In order to migrate its cards from magnetic strip to embedded chip (CI No 2,953), Visa International Inc has enlisted the help of other firms, by setting up an umbrella organization with development partners of its smart card technology. Its main thrust is to promote global acceptance of chip-based cards and of the VisaNet electronic payments network in particular. The Partner Program is taking Java as its basis for standardization, through use of the Java Card application programming interface standard, proposed by Gemplus and Schlumberger Ltd last month (CI No 3,100). The use of Java will enable developers to load their applications onto an embedded chip, independent of the operating system. Visa hopes this will enable banks to use customer information stored to provide customized services. Visa is also hoping to provide card payment services that include credit, debit and stored value transactions as with its Visa Cash scheme (CI No 2,943), which would comply with the EMV Europay MasterCard Visa electronic commerce standard. Partners involved in the effort include JavaSoft Inc, IBM Corp, Gemplus, Schlumberger, Verifone Inc, and Motorola Inc which has just announced the formation of its own smart card systems business (CI No 3,126). Philips Electronics NV, Siemens AG, Integrity Arts Inc, Spyrus Inc, and SEMP SA are also involved.