Thales e-Security Inc. and Aconite have joined forces to make smart card transactions more secure, whether from an EMV card or mobile device.

France-based Thales, a systems and communication security provider, and London-based Aconite, a smart card software provider, will combine hardware and software to support secure personalization of smart cards, secure elements on mobile phones and other chip-based tokens, the companies announced March 12.

Aconite will supply users of its Affina Enterprise smart product life-cycle management system with a Thales payShield 9000 hardware security module as part of the agreement, a Thales press release stated.

The Thales hardware security modules provide chip personalization, transaction processing and key-management processes for payments operations, the release said.

The payShield 9000 becomes an important element in Aconite’s overall smart card management system, Patrick Regester, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Aconite, said in the release.

Adding the hardware security module eliminates any customer concerns about the ability of the security module to support all of the functions needed for management of smart card or mobile-device applications, Regester added.

In addition, the payShield 9000 provides core security capability for Aconite’s mobile-application manager for over-the-air provisioning of mobile applications to Near Field Communication-enabled phones, he said.

Thales’ banking-grade security eases potential security concerns customers may have as smart card transactions move from payment cards and travel cards to payments through mobile devices, the release stated.

When the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council provided recommendations for advanced encryption last fall, Thales recommended that merchants be certain that all hardware security modules are PCI-compliant when handling encrypted data (see story).

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