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Visa and Mastercard approve Smartrac’s wire booster antenna

December 1, 2016

Card manufacturers benefit from a simplified approval process for their own products.

Visa and Mastercard have granted approval to Smartrac’s wire booster antenna, valid in connection with Infineon’s SLJ 32 Payment EMV solution product and Infineon`s innovative “Coil on Module” chip packaging technology. Card manufacturers will benefit from a simplified approval process for their own products based on that combination.

Smartrac’s wire booster antenna has received Visa's Letter of Approval (LoA) and Mastercard’s Component Confirmatory Statement (CCS) in connection with Infineon SLJ 32 payment solution. It is based on Infineon's proven SLE 77 chip platform and incorporates a Java OS with Visa's latest 2.8.1.g and Mastercard M/Chip Advance v1.1 applet. As of now, card manufacturers can refer to these approvals in their own product approval process and thereby significantly reduce time to market and costs. Approved products can be used until the end of 2023 for Visa and until September 2019 for Mastercard.

Visa’s LoA and Mastercard’s CCS refer to a product that is based on inductive coupling technology but, unlike most other products, utilizes a wire antenna. Since that antenna is embedded into a 100% PVC substrate, a durable mono-block card structure can be easily manufactured using a standard lamination process. The absence of any mechanical inter­connection between module and antenna makes it one of the most robust dual-interface solutions available. This technology further simplifies card production and improves yield rates.

Another advantage of the wire booster antenna is its slim design. It occupies a minimum amount of space inside the card body, as the thin tracks of the antenna only require a tiny part of the volume available. This provides a higher degree of flexibility when it comes to the increasingly popular translucent card designs, and also enables full four-line embossing capabilities that do not touch and deform the antenna. Moreover, the thin wire minimizes the risk of impairing sophisticated artworks with "ghost images" created by visible antenna patterns in the print.

“Infineon’s Coil on Module (CoM) chip packaging technology and Smartrac`s wire booster antenna fit perfectly together. CoM supports an easy transition from contact-based to contactless products. It has already been well established in the payment market due to its significant advantages such as improving the robustness and long-term reliability of dual-interface payment cards as well as simplifying card design, manufacturing and logistics, thus making these processes more efficient and up to 5 times faster than with conventional technologies,” says Bjoern Scharfen, Head of Product Line Payment & Wearables at Infineon Technologies. “We understand our customers’ systems and challenges and contribute to their market success with tailored security solutions,” he adds.

“Both customer approvals are a significant milestone for our wire booster antenna product as it perfectly complements the product’s other main benefits, which are hassle-free processing and slim design. We are convinced that this will encourage card manufacturers to use this technology even more widely than they do at present," says Thomas Decker, Head of Business Line Finance, Secure ID & Transactions Business Division at Smartrac.

 

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