July 7, 2022
Green I.T. information technology
Green I.T. information technology

A smart card is a physical card with an embedded integrated chip that acts as a security token. Smart cards are usually the same size as a driver’s license or credit card and can be made of metal or plastic. It connects to the reader through direct physical contact, also known as a chip and dip, or through a short-range wireless connection standard such as radio frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication. The chip in a smart card can be a microcontroller or an embedded memory chip. Smart cards are designed to be tamper-resistant and use encryption to protect the information in memory. Cards with microcontroller chips can perform on-card processing functions and manipulate information in the chip’s memory. A smart card microprocessor or memory chip exchanges data with card readers and other systems through a serial interface. The smart card itself is usually powered by an external source, such as a smart card reader.

Smart cards communicate with readers through direct physical contact or using RFID or other short-range wireless connection standards. A chip or processor on the card contains data that the card reader accesses. The card’s processor contains the underlying operating system (OS) that allows the card to hold, transmit, and protect data. Card readers pass data from the smart card to the intended destination (usually a payment or authentication system) over a network connection. Smart cards provide a secure way to identify and authenticate the cardholder and third parties who want to access the card. For example, a cardholder may use a PIN code or biometric data for authentication.

  • It also provides a way to securely store data on the card and secure communications with encryption.
  • To learn more about cryptography, visit our article on the history of cryptography.
  • Smart cards offer a form factor that is portable and easy to use.