(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Bull Taking Orders for E-Money Smart Card Reader/Writer
November 6, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Bull KK of Japan said it is taking orders
for SafePad, a reader/writer that authenticates smart card electronic
money used for online shopping.
|SafePad is a device slightly larger than a mouse and designed to be connected
to such devices as personal computers and set-top boxes.
Until now, the SafePad has been used as a transaction settlement tool
for the Cybercard Commerce Project, a joint electronic settlement project
organized by Europay International, funded by the MasterCard International
and joined by Bull of France. Bull recently decided to market the product
in Japan because of the growing interest shown by Japanese firms.
There are several methods to verify the authenticity of smart cards:
(1) access an authentication server through a network; (2) authenticate
the card by initializing the authentication program on a PC by transmitting
the card data to a PC connected to a card reader/writer; and (3) have
the reader/writer itself authenticate.
Among the above methods, SafePad employs the reader/writer authentication
system. Its built-in 16-bit processor, an exclusive processor (which
corresponds to such encryption algorithms as DES and RSA) and memory
allow the authentication program to be run over SafePad.
SafePad is equipped with a 10-key pad and a compact liquid-crystal display
screen. To authenticate a smart card, a user inserts the card into the
SafePad and enters a user PIN with the 10-key pad. This makes it possible
to identify illegally prepared cards and/or illegal usage.
SafePad can be used as a smart card conforming to the Secure Electronic
Transaction (SET) specifications for Internet credit card transactions.
SafePad is expected to be aimed mainly at OEMs at a price of about 30,000
(BizTech News Dept.)
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