All About Using Contactless Smart Cards Today

All About Using Contactless Smart Cards Today


There is no denying that the usage of contactless cards is advancing constantly for all the convenience it brings with seamless affordability. Hence, let’s explore what it is about in detail:

What is a Contactless Smart Card?

Simply put, a contactless smart card works on short-range wireless connectivity due to the smart card secure microcontroller or intelligence of the smart chip embedded within the plastic body while a small antenna communicates with a reader through a contactless radio frequency (RF) interface.

The contactless smart card technology can apply to systems that either require protected personal information or fulfil quick and secure transactions such as public and corporate identification cards, transit fare payment cards and documents that include electronic passports and visas. Moving forward we are sure that contactless payments solutions are the future.

How Does it Work?

Contactless smart card systems are quite straightforward to understand and work along. The “contactless” capability of the card, refers to the wireless connection with a reader in public. All you have to do is hold your card close to a reader, and with one or two beeps your fare payment is complete. For the card to be effectively powered, it needs to be within 10 centimetres of a reader.

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Broadly speaking, when the card makes contact with a card reader, these functions are activated at lofty levels:

  • Energy transfer to the card
  • Clock signal transfer
  • Data transfer to the contactless smart card
  • Data transfer from the contactless smart card

Special Features of Smart Cards

  • Secure Data Storage 

Contactless smart cards give the user enhanced privacy, better control and the exact information of who is being granted access to their personal data. Because only those with authentic access rights are able to access the data through a tightly guarded smart card operating system. 

  • Personal Device

Without a cardholder, the smart card is unable to operate, making it a highly personal and portable device associated with one single individual as the owner. Hence, the plastic contained in the smart card is personalised leveraging the scale of its privacy and accuracy for usage 

  • Secure Device 

Just like security protocols, contactless smart cards users are allowed to send and retrieve data in a secure, private manner where communications between the card and reader are highly secured and viewable only for those who own it. 

  • Certification

If you’re worried about whether contactless smart cards are reliable for use, think no further because almost all the cards and devices undergo a rigorous testing process and evaluation for approval from independent certification facilities which follow as per industry and government security standards. The certification is rewarded based on how strong the privacy protection of the devices is ensuring each feature and function of the smart card operate as intended.

  • Biometrics

In the case of biometrics, contactless smart card technologies offer platforms where biometric templates can be securely stored while evaluating biometric matching functionality.

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