A change in focus three years ago from designing a range of office equipment and parking meters has led Auckland company Smartmove into licensing agreements with Visa and Mondex for its universal card interface.
The universal card interface is a component that allows original equipment manufacturers of vending machines, parking meters and other point-of-sale devices to interface with a full range of smart cards and systems.
“We began designing the smartcard interface three years ago,” says director David Bone.
“We had decided at the time that smartcards were taking off and everyone would want to be involved with them in one way or another.” Smartmove also judged that there would be many types of smartcard, hence the interface.
Bone says it is the only OEM component in the world to be accredited by Visa International for its electronic purse, Visa Cash, and will be able to offer Mondex and Visa Cash simultaneously.
“Our speciality is unattended point-of-sale,” he says. Smartmove was the first company to do Visa Cash for Coca Cola vending machines.
It has developed a sophisticated board with 1Mb of memory that links to modems, printers and the like, and provides a soft migration path to cover a variety of likely smart cards as they come to market.
The code is written in Assembler and C++.
Bone says the company is currently seeking worldwide patent approval.
“It’s a very time-consuming and expensive process to get accreditation from someone like Visa.”
The deal with Mondex was signed in February, and the product is currently going through type-approval.
Smartmove has products in the field in Australia and Hong Kong, utilised in soft drink and snack food vending machines, and is having its vending interfaces evaluated in the US and UK.