Intellect and IBM Plan Relationship for Standards-based Smart Card Terminal Concept

Benefits of Technology Standards such as OpenCard Framework to be deployed in innovative solutions

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October 27 - 27 Oct 1998: . . . Intellect and IBM today announced plans to work together to integrate the benefits of OpenCard Framework technologies into Intellect's new "Factory-to-Field" enabled line of smart card terminals. Intellect has made a strategic choice to focus on application portability and flexibility in the architectural and functional concepts for its most recent line of terminal products. To achieve this, Intellect's Factory-to-Field (FtF) concept will be implemented using OpenCard Framework (OCF) technology with support from IBM planned.

Factory-to-Field is in essence the management of the terminal from its birth through its complete life in the field. Intellect and IBM are both members of the OpenCard Consortium, an industry group that was formed earlier this year to develop and promote the framework for standardisation and interoperability of smart cards across networks and applications. The consortium's work has led to the definition of the OCF specification. OCF is an open standard, based on Java®, that provides an architecture and a set of application programming interfaces that enable application developers and service providers to build and deploy smart card aware solutions in any OpenCard compliant environment. This framework encompasses the cards, the terminals and card services. It can support solutions such as FtF delivery and remote secure deployment and update of applications.

"With FtF and our co-operation with IBM, Intellect will address the critical issues of supporting terminals in the field throughout the product life cycle. This is one of the most stringent after-sales requirements in the market. By offering an innovative solution in this field, Intellect will be able to strengthen its position as the leading terminal provider in the payment industry," said Francis De Vrieze, director of Strategy and Business Development at Intellect.

"IBM welcomes Intellect's decision to adopt open standards such as OpenCardFramework in its latest terminal development, providing customers with greater interoperability for their smart card applications," said Joachim Stark, program director for Partner Programs, IBM Pervasive Computing. "The availability of OCF-enabled solutions such as the Factory-to-Field concept from Intellect will help drive the proliferation of this key standard."

The Factory-to Field Concept

The ability to deliver terminals in a Factory-to-Field mode offers significant advantages. In this mode, so called " white terminals" are delivered to the end users, the initialisation process is triggered locally, and the security elements and application software are downloaded on-line into the terminal after its installation. FtF not only enables the initial start-up of the terminal, but also manages subsequent downloads of new applications and updates of existing software components. Such components may be application modules, as well as modules of the OCF layer and modules of the security software, including keys.

A comprehensive system based on the FtF concept can be called Terminal Lifeware as it leads the terminal through the successive evolutionary steps of its active life. It brings many advantages to the market: the white terminal will be provider independent, less expensive and will have a longer life cycle thanks to the fully down-line capability of loading and updating tailor-made applications in a secure, standards-driven manner. Intellect has included a Factory-to-Field demonstration of a secure remote download of an application on a white terminal in the field at its booth at

Cartes98, stand C62, October 27 - October 29, in Paris.

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