Smart-cards appear in Russia
Smart-cards as bank's cards
BGS Smartcard Systems AG is the official dealer and distributor of Visa International smart-technologies is Russian and the former USSR market. It was founded in 1997 and holds right for software and technologies of cashless payments based on U.E.P.S standards. U.E.P.S. - universal electronic payment system is a system based on smart-card technology. The main technological feature of U.E.P.S. is that all transaction operations are done in off-line mode trough direct contact of two smart-cards. BGS introduced several large projects for Sberbank of Russia, Promstroybank, Inkombank and some other banks and bank' unions in Russia, the leading banks of Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. In September 1996 BGS signed the agreement with Visa International on developing and migration of smart-card product COPAC including U.E.P.S. as a basis. The matter for greater interest is joint project with Sberbank on creating the united smart-card system (SberCard cards). Taking scale of spreading and recent issue date into consideration we can say that SberCard is on of the most promising card in Russia.
On Sep 13 1996 during annual meeting of banks-members of international payment system VISA International announced a new product - a new plastic card with microprocessor Chip Off-line Preauthorized Card. This product has no special brand name yet, abbreviation COPAC was taken as a working version of a brand name.
Since 1992 BGS company has exclusive right for distribution U.E.P.S technology in the former USSR, Western Europe and Austria.
VISA International declared in the second quarter of 1997 of the new pilot project with Sberbank of the Russian Federation and Inkombank (Union Card) on introducing COPAC technology. After this the pilot project was over new COPAC specification became
available world wide.
Smart-cards as corporate cards
The greatest company offering corporate integrates smart-cards systems in Russia is IT company. Founded in 1990 today Information Technologies Co. (I.T. Co.) ranks among the top three Systems Integrators in Russia, according to the Dator marketing agency and Russian Computer Union opinion poll statistics. Reporting annual revenues in excess of $27 Million, I.T. Co. has deployed over 500 projects in Russia and the CIS for industrial enterprises, trade companies, government, and financial institutions. In 1996, Computer Press magazine granted I.T. Co. an award "For Outstanding Results in Developing the Russian Computer Market", and was included into the State Registry of Quality Systems. Having extensive experience in the development of information and computing systems, I.T. Co. has created a broad product line of private-branded high-tech software and hardware solutions for the local and international market. Since 1990, I.T.Co. has focused on meeting the demands of what is now today's competitive global marketplace. As businesses, large and small, progressively long for ways to interface with all of their suppliers using one system -- a complete information management system that is specifically designed with the customers' needs in mind, and just as importantly, a system friendly to the bottom line -- I.T.Co. remains on the forefront of technology, delivering a quality product on time, and on budget
I.T. company has developed their own conception of smart-card systems CmartCity. Besides SmartCity technology department proceeds developing and promotion of new systems of controlling and managing banking accounts through Internet. This project is based on the client-server software on personal finance managing DEKART, a new solution in electronic commerce area.
SmartCity is a "card" product of I.T. The company together with its suppliers created several large-scaled projects based on this system.
I would like to stress three projects of this company in Russia.
One. Cashless payment system "Meta Card" based on SmartCity technology for Metkombank, Cherepovetz. System projected "power" is 50.000 cards, with 300 trade terminals. This number covers 75% of town's stores and trade points and services. The card holder can use his card not even in Cherepovetz but in Metkombank affiliates in Vologda too.
Two. Cashless payment system for gas filling station "LICard" also SmartCity product. This system was created for oil company Lukoil and Imperial Bank in Volgograd, Perm, Vologda, Cheliabinsk and Baku for 100.000 cards. Further developing of the project provides organization of cashless payment for Lukoil gas station on entire territory on Russia with 300.000 cards issued by 2003.
Three. Cashless payment system for Purneftegas in Gubkinsky in Tumen region. This project provides 31.000 cards. More then 100 terminals were installed to deal with smart-cards in food, bakery stores, airline booking offices. All in all in 50 trading and servicing places in Gubkinsky.
Lets take a proper look at "LICard" project. In my opinion, it is the most promising one.
Lukoil corporation has big and constantly growing number of filling stations in all regions of Russia and many countries of the former USSR. The company plans not only further grown of number of gas stations but also widening the specter of provided services including cashless payments by plastic cards.
While creating corporate electronic payment system on company's filling stations and terminals the following aims were pointed out:
" Increase of financial arrivals to Lukoil;
" Creating of information database for making managing decisions;
" Exploring new sales markets.
Lukoil fuel cards are used in several regions (Volgograd, Chelyabinsk, Perm and others) for years. In every separate region cards functionate well. But the problem of unite system was not solved yet. The card holder cannot use his card in another region but only where he has bought his card. That's why the question of unification of the system of electronic payments appeared where cards could be acceptable at every filling station.
The main criterion while choosing the technology for organizing cashless payments was the low level of telecommunication systems in Russia, which makes on-line transaction almost impossible. Thus, it was decided to use smart-cards to operate the special processing center instead of on-line transactions (off-line). The second argument for smart-cards was high security level of recorded on smart-card information. Besides, smart-cards are available for many kinds of application which was also important for this project.
It was decided to use smart-cards produced by GemPlus company in SmartCity technology for creating corporate electronic payment system for Lukoil filling station. Every person or company can become a card owner.
Before going somewhere a car driver put his money on his smart-card or money can be transferred by an organization. And now our driver travels with a plastic card instead or a huge wallet full of money for his trip. When filling at Lukoil gas station corresponding sum of money is written