So what exactly does Gemalto do?

Last updated: 19 March 2014

We provide convenient, easy-to-use security for your digital world.

If I had to put it one sentence, that’s what I would say. Let me give you an example from the GSM world. You’ve got a 40% chance of having a SIM card that we made in your phone, and all you have to do is type in a PIN code to get on the network: easy. Yet it’s also secure: you don’t have many problems with other people stealing your call minutes, right?

In your phone

About half of our business is related to Telecommunications (see our annual report for more accurate numbers), but making SIM cards is just the start. We write a lot of software and applications to help mobile operators offer better services, such as backing up data from over 1000 types of handsets so that if your phone is lost or stolen, you can get it replaced, complete with the photos you took of your cat when it was doing that really cute thing. There’s a lot going on in Telecom: it’s a fast-paced, dynamic market that is offering more and more possibilities, so we’ve opened up a whole dedicated blog just for those discussions.

Protecting your payments

Another quarter of our business is in Financial services, and you’ll find us making chip and pin, or “smart” banking cards for banks all around the world. Except in the USA. Americans still use good old magnetic stripe banking cards but they’re already switching to contactless cards. So if we’re so good on security, how come there are still horror stories about people losing money from credit card fraud? If you look at the fraud numbers more closely, you’ll see that the fraud is very low when a chip card is used in a real shop or restaurant. You see, the EMV security standard in our chip cards has made it much harder to make a fake card, so the fraud is moving to online purchases, where the chip can’t always play a role. We’ve got lots of solutions for solving that though, and we’re working with banks like Barclay’s in the UK to provide better security for online banking as a start.

Proving who you are

Finally, the last quarter of our revenue comes from ID cards, electronic passports (we serve more governments than anyone else) and other kinds of identity cards and software. But we also provide the same high level of security for anyone who needs better security than passwords for their networks. Support for our smart card readers and smart cards is built right into Windows(TM) 7 and that’s an important part of making things easy.

Making it easy for you

That gets back to what I would want you to remember: our R&D guys make sure that the security is solid through  cryptographic algorithms, but our concern is that our technology be easy to use (which is often more about the software and services built around the secure devices). As more and more of what we do and who we are moves onto networks and gets digitized, Gemalto is there to keep you, your money and your identity safe.

Let’s talk

Of course there’s a lot more to talk about, and you’re finding new and faster ways to use mobile phones, the Internet and other digital technology, and we want to hear from you. We’ve created a dedicated site called JustAskGemalto that explains the workings of everyday digital security, whether it’s ours or not. Here on this blog we’d like to talk about how our expertise can bring you peace of mind and the opportunities we’ve had to help our partners and customers.

We hope you’ll join the discussion.