Contactless 2.0.1 Specification requirements, incorporating qVSDC and MSD. Visa has confirmed that ICCSim supports the test scripts for Contactless 2.0.1.

ICCSim now also supports the new release of ADVT 4.0 test scripts. Visa confirmed ICCSim for correct emulation of the smart cards within the Visa Acquirer Device Validation Toolkit (ADVT) and is capable of supporting the requirements of the Toolkit.

To manage the increasing global activity and sales, ICC Solutions welcomes to the Team, a new Technical Sales Manager, Derek Ross. Derek will work out of the UK office and is responsible for domestic, regional and global sales.

The ICC Solutions Team is enjoying increased activity in Canada and has plans to host "drop-in" sessions at their new office in Toronto.

ICC Solutions is a member of ACT Canada; please visit http://www.iccsolutions.com.

Source: Gemalto (08/04)

Gemalto announced that the United States of America Government Printing Office (GPO) placed its first order with the company, following Gemalto's electronic passport technology qualification completion. The GPO and U.S. Department of State evaluated the Gemalto solution at their testing facilities and confirmed it fully satisfies the agency's requirements for privacy protection, security, durability, manufacturing yield, and transaction speed and communications performance. The GPO plans to incorporate the electronic capability in all new passports to be issued in 2007. The United States produced over ten million passports in 2005.

The Gemalto e-passport technology includes the company's highly secure operating system software running in a large capacity contactless microprocessor chip. The chip is embedded in a module that is highly resistant to damage and then is integrated into the passport booklet cover.

Gemalto is a member of ACT Canada; please visit http://www.gemalto.com.

Source: Contactless News (08/15)

The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association advancing the use of near field communication (NFC) technology, announced the publication of its first four specifications. The specifications are available to the public for download at no charge from the NFC Forum Web site.

NFC technology is a short-range, standards-based wireless connectivity technology. It allows consumers to perform safe contactless transactions, access digital content and connect electronic devices with a single touch.

The new specifications make it possible for any manufacturer to create NFC-Forum-compliant devices that will be interoperable with other manufacturers' devices and compatible with the NFC-Forum-compliant offerings of service providers, ensuring successful communication between devices and tags.

For more information, please visit http://www.nfc-forum.org/news.

Source: Smart Card Alliance (08/08)

The new electronic passports planned for the United States rely on multiple layers of security to increase border security and protect citizen privacy, and electronic cloning does not constitute a threat, says the Smart Card Alliance, a group of industry and government organizations specializing in the secure contactless smart card technology used in the program.

"People do not need to be concerned about the security or privacy protection features of the new e-passport program," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "Recent reports that there is a 'major vulnerability' that criminals could use to 'enter countries illegally' are untrue and demonstrate a lack of understanding of how the multiple security layers in place at the U.S. border work in the new e-passport system."

The reports came out after a security consultant demonstrated reading and copying the electronic information in his German e-passport at a security conference last week.

"Even if someone could copy the information on your e-passport chip, it doesn't achieve anything, because all of the information is locked together in such a way that it can't be changed. It's no different than someone stealing your electronic passport and trying to use it. No one else can use it because your photo is on the chip and they're not you," said Vanderhoof.

The global electronic passport program makes passports virtually impossible to counterfeit and prevents anyone other than the passport owners from using them. The layered security features also prevent anyone from spying on e-passports as you walk by with a passport in your purse or pocket. Here's how it works:

First, the information on the printed page, including the bearer's photograph, is stored on the chip and displayed on a screen at passport control. By comparing the digital information, the printed passport and the person, passport control can confirm everything matches. They will immediately see a discrepancy if someone is attempting to use someone else's e-passport chip information.

Second, the information on the chip is digitally signed by the issuing country's passport authority. That information is locked together and any changes to it would be detected at passport control. It also means any attempt to create false data and a fake passport credential would be detected. Unlike paper passports, where a photo can potentially be replaced, the digital photo and other information on the e-passport chip cannot be changed.

Third, the e-passport book design requires that it be handed over and opened before any information stored on the chip is communicated. Then, a unique code printed inside the cover must be optically scanned and presented to the e-passport chip before it will communicate the passport information. All information exchanged between the reader and the e-passport chip is encrypted.

Together these capabilities mean that no one could use a lost or stolen passport, or even a copy of one, to illegally enter the country. They also prevent anyone from spying on U.S. e-passports when the passport cover is closed. This makes the new e-passports far more secure than today's documents and protects people's privacy.

"People need to be cautious about some claims made by so called 'experts' when it comes to RF-enabled applications. There is too much misleading and inaccurate information being reported, simply because fear gets people's attention," Vanderhoof said.

The Smart Card Alliance is a member of ACT Canada and a founding member of ISCAN - the International Smart Card Associations Network; please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.


These additional stories are available to ACT Canada members via the Members Only section of our web site. Click on the link below to access this section.
If you are a member of ACT Canada but do not have your login details please contact me - andrea@actcda.com.


After two-plus years of pilots in various parts of the U.S., each of the big three credit card providers rolled out their own contactless payment version last year. So, after a year in operation how are things going…

For more information, please contact Andrea McMullen at 1 905 426-6360 ext 124 or email andrea.mcmullen@actcda.com.

Please forward any comments, suggestions, questions or articles to andrea.mcmullen@actcda.com. Please note that articles contained in this newsletter have been edited for length, and are for information purposes only.