New Contactless smart
card technology can now be used to protect pensioners from being targets
of pension theft.
Technologies is developing Contactless smart card products in South Africa
based on the Philips Mifare technology, a global standard for Contactless
smart cards to the world market.
Contactless cards are
different to traditional smart cards in a number of important respects.
The Contactless smart cards can only be accessed using secure data
encryption standard (DES) keys and the actual communication between the
card and the reader is encrypted to DES3, giving a high level of security.
There are no
off-the-shelf devices that can be used to read or tamper with the card
data and readers are also tamper proof because they have no slots like
their traditional reader counterparts.
The cards are immune to
static electricity and have no electrical contacts, and are therefore extremely
rugged. They do not even need to be removed from a wallet for a
transaction to be made, making them unsuitable targets for would be
There are already
applications available for road tolling and parking and the Contactless
smart cards act as a secure money purse proving to be the way forward to a
cashless society,” said Murton System Technologies MD Brent Maurer.
probably experiencing the exceptionally high prevalence of crime - both
the conventional kind as well as the white collar kind - as much or even
more than any other citizens, and have very little means of protection
from becoming prime targets. Contactless technology is providing a
solution which will ultimately obviate the need for both pensioners
collect, and governments to to distribute cash at month end,” said
The new technology
removes a number of hazardous situations for pensioners. One such
example, recently in the news, was of Pensioners being robbed of their
income when employees, working at pay points, deceptively informed them
that their money was not yet available, and that they should come back the
following month. Employees then kept the pension for themselves. A
large number of pensioners were defrauded in this way.
“By programming the
pensioner’s details into the card, only that person is able to use the
card because the card is able to hold a finger print or even a retina scan
of the individual. Committing fraud, stealing or attacks on
pensioners collecting money will be fruitless,” he said.
Pensioner will also be
able to use any Contactless smart card reader, avoiding the need to go to
a specific pension payout point.
“The cash is recorded
straight onto the card ensuring no cash is handled. The card itself,
together with biometric identification is the wallet. The possibility of
pensioners being attacked or robbed is therefore significantly
decreased,” said Maurer.
cards can hold up to 15 different applications. This means that a
card can be used for shopping or as a bus ticket, phone card or even a
season ticket to a sporting event," he explained, “and pensioners
can use this same card to collect their pension.”
The products supplied by
MS Tech will be targeted at applications where dynamic information can be
stored and updated on the card, as well as environments where off-line
operation is of the essence.
"It has two major
advantages over its competitors. Firstly, all Mifare products have to be
certified by an independent body, guaranteeing that they are compatible.
Secondly, companies are working together to strengthen and extend Mifare
as the standard for Contactless smart cards, while independently
developing their own Mifare products, providing customers with a broad and
competitive range of products," noted Maurer.