Canadian chip card rollouts to begin next year
TORONTO — The payment industry is readying itself for the rollout of chip card technology, with the first transactions to likely take place in less than two years.

Consumers can expect to see chip-based debit and credit cards in the market by 2007, according to spokespeople from Interac Association, MasterCard Canada Inc. and Visa Canada Association. Visa currently offers a couple of chip cards in Canada including the RBC Avion Visa card and expects 85 per cent of transactions to be between chip-based cards and terminals by 2010.

American Express does not have firm release dates for such a product but a spokesperson confirmed it is considering it and will gauge market reaction when more products from other payment providers are introduced.

“This is about providing for the long-term security of payment cards services in Canada,” said Kirland Morris, director of strategic policy and integration at Interac. “At the same time, what a chip card offers is a technology platform that is much more flexible than what we have today under mag stripe.”
— Sarah Lysecki

Montreal developer buys Bulgaria’s OpenNet
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Montréal software developer took Novell’s BrainShare event as an opportunity to announce an acquisition and the launch of an open source project centred around GroupWise.

Spokespeople from Messaging Architects told attendees at a Canadian BrainShare reception this week that it had bought OpenNet Software, a small firm based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Messaging Architects makes tools to secure and manage e-mail systems such as Novell’s GroupWise, IBM’s Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange, while OpenNet is focused exclusively on the GroupWise market. Its flagship product, TreeCast, allows users to distribute shared folders through e-mail. According to Messaging Architects chief executive Pierre Chamberland, however, the real attraction was GW Commander, a tool that administrators can use to set policies around subject/text and attachments, retain messages in an XML database and perform cleanup actions. “There is a huge void in the market for compliance solutions (around GroupWise),” he said.
— Shane Schick

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