Java Card Forum

The Java Card Forum is an industry association of companies from the smart card, secure operating system and secure silicon industry, working together to promote and develop Java as the preferred programming language for multi-application smart cards, secure devices and other execution environments.

Who we are

The primary purpose of the Java Card Forum is to promote and develop Java as the preferred programming language for multiple-application smart cards by:

  • Designing a secure, flexible, and multiple applications framework;
  • Promoting interoperability of smart card applications and products;
  • Easing creation of products for the whole transaction chain, smart cards, terminals and their applications.

 Why choose Java Card?

Java, invented by Sun Microsystems in 1995, has important features that make it the ideal choice for smart cards.

  • Java’s security model enables multiple applications to co-exist securely on the same card, a very important feature when value handling, authentication and unique data elements are stored upon and required of the card.
  • Java applications can be developed validated and interoperability tested rapidly across suppliers compliant smart cards. This can significantly reduce the time-to-market for new smart card programs and allow rapid changes to in-field schemes.
  • Java is a strong global brand and benefits from a tight specification management by Oracle which allows scalability and integration across the major IT platforms. Java Card technology is positioned to offer smart card issuers interoperable integration possibilities not possible with other platforms.

To maintain, improve and develop further Java Card technology the Java Card Forum is structured to integrate business and technical expertise with the main function of collaborating with Oracle in the delivery of “fit for purpose” Java Card APIs.

The capability to have applications developed in a similar manner and interoperable across compliant manufacturer products has been, and continues to be, a major benefit to card issuers, developers and service providers.

Furthermore with the strong layered security protection model and associated cryptographic support, applications can be added, removed or updated in the field after the Java Cards are issued.

Where is Java Card deployed ?

Today, with over 20 billion units deployed in the world, Java Card is the leading application platform for smart cards.

Over 50% of the issued Java Card technology is in the mobile telecommunications sector, connecting and securing both 2G, 3G and increasingly 4G networks with (U)SIM cards. Double digit growth rates continue in this sector and increasingly payment, ID and content protection applications are being added to the (U)SIM. Almost certainly the major benefits of co-branding and platform sharing will become a major factor in service delivery over the next few years.

Java Card is positioned as the defacto standard platform for the deployment of SIM-based NFC applications. Its capabilities fit perfectly with the requirements for multi-application support, post-issuance, and certification.

Java Card is also uniquely positioned to become the preferred platform for the deployment of secure elements in various application domains such as secure mobile services or machine-to- machine services.

Supporting the increasingly “connected” IT world is a major challenge for all technologies. The unique role of the Java Card Forum is that it brings together in one dedicated forum the world’s experts on smart card technology and focuses them exclusively on Java Card technology. Collectively they develop technical proposals and recommendations to Oracle (owner of the Java Card API specification).