Since its creation in 2006 from the merger of the two largest smart card makers at the time, Gemalto has billed itself as “the world leader in digital security.”
That motto is a bit grandiose given that Gemalto still mainly sells only smart cards.
But while security is the chief role of smart cards, Gemalto is seeking to go well beyond these commoditizing hardware tokens to provide software and services to secure transactions on mobile phones, PCs and other devices, as well as the networks that connect them.
The vendor is seeking double-digit growth in its small share of revenue from the software and services. Toward that end, the vendor has been busy making some small to medium-size acquisitions. For example, in the latter half of 2009, it assumed full ownership of France-based Trusted Logic, which among other things has developed software to secure payment and peer-to-peer services in future NFC phones supporting Java or Android operating platforms.
Like other companies that have formed trusted service management units the past few years, Gemalto has been hoping to supply secure downloads and application management to phones, especially to SIM cards, for mobile operators, banks and other NFC service providers.
That opportunity has yet to pan out because of the delay in rollouts of NFC services. But when the rollouts gear up, Gemalto hopes to build on its global relationships with mobile operators, to which it provides SIM cards and over-the-air platforms for the cards; as well as with banking, transport and ID card issuers.
It already has contracts to serve as trusted service manager, or TSM, for French bank Crédit Mutuel and French rail operator SNCF, among some others. But the vendor was premature in announcing it would serve as TSM for the rollout of NFC services with Taiwanese telco Taiwan Mobile in 2008.
Gemalto also expects to supply SIM cards supporting the standard single-wire protocol, or SWP, connection to the NFC chip in mobile phones. Axalto, which merged with Gemplus International to form Gemalto, developed the earliest version of the SWP a few years ago.
Just how much Gemalto can use its dominant position in the smart card industry to sell additional NFC software and services remains to be seen.
|Secure Transactions (banking)||441.4||-.3%|
|In millions of euros *Includes other revenue, such as POS terminals.|
|In millions of euros
Percent change represents 2009 vs. 2008
|Smart Card Shipments||H1 2009||H1 2008||Change|
|In millions *Mostly banking cards
Oberthur Technologies, Giesecke & Devrient, Sagem Orga