In deals valued at over R6,4 million, three of South Africa's leading banks have accelerated their preparations for the introduction of payment smartcards with the purchase of sophisticated smartcard personalisation applications from JSE-listed Prism Holdings.
Prism, a leader in the field of secure electronic transaction products, solutions and services, has delivered and implemented Thales e-security EMV P3 (Personalisation Preparation Process) software at the banks.
According to Gerhard Claassen, managing director of the Crypto and OEM Business Unit at Prism, P3 gives card issuing banks an easy route to EMV-compliant smartcards. Prism is the Thales e-Security Gold Partner in South Africa.
"P3 generates and manages all the cryptographically derived data (keys, certificates, signatures) and other information - personal details such as account number and name - required for blank bank cards to be personalised. This information can then be loaded onto the chip on the card," he explains.
EMV is an international technical standard for financial smartcards. Europay, MasterCard and Visa worked jointly to develop specifications that define a set of requirements to ensure interoperability between chip cards and terminals on a global basis, regardless of the manufacturer, the financial institution, or where the card is used. The deadline for South African banks and retailers to be EMV-compliant is 1 January 2005.
For more information contact Gerhard Claassen, Prism Holdings, 011 548 1000, www.prism.co.za
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