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One of the common questions during L3 certification - a test case requires SDA/CDA/DDA offline authentication and it's not working. Why?

You probably don't have your keys loaded. Let's get into this.

Note: This article's focus is on individuals who are certifying with the brands, but you can also loosely apply this to other use cases that require CAPKs to be loaded.

Edit:  : For the users of the C++ SDK, if you are getting errors with the length of the contactless CAPK modulus, flip the length bytes (i.e., use big-endian format, not little-endian). See the discussion further below.

Saving a CAPK with the Universal Demo:

Look for the 'Save CAPK' command, enter in the CAPK RID as well as the index.

Instructions on how to format the Data can be found further below.

You can grab the Universal Demo (most recent version) from here.

What do I need before I try to save a CAPK?

If you happen to be performing brand testing with a specific card - each test case lists which card is being used.

Often times, the cards are re-used among tests.

To pass these tests, some of them require SDA/CDA/DDA, which references a Public Key / Private Key pair.

The test will be using the private key on the card - you will need to load the respective public key onto the device that is being validated.

The below values in the 'Breaking the Data down' should be provided by the issuer/brand that requires the test.

Here's an example of how the data may be presented (heavily redacted) -

Save CAPK command Data Breakdown (Sample):








Breaking the Data down (example AID):

AID RID (5 bytes)a000009999
CA Index (1 byte)e1
Hash Algorithm (1 byte)


Encryption Algorithm (1 byte)01
Hash Value (20 bytes)


Public Key Exponent (4 bytes)00 00 00 03

2 bytes Modulus Length (4 bytes)

NOTE: The bytes need to be FLIPPED

IE 00 70 in this case, evaluating to 112 length

70 00

Variable bytes Modulus

(variable bytes length indicated prior)




Example 1:

We were given this from AMEX to put in our device - 

Header ‘20’ (not used)
Service Identifier ‘00 00 00 00’ (not used)
Length of CAPK Modulus ‘90’ (Modulus Length, interpret as 90 00)
CAPK Algorithm Indicator ‘01’ (Hash Algorithm)
Length of CAPK Exponent ‘01’ 
RID ‘A0 00 00 00 25’ (AID Name)
CAPK Index C8 (CA Index)
CAPK Modulus ( Variable Bytes Modulus) BF0CFCED708FB6B048E3014336EA24AA007D7967B8AA4E613D26D015C4FE7805D9DB131CED0D2A8ED504C3B5CCD48C33199E5A5BF644DA043B54DBF60276F05B1750FAB39098C7511D04BABC649482DDCF7CC42C8C435BAB8DD0EB1A620C31111D1AAAF9AF6571EEBD4CF5A08496D57E7ABDBB5180E0A42DA869AB95FB620EFF2641C3702AF3BE0B0C138EAEF202E21D
CAPK Exponent ‘03’ (Public Key exponent, would be viewed as 00 00 00 03)
Hash Value 33BD7A059FAB094939B90A8F35845C9DC779BD50

Let's piece this together:

Step 1: AID Name would be RID + CA index.

A0 00 00 00 25 + C8 = a000000025c8

Step 2: Rest of the body is formed by AID Name + CA Index (1 byte) + Hash Algorithm (1 byte) + Encryption Algorithm (1 byte) + Hash Value (20 bytes) + Public Key Exponent (4 bytes) + 2 bytes Modulus Length (4 bytes) + Variable bytes Modulus

a000000025 + c8 + 01 + 01 + 33BD7A059FAB094939B90A8F35845C9DC779BD50 + 00 00 00 03+ 9000 + BF0CFCED708FB6B048E3014336EA24AA007D7967B8AA4E613D26D015C4FE7805D9DB131CED0D2A8ED504C3B5CCD48C33199E5A5BF644DA043B54DBF60276F05B1750FAB39098C7511D04BABC649482DDCF7CC42C8C435BAB8DD0EB1A620C31111D1AAAF9AF6571EEBD4CF5A08496D57E7ABDBB5180E0A42DA869AB95FB620EFF2641C3702AF3BE0B0C138EAEF202E21D




  • Encryption Algorithm / Hash Algorithm are usually value 01
  • If Hash value is not provided, you can calculate it as well (your acquirer should have provided this value). It is a SHA-1 hash of... see below. 

How do I form the Hash Value? Concatinate the 4 data elements listed below.

AID RID + CA Index + Modulus + Public Key Exponent (hash only relevant bytes) In this example, I was able to re-calculated the SHA-1 hash successfully by removing the first three 00 bytes of the Public Key Exponent.

