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03/28/2006: "Chip cards - hooray!"

Chip cards, known only as a mythical futuristic project in my industry for the past few years, are finally coming! The plan to bring these debit/credit cards to fruition has been in the works by Interac, Visa, MC that be for quite some time, with the actual companies that would need to make the technology work sort of waiting to be asked to FINALLY dance.

The chip cards are being toted as more secure than magstripe cards and for good reason - they have the ability to not only be extremely difficult to replicate, but they can verify the security of the device that they are being used on. It's a paranoid card. Sweet.

Note - Magstripe is the black stripe on the back of your credit and debit cards that hold the card PAN (personal account number), expiry date, and sometimes info such as your name, and a code to assists in verifying your PIN. Very interesting with three tracks, and usually standard setup according to international standards. Oh - your eyes are glazing... sorry 'bout that. Anywho, the chip card, instead of the magnetic stripe on the back with this info, will have a computer chip. Rockin', eh?

Anywho, the committment in Canada is finally in place so that people like me can officially get into high gear. My beanie is rotating at phenomenal speed today. First there's the installing of card readers to be able to interface with the smart cards (most are supposed to be compliant already), then the key management security portion that intrigues me. It will make my duct-tape and bubblegum card testing a bit more difficult because right now I can make card information up and it works for financial testing. I don't think that will fly in the smart card world.

I also found the BankWatch blog today - so I'm going to link to it here for my future reference. hehe


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Japanese School Teacher
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