Consumer Payment Card News

Two Chips In One Card

Bank of America and VISA USA have teamed up to pilot a ‘VISA Cash’ card with two microchips, one chip for the ‘VISA Cash’ function and a second chip running several non-financial applications. The multi-function card will be tested by BofA employees at the Clock Tower building in San Francisco. The ‘VISA Cash’ chip is reloadable and runs two applications that enables employees to have secure PC access and file encryption capabilities. The second chip is contactless and provides building and parking access for BofA employees. The ‘BofA Employee VISA Cash’ function is used primarily for employee vending machine purchases.

Demonstrating the range of services that chip cards can offer, Bank of America and Visa U.S.A. are testing the first U.S.-based card that uses two microchips to combine an open-system payment product and non-financial applications.

All BofA employees at the Bank of America Clock Tower building in San Francisco have been issued photo identification cards containing two integrated-circuit chips. One chip features Visa Cash, a stored-value payment product in use in the United States and abroad, and two applications that provide access to and protection for information stored on employees’ PCs. The card’s second chip, which utilizes contactless technology, provides BofA employees with customized access to the landmark building and parking facilities.

“This innovative program illustrates how chip cards can combine an array of features and utilities to provide greater convenience to cardholders,” said Bette Wasserman, vice president and smart card product manager with Bank of America’s Interactive Banking division. “The experience we gain from this program will help Bank of America design future card programs that provide convenience and choice to our customers.”

BofA employees can use the reloadable Visa Cash card to purchase goods from vending machines at the office facility, on the Internet and anywhere else Visa Cash is accepted. Earlier this summer, BofA and Visa launched the country’s first online chip-card program that gives several hundred cardholders an equivalent to cash and coins for small purchases on the Internet.

An ATM-like device in the Bank of America Clock Tower building enables employees to reload value onto the Visa Cash portion of their chip card using an ATM, debit or credit card.

“Our program with Bank of America is a prime example of how multi-function chip cards can provide a diverse range of services in the corporate environment,” said Diana P. Knox, vice president of chip card products for Visa U.S.A. “Overall migration from single-function to multi-function chip cards will result in practical solutions that deliver exceptional value to financial institutions, their cardholders and businesses.”

The BofA employee card was developed by Giesecke & Devrient America, Inc. (G&D), one of the world’s leading developers and producers of cards and card systems. The employee-card applications were developed using the G&D STARCOS(R) SV multi-application, Visa Cash operating system.

Bank of America is a subsidiary of San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corporation, the nation’s third largest bank holding company, with nearly 2,000 branches and 7,000 Versateller ATMs in 11 states. With offices in 38 countries throughout the world, BankAmerica provides a wide array of retail and wholesale banking products and services to consumers and corporate clients. As of June 30, 1997, BankAmerica had approximately $258 billion in assets and $173 billion in deposits. Bank of America can be reached on the Internet at and on America Online at Keyword: BofA.

Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa’s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 370,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is

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