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Cappuccino and croissant? Just tap and go

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 5:03am
ECN Europe

Long waits and rummaging for small change to pay for coffee and a newspaper on the way to work? Potentially a thing of the past in Germany’s Hanover, Braunschweig and Wolfsburg areas. The German Banking Industry Committee (Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft) has launched its “girogo” project there, which is Europe’s biggest contactless payment trial. Over 1.3 million bank and savings bank customers will now be offered tap-and-go facilities in an array of shops and filling stations for fast and easy payment of sums up to 20 Euros. An integrated security chip from Infineon Technologies is the first in the world to hold German Banking Industry Committee’s approval for the new contactless bank cards.

The girogo bank card is a so-called dual interface card: the customer can continue to use it for contact-based payment by inserting the card into a payment terminal. For contactless payment, the buyer no longer has to insert his card into a reader. He simply holds his card bearing a contactless chip in front of the reader at the check-out. No signature or PIN entry is required, meaning the payment process takes less than a second. By using the contactless-technology customers can pay small amounts of up to 20 EUR in a quick and convenient way.

In addition to contactless payments the girogo bank cards also support the well-established contact-based payment methods. German Banking Industry Committee security requirements are regarded as the world’s most stringent standards and therefore Infineon’s security controllers have met them for many years.

The security microcontroller the German Banking Industry Committee is using for the contactless bank card in the girogo project is using Infineon´s “Integrity Guard” digital security technology: the world’s first chip card microcontroller to receive German Banking Industry Committee’s approval for use in the new contactless bank cards. Furthermore, the security microcontroller fulfills EMVCo (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) security requirements for payment cards and meets the “Common Criteria EAL 5+ (high)” international standard. Infineon has developed the Integrity Guard safety technology specifically for valuable applications e.g. payment cards– applications requiring reliable protection of the data. In common with all the security microcontrollers of the SLE 78 family, the chip deployed here stores and processes the data within the chip in encrypted form. It provides a dual interface, i.e. with both contact and contactless capabilities. The chips of the SLE 78 family have not only one but two central processing units (CPUs) which cross-check each other continuously, ensuring that errors stemming from attempted attacks are immediately detected and protective action is taken: the affected operations are aborted.

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