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Smart Card Alliance Supports Federal Government's BuySecure Initiative: Applauds Plans to Implement EMV Chip Technology and Recommends Smart Cards for Secure Online Authentication

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., Oct. 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Smart Card Alliance applauds the Obama Administration BuySecure Initiative's aim to secure payments with EMV chip technology and is calling for smart card technology to also be included in plans to strongly authenticate citizens accessing sensitive government data online.

"The Smart Card Alliance commends the federal government's plans to apply EMV chip technology to newly issued and existing government credit and debit cards, as well as agencies' payment terminals," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "The government is validating the commitment from the payments ecosystem, including payment brands, issuers and merchants, to move to chip technology. This initiative will help raise awareness to the security benefits chip cards provide, and may accelerate the U.S. move to the technology."

EMV chip cards, based on smart card technology, contain secure computer chips that validate the authenticity of the card and include a one-time use security code in every transaction. These features make chip payment data virtually impossible to use for counterfeit card fraud, which is possible today with magnetic stripe cards. The U.S. is more than two years into the migration to chip cards, with 600 million chip cards and 7 million chip-capable terminals expected to be in place by the end of 20151.

The Smart Card Alliance recommends that the same smart card technology also be utilized for another security measure in the BuySecure Initiative: securing access to sensitive government data online. According to the fact sheet released by the Office of the Press Secretary, the President has asked National Security Council staff, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and OMB to formulate a plan in the next 90 days to "ensure personal data digitally released by the government to citizens goes through multiple tests for authentication so that every citizen's personal information is protected by the most secure methods possible." The Smart Card Alliance believes smart card technology should be included in these plans.

"The BuySecure Initiative highlights the federal government's confidence that smart card technology can secure citizens' financial information. The federal government already uses smart card technology for employee badges, called PIV2 cards, allowing employees to securely and privately gain access to government systems and data. Smart card technology that is in use today can be utilized to secure government data and support strong identity authentication before releasing this sensitive data to citizens online," Vanderhoof said. "Multiple industries already use smart card technology for strong authentication to digital assets, including banks, defense contractors, healthcare facilities and universities."

Smart card technology is ideal for the BuySecure Initiative because of its proven strong authentication mechanisms and ability to protect user privacy. The technology is designed to resist malware, forgery and other efforts to extract information fraudulently from an identity token. It further provides a tamper-proof container for digital identity credentials and biographic and biometric identifiers. Lastly, the availability of multiple form factors make smart card technology-based tokens portable and easy to distribute.

Government identity and authentication topics are on the agenda at the 13th Annual Smart Card Alliance Government Conference which will be held next week, Oct. 29-30, 2014 with pre-conference workshops on Oct. 28, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The full agenda registration can be found at www.GovSmartID.com.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.

1 EMV Migration Forum, October 2014

2 Personal Identity Verification

CONTACT: Megan Shamas Montner & Associates 203-226-9290 mshamas@montner.com

Source:Smart Card Alliance