OpSec Security exhibited at the Cartes Secure Connexions event from April 23-25 in Las Vegas, NV. This Cartes event is one of three held each year, along with Cartes Hong Kong in April, and Cartes Paris in November. Each show is unique, and represents the current trends in the transaction card industry. Cartes Hong Kong focused primarily on mobile payment technologies and the electronics embedded in new payment and access control cards. Some of these electronics include chips for both contact and contactless applications in banking and identity.
The show also included quite a bit about mobile payment innovation in applications. For those involved in the payment industry, this is a period of great change as new technologies emerge to enhance and even replace the traditional plastic card.
It remains to be seen whether a compelling enough reason will emerge to propel mobile methods as the preferred payment option. Ultimately, it will be the consumer’s response to this initiative that will determine such change. Is the current payment system a "friction point" as one observer noted? For many, using a credit card or debit card remains to be a secure, simple, and effective way to process a transaction. This leads to Cartes USA which was interesting on many levels.
This show focused on the transition from magnetic stripe cards to magnetic stripe cards with chips, based on the EMV standard. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, which set up the standards for a chip-based payment system. In most major economies, this is the payment standard adopted with chips for safe and secure chip and pin transactions. The US market continues to use the magnetic stripe with no real reason to switch from low cost magnetic stripe cards and readers to chip-based technology. Now that fraud is a growing concern in the market, however, the system operators recognize that EMV standards must be implemented soon. Cartes USA focused on "blocking and tackling" the manufacturing of chip base cards. Unlike Cartes Asia, Cartes USA was populated by exhibitors who supplied machinery, equipment, and components such as plastic and security consumables. The show attracted buyers getting ready for the significant volumes a change like this would require, and it was great to see.
The global secure card manufacturing industry is very robust and the opportunity on the horizon in the USA is welcomed by the industry.OpSec Security is very well positioned to serve its customers who will be growing over this time with a focus on quality, time delivery, and world class customer service.