Smart Card

A smart card interacts with a reader via a radio frequency interface or through physical contact. A reader decodes information through a microprocessor and authenticates a user.

Structure of a smart card chip
Structure of a smart card chip Source:

Smart cards have a number of advantages over other cards used for access control, namely:

  • Information communicated between a card and a reader is encrypted and all the communication is secure.
  • They can be used with various technology readers including proprietary proximity, magnetic-stripe as well as biometric systems and are expandable.
  • Different type of information can be stored on one card which enables a card to be used for both physical and logical access control, i.e. a smart card may give access to office premises and a computer network.
  • Smart card technology can store biometric templates which increases privacy as compared to storing biometric information in a central database.

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