VISA & Mastercard Approve SMARTRAC’s Wire Booster Antenna

SMARTRAC’s wire booster antenna offers card manufacturers hassle-free processing and slim design, as well as built-in approval from Visa and Mastercard.


SMARTRAC’s wire booster antenna has received Visa's Letter of Approval (LoA) and successfully passed Mastercard’s Cardholder Device Approval process (Component Confirmatory Statement) in connection with Infineon’s SLJ 32 payment solution.


As of now, card manufactures can take advantage of this initial LoA and Mastercard’s CCS, since they can refer to these approvals in their own product approval process -- significantly reducing time to market and costs. Approved products can be used until the end of 2023 for Visa and until September 2019 for Mastercard.


SLJ 32 was built to simplify the global migration towards the EMV standard and to answer the rising performance demands of today’s contactless applications. It is based on Infineon's proven SLE 77 chip platform and incorporates a Java OS with Visa's latest 2.8.1.g & Mastercard M/Chip Advance v1.1 applet.


Cost-effectiveness and Simplicity


The approvals are a milestone, as they refer to a product that is based on inductive coupling technology but which, unlike most other products, utilizes a wire antenna. Since that antenna is embedded into a 100% PVC substrate, a durable mono-block card structure can be easily manufactured by a standard lamination process. The absence of any mechanical inter-connection between the module and antenna makes it one of the most robust dual-interface solutions available. This proven technology further simplifies card production and improves yield rates.


According to Bjoern Scharfen, Head of Payment & Wearables Product Line at Infineon Technologies, “Infineon’s ‘Coil on Module’ (CoM) chip packaging technology and SMARTRAC`s wire booster antenna fit perfectly together. CoM supports an easy transition from contact-based to contactless products. It has already been well established in the payment market, due to its significant advantages such as improving the robustness and long-term reliability of dual-interface payment cards, as well as simplifying card design, manufacturing and logistics, thus making these processes more efficient and up to five times faster than with conventional technologies. We understand our customers’ systems and challenges and contribute to their market success with tailored security solutions.”

Low-volume Sampling, High-volume Manufacturing Plus Freedom of Design


On top of these advantages, the nature of wire antenna production technology also allows low-volume sampling as well as high-volume manufacturing in a timely manner and without any costly setup charges, so the technology can be considered as a future benchmark for inductive coupling solutions.


Equally important is the slim design of the wire booster antenna. Compared to all other antenna types, it occupies less space inside the card body, as the thin tracks of the wire antenna only require a small portion of the volume available. This provides a higher degree of flexibility when it comes to the increasingly popular translucent card designs. It also means full four-line embossing capabilities that do not touch and deform the antenna. Moreover, the thin wire minimizes the risk of impairing sophisticated artworks with "ghost images" created by visible antenna patterns in the print.

What Card Manufacturers Need


The wire booster antenna is delivered as a PRELAM® in customized sheet formats with tailored thicknesses, and is suitable for manual as well as fully automated collation. All available PRELAM substrates are suitable for hot lamination, which enables the creation of a durable, mono-block card structure. Compared to card structures involving adhesives, such a monolithic construction significantly reduces the risk of card body delamination. Wire booster antenna is offered in a choice of ID1, ID1/2 and ID2/3 antenna designs that meet EMV requirements.