The history of smart-cards and their place in modern Russia

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However, world leaders VISA, Europay, MasterCard have already declared about inevitable conversion to smart-card technology in future. All of them started developing future international standards for payment systems based on smart-cards. Even in Europe where magnetic line cards are traditionally popular smart-cards are winning one project after another.

The most successful introduction of smart-cards is supposed to take place in the countries where magnetic cards hold a weak position; in the countries without high quality well branched and reliable communication systems; in the countries with a high criminal level where the population have a low credit reliability.

These days many Russian banks issue traditional magnetic cards of international payment systems. However, such issues are definitely oriented on concrete social consumer group and regions of their use are quite limited.

Now lets say some words about a smart-card. The medium in smart-cards is a small processor chip. The identification area allows only one record while personalizing the card and later available for reading only. Access to other areas available only after the card holder entered the proper “key”. The smart-cards security level is much higher than the magnetic cards one. As to prices on smart-cards, they are higher, but they become lower and lower every year as their technology is being improved and production scale is being enlarged

The smart-cards are small computers is some way. Modern smart-card chips features can be compared with personal computers in early 80’s. Part of the data located on a smart-card can be used only in internal card’s operations. This fact together with high level cryptographic security makes smart-cards valuable asset for financial systems demanding additional security and reliability. Because of that smart-cards are now considered to be the most promising kind of plastic cards. They can be also considered to be the most promising for their features. Smart-cards counting abilities allow card holder to keep multi-currency wallet. As predicted by VISA and Europay/MasterCard, smart-cards will replace magnetic line cards within the 10 year period.

The developing of smart technology

First smart-cards appeared in France in the middle 70’s. The main advantages as compared to magnetic line cards are higher reliability, security and multifunctionality. The main disadvantage that it is still difficult to get over is high prime cost.

Nevertheless, in early 90’s rapid growth of smart-cards market took place. Thus, at the last smart-technology forum (SmartCard Forum), hosted in the USA, statistical reports showed that the majority of magnetic line cards owner would use smart-cards as electronic wallet if their bank issued such cards.

But financial institutes that working with smart-cards have a lot of questions at the moment. Many of these questions still do not have answers. Here are the most popular ones:

How high is the level of smart-cards security?

What schemes should be used for transactions: open or secured?

How available and reasonable is the complete replacement of cash with electronic money?

What authorization mode is better: on-line or off-line?

The fact of existence of these questions demonstrates that there is a high interest in smart-cards connected with an ability to transform little sum payments into cashless payments. Visa researches show that annually more then 1,8 trillion dollars happen to less then 10 dollars transaction. Obviously operation of these payment through electronic cards is more than attractive. But the organization of such transformation hits upon serious problems even in well developed countries. In this case solving this problem with a help of electronic wallets seems to be the most effective. According to Jean Jacques Debone, the president of European branch of Visa International “the development of smart-cards, allowing the client to make less then 8 dollar payments, will treble bank’s cards profit”

Реферат опубликован: 30/04/2009