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Keycorp holds the smartcard key

Keycorp holds the smartcard key

A founding member of the MULTOS consortium delivers a breakthrough solution with MULTOS 4.02While some financiers make doom and gloom predictions about the smartcards' viability, Australia's smartcard specialist Keycorp continues to be one of the world's leading developers.

Following a recent multimillion dollar contract for the development of gaming cards with NSW TAB, the company recently released what it claims to be "the first no compromise deployment version" of MULTOS open standard, multiple application smartcard operating system - the MULTOS 4.02-based smartcard.

Built around a highly secure Siemens SLE66 chip, the latest MULTOS implementation allows high levels of inter-application privacy, with application firewalls ensuring the security of application-specific code and data, Keycorp officials claim. The card is being certified to the highest possible security level for computer systems - ITSEC E6.

"Card issuers now have a sound business case for smartcards supporting a range of applications with the capability to dynamically update the cards after they have been issued [owing to the card's capacity to reuse application space]", John Wood, Keycorp's managing director, said.

The release of Keycorp's new smartcard is expected to place MULTOS consortium ahead of Java Forum and Microsoft, with analysts predicting MULTOS will become a true global industry standard and, according to Nick Habgood, managing director of MAOSCO, "the preferred smartcard platform for the financial services industry".

As Ian Stead, corporate communications manager at Keycorp, says: "The technology platform with great potential is there; now it is up to banks to take it further." And if they do, the new multi-application smartcard may just prove to be the key.

While the first MULTOS 4.02 cards are already being manufactured in the UK, the card has yet to be certified for manufacturing in Australia. The company hopes to start production within the next two to three months.


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