Advanced Card Systems Ltd. (ACS, wholly owned subsidiary of Advanced Card Systems Holdings Ltd., SEHK: 8210), Asia Pacific’s number one supplier and one of the world’s top 3 suppliers of PC-linked smart card readers (Source: Frost & Sullivan), have announced that its contactless smart card reader with extended Application Protocol Data Unit (APDU) support, ACR1281U nPA Reader, has been certified for use with Germany’s new electronic ID card (neuer Personalausweis, or “nPA”) scheme by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, or “BSI”).

With the introduction of its new electronic identity card scheme in November 2010, Germany has taken an important step towards providing its citizens with a standardized way to prove identity. This complements the vast online service offerings Germany has made available for its citizens to enable more efficient and convenient transactions. The new e-ID allows citizens to authenticate their identity conveniently when they use the internet for activities such as online shopping, banking and gaming.

To access these services, citizens need a cost-effective and specialized smart card reader to be connected to their own computer. This smart card reader will provide the bridge between the citizens’ e-ID cards and the online services available over the web – and ACR1281U is one such reader.

ACR1281U, one of the world’s earliest nPA scheme-qualified readers that support the extended contactless APDU command, brings this innovative and important bridge to another level. The handling of highly secure Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) algorithms, such as digital signatures on official documents utilizing 2048 bits or 4096 bits RSA keys, as well as the reading and writing of large files, such as photos and fingerprint images, are processed in a much shorter period of time using ACR1281U than similar readers. At such speeds, users are able to experience the total satisfaction of utilizing contactless card technology.

ACR1281U is a contactless smart card reader with USB connectivity and securely connects the new e-ID cards to any PC running on Windows® XP, Vista®, Windows®7, MacOS X and Linux for Ubuntu, OpenSuse and Debian operating systems. With a secure firmware update capability, the reader is forward compatible with new card requirements and new function requirements.

Following its certification, ACR1281U can now be readily deployed by government authorities, companies and other institutions for citizens to assess this nPa electronic ID card system, implemented by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior. Meanwhile, samples of ACR1281U are now readily available and can be purchased via all ACS authorized distribution channels.

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