Technology is making life easier for people all around the world. Whether it’s making secure payments, shopping online, or even enjoying top-quality entertainment, many aspects of our lives are completely different compared to even a decade ago.
And smart card technology is no different. This tiny piece of hardware is changing how we complete transactions or securely store vital information that can easily be accessed.
But what is a smart card, exactly? And how do smart cards work?
All of those questions are answered below. First, let’s take a look at the definition of a smart card.
What is a Smart Card?
A smart card is a tiny electronic device that’s used to store and process information. It has an embedded microprocessor that works as a security barrier to prevent unauthorized access.
Even though the technology is less prevalent in the U.S., it’s been widely adopted across Europe, especially in the banking and health care sectors.
In the U.S., the smart card vs credit card debate has been going on for a while. Most North American credit cards use a magnetic stripe for data transfer, but the technology is not nearly as secure as a smart card. This is why many banks are looking to make the switch.
Smart cards are also essential for government institutions, schools, and businesses. They help ensure that each person is correctly identified while keeping the verification process quick and straightforward.
The microprocessor located in a smart card can determine when to grant access to the data. It can also authenticate whether the reader can access the information, allowing for secure operations to take place.
The most common uses for smart cards include credit cards, satellite TV, various government IDs, computer security systems, and even loyalty systems that count points.
What is a Smart Card Reader?
Now that we’ve gone through the smart card introduction and figured out what is a smart card, we need to look at the device that’s essential for its functionality: the smart card reader.
Without the reader, a smart card would be no more than a piece of plastic. There would be no way to access the information inside or even power the microprocessor that it contains.
With the help of a smart card reader, it’s possible to gain access to the information within the smart card. It can also help authenticate the card’s content, which can be useful in various situations.
Smart card readers can either be contact, contactless, or a combination of both.
The contact reader requires the card to be inserted manually. These are often used for scanning IDs in government, healthcare, or private businesses. But they can also be used in eCommerce transactions or when exchanging electronic cash.
With the contactless smart card reader, the card doesn’t have to be placed inside the reader. These types of readers are also used for smart IDs, opening doors, or even vending machines.
Benefits of Smart Cards for Your Business
One of the main reasons smart card technology has taken off is that it offers more benefits when compared to alternatives.
In comparison to magnetic stripe technology, smart cards can store 100 times more information on the embedded chip. This means more encryption measures can be taken and more data can be used.
What’s more, magnetic cards have been known to be insecure. Whereas, smart cards are much harder to gain unauthorized access to. Smart cards not only provide peace of mind but also convenience.
For businesses and government institutions, embracing smart card technology is usually about improving efficiency and reducing administrative costs.
Whether it’s identifying and granting access to personnel, making secure transactions, or even reducing costs, the technology behind how a smart card works can make processes much easier in various situations.
InstantCard’s Smart Card Offerings
Even though there are many advantages of smart card technology, many companies are still hesitant about adopting it because the implementation process can be complicated.
Some of the steps you’ll need to take include:
- Choosing the right software
- Setting up network protocols
- Weighing the advantages of smart card reader options
- Selecting the cards themselves
Without experience, all of these steps can be tricky. But with the help of InstaCard’s smart card services, you can take advantage of our experience in the industry.
We develop smart card ID badges that meet strict security requirements, satisfy international standards, and can be read using most smart card readers.
Why Choose InstantCard
Implementing smart card technology into your business IDs can seem like a complicated process. But, at InstantCard, we ensure that the transition goes smoothly.
Using our simple 5-step process, you enjoy the benefits of our smart card technology in a matter of days. Order yours today or get in touch if you have any questions.