Under the terms of the alliance, Sony and VeriSign Japan will jointly market Sony’s latest FeliCa card that provides network security using VeriSign’s Managed Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Service. The network security-enabled card is embedded with Sony’s Dual-interface IC technology, co-developed with Infineon Technologies of Germany, to provide PC users with system authentication and email encryption capabilities.
Partnering with VeriSign Japan K.K. for marketing and sales Sony has pioneered the use of FeliCa contactless card technology in applications such as commuter passes and electronic money services. Sony is now planning an addition to its lineup – by expanding the functionality of an IC currently under development to include network security compatibility realized through digital certification.
The new card with network security functions will be compatible with the digital authentication service, VeriSign Managed PKI Service. This is a service of VeriSign Japan K.K. and Sony will also partner with VeriSign Japan to market the new card.
Customers will be able to use the new network-secure card as an authentication tool for their PCs, for e-mail encryption, and as a kind of exclusive internet leased-line. The new network-security functions will be loaded onto the FeliCa dual interface IC card currently under development.
Financial institutions and credit card companies have recently been moving from cards with magnetic stripes to contact IC cards which deliver a higher level of security. The dual interface IC will integrate contact IC and contactless IC functions on a single chip. The dual interface IC has been jointly developed with the German semiconductor maker Infineon Technologies AG.
Sony envisages the dual interface IC as a product which converges the contactless applications that FeliCa has pioneered (commuter pass, electronic money, employee ID etc.) with the rapidly growing IC market (contact applications) being developed by financial institutions and credit card companies. The expanded functionality of the dual interface IC will also allow it to serve the needs of dynamic markets that require.sophisticated information management and network security.
Sony and VeriSign Japan plan to introduce the new card from Spring 2005 to the employee ID and financial institution markets that are increasingly using IC cards and network security functions.The two companies will consider further joint business development in other categories and overseas.