Tools & Support

Close up of smartcards

As an Operating System implementer our responsibility extends far beyond the mere provisioning of chips. In addition to developing applications, we take great pride in creating the tools and service offerings that further support issuers through every stage of the chip life cycle.

Customization utility tool (CU Tool)

This PC-based software is a critical component in the issuance process. It enables the issuer to distinguish between those application parameters that are consistent across a programme implementation and those that are specific to individual cardholders. The primary output of the CU Tool is a file referred to as an application template. The template has two primary purposes:

  1. First, it defines the final structure of the application that will ultimately be loaded to the chip
  2. Second, this template is populated with values for those parameters that are unchanging, ie, those that are not cardholder-specific. Since these constant values need only be entered once into the CU Tool, the time required to create a personalized, cardholder-specific, application is greatly reduced.

Subsequent to customization, the application template serves as input to the process of data preparation. It is during data preparation that the template is augmented with cardholder-specific data including any cryptographic keys that may be required by the application.

Application personalization results in a complete application that is able to be loaded to the chip during the process of card personalization, which generally entails encoding, embossing and application loading.

The CU Tool serves to reduce costs related to:

  • implementation
  • personalization, and
  • technical support.

Control Centre

This software is usually operated in-house by the issuer, or an issuers representative, such as a card bureau. The main files created by Control Centre are:

  • Enablement data necessary to activate the chips and link them cryptographically to the issuer. Once a chip is enabled it will only accept for loading those applications that have been created, or otherwise sanctioned, by the issuer that created the enablement data
  • Application load certificates which must be presented to the chip at the time of application loading. These files, and the related application delete certificates, ensure that the issuer alone is responsible for the mix of applications that are resident on the chip at any instance throughout its lifecycle.

This tool is only pertinent to MULTOS step/one implementations. Control Centre essentially performs those duties that are otherwise handled by the key management authority for MULTOS implementations.

Control Centre is PC-based and is provided to issuers via a CD-ROM. It incorporates the use of secure smartcard tokens, supplied and loaded by Multos International.

These PIN-protected smartcards provide for the secure execution of administrative and operational tasks within Control Centre. Furthermore, the symmetric 3DES keys securely stored on these smartcards provide the cryptographic capability to link both the enablement data and the application load/delete certificates to the individual ships.

Test environment

We also provide various tools intended to assist issuers, bureaus and research labs in loading test applications. Generally, these applications are loaded to developer cards which are pre-enabled and do not require application load certificates.

Such an environment is intended to test the functionality of specific application configurations, thereby mitigating the potential for errors during mass production.