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In the Boardroom™


Mr. Randy Vanderhoof
Executive Director
Smart Card Alliance Thank you for joining us today, Randy. Please give us an overview of your background and a brief history of The Smart Card Alliance.

Randy Vanderhoof: I joined the Smart Card Alliance in 2002 and took over as the Executive Director later that same year. The Smart Card Alliance organization dates back to 1992, when the Smart Card Forum was formed by leaders from the banking industry and smart card industry as a way to bring the two groups together to prepare the U.S. for the expected adoption of smart card technology. Renamed the Smart Card Alliance in 2001, it continues to prepare the U.S. for the coming of smart card technology but its mission has expanded to also include the identity, access security, healthcare, transportation and mobile markets in addition to the payments industry. The Smart Card Alliance expanded its focus to include Latin America in 2004 and added the Leadership, Education and Advancement Program (LEAP) and Certified Smart Card Industry Professional (CSCIP) program for individual memberships in 2008. We've grown to over 190 member organizations and is the largest smart card industry organization in the world. What is your perspective on the market drivers for smart card technology at the present time and what has changed in the market in the last few years?

Randy Vanderhoof: Improving security, authenticating individuals' identities and reducing fraud are strong drivers for smart card technology in all markets. First, both government and enterprises are looking for solutions that enable secure access to physical facilities and corporate networks and computers. The U.S. Federal government has now issued over five million smart card-based Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards, and are enabling physical and logical access control systems to validate individuals' identities using the PIV cards and infrastructure. The standards behind the PIV card are now driving smart card use into corporations and state and local governments, using PIV-interoperable technology and standards.    

The White House-established National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace is driving the industry to look at frameworks and technologies for authenticating individuals' identities on the Internet - with smart card technology a natural fit for authenticating high-value transactions. In addition, the healthcare industry is developing standards and looking for solutions for authenticating patient and provider identities to reduce medical fraud, address medical identity theft, and enable efficiencies within the healthcare system. An increasing number of healthcare organizations are using or considering smart card technology, including several states' Medicaid programs and a proposed Federal pilot of smart card-based Medicare cards.

The payments sector - retail, transit and mobile - are also moving to smart card technology. Major U.S. transit operators are now in the process of procuring fare collection solutions based on open contactless bank card payments - a major shift for the industry. Near Field Communications (NFC) technology holds much promise for the mobile industry as the foundation for secure mobile payment, identity and access control applications using mobile phones. The Google Wallet and Isis joint venture are driving the U.S. ecosystem to support secure NFC-enabled applications.

And the biggest shift in the payments industry is the move to smart card-based EMV technology for bank-issued credit and debit cards in the U.S. Globally, the payments industry is migrating from magnetic stripe bank cards and infrastructure to EMV contact and contactless chip cards and infrastructure to improve the security of bank card transactions and reduce fraud. Eighty countries globally are in various stages of EMV chip migration, including Canada and countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. U.S. issuers are now starting to issue EMV credit and debit cards, initially focused on international travelers and major merchants indicate that they will upgrade their POS infrastructure to support EMV cards. The recent Visa announcement of retailer incentives, processing infrastructure acceptance requirements and counterfeit card liability shift is expected to accelerate the U.S. move to EMV and to mobile contactless adoption.

Next to China, the U.S. is poised to be the biggest adopter of new smart card technology and services in the world over the next 5 years. The migration to EMV alone could add nearly 1 billion new smart cards and NFC-enabled mobile phones in that time frame. What are the main priorities, activities and achievements of the Smart Card Alliance? What about goals for the next year?

Randy Vanderhoof: As the markets have expanded for smart card technology, the Smart Card Alliance is expanding its education, advocacy and outreach efforts to support both existing and emerging markets and to promote smart chip technology in all of its form factors (card, USB token, fob, SIM, mobile phone secure element). New breakthroughs in the market environment involving EMV, NFC mobile payments, national cybersecurity, health IT security, and open bank card payments in transit are demanding more deliverables from our industry councils , expanded media relations activities, new multi-media content for our web site, and better social media management in order to keep everyone informed as the smart card market evolves. A key priority for the Alliance this past year has been to expand our staff so that we can address the new market opportunities.

