Multi-application Smart Cards: Technology and Applications

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

STS doesn’t always make a habit of promoting other people’s literary endeavours, however we are always willing to encourage and highlight the work of people we consider visionaries in our field.

One of these industry visionaries is Mike Hendry, a consultant who has worked globally with banks, retailers and service providers, specialising in electronic payments.

Mike has recently released his latest book, “Multi-application Smart Cards: Technology and Applications”. Mike's book should offer something to everyone interested in smart cards or their application. Its two main parts cover the technology and the business applications and needs; for the technologist there are updates on the current state of play in biometrics and cryptography, quite detailed explanations of the scope and workings of Global Platform and Multos, and the terminal and management functions needed to support multi-application cards.

For the business manager the book works through all the business requirements of different sectors, how smart cards address those needs and where the gaps still lie. For anyone really interested in using cards for multiple functions, though, the book shines a spotlight on the real issues that cause problems: usually not technology but mismatches of standards, objectives or timescales. It includes 18 case studies drawn from different sectors and countries, and ranging from very simple technology to purpose-written operating systems. Mike shows that everyone in the smart card business can learn from the approaches taken by other sectors or technology strategies, and that a focus on the customer relationship that each card ultimately embodies can bring benefits to everyone.