CAT connects the real world to the virtual

CAT connects the real world to the virtual

Australian smart card developer Chip Application Technologies (CAT) has taken the US by storm with the launch of its Internet Module Solution with seven high-profile partners.

Unveiling the Internet-based card at Cardtech Securetech '99, CAT exploited the rave reviews given by its partners IBM, Verifone (a division of HP), Visa, De La Rue Card Systems, Smart Card Solutions LLC and Welcome Real-time, to boost its share price by 400 per cent.

The hype surrounding this solution stems from its ability to connect bricks-and-mortar stores with the Internet, according to CAT executives at the conference. All the user has to do is insert the smart card into a PC smart card reader. Information can then be shared between the smart card and a thin client, which acts as a user interface to a Web server.

Linking outlets

IBM sources explain that "CAT's new Internet Module Solution is an e-business offering enabling merchants to link their real and Web world outlets".

According to Diana Knox, senior vice president of smart card applications at Visa, this encourages the "integration of open chip-based debit and credit payment products with loyalty programs which will give retailers more options to offer their customers".

Ultimately, merchants will be able to use smart cards to reunite the disparate elements of their business. "True convergence is created by more than a common brand name," claims Justin Wescombe, senior vice president, sales and marketing at CAT. Instead, a common range of services can be offered through CAT's smart card device.

Comprising a Host Management Server, a Web server and a Web/client browser, CAT's solution is easily operational in all environments and can run concurrently with third-party payment or authentication software products.

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