Smart Card Solution

Introduction

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. According to Eurosmart, worldwide smart card shipments will grow 10% in 2010 to 5.455 billion cards. Markets that have been traditionally served by other machine readable card technologies, such as barcode and magnetic stripe, are converting to smart cards as the calculated return on investment is revisited by each card issuer year after year.

Working of Smart Card

Smart card reader is also called as a card acceptance device, card programmers, or an interface device. There is a minute difference between the card reader and the terminal. The reader is used to determine a unit that interfaces with a computer or microcontroller for all of its processing requirements. Similarly a terminal is also considered as a self- contained processing device. It can be contact type or non-contact type.
Smart card is a portable device (transmits data) which communicates with another device to gain access to a network or a display device. Cards can be operated with radio frequencies, these cards can be plugged into a card reader commonly referred to as a card terminal.

When smart card reader and smart card comes closer, it identifies itself to the other by transmitting and receiving information. If the exchanged data doesn’t match, further processing will not occur. As compared with ordinary bank cards, these cards able to secure themselves against unauthorized users.

Types of Smart Card

Two Types of Smart Cards based on Connection to the Smart Card Reader:

Contact Smart Card:

Contact smart card consists of electrical contacts which connect to the card reader where the card is inserted. The electrical contacts are arranged on a conductive gold plated coating on the surface.

Contactless Smart Card:

This contact-less smart card communicates with the reader without any physical contact. It consists of an antenna which is used to communicate with the RF band with the antenna on the smart card reader. The antenna receives power from the card reader through the electromagnetic signal.

Two Types of Smart Cards based on their Functionalities and Configuration:

Memory Cards:

Memory cards consist of memory circuits. It can perform the following operations: store, read and write data to a particular location. These are cards which only consist of memory circuits. It can only store, read and write data to a particular location. The data cannot be manipulated or processed.It can also be used as a disposable or rechargeable card which contains memory units that can be used only once. It is a straight memory card used only to store and write the data and protected from restricted access.

Microprocessor Based Cards:

These smart cards comprise of microprocessor embedded on to the chip along with the memory blocks. It has specific sections of files which are associated with a particular function. The data in the files are managed either by dynamic operating system or fixed operating system. It also performs the multiple functions and also used for data processing and manipulations.


Key Highlights

  • High levels of security
  • Reduced fraud
  • Organized information
  • Reliability
  • Information Security
  • Ensuring economic operations, 100% effective theft-proof.
  • Falling costs for operators and users.
  • Administration and control over cash payments.
  • Availability of real-time up to date information.
  • Multiservice smart cards.

Applications of Smart Cards

  • Financial Applications
  • Transportation Purpose
  • Physical Access Control System
  • Telecommunications
  • Domestic Purpose
  • Government Applications.