MasterCard International officials say it will soon help its members around the world migrate from magnetic stripe to all-purpose smart cards using a common global standard.

A multi-application operating system (MULTOS) will enable banks to load applicationsowhether credit, debit, stored value, or something elseoonto cards based on specific customer needs. Applications need only be written once and are compatible with any MULTOS card, regardless of the manufacturer or silicon chip used. And it can support each product securely and independently. MasterCard officials say they have a migration plan for banks to move to the cards.

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