Smart Card Alliance, a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and application of smart card technology, has opened a new training centre in Crystal City, Virginia.

Called the National Center for Advanced Payments and Identity Security, the centre will act as a permanent facility for live, interactive and dynamic educational activities hosted by the Smart Card Alliance.

The activities offered by the center include workshops, educational courses, briefings, symposiums, and training and certification testing for the Certified Smart Card Industry Program (CSCIP) and Certified System Engineer ICAM PACS Training and Certification Program (CSEIP).

It will also offer educational programs to both Smart Card Alliance members and non-members.

The facility will also live stream, record, and archive certain activities for members who are unable to attend in-person events as part of an online resource library hosted by the Smart Card Alliance.

The center has been set up via a grant from Heartland Payments Systems to better protect consumers’ privacy, and advance the security of payments and identity through education programs on practices and advances in security technology.

The new facility will also operate activities of the Smart Card Alliance Educational Institute, which conducts educational workshops at Alliance events.

The centre will also offer training and certification exam sessions including CSCIP, CSCIP/Payments, CSCIP/Government and CSEIP.

Smart Card Alliance executive director Randy Vanderhoof said: "With this new facility, the Smart Card Alliance will be able to greatly expand education and collaboration programs aimed at improving security across multiple markets and subject areas, including payment security, identity security and privacy protection, through both face-to-face and online events and assets."