Visa International president and chief executive Ed Jensen predicts his company's Java-based smartcard will herald "a quantum leap" in ecommerce.
Speaking in London this week, Jensen announced Visa's first large scale Java card roll-out across Asia by London based Standard Chartered bank.
Jensen said the multifunction Java cards would offer far greater security than single function magnetic stripe cards. "Their potential is limited only to the imagination," he said. He added that banks would be able individually to design their own card.
However, only one UK high street bank actually plans to issue multifunction Java cards. Barclays Bank will issue a version of the smartcards within the next two years, and has joined Visa's international Java users group - the Open Platform group.
Visa anticipates other UK high street banks will sign up for the cards within three months.
Gavin Clarke is a reporter on Computing.
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