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SABB, an Associated Company of the HSBC Group, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services, deployed the Rambus EMV Token Manager, recently acquired from Bell ID, for its central issuance operations for EMV debit cards at its headquarters in Riyadh. This was to be the first operational end-to-end platform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for both central and instant EMV debit card issuance.


SABB needed an EMV Card Personalization issuance solution that could interface to both its Debit and Credit Card systems and which could support EMV Chip standards as determined by the Saudi Monetary Authority (SAMA), as well as Credit Card Associations such as VISA and MasterCard. The smart card management system sought by Saudi British Bank (SABB) had to not only meet the requirements for an end-to-end EMV issuance platform, but also to have a strategy for providing full support to the advances in Card Personalization Systems.

Below were the main challenges that were to be overcome:

  • Full compliance and integrated  processing compatibility with SAMA’s published SPAN2 system requirements
  • Full Integration with the SABB’s Core Banking System and Credit Card Management System
  • An Interfaced system with all existing equipment in SABB’s systems architecture.
  • Generation of EMV card personalization data for input to card personalization bureau
  • Support of feedback from the personalization bureau following card production
  • Support for Critical and Dynamic EMV scripting
  • Support for notification messages to authorization hosts of PIN values
  • Support for offline and online PIN tracking and synchronization
  • Support for secure PIN notification from remote branch locations
  • Support for risk profiles, their tracking and updates
  • Multi-application support


SABB deployed the EMV Token Manager to manage central issuance operations at its headquarters in Riyadh. PCARD interfaces with the Rambus EMV Token Manager to support bureau personalization for SABB, enabling the bank to issue over 600.000 EMV debit cards. The EMV Token Manager’s Instant Issuer was subsequently added, and rolled out to all SABB branches throughout the Kingdom, enabling these locations to directly issue EMV debit cards to customers while at the branch.

Rambus’s leading Smart Card Management System offered SABB the opportunity to implement a solution that met the requirements outlined by the bank and also provided a platform for significant additional functionality that enabled the development of additional services to cardholders in a distributed and dynamic multi-application environment.

The Core competencies of Rambus Mobile Payment solutions include:

  • Card and Application Management Software development
  • Key Management Software development
  • EMV Data Preparation software development
  • Smart card, application and key management process knowledge
  • PKI, CAs and Security Concepts
  • Strategic & Implementation Consulting for EMV, smartcard and Mobile projects
  • Project Management and Testing Services

By selecting the EMV Token Manager, SABB ensured:

  • The implementation of a fully certified and reliable card, application and key management software platform that efficiently handles all data preparation, key management, scripting and post issuance personalization activities
  • A solution based on technology that has already been seamlessly integrated, all delivered in one package
  • A phased implementation for mass EMV and Debit card issuance “now” to full multi-application/multi-token capabilities “tomorrow”
  • Best of breed components
  • High performance tools with maximum scalability
  • Flexibility: SABB decides if and when they will introduce new card products, applications, and Mobile Payments.


The Rambus EMV Token Manager provided the bank with a solid foundation for its EMV issuance needs, which could be extended to take advantage of more sophisticated features and functionality in the future such as EMV scripting and post-issuance capabilities.
That year, SABB was voted Saudi Arabia’s The Bank of the Year by The Banker and is fully compliant to all required regulations concerning EMV card issuance