We have five industry councils that produce white papers, webinars, industry positions, workshops, FAQs and other deliverables that address the key markets and industry challenges. In the first half of 2011 alone, our councils completed more than 14 projects, including eight white papers, two industry comments submissions, one webinar, and three workshops and have involved over 470 individuals from more than 100 organizations. Another major focus for us is our three conferences that we hold annually that cover the different vertical markets that use smart cards and that brings all industry stakeholders together. In 2012, we're adding a new conference specifically focused on NFC in the mobile market - which has a whirlwind of activities, announcements and new ventures for applications in payments, marketing, identity and access control.

Our activities are communicated through the Smart Card Alliance web site, which is a premier global resource for information on smart card technology, and though our monthly Smart Card Talk e-newsletter. We average over 80,000 visitors per month to our web site, with annual downloads of over 300,000 of our industry publications. We are continuing to add content and features to our web site to cover new topics and to make information available in multi-media formats. All of our publications are offered at no charge to the public. Please give us a profile of Smart Card Alliance members….who are they…what do they do? What are the benefits of membership?

Randy Vandrhoof: Smart Card Alliance members generally fall into two classes - either they are suppliers and integrators of smart cards and related technologies and services or they are adopters of the technology. The adopters include financial institutions, government agencies, transportation operators, retailers, and other industry associations. The technology suppliers span the entire value chain of the industry, from the smart chip manufacturers upon which all smart card technologies are built around to the smart card manufacturers, software developers, terminal and reader manufacturers, security and payments systems designers, processors, card personalization and issuance systems, and consultants and integrators that help adopters implement smart cards in their commercial or government operations.

This diverse mix of smart card users and suppliers creates a very rich environment for networking and education and for collaboration on projects that document best practices or tackle industry issues. Our membership is growing as well -- we grew by 60 new members in the last 12 months and will surpass 200 members by the end of 2011! As the market heats up in the United States, we are seeing increased membership coming from Canada, United Kingdom, Western Europe, China, and Korea. Many of these international organizations bring years of experience with smart card technology for payments, identity management, access control, mobile payments, healthcare, and transportation in their home regions.

Organizations join the Alliance so that their staff can interact with their peers, suppliers, customers, and potential business partners. The Alliance conferences and projects keep our members up-to-date and abreast of news, new technologies and industry developments and help members find partners and business opportunities for their products and services. Members highly value our industry councils, where members collaborate to produce educational material, advocate industry positions and address industry challenges. Through participation in Smart Card Alliance activities, members are recognized and get visibility for being industry leaders.

In addition to organization membership, we also have our LEAP initiative for individuals, with LEAP resources helping individuals advance their career in the smart card industry. And, for those individuals who are experienced smart card professionals, the CSCIP accreditation program trains and certifies individuals who prepare for and pass a certification exam, so that they can be recognized as highly qualified professionals in the industry. LEAP and CSCIP are global programs and are open to members and non-members of the Alliance. Are there any special upcoming events you’d like to mention?

Randy Vanderhoof: As our markets have expanded, so have our events. We are hosting three conferences in the upcoming months, each targeting different vertical markets for smart card technology. Our 10th Annual Smart Cards and Government Conference will be held November 2-4, 2011, in Washington, DC. This year our theme is "Smart Strategies for Secure Identities," and the agenda focuses on the use of strong authentication technology in government identity programs, in the provision of trusted identities on the Internet and mobile devices, and in patient and provider health identity credentials. This annual conference draws more than 700 attendees and over 50 exhibitors. Our next payments industry-focused event is our 2012 Payments Summit held in Salt Lake City, UT, on February 8-10, 2012. This event brings together the payments, transit and mobile industries to discuss contactless, EMV, transit and mobile payments and the role of smart card technology in securing transactions, improving consumer convenience and facilitating value-added applications. And, finally, we've partnered with the NFC Forum and are holding the first NFC Solutions Summit on May 22-24 in San Francisco, CA. This event will cover the state of the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and use cases for a broad range of NFC-enabled applications. Thanks again for joining us today, Randy. Are there any other subjects you'd like to discuss?

Randy Vanderhoof: : Thank you SecurityStockWatch for allowing me this opportunity to talk to your readers. I invite all of your readers to visit the Smart Card Alliance web site often to read about the latest security industry news and smart card announcements. Readers can access the free white papers, security industry resources, industry news, and upcoming calendar of events for the year ahead. Finally, I would invite organizations to consider membership in the Smart Card Alliance and individuals to join LEAP and become more involved in the growing smart card community in the U.S. and internationally.