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Components | July 17, 2012

Infineon provides security chips to Net1 for South Africa

Infineon Technologies supplies the security chips for the largest government smart card project in South Africa.
Through Net1 UEPS Technologies, the government body “SASSA” (South African Social Security Agency) is issuing biometrically secure EMV/UEPS debit chip cards for financial transactions of social grants across all of South Africa’s nine provinces. Infineon provides its SOLID FLASH SLE 77 security controller to Net1’s subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), who is responsible for implementing this service for SASSA.

The project started in April 2012. Net1 began issuing the first smart cards in June. The new smart card enables more than ten million South African citizens to securely receive their social grants on the issued chip cards with less administrative expenses.

“With Infineon’s SOLID FLASH product, we were able to reduce the time to market significantly which would not have been possible with ROM-based products,” says James Sneedon, Head of Chip and Card business unit at Net1. “Besides, Infineon SOLID FLASH products provide at least the same strong security and reliability as masked ROM products."

“MASK ROM based smartcard products won´t be able to fulfill the future challenges in government and payment projects at a competitive total cost of ownership,” says Carsten Loschinsky, Vice President & General Manager Government ID of the Chip Card & Security Division at Infineon Technologies.”Therefore, they will be substituted by SOLID FLASH products based on Infineon`s state-of-the-art EEPROM/FLASH technology. This development started with Infineon leading the way and will demonstrate significant added value and advantages for our customers such as Net1.”

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