Why are interoperability and enforced standards crucial to widespread adoption of smart cards?

Even though there are hundreds of smart card pilots in existence around the world, users may not take a card from one country or scheme and use it in another. An industry-wide trend toward interoperability and open platforms is now emerging, enabling the development of cards and applications that will work together in open environments. To do this, the industry must examine the business and technical issues surrounding the need for standardized interfaces between cards, terminals and slots, which is the key to securing dramatic growth for the industry. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed standards for smart cards. These standards were developed for use by multiple industries. Individual industries are now developing proprietary versions of these ISO standards to support their own specific smart card applications. There are numerous standards developed by members of the Forum, and others, to support and promote smart card standards.