Convergence of Card Applications


On April 1st, I'll be giving a talk at the ICMA Card Manufacturing and Personalization Expo in San Juan, Puerto Rico where I'll help separate fact from fiction when it comes to convergence of card applications .

Technological convergence is a trend where elements having distinct functionalities come together with all the features, benefits, and advantages of each original component to provide the added value of a single item. Contactless smart card technology is transforming itself to play a major role in the convergence of applications including payment, transit, loyalty and access control where previously there has been a unique card for each function.

Card manufacturers are increasingly looking for products with added value to maintain their shrinking profit margins in a commodity market. A card that has multiple uses provides added value and convenience which will create the desired "top of wallet" position with consumers. Even in today's difficult economic climate, banks are investing in contactless technology because of the differentiation and competitive edge it provides.

We're also starting to see convergence happening on non-card form factors like the new cell phone/mobile device stickers, which enables the phone as a payment device and serves as a bridge to future NFC technology.

My session will explore the benefits and operational issues associated with implementing multi-application contactless smart cards or credentials for various market segments as well as a description of early pilot activity.

I look forward to seeing you at ICMA!