Koper, December 20, 2004 - Today Banka Koper kick-starts routine issuing of the smart card Activa-MasterCard, the first Slovenian smart payment card. In 2005, Banka Koper will phase out all cards with a magnetic strip and replace them by chip cards. Other Slovenian banks - members of the Activa system will follow suit*.
The new Activa-MasterCard is a multi-purpose card featuring additional services. Thanks to PocketServer a cardholder will be able to enter and store information such as. name, home address, office address, credit card data, favourite websites, passwords for access to encrypted data, etc. Notes can be added and forms available on websites can be completed automatically. SecureCode brings additional security for Internet shopping. Both services will be available in the first half of 2005. Cradholders will continue to pay for goods and services and use POS terminals, shop via the Internet and withdraw cash at ATMs as they have done so far at no additional cost. The new card will be valid for 4 years and sports new design. Consequently, cards will be easier to use and more secure. At Banka Koper we believe that by boosting security features, card abuse will be less frequent resulting in lower damages and operating costs. Users spending will be easier to monitor, so risk management is expected to be more efficient.
The introduction of chip technology is often described as the most demanding world-wide project in the last forty years. Banka Koper embarked on the project in 2002 and , the Activa system announced the launch of a chip (dubbed smart) card on the occasion of Activas 10th anniversary. Banka Koper made the first cross-border transaction via a European POS terminal on 4 November 2003.
Chip technology observes the EMV international standard adopted by Europay, MasterCard and VISA. It is now mandatory for all cards issued by banks on behalf of MasterCard and VISA International. The EMV specification ensures cross-border functioning of both smart cards and terminals.
*The Activa system comprises: Banka Celje, Banka Koper, Deželna banka Slovenije, Gorenjska banka, Nova Kreditna banka Maribor, Poštna banka Slovenije, Raiffeisen Krekova banka, Volksbank