Magazine article American Banker

Smart Card: Gemplus Adds Software Unit to Speed Systems Evolution

Magazine article American Banker

Smart Card: Gemplus Adds Software Unit to Speed Systems Evolution

Article excerpt

By MIRIAM KREININ-SOUCCAR Gemplus Corp. has formed a software division in hopes of accelerating development of smart card systems and programs. The software group will focus on building applications that support its largest smart card market-mobile telecommunications-as well as the information technology infrastructure for consumer and commercial electronic commerce and corporate network access. Gemplus said its software thrust will help speed product development and lower the cost of delivering new smart card applications. The emergence of more complicated, multiple-application smart cards requires a new emphasis on software, the company added. "Customers were starting to ask us for things beyond the card and reader," said Donna Jeker, vice president of the Gemplus Software group in Redwood City, Calif. "They want us to install their whole system." Ms. Jeker said the entry of major information technology companies like Sun Microsystems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. into smart cards was an indication that chip cards are "moving away from their traditional roles and into new applications." Gemplus wanted to capitalize on this trend. "Gemplus' goal is to provide smartware, not just smart cards, so that we can foster growth in this industry," said Philippe Maes, senior vice president of Gemplus Software in France. "Open systems and standard APIs (application programming interfaces) spurred the evolution of the personal computer industry and will do the same for smart cards," he said. Gemplus Software splits its operations between the smart card vendor's world headquarters in Gemenos, France, and the Americas base in California. …

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