In what is arguably the first independent research of its kind, The Tower Group, based in Newton, MA, has recently published a study on the progress and pitfalls of smart card development worldwide. It includes a discussion of applications, analysis and case studies of smart card schemes in Europe.
Although Europe and the United States have different banking structures, American bankers can learn from the European experience, says analyst Cynthia Weaver, who wrote the report. Instead of focusing solely on the electronic purse, banks should also consider supporting debit/credit applications. "The business case for the electronic purse as a single application is very unclear," she says.