Bull announced Wednesday it has been selected by Visa to develop Java Terminal APIs supporting the Visa Open Platform. The Visa Open Platform is destined to accelerate the creation and deployment of smart card-based applications for cards and terminals. Bull is the only supplier working on both card and terminal Java technologies with Visa and for the general market. Following its long-standing collaboration with Visa, Bull is developing the Open Platform terminal software specifications to make it easier and faster for software developers to write applications that accept smart cards. Bull will develop a simulator including the Java Virtual Machine, the APIs and applications on a PC. The APIs use an object-oriented approach that can take advantage of the “write once, run anywhere” features of Java.
“Our final beta-version of the simulator will be ready for June,” said Christian Goire, manager, advanced projects, Bull Smart Cards & Terminals, and president of the Java Card Forum. “This project is consistent with our work on Java, in particular our Java Odyssey I card, based on the specifications of the Java Card Forum, and Odyssey II card that will support Visa Open Platform Card APIs. This cooperation with Visa is an additional step for us to develop Java solutions, to give its Members the most advanced solution currently available.”
“The Visa Open Platform supports the multifunction capability needed to realize our vision for smart cards,” said Judy Smythe, senior vice president, Chip Products, Visa International. “We are pleased to have Bull’s experience with smart cards and multi-application terminals in the development of the terminal software API. The development of the Visa Open Platform Terminal API is a major next step in responding to Visa Member requirements to hasten smart card acceptance worldwide.”
About Bull Smart Cards and Terminals
Bull designs and markets a wide range of contact and contactless microprocessor smart cards, electronic payment terminals and automatic points of contact, including cash dispensers and multimedia kiosk POS terminals. In 1997, these activities generated revenue of $237 million, an increase of 32 percent over 1996.
The history of smart cards at Bull goes back to 1979 when Bull’s Michel Ugon, in collaboration with Motorola, invented the world’s first microprocessor card (CP8 technology). Today, all microprocessor cards worldwide still use Bull CP8 technology for the micro-electronic part (SPOM – Self-Programmable One chip Memory) patent. More than 420 million microprocessor cards use CP8 technology, either as patents, applications or operating systems. Bull is world leader in the electronic purse segment with more than 27 million cards in use in ten countries. Approximately 60 percent of the world’s smart cards used in banking today have been designed by Bull. Bull also is a leader in electronic payment terminals, with 650,000 machines installed worldwide. More information on can be found on the World Wide Web at: [http://www.cp8.bull.net], on Groupe Bull at: [http://www.bull.com].