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Brussels, 10 July 2001

e-Commerce Security: Commission welcomes adoption of European smart cards-reader standards

Commissioner Erkki Liikanen will tomorrow open an event that marks the launch of new specifications for secure smart cards-readers that will be published soon(1) by the European Committee for Standardisation. These specifications are the result of the work of the FINREAD Consortium, consisting of innovative European payment schemes. This development is part of the Commission's objective to achieve security of transactions to reinforce consumers' confidence, as highlighted in the eEurope Action Plan.

The FINREAD project, initiated by the European financial sector, brings together innovative European payment schemes and a smart card reader manufacturers. The specifications for a secure smart card reader will be used primarily in a wide range of e-commerce payment and home banking applications. This solution has also the potential to be extended to other sectors such as health services or eGovernment services.

For e-commerce to take off at a wide scale, citizens need trust and confidence in its tools. As there will be worldwide usage of the electronic chip in bank cards by 2005, smart cards are now recognised as one of the best means to achieve secure and all-encompassed access to electronic services. This has been also reflected in the Commission's eEurope Action Plan, through the eEurope Smart Cards Initiative and the so-called Smart Card Charter adopted by all stakeholders in Lisbon last year.

The eEurope Smart Cards initiative has been widely supported by industry and public administrations. It also gathers existing initiatives from different sectors to create new synergies, co-ordinate activities and avoid duplication of efforts. With the FINREAD specifications, the eEurope Smart Cards Initiative is delivering a result of major importance for both the consumers and the financial sector.

Journalists are invited to attend tomorrow's event subject to registration at:

For more information, please see

(1) To be published under the reference CWA (Common Workshop Agreement) 14174

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