Italian payments technology company TAS Group is approaching U.S. issuers with a product called e-Mission that takes aim at two growing payment trends in the country: EMV-chip cards and instant issuance.

TAS Group has also certified its EMV software with Matica Technologies, which offers personalization software. The combined technology enables software-based EMV issuance inside the branch without changing card processing systems.

"Instant issuance is a new concept, and we want to allow for a light footprint at the branch, so that a PC or a piece of software can bring up a new customer to issue a card," says Ennio Ponzetto, the U.S. manager of the TAS Group in an interview at the Cartes America conference this week in Las Vegas.

TAS Group adapts to a bank's existing data flows for issuing magnetic-stripe cards, and adds an interface for EMV data preparation. Issuers don't have to modify their data management technology, since TAS Group adds a step that accommodates EMV data, Ponzetto says. It also supports digital signature, access control, and loyalty applications.

Instant issuance combined with EMV enhances overall card security, Ponzetto says. "You have issuers mailing cards, it takes time and there is a risk."

TAS Group hopes that by inserting a middle layer between instant issuance programs and EMV, it can gain a foothold among banks that are facing a complex migration for in-branch card issuance.

The challenges stem from additional credentialing features and more complex personalization technology. Cards include two dimensional elements such as standard resolution photos, holographic images and laser-engraved attributes; and three dimensional elements such as the payment information that is stored on the secure chip. 

"Our system doesn't add any complexity at the branch," says Ponzetto. Security management such as cryptograms and key management are handled separately by TAS, he says. "It's no different than centralized card issuance, except we intercept the data and do the EMV issuance."

Other companies selling instant issuance EMV services include CTS North America and Fiserv.

The Milan-based TAS Group is expanding in the U.S. It also offers its Card 3.0 debit, credit and gift card platform to U.S. issuers as an EMV-ready option, with prepaid card company Green Dot among its early users. Card 3.0 also includes controls for prepaid cards, which can be used for youth-oriented payments products.

"Instant issuance is one of many things. The value add, if you will, for these products is EMV," Ponzetto says. 

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