Saturday, December 08, 2012


A smart card, typically a type of chip card, is a plastic card that contains an embedded computer chip–either a memory or microprocessor type–that stores and transacts data. This data is usually associated with either value, information, or both and is stored and processed within the card's chip. The card data is transacted via a reader that is part of a computing system. Systems that are enhanced with smart cards are in use today throughout several key applications, including healthcare, banking, entertainment, and transportation. All applications can benefit from the added features and security that smart cards provide.


  • SIM Cards and Telecommunication 
  • Loyalty and Stored Value 
  • Securing Digital Content and Physical Assets 
  • E-Commerce 
  • Bank Issued Smart Cards and Healthcare Informatics

Types of Smart Card

Types of smart cards

1. Contact Cards

These are the most common type of smart card. Electrical contacts located on the outside of the card connect to a card reader when the card is inserted. This connector is bonded to the encapsulated chip in the card.

Smart card module

2. Contactless Cards

A second card type is the contactless smart card, in which the card communicates with and is powered by the reader through RF induction technology (at data rates of 106–848 kbit/s). These cards require only proximity to an antenna to communicate. Like smart cards with contacts, contactless cards do not have an internal power source. Instead, they use an inductor to capture some of the incident radio-frequency interrogation signal, rectify it, and use it to power the card's electronics.

3. Multifunction Cards

These cards have on-card dynamic data processing capabilities. Multifunction smart cards allocate card memory into independent sections or files assigned to a specific function or application. Within the card is a microprocessor or micro controller chip that manages this memory allocation and file access. This type of chip is similar to those found inside all personal computers and when implanted in a smart card, manages data in organized file structures, via a card operating system (COS). Unlike other operating systems, this software controls access to the on-card user memory. This capability permits different and multiple functions and/or different applications to reside on the card, allowing businesses to issue and maintain a diversity of ‘products’ through the card. One example of this is a debit card that also enables building access on a college campus. Multifunction cards benefit issuers by enabling them to market their products and services via state-of-the-art transaction and encryption technology. Specifically, the technology enables secure identification of users and permits information updates without replacement of the installed base of cards, simplifying program changes and reducing costs. For the card user, multifunction means greater convenience and security, and ultimately, consolidation of multiple cards down to a select few that serve many purposes.


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