• Thierry Spanjaard

Card-embedded innovation is here

Trustech, which is happening right now, is, as ever, a major event for payments, identification and security. Over the past years, an acme of the event was the Sesames ceremony, during which the most innovative projects of the industry received awards, leading to extremely emotional scenes from tears to celebrations for all those who worked on these developments. As Sesames no longer exist, I feel I have to stress on some interesting innovations seen at Trustech.

As long as card payments have been in existence, many people have been willing to improve card security. As a standard offer, we’ve gone from embossing to magstripe, to smart cards and to dual interface cards. However, there is room on this market for payment cards with additional security features, such as biometric sensors, or displays and keypads.

Fingerprint sensor developers have been boosted over the last years by the increasing demand coming from smartphone producers, and have increasingly developed small, thin, flexible and easy to integrate fingerprint sensors. All leading smart card vendors now propose biometric payment cards that include a fingerprint sensor used as a cardholder verification method before even allowing the card to be operational. As the cardholder is authenticated by the card, contact transactions do not require a PIN and contactless transactions become limitless.


Another major innovation targets the card-not-present case or, in other terms eCommerce transactions. The founders of Ellipse, a Los Angeles based company, have been working for years to develop a card on which the CSC (Card Security Code), also known as CVV or CVC, becomes variable instead of being printed on the back of the card. The advantage is clear: a Dynamic Card Security Code (dCSC) is no longer a sensitive value, as it changes either over time or at each transaction. The verification of the EVC, the Ellipse Verification Code, goes along the existing EMV rails and does not require any change in the existing transaction processing ecosystem.

Now, Ellipse has developed its EVC All-In-One module, which requires no battery aboard the card and can be embedded just like a regular smart card module. This module, which includes the EVC display at the back, supports regular embedding processes, such as hot lamination, making it easy for card vendors to integrate it in their offer. During Trustech, Ellipse EVC All-In-One module is shown on different booths: SPS, Linxens and STMicroelectronics, demonstrating the interest of different major players in the industry in this new technology.


Even if Sesames are no longer awarded, emotions of the developers of new technologies are palpable when they present their achievements Trustech audience.



Disclaimer: All companies named in this blog post are part of Intelling Smart Insights references.

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