SOURCE: The Smart Card Alliance

March 13, 2007 09:00 ET

GlobalPlatform and Smart Card Alliance to Co-Host 'Smart Cards for Government and Payment' Conference in Mexico City

PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ and FOSTER CITY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 13, 2007 -- From smart bankcards to contactless payment to government-issued healthcare cards, smart cards are a hot technology in Mexico and across Latin America. To learn about the latest market developments and how to profit from the rapid growth of this technology, industry leaders are assembling in Mexico City for "Smart Cards for Government and Payment," May 8-9 at the Hotel Presidente InterContinental in Mexico City. The Smart Card Alliance and GlobalPlatform, both not-for-profit, multi-industry organizations, are jointly hosting the conference.

Already 30 percent of the bankcards in Mexico are smart cards, with the goal of full migration by 2008. Brazil is moving at the same fast pace, with almost 98 percent of payment terminals being smart card ready and a fraud rate reported to have dropped by more than 80 percent. Industry watchers estimate Latin American countries spent over US $200 million on card technologies in 2006, up 70 percent from the prior year.

"The rapid migration of payment cards in Mexico to smart card technology creates an opportunity to expand services and reduce fraud; plus, there are new advances in contactless and mobile payments," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "We think the time is right for a conference to discuss how financial institutions, merchants and industry suppliers can work together to realize the potential of this exciting technology."

Government is the other focus of the conference. "Government leaders are looking for improved ways to secure identification credentials and to make government more efficient and available to its citizens," said Kevin Gillick, executive director of GlobalPlatform. "This conference will explore how governments in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America are turning to smart card technology to achieve their goals of secure and efficient delivery of government services."

The Smart Card Alliance and GlobalPlatform are two not-for-profit, multi-industy leading organizations whose combined membership includes 200 blue chip payments and technology companies from the financial services, government, mobile telecom and other sectors across Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

The two-day smart card conference and exhibition covers all of the latest developments in the use of smart card technology, and opportunities for future growth.

The focus of day one is "Government and Secure Identification." Included on the agenda are speakers from the Asia IC Card Forum, Brazil's National Institute of Information Technology, Datacard Group, Fargo Electronics, Frost & Sullivan, Gemalto, HID, the Mexican Government Social Healthcare National Commission, Oberthur Card Systems and the United States Department of Defense.

Attendees will come away with a thorough understanding of how governments are using smart card technology and GlobalPlatform Specifications; the direction of current credentialing initiatives in Asia Pacific, Latin America and the United States; and specific technology choices available for identity cards, including biometrics. Particularly noteworthy are case studies on the Mexico Health Card, the PKI implementation in Brazil and the U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Card.

The focus of day two is "Financial and Contactless Payment," and the session will include speakers from ASCOM Mexico, Banamex Cards, BBVA Bancomer, EMVCo, FIMPE (the Fund of Infrastructure of Electronic Payment Means), Inside Contactless, Leon Metro System, Mexico City Metro System, Oberthur Card Systems, Rede Ponto Certo and Visa International. Topics will include an overview of the benefits of smart cards in financial and mobile markets; applying GlobalPlatform Specifications to payments; a global update on EMV; the state of smart payment in Latin America; contactless and mobile phone payments based on the new Near Field Communications (NFC) standard; and an update on the growth of electronic payments in Mexico. The end of day two will highlight a case study presentation on the Sao Paulo Public Transit System and a panel discussion on contactless payment in transit.

In addition to presentations, each day will feature technology exhibits from leading smart card manufacturers, suppliers and integrators, and a networking reception. For more information, visit http://www.globalplatform.org/events/mexico2007/showpage.asp?page=information

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information, please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.

About GlobalPlatform

GlobalPlatform is the global leader in smart card infrastructure development and its proven, technical specifications for cards, devices and systems are known as the standard for smart card infrastructure. GlobalPlatform is a member driven association with cross-industry representation from all world continents. For more information about GlobalPlatform, visit: www.globalplatform.org.

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