Info on the Smart Card Alliance Annual Conference 2007

Expanding interest in technologies that can enable fast, secure transactions of all types are driving smart card applications into many market sectors and opening up opportunities like secure payment with mobile devices, and new identity protection practices. These opportunities, and real-world information on the latest smart card implementations, will be covered in depth at the 15th annual Smart Card Alliance Conference, October 9-11 at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston, Mass.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Smart Cards: The Future of Digital Transactions,” is reflected in an agenda that takes an expanded look at payment and identity applications.  Sessions will feature speakers with firsthand knowledge about the latest smart card implementations covering payments, mobile/NFC, identity, security, government, healthcare and transportation.
“2007 has been a watershed year for the smart card industry,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.  “We have seen technology advances and further market adoption of secure identity management systems and secure mobile payment, and lively debates about which authentication platforms are best for different government and commercial programs.  This year’s Smart Card Alliance conference will help attendees understand the significance of these events, and provide information to help them make critical decisions around mobile commerce and identity security.”
Several sessions over the three-day conference are on payment, featuring leading industry analysts and a series of roundtable discussions with payment brands, issuers and merchants discussing the dynamics of global payments and new retail opportunities being enabled by contactless smart card technology.  Sessions on mobile applications and NFC will explore the trend toward consumers using their mobile devices for an increasing number of applications, including payment at retail points of sale.
Other sessions address identity policy and government IDs and include back-to-back sessions focused on the status of various state and federal identity initiatives, and on the policy and technology issues being debated for programs issuing secure identity credentials to both government employees and citizens.

The transportation track will review successes and trends in using contactless payment for transit and parking payment.  The status of transit industry standards and the linkages between financial and transit payment will be explored by speakers from both sides of these issues.  A special tour of Boston’s MBTA Charlie Card operations center and other facilities has been added for this event.
A look to the future of smart card technology and new applications will be covered by the “Emerging Technology and Innovation” track, which will cover advances in biometrics, Internet security standards, next-generation SIM technology, new health ID cards, and the “Best of Show” solutions from the Alliance’s Emerging Technology and Innovation Showcase demonstration.
The popular “Birds of a Feather” roundtable meetings offer conference attendees time for interacting in moderated discussion groups to discuss, “Mobile Payments: Defining the Gap Between Promise and Reality,” “Identity Policy: The Battle Over Who Controls Our Identity,” and “Multi-Applications Convergence: Can Access and Payments Coexist on One Device?”
The conference extends for a fourth full day for those who want to participate in the post-conference Educational Institute training course on Smart Card Technology and Applications, presented by senior industry experts who share their knowledge and experience about standards, security, payments, biometrics, PKI, card issuance and project management.  Additional registration is required for this training course.

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