Input for the hash :

A0 00 00 00 25 C8 BF0CFCED708FB6B048E3014336EA24AA007D7967B8AA4E613D26D015C4FE7805D9DB131CED0D2A8ED504C3B5CCD48C33199E5A5BF644DA043B54DBF60276F05B1750FAB39098C7511D04BABC649482DDCF7CC42C8C435BAB8DD0EB1A620C31111D1AAAF9AF6571EEBD4CF5A08496D57E7ABDBB5180E0A42DA869AB95FB620EFF2641C3702AF3BE0B0C138EAEF202E21D 03

Final hash:


Use the tool at to calculate SHA-1. (The tool will automatically remove spaces and newlines from the data.) 

Another Example:

a000009999 + 


99c5b70aa61b4f4c51b6f90b0e3bfb7a3ee0e7db41bc466888b3ec8e9977c762407ef1d79e0afb2823100a020c3e8020593db50e90dbeac18b78d13f96bb2f57eeddc30f256592417cdf739ca6804a10a29d2806e774bfa751f22cf3b65b38f37f91b4daf8aec9b803f7610e06ac9e6b +

03 (not 00 00 00 03)


SHA-1 Hash on that value to obtain:



Known Issue: We have a minor edge case that has cropped up in recent days. This is being addressed.  

You can save this one in C++:
// Sample, note the bolded part
a000009999e50101ada2349afd118d55af782d37b64651af1ca61ee500000003 *0080* d4fdae94dedbecc6d20d38b01e91826dc6954338379917b2bb8a6b36b5d3b0c5eda60b337448baffebcc3abdba869e8dadec6c870110c42f5aab90a18f4f867f72e3386ffc7e67e7ff94eba079e531b3cf329517e81c5dd9b3dc65db5f9043190be0be897e5fe48adf5d3bfa0585e076e554f26ec69814797f15669f4a255c13 (edited)

In C# demo / C# SDK, the above one won't actually save. But this will save in C#:

a000009999e50101ada2349afd118d55af782d37b64651af1ca61ee500000003 *8000* d4fdae94dedbecc6d20d38b01e91826dc6954338379917b2bb8a6b36b5d3b0c5eda60b337448baffebcc3abdba869e8dadec6c870110c42f5aab90a18f4f867f72e3386ffc7e67e7ff94eba079e531b3cf329517e81c5dd9b3dc65db5f9043190be0be897e5fe48adf5d3bfa0585e076e554f26ec69814797f15669f4a255c13

In short, for your existing CAPK files you actually already loaded in, if we want to make them work with the original format

Swap the length bytes (i.e., use big-endian format in your code) and they should save.

*Original created AID from C# demo*
a000000004fa01017f5acbb96b589f74cb959ed1c35bdb965c3f410600010001 *00f8* a4203e0c7beb27097b63c103c19fdcda671aea7f813065756f3b9b81810cbd4bc4dec548fbf1f3cdae51f847235cbf2c8badd8aca7c93bea3d44e80ed6a7b70e29622619db420accce07e1dd4e6c354f359fbdc9c5b70813926f77d827e52b19daf09bfae5274438bb8f61d17753c9ec0a8efa3b7e46f02692160d2653cdbcc71b7d48bd37968316eb444f6504b9421b7dd3035a2c117d8b1f76a8975440da9563618102397b881cef8ada7689edface32482a2dffed656e7f951db841da78368c6293bfc1053a86a845bfa6578e4b69f100b42b558fde1aecec6d250741bc783aa8a68a4261e7bb9246b10587a498d68dd955ce8b2b2433

*Edited, the one you should use for C++ and moving on forwards*
a000000004fa01017f5acbb96b589f74cb959ed1c35bdb965c3f410600010001 *f800* a4203e0c7beb27097b63c103c19fdcda671aea7f813065756f3b9b81810cbd4bc4dec548fbf1f3cdae51f847235cbf2c8badd8aca7c93bea3d44e80ed6a7b70e29622619db420accce07e1dd4e6c354f359fbdc9c5b70813926f77d827e52b19daf09bfae5274438bb8f61d17753c9ec0a8efa3b7e46f02692160d2653cdbcc71b7d48bd37968316eb444f6504b9421b7dd3035a2c117d8b1f76a8975440da9563618102397b881cef8ada7689edface32482a2dffed656e7f951db841da78368c6293bfc1053a86a845bfa6578e4b69f100b42b558fde1aecec6d250741bc783aa8a68a4261e7bb9246b10587a498d68dd955ce8b2b2433

Questions, comments, concerns, want more examples? Leave a comment, and / or email me at

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