As the newest member of the Smartex network of associations for smart card and RFID tag technologies – established in 1992 and now the largest such group in the world, with over 500 members in the UK, Africa and the Asia Pacific regions.

CEESCA is a membership-based association, covering Central Eastern Europe, that will bring together all companies and individuals, from both the public and private sectors, whether suppliers, potential/existing scheme operators or consultants, in order to:

  • provide its members with regular information about smart cards
  • hold regular plenary meetings in key cities in the CEE area, where members will hear from acknowledged industry experts, within themed sessions covering all aspects of smart card technologies and applications
  • explore the latest trends in related security and systems architectures
  • explain the latest projects being planned for the region
  • enable members to network together in a non-sales environment
  • seek to adopt relevant international standards to ensure the appropriate levels of scheme interoperability and longevity

Smart card technology

Smart card technology continues to become increasingly pervasive and is being adopted (in some cases mandated) for a growing number of important private and public sector applications. In particular, it is now clear that smart cards will constitute a significant component of most I.T. systems in the future. Over the last two years there have been a number of key developments in the acceptance of smart cards which will dramatically affect the number of cards issued over the next few years, as well as the use of the technology.

The global decision to migrate bank payment cards to EMV smart cards the EMV standard has now been accepted as the future of all bank payment cards and Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, JCB and other card payments associations are now actively working with financial card issuers towards the eventual conversion of all bank payment cards to smart card technology. More recently, the first contactless bank payment card schemes for fast, low value payments at the retail point-of-sale are now being launched

The beginning of Government smart card rollouts around the world the public sector has now realised that smart cards will play a key role in most future public sector and e-government services. Government departments in Europe, the U.S.A. and in Asia have now begun high profile rollouts of smart cards for local and national schemes. At the same time, the movement towards next-generation, chip-based passports and visas, for increased border security and automated passenger clearance, is now beginning.

The growth of mobile telephony, m-commerce and mobile digital IDSmart SIM cards have now been mandated for 3G handsets (and CDMA and TDMA systems have begun their introduction). It is now accepted that every mobile device will contain at least one SIM card, and will likely interface to third-party smart cards for mobile payment and identity applications. Smart cards are now also being introduced to secure wireless LAN access on 802.11 networks. These smart cards will provide the foundation for digital identity and payment services over networks.

The problems of network logon, e-commerce, digital money and digital ID Banks, credit card companies, retailers and Internet companies are now starting to accept that smart cards will play a pivotal role in the development of business and public sector services that require secure payments transactions or secure identification and authentication of users, over the Internet. Corporations are adopting smart cards to provide employees with logical access to corporate IT resources, physical access to buildings as well as other applications in the workplace.

The rapidly increasing acceptance of contactless smart cardsAlthough physical access control and transport automatic fare collection applications still dominate the contactless smart card market, end-users are beginning to explore and develop contactless technologies for new applications. These include card associations and their member banks, for fast and convenient low value transactions at the point-of-sale, and government agencies for long life ID cards and travel documents that offer increased security and convenience to citizens.