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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Cad Application ProTocol INitiative


The CAPTIN project aims to define and implement a new approach towards connecting smart Card Accepting Devices (ATM and POS) with the issuer system, to replace the current non-standardised interface. The project will define a common CAD protocol, independent from hardware and software, similar to the definition of e.g. a GSM handset. The result should be a reduction of CAD prices; the better focus of card acquirers on core business; authorisation system becoming standardised and interoperable; new entrants having better access to the market because technological barriers disappear; a lower investment for merchants. The objectives of this accompanying measure is to start up a industry association with the key players called the CAP Forum with the emphasis to acquirers. The project targets the establishment of this CAP Forum. All specifications emerging from this forum will be open to all interested parties.

The objectives of this accompanying measure is to setup an industry associationcalled the CAP Forum, composed of actors of payment systems (acquirers, issuers, terminal manufacturers, etc.) This CAP Forum will establish a common payment terminal platform in such a way that it becomes independent on hardware and software requirements. The idea is to come to a standardised terminal, which, once connected to the (internet) network, is able to accept any type of smartcard application. The system will make use of modern techniques (such as Java applets, PKI, browser and directory services), to allow that a payment terminal itself establishes the issuer connection, download the smartcard-terminal interface (Java applet) and smartcard-user interface (xml-alike) and guarantee via proper cryptography the final payment.

Work description:
This accompanying measure mainly wants to setup and co-ordinate the CAP Forum. The first step will be the preparation of well-established documentation to be able to contact prospective members, including Membership Rules, a CAP White Paper, a Management Summary and a Presentation. After having identified the potential members, a road show will be undertaken to convince the first group of representative members to join the CAP Forum. The list is based on an already available networking database, but a clear selection will be made to cover the most representative acquirers, and terminal manufacturers and card issuers. A high emphasis will be given to cover different type of acquirers from different countries. After having taken into account possible feedback from the roadshow, the Inaugural CAP Forum meeting will approve the basic documentation and identify the different workgroups.

The following possible workgroups include terminal-to-host interface specification and directory; security and PKI; CAP API for applets; acceptance testing. The actual work groups will then work out the different specifications, based on existing standards. A special workgroup will be working on the definition of a pilot project for which appropriate funding will be searched for. Visibility is of course an important success factor, which will be guaranteed via a website, promotional documentation and press releases.

The necessary co-ordination with existing initiatives will be made. At the final Plenary CAP Forum, the final CAP specifications will be approved and a decision will be made towards the future of the CAP Forum. All this work must of course be prepared and co-ordinated, and this constitutes the major part of the work within the underlying accompanying measure. It includes secretarial work, technical co-ordination, project management and promotional activities.

Two important milestones are identified: the Inaugural CAP Forum meeting, which will start the work and can only be successful when enough representative members join. The other milestone is the Plenary CAP Forum meeting, which will approve the final specifications. The expected results is that payment terminals become standard devices, which must not be personalised to a specific network or a specific smartcard application, resulting in lower cost and higher penetration of electronic payments.

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