Is this technology new to
The technology isn’t yet in use in Belgium. The technology itself is of course internationally known, with the different building blocks already known and around, but Keyware is the first company to make it operationally available to customers. All the terminals we have out in the field already are now being used for credit and debit cards of different brands like Visa, MasterCard, Diners etc, and now they can be upgraded to accept the contact-free cards. It’s a specific card, which right now is being issued by Belfius and Axa, but the other big banks like Fortis, ING and KBC have plans to start issuing them later this year. The card is specific in the sense that a normal card has no antenna, which is built into a card for no-contact transactions.
The card has no pin code. How
safe is it?
Communication between the card and the terminal is by NFC – Near Field Communication. And it’s a very secure form of NFC; it’s not like in America, where if you pass through an anti-theft barrier, your cards can be read and someone can use the information to go and transact business elsewhere. In Belgium that’s completely impossible. Here, the software keys to the encryption change every couple of transactions, so whatever data was read before can’t be used.
How long before this becomes
That’s not entirely up to us. There have to be terminals, cards and customers to use the system. We’ve heard that Proton is going to disappear within two years, so I think we have a perfect alternative for sums under €25. It’s fast, the business gets paid right away, and your money is safe: Instead of being stored on the card, your credit here is stored on the server, so if the card is stolen or lost, your money is still safe.
Unizo has complained about the
length of the contracts you offer
We have contracts lasting five years all the way down to one year; it’s all a question of price. If someone signs a five-year contract then he can get a good price, but that’s not the same for periods of six months or a year. You can certainly have a contract for a shorter period, but that costs more, and in my view that’s a missed opportunity.