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Issue Date: March/April '01 (es)

Smartcards pass security check

1 March 2001

As information exchange becomes more pervasive in transactions between businesses and consumers, the smartcard will play a more significant role in people's lives. This is according to Charles Laxton, Executive Director of IT company VELOCIT-e who says: "A number of factors will drive smartcard adoption."
These are the growth of cashless banking, the automatic transfer of funds, the use of credit cards and pre-paid cards, the spread of PCs and PC communications, the relaxation of restrictions on mobile communications and subscription satellite broadcasting, and the increasing need for up-to-date information relating to medical care.
"The smartcard, as a viable means of communicating and playing, is at the centre of these developments. Attention is focused on the smartcard as a personal information file that has the ability to conduct secure transactions," says Laxton.
"Security features in smartcards are the reason they will become ubiquitous in the years to come. Security takes many forms in the smartcard arena, and industry leaders are committed to ensuring that security is a priority."
Laxton says one of the biggest users of smartcards will be the healthcare industry, where the devices will be used to store medical data.
While many people worry that their personal information may be compromised, smartcard system providers use a technology called public key encryption to authenticate users who try to gain access to data on the card.
"With smartcards, people control their own information. They can store their information, including their medical information, and only allow other people to access it if they want to," concludes Laxton.
For further information contact Charles Laxton, VELOCIT-e on tel: (011) 258 6900.

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