People's Bank of China has published version 1.0 of its integrated circuit card standards, a Chinese banking industry project it spearheaded with Visa International.

The document is an initial guideline for the development of a smart- card-based payment system in China, where 200 million cards are expected to be issued over the next seven years.

People's Bank deputy governor Shang Fulin called the standards release "a major achievement of the Golden Card project" and said it "marks a new phase of China's bank card industry. The standards will lay the technical foundations for the interoperability of integrated circuit cards and sharing of the infrastructure."

The standards "will play a pivotal role in China's efforts to connect with the international payment system and join the ranks of countries with highly advanced financial systems," said Raymond Chan, Visa executive vice president and general manager for Greater China.

People's Bank signed a memorandum of understanding to draw on Visa's expertise last June. Major smart card manufacturers including Bull, Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient, and Schlumberger also contributed to the effort.

The bank is planning smart card testing, certification, and pilots this year that could lead to revision of the standards. More than two million chip cards have already been issued by Chinese banks, mostly for experimental purposes.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.