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Boardroom
ABNote

In The Boardroom With...

Mr. Keith E. Goldstein
CEO
www.ABnoteNA.com 

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Keith. Please give us an overview of your background.

Keith Goldstein: I joined what is now ABnote in 1998 and over the years have held many senior level positions in finance, operations and business development. ABnote, the trade name for American Banknote, is one of the oldest security printers in the world, having been founded in 1795 by the great American Patriot, Paul Revere. Today, we provide Passports (electronic and machine readable) and national identity cards to numerous sovereign countries, drivers' licenses to over 25 US states, and we are the world's leading provider of plastic transaction cards such as secure national ID, credit, debit and gift cards as well as end to end enrollment, data capture and issuance solutions to personalize documents of value.

As the CEO of the US operations, I am responsible for establishing strategies that best position us for growth and to expand the product offering to match our customer's needs. For example, I am leading the unit's move into EMV "smart" payment cards. This is a particularly exciting time for those of us in the US payments industry, because both Visa and MasterCard have announced roadmaps for US EMV migration. This coupled with other emerging technologies such as NFC will provide greater security, better world wide interoperability and enhanced consumer convenience. We believe ABnote is well positioned with its capabilities and technology to meet these new challenges.

SecurityStockWatch.com: With a corporate history that dates back over 200 years, ABnote's track record is truly impressive. Please give us an overview of the secure identification and payment solutions that ABnote brings to market.

Keith Goldstein: The only way a 200 year old company can be successful over such a long period of time is that it has the ability to read the influence of technological change and respond to customer needs in a timeframe that meets their business aspirations. Continuous innovation is obviously important here, and this along with a practice to be driven to find the balance between innovative leadership and the customers' ability to adopt emerging technology is a major component of our longevity. A very clear example of this practice can be seen in ABnote's approach to NFC. We believe that NFC and Payment cards are companion technologies. Through our leadership position in providing tokens that enable payment, transit, identity and other applications we have introduced a migration approach to NFC that enables any issuer to introduce mobile technology without the complication of developing multilateral agreements. This approach allows issuers to build future responses to emerging technologies today and in a manner where the infrastructure that supports cards as token of payment or identification can be used to test customer response to NFC technologies.

SecurityStockWatch.com: We read with great interest your recent press release regarding ABnote's new division dedicated to pioneering Mobile NFC technology. Care to elaborate?

Keith Goldstein: Yes, ABnote has in fact created a dedicated Mobile Technology Development division. We have been working globally with issuing partners and large development organizations in actively building NFC technology solutions for over 3 years; we have seen significant growth in mobile payment applications in the last 9 months; and so we created the Mobile NFC division to meet the increased demand from the market." The main focus of the team is to progress the development of secure mobile applications that work in conjunction with our Trusted Service Manager platform (TSM). We currently have 3 certified TSM sites operational, and our services include mobile developments with a variety of handset platforms, EPINS, and distributed instant issuance across finance, government and corporate industry sectors.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Any other "new" emerging payment solutions on the horizon you would like to talk about? How does EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) and "instant issuance" fit into your mix?

Keith Goldstein: ABnote's Smart Jump Personalization Center® offers issuers a cost-effective migration that will maximize the benefits of EMV. ABnote has developed a turnkey solution that can be customized to suit the individual banks and personalization centers requirements. Our proven "Smart Jump" offer, based on the experience and expertise of our staff and consultants, ABnote can streamline any EMV migration project, shortening the migration timescales and reducing costs.

"Smart Jump Personalization Center® " includes all the necessary tools for a Personalization center to issue EMV cards in the safest and quickest way. "Smart Jump Issuer®" is a whole package which enables banks to migrate easily from magnetic stripe to smart cards that suits each customer needs and insures the banker to issue the certificated card whatever his knowledge is in the EMV area.

The ABnote approach to instant issuance illustrates thinking that is both customer-inspired and forward-thinking. Today's customer has a psychology that demands immediate response, instant gratification and a range of choices. ABnote therefore sees the need for remote personalization of credit and debit cards to be one example of issuers responding to this customer want. We similarly see the remote personalization of secure elements that exist in mobile phones, NFC stickers, microSD devices and similar to be other examples of form factors that need to be considered in responding to the secure remote issuance challenge. As such, the ABnote TSM service has been designed to deal with these needs as one and as a result our customers are able to issue cards and companion mobile payment tokens "In Branch" using the same process. Our customers are excited by this solution, which means that they can now deal with multiple customer demographics simply by augmenting existing centralized card personalization processes, rather than being required to invest in multiple systems, training and processes.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Is there a success story or "win" you would like to talk about?

Keith Goldstein:With operations in the US, Canada, Europe, Australa and South Africa, we have many success stories that I would love to share. Given our topic today, the most relevant achievement may be that we have successfully implemented literally hundreds of issuers' mag stripe to EMV migrations, have developed an NFC solution with the first MasterCard NFC launch in Australasia, are looking forward to the same with Visa, and are one of the very few companies in the world to already have gained multiple TSM accreditations.

Overall, as the only major global player based in the United States, I think that we are most proud of our unique ability to bring new payment technologies to the US, leveraging our global technology experiences and knowledgebase in a way that is meaningful and relevant for the market. A great example of this would be our recent TSM certification. Having achieved Trusted Service Manager (TSM) Certification for Australia, New Zealand and France, it is fairly simple for us to replicate these processes and services at our flagship Boston plant, and to do so with 217 years of local market knowledge to tailor the solution for the unique American market. TSM certification allows ABnote to provide services such as secure management and over-the-air application download and personalization to NFC-enabled mobile phones. The TSM delivers interoperability between mobile operators and financial issuers over a safe platform to securely provision payment and offer applications across a network on a secure element that is embedded within a mobile handset, Micro SD, iPhone sleeve or Sim Card (UICC chip).

SecurityStockWatch.com: We understand that ABnote is a major participant at CARTES North America, March 5-7 2012, at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Can you give us a sneak peek at what the industry will see from ABnote at this years' upcoming show.

Keith Goldstein: CARTES is just around the corner and, like every year, it will bring innovation, discussion, presentations and analysis of trends. But this year, NFC will be on every lip. With NFC, comes the usual discussion on how to bind two worlds (cards services like payment and transit, and the Mobile world). Nobody will have the same answer, of course, but everyone will definitely tell you that you need a TSM. With ABnote's TSM, banks and service providers have a cost-effective, easy to use, standardized and secure method to transfer and install payment account information, on demand, in real time, onto NFC enabled mobile phones. Once provisioned, consumers can immediately use their mobile phone at merchant locations where the applicable scheme is accepted..

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Keith.