Executive Director's Letter
Dear members and friends of the Alliance,
In the February issue of this newsletter, I wrote about several much-anticipated Alliance events that were soon to take place. Before I talk about new business and the additional events that lie ahead, allow me to first give a brief report on the February events.
The biggest event was the first-ever Smart Card Alliance Payments Councils Summit that was held in Salt Lake City, UT (February 27 – 29th). This Alliance members-only event brought together over 100 people involved with our Contactless Payments Council and Transportation Council to participate in 2 days of council-specific and combined presentations, panel discussions, work group meetings and future project planning. Industry leaders representing financial institutions, payments brands, transportation agencies, POS systems providers, financial processors, card manufacturers and integration services also interacted in small groups over coffee or networking lunches and receptions, making the event a rich learning experience. It was particularly enlightening to see so many divergent interests, opinions, and experiences shared so openly between our most knowledgeable members and the new, less experienced participants who were there to absorb it all. We didn’t solve all the challenges or even come to agreement on all issues, but everyone left with a better understanding of how the transportation markets, the payments markets, and the mobile markets are likely to shape the future of smart card usage in America. If you are not a member of one of these councils, you “won’t know what you don’t know.”
Member Profile: SIEMENS
This month, Smart Card Talk spoke Aaron Zitzer, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Identity Solutions at Siemens. In this role within Siemens Medical Solutions, Aaron oversees the Siemens Patient Health Card and Clinic Card solutions as well as other identity and access management products used within healthcare and other markets.
Aaron has an extensive and successful marketing and product management track record related to smart cards. In 1996, he joined SCM Microsystems as the worldwide marketing manager. There, he was instrumental in expanding SCM's single, PCMCIA-based smart card reader to a full range of readers and interface chips. Later, Aaron joined ActivCard as a senior product manager where he launched the company's first commercial smart card management system. Aaron subsequently became the global Director of Solutions Marketing for ActivCard.
Aaron is often called upon for media and industry analyst interviews and is a frequent presenter. In addition to his experience with smart card solutions, he has also held senior marketing positions with Tivo, LinkedIn and others. Aaron is currently the Vice Chair of the Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council.
Feature of the Month
Co-Branded Multi-Application Contactless Cards for Transit and Financial Payment
The mass transit and financial payment card communities have a common goal: improving the customer experience with cost-effective products and services that offer increased convenience. To help reach this goal, both communities are embracing the use of contactless smart card technology to create new value propositions and reduce operating costs. By using technology based upon common physical standards, the two communities are creating opportunities for collaboration and partnership.
The Smart Card Alliance white paper “Transit and Contactless Financial Payments: New Opportunities for Collaboration and Convergence" presented one approach to mass transit and financial payment convergence. The approach is based on direct acceptance of American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa contactless payment products at the point of transit payment/boarding, with the paper discussing some of the issues and challenges involved in implementing this approach.
This article describes an approach that leverages co-branded card marketing programs and the multi-application capabilities provided by smart card technology to create a payment card that can be used for both transit and financial payment.