Contactless smart card facts for kids

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A contactless smart card

A contactless smart card is a contactless 13.56-MHz credential whose dimensions are credit-card size. Its embedded integrated circuits can store and sometimes process data and communicate with a terminal via radio waves. There are two broad categories of contactless smart cards. Memory cards contain non-volatile memory storage components, and perhaps some specific security logic. Contactless smart cards do contain read-only RFID called CSN (Card Serial Number) or UID, and a re-writeable smart card microchip that can be transcribed via radio waves.

History

Contactless smart cards were first used for electronic ticketing in 1996 in Seoul, South Korea.

Since then, smart cards with contactless interfaces have been increasingly popular for payment and ticketing applications such as mass transit. Globally, contactless fare collection is being employed for efficiencies in public transit. The various standards emerging are local in focus and are not compatible, though the MIFARE Classic card from Philips has a large market share in the United States and Europe.

Technology

A contactless smart card is a card in which the chip communicates with the card reader through an induction technology similar to that of an RFID (at data rates of 106 to 848 kbit/s). These cards require only close proximity to an antenna to complete a transaction. They are often used when transactions must be processed quickly or hands-free, such as on mass transit systems, where a smart card can be used without even removing it from a wallet.

Overview

A contactless smart card is characterized as follows:

  • Dimensions are normally credit card size. The ID-1 of ISO/IEC 7810 standard defines them as 85.60 × 53.98 × 0.76 mm (3.370 × 2.125 × 0.030 in).
  • Contains a security system with tamper-resistant properties (e.g. a secure cryptoprocessor, secure file system, human-readable features) and is capable of providing security services (e.g. confidentiality of information in the memory).
  • Assets managed by way of a central administration systems, or applications, which receive or interchange information with the card, such as card hotlisting and updates for application data.
  • Card data is transferred via radio waves to the central administration system through card read-write devices, such as point of sales devices, doorway access control readers, ticket readers, ATMs, USB-connected desktop readers, etc.

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Contactless smart card Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.