A smart card is basically a chip card that integrates an embedded chip. The embedded chip can be a memory chip or microcontroller/microprocessor. The smart card based on memory card are used to store memory and are least secured among all types of smart cards.
- The smart card based on microcontroller is used for storing credential information which is processed within the card’s chip.
- The added functionality such as security, convenience, speed and ease of use offered by smart cards are driving its adoption worldwide.
- Smart cards are classified based on type as contact based smart cards, contactless smart cards, dual interface smart cards and hybrid smart cards.
- Contact smart cards are powered by the reader and are generally used in low-end SIM cards in the telecommunication industry.
- Contactless smart cards are self-powered device and offer enhanced security over contact smart cards.
- Dual interface smart cards are combination of contact and contactless smart cards.
- With high expected reliability, dual interface smart cards have witnessed wide adoption in banking and government applications such as credit/debit and government IDs.
Hybrid cards contain more than one chip (smart) card inside it having no interface with each other and are basically multifunction cards used for several applications.
- Increasing security threats and growth in the fraudulent activities is propelling the adoption of smart cards globally.
- Industries that were traditionally served by various machine readable card technologies, such as magnetic stripe and barcode have commenced adoption of smart cards to cater to their requirements.
- Decreasing cost of SIM cards and decline in the tariff rates is one of the key factors fueling the growth of smart cards market.
- Growth traction in online payments has enhanced vulnerability to security risks for banking and finance industry.
- This has surged the demand for secured and reliable payment transactions across the retail and BFSI industry, which in turn is driving the smart card technology innovations.
- Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip technologies are becoming the global standards for debit card and credit card payments.
Systems that are enhanced with Smart Cards are in use today throughout several key applications including: healthcare, banking, entertainment, and transportation.